Weight Loss Tips For Yummy Mummies

Are you just starting out on your weight loss journey; or have you been trying without much success? Rhian Allen, founder of health and fitness website for mums healthymummy.com, gives her eight tips on what you can do to help start seeing results sooner – all based around healthy eating and exercise: 

Switch to wholegrain everything

At first, this might seem difficult and you might meet with some resistance from family members but you and they will get used to it. That means no more white flour, white bread, white pasta, white rice, all of these are available in wholemeal or wholegrain options. You could also try switching out things like pasta and rice for other options like cous cous or quinoa (you can even get wholemeal cous cous).

Reduce your added sugar intake

Added sugar is a sneaky one and you will find that it’s in so many foods. Instead of trying to cut it out completely it’s a good idea just to reduce it as much as possible. For example, you could switch a low fat strawberry yoghurt for some natural or Greek yoghurt with fresh berries added. Also, avoid keeping sugary foods in your house or make healthy alternatives with The Healthy Mummy’s low fat baking recipes.

Watch out for bad fats

While it’s important to consume good fats from sources such as fish, olive oil, avocado and nuts, it’s also key to reduce or avoid bad fats. Bad fats found in deep fried foods, commercial cakes, chips, chocolate bars, donuts, pastries etc. These are the fats that can hinder your weight loss, make you feel lethargic, and make it hard to keep your skin looking fresh. 

Get moving everyday

If you really want to crank up your results, add some exercise along with your good nutrition – you will see a big difference in your body and fitness levels. You could try a daily walk, a couple of segments from The Healthy Mummy Exercise DVD, a regular swimming session or fitness class, cycling, yoga or pilates. Basically anything that gets your heart pumping and helps you break a sweat is a good thing.

Reduce your alcohol consumption

Alcohol gives you additional calories in your day with no nutritional benefit whatsoever, so it’s an easy one to reduce your consumption to quickly reduce your total calorie intake. Keep alcohol for the weekends or special occasions.

Don’t skip meals and snacks

Your metabolism is responsible for helping you to lose weight, and it’s important that it’s fired up and kept busy throughout the day with healthy meals and snacks at regular intervals. We recommend 3 main meals and 2-3 healthy snacks per day in order to lose weight.

Cut down on bread

If you find that you are having two slices of toast at breakfast and a sandwich for lunch, you could end up eating almost 30 slices of bread per week. While we don’t suggest cutting bread out entirely, it’s a good idea to reduce your consumption if you are trying to lose pregnancy weight. Or replace traditional bread with wholegrain!

Keep healthy convenient foods on hand

Make life easy by keeping healthy convenient foods on hand so that you can easily pull a meal together. For instance eggs, tinned tomatoes, cous cous, bags of salad leaves, tinned chickpeas or kidney beans, tinned tuna, portions of frozen cooked brown rice that you can defrost in the microwave.

The Healthy Mummy’s next online 28 Day Winter Weight Loss Program starts soon, with sign up on June 1.

Insulin Resistance: The Real Reason You Can’t Lose Weight

Are you struggling to shift that stubborn body fat despite eating well and exercising like a demon? There could be an underlying hormonal reason at play: you may have a clinical condition called insulin resistance, says leading Sydney dietitian, nutritionist and author Susie Burrell.

RELATED: Top 5 Non-Diet-And-Exercise Ways To Lose Weight

Insulin resistance (IR) means insulin – the hormone secreted by the pancreas to control blood glucose levels in the body – is no longer working as efficiently as it should. And Susie (pictured) believes it’s an incredibly common condition, estimating up to 20 per cent of adults are walking around with IR.

emotional eating, comfort eatiing, nutritionist advice

“Over time, numerous factors including a diet high in processed carbohydrates, relatively inactive lifestyle, and often genetics, insulin becomes less and less efficient at processing the glucose we consume in carbohydrate-based foods such as bread, cereals, fruit and sugars,” she says.

“When insulin is not working properly, the body is forced to produce more and more to process the same amount of glucose that we consume in food to fuel the muscles and the brain. The unfortunate thing when it comes to weight control is that the higher the amount of insulin that you have circulating in the body, the harder it becomes to burn body fat.

“This means that if you have insulin resistance, you can be eating an extremely healthy diet, exercising as recommended and actually physically unable to lose weight. In fact, as insulin is the central regulator of both glucose and fat metabolism in the body, when it is not working, the basic energy balance equation when it comes to weight loss – calories in vs calories out – simply does not hold true.”

Susie, who specialises in treating people with hormonal disorders, says up to 30-40 per cent of her female clientele present with both polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) – a health condition which affects a woman’s hormone levels, periods, and ovulation – and/or IR. And, left untreated, it can lead to Type 2 diabetes within 10 years.

women's health, hormonal disorders, insulin resistance

So, what are the signs and symptoms of IR? Fatigue and sugar cravings are red flags, Susie says, but the most significant giveaway that a degree of insulin resistance may be present is in the way that fat is deposited on our bodies.

“Insulin likes to deposit fat around the abdominal area, which is why women (and men) with severe insulin resistance have a large belly, and the reason that a waist measurement greater than 80cm for a female too may be a sign that insulin resistance is present,” she says.

The dietitian/nutritionist, who recently launched her new program, Shape Me, The 30 Day Plan, says an IR diagnosis requires specific blood testing such as a glucose tolerance test via an experienced GP and/or endocrinologist. In addition, it often requires medication to help lower insulin levels and diet and exercise management are crucial.

“Shape Me has developed a specific dietary model which allows individuals with IR to get the right mix of carbs, proteins and good fats to allow them to lose weight,” she says. “Shape Me is the first online program to offer such specific dietary requirements and users also have ongoing access to me for any other specific questions about their IR.”

So, ladies, if you’re concerned you have IR, get your health checked out, stat. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

What do you think? Could IR be the reason you can’t lose weight?

Images via eatohealth.com, snbbloggingacademy.com, rehabprimalway.com

Top 5 Non-Diet-And-Exercise Ways To Lose Weight

You don’t have to employ the services of a top personal trainer, chef and nutritionist, ala Hollywood A-listers – although it’d sure help sometimes – in order to drop a few kilos.

