ADRENAL DYSFUNCTION | SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
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Are you constantly feeling exhausted and worn out all the time no matter how much you sleep? Yet you can’t seem to figure out what is wrong with you? You may in fact have what is typically known as “adrenal fatigue” (adrenal dysfunction). Adrenal dysfunction is quite an ambiguous condition as there is no evidence that this condition even exists.

Many of you will be more familiar with the term “Adrenal Fatigue”, however, most traditional doctors will argue that this condition actually does not exist. But Adrenal dysfunction is something that can occur individuals and many people will experience some level of stress on the adrenal glands at some point throughout their life.




My Experience

I suffered from a chronic case of adrenal dysfunction for a few years. This occurred from years of a stressful lifestyle both physically and mentally. As a consequence my body faced a storm of hormonal imbalances which left my adrenal glands exhausted.    

It has taken me years of recovery to try and achieve an optimal hormonal balance and it's still a work in progress.

Depending on the severity of your case, It can take a long time to recover once you have burnt the candle at both ends, and it can be a very long and frustrating process.

I was at a point where I was in a deep hole of a hormonal and fatigue shiz storm where even something as simple as brushing my teeth before bed seemed like the biggest most strenuous task which took up all of my effort and energy.

But you definitely do not need to be an athlete or live an extreme lifestyle to experience these symptoms. So let me make you aware of what it is and the things you can do if you feel you may have this condition.




What Are The Adrenal Glands?

The adrenal glands a small little glands that are located on the top of each kidney. The adrenal glands produce hormones that you need for survival. These include sex hormones and cortisol. The body not only needs these hormones to function optimally, but also uses these hormones in response to stress.




What Is Adrenal Dysfunction?

Adrenal dysfunction is where the adrenal glands decrease their ability to carry out their normal functions. Even though there is no scientific evidence that “adrenal fatigue” or dysfunction actually exists, those who experience it correlate the symptoms they experience with overworked adrenal glands producing too little hormones.

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So What Causes Adrenal Dysfunction?

Our bodies are a very clever thing, they are after all built to survive. When your body becomes stressed it has coping mechanisms to deal with that stress and the body will make adjustments depending on the amount of stress it is placed under at any given time.

Adrenal dysfunction occurs when your body is placed under stress, whether that be physical, emotional, mental or environmental stressors (or a combination) and the demands of those stressors exceed the bodies ability to cope and adjust.

So basically, your coping mechanisms can no longer cope with the stress. When this happens the adrenal glands simply can not keep up so they become fatigued and can not longer respond properly to any further stress.




Types Of Stress:

It's important to note that adrenal dysfunction is not the issue, but is actually the result of other hormonal imbalances in the body, usually caused by ongoing stress from either emotional or physical stress or a combination of both

The most common causes of adrenal dysfunction that overwhelm the body and its coping mechanisms include:

Physical stress – surgery, poor nutrition, injury, exhaustion

Emotional stress - relationships, work related, psychological

Continuous environmental stress – from toxins, household chemicals, pollutants, food intolerances

Recurrent Illness – bronchitis or flu, autoimmune, pneumonia




Adrenal “Fatigue”

Continuous repealed stress , no matter where the stress comes from can add up over time and make an individual more prone to having hormonal adaptation which lead to adrenal dysfunction.

The tough part is, is that for many of us, we don't recognize certain things as stressors, but instead as normal day to day life.

Trust me i know his first hand, I thought I was invincible and continued to say "yes" to everything. Eventually, my crazy 6am-10pm days were pretty much the norm, however, I did not realize that this continuous stress on my body from long work hours, long training hours, poor nutrition and little downtime lead to my body's breaking point.

Stressors can be something as simple as being a single parent, constant lack of sleep, unhappy in work life, little or no downtime, financial stress, a death of a close friend or family to name a few.

Here are some signs and symptoms that could be a good indication that you may have some level of adrenal exhaustion. If you have one or more of these its OK don't panic, it will just make you aware of what the situation may be from and may be worth investigating.




Symptoms Of Adrenal Dysfunction

Difficulty waking up and getting up in the morning – you are a snoozer and even after a few alarms you still struggle to get your head up off the pillow let alone yourself out of bed.

Fatigue that continues to hang around – when you are constantly tired and exhausted and you can not relieve it no matter how much sleep you get. No matter what you just can not seem to feel refreshed.


Lethargic and lack of energy – even the simplest and smallest of tasks seem like a huge chose that takes maximum effort and energy.

Simple tasks take extra effort – everything seems to be so much harder than it should be.

Decreased libido – you hardly have the energy to function let alone have sex.

Reduced ability to handle stress or higher stress situations – your are more irritable, the smallest things get to you easily. You may react by yelling, rage, anxiety, compulsive eating.

Frequent colds and longer time to recover from illness, injury – your cold lingers around for a few months instead of a couple of weeks or day, or that small cut takes weeks to heal.

Light-headedness or dizziness when you stand up – sometimes you get dizzy spells or feel like you might pass out when you stand up too quickly after sitting down.

Mild depression – everything seems pointless and you find yourself down a lot of the time.

Cravings for salty foods – all the salt! You find you are drawn to salty foods and even add extra salt most of the time.


Less happiness with everyday life – you have a lack of interest in life or fun events. You would rather stay home and lay on the couch than go to a party or social gathering.

Increased PMS – bloating, tired, moody, cramping more than usual.

Brain fog – constant loss of train of thought. It becomes harder to concentrate and make decisions, you are less productive.

Memory loss or fuzziness – you forget things easily, like where you left your keys or why you walked into a room.

Decreased tolerance and patience – people become more irritating.  

Highest energy after dinner – the only time you feel better is after your evening meal where you start to feel more alive than you do all day.

Now that's a huge list pf possible symptoms. I know because looking back now I had pretty much every single one of these. However, it had gotten to a point where it just felt "normal" to feel like this, but I can assure you it most definitely is not.

It's important to note that no single one of these symptoms indicates that you 100% have adrenal dysfunction however they are a good indication that adrenal dysfunction may be present and it could be worth investigating further.

Regardless, if you are feeling like this, then its no way to live, they are mere warning signs that something needs to change in order to ensure you are living life to its fullest potential and at the most optimal of health possible.


So Now what?

If you think you may have some adrenal dysfunction then it is important that you investigate it further. But I want you to know what to expect. It's a tough condition to diagnose because many medical practitioners and even some endocrinologists (hormones specialists) have never heard of or have never dealt with the condition or simply do not believe that it is an actual condition.

This is because it's something has become difficult to detect in modern medicine as it requires a combination of symptom profile and test results to detect. I went to many different GPs stating my symptoms and they were all dismissed. Luckily I knew something was really wrong and I kept trying to find the answers, I didn't give up until I found someone who was familiar with the condition and could help me figure out what was actually happening with my body and how it was functioning.

