1. Don’t have unrealistic expectations about your diet. The route to success is not without temptation along the way. There are many goodies that will lead you astray: cream cakes, donuts, fast foods and so on. You can resist and not succumb to such temptations. But if you cave – eating in moderation and be smart!
2. Fat has developed a bad name and the low fat industry has really overdone it. But fat is still – in moderate amounts – vital for good nutrition. Butter, margarine, oil and cream are all fat. Fats are classified as saturated and unsaturated, with saturated fats which are generally of animal origin, are thought to contribute more to health problems like heart disease and weight gain than unsaturated fats, which come mainly fish. Most junk foods are high saturated fat content, so it is important not to base your entire diet on this type of food. Try replacing saturated fat with poly-unsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats.
3. Reduce sugary drinks – they are a major contributor to weigh gain. Sugar causes your pancreas to secrete insulin, which in turn affects the way your liver metabolises your food. Insulin has been called “the fat producing hormone”.
4. Eat more, but in controlled portions. Try to get 6 healthy mini-meals a day and avoid that the second serve. The general rule is: you need fiber, good carbohydrates and protein in your daily meals. Buy wholemeal – it is simply good for you. The more you eat this kind of healthy food, the less cravings you will have.
5. Cook more of your own meals – at least you know what you put into your body!
6. Let your hair down once in a while – losing weight should be fun. Don’t cut your favorite treat altogether, but enjoy your food in moderation.
7. Don’t go shopping hungry Why? Because a rumbling stomach will be a bad influence. It is no coincidence that supermarkets keep chickens on barbecue spits on display all day. Research confirms that the smell tempts buyers so that they will move more product. Similarly don’t shop when you feel stressed because you will be more vulnerable to purchase comfort foods. Eat an apple or a protein bar before taking to the aisles to help you make more rational choices.
8. Do the same workout for at least 2 months. Be consistent. If you slacken off, your muscles will adapt and you will stop seeing improvement. Do some strength training and focus on increasing your heart rate.
9. As your health and physical condition is improving, aim to increase your workout regime. If you find the time, try 20 minutes or more vigorous activity (jogging, cycling fast, fast, swimming, tennis simple, fast rowing, hockey, squash, aerobics), several days a week. Or even just try walking a little faster, especially on hills. Gradually increase the intensity and level of difficulty. The fact is, variable high-intensity interval training are one of the most effective ways to stimulate your metabolism. One of the best exercises that combine high intensity training with resistance training is turbulence training – the workouts are short but very effective – and designed for both busy men and women!