80:20 baby, 80:20

In my attempt at devoting myself a little more to physical activities due to my dire need for fitness( and yes weight loss), I learnt thee most valuable lessons ever…Well actually a few. To which I thought I could use only on myself but it occurred to me after many a conversation with friends in my circle that it really is a universal struggle.

PS: I am in no position to offer fitness advice on routines and dietary needs…I know the bare minimum that I picked up either from fellow fitness fanatics or simply just learnt the hard way. I am still in my early stages of fitness and have quite a long way to go…:) With the thousands of different online and published magazine articles as well as trainers all confusing us ladies with their contrasting bits of advise as to HOW we should construct our training routines, I figured it was about time someone parted with the basis of fitness.

Just another new years resolution?

First and foremost understand that fitness goes beyond exercise, it’ is a LIFESTYLE change: No no I am NOT saying you need to eat, sleep and breathe it, I am merely saying that the minute you see exercise as just another task that you HAVE to do, is the moment it will lose it’s appeal or for many, never be allowed the chance to SHOW it’s true appeal. I have realised that being fit is an amazing feeling. As tough as it maybe be ( and we all know it can be) the results are unparalleled. I am not just talking weight loss, I am talking energy levels, clear skin, an alert mind and a better night’s rest. It took me a while to realise that it really isn’t a quantity based thing but more quality. You can spend hours per day in a gym over exerting yourself and not see the results OR you could spend your usual 60 minutes doing a quality work out and giving it everything of your best and see the results you dream of seeing.

Going back to why I say it is a life style change is because in correlation to fitness, diet is super important. I use the term “diet” loosely here but I mean it in reference to our daily food consumption. Everyone say’s it and it IS true…you cannot be eating tons of carbs and fat each day and then expecting to perform at your peak during a cardio or weight session…no way, you might as well jump back into bed ( I have learnt this the hard way).

Your Body talks, YOU listen…

Listen to your body : Again, something I have learnt the hard way. Roughly about a month ago I had started PROPER weight training. Prior to which I had kept my fitness routines to afternoon 5 km runs/walks. So needless to say I was pretty pathetic on my first day. You know the moaning and complaining…after a 2 Hour session that comprised of a 1 hour cardio session and a 1 hour circuit session, I LITERALLY could not feel my legs. Barely able to drive home, I felt miserable….certainly not the feeling I was promised. Fast forward 5 days later and the muscle pain was at an all time high…in a way that just did not feel normal. It quickly occurred to me that I hadn’t just pushed my body to it’s limits but I exceeded it…and man oh man was it paying me back for that bad decision.

The moral of the story here is that it is really imperative that you pay attention to your body and its needs ESPECIALLY during a work out. When you need a sip of water, have it, when you need to stop for a breather, do it and most importantly when your body can’t go any further STOP….not for a break, for the day! By persisting you will ensure you have a case of DOMS the next day ( Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness ) which essentially will throw your routine off track taking into account the days you will avoid the gym in order to recover. Fitness boils down to consistency…Showing off in the gym will be the death of your goals, that much I can assure you of.

A bit of realism will go a long way

Speaking of goals….be realistic: You can’t just go from rookie to jock over night. Plan a training programme that gradually increases your core strength and endurance. The perks for doing so will be that you will find your gym sessions a lot more easy to cope with and before you know it you will be breezing through the circuit sessions in no time. PLUS it will be that much more enjoyable…yes I said enjoyable!

Breathing will save your life

Literally it will! In a training session, we often take it for granted how important it is to breathe. The key is to be conscious of the breathes you take…concentrating on your respiratory process will take your mind off just how hard it is to make that next rep. Plus the oxygen entering your body will assist the relevant muscles in use and allow for a more constant flow of blood to your organs and brain.

Excuse not valid, please try again…

We all know what I am talking about when I say this…the whole ” I have no time to get to the gym” thing is so over used that by now its just unacceptable…granted days may be busy and nights almost non-existent with the lifestyles we lead but what is stopping you from a little afternoon jog/run? If you can find the time to feed your body, why can’t you find the time to maintain it?

Snackity snack snack

No matter what your dietary needs are, it is advisable that everyone should have 5-6 smaller meals through out the day. I won’t go into the technical facets of it by telling you what you should eat and what you shouldn’t, for everyone it is slightly different and to be honest your dietician would best be able to advise you with this, but for now, just remember the “decline rule” – It’s basically my little term I developed to guide my eating habits through out the day. My meals start off big in the morning i.e. a Big breakfast and decreases as the day goes by…finally at supper I am eating my smallest meal that is still sufficient due to not letting myself go hungry through out the rest of the day. This may not work for those looking to bulk for body building ect, but for weight loss, weight maintenance and general fitness it seems to work well.

Feed and restore

If you’re trying to lose weight, it may seem like a good idea to skip a meal after your workout. This could not be further from the truth. After your workout, your body needs to start restoring and repairing itself from your training session(especially after weight training) In other words, it needs calories. Your body will automatically use the calories you eat for good (repair and recovery) and not bad (fat storage). Directly following your workout, your best bet is a liquid meal that contains protein and carbohydrates. These drinks don’t require a lot of digestion, so the nutrients will get into your system fast, allowing for your body to jump-start the recovery process.

And the lesson that served as the icing on a  grand cake? I found out (the hard way) that gym as hard as you might, but if you are not mirroring the same caution in the kitchen, with the types of food you eat and more importanly HOW much of it you eat, you will never see the results you dream of. Here comes the 80:20 rule. Essentially weight loss comes down to 80{7b66f5b8f9cce5198cdc7f2d96338c3c9bbce7bf1ebd58c7794d60da2dc43006} food consumption and 20{7b66f5b8f9cce5198cdc7f2d96338c3c9bbce7bf1ebd58c7794d60da2dc43006} exercise. And there you have it, words from an ordinary non super human who finds it all just as tedious as you do…stick to these simple basics though and you will be fired up for that summer body in no time 😉