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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Are you really Addicted to Food?

Do you think you may be addicted to certain foods?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you crave certain foods even when you’re not actually hungry?
  • Do you find that when you eat these foods, you often eat way more than you intended?
  • Do you hide your consumption of these foods from others? Even sometimes?
  • Despite knowing about the negative consequences of eating these foods (declined health, increase in body fat etc) you still consume them regularly?
  • Have you tried to stop eating these foods a couple of times or more without success?

If you can answer yes to 3 or more of these questions, you most likely have an addiction to those foods. IF not, you have a serious problem that is not going away any time soon.

Unprocessed foods are unlikely to be associated with addictive eating.  The types of foods we are talking about are processed and contain higher amounts of sugar, fat and/or salt.  

Because you are actually addicted to these foods, it will most likely mean that simply ‘cutting back’ on them for is not enough.  

Methods similar to those used to quit smoking, alcohol or drug abuse will most likely be required.  That is, totally stopping the consumption of the foods that affect you and bring out addictive eating behaviours.

This is because that an addiction to certain foods is EXACTLY THE SAME as an addiction to any of those things.  

The exact same chemical processes cause the addiction – no matter why you started in the first place.

eat them anymore is the only way you’ll succeed long term.

Because of this, I’ve always been a big believer in totally cutting out junk foods as the best way to take back control of addictive eating for most people.  

 This is easier for some and not so for others of course, but it really is the best way I have found from experience over the past 10 years.

Alternate behaviours, food choices and actions are usually required rather than a simple instruction such as ‘stop eating chocolate’  as well as support and accountability.  

Breaking any addiction is really tough on your own.

Finding ways to start new habits, rather than just telling yourself you’re not going to

You’ve probably been told that ‘everything in moderation’ is the key to long term success. But for food addicts, this could be really bad advice.

Like an alcoholic can most likely never drink again (or risk immediate re-addiction) it is also most likely going to be the same for you.

So what’s the best way to tackle this?

1/ For one, stop thinking about dieting. Adding real hunger on top of trying to stop eating addictive foods will never result in success.

You need to follow a really filling, satisfying nutrition plan while cutting down on foods you’re addicted to.

This is the exact premise of all of my nutrition programs – and almost by accident, people lose weigh anyway.

2/ Think about what foods you are going to replace your old choices with. Actually make a list and make sure you have those foods available and prepared at all times.

3/ Set a date and make the decision that you won’t touch those foods again. Not a single time, not ever. This can be the toughest of all, but once you have decided, you can start taking action and start recovering.

4/ Accept that you’ll have relapses and quit the guilt. However, after 2-3 attempts on your own, if you’re not succeeding, seek help. A quick google search will find you loads of resources and organisations that specialise in food addiction.

5/ Keep a list of your trigger foods so that you can be totally aware of what you’re going to avoid. These foods are different for all food addicts. It may be chocolate, lollies or cheesecake. It could be crackers, cheese or ice cream. Or it could be (and most likely is) a combo of addictive foods.

6/ Let go of your need to ‘please’ others because they insist you eat the foods because:

  • they made them (using your kids as an excuse is common)
  • someone purchased them for you
  • it’s a special occasion

Your food addiction is not about them. Your kids, mum, neighbour or workmates will still love/like you even if you don’t eat their foods. Let’s face it. These excuses were just that – you were justifying to yourself why you needed to eat them.

Many clients have successfully broken their addiction to certain foods with support from the entire FitterFaster crew.

Programs like my Ditch The Junk Challenge can help you to start the process – no confessions required.

Find out more about Ditch The Junk by clicking HERE

If you have more questions about food addiction (or the Ditch The Junk) please email me any time jo@fitterfaster.net.au


Getting Through Christmas and New Year

With Christmas and New Year fast approaching, a lot of the conversations seems to be about ‘getting through’ the holidays and then ‘getting on’ with pursuing health and fitness goals from January 1st.
Nothing wrong with that, of course (though personally, I find that those who achieve the most impressive and rapid results are always those who start TODAY), after all, people are busy, they’re distracted and they have all manner of obstacles preventing them from getting what they want when the holiday season rolls around. (read excuses)

But here’s the interesting thing.

