Fitness: We’re fighting a pandemic not our own bodies

The other day I saw this ad at the tram stop of a super thin woman and I was really infuriated. I know its activewear but really. The Everyday Magazine posted this article just today about it.

People see that ad and think “gosh I want to be skinny just like her” and now they think that they need to eat less to be just like her. Think cutting calories and diet culture. We know that diet culture has been around for a long time. Think the Devil Wears Prada where all the games of I’m so fat are played. The fitness industry is known for that sort of thing. Be lean and be small they say. Not be big and beautiful.

But what people don’t know is that she might be airbrushed. That might not be her actual look.

These days I am being bombarded with lots of six week transformations and pictures of before and after which we don’t need. This is happening on Facebook a lot. These ads really make me cringe and that’s not what the fitness industry is about. We are about being healthier and we need to accept ourselves for who we are not what we look like.

The Covid19 period is a time for everyone just to survive that period and look after themselves. We don’t need to be demonised and felt ashamed of just because we gained weight during that period. Its normal ok?

When it comes to exercise you should just be happy that you’re doing it and not have a care in the world what you look like. You don’t need all that stress. Just live in the moment.

We’re fighting a pandemic and not your body, so we don’t all that stress. We already get enough of that at work and at home, thank you very much!


Why doing Veganuary is not good for us

We talk about Veganuary and why it is not good for us. The month of Veganary is promoted a lot on social media as being good, but its not necessarily good.

What is Veganuary?

Veganuary is a whole month of going without dairy, junk food, meat or seafood. The aim of the program is for people to lose the weight and be healthier.

Veganuary is held in January and it’s the month after Christmas. It is to educate people about being vegan and the vegan diet.

Why is going Veganism bad for you?

But going on the vegan diet might mean that you miss out on essential vitamins and minerals. That is supported by Run Jump Scrap who says it is hard to get the right nutrients in. Also plant based does not mean that it is healthy for us. Just look at the Beyond burger at Grill’d- they are full of fat.

But I don’t eat a lot of meat either. That is because we are made to not consume a lot of meat. Instead I enjoy fish and dairy and legumes as well as fruit and vegetables. A lot of people make the conscious decision to go on a plant diet and a lot of the cafes in Melbourne do vegetarian dishes. The Yogibanker says that “some fruits and vegetables are difficult to digest”.

If you have families you’ll need to cook separate meals for all of them and that can be time consuming.

There are other ways of being a vegetarian without doing the month of Veganuary. For example you could do No meat May or just become a pescatarian.


Our non diet December

Non Diet December is about really letting go of the things that are holding us back from enjoying food and life.

This challenge was started on Instagram by Emmafitnessphd. She is a personal trainer who believes in eating and happiness. We started Non diet december as a way to tell people that there is more to healthy eating and fitness other than cutting out calories and stressing over Christmas.

Diet culture is everywhere. It is in the media and people believe that. People want to lose weight and so they diet. There is a lot restriction and that is usually seen in the cafes or at a restaurant. For example, someone orders one sushi and they look perfectly normal. They do it because they are on this diet culture. By doing so they miss out on all the fun stuff like chocolate cake and candy and the odd little treats. The fitness industry is notorious for diet culture and personal training. Personal trainers write out these nutrition plans which cuts out certain food groups like dairy and don’t allow people cheat days.

Christmas is a time of doing whatever you want and forgetting your diet.

Exercise should be about making you happy and not about burning calories. Who cares about how many calories you burn during spin class? In 2020 I’d like to teach a spin class where it is not all about diet and encourage gym goers to eat more food and just be happy with the exercise that they are doing. Weight is just a number on the scales.

The ideal picture of health is about not one size fits all. You can have a big body and be perfect looking. It’s what’s inside that counts.

What is your favourite exercise? What is your favourite food?


Five ways to eat healthily easy

Hey guys are you in a hurry to get somewhere such as work on time?

Well here are five ways to eat healthily easy.

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Stock your kitchen

A well stocked kitchen means no last minute dashes to the supermarket. Your kitchen should have lots of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as grains, proteins and sauces and oils.

A well stocked kitchen means that you eat well and do not eat junk food or takeout.

