Friday, 29 November 2013

Holiday Party Fat Loss Survival Guide

The Christimas season is here and with it comes all of those holiday parties at work and home. You know how easy it can be to fall off the wagon on your healthy eating and fat loss journey with all of the delicious Christmas baking hanging around and staring right back in your face.

With this in mind we’ve come up with a few tips and tricks for you to survive the holiday season and those parties!

Some Holiday DO’s

DO eat a diet filled with veggies (for fibre and water) and tons of protein (lean meats fill you up! Have a protein shake before you go to a party so you're not wanting to go on a "see-food" diet)

DO know where you’ll be going and what you’ll be facing as early as possible so you aren’t caught off guard by those delish holiday treats hanging around in unexpected places!

DO skip out on those office “goodies” that will lead to mindless eating and probably aren’t homemade anyways (at least that’s what I tell myself), plus you’ll probably find yourself back there for seconds or thirds once you crack that tin open...

DO focus on eating meals that are well balanced and not overly adorned with carbohydrates (you’ll be able to better justify a few well-planned treats!) and it will help keep your blood sugar levels in check!

DO drink plenty of water, especially at a party. You may realize that the hunger you are feeling may actually just be your body needing some simple aqua! If you do have a holiday treat, make sure you drink a glass a water before thinking about going for seconds. (It washes out the craving)

DO be choosy when it comes to what you are going to indulge in!

Hey, it’s the holiday season after all, right!? Go in with the attitude that you are going to allow yourself a few treats along the way, otherwise you’ll leave yourself feeling deprived and could easily just binge away on all of the deliciousness potentially facing you at every corner. By knowing what’s going on in your holiday schedule you should be able to plan when you will partake in the holiday feasting and sugar-plum goodness.  This can also serve as a motivation during the week to hold off on mindlessly stuffing your face with those goodies at the office or at home.

Oh, and please DO remember that you aren’t an elf…

PS. Keep an eye out for our blog next week as we talk about exercising during the holidays, I think you’ll really like it!

I wonder how elves exercise?...

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Skip The Crackers & Eat The Cake

Special Post by Johanna Quinn,  JQ Fitness

What is it with us women anyway? When did we begin to develop such a destructive relationship with food? 


Let’s have a chat, shall we?

I was working with one of my personal training clients this morning. She is an amazing woman. She looks great. She is strong and lean, but clearly does not see the same person I do when she looks in the mirror.

I kick her butt twice a week at 6 in the morning and I mean kick. her. butt.

When I greet her she is already soaked in sweat from the 30 min she does 'prior' to "warm-up" on the treadmill. She has to get her "cardio" in, she says.
She is driven, works hard & long hours, and has a demanding job, but is determined to carve out time each day to exercise. I admire her discipline.
I have been working with her now for about 6 months. She surprised me when she said at our previous session that she wanted me to take her measurements etc.

So...this morning I showed up with the scale and tape, which always makes the female population moan and groan (it’s amplified at 6 in the morning if you were wondering). Her body fat read 28%. She was horrified and remained bothered for the rest of our session together. We began to talk nutrition. I used my favorite line "you can't out-train a bad diet". You can't trick your body. It’s too smart for that. She chimed in, "I don't understand, its not like I eat a lot of fat - how can it be so high??" (FYI- being a trainer for 17 years, I hear this all. the. time.)

See, us ladies have such a negative, twisted view of food. We see food as an enemy. We feel a sense of pride when we 'skip' a meal or choose a low-fat/low-calorie snack. As if we are winning this big battle against the big, bad, ugly enemy we call "food"…

Let’s Get Real…

Sadly, I feel like I am describing many, many women. 

Maybe even you.

I get it.

I can remember coming home one day from high-school. I probably hadn’t eaten most of the day. Maybe some caf fries for lunch or maybe just a muffin for breakfast. (Yikes, I know now, but didn’t at the time). 

I grabbed a bag of opened chips from the pantry. I probably ate most of the bag. My dad came into the room and said "Johanna, you better stop eating those chips. You don’t want to get fat do you?" I'm pretty sure I ate the whole bag just to spite what he said.

I love my dad. He meant well. I don't have “skinny” genes and he knew it. 
If you are a woman reading this I am sure you have a similar story: Someone trying to be helpful and well meaning, but who, with a few misguided words, creates the totally wrong connation with food.

The “Skinny” on Fat

Lets set one thing straight. 

Fat doesn’t make you fat.

Any one who lived through the 'fat-free' fad in the 90's can attest to this. Remember feeling so proud for purchasing everything fat-free? Even mayo??
Sadly, our waistlines kept expanding.

Fat is not the problem.

My dedicated client has a 'fat-free' diet (pretty much). She read off her daily food consumption to me. "It’s more or less the same thing everyday," she says. 

Her vice?

Those nasty flavour packets filled with artificial sweeteners that turn your water flourescent.



yep. crackers.

fat-free wheat thins, to be exact.

Ok. So let’s break it down. We know that fat doesn’t make us fat. Still not convinced? Ask a farmer what he feeds his livestock to fatten them up -  and quickly.

Its not eggs, mayo or protein shakes.
Its grains: mainly corn and wheat.

Enough said…

Time for an Overhaul

Ladies, its time to re-wire our brains!

If your body is craving something: junk, crackers, fruit-whatever. It’s a sign!
You see - our bodies are pretty amazing. If you have ever trained for a sporting event, marathon or triathlon you really know how amazing the body really is. 


It does need proper fuel, not empty calories. Fat-free, calorie-free, taste-free - whatever.

Fat-free foods are void of nutrition. Therefore, increasing cravings (which is the last thing we need - seriously). They also leave us wanting more, so we typically overindulge. (Artificial sugar is a whole other topic, lets save that for another day)

Moving forward from today, let's start to have a positive relationship with food. Food is your friend! Your body needs great, wholesome foods to keep up with your dreams and aspirations.

Looking Ahead

Here are a few tips to figure out which foods YOUR body fuels really well on. And yes, everyone is different. What works for your hubby may not work at all for you.

  1. Start tracking your eating and drinking over a few days.
  2. Pay close attention to your cravings (its your body's way of talking or screaming at you)! What are you craving? What time do you crave it at?
  3. Ask yourself a few things. - Am I stressed? Am I drinking enough water? -Have I had enough protein today?
  4. Look at your breakfast. I find that if I don't fuel myself enough at the start of the day I end up craving sweets and carb rich foods mid-morning or late afternoon.

Alright. So let’s loosen up! Enjoy life and for my sake and yours - live a little! Eat the cake and skip the crackers!

Cravings often mean your body needs more protein, more food, water or sleep! PAY ATTENTION! Your body is not only incredible, but also beautiful - no matter how much fat or how many calories are in your food.

Nourish your body, and be the Beautiful You that you were created to be.