If I had a dollar for every time I heard ‘I’ll just stop eating carbs to lose weight’ then I would be a VERY rich man. There is a definite belief and perception out there that carbs are the root of all evil things and are the cause of our excess body fat and weight……
I can actually understand where this comes from because I do believe excess carbohydrates are where people go wrong. I also believe people consume WAY too many bad carbohydrates. BUT, carbohydrates are essential for living and we do need to consume them. I just believe we need to know the difference between good and bad and how much we should consume.
It is ironic to think that the Food Pyramid was or still is in some circles the system we base our eating on. The system was flawed as it completely over exaggerated the quantity of grains we need. It didn’t acknowledge good fats or proteins nearly enough and this lead people astray. The reaction was to go anti carb and abandon them all together. However, there is a happy medium that will leave you feeling great and will not have you gaining unnecessary body fat.
Now, let’s clear a few things up…. Firstly, we need carbohydrates because they are HIGH in fibre. Fibre is needed to keep our Blood sugar and LDL cholesterol (the bad one) in check as well as helping us feel full. It also helps prevent several cancers and ensures our number 2’s are not a form of torture (what’s a blog post without a poo joke). Secondly, carbohydrates can be a great source of energy and we need these when we train hard. Lastly, lots of carbohydrates are full of essential minerals, vitamins and nutrients.
Our problem is that we ignore the carbohydrates that give us these benefits and instead consume simple carbohydrates that are essentially sugars. We eat too many refined products like white breads, cakes, sugary sweets, drinks and just sugar in general and not enough vegetables, fruits, brown rice, oats and amazing grains like quinoa, millet and spelt. These simple sugars don’t leave us satisfied and we crave more of them.
Personally, I like keeping my carbohydrates on the lower end as I feel and look better. However, I include good carbohydrates in at least two of meals and I make sure I eat lots of quality fats and proteins. This ‘diet’ stops me overeating and gives me great energy.
So my challenge for you is to honestly assess the source and quantity of your carbohydrates and improve your intake by decreasing the simple carbohydrates. You will be amazed at the dramatic changes you will see by doing this.
I was at a family dinner on the weekend and my lovely mother in law and dad were discussing their daily walking habits. They are both keen walkers that do it consistently and for long periods of time. They were proud of their habits as they should be but I decided that I should inform that walking was in fact no good for fat loss and they could be using their workout time more efficiently.
Retrospectively, I was a little discouraging but was I correct in my opinion? I am a big believer in high intensity interval training, resistance training and generally discourage long forms of continuous activity. Research strongly supports my bias towards these views but after reading a mountain of research I have found a number of positive studies that show that walking can indeed be a form of exercise that aids in fat loss.
So why did I dismiss walking? Well, it isn’t as effective as the aforementioned methods of training because:
1. Walking isn’t as effective for burning calories
To burn off 200 calories it would take close to one hour with walking while with high intensity exercise it would only take 20 minutes.
2. It doesn’t boost your post exercise metabolism for long
Your post exercise metabolism with walking only remains elevated for 1-2 hours at most. Compare this with high intensity exercise where your metabolism can be elevated for over 24 hours and you can see why I favour the latter. This can make a significant impact on body composition.
3. Walking doesn’t deplete muscle glycogen
Muscle glycogen is your body’s energy stores. Excess consumption of calories will be stored as fat if you have excessive amounts of muscle glycogen. Walking only slightly diminishes muscle glycogen stores while high intensity exercise uses a lot more.
As you can see if you really want to change your body composition then you need to adopt high intensity interval training that includes resistance training. Walking alone will not produce the same results. However, walking is still a form of exercise that is good for the cardiorespiratory system, mind and body. I would recommend supplementing your program with walking on your ‘easier’ days.
There has been a great debate amongst health professionals and the role of fruit in a weight loss program. There are many weight loss diets that don’t contain fruit at all but then we constantly hear how important it is for general health and well-being. So what is the truth here?
