Whether you want to lose weight, improve your health, lose your flabby belly or all of the above, there are some really simple daily steps that anyone can do to help you on your way:
1) Get Real!
Do you kid yourself that you are more active than you really are? Do you conveniently forget about those little nibbly bits that pass your lips every day; kids leftovers, a sneaky biccy, half of your other half's dessert? Then it's time to get real! Sitting on your bum all day (driving, at your desk or in front of the TV) is a sure fire way to get unhealthy. I recommend all of my clients get themselves an activity tracker which will help to keep you honest!
We should all aim to walk 10,000 steps a day (for some this will lead to weight loss, for some just improved health & a great butt!) which is not hard to do! Walk to work/school/the shops. Park the car further away than usual. Go for a march around the block before you eat lunch. All these small changes will make a big difference and that activity tracker will not lie! To keep it real with food, write down EVERYTHING that you eat. Yes - everything! When you know you have to write it down, you might just keep your lips sealed and put that little treat back. An extra morsel of food such as a 50 calorie biscuit every day is 350 calories per week. That is 1,400 calories per month which will soon add up to extra lbs on the scales. There are some great apps on the market to help you track your calories and keep it real (I like myfitnesspal).
2) Set a goal
Whether it be to lose five kilos, to run 10k, to improve your marathon time or to drop a dress size, set a (realistic) goal and give yourself something tangible to work towards.
3) Tell everyone what you are doing!
If you post on Facebook that you are going to lose 2 kilos by the end of the year, or run a half marathon in April, you will be much more likely to reach your goal! Whether it be the public shame of failing or just that broadcasting your goal makes it real, study's show that you could be 33% more likely to achieve your goal if you share it! http://www.goalsgonesocial.com/ggs2/blogs/write_down_goals
4) Make your own food
Okay, so it's nice to eat out as a treat, but so many people nowadays rarely make their own dinner from scratch. Eating out at a restaurant means you have very little control over your nutrition and calorie intake. Even ordering lots of veggies with a simple main can pack on the lbs when they are saturated in butter and salt (yes that's why they taste so good!). You only have to watch TV shows such as Masterchef to see the quantities of cream, butter and salt that go into these gourmet delights. Also, how often do you make your own lunch? I know it's hard with life and work, but maybe one or two days a week you could make a packed lunch of home made soup, lentil & roasted veggies (great hot or cold) or something similar? Or if that really is just too complicated, then read the packet of your chosen sandwich well: many cafe paninis (Starbucks, Nero etc) contain more than 600 cals. That's the same as a nice roast dinner! Add a nice large latte and you could be looking at almost half of your daily calorie intake on a puny lunch!
5) Push, pull, lift and lower!
Weight training is often overlooked (particularly by women) as part of a healthy regime, but it is actually crucial to maintaining or improving your body shape. Lifting weights won't suddenly turn you into Arnie, but will help to boost your metabolism, give you nice definition in your arms and legs and burn calories. Try to train against resistance (your own body weight or equipment) twice a week. This could be as simple as spending 10 minutes in front of the TV at night doing press-ups, squats, lunges and triceps dips, or you could try a DVD/class or gym session. When it comes to muscle, that old saying is true: If you don't use it, you will lose it, and that will mean a slower metabolism and a saggy, flabby body as you get older!