How To Lose Belly Fat

No amount of daily sit-ups will help you lose belly fat. Some lifestyle, exercise and dietary adjustments are necessary. Incorporate a few changes at a time so you are not overwhelmed. 

Exercise adjustments:

  1. Include HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) one to two times a week, for about 20 mins a session. Muscle tissue burns 3-5 times more energy than fat tissue. So as you gain muscle your metabolic rate increases, allowing you to burn more calories even while sleeping. Note: workout for short bursts of maximum intensity (eg. 30 sec) and rest in between these spurts for a similar time.
  2. Include weight (resistance) training. Perform your sets using the correct technique and at a slightly slower pace, squeezing & holding the abdominals taut during each set. Rest in between. Core-strengthening exercises like “planking” engages a wide group of muscles to improve overall strength. Push-ups are a great exercise to perform in sets of 20 throughout the day. We all need a break from sitting!

Dietary recommendations:

  1. Incorporate more protein in your diet if it is currently low, especially if you are doing weights regularly. We need good levels of quality protein to build more muscle.  Also protein has a higher Thermic Effect of Food. Protein burns about 5 times more calories than carbohydrates or fats.  So including extra protein and less carbs, means you will expend more energy & burn more body fat.
  2. Choose more organic, raw wholefoods containing fibre. This is better for the bowels and will help you feel fuller for longer.
  3. Cut out or reduce processed refined foods that deplete the body of energy.
  4. Add small serves of good fats throughout the day, eg. avocado, nuts & seeds, coconut oil, olive oil, green leafy veg, fish, fish oils. Avoid trans fats.
  5. Greatly reduce alcohol or avoid altogether.
  6. Add probiotics daily to make your tummy balanced, healthy and happy.
  7. Add a serve of fermented foods daily: eg. yoghurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, lassi. Anything that makes the tummy balanced and happy will help reduce bloat and fluid retention.
  8. Add 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar to a 1/2 glass of water once a day to increase your satiety and restore gut health.

Lifestyle suggestions:

  1. Reduce stress: cortisol is a fat-storing hormone that is produced in higher amounts under stress. Incorporate some daily relaxation or meditation (10-15 mins) to improve your sleep and recover your energy.
  2. Get some sunlight exposure each day and feel more grounded. This helps us sleep better at night. Take a walk outside during your lunch break.
  3. At night after dinner, dim the lights and reduce your exposure to blue lights and electronic devices an hour or so before bed. Both of these disrupt your natural melatonin production. This is the hormone that helps us wind down and sleep at night. If you’re wired, you’ll get tired! 

Reduce High Blood Pressure Naturally

We have all experienced a rapid heart rate as a response to a stressor at some time. Whether it is being late for work or school, not meeting a deadline or almost getting hit by a car when crossing the road, the stress will generally result in shallow, fast breathing that activates a release of cortisol, adrenalin and other stress hormones. 

On the other hand, controlled, deep-breathing activates the relaxation response and calms the nervous system. This not only slows our heart rate, pulse and blood pressure, but also our digestive system, while at the same time promotes a state of calm.

Try my simple Yoga-breathing Exercise and feel the difference:

  • Lie flat on floor or bed, arms down by your sides, palms facing up, feet falling out (called Dead Man’s Pose)
  • Close your eyes
  • Focus on your breath – take 2-3 slow deep breaths, through the nose, breathe out through the nose (quietly)
  • This time, breathe in for 1 second and out for two seconds. Repeat.
  • Continue this breathing pattern. Place one hand on your stomach. As you breathe in, make the stomach rise. As you breathe out, make the stomach fall.
  • Now, as you are in a more relaxed state, change the breathing pattern. Breathe in for 2 counts and out for 4 counts. Keep your hand on your stomach, to check that your stomach is rising and falling as you breathe.
  • Return hand to your side and continue this pattern. Focus on the count as you breathe.
  • 10 to 20 minutes per day is highly recommended to reduce stress significantly.
  • When your session is complete, stretch and open your eyes slowly. Become aware of your surroundings, before you get up.

… There now, don’t you feel a little calmer? Have a lovely day.

What Happens in Your Body When You Exercise?

