Foods You Thought Were Healthy

If you want to be in the best shape possible, with minimal fat levels and lean strong muscles.  If you want to achieve and maintain great health, you must think about everything that you do to and with your body.  What exercise do you, or don’t you do?  What do you eat?  What do you drink?  Do you get enough sleep?

It’s all so confusing.  I have listed some common foods below that you probably thought were healthy.  Have a look.  How many do you consume regularly?

  1. Breakfast Cereals – all cereals are processed foods.  End of story.  ‘Whole grain’ ‘wholemeal’ ‘contains whole grains’ ‘full of whole grain goodness’  blah blah blah.  These are not whole foods, they are processed.  Have you seen a grain of wheat, barley or corn lately.  Do they even slightly resemeble the breakfast cereals.   Even if they were whole grain, we don’t need whole grains to be healthy anyway.  In fact, most modern research (that is those studies not funded by the grain boards etc) are showing that most of our modern diseases can be related back to our huge consumption of grain foods.  Stop eating them!!  Don’t kid yourself
  2. Bread and pasta – see number one.  How many times do you see recommendations to eat non-processed foods with the very next sentence recommending wholegrain bread or pasta???  What is that?  Bread and pasta do not grow on trees, they are  manufactored, processed foods.  And no making them yourself is no different.  Flour is a processed food.  Think about it.
  3. Museli and Breakfast type bars – see above.  Need I say more.  These are not healthy in any way, shape or form.
  4. Low Fat Yoghurt, heck low fat anything for that matter.  Studies have proved that most artificial sweeteners cause diseases such as cancer.  They even cause you to gain weight!  Yes you read correctly, they cause you to gain weight!
  5. Fruit Juice – 100% fruit juice is not 100% fruit juice.  If you really have to, make you own, but I still would not recommend this.  How many oranges or whatever fruit you use, do you need to  make enough juice?  Think of the calorie level!!  Eat the fruit!  Do not give this to your kids either.  Give them water.  Juice is not a healthy choice.  Stop kidding yourself on this too.
  6. Rice cakes and other so called healthy biscuits, crackers and crisp breads – see number one, two and three for this one.  No wholegrains here either, despite what the label says.  Just a short pass ticket to diabetes, weight gain etc
  7. Low fat or high protein muffins, cakes and biscuits – really do I need to explain this one.  For a start, low fat does not equal healthy!!  Repeat – low fat does not equal healthy!!  I’d say it again, but …….  These foods are high in either sugar or artificial sweeteners (sugar would be the better choice, but is still a bad one)  They will not help you lose weight, they are not healthier than ordinary cakes and muffins.  Do not kid yourself here either.  You are not kidding anyone else by buying them.  And dont feed these to your kids either.
  8. Packets of just about anything – Don’t believe the labels.  Whole grain, full of natural goodness, healthy, low fat, diet, lite, 25% real fruit, the healthy alternative………It goes on and on.  These foods are not healthy.  A list of ingredients and exaggerated claims to fame practically scream that the food is not good for you!!  If it comes in  a packet, leave it alone.  (exceptions include frozen vegies, nuts and some other items but I am sure you get the picture)
  9. Milk – is for baby cows.  It is one of the highest causes of allergic reactions.  You may even be intolerant of lactose without even knowing it.  This can have a huge impact on your immune system which in turn effects your entire body and general health.  It is also linked to many common conditions like excema, acne, sinus problems, heart disease, high cholesterol etc etc.  Give it a miss and feel the difference

So how did you go?  Eat many of these things?  Try cutting them down to once or twice per week.  You will notice a difference in how you feel within days.

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You’re At Risk Of Diabetes

I wanted to write about non-insulin dependant diabetes, which is a very common condition these days.

Even more so than you think and unless you are eating healthy foods almost all the time, you are very likely to develop this condition yourself.

Type 2 Diabetes used to be called ‘adult onset diabetes’ but now it is so common in young people, including children, that the name does not fit the disease anymore.

Once upon a time, it was half a lifetime or more of not-so-bad but not-so-good eating that caused Adult Onset Diabetes.  Nowadays, our diets are so bad from very young that it is very common even in primary school aged children OR YOUNGER.

