4 Tips and 6-Months – My health and fitness transformation

This post is for you if you have decided that it’s time to lean up, lose weight or gain that extra muscle.

It’s for you if you’re ready to change bad habits and ready to become that healthier version of yourself but have been putting it off or simply, the time just wasn’t now.

It’s for those who have the scale tipped against them and need to take action now to regain balance and then maintain the change.
In this post, I will encourage you to listen to yourself to understand the values that are driving what it is you want to achieve, you will tap into and enhance your achievement mindset and apply this immediately to your life and to achieving your goal….
The 3 DRGNFLY360 principles of achieving goals:

  • Passion – The Desire to make this transformation.
  • Purpose – The resonating reason, cause or benefit for the change and your core values that it aligns with.
  • CuriosityBe a NINJA!!  Find out and do what you need to do – Learn, discover, research and share it with others. The more you do this, the more your goals become real, the more support you’ll find and, my favourite, the more like-minded individuals you’ll meet (some are right under your nose!!).

Next, we’ll expand on each component and translate them into achieving your fitness goals.

So, what makes me so clued up?
Well, I’ve made many changes in my life – I’m not sure what version of me I’m up to but everything is a work in progress – each change has risen me to new levels of creativity, skill, happiness and (recently) health.
This was me in Nov 2015.

  • Evernote Camera Roll 20160521 105034Height: 5’7″
  • Weight: 75kg
  • Body Fat: 25.3% / 18.3kg
  • Visceral Fat: Level 8
  • Muscle Mass: 71.0% / 51.3kg
  • Metabolic Age: 51 (!??! WTF)

As you can see, I wasn’t overweight or suffering from any obvious health conditions but, if you look closer you can see that bloated look in my midsection – That’s what I want to get rid of, that is visceral fat that increases the risk of issues later in life that will most likely reduce my quality of life and longevity.

I’m 37yrs, married and no kids at this stage, but they’re in the future. It’s important to me that I’m in good health for all I have now and all to come. So tying into the principles:

Passion – To have a healthy and active life as much as possible.

Purpose – Well, my primary core value is to be there for my wife, my kids (when that happens and to be the dopest dad on the planet!!), to enjoy a fulfilling and active life and encouraging happiness and success to the benefit of all those around me.

Curiosity – The how – by being a ninja – Learning the skills, doing topical research, exercising regularly, share my passion and knowledge and keeping my eyes on the prize!!

It’s been just over 6-months now…

… There’s been a Christmas, a New Years, a 37th birthday and several ‘weekend’ celebrations of friend’s birthdays (including my wifey’s) and, even when letting our hair down during these times, we managed to improve our health, our habits and our knowledge on food and nutrition!! BOOM!
And that’s not the only result… Physically we’re both stronger and feeling great!!  Here’s my 6-months later pic:

  • Evernote Camera Roll 20160521 104256Height: Unchanged – Damn it!!
  • Weight: 73kg
  • Body Fat: TBC
  • Visceral Fat: TBC
  • Muscle Mass: TBC
  • Metabolic Age: TBC


I haven’t got my recent biometrics as I haven’t been down to visit my local Fit Club  lately (not the same as the gym) but I’ll update you once I have – in the mean time, Click here for my earlier post with metrics after 3-months.



Even without the biometrics measurements, you can clearly see the benefits and you can quickly tell, by the reduced bloated look in my mid-section, that my visceral fat has decreased – A leaner, healthier and bearded me.
It all start with by focusing on the 3 Principles to really understand this goal and ensuring it was something That I wanted, it align with who I am and so I went about finding solutions to achieving it.  The rest was easy all I had to do (and still am doing) is do it!
Next I’ll share a few tips that will help to get you into the mindset and to get the ball rolling and the rest is up to you…

If you’re not interested in doing your own research and discovery – stop reading now!!

If you are then please continue…

Before I continue, please note that if you have any existing medical conditions or are currently under medical advice, please consult your specialist before making any changes.
This process is effective for those people who have led unhealthy lifestyles, are under/overweight and are wanting to make healthy changes.
Thank you.

My 4 Tips

1) Routine

Having an eating and exercise schedule that is realistic and that you can commit to  make this work be a whole lot easier.

