The 4 Minute Max Outs | Eat Well | Dieting Guide
The 4 Minute Max Outs
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Dieting Guide



The 4 Minute Max Outs. Burn calories not a hole in your wallet.
What is the best diet for exercise?

The 4 Minute Max Outs app is available from the Apple App Store for iOS. The 4 Minute Max Outs app is available from Google Play for Android. The 4 Minute Max Outs app is available from the Amazon App Store for Kinlde and supported Blackberry devices.


Time to take control.


The purpose of this dieting guide.

The purpose of this dieting guide and the accompanying handy diet guide, food guide, quick 5 diet plan, and nutrition calculator is not to tell you what to eat, but to provide you with information that can help you to take control of your own eating habits and choose what to eat yourself.


Your body your choice.

Choosing to eat healthily, as with choosing to exercise, is a choice you have to make for yourself. Exercise and diet are intertwined. Treat them as separate entities and you'll struggle to get healthy results from either. Treat them as one, results come in fast. Everything falls into place. Your diet and exercise routine should never be a short term fix but a sustainable lifestyle change if you want to stay healthy. You have to find and keep the balance that you are happy to sustain. A portable adaptable no equipment required HIIT routine like The 4 Minute Max Outs will help you to achieve this. If you haven't already, first read the section outlining the basics on metabolism, calories, and exercise and how this effects your weight and health. These are important basic concepts to grasp as they will make you understand and believe in how your actions will get you the positive results you are after. Believe in yourself because it is you that is going to have do this. No one else.


What is the best diet?

Do a quick search on the interent and you'll probably find 101 diet plans, all that have delivered undeniably great results to someone somewhere. Search again tomorrrow, and you'll probably find 102. And so forth. The best diet is not a philosophy like paleo, low carbohydrate, high carbohydrate, vegan, high protein, gluten free, no sugar etc, unless it suits you of course and you are happy with your dietary choices. You will see healthy people with great physiques all around the world that eat very different contrasting diets or prescribe to very different dieting philosophies. What does this tell you? There is no one size fits all and there is flexibility. Furthermore, if you dig beyond the diet alone, you will discover one universal truth behind the people that promote these amazing results from whatever diet. All of them work out. And all of them work out hard. They also all accept that working out hard has to be part of their everyday lifestyle in order to attain these results from diet. Everybody has different bodies, end goals, jobs, working hours, restrictions on the times they can eat, access to different foods. The best diet for you is a practical diet that keeps you healthy in a way that is sustainable in your life circumstance. Although changing your eating habits to eat healthily will more than likely involve some degree of sacrifice, restraint, and bit of planning, it's no good being prescribed healthy foods you don't like at all, can't afford, don't have access to, or will simply find it far too hard to stick to. You have to be happy with what you are eating and why you are eating it relevant to your own circumstance. A major part of this battle is being mindful of what you are actually putting in your mouth and what it does to your body and then finding sustainable alternative foods to replace the things that you just know are doing you no good at all.


Be happy and responsible.

Find healthy foods that you enjoy to make up the bulk of your diet but also remember that from time to time you have to treat yourself. After all, psychological well being is just as important as physiological well being. Don't diet yourself into perpetual unhappiness. While they wont do you any favours, the odd beer or chocolate wont add you 10lbs overnight either. Continuously going over your daily calorie allowance by eating too much or eating badly and not staying active is what leads to weight gain no matter what percentage carbohydrates, protein, or fat you are eating. Be responsible for your own body. If you know you've eaten too much on one day, eat a bit less the next to get the balance.


What is the best diet for exercise? Find out why weight loss or gain is ultimately about calories in vs calories out over time.

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Know how much to eat.


Eat for your goal.

Use the calorie calculator below to find out how many calories you should be eating daily. Try to make sure your diet has something from each of the different food categories in the food guide (with the exception of processed foods and refined grain products) to provide a good balance of everything. If you want a more specific ratio of optimum carbohydrates, protein, and fats to aim for with this calorie goal, use the nutrition calculator. This is highly recommended as the right protein intake for your activity levels and body mass is a vital key to getting results from both diet and exercise.

