Stuck for Results? 3 things you can do about it

 

Training has been going strong over the past few months at FitterFaster.  Everyone has fully embraced the new 4 week periodisation cycle.

We have MetCon week where we use higher repetitions of each drill .  We also include more high intensity cardio focused drills and longer sets

MeltDown week includes slightly heavier weights, dropping the repetitions and using more resistance drills than MetCon week. We also do about a  50/50 split of cardio intervals and resistance training.

AfterBurn is the week where you choose the heaviest weights you can manage for each set.  Repetitions are dropped right back and rest periods are a bit longer too to allow you to keep using the same weights throughout.  We do a bit less cardio, but each interval set is to be performed at the highest intensity possible.  Sets are usually a bit shorter and often include an active or total rests even during them.

The latest addition to our cycle was introduced this year and is called Challenge Week.  At first, Challenge week was met with scepticism from some clients, but I’ve been really pleasantly surprised by the way everyone has embraced it AND, more importantly how it has allowed even the fittest clients to jump to a new level of intensity.  Rookie clients are of course allowed modifications and are given a slightly different challenge to our Commandos and Warriors during Challenge week, but even they have enjoyed the games and ‘challenge’ aspect of Challenge Week.

For each of the 4 phases, you have to give your best effort.  It’s one thing to do a training session and just ‘go through the motions’, and another entirely to keep pushing even when it starts to hurt or you feel like you can’t do any more.

I’m not talking about pushing through any kind of injury or joint pain here.  Its always important to stop straight away if you feel something is not right.  However, you have to give your best effort at all times.  Keeping on going till the last rep is done or the time keeper yells ‘rest’ will yield the best results-no doubt about it. Don’t just give up when it starts to hurt.

 

Cycling our training in this way means that every energy system and all muscle fibres are given a chance to be improved.  And this means better fitness, more strength, better mobility, less chance of injury and just feeling awesome.

The fitter you are, the more energy you’ll have and the easier it is to lose body fat
and to keep it off.

So aside from attending training at FitterFaster, what can you do to get better results?

