Keep your eye on the prize, don’t lose focus

Lie on a mat and elevate the legs to a 90 degree position pointing upwards. Stretch the arms overhead. Crunch forward lifting the shoulders off the mat reaching with the finger tips to touch the toes. Return down while keeping the legs elevated. Repeat the movement for the prescribed reps.

If you made it through week one and tried out the first set of exercises, well done. But, if you are a first-timer, don’t worry we have four weeks to go in our fitness programme, so slip on some comfortable clothes and get moving.

Personal trainer Romeo Brand is encouraging readers to keep their eye on the prize and to not lose focus.

“Each workout drives you to get closer to your goal. The desire to achieve must be the same for weeks down the line,” he said.

This week we asked Romeo about food, as eating properly is an important part in keeping your body fit.

Why is eating healthily important?

A healthier meal plan is essential when you want to lose weight or shed excess body fat. This is, in my opinion, 90% of the battle when it comes to body transformation. Without a healthy meal plan that consist of the proper ratios of carbohydrates, protein and fats your efforts become a shot in the dark. Wholesome foods are essential and healthy eating also makes you feel better about yourself. This is the key to that next level of your progress.

What are the essentials when embarking on a healthy diet?

Don’t be hasty to change everything in your meal plan. Some of us are blessed to make that transition by going cold turkey and from the start clean up everything. I have a simple angle that helps me with this transition. Drop a bad habit and adopt a new one. Slowly introduce the change of food choices to your system. Gradually you body will adopt the new way eating plan and lifestyle.

Three musts of consumption?

First off, protein is the most important. It is the building block that repairs the body. This is followed by carbohydrates, which provide the energy the body needs to function. To many, this is a debatable issue, but to start your change this is still essential. Lastly – good fats that the body needs, such as omega 3, 6 and 9 which are easily obtainable in capsule form. Build your meal with three portions of equal size. Start with your building block which is your protein (meats, eggs, fish), followed by your portion of complex carbohydrates (oats, brown rice, potatoes, etc) and fibrous carbohydrates (green vegetables) and lastly your fats (omega 3, 6, 9, avocado etc). Make sure your plate is colourful, which automatically makes it appetising.

What are some healthy snacks?

In my schedule it’s almost impossible to sit and have a balanced meal, so I love to snack throughout the day. I have two favourites, and it’s the type of snack you can eat on the go while still getting good nutritional value. My first is a smoothie, which is a great additive and sometimes a good enough meal replacement. I normally take one scoop of whey, a teaspoon of peanut butter, a small fat-free Bulgarian yoghurt and a chopped frozen banana. Blend it all together and it’s a filling meal on the go.

My second option is normally macadamia nuts. I just love the taste and in a future article I’ll elaborate on roasting your own. But beware of your portion sizes.

Which foods can aid weight loss?

I am very specific when it comes to foods that help with weight loss. This is my top 10 recommendations to incorporate in your arsenal to achieve your goals. I don’t like to get fancy and go for foods that have worked in manytransformations over the last few decades. These are easy to obtain and not too pricey.Importantly, keep it simple: chicken, fish, eggs, beans and legumes, sweet potato, leafy greens, butternut, pumpkin or gem squash, pineapple, green apples or papaya, nuts and bulgarian yoghurt.

Instructions:

Beginners: 8 to 10 reps

Intermediates: 10 to 15 reps

Advanced: 15 to 20 reps

Rest no longer than 10 to 15 seconds between exercises

Rest no longer than 45 to 60 seconds between cycles.