You’re likely to hear the words ‘body transformation’ and ‘lifestyle makeover’ a lot as spring rolls around. But the terms mean different things to different people.

For some, it is losing a few kilos and a few centimetres around the waist. For others, it is a lower body fat percentage and an extra few inches of muscle gained on the biceps. For most, it’s often a combination of all of these.

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More than just physical

But any successful and sustainable transformation is about more than just physical change. A spring transformation plan should also address your lifestyle, mindset and attitude.

Beyond the physical changes, a lifestyle transformation is the ideal way to create new healthy habits that can last you a lifetime.

For instance, embracing the right transformation approach can teach you how to adopt new habits that are hard to break, such as portion control and eating the right quantities of food to meet your daily energy requirements without gaining weight.

Shopping, prepping and timing your meals appropriately are some of the other skills you will learn during a transformation challenge, which you can carry over into daily life long after the challenge ends.

Once you start following these healthy habits automatically with little thought or perceived effort, this way of living becomes your new normal. Over time, the lifestyle changes you initially felt were hard to go through no longer seem like such a struggle.

Ultimately, completing a transformation means you undergo a marked change in every aspect of your life, with the physical changes to your body the ultimate manifestation of this process.

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Igniting your motivation

Everyone who has successfully navigated a body and lifestyle transformation remembers the trigger – that watershed moment when they finally decided enough was enough.

For some, it was the day they could no longer fit into their favourite pair of jeans. For others, it was the unrecognisable reflection that stared back at them in the mirror one morning.

While the trigger is different for everyone, the common denominator in every transformation is the overwhelming desire to change some aspect of your life or body.

This realisation ignites the conviction to find an approach or plan that resonates with you and that you can implement within the everyday commitments and restrictions of your life.

When that moment arrives for you, adopting an effective and sustainable approach will determine your ultimate success.

To help you find the best approach for your goals, follow this transformation blueprint to transform your lifestyle for good!

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Find your reason

Ask yourself, ‘why am I doing this?’ Everyone needs a fundamental reason to commit to a transformation that runs deeper than simply getting a better body.

Your reason should be deeply personal so that you can create an emotional connection to it. If you are doing this transformation for anyone but yourself, you’re more likely to fail.

Whether it is to improve your health for a better quality of life, or increase your longevity to be there for your children and grandchildren, this goal will give you the motivation you need to push through the tough days and see the process through to the end.

As a starting point for your transformation, take some time out to establish your overarching goal and then interrogate it by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Why did you choose that goal?
  • Why do you want to achieve this goal?
  • How much do you really want or need to achieve this goal?
  • What will happen if you don’t achieve your goal?
  • Am I making this harder than it needs to be?
  • How will your efforts to attain this goal fit into your current lifestyle and situation?
  • Do you have sufficient time to dedicate to achieving the goal in the timeframe you’ve set out?

This process will help you determine whether your motivation is extrinsic or intrinsic. Hopefully, you’ll discover that your goal carries intrinsic value, which is the most powerful form of motivation there is.

  • Intrinsic motivation: A form of internal motivation driven by an interest or enjoyment in the task itself, rather than relying on an external factors or rewards, like a trophy, medal or recognition from others.
  • Extrinsic motivation: A form of external motivation to behave in a certain way or engage in an activity to earn recognition from others, a reward or avoid punishment.

While extrinsic motivation also works, it fails to provide the sustained motivation we need to achieve long-term goals.

Ultimately, many of us fail to achieve success because we choose to do things that we don’t like doing to achieve an outcome that we believe will appease others.

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Be smart about it

Once you have the overarching objective in mind, break down your ultimate goal into smaller objectives. This approach will ensure you always have something to work towards over the short term.

You should determine every goal, big or small, with the SMART approach:

  • Specific: Be clear and unambiguous, like lose 6 kg in 12 weeks.
  • Measurable: Measure your progress towards this goal with regular body composition and fitness assessments.
  • Achievable: Do your research and speak to a professional to set an attainable goal.
  • Realistic: The goals should reflect what you want and what you can realistically achieve based on your genetics, how much spare time you have and the other resources at your disposal.
  • Time-bound: Set a deadline and a clearly defined timeline punctuated with smaller achievements, which maintain motivation and create a sense of achievement.

Setting smaller goals to achieve on your journey to your overall goal will help you maintain a positive mindset and create a sense of achievement at every milestone.

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Implement a plan

We’ve all heard the cliché: Failing to plan is planning to fail. But this is a transformation truism.

The goals you define for yourself will guide and inform the plan you need to follow for your transformation, from the food you prepare and eat to the type of training you perform.

Your transformation plan is your blueprint for success. It should cover various elements:

  1. Your exercise programme.
  2. Your diet plan.
  3. Your supplement plan.
  4. Your daily schedule to fit everything into your day.

