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A contribution from a KrisFit client named Laura:
"When Kristian asked me to write an update about my journey, I immediately said YES! And then came the tough part…I had to think about how to put my journey into words, when words just don’t seem to do it justice. The best way I can put it into words is to talk about the top 8 things I have learned this past year."
10 lessons of sustainable weight loss from a man who lost 49lbs in 51 weeks (and 64 lbs total!)
This post covers the weight loss journey of my client and friend Lawrence. We began training together in the spring of 2018. He initially lost 15 pounds by simply changing up his diet and eating healthier, while performing two weekly training sessions. In July of 2018 he approached me about getting a little bit more guidance and accountability for his eating. The goal was to build upon the 15lb weight loss and have a plan to follow.
Given the fact that Lawrence is a financial planner by trade, one of the options that I suggested to him really appealed. The option was to use an app to track his daily food intake. We set up some initial guidelines and he began to track his daily caloric intake including his daily consumption of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. While this might seem like an arduous task, technology can be a wonderful thing, and the app that he used for tracking (MyFitness Pal) made this a smooth and fairly pain-free process; from a logistical standpoint at least.
My suggestion was that he track his intake for a period of about 12 weeks. Each week he would send me his weekly nutrition chart, which included his daily morning bodyweight. We would discuss how the week went, and whether or not he needed to make any changes. We’d also discuss external factors that could have affected his weight gain or loss in specific weeks. Lawrence is quite a self-motivated individual, so I was mostly just a sounding board :)
After blazing through the first 12 weeks of food tracking, he got into such a good rhythm that he ended up tracking for an entire year. The end result was an additional 49 lbs lost in 51 weeks!
While I would never suggest that anybody track their food intake for an entire year, I'm very glad that Lawrence did. By combing through his years’ worth of data and checking-in with him on his progress each and every week, we were able to gain some massive insight into his weight loss process.
I thought it would be useful to share his journey with you as he has provided some invaluable data and experience that lend truth to some "universal laws of weight loss".
While I will mention a few data points, a large part of what this post covers are social and emotional strategies that can help you with long-term weight loss.
Below you will see a list of 10 lessons of sustainable weight loss and how Lawrence's journey upheld these lessons. My hope is that you might have some “aha” moments that make you think back to a time(s) when you tried to lose weight. While these lessons learned are in reference to Lawrence’s journey, I believe them to be true for anyone looking to lose weight. If you have tried to lose weight, perhaps even several times over, and haven’t managed to pull it off just yet, then I think that you could gain some valuable insight through reading the lessons that follow. You might even approach your next weight loss journey with a fresh perspective; that's my goal, at least!
Enough "jibber-jabber", here are the 10 lessons:
With summer season in full swing, I thought it would be timely to create a guide on Summer BBQ eating. While I’ve written this guide from the perspective of being a Calgary resident (in terms of specific product analysis), my hope is that anyone can find value in the comparisons made. Also, there’s a good chance that you can find “like” products wherever you reside. If you’re reading this and would like to get my opinion on any food product that you’re curious about, simply send me the name and label (when possible) of said product, and we can discuss how it will best fit in with your current goals.
PS - Before I get too deep into this article, for those of you that would prefer to view it in a PDF Format, you can do so by clicking here Krisfit BBQ PDF
I should preface by suggesting that you make food decisions based on a “cost-benefit analysis”. If you really like a certain food, and the calorie-reduced version of that food takes the flavour level down from a 10/10 to a 3/10, for example, then the cost of opting for the healthier version may be too great. However, if you find a burger that has 50% of that fat of your favourite burger, yet still yields a high score on the flavour meter, then the benefits of eating said burger could potentially outweigh the cost of a marginal reduction in flavour.
The guide below is laid out in 5 parts: Hamburgers, Sausages, Chicken, Steak, and Salad.
Did you know that you can make great improvements in strength, muscle tone, and endurance, with just two workouts per week?
If you’re working out two or more times per week and and aren’t noticing any progress, not to worry; your workouts and/or nutrition may just need a little fine tuning.
Below are 5 common areas that could be holding you back from getting noticeable changes in strength and muscle tone. It's important to note that this post applies equally to men and women, and isn't just reserved for the young folk. Some form of fitness progress can be made at any age!
1.Lack of “Progressive Overload"
Are you continually performing the same exercises with the same weights for the same numbers of reps? Have you been doing this for months, or maybe even years? This could be a huge barrier in holding your body back from noticeable change in lean mass and strength. Progressive Overload, in it's simplest definition, states that in order for fitness levels to improve the body needs to apply a new stimulus that is beyond what it has previously experienced.
This can be as simple as increasing the amount of being weight lifted, or, increasing the number of reps lifted with the same weight. It doesn't mean that you have to learn a bunch of new crazy exercises or be going for one repetition maximal effort lifts in the gym. There are many simple shifts in number of sets, repetitions, load, exercise order and groupings, rest periods and more that can easily put you into a state of progressive overload.
In January of 2018 my good friend and online client, James C., decided that it was time for him to make some changes and embarked on a quest to transform his mental and physical health. By October of 2018, James had officially lost 100lbs.
I sat down with James to ask him some questions about his amazing transformation. Below is our Q and A conversation:
Kristian: Thanks for making the time to do this interview today. I really appreciate it.
James: Anything for you, Kristian. I hope that somebody reading this feels inspired by something I say.
K: Your weight loss journey started in January of 2018. What made you decide to try and lose this weight?
J: Initially I actually didn't set out to lose weight, per say. I just wanted to feel better. I had gotten out of a sedentary job and a sedentary relationship. I was out of shape, out of breath, and struggled with basic daily activities.
It’s hard to believe that July 15th, 2018 marks one year since the world lost a dear man, Rick Martin. Rick was a very good friend and client of mine.
When I originally wrote this little note about Rick, I wasn’t exactly sure that I would share it with anyone. Having spent a lot of time with Rick during his last 7 weeks of life at the Sarcee Hospice, I think that writing this note was more of a cathartic exercise for myself. After some thought, I decided to share this note in the hopes that we can all find some value in the lessons that I learned from Rick.
Having listened to the endless lineup of people who requested to speak at his funeral, it’s clear that Rick is a man who left his mark on the world. Here are 7 of my favourite lessons that I learned from Ricky:
I know what you're thinking: "Did I read that right? Why did a personal trainer need to go on a weight loss journey? Aren't they all supposed to be as fit as a fiddle?" While I can't speak for other trainers, I will be the first to admit that I have dealt with struggles of emotional eating and drinking. Below is my story of how I "let myself go" when life got tough, and then, subsequently managed to pick up the pieces and re-build my confidence by using the same methods that I am using with my clients.
Kristian Leach is a personal trainer and nutrition coach residing in Calgary, Canada. He is the founder of the KrisFit and Fit Woman For Life online training and nutrition programs.
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