How to Choose the Best Personal Trainer for You

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Hello everybody!

I am back with you again after a long brake. I wrote an article about some little guiding points which can help you to choose the best personal trainer for you.

If you want to lose weight, get healthy and/or build muscle, hiring a personal trainer can be a step in the right direction. A good trainer can help you set up a program that meets your goals and teach you the best way to exercise. 

Personal trainers are not just for Hollywood stars and the “rich and famous” anymore! Your personal trainer will motivate you, keep you on track and make sure your workouts are safe, enjoyable and effective.
Finding and choosing a trainer can be a little confusing or difficult for some people so here are some guiding points that you should consider when choosing your trainer!
1. May sound a little superficial but your personal trainers physical appearence is one of the moust important things about his knowledge, motivation and hard work. If he or she is not able to do it for him/herself why whould he do it for you?
2. Education! A personal trainer should be certified through a reputable personal training organization. The more education your trainer has, the better your workouts will be.
3. Experience. Make sure your trainer has experience, especially in relation to your goals. For example, if you’re a bodybuilder, you want someone knowledgeable in that exact area.
4. Nutrition. Your trainer must have a knowlegde about nutrition. We all know exercise without a healthy diet will not do the work. They are strongly linked together.
5. A good listener. A good trainer will listen closely to what you say and make sure he understands your goals.
6. Tracking progress: A good trainer will regularly assess your progress and change things if necessary.training styles
7. A good trainer should respect his/her job, should be informed about the new fitness trends, training styles machines etc.
8. Needs to be a good motivator! Most of the clients needs that little push from the trainer, when they feel a little lazy or without motivation.

So these are my thouths on this subject, I hope you enjoyed it (I know I made a few personal trainers very “happy” with this article)

See you very soon! :*

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Why we crave unhealthy/junk food? And what can we do about it!

PhotoGrid_1393584280165Hey everybody! Welcome back!

Today I have an article for you on how to stop craving unhealthy food, and how to eliminate them from your diet.

We all want to feel and look great, that’s probably why you are reading my blog, because you want to learn how to improve your physical self. I think a huge portion of feeling and looking good is being comfortable in your own skin and being the best person in the best shape that you can be.

Heaving a healthy and strong body it comes down to 2 things: what you eat, and how much physical activity are you doing.

It’s just that simple, there are no magic pills there are no short-cuts, you just have to eat the write things, and exercise, to have a beautiful toned body.

We know that junk food is unhealthy. Most of us know that poor nutrition is related to heart problems, high blood pressure, and a lots of other health problems. But if it’s so bad for us, why do we keep doing it?

Why We Crave Junk Food so much?

According to Steven Witherly, a food scientist who has spent the last 20 years studying what makes certain foods more addictive (and tasty) than others, when you eat tasty food, there are two factors that make the experience pleasurable.

  1. There is the sensation of eating the food. This includes what it tastes like (salty, sweet etc.), what it smells like, and how it feels in your mouth. This sensation is called “orosensation”—it is super  important.
  1. The second factor is the actual macronutrient makeup of the food—the blend of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates that it contains. In the case of junk food, food manufacturers are looking for a perfect combination of salt, sugar, and fat that excites your brain and gets you coming back for more.

There are a range of factors that scientists and food manufacturers use to make food more addictive.

Memories of Past Eating Experiences 

When you eat something tasty (biscuits, chocolate cream, cakes or a bag of potato chips), your brain registers that feeling. The next time you see that food, smell that food, or even read about that food, your brain starts remember the memories and responses that came when you ate it. These memories can actually cause physical responses like salivation and create the “mouth-watering” craving that you get when thinking about your favourite foods.

Food companies are spending millions of dollars to design foods with addictive sensations.

Rapid Food Meltdown

Foods that rapidly vanish or “melt in your mouth” signal to your brain that you’re not eating as much as you actually are. In other words, these foods literally tell your brain that you’re not full, even though you’re eating a lot of calories. The result: you tend to overeat. If something melts down quickly, your brain thinks that there are no calories in it . . . you can just keep eating it forever.

Dynamic Contrast

Dynamic contrast refers to a combination of different sensations in the same food. Foods with dynamic contrast, for example crunch followed by something soft or creamy and full of taste. This rule applies to a variety of our favorite food structures—the caramelized top of a creme brulee, a slice of pizza, or an Oreo cookie.