You can take the time to draw up a clear plan of action or you can pay an expert to do the planning for you. Your options when looking for a guide include:

  1. A personal trainer at your local gym
  2. An online transformation coach
  3. A branded transformation challenge

LF Recommends

A branded body transformation challenge, which commonly takes place over 12 weeks, offers a tried and trusted way to transform your body and lifestyle through the right combination of exercise, nutrition and supplementation.

It is a convenient way to implement a structured plan in your life to achieve a personal health and fitness goal.

And while it is challenging, it is achievable. You just need to look at the number of successful transformation stories to realise these programmes offer a proven formula for success. All you need to do is follow the plan by closely adhering to the diet and exercise guidelines to achieve amazing results.

Most transformation challenges are built on the following:

  • Basic principles and a plan of action;
  • Target weight and calorie goals to reach the target weight;
  • Body assessment;
  • An exercise plan;
  • Before and after pictures;
  • Reports describing how the participant’s lifestyle and body measurements changed for the better;
  • Amazing prizes based on weight loss and body transformations achieved.

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Harness the power of your mind

Your mindset is going to determine whether you stick to the plan and succeed or if you fail. You must believe in the goals you set for yourself.

And it is hard, if not impossible, to get anywhere unless you know where you are going. Creating a clear picture in your mind of what you want will fuel your motivation to keep going.

Once you know what you want, visualise what it will look like and feel like. What will you weigh? How will it feel? What will you wear on the beach in December? How will your colleagues and partner look at you? More importantly, how will you look at yourself? Visualise loving who you are, what you feel like, and what you look like.

Ultimately, you need to visualise the end result before you can make it happen. Use visualisation daily to reinforce your mindset and remain focused achieving your goal.

Create accountability

Accountability is another vital element in every successful transformation. If you have the discipline and willpower, you can hold yourself accountable. But that doesn’t work for everyone, and that’s also okay.

Outsourcing accountability to a training buddy or personal trainer also works wonders! Besides the obvious knowledge a good personal trainer brings to the equation, when you’ve paid someone to meet you at the gym at a certain time every week, you’re less likely to skip the session.

And the same principle applies to a training buddy. If you know someone is waiting for you at 6am, you’ll make sure you turn up, no matter how cold or dark it is outside!

Telling people about your goal is another effective accountability tool. More and more, people are using social media to publicly declare their transformation intentions. This creates an added incentive to stick to the plan, with many drawing additional inspiration and motivation from the comments of support.

Ideal ways to harness the power of social media include:

  1. Posting weekly progress pictures.
  2. Posting weekly weigh-ins.
  3. Sharing your weekly workout programme and diet plan.
  4. Posting update measurements everything.

Track your progress

Regular posts on Instagram and Facebook also offer a great way to track your progress over time.

Another beneficial approach is to keep a training log via a training app or a physical log book.

When you do, track everything. Log your eating and training. Note how you felt. Input your weights, reps and sets. Ideally, you want to see steady, incremental progression over time.

Other important metrics to track from a body and lifestyle transformation perspective include:

  • Body weight
  • Circumference measurements
  • Waist-to-Hip Ratio (WHR)
  • Body fat
  • Body mass index (BMI)
  • Weight
  • Glucose
  • Cholesterol
  • Total lipogram screening
  • Blood pressure

And when the progress plateaus, and it eventually will, you can use your training and eating logs to review your approach and tweak your plan to kick-start the process again.

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Create a support base

Everyone who successfully completed a transformation challenge had the full support of family and friends when they embarked on their transformation journey.

Your family needs to understand what you are doing and why you are doing it so they can support your choices and your new lifestyle.

And surrounding yourself with like-minded people who are interested and passionate about being in shape, who love exercising and eating well will make the process so much easier.

A good personal trainer or transformation coach who believes in you will also prove invaluable. If you can afford the services of a good, qualified, experienced personal trainer, it is an investment you won’t regret.

Reward yourself

While your improved body and new healthy lifestyle are the ultimate rewards, periodic rewards along the way in the form of new workout gear, a spa day or a cheat meal can help to boost waning motivation levels and affirm the benefits of all your hard work and commitment.

The key is to keep stretching the targets you need to achieve to earn these rewards. This will keep you focused and working hard towards your overall goal.

And a reward can also be more than just motivational. A strategic cheat meal, for instance, can positively impact your metabolism and boost your energy levels for the week ahead.

Balancing all the elements

A transformation is not easy, but it is possible. It just takes the right approach, followed with commitment and dedication every day.

However, it is important to realise that a transformation challenge is not about spending countless hours in the gym, obsessing about food and dieting, and feeling hungry and deprived all the time.

It is about taking and eliminating as much guesswork as possible so that the average person can follow a plan to get the most out the process – not only over the course of the 12 weeks but for a lifetime.

A simple plan that is easy to follow will improve your chances of seeing it through to the end. If you commit to it and give the process your all, you will achieve the results you are after!

Ultimately, your transformation plan is merely a starting point to living a healthy life and to continue putting into action everything you have learnt through the journey, which will help you live your best life long after you achieved your body transformation goals.