Doing it right this time around

Are you determined to lose that extra bit of weight once and for all? We challenge you to really step things up.

Take a good long look at why your weight loss efforts haven’t worked in the past and then make this the year that you choose healthy eating as a lifestyle instead of jumping for another quick fix crash diet. It’s not the easy way out, but in time it will give you the best, most maintainable results. Here are 3 things to keep in mind:

1. Eat well, every day of the week

Have you ever trained for a sporting event and then done nothing for 2 weeks afterwards? It’s hard to get back into it because you feel like your fitness level has dropped and you’re starting a few steps behind. Well, same goes for eating.

Eating well-balanced, good-for-you meals during the week and then bingeing on unhealthy foods over the weekend makes it that much harder to start every Monday on a healthy note again. It also doesn’t bode well for calorie intake – if you create the mind-set that you’re “depriving” yourself of the foods you love during the week, then you’re likely to overeat on the weekend because you’re now treating yourself and getting everything you can before Monday comes along again.

Ditch the diet mentality and make small, healthy changes to your meals every day of the week – it’s the consistency that will eventually pay off and help to tailor your tastes so that you start preferring well-balanced meals.

2. Take the time to figure out how food affects your exercise

Some people can get up and run 10km without having a single bite to eat. Others need something to get them going. No one but you can figure out what works for you.

Exercising at an optimal level requires energy. Fact. If you are starving yourself, you won’t be able to train (or climb a mountain or ride a bike with your kids) because your body won’t have any energy to work with. Similarly, if you’re eating way too much food, it will leave you feeling sluggish and not able to exercise at all. It’s important to get fuel and to find out what works best for you depending on the time of day you exercise.

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Is a proper lunch sufficient if you’re exercising late afternoon? Do you prefer a small snack just before starting or do you want something after your session? It’s a bit of trial and error but it’s worth taking the time to figure out. If you’re looking for a little something after your gym session, try KAUAI’s new Amino Acid Recovery drink made with amino acid recovery booster, pineapple and crushed ice – completely refreshing, helps with quick muscle recovery plus it tastes just like summer.

3. Have breakfast

If you have to choose a good starting point for your move to healthier eating, breakfast is it. Starting your day with a well-balanced meal has been linked to improved metabolism, better focus and a reduced likelihood of eating sporadically or unhealthily throughout the rest of the day.

Are you always finding that by mid-morning you’re ravenous and heading for the muffin tray? That’s a very natural response if you’ve been running on empty since the moment you woke up. If you’re not a fan of a proper meal in the mornings, try your hand at smoothies. Mix any fruit you like with some milk, yoghurt, milk substitute or crushed ice, throw in some oats or rolled grains and blend the whole lot until you reach the consistency you like. If that just seems like too much effort, grab a smoothie from KAUAI. Their new Red velvet smoothie with strawberries, fresh beetroot juice, low fat frozen yoghurt, banana and apple juice tastes just as delicious as it sounds and is jam-packed with vitamins and minerals to start your day off well.

Written for the Virgin Active blog

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