Eat out well

Know what you’re eating and where. Fried foods are bad for you. Also sauces have added sugars in them so we tend to ask for it to be on the side where we can have as much as it’s needed. We have written a guide on eating out here.

Know your portions

Knowing your portions is really important and a key success to weight loss. Half the plate should be full of vegetables, one quarter of it should be carbs and one quarter of it protein. Or otherwise you can use your palm. One palm is for protein for ladies and one palm is for carbs. Two palms for ladies is for the vegetables.

Prep your meals well in advance

Prepping your meals well in advance can save you time and money. And empty calories.You could prepare them on Sunday or on your day off. You can multiple lunch trays from places like Daiso or a supermarket/$2 place.

Pick foods that multitask

If you pick foods that multitask it’s a lot easier to be healthy

  • Jalna low fat greek yoghurt- you can make dips with these or you can eat it plain
  • Apple cider vinegar- you can use it in water or as a dressing
  • Turmeric- can be used in sauces, coatings or can be used to make a turmeric latte
  • Rosemary- can be used for stuffings and marinades
  • Honey- can be used in everything from drinks to making cakes

Restrictive diets

We talk about these fad diets and why they never work.

Restrictive diets never work. In the end you’ll just end up being unhealthy and lacking in energy.

I found out about this diet from Amy Lee Giannotti. She is a nutritionist in Melbourne and has been coaching women for a while now. I follow her on Instagram.

What are they?

They are all about what you can eat and what you can’t eat whilst on one. There’s a whole range of different ones such as Paleo, Whole 30 etc.

People follow them just to lose weight. They usually promise a quick fix for their weight problem

We can find them all over the internet.

Gameplan-a says that restrictive diets create millionaires not athletes.

We need carbs, proteins, and fats as well as vitamins and minerals to be healthy. And if we aren’t getting one of everything each day then we are unhealthy.

Some personal trainers recommend cutting out certain food groups but we’d advise against it. This is how they sell their programs.

So how do you spot a fad diet or restrictive diet?

  • These diets get rid of a certain food group. Ie a lot of restrictive rules
  • They promote weight loss success in the fact that it’s rapid. People generally lose about 1-2kg or even three kgs per week depending on their makeup and what they do.
  • Most celebrities and some personal trainers are on them.
  • They also have a certain amount of #fitspo to them on Instagram
  • Implies that a certain food can change the body chemistry. As such there is no such thing.
  • Promotes magic foods to get rid of the bloating and belly fat
  • Makes claims on a single study or good testimonials only.

Symptoms of going on a fad diet

They can be:

  • For women not getting your period in a long time due to lack of energy
  • A  decline in performance for athletes that do long distance running and other events
  • Dehydration
  • Lack of vitamins and minerals
  • Constipation
  • Nausea and headaches

What do we recommend?

If you really want to lose weight, we recommend the old way of calories in, calories out. And we recommend doing exercise as well as eating healthy and not going on those fad diets.

We also recommend the lose weight for health and not looks approach. You could be really fat but are still healthy. This is due to having some lean muscle and a low body fat percentage. Also your water levels could have gone up. As a woman your weight will change on a weekly basis due to hormones.


Juice plus

We talk about Juice Plus and discuss some of the cons. 

Juice Plus is a Multilevel Marketing company that sells Juice diets and bloggers all over the net have been slamming them. This diet has been really popular for some time now. I was conned once into selling them, but I decided to decline the offer. I was conned on Facebook by someone from the Tribal Wellness group

In today’s modern society weight loss is everything for some people, but it does not need to be.

photo of lemon juice on bottle

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What is the Juice Plus diet?

Its just-juice replacing 2-3 meals a day. They come in capsules, smoothies and juice powders and you buy them from a distributor. Like Herbalife, they are not listed on the site.

What do they have in them?

They have soy, folic acid and lots of fruits and vegetables.

How many calories can one expect to consume over a day on it?

1000 calories. That’s way too little for anyone. We need about 1200-1500 calories a day (that is to lose a lot of weight) even more if we are really active. The average active woman needs about 2000 calories a day and a man about 2200 calories in a day.

I would be hungry if I ate just 1000 calories in a day. I tried that once before and it did me no favors. I could not sleep.

What plans do they have?

They have two-week plans and then after that, you have one cheat day. They are quite rigid with their diet.

