Tag Archive | "diet"

girl-running

4 ways to increase fat loss

Body fat is simply stored energy, so giving your body a reason to use it is vital. This can be done through diet or exercise, but most commonly a combination of the two.

“To lose body fat, you need to place your body into a calorie deficit, forcing it to use its fat for energy. Muscle is also your body’s engine – the bigger the engine, the more fuel it uses and the more calories you burn, making it easier to lose fat,” says Etheridge, who suggests any good fat loss plan contains gradual progressions in both fat-burning cardiovascular activity and resistance training.

“Strength training is the most important element; the amount of cardio you need to do to achieve fat loss depends on how strict you are with your diet and what kind of strength and conditioning program you’re doing,” he says.

“Utilise progressive overload to make your resistance workout more difficult than what you can comfortably perform in your current program. Whether it be using different training principals, such as supersets and circuits, or increasing the weight or reps, keep progressing by asking more from your body.”

Etheridge suggests increasing your weight, sets, reps or intensity each week for six weeks, followed by one week of lighter training (aka. a deload week) to allow the body to recover.

“Lighter weeks or rest weeks are imperative to minimise overtraining and reduce the chance of overuse injuries. This is the optimal way to increase your strength,” says Etheridge.

“For weight loss, it’s not as important to use progressions with your cardio. The cardio is purely for fat burning – but if you want to continue to improve your cardiovascular fitness, aim to increase your workout intensity by approximately five per cent each week for six weeks. Take a week off and then start your new program.”

Here are her top four tips:

1. Change your exercises from basic compound movements to compound movements that require a higher level of skill, coordination or strength. For example, single leg or unilateral work. Examples:think pistol squat, TRX suspended lunge, Bulgarian split squat, single-leg deadlift, squats and step-ups using a bosu ball; single arm work such as one arm dumbbell or chest press on a fitball, single arm rows or renegade rows.

2. Reduce rest periods. Depending on how much rest you’re currently having, aim to drop it by five per cent per week for six weeks, or until you’re only having approximately 40 seconds rest (if performing straight sets) and 20 seconds rest between exercises (if you’re performing a circuit).

3. Split your program up and focus on two to three muscles groups per workout rather than full body. This is a more advanced way of training and a great way to continue progressing. Splitting the body parts up means you can perform more volume (sets) on each muscle group in each workout, and workout more days each week while still allowing adequate recovery time.

4. Add plyometrics to your workouts. Plyometric training is high impact and high intensity, and involves a lot of jumping where your muscles exert maximum force in short intervals – great for power and agility, and can be a quick and fun way to burn fat given its higher calorie output.

In order to track your progress, keep yourself accountable. Regularly weigh yourself or take measurements, and keep a food and training diary to understand how training and nutrition protocols affect you on a weekly basis.

4 ways to increase fat loss

Posted in Exercises, Nutrition, Training Methods, Weight lossComments (0)

Eat-fasting-diet-plan

Eat-fasting 2.0 = two meals within a 12 hour period

 Eat-fasting 2.0 sanctions eating two meals within a 12-hour period. So does this diet planwork?

The whole fasting and eating at the same time thing has become so ubiquitous, we’re inured to the fact that it’s the stupidest oxymoron since skinny-fat.

But suspending logic and intellect for the sake of being able to buy lunch and stovepipe jeans, we’re digging scientific backing for a pro-grub upgrade to the 5:2 fad.

How does it work

Eat-fasting 2.0 sanctions eating two meals within a 12-hour period, which is – knock us down with a catwalk model’s thigh – almost normal.

According to Salk Institute researchers, the program can help the body to burn fat rather than store it, despite no weird food or kJ rules and occasional cheat meals.

They also put the kibosh on the six-meals-a-day boosting metabolism theory.

Breakfast is crucial to good health. It’s the first meal we eat after a night’s sleep, kick starting the body back into action, or ‘breaking the fast’. The longer you go without foodafter waking up in the morning, the longer you are in the state of shutdown your body adopts during sleep.

“When people skip breakfast they are putting their body into a prolonged fasting state,” says accredited practising dietitian Lisa Renn.

“That is, they haven’t eaten anything since the previous night’s dinner and are asking their bodies to hold off without food for even longer. When this occurs regularly the body is forced to slow its metabolism down in order to conserve energy. The result is usually weight gain.”

