5 Things to Avoid When Trying to Lose Weight

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#1. Obsessive tracking– counting down to the last calorie can sometimes be frustrating and create an unhealthy mindset for your fitness journey. We might find ourselves obsessing over the number and dreading it. A way to prevent this is to track what you eat once or twice a week, just to check if you’re on the right track. Another method is to track everything at the end of the day rather than throughout the day.

 

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#2. Daily weighing– weighing yourself every single day is pointless because you’re never going to shred the pounds dramatically overnight. So doing this only discourages you and you will end up with the urge to either give up or go extreme. I’d recommend weighing yourself once or twice per month, if you find yourself going overboard.

 

 

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#3. Protein Bars– it’s often difficult to find the right energy or protein bar as these are marketed as ‘healthy’ but are often packed with sugar. They are also high in calories and are difficult to keep track of, you might find yourself binge eating them, thinking they’re only one little bar. I would suggest trying them out when you’re well into your fitness journey and are confident about your nutrition. If so, I would recommend Larabars- they have only a few ingredients and are easy to track.

 

 

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#4. Energy Drinks– needless to say these are loaded with sugar and empty calories. They have no nutritional benefit and often result in an energy crash after. If you need an energy boost, try bulletproof coffee (if you’re on a low-carb high fat diet) or a superfoods smoothie or juice.

 

 

 

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#5. Eating Out– I love eating out just as much as the next person, but I also know that it’s hard to maintain your nutrition when you’re eating out. The first obstacle is the menu- temptation will strike when you see all the forbidden meals available. Second barrier- you don’t know exactly what you’re consuming, if you’re not cooking your food its difficult to keep track of it. An example would be; you might choose a salad thinking you’re eating healthy, while the dressing on it may have more calories than the actual salad. So I would save going out to eat for a cheat day or find a healthy restaurant or café nearby, that allows you to get familiar with the menu.

 

I hope you found some of these tips useful and check out some of my other posts. Thank you for reading, xoxo.

Matcha Mint Apple Smoothie

healthy living, Matcha Recipes

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This smoothie is a great detox breakfast or snack, packed with antioxidants and a high content of chlorophyll (green pigment in the leaves) which cleanses the body of toxins. The green apples have a high fibre content, keeping you satisfied for longer and the mint not only adds flavour to the smoothie, but is also rich in nutrients such as; vitamin A, iron and manganese. In other words, this smoothie is just the energy boost you need in the morning, but without the crash.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large green apple
  • 1/2 tsp matcha powder (unsweetened)
  • a few mint leaves
  • 1 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 4-5 stevia drops (or any sweetener of choice)

 

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Directions:

  1. Throw all the ingredients in a blender, add some ice and enjoy!

 

I hope you all enjoy this recipe and please leave a comment below if you try it out, xoxo.

10 Ways To Lose Weight On Vacation

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Vacation is a time to let go, enjoy, and forget any boundaries we’ve placed on ourselves. However, it’s normal to worry about gaining weight on holiday and often we may find ourselves indulging just a little bit too much. This usually ends in going back home, to the scale and after a few minutes, searching for ‘how to lose holiday weight’. So here are a few ways to avoid gaining weight or even losing some weight on holiday.

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#1. Hit the Gym– this is the most obvious solution; your hotel or resort probably has a
gym that’s open 24/7, so make use of it. You should remain active even when on holiday,
it’s a time to indulge, not slack off.

 

 

 

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#2. Walk– take every opportunity you have to walk; take the stairs instead of the elevator, go on a hike, walk on the beach and if possible, explore on your feet. This helps your body remain active and burn a few calories.

 

 

 

baked-goods-1846460_640#3. Plan Your Carbs– try to avoid eating carbs later on in the day, consume them earlier
on so that you can burn them throughout the day. When eating carbs later at night, they tend to be stored as fat as you’re not using up much energy when you’re sleeping.

 

 

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#4. Stay Hydrated– it’s normal to forget to get in enough water consumption when you’re
out all day, sight-seeing. So remember it’s important to drink at least 2 litres of water per day.

 

 

 

 

 

alcohol-1853327_640.jpg#5. Limit your alcohol– being high in calories and in sugar, alcohol can have a negative effect on your weight loss. Limit the amount of drinks you have, instead of cutting them out completely.

 

 

 

 

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#6. Skip a meal– when on holiday, it doesn’t hurt to skip breakfast for brunch. This will help you control your calorie intake and it’s also more practical when you’re out and about.

