Determining your REAL age

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If somebody was to ask you for your age, you would automatically think of the year you were born.  And you would be forgiven for thinking that.  After all, that’s the way the great majority of people determine their age.

But what if I was to tell you that your real age is actually different to that?

Each one of us has a birthday, but we also have a body age.  And the good thing about body age is that we have quite a bit of control over what age it is.

It boils down to our lifestyle!

In determining your true body age, assessments take into consideration how many hours a day you sleep, whether you ride a motorbike to work, if you wear a seatbelt when you are in a car, if you ever drink drive or travel with somebody who does, how many hours per week you exercise, what sort of diet you have, if you grew up in a nuclear family or broken home, if you have a lot of family support, if you are married or single, etc.

All of these things are taken into consideration when it comes to determing your true body age.

Our true body age takes into account the following main areas:

  • Diet;
  • Physical fitness;
  • Health; and
  • Wellbeing.

How to find out your true body age

There are plenty of tests you can take online that will reveal to you your true body age.  I’ve had the pleasure of investigating quite a few of them, and the one I recommend is found at http://realage.com.  The test will probably take you around 20 minutes or so to do from memory, and it will give you a fairly good, indicative body age.

Just answer the questions and submit your answers for the revelation of your body age.

What if I get a disappointing result?

Don’t worry!  Many people get a result that indicates their true body age to be older than their real birthday age.  That’s because so many people need to improve their lifestyles.  They need to improve their diet, lift their physical fitness, address health issues and do things to improve their overall wellbeing.

And the thing is, doing this isn’t really that hard at all.  You have so much more control over your true body age, than you do over your birthday age.  After all, you cannot change the date and year you were born.

Age really is a lifestyle thing at the end of the day.  And by making improvements to your lifestyle,  you really can increase your longevity and hang round a lot longer!

My Top Tips for Weight Loss Eating

Fifty Fit & Fabulous

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Often in my work as a personal trainer, I hear about the diet frustrations that many of my weight loss clients contend with.  Up there with the best of them is the frustration surrounding the foods they really love, but feel they cannot enjoy because those food are ‘naughty’ or ‘bad’.

One of the things I am always happy to share with these clients is that there are so many substitutes out there that will keep you from going crazy from “yum deprivation”. 

Dieting doesn’t have to mean living on lettuce and cardboard at all.  This is what too many people believe, and it’s why too many people crash diet.  They cannot keep up with the strictness of the nutritional plan they are following.

Healthy eating is something we need to make a lifestyle thing and here are my healthy and delicious alternatives to those foods we find yummy:

  • Drink diet soft drinks instead of regular sugar ones:  Soft drinks and sodas are to blame for so much weight gain, and it’s not looking like slowing down any time soon.  Just because you’re trying to lose weight though doesn’t mean you have to cut soft drink out of your life altogether.  There are plenty of diet soft drinks out there that are sugar free, and you can enjoy them without feeling any guilt, anytime you wish to reach for a soda.
  • Wholegrain bread instead of white bread:  It’s a lie that you need to cut bread out of your diet altogether if you’re looking to lose weight.  Instead of eating white bread which is full of unnecessary calories, opt for wholegrain bread.  It has fewer calories, less fat and it’s rich with the nutrients that your body really craves.  This wholegrain recommendation also applies to bagels and bread rolls.  You don’t have to cut them out altogether!
  • Low fat cookies and cakes instead of the calorie-rich ones:  Many people get that 3pm lull towards the end of the day when the afternoon is winding down.  During this time you may be used to enjoying a cake or cookie, and the good news is you can still do this.  Just go for the low fat bakery options.  They do exist – you just need to spot them in your cake and cookie aisle at the grocery store.
  • Vegetable burgers instead of hamburgers:  Sometimes you just feel the need to wolf down a hamburger, and thanks to low-fat veggie burger alternatives, you can – guilt-free!  They take a little getting used to, I must admit, but it’s well worth trying them out.  Be sure to add a nice serve of salad to your burger for an enjoyable, healthier hamburger alternative.
  • “Fake butter” instead of real butter:  Sure it tastes a little different, but it’s worth switching from the fatty version to the fake.  The big companies producing butter are now creating fat-free versions, so you don’t have to forgo butter after all if you get the urge to enjoy it!

