Are you looking for a way to lose fat with Christmas just around the corner?
Christmas holidays are easily one of the most anticipated events of the year – the chance to get away from work and to relax with your loved ones.
With all of the excitement, it’s not surprising that most people unknowingly end up gaining a few kilos during their break. With all the Christmas parties, drinks with friends, edible gifts weight gain is pretty much inevitable… right? But your Christmas holidays don’t have to end in weight gain. Holiday weight gain is caused by eating too many foods that are high in carbohydrates and simple sugars.
We have come up with a simple survival strategy to keep your weight under control, and maybe even lose a few kilos over Christmas. You don’t have to count calories or eat every meal at home. Keep the following tips in mind as you embark on your holiday adventure and you may come home fitter than when you left!
(1) Eat Smart – Take the time to choose meals with your health conscious mind and not simply your taste buds. Watch your portion size… not too many rum balls!
(2) Eat as many fresh vegetables as you want – load up on salads, not just starchy vegetables like mashed potato.
(3) Eat lots of lean protein – avoid fried meats and eggs.
(4) Eat fresh fruits, nuts and seeds in moderation – don’t overdo it. A handful of nuts and 2 – 3 pieces of fruit per day is adequate.
(5) Enjoy two daily treats – bread or baked goodies no larger than the size of your palm, holiday drinks (250 ml serving) and Christmas lollies or treats… the smaller the better
(6) Maintain your Metabolism – Avoid the yo-yo diet cycle of overindulgence and starvation. Carry on eating healthy snacks and eating every three hours over the Christmas holidays.
(7) And lastly…. Make Exercise a Must – Holidays are a great time to take your workout outdoors. Run on the beach, do push ups and crunches and some strength training. Exercise is your secret weapon against holiday weight gain.
Enjoy your Christmas holidays. When you get back call us for a Health & Wellness Consultation and Body Analysis Session. We will show you a step-by-step plan for getting you the body that you deserve.
Make 2013 your best year ever!
We are always giving people a nudge to enhance their diet and improve their health and fitness, but we never expect you to be perfect from day one. You have to make small changes day by day, but make sure they are permanent changes.
Change has always been a necessary aspect of life and work. People react, respond and adjust to change in a sequence of six predictable stages. It is likely that you will have to cope with a variety of changes in the near future. Your success and fulfillment – your emotional, mental, spiritual and physical well-being – depend on how well you adapt to change.
Which Stage are you in?
Stage 1 – Loss to Safety
In Stage 1 you admit to yourself that regardless of whether or not you perceive the change to be good or ‘bad” there will be a sense of loss of what “was.” “I don’t want to change my diet”…You probably don’t see a need to improve your diet or health and fitness, or you haven’t established important reasons to change what you are doing. Consider how your weight and health will suffer if you don’t make changes now.
Stage 2 – Doubt to Reality
In this stage, you doubt the facts, doubt your doubts and struggle to find information about the change that you believe is valid. Resentment, skepticism and blame cloud your thinking. “I won’t be able to make these changes. I am never going to be healthy and fit”… List the benefits of a better diet and doing more exercise and commit to a start date. Don’t put off making plans for positive changes.
Stage 3 – Discomfort to Motivation
You will recognize Stage 3 by the discomfort it brings. The change and all it means has now become clear and starts to settle in. Frustration and lethargy rule until possibility takes over. “I am looking forward to going to the beach at Christmas and feeling confident”…. Develop a plan of attack and set a goal for yourself to work towards.
The Danger Zone
The Danger Zone represents the pivotal place where you make the choice either to move on to Stage 4 and discover the possibilities the change has presented or to choose fear and return to Stage 1…. “I’m thinking about changing my diet”… You know why you want to make changes but you haven’t started yet.
Stage 4 – Discovery to Perspective
Stage 4 represents the “light at the end of the tunnel.” Perspective, anticipation, and a willingness to make decisions give a new sense of control and hope. You are optimistic about a good outcome because you have choices. “I’ve started to change my diet”… Well done! Now you need to make healthier, nutrient-rich food choices. Make specific plans for how you’ll eat well at home, work or at social events.
Stage 5 – Understanding
In Stage 5, you understand the change and are more confident, think pragmatically, and your behaviour is much more productive. Good thing. “I enjoy healthy foods. They taste better and it’s becoming a habit”… Your taste buds are now on your side and your new healthy habits are working for you most of the time. Fatty or sugary foods are now a turn-off.
Stage 6 – Integration
By this time, you have regained your ability and willingness to be flexible. You have insight into the ramifications, consequences and rewards of the change — past, present, and future. “Healthy eating is now automatic for me and part of my new lifestyle”… You are more active and choose healthy foods without feeling deprived and it doesn’t feel like a diet. You wonder why you didn’t make the change earlier!
