Who indulged in our yummy (and of course healthy) pancake recipes last night? We certainly treated ourselves but following on from traditional isn’t it now time we gave something up for Lent? So who else is thinking ‘what should i give up for Lent?’
- school (11,330 tweets);
- chocolate (8,916);
- Twitter (8,171);
- swearing (6,733);
- alcohol (5,820);
- soda (5,087);
- social networking (4,087);
- sweets (3,860);
- fast food (3,830);
- homework (2,687); and
- Lent (2,649).
So, this got us thinking how giving things up for Lent (in particular food related) actually affects our diets, fitness regimes and overall goals for a healthier 2015. We are also proposing some things we could be doing more of during the next 40 days to help keep those cravings at bay and lead a healthier lifestyle.
Okay, so let’s take the second on the leader board list CHOCOLATE! Did you know that chocolate is actually a fat buster! We are only talking dark chocolate here so sorry to those of you who enjoy the milky variety. Dark chocolate is thought to help reduce the level of cortisol (stress hormone) which can be linked to over eating and help with your metabolism. So you may want to rethink giving up chocolate completely.
Now on to ALCOHOL.We agree that drinking in moderation is a much better alternative to weekend binges, especially seeing as though a glass of wine can contain as many calories of three sugary donuts. Yes you read that right, not one but three! However, as previously discussed in our New Years Resolution Success blog post giving up alcohol completely for a whole 40 days won’t make up for the last year’s worth of drinking or mean you can continue to binge once the fast is over. It has been proven to have some health benefits during abstention but the real test is if you can continue assessing and restricting your intake long-term. If you are serious about losing weight and leading a healthier lifestyle it might be worth thinking further ahead than just for Lent!
SODA (in other words fizzy pop) this one we agree with entirely and we need no further explanation but to share with you this image that Crewe Swimming Pool kindly displayed in their fitness suite to members to remind them of why we are thinking more carefully about what we drink.
FAST FOOD – if you are thinking of or already are following a strict diet to try and shed those extra pounds then I am sure ditching fast food will be top of your list for the period of Lent. But I am about to put a spanner in the works. Having a treat day could actually help you to kick-start your metabolism. If you have been resisting for a long time then you may see your weight-loss has began to plateau as your body becomes used to your diet, so shocking your system with a high-calorie meal every so often helps to ignite your metabolism.
So with all the above in mind we thought we would compile a list of things we think you should be doing more of, rather than focus on what you should be giving up during lent:
1. Walk more – walking has so many health benefits and could be the perfect way to kick-start your fitness regime for 2015. If your job consists of manly sitting try to take regular breaks walking around the office and a 10 minute walk on your lunch break. If you are interested in group walking find out more about Nordic Walking in Cheshire
2. Eat breakfast – have a balanced breakfast full of protein and complex carbs such as scrambled eggs on wholemeal toast and see your energy last longer than the first hour!
3. Get up early – pressing snooze on your alarm clock could potentially give you that ‘got out of the wrong side of bed’ feeling. If you get up when your body first stirs in the morning you might just have the motivation to hit the gym for a morning workout.
4. Drink more water – keeping hydrated all day long will have amazing affects on your body. Your energy levels will increase, you will see a clearer complexion and you may even lose more weight!
5. Cycling to work – swap that boring traffic filled car journey to work for a healthier and eco-friendly way to travel. If you need a lesson on cycling at peak times take a look at our cycling schemes
6. Socialise (in person not just over the internet!) – joining a group fitness class or partnering up for the gym could be a great way to meet new people, keep you motivated and stay in touch with friends. Find our how you could be rewarded by referring a friend!
For more information about how to keep on track with your healthy eating and exercise regimes make sure you book an appointment with your local Leisure Centre to speak with our Health and Fitness Advisors. If you do have concerns about your health and are looking for long term solutions to issues with smoking, obesity or your mental well-being you may find you are eligible for our Everybody Healthy programme.
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