The Secrets To Improved Body Confidence

  • 31% of male Europeans say they think their weight is too high
  • 43% of female Europeans say they think their weight is too high
  • Women are more prone to feel overweight at any BMI than men
  • The most highly educated people are more likely to view themselves as overweight
  • Although these people do make comparisons to other people, for instance comparing their size to their peer group or friends, they are more concerned with their own weight.

Training

  • You can still do cardio, sports, or anything outside of the weight room, but to change your body, you should train with weights at least twice a week. Even if you don’t want to get jacked, being “toned” or “shaped” or whatever still comes down to no just minimising fat, but also maximising muscle. You don’t have to want to be the next big shot bodybuilder, but you still need to train like one, until your goals, however modest, are met.
  • The biggest predictor of a change in muscle mass is strength gains. Make sure your program supports getting stronger and don’t just rock up and lift the same weight each week, aim to beat it.
  • If you’re a woman and you’re afraid of looking like a bodybuilder or getting “bulky”, trust me when I tell you that it isn’t going to happen. In a study by Taspinar et al lifting weights improved self-esteem and body image more than Hatha yoga. Lifting weights won’t make you massive if you’re a woman, not without lots and lots of pharmaceutical help, but it will make you more confident.
  • If you think your gym session should involve standing on a Bosu ball on one leg while overhead pressing 2lb dumbbells, you aren’t going to get very far. Squats, deadlifts, and presses should form the meat and potatoes of your program, and the wobble board should be thrown in the bin.

Diet

  • To lose fat you need to eat in a way that ends up with you consuming fewer Calories than you consume. There are tonnes of ways to do this but my favourite is to track what you eat with an app. For a while at least. Honestly, the amount of times someone has come to me saying they are eating 1,000 calories and not losing any weight only to find out there eating twice as much after I’ve taught them how to track is crazy. Tracking gives you an understanding of how many cals are in the foods you eat.
  • If you don’t know where to start with Calories, for a super quick estimation of the Calories needed for fat loss, take your weight in kg and multiply it by 22 to 26. Use the lower number if you’re fairly sedentary, and the higher number if you’re not.
  • Being on a diet doesn’t mean sticking to bland uninteresting foods forever. If you want to fit in booze and burgers like my clients do, you can still do that if you still pay attention to the number of Calories you consume.
  • In fact, leaving out certain foods might actually make your diet harder to stick to. In a study by Loria-Kohen et al, two groups of women went on low-Calorie diets. One group were allowed to eat bread as part of their diet, while the other group were not. The women who were allowed to eat bread actually stuck to the diet better and got better results.

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