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6 FOOD MYTHS YOU NEED TO STOP BELIEVING

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Understanding more about food and how to eat healthy will help you lose weight and stay healthy in the long term. I think it’s worth investing time into educating yourself about it. But it can be hard as there is SO much advice out there. Here are some common food myths which I hope that I can clear up for you.

Natural Sugar VS Added Sugar

Natural sugar is found in fruit, some vegetables, and dairy (lactose is a sugar). These type of foods also contain fiber and many other nutrients which actually slows down digestion. They can also make you feel full and won’t leave you with a sugar crash. So these are the best type of sugars.

However, there are many other “natural” sugars out there now, and people are being tricked into thinking that these are “healthier.” Things like coconut sugar, agave nectar, brown rice syrup, raw honey, evaporated cane juice – these are all sugar. You’re no better off using these than you are normal sugar.

In the end, all sugar is processed the exact same way in your body, whether it’s natural or not. So you still need to be wary of eating TOO much sugar and that includes fruit too.

Eggs Yolks Are Unhealthy

Egg yolks do contain cholesterol, and cholesterol isn’t really great for you. But people are becoming more aware now that it is saturated fat and trans fats that are more responsible for increasing your blood cholesterol, not dietary cholesterol. So eating eggs every day will do you no harm! But as with any food, just don’t overdo it.

Coffee Is Bad For You

Yes coffee does contain caffeine which is a mild diuretic and it is not a naturally occurring substance. But caffeine is actually the only supplement that is proved to help you lose weight, and coffee does have some health benefits. Coffee becomes unhealthy when you put cream and sugar in it. But if you drink it black or with a little bit of milk, it’s not that bad.

Just be aware though that caffeine is addictive and that it is not naturally occurring, so you will have withdrawals if you try to stop drinking it. And relying on coffee to wake you up is not a healthy habit.

Salads Are The Healthiest Thing You Can Order At Restaurants

Salads can be healthy, but they can also be unhealthy. You need to look at what is in the salad. If it has a creamy or sweet dressing, this is going to add extra calories. If it includes dried fruit, croutons, fried chicken, fried noodles, honey roasted nuts, the list goes on, then this is not healthy.

Organic And Gluten Free Means Healthy

Just because something is organic or gluten free it doesn’t mean that it is healthy. Organic cookies or gluten free muffins are still going to have the same amount of calories and sugar in it as the normal variety. Read what is on the packet and what ingredients are in it before just assuming it is healthy!

You Will Lose Weight If You Just Eat Healthy

Lots of people think that if they just eat healthy, they will lose weight. The thing is, you also need to eat LESS food than your body needs. Eating healthy will help you eat less food as the good stuff is generally lower in calories and will keep you full. But if you still eat 2000 calories of healthy food when your body only needs 1500 calories, you won’t lose weight just because it’s healthy. In fact, you’ll probably gain weight.

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Lean Arms Workout (#8)

Lean Arms Workout (#8)

So here is a great lean arms workout, which will help you tone up without adding too much size/bulk.

How To Complete The Circuit

  1. Complete circuit 1 without any rest between exercises.
  2. When you have finished, rest for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Repeat this 3 times.
  4. Move on to circuit 2 and complete all exercises without any rest.
  5. When you have finished, rest for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Repeat this 3 times.

Circuit 1

  • 30 seconds of straight punches
  • 12 push ups
  • 30 seconds of high punches (45 degrees)
  • 12 tricep dips
  • 30 seconds of triple jabs (15 seconds each arm)
  • 12 renegade row with light dumbbells

Circuit 2

To complete this circuit you will need a resistance band.

  • 12 chest fly with resistance band
  • 12 horizontal woodchop with resistance band (each side)
  • 12 commandos
  • 12 bent over row with resistance band (or light weights)
  • Plank – hold for 30 to 60 seconds
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RECOMMENDED MACRONUTRIENTS FOR EACH BODY TYPE

How-to-Calculate-Macronutrients

There are 3 main body types. While anyone can get good results with any workout and healthy eating plan, following a plan specific to your body type will get you better results and quicker.

Nutrition really is key when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off.

These are the recommended macronutrients for each body type. You don’t necessarily need to stick to these exactly as sometimes it is hard to hit macros; 5% above or below is also fine.

