Summer is here and you feel like you’ve missed the boat, but fear not, you can still get your summer body ready THIS summer.
Now you might be thinking, will I see any real results in 12 weeks. The answer is yes and journaling will help you get there.
Writing in a fitness journal allows you to keep track of your food intake and workouts not to mention motivates you to move towards goals and keep you pushing through challenges. And along the way you will face challenges; a good 12-week plan that includes a difficult workout and a healthy balanced diet will challenge you both physically and mentally. This is exactly where you’ll see your body change, when you’re outside your comfort zone.
Now I’m not going to lie, there may be times during the 12 weeks when you feel like throwing in the towel but that’s the time to remind yourself of the goals you want to achieve and why you started in the first place. Believe me, there is possibly no better feeling than accomplishing your goals at the end of those 12 weeks and you know what they say
Winners never quit and quitters never win
So, at this point you might be asking, what kind of a commitment do I have to make? Is this just a case of doing some exercise and cutting down on food, hmmm, not quite!
When you drastically cut your calories, your body thinks your starving and in-turn starts burning protein (aka muscle) for energy. This method will mess with your metabolism and should not be a strategy for fat loss. If you do this, you will notice that the weight will just come right back on after returning to a normal calorie intake. Depriving yourself of meals in the name of weight loss is a loser’s game in the long run. Not to mention you will have no energy and those workouts you’re doing will be ineffective.
So, what kind of differences can I expect to see from week to week, I hear you ask.
Well the good news is that you will begin to see your first change almost immediately. You’ll notice your stomach is flatter and this is not because you’ve lost weight, but because you’re not bloated anymore.
When you start to clean up your diet and cut down on sugary and processed foods you’ll begin to notice a change in your waistline, that bloated feeling will be gone, you’ll feel more energised, sleep better and be in a better mood.
Remember, it takes weeks to develop healthy habits, but when you do develop them, you will wonder why you ever ate so much processed foods in the first place or put so much sugar in your tea.
Soon after you’ve adopted these daily habits, the real results will begin to take place.Over the course of four weeks you will feel and see the changes taking place in your body. You may feel stronger, have better posture and better skin due to a healthier diet and drinking lots of water.
Around the eight-week mark, you will begin to see a significant difference in weight loss and muscle gain. It’s important to stay focused and stick with it, especially if it’s your first time doing a 12-week challenge. Try to refrain from hopping on the scales every day, do it weekly and the same with taking body measurements.
It’s important to note that whatever your fitness goal is, be it toning up, losing weight, building muscle, preparing for a marathon it could be anything but FOOD and EXERCISE go hand in hand. The body needs good nutritious food not only for a healthy body but also to fuel your workouts and repair your muscles.
Well now that we’ve established that drastically cutting calories is not the way forward, but rather eating healthy and exercising; Here are my top 10 tips for getting that physique you deserve:
Set your 12 Week goal and work out your plan of action; those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
If 12 weeks feels like a long time and overwhelming then break it down into four week sections, hell if that feels too long then break it down into weekly goals – every step will get you to your goal.
If pictures are your thing, then why not take a before and after picture. Some people like to see their progress through pictures so if that’s you – do it!
Plan your meals. When you have a plan, you’ll follow it and be much more likely to eat healthy. This may seemlike something extra to have to do on top of eating healthy and exercising, but it’s actually a shortcut to making food journaling easier and keeping your food intake on track.
Eat six meals a day. Yep, you heard me right. Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and include 3 small snacks in between meals. You might eat only 5 meals and skip the last snack depending on what time you eat dinner and that’s ok.
Aim to workout at least three to four times per week and make sure it challenges you; if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. So, level up!
Start your day with a glass of water and drink at least 8 glasses (two litres) of water throughout the day. For every caffeinated drink you consume, have an extra glass of water to re-hydrate. It might be worth noting that you should try and have most of that liquid in the first half of the day. You don’t want to be making potty trips during the night.
Limit your alcohol – it’s made from sugar and starch and contains lots of empty calories.
Make sure you get seven to eight hours of sleep per night, it’s an important factor in your journey to achieving a better body.
And last but not least, allow yourself a cheat day. We can be good during the week but let’s not get crazy here – have that cheat meal. Besides, this will encourage you to eat healthy for the next six days and the best part is, over time you will notice that most cravings for junk food will disappear.
So now that you’re fired up and ready to make a healthy change, tackle this opportunity with positivity. There will be obstacles, but that’s all part of the challenge. If you miss a day or two of journaling, it’s not the end of the world. Use this as motivation to do better the following days.