  1. GET MOVING MORE  Even if you’re following a structured training routine by attending a gym, playing sport or exercising at home, it’s pretty hard to do too much.  If you’re reading this, chances are you could do more.
    • Walk or ride to work – yes really!  Or just add a few walks (or runs if you’re up to it) to your week.  3 x 30 mins will make a big difference.
    • Stand instead of sitting.  I practically never sit any more. Only while eating and driving.  Standing is much better for you, so grab a standing desk or work out how you can sit less often.  And whether you’re standing or sitting, make sure you take a break every 30 mins or so and take a quick walk around or have a little stretch.
    • Add another workout (or 2) to your week.  If 2 times a week is all you’re managing, you’re simply not going to see great results.  My clients should be all training at least 3 times per week as an absolute minimum.  And that’s what that is. The minimum times you can train (not including walking/running or sport) and expect to see good results.
    • Stop using your sport as your only fitness.  Sport is great, don’t get me wrong, but training 1-2 times per week specifically just for your sport and playing a game or 2 on the weekend won’t cut it if you want to see a better body that is truly fit.  Add specific fitness training to your routine and not only will you notice a difference in your body, but also in improved sports performance as you improve core and whole body strength and control and general aerobic and anaerobic fitness.
  • FIX UP YOUR DIET
    • Firstly, clean up your kitchen, office and car or wherever you’re storing that crap food.  If its processed, its got to go if you really do want to see great results.  Rewarding yourself with food is NEVER a good idea. And if you identify yourself as an emotional eater, even more reasons to get rid of that crap
    • Make sure you have plenty of healthy food available in your fridge so that when hunger strikes, or you are feeling down, angry, upset or just bored you have plenty of options.  And yes, I know those things aren’t what you feel like, but studies show that the sugary and fatty foods you crave only satisfy your emotional side for about 3 minutes.  Yes, they work but for just a short time before you want more.  Try veggies sticks and a scoop of hummus (just one) or some cottage cheese or greek yoghurt with herbs added.  The protein and healthy fats, combined with the act of using your hands to pick up and dip together with the full-on taste of herbs and the crunch of the veggies will satisfy you for much longer AND provide fibre, vitamins and minerals and some protein for longer term satisfaction.
    • Start planning your meals and snacks a bit more.  Knowing roughly what you’ll be eating for the week means you can have everything you need on hand, you’l know how much time you need to devote to food prep and cooking and you can even prepare meals ahead of time on days when you do have more time to spend in the kitchen.  THIS IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT IF YOU DON’T LIKE COOKING.  Those that love cooking will make time for meal prep, not the other way around.
  • IMPROVE YOUR RECOVERY, SLEEP AND STRESS LEVELS   So I’ve recommended you train more, but along with that comes the need to look after your body between sessions.
    • Get enough sleep.  I could name several clients right now who are not getting great results, despite training well and eating ok because they are lacking in quality sleep.    A minimum of 7 hours per night is required and preferably 8.  You simply cannot change this need.  YOU may say that you’re too busy to get that much sleep, but your body will tell you otherwise.
    • Reduce your stress levels.  Stress used to be reserved for high powered executive types.  But these days, everyone from kids to stay-at- home mums and dads (I nearly said housewives!),  anyone working anywhere, anyone trying to get work, school or uni attendees and your dog pretty much all have higher stress levels than they should.   YOU need to find ways to reduce this if you want to see good results. Again, I could name several clients where this is THE REASON they are not seeing results.  Not their training, not their diets, not anything else but the stress levels they have.
    • Symptoms of lack of sleep and/or higher stress levels include:
      • Not being able to lose weight or keep it off
      • Being tired (duh)
      • Feeling lethargic (even if you’re not ‘tired’)
      • Getting sick often – yep.  Getting more than 1 cold a year, this could be it
      • Not feeling like it – you just can’t get ‘motivated’ to do anything
      • More belly fat (usually)
      • Cravings and/or what you may call ’emotional’ eating
      • Ongoing injuries that can’t be explained by something like a tear/break or strain
      • Chronic pain anywhere in your body – you know that achy shoulder, hip, tight calves, legs, back pain etc that you’ve been and had looked at but no one can tell you what it is but it won’t go away

These 3 areas; training, diet and recovery are the things you need to get right if you want to see awesome results into the future.  You simply cannot ignore any of them

At FitterFaster, we look at all these areas and help you to work out ways that you can improve all 3 in the real world.  Generic advice, strategies and tips work for most people – yes they do – you’re not THAT DIFFERENT to everyone else – sorry.

But…… I help you to find ways to tweak that advice and put it into action in the real world that you call MY LIFE.

The principles don’t change, but the way you may put them into action might.  It’s my job (and my privilege) to help you with that.  Whether it’s on an ongoing daily basis as a client at FitterFaster and/or with shorter term challenges and programs.

One way that I may be able to help YOU add exercise and better nutrition to your life, even if for whatever reason you can’t join FitterFaster, is with my free online program Get Fit Maryborough.

You can find out more by going here:  GET FIT MARYBOROUGH

If on the other hand you’d like to get some information about actually becoming a client at FitterFaster and training with us, you can fill out your details below and I will email you some further details.  No obligation and no sharing of your email

Thanks for reading

Jo


THE COSTS AND BENEFITS OF LOSING YOUR EXCESS BODY FAT

I”d like to refer you to an article put out by Precision Nutrition.  You may have heard of them. They run 12 month online Nutrition coaching programs for people trying to lose weight and get healthier online.

The programs are fantastic.  I put myself through one after I gained my Level One Precision Nutrition Coaching Qualification.  I really enjoyed the habit based approach and the long term focus rather than the quick-fix (which most often turns out to be a failure in anything but the short term)

So after doing the 12 month Level One Coaching cert, I did the 12 month Coaching program (where I was the client).  Then I did another 12 months of daily study and assignments with weekly case studies  and gained my Level Two Certificate.   This is Precision Nutrition’s top level coaching cert and requires the 3 years  minimum commitment to gain it.

