Tag Archives: exercise

9 Workout Moves You Can Do In a Hotel Room

The easiest way to get fit (and stay that way!) is to use the one piece of equipment that will be with you no matter where you travel: you. With just the resistance of your own body weight, it’s possible to improve your strength, balance, agility, stamina, and more. The hotel doesn’t have a gym? No worries! Forgot to pack your sneakers? No problem! Accidentally booked a beach vacation during monsoon season? NBD! These 9 moves are excuse-proof, because wherever you go, there you are—literally!

CLICK HERE: 9 Workout Moves You Can Do In a Hotel Room

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Stop Dieting Today! Why Giving Up on Diets Is NOT Giving Up On Yourself

Years of dieting and listening to someone else’s voice – ie the media– means we naturally believe someone else always knows better. If we listen we will get the body they tell us we want. The picture of that (airbrushed) model in the magazine/diet book/poster – if we follow this diet we will look like that.

We loose touch with our own voice, what WE want to eat, WHEN we are actually hungry and actually full and satisfied. You eat unpalatable food because it will give you a body that the media tells you is ‘correct/right’ – slender and trim.

When you give up dieting you are taking back YOUR VOICE. 

Scary thought isnt it?!

When breaking free from a diet it can be overwhelming with the amount of food you are now ‘allowed’ to eat. You now have to TRUST the wisdom of your body.

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Here are some helpful tips when learning to listen to you again…

– Make sure you eat when you are hungry! ….sounds obvious right?….but honeslty think about when you eat – is it becuase ts a meal time so you are expected to eat

– You are upset so you have a treat – something to eat.

– You are celebreating – so have something to eat

– You are happy – so have something to eat

– You are in love and so you share – which leads to eating

– You are frusted adn need confort – so you eat

The list goes on….

I know, its hard at first, you have been following the Rules for years, the Adive in the media of ‘legal foods‘ but give it a go! It is NICE !!

Another thing I would add is – make sure you STOP when you are full. For example – you are eating your delicious chocolate bar/cake/ice cream/ pizza etc and you feel full (satisfied and not uncomfortably full) – but ‘it tastes sooo good’! you want to keep eating the cake becuase its delicious- but listen to your stomach and body – you ARE full. What i would adivse here is put away your food (in the fridge or tupperware, not in the bin)  and tell yourself ‘i can eat this whenver i like – BUT when i am hungry again’. This means you won’t over-eat and then feel guilty and can heave a healthy relationship with food again.

Feel free to email me – chloehthomas@gmail.com –  for more advice and guidance and please comment below your feedback on this post.

Is a Calorie REALLY Just a Calorie?

A calorie, by its simplest definition, is a unit of energy. It’s equivalent to 4.184 absolute Joules.

We’ve all heard that “a calorie is a calorie,” and while there’s truth in this statement, it can lead us astray in our quest to build a great body.

You see, when we’re just talking about mere weight loss or gain, it doesn’t matter where these calories come from. So in this way, a calorie is a calorie. When it comes to PURE weight loss (not factoring in muscle vs. fat, body composition, overall health, physical performance, or energy levels), eating fewer calories than you burn every day will be the main part of the equation. Eat less than you burn: lose weight.

HOWEVER, we’re FAR more concerned with how you look, how you feel, if you are healthy, if you are getting stronger, if your doctor gives you a clean bill of health, and if you live a long life full of activity, exercise, sleeping well etc. You want to do everything in your power to avoid things like heart disease, cancer and type-2 diabetes – diseases that end your life too early.

When we’re talking about improving body composition (losing just body fat and not muscle, or maximizing muscle growth while minimizing fat storage), you must not only follow the principles of energy balance, but you must do so with a proper balance of macronutrients.


A macronutrient is any of the nutritional components of the diet that are required in relatively large amounts: protein, carbohydrate, and fat. How you balance your intake of these macronutrients has profound effects on how your body responds to the foods you eat. For example, protein is the most important macronutrient to get right when you want to optimize your body composition. The research is clear.

A high-protein diet…

-Is vital for preserving lean mass when dieting for fat loss.

-Is vital for maximizing muscle growth when dieting for muscle gain.

-Is effective for reducing body fat levels, including abdominal fat in particular.

-Increases satiety, helping you avoid hunger pangs and cravings.

-A high-protein diet is even more important if you’re exercising regularly, as this further increases your body’s demand for amino acids.

Despite what you’ve been told, carbohydrates aren’t the enemy. They don’t make you fat or unhealthy. In fact, there are big benefits to keeping carbohydrate intake as high as possible, even when dieting for fat loss, including…

-Better workout performance.

