Lose Fat and Build Muscle part 5: Don’t Fail

This is the final article of the series and it will cover an oft overlooked part of every program: How not to fail.

The overwhelming majority of self-directed training and nutrition programs
fail. You may be one of the many who have tried something and failed before.
If not, you almost certainly know someone who has.

Yet people ALSO get in shape successfully all the time! They’re losing fat, building muscle, and living stronger, more confident lives. What are they doing differently?

There are two vital aspects to successfully following a fat loss program and achieving long lasting results:

  1. Accountability
  2. Gradual change


One thing successful people do is to find help. They find an experienced instructor who has helped others, and they do what that instructor tells them. Or they find a friend who has lost fat and copy their methods.

They do something to find a human relationship with someone who knows what to do and has obviously done it. And then they do it also. Mentorship and support are absolutely essential to fat loss. Those who have it, succeed.  Those who don’t, fail. Simply put: to ensure success find someone to teach you.

The human brain is made to analyse things, which is useful. However it’s easy to get lost in endless analysis which leads to inaction.  A great instructor, on the other hand, has already done the research and has practical experience thus can simplify things to the point where you feel confident skipping the analysis.  And actually start doing.

An additional aspect to accountability is motivation. The majority of people are incapable of effective self-motivation especially in the long term. You are more likely to do what’s necessary for fat loss and muscle gain if you promise your instructor or friend that you will do it then report back to them on your success or failure in the future.

Gradual change

We have all heard the saying ‘Rome was not built in a day’ meaning that it takes a long time to create something great and lasting (Rome is referred to as the eternal city). This logic ought to be applied to any effective fat loss and muscle gain program. Self-directed fat loss programs fail the majority of the time. This is often due to people trying to learn and do too much at once.

At Total martial arts Swindon our students achieve an amazingly high success rate.

This is because we know how lasting change really occurs. Successful, lasting change only happens by introducing new habits or behaviours gradually – and only when a student is fully confident they can do them. We introduce new behaviours and habits 1 at a time. Then once the student has shown that they can follow the new behaviour consistently for 2 weeks we introduce another and so on.

Below you will find a list of proven habits and behaviours for fat loss. Read through the entire list and find one habit that you are confident you will be able to follow for the next 2 weeks. Select the one that seems easiest for you and get started right now.

1. Exercise for 30 minutes per day

2. Take fish oil and a multivitamin at breakfast every day

3. Drink at least 8 cups of water every day

4. Eat at least 4 handful sized servings of vegetables every day

5. Sleep at least 8 hours (including naps and night-time sleep)

6. During each meal, stop eating when 80% full

7. Twice during the work day, get up and do 5 minutes of muscle stretching

8. Eat 4 – 5 meals per day

9. Eat lean protein with each meal

10. Replace grains with greens during each meal

Once you have been successful in doing your chosen habit consistently for 2 weeks add another one and do that also for the next two weeks. Keep building it up gradually.

Once again we will emphasise. You cannot do it all at once, every day. But the good news is you don’t have to!

You can make fat loss complex – and most likely fail.  Or you can make it simple by applying the strategies covered in this course, and see amazing success.