Fitness is 20% exercise, and 80% nutrition. You’ve probably heard that before, and you must know that it is not always as simple as that. There are certain factors that also need to be taken into consideration.
Stress can do a lot more to your body than you realise.
Stress triggers the cortisol levels in the blood, which can increase your chances for being overweight or make it more difficult to lose. Yoga or a long walk by the beach can help you to relax the body, mind and soul.
“To me, yoga is about physical and mental fitness. For the physical, that means becoming stronger, more flexible, and more balanced; for the mental, it means giving my mind room to breathe, letting go of the stresses of my day-to-day life, and finding calm.” —Elliot Kort, yoga practitioner
Adequate sleep can have a massive influence on your weight as well. While our consciousness rests, our body is as busy as a bee, working hard to rebuild muscles and tissue. Our immune system increases too. While our brain is busy processing all the impressions from that day, waste products are being removed from our brain cells.
Taking medication can also cause weight gain, or make weight loss more difficult. Medication such as corticosteroids taken for conditions like asthma and lupus, anti-depressants, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, beta-blockers, anti-epileptics, etc can all slow down your goals.
Eating a varied, healthy everyday diet is essential. Finding out which metabolic type you are will make it easier to plan meals. Knowing your metabolic type diet will enable you to combine proteins, carbohydrates and fats in a ratio that is just right for you.
The protein type diet suits me best, meaning I need a high-protein, high-fat diet as I burn through carbohydrates too quickly. If you are the same type as me, include plenty of protein such as meat, fish, eggs, cheese, nuts, seeds and chickpeas, and healthy fats such as avocado, coconut oil, hemp seed oil, linseed oil, olive oil, etc.
Drink at least 2 litres of pure water a day. Avoid refined carbohydrates and sugar as they tend to give you big plunges in energy and mood.
Keep an eye on your portion sizes. Just 30 calories more a day, is 2 kilos extra weight a year. 5 – 7 small meals with lots of vegetables will help you to feel full all day, whilst keeping your metabolism going.
Try these tips for keeping in shape:
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is ideal for those of us who have a short attention span. You can do it anywhere, and you can even train without any gear.
This is a great way to increase your metabolism, burn fat while maintaining muscle mass, get a healthier heart, and is great if you enjoy a challenge.
I like to do 20 minutes of HIIT cardio.
- Jog for 5 minutes to warm up
- Run full power for 30 seconds – 1 minute
- Rest interval of 2 minutes. I walk or jog
- Repeat this 5 times.
NEAT activity (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) – is the energy your burn when you’re not eating, sleeping or exercising. E.g. Standing up helps you burn a lot more calories than when sitting down.
I try to maintain a healthy diet, preferably filled with a wide variety of foods. I like to eat a rainbow of vegetables, as different colours provide different nutrients. In this way, my body gets all the nutrients needed in order to function optimally. I also eat a multivitamin, omega 3 fish oil, extra B vitamins, vitamin C and magnesium to keep this active body running smoothly.
A study in the USA has shown, that a low content of vitamin C in the body makes it 11% harder to burn fat. A too-low level of vitamin D in the blood means a less good muscle strength, therefore worse exercise results.
Cauliflower is low on carbohydrates, making it a good alternative to rice and potatoes. It’s rich in fiber, vitamin C – 1 cup (128g) contains 77% of the RDI. It also contains plenty more nutrients.
Cauliflower rice recipe: (Enough for 2)
300 g Grated or chopped cauliflower
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
2 cm ginger finely chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp tamari sauce
pepper to taste
1 tsp Olive oil
How to cook:
Heat olive oil in a pan on a low heat, add cauliflower, garlic and ginger and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes. Stir frequently. Once the cauliflower is turning golden yellow, add the tamari sauce and spices. Stir well and serve while it’s still warm. You can also top with parsley and chili, fried mushrooms, or add lemon/lime.
Enjoy by itself, or with your meal, as a healthy alternative to rice.
I like to scramble 2 eggs into the mix, as a healthy after workout meal.
If you have recently set yourself some fitness/weight goals, then give your body time to adjust to the changes, and try not to be hard on yourself. Problems with your thyroid, metabolism, etc. can also have a massive influence on weight, and these problems will need to be addressed.
My personal goal is to FEEL healthy. I don’t weigh myself anymore, I find I get too focused on numbers rather than how I am feeling. Eating right and taking good care of yourself, will usually give you the results you work for. Most importantly, I try to speak kindly to myself, and am slowly learning to be grateful for the body I have, instead of constantly wishing for something better.
Hannah – Anni’s Vital Shop, Carrefour, Mijas Costa