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    Intermittent Fasting

    Intermittent Fasting

     

    Intermittent fasting is a popular health and fitness trend at the moment. It may not be for everybody however it is an effective method for losing weight and getting lean and is said to have many health benefits for you and your body. Intermittent fasting has been known to boost energy levels, increase stamina and motivation, increase cognitive function and aid in weight loss – pretty good if you ask me.

      

    What is intermittent fasting?

    Intermittent fasting is a term used for eating patterns that cycle between periods of fasting and eating meaning you consume your calories during a specific window of time (eating window) and you choose not to consume food for a larger window of time (your fasting window)

     

    How to start intermittent fasting

    Intermittent fasting means you go a certain period of time without eating, generally between 12 to 24 hours sometimes 36-48 hours. During this time you can only consume liquids such as water, herbal teas and coffee if you need to – as long as there is no added milk or sweetener.

     

    Below are the most popular methods;

     

    • Crescendo Method – This method is one of the best and easiest ways to ease into intermittent fasting without shocking your body. It only involves fasting for a few days spaced throughout the week. For example an easy way to apply this method would be to fast Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
      Fasting window: 12-16 hours
      Eating window: 8-12 hours

     

    • 16/8 Method – Also known as the “leangains method” this method of intermittent fasting is used specifically to target body fat and help with lean muscle mass.
      Fasting window: 16 hours
      Eating window: 8 hours

     

    • 24 Hour Protocol – This method involves skipping two meals a day and not eating for 24 hours. For example you eat your dinner at 7pm as usual but you don’t consume another meal until the same time the following day (7pm dinner).
      Fasting window: 24 hours

     

    • 5:2 Diet – This method involves restricting calories two days of the week, allowing you to consume 500 calories a day (two 250 calorie meals) and eating normally for the other 5 days of the week. For example you may choose your calorie restricted days as Monday and Tuesday meaning Wednesday-Sunday you consume your regular calorie intake with no restrictions. This method contains no fasting window just a calorie restriction so it may be an effective way to ease into fasting.

      

    What to consider before trying intermittent fasting
    As mentioned earlier fasting is not for everyone, regardless of the method you choose. If you have existing health conditions, please consult your doctor before undertaking in any intermittent fasting.

     

    Tips for starting your first intermittent fast

     

    • Stay hydrated – It is important to stay well hydrated throughout your fasting periods
    • Listen to your body – your body will most likely need some time to adjust, don’t just jump straight into a 24 hour fast, that may shock your body, start with smaller fasting windows
    • Fast overnight – Fasting overnight is the easiest way to fast, if you’re getting 7-8 hours sleep you’re not thinking about eating during that time
    • Workout – intermittent fasting in conjunction with exercise will help you get better results faster.
    • Keep busy – most of us can admit we snack when we aren’t really hungry just “bored” or having a lazy day. Keeping busy will make the whole process easier as you’ll be focusing on other things

     

     

    MISSFITCO xx

    Foods to eat PRE and POST workout

    Foods to eat PRE and POST workout

     

    What to eat before a workout?

     

    Fuelling your body with the right nutrients prior to exercise will help you with your performance and endurance throughout your workout.

     

    Carbs equal energy, when we eat them our body breaks them down into glucose and they enter our muscle cells giving us the fuel and energy we need. Eating simple carbs prior to your workout is ideal, as they digest faster and provide a quick release of energy.

     

    In addition to carbs it is recommended to consume a bit of protein prior to working out, especially if you’re weight training. Reach for sources of protein that are easily digestible and don’t consume too much as this can often upset your stomach. Eating 30 minutes prior to your workout will ensure you have the energy to push through and don’t feel lethargic.

     

    Below are some examples of good foods to consume PRE workout;

     

    • Banana

    Bananas are rich in easily digestible carbohydrates and potassium, they also contain sugar and starch which are primary sources of energy for your body. The potassium found in bananas also aids in maintaining muscle and nerve function.

    • Rice cakes with natural peanut butter

    If you’re gluten free or just not a fan of bread then rice cakes are a great option for you, they are low in calories averaging 25-30 calories per rice cake. Topping them with natural peanut butter which contains protein will give you an extra energy boost.

     

    • Greek yoghurt
      Greek yoghurt is packed with protein, almost double the amount normal yoghurt contains and generally low in sugar. Try pairing your greek yoghurt with some dried fruit and nuts this will provide that quick energy boost your body needs – remember to control your portion sizes.

     

    • Oats
      Oats are full of fiber, meaning they contain a steady release of carbohydrates into the bloodstream and will keep energy levels consistent throughout your workout. As they provide a slow release of energy they will satisfy your hunger for longer also making them a great breakfast food.

     

     

    What to eat after a workout?