I think it's important that you keep asking questions and never take one opinion as gospel. If something feels wrong then find out what it is, because it's not normal to live the life that way.



Note* I am not a medical practitioner. I am only sharing what i have learned through my own experience and research. This article is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any condition. Please consult with your health care professional before making any changes to your current lifestyle.

HealthNina SilicComment
WEIGHT LOSS | 9 REASONS WHY YOU STRUGGLE TO LOSE BODY FAT
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Do you feel as though you are doing everything right but the fat just doesn’t seem to budge? You may be following a training and nutrition regime to a Tee or just simply eating “healthy” and getting active but you get to a point where you can not lose any more fat and you get to a point where you don't know what else to do.

Because lets face it, how can you be doing EVERYTHING right and still not be seeing results? I know this feeling all too well I have been there myself and it can be very discouraging.

There is a fine science to losing weight. Even when you think you are doing everything correctly, chances are that you may be missing something that can be stalling your weight loss significantly.

Here are 9 factors that you may be overlooking that might very well be contributing to your weight loss plateau.


9 REASONS WHY YOU STRUGGLE TO LOSE weight

You Consume Too Many Calories

Many of us think we are eating generally well, and for the most part, you may be. But many people over consume calories without even realising it. You do need to be in a caloric deficit In order to lose body fat, so if you are consuming too many calories this will make fat loss very difficult.

Just because you are eating only “healthy” foods, doesn’t mean you can’t over consume calories. Calories matter period! whether its from whole foods or processed foods, all food contains calories.

I recommend you track your food intake every day for a week. You can use any app on your phone or a food log. Make sure you add in everything, anything that goes into your mouth including drinks, teas, coffees. I guarantee you will be surprised by how high some foods are in their calorie content. Once you now where you are at then you can make changes from there.


You Consume Very Low Calories

Consuming too little calories can be just as detrimental to your fat loss and even more detrimental to you long term fat loss than over eating.

When your calories drop too low for an extended period of time your body will begin to adapt and slow down your metabolic rate as well as many other functions in order to prepare your body for starvation.

This can cause your thyroid to slow right down as well as cause imbalances with other hormones which will wreck havoc on your metabolism and can cause long-term metabolic issues.

The most optimal way to help restore and fire up your metabolism from a low-calorie diet it to very slowly introduce extra calories week by week until your get to a higher calorie range where your metabolism is firing again. Females should never eat below 1200 calories and should aim to have a maintenance of at least 1600-1800 calories per day.

These low calorie intakes are NOT sustainable for the long run and should only be implemented for very sort periods of time. Always have a plan after your “diet” ends to restore your caloric intake.

Too Much Cardio

The typical cardio we are all told to do is general steady state cardio. This means it is at the same or similar pace the entire time like a run or cruising on the elliptical.

Even though steady state cardio has its benefits, performing too much steady state cardio alone will stagnate your fat loss progress. This is because the more cardio you do, the better your body becomes at adapting to that cardio session.

So instead, try adding in some HIIT or interval sessions that challenge your and increase your heart rate up and lower it back down. These short challenging sessions will ensure that you not only burn calories during your cardio session but you will continue to burn fat for up to 24 hours after.

Not Enough Intensity

Resistance training is very important to incorporate into your fat loss program for 2 reasons, 1. It will ensure you maintain your muscle which as I have mentioned before will help you burn more at rest, and 2. You will continue to burn fat long after your weight session is over.

However, if you are already doing this in your plan you MUST continue to challenge yourself. Doing through the motions will just not cut it. You need to change it up, lift lower reps some days, higher reps on others, and make sure that your final few reps are very challenging each time. If they are not then your weight is simply too light.

Your body is very good at adapting so you need to keep it guessing and working hard.



Lack Of Protein

Protein is the building block of your entire body, without adequate protein it will be difficult for your body to repair and build lean, toned muscles. The quicker muscle repairs the more muscle tone you will appear have over time which will boost your metabolism and allow you to burn more fat at rest (provided you are exercising of course).

However, eating a diet higher in the protein itself also aids directly to fat loss as protein takes more energy to digest than carbohydrates or fats, which in turn will burn more calories. Protein will also help keep you feeling fuller for longer which will help eliminate those cravings and urges to overeat.

You can consume anywhere from 1.8-2.8g of protein per kilo or 08-1.5g of protein per pound depending on your activity and your goals. If you are unsure then aim for somewhere in the middle this should be just fine.

Remember this is the protein content of food and NOT the weight of a piece of protein. (e.g. 100g of chicken breast contain approximately 32grams of Protein)

Cheat Meals

Cheat meals are often thrown into nutrition regimes in order to help "shock" your metabolism, but cheat meals can also destroy your progress.

Most people go overboard during a cheat and over consume calories which can also lead to a large binge eating session. That can actually be detrimental to your results.

But a calorie boost that is structured is very beneficial. When you eat lower calories your leptin levels will drop. Leptin is a hormone that sends hunger signals to the brain, but also influences weight loss and controls starvation.

When leptin drops too low it can make it more difficult to lose fat. So it's great to add in structured meals or days into your week that is higher calories in order to boost leptin. These days should be higher carbohydrate and lower fat orientated and should be within certain caloric guidelines to ensure that you do not over consume calories to the point where you hinder your weight loss results.


You Are Not Managing Your Stress

Stress is a huge factor when it comes to fat loss. Sometimes we don't feel as if we are under stress but our bodies can be telling a different story. Stress can come from anything such as over training, emotional, workload, busy lifestyle, no down time to name a few.

When our bodies are under any form of stress this can cause cortisol (stress hormone) levels to raise. When cortisol is elevated it can interfere with other hormones in our body and they function, which can stall fat loss drastically.

So you need to manage your stress by adding in RNR activities daily if possible. Try some of the following

  • Take a bath

  • Meditate

  • Yoga

  • Read a book

  • Deep breathing

  • Get outside

  • Go for a walk

  • Drink Water

You will hear me say this time and time again.. you NEED to drink enough water every day for optimal results and to ensure your body is functioning optimally. Even the smallest amount of dehydration can stall your fat loss because it can slow down your metabolism in order for you body to conserve water. So aim for 8 cups per day minimum which should be about 2 Litres. Anywhere from 3-4 of fantastic if you are more active


Lack Of Consistency

Consistency is honestly the key. No matter how you decide to embark on your fat loss journey you need to commit and be consistent. If you continue to change your diet and follow new methods from week to week, or you are "good" for a few days then go off the wagon, then you will definitely struggle to see results.

You by no means have to be 100% perfect because we are all human, but you do need to be consistently on point to the best of your ability in order to get your fat loss goals cranking. So just take one day at a time and keep going from there. If you mess up one day just keep going, move on from there because tomorrow is a new day.

