Monday, 27 May 2013

20% Exercise (80% Diet)

I have found that there tends to be two kinds of people - those who struggle to fit in exercise and motivate themselves to be active and then those who try to use exercise as the prime way they attempt to lose weight.

As I am now working on maintenance, exercise has become less important. However, when I was trying to lose weight, being active for at least 30 mins a day at a moderate level and then additionally trying to get to a fat burning/cardio heart rate at least two to three times a week for about 20 mins was a major goal of mine.

For those who struggle to prioritise activity/exercise - try to do those things the experts always tell you to - climb the stairs instead of taking the lift, bike or walk to wherever you need to be and if you do drive, park further away so you have to walk a little. I like to focus on staying moderately active everyday and not stressing about whether you have got that fat burning cardio in - especially if you are just trying to maintain your weight. Experts still debate this, but the majority claim that diet is 80% of a healthy lifestyle. That means that focusing on what you put in your mouth is far more important than whether you hit the gm this week.

Simple rule to live by: Energy in - energy out! Easy peasy!

Then there is the other side of the coin, those who tend to focus too heavily on exercise. Just because you went to the gym for an hour, sadly does not mean that doughnut calling your name can make its way into your mouth - a high protein meal (lean) with a big glass of water is what you need! Or then I see others who run 5km then don't eat enough to replenish their body - restricting too much can force your body into starvation mode.
Nutrition is crucial for your success. Increase consumption of water, lean protein (organic if you can) and cutting sugar intake.

The rule above is my mantra... if I do indulge, I have to burn it off - and there is no, I ate a cheesecake for desert, but I will burn it off tomorrow...too late...the body has stored that slice as fat on your thighs by the next day!

So what I am trying to say is that the old advice is true - a healthy life is about BALANCE!

I have found this website a god-send as there are heaps of workouts to chose from, from low impact to high, from 6-8 mins to an hour. They have calorie burn data and most of the workouts require no equipment.

Here are a couple of my favourites:

If you are serious about fitness, then I would suggest getting a heart rate monitor so you can really target the fat-burning zone and optimise what you get out of your workouts. The chart below is a great guide to help:

Source: WebMD, 2013.

Good luck with fitting in that exercise! I have really struggled lately with so many assignments and tests but I like to do some callisthenics in my room after every chapter read or page written.

This weeks new recipe find:

Quick yeast free pizza dough - serves 4:

  • 1/2 cup plain no-fat yoghurt 
  • 1/3 cup oat flour
  • 2/3 cup plain/whole wheat flour (plus more if too sticky and to knead)
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • Herbs and freshly cracked pepper to taste (optional)
I heated a cast iron skillet in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius while I prepared everything. Just whack all the ingredients together in one bowl, knead, then roll out into a round pizza base as thick as you like. I just used left overs as toppings - I had roasted vegetables some spinach and feta. I used hummus on the base and topped with whatever I had in the fridge sprinkled with feta and home-made tomato sauce. Slid the dough onto the hot skillet (sprayed with oil) then put it high up near the element in the oven until the base is puffy and golden. My flat-mate loved it...delicious!


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