Our top 7 tips to help re-set your body and feel beach ready all year ‘round! Health & fitness quick fixes only provide you with temporary results, commitment to any of these tips below will help provide your health & fitness journey with a solid foundation set for longevity.
1. A Plant Based Diet
Why a diet rich in ‘plant based’ foods?
Plant based diets are known to be lower in fat and more satiating than non-plant based diets due to the increased fibre and water intake alongside the lack of animal fats. Eating vegan isn’t a magic cure for weight loss, and you can absolutely go down the “fast food” vegan road. The key is to not get caught up in the eating ‘vegan’ title and remain focused on what it is you are putting in your body, just because fries and Oreos are vegan doesn’t mean they’re healthy. Stay close to the natural state of food, consuming wholefoods in a balanced ratio of ‘carbohydrates-fats-proteins’ is an essential key in your diet for long term success in staying lean. Plant based eating is best seen as a process of eliminating what your body doesn’t need, so this means no saturated animal fats and no cholesterol.
One of the most effective ways to tone up and increase your metabolism is weight training. Vary your range of repetition, each week repetitions should be switched up; muscle growth is optimal between 8 and 12 repetitions and between 2 and 4 sets.
Keep your rest periods short and try to superset muscle groups. Supersets are two different exercises performed in rapid succession. You could even try a superset with two exercises using opposing muscle groups, for example bench presses followed by cable rows.
Run hungry! Running first thing in the morning on an empty stomach is a guaranteed fat burner, at this time glycogen stores are depleted so you will more likely burn up fat cells for energy. If you are worried about muscle loss, a quick protein shake 30 mins before your run will help. Phyto Fire Protein by PranaOn is a great plant based sports supplement specifically designed to aid in boosting your metabolism whilst gaining and maintaining lean muscle. More info can be found here.
3. Intermittent Fasting
If you feel you have plateaued in your health and fitness journey, intermittent fasting is a fantastic way to essentially ‘shock’ the body into changing the function of its cells, genes and hormones. This way of eating consists of short term fasts and the theory behind it is reducing calories whilst optimising some hormones which are related to weight control. Some popular ways of intermittent fasting include;
- the 16/8 method: skip breakfast! Keep your eating within an 8-hour period, 12pm – 8pm
- Try 2 x 24 hour fasts a week
- The 5:2 diet: eat only 500-600 calories two days a week and eat normally for the other 5 days
As long as you are fasting safely, you can do it as often as you like. There is no wrong or right answer as to the frequency or time period you must fast within to see results, what is important is paying attention to how your body responds and adjust your lifestyle as needed. Ensure you are drinking enough water throughout the fasting periods and eating enough wholefoods outside of the fasting.
4. Raw before 4
The Raw ‘til 4 movement involves eating raw nutrient dense whole foods up until the last meal of the day, which then consists of cooked plant based food. This diet also avoids sodium and oils, whilst promoting an unlimited number of calories from carbohydrate-rich plant based sources. Raw ‘til 4 is a great lifestyle to experiment with as it is a stepping stone to fully raw, and a great alternative for those wanting to detox and re-set their digestive systems but cannot fully commit to a raw diet or juice cleanse.
5. Increase Your Metabolism Naturally
Maintain a high metabolism by focusing on low glycemic, high protein foods. Ensure you are eating the right number of meals per day, 5-6 small meals a day is optimal for boosting your metabolism. Don’t forget to have fun in the sun! Vitamin D from the sun helps regulate your body clock which in turn regulates your metabolism.
Keep your kitchen stocked with these top metabolism boosters:
Almonds, Beans, Berries, Celery, Chia Seeds, Apple Cider Vinegar, Cinnamon, Coconut Oil, Spicy Peppers, Grapefruit, Green Tea, Spinach & Watermelon
Stay satiated with these appetite suppressing foods:
Ginger, avocado, cayenne pepper, apples, tofu, oatmeal, green vegetables, cinnamon & flax seeds
6. Juice cleansing to re-set your digestive system
A juice cleanse doesn’t have to be expensive, time consuming or stressful! If you have access to a juicer you are half way there, the next step is to stock up on your favourite fruits and vegetables and set aside some time to prepare your desired amount of juice. The recommended time period is 3 days with 5 juices per day, however a one-day cleanse is enough to help flush and detox your system.
Benefits of a juice cleanse include:
Resting the stomach & liver, repairing the gut, reducing your appetite, easing food decision making, eliminating harmful toxic foods, increased nutrition, weight loss, improved energy, mental clarity, accelerated hydration, maximum detoxification, healing and repairing of our cells.
7. Fully Raw
There are no essential nutrients in meat, legumes, dairy or grains that are not also present in fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. These plant alternatives are not only easier to digest, they contain some essential nutrients that can only be found in fruits or vegetables.
There are a wide range of benefits related to a fully raw diet, some of these include:
Lowered inflammation, improved digestion, increased dietary fibre, improved heart health, improved liver function, more energy, clearer skin and lowered amount of antinutrients and carcinogens in the diet.
The increased nutrients and low-caloric value of fruits and vegetables paired with increased satiety from dietary fibre all work together to help maintain a healthy weight long term.