Take these handy tips into consideration within the context of a healthy, balanced diet, and you’re on your way to making a healthy lifestyle, your lifestyle!

To get advanced strategies go see you local 24 hour fitness trainer.

This site is dedicated to you and your continued success.  Feel free to leave you thoughts and questions so we can get you answers to your burining questions.

Top Tips for Eating Out

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Think you need to stay at home and make your own meals in order to stay on track with your weight loss goals?  Think again!  You’re on a weight loss journey, not a “no fun EVER” journey!

This said though, you’d definitely be forgiven for thinking that a night out at a restaurant would break every diet rule.  After all, check out those cooking shows with the star chefs.  They never hold back when it comes to including butters, oils and other fatty, flavor-enhancing ingredients in their menus.

As daunting as eating out whilst dieting may seem, all hope is not lost.  You can enjoy a restaurant meal without blowing your calorie intake, if you follow these tips for eating out the healthy way:

  • Plan the event in advance if you can:  Accept that by eating out, you’ll probably be consuming more calories than you would if you cooked yourself and ate at home.  Keep this in mind and cut down a little – when it comes to calories – in the days leading up to the event.
  • Avoid eating all the extras:  Restaurants are famous for their flavored oils and bread rolls with butter.  As tempting as these and the marinated olives or side order of fries may be, avoid all of these extras.  It’s well worth it because you really can save a lot of calories by doing this.
  • Avoid pastries, rich sauces, deep-fried meals, creams and cheese:  This stuff is full of fat and calories.  You don’t need them!
  • Ask for the dish to be adapted:  When ordering, it’s okay for you to ask for the chef to adapt the dish to suit you!  Don’t be afraid to ask.  I recommend you request things like extra vegetables, no potatoes, grilling your meat instead of pan-frying it, asking for salad dressing or sauce to be served in a pot so you can add as little as you want to your meal or requesting no dressing on your salad.
  • Don’t feel pressured into eating three courses:  A main meal is enough, or alternatively, two serves of the starter.
  • Avoid fatty desserts:  A great option for dessert if you’re on the quest to lose weight is fresh fruit salad or sorbets.  Avoid pastries, cheeses and creams when it comes time to order dessert.
  • Avoid sugary soft drinks:  Instead opt for water, mineral water or diet drinks that have zero sugar.

If you don’t have time to prepare (by eating less) for your dining out experience, don’t stress out about it!  Simply cut down on calories a day or two following, or do a little more exercise.  It’s really that easy and it certainly doesn’t mean the world’s going to end.

Eating out whilst dieting doesn’t have to mean punishing yourself at all.  There almost always is a healthy alternative to substitute an ingredient, so don’t be afraid to ask for it.

Bon appetite!

Meet with your local 24hr fitness trainer to put together an action plan on how you can eat when your out!!

How to Find a Good Personal Trainer for Weight Loss

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Now that you understand just how worthwhile it is for you to hire a personal trainer to help you lose weight, it’s important to find a good one.  But how does one find a good personal trainer, when there are so many out there?

Make no mistake about it.  It can be a real mine field out there, working your way through telephone directories and Google listings for good personal trainers local to you.  In helping you find the right trainer for your weight loss and health goals, here are a few handy tips that will help you hire the right one:

  • Check out the personal trainer’s qualifications and certification:  Good personal trainers will have qualifications in either health promotion, physiology, athletic training, kinesiology or fields like this.  In addition they should have certification in first aid and CPR.  Check out any professional memberships and certifications they may have as well.  It certainly adds to the credibility factor.  This information should be on the trainer’s website.
  • Read client testimonials:  You will find these on a personal trainer’s website.  Read up and see what past and present clients have to say. 
  • Google the personal trainer:  Find out what mentions there are online of the personal trainer you are considering.  This will give you an insight into that personal trainer’s reputation.
  • Ensure they have liability insurance:  A personal trainer should always have liability insurance.
  • Find out how the personal trainer works:  This is information you’re likely to find on their website.  I’m talking here about things including the services they offer, costs, cancellation policy, contract information (if there are contracts) and of course, any emergency procedures they may have. 
  • Ask if they require a medical clearance form from you before working with you:  A good personal trainer will require this, to ensure that you are in reasonably good health before any training commences.  This covers you both.
  • Call the trainer or meet them to see how you get along:  It’s important that your personal trainer is somebody you can get along well with.  After all, we’re talking here about your weight loss and overall health goals.

