Thursday 13 February 2014

Top 5 Diet Tips from a Fitness Instructor - that actually work!

Over the years I have been asked alot about diet and exercise and what my recommendations are for best diets. I have also tried and tested many various methods from drinking olive oil (yuk) to Dr Atkins, Weightwatchers, etc, etc.  All of them have some sort of benefits in that they make people think about what they're putting into their bodies and they are all built on some kind of scientific foundations.  However, after all my years of 'dieting' (successfully and not so successfully) I've found something that works for me.

Here are my Top 5 tips; 

1. 'Eat and Train' - not 'Diet and Exercise', it's about changing your mindset.  As soon as I think about going on a diet - I start craving biscuits and crisps (it's true - I once gave up crisps for Lent and found myself thinking about them all the time, even seeing a crisp packet in a bin made me crave them - it was awful!).  It's psychological, if you focus on eating properly rather than going 'on a diet' it's much better for your brain and you have a much greater chance for sucess in the long run. The same also goes for 'exercise', when you think about it as something that you have to do - it becomes a chore, instead think about training for a healthy body, bikini body, toned abs... whatever it is that floats your boat really!

2. Don't do diets with an expiry date - whether it be the '12lbs in 12 days', the 30-day challenge' or whatever - the very name implies after that timescale (whatever it is) you will have reached your goal and therefore you can stand-down and return to your normal eating habits.  This then leads to yo-yo dieting in the long run, I'll admit that it might be ok to do one of these for a kickstart - but understand that it is a short term solution and that if you don't continue with your healthy eating you will return back to normal.

3. Don't eat food with an advert - when was the last time you saw an advert for a carrot, egg or broccoli?  Simples!  Just don't eat processed food.

4. You cannot train away a bad diet - I hear so many people saying 'well I've burned x amount of calories so I can go home and eat cake', or 'I'm saving up all my calories for the weekend' - true that it's much better to be burning calories at a class than sitting at home, or creating a calorie deficit during the week - but do you really want to undo all your good work?  It's like saying - 'If I save up my money all year and then blow it all on one weekend in Vegas - will it affect my bank balance?' - sure you have the money there to spend - but if you think about it your bank balance remains the same as you haven't gained or lost anything (apart from a great weekend in Vegas, that is?).

It's the combination of good diet and exercise that is the key to long term health success (notice I said 'health' and not 'weight loss'?)  You can use diet alone, but without exercise your heart and muscles will not be getting toned and you'll get that saggy, hollow look; or you can exercise alone, but without diet you will just be replacing the fat lost during exercise with fat/sugar in your diet.

5. Do not cut out food groups - whether it be low-fat, low-carb, high-protein, health shakes - the fact is that the body needs fat, carb's and protein to exist - for example, people following a low-fat diet will become nutrient deficient (Vitamins A, D, E and K are all fat soluble - meaning that you need a certain amount of fat in your body for these to be processed), all diets in which you have to 'cut-out' something set off certain reactions within your body that may not be good (obviously the only things you should be cutting out is the biscuits, chocolate, crisps, cakes, pastries, alcohol, etc - unfortunately!).

Eating a balanced diet is the key as this will ensure that your body gets all of the food groups, vitamins and minerals that it needs and it is a much more varied diet that is ultimately cheaper and more effective. If you want a treat, then have one - just don't go overboard - don't deny yourself anything just think about moderation and portion control.

The only thing I would add, is wherever possible buy organic and as unprocessed as possible (e.g. brown rice, wholemeal bread) - this will ensure that your food has as few additives in it as possible.

And that's it!  Remember 'eat clean and train mean' - you won't go far wrong with that attitude.

If you have any other top tips then it would be great to hear from you.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to comment.