Moving forward through the six stages is normal and can take time. It’s normal to experience slip ups and have days when you feel you’ve gone back a stage.
If you’re too serious about counting calories and you find it hard to enjoy food, go easy on yourself. Stress elevates your cortisol hormone, which triggers cravings, retains abdominal body fat and makes matters worse. It’s time to chill out about your diet. It’s helpful to reassess your habits and goals to see whether they are working for you or against you. Which is it?
Come see us if you want an individualised nutritional plan, to talk about your health and fitness and start training, or for some helpful tips to reach your goals. You CAN do this! We’ll be right here if you need us. We will help program you against failure.
(Redeveloped from the CCMC 2009)
“Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragement, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.” – Thomas Carlyle
Eating right helps you feel great and stay healthy so you can achieve better health, but sometimes it’s hard to know what advice to follow or how to get started.
The Nutrient Rich Foods approach to eating is a positive, total diet approach based on the five food groups.
Vary Your Veggies
From asparagus to zucchini, you’ll reap a bounty of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients when you choose from a colourful variety of vegetables.
- Get lots of dark green veggies like broccoli, spinach, and greens.
- Pick plenty of orange veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and squash.
- Mix it up even more with tomatoes, artichokes, eggplant and parsnips.
Focus on Fruits
- For maximum nutrient-richness and great taste, pick a variety of colourful fruits.
- Fill your cart with such brightly-coloured fruits as blueberries, strawberries, oranges, apricots, kiwifruit, rockmelon, watermelon and grapes.
- Stock up on canned and frozen fruits when they’re on sale.
- Avocado is a fruit, too. Top your salad with a few slices or pair it with an exotic fruit such as mango for a refreshing fruit salsa.
Get Your Grains Whole
To get whole grains, choose foods that name one of the following whole grain ingredients first on the label ingredient list:
- brown rice
- whole grain barley
- whole oats
- whole rye
- whole wheat
- wild rice
Go Lean with Protein
Choose lean meats and skinless poultry most often. Vary your protein choices with fish, beans, eggs, nuts and seeds. Eggs provide many nutrients, and can contribute up to a third of the requirement for iodine, which is essential for healthy thyroid function and maintenance of metabolic rate.
Eating high-end fish and taking fish oil tablets provides people with a fat burning advantage. The long-chain fatty acids in fish oil enhances cellular membrane function to help release more stored body fat, particularly when combined with strength and fitness training.
- For lean cuts of beef, look for the words “loin” or “round” in the name, including tenderloin, sirloin or round steak.
- Choose poultry without skin and fat, and ground beef that’s 90-95% lean.
- Select fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, trout and herring.
- Vary your breakfast routine with eggs. Enjoy an egg-and-veggie scramble or a mushroom-herb omelette.
Make Smart Oil Changes
An average serve (30g) of mixed nuts provides about 20% of the recommended requirement of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. And it appears that moderate nut consumption does not pose a threat for weight gain due to satiety and energy burning affects.
- Choose cooking oil that is high in unsaturated fats. Some good choices are macadamia, canola, olive, peanut, safflower, soybean and sunflower oil.
- Use butter with minimal grams of trans fat per serving. Check the Nutrition Facts label to be sure.
- Sprinkle a few sunflower seeds, almonds or chopped walnuts on your salad.
Get Your Calcium-Rich Foods
Dairy plays an important role in assisting weight management, however choose low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt and other milk products.
- Top home made pizza, casseroles and veggies with a little shredded cheese.
- Use plain yogurt as a base for dips.
- Mix cottage cheese into your salad and tuna.
Dark chocolate – YES, a little chocolate has health benefits. Emerging studies suggest that limited amounts of dark chocolate eaten daily, say 25g or two small squares, can contribute to improvements in blood pressure and cholesterol level. The antioxidants present in the cacao, which is more concentrated in the 70% cacao dark version of chocolate are believed to offer the benefits. Just ensure you are aware that it’s a little that does the job here and more is not better.
All of these nutrient rich foods will keep you in good shape for life, which is exactly what your body deserves.
So…. EAT UP!
What is Protein?
Proteins make up the outer layers of hair, nails and skin. They are the primary component of numerous body tissues. They are the main component of muscle tissue. Protein helps muscle development, increases strength, and improves athletic performance. Because the body does not store protein, it’s important to eat healthy protein everyday.
Function and Benefits of Eating Protein
The most important function of protein is to build up, keep up, and replace the tissues in your body. Your muscles, your organs, and some of your hormones are made up mostly of protein. It also makes antibodies and haemoglobin (responsible for delivering oxygen to your blood cells).