I base all of my programs on the way they coach.   That is, I take a longer term approach teaching clients to be able to not just lose weight, get healthier and get fit, but to be able to maintain that long term, whether they remain at FitterFaster as a client or not.

If I can’t show people how to change their lifestyle, how to cook and enjoy real food, how to exercise for the best results and how to do that pretty much FOREVER, then I haven’t really helped them with anything.

Short term challenges and transformation programs are only as good as what you do when they’re over.

If you cannot maintain what was required to lose that weight during the challenge, YOU WILL PUT THE WEIGHT BACK ON when it is finished

So having said that, the article linked here gives you a glimpse of what is really required to achieve the level of leanness and health that you wish to achieve.

After reading it, you may rethink what you are actually aiming for because you may not have the commitment to achieve the outcomes listed.

Or, you may aim higher, and be determined to do what it takes because it is important to you.

My goal is to help you get better.  Not to decide what ‘better’ is for you.   That’s for you to decide and for me to help you get there.

So while many fitness professionals won’t tell you about how much is actually really required to reach the levels listed in this article, I will.   Because not doing so is just cheating you and in the end will make you feel like a failure because you may not get there if you don’t know.

Grab a cuppa and take a look at this article.  It’s quite long so allow some time, but really look at it and have a think about what your really want to achieve.     THE COST OF GETTING LEAN

After you’ve read the article, you may like to experience what its like to move down those levels.  My 10 Day Body Detox will give you an experience of the nutrition side of body transformation over a short period.

The 10 Day Body Detox nutrition plan is exactly what you’ll need to do t move down the ranks of the charts in the article to about the 20-25% body fat levels (for females).  The hard part is that you’ll need to do it long term – like miles longer than 10 days.  In fact, its pretty much what is required for 6 months to a year for most people *depending on where you are now)

So to see what its like for just 10 days (in which you will start to see results already) check out my 10 Day Body Detox.

Registrations are open now and close at midday on January 5th.  More details by clicking the link below

10 DAY BODY DETOX

 

 


How To Make Any Diet Work

There are so many different approaches to losing weight.  To name a few: low fat, low carb, high protein, no sugar, 5:2, fasting and so on.

Each approach has its merits (well mostly anyway) and my approach I guess is a combo of many different ideas taking the best from each in regards to improving health while losing excess weight.

I don’t have a trendy name for my approach at FitterFaster, although it could loosely be linked to most Paleo, lower carb, no junk food plans.

In fact, if you examine all of the successful diets carefully, you’ll find that most have more in common than they are different.

And its these things I mostly focus on.

The following tips and strategies will work no matter which plan you are following and are what my programs are based on:

EAT REAL, WHOLE FOODS MOST OF THE TIME

Modern diets and weight loss programs nearly all focus on this because its been proven to provide better results and is sustainable.  In the late 1900’s and early 2000’s  there were many plans that used shakes, bars and other special meal replacement type products as well as special biscuits and similar that you ate instead of real food.

While some programs still focus on these, mostly its because the manufacturers of these products are the ones promoting that particular plan.  You do not need these special products to lose weight or keep it off.

Instead, focus on eating real food; vegetables, meats, poultry, fruit, eggs, fish and seafood, with some nuts and seeds.

BE HUNGRY SOMETIMES

I do promote that you should not be feeling deprived or starving while trying to lose body fat.  Constant hunger will result in cravings and end up with you bingeing and most likely giving up. No one can sustain a program that leaves you starving and unsatisfied all the time.

But…….. if you want to lose excess body fat, you’re going to have to allow your body to ‘need’ to use some of that fat as an energy source.   This means, that you have to eat less (provide less energy via food) to enable that to happen.

It’s good to feel a bit hungry before eating again.