Keep these tips in mind when you start researching potential personal trainers to work with, and you’re well on your way to making the right decision.

Happy personal trainer hunting!

To find some of the best personal trainers around go checkout your local 24hour fitness in your area.

Getting Down to the Nutrition Basics: My Tips for Weight Loss

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Because I’m a personal trainer, you may be half expecting me to harp on about why physical exercise is the most important part of losing weight.  The fact is, it’s not.  Diet and exercise are both equally important when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off for life.

Even if you were to work with me an hour each day for a year and eat whatever you wanted, you wouldn’t be in optimum health.  You need a healthy, balanced diet for this as well.

A balanced diet will do so much in helping you achieve the body and the waistline you want – and it will go a long way in helping you to enjoy optimum health.

As you already know from my blog, it takes just 30 days for you to replace old unhealthy habits, with healthy ones that will keep you looking and feeling great for life.  I’ve already told you what nutritional changes you need to start implementing when you start out on that lifestyle change road.

Further to this though, I have a number of basics you also need to bear in mind when it comes to nutrition.  Here they are:

  • Keep an eye on your calorie intake:  For weight loss as a general rule, experts recommend a calorie intake no less than 1200 calories per day for women and no less than 1800 calories per day for men.  You generally need to reduce your daily intake of calories by 15-20%.
  • Watch your portion sizes:  Aim to eat at least 5-6 servings of fruit and vegetables per day, because the fiber they contain helps you to lose weight.  Smaller portions are the key, and it is also good to eat slowly.  By eating smaller portions, you are consuming fewer calories and by eating slowly, you will notice that you are full sooner. 
  • Do not skip meals:  This is a big one!  People think that by skipping meals, they’re helping themselves lose weight.  By eating the 5-6 small meals per day, you will keep your blood sugar levels right which helps you to lose weight and stay healthy.  Most importantly, it keeps your metabolism going, so you will burn more calories throughout the course of the day.
  • Avoid sugars you don’t need:  Don’t drink juices or soft drinks which are responsible for weight gain.  Instead, aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day.  Often that feeling of hunger is actually due to thirst, so drink up and you won’t be eating anything extra.  And if you feel like soft drink, opt for diet soft drink instead.
  • Don’t forget to treat yourself:  It’s okay to treat yourself every once in a while.  Treats may include chocolates, sweets, chips or ice cream.  If you deprive yourself completely of treats, you’re more likely to fall off the healthy eating bandwagon altogether.

Stick to these general rules – and don’t forget to exercise!  Weight loss is inevitable under these circumstances.

Calorie Counting Basics

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We all know that eating well is all about taking into consideration the calories going in via foods and the calories going out through our physical exercise.  When we get the balance right we maintain a healthy weight.  And when we ensure there are more calories being burnt than consumed, we lose weight.

Calorie counting is the best way by far for us to stay on track, whether it’s weight loss or weight maintaining.  But what is the easiest way for us to count calories and ensure we stay on track?

Mention calorie counting to many people and they will roll their eyes and say, “It’s laborious” or “It’s too hard”.  Fact of the matter is though, it’s the surefire way for ensuring we get the calories we need to achieve our goals.

So what are the most effective ways we can keep track of the calories going in?  Here are my two recommendations:

  • Developing meal plans:  This is by far the best method to help you monitor all of the calories going in.  Measure the foods going into your meals, to determine the calories.  Create your meal plan for an entire week, and for variety, create several meal plans – perhaps 4 or so – to cover you for a month.  It is important that you stick to your meal plan.  Meal plans include absolutely everything you eat – breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and of course snacks.  By sticking to your meal plan, you will know exactly how many calories are going in. 
  • Keeping a Food Diary:  Keeping a food diary is the traditional way people count calories.  You simply write down whenever you eat something, and make a note of the calories.  Then you add your daily calorie intake up at the end of the day, to determine how many calories have gone into your body for the day.  Food diaries are popular, however, one of the downsides to food diaries is that people don’t add to it as they eat.  As a result, they may forget to add snacks and drinks throughout the day, resulting in a lower daily calorie calculation at the end of the day.  It’s called food amneisia and so many of us have done it at some time or another! 

