Are you really ready to get results?

While there are more fitness facilities, information resources, health professionals and low fat foods available to us than ever before, our society continues to get fatter and unhealthier. Overweight and obesity rates are climbing at epidemic proportions, which if not stopped, will place enormous economic and health burdens on our future generations.

If you are concerned about your own health or your family’s health and want to lead a long-term healthy lifestyle, this book is for you.

Send an email to to order a copy or go pick up a copy at your local Vision Personal Training studio.

Eating healthy at work

Start making new eating habits instead of snacking away calorie-packed food at your desk. 

Most Australians work nine to five, are constantly on-the-go and therefore find it a challenge to eat healthy food. They’re either snacking at their desk, skipping meals to meet deadlines or are buying a pie at the local deli. Little do they know that implementing new diet habits will dramatically change the way they feel and perform.

Do you skip breakfast? You shouldn’t. It’s the most important meal of the day. It will increase your metabolism and also improve your alertness, concentration, productivity and your chances of needing to do overtime to make up for the work you could have otherwise completed if only you had eaten breakfast. If you can’t stomach food so early, try a fruit smoothie instead. You will feel fuller throughout the day.

There’s a common assumption that healthy food can’t be yummy. If it’s good for you, it’s going to taste horrid. This couldn’t be any more further from the truth. Low-fat dairy products such as yoghurt or light cheeses are great to eat in small portions. Yoghurt is also great to top over a small bowl of fruit and muesli for added taste and to balance out the meal.

If you’re a fan of eating biscuits, why not skip them and combine wholegrain crackers with a can of light tuna or lean chicken instead? High-protein meals combined with carbs are easier for the body to digest and absorb the nutritional benefits. If you like snacking while working, have some nuts or sesame thins readily available on your desk. These are much better choices over calorie-packed muesli bars or chocolate.

Similarly, coffee is a key contributor to adding on the pounds. Ask yourself how many coffees do you consume each day? Most people can’t stop at one and rely on three. If this is you, wean yourself off it by cutting back slowly. And when you order your next coffee, opt for skim milk and say no to the sugar if you can.

By avoiding sugary, high-fat and calorie-saturated foods and beverages, you are already cutting out a large portion of calories in your daily intake. The key is not to cut out food completely or eat less, but rather choose healthier options. That way you’re still eating the same amount, but fewer calories; a much easier way to keep your waistline in shape.

Lastly, come lunch time, try and get out and move around instead of eating at your desk where you’re more inclined to over eat. Get involved in the lunch time soccer game with colleagues or go for a quick stroll and get some fresh air so you feel rejuvenated.

Are you slowly being killed by trans-fats?

Trans fatty acids are the most harmful fats in the human diet and should be avoided at all costs.

Trans fatty acid (TFAs) is the abbreviated term for unsaturated fat with trans-iomer fatty acids. Basically it is fatty acid coupled with glycerine. And although they are unsaturated, they do not behave like the good fats found in vegetable oils and fish. Rather, they behave similarly to saturated fats in the body and produce similar health effects. Therefore, they are the most harmful type of fat found in the human diet and should be avoided at all costs.

TFAs are contained in both natural and manufactured products. Naturally, you will find them in certain animal products including cheese, butter and meat. Manufactured, or artificial TFAs, occur when liquid vegetable oils are hardened during the industrial processing stages of making margarine, cooking fats and pastry doughs for baking, crackers, biscuits, candies, salad dressings, chips, granola bars, fried foods and more.

What makes TFAs so dangerous is that they increase the amount of bad cholesterol in our blood and can reduce the amount of good cholesterol. Exhibiting harmful levels of bad cholesterol is a key indicator for heart disease and TFAs are also associated with many heart complications. As a result, the World Health Organization (WHO) has set a recommendation of consuming no more than 1 per cent of our daily kilojoules from TFAs. Postponed

Despite the countless health hazards to humans, it is not mandatory for food manufacturers to declare TFAs on product labels. However, manufacturers can provide statistics voluntarily. They are only required to declare TFAs if a nutritious claim regarding saturated, trans fats, cholesterol, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated or omega-3, omega-6 or omega-9 fatty acids is made.