Fruit intake is vital in a well-balanced diet. Fruit contains many nutrients including vitamins, fibre and antioxidants. Fruit contains vitamins such as potassium, folate and vitamin C – all which contribute to good health. For example the potassium found in many fruits can help to lower your blood pressure, whilst the vitamin C found in fruits can assist with growth and repair of body tissues. Dietary fibre found in fruit helps to reduce blood cholesterol as well as promotes healthy bowel function. Fruits are naturally high in powerful antioxidants that protect the body from aging and chronic diseases.
The problem arises when people eat too much fruit. Fruits themselves will not make you fat if you eat a balanced amount of them on a daily basis (2 pieces per day). Because people believe that fruit is healthy there is the tendency to over consume them. Fruit like other foods still contains calories and an excess of calories will lead to weight gain. Fruit is also naturally high in fructose (fruit sugar) and this is not very good for regulating your appetite. Have you ever found yourself eating piece after piece of fruit and still feeling hungry? This is because fruit doesn’t trigger an insulin response. The release of insulin is our body telling us that we are full. Without this trigger we then have the capacity to overindulge.
So what is the right approach to consuming fruit? If you are looking to maintain your current weight then aim to consume 2 pieces a day as part of your meals or snacks. Include the calories as part of your overall calorie intake. If you are looking at lowering your body fat then aim to limit the intake to following fruits: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon, lemon, lime and honey dew melon. They are not as high in fructose and are still nutritionally packed with vitamins and anti-oxidants. You can still enjoy the odd apple or banana but just be wary of over consumption.
The Fitness world is a buzz with intermittent fasting…… Every magazine, blog and book I read mentions intermittent fasting. It is on the BBC, YouTube and podcasts. This is a big topic that has turned old age theories upside down.
Intermittent fasting is an extended period of not eating or eating very little over a 24 hour period. There are many different types of fast from 16 hour fasts (7 pm dinner and then not eating till 12 pm the next day), 24 hour fasts or restricted eating fasts (for eg. every alternate day is limited to 500 calories).
Anyone that has trained with me or heard me speak in a seminar would have heard me talk about the importance of breakfast. Now we have a theory that does away with breakfast…… I have been reading a mountain of articles and research papers to find out if this intermittent fasting is for real or just another fad in the industry?
So, this is what I have found:
There is more and more research pointing to a myriad of benefits. The research is current so there is still a lot more studies needed to confirm some of the findings but so far it is very encouraging.
The benefits with intermittent fasting are:
1. Weight Loss
It should come as no surprise that one of the main benefits with intermittent fasting is its effectiveness in losing weight. In a study that had overweight adults on a modified intermittent fasting program for 8 weeks the average weight loss was 8% per participant.
Low calorie diets work to a relevant extent but people cannot keep at them for very long. The compliance on intermittent fasting versus low calorie diets is much better. People get accustomed and habituated to the fasting and do not feel hungry.
3. Change in Blood Lipids
Cardiovascular risk factors such as triglyceride and LDL cholesterol decrease with regular fasting.
4. Growth Hormone
Our growth hormone levels decrease as we age. Short term fasting actually slows down old age by increasing growth hormone secretion.
5. Cellular Health
Intermittent health promotes better cellular health by having cells repair and replace themselves.
Intermittent fasting can lead to more fat being burnt during a workout session. Studies have also shown that activity levels have not changed when participants are undergoing a fast.
There are some preliminary studies on the intermittent fasting and cancer reduction. Whilst the studies are not yet definitive it looks like it will be an interesting area of study in the next few years.
There are numerous resources on intermittent fasting and one that I recommend that I found fascinating is BBC journalist Michael Mosley and his journey with intermittent fasting. He stuck to a modified intermittent fasting diet for 5 weeks and lost considerable weight as well as impacting his glucose and cholesterol markers significantly. You can watch it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pfna7nV7WaM
This week’s blog is somewhat different to what we have shared this year. We have sought to educate you on the Paleo diet, portion sizes, variety in diet, alcohol etc. However, I would like to write more from heart and less from an academic journal for this issue.
