Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tips for Health (Things I Do)

I'm losing some weight after gaining a bit over the past few months and only noticing last night just how much when my work pants and pencil skirts were all a little more than snug.  As soon as I tell anyone face to face that I am losing weight, they ask how.  I don't have some plan I follow or set amount of exercise I do daily or weekly.  Instead, I follow a few rules that I just have in my head all the time for general well-being, so I thought I'd write them down for anyone that's interested... 

- Make friends with herbal tea.  Drink it when you get a sweet craving after a meal.  Drink it when you're not sure if you're hungry or thirsty.  Drink it when you are bored.  Drink it when you're obsessing over the lollies in your work desk drawer. Drink it before bed.  My favourites are Madura's low caffeine green tea, Lipton Peppermint, T2's 'Just Rose' and Henry Langdon's Chai.  

- Do something every day.  This is my motto for exercise; just do something.  If you put on your work out gear and just end up walking for 20 minutes, that's fine.  Maybe you feel like the gym and you end up doing a 2 hour work out - also fine.  Perhaps it's raining and cold outside and all you want to do is dance around your house; go for it!  Once you have the 'do something' down pat, then you can move onto more details.  As detailed as I get is 'do something, and do something with weights or that is weight-bearing for around 50% of the time you're doing something'.  If I feel under the weather and like doing no significant movement at all, I do something by cleaning the house, or doing gardening.  Of course chat to your Doctor before doing anything while unwell.

- Cut the crap.  Things in a packet, or stuffed with sugar or trans fats etc are not good for you, period.  I don't care how many calories they have - calories aren't everything.  I'd much rather a serving of full fat Greek or natural yoghurt than a tub of some sugary, artificial 'lite' pathetic-excuse for yoghurt- and it's much, much healthier.

- Stop eating white.  The sugar, the breads, the pasta, the rice - it's not going to make you feel good or help you to lose any weight.  Try brown rice cakes, oats, wholemeal pastas, rye bread or quinoa instead.

- Limit carbs at night.  If you are eating a balanced diet and are a healthy weight, ignore this, but if you're trying to lose weight it does work.  

- Pack yourself with nutrients.  Always look for opportunities to get more vitamins and minerals into your meals.  Pasta sauce can have at least 5 different vegetables added to it.  Avocado makes an amazing sandwich spread alongside the salads and cheese.  Breakfast is 100 times better with berries.  It's really not hard to get your 5-7 veg servings and 2 fruit, you just have to be creative.  Always look for opportunities to get more nutrients in.

- Watch your portion sizes. You know the drill.

- Drink water.  Don't wait until you're thirsty, make it a regular thing.  I personally feel good on 2 or so litres per day alongside my herbal teas, but I don't count my water any more as I know I drink enough.  Everyone will feel good on different amounts, but aim for 6-8 glasses - it certainly won't hurt you!

- Don't over-complicate it.  This is the most important tip I could ever give anyone - stop complicating healthy living!  It's not going to be some super drastic life change that's going to see you sitting in a corner doing nothing because you 'can't eat anything'.  Stopping using butter, using less oil, cooking less pasta and adding more vegetables, choosing soup over casserole, learning how to make your favourite recipes healthier - none of this is going to cause your life to spontaneously downward spiral rendering it not worth living.  If you don't want to quit sugar or quit white bread, OK, just reduce it.  Also, yes, research has shown that exercising first thing in the morning is the optimal time to exercise... but that doesn't mean that if you don't get up to do it then you don't exercise at all!  Exercising for 30 minutes at night is about 5,600 times better (according to me) than not exercising at all.  If you don't feel like doing weights then that's fine, just go for a run.  If you don't feel like running or weights then just go for a walk.... don't take an 'all or nothing' approach to working out or living healthily.

Now of course remember that I am in no way qualified to give you health information, this is just what I do.  If you want help losing weight contact a health professional or your Doctor.

I think I've blabbed on long enough.
Do you have any other tips?

Stay well,
Nat x


  1. Love it. I especially like 'don't overcomplicate things'- I'm definitely guilty of that! I' m a big fan of Madura Green Tea too, I go through so many!

    1. I used to be guilty of it too Cindy! & me too.. & that tea never comes on special! Sometimes they do the other Madura flavours but never green....

  2. i love morrocan mint green tea. yum!

    you are always a treasure trove of wisdom Natalie!

    1. Ooo where do you get you morrocan mint tea from Ali? I want to try!
      Haha, I try - thank you! x

  3. Great post, lovely. Keeping it real and achievable, whatever works for you. & not depriving yourself. Yes to moving more!!
    Heidi xo