Salmon & Hake Fish cakes

68 and NO excuse!

The power of belief

“What make a woman strong in mind? The believe that she IS!” This is such an awesome and true statement that we underestimate so much. Let’s put it this way: “Whatever you believe you can do or can’t do; you are right.” If you believe you are going to fail, you will, BUT if you believe you are strong and beautiful, you will achieve what you set out to do. Our beliefs influence everything in life. The way you see yourself is the way the world will see and treat you as well. Let’s focus on how amazing God made us and how much our bodies are able to do and focus on what you want to achieve on GO for it.

In a life-coaching session we will focus on the sub-conscious mind. The sub-conscious mind is extremely powerful, it stores all your memories, represses hurtful memories, responds to symbols and so much more. We will deal with any limiting belief or lie that you have been telling yourself and that’s keeping you from reaching your full potential.

We need to realize that whatever you think of yourself, you project it to others and that what you believe others will also believe that of you. This comes back to the saying: “You are what you think you are” . I will help you change your perception of yourself  and therefore the world will also treat you differently. One of my biggest realizations after doing the NLP course was that i had so many perceptions and wrong beliefs of other people. I believed that i couldn’t trust anyone and that everyone will always disappoint me. And yes that was true. Whatever i believed to be true, came true. What we perceive or think of others; we project that onto them and that then becomes our reality. I had to stop judging and see the beauty and perfection in others. After changing my mindset about others, i trusted people and they didn’t disappoint me anymore. Now i am living with a peaceful mins and not worrying all the time. Only because I changed and not them. I love the saying that goes as follows: “No one in the world can change, except me”

Importance of mindset

I believe that your “mindset” is everything when it comes to achieving any of your fitness goals. If you see yourself as a failure you are going to fail, but if you believe that you can do it, eventhough the results are not there yet, then you will achieve it.
I find it so many times that people get so excited and motivated after hearing a good motivational talk or seminar. They are ready to make lifestyle changes; they set their goals and make the decision right there and then to change their lifestyle or to lose weight. It is great to get to that point, to make that decision, to decide in your mind that you are tired of feeling tired and tired of being overweight and unhealthy.

But the problem comes in 1 month down the line when you lose the motivation, when real life creeps in again and when the actual hard work starts. It is when you get to that point where your mind-set is going to make you succeed or going to make you fail. You have to believe in yourself and believe that you can achieve it even though you don’t see the results or outcomes yet. It is like believing in something/goals that’s not there yet. You have to change the way you think of yourself and see yourself achieving your goals and putting in the hard work, imagine it. See yourself as a beautifull, healthy woman. There is a quote I firmly believe in: “If you can dream it, you can become it. If you can imagine it, you can achieve it”

Avoiding holiday weight gain

The holidays are a time to gather with family and friends to celebrate the good and reflect on the challenges of the year gone by. For whatever reason, with celebration comes food, and if you’ve been working hard at eating healthy, losing weight, or maintaining your weight, this may be a difficult time that lies ahead with all the festive goodies glaring at you around every corner.

December should be a time of fun and relaxation, a time to rejuvenate our body and mind for the New Year that lies ahead, but it doesn’t mean that we can eat whatever we feel like and put on all the weight we lost before the holidays.

So how do we avoid over-eating and sabotaging all our hard work?

Let’s look at a few holiday tips

Watch your alcohol intake

Relaxing next to the pool with a drink in hand is a huge part of most people’s holiday routine.  But having alcoholic beverages which are high in calories during the holiday can add to that extra unwanted body fat.
Alcohol contains a lot of empty calories, meaning they have no nutritional value.

During the holidays try:
•  Start with a calorie-free, non-alcoholic beverage. Satisfy your thirst before having an alcoholic beverage.
• Don’t consume alcoholic beverages everyday – plan when you are going to enjoy a drink.
• When having a drink – go for low calories drinks such as red wine, vodka & soda water, whiskey and water.
• Try and stay away from very high sugary drinks such as cocktails. BUT, drinking too much of any alcoholic beverage is unhealthy regardless.
• With every alcoholic drink you have, you should have at least 750ml of water.

alcohol

Do not skip meals

During holidays our daily routines are completely different to our normal routine, we go to bed late, get up much later and aren’t really home to prepare meals. This makes skipping breakfast or meals so much easier.
Skipping meals might be the biggest mistake you can make during the holiday season as your body is use to eating regularly. Your body will be triggered into “’starvation” mode and store your holiday foods in unwanted places if you don’t keep it in check.  Stock up on the following so that you always have something to snack on:
• Biltong and nuts
• Fruits like an apple or some pineapple – this is so refreshing in the December heat
• Ready to drink USN protein shake or protein bars.
• Low fat yogurt

