Just the thought of starting a diet and exercise regime to achieve our ideal weight and shape is a daunting one but the biggest reason for putting everything off is the idea of surviving on “rabbit food” for months or years to come. It wouldn’t be near as off-putting if we were allowed to have some decent “real” food now and then but most modern diets tell us that’s a no-no. Well, it ain’t necessarily so!
Okay, you’re not going to be a regular visitor to the local chipper or the local Chinese take-away’s best customer but being on a diet and exercising doesn’t mean a lifetime of bread and water either. Actually, no bread, as that’s another forbidden pleasure in modern diets!
Unless you suffer from a medical condition or glandular problem, it is a simple fact of life that if you eat more than you expend in energy you will put on weight. How much depends on what you eat and how often and therein lies both the problem and the solution.
If you are determined to shed some weight and become a fitter, healthier person then changes will have to be made and (some) sacrifices made. Exercise and food are the two factors that will determine how successful, or not, your weight-loss efforts will be but common sense also plays a huge part. You don’t need me or a highly-paid dietician to tell you that if you overeat and don’t exercise the pounds will pile on. So, clearly, the secret to successful dieting lies in balancing the amount you eat with the exercise you take.
Brisk walks or jumping on a trampoline, while classed as exercising, will not be sufficient on their own to shift the weight accumulated over years of inactivity and over-indulgence. A tailored programme is needed and the help of a professional weight-loss and fitness instructor. Working out in a gym can be a bit intimidating at first but you will soon get into the swing of it as it becomes part of your regular routine.
However, all that physical activity in the gym is pointless if you head straight down to the nearest chip shop to replace all those lost calories and then some! A double cheeseburger may be tempting but this is where will power can, and must, step in. Chicken is always a good option for post workout hunger and, served with pasta, is a healthy, filling and nutritious dish. But beware of sauces! Stir-in and sauces added to dishes are generally to be avoided. You can wipe out all the benefit of your gym session with one packet of sauce so, if you really must add something to your meal, very small quantities or a low-calorie sauce is the best choice.
Nobody is going to kid you that sticking to a diet plan and exercise regime is easy but it can be done. Remember, little rewards for your efforts are allowed, and should probably be encouraged, just not every other day of the week. Whatever your favourite “forbidden” snack may be, reward yourself every couple of weeks, or after achieving set targets, with a tasty take-away without feeling guilty about it. After all, you deserve it and what’s the point of being the perfect shape and weight if you’re perfectly miserable?