Wonder Woman Fitness

Posts Tagged ‘weight loss

The Carbohydrate debate

 

Good carbsbad carbs

Much debate has been documented and reported that carbs are bad for you, carbs make you put on weight.  Confused?  Well let me explain a little bit.  In this blog I will explain the good sides and the bad sides to carbs and why some are important to your diet.  So if you are confused about whether carbs are good or bad for you then read on……

 First things first some carbs are not bad for you!!!  However choosing the right kinds of carbs is very important for health, wellness and even weight loss.  So heres the science, the human body uses carbs most efficiently for energy production (as opposed to fats and proteins).  So there really isn’t any reason to avoid carbs but there is a big difference between the normal, wholesome good carbs we are designed to eat and the unnatural (although tasty) highly processed refined carbs.  These bad carbs are contributing to a health crisis in the forms of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancers.

 Choosing good carbs is the key to looking and feeling your best, simply put if your diet is based around healthy, natural carbs rather than the unhealthy processed carbs – you will feel the benefit.

 Please remember that carbs give you energy and provide many of the vitamins and minerals necessary for good health, see the right ones are good for you.

 Good carbs are unprocessed carbohydrates in their ‘natural state’ or very close to their natural state.  In other words they have been minimally altered by man or machine i.e. not out of a packet more like out of the ground.  Pretty much all ‘leafy’ green vegetables and fruit are good carbs.  Beans and legumes, nuts and seeds are also included in the good carb category.  Finally wholegrain cereals including wholegrain breads and pastas are also ‘good’ carbs in moderation.  These types of carbs provide a slower and more sustained release of energy than bad carbs and in their natural form they contribute to long-term health gains, appetite control and sustained energy levels.

 Reason you should be eating good carbs:

  • High in fibre – helps you stay fuller for longer
  • Low GI: low glycemic index which stabilizes blood sugar levels and insulin
  • High in nutrients
  • Low ‘energy-density’: which provides sustained energy, promotes healthy weight loss and long-term weight management

 To sum up what good carbs are, have a look at this list below (picture 1 at the top of the blog):

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Fruit (try to not consume to much though as they contain a lot of natural sugar)
  • Beans
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Whole cereals, breads, cereals, flour, pasta and rice
  • Oats
  • Root vegetables

 Ok so onto the bad (boo!!!!) carbs.  These are refined processed carbohydrates that have all or most of their natural nutrients and fibre removed in order to make them more consumer friendly.  Most baked goods, white breads, white pastas, snack foods, sweets and soft drinks fit into this category.  Bleached, enriched white flour and white sugar are the most common ingredients used to make bad carbs.

 These carbs are harmful mainly because the human body is not able to process them very well.  Most of the processed carbs we eat wreak havoc on our natural hormone levels.  Insulin production is thrown out of sync as the body attempts to process the huge amounts of starches and simple sugars contained in a bad-carb based meal (i.e. white pastas, white bread etc).  This leads to dramatic fluctuations in blood sugar levels – a big reason you feel tired after eating these bad carb meals.

 Examples of bad carbs and sugary (simply carb) bad foods (picture 2 at the top of the blog):

  • Biscuits, pastries and cakes
  • Pizzas
  • Sugary processed breakfast cereals
  • White bread, flour, pasta, rice
  • Chocolate
  • Honey and jams
  • Jellies
  • Brown and white sugar
  • Soft drinks
  • Sweets and snack bars

 So if you believe that good carbs make you fat please read on.  Obviously bad carbs will make you fat especially in the form of sweets and chocolate but good carbs gram for gram contain less calories than fat, protein and alcohol.  Please remember that eating too much of any food will lead to weight gain, regardless of what food you get your energy from.  Also keep active.  If you are aiming to lose weight then by all means swap your bad carbs for good carbs but hit the gym, get yourself active in the outdoors as this will speed up the weight loss process and increase your energy levels, fitness levels and confidence.

Tips for healthy eating:

  • Your daily diet should be a balance of good carbs and protein
  • Base each of your meals on a complex carb such as potato, sweet potato, wholemeal bread or pasta and include vegetables.  Ensure your protein is lean also
  • Use high fibre wholegrain cereals as part of your breakfast or wholemeal bread for your toast
  • Large carb meals will make you sleepy and slow so save a big carb meal for the evening
  • Cut down on the amount of refined white flour products in your diet, such as white bread, pizza, pasta and rice.  The refining process produces a simple carbohydrate and many vitamins and minerals are lost.
  • Remember fruit is naturally high in sugar as are fruit juices and smoothies so limit these to your diet.  Choose more vegetables to gain your 5 a day.

