One of the biggest excuses I hear in the studio in regards to unsuccessful attempts at losing body fat is client dinners or work events. Granted this can be a challenge but it is not a REAL reason for not getting the results you want…..
I have been called obsessive and one dimensional over the years and despite the name calling I actually believe in BALANCE. I love a good night out at a restaurant with friends and I don’t believe my endeavour to be healthy stops me. Does it mean I make different decisions in regards to my meal choices? Yes it does but I don’t for one minute feel like I am missing ANYTHING.
If I am going out then I will prepare accordingly. It may mean that I just go all out and have a pizza and a couple of beers. However, I will do that once in a week and eat really clean the other 20 meals. It may mean that I organise an intermittent fast following the indulgence. Either way, I will not make it a habit without it being part of my bigger plan to be healthy.
I also make SMARTER choices. I will do little things like not eat bread preceding a meal, have a side of vegetables and have a big piece of protein as my main.
This is great but how about those situations where we don’t have that luxury….. I am sure we have all been in that situation where we are confronted with just a number of unhealthy options…. It may be a restaurant or a food court but we have all been there. Here are five 5 little tips to assist:
- Ask for an extra side salad or serving of vegetables. Every restaurant, sandwich bar or café will have vegetable and/or salad in the kitchen
- Swap some of the sides like chips for salad or vegetables. Even McDonalds and KFC have salads! I know because I ran a workshop the other day and despite my evil conscious wanting fries I had grilled chicken and salad.
- Ask for an open sandwich with just one piece of bread.
- Limit the alcohol pre-meal so you don’t CRAVE food. Restaurateurs are smart and know fuelling you up with alcohol before a meal will have you reaching for any food in sight.
- Be demanding. Restaurants should cater to your needs and if that means grilling instead of frying or less sauce or extra protein portions then they will do it.
I hope you find these tips helpful. Losing body fat and acquiring the body you want doesn’t mean putting your life on hold. Far from it! It just means that you need to develop some small smart habits and it is the collection of these small habits that will produce BIG results.
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.
Most of us have had success with diet and exercise programs where we lose body fat in a short space if time. We then get hit with a major plateau and the body fat moves slower and slower. This is a very common complaint from a lot of my clients who are trying to lean up. It can be reasonably easy to lose a few kilos by cutting the obvious bad bits from your diet and becoming more active, but losing the fat that you have spent years putting on will require a little more strategy. Since diet makes up such a large contribution to your body composition it’s now time to be a bit more structured with your diet, and step beyond simply cutting out all Big Macs and fries!
The first thing to do is to reconnect with your goal. You need to be reminded every day of what you’re trying to achieve, so that you’ll find it easier to choose something good to eat whenever you’re faced with a decision. Things like putting an old picture of yourself, or a pair of your favourite jeans that you wore 10 years ago on your door are a couple of ideas.
It is then time to implement changes in your diet. The first step is eating smaller portions. If the food you eat doesn’t contain much protein and quality fresh fruit/vegetables then you will struggle to feel full or satisfied. The poorer the quality of food means the more you need to feel satisfied. So increase the quality of your meals and reduce the size!
Next is to implement one of the following rules into your day or a single meal with the mantra ‘food is my fuel and nourishment, it is not my entertainment’.
Rules of healthy eating for optimum health and body composition:
- If it has sugar added don’t eat/drink it
- If your great grandmother wouldn’t recognise the ‘food’ you’re eating then avoid it
- Don’t get sucked in by ‘low fat’ foods. Fat is not the enemy, processed carbs are. eg bread, pasta, cereals.
- Drink at least 2-3 litres of water every day
- Eat fresh fruit/vegetables and protein with every meal
- Alcohol can sabotage all your good efforts
- Snack on real food. Eat walnuts, carrots, apples, bananas, rockmelon, fresh young coconut (water and flesh), tuna/salmon/sardines in a can, mixed bean mix with chopped onion, pesto, etc.
