Social media, TV adverts, magazines; where ever we go we’re bombarded with inspiring total-body transformation stories and dramatic before and after weight-loss photos
But with so many diets, exercise trends and workout plans available, it can be hard to know what body transformation programme to choose and which one will result in the best, and most long-lasting, results.
Should you cut out all carbs or load up on protein? Work out daily or just a few times a week? Lift weights or hit the treadmill?
It’s a bit of a minefield to say the least.
So, we’ve put together our top tips for losing weight, staying motivated and finding a body transformation programme that’s right for you.
How to start your body transformation journey
First of all, if you are wanting to achieve an 8 to 12 week body transformation, then you need to invest a lot of commitment, dedication and preparation.
Some things to think about before you start trying to transform your body:
- Research your local facilities – Every city is home to countless gyms, fitness centres, running clubs and sports teams. Think about what you want to achieve and what kind of training methods you think you’ll enjoy.
- Start now – It’ll be very difficult to find the ‘perfect’ uninterrupted 8 or 12 weeks in your schedule to start a program. Of course, don’t start just before your first all-inclusive holiday for two years but the more you wait, the more progress you are missing out on!
- Get ready to make some sacrifices – Yes, you might have to skip some of your favourite foods or miss out on some time in front of Netflix. But it will all be worth it in the end, honest.
- Prioritise sleep - Cancel those late-night plans and aim to be in bed by 11pm every night and get seven to nine hours sleep.
- Think about supplements – Some vitamins/minerals or protein supplements can help fill nutritional voids in your current diet
- Food prep – Make a list for your weekly food shop which will help you stick to your plan! An empty fridge will only result in unplanned meals!
Lost 20kgs of fat
“I was working an office job so had a very sedentary lifestyle. Eventually my weight snowballed; I wasn’t being very active at all. It got to a point where I didn’t feel like myself anymore, I was carrying all this extra weight and everything was much harder than I remember it – I was like, “is this really me?” At that point I knew I had to do something about it. And then I found Embody. The journey at Embody felt like it was customised to me. I was paired with Joshua, my personal trainer, and from the get-go it was really easy to work with him, I felt completely at ease. He would push me and continue to motivate me at the same time which was great. The programme itself wasn’t easy, but the team made it as simple as possible. With the training, all I had to do was show up – everyone else did the rest for me. In terms of the nutrition – the whole programme was shaped around my lifestyle instead of being a short term fix – for example, they could have just given me recipes to cook but instead it was more based around portion control, so over the course of the programme it taught me how to be better with the food that I eat, and be more disciplined – and that worked really well.
In the first 3 months I lost around 20 kilos, so a lot! It’s hard to believe I was carrying all that extra weight. It’s shocking to see how much can change in such a short period of time. The main thing I say to others is that it is entirely possible to get the results that you want, there is only one thing you need to do which is show up and be consistent with the diet – the rest just follows. It’s worth investing a short period of your time in order to make that change happen.”
Lost 20kgs of fat
Lost 16.3% body fat
“I w as slowly getting obese. For me the turning point was around Christmas when I went to the darts. I had about ten pints and a hot dog, and on the way home I had six nuggets, two hamburgers and a large fries, and I didn’t think anything of it.”
“I’m no stranger to training – I have half and full marathons under my belt – but like a lot of people, I was scared to lift heavy weights. I’d rather be on the treadmill for an hour.”
“I had also tried numerous diets in the past, “the 5:2 fast, the smoothies” – but none of these had lasting changes. The first three days of the Embody nutrition plan were tough because I couldn’t eat any of the crap I normally have, but after that it was a breeze. For breakfast I’d have chicken or steak or salmon. People pull a face when I say that, but I wouldn’t get hungry for hours – so it works. It doesn’t take long to make either, so I’ve learnt there really is no excuse for not eating healthy.”
“I’ve replaced binges with new habits, for example I love black coffee now. I’ll still have a curry, but with a healthy sauce. I have 95% chocolate for a treat – I don’t need to indulge myself all the time.”
