Tuesday 21 November 2017

Shape Up: Don't forget to pack that positive attitude

It's almost six months since Yvonne started her mission to slim down, but now comes a real test - a two-week holiday abroad

Dedicated: Yvonne practises one of the hotel-workout exercises.
Dedicated: Yvonne practises one of the hotel-workout exercises.

Damien Maher

Yvonne's summer holidays were the perfect showcase for her slender new look. She is over 30lbs of fat lighter now compared to her last holiday so things were very different this time round.

The temperature on sun holidays means that more flesh is exposed and when you change your shape or increase your self-confidence many people find themselves packing different clothes compared to previous holidays.

If you lack confidence in your body it can play havoc with your choice of destination. In my experience of training female clients, I know that holidays abroad can be stressful if they are uncomfortable with their body shape.

Some have even told me of how they have persuaded the family to hold off on the summer holidays and opt for a winter skiing break instead.

They tell me that this is a protective mechanism so that they could keep all their flesh under wraps and not come under pressure to reveal a body shape that they are unhappy with.

Yvonne's successful transformation is a result of her consistent commitment to training and adhering to her nutrition plan.

She has clearly demonstrated a willingness to put a bit extra into her efforts and that is the difference between an ordinary and an extraordinary achievement.

Last month, I asked her to record the breakdown of her foods in terms of quantities of her protein, carbohydrate and fat in her weekly food diary. This can be a bit tough initially but since we eat a lot of the same food every week, once you have done it, you are armed with more information to make specific changes.

One gram of carbohydrate and one gram of protein are equal to four calories each, while one gram of fat is equal to nine calories. This is not to say that fat is the enemy, nor is it saying that it is all about calories, as 100 calories of ice-cream will have a different effect on your hormonal system than 100 calories of broccoli.


However it is important we know the ratios of our food intake between the three to make informed decisions with regard to what changes can be made.

Based on this information, we introduced extra starchy carbohydrates to her plan in order to replenish her glycogen or energy stores in her muscles. Yvonne tops up her current account and then we deplete it over the next few days with hard workouts when her muscle cells are hungry for energy.

Most gym-goers are continually overdosing on processed carbohydrates and these soon lead to fat storage as their activity levels and lean muscle mass are not being used efficiently.

Manipulating the macro-nutrients of protein, carbohydrates and fats can continually kick-start Yvonne's metabolism so she continues her journey to her original goal of 16pc body fat.

Summer holidays are something to look forward to and I recommended that Yvonne take a week off from the gym and perform some outdoor activities such as tennis, cycling or running instead.

Studies on Olympic medallists from different countries found that a common trait of winners was that they never trained more than 12 weeks continuously before talking a week off to recharge their batteries.

Yvonne planned to continue her exercise programme at her destination. It is these extra moments that will guarantee her success and separate her from many who use summer as an excuse to abolish their exercise regimes.

It is common to hear people use holidays as a reason to eat food detrimental to their health and to absolve all ownership of maintaining a healthy body shape.

Where you live does not have exclusive rights to gyms and before your holiday, whether that is to another county or country, do your research and ensure you make plans for your exercise activities.

As I've said before, the key to any person's success in transforming their body is consistency in their training and nutritional habits.

When you make a conscious decision to ignore your inner voice and the habits you have previously ingrained, you are teaching yourself a lack of self discipline. A lack of self-discipline in your eating habits soon leads to a lack of self-respect for yourself and your body.

When you listen to your inner voice and resist temptation, your self-respect and resolve grows in strength and your results improve.

The challenge for people when travelling is to find a gym that resembles where they normally train.

Yvonne learned this the hard way as she suffered an accidental fall during a workout in her holiday gym.

It was an unfortunate setback but it is no reason to stop training. When someone falls off a horse it is best they get back up straightaway. When a child is learning how to walk, they fall but they don't give up. Their parents encourage them to get back up and walk again.

  • Catch the last instalment of Yvonne's fat-loss diary on Monday August 16.


Irish Independent

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