This means you’re on the right track.  Just don’t confuse cravings and habit-eating with real hunger.

A benefit of eating real food is that you actually start to experience real hunger because you’re not eating all the additives and chemicals added to processed foods that are added for the simple task of keeping you craving the food.  Real food doesn’t have these additives

When you’re slightly hungry, your body is forced to start using your body fat for energy.    If you’re constantly topping up your energy stores by too much, you’ll never tap into your body fat.  You may maintain, but you won’t lose.

Don’t end up ‘starving’ though.

This will, probably sooner than later end up with bingeing and eating more than you need.

There are 2 ways to do this;

EAT LITTLE AND OFTEN – this is the usual approach I suggest at first when you’re making major changes to the type of food your’e eating.  Topping up often, but keeping meals and snacks smaller should result in slight hunger most times before your next feed, but you should never be really, really hungry.

EAT MORE BUT LESS OFTEN – Once you’re eating the right kinds of foods, you can swap to this method.  But you don’t have to.  If Less but more often is still working for you, stick with that if it fits into your routine well.

There are many ways to do ‘eat more but less often’  such as;

  • Fasting overnight and through the morning and then eating a larger lunch and tea.
  • Eating 3 larger meals per day and no snacks
  • Some even eat a large breakfast and lunch and then skip their evening meal.

All of these can work as long as you’re eating enough at those meals/snacks  that you don’t end up starving between feeds and therefore bingeing

A side note:  Fasting does not work for all people.  Men are more likely to achieve success with fasting than women and anyone with higher stress levels and some type A personality people do not do well with fasting.  These people need more regular feeds to keep their hormones in check.

FAT LOSS WILL NOT HAPPEN IN A STRAIGHT LINE

During your journey to a lean body, you’ll find that you have spits and spurts of success seemingly despite what you’re doing at the time.  This is not a tip as such, but something you really need to know.

I’ve written about this before and you can find that article here: Transformation In Stages

To summarise, you’ll drop some weight, then plateau for a while, maybe even gain some before losing again.

The key here is to maintain between those fat loss efforts and not gain if possible (which it is)

Taking part in challenges and concentrated programs is great to give you that boost of fat loss (as long as they’re not extreme and result in large rebound weigh gain) but in between, you need to maintain most of the habits that caused the fat loss before putting in a big effort again to lose some more.

The older you are, the longer it will take – sad but true.  It’s not impossible though, you can do it and you can get there.

You just need to keep going long enough to get there.

And this is where most people go wrong.  They try following a program that they just cannot stick with for long enough to get to where they want to go.

My challenge programs focus on establishing the habits that you can and should maintain long term till you reach your goals.

We all know someone who did an amazing and fast transformation at some time.

I bet you also know many that put that weight all back on plus more.

Those people missed the bit where they learnt how to maintain their new body.  So while their results were perhaps amazing, they were also short lived.

They would have been heaps better off losing the weight in  a way that enabled them to keep it off.   This doesn’t have to mean slow, it just means smart!

  • YOU’LL NEED TO EXERCISE

Almost all successful fat loss programs include some kind of exercise. From really extreme multiple times per day to walking a few times per week and everywhere in between.

Exercise is a part of successful fat loss and body transformation and is key to maintaining those results.

I occasionally do online nutrition programs without exercise and participants can and do lose some body fat.  More importantly, they learn how to eat healthy, real food again and this leads to long term results.

At some stage though, those people are going to have to add exercise to be really happy with results.  I always include exercise as a non-negotiable part of my programs or at the least, as an add-on from time to time.  Those that add the exercise component ALWAYS get better results without exception.

If you’d like me to send you tips and strategies to lose body fat and maintain that loss while improving your health at the same time, complete your details below.  Subscribing will also keep you updated about when I’m running my online challenges and programs as well.

I won’t share your email address and will only email you every 2-4 weeks.

 


Dumb It Down If You Want Results

The health and fitness industry has gone crazy.  Add the billion dollar weight loss industry  to that and it’s no wonder hardly anyone is actually achieving anything.

