Hacks and Tips To Improve Results With Nutrition

I usually hate referring to hacks and tricks for results.  Mainly because people like to try them without getting the basics in place first – which almost always leads to no results even though the hacks themselves may have been useful and effective if used alongside other things.

But I’m including some hacks today that I think you’ll find useful. But first here are the basics that you need to have in place first:

BASICS


  • Eat more vegetables, salads and fruits – include in your 3 main meals per day at least
  • Stop eating processed foods  or at least minimise them to a few times per week
  • Eat whole foods mainly
  • Exercise daily – anything from walking to intense workouts – but do it daily
  • Get enough sleep – absolute minimum of 7 – 8 hours per night

THE HACKS

Did you skip the Basics?  Go back and read again – I’ll wait 😉

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​SUPPLEMENT WITH OMEGA 3

​​The best sources of Omega 3’s are fish and krill oil.  Plant bases sources such as chia, flaxseeds and walnuts are a good addition to your diet but are not complete Omega 3 fatty acids.  Complete sources can only be found in animal foods.
While Omega 3 do not directly increase fat loss, having an adequate intake will help balance your hormones and reduce inflammation in your body resulting in better results anyway


FIX YOUR GUT


Daily intake of a probiotic supplement is a no-brainer.  Optimising digestion is critical for your health, your performance and your results from a nutrition plan.  Digestive stress will lead to inflammation in your body which is a common cause of poor results when trying to change your body composition.
There are many brands around but check labels for storage details (most need to be kept in the fridge)​.  I like to change brands around so I get a variety of different probiotic strains.

Fermented foods such as kefir, kombucha and cultured foods like sauerkraut and kimchi are fantastic too and should also be included.  With these, check labels and look for brands without added sugar or other ingredients.  


LIMIT THESE ‘HEALTHY’ FOODS


Here is a list of foods that you may consider healthy but that you should limit on your journey to a leaner body;

  • Milk
  • Legumes/pulses/beans
  • Oatmeal/rolled oats etc 
  • Yoghurt – eliminate all flavoured ones
  • Brown rice
  • Bacon and other processed meats
  • Dried fruit
  • Snacks and treats made from nuts/dried fruit/coconut or other nut flours

While some of these foods can have some health benefits, mostly theyre just adding calories, upsetting your digestive system and affecting your body’s ability to absorb nutrients.​

​​​​If you’re going to eat these foods, that’s okay, but limit to one small serve and only choose 1-2 from the list on any given day.
I have 3 more hacks to share with subscribers only.  To get on my email list, click here and complete your details.
The 3 other hacks included in the newsletter are:
  1. Earning your carbs and meal timing
  2. Increasing Fibre without excess calories
  3. Advanced hydration
Thanks for reading
Jo

Should You Diet Or Exercise To Lose Body Fat?

The age old question and something I addressed just last week in my newsletter, where I said it is NOT 70% diet and 30% exercise.  Or 80/20 or even 50/50

The best results are obtained and maintained by taking your diet AND your exercise (training)as  seriously as each other.  It’s 100/100 if you want long term, sustainable results.

I can tell you one thing though from my 10 years of doing this with 100’s of clients – those that are the most successful train regularly.  

When you join FitterFaster, I stress that most people like you are best to NOT try to tackle everything at once – adding training, sleeping more, eating less snacks, adding more vegetables, drinking more water, giving up sugary coffees, adding breakfast, stopping alcohol and on and on.

There are 2 things that I mostly ask you to concentrate on and they are: adding a regular training routine and replacing current drinking habits with water.

For those already drinking plenty of water and that are well hydrated (I test for this) we’ll add an omega 3 supplement.

And that’s all we do for the first couple of weeks.  You will get results just doing this.  And you know what else, most clean up their diets in at least a few ways – resulting in even better results.

I know that when I train regularly, I eat better.  I snack less, I choose better quality foods and I don’t eat as much.

This is all anecdotal evidence, however  a new study done about 4 weeks ago decided to check this out by determining if exercising lead to better eating habits.  And guess what – it did!  (the study link is below)

Even though participants were told NOT to change their eating habits, they did anyway.

Most cut down on their consumption of fatty or fried foods and soft drinks and replaced them with more lean meats, fruits and vegetables, without being told to do so.

