Friday, 22 December 2017 / London, UK

How to Balance Your Workout with Your Diet

How to Balance Your Workout with Your Diet
Image via Unsplash

Guest poster and fabulous fitness blogger at Ripped.me, Sam Olivier, shares her wisdom on something that many of us (me included) have struggled with: getting the balance between workouts and dieting right.

‘Tis the season for reflecting on our decisions in the past months and making new promises for the upcoming year. Let’s not call them resolutions, but lifestyle changes, because that is precisely what they are – your need to improve your wellbeing and it’s a process that will last a lifetime, not a single year. And as the pinnacles of healthy living, well-tailored nutrition and exercise go hand in hand in order for each separately to take any effect on any aspect of your existence, not just weight loss.

Unfortunately, sticking to your fast food choices while going to the gym will have as little effect as eating all healthy but never moving a muscle. So, in order to avoid the pitfalls of random binges and slumbering around all winter-long with the promise to “start on Monday”, if you strike the right balance between these two aspects of wellness, you’ll be able to jump on the bandwagon of continuous personal progress.

Define your meal plan


It’s not just about the calories. Not everyone is looking to shed a few pounds, many of us simply aim to have more energy, improve our immune system, get rid of bloating, or boost our skin health. So, the amount of your food does matter, but it still isn’t the only aspect of your diet to care for – craft a rich meal plan to include enough micro and macronutrients every day based on your needs.

Infuse your days with movement


Exercise, or a healthy life for that matter, doesn’t start or end in the gym. Do your best to move more every day: take the stairs, stretch in the morning, walk or cycle to work, have walk and talk meetings, dance more, jog with your pooch, instead of a coffee date head for some rollerblading or volleyball. Just keep your mindset in motion!

Think fresh and whole


Make small tweaks to your diet, such as swapping fried eggs for boiled, or going for a fresh salad instead of fried veggies. In general, ditching processed foods that contain too many chemicals, additives, synthetic fragrances and aromas will help your body transition to a clean eating regime of fresh and whole foods. The less processed they are, the better they are for your mind and body!

Less sugar, more water


Energy drinks, sugary juices and sweetened coffee are your health’s worst enemies – they pump your body with energy only for a brief time-window, only to make your mood plummet very quickly, making you sluggish and drowsy. Reward yourself with a glass of water every time your reach for a sweet treat or opt for sugar-free coffee, and you’ll soon realize how much your body loves H2O!

Do your homework


Before you join a gym and find yourself puzzled by the basics, you should spend some time learning about your best exercise options, look for quality gym wear online to keep your workouts safe and comfortable, decide on proper warmup and cooldown routines, find protective gear and other essentials. Outline types of exercise, numbers of sets, reps and rest periods, HIIT sessions and strength-building. Only then can you walk into a gym and rest assured that your workouts truly count.

Seek guidance from experts 


If everything you’ve read online has only made you feel even more confused, don’t be afraid to ask for help and support from experts. After all, that’s what they’re there for! Ask your close friends or family if they can recommend someone, or find someone with experience, but a certified personal trainer can be of great help both in helping you define your current physical abilities and setting the right milestones to track your progress as you go along.

Don’t fear the weight room


Most ladies stick to the cardio section, for various reasons, very few of which make any sense. If you’re healthy, haven’t suffered an injury, haven’t had a surgical procedure or anything so severe, your body will benefit from added resistance. Start small, increase gradually, and don’t be afraid of compound movements such as the deadlift and the squat, because they are incredible for burning fat and building strength.

Define your why, not just your how


A psychological element that often determines how committed we stay to our new lifestyle choices is the reasoning behind them. Why are you doing this? To gain confidence, be healthy, have more stamina, be happy about your appearance? Whatever your motivation may be, it needs to resonate with you, and not be some vague “I should have better posture” idea, because it will fade away. Making these changes is hard enough as it is, so make sure there’s passion to fuel you when challenges arise.

Visit Sam Olivier's website at Ripped.me

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