13 Fast Food shopping tips

For many people, staying in shape starts and stops with their shopping habits. The number of times people say things like “I was going to eat well last night but I couldn’t help myself once I opened the freezer and saw the ice cream”. To ensure that you only bring the foods that you know you should eat, below list of the 13 great shopping tips:

  1. Make a shopping list before you leave home and stick to it.
  2. Avoid shopping on an empty stomach.
  3. Be aware of the serving sizes on the food labels. Often they are much smaller than what you would actually consume.
  4. Be aware of foods with advertising lures such as 99% fat free written on them. They may contain excessive carbohydrate contents, which may be counter-productive.
  5. Avoid the end of the aisles and register shopping items.
  6. Avoid the sweet aisles.
  7. Develop the habit of reading and comparing food labels.
  8. Choose fresh ingredients over processed.
  9. Choose low-fat cheese rather than reduced fat cheese. Reduced fat products are not necessarily low in fat.
  10. Be aware of the carbohydrate contents of many low-fat foods.
  11. Choose the leanest meat possible at the deli.
  12. Be aware of the terms “light” and “lite” – they do not always mean low fat.
  13. Add seafood to your diet on a regular basis.

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Are you making your kids fat?

The 5 people who you spend most of your time with are commonly referred to as your “Circle of Influence”. It is often said that our beliefs, actions and results are greatly influenced by these people. As previously outlined, clients only spend approximately 1-2% of their week with a trainer; hence the people who spend more time with them are going to have an influence on their habits. We find that those clients, who have the support of their “circle”, have a much better chance of leading long-term healthy lifestyles. Put simply, if you hang around great people with high standards, you too will develop high standards.

Included in many people’s “Circle of Influence” is their children. In fact, a child’s greatest influence generally is their parents. Over the years, many people have asked me whether or not we would consider helping children. As I am sure you are aware, childhood obesity is a major problem in our society. My simple answer to that is, “We already do help children – indirectly”. I believe the best way to combat childhood obesity is by helping their parents to lead healthy lifestyles. No matter how much time we spend exercising a child, our influence is negligible compared to the influence of their parents. Our efforts would be useless without the support, encouragement and role modeling of their parents serving them the correct foods at home. On countless occasions, clients have told me stories of how their children have also lost weight and are more active as a result of ‘getting their own act together’.

“Where are you playing, above or below the line?”

As outlined below, those who lay blame or make excuses or live in denial about their current state we say play below the line. Living in denial or lying to yourself actually kills your hunger or drive to change. Hence there is no wonder why those people generally do not achieve any great success in their lives and play the role of victim. On the other hand, those who take ownership, accountability and responsibility for everything that happens in their lives play above the line and generally find success and claim victory.

How many times have you heard statements such as “I would eat well but my kids don’t like healthy food” or “I would eat healthy foods for lunch if there was a good café near work” or “If it wasn’t raining this morning I would have exercised for sure” or “It’s not my fault for being overweight” or “I don’t have good genes, I can’t do that”. These types of “below the line” comments destroy people’s ability to gain fulfillment, feel pride and build self esteem. Well known motivation speaker Anthony Robbins summed it up perfectly when he said “To suggest to yourself that you are no good or incapable of achieving greatness is an insult to our creator”. Discomfort should be seen as your friend; as something that may move you towards the life that you want.

I cannot believe how many times I hear people use age as their excuse for not maintaining their health. In my opinion, this excuse is a major contributing factor to ill health, chronic injury and premature death. Comments such as “My metabolism has slowed down now that I am in my 40’s or 50’s so maintaining my body shape is beyond my control”, “weight training is for young people”, When I was young I used to be fit. I deserve to kick my feet up”.

Whilst science has proven that our metabolism does slow down as we get older, it doesn’t mean that we should then give ourselves the license to drink and eat too much, sleep in and not exercise.

Does alcohol make you fat?

Many people unfortunately overlook the effects that drinking alcohol has on fat loss. So we thought the following information may be useful to know.

Alcohol is taken directly to the liver to be processed as soon as possible. At such time, any stored carbohydrates are no longer required as a fuel source so they are readily stored in the muscle cells and the liver. Alcohol yields 29kJ of energy per gram, which is almost two times higher than the energy value of one gram of carbohydrate (16kJ). Therefore, it may take the body almost twice as long to burn up the alcohol, which further delays the body’s ability to utilise its carbohydrate and fat stores.

