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! 

Weight Loss in Adelaide

We are very fortunate to live in a city that is world renown for it’s fantastic restaurants and nearby wineries in Mc Laren Vale and the Barossa Valley. The downside is that with all this high quality, easy to access food and wine, many of us find ourselves a few kilos above our balanced weight. 

This is not just a South Australian problem, but a National problem with over 63% of the population now over-weight or obese (Australian Bureau of Statistics). If you are in this over-weight or obese category, you are part of the majority. If you have tried everything you can think of to lose weight to no avail, you may need some help.

Imagine your car won’t start. You know it has a new battery, a full tank of fuel and new spark plugs, but you can’t get it going. What do you do? Take it to a mechanic who diagnoses the problem and fixes it.

Many individuals are unable to budge body fat despite eating well and exercising regularly. A professional weight loss expert can help. I use a scientific test that provides an overview of your health, to help identify reasons for slow weight loss. This test allows me to target strategies for improvement and provides a means to track your progress.

As with any indulgence in life, in moderation, we can sample the goodness and enjoy the experience of great food and wine that our state has to offer. 

Why Sitting is Bad for You!

Just as exercise can’t counteract the effects of smoking, it can not counteract the effects of sitting for lengthy periods of the day.

Here’s why:

  1. After 1 hour of being seated – electrical activity in our muscles and our ability to burn calories both reduce significantly.
  2. After 3 hours – our arteries reduce in diameter by about half, which decreases blood flow everywhere in our body.
  3. After 6 hours – insulin becomes less effective at clearing blood sugar.
  4. After 2 weeks of sitting about 6 hours per day – LDL’s (bad fats) accumulate in our blood; enzymes that help breakdown fat, take a dive and muscles begin to breakdown.
  5. After 1 year of this continued sedentary lifestyle – there is a marked reduction in bone density and our brain function slows as significantly less blood is being pumped around the body.
  6. After 10 or more years of this – our quality of life becomes severely impacted which may lead to a reduction in lifespan of quite a number of years  … Worth contemplating, while standing of course!

4 Foods that Help Reduce Sugar Cravings

Excluding addictions to alcohol and drugs, the next greatest addiction is sugar. Refined sugar is a very powerful stimulant, which is added to almost all the prepared food we eat. It has a drug-like effect on the body, so people can develop a dependency on it. This is why it is so hard for many people to reduce sugar cravings.

If you are a sweet-tooth, here are a few foods that can significantly reduce your cravings:

  1. Fermented vegetables (eg. sauerkraut,kimchee) help to balance the gut flora, as they naturally contain probiotics. Add a scoop to your salad greens to enhance the flavour.
  2. Coconut oil helps you to feel fuller for longer. This type of fat provides the body with energy, the brain with fuel and burns body fat at the same time. 
  3. Sweet potatoes are a great snack food or training food for recovery. Bake in the oven (skin on), top with coconut oil and a dash of cinnamon.
  4. Avocados also keep you feeling satisfied for longer. Add to smoothies for an energy boost or serve fresh as a snack with lemon & pepper.

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!

Will I Get Big & Bulky Lifting Weights?

Many women are reluctant to start lifting weights, because they have visions of turning into female bodybuilders, with veins running through their biceps and chest. Keep in mind that these women are weight lifters to the extreme and their bodies are out of balance. This kind of build is not the typical result of weight lifting, because 99% of women do not have enough testosterone to gain muscle like men.

Having more muscle is a great advantage for many reasons:

  1. Muscle is more dense than fat, so it takes up less space – if you lose body fat and gain more muscle, you will reduce your overall size. You will gain a smaller waist and more toned muscles.
  2. Having more muscle than fat means that you become a better fat-burner, rather than a fat-storer – your muscle mass acts like a furnace, the more you have the better your metabolism  fires up to burn fat.
  3. Lifting weights aids in abdominal fat loss – high levels of abdominal fat (or VAT) increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver and many other chronic inflammatory diseases.
  4. Weight training helps prevent osteoporosis – bones become brittle and less dense with age and inactivity.  Lifting weights puts more tension on your muscles which puts more pressure on your bones. Regular training adds more constant pressure to your bones, resulting in building bone density. We can become stronger rather than weaker.
  5. Resistance training allows you to sculpt your body in a healthy manner – you will have the ability to reshape your shoulders, arms, back, legs & chest, to strengthen your body and overall posture. Prevent ageing by remaining toned, strong and more upright! 



Slow Metabolism? Fire it Up with These 4 Tips …

4 Tips to Fire Up your Metabolism:

  1. Do interval training – periodic fast-paced intervals raise your metabolic rate higher than a steady cardio workout can. 
  2. Drink green tea – this really does impact on your metabolic rate. Some green teas are quite bitter in taste, so find one you like and drink 3 cups a day!
  3.  Build more muscle – lean muscle mass acts like a furnace and helps burn body fat effectively. The more muscle you have, the better the fat burner you are.
  4. Pick up heavier weights – we are never to old to challenge our bodies with weight training. Progress to lifting heavy weights at a slow rate. This causes minor tears in the muscle, which repair and grow if provided with the right amount of protein and recovery time. Your metabolism gets a boost while the muscles repair.

What You May Not Know About Sleep!

Sleep affects every aspect of our life, but for many of us a sound and refreshing sleep completely evades us!

Did you know:

  1. about 30% of us suffer from insomnia at some point in our life
  2. around 25% of children diagnosed with ADHD have a sleep disorder. When poor sleep is addressed, their symptoms disappear.
  3. one night of sleep deprivation can put your body into a diabetic state.
  4. a decrease in sleep of only 1.5 hours per night can reduce performance by up to 32%.
  5. reaction time after staying awake for 17-19 hours is worse than a 0.05% blood alcohol level.

Improving the quality of our sleep is a priority for better 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.

Lose Belly Fat with these Two Key Dietary Changes

No matter how well you exercise, if you are still eating processed foods, too many carbs and the wrong kinds of fat, all your efforts may be in vain.

Eating right is the key for weight loss success and it is crucial when you are trying to get rid of visceral fat around your internal organs.

Two vital dietary changes:

  1. Remove processed and refined carbohydrates and you will also remove other harmful chemicals and additives, that can slow down your metabolism. By choosing organic fruit and vegetables, you will also be avoiding herbicides and pesticides, and genetically engineered ingredients. 
  2. Replace the reduced carbohydrates with healthful fats like nuts and seeds, fish, avocado, olives, olive oil, coconut, coconut oil, organic eggs, unheated organic nut oils (eg. Macadamia nut oil). These fats are essential for many processes and reactions in the body. They satisfy our hunger for much longer than carbohydrates and provide a great source of fuel for energy.  … Add the right exercise and watch the fat melt off!