Back in the Zone

Before the Summer I was eating well and doing lots of exercise to get my dream body and also to just generally take care of myself. Once the Summer arrived with various trips abroad and general life taking over I slipped back into old habits. Soon enough the cellulite started to reappear on my thighs, and I started to feel sluggish in the afternoons, and just generally blurgh. So last week I decided to get back on track with my healthier lifestyle, and the first thing I did was start a food diary again.

 

When I keep a food diary it helps me see what exactly I ate and drank that week, identify any patterns, and anywhere I can improve my choice of food or subsitute with a healthier option. What I’ve found from last week is that I’m still going for food high in sugar, although as I was keeping a diary I went for more natural fruit options rather than refined sugars. I also ate quite a lot of chocolate, and looking at the times I ate it was when I was bored! So this week, I’m aiming for more lean protein and less sugary foods.

 

I’ve also added something new to my diet, chia seeds. These little seeds may be teeny tiny, but they are so full of good stuff I thought they’d be worth a try. You can get them in whole seed form or milled. They’re so small they do get stuck in your teeth, so when the bag I have runs out I may buy the milled version. I add a table spoon to my muesli pot in the mornings or to soup or smoothies.

 

Muesli, natural yogurt, banana, cinnamon and chia seeds
Muesli, natural yogurt, banana, cinnamon and chia seeds

 

Chia seed key health benefits:

1.      More vitamin C than an orange

2.      Rich in antioxidants

3.      High in Omega 3

4.      Great source of protein and fiber

 

Before falling over in circuit training
Before falling over in circuit training

 

I also went back to circuit training for the first time in ages last week. I got a bit too carried away though and fell flat on my face during the sprinting! Luckily everyone else had run off ahead of me so they didn’t see me eat the grass!

 

Photos are taken from our instagram. Follow us!

 

4 Smart Healthy Eating Tips

A few simple tips to perk you up with more energy and help your waistline. Choosing foods high in nutrition will make you feel fresh and help you lose weight as an extra! Win win.

 

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1. Make sure you include protein in your breakfast

Why? It will keep you fuller for longer until lunchtime reducing the likelyhood of you over snacking. You could have eggs for breakfast with brown toast – you can quickly make scrambled egg in the microwave. A bit of smoked salmon is also a good option…but I couldn’t afford to have it everyday…I normally have 0% fat plain greek yogurt (Total) as it has the largest protein content with some cinnamon, fruit and flaxseed mix. It is quite sour so buy the 2% if you prefer, it’s still low in fat. These make much better alternatives to cereals and sweet toasts. Don’t fall for some fruit flavoured yogurts as they are full of sugar and especially jam and granola pots. Always check the nutrition content!

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When you should eat to maintain a healthy weight

When you’re trying to be healthy it’s really hard to know what to eat and when. I’m pretty much always hungry, and get remarks at work for the fact that I always have something in my mouth! You can lose weight by just completely restricting what you eat, spaced out 3 times a day and exercising it off. But realistically it’s not a long term solution is it!? It is well known that fad diets and restricting what you eat will only cause you to put the weight back on (even more than you weighed before) after you start eating normally again.

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Through our human evolution, our bodies have been programmed to store food if it experiences long periods of starvation: Starvation mode. When we were hunter gatherers expending lots of energy and not knowing when the next meal was coming in, our bodies needed to store as much energy as possible for the next time there was no catch. So if you miss breakfast, when you eat your lunch your body will think ‘oh my god I must store this asap in case this happens again’.

 

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Food diary…boring but worth it!

To notice a real difference from doing regular exercise, you also need to eat right. Sure we’ve all heard that before right? Well it’s true. I’m not going to tell you about the latest crazy fad diet, because personally I think they’re wrong and they’re not a realistic way to achieve and then maintain a healthy balanced weight and lifestyle.

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My Exercise Motivation Tips

First things first…

I am not trying to lose weight. Just trying to get some muscle definition damn it!!!

But if you are trying to lose weight it really is simple: Eat less, exercise more. What you should be eating and when is a completely separate and complex topic, which is very important if you are going to be taking up a new exercise regime.

But where to start my little chum? If you are struggling to get the motivation to get up and moving here’s what helped me (apart from the fact I want to get killer legs).

 

 

1. Buy yourself some new clothes.

I love my tight Nike running trousers. They hold in all my jiggly bits when I run as my bum has it’s own momentum. They are breathable and airy so when you get hot and sweaty you don’t have a gross wet patch in your crotch area, ALSO stick to black and this won’t happen.

