Start of Week 2: Measurements and weight
Weight – 61.5kg
Thigh – 59.5cm
Glute – 96cm
Waist – 70.5cm
Week 2 has consisted of A LOT of eating! Training is going so well and although I’ve lost weight, my lifts are increasing. I hip thrusted a whopping 100kg for 9 reps yesterday. In week 1 I could only do 70kg. I had a wonderful birthday up in Scotland and definitely took a day off from my dieting/training plans. We went to a very sweaty trance gig so the jumping around we did there was equivalent to a weeks cardio, I’m sure. Carbs for that day came from the sugars in Scotland’s finest ‘Dragon Soop’. If you’ve never tried it, approach with caution.
After week 1 went so well and we saw some rapid and quite significant changes in my measurements and weight, my coach upped my calories to a whopping 2500. I definitely wasn’t complaining when he told me to eat 350g carbs per day! For anyone who doesn’t track macros/know what 350g carbs a day looks like, it’s something along the lines of 100g cereal, 100g oats, 250g cooked rice, 300g potatoes, 3 rice cakes, vegetables and some fruit.
How am I able to eat this much food and still lose weight?
In short, I have one RAPID metabolism.
Metabolic health is something I bang on about all the time but that’s because it’s something I believe is so important to overall health and happiness. I mean who doesn’t want to be able to scoff loads of food everyday without worrying about gaining weight? Who doesn’t want to, for example, go on holiday for a few days and not have to worry about what they’re eating because they’ve got a kick ass metabolism that has them covered and will simply use the food they consume as energy to keep them going throughout the day.
The majority of the general population want to ‘lose weight’ or ‘tone up’. How many times have you (or someone you know) tried to do either but it just doesn’t seem to happen. No matter how much you reduce your calorie intake or increase you energy expenditure, you can’t for the life of you get rid of that stubborn fat?
That’s because the majority of people have spent most of their lives on fad diets, restricting their food intake, and therefore messing around with their bodies and running their metabolisms into the ground. Your metabolism is the rate at which your body can use food for fuel. If you’ve spent your life restricting food intake or yo-yo dieting, your body isn’t going to be as efficient at using using food as energy because it’s not used to a consistent intake of food.
For anyone who thinks I’ve just been ‘gifted’ with this mega fast metabolism, you couldn’t be more wrong. After years of tackling anorexia and bulimia, my metabolism was in an awful place. When I first met Darren and he introduced me to weight training and taught me about nutrition, he put me on a very basic diet plan of 1200 calories (although I would only ever eat 1000 cos I was a stubborn bitch!). That was how much food I needed to maintain my weight of 56kg, which is shockingly low and proves how bad of a place my metabolism and overall health was in. Over the past 3 years we have gradually walked my metabolism up, by a process of reverse dieting. What that means is gradually increasing daily calorie intake at a steady rate over a period of time. By increasing my food intake gradually, my body has gradually got used to increased food and is able to efficiently use the food to fuel my day to day activity.
Here are some of my tips for getting a fully functioning, kick ass and healthy metabolism. All of these steps I have used on myself and my clients and we have got some AWESOME results because of them:
- Get out of the overeating/restriction cycle. When you’re in the cycle of overeating followed by restrictive eating, the body doesn’t know where it stands. Is it going to spend the day starving or is it going to get excessive amounts of food? Should it be storing energy or burning it off? Stop messing your body around and give it a bit of consistency. That’s not to say you can’t have slightly more indulgent days but going from one extreme to another more often than eating ‘normally’ is not doing your ability to burn calories any favours.
- Plan out a structured reverse diet. Improving your metabolism is a long and slow process. You can’t decide you want to start eating more and go from eating 1500 cals per day to 2000 cals per day. Your body needs time to adapt, otherwise you’ll end up gaining unwanted excess fat. Increasing your metabolism is a bit of trial and error and everyone is different. A good starting point is increasing your food intake by 50-100 cals per day every 2 weeks. For example, consistently stick to eating 1500 cals per day for 2 whole weeks then jump it up to 1550/1600 by adding in an extra snack or increasing portion sizes and repeat.
- Routine. Your body loves routine. That’s when it functions at it’s best. When you’re in a good routine, your body is happy, your sugar levels are steady, your hormones are balanced etc. Everything is working optimally, including your metabolism! Consistent meals, exercise, hydration and sleep will put your body in a happy place where it will want to function properly for you.
- Eat a wide variety of foods. Cutting out certain food groups or specific foods won’t do you any favours. Too many people cut out carbs or fats, believing that they’re making them ‘fat’. They then wonder why they feel bloated or like they’ve gained weight when they do have a carby indulgence at the weekend. Eat balanced meals and include all food groups and macro nutrients to ensure that your body is used to any food that it could be faced with .
- Be consistent. Consistency is key to any goal but especially when it comes to reverse dieting and improving metabolism. You’ll probably have days where you feel like you can’t be bothered getting in all of your meals but push through it and you’ll see the benefits very quickly.
- Stop dieting. Stop trying to lose weight or drop body fat when you’re not in a good place to do so. Too many people are trying to diet when their calorie maintenance is only 1800 or below. Consistently focusing on and trying to lose weight by restricting calories is just reducing your metabolism further. Focus on fueling your body with good food (and enough of it) and getting in some good exercise. The physical results will come as a bonus. Just be patient.
- Lift weights. Increasing muscle mass is a great way to increase metabolic rate. Muscle requires more energy to function and will therefore increase the rate of energy burn. For beginners, incorporate some upper and lower body resistance training into your workouts. You’ll feel strong and look mega for it!
- Just be kind to your body. Your body loves you, so love it back.
End of Week 2: Measurements and weight
Weight – 61.3kg
Thigh – 58.5cm
Glute – 95cm
Waist – 69cm
Progress pictures: Start vs. Week 2