“I want to get toned” and “I want a six pack/abs” are probably the single most common thing any personal trainer, or anyone who spends a significant amount of time in a gym will hear. Everyone wants shortcuts and magic supplements – but they don’t exist.
Generally speaking, the only way you can do it is through diet modification and hard work, so…. most of you will probably stop reading here 😦
For those who REALLY want to make the change (ie the ones willing to put the work in and get the results, not the ones who want to boast to their friends how much they’re training and dieting without ever really pushing outside the comfort zone), here’s some quick tips:
Things that WON’T work:
-just taking protein/fat burner/hoping you’ll get lean without changing anything else
-running for hours on the treadmill without modifying your diet
-flat out not eating anything
Things that WILL work:
-adjusting your food intake to “real” food
-knowing how many kcals you need to take in on a daily basis to obtain fat loss, and sticking to it
-patience (you didn’t get fat overnight, you won’t get lean that way either)
My eat real food blog post does a pretty good job of outlining the whole topic, but I want to get a bit more specific here, so I present to you a 5 step plan!! Now keep in mind, this is just a starting point and it assumes 4-6 hours of moderately intense exercise weekly (say a combination of resistance training and cardio) but most people are spending approximately that much time in the gym anyway, so it’s a bit moot.
Ok, so, without further ado, I present my 5 step plan to the body of your dreams.
What to eat:
1) Multiply bodyweight in pounds x12 to get daily calorie intake (DCI)
2) Multiply DCI by 40% to get calories from protein daily, divide by 4 to get grams of protein daily
3) Multiply DCI by 30% to get calories from carbs daily, divide by 4 to get grams of carbs daily
4) Multiply DCI by 30% to get calories from fat daily, divide by 9 to get grams of fat daily
5) Stick at it for 4-6 weeks, then come back and thank me for changing your body without ever even meeting you
How to do it:
1) Create a fitday.com account and spend a bit of time setting it up and adding custom foods, most people eat the same stuff day to day so it should be easy to follow and record (you may want to weigh and measure food for the first couple of days to get an idea, or you may not – but I recommend you do)
2) Measure your waist at the belly button, record your weight on the scales (do this after going to the bathroom first thing in the morning)
3) Recheck step 2 at the end of week 1, week 3 and week 6 Most people will see a significant loss to both their weight and waist measurement in week 1. Don’t get too excited, it’s mostly just “bloat”. The real fat burning tends to start around the day 5 to 7.
But I want chocolate/bread/alcohol/sugar/generic unhealthy product….
….You’re human, that’s ok. Just try to limit it as much as possible!
1) Have a “free” meal (ie one that doesn’t conform to your normal dietary guidelines) once every 4-5 days. Just a meal, not a starter, main course and dessert!!
2) Have a “re-feed” day every second weekend (you chose Saturday or Sunday)
3) Don’t take the above as license to go off the rails, eat slowly until you’re full, and don’t force food down for the sake of it (and remember, the day after you may appear slightly bloated with your weight and waist measurements increasing marginally, but that will sort itself out in a day or two once you’re back on regular eating)
Guys, there is literally no way you can do this and not lose weight. Seriously. It’s physically impossible. If you track everything correctly, I can guarantee that in 6 weeks you’ll have lost a ton of fat and probably gained muscle too. All it requires is a bit of dedication. I know it’s almost December, so this’ll probably be reposted in January, but just start thinking about it and psyche yourself up for the fat burning onslaught in 2012.
So there you have it – the basic layout for the body of your dreams. If you’ve any questions about how to implement it, leave a comment or get in touch. If you want to learn more about how it can be applied personally (ie have me to all the thinking), there’s a range of personal training options available 🙂