I’ve mentioned this in a few previous emails, but in case you missed it; I’ve been on a Fat Loss plan for the last 6 weeks or so (with another 2 to go)
Not because I want to get leaner for anything in particular, I just wanted to get leaner full stop. Plus it’s a good opportunity to trial out some new little strategies.
I just got some measurements taken during the week, and guess what? It’s definitely working. According to the scales, I’m down about 3-3.5Kg depending on the day of the week, and with skinfold measurements taken I’m down about 3%.
What’s even better, I actually managed to gain a little muscle mass while dropping 2.8Kg of Fat mass. The main reason for this is that I’ve been executing a solid plan to a tee.
I’m forever making up nutrition plans for others to follow, and I have to admit it was a little strange doing the same for myself. Here’s 3 things any successful diet needs;
Including foods you actually enjoy eating is always gonna be #1. Sure I could give have made myself a generic meal plan with the exact nutrient content I need to create results, but it’s gonna be absolute hell on earth to live through it.
I’ve done it once before working with a coach; I got leaner, but the experience was horrific; followed by a massive binge for weeks after.
If I have some fruit, the occasional bit of chocolate, and some bran flakes & milk when I want; I’m good. It makes it that much easier to fit in lean meats, other high quality protein sources, and loads of greens
Just to clarify too, foods which lend themselves to improving our health and aiding Fat loss can also be enjoyable too. You don’t need to suffer through every meal on a ‘diet’.
The hardest part has actually been eating the food. Any successful diet will actually have a lot of food in it, food that needs to be bought, prepped, stored and eaten. 6 weeks later and I see the appeal of quick fix weight loss powders, it’s lazy….. it’s probably not what you want to hear, but it’s what you need to hear.
Downtime is really important for me, and it’s just life that there will always be an event that conflicts with the ‘perfect’ plan on paper (there’s never a perfect time to start). Over the past few weeks I’ve had a wedding weekend, family visiting for a few days, a trip to Cork, and a trip to Limerick.
Although we can see this as an obstacle, this kind of downtime is actually exactly what I needed to help me adhere to the plan.
I deliberately allowed myself to enjoy meals with friends and family, because I know there’s a lot more to life than a before and after photo. Sure results will be a little slower, but who gives a shit? This way I get to keep my sanity and it’ll help me adhere to the plan; which in turn actually helps me create further fat loss. Win-Win
Some people might call this a cheat meal, I call it living.
I made the conscious decision to enjoy my food, and I considered my total daily intake. No obsessive tracking, just positive choices and staying mindful of the foods I was eating. You can still do a lot of good for your body even when eating out, and when you’re going ‘off-plan’
I didn’t undo any hard work from the week. Our bodies still need nutrients at the weekend too, just in the right amounts. I loosened the reigns a little to allow a some ice-cream, just not all the ice-cream.
Results are a pretty obvious one. I am a huge advocate of finding balance with your lifestyle and food, and appreciating what you have (rather than changing because you may not like a part of yourself); but I’m driven by success. In this specific context, success = fat loss.
If the skinfold measurements are going down, I’m winning.
Imagine if I was putting in all this effort for 6 weeks, and absolutely nothing changed. I’d be pretty fed up, and I’d be a lot more likely to walk away from it all if I didn’t adapt the plan in some way to create progress
Failure doesn’t necessarily mean you should give up, it just means you should change something until you find what works. There is massive learning experience in failure, when something isn’t working, there’s a reason why.
This current plan is only creating results because I learned from previous failures (a whoooole lot of failures), so we do need to develop some grit and resilience when we’re starting out.
When the results do start rolling in, it’s makes it very apparent that the efforts you’re putting in are working, and from here it makes it much easier to put in the effort to change, because you can see the payoff.
Now even though I’ve advocated downtime, and allowing yourself to loosen the reigns; it’s important to allow for ‘uptime’ and tightening the reigns too. I have to be really honest here; you get what you work for.
If you want to achieve Fat Loss, it’s not always possible to eat absolutely anything you like all day every day. This doesn’t mean you need to suffer either; foods that lend themselves well to fat loss, improving health, building muscle, getting stronger, fitter & faster can all taste delicious too!
Just because you’re choosing foods that help you achieve your goals, it doesn’t automatically mean you’re depriving yourself of the finer things in life. It just means that at this given moment, you would rather honour your goals than honour your cravings.
Eventually we need to prioritise what we really want.
Everyone knows the phrase ‘Everything in Moderation’, and it’s so true. I’m a huge advocate of moderation. Unfortunately, some people’s idea moderation is sugar loaded cereal in the morning, deep fried chicken fillet roll with coke in the afternoon, and a chinese takeaway in the evening.
You can easily have any of these foods on a successful plan, but again I stress; if you want to eat whatever you want, whenever you want, you need a reality check.
True moderation includes foods that your enjoy, as well as foo d that support your body. Allow for some of the chocolate, just not all of the chocolate.
If this is an area of your diet you struggle with, my Diet Cheat-Sheet Workshop running on Tuesday September 6th, 7.30pm at the Maldron Hotel, Newlands Cross will provide the answer
If you’ve ever put your diet on hold, started again on Monday, or if you’re waiting for the ‘right-time’ to start; I guarantee you’ll learn exactly what you need to do stop this ever happening again.
The event is all about maintaining balance in diet and lifestyle, preventing binges, and learning how to allow for moderation without falling off the wagon completely; while still knowing where to make positive changes to make yourself leaner, bigger, stronger, fitter (or even to just enjoy food again).
If you would rather stay 100% strict & cut out all ‘bad’ foods, and spend your time trying to make your diet ‘perfect'; this event isn’t for you.
There’s a 30% – Off Early Bird until the 25th too, which is a huge saving for the value you’ll get back out
P.s. If you have any friends, family, or gym-buddies you think might be interested, could you please let them know about the event?