We’ve all seen those body transformation stories and impressive ‘before’ and ‘after’ pics on Insta – when someone you follow is proudly sharing an incredible achievement.

But, often, behind the wide smile and fresh gym kit, there’s an inspiring story still to be told about how they embarked on their journey to a healthier self.

If you’re in need of a little motivation to tweak your lifestyle for the better, you’re in exactly the right place. We’ve searched high and low for the most empowering personal accounts of women who have got in the best shape of their lives – whether that has been losing fat, gaining weight, boosting their fitness or improving their diet.

Related Story

Using different exercise and nutrition approaches and a positive mindset, these 32 females prove that life-changing injuries, illnesses, low self-esteem and other huge life challenges like motherhood, heartbreak and grief, should be no barrier to feeling good about yourself.

Contents

Body transformation: The inspiring stories behind the pictures

Beth Hope: Lost 2st through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Following sexual assault, Beth began cognitive behavioural therapy, in which her therapist helped her unpick how she had been subconsciously punishing her body for the attack with misplaced self-loathing. When she accepted that the assault wasn’t her fault, she started valuing herself again, she began to view exercise and nourishing to her body as ways to feel strong and reiterate her positive mindset. Leading to her body transformation.

Read more here

Luciana Martinez: Began weight training to work with her body, not against it

Reflecting on her transformation, Martinez said: ‘Not only physically – though I did become leaner and stronger – but in my mind, too. I felt like I wasn’t fighting with my body any more; I was working with it –and it was responding. I felt strong, and I looked it. I’d never felt so good about myself.’

Read more here

Erika McGuire: Cemented a fitness routine with 20 minute workouts

McGuire completes 20-minute workout’s (using Jillian Michaels’ app or one of her DVDs)
on the living room floor once the ‘kids were in bed and the house was clean’. Her theory to working out? ‘There is always time in the day – we just don’t see it. If it’s important enough to you, there is time for it.’

Read more here

Justine Traver: Started doing HIIT after coming out of a toxic relationship

After ending a toxic relationship, Justine decided to overhaul her unhealthy lifestyle. She joined Weight Watchers, started doing HIIT and zumba, and lost 65 lbs as a result. Read more about her body transformation.

Read more here

Fiona Maher: Overcame grief with the help of personal training

Following the death of her dad, Fiona gained three stone. She got back in shape by getting her portions under control, working out with a personal trainer, and doing HIIT, weights and yoga classes. Read more about her body transformation.

Read more here

Anna Page: Joined a netball team and mixed up her workouts

An ankle injury left Anna unable to train – leading her to reach a size 22. She got back on track by reducing snacking, taking up netball, and doing a mix of cardio and strength training in the gym. Read more about her body transformation.

Amanda Valentine: Swapped yo-yo dieting for boxing

After years of yo-yo dieting and no exercise, Amanda decided to achieve her fat loss goal once and for all. She introduced lean meats and veggies into her diet, started running with the Couch to 5k app, and now does everything from HIIT and strength training, to yoga and boxing. Within six years she lost – and kept off – 117 lbs. Read more about her body transformation.

Claire O’Hara: Joined Slimming World

To reverse pregnancy weight gain, Claire took up running, before graduating onto strength and conditioning sessions and home HIIT workouts, as well as changing up her diet with the help of Slimming World. The mum-of-one lost eight stone in 14 months. Read more about her body transformation.

Charlotte Harper: Discovered a love for CrossFit

Throughout her life, Charlotte had avoided fitness at all costs – then she found CrossFit, fell in love with the community and hasn’t looked back. Read more about her body transformation.

Frankie Hill: Swapped cardio for weights in Evolve’s 12-week transformation plan

As a cardio queen, Frankie never felt comfortable venturing into the weights area of the gym. However, after being guided through a beginner strength training routine she increased her power and shifted 7 kg of fat. Read more about her body transformation.

Johnelle Burnett: Did a 12 week body transformation programme at a local gym

Johnelle Burnett

After experiencing weight gain following the births of her two children, Johnelle craved her pre-pregnancy body confidence. She signed up to her local gym and took her diet back-to-basics in order to feel at home in her own skin again. Read more about her body transformation.

Julie Johnson: Found strength at the squat rack

Instagram

Following the end of an unhappy relationship, Julie started measuring portion sizes and lifting weights. After sticking to a strict plan for 18 months, she now enjoys a more balanced lifestyle. Read more about her body transformation.

Nikki Paterson: Focused on lifting weights after she lost a leg

Ian Harrison

While working for the army, Nikki was left paralysed in a road accident and had a leg amputated two years later. She used the experience as motivation to become more powerful than ever, through strength training and swimming. Read more about her body transformation.

Jess Edwards: Signed up to the F45 8 Week Challenge

Cosmopolitan / Jess Edwards / James Purvis

Spurred on by her upcoming wedding, Jess signed up to Australia’s most-famous fitness export. By doing a mixture of cardio and resistance-based 45-minute classes, and upping the protein and veggie content in her diet, she was able to shift body fat and gain muscle in time for her big day. Read more about her body transformation.

Lauren Smith: Committed to Joe Wicks’ The Body Coach 90 Day Plan

Lauren Smith

After paying £150 (and stocking up on Tupperware) to access the social media sensation’s plan, Lauren embarked on a three-month journey of five 25-minute HIIT workouts a week and three lean meals a day (plus two snacks, and a post-workout protein shake). As a result, she slimmed down, toned up and gained confidence. Read more about her body transformation.

Nikki Charanin: Increased calories and started lifting

Instagram

In an effort to shape up, Nikki stuck to a strict exercise and meal plan that ended up leaving her with anxiety if she veered off it – and caused her results to plateau. She upped her calorie intake by 800, learned about macros and swapped cardio for weights to get in the best shape of her life. Read more about her body transformation.

Sarah Foster: Signed up to a fitness challenge

Sarah Foster

As a group fitness instructor for over 28 years, Sarah found herself gaining weight due to external stresses in her life. Rather than eating light foods throughout the day and then binging at night – which meant that she didn’t have a lot of energy – she started to eat nutritious meals five or six times a day and do an eight-week Spartan training plan in preparation for a competition to regain her fitness. Read more about her body transformation.

Rebecca Chivers: Used the Couch to 5k app

Neale Haynes

As a mum-of-two, Rebecca didn’t have time to go to fitness classes. Instead, she downloaded the Couch to 5k app and discovered that running was something she could easily fit in around her kids. Read more about her body transformation.

Chinae Alexander: Reduced cardio and stepped off the scales

Instagram

A busy social life lead Chinae’s weight to increase in her 20s to a point she was unhappy with – and which her one 20-minute cardio workout a week was doing nothing to help. But instead of obsessively hopping on the scales, she put them to one side and started strength training and focusing on small goals in order to shift 70 lbs. Read more about her body transformation.

Kellie Brotherton: Cut out junk food and started walking

Kellie Brotherton

Rather than drastically change her lifestyle, Kellie decided to take things slow and steady when she decided she wanted to get fit. Cutting out junk food and and going for a 40-minute walk were the beginning of her 135lb weight loss journey. Read more about her body transformation.

McKenzie Maxson: Eliminated alcohol

Instagram

Simply cutting out booze helped McKenzie go from ‘skinny fat’ to ‘lean and muscular’. Read more about her body transformation.

Karra Busch: Tracked her food intake on MyFitnessPal

Karra Busch

When Karra realised she had become morbidly obese, she knew she needed to prioritise her health. She started tracking her food intake on MyFitnessPal and began running and doing HIIT workouts. Soon, she had shifted 110 lbs. Read more about her body transformation.

Mikaela Beauchamp: Reduced workouts and ate well 70% of time

Mikaela Beuchamp

In an effort to get strong, Mikaela embarked on a strict diet and training regime, which got her to her lowest ever body fat percentage but triggered body dysmorphia in the process. She decided to stop tracking her food (eating well 70% of the time) and ease up on her workouts – and she finally reached her healthy, ‘happy’ weight. Read more about her body transformation.

Katie Dunlop: Stopped labelling foods ‘bad’

Katie Dunlop

After years of yo-yo dieting, Katie finally lost 40lbs by making healthy swaps to her five meals a day and stopping labelling foods as ‘good’ and ‘bad. She also gradually upped her workouts from twice to six times a week, and added in Pilates and hot yoga. Read more about her body transformation.

Caroline North: Took up spinning following heartbreak and a chronic illness

Caroline North

After romantic heartbreak and a bout of ME, Caroline decided that she wanted to take action to feel better about her body. She swapped takeaways for protein-rich dinners and started going to spin classes and introducing weight training to drop six stone. Read more about her body transformation.

Taylor Lee: Began running after becoming a mum

Taylor Lee

Following pregnancy weight gain, Taylor decided to start running through the Couch to 5k app. She has since shifted 70 lbs and wants to run a marathon. Read more about her body transformation.

Danielle French – Signed up to Slimming World

Instagram

In the run up to her wedding, Danielle joined Slimming World and got active by walking her dog. Simple changes helped her lose five stone by the time she walked up the aisle. Read more about her body transformation.

Ashley O’Reilly – Used healthy food delivery service Nutrisystem

An under-active thyroid and poor eating habits lead Ashley’s weight to reach 250lbs. With all her nutritious meals delivered by healthy food delivery service Nutrisystem – and by doing walks and going kayaking – she lost 135 lbs. Read more about her body transformation.

Carli Jay – Kept a food diary to reduce calorie intake

Carli Jay

Unable to go skydiving in Dubai because of her weight, Carli began doing 15 minutes a day on an indoor bike and kept a food diary (she had been consuming 4,000 calories a day) to instil better eating habits. She slowly worked her way up to 90-minute daily gym sessions, featuring a mix of weights, cardio (including rowing and swimming) and yoga. Read more about her body transformation.

Sabrina May – Swapped diet fads for strength training

Tom Watkins

At a size 22, Sabrina felt that she had so much weight to lose that it wasn’t even possible to slim down. But now, at a lean size 10, she explains how giving up faddy diets and taking up strength training helped her achieve her goal. Read more about her body transformation.

Katie Philpot – Took up weights and HIIT

Neale Haynes

An unhealthy lifestyle caused by long hours working as a lawyer lead Katie to become unhappy with her shape. She started doing up to five 60-minute lifting and HIIT sessions per week and added more protein into her diet to tone up. Read more about her body transformation.

Emily Bridgers – Started doing CrossFit

Instagram

A long-standing back injury lead doctors to predict Emily would never run again at the age of 22. However, at the age of 29, she revealed herself to be more fit than ever after embarking on a CrossFit journey. Read more about her body transformation.

Chelsea Streifeneder – Worked out for 10 minutes a day

Chelsea Streifeneder

Opening up a Pilates studio to help people strengthen their bodies caused Chelsea to lose her own. But rather than using the long hours as an excuse to not exercise, she started squeezing in ten-minute HIIT workouts around clients. Read more about her body transformation.

