Getting into shape is particularly difficult for any person and does require dedication and hard work however it is arguably more difficult for women than men. Every day the media highlights the need to be stick thin, have great hair and flawless skin, the created illusion is one that women do crave as we feel that it is the ‘norm’! It is also highlighted that we choose faddy diets in order to get and maintain these figures which usually consist of zero calories, zero fat and can be digested through a straw.
Many companies now are latching onto the idea that women are an impressionable market... which we are and many companies are imitating the ‘’super cereal’’ diet. Many heath related companies also do the same. There are many companies which sell a promise based on products rather than real food and it baffles me that women are being sold these products which consist of bars, shakes and powders. If we focus upon the diets that our ancestors also known as the ‘caveman diet’ lived on, which was high in protein, high in good carbohydrates and high in good fats it’s a world apart from what the general population of women that attempt to lead a ‘healthy’ lifestyle live on these days. Supplements certainly have their place, especially for ladies but the ‘diet’ should compromise of food with the addition of supplements. Not the other way round.
Consistency is key and when dieting this must be followed to a T. I don’t actually like the term diet and prefer the term lifestyle change, cheesy as this may sound, it is what is needed. There is no point in following a strict regime for 12 weeks, which results in you toning up, loosing body fat and getting stronger and healthier if after those 12 weeks you are going to resort to you previous way of eating. We’ve all done it, I’m certain of that and that brings me onto my next point - perseverance.
There may be times when you feel like giving up and resorting to your old methods but it is important to remember why you began and also why you want to change. I find that in having a role model perhaps in the fitness industry to follow is key. I personally follow the work of Gaspari girl, Lydia Rees-Jones, a working mum who in my eyes has the perfect balance of maintaining a fabulous physique as well as leading a normal lifestyle. Her blogs are informative as well as supportive which helps you to remember the reasons for beginning your healthy lifestyle.
Of course there are times that we would like to give up and do occasionally have the odd treat when we are not supposed to but it is important not to dwell on this, just carry on and the next time that you go to have food you’re not supposed to, think about how you felt the last time you ate it.
Below are a few guidelines to help you create a simple lifestyle plan:
- Aim to workout (weights) 3-4 time a week for about 45 minutes
- Increase cardio over a period of time, this may be walking the dog, with the children or doing housework to begin with and this can build up to power walking, cycling, using the cross-trainer etc
- Eat five balanced meals a day; include protein in every meal, save a carbohydrate meal until after the gym, eat plenty of vegetables and drink 3 litres of water a day.
- Limit treats (cheat meal) to one meal a week
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Limit sugary drinks and fruit juice
- Get plenty of sleep and rest