RELATED: How To Enjoy Winter Comfort Foods Without The Weight Gain

Rejoice, sister, for there are quick and easy non-diet steps you can take at home which will see you get into those fave skinny jeans or LBD a little easier, says leading Sydney dietitian, nutritionist and author Susie Burrell (pictured). It’s all about eating smarter and banishing our bad food habits.

emotional eating, comfort eatiing, nutritionist advice

“It is interesting to consider that much of our food-related behaviour is habitual patterns which develop over time and leave us prone to overeating on a daily basis,” Susie says.

And while the following healthy eating tips don’t involve sweaty exercise, this doesn’t mean you can skip it altogether, sorry (sad face). For any sound lifestyle program will incorporate both basic healthy diet principles and regular activity, Susie says.

Susie’s top 5 simple, non-diet-and-exercise ways to lose weight:

  1. Take control of mindless eating habits by chewing your food for longer.
  2. Put your knife and fork down in between each mouthful; this is proven to cut calorie intake by up to 20 per cent.
  3. Use smaller plates for food serving to control your portion size.
  4. Start meals with a soup or salad so you fill up fast on healthy, low-fat options.
  5. Only eat at a table with no distractions aside from classical music, which has been shown to improve our mood and make us take our time to eat slowly and really enjoy our food.

nutritionist advice, food habits, Susie Burrell

So, why is a non-diet approach the answer? “While many of us do require some degree of calorie control, for many the word diet means restriction and extreme regimes that are impossible to maintain long-term,” Susie says. “For this reason, the best approach to calorie control long-term is to focus on the what you should be doing, for example: eating more vegetables; cutting back on snacking; and limiting treats, rather than what we should not be eating, which only tends to drive our behaviours in the opposite direction to what we want.”

It’s also Susie’s long-held belief that the latest diets which make big claims are rarely sustainable – think paleo and no-sugar diets. “We all need to be mindful of the calories we consume and the quality of the foods we are eating on a daily basis, but this does not have to mean restriction rather than self-control, which are two very different things,” she says.

“Dietary patterns which promote the consumption of vegetables, legumes, grains and nuts as suggested by both the DASH and Mediterranean diets are best linked to longevity and health long-term.”

nutritionist advice, food habits, Susie Burrell

Images via eatthis.com, 1nothingbutfood.blogspot.com, 123rf.com

10 Tips to Make Your Weight Loss Resolution A Reality

Making a weight loss resolution is easy – It’s keeping it that’s the challenge. In January the determination to shed those extra kilos is through the roof, but come February that motivation has well and truly wavered. While we’re all guilty of breaking our resolutions from time-to-time – okay, nearly all of the time – it doesn’t mean that you have to give up.

RELATED: Top 5 Dieting Myths Dispelled

Here are ten tips, provided by Colette Heimowitz – Nutritionist and Vice President of Nutrition and Education at Atkins Nutritionals Inc – to help you keep those 2015 weight-loss goals in check:

1. Make sure your goal is realistic – and achievable

Trying to lose ten kilos in a month isn’t realistic. A healthy and sustainable amount to lose is around one kilogram per week, says Colette. A more gradual approach to weigh-loss has also been reported to provide more sustainable and lasting results, so lower your expectations and set more achievable time-frames.

2. Use the available resources

There’s an abundance of information surrounding weight-loss online, so start doing your research and find out suitable options. Colette advises using a scientifically formulated plan such as the New Atkins Nutritional Approach to assist you in creating healthy eating habits while losing weight. ”New Atkins advocates the consumption of lean proteins, lots of colourful vegetables, natural healthy fats, low sugar fruits, and as you approach weight loss goals, whole grains.”

3. Reward yourself

Break your weight-loss goal down into smaller and more achievable milestones and reward yourself each time you successfully complete them. Maybe it’s exercising three times a week, or restricting your sugar intake for two weeks. Whatever the goal, Colette says a reward will boost your motivation and give you something to look forward to. Just don’t reward yourself with food, she stresses. Instead, “put money towards new gym gear to help your fitness plans, or a new dress to wear.”

4. Inspire yourself

Inspiration gives you the drive necessary to commit to your goals. The age old ‘if you can visualise it you can achieve it’ is a great strategy to apply here. See yourself as having reached your goal and imagine the satisfaction it will bring. Colette suggests creating an inspiration board to help you stay on track. And “put it somewhere obvious,” she insists.

5. Spread the word

Being made accountable is a great way to keep you motivated and responsible for your results. Maybe you want to take a pilates or spin class with a friend once a week. Or invite your buddies to join you on an app like My Fitness Pal, whereby your progress is posted in a newsfeed. Either way, Colette advises sharing your journey with family, friends and colleagues. “The more support you have the more likely you’ll succeed.”

6. Swap bad for good

Substitute your favourite snacks or meals for more healthy and nutrient dense options. Colette suggests swapping ice-cream for natural yoghurt and fresh berries, or opting for low-carb chocolate bars as opposed to the high sugar stuff you find in the confectionery isle. You’ll save on calories and won’t feel like you’ve ruined your diet afterwards.

7. Skip the junk food aisle

Steer clear of confectionery isles all together if you can help it – that way you won’t have to fight temptation when it arises. Instead, head to the health-food section where you’ll find “delicious low-carb alternatives… that will keep your sweet tooth satisfied without the sugar spike afterwards,” says Colette.

8. The more you move, the more you’ll lose

They say it’s 80-percent diet and 20-percent exercise. But opting to go for an afternoon walk with a girlfriend, as opposed to watching the latest episode of your favourite soap, is going to be more beneficial for your waistline. Not to mention it’s great for those endorphins.

9. Don’t weigh every day

Resist the temptation to weigh yourself every day. Weigh in once a week and “always in the morning.” Don’t be disheartened if you haven’t dropped anything on the scales – there are multiple factors that can contribute to this. Instead, focus on finding the right balance of carbohydrates you can eat to lose or maintain weight, says Colette. Gage your progress by how you feel and how your clothes fit.

