Tag Archives: nutrition

Mistaking a New Year cleanse for a quick binge and a few days of starvation

Photo by Alan Cleaver

Photo by Alan Cleaver

I’m finding the endless stream of Instagram pictures, Facebook statuses and Twitter updates about everybody’s New Year diets and workout schedules absolutely infuriating. The amount of disgustingly unhealthy programmes and ‘cleanses’ I have seen promoted on both blogs and social media is getting ridiculous and yet people wonder why we have so many young people with eating disorders who use these methods, some even dying from them.

How can grown men and women with any level of intelligence possibly think that drinking nothing but juice and fruit tea for four days is healthy?! Of course you will lose weight, you are starving your body of the fuel it needs to keep working! You will put this weight straight back on, and possibly more, when you begin eating normally again, probably rewarding yourself with extra ‘treats’ after completing the four days.

It is outrageous and scary at the same time to think that so many people are doing the Atkin’s diet, the 5:2 diet, the cabbage diet, the chilli water diet, the restricted portions diet, the water-only diet, the cotton wool diet, the fresh air diet… THESE ARE ALL JUST WAYS OF STARVING YOURSELF! They are no better than the binging and purging used by those suffering from bulimia or the starvation of anorexics and you, by taking part and indulging these few days, are helping to promote this as a way to lose weight and be ‘healthy’ to other young people.

It’s about time people took responsibility for their actions and realised that what they put out into the universe through recommendations, social media and blogging can in fact have a scary and even deadly amount of influence on peoples’ lives. Your advice or ‘wise words’ can reach those who are more easily influenced and could cause them to embark upon a long-term juice only diet that could destroy their body and leave them in hospital.

It seems that health and dietary education is not working for my generation, although split into those who love their combination of doughnuts and diabetes and those who dedicate their lives to health and exercise and treat their body like a temple – there are issues on both sides. I can’t stand the people who crash diet and who are all about their lettuce leaves and cous cous in January, but you know that it is only a matter of time until their are storming into McDonald’s demanding a Big Mac – how can this be good for your body and how on earth can you hope to keep the weight off and remain healthy?

At the same time, there are those who live off nothing but turkey breasts, lettuce and protein shakes all year round – how is this any better? You are punishing your body with a basic diet designed to change your body shape – this too is a form of starvation through limited food groups (perhaps a lack of carbs) and through lack of variety.

I guess that old question comes into play here – do you live to eat or eat to live? Well, I have to say that I love to eat, but don’t live to eat. I certainly don’t limit myself to eating to live.

It is important to remember one word – BALANCE. All of those who have spent a lifetime on crash diets, battling weight gain and restricting themselves, I am about to blow your world wide open.

If you really want to lose some weight and tone up – the only way to achieve this without surgery is to EAT LESS and MOVE MORE! If you live healthily, eat healthily and do enough exercise all year round, then you won’t be forced to crash diet in January as your attempt to show willing and to try to make an effort. It is not hard and it doesn’t have to cost. No excuses, so go do it and leave the crash diets alone.

Photo by UrbaneWomenMag

Photo by UrbaneWomenMag

 

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Workout: Stronger, harder, leaner

Just got home after another epic workout. Treating myself to new gym clothes has really been an amazing motivation and I am killing it again at the gym – I have totally revitalised my workout and am loving it again. My body feels amazing now that it is really being challenged again. I love how good a really powerful workout makes you feel. I’m totally hooked on endorphins and I’m not ashamed to say it – there’s nothing like the buzz you get post-workout.

None of my friends are gym bunnies like me and none of them really understand why I enjoy going to the gym so much (I don’t think three workouts a week is excessive!) because they have never given it a real shot, but if they prefer to feel tired rushing around at work and sad when their clothes don’t fit like they would like them then fair enough! Personally, I like my body to be soft and yet strong, I like being able to run and lift weights without a problem. I like that my clothes fit the way I like. And I LOVE that I can pretty much eat what I want because my metabolism is so high and I rarely put on weight now, even if the majority of the time I prefer to eat healthily.

 

Too many people think the key to losing weight or toning up is actually just eating less when in fact, I actually eat more now than ever and yet weigh less because I am eating less junk and because I am working out to burn it off. My body is lean and toned and yet I enjoyed a huge Italian feast of tagliatelle with a sauce made of double cream, brandy, prawns and vegetables with two different types of garlic bread, wine and cheesecake for afters last night. It’s all about moderation.

My current workout is cardio heavy with plenty of weights and a strong core section. I do either a 20 or 30 minute interval run (depending on how much time I have) and usually run for either three or four minutes followed by a minute of sprint walking. This interval running is great for boosting my cardiovascular fitness and building up stamina – plus its also the most effective for weight-loss. I then move on to 20 minutes of interval training on the cross trainer at a high resistance level before finishing with ten minutes of fast-paced cycling.

I then move on to weights working the inner and outer thighs to strengthen my muscles for running and to help stop my hips from clicking so much. Reps of 12 and I try to move up a weight every few weeks. This is followed by the leg press (which I can stack) and I do various exercises on there including one-legged, pyramids and general lifting to mix it up a little. Doing these weights have really helped strengthen my legs for running without building any excess muscle, my legs are slimmer than ever!

I then move on to arms and use all the weight machines working my biceps, triceps, shoulders and core as I try to build up my strength in my arms. I stick to lower weights because I tend to build muscle in my arms (especially biceps) quite easily and although I don’t mind this, it makes the sleeves of my cardigan a bit tight!

Finally, I finish with an intense ab workout. Starting on the ball, I will do 25 oblique crunches on each side followed by 20 long arm crunches with a 7kg weight, finishing with 40 Russian Twists with the same weight.

After these, I hit the floor where I start with another 20 long arm crunches with the weight, 20 basic crunches followed by 20 reaching to my knees and another 20 reaching through my legs. Then I do 40 oblique twists followed by 20 crunches where I fully extend my legs and arms. Finally I do 40 more Russian Twists on the floor and then sit on a weights bench to do 20 leg extension crunches.

After this I’m usually a jelly mess and have to head home for a snack, today’s was a bit of brown, seeded toast with peanut butter.

What’s your favourite workout? Any tips to further my workout?