Are all carbs evil?

Carbs (carbohydrates) are everywhere, not just in ‘evil’ bread, rice or pasta but they are also found in most things including nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruit, dairy, lollies, and soft drinks. Often when people are making a conscious choice to lose weight, they immediately cut carbohydrates from their diet, thinking that carbs are the reason they have gained weight. This is not true!

Carbs are an essential macronutrient. They provide us with fuel in the form of glucose, which is used by the body and brain for energy.  The body can produce and use Ketones when glucose is not available (Keto diets) and are made from fat stores and certain proteins.  However, very high levels of ketones can make the blood acidic and can lead to serious illness.  It is also important to know, that when glucose is inadequate the body also creates glucose from certain proteins leading to a breakdown of muscle.

There are two types of carbs: Complex (good) or Simple (Bad)

Complex (good, low GI) carbs require our bodies to work harder to digest, and the energy produced is released over a longer time.  They are high in fiber and nutrients, are a low glycemic index food, help you feel full with fewer calories, and naturally stimulates metabolism.

Good Carbs: Vegetables, Whole fruits, whole grains, nuts & seeds, Legumes, and Root vegetables.

Simple (bad, high GI) carbs are digested quickly into our body.  Energy is stored as glycogen and if it’s not used immediately gets converted to fat.  Bad carbs are generally ‘processed’ food.  They’re low in fiber and nutrients, have a high GI, are empty calories converted to fat, high blood glucose levels = feel tired.

Bad Carbs: Sugary drinks, Fruit juices, white bread & white rice, regular pasta, cakes & cookies and other sweet treats, deep fried food and potato chips.

The general problem with carbohydrates is that we overconsume them. It is too easy to put two massive scoops of rice or potato on our plates for our dinners and consume unhealthy sweet “pick-me-up” snacks throughout the day. Carbs should ideally be between 45 – 65% of your daily calories which can equate to around 40g – 75g for each main meal, depending on your body weight and energy needs. Vegetables are technically a carbohydrate. However, vegetables contain a huge amount of water content, so can be very full, with very few calories. Plus the vitamins, mineral, and fibre = bonus!

Overall it is best to consume more complex, slower-burning carbs in our diets. These are not only better in terms of nutrients but will also keep you fuller for longer and prevent overeating. Cutting down on simple carbs is recommended as they spike blood sugar levels, which does not sustain our hunger and energy levels for very long. Remember that life is about balance, as long as you are good 80% of the time, you can enjoy the odd treat now and again

Benefits of Water

How many of you have felt thirsty today? Now the weather is colder, the desire to drink water throughout the day gets a bit harder. Well did you know, by the time you actually start feeling thirsty your body is in fact already dehydrated? The thirst you are experiencing is your body’s way of calling out to you to rehydrate your body.

Our body is composed of 60% water, which means when we are dehydrated our body’s water composition is less than that of 60% and closer to 58-56% water composition. Although this may not seem like much it is important to note that all systems within our body do not function as well without the proper water intake.

We all know that we need to consume water on a daily basis. That saying about 8 glasses a day has been drilled into us, but why do we need it? What does water actually help with?

Researchers have discovered that by keeping our body hydrated we can maintain a better mood. Drinking more water also enables you to think clearly throughout the day helping you develop a better mindset for the day and in turn make you happier.

In a sporting context, an increase in water intake can help you perform better. Proper hydration contributes to increased athletic performance. Not only due to the fact that it keeps you hydrated throughout your workout but 75% of our muscle tissue is comprised of water! Lack of water intake or dehydration can also lead to weakness, fatigue, dizziness, and electrolyte imbalance.

Now the point you’ve all been waiting for… keeping well hydrated has been linked to weight loss. Sometimes we think we are hungry when actually we are thirsty. Our body just starts turning on all the alarms when we ignore it. For those of you trying to drop some kgs, staying hydrated can serve as an appetite suppressant and help with weight loss. It will also keep your digestive system healthy and functioning properly. We clear waste through urine and sweat, so if we aren’t drinking enough water we aren’t flushing out all the waste our bodies don’t need. Water is also essential for proper circulation of nutrients throughout our bodies (water-soluble vitamins). Water serves as one of the body’s transportation system and when we are dehydrated things just can’t get around as well.

For any of you out there that seem to have sore joints throughout the day or just when you are working out, I have some good news for you! Drinking water can reduce pain in your joints by keeping the cartilage soft and hydrated.

