22/11/2020 0 Comments
I have a client that was originally disappointed that there was no real change in her weight despite all her work focussed on what she was eating, and strength training at least three times per week.
How often has this occurred? Why might this be the case?
There are usually 2 main reasons for this occurring:
In order to determine what is actually happening it is best to track the calories on a daily basis, and to measure weight and have a breakdown of body fat and muscle mass (this doesn’t have to be done on a daily basis).
The client tracked her calories for a period of time. That showed that in general she was eating the right amount of calories for weight loss.
We measured her weight, body fat and muscle mass over 8 weeks - see graph below for actual results. That confirmed that her weight didn’t change, but her body fat % went steadily down from 36.1% to 32.5%, whereas her muscle mass went up from 43.9Kg to 46.4Kg.
This proved that indeed she was losing body fat, while getting stronger. The best thing was that she felt much better, and people complimented her appearance!
If you want to lose weight or start strength training, it can often be confusing where to start. In this blog we will briefly explore the key steps to moving forward to getting great results on a consistent basis.
The first step is to be open to change, that you recognise and want to make an improvement. You should have an honest assessment of the current situation and acknowledge to yourself where you are at and where you would like to be.
Key points here are:
· Positive mindset is critical.
· Growth mindset. Be open to learning and not having a closed mind.
· Compare yourself to nobody but yourself. Always remember:
“Fitness is not about being better than someone else….It’s about being better than you used to be”
When starting out, getting weight loss results will be determined by the habits you build with food.
· Calories are king. It’s a relatively simple equation: calories in (energy in) versus calories out (energy out). If you take in more calories than you use up, you will put on weight, if you use up more calories (energy) than you take in, you will lose weight.
· Eat loads of vegetable and fruit.
· Keep protein high, this is essential for any physique related goal. In general at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight
· Watch your portion size. You maybe eating the right foods, but if you are eating too much, you will be taking in too many calories and you will put on weight.
· Eat wholemeal products rather than white processed food.
· Drink loads of water.
· Get used to doing it 7 days a week, not Monday to Friday. You could do great during the weekdays, but blow it all on the weekend.
· Ideally track your calories. Find a method that works for you: meal plan, “My Fitness Pal, food diary etc
3. Strength Training/Activity:
· Learn how to lift weights properly. Get proper coaching. If you do it incorrectly at the start, you are making things more difficult for yourself and bad habits will stick with you. Weight training is a skill that needs to be taught. A personal trainer can really help you do it safely and do it right.
· Move. Walk at least 8,000 steps a day. This is not exercise or training, this should be mandatory for a healthy person and should be the bare minimum every day.
· Aim to do strength training for at least 45mins 3x times per week.
What gets measured, gets managed.
· Track your bodyweight. Ideally have breakdown of % Body fat and muscle mass, as your weight may not be decreasing as much as you expect due to you putting on muscle if you are weight training on a a consistent basis.
· Measure chest, waist and hips. Take body pictures so that you can see your progress
· Get a Personal Training coach. Accountability is everything. If you are only answering to yourself, you will eventually start making excuses and justifications when things get hard and you start easing off or get lazy.
By focussing on positive mindset, watching what and how much you eat, and doing strength training you will get great results.
Juniper Jade runs Laughter Yoga. She has a new series of classes starting in Maynooth at Ace Fit Club in November.
Here’s some background about it:
“What are the benefits of laughter yoga: Laughter is the best medicine and here's why
1. Lowers blood pressure. ...
2. It is a great aerobic exercise. ...
3. It increases the oxygen intake. ...
4. It improves your concentration. ...
5. It improves your immune system. ...
6. It makes you happy. ...
7. Improves your respiratory system. ...
8. Improve the health of your heart.
9. Lose weight without even realizing you are exercising
10. Release trauma through connecting with your inner child
What happens in JuniperJade’s Laughter Yoga Class?
Firstly I guarantee laughter and fun. I’ve been teaching Laughter Yoga for over 4 years and it always makes me and those who try it feel more relaxed. ALWAYS. Even if you don’t feel like laughing just being around people who are giggling is going to fire up your happy hormones and your subconscious. Laughter is contagious so you don’t even need to laugh for it to work. Sometimes you just feel happier after an hour of structured, tailored exercises that invite loving smiles and gentle fake laughter into the body using all major muscle groups. You will burn up to 500 calories and we fake it til we make it. I’m a Masters qualified Dance Movement Psychotherapist, Laughter Yoga Facilitator, H Dip Advanced Dance, Level 4 Angelic Energy Practitioner and Psychic. I predict you will also make friends in this class xx
Everyone is welcome. Keep an open mind and no expectations. Ha ha moments lead to “Ah-ha” moments.
