Fitness tips: The slim life and an end to dieting

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In our regular fitness tips Aspria’s experts got together to prove that dieting is not the be-all and end-all.

What if we told you it was possible to stay slim for life, without ever having to go on another diet again? Sounds too good to be true? It isn’t, as we are about to explain with these fitness tips.

It’s a scenario with which many of us will be all too familiar with: go on a diet, lose weight, stop dieting, put the weight back on, go on another diet… And so it goes on. But it is possible to stay slim for life. No more dieting. No more weight loss fads. With just a few simple lifestyle changes these fitness tips will help you keep the weight off for good.

Rebecca Bassoff – Head of food & beverage

Make your fat burn fat
You have two types of fat in your body – white and brown – and brown fat burns calories. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to kickstart your brown fat; it can even turn white fat into brown fat.

Essential fatty acids
Omega 3, omega 6 and 9 fatty acids are essential for a healthy diet and body. They increase our metabolic rate and energy levels, helping us burn more calories.

Chew your food
Our brain takes up to 20 minutes to realise the stomach is full. Take time when you eat, so you stop when you’re full rather than realizing too late that you’re full up.

Forget diet foods
Foods with low-fat or low-calorie labels might sound good in theory, but they’re often heavily processed and high in carbs. These then convert to sugar in your body, which can contribute to weight gain.

Don’t count calories
If you focus exclusively on counting calories, you might reject foods like fatty fish, avocado, oils like olive and coconut, nuts and dark chocolate, deeming them too high in calories. But there’s a huge difference between the way your body uses 1,000 calories from junk food and the way it uses 1,000 calories from whole food. In fact, choosing real, nutritious foods such as these – as part of balanced meals – can help you control your hunger and your weight.

Steve Harrison – Head of wellbeing

Strike a balance
If your body isn’t in peak condition, it essentially means it’s out of balance. So why do we try and address this issue with drastic ‘fast fix’ diets? Most of these diets focus on restricting intake of calories, saturated fat, solid foods, even food altogether if you do a fast. The problem is this approach ultimately under-nourishes the systems in our body, leading to even more of an imbalance than was there before.

Diets based on restriction or elimination of certain elements from your diet will cause your body to struggle to perform in any areas where these chemicals and nutrients are required to allow optimal body functioning.

Avoid empty calories
While most foods have some good to offer, for most people it’s best to totally avoid simple sugars, highly processed foods and artificially modified foods. These spike your insulin levels – driving sugars and fats into your body’s fat storage cells and keeping them there – while providing little else in the way of added nutrients.

Focus on super foods
Coconut flesh, avocado, oily fish, raw nuts and non-toasted seeds, fresh cold cheeses, fresh game and poultry, and both red and dark meats are all great for the conscious healthy eater. These are ‘super foods’, both in terms of nutrient value (vitamin and mineral content, probiotic bacteria count and controlled sugar levels), and the way they satisfy your appetite, keeping the cravings at bay.

Treats in small doses
If you really want chocolate, then let yourself have a small amount. It’s better to have a little of the less healthy stuff among a majority of good – keeping your motivation, positivity and overall food cravings in harmony – than to avoid foods to the point that cravings take over and your diet falls apart.

Give and take
Exercise boosts our body’s ability to use the energy from food, while also limiting its ability to store whatever it doesn’t use. Failing to exercise regularly will slow your body’s metabolism, meaning you put on weight more easily. Remember, though, that exercise requires fuel: doing more exercise and eating less isn’t the best approach. As you ask your body to perform more, reward it with wholesome nutrition of both good quantity and high quality.

Mathilde Hanuise – Nutritionist, Aspria Royal La Rasante

Avoid ‘snack attacks’
Choose a breakfast rich in proteins and with a low glycaemic index (oat flakes, quinoa, sourdough rye bread, eggs, cheese, natural yoghurt, white cheese, walnuts, almonds) to avoid sugar cravings later in the day.  And if you do need a snack at some point, avoid nibbling and give yourself real snacks. If they are well thought out, you can satisfy your hunger without breaking your healthy routine.

SMOOTHIE NUTRITION