New Year… New Body
Say no to diets
There are so many fad diets out there and much of the dietary advice is conflicting. As a rule, it’s best to avoid any diet that deviates from these basic principles – not too much fat, not too much dairy, plenty of fruit, vegetables and water. If you find yourself losing a couple of stone from only eating steak for a month, you may be doing your body a disservice and you might struggle to keep the weight off once you stop the diet.
Learn to like fruit and veg, if you don’t already it’s necessary for a healthy diet. The recommendation is that we eat five portions of fruit or vegetable a day – a portion being one large serving spoon full of veg and, we’re sorry to say, potatoes don’t count. Think of new ways to include veggies in your evening meal and if you need a snack, have a some fruit instead of a bag of Doritos and you’ll be on the way in no time.
Exercise is key
We’d all like to think that we can leap off the couch after a winter of over-eating spent sitting in front of the television and instantly perform Olympic althetic-style feats of physical endeavour in the gym, but sadly it’s not true. Take it easy to start with. Nothing will happen overnight, sadly.
Some people are lucky enough to be born with the determination and low boredom threshold required for twice-daily trips to the gym but, for the majority of us who aren’t, keep the car in the garage for short journeys and enjoy a nice walk or cycle ride instead. Go running twice or three times a week – start small, and work your way up. Go running with company and you’ll find the motivation levels much higher and, whatever you do, resist the urge to walk short stretches to calm down – even if you slow to the slowest jog you’ll find it much easier to get going once more and complete the course. Additionally, a run or a cycle ride is a great way to enjoy the long nights and bright mornings the season brings.
If you’re bound for the gym, firstly ask for a fitness test and a routine to work out to. Say you’re great on the cross trainer but rubbish at weights, or brilliant on the bicep curls and sit-ups but afraid of the exercise bike? Nothing will really happen as long as you stick to one type of exercise, so make sure that you’re as varied in your approach as you can be. Try doing half an hour of cardiovascular and aerobic exercise (anything that gets the heart beating and the breath heavy) per session. Don’t overdo it.