01/09/2017 12:43 SAST | Updated 01/09/2017 13:31 SAST

If You Over-Indulged During Winter And Things No Longer Fit As They Should, Try This

But there are no quick fixes, unfortunately.


So this past winter, you indulged more than you should have and it's showing, big time. Big being the operative word. You really want to shine this spring but you're scared the extra kilos won't let you flourish.

Well, don't fret.

HuffPost SA spoke to fitness expert and nutritionist Isilda Da Costa on what to realistically do to get back into shape and maintain it.

  • Patience: "It took time to allow the weight to creep on, so allow time for it to fall off again."
  • Discipline: "Stick to a set training and eating plan -- persistence and consistence are key."
  • Mindset: "If you tell yourself you can't, then that's exactly the outcome."

If you have never exercised at all but feel this spring is the time to start, don't postpone it. Da Costa believes anytime is a good time to start living healthier and here are her top tips:

  1. Find an exercise you enjoy. This can be running, a zumba or step class or the gym if you are someone that prefers a controlled environment. "Whatever it is, make sure you will enjoy it so you can stick to it."
  2. Get a gym buddy. This can be your best friend, your partner or a colleague. "This will be such a motivator and you will be getting fit together which is an added bonus."
  3. It will be tough, especially at first -- get over it. "You will be stiff and you will be tired, but stick to some form of exercising every day for 21 days and you will form a habit."

Yet, whether you are bouncing back or starting afresh, the nutritionist emphasises that eating right is an absolute must. Her three diet tips:

  1. Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates! In the long term, your hormones and blood sugar will balance and your digestion will also be grateful. "I am not saying you can never have cake again but having treats like this on a daily basis can do real damage."
  2. Drink water. "Water is your best friend." Staying hydrated can help you avoid overeating, as some people confuse thirst for hunger. Water has also been proven to increase your metabolism, thus boosting your body's ability to burn fat.
  3. Eat more vegetables and fruits. "The more fresh and close to nature you can keep your meals the more your body will return to its natural healthy balanced weight."