Strengthen Your Body & Mind
What do you want to learn about today?
1) Set a Goal
Human beings are goal-oriented creatures.
Without some form of desired outcome to work towards, it’s impossible to have a sense of direction. And when you don’t know what you’re aiming for, how are you going to have the motivation to take action?
It’s important to set goals that are an improvement on your current state, but not so significant that the goal leaves you feeling overwhelmed & dejected by your current situation.
Once you’re clear on your goal, it’s important to push it to one side and to focus on the daily process. Achievement of the goal isn’t everything - it’s the growth that you undergo during the process of working towards it.
2) Up Your General Activity Levels
A huge fitness misconception about weight loss is that more exercise is the remedy. Now of course, exercise is a big piece of the puzzle, but the majority of the calories you burn aren’t burned during exercise.. they’re burned during your non-exercise activity throughout the day (e.g. walking to work or chasing your kids around the house).
So, instead of hitting the gym 5, 6, or even 7 days a week & burning yourself out, just focus on being more active during your daily life.
Set yourself a daily step target slightly above your current average. Take the stairs instead of the lift, choose a car parking space that requires a little more walking. Find a form of exercise that you enjoy & do it 2-3 times per week.
3) Value Your Sleep
Being well-slept is one of the most foundational aspects to ensure weight loss. Sleep deprivation makes it so much tougher for you to do everything else that’s outlined in this article. Think about it, did you feel particularly motivated to eat healthily & move your body last time you had a rough nights sleep?
I doubt it.
So, be sure to go to bed at a responsible time consistently (to ensure you get 7-8 hours sleep), establish a healthy pre-bed routine (e.g. meditation, reading), & reduce your exposure to artificial light (light candles instead)!
4) Increase Protein Intake
The primary roles of protein are to repair & grow muscle tissue, aid in the production of hormones, & support the immune system.
I usually suggest eating 1.5-2.0g of protein per kg of your body weight each day - so for an 80kg individual, that would equate to between 120-160g.
I recommend this because several studies have shown that individuals eating a 'higher' protein diet exhibit greater fat loss than those on a 'standard' protein diet.
There’s 2 main reasons why:
Natural sources of protein includen meat (ideally lean beef or pork), chicken, fish, eggs, dairy, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, & tofu. If you struggle to get sufficient protein in via natural sources, supplementing it (e.g. protein shakes & bars) can be a handy option.
5) Strength Training
Muscle is an expensive tissue. By this, I mean that it requires a lot of calories to be both built & maintained - more so than fat tissue.
This is why strength training - which of course builds muscle - is such an important tool for fat loss.
Greater muscle mass boosts your metabolism (the rate at which you burn calories at rest), essentially turning your body into an efficient calorie burning machine!
Introduce 2-3 resistance training workouts per week into your life, following the principle of progressive overload.
Accountability is a non-negotiable if you want to remain consistent with your efforts.
In my eyes, the best way of doing so is to create social pressure.
The most simple form of this is to just verbally commit to your decision by sharing it with others. Tell your family & friends that you're going to do something. This is where having a supportive network of people around you is invaluable; they can hold you to your word & if you’re lucky, you might even find someone to join you on your journey.
Another way of creating social pressure is by working with a personal trainer. Paying for someones service & then having a scheduled time in your diary to see them each week will hugely increase the likelihood of successful behaviour change & weight loss.
7) Think Long Term
Far too often I see people fixated on achieving almost instantaneous change with minimal effort. Healthy & sustainable weight loss takes time & effort - as do all things worth achieving in life!
Your approach has to be sustainable for the next 5+ years, not the next 5 weeks. Aim to create a lifestyle that's healthy, enjoyable & that works for you
Christian Lawal Personal Training.
Personal training in Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge & Sevenoaks.