Acknowledge your need to start and commit. In the past two years I’ve had relatively high success helping different people from all walks of life lose anywhere from 10 pounds in 6 weeks to 70 pounds in a year. Truth is, we all have specific goals and I believe that weight loss should be approached as a progressive training goal just like any powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, sport-related, or aesthetic “booty” goal. As a coach, I sit down with every one of my clients at the beginning of our time together and discuss goals. In a few circumstances this is where tears roll because of a new honest relationship being formed around such a vulnerable thing in your life which something to really look forward to. People don’t wake up 60 pounds heavier overnight. It’s often the result of difficult times, insecurities, lifestyle habits (that DO NOT want to change), and so much more. The process must be a very private, loving, caring approach both between the coach and client. We all fall victim to harsh emotions but we all react to them in different ways. You, the client, should place great trust in your coach and know that they WILL NOT share what you’re going through, talk to others about your weight, or plot against you. Your coach will be your mentor and will not share confided information with others in the gym regarding personal goals. The best start would be to find a qualified coach. Some good things to look out for are: a coach that writes down your goals from the start, puts you through a few assessments for body fat, circumferences, and can explain to you the science behind weight loss, a coach that regularly tracks your main goal via the scale, and makes a pronounced effort to explore what is working for you and listens to you about what you consider fun or not. It may not be immediate, but you should enjoy your coaching sessions A LOT once things get rolling. It’s a great feeling to be able to put your trust in someone that will not judge you and will never try to hurt you.
Measure, measure, measure. If you’re not measuring, you and your coach will have no clue if something is working or not. I don’t care what some trainers say, I have my weight loss clients weigh in every single time they come to the gym. Looking at the scale once a month versus every work out gives you less measurement to adjust your plan and can be a great way to start an awesome conversation over how your week’s going with things like sleep, eating right, outside activity, tv time, etc. Weigh in when you step foot in the gym and log that information on your work out or on your phone. When it comes to circumference measurements, I like to do these after every 4-6 weeks to see how the training plan is decreasing size in different areas. It’s great to know exactly where the weight loss is coming from. Unfortunately you can’t target specific areas of fat because the body pulls fat from the body as a whole and not only over your stomach or only your calf. Distribution of fat is good to note though and circumference measurements can absolutely be a great goal (i.e. a waistline changing from 42” to 32”). Also measuring body fat with an equation or different tools like calipers can work. I don’t like to use calipers on female clients because of the pinching discomfort over different areas of skin, but usually bigger guys and athletes are fine with it so I may use them then. BIA analyzers are a great tool (although the numbers are not 100% accurate) and they often show decreases in body fat. Again, the more measurements we can take then the more we can keep track of what’s going on in the body and we can adjust what’s going on to fix any plateaus or changes in progress.
Accountability is the key to weight loss. To the coaches - holding your clients accountable is YOUR JOB. Your job isn’t to build a big bench press or big deadlift if your client’s goal is losing weight. I can only imagine now “congrats! You went up on your bench! Want to sign up for 12 more sessions?” If I was a weight loss client not losing weight, I’d ask “so why haven’t I lost weight?” Maybe you’re not being held accountable? I mean really, what’s the point of getting a coach if they aren’t holding you accountable and constantly measuring you. BUT it is pretty cool when the weight drops and you get strong too (which will happen). It creates another motivator.