10. Never give up

Don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad day or falter somewhere along the way. There’s always going to be setbacks or obstacles that will appear to slow you down. Instead, focus on continuing to work towards your goal and just keep plodding along. Alternatively, if motivating yourself to get back on the horse (so to speak) isn’t your strength, there are programs out there that are structured to offer support and to help keep you on track.

Image via Femina Health 

Top 5 Weightloss Superfoods You Need Right Now

Are you determined to get fit and trim this year, in manner of a superhero? Look no further than your fridge, girlfriend, for you’re going to need some superfoods.

RELATED: Make 2015 A Fresh Start

Leading Sydney dietician/nutritionist and author Susie Burrell says rather than spend your hard-earned on expensive detox programs to lose weight, it might be high time for a diet overhaul.

This means investing in your health the easy way: by focusing on nutrient-rich, low-calorie superfoods which make for super-healthy snacks. Susie, (pictured) who just launched her new program: Shape Me, The 30 Day Plan, lists her favourite superfoods as: berries, beetroot, salmon, walnuts and broccoli (or broccolini).

“Superfoods are foods that are chock-full of nutrition and, in a world where many of us do not burn as many calories as we would like to eat, in order to maximise our nutrition, targeting superfoods on a daily basis is a good way to help improve our overall nutritional intake,” she says.

superfoods, weight-loss superfoods, weight loss, diets, dieting

And while overhauling your diet isn’t always inexpensive, as good-quality food can be relatively costly, especially if not in season, Susie advises we counter this by making smart choices. “Targeting a few key superfoods, in a budget-conscious way, is a good way to improve your daily nutritional intake,” she says.

“Adding in green tea, tinned salmon and frozen berries for example, won’t break the bank, but will instantly improve your intake of omega-3 fat and antioxidants.”

Let’s examine the goodness in Susie’s top picks: berries, beetroot, salmon, walnuts and broccoli.

Berries: Any berries are great for you, and taste amazing, but Susie says blueberries in particular are packed full of antioxidants, vitamin C and fibre, while also being relatively low in calories and carbohydrates. You can enjoy them as a light snack in between meals; as a fibre boost to smoothies and juices; or as a sweet treat after dinner with a little Greek yoghurt and seeds or nuts. Yum! Another good option is strawberries.

superfoods, weight-loss superfoods, weight loss, diets, dieting

Beetroot: This pretty purple-crimson veggie is of exceptional nutritional value; especially the greens, which are rich in calcium, iron and vitamins A and C. Beetroots are also an excellent source of folic acid and a very good source of fibre, manganese and potassium. And, did you know? The greens should not be overlooked; they can be cooked up and enjoyed in the same way as spinach. Handy tip: If your hands become stained during preparation and cooking beetroot, rub some lemon juice over them to help remove the colour.

Salmon: This yummy superfood – or should that be superfish – is packed with healthy fats and high-quality protein, plus lots of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, selenium and vitamin B12. Of all the different types of fish, salmon has received the most praise for being a nutritional marvel and is said to be perfect “brain food”. Above all, it is salmon’s omega-3 fatty acids content which makes it particularly nutritious – health experts advise us to eat such oily fish (tuna is another) at least three times a week. It also makes for a versatile dish. Sold!

superfoods, weight-loss superfoods, weight loss, diets, dieting

Walnuts: These delicious, brain-shaped little pocket rockets are often called the King of Nuts for their health-boosting properties. Just ten walnuts provides a massive dose of long-chain polyunsaturated fats known to optimise the composition of the cell wall, which can allow our fat-burning hormones to work better. Cool! What’s more, they also contain cancer-fighting properties and boost both your heart and brain health. The unsalted, raw kind are obviously preferable.

Broccoli: Broccoli is an edible green plant in the cabbage family, whose large flowering head is used as a popular green veggie. And, it’s so nutritious, a slightly health-obsessed former personal trainer of mine used to advise me to eat it raw and often to ward off cold and flues. It’s said to lower cholesterol, particularly when steamed, and contain cancer-fighting properties and a wide range of phytochemicals which protect against many chronic diseases. Broccoli is also a good source of beta carotene, vitamin C, folate and fibre. Broccolini, if you prefer, is also similarly nutritious and is smaller, milder and sweeter.

Susie Burrell’s new e-book Change Your Mindset And Lose Weight Fast: The Motivation You Need To Lose Weight is out now. Visit www.shapeme.com.au or www.susieburrell.com.au.

Images, in order, via en.paperblog.com; supplied; www.livingfoodslifestyle.co.nz; and www.thankgodimnatural.com.

Top 5 Dieting Myths Dispelled

Is your head swarming with conflicting healthy eating and nutritional advice from your GP, personal trainer, friendship circle and more? It can be very hard to ascertain what’s right and complete bunkum when it comes to food, glorious food.

RELATED: Kickstart A New You With A 30-Day Dietitian Plan

Never fear, dear reader: here, leading Sydney dietician/nutritionist and author Susie Burrell, who just launched her new program: Shape Me, The 30 Day Plan, sorts fact from fiction when it comes to what we should – and should not – be putting in our mouths as we embark on a healthier, happier 2015.

Myth 1: Is eating bread really the antichrist? What if I’m trying to lose weight?

It’s not the bread, but which type and what we have it with that’s the problem. For example, thick Turkish toast with butter, or massive sandwiches and large wraps which can be equivalent to four slices of regular bread. You can easily lose weight with two small slices of Burgen Soy-Lin or lower carb bread each day.

weight-loss tips, dieting myths, bread

Myth 2: Am I failing at life if, like celebrity Sarah Wilson, I can’t give up sugar?

The thing with Wilson’s “quitting sugar” campaign is that it is based on a random set of rules and beliefs which mean you don’t quit sugar at all, but rather restrict a number of key foods that reduce carbs and calories significantly. And severe restriction always leads to deprivation and binging. A more sustainable and healthy approach is to simply cut out processed foods.

weight-loss tips, dieting myths, bread

Myth 3: Celebrity chef Pete Evans has his own TV show advocating the paleo diet. Is this now the fastest and healthiest way to lose weight?

