By Lucy-Jo Tostevin

Nutrition plays a very big role in the results you get from training. You have probably heard the saying ‘Abs are made in the kitchen’ and this is pretty true! It’s true regardless of whether you have been training for years or are a complete newbie.

People often hear that they need to be in a calorie deficit and they straight away make drastic changes to their food consumption. However I wouldn’t advise this. Similarly, to your training program, if you make drastic and sudden changes it could cause discomfort to the body.

If you suddenly cut your calories to well below maintenance your body will fatigue very quickly and it could result in naturally lowering the amount of energy you output each day, which would take you back into less of a deficit.

You also want your body to be able to recover from your training sessions s that you can be faster and stronger next time. This is how you progress!

Reducing your calories too extremely from the outset would also mean you have nowhere to go later; instantly halving your calorie consumption for example would mean that once your body adapts to that number you won’t have calories remaining to drop lower should your goal require this.

I would recommend calculating your maintenance calories (number of calories required to maintain your current body weight) and then putting yourself in around a 20% deficit. This will mean you still have enough energy to train, recover and live your day-to-day life.

As your body eventually adapts to this number of calories you can then reduce by another 10% and so on allowing you to continue seeing results while still eating a healthy and sustainable number of calories throughout the day/week.

Fat loss can seem like a daunting prospect and you may think that it will be too difficult or that you will have to change your lifestyle or avoid social events, but this isn’t true at all. If you are consistent and work hard you will get the results you want without feeling deprived or like your diet and training are taking over your life.

About the author

Lucy-Jo is a qualified level 3 personal trainer and Pop Pilates instructor. Fitness has been a huge part of Lucy’s life from a young age, taking part in netball, swimming, athletics & gymnastics. While at Uni she competed in cheerleading for 4 years and has also coached gymnastics for over 5 years.

In 2015 Lucy set up her own local fitness business, Family Inspired Training, running outdoor bootcamp classes with a circuits, HIIT and body weight resistance focus. She absolutely loves helping clients improve their fitness, strength and confidence week by week.

Setting goals and sticking to them is a key part of any successful fitness journey and after having recently trained for 2 bikini fitness competitions Lucy can definitely share a few tricks to keeping on track and achieving your fitness and nutrition goals.