5 Easy Ways To Change Your Life

A really short post today with 5 action items that will change your life.  FitterFaster clients can attest to the fact that the following will make a huge difference if you just do them.

I’d suggest, pick one action, do it for a week before adding the second action and so on.  By the 6th week, you will feel and look a whole lot different.

Kate Melissa Kylie Angela

Cut out that wine/beer or other alcohol in the evening

Yep, that glass or 2 (or bottle) of wine you’ve been having to ‘relax’ because you deserve it.  It’s not serving you!

You may think it is doing you the world of good, but in actual fact, it is making your life worse, not better.

The first week’s action is to cut out all alcohol during the week.  If you still wish to have a drink, save it for one day on the weekend and seriously, limit the amount and really enjoy it

Get To Bed Earlier

I know you’re busy at night, but if you’re honest with yourself, you really could get into bed earlier.  If you find it hard to fall asleep, start by going 30 minutes earlier (build that to an hour) and read in bed.

Your new sleep time will become habit.  You just have to give it some time. Cutting out that alcohol in the evenings will also help you to have a more restful sleep as well.

Start Cooking At Home

This is a no brainer and probably could have been first on my list.  Out of 7 nights, make a commitment to totally cook your evening meal from scratch at home for at least 4 of them.  Build that up over a few weeks till you’re cooking fresh meals at home for at least 6 nights per week.

My free recipe book giveaway has over 30 easy, yummy, fast to prepare and healthy meals.  If you don’t have it yet, you can download it here:  Over 30 healthy, simple recipes for free

Take Your Own Lunch

The simplest way to do this, is to simply cook an extra serve at your evening meal and take it to work, school or wherever with you the next day.  How easy is that!  Alternatively, pack a salad with some left over meat,chicken or fish (most meals cna be eaten cold if you have no way to heat during the day)

If you’re buying your lunch (no matter how ‘healthy’ it seems) you need to stop that now.  If you live in Maryborough however Cafe Cardio Pulse at the hospital makes many FitterFaster meals which you can purchase fresh daily.  Their menu changes daily and they feature many of the recipes in the free recipe book download above.

Get Moving

Yep, you knew this was coming.  Commit to doing something every day.  You read that right – every day.  The best way to make something a habit is to do it regularly.  If you promise that you’ll do something say, 3 times per week, it is too easy to keep putting it off thinking you’ll do it later in the week. And we all know what happens then.

A walk, a group session, a visit to the local gym, a workout at home.  Commit 10-15 minutes daily at first.   Once that becomes habit, you can increase the duration of a few of those sessions and keep the other days short.

Sally Chris Matt

Get up 15-20 Minutes Earlier to have breakfast

Now that you are getting into bed earlier, getting up just 15 minutes earlier won’t be a problem.  Get up and cook or prepare yourself a healthy breakfast before the rest of your tribe even wakes.

A couple of eggs with some veggies cooked with them, some greek/natural yogurt with fruit or some leftovers from last night’s tea.  All quick and easy as well as nutritious.

I like to make a huge egg and vegetable quiche on the weekends so that I simply need to cut a slice in the mornings.  Alternatively, quiche ‘muffins’ are also easy to prepare and you can have them in the fridge ready to go. These also make great packed lunches.

You can find some easy breakfast recipes here: Easy Breakfast Recipes

Your day will start much better if you’ve eaten a healthy and filling meal for breakfast.

egg muffins

Select one of these new habits each week and commit to making it work for you.  Although they seem so simple, they really will change your life.

If you have any questions about this or any other health or fitness issues, just email me any time jo@fitterfaster.net.au

The Secret To Fat Loss

I’ve worked with clients who’ve lost anywhere from 1 to 50kg.  Mostly those big losses (and some of the smaller ones) take 1-3 years to accomplish.  And this is really important to know, because losing the first 5kg or so can be quite easy, but more important than that, is making sure you don’t gain it back, and that if you have more to lose, that you can do so.

Research points quite clearly to the fact that while losing excess body fat can be quite easy, it’s keeping it off that is the problem.

Giselle Amber

Many people do regain lost weight (and usually some more as well), and that’s not because losing weight is impossible or that the program was necessarily not effective.

It’s because fat loss is not linear.  In other words, you don’t just drop your bodyweight reliably each week in set amounts till it’s gone.  And most people don’t understand that and give up before the magic has happened.

In fact, all weight loss programs will stop working at some point.  In fact, at many points.  But the thing is, a good one is still working, even when it appears that it isn’t.

