Category Archives: General

Eat like a warrior

 

Keep your energy levels up throughout the day with Sheena-Lauren

‘s Warrior Recipes.

 

Chocolate protein and coconut porridge

BEST FOR: A mini boost before an end-of-day workout or if you need something in your tummy pre-early morning workout. (Sheena-Lauren recommends fasted morning workouts, but if you can’t fathom powering through without something to nibble, bite off a bit of brekkie and save the rest for recovery.)

“The oats provide a great sustained release of energy to power you through the morning. They are a great source of fibre to help curb mid-morning munchies,” Sheena-Lauren says.

What you’ll need

  • ½–1 cup traditional rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 30 g chocolate protein
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp rice malt syrup

What you’ll do

Combine the oats, coconut milk and chocolate protein in a bowl. Ensure the oats are completely covered with coconut milk. Place in the fridge overnight to soak through. Sprinkle with chia seeds and add one tsp of rice malt syrup.

Sip on a protein shake

BEST FOR: Knocking out niggling hunger near the end of your workout.

“I sometimes sip on this throughout my morning workout if I find myself getting hungry, and I finish it post workout,” Sheena-Lauren says.

What you’ll need

  • High-quality whey protein or alternative

What you’ll do

Add a 20 g to 30 g scoop of protein powder to a shaker and top up with water. Shake thoroughly.

Spicy eggs and sweet potato

BEST FOR: Post workout recovery

“The eggs are a great source of protein for muscle repair and the sweet potato serves as a fantastic low-GI complex carbohydrate, replenishing energy stores to keep you feeling full and keep you on the go for the rest of your day,” Sheena-Lauren says

What you’ll need

  • 200 g sweet potato, grated
  • ½ red chilli, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely diced
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

What you’ll do
Add the grated sweet potato to a fry pan with coconut oil on low heat. Add chilli and garlic. Continue to cook on low heat and toss regularly for approximately 20 to 30 minutes or until soft. Poach two eggs. Plate up the sweet potato, add the poached eggs on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Add a 20 g to 30 g scoop

Start the Summer Warrior Challenge today.

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4 reasons you’re not shedding those last few kilos

 

Struggling to lose those last few kilos? Here are some common weight loss saboteurs that might be getting in your way.

1. Liquid energy

Less filling and easy to over-consume. Smoothies and juices may seem like healthy options, but can be packed with sugar and kilojoules. Cut back on sweetened beverages. Think carefully about long-term alcohol habits and drink less.

 

2. Portion size

Eat slowly and use smaller plates.

3. Mindless eating

We live in a culture of plenty, and food is easily available. Keep snacks out of sight to avoid temptation and overeating.

 

4. Inadequate protein

Inadequate fibre and/or protein can lead to overeating. Both these nutrients are filling and should be included at every meal. Protein is important also for maintenance of muscle mass.

So how can we stay on track?

Think about your core values and what you want out of life. What brings you happiness? Perhaps you rank health as a high priority and want to feel good and have more energy? Now look at small steps you can take to live in line with these values.

Find something that suits you. Hate the gym? Then don’t force yourself to go. Instead find something you enjoy (maybe yoga, bushwalking, pole dancing or underwater hockey is more your style?). If you indulge in fitness pursuits that you value and enjoy, you will be happier and more motivated.

Be open to change. Just because running half marathons worked for you five years ago, doesn’t mean that running is still the best option for you now. Listen to the needs of your body and switch to a new fitness routine if necessary.

Have realistic expectations. If you weigh under 100 kg then it’s not safe or realistic to try losing more than 0.5 kg per week. If you weigh between 100 to 150kg, then one kg per week is achievable, and if over 150 kg, then two kg per week is considered healthy.

NEXT:

 

Matcha powder: a secret weight loss weapon

Matcha powder helps boost metabolism and the body’s ability to burn fat. So how can we incorporate it into our diets?

What is it? 

Powdered green tea. Unlike many ingredients with weight loss claims, green tea won’t overstimulate the adrenal glands.

How to use it: 

Try green tea as a smoothie base or drink it on it’s own. Nutritionist Dr Joanna McMillan says, “Green tea increases general health and improves body weight by increasing the metabolism and the body’s ability to burn fat,” she says.

In a study reported on in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, green tea extract was found to boost energy expenditure by around four per cent for each 24 hours.

Where to find it: 

Matcha is available at many health food stores, and you can also buy it online.


