Create your OWN Healthy Habits

Smiling couple preparing salad together in kitchen

In my last article, I referred to how obesity can run in families.  Maybe you know of somebody who battles with their weight, and they will discount it and say, “Oh, I just have

fat genes. My parents and siblings are like that – everybody in my family is.”

It’s so easy to just write obesity or weight problems off like that, but really, it’s not doing you or anybody saying it any favors at all.  In fact, it’s like writing yourself off and resigning yourself to a lifetime of obesity and the lifestyle-related problems that come with it.

At the end of the day, nobody wants to be sentenced to a lifetime of obesity.  And the only way you can spare yourself of it is to take full and 100% responsibility for YOU!

It is entirely up to you to make the changes

Nobody is going to wake up one morning and make it their life mission to help you lose weight.  Only you can do it.

You can watch as many healthy lifestyle programs relating to fitness and healthy diet…but at the end of the day, you need to implement what you learn to reap the benefits.

You have to stop talking about it, and start doing it.

The weight will not just fall off on its own.  You have to take action to lose the weight and get back to health.

Now, I know you may have struggled with this before.  You may have tried diets.  You may have tried doing a very strict fitness regime.

And even so – even with the best of intentions – you found yourself giving up because it was too hard.

But today is a NEW day!

Just because you may have failed in the past, doesn’t mean you will fail this time.  The past is the past.  And the future is whatever you want it to be – whatever you create it to be.

And when it comes to losing weight and getting yourself back to health, it’s all about creating new habits.

Now, new habits doesn’t mean pain and suffering.  It doesn’t mean you’re going to have a hard time and miss out on good things.  In fact, new, healthy habits means you are gaining so much.  You are getting on track to getting the healthy body you want and the healthy mind you want.

When you have a healthy body, you have a healthy mind.

And it all boils down to habits.

Here are some things to know about creating healthy habits:

It only takes 30 days to create a new habit: replace an old habit that isn’t healthy, with a healthy habit.  Do it for 30 days and it becomes second nature.  It’s no longer such a struggle to do it, because you naturally DO it!

By adopting healthy habits, you will relieve yourself of stress: it’s amazing how a healthy lifestyle of diet and exercise can relieve you of stress.  You can manage stress a whole lot easier when you are living a healthy lifestyle.

And here are a few habits you can adopt TODAY

It’s really not that hard.  See these are surefire steps to your optimum health and wellbeing:

Start walking: You always feel better after a walk.  Try making time each day – or at least 3 days a week – to walk at least 30 minutes.  Try shaking up the pace of your walking with bursts of fast walking, then normal walking.  Also, you can try jogging for say one minute every 5 minutes.  Shake your body up and your metabolism is turbocharged…so it will burn fat for a lot longer – for hours after you stop exercising.

When hungry, snack on nuts: It doesn’t take long for you to fill up when you snack on nuts.  The hunger will go away pretty fast…and nuts are an essential food you should eat every day for optimum health.  Nuts are good for you!

Don’t make excuses: Remember it is up to YOU to take 100% responsibility for your health.  Don’t skip health checks and don’t skip your exercise or healthy eating.  You can add variety so you keep on the right path.

Plan to eat well: Create a meal plan and buy food you can store in your freezer.  It spares you the temptation of eating unhealthy take away foods.

Remember to relax: People give up because they push themselves too hard.  Afford yourself relaxation from your fitness routine – a couple of days per week of rest is fine.  And if you want to treat yourself to the occasional chocolate, you can.  Just stick to healthy basics every other time.

Thirty days and you’re there!  Start today!

Parents ARE the biggest Influencers!

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In the United States, obesity in children is definitely on the rise!  It is now estimated that 1 in 3 American kids are considered either overweight or obese.

It’s shocking isn’t it?  I remember back when I was at school, and it was rare to see a child who was overweight.  All the kids seemed to be really skinny back then, and little wonder.  We ate healthy and instead of sitting in front of a computer playing games, or sitting down playing on the Xbox, we were outside playing cowboys and Indians and running around.