And last but not least adequate water intake throughout the day can help with your skin, it can give you your natural glow, obviously not literally but figuratively. Our skin is the largest organ in our body. Regular and plentiful water consumption can improve the colour and texture of your skin by keeping it building new cells properly. Drinking water also helps the skin do its job of regulating the body’s temperature through sweating.

If plain water is not your thing or it gets boring, try infusing your water with some no sugar water drops or try adding fresh fruit to it to flavour it a little (try slices of lemon, limes or sprigs of mint).

 

10 Benefits of more water:

  1. Weight loss
  2. Your skin will glow
  3. Better performance and productivity
  4. No more headaches and migraines
  5. Replaces lost electrolytes which are thought to prevent cramping
  6. Helps digestion and bowels
  7. Improves your immune system
  8. Relives fatigue by flushing our toxins
  9. Reduces risk of bladder and colon cancer
  10. Helps aches and pains

 

 

Should I be taking protein powder?

One of the most common questions we get at the gym, is should I be taking protein powder?

Why protein is important in our diet.

Protein IS NOT just about building muscle and is only needed by bodybuilders. Protein is one of the three macronutrients (the other two being fats and carbohydrates), which means your body needs it in a relatively large amount and is vital for the body. Protein is the building blocks of the body and is used to repair everything. Your bones, muscles, cartilage are all repaired by protein. And your skin, hair and nails are mostly made from proteins (keratin, collagen, and elastin). Fats and Carbohydrates are stored in your body, but Protein is not, which means it needs a fresh supply every single day.  Even if you don’t exercise, your body still needs protein to regenerate and repair different cells in your body.

 

Use of Protein Powder

Whey protein powder is actually a bi-product from casein and cheese manufacture. people like to use protein powder, mainly out of convenience. You may not always be in the position to roast a chicken, pan fry some steak, or boil up some beans. This is when you can utilise protein powder to give you a good serving of protein, without cooking, prepping and refrigerating. Also, protein powder is very economical in comparison to buying meat.

It is recommended that you eat a minimum of 0.8 x your body weight (KG), up to x 2 of your bodyweight. Athletes who are strength training are near the higher end and also people who are recovering from serious wounds or injuries. Women especially tend to be very low in their daily protein amounts.

Consuming more protein in our diets can really help with satiety, which in turn, helps with weight loss. By consuming protein we tend to keep ourselves fuller for longer and tend not to overeat. A study has also shown that participants that consumed a high protein breakfast did not overeat at the end of the day.

Examples of Protein:

Some examples of this (using calories just as a comparison for how much protein you get for the number of calories you consume) are as follows:

  • 2 Eggs: 14g of protein
  • Serving of black beans: 8g
  • Piece of fish: 20g
  • A thin slice of shaved ham: 2.9g of protein
  • 2 Vegetarian Sausages: 8.4g of protein
  • ½ cup of Lentils: 9g of protein
  • Baked Beans: 10.8g of protein
  • A serving of broccoli: 3g
  • 1 glass of milk: 3.4g of protein
  • 10 almonds: 2.5g of protein
  • Milo “Protein Clusters” Cereal: 5.5g protein
  • 2 scoops of Horley’s 100% Whey Vanilla protein powder: 18.6g of protein
  • Chicken breast: 30g

 

When should you use protein powder?

Whenever you want! Protein shake for breakfast, or morning tea, or afternoon tea, or for dessert! That’s the great thing about protein powder, it’s quick, easy, and versatile! You can have it alone with water, make it a smoothie by adding some berries or half of a banana, or you can even put it in some yoghurt and make a thick  flavoured mousse! If you are rushing around in the morning a protein shake can be a convenient good option or even as a post-workout snack.

 

At the end of the day, you don’t need protein powder. There are many foods high in protein that would let you reach your goal easily! However, Protein powder is usually lower in calories, super tasty (if you find the right one!), and convenient! If you need to up your protein intake and want the convenience, definitely give protein powder a try!

 

 

“Fitness HQ for Women is a New Zealand owned and operated gym in the heart of Albany, North Shore. Our services include group fitness classes, personal training and providing a 24-hour access boutique women-only gym”

Fitness Equipment that we can’t train without

 

 

Resistance Bands: At the start of every workout, I like to activate my lower and upper body with resistance bands. They come in two forms: mini bands and longer resistance bands. Mini bands are great for putting around your knees and doing glute activation exercises. You can do so many different moves like crab walks, seated hip abductions, and squat pulses. I start every leg day with these exercises as they’re perfect for warming up and activating those stubborn glutes!

