Your Goals & What Your Focus Should Be!

Your Goals and What Your Focus Should Be: Part 2 of a 5 Part Series

Your Goals Determine What Your Focus Should Be!

When it comes to health and overall physical appearance there are goals that everyone is striving for and those goals can be broken down into 4 buckets:

  1. Weight Loss, greater than 25 pounds
  2. Weight Loss, less than 25 pounds
  3. Weight Gain, in the form of lean muscle
  4. Maintenance, the glorious place where your only focus is to be healthy

Your goal will dictate what your should be focused on both in the kitchen and in the gym.

Goal # 1: Weight Loss, Greater Than 25 Pounds

In The Kitchen:

You have to be in a caloric deficit, but NOT eating at, below, or too close to your BMR. Your Body has to feel comfortable to lose the unwanted fat and to do that you have to be eating enough food to fuel your body. Eating too little will leave your body in a survival mood.

In The Gym:

Movement is key, whether you prefer weight lifting, circuit training, or cardio, working out 4-6 days per week should be your goal, with at least 1 rest and recovery day. Cardio will burn the most calories during the workout but lifting heavy weights will actually allow your body to burn more calories throughout the day. I recommend doing either:

  • 3-4 days of weight training and 2 days of cardio.
  • 4-5 days of weight training with 15 minutes of cardio at the end of each workout

You Should Be Focused On:

  • Eating enough food to meet your total energy (calorie) requirements
  • Hitting your protein goal every single day
    • The percentage of carbs and fats is not a big factor at this time. The goal should be to hit your protein and then fill in the rest of your calorie requirement with healthy carbs and fats
  • A minimum of 80% of your diet should be whole, natural, unprocessed, unpackaged foods
  • Drinking 100 ounces of water each day
  • Getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night
  • Getting movement every day between 8,000 – 10,000 steps per day
  • Working out 4-6 days per week

Using my calculator will give you an outline of the base amount of energy, protein, carbs, and fats that your body needs to start losing weight. My calculator Is going to factor in a deficit of 350 calories.

Goal #2: Weight Loss, Less Than 25 Pounds

In The Kitchen:

You will need to be eating at or very close to your TDEE energy (calorie) requirement. This might seem counterintuitive considering you are still looking to lose those last 5-25 pounds, you might be thinking “Why wouldn’t I eat in a deficit? To look good naked, you have to have a little muscle under your skin. Without muscle, you will just be skin and bones, or what some refer to as “skinny fat”. You might always look in the mirror and think you still have 5 pounds to lose.

In The Gym:

The last 5-25 pounds can feel like the hardest to lose, but if you are working on building muscle, muscle actually takes more energy to maintain. Therefore, if you are struggling to lose those last 5-25 pounds, I highly recommend that you properly fuel your body, and incorporate weight training as your exercise. You should be working out 4-6 days per week with weight training being your main focus. You should be pushing yourself to lift a little heavier every week. I recommend doing:

  • 4 days of weight training with, 1 day of 30-45 minute cardio, and 1 day of 30-minute low-intensity training

You don’t need to lift crazy heavy weights to build muscle. You can build muscle by using light weights, but doing slow and controlled movements, and focusing on the muscles that you are trying to activate. You want to do reps that are difficult but not impossible. The goal should be 3 – 4 sets of 10 reps and the last 3 reps should be very challenging. You will be surprised how much more difficult an exercise can be by simply slowing down the movement, even with a lighter weight.

Cardio, while good for you, is not the best for those last 25 pounds. Your body has the amazing ability to adapt and while cardio may have helped to lose the initial weight, once your body becomes accustomed to that cardio it no longer becomes as effective.

With weight training, you can adjust the workouts to continue to get slightly more difficult with each workout…without working out for more than 45min – 1 hour, 4-6 times per week.

You Should Be Focused On:

  • Eating enough food to meet your total energy (calorie) requirements
  • Hitting your protein goal every single day
  • Building muscle requires eating enough carbs. Carbs are your bodies main source of energy In the gym
    • If you are looking to gain muscle It Is a good idea to eat 1-2 hours pre and post-workout. The pre-workout meal will fuel your body for the workout, and post-workout will aid In recovery to help your body build the muscles you want. Each of these meals should contain roughly:
      • 25 grams Protein minimum
      • 25% of your daily Carb Intake
      • 5-15 grams fat
  • Working out 4-6 days per week, with your focus on lifting weights. Your last 3 reps should be challenging
  • Making sure that you give yourself at least 1 day of rest
  • A minimum of 80% of your diet should be whole, natural, unprocessed, unpackaged foods
  • Drinking 100 ounces of water each day
  • Getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night
  • Getting movement every day between 8,000 – 10,000 steps per day

Using my calculator will give you an outline of the base amount of energy, protein, carbs, and fats that your body needs to lose those last 5-25 pounds and to start building some lean muscle.

