Getting fit, lean and strong.  It’s all about drinking yellow stuff in tins, eating your body weight in raw eggs and running a marathon before work.  Right? Well no actually, not even a little bit. Lifestyle changes and tweaks can go a huge way to making you a healthier feeling and healthier looking person without the need to dedicate your life to a new regime.  Don’t get me wrong, like with anything, the more you do something the more you are going to get out of it. So if an 8 week body transformation is what you want to do, that is an option. But that takes extreme dedication and will interfere massively with your life as you currently know it.

So here we’ll look at making some changes that you can work into your routine and life, that over time will go a very long way to changing your body. These mistakes and surprising facts I will be talking about come from myself (a personal trainer for ten years) as well as other personal trainer colleagues of mine.

We’ll cover;

  • The biggest mistakes you might be making
  • Surprising facts and info from personal trainers

2 mistakes you might be making as you try to get fit, lean and strong

  • Not eating enough.

Might sound counterproductive but it is so true.  Way, way, way too often I hear people saying something like ‘ooh, I’ve done really well today.  I’ve only had a banana and a small bag of popcorn!’ thinking that consuming less must mean they are losing weight and getting fit. Wrong.  Here’s how it works. Your body is a trained survival machine. To keep you alive it always assumes the worst and tries to protect you. So when it comes to food, if less of it is arriving in the stomach the body starts to worry that supplies aren’t looking good. We are after all cavemen and women who happen to now be living in a very clever world, but at a very basic level we’re still just animals.  Survival instincts kick in and the body slows the metabolism right down so that you are only burning just the very minimum level of calories needed and puts the rest in to storage i.e. FAT! If it doesn’t need to use those energy supplies it simply won’t. In addition, after a prolonged time of under eating the body will start to use its own proteins as energy and your muscles will waste away. Then when a decent meal does arrive, thanks to your new low metabolism, the energy from that meal goes unused put into storage as well.  So after a period of under eating, you are going to gain huge fat reserves as soon as you do start eating again. The answer? Little and often. Lots of small, healthy regular meals tells the body that times are good and your metabolism goes through the roof and burns fat.

  • Only looking at the scales.  

How much you weigh is not the best indicator of how fit, lean and strong you might be. If you put the majority of pro-footballers in the scales nearly all of them would be classed as ‘obese’ when you compare their weight to their height.  But the fact is they are actually walls of muscle. So when looking to get fit try and avoid getting on the scales, or at least try and avoid obsessing over the scales. If you can, use a body fat percentage which you may be able to get tested at your gym or health center.  Or put on an outfit, have a photo taken and then every few weeks stick the same outfit on and have another photo. This is when you’ll see and feel differences in body shape. Monitoring the odd pound here and there is pointless as so many factors can affect that, you should be interested in how much fat you are storing or burning.

2 Surprising facts about getting fit!

  • ‘low fat’ and ‘sugar free’ options are working against you!

The main reason for this is that they are processed.  Sweeteners, additives, stabilizers, preservatives – these are not designed to be in the human body (I go back to that caveman animal within us) and the body doesn’t know what to do with them.  Plus if something is designed to be low in one thing it is almost inevitably going to be high in something else to make up for it. Low fat it may be, but check the sugar content. I bet it’s sky high and you’ll be hungry again in no time at all.  Take ‘sugar free’ also – no doubt this should be a good thing as it will be loaded with zero calorie sweeteners. Here’s the problem with that. Your clever body will detect the sweet taste and then be confused by the lack of calories it was expecting to have to burn.   So over time it stops associating sweet tastes with calories and won’t make any effort to burn them, so you are turning off your body’s metabolism. Definitely not great if you’re also tucking in to loads of fat free foods that ARE loaded up with sugar.

  • You can over exercise!

Trying to force your body to burn more calories is not healthy and it’s not necessarily effective.  Studies show that unless you are a professional athlete and it is your job, over exercising can cause stress and begin to shut down the body’s processes and functions, including metabolism.  A regular but not excessive combination of cardio exercise and a bit of weight lifting will see you burn fat.

Conclusion

Take these tidbits of advice from personal trainers and implement them into your diet and exercise routine in order to keep you on track towards hitting your goals. Leave me a comment down below so that we can discuss the advice I mentioned above. Thanks for stopping by the personal training pioneer! 

Tyler Read has a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. Tyler is also a certified personal trainer with NASM, ACE and CSCS. Tyler’s main goal is to help people get started in the personal training industry and to become successful personal trainers. Tyler is the owner of Personal Training Pioneer which helps people get started in the personal training industry and become successful.

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