What is the price?

It’s $315.30 (price is taken from their website)

But you can pay in monthly installments. The shakes are $70 per month.

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Photo by Maria Lindsey Multimedia Creator on Pexels.com

Why?

Because it’s not right to just have a juice diet to lose weight. You need to have food and exercise. By that, I mean real food. We should be eating plenty of vegetables and plenty of fruit as well as drinking water. There is no real education as to what a healthy meal should look like and for some people it may encourage eating disorders.

I don’t believe in rigidity in diets. I believe in eating whatever you want so long as it’s healthy. I don’t like clean eating. And you can’t go out socializing whenever you want.

And it’s expensive to follow. You may as well just eat good food and drink plenty of water for that price. The shakes are more than what I would pay for Herbalife. For Herbalife, I would pay $60 for the month.

Don’t get me wrong I like supplements but I like them even better as an addition to real food and exercise.

Too much soy and folic acid can lead to some serious health problems later on. It may lead to kidney disease and heart failures in some people.


Should diet products be regulated in Australia?

And the answer is yes. Diet products should be regulated in Australia.

Need to lose weight quickly with just that diet pill or shake? Then think about this issue carefully.

We see these weight loss programs everywhere. They are on billboards, TV, everywhere. And people sell them on the street sucking people into money. I was in Herbalife and trying to sell it. It was tricky. You had to go to all these meetings and things and it was draining. Not only that it was hard to convince people as to what is in the products.

For such a time I was in the weight watchers program and whilst it was awesome and I made a few friends the points were hard to calculate

And that program did encourage little exercise each day and not the 150 mins of vigorous activity. I then found out through my health profession.

What is in these so-called diet pills and shakes?

We really have no idea what’s in them. I know that Maltodextrin is sugar and so is dextrose but other than that there is no clue, except for whey and protein. Some of them have green tea extract! And some even have caffeine in them. We would only review the ones that are safe and that are used properly with exercise and a good diet.

These health and diet products can be dangerous for us all if not taken the right way. The ABC warns that a man in Western Australia who lost his liver after taking supplements. In Hawaii, a woman dies after taking diet pills.

Thus Fitness Australia bans anyone recommending supplements to clients. Instead, if clients ask about supplements we would tell them to do their own research and consult their doctor about it.

Some of the snack foods that these diet companies like Optimum Nutrition and others have are perfectly harmless. In fact, they are fun to eat after a workout. But some of the amino acid drinks must be used with caution.

Food and exercise is the best way to lose weight as well as patience. And 1200 calorie meal plans don’t work in most instances. No one diet is the same, everyone is unique. Everyone has their own way of eating and doing things.

So the diet industry should be regulated to say that if you do enough exercise or are an extreme marathoner you can take supplements to help with your diet. But supplements don’t replace your diet like they say that they do. They just merely complement your diet.

Endurance athletes will always need supplements and thus is why I recommend the Precision Nutrition course!

 


Diet Culture and why its bad for you

The idea for this article was taken from Molly Joy.

Diet culture is everywhere these days from TV to in the gym. It is about oppressing people that are of a healthy weight (by that I mean, those that are plump and not overly obese). Here we talk about why diet culture is bad for us and eating healthy foods everyday is better.

Diet culture is all about looking at self-worth from the outside (ie your body’s appearance).

People that engage in diet culture such as telling themselves that they need to lose weight when they are healthy is not right. Health at every size is what we preach.

Diet culture is everywhere. It’s at the gym, at the bus stops and on TV and Instagram. People also have conversations at work about diet culture and needing to lose XXX amount of weight because they are unhappy with the way they look

Signs of diet culture

Here are some things to look out for:

A personal trainer might say, “cut out all these types of junk food and dairy and just have fruit, vegetables, meats, and grains”. That’s not right. Or a PT might sell a six week- twelve-week challenge and might be very stringent with rules on how to lose the weight.

Or you might eat a treat food because you earnt it through hard training. Or you might have a cheat meal or guilt-free snack.

It’s the feeling of needing to get back on track with your diet after you have been on holidays.

What can we do?

We are humans. We are designed to enjoy food in whatever shape or form. And if we were to cut out dairy we’d be getting rid of the calcium, an essential vitamin that our body needs. We are designed to have a couple of treats every now and then and not feel guilty about it.

