Bean Sopwith

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The rock climber and nutrition coach gives her tips on how to stay fit and healthy.

  • Get the right amount of sleep

    One of the most important things in terms of health and weight loss is sleep. Sleep allows your body to rest and repair. It keeps everything in balance. When your body is in balance your metabolism works properly, and that allows you to keep a good weight. Get to bed by 10 o'clock at night and get a full nine hours sleep.

  • Make sure you eat plenty of fresh food

    Our biological systems are still in line with who we were 10,000 years ago. Humans evolve by a tenth of 1% every 10,000 years. Agriculture was only introduced in the last seventy years.

    What would a caveman or a hunter-gatherer eat? Look for the fresh produce, the vegetables, the nuts, the berries, things like that. Avoid processed foods, the things that have a long shelf life. They're not good for you and will probably increase weight gain more than anything else.

    If you can't pronounce an ingredient on the label, and you couldn't get it 10,000 years ago, don't buy it.

  • Make sure you eat a good breakfast

    Most people wake up and grab a bowl of cereal and chuck in the milk, get it down their throat and zip off to work or school. That's fine if you don't have much time, but you're setting yourself up for failure for the rest of the day. If you spend an extra 15 minutes preparing some proper food, it makes a monumental difference.

    Your breakfast should have an equal proportion of good protein and fats to carbohydrates. You should be trying to get some animal products, some fish or some eggs into your diet in the morning. You could have an omelette, scrambled eggs, organic sausages, organic bacon, or even a bowl of soup. Breakfast doesn't need to be this carbohydrate packed meal that we're used to.

    Why not have lunch or dinner for breakfast? It's much healthier, but we've been led to believe that breakfast should be toast or croissants or cereal. It's much healthier to stick to good wholesome food that has been grown, or that you can pick.

  • Try and maintain a balanced diet

    When your insulin levels spike you store more fat. You need a balanced diet that allows you to feel nourished and full, so that you don't end up having those teatime blues where you feel the need to have as much sugar as you can get your hands on.

    As soon as you start eating lots of sugary carbohydrate foods, you have a spike, then you have a drop. It's that drop that produces the urge to eat more.

    A balanced diet allows you to have the right amount of foods to keep your body going. Avoid sugary white foods, such as white breads and cheap chocolates. Try to eat small meals throughout the day, and make sure that you've got good quality proteins and fats in everything you eat. That includes snacks.

  • Make sure you do the right type of exercise

    Lots of people think that if they eat less and work out more they'll lose weight. If that was true there would be much fewer people looking so overweight.

    In terms of weight loss, if you're just going to run out of your door and go running, that can have an adverse effect on your weight. You need to concentrate on exercises that increase your muscle tone. That enables your cells to release fat and burn it off. Try to do some strength and cardio work.

If you find something that you love and you're passionate about, then you need to go for it.

Lee Sharpe

Ex Man Utd and England footballer

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