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My name is Sergei. At the beginning of the year, I decided to get in shape. Over the next few months I lost 16 pounds, gained 11.5 of muscle, and dropped 13.5 percent body fat. I did this by switching up my diet and engaging in regular functional training. But that’s not all. During my transformation, I discovered some pretty cool things...
Here are a just a few of my takeaways:
1.) Getting in shape is a simple formula.
Good program design + consistency = results. A good training program should engage all of your major muscle groups and make them work in natural ways. In the fitness world, this is typically called “functional training.” Functional training generally includes but is not limited to, weight lifting, cardio, balance and destabilization exercises. Once I engaged in such workouts regularly, I started seeing a transformation in my figure.
2.) A body is a very adaptive machine.
After the initial conditioning phase, eating right and exercising regularly become second nature. More importantly, these things become fun! When I first changed my diet and began training I had a tough time adjusting to my new lifestyle. But then, in a matter of a few weeks, things started to snap into place and feel habitual. One day I noticed that going to the gym was what I looked forward to most in my day-to-day routine. That was a very happy realization for me.
3.) It's just as important "when" you eat as "what" you eat.
Prior to the start of my training I ate three big meals per day. On a typical day, I would wake up, drink a glass of green smoothie and fast until the early afternoon. By the time, I sat down to eat lunch I was so ravenous that I would eat two or three helpings of food. Once I was stuffed to the brim, I would resume my fast for five or six hours until I was again ravenous. I would then eat two to three servings at dinner and would usually eat a second dinner late a night before bed. As a result of this kind irregular eating my blood sugar was unstable, which caused me to gain weight and suffer from low energy. When I started my training program my coach instructed me to eat every two hours during the day and fast for 12 hours at night. Even though the contents of my meals haven’t changed much (I still eat heaps of fresh fruits and veggies), I have found that my new meal schedule is extremely effective for shedding pounds and increasing energy.
4.) Investing in yourself (i.e. getting healthy by means of diet & exercise) is the best investment you can make.
A healthy body that functions properly makes the life experience more rich and fun. Without health, it’s very hard to enjoy the connections we share with the people we love, the money we earn, and the fancy things we acquire. That is why I believe it makes sense to invest time and energy into keeping our bodies healthy and fit.
5.) Choosing healthy habits over unhealthy ones is an act of self-love.
I have noticed that every time I opt out of eating a sugary dessert and instead reach for a piece of fruit, I feel a strong sense of accomplishment and pride. Making health choices regularly boosts my self-esteem and improves my self-worth. The same is true for exercise. When I get my butt out of my computer chair and take myself to the gym, I feel like I’m giving myself a giant hug while at the same time telling myself “Sergei, I love you.” I had no idea how pleasant this kind of self-care was until I experienced it for myself.
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