Yet another depressing example of everything that’s wrong with the way this world views women.
Are you one of those people who wants to lose-weight, but struggles to keep up with the consistency of working out? It’s a common dilemma that a lot of us face, with too busy, too tired or too lazy being the overriding voice of reason.
The harsh reality is you have to move it to lose it, but you also don’t have to run yourself into the ground to do so, either. We chatted to Isowhey sports ambassador and owner of BattleFit Australia, Andrew Pap (pictured below) to find out more realistic ways to approach weight-loss, and all of which require minimal effort!
Be realistic in your planning
First things first, if you’re not used to going to the gym 5-6 days a week or eating impeccably healthy, cut yourself some slack and ease your way into it. “When you make the resolution it’s easy to get carried away, throwing yourself at the gym every day and over restricting yourself from sugar/carbs/fats or whatever ‘fad diet’ seems to be in fashion at that moment,” says Andrew.
Going too hard too soon is usually when failure strikes. It’s also when we’re most likely to get overwhelmed and quit. Instead, “be realistic in your planning, understand that you’re easing your way back into this lifestyle and are not accustom the work load that you will soon experience.”
Remember, slow and steady wins the race!
Incorporate ‘easy sessions’ into your workout routine
It’s all too easy to think that being tired or exhausted warrants the excuse to do nothing, but any exercise is better than no exercise. And while it’s important to take a “holistic approach” to training and nutrition, there are still exercises you can do that require minimal effort and which still burn calories.
“If you are feeling tired or exhausted, try doing an active recovery activity such as yoga, walking, swimming or a stretching session. After doing a session like this, you may find that you get a burst of energy and can then go onto do something that is a little more strenuous,” encourages Andrew.
Shorten your workouts
After a long day at the office or running around on your feet, sometimes the last thing you want to do is slog it out at the gym for an hour. This is not an excuse to skip on your workout, however! Stop thinking big and start thinking small. A half hour workout is more than enough time to work up a sweat and burn calories, and is relatively easy to motivate yourself to do.
“I would recommend simple body weight ‘tabata’ style circuits,” says Andrew. “For tabata, you will do an activity, such as rowing, running or cycling at a high speed for 20 seconds, and then a lower speed for 10 seconds and repeat for at least 8 sets if not more.
“This style of training is great as it incorporates the entire body including upper body, core and legs in every session. You’ll be able to enjoy a quick high intensity workout that’ll give you the ‘pick me up’ that you need for the day!”
If you just can’t seem to drag yourself out of bed in the morning, despite setting four alarms (all of which you’ve clearly snoozed), Andrew says it is okay to have a sleep-in, but advises that you revise your reason for being exhausted. And no, the bed being too warm and cosy doesn’t count! “If you’re waking up exhausted, then either you’re over training, sleeping too little or possibly lacking in your nutrition,” he insists.
“I would suggest sleeping and making sure that you’re well rested for your next session. If you continue to push through those signs of exhaustion you can potentially begin to show signs of chronic fatigue. Too much stress on your adrenal glands could have you sidelined for years!”
Find a spare 10 minutes
Surprisingly, you can achieve a lot in ten minutes, and it’s not a difficult amount of time to free up in your day. So if you really are too busy or too lazy to get in a half hour workout, make a commitment to move for ten minutes and give it all you’ve got. Just think: It’s ten minutes!
“If you are doing a very short session, I would suggest keeping your heart rate high the entire time by incorporating multi-joint movements such as burpees, squats, moving lunges, bear crawls and star jumps,” insists Andrew. “Look at doing an AMRAP session (As Many Rounds As Possible) in ten minutes.”
Here is one of Andrew’s suggested AMRAP workouts:
- 5 burpees
- 10 mountain climbers
- 10m bear crawls forward/reverse
- 10 lunges
- 5 jump squats
Commit, but don’t over commit
For some, working out 5-6 times a week is unrealistic. It’s certainly something you can work up to, but the goal here is consistency. To start out, Andrew recommends doing three hard sessions per week and two active recovery sessions, such as walking, yoga or stretching. Once you’ve become accustom to this routine, “bump it up to 4/5 hard sessions, 2/3 active recovery and at least one day completely rested.” Regardless, Andrew recommends moving at least four times a week to see results.
