We Britons are constantly assaulted with an aesthetic physical ideal: flat stomach, sexy thighs, well-rounded shoulders… we see them everywhere!
In the tube, on the bus, from billboards and magazine adverts: doe-eyed models stare out wistfully.
Or are they staring out hungrily?
All of that – even the speculation that models might live with hunger to look so skinny, causes us to think about food, nutrition and how what we eat impacts our appearance.
An analysis of Google searches reveals that the UK’s premier weight management company receives nearly a quarter-million hits per month!
It is obvious that, nationally, we have an interest in losing weight.
Equally clearly, we are not going to get thin and attractive by diet alone. We need a fitness regimen, be it yoga, Zumba, crossfit or circuit training – or one on one personal fitness training, to effectively manage our caloric intake.
We might need an education about calories and how the body uses them, too.
How many calories in this yummy-looking sanny? Source: Pixabay Credit: Pashminu
NHS statistics reveal that, after tobacco and alcohol, obesity is the UK’s biggest health challenge.
With two-thirds of the population either overweight or obese, we can see why.
To put this information into proper light, we should know a bit about body mass index, or BMI. Calculated by dividing your weight in kilos by your height squared, you should attain a number that ranges between:
In the UK, a study of average Britons’ BMI reveals:
These numbers are alarming, even when compared with the U.S. and Mexico, two countries perpetually on the top-ten list of fattest countries in the world.
Looking further at these numbers, we see that more of the obese tend to be:
Perhaps the most shocking statistics are for childhood obesity:
Apart from cultural and social factors, this unequal distribution of obesity across society, and between males and females is virgin territory for researchers.
If public schools are mandated by law to have physical education classes, and if our nutritional awareness is growing, why are our children getting so fat?
And why are there more women than men who are obese?
The answer couldn’t be simply that women and children eat more than men!
Let’s take a look at how to measure out a meal and count its caloric value.
A calorie: the amount of heat it takes to raise one gram of water 1 degree Celsius
If you are like me – draw a blank when it comes to anything requiring calculation, you might need a different way to go about determining the caloric content of your meal.
Fortunately, the Internet has plenty of calorie charts that you can refer to when planning your menu.
You can also refer to the food’s packaging label, with some caveats:
How much sugar does an apple contain?
When thinking of healthy, natural alternatives to a bag of crisps, people will often overindulge: eating two or three plums… about the equivalent of eating three spoonfuls of sugar!
Or an apple: depending on variety and size, you could be snacking on 3 to 6 spoons of sugar!
Thankfully, modern technology offers several applications that can help you keep track of what you are eating, and its effect on you.
The better apps will indicate the calorie value of what you are eating as well as maintain a record of what you eat.
Discover the importance of a metabolic test before resuming physical training
You don’t have to skimp and starve to eat adequately for your level of activity Source: Pixabay Credit: Conger Design
To cultivate a metabolic rate that will permit weight loss – or, conversely, weight gain, all we need is basic math.
We lose weight when we take in fewer calories than we burn. We gain weight by ingesting more calories than we burn.
Thus, a hidden benefit of calorie counting helps:
Before going into how to dispose of all of those calories, we stress that there are many factors to consider before talking with a fitness professional about workouts and program design:
It might sound a bit strange, but more and more these days, sports coaches often double as dietitians and nutritionists.
This professional blending is totally logical as far as athletes are concerned. After all: eating the wrong foods could be counterproductive to your workout.
Why clinical dietitians and certified nutritionists frown upon any personal fitness trainer wearing multiple hats is unclear, because health and wellness are intrinsically tied in with personal fitness – at least, the way we see it.
Nevertheless, those with proper credentials – who may conduct fitness training outdoors or in a gym; who do in-home fitness training or would offer online personal training: they are all in the fitness business to help people get motivated and achieve their fitness goals.
Superprof has a certified personal trainer for you; one who has the educational credits to steer your fitness education – including proper nutrition.
Hourly fees start as low as £10: not a bad rate for the knowledge, instruction and motivation a fitness specialist provides.
At your initial meeting, your fitness instructor should either conduct or recommend a health assessment.
If you are in such a physical shape that any of these stressors could harm your health, s/he may require they be done in hospital or at your physician’s surgery.
This exam could include measuring your flexibility, endurance and strength, and will most certainly measure your cardiorespiratory and cardiovascular health.
Once a baseline of your physical condition has been established, your personal training program will begin in earnest.
The next step is up to you!
Here are some other instructions your fitness mentor might pass on:
Throughout your fitness program, your training specialist will monitor your workbook – your food diary and exercise journal, to see what you’ve eaten and how much, and to see if you are doing prescribed exercises on your own.
This is where your accountability comes into play: your coach is there to motivate you and instruct you, but s/he cannot get fit for you!
Clearly, people who are disabled can benefit from personal fitness training! Source: Pixabay Credit: Pexels
You surely have your grounds and we won’t say you’re wrong, but let us present more reasons to think about personal training programs.
Youth fitness, senior fitness and fitness for the disabled: there are personal trainers to work with any of these demographics, either in small groups or one on one.
Remember those obesity statistics at the start of this article?
Considering these segments of society are most at risk for weight-related illness, wouldn’t it make sense to enroll your child, your Mum… or both your child and mum in a fitness class, if only to lose weight?
Besides, engaging in fitness activities in a gym, health club or fitness center can improve morale as well as muscular strength.
With such a feeling of well-being, one would not be compelled to make poor food choices, or overeat.
Less overeating and better food choices means fewer calories to count, resulting in a fitter, stronger you (or them).
How could anyone resist that?