It’s been nearly five years since I last weighed myself.
She’s creating her body image based on the things you say.
I’m starting to see the ones I’ve broken have been ones I’m happy I didn’t stick to.
The path to self-love was fraught with second guessing.
Do I look like a Kardashian yet?
“If you’re afraid of butter, use cream” – Julia Child
It’s never been more obvious that with age comes wisdom…
What happens to your body and your mind after you leave the hospital?
The star existed on 500 calories a day in prep for his latest flick.
The television show that helps people change their lives and better themselves is back. That’s a pretty vague description, I know – it could be used for virtually any reality show out there. Would it narrow it down if I said it’s the one that pushes contestants to their absolute limits to help them lose weight? Now you know what I’m talking about; The Biggest Loser is back on Australian televisions with families competing to lose the most weight and gain that big cash prize.
I’ve always been skeptical about The Biggest Loser. It dramatically changes lives through gruelling exercise and an intense diet to lose the weight that has been impacting on their health and quality of life, but is it really done in the right way?
Yes, it’s amazing to see the transformations and to see what these people can become, but it doesn’t exactly promote sustained weight loss with contestants shedding large amounts of weight per week – much more than the recommended 0.5-1kg for healthy weight loss.
The Biggest Loser in America was slammed by former contestants recently, saying that the way they were treated was dreadful and that the show caused them health problems. Long, intense workouts, baby food diets and constant fat-shaming from trainers caused their mental health levels to drop.
Former contestants also allege that many others that have been on the show have gained back the weight they lost during the season. While this is not a surprise, it backs up the point that the show’s way of weight loss is unsustainable, and is merely for entertainment and shock value.
So, what do we really need to think about when we watch The Biggest Loser this season? We need to evaluate whether it’s worth watching overweight contestants sweat out all of their fluids for days on end to gain a money prize. We need to evaluate what their health is worth. And we need to evaluate what our health is worth and how we see ourselves.
If there’s anything that we can get out of The Biggest Loser, it should be that we need to take action now. If the kilograms are starting to creep on, it’s best to sustainably get yourself back to a better quality of life, with a healthy diet and safe exercise. We have health professionals who are willing to help and the best cure is actually prevention.
Image via illawarramercury.com.au
If someone had of told me ten years ago that if I were to quit sugar and write about it I’d be a millionaire, I probably would have laughed in their face. Magazine editor Sarah Wilson did it, however, and now she’s laughing all the way to the bank.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Wilson’s I Quit Sugar empire is on track to make at least $4 million this year, after turning over $534, 000 in its first year alone. In case you’re not already familiar with her story, the journalist was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease back in 2008 that forced her to eliminate sugar from her diet. She then began blogging about her sugar-free lifestyle, before co-founding I Quit Sugar.com with former colleague Zoe Eaton.
So, what’s been the secret to her success? The health mogul attributes it to a gap in the market – at the time there wasn’t much out there about quitting sugar and she soon discovered via her blog that people were hungry for more information. “It just went mental and everyone wanted to know more,” she told Smart Company last year. “So I went off and researched. I interviewed experts and cardiologists, and tried to get to the bottom of the problem of sugar.”
This then led to the digital I Quit Sugar Cookbook, which was so successful it was picked up by book publishers and distributed across 43 countries. It even made the New York Times bestseller list. “I went from being a journalist, to making ebooks, and then the traditional book publishers approached me about print books. Usually it happens the other way around,” she told the magazine.
Now, with ten ebooks, a one million strong social media following and over 3 million visits to the website each month, I Quit Sugar is one of most successful self-funded health companies in Australia. What’s more, the website also runs three eight-week diet programs every year in which participants pay $150 to get access to dieticians, specialists and recipes.
Speaking with the Sydney Morning Herald, Wilson’s business partner Zoe Eaton admitted: “Our primary revenue is from the program… [and] the advertising revenue, while we don’t rely on it, is also a very important channel to have and produces really beautiful integrated sponsored content, which is quite often our most read content every month.
