4 Tips to Achieving Your Result
Many of us in fitness got started by friends who would give us advice on workouts and nutrition. While the advice you might have received came from a good place, this is an example of classic “bro science” and while certain things might have worked for that friend, it may not necessarily be the same for you. Here are 4 tips that you might not have been taking that could help you build more muscle and lose more fat.
1. Stop Focusing On Cardio And Lift Weights
The form of exercise most people turn to when they hear “transformation” is running. While running is no doubt a great calorie-burning activity, your body adapts to the stimulus it is provided. Thus, if running becomes the sole form of activity you put your body through, your body most definitely won’t become muscular and lean like you might see on your social media platforms. Rather, your body will adapt to reduce upper body bulk and only keep muscle where it is necessary, namely the lower body. Certainly not the look you think of when you hear “bodybuilder”.
Solution: Use resistance training to build muscle focusing on progressive overload. Train each muscle group at least twice a week for maximum muscle building stimulus and vary your training every 4-6 weeks in terms of exercises, rep ranges, and weight. Cardio is good, but in excess it probably doesn’t align with your ideal look.
2. Make Sure You Are In A Caloric Deficit
Too often people embark on their dieting journey, cut a huge chunk of food from their diet, then slouch around doing nothing. Weeks pass, the weight isn’t dropping, and he/she is confused why their weight hasn’t dropped regardless of them eating significantly less.
In case you haven’t guessed already, it’s because their calorie expenditure was also drastically reduced from the lack of activity. A caloric deficit exists when caloric intake is below expenditure and too often we see people generally moving less.
Solution: Make sure you are in a caloric deficit by not just reducing food intake but keeping up exercise and your daily activities.
3. You Aren’t Focused On The Details Of Your Diet
Okay so you decided to stop having dinners to reduce calorie intake. You stick to just two meals a day, but you still eat without a plan, and on some days you have fast food. In theory, you might have reduced the total calories you have daily but eating without a plan might actually see your body crave and resultantly eat more at those two meals to compensate for the lost third meal.
Secondly, not thinking about optimising macronutrient intake, in particular protein, could see suboptimal muscle retention during your diet, and can prolong your progress even if you are losing weight since you’ll be losing muscle as well.
Finally, with most people, even if they do find a diet plan to stick to, they find it too restrictive and not catered to their individual preferences and lifestyle. As a result, the diet plan while not inherently bad, isn’t ideal for them and can be modified to fit each individual better.
Solution: Find a diet plan that takes into account what foods you are eating, how much of each macronutrient you can have daily, and one that is designed for you specifically in terms of lifestyle, food preferences, meal frequency, and flexibility so that you are able to sustain it. Ultimately a transformation only occurs through hard work and patience, and having a nutrition plan will help you achieve success sooner.
4. Aim For A Moderate Rate Of Fat Loss
It’s much too common to see people go for crash diets that cut their calories too drastically and seeing little to no results. The culprits to the unsustainability of this approach is the psychological and hormonal aspects that make it mentally and physically gruelling to continue, and the fact that going for too big of a deficit usually leads to less of the weight loss coming from body fat when looking at the percentage of the absolute weight lost.
Solution: Go for a more reasonable rate of weight loss that allows you to keep up training performance, mood and not make you feel like absolute garbage!