So, many of us dream of that “ideal body”.
Whether it’s a male who wants those arms and shoulders that belong to an action figure or a female who wants a super flat toned stomach and a backside that resembles two premier league footballs.
Granted these are two extreme examples but nonetheless targets that people aim for.
The difficult part is the majority of us do not want to change our easy lifestyles; microwave meals, taking the lift up the flight of stairs or just coming home and watching TV all night.
In England alone, Public Health England published data in 2014 indicating that 63.8% of adults in England have a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or over.
If we do not help ourselves then we cannot combat this.
In this small article, I will give my advice on how I achieve my body goals and how I help others reach theirs.
Phase 1: Have a goal
Everyone needs to have a goal, you need to have something to aim for.
If it’s at the high end of a bodybuilder / physique athlete wanting to step on the Olympia or Arnold classic stage or you have that holiday booked and you want that perfect “holiday body”, it’s still a goal to aim for.
First off you must be realistic, it’ll all be incremental steps. Do you want to lose weight? Gain some extra muscle?
(For weight gain please see the article by James Rutherford.)
This is the first part of deciding your path.
Phase 2: Setting the wheels in motion
Okay, plain and simple.
You need to be in a calorie deficit in order to lose weight. This does NOT mean you are to skip meals. In fact it’s quite the contrary, you’ll want to incorporate more meals (within your calorie allowance) throughout the day whilst keeping your training on track.
Eating less will lower your metabolism – bad news!
Not doing cardio will also lower your metabolism – bad news!
I am not promoting shovelling copious amounts of food into your body every couple of hours. I am saying that well placed and well balanced nutrition throughout the day will keep your metabolism spiked, as well as cardio alongside your regular training then the weight loss will prevail.
You will not need to be doing anymore than 30 minutes to 1 hour of cardio per day (depending on your current condition) providing that your diet is on point. If you are having to do more than that then something is off and will need to be reviewed.
There is not a perfect set amount of calories that one should consume, so unfortunately it really is person specific and will require some form of trial and error in order to achieve that optimum diet.
A good way to keep tabs on this is to weigh yourself each morning before food consumption at the start of the week and then every 5 days. You should see a small weight loss consistently.
There are four main factors to achieving your goal.
- Consistency / Preparation
- Correct diet and nutrition
Hit these four and you’ll achieve your goal.
You will note that I placed consistency and preparation at the top of the list. In my personal experience and with my clients it’s proven that if you are consistent then you will make that change you want. If you think you can follow your diet and training for 5 days a week and then “slack off or relax” for the next 2 days then you are truly mistaken.Although water is number 4 on the list it is by no means a representation of the order of importance and should not be underestimated
Water consumption is important, it is pushed on us to consume “2 litres per day”. Again, in my experiences it will be close to double that. A high water consumption helps for the hydration of your body, with your activity being increased you’ll need the extra hydration. Water will aid your digestion and nutrient absorption. The proteins and carbohydrates that our body uses as food are metabolised and transported by water in the bloodstream. It’ll also help with fatigue throughout the day.
So, you can see the importance of keeping water intake high.
If you have a good understanding of foods and are confident enough to put your own diet together by all means do so. Understanding what you are eating is a great help in making the changes in your diet. Not just for the 8 or 12 week diet, but for the rest of your life! Try not to look at it is a diet for a set amount of time but more as a lifestyle change.
However, if you are not confident or your knowledge just simply isn’t great enough when it comes to nutrition then get a coach to help with this.
Although I compete at a national level and help others with their diet I still have someone else construct my dietary intake and my training plan.
You WILL always be your worst critique!
If you have to wake up 30 minutes earlier in order to prepare your food for the day or to do your 30 minutes fasted cardio is it really going to affect your day? If so then make your food at night. There really is always a way to combat the “I don’t have time”.
If you are going to a friends house for dinner at the weekend then do not be phased by taking your food with you, it’s about being consistent.
Also Read – How to gain weight quickly and safely?
Phase 3: Seeing light at the end of tunnel
So you are well and truly on your journey with the end in sight.
You’re sticking to the four factors, your weight is coming down, you’re feeling better about that holiday and overall confidence is up. From around day 14 things should really now be a habit almost, and becoming easier.
At this point here is really the time to be checking in with your coach (if you’re using one). If you are not using a coach then I recommend that you take weekly photos to see the changes in your physique as well as seeing the changes on the scale.
This is where some small changes will be made if required.
Each week you’ll be aiming for around 1-2 pounds of weight loss.
But do remember, that your body is not a machine it’s a living being. So do not get disheartened if one week the weight loss isn’t there, just know that you may have to make those slight adjustments or you may have had a stressful few days in the office. Stress can play a huge part in how your body looks and feels. Try to combat your stress levels by getting enough sleep and having fun.
There is not much more to it from here on in other than maintaining consistency, continuing to apply a positive attitude, surrounding yourself with likeminded people and above all bettering yourself and your happiness.
Remember you have the power to MAKE IT HAPPE