There really is no such thing as a perfect plan. There are plans that work and plans that don’t. The plans that don’t work are the ones that have no baseline and no end goal. If you can set your baseline and the end goal, then your coach should be able to get you a solid plan to connect those points. Anything else is just working out and is not sustainable in the long term because you won’t have any results. For a moment, I want you to think about your last 2 months at the gym if you’re currently a gym goer and ask yourself “what goals have I reached in the last couple of months?” Your coach is here to help you get your #gainz. Your goals should be their goals. Your goals should be reached by the date planned. Sometimes things are even more awesome than you’d expect. I love the coach that is so confident in developing your program that they know what you can do before you ever do it. This might be a strength feat like you’ve never done a pull up but over the course of the last six months you’ve done a lot of other things so you’ve built a solid foundational strength base, so the day you’re reassessed and muster up the courage to ask “could we set a goal to do 1 pull up?” that your coach says “absolutely, would you like to accomplish that right now?” And then you go and do it. BOOM. Now, this isn’t to be expected because things take hard work. It may take years before a pull up is possible. Two questions I like to ask clients are “how long did the weight take for you to put on? How long do you think it will take you to lose?” It may take years to get to your goal but be relentless. This is where I get to insert my favorite quote. “Conquer.” Everything you do, CONQUER. Anything less is a waste of your time. Put yourself in control of your life and get yourself exactly where you want to be. Conquering is no secret, however. Other people like to do this too and sometimes very unexpectedly (just ask my ex-girlfriends ^insert laughy face emoji followed by an angry crying emoji^ haha). You must be willing to fight for the things you want most in this life. Give your time to what and where (and who) you love, and you will love your time. We place our time in the things that matter most in our lives. ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT. People don’t do things if it doesn’t matter to them. Even the guy that hates his job continues to do that job for something that matters to him – it could be placing his time in his work for money to do things he loves, although he will probably forever be caught up in trying to spend more time in what he loves so he’ll work more and more but always find himself short of time in an unhappy life. “How does this relate to weight loss?” you might be wondering right now. If being healthier and trimmer is the life you want, go get yourself the life you want. If you want to eat Krispy Kreme (not a dig at Krispy Kreme, because I love that sugary goodness running down my gullet), then go eat Krispy Kreme. If you want to feel amazing for more than that brief 2 second existence of a donut, maybe it would be best to leave them out of your life and get the body you’ve wanted back or have been chasing forever. Dedicate your time to what you want and tell the world you want it. Then go conquer. End rant.
Get big results. You’ve committed, you’ve started going to your coaching sessions, you’re eating healthier. This is when the results start to come. And they come VERY fast. A 5 to 10 pound drop may happen quickly in the first month and a half with an experienced coach. This is awesome and I would consider it as decreases in swelling throughout the body as well as a little fat loss. I love this time period because it will define the coach to client relationship forever. Celebrate the goals being reached and understand why they’re happening. After these results it can become difficult, but this is when you must conquer! After this point, you’re looking at 1 to 2 pounds a week in weight loss, but you must keep the end goal in mind and don’t settle for less. Measuring your weight regularly keeps you thinking about the goal at hand and will become a habit. I promise you that very quickly you’ll realize the different things that might be causing your weight loss to plateau or fluctuate. This could be stress, lack of sleep, your six pack of beer that you’re throwing back on the weekend, etc.
Change your lifestyle. In my opinion, changing your lifestyle will probably come easy and it’s also the best part. This is what you’ve been training so hard for. To be able to do new things that you couldn’t before because your weight felt like a burden. Maybe this means feeling confident (loving yourself and body), seizing the day with cool stuff like climbing mountains or surfing for the first time, getting really awesome at a sport, find the upper limits of your strength potential (getting really, really strong), finding a new excitement in life, etc. You could do all of these things at the weight you are, but this is where you’ll understand my purpose as a coach. You must learn how to conquer. I will (and any other good coach) teach you how to conquer. Weight loss doesn’t come from adding something onto your life or making a small change. It requires a complete physical and mental change from exercise and a good diet: physiological changes to give you more energy (mitochondrial biogenesis #PGC1alpha to all my fellow kinesiology geeks out there), peripheral nervous system growth, central nervous system enhancement, emotional state change (your anxiety, depression, and issues will seem like less because you’ll realize your personal potential), and SOOOO much more. The end results are worth it and incredible. You will live a longer, healthier life with more chances for success and joy. To get there will take a lot of effort and hard work, but did anything sweet ever come to pass without hard work and consistency? You got this. I promise. Now, go conquer.