You see I can’t help but share how excited I am with Coastal Bodies at this very moment. I am overawed by our clients and the results they are getting and the enthusiasm they have for being healthier.
I started Coastal Bodies 4 years ago after leaving a decent corporate job because I loved imparting my passion of health and fitness and seeing people share that. I never had any business growth plans but only plans to see people get fit and healthy. I have had the great joy in seeing our clientele steadily build as well as the Coastal Bodies team over the years. This has been really encouraging!
However, in the last 3 months the Coastal Bodies community has stepped it up and has really taken it to another level. I see clients totally and utterly commit themselves to our 8 week challenge. We have a closed group on Facebook for all participants and the support each member is giving to each other is brilliant. Members are sharing meals and recipes as well as training plans. Clients are interacting with other clients about their training and how they can improve.
The results clients are getting are also so inspiring! I had three clients train their butts off for the 20 KM obstacle course ‘Tough Mudder’. I was so proud of the dedication and commitment they showed and it made me improve as both a trainer in my own training and knowledge. Clients have done runs or are signed up for them and the body composition changes people are getting are mind blowing! Clients are showing no signs of letting up and this excites me no end.
The enthusiasm clients have for their training and nutrition is infectious and I know both the team and I really feel it. I want to thank you on behalf of the team for this enthusiasm and I am personally looking forward to seeing many more great results in the very near future.
If you are reading this and are not a part of it then I encourage you to be a part of it. You will be supported, encouraged and inspired to improve your health and well-being in a pretty awesome environment.
I have a confession to make…. After years of writing in this blog about why I don’t like ‘Transformation Challenges’ I am now holding one!
So what has caused the backflip?
My reason for not being a fan of challenges is because I see health, exercise and nutrition as lifetime habits that cannot be done in one small intensive block. I still hold this view but can now see that a challenge brings a lot of benefits that don’t conflict with this view.
A challenge inspires you to take a more serious commitment and it can take your results to the next level. You have the incentive of a prize as well as competition amongst other competitors. People are motivated by different things and the pursuit of a prize or competition may be that trigger you need.
A challenge can also provide some variety in your program and can be refreshing if you have done the same thing time and time again. I have clients completing the challenge that have been training with me for years. They like the idea of embracing a new challenge with some new training routines and nutrition plans.
Our challenge in particular is also very educational. You will gain a better understanding of what constitutes a healthy meal, some easy recipes to add to your collection and some killer home exercise routines that require no equipment.
I have seen this with our trainer Jason. He is a young single guy that now knows 30 basic recipes that have him cooking tasty healthy food. This alone has made a big difference to his health and is something he will carry long after the challenge.
I am now making my own healthy snacks such as almond butter cookies, protein super balls and super shakes rather than having to eat the limited healthy options that are available at most places.
I am happy to admit I was wrong and I was too ‘black and white’ in my approach. Seeing people get healthy and amazing results is far more important than my pride. Challenges serve a great purpose and I am happy that we can now provide an excellent challenge to people.
Our challenge has both an online and face to face option so you can be located locally or even overseas. The program is accessible for all so there are no excuses.
We have just booked out our first challenge and we are limiting the next one to the first 30 people. If you want to be in the best shape of your life and take your health to the next level then please check out our challenge website. It is http://www.coogeechallenge.com.au/
We have a special blog this week as we have a video blog. Coastal Bodies founder ‘Dan Henderson’ has had incredible success with a number of clients losing significant amounts under his guidance. Check out his ‘5 Biggest Nutrition tips for Fat Loss’.
You know the drill. You get excited to exercise, and maybe even join a gym or a new program. You go well for a while and get some good results and then your motivation drops. Why does that happen? Your mindset is the KEY that determines your results. Here are the 5 mental mountains that prevent you from being motivated!
1. You’re only motivated by NOT being fat
When you think about your body you focus on the fat bits, and wish you could squeeze them out, to get rid of them pronto. You look at slim people and wish that you were like them and could easily stay slim. You desperately want to change your body and hate it the way it is now.