Considering people are waiting until ‘the time is right’ to get started on pursuing their goals (presumably ‘right’ meaning that there’s nothing standing in their way), there still seems to be a lot of discussion about avoiding the disappointment of failure.  Some people won’t get started because they think they won’t follow it through or will ‘fail’

In effect, these conversations are saying “Don’t go for what you REALLY want, go for what you think you can get”
I can understand why people think this way.

They’re scared of ‘failing’ at their diets, their exercise programs, their performance goals and their dreams so instead they play it small by choosing to rationalise and justify their goals instead of going for what they really want.
What they REALLY dream about.

Instead of dreaming the big, amazing, inspiring dreams they settle for what’s ‘realistic’.
In other words, they settle for what someone else has told them either is or is not possible.

I see it all the time at FitterFaster where people who really, desperately want to lose 15kgs set goals of only 5kgs ‘because it’s more realistic’ and who, in doing so, rob themselves of all the power, passion and purpose required to not only achieve the big goal but, ultimately, the small goal too.
It’s true!

Most of the people who set themselves smaller goals because they’ve rationalised them to be more ‘realistic’ have just as hard a time bringing these small goals to life as they would have had if they’d committed to the big ones.
Strange but true.

And here’s why;
Small goals are all fine and dandy but, the truth is, most people aren’t looking for small improvements in their lives. They want big, Huge, ENORMOUS, life-changing things to happen to them rather than small, incremental and often inconsequential goals.

Big goals get you out of bed on cold, damp and dark winter mornings. Small ones have you telling yourself “Go back to sleep, you can do it later”

Big goals have you sticking with your healthy diet no matter what. Small goals have you saying “Well, ONE piece won’t hurt…”
Big goals have you thinking and acting big. Small goals have you thinking and acting… small!
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out does it?

The key to making big, dramatic changes to your life, whether they be in your weight, your fitness, your relationships, your finances or anything else is to set yourself goals that would literally revolutionise your life rather than those that only serve to rationalise why you can’t have more.
The word ‘revolution’ comes from the Latin ‘Revolutio’ and means literally ‘a turn around’. Your life turns around by thinking big, powerful, passionate thoughts of what you WANT from your life and then taking the steps to make that happen, NOT by containing your thinking only to those things that you believe are easy.

The truth is, those things that are easiest to do are also the exact same things that are easy NOT to do.

Pushing your plate away when you’re full is easy to do… but easy not to.

Taking 15 minutes a day to exercise is easy to do… but easy not to.

Saving $1 a day is easy to do… but easy not to.

However, those smaller things are the every day steps that will get you to your big goal.  So they’re super important too, BUT you need that big achievement out there waiting for you to make sure you take those baby steps every day.

There’s no power, passion, purpose or promise in the small goals if there isn’t a bigger one attached.

The real power is in those big, scary, exciting goals that, once achieved, would literally turn your life around.
In other words, Revolutionary Goals NOT rational ones.

Think big.
Then, when you’ve thought big, think BIGGER!

Design the grandest, highest, most perfect vision of your goal in your mind THEN take daily action to make that goal become a reality.

Set a revolutionary goal TODAY. Don’t wait for New Year or for after Christmas.

Set it today and you’ll have a couple of weeks toward your goal in the bag before the first day of 2019.

I want anyone who is serious about changing their bodies to commit now.   Contact me before December 31st and I’ll extend your JumpStart To A New You package till the end of January.  It is normally 28 days (and great value at that) but the sooner you start, the more time you’ll have.  Up to 6 weeks if you get started now.

Contact me today to book a look around, a chat and an assessment.

Start your $79 JumpStart program before December 31stand I will give you till the end of January!

Please share this post with anyone who may be interested, or hit the share buttons at the top or bottom of this page

You can find out about my JumpStart program by popping your details in here.


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.


Why Do We Get Fatter over Christmas?

The silly season or the season to be jolly.

Jolly alright, have you noticed the shape Santa is in?  Do you feel like its rubbing off on you over December and January?

I can’t possibly cover all the reasons why you may gain weight over the holidays, but the main ones are listed below, along with solutions and tips to minimise or completely remove the risk.

