Frustrated with your stagnation and lack of progress?
One of the biggest complaints I get from clients, or prospective clients, is that they are frustrated with their stagnation and/or lack of progress. They often tell me how they are ‘confused’ with their slow progress as they are doing everything right, training hard, eating clean and not ‘cheating’, etc, but the ‘stubborn’ fat still isn’t shifting. So in today’s article I will give you a simple trick that will help you kick-start your metabolism and get those metabolic fires roaring again, catapulting your fat loss journey and reigniting your fitness fire.
I have spoken numerous times about the importance of working-out roughly how many calories you are eating. I have brought to light the importance of actually eating more to kick-start your metabolism and turning your body into a fat burning machine. After all most people complain about ‘stubborn body fat’ when in reality they aren’t eating enough food to allow the body to mobilise it in the first place – if your body is starving it focuses on keeping you alive, not burning fat, I’m afraid.
Hopefully if you have been following my advice, you have worked out your calories, calculated how much you roughly need to be eating, and slowly increasing them until they “sync-up”.
This will give your body the fuel it needs to start working and performing optimally. If you followed this advice, you will be able to vouch for how effective it is. But even this approach will eventually slow down and fat loss stall – Staying on one linear nutrition plan for 7 days a week is boring – there is no way to sugar coat it. You will get yourself into a routine and, out of habit, end up eating the same 5 foods again and again and again until you get bored, stop seeing results and, ultimately, go off track.
So what’s my top tip to keep your metabolism firing and ultimately start shifting that stubborn body fat? Calorie fluctuating, or calorie cycling as you may of head it referred to as.
I like to set-up my clients with a training and non-training day nutrition plan as soon as I feel they are ready for it.
It’s very rare that I ever give my client a single nutrition plan to follow due to the monotony and the problems that are associated with it, as listed above.
By giving my clients a training and non-training day plan it allows me to give them more fuel and calories (usually in the form of carbohydrates) on the days that they train, allowing them to train harder for longer without feeling like a zombie going through the motions.
In contrast, on days they don’t train and don’t require as much fuel I will lower their calories and carbohydrate consumption and give their body a day to ‘resensitize’.
By giving your body this kind of calorie and carbohydrate fluctuation you are making it continually guess and so making it work harder and become more effective and efficient in utilizing the food you are giving it. Ultimately, this will fan the flames of your metabolic fire, preventing it becoming complacent and stabilizing.
I typically fluctuate the calories between the two days between 500 and 800 calories, sometimes more and sometimes less depending totally on where the client is. This goes for carbohydrates too, sometimes I don’t even add in carbohydrates, I simply increase the calories on training through fat. But typically I will always keep rest days as no carbs and then push the training day carbohydrates as I see fit.
Calorie and carbohydrate fluctuation is very simple, but there is an art to get it right so don’t expect perfection and instant results. I suggest tracking your weight first thing in the morning every 7 days. This kind of nutrition plan will require you to stay mentally strong and have the end goal in the forefront of your mind, as your weight will jump up before slowly coming back down. If you typically take-off the weekend from training then I would suggest using Sunday morning as your ‘weigh-in day’. Throughout the week you may see your weight increase, but at your weigh-in day on Sunday you should be seeing your weight slowly and consistently drop 1-2 lbs each week.
If, however, your weight spikes up drastically on your high days and then doesn’t come down at the weigh-in day, then this is more than likely a sign of a slow metabolism caused by years of poor dieting habits. You need to be patient and I would suggest allowing 3-4 weeks to see if your body starts to adjust and adapt. Just like an old gas fire that hasn’t been used for a while, sometimes it take a while for it to kick start.
If you find you are still frustrated with trying to implement this type of nutrition plan then I may suggest working with a professional to help set you up correctly.
I believe I’ve had such great success helping to kick-start clients with my one month online training simply because once they understand the process, and why they are doing what they are doing.
Add this to the weekly reassurance at their check in, and they allow themselves to relax and ‘trust the processes’. For more information please click here