You all know the drill:

  • You start a new diet or fat loss program
  • You lose some body fat.
  • Then you stop losing body fat (which you usually refer to as a plateau).
  • Then you may lose some more, or you may not.
  • Then you ‘plateau’ again.
  • Then you give up and put it all back on again (sometimes quickly and sometimes over a little while)

I see this happen all the time.  After losing some weight and not seeing progress for a week or 2, or at the end of a shorter term fat-loss challenge, you slowly creep back to your old habits because you believe nothing is happening.

This even happens if you did get to your goal weight but then went back to your old habits without letting your body adjust to it’s new set-point.

The thing is, that those plateaus are part of the fat loss process.

Your body needs to readjust it’s set point before it can move on.  And while that’s happening, you need to stick to the process to enable that to happen.

When you accept this, you all can achieve great things including more fat loss.

So what is the big secret?

I’ve written about this loads of times, but in case you haven’t read my past posts, your body does not like to change.

From temperature changes, to electrolyte balance to body fat levels and more.  Your body does everything in its power to stay the same.  It trys to keep everything at ‘normal’ and when we are referring to bodyweight, we refer to this as your set-point. The process of staying the same is named homeostasis.

We all have a normal body weight or set point.  You  can change this over time – slowly.  But regardless of what you think your ‘normal’ weight should be, your body pretty much wants to stay how it is. So fast changes are met with resistance.

You may have read that fat losses of 1-1.5kg per week are normal and sustainable.  This may or may not be true, but you can guaranteed that these losses are just averages.

Over time, a ‘normal’ loss of 1-1.5 kg per week, may have actually been 2kg one week, none the next and so on.  There is nothing magical about fast or slow fat loss.  The key point to remember is that your body does not want to change from what it sees as ‘normal’ or its set-point.

Gretta Emily

So how can you change your set-point.

Firstly you’ll need a program that combines good nutrition with fat loss.  Without supplying your body with adequate nutrients, long term fat loss is an even steeper uphill battle.

Once you have that sorted, you can reset your bodies current set-point by losing some weight and then allowing your body time to adjust to that new weight.

So while it seems like nothing is happening, much is happening, least of all, your body adjusting to the new weight and making it the new ‘normal’.  I’ve referred to this over the years to my clients as “Good stuff is still happening on the inside”

If you have lots of weight to lose, you’ll find you can drop more before having to wait for the adjustment than someone who is much closer to their goal weight.  People refer to this as ‘she loses weight so easily because she has more to lose’.  While this is true initially, once that person gets closer to their goal weight, they too will experience those plateaus more often and may have to wait for longer periods while the body adjusts to each new ‘normal’ or set-point.

Long term larger fat loss almost never happens in a 28 day program or in 6 weeks.

While those with just a tiny bit to lose can maybe do so in that time, they still must continue with their plan beyond that length of time to allow their bodies to adjust and make a new set-point.  Otherwise, they’re just going to regain all their lost weight again.

While I do run short term fat loss programs, I always stress that you absolutely must continue the program beyond the end date.

I teach throughout every program about making permanent lifestyle and nutritional changes and how that is the absolutely only way you’ll every succeed with long term fat loss.

It can take 3-8 weeks or even more for your body to adjust to a new set-point depending on how much weight you’ve lost, how much more you have to go, how long you’ve held that excess weight for, your genetics and many other factors.

But it is absolutely possible to achieve a new set-point with persistance and consistency.  That’s why you must avoid any programs that promise really fast results and that require you to stick with anything you can’t imagine yourself doing for 6, 12 or 36 months.

The secret as I mentioned above, is to know that your body does not want to change and it is determined to maintain homestasis.

The secret is to keep perservering even when it appears that nothing is happening from the outside.  Because the ‘magic’ is happening on the inside and if you remain consistent, you will see progress again.

Please leave your comments about this below.  I’d love FitterFaster clients in particular to share their experiences of sticking to the course and seeing results come again.

Katie Emma Dianne Jess

Transformation In Stages

 

After years of coaching fitness and fat loss, recording results, experimenting with and changing methods (with principles never changing), I’ve come to know that body transformation is best approached in phases.

While there are a few people who can totally transform from obese to lean in one big leap, they are few and far between.  And it doesn’t matter what method they’re using.  This is my theory (tested for the past 9 plus years)

This is how it works best for most of you:

PHASE ONE

Shorter, really concentrated, strict ‘sprints’ such as a challenge or contest type program.

These can vary in length, and in fact, I’ve found clients work better when the length does vary each time they do one.