I don’t encourage diet culture but I do encourage a healthy weight loss and one that is sustainable. Diet culture and fat-shaming are harmful and we should all be happy with ourselves.

We should be educated on diet culture and Pixie Turner is one person you should follow. The Nutrition Guru and the chef is another anti-diet person. We should follow people that are real dieticians. There are lots on Instagram that are fake people! These fake people have no qualifications and they cut out meat and dairy which are essentials to have.

We should also encourage those colleagues that need to lose the weight to be happy with ourselves. We should instead recommend that they go on a healthy diet which is full of the five food groups and encourage them to see a dietician if they have issues with their body.


Eating like the Japanese

The Japanese love to be healthy and their life expectancy is 85 years. There are a lot of people that live until 100 years old and beyond. Here we share some food things that they love to eat to stay healthy. Oh, and they love their small portions too.

Inspired by the book Run the World, here are some things that the Japanese like. You can find these foods all over Melbourne and Australia

Fish and seafood

The Japanese enjoy their fish fresh from the ocean. In the Run the World book, the Tsukiji fish market is mentioned. The Japanese really love to go there. In Australia, we love our seafood too, but for the Japanese, they love their portion control. Fish is good for Omega 3 and the brain.

The Japanese love their sashimi and sushi and its a perfect meal. Switching to fish and seafood rather than meat is a great way to be healthy and keep the weight and the cholesterol down.

Seaweed

The Japanese enjoy their seaweed and eat a lot of it. Seaweed has a lot of iodine, a mineral which the Western diet lacks.

Edamame

Edamame is a type of Japanese beans. Edamame is lovely on its own and you can suck the beans out of the pod. You can find these beans in Japanese food stores and also in restaurants

Soy

Soy is a staple in the Japanese diet. It comes in soymilk and other things. Soy is good for the bones. I love drinking miso and tofu.  Here soy can provide all the calcium that you need for bones and growth.

The Japanese love their low fat, no added sugar desserts. Unlike the western diet which is full of sugar

Soy sauce is another favorite of the Japanese

Tofu

The Japanese enjoy their soft, silken tofu which is good for their bones and is low fat. They love it in everything from hotpot to dessert. They also love their inari.

Green tea

This is an antioxidant for great skin and it is also great for hydration. Here you can enjoy it with meals etc. Green tea relaxes you and helps to boost your immune system. So next time you want a coffee, go for tea instead.

Rice

The Japanese eat rice for breakfast instead of toast and eggs. This is good for keeping weight down. Rice does fill you up and is not a starchy carbohydrate unlike the Western diet of bread and cereal for breakfast.

You can do many things with rice including making sushi or chirashi (vinegared rice topped with fish and vegetables)

Unlike Western snacks, most of the Japanese snacks are low fat. The Japanese love their rice balls.

Noodles

Noodles are another staple in the Japanese diet. Here they love their soba and udon noodles in both summer and winter. In summer they have the noodles cold and in salads and stuff.

In the winter they love it in soups and hotpots.


The Keto diet and why its no good for losing weight

The Keto diet is the most hyped up diet on the net. But it is no good for runners.

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The Keto diet is a diet that is high in fat and low in carbs. This is supported by Catherine Saxelby’s definition of this diet.  You don’t have to count calories or macros as you’ll have everything you’ll need. We need carbs to survive and we need fiber to get rid of the unwanted toxins in our system. Fiber fills us up. We can only eat 50g of carbs which is not much.

It is a way of disordered eating. In the end you crave the carbs in sight. And it gets boring after a week on it.

After a while you get disappointed as you are getting no results.

The Keto diet doesn’t allow for many vegetables to be consumed except for spinach and kale.  As runners too much meat can make us feel lethargic and can make up run a lot slower. Too much meat can clog the digestive system making it harder to run.

As runners we need our minerals. Most of these we can get from our plants. If we are mineral deficient then it is hard for us to get a good run in. Moreover our skin would look really bad.  And we would also cramp really badly.

Runners would also need their carbs as well. A keto diet doesn’t have a lot of carbs. Its mainly meat.

Therefore Keto or any diet for that matter should be off the hook until the off season when we don’t need as much