There are many health benefits of protein. Eating enough protein is essential to maintain a healthy body. If the body sustains an injury, such as a cut, protein helps with tissue repair. Along with carbohydrates, protein provides energy for the body which helps keep us from becoming fatigued. Another one of the benefits of protein is helping the body fight off illness and disease and keeping the immune system functioning properly.
Although there are benefits of protein, too much of a good thing can be bad. Eating a high protein diet can cause problems if too few carbohydrates are eaten. When high levels of protein are eaten in combination with too few carbohydrates, the body can form ketones and releases them into the blood. This causes ketosis, which may lead to fatigue and nausea and is not a healthy state for the body to be in.
Foods high in Protein
Eggs, milk, meat, apricots, avocados, bananas, cherries, dates, figs, nuts, beans, and grapes.
Each gram of protein contains 4 calories.
So how much protein are you eating each day? Enough to power your muscles and maintain a healthy body?
Do you get the Midnight Munchies?
How many times have we stayed up late, promising ourselves that we’ll catch up on sleep later? Or, we all have times when for one reason or another, we just don’t get enough sleep. We drag through our days, tired and a little grumpy, and we reach for caffeine and sugar to give our tired bodies some energy. But this actually does more harm than good.
Not only does the caffeine and sugar end up making you feel more tired than before, but if you continue to suffer from sleep deprivation, it will affect not only your daily functioning but your physical and mental health as well.
Sleep deprivation increases the hunger hormone “ghrelin”
Get less sleep than you need and ghrelin levels rise, stimulating appetite. Another weight-related hormone, ‘leptin’ drops with sleep deprivation. Leptin acts as your body fat thermostat to switch off eating, so less leptin means more food.
Some people will experience greater cravings than others with sleep deprivation. Scientists believe that sleep not only helps with weight management but it gives our bodies the chance to maintain and repair our bodies and minds.
Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
1. Keep a set sleep schedule. Go to bed each night at the same time and get up at the same time. It’s tempting to sleep in on the weekends, but what you end up doing is re-setting your sleep schedule, making it difficult to get up the rest of the week.
2. Exercise helps you fall asleep and can improve the quality of your sleep. Exercise daily and be sure to exercise 5 or 6 hours before going to bed.
3. Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. We are all aware that caffeine is a stimulant, but nicotine and alcohol intake keeps you in the lighter stages of sleep and deprives you of deep sleep and REM sleep.
4. Relax before going to bed. Make a relaxing routine such as a warm bath or reading part of your bedtime ritual.
5. Wake up with the sun. Sunlight helps your body reset your biological clock each day. If you are having trouble falling asleep, due to jet lag or mild insomnia, experts recommend exposing yourself to an hour of morning sunlight or using very bright lights in the morning to help reset your biological clock.
6. If you can’t sleep, get out of bed. Do something else until you feel tired, like reading or watching television. Lying in bed feeling frustrated because you can’t fall asleep can actually contribute to insomnia.
7. Be comfortable. Maintain a comfortable temperature in your bedroom. Being too hot or too cold can disrupt your sleep or prevent you from falling asleep.
So how much sleep are you getting each night? Is it a restful sleep?
Cortisol is the “stress hormone”.
Do you know how it affects your body and weight loss efforts?
Research has also found a link between cortisol and greater amounts of abdominal body fat. So, being stressed could be contributing to your difficulty in losing weight.
Cortisol is designed to help release energy from body stores when stressed. Stress comes in many forms – emotional, physical, diet restriction or over-exercising.
Cortisol sounds good for fat burning, but it often backfires due to some negative effects.
When circulating cortisol reaches your brain, it stimulates another chemical neuropeptide-Y, which can trigger your appetite and cravings. If you are stressed and experience persistent food cravings, cortisol could be the culprit.
So managing your body’s cortisol production through better stress management can not only help you to sleep better at night but can also improve your weight loss efforts. Minimise stresss - maximise your results!
What steps will you take to manage YOUR stress?
You can’t achieve success if you’re not willing to take the first step. It may seem obvious, but all the tools you need for weight loss and watching reality tv won’t get you anywhere if you’re not willing to get off your butt. You need to find that inner drive to accomplish your goals. Need some inspiration? Check out our videos on the website and if you become a Member you can view what some of our clients have said and their success stories.
You’ll never believe what you can do until you try something, and complete it. Making motivational boards for yourself, and finding a support network can really help. Find somebody who won’t let you talk your way out of something difficult. The feeling of accomplishment you gain from succeeding at something you didn’t think was possible will motivate you to try something else you aren’t sure you can do.
Eventually, your life will change and be marked by these fabulous accomplishments. Each new triumph will lead you further down the road toward living a fearless life. Just get up and go!
With the right attitude, you can meet (and even exceed!) your goals, but it’s up to you to put in the effort. What motivation can you pull from within right now that will help get you moving?