This week’s all about health & fitness hacks to make living healthier lifestyle a little easier.
When it comes to diet – try not to resort to using the ones that cut out certain food groups like carbs or fats. Your body has a very varied requirement of nutrients and minerals and all of them are needed. By cutting out foods groups – you are more likely to binge when you come off the diet and you will put the weight back on quicker. When you lose weight you are reducing the size of your fat cells not the quantity – something to bear in mind.
In general you should try to eat smaller meals 5 times a day – but quite often it’s difficult to fit this in so if your sticking to your 3 meals a day try to make your biggest meal breakfast and reduce the size o each meal so that your smallest meal is in the evening when your metabolism naturally slows down. This will ensure that your body uses up the energy that the food you eat gives you throughout the day, rather than having a large meal in the evening (especially if its a couple of hours before going to sleep) where because the body doesn’t need the energy it will then store it as fat.
When it comes to eating before or after exercise recent studies have found when looking to improve fat burning potential – for women it’s best to eat before exercise and for men to eat afterwards.
Other things you can do is to use smaller plates – studies show that you tend to eat 20% less calories by using a smaller plate as your brain is fooled into thinking it’s a bigger meal and always drink plenty of water (especially having a glass before your meal) – this will not only help you feel fuller for longer but it boosts your metabolism and helps to burn fat quicker.
Sleep has a major impact on your energy levels – try to keep to 7-9 hours but if you do lack that little bit of energy for your workout – rather than spending money on expensive pre-workout drinks – a good cup of coffee or green tea will do the job as it’s the caffeine in the drinks that has been linked to better workout performance.
If you are not seeing the results you want – then mix up your routine. If you are focussing on all cardio then add in some strength training or vice versa. Your body very quickly gets used to coping with the same thing – whether that’s calorie intake or type of exercise – so by regularly mixing things up you keep your body guessing and working harder.
When in the gym try doing your bodyweighted or dumbbell exercise while on a power plate rather than on the floor. The unstable surface means your body has to recruit more muscle fibre to either keep you in position or still be able to complete the exercise – this extra challenge will help burn extra calories.
Sneak in exercises during everyday activities! Try doing calf raises or clench your buttocks while waiting in a queue, lunging while doing to hoovering regularly switching hands….. Apart from strengthening your muscles, you will also burn calories: An average person should burn 4 calories a minute for easy cleaning (e.g., dusting). That is a total of 80 calories for 20 minutes of cleaning so even just 1 hour of cleaning every week, you get a total of 12,480 calories a year! That is 3.5 pounds a year for keeping a clean house!
There’s a ton of more hacks to help get you fitter and healthier here: