We’ve promised ourselves time and time again to go to the gym and loose the extra weight that we’re carrying, but come February most resolutions are long forgotten!
So; here are some tips and advice which some of you, and perhaps, most of you may find helpful.
This is not going to be a miracle quick fix! The reason why fad diets don’t work is because they are either too hard to sustain in the long term, or because they require too much planning, or because, frankly, how often can you eat cabbage soup? Crash dieting simply does not work, in fact, it only harms your body by putting your metabolism on hold. You may loose a stone or two, but find it back again – multiplied – once you’re eating normally!
So this is really a life style, which you begin to implement and eventually becomes normal to you – it works in the long term and the benefits are not only on the scales and better fitting clothes, but also a healthier, happier and more energetic you!
Motivation! This can be in the form of a pair of jeans that used to fit last year? Before pictures? Snaps of the holiday destination for next summer? Anything that works for you! Remember, if you have a ‘why’ you can achieve any ‘how’.
You need to be accountable to someone; choose a friend, co worker, sibling, partner, anyone who is going to be there for you; preferably someone who has a similar fitness goal!
Stay hydrated! I can’t repeat this enough! Our bodies need water to function! This does not come in the form of fruit juices (loaded with sugar) and coffee, it means plain, old, simple water! Aim to drink at least 2 L a day, more in summer and more when you’re exercising. Hunger can sometimes also mimic dehydration, so before you head over to the kitchen, make sure to drink a glass or 2 of water, and re assess if you truly are hungry.
Sugar! many authors have gone so far as saying its toxic! lets not debate what to call it, but simply to say its bad for you! Giving up sugar is probably one of the best and hardest things that you can do for yourself and your health, and its not just the sugar that you add to your tea, its found in prepackaged foods, in cans, the list is endless. Head to your kitchen and look for ‘high fructose corn syrup’ on the ingredient list – that is sugar and we are ingesting it without even knowing. It has been proved, that high sugar consumption leads to obesity, type 2 diabetes and even heart disease by increasing cholesterol that causes our arteries to clog. It also destroys the collagen meaning that you will end up with saggy skin! The long and short of it is, eliminate sugar!
Alcohol; this continues with the point above, alcohol is full of sugar. Yes red wine is said to be cardio protective, but that doesn’t mean you need a bottle every evening, the occasional glass is fine, enjoying life is what this is all about, but don’t overdo it. Alcohol also causes your body to become dehydrated, so be sure to drink lots of water on a night out.
Carbonated drinks; yes even the ‘diet’ ones! in fact, especially the diet ones and here’s why in a nut shell: Basically the artificial sweeteners trick your body into thinking you’re drinking sugar, therefore, your body produces insulin and acid to break down the sugars. As there are no sugars, this just makes you hungry and you’ll need to eat. The most popular sweetener used by drinks companies is Aspartame, which is a proven cause of cancer. Brilliant! This doesn’t mean you should change over to regular Coke. Most full sugar fizzy drinks contain around 200 calories, but wont fill you up.
Move! this may seem obvious, but how many of us buy a gym membership only to simply waste our money by not going for more than a few weeks? The point here is do something that you enjoy! And remember that friend mentioned in point 2? Here’s where he/she comes in very handy! You could start playing tennis together, power walking after work a few times a week? Take a yoga class? anything that gets your heart beating! And please don’t use the excuse of not having time, you’re reading this article on-line right? Then you can get your gear on and run for 30 minutes!
Smoking; although this doesn’t directly affect weight loss, the point of this life style change is to be healthier! The negative effects of smoking are huge and I’m not even going to bore you by going into details; I could not be more anti smoking! Apart from the health risks that include cancer, increased cardiovascular disease etc.. smokers have grey skin! It leaches oxygen and nutrients out of your face. Think of all the money you spend on make up and skin care products! They are all pretty much useless if you continue to puff on that thing.. and it stinks!
The 80/20 rule; this is why this ‘diet’ is a way of life that will see you through decades of being slim, not a short phase until the next new fad comes along. Every good girl needs to be naughty sometimes, date nights, girls nights, or any other special occasion you choose! Remember to eat healthy nutritious food 80% of the time and, well, I’ll let you decide on what you’d like to have the other 20% of the time; that includes Champagne and chocolate.
Don’t stress! Remember that food is a way of giving your body what it needs to be healthy and beautiful so enjoy it! Don’t starve yourself! No one likes to be hungry, snack on healthy things like Greek yoghurt (fat free) and slices of fruit. Stop weighing yourself everyday, it is not a true indication of how well you’re doing and being a woman means that hormonal changes cause fluid retention that can make us heavier at certain times of the month! Notice how well your clothes feel, how much more energy you’ve got and the compliments that you will be receiving – and accept them with grace and gratitude!