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Lower your body fat

Here’s some quick tips to keep fat loss coming:

  • Keep a food journal-yes again!  Be honest when recording every single thing you eat or drink.  Record it all and hand it in to me for checking.  If i’m not your coach, email it to me and i’ll  take a look and give you some feedback
  • Cut out all milk including non-dairy milks
  • Cut out grain foods-yes, bread, pasta, wraps, most baked goods, bars, crackers, biscuits etc
  • Eliminate artificial sweeteners.  They slow down fat loss and mess with your hormones.
  • Eliminate alcohol and other drinks that contain calories.
  • Get organised. Go to the supermarket and make sure you have the foods you need at all times.
  • Be prepared.  If you’re going out or are at work, pack your meals and snacks.  NEVER rely on what you’ll be able to ‘get while your’e there’
  • Look after your recovery.  Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Don’t neglect this.  Even mild lack of sleep contributes to fat gain.
  • Get support.  From a  coach (me??) from friend, family etc.  Surround yourself by people who support you, not sabotage you.
  • STOP MAKING EXCUSES.  Start changing your habits today.  Anyone can think of a million reasons why they are overweight and/or unhealthy.  Get rid of excuses and do something about it.

DONT FORGET THAT FITTERFASTER WILL NOT BE TAKING NEW CLIENTS FOR THE FIRST 2 WEEKS OF JANUARY 2014.  If you really want to change, start TODAY by contacting me now.Image

It’s in the details

With so much going on at FitterFaster at the moment, I’m snowed under with bookwork, writing up programs, following up assessments and keeping on top of everyones’ attendances and performance.  We have lots and lots of new Rookies as well as some who are still officially classed as Rookies, but have been with us for a month or so and are really progressing along nicely.

The particiapants of the Transformation Project are looking fantastic with obvious changes very noticeable in their physiques.

B & A Donna Kempster

I thought I’d recap a few ideas that will boost your fitness and fatloss whether you’ve been part of one of these intense programs recently or not.  Doing just a bit of this and a bit of that won’t work.  You need to stay committed to your goals and follow through with your plan. Especially at this time of the year, it can be very easy to put your health and fitness on the back burner simply because your think you’re too busy.  The details make the difference though so focus on what you want to achieve despite this being the ‘silly season’.

  • Don’t do the same thing all the time You must vary your training from session to session and week to week.  At FitterFaster we use multiple variations of a large number of different drills.  We also vary times of intervals, intensities, groupings of exercises and the order in which we do everything.  We also vary our main focus from week to week which has really improved everyone’s recovery and performance in the past 6 months or so.  Doing the same routine day in , day out, week in, week out will result in plateaus and slower if any results.  Even if you’re increasing your weight, if you’re doing the same thing all the time, you won’t be getting the best results. You can’t just simply swap things around every workout without a clear path of progression and a plan.
  • Watch what you eat and when you eat it With what you eat, it really is in the details.  Serving sizes that are just a tiny bit too big make a huge difference over just a few weeks.  Go back to measuring your food for a week and see how much you’ve crept those servings upwards.  Also make sure you’re eating often enough.  You should be feeding yourself every 2-3 hours during waking hours.  Yes that often.  Skipping meals will result in bingeing and making bad food choices.  As I mentioned in a recent email to my clients, just an extra 100 calories a day can lead to huge weight gains over a year.  100 calories is easy to get in a biscuit, a low fat latte or a serving of meat that’s just a little too big.  Now how often do you have these things or other things like them and say to yourself “it’s only a tiny bit, I’ll burn it off in my workout”  Well it just won’t happen.  All those extras will pile weight on before you know what happened, and if you’re trying to lose fat-well that just isn’t going to happen unless you get back to basics and look at the details.
  • Cut out alcohol. This may seem impossible, especially at this time of the year.  But if you’re trying to improve your physique, alcohol could well be the absolute worse thing you can put into your body.  Even just a beer/wine or two can make all the difference.  So limit your alcohol intake to 2 special occasions over the Christmas/New Year period and see the difference this one change will make.
  • Don’t be scared of over training. I don’t think anyone I know could be accused of over training.  Your body can handle a large amount of quality training and indeed will thrive on it.  What may seem like over training is probably, in actual fact under recovery.  Make sure you get enough good, healthy, real food and enough sleep and you can practically train as much and as hard as you like.  Other ways to improve recovery are: eating enough (without overeating of course), epsom salt baths (great for magnesium uptake in your muscles), more sleep, manipulation of your training program-focus on different areas of fitness each week, regular hands on treatments like massage, chiropractic etc and taking omega 3 supplements.
  • Have goals You can have the body you want.  We are all the same human beings.  Everyone has the ability to get to a low or lower body fat level.  ‘Big bones’ are a myth-something our mums told us so we’d feel better.  YOU CAN HAVE THE BODY OF YOUR DREAMS.  Believe that and it’s possible.  It will take hard work and it will take commitment, especially if you’ve let yourself go over a longer period of time.  But you can do it.
  • Get a coach who knows what to do to produce the results YOU want to achieve Of course I can recommend FitterFaster to get results with fat loss, performance improvement, mobility improvement and overall fitness enhancement.  But if you know of another trainer/coach that also is producing the results you want to aim for, book yourself an appointment and go see them.  A good coach will show you how to get there.  They’ll provide effective training sessions, teach you what to eat and how to fit it into your lifestyle.  They’ll be able to encourage you to try harder and to reach for the sky.    They’ll make sure you’re doing the right thing for the other 23 hours of the day and provide information that makes it easier to fit it all into your life.