The Take Away

I hope this clears up a couple of things for you that you may have been missing. But its important to remember that losing weight (body fat weight) is something that doesn’t just happen over night. weight loss goals should be done slowly of a longer period of time to avoid yo-yo dieting and to ensure that you have a higher success rate of keeping it off. So don’t go “yolo” and starve yourself, tick all of these boxes, set a realistic time frame and have PATIENCE. If you are not confident in implementing these tactics yourself then it may be worth investing in a credible nutrition coach to assist you until you learn how to do it yourself. accountability helps a tonne! and even i appoint coaches sometimes simply to keep myself accountable to my goals. never feel bad about asking for help, everyone needs it sometimes.

BEST LOW FAT HEALTHY BANANA BREAD RECIPE
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Who doesn't LOVE banana bread? I know i do! This is the perfect option to add in or after a workout or simply as a yummy treat!

If you are anything like me, I always buy bananas in my weekly shop. However, I don't always get around to eating them all by the time they get a little too ripe. When they hit that ripe stage, this is the perfect time to use them in a banana bread recipe instead of letting them go to waste.

You may have noticed that this recipe is a “low" fat” recipe. That doesn’t mean that fat is bad or that you shouldn’t eat fat. In fact i LOVE fats and they are an integral part of your every day nutrition. I have have a higher fat version of this which i will share with you all! But this is a great option if you love high fat toppings. I love my nut butters and butters but fat is very calorie dense. If you love adding higher fat toppings too, then slathering a delicious serving of nut butter on a low fat slice of banana bread won’t make you go over your fat intake for the day. (especially if you are on lower fat macros for you intake).

Just warning you this recipe is Moorish! So try to stop at a few instead of eating all of them!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


Is Banana Bread Really Healthy?

why make your own banana bread? Is general banana bread really that healthy? Despite being made with real bananas, general banana bread that you may find at the grocery story or at a local cafe is probably not as “healthy” as you may think.

I am all about tracking your macros and eating a variety of food in moderation to reach your goals which means having a slice of general banana bread here or there is completely fine. However one slice is very high in calories ( approximately 400-500 calories) because the traditional recipes call for additional sugar and oils that make each serving very calorie dense with a high carbohydrate and fat content.

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I don’t know about you but i would personally rather be able to eat a few slices at half the calories with less processed ingredients that tastes just as delicious!



RECIPE

Serves 6

Macros per Serve

Calories: 147

P: 6

C: 34

F: 1

Ingredients

  • 1 cup, Banana - Mashed

  • 1 tbsp, Raw Honey

  • 2 tbsp, Stevia (optional)

  • 0.25 cup(s), Water

  • 1.5 cups, whole grain flour

  • 1 tsp, Baking Powder

  • 1/2 tsp, baking soda

  • 1/4 tsp, Salt,

  • 2 tbsp, Almond Milk, Unsweetened

  • 2 Egg Whites

  • 1/4 cup, Unsweetened Applesauce

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Additional

Small Loaf Baking Tray

Cooking Spray

Baking Paper


Directions

Preheat oven your oven to 180 degrees (C) or 350 degrees (F)

In a bowl, mix together Cream together sugar honey, sweetener and applesauce, then add the egg whites and water and mix until combined. once combined mix through the mashed bananas. In a separate bowl sift the flour, salt, and baking soda.

Then slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, continue to stir until it is all smoothly combined.

Spray the muffin tray with cooking spray. Pour in the batter the baking tray and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick test is ready.

When inserted into the centre of the loaf, the toothpick comes out dry. It may take longer depending on the strength of your oven.

Once ready take the loaf out of the tray and leave to cool. Best enjoyed warm!

TIP* To increase the protein content per serve I like to make a protein icing. Simply mix a little additional protein powder, peanut butter, and some water, and mix it into a paste and spread over the top of the loaf. But you can really enjoy each serve with any topping that you like! Almond butter is also one of my personal favorites!

If you liked this recipe please share it with a friend! If you would like to see other healthy recipes let me know in the comments below!

HOW TO KNOW IF YOU MAY HAVE HORMONE IMBALANCE SYMPTOMS
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You may be trying to eat well and exercises or even follow a nutrition plan and training regime to an absolute Tee, but no matter what you do the weight just does not seem to want to budge. Instead you find yourself getting crazy food cravings, you are frazzled, emotional, tired, stressed, even when life is peachy in other aspects.

Sound familiar?

So many women (and men)  complain about symptoms like this and talk about it with their girlfriends as an accepted norm, however even though symptoms are very varied, they may be an indication that there is an imbalance of hormones happening.

Hormone imbalance in women can come about for many reasons such as yoyo dieting, lack of sleep, stress, pollutants, chemicals, poor nutrition to name a few. And in many cases (particularly from my own experience) imbalanced hormones generally go unnoticed and cause detriment to your body under the radar, in many cases doctors will dismiss any underlying issue without any diagnosis.

So with unhappy hormones sneaking around unnoticed, how do you know you have a hormone imbalance? Well even though there are many signs and symptoms for different hormones, these may be some good indicators that there is an underlying issue that needs to be paid attention to.


Possible Hormone Imbalance Symptoms:

Tired and Wired

Do you wake up feeling so tired in the morning no matter how much sleep you get? Where you just need that cup of coffee to get you to function let alone going for the day?

Then on the flip side when it's time to go to bed you can not switch your brain off and you have a sudden bout of energy and you are too wound up to sleep?

Our little friend Cortisol (stress hormone) can be to blame here. Chronic stress causes high and fluctuating cortisol levels.

Fluctuating cortisol throughout the day is very stressful and taxing on your adrenals and sends you on a whirlwind of feeling energized and wound up to feeling chronically fatigued and tired. If this continues for an extended period of time it can cause our adrenals to completely burn out which will have you all kinds of long term trouble.


Brain Fog

Are you forgetting things constantly? Like where you put your keys? What time you are meeting a girlfriend for lunch or even what you walked into the room for? It's not something we would really think about linking to a hormonal issue but stress can be playing a role here.

If you have been experiencing higher amounts of physical or psychological stress for a period of time, this will cause or cortisol levels to increase.

High levels of cortisol (also known as your stress hormone) can inhibit your learning ability and memory which cause forgetfulness and ability to focus and concentrate on simple tasks.


Non Existent Libido

Or even just a low libido, 70 percent of the time is actually linked to a hormonal imbalance. so if you are not in the "mood" very often then it may actually be your hormones you have to blame.

In many cases estrogen dominance (higher estrogen to testosterone and progesterone levels) or even low estrogen can be main the culprits for your low libido along side with your thyroid and your cortisol levels. If you then add in everyday factors of a hectic lifestyle, stress, kids, work, lack of sleep, then no doubt that getting "frisky" id probably the last thing on your mind.

