I am a female personal trainer for a series of working mums and career girls. Many are serial fad dieters and their weight fluctuates accordingly. I will focus on one client who has been with me for the last couple of years. She is in her mid-thirties, a Secretary and a working mum, prior to this she was a dedicated career girl and a bit of a party girl. She has suffered from fluctuations in her weight for years, usually increasing steadily before and after Christmas and decreasing before the summer holidays. Generally, at her worst times, she would be a size 16 but her ideal is a healthy size 12.
However, over the last two years, she has maintained a consistent size 12 for the first time since she was about 25.
“How has she done this?”
Well, she has not become a fitness freak or a diet-obsessed person, quite the opposite. I feel that her example is good for anyone who is looking to slim down after the excesses of Christmas.
This lady had tried every diet out there over the last few years. One diet was the no carbohydrates diet. Of course, this diet is dramatically effective at helping people lose weight. This is because you remove the one element of your diet that your body can use to build fat. The shock of this change can bring about rapid weight loss. However, the minute that you stop this diet your body is likely to use the carbohydrates it was missing to replenish itself and you are back to square one. Furthermore, if you are trying to start a fitness regime you may feel sluggish, as you need carbohydrates for energy.
1- Low GI and No Bad Carbohydrates
We used parts of this diet when forming her diet plan. We did not eliminate carbohydrates from her diet but focused on key bad carbohydrates. One very bad source of obesity is white bread, so we replaced this completely with wholemeal and German bread. These are digested slowly and the energy is released throughout the day, rather than being digested quickly and the excess stored as fat. Likewise, croissants, doughnuts and other simple carbohydrates were eliminated. We also tried to encourage eating more lean meats, like chicken and fish. For dinner, we decreased the number of potatoes and rice and substituted it with a range of green vegetables. This change to diet is less dramatic, but over time has dramatic success.
This diet still allowed her to eat carbohydrates and have a more balanced diet. This also helped her retain energy to lead a busy work and family life, whilst getting in a little bit of exercise.
2- Eat Lean Protein
The chicken and fish in her diet have been hugely beneficial, as it has strengthened her muscles (without bulking) and thereby increase her metabolism. The faster metabolic rate will help her body continually burn more fat than it had previously. Furthermore, it needs a degree of exercise to use and develop the muscles.
Exercise is not excessive, it is only one to two times a week. Over other weeks we have a group session where I take a small class through a circuit. If she is not doing circuit training, she will make a fortnightly trip to the gym for cardio work-out and include some floor exercises for toning. However, the main achievement is that she has decided to take up badminton a sport that she played when she was younger. Prior to this, she had many classes in yoga, pilates and much more, but gave up as she was only doing it to lose weight. Whereas, taking up a sport you like will make you far more likely to keep at it.
The key to successfully maintaining close to your ideal weight is finding a sustainable regime that you can maintain in the long run. Don’t overdo the dieting or the exercise, just get a happy medium.