Happy eating, any questions please feel free to leave comments.

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Train with me

I need you!!!!

 

Train with me

Train with me

Do you think your training is going well?  Is it pushing you hard enough?  Want to try something different?  Ok then, I need you to read this and to do this.  I am basically trying to get you moving by giving you a training session a month to try and stick to.  They will be based on weights, intervals, pyramids etc all sound scary but all fun with a wee bit of hard work thrown in.  I will also give a 3 day ‘diet’ to have a look at and to follow, not for the whole month though just a max of 5 days to help with your training.  The idea of this is to show you different ways of training and to see how I train.  I will be giving beginner, intermediate and advanced options so all abilities can do this.  Give it a go what do you have to lose?  If done right the only thing you will lose is a couple of pounds or more.  Keep active………….

Session 1: Intervals

This is ideally suited to the treadmill as you will work harder, but it can be performed on the bike, rower or X Trainer.  All I will say is each session is 20 minutes in total so you should be pretty tired at the end of the session even if you are a beginner.  Also it can be performed outside if you have a hate or a fear of treadmills just make sure you have a stop watch.  Do the interval sessions at least 3-4 times per week.  If you are following a weight program do that alongside this, actually I highly recommend that you do follow one.  Remember to have your rest days to recover.  The next session will be weights based so it will work with this one nicely.

The beginners session:

Time  
2 minutes Brisk walk
30 seconds Jog
90 seconds Brisk walk
45 seconds Jog
90 seconds Brisk walk
60 seconds Jog
90 seconds Brisk walk
90  seconds Jog
90 seconds Brisk walk
90 seconds Jog
90 seconds Brisk walk
60 seconds Jog
90 seconds Brisk walk
45 seconds Jog
90 seconds Brisk walk
30 seconds Jog

The Intermediate session:

Time  
60 seconds Jog
90 seconds Run
60 seconds Jog
120 seconds Run
60 seconds Jog
90 seconds Run
60 seconds Jog
120 seconds Run
60 seconds Jog
90 seconds Run
60 seconds Jog
120 seconds Run
60 seconds Jog
90 seconds Run
60 seconds Jog

 

The advanced session: (To be completed with an incline of 2-4%)

Time  
60 seconds Run
30 seconds Sprint
60 seconds Run
45 seconds Sprint
60 seconds Run
60 seconds Sprint
60 seconds Run
45 seconds Sprint
60 seconds Run
30 seconds Sprint

Repeat this session twice if you dare!!!!!

Diet:

Try this for 3-5 days.  It has limited stodgy carbs so if you are used to them you will find it hard but keep with it.

Meal Food
Breakfast 2 scrambled eggs

Ham

Handful of spinach

Snack Low fat hummus

Celery and carrot batons

Lunch Ham and avocado salad

Salad leaves, spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, ½ avocado and ham

Snack Cooked Chicken

Mixed seeds

Dinner Lean meat (chicken, fish, pork, turkey, steak)Roasted vegetables
Snack Small amount of low fat cottage cheese

Secrets to Weight loss Is there such a thing? With so many diet plans out there surely some of them have to be right, right? Well to be honest most of the diets are out there are money making schemes and make money they do. In America it was estimated that the weight loss industry would make around $68 billion in 2010, through meal replacements, diet pills, diet plans and programs etc and not to mention the amount people spend on gym memberships they never use or home fitness equipment (don’t get me started on that). So how do we lose weight, burn fat and more importantly keep it off and keep active?

I have put together some simple guidelines that I think may help you. If I am honest it is not rocket science it’s about balance and knowing what to do, I am sure I will not tell you anything new but I may be able to iron out some issues.

life, exercise and diet balance

Its all about finding a balance

As the picture states its all about the right balance, from exercise to the food you consume. I have read a lot of diets and fitness plans over the years like most of us have. Read my 6 guidelines and see where the results take you.

• Smaller more frequent meals: Sometimes having 3 main meals (i.e. breakfast, lunch and dinner) can make you feel very full and sluggish. Smaller more frequent meals, every 2-3 hrs, can help maintain more stable blood sugar levels. This is one of the advantages I feel with smaller more frequent meals is that I feel I have more energy and not as sleepy (which is amazing for me). Smaller more frequent meals can help you control your weight because you may be less hungry and less likely to over eat at the next meal. Example of a typical day with smaller more frequent meals: 7 am 1 or 2 poached egg on toast, 10 am snack hummus with some raw veg, 12 noon ham and avocado salad, 3pm snack 3 oatcakes and cooked chicken, 6pm dinner lean meat served with vegetables and some brown rice.

