Are you feeling body conscious? Your summer holiday is drawing closer and you want to look great in a bikini? The thought of ‘dieting’ is too much effort and difficult to stick to? Then here are a few life hacks that you can do that you will benefit from and your body will thank you for! 10 easy ways to kick start getting into shape :
1. POWER WALK…. If you lead a busy lifestyle and you ‘have no time for exercise’ then power walk! Leave 20 minutes earlier for work, get out one bus stop before your destination & power walk. Park your car further away from where you’re going. Take the stairs throughout the day instead of the lift. Walk up the tube stairs instead of the escalators. Cycle the entire way to work if you have the possibility. Get out one stop earlier on your way home and POWER WALK. Work up a sweat and then at least if you fall face down on your couch when you get home, you’ve done 20-30 minutes exercise today. That is 0.5% of your day! BE REALISTIC. If you enjoy it, which I guarantee you will (because who doesn’t feel great after exercise?!) you can get out 2 stops earlier and work your way up!
2. SWAP BAD CARBS FOR GOOD CARBS…..Ok, so. Good carbs (e.g.. Sweet Potatoes) release energy slower into your body and allow you to feel sated for a much longer time. Bad carbs (e.g. Normal Potatoes) give you that feeling of wanting MORE AND MORE AND MORE. They give you energy quickly but also manage to get you just as quickly get you feeling down in the dumps.
Sweet Potatoes >Normal Potatoes
Brown/Wild Rice > White Rice
Multi-Grain Bread > White Bread
Carbs also shouldn’t be the main part of your meal. It should be balanced out with protein and healthy fats. These swaps will have you feeling more energised in no time.
3. DRINK MORE WATER…. Often when you’re feeling ‘hungry’ your body is actually craving some hydration. So instead of grabbing that snack, drink one or two glasses of water and then if you’re still hungry go ahead and eat! You should be drinking 2-3 litres of water per day!
4. DOWNLOAD A CALORIE COUNTER APP….Now I don’t want you to get obsessed with counting calories and I only advise you to do this for a week or two. Sometimes you can be consuming more than you think they are. A snack here, a fizzy drink there. It all adds up, and to be able to correct your calorie intake to consume more beneficial calories i.e.. instead of a 100 calorie fizzy drink with no nutrients, you could consume a glass of water or tea to quench that thirst and follow it by a banana or apple also equal to 100 calories. —> A quick swap and you’ve gained vitamins, nutrients and goodness for your body. I love ‘MyFitnessPal’ app because it has more or less every item of food stored to make your life easy.
5. GET FRUIT SMART & SAVVY…. Fruit is great, but tends to contain lots of sugar (fructose)! Sugar that will stop you from losing those few lbs on your tummy or thighs. If you’re going to eat fruit make sure its not in abundance. Tropical fruits such as mango, pineapple and bananas contain lots of fructose. Swap them for berries such as raspberries, strawberries or blackberries, apples and pears are great too. Little tip…If you have to peel/cut a skin off it usually has lots of sugar.
6.— USE VEGETABLES MORE…Do you only cook vegetables for your main meal? Veg are just a great a snack as fruit, but no one ever thinks about them. They contain less sugar than fruit, so it just makes sense to incorporate them into our diets as a snack too. Cooked broccoli! Carrot sticks! Cucumber batons! Celery Sticks! Chicory Leaves! Bell Pepper Sticks! Super yummy snacks super healthy snacks! And you’ve consumed less sugar and calories than before!
7. BOOST YOUR METABOLISM…This is so important and starts the moment you wake up. Before you get out of bed you should drink a glass of water. This gets your digestive system going and also hydrates your body after 8-9 hours of fasting. Follow this by breakfast. DO NOT SKIP BREAKFAST. This does not mean 3 rolls smothered in a famous nutty chocolate spread. This means a portion of protein e.g., eggs. This means a portion of healthy fats e.g.. Avocado and this also means some form of carbohydrate e.g.. a bread formed from something other than a grain, so cornflour or a great one is buckwheat bread. Buckwheat is a pseudo-grain so technically its not a grain, so you can enjoy a healthy guilt free bread that won’t harm your digestive system.
8.SPIRALISEEEEE…If you do not know what this is, get ready for something that will change your life. You can swap white pasta (bad carb) for spiralled vegetables. The most common one seems to be COURGETTI <— see what we did there? So instead of spaghetti, you spiralise courgettes into long thin spaghetti-like strings & replace the pasta. This way you’re giving your body lots more vitamins from the vegetables, you’re lowering your carb intake and also giving yourself amazing an energy resource. You can use other things such as carrots, sweet potatoes and anything that fits in the spiraliser to be honest!
9.DRINK A SMOOTHIE… If you struggle to get that five portions of fruit and veg in a day then a smoothie would be a great alternative for you. I usually put a handful of kale and spinach in, followed by some berries and almond milk (I don’t like to have dairy in my diet as it can also hinder healthy digestion). Make sure your veg to fruit ratio is 70%-30%. Yes! You heard me 70/30…..if you have any more fruit in there you run the risk of having a smoothie high in sugar and doing yourself more harm than good. Pre-made smoothies that you can buy in supermarkets are for this reason 90% of the time a no-go!
10. HAVE FUN WITH IT….Don’t get bogged down with this ‘ideal body image’ magazines, the tv and every media source on the planet drill women on a daily basis. Don’t diet. Change your lifestyle to chose healthier options. If you eat a whole plate of chips one night ….ITS OKAY! Just make sure you get back on track. If you chose exercise it shouldn’t be a chore. Find something that you enjoy! Train with a friend. You can get the best out of yourself, but you are human too, and eating a chocolate bar every now and again is human, not something to feel guilty about!
love Jess xox