Facebook, current affairs programs, magazines, blogs, even newspapers and your neighbours are all pushing this program and that.

Do this, no that’s wrong now, do this instead.

That’s the message you’re hearing.  It really is no surprise that the majority of people like you have no idea where to start or how to keep going long enough to actually get anything out of any program you start.

You know what the real secret is?

The real secret to success is to keep it simple.  Yep, dumb it down till it is impossible to fail.

Here are 3 ways you can simplify the steps to amplify the results you achieve:

MAKE FOOD AND NUTRITION EASY

So pulling into the local drive-through may be easy, but that is not going to cut it.  How can you make food selection and preparation easy?

The simplest way I’ve found when it comes to helping clients sort through the crap, is to look for real food that has been processed as little as possible.

  • Unprocessed, real food usually does not have an ingredients label.  Real foods are the ingredients themselves.
  • Real food can be picked, dug up or cut down.  Or it had a mother!  Think plant foods such as fruits, vegetables and tubers or meats, poultry and fish.  Nuts and seeds fit this category, as do eggs, herbs and spices.
  • You’ll usually find real food around the perimeter of the supermarket.  Or at Farmers Markets or at local green grocers or produce store.
  • Real, unprocessed foods still look the same as when they were harvested.  Of course meat is an exception.  I don’t know about you, but the butcher is one step that is perfectly okay by me!

What about food preparation and cooking?  Mostly it is about combining foods and flavours that you like.  There used to be special rules like; dill goes with fish and rosemary goes with lamb.

While these are still true, feel free to experiment as much as you like.  One of my families favourite vegetable dishes combines an assortment of different veggies with pineapple and garlic!  Who would have thought?   I’m sure we are breaking more than one ‘rule’ with that combo.

 

 

STICK TO BASIC TRAINING

If you were an Olympic athlete, you’d be on a very structured and detailed training program.  You’d be combining different types of training, recovery and skills sessions in a carefully periodised plan to allow you to peak once ever 4 years.

You can forget that if fat loss and overall fitness is your goal.  Especially if you’re totally new to training or have been training for less than about 6-12 months.

BASE YOUR TRAINING ON COMPOUND MOVEMENTS

Squats, lunges, overhead pressing and plank type core drills should form the basis of your plan.  While you should progress over time with resistance, in the early stages especially it is more important to focus on your technique and form so that you actually train the muscles you’re trying to target.

Add in higher intensity cardio, not necessarily running, although you can run if you enjoy it.  Use cardio drills such as step ups, kettle bell swings, burpees and mountain climbers, sprint or cycle intervals and even lighter resistance at a faster pace with drills such as thrusters and squats.

At FitterFaster, we use all of the above drills (and others) because they work.  We focus on perfecting technique before anything else and then quite simply, help you to progress till you can lift more and/or do more in a set time period.

Those that are more advanced can add other techniques, but it really is unnecessary for those yet to achieve results from a program.

Keep it as simple as you can for as long as you can.   If you stop making progress (and are being consistent), that’s when you can add more detail.

REDUCE STRESS OR YOU’LL NEVER BE HAPPY WITH YOUR RESULTS

Bare with me here because this is where I may lose you.  What on earth does stress have to do with improving fitness or losing body fat anyway?

A hell of a lot actually.  And I could name several clients right now that do everything else right, but because they have so much going on in their lives, are not achieving the results they’d like.

Sure, they’re much fitter than when they started.  And most have lost significant body fat as well.  But to get to the next level…….. it’s just not going to happen until they reduce the stress their bodies are under.

How??