So set some goals today.  Don’t be scared to think big.  If you want a 6-pack, write it down.  If you want to be able to see muscles in your arms or legs, start working towards it now.  If you’ve always thought it would be great to do a triathlon, or finish a running race, don’t think that you can’t do it just because you’ve never done it before. If you want to fit into a special piece of clothing that you used to wear, get it out and set out to do so.

imagesI came from a totally sedentary lifestyle.  I’d never played any sports-not even as a kid.  After having 4 children and being in my mid 30’s I decided one day that I’d like to try a triathlon.  My husband (to be at the time) had done them once years prior and I’d often watched and thought ‘one day.’  So I set myself on the track to eventually completing 6 half ironmans, loads of half marathons, a marathon and countless shorter runs and triathlon events.  I trained hard and found time to devote towards something I wanted to do.  I was as fit as fit comes and had heaps of energy and loved it.  Coming from a totally non-sporty, sedentary background, I really appreciated and loved the way that being fit felt.

Another child later (that makes 5) and I decided to change my focus towards improving my body composition and the way I looked.   Sure, I wasn’t terribly overweight or anything as I’d lost quite a few kilos with all that training, but I wasn’t really happy with how I looked either.  With years of research under my belt and bits and pieces of trial and error, I found the perfect way to improve how I looked-and it wasn’t by running.

At 40 something years old, I trialled different ways of getting my bodyfat down as low as I could, experimented with ways of getting stronger without getting bigger, ways of reducing the risks of injury and founded what we today refer to as ‘FitForce’ or ‘PeakFit’ training here at FitterFaster.  I actually gained about 4kg but lost many, many cm’s and dropped a couple of clothing sizes.  I’m now toned, strong, fit and athletic and for the first time in my life, I wear a bikini-in my 40’s!!!!!!

If you want something, go for it.  I’m fitter and look better than I did in my 20’s (or so Greg says)  I’m strong and healthy and have more than enough energy to power through not just my training, but through my busy life with 5 kids.

So go for it and don’t forget, it’s in the details.  For once the little things really do count.

Jo

Which Oils?

There are many oils to choose from when it comes to both cooking and supplementation. Do we choose Olive Oil?  Cold pressed, extra virgin, pure??  What about fish oil, flaxseed oil, canola oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, avocado oil, peanut oil and on and on the list goes.

Let’s do a brief rundown of some common oils.

Firstly, what does cold pressed, extra virgin etc mean?

Extra virgin oils have gone through less processing than other oils so they are generally a better option.  Less processing is almost always better.  You also need to read the labels carefully to ensure that you’re actually getting what you think you’re getting.  A lot of oils, even those labelled as ‘pure’ are not 100% the oil you think you’re getting.  Cheaper vegetable oils are often mixed in to, well make it cheaper to produce.  So start reading the labels everyone.

Cold pressed oils are almost always better than heat processed.  Read the labels and look for the specific words ‘cold pressed’ because the manufacturers are most likely not going to mention heat processes because of the bad rap they have gotten recently.

Applying heat to most oils changes the chemical structure of the oils.  Repeated heating can cause hydrogenation and turn the oil partially or fully into a transfat.  And unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that trans fats are exceptionally bad for you and should be avoided at all costs.  Heating the oils also  includes when you heat the oil to use it for cooking which is one of the reasons you should keep reading.  Some oils should not be heated if you’re going to consume them!!

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – I used to cook with this all the time, but since I’ve started using my newest favourite oil (and found out why I shouldn’t) I’ve stopped.  Simply, olive oil has a fairly low smoking point meaning that you shouldn’t really heat it!  Go figure.  Its awesome though, used to make dressings or to drizzle over foods already cooked.  As with all oils, be aware of the calorie content.  Just because its good for you, doesn’t mean you can eat as much as you want.

olive oil

Macadamia Oil – This has a pretty high smoking point meaning you can safely cook with it.  It has a mild flavour which shouldn’t compete with whatever you’re cooking with it.  Its not cheap though, and again, use sparingly.

Flaxseed Oil – Often used because of the higher Omega 3 content, you have to realise that it only contains 1 basic member of the Omega 3 fat family.  It contains the form ALA.

What does this mean?  Basically, fats are measured in length according to how many carbon atoms they contain.  ALA is the shortest of the Omega 3 fats and therefore the simplest.  If another pair of carbons gets added on to the ALA., it gets ready to become EPA which is another Omega 3 fat.  If yet another pair get added, it gets ready to become DHA, another important Omega 3 family member.

Adding these carbons is not the only requirement to convert to other forms of Omega 3.  During the process the Omega 3 fats get chemically altered and are connected together in a new way.  This is called double bonding and in order for the ALA to become EPA, 2 new double bonds must be added in addition to the 2 carbon atom length increases.

This process requires many nutrients such as Vitamins B3, B6, C, zinc and magnesium.  If your body is short on any of these, the conversion will not happen. So you won’t get maximum benefit from the flaxseed oil because your body will not be able to convert the ALA to EPA or DHA.

While I do recommend the use of Flaxseed oil and meal, you should also get Omega 3 oils from other more complete sources such as fish oil.

Another thing to remember about flaxseed oil is that you should never heat or cook with it.  Use it in dressings, drizzle over food, add to shakes etc, but don’t heat it.

flaxseed oils

If using flaxseed meal as your source of ALA, make sure your grind your own seeds, store them in the fridge and consume them within a couple of days.  While reground flaxseed meals is a fantastic fibre source, most of the oils are removed during the manufacturing process because the oil, once exposed to the air, goes rancid very, very quickly.

Fish Oils – I’ve written many times about the benefits of supplementing with Omega 3 products.  Fish oils are the cheapest way to do this.  While the jar or bottle will recommend 3-6 x 1000mg tablets per day, the tested safe limit is 3000mg of the active ingredients (EPA and DHA) per day.

