Healthy Konjac Noodle Soup

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Konjac noodles, also known as Shirataki noodles are made from the fibre of the root of the Asian Konjac plant. They are 97% water and are extremely low in calories and carbs, which make them ideal for weight loss. Moreover, since it is full of fibre, it keeps you fuller for longer and studies have shown that it has prebiotic properties that improve the gut flora.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 portion of konjac noodles
  • 100g of chicken breast or beef
  • 1 cup chopped bok choy
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 1tsp lemon zest
  • 2tbsp chopped spring onion
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sliced red chilli or chilli flakes
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

STEPS

  1. First heat some olive oil in a pan, add the onions, garlic paste and chilli and stir until the onions turn translucent.
  2. Add the cubed chicken/beef and sauté until browned, this is when you can add any other ingredients you’d like such as mushrooms, broccolini or carrots. Add any spices as well as salt and pepper.
  3. Add the stock and let it simmer on medium heat.
  4. Drain the noodles and rinse them in water. Heat a pan on medium heat and let the noodles dehydrate for 5 mins or until all the water has evaporated. Stir them regularly to prevent them from shrinking if they’re cooked for too long.
  5. Add the noodles into the soup and the bok choy, close the pan with a lid for a few minutes so that the bok choy wilts, but does not overcook.
  6. Lastly add the spring onion and lemon zest.

This is one of my favourite recipes to make on the weekends, so I hope you try it out and follow for more healthy recipes, xoxo.

Self Care is Free…

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When we think of self care nowadays, we immediately think of luxury spa days, trips away and treating ourselves to an item on our Wishlist and while it’s absolutely fine to do that, sometimes we forget that self care is more than that. Self care doesn’t have to be materialistic or cost money, here are a few ways that self care can be free yet more meaningful…

Consuming Meaningful Content – one way I include a lil self care on a daily basis is by listening to a podcast everyday and listening to whatever I feel like in the moment. Sometimes I choose on health health and self development and sometimes I just listen to music. This can be reading a book, be it fiction or non-fiction. With the hustle mindset we have around us, it can be natural to feel like everything we take in needs to be work or study related, but that’s what self care is for. So your next task is to consume something that will please you; whether that is a book about Greek Mythology or a series binge on Netflix.

Saying No – this is something we all take for granted, we often feel obligated to please others and do what they ask of us but sometimes it’s alright to say no. If doing something does not serve any purpose and only drains you, then declining is doing yourself a favour. This can be opting out of an event, saying no to plans to spend time on yourself or saying no to helping someone else do their work before completing yours. It may seem selfish, but once in a while, it’s okay to say no.

Being In Nature – taking a walk or going for a hike is a great day to shut off your mind and get in tune with your body. It is also helpful to do this without anything else distracting you, although listening to music and podcasts is self care, when outdoors it’s best to let your mind wander, you’ll find that this is when deeper ideas and thoughts emerge. Quiet time is essential and you wouldn’t want anything to distract you from enjoying your surroundings.

Taking The Day Off – take a day off to do whatever you want to do, that can be baking, reading or absolutely nothing. Blocking some time off just to yourself is a great self care idea, sometimes we spend so much time around people that we forget to listen to ourselves.

I hope this post helps you in some way and that you find something useful here. Let me know how you prefer to practice self care and please follow for more posts like this one.

Getting Back on Track After the Holidays

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Entering into 2020, we all are pumped to achieve our resolutions and strengthen our fitness goals, however 2019 did end with the holidays, which means that we all fell a bit off track in some way or the other. Most likely, we ate a little too much or partied a little too late, but that doesn’t mean we let go and say “Oh well, 2021 is gonna be my year!” NO! This means we brush it off and pick our hangover, sugar-coma selves back up, so here’s how you can do it.

Step 1: Get Rid Of The Guilt

One thing to understand is that it’s normal to want to enjoy the holidays and indulge once in a while, but it’s also normal to feel guilty. However, feeling guilty for eating something considered “bad” is toxic for your mind and journey, so stop searching for “how to get rid of a cheat meal?” Instead ask yourself “Does feeling guilty reverse what happened?” No it does not. So allow yourself to enjoy what you ate and the festive season, knowing that fitness is a lifestyle and it isn’t going anywhere.