Any diet will work if people stick to it and a couple of issues with the paleo diet is the cutting out of key food groups which can mean some nutrient groups like calcium and our B group vitamins suffer and for most people it is very difficult to sustain. I would argue, based on research, that a Mediterranean approach with lots and lots of vegetables is the healthiest way to lose weight.

weight-loss tips, dieting myths, bread

Myth 4: My GP says I should eat three big meals a day and nothing more. Is this the best way to keep the weight off?

Healthy eating is about finding out whatever works best for you, but less snacking with three-to-four meals and nothing in between is a good way to control calories and reduce the intake of little extras through the day.

snacking, healthy, weight loss, protein

Myth 5: Are treat days a slippery slope to obesity? Are treats only for toddlers, not adults?

Have treat meals, not treat days! Treat meals can include one-to-two a week and one extra – not a binge! Treat meals don’t have to spell dieting disaster. In fact, a well-structured cheat meal can help you overcome weight-loss plateaus. And, most importantly, remember it is a cheat meal, not a cheat day or a binge!

The Ultimate Chocolate Muffin Dessert

Susie Burrell’s new e-book Change Your Mindset And Lose Weight Fast: The Motivation You Need To Lose Weight is packed full of info and advice on finding and keeping your motivation, getting psychologically ready to take control of your weight and more. Visit Visit www.shapeme.com.au.

Image via pixabay.com

How To Jumpstart Your Exercise Goals In 2015

Are you too busy/sore/tired/cold/hot/hungry to go to gym, or have you just got a massive touch of the can’t-be-f***ed about you? Read on, sister, for you and I are going to get a lesson in how to set and achieve realistic exercise goals for 2015.

After all, it’s the start of another exciting, new year, and we should all be sweating it out at gym in our spare time, blah blah, instead of snacking on Doritos, guzzling red wine and watching old episodes of Sex and the City.

RELATED: How To Stay Motivated And Reach Your Goals

Sound familiar? If you’re anything like me, I can sometimes self-sabotage and find every poor excuse under the sun not to exercise. “I’m too tired, I’ll do it tomorrow,” I hear myself say. Slap!

So, how do we stop making bad excuses and “harden the f*** up” (a PT favourite phrase) in 2015? Fitness queen Michelle Bridges has oft been quoted as saying there is never a good excuse to not exercise, especially the well-worn “I’m too busy” one. Bugger.

Instead, the Biggest Loser star says accountability and commitment are key, as is a broad, varied and interesting training regime, in order to achieve our exercise, weight loss and fitness goals for 2015.

exercise goals, goal setting, exercise plan

But what do sports psychologists say? How does a busy working woman and/or mother find time to achieve her exercise goals, in between juggling family, work and personal commitments, without going insane?!

fitness inspiration

Here’s some fast, no-bull ways to combat exercise excuses from a top psych:

  • Choose goals that you really care about so that you are strongly motivated to achieve them.
  • Make your goals realistic. That is, don’t set your goals so high that you will not be able to achieve them.
  • Don’t overload yourself with too many goals, choose just a few that really matter to you.
  • Make the goals positive and specific. If you want to lose 8kg, make your goal: “I will lose 2kg per month for the next 4 months.”
  • Break big goals down into smaller ones, as above. So, set a long-term goal, but break it up into smaller short-term goals. This also enables you to celebrate your success along the way, such as at the end of each month, for example, rather than having to wait four months.
  • If you have a setback and don’t achieve a short-term goal, don’t give up. Try to work out why you didn’t succeed and do something different next time.
  • Praise yourself and give yourself a reward for achieving each goal. Allow yourself to feel really good about goals that are achieved.

exercise goals, goal setting, exercise plan

What do you think? How do you motivate yourself to exercise?

Images via www.pixabay.com.

7 Ways To Lose Weight This Winter

Winter is not a time when most people think about trying to lose weight. If anything, they usually put on a few extra kilos during the winter months. According to Australian nutrition expert and creator of the Snack Attack Weight Loss Program, Robert Jarmyn, the winter months are, however, possibly the best time to try to shed a few excess kilos.

Mr Jarmyn explains that “despite misconstrued rationales that our body goes into a fat storage mode during the winter months because of our ancestral hunter gatherer heritage, the real reasons we put on weight during winter are more correlated to increased carbohydrate consumption and lower activity levels”.

Studies into the causes of winter weight gain have found that the reason why we eat more carbohydrates during the winter months is closely linked to a psychophysiological factor. As the days become shorter our body produces less serotonin. Serotonin plays an important role in influencing our moods. With less serotonin floating around our body we tend to seek foods containing sugar because sugar has a drug-like effect on the pleasure centre of our brain that makes us feel happy.

The problem is that sugar is highly addictive. The more we eat the more dramatic our mood swings. This in turn leads to eating even more to achieve the same emotional high. With all that excess sugar floating around our body combined with the effects of less activity during the cold damp winter months, our body is programed to store away the excess sugar as fat through a process known as glycogenesis.

Mr Jarmyn says “starting a weight loss program in winter makes a lot of sense. Firstly because you can avoid packing on the extra kilos during the winter months and secondly because you will have already put in the hard yards before summer arrives so will have much less work to do to shed the final bit of weight to be comfortable hitting the beach.”

With that in mind he has put together a list of tips to help beat the winter blues and get in shape for summer:

1. Eat fresh fruit and vegetables in preference to starchy carbohydrates. Whilst both of these still contain some sugar and carbohydrates because they are also excellent sources of fibre and phytonutrients you will feel fuller and more satisfied. Try eating vegetables like carrots, broccoli, pumpkin, sweet potato and cauliflower in the form of soup. The increased water content will help you feel full and assist in the break down of food.

2. Increase your protein intake. Protein takes longer to break down into energy than simple carbohydrates such as pasta or rice and will therefore keep you going for longer and make your metabolism work faster. If you combine meat and vegetables into hearty stews (without potatoes) it will not only help keep you warm during the cold winter months but will also give you the energy to keep you going for hours.

