By Louise Hazel, Team GB Olympian – founder of the Podium Effect and REPS ambassador
It’s nearing the end of the summer and if you’ve managed to stay on track with your new healthy eating and exercise regimes then pat yourself on the back, however it’s not uncommon for most of us to fall out of the habit of exercising and sticking to our diets and with a million and one ways of ensuring a slender waistline nowadays. However, I have noticed fewer and fewer people getting it right, so I ask myself where on earth are we going wrong?
Levels of inactivity are at an all-time high, with one third of all adults in the UK failing to achieve 30 minutes of exercise per 28 days, I feel like the government is failing to equip the nation with adequate information and new and engaging ways to keep fit and healthy.
It is not just about exercise. The simple task of going to the supermarket has now turned into a military-style obstacle course of dodging buy-one-get-one-free deals and two-for-the-price-of three! What seems like good value for money at the time is costing us in the long-term, and the price we are paying is way too high; it’s our health.
With this in mind, I’ve put together a list of my top 5 fails:
1. Stop counting calories. Calorie-counting is just another form of suppression in my eyes. Who wants to count every morsel that enters your mouth? How tedious! Calorie counting and points- controlled diets are a waste of time for those aiming to lose weight, especially when advised that chocolate muffins and cake bars are ok as long as they bear they are counted as part of your 1950 kcals per day. Get real!
My advice is to educate yourself as to what a portion size is, and stick to it.
2. Stop shopping at the supermarket. Trips to the supermarket are designed so that large retailers can squeeze more money out of you before you get to the checkout. I often find myself wandering around supermarkets completely astounded by the amount of processed food and drink that we are encouraged to buy. My best advice is to shop locally at the butchers or market but if you must step foot inside a supermarket; do so with caution and leave your debit card at home so as to only shop for what you need.
3. Stop weighing yourself. If you are exercising regularly, your weight can fluctuate. Burning fat and building lean muscle mass can often result in an increase in weight. Instead, what you should be monitoring is your Body Mass Index (BMI) this is a percentage of fat that you carry and is a good indicator of your health.
4. Stop avoiding fat. The government has done a great job into misleading us to believe that all fat is bad for us and that fat-free food options are healthier options. We need fat in our diets for a number of reasons, most importantly in order that we can absorb vital vitamins and minerals to fend off illness. So please fill your boots when it comes to essential fatty acids such as Omega 3 which can be found in oily fish, nuts and eggs and Omega 6 which can be found in seeds, avocados and coconut milk.
5. Stop the sugar. If you really want to lose weight then you should be avoiding sugar at all costs. Cut out fruit juice and consume water instead. Avoid all cakes, biscuits, crisps and chocolate. You’ll be amazed at how your body will snap into shape and you’ll avoid the energy crash that comes with all sugar fixes.
10 Things You Should Be Doing
1. This gets your gruelling regime out of the way first thing allowing you to get on with the rest of your day.
2. If you take five minutes to plan your breakfast the likelihood is you are more likely to stick to your diet for the rest of the day.
3. Here are some great examples @louisehazel 🙂 @FitnessMagazine @Fitness and @inspire_us Don’t forget to surround yourself with positive people!
4. a vortex protein mixer (also great for cocktails!) New training clothes and equipment will often give you that edge that you need to get up and get active as you’ll be more eager to try out your new purchase. My favourite gadget is the
5. The only way to measure the progress that you have made is to measure and record your results, whether it’s losing weight or eating healthy 6 out of 7 days a week make sure you record your progress so that you can see how far you’ve come.
6. Whether it’s to not eat chocolate or to go without alcohol the best way to succeed and to be consistent s to take every day at a time.
7. Write down how these lifestyle changes have positively affected you.
8. If you fall off the wagon, get straight back on. One piece of cake will not make you fat, just like one run will not make you fit!
9. Enjoy your new challenges, encourage friends to join in with you and most of all vary your exercise and your diet to keep it fresh and exciting!
10. There is no better feeling than having earned a treat whether it’s a new pair of shoes or a cheat meal make sure you give yourself positive reinforcement for your effort.
So if you’re still struggling to keep it up, the most important thing to do is to remember why you are doing it….good luck!
For more tips and information on developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, visit www.thepodiumeffect.com
Photocredit Alexis Chabala