Sep
10
0

Breaking Plateaus

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I asked a few weeks ago what you would like to see from BFV and someone mentioned how to break plateau’s.  

Going through a weight loss plateau happens to just about EVERYONE, it’s not a case of IF but more a case of WHEN…

Don’t stress (Like I do), It’s perfectly normal. So, what to do? Firstly, a few questions I ask myself:

Am I eating too much? Do I need to readjust my calories? The more fat you lose, the less energy (calories) your body may require. Ensure to continually assess your daily calorie requirements. This comes down to muscle mass as well.

Am I not eating enough? Depending on where you are at in your fitness or weight loss journey depends on how many calories you should be consuming…Re-evaluate your goals, is your goal primarily fat loss, is it muscle building?

Am I not exercising enough? Maybe you need to incorporate an extra weight session or add some cardio to your routine. Small adjustments can still make big changes!

Am I exercising too much? Yes, there is such a thing. Your body needs to REST. Remember, Muscles are teared in the gym fed in the kitchen and built in bed.

Am I being realistic in my goals? Of course aim high, but don’t set yourself up for failure with unrealistic goals.

When was the last time I changed my exercise routine? Don’t get me wrong, consistency is the key! And whilst I’ve been caught out chopping and changing too much, you can also get stuck in your ways and not progress with your fitness. It’s great to constantly be challenging your body, whether that’s increasing your weights, changing your sets/reps, switching the 5km run and doing some sprints or vise versa, or if it’s working on a different training program all together, give it atleast 8 weeks (In my opinion).  Your body can get use to whatever training regime you do and if you’ve been doing the same one for 8 weeks plus then it’s either time to increase weights (aim to do this every 3 weeks) or it’s time to switch up your routine. Try something different!weight-loss-plateau

For me personally, I’ve had other health issues come into play that has affected my progress but it won’t stop me….Tackle those issues and work with them.

Last bit from me before I share a great article is DON’T GIVE UP. DON’T STOP. The best advise I’ve got for you….

Whatever you do, DON’T STOP :) Stay POSITIVE and be PATIENT.

Here is a great article to read through and understand better on how to break those plateaus.

http://www.builtlean.com/2012/05/22/weight-loss-plateau/

 

 

Feb
26
0

Mix It Up!

Sick of doing the same thing over and over again and NOT seeing any results? Don’t get me wrong; having a set routine in place is great… BUT, you have to mix it up!

Train the same, Remain the same!

Not only will you get bored and fed up with not seeing results but you can feel unmotivated and want to give up on your fitness journey – noooo!

Why does this happen?

Our body gets use to the same activity level of exercise, resulting in your body eventually hitting a  plateau – which can be frustrating and very disheartening. You will still be burning calories but will stay at a ‘maintenance’ level not progressing further which is why it’s so important to change your routine every 4-6 weeks to maximize your results!

For me, it’s something I have struggled with, as I haven’t necessarily gotten bored with my routine, but I enjoy it! Through seeking advise from friends, trainers and industry professionals I’ve been able to find the balance between doing what I enjoy but still challenging myself, physically and mentally with different fitness routines.

Ways to mix up your routine:

  • Aim for 2-3 days of HIIT cross-training cardio per week.

For example: If you go for a run one day, try cycling the next, like a spin class or a different cardio class at the gym. Or try swimming or the cross-trainer machine at the gym.

  • Aim for 3 days of weight training per week. You could mix your routine by grouping different muscle groups and working them on different days.

For example: Mondays: Legs and Butt; Wednesdays: Back and Chest; Fridays: Biceps, Triceps and Shoulders. Alternatively, you could use the 3 days and do a full body workout but increase your weights/try different exercises every 2-3 weeks.

  • Try different things, shock your body, challenge yourself with different activities you haven’t tried before. 

For example: This might be joining a a group sport, participating in a 12 week boot-camp challenge, take up a PT session to learn different exercises in the gym. Try different classes at the gym, incorporate a yoga or pilates class a week. 