Insulin resistance is basically when the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin and this is usually the first stage of the disease (if its detected this early)

Insulin is one of the most powerful and important hormones in the body and it’s job is to get energy (in the form of glucose) from your blood into your cells and regulate blood sugar levels.

Without it, you would die as your body would not be able to use the energy (glucose) that your diet supplies no matter what or how much you consume.

People who cannot produce their own insulin have Insulin Dependent Diabetes and must use insulin injections instead to prevent hyperglycaemia, coma and eventually death.  Insulin Dependant Or Type One diabetes used to be something only people born with the condition had.  But Type Two Diabetes can lead to Type One Diabetes!

A diet too high in carbohydrates and a lack of exercise are two of the leading causes of insulin resistance. When you eat carbohydrates, glucose is released into the bloodstream. This signals your body to produce insulin to take some of this energy to the muscle cells for immmediate energy.

Some of the energy (from the carbohydrates and other macro-nutrients) also converts some to glycogen which is sent to the liver and muscle tissue for short term storage. This energy can be used when blood sugar levels drop again. This short term storage is limited and so excess glucose is converted to body fat for long term storage.

This system works really well most of the time, but an excess of carbohydrates and certain kinds of carbohydrates are more quickly converted to glucose and cause a flood of glucose into your bloodstream. This causes an equally large surge of insulin which causes your blood sugar to drop very quickly and triggers fatigue and cravings for more carbohydrates.

When this happens regularly, your insulin levels remain high and your body struggles to convert all the glucose properly. It then continues to produce insulin in an attempt to overcome this and eventually the receptors in the cell membranes become less and less effective in recognising the hormone insulin.

Another side effect of the glucose that remains circulating in your bloodstream is that it begins to effect your heart, kidneys, nerves, eyes and blood vessels. I am sure that you have heard of amputations and blindness being caused by diabetes.

Eventually your pancreas is unable to supply enough insulin to maintain stable blood sugar levels and your blood sugar rises above normal levels. At this stage you may be diagnosed as having Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes.

If you do not get this under control (because you don’t change your dietary and exercise habits or you haven’t been diagnosed and don’t know you have it) your pancreas will eventually falter and be unable to keep up with this condition. This may lead to having to take insulin injections as you progress to having Insulin Dependent Diabetes. (The cause is different to people who experience Insulin Dependent Diabetes from childhood)

If detected early, this condition can be managed and full blown diabetes can be prevented.

Don’t wait till you have been diagnosed, do something about it now. Clean up your diet and exercise regularly.

Some preliminary symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Anxiety, fatigue, sleeplessness, head aches, palpitations
  • Eating in response to emotions and what you may call cravings
  • Cravings for high carb foods especially, but any foods really
  • Overweight – even slightly overweight
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
  • Frequent hunger or thirst even when you’ve already eaten or have drunk enough
  • Dizzy spells
  • Pins and needles
  • These are just some of the signs, and you may have all or none of them. (these symptoms can also mean other things so check with your doctor if suffer from any of them)

Please note that I am not recommending that you do not eat carbohydrates. What I am recommending is that you change your sources of carbohydrates to fruits, vegetables, some plain yoghurt and limit your intake of grain based carbohydrate foods like breads, pastas cakes, pastries, biscuits, sweets etc.

The latest info that says it is actually our overconsumption of carbohydrate foods of this type and not our saturated fat intake that is increasing the rate of heart attacks, stroke, high cholesterol etc.

I will bring you more on that later. The above is a simplified, but accurate, version of how your body works in regard to insulin production. If you are interested, I can recommend good books that provide more information on this.

Please also think about this stuff and how it relates not only to yourself, but to your loved ones as well. For instance, don’t let your kids get to the stage where they worry about how they are going to lose the excess weight and get their health problems under control. Teach them now about healthy foods and encourage them to eat a variety of real foods rather than filling them up on junk. Just remove the junk from the house and take healthy foods with you when going out. It can be done and they will not starve when they refuse to eat it. Don’t give in-this is their health and yours that we are dealing with.

Remember when party food was only eaten at parties?? Now it is a regular addition to peoples’ diets several times every day.

An effective training program coupled with healthy eating habits will dramatically reduce your risk of diabetes.  Even if you’ve been diagnosed already, cleaning up your act will help.  Many people are able to reverse their diagnosis, especially in the early stages.

