How did you lose all that weight?
Can you send me your diet/workout plan?
Can you do a diet/workout plan for me?
Can you give me some diet tips?
What should my macros be to get lean?
You must be trying to be PTs – can I be a guinea pig for your plan?
Did Mrs C have surgery?
I work out lots but can’t lose weight/get lean, what am I doing wrong?
Should I do [insert fad diet name here]?
Why don’t I have the same level of motivation as you do?
I’ve lost a lot of weight / got really toned, but I still don’t have any confidence. How can I have confidence like you?
Do you take steroids?
Should I take steroids?
Why is some text on your blog in a different colour?
Mr C: We started with Slimming World. I think when you have a lot of weight to lose, it is a good way to begin as it just gets you thinking about portion control and variation in your diet, and the groups are good since you have to take ownership of your results in front of real people. But once we got to a healthy weight range it became clear that Slimming World would not progress us any more. Wanting to get lean, we had to move on to a structured exercise and dietary plan devised by a professional. At every step of the journey, though, you have to want to do it – we only got to where we are because we stuck with it, we challenged ourselves to push further at every milestone, and we kept the big picture in mind. If you’re looking to lose weight or get toned, you just have to chip away at it, one bit at a time.
Mrs C: HARD WORK! There are no shortcuts unfortunately. Lord knows I tried them all first! Eat healthy, find a plan that suits you and stick with it. For me it was slimming world. I lost 6 stone on their plan. Once I decided to get lean and build muscle I needed a new nutritional plan and I changed to clean eating on the advice of my personal trainer. I now eat clean 5-6 meals a day, high protein, low carb.
Sorry, but no. Not because we’re being mean, but because they are worked out specifically for the demands of our bodies and our goals – yours will almost certainly be different. Also, we use a personal trainer who has put these plans in place for us, and we pay for that professional advice. It just wouldn’t be right for us to take that product and give it away for free. If you’re looking at doing a set training/diet plan, I’d strongly recommend finding a PT with a strong background in nutrition (I think this sets the good ones apart from the bad ones), and asking them to put something together for you. Even if you’re not looking for regular training sessions, they should be happy to do that for a reasonable price.
It is very flattering that people ask this. However, the ability to dedicate yourself to following a plan does not qualify you to write one. We are not qualified personal trainers, nor do we have any nutritional qualifications. That may change in the future (who knows!) but right now we are not qualified to advise. Please do be careful who you approach to get this kind of advice – this industry is full of unqualified people who will take your money and probably do their best to put together a plan for you. It may even work, to some degree. But should you trust someone who isn’t qualified or experienced, with your health, your safety and your ability to reach your goals? No. If you want a plan putting together, do your research and find the right person to provide it – you will be so glad you did when you start seeing those results.
Mr C: Bearing in mind the points above about not giving advice, we have learned some general points that we would love to pass on. Keep it simple – clean eating is, in my opinion, the best thing to aim for. The less processing done to food before it hits your plate the better. As a general rule of thumb for normal life (“off season” when I’m not on a specific plan) I’m trying to aim for around 50% protein, 30% carb and 20% fat. The proteins are usually chicken/turkey/white fish/egg whites with a bit of red meat too, and I use whey and casein powders to supplement that. Carbs are things like brown rice, bulgar wheat, sweet potato etc., as well as some fruit. The “healthy” fats are nuts, seeds, egg yolks, salmon etc. Make sure there are plenty of veggies in there – kale, spinach, asparagus and broccoli are good, be careful with some others due to high sugar content. If you do the above, you will be surprised how much you have to eat to give yourself the fuel you need! Common mistakes I’ve heard are – eating loads of fruit (high sugar!), existing on yogurts (sugar..), cutting calories drastically (you will lose muscle and retain fat – eat plenty of the right calories!), eating a lot of bread/other beige stuff (avoid processed food). Finally, regarding cheating – you need a treat now and then, but don’t go mad. The temptation to smash a share size Dairy Milk will always be there, but if you give yourself plenty of good quality calories you can keep it at bay.
Mrs C: Start by making small changes… if you eat nothing but junk food and takeaways cut out the greasy food first and get used to making meals from scratch. Then when you are comfortable with this you can concentrate on getting the right amounts of each food group on your plate and balancing your fats, proteins and carbs. If you struggle with portion sizes try eating 6 smaller meals a day rather than 2-3 massive ones…. If fluid intake is an issue make the point of ditching the soft drinks and alcohol and just drink 2-3 litres of water a day. Any healthy change you make is going to help you. Once you are used to one change add in another. Keep your goals fresh and you wont get bored. It’s not necessary to do it all in one go… In fact it can set you up to fail. It has taken me and Mr C 5 years to learn how to eat and train the way we do and we are still learning!!
That depends entirely on your BMR, your activity levels and your goals. Be very wary of anyone willing to answer that question with actual numbers. Please read through the rest of this FAQ though, as there will probably be some helpful advice in there.
We’re actually not, and though we are very flattered by the suggestion, we wouldn’t want to ruin someone’s chances of achieving their goals by trying before we had the training and experience necessary. The point of our blog and general visibility over it all, is that we want to help with little tips and things we’ve learned along our journey, but most of all to inspire people.
