As much as I’m a fitness lover , I’m also a realist!! With this in mind, you can understand why my mouth drops open when I hear of people doing these crazy 6-day ‘barely-eat-a-thing’ diets or starting a new form of exercise and doing it every day for the first few weeks.
To me, weight loss should never be your ultimate goal, rather we should focus on creating a healthy lifestyle thus introducing something new into our lives that we can realistically maintain, and in the process, lose weight too!!
Over the years I’ve had my fair share of weight/image battles to fight and overcome and so I believe it’s safe to say that I have gained a fair share of wisdom on this topic. One such nugget, is that our weight shouldn’t ever escape 4 – 6kg range. Most ladies weigh pretty-much the same weight for a number of years, this is because our bodies were created to maintain, not to bounce between extremes. If you can’t maintain your ‘goal weight’ unless you’re half starving yourself, then maybe you were never meant to weigh that little??
However, and this a rather large HOWEVER…although I’m super-anti crash diets and unrealistic training programs, I fully believe that it is possible to up your game, gain in fitness, start eating healthily and possibly lose a few kg’s along the way. The focus, however, should remain on ‘healthy living’!!
If you can create a healthy lifestyle that you can maintain, you will also learn to redefine what your actual ‘realistic’ goal-weight should be…and BETTER than that, you will learn to love your body the way you were created to look; as healthy living and a fit bod can only make you feel great about yourself!!
1. Eat breakfast
Breakfast is essential in not only creating a healthy lifestyle but in weight-loss too.
Your 1st meal of the day actually kick starts your metabolism thus beginning the process of digesting and transporting food in your body. Dietitians have confirmed that those who don’t eat breakfast often end up fasting for 15 – 20 hours, all the while not producing enzymes needed to metabolize fat (weight loss).
Those who eat breakfast are less likely to indulge in “starvation eating” and are also more likely to be prone to exercising.
2. Make exercise a part of your every day life
Exercise genuinely produces endorphin’s in our bodies, thus making us happier. This alone is reason enough to indulge in it!
Some ideas to help you fit exercise into your everyday life:
– Why not take the stairs instead of the elevator
– Wake up 20min earlier and do an online Yoga/ Pilates class – www.myyogaonline.com or
– Go for a brisk walk with your husband after work
– Enter for a 5km running race. You are ALL capable of run/walking 5km’s. Entering a race
will force you to hit the road
– Ask a colleague to walk/run/cycle with you one evening a week after work, then go for a
yummy healthy dinner
3. Snack wisely – plan ahead
Snacking is most people’s biggest weight downfall!! The secret to overcoming this is to learn to plan ahead. Pack an apple, yoghurt and/or a health bar in your handbag every morning – that way you won’t be tempted during the day to buy additional unnecessary snacks.
Love to snack while having coffee with a friend?? Why not start invite your friends to your house for coffee rather than meeting at coffee shops?? That way, you can nibble on healthy treats and still enjoy a good coffee and catch up!!
Braai’s (barbeques) are your biggest snack attack?? One thing that helps me with this one is to make sure that the chips don’t end up in the middle of a circle of girls. Rather, get each girl to take a handful of chips and then send them off to the boys at the braai…OR, add 15min to your braai-prep-time and cut up some raw carrots and cucumber and make them look pretty around a tub a hummus. You’ll be delighted to have finally have mastered still being hungry when the meats done and your friends will secretly thank you for it too.
4. Treat yourself
One of the biggest mistakes we all make when we proudly announce, on Sunday nights, to our patient husbands, that tomorrow we are starting to eat healthily again….is treats!! Extremes are only good for one thing – FAILURE! And if you are anything like me, failure is not the direction you are wanting to be heading in.
Sugar cravings come and yes, at first, we need to train our bodies to live without our daily regular doses of unhealthy treats…but there is NO harm in giving into these cravings once in a while. Studies show that people who choose to indulge in small sweet treats every so often, tend to find it easier to maintain a diet than those who cut them out completely.
Pizza weakness??? Pizza’s not all bad, but we need to be wise with our toppings. Rather than ordering a debonairs pizza on a Fri night, after a successful week of healthy eating, why not rather make your own healthy pizza at home. Check out this cool pizza recipe by my friend, Carene.
Choccie/Chips weakness?? Decide that you are only going to eat 1 chocolate/small packet of chips a week. That way, you can indulge away but the effect on your body will be minimal.
Fizzy Drinks weakness?? Again, try to stick to one fizzy drink a week (a real treat) and maybe even share it with someone or pour it into a glass so that you are more aware of how much you are actually taking into your body!