• Cut out refined carbohydrates: There are two types of carbohydrates, the good ones and the bad ones. Refined carbohydrates are the ‘bad’ ones. The body processes this very quickly and causes a high rise in sugar levels like a high followed by a crash. Refined carbs are: In any beverage containing sugar or refined sugar including sweetened fruit juices, beer, wine (Boo!!), soft drinks and sweet tea or coffee. In Fruit, so be careful with it. Stick to berries if you are going to have fruit. Also be careful with tinned fruit as they usually contain sugar if they are covered in syrup also try and pick the tinned fruit with natural juice. Be careful with your grains and opt for the wholemeal or wholegrain version if you can. Stay away from white flour versions of things like your bagels, bread, muffins etc. White flour foods will leave you feeling bloated and heavy and possibly uncomfortable!! High sugar tasty snacks are always tempting but I don’t think I need to tell you that cakes and chocolate and all the tasty treats are not that good for you so limit yourself or if your will power is great get rid of them altogether. Just remember this, that refined carbohydrates are robbed of vital fibre, vitamins and minerals. Stick to a ‘diet’ rich in pulses, nuts, seeds, berries, vegetables, oats, whole grains and wholemeal foods. If you are looking to feel lighter and less bloated then limit the wholemeal and wholegrain foods, like pasta and bread but do not stop eating them, you need them for energy.

• Eat meals based on lean protein: Lean protein can be added to every meal and snack throughout your day, with eggs, chicken, fish, tuna, cottage cheese, feta cheese, etc. Eating more lean protein in our diet can lead to a higher metabolic rate as it requires a higher percentage of energy to process it in our bodies than carbs. It helps with muscle growth and repair and does not increase your insulin levels so having a lean protein diet can control your cravings. I regularly follow this for about a week and I always feel lighter and less bloated. I then include good carbs into my diet the following week so I am getting a good balanced diet for health and for my training.

• Limit your fruit intake: As mentioned in section 2 try and limit your fruit intake. Getting your 5 a day should be mostly from vegetables and try and stay with berries for your fruit. Fruit although very natural is full of sugary and this can hinder your weight loss plans even though you think you are eating healthily. Just as an example here are some of our favourite fruits and there sugar content: banana (5.5g) 1 teaspoon of sugar, 11g golden delicious apple 2 teaspoons of sugar, large bunch of grapes 500g nearly 8 teaspoons of sugar!!!!! Also fruit is packed with fructose which does not make you full as it does not trigger the insulin response of fullness, hence why some people can gobble a whole pack of grapes.

• Introduce interval training into your exercise regime: By mixing burst of high intensity work with low intensity periods of recovery, you’re overloading both the aerobic and anaerobic systems at the same time, getting the benefits of both aspects of training simultaneously. This type of training saves you time, it can be done in 20 – 30 minutes, it is a great way to relieve boredom and pass the training plateau, and most importantly it can help you lose weight. This is because you are challenging both training systems in your body and improving your bodies ability to burn more calories. Your adding new muscle groups to your training which speeds up your metabolism of fat, your getting an aerobic workout that burns calories, you’re pushing yourself beyond your limits, so your body is becoming a fat burning machine. But trust me when I say that interval training is hard work, sometimes uncomfortable and you never look sexy doing it but you can reap the fitness and fat loss benefits from doing it. General rules of interval training can be done on any machine in the gym or outside. Train intensely for 1 minute to 2 minutes then actively rest for 1 to 2 minutes. You are looking to feel the burn and repeat this process 4 – 10 times depending on your fitness levels. I will be adding a few interval training blogs for you to attempt soon so keep an eye out. With interval training it is also important to weight train to accompany it and get the overall lean look that you are looking for. Remember with weights try to lift heavier and use more full body movements. This will increase your fat burning efficiency and also give you a sleeker look if you use exercises for all your muscles.

• Most importantly listen to your body: This is the one I usually forget. It is important to listen to your body and not over train. Remember to stretch after your training, helps you look leaner and less sore, perhaps try yoga or pilates. Also treat yourself, this does not have to be food or alcohol based, for all your hard work maybe buy some new clothes a night out, a massage or a trip away. I always feel that if you have something to look forward to the training and the diet regime seems slightly easier. I also find that entering an event will boost your motivation and your training for example a 5k or 10k run, a walk, or even a triathlon!!! Anything that will keep you motivated, keep your training intensity up, keep your diet in check and keep you training hard will help you lose weight and burn fat.

A wee point to remember I am no saint when it comes to training or my diet. I enjoy food and red wine way too much but I also enjoy training. I understand the benefits of a good diet and a planned training session but I also like to enjoy my life and treat myself. My advice is find something you enjoy and make it part of your life, train hard, get the benefits and you will see results from all your hard work.