     

    It is essential you eat after a workout, when we are working out, our muscles use up glycogen stores as fuel, you need to replenish the glycogen that has been depleted during your workout and replace the calories you used up. It is also very important for muscle recovery and decreasing muscle protein breakdown. Carbs and protein help with recovery and it is recommended that we consume our post workout within 45 minutes after exercise.

     

    Below are some examples of good foods to consume POST workout; 

     

    • Pineapple – the tropical fruit will not only satisfy your sweet tooth, but eating pineapple after a heavy workout can help with muscle recovery as the fruit is rich in carbohydrates, it provides fiber to lower cholesterol levels and contains vitamin B6 which can help the formation of red blood cells. Oh and it’s all NATURAL.

     

    • Watermelon – another fruit with amazing health benefits. Each bite of watermelon contains roughly 92% water, not only will it help with rehydration but will replenish glycogen levels. Watermelon also contains a non-essential amino acid called  L-citrulline which is then converted into L-arginine after absorption and can help with a faster recovery time and less muscle pain.

     

    • Eggs – Eggs are an excellent source of protein post training. With one egg containing roughly 6g of protein, they also contain lots of important vitamins and minerals your body needs. Although whole eggs do not contain many calories they do contain quite a bit of fat and cholesterol, however this problem can easily be solved by removing the yolks and trying egg whites.

     

    • Chicken – chicken is packed with lean protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and iron. Protein is important when it comes to repairing and maintaining muscle tissue. B vitamins found in chicken are good for metabolism, nerve function and maintaining healthy red blood cells. Pairing your chicken with some steamed greens is a great idea for a post workout meal.

     

     

    There are many other great foods to consume pre and post workout, these are just a few healthy snack/food ideas.

     

     

    MISSFITCO xx

    Setting goals in the new year

    Setting goals in the new year

     

    New year, new me right?

    The Christmas holidays are the best time of year, we spend time with loved ones, relax and indulge in decadent foods, however we also pay the price when we pack on the pounds. There is nothing wrong with indulging and taking a break from your usual routine but we all know how hard it can be to get back into a routine after some time off whether it be with exercise or work.

    Now is the perfect time for you to reset, set some new goals and embark on your own journey throughout 2018.

     

    Although it’s a new year, not much has changed really, it’s up to you to make those changes and make it all happen this year.

     

    In this weeks blog, we will be sharing some tips on how to get back on track and start kicking those goals for 2018.

     

     

    Reflect

    Have you taken time to reflect on the past year and what you achieved, what you would change, the good and the bad?

    This is often a good start, sitting down and reflecting, did you achieve everything you wanted to last year?

     

     

    Evaluate

    Evaluate, what worked for you last year and what didn’t. No one likes to make the same mistakes twice so this is an important step moving forward and setting your goals for the new year.

     

     

    List

    A list is always a good idea whether it be a shopping list or a list of goals for the new year. Start your list with relatively achievable and realistic goals, there is no point setting unrealistic goals that you have little to no chance of achieving as this creates opportunity for disappointment and the feeling of failure. In saying that make sure you are setting goals that still challenge you and require you to stay motivated. Putting your goals in the order you would like to achieve them is also a good idea.

     

      

    Review

    Review your goals on a weekly or fortnightly basis, this will ensure you know where you are at, what you need to do and if you need to make any additional changes. It is a good idea if you develop a habit of sitting down at the end of the week and reviewing your list of goals and having an understanding of where you sit currently and where you need to be moving forward.

     

     

    Vision Board

    Some of us need to see things visually for them to stick. Why not use your creative flair and create a vision board. It is a good idea to keep the vision board somewhere where it can be seen on a daily basis and be a constant reminder to yourself of what you are working towards.

     

     

    Break down

    Breaking down your larger goals into smaller ones throughout the year is a highly effective method of managing your goals and getting closer to achieving them. For example, you may want to lose 10kg, this doesn’t happen overnight, breaking down that goal into a bunch of smaller goals like losing 1kg a fortnight or whatever it may be will make it seem easier to achieve and tackle head on.

     

     

    Don’t slack off

    Ok so we may all be guilty of this, well most of us are! Setting all these fantastic goals for the new year and getting hyped up, then the excitement dies down, so does our motivation and we slack off. For some of us this happens early in the year, for others it may be mid-end of the year. It is important to remember each year we are given 365 days to make changes in our lives and each day we have a new opportunity to get closer to reaching those goals we have set for ourselves.

     

     

    Reward yourself

    This is an important step, reward yourself for each and every one of your accomplishments. This will help you stay motivated and really give you something to look forward to and you deserve it. By rewarding yourself in the moment when you achieve a goal, this will create a positive emotion and doing this continuously your brain will start to link pleasure to accomplishing a task and this is a positive movement for you.  

     

     

    Your goals may not be fitness related so these tips are for anyone and each person’s individual goals. Don’t forget you are in control and you can make it happen. Here’s to the new year 2018!