 How to stop craving junk food?

The good news is that the research shows that the less junk food you eat, the less you crave it.  If you can find ways to gradually eat healthier, you’ll start to experience the cravings of junk food less and less.

Here are some strategies that can help you:

  1. Remove temptation

Just get rid of it, and remove all temptation from your home. To keep yourself from buying more, never go to the grocery store while hungry. When you have only healthy foods to eat, you’ll make healthy choices. When you do get a craving, it’ll be too much bother to go to the store for a candy bar.

  1. Healthy substitutes are a must!

If you are struggling with a craving and have to have it, try something of the same consistency or in the same food group that is a much HEALTHIER option! If you crave chocolate try to eat a small piece of dark chocolate (80-90 % cocoa), if you crave ice cream, make yourself a banana/ strawberry smoothie, you can switch your salty nuts to raw nuts, your salty, greasy popcorn to a home-made popcorn with just a little olive oil, switch your French fries to oven baked sweet potatoes and the list could go on.

  1. Avoid Boredom

Keep yourself active and busy, so you’re not always thinking about just food. There is a lot more to do than eat.

  1. Drink plenty of water!

You know I always repeat this, but it is so so important! The water intake recommended does NOT include the water you receive from food or coffee. If you feel thirsty, this means you are already dehydrated – and dehydration can often be confused with hunger. Keep always in sight a large jug of lemon favored water, chilled herbal tea if you don’t like plain water. If it’s in front of you, you’ll drink it.

  1. Reward Yourself!

Permit yourself a treat from time to time, as you establish new habits. Just be sure a treat is exactly that, just a small taste! One or two cookies, not an entire bag. If you think you cannot stop at two pieces, purchase a small package, so that is all there is. A “cheat-day” is a day in which you are permitted to have such a treat. It does not mean you can cheat all day long!

So, these are my tips for today; I really hope you can pick out the essence of the things I wrote down. We know that everybody is different; some people have faster metabolisms than others, and therefore might not be affected so much by food physically. However, food also affects us mentally. When we have proper functioning cells, we start feeling better, happier & more energized than if they were malnourished.

I hope you find this article helpful, please feel free to comment and send me your feedback.

Have a great day, and see u very soon :*

Why is sugar so bad for us?

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 Hello my dear readers!

Today I’m writing about a very commune topic, as you saw in the title, about SUGAR.

Everybody knows sugar is bad for us, but if you ask them why is so bad for our health people have just one answer: it makes us fat. Well it’s a little more than that…. So just pay a little attention and read 🙂

 First of all what is sugar?

When we talk about sugar we are mainly referring to refined sugars. The well known, granulated white sugar comes mainly from sugar cane or sugar beet plant.

In its raw state, cane sugar is a dark coloured, thick syrup known as black molasses. It is this syrup which is refined to produce the clean looking granulated form we all know. So from plant to granular form involves several chemical processes. Going through this chemical process the final product, the table sugar, has NO NUTRIENTS, NO PROTEIN, NO HEALTHY FATS, NO ENZYMES, NO VITAMINS, NO MINERALS. Contains just some empty and quickly digested calories, which actually pull minerals from the body during digestion.

Here is a short list of why sugar is bad for you:

Sugar is Highly Addictive

Like abusive drugs, sugar causes a release of dopamine in the reward centre of the brain. The problem with sugar and many junk foods is that they can cause massive dopamine release… much more than we were ever exposed to from foods found in nature. The “everything in moderation” message may be a bad idea for people who are addicted to junk food, because the only thing that works for true addiction is abstinence.

Not the fat, BUT the SUGAR is that raises your cholesterol and gives you heart disease

For many decades, people have blamed saturated fat for heart disease, which is the #1 killer in the world. However new studies are showing that saturated fat is harmless.  Studies show that large amounts of fructose can raise triglyceride and raise blood glucose and insulin levels and also increase abdominal obesity.

 Sugar suppresses the immune system

When you eat a big dose of sugar, like a bottle of Coke or a candy bar, you temporarily tamp down your immune system’s ability to respond to challenges. The effect lasts for several hours, so if you eat sweets several times a day, your immune system may be perpetually operating at a distinct disadvantage

 Sugar raises insulin levels

An influx of sugar into your body will have a fairly predictable result: Your blood sugar levels will rise up.  Shortly after, your pancreas will release a bunch of insulin to help clear sugar from your blood into your cells. As blood sugar levels go down, insulin levels return to normal. But when you eat a lot of sugar, you’re constantly calling for insulin. Over time, it takes more and more insulin to get the job done. Eventually, your pancreas may just stop responding to the call. So you become an insulin-dependent diabetic. And along the way, exposing your cells and organs to chronically high insulin levels accelerates the ageing process

 Sugar promotes inflammation

Eating sugar foods can fuel excessive, inappropriate inflammation that serves no useful purpose and actually promotes ageing and disease. Cutting back on sugary foods will help you avoid excess inflammation

Stresses the Liver

When we eat fructose, it goes to the liver. If liver glycogen is low, such as after a run, the fructose will be used to replenish it. However, most people aren’t consuming fructose after a long workout and their livers are already full of glycogen. When this happens, the liver turns the fructose into fat. Some of the fat gets shipped out, but part of it remains in the liver. The fat can build up over time and ultimately lead to Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.

Sugar contains no essential nutrients and is bad for your teeth

You’ve probably heard this a million times before, but it’s worth repeating.

Added sugars (like sucrose and high fructose corn syrup) contain lots of calories with NO essential nutrients.

For this reason, they are called “empty” calories.

When people eat up to 10-20% of calories as sugar, this can become a major problem and contribute to nutrient deficiencies.

Sugar is also very bad for the teeth, because it provides easily digestible energy for the bad bacteria in the mouth.

The list could go on and on…..

So, what the scientist recommend?

We all know it’s hard to totally cut out sugar. What they are recommending is to be aware of the amount of sugar you are putting into our body.

Eat real or whole foods, like vegetables, meat, seafood, fruit and nuts. This ensures there are no hidden sugars.

Minimize your intake of processed or fast foods.

If you have to buy processed foods, read the food label!!

Don’t forget!!!!! SUGAR is everywhere

  • Bread
  • Pastry
  • Fruit juices
  • Milk shakes
  • Yoghurt
  • Mayonnaise
  • Peanut butter
  • Ketchup
  • Cereals
  • Salad dressings and so on!

But it is not enough that there is sugar in everything, we also like to add sugar to our tea, coffee, top our fruit in sugar and cream, soups, pancakes etc.

Try to eliminate processed sugar from your diet, if not, than try to replace them with natural sweeteners, like natural raw honey, natural stevia, raw, black molasses or natural maple syrup.

Remember!!

When you consume sugar, your body has two options on how to deal with it:

  • Burn it for energy
  • Convert to fat and store it in your fat cells

Depending on your genetic predisposition, your body might be better equipped to process sugar as energy, or you might be more likely to store it as fat.

Hope I gave you some new information on this addictive sweet “substance” called SUGAR 🙂

Have a great night  :*

 

How to get back in shape after the winter holidays

Hello my dear readers!

I want to wish you again a very Happy New Year! May all your wishes come true, I really can’t wish you more than this! 🙂

I hope everybody is ok, in a good health full of positivity and energy!

Christmas and New Years are by far the best holidays of the year! You eat and drink lots, you get gifts, and you have tons of fun. For most, the last thing on our minds is putting on weight. Once all the festivities are over however, getting back physically to where you were before the holiday period can be a difficult task.

So, please!!!! Don’t feel guilty about the over indulging- you have to let your self go some time. If you’ve put a little weight on, don’t worry! Be positive and go hard!

I was on vacation for 2 weeks, so for me today is the first work day of the year! I really love the holidays, staying all days with friends, sleeping till noon, travelling, but somehow I’m glad to be back on track!

Today I am going to write about a very common subject that you guys and my clients and friends ask me all the time. How to get back in shape after the Christmas holiday?

Here are some tips that will help you get that little excess fat off you in no time. 🙂

Drink lots of water!

Drinking large quantities of alcohol is bad for your health. Alcohol contains many calories and also causes dehydration. To make up for your holiday alcohol consumption, drink plenty of water. Your skin, kidneys and many others organs will benefit. What’s more, drinking water makes you feel fuller:  if you drink more, you will eat less!

Drinking more water flushes out excess sodium to help you quickly de-bloat, and it get things moving in your digestive system. Aim for 2 to 2.5 litres a day (about 8 to 10 cups).