Exercise should be apart of your life, for the rest of your life! It can be fun, and should be something you enjoy! It shouldn’t be a punishment for something you have eaten, nor should it be a quick fix or a ‘FAD’ to get unhealthy results quickly.

So find what works for you, ditch what doesn’t, stay focused, stay positive and stay patient; the results will come!

One thing that you must remember with any fitness plan is NUTRITION and REST. You will not get the results without fueling your body correctly and resting it.

Pump it up!!!

:D

 

 

 

 

Feb
12
0

Goals

Sometimes I’ve found myself thinking ‘I’m not getting anywhere, I’m not going anywhere’. When really I should be asking myself ‘Where do I want to go, what do I want to do, what do I want to ACHIEVE’?. Which is where setting goals whether it’s professionally, personally, health and fitness related or even relationships – have really helped provide me with direction and overcome certain obstacles or milestones in my life.

Setting goals not only gives direction, but motivates you to achieve and succeed in the near or distant future. You wouldn’t set out on an important journey without having any idea where you’re going, or your final destination?

It’s the same with your health and fitness. The importance of setting yourself goals to achieve something is just as important as actually doing it – you can’t really have one without the other!

In any health and fitness program whether it’s a program you’ve purchased, one you’re following set out by your doctor, personal trainer, nutritionist, or one in which you’ve set yourself, the most common practice in participating in a program is setting goals. And of course putting things in place to help you achieve them!

I’m not just talking about ‘losing 2kg in 2 weeks’ either. These goals are great at the start of a weight loss journey, but can become unrealistic and setting yourself up to feeling as though you haven’t achieved something or disheartened. I’ve done it! I’ve felt it! And it sucks….When really, you may have accomplished so much more! You may have not lose that 2kg in 2 weeks but you’ve gone to the gym every day you had intended to, you’ve eaten healthy, you’ve stopped drinking diet coke every day (this was one for me) you’re feeling more confident about yourself, your clothes feel more comfortable, someone commented on how well you’re looking. Get me? All these things can’t be measured by stepping on the scales. You’re looking down to see results? When really you should be holding your head high and standing strong and proud of what you’ve accomplished and what you’re yet to achieve!

At my PT session last week, we sat down prior and discussed my current position and how I was feeling. We did do a weigh in and took measurements but most importantly I created some goals I would like to achieve in the next 12 weeks.

These goals were:

1)      Complete an unassisted chin up

2)      No more lady push ups, only do man push ups

3)      Be more mindful, really stick to attending yoga regularly

4)      Being more positive and not so hard on myself no more negative self talk

5)      Continue to take steps forward to bettering my digestive problems

Not only do I use my PT sessions and my gym as ‘tools’ to setting and achieving my goals; but I even use posting my fitness regime on betterfitvegan.com to help me achieve what I set out to. Each week I sit down and look at what I have for the week ahead, what nights I might be home late, what to cook for dinner (as no matter how many fitness goals I set, my eating must be in tack!), what classes I can attend and set myself a plan.

 So what goals do you want to set for yourself?

For starters, think about simple goals like ‘Say something nice to myself at least once a day’; or rather then ‘going to the gym every single day’ how about ‘attending the gym 3 days a week, anything else is a bonus.

What tools can you use to help you achieve your goals?

Believe in yourself. 

Hey, you’ve gotten this far, you’ve identified what you want to achieve now you just have to do it! Tell yourself you can do it, congratulate yourself, reward yourself (not with food!) and be proud of yourself.

Stay focused. 

Of course you are going to get distracted and there will be things that pop up taking you away from doing the things you need to do to achieve that goal. Prioritise, ask yourself, what is really more important to you? Do you reeeeally want that chocolate cake? Do you really want to go home and skip the gym, what will you do when you get home, just regret not going to the gym, so just go! Keep your eyes on the prize!

Accountability.

Keep a diary of what you’re eating, what days you are exercising, even a mood diary! Write down how you are feeling throughout the day. Really get to know you and where you are at! Don’t make excuses, at the end of the day this is YOUR goal, YOUR plan, YOUR commitment, YOUR achievement, YOUR life. No one else’s! So don’t let anyone else or those excuses stop you from achieving your goals!