The longer resistance bands are so versatile. Looping them around the cable machine or the Olympic bar can create a tool for warming up the shoulders and back. You can also use them to do squats, lunges, good mornings, and donkey kicks to fire up the glutes! Bands can also be a great way to put extra resistance into exercises and make them harder. They can be utilised by giving tension through different parts of the range of motion or certain areas of it.

Ask us to show you the different ways to add some variety to your warm-up.

 

Kettle Bells: One hand clean & press, upright rows, kettlebell swings; so many exercises to do with one piece of equipment! A whole-body circuit can be done with just one kettlebell. Compared to dumbells, kettlebells have a big ball for the base which can make the movement less stable and promote more core activation. They’re awesome for explosive movements, fun cardio and are a great tool to use during a class.

 

Olympic Bar: I used to be intimidated by the Olympic bar, but once I learned where to position it on my back, I was good to go! If you want to increase your strength and gain muscle, exercises such as back squats, deadlifts, and hip thrusts are awesome to do with the bar. You do not need to put a lot of weight onto the bar if you don’t feel comfortable. Start with just the bar (20kg), then gradually increase your weight as you become stronger.

I use the Olympic bar every time I train legs as it’s great for compound movements (using more than one muscle group at a time). Compound movements not only use lots of muscle groups but also burn lots of calories at the same time. Use the bar pad to make exercises like hip thrusts more comfortable.

Don’t forget that you can get a complimentary personalised weight program every 8 weeks. See us at reception to book in and perhaps we can show you some cool exercises with these pieces of fitness equipment.

 

“Fitness HQ is a locally owned and operated boutique gym in the heart of Albany. With 24 hour access, you can get fit, when it fits you!”

 

How to take the dread out of the dreadmill (a.k.a treadmill)

Winter has just arrived and the weather is certainly changing! The temperature has certainly dropped and the rain and wind will be here soon! Outdoor running starts to feel like it’s not even an option anymore so it’s time to hit the treadmill. But, to many people running for 45 minutes or so on a treadmill does not sound like a lot of fun.

So here are a few ways to mix up your running on the treadmill this winter:

  • BLAST the upbeat music. I would highly recommend creating a playlist of your favourite upbeat tunes or discover new upbeat music to listen to as you run. This can be really motivating and get you in a great headspace to beat your PB or even just get you past the first 10 minutes! Spotify has some great running playlists already made too.

 

  • Podcasts! I find running to a podcast so motivating and distracting from the fact I’m running. Find a topic you’re interested in whether that be health & fitness, crime stories, comedy etc. and I’m sure there will be a great podcast available.

 

  • Watch a video. Now you need to be careful with this one because you don’t want to fly off the end! Find a YouTube video or Netflix episode, set up your phone/tablet on the front of the treadmill, plug your headphones in and run! This is a great distraction that makes time go a lot faster. We all spend hours on the couch binge-watching TV series at some point over winter so why not burn some calories too.

 

  • Interval train. Breaking your runs up on the treadmill can make it a lot more interesting and feel a lot quicker. Going for a slow distance run often feels like hours on a treadmill when it’s only been 20 minutes… so why not smash a half an hour session at a higher intensity and mix up your runs. Pick a speed that challenges you and run at that pace for 2 minutes. Because this is a higher speed than you normally run at, 2 minutes should be enough to get your heart rate up and leave you feeling puffed. Now break this run-up with 1 minute of slower speed or power walking. Continue this for 10 minutes. Now increase the running time to 3 minutes and repeat. Mix up your interval training to what speeds and intervals suit you but remember to challenge yourself!

 

  • Find a buddy. If your bestie goes to the same gym then why not arrange treadmill running/walking dates and coffee. Walk and talk is something a lot of females love to do. So why not do it on those rainy winter days side by side on a treadmill. Challenge each other or even race to keep it interesting. Sometimes having someone with you to support you and distract you makes it that little bit better.

 

  • Set goals. Running on a treadmill is a lot different from running outdoors. You might discover you can run a lot further and faster on a treadmill. So, set yourself some goals to aim for and smash them before the end of winter. Whether that be distance goals, time goals, or amount of times you run a week goals!