“When I met Chris he said, ‘There’s 168 hours in a week and I’ve got you for three of them, so the rest is up to you’. That really motivated me. Other people can help keep you on the road, but you’ve got to want it too. Everyone’s got it in them. Don’t think of it as an end – think of it as a new way of life.”
Lost 16.3% body fat
Lost 8kgs body fat
I joined Embody because I wanted to lose weight for my wedding. After years being unhappy with how I looked in pictures, I decided that my wedding would be finally a time where I decided to make a difference. I chose Embody fitness, because the staff were knowledgable and having had lots of clients having gone through a similar process they seemed like the experts in the field. The initial consultation was thorough asking me about every little aspect of my life, assessing me top to toe to make a tailor-made personalised programme. Charlie is an excellent PT. He worked really hard to help me achieve my goals. He pushed me during each session to my maximum limits and was constantly trying to push me to reach new goals. It’s amazing how much I progressed from the beginning in terms of what I can do with the weights. We also became great friends, and he helped open my mind to lots of new ideas. He was also always happy to be contacted so if I was having an off day, he would help me decide what to do and keep giving me little tips. He really cared.
The thing I liked most about Embody is that everyone at the gym helped me with my goal. Whenever I was in the gym, even PTs who I didn’t work with were checking in on how I was doing. It felt like a real family. As well as losing more weight than I anticipated, one of the big things I learnt from the programme is to to be open minded. I always though that those people that go to the gym regularly and eat healthy is something I could never be. In my head that just wasn’t me or my personality. However the programme showed me that as an individual you can be whoever you want to be and all you have to do is focus your mind on it. I shouldn’t shut myself off because ‘its not me’ . Also my mood was so much better, I felt a lot more happier and positive. I felt empowered to achieve my best in all aspects of my life. I am really proud of my before and after photos. I was shocked to see how I looked before and absolutely stunned with the results. I can’t believe that I can now wear whatever I want, I don’t have to hide particular parts of me and I’m happy for people to take photos of me. The number of compliments I got from friends, family, work colleagues has been overwhelming. A real confidence boost. To anyone thinking about joining the Embody programme I would say its not easy, however the team will help you along every step of the way, and it will be 100% worth it. You will be blown away with the results.
Lost 8kgs body fat
Lost 21.8% Body Fat
“Everybody has a different motivation for wanting to get in shape. Mine came in the form of 4 children kindly pointing out that I was “getting quite large like Granddad”. Even looking in the mirror it’s not something that you necessarily want to acknowledge or accept however.
I had tried various gyms and personal training plans previously to no avail. Too much time had been spent in the office and my daily 5 hour commute was beginning to take its toll, all compounded by having had significant back problems for the last 4 years due to a climbing fall. I realised I needed to do something and invest some time into looking after my health.
From the first time you step into the Embody gym you realise that there is something different and special about it. From my initial consultations with both Chris and Greg it was clear that they were listening to what I wanted to achieve and develop a training and nutrition plan that would help me achieve those goals, rather than just following a standard formula.
Having got over the initial shock of the first weigh in (107kg) and body fat check (36%) I stepped into the gym to meet my personal trainer Tom. From the first session it was clear that he was as motivated as I was to get good results. We settled on pattern of 3 training sessions a week, the training programme was adapted and amended to keep my body guessing and develop muscle growth whilst burning as much fat as possible. Tom left me broken but with a smile on my face after each session… despite the weighted sled pushing!
I was shocked how quickly my body began to change, sticking closely to the food plan and training regime, my body fat started to drop and I was begging to put on lean muscle. I was surprised how many people noticed the changes before I did, The food plan was straight forward to stick to and became habit rather than a chore and I was surprised how much energy I had even having cut out carbs for the first few weeks.
Regular checks with Greg helped monitor progress and set realistic new targets and goals. The progress was staggering as I surpassed my own expectations at each session. By the end of the first 12 weeks my body fat had dropped by 22% down to 14%, my weight was down to 85Kg. I’d also lost 5 inches off my waist, a problem no tailor can solve and has left me with the requirement for a new wardrobe as none of my clothes now fit me!