Addi Merrill – Joined Virgin Active and used the Nike+ Training Club app

Addi Merrill

When she was diagnosed with breast cancer, Addi felt as though she had lost control of her own body. She embarked on a fitness challenge to improve her health. Read more about her body transformation.

Jennifer Morin – Signed up to Weight Watchers

Jennifer Morin

Generous portions and no exercise meant Jennifer was eventually classed as obese. She turned to Weight Watchers for guidance on how eat healthily and found a supportive community who helped motivate her through plateaus. She inspired the rest of her family, and collectively they lost 450lbs. Read more about her body transformation.

Worried getting in shape will run down your bank balance? Here are 31 ways to eat more healthily without getting stressed.

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Fitness Success After 40, Part 1: Know Your Body Type!

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

  • By strength training, you add new muscle mass and increase cardiovascular endurance.
  • Be careful, an injury at forty will take much longer to heal than when you were twenty.
  • Exercise and physical activity can help build strength, balance, flexibility, and endurance.

Getting fit after the age of forty can be daunting. Not only do we have to build muscle where there is none, but due to the aging process, our skin has started to lose elasticity and has blessed us with saggy knees and behinds, networks of fine lines on our face, hands and arms, joints that are more susceptible to injury, cellulite in places other than just our thighs and, joy of joys, hormone fluctuations as our bodies try to come to terms with the fact that our child-bearing years are over. Aren’t we lucky!

But if you haven’t been in shape and decide it’s time to give it a go, you have made the wisest decision of your life! There has been much research conducted on the benefits of exercising to us Baby Boomers.


Click Image To Enlarge.
If You Haven’t Been In Shape And Decide It’s Time To Give
It A Go, You Have Made The Wisest Decision Of Your Life!


The Benefits Of Exercise

Recent studies have shown that exercise and physical activity can help you maintain or partly restore your strength, balance, flexibility, and endurance.

The American Heart Association states that regular, moderately intense physical activity can lower your risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

And if that weren’t enough reason to exercise, you will also sleep better, feel better overall, deal with stress better, have more energy and have a better outlook on life.

When you turn 40, you have to realize that your joints are also 40 years old, and you may need to modify your exercise intensity and routine in keeping with the physical, physiological and hormonal changes that have and are taking place.

Since there is a tendency to gain about 10 pounds per decade after age 40, (primarily due to loss in muscle mass – if you gain 10 pounds after 40, the net gain is usually from adding 15 pounds of fat and losing five pounds of muscle).

The normal reaction to this phenomenon is dieting, which leads to further muscle loss. Each lost pound of muscle depresses the body’s metabolism by about 40 calories a day.


Click Image To Enlarge.
Exercise And Physical Activity Can Help You Maintain Or Partly
Restore Your Strength, Balance, Flexibility, And Endurance.


Preserve Your Muscle Mass

An aerobic routine coupled with strength training, a healthy diet and stretching can replace the lost muscle, get the body’s metabolism back up, and keep weight off permanently. So your goal needs to be on exercise, strength training and eating right.

By strength training, you add new muscle mass and increase cardiovascular endurance, both good things. But as mentioned before, you need to be aware of your joints and take things slow and easy.

An injury at forty will take much longer to heal than when you were twenty. And chances are that being unable to exercise will cause you to slide back into your old habits – which of course will lead to putting on weight and losing the firm body you have worked so hard for.

That being said, you need to remember this: when starting a new exercise regimen, moderation is the key. Start with low-impact exercises, low weights when weight lifting and be sure to include lots of stretches before, during and after your workouts.


Click Image To Enlarge.
By Strength Training, You Add New Muscle
Mass And Increase Cardiovascular Endurance.

Train For Your Body Type

Just as when you were younger, your body type will determine how easily – and just how much – muscle you can add. Granted, most of us over forty don’t want to look like bodybuilders, but then again there are some who do and to them I say: Go for it!

There are three basic types: ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph. Typically the ectomorphs are the “hard-gainers”, those who most likely have been slim all their lives and have small frames, little fat and long, lean muscles. Picture those Ethiopian runners competing in track and field events. They epitomize ectomorphs.

A mesomorph is a body that is in most ways “average,” not overly large and muscular and not round and fat. The real difference between an ecto and a meso is the ability to gain both fat and muscle.

Ectos have difficulty gaining either while mesos can grow fat if they are inactive and overeat and likewise can transform into hard bodies with a modicum of effort. Many NFL Quarterbacks are good examples of Mesomorphs.

Lastly is the endomorph. These body types are typically rounded with belly fat, hips (for women) and double chins. They can, however, add muscle fairly easily when it is approached correctly and combined with clean eating and the addition of cardio.

Many large bodybuilders are endomorphs, having to restrict caloric intake drastically (i.e. a cutting diet) prior to a competition to reveal the massive lean muscles they have developed that lie hidden under a sheath of body fat.

Know Your Body Type

While there are a few people who are truly one body type or another, most of us are a combination of two, with one type being more dominant than the other.

Knowing your own body type will help you understand both your nutritional and exercise needs for losing fat and gaining muscle, and will also help you to plan a long-term strategy that is reasonable and does not set you up for disappointment.

In other words, if you are an ectomorph, don’t expect to have bulging biceps overnight. It is going to take time for you to add that extra lean mass.

Here are training and nutrition regimens broken out into the three major body types. These are not meant to turn you into Hercules or Sheena, these are meant to increase your strength, lean muscle mass and overall fitness level. Again, you may need to adapt your routine to coincide with your own unique body type.


Click Image To Enlarge.
Knowing Your Own Body Type Will Help You Understand Both Your
Nutritional And Exercise Needs For Losing Fat And Gaining Muscle.

Ectomorphs

Weight Training:

  • Always warm up muscles and stretch lightly before picking up any weights
  • Employ split-training, working one or two body parts each workout to target muscle groups
  • Train each body part twice a week if possible
  • Aim for eight to ten repetitions per set and do two to three sets of each exercise
  • Get plenty of rest between workouts; never train if scheduled body part is still sore from previous workout
  • Try different routines and exercises for muscle confusion
  • Increase training intensity slowly to avoid strain or injury
  • If you stay sore for more than three days chances are you are lifting too heavy, scale back on your weight and increase slowly
  • If gains in muscle and strength seem stagnant, try adding weight until you are limited to eight reps per set
  • Work your abs three times per week, three sets of 25 of two different exercises (crunches and lying leg lifts for example)

Cardio:

  • Keep cardio activity to a minimum, no more than three times per week
  • Keep cardio conditioning at70% of your max heart rate for no more than 20 minutes per session.
  • Cool down for five minutes after your cardio session (walking is perfect)
  • Good cardio exercises include the elliptical machine, stationary or recumbent bike, the treadmill and walking outdoors

Nutrition:

  • A clean diet and proper supplementation are extremely important
  • Consume six small meals per day
  • Make sure your daily protein intake is 1.5g of protein per pound of body weight
  • Protein intake should be 30% of daily dietary intake; carbohydrates about 50%; fats 20%
  • Drink a protein shake after your workout and one at bedtime
  • Increase daily intake of fibrous carbohydrates whilst limiting the intake of simple sugars
  • Eat slower burning glycemic index foods such as beans, corn, sweet potatoes, oats, pasta, brown rice, whole grain breads
  • Drink at least eight 8-oz. glasses of water per day (one gallon). Coffee and tea don’t count
  • Limit or eliminate alcohol
  • If you smoke you must give it up (you should anyway!)

Mesomorphs

Weight Training:

  • Always warm up muscles and stretch lightly before picking up any weights
  • Employ split-training, working two body parts each workout to target muscle groups, do upper body parts first then follow with lower body parts
  • Aim for three sets of eight for each exercise
  • Train each body part twice a week if possible
  • Get plenty of rest between workouts; never train if scheduled body part is sore from previous workout
  • Change your workout routine every two months by adding new exercises
  • Increase training intensity slowly to avoid strain or injury
  • If gains in muscle and strength seem stagnant, try adding weight and add one set to each of your exercises
  • Work your abs three to four times per week, three sets of 25 of two different exercises (crunches and lying leg lifts for example)

Cardio:

  • Undertake some cardio activity three times per week for 30 minutes
  • Keep cardio conditioning at70% of your max heart rate for no more than 20 minutes per session until you build your cardiovascular system, then you can raise your target heart rate.
  • Always cool down for five minutes after your cardio session (walking is perfect)
  • Good cardio exercises include the elliptical machine, stationary or recumbent bike, the treadmill, Jazzercise, jogging and brisk walking outdoors


Click Image To Enlarge.
Keep Cardio Activity To A Minimum,
No More Than Three Times Per Week.

Nutrition:

  • A clean diet and proper supplementation are extremely important
  • Consume five or six small meals per day
  • Make sure your daily protein intake is 1.5g of protein per pound of body weight
  • Protein intake should be 25 – 30% of daily dietary intake; carbohydrates about 50%; fats 20%
  • Drink a protein shake mid-morning and after your workout
  • Use low-fat (2% milk) for your protein shakes
  • Increase daily intake of fibrous carbohydrates whilst limiting the intake of simple sugars
  • Eat slower burning glycemic index foods such as beans, corn, sweet potatoes, oats, pasta, brown rice, whole grain breads
  • Drink at least eight 8-oz. glasses of water per day (one gallon). Coffee and tea don’t count
  • Limit or eliminate alcohol
  • If you smoke you must give it up (you should do this regardless)

Endomorphs

Weight Training:

  • Always warm up muscles and stretch lightly before picking up any weights
  • Employ split-training, working two body parts each workout to target muscle groups
  • Train each body part twice a week if possible
  • Aim for three sets of no more than eight repetitions. When you can easily do eight, increase the weight
  • Get plenty of rest between workouts; never train if scheduled body part is sore from previous workout
  • Try different routines and exercises for muscle confusion
  • Increase training intensity slowly to avoid strain or injury
  • Train hard for maximum fat-burning effect while building lean mass
  • Work your abs three to four times per week, three sets of 25 of two different exercises (crunches and lying leg lifts for example)


Click Image To Enlarge.
Try Different Routines And
Exercises For Muscle Confusion.