 

“Fitness HQ prides itself on a safe place for ladies to feel comfortable, motivated, and supported towards their health and fitness goals. With over 30 group fitness classes per week, there is something for everyone!”

Importance of a good breakfast

Many of us find excuses in the morning for skipping a good breakfast whether that be you don’t have time, you can’t eat that early in the morning, or just not having food available. However, these are all excuses we should work on changing because starting your day off with a nutrient-filled breakfast comes with so many benefits! With health trends continuously changing we often overcomplicate things as simple as breakfast with fasting, no carbs before lunch and juice cleanses etc. When it comes down to it as long as you’re not eating sugary crap (a lot of common cereals!) or a gas station pie you’re most likely fueling your body with some of the nutrients it needs.

What is breakfast?

Breakfast broken down means break the fast. Overnight when you are sleeping your body is in a phase of fasting which gives your body time to digest, replenish and restore blood sugar balance. Breakfast in the morning breaks this fast and gives your body energy to carry out the new day. When you skip breakfast your body basically has no fuel to run on and this can lead to overeating, sugar cravings, and low energy.

Importance of a good breakfast

  • Breakfast helps to set up your day by providing your body with the nutrients it needs. In the morning your body’s blood glucose level is low from fasting through the night. A good breakfast in the morning helps to increase your blood glucose level which gives you energy to start your day.
  • Breakfast can help with preventing weight gain. This is because fueling your body in the morning and giving yourself energy for the day can help maintain your hunger levels so you will often snack less. Excessive snacking because you have not eaten a substantial meal is a common cause of weight gain.
  • Nutritionally balanced meals for breakfast helps to maintain high brain activity more than skipping out on breakfast or drinking a high sugar drink. This can lead to improved concentration throughout the day and make it a lot easier to remember the small things we often lose track of.
  • There has been a lot of research done around whether skipping breakfast can increase your risk of diabetes and there has been a fair bit of evidence supporting this. When you start your day with a nutritious meal you increase your insulin levels which have decreased overnight. Increasing your insulin levels with a meal when you first wake up can help to prevent an insulin spike later in the day when you have lunch. Continuous insulin spikes can be bad for your health and can induce prediabetes.
  • Having a good breakfast in the morning helps to ensure you get the right amount of nutrients in the day. Quite often people do not get enough fruit and vegetables in their diets, so beginning your day with some fruit or veg will make a good contribution to your 5+a-day!

Healthy breakfast. Yogurt with granola and berries

Healthy breakfast ideas

Eating a good breakfast doesn’t need to be complicated!! Here are some of my favourite breakfast ideas that can be quick and easy!

  • Homemade granola served with Greek yogurt and blueberries (or any other fruit). This is super simple and can be prepared the night before and kept in the fridge to grab and eat on the go.
  • Scrambled eggs with a slice of wholegrain toast. Scrambled eggs can be super quick, whisk them with a fork and a bit of milk and either cook on a frypan or in the microwave on low heat for a few minutes. Even better is mixing in some spinach for extra goodness.
  • Overnight oats topped with nuts and seeds. This is a great source of fiber and made the night before makes it easy to grab and go.
  • Chia puddings with berries. Just like overnight oats made the night before! Mix a bunch of chia seeds with milk of choice and milk in some berries, leave in the fridge overnight and it will be like a little pudding.
  • Smoothies! Smoothies are a great way to get your fruit and veg in because you can throw everything in and often the fruit will make the smoothie sweet enough to enjoy. Add in some protein powder too and you have yourself a great breakfast that’s super easy.
  • Omelet loaded with veg can be such a filling breakfast if you have a bit more time in the morning. My favourite is filled with baby spinach, red onion, capsicum and cherry tomatoes, and basil pesto.
  • 2x boiled eggs to grab and go.

Myth-busting, Why you shouldn’t be afraid of getting bulky lifting weights

Quite often you hear women say that they don’t want to lift weights because they are worried that they will end up “bulky” but they want to get “toned” and lose fat. This is a very common misconception that women need to understand. If you lift weights, you will not suddenly look bulky. In fact, lifting weights will help to shape your body and give you definition in your muscles to give you that “tone” look.

