5 Top Tips To Get Your Best Body*

Thursday, 13 February 2020, By Andrew Hallaran

Food Diary                                              

 

Tracking your food is imperative if your goal is to lose weight. The reason we continually advocate the food diary and recommend you do one is because weight loss always comes back to the simple equation of calories in vs calories out. It doesn't matter if you've cut out alcohol, sugar, dairy or gluten and have the healthiest diet in the world, you will not lose weight if you're simply eating more calories than you're burning off during a day. So, the only way to ensure that your body is in a caloric deficit is to track your food in a food diary.

The macronutrient targets that we recommend for you to eat are individualised and will automatically put your body into a caloric deficit and ensure that you will burn fat if you follow them. Many people find the food diary too time consuming or frustrating having to weight things so they never bother with it and just go the eat "healthy" route. Just because you're eating healthily doesn't mean you will lose weight. Foods such as nuts, avocados, salmon and brown rice are very healthy and great to include in your diet. The problem is that these foods are very high in calories and you can easily eat too much without realising which will put a halt to any chance you have of losing weight.

It is also important to ensure that you are not under eating every day. Meaning going well below your macronutrient targets daily. This is because when you're losing weight your body's metabolism will accommodate for the amount of energy that you're consuming. So, if you're undereating, your metabolism will slow down to adjust for the small amount of food you're consuming. Which is the opposite thing you want; you want your metabolism to remain as high as possible to ensure faster weight loss and also be able to maintain that weight loss once you have reached your goal.

 

Accelerator days

 

Accelerator days are a great tool you can utilise to help speed up the weight loss process. They effectively allow your body to tap into fat stores a lot faster due to the low carbohydrate intake for that day. Accelerator days are something that should be used no more than twice per week, preferably with at least one day in between. The reason you wouldn't want to do an accelerator day every single day is because you would find that you may start to fatigue very easily, have trouble concentrating and your metabolism would start to slow down due to the very low calorie intake and they would become ineffective as a fat loss tool.

How do you do an accelerator day?

On an accelerator day you should keep your carbohydrate intake very low and should try not to exceed any more than 20grams of carbs. You can keep your protein target the same, although it is ok if you go over it, and it is also ok to go over your fat target a little bit due to such low carb intake. A simple method to use for your fat target is to just add 50% on top of what your normal daily intake is, but try not to exceed this number. So, if somebody's macronutrient targets normally look like this:

CHO: 90    PRO: 130    FAT: 40

On an accelerator day they would look like this:

CHO: 20    PRO: 130    FAT: 60

Notice that the carbs have dropped to 20, the protein is the same but the fat has been increased by 50%. Simply half your normal fat target (40÷2=20) then add that number to your normal target (40+20=60) this gives you your fat target for an accelerator day.

 

Exercise

 

By now you should know that when it comes to losing weight that nutrition is the number one thing you need to get right. Once you have nailed that, then comes the exercise. Exercise basically speeds up the weight loss process and can help you achieve your goals faster. The two main things you should be focussing on when it comes to weight loss is weights and cardiovascular exercise. For weight loss it is recommended that you need to perform a minimum of one hour of weights per week. The reason there is such a focus on weights is because this is what preserves and helps build muscle tissue.

70% of our bodies resting metabolism is determined by how much muscle mass we have, so you can burn more energy simply by adding more muscle to your frame. When we are losing weight, we want to be losing fat off of our bodies and not burn muscle, but if you only focus on doing cardio your body will start to burn muscle as well. This is because doing weights provides a stimulus to your body which tells it to hold onto that muscle and potentially grow it. If you aren't doing weights there is no reason for your body to want to keep that muscle and you will likely burn some of it off along with the fat you're losing. This will slow down your metabolism and make it hard to keep weight off in the long run.

 

Cardio is one of the best tools to help speed up the fat burning process and there are a few things that you can do with your cardio to ensure that you're making the most out of your workouts. First of all, the very best time that you can do cardio is first thing in the morning before you have had breakfast. The reason behind this is that when you wake up, you have been fasting for several hours while you have been asleep. This means that you should have a very low amount of carbohydrates stored in your muscles and you will be able to tap into your fat stores almost immediately when you exercise. If you can't do fasted cardio in the morning due to lifestyle and work factors then you should try to leave a 2 to 3 hour gap from when you have had your last meal to when you perform your exercise. It is also very beneficial if you can leave up to an hour after you have performed cardio before you eat your next meal. This is because your body's metabolism speeds up while you are exercising and you can continue to burn through your fat stores even after you have finished your workout.

At Vision we recommend that most of your cardio be light to moderate. This refers to activities such as walking, light jogging or cycling at a low speed. The reason for this is that you're burning up extra energy and you aren't going to get big food cravings you may get after doing high intensity exercise. If you do find that you are time poor and struggle to fit in long bouts of low to moderate cardio, then this is where performing interval training can be beneficial. Interval training only requires you to exercise for 20 - 30 minutes but needs to be intense. It generally includes short durations where you are spiking your heart rate, which is then followed by an active rest period. An example of this would be to do 10 minutes on the treadmill with a one minute sprint at a level you find really difficult, followed by one minute of light jogging or walking. You would repeat this five times.