As I mentioned earlier, we have a Mon – Fri rhythm which works. and, if we’re free on the weekend we’ll continue. This is IMPORTANT and worth you spending the time to get it right as it has the power to make or break your outcomes.
To give you an idea, here’s mine (for gaining muscle mass):

Monday to Friday

  • Wake up – Have fresh squeezed Lemon and crushed fresh ginger tea (for digestion & an immune system boost). 
  • Breakfast – Allow 15mins after tea the follow with a low-calorie nutrition shake with a banana and a dash of cinnamon (good for blood circulation) blended in. Also, Men’s multivitamins and cod liver oil caps.
  • Hit the gym for 1hr – followed by Protein shake with Creatine.
  • Mid-morning 2 helpings of Fruit and Protein Snack (Chicken/Sardine salad / Protein Shake / Protein Bars)
  • Lunch: Meat, fresh veggies – lean grass-fed, low-fat & low-carb meal or meal shake with added protein.
  • Mid-Afternoon Protein Snack and 50g of nuts – usually Almonds.
  • Dinner: Meat, fresh veggies –lean grass-fed, low-fat & low-carb meal.

Cheat days

80% of being healthy is diet and, for most, that’s where the need to refocus – Food has taken its toll and, if you’re not taking control of it, it will (if it hasn’t already) take control of you. Change your relationship with food and some of your habits is key.

I still love food and I enjoy cooking, so after hitting the routine solidly during the week I know that I can relax a bit on the weekend and, much like the old ‘cheat day’ system, this is where I get some of those tasty, heavier treats down, to reward myself with worrying especially when I’m out with friends socialising or on date night (!!) – I’ve already done the work and I’ll continue the work next week…

Everyone is different so it about finding the carrot-at-the-end-of-the-stick that works for you…  What’s your vision, How bad do you want it, and what will you do to get there…?

Don’t go crazy… Remember your goal and why you’re doing this

There is some good news here. As you get closer to your goals it does get easier as your behaviours, your habits and your relationship with food and exercise changes. The cravings may become different (maybe even healthier) and will continue. Cheat days won’t even matter  – you’ll just know when to treat yourself.

Why eat frequently?

There’s a lot of differing opinions on this, however, I know that for me to gain weight and muscles mass, I had to increase my intake and to achieve the vision and goal I had, this meant I needed to consume a certain amount and exercise a certain amount. All I can say is eat as if you were your desired size already because that’s the goal so do your research and find a diet plan that achieves your goals.


2) Are you eating enough of the right stuff to achieve your goal.

A lot of people think that by reducing their general food intake they will achieve their weight loss goals – Consumption is the issue but eating less, isn’t. It’s the content.
In this scenario, Muscle Wasting (aka Muscle Atrophy) is most likely to happen. This is where you go about your day-to-day activities, exercise and burning energy as you use your muscles. Trouble is, without feeding them protein your muscles can’t rebuild. they’ll suffer the effects of malnutrition, deteriorate and you end up losing muscle rather than your emergency energy stores – Fat.
Solution – using protein calculators online or see a specialist to ensure you’re eating enough protein to support your end goal – weight loss / mass gain / leaning up.
You can then work that into your diet plan.
There’s various calculators online for different aspects of nutrition and fitness so have a look around. I use three protein calculators and take the average of the results as my recommended daily intake.

Also, be prepared by researching protein snacks (recipes, nuts, bars, salads, etc..) and include this in your shopping.


3) Research, research, research.

Grow your understanding on nutrition and exercise or better still, find a short course.
Over the years, I’ve done a lot of reading and harvested advice various books and online sources to build me up. Recently I wanted to step this up did a course that’s certified me as a nutritional adviser – not a nutritionist or dietitians but someone who can advise on the recommended complete healthy diet of a human.  This excludes corrective diets relating to illnesses or conditions.
My learning started with understanding fat which could be a good place for you to start.
There are 3 types of fat:

  • Saturated Fat (SFA) – Tends to increase overall cholesterol levels in the blood so too much can have negative impacts.
  • Monounsaturated (MUFA)
  • Polyunsaturated Essential Fatty Acids (EFA): These are key components for the metabolism of cholesterol.
    • Two types:
      • N6, Omega-6
      • N3, Omega-3 (long-chain fatty acids). Reduces triglyceride concentrations and protects from coronary heart disease.
        • EPA, eicosapentaenoic acid
        • DHA, docosahexaenoic acid.


4) Keep your eyes on the prize

Passion and Purpose

Keeping your passion and Purpose front of mind is key in the success of you achieve any goal – Don’t take any of your excuses.


Breaking your goal into smaller chunks helps to boost your energy and keeps you motivated – each milestone bringing you closer and closer to your goal.
Plan to treat yourself when you hit them. A gift, night out… Whatever floats your boat but save the big ones for the end!!


There… That should get you going…


2 Comments Add yours

  1. ahmedjabaifitness says:

    Congrats on your progress! Making lifelong changes are not easy at all! You should be proud 🙂 Keep up the great work! If you ever need fitness advice feel free to check out my blog and/or youtube channel for advice from an NSCA certified personal trainer/physique competitor 🙂 Cheers, and again CONGRATS


    1. Darren says:

      Hi Ahmed,

      Thank you for your response and for following.

      It’s always great to widen the community


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