Despite what people might believe, I am not one of those naturally slim people. I need to be really consistent with what I eat and train hard to keep slim!
These are six things I suggest you do consistently to get (and stay) in shape.
1. Eat MASSIVE amounts of veges
I eat 5-6 handfuls of veges a day, easily. I snack on veges ideas here>>, have a vege-based lunch (be it soup or salad) and I always always have two handfuls of veges as part of my evening meal. I apply this principle wherever I am – eating out, in, weekends – I make it happen.
2. High-intensity training
Short, sharp bursts of exercise get you results – sprints, burpees, skipping, you name it, I will give it a go. I also include weight/resistance training too, a must for getting leaner. Building muscle mass means you burn more calories at rest. If you belong to a gym, ask someone there about sorting you a program with HIIT training and plenty of resistance stuff. Of course, be safe and get clearance from your doctor if you have any health issues.
3. Spread out your protein
We need protein, it helps us feel fuller for longer and is vital after a workout for recovery. But one thing a lot of us do REALLY badly here in NZ is chomp down on loads of protein-packed foods at our evening meal and not have enough in the day, particularly in the morning.
On days when I don’t have enough protein at breakfast and lunch, I am much more likely to want to snack, so make that a ‘must do’.
4. Eat for the right reasons
If you are eating when you’re tired, angry, upset, bored or just because its 12.30pm and everyone else is eating (even though you’re not hungry), that just needs to stop. Easier said than done, but my book Feel Good for Life can help you sort this one out and get back on track. Get a copy here>>
5. Sleep DEEP
Just being in bed isn’t enough – when you are sleeping, you need to be getting some nourishing, body-recouping DEEP sleep. Cutting back on caffeine and alcohol is a must in this case, as they can stop you going into deep, restful sleep. Keep tea/coffee to a couple of cups max, earlier in the day; and alcohol, not too close to bed, and not too much – you know that though, right?! I know – it’s making it happen that’s the hard part. Here are some alcohol-free drink ideas>>
6. Disconnect and breathe
If you are super stressed and running around like a flea in a fit, your body can easily become a fat magnet. You need to find ways in your life to calm your breathing and SLOW DOWN. Turn off the radio when you drive; enjoy the peace and focus on your breathing inside; start yoga; read at night rather than watching TV or browsing the net. Whatever it is and however you do it, if you want to get leaner, lose fat and feel better, you have to manage your stress levels.
Love, Claire x
Claire Turnbull, BSc (Hons) Dietetics UK, NZ-registered nutritionist. Managing director of Mission Nutrition, and Healthy Food Guide nutritionist.