10 Things I Learned During My Body Transformation. That said, it took a lot of work to get where I am now. In other words, eating less than you're burning. Strength training. While those intense HIIT workouts were burning plenty of calories, I was loading them right back up (and then some) with those four glasses of wine, cheese boards, and late-night pizza orders. Of course, some of that was muscle from my long-standing exercise habit, but I knew some of it was body fat, too. Within a year of graduating from college, I'd packed on a solid 10 pounds. (Related: Why Losing Weight Won't Magically Make You Happy). That was key because progressive overload can help you see results much faster. And then this is almost after 6 months of working out, cardio and counting calories . It's easy to think that looking a certain way or seeing a certain number on the scale will change how you feel about yourself. It took me 20 months to lose 17 pounds. I also learned how to cook tons of healthy meals, which can be surprisingly therapeutic. As with most fitness plans, prescriptions may need to be tailored to your specific needs and goals. I realized I was basically doing HIIT anyway, so I said goodbye to burpees and squat jumps and have never looked back. How to Build Muscle for Skinny Guys: My 62lbs Weight Gain Transformation. I did dance cardio every day for three months. Plus, working out very intensely without enough rest can lead to overtraining, which can make it harder to lose weight. Why? In my "before" picture, I was working out five to six times per week. I took the photo on the left in April 2017. Now, there was a reason I resisted changing my diet. My biggest takeaway? My hips are shifted to the side, and my posture is tentative. 20 months and 17 pounds later, I came away with 10 big lessons. Here's what I learned over those 20 months, plus how I actually changed my body after years of trying and failing. I tried going dairy-free. But many people give up on their goals before the first month of the year is even over. LUNCH 8 oz. So this was me. BREAKFAST 3 whole eggs + 3 egg whites 2 cups cooked oatmeal. Photos aren't the be-all and end-all of progress, but as you can see, they can be a very useful tool. Updated on January 4, 2016 by Regev Elya. Yes, I wanted to progress, but I wasn't thinking about my weight (or how I looked) on a daily basis. (This is also known as body recomposition.). low-fat cottage cheese + 1 cup sliced pineapple 9 whole-wheat crackers + 1 Tbsp. MORNING SNACK 8 oz. They're enjoying them in moderation. Cutting your favorite foods out of your diet will only make you miserable and crave them even more-at least, that was my experience. This also allowed me to lose weight in a sustainable way, slowly losing fat and building muscle, rather than quickly dropping 15 pounds of both. I still work as a writer and editor, but I'm now also a certified personal trainer. 413 Comments. I explained to her I was lifting heavy about two days a week and ALSO doing HIIT about four days a week. Now, I work out a maximum of three to four days per week. She said, after losing a stone, she thought cardio, HIIT and walking was the way to keep the weight off. I got hard-core into CrossFit. Requiring yourself to be perfect? (Related: How to Work Out Less and Get Better Results). peanut butter. Some people can eat whatever they like and still maintain their abs. And pressuring yourself to be perfect? So, my coach encouraged me to continue doing HIIT one or two times per week if I enjoyed it, but after a few months, I realized that I actually didn't like it that much. You can see in my before picture that I felt awkward taking it. My progress was slow and sustainable. You might also be disappointed when you gain the weight back because you've returned to your old eating habits. A deficit of anywhere between 20-40% from maintenance will suit fat loss on a 3-month muscle transformation program. (Related: Your Complete Guide to the "IIFYM" or Macro Diet). I still occasionally catch myself wishing this part was leaner or that part was fuller. Plus, I was getting a pretty intense heart rate boost from lifting heavy weights. This might be a controversial point of view, but I think putting visual changes and progress on the backburner is a highly effective way to enable yourself to actually reach your goals. Why would you want to gain muscle when you're trying to lose weight? I truly thought there was some simple secret to getting my best body ever that I was missing out on. But the aesthetic results I wanted? I'm confident that I can maintain it. There's nothing wrong with any of these things. If you're not totally happy with your body, it can be difficult to find something you love about it. I was okay with my body, and I loved working out. You probably can't just cut out soda or alcohol and miraculously lose the extra weight you're carrying. You know, that thing that happens when you meant to say "no" to the cupcakes at work and then ended up eating five. Everything you need to know to get started with this high-fat, low-carb diet. About a year and a half ago, I started working with a new trainer. What I didn't realize was that for my body and goals, this was totally unnecessary and might have actually been making it harder for me to make progress. I also started to enjoy my workouts more when hitting the gym didn't feel like a daily chore that needed to be completed. I like eating-a lot. Sustainable progress takes time. this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. I'm not saying I have self-esteem and body image completely figured out. But I couldn't have been more wrong. In other words, self-love will probably always be a work in progress for me, and that's okay. Not only does gaining muscle mass help you burn more calories at rest, but it also gives your body shape and definition. It's hard to observe changes in your own body over time, and many changes are not reflected on the scale or via girth measurements. I finally have the body I wanted, and the best part? But these days, I still notice my own flaws. © Copyright 2020 Meredith Corporation. I tried well-researched supplements like fish oil, creatine, and magnesium. For years, I avoided the difficult, research-backed truth that exercise alone … It inevitably leads to self-sabotage. Unfortunately, it doesn't. Here's a side to side comparison. Creating new habits takes time. I knew I was incredibly lucky to be employed in my dream industry, but I was working very long days and was extremely stressed due to a high-pressure environment and the knowledge that if I failed at my job, there were hundreds of other qualified candidates who would gladly take my place. Instead of eating the whole thing, they're having however many bites it takes for them to feel satisfied, and then stopping. In the end, that's what many women are really after-whether they know it or not-not just losing fat, but replacing it with shapely muscle.