When on the path to finding a healthier you, there is often a lot of focus on weight loss, but it's important to remember that not all weight loss is created equal. Your primary focus should be on reducing your fat - which doesn't necessarily equal a reduction on the scales. Muscle is denser than fat, so while your fat may be dropping, you could find you're not seeing any movement on the scales - so don't worry about losing weight, let's focus on losing fat.
Here are three tips to losing that fat.
Tip 1: Keep a food diary. - It's amazing how little attention we pay to what we put in our bodies. By keeping a food diary, you'll increase your awareness of the food that you eat every day. Take note of everything, down to the smallest snack. Making yourself aware of what you're eating and being able to take stock of a week's worth of food can provide you with the perspective to make healthier choices.
If you want even more control over what you're eating - try out an app that counts the calories from your foods too. Many of them enable you to enter a target weight and will present you with a daily kilojoule goal. Lifesum and My FitnessPal are popular options to try.
Tip 2: Drink more water. - Have you ever gotten the feeling that you need to have a snack, but end up pouring yourself a glass of water first and feeling the craving fall away? You're not alone. Keeping yourself properly hydrated is a proven way to reduce cravings throughout the day as the signals the body sends to the brain to tell you you're thirsty can often be confused with 'I'm hungry'. Not only that, but it also assists with all sorts of body function - from cell repair to concentration. There's no downside here.
Tip 3: Reduce starchy carbs. - Try to steer away from starchy carbs like bread, rice, potatoes and pasta where possible. They tend to provide your body with more energy than it needs in one hit, and anything that's left over gets converted into body fat to be saved for a rainy (or hungry) day. "You don't have to eliminate starchy carbs completely," days IFBB pro Mike Matarazzo. "But you should really cut back on them when trying to shed body fat".
Does the glycemic index value of a food really matter?
From a performance standpoint, yes. From a body composition standpoint, no.
At the end of the day the caloric value of the food, the amount of energy it gives you, will be the same. So if both macronutrient and calorie values of the food are the same, it doesn’t matter if the food is Low GI or High GI when it comes to fat loss and weight gain.
But where this can make a difference, is the rate at which it releases energy and how full it keeps you for how long. People who can’t resist the urge to eat when they are hungry are better off having a fair amount of Low GI foods as the energy is released slower. And when it comes to performance I believe a mix of low and high GI carbs in a meal about an hour and a half before training is ideal, that way you will have energy at the start of the workout from the quick absorbing carbs, and then throughout the workout the slower absorbing carbs will fuel you.
A meal that I am quite regularly eating currently is yoghurt, banana, ground up Weetbix, banana & honey. I eat this about 1-2 hours before training and my sessions have been great lately.
But in saying all that, everyone feels different on different types of food. Find out what works for you and then stick with that! Happy eating!
Originally published by Darren Chandler here.
Everyone has that friend. The one that gets up at first light, goes for a beach run, follows it up with a meditation and wheat-grass smoothie before getting to work early to get a head start on their day. All whilst the rest of us are wrapped up in our bedspread coccoons, hiding from the alarm and contemplating with some fear whether to start going to the gym again before summer gets here.
So what's their secret? Well, it tends to be a winning combination of routine and making it as easy as possible.
1. Don't go too hard too soon
Many people make the mistake of trying to do too much too soon and getting overwhelmed. So, whilst the notion of a tremendous overnight life overhaul may be tempting, it's far more effective to focus on a single small goal at a time. The benefit of working on single goals to change your behaviour is that these new behaviour can become what are known as 'keystone' habits, triggering a whole torrent of positive lifestyle changes.
For example, if you commit to becoming more active, you're more likely to drink more water and to make healthy food choices. Choosing just one thing to focus on at the beginning means you're more capable of sticking to it and reaping the associated rewards.
2. Get into a rhythm
The reality is, that we are creatures of habit and a significant portion of what we do during our days comes from habits. That is, you're not making a conscious decision to do those things, your brain is effectively running on autopilot - this may be your morning routine or post-work wind-down for example. The key to instilling new habits is to link them with your existing routine. Something as simple as putting your workout gear next to your bd the night before so you don't have to seek for it in the morning can jumpstart the automation of these new healthy habits.
3. Don't exhaust your willpower reserves
Willpower is a finite resource. Every day, you wake up with your 'tank' of willpower filled all the way. Throughout the day, as you make decisions, you use up this willpower until it's exhausted. Each time you resist a temptation, your burning that willpower. It's why it's so much easier to stick to a healthy diet if you remove all temptations from your home, because otherwise, they're laying there in wait for when your willpower is exhausted. Stocking your fridge with healthy snack options will ensure that when your 'snack habit' kicks in, you don't have to use that limited resource of willpower to make a healthy decision, it'll be made for you already.