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What to eat when going to a party

One of the biggest mistakes you can make before heading to a party is to skip a meal or arrive hungry. By eating a light, healthy snack before leaving home, you can set yourself up to make better choices. Try a low-fat yogurt, fresh fruit, or some biltong and nuts.
At the party there will be very unhealthy type snacks and it is going to test your discipline, trust me. So you are going to have to stay strong.
• If you, by some miracle find yourself seated next to the food table, don’t see it as a sign to dig into the chips and dip like a back-actor all night long. So stay far, far away. You won’t eat mindlessly if you have to cross the room to get to the food.
• Try choosing the healthier option snacks like biltong, nuts, fruit etc.  or offer to bring the snacks, then you have the control to bring healthy ones
• For the main course you want to have a good protein like steak and chicken and have a green salad or some veggies with it. If there is nothing healthy to choose from to have with your meat, then have a very small portion of what is available.
• Try and stay away from all the high GI carbohydrate mayonnaise type salads.
• And for desert..watch your portion control, only choose 1 desert and don’t have all 4 desert options. If you are looking to control your weight this holiday, stay away from desert and rather opt for a small fruit platter. Again don’t overdo it on the fruits as some of them are high in fructose(fruit sugars).

 

Keep on exercising

Sure, you can always come up with an excuse not to exercise. But slacking off on your fitness program during the holidays will only leave you with extra added KG’s and more stress come New Year’s.
• If you have a gym membership, see if there is a gym close to your holiday destination and continue with your gym training program, but mix it up to make it more interesting and fun.
• If you are a regular gym goer and can’t get to the gym, spice up your training and do something different. See if there are any fitness studios close by like CrossFit classes, Kettle bell classes, spinning studios etc.
• Go for a morning run or walk with family members – great time to bond and do something different together. No matter where you are on holiday, you can always go for a walk.
• Do family activities like skiing, hiking, tennis, beach volleyball etc.
• If your day is so busy that you miss a training session, don’t worry about it, just go tomorrow – do not stop going because you missed a session
• Get a home training program – download from USN

As long as you do something!

The holidays are a great time for celebrating with friends and family over food and drinks. But with just a little preparation, you can keep off the extra holiday kg’s and still enjoy all that the season has to offer.

Abs by Anna – a killer ab routine

Article from Jacaranda 94.2 by Anna Wood

In the previous article we dealt with how to get a six-pack. We learned that everyone has abs regardless of shape or size. The reason abs are not visible is due to the layer of belly fat that’s obscured them from worldly vision.

In order to get those muscles to show we need to deal with the stubborn belly fat that sticks around like a stubborn itch. The first thing we need to focus on is our diet, we need to stop feeding our body foods to make Mr Belly-fat feel at home. Instead, we should give our that gives fat an eviction notice.
The truth is if you can’t evict Mr Belly-fat, it won’t matter what abdominal exercises you do, he is not going to budge.

You see people strutting around with a glorious six pack and it makes you cringe with jealousy thinking they were chiselled that way from birth or they’ve been Photoshopped to bits, but the truth is they work extremely hard and are motivated to stick to their diet and training regimes. Their six pack mid-section doesn’t magically appear because of a couple of abs exercises – it’s an all-encompassing plan to work towards.

If you want to create a strong core with solid abs, start by doing compound exercises in the form of squats, lunges, pull-ups and deadlifts. These engage your core throughout the movement and burn a lot more calories than isolated abs exercises only. Remember we want to evict Mr Belly-fat, so the more calories we burn the more unbearable it becomes for him to stick around.

 

Now, after you have got your diet perfectly sorted and are focusing on a strength training program, then we can look at a few abdominal specific exercises.

1. Bicycles

Start: lie on your back and lift torso with hands by your ears and elbows open,  lift knees up to 90’

Exercise: touch opposite knee to elbow and change

Do: 20 reps with 10sec rest between sets, repeat x3

0502_bicycle_crunch

 

2. Arm & leg extensions (more advanced move)

Start: lie on your back holding 2kg weights in each hand

Exercise: take the arms overhead and at the same time legs go down to 45’, bring the legs back to 90’and at the same time reach the arms up to the ankles. Do not let your lower back “arch” off the ground. If you can’t keep your lower back on the ground, don’t lower your legs, keep them at 90’ until you get stronger.