Uncontrollable Cravings

So we are women, we get cravings at the best of times especially around that time of the month, but if you find yourself craving the point where you are simply unsatisfied and you can't stop yourself because you are constantly hungry then your hormones may be coming into play.

Uncontrollable cravings for sugary foods can be caused but an imbalance of cortisol and insulin whereas if you have adrenal dysfunction you may find yourself reaching for salty options.

But in general make sure you get enough sleep. People who lack sleep have increased levels of Ghrelin (the hunger/appetite hormone) and decreased levels of leptin (the appetite suppressant hormone) which can make you absolutely ravenous and keep you going back to the cookie jar.


Stalled Weight Loss

If you are doing everything you can and no matter how well you eat or how many gym sessions, you do and you still can not lose or are even putting on weight then you may have a hormone issue at hand.

Even though weightless has many contributing factors that can be resolved from tweaking ones, dieting and training regime, sometimes it can stem from thyroid issues and stress. If you are eating little calories or over training or both (along with other stressors), the body's survival response is to slow down the thyroid function which in turn slows down the metabolism in order to preserve energy.

This means in order to lose any weight you may have to severely restrict calorie intake which is not sustainable or healthy for the long term.


Poor Digestion

Some people can notice the symptoms from stress in their stomach and gut. Gas, bloating and slow digestion are generally link to food intolerances, lack of chewing food or overeating.

But what people miss is that digestive issues can also be caused by imbalanced hormones particularly estrogen and progesterone as well as adrenal issues.

Take Matters Into Your Own Hands

Ok so now you may have identified that you may be experiencing some hormone imbalance symptoms. So what now? If you feel your symptoms are affecting you then it is always a good idea to seek some professional help and see a hormone doctor (endocrinologist).

If you can get a better indication of what the underlying issues are then you can take the necessary steps to rectify the problems and get back to restoring optimal health.  

Lifestyle Changes To Help Improve Hormonal Imbalance

Many lifestyle factors that cause stress can be some of the biggest underlying culprits to making our body adapt and create internal changes. There are a few things you can implement into your daily routine to help you improve your or prevent these symptoms that stem from hormonal imbalances.  


Get To Bed On Time

There is probably nothing else that is as important for helping restore your hormone balance than making sleep an absolute priority. But getting to bed before 10pm also is important for your optimal hormone function.

Experts claim that getting one-hour sleep between 10pm and 2am is equivalent to 2 hours sleep outside of those times. So it is important to get to bed at a time in order to ensure you get the best quality of sleep possible in order to reduce stress and keep you natural sleep cycle in check.

Bed time should be a ritual that helps you relax, so turn of your electronics an hour before bed and take a relaxing bath or meditate to help prepare yourself for a good night sleep.


Improve Your Gut Health

The gut is like a second brain in the body which is lined with billions of good bacteria and has a huge impact on your overall health. Any compromise or inflammation in the gut can upset your hormone function and balance.

This is because the bacteria in our gut help metabolize and recycle hormones which helps keep them in balance and without them you will most definitely find yourself with a hormone imbalance.

Cutting out foods that generally spike intolerance or inflammation such as dairy and gluten is a good starting point. A great way to ensure your gut is healthy is to introduce more fermented foods into your diet such as kombucha, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut. which are full of gut healing microbes. a serving of these per day along with a good quality probiotic before bed will help ensure you have a happy and healing gut.


Reduce Stress

It is very easy to jam pack a million and one things to get done in a day and while you may not feel very stressed, the simple fact of running around constantly with no down time can be putting your body under stress.  

Stress is known to be a major disruption of hormone balance and can cause the body to go into the fight or flight or survival mode. As a consequence your body can become a fat storage machine.

Some ways of helping stress reduction include simple things such as meditation, yoga, deep belly breathing, reading a book or taking a bath.


Where Do You Go From Here?

If you find yourself experiencing some or all of these symptoms i want to you take a deep breathe and do NOT stress! (we don't need any more stress in our lives thats for sure!)

Hormonal imbalances are very common due to the crazy lifestyles that we all lead these days. But it's important to be aware of what our bodies are telling us.

After all symptoms are little signals that our body sends us to let us know that something may be out of balance. It's definitely something i wish i knew i needed to pay attention to years ago instead of simply ignoring them before it was too late.

So i ask you to have some awareness when it comes to your body and what it may be telling you. Life is a constant toggle of balance and that's OK as long we you don't over do it and implement certain measures to reduce stress in your life.

I would love to know, what are you struggling with at the moment that i can help you with? Share in the comments below!

WHAT ARE MACROS? | MACRONUTRIENTS EXPLAINED
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Macros… you may have heard this word floating around. People are counting their macros, using macro ratios, fitting all sorts of fun food into their macros. But I know some of you are asking, what are macros in the first place? And why do I need to count them?

Well, let me break it down for you simply so you can understand what all the fuss is about.

WHAT ARE MACROS?

“Macros” or better known as macronutrients are talking about protein, fats, and carbohydrates. They are called macronutrients because they are large molecules that your body needs to use as fuel on a daily basis. Eating specific macros are important for you to reach your body composition goals and maintain optimal health.

Your body needs these in a large amount each day, they are what your body needs in order to survive and function at an optimal level. Macronutrients provide the body with calories that are burned off as energy and contain different amounts of calories per macronutrient (calories are how much energy it takes for your body to burn off the fuel from that particular macro).

Basically, the food you eat every day contains these 3 macronutrients, protein, carbohydrates, and fats, and they all contain calories that fuel our bodies with energy. If we eat too many calories we gain fat if we eat a moderate amount of calories we maintain weight and if you consume less than your body is burning then essentially in a perfect world you will lose weight.

So let's take a closer look at how many calories each macronutrient contains.

Protein : 1gram of protein = 4 calories

Carbohydrates : 1 gram Carbs = 4 calories

Fats: 1 gram of fat = 9 calories

ALCOHOL 1gram = 7 calories

Although alcohol yields calories it is not a macronutrient needed for survival. However, it is still something that needs to be counted if consumed and monitored in order to ensure you achieve optimal body composition and health goals.

Let’s take a little closer look at each macronutrients and why we need them.

PROTEIN

WHY DO WE NEED PROTEIN?

Something I hear very often from people on a daily basis is “I eat enough protein”. I then follow up by asking “how many meals are you eating per day” which sometimes ends in 2-3. Now unless you are eating half a cow per meal (slightly exaggerating but you get my point) then you probably are not consuming an adequate amount of protein in your day to not only reach your composition goals but for your body to merely function at an optimal level.

WHAT IS PROTEIN?

  • Protein is the building block of our entire body from your hair, skin nails, to of course muscle tissue.

