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.

Green Juice Recipe for Detox

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I haven’t always been a fan of green juices, mostly because it’s an acquired taste, but lately I’ve been giving it a try because I feel like my digestive system needed a boost. The best thing about a detox juice is that it has all the benefits blended into one. It’s simple and quick, but my issue has always been the high folate levels in green juices; folate is found in spinach and avocado, and it doesn’t always agree with me.

So the recipe below is a green juice for beginners, you don’t just jump onto the green juice frenzy, you ease into it.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 small green apple
  • 50 grams of sliced cucumber (or a handful)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp matcha powder (unsweetened)
  • 1-2 cups of water

Tip: pass the juice through a strainer.

Other Ingredients you can add or substitute with:

  • ginger
  • mint
  • spinach
  • parsley
  • apple cider vinegar
  • avocado

 

The possibilities of a green juice are endless and effective if you need a cleanse for either weight loss or detox. The juice is one I make in the morning and before breakfast, I don’t usually have it every day, but if you’re trying out a detox week then this would be a good idea.

I hope you try it out and if you do please leave me a comment. Follow for more posts like this one and thank you for reading, xoxo.

5 Healthy Habits You Should Start Right Now

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  1. Water Before Coffee– make sure you drink at least 1 glass of water before having coffee-438416_640.jpgyour coffee and after, because coffee is dehydrating. This may also reduce the blow of a caffeine crash. On that note, try to limit the amount of coffee you drink, three cups a day doesn’t give enough time for the caffeine to leave your system, and your sleep cycle might suffer from this.

 

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2. Frequent and small– your meals should be in small portions but regular. 3 big meals a day might not work for everyone, this could cause bloating and increase your stomach size. If you want to shrink you stomach you can take 3 small meals and 2-3 snacks, this will help you feel fuller with less as your stomach size decreases.

 

 

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3. Fill with greens– this is something I’m still working on, which is filling half of my platewith greens. Veggies and salads contain fibre which helps keep you fuller for longer and has the least amount of calories. I know they probably aren’t that appealing at first but tweaking them up a little makes a big difference.

 

alarm-clock-2116007_640.jpg4. Avoid late night binging – set a time limit for when you want to have a last meal. Your digestive system needs time to rest and it’s best to avoid eating just before bed because you won’t be burning off the calories. 7pm is a good time but you can set a time for yourself

 

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5. Sleep, sleep, sleep– I’m guilty of this one too, but I’ve made some difference. 7-8 hrs, don’t tell me you only need 5 or 6, don’t tell me you’re a superhuman, cause I’m going to give it to you straight. You will crash. Hard. I was there at one point, feeling invisible cause I could run on 4 hrs of sleep and give out better than anyone else. Then it all caught up on me and now I value my sleep like nothing else. Ever wonder why cats have 9 lives, they sleep!!

 

I hope you all enjoyed this post, please like and leave a comment telling me about your favourite heathy habits. I hope to see you again soon, xoxo.

 

Low Carb Pancake Recipe

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This has become one of my go-to breakfasts, because it’s delicious and simple. It took me a few tries to get the recipe right, but it was definitely worth it. In this recipe I used almond and coconut flour, I haven’t tried it with other nut flours, but the ratio of these two flours are necessary to achieve the right consistency. However, you can substitute the other ingredients in this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • stevia (to taste) (or any sweetener of choice)
  • 1/2 almond milk (or any milk of choice)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 eggs

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl (tip: make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature to prevent the coconut oil from solidifying)
  2. Spray a pan with coconut oil after allowing it to heat up and pour your batter in.
  3. Allow small bubbles to form on the surface of the pancakes before flipping them over.
  4. Top them with berries, almond butter or any toppings of your choice.

 

I hope you enjoyed this recipe, please leave a comment below if you do try it out. Thank you for reading and follow for more posts like this one, xoxo.

 

 

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.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.