This has left me motivated to carry on working with the team at Embody to see how far I can push myself and achieve even greater levels of fitness. Even going away on holiday Tom gave me a body weight programme to use to maintain my momentum. The result being as we start the next phase of training my weight is down to 81.6 KG and body fat down to 12%.
I would like to thank Chris, Greg and Tom for helping me achieve my goals, Tom is a great personal trainer he has pushed me harder and further than I thought possible, all done with great energy and even humour when the going got tough. I would happily recommend the Embody team to anybody; they really will help you transform yourself.”
Lost 21.8% body fat
Lost 18.6% body fat
Training at Embody Fitness has not only transformed my body but changed my life. It provides so much more than bespoke, best in class, premier league personal training. After being overweight for over 20 years I did not believe it would be possible to change. I had limited self-confidence and was full of insecurities which had a negative impact physically, socially and professionally. I made the decision to invest in myself and a commitment to change.
From my initial conversation to final training session the support I received at Embody has been immense. The 360-degree approach works. Even before I stepped on the gym floor I had a musculoskeletal assessment, initial measurements, photographs, nutrition plan and supplements to ensure optimum results.
The team were able to design a programme that worked around restrictions from my hip replacement. The nutrition plan was very straightforward to follow. I liked the way there was no weighing and did not take much preparation time, I could also find something on plan at most restaurants too. Joshua my trainer is truly amazing. He knew exactly how to push me to my limit at each session and I loved hearing my % improvements! The structured, statistical approach works, every rep is recorded. I had never trained with weights previously and now I cannot imagine not lifting – the endorphins! My highlight was having the strength to do chin-ups.
The frequency of check-ins with Greg ensured I stayed on track, reduced the temptation to stray, allowed tweaks to be made to the nutrition plan and most importantly the numbers showed the progress I was making. I was shocked by the numbers and % change at each re-test. Others noticed the changes before I did and I had to learn how to accept compliments rather than bat them away. Training has now become an integral part of my day rather than reluctantly squeezing in a session as a chore. Embody has enabled me to be a much stronger person than I ever believed possible, not only physically but in all aspects of my life.
Lost 18.6% body fat
Lost 14% body fat
“When I was active it was easy for me to drink and eat what I wanted, and I would never get any heavier than about 15 stone [95kg]. When you’re 6ft 4in [1.93m] your height can hide a multitude of sins, but at the end of last year I was struggling to fit into anything I could buy on the peg. I had a 38in waist: I remember thinking, ‘That’s quite big’.”
“My training with Chris was intensive, tough, but good fun. I mentioned to him that parts of my body that I didn’t know existed were hurting, and I thought I was physically unable to do the things he wanted me to do, he said it’d get easier and I didn’t believe him.
But he was right. The real education for me came along with my new diet. I didn’t know the difference between protein and carbohydrate; I’d never taken much notice of what exactly it was that I was eating – or how much of it I consumed. I’d be in the studio at 5am, then I’d have a breakfast at 6.30am and maybe another one at 8.30am, and it was sausage or bacon sandwiches, tonnes of coffee… looking back it’s kind of shocking. People persuade themselves that they ‘need’ a big breakfast to start the day, but it’s just what they’ve always had. Now I have two eggs with porridge and that’s it.”
“I’m in the best shape I’ve been in for over a decade. You see it in the little things, like running upstairs: a year ago, I was carrying an extra three stone up. I feel brighter, my complexion’s better, all of those things. To anyone thinking of changing their own lifestyle, my advice is simple: Don’t be afraid of the challenge. The hardest bit is the first couple of weeks. Then it keeps getting better.”
Lost 14% body fat
Lost 16% body fat
“After being on holiday in February I had a sudden realisation that my clothes were too tight, I felt very unfit and lethargic. I walk a lot with work so I never went to the gym, I thought walking was enough exercise – clearly for me it wasn’t!! At this point I weighed 103kgs and realised I needed to do something about my diet and exercise. That was when I turned to google and found Embody. The testimonials on their website, and the proximity to where I work inspired me to get in touch.