 

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Step 2: Be Active

It’s important to stay active even during the holidays, but if you didn’t, that’s alright, the time is now. However, jumping straight back into the gym might not come naturally so start small such as going for a morning walk/jog and doing some at home workouts. You’ll find that engaging your body will trigger the desire to get back to your full out workouts, because motivation is temporary and unrealistic but habits are not.

 

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Step 3 : Clean Eating

The family Christmas dinners are over, now concentrate on eating at home instead of outside. It’s not necessary to weigh everything you eat but tracking may prove useful, try it for one or two weeks until you can eat intuitively, because that is the ultimate goal. Remember that food is meant to fuel your body so implement whole foods and take a break from the processed stuff.

 

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Step 4 : Set A specific Goal

It’s a new year, so don’t be vague about what you want. “Get fit” or “Lose some weight” are not definitive goals, they’re shallow, meaningless thoughts. What you should do is decide on a number such as “I will lose 5% of my body fat in 4 months” or a particular skill such as being able to do pull ups and set the deadline. If we don’t visualise the end of the finish line, we’ll never reach it. It’s good to keep a fitness journal, a physical or a digital one; there is something striking about the feel of an actual tracking journal, but digital ones also have benefits such as reminders. Alternatively, you can get an accountability partner, be it family/friends or someone in the same fitness group, for example on social media.

I hope this blog post helps you to get back on track of your fitness goals, these are the steps I am currently taking to do so. Thank you for reading and please leave a comment and follow for more xoxo.

 

The Stages Of Weight Loss

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There are many stages and approaches when it comes to losing weight and getting fit, some of us are stuck in one stage and give up, but what we must realise is that sometimes the only way out is through. You must have heard this at least once, there are no shortcuts, there are no quick fixes, however there are scams, plateaus and burnout, along with results and the incredible high of progress. So let’s dive in to the stages I have personally noticed in others and gone through myself.

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Stage 1 : The Diet Obsession 

Let’s admit it, we’ve all been there. You just decided to lose weight and you go online determinedly searching for the best 2 week diet plan… well here’s the punchline – IT DOES NOT WORK – it only gives temporary results and long term stress. Many of us have an on and off  relationship with this stage, but we should all just break up and move on.

 

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Stage 2: Cardio Junkie

Better but not by much. At this stage, we’re still pretty knew to the whole concept of weight loss but this is where we lose a ton of it. Why? Because we pack on the cardio and monitor our food. I started with the treadmill and bicycle, boring, I know, although it did help shed the weight cause I was spending more than I usually did. I also ate super clean, but only in my opinion at the time since I hadn’t figured out what eating clean really was. I thought I was eating clean but I was still having processed foods that didn’t fuel me.

 

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Stage 3: Losing the Gym V-card 

Hello strength training and extreme food monitoring. This is where I tried out the Keto diet (not for me) and calorie tracking. Here is where the stigma around working out is broken and stress about food is built. I realised cardio was not enough and weights were my friend, soon to be bestfriend, so I started strength training but I still wasn’t sure what I was doing. Also tracking and weighing my food led to food being reduced to numbers and it was highly stressful, I was unhappy all the time. I became obsessed and felt guilty if I didn’t track or exceeded my calories. I had lost all the weight I needed to at this point but I now wanted to lose body fat.

 

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Stage 4: Prime Time

This is where I fell I am at right now and it is bliss, but I have to say that I didn’t reach here alone, I had help and great advice. This is the most mentally healthy stage, food is now your fuel, no more tracking or weighing food. I eat when I’m hungry and I eat clean, and there are times that indulge, but the most important thing is I am fully aware of it. Working out has never felt better, in other words, I push hard but I don’t beat up myself about how many calories I’ve lost or about taking rest days, I just embrace every workout as a chance to exert my all into it. This is where progress is slow but significant and long term.

