November 2015

What You Don’t Hear about Exercise & Your Fat-Loss Journey

When I started to increase my workouts and eat much better, I found that there were a few things I came across that I wasn’t expecting. When I come to think about it, a lot of them aren’t rocket science, but I just didn’t think about them. Here are a few things I’ve discovered about exercise and fat-loss.

Drinking water and the inevitable…:

It never crossed my mind that drinking lots of water would mean having so many bathroom breaks! If you find yourself mostly in a sedentary job, use this to your advantage. The more water you drink, the more bathroom breaks you may have to take: this means you get to stand up, move your legs and stay active. Win, win!

Also, if you regularly drink around the same amount of water, after a while you can predict when they will be. Strange as that sounds, I find that to be true.

Fat loss and clothes. A warning:

 I found that with my body fat percentage reducing, I have been regularly clearing my wardrobe and sending bags and bags of clothes to charity. It’s not that I have lots and lots of clothes, it’s that every time I ‘lost weight’, my clothes would become bigger for me and no longer fit. This would mean I would have to go shopping yet again. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love shopping, it’s just that it becomes tedious and slightly frustrating when a dress you’ve worn only twice no longer fits.

Belts may become your best friend:

Dropped a size and your favourite pair of trousers no longer fit? Either see if a tailor can alter them or buy belts. Simples.

You will grow to love the Lycra Life:

Long gone are the days when women’s sportswear included a pinkified version of a man’s top with a really low v-neck cut. Long gone are the days when men’s sportswear was just a loose, dull t-shirt with unflattering jogging bottoms. Fitness fashion has had a serious makeover for both men and women. Fashercise (for women), Active In Style (for women), The Sports Edit (for men and women), Skinny Chimp (for men and women) and Ashmei (for men and women) are some of my favourites. The more you exercise, the more you may find you’ll grow to love your sportswear and the lycra life.

Ladies, you may even find your sports bra wardrobe becomes just as interesting as your everyday lingerie. Now more than ever, has sports bra fashion become more exciting.

The beauty of meal prepping:

Meal prepping is often recommended because of its nutritional benefits. What you don’t hear are its financial benefits: Food wastage is a serious issue, especially in the western world. With meal prepping, this reduces food wastage but also saves you money. Why money you may ask? One way to help with meal prepping, is to write your meal plan for the week ahead. Break down every meal and see if you have those ingredients. What ingredients you don’t have, you can put in the grocery list. In other words, you won’t be mindlessly shopping. Saves a lot of money and prevents a lot of food wastage. Certain foods are great for bulk buying: rice, oats and tinned food like chickpeas, black beans and chopped tomatoes.
And just one tip about ‘exotic’ health-food shopping: 

A lot of non-western foods are becoming more popular as their health benefits are becoming increasingly well-known. Whilst they are stocked in some of the large supermarkets, like Whole Foods, Trader Joe, Waitrose, Sainsbury or health shops, they are often sold at a high price. If you live in an ethnically diverse area, like a city, research your nearby ethnic shops. Coconut oil, for example, is actually much cheaper in Asian* and Afro-Caribbean shops and depending on the brand, is just as good as Lucy Bee. Tumeric (ground or root) is very cheap in Asian stores. The same with tinned chickpeas, tinned tomatoes, chilli flakes and many vegetables.

The general rule of thumb  that works for me is that if a food product is a significant part of the food in a certain culture, the chances are that it is sold much cheaper in a shop of that ethnicity than at a supermarket. Research before you buy and you may find you’ve saved more money.

What have you found during your fat-loss journey? Do you have any other tips? I’d love to hear from you. Don’t forget to write a comment below or tweet me.

Mara xxx

*For my American readers, I mean South Asians like Indians and Pakistanis.