Almost all studies that show health benefits have used this dosage.  So you’ll need 10 x 1000mg tablets per day being that most brands contain just 300mg of EPA and DHA per 1000mg tablet. I split mine up to 3 tablets 3 times per day.  Most brands these days are tested for mercury levels, but if you’re worried, just make sure you choose a brand that states that it has.

Pregnant and breast feeding mums should definitely make sure they get enough Omega 3 in their diet.  Its so, so important for brain development.  Talk to your doctor about it if you have questions.

fish oils

Coconut Oil – this is my new favourite oil to cook with.  Its has a higher smoking point than olive oil, so therefore can be heated more safely.  The Saturated fat in coconut oil is mostly the short and medium chain fatty acids which are less easily stored as fat and more readily burned as fuel.  They are also composed mostly of lauric acid which is antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti fungal.  Coconut oil can help boost the immune system as well.

At cooler temps, coconut oil is a solid and should be stored in the fridge once opened.  You;ll find it in all the local supermarkets and I’d advise to go with an organic brand if possible. And choose cold pressed and unrefined.   Some brands have a stronger flavour which some love and others not so much.  Experiment if its an issue for you, or you may prefer a more coconutty flavour for some recipes but not others.

And always, still allow for calorie content.  As I said above, several times, just because its healthy, doesn’t mean you can consume unlimited quantities.

Butter, Ghee and Lard – these are excellent for cooking because of their very high smoking points.

Look for good quality always-organic if possible.  Remember that just like us, grain fed animals have poorer fat profiles. Grass or pasture fed animals will have better quality fats.  So search for brands that state; pastured, or grass fed on the packaging.  Don’t buy it if any type of vegetable oil is listed on the ingredients.

Butter and Ghee are good sources of Vitamins A, E, D and K.  Again, watch quantity consumed.

This has been a rather brief summary of some of the different oils used as supplements and for cooking.  If you have any questions about this, please comment.  Feel free to share this on your Facebook page too for anyone else who may be interested.

For further reading (if you’re interested) here are a couple of links;

http://www.mercola.com/nutritionplan/beginner_fats.htm

http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/skinny-on-fats

http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.co.il/2010/06/vegetable-oils-and-our-brave-new-world.html

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/fats/#axzz2kxd4glMg

 

 

PreSeason for Football and Netball teams

So, you’ve been appointed coach, assistant coach, fitness advisor or another position in your local team that involves making sure that YOUR TEAM is fully prepared come game season.  What have you got in mind to make sure that your team is at their fittest for the coming season?

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Traditionally, preseason training starts with a 3-5km time trial where great fun is made of those that vomit towards the end.  A few of the younger members will race ahead and then watch as everyone else crosses the line in various stages of exhaustion.  Throughout the preseason, the TT will perhaps be run again, hopefully with improvements in times. This is  a great way to test improvements in aerobic fitness and to some extent ‘toughness’ too.

But how relevant is this fitness test to the game of AFL football and to netball??

Your body has three main energy systems – an aerobic system, an anaerobic system and a lactate system.

To keep it simple, your anaerobic system produces the most power but only lasts around 5-10 seconds before depleting,  your lactate system produces less power but lasts for around 50-90 seconds and your aerobic system produces the least power but can last over a prolonged period of time.

The first 10 seconds or less of running in football and netball are typically fuelled by your anaerobic system, but switches to lactate immediately after it is depleted, so your body relies heavily on the lactate system during a game.  These shorter bursts of running are more likely to occur in a football game and most definitely in a game of netball, than any long continuous efforts.  You’ll then usually have a short period of recovery followed by another burst of effort.

Repeat effort running (rather than long efforts) not only trains your lactate system, it also trains your body to recover more quickly between bouts of running or sprinting.  This type of run training is more in line with the requirements of either game and therefore should form the bulk of your ‘running’ program rather than longer distance efforts.

Another aspect of preseason fitness training is ‘work off the ground’.  This is more relevant to football than netball, but for either game, being more mobile and agile is always going to help in a game situation. Drills combining getting up and down from the ground, whether that be sprinting, core work or a combination will develop mobility and agility in all players.

Core strength is often neglected by amateur coaches, yet it is an area that can really help your players become stronger in all areas; running, tackling, marking, contesting and for balance on the court or field.  Direct and indirect core training will benefit players in any sport and combined with resistance training, will round out the general fitness abilities of your team.

Preseason is also a great time to develop team camaraderie and get everyone working together as a team.  A fitness program can include challenges that bring a group of players together as they tackle the task as a unit.  Challenging each other to work harder not only brings them together, but also improves general fitness quickly.

PreSeason coaching starts soon. To find out more about how training at FitterFaster FitForce can benefit your team, contact me today.  From the juniors to the seniors and everyone in between, when it comes to making fitness a priority, we have you covered.

Your team can join our FitForce training sessions even before they start more formal skills and ball work training or they can be in addition to the training sessions you run yourself.  Very affordable packages available for team members

Netball-Training

 

Maintaining Results-practical steps

So you’ve just completed an intense program and lost lots of body fat, reduced your measurements, reached new levels of fitness and finally dropped your body fat percentage.  What now??

Many, many people simply go back to doing what they were doing before, and bammo, on goes that weight again, simply because that’s exactly how you put it on in the first place.

Others try to ‘be good.’  They pretty much keep on doing the right thing.  They eat a good breakfast, take lunch and snacks to work and plan their evening meals ahead.