Start Eating on Schedule

Eat breakfast within an hour of waking up and eat again every 3 to 5 hours. Starting your day with a healthy meal and enjoying evenly spaced meals will maximize your metabolism; regulate your blood sugar and insulin levels. Please DON’T starve yourself because it won’t get you anywhere! Eating too little forces your body to switch into conservation mode and burn fewer calories. Under eating can cause your body to break down muscle mass for fuel, which also causes a metabolic slow down. Eating enough and at regular times is key.

Cut back on carbs, but DON’T cut them out completely!

Eliminating carbs completely can force your body to burn protein for fuel instead of using it to support and maintain your calorie-burning muscle. So instead of cutting carbs out, just cut back.

So replace the refined carbs with veggies and complex carbs! Refined carbs like white rice, white bread, sugar, pasta) will get stored in your body as fat if you do not use them as energy right away! For example instead of eating beef with white rice you should choose broccoli instead of rice.

Get plenty of sleep, relax, and don’t forget to exercise

It’s time to get back on track. Treat yourself to a good night’s sleep. You’ll feel rested and have more energy to take on the new challenges of the New Year. Avoid unnecessary stress and find ways to relax (yoga, meditation or just going out to the movies!). Gradually start to exercise again. Physical activity will bring balance and energy back into your life.

Do some cardio!

Running, bicycling, walking, swimming…anything that gets your heart rate up for an extended period of time is what will really start melting away at those extra pounds. Circuit training and high intensity training is also great because it can involve lighter weights but keeps you constantly moving.

Be consistent!

If physical fitness is a lifestyle it has to be just as important as brushing your teeth every morning.  You will have days where you are tired, worked late at the office but these are not reasons to stop with your program.  It’s all about mindset; do not give yourself a way out.

Never Quit!

It’s just that simple.  Never, ever, under any circumstance quit.  It’s not an option!!!  Success is your only possible outcome.

 So these are my 7 simple tips to get back in shape! Hope you enjoyed it, now let’s get started!!!

 Have a great day everybody! :*

15 Simple, Effective Tips for Losing Weight

IMG_9409-bwHello everybody!

How are you today? For me this weekend is about relaxing and staying inside. Outside is starting to be cold, I think winter is officially here.

At this time of the year, with the holidays and vacations everybody is tempted to eat more, drink more.

So today I have for you a list of some simple and effective tips on how to lose weight or how not to gain weight 🙂

Here is the list:

  1. Low fat foods aren’t guaranteed to make you lose weight – you also have to look at the total number of calories you consume over the course of a day.
  2. Don’t skip breakfast. Eating a meal first thing means consuming 5% fewer calories throughout the day, American researchers have found.
  3. Eat goat’s cheese instead of regular cheese. It contains 40 per cent fewer calories than the cheese made from cow’s milk.
  4. Don’t confuse thirst and hunger. Drink a glass of water when you feel cravings.
  5. If you decide to eat nuts for a snack, then you should select nuts in their shells, including walnuts and peanuts. It will take a longer time to peel off the shells, this will lead to less food consumption.
  6.  Eat muesli two hours before working out to boost fat burning while you train. Slow to digest, muesli takes longer to get through your system, so is less likely to be turned into fat and still gives you a good energy boost.
  7. Chew gum. Sometimes just chewing something with negligible calories in it is all it takes. If you can handle it, chew a piece of gum for one hour. Remember to opt for the sugar-free variety.
  8. On nutritional labels, look for words such as fruit juice concentrate, honey, golden syrup, sucrose, glucose, dextrose, palm sugar, maltose and corn syrup. Why? They’re all forms of sugar.
  9. Find exercise that you enjoy doing. If you don’t like it, you won’t stick with it.
  10. Do not eat three large meals every day. You can easily take in too many calories, resulting in more difficult weight loss. Eat five or six small meals instead
  11. Chewing your food thoroughly will not only make digestion easier, but will allow your body time to recognize when it is actually full, this preventing overeating.
  12. Getting up and away from your desk at work for five minutes every hour will burn 200 calories a day!
  13. Do not skip meals. Your body will revert to starvation mode and store even the tiniest amount of fat content in what you subsequently eat, causing you to slow down your metabolism and put on weight
  14. Start eating chili pepper sauce. These spicy peppers are highly flavourful, and they also give your metabolism a jump-start. As a result, your body will be able to burn more calories. Chili pepper can be used on many foods, including poultry dishes and eggs.
  15. Workout while you are on the phone. Do not sit down when you are having a phone conversation; walk around when doing it. Just get your body moving, and you’d be surprised at how much those calories will add up.

