Posts Tagged ‘tips’

Getting back to basics…

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012
With summer fast approaching, here’s a summary of some basic tips to help keep you on track:
1. Stick to ‘REAL’, unprocessed foods. Balance each meal with Lean Protein, unprocessed Carbs and ‘GOOD’ fats
2. Drink at least 1.5 to 2 litres of water daily – never wait until thirsty
3. Avoid sugars and processed/refined carbohydrates for improved health and fat loss
4. Ensure an adequate intake of essential fats (Omega 3 & 6). 1 dessert spoon a day of (refrigerated) Flaxseed oil is a valuable addition to your diet
5. Consume 7-10 servings of vegetables/day (1 serving =1/2 cup cooked veg) – The more colour, the better
6. Consume 2 servings of fruit daily. Don’t go overboard if your goal is to burn fat
7. In addition to a ‘CLEAN’ diet, a multi vitamin tablet taken daily with food is a good way of ensuring adequate intake of all essential nutrients in a good balance
8. Sugary foods and refined carbs are low in nutritional value, high in calories and will hinder energy, strength and therefore, progress/results
9. Avoid processed fats and oils, including margarines and spreads, baked goods containing overheated and hydrogenated oils, refined vegetable oils, pastries etc. Stick to an unrefined vegetable oil suitable for cooking, such as high-oleic sunflower/safflower oil or extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive oil
10. Read labels and take notice of the list of ingredients as opposed to the nutritional panel/box – we need to pay attention to what ‘is’ in food, as opposed to what ‘isn’t’ in it!
11. Be wary of many ‘LOW FAT’ commercial products containing copious amount of sugar
12. If choosing soy milk, ensure it has no added oils or sugars.  Vegetarian, diary-free, fat-free, sugar-free, soy, low-carb, etc, does not automatically mean it’s a healthy choice
13. Make it a priority to ‘move’ for at least 30 minutes every day of the week – no excuses!
14. ‘Strength’ training should be performed 2-3 times a week to ensure optimum tone, strength, metabolic rate and fat loss
15. Interval-style training burns maximum fat in the minimum amount of time.
16. Whey protein isolate (WPI) and Whey protein concentrate (WPC) in their purest form are excellent forms of quick easy protein and calcium. These are found in Donna Aston’s Protein Supreme. Beware of cheap imitations!
17. It is important to ensure full recovery from strength training sessions.
18. If you’re struggling with variety, I recommend sourcing a variety of recipe books and snack alternatives to help curb cravings and keep you on the right track
19. It’s important to monitor your body composition to ensure you’re on track to reaching your goal. Aim for ‘lean’ rather than ‘light’ to achieve permanent fat loss
20. The ‘healthy’ range of body fat for men is between 10 and 20 per cent. For women, it’s between 18 and 28 per cent
21. Body Mass Index (BMI) is not an entirely accurate method of measuring your physical condition as it only takes height and weight into account. Therefore those with more muscle than the ‘average’ person may appear to be in the ‘obese’ category, despite having low body fat levels.


Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

It may take a lifetime to form our behavioural habits, whether good or bad, but practice makes perfect! No-one else created your habits. They are your invention. You may have copied your family, your friends or your favourite celebrities but ultimately it comes down to you. The good news is that you created those habits so you have just as much power to change them into healthy habits to last a new lifetime.

The most crucial emotion to remember is to stay positive. Edison tried 10,000 times to get his light bulb invention to work but failed each time. His lack of success was no deterrent for the scientist claiming “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” You may have tried 10,000 diets that don’t work either and if you are plagued by persistent negative thoughts towards life these new changes won’t work either.

They say we have to practice something 1000 times to form a habit. Lord knows you’ve practiced your bad habits at least this many times, so you’re a champion at them! In terms of a lifetime it’s a drop in the ocean. During this process make an extra effort to eat nutritious and balanced meals because this will help improve your mood and feed that positive outlook.

It’s also crucial to sleep well. Missing sleep is a major hindrance to healthy living so make sure you have adequate rest.

Don’t forget to exercise either. When you feel down take a brisk 30-minute walk. It may be the last thing you feel like but it will make you feel fully revived and ready for your new life.

- Make a pact to meet a friend/colleague at regular times to exercise with you.

- Make exercise and eating well easy to do – put it in your path of daily tasks, book an appointment with yourself to walk, prepare food etc.

- Take the pressure off! Tell yourself to just start and then decide if you want to continue.

- If you find it difficult to change your behaviour in specific situations (eg over-eating as soon as you get home because of stress, eating from boredom, picking) remove yourself from the situation. Maybe park the car and walk to wind down before you get home or find new tasks to relieve boredom.

- Take it one day at a time and remember to pat yourself on the back for every success in the right direction, no matter how small.

- Notice and acknowledge what is working because this will give you the confidence to continue. You’ll see it when you believe it!

It’s one thing to change your own psychology when embarking on a new eating and exercise regime but watch in wonder at how all of your friends react too. It’s quite an eye opener.
Often the people you think will be most supportive, turn out to be the most threatened.
They start to notice you are choosing different foods from a menu, bringing lunch to work from home instead of the local sandwich bar and all the questions begin.

Curiosity develops into lectures or challenges on the subject because there is always one friend or colleague who knows better.

Others will always try to sabotage your efforts to change. Often it’s your overweight friend who bonded with you over chocolate cake and cappuccino. Removing the sweets from the relationship leaves the relationship in crumbs.

These people often make themselves feel better by ensuring that you are not going to outshine them. They feel guilty eating that sugar-laden dessert after dinner when you have no intention of joining them. They pressure you in the name of encouragement: `Go on, just have a little bit’ or `One won’t do you any harm’ or the favourite at this time of year is `You only live once.’

You may already be feeling self-conscious about the changes you’re making and become tense at any extra attention.
You may also be bursting to tell everyone of your new-found diet answers and want to bring the world on board.
Here is my advice to fight the peer pressure:
- Be strong – don’t allow others’ insecurities to hinder your ability to make positive changes.
- Be a leader, not a follower. Don’t be afraid to be different. You don’t have to behave in the same way as everyone else just to `fit in.’

-Try not to be evangelistic. If you try to `convert’ others because you are so enthusiastic about your new regime, no matter how genuine your intentions, this is asking for peer pressure. When the results are evident for all to see you will be fighting off the hoards begging for your secret.

-Be patient with yourself.
-Above all else, make the commitment and stick with it. The results will be more than worth it.

The New Year is traditionally the time for new resolutions, reflections and questions.
When it comes to most areas of your life and particularly your health there is really only one question you need to ask: `Is what I am currently doing working for me?’

If the answer is `Yes’, then I doubt very much you would be reading this blog.
Just open your mind enough to think about change. It may be radical change but you will be radically surprised by its benefits. Whether your goal is to trim some body fat, increase strength or endurance for sports conditioning or to take control of ailments such as diabetes or high cholesterol, it is all up to you.

If you find the idea of weighing and calculating your foods a waste of time and energy then I suggest you do not even attempt to at this stage. It will cloud your efforts with a negative association and will soon become a chore that you will drop anyway.

As a very simple rule, if you eat the foods suggested within the basic food listings provided in my books, allowing your hunger to dictate the rest, you will absolutely achieve results.

After all, the `secret’ to weight control is finding a program that you are comfortable to follow for the rest of your life, to maintain a healthy, disease-free body and optimum quality of life. So really, the secret is….that there is no secret!