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.
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
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/
Are you finding that getting the right curves and toning isn’t cutting it when it comes to motivation to keep active?
Ever needed an extra reason to exercise? Building up motivation to exercise is one of the biggest barriers to keeping fit and healthy. To wet your appetite for some more exercise let me share with you some of the debilitating secrets of Type Two Diabetes, followed by the top tips to that will help reduce your risk.
Did you know Type Two Diabetes is the fasted growing non-infectious disease in the world in fact it has doubled in prevalence since the 1980’s and is now the leading cause of amputation, kidney failure and blindness. Type Two Diabetes is a disease that creeps on ever so slowly. Gradually the sugar transporting hormones in your body, called insulin, become lazy, your body starts to tolerate sugar less (even if your lips love it) until your cells stop accepting the sugar they need to operate well. Your blood vessels become damaged in turn causing your eyes, your kidneys and even your heart to be damaged.
Now does it surprise you to know that the two biggest causes of Type Two Diabetes are physical inactivity and carrying excess weight? Half of Australian men and one third of Australian women are overweight, not to mention the 38% of Australian adults who don’t do enough exercise. Don’t be one of the statistics; here are the three tips to reduce your risk of Diabetes:
- Exercise most days of the week for at least 30 minute. Try
- Join a Coastal Bodies group class
- Take part in a team sport
- Sweet treats should be less than one a day
- Have your glucose tested next time you’re at the GP
With the weather the way it is, our motivation to get out of bed and go exercise alone is challenging. Working out with a friend/friends has been proven to provide positive aspects to your workout that simply can’t be achieved on your own.
Here’s a list of benefits of exercising in a group:
Encouragement: The encouragement given by others who have similar goals to those that you desire will give you that extra push in the right direction.
Accountability: You are not only accountable to yourself in group training you are accountable to the other members of the group. This will sway you to attend each session so group goals can be achieved.
Competition: Most of us are competitive so in the group situation we strive that extra bit harder to achieve our goals and to do the best we can.
Social: Group classes can be both physically and mentally demanding, having peers challenging themselves at the same time creates camaraderie and builds friendships.
Fun: When exercising in a group situation a lot of the time you are having too much fun to realise that you are actually improving your health and fitness.
Why not try one of our small group classes. Ask your trainer or ring Jason on 0423 865 860 for more info.
Also, stay tuned for our first annual “Get in top shape for summer” challenge that will be announced in the coming weeks….
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
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?
There is a good chance that you know someone that has or had depression or you may have even suffered with it yourself. Depression is a terrible illness that affects one in 5 women and one in 8 men. The illness still has a terrible stigma which magnifies the impact even more so. I have been very close with the illness as I love many people that have suffered with it at some stage.
The most encouraging part of my work is seeing people conquer this illness with the assistance of exercise. I by no means believe that exercise is the saviour here. The illness requires a comprehensive approach for success but exercise certainly plays a part.
One of the big challenges for people suffering depression is that they don’t feel like exercising. Depressed people only exercise half as much as people who aren’t depressed. It is a vicious cycle as a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of depression and depression increases the likelihood of a sedentary lifestyle.
The toughest part is that first step. It can seem like a monumental mountain to conquer and unbearable at first. My encouragement is to take that first step because you will undoubtedly feel a lot better for the experience. You will be making a great step in boosting your self-esteem and you will be improving your body’s chemical profile. Exercise not only burns up stress chemicals like adrenalin but it also boosts serotonin, the happy hormone.
Encouraging someone you know with depression to exercise and assisting them is a kind and loving action. However, you must also be patient and sympathetic as there will be times when exercise might just feel too much and totally overwhelming.
The type and amount of exercise is secondary. The most important thing is movement and taking steps to recovery. Choosing activities based on enjoyment is far more important.
Life is full of unexpected turns and twists! Some are joyous experiences while others can leave us feeling down or stressed. Stress is a very common emotion that affects all of us at some point in our lives. When we feel stressed it is very common to reach for things that comfort us. For some this may be food, alcohol or even drugs. Instead of making us feel better these things can leave us feeling worse.
It is important to take care of yourself when you are feeling down or stressed. Taking up a form of exercise has numerous benefits for managing stress relief. In addition to losing weight exercise can help release negative emotions, decrease stress hormones and improve your overall health and longevity.
If you are someone who needs lots of motivation to get up and moving, then the word ‘exercise’ can seem like a huge step to take, however it doesn’t have to be. Start with a simple activity that you find easy to do and enjoyable. For example doing some gardening or some gentle stretching can be a great way to start. Then gradually increase the time you spend doing these activities and once you feel comfortable try something different. Exercising with a friend is also a great motivator, so if you have a friend you can meet up with for a walk or a bike ride this will make the thought of ‘exercise’ more bearable.
Looking after yourself is the key to a happy and healthy life. Learning new ways to keep yourself energised will help keep your stress down so you can enjoy life!