-Improved retention of lean mass.

-Better thyroid function.

-More satiety.

-Better mood.

Trust me–low-carb dieting is NOT GOOD and is completely unnecessary for the vast majority of people looking to lose weight, and is downright detrimental to those trying to put on size.

What does the perfect ratio look like?

In my opinion, the amount of calories consumed and the ratio of what the macronutrients should differ from person to person depending upon their body, goals, and routine. A proper meal plan not only provides the proper amount of calories but breaks them down into the optimal amounts of macronutrients as well.

  

I’d love to hear your thoughts:

Have you had success with counting calories or calculating macros, or did it make you go crazy?
Which methods have you messed around with, and what are your goals? Are you trying to lose a few pounds, lose a lot of weight, get to a minimal body fat percentage, compete in an elite sport, etc.

Do you use any apps on your phone to record claories alone or do you include macronutrients? -Has this article made you reconsider? 

I’d love to hear from you – chloehthomas@gmail.com, or message me on facebook- click here

 

 

 

 

 

HOW TO HANDLE CRAVINGS

1. Plan for a snack attack

Many of us use low blood sugar as an excuse for a mid-afternoon chocolate snack. There are plenty of alternative foods that will boost your blood sugar and energy levels. A peanut butter sandwich or a banana is much better, as it increases blood sugar gradually, rather than the quick fix hit of chocolate. Learn to anticipate your weak moments and have healthy alternatives, such as nuts or fruit.

You could even try getting your chocolate fix with a juice plus pancake or ice cream or whip some into greek yoghurt (total 0%). 

What is GI and GL?

Glycaemic index (GI) and glycaemic load (GL) provide information about how foods affect blood sugar and insulin.

The lower a food’s GI or GL, the less it affects blood sugar and insulin levels.
GI measures the effect of your food on blood glucose levels. It’s a rank list index for foods based on how quickly your blood sugar levels will increase after ingestion.

The GL is different as it is based on the active carbohydrate content of a normal serving of food, or around 100 grammes. So in other words, the GL tells you how much carbohydrate is in a standard serving size of food.

2. Take up exercise

It may not be as immediately satisfying as munching on a bar of chocolate, but exercise creates serotonin, a neurotransmitter which promotes feelings of happiness.

It also releases endorphins in the same way that a bar of chocolate will, only exercise is far better for you in the long run.

After a good workout, you won’t have as much need for sugar, and the same goes for sex!

3. Blood glucose levels

A low glycaemic load (GL) diet will help keep your blood sugar level balanced. The glycaemic index (GI) ranks carbohydrates according to their effect on blood glucose levels. Juice Plus shakes are Low GI. 

Low GL carbohydrates produce only small fluctuations in blood glucose levels.

Eating quality lean proteins and the right fats with low GL carbohydrates, such as wholemeal bread, will make you feel full and you won’t be as likely to crave a sugar rush.

How To Completely Change Your Habits

21 days to a new habit.

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Recently i have been doing #onesimplechange with my clients. It is 21 days of doing a healthy habit. Anything from 20mins meditation/day , reading to cutting out fizzy drinks or squats!

Research shows that it takes 21 days to develop a habit. That’s 21 days of going to the gym every day or exercising in some way every day, 21 days to meditation, 21 days to eat healthily, 21 days doing, 21 days of anything! The aim of one simple change is that it is a healthy habit that is easy and simple to start/change. 

When you want to start a habit, don’t tell yourself you are doing it for life, tell yourself (your conscious brain) that you are going to try it for 21 days. Then when you have completed this for 21 days your conscious mind has the choice of stopping it or carrying on, or so it thinks. Your neural pathways have formed already and you will more than likely continue with your new habit, you will have seen the benefits along the way your unconscious will want to continue if it has been beneficial. This can also work when trying to break a habit, however research has shown that the neural pathways to any habit could be lifelong and a cue or a trigger can cause us to start back up an old habit, like smoking.

This is not a bad thing; we just have to be aware of our thoughts when we have given up a habit such as smoking or drinking fizzy drinks.

When starting or breaking any habit we tend to tell our conscious mind we are going to change and it’s for life. The trouble is your conscious mind will just say ‘is that right? I’m in charge here, I’ll decide’ so there will be a battle between your two sides of your conscious mind.

If you tell your mind you want to try something for 21 days it won’t be so unwilling to co-operate. We all know we have conversations with ourselves, should I go to the pub should I not, should I go to the gym should I not. There are a hundred conversations we have with ourselves everyday!

