First Workout

Firstly I want to say congratulations as you have completed the first hurdle. You have got past the ‘I should loose weight’ or ‘I should make a change’ to ‘I am going to make a change’. So many of us sit on our sofas complaining about being over weight, tired, or not looking that person on Love Island but what are we actually doing about it?

When you have decided you are going to do something about it, that is fantastic but there are many hurdles ahead. On my first day going to the gym I felt like I didn’t belong there at all and had very little confidence. I didn’t think that I fitted in as I didn’t know how all the machines work, I wasn’t physically fit, and simply felt like everyone was thinking ‘what is she even doing here’. Now I am a regular at the gym and I can guarantee that no one is thinking these things, in fact they probably don’t even notice you because they are too wrapped up in their own workout and fitness regime. Everyone in the gym has one thing in common, they are there to better themselves and we all respect each other for that no matter what stage of the journey you are at.

Despite me preaching this to you I know it can still be very intimidating and a way to build your confidence is to start off with home workouts. With the internet there are so many youtube workouts that are accessible for free and many require no equipment. I would suggest purchasing some dumbbells to help you out and prepare you for the gym but that is a matter of choice as there are so many very effective body weight workouts available to you.

I used to do 4 – 5 HIIT workouts a week. This was very time effective as you only need to workout 30 minutes a day. It also increases your fitness level and you can learn new exercises and practice technique within the privacy of your own home. You can stop and start the sessions at any point and you don’t need to worry about being out of breath and doing things wrong. I worked out at home for a good 2 months before actually entering the gym and when I finally got to the gym I had a good understanding of what I needed to do and the confidence that what I was doing works.

Most people feel the greatest confidence when on the treadmill. Please do not spend hours on this, in fact 20 minutes is more then enough. When in the gym focus on weights and bodyweight exercises in order to see changes in the shortest amount of time. I would say 90% of the time spent in the gym should be completely away from all machines. Why use a machine to assist you when you body can do the work itself? Especially women, but also men do not need to lifting weight that your own body cannot support itself.

The most effective and simple exercises to start off with are listed below:

  • Walking up hill on the treadmill
  • Interval sprints
  • squats
  • Lunges
  • Press ups
  • Crunches
  • Bent over row

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After mastering these you can do more advanced training and exercise. Isolate muscle groups on certain days of the week and see your results improve even faster.

Keep motivated and don’t give up, you will get there as the method never fails if you have determination.

Instagram – Keziakco

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Treats

The question on most dieters minds is when are they going to get to enjoy the food they loved so much before their diet began. On what day can I have that slice of cake? How much ‘bad’ food can I have without ruining all the progress I’ve made?

There are many options for people to follow and advice all over the internet. Please take extra caution when following this information as it varies. It is dependant on what you want to achieve, how quickly you want to achieve it and what you see as enjoying a treat.

As I promote this as a lifestyle and not a diet it is crucial that  you are not waiting for a treat day every week and seeing food as a reward. This ultimately ruins everything you worked for as this mindset is keeping you in your fat and unhealthy ways. Sugary, fatty and synthetic foods are not a reward and you simply setting yourself up for failure and not to mention, harming your body in the process.

We are all human and of course it is not realistic to go through life without indulging in what we most enjoy and for most of us we all have that favourite food that is not on the diet plan. When dieting it is evident that the majority of days in your life will be on plan and avoid unhealthy choices, the so limited days where you do eat what you enjoy, please do not waste this opportunity. Many of us snack when we are hungry and select the easiest option – crisps, sweets, cake (you name it). When you are starving you do not think about what you are eating and often do not enjoy it. Why waste a treat when you are unable to enjoy it. In order to avoid this meal prep is essential as this means healthy options are never out of reach.

When I have a treat I make it count. I save it for a celebration like a birthday, wedding, holiday, special restaurant, or when baking something. For example, last summer I worked really hard but when I knew all my holidays were over and I had a day off from work I ordered a pizza and I have to say it was a great feeling. This was one greatly appreciated treat meal after 3 months of low carbs, exercise and no treats. Not only did it taste better than ever but it was almost guilt free.

If you absolutely live for unhealthy food this will be very difficult for you and you must try to focus on reconditioning your brain in order to achieve your goal. Some people are more left-brained so more analytic and need a pattern to follow. In this situation you can follow this rule that is respected by many olympians:

12 days following your diet followed by the 13th days as a ‘cheat day’. I recommend  a cheat meal not day as this will only make the 14th day harder for you. Every 4 days on your diet your body makes an upgrade to its metabolism, improving itself and your health. After it has done this 4 times it is enough to remove everything bad out of your body, 4 x 4 = 16 days so if you consume a cheeky pizza or piece of cake on the 13th day your metabolism is in its optimum week and can remove the negatives from your body. This really does work and is scientifically proven, but please do not count days, and add dates to calendars etc. Do not live to eat, eat to live.

Despite us all enjoying a treat now and again the real reward is how you feel, your health, your appearance and your confidence.

This is a little something I created on the weekend for my one off treat (I only had one). Contains ALOT of sugar! BEWARE!