Some previous studies have put this down to the ‘high’ you get from training and the increase in dopamine levels (so you’re not looking for that high via food) and others have shown that by simply starting to look and feel better through exercise, they loved how their bodies were starting to change and that got them hooked on doing more to increase results.

With my experience, I believe it’s the second effect that results in the biggest changes to habits other than adding exercise.  That is:

Adding effective and regular training  to your routine leads to better sleep, leading to better hormone levels, leading to feeling better, to eating better and just feeling a whole lot better about yourself.

I’ve even seen people be able to decrease of stop medications treating depression, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and others (please don’t do this without your medical practitioner)

So this is why starting a good training program is the FIRST thing you should do.

Skip the expensive supplements or the crash diets.  They will only give your short term results (if any) and the biggest loss is often from your wallet. YOU DON’T NEED THEM

To find out how to add effective training, followed by all the other habits you’ll need to stack to get the absolute best (and fast) results that you can maintain, complete your details below.  By popping in your email address below, I’ll send you details straight to your inbox of what our training is about and if you’re interested, what to do next to get started.

And while I have your attention, please go to this page to find out why you should subscribe to my newsletter.  WHY MY NEWSLETTER.

 

Here’s that link to the study too:  https://www.nature.com/articles/s41366-018-0299-3


3 MORE PAINLESS WAYS TO LOSE FAT AND BE HEALTHIER

I”m in Maccas right now writing this post.  I have about 30 min before school pick up to edit and finish.

So here I am with my black coffee – trying so hard not to order toasted banana bread with is (one of) my downfalls.  I haven’t had it in a long time, so I’m facing the window where I can’t see it

I love a good list, in fact most of my day/week is planned out with lists and tick sheets of some kind.  From my training sessions, to my home life, to my families schedule to what we are eating.  So in honour of that, here’s another short one

3 More Ways To Lose Fat in 2019

I’ve kind of labelled 2019 the year of change for me.  I”m going back to all the habits I changed in the beginning when I went from an overweight, tired mum of 4 to a fit and energetic mum of 5 in her 50’s

Here are 3 things you can do that will get you better results without too much effort (well some require effort, but not too much). These are 3 of the things I changed first with my nutrition.

BLACK COFFEE OR TEA

This is a no brainer for me.  And I’ve had many clients make the change and actually enjoying and coming to prefer  black beverages over creamy, sweet ones.

It’s not uncommon for me to see food journals where there are an additional 300-900 calories per day due to creamy or sweetened or flavoured teas and coffees at early consults or when someone is feeling stuck for results.

While having it black is an acquired taste, it will have huge payoffs for you.

If you really think you can’t stand it, here’s the way I generally suggest people ‘cross over’ to the darker side of hot drinks:

  • If you take sugar, get rid of that first.  Give yourself a time limit – like one week and reduce it incrementally daily.  If you have 2 sugars, drop 1/3 of a teaspoon each day for a week.  You can do this – if you can’t it is because your’e addicted, yes addicted and it is an addiction that is costing you your waistline and your health.  Set the time limit and be strict with yourself.  As with all changes, it becomes easier as you progress, so don’t give in and go back – or you’ll be starting again every time.
  • Once you’re off the sugar, it’s time to get rid of any flavours.  So while you may enjoy the creaminess of your hot drinks, get rid of flavours and stick with plain milk (for a start).  Give yourself like 2 days to do this.  Once the plain sugar is gone, the flavoured kind (yes, that’s what it is) needs to go too. If you have any of those flavoured coffee drinks at home including those such as Jarrah or any of the sachet kinds, they have to go. Give them away if you think it’s too much of a waste.
  • Once you’re down to just milk, you can give that the boot too.  Did you know that a latte, cappuccino or flat white is a whole cup full of milk.  Yep, all those extra calories coming to you in a form designed to fatten up a baby cow and grow it to over a tonne as quickly as possible.  Minus the good nutrients which have been processed right out of it before you get to drink it.  I actually enjoy my coffee with just a splash of plain, full-cream milk nowadays (although I’m having black right now) and my tea is always black.  If that’s too big of jump for you, start by asking the waitress to use only half milk and half water.  Yes, they can do that and they will.  Once you’re used to that, the jump to just a splash will be much easier

You may be thinking that this first point won’t make much of a difference – but believe me it will.  Even if you only have a milk laden and/or sweetened cuppa a few times per week, that’s still enough to make a difference.

