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Last week we started the Change Your Life Series; a series of ten blog posts that (if followed) will change your life – guaranteed! The first post was centered around Exercise. For the last seven days you have been slowly increasing the amount of exercise into your routine and you should be starting to feel the benefits: enhanced energy levels, better mood and an increased ability to think clearly. This week we are going to take all of this to a new level. And best of all, it is easy!
Want to be More Muscular? -Simple; you need to eat more. Obviously you need to combine this with increased exercise and weight training, but essentially you want to ‘up’ your total consumption and increase your meal frequency. Your meals might not individually get any bigger (they may even get smaller) but you are going to have more of them. Go for complex carbs, proteins and good fats (nuts avocado etc.)
Want to Lose Weight? – Simple; you need to eat less. Don’t cut out all the fats or all the carbs, rather reduce your total consumption of food. Combine this with increased exercise and you are onto a winning combination. Don’t empty all the food out the pan on your plate. It is OK to throw stuff in the bin / keep for later / recycle. Making soups is a great way of concocting leftovers!
We all know what is healthy and what sucks. If you have to think about it or look at the nutritional information on the wrapper.. then it is probably not good for you. Don’t try and talk yourself into eating it… Just put it down. Don’t buy junk food… If you have to have it in the house, hide it in a cupboard or get someone else to hide it from you. Out of Sight, Out of Mind. Cut out fizzy drinks / crisps / sugary junk! Drink lots of water -you are often thirsty when you think you are hungry.Limit takeaways to once a fortnight (or once a month if you can take it).
Eat lots of fruit and vegetables, fish, red meats, white meats and wholegrain. Eat in moderation. Teach yourself to cook. Buy a cookbook, download an App and buy raw ingredients.. then just do it. You can follow video guides online or make it up yourself! It will take some practice to perfect, but home cooked food is 10x better for you than ready meals / takeaways. There is a reason that home cooked foods only lasts a few days before going off -vs- ready meals that sit on the shelves for weeks – home cooked food is not crammed full of preservatives. Cooking DIY will make you healthy.
I think the most important point to take out of this step is the awareness of the huge impact that food has on your mood / energy / bodyweight / bodyshape / skin / self-confidence / fitness. Some people need to change their diet more than others, but everyone can always improve. As human beings, we are not designed to eat processed food; cavemen didn’t have fancy sauces with additives or microwave meals. Go back to basics and eat food from raw ingredients when you can. Your body will appreciate them more and know just what to do with them. Your metabolism in turn will work better and so will everything else.
Did anyone manage to increase the exercise in their routine last week? What areas of your diet are you going to aim to improve?
John S @ Frugal Rules says
Great points again. Eating a well balanced diet is key and making wise decisions about what you put into your body. I’ve found that the easiest way to make those decisions is simply not bringing the crap into the house. If it’s not here, then 99.9% of the time I won’t eat it.
Sadly, I did not step up to the challenge of working out last week…BIG fail. I just need to schedule the time and stick to it.
John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted..How Budgeting is Like Potty Training
Thanks John. I totally agree with you that the easiest way is not to buy it! It is sometimes not that easy when you live with a spouse or kids who like sweets / junk food. Personally, I have asked Mrs Scot to help by eating healthier with me and together we have never really looked back. We have a ‘cheat night’ once a week where we get something really bad (moderation right) but in general we don’t miss junk food! In fact the thought of a MacDonald turns my stomach (unless I am horrendously hungover 😉 )
Easier one than the step 1 for me… I love to cook from scratch and to know what is in my food. I find that my body is great at telling me what it needs and when it has had enough. I just have to listen carefully and don’t pay attention to my mind who would love a second helping of ice cream! Moderation is the key.
Pauline recently posted..Are you a good tenant? Lower your rent!
Nice! Glad to hear it Pauline – I also like to know exactly what is in my food! It is a real challenge being able to master listening to your body. A lot of people mistake thirst for hunger!!
Ornella @ Moneylicious says
My goal is lose 20lbs. My weakness: sweets. I’ve cut back, but every now and then the craving kicks in. This week I will be cooking vegetable soup and baking eggplants to soften it up. And of course, I’m increasing my excerise. I have to say that for someone like me who has always been active, working has made it challenging to keep up.
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The additives have taken hold of you Ornella!! Vegetable soup sounds good – infact I love pretty much any soup!
Did you manage to follow part 1 from last week?!
Daisy @ Add Vodka says
It’s so important to exercise AND eat well. Unfortunately we, as a culture, want instant gratification. I love my sweets!
