This is what I tell all my clients when they sign up with me.
At this moment, if you were expecting a long, wordy, encyclopedic work of art, just know, that’s not this. In writing, it’s actually easy. In action, it may be tough but if you commit to it, it will be the best thing you could do.
If we’re to be honest, a lot of people, maybe even you reading this, set too much pressure themselves trying to make things happen fast and get incredibly frustrated when it doesn’t happen as expected and when it’s expected.
It’s ok to get frustrated. This lets you know that although you really are trying, things need change. Change is tough and change can be uncomfortable but usually, change is for the better.
I see it all the time.
You’ve gotten to a point where you don’t feel comfortable in your clothes or taking off your shirt or wearing that swimsuit you dreamed of being in or can’t get through the day without some nagging pain. You find energy hard to have because of long days at work or with the kids or at social events or a combination of all three and then some.
You don’t want to feel this way and you shouldn’t. I mean why should you? You want to enjoy life to the fullest and in whatever capacity that means to you. You should be able to. That said, in order for you to do this, you need to own your current situation, be honest with yourself, and also realize that starting is the hardest part. Knowing that simply starting is the hardest part, you should set yourself up to be able to commit to certain actions that you can build on over time.
This won’t bring fast results. This won’t turn you from the Penguin into Batman, but it will be sustainable, progressive, and bring you closer to where you want to be (which is usually as far away from the hell you feel currently).
Nutrition and training shouldn’t be hard…and it’s not. What makes it hard is all the information across the wonderful world wide web.
There is so much (mis)information out there that it’s no wonder why people go straight to the drastic, the unrealistic, the unstainable, and/or the more fear-mongering methods instead of what actually works: strength training, getting more steps in, and getting your eating in order.
What I am going to do is break down these two aspects of your fitness so that you can actually get results.
I promise you if you follow what I say, you will start to shed that weight and build better habits.
This is the biggest (And most painful) part for almost everyone. That’s not my claim. The obesity rates can prove it.
This said, if you can start to organize your eating and eating schedule and start picking the foods you want to eat while not going over your calories, you’re already on the right path.
A little further (and more effective than that) is learning how to create a meal plan and sticking with it as much as possible (even if you know you have a dinner and/or social events coming up)
Keeping yourself accountable for starters and being in a true deficit is the only way to drop the fat; so yes, there is a bit of a learning curve and sacrifice. Hey, at least you can have your cake and eat it, too, if you track it.
I’ve written several posts such as this and this and this talking about what your macros are, how to calculate them, and how to build your own meal plan.
I’ll take it a step further for you in this post by giving you a template meal plan based on an article I wrote. “The Macro Cheat Sheet”.
This assumes you have around 100-110g of protein to eat daily and you’re trying to make the best decisions.
If you were to eat 3 meals daily and possibly snacks, here’s what it could look like with instructions:
Step 1: Get the ‘Macro Cheat Sheet‘ from the site.
Step 2: Build a template meal plan
Step 2a: You will create 3 Meals and sub in the food for the category. You will choose a carb, search for that carb in MyFitnessPal. Same thing with the fat. Measure them out in grams (g) and put them in MyFitnessPal.
Protein (cooked) (g) – 100g
Carbs (g) –
Fat (g) –
Protein (cooked)(g) – 100g
Carbs (g) –
Fat (g) –
Protein (cooked)(g) – 100g
Carbs (g) –
Fat (g) –
Snacks (If you have calories left.):
Now how do I know this works?
Well, a majority of my clients are busy professionals. Making a meal plan of foods you like to eat and being consistent in eating this plan is going to yield the results you want far greater than just cutting out whole food groups and restricting yourself. This not only is ineffective, it will lead to binging and overall resentment towards your training and eating.
Going out for dinner?
Great. Enjoy it. Just get the most protein you can in during the day save your calories for the meal you’ll have later. Get back to the plan tomorrow and keep moving forward. No biggie. You don’t go to dinners daily; at least, a very good amount of people don’t.
If you do, your nutritional strategies still don’t change much. When at dinner, this may mean skipping the appetizers and sticking with the filet or fish or chicken dish with veggies, asking for dressing on the side and enjoying sparkling water or a diet soda instead of beer or wine. Not always but most times.
Here’s the formula for success: success = positive daily actions + consistency
Here’s the formula for failure: failure = counterproductive choices + consistency
Or in other words: if you consistently make good choices, you will start to see your success. If you consistently make poor choices/counterproductive choices then you will not succeed in reaching your goal.
I’m going to keep this one very simple by dropping in a fitness infographic I did a while back (one of the very few I did..these are so time-consuming to make). It actually gives you potential schedules and how to approach it.
At the very least, workout on the weekends. Yes. Just two days. A way you can do it and make it effective is like this:
- Train each body part (chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, quads, hamstrings, calves, abs) 8-10 sets per week.
- If you split that up in to two days, you do 4-5 sets per each body part in each of those 2 sessions.
- Split reps up something like: 5 sets x 6-8 reps, 4 x 8-10, 3 x 10-12, & 2 x 20
- Stick with the same exercises for 8-12 weeks then switch up some reps/sets
If you have more time (3 to 4 days to train), then you can do it as shown in the infographic:
Again, you should control your training schedule, not the other way around. Figure out what works best for your life and situation. If life gets a little less busy and you can add a day, hey, have fun and do it. But don’t bite off more than you can chew (pun intended). Your training should empower you, make you feel better, and shouldn’t run you into the ground.
Also, as a PSA: sweating is not indicative of a successful or good workout. If you want to work up a good sweat, wear sweatpants and a sweatshirt and sweat while you lift. Also, soreness is a by-product of overloading the muscle a bit differently than the time before. You won’t always be sore. Don’t chase soreness. That’s stupid.
Wrapping It Up
“Keep it simple”.
This is what I tell all my clients.
Eat foods you love to eat as long as you track it. Hit your protein and don’t go over your calories.
Find a training schedule that best fits you. Don’t let your training schedule take over you. Make sure it’s sustainable, maintainable, and challenges you a little bit more each session.
Hope this helps!