The complicated subject of nutrition is always the most problematic. This could not have been truer for my client James. His goal was simple… lose weight. The answer was simple… be in a calorie deficit long enough to lose weight.

Does this sound familiar?

So why is losing weight so hard?

There are many factors, but like many of us James wanted to enjoy a cheat meal once a week with his kids. He would want to eat whatever he wanted i.e. fish and chips, nuggets and chips. This was not a big ask and I fully understand him wanting to do this.

The other factor we had to get over was limited food choices at work. Having no microwave or cooking facilities available meant pre-planning lunch and eating only cold food became bland and uninteresting for him. On top of that, trying to avoid 11 o’clock office goodies, meeting snacks and social events alcohol offerings and high calorie foods meant James was in a constant battle to eat right.

Now here’s the first and very important part. You need to understand your own personality. Are you the type of person that when you decide to make a change, you go all in? Never deviate from the low-calorie food, train every day and avoid social nights out until you hit your goal? or are you the other end of the spectrum, wanting to start slow and steady building lasting habits, playing the long game?

As you should be able to tell from the James brief, he wanted lasting results, which accommodates a lifestyle balance. Historically James severely cut calories which had the negative consequence of putting more weight on afterwards.

Previously to meeting me James had lost weight, very dramatically in fact. He was a very fit guy when he was younger, so the first time he tried to lose weight he trained 5 times per week. Ate salads religiously and never went out. Unfortunately, this was not sustainable with kids, work and balancing life as we know. James was also not aware of the consequences either, his weight massively rebounded, not just back up to what it was before but actually heavier.

As personal trainers we know the negative rebounding effects of aggressive weight loss. Weight loss and the dieting world are very aware of this affect which they actually rely on. People lose weight quickly on their products, but as soon as they return to their normal diet, they put the weight back on, ultimately feeling worse about themselves and the cycle begins again. The industry is worth billions and society keeps on getting heavier.

The real solutions are to start off slow and build new lasting habits, it’s a lifestyle change, not a diet. Three habits for James we could implement right away were better sleep, stress reduction and hitting a steps goal.

The next part of reaching James goal was deciding whether he wanted to create his calorie deficit by the discipline of tracking all his food, or to limit him from highly palatable foods which could easily take him over his calories without leaving him full up. If you are disciplined you can have the flexibility you want to eat with your children, family and friends.

If you track your food, all you need to do is make sure you come in under your calorie deficit. This can be worked out easily through apps or on the internet or in my case by working out the maths of someones weight, height, activity level, muscle mass and a few other factors.

If you don’t write it down, you will need to stick to less palatable foods like wholefoods, fruits and vegetables… If you don’t want to track the highly palatable foods, then you need to eat really healthy low-calorie food that you’re not going to over consume. The reason for this is the healthy food is very low calorie but has a high amount of fibre making you feel full. Highly palatable food is very calorie dense however, you will feel hungry quicker. Also, these low-calorie dense foods are also thermodynamic, which means they take a lot of energy (calories) to break down the food as it slowly moves through your digestion system. Unlike high calorie dense food like refined sugars which break down very quickly into the digestion system, therefore you burn more calories eating healthy food.

So, to put it quite simply the discipline of writing it down creates the freedom to be more flexible.

By consistently monitoring James diet we were able to have much more “fun” with meals and create the flexibility he wanted at the weekend. I had to make it really clear that if James wanted to free up his time and not write it down, he would have to make big sacrifices on the types of food he could eat and would need to lean towards low calorie dense foods. This is an extra insurance policy making sure that you don’t exceed your calories. Food you enjoy can harm your progress which you are working hard to gain. 

The analogy that really helped him understand how to look at his calories was to imagine his daily calories as a savings account. Obviously, we all love to spend as much as we want, however in reality we have to save and be responsible.

If you want a nice holiday you have to tighten your belt in other areas as you can’t have both. Unless you’re willing to go and get another job or in this analogy, train even harder at the gym.

This led to a great lifestyle balance as he was able to add in an extra training session before meals out or weekends with the kids. This extra calorie burn gave him a little more flexibility and the idea of running your daily intake as a bank account really helped before each decision on what he could eat.

