Help! I’ve put on weight over Christmas!

It turns out that I AM human, after all! I’ve been very busy at work for the last few months. And with the dark (and wet!) evenings I often find it difficult to get out and go running as I know I should. Also I couldn’t face wasting another £30 per month on a gym membership which I won’t use (like I did last winter!). Not to mention Christmas (I said don’t mention…oh what’s the use!).

End result? I’ve put on one and a half stone (21 pounds or 10 kg). My extra fat jeans, which my wife lovingly bought for me ages ago, but which I have flatly refused to wear as they are soooo over size, now fit me nicely. I feel like an over-inflated space hopper.

Not what you expected to hear from someone with a fitness and weight control website, huh?

As I said, at least it means that I am human. Unlike certain internet fitness gurus I could mention….

But now the good news. I know that I will shift the extra weight, get fit and generally get back to normal. I know this because:

  1. It was so easy heaping all the fat straight on, so it must be equally easy to burn off.
  2. I’ve done it before.

It turns out that you don’t need the latest New Year diet, or a personal trainer, or a super-slimming pill. What has worked for me, and will work again is really simple. All I will do is:

  • I will try to do some exercise every day. Somedays this will be the running which I (normally) love. I’m fully kitted out with reflective and waterproof running tops, and two head torches – one to illuminate the path in front of me, the other (showing red) facing backwards to make me even more visible to motorists, although I tend to prefer running on paths at this time of year. If I can’t run (e.g. apathy, no time, lazy, etc) I will try to do some simple circuit training each day. Nothing complicated. Just sets of abs, squats, pressups, weights rotated in sequence until I run out of time (and / or puff). Ideally a minimum of 10 minutes. Can’t usually manage 30 minutes as it’s too hard!
    If all else fails, I’ll go for a brisk walk at lunch time. It’ll get me out of the office. It will enable me to walk off the frustrations of work, and hopefully stop me from murdering one of my colleagues in the afternoon. And it will get my metabolism working http://sverigeapotek.se/. Not as good as a run. But better that doing nothing!
  • I will only have a cappuccino where they make REALLY good ones. I admit it. I love having a coffee after work. So many coffee shops…but only a handful are worth having a cappuccino in. So why waste the calories? If I go somewhere where they make a great coffee, I’ll have one. One or maybe two a week should do. Everywhere else I’ll save my money and calories by having a mint tea (approx. 1 calorie, compared to 150 for a good cappuccino!). I’ll also forego the snack that often accompanies the coffee. No more toasted teacakes for me. Chocolate twist? No. If I fancy scoffing something it will either be a small (dark) chocolate bar (typically 100 calories) or a packet of crisps (‘potato chips’ if you speak American!). Either will be around 500 calories less than my favourite toasted teacake, heavenly though it might be…
  • I’ll try to drink a bit less – I do love a glass of wine with my dinner, but I don’t need to drink the whole bottle…. I’ll also stop having deserts. NOBODY needs to have a dessert after their meal. They tend to be high calorie / high sugar, and often high fat. Just don’t do it. Simple.
  • Finally, I’ll just try and cut down a bit on certain things. Smaller portions of pasta and potatoes. Low fat cheese instead of the real thing. You get the picture.

That is pretty much the plan. As I mentioned, I know that it works. It may take a bit of time, but I’ll easily be back to fighting weight, full running fitness and with a bit of muscle tone in time for Easter (Sunday 8th April, if you want to check up on me!).

I hope that you had a great Christmas, and will have a fit and healthy New Year. If you need a helping hand to get fit this year, head over to www.GetFitFeelGREAT.co.uk and see if I can help! Alternatively, please feel free to email me any time, and I’ll do my best to help.

Don’t let the bad weather stop you getting fit!

The summer is here and there is no excuse for not getting out and enjoying the sun!

I hope that you are having a great summer, getting out and about, and doing so much exercise without realising it that you are really beginning to feel the benefit.

However, I feel some of you may be suffering like us – down in deepest South West UK the weather for the last 2 months has been….lousy.

