Yet another depressing example of everything that’s wrong with the way this world views women.
Are you one of those people who wants to lose-weight, but struggles to keep up with the consistency of working out? It’s a common dilemma that a lot of us face, with too busy, too tired or too lazy being the overriding voice of reason.
The harsh reality is you have to move it to lose it, but you also don’t have to run yourself into the ground to do so, either. We chatted to Isowhey sports ambassador and owner of BattleFit Australia, Andrew Pap (pictured below) to find out more realistic ways to approach weight-loss, and all of which require minimal effort!
Be realistic in your planning
First things first, if you’re not used to going to the gym 5-6 days a week or eating impeccably healthy, cut yourself some slack and ease your way into it. “When you make the resolution it’s easy to get carried away, throwing yourself at the gym every day and over restricting yourself from sugar/carbs/fats or whatever ‘fad diet’ seems to be in fashion at that moment,” says Andrew.
Going too hard too soon is usually when failure strikes. It’s also when we’re most likely to get overwhelmed and quit. Instead, “be realistic in your planning, understand that you’re easing your way back into this lifestyle and are not accustom the work load that you will soon experience.”
Remember, slow and steady wins the race!
Incorporate ‘easy sessions’ into your workout routine
It’s all too easy to think that being tired or exhausted warrants the excuse to do nothing, but any exercise is better than no exercise. And while it’s important to take a “holistic approach” to training and nutrition, there are still exercises you can do that require minimal effort and which still burn calories.
“If you are feeling tired or exhausted, try doing an active recovery activity such as yoga, walking, swimming or a stretching session. After doing a session like this, you may find that you get a burst of energy and can then go onto do something that is a little more strenuous,” encourages Andrew.
Shorten your workouts
After a long day at the office or running around on your feet, sometimes the last thing you want to do is slog it out at the gym for an hour. This is not an excuse to skip on your workout, however! Stop thinking big and start thinking small. A half hour workout is more than enough time to work up a sweat and burn calories, and is relatively easy to motivate yourself to do.
“I would recommend simple body weight ‘tabata’ style circuits,” says Andrew. “For tabata, you will do an activity, such as rowing, running or cycling at a high speed for 20 seconds, and then a lower speed for 10 seconds and repeat for at least 8 sets if not more.
“This style of training is great as it incorporates the entire body including upper body, core and legs in every session. You’ll be able to enjoy a quick high intensity workout that’ll give you the ‘pick me up’ that you need for the day!”
If you just can’t seem to drag yourself out of bed in the morning, despite setting four alarms (all of which you’ve clearly snoozed), Andrew says it is okay to have a sleep-in, but advises that you revise your reason for being exhausted. And no, the bed being too warm and cosy doesn’t count! “If you’re waking up exhausted, then either you’re over training, sleeping too little or possibly lacking in your nutrition,” he insists.
“I would suggest sleeping and making sure that you’re well rested for your next session. If you continue to push through those signs of exhaustion you can potentially begin to show signs of chronic fatigue. Too much stress on your adrenal glands could have you sidelined for years!”
Find a spare 10 minutes
Surprisingly, you can achieve a lot in ten minutes, and it’s not a difficult amount of time to free up in your day. So if you really are too busy or too lazy to get in a half hour workout, make a commitment to move for ten minutes and give it all you’ve got. Just think: It’s ten minutes!
“If you are doing a very short session, I would suggest keeping your heart rate high the entire time by incorporating multi-joint movements such as burpees, squats, moving lunges, bear crawls and star jumps,” insists Andrew. “Look at doing an AMRAP session (As Many Rounds As Possible) in ten minutes.”
Here is one of Andrew’s suggested AMRAP workouts:
- 5 burpees
- 10 mountain climbers
- 10m bear crawls forward/reverse
- 10 lunges
- 5 jump squats
Commit, but don’t over commit
For some, working out 5-6 times a week is unrealistic. It’s certainly something you can work up to, but the goal here is consistency. To start out, Andrew recommends doing three hard sessions per week and two active recovery sessions, such as walking, yoga or stretching. Once you’ve become accustom to this routine, “bump it up to 4/5 hard sessions, 2/3 active recovery and at least one day completely rested.” Regardless, Andrew recommends moving at least four times a week to see results.
Keep it fun
Time and time again we’re advised to participate in forms of exercise that we enjoy, and for Andrew, this is partly how he keeps in shape. “I make sure that I am doing what I love. Exercising should not be a chore.”
He explains: “I like to train in many different codes of fitness as I love to try new things. It keeps me entertained and it allows me to learn new techniques and have new ideas that I can then incorporate into my own workouts.”
Not sure where to start? The sports ambassador insists there are many creative and fun ways to keep active, including joining an individual or team sport, pursuing hobbies, gym, boot camps, surfing or rowing. “You should be able to find something that you enjoy doing.”
