By Iain Sinclair, personal trainer, PureGym Quartermile
It’s the start of a new year, spirits are high and resolutions are many. But when we make promises to ourselves to get fit and healthy, the majority of us only manage to keep these resolutions for a few months before old habits start creeping back.
However, it’s important to remember that when it comes to achieving higher levels of fitness or losing body fat, you are changing habits you’ve developed over a long period of time. Therefore, in order for these changes to take place, you have to be willing to adapt your lifestyle.
As a personal trainer, one of the most common things I hear from clients is “I don't have the time to exercise”. My response to this is always the same: if you want to achieve your goals you must make time. Taking one hour out of your day two or three times a week isn't really asking much, when it ultimately leads to a happier, healthier and fitter you.
What you eat also has big impact on achieving your goals as it helps put you in a more positive frame of mind. If you want to get fitter or shed some pounds, these foods will help you get essential vitamins and nutrients and in turn, speed up your metabolism:
Fruits, vegetables, brown rice, whole grains, cereals
They are all packed with fibre, so they take up more room in your belly and leave less room for second helpings. Think about it this way: foods that take more effort to chew literally make your mouth work harder and can ramp up calorie burn by up to 10 per cent! This increases the thermic effect of food and the calorie-burn bump we get from eating and digesting.
You can also give yourself a treat with the following energising foods and liquids:
Coffee, black tea, green tea, dark chocolate
You can find metabolism-boosting caffeine in coffee and black tea but just be careful not to load them up with milk, cream, or sugar. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant and it can boost your metabolism by five to eight per cent, amounting to about 80 to 128 calories a day. Green tea doesn’t contain much caffeine but it does contain catechins, which is an antioxidant that raises resting metabolism by four per cent (about 80 calories a day). Dark chocolate contains both catechins and caffeine, but stick to one ounce per day to limit fat and calories.
I do feel I should emphasise that although eating these sorts of foods will help you achieve your resolutions, it shouldn't be seen as a quick fix. At the end of the day, if you want long-term change you have to break habits and change your lifestyle. It’s worth bearing in mind that healthy eating and regular exercise isn’t just about achieving a ‘beach body’ – it also helps reduce stress and improve your wellbeing and happiness.
If you’re unsure of the best way to compliment your healthy eating with exercise I would highly recommend investing in a personal trainer. Working with a personal trainer is a great investment and you will see results quicker as well as learn as how to sustain the ‘new you’.
If you think personal training is for you, please feel free to get in touch with either myself or any one of the personal training team at PureGym, Quartermile.
PureGym at Quartermile is one of the busiest gyms in Edinburgh because of the incentives we offer. You don’t have to sign a contract and we have 24/7 opening times. To find out more visit the website www.puregym.com/gyms/Edinburgh or call 0845 077 3256 to speak to the manager, Colin Ferrie.