Remember, to lose weight you have to be in a sustained calorie deficit over time (25% up to a 1000 calories). And to gain weight you need to be in a sustained calorie surplus over time (around 10% extra). Truth is, weight loss or gain is all about calories in vs calories out over time. You don't strictly need to exercise to gain or lose weight, you just need to eat more or less. But what exercise does do is make weight loss much more manageable and achievable, and helps to yield significantly better body composition results when both losing and gaining weight. And not only will it make you look better, it also makes you much healthier. Diet and exercise always work best in synergy. See the Lose/Gain Weight page for more information on this.


THE 4 MINUTE MAX OUTS
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How to obtain your target calorie intake:
Exercise increases the amount of calories your body needs to sustain itself. The amount of calories added from exercise will vary from person to person, depending on the duration, intensity and type of exercise. The 4 Minute Max Outs is a form of High Intensity Interval Training. As such, a 20 to 30 minute workout 5 to 6 days a week alone could easily be in the 'High' category depending on how much you put into it and how hard you push yourself. For many, it could be somewhere in between 'Mid' and 'High'. As the intensity will vary depending on a persons ability, to start with, it's advised to leave the activity level as 'Mid'. You can then adjust your calories higher to your body's feedback if required.

After you've added your activity levels, to lose weight, multiply this calorie maintenance value by 0.75 to 0.8 (a 20% to 25% reduction in calories). To gain weight, multiply your calorie intake by up to 1.1 (up to a 10% increase in calories). Or for a more cautious approach to weight gain, you could start at maintenance levels (inclusive of your activity levels) and add calories gradually if muscle growth results are too slow until you find your optimal balance of growth. Always listen to your body's feedback so that you don't make yourself unnecessarily fat by eating too much.

Or alternatively, assuming that you are working out sufficiently 3 to 5 times a week to get your recommended daily calorie intake you could: Find your 'day to day' metabolic rate and then add 300 to 500 calories for building muscle and bulking up. Or, when losing weight or cutting, either stay at this calorie amount and simply use your exercise to create a calorie deficit, or deduct 300 to 500 calories to create a larger calorie deficit. Again, you can then adjust your calories to your body's feedback if required.

As you never really know how many calories you burn from your daily activity levels, calorie calculators should always been seen as a useful guide rather than an exact science. From this starting point, you can then adjust your calories higher or lower to your body's feedback if required over time.

Be sure to look at the nutrition calculator for a tailored plan of how to break these calories down into healthy, balanced, percentage and gram values of carbohydrates, protein, and fats.


Remember, it's not an exact science.

Remember even the calorie calculator and nutrition calculator are just a guides based on formulas, not an exact science for your own personal body. Although they are excellent sound starting points and it's highly recommended that you use them, listen to your body's feedback. Some can eat slightly more, some slightly less. Start with the recommended amount and adjust accordingly to your body's feedback and your personal goals.



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What is the best diet for exercise?


Healthy eating tips.


Find a good balance.

The recommended percentages for an active person of carbohydrate, protein and fat are:-

Carbohydrate 40% to 65%
Protein 10% to 35%
Fats 20% to 35%

See the food ratios section for some some help on working out the correct ratio for your health goals.


Write it down.

Write down the foods you eat on an average day. Then use the food guide, food packaging, and the internet to work out how many calories you are in taking when eating these foods. Try to account for everything you consume and be brutally honest. Compare this to your ideal calorie intake using the calorie calculator. Are you eating the right amount to achieve your goals? Be honest.


Plan early.

Look at ways to eat healthier. Do you need to reduce calories? If so start by reducing portion sizes and substituting processed foods for healthier options. Do you need a better balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fats, or need to eat more to build muscle mass? The handy diet guide can give you a quick and easy guide to healthy foods and portion sizes and the nutrition calculator can be used to work out what would be a good balance for your lifestyle. Do this right at the start to get an understanding of what you are eating and you won't need to keep counting calories every day and will set a goal for yourself to work towards and keep you focused.