NEW CLASS STARTS IN MAYNOOTH
JuniperJade Laughter Yoga
€30 for 4 weeks (Must be Prepaid)
1 session per week
Maximum: 6 people
Tuesday mornings 10.30-11.30am
Tuesday evenings 7-8pm
Location: Ace Fit Club, Maynooth
Date: Starts 10th November until 8th December 2020
Booking: JuniperJade Healing 0894031302 Revolut/Bank Transfer
*Fees will be refunded if class doesn’t run*
I am introducing a positive fun solution LAUGHTER YOGA ! It’s a great low cost stress buster. A lot of us want to shift that 2kg lockdown blubber especially around the belly. Laughter Yoga uses breath work and games that work your core getting you in shape for Christmas. You know you will feel better. Your body will thank you with vitality and newfound energy.
I am also offering Christmas Gift Vouchers for a 4 week term January 2021 start date for €30. “The Gift of Laughter” for your loved ones.”
By Juniper Jade
What type of calorie person are you?
1. Steady: “Like eating the same number of calories each day”
2. YoYo: “Calories change everyday”
3. Weekender: “Eat less calories on the weekday, more calories on the weekend”
4. Don’t know: “What’s my calories? I don’t know how much calories I eat!”
In order to lose weight you need to be in a calorie deficit i.e. take in less calories than you use up. You don’t need to be in a calorie deficit every single individual day, you are better to focus on the total weekly calories. Once the total weekly averages out to a daily calorie deficit, then you can still lose weight. That way you can have a little more on some days, provided your calories are little less some other day(s), and the overall weekly average is in line with your calorie goal.
It can be very difficult and challenging to be in a calorie deficit every single day. Especially if there are special occasions (like Birthdays) or other people are having special treats (like donuts!). Don’t get frustrated with this.
Out of the four types of people in the diagram above, one person (“Don’t know”) is flying blind. They won’t know how they are doing and will usually be surprised they are not losing weight even though they may think they have reduced the amount of food they consume.
The key thing to lose weight is to have a calorie deficit. Monitoring your calories helps you know if you are on track. Looking at your daily average calories over the space of a week is better than focusing just on a day. Find what works best for you and be consistent.
NOTE: In the example above I used 1500 cals as a daily average target but obviously you will need to determine your daily average target goal based on your size, how often you workout, and what weight you want to achieve. If you need help to achieve your fitness and weight goal, a personal trainer will help you accomplish them.
The most common goals I hear are:
“I want to lose weight”
“I want to tone up”
“I want to get stronger”
“I want to lose x lbs”
“I want to get in shape”
“I want to fit into my clothes better”
“I want to reduce dress size/ waist size”
“I want to be fitter”
“I want to have more energy to be able to play with my kids”
“I want to feel better”
Some people have more than one goal, it maybe a combination of the above.
Whatever your fitness goal(s), a personal trainer can help you achieve it faster, help you be consistent, and help you maintain it, while all the time doing it in a safe and supportive manner, and with a bit of fun along the way.
If you have children, you want them to be healthy and happy. You will do whatever you can to make sure they are enjoying life. If they are feeling unwell you will look after them, and you will take them to a doctor if you think they need it. If they have an interest in sports or activities, you will pay for it, drive them to it and stay and watch them. You will encourage them to eat well and be active.
But what about yourself? Do you look after your own health, fitness and wellbeing? Do you exercise, weight train or workout on a consistent basis? Instead of just telling your kids how to be healthy and happy, why not show them by leading by example. Take care of yourself so that you will be strong and there to take care of others when they need you.
If you want to lose weight, the best combination to make consistent progress is focus on:
Calorie deficit is important as you need to be using up more calories than you are taking in. In order to accomplish this prioritize three things: amount calories you are taking in, control your portion size and increase your steps (e.g. amount of walking you are doing).
Strength training is very important to retain muscle mass and tone. Using a personal trainer 2-3 times a week could really help you. They will show you the right weight exercises to do in a safe and consistent manner, and enable you to progress over time.
The third critical component that is often overlooked is Lifestyle. A key element here is sleep/ rest. You should be aiming for 7–9 quality hours per night. Keeping stress and alcohol low is also vital to accomplishing your weight loss goal. Normally if we are under more stress, or drinking more, we eat more, and often tend to snack more too.
