I get messages daily from ladies online and at my gym about all sorts of aspects on health and fitness. I know how overwhelming it can be with everyone punting a different way to live healthy and lose weight. People talk about Banting, carb cycling, low carb, no carb, intermittent fasting, vegan and paleo just to name a few.
Then, with fitness, its weight training, versus cardio, hiit (high intensity interval training) and so much more – the bottom line is, everyone wants that magical combination that is going to yield the fastest possible results.
The truth is, for the average person – starting your healthy living journey doesn’t have to be so complicated and doesn’t require too much over-thinking. My advice will always be to K.I.S.S – KEEP IT SIMPLE SISTERS!
If I can draw an analogy – if you just started driving a car – it would not be a good idea to put you in a Formula One car and expect you to drive, we would start you off in a simple to operate, basic car so that you could master the basics first before you were asked to do some advanced driving tactics.
It’s the same with health and fitness – don’t get caught up in the fad diets, detoxes and cleanses, the intermittent fasting, carb cycling – this is what you investigate and think about dabbling with when you have already mastered the basics.
What are the basics? My first piece of advice I give anyone who asks me what they should do to start living a healthier lifestyle – I say start with small, simple changes that are manageable.
MORE H20 – Start drinking more water – this small change can make a world of difference already. Starting your day with glass of warm or room temperature water is amazing for your digestive system and drinking water all day helps fire up your metabolism.
PRIORITIZE PROTEIN – Make sure you have a good portion of lean protein on your plate at every meal, be it fish, chicken, ostrich or lean beef. (Eat more chicken and fish than red meat) Protein helps satiate you for longer and keeps you fuller for longer. A portion size guideline is a palm size (the size of your palm is the correct portion size of protein for YOU) is a good guideline for the amount of protein you should have in a sitting. This is again – an easy way to gauge portion size without needing a scale or too pedantic when you’re not at home.
EAT THE RAINBOW – Don’t believe the hype about prioritizing green veg – they are important for sure, but so are the others. You have to eat the rainbow other colours of fruit and veg because they contain micronutrients your body needs that it cannot produce on its own. You don’t need a multivitamin if you are following a balanced eating pattern – you’ll get everything you need from whole foods AND you body will absorb it better than ingesting a pill.
DON’T BE AFRAID OF CARBS – Carbohydrates have been vilified for the longest time and the reality is, they are essential to your daily functioning – your brain cannot operate at its best when you do not give it enough (good) carbs. So eat a portion of carbs with your breakfast and lunch when you are about to or are at your busiest part of the day. Make sure to eat whole grains, brown rice, sweet potato just to give you some examples.
(Click through and read my blog post on portion sizes to find out the correct portions for all food groups.)
REDUCE PROCESSED FOOD – In simple terms, try to eat less junk food. Perhaps start by reducing it to just the weekends and then down to one meal over the weekends.
SLEEP – Make sure you get good quality sleep every night. You should aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night in a absolutely dark cool room. Lack of sleep can have far reaching implications on your health and productivity during the day.
When it comes to exercise – I say, move your body in whatever way you can and that you enjoy and can see yourself being consistent with. It’s important to stay consistent this is the secret to seeing results with nutrition and exercise. Don’t discount going for a walk for 20-30 minutes a day – this can be highly effective if done consistently.
If you need more direction and challenge – you can come to the FABUFIT GYM in Morningside, Sandton or contact me for online training if you are not in Johannesburg.
Contact – firstname.lastname@example.org
In conclusion – keep it very simple ladies, don’t get swept up in the hype, as you become more confident and get to know your body better, then by all means investigate other avenues but in the beginning don’t overwhelm and confuse yourself with complicated eating plans and fad diets.
Happy Healthy Fabulous
Photography: Hemisha Bhana