But then life starts to get in the way.  They buy the odd take away lunch (its all take away guys if you didn’t make it yourself), its someone’s birthday, so they eat a slice of cake (or two) at morning tea. “I deserve it, I’ve been training hard.  Its a special occasion”  And on it goes…….

A latte here, a biscuit there, take away on the weekends, a late night and the skipping of a training session.  Pretty soon, you’ve slipped back into bad habits, maybe not all the time, but often enough to start putting that weight back on and your hard earned results start to fade away.

You tell yourself you’ll start training at home, or that you’ll get back on track Monday.  We all know where this leads-right back to Fat-Gain City.

So what can you do about it?

  • Keep training.  Study after study shows that people who successfully maintain weight loss, keep up their training schedule. You’ll need to schedule your training sessions in and keep the appointment you’ve made with yourself.  Don’t let things keep you from this important part of your week.   Studies also show that 45-60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity is required on most days to prevent weight regain!!  Teach your family that its important for your own health that you take some time just for you.  Or, get them involved with you if possible.  All kids aged 10 and over can participate in FitForce training at FitterFaster at no cost.  We have quite a few teenagers on the ‘books’ now and they really enjoy the training.  For them its also about keeping active, but if they do play sport (any sport) FitForce will set them up for better performances in their chosen activity.  I also have very affordable student packages for those aged 16 and over.   More frequent and intense training seems to be the key and that’s why I only charge for a maximum of 3 trainings sessions per client per week-I want you to  be able to do enough to achieve and maintain your goals.
  • Don’t let the easy stuff creep back in! Things like measuring portions, omitting milk and sugar from tea and coffee and keeping up with your supplements are things that you just shouldn’t stop doing.  They’re easy and every little thing counts.
  • Save alcohol for one day per week maximum.  On days you plan to indulge, make sure your nutrition is perfect!  Lots and lots of water, vegetables and your protein portions should make up your meals and snacks for the day.  When you consume alcohol, your body pretty much switches off all other macronutrient digestion as it ‘deals with’ the alcohol that is poisoning your body.  Letting alcohol creep back into your routine is a sure fire way to instant weight regain.
  • Keep up with your food journal.  If you have to write it down, you will at least rethink what you’re about consume.  Looking back over a food journal each day or each week will point out just how many times you are going off track.   Quite simply, we often have a bit of this and that and totally forget about it next time we decide to have something off track.  Looking back over your journal is a real eye opener and can really help you to stay on track.  Its vital that you have your notebook or paper with you at all times and record as you consume.  Don’t try to fill it in later as the journal will lose most of its effectiveness this way.  As a client of FitterFaster, submit your food journal to me as often as you like for checking and to hold yourself accountable.  ALL CLIENTS SHOULD SUBMIT A FOOD JOURNAL REGULARLY
  • Give yourself one treat meal per week-if you have been eating properly throughout the week only.  If you’re having treats during the week, you’ll have to skip your treat meal.  Remember, every single thing you put into your body is more than just calories.  Your hormones are affected with even just a sip of water, so stop justifying your food choices with the number of calories you burnt at your workout today. If it was that simple, losing excess body fat would be easy.
  • Keep drinking 2 plus litres of water per day.  Health benefits are numerous, but drinking enough water will also reduce cravings, keep you fuller and enable your body to process everything you eat properly, as well as burn off excess fat.
  • Do a weekly weigh in and keep on top of changes.  There’s no reason why you cannot continue to lose more body fat once an intense program is over.  With an ongoing plan, organisation and dedication, you can get to your ideal weight.  I can help you with an ongoing nutrition and training program to prevent weight regain and/or continue fat loss.
  • Reassess your nutrition and training program regularly.  My job as your coach is to help you work out a plan you can stick with that will produce results.  It may take a compromise from you, if you want to achieve certain outcomes more quickly and it may also take a compromise from me if you’re happy to achieve a slower result. Any plan needs to work for you, in your situation, in your life and for you!

Have you lost body fat and want to keep it off?

Have you already regained some and want to halt the backward slide?

Are you ready to just lose the excess body fat in the first place and keep it off?

YOU CAN DO THIS!! THERE IS NO SECRET PLAN OR RECIPE.  NO MAGICAL PRODUCT AND NO WONDER TREATMENT.

IT SIMPLY TAKES A GOOD PLAN EXECUTED WITH DEDICATION AND CONSISTENCY.

Did you know its less than 79 days till the end of the year?  Don’t get to January 1st and decide the time is right.  Do it now and you can be 79 days ahead of those New Years Resolutions

Any questions, contact me at joanne@fitterfasteronline.com  I’m only too happy to answer your questions, client or not.  Email me today or contact me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/FitterFaster/30752536459

DSCF1297

You won’t lose weight with all those healthy foods

Wow!  A plethora of new ‘healthy’ foods are upon us.  Chia seeds, hemp seeds flaxseed, almond and other nut butters, seed mixes and more.

Really?? Do you think these are going to promote fat loss??????

Really?? Do you think these are going to promote fat loss??????

Many of my clients add these to their meal plans because they’re ‘healthy’ and ‘they’re better than a chocolate bar’.

True, they do have health benefits, but guys, they will still make you fat or stop you from losing body fat!!!!

It’s like there has been a huge backflip on the low-fat, no-fat mantra.  And now everyone thinks they can eat ‘healthy’ fats willy nilly till the cows come home.  Well people, doing that WILL ADD FAT TO YOUR BODY if its not carefully measured and factored in to your overall nutrition plan.

If I”ve written you up a meal plan, its carefully calculated to provide the right amount of energy (calories) throughout the week to enable you to reach your goals.  Whether you’re trying to lose bodyfat, gain lean weight or maintain.  If you go around adding ‘a tsp or 4’ of this and that ‘because you were hungry’ you’ll muck up the balance and effect your results.

