Answer these 4 questions before you wonder why you aren’t getting the fitness & health results you expect?
1: Do you actually understand how many calories you need on a daily basis to reach your goal?
It’s actually pretty basic when you break it down. If you want to add weight you need to be in a calorie surplus. If you want to drop weight (fat) you need to be in a calorie deficit. So how do you achieve this? You need to know what your maintenance caloric intake is.
The easiest way to do this is to use the app MyFitnessPal and track 4-5 days of exactly what you eat and drink on normal days. Work out what your average calorie intake is that’s allowing you to stay at the weight your at. Well now you have a figure, lets call it 2000kcal for arguments sake. Now to create a calorie deficit lets drop it by 15%. Now your goal is to consume 1700kcals on a daily basis. Monitor your weight, see how you look in the mirror and how your clothes feel and adjust this accordingly.
2: Are you actually training hard enough?
Ok so your making an effort to get into the gym, that’s the biggest hurdle but now your there what are you actually doing. If your stood on a treadmill walking uphill or using the latest fad piece of equipment then just STOP. Ask yourself if you are demanding enough of your body to really expect change?
You should be looking to achieve at least 45-60 minutes in the gym, your session should include some warm ups and mobility, a high effort of strength and hypertrophy work as well as some demanding higher intensity work.
Stick to the bigger lifts like pull ups, squats, deadlifts and bench pressing. Learn the technique and work on progressing your loads and repetitions over time. Challenge yourself too, if you know you can’t get on a watt bike or a rower and put some hard work in then tone it down and work your way up until you can actually achieve some decent work capacity.
3: Are you a living like a sloth?
Ok that sounds much harsher than I meant. However, my point is still the same. As we know Sloths are one of the slowest moving animals in the world. I often see people behaving in a similar way, often not by choice. You get up, jump in the car, arrive at work, sit at your desk for 8 hours, pop to the pub and then head home. Get home and sit on the sofa. This is what I would call SEDENTARY AF.
We are not suppose to be as sedentary as we are in this modern world. In simple terms just MOVE MORE, YOU ARE NOT A TREE.
Challenge yourself to move more on a daily basis. Walk to work, get up from your desk once an hour and get moving, carry your shopping, use a standing desk, turn your next coffee meeting into a walking meeting. Get creative and don’t allow yourself to live that sloth life.
4: Are your weekends dragging down your previous weeks progress?
So now you know your daily caloric intake targets. You nail them perfectly Monday through to Friday afternoon, then you get the call to meet at the pub. Then from 4pm on Friday till Monday morning you lose sight of your goals and take your average calorie intake from 1700 a day over 2000kcal a day and now guess what... your now putting fat on and are nowhere near the beach body you were so focused on at 9am on Monday morning.
Here are a few tips to avoid the weekends becoming your Week End:
- Make sensible alcohol choices. 2-3 gin & slim lines is always going to be better than 2-3 pints.
- Be clever about where you eat and what you choose. If you know your eating out check out the menu before and decide on a few sensible options. Asking for sauce on the side of your steak or morning eggs benedict is always an easy way to reduce your calories.
- Keep moving, ok so you’ve had a heavier than expected night out. That doesn’t mean you now need to collapse on the sofa and watch Netflix for the remainder of the weekend. Challenge yourself to keep active, go on a walk, book into a fitness class or take the dog out but make sure you keep active.
- BBQ meal prep on Sundays. This is always a safe bet. Cook up a load of protein sources on the BBQ. Butterfly chicken breasts, steaks, turkey sausages, etc. This’ll ensure you have prepped up meals for the start of the week and it keeps you focused so you don’t turn Sunday into a dominoes feast.