Instant gratification – I like that phrase! You are right Daisy… we want it now and we want to eat it quick! My wife lovers her American sweets… anything Wonka made!
[email protected] says
Good post! My gym membership expires in January and I need to figure out something else to do to stay in shape!
[email protected] recently posted..House Shopping: The Addiction Continues
The last post might give you some ideas… Are you not planning to renew?
Great article!! So how does one go about losing weight AND putting on a bit of muscle mass? 🙂
I tend to get a lot of cravings, so I’m trying to reduce the amount of sugar and junk food I’m eating. The big thing I’m focusing on is trying to reduce eating out!
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Hey Vicky! Thanks for stopping by to comment. Losing weight and putting on muscle is a slow process! You need to ensure that your cardio is not too intensive – try keeping your heart rate around 140 – so that you don’t burn muscle for energy. Cravings are difficult to deal with, but force yourself the first few times, then you often find you don’t want them anymore. MSG and other additives really don’t help too much! Eating out is again, difficult to manage if you are used to getting takeaways / enjoy the social aspect! I have absolutely nailed that one and have found it makes a big difference both from a health and financial perspective!
[email protected] says
The Scot has done it again. We try but always can improve on our eating habits. I did get my extra hour in last week and plan on a long hike tomorrow.
[email protected] recently posted..A Valedictorian’s Advice On How to Raise a Scholarship Kid
How did the hike go Kim?
Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter says
Great post. I totally agree. Diet has a lot more effect on people’s weight and long term health than they think. Yes you need to exercise but the two hand in hand are the key.
As far as building muscle and losing inches, I have found that intense cardio and frequent weight training to be the best. The old advice of lower intensity equals fat burn isn’t true. High intensity works better. Plus you can still build muscle doing cardio; it just depends on what cardio you do. I am a big fan of combination movements like plyometrics. They really get your heart going and they strengthen at the same time.
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Hey Miss T! It is true that intense cardio works too. It really all depends on the person’s body type – and we are all pretty unique! The technique of low intensity cardio for a prolonged period is very effective for me personally – it just gets very boring quickly! I am big into weight training and prefer to do occasional cardio to try and keep lean. That said, as the post eludes to – unless your diet is right, it means nothing!
Jessica @ Budget For Health says
I agree with your points. I’m always stressing moderation with clients and that there is no good or bad food, just better choices. There are plenty of people at my gym who work out all the time but don’t make any changes to their diet. Can you imagine the synergy if you put a little effort into both categories?
Jessica @ Budget For Health recently posted..McDonalds nutrition information now displayed on menu
Hey Jessica! Thanks for dropping by to comment. It is a shame that people can’t more easily grasp the concept of moderation. Unless people take small steps to change their diet, it is very unlikely to work full-time. Slow and steady wins the race!
Budget & the Beach says
I do well with the exercise part, but I need to work more on portion sizes, and mindfully eating. I’ve slacked off at the end of this summer, and have been craving comfort food lately. Although I don’t eat junk, I’m still eating too much.
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Jennifer Lynn @ Broke-Ass Mommy says
Generally I eat quite healthy–lots of brown rice, whole wheats, fruits and veggies. Minimal meat and a spice of sugar now and then for moderation. And beer. Sigh. But right now keeping up with a boisterous and rambunctious toddler gives me plenty of exercise!
Jennifer Lynn @ Broke-Ass Mommy recently posted..Discover Card Flogged Me with a Gold Angel
Brown rice is great for you. I find that at first it is hard to accept it as a substitute to white rice, but eventually you don’t notice the difference. I am a BIG meat eater though! 🙂
I have a couple of friends who hit the gym regularly, but eat horribly and never see the results that they’re looking for. You’re right, a healthy diet and regular exercise go hand in hand!
Sebastian recently posted..Could I Lose Weight by Getting My Ear Stapled?
Hi Seabastian.. Thanks for commenting. It is such a waste of time for those that hit the gym hard / regularly, yet do not follow up in the kitchen! They seriously shouldn’t even bother!
Stephen S. says
Savvy I am a health nut great post! Especially the 80% diet 20% workout. I see people in the gym all the time that make little progress because they feel like if they workout for 30 min that gives them a free ticket to eat whatever they want. Eating healthy and losing weight takes disciple and is a lifestyle change.
I am really enjoying this series.
Stephen S. recently posted..Top 15 Things I can’t Wait to Cross Off my Bucket List
Good Man! I always suggest to people to sort their health and diet before they even begin in the gym! As you say, unless people can manage the eating then the gym is pointless! Discipline is HARD!!! 🙂 Hope you had a good weekend