It’s comfortable and tight fitting so you can move around in whatever kind of sport you do and not get your trousers in the way and trip and fall.  For tops, just wear something new that you feel comfortable in that is breathable, it’s much better for your skin dahhling.

You will feel better in new appropriate clothes rather than the old mouldy rags you’ve been hoarding over the years that has been demoted to gym wear. In new good fitting clothes you will feel better about going to exercise in public.

It will also be a waste of money if you don’t use them so then you will feel you have to.

 

 

2. Buy appropriate footwear that fit your feet properly

Important thing is, if your trainers are too small for you you will be doing damage to your knees and feet. You need to have quite a lot of space at the front where your toes are. Depending on what sport you do the most, there are different styles of trainers that work best for that particular sport. If you do running and aerobics like me, this is a good article that outlines what type of trainers you should get depending on how often you do each sport.

Once you have the right footwear, you will prevent yourself from causing any pain or injury when you start to exercise. And you will feel all bouncy! Go to a sports shop like Sweat Shop where they check your running style for free and tell you what trainers are best for you.

 

 

3. Choose a gym based on convenience, not price

No point in going to a gym that is far away and hard to get to just because it’s cheaper because you won’t go. ALWAYS go on convenience factor, get me?

I have a long winded way getting to work and back. I have to walk 20 minutes to the station in town, and then get the train to work. There aren’t any gyms on that journey or near my house. Booo. There is however a gym near my work. Gooood. So that means I go to the gym before, after or…during work (that still hasn’t happened). If only it was the law that offices had to provide gym spaces…that should be the law damn it!

 

 

4. What if you can’t afford the gym?

If you can’t afford the gym you will have to just man up and exercise outside. That is, if you feel like you really want to make a change – you will exercise whatever the weather. You will make time for it. Get up earlier, or take time out from your evening in front of the T.V. Otherwise nothing will happen, and that’s a fact boys and girls!

If you are scared to run outside in the dark/cold/rain/snow… buy a nice warm breathable jacket and a hat/ear muffs so you don’t get an earache. If it’s dark, stay on well lit roads (and wear a light on your head…if you are that scared of the dark). Join a running club if you really have to! You might even make some new friends along the way…running friends…how lovely.

OR buy a fitness DVD if you have space in front of your television to exercise OR put your favourite songs on and dance in your living room, do some classic aerobic moves e.g. jumping jacks, burpees etc. then follow it up with some strength training e.g. lunges, squats, press ups, crunches…OR just buy a skipping rope. Do at least 20 minutes of exercise each session.

 

 

5. Have a good playlist

If you’re going to be outside running or in the gym get a good playlist on the gwan. I like not being able to hear myself get out of breath, and it makes it less boring. If you’re out and about, don’t have it too loud in case you don’t hear a car and get run over…

Listening to upbeat music you like will really get your mood up – Drum n’ bass and garage are my go to music :)

 

 

6. Try and mix it up

Try and find a sport that you like whether it’s netball, tennis, football, swimming, kickboxing – whatever, just try and find a sport you enjoy doing and wouldn’t mind going to on a weekly basis. Mix it up with the gym, or a gym class, walking/jogging, and you will be giving your body a great workout all over AND you won’t get bored of exercise so easily.

I have found myself getting bored of the gym so I have gone jogging outside on some mornings before work (which is completely different to running on a treadmill), and then done weights at the gym on different days. The other night I went to a circuits class with a friend. Much more fun.

 

 

7. Have a countdown to the summer/holiday/charity run

Results don’t just happen overnight so if you really want that sexy summer bodaaay you will have to start now I’m afraid! British summer weather pretty much starts in May – about 7 weeks away, so I give that enough time to make a change without killing yourself closer to the time and being fed up with not getting any results. Enroll yourself in some charity runs so you have another reason to get up and train.

Get a big calendar printed off and count down the days you have to reach the GOAL!

 

 

8. Have pictures of the HEALTHY bodies you aspire to

Now without looking like a lesbian (all good if you are), print out pictures of the bodies you aspire to.

I’m talking about healthy, lean bodies, not skeletal bag of bones bodies. Put it on the naughty cupboard in the kitchen to ward off temptation, or in your room to give you that motivation to wake up early in the morning.

 

 

Follow fitness blogs or people on Instagram and just let the fitness vibes flow. These are some Instagramers I like to follow (some have their blogs on their profile info):

 

@fightforfit, @ladyfit, @fitisthenewsexy, @fitness_rich, @itsfitleslie, @aurora_fitness

 

So yeeeeeah, just try this out for now and see what happens, good luck!

 

 

(All pictures taken from Fight for Fit Tumblr)