The festive season is officially over and we all entered 2012 with a few extra pounds.
Many of us are already making diet plans for the rest of 2012 while others are still in holiday mode. Either way, there are some guidelines you have to keep in mind in order to achieve your dietary goals.
An average person in this day and age consumes between 3000 to 3500 calories per day. This is while most jobs involve sitting at a desk or behind the wheel. On the other hand an average person burns about 2000 to 2500 calories considering them being moderately active. So where does the extra 1000 calories go?
Yes , you’ve guessed it right ! They’ll store in your face, stomach, chest, buttocks, thighs and everywhere else.
Now get this, every 7000 calories roughly burn 1Kg of fat and the opposite. So basically by eating that Big Mac with Fries and Coke, you’re about 1500 calories away from gaining a kg of weight… Is that really worth it?
Let’s talk about things we need to be careful of:
Carbohydrates are fearsome to a lot of people which leads to bad dietary decisions in some cases. Carbs for us are like petrol for cars, our body needs them to survive. For that reason there’s no way you should avoid eating carbs.
What to bear in mind is the type of carbs you take in and how you take control of it.
Whole grains are the best source of carbohydrates because they are less processed and therefore healthier. Vegetables and fruits contain “healthy” carbohydrates as well which burn much easier and quicker in the body.
Although carbs are the main source of our energy, it’s best for them to be eaten in the first half of your day. This is so that they provide you with the energy to last a whole day and avoid being stored in your body while sleeping if you eat them at night instead.
Protein is an essential element of our everyday diet which helps the body recover, build and grow. Meat, poultry, soy products, eggs, nuts and grains and etc … are great sources of protein which help your brain function better and your muscles recover faster.
Based on ‘betterhealth victoria’ a female body needs 0.75g/kg and male body needs 0.84g/kg of protein per day. But remember that if you exceed the amount your body absorbs, the rest will just be rejected and simply flushed out of your body.
Other than kidney and liver damages, alcohol has several other destructive effects on the body. Alcoholic drinks are high in calories (chart of calories in alcoholic drinks) and they dehydrate your body, meaning all the water which is used to break those fat contents is drained out.
Another effect is that alcohol steals your metabolism; in other words no less fats and carbs are used to fuel the body once you drink alcohol. Scary? I don’t know about you but I’m going to avoid binge drinking and stick to having 2 standard drinks per sitting.
Remember when I said an average person needs to have an intake of 2000-2500 calories per day?
Well, that’s for a moderately active body where you get at least 45 minutes of exercise each day. This exercise could be anything from speed-walking to the train station to simply jogging with your dog, literally anything to increase your heart rate and cause rapid breathing. But do we all do that? I don’t think so …
Most of us consume above 3000 calories per day AND don’t do anything that increases our heart rate which purely allows our body to store fat hence making us heavier and lazier.
So I suggest the following for those who drive to work every day like me:
Yes, ever since the early 80s and the increase in obesity, gyms have been one of the biggest money makers in the last 30 years. A lot of us joined these clubs hoping to actively sweat off our fats and calories everyday but guess what? After the third week, probably half of us have forgotten about the membership! I’ll tell you what works as a good reminder for our memberships, it’s not the extra pounds you put on, it’s the extra pounds and dollars that go out of your bank account every month. So ladies and gentlemen, why not make good use of what we’re actually paying for?
Believe it or not, you don’t need to be pumping weights like Mr. Muscle in the corner of the gym to look good. A 30-minute cardio session and some basic muscle training every day will get you there in a few months.
I suggest you to start slow with easy interval cardio trainings and light weight exercises, and then slowly increase the intensity as you see progress in your body.
*Music is highly recommended. If you do not enjoy the 90s techno music that they play in the gym, bring along your own iPhone or MP3 player to workout to your favourite jams.
This is for those of us who exercise better with a partner and hate to train alone. Most of the gyms out there now offer group classes, take advantage of those, don’t be shy or afraid. Join them; you’ll have fun while burning those calories.
All it takes is a little change in lifestyle, getting off the couch and sweating.
You don’t need to be super skinny or super muscular to look good, you need to be fit and healthy to stay away from hospitals and avoid diseases.
I’m doing it now, so why can’t you ?