Love yourself

Posted on February 20, 2011

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Written for & published on LOVESTYLE

(So it’s a little late. By a week. But my contributions on LOVESTYLE can only be posted on my own blog a week later. So … Happy Valentines …. again!)

It’s nearly Valentines Day which means that every turn you take LOVESTYLE divas are faced with deals and steals for romantic dinners, scarlet underwear, naughty nights and heart-shaped gifts galore.

But regardless of whether you start the day with your husband, boyfriend, lover or other, true love starts with yourself. After all, if you don’t love yourself then how can you expect anyone else to? And whilst most of this love comes from within, there is a lot to be said for taking care of yourself and making you feel beautiful on the outside too.

So with this in mind here are my top tips for getting a body beautiful.

Perform HIIT training

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and it’s a sure-fire way to make your body strong and beautiful. It increases your fitness levels fast and helps you lose fat even faster due to the effects it has on our metabolisms 12-48 hours after our workout. HIIT training is basically all about stepping out of our comfort zones for a short period of time, followed by a short bout of rest before commencing again.

Perfect post-workout food

Just because you’ve had a great training session does not mean you can call for a pizza en route home! Be prepared and have a snack handy. A combo of carbs and protein is your best bet for example some cottage cheese with carrot sticks, a turkey breast sandwich on whole wheat bread or apple slices with peanut butter (sounds vile but delish). Lastly, stay hydrated.

Eat to speed up your metabolism

Increase your metabolism and you burn more cocktails, replace fat with muscle and get more energy. What’s not to love about that? Breakfast is a must as are regular, small meals. Avoid eating late at night and never skip meals to compensate for a blow out. Think lean protein and green veg to raise your metabolism and limit sugary foods, alcohol and caffeine.

Opt for omega-3

We all now know that not all fats are created equally. Omega-3 fats are not only good for us but our bodies need them as they help to lower our bad cholesterol, strengthen our immune system and protect our hearts. Best of all is that omega-3 fats have a positive effect on our metabolisms, keep our hair healthy and shiny and help our nails grow long and strong. Salmon, seeds, nuts and pulses are all ideal.

Stress less

Manage your stress, and you’ll better manage your body full-stop. It’s now widely proven that high stress levels affect our stress hormone, cortisol, which in turn, directly affect our fat deposits. So slow down, be present, know your limits, have fun, get active and relax!

Sleep more

Aim to get at least seven hours of sleep a night and as much time in bed before midnight as possible. Curbing sleep also has a negative effect on our stress hormones and it reduces our basal metabolic rate (the number of calories we burn at rest). Sleeping more is hardly hard work either; after all, who doesn’t love duvet time?

Get lean with protein

Protein has little or no effect on your blood sugar level and it helps keep hunger at bay between meals. Think sushi, sashimi, eggs, fish, seafood, turkey and chicken … and give hotdogs, steaks and burgers a wide berth!

Choose your treats wisely

The latte en route to work? The Cinnabon in the mall? The nachos whilst watching American Idol? They all add up. Treats are nice; we all love them and I would never suggest we ditch them. Just pick them wisely; think almonds, dried apricots, frozen yoghurt and fresh fruit.

So LOVESTYLE divas, treat yourself this Valentines by giving your body the break it deserves. You get to reap the benefits most and think how utterly fabulous you will feel when sporting the King of Bling, Theo Fennel’s latest pendants, your new must-have Burberry bag, your latest little number from Reiss …. or, if you must, all three! Why not? You deserve it!

 

 

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