It is my view that the number one reason that people in the Middle East cannot implement a healthy lifestyle change is mainly their lack of organisational skills.
The more you put off implementing this important change, then the harder it becomes, speaking from the experience of my clients, some of whom have informed me that it has taken them five years to make an appointment for a consultation with a fitness expert.
But shouldn’t you put your health first?
Learning to master your mornings is a good way to put you on the right track, the one simple step you can make is to designate 5-10 minutes each morning to organise your thoughts and become “present” in your own body. Learning to be quiet in your mind whilst you sit down to chew and digest your breakfast instead of jumping out of bed and rushing out without time to eat or even think.
Planning ahead is another tip, each week devote a few hours to plan and cook meals ahead for the following few daysVahdaneh Vahid
We are on over drive all day long, the least you can do is allow your body to balance itself first thing in morning. Sitting down to eat breakfast will also keep your blood sugar levels stable through the mid-morning, helping reduce your stress load.
Planning ahead is another tip, each week devote a few hours to plan and cook meals ahead for the following few days. It’s best to do this on a day off such as a Friday. This way you will avoid relying on eating junk food and it will also save you money in the long run.
Another tip? Leftovers are very helpful, for someone like myself who eats six meals and snacks a day I find the concept of bulk cooking useful.
You can prepare recipes that include meals for four or more which you can store away in the freezer and use at a later date. Stews, soups, roasts and grilled meats can all be prepare in bulk to save you time and effort.
Are you the sheep or the shepherd?
We live in society consumed by food; fast food restaurants even deliver at no minimum cost! These foods packed with fake ingredients, trans fats, stabilisers, gums, thickeners and colourings are mal-nutritious to say the least. It’s time you went against everyone else in your office or at home. Lead by good example! Get back to cooking and preparing your own food and taking it to work. You may even inspire others around you to start doing the same.
On that note, it is crucial to be consistent. We all know how easy it is to slip back into bad habits. It only takes a holiday, weekend away, or just feeling fed up for this to occur. Remember, just because you fall off track for one day or 1 week it does not mean you can pick up where you left of and return back to your healthy lifestyle again. One way to find that motivation is always thinking how good you felt whilst eating real home cooked, balanced, meals, ones that your digestion system thanked you for! Also, remember the energy levels, your general well being and the feeling of satisfaction after each balanced meal. This reminder alone should get you back on track once again.
Vahdaneh Vahid is a UK-based Personal Trainer who recently moved to Dubai. She has had an interest in fitness from a young age. Her motto is now "Train Don't Drain" and teaches her clients that a balanced understanding of their physical, mental and emotional wellness is key. She can be found on Twitter: @vvfitness