Actors can achieve impressive body changes for new movies. We’ve all seen the transformation of Chris Hemsworth into Thor, and you may have witnessed how Demi Moore achieved a perfect body shape to interpret Lieutenant Jordan O’Neil in the movie G.I. Jane. They are normal people like you and me, but their whole career depends on ‘being’ someone else, and they go through a strict diet and physical exercise protocol to achieve their goals.
In other cases, they needed to gain pounds and become chubby, as Renee Zellweger did to interpret Bridget Jones. If you’re thinking about body transformation, it is probably to get ripped and muscular, but the reality is that we live in a world of easy (tasty!) choices and sedentary behavior. It’s not easy.
What can you do to achieve your goals and find motivation if your career does not depend on your physical appearance? Or maybe it does, and you need some guidance.
Transform your body, but take your time
To achieve impressive body transformations, actors went through punishing diets and intensive training protocols. Christian Bale ate a 260-calorie diet consisting of one can of tuna and one apple a day for four months to prepare for his role in The Machinist. And Zac Efron had to rely on trainer Patrick Murphy and his extreme workouts three times a day to be fit for Baywatch.
Since you’re probably not planning to risk your health with an extreme diet and push your body to the extreme for several hours a day, here’s what you need to do: take your time and make it a habit instead of a short episode in your life.
Transforming your body is achievable, just like actors do, but in a longer interval. That allows you to actually live your life and feel fulfilled in the process. And since you don’t want the round belly back, slow and steady progress will be much better than faster methods you can’t hold for a long time.
Think about it for a while: what profit do you get from losing 60 pounds in a few months of painful diets and then regaining 45 pounds on the rebound? Wouldn’t it be better to lose 15 pounds in the same time without so much pain, giving your best to be healthy but living a normal life? We want results right now, but most of us did not gain weight or became sedentary in an instant.
Moreover, maybe you’ve been sedentary and overweight for as long as you can remember. A sudden change puts your body and mind into severe stress, even if you don’t feel this way. Stress builds up over time, slowly breaks down your defenses, and in time you end up giving in. It’s not your fault, it’s your body and mind ‘speaking up’ against an intense source of stress.
But then, how do you achieve a healthier life, one step at a time?
A healthier life, one step at a time
Turning your fitness goals into a new lifestyle is not always easy. Well, it is usually very hard, but not impossible. But even sedentary and very obese people have changed progressively and achieved better health and quality of life in return.
Recommendations depend on your starting point.
Let’s say you’ve never tried physical activity before, and don’t know much about eating healthy. It’s a new world you always felt it was for superficial people who are always staring back at the mirror. For some reason, now you want to walk that road. What do you need?
- The first thing you need is a clear motivation, or you will ultimately go back to your comfort zone. Make sure you know this motivation is very important for you and it is not something that will change in a week or two. Write it down, stick posters to your wall, and do everything you can to remind you the reason for change.
- Secondly, you need information, even if it is repetitive. Many people start following influencers or youtubers (eg: https://modernhealthmonk.com/goals ) to have a weekly dose of inspiration. They also give out great tips and tricks about exercises, dietary patterns, recommendations, and motivation. You will slowly recognize your own mistake and learn from them. Boiling food instead of frying can become an impressive solution to cut down calories, and discovering High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can be very exciting if you live a very busy life. You can also try yoga at healthfitplace.com/yoga-challenge and see our blog posts on the topic.
- Thirdly, you need to put things into practice, but avoid feeling overwhelmed. Reading and watching videos can give you inspiration and motivation, but it can be overwhelming if you try to put everything in practice at the same time. Baby steps are better. Walk around your block to start increasing your physical activity. If your body feels right, walk briskly next time. Try jogging after that, and if you don’t feel sore the next day, you can go ahead and try a few 100-meter sprints at your max speed. Introduce new recipes one by one instead of buying tons of greens and fruits that will spoil in your fridge.
- Lastly, keep on trying. If you don’t have setbacks, you’re either not human or not living in the same world as the rest of us. Expect facing problems, forgetting your routine, waking up late, getting caught up at work and eating out, or just having a day when everything feels worthless. What’s really important is what you do after. Just go ahead and keep on trying. Remember it happens to the best of us.