The US National Weight Control Registry bears this out, showing that of those people who have lost more than 30 pounds (around 14 kilograms) and kept it off for more than a year, 90 per cent reported eating breakfast most days of the week.

Breakfast is also the meal farthest away from our next sleep, which means the body has lots of time to digest and metabolise what we ate for breakfast throughout the day. So you can eat more and gain less.
It’s why it’s important to eat ‘the breakfast of a king, the lunch of a prince and the dinner of a pauper’. We don’t have time to metabolise a heavy, late dinner before we go to sleep at night. On the other hand, breakfast gives us all the energy we need to lead active lives during the day.

Breakfast improves alertness, concentration, mental performance and memory,” Renn says. “It can also help improve a person’s mood – that’s why people get tired and irritable when they miss breakfast.
“The optimum breakfast will come from a low GI, high fibre carbohydrate source that is low in saturated fat and sodium. Ideally fruit or vegetables will form part of the mix, and it is a good idea to include a low-fat dairy or dairy-equivalent product.”

The spice of life
Some women don’t feel they can stomach a big breakfast – for many it is the most unappealing meal of the day. The repetitive and routine nature of the meal – cereal or toast each day, without much variation – can be an issue, as can the pressure to eat on the run. For many busy women it’s a question of simply ‘forcing something down’ on the way out the door.

Because of a declining respect for the meal itself, brought about by the way we order our lives and the time constraints we impose as a result of juggling work, children and other commitments, breakfast just doesn’t have the variety or pleasure factor of other meals.

But it’s a very good opportunity to see food as an important fuel for the body rather than simply an indulgence, and to eat foods that are good for you. It’s also a chance to consume important nutrients like fibre, calcium, vitamin C and folate all in one go – a bowl of muesli, yoghurt and berries will achieve this in one sitting, and hopefully you’ll agree it isn’t an entirely unpleasant experience.

There are also plenty of ways to increase breakfast variety, even if you’re time-poor. Consider the range of foods available to us today that are now ‘acceptable’ for breakfast, not to mention the brunch menu of any good café.
The modern continental breakfast includes items like smoked salmon, avocado, bagels, ricotta pancakes, cheeses, bruschetta, fruit compotes – and none of these need too much time to prepare.

A traditional breakfast
Eggs are high in protein and nutrients and are the classic cooked breakfast food. They are easy to prepare, and not as high in cholesterol as you may think.

But to play it safe, stick to the National Heart Foundation’s recommendations and limit your egg consumption to six a week. Boiling, poaching and scrambling (without cream) are the best low-fat preparation options for eggs. Omelettes can add variety – try fillings such as potato, pumpkin, cheese and tomato.

It is now also possible to purchase very lean or soy bacon. Grill or barbeque to ensure the fat drips off during cooking, or use a non-stick pan. A healthy vegetarian variation, or an addition for omnivores, is to add baked beans and vegetables like spinach or mushroom to increase the nutrient content of your cooked breakfast.

Ultimately, however, bacon and eggs is simply not a viable option seven days a week. If you eat this sort of breakfast every day, you are not only consuming high levels of sodium and saturated fat, but you risk missing out on dietary fibre and calcium.

Renn suggests overcoming this by mixing up your breakfast options, saving the cooked breakfast for the weekend and having a high fibre cereal with low-fat milk, a low-fat smoothie, a bowl of porridge or pancakes with yoghurt and berries during the week.

“The more variety in your food intake, the more likely you are to get the right balance of nutrients,” she says.

Get more diet tips and start planning your healthy eating program.

 

 

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cardiohiit

4 ways to increase fat loss

Progressively burn more fat with these top tips from personal trainer, Pilates instructor, and owner of KE Fitness Kris Etheridge.

Body fat is simply stored energy, so giving your body a reason to use it is vital. This can be done through diet or exercise, but most commonly a combination of the two.

“To lose body fat, you need to place your body into a calorie deficit, forcing it to use its fat for energy. Muscle is also your body’s engine – the bigger the engine, the more fuel it uses and the more calories you burn, making it easier to lose fat,” says Etheridge, who suggests any good fat loss plan contains gradual progressions in both fat-burning cardiovascular activity and resistance training.