“We are in a nice place with that side of our business; we can pick and choose who we want to work with at the moment.”
So, why can’t people get enough of I Quit Sugar? Eaton pointed out to the paper that besides Michelle Bridges and Kayla Itsines, “there is no-one else really doing what we do.”
Diet, exercise and most importantly lack of free time are all big time contributors that could keep you from having that flat tummy. Although is it impossible to achieve? Belly fat comes down to eating right and exercise, plus our four tips on how to beat the fat for good. Belly fat can take on one of two forms. Subcutaneous fat which is visibly the external roll of skin that you can grab with your hands. Whereas visceral fat is found within your abdomen, and can often be wrapped around your organs.
Abdominal workouts are great for toning up any unwanted belly fat. Mostly lunges, sit ups, push ups and especially the plank are great ways to slowly tone your tummy without physically exerting yourself. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can transform your belly before you know it. Looking to burn some extra kilojoules? Try bikram yoga, where not only will the postures help you stretch and tone every muscle in your body, but the heat makes you sweat out those bad toxins in the system.
Change your diet
Eating fatty foods regularly won’t give you a flat tummy. Try to limit these types of meals instead as treats, and give your body some much needed nutrients instead. Foods like almonds, eggs and avocado are just a few suggestions that are packed with protein and essential fatty acids which will keep you full, instead of constantly snacking throughout the day. Drinking green tea is also a great way to end your meal, as it has plenty of antioxidants and works to quicken the metabolism and the way food is digested.
If you’re prone to belly bloating, this could possibly be caused by wheat allergies or lactose intolerance. Rather than self diagnosing, your local GP will run some tests that could confirm your suspicions. Dairy is the most common food allergy, and if you suffer from it, try to cut down on cheese and yoghurt and see if you notice a difference in your belly.
Don’t skip breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, since it is the first time in over eight hours that the body receives any vitamins or minerals overnight. By skipping breakfast and going straight into lunch, you’re more likely to snack on fatty foods throughout the remainder of the day. Eating a breakfast packed with protein is a fantastic since they keep you full until the next meal. Eating meals every few hours is sure to keep your body sustained and your metabolism at it’s best.
Image Source via Shutterstock
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.
Stubborn fat, also known as visceral fat or stomach fat, can be a nightmare to get rid of. It surrounds your vital organs and tends to store around the mid-section, creating what most women refer to as “love handles.” What’s more, too much weight around the waistline can lead to all sorts of health problems such as heart disease and diabetes – and let’s face it, makes some of us shy away from getting into a bikini during summer.
This is something doctor Joanne Turner and her team at Skin Revision counsel people about every day. Therefore, ladies, she has provided us with 5 simple tips for combating stomach fat so you can breeze into the warmer weather feeling healthy.
- Eat a high protein breakfast
Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. It breaks our fast from the night before and provides us with the nutrients and stamina we need to start the morning. If you’re seriously looking to drop those extra kilos, eating a bowl of cereal upon rising isn’t going to cut it. Sorry, ladies.
Instead, opt for a high protein meal which includes grains, says Jo. “I recommend pulses and legumes,” she says. “They are ultra low-GI and contain insoluble fibre that keeps tummy bacteria happy to promote weight-loss.”
- Drink 2 litres of water a day
Did you know that for every 500ml of water you drink, your metabolism is increased by 30 per cent? Yep, according to doctor Turner, “drinking 2 litres of water a day will make you feel fuller and help you cut down on snacks.” If that’s not an incentive to gulp down more of that h20, then we don’t know what is!
- Substitute bottled sauces
Most dressings, sauces and canned vegetables come packed full of preservatives and often have a large amount of unsuspected sugar lurking in them. High Fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a popular sweetener among these types of foods, says Jo, and is also “terrible for someone trying to lose stubborn visceral weight.”