Keep it fun
Time and time again we’re advised to participate in forms of exercise that we enjoy, and for Andrew, this is partly how he keeps in shape. “I make sure that I am doing what I love. Exercising should not be a chore.”
He explains: “I like to train in many different codes of fitness as I love to try new things. It keeps me entertained and it allows me to learn new techniques and have new ideas that I can then incorporate into my own workouts.”
Not sure where to start? The sports ambassador insists there are many creative and fun ways to keep active, including joining an individual or team sport, pursuing hobbies, gym, boot camps, surfing or rowing. “You should be able to find something that you enjoy doing.”
Shift your focus
Ever heard of the saying “what you resist, persists?” If you continue to focus on the number on the scale or the centimetres around your waistline, the desired results are likely to evade you. Instead, try a more positive approach, such as Andrews: “What I like is to set performance goals rather than goals that are based on weight or measurements.
“I feel that if you become a stronger, faster, fitter version of yourself then you should start not only looking and feeling better, but also being stronger and healthier too. I really like to have events to look forward too as well as it encourages me to stay disciplined and on track.”
Feature Image via Shutterstock
With the Christmas season just around the corner, it’s a great time to keep fit and avoid nursing your food baby in the months to come.
Keep your belly looking and feeling trim and toned by adapting some of these tips to your current diet and workout routine.
Avoid late-night snacking
Eating late at night is simply just a spur of the moment thing, and doesn’t really benefit your body in any way. Rather than eating something high in sugar just before going to bed, drink one glass of water to curb any cravings, or even a cup of green tea.
A glass of lemon water every morning before breakfast is the perfect kick your body needs. It helps to boost your metabolism, and detox the body first thing in the morning.
Don’t feel pressured to load your plate with food and eat it all! A lot of us carry this guilt as a child, since we were always told to finish every single piece of food before leaving the dinner table. Smaller portions are better in the long term, and won’t make your tummy feel as if it’s going to explode.
Work on your midsection by regularly strengthening the core muscles of your body. The plank is a really effective routine to fit into your daily life, and just a few minutes a day will change the way your body looks and feels overtime.
Many people suffer side effects from eating dairy and have no idea that they may be intolerant to it. Switch to other alternatives such as almond or coconut milk to enjoy all the benefits without any side effects.
Regularly use fresh garlic in your meals since they have an anti-obesity properties which actually breaks down belly fat! Add crushed garlic to your Sunday roast or stir fry for extra flavour and health benefits.
Avoid sugary drinks
Fizzy drinks, processed juices, and too much alcohol can contribute to poor health and a bloated belly. Most of these drinks contain artificial sweeteners which only makes the body feel good – for a limited time only.
Image via Tips Collection
As one of the most popular diets over the last decade, the Macrobiotic diet is a regimen which focuses on grains and vegetables as a healthy way to maintain your weight. Praised by celebrity fans such as Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow, it’s great for coeliacs, raw-food lovers, and can even be dairy-free.
How does it work?
The Macrobiotic diet aims to eradicate all types of preservatives or fatty foods out of your diet – you won’t find any cheat-meals here. Rather than thinking of it as a strict diet, it’s actually an entire lifestyle change which relies on clean, wholesome eating and regular exercise to keep healthy for a prolonged period of time.
What can you eat?
An average meal will consist of grains and vegetables which will actually sustain the body longer than processed foods and animal meat. If you’re worried about the over-consumption of grains, there’s no reason to be. The Macrobiotic Diet encourages the consumption of many foods which have a very low glycemic index (GI) and are high in fibre (to keep your body feeling regular and bloat-free).
Stick to wholemeal grains such as brown rice and bread which are low in calories, and easier to break down in the body.
Is it a strict diet?
The diet does take a lot more effort and it does require more commitment as a complete lifestyle change. If your current diet involves a lot of processed food and animal products, you will find the Macrobiotic Diet somewhat of a shock in the initial stages. The key is to start slow, and your body won’t be craving any of the fatty foods from before.
Ease into the diet by incorporating some simple grains such as brown rice and beans into your main meals, before completely changing the way you eat.
Would you try the Macrobiotic Diet?
Image via Best Macrobiotic Diet
Perhaps you’ve seldom heard of intermittent fasting, and cringed at the very idea of denying your body vitamins and nutrients all for the sake of losing weight. Intermittent fasting actually has a variety of health benefits, and won’t have you feeling famished at the end of the day.
