You’ve seen the before-and-after pictures on Instagram, the latter showing off defined abs, lean legs and toned arms. Body transformations can certainly be incredible, but it’s more than just weight loss — it’s a lot of work.
Many of the aforementioned Instagrammers will post photos and videos of themselves in the gym, but those still don’t quite encapsulate the amount of work required to achieve a total body transformation. Want to know the truth? Here are 10 secrets no one tells you about transforming your body.
Noticeable Change is Required
You may already know how to transform your body, but you can’t expect a transformation if you’re only going to, say, cut down on your nightly red wine habit. You have to make a definitive change in the way you eat, drink and exercise in order to get cut. What’s more, your body is designed to stay as-is, even if you’re unhealthy — a marked change is what it will take to start transforming.
There Are Different Levels of “Healthy” Eating
We mentioned cutting down on red wine. That’s obviously a great way to cut calories, but you’ll have to do more — a lot more — if you want to see defined muscles. For example, the difference between rock-hard six-pack abs might be cutting out a cupped handful of carbs at every meal, sticking instead to lean protein and veggies at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Diet Is Typically the Most Important Element
Your body inspiration posts workouts on their Instagram and you follow them to a T, but you’re not seeing results. It’s probably a case of your diet, then. A body change depends upon what you eat more so than how much you work out.
Supplements Could Be Vital
Everybody is different, but boosting your pre- and post-workouts with supplements might give you the energy you need to maintain your new, fitness-focused lifestyle. Everyone will require a different combination of vitamins and minerals, but once you find yours, you’ll probably find yourself feeling a whole lot more energized and stronger in and out of the gym.
It Takes Time … Gym Time
You might not realize how much time those fitness buffs are spending in the gym. All of them would probably agree that once you know how to transform your body, you have to continue to spend five to six days each week at the gym, sweating through an hour of intense cardio before lifting weights for an hour.
You Can’t Phone It In, Either
Even when you’re surrounded by others working hard, it’s easy to slack off at the gym. If you want to transform your body, you must exercise with gusto every single time. Whether that means high-intensity cardio or focused flexing and releasing while lifting, you have to give it your all every day.
Age Is Just a Number
If you’re in your 30s, 40s or beyond, don’t give up. Despite the popular belief that it’s too difficult to achieve once you’re older, many before you have transformed their bodies at an “older” age than the teens and 20-year-olds doing it on social media. You might feel a bit more discomfort at first, but as you get stronger, you’ll feel just as spry as the younger gym-goers.
Alcohol and Sugar Might Have to Go
Everyone’s metabolism is different, but generally, alcohol and sugary foods will derail your progress. If you’re eating lean proteins and veggies day in and day out, you’re not getting much fat in your diet. Your body starts burning what’s on your frame for energy.
If you throw in sugar or alcohol, it’ll throw a wrench into this process and slow down your progress. And believe it or not, there are tons of healthy ways to have fun without alcohol. Of course, even body transformers indulge every once in a while, so you’ll have to figure out what balance works for you.
Patience is a Virtue
The transformations you’re seeing online and in magazines may seem breezy, but they take a lot of time. Even if, say, six or nine months doesn’t seem that long to you, it will while you’re in the process. All you can do is trust in it and keep plugging on — one day you’ll look in the mirror and see the fruits of your labor.
Consistency Is Key
Finally, you can’t expect to have a rock-hard body without a regular diet and routine gym visits. This means even on vacations you have to stay dedicated to the end game, foregoing daily indulgences for your meal plan in order to stay on track. It might seem like a bit of a buzz-kill but it’s what you want. Consistency — and, all of the above, for that matter — will be worth it for the transformation of your dreams.
You may or may not yet know how to transform your body and that’s okay! But when you do, stick to your knowledge and put it into practice. The results will far outweigh any doubts you’re feeling now.
When she isn’t writing for her blog, Why So Well, Cori Keating enjoys reading, running, and cooking.
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