A Clients Guide To Success
1. It’s about having certain short term goals but overall it’s a lifestyle change and the journey continues past the short term successes
2. Carbs and fats are not the devil and are actually really important in the process.
3. A flexible approach actually works and looking at weeks as a whole rather than a week and a weekend.
4. You will not always feel like working out but just bloody do it anyway, I’ve never done a workout and then regretted it.
5. Consistency is absolutely key, it’s about what we do all the time that produces results, not what we do some of the time.
6. Oh and the 15 hours we aren’t in the gym are bloody well important (I walk and fidget a hell of a lot more now that I’m conscious of it!!)
For me the real value of what I have learned so far is to be able to get an overview of how losing weight and getting into shape works. I found that trying to find this out on my own only confused me. Every article you read suggests a new different approach. Virtually none of them tell you about the fundamentals. And - reassuringly - they are not complicated:
1. Weight loss is fundamentally about calories in versus calories out.
2. Calories out is more about what you do when you are not in the gym than when you are in it - I remember Paul telling me this the first time we met and feeling a bit daft for not having understood this simple and obvious fact before.
3. Consistency and long-term cumulative effects matter far more than day-to-day achievements, although they are obviously related.
4. To get stronger you need to keep lifting heavier and heavier things.
5. Motivation (where I sometimes struggle): you need to decide what it is that you want, how to achieve it and then go and do what needs to be done. You need to be honest about what it is that you want and what choices face you. I want beer and pizza; I also want to look like I did in my twenties and thirties. I can't do both - so which do I choose?
6. Understanding the many different ways that I undermine my own attempts to achieve my goals has been important. I am now watchful for the voice in my head telling me to take it easy today and make it up tomorrow.
7. Finally, it has been a revelation how bad I am at monitoring what I do, how if I am not tracking my weight and calories, the gap between what I think I am doing and what I am actually doing widens.
For me there are a few main points I focus on.
1. Changing your focus - My overall aim is to lose fat and be at a healthy weight but when this was my only focus, I emotionally ate every movement on the scale (lost a pound- I deserve a treat or gained a pound- food will make me feel better). By switching my focus to eating healthier and training well, the weight changes on the scales didn’t have as much power over me (tantrums still happen, but less often). And as a happy side effect of eating and training well, my weight decreases.
2. Instead of aiming for perfection, aim for consistency. This is important for training and tracking your food.
3. Take progress photos. For the times when I feel huge or when I don’t feel like I’m making progress (it can seem slow) comparing progress photos really help to motivate me to keep going.
4. Allow yourself treats just track it and stick to your calories - even on weekends.
1) Get the steps in!!
I never realised how important this was before I started this process and I genuinely believe it makes a huge difference to just move as much as possible throughout the whole day, not just for the hour that you decide to go the gym that day.
2) Weigh yourself every day
I know this won’t suit everybody as I’ve spoken to people who find when they do this they get too obsessive about the whole thing but for me personally, this has totally changed my mind set to food! The amount of times throughout my life that I have started on a Monday and by lunch time I will have been tempted by a biscuit and then I think “ah well I’ve had this so I might as well enjoy the rest of the day now…” and go on to eat chocolate, jellies & a takeaway just because “I’ll start fresh tomorrow and be good for the WHOLE day”! But by weighing myself every day I’ve learned to have the biscuit at lunch time and it will literally have no effect on my progress once I leave it at that. I no longer go off the rails if I have something that would be considered bad/unhealthy, I just move on and stick to the plan, and I put a lot of that down to weighing myself every day and understanding what will have an effect on my body and what won’t.
Be consistent with training, tracking food (even on bad days), walking and weighing yourself. I find that it helps me when I’m having a bad week to look back at my trackers that I used at the beginning of this journey and realise that I had bad weeks back then too but because I was consistent with the whole process the trend is going in a positive direction!
