‘With the sun shining bright, it’s time to get your body in shape, right?’ With the warmer weather, you no longer have an excuse to sleep in and ditch your exercise routine. Now is the best time to change your eating habits, set goals and get your body to the best place it has ever been. You will feel amazing and have no regrets – let’s get you started.
GET YOUR SWEAT ON
Losing weight is all about expending more energy than what your body uses. There is no better way than exercising. Exercise will help you shed the kilograms whilst firming and toning too. Then there’s more, yay! Exercise releases endorphins which are structurally similar to morphine and are considered to be natural painkillers. They also help bring about feelings of well-being and happiness1.
If you want that incredible bikini body, exercise is a non-negotiable. Fit your workout in- no excuses. Exercising in the morning often helps to keep you committed and increase your metabolism for the rest of the day. Doing a mix between cardio and strength training is best. Try doing strength training, full-body workouts, at least three times a week – this helps increase your metabolism for 24-48 hours after. Your lean muscle mass will increase and you will feel and look better2. Doing exercises that use more than one muscle group is recommended. For example: planking, squats, push-ups and lunges will help you get the best out of your work-out. Try doing cardio on the other days3. You can also work cardio into your strength training work-out. Even if you have limited time a short work-out is better than no workout at all.
Following a strict eating plan is always a challenge. I believe that healthy eating should be a part of life, not a short-term fix. We are only given one body and it’s therefore of utmost importance to look after it. We need to make good decisions every single day. In general, try to:
- Eat small, frequent meals and have healthy snacks in-between. Some examples of healthy snacks include: low-fat yogurt, FUTURELIFE® Smart Drink™, fruit, FUTURELIFE® High Protein LITE SmartBar, popcorn, a closed handful of nuts/dried fruit, a serving of cut lean biltong.
- Never skip breakfast. Try FUTURELIFE® ZERO Smart food™ or FUTURELIFE® ZERO with OATS™ as an excellent calorie controlled breakfast option to get your day started the right way.
- Choose low GI, high fibre options: these keep us fuller for longer, thereby helping us eat less, they also promote digestive health.
- Choose lean proteins: chicken, fish, lean mince vs. high fat or processed meats. Cut the fat off meat and remove chicken skin before cooking. Plant proteins are also an excellent choice, healthy and affordable.
- Cut down on sugar. Drink water (unsweetened) first, if you are really craving something else try light/zero/low calorie cool drinks, a glass of milk or ½ cup of 100% fruit juice.
- Make better choices around fats: choose fat-free or low fat options where possible. Choose plant fats vs. animal fats. Bake, boil, grill and choose foods that are not battered.
- Limit salt: try limit processed foods such as viennas, bacon, cheese, crisps, canned foods, dry soups/sauces and convenience foods. Using fresh herbs to add flavour.
- Try have your 5 servings a day for fruits and veggies: include different colours and textures to ensure you are getting in all your vitamins and minerals, including fibre.
- Have a treat once a week and then get back into making healthy decisions. The stricter you are with yourself the quicker you will see results.
- Drinks lots of water: sometimes we misinterpret thirst for hunger. Aim for 8 cups of water a day.
Portion control is extremely important as you may be eating the right foods but too much of a good thing can still lead to weight gain. Following the plate model as a general guide can help ensure you are eating the right portions. See the My Plate Model picture below:
For more information on portion control head on over to our website: http://futurelife.co.za/all-about-portion-control/.
We all know that ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’. Be patient with your progress and if you have had a ‘bad’ day, don’t stress. Just make better choices going forward to achieve your goals. Sometimes the most worthwhile things take effort and time. Keep at it you’re doing great.
- Domonell. CNN: Why endorphins (and exercise) make you happy: http://edition.cnn.com/2016/01/13/health/endorphins-exercise-cause-happiness/index.html.
- Goscove R. Womens Health: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/7-ways-to-get-your-body-swimsuit-ready-starting-now.
- Smith J. Shape: http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/8-cardio-myths-are-making-you-fat.
- My Plate Model: https://www.choosemyplate.gov/.