Tips for surviving Lent

Tips for surviving Lent

10:22 21 August in Uncategorized
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Lent. It’s that time of year when you give decide to give up whatever it is that you want to try change over that period. Just like New Year’s resolutions the beginning is always the easy part. So today I thought I would bring you some tips to help you through the full period of Lent, one tip for each day in fact. So you can cut out this page, put it on the fridge and every day you will have a tip that will help to make things easier over the coming weeks.

  1. If you have a busy schedule start your day with an early morning workout – You are less likely to make excuses when you get it done before something else can get in your way.
  2. Do what you love – Find a workout that works for you. There are endless routines and methods out there but if you find one that you enjoy then this will ensure you stick at it and get the results.
  3. Share your goals with others – This is a great way to hold yourself accountable for taking action. It will give you a greater purpose and helps create a support network of family and friends.
  4. You cannot out-train a bad diet –There is no point undoing all your hard work and effort by making poor food choices. Commit to a diet of clean food and your training will improve immensely.
  5. Kick up the intensity – A lot of people focus on the length of their workout rather than the effort they put in. Half an hour at full intensity can be just as effective as a one hour workout at moderate pace. Make every minute count to maximize results.
  6. Drinking five cups of green tea each day has been shown to raise your metabolism and is rich in anti-oxidants. Try it with a slice of fresh lemon to help the body detox.
  7. If you want to eat less, chew slowly and put down your knife and fork between mouthfuls. By simply savouring every bite we eat we can learn to appreciate food and not abuse it.
  8. One pound of muscle is much smaller than one pound of fat, even though they weigh the same. Don’t be disheartened if the number on the scales isn’t changing after all your hard work. Your body composition will be changing and you will notice your clothes becoming looser even if your weight remains the same.
  9. Make small changes – Nothing changes overnight, so take small steps at the beginning and build it up week by week. You may start to feel the benefits within the first two weeks, but it can be much later before you begin to see them.
  10. Plan ahead – Preparation is key when it comes to both exercise and nutrition. Have your foods prepared the night before and your workouts scheduled in advance. This way you are more committed and will not make poor food choices when on the go.
  11. Keep your eye on the prize – Having a goal in place will keep you motivated on your journey. From getting in shape for a party to running your first 5K, knowing where you’re headed will keep you moving in the right direction.
  12. Get a minimum of seven hours sleep every night – Insufficient sleep sends the body hormones into a state of chaos, causing mindless snacking and mood swings throughout the day. Your body needs to rest and re-set to function properly, so give it the sleep it needs.
  13. If nothing changes, then nothing changes. Look at your current nutrition and lifestyle choices and see if they are taking you down the right track to achieving your goal. If not, then what must you do to get on the right one.
  14. Remember that it is not our problems that cause us stress, it’s avoiding them. Often the task is not as bad as we anticipated once we get started and sometimes getting started is the hardest part. Break it down into smaller tasks and this will eliminate a lot of stress.
  15. Fly with the eagles if you want to be an eagle yourself – Eliminate people and situations which no longer make you happy or have a purpose in your life. People change and so do you.
  16. Whatever small change you make today, remember that it is one step closer than yesterday. Gradual changes over time amount to great things.
  17. Focus on the type of fat rather than the amount of fat in your diet. Good fats are essential to physical and emotional health and come from foods like fish, avocados, olives and walnuts.
  18. Choose fresh, seasonal and local produce from your butcher or grocer. This will ensure you are getting the best quality food available while supporting local businesses.
  19. Remember to drink water throughout the day – Water speeds up our metabolism, helping our bodies to burn fat while we work. Its health benefits are well documented so take regular breaks from your desk to visit the water dispenser.
  20. Don’t skip breakfast – Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, it gets the metabolism burning after a night of fasting and gives you the energy you need to take on the day. Try some organic oats with skim milk and berries for that slow release energy you need.
  21. Switch to whole grains – Over time, eating wholegrains (brown rice, whole-wheat bread, wholegrain pasta) in place of refined grains (white rice, white bread, white pasta) makes it easier to control weight and lowers the risk of both heart disease and diabetes.
  22. Oily fish is high in essential omega 3 fats and includes salmon, mackerel, trout, herring, fresh tuna, sardines. Fish is also a great source of protein and contains many vitamins and minerals so aim to eat at least two portions a week.
  23. When grocery shopping, work your way around the outer parameter of the store. This is usually where the fresh, unrefined produce can be found with all the sugar rich, artificial foods stocked in the centre aisles.
  24. Leave calorie-filled, ‘junk food’ at the grocery store – If you buy fresh foods, you will only eat fresh foods. Stock your cupboard with only nutritious options and you will not be tempted to go for that chocolate bar.
  25. Simplify things – Instead of counting calories and measuring food portions, think of your diet in terms of colour, variety, and freshness. As you experiment with recipes, your diet will become healthier and more delicious.
  26. Have a treat – People often think of healthy eating as an all or nothing proposition, but in fact the key to maintaining a balanced diet is moderation. Allow yourself a treat meal once a week.
  27. Always listen to your body – Ask yourself if you are really hungry, or if you are simply substituting another feeling with food cravings. Address the real issue and avoid putting it off temporarily by consuming food.
  28. Do not be afraid of carbs – Healthy carbs provide a vital source of energy and include wholegrains, beans, vegetables and fruits. These carbs are digested slowly, helping you feel satisfied for longer and keeping blood sugar and insulin levels regulated.
  29. Most people consume far too much salt in their daily diets, which has been repeatedly linked to high blood pressure. Try to limit your sodium intake to 1,500 to 2,300 mg per day, which is the equivalent of one teaspoon of salt.
  30. Try a gluten free plan – Many people have low tolerance to gluten and most may not even realize it. Try cutting out gluten based foods to boost energy levels and to feel less bloated after eating.
  31. Remember, you cannot spot reduce one particular area of your body. We all have our ‘problem areas’ and in order to reduce these you must lower your overall body fat percentage. Include an element of cardio in your routine to boost results.
  32. Each 1 pound of fat contains 3500 calories. This is the number of calories that you need to deficit from your diet each week in order to lose fat. That’s 500 every day for 1 pound a week.
  33. HIIT- High Intensity Interval Training is one of the best ways to maximise your workout. The idea is to switch between two speeds, fast and slow, at different intervals. As you get fitter you reduce the amount of time in the slow zone and increase the amount of time in the fast zone.
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