Losing weight and getting in shape isn’t quite without a price, but it is about simple changes and the most worthwhile results. It requires organisation, commitment and habit – and a willingness and desire to change.
It’s often said that “the definition of insanity is to do the same old things and expect dramatically different results”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting you are borderline insane or you wouldn’t be reading this! So please read on.
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Excuse us for rolling out the homilies again, but as some other wise soul once said: “You cannot cross a chasm in two small steps.” Making changes requires commitment of the “line in the sand” variety.
Once you have chosen to do this, then give it the best you can – and reward yourself every day for doing so with affirmations, a glowing diary entry, or whatever else makes you feel warm and satisfied on a job (getting) well done!
2. Ditch the sugar, sausages and fizzy drinks
Common sense really – except it isn’t very common. Greggs, the national bakery take-away phenomenon, reports that sales of “fresh” orange juice are heavily made up of workmen who add a “healthy” drink to their pies, cream cakes and crisps that they buy! You may feel that embracing ‘lite’ versions of fizzy drinks, cakes, biscuits and the like is delivering untold health value. Sadly, it’s not. Cut them down or out!
3. Curb the alcohol
Try and make ‘Wine O’Clock’ less of a daily habit. Maybe keep drink to them weekend and then in sensible volumes. Most alcohol (especially white wine) is a very potent sugar delivery system and a fabulous way to pile on weight around the hips and the belly. If you want to attack the muffin top, cut down!
4. Rein in the starch and the simple “carbs”
Once again – something that should be common sense; cut down or out on white bread, pastries, pasta, biscuits and all the food that looks or is ‘beige’.
If you feel at a loss and deprived, there is plenty you can do. Try to replace with healthy alternatives; granary fresh breads, rye breads, wholemeal pasta or, even better, brown rice. We’ll keep you right on our meal planner.
5. Relish colours, ditch the beige
Look to the Natural World, observe nature’s natural vegetables, fruits and foods and you’ll notice that Mother Nature, in her wisdom, doesn’t, really, do beige. Most fresh foods are bright coloured, healthy looking and vibrant – not the processed, diluted, faded look of the processed junk that is so readily pushed in our direction.
So max the vegetables, fruits and legumes. The one beige exception to the rule are porridge oats which still make for a fabulous breakfast or snack.
6. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
It always surprises many, but 65-75% of the average human body is made up of water. Water therefore is truly the elixir of life.
Yet many of us tend to keep this percentage in flux simply because we either don’t drink enough water to replenish ourselves each day, or drink fluids (wine, coffee, fizzy drinks) that really do anything but replenish our hydration and contribute to our bodies growth, recovery and health. 1.5 litres every day of the best available water is what we counsel.
7. Develop a sweat, regularly
We have spent millennia developing as the human species, firstly to be super active and then, increasingly, to become inactive and physically dormant. Our modern lives mean that we spend all too much of our day sedentary and then wonder why obesity, heart disease, diabetes and debilitating bone conditions such as osteoporosis are on the rise.
Our challenge to you is to take every opportunity to move, breathe and develop a modest sweat. Ideally you should be active (meaning you produce a modest sweat and get slightly out of breath for more than 30 minutes) at least three times a week. Any less and you’re fooling yourself.
So – we challenge you to make this happen – be it in the gym, on a bike, in a pool or up a hill.