 

Circle of Influence

 

There is an old saying that you are the product of the 5 people that you spend the most time with. This can also be referred to as your circle of influence. If you surround yourself with fit and healthy people the chances are that you too will be fit and healthy. If you surround yourself with unhealthy people who make bad lifestyle choices then you will be an unhealthy person who makes bad lifestyle choices. This is why it is so important to surround yourself with likeminded people. So, if you are going into the weight loss challenge and you have a goal to lose 5kgs, 10kgs or more then you should try and surround yourself with people who have similar goals. If you are training with us at Vision then you have already made a great start in surrounding yourself with people who are going to help you achieve your goals rather than hinder them.

Take advantage of the Group Training where you get to meet other people who are working towards improving their health and fitness just like you. Take advantage of the fact that you are training in a studio where 90% of the people in it are going on the same journey as you. Try and improve your circle of influence by making some new friends and getting involved in the positive community that we build through events such as dinners that we host and fitness events such as the pub to pub.

If you find yourself constantly surrounding yourself with people who are hindering your goals rather than helping you achieve them such as friends, family or work mates, then there are a few things you can do to overcome this. You can simply spend less time with these people as one option. So, if your best friend is always trying to make you drink with them or urge you into making poor food choices then you can just try and see them less frequently. You could also try to explain to these people that you are trying to make a positive lifestyle change and that you have a goal you want to reach. More often than not they will understand and support you with this. If they aren't supportive of your goal then this is where you need to consider whether or not this is somebody that you should surround yourself with.

If it is somebody you live with such as your husband or wife, then this is a perfect opportunity to get them involved in the weight loss challenge as well. That way you will both be a positive influence on each other working in harmony to make a change to both of your lives for the better. People often struggle to stick to their goals because they are afraid of being ridiculed or being on the outside of their social group. But you should never underestimate the positive influence that you can have on your friends, family or co-workers and how much respect you can gain form staying disciplined and achieving something amazing.

 

Visualisation & Positive affirmations

 

Visualisation can be a very powerful tool that many people overlook and fail to utilise but it is very simple and easy to do. There are a few different things that you can do to make sure that you're constantly reminding yourself of your goals and staying focussed on what you want to achieve. One strategy that you can do is to put your goal in writing and have it somewhere that you can see it and be reminded of it frequently. This could be at your work desk, in your car or on your fridge. Putting this on your fridge is something that people who are trying to lose weight find particularly helpful because you will be reminded of your goal every time you got to eat, which is exactly how it should be. You could also use imagery as a reminder, such as a before photo of yourself to show where you have come from and what you don't want to go back to. Or it could be a photo of somebody that you want to look like when you reach your goal or an old photo of yourself when you were in better shape and want to get back to.

 

Affirmations are also a great way to keep you focussed and in the right headspace to help you achieve your goals. Research has shown that people have 50 000 thoughts per day with 70 - 80% of those thoughts being negative. If you're constantly putting yourself in a negative mind frame, it makes it very difficult for you to achieve your goals. Negativity attracts negative results and positivity attracts positive results. This is where using positive affirmations can become useful. You can write down these affirmations and put them where you can see them at the start of every day. One good spot that people choose is in their bathroom so they can read them before they brush their teeth, or on your cupboard so you can read them before you get dressed. It doesn't matter where you put them as long as you will see them at the start of every day. A few examples of some good affirmations for somebody with a weight loss goal could be:

  • I love eating healthy food and it helps me reach my ideal weight.
  • I love exercising daily and it helps me reach my ideal weight.
  • I love the feeling of being physically fit.
  • My metabolism is at its optimum which will help me reach my desired weight.
  • I love seeing continual progress and embrace change to become a better version of myself.

 

Saying affirmations like these to yourself in the mirror is very effective as you can see yourself saying them and you don't need to visualise as much. And although you may feel a bit silly do this, you're consciously programming your own mind and putting yourself in a positive head space. Try doing this every day and repeating each affirmation at least 3 times when you wake up. You can have as many affirmations as you like but I would recommend sticking to 5. I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised at how well this can work.

Even though we want to try and eliminate negative thoughts as much as we can, you also can't beat yourself for thinking negatively every now and then. This only perpetuates the process. What you can do when you recognise that you're are thinking negatively is to turn those negative thoughts into positive thoughts. Examples of this may include:

 

Negative Thoughts & Questions

 

 

Positive Thoughts & Questions

 

"I can't lose weight no matter what I do"

 

"How can I lose fat and enjoy the process"

 

 

"I Don't really feel like exercising today"

 

"How great am I going to feel after I finish my workout today"

 

 

"I don't want to be fat anymore"

 

"What can I do today to lose fat"

 

 

"I would workout but I don't have time"

 

"How can I fit exercise into my busy schedule"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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