A 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.


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


Foam Rolling

Good Nutriton

Proper hydration

Epsom salt baths or foot soaks


Massage or other physical therapy


Taking fish oils


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


Could you answer these health, fitness and fatloss questions? Part Two

A few weeks ago, I presented my clients with a quiz to test their health and fitness knowledge.  The answers to the first half of the quiz were posted HERE

There were lots of correct answers (of course as i”ve been educating them for years on this stuff) but there were a few questions where there was some confusion.  Lets go over the rest of the questions and the answers:

Can you keep training if you’re injured?

The answer to this is ‘it depends’.  At FitterFaster probably about 40% of our clients have some injury or condition that prevents them from completing a workout exactly as programmed on any given day.

However, they have alternative drills they can perform in most cases and MOST injuries can be worked around. Its best to speak to your coach in consultation with your physical therapist or doctor/specialist to determine if YOU can continue training in any way.

What is the minimum number of high intensity training sessions recommended to produce the best results?

The minimum recommended number of training session each week is 3.  Spacing  your sessions fairly evenly through the week is also important because if you leave too long (more than a couple of days) between sessions, you won’t make good progress.  This especially applies to newer trainees.  People that have been at a higher fitness level for a longer time will be able to hold fitness better with occasional longer spells between training.

The next two questions produced a variety of responses:

Are nuts classed as a fat, protein or carbohydrate food?

The answer is, a fat source.

Yes, they do contain small amounts of protein and carbs too, but are classed as a fat source in the FitterFaster Nutrition Programs.

What about legumes?

These are a high energy carb.  Many answered ‘grain’ but legumes are not grains.

Again, they contain smaller amounts of protein as well, but the carb content is high in comparison.  They are also not an excellent source of protein so additional protein is required in a meal that contains them.

How many high energy carbohydrate serves should you have on  a non-training day and a training day if your goal is fat loss?

One serve on days where you do not train and an additional one for each high-intensity training session lasting approx. 40 mins or more per day.

This confused a lot of clients, many of whom answered ‘none’ for non-training days. For most people, it is important to have some high energy carbs each day.

Give 3 examples of one high energy carbohydrate serve

1 banana

1 slice of any bread

3/4 cup of peas or corn

1 cup cooked pasta

1/2 cup cooked rice

1/3 cup uncooked oats

15-20 grapes

1-2 tablespoons of dried fruit

100g flavoured yoghurt

1/2 cup legumes

1 medium potato of any type including sweet potato

Are all examples of ONE serve of High Energy Carbs

If you don’t want to bother with good nutrition, can’t you just train hard 6-7 times per week and get good results?


I will answer the last few questions in my next post.  Keep an eye out and don’t forget to check the answers from the first part of the quiz HERE


Answers to Confusing Health, Fitness & Fat Loss Questions


Recently at FitterFaster I sent out a quiz to clients to see how much they have learnt/or know about healthy eating, training and just generally being healthier.

I was quite surprised by some of the answers, both with the knowledge you all displayed and also at the common confusion about a few  of the questions.

Hence, this blog post.  I’ll provide the answers to some of the 25 questions and follow up with the rest in further posts.

How many hours of sleep should you aim for on average?

7-8 hours.

How many serves of protein should you aim to eat per day on a ‘perfect’ day.

Female  – 5

Males – 8

A serving being approx. 25g of protein.  Or approx. 100-120g of any lean red or white meat, 2 eggs, 100g of low fat cottage cheese etc

What should all of your meals contain?

Protein and Carbs was the correct answer.  This is assuming you’re following the FitterFaster Precision Nutrition Program and are eating 5 meals/snacks per day with an optional 6th one for males.

There was a variety of answers to this one, with lots stating Protein, Carbs and Fats.  I recommend adding a serve of healthy fats to  just 2-3 meals or snacks per day. Although we do require healthy fats every day, eating too much fat, even if its healthy will result in weight gain or inability to lose excess body fat, just like with any other macronutrient.

With the recent obsession with ‘Paleo’, this has become a common error and usually means a lack of results.    While eating a Paleo based diet is highly recommended.  (The FFPNP could pretty much be described as Paleo with a couple of adjustments)

Just because something is ‘healthy’ doesnt mean you can eat too much of it.

What’s the best oil to cook with?

Coconut oil for most uses.  Other healthy oils are better for use in dressings etc as they lose their health benefits or are degraded by overheating.

List 3 things you could do to stop yourself from eating everything in sight when having cravings.

There are many, many ‘correct’ answers to this question.  I’ve listed some of your ideas and some of mine below:

  • Have a coffee instead
  • Make a healthy snack that is part of your nutrition plan and eat it now, even if you’re not supposed to have your meal yet
  • Get busy.  Go outside, clean, go for a walk, visit a friend, hang out the washing, etc.  There are heaps of ways to get busy and distract yourself.
  • Do a workout.  This could be a full training session, or just 5-10 minutes of activity to get you over your craving
  • Have a herbal tea

What are the best indicators that your fat loss program is working?

