1. Non-Exercise Physical Activity (NEPA) is important.

I was slow to embrace how large a role NEPA (Non-Exercise Physical Activity) plays in a fat loss diet.

Perhaps it was too many years reading lame mainstream NEPA-inspired fat loss advice like “when you go to KFC, park in the back of the parking lot.”

That said, watching your step count before AND when you’re deep in a diet can be really enlightening. I’ve had clients who almost seem to stop moving, to the point the drop offsets any increase in programmed cardio vascular exercise. The body is just so damn clever.

For that reason I sometimes appreciate living in a three story house. At least until I’m dieting and actually have to climb those stairs. Then I’m on line ordering one of those Acorn motorized stair lifts. #Dope

2. Fat Loss Hack: Nothing trims the waist quite like a sustained calorie deficit.

Supersetted with broomstick twists of course.

3. Poor choices always SEEM rational. That’s the point.

…and that’s why we get fooled into making them.

If I could end somehow hack into the human psyche and scrub one feature/bug from the programming it’s our unrelenting ability to rationalize poor choices.

In my business, that’s when someone caves in to hunger or anxiety (or just plain boredom), has a big cheat meal, and then rather than saying “oops, that was a mistake” comes up with all sorts of ego-sparing rationalizations.

“Well I was feeling flat and lethargic and I could tell my thyroid was getting suppressed, so I needed that pasta and garlic toast binge to upregulate endogenous T3.”

Really?

Dude, it’s only been a few weeks and you’re barely in a calorie deficit. AND you’ve never really before dieted in your life and don’t have personal experience (much less blood work) to support your hormonal intuitions.

Hell, until yesterday T3 was just your favorite Terminator movie.

Better approach? Embrace honesty. You were feeling hungry or anxiety or deprived, and because those feelings suck you caved in and ate some food. It’s not productive but one slip is hardly a death blow either.

Call it a rookie mistake — and most of us are “passionate rookies” — try to learn from it and move on.

But yeah, the garlic toast did help fill you out.

4. It’s funny. Folks who don’t use steroids assume they’re magic drugs that do all the work.

And those that do use steroids will often discount the impact the drugs have on their plan.

As always, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

5. A curious thing about dieting…

Even if you’re relatively experienced and not doing anything too crazy, you’ll inevitably start looking forward to the diet coming to an end.

Enjoying some fun foods and productive workouts again is obviously a big draw, but so is just doing & thinking about something else other than, well, dieting.

But talk to these same folks a few weeks after the diet has wrapped (and they’ve packed on a few pounds) and they’ll say they miss their old diet.

Part of it might be the attention they received being so lean, but its more just missing the feeling of Purpose — having something to work on, and work for, every time they walk into the gym or the kitchen.

When it’s all over the ensuring hangover can be really depressing for some people. They’re like highly-trained soldiers suddenly stuck in the base without a mission; getting softer, getting weaker.

My advice? Whatever you happened to be doing with your diet & fitness plan, find a way to embrace “the now.”

So if you’re deep in a diet and you’re weak and hungry and your legs feel like they weight a thousand pounds, perhaps focus on what the end goal is? Or what you’re learning about yourself and your body, like what “real” hunger actually is?

Of course, remembering that this is YOUR goal and that you signed up for this is never a bad idea either.

And then after diet is done, don’t endlessly romanticize what you went through while anxiously watching your abs wash away.

Focus on what you’re doing right now, whether it’s adding muscle, chasing a performance goal, or just taking a break. It’s all part of the big picture.

Embrace, learn, and enjoy.

Ebb and flow.

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