James decided on flexible diet whereby writing it down. This went well but we wanted a bit more weight loss over our 12 weeks and writing it down or scanning everything he ate became too difficult for every meal with kids running around at the same time. We swapped straight over to eating low calorie dense foods which filled him up and meant he didn’t have to record his food diary.

This flexibility allowed James to lose 2 stone in 12 weeks and keep it off for good. He is much happier with his life balance and has more energy for work and his kids.

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Michael Wilson Founder & Fitness Coach

With over 15 years industry experience Michael is one of the most dedicated and hard working Personal Trainers in the industry. Michael has transformed countless clients physical capabilities and taken them beyond their goals, whether that’s losing weight to getting people back on their feet. Michael thrives on making a difference to the clients that struggle the most in the gym. The majority of his work is dealing with injuries. Not only restoring the body but, also the mind after challenging illness or injury.

Michael has an in depth knowledge of how the body works and has used that to train many top athletes in various different sports including Cycling, boxing, Water Polo and basketball all at the highest level. The challenge of performance at the highest level appeals to Michael’s competitive nature and studying for performance in very aspect of life is what drives him and many of his clients whether that be in sport, work or life.

Please get in touch with Michael if you have a goal or great desire for change.

  • Rehabilitation
  • Weight loss
  • Medical condtions
  • Sports performance

Charlotte Benson Personal Trainer

Charlotte’s passion for exercise began with sport and developed from being involved with a varietyof team/individual sports before solely taking part in football.

Whilst attending university in the USA on a soccer scholarship she achieved a Bachelor of Science in Sports Science and Psychology. Her focus now turns to helping athletes become the best they can be within their sport. Charlotte has an experience working with athletes from a variety of sports such as Fulham football academy, Surrey Storm Netball, Team Surrey Swimming, and individual scholar athletes involved in Skiing and Horse riding.

‘I believe that the key to success for any personal fitness goal starts from building the foundations.By carrying out corrective exercises, and individualising programs this will allow for us to progress in your training to help you find your inner athlete’.

  • Sports performance
  • Corrective exercise specialist
  • General strength & conditioning

Gerry Regnerus Personal Trainer

Gerry was born in 1969, and after a career in the military started working as a Personal Trainer in 2010. His age and experience makes Gerry the ideal trainer for mature clients. He uses a low key mentoring approach to training and believes that educating clients on the purpose of exercises as well as technique leads to the best results.

As part of his service Gerry offers a complimentary initial session and assessment.

  • Neurological injuries and dis-orders
  • Joint rehabilitation
  • Fitness for beginners
  • Posture analysis and correction

Olie Thomas Personal Trainer

Olie is an enthusiastic advocate of barbell training for everyone. As a result has been getting great results from his clients over the last 2 years applying the principles of barbell and dumbbell progressive training to all types of people. Some highlights involve helping a female client drop 12 dress sizes or 10 stone over the course of a year, and helping a male client recover from 3 torn quadriceps and getting his strength and mobility back post injury, going from being in a wheelchair to squatting 50kg in 9 months.

A firm advocate of a no-nonsense, no-fads approach to training, utilising tried and tested methods along with the latest research explained in a simple and easy to understand fashion, Olie can work with anyone from the complete beginner to the recovering athlete coming back after a period of absence.

  • Strength and muscle building
  • Body recomposition and weight loss
  • Injury rehabilitation
  • Sports performance training

Byron JohnstonStrength Coach

Byron uses his knowledge of fitness and exercise to help his clients to become strong, healthy and more confident in themselves. On his website you can see some of the many results he has guided his clients to, from huge improvements in strength, to body transformations and working with athletes to improve performance in competition.

His coaching highlights have included helping a women’s footballer get back onto the pitch playing 12 months ahead of schedule following an ACL knee surgery repair. He’s guided many of clients to be able to lift two times their own bodyweight.

Many people have come to Byron for help with losing weight, and his ability to give nutritional guidance alongside the correct gym programme has brought successes to the people he has coached.

He has also overcome the more difficult challenge of helping clients in gaining lean muscle for those who want to have a more athletic/sporting/muscular/defined physique.

  • Strengthening & conditioning
  • Expert barbell coaching
  • Dad bod and skinny fat transformations
  • Technique tune up
  • Programming to progress
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