If you have ever wanted to try this for yourself, below you will find a quick guide on how intermittent fasting actually works, and why it’s more than just another fad-diet.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting isn’t described as a diet, it’s actually more of a long-term eating pattern which helps to regulate problems such as diabetes, chronic indigestion and even stomach disorders. Quite often, the scary part of this eating plan is the word ‘fasting’ since it makes people think that a significant weight loss means that you’re required to starve yourself – which is far from the truth.
The eating patterns rely on small on and off periods (feasting and fasting) which have been instilled to actually boost your metabolism, and control bad eating habits. Designed by author and journalist Dr. Michael Mosley, the eating plan which also operates under the name of the 5:2 diet, is a good fit for people who have suffered years of over-eating, and want to create a structure in terms of food consumption.
How does it work?
Based on cycles of feast and famine, intermittent fasting actually helps to control urges of snacking since your body is properly nourished at almost every time of the day. The period of feast is designed to make you appreciate healthy, wholesome food, and thus will diminish any chances of binge eating. If you’re constantly snacking throughout the entire day, your body forgets to stop and repair, which can often create chaos and frantic eating around 3:30pm, where the body typically craves something sweet.
Calorie restriction helps to create a balanced diet, and is a much more appealing strategy than starving yourself for that perfect summer body. This basically means you can feast some days, but on others you should stick to a diet which is healthy, preferably home-cooked, and preservative free.
Creator Dr. Michael Mosley suggest that you can eat normally for five days, but stick to a healthy diet for two (these can be any days of the week). On these fasting days, cut your food down to 1/4 of your normal calories which normally means around 600 calories for men, and around 500 calories for women.
Would you incorporate the foundation of intermittent fasting into your diet?
Image via iStock
You wouldn’t believe us if we told you that there’s a diet which is genetically proven to help you lose weight, and keep it off?
We didn’t think so, but there’s been so much hype around the Blood Type Diet, that we’ve decided to pull back the wool and see how it really works to effectively help people lose weight.
Created by naturopath Dr Peter J. D’Adamo, he claims that the foods we eat are programmed to chemically react with our blood type – whether that is an O, A, B, or AB. He suggests that if you follow a strict diet which corresponds with your own blood type, then this will lead to easy weight loss, and boost your energy.
“There had to be a reason why there were so many paradoxes in dietary studies and disease survival,” why some people lose weight and others do not on the same diet or why some people keep their vitality as they age, and others do not, says Dr. D’Adamo.
Sounds pretty good, right? The diet was created on the basis that your blood type requires a certain code to work it’s best, and this involves eating the correct foods, and participating in the best exercise possible.
How does it work?
While there haven’t been any conclusive studies showing the effectiveness of the Blood Type Diet, it does benefit people who suffer from high-cholesterol. For the most part, they are encouraged to follow a low-fat diet which helps the heart and entire circulatory system work better.
What can I eat?
The Blood Type Diet is broken down into four different categories, which D’Adamo suggests leads to a smoother weight loss journey.
The universal donor is encouraged to follow a high-protein diet which relies heavily on the consumption of fish, poultry, lean meat, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy.
People with an A blood type best benefit from a meat-free diet, which is instead substituted with plenty of fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains which help to regulate the body. Try and remain as organic as possible, and buy fresh as often as possible.
The Type B blood type gets a little bit complicated, with D’Adamo suggesting that people with this blood type avoid corn, lentils, tomatoes, buckwheat, peanuts, and even sesame seeds. Instead, it’s best to stick to a plant-based diet, with lots of green vegetables, with some low-fat dairy and eggs.
People with an AB blood type are advised to avoid caffeine and alcohol since this could interfere with the low acid in their stomach. Instead, it’s best to have a diet which focuses on seafood, dairy, and even green vegetables which can regulate this problem.
How can I start?
Before starting this diet, you have to find out your blood type (if you’re not aware of it already), and this can be achieved with a simple blood test. From there, you can discuss with your doctor the various risks of cutting out certain food groups, especially with blood types such as O, A, and AB which involve a lot of effort.
The diet also suggests that you should take part in exercises that also benefit your blood type. This includes yoga for A, and jogging for O.
