This isn't the part where I jump to the rescue with all the answers, making myself out to be the hero. But in over a decade of personal training, I've pieced together a few things that I believe almost all women - and men, too - need to understand about their health and wellbeing.
1. You are unique
Just because the 21-year old girl with the 21-year-old body tells you to do it, doesn't mean it's right for you. Don't be fooled by their number of followers or make-anything-look-good filters. Take responsibility for your health and do your research.
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2. Three key points about weight loss:
a. Weight loss can often result in health loss if you're sacrificing your body to shed kilos too fast.
b. Weight loss doesn't necessarily equal fat loss. Remember those four kilos you lost that time you did a low-carb diet or juice detox? You know, when you hated life and everyone around you? I hate to break it to you, but that was mostly water weight.
c. Weight, by itself, is a terrible way to measure health. Body composition is what matters the most: how much muscle you have compared to body fat.
So with that said, I think it's about time you throw those bathroom scales out the window as the only thing they're measuring correctly is how bad you feel. Use photos and measurements to track progress instead.
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3. Health is a lifestyle, not a series of body transformation programs
I'll be the first to say they can be a fantastic kick-start, but the program that gets you started isn't necessarily the one that will keep you going. And remember that healthy habits are not limited to 30-day restriction programs. If you're counting down the days until you don't have to do it, it's not a habit.
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4. They say business never sleeps, but when it comes to health, you sure as hell better be
A lack of sleep can quickly snowball into some serious health problems down the track.
5. Your health is a game of give and take, so stop taking so much
Your body is so much smarter than you. Cutting calories to stupid levels will only result in a slower metabolism, lower energy and increased appetite levels.
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6. Take your health less seriously
Chronically stressing over what to eat or a missed training session is doing you more harm than good. It's not uncommon for people to develop unhealthy relationships with healthy foods. Chill out: you're only human after all.
7. Slow down, a lot
We live in a world of instant gratification, but achieving your health goals will never happen quickly. You'll have setbacks and plateaus, but don't let that get you down - even the slowest progress is progress. Always try to be grateful for what you have, while working towards what you want.
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8. Stop thinking ONLY in extremes. Start thinking in outcomes
I promise you that having a 'naughty' meal or missing a training session won't ruin your progress. But feeling like a failure for tasting the forbidden fruits of frozen yoghurt sure will. Guilt ruins gains.
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