Recently, my eldest sister Hannah (who has recently just turned 21) and I, have been healthily obsessing (excuse the pun) over healthy diets and lifestyles. Unlike my naturally slim older sister, Rach, I have inherited my mother’s curvy body making those biscuits cravings a burden as it clings to my thighs, butt, boobs and of course, that ever protruding ever annoying muffin top – a common burden I'm sure most of you can relate to. So off we went to the gym at the beginning of summer, determined to shift the weight and FINALLY not just look good, but feel good and maintain it. Now don’t get me wrong, I'm not exactly over weight, but there’s no harm in wanting to look your absolute best. Especially when you only get one body and one lifetime to do with it as you wish, right? Well as for me I plan big things for the future, and having a good bod is definitely on the top of my list.
So as I was saying, we joined a gym that although is a distance from home, ended up giving us a good deal before Hannah goes back to Durham University. The benefits of being under 18 means I just qualify to getting the cheap deals. At least there are some perks to not being 18 yet. It’s NERVE WRACKING though. Wearing tight clothes that expose everything and seeing those beefy men lifting weights the size of car wheels in the corner. But I cannot tell you how much better it is going with someone. It’s reassuring and allows you to talk to someone to stop yourself from feeling awkward or embarrassed. And if you can’t go with someone… get chatting and make friends! You’d be surprised by how awkward everyone else is feeling and is probably craving human interaction.
However, it’s all very well going to the gym three or four times and week and pushing your limits, but it’s worth jack sh*t if your diet isn’t right. Exercise only does 30% of the task when wanting to improve your body, diet does the rest.
My sister and I started researching into high protein diets and what not. Getting confused at the contradictions that each diet had: low fat, low carb, high carb and low fat etc. So to cut all the confusion for you, Hannah did a little deeper digging and found a revolutionary food routine that shreds the fat in weeks.
The truth is, the human race has become addicted to sugar. Hence the enormous rise in obesity in particular countries such as the USA and even Britain. The reason for this? Well when you see on a package that the item is “low in fat” or has 0% fat, they need to substitute something into the product to taste good. And that product is gram after gram after gram of sugar. Also known as: Carbs. Now there is nothing tastier than sliced white bread, cow’s milk etc. But our bodies are clinging onto these unnatural, unhealthy carbs and using them up as energy. So we all get this massive sugar rush and then a hard come down making us grouchy and moody. Therefore we’ll eat more processed food to get our energy levels back up.
You may be sat there thinking, I eat fruit, alpen bars, special k, salads! I’m healthy. But what do all those foods have in common? Sugar – Carbs. Like I said: we are addicted to sugar!
But have no fear because I have a solution.
When you hear the word “fat” what do you picture? Yellow gloop sticking to your organs and making your body jiggle? I think we all do. But you have to get that image out of your head when you see it written on packages of things. My sister explained it to me like this: if you call the fat in products a different word like vegetable, then everyone would see “fat” as another substance that is in our food like protein! But don’t forget, the fat in cheese is very different to the fat in a McDonald’s cheeseburger.
So here are some tips that have been tremendously helping my sister and I tighten the stomach and shed the fat…
1. 1. Try a low carb high fat and high protein diet.
You’d be AMAZED at the things you can eat that are actually benefitting your body! Tasty things like cheese, meat, cream! As long as the amount of Carbs you eat in a day is under 50g (differs for men), then your body uses the fat and the protein as an energy source and ends up EATING YOUR BODY’S OWN FAT!
2. 2.Women – You can lift more than you think.
I see so many women at the gym doing cardio on the treadmills or bikes with bright red faces with a look of utter defeat and exhaustion. Don’t do it to yourselves! Lift some weights! I promise it does not make you bulky… we don’t have the right hormones naturally to make us huge like men. And strong is sexy … Believe me. Lifting weights is actually better than cardio at getting rid of fat. The other day my sister and I braved ourselves and went to the area where very few women go: the free weights, you know, where those beefy men lift twice the size of you on one arm? But we don’t realise just how strong we are naturally. With the help of a member of staff, he got me and my sister with a bell bar across our shoulders squatting with 20kg! That’s a quarter of how much I weigh! Push yourselves you’d be surprised. The trick is to rip your muscles so that when you rest they repair stronger – and that’s when a protein shake comes in handy! We have a cookies and cream one by “Whey” and it tastes amazing.
3. 3. Drink water.
Fruit juices, especially those from concentrate, are infested with sugar. Fruit itself have a natural source of sugar in them so it’s best to have fruit as a treat. Try clouded apple juice or simply a bottle of ice cold water. Make it more interesting by freezing it with some fruit inside! Try blueberries as they have the least amount of sugar in them than any other fruit (oh and maybe avoid banana’s, keep them for a treat).
4. 4. Experiment with meals!
Preparing your meals is probably the difficult part as it takes time and imagination. But by planning ahead, it stops you from rushing into buying that night’s meal and getting one with sugar and Carbs in it – your body with then cling to the carbs and you’ll have to start over again. But don’t just restrict yourself to some meat and veg! There are so many interesting recipes that taste like it’s not healthy and fills you right up! Last night Hannah made a healthy pizza with cauliflower for the base, I swear it’s one of the nicest pizza’s I’ve ever had. Here’s a link to some high fat, low carb recipes.
5. 5. If it’s not natural, don’t eat it.
This is how I think when I want a snack. Things like pies, snack bars and chocolate bars don’t grow in the ground or off trees. Things like vegetables, meat, cheese etc. But when it comes to chocolate, switch to dark chocolate! Instead of fatty cows milk switch to Almond Milk! It takes getting used to but it tastes great in smoothies! Peanut butter with 100% nuts will become your new best friend. As will cooking everything in coconut oil. These things are a little more expensive to your normal oils and milks but it balances out when you stock up on veg and meat instead of bread and sugary juices and snacks.
6. 6. See the difference!
This lifestyle isn’t for everyone but give it a go! Try it for a month. I guarantee in the first week you’ll drop the pounds like their basket balls. Take a before and after picture, get a friend to measure your arms and legs. But most importantly, enjoy it! Don’t see it as a strict diet or a burden, see it as a lifestyle choice. Chat to people about it, spread it around! I am amazed at the results and I haven’t been doing it for that long. If it helps, Meryl Streep preaches about this diet.
If you want to know more, this diet is formally known as the “Ketogenic” diet. Get researching into it! If it’s not for you don’t worry, or give it a go.
Some before and afters of people who are on the “Ketogenic” diet:
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