3. Ignore low-fat labels. If you are eating a lot of dairy food don’t be fooled by ‘low fat’ claims. Most low fat foods contain more sugar than the conventional varieties and will usually cost you more. No only that, recent studies conducted in Scandinavia reported that bioactive substances in milk fat may alter our metabolism in a way that helps us utilise the fat and burn it for energy, rather than storing it in our bodies.

4. Walk for 30 minutes per day. The American Council on Exercise found that during low-intensity exercise (such as walking) the body gets roughly 60 percent of its fuel from fat. Compare that to high-intensity workouts where fat only provides around 35 percent of the calories burned and it doesn’t take a genius to work out that slogging it out in the gym is not going to make you lose weight. Another positive about walking is that exercise also produces endorphins. Endorphins are great mood boosters and can help make up for the lack of serotonin being produced from shorter daylight hours. Whilst it is not always desirable to do in the depths of winter, if you really want to lose weight, walking for 30 minutes per day will make a significant difference to your waistline.

5. Stock up on B-group vitamins and amino acids. The metabolism of energy from fat requires a ready supply of biotin, thiamin and l-carnitine. Whilst these nutrients can be found in a wide variety of foods they are not stored within your body. In order to release the energy from your natural fat stores and kick start your metabolism, make sure your keep your levels of these nutrients topped up regularly.

6. Drink green tea and green coffee. Antioxidants fight free radicals that wear you down and can also boost your weight loss effort. A recent study conducted by researchers from Pennsylvania State University found that the anti-oxidants found in green tea (known as catchetins), inhibit an enzyme called pancreatic lipase (PL), which is secreted into the intestine to aid the digestion of dietary fat. In addition to reducing fat intake, green tea has also been shown to increase thermogenesis (fat metabolism). Similarly, green coffee bean extract has been shown in several clinical studies to reduce the uptake of carbohydrates and balance blood sugar levels. Celebrities like J-lo, Katy Perry and Demi Moore have been reported as using green coffee to get in shape for red carpet events.

7. Get some sun. Whenever the opportunity presents make sure you get out into the sun. Not only does serotonin act as a mood-boosting brain chemical it is also partly responsible for feelings of fullness. Even a heavy dose of artificial light, especially in the morning, may help suppress food cravings and the urge to overeat.

How To Lose The Extra Baby Weight

The stress doesn’t exactly end with having a newborn baby to look after, but getting motivated to lose those extra kilograms can play havoc on your mind. Engaging in some mild exercise techniques can make a world of difference, so remember to take some time-out for yourself, and unwind with a short walk or run. Exercise is just one way to lose the baby weight, keep reading to find out what else is effective when attempting to drop the last few kilograms.

Set goals

Setting forward realistic goals is the number one way to get motivated and back to a weight which is manageable. Buying a new item of clothing is a good way to keep motivated and stay on track with you weight loss journey. If your problem is over-eating, start a food journal and document everything you eat and drink in a day then reflect on it before bedtime. This is an often confronting way to see what food we really eat on a daily basis. Or if the problem is with exercise, bring along a friend, since this will surely keep you more motivated to get out there.

Regular exercise

Simple exercise even inside of the house will help to tone your body before you know it. Walking up and down the stairs is a great example since it is an effective way to do some cardio throughout your day. If you find yourself with a bit of time, try Blogilates which is a fitness series found on YouTube focusing on toning and strengthening the body. These exercises can be undertaken at your own pace, and are completely free of charge.

Recovery shorts

Recommended by healthcare professionals, Recovery Shorts ($189) help women to regain their pre-baby body shape. They basically look like shapewear which aim to help women recovering from a C-section, give support to pelvic floor dysfunction (SPFD), and help to suck everything in as you move by strengthening muscles and their recovery from a recent pregnancy.

No binge eating

Unhealthy eating plans mostly end in binge eating lots of foods filled with preservatives, trans fats and lots of sugar. Eat foods which are slow-burning and filled with protein, these will keep you fuller for longer and will avoid any bad-snacking when 3:30 hits.

Eat in moderation

Adapt a healthy eating regime which you can manage over a long period of time. Crash diets, detoxes and cutting out major food groups in a bid o lose weight are not ideal since they could lead to binge eating and packing on the extra weight. Visiting a dietician or local GP will help to create a healthy eating plan which allows the maximum amount of vitamins and nutrients for your body. A balanced, and healthy eating regime will make your body look and feel re-energised.

The key is to let your body recover, and try not to rush getting back to your pre-baby body. Don’t be so hard on yourself! The transition will take time, and this can vary for each individual. Listen to your body and if you feel overworked, try to relax and work on eating healthily instead of pushing yourself physically.

Do you have any tips for losing the last few kilograms?

Image via Become Gorgeous

By Felicia Sapountzis

5 Summer Weight Loss Tips From a Biggest Loser

Diet fads come and go, but proven weight loss programs stand the test of time. The Biggest Loser past contestant and special guest trainer at The Biggest Loser Retreat Sharif Deen shares his best weight loss tips for summer and how to keep the weight off for good – just in time to help you achieve those new year’s resolutions.

1. Take advantage of the early light
With the sun shining early during summer, take advantage of the extra hours of daylight to get outdoors and start the day with a workout.

2. Stay hydrated
Water is the ultimate cleanser and allows your body to function more efficiently. Aim for 2-3 litres per day and remember to step it up before, during, and after exercise. Try adding a wedge of lemon or lime for a refreshing twist.

3. Reevaluate your goals
Make sure your fitness goals are still relevant to you heading into summer.

4. Create a summer training program and keep records for accountability
If you’re really serious about achieving your goals, establish and commit to a training plan. Tracking your progress will also allow you to assess what’s working for you and what’s not.

5. Eat a balanced diet that’s nutrient rich
Make sure you eat a balanced diet that’s loaded with the good stuff like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean meats.

Sharif is a walking, talking example of achieving lasting weight loss. When he signed up for season four of The Biggest Loser, Sharif weighed in at 178kg and was the heaviest person at the outset. By the end of the show, he had lost over 70kg and has since become a special guest personal trainer at The Biggest Loser Retreat in the Gold Coast Hinterland.