In my initial consultation we discussed my diet and exercise, I quickly realised that my goal of getting healthier and fitter was realistic and achievable. The 12 week body transformation programme was exactly what I was looking for, and from that point onwards I was 100% committed. I haven’t looked back since!
After signing up I was introduced to my nutritionist, Danny. He helped me understand where I was going wrong with my current diet, and enabled me to implement the changes needed for a healthier lifestyle. We met to discuss my nutrition and monitor my progress throughout my programme, I found him incredibly easy to talk to, helpful and supportive.
After meeting Danny I was introduced to my Personal Trainers, James and Joey. Initially I found the training really hard work, as it had been years since I had done any type of exercise. But through their friendly and welcoming manner, encouragement, motivation and constant pushing me to achieve my best, I’m proud to say it’s paid off. I’ve lost 16kgs and 15.5% body fat and feel I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in, both looks and health-wise.
The highlight for me has been when my friends and family have complimented me on how much weight I have lost, and how much healthier I look. It makes me realise it has all been worth it, and I couldn’t have done it without their guidance, support and belief in me to succeed.
I would recommend Embody as they have helped me to achieve all of my goals and given me the tools to continue with a healthy and balanced lifestyle. I look forward to continuing to work with them on my next stage.”
Lost 16% body fat
Lost 14 Kgs
“Training with Embody’s personal training team has been a life changing experience. I still can’t quite believe the results I have achieved in just 12 weeks and I finally have the figure I’ve always wanted. My trainer Tara Gadre was lovely and really kept me motivated throughout the workouts and always gave me the encouragement I needed to get the best out of every session. Having my nutrition managed separately was a real bonus as this was something I’d always struggled with. The food plans offered tasty recipes which were simple to follow and made things easy to stick to, and the constant monitoring and adjustments to my diet really helped keep me on track.
At the end of my 12 weeks I have lost 14kg , 14% body fat and I am now a size 8. Most importantly I feel absolutely amazing and I can’t thank the team enough.”
Lost 14kg fat
Lost 14% body fat
The benefits of hiring a fitness trainer
Have you tried every diet and workout there is but still can’t seem to get the results you want? Well, the answer could be hiring a professional personal trainer or fitness coach.
A fitness coach can help you:
- Work out your SMART goals - SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound. Setting out realistic short, medium and long-term targets can help keep you focused and manage your expectations.
- Find a plan that works for you - It's a safe bet that every one of your friends will have their own favourite weight-loss techniques, but everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for someone else. Sometimes it’s best to listen to the professionals and find your own way.
- Track your calories and macros - This is a vital part of nutrition, and everyone has different requirements. A fitness coach will help you work out what you should be eating and how much of it you should be having.
- Set a varied training schedule - Our experts recommend doing three to four resistance and two to three cardio sessions per week.
- Stay motivated – Being held accountable by a fitness trainer and having scheduled training sessions can help remove the temptation to skip your workout and make excuses.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, having a fitness coach means you’ve always got someone to turn to for advice. They'll be there every step of the way to offer support, motivation and guidance.
Here are 3 simple tips to keep you motivated:
- Treat yourself to some awesome gym clothes - It might sound silly, but if you’re looking forward to wearing your new, super fabulous and functional workout outfit, then you’re more likely to exercise. So, ditch those ten-year-old joggers and invest in some get ups you love.
- Track your progress - Take a full-body photo of yourself in the same clothes, once a week on the same day and at the same time. This will emphasise the physical progress you’re making.
- Get inspired by social media - Recipes, workout ideas, motivational mantras and the chance to meet like-minded individuals who are on a similar journey. For all its downsides, social media is an exceptionally useful platform for anyone on a body transformation programme.
Don’t forget your 10,000 steps
Last, but definitely not least, try and do 10,000 steps per day. Take the stairs instead of the lift, get off the bus a stop early, do whatever you can think of to be more active, even when you’re not working out or in gym gear.
Finally, your daily and weekly habits are what will make or break your results, choose consistency over perfection and celebrate your mini wins along the way.
Stay focused, stay determined, and before too long you’ll be unrecognisable as your former self.