 

 

 

buffet-3955616_640.jpg#7. Avoid the buffet– unlimited amount of food at your disposal probably isn’t the best thing for maintaining your fitness journey. The buffet leads to eating twice as much as your usual intake and clouds your mind from deciding when to stop. Try to avoid the buffet or limit the number of plates you fill up with food- one should be enough.

 

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#8. Wait a few mins– before going to grab another plate of food, wait a few minutes- at least 10. This is because it usually take 10-15mins for your brain to understand if you are full. So to avoid overeating, leave some time in-between meals.

 

 

trout-2900325_640.jpg#9. Eat the local food– don’t waste your splurge meals on junk food that you have at home like; ice cream and burgers. Try to enjoy the local meals and try new foods that you’ve never had before. Local meals are sometimes more nutritious and have more raw foods, helping you avoid all the processed stuff.

 

 

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#10. Enjoy– in moderation. Don’t stress over counting calories and obsessing over the fear of gaining weight. Sometimes fitness journeys are mentally tiring, so allow yourself to take a step back and breathe. It’s fine to enjoy the food, that’s what vacation is all about!

 

 

I hope you all enjoyed this post, please like and follow for more tips like this, xoxo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy & Delicious Cookie recipe

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These are seriously some of the best cookies I have ever made. I’ve mentioned before that I am allergic to nuts, but lately I’ve been experimenting with almond milk and I haven’t had any bad reactions to it, so I decided to try almond flour. Best. Decision, Ever.

These cookie are soft, chewy and taste amazing! The great thing is they are gluten free,  dairy free and super healthy. Read below to find out how to make them yourself and if some of the ingredients don’t work out for you, don’t worry I have some substitutes.

flour-3636553_640 Ingredients:

  •   2 cups almond flour (or coconut flour)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 egg (or flaxseed egg)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (or maple syrup)

Directions:

  1. Add the almond flour, cinnamon, baking powder and coconut sugar to a bowl andegg-944495_640 mix well.
  2. Add in the egg, coconut oil, and vanilla and fold the ingredients together using a spatula.
  3. Line a tray with baking paper and use your hands or a spoon to scoop the dough. Tip: the dough will be more sticky and runny that regular dough, so I wet my hands  with very little water before rolling and pressing the cookie dough. This prevents it from sticking onto your hands.
  4. Bake them in the oven at 180ºC for around 10 mins (check on them regularly as they do bake fast).
  5. Sprinkle them with some more coconut sugar and cinnamon and enjoy.

 

This is just the base recipe, I have also tried other variations. You can add raw cocoa powder, vegan chocolate chips or dried fruit to make your own version. Another delicious combination would be lemon zest and ginger. I hope you all enjoy this recipe and do let me know if you try them out.

 

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Vegan Snack Bars

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This recipe is an updated version of my older recipes. It’s a great snack for people on a gluten free and vegan diet. They’re my take on the snack bars we usually buy. Energy bars on the market often contain tons of sugar and preservatives and while they are advertised as being ‘healthy’, they are actually high in unnecessary calories, thus prohibiting weight loss. People often consume two to three of these bars daily, thinking they’re healthier, but that is a common misconception. Which is why I decided to make my own, now these bars last up to 2-3 weeks in the fridge and the recipe makes about 10 bars. The recipe can be adjusted to your preference, I’ve chosen a combination I enjoy, but you can experiment with others if you like. (Cocoa nibs and coconut are also a favourite of mine)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of gluten free rolled oats
  • 3 medium sized bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup dried goji berries
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 1tbsp chia seeds

Step 1: Blend the oats in a blender or food processor to obtain a grainy oat flour. Pour the oats into a bowl and mix in the cinnamon, chia seeds and berries.

 

Step 2: In another bowl mash the banana with a fork and add in the almond milk and vanilla.

Step 3: Fold the banana mixture into the dried ingredients to make a dough.

Step 4: Line a baking tin with parchment paper and spread the dough using a spatula or your hands.

Step 5: Bake at 170 ºC for 10-15mins. Check on them regularly as they cook pretty fast, once your fork cannot stick right through the bars, they are cooked.

Step 6: Once they’ve cooled, cut them up into bars and store them in the fridge.

 

I hope you try out this recipe, let me know  down in the comments if you do. Thank you for reading and please follow for more posts like this, xoxo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best Weight Loss Method

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This is something I implemented after hitting a weight loss plateau, it took me some time to come across it but If you’re reading this at the beginning of your fitness journey, you should definitely take advantage of this. At one point in time your body gets used to the way you’re eating and your workouts, if you aren’t yet ready to make any further changes to these two then this method is for you.