Since opening their doors in June, the dedicated weight loss retreat has assisted guests to lose a combined fat loss of more than 855kg through their proven weight loss program which combines education, nutrition, exercise and mentoring.

Michelle Bridges: The Motivation Myth

Forget motivation – The Biggest Loser’s Michelle Bridges shares the real secret to achieving your fitness and weight loss goals.

Extract from the book Get Real!: Inspiring Stories and lessons from the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation revolution by Michelle Bridges and photography by Jane Allen published by Viking RRP $24.99. 

When people tell me they’re struggling  with their training, the first thing they say is that they’ve lost motivation. Most people believe that if they inject some motivation into their lives, they’ll be fine – right? WRONG! It’s like we have all become motivation junkies, just waiting for the next hit.

If you’ve done my 12 Week Body Transformation you’ll already be aware that I think motivation is a complete crock – in fact, it’s a trap! I always say that motivation is like a bad boyfriend – never there when you need him most!

I know, as a personal trainer and a human being, motivation is not always going to be there, so what’s going to happen when you wake up and it’s gone? Is that game over for you? Motivation is like any emotion – it comes and goes, so if you’re going to rely on motivation to get the job done, it will let you down. And that’s the trap – motivation is an often an excuse in disguise:

‘As soon as I don’t FEEL motivated, I’ll just stop’.

Don’t get me wrong here – it’s great to set goals and be positively motivated by them, but understand that you do not need to be constantly motivated or even have set goals to exercise. And knowing THAT should make you feel relieved! You don’t need to be wound up like a spring coil in order to get a training session done, and you don’t need to feel anxious and vulnerable when motivation disappears.

Motivation is not necessarily your friend. So…what’s left if not motivation? Well, there is something far more effective, and here’s the secret…athletes know it, coaches know it, and successful business people know it. There is something out there that will support you and will take you where you want to go. It will not let you down. What is it…? Consistency.

Be consistent and you will achieve. No bells and whistles, no hype. And we don’t just do it for three days and then go out and celebrate with cake! You don’t think, you just do. Consistency isn’t something that you need to recharge and it’s not something you need to go out on the hunt for! Consistency is steady, it’s relentless and it’s steadfast all the way through. Take the emotion out, go into robot mode, and get on with the task at hand.


Kim Kardashian Reveals Her Baby Weight Loss Plan

Kim Kardashian has opened up about how she lost almost 20kg since giving birth to daughter North in June.

“Losing this weight has not been easy, but I did it, and that’s so rewarding, I was dedicated and motivated, and for me, that paid off,” she told People. “This makes me feel like I have the strength to take on other challenges.”

The newly-engaged reality TV star admits getting back in shape has been much harder than she’s made it look.

“Pregnancy for me was a lot tougher than people saw on my show or from magazines,” she says. “So to get back to feeling like myself just makes me feel good again. It’s all about feeling your best.”

She also plans to lose another 3kg. “This was the biggest challenge of my life, and I still have some to go.”

Kardashian, 33, confessed that the constant scrutiny and fat shaming while she was pregnant really upset her.

“Every day I would hear people criticise me, and it would affect me. Little by little it would chip away at my soul. I wanted to tune out the media and my public life and ignore it all.”

She’s obviously proud of losing the weight, posting a revealing swimsuit photo last week showing off her post-baby body.

Speaking about her baby weight loss plan, Kardashian revealed that she reduced her calorific intake, but didn’t go on a drastic diet because she was breastfeeding.

She now follows the Atkins Diet – which is high on protein and low on carbs – and eats no more than 2,000 calories a day.

As for her exercise plan, she started with the treadmill and going for walks, but has since committed to near-daily sessions at Barry’s Bootcamp – often with fiancé Kanye West – which focuses on a combination of Pilates, weight training and sprint intervals.

What do you think of Kim Kardashian’s baby weight loss plan?


Calories Count: Biggest Loser Alison Sweeney’s Diet Tips

The host of America’s The Biggest Loser, Alison Sweeney, is dishing out her best diet secrets picked up over six years of hosting the hit weight-loss show.

“The most important tip I have for people is not to jump on the bandwagon of a fad diet or some sort of extreme version of weight loss or nutrition because you end up feeling like committed to something where you’re depriving yourself or you’re eating only certain types of foods,” Sweeney, 36, told Fox News.

“And that’s not good for your either.”

After struggling with her weight for most of the 1990s while starring in Days of our Lives, Sweeney went on to reinvent herself as a diet and fitness expert after taking on hosting duties of The Biggest Loser in 2007.

“If you stick to a diet that’s more well-balanced, finding the right nutrients that you’re supposed to have in your daily diet and just eating better portions, and sort of balancing that out the way, you know, that’s healthy you can do that your whole life.”

The mother-of-two explained that the calorie counting really is the best way to lose weight – and keep it off.

“Calories are a really good barometer of it but calories aren’t the enemy either. I mean you’re supposed to have a certain amount of calories.

“There’s a certain amount of good kinds of sugar that you do need to have in your diet so that’s not necessarily the enemy either.’

And her number one weight loss motivation tip? The results are really up to you.

‘”You can’t lose weight for other people and as much as you would love to that’s true in reverse,” she shared.

“You may love your daughter, your spouse, your parent; you cannot help them lose weight.  You can’t do it for them.  You have to want to do it for yourself and you have to do it for yourself.”

She said when she finally set realistic goals and stopped comparing herself to others, success came her way.

Do you think calorie counting is the best way to lose weight?

10 Easy Ways To Stay Healthy In Winter

SumoSalad’s dietician Georgina Moore shares her top 10 winter weight loss tips and how to stay healthy during the cooler months.

1. Keep your immune system revving

Stock up on winter warming foods to prevent your immune system going MIA. Think foods that pack a flavour punch such as ginger, garlic, rosemary and other beautiful fresh herbs.

2. Stay warm and keep active

Most Australians gain weight over winter. Don’t become a statistic by making physical activity a part of your daily routine. By keeping your muscles moving, you will keep your metabolism firing.

