I have signed up for a mud run race which is happening in March in Barrington Tops in NSW… I have been taking it fairly easy with the prep training however I am gradually increasing my work out trying not to stress as for me it is all about participation not winning [I am physically not even close to be ready to actually race at this stage]. I love challenge and I decided to take a fitness one aboard. Cardio is something I seriously dislike so it is a real challenge for me to be ready to race 🙂 I am very excited! Training though is only a half way of success… Another half is diet. I have been writing about dieting & fitness for quite a while now, mostly putting down my opinion and summery of the researches and articles I have discovered. Now, with Christmas holidays coming it is a little harder to keep the diet at its best so I decided to outline couple of tips how to stay on the top of your eating goal. I must say that I am not [!] the best example when it comes to diet but I am highly interested in the topic hence carry on finding curious information. The other day I read the article about why people overeat and how to control cravings and listen to your body.
To start with I have always been saying that eating small potion at certain hour is helping to stay away from nibbling and eating crap. As many bodybuilders say and do, it is good to eat every 3-4 hours. It might sound a bit snobbish to some but if you get to eat before you feel like starving you never overeat because you do not feel like stuffing yourself with as much food as possible. For example, if you start your day like I do at 6am and have your first meal at around 7am you could have another one [even if it is just a banana or oats] at say 9am [when I am personally already at work]. When clock shows 12 it is lunch time and feel free to have a slightly bigger meal but keep it light so around 3-4pm you could have some nuts or an egg or a banana [especially important for me as I arrive to the gym by 6pm and you need some food about 40mins before your work out]. There are risk times. I think it is different for everyone. I arrive home after my gym around 7pm and believe me I am starving after my work out. Just try to take it easy and have a protein shake or maybe grilled chicken or nuts. I am sorry but carbs at night is the worst idea ever if you are planning to shred fat at some point of your training.
Another problem I got told by many of my friends is tempting food which is displayed at home or when you go out to eat. Drink water when you feel like tiramisu or a beg of chips. For example my partner always has a tiny beg of chips when gets home. I love salty foods; however I have orange or water when I see him stretching for some chips.
Many dietitians and fitness enthusiasts suggest to make sure you only eat sitting at the table and ideal situation with no tv on, focusing on what you eat [hence you feel better when your full]. I personally have always been having my meals with tv on so I switch my attention to my food as often as Ican while eating to make sure I am still in control of my feelings and do not overeat.
Another very important moment: “just thinking about restrictive dieting has been shown to increase food intake”! I strongly agree with it. Dieting must be your life style NOT restriction. If you do not allow yourself to eat something you stress your body and end up over eating or eating bad. I know it is not as easy to do as say and man people do not understand how can you diet without thinking that you are dieting. Personally, I got it with experience, trying out different kinds of diets till I found the one that suits me. Additionally as your life changes you most likely to adjust your diet as well. And when I say diet I do not think of it as “diet” in the sense we often use it such as “I don’t eat after 6pm” or “I don’t eat carbs” or any other way, I think of it as this is what I am. And yes I get judged a lot, I mean really a lot but you need to think of it as it is your life and no one else’s and you choose how to live it 🙂
“Emotions are common triggers for eating. People sometimes eat to cope with stress, distract themselves from difficult emotions or stuff down feelings they don’t know how to express in a healthier manner.” We often been told this or we repeat is as well, however I have seen many situations when people say it however carry on doing it. Acknowledging the problem is crucial, it is half way to solving it. However many people stay in denial. If you allow yourself to eat only because of the feelings, knowledge it and do not punish yourself. I know many people think it is crazy to talk to yourself but I strongly recommend to do it. Have a conversation explaining to yourself what and why you have eaten, draw some conclusions and adjust the future 🙂 At least, this is what I do and it works for me.
In addition to all that I must say that sometimes there we are overwhelmed with life routine and it is not very easy to collect yourself. I have also been there and totally understand it. There are many people out there who can carry on with healthy eating regardless their life circumstances or feelings but many people struggle as well as I often do. Listen to yourself! For example, “sleep deprivation slows your metabolism and affects the hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin.” I have been having some sleep issues for couple of months and noticed I have been been overly hungry most of the days. It might sounds too simply or not as significant but sleep is extremely important for our body to function. And the older you get the more important it is. Solution the article I have read suggests: “turn off your phone and laptop. Instead, focus on good sleep hygiene: get to bed early, make sure your room is dark and cool and avoid all drugs including cigarettes, alcohol and sleeping pills.” I know it sounds basic but there are unbelievable many people who forget this simple advice.
When it comes to healthy eating knowledge is your secret weapon! Read labels, read info, be interested but do not think of food 24/7 so you get hungry. Think of food as fuel and your best friend, treat it with care and knowledge! I know it might sound a little complicating and again it came to me with experience. Do not be scared to try things! You will find your new healthy habit!
I have always been counting calories. And it always worked well for me and it still does. BUT I must say calories is not everything. Nutrition is the key! You want to add all the vitamins and minerals in your diet. And again I know it sounds basic but so many people forget it and then complain than they are too tired on the diet or over exercise. In fact most likely they are not getting enough of nutrition to keep energy level where it must be.
I recently noticed that because I sit so much [due to my work] it is slightly harder to eat right, to loose fat and to maintain good energy level. I personally also get a lot of water stored in my legs after 8 hour working day in front of the computer. I get to the gym feeling tired and it takes me good 10-15 minutes in the gym before I start feeling great and alive again! Crazy!
The article I read also suggests that as environmental xenoestrogens can affect our fat lose process and influence the well being. It is synthetic chemicals found in plastics, fertilisers, detergents and cosmetics which can mimic the biological hormone oestrogen. Accordingly, excess oestrogen can result in weight gain in both men and women. I must say it came as a surprise to me but I am going to switch to glass 🙂
Now, cooking is of course the main ingredient of healthy dieting. I personally hate cooking big times! My partner has been cooking for me for the last 3 months and I have gained 5 extra kilos of fat to my body mass. I have VERY limited time in one day of my life henc was very happy with him cooking; however apparently this is not working. I decided to start coking 🙂 I also want to free his time for fitness [which he is really not a fan of]. Therefore we agreed on a certain [and different, new to both of us] routine of every day life [I will let you know how we go later on]. Of course it means making certain sacrificial here and there but it is all about adjusting 🙂
Medication is one of reasons why for example you cannot lose fat mass no matter what you do. Hormonal health issues is another reason. And there is a theory that certain type of people are programmed to be certain weight and shape. Therefore such body often fights any diet adjustment and stays the same no matter what you do. I must say I met many hard gainers and many hard loosers in my life and it is hard to understand it or accept it. I am personally a hard looser; however I can become an easy one as soon as I am VERY strict on myself.
Everyone has their own approach. But everyone need knowledge, will and passion / desire to be able to achieve whatever your goal is. It is does not matter if it is fat lose, relationship, a degree, career… Whatever goal you set up you can achieve no matter what as long as you have a clear aim and have the right tools 🙂
I will keep you posted how I got with Raw Challenge and if you participate in any similar events, please share your experience and tips. I highly appreciate your help fitness or dieting wise 🙂