Most of us at this stage realise food isn’t just food! Food is how you deliver nutrients into your body and we need these nutrients to feed the cells and enable various metabolic systems. Our cells are living things that enable us to breathe, grow, lose weight, gain weight, get smarter, heal ourselves from injuries outside, and inside like disease.
The body is a non-complaining machine (generally) , quietly going about its job of extracting and utilising nutrients. If there is a shortfall of nutrients delivered, the body rarely complains until it has used up all its reserves. This could takes days, or months. This is why some diets seem to be the magic pill, making you feel terrific for a few weeks or months or even a year or so, and then, boom…no more back up, and you feel bad. The link to feeling bad to your diet is rarely linked because you only remember how good you felt in its beginning stage. The stage where it was making do as best it could. Much like your car...
If you put that ethanol petrol mix, the car isn’t going to run well for years to come, gradually breaking down and underperforming. However, if from the day you bought the car from the dealer, it had only super premium unleaded in it and has had regular services, the car will run well, economically and the engine will stay in good shape for as long as you desire to have the car. Our bodies are far more important than cars and yet we generally don’t give the quality of food going in more than a passing thought. Imagine if you took a little more care on your diet quality? What do you think your body and face might look like? Stronger, vibrant, lean and positive.
So how do you ‘eat well’? There’s many ways, and means of doing this and everyone on Instagram has their ‘perfect’ diet everyone should follow, but this isn’t true. We are all individuals, humans yes, but we are all made up slightly differently, otherwise we would all look exactly the same and react exactly the same to all foods.
The biggest key in eating well is balance and for that reason this first post is on macronutrients (macros).
Focusing on macros is a very simple way to ensure you are eating a broad spectrum of nutrients and bringing yourself close to your optimal nutritional state without overcomplicating things.
What are Macronutrients?
Macronutrients (macros) are nutrients the body needs in large amounts. These ,with phytochemical and micronutrients, are what the body breaks down from food to use as building blocks for all its systems and processes. When people refer to macros they generally are referring to carbohydrates, protein and fats (alcohol is another, but thats for a later post)
Making sure you get a balance of each of these macros is an easy and fairly stress free way of eating for optimal health.
The carbohydrates we eat are broken down into glucose molecules that whiz straight into muscles and the brain, supplying us with energy. The type of energy given is dependant on the type of carbohydrate you have eaten. Some will give you super quick energy (think giving candy to a child and watch them outrun Usain Bolt), and the inevitable crash as the energy bottoms out, leaving you searching for another quick energy source. Others, the complex variety like legumes, resistant starches and vegetables, will give you energy that is slower and longer lasting with little to no crash.
You can see it makes sense to have the later and not the former. You’ll note that I mentioned resistant starches. Resistant starches are those that have undergone a slight protein change and are able to be digested better by the body. Resistant starches will provide slow release energy therefore less negative impact on your sugar and insulin levels
Carbohydrates are often called the body’s preferred source of fuel. This is basically true. The body will preferentially use carbohydrate energy, aka glucose, over MOST other sources. When glucose energy is depleted, it will look elsewhere and depending on what is available will preferentially use excess protein for fuel, even breaking down muscle to get it, turning the protein into glucose or use fat for fuel (ketones). This energy preference is a generalisation as metabolism is a little more complicated, but for our purposes today, it is accurate enough.
Now what about fruit, natures sweet?
Fruit is a faster energy source, but unlike other fast sources like lollies, the digestion of fruit is also aided by the micronutrients and enzymes contained within the fruit itself. This is a good reason why you should eat an unpeeled apple and not just the white inner flesh. The peel contains those enzymes and nutrients needed to breakdown the fructose sugars contained in the apples flesh. Most fruit is like that. It is still sugar however, and sugar will always impact the body, so it’s a good idea to stick to one or two serves a day or less.