As well as reducing calories and the nasties in milk, sugar and flavours, you’ll also be breaking your addiction to these sweet concoctions, making breaking other sweet habits easier also.

SWAP MARINADES AND SAUCES FOR HERBS AND SPICES

There used to be so many rules about which herbs and spices went with which foods.  Fish and dill, lamb and rosemary etc.  While these are still great combos, the rules have definitely relaxed and you can pretty much mix any herbs or spices with any dish.  There are few exceptions.

Once you stop eating sauces, dressings and marinades (which by the way are often very high in sugar and chemical additives) you start to develop your taste for natural foods again.  Herbs and spices take on new flavours and you actually start to find your old favs too sweet or too strong and overpowering.

Commercially made sauces, dressings, marinades and other condiments are made with ‘eat more’ in mind.  If they don’t pass the ‘addiction’ test during manufacturing, they are taken back to the drawing board till they do.

Honestly, once you break this addiction, you will enjoy real food a whole lot more. As with your hot drinks, you’ll not only reduce the nasties that are holding you back straight away, but you’ll also be breaking that sugar addiction and the addiction to strong artificial flavours.

BE A BIT MORE BORING

They say that variety is the spice of life.  But when your’e trying to eat to lose fat, the fewer choices you have to make, the easier it will be.

I pretty much have the same thing for breakfast every day.  I also mostly have the same snacks each day.  And I absolutely have left overs for lunch most days because its there, I don’t have to make decisions and it is a lot less food preparation.

Find your favourite things and then stick with them.  Perhaps rotating every few days or eating the same things on the same days each week.  For variety, mix up your main evening meal (or lunch if it’s your main meal) and make left overs so it is one less choice tomorrow.

We all have.a limited amount of will power and if you waste yours on making too many decisions about food each day, you’ll have none left to put towards doing your workout or resisting your mum’s best ever slice when she drops around.

In a few days I’ll be sending out my next newsletter Food and Fitness Matters, and in it I’ll have the next 5 tips to help you make all those small changes that add up to big results.

By subscribing you’ll receive a couple of bonus gifts (recipes and workout for home) as well as approx. weekly emails with tips and suggestions like those above.  Every issue is focused on stuff you can do: nutrition, fitness and lifestyle/mindset to live healthier, leaner and more energetic.

Please subscribe below if you haven’t already, or if you’d like to read more about why you should subscribe first, visit this page and then subscribe. WHY MY NEWSLETTER?

Thanks for reading

Jo


Reducing stress to reduce body fat through your diet

At first glance you may think that your diet (what you’re eating) doesn’t have anything to do with your stress levels.  And that your stress levels have nothing to do with your body fat percentage.

But stress, diet and body fat are all related

I’ve written before about the chronic stress levels that many of us suffer in modern life.  The hormone cortisol is probably something you’ve heard about before.

It naturally rises and falls each 24 hours and also acutely rises in response to anything perceived as stress; a near accident, a fright, running late, deadlines etc.  It is then supposed to lower again back to normal levels.

We need cortisol to repair cells, increase mental alertness and energy, improve mood and increase blood sugar ( in readiness to deal with that stressful situation).  However, when stressors are constant, as they usually are these days, our cortisol levels become higher over time and remain elevated.

The following are some of the symptoms of constantly higher cortisol levels that you may be passing off as something else:

  • Frequent colds or other infections
  • Signs of premature ageing – wrinkles, hair and memory loss etc
  • Weight gain – yes, higher stress levels cause weight gain
  • Insomnia – again increasing weight gain
  • Frequent headaches
  • Irregularities with menstrual cycles

As you can see, higher cortisol levels make you fat, old and sick.

If you ignore symptoms, you can continue on to complete exhaustion, mental and physical.

Chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, depression,, low energy,  regular dizziness (especially when getting up), unexplained pain in muscles are all signs you may have gone to the next level of stress.

So how can diet help?

There are 3 main things to consider

GET ENOUGH NUTRIENTS

If you’re not eating a variety of nutritious foods daily, you will increase your stress levels leading to the above symptoms including gaining lots of body fat.  You are simply not giving your body the things it needs to deal with your level of stress – even if its not really high at the moment.