Firstly, females have much lower testosterone levels than males which muscle bulk is largely dependent on. This is why females tend to take much longer to build muscle mass than males. Testosterone helps to stimulate muscle and tissue growth so without high levels of it, females must work much harder to develop their muscles. This is why as a female you should not be afraid of lifting weights because your hormones aren’t equivalent to males and won’t stimulate muscle growth as quickly. Muscle mass is important to help with injury prevention with age as well as metabolic benefits to help reduce high blood pressure and other health risks. That is why women should lift weights and engage in a regular resistance routine not only for the physical physique but also the health benefits that follow.

Lifting weights helps to increase your lean muscle mass which increases your metabolism and ability to burn fat. By having an increase in lean muscle mass your body burns more calories throughout the day to provide your body with energy for your everyday activities. Burning more calories per day ultimately leads to burning more fat and losing weight. Losing weight allows for the muscle definition to begin to show and therefore slowly giving the “toned” effect. Not only that but lifting weights helps to improve bone density and reduce the risks of osteoporosis as you age. Bone-forming cells are stimulated by mechanical stress placed on the bones which occurs when you are engaging in resistance or weight-based training resulting in stronger and denser bones. Bone density is extremely important to maintain as you get older as it helps to reduce bone fractures and falls which you very commonly hear of in the elderly population.

Another reason as to why you shouldn’t be worried is that females don’t tend to eat enough food especially protein to fuel their bodies and aid the process of muscle building. In order to become “bulky” you must be eating in a calorie surplus and training very hard to use that extra fuel and cause hypertrophy. Not only that but women don’t tend to lift often or heavy enough to cause such significant changes to their body, certainly not overnight. If your goal is to get fitter, stronger and “toned” then lifting weights regularly in the gym whilst eating a sufficient diet you will most likely find that you lose those stubborn few kilos and gradually see your muscle shape and definition.

Next time you’re in the gym, try up your weights and improve your strength! Don’t be afraid of it! Remember bodybuilders aren’t made overnight; female body builders work extremely hard to look the way they do, take numerous supplements to aid muscle gain, and eat a very specific diet. A couple of resistance training sessions each week is not going to make you bulk but it will help to build lean muscle mass, burn calories, lose weight, and overall look “toned”.

Coke Vs Coke Zero… sugar free drinks for the win?

Coca-Cola is a prime example of a high calorie, sugar packed fizzy drink that has very little nutritional value (vitamins and minerals). Many of us are already aware of this, and opt for Coke Zero instead. But, is this really the healthier option?

The main difference between coke and coke zero is the sugar content. When drinking coke zero as opposed to regular coke, you are consuming significantly less sugar which a positive for weight loss and reducing the risk of weight-related diseases. A study by the American institute of nutrition found that consumption of high sugar drinks was positively associated with progression of insulin resistance and prediabetes, but no correlation was found with diet sodas.

Regular coke has a direct effect on our health and weight due to its excess sugar and calorie content. However, diet coke may not be the best alternative. Research suggests that diet coke may have indirect effects on our body that leads to weight gain and other adverse health effects.

Several studies have indicated that diet sodas my increase appetite stimulating hormones such as ghrelin, therefore, increasing hunger. The artificial sweeteners in diet coke may also alter gut flora leading to reduced blood sugar control. Additives such as citric, malic, and phosphorus acid are present in both coke and coke zero, and have been linked to tooth erosion. Some research has also linked diet sodas to health conditions such as increased risk of high blood pressure, osteoporosis, heart and kidney disease.

 

 

Maybe we need to consider why we actually crave fizzy drinks in the first place?

The most common reason is dehydration – have a glass of water firstly, and see if your fizzy craving is reduced.

A less prevalent reason is a calcium deficiency. The phosphoric acid in carbonated drinks can leach calcium and magnesium stores out of your bones, which momentarily increases the calcium in the body but then creates a continuous cycle of depletion. This is the reason high soda consumption is linked to osteoporosis, as the leaching of minerals reduces bone density and increases the risk of fractures. It is important to have a good intake of dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, collards, bok choy, and broccoli. As well as quality dairy sources such as milk and Greek yogurt.

It is clear that there are negative aspects to both diet and regular coke. So, to maintain overall health sticking to good old water is the best bet. Both diet and regular coke should be consumed in moderation as a very occasional treat.

 

 

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How to get over your exercise slump

We’ve all been there… started off doing so well, making it to the gym 3-4-5 times a week and feeling great! But then, you fall off the exercise train for a couple of days… maybe over indulge in the foods you know you shouldn’t and then you are left feeling like sh*t and feeling no motivation to get back into exercising! Sound a bit like you?

