I can already hear the sigh of relief when I say – everything in moderation!
If you are interested in your own health and fitness, you no doubt read things on how to be fit and healthy. There is an infinite amount of information out there to digest. But do you ever find yourself thinking what is the right way or the best way? How about thinking differently and asking yourself, what works for me?
It is all about moderation – having a life balance. If you can live a balanced life; work, rest, training and play then ultimately you are doing the right things. Which means not restricting yourself too much and not indulging too much.
I am of the inclination to think that nothing is good for you, if it doesn’t work for you. For some people, working out in the morning (which is highly recommended by a lot of fitness writers and scientifically there is evidence to suggest that it is more beneficial) however, some people go to bed later (for whatever reason) and do not manage to fit in a workout before they start their day. It just doesn’t work. Some people just really are not ‘morning’ people and prefer to work out in the evening. If you are one of these people and if realistically you only manage to get to the gym twice a week – that’s ok too. At least you are doing something. That is the point. For some people running is not an option – they get sore knees or hips or just really do not enjoy it – therefore they train in a different way to get the same results. Maybe they perform a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout 4 times a weeks to keep fit.
The same goes with diet – some people cannot face the idea of eating breakfast first thing in the morning after only being awake for 30 minutes – it’s just not a desirable time for them to eat. But the idea that eating as soon as you wake up, fires up your metabolism and allows you to burn more calories and is therefore better for you to control your weight. There is research to suggest that there are benefits for both ways. Not eating straight away means that you are probably not going to have as many meals throughout the day and therefore consume less calories throughout that day.
If not eating carbohydrates after a certain time in the day makes you really tired and grumpy and you find it difficult to concentrate – then maybe this isn’t something you should be doing. How about just looking at your portions sizes as opposed to cutting certain things out? Sometimes, with our busy lifestyles restricting yourself to only certain foods is harder and actually hinders a healthy lifestyle. There is evidence to suggest that a high carbohydrate and low protein and low fat meal can improve your mood as serotonin can be produced by an amino acid that floods your brain when it is not blocked by other elements found in protein and fat. Serotonin is a mood boosting neurotransmitter which also helps to reduce food cravings.
As a Personal Trainer, you work with people from all walks of life and different things work for different people. If you have been struggling to reach your goal because you have been using a certain tool that most people ‘swear by’ it is ok to try something different. Something that fits with your lifestyle more and something you feel comfortable with. If it works for you and you are seeing results, then stick to it. If you need to some advice or a different direction, talk to a trainer or another healthcare professional. There are many different ways out there to live a healthy lifestyle and reach your health goals. Things may not need to be cut out completely. Carbohydrates are not the devil and if you feel like the Devil when cutting them out then this is certainly not the right thing to do! As mentioned before – everything in moderation. If you like to enjoy a glass of wine midweek to help you unwind and this makes you happy – then have that glass of wine. Isn’t part of being healthy, being happy? Isn’t that the ultimate goal? We should do things that make us happy but know our limits and understand what is unhealthy. Making ourselves unhappy but restricting ourselves, in my opinion is not a healthy way to live.
We are constantly surrounded by things that we ‘should’ be doing. But just for a second, stop and think about what you want and what makes you happy and if you can still stay healthy with doing that – then do it. And if you need any help with achieving your happiness, we are always here.
And with Christmas on the horizon keep this in mind. Everything in moderation. Work hard and treat yourself but don’t go back for a third helping of Christmas pudding! Christmas is about being around friends and family and presents – not about drinking bottles of sherry and eating a whole box of quality streets to yourself! If you do over indulge over the festive period though, it isn’t the end of the world you will just have to work a little harder at the beginning of next year!