Last month I challenged you to make two changes in your routine to help you on your way to a healthier year. They were to eat a nutritious breakfast and exercise for 3×30 minute times each week.
I’m sure if you have made those changes you will be feeling the benefits. If you haven’t yet – then it’s never too late to start.
So this month, I have two more changes for you to make. Remember, doing a little bit at a time is much easier than making huge changes that you can’t keep doing. Being healthy is a lifetime commitment.
So the challenge for you this month is:
1. Eat smaller portions each day
2. Add some resistance training each week.
Challenge 1: Eat Smaller Portions
Most of us eat meals that are way too big. I’ve worked with hundreds of women who are trying to lose weight and most of them tell me that they “don’t eat much”. Unfortunately, this is often not true because they don’t realise how much they are eating. You don’t get to be 10–20+ kilos overweight if you are not overeating.
So this month I want you to be completely honest and look at everything you are eating. Are you snacking off your children’s plates, are you snacking while you’re cooking dinner? Really look at your food intake and I’m sure you will find that you are consuming more than what you think.
Also look at the size of the plates you are using. Dinner plates are much bigger today than what they used to be and we still manage to fill them with food. An easy way for you to try and get the right amount of food on your plate is to use the following measurements. The meat portion should be the size of your palm (not including your fingers). Vegetables and salad should fill your hands if they were joined together like a bowl.
You shouldn’t be eating until you are stuffed full; you should just be satisfied. It takes your brain about 20 minutes to realise your stomach is full, so give yourself some time instead of going straight for seconds or dessert.
Challenge 2: Add some resistance
Also this month I challenge you to add 15 minutes, twice a week of resistance training. Resistance training is doing exercise with something that causes a resistance for you, like dumb bells, dyna-bands or even body weight. Some of the best resistance exercises are squats, lunges and push ups. Try to do 3×10 repetitions of each of these exercises and that will get you a great start to resistance training. Remember to wear comfortable clothes and proper shoes when you are exercising.
Here are some how-to’s for these resistance exercises:
- Squats – legs wide with toes turned out. When you squat down make sure your knees go out over your toes and your weight is on your heels. Squat down as low as you can, nice and slowly, and as you come back up squeeze your glutes (bottom muscles).
- Lunges – take big step with one leg out in front. Make sure both feet are pointing forward. Bend both legs slightly. Slowly lower your back knee towards the ground. Keep torso straight and don’t bend forward. You should be able to see the tip of the toe at the front. Slowly come back.
- Push-ups – Start on all fours and bend elbows as you lower your nose towards the ground. This is the easiest level. Next level is to be on your knees with your back straight and bottom down (not sticking up). Once again bend your elbows and lower nose towards ground.
These are easy to add into your day if you don’t have time to do ‘a workout’. Try doing squats while brushing your teeth, or some push-ups while the washing-up water fills the sink, or lunges while you’re on the phone. Every little bit makes a difference.
Good luck with this month’s challenge. Remember you will only get results based on the effort you put in.
Leanne Shorter is a mum of three grown children. She has remained fit and healthy while raising her children, working full time and running a business and a household.
She is a qualified personal trainer and weight loss consultant. She has all the advice you need to stay healthy while being a busy mum. Check out her website www.leeshealthywomensclub.com.au or find her on facebook @leeshealthywomensclub.