Ten ways to shape up

Balonne Beacon - - LIFE - NAOMI WHITE

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.

4. Ex­er­cise

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.”

PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

TAK­ING SHAPE: Choose your own health and fit­ness ad­ven­ture.

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