Any questions on diet or training leave a comment and I will get back to you

Keep active folks……………

Personal Training – What’s all the fuss about?

Personal Training

 Have you ever wondered what its like to get some personal training?  If you are training for a specific event, need extra motivation or are stuck in an exercise rut personal training can be the answer for you.  Depending on their experience they will design programs and sessions around your own personal goals, give dietary advice, do specific types of training, motivate you and make your sessions fun and worthwhile.  As a personal trainer myself I really enjoy my job as I can let my clients see their own potential, its amazing how people do not realize their own ability until pushed.  I have a great time with my clients and I try to make it as fun as possible, well if I’m going to train you hard then lets do it with a smile on your face.  So if you have ever thought about personal training and want to know what goes on then read on….

 I have asked one of my Personal training clients to make a blog of her sessions and her experiences with me:

Session 1:

“I have tried various types of exercise in the past, but as the date to my civil partnership celebration approached, I realised I needed some more expert help to help me feel in better shape.  I did a series of sessions with Kelly, and although it was a bit late to make a significant improvement, it did make me feel more confident for my big day.  It also left me wondering what if I continued?  Could I actually get rid of my wobbly bits, and even tone up my belly? 

So I’ve submitted myself to the rigours of Kelly’s sessions again.  Kelly has designed a programme I can work on my own, and also comes up with different things to do with her each week. This week she got me running uphill, which is quite an achievement given my lifelong avoidance of running!  I felt a good sense of achievement in managing to complete the run, even if my face did match my pink top afterwards!  By interval training, the minute walking gave me the respite I need to continue, and the target to not need them in the future! There was also exercises on the Swiss Ball, which test my poor sense of balance to the limit, but I can feel it working!  I make the most ridiculous noises while attempting things I never thought I could do, but Kelly makes it fun and while it’s challenging, it’s not totally impossible!”

A bit of boxing

Session 2:

“Kelly has a wide range of tricks up her sleeve, which means the sessions always seem to go quickly, and there’s often something new to try.  This week, there was an emphasis on legs.  I’ve always thought my legs were reasonably strong, but that running uphill made me realise they need a bit of attention too!  So, just to make squats more difficult – and effective! – I was holding a kettle weight in the air while doing big forward squats, and then backwards.  Deceptively difficult, and one I’ll need to practice before I can actually manage it without making increasingly strange noises, and feeling it for days afterwards!  Back to working on my stomach, Kelly introduced another new exercise, stretching a band across the body, which gets those side muscles working – I like it when I can feel the right muscles working, it reminds me what this is all about!”

Session 3:

Kelly really tried to make me think this session, with the co-ordination challenge known as spotty dogs, followed by boxing to different counts – but when I’m thinking so much, it distracts me from how hard work it is! 

 We then tried peak running – when I was attempting to run longer and faster than before, but I didn’t quite manage to get up to 12, given I was running at 10 and 11 for a few minutes beforehand, and Kelly warned me there was more hard work to come! 

This included lots of steps – which started off not too bad, but soon my legs got pretty shaky!  So then there were sumo lunge, while heaving a medicine ball about, followed by arm weights, and more medicine ball action, while doing sit ups.  We finished with more arm weights, although at least I got to lie down this time!

Altogether it was another varied and challenging workout, and I’m pleased to have managed it!

Bit of fun

Session 4:

Circuits were the name of the pain this session!  Mixing up the cardio work with resistance type moves meant just as I was about to give up on one, we moved to the other!  Each set concentrated on one area, so we started with squats and lunges, interspersed with rowing – my legs certainly felt it!  It was then time to work my arms, lifting weights which felt pretty light to start with, but seemed to get heavier as I did more!  Just as my legs had about recovered, it was time to run!  We tried running faster, with slower jogs in between.  This is not something I could even have attempted a few weeks ago, and I was chuffed to find it not entirely impossible!  Running has always been one of those things I just didn’t do, but now I find myself wanting to see if I can go fast, go uphill or more – not that I’ll be running marathons any time soon, but maybe I managed to run continuously for  12 minutes the other day!

 The circuits continued with steps challenging my co-ordination to the max!  The last set combined the cross trainer with mat work working on my stomach – the Russian twists are getting easier and although my interpretation of “as fast as possible” is probably a little different to Kelly’s, I did get through the cross trainer as well. 

