Sometimes I feel like so many of the New Year’s resolutioners fall off the wagon by the end of January simply because they have unrealistic expectations.
Whether that’s because we’re constantly bombarded with (suspicious) before/after pictures on social media or because we just wish it were easier, I don’t know. But you have to get this into your head: you are not going to look like a fitness model in 3 months. Or in a year. Honestly, it might take you upwards of 3 years to get to that level, if that’s your goal.
Of course, my intention with these last few sentences is not to discourage you (that would be kind of counter-productive, wouldn’t it?). Instead, I want you to have the right mindset as you set out to develop a better physique for yourself.
You see, body recomposition (i.e. losing fat and building muscle) is a slow, tedious process. It’s a marathon, not a sprint if you will.
So if you “enter the race” believing that it’s a sprint, you’ll quickly run out of energy and fall off the wagon. On the other hand, if you realize that it’s going to be a long, tedious marathon, you’re going to start out with a steady, sustainable pace, letting you build momentum and lasting ’till the end.
More specifically, if your goal is to lose fat, you need to realize that a healthy, sustainable rate of weight loss is 0.5-1% of your body weight per week. And if your goal is to build muscle, then you need to know that you can build around 20-25 pounds of lean muscle mass in your first year of training.
Yes, that means around 2 pounds of lean muscle gained per month…
It’s not much, but it’s reality.
Not only that, but some of you will likely have to both lose fat and build muscle mass (in successive phases), further lengthening the path to your goal.
All that being said, there’s no reason to be upset. It’s not like you’ll work out and manage your nutrition consistently for an entire year without seeing any results, and then – boom – one day you transform into your ultimate form!
Instead, if you consistently eat well and work out, you’ll see progress in the mirror each month. This will keep you motivated and willing to do the work ahead.