At FitterFaster, we don’t just focus on losing weight.  We focus on improving what you eat and your fitness as a means to achieving optimal health.  Be warned, if you’re not eating well and you’re not exercising, you will pay the consequences sooner rather than later

Find out about our programs by completing your details below


7 Steps To Great Results

Now that the weather is cooling down, it is a great time to get started on your fitness plan or to give your current plan an overhaul – think get more consistent and stop being average. Think of how it will feel if you have dropped a few pants sizes when everyone else is getting bigger over Winter.

Mostly, the things we do every day are done by habit.  Meaning, you just do them without thinking about it.  You clean your teeth, get dressed in the same way, visit the same cafe for lunch, pick at the same treats in the evening.  Basically we don’t think too much about anything we do – it’s all habit.

Often these habit are NOT supporting our health and fitness.  These are what we call ‘bad’ habits.  Let’s see how we can change these.

There are a few keys to changing bad habits … I highly recommend that you create a plan based on these keys, before you start to implement your habit change, so that you are well prepared and well positioned for success. I have used the example of binge eating on junk food, but the same keys apply to changing any habit such as quitting smoking or missing workouts.

1. For each habit, identify your triggers. What situations trigger your binge eating (boredom, watching TV, sitting down after tea, having coffee, drinking alcohol, stressful meetings, going out with friends, driving, etc.)? Identify all of them, for each habit.  Write them down on a piece of paper.  I’d make 3 columns, once for the bad habit, one for it’s triggers and the 3rd for step 2.

2. For every single trigger, identify a positive habit you’re going to do instead. When you are bored, instead of eating (or whatever your habit is), what will you do? What about when you get stressed? When you go out with friends? Some positive habits could include: exercise, meditation, deep breathing, organizing, decluttering, going for a walk, talking to someone in your family, and more.

3. For at least one month, focus entirely on being as consistent with your triggers as possible. That means, every single time those triggers come up, do the positive habit you identified instead of the negative one. The more consistent you are, the better the habit will form. If you sometimes do the new habit when the trigger occurs, and sometimes don’t, the new habit won’t form very well. Try to do it every single time. If for some reason you fail, extend the one-month period and try to be very consistent from that point onward.  Try to work on just one habit at a time.  Put ‘post it’ or other reminders in spots where the bad habit usually occurs; on the fridge, in the pantry, on your dashboard (for those that cave in to drive-thrus) etc

4. Avoid some situations where you normally drink and eat, at least for a while, to make it a bit easier on yourself. If you normally drink when you go out with friends, consider not going out for a little while. If you normally go outside your office with co-workers to eat or smoke, avoid going out with them. This applies to any bad habit — whether it be eating junk food or doing drugs, there are some situations you can avoid that are especially difficult for someone trying to change a bad habit. Realise, though, that when you go back to those situations, you will still get the old urges, and when that happens you should be prepared.  In the short term avoiding the trigger situations can help. 

5. Realize that your urges will be strong, but they will go away after a few minutes if you distract yourself with your new habit.  They come in waves, but just ride out the wave. Find strategies for getting through the urges — deep breathing, self massage, eating frozen grapes, walking around, exercising, calling a friend who will support you.

6. Ask for help. Get your family and friends and co-workers to support you. Join a Fitness Program like  FitterFaster.  Get a workout/health buddy. When you have really strong urges or a really difficult time, call on your support network for help. Don’t eat junk food, for example, without emailing your support crew or me. Don’t eat it until you call your buddy first.

7. Staying positive is key! You will have negative thoughts — the important thing is to realize when you’re having them, and push them out of your head. Squash them like a bug! Then replace them with a positive thought. “I can do this! If Jo can do it, so can I!” 🙂

Bonus tip: If you fail (and many of you will, at least once), don’t give up. It can take many many attempts before you get control. Figure out what went wrong, and plan strategies to overcome that obstacle the next time. Keep your positive attitude and keep trying. You’ll get it eventually.  This is key-do not give up because of one slip up.

And don’t let old habits sneak back once you reach your goals.  If you binge or fall off the wagon, just get up and keep on going. Let it pass and move on.  Every day you will be tempted, but it does get easier.  The key is to move on and remember what it is you are trying to achieve

To find out about training at FitterFaster complete your details below and I will send you an email with details.  You can check it out and if you’re


How Long To Reverse Good Health?

