With the days getting longer and the sun getting warmer, it’s time to think about getting back to peak summer shape. In order to have the energy to tackle all the opportunities this summer will bring, and without any excess winter weight slowing you down, when do you have to start?
How long does it take?
Moodi Dennaoui, AKA the Diet Doctor, says depending on how much damage you’ve done, you might be able to slim down in a fortnight with some serious effort. But the extreme methods required to do that aren’t sustainable – or enjoyable. “What you want to do is take a more gradual approach over 10-12 weeks, making minor changes as you go. Cognitively, it’s a lot easier on your brain, and you’ll still achieve the same physiological results by the end,” Dennaoui told Huffpost Australia. To be summer-ready by December, start now, and you’ll have an easier time sticking with that healthy lifestyle all throughout the hot season.
But here’s some great news: you should start to feel better well before you can see those changes. Just two weeks on a healthy eating or fitness programme is enough for you to feel more energised, stronger and fitter.
What should you eat?
A huge part of any health journey is choosing what to eat. The key is to focus on whole, unprocessed foods like fruit and vegetables, lean meat and nuts, and watch that you’re not over-eating.
Fitfood meals are great for this. They’re all portion-controlled, so a Fitfood meal plan can make sure you’re not over-eating. If you’re specifically trying to shed some pounds, then Fitfood’s Weight Management meal packs can be a sustainable and effective way to do it.
They’re made from simple wholefoods, which mean the body is expending more energy to digest them. “Processed foods eliminate a lot of the digestive processes,” says Dennaoui. They also have accurate nutritional information so you can track your calories and meet your macro-nutrient needs. They’re available in two sizes, so you can get the right size for your energy requirements. Fitfood also has Low-Carb menus, which are created to be high in protein and contain less than 30g of carbs per meal.
What else should you do?
Exercise is another major part of any healthy lifestyle. Make sure you’re injecting some muscle-building resistance training into your fitness programme – every pound of extra muscle you gain can burn up to 50 extra calories per day.
To make it sustainable, make sure you’re enjoying your workout. Mix resistance training up with group exercise classes, swimming, hiking, or riding your bike to work – whatever puts a spring in your step.
In addition, make sure you’re getting enough sleep and taking time to de-stress. Feeling well overall makes it easier to stick to your goals.
When should you start to see results?
If you’ve adopted healthy, sustainable changes in diet and exercise levels, you should start to see changes in six to eight weeks, but it varies person to person. Focus on the changes in how you feel – they’ll come quicker and make it easier to stay on track, whatever physical changes you’re trying to achieve.