Here are our top tips on how to get in shape without it being too stressful, and so you can have fun along the way.
1. Morning Workout
Its too easy at the end of a long day to put off working out. Perhaps make it your first priority and have it set the tone for the rest of the day. Thinking about indulging in that chocolate cake at lunchtime? The thought of the run you did that morning might stop you.
2. Smaller Bowls
Having trouble eating smaller meals? Buy smaller bowls and plates.
If you have smaller dishes then you automatically will reduce your portion size.
Tapas style dining is also a great way to eat beautiful food but with smaller sizes.
3. Sweet Dreams
Studies have shown that getting enough sleep is an important step to weight loss. Being tired is a real disincentive to eating well and exercising. Turn off your phone, set a bedtime, remove any TV or other distraction from the bedroom and allow your body to get the full rest it needs.
4. Let Go Of Perfection
Perfection? Pfft what’s that. Having unrealistic aims is a really great way to act as a disincentive for eating well and losing weight, and a good excuse to blow out (“I didn’t lose the two kilos I wanted this week so I’ll have that piece of cheesecake). Set realistic goals for weight and exercise and concentrate on meeting just those. If you do more then fantastic, but don’t try to conquer Everest in one day.
5. Pick An Exercise You Enjoy
Rollerblading, surfing, dog walking? Pick your favourite.
Don’t particularly enjoy treadmill running? Give it up. Swimming in the ocean or swinging off trees more your thing? Go for it. Pick stuff that you love doing and do it consistently. You will be more likely to get up and do your exercise first thing, and also more likely to get that positive buzz from doing it.
6. Make Some New Habits
Habits are your new best friend. Habits make exercising and eating well easy.
NASA research has shown that by consistently doing the same one thing every day for 30 days a habit is formed that is easier to maintain.
The trick however is to do it every day, skip a day and you go back to the beginning of the 30 day count.
7. Change One Thing
Try changing just one thing, just one. Instead of trying to totally transforming your eating and exercising habits all at once, just try changing one small thing. When that becomes embedded, then add the next thing. So it might be that you stop drinking diet drinks (which by the way make you fat) and do that for month until it becomes a habit, then tackle the next thing. Slowly, you build sustainable weight loss.
8. Grab Your Bestie
Much harder to not go to the gym when you are organised to go with someone else. Plus it can make the exercising a whole lot more fun. Or take up a team sport where the team relies on you to show up.
I don’t really like working out on the treadmill, but am happy to do it if I have some load rock music on my ipod or my favourite TV show on the TV in front of me. It makes the time go a lot quicker and before long my work out has finished. An added bonus is if my show hasn’t finished yet I will keep working out until it does.
10. Heavy Lifting
Great for women particularly to reduce osteoporosis and to define the body.
Weights really shape your body, and even if the scales don’t shift, your body image will, giving you a great confidence boost. Call On Your Tribe Put up on Facebook, or whichever social medium you use, that you are starting an exercise routine or trying to lose weight, and post up your results or pics or whatever you like on a weekly basis. The positive feedback you will get from your friends will really help keep you motivated and will help you stay accountable.
12. All Or Nothing
Most people who have successfully lost weight have eaten stuff that isn’t “clean” or healthy. But instead of using that as an excuse for a blow out and to stop trying altogether they forgive themselves and start again. Try not to use all or nothing thinking .. that is “today I will only eat healthy food” and if you have a biscuit then give up all together. Try to practice loving kindness for your self, forgive yourself for any small slip ups and keep on track.
13. Eat The Healthy Stuff First
A simple trick, if you are having a meal, eat the healthy stuff first, like the salad, and leave the white bread roll till the end. Make sure you drink lots of water during the meal.
Sometimes, you might be so full by the end of the healthy stuff you might not want to eat the stuff that isn’t so healthy. Eat the meat and vegetables first, the cheese potato last. Don’t deny yourself the rest but just leave it to last.
14. Grab A Notebook
Writing don everything you eat can help you keep track of the mindless eating (for example that bag of nuts while you are driving, or the orange juice while watching TV).
If you can try not to eat and do something else at the same time, concentrate just on the food that is in front of you and savour every mouthful. This can be difficult for someone with an eating disorder or who uses food emotionally. Try it for at least one meal a day and gradually increase.
15. Do Things That Make You Feel Good
Celebrate your body and all that makes it feel good. Buy some new lingerie or do something that makes you feel alive.
Bonus Tip – Pamper Yourself.
Pamper yourself when you reach your milestones. Reward yourself the healthy way with a massage, a weekend away, nail treatment, shopping day or anything else to spoil yourself.