I was asked a while back how I manage to stay healthy when I don't really exercise and develop all day long. Well I do a number of things that help me and I will cover a couple of them here.

The Problem

If like me you get up and get ready for the commute into work, then work all day to finish off commuting back home to look after the household and all that is needed for your family. This lack of any exercise coupled with a sedentary life can lead to weight gain even though you may not be shoveling the junk in your mouth. Here in the UK it is advised that a male should consume around 2500 calories a day and a woman around the 2000 mark. But if you are doing desk work and not manual labor then this should be more like 2000 for men and 1800 for women based on an age of 40. The lack of exercise and a typical developers life has lead me to gain weight over the past 10 years. I have tried all sorts of diets and exercise regimes to get my weight down with no luck until I started a combination of a type of diet and HIIT style exercise.

Staying Healthy When You Sit On Your Butt All Day

The two main techniques I use are the 8 hour diet and the 7 minute workout.

The 8 Hour diet

At its core the 8 hour diet [1] allows you to only eat during the 8 hour period and fast for the remaining 16 hours. It comes from 'The 8-Hour Diet: Watch the Pounds Disappear Without Watching What You Eat!' by David Zinczenko and Peter Moore' and has been hailed as the miracle diet by many magazines and newspapers. Some publications state that you can eat whatever you want and still loose weight. Well a lot of what is written is just garbage. The 8 hour diet is based around intermittent fasting and is know to aid in weight loss as during the fasting period your body starts to burn the fat stores. This alone can help you reduce weight without drastically changing your lifestyle, however to help boost the weight loss keep to a sensible diet and stop eating the junk.

The 7 Minute Workout

It is not always possible for me to get down the gym for a jog, so on some mornings I do the 8 minute workout [2].l This workout is a form of HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training and as you guessed can be done in just under 10 minutes. You don't need any gym equipment and if a step or small chair is to hand you can use that for one of the exercises. It is quite intense and took me a while to get through the whole sequence without collapsing half way through with exhaustion. The exercises are:-
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Wall Sit
  • Push Up
  • Abdominal Crunch
  • Step Up Onto Chair
  • Squat
  • Triceps Dip On Chair
  • Plank
  • High Knees
  • Lunge
  • Push Up and Rotation
  • Side Plank

Calorie Counting and Exercise Apps

Being a Microsoftie of course I have a Windows Phone and use an app called '7 Minute Workout' by11latoa and track my calories by using the MSN Health & Fitness app. The latter allows me to keep my data up to date by using both the app and the website.

The results?

I have been trying to loose weight for about 3 years now and the combination of these two techniques are probably the best I have done to date. But everybody is different with different metabolisms and life style, so what works for me may not work for you. Happy codeing

References

[1] The 8 Hour Diet by David Zinczenko [2] 'HIGH-INTENSITY CIRCUIT TRAINING USING BODY WEIGHT: Maximum Results With Minimal Investment' ACSM'S Health & Fitness Journal: May/June 2013 - Volume 17 - Issue 3 - p 8–13