If you woke up tomorrow and somehow miraculously had a fit, lean and healthy body, how long would it take to get it back to where you are now?

On the other hand, if you’re already fit, lean and healthy and woke up miraculously tomorrow overweight, sick and unfit, how long would it take you to fix that and get back to yourself?

The answer to either question is NOT LONG!!

Studies on homeless, poor people have shown, that even when given a massive amount of money, access to financial planners and other help, it takes a very short time for those people to go back to living on the streets and having nothing.

This is because their attitude to money has  not changed.  They don’t have the mindset the though processes to budget, invest and to be a rich person.

Fitness and health is just like this.
If you woke up fit and healthy tomorrow, would you do what is required to keep yourself that way?

Would you have different daily habits?

Would you make time to exercise so you didn’t lose that fitness and the lean body?

Would you eat differently, choose healthy foods and quit the junk food?

Would you give up smoking and drastically reduce alcohol consumption?

If you think you would, why not do that today?  You can wake up in that new body.  Maybe not tomorrow, but you can do it.  No miracle needed.

Why not change your attitude, your thoughts and your identity and become that person!!

That miracle is not going to happen.  The reality is, that if you want to improve, YOU have to take action and do the work yourself.

In the end, it’s up to YOU.  And that really is a great thing.   If you’ve been lazy, if you’ve been putting it off and making excuses, YOU can change that.

And the best thing about changing things yourself; YOU get the rewards.  YOU get to celebrate and be proud.

And YOU get to walk around in that fit, healthy and lean body

There’s plenty of information out there on how to do it.  You don’t need more information, you need to TAKE ACTION.

Build momentum by making some changes and then adding more.   If it does seem overwhelming, which it can with so much available, I can help you take that action.  Make the first step completing your details below.

I’ll send you some information about how to get started at FitterFaster, what sort of training we do and who it’s for.

It isn’t for everyone, but it may be for YOU

I look forward to hearing from you.   And to seeing you wake up with that new body.


What and How Much Should I Eat to be Super Healthy and Get Rid Of Excess BodyFat?

While I was writing this post, Lauren was making me a nice salad for lunch.  Here it is almost done – less the protein which I’ll add when I’m ready to eat it

Sometimes when I”m writing stuff, whether it is.a new blog post like this one or something in a new program or challenge, I leave out a few details.

A very common question is “Ok, you’ve told me what to eat, but how much food should I have?”

So I”m going to answer that very questions here.  But first we’ll go over the WHAT to eat first for those that haven’t learnt that already or are new to my ramblings.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS GUIDE IS A STARTING POINT FOR MOST FEMALE READERS AGED BETWEEN ABOUT 18 – 60.

I’ve made notes for changes for most men between the same ages.   Kids will vary and should eat the same kinds of foods, but pretty much self select their serving sizes.  This actually works fo children that are eating the right kinds of foods.

I am more than happy to help you to tweak this for yourself if you think it is not working for you.  Please try it first, for at least a month before telling me it doesn’t work for you.

WHAT FOODS SHOULD I EAT THEN?

Okay, I”m predicting that many of you skipped the above section, so please take a moment to read it before proceeding if that’s the case.

The following is NOT an exhaustive list, but you should be able to tell if the food you’re thinking about is not listed, whether it would fit into the lists easily or if you’re just kidding yourself about placing into one of the following categories.

Each meal and snack you eat each day (3-5 times per day) should consist of the following.

Choose a healthy protein and lots of Low Energy Carbs in every meal or snack.   Once per day add one choice from the High Energy Carb list and twice per day include something from the Healthy Fats list.