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What is it

Intermittent Fasting. Don’t worry, I’m not making you skip meals for the day or anything like that, most of your fasting time would be spent sleeping. If you haven’t heard of it, intermittent fasting is basically just concentrating everything that you eat in a shorter period of time. For example; I start eating around 10am and stop around 6pm and I have around 5-6 small meals.

What are its benefits?

Intermittent fasting allows your digestive system to rest when you are ‘fasting’ and eating in a limited time period allows your body to burn more fat, as it boosts your metabolism. It also helps curb cravings and prevent binge eating (I know you’ve ended up hunting in your kitchen at 1 am at least a couple of time… I know I have.) I tested intermittent fasting for 1 month, without any exercise and while being a bit more lenient with my diet. After the 1 month of no exercise and gluten free bread every single day, I lost around 3kg. Now, I’m not saying never workout and eat anything you want while trying this out, but I’m just showing you how effective it can be. Obviously, I went back to my workout routine and cleaned up my diet, because I knew it would be more effective that way.

How do you Approach it?

Well, you have a couple of options. You can try 8/16 or 10/14; meaning you’d eat within 8 or 10 hrs and fast for 16 or 14 hrs. You can start eating at any time you want, I personally prefer 10 am, but some people choose to start between 12-2pm, it’s completely up to you. Take your bedtime into consideration as well and at what time you’re appetite is the strongest. Also ensure that you’re taking your daily caloric requirements, do not starve yourself at any point in this. You may feel hungry if you’re used to eating late at night but your body will get used to the timings after some time. You’re allowed to drink coffee or tea even when fasting, without any sugar or creamer however.

A different approach would be to commit to intermittent fasting for only a couple of days, let’s say 5 days a week. This leaves the weekends out, an essential, especially when you have social obligations.

A Day at a Glance 

  • 10am- breakfast
  • 11.30 am- coffee/ tea or a snack
  • 12.30 pm- lunch
  • 2pm- snack
  • 3pm- coffee/tea
  • 6pm- dinner

or

  • 12pm- lunch
  • 2pm-snack
  • 4pm- second meal
  • 6pm- snack
  • 8pm- Dinner

 

I hope you enjoyed this post and let me know if you do try out intermittent fasting and how it goes along for you. I hope to see you again soon, xoxo.

 

 

 

 

Burn More Fat Doing Less Cardio

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When trying to lose weight, most people jump on the treadmill first thing and ‘workout’ for 2-3hours. Now while this may burn calories, it’s definitely inefficient and inconvenient in the long run, especially when you don’t have much time to spend in the gym. Running for hours on the treadmill, will also burn muscle, which isn’t what you want if you’re looking to tone your body. Moreover, building muscle boosts your metabolism and increases the amount of calories you burn, so what you need to do is find peace with your cardio routine.

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This is where HIIT training comes in. High Intensity Interval Training leads to burning more calories in less time. However, I do recommend you consult your doctor before taking up any form of exercise as it may be detrimental to your health or cause injury, so make sure to verify with your doctor.

I’ve recently started HIIT training and I’ve begun to see changes in my strength and body after only one week. I combine HIIT workout along with strength training as well as pilates to increase my flexibility. The great thing about HIIT is that you can adapt it to any form of exercise; on the treadmill, the elliptical, the rower or even PIIT (HIIT with Pilates). If you need a starting point, here is my HIIT routine on the treadmill.

Beginner’s guide to a HIIT workout

  • 5 min warm up
  • 1 min sprint + 2 min walk (repeated 6 times)
  • 5 min wind down

Your speed and inclination is totally dependent on your fitness level, I usually walk on 5mph and run on 8-8.5 mph. I do increase the amount of reps every one or two weeks if I feel myself getting used to the workout or I increase my speed. HIIT training is definitely one of the fastest ways to achieving a change in your body, but keep in mind that during a workout your heart rate will reach its optimum level during that one minute.

There are several videos that go into depth about the several workouts you can do, if you want to take it a step further. I’d also recommend Blogilates (Youtube) for PIIT workouts. I hope you enjoyed this post and leave me comment if you decide to take on HIIT training.

5 Healthy Ways to Lose Weight

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I’ve come to a point where the next 3-day diet will not entice me. I’ve tried almost every diet and I’ve noticed that after I get past the initial Motivation high, I crash. Hard. Then it’s binge eating at 1am cause I can’t get food off my mind. It’s obvious that a drastic diet change won’t last and that after some time, the weight will come back. So here are 10 HEALTHY ways you can lose weight and keep it off.

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#1. Love your Greens– The importance of weight loss is balance, but eating a salad every single day probably isn’t for everyone. (It definitely isn’t for me!) So at least try to fill half of your plate with salad and veggies for at least two of your meals. Greens not only aid in your digestion, but fibre helps keep you fuller for longer, curbing the cravings.

