Sam Wood is revered as one of Australia’s ‘go-to’ celebrity trainers. His approach to exercise and helping both men and women reach their fitness and weight loss goals have always relied on an achievable approach. This is the road that led him to 28 by Sam Wood. A complete online training program which allows you to exercise at the gym or in the comfort of your own home in the same amount of time it takes you to watch your favourite Netflix series. No excuses, just attainable and achievable goals.
However, as all good training programs go, Sam knows it’s as much about what you do outside of the gym, as it is the commitment you make once you step into one. With an approach to exercise that involves nutrition and the mind, these are the 5 mistakes Sam wants you to stop making outside of the gym.
Undoing all of that hard work at the gym with a poor diet
It doesn’t matter how many times you read this, the importance of diet never diminishes. If you are constantly rewarding yourself for exercise with unhealthy treats you are not going to make progress. To put it into perspective for you, 1 can of coke takes on average 30 minutes of walking to burn off while 2 slices of pizza take an average of 65 minutes of moderate cycling to burn off.
You need to compliment your workouts with a diet based around real and wholesome foods. Limit your processed carbs and refined sugars and ensure you’re getting a nice balance of quality carbs, fats and protein in your meals. These changes are important to both managing your weight and your post gym recovery. We all know the bounce that’s added to your step when you fill up on delicious nutrient-packed foods. Make it a part of your lifestyle and watch your energy spike at the gym.
Not drinking enough water
Our bodies are made up of 60% water and not having an adequate intake can affect both our eating habits and approach to working out. When we don’t get enough water we can experience headaches and fatigue which makes us less likely to want to work out. Dehydration also often rears its head as hunger too, so staying on top of our hydrations keeps us on the ball!
Staying hydrated will not only help keep you motivated and eating well, but it will also help prevent water retention and bloat. When you are dehydrated, your kidneys sense a lack of hydration and therefore retain water. Staying hydrated helps to flush out toxins and extra salt which is why you should be aiming for 2 litres per day (and even more if you sweat during exercise).
Consuming the wrong kind of drinks
Alcohol is not just bad for your weight loss or performance goals, it damages your liver and interferes with your brains communication pathways. Not only is alcohol full of calories that will take hours at the gym to work off, but it can also lead to a fatty liver which, affecting the way in which your body metabolises and stores carbohydrates and fats. And if you ever wondered why you couldn’t resist that leftover pizza after a night out, alcohol also switches our brain into starvation mode, increasing our appetite and hunger.
You should drink responsibly regardless but if you’re trying to lose weight, cutting out alcohol for 5 days of the week can make a big difference. If you really want to see huge results at the gym, try cutting out alcohol altogether. While we may be tempted to think that our Sunday sessions are well deserved and won’t interfere too much with our weight and training goals, 5 glasses of gin and tonic can see us consume as many as 700 calories. That doesn’t even include the food that’s to follow.
Falling into the ‘modern day smoking trap’
You may have heard the saying that “sitting is the new smoking”, credited to Dr. Levine and the cold hard truth is that this lifestyle trend really is that bad for you. I highly recommend stretching every hour on the hour and if you can, go for a lap of the block. Some of my staff even have walking meetings where they lap the block instead of sitting in the boardroom. It is so important that you stretch and walk often and add as much incidental activity into your day as you can.
While inactivity is dangerous for our overall health, breaking up your workday with short bouts of activity will help keep you more motivated and alert. You will also be more likely to attend that gym class after work because you will already be energised and not feeling that office slump.
Underestimating the power of sleep
For me, the magic number is 7. Seven hours a night and your body will thank you.
Sleep is central to giving us enough energy to handle everything life throws at us. When we are deprived of sleep, we don’t have the physical or mental energy to perform tasks adequately and we also make poorer food choices and lose motivation to exercise. It all starts with sleep!