There are so many fads out there and an abundance of ‘bro science’ that sometimes getting fit and healthy can seem like a minefield.
Should you eat carbs, avoid carbs, drink protein shakes, eat baby food, drink lemon water? Should you run, spin, swim or lift? Should you eat after 6pm?
You might not be interested in learning the sciences, or might simply not have the time to root away in text books and podcasts to find out the truths of what you should do and when you should do it. So I'm here to break some of my learning into a bite sized, read on the train, chunk.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there is some really great stuff out there backed by science, but on the flip there is also some really really bad ‘bro science’ out there too. If you’re not familiar with that term, it basically means people in the gym or fitness world who spew up all this stuff about what people should do, and they say it with confidence and authority – so people believe them. It’s rarely backed by science.
When you’re just getting started you only need to know the basics.
So, here they are.
Eat better, that’s right, not necessarily less. If you severely restrict your calories to say 1200 a day you’ll go into starvation mode and will be more likely to fall off the wagon and indulge in chocolate eclairs, multi packs of crisps, handfuls of chocolate buttons and any of your other weaknesses. Focus on eating quality. Complex carbs such as whole grains, healthy fats found in nuts, seeds and coconut oil, lean protein such as chicken, eggs or if you’re a veggie then quinoa and soy.
Don’t fall for diet foods
They might come in shiny packets and have all the claims- drop a dress size- zero fat- but what’s really in them? Sugar? Additives? Any nutritional value? How’s this food going to make you feel?
I switched from low fat to full fat food such as yogurt and the other day because they were on offer I brought a pack of 0% fat yogurt and honestly, after 15 minutes of eating it I had a headache, felt woolly headed and quite awful to be honest. Checked the back and there was heaps of sugar in it to counteract the fat.
If you’re just starting out and thinking about getting fit, then an hour down the gym might seem pretty daunting. When I say move more for a beginner I mean take the stairs, walk to work, get off the bus a stop earlier, take a walk after dinner or first thing in the morning, dance to music in the kitchen while you’re cooking. Ease yourself into it.
That’s right, sleep. Catch some Zzzz. This is probably where I fall down the most as I don’t sleep well in the way I wake up with the sun (even though I have a sleep mask?!) when you’re sleeping your body is resetting, resting and repairing. My sister has a saying “lean in 15 – hours of sleep," maybe 15 is too much but aim to get 7-9 hours a night.
They’re the basics.