This is quite concerning, considering the only valid use of TFAs for food companies is higher profitability. When vegetable oils are converted to solid fats by adding hydrogen atoms (hydrogenation), the shelf life of foods is extended. Flavour is also enhanced, which means more calories in your mouth. So really, it’s just not worth consuming TFAs in large amounts if they taste good, yet increase the level of plaque build-up in arteries.

What’s more is there has also been research conducted by Harvard School of Public Health which suggests TFAs may raise the risk of acquiring diabetes. That’s why it is important to make smarter diet decisions and choose heart-healthy fats such as avocadoes, nuts, peanut butter and TFA-free margarines. Don’t forget to check the number of calories per serving on product labels and compare saturated fats and TFA information if available.

Life is too short to be negative

Choose life, be positive and you will get ahead.

If you want to be successful in any area of your life, then having a positive outlook is a requirement. Negativity is a cancer. Whinging, complaining, intimidation, fear, guilt, ridicule, prejudice, self-doubt; these are all forms of negativity coming from within or other people. While some can be controlled, others needed to be cut-off.

If people in your life are dragging you down, then you have the power to pick them up and get rid of them for good. Imagine what a heavy, dampening and drowning weight would be lifted out of your life by doing so. Ridding yourself of negative people will give you more room to enjoy your life and most importantly, be happier. You can achieve your goals without somebody’s opinion holding you back.

It’s okay to slowly remove yourself out of a person’s life. It’s often a hard thing to do, because negative people tend to wield power from people, causing intimidation. You are more prone to accepting negative people into your life during your teenage years because of insecurities and fear of being subject to their fury. As adults, it doesn’t have to be that way.

It’s never too late to turn your outlook on life into a positive one. A half-full glass of wine is better than a half-empty glass, that’s for sure. Why not exercise a placebo effect in your life, without the need of sugar pills. Life is short and everybody deserves to be happy. Do not feel obligated to be loyal to people who aren’t loyal to you. Live a healthy live full of good food, exercise and people who love you, and you can achieve anything.

Parents need to take responsibility for childhood obesity

Parents of overweight or obese children should really be doing more in western society’s obesity epidemic.

Everybody is familiar with the saying: You are what you eat. And when it comes to children, they’re innocence overshadows them. They are what their parents eat. They’re not old enough to go shopping and opt to put healthy food in the trolley. They can’t choose what fruit or how much chocolate goes into their cupboards and fridge; let alone their school lunch boxes. More so, they shouldn’t choose what goes in the pantry because they aren’t mentally sound to choose healthy food over junk, and would probably opt for sugar-ridden sweets anyway. It’s fair to say that parents of overweight and obese kids need to be held partially accountable for their children’s corpulent diet and exercise regime.

Although bullying and low self-esteem leads to comfort eating in young children, the problem again reverts back to food in the house hold and parents being bad role models. Why are so many cupboards stocked up on junk food? Clearly parents are major culprits when kids have access to calorie saturated, pound stacking on food.

It’s a great thing that the Australian Government has brought in lunchbox regulations to lower the amount of inappropriate food packed by parents. But there’s a lot more to be done to alleviate this international obesity epidemic.

In 2009, Californian researchers found that adolescents are more probable to eat at least five servings of vegetables and fruit per day if their parents do. Furthermore, teenagers were more likely to drink soft drink and eat takeaway food if their parents did.

So really, it does come down to parents being role models and shot callers when it comes to diet. Why not invest in healthy, appropriate, low calorie foods for your children and promote exercising. Walk your children to school instead of catching the bus or dropping them off by car where possible. Walk to the shops if it’s close enough. It all begins with the home.

