The toughest part of the fitness lifestyle for most of us seems to be the work we put in outside of the gym as opposed to all the sweat we put in while we are at the gym. Staying consistent outside of the gym tends to be a pain particularly in the summer with all the distractions running rampant in our lives. As you will see in this article, structure is a huge part of life outside of the gym, without it every day will seem like an uphill battle you just can’t win. Other factors we'll discuss involve your mindset, hydration levels, diet and lifestyle.
If there’s anything to take away from this article, it’s that results don’t happen overnight. Make sure your goals are long-term and most importantly you strongly believe that all your hard work will be eventually rewarded over a certain amount of time. Even when you see the results, stay humble and keep driving hard. With this being said, reward yourself from time to time because you deserve it!
Enough of the talk let us begin, here are 6 do’s and 6 don'ts of life outside of the gym, enjoy!
12 DO: Follow a Routine
Creating a fundamental structure to your everyday life is absolutely crucial if you’re going to accomplish any of your fitness goals. With structure comes the following of a routine, this is what really sets you apart and brings you one step closer to your goals. Those everyday routines and structures better you each and every day. Now with this being said, it is important to acknowledge that at times you will be bumped off of your routine because of life and that’s ok. You won’t lose all your progress based on one day of not following a routine. It’s all about how you get back up after breaking your structure and climbing back into your regular routine. If you want to reach your goals this summer, setting up a proper life outside of the gym is just as important as the work you put in at the gym. Make your life routine outside of the gym a priority, try and shape the perfect everyday structure and build on it each and every day!
11 DON’T: Not Eating
Some follow a proper nutritional routine every day, while some others think that not eating will get them to where they want to be. As we’ve discussed in so many of my past articles, this can only work for a certain amount of time before you plateau. In order to lose weight, you need fuel to succeed. The proper amount of fueling will put you on your way, without eating, there simply is no fuel to burn causing your metabolic rate to take a huge spike over time. If you want to follow a low calorie diet make sure to do it gradually by lowering your calories a bit at a time every day, this will make the impact on your system much more minimal as opposed to doing it all in one shot.
10 DO: Sleep Quality
Sleep quality is another very important variable to take into account when you’re away from the gym. This is one of the most under-looked factors outside of the gym. Your body does most of its repairing outside of the gym while you are asleep. Proper rest allows it to build and repair itself in accordance to your day and workout intensity. Losing sleep can instead drain your metabolic rate while even slowing down the process of breaking down the food you eat. This leads to a greater number on the scale the next morning. Your body needs sleep, make it a priority to get between 6-8 hours of sleep a night.
9 DON'T:Party Life
One of the biggest silent killers of sleep quality is living a party life. This is kind of a double burn in the sense that not only are you slowing down your metabolism by not sleeping, but you’re also taking in extra calories from the alcohol you consumed the night before. Those calories go unprocessed, which causes them to stick to your walls for an extended period of time. You’d be amazed to find out just how many extra calories you’re adding just by consuming a couple of casual glasses of alcohol. Partying can certainly set you back particularly if you're living this lifestyle more than once a week. If you have goals of dropping body fat or weight, the party lifestyle is one of the worst ways to go.
8 DO: Rewards
Now, just because you can’t party everyday doesn’t mean you can't reward yourself for all the hard work you’re putting in. On the contrary, you should create rewards when things are running very well and you're following a routine for an extended amount of time. Rewards create a purpose and kind of a light at the end of the tunnel type of feel. These little elements keep pushing us and keep us motivated long-term so it is important to incorporate cheat meals and rewards every now and then. If you're progressing nicely, take one night of the week and go out with your friends, enjoy a nice fatty super followed by a casual glass of wine. Those dirty fats will help boost your metabolic rate and at the same time improve your mood quality. When thinking long-term it is important to create pit-stops every now and then.
7 DON’T: Sedentary Life
This is just one of those silent killers we don’t realize. When it comes to weight loss, it’s all about being in a deficit meaning your caloric intake and activity levels must be matched. So if you’re less active you require less calories per day than someone else who lives an active lifestyle and that is on their feet all day. For most of us however, this is not the case. The better part of us are either in school sitting or sitting at their desk all day. Make it a priority each day to take the longer routes whether it’s taking the stairs or even parking a little bit further, these little thing’s will go a long way in the long-run. Make sure when dieting that your calories match your activity levels.
6 DO: Fruits and Veggies
These two foods need to be an absolute must outside of the gym. As opposed to several myths out there, fruits are great and loaded with goodness from vitamins and minerals. Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and oranges are great fruits to incorporate. You can also throw these versatile fruits into a salad to increase your intake. In addition, veggies are an absolute must with every meal. They are loaded with minerals which help and do wonders for your system. If you’re looking for a low calorie veggie opt for a serving of asparagus with each meal.
5 DON’T: Quick Box Foods
When there seems to be no structure we tend to look at fast options to fulfill our dieting needs. Unfortunately at times, these fast box foods set us back more than anything. Processed foods are loaded with added chemicals and preservatives, this why you tend to feel bloated following a meal. Consumers also do a great job at enticing a client telling you how good it is on the packaging, don’t be fooled by this. The best way to combat this is by thinking ahead. Sunday night, prepare all your meals in advance for the week. Put them in a container and you're good to go. Taking that one day a week to prep in advance is absolutely crucial and important when it comes to your every day nutritional decision making. Make this a priority as one your most important do’s outside of the gym.
4 DO: Staying Hydrated
Hydration is especially key in the summer because of the heat, and sweat causes us to lose even more water. Dieting believe it or not also has the same effect especially if you’re on a low carb diet. Carbohydrates are water based so when you cut them out you lose a lot of water in the process. This is why you tend to unbloat so quickly after a couple of days without eating as many carbs, we tend to flatten. With all this being said, it is key to consume water to keep our metabolism revving and our digestion strong. I would recommend an intake of 30-40 ml per kilogram of bodyweight. So if you weigh 50 kg (110lb), ideally you’re looking at 1.5-2 L a day. Stay thirsty my friends...
3 DON’T: Visualizing the Short-Term
Tracking your goals short-term can simply do more harm than good. Short sighted goals create unnecessary expectations and just put an added pressure that you simply do not need. Thinking you can change your body in just a couple of days is simply wishful thinking, this mind set will only put your morale down as opposed to lifting it. All goals should be focused on the long-term and here is why.
2 DO: Visualizing the Long-Term
All goals must have a clear indicator of what you want to accomplish in the long-term whether that would be hitting a weight you desire or simply dropping body fat and adding muscle to some areas of your body. These goals ultimately shape your training and give you an idea of what you’re exercising for. Outside of the gym, this factor keeps you motivated every day. In addition, it keeps you humble and accountable for everything you do in and out of the gym. Expectations and your mind set are huge when trying to accomplish a goal. Make sure these factors are on point outside of the gym, this is one of the most under looked factors in all of fitness today.
1 DON’T: Negative Influences
It happens to the best of us, in the gym, in our zone we feel incredible, outside of it however we tend to get down because of negative influences surrounding us. Criticisms can have a profound impact and really make us question a lot of things. Negativity tends to build, so one negative thought can turn into several rather quickly. Don’t allow this to go down, put yourself in situations where negativity is not a factor, staying positive is so important especially when you're consuming less calories outside of the gym than usual, you need all the positive reinforcements you can get. Align yourself with those that make you happy and motivate you every day, this is a huge pillar to life outside of the gym!