Viewing entries tagged
siya

Is counting calories helpful?

Guest post by Siya Natseva. Follow Siya on her blog, PumpUp (@cinnamonontop), and Instagram/Tumblr cinnamonontop8.

To almost any woman, counting calories is second nature. It’s what we do. Checking and double-checking, calculating away. And wincing throughout the process, as if the mere thought of Ben & Jerry’s instantaneously added a few inches around our waists! For the other half of the species – and, yes, every rule has an exception - the business of counting calories isn’t a matter of life and death. If you questioned the average female on this, though, she’d tell you that: ‘What do men know about food and calories?! Is this a legitimate enquiry?’

But, as has repeatedly been demonstrated, much of our health knowledge is incorrect. In fact, is counting calories really helping us? Or is it a scam, something we’ve conveniently been tricked into swearing by? And, no, this article is not purely intended for Venuses.

image

(Image c/o Rebloggy)

Obsessive? Navigate away from calorie-counting

Subjectively, as someone who has struggled with her weight over her teenage years, I’m palpably against counting calories. Past struggles notwithstanding, it’s in my character to obsess over insignificant issues like the total sum of calories I consume on any given day. It’s an easy trap I fall into and avoiding it at all costs is crucial for my peace of mind. Eating healthy, maintaining an active lifestyle and embracing a positive mind-set is where my focus is. If you worry too much about digits and tend to turn health into a Math class, you’re better off without a calorie calculator nearby.

image

(Source: Tumblr)

Calories aren’t nutrients

Calories are units of energy. We eat a meal and, in exchange, we receive energy to support the body functions and get on with our errands. But for health enthusiasts, it’s clear that calories aren’t the only paramount piece of information on a label and, even if they were, quantity doesn’t ensure ‘quality’. Yes, quality of calories is a thing! This is an article of its own, but ‘calories’ aren’t synonymous with ‘nutrients’. A 52 g Snickers bar will provide you with, I don’t know, 245 units of energy, but what else? Apart from the instant energy and refined sugar, there’s not much in the way of nutrition in a Snickers bar. Simply ‘collecting’ calories doesn’t reflect a healthy lifestyle. The aim should be to eat a varied and nutritious diet, without a particular concern for calories.

image

(Image c/o wifflegif)

It’s a waste of valuable time

Counting calories is a lengthy and dreary activity. You could spend said time either working towards your fitness goals or another venture, or even indulging in a favourite pastime. Once we immerse ourselves in the world of calories, it’s a mental exercise of enormous effort to find our road back out. Humans are wrapped up in the hype of calorie restriction and the bad effects of carbs. Before you know it, your whole existence is defined by logging every single food you eat. Ultimately, a healthy lifestyle shouldn’t be a chore. It shouldn’t be a task of monumental importance, but entirely devoid of pleasure. Where’s the fun in that?!

Yet, there are circumstances in which one can benefit from keeping track of their calorie consumption. Depending on the nature and stage of your journey, your personality and the projected outcomes, you might find it useful. If you aspire to shed a few pounds, acknowledging what and how much you eat can be a good solution. If you don’t suffer from obsessive tendencies and aren’t in danger of losing the plot, a food diary may not be as detrimental. Finally, if you have a very specific objective, linked to an exclusive meal plan, recording your calorie intake will surely assist you.

ABOUT SIYA

Howdy, PumpUps!

My name is Siya. I’m 27 years young, with a passion for a healthy lifestyle, including a love for nutritious food and an active routine. Having struggled with my weight for years, it would be incredibly rewarding to me to support others and inspire them to prioritise their health instead of their appearance. I’m currently working out at home and can relate to those on a tight budget. An aspiring blogger and writer, I’ve recently started a blog where I share simple recipes and exercises, and promote a positive body image. I welcome advice from like-minded fitness enthusiasts, for I believe one can never know enough. Hit me up and let’s ace this! 

Exercising alone: the pros and cons

Guest post by Siya Natseva. Follow Siya on her blog, PumpUp (@cinnamonontop), and Instagram/Tumblr cinnamonontop8.

While the notion that there’s a wrong way to keep fit is foolish and you shouldn’t let anyone tell you otherwise, people differ in their approach to exercise. Some are loners, quite content to be active on their own. Others thrive in a collaborative environment (this is not a job application, I swear). Personally, I am a recluse and prefer going it alone! As such, I’ll brief you on its advantages and disadvantages. Will you switch teams, or will you stick with your original choice? Let’s find out!

Pros

  • When you choose to exercise alone, you don’t depend on anyone but yourself. With people’s individual schedules in the equation, it may be difficult to arrange a workout session convenient for you and your companion. Going it alone gives you the opportunity to be your own boss. If you fail to plan ahead, you’ll fail at your workout. With no one to point the finger at, you’ll learn to manage your day better. A few failed attempts and you’ll be a pro at handling your chores in a way that allows you to exercise regularly, at a suitable for you time.

image

(Source: Tumblr)

  • Friends often decide to team up for the completion of their fitness goals, only to discover that their objectives are either incompatible, or their mate’s pace is acutely different. Are you a yogi and is your pal training to be a boxing champion?To avoid disappointment, enquire about your acquaintance’s ambitions and their progress. Alternatively, you can concentrate on you and train at your own pace. You shouldn’t have to slow down or play catch-up. Buddying up shouldn’t be a competition. Without the added stress of ‘Am I too good? / Am I good enough?’, you’ll achieve your projected ends easily.

image

(Source: Tumblr)

  • Company may be your free ticket to Distraction Land! If you’re a chatter box, and / or so is your partner, your dedicated gym time may turn into a coffee break. In contrast, being alone automatically eliminates the possibility of distractions.  A random chat with a fellow gym junkie is fine and can’t be compared to a full-fledged conversation about a mate’s relationship status on FB. Being aware of how long you can train for pushes you to think wisely about your programme. Thus, you’re effective and efficient.

image

(Source: giphy)

Cons

  • The prospect of pumping iron - or whatever your session may consist of – unaccompanied may, on the one hand, be intimidating. On the other, it probably sounds awfully boring to some. If you’re a person who needs consistent breaks for a high-five and a few encouraging words, you should perhaps steer away from the hermit-like character of working out by yourself. Boredom is the worst thing you could associate exercise with, because you’ll be giving up in no time. Keep it fun!

image

(Source: Buzzfeed)

  • Have you reached a plateau in your fitness routine? If so, exercising on your own may not be the best option for you either, since you’re facing the risk of quitting. I’m not suggesting fierce competition, but witnessing another’s progress and dedication may inject some much needed inspiration. If you lose your drive, despite having seen results, you may be tempted to throw everything out of the window. With someone next to you, those terrible thoughts will evaporate!

image

(Source: babble.com)

  • Linked to our previous point is the determination to actually improve. We PumpUps are a greedy bunch! With us, there’s always the wish to be better, faster and stronger. Some may handle this well without external assistance, but others may be at a loss. With companion – preferably somebody slightly more advanced – you’re guaranteed to reach higher!

image

(Source: Wikia)

ABOUT SIYA

Howdy, PumpUps!

My name is Siya. I’m 27 years young, with a passion for a healthy lifestyle, including a love for nutritious food and an active routine. Having struggled with my weight for years, it would be incredibly rewarding to me to support others and inspire them to prioritise their health instead of their appearance. I’m currently working out at home and can relate to those on a tight budget. An aspiring blogger and writer, I’ve recently started a blog where I share simple recipes and exercises, and promote a positive body image. I welcome advice from like-minded fitness enthusiasts, for I believe one can never know enough. Hit me up and let’s ace this!