If I told you that I could teach you how to play guitar in 4 weeks, what would your expectation be?
Would you expect a call from Slash to come play with him on-stage during a Guns N’ Roses tour?
Or would you just be happy knowing you can form some basic chords and progressions with the result being that you can play along to some of your favorite songs?
Staying the the guitar analogy, I think most of you would say (hopefully) that your expectation is in progressing, not the end result.
You could replace “playing guitar” with almost any skill in life, and the same truth would remain. Although, when it comes to losing weight, that notion of patience is thrown out the window.
“Need a little patience, yeah.”
I can see where the problem comes from, though. There are thousands of books, magazines, shows, etc. that promise quick-fixes from “8-minute abs” and “4-weeks to shredded” to ridiculously restrictive diets like 7-Day Juice “Cleanses” and the HCG diet. If you want to avoid getting caught in this loop where progress is null, it’s time to learn more about how weight loss works and how long it will really take to transform your body.
When I first got into the fitness industry, I remember reading about how:
- Abs are made in the kitchen
- Abs are made by your parents (better have good genetics).
Both are somewhat true. You need a good eating plan to see your abs. And some people will have abs even if their diet consists of pizza and ice cream (lucky).
But there’s another axiom that isn’t as popular: Most people can have abs if they are willing to be patient.
For the average person, losing fat takes time. In general, the more fat one has to lose, the quicker it will come off, but that’ll be at the rate of maybe 2 pounds per week if someone is really “overweight”.
Fat Loss Is A Process
Fat loss doesn’t react to the whims of one particular day, exercise, or macronutrient. It’s a process, and it occurs when many steps are taken and executed correctly. It’s also never linear. There will certainly be fluctuations in the journey.
The biggest problem for most is over- or under-reacting. In most cases, our impatience (because of immediate gratification) results in us making changes prematurely that end up stunting progress – like changing a diet or shifting a new workout.
“People often over-estimate what they can achieve in the short-term and under-estimate what they can achieve in the long-term.” – Tony Robbins
The real fat loss secret: Most times you just need to let the process run it’s course. Learn the steps, understand how your body responds, and then continue every single day.
Fat loss and abs are real. But the reality is that it’s a game of patience. According to research, most people that start a diet plan never make it past 4 weeks. In fact, I noticed this first-hand when I ran a recent 8-week Challenge. The difference in fat loss from the first four weeks compared to the last four weeks was significant.
For visible results, most people need to be on a consistent nutrition and fitness plan for at least 12 weeks. You’ll likely see results during the process, but keep it up until the 12-week mark to really cement the routines/habits that’ll last for years to come. It gets easier once that happens.
Be patient. Work hard. Focus on the process and not the outcome, and if the program is right, then your results will only be a matter of time.