Although we really shouldn’t play favourites in the macronutrient world, protein is mine. We need protein to survive and thrive. Protein makes up our nails and hair and a large proportion of our muscles, organ tissue. Protein helps to build and strengthen the body. It’s harder to store it as fat as it tends to be used up and any excess excreted through urine. It takes more energy for the body to digest protein than other macros. Another wonderful advantage of protein is that it makes you feel fuller quicker and this satiating effect is very handy when you are wanting to drop a few kilos. Many of us do not eat enough protein, unless you are on a carnivore diet or living on protein shakes.
Proteins are molecules made up of peptide chains that form into amino acids. There are 20 different amino acids in the body and of these 9 are essential ones, meaning the body can not create them and we need to get them from food or supplement sources. The 9 and the amounts of each needed daily are:
• 14 mg/kg of histidine
• 19 mg/kg of isoleucine
• 42 mg/kg of leucine
• 38 mg/kg of lysine
• 19 mg/kg of methionine + cysteine
• 33 mg/kg of phenylalanine + tyrosine
• 20 mg/kg of threonine
• 5 mg/kg of tryptophan
• 24 mg/kg of valine
Meats are the best source for a broad range of amino acids which is great for us omnivores and not as much for the vegetarians and vegans. Plant based eaters can however, with careful planning, get the amount required (although this is a little harder and a broad spectrum amino supplement would be worth a consideration especially while you are on the Fitness Life 8 Week Transformation)
The amount of protein per day is very individual but as a basic starter you would go for as many grams of protein as you weigh in kilos. So 70kg weight = 70 gms of protein a day. If you are over 65 years old, that amount almost doubles as protein isn’t digested as well when we are older so we need to put more in (and lift weights), and this help us to stave off osteoporosis and the muscle loss associated with age. For the older adults I recommend a digestive enzyme taken before each protein meal to aid the body’s digestion and assimilation.
If looking at the grams of protein sounds too hard , no problem! Use the palm of your hand as a size guide and have one serve of protein each meal (two for men or those looking to bulk up)
Fat is not a bad thing at all.
The brain is largely composed of fat. No fat, no brain. Brutal but simple. Hormones are created and balanced using fat molecules too. We need fat to form our nervous system and to transport fat soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E and K. It also feeds our body with 2 essential fatty acids the body can’t make, omega 3 and 6. Fat is a supplier of energy, and that’s where many of us come unstuck. If we consume too much energy that is not burnt off, and fat being energy dense it is easy to do, the energy ends up depositing itself in various places around the body.
When we think fat, we tend to think of saturated and unsaturated fats which are fatty acids. Triglycerides are formed when 3 fatty acid chains join together with a glycerol molecule. Triglycerides are largely responsible for the fat gained in the body and are the forms to be avoided.
Foods are made of a combination of these fatty acids. No food is just one or the other, although one type can predominate. Eggs for example are around 39% saturated, 43% monosaturated, and 18% polyunsaturated. Research shows that what you combine your fats with can impact whether the fats will have a detrimental health affect or not. Generally saturated fats should be eaten with more complex carbs such as vegetables and a larger proportion of unsaturated fats to maintain balance in the fatty acids intake.
Good fat sources are:
Serving sizes are generally about the size of your thumb, 3 or more times a day.
Putting macros into your meals
Do not over complicate your meals. The above is just to encourage you to choose to eat a wider variety of food sources. The most important thing is to eat whole foods first. Just focus on that. Then tweek the whole foods to make sure you have enough protein, vegetables, some good unsaturated fats and a little saturated fat. Try to add a new vegetable each week and eat protein from a different source. This way you
can be fairly sure of obtaining a variety of micronutrients for your bodies building blocks.
This infographic from Precision Nutrition lays out desirable choices and less desirable. Have a look and see where your current choices sit, how you could make them better and use the serving size suggestions in your challenge booklet.
As always, please reach out and ask if you have any questions. Diets don’t have to be complicated BUT we are all a little different and affected by our lifestyle choices, genes, and environment, so there is no one universal way to eat for optimal health and further down the track you may be inspired to discover the best way for you to eat. If you want to delve further into a more personalised way to eat, contact me for an appointment.