3. Exercise portion control

As tempting as it may be to go back for seconds of that warming casserole or pie, don’t! Instead, eat slower and take your time to enjoy a standard size serve.

4. Eat warm, well

There are plenty of healthy, hearty and warming options to keep you toasty throughout the cold winter months.

Think oats for breakfast, Sumo Bowls of red quinoa or brown rice for lunch and then roast vegetables salads or a soup for dinner. Make healthy, warm choices every day.

5. Don’t skip meals

Every one needs at least three decent meals each day. No matter how busy you are or how cold it is outside, don’t skip meals. For a balanced, healthy diet always try to include vegetables, lean protein and low GI carbs in each sitting.

6. Winter vegetables…yummy!

As well as cooler weather and shorter days, winter also signals the arrival of some fabulous vegetables. Think root vegetables, zucchini and asparagus. Some herbs are also at their best over these months such as tarragon, basil, thyme, dill, mint, rosemary, ginger, marjoram and oregano.

7. Look for different foods of different colours

Different colours in your foods represent a range of different vitamins and minerals. The more colour on your plate, the wider range of goodness you are receiving!

8. Keep hydrated

In the winter months most buildings, offices and residences have the heat working overtime.

Controlled heating can often be quite dehydrating, so keep the fluids ups and rug up with warm clothing instead.

9. Think good quality protein & low GI carbs

It’s very easy to get hungry in winter and consequently make poor food choices if you don’t base each meal on good

quality lean protein and low GI carbs. These help keep you feeling fuller for longer to prevent the 3pm snack attack.

10. Scrub up

To help prevent the spread of cold and flus make sure you practice good hygiene everywhere and always. Wash your hands prior to preparing and eating foods.

SumoSalad have launched a new winter range called Sumo Bowls, which are served warm. Resident chef, Pete Evans, along with Georgina, have come up with tasty new recipes inspired by Korean bibimbap that are perfect for winter – think brown rice instead of white, and red and white quinoa topped with fresh salad ingredients. Much better options than calorie-heavy winter comfort food.

What are your best tips to staying healthy in winter? Tell us in the comments below!

Top 5 Ways To Lose Weight From Biggest Loser Sharif Deen

To celebrate the opening of Australia’s first Biggest Loser Retreat, Biggest Loser contestant Sharif Deen (who lost over 70kg and now works as a personal trainer!) shares his best weight loss tips.

“With our country in the grip of an obesity epidemic, I’ve been making it my goal to help everyday people do what I did and lose weight, so they can start leading more fulfilling lives,” Sharif says. “The best advice I can provide is to never give up. Sure, you may have set backs – we’ve all been there – but you just have to get back on the wagon. Get stuck into your workout, go hard and fast, and always strive to be better than you were yesterday.”

1.  The Rule of 23and1

There is nothing you can do in one hour of training that will make up for 23 hours of poor diet. Make sure you eat a balanced diet that’s nutrient rich and only loaded with the good stuff.

2. Don’t faff

Train hard and at high intensity. You only have an hour to train (if you are lucky) don’t waste it faffing around and dawdling through your workout. Look to do high-intensity workouts – I use CrossFit – but whatever you do, do it like your life depended on it because your life does depend on it. Just remember it’s only one hour of your day, so make it count.

3. Get out of your comfort zone

Get used to being uncomfortable in all elements of your life. The more you get out of your comfort zone, the bigger it gets. If there was one thing the Commando taught me, it was to always face your fears head on and turn your weaknesses into strengths.

4. Eat a well-balanced diet

This means it should consist of real food. Avoid processed, packaged foods and be sceptical of advertising that tells you something is ‘the healthy option’.

5. Never be satisfied; satisfaction is death

Always strive to be better, always have goals that you are working towards. It’s the only way to be. If you don’t have a goal, you don’t have motivation.  What are you working towards? How do you know when you get there?

How can you be better?  How can you try harder? It is imperative you work out what you want before you start training and put a time frame on it.

 Visit <a href=”http://www.biggestloserretreat.com.au” target=”_blank”>www.biggestloserretreat.com.au</a> to find out more about the retreat and make a booking.

10 Steps To Permanent Weight Loss

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?

5 Tips To Kickstart Your Weight Loss

Losing weight is on many of our New Year’s resolutions lists, but sometimes you just don’t know how to start. We’ve selected 5 of the best tips to kickstart your weight loss plan for 2012 – and there’s not a scary diet in sight! 1. Eat breakfast The idea that skipping breakfast will slim you down has been proven to be a bad idea. In fact, successful dieters lose weight, and keep it off, by starting the day with breakfast. Top tip: fibre-rich cereals and porridge, or wholegrain toast spread with avocado, make the best breakfast choices. 2. Portion size The fact is most of us overeat. The idea is to only eat until you feel full, and an easy way is to control your portion size. Ween yourself off your regular portions by serving a little less every day – you’ll be surprised how much less food you’ll be eating while still feeling full. Top tip: serve your food on a smaller plate. 3. Learn how to eat out the healthy way Just because you’re losing weight doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy dining out. Just learn the best menu options, and never be afraid to ask your waiter what the healthiest dishes are. Make sure you read our easy guide to eating out. 4. Snack right Make 2012 the year you stop thinking of chocolate, chips and biscuits as snack food. Turn to nuts, fruit, vegetable juices and yogurt for your go-to afternoon snack. 5. More vegetables than meat or carbs on the plate Most of us have grown up thinking of vegetables as a side dish, and spoon a pithy amount of salad beside that hunk of beef or spaghetti on the dinner plate. Reverse the amount of vegetables and meat/carbs, and you’ll still get enough energy but you’ll load up on nutrients, feel full for longer and lose weight faster. What is your best tip for losing weight?

Peanut Butter Diet

Did you ever think you could lose weight while eating peanut butter? You have to admit it? Australians are crazy about the stuff. But until now, eating peanut butter has been a pleasure that you try not to indulge in too often. Strangely enough if you are trying to lose weight you will not touch the stuff. You hide that smooth or crunchy behind the low-fat milk and yoghurt because you are scared of the 16g of fat in every 2 tablespoons. However there is great news as recent research now proves that peanut butter is actually very, very good for you. Its healthy monounsaturated fat (eaten as the main fat in a sensible diet) can actually lower your risks of heart disease and diabetes and sit down for this one help you lose weight. Of course this doesn’t mean you start going overboard with the amount of peanut butter you start consuming.