Cardio:

  • Undertake some cardio activity a minimum of three times per week for 30 minutes – five times is best
  • Keep cardio conditioning at70% of your max heart rate for no more than 20 minutes per session until you build your cardiovascular system, then you can raise your target heart rate.
  • Always cool down for five minutes after your cardio session (walking is perfect)
  • Good cardio exercises include the elliptical machine, stationary or recumbent bike, the treadmill, Jazzercise, running, biking and jogging
  • For added fat burning find a good HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) program and work into it slowly

Nutrition:

  • A clean diet and proper supplementation are crucial
  • Consume five or six small meals per day, watching your calorie intake closely
  • Make sure your daily protein intake is 1.5g of protein per pound of body weight
  • Protein intake should be 25 – 30% of daily dietary intake; carbohydrates about 50%; fats 20%
  • Drink a protein shake after your workout and one at bedtime
  • Use non-fat milk for your protein shakes
  • Increase daily intake of fibrous carbohydrates whilst limiting the intake of simple sugars
  • Eat slower burning glycemic index foods such as beans, corn, sweet potatoes, oats, pasta, brown rice, whole grain breads
  • Drink at least eight 8-oz. glasses of water per day (one gallon). Coffee and tea don’t count
  • Limit or eliminate alcohol
  • If you smoke you must give it up (you should do this regardless)


Click Image To Enlarge.
A Clean Diet And Proper
Supplementation Are Crucial.

Conclusion

Regardless of your individual body type, there are several constants that cross the Ecto, Meso and Endo boundaries:

  • You must lift weights on a regular and consistent basis.
  • You must always warm up and stretch prior to working out.
  • You must undertake some cardio activity a minimum of 3 times per week.
  • You must eat clean and supplement your diet.
  • You must increase your protein intake to feed your muscles.
  • You must start out slow and avoid injury.
  • You must drink a gallon of water per day.
  • You must limit or eliminate alcohol.
  • You must quit smoking if you are a smoker.
  • After the age of forty, adding muscle and losing fat will take a little longer – the important thing to remember is don’t rush it.

Yes, it may take a little longer to achieve the hard body you desire, but with patience and determination it can be done. No matter your age, make a commitment to fitness that lasts a lifetime.

Coming up in Part Two: Muscle-Building Basics – Sue Wilkerson will give you insight into how and why muscles grow and what to expect when embarking on your muscle-building journey.

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At 40, I took up the WildFit challenge and my body fat started melting — my entire body started taking on the shape I always wanted. And in this blog post, I’m going to show you how I did it because it’s replicable and anyone (you included) can do it.

When I was 38, I made a promise to myself that I would be in the best shape ever when I turned 40. I wanted to make sure I could remain healthy, young, and have a body that would allow me to do the things I wanted to do.

Well, in January 2016, I turned 40.

But I was anything but healthy.

My fitness levels, my weight, my body, and even my eyesight had deteriorated significantly. I remember looking at myself in the mirror and feeling unattractive and unhealthy. And I knew I was not alone. Many of my friends and family had also bought into the firm acceptance of the idea that as we go into our 40s, 50s and 60s, our bodies would continue to decline.

And that we’d have to just accept it.

Perhaps you’ve bought into this idea, too.

Well, I want to share an insight that made me realize just how much we all need to shake ourselves up:

In 2015, I read something that shook me out of that common feeling.

A friend of mine attended Singularity University, a 7-day program in Silicon Valley designed to prepare executives for a world of rapidly changing trends and technology. He shared one of the most surprising learnings from the event on a Facebook post: from 2016 to 2030, due to advances in medicine and health, science can add 3 months to every year you live. That’s pretty cool.

But it gets better. By 2030 onwards, due to the rapidly accelerating pace of technology and biotech, science will be able to add ONE YEAR to every year you live.

I did some quick math.

The lifespan of the average human male is now 76 years old.

This means if you’re 40, you can add 3 months to every year from 2016 to 2030. That’s 3.5 years — raising your lifespan to 79.5 by the time you hit 2030.

If you’re 40 today in 2016, you’ll be 54 in 2030. This means (assuming no medical breakthroughs) you can expect to live another 25.5 years.

But wait. Singularity University says that from 2030 onwards, science will be able to add a year to your life for every year you live. This means you’re not living a further 25.5 years. You’re going to be living a further 51 years!

Which means if you’re 40 years old today you’re not going to live to be 79.

You’re going to live to be 105!

Here’s how it translates based on your age:

And this is the crux of it all. If you’re under 50 today, you are likely to live to be 100 or more.

But here lies the problem.

The vast majority of human beings live as if old age is 50 and beyond.

But what choices will you make when you realize that 50 is only the mid-point of your life?

While advances in health care can likely slow down aging and death. It cannot yet REVERSE aging. This is why it is so important to take absolute care of our bodies as we move into our older years.

All my life I had expected my lifespan to be around 75. This was something I learned in school. I set my goals for life experiences and finances to aim for the age of 75.

Odds are, you did as well. Like me, you too learned in school that you would live to be 75.

But what if this very idea is fantastically wrong.

How would you treat your life and your goals if you were going to live to be 100?

What if 50 is just the mid-point of your life?

It was this thinking that made me realize that 40 was not an excuse.

I asked myself, “How can we feel as good at 50 as we did at 25?”

We Must END The Myth That 50 And 60 Are “Old Age.”

It is not. It’s the mid-point of your life. We need to go into it with incredible health. And after what I just experienced, I believe it’s easier than we think.

Yet as I turned 40 in January this year I felt like I had failed most of my health goals.

You see, last year I was putting long 12-hour days in the office. I was juggling between being CEO of Mindvalley and writing my book The Code of the Extraordinary Mind, and it had taken a hefty toll on my body. My stress levels were also at an all-time high, and what I didn’t realize at the time was that this stress was also contributing to some significant weight gain.

This was just not how I imagined I’d look like at this age.

Now my body wasn’t drastically bad. I had, what you would typically call, an “average male physique” for someone who’s in his 40s. I was at 22% body fat.

It’s not overweight. But it’s definitely not sexy either. It’s just… meh. And meh just didn’t cut it for me.

Knowing that at 40-years-old I was not even at the midpoint of my life, I was not going to let it slide downhill from there.

That’s when I started getting obsessed with hacking every element of my biology. I experimented on my body with various diets and exercises. Some worked better than others.

But there was one particular thing I did that changed everything.

I share it here in this article so you can experiment with the same set of ideas on your quest to get healthy and fit.

And no, it did not involve any change to how I exercise. Nor any calorie counting. It all had to do with paying attention to what I was eating….and NOT eating.

A profound body transformation breakthrough:

Between the months of April and June 2016, one approach clicked and I had a massive breakthrough. I experienced one of the most profound and rapid body transformations I had ever experienced in my entire life.

When I shared my results on Facebook, opinions were pretty divided. The vast majority of people shared their support for my achievements. But there were others who were quick to suggest that the differences in my body were merely due to lighting or camera angles.

There were even a few who felt that the image was the result of some careful photoshopping.

Below is the picture in question.

So what’s really going on in this picture?

To help answer this question, I’d like to share some data that will explain what happened.

Firstly, my body fat went down from 22% to 15%.

I’ve always had some muscle underneath, but it was never really well defined. But as soon as my body fat started melting, my entire body started taking on a shape I had always craved. And in this blog post, I’m going to show you how I did it, because it’s replicable and anyone (you included) can do it as well.

But first we need to explore some BS models of reality and systems for living that most of us have been blindly trained to follow. You must understand….

The world is lying to you about exercise & nutrition…

For 99% of you, what you think you need to do to get in shape and get the “body of your dreams” is completely false.

And when you start uncovering the countless brules (bullsh*t rules) surrounding our current understanding of health and wellness, things begin to change very rapidly.

Here are some of the biggest insights I had during my journey of reshaping my body:

  • 95% of your body shape is due to what you eat and NOT exercise;
  • Intense exercise is not smart. You need exercise but explore minimal effective dose programs instead. Those late night infomercials about radical new exercise programs aren’t sharing the whole picture;
  • There is no such thing as a daily recommended diet. Human beings evolved to eat different foods in different seasons. By looking at evolution, you can “hack” your fat burning;
  • Calories are BS. Your body, as author JJ Virgin says, is a chemistry lab. It’s about what foods you mix. I do not count calories. Utter waste of time and pointless. I deleted all of my calorie counting apps;
  • You can re-train your brain to like and dislike certain foods. The REAL secret is re-training your brain;
  • Advertising and media train us to crave foods that are poisonous to the human system. Many companies engage in behavior so unethical, it’s borderline criminal (I’m looking at you Coke and Pepsi);
  • By eating right, you can actually SAVE money.

These powerful ideas completely reshaped my understanding of nutrition and health. But it took a lot of experimenting with my own body to figure out what worked… And what failed.

Let me first tell you what did not work.

A journey of trial and (predominantly) error

Before I share what worked for me, let me share what did not work as well.

#1: Low carb diets with cheat days

The first thing I tried was a low-carb diet. I was inspired after reading Timothy Ferris’s book, The 4-Hour Body, and other books advocating low-carb diets.

It took me a month to shed about 2 pounds off. However, it took a lot of discipline and a lot of patience. And it didn’t intuitively feel like it was something I wanted to keep doing in the long run.

Not only that, after a quick visit to my doctor, this particular diet was also elevating my levels of cholesterol.

So as you can imagine, this experiment didn’t last long.

The other fundamental flaw about these low-carb suggestions is the idea of “cheat days” where you give yourself permission to indulge in any of the foods you love regardless of their nutritional value (or lack thereof).

“Cheat days” are by far the worst thing you can do. We’ll come to this later.

#2: Intense exercise programs

I also tried various exercise programs. They worked. And I strongly recommend them — but ONLY if you want to get fit. Absolutely NOT if you’re trying to lose weight.

Latest research shows that 95% of your body shape is due to the FOOD you eat and NOT exercise.

Vox.com wrote up an excellent piece summarizing the findings from over 65+ studies that validate this.

The Vox article is so good, I suggest you read it later.

So the main problem with intense exercise programs is :

  • The advocate 30 min to hour long exercise which is inefficient.
  • They hide the fact that 95% of your body shape is due to the FOOD you eat and NOT exercise.

Years ago I looked into various programs by Beach Body, and the first one that stood out was P90X because I have many friends who completed the program and achieved the sculpted body they’ve always wanted. But they did so at an incredible cost. They are easier ways.

There was one big obstacle that was preventing me from really dedicating to this program, and that was time restraints. P90X requires around an hour a day of exercise. But given my commitments at the time, I simply couldn’t consistently set aside that amount of time every single day.

But what I did try out was a program by Les Mills from Beach Body.

I committed to the program for about 30 days, and the results were pretty awesome.

I didn’t quite lose the weight I wanted, but I was definitely feeling fitter and stronger.

However, I ended facing the same problem that stopped me from picking up P90X. As the program progressed, the workout sessions went from 15 minutes a day, to up to 1 hour a day.

And once again, I was facing time restraint issues that prevented me from dedicating myself to the program.

I eventually gave up Les Mills for two reasons…

  1. While it made me fitter and gave me more energy, once I got to week 4, Les Mills required increasing amounts of time, which I couldn’t commit to, to see similar results.
  2. The program also started introducing weights to the exercises, and I had a back injury that didn’t allow me to keep up with the workout.

