IT’S TIME TO TRANSFORM

PART II: DITCH YOUR ‘DIET’ FOREVER!

BY LINDY OLSEN

Let’s get started! For those of you who missed the previous issue of Oxygen, I’m going to take you on a journey so you can get yourself back into great shape. Whether it’s to lose those last five kilos or to simply feel healthier and fitter, you can use my principles to help reach your goals (without killing yourself in the process). NO, you don’t need to go on some fandangled diet or eat at some rabbit café!  You can have your cake and eat it too – LITERALLY!

Many people think that a great physique is built on hard work, sweat and tears. I’m here to tell you (and show you) that working smarter is the ONLY way to get great results in record time and maintain your sanity. You can even eat your favourite food along the way so you never go without the foods you really love ever again! Sounds too good to be true, right? WRONG… you can do all of this and so much more if you learn a few basic rules that will allow you food freedom forever. You can literally say “goodbye” to diets and still look and feel amazing 365 days of the year!

So what the heck are they? They are my 7 Rules for Success and I’ve been using them to help me stay in great shape through competing, my 29kg weight loss and my recent pregnancy. After nine months I weighed in at 86kg. I made sure that throughout the pregnancy I ate a large variety of healthy whole foods, including good fats, so I’d give my daughter the best start to life I possibly could. In approximately five months, I’m going to be 40 and fit (well, that’s the plan). Even though I haven’t competed in four years I’m still using these rules so I can enjoy the foods I love and drop several dress sizes in the process.

Over the next few issues, I’ll show you how I use the 7 rules on a daily basis and how you can apply them to your life. You too can ditch your diet forever and start enjoying your food rather than counting every calorie (like some popular fitness online programs encourage you to do). Instead, YOU’LL be in control of what you eat and when, and the best part is you’ll be able to choose a healthier, no-calorie-counting approach that will last you a lifetime!

So what do you need to know?

At the very least, you’ll need to know the rules – or at least know where to find them! For those of you who are not aware of the rules, here they are:

1.       Always eat a lean source of protein at EVERY meal! You can get your lean protein from many different sources. Some of these include chicken breast, lean beef, turkey, fish, kangaroo and egg whites. Eating enough protein is VITAL for muscle growth and repair, not to mention many other essential bodily functions!

2.       Always eat 5-6 meals EVERY day, about three to four hours apart. This will keep your metabolism on fire. If you skip breakfast the chance of your metabolism becoming slow and sluggish is increased significantly. I want to make sure my metabolism stays revved up and in top gear throughout the day.

3.       Eat your greens. Try to eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day as a means of helping boost immune function and reduce risk for chronic disease. Remember, restricting any one of the major food groups can lead to a macronutrient imbalance and corresponding vitamin and mineral deficiency.

4.       Every nine out of 10 meals must be in your plan. In other words, if you are eating five times per day, you would eat 35 meals per week in total. Effectively 3.5 of them can be your choice – within reason of course! I call these my ‘junk’ meals, so try to find out what combination works best for you. If I eat well all week I always indulge in a few small treats on the weekends as my reward. This does two things: keeps me sane and keeps my body guessing as to what I’m doing. This approach seems to work well for me as I really look forward to the weekends. Chocolate, cheesecake and caramel slice…YUM!

5.       Avoid sugar and LIMIT your complex carbs with your last two meals unless you are active at night! Hidden sugar is the number one enemy for most ‘saddlebag’ sufferers and is a major reason many people fall short of reaching their health and fitness goals. Read your food labels carefully and try to avoid rich sauces and fatty dressings that contain large amounts of sugar as they can be disastrous when trying to control your blood sugar levels and manage your weight. Excess consumption of complex carbohydrates in the later part of the day unless you are training can also contribute to an energy surplus and if you are not careful can be easily stored by the body for later use. Portion control is paramount!

6.       Drink at least 500ml of water for each 10kg of body weight. Water is my number one weight loss secret! It has no calories, sugar or fats and is a great way to quench your thirst without adding to your waistline. Many people often mistake thirst for hunger, so if you drink plenty of water throughout the day, you may need less food to keep you feeling satisfied. Not to mention water is the only thing that will eliminate waste from your body. If you don’t keep well hydrated your body simply cannot rid itself of those nasty toxins which inevitably end up on your thighs and hips. 

7.       Move more! Try to get yourself moving each day for a minimum of 30 to 45 minutes before your day begins. Whether you get outdoors for a walk or hit the gym, just remember to schedule it in before the day ends. I find it best to get it over and done with first thing in the morning. That way if I am tired from a hard day’s work, it doesn’t give me an excuse not to do it. Remember, consistency is the key! This will kickstart your metabolism for the rest of the day and help you get revved up and off to a good start! Any type of regular physical activity, no matter how moderate, can help you to lose body fat. You can always increase the level of intensity to speed up your results.

For those of you who want one-on-one support, you can sign up to my website (for free) www.lindyolsen.com and I’ll coach you along the way. There are also videos, training tips and a bunch of recipes to help you make the most of your journey!

Now, I know that these rules seem really simple (and they are); however, so many people make applying them more complex than it needs to be. I want you to start by considering the  following:

ASK – Ask yourself what you really need in order to succeed: what could stand in the way of your progress? By finding the answer to this before it happens, you’ll have a plan to combat it. Our best advice often comes from our most powerful connection to ourselves: our intuition. Listen to your body. 
PREPARE – Be prepared for change. Know how you will tackle the hurdles or obstacles that arise.  Know what you want and what results you expect to achieve. Identify what you are prepared to do for yourself before putting your time, energy and commitment into it. Be focused on your goal and make a promise to yourself that you will allow yourself the time you need to succeed.
BE READY – Being emotionally and mentally ready are vastly different things to being prepared. If you are not ready to accept a few small changes, your plan may take a direction of its own. Both your mind and body need to be prepared for the changes you are about to make.

TIME – If you really want to make changes in life, you can’t sit back and wait for them to be handed to you on a silver platter (although that would be nice). You have to take control of your future success and create your own destiny. Make yourself the biggest promise you've ever made; promise to BELIEVE in yourself and to NEVER GIVE UP on your dreams, goals or desires! Plan a way to get there, give yourself a realistic timeframe and reach for the stars! Nothing is impossible with a little patience and time, if you only try!
FOCUS – No matter what happens in your life, never lose sight of your goal. If you really want to feel better, you must believe you can. If you need help, ASK! Find people who inspire and motivate you to help you keep moving forward, especially when the going gets tough. 

SUPPORT – Find someone who really understands you and what you want to achieve. It's not ideal to jump from coach to coach, or not commit to a training / fitness plan long enough to determine if it works for you! There is NEVER a one-size-fits-all plan, so don't expect a pre-designed, cookie-cutter-style program to get you the results you really deserve! If your coach is unable or unwilling to answer ALL of your questions, GET A NEW COACH!

Above all, GET STARTED NOW!