“I lost 6kg in six weeks and I’ve never felt better!”

Ben Lloyd, 33 from County Durham, lost 6kg in just six weeks to finally get the lean and ripped body he wanted. But more than sculpting hard abs, it was how much better Ben felt that was the real highlight of his transformation challenge. New Body Plan co-founder Joe Warner spoke to Ben to discover how he did it – so you can too!

Joe: Ben, huge congratulations. You’ve just completed the best six-week body transformation I’ve ever seen. What made you sign up for the challenge?

Ben: At the start of the first lockdown in March I had good intentions of healthy eating and doing home workouts. But as time went on I found myself sitting the garden, having a few drinks, and the good intentions slowly slipped away. When that lockdown ended I was quite a bit heavier and not feeling very good about myself.

So when the second lockdown was announced I decided I need a proper approach, with a plan I could follow so I wouldn’t make the same mistakes and could really focus on looking after myself and start feeling fitter and healthier.

Joe: What shape were you in at the start?

Ben: I was in pretty much the same shape I’ve been in about the last two years. I’ve always been between 12st 6lb (79kg) and 13st (82.5kg), and never really had any muscle definition. I had skinny arms but with a bit of a pot belly – that skinny-fat physique.

I’d go to the gym two or three times a week, but I’d be chopping and changing programmes because I was always changing my mind about what I wanted. I’d spend two or three weeks trying to lose fat and get more definition, but then spend the next two or three weeks trying to add as much muscle as possible. And I’d be trying different diet plans from week to week, hoping to find an approach that would work. But despite wanting to change my body it never did.

So I never really had a clear goal or a detailed plan that I could follow and that’s where I was going wrong. That was my starting point for signing up to the challenge – I wanted to see how far I could go with a proper plan of action I could stick to.

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Joe: How did you feel about yourself when you saw your reflection in the mirror?

Ben: I really noticed that I’d put on weight not so much as when looking in the mirror, but when getting dressed. I was struggling to find clothes that would fit me nicely and that I would feel confident and relaxed in. I’d stand in front of the mirror, holding my breath, and say, “Yeah, this shirt fits fine.” But then as soon as I had a few drinks or something to eat the buttons would be straining, especially across my beer belly. That’s when I know I needed to do something.

When my wife took my “before” pictures for me she said it’s the first time she’d not seen me breathing in and holding my breath for ages! In all honesty I got a bit of a shock when I saw them and realised the real shape I was in.

Joe: When did you first notice positive changes?

Ben: Almost immediately I noticed a big improvement in how I looked, I could see the fat coming off and my muscles looked bigger and more defined. But the really big change was about three weeks into the six-week challenge – and it was in how I felt. That improvement has been phenomenal.

Before I started the plan I would wake up every few days not feeling great, being very tired and lethargic and with a sore or dodgy stomach. I’d been living it with for years. Maybe it was because I was constantly switching between different diets. But it wasn’t great and would affect my mood for the rest of the day and I was resigned to always feeling a bit ropey and thought I’d just have to live with it.

Doing the plan changed everything. I would wake up feeling really energised and ready to take the day on and was really enjoying working out. And I suddenly realised about half way through that I hadn’t had any stomach issues since starting the plan.

It’s like waking up the first day after a cold and realising how good you should feel. This is the best I’ve felt for as long as I can remember, and it’s massively improved my quality of life. So while the fat-loss and other physical changes were great, it’s finally feeling really fit and healthier that I’m most happy about.

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Joe: How did you feel and the end of the six weeks and could compare your “before” and “after” photos together?

Ben: I was over the moon seeing the numbers drop on the scale and my body-fat percentage coming down, but then to see the photos side-by-side – that’s when it really sank in and I realised what I’d achieved.

Joe: Some people are skeptical about working out at home and getting incredibly results without having access to a gym, but you’ve more than proved them wrong. Did it surprise you that you can get amazing results at home with just a set of dumbbells?

Ben: Yeah, definitely. During the first lockdown, without a set plan or goal, I was pretty much making it up as I went along, and that’s the reason I didn’t make any progress.

Having a plan changed everything. It meant I could focus 100% on the sessions and not worry or over-think what I was doing or why. And it meant I didn’t fall back into old habits of chopping and changing so my body finally had the chance to adapt and burn off the fat and build muscle. It was the same with the nutrition – having a plan to follow and stick to made it so much easier because, again, I didn’t have to over-think or over-complicate anything. I just focused on eating the right foods at the right time.

Joe: What’s your advice to someone thinking about starting their own fat-loss challenge?

Ben: Just go for it. If you’re unsure or confused about anything – how to train, what to eat, anything at all – then you need to follow a plan, then stick in it because it will work. The last thing you want to do is do it alone through guessing or trial and error because it’s so easy to get it wrong and get disappointed.

Having a plan is everything. Once you have one it’s so much easier to get the right mindset, because you know when to exercise, what to eat, it’s all laid out for you, so all you have to do is follow each step. It makes it so easy. I got a plan, followed it, and got results I’d only dreamed of, so if I can do it I don’t see why it’d be different for anyone else.

To find your perfect plan, take the New Body quiz!
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