I’ve found that 4 weeks is the shortest time to see really measurable results and 12 weeks probably being just a bit too long really to keep focused with the strict guidelines that the ‘sprint’ portion requires.  Between 4 – 8 or 10 weeks working best for most people.

The FitterFaster challenges are NEVER about starvation or restriction. I focus on adding good things into your diet and basically crowding out (or leaving no room) for the types of foods that do not  assist you to achieve your goals.

All nutrition plans are balanced and in fact, probably provide more food than a lot of the participants were eating on a daily basis prior to starting.

One thing for sure is that you’ll definitely improve your nutritional intake and your health while doing one of my challenges.

The addition of a start and end date in Phase One allows most people to focus, have their game-face on and give a 100% effort to sticking with the plan.

All of my programs also have a heavy base of habit change, health education and support.  I will never ask anyone to do something that is detrimental to their health as health improvement is a priority for me, while you focus on your fat loss.

PHASE TWO

Focused ‘recovery’ periods where the focus is on changing/maintaining daily practices and habits and on maintaining the new body fat percentage/weight (achieved via the ‘sprint’ or Phase One)

During these phases, the emphasis is more on weight or body composition maintenance through changing daily practices and habits that you need to keep doing for life (including during the ‘sprint’ phases)

Habits and practices that you’ll concentrate on are things like:

  1. Eating a healthy protein source at every meal or snack – What is protein?  What is the most convenient source? How can I do this if I’m on holidays, out for the day, at business functions, on a budget?  What are the best sources of protein?
  2. Taking daily supplements – doing this every day without fail.  Supplements such as fish oils, probiotics and glutamine for instance.  Nothing fancy, just the basics to improve results and your healthy
  3. Staying properly hydrated – How much water do I need to drink?  What about if I train, if it’s hot, etc?  Why?  What are the benefits?

These are just examples but by just focusing on one or two best practices at a time until they actually do become habits means that ultimately, you’ll reset your set-point weight and be able to reach new highs (or lows) when you hit  Phase One again.

 

Go here for more proof: Before and Afters

Why this approach?

After running over 20 different challenges and contests so far, I’ve found that the people who succeed in maintaining their new weight, and even continuing to get results beyond the finish date, are those that make the changes that they learn in the challenge into daily habits.

Those same people, that are then living a healthier life beyond the finish line, can then go even further when the next challenge (sprint) comes along.

It can take many cycles or just a couple to reach your ultimate goals.  It depends, of course on where you’re starting from in terms of your current body fat percentage and fitness level, but also exactly where you’re at with your mindset and your willingness to accept the process and the uncomfortableness that it sometimes brings from time to time.

Having the ‘recovery’ phase allows some leniency with food choices and training frequency (always within reason) meaning you can reset your mind while putting into practice the long term principles of good health and lean body achievement.

So many people go ‘off’ when a challenge finishes.

They simply go back to their old habits and guess what – that’s what got them to overweight and unhealthy in the first place!

So having Phase Two in place, with support, ongoing follow-up and guidance with what to focus on each week, will mean that you don’t keep going backward.

You can maintain your direction and not slip back when each challenge is over.

This is what makes long-term fat loss, fitness and superior health possible.

This is the crux of the FitterFaster programs.  Helping you to achieve better than average health and a body that you can love and appreciate every day.

If you’d just like receive articles and posts about improving your body composition and your health, and be informed when my next Phase One Challenge will run, complete your details below.  I will not share your details with anyone.

This Will Help You Lose BodyFat

Wow! A plethora of new ‘healthy’ foods are upon us.

Chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseed, almond and other nut butter, seed mixes, coconut ‘everything’ and more.

Many of my clients had been adding these to their meal plans because they’re ‘healthy’ and ‘they’re better than a chocolate bar’ before I met them.

Did you really think these would help you lose weight??

True, the ingredients do often have health benefits, but guys, they will still make you fat and stop you from losing body fat!!!!

When they start at FitterFaster, they soon learn about how these foods were part of the ‘I can’t lose body fat’ problem.

It’s like there has been a huge backflip on the low-fat, no-fat mantra. And now everyone thinks they can eat ‘healthy’ fats willy-nilly till the cows come home.

Well people, doing that WILL ADD FAT TO YOUR BODY if it’s not carefully measured and factored into your overall nutrition plan.

Whether you’re trying to lose body fat, gain lean weight or maintain weight, you still have to factor healthy foods and their calories into your daily plan.

They have health benefits and a whole heap of calories too

If you’re trying to lose body fat, you have a couple of choices;

One is to be moderate in your approach. Eat healthy foods with not too much of a gap between maintenance and fat loss levels. You’ll slowly but steadily lose body fat if you stick with it and train properly.  Consistency is key.  If you have days where you just eat and do whatever, your results will reflect this. And not in the way you’d hoped!

