willpower

At Be Fit For Life we are no strangers to amazing before and after photos, the kind where the transformation is so significant it looks like two different people. But the photos only tell one piece of the story – what happens in the months between these before and afters?

There are simple steps that you too can use to help you get healthy, no matter where you’re at now. I call them the 10 commandments of fat loss.

1st commandment: You can’t out-train a bad diet

Nutrition is going to have a bigger influence on your result than training. There are many people who train five times a week to look the same… overweight and unhappy!

While exercise is a crucial part of losing weight, it’s not the most important piece. At Be Fit For Life we have found that with a combination of nutrition coaching and a customized exercise programme you can expect to burn up to four times more fat in one month than exercise alone.

2nd commandment: Figure out how health and fitness will benefit your core values

This second commandment of fat loss is more about the ‘why’. Everyone knows health and fitness are beneficial so why doesn’t everyone do it? You need to take time to figure out what you value most.

Query how an improvement in my health would benefit what is important to me, be it family, career, relationship or whatever.

3rd commandment: Ask yourself what is the benefit of being fat?

Being overweight – how’s that working out for you? It means you didn’t set aside five hours to train last week, it means you didn’t eat clean, didn’t shun alcohol.

Because so much of the nation is overweight it is easy to blame genetics and the environment. It’s easy to be part of the crowd and hard to stand out from it.

4th commandment: Celebrate your goal or punish yourself if you don’t

Psychologists say the two biggest motivators are moving towards pleasure or moving away from pain. When you set your goal, have a carrot that will entice you and a stick that will make you refrain from giving up.

5th commandment: Follow the path

Success leaves clues – talk to people who have lost weight and have kept it off for more than five years.

6th commandment: Focus on the power of one

When you commit to one change you have an 85pc chance of success; when you commit to three your success rate drops to 25pc. With one thing to focus on you can build momentum.

7th commandment: Be aware of the snowball effect

Start with a simple task and look at the behaviours that need to change to complete in. Rank the behavioural changes out of 10. On a scale of one to 10 (10 being very confident), how confident are you that you can do this one habit every day?

When I’m implementing the 10 commandments of fat loss with a new client I start them off with one thing – changing their breakfast to a protein-based one. If they are not confident they can do this I might break down the task further and instead just ask them to take fish oil for the first few days.

This helps to improve mood so that they now feel confident enough to tackle the breakfast task.

8th commandment: Get a coach to hold you accountable

Having a coach is a sign of strength, not weakness. Every athlete at the Olympics had a coach. If you don’t have one what makes you so special?

9th commandment: Measure actions, not outcomes

We can’t control outcomes but we can control our actions that may lead to those outcomes. For example, I will train four times a week, I will eat enough protein, I will drink enough water – if these ordinary actions are practiced daily they will lead to extraordinary outcomes.

10th commandment: Let your coach track your results

Hire a coach to monitor your progress, leaving you to focus on the daily habits and actions.

You won’t get anywhere if you don’t start. Go through the 10 commandments of fat loss, pick one and do it right now. Getting started is often the hardest part of all.