What do you think of these tips? are they helping you? I think yes 🙂

Comment down below.

Have a great day! :*

Hidden sugars in your food

cerealsHey everybody! I’m back with a new topic, it is about hidden sugars. Nowadays everybody knows that sugar is bad for us because:

  • reduces the body’s ability to defend against bacterial infection
  • interferes with the body’s absorption of calcium and magnesium
  • can cause hypoglycemia
  • can cause premature ageing
  • can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity
  • can decrease the amount of growth hormones in the body
  • can interfere with the absorption of protein
  • causes inflammation

The list could go on and on, but I’m sure you all heard about these things.

So, you’ve made it your mission to follow a healthier lifestyle, to exercising more, cutting out the fats, limiting your salt intake and staying away from the sweets. BUT! Even if you don’t have a sweet tooth, you might still be eating far more sugar than you think. Sugar comes in many different ways and much of it is hidden in your favourite foods.

Have a look at these foods to learn how you can cut your sugar intake and live a healthier life today.

 1. Salad dressings

You’d be surprised to find how much sugar ready-made salad dressings contain. The worst are the low-fat versions – the manufacturers remove the fat of the salad dressing but add extra sugar and salt to improve the taste.

The healthiest option is still to make your own salad dressing by using a small amount of olive oil, fresh lemon juice or Balsamic vinegar and adding some fresh herbs.

 2.’Health/ fitness’ bars

If you think that “health” and granola bars are a good choice for breakfast or snacking during the day, think again. Most of these bars are loaded with sugar. They may contain healthy fibre, nuts and raisins, but they also contain many different types of sugar. The low-fat health bars are the worst offenders, with some of them containing up to 3 teaspoons of sugar per 30 gram bar.

For a healthy snack, rather eat fruit, a piece of cheese or a handful of nuts and raisins.

 3. Fruit Yoghurt

A favourite snack at breakfast or at the office is fruit/flavoured yoghurt. Most of us prefer the flavoured ones but they all contain added sugar – even the low-fat and non-fat versions. Some brands of flavoured yoghurt contain up to 20 grams (or 5 teaspoons) of sugar per serving.

Rather opt for plain yoghurt and add fresh fruit and honey to sweeten it.

 4. Tomato Sauce

Sugar is often added to tomato products to counter their acidity. This is especially true when tomatoes are picked too early. Everyone’s favourite condiment, tomato sauce is one not one of the greatest when it comes to hidden sugar. A can of tomato sauce can contain 27g of sugar per 100g.

So next time you grab the bottle, keep in mind that a tablespoon of tomato sauce equals one teaspoon of sugar.

 5. Breakfast cereals

Have a look at the ingredient list of your favourite breakfast cereal. Most breakfast cereals are loaded with sugar to make it more tasty. The classic cornflakes contain about 5 to 7g of sugar per 100g, meaning a 50g portion will contain half to one teaspoon of sugar. The “healthier” high-fibre, all bran flakes contain up to 11g of sugar per 100g or around one and a half teaspoons of sugar. The sweeter flavoured cereals that kids (and many adults) love so much contain up to 34g of sugar per 100g.

You can choose oats, and make delicious oatmeal with almond milk, fruits and coconut.

 6. Canned vegetables

Many brands of canned vegetables contain hidden sugars that are used during the manufacturing process to make their shelf life longer. Have a look at the ingredient list to see whether any sugar has been added and, if you must have sweetened veggies, choose a brand with the lowest sugar content.

The best option is still to cook your own fresh vegetables.

My Advice for you is to read the ingredient list of your favourite food. There’s a good chance that it includes sugar. The best-known sugars are fructose (“fruit sugar”) and sucrose (“table sugar”). But they are also often listed by another name: honey, dextrose, fructose, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, sorbitol, fruit juice concentrate, galactose, lactose, polydextrose, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, maltodextrin and turbinado sugar. 

 

Take care and have a wonderful weekend 🙂