At the beginning of the year, many of us made fitness plans (and resolutions) for this year. I made mine and top on my to-do list was to finally get rid of the last few stubborn pounds and tighten up nicely. Even though I have not yet reached my goals, I am still trying my best to attain them and hopefully by December 2017, I’ll be where I want to be. If you are still struggling with yours, here are a few things that may be hindering you from reaching your goals
- Overeating – When you train very hard, it is easy to assume that you can eat ‘very hard’ too but not quite. Studies show that we tend to overestimate how much energy we are expending and underestimate how much food we are eating. At the end of the day, we end up eating more than we should! So am I advocating calorie counting? Not quite. Calorie counting is not very accurate (you can do some research to learn why) and it is not feasible for most people. The best bet is to watch portions sizes even if it’s “clean food” and keep track of everything that goes ‘in’.
- Splurging on carbs – In my opinion, most people eat too much starchy carbs than they should based on their age, lifestyle and activity levels. While I am not asking you to cut carbs, I’ll advice that you eat it in moderation. Aim to fill only 1/4 of your plate with starch while the other 3/4 is divided equally between healthy fats, protein and non-starchy carbohydrate like veggies and fruits.
- Scrimping on proteins – In contrast to eating too much carbs, many people eat little protein because they think it is fattening and not good for the body. Wrong! Protein is an important nutrient for the body and if you exercise, you need more protein than the average sedentary individual. My advice is that you aim to eat your palm size of protein in every meal. That’s sufficient.
- Sugar! Sugar!! Sugar!!! – Sugar is BAD. It is best to avoid it totally or reduce intake of it to the barest minimum. If you doubt this, GOOGLE is your friend
- Overtraining – Training hard frequently is actually detrimental to your health. Overtraining does not bring fast results. It actually slows down gains and it can cause health issues.
- Not drinking enough – Errmmmm I mean water though. Do you know that not drinking enough water causes fat retention, makes you tired and sluggish, causes headaches and can even lead to serious illness or death? Whatever you do, always endeavour to keep yourself hydrated. Experts suggest 8 cups of water daily is sufficient but if you exercise and/or live in a hot place like Nigeria, you may need much more than that.
- Stopping diet food – My mantra is this: if it isn’t unprocessed and unrefined low calorie foods like veggies and fruits, then skip it. Don’t kid yourself. Processed diet anything is unhealthy. I have learned to read labels and you should too. Low sugar foods are actually high in added fats (trans fat inclusive) and other chemical additives. Conversely, low fat foods are high in sugar and other unpronounceable things. So what is the point of eating a low calorie food/snack when you’re eating high slaturatemoniridesalyensschwwk??? Weird right?
- Overcoming cardio addiction – Yes cardio is important for heart health and all-round fitness but doing loads of it continuously can actually be detrimental. For one, doing cardio for extended periods can eat up lean muscle mass. Not to mention that it increases the appetite and makes one more likely to overeat. My advice is that you mix up your cardio with weight training so you can achieve all-round fitness and live a healthy, good quality life.
- Reducing STRESS!!! – Stress less! Sleep more! I know it is easier said than done but really stress and insufficient sleep is not good for health. Apart from promoting fat storage around the stomach, stress and insufficient sleep cause health issues and may even lead to untimely death! If you find yourself constantly stressed or sleep deprived, you should definitely make changes so you can live a healthier and good quality life.
So there it is! Try to incorporate these changes into your lifestyle and watch how your health and fitness will improve this year.
Stay blessed and healthy!
Uzo The Gym Addict is a certified personal trainer and Nutrition coach. She runs an exclusive online coaching program for Brides-To-Be who desperately need to get in shape to fit into their dream wedding dress.She also works with other individuals who need expert help and guidance to lose weight and/or transform their bodies.