Next, I tried another amazing program by Beach Body called Focus T-25.

I did Focus T-25 for about three weeks and just like Les Mills’s program, I felt considerably fitter. But it had a negligible impact in reshaping my body. I do highly recommend Focus T-25 because I think it’s an incredible program but I just didn’t get the results I was personally looking for my physique. But for fitness — yes.

All of these programs helped me improve my fitness level. But with inefficient use of time and little or no results to show in terms of weight loss or how I looked.

And so…

As I turned 40, I was on the verge of giving up.

I tried diets, they didn’t work.

I tried exercises, they didn’t work.

And that’s when I met a guy called Eric Edmeades.

Full Disclosure: Eric has since become a friend, and I asked him to bring his program, WildFit, to Mindvalley after my amazing success with the program.

I’ll share what I can about Eric’s program because it created the single biggest mind-blowing shift to my body. And it’s responsible for the dramatic weight loss you see in the first image I shared.

Let me tell you what happened.

So I got to know Eric because we’re both members of the Transformational Leadership Council. It’s a collection of America’s best authors in health, fitness, business, and other transformational fields.

It’s the list of authors whose books you’ll regularly see on the non-fiction and business shelves in your favorite bookstores. Many great minds are part of the Transformational Leadership Council.

During one of the meetings I attended, Eric was being honored with an award for his contribution to the membership.

I was a new member and I was fascinated.

“Who the heck was this Eric guy?”

While he was getting his award, other people were also coming up to talk about how much weight they had lost because of Eric.

One woman, a lady in her 60s who was obese, had lost 40 pounds.

One guy I know, who was around my age, had also dropped 40 pounds and had the best body of his life.

Another woman, a 67-year-old friend of mine, had lost her husband. The grief from the loss caused her to gain 20 lbs. Eric helped her end that and reduce her weight by 14 lbs.

Eric’s program is 90 days long and it had just concluded at the time. Students go into the program together as a batch. The first batch had just completed the program and because results were so good, Eric had offered a new program just for members of the Council. I jumped at it.

Now I can’t reveal everything that happens during this 90 days because part of the reason that makes this program magical is NOT knowing what is going to happen next. Eric uses some interesting psychology to change your attitude towards food.

But here’s what I can reveal about how it works.

WildFit — A Retraining Of Your Body And Mind Based On Evolutionary Biology

Now, one of the core elements that makes WildFit so unique is the sense of community. Everyone who signs up for the program starts on the very same day.

Eric may be guiding you day-by-day, but it’s all the participants who are supporting and pushing you to keep going.

The other thing about WildFit is that Eric will be messing with your mind on a weekly basis… In a good way. You see, we’ve been trained to believe certain things about food and our body that is completely untrue.

And Eric uses incredible behavioral change models to create permanent shifts within you.

Here are a few of the big “a-ha” moments that I learned from this program

1. Know that you eat what you’ve been conditioned to eat

Eric shared this eye-opening anecdote, which hit a little too close to home for comfort.

He explained that a guy came to him and said that he couldn’t do WildFit because he “loved pizza so much” and he didn’t want to give up his “freedom.”

So Eric asked this man, “If I put a pizza on the table right now, would you eat it even though it’s not lunch time?”

The man replied, “Of course, I love pizza! I can’t resist it.”

Eric then asked…

“Is that really ‘freedom’ if you can’t resist it?”

Now, this is true of many other things, such as coffee, soda, and alcohol.

You don’t have to give up any of these things in WildFit completely. But what blew me away was how most of us unconsciously overdose on these things because society trains us to believe we must consume it at ludicrously high amounts.

Coca-Cola and other companies have mass-brainwashed us to crave junk that is downright disruptive to our bodies. When you begin to understand how these companies mess with your mind, you learn to see the patterns and resist them.

There are two major tricks companies like Coke use:

a. Linking their brand to Emotional Hunger.

Ever noticed how when you miss someone or face the loss of a loved one, you often eat certain comfort foods?

As a child, our parents rewarded us with ice-cream when we were “good.” Now as an adult, you go through a period feeling sad or questioning your self-worth. You reach for that tub of ice-cream. It brings back those childhood feelings of being loved and being “good.”

Brands use this too. Coke equates its drink with “happiness” or “celebration” and uses very effective marketing to get the world to drink mass amounts of diabetes-causing high-fructose corn syrup.

b. Sugar as an Addictive Substance

According to Eric Edmeades, our bodies evolved to store sugar.

Imagine a primitive man during the stone age walking through the forest and stumbling upon a banana tree. His immediate impulse would be to eat or take as many bananas as he could.

He would not stop at just one because there was no telling if those bananas would still be there the next day. So our human bodies evolved to binge on sugar. Thousands of years ago this was perfectly fine. The sugar got stored as fat which helped us survive during times of lack of fruit — such as winter.

And so we have evolved as a species that has an addictive response to sugar.

Sugar makes us eat more. Food and drink companies learned this 100 years ago and the great American sugar diet became commonplace.

Today sugar is in 96% of items you’ll find in your typical grocery store. Items with sugar make you eat more, which means spending more on the item and more profit for the food manufacturer.

You can, however, train your brain to recognize and avoid sugar. When you do, you start making massive headway in your quest to eat healthily.

2. Skip the “Cheat day,” you don’t need them

It’s a lot easier to go through any diet or nutritional change if you don’t have a cheat day. Just think about what’s going on when you have such a cheat day.

You’re essentially telling yourself that what you’re doing is so painful and arduous that you need a break from the diet.

Psychologically, this is dumb.

But cheat days are also bad because they prevent your engine switch from a sugar burning engine to a fat burning engine. (See next point)

3. “Switching engines” from sugars to fat

All of our bodies are equipped with essentially two engines: a sugar burning engine, and a fat burning engine.

Our fat burning engine never really kicks in because we take in so many sugars and carbs on a daily basis. And the thing is, we’re evolutionarily designed to create and hold on to fat reserves on our body to prepare ourselves for times of hunger and scarcity.

But when you follow the WildFit program, you retrain your body to switch from burning carbs and sugars to burning fat.

And this is when the magic happens.

For the first 8 weeks of the program, I felt like there was no significant shift in my body.

However, on week 9, I felt like I was melting.

I was dropping around 2 pounds a week.

And all of a sudden, my pants couldn’t fit me anymore. My 10-year old pajamas (I’m fiercely loyal to my pajamas!) had to be sent for alterations after the pants dropped to my ankles while I was cooking breakfast… Much to the amusement of my son, Hayden.

What essentially happened was that my engine had suddenly shifted.

But remember, no cheat days, because it’ll prolong the switching of engines.

4. Understanding hunger (Food is not always the answer)

According to Eric, there are 6 different forms of hunger.

I won’t go into full detail here but you can learn more by joining Eric’s Masterclass on Mindvalley.

But let me give you one key type of hunger — Hunger as Thirst.

From an evolutionary standpoint, water wasn’t always so readily available as it is today. In fact, we would get most of our water from the food we ate. That is why when the body gets a little dehydrated, our bodies’ response is to ask us to eat.

Not because you need food but because you need more water. So I learned this really simple trick after completing this program.

After 5 pm every day, I would get a little hungry in the office. But I realized that this happened because I was drinking around 2-3 cups of coffee a day, which, as you know, is a diuretic, so I was likely getting a little dehydrated. And my usual ritual was to snack on a protein bar, or some fruits and nuts to satisfy my hunger.

Now, I just drink two glasses of water and the hunger pangs disappear. Try it yourself and see.

This simple hack changed the way I function on a day-to-day basis.

5. Satisfy your hunger with the right nutrients

There’s another form of hunger, which Eric describes as “nutritional hunger.”

This is where you’re eating the wrong sort of foods and you end up getting hungrier because your body is not getting sufficient nutrients.

So when some people get hungry, they tend to alleviate it by grabbing something quick and easy like fast food, rather than eating food that is more nutrition dense.

A few hours later, they’re hungry again.

But if you’re putting in the right nutrients, everything changes.

Part of my experiment was to switch from omelets in the morning for a healthy breakfast, to JJ Virgin shakes that are an even healthier breakfast. (Eggs proved to elevate my cholesterol as well.)

I would also add the following supplements to my shakes:

  • Moringa — A nutrient-packed leaf powder that can help prevent diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, anemia, arthritis, liver disease, and respiratory, skin, and digestive disorders.
  • Wheatgrass —Provides a spectrum of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, and phytonutrients. It’s also a powerful detoxifier, especially of the liver and blood.
  • Chia Seeds — Little black seeds that are loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and quality protein, and it’s linked to increasing lean muscle growth and weight loss.

This is what my breakfast now looks like:

As I started to have these shakes for breakfast more regularly, I discovered I had more energy throughout the day, I would feel less hungry, and I began losing weight very easily. I use GNC or JJ Virgin for the base shake and the REA superfoods as nutrient additions. It’s also WildFit friendly.

You can get these shakes and the add-on superfoods from just about any healthy grocery store.

The boost in energy and the weight loss was amazing.

Note: Some people criticized me for the pic above saying it takes away the fun of breakfast or makes it artificial. I suggest that there are two reasons we eat breakfast — food for fuel OR food for ritual. When I am with family, I love our typical Estonian European breakfasts with lots of meat, cheese and butter. But when I’m on my own and have limited time in between changing baby diapers on a 3-year-old, getting a 7-year-old off to school and then taking care of myself, I like my shakes. They take 4 mins to make and 7 mins to drink and I feel good after them. When I have time, my breakfast is eggs, spinach, cherry tomatoes and lots of veggies. Equally good as the shakes. It just takes 4X longer to make and sometimes I don’t have the time.

But the biggest benefit was the incredible boost in my immune system.

My children, like little trojan horses, would regularly bring home all matter of germs that they caught from the other kids at school. And every so often, they would crawl into our bed and spread the germs to us, their unsuspecting parents. So I would regularly catch a cold every seven to eight weeks.

Other parents reading this, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

After taking nutrient-dense shakes, I noticed I stopped getting these colds. On the rare occasion where I felt like I was on the verge of falling ill, I would double my dose of wheatgrass and moringa for three days straight.

Incredibly, my cold would subside after the first day. But I would continue with the double dose for the next two days, just in case. I don’t know which particular superfood was boosting my immunity — but there is evidence that moringa etc boosts the immune system because you’re getting the Vitamin A and Iron that you need for healthy immunity.

The Design Of WildFit: Psychology Meets Diet

All the ideas I learned from Eric were undeniably ground-breaking. But the real beauty of WildFit is not just the information itself, but the way the information was presented.

Eric uses a powerful model that permanently shifts people’s habits and behaviors around food.

