How to Increase Your Muscle Gains by 30%
by UP Fitness, February 22, 2017
What if we told you there was a way to reach your goals 30% quicker?
What if we told you there was a simple secret to better and faster gains on your body transformation journey? Well, there is…
While there’s no silver bullet or magic pill, there is a very common-sense way of ensuring you’re getting the absolute maximum results from your training and nutrition week to week.
It all comes down to what you do at the weekend and how much you want those results.
You might be superhuman on weekdays – you eat well and in accordance with your goals, sticking to your training plan and keeping relatively active, but then come the other two days at the end of the week that don’t quite go to plan.
If anything you become the polar opposite of your weekday self; your eating is sporadic and not in line with your goals, training tends to be non-existent, and you can often completely lose sight of your goals.
With so many people having the ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality, when the weekend comes around it seems to be where everything goes downhill, and there seems to be zero structure. Sound familiar?
I’m sure you’re still thinking, ‘how much impact can the weekends really make?’
There are 104 weekend days a year which make up almost 30% of the year – this means you could be missing out on the potential to have 30% better results. That’s huge!
Not to mention the other days of the year such as Christmas, birthdays, etc. where you won’t be on your ‘A’ game.
I think it’s pretty clear to see why this is important due to the results you could be getting if you just put in the effort 30% more of the time.
But another aspect would be that the impact it has on the days following.
Real life scenario:
You are doing really well on your eating plan during the week, but then mess up on the weekend.
- You put yourself in caloric surplus or up to maintenance (weight gain/no weight loss)
- You lose momentum
- You lose motivation (emotional issues)
- If alcohol was a factor, it could negatively effect gym performance
These can all impact the rest of the week negatively.
So to keep you focused towards your body transformation goals, we give you our top three strategies to stay on track along with some detailed sub-points.
1.Prepare and Plan
– Create an Extra Deficit Through Food and Additional Cardio:
If you know that you generally slip up on the weekend or if you know that you have an occasion coming up where you’ll struggle to control your food intake, create an extra deficit in your week by consuming less food.
Try taking 100 calories a day away through fats/carbs and by the weekend you’ve racked up 500 calories as an ‘insurance policy’. The same can be done through cardio by adding in a couple of extra LISS (light intensity steady-state) cardio sessions of 250 calories, and you’ve again created a 500 calorie deficit.
– Eat High Protein Meals:
If you know you’ll only be in control of two out of your five meals during the weekend then ensure they are based around high protein, moderate fat and low carbs. The protein will help keep you satiated and in turn, should help you make better choices later in the day.
You’ll also find that most foods that you have when eating out will have lower protein but carbs/fats will be in abundance.
A study was done to find the relation of three iso-caloric breakfast meals, of variable composition, on satiety, hunger and subsequent intake of energy. The study found that those who consumed the higher protein/lower carb breakfast ate 300-400 fewer calories than the others who consumed meals higher in carbohydrates and lower in protein. (1)
– Stay Hydrated:
Staying hydrated is always in your control, and it can be a very good tool in ensuring you don’t make bad choices when it comes to food and ensuring that you don’t end up eating when you are actually just dehydrated. A study in the US was done on 9,500 people and found that inadequately hydrated individuals had higher average BMIs, and were also more likely to be obese than adequately hydrated individuals. (2)
2. Create a positive environment conducive to your goals.
– Have friends and family hold you accountable and find a friend with similar goals:
Your friends and family can make or break your weight loss efforts. We have all been at a social event where the alcohol is flowing, and friends are handing you the dessert menu.
This is where you need to make the people around you aware of how serious you are about your weight loss goals and try and encourage others to make positive choices too.
A study involving women on weight loss programmes was carried out where all the women were successful in losing weight. Although not all women were successful in keeping the weight off, the ones who were successful in maintaining the weight loss indicated that having social support was the key to them staying accountable and was key to helping them maintain their weight loss efforts. (3)
– Be The Leader Of Your Social Group:
As we’ve just established, our social group can have a major impact on our weight loss success; this is the same for your environment.
Weekends are full of social events, and a great way of ensuring you stay on track is by making better decisions about where and what you’ll be doing.
For example, rather than meeting a friend for a drink in a pub; meet for coffee instead. Rather than drive; walk or cycle instead.
You could even have a non-gym based activity that you do on a weekend; hiking, yoga, swimming, any of which will not only help towards your health and fitness goals, but also serve as a reminder.
– Keep Stress Low:
Take weekends as a time to relax and step back from stresses of the working week. Levels of the ‘stress hormone’ cortisol, rise during tension-filled times. This can turn your overeating into a habit. Because increased levels of the hormone also help cause higher insulin levels, your blood sugar drops and you crave sugary, fatty foods. (4) Disconnect yourself from your emails and your work, get outside or even try meditation.
3. Be Mindful
– Serve Yourself 10-20% Less Than You Think
If you find yourself at social events where you can serve your own food and drink, you might want to think about serving around 10-20% less than you think you want.
There is a calorie range, a “mindless margin”, where we are unaware of whether we are eating more or less.
Most of us wouldn’t know if we ate 200 or 300 calories more or less than the day before. Consuming 10 fewer calories per day amounts to 1lb of weight loss over a year.
So, mindfully trimming 100-200 calories per day amounts to 10-20lbs lost per year. (5)
– Make Eating Badly an Inconvenience (Out of Sight, Out of Mind):
This comes back to having control over your environment; if you have healthy foods in your house, you’re likely to eat those foods; if you don’t have unhealthy foods in your house you’re unlikely to go out and get any, or you may go to, but your conscience will generally kick in.
Make it as inconvenient as possible to eat badly. Simply changing our path to avoid the kitchen or keeping food out of sight helps us avoid mindless eating. Convenience/inconvenience will impact how much we eat. (6)
– Make Smart Swaps – (Diet Drinks/Alcohol, Pick Leaner Foods):
Leading a healthy lifestyle is something that should add to your life, not take away. Avoiding social occasions and not feeling part of the group is not what we want. Rather than pulling out your Tupperware and water bottle, making smart swaps may be your saviour here. Opting for diet beverages instead of alcohol, opting for leaner meats, or even scoping out a menu before eating out may save you, so you can still be part of the social group without compromising your goals.
Choose a few of these strategies and you’ll be on your way to improving your results.
Stop excuses and remember the end goal!
It’s clear to see that implementing these strategies will help keep you on track and allow you to improve your results. It will ultimately come down to how much you really want to achieve your goals and realising that sometimes in order to achieve the physique that you want you may have to make temporary sacrifices. But if it’s really important to you, you’ll get it done!
Ready to start your body transformation? Speak to us about our UP Personal Training Plans or simply enquire below and see how we can help you achieve your goals…
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