Transforming your body doesn’t start with a pill or a promise, it starts with intention and purpose. It can feel frightening or even overwhelming because you may not know where to begin. Perhaps you never believed you could lose weight and keep it off, but something shifted recently, and you have reached the tipping point. You are ready to consider it.
Perhaps you stepped on the scale and found out that 10 pounds crept up on you. Maybe your favourite shirt is now your least favourite because it hugs you in all the wrong places. Whatever the reason, you are willing to learn to live differently.
If so, you are not alone! The 8-week challenge was created to help individuals like yourself who are ready to change their habits and transform their bodies. This complete fitness program pairs you up with others like you to teach you how to lose weight and stay in shape for the long run. To help you get started, below are 7 tips for your weight loss journey:
1. Plan Your Meals
Does that sound overwhelming? It doesn’t have to be. The trainers who created the 8-week challenge realise that clients need help creating healthy eating habits. They also understand that even the best intentions disappear when you get busy, stressed, or hungry and grab the most readily available food without considering its nutritional content.
To set you up for success, the trainers make it very simple for you. When you participate in the 8-week challenge, you receive a meal plan, complete with recipes and even a personalised grocery list! Your job is to simply shop for the groceries, do the meal preparations, and commit to eating what is on your meal plan when it says to eat it! Does it get any simpler?
The bonus is that the simple act of following this plan will teach you what your body needs and when it needs it. You may find that you weren’t eating as frequently as you needed to during the day, and one added snack gives you better focus. Or, you may see that by changing the type of food you eat, your energy lasts longer, instead of spiking from a sugar rush and then dropping into unexpected exhaustion.
2. Track the Right Numbers
We can live or die by the numbers on our scale, but that doesn’t mean they are the only numbers that measure success. The truth is, when you first add weight training to your workout regimen, you may experience a brief weight gain as your body turns fat into muscle, which is denser and thus weighs more. Your body can also retain water after intense cardio workouts, which can increase your weight for 2-3 days.
Seeing your weight increase on the scale can be misleading, and make you think that your efforts to improve your health aren’t working.
Don’t let your scale be your only measure of success! Other numbers can tell the opposite story, namely your measurements. Before you start any weight loss program, stop and measure your chest, waist, and hips. Write those numbers down! Then, every week, take new measurements and track them. You may find that on weeks where your weight increases, your measurement numbers decrease. You may also find that your clothes are fitting more loosely. These are all signs of success!
3. Work Out Efficiently
If you have been to the gym before, chances are that you have seen people in the weight training area who seem to spend the majority of their time watching the gym television while infrequently lifting weights. They may go to the gym and never accomplish anything to actually train their muscles.
During the 8-week challenge, you will work with a Personal Trainer in SMALL GROUPS of 6-8. This means that you will receive the attention of a personal trainer who will maximise every minute you spend at the gym and teach you how to work out efficiently with both cardiovascular work and weight training exercises. Both types of exercises are integral to transforming your body because they do different things for you.
Cardiovascular workouts are good for your health because they strengthen your heart (hence the name). They also burn a greater amount of calories up front, which is why people tend to favour them over weight training. What people can fail to realise is that while weight training workouts burn fewer calories up front, they have a longer lasting fat-burning effect. When you increase your muscle mass through weight training, you increase your metabolic rate, enabling you to burn more fat over time. Overall, the more variety you add to your workout, the more you keep your body guessing, which means that it will be forced to adapt and transform.
A good night’s sleep is considered to be 7-9 hours. It is easy to ignore the importance of sleep, trading precious hours of shut-eye for an extra episode of our favourite TV show or another chapter in the book we just can’t put down.
Missing sleep is counterproductive to weight loss.
When you don’t sleep, your body makes up for it in other ways such as craving sugar to keep it going during the day or holding on to fat instead of letting it go. It can also negatively impact your workouts by keeping your muscles from getting the time and the nutrients they need to recover. It can even make working out feel harder than it is or diminish your motivation. If you thrive on seeing improvement, don’t undermine yourself by missing out on precious hours of sleep.
5. Ask for Help
As you work to create healthy habits, you will find that some days are harder than others. Your best efforts can be undermined or sidetracked by a bad day at work, an emotionally challenging moment at home or even frustration with a perceived lack of success in our weight-loss pursuit. When those moments arise, no matter what time of day, reach out! You are not alone!
The 8 week-challenge offers a 24/7 Online SUPPORT group to get you the help, advice, or support whenever you need it.
You do not have to be your own rock. Allow others to come alongside you in your journey.
6. Drink Water. LOTS of Water.
Just like your body needs food to work efficiently, it also needs water because water is the basis for every single thing that occurs in your body from burning fat to flushing out unwanted toxins. The more that you work out, the more you will sweat, and you need to replace the water that you lose.
The rule of thumb is to ingest 8 glasses of water each day to be fully hydrated, which is equivalent to about 2 litres of water. If you struggle to drink as much water as you need to, purchase a water bottle that you like and would enjoy carrying with you, tracking the number of times you refill it. If you lose count, an easy way to measure your hydration level is by the colour of your urine—the lighter in colour it is, the more hydrated you are.
Set yourself up for maximum weight loss success by giving your body the basic building blocks it needs to circulate nutrients and allow your muscles to function as they should.
7. Have Reasonable Expectations
If you want to lose weight sustainably over the long term, your results won’t be shocking at the outset. Healthy weight loss expectations are defined as .5 – 1kg per week. To establish some perspective on that number, the average person gains .5 – 1kg a year. That means if you are losing weight in a healthy way, you are rolling back one year of weight gain every week. That’s significant!
Does it feel as significant as a program that promises extreme weight loss like 15 kgs in just 2 weeks? No! The truth is that quick weight loss programs promise you a body that looks like this:
But in reality, what these types of programs leave behind is not so attractive. Extremely rapid weight loss does not offer your skin the opportunity to be resilient and shrink back to size. Instead, the excess skin that used to house your fat hangs off your body as a skin flap. Instead of rocking a tank top with killer arms, imagine the skin on a turkey’s neck hanging off those arms.
Not attractive, right? In fact, people undergo plastic surgery to remove skin flaps when they have lost weight too rapidly. That can make for a costly weight loss plan.
Rapid weight loss also does not allow sufficient time for the creation of new, healthy habits, which enable you to keep the pounds off. Instead, it sets you up for a yo-yo pattern of weight loss where you lose weight dramatically, gain it back, lose it again, typically because you are bingeing on all the foods you couldn’t eat during your “diet.” All of this wreaks havoc on your metabolism, decreasing your ability to lose weight in the future.
The critical elements to transforming your body are not beyond your reach. Your transformation starts with establishing healthy expectations for what your weight loss should look like, and then tracking the appropriate statistics. It then moves to being intentional about what you are putting in your body, both in terms of food and water. Finally, it requires that you be purposeful in your workout efforts as well as your recovery time through sleep. Throughout your journey, don’t be afraid to ask for help when things become challenging.
Are you ready to join a community of people and pursue weight loss together? If so, join our 8-week challenge today!