No More Diet Fads

fruit and veg

With 2014 well and truly underway, I have made it one of my resolutions to blog more. However, I am going to expand a little, not only will I blog about my own training and the run up to the Commonwealth Games, but also muse and rant on topics such as fitness, health and exercise.

 

Why start blogging on these topics now? It’s January of course, and judging by my social media, it appears that everyone is now an expert on fitness and nutrition and are passing on their ‘wise’ assertions based on their ‘vast’ experience… So as an athlete and an expert, I thought it would be undutiful for me not to clear up some of this nonsense I’ve been reading.

 

Today I’ll keep it basic. My main point in this blog is to dismiss the myths of the many fads and diets which the general public give so much credence to.  The list is endless: The Adkins Diet, The Cambridge Diet, Juicing Diets, Intermittent Fasting, and not to mention the ‘I want an easy, quick-fix diet’. The key to ‘dieting’ in my opinion is the sustainability and consistency of a healthy lifestyle. With many of these fad diets, they involve the serious reduction or total withdrawal of major nutrient groups, or if we take juicing for example… taking in no food at all!

 

Albeit, weight may be lost in the short term following these fads; however, you will find it very hard to sustain over a long period of time. Let’s face it… does anyone want to go the foreseeable future without ever being able to eat carbohydrates? Would you really like to only drink elaborate juices all of the time? Does fasting for long periods of time really have longevity? If you were to ask me the answer is simple and easy – it is a big, fat (no pun intended), NO.

 

To add to these fad diets, many people reach for ‘quick-fix’ products such as fat burners, Herbalife or whatever other name they fall under these days AND now – to my disbelief – the new “in” thing seems to be carb blockers. The fitness industry has gone mad! There are far too many products which are unquestionably unhealthy, and cannot sustain what they say on the packet. So, if you find yourself reaching for products like this, you are already going down the wrong path. There is no ‘quick-fix’!

 

It is not all bad news though. With some hard work and dedication anyone can turn their health around and become the person they desire to be. Hence I reach my conclusion; the only key ingredients for success are hard work and dedication (Mayweather, F. 24-7).

 

How does this apply to your diet? It doesn’t. Don’t diet, change your lifestyle!

 

Eat a well-balanced diet; consume fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts that come from the ground. Purchase good, organic meats. Drink plenty of water. Eat smaller meals that are evenly spaced out throughout the day to speed your metabolism up. I’m by no means saying you can only eat plain broccoli and chicken all day, get creative. Here’s a hint, research it – Pintrest or google, just browse! Find ways to keep the taste good so it won’t feel like an unsustainable diet (as an athlete that has to cut weight every couple of months, trust me, this makes the process a lot easier). Lastly, be more organised and prepared. If you prepare your meals at the start of the week, or the night before, you are less likely to snack on junk food or go to the chippy for your lunch – we’ve all been there. To conclude, my top tips for a sustainable diet… Organic, tasty, organised meals throughout the day.

*Oh and yes, you can have the odd cheat day. Nobody’s perfect, even us athletes like the odd binge, but try to keep it to one day a week!*

 

Alongside your new eating regime, should be an exercise one too – this is vital! I will go in depth on this in future blogs but in short try… get to the gym 2-4 times a week. Vary the training up so you are not getting bored. Use CV equipment (treadmills and so on), but also do some form of resistance training (weights and so on) as this is very good for burning off fat. Check out different classes to

keep your training fresh and avoid getting bored so you keep your motivation levels high. If you have a busy schedule, fine, but it’s no excuse… if you have just 20 minutes to spare go outside and jog or even walk. Worst case scenario, you only have the odd 5 minutes of free time throughout the day then do some squats or lunges to stay mobile, get some press ups in, whatever – there is always a way!

 

So, what does hard work and dedication look like? Staying active, eating and drinking well and being consistent. All in all, don’t cut corners – this is how to reach your goals AND KEEP THEM.

 

Drive for the dream, shoot for success.

 

Kieran Malone

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