Binge drinking may cause an oversupply of carbohydrates to be stored as fat, as carbohydrates often form the mixes in many alcoholic drinks. Bourbon and coke, Breezers, Stoli’s and beer are just a few of a number of well-known examples. One nip of a standard spirit contains approximately 10 grams of alcohol which equals almost 20 grams of carbohydrate, which is the same as the carbohydrate content in one potato, one apple and almost two slices of bread. If a can of coke is added to the nip (40 grams of carbohydrate), the entire drink would equal the carbohydrate contained in approximately 3 potatoes, 3 apples and almost 6 slices of bread. It is quite ironic that many people would not consider eating the quantities of these foods due to their energy composition but would easily consume these drinks.

Whilst we do not suggest that people consume alcohol, we suggest that people use water or diet soft drinks as the mixer when drinking spirits and choose low-alcohol varieties when drinking beer.

We also suggest that people be aware of the foods consumed in the hours prior to and while drinking to ensure that their carbohydrate and fat contents are not too high. Further, people should be aware of the foods eaten on the days following a drinking session, as higher than normal carbohydrate consumption may easily lead to fat gain. A low to moderate exercise session may be useful on the day after consuming alcohol to utilise the oversupply of energy. However, exercising, when dehydrated, is not recommended.

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18 eating out tips to stay in shape

glass of wine on the table

Many people, especially business people say that they can’t eat healthy foods due to the number of lunch and dinner functions that they attend. Others say that the social life is too important to them to be able to achieve great results. Well I think that you can “have your cake and eat it too” so to speak, when it comes to eating out and staying lean. Following is a list of 18 great tips to achieve this:

  1. Always think of your best choices on the menu. These include foods without cheese or with fat-reduced cheese, without cream-based sauces but with tomato-based sauces, with fresh ingredients, without processed meats, without oily preparation methods such as deep-frying.
  2. Order first when you go out so you set the example.
  3. Eat a spicy entrée, to stimulate your metabolism and decrease your appetite.
  4. Have two entrées, instead of one entrée and one main.
  5. If the meal is larger than you would normally eat, take some home.
  6. Don’t be afraid to order what you want the way you want it.
  7. Order meals with fresh vegetables.
  8. Order meals with dressings or sauces on a side plate.
  9. If you have to have dessert, share it among friends.
  10. Eat slowly. Eat half your meal then take a break. Eat more only if you are hungry.
  11. Drink a glass of water as soon as you arrive, then alternate between alcohol and water if you are drinking.
  12. If you are planning a meal out and you really want to splurge, reduce your carbohydrate content in the meals prior to it.
  13. If you want to have dessert, avoid having starches for your entrée and main meals.
  14. Choose extra vegetable portions instead of starches.
  15. Always eat healthy foods before you go out drinking alcohol. This will help you to avoid eating whatever is placed in front of you when you get hungry.
  16. If drinking alcohol, we aware of sugary mixes. Choose diet soft drinks where possible.
  17. Eat a small low-carbohydrate, high-protein snack before going out for an evening meal. It will help you avoid eating bread prior to your entrée or main meal, if you have not eaten for a number of hours and you are hungry.
  18. When eating takeaway rolls or burgers, open the sandwich and only eat half the bread.

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The Battle With The Blankets

It’s early morning. Very early. The alarm goes off in what seems like the middle of the night. “Your joking!” you say to yourself as you fumble and grasp attempting to turn that thing off. It is at this point the fight begins. “Will I or won’t I get up and train?”.

The blankets have a firm hold and are intent on not letting go. Their grip is intense and within seconds you already feel you lack the energy to fight against them. Yet you are determined, and you roll-over in an attempt to loosen the blanket’s grip. Finally you manage to squeeze one leg free and you poke it out into the contrasting and rather refreshing coldness. This is a crucial moment, and often it is right here that the battle is won or lost.
The blankets tighten the grip on your body, as you lay in their warm and cosy embrace. Even tighter now, the grip is almost overwhelming as they attempt to bring that one leg back into the comfort zone. Be careful, these tactics employed by the blankets are not sporting and know no bounds. Do not ever under estimate the power they possess, as many have fallen victim to the trickery the blankets can feed your mind. “Stay in bed a few more minutes” is the suggestion. “It will allow you to gather more energy and catch the blankets off guard”. Beware! This usually just gives the blankets more time to twist your thoughts and many have succumb to this tactic and are now statistics.
You can win. A proven approach to victory is:

  • Jump straight out of bed and get dressed before you even know what’s happening.
  • Remember that you body adapts to what you train it to do. So train it to get up.
  • Remind yourself how good it feels after your early morning training session.
  • Realise that 90% of your workout consists of just turning up. The 10% that counts wont happen without that 90%.
  • Smile, because “it’s good to be alive” and you can go and train. Many can’t.

See you out there.