“I lost 7kg in 6 weeks to build the body I’ve always wanted!”

Nick Harris, 35 from Norfolk, turned the disappointment of a cancelled wedding and the excitement of impending fatherhood to inspire him to lose 7kg in just six weeks to look and feel back at best. New Body Plan co-founder Joe Warner spoke to Nick, who he’d coached for the duration of his six-week Home Workout Challenge so you can replicate his results

Joe: Nick, congratulations! You’ve lost 7kg in just six weeks by completing the NBP Home Workout Challenge. Before we get to how you achieved such an incredible result, can you tell my first why you signed up for the challenge?

I think 2020 was the biggest motivating factor – what a year! I was due to get married in June, then go on honeymoon and we had all these big plans for 2020. Then everything changed with Covid-19 and lockdown. I immediately stopped going to the gym or doing any type of exercise, and instead started eating – and not the healthiest foods!

And then we decided we wanted to have kids, and that really changed the way I was starting to see myself and feel about myself – we’ve all heard about the “dad bod” and I really didn’t want one!

Looking at myself in the mirror, looking at the scales, and realising that my belt buckle had shifted a couple of holes in the very wrong direction, made we want to make some positive changes and see how quickly I could lose the weight I’d gained. So it was both seeing and feeling myself get further out of shape and knowing I was going to be a dad made me act.

I’ve never had a problem making the time or effort to go to the gym and exercise, but my two main issues have been never following a proper training plan, and eating too much. I used the excuse of having to follow a gluten-free diet for eating more of the things I like. I thought signing up for the challenge could help me overcome both of those problems.

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Joe: Can you describe how you felt when you looked in the mirror before starting the challenge?

Nick: You know that moment where you stand there and you look at yourself and you think “shit, what happened?” I was saying that more and more as time wore on. I think many of us have had that moment when you see your reflection in the mirror and you think to yourself, actually, you know what, I can’t be doing this. I can’t keep putting on weight like this. And I was using the lockdowns as a reason and excuse not to do anything.

In March I could pinch an inch, but then suddenly I had a massive spare tyre around my stomach. I didn’t want to be that person who put on a load of weight during lockdown. When I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror and feel comfortable or confident in myself and my appearance, that’s when I made the decision – and the commitment – to do something about it.

Joe: You lost 7kg in the six weeks. I’ve told you what I think about your incredible results, but how do you feel about it?

Nick: Looking at my before and after photos together for the first time – I was shocked. There’s a huge difference, especially around my belly and chest. I got rid of my beer belly and shifted my man boobs, so I no longer have a dad bod!

There’s still a desire to do more and I want to carry on. I think that reflects how good this challenge has been for me because I want to continue to progress and see what else I can achieve. Also, I like how much more confident and knowledgeable I’ve become about training and nutrition since starting the challenge. That’s going to make it so much easier for me moving forward to avoid regaining any weight, especially when the baby arrives, but also to keep on losing it and maybe even build some more muscle.

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Joe: What prevented you getting into good shape in the past?

Nick: My goal had always been more orientated to lifting as much weight as I could, but I was doing it aimlessly. I never really followed a plan and failed to get the results I wanted. And while I could lift heavier I still didn’t really like what I saw in the mirror because my diet wasn’t what it needed to be.

Joe: Eating for fat loss isn’t difficult but many people struggle because of a lack of nutritional knowledge. Once I put you on a 2000-calorie per day fat-loss meal plan, how quickly did you adjust?

Nick: For the first few days I was pretty hungry, but not because I wasn’t eating enough – I had simply been eating far too much for too long! I followed the meal plan to the letter for the first week, and it was great because my partner joined me so we were eating the same meals together, which really helped. I always knew what we were having, so what I needed to get in, then how to cook it, which removed all the over-thinking about what to eat and when.

Then in the second week I moved to the more flexible approach of picking and choosing what breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks I wanted for each meal from a wide selections of options you gave me. So if there was a snack I preferred over one thing or the other, like peanut butter and apple, rather than bananas and yogurt, that’s what I’d have, safe in the knowledge I was always eating for a leaner, stronger and healthier body.

One of the biggest revelations was I started to recognise when I was genuinely hungry, or just thirsty, or simply bored. Before I was eating and snacking out of boredom, but now I am able to recognise what my body is telling me.

Don’t get me wrong, there have been times when I’ve had a cookie or where I’ve looked at something really nice, such as all the mince pies around Christmas. Before I would have had one or more without really thinking, but now my attitude is if I want one, I’m going to have it but I’m also going to be really conscious of what I am eating and why and take my time over it and really enjoy it, rather than just stuff it down. You don’t have to be perfect all the time to lose weight.

Joe: You were a bit skeptical at first about the limitations of a home workout compared to a gym. But your results prove you can make a huge difference to your health and fitness at home.

Nick: Yeah. All I needed was a set of dumbbells and the floor! My attitude before had been focused on the limitations, rather than the advantages of working out at home.  I thought you needed all the kit the gym offers, but it was actually really nice to work out at home, without the distractions of blaring music or waiting for machines. And in the gym, without a plan, it’s easy to take the easy option and lower the weight or miss out the last few reps, but I had no excuses at home. I had the plan to follow so all I had to do what focus on execution each exercise without any distractions.

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Joe: Why do you think you got the results you did, whereas in the past you’ve haven’t?

Nick: A few reasons. The sense of accountability and knowing you were there to check my results and help with any fat-loss questions, was a big one. As was having a really good reason for wanting to change, both for me and my family. And then finally having the right plan to achieve the goal I desired. It’s funny because once you have that plan, it becomes relatively easy, and really enjoyable! By that I mean if your plan is really over-complicated, or you’re lifting with no focus or intensity, or aren’t sure what moves you should be doing or why, then you’re never going to push yourself hard enough to get the results. And pushing yourself hard is really enjoyable when you know you’re pushing in the right direction.

It wasn’t like I was killing myself every session – which a lot of people think they need to do to get results – but I was working hard and getting a lot out of the sessions, which kept giving me more and more confidence and determination to keep pushing myself – especially once I starting see my body shape change.

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

Joe: Aside from the physical changes, were there any other positives from completing the challenge?

Nick: Yeah, I learned that I can push myself far harder than I realised and that I don’t need loads of space or really expensive equipment or even a gym to get the results I wanted. You can get great fat-loss results at home. I am now far better at distinguishing between hunger, thirst and boredom, so I’m far less likely to over-eat, which is what led me to gaining all that weight in the first place. And my knowledge and confidence, both in terms of training and nutrition, has really improved, and that can only help me moving forward.

Joe: What would be your advice to anyone who’s considering doing a transformation challenge or starting a fat-loss plan?

Nick: Persist! Get that first week done and stick to the plan. Once you start noticing the changes and start feeling good about yourself everything becomes so much easier.

Looking at my before and after photos, I am sure there are people out there thinking that it’s not possible for them or their end goal is so far away from reality. But you just have to start! lf I can achieve it, anyone can. You just need your a bit of space, a couple of dumbbells and believe that you can make the changes you want. Stick to the plan, don’t over-think or over-complicate it, and ask questions if you have them! It’s really quite simple, but you need to take that first step.

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