There are people waking up today deciding that today is the day that they totally transform their life with a new and/or intensive period of training and eating well. As we all know, some won’t last the month. Other will fall before the end of the week!
Others, though, will pursue their transformation and see it through, and maintain their new habits. That’s what we hope will happen to BESTFIT guinea pig, Kautar Fisher, who before Christmas started her own ten-week challenge.
“Kautar is a young mum looking to lose some weight gained after having her daughter,” explains Matthew Haughan, a personal trainer from Pure Gym Leeds City Centre North. “She is unhappy with the extra body fat, particularly around her belly and hips, and she is wanting to drop at least one dress size to feel better and more confident about herself.”
However, before you start undertaking any kind of transformation, there is a lot to consider. What is your goal? What is the best way to reach it? And what kind of sacrifices have to be made?
“Knowing the goal and making sure it is not only specific to you, but can also be measured in someway, whilst also being something that the person can actually achieve, is essential,” adds Matthew.
“In this case, to start with, we will not be restricting any calories, merely cleaning up Kautar’s food sources and increasing the amount of exercise she will be doing,” continues Matthew.
“In order to drop fat or lose weight, however you’d like to word it, it’s important that the person is in a calorie deficit. This means the person will be burning more calories than they are eating.
“However, restricting calories from the start could be quite risky. Kautar is not used to being at low calories and doing this quickly might impede not only her performance in the gym, but also the day-to-day tasks involved with being a mother. We don’t want to starve her to the extent that she’s not enjoying life, so by increasing the amount of exercise she’ll be doing we’ll hopefully ensure she’s at a calorie surplus.
“As well as being in the gym with me three times a week and undertaking two HIIT training sessions on her own, I have also asked Kautar to go for a brisk 30-minute walk each day, and just to try and be a little more active every day, in order to put her into this calorie surplus.”
“We should be able to see some change whilst still maintaining relatively high calories, hopefully allowing her the energy to work hard and progress,” explains Matthew. “I will monitor this and if I feel there is not enough progress made, then we can look at lowering calories if we have to.
“The training will increase in intensity each week, with the focus how to exercise correctly, with proper intent and executions being key. From there, as Kautar develops an understanding for execution of exercise, I will make the workouts more metabolically demanding (they will burn more calories for longer) whilst still maintaining safe, controlled movements, the last thing we want to do is injure her!”
When it comes to your new nutrition habits, you need to keep things simple and easy to follow. “I asked Kautar to cut all processed and sugary foods and drink from her diet,” explains Matthew. “Meat sources include lean protein sources such as chicken, turkey and salmon. She was given unlimited green vegetables and the carbohydrate sources come from rice, potato, sweet potato and oats. We controlled the portion sizes I even recommended food scales to weigh them to ensure we’re on track; while we don’t want to restrict what Kautar eats, we don’t want her to overeat either.”
As ever, the key during any transformation is to monitor your progress as you go alone and adjust if you need to.