The way kids live has changed and it is reflected in their growing size.

And sadly, if the trend continues, for the first time ever, we will see a younger generation die before their parents – as a normal thing.

So, the question is:

Who is INFLUENCING these kids and making them fat?

The biggest influencers of children are their parents.  And that shouldn’t come as any surprise.  Take a look at American adults and you’ll find that – according to Wikipedia – 64% of adults are overweight or obese, and 26% are obese.  Wikipedia cites the source of those statistics to be “Obesity Statistics: U.S. Obesity Trends” published in 2006.  So the statistics are probably worse now, given the rising rate of obesity.

Parents often, are working fulltime, and it results in them taking shortcuts when it comes to diet.  Instead of cooking healthy foods at home, many parents turn to drive-thru alternatives and poor quality “heat and eat” options from supermarkets. 

And the prevalence of computers, the internet and gaming consoles means kids aren’t playing outside so much anymore.  They are sitting in front of a computer – and often eating junk foods while they’re playing games.  And working parents, who are often time poor – allow their kids to do this.

It makes for a dangerous mix.  A bad diet and sedentary lifestyle.  Put simply: kids are getting old before their time.  And they are getting lifestyle diseases as well – Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, joint problems, breathing problems, some cancers – even strokes and heart disease.

Parents are working hard.  Don’t get me wrong.  But they – and their children – are paying for it with their health.

 

How to change things

To change things, parents have to take ownership of the problem.  They need to see themselves as the major influencers of their children, and then take action to change it. 

These things can help:

  • Set aside family time each day to do something active – it only has to be half an hour – and make it fun!
  • Take the time to prepare healthy meals – if you are time poor, try cooking healthy things that you can store in your freezer, and simply heat and eat on busy nights!
  • Keep computer game time to a minimum – set a ceiling limit and encourage your kids to play in the backyard or sign up for a sport.
  • Actively encourage your kids to participate in sports and other active interests – save money on takeaway food and use that money to enlist your kids in a sport that will help them get active.
  • Be active yourself and eat healthy – you are to be an example to your kids.
  • Don’t give your kids unhealthy foods for lunches and snacks – you have to set the rules.

Remember, it may seem like hard work in the beginning, but it only takes 30 days for a new action to become a habit.  So work hard at creating these healthy habits.

Your kids will thank you for it in the future!

How 60 is the New 50 and 50 is the New 40!

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If you think today’s 60 year olds are looking more 50 than 60, and you think today’s 50 year olds look more 40 than 50, you’d be right!

The baby boomer generation – those people born between the years 1946 and 1964 – are a lot younger than those of generations before them.  And it’s because they are very conscious of living well.  The baby boomers want to enjoy life to the max, and that’s why they embrace things that make them look good and feel good.

And the same goes for doing things that make them appear more youthful.

Let’s focus our attention on…

…Celebrity Boomers!

In recent years, we saw former US Presidents George W Bush and Bill Clinton turn 60.  Actress Demi Moore also turned 47 late last year.  But you simply wouldn’t know it!  Demi looks ever youthful, and the former presidents are hard to keep up with, when it comes to how active they are.

Bush is an active lover of fitness – running on average about three miles, four times each week.  It’s also been noted that he is a routine cross-trainer with an elliptical trainer, free weights and swimming.  In 2001, according to website Doctor Zebra, he could run a mile in about 7-8 minutes.  His own physicians put him in the top 2 per cent of men his own age, when it comes to cardio fitness.  He’s in great shape.

And take a look at Madonna!  She is into her 52nd year and has an incredible fitness and nutrition regime.  She consumes a macrobiotic diet (vegetables and protein-rich foods) and works out not just once a day – but all throughout the day.  Exercise for her may include cycling, swimming or martial arts.  In addition, she practices Ashtanga Yoga and will do Pilates daily as well. 

It’s really hard to believe these celebrities are in fact the ages they are, because they certainly do not look it!

