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Why You Should Stop Dieting
Thursday, August 3, 2017
The Definition of Diet is: to restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.
The word ‘diet’ has many negative feelings for most people. This is because ‘diets’ have always been promoted as a short term quick solution to your body goals that requires you to cut out foods you enjoy, eat strange food that you hate and feel guilty if you ever ‘break’ your planned routine.
Throw everything you previously heard about diets out of your head and let’s start again!
If you want to change your body type drastically or just a small amount, whether it is to lose excess bodyfat, build muscle or to tone there is no short-term solution but it is NEVER impossible. You need to make a few minor adjustments to your lifestyle. Do not be scared of this statement, they are not huge changes.
The reason why so many people “yo-yo diet” or deem certain “diets” as unsuccessful is because they are not sustainable. Yes, you may lose weight and/or build muscle over a 6 week ‘diet’ plan but as soon as you stop and go back to your old habits you will gain weight again and let’s face it no one wants to be on a ‘diet’ plan for the rest of their life. So, what small, non-drastic changes can you make to your lifestyle can you do to reach your goals?
1. EXERCISE EVERYDAY
This does not mean you need to go super hard at the gym or run 10k every single day but it does mean that you need to be active everyday. Whether it is cycling to work, walking the dog or a yoga routine before bed something needs to get your blood pumping everyday. If you are wanting to make a big change to your body shape you DO need to do heavy exercise most days of the week. You still need to allow yourself rest days each week but the truth is to make drastic changes you do need to have determination and put in the hardwork.
2. YOU DON’T NEED TO CUT OUT ALL THE TREATS YOU ENJOY
The trick to a sustainable permanent change is to never restrict yourself from foods you enjoy. Just don’t have too much of them. For example, if it’s a Monday night, you have had a long day at work and you are really craving a chocolate bar, or if you go out for dinner and you would like a dessert, have one and don’t feel guilty about it! Just make it a treat every now and again when you have a craving and put extra effort in your workout the following day. It is all about balance, think of your daily intake of food and output of your energy expenditure in your workouts.
3. WATCH YOUR SUGAR INTAKE
The underlying devil in your food is sugar. ALWAYS CHECK THE LABEL FOR SUGAR CONTENT EVEN IN “HEALTH FOODS”! Sugar cannot be broken down easily by your body and is stored as fat. The only way sugar is broken down faster is with fibre e.g. whole fruits are good to eat because the fibre in the fruit starts to break down the sugar (and helps keep you full) as you consume but this is also why fruit juices are not healthy and have high sugar content that can’t be broken down because the fibre has been destroyed in the blending process.
4. DON’T ALWAYS CHOOSE THE FAT-FREE OPTION
This does not apply to all foods for example: Low fat turkey mince is still a good option over a fatty piece of pork. We are talking here about Low Fat, 0% Fat or “Light” versions of food. A great example are Low Fat yoghurts. When the Fat content is taken out of food it normally doesn’t taste very good. To compensate for this, most companies up the sugar content. As we previously mentioned, your body struggles to process sugar and stores it as fat. We will not name names but a well-known Full Fat yoghurt brand has 5.4g of Sugar per 100g and its Low Fat version has 7g of Sugar per 100g. If you would rather have a Low-fat version of something always check that it has no added sugar.
Unsaturated Fats (found in animal products and plant sources) are good fats that are needed in your diet in moderation and should replace Saturated Fats and Trans Fat.
5. LEARN BALANCE AND TO MONITOR EMPTY CALORIES
The best thing to do to get a good idea of what you should be eating in a day is to talk to a Personal Trainer or Nutritionist who can give you a tailored guide to your body. Everyone processes Protein, Fat and Carbohydrates in different ways and a generic Diet Plan is not necessarily going to work for your body. Once you have your Personalised daily calorie intake goal it is easier to have a rough guide of what you should consume during the day. Again, don’t worry if you go over your calories one day just remember the following day to balance it out again. It is a good idea to try and get all of your daily calories from good foods. General snacks are full of empty calories, this means that the calories in your chosen snack whilst they will still count towards your daily total, have no nutritional value and are effectively useless to your body.
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