 

Stay positive. 

Write down what you want to achieve. Put it up on your fridge, bathroom mirror, desk at work, your diary etc. Create your own positive affirmations (or feel free to take any from the positivity section on this site) and surround yourself with positive people. Make room for those people and keep the negative ones out!

Persistence. 

Cheezy – it won’t happen over night, but it will happen. Or I’ve seen something else that makes me laugh ‘Ok, I’ve exercised once and had healthy meals all day, am I skinny yet’. If you have set out on a health and fitness journey, you’re more than likely to stick to this as a lifestyle and not just a quick fix. So keep at it, you will get to where you want to go ‘persistence is the key’.

If you make a mistake, have a slip up? Pick yourself up and keep going. Anyone who has achieved something never got there without making mistakes and LEARNING from them. Use the mistake as a step forward. Keep going forward!

I wish you all the best and look forward to hearing what goals you’ve set in place and what you did to help achieve them!

:)

BFV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jan
17
0

Support

Last week I posted about the importance of planning, not just with your food but with your exercise. Another type of planning we should do especially when taking on a new nutrition and fitness lifestyle is – support.

There are going to be times when you are struggling, you may be losing site of your goals and what you want to achieve, lack of motivation or those negative thoughts are becoming a little louder… It’s crucial to not only have the tools to support yourself in these times, but to have supportive people surrounding you.

Create a supportive network through friends, family, online forums, Facebook pages, websites, doctors, counsellors, trainers, even certain TV programs, books you read or shops you visit.

Have people surround you that are going to help motivate you and keep you on track. You aren’t alone! At the end of the day yes it’s you that’s responsible for your decisions but it’s just as important to be around people that have the similar interests and that will support you in achieving your goals!

Unfortunately we may have people in our life that aren’t ready for change, they might be unhappy with themselves or no matter how much you love each other they can’t support you or be a good influence for you and your lifestyle change. It doesn’t mean you love them any less, but sometimes we need to distance ourselves or filter through people and their behaviours.

One thing I’ve learnt is you can’t change people. No matter how much you need them to or want them to, you can’t. The only person you can change is yourself. If you love someone whether it’s your partner, friend or family member and you want them in your life but they aren’t giving you the support you need, then YOU need to change in how you manage/deal with them in your life and filter their behaviours. Let in what you love about them but filter out the things you don’t.

Tips – Find 3 people that share the same goals as you and support each other!! Whether it’s doing something together to hold you accountable, texting one another to encourage them to go to that 6am bootcamp or run… I’ve even created private Facebook walls for my ‘buddies’ and I to upload how we are feeling, our goals, pictures of the foods we have eaten, what exercise we have done for the day, motivational affirmations to keep us going etc. Join a fitness group, maybe a bootcamp, gym, some sort of program, sporting team, online forum, the support is out there, just use it! :)

 

Jan
7
0

Plan ahead!

One of the biggest tips I find myself giving to others is PLAN. PLAN & PREP! Not just with your food, but with your exercise!

Every Sunday when I get some ‘me time’ I look at my gym schedule for the week, go through my diary, incorporate any personal appointments I have for the week, think how busy I am at work (whether I’ll need to pop in early, stay back late) catching up with friends etc I keep all of this in mind for planning my week of exercise.

At the start of my fitness journey this was CRUCIAL as I wasn’t set in my ways…I didn’t have a routine going and hadn’t formed that habit so as with so many others, I would see something come up and use it as an ‘excuse’ to get out of my exercise plan.

It’s so important to not see exercise as an ‘extra’ activity in your life. It’s APART of your life. It shouldn’t be a chore or a punishment because you’ve eaten bad food. Try and use this mindset when you have those moments ‘Oh I cannot be bothered, oh But, But, BUT nothing! Think of how many hours there are in a day, how many of those are at work, sleeping, eating, on Facebook, you certainly have time for 30-60min of exercise a day. Your body needs it!

