Eat Less, Move More? Poppycock, I say! For me, the key to getting healthy is getting more informed. Here are some of the websites and resources that have helped me shape my lard-busting methods over the years. I’ll keep adding to the list as I remember more!
- Healthy Eating
- Food & Fitness Trackers
- Number Crunchers
- Exercise Essentials
- Workout MP3s and DVDs
- Home Gym Equipment
- Books, DVDs and Gadgets
If you’re confused about what the hell constitutes a healthy food, these are the two sites I always recommend.
- World’s Healthiest Foods – a goldmine of nutritional info, healthy cooking techniques and recipe ideas. I regularly take the Food Advisor quiz, which analyses the foods you eat and helps you see if you need some nutritional tweaking
- Limes & Lycopene – Australian nutritionist Kathryn Elliot writes about food and nutrition with an engaging, straightforward and informative tone. Among the gems in her archives:
- BBC Good Food – my trusty what-the-hell-shall-I-make-for-dinner website with a great search function, virtual recipe binder and recipes from the BBC’s various food magazines.
- Abel and Cole – these dudes are known for their organic produce deliveries but I like the recipe section, listed by ingredient. Perfect when you’re confounded by some weird vegetable.
- Love Food, Hate Waste – thrifty tips to reduce food waste
- Green Lite Bites – Healthy recipes and groovy video posts from Roni, blogger extraordinaire
- 101 Cookbooks – Heidi Swanson is the QUEEN of healthy, delicious cooking, if you ask me
- SparkPeople – Brilliant FREE site that incorporates calorie counter, fitness plans, recipes, blogs and community. I’d use it myself if not for the lack of UK branded foods in the diet diary.
- Weight Loss Resources – UK-based calorie counting site that I’ve used since 2004. Not the sexiest looking but great tracker, tools and message boards. Does cost a few pounds per month but offers a free trial so you can try before you buy!
- Dietgirl’s Amazing Weight Tracker Spreadsheet – as lovingly described in the book, this is how I kept track of my weight loss and converted the weights from kilos to pounds for my foreign readers. Originally created by the lovely Kimba of Sydney, it now also calculates into stones for UK folk.
- Target Heart Rate Calculator – figure out how hard your heart should pump during exercise
- Calories Per Hour – calculate your calorie burn during exercise
- BMR calculator – calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate, the number of calories you’d burn if you stayed in bed all day. You can then use the Harris Benedict Equation number to figure out how many calories you need to lose, gain or maintain your weight.
- Happy Weight Calculator – Self.com’s HWC is somewhat more realistic than the stinking Body Mass Index. My happy weight is way higher than this though. Make of it what you will!
NB: While I do have a penchant for number crunching, it is important to keep these numbers in perspective. Try to use them as a guide only. Don’t let your self-esteem be shattered by a dodgy number on the scale!
- Up & Running e-courses for runners - I’m biased. I created these learn to run e-courses with my amazing running coach friend Julia Jones. If you’ve read my book you’ll remember her training me and teaching me that running was not just for skinny folk with bouncy ponytails. Our eight-week 5K training program for beginners is a brilliant way to get into running with expert coaching and unlimited support. We also have a 10K training program and downloadable training plans.
- Stumptuous – the most brilliantly smart and useful website about women and weight training. I got into weight training in 2001 after reading Krista’s article No Fat Chicks. A must-read.
- ExRx Exercise & Muscle Directory – straightforward descriptions of weight training exercises, featuring animated gifs circa 1999.
- MapMyWalk – track your training and use the built-in Google maps to plan your routes.
- Race For Life – Why not run your first 5k race for Cancer Research?
- High Intensity Interval Training – this Muscle Media article explains the benefits of this type of cardio with sample workouts
- MizFit’s videos – lovely blogger MizFit has a Monday Facetime feature with practical tips for strength training at home with minimal time and equipment
Workout MP3 and DVDs
- Collage Video – Extensive resource with reviews of every workout DVD in the bloody universe.
- Cathe Friedrich – a legend in the workout DVD market. Cathe is famous for her fancy step choreography but I’m a huge fan of her intense weight training DVDs. My favourites include Pyramid Upper & Lower Body and Muscle Endurance. A basic understanding of weight training moves is essential – take a class like Body Pump or check out Stumptous so you’re familiar with all the jargon. I also like her Kick Punch & Crunch kickboxing workout.
- Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred – 20 minute circuit training that require minimal space and equipment. You need a decent level of fitness for this DVD as it’s an intense 20 minutes!
- Om Yoga – Cyndi Lee is eternally cheerful but has a great way explaining moves with a sense of humour. I have the Beginner/Intermediate DVD
- You can check out more of my favourite fitness DVDs in my Amazon shoppe.
- Cardio Coach – This is a downloadable MP3 workout where a dude called Sean O’Malley with a rather sexy voice tells you exactly what to do; suitable for any piece of cardio equipment. When to go fast, when to go slow, when to stretch; it really does make the time go faster!
My entry When It’s Cold Outside talks more about my home gym setup, where “home gym” equals “tiny slab of bedroom floor”. Here are some places I’ve sourced my equipment:
- PhysioLine – resistance bands and resistance tubes – perfect if you’re short on space!
- Argos.co.uk – dumbbells, barbell and plates, skipping rope, stability ball
- The Yoga Shop – yoga mat
- Wiggle.co.uk – heart rate monitor. Usually my first stop for sporty equipment.
Disclosure: The Amazon, Cathe and Cardio Coach links are affiliate links. I make a small commission from any sales which helps offset hosting costs for this website. Thank you for your support!