 Session 5:

We did various circuit type exercises, including leaping over a bench in practice for those movie chase scenes, as well as pull ups and press ups – also seen in movie scenes!  Hadn’t done any lunges in a while, and they didn’t seem as bad as I remembered!  After my legs had had just about enough, it was time for the treadmill. And still I managed to run slightly faster than before, even if it was for a very short time. But I did manage to jog and then run faster, which is one target – just need to keep going longer and not get quite so out of breath! But it is a definite improvement from earlier sessions. There was still boxing to go, and this time there were combinations that required me to think even when my brain was mush! I managed not to miss the pads and avoided inflicting too much unnecessary damage to Kelly- a certain amount is payback for all those push ups! Boxing is really satisfying, even when I’m knackered!

 Over the time I’ve been working with Kelly, I’ve noticed an improvement in my strength and there is now some definition in my arms, but had I managed to change my eating habits and get the the gym more often in between sessions, I’m sure it would have made more of an impact.  I have definitely worked harder during sessions with Kelly than I would do on my own, and I enjoy the variety and challenges that she puts me through!

 I may be biased here as I am a personal trainer, however, I really see the benefits that my clients get from my sessions.  They change in shape, they increase their strength and they increase their fitness as well normally all without them realising. 

You will be worked harder than ever

Give personal training a go I promise you will not be disappointed.  They will push you harder than you will ever train on your own, if you train harder then you will hopefully reach your goals quicker, so seriously give it a go.  Keep active folks…………..

Want to slim down ladies?

 

Toned and lean look

If you want to change your shape or slim down or achieve a sculpted look you will not achieve it through cardio alone ladies.  You have to lift weights.  When I am working in the gym or training myself most women I see are on cardio machines for most of their workouts and most women that I train have not done much weight training.  I feel that this is due to inexperience and lack of knowledge and possibly a little bit of fear.  But I am going to put your minds at ease about weight training and show you the massive benefits from lifting weights.

I personally love strength training with weights for the pure reason that I get to train indoors in the warmth of the gym oh and ladies you get to train next to some good looking men.  Sure cardio training has its advantages but combined with some weight training you will really notice the difference.  When I do any kind of training with weights I feel stronger, leaner, more toned, I walk taller and more importantly I feel better about myself and I feel more confident.

So this blog is aimed to dispel some of the rumours about women and weights.  If you want to change your shape forever and slim down then read on.

So what will adding weight training into your programme do?

  • Make you physically stronger.  Increasing your strength will make you far less dependent upon others or assistance in daily living.  If you’re maximum strength is increased daily tasks and routine will be far less likely to cause injury. 
  • You will lose body fat.  An average woman who strength trains 2 to 3 times per week for 2 months will gain nearly 2 pounds of muscle and will lose 3.5 pounds of fat.  As your lean muscle increases so does your resting metabolism, and you burn more calories all day long
  • You will gain strength without bulk.  Unlike men women do not typically gain size from strength training because compared to men women have 10 to 30 times less of the hormones that cause muscle bulk.  You will however develop muscle tone and definition.
  • You decrease your risk of osteoporosis.  Weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density by 13% in 6 months.  Strength training not only strengthens your muscles but also strengthens your bones decreasing the chance of breakages and fractures.
  • You will improve your athletic performance.  Any sportsman can increase their performance with adding weight training into their programme.  Golfers can significantly increase their driving power, cyclists are able to continue for longer periods with less fatigue, skiers improve technique and reduce the chance of injury etc.  Whatever sport you play or whatever your fitness goal is strength training has been shown to improve all overall performance as well as decrease the risk of injury.
  • You will reduce the risk of injury, back pain and arthritis.  Strength training as said before not only strengthens muscles but also builds stronger connective tissues and increases your joint stability which in turn reduces chance of injury and will help as your body fights the aging process.
  • Like all aspects of exercise, strength training will reduce your risk of heart disease and reduce your risk of diabetes.
  • It is never too late to lift weights.   Women in their 70’s and 80’s have built up significant strength through weight training and studies show that strength improvements are possible at any age.  However you should seek help from a fitness professional if you decide to take out an exercise programme.
  • Weight training will not make you bulky or masculine.  As said before it is almost imposible for women to gain huge amounts of muscle mass by merely touching a dumbbell.  This is due to our decreased amount of testosterone in our bodies.  However you will have seen pictures of professional female body builders unfortunately most of these women will be taking anabolic steroids and spending hours in the gym lifting very heavy weights to look like that it is no accident that they look the way they do.  Women who follow a good structured weight training programme get the firm and fit (almost) cellulite free body that most women would like.
  • Exercise with weights does not increase your bust size.  Women your breasts are mostly made up of fatty tissue therefore, it is almost impossible to increase your breast size through weight training.  However you may slightly increase your back size through weight training and this may increase your bust size.
  • Weight training does not make you muscle-bound and stiff.  If you perform all exercises through their full range of motion your flexibility may increase.  Make sure you balance your body and train your back muscles as well as your front muscles as this will help with your natural movement.  Make sure to train every muscle group to achieve an overall toned body. 
  • Your muscles do not turn into fat if you stop training.  Muscle and fat are two totally different types of tissue.  When people decide to stop training they start losing muscle due to inactivity (the use it or lose it rule) and their training diet usually drops also.  Therefore bad habits and lack of training lowers their metabolism giving the impression that the person’s muscle is being turned to fat where in reality the muscle is being lost and the fat is being put on. 
  • Weight training does not turn muscle into fat.  Very similar to the above.  The way your body transforms is by gaining muscle through weight training and losing fat through aerobic exercise and diet.  Again muscle and fat are two different types of tissue we cant turn one into another. 
  • Beware – Just because you train does not mean you can eat whatever you want.  Oh how I wish this was true though.  Our individual metabolism determines how many calories we burn at rest and while we exercise.  If we eat more calories than we burn on a consistent basis our bodies will accumulate these extra calories as fat regardless of the amount of exercise we do.  So be careful try and follow a healthy nutritious diet that will help you maintain your weight or help you lose a few pounds. 
  • Women should not be afraid to lift heavier weights.  If you only do cardio then muscle and fat will be burned for fuel.  You need to lift weights in order to prevent any loss of muscle tissue.  Women that only concentrate on cardio will have a very hard time achieving the look that they want.  Try not to lift light weights as muscle responds to resistance and if the resistance is too light then there will be no reason for your body to change shape. 
  • And lastly women do not be frightened to train hard.   I train hard with weights and I have trained my female clients hard with weights and they look nothing but feminine. 