It may mean one week you might have to change that afternoon gym class to a morning class or vice versa, you might lock in a personal training session but rather then cancelling it all together, find another day that suites you both.

Something that works for me is writing those classes, gym times, walking times into my diary. I see that as ‘committing’ myself to those set times and I also try and see that as my own appointment. You are locking yourself into your own appointment for 30-60min or for however long each day. Don’t cancel that appointment!

Keeping all of this in mind –  it’s still about balance. I know I’ve found myself putting  exercise first but then my relationships, work commitment and social life fell behind. So maybe instead of not making a social event with a friend, ask them to join you for a walk? Go for a bike ride?

At the moment (especially after launching BFV) I have THREE diaries going. My personal diary, my food and exercise diary and also my BFV diary.

Plan ahead, prep your food, stay focused and commited. It won’t take long at all until you see your fitness plans as apart of your every day to day life :)

 

Dec
18
1

Fitness Myths & Tips

Myth #1

One of the biggest myths in fitness I’ve found is people thinking they can ‘train off a bad diet’. Pretty much meaning people can eat whatever they want and as long as they exercise and work out they will be healthy/won’t gain any weight – WRONG. This is where for me I have mixed views on calorie counting as it’s the same principle – ok yeah you’ve only consumed 1200 calories for the day which is the daily requirement BUT in those calories how much protein, complex carbs, sugars and fats did you have? Or, you could have eaten a greasy disgusting burger from Mcdonalds as 800 of those calories?

If you are trying to lose weight, 80% of your results will come from what you put in your mouth, 20% is exercise. Just think about it, how many hours there are in a day that you have to be accountable for what you are eating, 1 of those hours may be for your exercise.

Tip

Exercise using a combination of HIIT Cardio & Weight Training 5-5 times a week and clean eat 80% of the time (allow yourself a treat meal a week, but don’t ‘reward’ yourself with food when you achieve weight loss goals – you aren’t a dog!)

Myth  #2

Long amounts of Cardio. No! I was pleasantly surprised learning this one and being told from my trainers that it’s just not necessary or doing anything for us!

Tip 

We are better off going harder for shorter, then going longer and not giving it everything (HIIT).  Classes like Spin, circuit training, interval running on treadmills etc are going to ‘burn fat’ quicker than an hour run. That being said, one of my goals is to run a half marathon so I will still include a 5-10km run a week to keep me working towards my goals.

Myth #3 

Doing exercises such as sit ups and crunches will give me abs. I WISH. What this will do is yes help strengthen your core, but if you have layers of fat on the outside it’s only going to push that out further and not actually BURN THE FAT AWAY.

Tip 

Achieving a flat, toned stomach is done through a combination of your clean eating diet, HIIT and some core work. Core work is greatto help you for your posture with weights and breathing in cardio. So, don’t just do isolated exercises, mix it up and incorporate using your core in everything that you do, even just sitting at your desk at work.

Myth #4 

Fats are bad – No No No No…. Fats are the biggest part of my diet (which is why I try to keep my carb intake low) and play a huge part in weight loss, fighting fatigue and mental health. Our bodies actually need ‘good’ fats for omega 3 which are good for the brain -however become ‘bad’ when heated.

Tip 

AVOID foods that are labelled ‘Fat Free’ as they are usually filled with loads of other crap and sugar. Just aim to steer clear of the bad fats ‘trans’ and ‘saturated’ which are higher in cholesterol and can increase your risk of heart disease.

**See more information on good fats under ‘Food and Nutrition – Food Sources’

Myth #5

Weight training will make woman look manly – Weight Training is just as much if not more important than Cardio – well I for one would much prefer working up a sweat and getting my heart rate up lifting weights then running on a tread mill. Training with weights helps you build lean muscle which in return helps you burn more calories – even when you aren’t training!

Tip 

Incorporate weight training to your exercise regime 3 times a week. This will assist in gaining long lean muscles and help your burning more calories for longer!

Continue to re-visit betterfitvegan.com for more helpful fitness myths and tips!