And you don’t have to be a celebrity to make yourself younger!

According to Dr. Robert Butler of the International Longevity Center, there are things we can do today to be more youthful.  He recommends stopping smoking completely, cutting down on alcohol, paying attention to portion control and exercise.

And he knows a thing or two about this, given that he is a doctor, but also because he is now into his 80’s, yet works 60+ hours a week, exercises daily, has a very active family life and still sees patients who insist on seeing him.

“I love what I’m doing and I just can’t imagine being retired,” he was quoted as saying on Agingresearch.org.  “There’s too much to do.”

So if becoming younger is something you’re keen on doing, be sure to read the articles I have coming up.  We’re focusing on ageing and how you can reverse the trend to live your life to the full – no matter what year you were born!

My Top Tips for Weight Loss Eating

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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!!

The Winning Mindset for Weight Loss

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During my career as a personal trainer, there’s something that really stands out to me when it comes to my weight loss clients.  There are two types of people who come to me for help with weight loss:

  1. Those who see weight loss – the diet and exercise habits required for weight loss – as easy and enjoyable; and
  2. Those who see the weight loss process as one that is difficult and painful.

Guess which group gets the results?

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out.  The way we think and the way we feel determines the actions we take and the outcomes we’re going to get.

When you are positive about the weight loss journey and you believe in the great outcomes that will result in you eating right and exercising, you’ll do it!

On the other hand, if you have a negative view about it all, you will end up hating the weight loss journey altogether and drop the ball before you see any results. You’ll feel overwhelmed.

The key to succeeding when it comes to achieving your weight loss goals is to make a conscious decision to lose weight and feel happy and excited about all of it:

  • The process of losing weight – the healthy diet you will come to love and the regular exercise you’ll feel energized by!
  • The results of reaching your goals – the great way you will look, the great way you will feel!
  • The prospect of a long, healthy and happy future – a future where you will continue to look and feel great – and exude health and wellbeing!

Forget the false promises the dieting industry makes about instant or near instant, overnight results.  The only way to lose weight is to change your lifestyle, so make the decision to change your lifestyle and love it!

Healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean regimenting your life and making it difficult.  There are so many ways you can start eating well and exercising regularly with results – and you can fit these in to suit your likes, your lifestyle and your goals.

See the weight loss journey as a positive one.  Know that your body, your mind and your spirit crave health and wellbeing.  Understand that when you give your body the healthy food it wants and exercise regularly the way your body wants, you will become a person who enjoys success, happiness and fulfillment on every level.

Go meet with your local 24 hour fitness.  Find a trainer that can help you develop a winning midset!!

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.

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.

Healthy Eating on the Go…And Getting What You Need

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No doubt you value the importance of losing weight and maintaining a healthy body weight.  In this day and age though, is it really possible to eat on the go and still get what our body needs?

Many people in their quest to lose weight and maintain a healthy body weight turn to the ever popular meal replacement.  Meal replacements have been with us awhile now and that doesn’t look like changing anytime soon.  Today’s supermarket shelves are loaded with drinks, powders, biscuits, shakes, bars and soups – all of these are meal replacement options.

But when it comes to meal replacements, are they really the way to go?

Well, you certainly can lose weight using meal replacements, but at the end of the day, they won’t teach you how to eat a healthy, balanced died.  I mean, do you seriously want to spend the rest of your life (that is how long you want a healthy body weight, right?) substituting two or three meals a day with a meal replacement?  And do you really want to spend the money that expensive meal replacements cost for the rest of your life?

At the end of the day, I encourage people to commit to a lifestyle change that involves a balanced, healthy diet and daily exercise.  That’s all you need to achieve the healthy body weight you should be.

But even then, with your healthy balanced diet, are you still getting everything your body needs?

Today, many people take fish oil and multivitamins, in order to get what their body needs.  I am a big believer in fish oil and multivitamins.  I’ll explain by telling you what the benefits of each are.

