TIPS AND TRICKS FOR STARTING, RESTARTING OR CONTINUING YOUR HEALTH JOURNEY
Whether you’re transitioning back to the gym, fitness classes or about to hit the field for training, restarting or continuing your health journey after these months at home might seem harder than it should be! These tips and facts should help realign your mind with your body and boost your chance of reaching your goals.
1. Carbs Don’t Necessarily Make You Fat
You never want to cut carbs out of your diet, but rather pick the right types of carbs. Too many refined carbs can cause weight gain and play with your blood sugar levels. These include your white flours, sugary drinks and sweets. But good quality carbs are essential if you’re training hard and want to build a fit, strong physique. These include whole grains and tubers (potatoes), vegetables, fruits and legumes.
The belief that “carbs are bad” is one that has been around for a while, although that couldn’t be less true. You shouldn’t fear healthy carbs, particularly as they make up the majority of most sustainable diets, contrary to what people believe.
myDNA’s optimal nutritional plans recommend anywhere from 45-55% carbs in your daily intake, based on the evidence relating to your genetic profile.
2. Don’t Underestimate Water
This might seem like an obvious one, but your body needs water to carry out all the chemical reactions that make your body work! The key is aiming for at least 30mL of water per Kg of bodyweight. For example, if you’re 60 Kg, your recommended water intake should be at least 1.8L per day. Another important aspect of staying hydrated relates to weight loss. Our brains can confuse dehydration signals as hunger which makes you more likely to eat unnecessarily. So, staying hydrated can mitigate some of those false hunger traps.
3. Your Metabolism Adapts
Your metabolism is smarter than you think. Eating less than you burn is the key to weight loss, but if you stretch your calories too much this may result in your body burning less calories. This is due to your metabolism adapting to less energy to perform all its basic functions, and ultimately the reason why very low-calorie diets always fail. Having a lack of ready energy to use, your body will start to store as fat everything you eat as it doesn’t know where its next calorie hit is coming, meaning your fat loss plateaus and stagnates. So, make sure you give your body just what it needs, not too much nor too little and your metabolism will thrive.
4. Cardio Workouts aren’t necessarily the Most Effective for weight loss
Have you taken to running or cycling during isolation, but aren’t seeing the same results you had been at the gym? Cardio exercises are really effective at reaching the calorie deficit you need for weight loss. But only focussing on cardio may not be the right approach if your calorie intake is unbalanced and your nutrition not optimal.
Strength and weight training on the other hand, in particular in the form of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) will challenge more of your muscles, due to its ability to utilise both aerobic and anaerobic fitness, where traditionally cardio only addresses aerobic.
Aerobic (“with oxygen”) exercise stimulates the heart rate and breathing rate to increase in a way that can be sustained for your workout. In contrast, anaerobic (“without oxygen”) exercise is activity that causes you to be quickly out of breath, like sprinting or lifting a heavy weight. Some of the calories burned from HIIT come from a higher metabolism, which lasts for hours after exercise.
5. Fats Don’t Make You Fat
While the name implies the opposite, it’s not the enemy, but the devil is in the detail. Similar to Carbs, Fats are an important part of your daily nutrient intake, but it’s the type of fat that makes a difference.
Stick with natural fats like salmon, avocados, almonds and extra-virgin olive oil. But don’t forget that even healthy fats can be highly caloric so, everything in moderation is the key!
For myDNA customers you should check your optimal nutrition plan for the % and types of fats you should include in your daily diet which will help remove some of the guesswork for your unique body.
6. Consistency is Paramount
This is important whether you’re continuing your journey or starting from scratch. Don’t try and go all out, zero to hero, straight from the start. This might seem like a great way to achieve quick results, but it’s also likely to lead to burn-out or even injury.
Instead, pick a goal you can easily achieve and stick with it from day one. Even if the goal is 15-minute workouts twice a week, you’re far off better doing that and working your way up, rather than declaring you’re going an hour every day and falling off the wagon. Stick to what you can do today, and it’s far more likely to become a natural part of your routines.