“Strength training is the most important element; the amount of cardio you need to do to achieve fat loss depends on how strict you are with your diet and what kind of strength and conditioning program you’re doing,” he says.

“Utilise progressive overload to make your resistance workout more difficult than what you can comfortably perform in your current program. Whether it be using different training principals, such as supersets and circuits, or increasing the weight or reps, keep progressing by asking more from your body.”

Etheridge suggests increasing your weight, sets, reps or intensity each week for six weeks, followed by one week of lighter training (aka. a deload week) to allow the body to recover.

“Lighter weeks or rest weeks are imperative to minimise overtraining and reduce the chance of overuse injuries. This is the optimal way to increase your strength,” says Etheridge.

“For weight loss, it’s not as important to use progressions with your cardio. The cardio is purely for fat burning – but if you want to continue to improve your cardiovascular fitness, aim to increase your workout intensity by approximately five per cent each week for six weeks. Take a week off and then start your new program.”

Here are her top four tips:

1. Change your exercises from basic compound movements to compound movements that require a higher level of skill, coordination or strength. For example, single leg or unilateral work. Examples:think pistol squat, TRX suspended lunge, Bulgarian split squat, single-leg deadlift, squats and step-ups using a bosu ball; single arm work such as one arm dumbbell or chest press on a fitball, single arm rows or renegade rows.

2. Reduce rest periods. Depending on how much rest you’re currently having, aim to drop it by five per cent per week for six weeks, or until you’re only having approximately 40 seconds rest (if performing straight sets) and 20 seconds rest between exercises (if you’re performing a circuit).

3. Split your program up and focus on two to three muscles groups per workout rather than full body. This is a more advanced way of training and a great way to continue progressing. Splitting the body parts up means you can perform more volume (sets) on each muscle group in each workout, and workout more days each week while still allowing adequate recovery time.

4. Add plyometrics to your workouts. Plyometric training is high impact and high intensity, and involves a lot of jumping where your muscles exert maximum force in short intervals – great for power and agility, and can be a quick and fun way to burn fat given its higher calorie output.

In order to track your progress, keep yourself accountable. Regularly weigh yourself or take measurements, and keep a food and training diary to understand how training and nutrition protocols affect you on a weekly basis.

 

Source: 4 ways to increase fat loss

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, NutritionComments (0)

Not sure which diet will work for you? Readers Imogen and Erin share their success stories.   Imogen, 46,  has lost 15 kg on the 5:2 diet in about a year   “I’d been exercising and putting on weight, not losing it (the old ‘eating extra to compensate for the exercise’ trick). I’d reached a weight that was higher than my full-term pregnancy weight with my kids, and decided that it was enough. One of my clients mentioned that she had been on the 5:2 diet for two months and had lost eight kg and could still eat cake, and I thought, ‘That’s my kind of diet!’. “I had tried other diets where I restricted my intake to 1200cals/day. I’d lost weight, but found it very hard, and as soon as I stopped [the diet], it crept back on. I like the 5:2 diet because I can eat out and not constantly deprive myself of the foods that I love. I also like how easy it is, only needing to count calories two days a week, not every day.  I don’t love fasting, but I accept that this diet is the one that has worked for me, and easily, without feeling deprived all the time. [If I’m craving something] I can just tell myself that tomorrow I can have that thing I’m craving. I feel much healthier overall since I lost the weight.” Erin, 37,  quit sugar five years ago “Quitting sugar changed my life. Literally. Children were supposed to be extremely difficult to conceive for me. When I was struggling with digestive issues and exhaustion, my boyfriend, a chiropractor, suggested I eliminate sugar from my diet. Six weeks later, by accident, I was staring at a positive pregnancy test. “I ended up with a second pregnancy right after, and the baby weight was so easy to lose. I’m actually thinner now than I was pre-babies!   Quitting sugar was hard for me at first because I was a sugar-holic. However, it’s gotten easier. Now real (processed) sugar makes me sick. I can tell immediately now if I do eat sugar because I get instant brain fog, and the issues that plagued me in the past immediately come back. “I now have two toddlers, more focus, a thriving business, and less weight to carry around all because I gave the boot to sugar.”  NEXT: Try this 5-day sugar-free diet plan>>         {nomultithumb}  

DIY diet success stories

Imogen, 46, 

has lost 15 kg on the 5:2 diet in about a year

“I’d been exercising and putting on weight, not losing it (the old ‘eating extra to compensate for the exercise’ trick). I’d reached a weight that was higher than my full-term pregnancy weight with my kids, and decided that it was enough. One of my clients mentioned that she had been on the 5:2 diet for two months and had lost eight kg and could still eat cake, and I thought, ‘That’s my kind of diet!’.

