The internet is both good and bad. One of the good things about the internet is that you can learn a lot about how to lose weight and keep it off. Unfortunately, none of the weight loss information you learn will make sense if you do not have some guiding principles to help you apply it to your life. I want that information to be useful to you, so I put together these seven principles so you can filter all of that information through these. Otherwise, you will just feel overwhelmed and learn nothing! I got this information from Dr. Ray Hinish and thought it was very powerful. I wanted to share it with you guys, so you can live your best life.

1. There can only be two reasons you are not losing weight: Your program sucks or Your follow through sucks.

Chances are, you have a great weight loss program but you are not following it properly. If you are not being consistent, patient, or executing the plan properly, then you will not have success. For example, if you are only following the program five days a week and then losing your mind on the weekends, you will not lose weight. However, it is possible the program is not right for you. If you are putting in all the hard work and still not seeing results, then it is time to switch programs. This leads us to principle number two.

2. An effective fat loss program is different for everyone.

There is only one true fat loss program for you. One size does not fit all when it comes to weight loss because we all have different genetics, metabolisms and styles. Therefore, fat loss is going to look different for each person. You cannot expect what worked for your friend to work for you. It will take time, patience, resilience and consistency to find the plan that is best for you. Pay attention to what works and what does not and then take what works for you and keep it in your life. If something does not work, then throw it out and forget about it.

3. Will power is an exhaustible resource.

Will power will run out! You will eventually not be able to count on your will power to get you through a situation. This is not a weakness specific to you or something you think only applies to someone else. This applies to everyone. Every decision you make in a day takes a little bit of your will power. And you have to make a lot of decisions in a day. You can help yourself when it comes to food decisions, by pre-making your meals. If you are prepared, you do not need to make any decision, calling upon your finite will power, to make a healthy meal choice.

4. Eat and exercise to manage your hormones, not just to lose weight.

Your body has two types of hormones – ones that make you gain fat and ones that make you lose fat. Obviously, exercising turns the fat burning hormones on. But eating also effects these hormones. If you are eating natural, whole foods, you activate your fat loss hormones. If you are eating salty, sugary, high calorie foods, you activate your fat gain hormones. This is why diet is such a big deal. You can hit your calorie goal eating terrible foods but you will not lose weight and be able to keep it off. It is much better to eat healthy, whole foods for ease of weight loss and to promote fat burning hormones.

5. Without self-awareness, nothing will work.

You will not lose weight if you are not self-aware. You need to become an expert on yourself. Look at yourself in an unbiased way. Pay attention to every detail about you and learn how to work with your strengths and weaknesses. This is necessary so you can get out of your own way and make progress! Learn what foods, exercises, and situations negatively affect you, so you can change them. By paying attention to your emotions, thoughts, and feelings, you will be better prepared to follow your unique weight loss plan.

6. There are calorie-free causes of fat storage.

You can eat healthy and exercise 7 days a week and still not lose weight if you are not resting or feeling stressed. Your body will hold onto fat if you are not sleeping enough. Start by trying to get six hours of sleep a night and then work your way up until you find the right amount for you. We are all unique (see principle 2), so you will have to figure out how much sleep you really need. If you are stressed, your body cannot handle it. Stress literally kills you! If something stresses you out, then get rid of it. You must manage your stress in order to keep your cortisol levels low. Cortisol literally keeps you from losing weight and will actually cause you to store more fat. You must lower stress levels if you want to lose fat!

7. A successful weight loss program will change your body composition, improve your overall health and increase your energy levels.

If your weight loss program does not do all three of these things, then it is not right for you. Some programs will change your body but they will not increase your energy levels or your overall health. That means it is not sustainable and not right for you. I know this is hard, but you need to focus more on improving your overall health and increasing your energy than losing fat. That is a big mindset shift, but it will make a huge difference in how you approach your diet and exercise.

If you begin following these seven principles in your life, then I believe your weight loss journey will be transformed. Losing fat is not just about following a certain meal plan and killing yourself at the gym. You have to find a healthy, balanced plan that works for your life. Remember that taking the time to care for your health is the most important thing you can do. You will be happier, live longer, and be more productive. Start using these principles today to make the best weight loss decisions for you. It will change your life.