The choices listed were:

  • Body weight going down
  • Tape Measure
  • Clothes fitting better
  • Comments from friends or family
  • More energy
  • Feeling fitter and able to do more
  • Less headaches
  • Sleeping better

There were lots of varieties of answers for this one.  The correct answer was all of them, except the first one.

Scale weight is not a good indicator of your program working.  Especially if its not moving.  I’ve done so many assessments this week where clients were disappointed that the scales had only moved by 1-3 kg.  Yet, after a full assessment, measurements and body fat percentage had moved considerably.  Relying on the scales alone is not a good idea.

How do you determine how much training you should do each week?

There were once again a variety of answers and most of them were spot on.  You should determine your training frequency by your recovery and your goals.  You should be getting enough sleep and eating properly before in increasing to more than 3 sessions per week.

What are some signs of overtraining or under-recovery?

This leads from the prior question.

A variety of choices was given and are listed below:

  • Sleeping really well
  • Lack of energy
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Extra hungry
  • Lack of hunger
  • Getting sick often
  • Headaches or other flu like symptoms
  • Ongoing niggling injuries
  • Unable to shift bodyfat

All of the above answers are correct except the first.  You could be extra hungry or lose your appetite.  You may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.  You may get sick more often or have niggling injuries that wont go away or keep recurring.

If you had to choose one supplement to recommend to the average person wanting to lose body fat and improve their health, what would it be?

The correct answer is fish oils or another Omega 3 supplement.

Quite a few answered ‘protein powder’ but this is incorrect.  You do not need a protein supplement to improve health or lose weight.   A protein supplement is simply a source of protein and has no health benefits or fat loss benefits(unless you are under consuming protein)

I hope this helps you with some of the confusing questions.  Keep an eye out for more answers in another post soon

Dangerous oils and sugars

There’s so much new research (and old stuff that was ignored coming to light) that is teaching us about the good and bad effects different foods and components of foods have on our bodies.

To date, nutritional information has been confusing, misleading and contradictory.  That is mostly because parts of studies or findings are taken out of context and blown out of proportion by the media.  If anyone actually took the time to read studies that are quoted by the media, most times, they’d see that the findings were not at all what the media is saying.

But boring, uninteresting facts don’t sell papers and magazines.  And it is hard to promote a miracle product when the science doesn’t support it.

So marketers, promoters and the general media (and anyone else with a product to sell) will pull sentences and ‘facts’ out of studies (and even totally contradict the study) if it helps them to market their product.  Even if what they are saying is totally false.

Today I’m discussing two things you need to avoid as much as possible, or even eliminate from your diet if you can.

One is a sugar and one is a fat.  So here we go.  Bare in mind, I’m not selling a solution to these, I have no product to replace them and I have no vested interest in you eliminating them, besides the fact that I want to help you to improve your health.



Here’s a short list of SOME of the ways fructose will destroy your body:

  • It rots your teeth
  • It makes you fat (in more ways than just excess calories)
  • It can create high blood pressure
  • It can destroy brain cells
  • It feeds cancer
  • It can increase depression and anxiety
  • It destroys your liver and messes with your kidneys
  • And more.  It has no health benefits and is not essential for you body

In short, fructose begins a series of diseases caused by the fact that fructose is turned into fat in your liver.  This can lead to type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, obesity (yes, you get fat), heart disease, liver disease and even Alzheimer’s disease.

Also, due to the uric acid created when the fructose is turned into fat it also causes gout, high blood pressure and kidney disease to name a few.

If you’d like more information about this, 2 great reads are by David Gillespie: Sweet Poison and Eat Real Food. Take a look at these easy to read books.  They’ll explain a lot and reference studies too.

In the meantime, remember that all the things that fructose does to your body can be reversed.  So that’s good news.


Polyunsaturated Fats

Unfortunately, this is not true with the conditions and diseases caused consumption of polyunsaturated fats.    These are largely permanent!

Some of the ways polyunsaturated fats can cause harm are:

  • Cause cancer
  • Contribute to making you blind
  • Can contribute to Parkinsons Disease
  • Increase osteoporosis
  • Major cause of allergies and asthma
  • Give you rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases
  • Help fructose to cause heart disease

The David Gillespie book Eat Real Food also explains this in detail; the why and the how.

What foods contain fructose and polyunsaturated oils?

