5 ways to get back in shape

20 April 2017 by
First published: 2 January 2017

It can be a new year, new you with these 5 ways to get back in shape from Train 2 Win cofounder Dan Lawrence

Take it slow to start

Because people tend to consume a very high amount of calories over the festive period, a common mistake is to want to throw yourself right back in at the deep end straight away to reverse these effects. It’s admirable, but it’s a sure-fire way for your journey to end in failure. By going too hard right away, you’ll be introducing your body to high levels of stress and and increase the risk of injury. Spend some time devising a plan or find a credible coach to assist in writing a plan. Make sure the plan takes into account your current level of fitness, identifies your ‘training age’ (how competent you are in the weights room) and adheres to the principle of ‘progressive overload’. Don’t go all in, gradually increase the intensity as the weeks go on and your fitness levels improve.

Track your macros

Macros or macronutrients are proteins, fats and carbs. It also pays to work out your daily calorie needs. Similar to the previous point, don’t be really aggressive with this, use a macronutrient calculator or speak to a coach to work out your ideal macros. If you aren’t seeing the aesthetic changes you feel your training and nutrition should warrant, you can then tweak your macros accordingly. If you don’t track then there is no way of knowing what to tweak.

Say yes to Dry January 

Taking part in Dry January is a great way to help people refocus after a boozy festive period. If you can get through the whole of January without a drop, track your eating and increase your exercise frequency, you should reverse the effects of the festive period and be set up for a strong 2017. Remember alcohol is empty calories, it has no nutritional value and, because it’s made from sugar and starch, it contains high amounts of calories. So put simply, the longer you can go without it, the better.

Create a winning environment

Embarking on a healthy journey can be hard, so make sure the people around you support you. If your partner is on the same health journey, then the likelihood of yours ending in success will be much higher. Likewise if you do it with friends, it will make you accountable for your actions, not only will you be letting yourself down, but others also. Choose wisely who you embark on this journey with this with, if you and your friend normally end up in the coffee shop instead of the gym, then you may not be creating the best winning environment.

Stay away from crash diets

By placing yourself in a calorie deficit you’ll lose weight, right? Correct, but this doesn’t mean going from 2,500 calories a day to 1,000 calories and crash dieting.  Because of their initial effectiveness, crash diets are popular. They may have ‘worked’ for a friend but in the long run they’ll do you more harm than good.  If you go too low with your calories, then it can have a negative effect on muscle tissue, which will also have an adverse knock-on effect on your metabolism, so be careful. By doing this you’ll feel deprived of certain foods, feel like rubbish, be low on energy and find yourself frustrated after a couple of weeks. The likelihood of you not being able to sustain a very low-calorie diet is high – and your training output will be negatively affected.