1/ THERE IS FOOD EVERYWHERE AT WORK

As if the rest of the year doesn’t include enough birthdays or other celebrations, when it comes to the next couple of months, it gets plain ridiculous.
So it seems at least 16 people have birthdays in November and December and then there are the xmas chocolates you have on the counter, the xmas lollies in the staffroom and the lovely colleagues and clients who insist on xmas baking and bringing it in for everyone to try.
Then you have your staff break ups, your client appreciation parties, drinks after work to celebrate the season and everything in between.  Your Kris Kringle always seems to involve chocolates or baked treats as well.  Not to mention Advent Calendars and other ‘thank you’ gifts from students or clients which always contain 1000 calories per square inch.
While you’re not going to be able to avoid (or even want to avoid) every little thing, making sure you bring healthy snacks and lunches to work – and actually eating them – can really help. Save the splurges for your actual xmas break up or your own birthday.

2/ YOU DON’T WANT TO OFFEND ANYONE

Seriously, if you are letting other people dictate what you’re eating (still) you’re fighting a losing battle.
Most people DO NOT CARE about your health, fitness or fat loss goals.  It’s a sad truth.  Unless they are actually on a similar journey, they don’t want you to succeed (they’ll say they do) because if you succeed, that makes their situation look worse.

People may not actually consciously think this, but it’s true and I’m positive you could think of someone that tries to sabotage you no end as soon as you say you’re trying to eat well or reach certain goal.  Sometimes partners are even the worst at this.

A simple no thank-you should suffice.  But in case it doesn’t, you can take a piece for ‘later’.  Tell them you’re too full right now as you just ate or you’ll have it after lunch.

You’re not 5 anymore. No one can make you eat something.  And if they get offended because you don’t want it – that really is their problem not yours.

There are many other reasons sticking to your plan can be more challenging at this time of the year.  I will cover more of them in my next article.

3/ THERE ARE SO MANY PARTIES AND FUNCTIONS ON

Along with the usual birthday parties, you also are usually attending at least a couple of work functions, some family functions, some break ups and of course there is Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Eve, New Years Day and so on it goes.

While eating out can be tricky, I like to tell clients to stick to the Magic Two when choosing from any menu.

The MAGIC TWO are:

  1. Protein – this is your meat usually. Could be chicken, fish, seafood, lamb, beef or other game
  2. Veggies or salad – this should make up the bulk of your meal.  Even if there are sauces or dressings, if you’ve chosen a protein and this for your meal, you can’t go wrong.

The second tip for eating out is to make some choices and decisions before you leave home. Will you have a couple of drinks?  Or will you have dessert?

Believe it or not, you can enjoy an evening out without splurging on everything. And if others at your table insist, you know that it is their guilt not yours shining through.

Other eating out tips are:

  • Avoid the rolls, bread, herb/garlic breads etc
  • Don’t choose a pasta or rice dish – remember the magic 2
  • Share a dessert
  • Drink mineral (or plain) water between drinks
  • Eat a Magic Two snack before you leave home
  • Don’t be pressured by others.  See Point 2 above
4/ YOU’RE SURROUNDED BY PEOPLE THAT DON’T WORRY ABOUT THEIR HEALTH AND FITNESS

This can be tricky and I’m sure you’ve experienced this.

They may mock you, tease you or try to make you indulge.  You’re probably not going to be able to avoid these people all the time.  But its best to try to stay away when you can.  Sit at a different table, eat elsewhere at lunchtime or take your break at a different time if you can.  Another trick is to surround yourself with positive people that do care about their health and fitness.  Joining a fitness facility, even if its just for the holiday season, can be a real help.  Meeting regularly with others who have similar goals and who will boost you rather than tempt you can really help.  I know this helps me – a lot!

5/ EVERYONE (ESPECIALLY FAMILY AND FRIENDS) KEEP SAYING “IT’S JUST ONE DAY, LIFE IS SHORT, ENJOY YOURSELF, JUST ONE WON’T HURT” AND SO ON

The thing is, is it really just one day?  Are these occasions really that rare or far apart?

Of course not.   We all know that there is a ‘special occasion’ on every week of the year and many more at this time.  So have a think about your upcoming function schedule and decide in advance when and where you’ll let your hair down and when you’ll make better choices.

It is only yourself you’ll be ‘cheating’ if you let loose at every single occasion.

6/ I HAVE LESS TIME TO WORKOUT, PREPARE MEALS, COOK ETC

This is true. Christmas time can be exhausting.  But when you really think about it, its often lack of sleep that makes you so tired.