Engage your brain.

Rationalise your impulses by engaging your brain. See right through sales psychology. Remember, foods primary purpose is sustenance, not taste, or a form of social entertainment. Reassess what value means to you in terms of treats. Is it better value to buy a giant chocolate bar for £1 or a small one for 79p? If you eat all of the giant one that's around 800 calories and a humongous sugar rush for £1 that will promote fat storage and further sugar cravings. If you eat the small one that's 200 calories and a quarter of the sugar rush for 79p. The second option is actually much better value both because it costs you less and because it does you much less harm. You shouldn't be aiming to fill up on treats so there is absolutely no reason to buy the huge bar at all. The same goes for buying in bulk in general. Is it cheaper? Or do you just eat way more because it's there? Make what is there healthy. Stock your cupboards and fridge with healthy foods instead of junk food, so when you are tempted to snack, at least it's healthy.


Do the little things

If you are looking to lose weight, do the little things. Grill or bake your food instead of frying. Use the stairs not the lift. Walk to the shop and carry the bags instead of driving. Cycle or walk to work. If you live too far away and really do have to drive to work, park further away so you still have a decent walk to work. Eat from smaller plates and bowls. Don't eat your kids left overs. It's not a waste to leave it. It's a waste to make huge meals people can't eat and then to eat it on top of your own dinner and waste all your hard work dieting. You don't have to have dessert every night. Don't go food shopping while you are hungry. All the little things really do add up.


Do the big things.

Although the little things 'add up', don't fool yourself into thinking they will 'make up' for the big things. They wont. The benefits of HIIT routines, such as The 4 Minute Max Outs, for burning fat and toning up, reducing cholesterol, heart rate, blood pressure, improving insulin resistance, are in a league of their own. Remember, exercise and diet are intertwined. Treat them as separate entities and you'll struggle to get healthy results from either. Treat them as one, results come in fast.


There are no short cuts.

And one more thing on the little things. Stick to the tried and tested and creating a diet you can comfortably live by. If you want to increase your metabolism slightly, just do it the ancient tried and tested way by increasing your protein intake slightly relative to your fats and carbohydrates and doing more intensive exercise. That is all you need. Don't be fooled by the long list of adjectives a store may add to the food name to charge you more for it in the name of health. Broccoli is broccoli. That is all. Don't go looking for easy answers that aren't there and get sucked in by every new unsustainable fad or 'quick fix' diet plan. Raspberry keytones and green coffee bean extract may have helped rats lose weight in extremely high doses in a lab, but have never been shown to have these results in humans and likely never will. If you work out frequently, eat inside your calorie limit, and eat within the recommended healthy proportions of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, you will obtain and maintain a healthy body.


What is the best diet for exercise?


Breakfast.

Try not to skip breakfast. You have to have a first meal of the day at some point so why not when you get up? Your insulin sensitivity is also naturally higher first thing in the morning so you can even afford a larger breakfast without promoting fat storage as much as a large meal potentially would later on in the day. If you are trying to lose weight, it doesn't help to stop hunger cravings or fatigue during the day by skipping meals. Having breakfast can help stop the hunger and sugar cravings that often lead to junk food snacking. If you are trying to maintain or bulk up, carbohydrates and protein for breakfast are a good idea to help fill up depleted glycogen stores and provide energy for the day ahead. Toast for example with milk, yoghurt, or egg for added protein. Try to avoid cereals with lots of added sugar. With regards when is it better to exercise for fat burn, before or after breakfast? For lower intensity exercise, don't worry about it. Some swear by it, others are like animated corpses in no state to exercise at all. There is no right or wrong here. Do what feels better for you and your circumstance. It's important to remember, that weight loss is a result of the balance of daily energy expenditure not just the fuel oxidised inside a workout. That is, it is a result of calories in versus calories out over time. The important thing is that you are working out at a time convenient and comfortable for you so that you can make sure it gets done and those calories get burned. On the other hand for higher intensity exercise on an empty tank before breakfast, your intensity will more than likely be restricted and therefore so too will your total calorie burn. You will probably also run out of steam pretty quickly. It would be wiser to save HIIT until after you have eaten. Breakfast is a good energising start to the day. There is absolutely no reason you need to starve yourself or get up at 5am for a long slow run in order to lose weight. You can do it just as well without doing either.


