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How to transform your body in 12 weeks

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 12/01/2017 Shaun Stafford

© Provided by Evening Standard Limited So now that you are back into the groove after a mini festive break for the Christmas holidays, it’s time to turn your attention to getting your body ready for summer and all that 2017 has to throw at it…

Use these 5 crucial tips to get your body lean, stronger and exactly where you need it to be in just 12 short weeks.

1. Consistency is key

As with everything in life, a bit of consistency always delivers solid results. Where as most people want a quick fix, we also all know what happened to The Hare and The Tortoise. A period of 12 weeks is as quick as it is going to be if you want the results to be quality, sustainable and long term. My advice is to manage your expectations, and get set for a longer ride: 12 weeks, 3 months, 90 days… block it out in your diary and start mapping out your journey to the new physique you know is just around the corner.

2. Have a plan

It is a bit of a cliché and is quite often over-played this time of year, but if you “fail to plan, you plan to fail”. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing all of your good intentions flitter away as it isn’t channelled on the right path. You may not be a qualified personal trainer or fitness coach, there are plenty of them loitering around the juice bar of your local health club or fitness centre - if you feel you need the direction, speak to the manager of the club and ask for a plan to be put together for you: sometimes this may even be free or included as part of your membership.

3. You can’t out train a bad diet

In order to maintain and encourage a sustainable period of weight loss/ fat loss, you need to be eating within a “calorie deficit”. This means that you are burning more calories than you are consuming, and it needs to be sustained for a prolonged period of time to get real results. A commonly accepted number for this deficit is around 500kcal per day, or a total of 3,500kcals a week: this should lead to an estimated 2lb drop in your scale weight every 7 days and depending on how you are training, this could be pure fat loss.

Managing your diet and keeping the “caloric deficit” at the front of your mind is a key component for transforming your physique over the next 12 weeks: putting more emphasis on your diet and planning your meals to be within a deficit will certainly yield greater results than just guessing.

4. Get technological

We are starting to see technology impacting fitness and helping people transform their bodies. Whether you are using the latest wearable fit-bit style gadget to track your calorie expenditure over the week (remember the last point and how crucial a calorie deficit is), or whether you are following a training/ diet app on your phone or have downloaded my latest training guide to your tablet, technology is geared up to make your life and transformation easier. Don’t be afraid of technology - embrace it.

5. Stay motivated

Motivation is crucial when it comes to staying on track for your transformation. With every transformation client I take on, we always start with some objective measurements to track progress (itself an incredibly motivating factor). We also take the “dreaded” weekly progress photo: this not only tracks your progress visually, but also gives you something to stick to and train towards on a regular basis.

If you are still struggling for motivation, why not follow some of your favourite fitness personalities online.

Shaun Stafford is a head of personal training at City Athletic.

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