6 Tips On Weight Control from a Fitness Instructor
Confused about what to eat to lose weight? Rugby Fitness Instructor Jillian Burgess says avoid fad diets and look to science for the answers.
There’s so much conflicting nutritional advice out there for women: so, what’s the healthiest approach to weight loss and wellness? Rugby-based gym instructor Jillian Burgess says use a little logic and a pinch of science, and it will become clearer. Here are her 6 tips to figuring it all out:
1.Obesity & the Desire to look good = fad diets
We all know that we in the western world have a huge obesity problem because we are eating too much and eating badly, couple this with another phenomenon of modern times – the desire and sometimes pressure to look a certain way – and we have a huge market for diets ‘that really work’ and nutritional advice. It’s big business and there are big bucks to be made. What will work best for us individually?
2. Look Back to the Stone Age
The trouble is this advice is so varied and a little contradictory, at times, so it is hard to work out what’s right or wrong, and more importantly what will work best for us as an individual. So, let’s look at this logically. The human body is virtually the same machine that it was when man lived in caves and hunted for his own food and is designed with involuntary survival skills that keep us alive and relatively healthy to hopefully ensure the future existence of our species.
3. How do our in-built Survival Skills affect our Diet?
One of these survival skills is the ability to lower and raise our metabolism according to the amount of food we eat. This means that after a sustained period of substantially lowering our food intake our body will lower its metabolism, to survive on this lower intake of food. This is when dieters experience a slowing down of weight loss or plateau. The reason for this: the body has no idea we have food available to buy in shops and that we are choosing to eat less. It simply believes that food is scarce like it would have been during winter for prehistoric man/woman and lowers its metabolism until food intake goes back up. In other words, your body is helping you survive a harsh winter, NOT lose weight.
4. ‘Overeating is a new problem for the body to deal with’
Survival is a greater priority than fashion when it comes to the scientific workings of our bodies. In the history of the human species and indeed many other species starvation has been the main concern and not overeating, so this is a very new problem for our bodies to deal with. We all have different metabolic rates depending on genes, lifestyle, eating and exercise habits but this is true for all of us. So, what should we do?
5. Should we just not diet at all and depend on exercise as a means of weight loss, as well as weight control?
The answer is to consider logic and science carefully when deciding to undertake a weight loss programme and make sure we do not slash our calorie intake too dramatically and instead focus on the types of food we eat and what they do for us in terms of our nutritional needs. Doing exercise will help in a big way, as burning extra calories each day at the same time as a cutback in food intake will give you weight loss that is likely to be long lasting as your metabolism will stay much the same and depending on the amount of exercise could even elevate. I don’t recommend any diets, just sensible eating, and a low sugar intake.
6. What should you do if you’re not a gym bunny?
Not everyone likes going to gyms and exercise classes and the worst thing you can do is force yourself. My advice is to get walking. start with a brisk walk around the block and progress by walking faster and further. This will put you under no pressure mentally or physically and can be done at a time to suit you and who knows you may enjoy it so much that you decide to take it a step further and join an exercise class once a week.
Jillian trained as an instructor in Sydney Australia where she lived for 9 years and taught at the University of New South Wales. After moving back to Warwickshire she’s taught at The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Centre in Rugby for 21 years and now runs 16 classes a week including Zumba, spin, body pump, boot camp and circuits. No wonder she looks so incredible! Although she’s a qualified personal trainer, Jillian prefers to teach mainly group exercise explaining: “I love the whole vibe and atmosphere you get in a busy class.”
When not in the gym, she’s often out-and-about in the fresh air walking her dogs. She enjoys ’70s weekends, mini city-breaks and makes no secret that she’s partial to the odd glass of Prosecco. Last year she married long-time partner Chris in Lindos, Rhodes – her favourite Greek island. Here’s how beautiful she looked on her big day. Awww!