Last year, I made some radical changes to my diet and it caused me to lose 14 pounds. I’ve been blown away by the way I feel and how my health has improved. It can be hard to make the necessary changes and stick with them. That is why I brought on Angela Godfrey to share with us a few tips on how to develop a healthy lifestyle and make it work for you.
Here’s what she has to say-
It’s a fact of life that we’re all different – it adds interest and diversity to the world, but it doesn’t help when we’re trying to find a diet we can stick to. All the dieting advice is written by someone for their own bodies, or an imaginary perfect person whose body works in exactly the right way.
In the real world, we’ve all got our nuances and interesting features that mean that every day dieting advice doesn’t necessarily work for us. It’s important that we learn to tailor healthy lifestyle advice to suit ourselves and help us to obtain our desired end goal.
If you’re struggling with weight loss or anything to do with following a fitness regime, this advice is for you.
Listen to your body
You know your own body better than anyone – you know when you’re pushing yourself too far, when you could push yourself further, and when you’ve had enough all together. When you’re following any sort of fitness regime, don’t follow blindly.
Listen to the way your body is responding to what you ask of it, and try to learn how to interpret those signals to enhance your routine. Similarly when you’re dieting, listen to your hunger pangs, energy peaks, and huge crashes, and try to interpret how your food intake has directly influenced those things.
You’ll start to work out which foods work for you and which should be avoided at all costs, in such a way that nobody else can.
Be aware of food intolerance
Many of us experience hold backs on our fitness journey, but one thing that can really put us back a few steps is food intolerance. When our diets are changing, and our bodies are going through a period of transition, it can put a lot of pressure on our digestion, causing intolerance to become more obvious.
This is why it’s so important to listen to our bodies. Dietary intolerances aren’t the end of the world, and shouldn’t hold back any progression as long as they’re properly diagnosed and managed.
One of the most common is lactose intolerance, which causes difficulty and discomfort when it comes to digesting dairy products. Once this is diagnosed, the sufferer can easily substitute milk with lactose free milk, and knows to try to avoid the products which cause them discomfort.
Consider your calorie to activity ratio
While many diet plans and fitness regimes will recommend your calorie intake and your workouts, most don’t take into account your original size or your day to day activity. If you lead a relatively sedentary lifestyle, such as an office job and drive to work, you may find you require extra exercise or fewer calories to see the desired effect.
Similarly, people who work active lifestyles as laborers or similar may find that the level of exercise required is too much, or the recommended calorie intake is far too low. Again, this is where it’s important to listen to your body and make adjustments based on how you’re feeling, not just blindly following a fitness regime. It’s important that you count your calorie intake and usage, and an app like MyFitnessPal is perfect for this.
Take into account your end goal
Everyone is aiming for something different, so it’s impossible for there to be a one size fits all policy when it comes to exercise and dieting. Some people are aiming to bulk up and become stronger with more muscular definition. Those people will probably choose to eat high protein and fat diets and keep carbohydrates to a minimum.
People who are aiming to lose weight will eat a calorie controlled diet and stick to mostly cardio and high-intensity training. It’s important that, whatever your goal, you keep it in sight at all times. This will influence what you eat, how you train, and how you live your life.
Don’t be afraid to take dietary supplements if you think they’re needed, but be sure to understand their uses first. Vitamin and mineral supplements are always a great idea when you’re on a calorie controlled diet, as it can be particularly tricky to ensure you’re getting everything you need. Protein shakes and bars should only be used with advice from a specialist beforehand, as they can cause weight gain when not used correctly.
It’s important to remember whenever you’re changing anything to do with your fitness or dietary regime that you listen to your body, and don’t push yourself too far too fast. Small, regular changes will be a lot easier to stick to than overhauling your entire life, so start slowly, keep track of your progress, and enjoy the changes.