So as promised I’ve teamed up with Matt, my fabulous personal trainer, and brought you the very first post in my new series ‘Getting Mum Fit’.
We thought the best place to start would be at the very beginning, at the easiest place, that takes very little effort to change. Your diet. And by diet we don’t mean Atkins, we just mean the food that you put into your body. And honestly, it’s been the best part of my journey so far. So without further ado, I will hand over to Matt.
Stop with the Fad Diets, You Need to Make These Simple Changes
We all want a quick fix. And due to the instant access we are used to, we also want the results NOW.
So we get sucked into these crazy diets, cleanses, weight loss shakes and pills. And some of them may work. But once you stop using them, the weight starts to pile back on.
The reason for this? We haven’t learned to make any changes to our lifestyle.
We need to make simple changes which we can keep up continuously, so we are changing our lifestyle instead of having a few weeks of weight loss followed by, usually, even more, weight gain.
Now, you have to understand that you won’t get immediate, incredible results like the usual false adverts tell you. This will take time, so don’t be expecting to lose 1 stone in a week or anything ridiculous. The weight loss will be slower (probably around 1lb a week) but it will also be maintainable.
Want to know how you can make some simple, easy, manageable changes to your lifestyle without spending hours in the gym or living on kale and spinach?
Lucky for you I am going to tell you some easy changes you can make to improve your lifestyle to help you lose weight and keep it off.
Eat your vegetables
This is one your mum probably used to tell you (and now you’re telling your kids the same).
Having more vegetables on your plate is going to mean there is less room for other “bad” foods. This will help reduce the number of calories you eat and so help you lose weight. Also, vegetables are very filling, which will mean you won’t feel as hungry between meals. That means you’ll no longer have to nip to the vending machines in the afternoon.
Along with all its other benefits, vegetables are really healthy and are full of vitamins and minerals. This will help your body work at its best meaning –
- more energy
- less tiredness
- more calories burned naturally
Can you see how great vegetables are? And they don’t have to be boring either. You can add them to soups, stir-fry’s, roast dinners, curries, smoothies, and have them as snacks.
Drink more water
Most of you have probably heard at some point that water can help you lose weight. But how?
Along with keeping you hydrated water can:
- curb overeating
- boost your metabolism
- help you shed the pounds
If you are drinking more water that means you won’t also be drinking a ‘frappe-lappe-sugar-bomb-explosion’ coffee too. So now we are naturally reducing the number of calories we consume (yes, liquid calories count too).
Less fizzy pop, calorie-loaded fruit juices and sugar-filled hot drinks can also cause us to gain weight just as much as pizzas and chocolate. So having water instead means that we actually end up lowering the number of calories we intake.
As well as this, water can help us feel full up. That means less snacking when you start feeling peckish. A lot of the time, the feeling that we think is hunger is actually dehydration. So you can just have a large drink, instead of a packet of crisps.
Try it the next time you are getting hungry between meals. Try drinking a big bottle of water and see if you still feel empty.
Our bodies are mainly made of water so we need it to survive. It also, like the vitamins we get from vegetables, help our bodies run at their best. So our bodies will start burning more calories naturally, feel more energetic and allows us to push ourselves harder when working out – hello fat loss.
Control your environment
You can try your best to eat healthily and stay on track. But temptation will always be in the way.
So the only way to beat it is to make sure there isn’t anything around you can be tempted by. Try getting rid of the chocolates, sweets and crisps that fill your cupboards. Make sure you don’t fill your trolley up with biscuits when you’re shopping. Generally, make it so there isn’t anything in your house which is going to tempt you to eat it.
When you’re in front of the telly on an evening and your mind wanders to what you can eat if it isn’t there you won’t be able to eat it.
We all get cravings, but if you don’t have anything around to nibble on then you’re not likely to go to the shops to buy some.
It may be more difficult to control your environment when you go out for a meal, but you can choose where you eat. An obvious choice would be to not visit any fast food chains and instead opt for a restaurant and try avoiding the all you can eat buffets. Instead, have a main course and enjoy just having that. Don’t even let them bring you a dessert menu. Undoubtedly you are going to eat more than usual and that’s fine. However, we can try to minimize the damage.
You can also get your copy of my ‘Resisting Temptations E-book’ here
Be more active
More exercise and more activity throughout the day is going to burn more calories and help you lose weight. However, this doesn’t mean you have to start going to the gym 6 times a week and spending your life on the treadmill. There are much simpler (and less time consuming) ways of raising our physical activity levels.
At home I’m sure you could easily:
- go for a quick walk
- do exercises while watching telly
- play with the kids
Getting the whole family involved can make it even easier. Not only are you able to spend valuable time with your kids, but you are also keeping them and yourself active and entertained.
At work, you could start getting off the bus one stop earlier or park further away, then go for a short walk in your coffee break (which relieves stress too).
While it may not sound fun, extra chores around the house will all contribute to your activity levels too. Mowing the garden, cleaning and cooking all help you burn more calories and so, lose weight.
So hopefully you can see how easy it can be to make these simple changes to your lifestyle. There is no need to ban certain foods, just aim to eat more of the good foods, drink more water, control your environment and stay active.
You need to be able to make changes you can keep up, otherwise, you’ll end up like everyone else – yo-yo dieting while never being able to keep the weight off.
I can vouch for all these points in Matt’s post. I’ve done or tried to do all of these. I’m not going to lie, to begin with, it wasn’t easy. I love me a packet of salt and vinegar crisps, chocolate and a nice big latte. But after I really started to make the effort, it’s become so much easier, in fact almost second nature now to make the better choices food wise. We’ve even switched to wholemeal bread!!
I don’t buy proper crisps anymore when I’m food shopping, instead, I get popcorn or lentil crisps, which are both equally as yummy but also so much better for me. I carry a reusable bottle of water with me so if I’m thirsty I don’t go and buy a bottle of pop or a coffee. I’ve swapped lots of foods for much healthier options and I feel so much better for it. For me, my journey has never been about weight loss, it’s about getting healthier and fitter and changing my diet has definitely helped with this. There is no doubt in my mind. And now when I do devour a bag of Cadbury’s Caramel Nibbles on a Friday night, I really enjoy them and feel zero guilt as for the most part I’m fuelling my body with what it needs. And sometimes, that’s a chocolatey treat.
Next month Matt will be back again with another post, so hit me up with what you want to ask him in the comments below or on any of my social media channels.