 

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Stage 5 : Finish Line

Funny thing is… we never reach this one, because it moves along with us. This is your goal, the perfect, ultimate result of your fitness journey, but this is the point that you realise there is no finish line, because this is your lifestyle now. The more you go along the more your goals change and you will keep having new ones even as you accomplish them. There is no perfect, you will always find more to want, even when you think you’ll be happy once you reach this weight or that body fat percentage, you will be but it will not stop there. This is the forever stage.

 

These stages took me 3 years… it was not easy. However, not everyone goes through these exact stages, some people have gone straight to strength training or other forms of fitness, but this pattern is highly common in people trying to lose weight. I hope this post was helpful in giving you clarity on your fitness journey or in any way possible, thank you for reading.

10 Healthy Snacks for Weight Loss

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  • Popcorn– popcorn is a great snack when you want something crunchy and savoury. I’d suggest avoiding sweet popcorn because most brands use sugar. If you want you can make your own using plain popcorn kernels. A brand I really enjoy is Poshcorn  but you can choose any brand you like with regard to the nutrients and calories.

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  • Air popped chips– air popped potato chips are way better than your regular fried chips as they contain much less fat and fewer calories. Popchips are a definite must try.

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  • Fruit and nut bars– these are great for a quick snack or when you’re craving something sweet. The key to this is finding one with clean ingredients, usually stick to the one with fewer ingredients. Larabars are a great option or the Vitalia Raw bars.

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  • Seed crackers – full of healthy fats they’ll keep you satisfied for longer, plus they’re a great keto option. One brand that I’ve enjoyed in the past is Life Bake.

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  • Protein Shakes – great on the go and to get in that extra protein for muscle growth, protein powders are something which I have incorporated into my nutrition lately. You can add them to smoothies and even to your oats or granola, you can try out a few brands such as Organifi or the Vanilla Sky Protein.

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  • Almond butter and apple slices- this is a great combination when you want something sweet yet filling. You can even sprinkle in some cinnamon, measure out one tablespoon of almond butter for a small apple (I like the green ones).

7 Skincare Mistakes

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  • Skipping SPF – sunscreen is necessary to protect against the sun’s UV rays which can cause premature ageing of your skin with fine lines, dark spots and in the long term can even lead to skin cancer. It’s a common mistake to believe that darker skin types don’t need sunscreen but we’re all at risk, so wear SPF even inside as UV rays can pass through glass.

 

  • Not cleaning your face tools – this includes your makeup brushes and even tools such as jade rollers and gua sha, although the latter is much easier to clean. Makeup brushes should be cleaned once every two weeks at the least, as bacteria builds up on them and we use it on our face and in our makeup which may often lead to breakouts.

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  • Using masks after your skincare – I’ve seen a lot of influencers apply all their serums and essences and then apply a mask after, washing it off. That does not leave enough time for the serums to sink into the skin and essentially all of it is washed down the drain. So apply your masks before your skincare.

 

  • Oil before serums– the order of your skincare regimen is highly significant, oils can penetrate any barrier, that is serums and moisturisers, but none of your skincare products can penetrate oil. Face oil should be the last step in your routine, so that your other products are effective and if face oils break you out, this may be the reason as your other products just lay on top of your skin instead of being absorbed.

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  • Over-exfoliation– this depends on your skin type, some people cannot exfoliate more than once a week while some can go up to three times a week. Over exfoliation can irritate your skin and strip it of its natural barrier, we exfoliate to remove the layer of dead skin cells on our skin and twice a week should suffice. It’s also important to avoid exfoliation when you are breaking out as it can irritate it and cause it to spread.

 

  • Drying blemishes – a common solution when we notice a blemish is to dry it out, but this depends on what kind of blemish it is. For example papules which are deep pimples can lead to scarring if dried out before they turn into pustules. It’s best to study the problem and use the appropriate solution; such as a warm compress for papules.

