My 12 Top Tips to Get Healthy Now!
25 March 2015
Sometimes all our bodies need is a little push in the right direction. Making small and effective changes to our daily nutrition and lifestyle habits is a fantastic way to look and feel a million times better.
Here are my twelve top tips for to get healthy now:
1. Cleanse your Gut
I recommend drinking a cleansing tonic every morning on waking up, when the gut is at its emptiest. Simply add, 1 tsp. oolong tea leaves, 3 slices fresh lemon, 1 tbsp. raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp. cinnamon and ¼ tsp, cayenne pepper, and ¼ tsp. turmeric to 1 litre of water. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before drinking. Consume 1 mug full of this cleansing tonic every morning. Store in glass jar and refrigerate. Be sure to warm your cleansing tonic before drinking. This tonic cleanses the gut, detoxifies the system, boosts the metabolism and prepares it for digestion.
2. Take a Probiotic Daily
Take 1 high quality Probiotic capsule per day. There are different qualities of probiotics, so opt for those that are stored in a refrigerated area at the store. These are usually the better quality probiotics. Probiotics become inactive if not stored at the correct temperature, therefore those that are stored on the shelves may not be very effective. Take your probiotic with your cleansing tonic. The probiotic helps maintain healthy bacteria in the gut and maintains balance within your digestive system. Because our stress levels are so high, our digestive systems take a lot of strain and therefore taking a probiotic is a great way to re-establish a healthy gut environment. Remember healthy digestion is absolutely key to fat loss!
3. Limit your Carbohydrate Intake
This does not mean exclude carbs altogether. It means acquiring your carbohydrates from vegetables, legumes and small portions of fruit. So what you are doing is shifting your carb intake away from processed refined grains and towards unprocessed, plant based carbohydrates. To maximise fat loss, avoid eating complex carbohydrates after 4pm. Once you have reached your fat loss goals, you can start enjoying small portions of healthy carbs at night, such as sweet potato, quinoa and brown rice.
4. Try HITT Training
Be sure to try out HITT (High Intensity Interval Training). This includes exercises such as sprinting for 1 minute then walking for 30 seconds and repeating this “circuit” for 3-5 minutes before resting. You can also try mountain climbers, burpees, X-jumps, skipping, boxing and stepping – these are great forms of HITT training. Create circuits for yourself containing 3-5 exercises - for example: 10 reps bicep curls, 10 burpees, 10 spider man push ups and 10 crunches is an example of a HITT circuit, which you would repeat for 3 -5 sets. A 30 – 45 minute blood sweat and tears HITT session is far more beneficial than any other form of training – and the best part is – you don’t have to spend hours at the gym to get results.
5. You have to try Yoga and Pilates!
These types of exercises work on strengthening and lengthening your muscles, and also target muscle groups that you wouldn’t usually work in other types of training. Try to add 1-2 classes a week to your training to promote a good balance of exercise. There are fantastic online yoga workouts which you can find on you tube too. This will also give you the opportunity to really stretch your muscles out – something we often forget to do!
6. Take a Rest Day!!
I cannot stress enough how important it is to provide your body with sufficient rest. I advise 2 rest days per week in order to allow your muscles to fully recuperate, build and restore. Over-exercising causes muscle breakdown, increases susceptibility to injury, raises cortisol levels (this is our stress hormone which activates fat storage) and can impede fat loss due to fatigue. Too much exercise can really send your body into panic or survival mode which causes it to hold on to all its nutrients including fat, so trust me on this…less is more! I also recommend taking one full week off every four to six weeks to really allow your body to fully restore. This will enable your body to settle and reset so that it is ready to perform at maximum capacity again.
7. Get a good night’s sleep!
Make sure that you get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Switch off your phone, laptop, TV and all technology at least 30 minutes before going to sleep. This will allow your mind to quieten, and your body to relax and prepare for rest. Please do not sleep with the TV on!! – the flashing light stimulates your brain and prevents you from having a deep and peaceful sleep. Lack of sleep also causes us to feel energy depleted, and so what ends up happening is that we crave more and more food to replenish the energy that we need – not great for fat loss! So get plenty of healthy sleep!
8. Get your Mind Right!
Without our mind on our side, our attempts at fat loss become futile. Start by ripping those negative thoughts to shreds! As they pop up – cut them, rip them and replace them with positive, healthy, happy thoughts. Write down 5 short statements about yourself/ your body that you want to achieve and word them in the present tense as if you already have them e.g.: I have the most incredible body / I have the body of my dreams. Visualise exactly what you want your body to look like and contemplate this image for 5 minutes every day: detail is key – try to capture exactly what your body looks like, feel the emotions associated with having achieved your ideal body, picture what you are wearing and how people around you are noticing or responding to your achievement. While you are picturing this image, repeat your statements to yourself with conviction and belief. Even if at first you don’t believe it just push through and continue – trust me you will believe when you see the results!! Your mind is everything – own it! Don’t let it own you!
Make sure that you drink plenty of water – 8 glasses or 2 litres per day. At first this will be irritating because you will need to go to the bathroom often, but once your body adapts, you will see you won’t need to go as much. I recommend making a large jar of green tea – 2 tsp. green tea leaves added to 1 litre of hot water. Keep this by your desk and drink throughout the day. Green tea is incredible for detoxing your system, flushing out any gunk and boosting your metabolism.
10. Portion Control!
Remember to watch your portion sizes. This is a key factor in weight loss. Controlled portion sizes in conjunction with healthy food consumption and exercise 4-5 times per week is the most effective recipe for sustained weight loss.
11. Work with your Body
When you eat, stop consumption once you are comfortable – not full. It takes 20 minutes for our brains to register that we have eaten, which is why we often eat more than we should and begin to feel overfull only 10 minutes after eating. You will see that if you allow your body 10 to 20 minutes to digest your food and to process that you have in fact eaten, you will no longer feel hungry. Only if you still feel a little hungry after 20 minutes, then eat a little more.
12. Do not Over-eat!
Avoid overeating completely. Allow yourself to know when enough is enough. Hunger does not cease immediately when we begin eating which can cause us to overeat. Be mindful of your body and try to come to understand the difference between that point just before satiation and being too full. Over time, your body will learn what portion sizes to expect and will adjust accordingly so that you feel comfortably satiated after the correct portion.
Yours in Health Always,