Well 2021 is here and it’s time to leave what felt like a slump of a year behind and get back into the exercise routine you know you enjoyed at some point! Here are some of my go to tips to get back on track when that exercise slump hits!

  • Ease into exercise with an activity that you enjoy – whether that be going for a bike ride, hike, swim at the beach or a group fitness class! Starting off with an activity that you find enjoyment in is a great way to get the muscles pumping and heart rate up without necessarily feeling like you’re exercising! This could be just enough to help you find your motivation to get your body moving and ass back to a regular routine! Even better, try something new! This could be a dance class, pilates, boxing, cross-training and so much more!
  • Bring a friend – I’m sure there’s someone in your life who you can convince to come to the gym with you, even if its just one workout! Exercising with a friend can make it so much more enjoyable and can be a bit of a catch-up session! Instead of meeting for brunch or coffee, meet at the gym, the park or a walkway and then if you must… go get your brunch afterwards. Even better is challenging you friend in a workout to see who can complete the most reps during an interval or setting a workout and see who can finish it first!
  • Book it in as an appointment with yourself – things are starting to get back to normal since the Christmas/New Year break so its time to book in your appointments and set your schedules! If you see exercise as something you don’t have time for anymore, make time and put it visibly in your diary or calendar as time for yourself! You don’t like to skip an appointment and pay that cancellation fee so don’t do that with your workout!
  • Making it once or twice is better than not at all – you may not be motivated or quite ready to smash out the same number of workouts a week as you did when you were more motivated but anything is better than nothing! If you can only drag yourself to the gym once, its probably more than you did the week before so see that as a win! Then slowly you will get back to two or three times and start to feel more motivated as you feel your mood and energy improve again! Don’t beat yourself up when you can’t do the same as when you were more in routine!
  • Record down your activity – each time you do a workout, write it down in your calendar or start a workout tally for yourself! I personally love looking back on the week and seeing how active or inactive I have been with moving my body and find it motivating to challenge it the next week to see if I can do more or different kinds!

Don’t give up on yourself! The motivation will come back, you just have to be patient and do your best when you can!

 

“Fitness HQ for women is a boutique Women’s only 24/7 gym, in the heart of Albany. Services include a full service gym, small group fitness classes, personal training, supplements and infrared sauna.”

 

How to beat the Christmas binge

Christmas is just around the corner, and as we know this means the opportunity to gorge on delicious foods! This is the time of year to spend with family and friends and it is completely okay to treat yourselves. However, we may end up feeling a little sluggish and unmotivated after a multitude of family lunches and dinners. Overeating may knock our confidence and leave us feeling frustrated but this doesn’t have to be the case. I am going to share a few tips and tricks to help you bounce back to a healthy routine.

Pre- Christmas:

1. Stay hydrated – It is important to keep drinking water on a hot summer’s day. Often if we are dehydrated our body mistakes this for hunger. In a study of 24 overweight adults it was found that when 500ml of water was drank before eating, the energy they consumed was significantly lower than those who had no water before eating a meal.

2. Load up on the veges and meat – Sweet and sugary snacks won’t fill you up for long so make sure you have a good meal that includes veges and meat, then enjoy your treats. Including lots of veges in your meals will give you the range of nutrients your body needs to feel great. Vegetables are also high in fiber which promotes feelings of fullness. A good source of protein will also help satiation.

3. Enjoy Your Food – Tip number one is to not worry about overeating. Christmas is a time of joy and family and it is completely fine to have some yummy treats. Worrying about what you can eat or can’t eat can lead to a toxic relationship with food.

Post-Christmas:

4. Don’t skip meals – It may be tempting to skip breakfast or lunch the day after, but this will only make us hungrier and put our metabolism out of whack. It is best to start with a filling but healthy breakfast. Including a source of healthy fats such as avocado or eggs will keep you fuller for longer throughout the day. Of course, listen to your body and go about your normal day – if you’re hungry eat, if you’re not hungry then don’t.

Breakfast Ideas:

– Wholegrain toast, nut butter, and chia seeds
– Omelette loaded with veges
– Fruit and Yogurt Parfait

5. Go for a Walk – Walking is a great way to stay active and get things moving after a big meal. You may not feel like getting straight back into an intense workout so a light walk can do the trick to keep your body moving.

Merry Christmas everyone! Enjoy your time with friends and family and see you all in the New Year.