So, what’s a girl to do? “I recommend substituting bottled dressings and marinades for a fermented food such as kimchi, sauerkraut or cider vinegar,” she insists. Not only will this “decrease sugar cravings,” but it will also “boost weight loss.”
- ‘Vanquish’ stubborn fat
If you feel like diet and exercise isn’t giving you the quick results you want, Vanquish is a brand new body sculpting treatment in Australia that specifically targets that hard to budge fat. According to Jo, it’s is a non-invasive, pain free treatment which uses radio-frequency to take centimetres off love handles and stubborn tummy areas. In four treatments, “patients often lose between 6cm and 13cm from their abdomen,” she insists.
- Add cinnamon to your tea or coffee
You know that 2 teaspoons of sugar that you add to your morning latte? Ditch it, because it’s quite possibly the reason you’re finding it hard to lose those last few kilos. “If you take sugar with your tea or coffee, try substituting sugar for small doses of cinnamon,” recommends Jo. “It will lower your blood sugar and make visceral weight loss easier.”
Why? According to experts, if we eat more sugar than we need in our daily diet, we will store the excess energy supplies as fat. So, if you don’t like cinnamon and can’t bare the thought of going cold turkey, slowly cut your sugar intake down. Start by opting for one teaspoon, then make your way to half a teaspoon, before completely eliminating the nasty stuff altogether!
Image via Shutterstock
When it comes to weight loss cutting back can be difficult – but cutting out entirely can be impossible. But weight loss can be made easy if you can cut your calorie intake with these food swaps.
Complete diet makeovers can be overwhelming and are hard to maintain in the long-term. Transitioning into a healthy eating plan is much more practical. Baby steps are always helpful, for example; swapping white bread for wholegrain bread or full cream milk, for skim milk. These small, barely noticeable changes can make a big difference in achieving your weight loss goals and improving your overall diet.
Here, we outline some of the easiest food swaps to cut your calorie intake and improve your wellbeing.
Swap your normal hamburger bun for an English muffin
This simple and still tasty alternative can save you up to 120 calories. A regular hamburger bun or your typical white bread roll delivers 236 empty calories – mostly from the white flour – without adding any form of nutrition. Choosing a whole-wheat muffin can give you an extra boost of fibre and keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Swap cereal for oatmeal
A bowl of store brought cereal packs 200 plus calories, while a bowl of oatmeal only contains around 150 calories, plus the added benefit of less fat and sugar and extra fibre. Add some blueberries for natural sweetness and a boost of antioxidants for only an extra eight-calories.
Swap iceberg lettuce for spinach
Although it’s not really saving you any calories, iceberg lettuce doesn’t enhance your diet with any worthwhile nutrients. However, spinach is filled with iron, magnesium, folate, and Vitamins A and C that will all keep your metabolism in tip-top shape.
Swap potatoes for sweet potatoes
You can cut approximately 50-calories from your diet by swapping one medium sized potatoe for one medium sized sweet potatoe. The great thing about potatoes is they’re so diverse! You can have sweet potatoe fries, wedges, mashed sweet potatoe, or even roasted sweet potatoes.
Swap potatoe chips for kale chips
Kale is considered a superfood for good reason – it’s packed with essential nutrients that can boost your metabolism and keep your body functioning healthily. One-and-a-half-cups of kale chips will only set you back 84 calories, while the same amount of potatoe chips will stock you up with 200 calories. Not to mention a standard serve of kale fulfils your daily intake of Vitamins A and C, with a generous amount of calcium and folate.
Swap sour cream for Greek yoghurt
Sour cream can be addictive! Whether it’s on wedges or nachos, as dressings or in soup – but it’s also filled with unnecessary fats and calories. Jumping on the Greek yoghurt bandwagon can help you easily cut back on those calories without sacrificing taste. Greek yoghurt has half the calories, tastes very similar and is filled with probiotics that help support the healthy bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract.
These simple food swaps can make sure you stay on the road to success without compromising on taste!
Image via Mamamia