My return back to the boxing ring has meant I’ve needed to drop weight to get into a certain weight division/category.
I’ve been getting asked a lot how I’ve been losing weight. I think some people are expecting me to have a secret way they don’t know about. Something they can do quick and easy.
Well it hasn’t been either quick or easy. I’ve worked my butt off in training, consistently and I’ve not over eaten at meal times consistently. That’s it.
I’m just like everyone else. Burn more calories than I’m consuming and boom… I lose weight. Pretty boring and not very marketable I guess. But that’s how it works which ever way you package it and that’s how I’ve done it.
The science and process behind losing weight/fat is very simple. Don’t over complicate it.
Where things get hard is adhering to the simple principles. You will have to make changes and you will have to say “no” a lot more than you have been. That’s the hard bit.
I’ve said no to second helpings of dinner even though the first tasted so good. I’ve said no to sweat treats and alcohol even if everyone else around me might be having them or constantly offering them. Rather than eat the kids leftovers I’ve eaten an apple or had nothing at all. No rocket science involved here.
I counted my calories and checked nutrition labels for probably the first two/three weeks. Purely as an exercise to get familiar with what energy or nutrient value foods have (it’s not something I have needed to do for a very long time so definitely didn’t hurt to re-educate).
Counting calories or marcos or how ever you want to do it can be tedious. But you don’t have to do it forever. Spend a little time initially to learn about what you are eating then you have that knowledge all the time.
After that initial two/three week period I stopped counting every single calorie every day. Because by then I had educated myself enough to be able to eye ball the foods I was eating and know what was in them. I guess I sometimes log it mentally but that takes no time out of my day.
I could make an educated decision without having to scan barcodes, or fill in apps etc. If I’ve had a heavier (calorie dense) morning of food, I can do a quick few sums in my head about what I ate and go “yeah probably need to go a bit lighter at dinner” to balance the day out.
That’s how I’ve lost weight. No tricks, no food group eliminations, no cleanses or fat burner supplements or whatever else you want to try for a quick fix.
My take aways from this?
Have a strong ‘why’. You have to have a really good reason to make you want to change your behaviours. If your ‘why’ is weak, so will you be in that moment of temptation. It’s not complicated. But, yes sometimes it is hard. Desert is yum, beer tastes good, but if your ‘why’ is strong enough it makes it easier to say no to these things and as time passes you can create new habits.
Managing calories is ultimately king for fat loss. But that doesn’t guarantee optimal health. The quality of your calories should be considered. (That’s one area that can get complicated, making sure you aren’t nutrient deficient). If you need help with that or have medical conditions see a qualified dietitian. Your PT, your mate or the internet shouldn’t be writing you a meal plan. The information I’m giving you now is really just common sense stuff. Want to now how to eat with an optimal nutritional profile…. Seek professional help! People study for years to have that knowledge.
Do you have to be so strict? Depends on your goal and the timeframe. For what I’m doing, yes and the closer I get to the fight and needing to be at fighting weight the stricter I will need to be. Probably not for most of you though. But remember when you do say yes and eat that cake in the lunch room or have an extra night out drinking etc then it will push the timeframe of your goals back. If you’re happy with that, cool, go for it. Do it guilt free then get back on track without beating yourself up about it. No surprises come Monday when your measurements haven’t changed for the better because you know exactly why. You made a conscious decision.
Educate yourself (but do it carefully). Knowledge is power. Simple things like knowing the calorie content of food and drinks can be very helpful. So can learning to read nutrition labels on food properly. But be careful. Just because you researched how cavemen digested protein and fats doesn’t make you an expert on gut microbiome and digestion. Work within your means.
I think too often that the process gets so complicated that people are confused how to do it. We know how to do it, we’ve always known how. The hard part is actually doing it.