     

     

    MISSFITCO xx

    Making good food choices

    Making good food choices

    This is something we all struggle with at times. You want to consume a healthy diet but often don’t know where to start, in this blog we will be sharing some tips to get you kick started. Good nutritious food does not have to be boring, tasteless or time consuming.

    First of all lets answer some questions you might ask yourself from time to time.

    Why eat healthy?

    Consuming a healthy diet rich in nutrients will improve your overall health, boost your energy levels and immune system, help maintain a desirable weight, you’ll have a clearer head and will manage stress better and your chances of developing diabetes, cancer and cardio vascular disease will decrease.

     

    What can I change now?

    It is important to remember no food is off-limits, when maintaining a healthy diet moderation is key.
    Have a look at your current diet and what you consume on a daily basis, you may want to reduce your sugar or fat intake to start off with.

     

    How do you change your eating habits?

    Don’t try to change everything overnight, these things can take time.
    Always start with achievable goals, like swapping your side of chips for a salad or simply cutting out that extra piece of chocolate you may consume daily.
    Experimenting with various foods will help, chuck in lots of veggies, create colourful vibrant dishes to keep things interesting.
    Don’t forget to allow yourself occasional treats, you’re more likely to stick with eating healthy if you don’t feel deprived. Allowing the occasional treat also minimises the chance of a binge.
    It’s a good idea to prepare your meals or snacks the night before, this will ensure you have food readily available when you are hungry. We often make bad food choices because we are short on time or just can’t be bothered, preparing your food the night before is the perfect way to eliminate bad food choices.

     

    If your goal is to lose weight remember you do not have to starve, eating well-proportioned size meals is totally fine. We should consume 3-6 meals a day depending on the level of physical activity we are doing, the body needs fuel to function properly. Another habit so many of us are guilty of is eating when we are bored, when we aren’t truly hungry. This can be a hard habit to break, here are some tips to help;

    1. Drink a glass of water
      Dehydration and thirst can often be mistaken for hunger. Pour a glass of water, after it has been consumed revaluate your hunger scale.

    2. Take a walk
      Instead of taking in unwanted calories take some off! Taking a brisk walk and getting some fresh air will distract you from snacking, bringing a friend along will further distract you, good conversation flowing and before you know it you’ve walked a few miles.

    3. Plate the food
      To get a better grip on your food intake plating it up can help, seeing what’s on your plate may help get your brain back on track. Plating your food will reduce reaching into a bag continuously, once you’ve finished what’s on your plate that’s it.

    4. Chew gum
      Keep a pack of gum with you. Chewing on a piece of gum can help distract the desire to snack and chew on other foods.

    5. Read your favourite book
      Focus on getting lost in a story rather than fixating on your food cravings. Puzzles and crosswords can also help distract you.


    We hope some of these tips and tricks help you, we will be releasing some of our all-time favourite recipes over the next few weeks so stay tuned.

     

    MISSFITCO xx

    How to stay motivated to improve your fitness

    How to stay motivated to improve your fitness

    It can sometimes be very easy to fall into extremely unhealthy habits where you're simply not motivated to work out or you just don't feel like going to the gym is a priority. Staying motivated to exercise can often be one of the greatest challenges to keeping yourself healthy and preventing a number of negative health effects that can come with not getting enough activity in your life. Here are some tips that you can use even as a busy woman to stay motivated and regularly focus on your fitness:

    Keep a fitness journal: when you start to write down some of the activities that you complete in a day and hold yourself accountable for a certain amount of activity, it is much easier to achieve results. Seeing a blank page in your fitness journal can give you a consequence for skipping the gym and it can help you see how you could ramp up your progress to achieve higher levels of fitness.

    Find a workout partner: for a greater level of accountability and come rod array with fitness it's a good idea to consider joining a Facebook group with workout partners, meeting a friend at the gym a few times a week or joining into a sports league. Having a set schedule where you are accountable for a team or when you have plans to work out together can lead to better results and you can have a support network to make sure that you can stay motivated to work out.

    Try something new hire a coach - hiring a coach that can teach you a few different routines or a whole new way that you can look at fitness can have a huge impact on your life. Working with a personal trainer even over just a few sessions can really help you to learn some new exercise routines that can be exciting. Sometimes a small change or a slight variance in your fitness schedule can have a huge impact on motivation.

    Give yourself rewards: completing your fitness for the week could mean rewarding yourself with going to see a new movie or treating yourself to a spa treatment to help with sore muscles. Giving yourself rewards for completing your weekly or daily fitness goals can really motivate you to continuously go to the gym or accomplish your training for the day.

    Consider some of these top ideas for improving your motivation and sticking with improving your fitness in the future – and don’t forget to check for weekly updates on our blog as we will be releasing healthy recipe ideas, exercise guides and helpful tips.

     

    MISSFITCO xx