It's Not All About The Gym

As we hit bikini season, plenty of dieters strive for the beach body that’ll really make a splash this summer. And everybody knows how, right? Just hit the gym?

Well, maybe not! While weight loss and exercise go hand in hand, some hardcore fitness routines are far from slimming.

We’ve all tried fads to shed a few spare pounds. Kettle bells, trampolining, hula hoops, boot camps… But that kind of focus can so often set us off course, according to the weight loss expert and nutritionist, Amie Richmond.

We sat down with Amie to get her take on summer dieting regimes. What are her dos and don’ts, and does she have any advice on where to start?

When embarking on a fat or weight loss program, the first question you should always ask yourself is Do I want to be thin or do I want to be healthy? We’ve all heard the phrase You can’t out train a bad diet and it’s true. In the long term putting your health first requires fueling your body with the right nutrients, which is the most beneficial way to maintain a healthy weight and achieve your goals.

Whilst diet and exercise are, of course, both important for your overall health and wellbeing, particularly when starting your weight loss plan, it is vital that food habits change in order to see real lasting change. Your most important step when you start out is to set realistic slimming goals. This means ditching extreme diets of any kind – including crash diets – in favour of healthy, balanced meals which include protein, carbohydrates and good fats.

Losing weight too quickly by under-eating, over-exercising or skipping meals can lead to excess skin folds on the body where it has shrunk too quickly. Extreme exercising can also put increased pressure on your adrenal glands and can end up stressing your body with high cortisol levels, which in turn can lead to future health problems.

For the best results, why not follow Amie’s 5 easy tips for healthy weight loss:

Get Seasonal

Eat seasonally to maximise your nutrient intake.

Get Real

Go for real food, making your diet as natural as possible.

Get Colourful

Aim for a ‘colourful’ plate and a good variety of veg in every meal.

Get Reading

Ditch sugar, monitor your salt intake and read the labels of your food carefully.

Get Three

Make sure you get three nutritious meals a day, with two small snacks thrown in to keep your blood sugar levels up.