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Nutritionist reveals the EXACT reasons why your well-meaning health and fitness challenges fail – and the 20-minute flash workout she swears by
- Exercise scientist, nutritionist Amelia Phillips explains successful health kicks
- She says people often fail because they ‘make it hard for themselves’
- It is important that your healthier routine is easier than your previous routine
A fitness fanatic has revealed exactly why people ‘fall off the bandwagon’ when it comes to reaching health goals and what they can do to succeed.
Nutritionist Amelia Phillips, 43, says when it comes to weight loss most people make their lives more difficult instead of choosing a plan which improves their lifestyle.
The mum-of-four told FEMAIL people shouldn’t add to their workload when trying to meet fitness goals.
Nutritionist Amelia Phillips, 43, says when it comes to weight loss most people make their lives more difficult instead of choosing a plan which improves their lifestyle
The mum-of-four told FEMAIL people shouldn’t add to their workload when trying to meet fitness goals
‘Choose a plan that makes things easier. For example switch out one meal per day for a healthy ‘mini-meal’ be it a shake, or use a portion controlled meal delivery service or double cook and batch meals,’ she said.
‘These solutions make life easier by reducing your cooking effort and teaching you about correct portion sizes, whilst still ensuring you get the nutrients you need.’
And the same goes for working out, according to the exercise scientist, who says the more enjoyable and ‘manageable’ your program the more likely you are to stick to it.
‘For example if you’re social set up a walking or jogging group with some friends,’ she said.
Mrs Phillips said it is important not to think of it as ‘failing’ when you don’t stick to your health plan as well as you had hoped to.
‘We all dip in and out of habits and activities, it’s totally normal. In fact it’s good for your body to have times of hard work and times of rest,’ she said.
The 43-year-old insists you can’t ‘out train’ your diet from the age of 30 and need to look carefully at what you eat to see improvements
Amelia’s go-to 20-minute workout:
20min HIIT Workout
Sun salutations yoga flow, gently flowing through to stretch and warm the whole body up:
6 min strength HIIT:
Two rounds of –
45sec squats 15sec rest
45sec pushups, 15 sec rest
45sec Reverse crunches 15 sec rest
6 min cardio HIIT:
Two rounds of –
45sec burpees 15 sec rest
45sec stair (or hill) sprints (or walks) 15 sec rest
45sec Plyometric lunges (split jumps or steps) 15 sec rest
3 min core and cooldown
Hold a plank for as long as you can (two mini is a strong core!)
Stretch focusing on lower back, hamstrings hip flexors and chest.
‘However if you want to reach some great goals, pick the one element of your diet you think is holding you back and focus on a solution for that.’
This could be eating too much takeout which is often laden with salt and sugar, eating high-calorie, low-nutritional-value food during the 3pm slump, drinking too much alcohol and eating large portion sizes.
‘Pick the one element that would make the biggest difference and come up with your plan to combat that one element,’ she said.
She says it is important to look at your diest and pick one element that isn’t serving you, then workout how to improve on it
She suggests a protein shake over chocolate for sweet tooth’s and popcorn over chips for savoury-snackers when they start crashing mid-afternoon.
She also suggest watching after-dinner treats and switching for healthier options including frozen yoghurt for ice cream lovers and a hot chocolate instead of nibbling on a block.
Amelia’s day on a plate and typical exercise routine:
5:15am Wake up and train (30min run then crossfit class). 4x per week.
7-9:30am Peak hour getting four kids out of the house. Drink tea all morning (English breaky with lots of milk). Sometimes finish one of the kids leftover porridge (sad but true.)
9:30am Big brunch: Two poached eggs, greens, home made baked beans, two slices of toast (one with a scraping of jam), more tea.
Quiet time to myself to read, think, plan (and if I’m being honest, my fav part of the day).
Around 1:30pm Mini meal: Usually a protein shake with handful of fresh spinach and frozen berries, or some veggies, and a few tahini nuts with hummus (raw green beans, sugar snap peas, carrot).
6pm Dinner with the family: We rotate one dish roasts (garlic, lemon and thyme chicken, marinated roast beef, miso salmon), slow cooked meals (risotto, beef ragu, dahl) and kids favs such as home made pizza, lasagne (packed with veggies), and cauliflower mac n cheese.
8:30pm Treat on couch after putting kids to bed: Cup of herbal tea with either small bowl air popped popcorn, square of dark choc, or fruit.
Rinse and repeat.
The busy mum says anyone who has never failed a health goal ‘isn’t aiming high enough’.
She also says from the age of 30 it is almost impossible to ‘out-train’ a poor diet.
‘Diet is everything,’ she said.
For people looking to lose weight Mrs Phillips says it is important to switch to a sustainable eating plan.
‘Around 0.5kg-1kg per week is the magic number and you can most definitely do that in a sustainable way,’ she said.
Making life easier with a diet plan is the key to success, she says, and the same goes with exercise
What are the four most important aspects to consider for weightloss?
M – Mindfulness: Working on headspace, stress management, positive thinking, and self improvement.
E – Exercise: Honestly it doesn’t matter what exercise, as long as it’s moderate to high intensity, and ideally gets you out in nature.
D – Diet: So many methods work, but keeping calories in check via intermittent fasting and subbing out one to two meals per day with a nutritionally balanced shake is what I have found to be the most effective, manageable, and sustainable.
S – Sleep: If someone wants to lose weight, the first place to start is rectifying any sleep disorders. 7-9hr per night of good quality sleep and if you’re in sleep deficit, weight loss will be much harder.
Source: Amelia Phillips
‘The greater the deficit, the faster the weight loss. However the magic trick here is not to embark on a plan that is too extreme, that’s when you cannot sustain it and you slip into yoyo dieting which is not healthy over time.’
‘Pick an approach that fits in with your life, your culture, where food continues to be enjoyed and social.’
She recommend people focus on mindfulness, exercise, diet and sleep for best results when trying to lose weight and improve their health.