In the US the new thing is The Peanut Butter Diet which is a 5-day eating plan that lets you indulge in 4 to 6 tablespoons of peanut butter every day. Nutritionists do say that you have to remember any food over-eaten is bad for you and that a well-balanced and nutritious diet is better for you than a strict eating plan that will only make you eat more when you finish the diet.

The key to The Peanut Butter Diet is that women get two peanut butter servings everyday while men are able to enjoy three. The plan is very simple. You work peanut butter into your meals and snacks. You may be wondering how on earth two tablespoons of this stuff is good for you everyday? Well in a study at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, researcher Kathy McManus, RD, divided 101 overweight people into two groups. One group limited fat to a very low 20 percent of calories. While the other group ate monounsaturated fat foods such as peanut butter, nuts, olive oil and avocados which in turn boosted their fat total to 30 percent of calories. Both groups got the same calories: 1,200 for women and 1,500 for men. The results? Surprisingly both groups lost 5 kilos in the first six weeks. And while you can imagine if peanut butter is your craving you will stick to this diet more so the peanut butter dieters actually maintained their weight for 18 months after the trial the other dieters didn’t. They had double the drop-outs and the ones who stayed on the diet actually regained about 2 kilos of weight. Why do you ask? Well McManus confirms, “People want taste first. They have to enjoy what they eat to stick to a diet”.

Peanut Butter Diet (cont’d)

Nutritionists do worry that once you start eating something like peanut butter or chocolate you won’t be able to stop? But one nutritionist stressed that addicts have to maintain a well-balanced diet and move peanut butter from the ‘no’ list to the ‘it’s okay’ list. Like anyone who has tried to give something up you may find that your cravings will only hit occasionally and when they do, try a day or two of the Peanut Butter Diet to help curb those cravings and gaining any undue weight.A recent study at Pennsylvania State University in the US proved last year that diets high in peanuts and rich in monounsaturated fat were just as good at lowering total cholesterol as very low fat diets. But frighteningly a low fat diet raised heart threatening triglycerides by 11 percent while the peanut butter diet lowered them by 13 percent. This one is very surprising because the Peanut Butter Diet actually lowered heart disease risk by a huge 21 percent while the very low fat diet lowered the risk by only 12 percent. One of the lead researchers from this study says, ” Our study shows that people can eat some of their favourite foods, such as peanuts and peanut butter and achieve even better results than with a low-fat diet.”

An example of The Peanut Butter Diet


In a blender, whip together 1 cup fat-free milk, 1 small ripe banana, 2 tbsps toasted wheat germ and 2 tablespoons peanut butter.


A mixed green salad with ? cup kidney beans and a small chopped pear with 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil, 2 tsp balsamic vinegar, ? tsp dried basil, and a sprinkle of garlic powder. 1 slice of multi-grain bread.


Stir-fry 2 oz lean pork tenderloin with ? cup each snow peas, broccoli and slievered red bell peppers in 1 tsp peanut oil. Season with 1 Tbsp low-fat soy sauce and 1 tsp Asian five spice powder. Serve with ? cup brown rice.

Snacks you can have with peanut butter

  • Celery stuffed with 2 tbsp of peanut butter.
  • Fill large dates with peanut butter.
  • Toast a whole-wheat muffin with peanut butter.

Fat Busting Foods!

Eating a healthy diet goes hand in hand with fat burning exercise. Firstly you have to find out how many calories you need to consume each day to maintain your weight. All you have to do is multiply your current weight by 35 to determine your daily calorie intake. For example 55 kilos, equals 1925 calories. Now get your hands on a calorie and fat-counting book from the library or buy a copy from your newsagent or bookstore. This invaluable little guide will help you figure out how much you are actually eating fat and calorie-wise. Keep a record of what you eat and drink each day – you will definitely be surprised by the calories in certain foods!Confused? Well, here’s how to adjust your eating:

Try to limit your fat intake to 45-55 grams a day. Some top tips for lowering your fat intake day-to-day are by using mustard over mayonnaise, choosing pretzels over potato chips and using olive oil over a creamy salad dressing.

Nutritionists recommend that you eat all throughout the day to keep you active. Sound good? Well this doesn’t mean that you spend all day eating whatever you want! It means that you consume healthy-sized meals all day. A recent study has proven that you’re less likely to overeat when you get home from the office if you consume moderately all day. One of the best ways to start is with a 250- 300-calorie breakfast. Go for non-fat yoghurt or a piece of toast with a tablespoon of peanut butter and a glass of full-cream milk. Your mid-morning snack should be a piece of fruit. Eating something every two to four hours will stop you from getting too hungry and keep you from stuffing your face at dinnertime!

As hard as it can be you really have to be realistic about your servings. Always check the information on food packaging. That seemingly small bag of chips or health bar can contain twice the calories you’d thought. If you need measuring tools then just use your fist for a cup or the tip of your thumb is around a teaspoon for example.

Easy Weight Loss Secrets Revealed

Hey girls, want to lose some weight before summer hits? Well it might be time to take it seriously as winter draws to a close. All you have to do is head into a low-carb, lean protein diet with no bread, pasta or starchy carbs. Personal trainers call it the A, B, C – with alcohol being the A, bread the B and starchy carbs the C. In practice, the thing to avoid when you go out with your friends is the bread basket. It’s a basket of wasted calories with a tub of unnecessary fat – well, if you count the butter. Appetizers should consist of salads or vegetables with a light dressing or if you have to fit into those size 8 jeans by Saturday, go with just lemon and some black pepper. Unfortunately for any cocktail loving girls these are out of bounds. Full of too much sugar. Dinner is easy. Just have some grilled chicken or fish or even a lean piece of meat. As for dessert, forget about it – a simple piece of fruit will have to do.

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