Most of us health-conscious readers are familiar with the universal statement of how ‘abs are made in the kitchen’. Doesn’t matter how many hours you spend in the gym—your physique will never be at its peak if your diet ain’t up to scratch. In theory, most people know the drill.
We’ve all been through the vicious cycles of ‘clean eating’ and acknowledge it’s much easier said than done. For the first few days, sticking to the game plan doesn’t seem like too much of a mental mission. We put a ban on carbs, steer away from the leftover cake and avoid drive-throughs at all costs. But then the weekend comes, temptation becomes inevitable, and what starts off as a small handful of chips, turns into a three-course demolition of deep-fried goodness, ice cream and a few beverages to follow. If that story sounds familiar, you’re no Lone Ranger. After all, it’s only human to indulge.
So the big question is, how the heck can you stay in good shape
in a culture that revolves around food?
A big part of the solution is to control behaviour that happens either at home or at work. The most recent data from The Australian Bureau of Statistics stated that on average, our population spent less than 20% of its time on recreation or leisure. The remaining hours were either spent on employment or domestic-related activities. Considering that people spend the majority of their lives in their households or offices, it makes sense to see results when adjustments are made in these situations. If you do the math, being disciplined in this 80% of your life means that the occasional Sunday barbecue or birthday drink-up won’t do too much damage to your figure.
So you think you’re ready to make that lifestyle change you’ve been putting off for the last 18 months?
Keep reading to steal some short cuts that will help you get started.
- Eliminate junk from your shopping list
Imagine having to drive to the shops every single time you felt like a packet of chips? Your chances of eating it would be much less than if it were conveniently in your cupboard the whole time, right? The equation is simple. Make an effort to keep cravings out of sight and out of mind, and you’ll also lessen the odds of consuming them. If you’re under the same roof as family or other housemates, you may even be able to influence them in a healthier direction. That’s a win-win for everyone!
- Prepare to eat well
Get an idea of what your optimum diet looks like, and shop for groceries accordingly. Stock up on the clean stuff and you’ll most probably eat clean as well. You know the drill—lean meats, complex carbs, good fats, fresh fruit and a heap of greens. Experts also recommend going food shopping on a full stomach. Hungry buyers typically spend more money on unnecessary things that fulfil their appetite in the moment…and you guessed it…these people are the ones who get sucked in by the confectionary isles.In a shredded world, you also want to make time to prepare every meal you have at work. The menus from food courts and cafes are usually decked in oil and high in sodium. Even the ‘low-fat’ options are disguised with condiments that will stunt progress over time. Packing snacks that are high in protein or fibre come in handy too and will prevent you from sneaking past servos for midday chocolate bars or ice cream.
- Take note of what you eat
Several studies have shown that those people who wrote down their meals saw greater results in their weight loss journeys versus those who didn’t. Recording this information creates consciousness, and for individuals who seek self improvement, it makes them aware of where they’re going right or wrong. Try it first for three days, by putting entries in the ‘notes’ app on your phone. There’s no need to be pedantic or to start counting calories. Just tap in whatever you eat as you finish it, and you may get a wake-up call on the amount of carb-loading you’ll need to cut back on.
- Be vocal about it
Be bold! Let your mates and colleagues know that you WILL be ripped for summer and that slacking off is a thing in the past. Asserting things like this will help you feel more committed to your goal. Bearing in mind that no one likes a s#!t talker, this tactic will increase your motivation. You wouldn’t wanna be ‘that guy’ (or girl) who can’t stick to their word now, would you?
As the famous Winston Church saying goes, ‘those who fail to plan, plan to fail’. When it comes to feeling and looking your best, that rule certainly applies. If you’re organised and have life in order, the game of self control comes easy. It’s all about preparing yourself to excel, and creating your own environment so that failure is not an option.
Felisha Mina is the graphic designer and blogger behind Extreme Mixed Martial Arts. Over the past two years, she has dedicated her creativity and writing to the fitness industry, with her primary focus being MMA. Enthused by health, fitness and the arena of combat sports, she is also an avid photographer, contributing to some of Australia’s most prestigious fight promotions and events.
With three state-of-the-art locations, Extreme MMA provide the highest standard of coaching and training to locals in Victoria and Byron Bay. Catering to all ages and fitness levels, its clientele range from the everyday person wanting to keep fit, to the professional fighter with years of experience. Those interested in trying MMA for fitness, leisure or competition can find out more at www.extrememma.com.au or book a free trial class on 1300 TRY MMA.