Ladies and gents, it’s no secret that we all lack motivation from time to time, some of us more frequently than others, that’s TOTALLY normal. I just want to express, I am no different to you all in that respect.
Below I have outlined my top tips on how to achieve your fitness, health and lifestyle goals in a natural, enjoyable and sustainable way.
1. A balanced lifestyle
One of the questions I get asked most frequently is... How do I stay lean all year round?
I’m proud to say that i have never yo-yo dieted in my life. My secret is loving the feeling of living a healthy, enjoyable balanced lifestyle, which involves regular small workouts, eating healthily, juicing, plenty of rest & water.
'do you ever have cheat days?'
I don’t have cheat days as such, but equally I don't deprive myself of naughty treats when I want them. The truth is, since changing my lifestyle to be fitter & healthier, i now crave naughty treats far less often. I have found the best trick is to create new, healthy & sustainable habits. I've listed some of my favourites which can be found on my recipe page below:
- Replace creamy lattes and milkshakes with homemade acai berry smoothy bowls
- Replace chocolate bars with homemade energy balls
- increase your protein intake with yummy protein chia pots and smoothies
4. Set yourself a goal
This really is key... Make your goal SMART
(specific, measurable, achievable, realistic & to a time scale).
You don't have to tell anyone what the goal is. sometimes it's better when you keep it to yourself. But set yourself a timescale that is realistic to achieve this goal. break it down into smaller more achievable goals to help you get there. Remember, it's totally normal to have off days, but that's just one out of many good days. regain focus, remind yourself of why you set the goal and make it happen lovely people.
2. Home workouts
A complaint that i often hear from clients is time constraints. I work with a lot of mums, and setting aside time to go to the gym is virtually impossible. Not to mention that for many, a gym-based environment can be very intimidating, particularly when you're not 100% sure of what you're doing.
The good news is that you do not need to go to the gym 5 times a week to achieve your goals.
The key to making working out at home successful is:
- Set aside an allocated time slot to complete your workout. check out my youtube channel which is full of quick, effective workouts that you can do anywhere!
- Invest in just a few pieces of equipment to keep at home. all you need for my workouts is a mat. i would also recommend a resistance band, small oval/pilates ball and a set of 4-10kg dumbbells depending on your strength.
The question I am most frequently asked!
How to get abs & how clean is my diet? As you have probably heard/seen over & over… Abs are made in the kitchen. True, but this does however have to be coupled with the right training programme.
To get a flat stomach and the appearance of abs you have to have a pretty low body fat % which means that you have to couple together a healthy, balanced diet with enough fat burning exercise.
My top nutrition tips are as follows:
- Eat small, frequent meals, approx. 6 small meals a day rather than 3 large meals. This helps to keep your blood sugar levels steady so you don’t have big energy dips & also aids digestion
- Keep your plate colourful, full of vegetables & vitamins
- consume enough protein for your weight & size. See my blog on correct protein consumption to calculate how much protein your body needs.
Note: It is important not to have too much protein as undigested protein is stored as fat.
- Don’t be scared of having healthy fats. the right fats are an important part of your diet (oily fish, nuts and seeds)
Plenty of water! 3-4 litres per day is ideal.
Try to avoid snacking after 22.00 & avoid eating carbohydrates after 20.00.
- Protein supplements! protein shakes are ideal before & after workouts in you’re unable to have high protein meals straight after working out
5. Monitor your progress
Progress, even in the smallest form is still progress and you should be so proud of yourself!
Sometimes when you’re working so hard towards achieving a big goal, you can loose sight of how many of the smaller goals you have already achieved. Just starting your fitness journey is already one ticked off the list. that was you making a conscious decision to take invest time in you to better your quality of life. Remember that you are already doing better than you were yesterday.
A great way to monitor progression is to take progress pictures. *Please try to avoid the scales*
I am not a fan of using weight as the one and only progression marker as we all know this is not the most accurate measurement of health and wellbeing.
My best advice is to monitor 3 things: 1) body fat % if you have access to a reader, 2)progress pictures in the same mirror, time of day and clothing, 3) and finally how you feel. your energy levels and mood can tell you a lot about your progress to living a healthier, happier lifestyle.
6. Variation & Progression
It’s so important to keep your training programme varied, firstly to prevent boredom, and secondly to get results. Your body becomes accustomed to the exercise you are doing & without progressing your training to the next level your results will plateau.
My best recommendation is to make sure your weekly programme involves a variety of different types of training for each body part. My weekly schedule includes hiit / cardio, weights, pilates & classes.
7. Keep your exercise fun & challenging
To achieve your fitness goals, it’s so important to keep your exercise plan fun & challenging. Gone are the days of staying on a treadmill for hours to burn a certain amount of calories. There are so many fun, exciting classes & fitness concepts available on most people's doorsteps. Not to mention how many amazing workout youtube channels are available. Sometimes you have to push yourself outside of your comfort zone to work out what is best for your and more importantly what you enjoy doing!
My youtube channel has a variety of different exercise tutorials, ranging from hiit fat burning workouts to correct core activation and toning.
Find the exercise type that suits yet challenges your body, and most importantly something that you find enjoyable. that way you are far more likely to stick at it & achieve your goals.
8. Workout buddies
There are lots of pros and cons to having a workout buddy.
If you’re someone who struggles for motivation or the thought of going into the gym or a class alone fills you with dread, having a workout buddy may be a good idea for you.
My workout buddy top tips:
- Don’t be overly reliant on them - them cancelling a session is not a reason for you to cancel too
- Have a workout plan for each session - otherwise we all know zero exercise will get completed in between the gossip & catch ups
9. Sleep & Rest
Don’t learn the hard way… To progress towards achieving your fitness goals, your body needs to be given time to rest. The most common mistake that people make is to put too much pressure on themselves to train harder and forget that our bodies need rest.
why is rest & adequate sleep so important:
Growth & Recovery!
without adequate rest, your body will fail to adapt, preventing muscle growth. Furthermore, during sleep, growth hormones are produced and protein synthesis takes place, which in turn will help your muscles to grow & recover.
10. Physiotherapy & injury prevention
Like with any machine, your body requires servicing and maintenance to prevent injury and allow progression to take place, particularly when you are training hard. Our bodies are amazing at telling us when they require attention, so don’t ignore the signs.
My top Physio tips for preventing injury:
- Foam roll & stretch your target muscle groups before and after every session
- Listen to the early warning signs. If you’re experiencing pain during or after any of your workouts, get assessed by a Chartered Physiotherapist asap. Although it may not be a serious injury, it needs to be assessed. The longer you leave the injury, the worse it can become, which in turn will prevent training progression.
- Have regular deep tissue/sports massage. I recommend once a month if you’re training hard. This will prevent injury, flush out toxins, lactic acid & help with enhancing sporting performance & you progressing towards your goals.
I really hope this has helped you all, no matter what stage you are at with your fitness & health journey, you should be proud of yourself. Reading this blog is one extra step to achieving your goals and i am very proud.
Good Luck & Don't give up, I'm here to help! We've got this, Together!