BEST SELF PROJECT // 1 month progress
It has been just over one month since I started this journey at the beginning of January. That’s 5 weeks of tracking my calories and macro-nutrients, being more conscious of my nutrient intake, measuring fitness levels and monitoring my mindset.
What have I learned so far? Well in short…
Optimising sleep is my #1 top tip
Honestly, it affects so much, from our hunger to cravings to energy output. Basically while we are sleeping our hormone levels are regulated ready for the next day including leptin and ghrelin. Leptin regulates appetite and metabolism, which ghrelin tells the body where to store energy and when to eat.
Here is an exerpt from a website which explains how sleep can affect weight gain:
“During sleep, leptin levels increase, telling your brain you have plenty of energy for the time being and there’s no need to trigger the feeling of hunger or the burning of calories. When you don’t get enough sleep, you end up with too little leptin in your body, which, through a series of steps, makes your brain think you don’t have enough energy for your needs. So your brain tells you you’re hungry, even though you don’t actually need food at that time, and it takes steps to store the calories you eat as fat so you’ll have enough energy the next time you need it. The decrease in leptin brought on by sleep deprivation can result in a constant feeling of hunger and a general slow-down of your metabolism.”
“During sleep, levels of ghrelin decrease, because sleep requires far less energy than being awake does. People who don’t sleep enough end up with too much ghrelin in their system, so the body thinks it’s hungry and it needs more calories, and it stops burning those calories because it thinks there’s a shortage.”
So look to improve your sleep and you’ll notice a difference in your willpower, not to mention having more energy to give it your all during workouts leading to increased calorie output and improved fitness levels.
The scales are a bit daft.
Because you are never in the exact same state as the last time you weighed yourself. Factors affecting the scale include:
- time of day
- amount of food in your digestive tract
- amount of water you are holding onto (carbs and salt make you store more water, which is why low carb diet get great short term success – you lose water weight fast and people think they’ve lost a load of body fat. Not always correct!)
- menstrual cycle
So using this as the sole indicator of success is not advisable! I always encourage my clients to concentrate more on how they look and feel, and to look at long term trends rather than week-to-week stats.
Social situations – a work in progress.
This is one area which I admit to being my downfall occasionally. I am sure that many of you can relate to this. Being 80-90% spot on with training, sleep, hydration and nutrition is the perfect way to lead your life in my opinion, with 10-20% being reserved for that indulgent pizza, tub of ice cream or couple of drinks. However, in reality it sometimes ends up being 60/40, with midweek trips to the pub, meals out and skipped sessions. I made the most progress in the first couple of weeks, when nobody was going out and most people were either doing dry January or saving money. The last couple of weeks have been a lot more relaxed and social, with has led to many extra calories being consumed – for example Saturday I clocked in 3000 calories, which took my weekly average intake up and resulted in no fat loss this week.
I’ll keep sharing how I am improving this, but it is definitely my downfall!
6 x CrossFit classes, 1 yoga class (344 average calorie burn)
Average daily steps: 16,911
Average daily calorie burn: 2419
(worked out from FitBit)
WEEK 5 STATS
Weight: 9 stone 2.1lbs average (+0.3lb)
Body Fat: 25.7% average (+0.6%)
Average calorie intake: 2296 (-123 deficit)
I run 6 week Body Transformation programmes, which attract a variety of peoples and mixtures of goals. The most common reasons why people join are to lose body fat, improve fitness levels and increase strength.
What I have noticed from those who complete their 6 weeks is similar to my experience. Rather than noticing massive differences on the scale, they are surprised by how much better they feel day to day. They have more energy, better posture, more confidence and are generally happier.
The ones with more body fat to lose learn that the healthy way to lose weight is slowly, 1-2lbs a week max, through a small calorie deficit of no more than 500 calories and/or concentrating on improving their nutrition (and mindset) as a whole. And they discover that it is consistency and patience which are the hardest lessons to learn – not how to get through a burpee marathon!
What I am showing you here is that I practice what I preach. Slow, sustainable fat loss achieved while leading a balanced lifestyle. Sure there are hundles, highs and lows, but that’s life, and nothing worth having comes fast (there’s a pun there somewhere…). This is why I also run 12 week programmes 😉
That’s all for now, until next week. Check me out on instagram for daily updates and recipes!