Second-hand smoke linked to diabetes

We all know the risks of smoking when it comes to lung cancer and other forms of respiratory associated disease. And we all know the health risks associated with a poor diet – obesity, diabetes and cardio-vascular problems, just to name a few. But now scientists have revealed that smoking, and even second-hand smoke, are linked quite significantly to diabetes.

There has never been a better time to get healthy – and we don’t just mean by exercising and maintaining a healthy diet – but by cleansing every single part of your lifestyle, from smoking and alcohol intake, to the amount of time you spend with those who smoke.

Diabetes Care has revealed that the longer a person spends taking in second-hand smoke, the greater the risk of type two diabetes. This research has come from the Diabetes Research Centre at Harvard University, which revealed that this discovery is completely unexpected but confirms the all-round detrimental effects of smoking.

Dr. David Nathan, head of the department has commented that:

“This just reinforces the lesson from a public health point of view that we’ve been stressing for decades”

His point being that people should avoid being near cigarette smoke, as the full dangers to health are still not completely known and constantly surprising us.

This is a study that spanned over two decades and captured data from over 100,000 women. The women were all nurses participating in a national study that would provide information about how much time they spent around cigarette smoke. During the next 24 years, about one in 18 women were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

The message to be taken away from the results of this research is that cigarette smoke is to be avoided at all costs – even when breathed in passively it is seriously harmful to your health. If you live with a smoker, take time to help and support them to stop.

Who do you turn to for advice?

These days everyone is full of advice – your friends, your parents, your colleagues, the internet – it’s often hard to know who to listen to and who not to. Your doctor may advise that you listen to no one but them – including even your Personal Trainer. But how far should you take even this advice? And how do you know who is speaking with your sole interests at heart?

 There has been a lot of bureaucratic nonsense flying around of late, especially when it comes to advising about the health factors involved with diabetes. The medical councils and professionals are saying that fitness instructors shouldn’t be giving out advice, which seems a tad far-fetched considering many fitness professionals have the skill and the training to be able to speak on such matters.

It doesn’t help that these bodies are trying to tighten the reins on just who can give health advice yet aren’t pushing more people through the system. There is a distinctive lack of nurses, doctors and exercise physiologists at the moment and even less people who seem keen to take up the training.

It’s also your Personal Trainer who you’re more likely to see on a day-to-day basis, so to be able to get advice you can trust from them, will make more of an impact then a monthly appointment with the doc.

Of course it’s important to know who you can trust and who is giving the most valid advice. But when it comes to your Personal Trainer, they live and breathe health. They live and breathe YOUR health. There are no ulterior motives, no hidden reason for giving you any other advice apart from the correct advice. Personal Trainers want only one thing and that’s to make you fitter. This is how they make their living, so obviously you can trust that when they give you their opinion, it will be an honest, well-educated one.

The Silly Season is Approaching!

As summer approaches, so does our longing for the perfect summer body. At this time of year, everyone seems to be more concerned about the way they look. As the sun comes out and our clothes come off, hitting the beach with a new-look body becomes a great motivational tool.

However, with the sunshine also comes the BBQs, the beer gardens and the late-night drinking. Silly season is approaching and as we’re sat in the sun working on our tan, we’re also unconsciously working on our gut.

That ‘quick beer’ to parch your thirst in the summer heat is actually the equivalent of 100-200 calories, which is like a chocolate chip cookie or two slices of bread. A day spent drinking and you could unconsciously end up eating a whole loaf… or a whole box of cookies. The same goes for wine, which is also absolutely packed with sugar. If you want to watch your calorie intake then opt for white spirits with tonic.

However, whatever you’re drinking, it’s also wise to remember your limits – both for your body and your safety. Drink driving during the summer months, rises to astronomical levels. The legal limit for fully licensed car drivers is 0.05 g/100ml, which means 0.05g of alcohol in every 100ml of blood. Having one beer, then half a beer every hour can be enough to send some people over this limit. The morning after a heavy drinking session, it’s also likely that your alcohol level can be above this limit – so drink in moderation and never drive.