A large number of biological changes occur from head to toe, when you exercise. These changes occur in your:

  1. Muscles – which use glucose & ATP (a chemical compound that is in all living tissue), for contraction and movement. By increasing your breathing rate, more oxygen is introduced and your heart starts pumping more blood to your muscles. Lifting weights causes tiny tears in your muscles, which grow bigger and stronger as they heal.
  2. Lungs – as your muscles call for more oxygen, your breathing rate continues to increase, until you reach your VO2 max, your maximum capacity for oxygen use. The higher your VO2 max, the fitter you are.
  3. Heart – the fitter you are, the more efficiently your heart can supply more oxygenated blood to your muscles when you exercise. This allows you to workout longer and harder. Your blood pressure will also decrease as a result of new blood vessels forming.
  4. Brain – increased blood flow benefits your brain, allowing it to function better immediately. You feel more focused after a workout. Regular exercise promotes the growth of new brain cells. In the hippocampus (our memory centre in the brain), these new brain cells help boost memory and learning. Exercise also triggers the release of a number of neurotransmitters in our brain, which are important for mood control.
  5. Joints & bones – weight-bearing exercise is one of the most effective remedies against osteoporosis, as it helps build and strengthen bone density. 

Don’t forget your daily serve of exercise!

Should I Be Taking Probiotics?

The answer lies in paying attention to your body. If you have any of the following 7 signs, I suggest you take a therapeutic probiotic (high strength) to improve the balance of your gut bacteria:

If …

  1. You have taken antibiotics in the last 6-12 months – you may have an imbalance of good to bad gut bacteria. 
  2. You can’t seem to lose weight, especially belly fat, no matter what – stubborn belly fat is a hallmark sign of Insulin Resistance.
  3. You have digestive issues – bloating, cramping, excess wind, or occasional constipation or diarrhoea, means there is a good chance you have an imbalance.
  4. Your skin is itchy or broken out – probiotics aid in the normal elimination of toxins via your gut. Since skin is an elimination organ, this may suggest you have a bacterial imbalance in the gut.
  5. You crave sugar, refined or processed foods – emerging evidence suggests that “bad” gut bacteria feed off sugar and unhealthy trans fats. By boosting more good gut bacteria,  the bad will be kept in check.
  6. You feel moody or blue – probiotics can alter brain function. Our greatest concentration of seratonin (our good mood hormone) is found in our intestines, not our brain.
  7. You are feeling tired during the day and are not sleeping soundly at night – Melatonin (our sleep hormone) is found in the gut in abundance, like seratonin. We need a balance of good to bad gut bacteria for ideal health.

Calorie-Counting Does Not Work!

Calories are not all created equal! Many people still believe that if you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight. This is a simplistic and outdated notion that has many flaws.

  1. The source of the calories makes all the difference – eg. identical calorie counts from fructose, glucose, protein and fat, will cause entirely different metabolic effects in your body. Different nutrients provoke different hormonal responses and those hormonal responses will determine how much fat your body will accumulate and store. Research shows that calories consumed from refined and processed sugars promote overeating, whereas calories from whole vegetables, protein and fibre decrease hunger.
  2. The thermic effect of food  (TEF) – the amount of energy your body uses in order to breakdown each macro-nutrient (protein, carb or fat). The energy used in making protein available to your body is around 25-30%, whereas the thermic effect of carbohydrates (energy used) is 6-8%. This means a diet high in protein will burn more fat than a carbohydrate-heavy diet.
  3. Imbalanced hormones play a role. For example, people who are insulin resistant have impaired enzymes and are therefore more likely to store fat than burn it. 

Forget counting calories. 

If you want to lose weight: eat clean, real food; balance the ratio of your carbs, fats and protein; and exercise regularly, incorporating weights, cardio and stretching/relaxation.

Best & Worst Foods for your Skin

The 5 WORST foods for good skin health are:

  1. Sugar: eating excess sugar causes elevated insulin levels, stimulating sebum production, which can result in acne breakouts. On average, Australians consume over 20 teas per day of sugar. Excess sugar also binds with collagen & elastin in the skin, resulting in wrinkles.
  2. Dairy: these are pro-inflammatory foods, which contain natural growth hormones & natural steroids (to help calves grow). Milk also has a high sugar content (lactose) which is not ideal as said before.
  3. Processed: processing at high temperatures causes oils to oxidise. Good oils are great for our skin, bad oils are terrible as they increase inflammation & oxidative damage (contain toxins which harm membranes).
  4. BBQ or overcooked: cooking meat at high temperatures is associated with increased collagen breakdown and accelerated ageing.
  5. Fried: as for BBQ foods, high temperature heating causes oils to oxidise. This can lead to free radical damage which is associated with accelerated ageing (fine lines, dry skin, wrinkles).

