During the boot camp experience, I learned loads but I’ve been saving the biggest chunk of information for one post. On our final day Craig, boot camp trainer extraordinaire, gave us his top tips. These come from a man who has not only gone through his own weight loss journey but who also regularly changes people’s lives for the better.
He gave us these ten tips and I’ve expanded on them where I can. Of course, I’m not an expert, I’m just speaking from my experience (which is limited in some areas).
Fat loss is 80% about what food you eat. These tips are a good starting point.
Eat every 2-3 hours
This keeps your metabolism ticking over and stops your blood sugar from tanking. When it does drop we get all sorts of cravings that are very hard to ignore.
Eat balanced meals – 15% protein, 30% fats, 60% carbs
This includes snacks. Keep an eye on those percentages and learn which foods fit into which categories. You’re probably not eating as balanced a diet as you think.
Increase protein intake
Protein will keep you fuller for longer and will help to repair your muscles after a hefty workout session. Even if you don’t workout regularly, you should be getting about 1g of protein for every 1lb of lean weight. My lean weight (me minus any fat) is about 120lbs, which means I need 120g per day of protein.
I have to say, I really struggle to get near that number.
Carbs aren’t the enemy but you’re going to have more success with your fat loss if you reduce your intake. Especially simple carbs like white bread, potatoes, white rice and white pasta. If you need a ‘proper’ carb fix go for brown bread, rice or pasta. You’re less likely to get the huge sugar spike and drop that comes from eating lots of carbs.
Push it on for 21 days
It takes us 21 days to form a habit so keep going, after that it’ll get much, much easier. Just 16 days to go for me!
Moving more is always good but follow these tips to get more from your workouts.
Stop isolating muscles
Bigger movements are going to work more muscles. A bicep curl will only work your bicep. However, big moves like burpees, bench presses, squats and deadlifts all work multiple muscle groups. Instead of focusing on ‘arm day’ try and get a full body workout every time you exercise.
Weights machines were designed for people with injuries who needed to isolate a muscle group without moving another body part. Due to this they really do isolate muscles. Gyms caught onto these machines and saw them as an easy way to get people working out without having to have trainers there to direct them.
Head on over to the free weights section. It might be daunting at first but pick up those weights and do your moves. You’ll be working a wider range of muscles.
Stop LSD (long, slow distance training)
There are people who go to the gym and hop on the treadmill/cross trainer/bike and do the same time, speed and resistance as they always do. I always thought this was a bad idea, you’re not pushing yourself. However, when I read an article about why running makes you fat I thought it was a load of rubbish. But that article talks about just banging out the same 5k everyday and never improving.
Running doesn’t make you fat but long, slow distance training will. Try and better yourself on every run, add in some intervals or run as part of a circuit where you incorporate strength elements too.
Track your progress
This isn’t just about weight. The scales can be deceiving because you could be losing fat while putting on muscle. I’m not saying don’t weigh yourself but restrict it to once or twice a month.
You should also keep an eye on your measurements, you’re more likely to see a change here rather than on the scale.
Progress photos are a great way of seeing how your body is changing.
Finally, measure performance. Did you better your 1k/5k/10k time? Can you lift more than you could last month? Did you manage another five reps?
Rest, rest, rest
Don’t over-train, give your muscles time to repair and get adequate sleep. Craig told us we’re ‘not sleeping, we’re healing’. While we sleep our muscles repair themselves. Get to bed early and you’ll be more than ready for that 6am start…
Thank you so much to No1 Boot Camp and Craig for educating us.
If there’s anything you agree or disagree with here, I’d love to hear your story in the comments below.