Quick steps to weight loss: Part 3/3

During part 2 of this 3 part series, we had a look at gradually ramping up our activity levels, introducing strength training, and putting aside 10 minutes a day for nutrition. If you haven’t read the first two blogs yet, I would recommend going back and reading those and implementing those steps, before moving on to part 3. Remember, there’s no short cuts to weight loss! It’s all about implementing steps and building a schedule that is consistent and sustainable! The best success stories regarding weight loss are those who have built a plan and have stuck to it to a point where their new routine becomes a completely normal part of their life!

Now, let’s move onto the final 3 steps to kick-start your weight loss journey!!

Step 7: Training plan!

During steps 4 and 5, we talked about the importance of increasing your activity levels, and then joining a gym and starting some training which will ideally include some strength work. Now, we will look to really push that routine and build a few months of consistency. Remember that this routine must be sustainable if you are to succeed in making major changes to your health and wellbeing! By now, you should be doing 3 things in regards to your activity levels. I mentioned these already in previous steps, however I want to expand and emphasise the importance of this as you work towards your goal!

  • Step count: You should now be hitting a minimum average of 10,000 steps a day! Remember, there will be days where this doesn’t happen due to unforeseen circumstances, however, your weekly / monthly average should equate to this!
  • Sport / activity: Once or twice a week, you should be doing a bit of sport / activity that is fun and inspiring. I understand that not everyone is in to sport, but I’ve found that 99% of people can find some form of physical activity that gets the heart pumping that they enjoy. Whether that’s playing 5 a side football with your mates, going on a bike ride once a week, or going for a hike on the weekends! I also genuinely think this can be a form of meditation too! There’s nothing like a hike or playing a bit of basketball to get into a ‘flow’ and take your mind off things! This will also increase the amount of calories we are burning and massively improve cardiovascular health and fitness, which will also make the daily steps and the gym work easier! See how everything all rolls into one??
  • Gym: With your gym work, you now want to move up to doing 2/3 sessions per week, which must include some strength work. The benefits of implement strength training into your routine are paramount and completely non-negotiable in my opinion. When starting out with strength training, I would 100% recommend hiring a coach, at least for a few sessions, so that you can learn how to lift safely and effectively. A few lessons will save you so much time in the future and keep you safe by ensuring correct technical form. When doing your strength training, for the first year or two, you can really stick to the basics and make great improvements. Focus on a full body approach, and tick off the following list. (if you’re unfamiliar with the exercise names, then check out our extensive youtube channel for our exercise library)
    • Squat: some form of squat pattern, such as a basic goblet squat
    • Hinge: a hinge pattern from the hips, such as a deadlift, romanian deadlift or a hip thrust
    • Push: into the upper body now, with something like a press up off a bench, or a dumbell bench press or shoulder press
    • Pull: to complement the upper body push, now do an upper body pull, such as a seated row machine, single arm dumbell row, or a lat pulldown
    • Carry: some form of ‘core’ work, such as a farmers walk (which is basically just walking holding a heavy weight in each hand)
    • Conditioning/Cardio: Finish the session / do a seperate session which elevates the heart rate, such as using the bike or rowing machine, or implementing some kettlebells

Step 8: Nutrition action!

During step 6, we focused on tracking your calories for a couple of weeks. Now, you’ll aim for a daily intake of 15% under that amount of calories. 15% is a good amount, because it’s enough to make a positive difference, but it’s also not too much that we will crash and burn! Aggressive weight loss boot camp type things or ‘coaches’ that recommend 1000 calories a day don’t work in the long run, because your energy levels crash and the calorie amount isn’t enough to function physically or mentally, so people crash and burn and put the weight back on. So aim for 10-15% as a starting point, and make sure you can be consistent and sustainable with it. You can always tweak it a bit as you go along. If you have a bad day or a social event, that’s fine! Anyone who knows us at MSC knows that we enjoy a night out, and enjoy good food! If you’ve got a social event in the calendar, you don’t have to miss out! All you need to do is take that day into account, and balance it out over the course of the rest of the week. For example, if I’m having a few beers after a rugby match, or if I’m going for a burger with the MSC team, then I perhaps just lower my calories on one or two of the days during the week.

Additionally, we will also aim to increase our protein intake. Most people are nowhere near where they need to be for this! And with your new strength training routine, it is important that we replenish the muscles after those workouts! If you’re interested in finding out more about the many health benefits of protein, check out our blog page where I have written an article on this before. Long term, we’ll be looking to hit at least 1.6 grams of protein per kilo of bodyweight. For now, just try to gradually increase it from where you are currently.

Step 9: A bad day doesn’t make a bad month!

One thing I can absolutely guarantee is that you will have a day (or a few!) where you fall off the wagon and miss a training session, or eat a million calories in one sitting! That’s called being human! Never let a bad day turn into a bad week tough! Or a bad month! If you’re ill for a few days, don’t give up and think there’s no point! If you miss a gym session, don’t think there’s no point in going tomorrow, and if you have a big night out, don’t follow it up with missing a week of gym and eating rubbish! Don’t give up! When you have a set back, which you absolutely will, then get back on it as soon as possible! This is 100% where people go wrong! They let a bad day turn into a bad week, or even a bad month! And then you’re back to square one.

One way of helping avoid this is by having a good support network! Make sure you are surrounded by people who support your goals, encourage you, and pick you back up when you have an off day or feel unmotivated! There’s that study about you being the average of the six people you hang around with! And I think there’s definitely a lot of truth in that! Don’t fall into the bucket of crabs! They’ll only pull you down with them!

Good luck! And you can always reach me for advice in person, or at mark@mscperformance.co.uk

Thanks for taking the time to read this 3 part series. Now get to work!!

Mark x

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