Fat Loss Tip: Stop Thinking Fat Loss to Lose Fat – There’s a Better Way!

by Marianne  - April 11, 2012

Hi everyone,

Today, I have simply been too sore from training to do a workout.  Yesterday, I teamed up with Stephen Bell from Ironfit for a Training session, and he made me do hypertrophy training for a change (an evil ploy I think). Anyway, I willingly followed his lead and, as a result, today I am in a world of PAIN!  I did exercises I haven’t done in years and in multiple high rep sets. My triceps are so sore I can hard move my arms – eek! I WILL have a workout up this week, but I need to get rid of THESE DOMS, plus the residual DOMS in my calves from Sunday’s killer session!  😐

Now onto today’s topic.

You know how I like to keep training uber simple? Well, fat loss should be no different.  The problem is, in order for “the industry” to keep making money, it has to make you believe there is some secret, complicated formula to fat loss. While there is a formula, it is neither secret or complicated;  it is actually very simple.  The problems arise when we start thinking it’s complicated, perceiving difficulties, or we are sucked in by the mountains of BS out there.  The amount of contradicting information does nothing but make people chase their tails and constantly feel like a failure – therefore ensuring they keep searching for “new” solutions etc etc. This whole process makes me angry because many people now hold all these false or exaggerated beliefs about fat loss that quite simply make the whole thing worse. For example, you know things are bad when someone comes to you for fat loss and exercise advice (assuming they have done so because they know you have the knowledge and experience to advise them), yet they start arguing with you when you try telling them how simple the formula is:

Eat Less, Do More (in a nutshell).

The issue is not the formula, the issue is your belief system, inner thoughts and feelings that ultimately govern your success at anything – including fat loss.

While I can’t prevent the reams of BS out there, I can show you a better way…

You know when you tell yourself “I can’t have” or ” I shouldn’t do” something (usually in relation to edible treats), and you end up wanting it all the more … usually leading to an epic fail in that day’s diet regime or what ever it is you are trying to give up … well, the answer is STOP telling yourself what you don’t want and START focusing on what you DO want and how you SHOULD behave.  This also applies to you telling yourself you “hate exercise”, or that something is “not working”!

This is a huge factor in reaching your fat loss goal (or any goal).  Something as simple as changing your vision from thinking about FAT (whether it be fat loss or fat gain) to visualising yourself being successful at eating healthy, feeling satisfied and getting leaner, will soon have you adopting the correct behaviours to match your thoughts.  If you are always telling yourself “I’m getting fatter” or ” I really need to lose weight”, this is the mindset you will get stuck in. You are less likely to ever feel successful at losing fat if your focus, thoughts and feelings are centred around FAT!

Just STOP thinking about fat at all!  Imagine yourself being the body composition or weight that you want and reinforce those feelings each day with growing confidence, feelings of success and love for yourself.

A couple of months ago I began feeling “fat” (not actually fat, but you know … thicker) and I was not happy about it. I felt puffy and I began to focus on FAT LOSS again. Trying to cut down on my calorie intake, increasing my cardio and being overly aware of how I looked.  All this did was make me more and more obsessive about it and no matter what the efforts were, I seemed to sabotage my own efforts to reach goal (because I started gaining weight).  However, in the last few weeks I did an experiment; I started telling myself “I am 58kg” (when I was actually 61kg). I started feeling how I wanted to feel (tighter, a little leaner and super confident in my own skin).  Guess what happened … I ended up 58kg and feeling exactly how I wanted.

It works!

This is not about living in denial of your current reality, but it is a healthy (both mentally and physically) method to feeling less stressed and more confident about your efforts. What benefit is there from focusing on what you don’t like?? NONE! Let thoughts and feelings towards FAT go! Exchange them for more positive, loving thoughts and feelings towards yourself and good things will manifest.  Quit letting yourself be limited by your past behaviours and start new ones today!

What have you got to lose? 😉




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  1. So refreshing to find some introspective elements about fat loss.
    I’ve long felt that we get more of what we think about. So of I’m strength training to no longer be weak then I’ll stay weak. But if I train to be stronger I will get stronger.

    Same actions, different directions.

    Thank you for writing this!

  2. My friend always says: ‘Each time I say the dirty word diet, I have to wipe my mouth with dome chocolate!’ 😉 Human nature, I guess. Out of curiosity Marianne, how tall are you? Just curious cause I’m wondering what target to set in the back of my mind. I’m doing well so far, maybe just need some motivation. Thanx 🙂

  3. i recognized this exact mindset in myself recently, but hadn’t quite been able to figure out the next shift. Before I have happily dropped any couple pounds gained, but this time I htink my negative focus was just making it terribly hard. thanks for a really great reminder

    1. A saying that makes so much sense to me now is “if you do what you’ve always done, then you get what you’ve always got”. So by always focusing on what we don’t like about ourselves, we seem to only get/notice more of these types of things. Focusing on what we do like, even if it’s just something small, will allow it to multiply until we only ever see good things.

  4. Thanks Marianne, you are always inspiring to me & your words have come at exactly the right time. Keep up the great work!

  5. Thank you Marianne. I truly needed this especially after recently feeling like I wasn’t getting closer to my goal or happier about about my body. You really know what to say to make me feel great about myself once more!

  6. Great stuff, as usual! It’s ironic that next to this article about not thinking about fat loss and keeping it simple, there are ads promoting the latest and greatest ways and gadgets to lose belly fat! 🙂 (I know you don’t have any control over what ads appear on your site, Marianne, but I thought it was funny)

    Surrey BC, Canada

  7. I love this!!! Great post! I too believe in visualization and thinking about where you want to be.

    Something I find helpful is not to tell yourself that you CAN’T have something or do something (I can’t eat that, I can’t eat this) but instead ask yourself “What do you want?” Do you want that? Do you want to do that?

    I have found this has helped tremendously with putting myself in a more positive and controlled state of mind. Can I have something or do something? Of course! I am able to have or do whatever I want….but do I want to? About 90% of the time, my answer to “Do you WANT that?” is No because I start thinking about my goals and what I want to achieve.

    And when my family, who do NOT understand my goals or state of mind at all (what do you mean you like all that muscle on your body, Jaime…eww) say to me, “Oh you can’t have that because you’re on a diet?” I reply “No, I can have that but I just don’t want it”….I usually get a very puzzled look from them…but I’m used to that 😉

    This definitely works for me…it might work for you but I thought I’d share since you always share such great information and motiviation! BTW, great job on the 225lb Hip Thrust Club!!! I am on my way to joining you gals there!

  8. Well said Marianne! I totally agree with you. I am not a fan of running and when I go to the trail thinking ‘I hate running’ I don’t get as much out of it. When I give myself the ‘I can do it’ pep talk I get a much better workout. Great post:)

  9. Nothing to lose, everything to gain. You look amazing and I am defiantely getting there. I think the most important thing is to find something you enjoy, or if you cant yet enjoy, that it appeals to you. I hate running abd if that was all that was avalailable i would be overwight and unfit. I absolutely love kettlebells, which alone has cured myexcess fat. It also makes me very happy to see improving results.

  10. Love, Love, Love this post! You have hit the nail on the head….again. I am so excited to see this growth in you over the past little while, and I am super grateful for the reminder for myself. I have a post brewing in my head for a while now and need to get it out – this was a gentle reminder this morning to get it done! Among other things.

    I need to stop falling into the overwhelm, set clear goals and stay focused on them so I can move forward and be as successful as I know I can be.

    Thanks again – just what I needed to read this morning (after completing 3 rounds of cruel kindness btw – couldn’t get the 4th this morning!) 🙂

    Your in Healthy Balance,

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