Mr C: No
Mrs C: I had 2 surgeries following my dramatic weight loss. I have always been open and honest about this as I believe it to be unfair to suggest that my results are 100% natural. Unfortunately losing vast quantities of weight no matter how slowly can leave the body with unsightly loose skin that there is no exercise for. I made the decision after the weight loss to undergo breast surgery and surgery to my abdomen to remove loose skin. Both surgeries were completed by Mrs CC Kat www.cckat.com in 2 separate procedures 1 year apart. I did my research and would STRONGLY RECOMMEND anyone who is considering surgery to do the same. The recoveries were not easy and the abdominoplasty in particular put my training back by 6 months. However, I believe the result to be worth it and I would not have the aesthetic that I have today without the surgery. This type of surgery is NOT a fat reduction procedure. It’s to get rid of excess skin. The hard work is still down to the individual both before and after and you will certainly not get six pack abs from a tummy tuck without eating right and training hard! I kept a vlog on youtube about my abdominoplasty which can be viewed here https://www.youtube.com/user/cleggy1983
Mr C: Judging by the questions we’ve been asked, this is almost always dietary. Most of the advice is above, so please do have a good read through this FAQ. Don’t try to make up for a poor diet by excessive exercise, as you will end up stressed and possibly injured. Invest some time in working out what you should eat to fuel your activity. A personal trainer with a good nutritional understanding would be a great start with this. That small investment will probably benefit you massively, and it will be worth it when you see the results starting to show. If you have genuine concerns that your diet and exercise regime are not working and you are retaining weight, please go to see your GP – the body is a complex thing and hormone levels can be affected by all sorts of things. Better to rule that out than regret it later.
Mrs C: ABS ARE MADE IN THE KITCHEN…… and that goes for all over muscular definition. What you put in your mouth makes a bigger impact on how lean you can be than the work you put in at the gym. Unfortunately you cannot out train a bad diet. Getting lean requires discipline with food…. that doesn’t mean starving yourself… it actually makes the problem worse… you have heard the term ‘skinny fat’ right?!?! You need to eat… you just need to eat the right things and getting professional advice is certainly something I would advocate.
Mr C: I’ve stopped short of naming and shaming here, but you know the ones we’re talking about – shakes, pills, massively restricted variation of food or calories, you name it, there’s someone out there waiting to take your money for a silver bullet. I am quite strongly against these diets, can you tell? You will lose weight. For a short period of time. But you can’t do the diet forever, so you have to stop sometime. Then you will gain more than you lost [OK, a minority of people are successful with them, but they are NOT healthy]. My golden rule is that if it seems extreme, it is a bad plan. If you value your health and your future, you can achieve your goals my eating lots of good, clean, healthy food. Once you learn how to fuel your body, you don’t have to be “on a diet”.
Mrs C: NOOOOOO. Fad diets don’t work…. I should know I did most of them… yes you lose weight initially (of which most is water) but you PILE IT ON as soon as you stop the ‘diet’. Being healthy and staying in shape is a life choice and you shouldn’t think of getting healthy as a 10, 12 or however many week thing. It’s about making sustainable changes that you can live with forever.
Mr C: You do. It’s just a case of tapping into that. You have to choose a goal that is important enough to you to stick to, and is achievable. It is ok to set your sights at “a normal weight range” if that is what really matters to you – why set your sights at bikini model if you aren’t really committed to that? You can always re-evaluate once you get there anyway. It is probably a very good idea to share the experience too – is there a friend/partner who will do this with you? Competition and support between us is how Mrs C and I got to where we are. Or how about charting your progress? It may be hard to do, but why not blog about it? Could be quite empowering once you start. Ultimately, your resolve will always be tested when you’re trying to do something like this – if it was easy, everyone would be walking around looking like supermodels – but if you want it, you can stick at it. If you feel the drive leaving you, shake things up.
Mrs C: You have the motivation or you wouldn’t be reading this!!! What you need is the self belief that you can make changes in your life to better yourself both aesthetically and healthily. This is where this blog comes in!!
First of all, don’t be thinking getting into good shape means someone has a lot of confidence. Generally, it turns out that those in the fitness industry, with the most impressive bodies of all, have the worst confidence of anyone out there! Don’t forget that confidence is a mental state, not a physical one. If you would prefer to look a different way, by all means go for it, but don’t expect some switch to go off inside you filling you with the confidence you always wished you had. Often people focus on changing something physical because that’s what they can control – unfortunately the real problem turns out to be psychological, and is rarely fixed when the physical change is completed. I wouldn’t presume to “amateur diagnose” anyone, but I would say that if you have low confidence the worst thing you can do is focus on physical changes. Please, stop and think, go and find someone qualified to advise you properly, and make sure your mind is healthy. Then when your body is where you want it to be, you will be able to enjoy it.
Mr C: No. Just no. Ever.
Mrs C: No
Mr C: Also no. I’m generally a “live and let live” type…..but…. It’s cheating. How can you be proud of what you’ve achieved if you had to jack up to get there? You can achieve amazing things clean, and be truly proud of them. I know that to compete with the huge guys at the top you just have to do it, but is it worth the side effects? And the fact that there’ll always be someone bigger? I don’t think so..
Mrs C: Steroids are illegal so I could never advise anyone to take an illegal substance. They are however part of the bodybuilding industry. Myself and Mr C take pride in being ‘clean athletes’ and will only ever enter a competition that is aimed at a natural physique. Whilst it’s not something I would advise or use myself it’s a fact that these substances get used by the bigger athletes. They still have to train hard to get their physiques though so no matter whether you decide to take them or not you still need to work…. HARD!
It’s just to differentiate who is talking. This blog is authored by both of us, so some views are shared. But as with any normal couple, we don’t always agree, and even when we do we have different ways of expressing our points.
So anything we say together is in black, like this.
Anything Mr C says is in purple, like this.
And anything Mrs C says is in green, like this.