Those on the FitnessLife 8 week challenge, I salute you!
One of our longest serving coaches at FLS Vashti has spent some time this week putting her experiences and thoughts about "Macros" onto paper.
Vashti's experience in the fitness industry is not only vast but filled with incredible successes. She is a qualified cert 4 fitness coach, nutrition coach level 1 and currently studying a Health Science degree in Nutrition and fitness.
With Christmas fast approaching, it’s often that time of year when we feel guilty about choices that perhaps aren’t so beneficial for our health.
Thankfully, it is never too late to make changes and step forward into improving your overall health and wellbeing – even through the Silly Season! Make this summer your healthiest yet by taking these simple, achievable steps to really start to form healthy habits geared to having the most successful 2019!
Water plays such a key role in our fat-loss journey, not to mention how much better we feel when our bodies remain hydrated throughout the day. Hunger can often be mistaken for thirst so ensuring you are having adequate water throughout the day will stop you from overeating as well! Water also helps boost our metabolism and increases our energy levels not to mention helps to detoxify the body, which is so important this time of year! I cannot stress the importance of water this time of year as our alcohol consumption may be higher then usual as is the amount of treats that are sneaking into your diet ;)
Don’t be one of those people that skips out on the exercise because your “too busy”. With the extra calorie consumption over the Silly Season it is crucial we are balancing that out with extra caloric expenditure meaning move your body more to burn more calories! Continue training hard in those gym sessions, factor in time to go for a walk before or after work or even park your car the furthest away from the Shopping Centre – your waistline will thank you for it and you will enter 2018 feeling fit, fresh and fabulous ready to smash your new goals!
Get creative with healthy snacks and platters
There are SO many fun ways to up your fruit and veggies content over the Christmas period – you just need to be prepared and get creative in the kitchen! Try making your own homemade veggie dips with veggie sticks, a kiwi and berry wreath or fruit skewers! Homemade Bliss Balls and Raw Slices are also great additions for your Office Parties or Christmas day platters!
Load up the plate with nutritious options first.
One of my FAVOURITE things about Christmas is all of the delicious food options available! My tips for buffet eating: fill your plate with the nutritious options first! Salads, fresh fruit, healthy dips and lean meats. Then with the remaining space pop a spoonful of those goodies you look forward to eating every year (In my case it’s my Uncles potato salad!).
Following on from nutritious options on your plate is to be strategic!
To avoid overeating, overfilling and having a head that is WAY bigger than your stomach why not try the following:
Sleep is absolutely essential to weight-loss as it aids in balancing hormone levels, assists with maintaining a normal appetite as well as metabolism. Not to mention, being tired impairs our judgment often causing us to skip exercise, drink more coffee and crave more food causing us to over-eat. Aim for 7-9 hours sleep over the Christmas period to ensure your body continues to function optimally!
Don’t let one day de-rail you
Often one or two days, or even a week, of over-indulging sets us back mentally. Be kind on yourself and don’t let this stop you from getting back on track once the festivities are over!
Be realistic with any goals and don’t forget to still enjoy yourself!
During the Christmas period it’s inevitable that your progress or routine will be effected in some way and this is perfectly fine. After all, this is a time for enjoying the company of family and friends so most importantly, remember to enjoy yourself!
Start 2019 on the right track to become the BEST version of YOU!
Dan's going to reach up to any bar around him. Hands can either be over or under. He's then going to lift his body weight off the ground. He's got a straight leg, raise straight up to about this height here, about where the belly button or the ribs are. Okay. So, he's really targeting the abs here. This is the advanced option.
If you guys want to regress this, we can go knees straight up. Really focusing on curling up those abs. If we're struggling with this one, we can regress this even further.
I'm going to get you guys on a flat bench and we're just going to work on a V-up.