“I had tried other diets where I restricted my intake to 1200cals/day. I’d lost weight, but found it very hard, and as soon as I stopped [the diet], it crept back on.

I like the 5:2 diet because I can eat out and not constantly deprive myself of the foods that I love. I also like how easy it is, only needing to count calories two days a week, not every day.

I don’t love fasting, but I accept that this diet is the one that has worked for me, and easily, without feeling deprived all the time. [If I’m craving something] I can just tell myself that tomorrow I can have that thing I’m craving. I feel much healthier overall since I lost the weight.”

Erin, 37, 

quit sugar five years ago

Quitting sugar changed my life. Literally. Children were supposed to be extremely difficult to conceive for me. When I was struggling with digestive issues and exhaustion, my boyfriend, a chiropractor, suggested I eliminate sugar from my diet. Six weeks later, by accident, I was staring at a positive pregnancy test.

“I ended up with a second pregnancy right after, and the baby weight was so easy to lose. I’m actually thinner now than I was pre-babies!

Quitting sugar was hard for me at first because I was a sugar-holic. However, it’s gotten easier. Now real (processed) sugar makes me sick. I can tell immediately now if I do eat sugar because I get instant brain fog, and the issues that plagued me in the past immediately come back.

“I now have two toddlers, more focus, a thriving business, and less weight to carry around all because I gave the boot to sugar.”

 

 

DIY diet success stories

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480d31004fc6b75e1cda732eb769052a

How to tone up your back

Say goodbye to annoying back fat...

Guilty of neglecting your back muscles? You’re not the only one. We often focus mainly on the muscles we see in the mirror and end up completely forgetting about the ones at the back. While our abs may be on point just in time for our summer beach holiday, our back could do with a little work in the gym. However, we’ve got you sorted with the best exercises for toning your back and feeling fantastic, from back to front.

Not only will working on your back boost your overall physique, but it’ll also dramatically improve strength and posture. A clever combination of the right diet plus the back exercises that give you the most bang for your buck will get you on the right path to eliminating excess fat and back pain. These two effective exercises are bound to make you feel strong, powerful and ready to step up your gym game.

Bent-over row

1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees bent and upper body leaning forwards from the hips. Keep a flat back.

2. Holding a barbell with both hands, arms extended towards the floor, row the barbell up to your waist.

3. Lower slowly and repeat.

Safety tip: keep your shoulders back and try not to hunch.

Eccentric chin-up

1. Stand underneath a pull-up bar, on a step if necessary.

2. Jump up to take hold of the pull-up bar with both hands, palms facing you. Your chin should already be at the height of the bar, at the top of the movement.

3. Lower yourself as slowly as you can, until arms are fully extended.

4. Release and repeat.

Kick refined carbs to the curb

Keeping fit and looking after your body isn’t just about doing the right exercises; you also need to make sure you’re eating the right food to. Exercising and maintaining a healthy diet go hand-in-hand.

Make sure that sugar and refined carbohydrates (like pasta and bread) are sparse in your diet as the consumption of high-GI foods like these will encourage your body to store fat. Fill up on fibrous veg and high-protein sources like eggs and chicken, instead.

Source: How to tone up your back

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The Truth About Weight Loss

There’s more to weight loss than losing weight

The start of every health kick can be a glorious time, with your motivation at its highest and the fitness gains at their easiest to come by. Your muscles might be aching, and your diet could be missing a few unhealthy favourites, but the weight will be dropping off like nobody’s business.

At some point, however, you might find that whatever efforts you make in the gym or the kitchen do not result in any further losses when you step on the scales. Your weight plateaus, or perhaps even nudges slightly upwards. Obviously, this can be the ultimate motivation killer if your main goal is weight loss, but a simple scales reading can be misleading when it comes to your general health.