Do: 15 reps and repeat x3

If this exercise is too difficult for you, you can do it without the weights and do the one below with bend knees

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3. Core & oblique buster

Start: in a push up position with legs hip distance apart

Exercise: touch opposite knee to elbow, hold your knee at your elbow for 3 seconds and change to other leg. Keep your belly button pulled in and do not arch your lower back. Maintain a straight line from your head to your feet.

Do: 20 reps and repeat x3

0906-cross-body-mtn-climber

 

4. Side oblique lifts

Start: lie on your side holding a 2kg weight in your hand

Exercise: lift your hips off the ground and hold at top for 2 seconds and lower down

Do: 20 lifts, then hold at the top and pulse for 20. Turnover and do the same on the other side.

Repeat x3 on each side

Anna_side_plank_seq1Anna_side_plank_seq2_

You can also perform these 4 exercises directly after each other and then repeat the whole sequence 3 times

 

Tips to remember:

If you have ever experienced back pain or injury, you should first consult your doctor before performing any of these exercises.

Always focus on doing quality abdominal exercises and not on quantity.

Keep your tummy/belly button pulled in at all time when performing these exercises.

Press your lower back firmly into the floor when doing an exercise lying on your back.

Breathe out when contracting your abs or when performing the movements.

You can train your abdominals every other day or 3 times a week.

 

We are what we eat!

Article from Jacaranda 94.2 by Anna Wood

It’s the part where we all struggle with. We want to lose weight but knowing what to eat, when to eat or how much to eat, becomes a daunting task, and for most a stumbling block that curbs any effort towards our weight loss goal? Let’s see if we can find a simpler approach towards effective maintainable weight loss nutrition.

As said in our previous article, to achieve our weight loss goal we have to understand that nutrition is 70% of the process and training takes up the other 30%. Our bodies function very similar to a power station. If we want the lights to go on we kind of need to feed it some kind of fuel to kick-start the whole process. This is where food comes in, if we fuel our bodies with the right kind of food at the right intervals, with the right amount, the lights shine brightly, but change that to plates overloaded with sugars and fatty food – we find ourselves operating on dims. Grasping this fact will help you make better choices when it comes to food. Let’s change the word “diet” to “healthy lifestyle” because diet is a temporary solution whereas choosing to “live a healthy lifestyle” is a long term solution which is far more maintainable with lasting results.

Breakfast

Breakfast is most probably the most important meal of the day as it breaks the fast of being without food for 6-8 hours depending on how much sleep you had, hence the word “break-fast”.

Let’s say your last meal was at 6-7pm the night before, you wake up at 5-6am, jump in the shower, grab your stuff and rush off to work without having breakfast. By 10am you suddenly realize your body wants to consume itself from the inside out. It’s your body way of telling you it’s been without food for the past 14 hours and you got to feed otherwise it’s going on strike.

Having breakfast first thing in the morning will kick-start your metabolism and regulate your blood sugar levels giving your body the optimal energy levels to face the day ahead. You probably saying that you can’t eat so early, rather opt for a banana and protein smoothie. The first few weeks will be difficult, but after a while your body will be reprogrammed to want breakfast as a fuel source. Your breakfast should consist of healthy low GI carbs, protein and fibre.

Eat 5/6 times a day and do not skip ANY meal

It is recommended that you eat 5 small healthy meals per day each containing a lean protein source such as chicken, tuna or lean beef. Skipping meals will only slow down your metabolism, resulting in whatever you consumed to be stored as FAT. The more frequently you eat, the more you’ll burn, the more energy you’ll have, the lower your risk to diseases will be and the more weight you’ll lose. The biggest misconception is to if you do not eat you will lose weight.

Remember The Rock’s diet? Pre cooked and packed meals will save you money and save your waist line!

Drink 2l-3l of water per day

It has been said so many times before, yet we seem to avoid it like the plague.

Water is essential for the functioning of our nervous, skeletal, circulatory, digestive, and even respiratory systems in our bodies. Drinking water also aids in weight loss by speeding up your metabolism and curbing your appetite. You’ll notice when your drink enough water during the day, the less bloated you will feel once your body realises there is no need to retain water. Try 6-8 glasses a day. Yes, you will be burning extra calories from go back and forth to the but taking in enough fluids during the day is vital in the aid of our fat-loss goal.

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Plan ahead

You have to plan and prepare the next day’s food, the evening before. If you have all your meals ready and with you for the day there is no excuse for you to skip a meal or to eat unhealthy fatty food.

Is BMI Accurate?

At some point in our lives we have all tried to lose weight. Many of us are still struggling down this meandering weight loss path filled with obstacles, detours and ill-informed advice that never seem to get us to that “ultimate weight loss goal”. You might even have been asked what  your BMI (Body Mass Index) is, with which you reply with shrugged shoulders.

