The quote from Alan Lakein is so true and can be applied to so many areas of health and fitness. No matter whether your goal is to drop a dress size or run the London Marathon, it's simple, "Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail"
Once you have identified what it is you need to achieve then its time to work out how to succeed. Bear in mind that any goals you set yourself clearly need to be realistic and achievable within the constraints of your lifestyle!
I use the following checklist when coaching and training. Try using it to start to develop your own fitness or fat loss plan.
1. My current situation is:
What to include: How much time do you currently have to spend on your fat loss or fitness goal? What activities are you undertaking which contribute to this? Are these the most appropriate to help you meet your goals? What is stopping you doing more? What are your main constraints?
2. My Options are:
What to include: What changes could you make to help you achieve you goals? Do you need to change any of your activities? Can you find more time? Are you able to overcome any of your constraints?
3. Exercise Schedule:
List what exercise you will do and when. Include classes you will attend, online workouts and other clubs, activities or sport specific training. Make sure you transfer this information into your schedule and treat it as a commitment.
4. Healthy Eating Actions:
Include at least 3 actions you will take to eat more healthily. For example, to have a lunch style breakfast 4 days a week; to increase your water intake; to cook up some homemade soup.
Try making a detailed plan for the week ahead and a slightly less detailed one for the next month. I'd love to hear about your plans so if you want some feedback then post them up on my Facebook Page.
Personally I believe Type 2 diabetes to be the biggest health risk for my children's generation, if not my own. The increase in processed foods packed with hidden sugars and saturated fat and the super sizing of snacks has massively increased our sugar consumption.
Today is World Diabetes Day and this year the message is "a healthy start" with a big focus on breakfast. I completely concur with this approach as in my experience the better your start to the day the less likely you are to snack later on.
That said it takes a change in mindset to move away from a standard british breakfast and start eating a more healthy protein rich lunch style breakfast. Avoid cereals at all costs, most contain a shocking amount of sugar as does orange juice. Sugary breakfast cereals (even those promoted as "no sugar added" will still contain sugars in dried fruit, check out the food labels) trigger a big insulin response leaving you feeling low and sluggish and hungry again just a few hours later.
Protein is key to keeping you going for longer and avoiding the hunger pangs. ‘No time’ is no excuse – omelette or frittata made the night before and eaten cold takes less time in the morning than pouring a bowl of cereal!
Try the following breakfast ideas:
3 egg Spinach and Mushroom Omelette
Slice a large field mushroom and fry in a little oil until soft. Add a large handful of spinach and a handful of halved cherry tomatoes. Continue to cook for a minute until it starts to wilt.
Whisk the eggs together and pour over the vegetables. Cook on a low to medium heat for a few minutes until the egg starts to cook but is still slightly runny on the top.
Place the omelette in the pan under a hot grill for 2 minutes until the egg is cooked through. Serve hot, or cook the night before and eat cold in the morning.
Variations: Try adding smoked salmon with the spinach.
Poached Eggs with Wholegrain Toast
Serve 2 poached eggs with a slice of wholegrain toast and some grilled tomatoes.
For those who can't stomach savoury eggs for breakfast (you can change, I proved it!) then try this alternative. It does contain sugar but much less than you will find in processed cereals. The slow release carbs in the oats will help keep you feeling fuller for longer too.
Apple and Blackberry Oaty
40g Jumbo Oats
1 grated apple
100ml almond milk
2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Set the oven to 180 c
Lightly grease a large dish and spread over the grated apple and blackberries.
Whisk the egg then add the milk, honey and cinnamon and whisk again. Add in the oats, mix well and pour over the fruit. Cook in preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown and thoroughly cooked.
Pilates is beneficial in strengthening the neck and shoulders and alleviating problems in these areas so it is somewhat ironic that for many of us tension in the neck and shoulders, particularly when we begin Pilates classes can be quite a problem.
Many Pilates exercises are done on our back where the head is lifted away from the floor. In this position it is the core, including abdominals and back which is responsible for supporting the head, neck and shoulders and maintaining the elevated position. As the abs tire and stop working the neck muscles start to tense and strain, which if left to persist can create strain injury. If you continue with the exercise in this situation not only are you risking serious injury but doing absolutely nothing for the core, which has now stopped working.
What to do to avoid Neck Strain
Once you are starting to get stronger add a progression. Keeping your knees together, as you curl up lift your right foot away from the floor lengthening your leg. As you roll down lower the foot back down the floor. Alternate your leg each time.
With over 20 years experience in the fitness industry, Debbie's philosophy is to provide results driven, progressive but functional training solutions that fit in to our