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Archive for January, 2015

I can’t say I have always been interested in being fit or healthy because I haven’t. In fact the only consistent loves of my life are pizza and S’mores.

Then a combination of reaching my mid 20’s and the growing popularity of stretchy leggings as acceptable day attire meant the skinny jeans which once fit, suddenly became another item of clothing destined to hang in my cupboard forever. Or at least until car boot sale season came around and I could flog them for a pound, eradicating all evidence that I was once thin.

Then came the season of Crop Tops and Bralet’s and it dawned on me, that if I ever wanted to get out of leggings and into something non elasticated I was going to have to unhand the box of Oreo cookies and pick up the occasional carrot stick.

If all that sounds a bit too familiar but you don’t know the first thing about getting into shape, well first finish reading this blog and then consider getting someone to advise you on your fitness journey. Mine started with the help of a personal trainer who helped me set realistic goals and told me where I was going wrong; according to him, swapping lunch for chocolate was not an acceptable weight loss technique and upon reflection, perhaps he was right.

But since even a trainer can’t come to your house at 1am and confiscate the cookies from your hands, you have to accept that this journey is going to require some will power.

But first, the basics:

1. Commit To It
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You can’t lose weight on a half-hearted diet. I have been on a life long search of how to stay in shape without making any effort what so ever. It turns out, you can’t.

2. Set A Goal
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Your body goal is something only you can set. No one can tell you what size or shape is right for you. However, if the shape you want is not the shape you have, then set a target and work towards it.

3. Learn How To Eat
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I know what you’re thinking “Learn how to eat? What a load of old tosh. Eating is just about the only thing I do know how to do”. But trust me, eating and eating right are two different things.

Achieving the body you want is 30% exercise and 70% diet. Learn what foods can help maximize your results, cut down on salt and sugar, increase your protein and vegetable intake and don’t be scared of carbs. Excuse the cliché but, a good diet is a balanced one.

4. Exercise
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No, walking from your desk to the office kitchen doesn’t count.

Work out 3 times a week, don’t be afraid of weights and try exercising with a friend for extra motivation. If you make working out fun, you won’t dread it as much, in fact eventually you’ll start to look forward to it.

5. Establish a routine
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On average, it takes more than two months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact. So all  you have to do is stick to it for two months and then it will become part of your life. If you want to maintain a fit and healthy body you have to accept that it’s all about making a positive lifestyle change.

6. Understand where you’re going wrong
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Everyone has a vice; whether it’s too much alcohol, too much sugar or too much snacking on the wrong things, if you’re having trouble achieving your goal weight, you’re probably going wrong somewhere. I found that keeping a food diary was key in identifying where the extra weight was coming from.

Before you begin your diet, considering writing down everything you eat or drink for a week, after all, it’s hard to deny the truth when it’s written in front of you. My vices? Six cups of tea a day with 2 spoons of sugar each. Large meals after midnight and no breakfast resulting in large 11am pre-lunch, lunches.

7. Stop counting calories
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You don’t have to eat less, you just have to eat right. 2,000 daily calories in burgers, chocolate and fizzy drinks is never going to get you where you want. 2000 calories consisting of healthy meals, vegetables and low-fat snacks will.

8. Don’t turn a cheat meal into a cheat day
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Losing weight shouldn’t be slow and painful torture. If you fancy being a little bit bad, go ahead. Just remember that a cheat meal does not need to turn into a cheat day (or a cheat week). Change that “I’ll start on Monday” attitude to “I’ll start after this cupcake” and you’re half way to success. Well, figuratively speaking anyway.

9. Focus on your health, not your weight
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Work towards being a healthier person and the weight will sort itself out. In the mean time, don’t get caught up on what the scales show you, think “fat loss” not “weight loss”.

10. Don’t expect to work out once and wake up with a booty like Beyoncé.
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It just don’t work like that. 

It takes 4 weeks to notice your body changing, 8 weeks for your friends to notice and 12 weeks for the rest of the world. Keep at it and results will come.

As for the personal trainer part, if you’re in the market for someone to help you squat to your ideal bottom size, click here to check out mine.

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Whoever said “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” clearly never understood the beauty of a cupcake. Or wine. Or chocolate. Or pizza. That being said, I’ve tried the “eat everything in sight and hope for a miracle diet” and it was largely ineffective.

In fact, when it comes to losing weight, I think “ineffective” is the operative word, because in the world of dieting, it’s so very easy to go wrong. So very very wrong.

When it comes to female dieting logic, I’ve heard it all (and also said it all) because no one, and I mean no one, can rationalize a calorie away like a woman on a diet can:

“If I skip lunch, I’m allowed a snickers… it’s the same calories as my salad anyway”
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A calorie is a calorie right?! If two donuts have the same calorie content as a super-food salad, who’s to say it matters which of the two we eat… as long as we don’t eat both.

But what about fat content… or sugar content… or… oh you’ve already started eating the donuts. Never mind.

“Sunday is my cheat day”
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Someone who knows about diets: “Cheat day? Do you mean cheat meal?”

Me: “No I mean cheat day. I’ve ruined my diet already so I might as well persevere and eat all the junk food in the house, so there’s nothing left to tempt me tomorrow”.

“Marshmallows and jelly babies are fat-free… so they basically fall into the health food category”
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Now don’t quote me on this, but I’m almost certain strawberry laces are not one of your 5-a-day.

“Liquid calories aren’t really a thing… you pee them right out”
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A glass of wine has the same amount of calories as a large Cornetto ice cream (and let’s be honest, who ever stops at one glass?!). Alcohol contains seven calories a gram, in fact, almost as many as pure fat!

“I’ve got a tight dress to fit into tonight so I’m not eating anything today”
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Yep, done that. Usually followed by a 3am binge of anything and everything I can find. Plus toast. Because even if you get a bargain bucket on your way home… you needs some pre-bed toast. “To soak the alcohol up”.

“I barely eat anything but I’m putting on weight”
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I, like many others, suffer from an increasingly widespread disorder known as “food related memory loss”. This involves eating 7 times a day, but only remembering 3 of them. But the truth is, if you’re putting on weight, you’re probably eating more than you think. Or you’re eating the wrong things.

Don’t believe me? Carry around a diary for one week and write everything you eat in it. The chances are you’ll be coming out as a secret eater by the end of it.

“Everything I eat when I come home after the gym doesn’t count”
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“After you work out, your body continues burning fat for another hour, so anything you eat within that hour doesn’t count. They’re free calories!” – Dumb s**t women say.

“I never eat breakfast… it makes me fat”
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Me for the first 24 years of my life: “I don’t eat breakfast, it awakens my appetite then I can’t stop eating all day”.
20 minutes later: *Eats waffle* “Yeah… this is lunch though. And I deserve it for making it to 1pm without eating”.

“I’ll have cereal for dinner to be healthy. One bowl, two bowl, three bowls… what difference does it make!?”
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30 grams suggested serving size? Yeah I think that’s only for kids though…

“Coke Zero has the same calories as water… therefore it is basically water”
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Look, I’m no health expert, but one thing I know is that if a drink has no calories in it, but still tastes as good as its “full fat” counterpart, they’re putting some crazy s**t in there.

I know it sounds rich coming from the woman who thought alcohol can’t make you fat, but I’m sticking to my guns on this one. Drink some God damn water.

“Carbs are the devil. That bowl of pasta I ate last night is the sole reason for my impending obesity”
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Everything is okay in moderation. Plus, it’s all about eating the right carbs. Oatmeal for breakfast = good. French fries for dinner = bad.

But then, we must ask ourselves… what is life without the occasional fry?

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