Nutrition

Do It Right | Diet & Exercise

The Diet Plan

I’ll start my diet tomorrow, I can go to the gym anytime, and I’ll go later.  It’s only a chocolate bar, I’ll be fine. It’s easy to set goals and make lists, but achieving that goal or completing that list and going all the way to the end is the hardest part. The key to your success is to be smart and work accordingly to your body.

motivation

Start at a pace you can manage, don’t be too ambitious. A good start is to begin cutting down on the junk food you consume, also start cutting down on processed foods like pasta, bread and rice. Finding alternatives to these foods, for example, swapping rice for couscous is not too much of a drastic change in your diet, but will be beneficial to your body. Suddenly removing all junk food from your diet can be quite problematic as this sudden change will cause food urges and may cause you to relapse back into your old habits quicker.

The best way to go about this is to gradually wean yourself off the bad food. Instead of having a packet of crisps and a chocolate bar for a snack, have the crisps with some fruit. By only swapping out one thing, you are not totally depriving your body of what it is used to.

As the days carry on, and you begin to get used to this, you can then swap out more of the bad food for healthier options. People do not realise just how important nutrition is when it comes to shedding fat and becoming a healthier person. Losing body fat begins with your nutrition and diet. If you workout and burn off a load of calories but you then leave the gym and walk straight into a take away, your workout has been wasted.

You’ve got to eat and train smart in order to achieve your goals.

is it bad to eat late at night

Your workouts are of course just as important as your diet, and it can be just as hard to stick to your workout plan as it is to stick with your balanced diet. Frank Adams, 72, currently coaches athletes at GB level and many others with potential. He was also a sportsman back in his younger days where he favoured longer distances: “In my competitive days I ran 1/4 mile, 1/2 mile…and in the winter ran cross country”. Over the years, Frank has competed around England and has competed in 6 marathons, one being the Millennium Marathon which was held on 1st January 2000.

Frank has a lot of experience when it comes to exercise and fitness and he shares his knowledge on why and how a person’s fitness and exercise is imperative for everyone, not just those who compete competitively. He says, “A person’s fitness is very important as you need your fitness to do everyday things…however, the problem with modern living is we are not thrown into exercise…a generation ago our parents had to walk everywhere as it was the only means of travelling”.

The evolution of technology and new machines to help us in our day to day life is helpful as it is less time consuming, however it has made us as a generation lazy and very dependent on them. “Before there were no machines to do all the work and everything was done by hand. The amount of activity done now is reasonably less to what people were doing before…people today need to make up for it with exercise”.

food labels


Mr Adams believes that, depending on the person, fitness means different things to different people. One’s level of fitness should not be compared to another and your perception of fitness changes over time. It can be easy once you become more enthusiastic about your sport to become more competitive and begin overtraining your body.

Beginners to a sport can quickly become disheartened as they are comparing themselves to others and make their workouts too competitive for their body to handle. “ Don’t feel like you need to do what everyone else is doing, listen to your body and don’t ignore any pains you are feeling…more necessarily is not always better”.

Mr Adams goes on to reflect on his competitiveness in his youth and how he used to judge his own ability “In my teens, I judged my fitness by my success or otherwise in athletic competitions…In more recent years it has simply been the ability to run or do exercises that many at my age cannot do”.

Also, when it comes to fitness, you need to search for something you enjoy doing and something that your body will be able to handle and begin with that. If you begin to lose interest in the workout you are participating in, you will quickly lose the motivation needed to carry on and you will eventually give up.

“Find something you enjoy…cycling can be a nicer sport to ease into as it does not lead to the sort of injuries created from running…especially to those who are heavier than others running can cause bad knee injuries”.

cycling triathlon programme

Fitness overall is something that should be a part of everyone’s life as it has massive effects on a person’s health and well-being. Whatever you get into, whether it is a competitive sport or just regular exercise, Frank Adams emphasises that through your exercise you should achieve these three things: “ First of all you must always enjoy what you are doing. Second of all have fun – when people get too focused on their sport they can lose the aspect of having fun. Lastly, remain and be positive. Always have a sense of achievement when you finish your workout”.

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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye has a MSc in Sport Physiology and Nutrition, and puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding. She enjoys a pun, and in her spare time loves dog walking and eating out.


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