So many people have come to me for advice on how to loose weight and tone up… In most cases there is always that one specific stubborn area which is causing the most trouble and headache for the help seekers (bellybutton, hips, bingo wings…).
Well, you’re in luck because I’m going to reveal all my top ‘secrets’ in this post!!! 😀
PS! Sorry to spoil your hopes but the truth is- fat burning is not a war game where you just lock your target, shoot and voila, fat is burning. In fact, quite often we start loosing fat from places where we really don’t have that much to give away in the first place – in my case- boobs!
Before I start listing my tips I’d like to show you the journey that my own physique has gone through:
1- The skinny cardio bunny… (with horrible posture…and tan line 😀 !)
2. The chubby ”I like to party every weekend” look… (I look happy, so I do understand you party people 😀 )
3. Lean and toned stage look for a fitness competition… (Looking pretty happy here too though 😛 )
4. Today’s toned athletic look… (looking very content in this photo! 🙂 )
As you can see, I have had my highs and lows before reaching the steady point where I am at right now. I’m not extremely lean, but still leanish and toned. After having tried out many different training and dietary approaches, I can assure you that what you eat and drink is what you become!
I’m not going to lie, to get to the point where I’m at, you’ll need to make sacrifices. Spend about 3-6 sweaty and tiring months on sculpting your body and then enjoy the results and continue to exercise for maintenance and fun.
Anyway, enough of this small talk, here are my tips – starting with the more general ones:
- Change your eating habits! If you are used to ordering pizza or Chinese on most nights- stop doing that! If it hasn’t helped you reach your goals until this day, why would it work over the next few weeks?! Even if you hire a personal trainer-solely paying out big bucks to the trainer does not shift your body fat if you continue to feed your body with food that lacks nutrients ! And again, I am talking from my own experience- I’ve had a few months in which I trained hard but then ruined my hard work with unhealthy food and drink choices and ended up with no results! May have gained some strength if anything…
- Surround yourself with like-minded people! Spend time with friends that encourage and motivate you on your journey. If they only want to spend time with you over a glass of wine or other alcoholic drinks and junk food, then maybe it’s time for you to let them find other social-buddies. You need someone who’d invite you to have a fun workout together and check out healthy restaurants or cook your own healthy meals!
- Write down your goals (small and big) and keep them in a visible place! Have your goals sit in front of your eyes every day. This keeps the motivation levels up and you are more likely to achieve them. Do make sure to add some small, more attainable goals, because we all know how much satisfaction it brings to be able to tick off some tasks from a long to-do list! 🙂
- Watch and read motivational videos and blogs! If seeing someone smashing their workouts and looking amazing does not motivate you, then I’m not sure what will… 😀 . I always ‘steal’ or ‘borrow’ my motivation from other people! Yes, on most days, I am highly motivated myself but there are always some days in which the energy levels just aren’t there!
Okay but now to the main bit- so how to wake up with a 6 pack? 😛
If you haven’t tasted any vegetables in a while nor moved much, don’t expect to see your 6-pack tomorrow morning. As I told you earlier, simply by reading through some helpful information or paying your personal trainer DOES NOT make you wake up with lean, toned physique!
What WILL make you wake up with a dream body is a great willpower, long-term commitment, dedication, hard work, persistence, healthy diet, balanced choices… It may sound too much at first but let’s break this into bits and once you start ticking these off one by one, I promise you, your goals are one step closer to you and the process is actually very enjoyable:
- Drink lots of water! Drink more water! Oh did I already mention WATER!!! Water is an important part of all body functions and processes, including digestion and elimination. When you’re on a diet, water also acts as a weight-loss aid because it can help you eat less. I start my day with a glass of water and drink around 3 liters of water a day!
- Don’t starve yourself, eat nutritious food to fuel your body! Why does a very low calorie intake slow down weight loss? Quite simply, your body goes into ‘starvation mode‘. This mechanism, which is thought to have evolved as a defence against starvation, means the body becomes super efficient at making the most of the calories it does get from food and drink. Choose foods that are low in calories,taste good and fill you up for a long time!
- Have 4-6 small meals a day! Eat in every 3 hours to keep your metabolism going and to avoid getting crazy cravings! if you don’t feel like you’re ‘starving’ , it’s more likely that you’ll make healthier choices when shopping for your meals. 🙂 This should also prevent you from falling into the downward spiral of binge eating.
- Add some protein to each meal- avoid eating only huge amounts of carbs- pasta, bread, potatoes…! I plan my platefuls by thinking which protein sources am I going to use (eggs, chicken, fish etc) and then add all the rest (pasta, sweet potato, veggies…). You’ll definitely need to eat carbs too, so don’t leave these out 🙂 !
- Turn your diet into a fun game! Be flexible, use a great variety of different foods. Create your own healthy 3 course menu! Make your own healthy puddings! Mix different flavors, taste them and have fun in the process of making them 🙂 My experience has shown that not all flavors work well together, but at least I’ve tried! 😀 There are a great number of ideas available in cook books and online so there should be no excuses!
- Allow yourself some treats, live a ‘normal’ life! Yes, I am promoting healthy food and healthy lifestyle, but I would also suggest to go for an occasional pizza or burger! Why? This keeps you sane and makes you feel like a normal person with no dietary restrictions. Dieting can be fun! Be good 90% of the time to allow 10% of naughtiness in your life! 😛 We only live once, so you might as well take the most out of it!
- STAY ACTIVE!!! This here is the key to everything! Yes, you can loose weight by following a diet plan and not working out but I personally would much rather eat loads and compensate that by having a fun workout! I can honestly say that I too eat those naughty foods quite often (once or twice a week) but due to my active lifestyle, these calories will be used up in no time and I’m still waking up looking healthy and lean and happy because I got to have some real flour pancakes or a juicy burger! 🙂
- Don’t be afraid to lift heavy weights!!! Remember, the more muscle, the more calories you burn and the more you can eat! Sounds like heaven to me 😀 ! Also, switch you long and boring cardio with a quick HIIT session! It’s painful but very effective and it’ll be over before your brain realizes what you have forced it into! 😀
- Get enough sleep!!! I was convinced that I had insomnia at some point last year and due to that my eating times were all messed up and I was craving for carbs all the time… Also, not getting enough sleep will have it’s impact on your mood, so it’s best to go to bed early and wake up looking and feeling like a princess! 🙂
- Stop looking for magic pills and diets!!! Just stick with the basics- good old clean eating and weightlifting/HIIT/Cardio combo and you’ll be fine! Plus you can use that magic pill money on a nice relaxing holiday :)!
Are you thinking ”…..borning, I have heard all of this before”?
Well it’s because that REALLY IS all you need to do! It’s quite simple! The question is how much you really want to make the change happen?! Are you willing to give up those Saturday night parties?! Do you have enough determination and willpower to stick to your diet and training plan for more than a month?!
Ask yourself these questions and if the answer is YES, go and smash your goals! 😉