Kent engineer Ryan who 'struggled to lose weight' did it the old fashioned way with this simple plan
It can feel like an impossible mountain to climb trying to lose weight.
We're forever bombarded with the latest fad diets, 'miracle' supplements and a deluge of training information which can be confusing and overwhelming.
But often the most simple approach can work best and getting in shape can actually be very straightforward if you've got the right advice and the right training plan to follow.
Kent engineer Ryan Jenness was someone who struggled to lose weight and found it hard to stick to fitness programmes or know what to do in the gym to improve his physique.
But the 22-year-old that all changed when he signed up to do the six-month Titan Force body transformation project with eight other guys from across the country.
He admits that he found it hard to get motivated to get in shape on his own and often just gave up on going to the gym.
But with Titan Force he had the support of experienced personal trainers in former Royal Marine Rich McKeating and ex-bodybuilding champion Dan Norman to show him how to structure his diet, what to do in the gym and how best to train for optimal weight loss results.
He also had the added motivation of raising hundreds of pounds for the Teenage Cancer Trust on the Titan Force project which aims to show young men that there is a simple way everyone can get in the shape of their lives without expensive supplements, complex training plans or even illegal body enhancers.
His goal was simple - to lose a stone and a half in weight, change his lifestyle and get healthier by eating better - and he managed to lose an incredible 20lbs of body fat.
''I started the Titan Force Project because I was unhappy with my weight and appearance but struggled to stay motivated with eating healthy and going to the gym,'' he explains.
''I wanted to change my physique and fitness because I had been unhappy with how I looked for a while. Then when I saw this opportunity come up I said to myself, 'take it! Or you will regret it so much.'
''So this opportunity was one I couldn’t miss! Putting my need to feel good about myself aside it was also an amazing chance to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Research.
''I am proud of myself and the other guys on the project for what we achieved and the money that we raise.''
Ryan's was a common story before he started the training plan: he was quite fit and played football through school, but as his work life and responsibilities took over he became less active and put weight on.
''My training and diet before this project was awful. I never went to the gym (despite paying a month membership) and my diet consisted of junk and easy meals.
''I struggled to lose weight because of my lack of motivation, I never really stuck to anything I planned, never giving it a proper chance.''
There really is no secret about getting in shape. A huge part of making steps in the right direction is just having a plan and then sticking to it - particularly where diet and training is concerned.
It can be very easy to slip back into bad eating habits if you don't have a structured diet plan in place.
This was a big part of Ryan's success in being able to shed body fat and bring his weight down from 103kg to 94.5kg.
''The changes I made to my diet after starting this project for massive. Out went junk, takeaways and ready meals and in went a structured plan, what to eat and when to eat it.
''Having a plan made it a lot easier than I thought it would be to prepare a few days’ worth of meals.
''I actually found the change in diet easier than I thought. I enjoyed preparing my meals for the week and enjoyed searching for different ideas to try.
''With changing my diet to healthier foods I noticed that I could get over colds and bugs quicker, I didn’t struggle to sleep and throughout the day I didn’t feel tired or sluggish.''
Ryan planned his meals for the whole week, which made it easy to stick to and less likely to drift off course.
He was eating five meals a day and counting his calories and ensuring he got his balance of proteins, carbs and fats right.
Preparing five meals every day might seem like a lot - but Ryan explains that he got them all weighed out and batched cooked them twice a week to save time and effort.
''Once I had planned my meals it was time to prepare them. I would prepare all three day time meals on Sunday evening for the first three days of the week. I would prepare breakfast in the morning and dinner in the evening.
''Then on Wednesday evening I would prepare all five meals for the following four days and do the same for breakfast and dinner.''
Getting consistency in your diet and eating the right foods is critical to getting the body composition changes you want.
''The key thing that I learnt about nutrition is that is just as important to have a healthy to diet as it is to exercise.
''There is no benefit from doing a really good session in the gym and then tucking into a massive KFC, all your hard work is gone! Having a healthy diet is there to supply your body with the fuel it needs to work out.''
But equally important is the training which helps build muscle and burn calories, which helps cut body fat and bring his weight down steadily and sustainably.
Because Ryan was a relative novice to the gym he started off with three sessions a week.
But to keep him progressing, his muscles growing and the body fat coming off the intensity was cranked up.
His training volume increased to four days a week and then five days a week. Then by the time his photoshoot came around he was hitting the gym six times a week.
''For me personally I never found this an effort, yes it was hard work and took a lot out of me but I always looked forward to my workouts, always making time for them, getting up early and going before work or finishing at midnight if that’s what it took to get my session into my day.
''The training was set up expertly by Rich McKeating and Dan Norman. It was easy to understand and you couldn’t go wrong.
''It showed you the order to do the exercise in, the amount of sets and reps to do.''
The training was always changing and exercises were varying to stop the body becoming accustomed and getting 'comfortable'.
Ryan and the guys were mostly hitting free weights - barbells and dumbbells - with simple but highly-effective movements like squats, deadlifts, presses and rows.
Every few weeks the exercises or the rep ranges would change - or even just the angle that the movement was performed at - with an emphasis on good form and tempo to get the maximum benefit out of every rep.
''Over the six months my training developed from nothing to everything. I literally never went to the gym and played football occasionally.
''I went from avoiding going to the gym, to going out of my way to make time to go. I felt confident in what I was doing and loved working out.
''The key thing that I learnt about training is that it is so important to have a decent plan and to know what you are doing. Take time to create a plan specific to yourself and your goals, get professional help if you need it.
''Know how to correctly do an exercise, less weight and a proper technique will have more benefit that loads of weight and a poor technique.''
Ryan achieved the goal he set himself of losing a stone and a half - something he had really struggled with before without a proper plan.
''Going from never sticking to anything to seeing what I had achieved was amazing. To put it simply the result that I saw was that I lost weight. Seeing it drop off the scales and seeing it in my photos at the end was so incredibly pleasing. My main goal now is to stay healthy.''
You can sign up to do the Titan Force challenge and raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust while getting in the shape of your life - whether you want to bulk up or lean out. You can find out more about how to get involved in January right here.