Get real! Five realistic ways to get ultra fit

2 minutes
Physical

With a few practical hints, you can get into terrific shape.

Those photos that you see of celebs looking all toned and sparkly on the red carpet are slightly illusory aren't they? These folk may grace the big screen or pipe out catchy tunes from many a music vid but at the end of the day they are only mere mortals like you and I. So how do some of them make looking so fit so effortless? If Gwyneth Paltrow's blog entry on how she managed to get in remarkably good shape for her part in Iron Man 2 is anything to go by, it certainly isn't just a walk (or even a jog) in the park. Remember: this is a lady who thinks nothing of completing a lengthy gym workout before running off to pick up the kids from school with ankle weights firmly strapped to her pins! 

Jennifer Love Hewitt has said that in her 20s she felt quietly smug about being able to eat pretty much anything and staying at a stable weight as befitting her slender frame. That all turned around in her 30s with a rude awakening that came about by seeing holiday pictures of herself in Hawaii (courtesy of the paparazzi) in a black bikini sporting a figure that looked rather like she'd been indulging in a few too many pies. This prompted her to rapidly lose 9 kilos in a little over two months. (She has more recently been criticized for looking too thin.) 

How did these women do it? They both embarked on - or rather flung themselves into - a rigorous exercise schedule and a frugal eating pattern. Continuously incorporating all this into most every day lives might not seem feasible, but here are some realistic and sustainable ways to acquire the figure that you know is sculpted somewhere underneath that little bit of padding: 

  1. Go for an extra 10 minutes

    Exercise is a must but don't expect overnight results. Choose a rate of activity that is right for you at the moment. You will be able to build on this as your stamina and flexibility improve. Aim for that ‘extra mile' by doing 10 further minutes of exercise during your workout.

  2. A fistful of food

    Eat the right foods little and often throughout the day. This helps to maintain your metabolic rate at maximum speed. It also keeps your blood-sugar level stable which is helpful in reducing appetite build-up and food cravings. Some surveys show that six small meals a day - measure a fistful per portion - is effective in doing this. 

  3. One less treat

    Most of us find ourselves needing a sugar-fix of sorts every now and again. Don't let yourself think that because you're exercising more then this means you can have a few more fatty or sugary treats because you'll burn it off more easily. Although your metabolism will fire itself up with more intense activity, old habits die hard. Think of the initial stages of your program as being the hardest - if you can forgo the last biscuit on the plate you're more likely to instil greater discipline into yourself and better achieve your physical goals.

  4. Don't neglect your 'time out'

    It's vital to offset any time you spend on motivating yourself exercising and preparing healthy meals by just being. Whether this is unwinding in the evening with friends, leisurely strolling along the beach or sitting under a tree with a book allocate time for adequate relaxation. This will see that you are suitably rested and charged for your oncoming workouts.

  5. Think yourself into shape

    Mind and body are inextricably linked so if you find you're more prone to a ‘no matter how hard I try I can't seem to lose weight' attitude then you'll be setting yourself up for a fall before you even begin. Envisage yourself in the shape you want and believe that you will get there sooner rather than later.

And on that note I leave you with a comment Gwyneth Paltrow made in a Vogue interview: “I had to work hard to get (my figure) like this but now it's so great because I don't have to think about it. I can just enjoy life. I can eat what I want as long as I exercise which is just as well because if I put the word 'diet' into my brain I immediately gain a stone."
 

Written by Cassandra Duell

 

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