Kitchen vs the gym

imageimageimageimage Firstly I'm not a fitness expert and never will be. Before I gained my weight I played squash for 10 years, I played for the West Midlands and loved it. When I hit 15 though the Sunday six hour training sessions got boring and I lost interest. At my biggest I was too embarrassed to go the gym so didn't bother. Practically every personal trainer, fitness expert and slimming expert will tell you that weight loss is 80% our diet and 20% fitness and exercise. Say you worked out for ten hours in a week, that still leaves 158 hours to ruin it in the kitchen.As a slimming world consultant we are trained on our version of increasing fitness levels called body magic. How often have you thought ‘I only lose weight when I do Body Magic too’, or ‘I’ll lose weight next week because I’ll exercise more’? Not exercising often gets the blame when we don’t lose weight – it can be all too easy to assume that’s it’s our exercise (or lack of) that’s made the difference. Well it might surprise you to hear that if you Food Optimise without exercise – you WILL lose weight.Misconceptions about activity and its effect on weight loss can often start to weaken our belief in Food Optimising – and we’re here to put the record straight, bust those mighty myths and ensure you’re on the path to weight loss success!Food Optimising and Body Magic, the facts:If you Food Optimise without exercise – you WILL lose weight.If you exercise without Food Optimising – you WON’T lose weight (at least, not much and not without a lot of hard work!).If you’ve gained or maintained one week it won’t be because you haven’t done any or enough exercise. By Food Optimising 100%, we naturally reduce our calorie intake to give us at least a 1-2lb weight loss each week – even if we are close to our personal target. If you still have some way to go, those weekly weight losses will be even greater!To achieve that 1-2lb weekly loss by exercise alone, we’d have to jog for more than one hour every single day! Food Optimising is absolutely what’s going to get you to your personal target weight. So why is activity important at all? Body Magic brings longer-term benefits – and it’s important that, over time, we build it into our daily routines. Without activity it’s too difficult to maintain successful weight loss – it just comes back and you end up starting all over again! Our research shows that 90% of successful weight loss maintainers have made activity as much a part of their routine as healthy eating. When you exercise you see the following benefits :-Discover more energy and vitalityHelp protect yourself from serious illnessBuild long-lasting, healthy eating habits to maintain your target weight forever!Tone up arms, legs, tummy and bottomMaintain lean muscle which helps burn more energy – even when you’re resting!Feel more relaxed and enjoy more restful sleepStrengthen bones and jointsBuild long-lasting, active habits to maintain your target weight forever!So how does Body Magic affect weight loss?“I lost a lot of weight this week – it’ll be because I’ve done a lot of Body Magic”.The great news is... your fabulous weight loss this week will be because you’ve been Food Optimising brilliantly! And by doing 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week in addition to Food Optimising, it will help you lose an additional 12-24lbs across a year! That’s an average of around ¼lb a week extra!“I know what I’m going to do to lose weight: I’m going to go to Zumba three times this week!”That’s real determination, and those three sessions will set you on your way to your silver Body Magic award, and all of those health benefits. Without Food Optimising though you might not see the result you want on the scales. Is there anything that might get in the way of you Food Optimising 100%?“I know why I’ve maintained this week, it will be because I haven’t been out walking so much”The good news is... if you’re still near the beginning of your journey, by Food Optimising 100% you could lose 5lbs or more in a single week. And if you’re close to target, you could still lose at least 1-2lbs each week – even if you miss out on your walking again.So you've decided you want to start exercising and increasing your body magic. Where do you start!?! There's so many different types of exercise. Running/jogging, fitness dvd's like the 30 day shread, boot camps, PT sessions, cardio classes, insanity training, interval training, weight training, then other sports based training and so on.......Having tried most of these I prefer a combination of interval training and weight training. Just running and running for hours will burn calories but only while you're running. It can also put a lot of stress on your body. Weight training helps your body to carry on burning calories for hours after, even sitting on your bum! Winner!!!!! I love my gym classes like combat, spin and step. But I also absolutely love the weights based class, body pump. Nothing changes the shape of my body like pump. It's a combination of arms, legs and tummies doing exercises such as squats, lunges, dead lifts, clean and press, biceps, back, shoulders, triceps and abs and so on. Before I went to Ibiza two years ago I was the slimmest and most toned I've ever been and that was doing a combination of the above. There's been many studies comparing diet, cardio and weight training. Subjects that just dieted lost weight, 14lbs. Those that dieted and did cardio only lost an extra 1lb, however those that followed a healthy diet plan and did weight based training lost nearly an extra 7lbs. Interesting stuff :-) I think you should do whatever suits you, whatever you enjoy doing and whatever makes you feel good and happy. It can be based on how much time you have in your lives to fit it in too.To achieve your body magic awards in group, this is what you need to be doing.Bronze standard45 minutes per weekspread over 3 to 5 daysmaintained for 4 weeks*The key is to start small (5 to 15 minutes per session is fine) and build in some regular activity over a number of days (not 45 minutes in one session) and then to make it a habit (by maintaining this level for 4 weeks).Silver standard6 sessions of 15 minutes per weekspread over 3 to 5 daysmaintained for 4 weeks*Again, the key is regular sessions (of 15 to 30 minutes) on several days of the week and then to make this a new habit (by maintaining this level now for 4 weeks).Gold standard10 sessions of 15 minutes per weekincluding at least two sessions of muscle strengthening exercises (like lifting weights in the gym, continuous digging in the garden, stepping or jumping) as part of the 10 sessions spread over at least 5 daysmaintained for 8 weeks*The overall long-term goal should be to build up to 30 minutes of moderate activity 5 days a week.Then make this a habit. This is the Gold standard.Platinum standard is when active living really has become a lifestyle.I'm an all or nothing girl! I'll either go nearly every day or not at all! For me planning is the key, if I book in to do a class I'll go. I'm lucky that the trainer at my gym is fab!!! She's so fit and strong and always makes the classes fun. You make new friends too so it's lovely to all catch up. Just like a group. I always feel so much better though when I go and it makes me more determined to stick to plan, as I'd hate to undo all my hard work.The other thing that motivates me is new gym gear!!! If you follow me on Instagram you'll see I've got a bit addicted to buying new trainers! These are the only flat shoes I own, so I like to have a few different coloured pairs :-)  Right that's enough sitting down writing about being active. Keep up the good work guys and Happy Fopping xx