The key to successfully developing a healthy lifestyle isn't relying completely on self-discipline, but simply by understanding and influencing behaviour that has become so automatic you don't even have to think about it. Start small, automate it and remove temptation to deviate and success will be yours.
When we start a fitness journey, we usually start with a goal. It may be to lose some weight, gain muscle tone, or to get more mobile. Whatever your goal, it's important to have a strategy to achieve it. Here are 7 tips to help you achieve your goals.
1. Make a plan
Whether it’s a healthy meal plan, or a fitness program, if you don't make a plan, you plan to fail. You’ll know exactly what you need to do each day in order to achieve your goals, which will keep you on track.
Talk to a Fitness Results Personal Trainer to get a personalised plan made just for you.
2. Set realistic goals
Setting realistic, achievable goals is not given enough emphasis when it comes to keeping you committed to your fitness journey. If your goals are unachievable, it can leave you feeling like you've failed when you fall short of achieving them. Which can end up with you abandoning your fitness journey. Make sure you set short-term and long-term achievable goals that can be maintained.
3. Keep up the H2O
Dehydration will accelerate muscle fatigue, so don't let it hold you back from hitting your goals. Keep hydrated throughout the day by always having a water bottle handy. When working out, you should aim to drink approximately 200ml of water for every 15 minutes of intense exercise.
4. Workout first thing in the morning
You may think that working hard in the morning will leave you fatigued for the rest of the day, but you may be surprised to find the opposite can happen. Getting into your workout first thing in the morning ensures you’ll never let a big day get in the way of achieving your goals. Plus the post-workout endorphin rush will leave you feeling pumped for the day ahead.
5. Make it quick
If you’re short on time, there’s no need to skip your workout! Why not try a shorter workout such as boxing or high intensity interval training (HIIT). You’ll still get a great workout in and save on time, after all, it's doing a bit every day that makes the difference.
6. Keep track
There are a plethora of apps available for tracking your workouts and calorie intakes. They can be a great way to quantify the work you've been putting in. My Fitness Pal is a popular choice, and Lifesum is another option with beautiful design.
7. Moderate, but don’t eliminate
Remember to Treat. Yo. Self. If you’re trying to make a healthy lifestyle change, try sticking to the 80:20 method: 80% of the food you eat should be clean and nutritious, and use the other 20% to treat yourself. It's not always necessary to go cold turkey and cut out the foods you love entirely.
If there was a way to double your success in the gym, would you do it? For those who are struggling with motivation, a training buddy will keep you accountable, motivated, on track with your goals and provide you with some healthy competition. Here are our top five benefits of working out with a friend:
Now the big question, how do you find the right training buddy?
Already got a buddy? Try out our group PT sessions and get a plan crafted specifically for you:
Still need a buddy? Try one of our group classes (Your first one is free!):
We’ve all heard that we should drink more water but it’s not always clear why. The main reason for drinking water every day is to replace fluid loss from everyday activities. Especially if you’re working out, our bodies lose a lot of fluid through sweat, which is great! But this water needs to be replaced.
Here is a list of six extra benefits that result from staying hydrated.
1. Prevents headaches
If you don't replenish the water you lose during the day you'll end up dehydrates, which opens a whole new can of work... It causes normal body function to decrease and results in headaches. Drinking more water will keep you hydrated and assist with keeping those headaches at bay.
2. Prevents memory loss
A natural part of getting older is memory loss but one way to fight it is by drinking more H2O. Water boosts the energy needed to keep your brain active and an active brain remembers better for longer!
3. Lessens addictive urges
Do you actually need that Coke or are you just thirsty? Try quenching your thirst with water and you may find that some of those cravings will start to subside. This can also apply to hunger, sometimes your body is craving fluid but your mind interprets it as hunger, so remember, down a glass of H2O before you go.
4. Cleanses toxins
Not just referring to toxic waste chemicals, your body produces waste throughout the day that needs to be flushed out. Water encourages the toxins to break down and pass through your body much easier. You may need to check out the bowl before you flush, but it's a great way of keeping track of how hydrated you are.
5. Increases muscle function
If food is the fuel of the body, then water is the octane, it makes everything work better. Water increases the efficiency of the red blood cells that carry oxygen to our muscles, so get ready to feel a little more spritely and to get better results in the gym too!
6. Boosts metabolism
Drinking water keeps your metabolism busy and flowing smoothly. If combined with a number of other factors including your diet and exercise, it can assist in losing weight.
We've all said it at some point. When that friend asks you to go the the gym with them or your partner asks if you did any exercise today... we say: 'I don't have time'. Well, we are here to help, below are ten tips for fitting exercise into your life.
We're here to help. Below you will find our top 10 tips for fitting exercise into your life;
1. Do something you enjoy!
Everyone enjoys some form of physical activity, and by choosing something you love, you're way more likely to stick to it. This could include walking the dog, team sports, running, weight training, yoga.
