Protein helps you stay fuller for longer - it is the macronutrient with the highest satiety factor (over carbohydrates or fats). Protein also, very importantly, helps build and maintain lean muscle mass in your body, which is super important in keeping your metabolism high throughout your life, and helps in building and maintaining a lean body that burns fat effectively.
To oversimplify, if you are currently inactive, make sure you get an absolute minimum of one gram of protein per every kilogram of bodyweight, every day. So if you weigh 80 kg, you should aim to get at least 80 grams of protein daily. You can track your protein intake easily with an app like MyFitnessPal (by going to the nutrition section in your food diary).
The number one bodyweight exercise, if you want to lose weight (and especially body fat), is the squat. King squat.
Not only does it work the biggest muscle groups in your body, all at the same time (which increases the amount of calories your body burns at rest), but it also tones up your thighs, calves and butt like no other exercise.
The beauty about bodyweight exercises (when done with correct technique) is that you can do them anywhere, (pretty much) any time. And when done correctly, they'll shape up your body fast and give you the results you want.
Altering your squat (foot) position between wide and narrow helps your shape up all areas in your lower body evenly, and keeping your core tight and chest up makes it a full body exercise that'll effectively boost your metabolism.
Squat technique tips:
Knees always stay in line with your toes throughout the move (don't let them bend in)
Stick your bum back as if you were going to sit down on a seat behind you
Weight stays on your heels/mid foot, never on your toes
If your flexibility allows, go so slow your thighs are parallel with the floor (but remember previous tip)
Keep your chest up and core tight (you should not be hunched over)
Take a deep breath in as you start to lower down to a squat, and breath out as you're standing back up.
If you're just starting up with wanting to get fitter, practice your squat first by doing just 3 sets of 15 repetitions a day. Learn to control the move, pause at the bottom of the move for a second before standing up again.
Once you've nailed down the technique, move onto a killer tabata workout - and work your way up to being able to complete a full tabata set of squats with the following structure: 20 seconds constant squats -> just 10 seconds rest, repeated for 8 rounds. (Total: 4 minute super effective fat loss workout)
Fit as Hel would like to raise awareness of the dangers of the very popular juicing diets. This post series will make you think twice before starting a juicing fast - and will also make you to avoid them for good!
Juicing diets claim to be healthy, because you include more fruit and veg in your diet and thus you increase your vitamin intake as well.
This is a big fat lie.
Consuming nothing else but fruit and veg juices will cause over-consumption of certain vitamins and completely missing out others, such vitamin D, which is important for healthy skin, nails and hair.
Faded and broken hair.
But this is not the end:
If you do not get the nutrition your body needs, it will stop processes which are not essential for life, like hair production!
Could this get any worse?
This will not happen straight away. It will take you weeks, maybe months to notice it.
You will not even think about blaming your juice diet, because you will have long forgotten about it.
Love your hair - give it the vitamins it needs from natural resources, such as: fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), egg yolks, liver etc. and most importantly: sunshine!
Recently we've had tons of requests to give out 'expert comments' for fitness magazines. Erika was mentioned in July's edition of the Bodyfit magazine -- check out these tips on how to keep fit whilst on your summer holidays :-)
I took a few local Fit as Hel members out on a lunch last weekend. Jeannie and Khelda are also my 1-to-1 PT clients and Eniko does my gym classes every week. All of these ladies have come a long way on their fitness journeys since joining Fit as Hel -- and I can't thank them enough for their enthusiasm, activity and support in our online community.
I intentionally chose a buffet as our lunch destination - and cheekily wanted to see what kind of foods they'd go for. Personally, after eating two plates and a fruit dessert during the meal I didn't have to eat anything else for the rest of the day - just green tea and plenty of water. This way, when you listen to your body, you'll not get fat if your food choices are balanced also when eating out. I hoarded loads of protein (mainly chicken and eggs), some sushi, plenty of veg and drank water with the meal... And then had honey dew, apple, grapes and orange for dessert :-).
Everyone is welcome to join us on our next lunch together - this'll be in Gateshead 3rd March 2014 after a deadlift masterclass at the gym. Please get in touch if you'd like more details - see you all soon! :-)