‘I want to lose weight and tone up’ or ‘I want to drop down to X stones’ are two very vague statements which I have heard a lot of new clients say, when asked about their fitness goals and what they want to achieve.
In reality, after a few more investigatory questions, what 99% of weight loss clients really want is to look and feel better in their clothes and to be more confident within themselves – so rather than be obsessed with stepping on the scales at every opportunity (I’ve even known people to have a set of scales in their car boot and to weigh themselves in the car park after their class!!!) and feel deflated when your ‘weight’ has not changed or even increased after weeks of starting this new healthy eating and exercise regime, I will educate you to look at weight loss from a body composition viewpoint i.e. analysing your body fat %age, lean muscle %age, hydration levels, etc. Yes, I still get that very small percentage of clients, who are still obsessed by what the scales read and the challenge here, lies not just in educating them, but also in trying to understand and find solutions to overcome this ‘obsession’.
As mentioned before, I am qualified as a weight management consultant and have completed several courses on optimum healthy eating and have run several successful Weight Management courses at my last club. I am not a dietician, so I am not qualified to give you individualised meal plans (I have some good contacts whom I can pass on to you, if this is what you want), but what I can do is to give you sound and effective nutritional advice; I can sit down with you and analyse your weekly eating habits and give you direction; I can advise you on what choices of foods are better than others; I can assist you in overcoming hurdles and come up with coping strategies.
Weight Loss (Fat Loss) is probably going to be one of the hardest challenges that you will ever face and that’s because you will be constantly battling against what your brain is telling you that you body wants i.e. that ‘de-stress drink’ after a long day at work or having looked after the kids all day, or I’ve had a long day at the office and it’s easier just to order a take-out. It’s all about developing strategies to break these bad habits, because that’s what they are, just bad habits formed over time.
So will you have to lead the life of a monk? Like your training program, your ‘fat loss’ action plan will also be personal to you too as we are all different individuals and have different ways of dealing and coping with things. I am not one of those trainers who will preach to you and expects you to follow a nutritional plan that I couldn’t follow myself – Life is for living and I understand that there is a lot of temptation out there that we have grown accustomed to over the years, so this is my philosophy in a nutshell.
I work on the 80:20 plan, where I will promise myself, that in that week, to give everything in all that I do for 80% of the time and if I manage to do that, then I will allow myself a little treat (20%) – but then I will always ask myself this question first ‘ I know that I have earned and I am allowed this treat, but do I really want it?’ If you do then have it guilt free, if not then move on from it and your halo will sparkle a little brighter!!! This is by no means as simple as it sounds, as we have to fine tune it according to individual hormonal balances, time constraints, etc. However, it is a very good platform on which to formulate an action plan for anyone looking to get fitter, drop a few inches and to keep these inches off for good, without buying into any of the ‘off the shelf’ diets (the US diet industry make an average of $40 billion every year – the majority of this through repeat business…so do diets work? – I’ll let you work this one out!).