HEALTHY PROTEINS

Chicken and other poultry

Fish

Beef

Lamb

Pork

Seafood (not crumbed or battered)

All game

Eggs

Cottage Cheese

LOW ENERGY CARBOHYDRATES

All fibrous vegetables and most fruits

All greens

broccoli and cauliflower

snow peas

capsicum

zucchini

cucumber

green beans

onions

tomatoes

mushrooms

celery and radish

Most fruits except those in High Energy  carbs list

Plain Natural or Greek Yoghurt

HEALTHY FATS

Almonds

Walnuts

Macedamiaas

Avocado

Coconut Oil

Olive Oil

Flaxseed Oil

HIGH ENERGY CARBOHYDRATES

All potatoes – yes even sweet ones

Bananas and grapes

Rice

Pasta

Breads, wraps and other bread stuff even if it’s made from some kind of sprouted grain or anything else ‘trendy’

Baked goods

Pastries

Biscuits, cakes,

Lollies and chocolate – all sweets really

Flavoured yoghurts

All soft drinks, sports drinks, cordials etc

Fruit juiices



As I mentioned above, this list doesn’t include all the veggies available to you, just some examples and likewise for the other categories.  From this list though you should be able to see where YOUR chosen food fits if not listed

NOW I KNOW WHAT TO EAT,  BUT HOW MUCH?

Remember that this is s starting point for most females with the amounts for most adult males in (brackets)

PROTEIN – one serve is approx.  100-150g of lean uncooked weight  or 2 eggs.  The leaner the meat, the higher you can go to the 150g.  So white fish would be 150g, but beef may be closer to 100g.

Eat 4-5 serves (approx 7-8 for men)  per day spread over your 3-5 meals.  Try to vary the protein sources you eat for a bigger nutrient hit.  Once per day maximum you could substitute a protein supplement if you really need to.  I don’t and don’t recommend this because of the low nutrient value (don’t believe the hype on the label)

LOW ENERGY CARBOHYDRATES – One serve is a large handful or about a cup of chopped (100g of the plain yoghurt).   You can pretty much eat these unlimited and should do so.   THE ONLY ONES I’D LIMIT ARE FRUITS  and I’d stick to 1-2 serves per day IF you’re carrying excess body fat. And dairy.  Stick to one serve of dairy per day.   Those on maintenance level can eat more fruit if they like, just be aware of sugar content.

Serving sizes are same for men.  That is, EVERYONE should aim for 8-10 serves per day from this list.    I recommend to client that they try to eat vegetables at breakfast, lunch and tea.   And I have recipes and easy ways to do this built into my programs.  And no, it’s not juicing!!

HEALTHY FATS – A serving size varies a little here, but a basic guide is 1 tablespoon of oil, about 8-12 nuts or about 1/4-1/3 of an avocado depending on size.

Add 2 serves (4 for men) of healthy fats to your plan each day.  Be aware how much you’re adding in recipes and for cooking.  If its tiny amounts, that’s ok, but I you use a lot of oil or add dressings etc, you need to count those.  Over a day, these incidental bits could add up to 1-2 serves on their own

If you do use dressings, it is best to make your own so you can make them with healthy fat choices and therefore get the nutrients you need from them.  If you use purchased ones, you’ll be using up your fat serves, but not getting high nutrient value in those serves.  I have lots of recipes for sauces and dressing made from healthy ingredients

Any time you add nuts, oils, avocado or have oily fish, you need to remember that you’re having fats.   While we absolutely want to include healthy fats every single day, we also need to be aware that fats are high in calories in and need to be used carefully.

HIGH ENERGY CARBOHYDRATES– A serving size is about 1 small potato, 1/4 cup cooked rice or pasta, 1 slice of bread or 1 medium wrap and equivalent.

You’ll have 1 serve of these types of foods per day (2-4 for men).  If you train or are very active, you can include 1 extra serve per 60 minutes of medium to hard intensity training.

So you don’ get an extra one because you went for a walk, a short jog, an easy swim, played with the kids or attended an exercise class of any kind where you didn’t get out of breath and/or a good sweat up.  

High Energy carbs are the easiest to over-eat after fats.  Most of your favourie treats and foods are in this list and probably shouldn’t be included at all – think pies, ice cream chocolate, donuts, cakes, lattes, cappuccinos. milks, sweets and other baked foods.

These foods are TREATS and if you’re serious about losing that excess body fat and really being healthy, you need to limit them to 1-2 small serves per week maximum.

I can’t sugar coat this at all.  If you eat crap, don’t expect good results.

And also don’t expect to see results if you’re making these TREAT foods from so-called healthy ingredients and eating them more than 1-2 times per week also.

While cakes made with coconut flour, nut meal and coconut oil may be less ‘unhealthy’ than traditional products, they are still incredibly high in calories (in most cases more so than the original product) and WILL MAKE YOU FAT and stop you losing excess fat.