I always recommend people develop meal plans, as opposed to keep a food diary, because meal plans are by far the best way to keep track of calories in.  You don’t have to guess how many calories you are eating, because the meal plan tells you.  Also, you don’t have to add the food as you eat, like you do in a food diary.  And as you know, all too often people forget to add everything they eat to the diary anyway.

The thing though about meal plans is that people often bawk at the effort involved in preparing one.  Whenever a client says to me, “Oh Dear Trainer, creating a meal plan is way too much time and effort for me”, I just respond by asking them how important it is for them to achieve their weight and health goals.

There are plenty of meal plans out there that you can get off the internet for free, however, by creating your own meal plan, you are factoring in your own preferences.  Sure, you will be eating healthy foods, but still, you may not like eating brussel sprouts and instead may choose to replace with broccoli.  By creating your own meal plan, you cater to your tastes.

If you really find creating a meal plan daunting, I recommend you go online and find a meal plan that appeals, and then make small changes to suit your tastes.  Be sure though to ensure the calories are correct for whatever it is you are adding to the meal plan as a replacement food.

It’s definitely worth the effort to create a meal plan, so set some time aside and have fun!

Food Labels ARE Tricking Us!

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Okay, how many of you guys admit to being convinced by low calorie advertising, enough to actually buy the low fat, low calorie stuff?  All of us do, and sure, it’s great that we’re calorie counting and doing our utmost to ensure we’re not overstuffing ourselves with calories.

But guess what?

When it comes to food labels, there’s good news and there’s bad news.

First the bad news:  the food labels – and the food companies behind them – are conning us blind!

Sure the grams of sugar, salt, etc – all that information – are all pretty indicative and safe enough for us to go by.  The problem lies with what the labels call a serving.

“So what?” you might be asking.  The thing is the servings they actually mention on the food labels are a lot LESS than what we actually end up eating.

And that’s where the problem lies.

All the warm and fuzzy feel good feelings that come when we discover that one serve of Tostitos Touch of Lime is only 150 calories turn to shock horror…when we discover that that 150 calories only allows for a 1 ounce serving!  That’s just six chips!

We think we’re eating less calories…when in fact we’re gorging ourselves!

In my opinion, the companies that produce the packaged foods we eat are conning us blind when it comes to calories per serve.  It’s all because the serve they spruik on about is actually tiny compared to what we REALLY end up eating!

I mean, who eats just half a cup of Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream?  That’s what the actually serving size on their label ends up being!  Sure, 270 calories doesn’t sound too bad…but really!  Do you stop at just half a cup when it comes to your ice cream?

Of course not!

So now that I’ve hit you with the bad news, time for the good news in light of this food label debacle.  The FDA looks as though they are actually going to do something about it. 

Firstly, they are considering putting the calorie information on the front of a product.  Sounds like a good idea on face value, right?  Maybe, but if the calorie information is based upon serving sizes (and remember, already they are grossly underestimated), it could lead to people mistakenly thinking they are safe to eat up!

 

On the serving front though, the FDA admit that there really is a problem when it comes to the serving size definition.  They understand that it needs to be more indicative of what the typical consumer really eats.

But there are critics saying that this could be interpreted as permission from the food companies to eat larger servings – making the obesity problem even worse!

So eventually, the food label confusion will be sorted.  But what do we do right now, if we are really serious about controlling the amount of calories we consume?

Well, that’s where I think the really good news is.

My advice is to take control!  Stick to raw foods and prepare your food from scratch.  At least that way, you know exactly what you’re eating and how many calories!  Invest in a good calorie counter book (calorie king), BodyBugg, or online tracking system and stick to your healthy meal plan.  I also recommend a good kitchen food scale, measuring cup and measuring spoons so you can correctly measure everything you eat.  Do all of this with the knowledge of what your daily caloric intake should be and avoid packaged foods wherever possible.  Do this and you’ll have this food label problem licked!

 Let us know the biggest food label tricks that you have found to help out other members from being tricked.

Beginner Weight Training 101

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Now that you know all about cardio exercise and how great it is at helping you to burn fat and lose excess weight, it’s time to talk to you about weight training and its benefits.

As a personal trainer, I help people to get the balance right when it comes to combining cardio exercise with anaerobic exercise such as weight training.  As you know, there are many activities that come under the banner of anaerobic exercise, but for the purposes of today’s blog article, I’m focusing on weight training.

