It’s a subject of way too many commercials, hence a lot of exaggeration and confusion and you really don’t know what to believe anymore. “Don’t eat this, don’t do that, buy our products”. So perhaps it’s time to set the record straight, a little bit.
As you know there are lots of misconceptions surrounding the issue of fitness, food, working out and what not, and I for one have had enough. You know, it gets on my nerves when someone sees me eating chocolate and they say: “Be careful, that makes you fat!” Well, let me break it to you: Chocolate doesn’t make you fat, in fact all food doesn’t make you fat. You know what makes you fat? Gluttony and laziness, that’s what stacks up the kilos.
I’m not an expert but I got to learn a couple of things through experience or self-evident facts that we rarely pay attention to. So I’m sharing this as a rant as well as some ideas for any person, especially woman, who wants to be/stay fit, get in shape, lose weight or all of the above, but not for those who are trying to be super-duper models because that may include a lot of cabbage soup, anorexia and depression. Let’s see how this can be summed up:
1- You don’t need to work out to burn every single calorie you consume
From time to time, someone somewhere in the world laments the idea that “It’s so easy to consume calories, so hard to burn them”. Well, there’s some truth to that but it’s not as bad as you might think. In fact, we do burn lots of calories without even realizing it, because your body needs a certain amount of calories to function, your heart needs calories to beat, your brain needs calories to think, your liver needs calories to… do that very important thing that it does. Of course that amount differs according to gender, size, activity among other factors but the point is: You don’t necessarily need to hop on a treadmill or go for a jog to burn all the calories you consume. However , you might need that extra work if you’re trying to lose weight or if you’re trying to burn excess calories to stay in shape, and that shouldn’t be very difficult unless, excuse me, you eat like a cow. That said, working out to burn calories is also not as hard and agonizing as some people make it look. You don’t have to work out for 3 hours a day 7 days a week. 90 minutes sessions 3 times a week could be more than enough. Think of it this way and you’d find that you can actually eat and sit around more than you work out and still actually lose weight and feel good about yourself.
2- Be unconsciously conscious of what goes down your yap hole
The rule is: not everything your eyes can see or your hands can reach has to end in your stomach. This doesn’t mean to obsess over your daily diet, just set some rules for yourself -not that kind of rules that make you want to break them, because we’re humans, we go crazy if we don’t break any rules- but rather rules to have in the back in your mind and to follow unconsciously, like not to eat after a certain hour, not to have too much sweets. With time these become par for the course, a lifestyle, and you might even reach a point where you find it hard for example to have lunch and dinner on the same day, things like that. Of course it’s perfectly okay to break rules from time to time, but all in all you should try to strike a general balance. And remember, the keyword here is moderation. You don’t have to eat peas and celery all day or use artificial sweeteners, don’t deprive yourself of the good things in life.
3- Weights won’t turn you into the great hulk
There’s an idea that seems to be quite widespread among girls and it’s actually funny. They think that weight exercises will cause them to have man-like muscles. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: If it was that easy we would have a bunch of Van Dammes running around. The other important thing to point out is that weight exercises are great on several levels, to mention a few: increasing bone density and losing weight, because even after you finish working out your body continues to burn calories for hours to help your muscles recover. And if you’re worried about having pumping up your muscles start with light weights (5 or 10 kilos). Actually for muscle toning it’s recommended to use light weights while repeating the work out many times. Anyway, it’s better to consult a trainer.
4- Emotional eating is so 2001
It’s not only unfair to your body it’s also unfair to the food. I mean, food is something beautiful, it should be had when you’re in a good mood so that you can truly enjoy and appreciate it. And of course, as every emotional eater will agree, it’s nothing more than a quick fix that will make you feel worse after you feel worse afterwards. Be that as it may, you might want to try a more effective method of venting: emotional working out. Feel bad? Go for a walk, with somebody or alone to give yourself some time to think. Or you can enroll in a body combat/ kick boxing class and beat the crap out of that punching bag, in a way you’d be beating a whole lot of crap out of yourself too. Whatever floats your boat. Moreover, while emotional eating doesn’t work, emotional working out is scientifically proven to enhance your mood, as endorphins go on a festive frenzy when you work out. Sometimes I actually think: “Oh, I don’t want to feel better just yet, I still want to indulge in drama” but you just can’t help it, those neurotransmitters mean business.
5- You can’t go wrong with water
I’m not going to go into all the benefits of drinking water as any 5 year-old can google that, but it’s enough to say it’s a natural appetite suppressor. You don’t need to know much more than that. And oh, sometimes you think you’re hungry but you’re actually thirsty and your body is giving you mixed signals. Try drinking a glass of water before you dig into that pizza.
All said and done, it’s all about trying to be healthy while still enjoying a nice cup of mochaccino from time to time. It’s also about changing the way we look at things, acquiring some healthy habits and not only knowing what’s good for us, but also doing it.