More important than how much you weigh is your body composition – namely how much of your body is made up of fat, muscle, bones, water, assorted organs, and so on. Some of these you can’t do much about – it doesn’t matter how much you try, you’re unlikely to shave any weight off your liver without resorting to some extremely risky behaviour. It’s still good to know what’s going on with all your insides, but the key two areas of body composition you can affect are your body fat and muscle mass.

Reducing body fat is often the main goal of people’s plans when they embark on a new exercise regime and/or diet, and any early weight loss is a result of achieving that goal. However, when weight loss plateaus it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve stopped lowering your body fat percentage. It could simply mean that you’re increasing your muscle mass at the same time. No net weight loss, but a far healthier body composition.

An extreme example often used to illustrate the deficiencies of simply relying on weight as a guide to health is comparing the Body Mass Index (which is based on height and weight, with no accounting for body composition) of a professional rugby player with an obese person. Both might end up with a matching BMI score, but the muscle-bound rugby hulk is clearly in better shape in terms of their overall health.

Even if you never reach the rippling physique of a Jonah Lomu in his prime, you might also suffer from misapprehensions about your health and the effectiveness of your gym work if you only use overall weight as a guide to your progress.

The issue is that muscle is not heavier than fat, but it is denser. This means it takes up less space to weigh the same amount as fat, so your body shape might be changing for the better even if your total weight is the same after weeks of working out.

Body composition is also important when it comes to the type of fat you have. Visceral fat, which accumulates around your organs in the mid-section, is the most dangerous kind, in that a large quantity of it is linked with an increased risk of all kinds of problems including heart disease, several cancers and type 2 diabetes. A relatively slim physique with a pot belly is therefore nothing to boast about, you need to shift that midsection bulk rather than just focussing on your overall weight.

The good news is that visceral fat is the first stuff you’ll shift when you start exercising. Even if you can’t see the fat itself, you can monitor your progress by measuring your waistline regularly. Keeping tabs on your waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) is good practice all round if you’re on a fitness drive, as it has been found to be a better indicator of obesity-related health risks than simple weight or BMI measurements. To see if your ratio is unhealthily high simply grab a piece of string, use it to measure your height then fold it in half. If it doesn’t fit around your waist, then your ratio is in bad shape, and it’s time to start slimming.

There are also plenty of more precise ways to get a handle on your body composition, from the humble pair of callipers to smart scales. With callipers you pinch the skin and measure the fold in at least three locations on your body. Then plug those numbers into an online calculator to get an idea of your body fat. The number itself might not be incredibly accurate, but consistently measuring in the same way with callipers over time will allow you to track changes in your body composition.

For their part, smart scales such as the Withings Body Cardio will provide the most in-depth and accurate look at your insides you can get outside of a hospital, telling you your body fat, muscle mass, water percentage and bone mass, along with your actual weight. In terms of practical information about how your efforts to improve your fitness are going, it’s a huge step up from standard scales.

Source:

The Truth About Weight Loss

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pilates

The fit lifestyle with Cassey Ho

Tired of starting a diet every summer of every other Monday? We chat to blogger Cassey Ho about how she stays fit and healthy all year round. Take note.

Aim for balance with food: I allow myself a YOLO (you only live once) meal once or twice a week. But the rest of the time I eat clean, enjoying lots of plant foods, fresh produce, grass-fed meats, wholegrains and unsweetened beverages. I try to eat carbs, protein and healthy fats at every meal to keep me full and energised. The one thing I minimise is dairy – it makes my skin break out. I also avoid foods high in sodium, saturated or unhealthy fats, chemicals and preservatives, additives and colours.

Lose the rules: Going on diets or strict meal plans just doesn’t work for me. I always crave the foods I’m missing out on, and once that ‘diet’ is over, I want to binge on the foods I was restricting. Over time, I’ve learned to eat in a balanced way – that way I no longer have crazy cravings for junk food that cause me to binge and feel guilty.

