Where to Start:
There is so much conflicting advice given to the public about how to lose weight, it’s understandable that even some of the most savvy fitness freaks can get confused about what they should/shouldn’t be eating or how they should be working out. If you have just decided to make a change and become healthier and fitter (yay for you!) it can be quite a daunting situation- should you be eating carbs after 6 or even at all? Should you completely cut out fat and sugar? Should you try the 5:2 diet? I have put together a basic guide to get you started- nobody needs to go on crazy crash diets to lose weight, you just need to eat the right foods, in the right amounts, within your calorie requirements and make sure you exercise too. So, you’ve taken a big step by deciding to lose weight so I have decided to do the same by sharing with you something that is a little scary for me…my before picture. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that I look bad at my heaviest- I am all for the importance of loving your body at every stage (otherwise you’re never going to be happy) but for me the picture ain’t pretty, I am in my skimpies, no make up, hair scraped back. Basically at my most horrendous…and I am sharing it with the whole world. Stupidly I didn’t take any better pictures when I started on my fitness journey so this will have to do. The picture on the right (apologies for the poor quality) was taken in February 2013, the second pic was taken in May 2014. It took me just over a year to lose over 1 and a half stone. I have maintained the body size I am in the second pic (with minor fluctuation) for nearly 9 months. These picture were taken roughly 6 months apart. In the second picture I was half way through my half marathon training and was running 4-8 miles 4-5 times a week and my diet had started to improve. I lost a lot of fat during my half marathon training however I wasn’t really toned and wanted to lose even more fat. After my half marathon I started lifting weights… The first picture here was taken in October 2013, the second in October 2014. In that time I had been lifting weights approx 4 times a week and then towards the later part of the year, I started Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide. I now complete 3 of Kayla’s workouts a week (with her recommended HIIT sessions too) and usually add in one weights session and often a run or power walk too. Throughout my weight loss journey I have also attended weekly Krav Maga classes and since May 2014, have regularly attended yoga classes too. So, in terms of exercise I recommend finding something you love, because if you don’t enjoy it you’ll eventually stop exercising. However, for a really fit, toned body it is important to do cardio AND resistance training- the most effective form of cardio is HIIT or high intensive interval training. As an example, I usually complete 10-15mins of HIIT on the treadmill, I will do 20 seconds sprinting 10 seconds break (jump onto the sides of the treadmill) or 30 seconds sprinting, 30 seconds break. For resistance training I do Kayla Itsines guide and 1 weightlifting session per week. I highly recommend Kayla’s guide, you can purchase it here For your diet I would recommend downloading the app MyFitnessPal. It is a great app for beginners that allows you to add in your body stats (height, weight etc…) and then, based on how much weight you’d like to lose and how quickly, calculates how many calories you need to be consuming in order to reach your goal. Now MyFitnessPal isn’t perfect, it is not as accurate as other methods but it is one of the easiest ways to get you started. You can keep a diary of all the foods you’ve eaten (can even scan the bar code of the food label) and MFP will know all the nutritional info and tell you how many calories you have consumed. You can also add in any exercise you have completed, although I don’t recommend this as it then allows you more calories to consume for that day (because you’ve burnt extra calories) BUT you can’t out exercise a bad diet so I would stick to just adding food into the app. As a rough guide, stay away from anything really sugary or fatty. Limit sugary drinks, biscuits, sweets, snacks, fried foods, takeaways, white carbs e.g. white bread, pasta and potatoes. Stick to lean meats such a chicken, turkey and fish. Include as many vegetables a possible (eat the rainbow). Eat 2-3 portions of fruit per day. Eat wholegrain such as brown bread, pasta and rice and oats. Have some dairy but stay away from processed stuff and stick to natural yoghurt and a small amount of cheese or milk. Drink lots of water. Make it fun! Check out my recipes to make healthy eating fun- it really doesn’t have to be boring. Another diet I have been trialling lately is the 8 hour diet, it is really working for me; if you’d like to know more, check out my blog post about it here I hope this helps to get you started, any questions, just comment below and good luck!
I hope my photos give you the motivation to start eating healthy, it’s not going to be easy, it’s really tough and you will have good days and bad but I can promise you, it is the best thing you can do for yourself and you will not regret it!
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