How to Make a Simple Diet Plan

Over the years, millions of pounds profit have been made by companies peddling supposed revolutionary diet plans that can help you lose more weight than you ever imagined.

Favourite examples include the Maple Syrup diet (a delicious mix of water, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and lemon juice!?) and the Chicken Soup diet (eat as much chicken soup as you want throughout the day). Do these diets work? In the short term, yes.

Typically, because of extreme calorie restriction and a lack of solid foods in the body, you will lose weight. If you are carrying a few extra pounds that have been difficult to shed, can you be blamed for testing out these plans? No. Deep down, we all love the prospect of a quick fix, but unfortunately the probability of these fad diets permanently keeping those love handles at bay, are minute at best.

The fundamental flaw in these diet plans, is that they are completely unsustainable. Who can realistically live off chicken soup for the rest of their life? Admittedly, you would become a connoisseur of the meaty broth, and a lucrative career as a professional taster may even await, but apart from lacking some vital nutrition provided by other foods, the toilet situation would be a nightmare! A proper diet plan is one that is healthy, serves your individual needs, and one that can be maintained over a prolonged period of time.

Below are some hints and tips on how to make the best plan for you:

  • Identify Your Goals
  • Be Realistic With Your Intake
  • Tailor Meals Around Your Schedule
  • Eat Foods With A High Satiety Value
  • Allow Yourself A Cheat Day
  • Work With A Fitness Trainer
  • Identify Your Goals

The majority of people make a diet plan in order to change their physical appearance in one form or another. What exactly is it you want to do? Lose fat? Add muscle? The first step is to work out what your main aims are. People with specific goals tend to achieve much better results than those with a general plan of ‘getting in better shape’ or ‘get healthy.

Be Realistic With Your Intake

A common mistake made by many changing their diet is to metaphorically dive into the deep end when they can only swim with armbands. Enthusiasm and ambition are applauded, but that word sustainability crops up again, especially when referring to calorie intake. If you are a 16 stone lady who has been consuming 3000 calories of empty carb foods daily, dropping to a nutritious 1200 calorie diet is going to be a shock and will leave you with hunger pangs. Those who resent the changes they make are less likely to incorporate them as a long term lifestyle choice. Rome wasn’t built in a day in the same way that several pounds of fat isn’t incinerated lost in the same time, so take a realistic approach.

Tailor Meals Around Your Schedule

Everyone has their own schedule and as such it is impossible to prescribe a diet plan that can fit for everyone. Those whose bodies are labouring on a building site for eight hours a day, demand a consistent flow of high energy foods to help sustain their exertions. Conversely, those sitting in an office for eight hours a day, do not need high energy foods throughout the day to operate efficiently. Get knowledgeable about different foods and their impact upon your body and combine this information with your schedule to develop a meal plan which serves your needs most effectively. High carbohydrate meals prior to and post resistance workouts etc. or a low carbohydrate dish in the evening if you are just sitting in and watching TV, are just two examples of tailoring intake to your requirements.

Eat Foods With A High Satiety Value

Foods with a high satiety value leave you fuller for longer and eliminate or at the very least reduce cravings for unhealthy snacks. Dishes high in protein will leave you content, as will certain nibbles that contain good fats, such as walnuts.

Allow Yourself A Day Off

If you are strictly adhering to a diet plan, a cheat day can provide welcome psychological relief. One day a week, eat whatever you like. Apart from giving you a break from a diet, a cheat day of gorging on your favourite naughty goodies, can actually have a beneficial effect on the body. Honest!

Work With A Personal Trainer

Devising a diet plan can be a fantastic way to kick start a lifestyle change. Combining a diet plan with a fitness program can have an extremely positive impact on both your mind and body. Despite the best intentions, it can be difficult to get the ball rolling and this is where a Personal Trainer can be an enormous help.

How to Get Fit Outdoors

Getting fit outdoors can be a great option for those wanting to increase their activity level. Everyone is different, but some find the monotony of the treadmill and the confines of the gym walls demotivating and would prefer to increase their health and wellbeing in open surroundings. There are a number of benefits to getting fit outdoors, with many studies showing that exercise in the open can lead to improved mental well-being in addition to participants experiencing greater enjoyment and satisfaction then when working in doors. Also unlike most local gyms, the outdoors won’t tie you into a 12 month contract with an early termination fee! Research also suggests you burn alot more calories outside…

So what different types of exercise can you perform to get fit outdoors?