The thing is, motivation works in two ways. You are either motivated to get away from something painful that you don’t want (being fat), or move towards something pleasurable that you do want (becoming slim). If you are only focussing on losing weight and being less fat, you are only using half the motivation equation. If you’re only motivated by what you’re moving away from then the slimmer you get, the more your motivation will wane ( because you’re not fat anymore). The key to keep motivation up as you get slimmer is to focus on the slim, healthy you that you are moving towards and becoming more every day. Get really clear about imagining in vivid detail your moment of success.
2. You think “all or nothing”
When you get started you do everything perfectly! You keep your food diary, weigh your food, count your calories and train like a demon. Then you have a crisis at work or with your family and don’t go food shopping, get caught out somewhere starving hungry and eat a giant muffin, then say to yourself; “I’ve blown it” and go home and eat a packet of biscuits. You want your program to be perfect and so when you slip up it’s all over.
The truth is you don’t need to be perfect for it to work. In fact, it works better if you accept it’s not going to be perfect and just do the best you can at each and every meal and training session. Aim for 80-90% of your plan and accept sometimes you slip up, that way you can stay on track and get back to it straight away.
3. You replay your past failures and beat yourself up
Whenever you do something wrong, you tell yourself you’re a failure and remember all the other times you did stuff wrong and replay those memories over and over and over, on a loop until you feel bloody awful.
Remember, your past cannot affect your future unless you let it. You are in charge of your thoughts. Instead of replaying and visualising all the ways things went wrong, play out in your mind and imagine all the ways things could go right and you can succeed.
4. You don’t feel worthy of success or slimness
Every time you get close to success you sabotage yourself with a binge or a blowout, because deep down inside you’re a bit afraid of what would happen if you actually got this. It would change things in your life and even though you want it, there’s a part inside that’s afraid of that change and what it would mean for the other areas of your life. These fears are often unconscious, but if you sabotage yourself and have been struggling with your weight for a long time, they’re there.
Investigate what’s really behind these fears, think about them and analyse it critically. They are not true. You have just been believing that it is, based on your past experiences or decisions. You could simply decide today that you are worthy and that you will have the life you deserve. You can overcome any obstacles and you will enjoy the new slim life that is ahead of you. Let the past go and create the future as you want it to be. You have within you all the inner strength and courage to overcome these obstacles!
5. You haven’t connected with your core reason WHY you’re doing this
When your trainer asks you why you want to lose weight, you reply, “to feel better”, or “to fit into my jeans”, “look good at my sister’s wedding” etc. These reasons are ok, but they’re not the real reason why. They’re not a core, emotional reason that will help you get up and train when it’s raining, or when you’re tired and you don’t really feel like it. The truth is, sometimes you’re going to need to overcome that inertia to make a change. To do that you need a powerful reason why.
You need to discover your true motivating reason. What is it that you really want? How would your life change when you have overcome this and can be slim and healthy every day, without thinking about it? What other possibilities will open up for you? What else can you achieve after that? Write out 100 reasons why you want to get slim and healthy and discover the core reasons that make you emotional when you think about them. That’s a start. If these sound familiar to you then you need to make a change to your mindset in order to begin getting the results you really want and the most out of your Personal Training sessions and Gym Memberships.
You can change your mindset and release these negative thinking habits with Mindset Coaching. I am a specialist Weight Loss Motivation Coach. I utilise Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Meta-Coaching, and Hypnosis to help people overcome their self-sabotage, cravings, emotional eating and lack of motivation. When you change your mindset then it becomes easy to follow your trainers’ advice and keep yourself moving toward your goal. You will find that your lifestyle changes become effortless when you have a clear goal, a strong compelling reason why and you have cleared out all the negative and sabotaging beliefs and thoughts.
