Friday, 4 October 2013

Five Simple Ways to Stay Focused during Rock-tober

It's early days in our Rocktober challenge.  In order to stay on the straight and narrow, it is important to bear a few things in mind over the coming weeks.  Things that will make it easier for us to stay on track and stay focused.

1. Plan your food
Lots of you asked me 'what will I eat now you've cut out all the things I normally eat' ... oh you jokers you! Overhauling your diet takes a conscious effort.  Go through your cupboards to see what you need and write a shopping list. If you're super anal organised, you could even write out meal plans, including snacks, then shop for ingredients accordingly.  If you shop blind, you will probably spend ages wandering around the supermarket feeling uncertain, get bored and irritable, grab a packet of crisps and head home feeling like a failure (as you munch on the crisps). 

2. Don't starve
For some reason, when people go into healthy-eating mode, they automatically feel the need to reduce the amount of food they are eating.  If you are consistently overeating, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. However, you need to understand what your calorie needs are for your body and only reduce your intake by a little. Just by cutting out  junk food, coupled with the extra exercise, you should start seeing changes in your body without having to live on three grapes a day.

3. Schedule in exercise
Even the most die-hard gym rats have days they just don't feel like exercising.  If you pencil in your workouts in your diary, you are less likely to bail out.  You are also less likely to have a conflict in your schedule that you would rather do more, like pulling out your fingernails. 

4. Get enough sleep
Not only will those late nights and early mornings eventually sap your energy and motivation, they will also make you fat! Sounds like a load of poop right? Well, here's the science: 

'Sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin). When you don't get enough sleep, your level of ghrelin goes up and your level of leptin goes down. This makes you feel hungrier than when you're well-rested'

US Department of Health and Human Service : National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute  

Yesterday I REALLY didn't want to workout, it took all my willpower to go to the gym; I was tired from being up all night. I wish I could say I was partying like a rock star but the bub wouldn't sleep and when she can't sleep, nobody else can either. And by nobody, I mean me;

My husband will probably sleep through the second coming and wake up to find only him and the cockroaches left on earth. I am assuming there will be no room in heaven for cockroaches. I am also assuming I will be in heaven, sleeping. 

5. Stay hydrated
Did you know that thirst often disguises itself as hunger? By the time you actually feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Aim to drink 2-3 litres throughout the day. Don't suddenly remember at 9pm and try to drink the whole lot then. You WILL be up all night. If you exercise, you will need an additional liter of water for each hour you exercise. Water not only helps with digestion, it also flushes toxins from your body.  Your skin will be looking glorious after a few days. 

Easy Peasy eh?


  1. Laughed so hard on the hubby part...too funny!

  2. ROFL @ hubby and the roaches but I can confirm he won't be alone... My hubby will be right there with him *sIgH*

    Anyway, I wanted to ask you what your postpartum/breastfeeding diet and workout regime was. I need the calories coz my bub has turned out to be another barracuda so I'm hungry aaaalll the time :-/ I want to eat right and exercise without compromising my milk supply. How did it work for you?

    1. Haha @ barracuda. Were you hoping for a reprieve coz she's a girl?

      I was also always hungry so I ate throughout the day. If you're hungry, eat. baby will burn up a portion of those calories anyway. Just make healthy choices and avoid going too long between meals to prevent your bloody sugar dropping which will make you ravenous. High Fibre foods and protein keep you feeling fuller longer.

      Example meal plan:
      Breakfast: Oatmeal or Porridge (not the white one)
      Snack: Poached egg, One piece of whole grain toast with butter
      Lunch: Brown Rice, Grilled Chicken, steamed veg
      Snack: Soup - avoid creamy ones, go for clear broths. These are full of nutrients and also lower in calories. Homemade chicken soup or even bone soup
      Dinner: Sweet potato/Pumpkin/Butternut squash, baked fish, steamed veg
      Snack: small pot of natural yoghurt and piece of fruit

      Stay hydrated by drinking fruit or herbal teas and water throughout the day
      Carry food around with you. Don't get caught out. Crudite are easy and low cal and healthy; carrot sticks, celery, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, steamed broccoli...yum huh? :)
      Other snack options:
      - nuts and seeds (limit quantity) - you can actually make your own trail mix by them mixing with raisins
      - wholegrain crackers (Ryvita) and cheese (one mini-babybel is quivalent of a portion)
      - baked pretzels

      Regarding exercise, how old is she now? have you got all clear from doc?

    2. Ok... I'm not doing too badly re:diet although this week I binged on biscuits... Definitely let my sugars fall so all I wanted was Milo and biscuits :'( Thankfully the biscuits are done with no chance of replenishment :)

      She's 5 weeks so I get the all clear next week (God-willing). My core is non-existent and my back suffers as a results... Most important to consider.

    3. Haha @ no chance of replenishment. That was me with ginger biscuits during my pregnancy.

      Let me know what doc says then we can work something out. Please ask her/him to check how large the gap between your abdominal muscles now is. very important factor in determining whether you can start doing core work or not.