Friday, 23 May 2014

Is your diet working yet?

January’s long gone and by now lots of you may have fallen off the diet and exercise wagon, or simply lost heart in it due to lack of results.

You’ve done a few exercise classes and halved what you’re eating, and possibly joined a weight loss club to learn how you can still eat junk whilst losing weight (you know – save a few points at lunch so you can have that chocolate fudge cake after dinner, then not eat tomorrow…)

You’ve probably heard it before: “Eat less, move more”, and while I’m 100% behind exercise and healthy diet, it’s really not as simple as that.

First off, cutting calories should be the LAST weapon in your arsenal of fat loss. Reducing calories will work briefly, until your body realises what’s going on and simply stops burning as many calories. So your metabolic rate (how many calories you’re burning) slows down to match what you’re eating. Then weight loss will stop, and you can’t just keep cutting calories.

So… The FIRST things to do would be:

1. Increase the amount of calories you’re burning, whilst maintaining how many calories you’re eating.

This is done through TRAINING. This is not “exercise”. Getting out of breath and building up a bit of a sweat is great if you’ve never done any exercise before. It’ll strengthen your heart and lungs and improve your health a bit.
But if you want serious results, you need to TRAIN. That means find something that’s difficult, and push yourself as hard as you can.

Ideally, get to the gym and lift some weights. The heavier the better. This won’t make you a muscled beast, but will firm and tighten your muscles, burn calories, increase your metabolism (so you burn more calories every day), and make you stronger and fitter.

I understand the gym isn’t for everybody, but you need to find something that works with resistance (bodyweight or external), be it a class or a sport.

Intensity is the key here. Lifting weights that don’t challenge you won’t get you results. Maintaining a steady pace for an hour won’t get you good results.

2. Change what you’re eating (again without reducing the amount)

Write 2 lists. One of the foods you know you should eat more of, and one of the foods you should eat less of. Then swap them out. Swap one of the bad foods for one of the good/better ones. This is far more beneficial and effective than just cutting out foods to reduce calories (even the bad ones), and should make sure you don’t starve yourself. You should NEVER be hungry.
And “saving points” so you can indulge yourself at the weekend just won’t get you the body you want!

Start with these two actions and see how you get on for a month. And remember to measure yourself instead of weighing yourself.

If you want help, visit for information on Personal Training, Nutrition coaching or Bootcamp Fitness classes.

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