Another approach is to get more aggressive. Limit certain foods, cut back a bit more and add more training (this all must be carefully controlled and cycled for long term results).   This is the route to take if you’re almost at your goal, to get off a plateau or just to get to your goals faster in general.

But again, you have to be consistent.  If your approach is too aggressive for you, and you cannot maintain it week in , week out,  you won’t see good results.

There is no right or wrong way. It’s up to you to decide how much effort do you want to put in?

How committed are you going to be?

How quickly do you want to see results?

What stage of your fitness/fatloss journey are you at?

Either way,  if you’re not consistent, or you add too many of those so-called ‘healthy’ foods, you will not see the results you’re after.

At best, ongoing results will stop, at worse, you’ll go backwards and gain weight again.

Sometimes in order to reach your goals, you just have to suck it up and be a little hungry-IT WON’T KILL YOU!!

You may just have to go to bed ‘feeling like a little bit of something’.

You may just have to eat a little less-duh!!

You just may have to get over yourself and make better choices, even if it isn’t exactly what you feel like at the time.

Dedication is when you do what it takes even when you don’t feel like it.

When you don’t like what you’re doing or supposed to do, it’s your choice to add or take things away.

Just remember, that your results will reflect exactly the choices you make on a daily basis.

So make a choice. If you want a certain outcome, you’re going to have to do what it takes to get it.

Just because so and so down the road did X and it worked for him/her, doesn’t mean its the best choice for you.

My nutrition plans get results. I’m living testimony to this. I test everything myself first before making recommendations.

I have also been ‘testing’ on clients for the past 9 plus years to establish what works best for different people and for everyone.

THE SOLUTION TO WEEKENDITIS

images1A recent post in the private FitterFaster client group on Facebook specified some common causes of Weekenditis.

You know, where you’re ‘good’ Monday to Friday but come the weekend (or every evening for some) you just go off the rails.

We identified several different categories of people I guess you could say and in this post, I’m addressing some solutions to some of the reasons we sabotage ourselves and cannot get rid of weekenditis.

Miss or Mr perfect

The best treatment for those that pretty much cave in on the weekends after a week of being ‘perfect’ is to remember that the decent plan you follow is much better than the perfect plan you don’t.

Be sensible with food and drink choices during the week and on weekends.  Be mindful about your choices and try to make the best choices possible at the time without trying to be perfect.

Try for a bit better than last time and stick to the wise choice.

Always 100%

For those that are all in or all out – 100% either way, you pretty much are setting yourself up for 100% success or 100% failure.  There’s no middle ground for you.

In reality, there are better or worse choices.  There are pretty good ones and not so good ones.

The key here is to make choices that are also a bit better rather than a bit worse.  Making one choice that was further down the continuum than ‘100% correct’ does not mean you’ve failed.

Cut yourself some slack and allow those 80% choices to prevail.

The Trader

This was the person who trains and then tells themselves they ‘deserve’ a treat because of it.

Or they convince themselves (usually quite easily) that they’ve been ‘so good’ that a bad choice is also deserving.

Being ‘good’ and ‘bad’ is for kids.  Instead, be an adult and make better choices.

Link those better choices to the benefits.  Exercise and you’ll more energy and more patience with your kids.

Eat well and have less headaches, tummy upsets and a smaller belly.

Be kind to yourself and make wise and sane choices.

F*** *t mode

This person follows the ‘rules’ to the T, till they inevitably don’t. And that’s when the s**t hits the fan.

They then totally give up, usually going all out to make sure it’s clear that they are definitely not ‘dieting’ anymore.

They almost always resolve to ‘start again’ Monday or on the 1st of next month.  In the meantime, they totally make sure that they ruin any progress they may have made before they stuffed up.

These people need to have less food rules.  They need to concentrate on just a few new habits at a time.  If they have less to focus on, and everything doesn’t have to be perfect, they’re  much more likely to have some ‘wins’ which then gives them encouragement to keep going for another week.

So get rid of hard and fast ‘rules’ and instead work on changing damaging lifestyle habits one or two at at time.

The Cheat Day specialist

Some people find the idea of relaxing with eating once per week useful both mentally and physically. If this is you, and it works for you, then we applaud you on finding a worthwhile strategy.  I always recommend however, that you eat a sensible portion of your ‘sometimes’ food and still eat till your satisfied, not stuffed.

