It’s that time of year when we yet again start thinking of getting ready for summer; the days are getting longer and brighter and naturally we’ve started to think about summer. However, our bodies are probably still be in winter hibernation mode so it’s time to get back to healthy eating and exercising, but it’s a lot easier said than done, right? We sat down with the Health & Fitness manager, Julien Delande, at Third Space to find out what he does to get ready for summer.
The key thing for Julien is planning. Make sure you plan your week: know what your social calendar looks like, how many times you’re hitting the gym, and what your food intake will be for that week- getting the right nutrition is vital. Planning your week makes it easier to stay on track, especially as the best way to get into shape and stay healthy is to mix a healthy nutrition plan with a manageable training schedule. It’s not about over-doing it, consistency is key.
With nutrition, the most important thing here is to not overthink it, according to Julien. It is the pitfall of most people. Instead, try to keep it as simple as possible and rotate your calories through a very easy card cycle during the week. For example, on the days that you train Julien recommends you make sure you start your day off with a carbohydrates for breakfast (the healthier kind though, we’re not talking about croissants unfortunately) and make sure to follow up your training session with some more carbohydrates. However, on the day you’re not training then the focus is on protein consumption whilst avoiding carbohydrates. Here comes the bad news, you’ll need to limit your alcohol consumption; we’re talking one glass of wine only at the weekend. A bottle isn’t acceptable. Sorry chaps!
Here’s what Julien would recommend for your protein-rich days:
Breakfast: Protein (Eggs, meat or fish_ + healthy fats (nuts, avocado, coconut oil and nut butter such as almond butter) + berries.
Mid-morning snack: Protein + healthy fats (avocados or nuts) + green veg
Lunch: Protein (such as chicken) + green veg + carbohydrates (if training at lunch)
Afternoon snack: Protein + green veg + healthy fats
Dinner: Protein + green veg + healthy fats + carbohydrates (if training after work)
Just remember though, portion sizes should be controlled. An easy way to know if you’re eating the right amount is to go by these simple rules: protein portion should be roughly a fist/fist and half size; your carbs intake per meal should be around the size of your palm and fat would be thumb size. It’s important to keep protein consumption relatively high so as to build lean muscle mass.
Training wise, make sure you mix up your workouts. It’s key to have a variety of different exercises so that you’re working all the muscles in the body. Julien top recommendation when it comes to exercise is to work on compound moves such as squats, deadlifts, pull ups and bench press as these exercises require more energy expenditure. As we found out, it’s not for the faint hearted. These exercises are taxing on your body, especially when you’re super setting (pairing two exercises back to back with minimal rest), Julien’s favourite. However, the good news (if you make it through the workout) is that you’ll be burning way more calories by doing this than just simple hitting the treadmill.
On days where you’re not weight training opt for a HIIT workout (high intensity training). If the weather allows it, head outdoors for a 20 second sprint followed by a 40 second recovery. Repeat this 15- 20 times to get the full benefits and burn through some extra calories.
Julien’s last tip is to make sure you keep track of your progress- take before and after photos to see how far you’ve come along, and remember chaps, pain is temporary.