Sunday 3 November 2019

[Disclaimer: this post contains gifted items but all words and thoughts are my own]

I've been an avid gym goer for around 3 years now, and I think by now it's got to a point where I go because I enjoy it and like seeing progress, and not out of guilt because I've eaten a whole bag of Maltesers in one sitting. That being said, it is important to switch things up now and again because we as humans get bored of doing monotonous things. Over the last month I've made a conscious effort to work on my strength at the gym and have been eating and lifting more. My goal for the next 8 weeks is to maintain my muscle mass whilst also slowly decreasing my body fat %. So I'd like to share some of the ways to stick to your regime and reach your fitness and health goals.

T-Shirt (Muscle and Donuts) | Leggings (Cotton On) | Shoes (Tiosebon)

1. Find a plan that works for you. 

Nowadays there are literally 100s of lifestyle diets and exercise programs and what may work for one person not necessarily work for you, especially if you're going to be miserable all the time. For example the keto diet is something I've never really tried because I know my body functions better with higher carbs (although the fact it would let me have mayo with everything does sound appealing). I used to do intermittent fasting when I was working 9-5pm because I found it easy to fast until 12pm, but now that I go to the gym in the morning I feel like I need a pre-workout meal to fuel my body. So instead I try to stick to an 8am-7pm eating window. 

Gym wise, I now do 2 upper body days, 2 lower body days, and 1 light full body day with cardio. For me I prefer coming up with my own training plan, but you might personally benefit more from group classes or a personal trainer.

2. Don't drastically decrease your calories. 

It's hard to give a specific number because the calories our body's need will depend on our height, weight and daily activity levels, but really anything under 1000 is not ideal. Whilst I was increasing my weight training last month I gradually increased my calories up to 1900 (gained 1kg) so now my diet amount could be 1500 and I'd still be losing fat, as opposed to 1000 if I would have stuck to my 1400 calorie diet (what I ate before). Ideally the best thing to do is move more instead of eating less.  Using a calorie counter like MyFitnessPal is a great tool if you're new to counting calories or macros as it does the hard work for you. 

3. Allow for treats. 

Whether that's a glass of wine at night, a square of chocolate before bed or a McFlurry at the end of your night out (I might be guilty of all 3). If you tell yourself you're not going to eat anything bad for two months your brain is going to want to fight it, and eventually you'll give in and probably end up binging. Instead if you work occasional treats into your plan you won't feel guilty after. 

4. Take progress photos. 

I'm kind of glad the house I'm living in now doesn't have a scale, and I only use the gym one once or twice a month. We all know the number on the scale can be misleading (time of day, water retention, what you ate the night before, clothing, etc) so the best thing to do is take progress photos every month - that's where you'll really notice the changes! 

5. Wear clothes you feel comfortable in at the gym. 

I believe how good your workout is is directly correlated with how confident you feel at the gym - anyone else? I know when I look like a potato I also feel like a potato. This doesn't mean you have to go out and buy Nike everything. Amazon has some great inexpensive workout leggings and Sports Direct also have great deals for fitness gear. Tiosenbon kindly sent me a pair of their walking shoes which are perfect for me because my cardio involves a lot of incline walking and they fit so snug and they've been really comfortable to wear throughout the day. Not to mention I don't have to go through 5 pairs of socks in one week. The only rookie error I made was getting the white ones, because we all know they never stay white long!

I love wearing crop tops at the gym even if my fat hangs out the side when I'm doing crunches, because it gets damn hot! I do also like to throw on a cropped t-shirt like the pizza one I'm wearing from Muscle and Donuts (*gifted)  when I want to cover up slightly more.

6. Come up with a killer playlist. 

For me I always find listening to Eminem whilst I'm doing HIIT on the treadmill gets me the most pumped. RnB when I'm weight training also gets me in the right frame of mind too. If you don't have the time to come up with your own playlist, I've linked my gym playlist below - enjoy!

What are your tips for sticking to your diet? Do you follow any specific calorie plans or do you just eat what you want? 


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