  • Proteins are an essential part of growth and development of new tissue

  • Helps support Immune function

  • is necessary for processes of making essential hormones and enzymes

  • essential for preserving lean muscle mass

  • is used as energy when carbohydrates not available

as you can see protein is a very important macronutrient and is usually underestimated when it comes to adequate intake.

PROTEIN SOURCES

Now, these are some of my favorite or “go to” protein sources but the choices are really endless depending on your personal preference.

  • Poultry (chicken, turkey)

  • Beef

  • Fish

  • Salmon

  • Seafood (prawns, squid)

  • Protein powder

  • Eggs

  • Dairy (yogurt, cheese, milk)

  • Temph/tofu (vegetarians/vegans)

  • Legumes (also contain carbs)

  • Nuts (also contain fats)

CARBs

WHY DO WE NEED CARBOHYDRATES?

Carbs are something that so many people ae afraid of. And I don’t blame you, with all the negative wrap carbs get in the media it's no wonder everyone seems to shy away from them. But your body absolutely needs carbs not only to function but they actually help you to achieve body composition goals.

WHAT ARE CARBOHYDRATES

  • They are your body’s primary fuel source

  • Easily used by the body as energy

  • Important for organ function and CNS (heart, brain, kidneys, muscles)

  • Need to Make essential hormones and enzymes

  • Important for Intestinal health and waste elimination 9especially fiber)

  • Carbohydrates are stored in the muscle and liver and used later for energy

CARBOHYDRATE SOURCES

  • Sweet potato, Potato

  • Rice (Any kind)

  • Oats

  • Low-fat muesli

  • Cereals

  • Bread, Wraps

  • Any Fruits: Bananas, Blueberries, Strawberries, mango

  •  Vegetables (low carbs high in fibre)

DON’T FORET FIBRE

Fibre is a carb found mainly in fruits and vegetables and it refers to certain types of carbohydrates that our body cannot digest. These carbohydrates pass through the intestinal tract intact and help to move waste out of the body. Diets that are low in fibre have been shown to cause problems such as constipation and haemorrhoids and to increase the risk for certain types of cancers such as colon cancer. So it's important to hit an adequate amount of fibre daily to ensure our insides stay happy and healthy.

FATS

WHY DO WE NEED FATS?

Fats have definitely gained a bad wrap over the years especially when it comes to fat loss. I all sure you have all heard about “low-fat diets” being the way to go for fat loss. But your body actually needs fat for so many important processes and fat will actually help you lose more body fat in the long run.

WHAT ARE FATS?

  • Most concentrated energy source (most calories per gram)

  • Some fat in your diet is essential for survival

  • Needed for growth and development

  • Aids in metabolism

  • Provides cushioning for organs

  • Needed for optimal hormone function and production

  • Reduces inflammation

  • Used for the absorption of nutrients and minerals

Optimal FAT SOURCES

  • Any nuts – almonds, brazil nuts, peanuts, macadamia

  • All nut butter – peanut butter, almond butter

  • Coconut oil

  • Olive oil

  • Nut oils

  • Butter (organic and grass-fed optimal)

  • Cheese

  • Avocado

When looking to lose body fat it is important to think about your overall health rather than just a quick fix. Eating a range of fats are needed to support brain function, reduce inflammation, cell signalling, and other metabolic functions which all contribute to overall fat loss and muscle gain.

However, Fats can get a little more complicated because there a few types of fats floating around that affect our bodies in different ways. Let's take a closer look.

Unsaturated fats – THE GOOD FATS (These are liquid at room temp)

most of your daily fat intake should come from unsaturated fats. Foods containing unsaturated fats include:

  • Nuts

  • Plant oils – such as canola, vegetable, or plant oil

  • Certain fish – such as salmon, tuna, and anchovy, which contain omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids

  • Olives

  • Avocados

  • Incorporating these into your diet can actually help you lose weight

  • These are essential for the body to absorb certain vitamins and minerals that are fat soluble such as vitamins A, D, E.

  • Without fat, you will not be getting any of these essential vitamins

Saturated Fats  (These are solid at room temp)

Saturated fats have a mixed reputation stating they can be harmful to you in the long run or when consumed in large amounts. However multiple recent studies that counter the detrimental effects of saturated fat. Saturated fat does have some great health benefits and it's important to note that overconsumption of anything can be harmful in the long run. So keep your saturated fat in moderation.

Foods containing saturated fats include:

Animal meat, coconut oil, Dairy products, Processed meats, Pre-packaged snacks 

Trans Fats:

These are the fats you want to keep on the lower side of your overall fat intake. Consuming some Trans fats here or there is not going to kill you so you can still enjoy some of the processed foods you love, but just be mindful of them and don’t overdo it.

  • Trans fat has been shown to raise bad (LDL) cholesterol and lower good (HDL) cholesterol.

  • They have been chemically altered through a process called hydrogenation

  • Some packaged cookies contain hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats to make them last longer on store shelves

Make sure you consume your fat sources in moderation!

So now you are up to speed with what macros actually are! You have always been consuming them and you probably didn’t even know it. But now you do. So be mindful of your intake and ensure that you are getting an adequate amount fo each macro source into your overall daily intake.

Nina SilicComment
HOW TO EAT OUT HEALTHILY | ENJOY FOOD WITHOUT COMPROMISING RESULTS
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D.I.E.T … that four letter word we all can't stand. Well if you have been following my principles you know by now that I am a big advocator for flexibility (within a structure) to help ensure you reach your goals while remaining sane and having a balance in life.

So this means I am a-OK with you eating out here or there because well you all need to live life right? But sometimes when it comes to eating out all of our good intentions seem to go out of the window, we overindulge no matter how well "behaved" we plan to be with our food choices.

I am the first to admit that I am not always 100% perfect with tracking my across but what is important is consistency over time. So here are a few tips that will help you survive your meal outings to ensure that you stay as consistent as possible with your food intake. Consistency is the key to success so let's get you on track!

Plan Ahead

If you know you are going out to dinner for an event or occasion that day or the next day then you have a few tools up your sleeve. You can research the menu in advance. Most restaurants have their menu easily accessible online. That way you can see what options they have, and then account for what you think you may have.

For example, if you really want the pasta dish and you have enough macros that day for pasta then that's absolutely fine you can factor that dish in. if you want a steak then you can factor the steak into your daily intake instead and opt for some vegetables on the side if you do not have many carbohydrates to eat. It's all about give and take, and trying to fit in that meal into your daily caloric intake.

Save Macros

I know that sometimes you don't always know whether you will be going out or not. But usually on a Saturday night, for example, I know there is a chance I may be going out to dinner I just don't know where. So in that case on Saturdays, I try to save extra macros/calories to play with for later in the day.

I try to eat lower calorie food options earlier in the day and that way if we do go out for dinner I have anywhere from, 600-1000 calories up my sleeve (depending on my overall daily intake of course) to pretty much order what I want to and still usually have macros left over for some frozen yogurt.

