Sarah and Katherine’s Diet War

Here’a a story about two friends who decided to see who knew the best way to get skinnier.

Sarah believed it was all mind over matter and that all you had to do was cut our carbs and fat to lose all the weight you needed.  It was just a matter of self-discipline and calories in and out.

Katherine on the other hand hated to diet but still wanted to lose her excess body fat.  She was tired of having no energy and having to continuously buy bigger clothing sizes just like her friend Sarah.

Sarah began by totally cleaning out her kitchen and getting rid of all the high carbohydrate and high fat foods.  She stocked up on low sugar, low carb and low fat products so that she wouldn’t have to think about food choices.  All the products were clearly labelled with serving sizes and calorie counts so keeping within her calorie target would be easy

Katherine also cleaned out her kitchen, removing a lot of the same foods and items, particularly high sugar and processed foods.  She then sat down to plan the meals she’d be cooking for the next week.  Katherine didn’t love cooking, but thought that fresh meals would keep her more satisfied.  Finding quick to prepare meals from scratch turned out to be easier than she thought.

Sarah didn’t have to waste any time planning out her meals, because with only low fat, low carb and other ‘clean’ foods in her kitchen, it didn’t really matter what she chose as long as she stayed within her calorie target.

A week later and Sarah had indeed lost weight.  She was pretty hungry though but it was worth it when she jumped on the scales to see over 4kg gone already.

Katherine had lost 1.5kg and was a bit disappointed about that, but on the other hand, was enjoying the new meals she was cooking and certainly hadn’t been hungry.

Skip a few weeks and Sarah isn’t quite so happy.  She’s still winning the weight loss race, but is upset that in no week since that first has she lost anywhere near as much.  In fact, last week, she had only lost 300g.  But in total, her weight loss stood at 3kg more than Katherines – pretty impressive!  Training was going just okay, with Sarah feeling her energy slump over the past couple of weeks and she was also having trouble sleeping some nights.

Katherine was behind in the weight loss stakes,  tipping the scales at just over 4kg gone.  But, she was feeling really good.  Training was going well and she was feeling fitter and stronger and ready to increase her training sessions from 3 to 4 per week.

Onwards another couple of weeks and both Sarah and Katherine’s losses had slowed.  They’ll both need to make some more adjustments to keep losing more weight.

Katherine decides to add some walkng and easy jogging to her exercise routine and to cut back on her serving sizes of nuts and greek yoghurt because she feels that she’s probably overeating them anyway.

Sarah defintiely doesn’t want to increase her exercise because she feels too tired already, so she’s going to have to cut back on her food intake instead.  So breakfast is going to have to go.  She’s not that hungry first thing anyway, unlike in the afternoons when she’s starving most days and it takes all her willpower to not raid the biscuit tin at work.

Her cravings are getting worse, but she thinks about Katherine and how she knows that her way is better.  “I’ve got this” she tells herself- again.

Into week 7 and the work Christmas Party comes up.  Katherine decides to take the evening ‘off’.  She’s going to have dessert and a few drinks.

Sarah decides that this is her chance to increase her lead on Katherine and chooses drinks but no dessert for her evening out.

But you can guess what happens can’t you?  Sarah loses all her will power on about the 2nd drink.  She starts with the garlic bread and ends with the cheesecake.   It just feels so good and the drinks are going down a treat well into the morning.

On Sunday, and 3kg heavier, Sarah loses it.  She scoffs into a huge breakfast and the whole packet of low carb biscuits she’s had in the pantry.  “What’s the point?” she says as she orders a large cappacino and a piece of mudcake?

“All that suffering and I’ve put nearly half back on overnight!”

When Katherine wakes, she also gets on the scales. She’s put 2kg on, but knows that rapid weight gain like that can’t possibly be fat.  “It’s just fluid caused by the alcohol and the sodium in my restaurant meal.  A day or 2 back on track and it will be gone”

I won’t continue the story because you know how it ends.

 

How many times have you been Sarah?

I bet you haven’t even lasted the full 7 weeks like my friend did.  Yep, there’s a real person behind that story who’s name is not Sarah but who knew better than me about losing body fat.

Needless to say, ‘Katherine’ continued on to lose almost all of her excess body fat over the next 7 months and has kept most of it off since – a full 3 years ago.