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#2.Detox Juice– Don’t leave!! Just hear me out for a second. Green juices and I haven’t been good friends, but one just can’t ignore their benefits. Detox juices not only cleanse your gut, removing toxins from your body, but they also boost your metabolism and accelerate fat burn. Try drinking a detox juice in the morning, before breakfast, for a couple of days. If you want a recipe, I have one coming up soon, so keep reading for more of that.

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#3.Green Tea– studies have shown that green tea has amazing weight loss benefits. Drinking 3 cups a day after every meal will also lower the glucose high we get after eating. Moreover, it helps curb your appetite, therefore it’s definitely worth a try.

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#4.Cut Out Sugar– avoid any form of refined sugars, this means candy, white bread, white pasta, cakes and cookies. This is one of the hardest steps but also one of the most important ones. I’m not asking you to never touch a cookie again, instead I’m only suggesting that you limit your sugar intake as much as possible. If you have a sweet tooth, alternatives include; fruit or unsweetened cacao chocolate OR save for a cheat meal (next point).

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#5. 90/10 Rule– there are different approaches to this method, but it’s basically the idea of not depriving yourself from certain foods that you truly enjoy. This is where a cheat meal comes in, you can allow yourself one cheat meal per week in which you can indulge in anything you want. Just make sure that you are working out on that day and you are not in a major calorie surplus, because that will hinder your weight loss. A cheat meal should be treated carefully so that it isn’t abused, however for the sake of happiness and all that is right in the world, it is an essential. I usually have a cheat meal every Saturday, but I try to keep my cheat meals on the healthier side, so I go for a healthy pasta option or something like a gluten free sandwich. It’s totally up to you!

This is my fitness update…

fullsizeoutput_16d.jpeg   And even though I still have a long way to go, I am finding joy in the journey and I hope you can enjoy it as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matcha Powder

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What is it and Why Are We Crazy About it?

Matcha is finely ground green tea leaves. It enables you to take in the full benefits of the green tea leaves compared to traditional green tea. Matcha powder is abundant in antioxidants, thus strengthening your immune system, as well as vitamin C, zinc and magnesium. Moreover, it boosts your metabolism, helping you burn calories and thus lose weight. Not only does matcha lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, but it also helps to detox the body (plus I find the simple act of making it extremely relaxing). In other words, matcha gives you energy without the caffeine crash afterwards.

Uses

Matcha is a versatile ingredient that can be used in smoothies, baked treats, oats or chia pudding. My favourite is a matcha latte.

Matcha Latte Recipe 

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 tsp matcha powder
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 3/4 cup almond milk (or any of your choice)
  • sweetener (stevia)

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Sift the matcha powder into the water to remove any lumps.
  2. Using a match bamboo whisk, start whisking the powder into the water. (You may use a regular whisk but it will not produce the same foam as a bamboo whisk.)
  3. Keep staring until it is well incorporated as the powder does not dissolve into the water.
  4. Add in the cold milk and sweetener to your taste.

 

 

 

Healthy Cookie dough Bites

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This is a new recipe that I’ve created recently and the best part is it’s a no-bake recipe. These bites are a great snack that is gluten free, dairy free and nut free. I’ve struggled to fine a nut free recipe that does not include any complicated ingredients or a food processor, so you’ll find that most of these ingredients are pretty easy to obtain. However, the most important thing is that it is both healthy and tastes amazing!

Ingredients

  • 1.2 cup Gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 large banana
  • 1tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey (or maple syrup if vegan)
  • 1tbsp chia seed
  • Raw cacao powder (optional)
  • Vanilla essence (optional)
  • cinnamon (optional)
  • Raisins or chocolate chips (vegan)

Method

  1. Firstly you are going to cook the flour. Don’t worry, this is fairly easy. All you have to do is cook the flour in a pan on low heat, stirring consistently until it slightly browns.
  2. Then place the flour in a bowl and add in the cinnamon, cacao powder, chia seed and raisins.
  3. In a separate bowl, mash up the banana until smooth and add in the coconut oil , vanilla and honey. Mix well, getting rid of any lumps.
  4. Mix in the wet and dry ingredients together. You should have a dough-like consistency.
  5. Roll the dough into little balls and then roll them in chia seed or coconut powder. Let them set in the fridge before having them.

 

This recipe takes about 10-15mins and it is truly worth it. It has healthy fats from the coconut oil and fibre from the chia seeds to help keep you full and similar to my other recipes, you can easily adjust it to your taste. I hope you enjoyed this recipe, let me know if you try it out and please like and follow for more posts like this one. Xoxo.