New Year New You - 3 Tips To A Better Body
So the Christmas and New Year period is out of the way and we have all eased ourselves back into work and some semblance of normality. For the majority of us, the most exercise we will have done over the holidays is struggle to get a tin of Quality Street open. We’ve eaten and drunk everything in sight and as a result we feel fat, lethargic and in need of kick starting our body back into life.
So what is the best way to get back into shape? This is the question millions of people will be Googling this week. Obviously there is no “best way”. We are all very different and what works for one person may not necessarily work for another.
However, there are common pitfalls that I see many fall in to. With that in mind I’ve constructed a brief list of what I think are 3 of most important things to consider to ensure you can get yourself into shape in the quickest and healthiest way possible.
Ease Yourself In
Whilst it’s admirable that some will want to throw themselves’ head first into a training regime and be in the gym “feeling the burn” every day of the week, it’s not the best idea. Keep the volume fairly low to start off with and increase the amount of exercise you do gradually over the first few weeks of the year.
Very simply your body is not primed to handle a high volume of training after a few weeks (or longer) of inactivity and entering yourself into daily solo eating contests. As well as this periodising your training will ensure that you do not hit plateaus and consistently improve the way you look. Continual progression is obviously a lot more gratifying in the long run than losing lots of weight very quickly then hitting a very demoralising brick wall. As a rough guide if you are losing 1-3lbs of body fat per week you are on to a good thing.
Key Point: Gradually increase the amount you exercise you do to ensure continual progression and do not hit plateaus.
Eat For Your Goal
The most common mistake I see in January is the drastic cutting of calories. Many will “detox” (You can read Steve’s article on detoxing here) and most will dramatically change around what they do nutritionally, meaning they will go from a Christmas intake of 3000, 4000 or 5000 daily calories, to a January starve of 2000, 1500 or 1000 calories a day. (My mother in law even showed me a “diet” that was being touted by The Daily Mail this week that allowed participants a whole 500 calories per day for 2 weeks!!).
The main reason this is counter productive is that with this extremely low intake of calories you won’t meet your daily BMR (base metabolic rate) of calories. Meaning you will have cut calories so drastically that you aren’t consuming enough for basic functions. It also means you are not taking enough food on board to support and repair your body from your new training regime. Your body will then become much less effective at losing body fat, the exact opposite of what you are trying to achieve!!
On regimes such as this a lot of weight may be lost initially. Unfortunately though it is not just body fat. You will lose a lot of glycogen and water weight, as well as vital muscle tissue. So whilst it may be nice to see the numbers on the scale plummet down, it isn’t all body fat. Losing muscle is extremely counter productive as the more we have the more metabolically expensive we are, meaning it is easier for your body to lose body fat. So to simplify; More muscle = quicker fat loss.
Clients I train are always amazed at how much food I ask them to eat. Most think that to get lean you need to eat like a rabbit. The key is always to take in enough food to support your body. With that in mind ensure you day you are consuming ample levels of protein, fats and carbohydrates daily and keep yourself well hydrated.
Key Point: Support your body with the correct nutrition for your goals, do not starve yourself.
Plan Plan Plan
Like The Colonel in The A Team, I love it when a plan comes together. Unfortunately this time of year you see scores of people strolling into the gym with no pre-planned idea of what they are going to do when they get there. The next half hour or so is spent flitting between the exercise machines that they feel less self conscious on and looking for a suitable Playlist to listen to on Spotify. The result is a workout that a 90-year-old asthmatic wouldn’t find challenging that will yield zero results.
Plan your workouts with your end goal in mind. If you don’t know how to plan an exercise regime then hire someone that knows what they are doing and save yourself a lot of time and wasted effort. A good trainer will ensure that your program fits your goals. This means that all your hard work in the gym will give you the body you want.
With our clients we will plan 12, 24 or even 48 weeks of training at a time to ensure continual progressions and development.
We have various packages of personal training, distance training and online training available to suit all needs and budgets. Hiring us will ensure you get yourself into the best possible shape and aren’t left toiling away in the gym with scant reward.
Key Point: Write down what you want to achieve and the best way to achieve it, then execute that plan. Better still hire a trainer who can do that for you.