The fascinating psychology of micro-challenges

So the WildFit program starts off really, really, really easy. In fact, it seems so easy that you’d be forgiven for thinking that Eric is just pulling your leg.

But on the second week, he raises the stakes just a little. But because you completed the first week and you’ve bonded with the community, you stick around.

On the third week, things get just a little more challenging. But it never gets impossibly difficult.

What Eric does on a weekly basis is an incredibly subtle way of retraining your mind.

And you slowly stop craving a lot the foods you use to regularly crave for.

I couldn’t believe the things that I used to eat before versus after WildFit. Foods that I use to love no longer have a hold on me. Other foods that I knew were nutritious but rarely touched, I now absolutely love.

WildFit messed with my mind so much that I was once in a bar with a few friends and everybody was having my two favorite drinks; whiskey and red wine.

I had a single glass of red wine but quickly switched to sparkling water.

But then it got a little “weird”… While I was sitting at the bar, I noticed a glass filled with cucumber sticks for stirring drinks. But WildFit made me so addicted to vegetables, I kept munching on those cucumber sticks until there were no more left.

So apart from my now unusual love affair with cucumber sticks (and many other kinds of vegetables), I found the shift incredible because it was rare for me to go out to the bar and have just one drink.

After WildFit I didn’t feel like I needed more than one.

With the right method, it’s much easier to retrain your mind than you think.

The problem is, most diets suck.

In fact, most diets have a really poor completion rate (a typical diet program can have a completion rate of less than 50%) because more often than not, you’re forcing yourself against your natural impulses and you’re expending huge amounts of willpower.

Once that reserve of willpower is depleted, that’s when most people “crack”.

This doesn’t happen with WildFit (which has a completion rate of 97%) because of the incremental steps and subtle retraining of the mind that Eric guides you through from day-to-day.

WildFit not only helped me get the dream body I always craved, it helped me achieve it without having to do insane physical workouts, nor did I have to struggle through restrictive diets. It just transformed the way I look at health and nutrition forever.

And I hope the ideas here will help you in your quest for a healthier you.

Just reading this article alone and putting a few of these models and systems in practice will bring you some great results.

Why Diets Don’t Work

The idea that modern diets improve your health is a myth.
When we go on diets, we expect to radically change our life. We want to feel healthier, happier, and fitter.
Unfortunately, that’s not what ends up happening most of the time: 95% of people who went on diet programs say it didn’t work for them.
The problem is, these people were duped into the diet myth.
The diet myth is the idea that to be healthy, you need to eat less, or focus only on a specific food group.
But those restrictions create problems of their own. They don’t address the real problem – the fact that we’re not getting all the nutrition our bodies really need.

If you want to develop true, lasting health, then join Eric Edmeades , the creator of WildFit, Mindvalley’s most successful diet program in this FREE masterclass, where you will learn:

✅ Uncover the true definition of the word ‘diet’. When you understand this simple fact you’ll realize why most diets don’t work and what you should do instead to reclaim your health and correct your weight.
✅ Discover the new health paradigm Vishen Lakhiani used to get slimmer, fitter and stronger in his 40s than he was at 27, in just 8 weeks — without changing his exercise routine or calorie restriction diets.
✅ The simple science behind why we eat what we eat, and a simple trick tocurb your cravings and rewire your brain to eat healthy.

When you’re a busy 40-something with two kids, sometimes weight sneaks up on you. Even when you’re an active Lieutenant Paramedic, the daily grind and demands of looking after a family makes exercise and smart eating lapse. So it went for Adam Hurford, a 41 year old from Avon, Indiana. Despite being a peer fitness trainer for his fire department, Hurford was never armed with nutritional training that keeps you sated and energized to the job, without putting on excess weight. “If I’m doing the correct functional movements without good nutritional habits, well, then you just have a fat guy working out,” he says. “And there’s always so much food in the firehouse. If you put a bag of chips out, it’s gone in an hour.” At 6’1”, Hurford’s weight had peaked at 275 pounds, while still taking on 6,000 emergency calls a year.

Nick Onken

Add to the challenge that in your 40s, sarcopenia–the natural loss of muscle due to aging– begins to work. That means not only trying to shed fat, but up your muscle gain. To make a plan that fit with his schedule and fitness goals, he started a weight-loss-oriented program with a trainer and nutritionist at Life Time North Meridian.

The first two months were “extremely slow,” says Hurford, as he underwent blood testing to figure out which foods were causing him internal inflammation, and to fine-tune his diet. But after those early struggles, Hurford settled into a workout routine as best as he possibly could and has since dropped around 25 pounds. The tweaking is proof that every body is different, and finding what works not only with your lifestyle but your physiology, is part of the challenge.

Nick Onken

To stay accountable throughout the process, while still keeping to his demanding work and family schedule, Hurford and his trainer, Jack Sorrels checked in virtually. “Through calls, emails, text messages, food journals, blood work, and accountability check ins, we’ve had to roll with the punches through this process,” says Sorrels. “I’ve gone to his fire station to train him before as well. I’ve rewritten his plan three times, changing the structure to be more advanced and move him from a conditioning phase to more hypertrophic and weight-loss focused.”

Courtesy

Now, that Hurford has shed some initially weight, Sorrels says, “We are now able to work safely on large compound movements that will take his physique and performance to the next level.”

Nick Onken

THE MID-LIFE ONE-TWO PUNCH

If you’re looking to incorporate a combo of weight loss and muscle gain in your 40s, consider these tips from Hurford’s trainer, Jack Sorrels of Life Time North Meridian.

Develop a Baseline

Hurford needed to build muscle to stave off sarcopenia, the age-related loss of muscle that hits many men by 40. But before that, he needed consistency, so Sorrels focused on low-volume work. Your first step when training after a long layoff shouldn’t be intense: Aim for light or body-weight exercises with higher rep ranges—12 to 15 for just 2 or 3 sets.

Nick Onken

Engage Before Exercise

The key difference between 20-year-olds and the 40-plus crowd: After four decades, your body has bad habits that can lead to injury. Hurford spent 10 to 15 minutes warming up,stretching tight tissues (think hiplexors and pecs if you sit often) and awakening dormant muscles (the rhomboid muscles in your mid-back)with resistance-band drills.

Ramp Up to Muscle Growth

After four weeks of low-volume work,Hurford was ready to accelerate his quest for strength, doing 8 to 12 reps per set, a range that helps build muscle. He also started doing supersets and circuits, pairing, say, bench presses with 30 seconds of cardio rowing to increase his heart rate.

FUEL AT 40

Managing your intake for weight loss and fueling workouts is a fine-tuned combo that takes tweaking. Use this advice from Kristen Cohen, personal trainer and certified nutrition coach, LifeTime North Meridian to start your own nutrition plan:

Choose a Goal a Week

Tackle everything all at once and you’ll easily feel overwhelmed.One week Hurford focused on drinking 120 ounces of water each day; another week he tried to cutback on added sugars in his diet.As the weeks go by, you accumulate the beneficial behaviors with far less stress than if you took on multiple goals.

Nick Onken

Visualize Your Meals

Hurford works in a fire hall where high-carb foods are abundant(baked ziti, anyone?). But by envisioning himself choosing a more nutritious option early in the day, he’s more likely to stick with it later. Same goes for family gatherings and weekend parties with friends.

Check In with Yourself

The number on the scale isn’t your only marker of progress. Even if that number hasn’t changed, what else about you has? Are you sleeping better? Feeling more confident? More energized? More motivated?

THE BEFORE

Weight: 275

THE AFTER

Weight: 250

Adam’s routine now is working through two upper-body days and two lower-body days in each workout. He and Sorrels keep the reps high, around 15 to 20 reps for most exercises, and typically do two sets of each move.

The Editors of Men’s Health The editors of Men’s Health are your personal conduit to the top experts in the world on all things important to men: health, fitness, style, sex, and more.

1. Jenna Dunham Dropped 70 Pounds Post-Pregnancy

Weight before: 203 lbs
Weight now: 133 lbs
Age: 36
Height: 5’4″
Location: Florence, KY
Occupation: Stay-at-home mom
Most embarrassing song she works out to: Copacabana by Barry Manilow – “A great cardio song!”

After her third pregnancy, Jenna found motivation in an unlikely place: the “F” word. “I was 203 pounds and ‘frumpy,'” she says. Jenna felt discouraged, but relied on a personal mantra to get back into the gym. “I can do anything for one minute,” she told herself before stepping on the treadmill or walking over to the weights area. Soon, she was up to sprints and advanced strength-training circuits.

A desire to become a fit mom – not just a skinny one – was Jenna’s driving force. Within six months, she lost 70 pounds, reduced her body fat from 31 to 17 percent and increased her strength. As for those abs, she stuck with a clean diet, returned to Pilates and fell in love with circuit training.

Between her three pregnancies, Jenna has now lost a combined 180 pounds, which is more than she currently weighs! In her closet, she keeps the XL maternity pants (“the largest pair of pants I’ve ever worn!”) to remind her of how far she’s come. With a stronger body and mind, she’s become a happier mom.

Bounce Back Like Jenna

“Some women make it look so easy to get back into shape after having a baby, but it takes a ton of hard work!” Jenna’s top three tips to bounce back:

  1. Rely on a good support network of friends and family
  2. Try new workout classes and routines.
  3. Write down your goals for the day/week/month.

– Kasia Kurek | Photo by Rick Lohre

2. Mylene Biddle Visualized Her Way to a Better Body

Mylene dropped 35 pounds in under two years and picturing success played a big part in her transformation. “If I literally feel like I can’t do one more rep of a difficult exercise, I think of pro bodybuilder Ronnie Coleman’s saying, ‘Ain’t nothing but a peanut!’ and envision the weight as a tiny peanut,” she laughs. “And then I lift it.”

When she wasn’t envisioning healthy fats on the ends of her barbell, she visualized the buff body parts she was working towards. “I’d see a nice biceps bulge, some well-defined lats and rock-hard glutes during my workouts,” she says. With her goals in front of her, Mylene was able to push harder and tune in to her individual muscles.

“Knowing I am a strong woman keeps me motivated,” she says. If she can envision it, she says, it ain’t nothing but a peanut.

Move Like Mylene

Mylene trains six days a week, beginning every workout with cardio. She then splits her strength training into the following routines:

– Kasia Kurek

3. Wendy Mills Became Fit by 50

Weight before: 225 lbs
Weight now: 124 lbs
Age: 50
Height: 5′ 5″
Location: Aurora, Ontario
Occupation: Chartered Accountant
Proudest moment: “When I started to see muscle definition!”

When she was 46 years old, Wendy Mills set a goal: to be her absolute fittest by her 50th birthday. “I knew I would have to lose about 100 pounds!” she says. “So I started setting smaller goals, like giving up fast food or going for a walk.” Taking it slowly, she lost the first 55 pounds.