Endomorph

Endomorphs have a larger, solid frame and are generally curvy with a high level of body fat. These body types gain muscle and fat very easily and find it difficult to lose weight, especially through diet alone. They have strong muscles (especially their legs). Losing body fat for the endomorph will take longer compared to the other body types.

Because the endomorph body type cannot tolerate high carbs very well, a lower carbohydrate and higher fat and protein diet is recommended. Recommended macronutrients for this body type would be:

  • 25% carbs
  • 45% fat
  • 30% protein

Mesomorph

Mesomorphs are somewhat in the middle. They can have an athletic body, respond quickly to exercise and can have great muscle definition. They find it easy to lose and gain weight and their weight can fluctuate. If you’re a mesomorph and have ever dreamed of being a fitness model, then lucky you, you’ve got the genetics!

Mesomorphs suit a balanced diet best, with a moderate amount of carbs. Recommended macronutrients for this body type would be:

  • 40% carbs
  • 30% fat
  • 30% protein

Ectomorph

Ectomorphs are those lucky people who are naturally thin, have a low body fat without needing to exercise or diet and find it difficult to gain weight and muscle. Think of those people who have natural “model type” bodies. Typically they have fast metabolisms, but they lack shape and can sometimes be skinny fat. Skinny fat is a term used to describe people who appear skinny when wearing clothes, but actually have a higher body fat percentage for their bodies.

Ectomorphs are naturally thin and can usually eat higher amounts of carbs without any effect on the body (lucky them!). Recommended macronutrients for this body type would be:

  • 50% carbs
  • 25% fat
  • 25% protein

Fiber

Fiber is extremely important, especially for those who require a low carb diet, as carbs are the main foods that contain fiber.

Once I followed a low carb diet and didn’t bother about fiber. I was only eating around 11g of fiber per day and I was always hungry. I thought that was normal because I was “on a diet.” However, when I increased my fiber intake just by changing my foods (still eating the same amount of calories and carbs), I was much less hungry!

You need to make sure your carbohydrates are coming from healthy sources such as fruit, vegetables, lentils, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Foods such as crackers / cruskits, cereals, sweets, white bread, etc do not contain much fiber, so I would avoid these.

The recommended fiber intake is 15g of fiber per 1000 calories, with the absolute minimum fiber intake being 22g per day (for a female). So if someone is eating 1800 calories per day, their recommended fiber intake is 27g.

How To Calculate Your Macros In Grams

This can get a little bit tricky and requires some maths. I will give you an example on how to calculate 25% carbs for the endomorph body type.

The calculations also depend on your calorie intake.

Let’s just say that for this example, the person is eating 1800 calories per day.

Step 1:

1800 calories x 0.25 (25%) = 450 calories

Therefore, you need 450 calories of carbohydrates per day.

Step 2:

To calculate how many grams you will need of each macronutrient, you will need to know the following information:

  • 1 gram of carbohydrate is 4 calories
  • 1 gram of protein is 4 calories
  • 1 gram of fat is 9 calories
  • Just for your interest, alcohol is 7 calories for each gram

If there are 4 calories in 1 gram of carbohydrate and you need to consume 459 calories of carbohydrate:

450 calories / 4 calories = 112.5 grams

 

You can in fact be a combination of two body types. If you are an ectomorph / mesomorph, it is best for you to follow the mesomorph guidelines. If you are a mesomorph / endomorph, it is best for you to follow the endomorph guidelines.

No matter what your body type, you CAN lose body fat, gain muscle and make improvement to your legs. But you CAN’T change your body type. If for example you are an endomorph, you will never have the same thin body of an ectomorph and this should not be your goal. Your goal should be something that is attainable for your body type and that will make you look and feel your absolute best!

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RAW CHOC FUDGE PROTEIN BROWNIES

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INGREDIENTS (BASE)

  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup chocolate protein
  • 4 tbsp cacao powder
  • 14 fresh medjool dates
  • 5 tbsp water
  • Pinch of salt

INGREDIENTS (ICING)

  • 3 tbsp cacao powder
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp rice malt syrup
  • Sprinkles (optional)

METHOD

  1. Blend all base ingredients in a food processor until it sticks together.
  2. Press into base of a lined pan.
  3. Stir together icing ingredients and pour over base.
  4. Refrigerate for 6 hours
Makes 6 large (pictured) or 12 small bars.

