Sick of all the diets, meal plans and fitness regimes that don’t work? Me too!

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It’s not about finding that one miracle pill or personal trainer, it’s about never giving up!

ImageI’ve been on a health kick of late, seven kilograms have snuck on around my tummy and thighs since Christmas, and admittedly, I haven’t been active or watching what food I put in my mouth. The SMALL changes I’ve made to my eating and exercising habits have made a big difference – and many of my friends and patients have been discussing and swapping information over this topic (the beginner for getting back into shape or losing weight) recently, so I thought I’d share our findings.

Yes, many pills and short crash diets can work, but they do not sustain the weight loss. You put it all back on – and then some! Most of us just don’t have it in us to adopt these long strenuous exercise plans or want to sacrifice too much of our favourite foods to achieve our goals. Sorry to say, but the amount of effort you put in directly correlates to the results that will yield to whatever plan you adopt.

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My best advice is keep it simple to start with. A brisk walk in the morning or evening for 20-30 minutes. And eat as cleanly as you can – that is, prepare your portion controlled meals using as many raw food ingredients as possible. Don’t use pre-packaged or processed stuff. I know it doesn’t sound very scientific, but it works. No big changes to your lifestyle. Granted weight loss and fitness goals will be slow, but it will be healthy and sustainable. You don’t have to bother about counting calories, long regular stints at the gym – this is gentle and you can work at your own pace.

Let’s face it, if we’re feeling frumpy, the last thing we want to do is go out in public to be judged. Not that people do – but it’s how we feel. So you need to get the ball rolling! And from the conversations we’ve had recently, this way is proving a great success.

Don’t stress or get anxious if you slip up or fall off the rails with your plan – the key is to keep going. So what if you didn’t exercise today – do something little right now. Pick it up tomorrow. Snuck in a sugary snack that you couldn’t say no to? Yes it was bad, but make sure your next meal is healthier. Or bargain with yourself that next time you have a craving you’ll eat a piece of fruit before indulging in that chocolate bar. Every little bit helps, just keep at it.

ImageI’ve been doing a Low Impact Beginner Home Exercise daily by Joanna Soh, following her along on YouTube from the comfort of my own bedroom. I still indulge in the occasional sweet, but make sure I have greatly increased my fruit and veggies – and cut the amount of sugar I have in my cups of tea in half. It hasn’t been a huge change for me, and I’m losing between half a kilo to a kilo a week. I’m feeling more energized too.

Set yourself a goal of four weeks or eight weeks. Heck, buy some stickers and put a gold star on the calendar every time you achieve a day that you met your daily objectives. Keep a food journal – whatever works to keep you motivated. Do it with a buddy, or your family. Remember to reward yourself afterwards – a cuddle with the dog, a facemask and relaxing bubble bath…  It’s all about getting started and persisting.

Don’t make grand gestures or unrealistic goals, like I said, keep it simple. Find what works for you. There are plenty of resources out there on the internet, food preparation services, and health centres. Remember to consult with your health professional or doctor to make sure it is right for you.

At the end of your four or eight weeks, do it all again, this time increase the intensity of your workout, tidy your diet a little bit more. Keep increasing the challenge. Incremental changes over time to reach your goal and soon enough you’ll have your own success story!

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© Kate Grainger & Casey Carlisle 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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