For all you people planning a late holiday in Cornwall, I’m sure the weather will improve – honest! But so far it has been pretty wet (the grass and bushes are growing like crazy), and it hasn’t even been very warm – maybe 16 – 18°C. In a ‘proper summer’ we should be having 25°C plus.

What has this got to do with getting fit? Well everything really. One of the most difficult things about getting fit can be finding the motivation to get out of your chair and start doing some exercise. Walking, jogging, running, swimming are great. But if the weather is foul it’s easy to think ‘Maybe tomorrow’. Unfortunately, this year that would have meant staying in and never getting any exercise at all.

There are two things that can help, though. Firstly, if you have got your motivation properly worked out, you will have written down your goals, and why you want to achieve them. When you are struggling to get out of the door, think about your goals, and why they are important to you. Think how good it will be when you have achieved them. This should help to give you the extra kick you need to get started.

For more information about how to get your motivation sorted so that you WANT to get fit, go to www.getfitfeelgreat.co.uk

The second point may be more difficult to believe – but once you’ve tried it numberswiki.com

you will know it is right. Going for a walk or run when it’s raining actually makes you feel better about yourself than going when the weather is nice.

Don’t get me wrong – I love running in summer. Blue sky. Sunshine show. The world is just such a great place to be! And when you get home again and have a shower, you feel great.

When the weather is awful though, it really is worth persevering. Firstly, as you will be exercising, you will warm up. If the weather has been awful it may be the first time that you’ve warmed up all day. I know this works for me.

Also, the sense of achievement when you get home is HUGELY more than if you go out on a nice day.

You have overcome the elements!
NOTHING can stop you from achieving your goals!
You are getting fitter despite everything!

Trust me – this really works. One time I had to cut short a run because the strength of the wind was so high that the rain drops actually hurt my forehead as they were blown into it.

When I got home, I was REALLY wet.

But I felt GREAT!

Really invigorated by the exciting weather. And with a real feeling of achievement that I actually went for a run in really nasty weather. It helped my fitness. It helped my motivation to keep going even more.

I’m not suggesting that you give up the nice weather walks, jogs or runs. But just try going out sometimes when the weather is awful. You won’t believe how good it can make you feel about yourself!

Find out more about how to get fit, fitness motivation and feeling GREAT!

Here’s hoping that you won’t have to try my idea for another few months (but expecting that you will…).

Rob Knowles 18 August 2009

Exercise and diets – How to get both right

Newcomers to the world of fitness frequently are unsure about how exercise and diets go together. Most people who decide that they want to get fit are a little out of condition, and usually a bit overweight. There is no doubt that the maximum gains to be had from a fitness regime come from attention to three areas: cardiovascular training, resistance training (e.g. building muscle by weight training) and nutrition. Dealing with any one of these in isolation will have a positive benefit to your health. But dealing with all three is best.

In practice, I find that those starting out need to concentrate on cardiovascular training (e.g. walking, jogging, cycling…) and nutrition. Only after they have starting making improvements to their fitness should they start thinking about asking Santa for a set of dumbbells!

I’m always talking about the cardiovascular (CV) side of things, so today I thought I’d give you a few ideas about modifying your diet to support your new fitness regime. It’s difficult to give specific advice as I don’t know you, but assuming that you want to lose a few pounds whilst getting fit, here are some good general guidelines to follow:

  1. Try to eat less fat in your diet. That means more white meat (e.g. chicken, turkey) and less red meat (beef or lamb). Also stir-fry or grill the meat rather than deep fry or roast it, as these cooking methods minimise the amount of fat left in the food when you eat it.
  2. Try to reduce the amount of sugar you consume. That means no cola (or at least diet cola if you can’t live without). No sugar in hot drinks (use a sweetener if you need one). No chocolate snacks (try a single square of dark chocolate to overcome chocolate cravings).
  3. Try to eat more vegetables, fruit and nuts than before – you need the nutrients, and a good varied diet is essential if you are increasing the amount of exercise that you do.
  4. Be VERY careful about diet foods. Always read the carton before buying a diet food in the supermarket. For example, many low fat yoghurts being sold as healthy options are FULL of added sugar. You can find ones which don’t have all this sugar, but you need to check the nutrition panel before you buy it.
  5. If you drink alcohol, try to drink wine instead of beer or lager. If you must drink beer, try to go for ‘lite’ beers. You’d be amazed at how many calories a single pint of beer contains (around 200!).
  6. Finally, if you are doing more exercise than you are used to, you will probably need to eat more protein in your diet. That means a bigger portion of meat or cheese than before, but stick to the low fat versions.

I hope that this is helpful. My eBook Get Fit, Feel GREAT! has more information about exercise and diets, should you be interested. Click here to find out how to get fit and lose weight and enjoy the process!

If you want to find out more about nutrition, my wife Eleanor has written an eBook : www.EatLeanNotMean.com. It goes into a lot more detail about what is in food, what you need to eat to be healthy, and how to modify your diet without giving up the things that you love eating. It’s not a diet book – it is designed to educate you about food, so you can make the right choices yourself. It even tells you how you can eat some of your old favourites, but without heaping on the pounds. Click here to find out more about nutrition and how to cook yourself thin!

I hope that this helps explain the connection between exercise and diet – changing either one will help make you more healthy – changing both together works even better.

Rob Knowles 7 April 2009

Does jogging to lose weight really work?

Welcome to the new Get Fit, Feel GREAT! blog.   Here I’ll be putting up articles which I hope will be of interest to anyone who wants to get fit.   Please feel free to contact me if there is anything I can help you with!

 

People often ask me whether jogging to lose weight really works.   So many websites say that any cardiovascular (CV) exercise is a waste of effort.   And I know many people see obese joggers and think to themselves ‘That sure doesn’t seem to be working!’.   So what’s the truth?  

 

Jogging really does help people to lose weight.   You may lose more weight if you modify your diet as well, but jogging on it’s own still works.   Here’s why:

 

  1. Jogging uses up a lot of calories while you are doing it.  
  2. When you finish jogging for the day, your body’s metabolism continues running at a higher rate than your normal resting metabolism for some hours.   So even when you are sitting at home you are still using up more calories than usual.
  3. When people start jogging the amount of muscle in their legs and lower body begins to increase.   All that exercise quickly builds up muscle bulk.   When you are resting, muscle burns more calories than the rest of your body.   Jogging has found another way for you to burn more calories even when you are watching TV!
  4. I find that running allows me to think about all the things that I want to do, as well as enjoying the countryside, and the fresh air.   So I don’t tend to spend my life thinking about food.   And I’ve found that the less time you spend thinking about food, the less you tend to eat web link.
  5. When I get back from a good run, my wife is convinced I’ll be starving hungry.   But in fact the opposite is true.   I’m just not hungry for some time afterwards.   So again you tend to eat less.
  6. Finally, as you start to feel fitter, notice that your clothes start to feel looser, notice that you have some muscles developing after all, you get a real boost.   Then you find that you want to learn more about what’s more healthy to eat, and you end up eating better.   Again, less calories!  

 

All of this adds up to a great recipe for losing weight.   In fact everyone I’ve ever met who started running or jogging has lost weight.   That’s why I’m sure that it can work for anyone.   All you need to do is start out carefully (you don’t want to injure yourself before you start, do you?), follow the basic rules of starting exercising, and you can look forward to a great new you! 

 

And what about the fat jogger?   They are almost certainly just starting out on the road to getting fit, and losing weight.   Keep an eye out for them in future, and see how fast they morph in to a normal (i.e. thin) jogger.   They deserve praise for taking their long term health into their own hands.   Don’t you want to join them?

 

To find out more about how you can start jogging to lose weight, and what the basic rules are go to http://www.getfitfeelgreat.co.uk  There you’ll find all you need to know to start changing your life for the better.

Rob Knowles 30 March 2009