Choosing one rule at a time will make the process of solidifying a habit much easier than trying to do everything at once. Once you have one of the rules ingrained as habit for one meal or the whole day (water, no alcohol, good snacks), then try 2 meals or apply 2 rules to one meal. For example to start out drinking 2-3 litres of water every day, once that feels easy to do try not eating anything with added sugar in your breakfasts, then if you want to really step it up make your dinner so that it only contains protein and vegetables. The key is doing things in small steps by adding just one rule at a time. Remember if done slowly these eating habits will be with you for the rest of your life, so there’s no rush to do them all at once.
If you’re stuck getting started then just remember what Aristotle said. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” Which rule would you like to make a habit first?
Keeping a food diary is an extremely powerful tool in optimising your diet and changing your life for the better. It is a task that can initially seem arduous and monotonous but can deliver outstanding results in a short space of time.
The first question we must ask ourselves is ‘what is a food diary?’
A food diary is used to record everything you eat and drink.
It should include the following information about what you consume:
1. The type of food/drink
2. The amount of food/ drink
3. The calories of food/ drink
4. The activities carried out while eating/ drinking
5. Your thoughts and feelings before eating/drinking
The last two points are very important in identifying certain behaviours or habits when eating. After utilising a food diary it may become apparent that you eat too much when watching TV or that you eat a lot of foods high in sugar when you are tired. Look for patterns that are present that lead to the intake of too much food or the intake of unhealthy foods. For example, if you find that you are eating a chocolate bar regularly at 4 pm because you are tired, replace this with a food that is healthier and will provide better energy, i.e. an apple.
Constructing a food diary is easy. Just purchase a cheap exercise book and copy in these headings across the top of the page: Food Eaten, Amount Eaten, CaloriesActivities while Eating, Thoughts & Feelings
It is really this simple! Tally up your total calories at the end of everyday and check that this is a healthy amount for your age, height, weight and dietary goals. If more specific information is needed on your calorie intake, then contact us.
Now if you are really diligent, you can also add protein, carbohydrates and fat columns and record the breakdown of the food in these columns. This is a great way of checking that you are getting the correct nutritional breakdown.
The food diary will provide some great realisations. You will quickly become aware if you eat too much, or you too little vegetables or if your morning teas are full of sugar, etc.
Accountability is key to making the food diary work; show your food diary regularly to someone you trust. Let them know what foods you’re aiming to eat and what you’re avoiding. This will give you good motivation and ensure you keep your food diary regularly.
A large number of people embark on a journey of weight loss every year with the possibility of millions of solutions….. There is everything from chocolate meal replacement shakes to vibrating machines and 1001 different ab sculptors.
This begs the question, what is the best solution for weight loss? Is it the no carbohydrates diet, a lemon detox program or running a thousand kilometres every week?
The answer is a combination of regular exercise and a balanced diet. Certain dietary supplement companies and large gym chains would say otherwise. However, the proof is in the results.
I know I may have destroyed your dreams of achieving great weight loss through the consumption of a magic pill or 5 minutes with the ABTASTIC 3000. The good news is that no extreme measures need be taken. Weight loss will be achieved through a consistent and sustainable exercise program and balanced diet.
Most people want results yesterday. We are impatient when it comes to our health and want to undo years of unhealthy habits in days. This is why quick result diets are a multi-billion dollar business. The bad news is that this weight loss is primarily water. When you crash diet you significantly slow your resting metabolism. As well as this, you are also at a higher risk of suffering a heart attack. In fact, initial success in weight loss relates poorly to long-term success.
You can lose weight through exercise or diet alone. However, your results will be enhanced when you combine both. The combination of exercise and diet will specifically produce:
- Less intense feelings of hunger and psychologic stress than with following a diet alone.
- An increase in the overall size of your energy deficit
- Greater body fat loss as you will preserve lean muscle mass
- A blunt in the drop in resting metabolism that is associated with weight loss
- Improvements in mood
- Increased insulin sensitivity
- Greater flexibility
Now we have established that this is the best solution for weight loss we have another pertinent question. What does a sustainable exercise program and balanced diet look like? Thousands of books have been written on these subjects but here is the succinct answer; the best type of exercise for fat burning is a combination of resistance and cardiovascular training that includes high intensity intervals. High intensity workouts increase your oxygen consumption for a longer period of time after exercise and this increases the total amount of calories expended.
