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Your fat-loss plan needs to be sustainable

It’s obviously good to be enthusiastic, determined and committed to your fat-loss plan. But many people approach the task with an all-or-nothing mentality that is totally at odds with their current lifestyle.

It is not uncommon for a Bodyscan client who barely exercises and makes terrible food choices to commit themselves to a plan which involves exercising for more than an hour every day and a nutrition plan that requires them to spend the same amount of time cooking.

It makes no sense to embark on a plan that doesn’t fit with your lifestyle. If you rarely get up before 8.30am, being in the gym every morning at six is never going to work!

At Bodyscan we see many clients who succeed and, it’s true, a good number who fail in their pursuit of “a better body”. When we meet and during the consultation at their first DEXA scan, we’ll advise qualitative as well as quantitative changes.

Those who succeed are, first and foremost, determined to effect change. They keep themselves accountable by returning for regular progress checks every 12-16 weeks. That’s long enough between DEXA scans for a noticeable, even significant change to have occurred and for the change in habits to ‘hold’ and become sustainable, a lifestyle change.

Second, they are open to our advice and not suffering from delusions about what works and what doesn’t. Let’s be honest, most of us overestimate our level of activity and underestimate how much we eat (which is why we put on weight in the first place!) Playing golf, walking the dog and looking after kids does not make you “very active”. Running five miles a day makes you that!

At follow-up Progress scans (which provide an automatic comparison with up to five previous DEXA scans), the most popular excuses for failed health-kicks are that “life got in the way” and “I travel a lot for my job”. Which are other ways of saying you completely ignored your lifestyle and embarked on a programme that was never going to work.

When are you going to prepare a week’s meals and get to the gym for five hours a week? If you have a busy job and a family, you need a food plan that you can feed to your kids instead of cooking two sets of meals.

If you travel frequently (or never cook) you need to make good food choices from what’s available. You don’t have to have dessert or drink all those fine wines in business class.

A well-designed fat-loss strategy should achieve your goal by becoming part of the way you live your life – avoiding doing things you really don’t enjoy, making it easy to keep below maintenance calories and including exercise that you can commit to easily for the long term.

Your plan should enhance and complement your life, not adversely impact it. Don’t make things hard for yourself. You’re far more likely to succeed if you fit your plan to your lifestyle rather than attempt a handbrake turn.

Setting a realistic and sustainable fat-loss plan is one of the ten points in our popular Bodyscan e-guides, 10 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Fat. You can download it here. If you want to fast-track your plan book your first DEXA scan in London here. Bodyscan has two London clinics and our UK DEXA prices are on our pricing page. You’ll save money with a prepaid DEXA package.

Archie Williams
(former) Bodyscan Consultant

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