Try it:
 Matcha makes a great base for fat-loss smoothies. If your goal is fat loss, a smoothie containing 500 to 750 kJ is ideal, and you want low GI and high-protein and fibre quotients to keep blood glucose steady and stave off hunger. 

The high-protein, low-carb merits of natural yoghurt keep conversion to glucose under control, to stave off recurrent hunger, while chia seeds add fibre for digestive health and satiety. For a great fat loss smoothie idea, try:

  • 1 tsp of matcha green tea powder

  • ½ cup of ice

  • ½ cup skim milk

  • ½ cup of natural yoghurt

  • 1 tsp of chia seeds soaked in 60 ml of water

 

NEXT: Check out 5 super healthy smoothie recipes or browse our Fat Loss section. 

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How to stay slim in your 30s, 40s and 50s

Can you beat age-related weight gain? We asked the experts for their diet and exercise tips for women in their 30s, 40s and 50s. 

What is the ‘middle age spread’?

The term ‘middle-age spread’ has been etched into ageing lore, yet unflattering connotations ignore the naturalness of physiological change. Expecting to weigh the same at 30 as 18 is folly according to clinical psychologist Louise Adams from Treat Yourself Well.

“Our body weight at age 18 is for many of us the lightest we have ever been,” says Adams. “We may not have stopped growing at that point and may not have reached full maturity. Weight gain as we age is quite normal and body shape and size can change over our lifetime. Sticking to a weight from many years ago is unrealistic for the vast majority of us. It’s similar to remembering how your skin looked as a teenager and expecting the same in middle age.”

The other sticking point in weight expectations is that many of us expect that with enough weights training and self-control we can defy the effects of hormonal changes associated with mid life.

“I think we should be a bit more accepting of carrying a bit of weight as we get older,” says the University of Melbourne’s Dr Joseph Proietto, a professor of medicine. “There are multiple studies that suggest that a little extra weight can be a healthy thing. In one study we conducted we looked at people who had stents put in their hearts for angina. We found that the underweight people died at a faster rate, and the overweight were better than the normal weight, the mildly obese were better than the overweight in terms of survival.”

How to stay trim – despite your age!

Dr Lavie encourages a paradigm shift from weight to fitness. “It’s much better to strive for fitness and be on the thicker side than to be thin and unfit,” he says. “Loss of fitness is a much stronger predictor of mortality than weight gain.”

He says the ideal is to exercise 40 to 45 minutes a day, five to six days a week, with plenty of strength work.

“Fitness gurus will tell you that strength training becomes more vital the older one gets, and they are right, for it supports muscle mass like no other form of exercise and can help increase not only strength but also bone mass,” says Dr Lavie.

“In most people, muscle strength peaks in our 20s and then gradually decreases. Recent research suggests that women on average will lose muscle mass twice as fast as men the same age, which can make a huge difference in their ability to maintain an ideal weight.”

 

NEXT: What is collagen depletion?

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Do I need to be skinny to look toned?

Want to achieve that ‘shredded’ look? It usually requires an increase in muscle mass and a decrease in body fat.

Increased muscle mass (i.e. size, width and volume of your muscle fibres) will help your muscles become more visible beneath body fat; however, significant mass is not always necessary for improved tone.

According to exercise scientist Johann Ruys, “Muscle mass increase is generally associated with an increase in tone, but an increase in tone is not necessarily associated with a major increase in size.”

How to achieve that ‘shredded’ look

To achieve the ‘shredded’ look of a figure model, increased muscle mass is generally required – more so than for the taut, slender lines of a bikini model. However, the acquisition of either body would usually require a decrease in body fat.

“Less body fat will increase the ‘visible effect’ of tone,” says Ruys. “But tone can improve your shape, even with body fat.”

Figure competitors sport around five to 10 per cent body fat for a competition, but it’s certainly not kept that low all year round. This means that even for the most muscled individual, sculpted abs (or indeed a sculpted aesthetic) is not always a reality.

Alexa Towersey, personal trainer and co-founder of the Creating Curves program – a program based on her experience training models and Miss Universe competitors – says “The training you do in the gym creates the muscle tone or muscle mass, and the correct nutrition allows you to get lean enough to show it off at its full potential.

If you’re looking for clear muscle definition, you need to lose the subcutaneous, or surface, fat. It’s true when they say, ‘abs are made in the gym and revealed in the kitchen’.”

NEXT: Check out our Body transformations section or read about How to improve muscle definition

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