Get lean before you have kids
Everything Is Changing
When you reach your late-twenties and early-thirties, everything you know begins to change.
Your friends start getting married, having kids, and buying houses (obviously not in Sydney or Melbourne, but allegedly awesome investment properties in Queensland #rentvesting).
Funnily enough, it all seems to be intentional - you didn’t expect that three years ago!
When your hit this point, many people have a bit of a reality check and take stock of their lives.
You probably are well-qualified, have a good job, and are genuinely pretty well set up to take on the rest of your life.
In the next few years, you will likely find yourself in the marriage/kids/house situation yourself.
But are you ready?
And I don’t mean emotionally, I mean physically.
Gaining 1kg Per Year Never SeemsLike Much...
When I was training clients in the gym, I worked with a lot of executive clients in their late-forties and into their fifties
They came to lose body fat, in an attempt to undo some of the gains of the past two decades.
A consistent theme amongst them was that they starting gaining weight when they started having kids, and they never got back on top of it.
By the time they get to fifty, they all wished they had of started earlier when they had more energy and their joints worked a lot better.
They often said, “I wish I hadn’t of taking their foot off the gas” or something similar to that effect.
‘Foot off the gas’ might not even be the right analogy. They don’t so much as take off their foot completely, they just stopped using it as much.
These people aren’t like the professional footballer who can gain 10-15kg in the first year out of the sport, as they start eating and drinking what they couldn’t when they were athletes, whilst no longer doing the training they did before.
Instead, the busy professional finds that fat slowly accumulates little by little, often going relatively unnoticed.
But the 1kg annual fat gain from 30 to 50 years of age equates to a total fat gain of 20kg.
For an average 80kg male, that’s a body fat increase from 25% to 40% which comes with significant impacts on energy, mobility, and health.
A weight gain of 1kg per year is not massive - your weight might fluctuate by that every couple of months.
But it slowly accumulates until you look down and see something you don’t like and decide it’s time to act.
The challenge is that you're now a busy executive who finds yourself travelling often, alongside wining and dining with clients.
This makes it pretty hard to lose weight, particularly when your training and nutrition aren’t the highest of priorities.
Path > Outcome
If you picture yourself at 50, no doubt you have an idea of yourself being in good shape.
I promise you every 50-year old you know had the same idea at your age.
Now I want you to consider two different paths that you could follow for the next two decades, both of which have you at your goal weight at 50.
The first option is that you maintain your weight within a 5-10% range of your goal.
For the 80kg male we mentioned before, that's within 84-88kg for the next two decades.
The second option is that you gain weight slowly (1kg per year) until your 49th birthday, then go on to lose 19kg over the next 12 months.
That means the 80kg male gets to 99kg on his 49th birthday, before losing the weight over the following year.
Both paths have you at the same weight on your 50th birthday, but they are very different journeys to get there.
Which would you prefer?
Most people end up taking the second option, although not by intent.
They keep delaying getting started and it just gets harder as work and family commitments increase, and as they gain weight exercise becomes even less appealing.
I help people who want to take the first option but they haven't found a system that works for them.
My role is to help these people understand and implement the fundamentals of training and nutrition to manage body composition in a manner that works for them.
That means that when they have two kids under five years old and when both they and their partner are working full-time, they can apply the fundamentals to keep any weight gain manageable.
Eating better lunches at work.
Doing a quick bodyweight training session when they can.
Being mindful of where body composition is going.
It’s much easier to be more disciplined in the present when you have a system that you know works for you.
Instead of wondering whether the system will work - which most people do when they start a new diet or training program - they will have full confidence knowing that it's worked for you in the past and will work again.
Action Is The Key
The tools can be as simple as running or basic resistance training - it really can be whatever you demonstrate to be ideal for managing your body composition.
Because it’s all out there and you have access to it, many people try to do it all on their own, only to due to a lack of adherence.
The problem is that they never actually do it, or they try for a bit and don’t stick it out.
A few years later, their time gets crunched by work and family commitments, and the chances of adding in a new fat loss regime become minuscule.
So they gain weight as the years go on.
Eventually, they decide enough is enough, at which point they look back and wish they had started earlier.
It's just like when you've racked up a credit card bill and you think back five years to when you had that handy $10k sitting in your bank account.
You regret spending in on whatever you did and wish you could have it back.
But you can't, the opportunity is gone.
Now you have to start with what you've got and work your way out of it.
If you don't want to end up there, make sure you know what to do now!