There Is A Smarter Way

Any time you start a plan, all calculations are estimates.  You WILL NEED to make adjustments along the way.

Your level of daily activity, your individual metabolism, your stress levels, your sleep patterns and your actual fitness level all play a role in your own special needs.  And there’s no way that we can calculate this without testing it out.

And even if the initial calculation was perfect for you at the start,  a smaller you needs less calories to maintain so you need to leave yourself somewhere to go with that once you’ve lost some weight.

Everything you do, including your training and just being you needs less energy when you’re smaller – remember that when things slow down.

If you start with the most aggressive ( and unrealistic to maintain) plan, you have no where to go.  Not to mention that you’ll be hungry, cranky and have no energy.

Through my experiences over the past 8 years with hundreds of clients, I know that there is nothing inherently wrong with rapid fat loss.   There is a smart way to achieve it though that goes beyond will power and suffering.

 

Making smart and maintainable lifestyle choices is the only way that you’ll lose all your excess fat AND be able to keep it off.   And better health, energy and fitness are all side effects worth achieving.

To find out how we do it, fill out your details below.  I will send you through some information about our training and our JumpStart Program.  All clients are taught how to change nutrition and  other lifestyle factors and are fully supported on their individiual journeys.

 


Do You Have Health And Fitness Goals?

Since I started FitterFaster, lots of things have changed locally.

Outside of FitterFaster there has been the addition of lots of other fitness facitlities in town, more online training and nutrition options that local people can use, more sporting opportunities and a massive increase in awareness of fitness and nutrition in general.

I’d say that overall, there are many, many more local residents that are fitter than 8 years ago and many more aware of how to improve their health, even if they haven’t quite got a handle on taking action yet.

I’ve tried to keep evolving FitterFaster from the beginning.

Building a new gym and court area to train was a major improvement from training solely on the dirt like we did in the beginning.

Adding many more classes to our timetable was another.  This has evolved and changed over time to meet the needs of my current clients and is something that I look at regularly to make sure that the times I offer suit most clients.

I’ve also added new classes – first Box Out (45 based on fitness for boxing) Then semi-private Personal Training sessions that we now call PeakFit which offer small indoor PT sessions to a maximum of 6 clients at a time.

We also have other coaches now which at first was something I couldn’t get my head around.  But having them on board means more sessions for you while I still get to work my business around my life and not the other way around.

Continuing Education and Learning

Over the past 8 years I’ve completed many courses and attended work shops to get new ideas, keep up to date and increase my knowledge in fitness and nutrition.

In early 2017 I completed my 18 month Precision Nutrition qualification which has changed the way I coach nutrition and transformation.  I’m studying a 12 month MindMap course at the moment which is teaching me more about how our minds work, why/how we make decisions and how to coach change and transformation in different people.  I’m learning so much.

I’ve also updated my Pregnancy and Post Natal qualifications currently too which is an area that I’m really interested in and something that comes up in my business time and time again.

A new area of interest that is so important is Metabolic Syndrome and I’ve just about finished updating my qualifications about treating that with lifestyle modifications in consultation with other health professionals.

I regularly ask  for feedback  from current and past clients so that I can make sure my next lot of changes to FitterFaster meet clients and prospective clients where they are and take them to where they want to be.  I email to past clients and leave feedback forms in the gym for current clients to complete.

So that’s me.  What about you?

Almost all of us have some health and fitness goals that we are yet to acheive.  Whether it is losing some body fat, increasing your strength or muscle mass, taking part in an obstacle event, fun run or triathlon, taking up a new sport or improving performance in one you already do, there are a million different reasons to take part in health and fitness programs.

Every year in December, I let everyone know that I won’t be taking new clients in the first 2 weeks of January.  There are 2 reasons for this, the first being that I’m usually away and being the owner of FitterFaster and the one that manages all client details and programs, I need to be here when new clients start.

The second reason is even more important.  It’s something that drives me crazy.  And that is, that people need to wait till January 1st to do something about their health and fitness.

So I’m putting it out there to those of you thinking about new years resolutions now. No matter what month it is when you’re reading this, think about what you want to achieve and start working on it NOW

 

Why not get your act together and get started now?

Why wait?  You could be well on the way in another 4-5 weeks instead of another few kilos heavier.

You could have improved your fitness by January so that training when its hot is not so hard.

