I’s important to adopt a sensible approach towards diet and exercise and, rather than worrying purely about weight loss, thinking in terms of eating more healthily and getting toned and fit.
Crash diets really don’t work as a long-term solution to weight problems. If you skip meals or deprive the system of essential nutrients, the body may rebel and develop a craving for calories in order to correct the imbalance possibly leading to yo-yo dieting, where any temporary weight loss is replaced by a gain shortly afterwards.
The best way to maintain a healthy regime is simply to cut down on junk food, fat and sugar and increase your intake of fresh fruit and vegetables. Five portions is the daily recommended amount. There are many different diets around, but often, better results can be gained from eating healthy but well-balanced meals, including slow-release carbohydrates such as pasta, rather than going for the latest food fad or crash diet, which may produce instant short-term results but is of no lasting benefit in the long term.
It’s not a good plan to skip meals, especially breakfast, as this sets you up for the rest of the day. Ensuring that dinner is taken early in the evening allows plenty of time for digestion before bedtime. If you feel the need to snack in between meals, reach for some crunchy celery or carrot sticks rather than crisps, which are laden with fat and salt. If you feel the urge for something sweet, go for a handful of dried fruit rather than biscuits or a chocolate bar.
Fizzy drinks are loaded with sugar and, quite often, artificial additives, so avoid these where possible and choose carbonated mineral water instead, or fruit juice diluted with water. Instead of a strong coffee full of creamy milk, try starting the day with a refreshing and cleansing cup of lemon juice in hot water. Try green tea as this is said to be good for boosting the system.
During the winter months, we crave comfort foods and our bodies tend to lay down stores of fat to keep us warm. It is almost a time of hibernation when we stay wrapped up indoors and our systems can become a little sluggish.
The spring and summer are a time when we go out and about, take more exercise, and pay attention to our bodies(possibly thinking about toning up to look better in a swimsuit!) Simple outdoor activities such as gardening or a walk in the park, going out in the natural light and breathing in some fresh air, all help to improve the circulation and produce mood-enhancing chemicals to increase a sense of well-being.
Another way to give our bodies a boost is through a pampering beauty treatment, such as an aromatherapy massage, body wrap or lymphatic drainage. There are specific treatments for toning or weight loss but as well as helping to soothe away stress. Other benefits include hydrating dry skin, boosting the metabolism and cleansing the system of toxins.