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6 things no one tells you about weight loss and exercise



If you are trying to get healthy and fit, make sure you don’t ignore these six important rules.

Health can feel like an overwhelming checklist of foods to eat, exercises to perform, and habits to follow. And, that’s before you have to deal with flip-flopping opinions that tell you to do something one day and avoid it the next.

But, there’s a much shorter checklist that might be more helpful and cause a lot fewer headaches. Instead of worrying about what you need to add to your life, it might be easier to think about addition by subtraction.

Avoiding the bad means you’re more likely to be doing something good – and isn’t that the point?

Many years ago, Tim Ferriss created a “not-to-list” that applied to getting through life with less stress and frustration. It’s such a brilliant idea that I thought it should be applied to fitness.

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Don’t eat while working or watching TV

You might believe that hunger alone is what drives you towards food. But, what you might not realise is that attention and memory also play a big role in how much you eat and whether you feel full. Distracted eating – or having a meal (or snacks) while watching TV or working – is a sure-fire way to ensure that you don’t pay as much attention or remember what you ate. And that means you’ll be eating more during your meal or eat more later.

Avoid workouts that require time you don’t have

If you’re going to be healthy, you need to make time for exercise. However, prioritising movement does not mean you need to spend hours lifting weights or on the treadmill or bike. When you select plans, a primary consideration needs to be the total number of hours required and the amount of time you can realistically commit. Don’t get it twisted: you might need to adjust your schedule to create time to prioritise your health. But, however much time you create should be something you can realistically accomplish.

Do not buy over-the-counter fat burners

People all over the world spend anywhere from R2 to R5 billion on fat-loss pills every year. That’s a mind-numbing amount of wasted money. While some supplements such as caffeine work to help your body’s thermogenic process (it increases heat production), the actual impact on the scale is minimal at best. Simply put, fat burners might have a tiny boost on your exercise and diet plan, but it’s not likely anything you’ll notice. And, for the amount of money you pay, you might as well just drink coffee or black tea. Better yet, stop depending on over-thecounter weight loss supplements altogether.

Do not argue with people about which diet is best

Many diets work. If someone is married to an idea, you’re unlikely to convince them otherwise. There are many ways to reduce calories, and infinite ways to get the nutrients your body needs. Some diets are more likely to work for many people, but the “best diet” is the one that works for you.

Do not ignore off days

Your body needs rest. Your muscles need to recover. Your mind enjoys breaks. If you want better results, more effective workouts, and a body that won’t break down, then make sure, at a minimum, you have one to two off days per week.

Do not downplay sleep

It might seem similar to prioritising off days, but sleep and rest are two sides of the same coin. Sleep abuse is an equal problem for people who exercise and those who don’t. But, it very well might be the healthiest habit you can master every day.

*Article contributed by Thapelo Mowela

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