The secret to great model fitness is — well, honestly, it’s not much of a secret. Your grandmother probably handed down most of the advice years and years ago. Eat dinner before dessert (proteins before sugars). Eat your veggies (fiber is great!). Get your beauty sleep (good sleep habits are one of the keys to overall health). Eat real food (avoid industrial food). Get outside (activity & movement is super important). It’s not exciting stuff, but done steadily and reliably, it works. That’s why we talk about a “model lifestyle”, rather than calling it a “quick fix” or “diet tips to suddenly get in shape” or something like that. Fitness isn’t a quick fix – it’s not dramatic, difficult, exciting or a good story to tell. Fitness is something that comes from a great all-around lifestyle, and the benefits of sleep, movement, and eating real yummy food extend far beyond just appearance. These things benefit your mood, state of mind, overall body health and optimism, all of which feeds back into a life well lived.
Thanks to lots of very smart people studying these things for years and years, we know some things Grandma didn’t know, as well. Fat doesn’t make you fat – it’s good for your skin, your hair, and your brain, and it’s a trigger that tells your body “you’ve eaten, stop thinking about food and get on with living”. A little bit of fat – from steak, chicken, fish, almonds, honeydew melon, wild rice, mangoes, cabbage, berries, spinach, broccoli rabe, grape leaves, beans, winter squash, seaweed, mustard oil (oh, this list could go on!) – is a great thing in your diet, and it makes food better! Much better than flavoring things with sugar, corn syrup or salt. And that dessert thing? No kidding, a little bite of something sweet after a meal is a good idea – the sugars bump up your metabolism and tell your body “hey, we’ve got something to digest!”
We can’t emphasize enough, though, the focus on consistent, steady lifestyle. You never know when a client is going to want to hire you, so it’s best to be ready at all times. That means, you develop a steady lifestyle that has you happy and healthy at all times, filled with energy and ready to go at the drop of a hat. Also, the kind of fitness you want to develop as a model isn’t about building muscle and power – it’s more about grace. Low impact exercise and things that challenge your balance and flexibility are ideal. Walking is hands down the best exercise ever – and that’s probably true for everyone, not just models. Yoga, Pilates, Barre & kickboxing are excellent choices as well. Need to work on your booty? There are all kinds of squats to help you do just that. And the best thing about most of these is that you don’t need weights or a gym – you can stay with it anywhere in the world, at any time.
Some other great thoughts:
· Get up as early as possible after a restful sleep, and exercise in the morning. That energy boost will last throughout the day! It will also speed up your metabolism (great for burning off your early morning sweet tooth), burn calories (ditto!), and relieve stress (seriously important). It could be as simple as walking around your neighborhood for 40-80 minutes, or banging out a couple of twenty-minute yoga sessions. But, get up, get goin’ and move!
· Never skip breakfast. In fact, you want to go to bed a little hungry so you wake up wanting to eat (it‘s called breakfast because you’re breaking a fast – that time not eating between a yummy dinner and the following morning). A healthy breakfast helps speed your metabolism, and gives you energy throughout the day, which is so important for mood and accomplishment. Start your day with oatmeal, eggs, a smoothie — any breakfast you love that’s nutritionally dense and will keep you going. Try to avoid refined sugar and flour, which burn off quickly, won’t leave you full very long, and cause weight gain. Include a little protein, which keeps you full longer and gives you that much needed energy!
· Sleeping well and managing stress are also really important for keeping off weight. (Are you starting to see how all this lifestyle stuff fits together?) The three big risk factor for obesity are stress, lack of sleep, and dieting. Isn’t that crazy? Lack of sleep leads to weight gain, and can also cause depression, pain, inflammation, and health issues that roll over into all areas of your life. But, if you get your seven to eight hours, you’re golden.
That’s it for now! It may not be glamorous and exciting, but if you grind through, pay attention every day, and make yours a model lifestyle, you’ll be happy, healthy and successful in ways you can only imagine!