When it comes to diet remember this simple little saying; eat like a queen for breakfast, a princess for lunch and a pauper for dinner. This will keep you in good stead. Your metabolism is at its best in the morning so it makes sense to consume a large majority of your daily calories by 1 pm. Stick to low glycemic index (GI) foods and avoid refined sugars wherever possible! Have fruit and nuts as snacks, include plenty of vegetables and salad with your meals and choose wholesome carbohydrates such as multigrain bread and brown rice. It is also important to eat plenty of protein; red meat, chicken, fish and eggs and are just a few great options.
This is a very short overview of how best to lose weight. If you would like a more comprehensive review of your dietary and exercise needs then contact us on 1300 177 119.
Conquer Cholesterol with Lifestyle
Cholesterol – the ESSENTIAL fatty substance in our body that’s vital in forming cell membranes and producing hormones in the body. So let’s not get annoyed with it, rather let’s maximise it’s benefits by doing all we can to keep it at a healthy level in our body. Our bodies make Cholesterol and we consume it in our diet…Cholesterol may be high because of our genetics, nutrition or lack of exercise.The good news is that although we don’t have control over our genetics we do have control over our lifestyle! The two lifestyle factors that contribute most to cholesterol are diet and exercise!
How does exercise lower cholesterol?
1. Increases the ‘good’ cholesterol in your body and lowers the ‘bad’ cholesterol.
2. Essential to maintaining a healthy weight
3. Keeps the heart strong and the vascular system toned.
What can you add to your diet to lower cholesterol?
a. Oatmeal and Oat Bran. Eating soluble fibre helps your intestine digest the ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL). Kidney beans, pears, prunes and apples are also classified as soluble fibre.
b. Walnuts and Almonds. These nuts are rich in polyunsaturated fats keeping the blood vessels healthy and flexible. Be aware that nuts are also high in energy so eat about a handful.
c. Fish Oils and Omega 3’s. Fatty fish such as mackerel, lake trout, sardines, salmon and tuna contains high levels of omega 3’s that help lower cholesterol. It is recommended that you eat Fish at least twice a week. You can also get Omega 3’s using supplements. Try some from Coastal Bodies.
Some call in the middle age spread, others the love handles, and still others their beer baby. As fondly as we refer to it, deep down we all wish it was a little smaller. And it’s not just our image conscious that thinks that. The whole body is affected by carrying excess weight around the waistline.
Did you know having a waist line >80cm in women and > 94cm in men will increase your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and high blood pressure … we could go on!
Carrying extra weight around the mid section isn’t just extra fat below your skin; it’s also extra fat surrounding your organs. Fat stored in this area presents greater risk than fat stored around the bottom and thighs.
Regardless of fitness levels, people with a larger waist circumference are more likely to develop diseases than those with a smaller waist circumference.
So how do we lose weight around the stomach – should we do lots of sit ups?
The best type of exercise for fat burning is a combination of resistance training (using weights to increase muscle mass – see our previous blogs for more information) and cardiovascular training that includes high intensity intervals (this means that your heart rate will increase, you will breath more heavily and sweat!). High intensity workouts increase your oxygen consumption for a longer period of time after exercise; this increases the amount of calories and therefore stored fat the body will use for energy. However your body will always choose to use the most readily available energy first so if you are over eating or eating foods high in sugar your body will choose to use the blood sugar as opposed to fat stores, and it will store the extra energy! So whilst exercise is vital, your diet is too!
The most effective way to lose weight around the abdominal region is to eat well and exercise hard. Eating well will include beginning the day with breakfast. Breakfast kick starts your metabolism for the day so eat something wholesome with a low glycemic index (GI); for example muesli with nuts and yoghurt. Have fruit and nuts as a snack, include plenty of vegetables and salad with your meals and choose wholesome carbohydrates such as multigrain bread or brown rice. It is also important to eat protein; meat, eggs and tofu are just a few great options.
Need Motivation and live in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney?
At Coastal bodies you recieve both guidelines for Exercise and Diet! We can suit your needs – there’s one on one, pairs personal training sessions, there are group exercise sessions including FUNctional Boxing and Flat out Mums and we also have an accredited dietician to give you professional dietary plans. To find out more email email@example.com