Here’s a list of foods to avoid:

  • Dried Fruit
  • Margarine
  • Fruit Juices
  • Vegetable Juices
  • Jams and honey
  • Tomato and BBQ sauce (and similar)
  • Lollies and yep, chocolate
  • Flavoured waters
  • Flavoured yoghurts
  • Pre-mixed spirits and ciders
  • Vegetable/seed oils
  • Ice cream
  • Cakes and sweet biscuits
  • Most breakfast cereals (including the ‘health section’ ones)
  • Soft drinks
  • Marinated meats/fish/chicken
  • Marinades
  • Most premade jars of pasta or other sauces

Wow, that’s a large list and for lots of you, may have just drastically reduced your grocery bill.

You should also reduce your use of artificial sweeteners too.  In fact, cut them out all together.

What can I eat then?

  • Meat, chicken and fish
  • Seafood (not crumbed or battered)
  • Eggs
  • Whole fruit, especially berries
  • Whole nuts and some seeds (keep seed consumption low)
  • Vegetables of all kinds including all types of potatoes for those going to ask.
  • Unsweetened and unflavoured greek or natural yoghurt
  • Water
  • Real butter and coconut oil
  • Oats – whole rolled – not flavoured varieties

For a comprehensive list of foods that you can eat, fill out your details below

And don’t forget to check out those books. They’re both an easy read with lots of information written in an easy to understand format complete with study references.


Easy Ways To Get Fatter

What could you do on a daily or weekly basis to gain body fat? It’s pretty simple really and most of these things can be done without even thinking about them:

  • Drink your calories. This is an easy one. Never choose water and instead, drink soft drinks, cordials, fruit juices and even load up on diet drinks. The only way to drink your water if you want to gain body fat, is to choose flavoured varieties.
  • Go on a strict diet where you cut your calories really low. This is just about guaranteed to get your eating way too much at some point and also will aid you to make bad food choices because you’re so hungry. Can also cause drops in blood sugar which are great for increasing cravings too.
  • Go to bed too late, watch telly in bed, take your phone to bed or develop any other bad sleeping habit. This will cause havoc with your hormones, increase cravings and also cause you to overeat due to a lack of energy and focus. Whatever you do, don’t get more than 6 hours of sleep per night, or, if you must, make sure you get at least 9 or more hours as getting too much sleep can also cause you to overeat. Watching TV or using a computer or other device at night is also a great way to waste time that could otherwise be spent sleeping.
  • Snack or choose foods for meals according to whatever is most convenient and easy to get. Do not under any circumstances try to be organised or prepared. Just grab the easiest thing available especially if it can be ordered and delivered or you can order and pick up within 10 minutes or so. Take away food is great for piling on the kilos. Ditto for being organised during the day with food when away from the home. Do not under any circumstances preprepare snacks and take them with you. Just be sure to grab whatever is available.  Do not pack your own lunch for work, just grab whatever is easiest, quickest or cheapest from the closest cafe or take away shop.
  • Do not undertake physical activity unless it involves taking it easy, having long rests and not overexerting yourself. Best not to do anything though just to be sure.
    If you do anything physical, make sure you undo at least some of the benefits by consuming energy/sports drinks and protein/low carb/energy/etc bars. In case, you accidentally burn any calories while exercising, make sure you replace them with calorie laden flavoured drinks and snacks. Energy/sports drinks are especially good for this.
  • Drink alcohol as often as possible. Even a once per week binge will ensure that fat stores are laid in your body and remain there.  If possible, have at least a glass or two of beer or wine (or other favourite alcoholic drink) most nights as a ‘wind down’ because you deserve it.
  • Have a cheat meal/snack most days. If you can’t force yourself eat whatever you want for an entire day, even just one massive cheat meal per week will undo a lot of what you’ve achieved during the week if you forgot to make bad food choices on a daily basis.
  • Don’t think about what you’re eating and drinking and most definitely don’t record it. Choose solely on availability and taste. Do not think about nutrient content, protein content, calories, fats, chemical additives etc. Just shove it in, in as larger quantities as possible.
  • Eat as much as possible of ‘diet’ products. Anything labelled ‘non-fat, low fat, diet, skinny, lite, light etc’ is great in large quantities. You know you can eat extra of this to put on extra body fat at any time.
  • Be sure to hang around the tea or lunch room at work especially when it’s someone’s birthday or the boss shouts morning tea. Other great places to hang are at kids birthday parties, right next to the food table or at the buffet when out. And always make sure you have plenty of snacks on hand on your desk at work. Especially lollies, choccies and other nibbly food that’s impossible to eat just one of.
  • When you’re feeling bad/upset/angry/lonely/bored, make sure you have on hand an assortment of rubbish foods to medicate yourself with. These are guaranteed to make you feel worse (and guilty) so that any thoughts of making good choices are thrown totally out the window in favour of eating even more crap.  You know you’ll feel bad once you start, so make sure you have plenty to keep going on with.

So there you have it.  Easy ways to put on body fat.  Which ones are you doing?

It's easy to get a belly like this
It’s easy to get a belly like this