Get beach ready

HEALTH:

The holiday season is nearly upon us and it’s time for swimming trunks, sarongs and bikinis to emerge from their hibernation.

If the thought of baring your body on the beach fills you with dread then it’s time to really focus on getting in tip top shape. Don’t put it off… start today and you’ll soon be shedding those layers with confidence.

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Interval training is one of the single most effective ways to burn fat. Try exercising at your normal pace for several minutes, then briefly at a more intense pace (as fast as you can!), before slowing to your normal pace again.

Slowly build up these intervals so that with each high intensity burst you’re working harder than the one before. Our bodies are quick to adapt to exercise and if you work hard you should see a redcution in body fat within 4 weeks.

NUTRITION:

To see a noticeable difference in your weight (without resorting to questionable fad diets), try focusing your meals around appetite-supressing protein and high-fibre vegetables. You will naturally feel satisfied for longer, helping you to resist the lure of calorific snacks between meals.

Protein consumption also helps you to retain muscle whilst losing fat, which is vital for achieving a lean, enviable physique.

© Sarah West Nutrition

Common mistakes

HEALTH:

Whether you’re new to the gym or have been going for years, there are some mistakes that gym-goers make time and time again.

If you’ve reached a plateau in your progress or you’re just not getting where you want to be fast enough, there’s a good chance you need to change your approach.

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We all tend to repeat the things we like doing, so it’s no wonder that once we find a workout that suits us we stick to it. However, this may not not be doing you any favours.

Try changing your your programme after about 4-6 weeks to avoid getting into a pattern that stops producing results. Try using a machine you’ve never used before, or if you usually stick to cardio then add in some weights or a body pump class.

NUTRITION:

You’ve been eating lots of reduced fat products specially designed for weight loss but are still finding it hard to lose weight?

Reduced fat foods often have a very high sugar content to make them more palatable. Try swapping reduced fat products for unprocessed, low GI alternatives. These result in a more steady, balanced insulin release, making fat easier to burn and less likely to be stored.

© Sarah West Nutrition

Lasting weight loss

HEALTH:

How many times have you gone on a diet? And more to the point, how many times have you gone off a diet?

More than 80% of people who lose weight will regain it – and sometimes more – within two years. So forget unrealistic, fad diets; if you want to sustain your weight loss it’s time to commit to some sensible, life-long changes.

EXERCISE:

weightloss3Studies show that people who lose weight and keep it off long-term tend to participate in regular physical activity.

To help keep it up, avoid starting with unrealistic expectations. Instead, try setting yourself smaller, more realistic goals that will continually spur you on and encourage you to keep going. After all, exercise should be a journey and not a destination.

NUTRITION:

People get drawn into restrictive, quick-fix diets with the promise of rapid weight loss. However, if you want results that will stick you need to reconsider the notion of healthy eating merely as a temporary fix.

Instead, think about what you’re doing as a permanent lifestyle shift; your attitude should be “This is how I eat now”. A sensible, balanced diet that you can sustain over time will lead to real, long-term results.

© Sarah West Nutrition