"What you put in, is what you get out". It's a saying that gets used for all manner of scenarios, but when it comes to gym results, it's more true than ever. Let's be clear. There are no shortcuts to improved health and fitness. There's no magic wand but there's also no getting around it. The work and effort you get out is intrinsically linked to the amount of work and effort you put in.
That said, the hours you put into the gym are just one part of the final result you'll ultimately see when you look in the mirror. The other larger part is nutrition.
Whatever you goals are, they might seem virtual, but they're very real. Your goals might be different from mine, and they might be a world away from those of your friends, but whatever they are, you have to work to meet them.
That's not to say those goals might not change and develop over time, but right now, they're a living, breathing manifestation of how you see yourself and your motivation to get fitter, stronger and better. Because your goals are alive, you have to feed them. The food you eat is fuel to them.
You have to eat to achieve your goals. Even if you're wanting to lose weight, your calories and macros should be selected to help you reach your goal. If they don't match your goal, you won't make it. That's the long and short of it.
One question I often ask myself when it comes to food, even when I look at all the beautiful looking food in restaurants, is "is this going to help me achieve my goals, or is it going to make it harder for me to achieve them". The thing is, I know that if I am asking myself this question, then I probably already know the answer, no matter how I play it. However much I'd like to think it, 10 McDonald's cheeseburgers doesn't count as a re-feed.
When I was prepping Hugh Jackman for X-Men, I called in the help of my wife to keep me motivated, as I was going through the exact same process with him. However, only one of us ended up as a Hollywood superstar though! Go figure!
She would say to me "would you get Hugh to eat that?" or "would you make Hugh finish that set?". Putting it in this sort of perspective was very effective then and it's just as effective today. Just think about the people you look up to, they don't have to be well-known - it works whomever they are, chances are they all have something in common; determination and hard work.
As you would expect from that last sentence, determination is only half the battle. You also need to be following the correct plan to get to your goals, and that also takes hard work. Too few calories and you won't be building bigger muscle, if that is your goals. Likewise if fat loss is what you are after, you need to be consistently in a calorie deficit.
To explain this in a little more detail, I will run through a couple of theoretical menus for each goal. I say 'theoretical' as calories and macros are very personal to you. There isn't a set menu that will work for everyone.
Steak & Spinach with Sliced sweet potatoes
179g lean grilled fillet steak
100g baby leaf spinach
195g baked sweet potato
2 tspns rapeseed oil
1. Microwave the sweet potato for 4-5 minutes and then bake in the oil in the oven at 180°C for 12-15 minutes.
2. Steam the spinach for 2 minutes (optional).
3. Grill the steak to desired level of doneness.
4. Serve with flaked almonds mixed in with the spinach
One pot cooked breakfast
35g white mushrooms
3 large eggs
45g baby leaf spinach
2.5 tspns olive oil
80g premium/lean ham slices
1. Microwave the potatoes for about 5-6 minutes. Then cube and fry in 2/3 of the olive oil with the mushrooms until done
2. Scramble/fry the eggs in the remaining oil over a low heat until done.
3. Serve with the spinach and ham.
In order to fuel your body you need to know how many calories you require. From this number you can workout how to fuel your goals. Check out this equation to work it out for yourself.
If crunching numbers isn't for you, then please feel free to drop me an email. I love this stuff.
If you want to find out more about my custom plans and get yourself to the training pages