The 5 BEST foods for great skin health are: (Eat these often!)

  1. Avocado
  2. Wild Salmon
  3. Fermented foods
  4. Broccoli
  5. Bone broth  …. Eat these 5 and watch your skin glow!

Don’t Delay, Get Healthy Today!

We often think of “getting healthy” as something we’ll get around to once we’ve taken care of all the important things. Why is it that we don’t have time to exercise, or shop for nourishing food or cook gourmet healthy meals? 

Lack of time seems to drive everything. Fast-food has become a multi-billion dollar industry. We can purchase unhealthy, processed food 24/7 and have a meal ready in just a few minutes. But what about our health?

Is it because we can’t see the damage that we don’t prioritise our health?:

We are unable to see:

  1. the toxins, free radicals & unbalanced hormones affecting our bodies 
  2. viruses & bacteria infecting our immune systems
  3. the effects of nutrient deficiencies
  4. when we become less effective at processing sugar
  5. our brain cells dying or arteries clogging

What we can see are the long-term consequences of unhealthy behaviour, eg. chronic disease (diabetes, obesity, heart disease), reduced physical function, sickness, impaired cognitive function, decreased emotional wellbeing.

Prevent these long-term consequences from taking a grip on your life and make the time to get healthy today!

 

Crank Up Your Metabolism!

Eat and exercise right and speed up your metabolism now! 

One reason people tend to gain weight as they age is because their metabolism slows down dramatically, often due to poor lifestyle choices. Eg. less exercise, overeating, eating too few meals, or eating too many refined processed carbohydrates. Other reasons may include: taking certain medications, hormonal imbalances and toxic overload.

We do have the ability to make a difference to our metabolic rate. It all starts with eating the right food choices at the right time of day and also, eating enough. Exercise is also a necessary part of the plan. Weight training is one of the most effective ways of cranking up your metabolism.

When a person begins to burn body fat and lose weight, toxins in their fat stores are mobilised and will often dampen down the process of fat burning. By removing the toxins during weight loss, the metabolism stays fired up and you will continue to lose body fat. My weight loss programs do address this toxin release, so that the individual is less likely to experience a weight loss plateau.

When all of the factors above are taken into consideration, the individual will maximise the amount of weight they lose, while becoming a better fat burner and increasing their metabolism!

Women Exercising

Are your hormones inharmonious?

It is completely normal for hormone levels to change throughout your lifetime. From the onset of puberty through to menopause, your reproductive hormones are constantly fluctuating, however if they are too high or too low, they can impact on how you feel every day.

Signs that your hormones are out of balance:

  • Moody & agitated behaviour, anxiety
  • Night sweats, hot flushes
  • Painful periods
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Fluid retention
  • Breast tenderness

Many women accept these hormonally related symptoms as just something to tolerate and, they are not!

  • Contact me today on 0438 577 351, for your personalised treatment, dietary and lifestyle plan, to help manage your symptoms and correct any underlying hormonal imbalances you may have.

Lifestyle and Dietary Recommendations

  • Stress management techniques
  • Personalised Weight Loss Program
  • Individualised Detoxification Program
  • Regular cardio and weight bearing exercise
  • Time out and relaxation techniques
  • Dietary recommendations:
  • Ginger, rosemary, turmeric, coriander, dill, fennel, parsley.
  • Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts.
  • Soya beans, chickpeas, quinoa, millet, bulgar, buckwheat, brown rice.
  • Blueberries, strawberries, oranges, grapes, avocado, banana, figs, blackberries.
  • Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, cabbage, mushrooms, celery, onion, alfalfa sprouts.
  • Low fat milk (or calcium-rich substitute – almond, rice, soy, oat milk), yoghurt, deep-sea fish.
  • Filtered water, green tea, dandelion tea, chamomile tea, spearmint tea.
  • Limit alcohol to < 1 drink daily.