Abbie’s transformation wasn’t a focus on how much weight she could lose in 8 weeks, it was about how much she could gain; mentally and physically, from having a tailored training and nutrition plan.
“I joined FFF in February as their new Marketing Executive. I had just returned from 4 months of travelling around SE Asia. My trip was great but I had returned feeling very unconfident and unmotivated after gaining quite a lot of unwanted ‘fluff’ over the winter months. My training and nutrition had been put firmly on the back burner and even when I got back to London I was really finding it difficult to motivate myself to focus on my health and be more active. I didn’t want to go on another fad diet like I would have previously done, I wanted to educate myself on a sustainable lifestyle change”.
Abbie’s training consisted of 2 PT sessions each week with @fred_fit_. In these sessions Fred would focus on form, mobility and strength. This was then put into practice through attending a combination of cardio and strength at UN1Tin Fulham 2-3 times a week on top of Fred’s sessions.
See a sample workout of one of Abbie’s sessions with Fred below.
And a little bit from Fred:
“I wanted to make sure that Abbie felt comfortable when moving through various ranges of motion, therefore, improving her mobility, building her confidence and getting her a lot stronger. The first few sessions we looked at technique with big lifts (squat/deadlift/bent over row/overhead press etc.) got her confident and then built her up from there, making sure progressive overload was incorporated (may sound obvious, but it’s often neglected). I would often finish with some form of conditioning to work on her cardiovascular fitness. In comes the Assault bike… her favourite piece of equipment!
It has been a real pleasure training her and I have no doubt she will continue to progress, getting stronger, fitter and more confident as each day passes. Well done Abbie!”
When training it’s important to fuel your body correctly. Abbie was in a controlled calorie deficit throughout her transformation. Her suggested calorie intake was calculated by Robin, one of the Fresh Fitness Food inhouse nutritionists, by looking at her total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). Even though Abbie was working out 4-5 times a week it’s also important to look at the hours outside of the gym. Like many of us Abbie was in a sedentary job and therefore sat at a desk for 8 hours of the day, so we took this into account when working out her macros. How active you are only determines up to 25% of your energy expenditure. Activity is measured in EAT (Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) and NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis), which is in short, the difference between activity in the gym and out of it. NEAT can significantly contribute to your overall energy needs, sometimes even more than any exercise you’re doing. Someone who trains every day for an hour in the gym but spends the rest of the day sat at a desk and travels by tube can still have a lower energy expenditure than someone who doesn’t train but works as a waiter and cycles everywhere.
About 4 weeks into the transformation Abbie focused on upping her TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) by walking more. This was tracked through using her Fitbit Blaze. She aimed for around 12,000 steps a day. This meant that throughout the whole 8 weeks Abbie’s calorie intake was kept the same, therefore there were no miserable days of being hungry and unmotivated.
“I completely noticed a difference as soon as I started walking more, this is something I now incorporate into my daily routine and really enjoy. I will always try to get off the bus a few stops earlier or have a morning walk before I head to work”.
Food wise Abbie’s meals were packed full with protein, veggies and carbs. She excluded dairy from her menu so stuck to the vegan protein snacks and nuts. She opted for 3 meals and a snack from our fat loss package.
“I prefer to eat little and often rather than three large meals. I chose to have a few sweet snacks a week in my menu that fit into my daily intake. This meant that I never felt deprived as my sweet tooth was always satisfied. For me it felt strange at first to be eating like this; coming from previously eating lots of chicken and rice and seeing these types of food as ‘bad’ – now I just see them as delicious snacks! My meals may be smaller that day due to having a higher calorie sweet snack but I didn’t mind this as it kept my menu varied and meant that when the weekend came around I wouldn’t feel the need to have a ‘cheat meal’. For the first time I was having a variety of meals and really enjoying my food again. Cooking, weighing and tracking my own macros in the past has often lead to me eating repetitive meals (and not to mention it being mentally draining) I’m finally learning to just enjoy fuelling my body properly again”.
A sample day on Abbie’s menu is below:
As this was a lifestyle piece we were never looking to do anything too extreme. 8 weeks is only 56 days; in order to see a drastic change we would have had to be super strict and undergone a very intense training regime, which in return would not have been sustainable, which is not what this was about.
“I went into this transformation with an open mind. I wanted to forget everything I had previously read about losing weight, working out and completely trusted both Fred’s training and the nutrition advice from Robin. Due to the gradual changes, controlled calorie deficit and enjoyable training sessions this has meant that I’ve never once felt the need to go ‘off plan’ or give up. I can’t say I’ve been 100% motivated going into every single session, there were days I was tired or stressed but those are the sessions where I came out feeling my best. I don’t have any desire to stop training as I’ve enjoyed working on building my strength rather than to burn XX calories and I’m really proud of the progress I’ve made. Shifting my focus, removing the pressure and just enjoying the ride. I honestly have never felt better. I feel stronger, leaner and have a much better relationship with food because of it.”
These stats above show how much Abbie has progressed over the 8 weeks. We chose to look at all aspects of her training rather than focus on just her weight loss. Robin Swinkels, our in house nutritionist explains why:
“Often people only measure their progress by numbers on the scale. I always encourage clients not to get too caught up with that for a number of reasons. For one, the number on the scale does not tell you what weight you have actually lost or gained: fat, water or muscle? Secondly, our weight fluctuates naturally depending on how hydrated you are, time of day, when you last trained and for women time of the month has an influence too. There are many other ways to measure progress. I’m not saying keeping track of your weight is completely irrelevant but progress is also getting stronger, feeling better in your skin and looking better in your clothes. If you’ve lost body fat, but put on muscle your weight on the scale may still have gone up as muscle weighs more than fat per unit of volume. So take progress pictures, measure your arms and waist, keep track of the weight you are lifting and notice how you feel after completing a workout”.
“I will be continuing with Fresh Fitness Food alongside cooking at the weekend. My love of food and cooking has now returned, however the convenience midweek is too good to stop! I have so much more time, whether that be to go see my friends, read a book or fit in that extra workout. My FFF meals have helped me understand my correct portion sizes which means when I am cooking at the weekend or out for dinner I don’t feel the need to ‘go off the rails’. I enjoy a treat now and again, which I have done throughout my transformation, but I’m just a lot more mindful of what I’m putting into my body. With my training I am looking to continue with a combination of strength and endurance classes with the aim to lift heavier and improve my mobility. I’m really looking forward to the Summer, entering it more confident than I ever have before”.
We are so happy that Abbie has used this 8 weeks to educate herself and the results have shown what is possible in just a short amount of time with the right mindset, nutrition and training which will now continue for Abbie on a long-term sustainable lifestyle. At FFF we pride ourselves on being able to create a bespoke plan tailored for the individual. There is no one size fits all and it’s important to understand what works for you in order to reach your own personal goals. If you’re interested in trying FFF out for yourself simply book a call in with one of our nutritionists here. Or alternatively head over to our website: www.freshfitnessfood.com