That’s what happened for me when I lost 25kgs over 8 years ago, within 3 months, after struggling for years with my weight. I found the key to changing my mindset and once I did, everything changed. The fat just dropped off because I was finally doing all the things I knew I should do all along!
Article by Kylie Ryan. Expert Weight Loss Motivation Coach.
Get your Free Massive Motivation E-book and hypnosis session www.MyMindCoach.com.au
I often get asked on what is the best and fastest training method for losing fat fast. There are a plethora of training options out there but my belief, as well as science, shows that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is the winner.
Research has shown that HIIT is one of the most effective methods for weight loss. The main reason for this is the elevated metabolism post exercise. Research has shown that metabolism can be elevated for up to 24 hours post exercise. HIIT also significantly lowers insulin resistance and causes skeletal muscle adaptations that result in enhanced skeletal muscle fat oxidation and improved glucose tolerance.
Furthermore, in a study that compared participants in an endurance training program and HIIT program they found that the energy cost of training was ninefold greater in the HIIT program. So not only are you burning more energy and fat post exercise but you are during the session as well!
It is really important to have a base of conditioning before you do HIIT. This is because the demands are high and the intensity would not be sustainable for any length of time.
A HIIT session consists of a warm up period of 5-10 minutes. This is followed by 6-10 repetitions or 30-90 seconds of 3-6 high intensity exercises such as 400 m sprints, hill climbs, box jumps and clap push-ups. The workout finishes with a cool down exercise. The whole session should only take 30 minutes. It is really important that a warm-up includes lots of stretches, activations and releases.
Coastal Bodies has circuit classes that follow the HIIT principle and they are a great way to burn fat and change your body composition. For more information click here
These words couldn’t be truer for manyCoastal Bodies clients. We have an amazing number of clients that are getting terrific results because they want them and are training consistently to get them!
I’m sure that you have heard a million times that we should be eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, those with bright colours, with a wide variation. So what’s the big deal, what’s the worst that will happen if I have the same breakfast every day, a sandwich every lunch-time, and meat and three veg every night? Well for most people who luckily have a healthy weight, and the muscle tone they want, then not much is going to happen. They are the lucky ones with favourable genetics who don’t need to read this article, because they will always be lean and muscular without trying all that hard. For everyone else without the genetic edge, who need to work hard to maintain a weight their happy with, then diet variation is key to improving results.
Sydney’s Garvin Institute recently published a study looking at diet variety and levels of a neurotransmitter called Neuropeptide-Y (NPY). After analysing the diet and NPY levels in a 120 people, researchers found elevated NPY in those people with inadequate variety and protein in their diets. What’s important for those tyring really hard to look better naked is that NPY is a signal for hunger and the nasty stress-hormone cortisol, which is damaging to muscle tissue and prevents fat tissue breakdown during exercise. Low diet-variety, as well as low protein intake are sensed by your brain as a degree of starvation, so protecting your fat reserves and eating more will logically follow. Interestingly the researchers at the Garvin also found poor libido in those with the low variety diet, again another survival mechanism for a brain sensing it’s no getting enough nutrients or protein.
Now think about some of the common mistakes made by the uneducated dieter. Most will reduce the amount they eat, including protein, with a lack in variety soon following. Next they wonder why they are hungrier than ever, and are not losing any fat or growing the muscle they have been working so hard to gain. If this sounds somewhat familiar then start a food diary, and if for over a seven day period you do not get thirty different foods, then it’s time you made some changes.
An easy way to fix both a variety and protein insufficiency is to make yourself a blended fruit and vegetable shake like the one below. It makes a fantastic breakfast or mid-afternoon snack:
- 3 – 4 organic kale leaves
- 1 large organic silverbeet leaves
- 1 organic apple
- 1 organic pear
- 1/2 – 1 cup pineapple chunks
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups filtered water
- 20-30 grams whey or brown rice protein powder
So if you’re struggling to see any results with your new diet or have hit a plateau, even though your diet may seem healthy, go and record all the foods you eat in a week. Getting over thirty a week and the body you want could be just one ‘supershake’ away!