Avoid extremes: When I was prepping for my bikini competition several years ago, I was put on this crazy diet of only eating about 1000-to-1200 calories (around 4, 200kJ) a day while I was working out for four hours a day! As a result I felt tired, irritable, angry and frustrated. My mind was foggy and I couldn’t concentrate. I was labelling food as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and felt like I was trapped in food jail. For eight to 10 weeks I endured this crazy plan. I did the bikini competition with my new, lean body, and then I decided to go back to ‘normal-healthy’. But when I tried to introduce a variety of foods back into my diet, like brown rice, quinoa and different types of protein, my body did not like that at all. It acted like a sponge, soaking everything up. 

For the next three years, I gradually gained weight. And there was nothing I could do to stop it. During this time, I was still working out really hard for about one hour a day, but my body just didn’t respond. It rebelled. It was seriously frustrating because in my mind, I was doing everything right. Diet and exercise should equal weight loss or at least weight maintenance. But because of the damage and stress that I put my body under during that bikini prep, my hormones became unbalanced and I am still getting back to normal.

Aim for more sleep and less stress: I learned a lot from my bikini comp experience. Cortisol, the stress hormone, increases when you significantly lower your kilojoules, over-exercise and/or don’t have enough sleep. And cortisol plays a role in increasing abdominal fat, more specifically, lower-belly fat. This stress also decreases leptin, the hormone that controls your appetite. So you feel extra hungry all the time and it’s likely that you may crave those carbs and high-fat foods. That’s exactly what happened to me. Getting enough sleep, eating sufficient kilojoules and taking time to de-stress and relax are really important for your waistline and wellbeing.

Treat yourself: When you deprive yourself of cake or ice-cream, you start to think about them all the time and that leads to bingeing. Instead, I allow myself treats – in moderation. And because I know I can have them from time to time, I don’t crave them or eat more of them than I should.

Focus on health, not weight: I rarely step on the scales anymore because I know that my weight does not tell me how strong or fast I am. When I’m at my healthiest, I can tell by how I feel. When I am consistent with my diet and workouts, I am happy, motivated and energised. When I start to feel sluggish and drained, I know that my eating habits may be off and my workouts aren’t as routine – so I address that.

Use the seasons: What I love about the changing seasons is that they allow me to prepare myself for fresh beginnings four times a year. So with each season I see a chance to refocus and find a new rhythm and routine to optimise my health goals. I also try to rediscover delicious seasonal flavours to keep my clean-eating habits on track.

See the original article here –

The fit lifestyle with Cassey Ho

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Image bianca.jpg

Fitness model healthy food swaps

Fitness website founder and model  //  Sporteluxe.com and biancacheah.com.au

“I eat a high-protein, low-carb diet. I don’t eat dairy foods like milk, cheese and yoghurt. Chicken and fish are my top protein picks and with them I always eat plenty of fresh vegetables – particularly the vegies in season as they are grown more naturally. I eat very little sugar and minimise intake of carbs as they make me feel bloated and lethargic.

I avoid processed foods, which really make me feel hungover. Vegies are on high rotation in my diet; the fresher the meal, the better I feel. I feel good knowing I’ve nourished my body with a huge vitamin boost, but I also believe it’s really important to allow yourself treats in moderation, otherwise abstaining can lead to binge eating. I like to snack on chocolate-covered goji berries, which are full of antioxidants.”

Cow’s milk 

»

Lactose-free almond or soy milk

Green vegies 

»

Green juices (broccoli, broccolini, spinach, cucumber)

Sugar 

»

Honey

Dried fruit  

»

Fresh fruit

White carbs 

»

Quinoa, brown rice, sweet potato

Bland food 

»

Flavoursome food (spices)

Fruit juices

»

Water

Wine

»

Biodynamic and organic red wine

Pasta

»

Steamed broccolini

Milk chocolate

»

Chocolate-covered goji berries

 

Sophie Guidolin

sophie

fitness blogger  //  sophieguidolin.com.au

“I overhauled most of my habits, which meant I cut back on sugar, reduced my intake of carbs, started avoiding processed foods, reduced my intake of preservatives, colours and additives, added more lean protein, reduced my intake of dairy foods and ate a bigger variety of vegetables.”