When we want to start something or give up something, smoking for example, you might normally say to yourself ‘right that’s it I’m giving up for good’. Immediately your brain kicks in and says no smoking for life, and then it starts to think of all the situations it likes a good cigarette in; first thing in the morning with a cup of coffee, going out for a drink at night, at work when you’re a bit stressed, just after sex etc. Your brain thinks ‘lack of’ instead of the benefits of. It can’t really think as clearly about the benefits because it hasn’t yet had the benefits of giving up smoking but it knows the supposed pleasures that smoking brings.

So what one simple change can we start for 21 days?

Keep a Gratitude Journal 

Give up sweets 

Read 10 pages of a personal development book a day 

Meditate for 20 mins/day

30 squats a day

Write in the blog every day for 

Go to bed before 10:30pm

Get up before 6am 

Exchange my daily coffee for a daily lemon tea

Drink 2.5litres of water a day 

Replace breakfast for a Juice Plus Complete protein shake

Take Juice Plus capsules every morning

I’ve been asking my clients to download this fantastic free app for you to track your change. It counts the days for you and each day you click complete when you have done your change: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE APP

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Remember, sustaining change is always easier – and much more fun – when you have friends along for the journey. They’ll keep you accountable, encourage you through the hard times and cheer you on from the front lines. Click here for more info on Juice Plus onesimplechange

Please comment below with what onesimplechange you are going to make starting this week and let me know your progress! Good luck! 

9 Reasons Women Should Do Weight Training  

Strength training is an important part of improving your overall fitness, and for women, it can mean much more. In addition to numerous health benefits, adding weights to your routine can become a form of personal development that builds strength in all areas of life. 

1. Muscle increases metabolic rate and boosts your metabolism naturally.

The more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate. You read that correctly; by doing absolutely nothing, you can actually burn calories thanks to your mighty muscles. One pound of muscle uses about six calories a day to sustain itself, while one pound of fat burns just two calories daily. And after a session of resistance training, you’ll burn even more since your muscles all over your body are activated. 

Want to burn even more calories? In a study from the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, it was found that women who lifted 85 percent of their maximum load for eight reps than when they did more reps at a lower weight burned twice as many calories in the two hours after their workout. 

By adding muscle through strength training (even just a little bit), your resting metabolic rate (i.e., the amount of calories you burn daily by just existing) increases. Weights temporarily lift your metabolic rate, thanks to a handy process called excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), which means your body continues to burn calories at a higher rate even when resting. That’s why, in a study at Penn State University in the US, dieters who lifted weights as well as doing cardio lost 6lb more fat than the group doing aerobic work alone. Athletes are calorie-burning machines even when they are not exercising.

MORE THAN JUST CALORIES:

2. Lifting weights strengthens muscle and bone, which helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis or brittle bone disease

Building muscle mass helps strengthen connective tissues, which increases bone density. By doing this, you’re reducing your risk for injury, and your chance of getting osteoporosis later in life which women are more at risk of than men.

Due to dropping levels of estrogen, postmenopausal women are prone to osteoporosis. Numerous studies show a positive relationship between resistance training and bone density. When bone feels the “pull” from the muscles, bone growth is stimulated. Not only can strength training offset bone loss, it can actually cause an increase in bone density in women who regularly lift weights.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have also found that exercise, which build muscles (here’s how to start your own strength training routine), can actually help to improve balance, improve blood-sugar control, and improve sleep and mental health.

3. If weight loss is your goal, muscle is your mate.

Cardiovascular exercise WILL burn a higher percentage of stored fat but, as Liz says, “A muscular body is a more efficient body. For every additional pound of muscle you gain by lifting weights, your body burns around 50 extra calories every day.” 

4. Shape without the bulk.

If I lift weights, I’ll bulk up like Arnie“- The Truth: Due to their lower levels of testosterone, it is very difficult for women to develop large, bulky muscles. Instead of the bulk, most women tend to build a nice hourglass figure—curves we can be proud of!

On a moderate training plan, building up excessive bulk is impossible. Muscle growth is very dependent on testosterone and women tend to produce 10 times less than men, so you can’t build big bulging muscles naturally. Add to that bodybuilders spend pretty much all day, every day, lifting HEAVY weights and eating large amounts of protein every couple of hours to achieve that look. Unless you put in that kind of time and effort, you’re not going to turn into Popeye.


5. Elevate mood.

Women are twice as likely to develop clinical depression as men, yet two-thirds of these women do not do anything to combat these feelings. The release of norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin during resistance training chemically helps exercisers acheive a feeling of well-being. Weight training also leads to an increase in energy, better sleep patterns, and a feeling of accomplishment and control.