 

  • Too much cleansing – twice a day is usually enough, over cleansing strips the skin of its natural oils and this is common with foaming cleansers, if your skin feels tight then it’s possible you may be using a harsh cleanser or overusing it. This is a common mistake which can irritate and dry out your skin.

 

I hope you found something helpful here, if you have any skincare mistakes you’d like to share, comment them down below. Please like and follow for more skincare tips xoxo.

10-Step Nighttime Skincare Routine

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Everyone’s skin is different and it takes time to learn the best routing for your skin. Some people can maintain their skin with only 3 products and then there are the skincare junkies, that love all the layers of serums and moisturisers.

I am definitely the latter, after having issues with acne as a teenager, I’ve learnt a thing or two about skincare. However, two of the most crucial yet overlooked factors are diet and hormonal imbalances. After cutting dairy completely from my diet, my skin rapidly improved and I also noticed that acne on the chin area was often triggered by hormones. Sometimes it’s hard to find the cause of your skincare issues, for example; biotin supplements which are great for strengthening your hair and nails, often gave me acne. This may not be the case for you, but whatever your skin condition is, it is important to ensure that your diet is helping your skin, not compromising it.

The following routine is my current nighttime skincare routine, this is a guideline if you’re not sure how to go about a skincare routine. Keep in mind that everyone’s skin is different, I have combination skin and my it isn’t as sensitive as yours may be. So here are the steps and the products I use.

Step 1: Oil cleansing – this basically melts off all of your makeup in a very gentle way. You can either use a balm or an oil cleanser, massage it into the skin and wash off. I recommend the Clinique Take the Day off Balm or L’occitane’s cleansing oil.

Step 2: Cleanser – now time for your daily water-based cleanser, it is essential to find one which does not harm your skin’s protective barrier. If your skin feels tight after use, then it is probably too harsh. I am currently using Dr Barabara Sturm’s Foaming Cleanser . Another option for oily skin is Clarins.

Step 3: Exfoliate – I do this 2 – 3 times per week. There are two types of exfoliants- chemical and physical. I use a chemical exfoliant only once a week, usually in the form of AHA or BHA acid and I use a scrub twice a week. I am currently using Tarte’s Knockout treatment  and the Dermalogica Microfoliant. Regular exfoliation suits my skin as it isn’t overly sensitive but make sure no to overdo it.

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Step 4: Face Mask – I use face masks about 3 – 4 times per week, depending on what my skin needs, I may use a clay mask or a hydrating mask. My current favourites are Dior’s Jelly mask , The Face Shop Mud mask , L’oreal’s Red Clay Mask and L’occitane’s Purifying mask.

Step 5: Toner – this is to hydrate, balance your skin’s pH levels and to minimise the appearance of pores. I would recommend L’occitane’s Essential Water or Tata Harper’s Floral Mist.

Step 6: Essence – this is lighter than a serum but has similar effects and is optional. If you like to be extra with your routine then you should try out Laneige’s Waterbank Essence.

Step 7: Serum – definitely a must in your routine, depending on your needs you can go for a brightening serum or a rejuvenating one. Make sure to pat your serum into the skin, don’t let it just sit on top.

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Optional: Face Massage – I love using a jade roller for this, but you can use other tools such as a gua sha or just use your hands! This is great for improving circulation, lymphatic drainage, plumping up the skin and if committed to, will help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Step 8: Eye Cream – you need an eye cream even at a young age, because the skin around our eyes is extremely thin and sensitive and it needs attention. I use an eye cream for hydration and dark circles as anti-ageing isn’t my primary concern right now, but I’d suggest Clarins or Shiseido.

Step 9: Moisturiser – even with oily skin, moisturiser is necessary. I currently use a lightweight one. Any moisturiser should work as long as it has clean ingredients that suit your skin.

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Step 10: Face oil – now I often see people apply face oil before their moisturiser, however face oil can penetrate any cream of serum but creams cannot penetrate oil. This is why it should be the last step of your skincare routine. One face oil I’m really enjoying is Tata Harper’s Retinoic Nutrient oil   but with any retinol product you use, it is important to note that it makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so make sure you’re always wearing sunscreen. There are a number of oils you can use such as maracuja oil, sweet almond oil or jojoba oil, depending on your skin type.