However, if you eat too many calories earlier in the day then you will most likely go over your daily caloric intake at dinner. Try to opt for salads and protein-rich meals with lots of vegetables to keep you full it's not about starving yourself to famine before you go out, you just need to be smart about it.

Do A Training Session

Even when you allow for extra calories it can still be difficult to estimate completely. So just to make sure you are putting any excess calories to good use make sure you get a training session in that day. I would recommend a resistance training session over cardio.

Resistance training will actually help your body burn more fat over a 24-hour period and in case you go over your caloric intake, at least those calories will be going towards helping your body recover a little better.

However, that does not mean it is an excuse to go "YOLO" on your food and eat half the menu at dinner time. It just means that you are putting all of those calories to good use.

Choose Protein First

Most of the time when eating out, food options tend to be high in carbohydrates and fats, making it very easy to hit these macro targets. So it can be very beneficial to try to choose meal options that have a higher protein content.

This will not only help you hit your protein targets for the day but will help keep you a little fuller. Protein is very satiating especially when combined with some fat (which most restaurant meals contain plenty of) which will help prevent you from overindulging and eating everything in sight.

Choose Low Fat Cooking Options

One thing to consider when eating out is that all meals will have hidden fat sources, making the fat content creep up very easily.

This is because it tastes good and all chefs will use fats like butter and oils to cook their food in. so you may think you are getting a healthy salad or vegetable-based dish, however, the fat content will be much higher than you think simply from the method it has been cooked in. this goes for meat also.

Try asking for grilled/baked meats over fried, battered meats. This will help reduce the fat content right away. Also do not be afraid to ask how food is prepared and ask for it to be prepared without butter or oils if you wish.

Now if those fats fit your macros then there is no need to ask to have them removed, but if they don't then there is no harm in asking.

Fill Up With Sides

Depending on where you go for dinner, I find the mains are either one of two things, friken HUGE or tiny. They usually have a small protein portion depending on where you go and an ample amount of carbohydrates and fat.

So how do you combat this? I always order some healthy sides such as grilled seasonal vegetables or a side salad. These will help give you some extra nutrients but also keep you a little fuller to help prevent you from overdoing it on all their foods.

Unless of course ( and I will say it again you have accounted for it all in your macros but this is a skill that even experienced macro counters can struggle with). so for the rest of you mere nutrition mortals, enjoy your food but side it up and you will prevent yourself from overindulging.

Just to give you all an example, my favorite food to eat out is Japanese and it comes with ALL the sushi carbs. I could honestly go to town on sushi I love it so much. So I still order a side of seaweed salad to start with which fills me a little to make sure I stay on track and don't go into "you" mode on my sushi. Plus if I don't overdo the sushi I usually have macros left over for frozen yogurt!

Never Arrive Starving

If you arrive at dinner absolutely starving, then this is a recipe for disaster. Tell me, how good is your will power or rational thinking when you are absolutely ravenous?

Even if you are tracking macros I doubt that you will care about any form of macro when you are dying to eat something. So an hour or two before dinner have a high protein snack. This will keep you a little fuller up until your outing and will help you make more rational and smarter food portion choices.

Here are some extra tips to help you estimate your macros in case you need them:

A serving of cooked meat, chicken or fish is like the palm of your hand

A serving of green salad is like a double open-cupped hand.

A serving of vegetables is like your fist, or about the size of a tennis ball.

A serving of baked potato or other starch looks like a baseball

A serving of salad dressing or sauce is about the size of your thumb.

I LOVE food and yes sometimes its completely fine to go out, have a meal and completely not worry about it. But… to ensure you have a greater success in reaching your body composition goals, there needs to be a little mindfulness and sacrifice. I am a HUGE foodie and absolutely LOVE all the food! But when you have goals to crush you need to focus on a little give and take. Balance and consistency are definitely key over any form of complete restriction. remember life is here to be lived and enjoyed but we can enjoy food within some small boundaries and still crush our other goals along the way!

7 MYTHS ABOUT FAT LOSS | WHAT YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW
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Fat Loss Myths Busted

Fat loss! It's pretty much everyone's goal, right? Even if your goal is to build a little bit of a muscle, at the end of the day we all want to lose that little layer that hides those curves, FAT.

Firstly let me just make a note that weight loss and fat loss are NOT quite the same thing. We want to lose “body fat” and not overall scale weight. Anyone can lose “weight” but this may mean you are losing muscle and water. we definitely do not want to lose muscle in the long run.

Have you ever typed in "best ways to lose fat" in google? I know have at some point in time. But there are literally a million (well maybe I am exaggerating but it's a lot!) ways and tips on how to best burn stubborn fat.

It's one fad diet after another, the next magic diet pill, the next new workout craze, and it can all get a little overwhelming with a fat loss guru overload.

These days everyone seems to be a fat loss expert, even my mum has tried to give me advice (bless her). So what should you believe? I know many of you have tried what feels like everything under the sun without much result. So let me debunk some common myths for you to make sure you are set up for long-term success.

Common Fat Loss Misconceptions:

Now before I get into it I am the first to admit that I myself have tried ALL of these at some point in time and believed every part of it! I mean they all sound plausible, right?

But after extensive research, mentoring over the years from scientific gurus of this industry, plus A LOT of trial and error on myself I have managed to sort through the endless amount of misinformation out there. So let's see if I can help clear a few confusing myths up for you.

Fat Loss Myths

"Just eat clean food and you will lose fat"

This is such a common one and I hear it get thrown around all of the time. Clean Eating is the concept that if you just eat "clean" foods then you will lose fat. Firstly, I am not a fan of the term "clean" foods simply because there is no one way to define it.

The term "Clean Eating" means different things to different people and if we asked 100 different people I am sure we would get 100 different definitions.

For argument sake lets just say clean foods are whole foods. For example, your chicken, beef, rice, sweet potato, broccoli, greens, your typical "bro" style or traditional body builder type of diet.

The idea here is that when people change their nutritional intake to these types of foods only they lose weight. And yes they usual do lose weight but not because of the type of food or that those foods possess any magical fat-burning properties, but because it's the calories that matter.

Lean proteins and fibrous vegetables are less calorie dense and are very filling compared your typical every day take away or processed foods. Hence, when you change to these foods you feel fuller sooner so it becomes very difficult to over eat on these types of food.

But it is not that the food itself is causing the fat loss, but rather by default you are eating less than you were before. In saying that, you can absolutely overeat on "clean" foods too.

If you eat over your designated caloric intake, then you would still gain weight regardless of the foods that you choose to eat.

What really matters at the end of the day for fat loss is that you are in a caloric deficit and you are hitting your macronutrient targets and/or overall caloric intake.