Pre and post workout meals.

If you eat breakfast before exercise, and this applies to pre workout meals in general, make sure it's not too heavy under 30 minutes to an hour before, say a piece of fruit, and that heavier meals are taken 1 to 2 hours before your workout. Basically you should consume only enough that you can digest in time to give you energy before you start exercising. Exercising on a full stomach can be vomit inducing and will hinder your performance and your workouts efficiency. Higher intensity exercise such as HIIT or strength training, will be most efficient and effective at a time of day when your glycogen levels are at their peak. Try to have some slow burning carbohydrates a couple of hours before a workout (eg sweet potatoes, banana, root vegetables) to top up your glycogen levels. Have some fast burning carbohydrates with protein (eg baked potato with cottage cheese or tuna) inside of 60 minutes after your workout to help quickly replenish your depleted glycogen energy stores and speed recovery. When doing HIIT, even if your dietary preference is for lower carbohydrates, you should try to ensure that at the very least you consume carbohydrates in your pre work out meal (1 to 2 hours before your workout to allow digestion) and post workout meal (up to 60 minutes after your workout), and with protein. The energy will all get used to fuel your high intensity output and then speed up your recovery afterwards. Having your dinner as your post workout meal is a good idea too. You can eat foods with high glycemic loads such as jacket potatoes and not have to worry at all. Your body will be in overdrive sucking up all the nutrients like a sponge post workout, helping to speed up your recovery time and at this time, insulin spikes actually assist in speeding the repairing of muscle.


Have 5 to 6 small meals a day.

Whether losing or maintaining weight, or bulking up, rather than 3 big meals, try to eat 5 or 6 smaller meals spaced evenly throughout the day to provide a steady manageable flow of energy to your body and keep blood sugar levels and insulin levels stable. A small meal approximately every three hours is a good balance. This is one of the most effective things you can do to prevent hunger and low blood sugar feelings of drowsiness that lead to sugar cravings and binge eating.


Have up to 20 to 30 grams of protein with every meal.

Whether losing or maintaining weight, and especially if bulking up, try to include protein in each of these smaller meals rather than just having a bulk intake of protein at dinner. Your body can use up to 20 grams to 30 grams of protein for muscle growth and sustenance every few hours. It will speed up your metabolism and help you to feel fuller throughout the day helping you stop snacking. A steady useable supply of protein is also vital for your muscles recovery and growth and will help you to retain muscle as you lose weight.


Have fruit and vegetables with every meal.

Get at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables in your diet each day. Having a portion with each of your 5 to 6 meals a day makes this easy. Get these from actual fruit and vegetables not processed goods with a '1 of your 5 a day' label on them. They may be '1 of your 5 a day' on paper, but its all the other unnecessary things they may also have added and all the other essential vitamins, minerals and fibre that may have been lost in processing that is the issue. Much better just to stay natural where ever you can.


Hunger.

Be aware, when you are in a calorie deficit, it's perfectly normal to feel hunger from time to time. As you are not eating enough to sustain your own bodyweight your body will produce more of the hunger hormone, ghrelin. When trying to lose weight, accept that in the early days you will feel hunger simply because your body and stomach is used to more food, not because it needs more food. This will lessen some what after a few days, although it will unlikely go completely. Don't wait until you feel starving to eat. This will only lead to hunger cravings, binge eating and eating more than you actually need. When appeasing hunger, don't eat to the point you feel too full or bloated. That bloated full feeling is what expands your stomach over time and increases your hunger levels on a daily basis. Again, having five to six small meals spaced out throughout the day, roughly every 3 hours or so, will help prevent the feelings of extreme hunger that lead to binge eating. The smaller portion sizes, and avoiding eating until you feel bloated, will also allow your stomach to adapt by shrinking over time reducing hunger further. Protein also helps with satiety as will drinking water or having tea or coffee (no sugar and, although milk is an excellent source of protein, make sure you keep a running total for the calories in the milk).