While all nutrients are important, some are especially important to adrenal health.  They are Vitamin C, Magnesium, Omega 3 and the B vitamins.

You could supplement, but studies show that our bodies cannot absorb and use single nutrients in the same way as they can when getting them from real food.  It could be because its not just that nutrient itself that helps, but that they work in combination with other nutrients commonly found together.

If you consume lots of veggies (especially green leafy ones and mushrooms), a mix of fruits (especially berries), nuts (especially almonds, brazils and walnuts) eggs and a variety of meats and seafood in smaller quantities (beef, lamb, fish – including oily ones such as salmon, shellfish and offal – I you like it,  you will get all the nutrients you need to support healthy hormone function including your adrenals and those stress hormones.

INCREASE HEALTHY FATS

This one is a bit tricky because too much fat will itself increase fat gain.  But you do need to include healthy fats daily.  The best are from oily fish so that you get Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet regularly.

I also suggest taking a regular dose of fish oil capsules as well to help with this as lots of our fish are farmed or depleted in the Omega 3 fatty acids and reducing your use of vegetable oils to improve your ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fats.

STABILISE YOUR BLOOD SUGAR

This can be achieved by making sure that each time you eat (3-5 times daily) you include lots of vegetables, a small portion of protein (in the forms listed above in the nutrient section) and including healthy fats a couple of times per day (avocado, olive oil, fish etc)

Limiting cereal or grain foods will really help with stabilising your blood sugar levels as will avoiding the obvious culprits such as sweets, baked foods, soft drinks (and other flavoured drinks) chocolates, biscuits etc.

Not surprisingly, the same dietary changes that will help to improve your stress levels will also help you to lose excess weight as well.

This is due to a lower calorie intake, a better functioning body and the actual decrease in cortisol as well.

One final thing that can’t be ignored and can really help is to add exercise to your daily routine.

Exercise helps to decrease cortisol levels if done correctly.  Those with high levels may initially need to start with just walking and other low intensity exercise because adding too much or too high intensity can become a stressor itself and work against what you’re trying to achieve.

If however you are eating well, getting enough sleep and working on reducing other lifestyle factors that are increasing stress, exercise is a must as part of the solution to lower stress levels AND reduce body fat.

To find out how our programs attack your body fat and stress levels in 3 ways: training, nutrition and other lifestyle factors, fill out your details below and I will email you some information.

If you’d rather just subscribe to my newsletter at the moment, check out all about it by clicking here.

Thank you for reading.  Please share this post if you found it valuable

 


4 Signs You Need A Fitness or Nutrition Coach

To achieve great health, fitness and a lean, energetic body, you’re going to have to make some changes.
Changes to your routine, changes to your activity and changes to what you’re eating and drinking will be necessary.

So you set about doing just that. Someone tells you about an awesome program or you googled one and get started.

One day it can feel like everything is awesome. The next, not so. You feel crap, you eat crap and nothing seems to go right.

Not to mention the confusing information that is fed to you daily. Eat this, don’t eat this. Do this, stop doing that. How are you supposed to stay on track when it keeps changing.
Below I’ve listed some signs that its time to get some help. This could mean someone to help you with your nutrition, with your fitness or with everything.

YOU’RE NOT GETTING RESULTS

This might seem obvious, but I’ve lost count of the number of new clients who tell me they’ve tried ‘everything’.
The problem is often that you don’t give something long enough to work. Or that the program or product is too hard to follow, use or stick with.

A good fitness and/or nutrition coach can guide you and give you what I like to call ‘the minimum effective dose’. This means, change only what you need to change to see results. Then reassess over time and tweak or alter as necessary.

What YOU will need to do first could be different to the next person. Following one online program after another is not working for you – so stop doing it.

YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO BUT YOU’RE NOT DOING IT

I should have put this first. Many of you reading this may know exactly what to do already. But are you doing it? Or at least, are you doing it consistently enough to see results?

Sometimes you need a coach to help you put all that knowledge into action. To help prescribe a set of actions and a step by step approach that you can actually put in place and stick with.

YOU DON’T FEEL MOTIVATED

If you’ve been reading my stuff for any time, you’ll know that I don’t believe in waiting for motivation.