"You can eat whatever you want as long as you workout"

Have you every actually tried this? I know I have! I thought I was invincible and if I trained really hard each day that I could eat anything I wanted and as much food as I wanted and I would be able to lose fat. Well, believe me when I tell you I was completely and utterly wrong.

But the reality is, that you can NOT out train a bad diet. Well, technically no diet is necessarily a bad diet so long as you are getting adequate macronutrients and fibre intake.

So what matters here most is calories. If you are exercising hours on end every day, yet you are still consuming a high enough amount of calories then you will still not lose weight.

This is because if you are eating more calories than you are burning then your body will not be bale to burn through body fat. Now in saying that this also does not mean training for hours is a good thing I order to make up for too much food you have eaten.

There is definitely a "sweet spot" for training, recovery, and adequate calories in order to lose fat. The aim is the try and gets the most results with as minimal training as possible.


"You must do fasted cardio to lose fat"

I have absolute nothing against fasted cardio if you want to do cardio fasted then that is absolutely fine by me. However, doing fasted cardio will not actually make you burn more fat.

Studies have shown that doing cardio fasted versus eating before doing cardio actually make no different to overall fat burning in a 24-hour period.

So even though you may burn more fat during that particular cardio session if you were to perform it fasted, you will burn the same amount of fat in your overall day if you were to eat a meal beforehand.

If you are going to burner an equal amount of fat, I would take the option to eat first. If you eat a meal, then you are giving your body more fuel to use which will help you perform better and go harder in your session, most likely resulting in more calories burned anyway.

"If you cut out carbs at night and you will lose fat"

I actually have my biggest carbohydrate based meal right before bed most nights. Does that blow your mind or what?

Simply having a carbohydrate based meal before you go to bed is not going to make you store fat just like having it any earlier in the day will not make you store fat.

This is if we are talking about eating within your carbohydrate targets for the day, it really ones not matter too much if you eat them earlier in the day or later, as long as you are consuming your recommended amount.

What can make you store fat is if you eat an extra carbohydrate meal (or any extra meal) before bed, or any time of the day. This is because the extra meal puts you over your recommended caloric intake for the day.

I like to place a majority of my carbohydrate intake around my workouts to ensure the fuel is used in the most optimal way possible.



"Eat frequent small meals to ramp up your metabolism"

This is something I used to do religiously. I would eat a meal every 2-3 hours in the hope of speeding up my metabolism, I would I would tiny meals and by the 3-hour mark I would be starving! I think we have all maybe tried this one out.

There is nothing wrong with eating 6 meals per day but it is also not necessary for fat loss. I have mentioned this a few times throughout my articles and I will say it again, what matters most is your overall daily caloric intake. Now, what is actually important is how frequently you eat protein.

Protein needs to be consumed every 4-6 hours in order to ensure your body is getting adequate repair all day. This is important for tissue regeneration, the more effectively your body can repair itself, the more lean muscle tissue you will hold, and in turn, you will boost your metabolism.

The remaining carbohydrates and fats you consume can be spread out wherever you feel like over your day. My recommendation would be to eat 4-5 protein based meals in your day.

If someone is on a very high caloric intake they may wish to spread this over 6 or 7 meals in the day, simply to allow them to be bale to digest such large amount of food. I personally like to eat 4 or 5 meals as it keeps me full and satisfied, I feel like I have eaten something rather than eating air.

It really does come down to personal preference, if it won't hinder your fat loss goals, then why not choose what works for you and your lifestyle.

"You need to cut calories drastically to lose fat"

Most of the time, I see people wanting to lose weight, which is a great goal. But in the hopes to lose a large amount f body fat they cut calories drastically right from the get go. NO NO NO and just NO. why do we want to do that to ourselves?

It's as if we want to suffer on our fat loss journeys, and the more we suffer the better it must be working right? Wrong! You absolutely do not need to drop your calories super low straight away to reach your fat loss goals. In fact, you should be aiming to be seeing results while eating as much food as you possibly can.

Hear me out a second and do not take that too literally. This doesn't mean eat the world and you will lose fat. What I mean is, if you start out on say 2000 calories, then there is absolutely no need to drop your calories to say 1200.

That is a HUGE unnecessary drop. Sure you will most likely drop white a bit of weight to begin with and see some great results for a few weeks, but what happens when you plateau?

You literally have nothing left to cut down from (my lowest thresh hold I take any female down to is 1200cals, 1800 for men and only if absolutely necessary for a short period of time). Instead, you could cut calories a little, say by 10-20% and see how your body responds after a week.

Then when you stall, you can either add some more training or cut calories slightly (e.g. 50 -100cals per day) or do a little of both to bust through the plateau. You will still get results but I promise you that you will be happier and healthier in the long run.

"You need to add in hours of cardio to lose fat"

2 hours of cardio a day is probably the MOST I have ever been up to in order to drop weight for a competition. It absolutely killed me and it was for a short period of time, I definitely do not recommend it to anyone. Plus, who has time for that! Now I know better!

I have even heard stories of some people adding in upwards of 3 hours of cardio a day just to drop weight, now that is just a recipe for hormonal and metabolic disaster.

When trying to drop fat, many people think its all about how much cardio you add, and some people even opt to drop out any resistance training in order to get in the cardio for "fat burning". So yes cardio does have its place but it should not be your primary focus when it comes to fat loss.

Did you know that you actually burn MORE fat in a 24 hour period from a weight session? so weights/resistance style training should be your main focus on when you aiming for your fat loss goals. Cardio is great and you can add it in, but I would use it as a tool to add when you hit plateaus.

If you start out doing hours of cardio then your body will adapt soon enough and you will have to add even more to get anywhere.

Try opting for HIIT sessions (High-intensity interval training) in short bursts to keep cardio as short and as effective as possible. A few of these a week should be plenty. But start with one or 2 then progress when needed.

So What Now?

I hope i have been able to shed a little bit pf light on all of those myths that we keep hearing all over social media and the internet. It can be very tough trying to sift through endless amounts of information from “experts” and your favourite fitness models who preach all of the above points to be necessary to reach your fat loss goals. I get it, its confusing, who do you listen to? My answer is simple, don’t listen to anyone and simply take their word for it. Always question EVERYTHING and find the best sustainable solution for you! there are many real experts in the field who take a science based approach to nutrition. i suggest you follow them and take their insight as a guide where it has some scientific evidence to back it up. Even then, don’t be afraid to question it!

Nina SilicComment
HOW TO MAKE YOUR NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS STICK | 9 TIPS TO HEALTH AND FITNESS SUCCESS
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New Years Resolutions….

I personally like to define them as New Year Goals rather than resolutions, But no matter how you define it we all get excited to take on the new year head on with the greatest of intentions.

Over 50% of the population set new years resolutions, however, out of the 50% of the population that set out with new goals, 88% of them fail before the new year if done. So why is that? Why do we start off the new year with all of these great intentions then only months later find ourselves back to square one without following our resolutions through?

