Are you feeling guilty about not using the gym membership you bought, or struggling to resist the urge to eat takeaway food all the time? We’ve asked our very own fitness addicts and health food junkies Joe, Philly and Rachel for their top food and exercise tips to help motivate you get you back on track to achieving the summer body you have always dreamed of.
1. What is the best way to burn fat? ( Joe )
The best way is to be in a calorie deficit diet, you lose most of your weight like this, other than that exercise that makes you gasp for air is proven to be very effective like hill sprints and tabata or hiit interval training.
2. Do you use supplements and if so which would you advise? ( Joe )
I have tried several supplements but haven’t really noticed any improvement with most of them. The only supplements I would recommend and use now are Creatine and the classic Whey Protein Shake post work out.
3. What would you advise for lunch if you have to prep your food the night before?( Joe )
I’m pretty lazy so use microwave for most things, my lunch would consist of a pack (250g) of brown/long grain rice, 100-120g of chicken breast, handful of broccoli along with some tomatoes and sweetcorn.
4. Where is the best place to start when it comes to training? ( Philly )
For a novice I would suggest group training to start with, the community aspect helps build support amongst you and like minded people.
5. Are you allowed cheat day when dieting? ( Philly )
If you’re trying to lose weight and keep it off forever, then a cheat meal once a week, usually at the weekend, is a must. It is something to look forward too and keeps you on the right track. If you’re restricting your diet 24/7 then you’re far more likely to give up.
6. What is the best way to increase your endurance? ( Philly )
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is the best way to increase stamina and burn fat. HIIT is any short burst of intense movement followed by a short break, which is repeated over a set time period. HIIT can increase endurance as well as increase fitness levels.
7. What is the best training gear for to purchase when starting out? ( Philly )
The most important piece of equipment anyone can purchase is a good pair of trainers which are specific to your training needs. Also clothing that feels comfortable.
8. Preferably how many times a week should you work out? ( Rachel )
At least two – three times per week for around 45 mins per session. If you have the time I would recommend up to four sessions a week to help with weight loss and toning up. I started to notice major improvements to my shape once I increased from one 45 min sessions a week to three or four sessions. Be carefully however not to over train as your body needs time to recover!
The internet is great for finding extra workouts to complete at home for those that don’t have time to attend a class or the gym. I couldn’t make any of my exercise classes on Monday with my partner being away, so instead I downloaded one of the body coaches 20 min ab workouts and turned the kids play mats into my gym mat. It really is possible to exercise anywhere, anytime!
9. What are the best snacks when dieting? ( Rachel )
High protein snacks are nutritionally good and keep you full for longer. I tend to snack on seeds, nuts, fruit or rice cakes through the day and Natural yogurt or cottage cheese with protein powder on a night time. For the rice cakes I mix things up by adding organic peanut butter, chocolate almond butter, banana or avocado and smoked salmon.
Moderation is key here, its easy to get carried away with snacking. I’ve made this mistake and wondered why I was gaining weight when I was only eating healthy snacks. Turns out the portion sizes for snacking were too big. If you eat a lot of anything healthy or not the weight will pile on! Watch out for this!
10. What is the best way to get a flat/toned stomach? ( Rachel )
Flat / toned stomachs start in the kitchen. If your diet isn’t right then you’ll never achieve your dream stomach no matter how much you exercise. Get the diet right and combine it with lots of core work such as planking, cycle crunches and Russian twists.
A common misconception is that regular crunches will give you a flat stomach, however the movement you’re actually making to go up and down is pushing the stomach muscles out rather than in. Stick to planking, there are plenty of variations to keep you busy – side plank crunches, changing from low to high plank, raising one leg or arm while planking, mountain climbers whilst in a low plank, the list is endless! As mentioned in question 8 the Internet is great for finding quick ab workouts to complete at home!