At 170 pounds, the scale became stuck. She signed up with a personal trainer and started weigh training. “I was terrified,” she admits. But once she started, Wendy found that her mission changed. No longer focusing on losing weight by the time she turned 50, she transformed her mindset: “My goals became strength-related,” explains Wendy, who now includes home training sessions in her routine. Equipped with weights, a bench, resistance bands and medicine balls, Wendy replicates gym exercises. And when it comes to getting results, home reps count as much as gym reps.

Weighing in at 124 pounds, Wendy reached her goal two years early. She turned 50 this year and happily reported that she has maintained her fit lifestyle. “I am now aiming for fit at 60!” she says. “I have not lost my motivation.”

Get Wendy’s Willpower

What advice does Wendy have for fitness newbies? She says it all comes down to three little rules:

  1. Find someone you can be accountable to, such as a workout partner.
  2. Track your progress.
  3. Set a monthly fat loss goal. Do not weight yourself every day.

– Kathleen Engel, NSCA-CPT

4. Paula Hannah Ditched her Excuses

Weight before: 227 lbs
Weight now: 150 lbs
Age: 49
Height: 5’9.5″
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Occupation: Corporate paralegal
Eat-clean breakfast: Steel-cut oatmeal with cinnamon, vanilla and egg whites

Paula Hannah used to come up with any and every excuse to get out of a workout. “The most ridiculous one was that I didn’t want to mess up my hair!” she says. But at 227 pounds and with severe asthma, Paula knew the excuses had to stop.

Paula joined the fitness center at work, a gym that’s a 20-minute walk from home, and a smaller gym on her bus route. While having to rely on public transit would have stopped her before, this time she was determined to succeed. “I made a vow to myself to do whatever it takes,” she says. “If I travelled by bus to get to the gym, then I was going to do the work!”

She knew she’d reached a milestone when she lasted an entire spin class. “Friends texted me, one by one, to say they weren’t coming. My instinct was to leave – I don’t like doing things by myself.” Instead, Paula stayed, planning to duck out early. “When the instructor yelled, ’15 minutes left,’ I started to cry. I did it!”

Before her journey began, she used to tell herself that eating healthy meals was too expensive, but that changed, too. “I looked at the cost of having to shop in the plus size section and compared it with the cost of buying lean meats, fresh vegetables and whole grains,” she says. “It was such simple math!”

Now 77 pounds lighter, Paula has a new outlook: “I’d take being fit with bad hair over looking flawless and being unhealthy any day,” she says.

Keep Track Like Paula

Paula says that writing down her fitness accomplishments helped. “I record the smallest victories, like drinking a gallon of water, lifting a heavier weight or getting to bed on time”. At the end of the month, she goes over her successes. “It reminds me to stay on the right track!”

– Kathleen Engel, NSCA-CPT

5. Lynn Lester-Howland Went From ‘Skinny Fat’ to Muscle Mom

Lynn’s breast cancer diagnosis back in 2009 propelled her towards fitness and taught her to get tough. “I made the decision that I was in control,” she says. Despite feeling lost in the weights section at first, Lynn cut back on endless cardio and got serious about building muscle. She knew having a lean, toned body was one of the two things she could count on to make her feel stronger.

The second thing? Her kids. She got her son and daughter on board, teaching them about the benefits of eating clean and exercising. “I have to laugh now because my children will ask me if they can come to the gym and tell me to feel their muscles as they flex their biceps,” she says.

Cancer free and more confident than ever, Lynn is putting her muscle into shaping up her future with her family. No longer skinny fat but fit, she welcomes new challenges with strength and focus. “I feel like I own the gym now,” she says.

Lynn’s Tips

  1. Do weights before cardio so you’re not depleting your energy before you start lifting.
  2. Go heavy. “If I can do more than seven reps, I bump the weight up.”
  3. Perform intervals instead of steady-state cardio. “I go as hard as I can, then recover and repeat. If I get to 20 minutes, it’s a rare day!”
  4. Immediately after your workout, consume a whey isolate protein shake and a fast-acting carb.
  5. Eat! “If you don’t eat enough, you won’t build muscle.”

– Kasia Kurek

6. Denise Fields Learned to Love Living Healthy

Weight before: 200 lb
Weight now: 130 lb
Age: 31
Height: 5’3″
Location: Kansas City, Missouri
Occupation: Attorney
Favorite Move: Bicep curls

When size 14 started to feel too tight, a 200-pound Denise promised to purge the pudge and set out to lose 70 pounds.

Step one? Denise got to work in the kitchen. She swapped her morning mocha for a clean breakfast, replaced regular restaurant fair with six smaller meals a day, and experimented with spices, marinades and healthy swaps. “Most surprising to me was that I could cook healthy foods that I actually loved more than the bad-for-me foods,” she says.

Step two? She ditched the excuses – including a busy day. “We all make time for the things that are important to us,” says Denise, who squeezed in five cardio and three strength-training sessions a week and discovered a calorie-burner she truly loved: running. “Once you find an activity that you love to do, it won’t seem like exercising as much.”

After dropping 50 pounds in less than a year, she hit a wall. Denise tightened up her diet, upped her water intake, started focusing on just two muscle groups per strength-training session and introduced Tabata, high-intensity interval training. “I just told myself that to quit or slack off at this stage is like stopping just when you see the finish line.”

Five months later, Denise hit her goal weight and dropped from 40% to 22% body fat. She celebrated by buying a new size 6 outfit and treating herself to a day at the spa.

Change It Up, Like Denise
Denise keeps her cardio exciting by switching things up every few weeks. A few tips:

  • Change up your course: Look online for new routes.
  • Change up your terrain: Don’t shy away from hills.
  • Change up your pace: Try sprint intervals on the track.
  • Change up your finish line: Sign up for a 5k or half-marathon for added training incentive.

7. Joanne Hickox Proved that 50 Really Is the New 30

Weight before: 170 lb
Weight now: 130 lb
Age: 59
Height: 5’1”
Location: Burleson, Texas
Occupation: Banker
Most Recent Milestone: Becoming a grandmother in April, but you’d never guess from her fab after shot!

A former yo-yo dieter who avoided exercise, Joanne had resolved herself to the fact that she’d always be “fluffy,” until her daughter announced her wedding date. With visions of a fitted mother-of-the-bride dress, she stopped making excuses and signed up for bootcamp.

Intimidated by the toned twenty-somethings, she wanted to quit after the first week. “I’m so glad that I stayed and know now that I can do whatever the younger girls do,” she says. That includes a combo of cardio, sports drills, plyometrics, weight training, Tabatas and partner drills. Joanne’s shrinking waistline, improved energy and built-in support system created a perfect storm for success. “It’s so much easier to push past that last set when you know 30 women are doing the same thing,” she says.

Knowing she needed a lifestyle change, not another diet, Joanne educated herself on how to eat clean. When faced with food pushers—“Come on, it’s only one candy bar!”—Joanne ignored the naysayers. “You’ve got to learn to stand up for yourself and do what you know is the best for your health.”

Today, Joanne has lost 40 pounds, dropped 8 dress sizes, and even finished a 7-mile obstacle course through mud, water and a 9-foot wall. “I feel better now than I did in my 30s. I can do anything!”

Joanne’s Rules

Joanne dropped fat by sticking to three little rules:

  1. Rise and exercise. “It’s become a part of my routine every am at 5:30.”
  2. Adjust your attitude. “If I have the “can do” attitude, I can finish what I started.”
  3. Be patient. “You didn’t put on all that weight overnight and you will NOT loose it over night.”

8. Zain Jamal Broke Through with Mindfulness

Weighing 145 pounds after a period of binge eating that followed years of anorexia (her lowest weight was 89 pounds back in 2005), Zain knew it was time to commit to a lifestyle of consistent, healthy habits rather than bouncing between two extremes. “When I started practicing mindfulness, everything changed,” says Zain.

Spending time with herself was the first step. After some reflection, Zain realized that her body image was a wreck and that her eating habits stemmed from a desire to be accepted by others. Applying mindfulness techniques she had learned through yoga and meditation, she decided once and for all not to succumb to her own “mind games.” Zain began to practice deep breathing, boosted her motivation by repeating inspiring mantras, hired a personal trainer, and began to educate herself in clean eating.

To combat emotional eating, she stopped having meals while working, watching TV or chatting on the phone. “When I didn’t focus on the meal, I would get to the end and never feel satisfied,” she says, which led to late-night snacking.

“I faced my fears and worked through them,” says Zain, who lost 40 pounds the healthy way and now teaches private workshops for women recovering from eating disorders. “Mindfulness has taught me to cultivate humility, maintain discipline and choose love rather than fear.”

Zain’s Mindfulness Mantras

Getting her mind and body in sync was monumental to Zain’s success. Her tips?

  • During a meal, savor each bite, chewing slowly while admiring the colors, textures, aromas and flavors.
  • Dine outdoors or near a window to calm your body and mind.
  • Before your workouts, perform a mental “body scan.” Ask yourself, how are you feeling that day? Are you energetic? Tired? Stressed? Are any of your muscles sore? Are you carrying tension? Every time you scan your body, become familiar with its needs for that workout.
  • While weight training, pay attention to your breathing.

– Kasia Kurek

9. Michelle Kruk Recruited Her Family

Weight before: 160 lb
Weight now: 123 lb
Age: 37
Height: 5’7″
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Occupation: Teaching assistant and personal trainer
Tip for newbies: “Plan ahead!”

For Michelle Kruk, it was her then¬–eight-year-old son that inspired her to shape up her physique 37 pounds ago during a shopping trip. “Mommy, you have jiggly arms like a grandma!” he told her. After that, there was no going back for Michelle.

She ditched her membership at a women’s-only gym, where she previously stuck to cardio and half-hearted machine circuits, and split the cost of a personal trainer with a friend. After losing the first 20 pounds with her pal, Michelle joined a local running group, ran a half marathon with friends, and spent more time getting active with her kids.

As a working mom, Michelle says that planning skills can make or break fit family habits. That’s why she spends one day per week pre-cooking healthy meals and snacks, and jumps out of bed “before the rooster crows” every morning to fit in a 5 a.m. weights sessions.

Between cleaning up her children’s lunches (“I learned how to make healthy Pizza Pops so they wouldn’t feel deprived!”), taking part in family 5K runs, and participating in “any activity that doesn’t involve sitting on the couch,” Michelle has taken pride not only in her own transformation, but in the love for movement that her kids have picked up. “Having my 12-year-old daughter, Julia, understand that looking skinny does not mean you are healthy is so rewarding,” she says.

Strutting on stage during her first fitness competition, Michelle couldn’t imagine placing first in her category without her family’s support, understanding and even their brutal honesty. “I am so proud of who I have become. And I know that my family and friends are proud of what I have accomplished as well.”