Healthy, but still need strict control of portion sizing.  These have enormous amounts of energy

Healthy, but still need strict control of portion sizing. These have enormous amounts of energy

 

If you’re trying to lose bodyfat, there are a few ways to do it.

One is to be moderate in your approach.  Eat healthy foods with not too much of a gap between maintenance and fat loss.  You’ll slowly but steadily lose body fat if you stick with it and train properly.

Another approach is to get more aggressive.  Limit certain foods, cut back a bit more and add more training (this all must be carefully controlled and cycled for long term results).  You may even add some fasting and cycle your calories, protein, carbs and fats a bit more.  This is the route to take if you’re almost at your goal, to get off a plateau or just to get to your goals faster.

There is no right or wrong way.  Its up to you-how much effort do you want to put in?  How committed are you going to be? How quickly do you want to see results?  What stage of your fitness/fatloss journey are you at?

Either way, if you mess with the plan, even with those ‘healthy’ foods, you will not see the results you’re after.  At best, ongoing results will stop, at worse, you’ll go backwards and gain weight again.

Sometimes in order to reach your goals, you just have to suck it up and be a little hungry-IT WON’T KILL YOU!!  You may just have to go to bed ‘feeling like a little bit of something’.  You may just have to eat a little less-duh!! You most likely cannot substitute this for that (although sometimes you can).  You just may have to get over yourself and make the right choices.  Dedication is when you do what it takes even when you don’t feel like it.

When you don’t like what you’re doing or supposed to do, its your choice to add or take things away.  Just remember, that the results will not be the same.  Add things and it just won’t work, take things away and even though you may feel better tomorrow about how ‘good’ you were, long term, you wont get good results either.

healthy fudge

You can’t seriously think this is good for fat loss??

So make a choice.  If you want a certain outcome, you’re going to have to do what it takes to get it.  Just because so and so down the road did X and it worked for him/her, doesn’t mean its the best choice for you.

My nutrition plans get results.  I’m living testimony to this.  I test everything myself first before making recommendations.  I also ‘test’ on clients, with their permission of course to see how different theories and ideas work for different people.  Every single plan is tweaked and changed if needed as we go along.

Every client has access to a personalised nutrition plan.  Some choose not to take up the option and are happy with the results they achieve by following basic, healthy nutrition guidelines and training hard.

Others are ready to take on the full challenge of a complete nutrition plan and see better results for it.  I write up new programs every week which take into account individual goals, individual levels of fitness and commitment, individual likes and dislikes, allergies, sensitivities and how quickly they want it all to come together.

Contact me today to get your individual nutrition plan. ALL PLANS can fit in with cooking for a family.  Afterall, kids and partners are human too and need the same healthy foods to be healthy and maintain or gain lean, fit bodies too.

New online fitness and nutrition coaching coming soon too.

 

There’s no need to get complicated

Often when a new client approaches me with questions, they have the idea that getting fit and healthy and achieving a lower body fat level is complicated.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.  Most of us know what has to be done, but it seems way to easy and if it was really that easy, everyone would be doing it-wouldn’t they?  Yes and no.  The actual methods are not that hard to learn, its the getting it done that’s the hard bit.

I like to start with these simple questions:

  • Where Am I Now?
  • Where Do I Want to Go?
  • How Do I Get there?

It’s really that simple.  Then it’s a matter of following through-which is the hard bit.

Where Am I Now?

You first need to work out where you are in relation to where you want to be.  It might be as simple as  jumping on the scales and taking some measurements.  It could be do conduct some fitness testing if improved performance is one of your goals.

Where Do I Want To Go?

You need to work out what it is you want to achieve.  For some, that’s really easy-I want to be able to wear my size 10 jeans again, or I want to get back to my prepregnancy weight.  For others, it might be more complicated.  They may want to drop a certain amount of time from their best performance or have more energy or improve their immune system function so that they don’t get sick so often.  Or you could have  a stack of health/fitness goals that you want to achieve at the same time.

Whatever it is that you want, it really must be measurable in some way.  Otherwise, how will you know when you get there.  A goal weight, waist measurement or body fat percentage is something you can aim for and know when you’ve achieved it.  Something airy fairy like, I just want to lose some weight, will leave you feeling like you’ve never completed your journey, even if you do indeed lose some weight.

So work out where you want to be and how you’ll know you’ve arrived.

How Do I Get There?

This is really the easy bit.  I doubt anyone reading this doesn’t know the basics of a good training program and healthy nutrition.

So why aren’t we all achieving our goals?  It’s not because you don’t know what to do.  It’s not because you lack the knowledge.   It’s because you look for something more complicated.  A magic powder or gadget.  Another rule to follow that is the latest best kept secret.  A new breakthrough that’s just been discovered, a magical herb or extract……….The list goes on.  But none of these things will help you at all unless you follow the basic steps to health and fitness.

  1. Eat healthy, non-processed foods at least 95% of the time.  (100% compliance really does work best till you’ve reached or almost reached your goals.)
  2. Train with intensity.  Train frequently and train hard.  You don’t need marathon 2 hour sessions.  In fact, every session need not even last an hour.  Short 20 minute sessions in between your core longer workouts are a very effective way of maintaining a fired up metabolism and everyone can fit in 20 minutes here and there.
  3. Get plenty of sleep and drink plenty of water.  Heck, if you don’t do either of these now, just doing this will get you some results for a start.  A dehydrated and/or tired body will not burn fat effectively.

So there you go.  Work out where you’re starting from, where you want to go and head out and get there.

Jo

Food Labels- What are they really saying?