 

 

 

So start lifting - what have you to lose except body fat!!!

The main thing is to get help designing a weight training program.  Most of my weight training is done with free weights (dumbbells) as they work more muscles (more muscles worked = more calories burnt) and I am unlimited in my choice of exercise so I never get bored.  My best piece of advice is give it a go – what do you have to lose.  If you are wanting a defined, firm, feminine, strong figure then you’ve got to start lifting – but lift right.  Keep active folks…..

Holidays - Spain

This is the life!!!!

Hi folks, as you can see I have been away on my holidays, I am just back with a new blog for you, enjoy 🙂

Healthy eating

The Cleansing Diet

Like most people and certainly most women I battle with my weight be it wanting to lose a few pounds to a bit more. I only ever want to lose a bit of weight so I am lighter to carry my huge bulk around my runs and also when I enter my first triathlon in April I would really like to be 10kg lighter, we can but hope.

The problem I have is I love my food. No I really do!! I live to cook and more importantly I love to eat so there lies my problem there isn’t a food I won’t eat!!! I also have a condition which is called Ulcerative Colitis which is a life long condition of the small intestine. At its worse it can really be a debilitating condition as you are constantly at the toilet and you can suffer from pains and discomfort. However I have had this condition for almost 6 years and I am living an active, happy and normal life. I can still eat, drink and exercise. Although, recently I had a flare up of my condition which meant being put on a course of steroids by my GP. Now I am used to doing this however I thought that maybe if I can change my diet and cleanse my body it would help my body heal better and save me having to take more medication. Plus steroids make me look like a hamster lol [Symbol]

The following blog is about my experience on a cleansing diet. It was not specifically designed for ulcerative colitis sufferers, it is taken form a book called ‘Clean and Lean Diet’ by James Dugan. In this book he talks about what foods are toxic to your body and what are the best things to put in your body. Now I do not usually read or follow ‘diets’ but this book really made me think about what I put in my body and I read it from cover to cover. So if you are intrigued read on and I would recommend this to anyone who suffers from IBS, Ulcerative Colitis and also Chrome’s Disease and also anyone who would like to cleanse their insides and maybe lose a few pounds in the process. I would recommend that you do it for no longer than 7 days though. Enjoy [Symbol]

Day 1:

I am having nutritious food but I am completely craving carbs. All I want is to eat a whole loaf of bread with some real butter [Symbol] I am not missing fruit however I am suffering from headaches which could possibly be from carb withdraw. Hoping that day 2 is going to be better, not really enjoying this. I cheated tonight as I had a cereal bar when I got home the carb craving was so bad but apart from that I followed the plan.

Day 2:

I woke up feeling great today. I had no cravings and no headaches also I felt cleaner and lighter. As I did not eat any carbs yesterday (we will ignore the cereal bar!!) I did not feel bloated at all and had energy.