Ruby's going to lean back a little bit, and she's supporting her weight through her core, holding on, and she's going to bring her knees up to her chest, squeeze the abs, let them come out. Same rep ranges, same sets. We can just regress this and start to build that up over a couple weeks.
Hey guys a pretty raw chat with Tom and Dan with some edited interruptions but some awesome insight into how the boys consider their training programs if they have busy or interrupted weeks and how do they identify over training and how do they recover.
A summary of of some of the questions asked:
Over training, that's the big question that's been asked a bit. When you guys think about over training, what does mean to you?
You have a busy week coming up. How do you prioritise your training schedule?
I miss a day that I'd scheduled in, how do I catch that up, or how do I get the mindset to get back into it?
So my body feels like I've over trained. I've had a big week, I've done multiple sessions and back to backs, bad sleep, all those things. How do I consider that in a recovery session?
I'm interested to know how many times you guys train a week, and then what you put into your weeks for your recovery, but then I'm also interested to your recommendations on our eight week transformation. How many times do you think our guys should be training each week to help get them to their goal?
What do you guys schedule in for your own keeping your training fresh, keeping your lifestyle fresh? What's your deload? What's your recharge?
One of the hamstring exercises we have for you today is a hamstring curl on the exercise ball. If this is Dan's first time, I recommend that he use his hands for a little bit of support. He's gonna lift his hips up, so like a glute bridge, and he's gonna pull his heels into the ball as his hips come up. If we want to get a little bit more stability through the core and the hips, Dan can bring his hands back into the chest, still working hamstrings really well. For your first couple reps, it might look like your hips are a little bit lower. This is still working the same muscles, but we don't have as much tension through the hamstrings. But the first option is the one we're going for.
"Hey, guys. Another one of the core exercises program for you is stir the pot. So, what Dan's going to do is come into a plank on the exercise ball. Nice, tight core. He can spread his feet for a little bit more stability, and he's going to be working on stirring the pot. Okay. So, moving the exercise ball around in a circle. It's got 10 and 10 prescribed for you, so Dan's going to do 10 in one direction, and then he's going to change that direction going the other way."
"We can start to regress this movement by limiting the amount of movement he does. So, he's just moving his elbows back and forth, making sure the whole time he's got that nice, strong core. Other than that, we can start regressing that again to just a plank. Holding it. He's going to add a little bit of instability, so you got more work through your abdominals. Okay. We can make it easier by doing the same movement, just on your knees. We've sort of shortened those levers. He's still working through his core, and the exact same principles apply again."
This afternoon I decided to sit down with Ruby one our nutrition coaches and Lucy our resident nutritionist (author of the 8 Week Transformation Nutrition Guide & 6 Week Challenge meal plans) to spend a few minutes asking some common and not so common question about the program and life's what ifs...???
Listen for the full 10mins or skip ahead to find some information that might help you.
What if my appetite is increasing? 30sec
When should I snack? 1:40min
How can I manage the kids and the meal plan? Can I repeat a meal or two? 4:35min
What if I am picky? Can I mix and match the options in the plans? 6:30min
What if I have a bad day? Like a really bad day... 8min
There are lots of little golden nuggets in between the questions so don't skip too far ahead.
Ever wondered what a coach does when it comes to their own health and fitness?
We ask one of our coaches Ruby how she prepares and plans to have a successful day and what she prioritises when it comes to her body and mind.
This video is one of our series from our 8 Week Transformation.
We hope you find something that inspires or motivates you to make some positive changes in your day/weekly routines.
It has been an incredible past 2 weeks with the addition of baby #4 to the Mumford household... meet baby Jai, Jasiah Rowan Mumford born on the 12th of May. I would like to say a huge thank you to all of the well wishes and congratulations we received from all of our Fitness Life Family. You all make it incredibly rewarding to be a part of such a strong and supportive community. I look forward to introducing him to you in the coming weeks.
from left to right Noah 5, Beau 1, Jasiah 1day, Carter 3 = a busy and hilarious household
Hey Fitness Life Family!!
