Don’t let go of your target!

The England rugby team are in a bit of a re-building phase!! South Africa have done it, Australia have been through it, New Zealand…..well they always seem to be great!!
Although under heavy pressure to make wholesale changes after heavy defeats in the past few weeks, new England manager, Martin Johnson, has resisted and stuck mostly to his crop of young (mostly!) players. This not only shows faith, and instills confidence in the players, but is a building block for future success. You get nowhere by making changes, and upsetting the balance week-in, week-out. The same can be said for your eating habits.

Occasionally there will be times when you ‘fall off track’ such as meals out, holiday’s etc, but DON’T lose heart. Don’t use that occassion as a “Oh, this isn’t working (like the current rugby results!), I won’t worry about the rest of the week”. If you can keep to a sensible eating plan for 80% of the time, your results will come.
Set yourself a target, set a goal, and if “a bad result” occurs, minimise the impact, stick with your initial ideas, and you will get your results.

Fingers crossed for Saturday then!! It can only get better!

You should be eating more of;
– Lean protein (fish, white meat, good quality lean read meats)
– Lots of vegetables and fruit
– Lots of water
– Wholemeal rice, and oats

and grazing every 3 hours or so.

and eating less of;

– Sugary foods
– man made or processed foods
– wheat and pastas
– Alcohol, coffee

Have confidence, have belief, have self-motivation.


Your new Personal Trainer!!

Some ideas for our next session courtsey of Euro Training!

Home Workout #1 !

OK below is the first published home workout! (This can be done at the gym, but I will aim to give exercises which require little or no equipment, and can be completed in 5mins!!) This workout is designed to work the full body, put your metabolism into overdrive, and therefore burn a high number of calories, not just during the workout, but for many hours afterwards, due to the intensity of the workout! To achieve this ‘overdrive’ of calories you will need to work hard! You get out, or burn, what you put in!
Work at a steady pace and you’ll be wasting time, push it hard and, well, you’ll see!
Warmup (perform each exercise with no rest. At the end rest 30secs and repeat the warmup, then rest a further 30secs, and go straight into the workout)
Squats x10 / Star Jumps x20 / Pressups x10 / Alternate Lunges x16
Advanced Burpee – 10 repetitions. (Stand with a shoulder width stance. Squat down and put your hands on the ground in front of your feet. Next, kick your feet back while lowering your chest to the ground. This step will essentially put you in the bottom position of a push up. Then, push your chest away from the floor while simultaneously thrusting your legs back up into the squat position with the hands still on the floor. Finish the movement by explosively jumping up in the air. Upon landing, quickly drop back down into the squat position and repeat)
Rest 20seconds then;
2) Prisoner Speed Squats – 20 repetitions. (Feet just wider than shoulder width, with hands on back of head, pin elbows and shoulder blades backwards throughout. Squat down, keeping your weight on heels, and stomach muscles in and braced, then drive back upwards. Repeat at speed)
Rest 20 seconds then;
Repeat workout for 3 times in total. Stretch out at end of workout.
Expect the lower body to be feeling ‘worked’ the next day! Feel free to comment/give suggestions after the workout!

Pregnancy, Exercise and Nutrition

If you have been exercising regularly in the lead up to pregnancy, there are more reasons to continue your exercise regime (albeit slightly modified) than stopping. A stronger, fitter, healthy body is what we want generally, and so why would we not want the same during pregnancy? If you’re new to exercise and wish to start during pregnancy, it’s advisable to consult with your GP before embarking on a programme.

What are the benefits of exercising during pregnancy?

Staying active during pregnancy will help keep your body stronger and more supple. You will have fewer problems with your joints, tendons, intestines, stomach and circulation. Exercise will make it easier for you to avoid gaining more weight than the average 10-12kg (22-26lb). If you’re wondering or even worried where this weight comes from, the below is an average breakdown;

– 7.5 pounds: average baby’s weight
– 7 pounds: extra stored protein, fat, and other nutrients
– 4 pounds: extra blood
– 4 pounds: other extra body fluids
– 2 pounds: breast enlargement
– 2 pounds: enlargement of your uterus
– 2 pounds: amniotic fluid surrounding your baby
– 1.5 pounds: the placenta

It can also make it easier to regain pre-pregnancy fitness levels, and weight, after the birth. Many women have also found that exercising before and during pregnancy have helped with shorter labour times.