  • GET MORE QUALITY SLEEP Especially before midnight.  This may mean leaving some of the housework or even employing someone to help you a couple of times per month.  It may mean missing that TV show that you can’t seem to do without.  Or more likely, getting off the internet and Facebook and going to bed instead.  If you’re not getting a minimum of 7-8 hours every night, you’re not getting enough – no matter who you are.
  • IF YOU REALLY HATE YOUR JOB OR OTHER STUFF YOU DO EVERY DAY, change it.  This might not be something you can do tomorrow, but it’s key to improving your health and to losing body fat.  If every day you hate what you’re doing, this is affecting your health and your waist line big time.
  • TAKE TIME OUT Almost every day (if not every day) you should take at least 10-20 minutes out to relax.  I like to walk – outside not on a treadmill.  Out in nature is best.  But you could read – a novel, not the Facebook feed.  You could garden – another of my favourite activities.  Have a massage, sit down for a cup of your favourite tea or whatever. But make it ‘down time’. NO checking emails or your phone.  No Facebook or other social media.  Switch off properly and give yourself some time out from the constant connection and chatter.
  • FIND A HOBBY THAT YOU LOVE.  This is closely related to taking time out.  If you can find a hobby you love, it will be so much easier to switch off from everything else.  As I said above, reading, gardening and walking are favourite activities of mine and I make time nearly every day to do at least one of them.

You have to make time.

This is the key.  You will never just ‘find time’.  You need to make it.  Everything you do each day will fill the entire day up.  There’ll be no ‘spare time’.  It’s just how it works.

If you decide to go to the hairdressers or go on a holiday, you just make time and do it.  You don’t wait for spare time to appear.  You book these things in and then like magic, time appears on the day you’re going.  You suddenly have the time because you MADE THE TIME.

Start making time to switch off and reduce your stress levels.

To find out more about how you can check out my coaching programs at FitterFaster, complete your details in the form below and I will email more information to you.


This Is What Fit and Healthy Looks Like

 

I recently commented on a photo that a friend posted on Facebook of herself and her sisters.

 

The girls were all dressed up, looked super happy and were obviously in what most people would refer to as ‘great shape’. I also happen to know that all 3 of them are super active, have families, play sport, keep fit and are super busy like everyone else.  And before you think I was promoting my business, none of these ladies are clients at FitterFaster at the time (although one is now and the others are more than welcome any time)

My comment was something along the lines of ‘ Wish I could wolf whistle ……..Great picture lovely ladies.  This is what being fit looks like’.  It was a genuine compliment to the hard work that these ladies put in to be good role models to their children via sport and fitness, and be happy with how they look and feel (which was evident in the photo) not an attack on anyone else.  This comment was NOT supposed to be promotional or otherwise.  Just a compliment to friends.

Mostly people agreed, which is fine, but there was a comment which I actually didn’t see but was told about.  (It has since been deleted)

The person disagreed with my assessment of what fit looks like, which is perfectly fine.  We all have our own opinions and rightly so.  What I see as fit, is obviously different in this case and we have agreed to disagree.  I was also not trying to shame anyone who doesn’t look like those in the photo.

The ladies in the picture epitomise fitness as I see it.  They look fit, feel fit, heck they are fit and I love that.

To ME, being fit means many things;

  1. A healthy and reasonably lean body fat percentage is one of them because quite simply, carrying excess fat comes with health risks despite what you tell yourself or why you believe you are overweight.  I repeat, being fat (even slightly fat) comes with health risks.
  2. Being active.  Whether it’s cross-fit, boot camp, FitterFaster, body building, sport, videos at home or whatever, being active is the ONLY way to claim ‘fitness’ as one of your attributes.  We have so many great options to improve out fitness in out little town (Lauren’s YouFit, Earls Gym, Brads PT, Trina and Penny’s Funky Fitness, The Sports and Leisure Centre, Samara’s On Road Fitness and others as well), not to mention all the sports options and the lovely spaces we have to walk or run.
  3. Eating healthy foods more often than not.  What you see on the outside is not always indicative of what’s happening on the inside.  The ONLY way to claim good health is to make a habit of choosing healthy foods way, way, way more often than you choose junk.
  4. Even if you’re not ‘sick’ and you don’t look overweight, does not mean you are fit and healthy.  (You also need to minimise alcohol consumption, quit smoking and a myriad of other things too but that’s another article)
  5. Being HAPPY.  When I looked at the photo in questions, this was the first thing that jumped out at me.  These ladies looked so HAPPY.  Happy with themselves, happy to be so fit and happy in their bodies and happy to be in such great company together with their sisters.