Temptation.

Losing weight will test your will power. You will struggle psychologically with temptation. Don't give in to it. Losing weight can be a hard mental battle. But you can do it if you remain focused on your goals. Shut it down, rationalise it away. Remind yourself of the person you no longer want to be, the person you made the choice to move away from, the person you know that deep down, you were unhappy being. Giving in leads right back to that person every single time. Remind yourself why you made your goals in the first place. Don't let temptation beat you. Shut it down and dismiss it. You have a clear goal now of the person you want to be. Be the person you want to be, not the person you don't. Stick to the plan and exercise hard and you will reach your goal faster. And once you have, you can, and should, up your calorie allowance back to maintenance levels and happily say goodbye to that person you used to be once and for all. Large calorie deficits are for losing weight, not for living in. Remember that and focus. A calorie deficit is a necessary temporary measure to lose weight. It is not for ever. Treat days after a set period of time are also a good idea when dieting as they give a temporary break from your worst temptations, and provide a psychological reward system for your dedication.


What is the best diet for exercise?


Fluids.

Glycogen in the muscles consists of 75% to 85% water. So keeping your body well hydrated is important for healthy muscles. Drinking as much water as you can is good. And by this it's meant, drink water gradually throughout the day or when you are thirsty. Sip water throughout workouts to remain hydrated. When you feel hungry, try drinking a glass of water to reduce the hunger. Generally speaking, drink lots of water. Water can help to controll appetite, flushes waste from your system, and delivers nutrients to muscles. However, unless you are incredibly dehydrated and thirsty, don't just down several pints of water at the end of the day just to meet a 'guideline' you read somewhere once. This will have the opposite effect you are looking for. You will flush all the vitamins, nutrients, and minerals out of your system as well. Remember, water aside, drinks have calories too. Especially alcoholic drinks so you should cut back on these as much as you can if you want to lose weight. Avoid cartoned or bottled fruit juice altogether - too many calories and way too much sugar at once. It will do you more harm than good in the long run, particularly your liver. Have water and a piece of fruit instead. Tea and coffee have next to no calories unless you add milk and sugar so keep a running calorie count on the milk consumed and never add sugar. After a few cups, you wont even notice the sugar is not there anymore. Have your milk skimmed or semi skimmed and you're saving 60 to 120 calories per pint but still getting the same dose of calcium and protein.


Sleep.

Don't eat a heavy meal just before bed as it may disrupt your sleep patterns. In an ideal world, 6 to 8 hours sleep a night is thought to be the optimal time. Although, many times in life there litterally just aren't enough hours in the day, so all you can do is the best that you can do. Times where you have no chioce but to cut yourself short on sleep time, try to make it up elsewhere if you can. Don't worry about what time of day you eat. If you feel you need a snack in the evening that's okay. Your body wont mind unless eating stops you sleeping or you are persistently going over your calorie allowance. So long as your calories in are less than your calories burnt over time you should still lose weight and certainly wont gain weight.

As well as getting a good nights sleep, try to keep your stress levels down. Too much of the human stress hormone, cortisol, in the blood, can wreak havoc with your sleep, body functioning, metabolism, and general health. Getting enough sleep in itself can massively reduce stress.


Sleep and fasting.

People often like to go on diets where they fast throughout the day to lose weight. The problem with this is that, although this will help to put you in calorie deficit, you are not keeping your protein synthesis topped up every few hours so are going to lose muscle with this weight loss approach. Plus you are not going to have much energy or motivation for exercise at all. Better to just get a good nights sleep. When asleep, your body is a fasted state for all those hours, where the most active repair is taking place, and where there are very low levels of insulin in your body. If you are still keen on the idea of fasted diets, and want to extend this natural fasted state, just don't eat after your dinner / last meal of the day, and have breakfast, to break the fast, a little later. By doing this, without even realising it, you'll probably have spent 50% of your day in a continuous fasted state. You do not need to starve yourself throughout the active period of your day to lose weight.