Michelle’s Clean Chocolate Mousse

Mix together:

  • 3/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp natural cocoa powder or carob powder
  • 1–2 drops caramel Stevia

– Kasia Kurek

10. Kristi Youngdahl Ditched the Diets

Weight before: 198 lb
Weight now: 113 lb
Age: 32
Height: 5’2″
Location: Becker, MN
Occupation: Personal Trainer
Personal motto: “‘Go big or go home!’ My workouts are intense!”

At 198 pounds, Kristi decided to make some changes. Looking for quick results, she opted to eat cereal for breakfast and lunch, plus a diet frozen entrée for dinner. After just three months on the plan, Kristi ended up in the hospital with heart palpitations. The doctors told her that her body couldn’t handle what she was putting it through.

When the “cereal diet” failed miserably, Kristi went to Plan B. “I got Tosca’s book and I cleaned out my kitchen cabinets.” Realizing that muscle was her friend, Kristi signed on with a trainer who taught her how to work out. “I was discovering the ‘me’ I was missing and an entirely different woman I had never met before. I felt so empowered!

Kristi is always finding great new dishes to cook with her kids, like chicken asparagus hash browns, taco meatballs and her special chocolate pumpkin protein bars. “I love turning unclean recipes into healthy ones.” Not every experiment is a success, she admits, but it’s a good time with the kids.

Kristi dropped 85 pounds and after her transformation, she took the stage in a fitness competition and even completed a half marathon. A personal trainer today, she hopes that her success inspires her clients.

Kristy’s Chocolate Pumpkin Protein Bars

High-protein desserts can be hard to come by, so Kristi invented her own!

  • 1¼ cup oats
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup agave nectar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2/3 cup natural canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup sun butter
  • 1 cup chocolate protein powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Scatter oats on a baking sheet and toast for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. While oats are toasting, combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add toasted oats and stir. Transfer batter to a 10×10 cake pan, and bake 15-20 minutes. Serves 4.

– Kathleen Engel, NSCA-CPT

(Picture: activelyrees/Instagram)

The prospect of getting rid of excess fat and toning up can be a daunting one – particularly when you’re faced with months of eating rabbit food.

Truth is, ‘dieting’, in the traditional sense of the world, is awful.

PETA jumps on the coronavirus panic to sell ‘go vegan’ face masks

It works on a system of guilt and restriction which leaves you constantly hungry, craggy and bored.

But Nikki Rees is proof that taking a much more relaxed approach to healthy eating and exercise is far more conducive to a toned body than a strict diet.

When Nikki had her second baby, she says that she could barely recognise her own body.

‘The extra weight just wasn’t moving,’ she tells Metro.co.uk.

‘Four months after the baby had arrived, I visited my sister in London for her birthday. I bought a super tight, figure hugging dress, convincing myself that this was exactly what I needed – that if I could squeeze myself into this dress, I would feel good about myself. I got a spray tan, I painted my nails, I blew out my hair and I armed myself with a pair of super strength tummy control Spanx.

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‘Unfortunately a night that was meant to be so glamorous and so fun, ended up feeling so uncomfortable. By the time my second Bellini arrived, my overly full breastfeeding boobs were on the verge of exploding out of the top of my low cut dress and my tummy had forced its way over the top of my spanks which had now rolled right down, creating weird looking bulges amplified by a too-tight dress.

‘ I felt so terrible about my body in that moment I refused to take my coat off at the table and sat through the whole dinner with my arms wrapped tightly around my stomach.

‘I came home feeling disappointed and not in control of my own body. I decided I wouldn’t spend another second feeling uncomfortable and miserable, that I would never ever wear a pair of Spanx again and that I would never rely on a dress to make me feel good about myself. I posted my first “fitness” Instagram picture the very next day and I’ve been posting every day since.’

And she recently posted a #TransformationTuesday side-by-side collage of herself at 34 and now at 36 to show off how far she’s come.

Many of her followers often ask her about her diet and she says that she rarely posts about because ‘there’s nothing really to tell’.

‘I don’t follow a plan, I don’t count anything (not macros not calories) I don’t try to cut out food groups or stop eating carbs after 5 pm. I don’t do intermittent fasting or flexible dieting or even clean eating,’ she writes.

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She goes on to say she still eats cake ‘more days than not’, still drinks prosecco and still steals snacks from her kids’ junk food cupboard and still loves a takeaway.

‘The difference between the two pictures is NOT what those foods do to my body it’s what those foods do to my head.

‘Two years ago eating sweets and takeaway and junk all day would send me into a downward spiral of feeling bad about myself. All that yummy food would actually fuel my EXCUSES to quit exercise, to not bother balancing the treats out with nutritious alternatives. Now, these same foods (and my passion for them) fuel my AMBITION to condition my body.

‘If a day happens where I binge eat cake and a tub of butter, I leave it at just that – a day that happened. It doesn’t de-rail my goals like it used to, I don’t see it as a reason to give up but a reason to continue.

‘I don’t workout out of guilt – I workout to be GUILT FREE.’

And that post has been liked over 5,000 by people thankful to see that you can be toned and slim without giving up your old life.

Her own guilt around food and exercise developed from ‘the idea of diet and fitness as being things with rules – things you have to be perfect at’.

‘You have morph overnight into a fitness fanatic. You must perform the hardest version of all the exercises perfectly and never make them any easier. You can’t ever miss a day in your fitness schedule. You can’t go over your daily allotted calories by even one and if you do, you’ve got to start from the beginning again.

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‘Without knowing it, I was setting myself up to fail time and time again just with the pressure I put on myself. I never gave myself the grace to just try, to be a beginner, to start with a little and build up. We are so willing to focus on the odd mistake and feel guilty for making it, rather than hype ourselves up like crazy for all the good choices/attempts/effort we made instead.

Nikki says that she’s the type of woman who immediately craves the foods that she ‘can’t have’, the moment she commits to a diet.

So, how has she managed to get into shape?

‘I’ve been using Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide all at home for the last two years,’ she says.

‘It’s a killer workout program but it’s easy to modify, needs minimal space and equipment – so it’s perfect for a stay at home mum. I generally workout for 28 mins in my living room with my (now) 2-year-old and it just works for me. I’ve definitely grown a huge amount in confidence and now I change up the workouts, add weights, or resistance bands, push myself to try new variations of common exercises to keep things interesting and keep my body guessing.

‘When people call it a fitness journey, they are not romanticising it…it really is a journey.

She started increasing the amount of food she was eating by having between three and five smaller meals every day, and while she doesn’t track calories, she does try to avoid ‘eating mindlessly’ and ‘always trys to look at (her) meals as a whole day, aiming to get a good balance of all the food groups.

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‘In turn, my weight has steadily increased over the last 18 months back up to my start weight of 63kg but my body composition is entirely different and so is my body shape.’

But although she swerves the scales herself, she’s keen to point out that for some people keeping an eye on those numbers is important.

‘I know everyone has to start somewhere and there’s absolutely no shame in starting off wanting to see the number on the scale change. We’ve all been there.

‘But I wish I had known earlier on in my adult life how inaccurate the scale can be when monitoring your efforts. I also wish I had known how powerful and motivational it can be to see results in pictures, rather than numbers. You see so many more little changes earlier on – things the scale can never tell you.

‘The most important factors about weight-loss are the simple ones that no one wants to hear but are all true… it takes time, it’s about effort and most importantly consistency. The only real difference between my before and after picture is that the before picture used to quit a lot – “oops, had a bottle of prosecco and a curry on the weekend, no point working out now”. That was pretty much me every other week.

‘Now I never give in and “not giving in” has enabled me to improve my relationship with food, my strength and fitness levels and most importantly allowed me to finally create long lasting healthy habits, all of which changed and shaped the AFTER picture in a big way.’

MORE: Six one-day and weekend fitness festivals to boost your summer wellness goals

MORE: We asked fitness professionals whether yoga does actually aggravate injuries or not

MORE: Fitness blogger doesn’t care if she’s got a bit of extra belly fat

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Female Fat Loss

Welcome to “Meltdown For Female Fat Loss”, our radical and proven 12 week programme aimed at women and their specific fat loss and weight loss issues!

Let’s get the facts straight. It is harder for women to lose fat and get in shape than for their male counterparts, and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is quite simply naive as to the facts of women and weight loss, or trying to sell you some neat looking fat loss gimmick that will lighten your wallet and not the scales.

Women lack the muscle mass and key hormonal output of men, two crucial factors that are essential to dropping body fat, and keeping it off for good. Here at Ultimate Performance we have worked with numerous women in preparation for everything from Sports Illustrated photo shoots to beach holidays and weddings, and we know what works, the “secrets” to maximising female fat loss, and the right ways to help you help yourself (dedication, discipline, and correctly channelled impatience!).

To this end, following on from the success of our original 6 week fat loss Meltdown programme, a plan that is still going strong, we have developed a unique twelve week nutritional, supplementation and workout programme exclusively for women that we promise will produce startling results for you! Promises are easy to make it is true, but for those of you who are prepared to work hard and follow our advice to the letter then life changing fat loss results can potentially be yours. Grand words we know, but you can check out our female specific fat loss and body shaping results on this page and throughout the website to see that we can back them up in abundance.


* Results may vary | Results are based on individual circumstances | Timeframes for results are not guaranteed | Willpower is always required!

“The results are guaranteed as long as you stick with the programme and anyone is capable of doing it.” (Victoria Ferris, pictured above)

Our female fat loss protocols are based both on scientifically proven research into the stimulus of fat burning hormones and years of real world experience working to help women look and feel their absolute best. The Meltdown For Female Fat Loss programme can be so effective that it can be tailored to the goals of every woman, be it dropping post pregnancy weight that just refuses to shift, or to budge that last few pounds to look good in a little dress like Kelly below:

* Results may vary | Results are based on individual circumstances | Timeframes for results are not guaranteed | Willpower is always required!

“Changing habits, gaining control of her life, Kelly didn’t do anything magical but she did consistently follow smart training & tailored dietary coaching advice”*

All the lessons that we have learned in helping men lose body fat for magazine covers and physique contests are useful starting points for devising a female specific fat loss programme. But the important point to consider is that working with men, no matter how spectacular the transformation (such as Glenn’s photos below this paragraph!), is not the same as working with women and we need to consider a wide range of factors that are of particular importance when optimising the female form.

Glenn made this amazing transformation in just 15 weeks. For a woman such an overwhelmingly dramatic change is nigh on impossible, but many lessons can be learned and great things can still be achieved with educated effort!

