Sunday 22 April 2018

Diet gives food for thought, says Siobhan Byrne

Siobhan Byrne takes a look at the key role our daily diet plays in the drive for fitness

Siobhan Byrne: Leaving the binging in the past.
Siobhan Byrne: Leaving the binging in the past.
Front bridge to T
Front bridge to T 2
Jumping squat
Jumping squat 2
Jumping squat 3
Curtsey lunge and kick
Curtsey lunge and kick 2
Curtsey lunge and kick 3

Over the coming weeks, I will be discussing some of the key things you need to do to get the results you want, and to really help fire up that metabolism, making it a fat-burning machine.

First, let's look at food - the most difficult part of any training plan.

We seem to struggle to satisfy our appetite, which leads us to overeat and consume more calories than we actually need.

To fix this, we tend to go on an overly strict, sometimes crazy, diet that is unrealistic and impossible to stick to. We soon find ourselves in a yo-yo diet scenario, embarking on a new diet plan each new week.

It's not exactly made easier for people with advertising pushing certain foods as healthier options, using key words and phrases like sugar-free, no added sugar or an excellent souce of fibre, to make you think you are getting the best choices.

In fact, you may actually need to control the amounts of some of these products you eat, if not entirely eliminating some of them from your diet altogether. Over the last year, we have heard a lot of nutritional advice from many different sources, trained and untrained, on how to eat more healthily, just to confuse you a bit further.

One of the main issues I'm seeing at the moment, as a trainer, is ill advice about healthy eating. If you are looking for a healthier treat option and sit down to make a batch of 'healthy cookies' only to find that you have consumed the entire batch, then that's a problem.

You may also be surprised just how many calories are in that healthy cookie after you add up all the oats, nuts, seeds and fats - in fact, you may find you were eating fewer calories before you began your clean eating frenzy.

I have often said that not all calories are equal - ie, your favourite healthy treat may have the same number of calories as your favourite chocolate bar but, obviously, the healthy option is a better choice. It doesn't, though, mean you will lose body fat.

We need to wise up, control our portion sizes, eat sensibly, never over-fill ourselves, and look at adopting a balanced approach, incorporating appropriate amounts of carbs, fats and proteins - and leave the binging in the past.

Do each exercise 12 times before moving on to the next one. When you have completed each exercise, that is one set. Catch your breath before moving on to the next set, and do three to four sets, three to four times a week

Exercise: Focus on core and legs

Front Bridge to T

1/ Start by supporting your body off the floor, in the top of a push-up, resting on your toes and arms.

2/ Then raise one hand up towards the ceiling, while rotating your body to the same side and look up at your hand.

3/ Hold in that position for a few moments, then return to the start position, twisting up to the opposite side.

Jumping Squat

1/ Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms bent by your sides.

2/ Bend at the hips and knees into a semi-squat position, leaning your torso slightly forward.

3/ Then simply push off your feet, jump straight up in the air and land in a semi squat position.

Curtsey lunge and kick

1/ Start by standing upright with feet hip-width apart.

2/ Step behind and across into a curtsey, lowering your body down towards the ground. Push off the front foot back to start position.

3/ Then kick the leg straight out to the side. Complete all reps on one side first.

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