Day 3:

Oh no, woke up feeling terrible [Symbol] and had a sore stomach. So I decided to swap my breakfast for some porridge as a carb kick. However as I prepared my porridge I suddenly didn’t feel the need for it. This approach to food has made me re-think how food affects my colitis and how it affects how I feel. Although porridge is a healthy breakfast I knew it would make me feel sluggish and more heavy and plus it was only day 3 of the ‘diet’ I couldn’t give in yet!!!!

Day 4:

Had such a craving for something sweet last night and I did not think I had a sweet tooth lol [Symbol] It has been suggested by the author of the ‘Clean and Lean Diet’ that if you have cravings you can take Glutamine which has numerous health benefits such as: promoting the maintenance of a healthy digestive tract, may promote mental alertness and improve mood and memory, may boost immune function and fight infection, helps prevent muscle loss and most importantly if you have a sweet tooth it may decrease sugar cravings and the desire for alcohol!!!! Plus it is good for people who suffer from colitis so I will give it a go.

I was completely addicted to coffee, my regular would be 1 ½ teaspoons of coffee, 1 teaspoon of sugar and some milk, and that would be 4 – 5 times a day minimum!!!! Now I have realised that this may not be the best for me. So I have changed my coffee for some real espresso coffee (2 a day) some cinnamon (natural sweetener) and some organic whole milk and voila it does the trick I don’t seem to need anymore coffee and I sleep so soundly as I am not taking caffeine after lunch time

Day 5:

Woke up feeling great today. I was quite relieved that my weight hadn’t dropped anymore. I had lost 4lbs in 4 days which for me was too much. Still staying on track with the correct food.

Day 6:

I tried to train today and found I did not have enough energy for the type of training that I do. I think this diet approach is ideal for 6 – 12 days. People should not do this for more than 12 days as it is meant to be a clean out. If like me you exercise try not to exercise whilst doing this but only keep to the diet for max of 7 days. I know that today is my last day as I want to train now. However I will definitely come back to this if my colitis has flared up or if I have over indulged!!!! I would recommend this to anyone to at least try it for 6 – 7 days, remember though that the first few days will be very hard especially if like me you based your diet on carbs before. I will now have only one meal each day with carbs and one snack so I am not overloading myself with carbs. I will also have one cheat day a week where for one meal I can have whatever I want mmmmmm……….. and I’m sure sticky toffee pudding will be that meal [Symbol]

Ok, so what did I eat? Here it is.

Day 1 – 3:

B:  Scrambled eggs (1), cup full of raw spinach and 50g smoked salmon

S:  75g cooked chicken and raw veg mix

L:  Salad: 100g ham, ¼ avocado, raw spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, mixed salad leaves

S: Small handful of mixed seeds

D: Smoked mackerel fillet and green veg

Day 4 – 6:

B: 100g smoked salmon and chopped cucumber

S: 75g cooked chicken and raw veg mix

L: Salad as above

S: 1 tablespoon of hummus and raw veg mix

D: 100g roast chicken, roasted peppers and broccoli

Day 7 – 9:

B: 2 boiled (or scrambled) eggs, red peppers and ¼ avocado

S: 100g turkey and 2 oatcakes

L: Salad as before

S: 1 tablespoon of hummus and raw veg mix

D: Salmon fillet (or any fish fillet) with veg of your choice but no potatoes

Rules:

•Drink plenty water

•Limit caffeine intake to 2 cups of tea or coffee a day

•No alcohol

•No carbs i.e. potatoes, bread, pasta etc and no fruit

•Where there are no measurements for the food (veg, salad etc) have as much as you want

•You can do this for 2 weeks if you want but I found 7 days was enough to feel the difference

•Use this diet whenever you are feeling bloated etc (only have to do it for 2 – 3 days) as this will sort your insides out

Until next time, keep active folks…….



 

Are you a beginner to running?  Not sure where to start?  Then read on my friends…… 

If you have always walked and fancied trying a jog but think that you are not fit enough or that you don’t have the confidence, believe me you are not alone.  There are so many people who want to take that step but just have no idea how to.  Running is a natural human instinct (I must admit there are some graceful joggers out there but mostly there are ungraceful ones like myself) we know how to do it and its inexpensive, a good pair of running shoes and some comfy clothes and your sorted. 

I have encountered many people over the years who are scared to progress from walking to running.  But once they made that first scary step they found that they really enjoyed it, they loved the difference it made to their body and also to their confidence.   

