3.06.2014

A simple guide to loosing weight, toning up and staying healthy


Recently I've really gotten into fitness and health. I've been making much more of an effort to exercise and watch what I eat. As a result I decided to make a simple guide to both motivate myself and hopefully others, on how to loose weight, tone up and stay healthy.


WORKOUT

So if you're wanting to shed a few pounds, realistically you're gonna have to exercise a little. This of course is required for toning up too, but more on that later. 

1. Fitspo

If you're not the gym's number one fan, it could be a good idea to have someone in mind as 'fitspiration'. I find this to be a great way to drive you to get up off your ass and put on those running shoes. Pinterest and even Instagram are good sources for this kinda thing. Seeing your ideal body type will help to push you to go and achieve it. 


2. Find a work out that suits you

Some people hate running, others love it. Realistically, if you're doing something you hate, you're not likely to give 100%, so what's the point? I personally like to do a combination of cycling, rope jump and jogging as I enjoy all three. However what I love the most is Zumba. I've only recently started but it is SO fun. It's one hell of a workout, that's for sure, but it's so enjoyable it doesn't feel like a chore like many other forms of exercise can.

3. How regularly?

The Department of Health say that adults aged 19-64 should do around 150 minutes of exercise a week. That's only two and a half hours, which really isn't a lot. I roughly exercise for around an hour five times a week now, and after getting into a little routine of doing so, it's a lot easier to stay motivated. 

4. Benefits

Below are just a few benefits exercising on a regular basis can bring:

*  Boosts mood, self-esteem, sleep quality and energy
*  Reduces the risk of many chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and strokes.
*  Can help to prevent the development of mental illnesses such as dementia and depression
*  Weight loss
*  Improvements in muscle strength, joint structure and joint function
*  Stress relief 
*  Lowers high blood pressure



TONE

So as well as loosing a lil bit of weight, you may be wanting to tone up your body too. This isn't gonna magically appear on it's own, so you need to work for it. 

Routine 

There are various toning exercises you can carry out dependant on the section of your body you're wanting to strengthen, the more you do them, the faster you will see results. I've started doing a combination of squats, lunges, wall sits and the plank. I'm also warming to the idea of resistance training. Until recently I admittedly thought weights would equal a manly, body-builders physique, but that couldn't be further from the truth. The combination of low weights with high reps are a great way to achieve a toned body.


An example of things to incorporate into a set could be:
(obviously if you're used to this kind of thing then do more)

*  50 squats
*  20 lunges (per leg)
*  30 second wall sit
*  20 second high knee run
*  30 second plank then repeat for 1 minute
* 10 side sit ups (both sides) x3

Pilates
Pilates is another great way to strengthen those abs. A few years ago I attended weekly classes, something which I'm about to start again as I really noticed the difference it made to my body. Incorporating elements of yoga and martial arts, pilates focuses on stretching and strengthening the whole body to improve balance, muscle strength, flexibility and posture. Regular practice will result in a strengthened body core.



DIET

Your body is a total reflection of your diet. If you treat it like crap, it'll look that way.

Cutting out

Everything is OK in moderation. However if you are constantly gorging and never considering 'the healthy option', then your figure won't be thanking you. I think the below image puts it into perspective pretty well...


Chocolate is my weakness. Sweets don't really interest me but if you put a biscuit in front of me it'll be gone in a second. Yes, that's all fine and well, but the 'one won't hurt' mind frame just means you'll keep going back for more. And although I obviously like chocolate, I'm a snacker. I enjoy eating fruit just as much, but a lot of the time I reach for the chocolate bar instead. I sound like a total whale right now. (I'm swear I'm not!) But it's just proof that the wrong mind frame brings bad habits. I've actually cut out chocolate for lent, so we shall see how that goes!

Alcohol & fizzy drinks
Alcohol is another thing that can make you pile on the pounds. I don't drink, so I can't say this affects me, but many don't realize just how calorific it is. Two pints of cider is the equivalent to six chocolate biscuits, six! Cutting down (if you drink a lot) can have a huge impact on your waistline. If you're wanting proof, just take a peek at Geordie Shore cast member Vicky's, weight loss. She looks amazing.
Fizzy drinks are equally bad for you. I've completely cut them out, minus the odd occasion, but they really are so bad for you, and not just for your figure. Did you ever see that episode of The Simpsons with the cola and teeth school experiment? Yeah, that. That wasn't made up!

You don't have to cut everything out completely, like I said, moderation, but it can be easy to get carried away. The 80/20 diet is a really good concept to look into. 

Stay hydrated

Since cutting out fizzy drinks, I only ever drink water, smoothie and the occasional tea.
I start off the day (before breakfast) with a hot water and lemon drink, which is known to have excellent benefits such as aiding digestion, boosting the immune system, aiding weight loss and keeping skin clear. All that, whilst tasting amazing, what's not to love?

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/229261437254303593/


Never skip breakfast

I always make an effort to eat breakfast. If I don't, my brain just doesn't seem to function and I tend to feel just a little bit cranky. Classed as the most important meal of the day, it's not something you want to be missing out on.

Snacking

If you're a snacker like me and are trying to avoid the biscuit tin, then a good alternative could be Nakd. Containing only natural ingrediants, Nakd bars also happen to be 1 of your 5 a day, which is a lot more guilt free than a KitKat. Fruit, veg, seeds and nuts are also the healthier, equally delicious options, and something I'm now reaching for more regularly. 

Don't eat before zzzz

If possible, it's best to try and avoid eating a couple of hours before hitting the sack.
Since night time = chill time for a lot of people, you won't be working off your meal, and as a result it will simply just turn to fat. Obviously once in a while is OK, you won't wake up 500 stone heavier, but taking on this routine every night will eventually show.


I hope this rather lengthy guide proves to be of help, and although all the above steps mentioned are yes, pretty darn obvious, sometimes it just takes to be shown right in front of you for you to take action.

Do you have any other health tips and advice?

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6 comments

  1. I keep a wall paper on my phone as my thinspiration on my phone to make me stop snacking so far it hasnt worked haha so glad I came accross these tips hopefully I will get there.

    Carrieanne xx
    beautiesunlocked.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. This was a really great post, thank you for all the (realistic!) tips :)

    Georgina at itotallypaused.com

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  3. I loved reading this. I'm definitely a night time snacker but I'm trying to eat more breakfast too! x
    Elise - www.elisedopson.com

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  4. I've been getting a bit healthier lately with going to a couple of exercise classes a week. My weakness is definitely food though so I'm going to keep these tips in mind :) xx
    www.LaurasHaven.com

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  5. Great post! Although most if it is common sense it's great reading it to remind me of things I seem to have blocked out. I'm starting to workout again but taking it step by step otherwise if I go full force I crash and basically "relapse." I've started doing Blogilates and it's actually really great and motivating, super hard but so worth it. Lovely post :)

    Samantha /// www.mascaraandcakes.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great post! This really motivated me to work out and eat healthy again! :) x

    ~ www.brunette-wavez.blogspot.ie

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