Fish oil helps:

 Prevent diabetes;

Prevent age-related eyesight decline;

Prevent impaired brain development and vision in children;

Prevent sudden cardiac-related death;

Prevent irregular heartbeat;

Prevent some forms of cancer;

Prevent stroke;

Prevent pregnancy complications;

Prevent age-related enlarged prostate in males;

Prevent and treat Rheumatoid Arthritis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Systemic Lupus and other inflammatory conditions;

Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease;

Reduce fatty food cravings;

Maintain healthy weight; and

Improve skin, hair and nails.

According to experts, we should take 6 grams of salmon oil per day with food.  You would have to eat a lot of fish to get this dose each day, and to eat that much may result in consuming too much mercury.  By taking a supplement of salmon oil, you know you are getting what you need each day.

As for multivitamins, according to experts, daily multivitamins will improve our general physical and mental health – and improve our wellbeing as well.  Multivitamins basically prevent us suffering from any deficiencies when it comes to vitamins.  In pregnant women, multivitamins can help decrease the risk of passing malnutrition on to her unborn child.  And in most people, multivitamins will help reduce stress and energize us.  They can also reduce the risk of cancers and cardiovascular disease.

So what is my take on all of this?

Well, I recommend you enjoy a healthy, balanced diet every day, and if you so choose, you can enhance your health and wellbeing by taking daily supplements of fish oil and a multivitamin.  Avoid meal replacements, and put your energy into a healthy, balanced diet.

It is always a good idea to discuss nutritional matters with your doctor, so make an appointment today to discuss your nutritional needs at length – and get the tailored guidance you need.

My Take on Weight Loss Supplements and Weight Loss

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If you’ve decided to drop the extra pounds you’re carrying and lose weight for life, chances are you’ve probably done your fair share of internet surfing to find the easiest way to do it.  If easy is high on your priority list, no doubt you’ve checked out weight loss supplements.  And perhaps like millions of people each year, you probably loved the idea of the weight “simply melting off in no time, with hardly any effort.”

As the old saying goes, “if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is” and as a personal trainer, I’m afraid to break it to you.  There is no magic pill (pardon the pun) when it comes to weight loss.

Sure, we’ve heard all about supplements like Hoodia and seen the dramatic (in my view, over dramatic!) before and after shots of devotees who apparently swear by the supplement.  But the thing is – like most products in the weight loss industry – supplements aren’t meant to work long term.

Here are the two big ones that many weight loss supplements claim:

  • You don’t have to worry about dieting:  This is rubbish that appeals to people who don’t want to control what they eat.  Fact is, you need to get your metabolism on side to get the weight off and keep it off.  To do that, you need to fuel your body up with the right foods at the right time.  This means cutting back on carbs, cutting out processed foods and consuming lots of fruit and veggies – in addition to healthy carbs, good fats and of course, lean proteins.  If you’re time poor or stressed about changing your dietary habits, you won’t like the sound of this – but it’s the only way!
  • You don’t have to do any exercise:  This is totally wrong!  No diet pill will help you to burn the calories needed to rid your body of excess fat and keep it off – none!  All a pill may do is elevate your heart rate somewhat, but that’s about it.  Frequent exercise will help you to burn the calories you need to lose weight and keep it off – and by regularly exercising, you’ll increase your energy levels, help your resting metabolism so it burns fat even when you’re resting and build muscle which also helps you to burn fat and keep weight off.  Pills don’t do this.

By changing your lifestyle to include a healthy diet and healthy dose of exercise, you’ll not only get the weight off – you’ll keep it off for life.

And trust me.  No pill will do this for you.  The weight loss supplement companies don’t care about you.  They simply want to make money and keep people overweight, so they can keep making money!

After saying all of this though, it’s totally fine for you to supplement your healthy diet with vitamin supplements if you’re finding yourself lacking a bit.  And yes, it’s okay for you to have a meal replacement shake every once in awhile – but only as part of a healthy and balanced diet.  The shakes recommend this anyway.

Remember, 30 days is all it takes to get you well and truly into the habit of healthy – so start today!