Goal #3: Weight Gain, Muscle Gain

In The Kitchen:

You will need to consume a surplus of energy each day. The surplus is based on your TDEE needs, plus anywhere from 200 – 1,000 calories per day, depending on your goal and activity level. Your body needs the energy to build muscle, It can not create muscle from nothing, which Is why you need to eat more than your TDEE levels.

This seems easy but the key to gaining muscle and not just gaining fat, is going to come down to being strict with your macros. You are going to want to get the proper amount of protein, carbs, and fats each day to reach your goals. Sure you could fill your energy (calorie) requirement with donuts, but that is going to cause you to gain fat, and in most cases, I am sure your goal is going to be to gain muscle.

In The Gym:

If you want to build muscle your focus will need to be lifting weights which might seem obvious. However, it’s not a matter of just pumping out a million reps. Your focus should be slow and controlled eccentric movements, focusing on your mind-muscle connection, and lifting heavy without compromising form. You should keep your rep range between 6-12 reps, and the last 3 reps should be very difficult, but not working to complete failure. You should try to improve the number of reps or increase the weight a little each week to continue to push those last 3 reps. My recommendation would be:

4 days of weight training, with 1 day of 30-45 minute cardio, and 1 day of 30-minute low-intensity training

You Should Be Focused On:

  • Eating enough food to meet your total energy (calorie) requirements
  • Hitting your protein goal every single day
  • Hitting both your carb and fat goals.
  • Building muscle requires eating enough carbs. Carbs are your bodies main source of energy In the gym
    • If you are looking to gain muscle It Is a good idea to eat 1-2 hours pre and post-workout. The pre-workout meal will fuel your body for the workout, and post-workout will aid In recovery to help your body build the muscles you want. Each of these meals should contain roughly 35% of your daily carb Intake.
  • Working out 4-6 days per week, with your focus on lifting weights. Your last 3 reps should be challenging.
  • Making sure that you give yourself at least 1 day of rest
  • A minimum of 85%-90% of your diet should be whole, natural, unprocessed, unpackaged foods.
  • Drinking 1 ounce, per every 1 pound of body weight in water each day
  • Getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night
  • Getting movement every day between 8,000 – 10,000 steps per day

Using my calculator will give you an outline of the base amount of energy, protein, carbs, and fats that your body needs to start gaining weight and building muscle. My calculator Is going to factor In 300 additional calories, however, you could easily double this If you were looking to gain a lot of weight. However, my suggestion would be to start with 300 calories and slowly Increase your calories based on how your body Is responding to the weight gain. This will vary from person to person.

Goal #4: Maintenance

In The Kitchen:

You will need to be eating at or very close to your TDEE energy (calorie) requirement. You will want to eat well-balanced meals. Ensuring that you are eating 3-5 servings of veggies and 2-3 servings of fruit each day.

In The Gym:

The maintenance phase is not the time to stop going to the gym, however, you can back off some. You don’t need to keep pushing yourself with the weights, you don’t need to run a million miles. But you do want to mix in weight training with some cardio or circuit style training. You should be getting physical exercise 3-5 times per week. My recommendation would be:

3 days of weight training, 1 day of circuit style training or cardio, 1 day of light intensity cardio.

You Should Be Focused On:

  • Eating enough food to meet your total energy (calorie) requirements
  • Hitting your protein goal every single day
  • Working out 3-5 days per week
  • Making sure that you give yourself at least 1-2 day of rest
  • A minimum of 80% of your diet should be whole, natural, unprocessed, unpackaged foods
  • Drinking 100 ounces of water each day
  • Getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night
  • Getting movement every day between 8,000 – 10,000 steps per day

Using my calculator will give you an outline of the base amount of energy, protein, carbs, and fats that your body needs to maintain your current weight with no change to your body composition. When you are using the calculator you will notice that I have combined Goal #4 and Goal #2 as the energy (calorie) intake requirement is the same, the difference is your energy output will be less than someone who is still trying to lose weight.

Conclusion:

Goals vary from person to person, they also change as you move through the process of losing weight. You might start off needing to lose 60 pounds and be in goal #1. But as you make progress and get to that 25 pounds or less range your goal will change to #2. Then again, once you reach your ideal weight, you can decide, do you want to move to goal #3 or #4. The choice is up to you!

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