So...you decided that you are going to be good, start going to the gym, eat healthy and lose weight. Let's say you work in an office 9-5, get a gym membership near work...'I'm gonna nail this! within 2-3 months I'll be in shape!'
What you do is have a healthy breakfast..we have passed the stage of talking about cereal vs protein rich breakfast so let's say you have some eggs or porridge for brekkie then a salad for lunch with some chicken and then again some sort of salad or veggies with meat or some protein source in the evening. You found your favourite HIIT classes at the gym so you are going at least 4 days a week...one week...success! Second week...'I have been really good recently...I deserve this little piece of cake ...and over the weekend I'm going out but not going to drink too much just a couple of glasses of wine...' and all of a sudden you just do this little 'this and that' ...and 3 -4 weeks down the line you don't see results, so you quit your goals.
As a personal trainer I come across a lot of situations like this and my recommendations would be the following:
1. Set yourself realistic goals. Changing your body is a long process..you can lose weight initially but then you plateau. Give yourself at least 5-6 months to see the change..and I promise once you see it, you will know how to progress.
2. Do not associate fat loss with cardio only. Yes you need to get your heart rate up but be smart about it! You can get your heart rate up in so many different ways but to maximise the results you should increase your muscle mass first so that your metabolism speeds up and you burn more calories.
3. How do you increase muscle mass? By doing strength training. You need to target your biggest muscle groups first to get your strength levels up, these are your legs, back and chest. If you follow me on Instagram @lizstyleliving or on Facebook /lizstyleliving I am regularly posting workout videos that could give you some inspiration and knowledge about certain free weights exercises.
4. There are many group classes that run under the name of 'HIIT' these days. My personal favourite type of HIIT is running - preferably on the treadmill so that you really make sure that you are pushing yourself to the max. Your body needs to work at 85-90% intensity in order to get the best results. You can only do this for a certain amount of time. So classes that are 45 minute long with little to no recoveries and over a minute of continuos work can seem to be effective but you are working on less than 85% of your maximum capacity. This will not generate the same results as HIIT. These classes have their benefits and they work initially if you are not used to exercising but after a while your body won't change because you are not increasing the intensity. Increasing the frequency is not the same as increasing the intensity!
5. Do not think that being good Monday- Friday allows you to be 'bad' over the weekend. It doesn't work like that. You can so easily ruin the hard work you have done over the week with one day of binging! Keep the 80-20 ratio!
6. Do not cut your carbs. If you train intensely you will need fuel otherwise you won't have the energy to train on that level. Incorporate protein with every meal you have, watch the sugar content of products (especially low fat ones), have either higher carb or higher fat days but not both. Half tub of hummus, nuts, avocado and salmon in moderation..
7. Get a heart rate monitor. I am using Fitbit surge which I am happy with 80% of the times..except when it doesn't pick up my heart rate but it gives you an idea about how many calories you burn a day. If you are organised enough to record your food in MyFitnessPal you will have a clear picture in front of you about what you burnt and what you consumed. At the end of the the day it's all about the calorie deficit.....
8. Walk as much as you can during the day and over the weekend. 1 hour fast walking can burn up to 600 calories depending on your current condition.
I hope that these tips help. If you would like to learn more about health and fitness contact me.
Have an amazing weekend!