Liquid kilojoules (cordial, soda, milk)

»

Water

Brownies

»

Protein brownies

Flour pancakes

»

Quinoa pancakes

Cake

»

Low-carb cake (e.g. coconut flour)

White rice

»

Couscous

 

Emily Skye 

emilyskye

Fitness model  //  emilyskye.com

Taken from –

Fitness model healthy food swaps

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Sleep

The Secrets Of Sleep

 

It’s easy to overlook your sleep when you start on a health kick. Your focus naturally drifts towards planning out your diet and exercise as the two key aspects of your fitness routine, and clearly they are both very important.

However, all the work you do in your waking hours can be undermined if you don’t pay any attention to your sleep, as keeping your mind and body well rested is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle.

Anyone who’s ever had a poor night’s sleep knows the physical, mental and emotional toll it can have on a person. Offices all over the world are full of people drifting through the day unable to concentrate on their work due to tossing and turning all night, but the effects of bad sleep can be far more drastic than feeling a little grouchy the next day.

Regular poor sleep raises the risk of suffering severe medical conditions including obesity, heart disease and diabetes, and shortens overall life expectancy.

Source:

The Secrets Of Sleep

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stephlow

A day in the life of a gluten-free guru

 

As a sports nutritionist, triathlete and self-confessed cashew butter addict from Melbourne, Stephanie Lowe is passionate about the health benefits of going gluten free. Her blog offers written posts and podcasts about everything from gut health to fat loss. It also offers delicious GF recipes and Lowe’s ebooks, including Free From Gluten and Real Food Reset. 

My food philosophy

 

“Real is best. Food that comes out of the ground, from a tree or from an animal is the most nutrient dense and whole source of nutrition. In fact, one of the biggest changes we can make to improve our health is to significantly reduce or eliminate our intake of packaged foods.”

Foods on high rotation in my diet

“Every meal I eat contains many non-starchy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and zucchini. It also contains a quality protein such as free-range eggs or grass-fed meat and good fats such as avocado and olive oil. My carbohydrates come from wholefood sources, such as berries and sweet potato. Eating this way offers me optimal nutrient density, blood sugar control, satiety and long-term health benefits.”

Foods I avoid

“I stay away from packaged foods and particularly avoid ingredients that promote inflammation in the body, such as gluten, refined sugar and polyunsaturated seed oils such as canola oil (because they are high in omega-6 fatty acids, which we have too much of in our Western diet). I believe that anti-inflammatory nutrition is the key to my good health today, and tomorrow.”

Why I became gluten free

“I stopped eating gluten nine years ago to help my mental state and heal my relationship with food, which wasn’t healthy. I was so inspired by the changes I experienced that I went back to university to study nutrition at a post-graduate level so I could educate others on the power of real food. Before this dietary change, I was eating gluten every day, whether it was a small amount through traditional soy sauce or in larger quantities in low-fat cereals and muesli bars.”

Health benefits

“Once I stopped eating gluten, my digestion improved, but the biggest change was the emotional impact – I felt calmer and happier. I really began to understand that with 90 per cent of serotonin receptors (our happy hormone) found in our gut, the food that we eat has a significant influence on our brain and mental health.”

Challenges

“It can be tricky when waiters at a restaurant don’t quite understand gluten free, or perhaps don’t take your request seriously enough. The great thing is that in 2016 the awareness of gluten free is quite high and many restaurants code their menu GF, which makes ordering out very easy. Ten years ago it was much more challenging to cut out gluten, as many people didn’t even know what gluten was. Now, as long as you communicate what your dietary requirements are, most restaurants and cafes will go out of their way to assist.”

My transition tips

“The best way to approach gluten free is to focus on real food. If you fill your plate with non-starchy vegetables, quality protein and good fats, and choose wholefood carbohydrates, you are 99 per cent of the way there. Healthy, fresh food doesn’t come in a box, so there is really minimal need for the gluten-free products that are increasingly appearing on our supermarket shelves. Stick to whole and fresh foods instead.”

My day on a plate

Breakfast:

» A berry smoothie with spinach, avocado, coconut milk, cinnamon and raw pea protein

Lunch:

» Shepherd’s pie with pumpkin mash or a three-egg omelette with a side of avocado and kimchi

Dinner:

» Grass-fed steak or free-range chicken with a rocket salad or steamed greens topped with grass-fed butter and Himalayan salt

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