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Hi guys! Today’s Tip Tuesday is going to be something different. I feel like I need to take a step back from giving beauty tips because honestly, I can’t think of any more beauty tips to share with you. I just need to take some time and hopefully I will get some inspiration along the way. So, I thought I would try something different and talk about my diet and fitness routine and share some tips on how I keep myself strong and healthy.

I know that some people are incredibly passionate about this and I respect that everybody has their own views, so try not to take it too personally if I say something you find disagreeable.

FITNESS

When I was still in school, I was athletic. I played Netball, was in the track and field team and stayed fit just by being active and playing sports But, when I went to work and later became a housewife, I found myself being thinner and thinner, to the point where I thought I looked unhealthy. My husband and I hate running (since we have already done “enough of it for 10 lifetimes’) and we tried doing simple dumbell lifts.

To him, something just didn’t seem right. Muscles don’t work in isolation in real life, so why train them that way? Sure, you will look more fit, but you won’t be much more effective in what you do. So, we did some research and came across the Starting Strength Program (Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe). The program has five basic lifts , using barbells, but we only do four of them: Squats, Overhead Press, Bench Press and Deadlift. The proper technique of each is in the book (in extreme detail).

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DSC01168 [Me doing squats at 90lbs in our squat rack … the only equipment we use]

The program is to continually increase the amount you lift. But, we only work out twice a week (rather than three times), so we aren’t fully sticking to the program. I’d explain why, but I’ll save that for next time.

A strength training program that includes heavy squats and deadlifts is incredibly important for women. Loading your body with weights actually increases your bone density (which you don’t see much of from yoga, pilates, running or machine weight lifting). This helps prevent Osteoporosis later in life, and will make it so you don’t end up looking like a twig or getting all veally. And no, you don’t have to worry about getting bulky. Women just can’t (for the most part), and if you do bulk up past where you like it, then cut back on the weights you’re lifting.  It’s not like you go from waif to hulk overnight, so you will know if you are gradually getting more bulky than you like.

I know I’m no world class powerlifter (and I don’t want to be), but I’ve never felt stronger or healthier.

My tip: Do strength training focusing on good form and using the four primary compound lifts. incrementally increasing the load.

DIET

I have a sweet tooth, I love anything baked, and I love chocolate. And I grew up in Asia, so my diet was always centered on rice. The white rice became brown rice after my dad was diagnosed with diabetes. Anyway, the husband would point out something he called “rice belly”. Basically, otherwise skinny guys and gals who ate a lot of rice would have a soft pilsbury doughboy midsection. It’s the carbs, of course and is true of people who almost exclusively eat pasta.

Sure you can be the banana girl and only eat fruit, but then your entire diet is basically sugar (seriously, who thinks this is healthy?). They say they’re fit, but they look like they are starving. Protein is needed to build muscle.

Over millions of years, modern humans evolved while eating meat and maybe some root vegetables. For the past 50,000 years, tropical fruits were eaten in tropical places and during the last 12,000 dairy and agriculture came about. So, sure, humans have adapted some to eat these things but biologically we are designed to eat meat and leafy greens (check out Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes for an excellent explanation of all this). High-fat, decent protein and low carb.

Like I said, I have a sweet tooth. And I don’t want to give up my carbs. So, instead I just make my dishes with less rice and noodles, and more meat. I avoid sodas or other sweet drinks, except for special treats. I never look at calories or fat content at all. But if I notice I am getting a bit of rice belly, I just cut back a bit more on carbs.

So my simple diet tip is this: cut back on carbs, especially refined sugars; increase your protein intake and don’t worry about any natural fats (they won’t hurt you).

Thanks for reading!XOXO

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