Twelve Steps To Success Part 1

Twelve Steps To Success Part 1

Losing weight from specific areas is all about the correct combination of diet and exercise. Generally, a well-balanced diet and specific toning exercise will target areas that you wish to work on, be they tummy, hips or thighs. Vital also is cardiovascular exercise which boosts the body’s metabolism and burn calories.

Running regularly will help to reduce the fat layer that coves muscles. There is no point in having well toned muscles, if they are covered by fat. Crash diets are not effective and actually slow down the body’s metabolic rate, increase fat storage and lead to food cravings. Slow and steady weight loss is the most effective. A diet high in complex carbohydrate, low in saturated fats, which moderate amounts of protein and lots of fruit and vegetables is what we should strive for. We can achieve this by making small changes over a period of time

1)  Breakfast

Eating a healthy breakfast is essential for those wishing to lose weight, and one of the best breakfast foods is oats, eaten either as porridge or muesli. Not only are oats, high in protein, iron and soluble fibre, they also lower cholesterol and stabilise blood sugar levels. This is important for those who walk early in the day, as breakfast will be meal that fuels the muscles and provides the necessary energy. So, far an energy-packed start for the day or healthy snack after a walk, why not try the muesli recipe. You can add your own favourite fresh or dried fruit before serving with milk or low-fat yogurt,

  • 1 cup of oatmeal
  • 2 tbsps each of dried apricots, date and figs
  • 1 tbsp each of almonds and pecans, chopped
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsps wheatgerm

Combine all the ingredients and store in an airtight container

2) Beat The Blues

Winter blues? If you’re one those people that suffer from the ‘winter blues’ or SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) than you are not alone. For some people the long, dark days of winter make them feel more tired than normal and less inclined to excerise. In fact a brisk walk or a run outdoors in daylight will work wonders by improving mood and helping you feel more energetic. Startchy carbohydrate food also help, so increase intakes of dried beans such as kidney beans, chick peas,butter beans, lentils, wholemeal pasta,jacket potatoes, wholemeal cereal and bread

3) Plenty of Protein

Protein-rich foods are essential for growth and repair of muscles and tissues. Protein is also required for healthy skin, hair and nails. Try to choose low-fat protein foods which also provide other important nutrients. Vegetarians need to get their protein from sources such as peas, beans, lentils, tofu, low fat cheeses and nuts combined with whole grains such as rice pasta and bread. Aim for 2 servings of protein per day. Good examples include:

  • 50g grilled fish
  • 50g tuna/salmon
  • 35g lean beef/lamb
  • 40g turkey/chicken (no skin)
  • 2 small eggs
  • 70g cottage cheese
  • 200g low-fat fruit yogurt
  • 300ml skimmed milk
  • 100g sugar free muesli
  • 3/4 cup kidney beans

4) Fruit and Vegetables

The vitamins A,C and E are known as the Anti Oxidant Vitamins. These antioxidants help our body’s immune system to fight infections and it is though that they also help to prevent certain cancers and heart disease. They also play a role in helping our body to cope any damage to our muscles caused by hard exercise. So, when training, increase your intake of those valueable vitamins by include the following fruits and vegetables in your diet

  • Prunes
  • Garlic
  • Raisins
  • Kale
  • Blueberries
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Blackberries
  • Broccoli
  • Raspberries
  • Beetroot
  • Plums
  • Red Peppers
  • Oranges
  • Onions
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pink Grapefruit
  • Cauliflower

5) Fibre Providers

Eat more fibre, Aim to eat high fibre foods where possible. Approx 30-50g of fibre per day encourages the body to use food for energy rather than convert it to fat. This is important not only for weight loss but energy production for exercise. When choosing breads, pasta or rice it’s always best to choose wholemeal varieties where possible. Not only do they contain more fibre which in turn helps you to feel fuller for longer, but they also have a higher proportion of valuable B vitamins and protein. Other fibre rich foods include dried fruit, peas, beans lentils, wholemeal cereals, fresh fruit and vegetables

6) Drink! 

When training on a regular basis, it is very important that you drink enough water daily. Try not to wait until you are thirsty before drinking water, as you are actually dehydrated at this point. Being dehydrated puts extra pressure on the heart which has to work extra hard to push blood throughout the body. Try to drink plenty of clear fluids throughout the day. Plain water is the best. but also good are well diluted fruit juices. Eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables which are high in fluids also helps. Good examples are oranges, melons,tomatoes, cucumber,courgettes,kiwi, fruit and berries. Take a sports bottle of water with you to train and sip at regular intervals, than drink plenty of water when you return. In very warm weather try to plan for water breaks during a long run.