Image via Ask A Nutritional Scientist
It’s only natural that new mothers want to bounce back to their pre-baby weight sooner rather than later, but in reality is doesn’t happen with the snap of your fingers. It takes time, unless of course you are fortunate enough to have a personal chef, a personal trainer and multiple hours a day to work out.
For most of us it happens slowly but remember that everyone is different. Depending on how much weight you put on during pregnancy, how much you weighed before you fell pregnant, your age and genetic factors will all play a part in how long it will take for the weight to come off again.
Here are some tips for losing that post baby weight safely:
- Before you start any fitness regime remember to talk to your GP about when it’s best to start exercising again, especially if you’ve had a caesarean. Some mothers who had a natural birth and were physically active before the birth will be back exercising within a week whereas others who had a caesarean will take much longer, normally up to six weeks to get back in the saddle.
- Set realistic weekly goals of how much weight you want to lose, rather than setting your sights on the end goal weight. Don’t set your goals too high though to avoid disappointment. Slow and steady wins the race.
- After the birth of your baby is not the time to be trying fad diets or crash dieting, especially if you’re breast-feeding. If you don’t consume enough calories you run the risk of your body producing less milk, meaning less food for your baby. Not only that but drastically reducing the number of calories you’re eating could leave you feeling irritable, less energetic and less alert, which is not the way you want to feel with a new baby.
- New mums have little time to themselves so it can be difficult finding time to exercise which means that sometimes you need to find ways to exercise with your baby. Strapping your bub into a baby carrier or pram and hitting the pavement for fifteen minutes or more a day can do wonders for your weight loss. Alternatively you could invest in some yoga DVD’s and workout while your baby is taking a nap.
- Make sure you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and to stave off that thirst that is sometimes confused with hunger. Try adding a slice of lemon to your water to reap some additional benefits such as cleansing the bowel, boosting your immune system and reducing stress.
- Make smart choices when it comes to eating, such as choosing low fat or fat-free dairy products, choosing foods with mono and polyunsaturated fats rather than saturated and trans fats and choosing whole grains which will keep you full for longer.
Image via iphysioperth.com.au
When you’ve been making all the right food choices, you’ve been exercising religiously, and you’re so close to your goal weight that you can almost (almost!) zip up your skinny jeans, it can be disheartening when those last 5 kilograms just won’t budge.
Don’t take that as a sign to give up – take it as an opportunity to really step up your efforts and challenge what your body can do. Here are a couple of tips:
Cut your portion sizes
Revisit your portion sizes. Portions can gradually creep up over time without us even realising. Get back to the basics with some kitchen scales and a set of measuring cups. And make sure you write down everything you eat – creating awareness around your diet will help prevent little extras that can have a big impact on our waistline from sneaking in.
Drink more water
It’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger and overeat, especially when we’re training hard. If you work at an office, fill up a jug of water at the start of the day and aim to finish it before you clock off. Keeping a water chart can help you keep track of your hydration, too.
Mix up your workouts
Our bodies are clever things. Keep doing something for long enough and your body will adapt. You’ve probably figured out what kinds of exercise you like doing, and you’re probably favouring certain activities. Here’s a thought: start doing everything you DON’T like as much. By continuing to mix it up, you’ll challenge muscles you haven’t used as much, and build muscle in areas you’re yet to discover.
If you’re not eating enough to support your energy requirements your body will go into starvation mode. This means your body will do what it takes to preserve energy – you’ll start to feel lethargic and won’t be able to give 100 per cent in your workouts. Take a week off training; allow your body time to recover so you can re-energise and give 100 per cent in your workouts again.
Keep a positive mindset
When you’ve hit a plateau, the most important thing to do is keep a positive mindset. When you’re giving your workouts everything you’ve got, sticking to a stringent eating plan and not seeing results, your attitude can easily start to become negative and hold you back. You may feel like you’re giving your workouts 100 per cent, but there’s a little voice in your subconscious mind saying, ‘What’s the point?’ that could be holding you back from giving it your all.
The Fernwood 12 Week ‘Get Foxy’ Challenge will help you change your mind and body to achieve life changing results. Starting March 10, the challenge combines weekly training sessions and food coaching, along with fun group fitness classes and challenges so you can work out with like-minded women and support each other towards your share in over $40,000 worth of prizes!
