As a personal trainer the number one question I get asked is ‘how can I lose weight?’
Australians are now one of the fattest counties in the world and yes Canberrens waist lines are increasing too; the latest comprehensive obesity study has shown that 25 per cent of adult Australians – almost five million – are now obese, one million more than the last calculation in 1999. So why is this? Where are we going wrong? The modern day lifestyle and diet is a contributing factor, we work longer hours, exercise less, and rely on convenience foods to fuel our bodies. I am not just talking about take away. Convenience foods also comes in the form of packets, jars, tins and containers, and you can find many of them at your local supermarket, in fact most of the aisles are dedicated to this convenient way of eating.
The diet industry is worth big dollars, and we are bombarded with conflicting information, when in reality dieting and maintaining weight does not need to be complicated. Below are my top tips for maintain your weight.
In fact, eat 3 meals per day. When you don’t eat at regular intervals your body starts to turn on its fat storing mode. It thinks that you are in a time of famine. Your body is a high performance vehicle that can not afford to run on empty. Would you expect to your car to run without petrol?
Water is life!
And here in the ACT we have the best water in all of Australia. Increase your water intake; try drinking a glass of water before each meal then one after. Your body is made up of mainly water. Lean muscle tissue contains about 75% water. Blood contains 95% water, body fat contains 14% water and bone has 22% water. Thirst is commonly mistaken for hunger. The correct amount of water you need varies from person to person, 2 liters of water per day does not suit every one, you can workout how much water you need using this simple formula, .03x your body weight. E.g.: .03×65 = 1.95 liters of water. Water also helps digestion, transport of nutrients, elimination of waste, circulation of blood, lubrication, regulation of body temperature. Why not go and grab a glass now!
Eat real food!
I am surprised by how little fruit and vegetables get consumed in people’s diets. When I make choices with food I ask myself how different processes it took to get the food like this! Same with the ingredient list, if I don’t recognized a number or ingredient I don’t buy it. Your body needs real food, not numbers, thickeners, artificial flavors’ or sweeteners. Include in your diet; fruit (it wont make you fat) vegetables, yogurt, nuts, lean cuts of meat, chicken, seafood, legumes such as lentils, beans, chickpeas, whole grain products like, rye, buckwheat, and oats. One of the best places to shop at for fresh and mostly organic is Choku Bai Jo. The produce is local and so far has not been effect by the floods.
Keep a food diary
And make one change per week. I find this technique very helpful with my clients. Diets don’t work and weight loss takes time. You have been eating a certain way for a long time and to introduce radical change overnight puts you and your body in shock and sets you up for failure. Gradual change is easier to adjust to. I know we all want results rapidly but you need to be realistic! I find that most people who have difficultly with their weight don’t eat breakfast. That is the first change I ask them to make for that week and nothing else. Other changes might be to add in one piece of fruit 3 – 4times per week and build on that.
Pack your lunch
And empty your wallet of unnecessary money. I find this helpful myself, so when I am out and about and am tempted (yes I am not immune) I can not act on my food cravings. Besides, think of the money you will save and can put towards that new wardrobe. When grocery shopping avoid buying the foods that you are likely to blow out on. Before I do my fortnightly shop I allow myself a treat. That is what ever I feel like, cake, packet of chips, chocolate bar, anything. By doing this you are less likely to over-shop and make healthier choices. Know your weakness and strength.