Ten ways to shape up
HERE’S how you can use the last of the cool weather to get summer ready.
1. No excuses
No time for the gym? No excuse! Personal trainer Ricardo Riskalla says you can do an effective workout at home.
“At home you can do body weight exercises that are super safe and at the end of day provide long-lasting results that are harmonious to the body,” he says.
“To start your journey, on top of daily outside walks, do some push-ups. Another great exercise is sit-ups.”
2. Ketogenic diet
A similar, but stricter, regimen to the Atkins Diet, this calls for a very low carb intake and high intake of protein or good fats.
And while not a long-term solution, this diet can be a good way to quickly drop weight.
But accredited practising dietitian and spokeswoman for the Dietitians Association of Australia Melanie McGrice cautions there are multiple versions of this diet and advises high protein over high fat versions.
“I’d recommend doing it under the guidance of an accredited dietitian,” she says.
3. Use the cold
Exercising in the cold can help to burn body fat faster.
A study led by Dr Paul Lee from the Garvan Institute found exposure to the cold while exercising for 10–15 minutes produced similar levels of a hormone that converts white fat, which stores energy, to brown fat, which burns it, as seen in an hour of exercise in moderate temperatures.
Chances are the cold mornings and earlier sunsets have seen your fitness slide and the thought of starting again is overwhelming.
Personal trainer Blake Worrall-Thompson says there’s no right time to start.
“Just get started with something,” he says.
5. Cut the treats
The National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey found Australians get a whopping 35% of their total energy intake from discretionary foods – think cakes, biscuits and alcohol – which dietitian Melanie McGrice says can have a big overall impact.
“Just by reducing the intake of those and focusing more on core foods, vegetables, lean red meat, fish, fruit and wholegrains goes a long way to improving your diet and weight,” she says.
6. Portion sizes
Dietitian Melanie McGrice says reducing portion sizes can be an easy and effective way to reduce your weight as many of us unintentionally overeat.
“For example, one serve of meat, chicken or fish is 100g and the average woman needs 2.5 serves per day,” she says.
“People are often eating double what they actually require.”
7. Intermittent fasting
The CSIRO recently released its Flexi diet, which includes intermittent fasting three days a week with some meal replacement shakes and one day of eating without restriction.
The CSIRO cited an average of 11kg lost by those who followed the diet in a six-week trial.
Dietitian and exercise physiologist Gabrielle Maston says it’s a positive diet approach.
“It’s proven to be successful and lowers the risk of type two diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” she says.
8. Make it count
How you work out can also impact how much you lose, trainer Blake Worrall-Thompson says.
“Yes, you want to build a foundation of strength but when you build it, it’s been about intensity instead of duration,” he says.
“The perfect blend is weights and cardio and thinking along the lines of more high intensity. If you’re looking to burn fat quickly, it’s more along the lines of intensity than duration.”
9. Try on your summer clothes
It’s easy to overlook winter weight gain when you can hide it under layers and big coats.
But trying on your swimmers through the colder months can help you face some truths now and give you some added motivation.
10. Set goals
Dietitian Gabrielle Maston advises setting “doing goals” that are realistically achievable.
“Don’t say I’ll lose X amount of weight in X amount of time, say I’ll go for a walk every day for 30 minutes. Make smart goals which are time specific and achievable which you can put in place right now.
“Make short-term goals which leave you feeling accomplished and feelings of success and then build on those.”
TAKING SHAPE: Choose your own health and fitness adventure.