Are you eating clean and not losing weight?
Are you working out 5 days a week and have plateaued?
Are you doing endless cardio and running and not losing the last 10 pounds?
Have you followed just about every fad weight loss diet, but never reached your goals?
Do you gain all the weight back after stopping a diet?
So many people have reached out to us with these same issues that we went and asked an expert in the field - Craig Hughes. Craig is the owner of Body by Craig, been in the fitness business for decades, and seen every situation you can think of.
He trains bodybuilders, pageant contestants, fit adults, and specializes in female body composition improvement. The key phrase is "body composition."
Craig will tell you that there is a huge difference between weight loss and body re-composition. He will tell you that if you are just trying to lower the number on the scale by 10 pounds, then just about any fad diet will get you that result.
BUT, if you want to change your life forever, get the body of your dreams, and build habits you can stick with for the long term, then body re-composition is what you should focus your efforts on!
Enough of my introduction, hear it from the man himself:
Written by – Craig Hughes: owner of Body by Craig
Reach Your Weight Loss Goals through Body Re-composition
For decades I’ve seen the same cycle rinse and repeat every January: hundreds of women flood local gyms seeking to fulfill their New Year's resolutions to “burn fat.”
They start some crazy fad diet, jump on the treadmill, pound away at cardio boot camp, and the net result after weeks or months of calorie restriction and cardio is they may get skinnier but their body composition doesn’t change.
What I mean by that is they’re just a “skinnier fat” version of where they started out. The scale number went down, but they didn’t improve their lean mass to fat mass ratio, and therefore, they didn’t improve their health, metabolism, or hormones!
Doing endless cardio to lose weight along with harsh calorie restriction is a sure-fire formula for staying soft and skinny fat. Sure it will work to lower the scale number for the short term, but it isn’t sustainable and 99.9% of the time results in a yo-yo back to your previous weight or worse!
New Flash!!! - 20th Century “#Thinspo” is dead and 21st Century “#Fitspo” is in, and the way to get that long, lean, low fat physique!
So how to you become #Fitspo – long, lean, and low fat? 3 simple steps.
Intermittent Fasting combined with a whole food, high protein diet
Intermittent fasting may sound intimidating, but it really isn’t. First, it is just keeping your eating to an 6-8 hour window (12pm – 8pm for example). Second, fasting is used by many cultures and is completely normal for humans; modern American culture has created the “weird” stigma around it. And a whole food, high protein diet is exactly as it sounds. Eat real food (low complex carbs, vegetables, whole fruits, and lean meats) and limit the processed, “in-a-box” foods. Modifications can be made for vegetarians and vegans to make sure you get enough protein.
HIIT Training (High Intensity, Interval, Training)
Burning calories during a 1-hour workout is great, but wouldn’t it be great to burn more calories all day? Scientific studies on HIIT show what is referred to as the “after-burn” effect where your metabolism stays elevated for up to 24 hours after HIIT. This elevated metabolism does not happen with cardio – so if you want to get the most out of your workout, then cut back on the cardio classes and running, and upgrade to a HIIT plan.
Not sure what HIIT is?
HIIT is doing an all-out exercise for a short burst of time. The intensity is very high and the workout is typically not very long. For example - you could do sprints for about 8-10 minutes - 100 meter sprints followed by 1 minute of rest and do 6-8 rounds.
Cross-over to your gym’s “Dark Forest” and learn to lift (or maybe go really radical and buy a Covid supply of dumbbells for yourself!). Lifting weights is proven to transform your body composition – to get you that toned, lean body you want. Plus, it will strengthen your bones, improve your hormones, and allow you to eat more! Your lean tissue (or how much muscle, connective tissue, and bone you have) is your metabolic powerhouse. So, the more you have, the more you can eat. Say goodbye to big pants and 1,200 per day calorie diets and say hi to a lean, toned body.
If you want a lean, toned body, then building muscle needs to be your goal. And don't worry women - women don't have enough testosterone to get big and bulky - it just can't happen without years of effort and that being your goal.
So why should you trade the running shoes for weights?
Lean muscle is a 24/7 fat burning machine. That’s really undisputed at this point as there are a ton of credible research studies that show this. And the only way you’re going to build lean muscle is to incorporate weight lifting into your daily routine with varying levels of intensity.
What Body by Craig does in the gym to transform bodies is beyond the scope of this blog. But the flaw in the gym programming advocated by most of the major national exercise organizations as well as most trainers and coaches is that they train your body as a collection of separate body parts instead of your whole body as a system. This approach is a one size fits all method and fails for most people most of the time. By looking at the individual, their current situation, and their goals, you are able to create a plan that works best for your life and your body.
Need some real world proof that Body by Craig’s system works? Here is Elizabeth’s review:
Elizabeth Harris, one of Body by Craig’s promising pageant competitors, is a recent convert to weight training and she jumped at the chance to add her comments:
“The most common misconception when it comes to women and lifting is that if you do any sort of lifting at all, you’re going to look like a bodybuilder. I’m a pageant competitor and prior to stepping foot in Body by Craig’s gym, I was definitely concerned that if I lifted weights I’d bulk up.”
“This thinking is actually an insult to bodybuilders because I quickly learned the amount of weight I’d have to lift and the amount of food I would have to eat to bulk up is astronomical! You actually have to force your body to bulk up and grow like that. Instead, lifting weights while maintaining an energy deficit the right way in the kitchen builds and elongates lean muscle which in turn continuously burns fat while I’m at rest.”
“In fact, weightlifting became an essential part of my preparation for Miss Virginia USA and not only got me the physique to make the Top 15, but actually turned out to be the favorite part of my prep because the results were transformational.”
“All that running and cardio I did as a former soccer athlete never changed my shape or the composition of my body the way lifting has. And I never burned off my body fat until I fundamentally changed my metabolism through lifting and high intensity strength cardio.”
“And I have found my increased strength helping me out in my daily living! I’ve discovered that strength is important to me whether I’m competing or not. As a full-time wedding photographer, I’m carrying around and lifting a 10+ lb camera for 8 hours straight. That can get really tough! No way I would be able to do this without building the upper body strength through lifting necessary to do my job.”
Go for it - don't be scared about lifting - and get the results you've been looking for!
About The Author:
Craig Hughes – Owner of Body By Craig
At Body by Craig everything is results-based. For 7+ years I’ve built some of the best bikini, runway and stage competition bodies on planet earth with the track record to back it up. My clients are driven to be their 5-Star best and LEAVE NO DOUBT whatever their goals. Just being “skinny” isn’t nearly good enough. To learn more, check out Body By Craig or find us on social media @bodybycraig