6. Lifting weights also has a positive effect on insulin resistance – so your body can convert carbs into energy more efficiently. It raises your metabolic rate by as much as 15%, reduces blood pressure and improves your mood. These are factors that reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

7. Improve posture.

Combat a kyphotic (hunched over) posture by strengthening the backside of the body. Proper posture leads to injury prevention and better power transfer in athletics. And let’s face it, you just look better when you stand up straight (your mother was right!).

8. Move better for longer.

By strengthening muscles and improving bone density, women who spend time in the weight room are typically active for longer periods of time. Increased hip and leg strength aid in mobility and balance, and upper-body strength helps combat postural issues that can lead to back and shoulder injuries.

9. Become a better athlete.

Gone are the days when coaches worried that lifting weights would build bulky muscles that would weigh down athletes. Strength training can lead to better functional movement, explosive power, durability and, of course, greater overall strength.

The bottom line.

Let’s face it: As often as I spout out all of these benefits, I still hear 9 out of 10 women saying they want a better butt. What is the best way to achieve a better butt? Squats. Lunges. Strength training.

Is being Skinny always healthy ?

Health topic of the week

London fashion week 2015 has started which ‘skinny’ models everywhere ! However these models may looks good with their clothes ON but are they really healthy? I have been a model with a leading London agency for 3 years and have taken part in London fashion week and seeing these girls in their underwear has highlighted to me over and over that you may be skinny but it doesn’t mean your healthy -or your fit!

I also see so many models at the gym (if they go that is!) just running or going on the cross trainer and doing no weights- running without doing any weights is surprisingly a BAD decision … So what does this leave their bodies like?

They have what we call “Low Fat, Low Muscle Body Composition”

A person with this body makeup will look anywhere from average size to thin to skeletal. Maybe he or she appears thin with clothes on, but is jiggly underneath, or “skinny fat”. While they may be happy with their weight, they may be unhappy with their appearance.
An extreme case would be someone who appears overly thin; think the supermodels I mentioned above. This person probably doesn’t exercise or maybe focuses on only cardio (which burns calories but can actually burns muscle as well, thus over time lowering metabolism).
Problems occur when people try to be skinny instead of fit. Their diet may be average to unhealthy, but they don’t eat many calories – and yes I see this a lot! I see girls eating one burger and a sandwich or pasta in a day and that’s it!

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A person can also be skinny fat if they naturally have a fast metabolism, so do not feel the need to eat well or exercise because they are slim and appear to be healthy. If someone doesn’t have muscle, in the long term they are more likely to develop insulin resistance and are at risk of developing diabetes.

Startling statistics show that people with diabetes who are skinny fat have a higher mortality rate than obese diabetics!!

The problem with ‘skinny fat’ is that when people are thin, they think they are healthy and don’t realise they have a problem, and often have unhealthy fat around their organs .

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So what could you do if you’re in this situation? 

For a healthier body composition, this body type should focus on adding strength training so that they will increase their muscle tone, while eating healthier foods with enough calories to support their exercise routine.

Remember to bare in mind though how you eat and train will determine how your body will be composed, so it’s essential for each individual to assess their needs based on what the end result should be.

It’s also important to remember that genetics play a part in body composition, too. If you’re genetically predisposed to a certain shape, no exercise will change that…just like no exercise will make you taller or shorter.

Your skeletal and muscular makeup is unique to you, so focus on being the best YOU.

Why Kettlebells Are Good For A Toned Body & Fat Loss

Why Kettlebells Are Good For Weight Loss Your Calorie-Burning Secret: Kettlebells

There’s a reason why so many people love kettlebell training — after all, who doesn’t want a total-body resistance and cardio workout that only takes half an hour? And even more surprising, an American Council on Exercise (ACE) study recently found that the average person can burn 400 calories in just 20 minutes with a kettlebell.
That’s an amazing 20 calories a minute, or the equivalent of running a six-minute mile!

What makes the workout so effective, especially when compared with traditional weights like barbells or dumbbells? “You’re moving in different planes of movement,” says Laura Wilson, director of programming for KettleWorX. “Instead of just going up and down, you’re going to move side to side and in and out, so it’s much more functional. It’s like you move in real life: kettlebells simulate that movement, unlike a dumbbell.”

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You can use kettlebells anywhere ! Workout whilst watching TV or a film at home , in the morning before work or even in the local park. No excuses!
You can buy them from tesco’s or amazon from as little as £10!

http://www.tesco.com/direct/one-body-5kg-kettlebell/206-3376.prd

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So what should you do once you’ve got yours ?

