In the contemporary world, where health and fitness often take a backseat due to our hectic lifestyles, Andrew Lobel emerges as a beacon of inspiration. With over 26 years of experience leading people and organisations at Thinking Fish, Magora Systems and UK Police, Lobel doesn’t just excel in the corporate world; he’s also a revered figure in the fitness community. His approach to fitness is not just about rigorous exercise regimes; it’s a holistic integration of healthful living into everyday life.
Understanding Your Body: The Key to Sustainable Fitness
The foundation of Lobel’s fitness philosophy lies in understanding the body’s needs and responses. Lobel’s has debated the science with his friend Dr Nash Jocic – 38 times bodybuilding champion of former Yugoslavia and personal trainer. Lobel says it is not just about calories or exercise; it’s about understanding how food affects hormones like leptin and insulin, which regulate appetite and metabolism. Lobel’s approach aligns with this, emphasising the importance of choosing foods that support hormonal balance and overall health.
The Diet Dilemma: Making Smart Choices
Processed foods, refined carbs, and certain oils, as highlighted by Lobel, disrupt our hormonal balance and lead to weight gain. Lobel advocates for a diet that is rich in whole foods, such as sustainable fish, and lean meats. He also suggests minimising the intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates – avoiding foods that spike insulin levels.
Vegetables – Good or Bad
Lobel also recommends leafy greens and colourful vegetables but to be consumed only in small quantities and not necessarily with every meal.
Kale, broccoli, cabbage, spinach contain raffinose – a sugar that remains undigested until bacteria in your gut ferment it, which produces gas and, in turn, makes you bloat. The same with vegetables like carrots, asparagus, onions, corn, beetreet and even garlic if consumed raw.
Integrating Fitness into Daily Routines
For Lobel, fitness is not confined to the gym. It’s about making small, sustainable changes to your daily routine. This could be as simple as opting for stairs over elevators, incorporating short but regular walking breaks during work, or even practising mindfulness to reduce stress, which is often a contributing factor to weight gain.
Exercise: Quality Over Quantity
Lobel believes in the efficiency of exercise, not just its duration. While the standard recommendation is 150 minutes of exercise per week, Lobel emphasises the importance of intensity and variation in workouts. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), for instance, can be more effective than long, less intense sessions.
Mindful Eating: Beyond Calorie Counting
Lobel agrees that mindful eating is crucial. It’s not just about counting calories but being aware of what and how you eat. This includes listening to your body’s hunger cues, eating slowly, and enjoying your food, which leads to better digestion and nutrient absorption. Lobel’s emphasis is on understanding how different foods affect the body, rather than simply focusing on calorie count.
Surfing the Cravings: A Mental Battle
Lobel acknowledge the psychological aspect of eating. He advises ‘surfing’ cravings — acknowledging them and letting them pass without giving in. This technique is vital for breaking the cycle of unhealthy eating habits and manages cravings through mindfulness and understanding the body’s true needs.
Fitness as a Lifestyle, Not a Chore
For Andrew Lobel, fitness is a lifestyle. It’s about making choices every day that contribute to overall well-being. This includes regular exercise, but also getting enough sleep, managing stress, and nurturing mental health. His approach is not about drastic changes but about integrating healthful practices into daily life seamlessly.
Recipes for Success
In line with Lobel’s philosophy, incorporating simple, nutritious recipes into your diet can make a significant difference. Lobel suggests easy-to-make, healthy dishes like a chicken and sweet potatoe, protein-rich stir-fry or a protein-packed salad. These meals are not only nourishing but also help in maintaining a balanced diet.
The Social Aspect of Fitness
Lobel emphasises the social aspect of fitness. Engaging in group sports, attending fitness classes, or even just walking with a friend can increase motivation and make exercise more enjoyable. This approach also helps in building a supportive community around fitness goals.
Customising Your Fitness Journey
Understanding that each individual is unique, Lobel advocates for a personalised approach to fitness. What works for one person may not work for another. This individualised approach takes into account personal preferences, lifestyle,
and physical limitations. For instance, someone with a knee injury might focus more on swimming or cycling rather than running. This adaptability ensures that fitness is accessible and sustainable for everyone, regardless of their circumstances.
The Role of Technology in Fitness
Lobel also recognizes the role of technology in modern fitness. From fitness trackers to apps that provide personalised workout and diet plans, technology can be a powerful tool in monitoring progress and staying motivated. However, he cautions against over-reliance on tech, emphasising the importance of listening to one’s body and intuition.
The Mental Health Connection
Finally, Lobel and Jenkinson both acknowledge the deep connection between physical fitness and mental health. Regular physical activity is known to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Lobel encourages activities like yoga and meditation, which not only improve physical health but also enhance mental well-being.
“The Andrew Lobel Way” is more than just a fitness regime; it’s a comprehensive approach to health and well-being, integrating physical, mental, and emotional health. By understanding our bodies, making mindful choices, and integrating fitness into our daily lives, we can achieve a healthier, more balanced lifestyle.