In a way, time is what this blog is really about. We all want more time to do the things we enjoy. By becoming and staying healthy, you increase the amount of time you have available, both through life expectancy and through reduced periods of illness. By becoming better informed about your finances, you can perhaps pay off your debts / mortgage sooner and even retire earlier. Therefore a little time spent learning about health and finances, in my eyes, is worthwhile.

This brings me on to another health and diet-related post: Time is another reason I had previously failed on my mission to lose weight / change my body. This is also something the supplement-promoting companies know all too well. People expect to be able to "go on a diet", for example trying really hard to eat weird and wonderful things, for a short period of time, lose lots of weight and then go back to eating what they ate before. This tends to lead to weight loss but weight gain once they return to their "normal" diet.

Successful fat loss (or muscle gain) is the result of a small amount of effort over a long period of time, not a large effort over the course of a few weeks.

You know those adverts you sometimes see on the internet? Get ripped in 4 weeks!; Mum loses 3st in 3 weeks with this one simple tip!; Secret to a flat belly - follow this one weird rule!. They are all playing up to our hopes that there is one simple thing, one miracle pill that will enable us to lose fat / gain muscle as fast as possible.

Want to know the real secret to fat loss / muscle gain? Time.

When you stop thinking about the end goal and start enjoying the journey, it becomes a lot easier. Fat loss / muscle gain is the byproduct of the food you eat and the exercise you do, not the goal. It takes a little effort each day (for example, a conscious effort to eat more vegetables, more protein and less sugar) over a long time (weeks, months, years) rather than a lot of effort (for example, restricting food choices to rice cakes and cabbage soup or other diet fads) over a short time (days, weeks).

Patience is absolutely critical. The results will come, but you need to give them time. A realistic length of time for significant changes in either fat loss or muscle gain is six months. A realistic time frame for changes to be noticed in the mirror is eight weeks.

In a future post, I'll summarise the key points for fat loss / muscle gain I have found through research and experience, but I've introduced the main three so far - Calories, Protein and Time.


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