I have found that one of the most effective ways to make a start to running is to enter yourself in a 5k.  Now I know that this may seem like a long distance to a beginner but in a lot of 5k’s you can easily adopt the walk-jog strategy which is ideal for beginners.  The Race For Life events are ideal and they are so much fun (sorry guys these are aimed at women but there are 5k’s out there for you!).  They are brilliant events that women of all shapes, ages, sizes and fitness levels can take part in.  My first running event was a race for life 5k almost 10 years ago and I can still remember it and I believe that, that one event motivated me to do more and I’m sure they can motivate you too.  Once you have a goal in mind, every mile of training will take you just a little step closer to it.  Every step shortens the distance between you and your dream.  You may find, as I did, that you feel the achievement and the joy from doing it, oh and remember: A four minute mile is the exact same distance as a ten minute mile J

If you are still unsure of whether to replace your walking shoes with your running shoes just take a look at the benefits: 

  • Running is 2nd to cross country skiing in burning the most calories and is one of the best ways to lose body fat.  Plus it uses all the muscles in your body, so more muscles used, more calories burnt J
  • Muscles and bones get healthier and stronger due to the demands of running, this means you are more likely to delay or avoid the effects of osteoporosis and slow down the aging process
  • Running can help lower blood pressure, strengthen lungs, boost brain power, strengthen your heart and lower your cholesterol.
  • If you are running through the woods, the street or on the treadmill, when your happy hormones (endorphins to be technical) kick in everything seems to be a bit more manageable and you have a feeling that you are getting away from all the stresses of everyday life.

 

So I have convinced you to at least give running a try, what have you got to lose.  So here is a beginners running plan that you can use (all you need is a watch for outside or do it on a treadmill) that will break you into running gently and also it doubles as a 5k training schedule.  So by the last week you will be ready and fit enough to complete your first 5k!!! 

If with this program you do not feel ready to move onto the next week then repeat a week until you feel ready to progress.  Exercise and fitness is all about taking things steady, your training should push you but should not be too hard, and it is also about progression.  Slow and steady wins the race J 
 

Week Tuesday Thursday Sunday
1 20 minutes:1 minute walk – 1 minute jog 20 minutes:1 minute walk – 1 minute jog 25 minutes:1 minute walk – 1 minute jog
2 20 minutes:1 minute walk – 1 minute jog 20 minutes:1 minute walk – 1 minute jog 25 minutes:1 minute walk – 1 minute jog
3 20 minutes:90 secs walk – 90 secs jog 20 minutes:1 minute walk – 1 minute jog 25 minutes:1 minute walk – 1 minute jog
4 20 minutes:90 secs walk – 90 secs jog 20 minutes:2 minutes walk – 2 minutes jog Walk for 2 minutes then jog for 10 minutes
5 25 minutes:1 minute walk – 2 minutes jog 25 minutes:2 minutes walk – 2 minutes jog Walk for 2 minutes then jog for 12 – 15 minutes
6 25 minutes:1 minute walk – 2 minutes jog 25 minutes:1 minute walk – 2 minutes jog Walk for 2 minutes then jog for 16 – 20 minutes
7 25 minutes:1 minute walk – 3 minutes jog 30 minutes:1 minute walk – 3 minutes jog Walk for 2 minutes the jog for 21 – 25 minutes
8 35 minutes:1 minute walk – 3 minutes jog 20 minutes:2 minutes walk – 2 minutes jog Walk for 2 minutes then jog for 25 minutes

So now you can run constantly for 25 minutes, so enter that 5k and keep up with the training.  You can now proudly say “I run, therefore I am a runner”

Keep active folks…………….  🙂

Once the above program becomes too easy then why not try this.  It is suitable for a beginner,  intermediate runner and the ex-runner.  So why not try interval training, which is my favourite, as it pushes you hard and its over in about 20 minutes so it is ideal if you are prone to motivation and boredom problems 🙂 The idea of interval training is alternating sprints with recovery runs i.e 2 minutes at a fast run followed by 2 minutes at a slow jog.  This type of training at higher speeds makes your body work harder and burns up to 30% more calories to keep up with the demands plus it increases your fitness quicker. 

Try these interval training techniques:

20 minutes easy optionWarm – up for 2 minutes at a brisk walk or slow jog, then 4 x 2 minute hard running speed followed by 4 x 2 minute slower running, cool – down for 2 minutes at a slow walk.  This can be done on a treadmill or if outside use a watch or run to a marker – lamposts are great!!

30 minute intermediate option:  Warm – up for 3 minutes at a brisk walk or a slow jog, then 8 x 2 minutes of hard runnning followed by 8 x 1 minute slower running, cool – down with 3 miuntes at a slow walk. 

 


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