Shift your focus
Ever heard of the saying “what you resist, persists?” If you continue to focus on the number on the scale or the centimetres around your waistline, the desired results are likely to evade you. Instead, try a more positive approach, such as Andrews: “What I like is to set performance goals rather than goals that are based on weight or measurements.
“I feel that if you become a stronger, faster, fitter version of yourself then you should start not only looking and feeling better, but also being stronger and healthier too. I really like to have events to look forward too as well as it encourages me to stay disciplined and on track.”
Feature Image via Shutterstock
When you’ve been making all the right food choices, you’ve been exercising religiously, and you’re so close to your goal weight that you can almost (almost!) zip up your skinny jeans, it can be disheartening when those last 5 kilograms just won’t budge.
Don’t take that as a sign to give up – take it as an opportunity to really step up your efforts and challenge what your body can do. Here are a couple of tips:
Cut your portion sizes
Revisit your portion sizes. Portions can gradually creep up over time without us even realising. Get back to the basics with some kitchen scales and a set of measuring cups. And make sure you write down everything you eat – creating awareness around your diet will help prevent little extras that can have a big impact on our waistline from sneaking in.
Drink more water
It’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger and overeat, especially when we’re training hard. If you work at an office, fill up a jug of water at the start of the day and aim to finish it before you clock off. Keeping a water chart can help you keep track of your hydration, too.
Mix up your workouts
Our bodies are clever things. Keep doing something for long enough and your body will adapt. You’ve probably figured out what kinds of exercise you like doing, and you’re probably favouring certain activities. Here’s a thought: start doing everything you DON’T like as much. By continuing to mix it up, you’ll challenge muscles you haven’t used as much, and build muscle in areas you’re yet to discover.
If you’re not eating enough to support your energy requirements your body will go into starvation mode. This means your body will do what it takes to preserve energy – you’ll start to feel lethargic and won’t be able to give 100 per cent in your workouts. Take a week off training; allow your body time to recover so you can re-energise and give 100 per cent in your workouts again.
Keep a positive mindset
When you’ve hit a plateau, the most important thing to do is keep a positive mindset. When you’re giving your workouts everything you’ve got, sticking to a stringent eating plan and not seeing results, your attitude can easily start to become negative and hold you back. You may feel like you’re giving your workouts 100 per cent, but there’s a little voice in your subconscious mind saying, ‘What’s the point?’ that could be holding you back from giving it your all.
The Fernwood 12 Week ‘Get Foxy’ Challenge will help you change your mind and body to achieve life changing results. Starting March 10, the challenge combines weekly training sessions and food coaching, along with fun group fitness classes and challenges so you can work out with like-minded women and support each other towards your share in over $40,000 worth of prizes!
Personal trainer and founder of Enliven Fitness Studio Michael Wilson explains how cutting out the CRAP (carbs, refined sugar, alcohol and processed foods) is one of the best ways to lose weight fast. He shares his top tips on shedding kilos – and inches.
1. Cut out the CRAP – carbohydrates, refined sugar, alcohol and processed foods
A diet high in carbohydrate and sugar (eg bread, cakes, chocolates, chips, fast food and alcohol) actually encourages the body to store more fat and thus prevents you from losing weight. These types of food fail to satisfy hunger for very long, and soon enough you become hungry again and turn to CRAP to gain quick energy. This vicious cycle of eating leads to weight gain and can eventually result in diabetes.
Solution: Restrict or completely remove refined carbohydrates, sugar, alcohol, caffeine and processed foods.
Eat fresh, nutrient-dense whole foods (preferably organic and sustainable, that does not contain pesticides, preservatives and additives).
In our modern reality, stress is a common occurrence. Stress can have a damaging effect on the body, and could be the reason why you are having trouble losing weight or achieving your fitness goals. The body responds to stress of any kind by triggering its “fight or flight” response, which causes blood sugar alterations and hormonal shifts that can actually promote the storage of fat.
Solution: Minimise stress in your life. Think of solutions that you can lessen or remove these stressors. Perform regular relaxation and meditation. Go for regular walks in nature to help de-stress from these everyday pressures.
3 . Skipping Meals
Skipping even just one meal can cause a disruption to the balance of important hormones and enzymes within the body, resulting in an elevation of stress hormones. Skipping meals puts immense stress on the body by forcing it into a catabolic state. When this fasting state is broken your body responds by increasing fat stores to avoid the possibility of this stressful event occurring again.
Solution: Eat every 3-4 hours which will maintain stable blood sugar levels without causing a catabolic state.
4. Yo-Yo Dieting
These diets may initially promote weight loss however this is done in an unhealthy manner, and often have high fail rates with people quickly gaining the weight back. These diets will fail to give you the long-lasting results that you desire as they do not sustain a healthy metabolism.
Solution: Eat healthy fats in the form of meat from organic and pasture-fed animals, raw butter and dairy products, free-range eggs, avocadoes, raw nuts (soaked and dried), coconuts and seafood. These healthy fats will promote the healing and rebalancing of your hormonal system, will satisfy your hunger for longer and prevent you from overeating.