First off, a massive shoutout to Coach Bernadette on running in the Adelaide Marathon over the weekend. I hear she is hanging up the running shoes and swapping them for some lifting shoes to focus on lifting some big numbers. We are proud of you so well done for completing yet another goal.
Also as some of you would have seen on Facebook a group of Coaches and Members got behind a great cause and raised over $2000 for the Leukiemia Foundation and completed the Stadium Stomp. A challenge that consisted of running the 6000 stairs in Adelaide Oval. As one of the participants I can tell you it was an amazing event, well run and the free 5 minute calf massage and apple made it all worth it!!! Keep an eye out for the event next year.
Lastly, just an update on the bare wall at the back of the gym. We are currently deciding on whether or not we get a murial painted or just a plain colour. When we know what we are going to do we will let you know.
See you in the club, happy training.
Hey FLS team!
I often only get to chat with you on the phone or through email so if you ever get the chance to drop in during business hours feel free to come say hello :-) I am a Fitness Coach, Nutrition Coach here at the club but some of you may not know that I have the pleasure of managing all of the Business Development and Projects at Fitness Life Studios. Currently we are working on a number of exciting projects that will benefit you as members and also how the club operates. Some of these projects include our 6 Week Challenge which kicks off next Monday, our online booking system for our classes and a complete makeover of our online platform including our website http://www.fitnesslife.com.au, blog and database with the aim of going completely paperless in the coming months!
There are LOADS of cool things going on behind the scenes at Fitness Life and we cannot wait to share and roll-out a number of these exciting projects which will enhance your visits and experience in the club!
The GT Room is a hive of activity. In the past six months, we've introduced a number of changes to the timetable now incorporating 24 sessions each week. With an array of session types available, we truly have something for everyone.
Each week, we average over 170 session attendances and it's exciting to be part of this growing and thriving community. Not only are we seeing improvements to people's fitness, strength and mobility, we are seeing friendships form.
We're currently launching the first 6 Week Challenge for 2018 partnering with S.A.B.A. (South Australia Body Analysis) for the most advanced body composition analysis available giving participants a great understanding of what is happening inside their body. Participants of this challenge will be receiving a clean eating meal plan with recipes along with an online support group with direct access to our nutrition coaches and fitness coaches. There is still time to sign up so hit the link to register now! bit.ly/6WEEKCHAL
Team events have become a focus and we're always chatting about what is coming up and what we may like to part of. Our coach Bernadette will be leading a team for 'The Bloody Long Walk' a 35km challenge held on Sunday 19 August. This is a fundraising event for Mitochondrial Disease. If you would like to join this team, please click on the link www.bloodylongwalk.com.au/adelaide/register/ and join the Fitness Life Team.
For the past almost 12months now we have implemented an in-house EDU Session for our team of coaches. The education sessions are about teaching our coaches the most efficient and up to date training methods in the industry today. They are held twice a month and vary session to session depending on the presenter and the needs for example we have looked at pelvic floor activation, general nutrition planning and deadlift form. They are designed to produce consistency amongst our coaches whilst creating a safe environment for our members to train in under watchful eyes of experienced and confident coaches.
The last two sessions have consisted of external professionals visiting Fitness Life Studios and horizontal press exercises. Recently SABA (South Australia Body Analysis) dropped in and taught the team how to breakdown the figures provided by the body scan. The team were excited by the comprehensive approach taken by SABA and the scan results that we will be recommending to all of our clients to think seriously about having a scan and getting detailed information to the internal changes your body is making. There is an amazing opportunity to have your first scan as a part of the 6week Challenge the team are providing this week.
The following weeks will focus on programming considerations for specific populations and periodising training for clients who train 3+ times a week.
Our education sessions are not only for our coaches! If you have any questions about training, nutrition, lifting form or programming, please approach one of our coaches and pick their brains to better influence your time in the gym.