This daily natural fasted state is why many body builders will always ensure they have a dose of pure protein before bed, and as soon as they awake in the morning, with carbohydrates too this time, to ensure they can continuously keep protein synthesis maximised. Whilst this makes good sesne, some take it an excessive step further and get up to take a dose of pure protein in the middle of the night just in case. Although, not only are the benefits of mid sleep protein not proven in any way, it's also never advisable to disrput your sleep, particulaly for food, which can disrupt it further.



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Smoking.

Smoking won't help you in any way shape or form under any circumstances. Ever. It is the single worst thing you could do to destroy your health very rapidly, both short and long term. It will actively cause you a lot of physical damage both short and long term and make it harder for you to workout efficiently. Better to cut that out completely.


Processed food.

Avoid processed foods as much as possible. They are almost always high in dead calories, added processed sugar containing 50% fructose, saturated fats, salt, preservatives and flavourings. It's ok to treat yourself every now and again...just not everyday or it's not a treat and you will put on weight by very quickly filling up your calorie allowance with dead calories on a daily basis.


What is the best diet for exercise?


Treat days.

Even when trying to lose weight, it is actually a good thing to have a treat day every now and again, say once every 7 days maximum. Allowing yourself a few treats that would not constitute part of your healthy everyday diet not only gives you a psychological reward system for your dedication throughout the week but can serve in tricking your metabolism, that may have slowed to adapt to your lighter, leaner body, into speeding up and burning calories again. Note a treat day is not an all out binge day! Just a few treat items to bring you back up to your calorie allowance without a deficit or even slightly over wont do you any harm for one day. Refer to what was said about value earlier on, bigger does not mean better value! Be sure to get right back to the hard work again the next day.


Slow or no progress?

Don't be disheartened if the scales say you are not losing weight. All people losing weight hit plateaus at some point. They are doing all the right things but the weight just doesn't budge. This is perfectly normal. The more weight you lose, the harder it becomes to lose more weight. Your body ensures this as it wants to survive, not waste away. It has mechanisms and hormones that deliberately make things harder for you. Especially if you lose a lot of weight in a short space of time. But there are steps around this if you are patient.


A calorie deficit should always be temporary.

Firstly, be patient. Give it another week. Have you even hit a plateau or are you weighing yourself too often? If you're sure you have, have a treat day (I said treat day. Not all out binge day!) then re evaluate your calorie goal. Have you been sticking to it? Is your calorie deficit enough? You could try increasing the deficit slightly. Or maybe your calorie deficit is too much and actually causing your body to cling on to fat? How long have you been in a calorie deficit for? Remember, your calorie deficit is not meant to be permanent. The longer you are in it without break, the less it will work for you.


Refeed / Reverse dieting.

You may need to try a refeed, or reverse dieting, and gradually go back to maintenance levels over a few days and then stay there for a few days. Sounds crazy, but reducing or removing the calorie deficit can get your body speeding up thyroid output and metabolism again, get the fat cells producing leptin again, whilst also suppressing the hunger hormone ghrelin, and stimulating the growth hormone giving you more energy again. It's like resetting your body. You can then channel the extra gains in energy into your workout intensity. Your body will no longer feel under threat of wasting away and you will get a much needed positive psychological break from pulling your hair out about not losing weight. After all, for the first time in ages, you will not be expecting to lose weight in this period. Who knows, you might even find yourself pleasantly surprised by the results.

After a few days or a week, start to increase the deficit again gradually. You could also try boosting your metabolism by thermic effect, that is increasing your protein percentage in your diet relative to carbohydrates and fat, staying within the recommended healthy eating percentage for each macro nutrient.


Lost no weight at all???

If you are overweight and find you are in the situation whereby you are exercising all you can, as hard as you can, and you have lost no weight at all, and can notice no visible differences to your body since beginnning exercise weeks ago, then you need to listen to your body's feedback. Harsh as it may sound, you need to eat less. Review your calorie intake. You can't out train a bad diet. You will not lose weight long term if you are not in a sustained calorie deficit.