4) Plan/leave room for treats
It’s important to enjoy the journey otherwise you just won’t stick to it so by allowing yourself to have some of the stuff that you like, it doesn’t feel like a “diet”!
1. Steps I totally underestimated this and sitting at a desk all day it took effort to go hit the 10k target but having the likes of a Fitbit makes you accountable so now I walk the long way home 😊
2. Try record everything in my Fitness Pal before you eat it. Paul had said this to us at the very start but I didn’t understand why. Now I do. Keeps me from munching on snacks I haven’t accounted for
3. Still enjoy food and drink. This is important I never wanted to feel like I was on a diet and I do. I still have a few drinks on weekends I just make sure not to let it influence my food choices and get my ass moving the day after
4. Drink water - I find this helps with my energy.
5. Routine - this takes a while to get the hang off but I now prioritise workouts rather than seeing them as optional. It’s just something that needs done regardless of mood or what I have going on.
6. When you are having a shit day just remember how far you have come and it was totally doable.
1. Close your eyes and visualize the end goal of what you want. What does it look like? Think then about the milestones you want to get to along the way.
2. Learn what it takes to be fit - there are 3 categories (Overall activity, Weight Training, Diet, with infinite levels of advancement. Learn what realistic progress is for weight loss (c. 1kg / week), for weight gain (c. 1kg / week) and the associated reductions / increases in the 3 categories that are required to achieve your goals.
3. Be resilient and test. Apply trial and error to each of the categories. If you eat 2k cals but you’re still hungry, change that portion of 2k calories to different foods / macros. If getting 10k steps in through HIIT doesn’t accord with your lifestyle, find something that does. A lifestyle and a habit can only stick if it doesn’t make you hate yourself.
4. Immerse yourself with likeminded individuals and learn the little tweaks you can adopt, which done consistently build into a significant change towards something you can stick with, that enables you to be that version of yourself you visualized in point 1.
1. Definitely getting the steps in, seeing a number well beyond the 10k in a day is a great feeling. Walking definitely helps to clear my head in the evenings after work.
2. Swap your wine or beer for a gin and slimline tonic on nights out! This is all I drank on my Hen!
3. Eat all of the protein. I don’t like the shakes or bars, so I make sure to eat high protein yogurt for brekkie, a good salad with lots of chicken/fish for lunch. I find the Avonmore protein milk (27g for 500mls) an easy way to get protein in at the end of the day if you haven’t reached your target and have some cals to spare.
4. Don’t eat shit all the time! 🍕🍔🍟
1. Be prepared. Plan your week on a Sunday. Consider what you have on and work your calories and workouts around it
I have a training notebook where I write everything down including my weight every day. I find this easy to carry around with me and have alternative exercises in case a specific machine isn’t free. That used to really throw me.
2. Make sure your form is on point before you add too much weight. Watch videos , ask someone at your gym or video yourself and send to Paul to critique. He loves drawing arrows all over you 😂
3. Don’t doubt yourself. You CAN do it and you WILL do it. Just keep going.
4. Don’t be afraid to say no. Working in an office there were always sweet treats and I felt hassled to have them but not anymore, I just politely decline and no one bothers me now.
5. Be honest with yourself. If you’ve eaten over your calories or had a shite workout don’t ignore it, think about why it happened, then get over it and be better the next day
6. Join a kickass group of people that are going through the same as you and can motivate you when you are feeling off or need help with anything 👊
1. Try and have protein with every meal to stop you feeling hungry between meals.
2. When you feel the urge to eat, ask yourself are you really hungry, bored or thirsty.
3. Make sure and get at least 30 mins walking/training in a day and track everything you intend to put in your mouth before you eat it!
4. If having a night out with friends, cut back on your carbs intake for the few day's beforehand to allow for a little extra indulgence on your night out.
5. Enjoy it, there is no point in thinking 'oh I have to do a workout' Every time I set foot in the gym now, I'm thinking of how better my body is going to look and how better I'm going to feel once it's finished.