I already wrote a post outlining a sample of what I may eat in a typical day.  You can find that here to save me repeating myself  WHAT DOES JO EAT?

Here’s another example. Remember this is for the average adult female.  Men should double the protein portion in 3 meals per day and also add at least one  more High Energy Carb serve.  They should also eat 4 healthy fat serves per day or double the 2 I’ve put here.


BREAKFAST

2 eggs

1 toast

mushrooms

tomato

capscium

LUNCH

120 gLeft over chicken from last night

Sliced thorugh large salad of:

rocket, spinach, snow peas, green beans, capscium and cucumber

1/4 avocado

SNACK

100g plain greek yoghurt

1 punnet of raspberries

10 almonds

TEA

One of my chicken or fish dishes (approx 120g of meat)

Massive stir fry of broccoli, cauli, capscium, pineapple, carrots and green beans

1/4 cup cooked rice if I trained today

I hope that helps to clear up the confusion about a long-term healthy diet that gets results.

To find out how to actually put this into place using healthy recipes all supplied, check out my latest online challenge.

It starts on September 10th with registrations closing on the 2nd.

You can find out more details here: TRANSFORM TOGETHER 6 WEEK CHALLENGE

I run online nutrition challenges and programs regularly.  Make sure you subscribe to my newsletter to be informed about start dates and details.   You can find out more and subscribe here:  

Jo


THE COSTS AND BENEFITS OF LOSING YOUR EXCESS BODY FAT

I”d like to refer you to an article put out by Precision Nutrition.  You may have heard of them. They run 12 month online Nutrition coaching programs for people trying to lose weight and get healthier online.

The programs are fantastic.  I put myself through one after I gained my Level One Precision Nutrition Coaching Qualification.  I really enjoyed the habit based approach and the long term focus rather than the quick-fix (which most often turns out to be a failure in anything but the short term)

So after doing the 12 month Level One Coaching cert, I did the 12 month Coaching program (where I was the client).  Then I did another 12 months of daily study and assignments with weekly case studies  and gained my Level Two Certificate.   This is Precision Nutrition’s top level coaching cert and requires the 3 years  minimum commitment to gain it.

I base all of my programs on the way they coach.   That is, I take a longer term approach teaching clients to be able to not just lose weight, get healthier and get fit, but to be able to maintain that long term, whether they remain at FitterFaster as a client or not.

If I can’t show people how to change their lifestyle, how to cook and enjoy real food, how to exercise for the best results and how to do that pretty much FOREVER, then I haven’t really helped them with anything.

Short term challenges and transformation programs are only as good as what you do when they’re over.

If you cannot maintain what was required to lose that weight during the challenge, YOU WILL PUT THE WEIGHT BACK ON when it is finished

So having said that, the article linked here gives you a glimpse of what is really required to achieve the level of leanness and health that you wish to achieve.

After reading it, you may rethink what you are actually aiming for because you may not have the commitment to achieve the outcomes listed.

Or, you may aim higher, and be determined to do what it takes because it is important to you.

My goal is to help you get better.  Not to decide what ‘better’ is for you.   That’s for you to decide and for me to help you get there.

So while many fitness professionals won’t tell you about how much is actually really required to reach the levels listed in this article, I will.   Because not doing so is just cheating you and in the end will make you feel like a failure because you may not get there if you don’t know.

Grab a cuppa and take a look at this article.  It’s quite long so allow some time, but really look at it and have a think about what your really want to achieve.     THE COST OF GETTING LEAN

After you’ve read the article, you may like to experience what its like to move down those levels.  My 10 Day Body Detox will give you an experience of the nutrition side of body transformation over a short period.

The 10 Day Body Detox nutrition plan is exactly what you’ll need to do t move down the ranks of the charts in the article to about the 20-25% body fat levels (for females).  The hard part is that you’ll need to do it long term – like miles longer than 10 days.  In fact, its pretty much what is required for 6 months to a year for most people *depending on where you are now)

So to see what its like for just 10 days (in which you will start to see results already) check out my 10 Day Body Detox.

Registrations are open now and close at midday on January 5th.  More details by clicking the link below

10 DAY BODY DETOX