We often get asked how it is that we are able to take an actress from a size 14 to a size 8, or help an actor pile on a stone of solid muscle, all within a short space of time. The answer is dedication, hard work, ours in the gym and a great, tailored diet plan. All of this backed up by a Personal Trainer standing by their side every step of the way!
All that is lovely, but there must be an easier way-right? Well, given more time then, yes, total transformation can be possible. Here are some great tips to start you on your way:
- Dedication/belief/love - Unless you have these three systems implanted in our mind then it's going to be difficult to keep going. You need to understand what you want to achieve, believe that it is possible, set yourself measurable goals and reward yourself as you go. Picture yourself in that size 8 - how much do you want it? Are you prepared for the sacrifices that you may need to make to get there? If you are then you have the belief and the love. Good stuff!
- Lift weights - Regardless of your gender or age, lifting weights increases muscle tone. By increasing our muscle tone we are increasing our resting metabolic rate (the amount of calories burned when we are lounging about). So lean tissue will burn more calories as you are exercising.
- Calorie burn = movement - Your muscle is increasing so move about as much as possible. Walk, run, fidget, cycle, twiddle your toes - it all adds to the increase in calories that your body needs to shift the fat.
- HIIT - Interval training boosts your fitness level and heart strength making it easier to do increase your strength. It is also one of the best methods for burning calories as part of a workout.
- Perform your cardio after your weights session - your muscles have already stepped up their efficiency to cope with the weight training and so your metabolic rate is elevated. Now go for a run, ride a bike, jog up and down the stairs - calories are being burnt super efficiently.
- The 20 minute rule - after your workout your body is hunting around for sources of energy to replace the glycogen loss in the muscles. for a 20 minute period you are a super efficient food processor with any carbohydrates going straight to those achy legs! For a period of about an hour this benefit slowly evapourates so the sooner the better. Feed yourself with 50gms of complex carbohydrates to aid recovery.
- Water - drink plenty of it. 2 litres a day is the quoted norm. Bare in mind that you can lose up to 500ml every 15 minutes through perspiration, increased breathing etc. whilst exercising. Without the water your body will find it hard to shift the fat.
- Protein - A simple calculation to take account of an average 80 to 90% lean body mass would be your weight in lbs x 80% (ie 150lb person would require about 120gms of protein a day). Protein is tricky to digest and so the body actually has to burn more calories to use it up too and it is necessary for rebuilding tissue (ie muscle).
- Fibre - Make sure that there is always plenty of good quality fibre in your diet. Sources such as wholemeal bread, cereals, brown rice are all great as they keep the digestive system healthy. Other types of fibre such as those found in fruits
- Scales - don't be obsessed with your weight. Although this is an indication of how you are doing it is not the be all and end all. Far more important is little signs such as one less hole in your belt, a dress size smaller or more energy to run up the stairs. If you must check your weight then invest in some body fat monitoring scales which will indicate how much body fat you have lost which is a better indicator of whether your programme is going to plan.