2. Make a plan
If it’s scheduled into your week, it will happen. Trying to fit a workout in without planning it into your week often leads to no workout at all.
3. TV time
Who doesn’t sit down a watch a little bit of TV at night? Why not bust out some moves during the add breaks! Squats, push-ups, crunches, star jumps are just a few great exercises that don't need equipment.
4. Be accountable
Working with a personal trainer and having sessions booked in advance mean you have automatically designated that time to improve your health. You can check out our PT options here.
5. Work-out buddies
There's nothing quite like a bit of social pressure to keep you on track so why not train with a friend? Having someone that also wants to improve their health and fitness goals are a great motivator and a great way to catch up during the week!
6. Family time
We're always looking to get more time with out families, try to include something active. It can be anything from going for a walk, bike ride, playing a game of soccer, or going somewhere like Bounce Inc. (Room of trampolines? I'm yet to hear a kid turn that down.)
7. It's all about timing
Are you a night owl? If so, you probably won't stick to the 6am group classes... Swap it out for something you'll stick too, like a 6pm or 7pm class. Decide what time of day exercise works best for you.
Try switching out things you already do to get in a bit more activity. Be it cycling or walking to work... or the shops. Or even subbing out the elevator for the stairs. Little things add up, getting public transport to work could mean you're walking an extra 20 minutes per day compared to if you just got in your car.
9. Work out at work
Want to improve your posture and core strength? Well, if you sit at a desk all day, consider swapping out your chair for a swiss ball. Or, if you're particularly committed... Keep some dumbbells or foam roller under your desk so you can get some exercises in on your lunch break
10. Make allowances for missed sessions and set backs
Sometimes everything doesn’t go according to plan... don’t stress, have a plan B! If you are unable to make the gym or exercise that day, plan to exercise on a day you generally wouldn’t to make up for lost time.
Looking to get a start? Check out our group class and PT options:
2 avocados (240g)
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
12 cherry tomatoes (60g)
1 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 200C
2. Halve the avocados and put the halves on a lined baking tray or in an oven-safe dish. Drizzle with half the olive oil.
3. Slice the cherry tomatoes. Put them in a bowl and toss together with the rest of the olive oil and chopped coriander. Place the tomatoes in the pit where the core has been.
4. Bake for 15 minutes
KJ: 1432 KJ
1. Match a Group Fitness Class to your personal goals
Everyone is different and everyone has different goals when it comes to their fitness. Because of this we offer a wide range of group fitness classes that are tailored to work different parts of your body. So check out the different classes and find one that matches what you're looking for.
2. Give it a try
The best way to get started it by just attending a class. All our classes are open so you don't need to book in. Just rock up and get involved, and best of all, your first class is free so you don't need to think twice about getting started.
3. Don't overthink it
All of the classes have a description that you can check out here. Have a read through and find something that you're drawn to. It might be something you've never tried before, like boxing or yoga, or something that makes you feel right at home in your comfort zone, like a running group.
4. Ask a trainer
If you're still unsure, or want a bit of guidance on what kind of class would be best at helping you achieve your goals, just ask one of our trainers in the gym, they'll be more than happy to point your in the right direction.
5. Join a friend
Got a friend that already goes to a class? There's nothing like a little friendly competition to push you that little bit further. Tag along with them to make sliding into the class a little easier. Or if you don't, convince someone to come with you, their first class will be free and you could have a new gym buddy.
Flavoured with coconut, ginger and garlic, this fish dish is high in protein and fibre.
For the Goan-style marinade
Preheat oven or barbecue to 190 degrees.
Combine coriander, 2 cloves of garlic, ginger, tamarind, chilies, peppercorns, turmeric, salt, stevia and coconut flesh in a food processer, blend together until the ingredients form a thick paste. Add a small amount of coconut juice if needed to make the paste smooth.
Lightly score the fish making three diagonal cuts on each side, being careful not to cut all the way through the flesh.
Stuff the cavity of the snapper with the marinade and bind the fish together with twine.
Place snapper in a roasting tray. Pour 1/2 cup of coconut juice over the fish, cover with foil and bake in the oven or on the barbecue for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until the flesh flakes away easily with a fork.
When the fish has about 10 minutes to go, add the asparagus to the tray. You may wish to add extra coconut juice if the tray is dry.
Brush the remaining garlic cloves, lemon halves, corn and capsicum with olive oil and place on a preheated barbecue plate or griller. Cook for 10 minutes, turning frequently, until corn is tender and golden brown and the capsicum skin blisters.
To plate, arrange the asparagus on a large serving dish, place the whole snapper on top. Add the grilled vegetables over and around the fish, garnish with a few coriander leaves and slices of chilli.
Average per 350g (includes vegetables)
Recipe analysed by Food and Nutrition Australia