Christmas & Boxing day is over, A lot of us probably have consumed our body weight in food and drink, now its time to burn it off, its time to get that body back into shape.
Because I’m a great guy I got in touch with a better guy, Jake who is a Personal Trainer (Envision) whose life revolves around Calisthenics and pushing the boundaries of the human body for the better.
Getting Fit, Losing weight & Shaping up is HARD….Well, its hard when you don’t know what you are doing!!
For people that struggle with changing their body are either lazy or they don’t know what they’re doing. My bets are on you know what you are doing and that’s making you lazy.
Below I have written a no-nonsense guide to getting started in the new year. This programme should have you started 2018 on the right foot and help you maintain your results throughout the year.
There is nothing I hate more than a FAD diet. In my and my client’s life, there are no good or bad foods. All food simply has different nutritional content and all food simply fuels you in a different way, therefore, you need to eat different foods at different times in different quantities. I mean why would you want to avoid certain foods in your life? THIS IS LIFE YOU NEED TO ENJOY IT!
Right enough of me blabbering let’s get to it.
There are 4 points that I want to make for a success in the next year. If you nail these 4 points consistently you are guaranteed success.
Point 1: Monitoring Food
With all clients, I never give them a diet or food plan because 95% of people will fail and learn nothing from the process for themselves. Success with changing your body is simply education in nutrition. I try to teach as much as I can with clients so they understand what is in food, what they can eat at what times and in what quantity.
- Write down/Log what you eat. This is ESSENTIAL to start with, do this by writing a food diary (Attached) or using an app called (My Fitness Pal) of what you are consuming. This will give you immediate results because you won’t eat mindlessly, you will think about the amount you are eating and you will naturally cut down.
- Once you have logged your food, each week make a change. Week by week you should see a difference in the types of food you eat, the portion sizes you eat and how you’re feeling after each week.I do this with most clients as it is so much easier to make changes to someones current diet rather than telling them to change completely.Small changes each day/week will lead to long-term success. (Yes, this process is slower as you won’t be making drastic changes but its quicker than doing YoYo FAD diets of losing 5lb in 1 week and putting on 3 the next because it’s too hard to stick too. FAD diets are not going to work for you as a long-term solution).
- Look at the quantity of food you are eating. Most people I see fall into two categories with food and exercise. Number one being “Under eating & Over-training” Ask yourself now… do you eat very little all week (Below 2000 Calories) and train more than three times?Then get to the weekend and have a huge blowout because you think to yourself I have eaten really well all week and trained a good amount? Well, depending on your lifestyle and body shape and size. You are over-training and under eating. “Being over the top here?” your body thinks you are going to starve therefore it’s holding on to all the calories you consume.Then when are you having a blowout the weekends you body again is holding onto the calories because it does not know when you are going to get this surge of calories again. The Second category… You are overeating, not training at all and most probably have a sedentary job.You probably struggle to change your body because you think its right to eat salad for breakfast, lunch & dinner. You try this for a couple of days and you have crazy hunger and craving so you fall off your “diet” and grab any food you can lead to a higher number of calories that day anyway.Every day you need to consume a “Reasonable about of calories use the guidelines of an average sized woman should eat around 2000 Calories and an average sized man around 2500 Calories per day (Depending on your activity levels and weight). This may seem a huge amount to you (Especially my number one category) but it’s not… we are repeatedly being told in fitness magazines and by Instagram models to eat such little amounts of food it’s getting out of hand.Eating fewer calories than we burn each day to lose weight it correct YES! But only by around 2/300 calories each day. For example if you eat 2100 calories each day and you stay the same weight your “maintenance” you have three choices (1, Exercise more “Try and burn 3/400 more calories each day” (2, Eat 3/400 calories less each day. “I recommend burning off the calories over this option as its best to give your body the nutrients from food over starving yourself. Or option 3).A bit of both. Why not try and eat 150 calories less (scrap the biscuit at break time & take a walk). This will give you a nice calories deficit for the day without doing too much. Eating/Burning 3/400 calories each day less than your maintenance should add up to around 1-2lb of weight loss per week.Again if you eat less and burn more than the 4/500 calories mark you are underfeeding yourself and putting your body into a “Starvation mode” causing your body to hold onto weight.
Point 2: Monitoring Training
- Write down everything you do. If you currently do not log your workouts how can you measure your progress week by week? You can’t! Each session you should log how you felt, what weights you lifted, how many reps you did or how far you ran at what speed etc.
- Make an improvement on the last week. This is the same as the nutrition log as mentioned above. Each week you should see an improvement on the last week of training. Even if that improvement is that you have completed one more rep over last week this still counts as you moving forward! And you will seek long-term success.
- Set yourself short, medium and long term training goals. (Have you always wanted to do a press-up or a pull-up?) Why not set it as a goal to keep you interested as you will have something to work towards.
- Training programmes. Firstly do you even have a training programme? Without a programme how can you stay on track and stay interested in the gym? Does your programme interest you before starting it? It is suited to you and your goals? Without having any of these how do you think you are going to succeed? My guess is that you will fall off track within a couple of months. Leading you to giving up and start at square one but this time with a bad attitude towards the gym. Think about all of these options when choosing a training programme make sure it works for you!
Point 3: Monitoring Sleep
- When you do your food diary add in a table on how you have slept/how you are feeling. This is where you are really going to learn how your body is working. By monitoring you food, sleep & training you can see in what areas of your life that is letting you down from hitting your goals.
- Aim to get between 6-8 hours of sleep per night. (somewhere between 6-8 is what you really need). Some people are different but find out what works for you and stick to that number. Personally I know I need 7 hours of sleep per night. 6 hours and I get cranky around 2pm the next day & any more than 8 and I wake up feeling rough because I have over slept. (listen to your body it will tell you if you need more).
Point 4: Change your mindset.
Now mindset is a subject overlooked massively, Without this essential point you will fail all of the above every single time you go forward. Your mindset is key to everything you do in life therefor this is the most important point.
- Wake up every day a champion of your own life. Don’t compare yourself to others, this is your life and no-one can you what you do better than you! Comparing yourself to other is only wasting your precious time that you need to be spending on yourself. (Remember Alan Sugar worked in a greengrocers in hackney but he has a vision and didn’t let his opponents get in the way of that)
- Complete everything you do to your best ability every time. Never let your standards slip even if people don’t notice them. These standards may not be noticed for months or even years but keeping that consistently high will get you rewarded.
- Set small achievable goals Daily over massive goals. Small goals achieved daily will cause you a whirlwind of success. Also your mind thrives on competing things, so completing these small tasks will give you a sense of reward keeping you on track for the big dreams that you will once achieve.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. Sometimes you need to break the rules, make changes along the way & generally still be a human being. You will slip up with your calories, you will put 10% into a training session and feel awful for it. You will want to give up hundreds of times. This is where you need to take a set back and don’t be too hard on yourself. Look at how far you have come, be grateful and start with your small goals again. Your dream body will not be build on a day so be patient and enjoy the process.
Written by Jake Avery – Arden Fitness Studios