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Personal trainer and nutritionist Deanna Hammond-Blackburn works for OriGym, a company that provides lessons to aspiring personal trainers in the UK. She spoke to Express.co.uk about how people can start incorporating healthier habits into their daily routines, in order to become fitter and, consequently, lose weight.
Deanna explained that many people want to start doing more exercise now that it’s almost March and spring is on its way.
Exercise is a great way to start losing weight, but Deanna emphasised the importance of changing your diet too.
She said: “Many people will try to either completely overhaul their diet or not change it at all once they start exercising, but getting the right nutrition is essential to being healthy and losing weight.
“The key thing is to make smart food choices instead of following restrictive diets,” Deanna added.
Deanna mentioned how dieters still need to be eating the main food types, even when trying to lose weight, saying: “Our bodies need carbohydrates, fats, and protein to function properly so cutting out too much of any of these will be detrimental to your health.
“Creating too much of a calorie deficit can also be unhealthy: your body will go into starvation mode and bodily processes such as the metabolism will slow down, meaning your body won’t be burning calories effectively anyway,” she explained.
Deanna added: “This means you’ll also be more likely to binge eat.”
A calorie deficit is when the number of calories a person consumes in a day is smaller than the number of calories they burn.
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To avoid too much of a calorie deficit, which leads to binge eating, Deanna recommended making other changes to the way you eat.
She said: “Start off your fitness journey by incorporating more frequent meals with smaller portions.”
“This will help keep your metabolism working efficiently throughout the day,” she added.
Deanna advised trying to “reduce the amounts of processed foods and sugary foods and eat more complex carbohydrates that will keep you feeling fuller for longer”.
The complex carbohydrates Deanna mentioned were fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
“These will provide slow-release energy that will keep you on your feet throughout the day,” she said.
Healthier carbs are also a good option, advised the personal trainer, such as sweet potatoes, brown rice and pasta, whole grain breads.
Deanna continued: “Healthy proteins such as chicken, salmon, tuna, eggs, will also provide longer lasting energy, and fibre foods such as beans will keep you feeling fuller for longer, which means you won’t feel the need to snack.”
Surprisingly, Deanne also recommended drinking coffee “for those that need more of a quick boost to their energy”.
She said: “Caffeine actually signals the body to break down fats, and coffee contains some essential nutrients for our health too.”
However, Deanna warned against adding high-sugar syrups to your coffee, and instead opting for low-fat milk or non-dairy milk to “help keep the calories from mounting”.
Additionally, the personal trainer noted that “fats aren’t always the enemy” when cooking our meals.
“Swap out saturated fats for healthier ones, such as sesame oil, olive oil, and flaxseed oil,” she said.
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