Focusing on the trifecta of calorie deficit, strength training and lifestyle will enable you to make the most progress and sustain the improvements over time. A Personal Trainer will help you accomplish all of this.
Often people think of what types of food they consume (like protein, carbs or fat), but sometimes the portion size is overlooked, or they are not aware the critical impact portion size has on their weight.
A very simply way to measure portion size is to use your hand. Precision Nutrition (https://www.precisionnutrition.com) came up with this very easy guide for determining how much of each type of food we should consume:
For protein, use the palm of the hand to determine right amount of food.
Some protein options include:
For vegetables, use the fist of the hand to judge the minimium amount of food.
For Carbohydrate, use the cup of the hand to determine right amount of food.
Some Carbohydrate options include:
For fats, use the thumb as a guide
Some Fat options include:
Getting the portion size right, with the right types of food resulting in a calorie deficit, as well as Personal Training will ensure you are in great shape and feeling great.
n light of the corona virus, there is a lot of discussion about what can be done to improve the body’s immune system. One definite thing that helps is to exercise on a regular basis. Being fit helps boost the immune systems and working out can improve our ability to fight off germs.
What Research has shown:
There is a wealth of science that suggests being fit boosts our immune systems, and that even a single workout can amplify and improve our ability to fight off germs. For example, a 2017 study published in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity monitored the effects of one 20-minute session of moderate treadmill exercise for 47 participants. These 47 people first gave a blood sample before exercising and then provided another blood sample immediately after exercising. The study found this one singular stint of exercise to have anti-inflammatory effects that boosted the immune system.
Regular physical exercise is a pillar of healthy living. It can boost your immune system in a variety of ways. For example, a regular exercise regime will increase your body's production of antibodies and White Blood Cells; this increased production allows the immune system to detect illnesses earlier than it would have otherwise. Simultaneously, exercising will help to expel toxins from your body. This in turn will energise your cells and metabolism. In plain and simple terms, this will mean a strengthening of your immune system in fighting off a myriad of germs.
It is widely recognised that being fit and active will improve cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure and protect against diabetes. Exercise also promotes good circulation which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and therefore do their job efficiently. Think of it as servicing your car and ensuring its proper upkeep - it is essential to keep it in running order. There is no mandatory level of exercise required in this sense, a brisk walk, a light jog or a bodyweight workout all have well-documented benefits.
It should be noted that in addition to boosting your immune system's potential response to COVID-19, regular exercise can enhance vaccination response too. Exercise will boost function of the natural killer cells in the immune system in a process known as mobilisation. Through exercise, billions of immune cells are recruited and re-circulated in the blood. These immune cells are primed to recognise and kill virus infected cells. This process stems back to your strengthened immune system having a quicker response to fighting germs and adapting to any vaccine.
Stress, Exercise & The Immune System
Stress and the immune system go hand-in-hand. Research dating back over 25 years has revealed that psychological stress increases susceptibility to illness. Prolonged or chronic stress can negatively impact the immune system by reducing the body's ability to defend against viruses and bacteria. Additionally, when under stress, it's not uncommon for people to engage in coping strategies such as drinking excessive alcohol, smoking cigarettes, eating a poor diet, or not getting enough sleep, which can also negatively impact the immune system. These factors combined with the current pandemic could result in a serious threat to health.
Engaging in regular physical activity is a great way to help manage stress and strengthen your immune system. In fact, research shows, that "fit individuals" (defined as those who partake in regular physical activity), have a lower incidence of infection compared to inactive and sedentary individuals. Exercise is also known to stimulate the production of endorphins which are chemicals in the brain that act as the body's natural painkillers and mood elevators.
Conclusion & Recommendations
By keeping active it will boost your immune system and help to minimise the potential effects of the virus. Furthermore if you exercise regularly, it can reduce stress and improve your mental health.
Here are a few examples of what you can do on a regular basis:
Stay safe and stay strong
That was a trick question! The best way is to have goals and actions together! In fact, there is a great acronym and simple process for setting goals, called “SMART” goals which stands for:
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Action oriented
R = Realistic
T = Timely
In this process, ACTION is part of the goal setting, which is the best way to do it.
A few examples to make it practical and real:
I love this quotation by Joel Barker:
However I would modify it slightly and include the word “goal” with “vision”:
"Vision/ Goal without action is just a dream, action without vision/ goal just passes the time, and vision/ goal with action can change the world."