The COSMO Zest healthy-eating and fitness app to help get you on the road to a summer-ready, fabulous and fitter you!
Are you up for it? Sure you are! Join us as we take up the COSMO Zest 4-week healthy-eating and fitness challenge, designed by the boffins in UCT’s Reseach Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine.
The programme is designed to run from Monday to Sunday. Our copy ed, Ania Rokita, did it and blogged about it
– so you can read her hints and tips. Go to http://zestapp.cosmopolitan.co.za
in the meantime and register.
If you're on Android, you can download the app by clicking the logo below.
Or for iPhone users, click on the icon below.
Once you've done that and read the Ts & Cs, Day 1 will come up on your screen. Click on the shopping trolley and you'll see the shopping list you'll need for Week 1.
The app is optimised for mobile so you can view it on your computer, but it looks better on a phone.
BUT WAIT! There’s one thing you have to do before you start. Read the vital info below – your success in the programme and your own health depend on it. Also, it includes the list of rewards you can give yourself for hard work and willpower, so you really do want to scroll down.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING THE
COSMO Zest Healthy Eating and Fitness Programme
The team that devised the COSMO Zest Healthy Eating and Fitness Programme
was put together by Dr Dale Rae of the UCT/MRC Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, and includes Michael King MSc Neuroscience, registered dietician Louise Clamp, and registered biokineticists Paula Pienaar and DJ Hume.
Please read these important messages from them before beginning the programme.
The COSMO Feel-Good Fitness Plan
By Paula Pienaar and David John Hume
Considering the annual wintertime ‘exercise lag interlude’ most South Africans experience, this programme is designed to safely facilitate and gradually progress COSMO readers back to regular participation in moderate-intensity, sustained activity throughout the warmer months. Make exercise (rather than weight loss) your primary motivators for adhering to our plan – weight loss is an added benefit of a healthy lifestyle, and will happen naturally in the long term if you use this programme.
Our programme is designed for women who are medically cleared for exercise, have no known chronic medical conditions, are not pregnant, and have no history of serious physical injury. If you are unsure about your readiness for exercise, consult a doctor to be safe.
We have added video links and illustrations to complex exercises to emphasize good technique – you will easily find more on YouTube. Here are additional rules to remember when doing in the exercises prescribed:
If it feels wrong, you’re probably doing it wrong. Stop! And if necessary, seek advice from a biokineticist or other health and fitness professional.
Wear appropriate training attire (e.g. bright running gear to increase your visibility to road users), and exercise in a safe, familiar environments.
Don’t overdo it. Overtraining can lead to injury. It’s better to progress exercise gradually rather than forcing your body beyond its physical capacity.
A breakdown of the programme
Roughly, our programme focuses on the following fitness components:
The COSMO Healthy Eating Plan
By Louise Clamp
This healthy eating plan is based on a low to moderately active, normal weight woman (weighing 60 to 70kg). It provides approximately 1,700-1,800 kcal, with good sources of lean proteins, dairy, fruit and vegetables and high-fibre starches. This will assist with appetite control, improve blood glucose control and benefit gut function, while providing a good range of essential vitamins and minerals.
Where applicable, recipe ideas from the Good Housekeeping website (marked with *) have been suggested, but you can adapt these to suit your taste and the number of people you’re cooking for.
Adjust the shopping lists according to taste and what you have already in your grocery cupboards.
Components of the diet
Our Action Plan for Healthy Eating
Below are some of the main foundations to healthy eating. Identify one or two of these concepts that you feel are missing in the way you currently eat, then write them down and make it a goal to try to incorporate them over the next week. Use the diet plans for ideas on how to achieve this.
Cut back on refined starches, sugars and processed foods
Add vegetables and fruit into main meals and snacks
Choose whole grain, high fibre, low-GI starches
Include lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs and legumes daily
Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day
Replace sugar containing beverages with artificially sweetened drinks or water
If you have managed to be good all week, then you can have and additional 3 cheats for the weekend.
Here is a guide to what counts as one reward/cheat:
150ml glass of white/red wine
2 rows of a 90g slab of chocolate
1 mini Swiss roll
2 mini biscotti
1 ½ chocolate digestives
30g Liquorice Allsorts
App image credits: IMAGES Photography Thinkstock; Illustrations Werner Viln