Accompanying song: Gotye – Eyes Wide Open
Most of us have some excess fat to lose from these winter months of hibernation. If you’re keen to start losing fat and want to feel healthier then join me over the next three months and let’s do this thing. I’ve put the tools I’ve found through my powers of research (like that, it’s like I’m a superhero, but of the geeky kind, queen of the geeks!) below.
Mission killer bikini body, healthy heart starts now.
Get honest: Have a look, just a teeny peak at your tummy, and cry with me.
I sure have indulged myself in every yummy foreign treat I’ve seen this year. I’m not sure when I made the switch to wearing those stretchy tights instead of pants, but at one point my pants went past the uncomfortable “muffin top” stage and into “I might burst a seam” territory. I know, I know, there are rules about wearing tights like they are pants. Despite this I didn’t have a clue about the “seriousness” of the situation, you know, under these tops and jackets skillfully maneuvered to camouflage the chubby-tubby.
I rummaged around for my bikini the other night and snapped a photo to send to my sister (why I was attempting to send my sister a photo of me in a bikini you ask? Think girly shopping conversation, I won’t bore you with details). Apart from the blaring obvious faux pas with my hairdressing (yellow hair!, seriously get this girl some tonner!) I was really surprised with the image I saw. It certainly wasn’t in line with how I think my body looks. Needless to say, the photo was not sent. Said photo is on lockdown until further notice.
What about you. Are you indulging more than you should and how are you really looking?
It’s in your head: Find your motivation
Despite the fact that I don’t look my best at the moment, that’s not something that is really going to sustain my commitment to a totally healthy lifestyle from now until summer (and to maintain a fitness lifestyle thereafter). But what does keep me motivated is how I feel. Getting rid of processed foods from my diet and nourishing my body with fresh fruit and vegetables changes me. No more sluggish, sleepy and moody feelings. Not to mention how great exercise feels. I feel fitter, happier and healthier everyday and get a wicked endorphin hit. When I walk, sit or do anything for that matter, I am in control and command my body.
Alternatively research says that if you’re someone driven by how you look, give yourself goals.
The pencil test is a killer. See if you can hold a pencil under the smile of your butt cheek. If you can, then your goal could be working towards perking up that butt. For others it might be a six pack. Just figure out what keeps you motivated and remind yourself of that when you don’t feel in the mood for eating healthy and exercising when “no one else is”.
Why am I doing this? Because I want to be the best version of myself and feel young, healthy and full of spark! What about you?
Reducing fat is simple. Food = energy/calories. Consume fewer calories (energy) than you burn to create a deficit. But note, we must be sure to eat over 1200 calories (or more depending on your weight/height etc) to maintain the healthy function of our bodies (think vital organs, heart etc). This is called your resting metabolic rate (RMR).
The key of weight loss seems to rely on how much we put in our mouths. Eat less and your body will start to burn the stored fat. Exercise on top of that and you will widen the calorie deficit and burn even more (plus help burn calories when you’re not even working out). Keep your metabolism firing by eating small meals regularly (5-6 meals a day). Think of your metabolism it as a fire, don’t let the flame go out, but don’t smother the flame either – just keep it burning. I.e eat until you are not hungry, but not until you are full.
Within this, there’s proper nutrition to give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to function effectively over the long term and to make us look and feel great. This is a bit more complicated as everyone has different ideas on what is right. I personally am siding with the school of thought that promotes eating clean and having variety. I’ve dropped processed foods (bar low-fat cottage cheese and olive oil) and am only eating food that hasn’t been modified (and making an effort to get lots of protein). As a rule of thumb I’m avoiding things that come from packets, and stocking up on food from the fresh market. There are other schools of thought however, you could check out the paleo diet for example (http://thepaleodiet.com/published-research/).
Other suggestions found in the literature: Try to exercise six days a week. Do cardio and resistance training. Get at least six hours sleep a night. Drink loads of water.
Get a plan
I’m in the travelling mode and haven’t committed to a gym membership so have had to be creative with how I workout. All the equipment I am using for my workouts are a pull-up bar, and some bottles of water that I’m using as weights. There are loads of home workouts on the internet to follow, but I personally am doing the P90x workout programme.
And… get moving.
Being fit and healthy isn’t always the easy choice, but I’m sure we’ll feel better for it.
I’ll be posting updates. If you’re keen on doing this thing, then flick me an email and we can keep each other motivated (amandajasmine.williamson at gmail.com. I’m off to do a workout!
Need more info? Straightforward free advice that I really like can be found at http://www.scoobysworkshop.com/index.htm
I’m not an expert on this topic by any means, just a researcher. If you have something to add please be my guest.