3 Fitness Myths

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Hey guys, I thought I would address one of the major problems in our society today regarding women and young girls. I’m sure that, just like me, you grew up with the idea, that losing weight was the best possible thing to happen to a girl. Being told that we lost weight was a compliment and it made us feel better about ourselves. We were fed the ‘diet mindset’ by society and the media, throughout our lives and we ended up fearing our weight and food. That mindset is still very present and it is still destroying the mental and physical health of so many girls. DISCLAIMER: I know that simply saying these things won’t solve our problems, it will take a lot more to do that, however I do hope to increase its awareness.

1.DIETS ARE THE HOLY GRAIL

I want you to think about how many times you’ve said ‘I am going on a diet’ in the past. Just saying those words gave you a feeling of relief, but why is that? Growing up as young girls we are led to believe that the slimmer or the skinnier you are, the better. Moreover, we are duped into believing that skinny equals healthy. I remember when I was overweight and would go for a checkup, doctors would always tell me to lose weight. However, no showed told me the right way to do so and I delved into the world of endless diets. Long story short, none of them lasted long or had lasting effect.

One thing we need to establish and preach is that food is not the enemy. Instead of banning foods and being afraid we need to have a healthy relationship with them which takes time. That means making the healthy choices most of the time and indulging occasionally, but most of all knowing that ‘healthy’ doesn’t mean punishment or steamed broccoli everyday. You don’t need a cheat day once a week or the guilt of enjoying food you love. Our main goal should be a sustainable healthy lifestyle. I want you to view the food you eat as energy for your workouts, because at the end of the day, that is how your body processes it. You need energy to lose weight and thus food.

2. CARBS MAKE YOU FAT

Now it is true that some bodies react better to carb intake than others and low-carb diet can make you lose weight however carbs do not make you fat. Let’s break down why you may think carbs make you fat. When we eat carbs, our body breaks it down as glucose, thus rising our blood sugar and our pancreas in return produces insulin which signals our cells to use up the glucose. 50% is used by our brain and our muscles and liver store the glucose as glycogen, so as you can see, extreme low carb diets can have a debilitating effect on your health and muscle growth. Finally, the rest of the glucose is stored as fat, which is why people are afraid of carbs.

However, know which types of carbs are best for your body. Stick to complex carbs such as oats and quinoa and avoid simple carbohydrates that spike your blood sugar and provide little to no nutrients. You do not have to eliminate carbs completely from your nutrition, it isn’t sustainable and besides carbs release serotonin (your happy hormone) so don’t deprive yourself. There is only one way you can put on weight or fat and I clear that up down below.

Now, let’s get the gist of all of this. The only way you can lose weight is through a caloric deficit through nutrition or increased physical activity, similarly you will only put on weight/fat if you are in a caloric surplus. If you are working out; combining resistance training with some form of cardio, your body needs the carbs and the calories. Someone who is not active at all would require the same caloric needs. The key thing to understand is that no one’s nutrition can be exactly the same and you will have to change your nutrition throughout your fitness journey.

For example; right now I am trying to build muscle in my end goal to have a lean physique. Which is why I am in a slight caloric surplus and it’s a carb fest for me (I am literally having a bowl of overnight oats while writing this). In a few months, I will slightly decrease my carb intake simply to help my body burn fat faster (your body will still burn fat if you are working out, regardless of your carb intake). I am definitely going all out on my workouts but I am enjoying the process. I like to call this lean bulking.

3. WEIGHTS MAKE YOU BULKY

This is one I hear pretty often and I have to confess that I used to believe that as well when I was younger. Many women believe that if they pick up a dumbbell that’s heavier than 2kg, their muscles are going to puff up in 2 seconds, but that is not the case. For a woman to be able to bulk up like a man, she would need a ton of supplements/drugs. We don’t have the levels of testosterone that men have, therefore lifting weights will not give you a manly physique, instead it’ll help you lose fat and achieve a lean build much faster.

Lifting weights has done a lot for my physical and mental health. We’re led to believe that we need to override on cardio to achieve our ideal body, but I call that torture. I do incorporate cardio into my workouts in the form of HIIT training but I mostly focus on resistance training. One thing to takeaway from this is to try out different types of workouts and choose the one you enjoy doing, not the ones you dread.

Let me know your views or other myths down in the comments. The main objective is to create a healthy community and encourage this mindset. Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. Please like and follow for more, xoxo.

Healthy Food Staples

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Healthy Grocery Staples

When trying to eat healthily, it’s easy to get confused by the variety of products on the market. Many foods are marketed as being ‘healthy’ but are often not; brands use words such as ‘low fat’, ‘low carb’, ‘high in protein’ and ‘low calorie’ to entice us into buying their products. However, these foods are often filled with several unhealthy ingredients. For example; protein bars are marketed as a healthy, ‘high protein’ snack, but are filled with sugar. This is why it’s important to always read the ingredients.

It will get easier to choose which foods are best for you with time, but to make it simpler, here are some whole-food staples that are widely available and versatile. These are gluten and dairy-free but I’ve also listed foods (italicized) which I don’t include in my nutrition due to allergies.

CARBS

  • Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • GF bread
  • Potato Gnocchi
  • Veggie Pasta

PROTEIN

  • Chicken Breast
  • Lean Beef
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Chickpeas

FRUITS & VEGGIES

  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Spinach/Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Lettuce
  • Bell peppers

OTHER

  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Cinnamon powder
  • Organic Honey
  • Unsweetened plant-based milk

I hope this post is useful in helping you tackle the basics of eating balanced, please follow and let me know what you think. Thank you for reading, 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 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 Tips to Stop Binge Eating

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#1. Meal Prep- this is a great way to plan what you eat in a day and avoid standing in front of the fridge munching on potato chips (which should not even be in there btw). If you have all your meals already prepared, you are less likely to eat mindlessly.

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#2. Cut out sugar- one of the problems with sugar is that it promotes cravings. Have you ever found yourself craving sugar then craving something salty? Sugar only intensifies your hunger.

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#3. Add mint to your diet- mint is known to help curb cravings and keep you fuller for longer. Add some mint to your tea, smoothie or water to sip throughout the day.

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#4. Breakfast is key- make sure your macros are well balanced in your breakfast. Most of the time we have a carb filled breakfast and although carbs are needed in your meal, you should also aim to add protein as well. Protein helps keep you fuller for longer as its breakdown requires more time and energy. You can find protein in eggs, nuts, meat, fish, and poultry and if breakfast just isn’t your thing, it can even be lunch because either way you are still breaking your fast.

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#5. Reduce Stress-  often you’ll find that binge eating is related to emotional stress, because our mind is under pressure, our bodies turn to food for comfort (like devouring a tub of ice cream after a breakup). So to prevent or stop binge eating, you need to be more aware of how your body and mind feel and try to find another form of support rather than food.

 

I hope these tips are useful to you in any way possible and that you come back for more. Thank you so much for reading and I hope to see you again next time, 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.