Fitness with Ben Hanton

THE new year is upon us and so are a whole host of new fad diets and exercise crazes.

Every January there are thousands of people looking for a quick fix.

While you can’t undo years of eating the wrong foods and not moving enough in a few short weeks, you can certainly get yourself well on the way by modifying your lifestyle in a positive and sustainable way.

Here are a few simple but effective tips to help you lose weight and get healthy this year.

Spend more of your training time performing high-intensity interval training or weight training instead of aerobic exercise.

Research shows conclusively that performing intermittent bursts of high intensity exercise is a far more productive way to train for fat loss than long, slow, continuous aerobic exercise.

High-intensity interval training has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and have a favourable effect on specific hormone levels even in extremely small doses, thus making it a potential time-saver as well.

Eat a high-protein diet. This preserves lean muscle mass, which is essential for optimising fat loss results and your health.

The digestion of protein costs the body more energy than the digestion of carbohydrates or fat, therefore a high-protein diet will increase your resting metabolic rate. A high-protein diet will also fill you up more and help stabilise your blood sugar levels.

Do not be afraid of dietary fat. Eating good sources of fat from natural whole foods can actually promote body fat loss and help fight chronic disease. The body uses dietary fat to build cell membranes and hormones. Specific fats, such as those found in coconut oil, will also upregulate the body’s lipolytic enzymes, allowing us to more effectively utilise fat for fuel.

Perform compound movements when weight training, not isolation movements.

Large, multi-joint exercises, such as squats and deadlifts are far more productive fat-loss tools than single-joint isolation exercises like bicep curls.

They are more metabolically expensive so will help you burn more calories both inside and outside the gym.

They utilise more muscle mass and will result in a greater growth hormone release.

Sleep more.

A lack of sleep will reduce insulin sensitivity, increase your appetite and make you more stressed.

The classic eight hour target remains good advice.

Take steps to reduce stress.

Chronic stress has been shown to influence fat storage hormones and our ability to regulate blood sugar.

Getting your stress levels under control is an essential step to becoming lean and healthy, although this is easier said than done!

Avoid juice, squash, alcohol and soft drinks. This is one of the simplest dietary modifications going, but it is amazing 
how many people worry about the food 
they eat but don’t give drinks a second thought.

The least obvious of these is fruit juice. It is not conducive to fat loss to consume a high-sugar drink first thing in the morning every day. If you want fruit, eat it, don’t drink it. The fibre will help fill you up and stabilise your blood sugar.

If you are interested in personal training or would just like to discuss your training and nutrition, get in touch with Ben Hanton at Elitas Fitness, Chichester.

Contact Ben on 01243 920536 or via email ben@elitas.co.uk.

For more information about Elitas Fitness, visit their website www.elitas.co.uk.