Weights and fitness work

Weight training improves muscle tone and builds stamina which will pay off during labour. The main risks are putting too much strain on the joints, as they loosen during pregnancy, with the release of the hormone relaxin. You also need to be careful that you don’t raise your heart rate too high, for too long a period. Likewise overheating can become and issue, especially during the Summer months. Working out vigorously can be dangerous because of the extra strain this will put on your body and heart. This will cause stress for your baby and make you feel unwell. You should also avoid excessive training on your back during the 2nd trimester, as it places the uterus onto the Vena Cava, which in turn will limit blood flow back to the heart, and could cause dizziness. From the second trimester, sit down more often to lift weights. Also avoid jumps, and sharp changes in direction, as this can place additional stress on the joints.

Primarily your work should be geared towards maintaining cardiovascular fitness (albeit at a lower intensity), and working on the postural muscles which will be affected during the 9 months, including the glutes, lower back and legs. In the early stages core work is still possible and essential.

In the later stages where certain movements can become uncomfortable, you could look to add or increase swimming, or stationary cycling to your regime. Both are non weight bearing but have further benefits with flexibility, leg strength, and cardiovascularly.

Eating during pregnancy

You need about 300 extra calories a day — especially later in your pregnancy, when your baby grows quickly — those calories should come from nutritious foods so they can contribute to your baby’s growth and development.

The key is to eat foods from the different food groups in approximately the recommended proportions. Although it’s generally recommended that a woman of normal weight gain approximately 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy (most gain 4 to 6 pounds during the first trimester and 1 pound a week during the second and third trimesters), don’t fixate on the scale. Instead, focus on eating a good variety and balance of nutritious foods to keep both you and your baby healthy.
– plenty of fruit and vegetables (fresh, frozen, tinned, dried or a glass of juice). Aim for at least five portions of a variety each day
– foods such as bread, pasta, rice and potatoes – try to choose wholegrain options
– foods rich in protein such as lean meat and chicken, fish (aim for at least two servings of fish a week, including one of oily fish), eggs and pulses (such as beans and lentils). These foods are also good sources of iron

– plenty of fibre. This helps prevent constipation and is found in wholegrain bread, pasta, rice, pulses and fruit and vegetables
– dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yoghurt, which contain calcium.

It’s also a good idea to cut down on foods such as cakes and biscuits, because these are high in fat and sugar. This can also help you to avoid putting on too much weight during pregnancy.

What to avoid
There are certain foods that you should avoid when you’re pregnant, because they might make you ill or harm your baby:

– Avoid cheeses such as Camembert, Brie or chevre (a type of goats’ cheese), or others that have a similar rind. You should also avoid soft blue cheeses. These cheeses are made with mould and they can contain listeria, a type of bacteria that could harm your unborn baby.

– Pâté Avoid all types of pâté, including vegetable. This is because pate can contain listeria.

– Avoid eating raw eggs and food containing raw or partially-cooked eggs. Only eat eggs cooked enough for both the white and yolk to be solid. This is to avoid the risk of salmonella, which causes a type of food poisoning.

– Raw or undercooked meat. Make sure you only eat meat that has been well cooked. This is especially important with poultry and products made from minced meat, such as sausages and burgers. Make sure these are cooked until they are piping hot all the way through and no pink meat is left.

-Liver products and supplements containing vitamin A. Make sure you don’t have too much vitamin A. This means you should avoid eating liver and liver products such as pâté and avoid taking supplements containing vitamin A or fish liver oils (which contain high levels of vitamin A). You need some vitamin A, but having too much means that levels could build up and may harm your unborn baby.

– You can eat most types of fish when you’re pregnant. But there are a few types you should avoid and some others where you should limit the amount you eat. Avoid eating any shark, swordfish and marlin. Limit the amount of tuna you eat to no more than two tuna steaks a week (weighing about 140g cooked or 170g raw). This is because of the levels of mercury in these fish. At high levels, mercury can harm a baby’s developing nervous system. Have no more than two portions of oily fish a week.

– Avoid raw shellfish when you’re pregnant. This is because raw shellfish can sometimes contain harmful bacteria and viruses that could cause food poisoning.