In order for us to have a clear obtainable goal to focus on, we should start by asking the right questions. How much should I weigh? Is weight really the correct indicator of a healthy lifestyle?

Now the answer to this question is going to be very different from individual to individual, depending a quite a couple of variables. In order for us to calculate a “healthy weight” it is usually done with a formula that takes into account your height to weight ratio. This method is known as your BMI(Body Mass Index). But is BMI really the most accurate way for measuring whether or not you are over weight? Lets have a look at how BMI works.

What is BMI?

BMI is a way of measuring the amount of fat in a person’s body. The BMI sum outcome is then used to decide whether a person is overweight or underweight by looking at a chart.

BMI-Chart-women

How is it calculated?

To calculate your BMI, take your body mass divided by the square of your height, this will give you your BMI in kg/m2. Ok so you nearly fell of your chair when you saw the equation that seems to be something taken from an Einstein journal. Don’t fret to much about it, let’s take a look at 2 real life examples. Ruth weighs 64kg and is 1.68m tall. For her to work out her BMI she takes her height and multiplies it by itself (1.68 x 1.68 = 2.8224) she then takes her weight and divides it by this new value (64/2.8224 = 22,67) this means her BMI will be 22.67kg/m2. Ruth is pleased to see she fall in the “healthy weight” category according to the BMI chart. Underweight 16kg/m2 to 18.5kg/m2 Healthy weight 18,5kg/m2 to 25 kg/m2 Overweight 25 kg/m2 to 30 kg/m2 Obese 30 kg/m2 to 35 kg/m2 On the other hand we have Jason. Jason weighs a sturdy 80kg and is only a tad taller than Ruth at 1.69m. Jason is a fitness addict and workout 5 times a week and follows a very healthy diet to accompany his rigorous exercise regime. But there is a problem with Jason’s BMI measurement. According to the BMI chart Jason 28kg/m2 reading means he is overweight, but in fact it is exactly the opposite. The problem using BMI only As I said previously each individuals weight-loss goals will differ depending on a couple of variables.

This is exactly why BMI is not the end all and be all of weight-loss measurement. BMI only takes your weight (kg) and height (m) into consideration, but individuals vary in bone density and muscles weight. In the fitness industry we divide individuals into different categories dependant on exactly these variables. For instance an “Ectomorph” is a typical skinny guy. Ecto’s have a light build with small joints and lean muscle. Usually ectomorph’s have long thin limbs with stringy muscles while on the other side of the spectrum we have the Mesomorphs whom has large bone structures, large muscles and a naturally athletic physiques. But more on this in a future article. As you can see a person who is more muscular would tend to be classified as overweight, as in Jason’s case, or obese according to their BMI due to their excess amount of muscle and bone density.

The same counts for weighing more on the scale. It doesn’t mean they have more body fat just because they weight more than someone their same height. That’s why BMI might not be the most accurate way to determine if you are under or overweight. BMI also tells you nothing about where your body fat storage lies, for example around your stomach, or your thighs. It’s more important to see where you store fat than the absolute amount of fat when it comes to measuring certain health risks, especially heart disease. So what is the correct way to measure if you are under or overweight? A more accurate way to measure your under or overweight status is to do a body fat percentage test. It is a skin-fold test, whereby your skin/fat is pinched by a calliper at many standardised points on the body to determine the thickness of your fat layer. These measurements are then used with standard formulas to give you an estimated body fat percentage. This is simply the percentage of fat your body contains, and it can be a powerful indicator of your health. Too much body fat on the outer layer is a good indication of organ fat(fat located around your organs)that is linked to chronic health problems like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Too little body fat is also not good and can cause your body to enter a catabolic state, where muscle protein is used as fuel.

The only downfall of the body fat % test is that the accuracy of the measurement is very important. It is dependent on a person’s fat distribution, the technique, type of calliper and person’s ability to do the measurement can also influence the outcome of the correct measurement. For best results it is therefore highly recommended that the test be carried out by the same experienced professional, using the same technique and same calliper. Below is a good indication of where your body fat % should and shouldn’t be: • For woman below 30 years a body fat % of 12- 23% is ideal • For woman between 30 and 50 years a body fat % of 16-23% is ideal • For woman over 50 years a body fat% of 16-25% is ideal. What to do if your body fat% is too high? If you find that your BMI falls in the “overweight” zone or that your fat percentage is too high, the best approach would be to follow a calorie restricted diet together with an exercise program that consists of cardio and weight training, not just cardio. This should be done at least 3 to 5 times a week to help shed those extra kilos.