Watch your glycemic loads.

If you are sensitive to carbohydrates and feel they may be preventing further weight loss, you may want to try carb cycling to better stabilize your blood insulin over a temporary period. Or, if you really want to fine tune your diet, you could even have a go at analysing the glycemic load of each of your regular meals and snacks to see if there are alternative foods you could eat to keep your insulin levels lower throughout the day to prevent excess blood sugar being stored directly as body fat. However, don't drive yourself crazy trying to second guess what's happening inside your body in relation to food theory. Not only does the balance of fat to carbohydrate intake affect everyone slightly differently, fat burn is still primarily a result of the balance of daily energy expenditure over time. When this process starts to grind to a halt as your body makes adaptations to stop you wasting away, reset your body by eating more for a week and then try again. So long as you are on a good balanced diet and focus on putting everything you have into your workouts that plateau will eventually break.


Mix up your workouts.

Tweaking your diet is not enough, exercise wise you have to keep things varied and progressive as well. Increase your workout intensity and duration and vary up the routine and focus. Basically when you hit a plateau stand back for a moment, then step it up and mix it up, work harder, and most important of all, be patient.


Don't go too low on calories.

Tempting as it may be, don't go too low on calories when trying to lose weight. You will actually create a plateau yourself as your body will think that it is at risk of starving and alter your metabolism to actually preserve fat stores to stave of potential starvation. Never drop below 1200 calories per day. Don't try and make a calorie deficit permanent either. You don't want your body to be leaching off itself for ever, slowing down healthy processes in an attempt to stop itself continuously getting smaller. In the end, it won't help you lose weight and it won't make you healthy. And most important of all, it wont make you happy! Don't forget, it's important to make sure you keep your mind healthy, happy and motivated too. Don't overdo it on the not eating or you may find yourself becoming afraid of eating food. This is not good. As said, if you hit a plateau, try a period of reverse dieting whereby you gradually introduce more calories per day to get your body to your maintenance calorie allowance, then after a few days to a week, start to increase the deficit again and be patient.


Muscle weighs more than fat in the same space.

Muscle weighs more than fat in the same space.

Be mindful that not losing weight does not mean you are not getting results from your diet and workouts. Muscle weighs much more in the same space than fat. So you could even burn fat and put on weight as your muscles become larger and firmer over time. Your weight can also fluctuate around 3 to 5 pounds every day too from diet, water retention, and inflammation. Try to weigh yourself at the same time of day to minimize this. If you find yourself in this weighing scales predicament, these are the times when it really doesn't pay to only focus on the scales. Concentrate on putting the maximum into your workouts and eating a balanced diet inside your calorie allowance, and results will follow.


Don't be too obsessed with the weighing scales.

The weighing scales are not the only form of feedback to observing health gains. Use the mirror, you should see visible changes. Use a tape measure once a week for your waist, chest, arms and thighs. Measure your standing heart rate, working heart rate, and heart rate recovery times during and after exercise. They should all be improving. The path to good health is a gradual one and eventually everyone hits a plateau where results slow. Be sure to monitor your results weekly. Results breed results as they are the best motivator of all.


BMI and common sense.

As muscle weighs much more in the same space than fat, don't take it to heart if your BMI says you are still overweight after losing lots of weight and exercising. The BMI is just a generalised height to weight ratio and takes absolutely no account of the ratio of lean muscle to fat in your body. A high BMI is definitely a good indicator that you may be over weight and that you should take a look at your diet and exercise plans to assess if they need adjusting. However, it doesn't actually mean that you are overweight or that you need to change anything at all. Common sense should always be applied to a BMI result depending on the individual and any obvious ratio of lean muscle to fat. There are plenty of people with amazing physiques that would be classed as overweight according to the BMI simply because they have good muscle mass.


Believe in yourself - This is paramount.

