The warmer months are fast approaching and I don’t know about you but, I’m certainly keen to start shedding those extra kilos of winter flab, which have slowly made their home around my middle. While I have been pretty disciplined about my exercise through the Winter months, my eating has been much like my 6 year-old’s current emotional state of mind: emotional, erratic, mood-induced, but also comforting and enjoyable at the best of times.
I’m not going to sit and regret those nights in with a pizza and bottle of wine or cooking that hearty stew and almost every time going back for a second helping. I don’t believe that regret or feeling guilty will ever do us any good. I think that there will be seasons (usually the colder ones) where our bodies crave more food, or where we are simply letting our hair down and shifting our focus to other things that may need more of our energy. And that’s okay… we are all in different seasons, we all have different stuff on our plates (literally and figuratively!), different routines, different likes, and dislikes. We all respond differently to stress, to climate change, to life!
But one thing is for certain, and I think you will all agree with me: There comes a time where you just feel that you need to get back on track and get back to where you were before. You begin to miss that feeling of being in control of what you put in your mouth, that feeling after a good clean meal that where you know your body is thanking you for taking care of it. And you miss pushing your body to sweat, where you are left feeling energised, strong and with a clearer mental focus throughout your day.
If you said YES to any of this under your breath, then I hope you will feel freshly inspired to get back on track with me too. If you don’t know where to start, here are 5 tips that have helped me get my A into B!
- Make small changes to EAT CLEAN, and that means WAY more veg! One thing I have always tried to get right is ensuring my meals are very veg dense. It may not happen overnight, but I try to make sure there is more veg than anything else on my plate. I find that cutting out carbs as much as possible is super helpful in shedding those kilos, especially after 4pm. Make sure that you are also getting enough protein as this is super important, especially if your’e exercising. TIP: For breakfast I alternate between eggs and oats (scrambled eggs with baby spinach, peppers, tomatoes etc…and oats with chia, banana, macadamia nut butter, and berries.)
- Get to bed earlier. If there is one thing I have noticed that plays SUCH an important role in how I eat, it’s the amount of quality sleep I get. Obviously this can be questionable at time with three kids – one of them who is a two year old and still often wakes up at night. But there are small tweaks that can be made to your current plan that will make the world of difference. I have tried to get into the habit of getting into bed at 8.30 twice a week. Yup, that’s pretty early but its the only way I can ensure I get some good sleep and catch up on rest. It makes such a difference to my mood because when we are tired, the stomach secretes a hormone called ghrelin that tells the brain we’re hungry. So you end up eating and eating even when you would usually be full.
- Drink a TON more water. Okay not really a ton, but a lot! I try to increase my water to at least 3 litres a day. This not only flushing out all the junk and toxins, but speeds up your metabolism. It also much less likely for you to overeat if you are properly hydrated. So many times I have gone to the kitchen thinking I’m hungry when after 2 glasses of water I realise i was in actual fact just thirsty. Beside this, water has a host of other incredible benefits: clearer skin, better exercise performance, less headaches etc….
- Get Moving! I know this scares a lot of you shitless, but guys, exercise is just so good for you. It’s hard to ignore the fact that without it, your body is never going to feel as good. Even though exercise only accounts for 20% of weigh-loss, the health benefits cannot be ignored. I choose to partake in cardio exercise at least three times per week, more because of how it makes me feel than anything else. There is honestly nothing better than the after-high of those endorphins being released. It’s just so addictive! Besides that, it’s good for your heart, improves concentration and helps you sleep better! So I think that’s all the more reason to get moving and do something, even it’s walking around the block a few times. Make yourself goals and try to stick to them. Get a friend to do it with you and keep you accountable, join a gym or set up a roster every week so you plan your exercise slots, leaving you little room to back out.
- Don’t say no to the food you love – live a little! Especially over the weekend. Look I’m all for discipline but there’s no point in saying no to life’s pleasures once in a while. This only leads to deprivation and feeling like you’re not enjoying life. And this leads to binging and feelings of self-loathing. So eat those treats in moderation and just make sure you keep active on the days that you do.
Any other tips and helpful suggestions that you care to share? Let’s share those pearls of wisdom below!