A pregnancy multivitamin can be beneficial during pregnancy, but if in doubt, again check with your GP.

Prepare for Christmas!

With only 51 days to Xmas (!), it’s time to get your diet and exercise regime sorted, with on average, people adding around 7-9lbs over the Xmas period!

Christmas parties are regularly used for hitting the drink, and bashing the company expenses.

Christmas day people tend to eat and drink more than they should, and often complain of feeling stuffed!

Between Christmas and New Year, every leftover is eaten, both from your house, and those you visit!

New Years Eve the body takes another battering as per the above.

Therefore, use the time now leading up to the Xmas period to lose some weight, get fitter and healthier, so that the pending impact is not as damaging. I’d be a hypocrite to say you should not be gaining weight over Christmas, it is a time when the whole family are together, and you tend to ‘enjoy’ things more than you should. If you can lose the weight now, you;ll not only look great for the Christmas parties, but you’ll be one step ahead of the rest, who come New Year, will be bleating on about joining the gym, cutting out chocolate and all the other excuses we hear year in and year out, before being forgotten by mid January!

Be a trend setter, not a follower, and take the initiative. Use my ‘Drop a size’ plan, exercise hard, and then enjoy Christmas, before starting afresh for 2009!

Buy into the complete package!

On Saturday, England ‘competed’ against a Stanford Superstars team in the West Indies, in a 20 overs a side game of cricket for $20,000,000. The winning team won $1,000,000 a player……the losing team won nothing.
Suffice to say, England were abysmal, and got thoroughly beaten by the more deserving Windies players. At the post match interview, England captain Kevin Pietersen, said the England team need to address a few issues for next time, and need to ‘buy into’ the tournament moreso. This signalled, to me, that the players were more intent on ‘playing for England’ and winning the game, as opposed to saying, “right let’s play for the money, every man for themselves, let’s go out and win some cash!” ……yeah right! for this sort of money I know what/who I would have been playing for!!
The same can be said with fat loss and exercise. You have to ‘buy into’ the whole package. It’s not good enough to think, I’ve exercised hard twice this week, I deserve a glass of wine and a pizza, or I’ll have this cake because I’m exercising later.
Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand, you fail in one, you’ll fail as a package. If you want results, you have to plan what you aiming for, set your goals, and ‘buy into’ the whole package. Be focused on your exercise and your nutrition throughout the week, and then will you get the results you are after.

Weightloss is about food!

Weight loss is primarily about food, and what you do, or don’t consume.
I’ve had clients who have stated at the initial consultation, “I don’t mind exercising, but I don’t want to change or limit what I’m eating or drinking” Really?!! So exercising for 2 hours a week is going to get the fat dropping off you, while you still indulge in a takeaway once or twice a week, a cake or chocolate bar once or twice a day, and that big drinking session on Friday and/or Saturday night? Dream on……! Exercise and nutrition is a joint package, it’s a lifestyle, surely we all want to be fit, look good, and be healthy?!
If you look at food and exercise in terms of calories you’ll see why food and fluids should be looked at initially. If you ate a chocolate bar or a cake, that could quite easily total 200-300 calories. To expend that many calories through exercise,
you would have to run for about 20mins, at a reasonable intensity level. Which is easier? Running for 20mins or not eating a chocolate bar or cake? (If you’re saying, “but I like them!” that’s fine once a week if you’ve been sensible the rest of the week, but if not, you seriously need to re-address and look at your goals! – you know who you are!)
Men and women are consuming too many calories above their recommended
daily allowance; they’re often eating 1000 kcals more daily. It is far easier to reduce your calorie intake than it is having to exercise more. Always think about food in terms of exercise calories, it will put things into perspective. Three pints of beer is about 600 kcals, a few glasses of wine will be over 350 kcals. A meal out, or a takeaway, can easily total up to over 1000kcals, which is half a recommended man’s intake and 2/3 of a woman’s intake.
If weight loss is your goal, it will all come down to your food and fluid intake,
bottom line. Remember even if the food is small, it may well be energy dense
and hold a lot of calories. Control what you’re eating and you will reach your
ideal weight, and combined with our exercise sessions, you’ll be looking and feeling great too!
Food is one factor YOU can control. YOU are in charge and responsible for yourself!