I am always supportive and always aim to help clients achieve their goals by working on the above areas, whatever those goals may be;

For some, that is achieving the look in the photo.

For others, it is getting to a certain clothing size (I’m trying to avoid goals of a certain body weight for most), competing in an event such as a fun run, getting fitter for their sport and/or reducing measures of health they’ve received from their health practitioner such as cholesterol or blood pressure levels.

My focus to achieve all of this has always been centred on health and improving performance (for sport and/or everyday life).  Gaining both a healthy body and a healthy mind.

Most people come to me because they want to lose body fat, but pretty soon into my programs, they are also thinking about getting fitter, healthier and much more.

They start off just thinking about what they look like, but end up thinking of the many other measures of progress, such as getting fitter, stronger, more energetic, sleeping better etc.  I wrote an article about some of these other measures recently:  Gauge your progress

While many people including many of my clients have real issues with body image and also other mental health issues, a lot do still want to achieve certain size or weight goals and I do my best to help them with this.  Pretending there is not an issue does nothing to help them.

The body and mind DO NOT WORK INDIVIDUALLY.   They work together, and improving the condition of one usually leads to improvements with the other. Actively doing something about your health and fitness yields big improvements in mental health even before anything ‘happens’ to the body and vice versa.  I’ve seen this time and time again.

If you have issues with your health and fitness, don’t put them off.  Start doing something about them and you’ll find that just taking the first step leads to taking another and then another.

But you have to take real steps.

You actually have to make better food choices.

You actually have to get active.

Googling, researching and reading about ways to improve will do absolutely nothing.  It’s not until  you put all that information into practice every day, every hour and every minute of your life that you’ll see results.   It’s actually not that hard once you decide to get started.  And you do not need to be a ‘saint’.  Just one small step leading on to the next is all it takes.

To find out how I can help you on the road to your version of health and fitness, email me at jo@fitterfaster.net.au or call/text me on 0429 612975.

If you’d like specific information on how to get started at FitterFaster with training, fill out the form on this page where it says ‘Get More Information about Training at FitterFaster’ and I will send it straight through or you can call/text or email me if you prefer.

If you’d just like to keep in loop with my fitness, health, healthy eating, recipes and other ramblings, fill in your details below and I will send you my newsletter and articles straight to your inbox regularly.

Thank you for reading

Jo

 


Better Ways To Gauge Progress Than Those Stupid Scales

lose 15 pounds by tomorrow

So you’ve decided that you need to lose weight.  Summer or that wedding, holiday or other special occasion is approaching and you are absolutely not looking forward to finding something to wear.

Or you caught your reflection in a window (or have been studying it in the bathroom mirror) and you just don’t like what you’re seeing.

Whatever the reason, you’ve decided that on Monday, you are starting your new diet and fitness program.

If you regularly read my blog, you’ll know how I feel about diets, but that’s another discussion.

For the moment, let’s imagine that you’ve started your new program (whatever that may be) and you’ve been ‘good’ for like absolutely ages now.  But no matter how many times you get on and off, those damn scales are just not showing any (or much) weight loss.

What gives?  You’ve been so ‘good’.  Why hasn’t your weight changed?

I’ve made up a list of 5 ways you can test that progress is happening, even if the scale tells you otherwise.

Note, that if you are not seeing the following signs of progress, perhaps you should check your program. Maybe it’s not right for you.  (Or perhaps, you have not been following it as closely as you thought)

Get off your bathroom scales.

 

You have more energy and/or are sleeping better

This is one of the first things new clients at FitterFaster notice.   When making the right changes to what you eat each day and training with workouts that are appropriate for YOU in terms of intensity, frequency and modality, an increase in your energy is one of the key indicators that you are progressing.