These cast-iron weights come in a range of sizes from two pounds to 100 pounds (for the really strong ladies and gents). Proper use of kettlebells requires strength and coordination, so it’s best to start off with a light weight at first. If you are a healthy and fit female, begin using one that’s about 15 pounds (8 kg).
If you haven’t strength trained in a while (or ever), start with a lighter bell, such as five or eight pounds. To figure out if you’ve chosen the right size, try these three exercises after you read more.

1.Stand with feet hip-distance apart. Holding the handle with both hands, squat down and dangle the bell in between your legs. Hold for a few seconds, and then straighten your legs. You should be able to do this without your lower back or shoulders hurting.

2.Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart, and hold a kettlebell with both hands between your legs. Bend your knees slightly, and then swing the kettlebell forward. You should be able to explosively straighten your legs and lift the kettlebell up so it’s above shoulder height.

3.Place a kettlebell in one hand, and lift it above your head. You should be able to lift your arm all the way up without arching your back and should be able to hold the weight up there for a few seconds.

It’s better to start off with a lighter weight and learn correct technique and posture. Then you can gradually increase to a heavier kettlebell as you become stronger. Since many of the exercises involve ballistic (fast) work, you want to be sure you get some personal instruction on how to use them, since you can end up tearing a muscle if you lift too much or move the wrong way. If this is your first time using this type of weight, I’ll warn you that it can be very strenuous on the body and feel awkward at first. But as with anything, practicing will make you feel more comfortable.

Now what?

1. Follow this amazing workout –

http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Kettlebell-Exercises-Weight-Loss-21504882?slide=1

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Then move on to the following

2. Basic 5-Move Workout

This five-move kettlebell workout will torch tons of calories. When learning these exercises, it’s important to start with a light weight first, such as a five- or 10-pound kettlebell. You can increase the amount of repetitions as you become stronger, but first focus on your form and only increase the weight after you can do 20 reps of these moves correctly with a lighter weight.
http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Basic-Kettlebell-Workout-31607864

3. Circuit Workout
This high-energy 30-minute circuit workout combines moves that use kettlebells and weights for a calorie-burning bonanza, which keeps your heart rate up and challenges your core.

http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/30-Minute-Circuit-Workout-From-Equinox-Trainer-19828470

Protein- why is this macronutrient so important?

Why do we need protein in our diets, especially when exercising – and what really is the correct amount? 

People are always asking me this so I’ve decided to write a post on it.

According to expert nutritionist Dominic Swift Some benefits of including protein in your diet:

It burns more calories: 
You body needs more energy to process protein than it does carbs, so you’ll burn more calories simply by eating. Result.
It keeps you fuller for longer:
Studies have shown protein is the most satisfying macronutrient, meaning it makes you feel fuller after eating, and less likely to fall prey to snack attacks later on.
-It preserves muscles: 
Your body needs protein to build and repair muscle cells after a workout so if you want a toned bod, you need to up your intake. Plus, the more muscle you have on your body, the more calories you’ll burn at rest. Win win!

So how much is enough

According to the Institute of Medicine you should aim for around 0.8 g of protein per kilo of bodyweight. So for a woman weighing 60kg, that’s about 48g of protein a day.

Where can I get protein?

Lean meat like chicken and turkey, fish like salmon and tuna or eggs, beans, legumes and quinoa if you’re veggie. You can also choose high-protein snacks, like cottage cheese, natural yoghurt, nuts and seeds. Avocado is also particularly high in protein, considering it’s a fruit and all.

Why is Protein important after exercise ?

After a workout is one of the best times to get protein into the body so that the protein can be delivered to your muscles, to begin healing the “micro tears” (very small tears in the muscle tissue, caused by intense contraction of the muscle during workout) in the muscle.

And what about protein shakes? 

Because solid food takes more time to digest and to break down the protein and send it to the muscles, it can be best to take a protein shake immediately following a workout, since protein shakes only take about 30 minutes to reach the muscle after ingestion.
Definitely, we can see the advantage to taking a protein shake in this instance as it will give the body the fuel it needs to heal and grow.

The Power of Protein

Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. Hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

Along with fat and carbohydrates, protein is a “macronutrient,” meaning that the body needs relatively large amounts of it. Vitamins and minerals, which are needed in only small quantities, are called “micronutrients.” But unlike fat and carbohydrates, the body does not store protein, and therefore has no reservoir to draw on when it needs a new supply.

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Stress And Damage Caused By Dieting, And How To Get On The Path To Recovery-By Nia Shanks

Nia Shanks makes a great summary here for why we should not diet !
(And explanation of how the stress dieting causes you actually makes you gain weight!)

http://www.niashanks.com/2013/05/stress-damage-dieting-path-recovery/