4 Key Steps for Fat Loss Success From Ex-Royal Navy Personal Trainer
- According to a former military personal trainer, there are four key steps to losing fat.
- Achieving your goals comes down to having the right mindset and approach, says Iain Reitze.
- Don't be overly restrictive, because that will make you resent your goals, he says.
To lose fat long-term, change the way you think about your journey and don't over-restrict, former Royal Navy strength and conditioning coach and personal trainer Iain Reitze tells Insider.
Most of his clients want to lose weight, and while Reitze has no problem with that, he tries to shift their focus to improving their performance and health.
When you focus on eating healthy and exercising, your body's appearance changes as a by-product, he says.
“I try to change my mindset and focus on leave Losing weight because gaining or losing weight comes with a lot of emotional attachment and stigma,” he said.
Reitze – who joined the Royal Navy at 16 as a strength and conditioning instructor and worked with recruits, NATO Special Forces, prisoners in military prisons and wounded servicemen and women undergoing rehabilitation – believes his military background has helped him develop The skills required to adjust his style for each individual.
Reitze left the Navy after 27 years of service and now runs fitness and nursing homes in Portugal and the UK. He believes that people should pursue a balanced lifestyle, which means exercising regularly and having a little something they enjoy, like a few drinks on the weekend.
Many nutrition and fitness professionals agree with this approach, advocating the “80/20 principle,” which encourages nutritious food choices 80 percent of the time and enjoys what you want the rest of the time. Reducing food groups and over-restricting are unsustainable for most people and therefore usually do not lead to long-term success.
But that doesn't mean you shouldn't push yourself. Reitze said one of the best things about the military is that it shows people they can do things they thought they couldn't, which builds confidence.
Fat loss comes down to a calorie deficit. To achieve it, says Reitze, you need to be consistent and persistent, keeping the following points in mind.
write down your goals
Before you do anything, it's important to write down exactly what your goal is and set an ideal time frame for achieving it, because it makes you reflect on how much discipline you're willing to have, Reitze says.
For example, if you want to lose 10 pounds in five weeks, most people will probably have to be relatively disciplined and stay on track most of the time. But if you give yourself 10 weeks to lose the same amount, you can eat more and enjoy yourself while reaching your goal.
Research shows that slow weight loss is the most sustainable.
Break things down into manageable chunks
It's important not to overhaul your entire lifestyle in one fell swoop, says Reitze.
For example, if you want to drink less, cut back but don't quit completely, then taper your drinking, Reitze says. This keeps it from feeling overwhelming.
The same is true for fitness, experts agree — if you don't exercise at all, and if you don't do it gradually, you probably won't be able to stick to exercising five times a week.
don't be overly restrictive
Whether it's cutting calories too low and eating too little, or cutting back on the food types and things you enjoy, overly restrictive diets are usually not sustainable.
If your diet is making your life miserable, you may end up resenting your goals, says Reitze.
By consuming all your favorite foods in moderation and eating enough so that you lose weight while still having energy, you'll enjoy the journey, he says.
change the way you think
Remember that you are in control of your thoughts: Instead of telling yourself you can't eat, tell yourself you choose not to eat, says Reitze.
He likens it to how many people make a conscious decision not to smoke, even though we all could.
Instead of saying you “must” go to the gym, tell yourself you “must” go. Coaches agree that changing your mindset is an important part of weight loss success.