This is because eating more nutritious foods supplies your body with much more than just energy (calories).  You’ll be consuming nutrients that you need to feel energetic all day every day.  Vitamins, minerals, essential fats and proteins are all abundant in the right sort of plan.

Add an effective training plan to that and you’re on a winner for avoiding those mid-afternoon energy slumps.

Your Clothes Feel Looser

Along with more energy, it is amazing how quickly you notice this. Your belt can go in a notch or two.   Your pants are less snug around your butt and legs.  That tightness across the back of  your work shirt – all but gone!

I would love a dollar for every client that comes in for their second assessment that bounces in telling me about how they need to get a new uniform and how they fit into their old jeans etc.   They’re excited and amazed at the changes in just 3-5 weeks.

But then, I ask them to step onto the scales (something I have to do to assess body fat percentage).    It is like a switch as been flicked.  They glance at that number in disbelief.  “But how can that be?  How can I be only ‘X’ kg lighter when I feel and look so good?”

How your clothes are fitting is a much better indicator than changes on the scale for lots of reasons.  Here are some:

  • Muscle weighs more and takes up less space than fat.  So when it goes up and fat goes down, you get smaller while your scale weight stays the same or even goes up
  • You are more hydrated.   A good program includes improving hydration in your body and yep, you guessed it.  That extra water weighs more too.
  • Your bones are getting heavier.  This can happen especially to people who have not been exercising for some time and then start a good program of resistance/impact training.  This is also a good thing; denser stronger bones are heavier.

This is why I couple body weight measuring with girth measurements with a tape measure AND body composition assessment. So you can track changes in dehydration as well as body fat and lean weight by percentage and in kilos/grams.

What a tape measure tells you, is much more important than your bathroom scales.  So if someone is not doing the measuring for you, make sure you take all your body measurements and use certain clothing as a gauge instead.

Your Moods Are Better

Along with having more energy, an increase in good moods is super common.  “I really used to be so cranky?” is a common catch cry at FitterFaster.

This is partly due to the fact that you are actively doing something to improve your life, which gives you a winning sense of achievement even before results happen.

Other changes that occur when you improve your nutritional intake and start exercising are on a more cellular and hormonal level.  Yep, your hormones become more balanced and this leads to improved moods and a better outlook on everything.

The latest research has put good nutrition and exercise right up the top of the treatment list for depression.   I’ve seen and experienced many clients who have been able to move off or drastically lower medications that they may have been taking for years to treat anxiety and depression.

(Please always consult with your medical practioner.  I am absolutely not recommending making any changes to medications prescribed by him/her)

You’re Feeling Like It’s Not A ‘Diet’ Anymore

You’ll experience this on a good program only.  If the changes you’re making on the program you’re following are not feeling like something you could do forever, you’re on the wrong program.

When you make the right changes and add the right new habits, you’ll feel so good and they’ll just totally make sense that you will just want to continue.  If you’re having to exercise for hours and hours (especially if you’re not enjoying it) or you are hungry, this is not sustainable.

If however you feel like it’s all becoming easier, you know that you’re making progress.

You Feel Satisfied and You’re Not Hungry

Perhaps this should have been at the top of the list.  The right program will have added so much more food and so many more nutrients to your current plan, that you can’t possibly feel hungry.

Every meal and snack should leave you feeling satisfied on a day to day basis.  And while cravings may still come along occasionally, you’ll notice that they get less and less frequent and that you’re actually able to have a bit of your favourite treat without the need to devour the entire box every time you think about it

Being hungry on a ‘diet’ is a massive clue that this is not working.  Sure you may lose a few kilos in the early days, but if you are hungry, you will not be able to sustain the program and therefore progress will halt and you’ll most likely regain any weight lost because you haven’t learnt strategies to maintiain the loss.

We all have the discipline of monks when it comes to what we are going to eat