Believe me, starting a training program in the hottest month of the year is actually not that smart.

To find out how to get started at FitterFaster, complete your details in the form below.  I will send you all the details in a no obligation email.  If you decide it sounds awesome, which it does by the way, you simply let me know and we’ll go ahead and get you started.  But its all okay if you don’t.

Yes, I know you have many birthday, work, and other functions on, but you’re going to have them every year.  No matter which month you start, there’ll always be a reason that it is not the best time.

Even holidays coming up are not a good reason.  So you’re going away in soon?  Big deal. In fact, if you start now, you’ll be able to maintain your new fitness level while you’re away with some quick and easy workouts you can do wherever you are.  I supply clients with holiday programs hwenever they go away.

 

What if you’re really unfit and a bit scared to start?

That’s not a problem at FitterFaster,  We have a full Rookie program when every new clients begins with workouts targetted at their individual fitness level.   There’s extra long breaks, shorter sets and modified exercises to make sure you don’t do too much too soon.

It’s all about getting your technique right first before we add intensity.

What if you are fit already and just want a change or want to get even fitter?

Because we cater for all fitness levels, you will start where you are currently at.  We’ll take a couple of workouts at a lower level just to check your form and technique and then if you’re up to it, you’re right to go. All of our coaches  can work with you to set your level of progress.

From unfit to fit.  Or from fit to fitter.  It all depends on YOU

To find out more about the 28 Day JumpStart Program, complete the form below or email me direct at jo@fitterfaster.net.au

 


Why Wait 3 Months For Your New Body?

October is the new January!

I’m serious.  Imagine yourself 3 months from now.

It’s January 1st.   What do you feel like?  What do you look like?

If you’re like most people, you’ll be thinking about everything you want to achieve over the next 12 months.  A better job??  Better fitness??  Better health??  Better body composition – with less fat and more muscle perhaps??  Earn more money??  Spend more time with the kids or your partner??  You know, all the usual stuff that you always intend to do.

You’ll probably set some fantastic goals. They’ll be S.M.A.R.T   (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-Based)  But you know how this story ends.  Yep, a few weeks in (if you’re lucky to last that long) and you’ve forgotten what you set out to do, let alone actually done very much about it at all.

If this was going to work, you would have already achieved all your goals by now.  Because let’s face it.  You set pretty much the same ones each year.

How about we look at achieving your goals differently.

What if 3 months from now, you were well on the way to achieving your dream body.  Whether that’s one that looks better, feels better or works better (or all 3)

What if, instead of promising on January 1st to stop eating crap, cut down on  alcohol, train regularly, stop snacking on crap, get more sleep, give up sugar and basically become a walking talking health saint, you started now.

What if you took just 1 or 2 of the things you know you need to change and work on those starting today.

Once you have those habits in place and you’re feeling pretty comfortable with them, then you add others.

Each day, each week you focus on just those 1 or 2 things.  And yes, you will start to see results.  By the time January rocks around, you will already be gaining momentum and instead of thinking about all the things you should do (or not do) you’ll have a sense of achievement about what you’ve already done.   Not only that, but you’ll actually be well on the way or even be there already.

So instead of another 3 months of not loving your body.  Of not loving the way you look and feel.  Of living with another 3 months of negative feelings about yourself, imagine how you could look and feel and how great that would be.

Don’t waste another 3 months planning what you’ll do next year.

You don’t have to wait.  October is the new January

What are you going to do about it?

I can guarantee you results if you follow my programs.  And they’re not way out either.

No broccoli and chicken breast or fish every day. Nope, you get to eat a great variety of delicious foods and train in a sensible manner (3 times per week) to see fantastic results.

To find out how, complete your details below.  I’ll send you free and no-obligation info about my JumpStart To A New You Program so you can learn exactly how to get fitter, healthier and leaner at any time of year

 


What Does Jo Eat In A Day?

I wrote recently about how most people think that I eat like a saint, that I must always feel like training and that I remember to drink enough water, take my supplements and never give in to eating junk food.

This could not be further from the truth.  I eat chocolate a few times a week on average (although one block doesn’t go that far between 7 of us) and I treat myself to coffee and cake with Caitlin or my mum or indulge in a homemade dessert if any of us can be bothered making one every few weeks.