Bonus Step: Lip balm!! Never forget to hydrate your lips. Any balm is great, but if you want a specific, one I love the Laneige Berry Lip Mask.

This pretty much sums up my whole routine, it’s taken me a while to adopt it so if you’re still a newbie, I’d suggest starting with a simple cleanser, eye cream and moisturiser. I hope you enjoyed this read and that you found something helpful here. Please like and follow for more skincare tips xoxo.

 

 

Healthy Chocolate Muffins

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Gluten free, dairy free, sugar free and guilt free. This yummy recipe is easy to make and takes only a short amount of time. I recently made this one as a little treat even though I am improving my fitness goals, so you don’t have to worry that it will compromise your weight loss, it won’t (as long as you don’t eat the whole batch in a week).

What I find works best for me is to avoid batch baking, because otherwise I find myself reaching for one of these every day and that’s ok as long as you’re not going into a caloric surplus. I usually bake on the spot because these recipes are pretty quick to make.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 50g almond flour
  • 50g gluten free flour (I used neofoods all purpose blend )
  • 20 g cacao powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 40g erythritol/stevia blend (I used Sukrin)
  • 100 ml almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Cacao nibs (optional)

 

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STEPS:

  • Mix all the dry ingredients together
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry and combine well. Gradually add the milk until a desired consistency, the thicker the batter, the more dense your muffins will be.
  • Spray a muffin pan with some coconut oil and pour in the batter up to 3/4 of the mould.
  • Bake in the oven at 170ºC for 10-15 mins (these cook pretty fast so keep an eye on them)
  • Let them cool down before storing them in the fridge, they’ll last for 1-2 weeks.

 


 

  • Servings: 4
  • Calories: 173
  • Time: 20 – 25 mins

 

I hope you enjoy this recipe, let me know down in the comments if you do try them out. Please follow for more recipes like this one, xoxo.

Golden Milk Latte Recipe

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This amazing recipe is a nutrient dense, caffeine free and totally delicious drink to curb those coffee cravings and boost your gut health. This latte contains turmeric, which has anti-inflammatory properties, improving digestion and skin health. It also contains cinnamon which lowers blood sugar levels and has antimicrobial effects, as well as cardamom which is great for the liver and is packed with antioxidants. In other words, this is one powerful latte! So here’s how you can make it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 – 1 cup almond milk (or any milk)
  • 1/2 tsp organic turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom or 5 pods
  • 2/4 tsp vanilla (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp erythritol/stevia blend (or any sweetener of choice)

STEPS:

  • Combine 1/2 a cup of milk to 1/2 a cup of water or use 1 full cup of milk.
  • Whisk in the spices and sugar while on medium heat.
  • Bring to a simmer. Strain the milk into a mug to remove any undissolved spices.

 

Other Optional Ingredients:

  • Ginger
  • Lemon zest
  • Ground Black pepper

 

Let me know down in the comments if you do try out this recipe. Thank you for reading and please like and follow for more recipes like this one, xoxo.

 

10 Common Weight Loss Mistakes

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1. Cheating calories – this is something I found myself doing unconsciously and when I took notice, I realised I was eating 300-400 more calories than I thought I was and this is important if you’re trying to lose weight.

You sometimes feel that if you don’t track something you eat then the calories don’t count or you may alter how much you eat on your tracker, only to see a number you prefer. If you do these things while tracking, you shouldn’t feel ashamed because I’ve done them too, but in the end we’re only cheating ourselves.

However, you shouldn’t grow obsessive and track everything to the last gram, you should only be more conscious of how many calories you’re taking in if you do want to lose weight.

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2. More exercise means more food – this is a sensitive topic, what I mean by this is, if you want to lose weight you need to be in a caloric deficit; you can exercise more and eat the same amount of calories, but if you eat more then it won’t make much of a difference.