Running

Running can be a great way to get those lungs burning, lose some fat and release some happy hormones into the blood stream. Remember if you are starting out you don’t have to go for miles. Start off 10-15 minutes and gradually build up your distance.  An average male will burn around 700 calories per hour of running at a consistent pace. In recent years High Intensity Interval training (HIIT) has come to prominence as an alternative to the traditional long distance jog. HIIT running involves sprinting at maximum exertion for a short period of time (say 20 seconds), followed by a period of a very light jog (40 seconds). This method of running is great for losing weight as it increases metabolism and activates fat burning hormones. What’s more, HIIT is short in duration – a twenty minute workout involving twenty sprints will be more than enough to leave your lungs burning and legs like jelly! Why not try a few hill sprints?

Cycling

Getting your peddle on can be a fantastic alternative to running. For those that have any issues with their legs or bones, cycling can provide an excellent low impact form of exercise. With bikes generally having a variety of gears, you can adjust your workout to your goal –strength or endurance etc. Cycling can be a good way to combine exercise with a commute into work – enabling you to be maximally efficient with your time, whilst saving money in the process. Just don’t forget to wear a helmet!

Boot Camp

Burpees, shuttle runs, press ups and boxing are just some of the exercises performed in the en vogue boot camp workouts that are becoming increasingly common in parks nationwide. Generally, a qualified fitness trainer put attendees through their paces via a variety of exercises that work the body both aerobically and anaerobically. Boot camps are a great way to get fit, providing a social but hardworking environment where professional instruction and encouragement can be obtained for a low price.

How To Choose A Personal Trainer

A personal trainer can be a fantastic way to receive expert guidance and assistance to achieve your fitness goals. Nowadays personal trainers are experts in both exercise and nutrition, combining this knowledge to help clients achieve optimal results. Deciding upon hiring a personal trainer to assist you is the first step in the right direction. The next choice to make is just who is going to guide you towards a world of flat abs and a toned physique!? There are a number of factors that need to be considered when choosing a personal trainer:

Cost

As with most things in life, cost is a major consideration. The price of personal trainers can vary greatly and the old adage ‘you pay peanuts and you get monkeys’ carries some strength here. Trainers with rates that appear too low to be true may lack significant experience or the advanced qualifications of the higher quality professionals, and therefore the sessions may not be as informed or structured as well. It is better to have several sessions with a trainer to maximise the benefit from the working relationship, and therefore whilst you should not be looking to skimp on prices, you do not need to pay the earth to get in shape.

Location

Having a trainer who is readily accessible and local to you is advisable. Personal trainers who are two bus journeys and a train ride away are not ideal, as the travel time can affect motivation and make it difficult to fit in sessions around a busy schedule.

Personality

The personal connection that a customer has with their trainer can be crucial to how successful the sessions are. Some individuals respond well to strong encouragement and motivation when working out, whilst others prefer a more softly-softly approach. Trainers differ greatly in their modus operandi, with some following a mantra of no pain no gain, whilst others adopting a more laid back approach. Finding a trainer with an outlook that will mesh well with your personality is key, as the trainer needs to be able to push your buttons in the right way and draw out maximal effort during the sessions.

Reputation

Personal trainers build their client base largely upon word of mouth and reviews. Researching reviews into personal trainers can build a vivid image of the methodologies, personalities and professionalism of trainers and can help you make a more informed decision about who is right for you.

Healthy Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Ideas

The intention to embark upon a healthier lifestyle is one that should be applauded. However, making the change can often be the difficult part. Those with a limited knowledge of nutrition often struggle to lose weight, as they are not sure what to eat and when. A fitness trainer is a good way to get an educated and structured mealplan to go alongside a training regime, but below we provide some food ideas and reasons behind their selection, to give you an idea of how to eat healthily:

Breakfast

Mushroom, Bacon, spinach & Tomato Omelette

Eggs are a great way to start the day. Not only do they provide protein, minerals and essential fat to the body, but also a recent study conducted in the USA found that eating eggs for breakfast helps to limit your daily calorie intake by around 400 calories. This is because eggs are a food with a high satiety value, leaving your full for longer. Mixing in lean bacon, mushroom and tomato, an omelette can be a quick, delicious and healthy way to start the day.