But mostly, my ‘average’ days are what you would probably describe as ‘pretty good’.  That, and the fact that I am really fit, allows me to have those treats without feeling bad about them or having to punish myself by skipping meals or training to ‘burn off the calories”.  Both tactics that don’t work anyway by the way.

So what does a day look like?  Mostly when I’m home (I work from home for those that don’t know) my days are fairly similar.  On weekends they almost the same, except, I’ll pack my lunch and/or snacks because I’m mostly out all day at sporting venues.  And we know that canteens are generally the absolute worst places to find anything much that actually resembles whole or real food.

My Breakfast

Most days I’ll have eggs and veggies.  Some days I feel like plain eggs, so I’ll either cook the veggies on the side (such as mushrooms and tomatoes) or I’ll have a piece of fruit with my fried eggs.

 

A breakfast that is super easy to have ready-made are breakfast muffins.  While I don’t usually eat these for breakfast (preferring to have them at lunchtime) my kids eat these or my left-overs quiche during the week before school.  You can find recipes here

 

This is my usual favourite breakfast; eggs with spinach and zucchini. At times I will add herbs or spices, but right now, I’m loving it without.  Often if I’m really rushed, I’ll just scramble the whole lot together in the pan to save cooking time.

Lunch

Lunch for me often consists of left over from tea the evening before.  It could be left-over soup or some a slow-cooker dish, both always made from scratch.  Or it could be left over chicken and veggies which is what I had today.

In the summer I prefer to make  a fresh salad and always make sure that I have some left over (or specially prepared in bulk) chicken, fish or other meat to go with it.  The salad below is one I whipped up in a few minutes and enjoyed outside.    The key is to make sure you have fresh salad ingredients in your fridge at all times.

 

Snacking

Often I will just grab a piece of fruit or a carrot (no need to peel or chop) and a handful of nuts.  Because I make sure I eat plenty of real-food protein in my main meals, I do not need to worry about including it in every snack.  I do try to avoid eating fruit on its own though, unless I’m just about to or have just finished training.  This helps to keep my blood sugar more even and prevent sharp drops that can result in cravings.

My absolute favourite snack is the FitterFaster Muesli or greek yoghurt, berries and almonds or walnuts.  The Muesli is pretty much the same but with the addition of a quality protein supplement – chocolate being my favourite.  How good does this look, packed ready to eat at the football while watching my kids play?

 

If I”m at home it looks a little less ‘messy’.  Plating up your food properly not only makes it taste better, but gives you more satisfaction and enjoyment from eating.  Try it, it really makes a difference.

 

Tea

Our family all eat the same thing, although serving sizes vary a lot.

We’ll always have a large salad or vegetables with whatever we have.  Some of our favourite dishes are FitterFaster Recipe items such as Caramelised or Coconut Chicken, Butter Chicken or Lamb, Pumpkin and Lamb/Chicken Stir Fry or Sri Lankan Coconut Chicken.

The kids also love wraps and I serve up loads of salad ingredients which we all pile in.  A sauce of greek yoghurt and spices finishes these off nicely.

 

Here are a few pictures of typical evening meals at our place.  Remember that I almost always make left-overs that I can have for lunches or even another evening meal.

 

 

 

The key take-aways (pardon the pun) here are not the actual recipes themselves, but how I eat real, fresh food every day.  I cook from scratch almost all days, but still have treats without feeling guilty.  I also do not spend hours in the kitchen.

We usually have take away up to once per week where I will choose a chicken salad from My Pizza and Pasta or for a treat I’ll have a Lamb Souvlaki from the fish and chip shop.

It’s not about giving up everything that you love, but about making better choices every day.  You will actually find that you’ll start to crave healthier food when you eat it regularly.  You really can retrain your taste buds easily.

 

All clients at Fitterfaster receive a full 300plus recipe book full of my own recipes tried and tested in a real family and made from healthy ingredients. I also do full nutrition plans for all clients if they require them.

From time to time I run nutrition challenges online.  You may like to take part in one and learn exactly how to plan meals and snacks and put together a full nutrition plan.  Subscribe to my newsletter list to keep updated on when I hold my next one.  You can subscribe by popping you in your details below:

Alternatively, check out my totally free fitness program; Get Fit Maryborough which also includes recipes, workouts and nutrition tips. You can find out more about that here:  Get Fit Maryborough


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.

 

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.

 

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.

 


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.