All of the labels listed below somehow translate to ‘healthy’ in the minds of the shopper.  None of these labels mean that the food is healthy.  Please remember that.  Truly healthy foods do not even have labels usually.  Think fruits, vegetables and meats.  Eggs of course have labels, but they are usually refering to the health of the chickens, not the eggs!  There are exceptions I know, like yoghurt, cottage cheese, tinned fruits etc, but remember that the claims below DO NOT MEAN THE FOOD IS HEALTHY  How many of these have you or do you fall for?
Cholesterol Free – Foods with this label can still be high in saturated fats, and it is saturated fats that increase the cholesterol levels in your blood rather than the cholesterol in foods.  Also this label is used a lot to trick you into thinking that a particular food or brand is healthy when often the food itself, no matter what the brand, wouldn’t contain it anyway.  Cholesterol is only found in animal products.
Lite or Light – this is very misleading and doesn’t really mean anything at all to do with your health.  It could simply refer (and usually does) to the colour of the food, the texture or the flavour.
Reduced Fat – just means it has less fat than the regular, does not mean it is healthy or even low in fat
Reduced Salt – as above, just means it has less than the regular.  This does not mean it is healthy.  Natural foods are low in salt all by themselves and do not need to make this claim.
94% Fat Free – this just means that the food is 6% fat.  This claim is commonly used on foods that do not fit into the ‘low fat’ category.  To be labelled as low fat, the food needs to less than 3% fat.  94% fat free is just trying to make the food sound healthy, but it doesn’t mean anything of the sort
Gluten Free – this is one of the most misleading labels of late.  Everyone automatically assumes that if something is gluten free it is good for you???  The only people that should be checking this label are celiacs, or people who are actually allergic to gluten.  If you follow the FitterFaster nutrition plan, this is not an issue- most of the recommended foods are naturally gluten free anyway.
Fat free – a lot of foods that make this claim are naturally fat free anyway-think tomato sauce.  Some brands label their foods to give them an edge over other brands, when really, they didn’t do anything different to the product.  And besides all that, we know that fat free doesn’t mean better-DONT WE!!
Wholemeal, wholegrain,multigrain etc – I hate this one.  These labels are used to make products like bread, pasta, wraps, biscuits, breakfast cereals, crispbreads etc seem healthy.  Now admittedly, if you are going to have these products anyway, they are better than the ‘white’ varieties, but whole grain does not equal healthy!!  I repeat whole meal,whole grain etc does not equal healthy.  Keep these foods to a minimum
Fortified with _________ – usually goes hand in hand with the above point, but is also used on foods like breakfast cereals, milks, yoghurts,  juices, etc to make the product seem healthy as well.  Having added vitamins, minerals or anything else does not automatically qualify the food as healthy.
Weight Watchers, Biggest Loser etc – foods labeled like this are often no different to the other brand products.  As a general rule, you probably shouldn’t be eating anything that has these labels anyway.  Foods like fruits and vegies cannot be branded like this and these are the foods we should be eating.  An exception is tinned fruit-but check the other brands, there is only one major difference and THAT IS USUALLY THE PRICE
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All of the labels listed below somehow translate to ‘healthy’ in the minds of the shopper.  None of these labels actually say or mean that the food is healthy.  Please remember that.  Truly healthy foods do not even have labels usually.  Think fruits, vegetables and meats.  Eggs of course have labels, but they are usually refering to the health of the chickens, not the eggs!  There are exceptions I know, like yoghurt, cottage cheese, tinned fruits etc, but remember that the claims below DO NOT MEAN THE FOOD IS HEALTHY  How many of these have you or do you fall for?
Cholesterol Free – Foods with this label can still be high in saturated fats and or carbohydrates, and it is being acknowledged now that it is a high sugar/carbohydrate diet that increases the cholesterol levels in your blood rather than the cholesterol in foods.   Also this label is used a lot to trick you into thinking that a particular food or brand is healthy when often the food itself, no matter what the brand, wouldn’t contain it anyway.  Cholesterol is only found in animal products. (There is lots of new research that shows that a  high intake of grains also increases your risk of heart disease.)
Lite or Light – this is very misleading and doesn’t really mean anything at all to do with your health.  It could simply refer (and usually does) to the colour of the food, the texture or the flavour.
Reduced Fat – just means it has less fat than the regular, does not mean it is healthy or even low in fat
Reduced Salt – as above, just means it has less than the regular.  This does not mean it is healthy.  Natural foods are low in salt all by themselves and do not need to make this claim.
94% Fat Free – this just means that the food is 6% fat.  This claim is commonly used on foods that do not fit into the ‘low fat’ category.  To be labelled as low fat, the food needs to less than a certain amount (varies from country to country) fat.  94% fat free is just trying to make the food sound healthy, but it doesn’t mean anything of the sort
Gluten Free – this is one of the most misleading labels of late.  Everyone automatically assumes that if something is gluten free it is good for you???  The only people that should be checking this label are celiacs, or people who are actually allergic to gluten.  If you follow the FitterFaster nutrition plans, this is not an issue- most of the recommended foods are naturally gluten free anyway.
No Added Sugar – this means that there has been no sugar added, just like it says.  It doesn’t say no sugar and even if it did say and mean that, it still wouldn’t automatically mean ‘this is healthy’  Its just another slogan to make you feel less guilty about buying it, because usually the product that claims this, is high in sugar all on its own.  No wonder they don’t need to add more sugar.
Fat free – a lot of foods that make this claim are naturally fat free anyway-think tomato sauce.  Some brands label their foods to give them an edge over other brands, when really, they didn’t do anything different to the product.  And besides all that, we know that fat free doesn’t mean better-DONT WE!!
Wholemeal, wholegrain,multigrain etc – I hate this one.  These labels are used to make products like bread, pasta, wraps, biscuits, breakfast cereals, crispbreads etc seem healthier.  Now admittedly, if you are going to have these products anyway, they are better than the ‘white’ varieties, but whole grain does not equal healthy!!  I repeat whole meal,whole grain etc does not equal healthy.  Keep these foods to a minimum
Fortified with _________ – usually goes hand in hand with the above point, but is also used on foods like breakfast cereals, milks, yoghurts,  juices, etc to make the product seem healthy as well.  Having added vitamins, minerals or anything else does not automatically qualify the food as healthy.
Weight Watchers, Biggest Loser etc – foods labeled like this are often no different to the other brand products.  As a general rule, you probably shouldn’t be eating anything that has these labels anyway.  Foods like fruits and vegies cannot be branded like this and these are the foods we should be eating.  An exception is tinned fruit-but check the other brands, there is only one major difference and THAT IS USUALLY THE PRICE
Contains real ___________ – I think most of us are onto this one.
So how many of these labels have you fallen for.  Don’t be embarrassed, the marketing gurus are doing their jobs well.  Just remember not to automatically assume that a food is healthy just  because it has any of the above written on the packet.
And always, try to choose foods that don’t even have a packet, box, bag or label anyway.  Choose real foods that have been grown, picked, dug up or killed.  Use processed foods as little as possible.
To find out more , visit my website http://www.fitterfasteronline.com or contact me at any time joanne@fitterfasteronline.com
Jo