But for a lot of clients, having one “cheat day” means the rest of the week is food purgatory.  You feel that if you can’t have X food till a certain day or time, it often causes an absolute overconsumption of that food because it’s a whole 7 days (or however long) till you can have it again.

If this is you, perhaps allow yourself a small portion of that food every couple of days within the context of an otherwise healthy plan.  Having yummy recipes that don’t make you feel deprived also really helps.  The FitterFaster recipes have lots of variety and are so delicious that they really can replace most of the ‘junk’ foods you may have been used to.

The other thing I find really helpful for this group is to remember that there will always be more cake, chocolate, pizza etc.  The bit in front of you is not the last piece in the world.  If you don’t have it now, you can have it at a later time.  There will be more!

The Familiar story teller

This person tells themselves and others lots and lots of stories about why they made bad food choices, why they skipped training and why they just had to visit the drive-through again this weekend.

What they choose to ignore, is that we all have choices and we all make those choices.

We are not usually victims of our circumstances.

In our Monday to Friday routine or out of it, our routine is still pretty predictable.

You can still plan our your meals and snacks.

You can pack foods and you can still get up early or go to bed early as well.

You do not have to eat everything in sight at your mum’s house.

You have choices and those choices have consequences.

Stop playing the victim in your stories.

Avoiding the Void

This person eats to fill the void.  It could be a regular thing, like when the kids have gone to bed or another time you’re on you own such as in the car.

The best way to get around this is to fill the void with something else.

A walk around the block or some other exercise.

A visit to a friend or a hobby you’ve been meaning to start back up.  Gardening, reading, writing for instance.

Putting it all into practice

A choice is one that takes everything into account.  It understands that there will be trade-offs.

No, you can’t eat junk food all day every day and still get that killer body!

Making wise choices means most often being prepared.  Rarely do thing happen in our lives that were totally unpredictable.

Working late, sports running late, healthy foods not available at the venue…….these are all predictable circumstances where you could have been prepared.

Make note of when you start to tell yourself a familiar story.  Think about how you will feel in an hour if you make a certain choice.

If you are willing to trade off, are you willing to accept the outcomes of that choice.  Why are you willing to trade off?

And if you’re an ‘Always 100%’ or a ‘F*** It’ mode person, how are you going to make sure you can get back on track as soon as taken part in your current choice?  How are you going to stop yourself from giving up totally?

Remember that YOU are free to eat and do whatever you want whenever you want to.

YOU are free to choose your own behaviour

Those behaviours come with consequences.  Sometimes they are things you want to happen and sometimes they are not.

Always know that you can make choices in most situations.

images

How Many of These Could you Answer? Part Three

The final round of answers to the recent quiz I gave all my clients.  The rest of the answers can be found here:

Part One

Part Two

What would be the best choice for a High Energy Carbohydrate from the following?

  • White Rice

  • Whole Grain Bread

  • Whole Grain Pasta

The correct answer is White Rice!  This questions caused a lot of confusion, but really shouldn’t have for FitterFaster clients.  If in doubt, you can find the answers to these kinds of questions by checking the FitterFaster Food Charts.

If planning a meal or snack and you know you need a protein, a high energy carb and some fats or low energy carbs, GO TO THE LISTS to check your best and other choices.  Regular meal and snack planning will enable you to make good choices over time by habit without having to check.

I advise ALL CLIENTS to go back to referring to the charts from time to time to make sure that bad habits and choices are not creeping back in.

It’s poor choices over time that results in body fat accumulation and poorer health.

Of the following, what category are Date and Nut Balls in? Check all that apply

  • Protein

  • High Energy Carbs

  • Fats

  • Low Energy Carbs

The correct answer is High Energy Carbs and Fats.

This question was the one that caused the most issues.  A lot said protein and lots said low energy carbs too.  Others answered either HE Carbs or Fats, but not both.

When making choices like this for meals, LOOK AT THE INGREDIENTS!

Dates = High Energy Carbs

Nuts = Fats

It’s simple!

Give 5 examples of one serve of protein for a woman

100g low fat cottage cheese

120g or beef, lamb, chicken, pork or other lean meat or poultry

150g white fish

100g oily fish such as salmon or sardines

150g shellfish or other seafood

2 whole eggs

Are all examples of 1 serve of protein

Name three things you  could do to improve your recovery between training sessions

Stretch

Foam Rolling

Good Nutriton

Proper hydration

Epsom salt baths or foot soaks

Sleep!!

Massage or other physical therapy

Meditation

Taking fish oils

Time!!

Are all examples of ways to improve your recovery and therefore, your results