I know that you need to take action even when you don’t feel motivated. But on your own, this can be really hard.

You are much more likely to take that action if you’ve enlisted the help of a coach. When you believe in your plan and someone is holding you accountable, it will make all the difference.

Motivation will come as you start to see results. More often than not, this is how it works.

YOU’RE STUCK

This ties in with the first point – no results. But sometimes it was working, until it wasn’t.

Hitting a plateau is actually very common and can be part of the process.

A coach can help you get past a stall in results and if necessary change what you’re doing.
When you stop getting results on your own, it is easy to blame the program and search around for another. You’ll then swap over to that one until the same thing happens.

This can end up with fluctuating weight loss and fitness results, injury or just plain giving up.

WHAT CAN YOU DO NOW?

I have 3 solutions that can solve all the problems above;

1/ My 28 day JumpStart To A New You Program. This is an all inclusive fitness program that will jumpstart results no matter what your current fitness level.

Beginners and advanced fitness trainees will see improvements with a better looking AND feeling body. $79 includes everything

Full details can be found by clicking here or by filling out your details below. I am not taking new fitness clients between 6th and 15th January, so contact me asap if you’d like to get started with the JumpStart Program

2/ The 14 day Ditch The Junk online nutrition challenge. DTJ commences on January 7th and is run fully online. You’ll learn exactly what to eat for long term results without starving or spending hours preparing food. $29 includes the menu and recipes as well as all the information you need for success. Registrations close on 4th January. Full details can be found by clicking here.

3/ Or why not combine both programs. For a total of $99 I’ll include both programs. Registrations for the combo package close on 2nd January.

To take up the combo offer, please email me jo@fitterfaster.net.au before 2nd January

 

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Get A New Identity

The first part of this article stressed the need to do 3 things to change habits and therefore reach your goals.:

  1. When you have your goal, determine what habits will be required to achieve that goal.
  2. Pick 1 (or at most, 2 habits you’ll work on first)
  3. Once you have that first habit in place – you do it regularly and consistently, add another.  Create a habit loop.

You can find that article here

Working on habit changing and goal achieving in the above way works for most.  But does it work for YOU?

If not, it may be because you need to assume a new identity.  This is your 4th step in the process.

Yes, you need to BECOME THE PERSON WHO …… (insert your goal here)……

As an example, I am a person who makes sure I exercise regularly.  It’s just who I am, I don’t have to think about it a lot.

That’s not to say that I don’t skip workouts or miss training sessions.  I do – lots.   But what it means is that I just stay fit because it is who I am.  I make sure that I do enough training to stay fit because its just who Jo Butler is.

I wasn’t always a fit person however.  And this proves that you can change.  IF someone (me in this case) can do it, that proves that it can be done.

If becoming fit was one of you goals.  You need to identify with being someone who keeps fit.

Your goal may be to be lean, stop eating junk, improve your health in certain ways.   Whatever it is, think of someone you know that is doing it.

It’s best if it is someone you actually know.  Not a celebrity or someone you just follow on Instagram.

Actually knowing the person makes it real.  When its someone you only see on social media, it becomes ‘unreal’ and so much harder to identify with.  You’ll find yourself subconsciously thinking they’re not real and that will never do for our purposes.

Once you’ve identified the person who is doing or achieving what you wish to achieve, look at what they do to achieve it.

What habits and actions are they taking?  Ask them!

Most successful people are really happy to help others achieve – whether its something they do for sport, work or for their health and fitness.

Then using the 3 step formula above, record those habits, pick 1 or 2 and get started.

And then there’s a 5th step.

Get support or accountability to reinforce the good you’re doing.   Acknowledging your progress for yourself is awesome, but having someone giving you feedback is even better.

Studies show that people who get ongoing reinforcement about their achievements will continue to achieve more.

Then you’re right back to that habit loop again and can Habit Stack more great things on top.

At FitterFaster there are such a range of different clients that have many different health and fitness goals.  Almost anyone could find at least one person to identify with as someone who is achieving what they want to achieve too.

That’s one of the things I love about it.  The camaraderie, the mateship and the working together towards similar, but sometimes different goals.

To find out more about my training programs, pop your details in below and I’ll simply email you some information.