Osteoarthritis — More Common As Obesity Rises

I subscribe to many websites, blogs, research reviews and study analysis sites.  I recently came across this article from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com which talks about osteoarthritis and osteoporosis and how once they were mainly seen in older adults, but the increase in obesity is making them common in ALL age groups-even children.

There’s no cure for osteoarthrits.  Once your joints have suffered the damage, they’re damaged for good.  If you’re lucky you won’t suffer the pain every day.  If you’re unlucky, well…..you could be crippled forever.  But fortunately luck only plays a small part.  Improve your health, lose the excess weight that is stressing your joints every single day, eat healthy foods that don’t contribute to excess inflammation in your body and get fit.

If there isn’t enough reasons for you to lose your excess body fat and get fit, here’s another one.  Read and let it sink in:

Osteoarthritis can affect all the joints in your body.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease and the most common cause of disability today. It was once considered a problem of the old but it is now commonly diagnosed in those as young as the mid-twenties and early thirties. According to the Arthritis Foundation, about four million, quality-adjusted life years are lost due to knee osteoarthritis alone. They further conclude that those who are obese are also more likely to develop advanced, end-stage disease than those who maintain a healthy weight. Both the incidence of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis along with obesity have all risen dramatically in the past fifty years.

“There is a direct correlation with osteoarthritis and the low-fat, high-carb craze that has introduced countless refined, processed and packaged foods at about the same time. Compounding the osteoporosis issue is the fact that we move less than ever before,” say Dian Griesel, Ph.D. and Tom Griesel, co-authors of the new book,TurboCharged: Accelerate Your Fat Burning Metabolism, Get Lean Fast and Leave Diet and Exercise Rules in the Dust (BSH, 2011).

Kate Lorig, director of the Patient Education Research Center at Stanford University agrees on the activity front: “The most dangerous exercise you can do when you have arthritis is none.” Each pound of excess body fat adds the equivalent of 4 pounds stress to the knees. Studies show that women (who are at higher risk than men) can cut their risk of knee osteoarthritis in half with even small reductions in bodyweight. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says obesity prevention, physical activity and self-management education are most promising for limiting osteoarthritis damage.

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage in the spaces between our joints wears away. This can happen in all body joints. It is estimated that the disease affects around 27 million Americans and results in almost 635,000 joint replacements a year alone. Experts agree that overweight persons may reduce their chances for developing or aggravating their osteoarthritis by losing weight. Persons with low bone mineral density, such as in osteoporosis, may also be at increased risk for osteoarthritis.

Tom Griesel elaborates, “Obesity, osteoarthritis and even osteoporosis are now problem becoming prevalent even for adolescents. There is a undeniable connection to poor diet that simply cannot be ignored. The explosion of these refined and processed foods in our diets is causing all kinds of health problems with heart disease and diabetes at the top of the list which are most definitely diet related problems.”

“Flare ups within joints that cause painful tenderness can be reduced significantly by eliminating all sugar, refined and processed foods along with grains while switching to consuming foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, and fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts, which are the foods we evolved eating over tens of thousands of years, ” says Dian Griesel, Ph.D.

These Omega-3 foods prohibit the body’s production of inflammatory immune compounds called leukotrienes, say the Griesels. They site research which found that people who ate at least two servings per week of baked or broiled oily fish reduced their chances of suffering from arthritis almost in half. Oily fish include salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, anchovies, and albacore tuna.

Switching to this type of diet will also improve your health in many other ways, including dropping excess body fat.

Source:
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com 

Your knees are one of the joints commonly affected by osteoarthritis

Is it time for you to make a change?

Improving your health and fitness can often seem to be an insurmountable task.

Changing what and when you’re eating, getting more sleep, beginning a training program or fixing the one you’re already doing, drinking more water, cutting out alcohol etc can seem like just too big of a change.

The best way to tackle it, is to just decide to do it.  But how do you do that?  I know, you’ve started before.  You’ve purchased the latest miracle shake or piece of equipment that was guaranteed to get you the results you were after, but low and behold, a week later and you were back to your old habits.

What gives?  How come some people can do it and others can’t?