So make sure you look ahead. Which functions could you leave from a little early so you get enough sleep. And which are going to carry on during the night?

When will you have time to perhaps make a double batch of tea so that you have left overs for your lunches.

When could you reschedule those workouts or even do shorter ones at home instead.  Keeping in your regular fitness routine will do wonders to keep your food on track and minimise the damage as well.

For a complete guide on surviving the silly season, complete your details below.    I’ll send you the link to download my guide to not just avoiding weight gain over the coming season, but actually losing weight and gaining some fitness also.

Oh, and its totally free 🎁


Tight Hip Flexors and What To Do About it

Did you know that your psoas (pronounced so-az) is one of the longest and strongest muscles in your body?  It enables us to sit or stand.  To be able to walk, reach, bend or twist.

In this post, I”m not going to bog you down with all the biomechanics of the human body, but one thing you need to know when it comes to your psoas, is that like other muscles in your body, there are other muscles that work with it to allow you to move in all different ways and muscles that must relax when the psoas contracts if everything is going to work well.

I often have people contact me that are complaining of tight hip flexors, lower back pain or that have what is referred to as hyper-lordotic posture – that is a really ‘arched’ lower back with belly and butt both ‘sticking’ out as in the image above.

This can even give the illusion of a ‘fat’ stomach on individuals that are quite lean and can definitely cause pain in the hips, lower back and in the front of the upper thigh (feeling light tight quads especially).   Some of the issues that contribute to this posture can also end up causing knee and shoulder pain as well because our whole body functions as one unit – not as a series of individual parts.

You can see in the image, that the psoas originates in at the bottom of your thoracic spine and your entire lumbar spine (lower back) and inserts at the top of your femur (thigh bone).

If your psoas is tight or conversely, is too weak, this can cause lower back pain.  I’m going to concentrate in this article on a tight psoas muscle, with a combo of stretches and releases and some strengthening (or activation) as well.  One important thing to remember is that you will also need to make sure you are activating your glute (butt) muscles as well if you want to improve your hip flexor pain or tightness.  I’ll also discuss this below

There are also lots of other muscles that can be causing the pain described above, but everyone can benefit from doing the following rehab and prehab exercises.

Firstly you’ll need one of the balls at right and a foam roller The ball must be small and quite firm – not at all squishy.  

You’re going to find 3 spots in your abdomen.  The first is about 2-3cm outside your belly button, the second is a few cm above that and the third is 2-3 cm below that first point.  Actually you’ll find 6 spots, because you’ll find the same spots on the other side of your belly button.

Once you’ve found those 6 spots, you’ll lay face-down on your ball and roll those spots out.  The key is to relax into it. Deep breaths – especially out.  You can hold in sorer spots, roll gently back and forth over them and try to get as deep as you can.    Experience massage therapists can also do this for you, but if you’re on your own, the ball is your best plan of attack as you won’t be able to palpate deep enough with your own hands.

With the foam roller, you’ll again lay face-down on the roller and roll out the whole front of your hip and top of quadricep (thigh). Right around the area you commonly refer to as your hip flexors.

I’d recommend doing both of these massage/releases several times per day if you have pain and continue daily for as long as you can – as a preventative option.

 

 

 

 

It can be really hard to stretch your hip area simply because your anatomy doesn’t allow you too much movement in the directions required.  And whether static stretching actually helps that much is controversial.  But to stretch the area, the best option is as above.   

If you’re on your own, lay on a bench that is high enough that your foot can hang down without touching the ground.  Pull your other leg in tight and let your leg hang while relaxing and breathing out slowly.

Slowly raise your stretched leg between stretches and hold up for 10-20 seconds before relaxing into the stretch again.

If you have a partner, which is best, have them apply downward pressure to your hanging leg while you try to lift it. Hold for about 10 seconds then relax and stretch again.  Keep pulling your other leg into your chest at the same time.  Repeat for 5-10 reps on each leg.  Alternating between holding the effort and relaxing into the stretch.

As I mentioned at the start of this post, its also important to strengthen your glutes.  I’ll discuss that in my next article, but exercises like Romanian Deadlifts, KB swings, single leg RDL’s, hip thrusters and hip bridges should be undertaken.

If you’d like help with any of this, please contact me at jo@fitterfaster.net.au