The truth about detox teas,fat loss pills and fad diets as athlete reveals how to really lose weight
Updated: Jan 22, 2019
A former Team GB athlete-turned-nutritionist has given us the lowdown on what to be doing to shed the pounds in 2019
A former Team GB athlete has revealed the dos and don'ts to getting 2019 off to a healthy start.
Stacey Smith represented her country in the 800m/1500m, competing on the biggest stage.
Now a qualified nutritionist, personal trainer and sports physiotherapist, the 28-year-old is on hand to help you lose weight and get fit.
Stacey, of Newcastle, said: “Health and fitness advice in the past has always tended to be about going to extremes.
"Cutting out whole food groups, fasted cardio, not eating carbs after 6pm, and downing protein shakes after a session.
“Being fit and healthy is easy, can be fun and you don’t have to take it too seriously, you don’t have to stick to the rules which have been set before, find your own way of doing things”.
Here are Stacey's 10 tips to a healthier lifestyle.
Juice cleanse? No thanks...
You don’t need a detox, juice cleanse, diet teas or ‘fat loss pills’. These are companies taking advantage of your low self-esteem and want to make money. They don’t work, the only thing getting smaller is your wallet.
Take it steady. Don’t be tempted into going to the gym every day for three weeks, then find you’ve sickened yourself and can’t face going there anymore. Choose to exercise 3/4 times a week, then build it up after that.
It's all about the short-term
Set short-term and long-term goals. One of the most off-putting things for clients is that they solely focus on their long-term plan, i.e. losing 40 pounds. Now if you have a big goal like that, it may seem impossible and out of reach in the short-term. This is when achievable short-term goals are better put in place. Focus on losing your first five pounds, then move your goals and again after you’ve achieved that ... and so on.
Chocolate IS allowed
Stop banning your favourite foods. Why would you want to be miserable, unsociable and then embark on a binge four days later which sets back all your ‘hard work’. Whether your vice is chocolate, a glass of wine or your favourite crisps, make sure you include these in your diet every now and again. Portion control and mindful eating is key here. Fat loss is about patience, adherence and accountability, if you have fat to lose this is going to take time, cutting out your favourite foods for six months is not realistic. For my clients I always ask them their top three favourite foods and include them in their plans. Whatever plan you're going to do, enjoyment is number one if you want success with it.
Your work outside the gym is just as important
Put a focus into what your doing outside the gym. NEAT stands for Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, and studies show that one of the most important factors when focusing on fat loss is what you're getting up to outside the gym. Think walking around, fidgeting, active jobs (i.e. postman, waitress, barman). Most of us have a sit down job these days, make sure you're getting up off the chair throughout the day and go for a walk outside, around the office, take the stairs, park the car further away, get off the bus a couple of stops earlier.
Count those calories
Sugar doesn't make you fat, eating too many calories does. Simple. If you're into macro counting, focus less on your carbohydrate to fat ratio and more on hitting your protein numbers.
Stop the comparison. Spend less time caring about what your favourite Insta Fitspo says she does (because she probably doesn’t) and what Aunty Jean said about the latest cauliflower diet or what your pal Mark said about eating no carbohydrates after 6pm. There's plenty of misinformation about nutrition and fat loss. Your focus should be health. A diet rich in wholegrains, vegetables, fruit, protein, healthy fats and a bit of junk thrown in there every now and again is ideal.
Booze really is bad
Drink less alcohol. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but a couple of glasses of wine can set you back 400kcal and will require a 40-minute run to burn it off. Cutting your alcohol intake down is one of the quickest ways to lose those pesky pounds.
Plan around those inevitable excuses
Make a list of all your personal barriers. This is the best way to make sure you stay on track of your health and fitness goals. Write down everything that will possibly get in your way or things that you may be tempted to use as an excuse. Examples such as work, stress, tiredness, family, celebrations, lack of motivation and bad weather conditions are frequently used ... especially in January. You need to be aware of what may get in your way and you need to have a plan in place for when these situations may happen. Sounds a little bit drastic, but it works.
Taking the time will save you time
Planning and preparing your meals are also key, no you don’t have to live life out of a tupperwear box, or carry round a protein shake with you all day. But you do need to plan on what you're going to eat. If you're rushed, stressed and your 4pm hunger strike hits, reaching for a packet of crisps or having a half pack of hobnobs becomes far more appealing then having to take time out to make a healthy snack instead.
Remember, the feeling of euphoria beats everything else
Enjoy your training. Think that being healthy and increasing your fitness levels should be a hard, miserable, painful slog? Thats the quickest way to put anyone off. Find the enjoyment level of exercise, remind yourself of how you will feel afterwards, endorphins released will give you a euphoric feeling and exercise is also recommend for people that might be suffering from the New Year blues. Exercise is a natural mood lifter and also gives you time out of the rat race.