I have it all here on the computer. I'm just formatting it ready to publish online and it will be available soon! Every member of this website will have first priority at taking a look at all the gorey details of my 12 week challenge - so if you haven't signed up already do it now!
Previously I stopped smoking for 3 months and put on 10 kilos - only to start smoking again. For my 12 week challenge I have again stopped smoking - will this affect my fat loss results?
Many people will experience some fat gain initially after quitting smoking. The nicotine contained within the cigarettes causes your liver to release glycogen, raising your blood sugar levels and suppresses the appetite. Your heart rate is artificially elevated and your metabolism is increased. As soon as you stop smoking, your bodies metabolic rate will lower. As a result, if you eat exactly the same as what you were eating previously you will quite possibly notice some fat gain - as your body is now storing more energy in the form of body fat. Apart from this, after quitting, food taste is more prominent and also many smokers will consume extra to compensate for the lack of cigarettes.
That said, your 12 week challenge is much more than a weight loss challenge. It's about recreating your lifestyle, becoming healthy and feeling great. Quitting smoking should be at the forefront of your priorities.
There was a study published in the American Journal of Physiology Endocrinol metab. 2003. whereby it was determined that smoking could inhibit carbohydrate uptake into muscles - resulting in significantly lower glycogen levels. Low glycogen levels will negatively impact your performance in the gym as your muscles will lack the energy to perform the work required.
Here's a plan of attack. Number 1 - Quit smoking. Now, devise a sound diet and exercise plan for your challenge. Monitor your results, and if you see significant fat gain, adjust your diet and exercise plan accordingly. Exercise will help assist and cravings you get and help relieve stress. Ensure you receive adequate rest - 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Also if you have cravings, a great tool to use is sugarless gum.
Think about the big picture - where will you be at the end of the 12 weeks? No doubt you want to be fit, healthy and happy - without the burden of smoking.
I'm female and I weigh myself every two weeks and take measurements. Most of my numbers are changing, however my weight is not moving! I don't understand why, especially since my body fat is going down and I do mainly cardio.
You may have added some muscle, which is heavier than the fat you're losing. While it's not easy for women to gain a lot of muscle in a short time, it can account for part of the difference.
There's also fluid fluctuations to take into account. Your lean mass (everything that isn't fat) is made up not only of muscle, but of bone, skin, internal organs, hair, teeth, the contents of your digestive system....and fluid. So if you're retaining more fluid than usual, your body fat percentage will go down, but your weight may not - it can even increase.
Depending upon what your diet was like before, and what it's like now, you may also be storing extra glycogen in your muscles and liver. This is always accompanied by a lot of water, so again, your weight and BF% can be affected.
Doing 'mainly cardio' may not be the best strategy to lose fat. A decent weight training program will build muscle, and boost your metabolism so that you burn more fat. There are a lot of other reasons for doing more weight training, but it would take me forever to explain them, and I'm off to bed soon.
Body fat scales are notoriously misleading, and the figures can be out by a LOT. To determine whether you're actually getting any results, answer these questions:
- Can you SEE any changes in your body size or shape?
- Have your measurements decreased at all?
- Are your clothes any looser?
If all the answers are 'no', you might want to change your exercise routine and/or your meal plan.
Hi Jay, Congrats on your win and your new page. I weigh 76 kilos at the moment and my stomach is really big and hangs over my undies, will I ever be able to get it to become a flat tummy.I have never been a skinny person - even when I was younger. Is there some hope for me or will I need some sort of surgery after the Bodyblitz challenge. Suzikatz.
Assuming that you are in sound medical condition, I am a big believer that ANYTHING is possible if you put your mind to it.
I think that surgery is too often referred to as a 'safe alternative' to getting in shape by leading a healthy lifestyle. It's quite simply not a magical cure. Surgery should only be considered after ALL other avenues have been exhausted.
Consider what you have done so far in regards to your health and fitness. Ask yourself the following questions:
Do I KNOW how to eat properly?
Have you done your research? Do you know what foods are acceptable and what aren't? Do you know how to read food labels? Do you know how many grams of fat, protein and carbs to consume in a day?
Diet is obviously a very important factor here - it will make a HUGE difference to your weight concerns. The beauty about these 12 week challenges is that by being consistent with your diet for a number of weeks, you form a completely new eating habit. No more yo-yo diets or magical supplements - as far as I'm concerned, THEY DON'T WORK. You must ensure that this eating lifestyle is healthy and something that you can live with.
Do I KNOW how to exercise effectively?
Exercise will of course make an enormous difference to your physique. What I learnt from my challenge is that, prior to my research, I never knew how to exercise effectively. Knowledge is power - and with that power you can reap some amazing results. There are two types of particular interest, cardio and weight training.
With your cardio training, you don't need to run for hours on end to lose fat. This can become boring and time consuming - you can lose interest VERY quickly. By increasing the intensity of your cardio workouts, you challenge yourself whilst expending more calories in a given time. Not only that, once you get off the cardio machine, your metabolism will be raised for a longer period of time - which means you'll be effectively burning fat even after your workout!
Your resistance training will also increase your metabolism. The more muscle mass you have, the higher your resting caloric expenditure. But don't be scared to get in there and challenge yourself with the weights either! Higher intensity here will produce some great results.
With your exercise, it is important that if you are unsure of how to train, enlist the help of a professional to show you how to achieve your goals.
How much time and effort have I invested into improving myself? Is this enough?
Ask yourself if you really have put in 100% into your transformation. At the end of the day we have to accept responsibility for ourselves. Put yourself right at the top of your priorities. Remember, this is not selfish - you NEED to look after yourself. Once you look after yourself you can then look after others.
There's a lot of information on this website about all of the topics discussed above. Because I can only go into limited detail here, if you're unsure of anything please visit our forums - we have a whole section dedicated to women's training.