Some of the specific female issues that we recognise and address in our Meltdown Female Fat Loss programme include:

Metabolic Rejuvenation

Far too many women have spent endless hours jogging, pounding away on cross trainers, and slaving on spinning bikes whilst simultaneously starving themselves on portions of food that wouldn’t satisfy a sparrow! The end result is a shut down in key fat burning hormones such as leptin and ghrelin, potential damage to the thyroid gland and thyroid output, and metabolic catastrophe. We have seen countless women come to us after achieving short term weight loss success with fad liquid diets and excessive cardio only to have the worst possible weight gain rebound when normal life inevitably resumes. Our goal in these cases is to ensure metabolic rejuvenation so that you can function as a lean, healthy and vibrant human being, have decent energy levels, and not be frightened of eating the odd bit of “bad food”! Life is for living after all, and the key in this case is learn to eat, exercise, and live in the right way so that your body becomes a fat burning machine. Putting yourself in the position that in order to lose weight, or even worse maintain your existing weight, you need to subsist on the barest minimum of calories runs counter to everything that we stand for and everything that we do when dealing with female fat loss.

Eradicating the Mythology of Female Fat Loss

Here is an example of bad habits and myths we have to contend with on a regular basis – jump on the treadmill, eat low fat foods, 5 servings of fruit per day, yogurt and granola for breakfast and a banana and skinny latte at 11am, take fat burning supplements, that are not quite as dangerous as scaremongers would have you believe, but are certainly not the optimal choice for fast, safe and effective fat loss – especially for women. All too common but wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong!

Unfortunately a whole mythology has sprung up around women’s fat loss that if they do anything at all like men then they will somehow become manly. One magazine has actually written that protein is only important for men and has no real relevance to the diet of a female. Here is a reality check, although there are certainly different angles that need taking for male and female fat loss, men are not really from Mars and women are not really from Venus. We are the same species and certain rules cross over. We will teach you those rules, along with the tricks and twists that give extra relevance to female fat loss requirements.

Liver Detoxification

This can be a very complicated subject, but it is one of the reasons why we have found that fat loss for women can be harder than for their male counterparts. Very simplistically, it is the liver that detoxifies the scores of foreign estrogens that flood our bodies in today’s polluted world. Too much estrogen, from any source, tends to impair the function of the liver and bring fat loss to a grinding halt (if it ever started in the first place). In certain cases, gentle and gradual liver detoxification utilising a range of modalities, most typically the emphasis is on Japanese Kampo medicine, is called for. The end result being that once the liver is properly detoxified estrogenic fat issues are minimised and the right sort of weight loss can happen much more quickly and easily.

Premenstrual Issues

Whether its water retention, irritability, sugar cravings or heaven help you all three at once, premenstrual problems can easily derail your fat loss goals. We address these issues head on and have numerous nutritional and supplementation protocols to help alleviate PMS and keep you on track to achieve the body of your dreams.

Cardio Bunnies Beware!

Ask yourself this one question – how many women do you know who consistently go to the gym, spend all their time on recumbent bikes and elliptical machines, and don’t ever seem to drop an ounce of weight? The chances are that nearly all your female friends who attend the gym fall into this category. Now we are not going to tell you that all cardio is evil, the human body is far too complicated to ever take crazily dogmatic points of view, but we do show our female clients the correct way to use their time in the gym for real and tangible results.
If you have read much on this website you will appreciate that resistance training is the way forward for most. Sports performance and conditioning science has developed an unprecedented rate since the early 1990s and the latest fat loss research, which Meltdown For Female Fat Loss is based on, means that you lose more fat more rapidly than ever before whilst improving the overall “tone” and shape of your body.

* Results may vary | Results are based on individual circumstances | Timeframes for results are not guaranteed | Willpower is always required!

The precise and highly focused nature of our fat loss training is proven to burn calories long after you have left the gym. Traditional workouts burn fat whilst you’re exercising, but as soon as you get off the treadmill your metabolism shifts back down to normal. With the application of tried and scientifically tested systems we can guarantee that your metabolism stays elevated, and you therefore continue to burn body fat, for up to 38 hours after you have finished exercising! One of the things that all our female clients comment upon after finishing their first Fat Burning workout is how for hours afterwards they feel as though they are “light on their feet”, “walking on clouds” and often “ravenously hungry”! All fantastic signs that the overall metabolism has been stimulated to a level that they have never experienced before.

Hormonal Modulation & Female Problem Areas

(thighs, hips, buttocks, and arms)

Utilising the BioSignature Modulation system* as standard with all our female fat loss clients, we are in a position to accurately gauge hormonal imbalances. BioSignature Modulation compares the ratios of where you store fat across your body, giving us a map of your hormones that we use as the basis for a number of highly specific nutritional and supplementation protocols. It is the fastest diagnostic tool for fat loss as it allows us to be very precise in prescribing solutions for each individual’s unique biochemistry. If it sounds a little like voodoo to you, then think as to why you store fat in different places from your other female friends, and then think on why only highly unfortunate men store fat in any way that is similar to any woman you know. This is not some random act of God, rather it is due to hormonal differences, and once these so-called differences have been identified then we can start to address them using modern science.

*Please note, these articles on BioSignature Modulation are maintained for historical interest and no longer reflect our current practices. We do not endorse BioSignature as a methodology.

What It Really Takes

As the Meltdown philosophy has evolved it has been refined to the extent that it is now a complete exercise and nutritional methodology that we KNOW will strip body fat off even the slowest metabolism. Such is our reputation in this field that we often get the clients that nobody else wants, those who have been everywhere and tried everything in an increasingly desperate attempt to be in decent shape for the first time in their lives. Have these people who once considered themselves “no hopers” been pleased with their results on the Meltdown programme? Let’s put it this way, we have had many hundreds of very happy female clients and only ever had one unsatisfied customer who proved that as good as we think we are at shaping female bodies we cannot claim to be miracle workers who will make the lazy diligent and the work shy conscientious. Never forget that our programmes can be hard work and require life changing, if ultimately also life enhancing, habits. We want clients who want something special and not the ordinary, and in turn we can help you produce results like these:

The twelve week Female Fat Loss Plan consists of:

Initial Assessment & BioSignature Consultation

BioSignature is the fastest way to burning fat and get lean because it is individualised for your own unique body fat and hormonal composition. Every client who enrolls for our Female Fat Loss Programme has the opportunity to benefit from this groundbreaking protocol and modulate their exercise, nutrition and supplementation around their own unique hormonal profile.
In addition to the BioSignature readings, the initial assessment consists of a health and fitness questionnaire where we learn not just the hard facts of your previous exercise experience and medical history, but also seek to understand exactly how we can structure our Fat Loss system to best fit around your lifestyle. Remember this is a strict methodology that we tailor in a bespoke fashion to your own unique circumstances.
We also undertake an extensive body composition analysis whereby we calculate body fat percentages and take height / weight / relevant body part measurements.

Nutritional Consultation and Audit

You must keep a food diary of exactly what is consumed during a so called “regular” week. This way we can accurately conduct a full scale audit of dietary habits and make positive changes that are particular to how you eat, rather than making sweeping statements that apply generally, but not necessarily to you specifically.
Our fat loss plans have strict nutritional protocols that are made to fit around your own needs and lifestyle, not the other way around! Our clients all receive highly personalised dietary programmes that break down eating goals and give guidelines for all 63 days of the programme. Why do we go into such minute detail? The answer is simple – we like to be able to accurately tell you what you can expect from your twelve week commitment to us. We simply do not believe in leaving anything to chance.
Depending upon your exact goals, we also map out a full scale supplementation programme that includes every possible permutation of what food supplements you can take to enhance your progress.

Fat Loss Exercise Programme Design

On the basis of the data gathered by our initial consultations we then construct a unique Fat Loss / Fat Burning programme just for you based on the Meltdown principles. This is a twelve week plan that is designed to evolve as your own conditioning improves and will see you burning fat and stoking up your metabolism right from the very first workout.
We also take into account the information gathered during the physical assessments, and construct a plan that takes into account any pre existing or potential structural / muscular imbalances, addressing weaknesses head on and eliminating them with the application of modern sports science programme design.

* Results may vary | Results are based on individual circumstances | Timeframes for results are not guaranteed | Willpower is always required!

Training Sessions

You will work on-to-one in our gym with your personal trainer three times a week for twelve weeks. In addition we may ask you to put in a further two to three half hour energy training systems workouts at home or in the gym every week.

We pay extremely close attention to everything that you do when exercising with us, always monitoring your form, your fitness and your progress, and view the “in the gym” part of our service as being a combination of motivator, educator, statistician and task master!

What We Expect From You

We are very proud of Meltdown’s reputation, and Nick Mitchell will do nothing to compromise his reputation as a fat loss expert. Unlike most personal trainers who will take on any client, no matter how wavering their commitment, we are very particular about who we take on as a client. To this extent there are certain conditions that we demand each client agrees to before embarking on the twelve week Fat Burning programme.

Make the time to train with us three times a week. We are willing to work at any time of the day or night, and will even open the gym at 4am if you ask us very nicely! There are always legitimate reasons not to exercise, but we will not accept that you can’t find the time for a twelve week period that is a tiny amount of time in the grand scheme of your life.
Give up alcohol, wheat and processed foods for at least the first 14 days of the Meltdown programme.
Accept that you must follow the 90/10 rule. 90% of what you do from exercise to food intake must be EXACTLY as we tell you. The other 10% we leave to your conscience.
Give 100% effort throughout the programme and maintain a positive approach at all times. Burning fat isn’t always a walk in the park, but if you embrace it wholeheartedly you will have an enjoyable, energising, and wholly rewarding experience.

These are the things that we expect of you. If they sound too challenging, then we are sorry but Meltdown isn’t for you.

* Results may vary | Results are based on individual circumstances | Timeframes for results are not guaranteed | Willpower is always required!

What Can You Expect on the Female Meltdown Programme:

Noticeable fat loss within 10 days

More energy and vigour for life. You will have a spring in your step that will take you back to your youth!

Better skin tone as a result of the clean diet and toxin free lifestyle

A more toned and shapely body

Better sleeping patterns

After twelve weeks, a slimmer and more confident you will be looking back in the mirror

Envious glances from colleagues!

A small hole in your wallet as you start buying better fitting clothes!

AboutOur Results

  • We show you the best, we don’t show you the worst.
  • We show you people who follow the plans, not those who are all talk.
  • We show you those who inspire even us with their commitment to their results.
  • You cannot get results exactly like these. You are unique and that means you can only get your own best possible results.
  • Your results are a function of time spent following the plan; your genetic response to the right exercise and diet program; how hard you train; how consistently you come to the gym; how disciplined you are with your diet; & your starting point.
  • Oftentimes the lower your starting point (poor fitness, terrible body composition) the better your results.
  • We cannot do the work for you and the results you see here are a testament to the work ethic of our clients.
  • Our reputation is that we are the best trainers in the world for helping you to unlock your potential, & we can lead you to the door, give you the key, even turn the handle and push the door open, but we cannot walk through it for you. In the end the result is down to you.

Body transformation after 40

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