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Being Healthy – an athletes advice

Weight loss, a healthy diet, a trim waist. One of the most common objectives for people in modern society.

Constantly on and off diet plans, struggling to find one that works, missing the treats you once had so much you just think what’s the point?

Believe it or not I can absolute relate. Having joined a gym and put on 24kg preceding rowing, before losing 16 for triathlon, I’ve learned a thing or two. So here are my most basic tips and tricks for a good diet and weight loss!

For an effective diet you’ll need the following 3 things:

  1. Patience
  2. Self Discipline
  3. Belief

Based on these 3 things, a very effective diet can be created. Weight loss won’t happen over night, or 2/3 days, or a week. But over a period of 2/3 weeks, visible weight loss can be achieved. How? you might ask, you’ve tried everything. Well, patience, self-discipline and belief.

So to lose weight calories in has to be smaller than calories out, you already knew that and it’s not as easy as it sounds right! So for a start, stop weighing yourself every day. Weight loss is carried out on a daily basis, however it should be measured weekly or fortnightly. Pick a day, probably rest day or the day after and jump on the scales! Otherwise, don’t worry about it. Weight fluctuates so much from day to day with food, water retention, sleep, exercise, it’ll only stress you out if you keep checking. Be patient, follow your diet plan and the results will come I promise!

Second of all, don’t completely cut yourself off from nice food. Complete isolation doesn’t work. After 4 months off running with injury, I’m not going to be able to run a marathon tomorrow. Trying to jump head first into the worlds most strict diet isn’t going to work. Treat yourself but be careful with your treats, pick a day once or twice a week that you’re allowed them treats so you don’t feel guilty. Plan to break the rules so that it’s under control, this can be best used if it is after a long session of exercise and the treats feel earned.

  Self discipline. This is the tricky one, when your body is running heavy deficits it can be hard to turn down treats. But if you replace chocolate, sugar, crisps, with something more healthy like salad, pickles or nuts. Again don’t over do it because any of these in abundance can be just as bad for you.

Alcohol. Oh it’s the devil! We love a drink, love being sociable, our lives can seem to evolve around it.

Alcohol is the downfall of most people, the calories contained in alcohol is astronomical, replacing the alcohol with a soft drink can really help this weight loss goal. I know drinking is sociable but you can learn to have just as much of a good time sober. Try a dry month for charity and you’ll find at the end of the month your inclination to alcohol is much lower.

The next is what to eat?! Cheap, healthy meals are hard to create. And finding meals tailored to your needs can be a tricky one and breakfast is always the hardest! Shopping weekly or fortnightly is a sure fire way to keep costs down and make it much easier to avoid unhealthy snacking.

I tend to find avoiding bread and cereals for breakfast is the best start to the day. Well how do you do that you might ask?! Low fat Greek yoghurt is a great way to start. Oats, raisins, nuts and honey are just a few ways to make this meal slightly more exciting! Porridge, fresh fruit or a smoothie are other excellent starts.

A snack to get you to lunch isn’t out of the question on a diet! A small healthy snack to boost metabolism would be ideal here. Graze boxes offer some great ideas here. Or low calorie breakfast bars too! Even make your own flapjack/granola to get you through the week.

What happens next in the day varies from person to person. If you’ve got a heavy afternoon lined you might need a big meal to get you through, leaving a lower calorie meal for dinner. Alternatively a light bite at lunch before a big dinner can also work!

The trick is to eat a regular healthy volume of low calorie food, rich in nutrients. Soup, salad or an omelette are a great way to achieve this. A big enough meal to satisfy your stomach without the guilt of excess calories is what you want, not a depressing 30g salad!

The biggest bit of advice I can offer is keep yourself happy whilst you’re dieting. If you feel constantly run down, tired and depressed it’s not going to work out. Fact. you’re probably giving yourself too few calories anyway! Enjoy cooking fresh meals, trying out new food combinations and treating yourself. Treats don’t have to be bad.

However… you should feel hungry while you adapt, it can take a while for your stomach to shrink!

I’ll be posting over the coming weeks on my own diet and how my weight loss is going, so stay tune…

don’t forget, believe in yourself! You can do it with patience, self discipline, belief. It gets easier I promise..

And most importantly keep yourself happy!

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