Diet & Exercise – keep it simple

There’s a lot of advice flying around when it comes to diet in conjunction with
exercise. Some people say you shouldn’t eat after 7-8pm, you should eat oatmeal
instead of cereal for breakfast, don’t drink coffee or alcohol, drink green
tea, avoid saturated fats, eat nuts, eat a piece of fruit within an hour of
working out, eat 36.7g of protein within 13 minutes of a weight training
session etc. etc. While most of this may well be good advice, how many of you
can afford to hire a personal assistant to keep track of all the nutritional
tips and ensure that you follow them? And let’s face it, how much of a
difference does this stuff actually make? If you’re a professional athlete then
it may make sense for you to be obsessed with these things but Joe regular in
the street, does he or she need to know?

When I talk about diet I like to use the analogy of a spaghetti bolognese (or
spaghetti al ragu as it’s actually called in Italy). There are many ways of
making spaghetti bolognese, many taste good and none are necessarily right or
wrong. You can season it with salt and pepper, flavour it with herbs such as
basil and oregano, add red wine or chili, use garlic, onions or stock. The
options are limitless, but what you can’t do without is spaghetti, minced meat
and tomatoes. All the rest are little details but the essentials to making a
spaghetti bolognese are those three ingredients. Without any one of them, you
don’t have spaghetti bolognese.

Now if you apply this to diet, losing weight and burning fat it’s quite simple. All
that nutrition advice may help but there are two things you simply cannot
avoid. If you want to lose weight, burn fat or get fitter then you have to eat
less and exercise more. There’s no other way around it. Everything else is
detail. Essentially, if your weight and waistline are heading north then it’s
because you’re inserting more fuel than you’re burning off and that’s something
you have to recalibrate. So before you worry about what type of oil to use,
whether to eat nuts or fruit in the evening or switching from semi-skimmed milk
to soya, start with this: eat less, train more!

Thereafter there are a couple of other simple things you can do to improve your diet. One
is to eat more regularly. That is to say increase the number of times a day you
eat from three to four or five. This doesn’t mean adding an extra meal or two
onto what you already eat but rather decreasing the total amount you eat over
the whole day while spreading it out over a greater number of meal times. The
reason for this is that it will help increase your metabolism and hence burn
more calories. This would mean your body working harder over the course of the
day which would in turn help you lose weight and fat.

Another simple change to your diet is to try to decrease the amount of fat, sugar,
alcohol and carbohydrates (carbs) that you consume while increasing your intake
of vegetables, oily fish and fresh fruit. This doesn’t mean you have to cut out
all of the first group and eat exclusively the second but by inching bit by bit
in the right direction, you will become healthier and combined with the other
diet and exercise advice I’ve given you, it could help you lose weight and burn
fat. Yet another helpful tool is to try to keep your carbs to the daytime and
favour protein (meat, fish, eggs) and vegetables in the evening. But I wouldn’t
suggest you become religious in following these latest tips unless you really
want to.

Now when it comes to exercise some say it is better to have a day off between
workouts while others believe in exercising every day. Well it all depends on
your goals. To build muscle you need to give those muscles time to rest and
rebuild themselves, but to strengthen your heart and improve stamina you may
well want to exercise every day. Here at Fat Buddha Fitness we offer daily
workouts (or exercise challenges) to give you the option to workout at least
five times a week if you so desire. But in general it’s better to do three
15-minute workouts a week rather than a one hour session once a week. Making exercise
a regular part of your life will also make it easier to step things up as and
when your needs or desires guide you that way.

But when it comes to diet and exercise, first and foremost stick to the basic
principle: eat less, train more!


As we’re doing continuous workouts this week, today’s challenge is to pick an
exercise, anyone you like, and do it non-stop for 10-minutes. If you want me to
pick one for you then I choose step-ups. You can mix it up between front and side
step-ups and make sure you don’t favour one leg over the other but keep going
for 10 minutes (if you can) without a break.



Comments are closed.