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Please find the recipe here – http://allrecipes.com/recipe/143083/fresh-fruit-flan/ (but instead of a flan I made meringues. Meringues recipe –http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/international/european/french/meringues Enjoy, but not too many please 😉

Instagram – keziakco

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Daily Protein

When I first started my ‘new lifestyle’ or as people like to call it ‘diet’, I found it very difficult eating the correct quantity of protein. This was due to making many common mistakes, many of which are listed below:

  • Consuming too many carbs and too many of the wrong carbs
  • Not eating enough and eating the wrong things
  • Not doing any food prep so having to buy food on the go
  • When I was hungry I would choose easy instead of healthy

I ate a huge amount of bread. Bread is easy to eat for meals and snacks and its very tasty. You don’t have to wait for it to cook and takes minimal preparation. Due to my thyroid issues I now eat non/minimal break (maximum once a week). It just isn’t necessary in my opinion and something that is very easy to cut out and you will notice  the difference in how you feel and look.

Preparing your food in advance is a great help, as when you get really hungry or need a snack, you have a healthy meal ready and waiting. This is particularly important at work or on the go, especially during that 3 o clock slump we all get. It can also save you a lot of money when you plan in advance.

In order to manage my daily protein I checked my macros on MyFitnessPal and you protein intake should be a minimum 20% of your diet. This doesn’t seem like a lot but can be challenging especially when finding snacks that don’t take you over your sugar limit. Great snacks to eat filled with protein are:

  • Billtong
  • Nuts
  • Protein shake
  • Protein bars
  • M&S packet of ready to eat chicken/ ham
  • Greek yogurt
  • Boiled egg
  • Edamame peas
  • Chia pudding

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These are some different protein filled snacks I have tried and my review:

  • Maxi Nutrition Pro Max Milk – you can purchase this from Maxi Nutrition

It contains 30 g of protein which is very high for a snack product so excellent for boosting protein content. It tastes very sweet but a nice flavour to it, similar to a strawberry milkshake. It contains 16.5 g of sugar which is very high for a snack item. I would recommend this for taste and protein but its far to high in sugar. I would consider this snack to be more of a treat item, certainly not for daily consumption.

It contains 20g of protein, still very reasonable for a snack item. It tastes nice but does take some getting used to. It is rather chewy and has a chocolate but synthetic flavour. If you enjoy the taste it can be consumed daily as there are only 3.3 g of sugar in these. Almost guilt free 😉

This has 9 g of protein and contains 13.5 g of sugar. Despite it being labelled a protein bar  this is far from guilt free. This is a one off treat item and should be treated the same as having a biscuit. It tastes like any regular chocolate covered flapjack, very good!

  • Chocolate Caramel Protein Bar GEN P – you can purchase from Maxi Nutrition

Similar to the above, it only contains 10 g of protein. It tastes very sweet and synthetic – similar to a Mars Bar (not that I’m complaining). It contains 11 g of sugar so watch out for this one as well.

Always read all the ingredients when purchasing ‘healthy’ products as their marketing is out there to fool us.

My go to health bars are now Grenade Carb Killa bars. As the name suggests, they are high in protein and low in carbs.

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Lots of tasty flavours, over 23 g of protein per bar and as little as 1.4 g of sugar. Not only do they taste like regular chocolate bars but they are also extremely feeling and cut out cravings. I definitely recommend!

Instagram – keziakco

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Vegetarian Dinner

I believe in the importance of not eating meat every day of the week. Some people might find this tricky, but try not to eat it every lunch and dinner for the benefit of your health. Various studies have actually revealed the following results due to eating less meat:

  • Weight loss
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduced chance of getting diabetes
  • Reduced change of getting cancer
  • Healthy skin
  • Smell better
  • Increases happiness
  • Increases energy

I personally couldn’t be a vegetarian as I enjoy meat, I would find it extremely difficult to get my daily allowance of protein and not to mention the cost of the foods I would need to buy to maintain my health. I think for most people they do not have the time and money to commit to this lifestyle and most of us enjoy a ‘cheeky Nandos’ now and again 😉

However, if you could cut out meat all together or simply reduce it here are some of negative points of consuming meat that you would be avoiding:

  • Meat puts a lot of strain on your colon and your brain contributing to things like Alzheimers disease.
  • Build up of unwanted hormones
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • E.coli and other bacterial infections
  • Shorter life span in comparison to a vegetarian

Below is my Wednesday vegetarian dinner, a combination of healthy vegetables, seeds and feta cheese, inspired by fitness expert Clean Eating Alice.

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As the colours show, this dinner is filled with all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals you need and it is extremely filling. The sweet potato is there as a healthy carb as I went to the gym today.

Ingredients:

  • Rocket
  • Roasted sweet potato
  • Peppers
  • Tomatos
  • Asparagus
  • Feta
  • Sun flower seeds
  • Lemon juice

 

All of this mixed together in a bowl with salt and pepper to flavour.

Enjoy, stay healthy 🙂

Instagram @Keziakco

xxx