Porridge with Blueberries & Halved Walnuts Porridge is a great breakfast choice for a variety of reasons. It is high in soluble fibre, delivers essential B vitamins and has a low GI index (slow releasing energy so keeps you full for longer). Mixing in blueberries and halved walnuts adds antioxidants and healthy fats to your breakfast bowl.

Lunch

The key to success with Lunch is to make it up the night before.

Quinoa Salad with Chicken &Halloumi

Quinoa is healthy and gluten free, leaving you feeling vibrant and energetic. It is great in salads and can be served with plum tomatoes, red onion, chicken and halloumi. Low fat yoghurt adds some moisture whilst keeping this tasty lunchtime dish light and healthy. A good combination of carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and fats.

Thai Prawn Salad

If you love prawns, you will adore a Thai Prawn Salad. Mixing brown rice, soya beans and sweet chilli sauce with the prawns, a filling and flavoursome dish can be created. Prawns can provide an excellent of protein and essential fatty acids. The brown rice and beans provide fibre, keeping you satisfied for the afternoon, whilst the sweet chilli adds an extra tang.

Dinner

Grilled Salmon with Sweet Potato Mash & Green Beans

Salmon is an excellent of protein and healthy fats and can be served with a cucumber and dill sauce. Sweet potato is a great side and is being increasingly used due to its health benefits: it contains a plethora of vitamins and minerals in addition to having a low GI index. Green beans compliment the salmon and potato perfectly, adding flavour, fibre and iron.

Garlic Spinach Chicken with Spicy Wedges & Salsa

A spicy dish packed with protein and iron and full of flavours. The salsa provides the perfect dip for the spicy wedges and the spinach offers a whole host of vitamins and minerals. Chicken is an excellent of lean protein and is wonderfully flavoured by the garlic. Kind on the waistline and enjoyable for the palate.

Most meals contain a protein, which is an essential macro-nutrient for growth and repair. Protein also keeps you full for longer and therefore minimises the risk of cravings for bad foods. These delicious recipes can be incorporated into a healthy eating plan and the benefits of changing your diet can be maximised when working with a fitness trainer.

EMOM – Looking For Some Variety In Your Workouts?

When it comes to fitness training, the last thing you want is to get bored with your workouts because you’re doing the same things day in day out.

We’ve talked in the past about High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Tabata and the masses of benefits and variety these workouts can bring, but if you’re looking to try something different again, how about EMOM?

No, we’re not talking about a new age version of the mother’s help here, EMOM stands for Every Minute On the Minute and the great thing about it is it’s a method which is so flexible that it can be used for several types of training and work on different or specific areas of the body.

So, whether you’re trying to build muscle, increase endurance, tone up, ditch the pounds or improve your overall fitness, here is a workout you could try.

EMOM workouts can last between 7 and 30 minutes, so, if you don’t have much time, it doesn’t need to take a chunk out of your day. They’re also useful for training outdoors or indoors and don’t have to involve lots of expensive equipment.

Often people will use EMOM as a warm up, but, depending on how tough you want to make it, it can make a pretty good main workout too.

Essentially, you are focusing on a specific exercise each minute of your workout. It can be the same exercise or a different one each minute. Then, once you’ve done the required amount of reps for that minute you rest for the remainder of the minute until the clock ticks around to the next minute.

Another way to do it is to do as much as you can for 30 seconds of the minute and then rest for the remaining 30 seconds. As you up your fitness levels, you could increase the work period to 45 seconds and rest for 15.

For overall fitness, look at similar exercises to the ones that you might incorporate into a HIIT workout, such as burpees, squats, push ups, lunges, ab crunches and variations on the plank.

Benefits of an EMOM workout include the ability to pace yourself and measure your progress, increased levels of fitness, strength and endurance, as well as being a good way to do a large amount in a short space of time.

The key is to make sure you’re getting breathless and sweating it out. If this isn’t the case, then you can simply increase the intensity of your workout. In a similar way to HIIT the spike in your heart rate will hopefully have you burning calories and fat even after you’ve finished training, so why not give it a go as part of a healthier you for 2018?