Personal trainer and founder of Enliven Fitness Studio Michael Wilson explains how cutting out the CRAP (carbs, refined sugar, alcohol and processed foods) is one of the best ways to lose weight fast. He shares his top tips on shedding kilos – and inches.
1. Cut out the CRAP – carbohydrates, refined sugar, alcohol and processed foods
A diet high in carbohydrate and sugar (eg bread, cakes, chocolates, chips, fast food and alcohol) actually encourages the body to store more fat and thus prevents you from losing weight. These types of food fail to satisfy hunger for very long, and soon enough you become hungry again and turn to CRAP to gain quick energy. This vicious cycle of eating leads to weight gain and can eventually result in diabetes.
Solution: Restrict or completely remove refined carbohydrates, sugar, alcohol, caffeine and processed foods.
Eat fresh, nutrient-dense whole foods (preferably organic and sustainable, that does not contain pesticides, preservatives and additives).
In our modern reality, stress is a common occurrence. Stress can have a damaging effect on the body, and could be the reason why you are having trouble losing weight or achieving your fitness goals. The body responds to stress of any kind by triggering its “fight or flight” response, which causes blood sugar alterations and hormonal shifts that can actually promote the storage of fat.
Solution: Minimise stress in your life. Think of solutions that you can lessen or remove these stressors. Perform regular relaxation and meditation. Go for regular walks in nature to help de-stress from these everyday pressures.
3 . Skipping Meals
Skipping even just one meal can cause a disruption to the balance of important hormones and enzymes within the body, resulting in an elevation of stress hormones. Skipping meals puts immense stress on the body by forcing it into a catabolic state. When this fasting state is broken your body responds by increasing fat stores to avoid the possibility of this stressful event occurring again.
Solution: Eat every 3-4 hours which will maintain stable blood sugar levels without causing a catabolic state.
4. Yo-Yo Dieting
These diets may initially promote weight loss however this is done in an unhealthy manner, and often have high fail rates with people quickly gaining the weight back. These diets will fail to give you the long-lasting results that you desire as they do not sustain a healthy metabolism.
Solution: Eat healthy fats in the form of meat from organic and pasture-fed animals, raw butter and dairy products, free-range eggs, avocadoes, raw nuts (soaked and dried), coconuts and seafood. These healthy fats will promote the healing and rebalancing of your hormonal system, will satisfy your hunger for longer and prevent you from overeating.
Well done! You’ve lost weight, but how do you keep those kilos off, permanently? Here are 10 easy steps to staying trim, healthy and happy.
1. Start the day right
It’s a fact. Breakfast skippers usually end up eating more calories by compensating later in the day. Not only can breakfast provide many nutrients such as calcium, protein, wholegrains and fibre, it’s also a sure-fire way to keep the fat burning furnace (aka metabolism) alive and kicking.
2. Learn to recognise whether your hunger is physical or emotional
If you have just eaten within the last two hours, chances are you are not physically hungry.
3. Tweak your treats
Avoid stocking the cupboard or refrigerator with comfort foods laced with fat, sugar or salt. Gradually replace them with healthier versions. For example swap the banana bread for fruit toast.
4. Never skip a meal
Skipping meals only makes you hungrier, which means you’ll end up overcompensating in calories later in the day.
5. Keep moving
Aim for 30 to 60 minutes of exercise each day. If time is limited, exercise for several brief periods throughout the day, such as, three 10-minute sessions rather than one 30-minute session.
6. Size does matter
When eating or snacking in front of the TV, put the amount that you plan to eat into a bowl or plate instead of eating straight from the package.
7. Manage stress
We look for comfort when we are stressed. The goal is to lower stress with healthful strategies, including regular exercise and adequate sleep, rather than seeking comfort in food.
8. Stay focused on being healthy, not on becoming thin
Choose foods that are good for your body’s health rather than worrying about foods that will affect your body’s weight.
9. Tap into triggers
Keep a food diary of what you eat, when you eat, and why you eat it. Knowing your motivations for why you eat will make you conscious of your triggers, and you can begin to change your patterns.
10. Practice mindful eating
Many times people eat without even realising what we are consuming. When it’s time to eat, make the effort to sit and savour every mouthful. This technique can help increase awareness of the sensations, feelings and thoughts connected with food and eating.
What’s your best tip for losing weight?