It's the time of year that whatever the weather (and whatever our holiday destination) our thoughts turn to how we are going to feel on the beach.
This post from Poppys Style is bang on the money. Whatever shape you are in, it should NEVER be a reason to not grab life with both hands and go for it. Whether is scuba diving in the Caribbean, boating in the Med or just lounging on a hot day at your local lido, we will never look back at those times when we are in our dotage and regret that we had donned our swimwear and gone for it, quite the reverse.
That said, it is always worth doing a bit of preparatory work if it will make all those special holiday moments more comfortable. And if the weather is hot, it is fair to say, aesthetics aside, we are always more comfortable when we are fit and healthy.
The question that we are most asked in our bootcamp sessions is how do you start?
I'm not sure that there is a single answer to this. I asked one of my groups to write down what motivates them to start on a healthy regime and I got very different answers....
1. Eat everything in the house that is 'off the list' the night before.
2. Spend £300 on sportswear so there is no chance of not using it.
3. Do a huge 'healthy eating' shop and start the next day.
4. Plan a full day of activities so that there is no time to eat on the first day.
5. Sleep with PE kit and trainers at the end of the bed.
6. Have a blow out final day eating pizza for lunch, chinese for dinner, chocolate all afternoon.
7. Make sure that I have a day to myself with no one around to snipe at when I feel peckish.
You can tell the people that have followed 'calorie' type diets by the answers. The idea of feast and famine is a million miles from what we do at the Find. I'm not sure how answers 1 and 6 can really help with a long term regime. The whole point of the Thermic Plan is because you are never hungry, you are never tempted to overeat and if you really are desperate for a piece of chocolate, biscuit, pizza nothing is off limits anyway.
Number two is an interesting one, as long as it can be scaled down in more straightened times, buying a bit of kit that incentivises exercise is a good idea. It is always worth investing in a good pair of trainers if you don't have any, as it is so easy to get calf or knee injuries from the wrong ones. I've had people come to classes in Converse style daps, and told them to keep everything low impact until they have the right shoes, as the risk to their joints and muscles far outweighs any health benefit from a single class.
Number 3 is a definite, it is almost impossible to start a weight loss regime without some preparation beforehand. This is particularly true of the Thermic Plan, which is based on 'real food', in the main, cooked from scratch. The essentials would be as follows;
- At least 10 types of fruit and veg, head to the market with a trolley, the selection and quality is better, the portions more generous and the prices about half of even the cheapest supermarkets. Make life easier by choosing some 'long life' options, oranges, lemons, cabbage, carrots, turnips, potatoes etc
- From the health food store (Holland and Barrett, Wholefoods or online) brown rice, sunflower seeds, chopped nuts, variety of teas, dried Stevia leaf, soya sauce, tofu, agave nectar, sprouting seed kit, soya milk single cream
- From the supermarket (or butchers and fishmonger) turkey breast, whole chicken, salmon, tuna
- Additionally frozen peas, tinned tuna, milk, low fat cream cheese and yogurt, chutneys, salad cream, ready made mint sauce
With this haul, you have enough food to keep going for 7-10 days depending on how effective your menu planning is, this improves pretty quickly as laziness and husbandry dictate that we want to make our shopping last as long as possible. The aim is stay away from shops for the first phase of getting used to the plan.
Answers 4 and 5 are similar, since the success of the Find is to build a schedule around movement and then eat in such a way as to sustain the activity, these are both a good idea. Even if you just plan to wake up and do an exercise DVD, this can be enough to start in the vein in which you will continue.