Remember to always consume the healthy amount of calories for your body, this is influenced by sex, age and activity. For example; I eat about 1200-1300 calories when I am trying to lose weight, but you may need more than I do. Keep in mind that the minimum amount of calorie intake for a woman is 1200 calories, you can find out how many calories you need to lose weight on any online calorie calculator, but always consult your doctor before taking any drastic measures towards your exercise or eating. Everyone’s body is different so take into account any conditions you may have.

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3. Eating the wrong portions – portion control is something I’ve had ups and downs with, at one point my portion control was really strict but then I found myself going overboard, but lately I feel like I have a good grasp of it.

An easy way to measure is using your hands, the size of your palm for protein, a fist for veggies, a cupped handful for carbs and a your thumb for fats. These are doubled for men.

Another method is to use a slightly smaller plate, fill half of your plate with veggies/salad and fill a quarter with carbs and another quarter with protein.

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4. Starving yourself – this is obvious but still worth mentioning, do not believe that if you skip a meal or feel hunger pangs that you are losing weight. What you are truly doing is sending your body into starvation mode, which means next time you eat, your body will store it as fat – it’s a survival mode.

Therefore, distinguish when you are feeling hungry from when you are thirsty or bored and eat if you are hungry so that you are not depriving yourself.

 

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5. Ignoring Macros – calories aren’t the only important factor, macros – proteins, fats and carbs- are significant to your body type. Some of us work better on a high fat meal plan, while others are on high protein or high carb. This again depends on your body type and physical goals.

When losing weight it’s probably best to figure out which macros work best for you, I have some high carb days and some high protein days and my macronutrient ratio is usually 40-50% carbs, 30-40% protein and 10-30% fats. This works for me, I do not obsess over tracking macros, but if you feel like you are stuck in your weight loss journey, then it may be worth taking a look at.

 

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6. Doing only Cardio – many of us fear that strength- training will bulk us up and we just stick to cardio, but that is far from the truth. Strength-training will tone and define your muscles and it is essential for fat loss. To grow bulky like men and some women, you would need a crazy amount of gym time and an intake of various supplements. So don’t shy away from the weights, mix your cardio with some strength-training and you will definitely see a difference.

 

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7. Pre-Workout and Post-workout – with the media posting the routines of fitness experts and athletes, many of us feel that we need to have pre-workout and post-workout meals to efficiently burn fat or lose weight, but that’s not always the case. Many of us prefer a fasted workout in the morning, while some of us feel more energetic after a snack. Don’t feel obliged to have a pre or post-workout if your body doesn’t need it. Remember to be mindful of how your body feels.

 

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8. Binging on healthy foods – the irony of weight loss, most of us now realise that bingeing on unhealthy food isn’t going to help us, so we throw away all the junk food and have a healthy grocery haul. However, even though pop chips are better than fried chips and vegan, sugar free chocolate is better than normal chocolate, if you’re sitting on the couch binge eating them, you’re still not going to lose weight.

Now, I’m not saying don’t switch out your junk food, all I’m saying is that moderation is everything. One small bag of pop chips or one square of healthy chocolate isn’t going to hurt you, but know that binging healthy food is harmful as well.

 

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9. Skipping Rest Days – rest days are important because your body needs to heal and your muscles need time to regenerate. On rest days, you can include stretching or a walk to have some movement but take that day off. Plus knowing you have a rest day coming up also helps you remain strong throughout the week. Just remember not to have your rest day on the same day as your cheat day.

 

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10. Thinking Food is the enemy – this is something I found myself slipping into. You shouldn’t feel guilty if you ate a few calories more or ate something considered unhealthy. Your mental relationship with food is just as important and if you have stumbled in your weight loss, then just take a moment and take back control.

Food is not the enemy, so don’t deprive yourself. Be proud that you are making an effort and if no one has ever said this to you before, well done for taking a step towards a healthier and happier you!

 

Thank you for reading this and I hope you can take something from this post to help you with your goals. Please like and follow for more posts like this one, xoxo.