Many people feel that becoming healthy and getting the body they want is too far out of their grasp, that it's too big a mountain to climb, that the tide has gone out too far to be turned back. They feel that it's something that others do, but not them. They feel that they are too old, that they don't have enough time or money, or that it will take too long so what's the point in even starting? Many even make a joke out of it. They have given up. Deep down they believe they have already failed before they have even begun. If this is you, then don't worry, you are certainly not alone in your thinking. It is actually incredibly common.

Truth is, anyone can do this. Don't let negativity slam doors on your desires before you even begin. Negativity destroys productiveness in all walks of life by persuading you to slam a door in your own face before you've even given yourself the chance to walk through it and sample what's on the other side. Don't allow yourself to be paralysed by fear of failure. All failure does, if there even is such a thing, is point a new path around an obstacle to enable you to keep on going. Any 'failure' is simply a point on a bigger ongoing curve. Despite how other people may try to make you feel, it's never finite unless you allow it to be. Whatever position you find yourself in, life goes on. It's a series of ups and downs. And that's the same for everyone no matter how things may appear on the surface. Often mistakes are the best way of learning. They grant you a much deeper understanding of both sides of the equation, not just the 'correct', sometimes narrow minded, linear answers. Negative people and thoughts will stifle you your whole life, and at every turn, if you let them. So if you are at that point where you feel like the tide has gone out too far to be turned back, you've given up on ever getting the body and health you always wanted, you feel that you have failed in that respect so why bother, or you find yourself making self defacing jokes about your weight, just know that it's never too late if you really want it. It can all just be part of a bigger ongoing curve if you let it.

With health and fitness, the truth is, anyone can lose weight and anyone can build muscle. Once you have the knowledge, it's just a question of choice, dedication and application towards your goal. But that is not to say either is easy. Far from it. Knowledge disappears into a distant back seat compared to practical actions. It's practical actions that matter. It's practical actions that change things. Knowledge on its own won't ever change anything. You have to actually do. And when it comes to losing weight or building muscle, nobody that ever did either, ever did so without both thoroughly earning it and thoroughly deserving it. They worked there butt off both mentally and physically to reach a personal goal. They earnt every single moment of it. And that's why it feels so great when you achieve it. You do it all yourself and you thoroughly deserve to feel proud of your achievement. You take control and actively change your life for the better. And that is a great feeling. Trust yourself, believe in yourself, put everything you have into achieving your goal and results will come. It's inevitable. It's basic cause and effect of our biological condition as humans. It will happen. Your body will have no other choice but to comply to the laws of nature and adapt to its stimulus over time in the way it has evolved to do so. As a matter of fact, the bigger you are, the more of a tide you have to turn, the greater sense of achievement you will feel when you achieve your goal. So don't give up on yourself, and don't ever listen to others or your own negativity, and believe that if you properly focus, try your hardest, and don't give in, results will come. You are actually the only person in the world that has the power to both make sure it will happen, and the power to make sure it won't happen. Just remember that when that voice inside your head, or that voice in your ear, or look in the eyes from someone else, tries to tell you that you can't do this. You can. Never let anyone talk you out of believing in yourself. Don't let negativity or fear of failure, whether from yourself, and especially not from others, dictate your path. Believe in yourself, trust yourself, try your hardest, and results will come. This stuff works. And it will work for you if you let it.


And finally...

Never give up on your health goals. Even if you slip up from time to time. Do not give up. No matter how old you are, how big you are, how small you are, don't ever let anyone else make you feel like you can't do this. You can. There's always someone says it cannot be done. And there's always someone that will try to run you down or mock you due to their own insecurities. Don't listen to them. It can be done. And you can do it. All it is is processes in that create processes out. You dictate the process in with diet and exercise and the same biology that effects us all dictates the processes out from what you choose to put in. If you really want it, the choice is yours to take control of and embrace at any time. Believe in yourself, trust yourself, and try your hardest. Never give up. Do this, and over time, and in less time than you might imagine, results will follow.

Now take a look at the handy diet guide, the food guide and nutrition calculator to give you a helping hand on creating a balanced diet for yourself.


The 4 Minute Max Outs. The ultimate portable bodyweight HIIT workout.