Macronutrients for 1 small bar

  • Calories 118
  • Carbs 18.8g
  • Protein 4.8g
  • Fat 4.3g
Fat Loss Q&A’s

Fat Loss Q&A’s

I get asked a lot of questions and my most common ones are always about fat loss and nutrition. Here are some of my more popular questions.

  1. HOW MUCH CARDIO SHOULD I DO?

There’s no set rule as to how much cardio should do when you are trying to lose weight. But generally I would recommend 3 cardio sessions per week. Running and walking are my favourite types of cardio because they are so great for leaning out your legs. I would also combine cardio with light resistance and / or HIIT training for best results.

  1. HOW CAN I GET ABS?

The best type of workout for getting abs really is HIIT training. But remember, the key to getting abs is actually your diet! When you have a lower body fat, your abs will be more visible. Getting a lower body fat will mostly be due to your diet, and then HIIT, cardio and resistance training. All of these things are important.

  1. WILL FAT BURNERS HELP?

I personally haven’t used them, so I can’t talk from experience. But most fat burners include caffeine, which is actually known to help increase your metabolic rate and burn fat. So fat burners could possibly help. The problem with taking them is thinking that they are a quick fix or a substitute for healthy eating. They would only help if you were already sticking to a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

  1. HOW CAN I SLIM MY THIGHS?

Power walking and cardio are the best exercises for slimming your thighs. Lighter resistance circuits are also great and will help you build muscle (which will help you burn more calories!) without adding too much bulk.

  1. SHOULD I EAT LOW CARB / HIGH FAT?

Eating lower carb will definitely help you lean out and lose weight, but eating super low carb is not sustainable for the long term. If you are starting your weight loss journey, then yes I would try to focus on low carb and higher fat and protein. Just make sure the carbs that you do eat are mostly fruit, vegetables and other foods that are high in fiber!

Favourite 15 Minute Workouts (#7)

Favourite 15 Minute Workouts (#7)

I know sometimes that you can be so busy that you find it difficult to exercise! Or other times you’re just lazy and don’t feel like slogging it out for an hour. So here are my favourite 15 minute workouts that don’t require any equipment or a gym! Perfect for when you’re short on time and can’t make it to the gym, or you just don’t feel like going too hard.

15 minute circuit

Set a timer and repeat this circuit as many times as you can in 15 minutes (without stopping!). GO!

  • 10 burpees
  • 10 mountain climbers (each leg)
  • 10 plank star jumps
  • 10 jump lunges (each leg)
  • 10 push ups
  • 10 metre bear crawl (handstand walk if possible)

 

15 minute cardio workout

  1. Spend the first 4 minutes warming up with a power walk or slow jog
  2. Spend the next 7 minutes alternating between 30 second fast running and 30 seconds jogging
  3. Finish with a 4 minute cool down jog or power walk
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Why You Can’t Out Train A Bad Diet

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No amount of exercise can change your figure or help you maintain a lean body if you eat a consistently unhealthy diet. Trust me, I’ve tried. You can train super hard and get really fit, but if you don’t change your nutrition, your body won’t change. Over the year, lots of people have asked me questions about why you can’t out train a bad diet so I thought I would explain why this is so.

  1. Your Metabolism Slows Down As You Age

When you were in your teens and even early 20’s, you may have been able to get away with eating poorly and doing little exercise and still remaining slim. Unfortunately this doesn’t last for most people. As you age, your metabolism slows down meaning you’ll burn less and less calories each day. Strength training becomes more important as you get older because it will help increase your metabolism, as well as help with many other factors associated with aging!

  1. You’re Not A Professional Athlete

Athletes are about the only type of people who can eat large quantities of high calorie foods and get away with it. This is because they exercise at high intensities for several hours per day. Your HIIT workout, crossfit session or run doesn’t even compare, and you don’t need the same amount of food as they do. For example, a cyclist doing a 100km ride might burn 2,000-3,000 calories. A crossfit session might burn around 500 calories. Exercising a lot does not give you a free pass to eat whatever you want.

  1. You Can’t Train As Hard

If you’re eating the wrong type of foods, it will be harder for you to train at your best. You need to the right amount and right type of foods to be able to exercise at high intensities, and also to change your body.

  1. You Won’t Want To Exercise

I know that when I’m eating poorly, I feel MUCH less motivated to exercise and it kind of spirals from there. When you eat bad, you don’t want to exercise, and when you don’t exercise, you make worse food choices. But when you eat well, you feel good, full of energy and actually want to do your workouts. They go hand in hand.