Have ever noticed how women are fixated on numbers? How often are you drawn to ads which claim to help you look 10 years younger, lose 10 pounds. in a week, drop three dress sizes in a month, and the list goes on. But weight is the one thing that drives most women to extreme measures. For instance, you clicked on this article to find out how lose five pounds, right?
How many of you start your day with a "March of the Penguins" walk to the bathroom scale? Does the number on the scale dictate your level of happiness for the day? Why does that number on the scale have so much power over your level of joy at any given time? Why is this a common practice for women but not men? Men either trip over the bathroom scale in the morning, or they may use it to make sure their five-pound dumbbell does indeed weigh five pounds. But you will rarely see men weighing for the sake of weighing.
The truth is that scales are relatively meaningless when it comes to fitness. The scale doesn't know if it is weighing fat, muscle, or hair extensions. The problem with focusing on weight alone is that it has nothing to do with body composition (fat to muscle ratio). You can actually lose muscle instead of fat and the scale can show a weight loss. But is that healthy? No! In fact, I call that "Skinny Fat" and no that isn't the name of a new rapper.
On the other hand, you can lose body fat, gain muscle and the scale can show no weight loss or even weight gain, which would be depressing if you focus only on the number. But this is good weight gain. Building muscle and losing body fat will help you sculpt a curvy and sexy body. It is time for skinny to finally become passé. Fit really is the new skinny, which is good, because having curves is natural for a woman, but looking like a 13-year-old prepubescent boy is not natural. In fact did you know that most men actually prefer a woman with curves and not the stick figure models that have graced the magazines and media for decades?
So Carpe Novus Diem, seize the new day. Forget about the scales. In fact, do you want to know how to lose the five pounds in one day? Throw away the bathroom scales! It will be the best five pounds you will ever lose. Focus on getting fit, not on depriving yourself into an emaciated stick figure. The women I train never step on a scale and never worry about a number. I teach them to focus on eating healthy and working hard. In fact, one of things I share in my book and with women I train is to think like a man when it comes to fitness. Remember the guy will never step on a bathroom scale, unless it is by accident. But there are other traits which women can take from men when it comes to fitness. Here are five tips from Scared Skinny No More ,which can help women think like a man when it comes to fitness:
1. Men are not defined by their weight. Most men have no idea what they weigh. Even those who work out regularly gauge their success by how they look in a mirror, not some number on a scale.
2. Feed your ego. Women are just as competitive as guys, but their ego isn't as tied to how fast they run or what they bench-press. Maybe it should be! Ego is a powerful motivator. The next time you have an amazing workout, brag--even if to yourself. When you experience success by finally doing things the right way, you will feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. Sometimes a big part of the problem is that you haven't felt successful in a long time. So celebrate your achievements, don't downplay them.
3. Be Realistic. Men are not typically perfectionists. "Most guys avoid anything that even smacks of perfectionism," and that applies to dieting too, says Prevention advisor Pamela Peeke, MD, an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. "When women start a diet, they go from zero to 100, they want to become perfect overnight, which is a hallmark of failure." Try to be consistent. I tell women to try to be effective 85 percent of the time. Eat healthy 85 percent of the time and train hard 85 percent of the time. Some days you may hit 100 percent and some days you may hit 60%, but it is about consistency over the long haul, not any given day.
4. Drop the Barbie-bells. Lift weights and work on getting stronger. Building muscle mass will help sculpt a sexy body, increase your metabolism, and keep your bones strong. Adding muscle will even allow you to eat more. In fact, for every pound of muscle you gain, your body will burn about 25 more calories per day. This means if you gain four pounds of muscle, you will burn an extra 100 calories per day, every day.
5. Finally realize a donut is just a donut. When you eat a donut, don't think, "Oh donuts are my weakness," or you will feel guilty for days because of that one donut. One donut has sent many a woman into a downward spiral that has lasted for weeks. Simply think of it simply as a tasty treat and then move on! Men eat a donut (or two or three) and say that was really good, but now I need to get back to eating healthy. What's interesting is that men typically don't munch on things like 100-calorie snack packs. In fact, men are less likely to eat goods labeled diet or low-calorie. And that's actually better for them because they get more nutrients and avoid sneaky saturated fat by fueling up on whole foods, which are also more psychologically filling. When you're hungry, reach for foods such as nuts, turkey, cheese sticks, fruit and vegetables rather than those cute, little low-cal snack packs.
As you can see, the weight battle is actually fought in the mind. It isn't about a number on a scale. It is about how you perceive yourself. It is about changing your focus on getting healthy, not getting skinny. Skinny doesn't mean healthy. Getting fit mean healthy. When you remove the pressure to be thin, then you can avoid the fad diets, pills, and gimmicks that have no proven results. It frees you to focus on eating healthy, working out, and creating healthy habits that can last a lifetime. Remember you don't have to be perfect. You just have to be consistent. So, throw away the bathroom scales, and let that be the last five pounds you ever worry about losing. Let today be a new beginning on your journey to fitness that can last a lifetime.
Dr. Johnson is an international speaker in wellness. He has trained athletes at multiple levels in including D1 athletes. He recently helped develop a fitness diploma with the Malaysian Ministry of Education. He is author of Scared Skinny No More.
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