When the #whgetsfit Winter Fitness Challenge rolled around, I knew I wanted to do something that would get me out of my weight-loss plateau, teach me a skill and not make me want to claw my eyes out (looking at you, treadmill). When I started boxing and Muay Thai at True Muay Thai, I had no idea the results would this great. Not only did I manage to get fitter and learn how to defend myself in three months, I was also able to lose 17kg in that time too. Here’s how…
It’s super important to mention that, while exercise is great for weight loss, what you put into your body is actually way more important. Why? Because no matter how hard you try, you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. I’ve been on numerous diets (including one where breakfast was just black coffee), so I can safely tell you that there is no magic formula to losing weight. All you need is a calorie-deficit – meaning you need to burn more calories/kilojoules than you consume.
Saying this, as someone who is a binger and emotional eater, I know that food can often seem like the enemy. So, when my trainer gave me an eating plan, I was a bit apprehensive. Surprisingly, though, having structure worked for me. I was a serial breakfast-skipper, but because I was training hard, I needed to fuel my body. And over three month that’s how I thought of food: as fuel. This helped me to see food in a different light and is slowly but surely helping me to recover from my eating disorder.
When it comes to weight loss, it’s vital to find something that works for you and your goals. Whether it’s Keto, intermittent fasting or banting, it needs to be something you can stick to in the long run. And that includes allowing yourself to eat the food you love, because what is life without chocolate?
Training Mean: The Exercises
I’ve been on a weight-loss journey for about a year now, and in the first few months of this year I found myself losing and picking up the same 10 kilos. The reason: my eating wasn’t as great as what it could be and I wasn’t consistent with my training. The gym was not my favourite place – every exercise machine made me want to die from boredom.
But that all changed when I started boxing and Muay Thai. I’d finally found something that made me want to show up every day – bruises and all. I love the fact that even though I’m sweating my butt off, it doesn’t always feel like exercise. And because I loved it, I showed up five days a week, come rain or shine. Given that the workouts are cardio-intensive, you’ll burn through fat in no time – provided your eating is in order.
If you’ve ever watched Rocky, you’ll know that skipping is a vital part of any boxer’s workout – for good reason. Jumping rope is a great full-body workout, it targets your upper and lower body, and it’s great for your heart and waistline. The best part? It does it in a third of the time! According to one study, skipping for 10 minutes is equivalent to jogging 30 minutes a day. So, what are you waiting for? Grab a skipping rope and let your inner kid free. Try this entry-level jump rope, R49.99 at MrP Sport. Or this adjustable skipping rope, R79.99 at MrP Sport.
We’ve all heard “take the stairs”, and it’s probably time you started listening… Taking the stairs not only helps with heart health, it can give you great legs too. I’ve got pretty big calves – it’s something I’ve hated for most of my life. But while before they were just fat, now I’ve got calves of steel (my shins are pretty hard from conditioning too). The great thing about climbing stairs is that people at most fitness levels can do it.
Looking to get toned arms in no time? Look no further than punches. In boxing and Muay Thai, the basic punches – jab, straight right, left and right hook, and uppercuts – are great cardio and strength-building tools for most of the muscles in your body. Get ready to build lean muscle all over.
Nothing burns through love handles like kicking. And in Muay Thai, there’s loads of that. Due to the almost constant rotational moves in Muay Thai, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get a strong core. When kicking, your hips are in constant motion, helping to develop core strength and whittle your waist, while toning up your legs. Talk about a win-win.