The saying ‘you are what you eat’ is true according to personal trainer and nutritionist Avi Samra. And as the days are getting longer, darker and colder and we reach more and more for those comfort foods, we discussed how to get the best autumn diet and fitness regime.

Now that it is getting colder and darker, Avi discussed ways to bring outdoor exercises into the home. She demonstrated a 20-minute indoor workout which consists of the following:

  1. Bicep curl
  2. Triceps standing French curl
  3. Squats
  4. Lunges
  5. Shoulder press

Do each of these for one minute at a time and repeat for twenty minutes using dumbbells. However, if you are a complete beginner or have any pains that prevent you from doing strenuous activity, you do not have to use dumbbells.

Some other simple exercises to do within the home and while you are watching television are lifting your leg up and down, circling your legs round and round, and for some ankle exercises, simple point your toes to your knees and then flex your ankles in a circles motion.

For those of you who have made the most of the summer weather with jogging and running outdoors, you can bring cardiovascular exercises indoors as running is not the only form of cardiovascular exercise.

Dancing is a fantastic cardiovascular exercise, and one that excited me as I love dancing to a bit of Bollywood music! You can also do some simple knee raises and to make them more intense you can hop on one side to the other as you raise your knees to your hands. The higher you lift your knees (I was lifting up to my chest), the better.

When it comes to food, we become less thirsty in colder conditions than in warm summertime. Avi suggested going for healthier options for example instead of eating cold cereal, substitute that for a bowl of warm porridge. Check that the porridge is 100% oats with no added sugar. If you cannot eat porridge without some sweetener, add honey and other fruits such as blueberries and bananas.

You could also add eggs to your breakfast meal to really kickstart your day off healthily! Avi boils all of her eggs on a Sunday and places them in the fridge so that all of the hard work is out of the way and she simply has to eat them or pop them into her lunch during the week.

Avi explained that preparation is key. Prepare everything in advance so you do not have to think about what to eat for lunch or dinner.

I find it very difficult to find a healthy lunch that will not require burning off while sitting at my desk, and will also give me energy. Avi suggested grilling chicken and playing it in the fridge. You can then use it throughout the week in wraps and salads or eat it with brown rice and broccoli.

It made me very happy to hear Avi say that carbohydrates are not the enemy and do not necessarily need burning off. I can eat a pasta at lunch time! She explained that the body needs carbs for energy and that we are burning off energy all the time.

So there is no need to fear about piling on the pounds this autumn/winter because there are lots of ways to bring fun exercises into the house and plenty of ways to pre-prepare your food so that you are not snacking and are staying healthy!