1. How much should you really be eating?

You are an individual, and if you want to make sure you’re going to succeed in your goal attainment, then you’re going to have to start paying attention to your individual needs. Firstly, go to freedieting.com’s calorie calculator.

Fill in the appropriate details to find out how many calories you need to eat per day to achieve your desired goals. Don’t go above that number! Sounds simple? It is!

If you want to get WAY ahead of the pack, click on the macronutrient calculator, fill in the details (I recommend choosing the “moderate” option on the scroll down list as it works well for most). This will then tell you how many grams of carbohydrates, protein and fat you need to eat per day to meet your calorie requirements.

This is a more complicated approach, but when you start to break food down into groups, you see why you’ve been slipping up. The chances are that you’ve been taking in way more fat and carbohydrates than you should be, whilst not taking in nearly enough protein. his imbalance is likely what lead to you not being in your ideal shape!

It’s Google time; find out what good and bad carbohydrates are (take a look at the GI scale) , read about healthy essential fat sources, and lastly read up on lean protein sources. This is when you really start to make progress.

Construct your daily meals using these choices whilst aiming to keep your daily totals within your safe range based on how many days per week you exercise. This method leads to guaranteed weight loss.

2. Who are you?

Don’t just go to the gym – know why you’re going.

The most common approach to getting in shape is to hastily rush into the first exercise class you and your friend can get booked into, followed by a brisk run through every machine on the gym floor before spending ten minutes on the cross trainer and finishing up with an enormous bottle of “healthy” sports drink to restore your aching body…

The problem is, nothing you did really served your ultimate goal! You got out of breath, and you ached, but that isn’t the same as having a truly effective training session.

Any extra energy expenditure is likely to lead to weight loss in combination with a sensible nutrition plan, but there is far more to exercise than losing weight.

You need to think about you and your individual needs before you even consider buying a gym membership – what do you want? What do you really want?

Pin up a picture of the ideal you, think about how you’d need to look to be more confident, think about how you’d like to feel when you perform daily activities (or even picture an individual who can perform them the way you’d like to).

These are your real goals.

They will provide the target you should aim towards every time you train; that will involve training in a manner that specifically serves the purpose you have set in mind rather than just stabbing in the dark.

3. Ask, ask, ask

You probably have no idea how to train in a manner that serves your goals.

It’s all right, most people don’t. Until they start to ask questions!

Many people are too proud or shy to simply ask what’s best for them – and it’s such a shame, because they’re robbing themselves. A simple question can often lead to a revelation; it takes a few seconds and leads to astounding results compared to the months you could spend “pulling teeth” and getting almost nowhere because you didn’t ask.

Gym instructors are there to serve you and your fulfilment – ask them for help! If you want to tackle your goals with minimal guess work, hire a personal trainer. If not use those free resources, Google and Wikipedia.

My favourite clients are the ones who ask me questions – I have a few in particular who want to know what they’re doing ALL the time! And they listen…

I’ll give you one guess as to which ones achieve their results fastest.

4. Never skip breakfast

Your metabolism is a manual labourer. It needs tools to do its job.

What is your metabolism for? Consuming nutrients in order to make you function.

How do you burn fat? By functioning! So what do you need to function? Healthy food!

If you don’t eat within the first hour of waking up then you are seriously harming your progress. Without food, your metabolism won’t start working, and if your metabolism doesn’t start working then you won’t start to burn fat.

Make sure the food is healthy and unprocessed as per the examples provided in tip number one – workmen can’t perform their job with broken tools, neither can your metabolism.

Broken food means a broken you.

5. Water!

Drink more of it! Why? Water is needed for every chemical reaction in the human body.

No water means no mental or physical function.

Without the necessary chemical reactions your body can’t move or burn fat.

This is why if you’re exercising regularly you need to drink 2-2.5 litres of water per day. If you don’t, then you simply won’t see any progress, because you won’t “work” properly.

6. Move, move, move

Stop driving everywhere and start walking or cycling more if your destination is within reasonable distance.

Schedule trips out at the weekend, get up and walk for 5-10 minutes per hour of physical activity wherever possible.

Go for a half an hour jog or brisk walk on your days off, go to karate with the kids on a day when you’re not training, enjoy the sun…

Enjoy the cold!

Simply put: move more!

These six steps will get you set for your journey; when you know what to eat and what you really want to train for, it’s then time to join a gym and start your journey with your end result firmly in mind.

You’ll be unstoppable if you choose to believe it.

Jason Diprose
1GYM Manager Hull