Well something has to happen to really make you decide that this is the time for you.  Sometimes you don’t even realise that something has happened, but whatever it was, the time became right and you are able to follow through with your plans.

That something could be obvious-you or someone close to you has a bad health scare or you try on clothes for that party that’s coming up and nothing seems to fit anymore.  Or you just wake up one day and look in the mirror and really don’t like what you see.  How did you get that way?  What happened?  One minute you were a teenager or in your 20’s, eating, drinking and being merry and all was good.  The next minute, you are looking a feeling tired, your pants don’t fit, you have no energy and you’re getting old!!

You know you can turn this around though.  Getting older doesn’t have to mean a decline in health and fitness.  I’m in better shape now at 45 than I was in my 20’s.  Not that I was very overweight then, but I was soft and unfit and stuck with habits that were very bad for my health. As I entered my 30’s I did put on weight and although I hid it well, I was almost 10kg heavier than I am  now.

I think my moment was when I had 4 kids at home under 4 years old and I as much as I love being a Mum (and I really, really do as anyone who knows me can attest) I felt that stuff was out of my control and that there was no ‘me’ left.  I decided to take up exercise and with a good friend, started walking and then joined the gym.  As I started to see results, I made a decision to take up triathlons-a decision which still amazes Greg and myself when I really think about it.

At first it wasn’t easy.  I had to get up a ungodly hours to fit my training in.  Greg was working incredibly long hours building up our other business and we hardly saw him.  So into my office I’d go really, really early in the morning, onto the treadmill or bike or lifting weights before the kids got up.

Some nights I’d hardly slept with feeding the twins – Lauren and Harrison- during the night and still also having Ben and Caitlin awake as well.  But I still got up.  I knew that if I really wanted to make this work and see results, I just had to do it.  Even if it meant that I had to have a granny nap in the afternoon while the kids went down, or make sure I got into bed a bit earlier the next night.

It was really hard at times.  But one thing I really noticed was the longer I was consistent, the better I felt after training.  The longer I was consistent, the easier it was to get out of bed.  And the longer I was consistent, the better my results got.  It was amazing, I was soon addicted to training, an addiction I still have now, almost 10 years later.

I did have setbacks.  Another baby slowed me down a little in between.  But I was still in the gym working hard the day before I was booked in for my c-section at 42 weeks.  Although I had to stop running, I did other things that I could manage.  I traded my racing bike for an exercise bike with a cushy seat.  I attended yoga and pilates classes.  I still lifted weights-heavy ones too-but now I had to ask for assistance to place them back onto their racks when I’d finished.  I had lots of reasons to stop many, many times over the past 10 years, but I never will.

Is it time for you?  Imagine how you will look and feel in a few months time if you start now.

  • Decide to start today. Don’t wait till Monday or the start of the new month, or till after that function that’s coming up.   There’s no time like the present.
  • Start by cleaning out your kitchen -yes really!!  A couple of days ago I was having a hormonal craving for something sweet.  I searched high and low in the cupboards, the fridge and back to the pantry.  I think I searched everywhere about 5 times, but there was nothing there.  So guess what!  I couldn’t have it.  This is so simple.  And NO you don’t need it there for your kids!!!!!!  They are no different to you.  Do you want them to end up overweight and unhealthy and looking for the magic cure just like you are?
  • Don’t spend too long planning Planning is important, but it’s more important to take steps that get you closer to where you want to be.  Do something today-do a workout off my website www.fitterfasteronline.com They are free and you don’t need any equipment.  Eat something healthy 5 times today-space meals 2-3 hours apart.  Once you’ve started, you can refine your plan, but the most important thing to do, is start now.
  • Enlist a friend or colleagues help Arranging to meet with someone each day to train is one of the most effective strategies.  If you don’t get up and out of bed, you don’t just have to justify this to yourself, but you’ll have to make up an excuse to them as well.  Once you’re up and get going, you will feel like it – believe me.
  • If you’re not confident to start-get help This is another DO TODAY strategy.  Don’t put off asking for help any longer.  Nothing is going to change until YOU DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.  You may only need help temporarily.  Perhaps you’ve never exercised before and really don’t know where to start (lots of free ideas at http://www.fitterfasteronline.com) or you really are confused about what’s healthy and what’s not (again visit the website)  Or you may want help and support long term.  It’s up to you, but if you contact a professional and make appointments and a commitment to meet them, you’ll be much more likely to succeed.
  • START NOW!! I’m repeating this again, because it’s so, so important.  I cannot stress enough to not put it off any longer.  If you really want to change, YOU HAVE TO MAKE CHANGES. Drop the excuses and reasons.  We all have the same 24 hours in a day.  We all have jobs, families,  and a million other reasons to run out of time, but think about it.  If you don’t do something about your health and fitness soon, you’ll have to find lots of time to be sick instead.
  • Talk to someone who’s done it before and has achieved or is achieving the results you’re after This could be  friend or work mate that leads a healthy lifestyle.  It could be a professional trainer.  People who are successful at what they do are usually very willing to share their secrets.  They are proud and usually flattered that you’d ask.

 

 

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I hope you can all find the motivation to get started.  But remember, the motivation is usually temporary.  It won’t get you out of bed every day despite what they’ll tell you.  There will be plenty of times when the motivation just isn’t there.  That’s when the successful people decide to DO IT ANYWAY!  That’s why they get the results.  Because they do it even when they don’t feel like it.

Remember consistency is the key.  Each day, each week and each month.  You have to be consistent.

Goodluck everyone-train hard, eat healthily and get plenty of sleep.  If you need help to get started, try our Jumpstart 21 days for $21 package.  No big commitment, no big investment.  21 days to get started and make a difference today

Jo

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