Expert explains why enjoying exercise is important
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After a long summer of drinking and eating with friends in Australia, 42-year-old teacher Ben was the heaviest he had ever been. Weighing in at 109kg (17 stone), he knew he had to do something about his size, and turned to F45 to shed his excess weight through diet and exercise.
Ben always had the best of intentions when it came to weight loss, but found it difficult to follow through.
While he did pay for a gym membership, he barely used it, and consequently his exercise routine became mainly stagnant.
He also went for the occasional run, but couldn’t maintain the momentum.
In terms of diet, Ben was happy to eat home-cooked meals, however he admitted these weren’t always healthy, and he struggled with portion control.
Ben knew his lifestyle wasn’t ideal, but it wasn’t until he retuned from his holiday and his trousers didn’t fit that he decided enough was enough.
In fact, it wasn’t that the trousers were mildly uncomfortable or tight – they actually had a rip in them.
In an effort to turn his life around, Ben signed up to the F45 challenge at the Wandsworth Studio.
This challenge is a comprehensive fitness and nutrition programme implemented on a seasonal basis.
The website stated: “The F45 Challenge is an eight-week community-focused health, fitness and nutrition program designed to help F45 members adopt a healthier lifestyle and achieve life-changing results.”
The 45 minute workouts combine circuit and HIIT style exercises geared towards everyday movement.
F45 Challenge described the workouts as “sweat dripping and heart pumping fun”.
Despite his initial reluctance to take the plunge and join a studio, Ben was instantly drawn to its community based, social atmosphere.
Surrounded by likeminded people with the same goals, the studio radiated a positive atmosphere, where all the members could cheerlead each other, quickly becoming like family.
Exercising with others is a fantastic way to build fun into a weight loss programme, as well as keeping oneself accountable, as everybody relies on each other.
Outside the studio, when Ben’s motivation occasionally dipped, there were WhatsApp support groups at hand to provide encouragement.
This setup was perfect for an exercise newbie like Ben who may have found the gym daunting.
Ben completely transformed his diet, too, and the wide array of food options offered on the plan meant that it was
more like a healthy lifestyle than a diet, which really helped him succeed.
The meals were personalised and tailored to Ben’s recommended daily calorie intake, and taught him a great deal about his unhealthy food habits, such as how many unnecessary calories he was consuming just through sauces.
His progress has been huge; when starting the challenge, Ben used a tracker to monitor his sizes, but he now has the knowledge and understanding of the foods he should be eating and their quantities.
One key thing that Ben did during the process was accept that he is human; he did not let it get to him if he didn’t have a 100 percent successful week, and he also allowed himself his favourite foods such as chips and pastries in moderation.
The crucial element of Ben’s journey was remaining consistent and not overindulging.
Four F45 Challenges later, Ben has lost a staggering 25kg and an incredible 10 percent of his body fat.
At 84kg, the teacher’s mentality has shifted and he now enjoys exercise, attending classes almost every day of the week, as well as eating a nutritious, balanced diet.
His advice to dieters is: “Take small steps at first. Don’t try and do it all at once! Stop eating chocolates, for example, on Monday and Tuesday, or start going to one class a week. Just do something and build it from there as it will snowball.
“There is no reason to cut things out completely in your life. If you like your chocolates or red wine then have it, but just see it as a treat and limit yourself / build it into your calories.
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