Put simply, weight training is a type of strength training.  It involves exercises that help us to increase our muscles and ultimately, our physical strength by using weights.  Although cardio exercise will burn more calories than weight training, by getting the muscles working as well as the heart and lungs, you will reach your weight loss goals faster – and improve your health in the process.

Here are a few things that always get people excited about weight training:

  • For every extra pound of muscle you gain, your body will burn an additional 50 calories every single day of the week:   The more muscle you gain through weight training, the more calories you will burn.
  • Regular weight training can increase your Basal Metabolic Rate by up to 15%:  If you were to burn 2500 calories per day, weight training on a regular basis can help you burn an extra 375 calories per day.  That’s more than a chocolate bar – every day!
  • Weight training has many health benefits:  Research has proven that weight training helps improve your resting metabolism, blood pressure, gastrointestinal transit time, reduces body fat and positively affects insulin resistance.  It also reduces the likelihood of you suffering from heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

In other words, the muscle will help you keep the weight off and keep you healthier.

To enjoy the benefits of weight training, I recommend just three 30 – 50 minute weight sessions per week.  This is in line with what ACE has found. 

If you are totally new to weight training, here are a few pointers:

  • Start slowly and gradually increase the level of difficulty
  • If you don’t have a weight machine, improvise with baked bean tins, telephone directories and even some moms use their children
  • Work all muscle groups, doing 8-12 repetitions (reps)
  • Determine a suitable weight to lift by ensuring the last rep feels like hard work or that you can only do 1 -2 more reps more
  • Don’t overdo things – leave a day or two between your weight training sessions and rest easy knowing that your muscles will grow even while you are resting

For more advice on how to introduce weight training into your week, feel free to drop me a line! Let us know what you think!

In it for the long haul!

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Just recently I read a really inspirational story about an ordinary lady by the name of Linda Pottinger.  Linda’s story featured on the USA Today website, and like you, she too is in the process of dropping weight.

Already she has gone from 178 pounds down to 158 pounds – and her approach has been simple.  She has made lifestyle changes, and she is dedicated to sticking to it.

In the past, like many people, Linda found that she just wasn’t getting anywhere in her mission to lose weight.  That’s because she expected immediate results.

Immediate results to drop the pounds is what the diet industry has promised decade after decade.  All of these promises of losing weight without having to make changes to diet and fitness is what the diet industry has churned out, in an effort to suck people in!  Everybody wants a quick fix without too much effort – and that’s why the diet industry makes such outrageous promises!

As a personal trainer, I know just how crazy this belief is.  There just isn’t a magic pill to losing weight loss and there never will be.  You have to put the effort in and change your lifestyle.  There’s just no other way to do it.

So how do you actually do it?

Linda does what I recommend my clients do, and this is all there is to it:

  • Create a calorie deficit:  You need to ensure that you burn more calories than you consume.  For weight loss, experts typically say 1500 calories per day is fine.  By exercising 30-45 minutes per day, doing exercise that gets you sweating will help you to drop about 0.5-1 pound per week.
  • Keep a food log:  Keep track of how many calories you consume per day by creating a food log.  Record what you eat and how many calories you consume in one day.
  • Keep active:  Do at least 30-45 minutes of moderate physical activity each day, to burn calories and create that calorie deficit.
  • Have a real purpose for weight loss:  Ask yourself why you want to lose weight and what it will mean for you to lose the weight.  Focus on the reasons first thing in the morning and the last thing you do before going to bed.  Keep your purposes fresh in your mind and remind yourself of them when you feel lacking in motivation.
  • Ensure you stick to your healthy schedule even when you’re away:  Linda travels a lot with her work, but she always ensures she fills her days with plenty of extra exercise walking around the airport and eating fresh fruit and vegetables as snacks.  It’s really not that hard to stick to this once you make the decision to lose the weight.

Remember, once you make the decision to lose weight you must stick to it.  There is no other way around it.  Make it fun and see the healthy diet and exercise as something to enjoy – not something to struggle and endure.  It’s all about lifestyle change and making the most of your downsizing experience.

As soon as you really understand and accept the fact that there is no quick fix to weight loss, you will set out to make changes to your lifestyle.  All it takes is 30 days for you to replace bad habits with healthy ones – and that goes for diet and exercise.

So if you get started today, in about one month’s time you should be well on track to achieving a healthy lifestyle for life!