This morning I was thinking about my own goals for 2019 and how I am going to achieve them, especially with a baby on the way!

In the past have done those same things, set goals without following them through. However, when I have achieved my goals I have always relied on the same simple steps which see me through to the end every time.


Clearly Define Your Goals (Smart Goals)

In order to achieve your goals for the new year, you need to be clear about what they are. This is the most important step because if you skip this part then the rest is doomed to fail.

Many people get excited about setting a resolution and So many times I have heard people say " I want to lose weight and get in shape". Even though that is a great incentive, what does it really mean? Does it mean you are going to lose 5kgs? Run a marathon? Lose 10% in body fat? Squat 100kgs?

Goals need to be "SMART" which means specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and set within a time frame. So even though your ultimate goal may be to lose weight and be in shape, you need specific goals in order to get there.

Write them down and set a time frame, you can have many small goals to get to your ultimate goal. Start small within small time frames then keep adding to your goal once you are there.


SMART Goal Example:

For example, your goals may be to lose 10kgs this year.

Your first month might be "I will lose 2kgs this month"

Your first week may be " I will commit to 3 workouts this week"

Your second week may be "I will commit to 4 workouts this week"

Your 3rd week may bee I am going to keep doing my 4 workouts and pack a healthy lunch each day instead of buying lunch"

Building small habits over time that you can measure within time frames will help you get to your ultimate goal!


Track Your Progress

If you can measure it you can change it. Without knowing how your body is responding to your health and fitness goals you are simply flying blind.

So track your progress whether it's weekly, bi-weekly or even daily depending on your goals. Keep a record of your progress, this way you can see if you need to make any changes to what you are currently doing in order to make sure you keep your progress going track.

Your body will absolutely adapt over time as you become fitter and stronger so be prepared to hit sticking points and plateaus. However, if you are tracking your progress you can make small changes weekly in either your nutrition or exercise to help keep you breaking through to your ultimate goal.


Have Patience

How many of you have ever started a health and fitness goal and 2 days in you get upset because you have not seen any changes yet? We have all been there!

Change takes TIME and building new habits takes, even more, time. So don't get discouraged if you don't lose 5kgs in your first week, in fact, I guarantee you won't, even a 0.5-1kg loss in a week is considered to be relatively quick weight loss. So be patient and focus on all the positive changes such as you may have nailed all of your training sessions this week, or you feel stronger, you sleep better, you drink more water than before.

All of those little changes add up and count as progress so be aware of these and be patient, your overall goal is coming I promise you.


Make One Change At A Time

I don't know about you but coming into the new year I feel like I want to conquer the world!

But making the most of your good intentions for every aspect of your life all at once could backfire on you. Making too many changes at once can be a little overwhelming and your energy and focus can only be stretched so thin. Make sure if you have multiple goals just focus on one thing at a time with one small step at a time.

Committing to new goals usually means making lifestyle and habit changes, remember you don't need to commit to a full life overhaul all at once. Make a plan and progress after you become comfortable with each step.


Share Your Experience

Accountability, accountability accountability. I will say it one more time just for good luck, ACCOUNTABILITY!

Be public with your goals, tell all of your friends and family announce it on social media or hire someone that will make you accountable every week. Once you make your goals public people will generally check up on your and ask you how you are going with your progress.

When you have someone to report to or everyone knows what you are working towards, I can guarantee you it will give you that little extra motivation to stick to your game plan on the days you don't feel like it. When the world is watching you, you give it that little bit extra.


Make A Schedule

its great to have the perfect game plan to get to your goals, but it will only work if you make sure you get it done within your schedule. So be realistic when you set your goals and make sure you do what is within your means within your schedule.

Then do exactly that, schedule your workouts into your diary, or block out that time to get you food organized for the week. If you treat your steps like an appointment you will ensure that you tick them off every week rather than brushing them off with the same old "I don't have time" factor.


Ditch The All Or Nothing Mindset

we all want to start our path to reach our health and fitness goals, but I want to wait until Monday until everything is fresh.

Then Monday rolls along and you ate a little more than you should have, or you missed your workout, then you throw in the towel reach for the tub of ice cream and Oreos and say well you stuffed it up so you are going to start next Monday instead.

Yeah, I know you know what I am talking about we have all been there. When really you would have been better off eating a tiny bit less the next day and getting your workouts in the rest of the week.

Perfection doesn't exist, but consistency does. You may not be perfect all of the time but if you are as consistently as close as you can be each day you will get towards your goals sooner than you think.


Keep Grinding

The road to your goals is not always going to be easy and smooth sailing. But that's ok its call LIFE and it can get in the way sometimes. But what matters most is that you don't give up, you need to keep going when the going gets tough.

It doesn't matter how slowly you move forward to your ultimate goal, it's not a race, but what matters most is that you keep moving forward no matter what life ends up throwing in your way.


Have Fun

We all have goals that we want to work towards, and goals can take a lot of hard work! Just remember to have some fun along the way. Make sure you incorporate workouts that you LOVE, reward yourself when you hit milestones and share your enjoyment with the people around you.

DELICIOUS CHOCOLATE PROTEIN BALL RECIPE
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I'm often on the go and there are days when I need to have a convenient snack available in my handbag or in my car. Although I follow flexible dieting that allows me to pick something up from the nearest gas station, I often find that the selection of healthier snacks is not always the best. 

So whenever I have some spare time I make sure that I make these Chocolate Protein Balls. Beside from being delicious and being able to satisfy my chocolate craving, they are also great as you can keep them in the freezer. 

Give them a go and let me know in the comments what you think.


INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of almond meal (or ground almonds in blender/food processor)

  • 4.2 oz. (120 g) of chocolate or vanilla protein powder

  • 4 tbsp. of raw cacao powder

  • 1/2 cup of stevia, or to taste

  • 1/2 cup of cocoa nibs (optional but adds extra crunch)

  • Approximately 1 cup desiccated coconut (for rolling)

  • 1 tsp. of organic vanilla extract

  • 1 tbsp. of natural almond butter OR peanut butter

  • 1/2 cup melted cocoa butter OR coconut oil

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DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine almond meal, protein powder, cocoa powder, cocoa nibs and stevia in a large mixing bowl.

  2. In a separate bowl mix vanilla extract, almond butter and cocoa butter.

  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until combined into a thick dough type mixture. Note: you may need to add a little water to help mix if needed.

  4. Roll into small balls and then roll in the coconut.

  5. Place on a tray with baking paper and place in the fridge or freezer. I like mine in the freezer ;)

This is a healthy alternative to a sugary dessert or snack high in heatlhy fats and protein. Make a batch and keep them in the freezer to use on days when you simply haven't had a chance to prepare anything. Or, on days when you have a chocolate craving!

Enjoy!