 

“Fitness HQ for women is a boutique Women’s only 24/7 gym, in the heart of Albany. Services include a full service gym, small group fitness classes, personal training, supplements and infrared sauna.”

Is Vegan Protein Powder Better Than Whey?

A question we get asked a lot, is about the different types of protein powder there is. Which is best for me? Whey or vegan protein? It’s a very good question as most people assume that vegan protein must be the best and healthier option. That is not necessarily the case and what works for me, won’t necessarily work for you.

 

What is whey and vegan protein?

Whey is one of two proteins that is obtained from the production of milk and therefore is an animal-based protein.

Vegan protein is a plant-based product which can be from a variety sources. Most common ones we see are pea, rice, hemp or sunflower. Each different plant protein is unique and can offer your body different nutrients which can help with many things.

 

What are the main differences?

Firstly, Whey protein is what we consider a ‘complete’ protein as it contains all 9 essential amino acids. There are actually 22 amino acids which are found within the body and 9 are considered essential which must be obtained through your diet.  These essential amino acids will repair and recover your body optimally. Whey protein is also higher in branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) which stimulate muscle growth and maintenance.  By having all amino acids, whey also boosts the immune system by stimulating immune function. Another good point to make is that MOST people prefer the taste of whey protein compared to vegan/vegetarian protein powders. This can be a big factor in choosing and enjoying a protein.

Whey protein is also easily digested. However, as whey comes from animals and the production of milk, some people may be intolerant, as it contains lactose. Did you know about a third of the population is intolerant to lactose? As you get older your body can find it harder to digest lactose and can cause gas and abdominal discomfort. For people that have sensitive stomachs, plant-based protein may be the better option.

Not all Vegan or Vegetarian protein powders are a complete protein. For example, pumpkin protein does not contain all the essential amino acids. When looking for a plant-based protein it is good to find a protein that has a mix of different plant types to achieve getting all 9 amino acids.  Quite commonly, plant-based proteins only contain one type of plant.

However, a big positive to plant-based protein is that it contains more nutrients than whey and can offer more than just B vitamins and calcium (which whey has). They can contain an abundance of other vitamins and minerals depending on which plant protein it has come from. These can aide the body in many different ways. If you are looking for a bit more than just a protein powder, plant-based options could work well for you.

 

Which protein is best for me?

There is no right answer. There are many pros and cons of each one, the choice is up to you. If you are looking for an easily digested, good tasting, complete protein, then whey is your best option. However, if you have a sensitive stomach and are looking for a bit more than just protein, than plant-based protein may be a better option for you. At the end of the day, it is trial and error. If one does not agree with your body, try a different one, it all comes down to personal preference and individual tolerance.

Remember: that your daily intake of protein is from 0.8 – 2g X your body weight in KG. Idealy,  1 – 1.5g  X your body weight is what I would recommend.

We stock Horleys Sculpt at the gym, which is a womens specific protein powder. It is whey protein which they have added extra nutrients and fat burning properties too (winning!). One scoop of sculpt is 18g protein.  Great taste and a great price.

 

“Fitness HQ for women is a boutique Women’s only 24/7 gym, in the heart of Albany. Services include a full service gym, small group fitness classes, personal training, supplements and infrared sauna.”

What is the best diet for me?

Common questions that we get asked are often about what particular diet you should be following.
They are usually questions like, what do you think of this diet? Does [insert famous person here] weight loss plan work? Should I cut carbs from my diet? Or what diet should I be on?

At the end of the day, you can lose on pretty much any diet, as they have one common goal. To reduce calories. By reducing calories you go into a calorie deficit and use fat stores for energy.

I strongly believe the best diet is one that works for YOU, by being sustainable. You need to be able to stick to it. There is no point forcing yourself to stick to a Paleo diet if you love carbs and no reason you should jump on the keto wave if you can’t tolerate that much fat in your diet.

In saying that your old diet of coffee and toast is not going to be ideal for your body to function and perform optimally. Try to think about food as a fuel source that can energise and heal the body.

Key things to remember:

Love your fruit & veg! (5+ a day).

Try to eat 1g – 1.5g x your body weight in protein daily.

Low GI “good carbs” will keep you more full.

Everything in moderation.

A balance meal is Carbs, protein, fats (include fruit and vegetables as good carbs).

Don’t drink your calories! (Fizzy drink, juices and energy drinks are big causes of weight gain).

If you are missing something from your diet, then you should look at supplementing.