Once we’re graced with lighter evenings, and warmer days it’s very easy to start thinking about your summer holiday and beachwear. Whilst there’s a big push on feeling confident in your own skin, regardless of how you look, I believe it’s all relative on how you’re feeling. Providing you’re safe and sensible in your approach, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to loose fat and lean up ready for the Summer. But knowing where to start can be difficult, which is why I am sharing this post with you.
As I’ve been speaking about recently, there’s been a lot going on in the past nine months. And I’ve not taken my nutrition or exercise as seriously as I have done in the past, however my head is in a good place now and I’m really excited to make some changes over the coming weeks! You might have been in a similar place, or maybe you just want to feel fitter and stronger. Regardless of the reason, you’re all welcome here and I hope you can take away some inspiration!
You can’t out train a poor diet
Nutrition is key to success when trying to loose fat, quite simply you need to put your body in a calorie deficit. Which means you need to output more energy, than you’re taking in. Whilst you can try to kill yourself by spending all evening on the treadmill, the likeliness of you burning 500+ calories is very slim. I like to use My Fitness Pal, an easy to use app which allows you to enter your food for the day. The app will calculate your daily expenditure from the information you enter, and will proceed to give you a daily calorie allowance.
In short, I will be consuming three main meals per day. With snacks inbetween, as I like to keep my hunger levels at bay. The more hungry I am, the more likely I am to overeat. Ensure you filling your plate with real, colourful foods opposed to processed junk foods!
I told a white lie above, whilst nutrition can be deemed as paramount to weight loss we also have to take our hormones into consideration. Hormones have a huge role to play in weight loss, and whilst you might be eating a “healthy balanced diet” there might be more going on than initially meets the eye.
The two main hormones I found to effect individuals weight loss is Ghrelin (the “hunger hormone”) and cortisol (the stress hormone). In short Ghrelin levels are linked to our sleep patterns, so you might find you’re absolutely starving after a period of no sleep. As for your stress levels, if you’re constantly in a panicked state this can offset insulin response. Leading to high blood sugar levels, and further secretion of insulin.
Simple steps to address this would be to first look at your sleeping patterns, work at getting yourself into a sleeping habit of 7-8 hours each night. It might take a while, but you will notice the difference and it’s worth it. Secondly, take a look at your stress levels. If you’re all too aware that you spend most your day pulling your hair out, try heading to a mediation session after work. Or make small steps such as taking a walk during lunch, giving yourself time away from the office.
As for myself, I pride myself at being a great sleeper. I have a bedtime off 10.30PM, and tend to wake up between 6-7AM depending on what I am doing that day. However, this wasn’t always the case. I used to find myself watching TV, reading or on my laptop until midnight some evenings. It took a little while to change my habits, but I feel so much better for it.
What’s in the glass?
Liquid calories can be the devil in disguise, order yourself a fancy hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows and you’re likely to be knocking on 700+ kcals. The same goes with coffee, whilst I will be removing this from my diet over the next eight weeks due to adverse reactions (dam you Endometriosis), it doesn’t mean you have to. However, just be aware of your choices. If you regularly drink a latte, with full fat milk, a couple of those per day can contribute to an increase in calories. Next time you head to the coffee shop, opt for a flat white or limit yourself to one per day.
How much exercise is enough?
I’m a strong believer in ‘less is more’. There’s not much point to hitting the gym seven days per week, and only giving 50% in each session. You can get fitter and stronger by exercising just four days per week, and then keeping your general activity levels high throughout your week. What am I doing? I will be exercising four – five days per week, and also aiming for 10k steps per day. I will be doing a mix of cardiovascular, strength and mobility work. Remember, the gym is the place to increase and retain muscle mass. Not an hour spent working off your last meal, I can’t express the importance of this mindset.
You might have found yourself here expecting some sort of magic, but if you’ve not already sussed out it’s a pretty straight forward plan. There are no magic pills to make the change for you, and quite simply doing it yourself is so much more exciting and rewarding. Getting fitter, stronger and leaner isn’t an easy task but one that’s so worth the challenge. Once you feel healthier and more confident in yourself, it becomes so much easier to sustain and becomes a happier way of life.
Join the community
Community makes the journey much more manageable, which is why I have a free Facebook group to join. It’s a space free from judgement, where you can be yourself and help others along the way. Find us here.
I’m very active on Instagram, and will be updating you all on my progress. I would love to hear how you’re getting on too, so keep me updated by using #oliviafurner.