You can be of mixed emotions going to your first session, especially when it’s in a private setting.

First time clients usually worry about not being able to do something or think they have to try to impress me.

Truth is, you shouldn’t worry about any of it!

Your first session with me is an ice breaker as such. We try to find common ground to help improve your experience. Throughout the first session I assess your ability in a number of areas, such as range of motion in certain areas and any weaknesses that you might have.

This session is personalised depending on your consultation, plus you get a slightly longer recovery time so you can ask any questions you might have (usually concerning calories).

So if you are thinking of going to a personal trainer, go for it. You should know by the consultation if it’s the right match for you. Since I have started personal training I have never had anyone not come back after the first session.

So get out of your comfort zone and go for it!!!

1) Probably one that everyone falls for is the hype of supplements. Supplements are the last part of the jigsaw but smart advertising makes you feel like you must take x, y and z to get results. My wallet took a battering.

2) I wish I’d had a more structured programme to follow rather than jumping from one thing to another. Being consistent is key – don’t ditch your workout just because someone says something different. Get a book or use your phone to record your workouts and weights etc.

3) Having low confidence and thinking everyone is judging you in the gym. I remember feeling like this and I have clients that come to me with the same fear. Truth is they aren’t! Everyone is in the gym for the same reason, to improve themselves. Put the work in, don’t worry about the weight you are lifting, just focus on technique.

4) Don’t be scared to ask for help. Honestly the majority of people in the gym will be more than willing to help as they were probably in your position. This is also a big time saver.

5) I wish I’d had more knowledge about nutrition. Knowing what I do now, I would do things completely differently. You cannot out train a bad diet. You need a good understanding of calories and macronutrients to begin with. My advice is to buy a basic nutrition book to help improve your knowledge.

Hopefully you found this helpful.

1) This is your journey and no one else’s, so do not try and compare yourself to someone else. Everyone has different starting points and you don’t know what is/isn’t happening in their lives.

2) Do not panic if you go off track and overeat. No one’s perfect, do not beat yourself up about it. The journey is not all high fives and smiles, just focus on getting back on track.

3) Get your friends and family behind you. Let them know how important it is for you.

4) Reflect on where you started. You might not hit your targets every week. Some weeks your weight might stay the same. You will probably agree that you are in a better place that week than you were in previous weeks.

5) One size does not fit all. If you have a plan stick to it, do not jump from one thing to another as it over complicates everything. If a friend tells you that you need to do what they are doing and drink the stuff that they are drinking, I recommend that you turn and run.

Remember it’s all about you, it might sound selfish but sometimes you have to look after yourself before you can help others!

1) Create a calorie deficit
You will not lose weight without a calorie deficit. Create the deficit with a reduction of calories or by an increase in exercise.

2) Create a support group (family/friends)
Try to involve a family member or friend in losing weight with you. Creates competition and accountability, plus you have someone to give you a well needed kick when required.

3) Make just one change at a time
Take your time and don’t overwhelm yourself. You want to make the biggest change to your body with the least effort, plus you will have plenty of room for improvement when you start to plateau.

4) Increase exercise
Increase exercise by 30 mins a day if possible. This does not need to be in 1 block, you can spread it over 6 blocks of 5 minutes if you want.

5) Find a type of exercise you like
This can take a bit of trial and error but it’s great to know what you like and dislike. You might love HIIT training and weight training but dislike spin classes. If so, concentrate on your likes as it will keep motivation high.

6) Experiment with “healthy” foods
I promise just because it’s green it doesn’t mean it’s going to taste like grass. You can get more greens into your diet via smoothies or by mixing them into your sauces. Word of warning though, it is easier to over consume calories in liquid form.

7) Have ‘go to’ foods for snacks/meals
This is basically a back up plan for when life isn’t running as smoothly as we thought it might. My back ups are usually rice, mince and sugarsnaps for a meal and a protein bar as a snack.

8) Meal Prep
Simple but effective. Prep 3 days in advance, it takes away decision making i.e. What to have for lunch?

9) Increase water intake
Please don’t drown yourself. Take your time with this one, don’t just jump up to drinking 3-4 litres of water a day. If you only drink half a litre then progress up to 1 litre, then to 1.5 litres and so on.

10) Don’t confuse thirst with hunger
If you feel like having a snack have a glass of water beforehand to see if it cures your hunger.

11) Plan guilt free meals/snacks
Plan ahead of time e.g. if you are going out for a meal then you can reduce portion size of breakfast or lunch to keep everything in check. This also keeps you in a positive mindset so you don’t think you are cheating on your diet.

12) Portion control
This is essential if you are not measuring out your food. Use the hand measuring approach to keep it quick and simple.

13) Keep a food diary
Makes you more self-aware of what you eat. Refreshing your memory of what you had today might put you off your next snack. If you have had a great week of eating you can look back on it so you can replicate it for weeks ahead.

14) Use multiple assessment tools
Don’t just rely on scales as they can be unreliable for a number of reasons, check this article for reasons why:http://jmcchealthandfitness.co…
I recommend before photos, skin-fold callipers and measurements.

15) Create a shopping list
This is a money saver and stops those impulse buys. We have all been there when our eye catches Oreo thins for 54p (just me?). Create the shopping list on your phone so you can re-use it.

16) Avoid shopping on an empty stomach
This is where poor decision making comes into play. Buying more items then we need, meaning more foods on our shelves that can lead to over eating and more temptation.

17) Improve quality of sleep (avoids poor decision making)
If we are tired we are more likely to take shortcuts and make poor decisions. One major one is skipping the gym because we’re too tired. So get some quality sleep and try and remove blue LEDS from your room as it can affect you getting to sleep.

18) Create simple but achievable goals
Keep the goals simple! Use the classic SMART principle:
Specific,
Measurable,
Attainable,
Realistic,
Tangible.

19) Go back to basics
Sometimes we over analyse one small aspect and forget to look at the bigger picture. The first step is always to check that your calories are in check, from that assess macro-nutrients i.e. protein, carbs and fats. If these are both in check then you can start to dive into the more complex issues.

20) Don’t give up! (Especially if weight loss plateaus)
Fat loss isn’t easy, it can take time. Frustration usually creeps in when the weight doesn’t move on the scales. Don’t give up, assess your week and be honest with yourself. You didn’t put on all that weight overnight so don’t expect to lose it overnight.