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When I saw this quote it got me thinking…
There are values in setting goals… The number 1 value that it adds to our lives is the person we become while on the journey of setting goals and achieving & reaching them.
Today I want to share my personal view and opinion on the importance of setting goals for YOURSELF. We can so easily get discouraged or derailed from our goals the moment things get tough or we slipped up. We tend to experience the emotions of failure and disappointment in self the moment we slipped up! Whether you missed a workout or made a bad choice when it came to nutrition. Maybe your cheat meal ended in a cheat day and then snowballed to a cheat weak or month?! Can you relate, have you experienced the feeling of condemnation for not having enough willpower to succeed the first time? Well I have and its a terrible feeling indeed.
NOW how can we overcome this pattern and make it sustainable to reach our goal?
You can have the willpower to set out a short/long term goal BUT without a plan and a sustainable vision you are most likely to stumble and fail.
My advice is to take your overall goal and to break it up into smaller realistic goals…Let this be a journey and embrace it as an investment in yourself. Be realistic with yourself. This way you will be sure to reach your ultimate goal.
Then, set time frames for each and be sure to focus on them one step at a time. Once you overcome the first hurdle then think of and take on the second goal towards the “BIGGER goal”. You know yourself. Maybe you perform on rewards. Whatever it is do this for yourself. e.g If I lose 2 kg by week 3 I will buy myself a new training top. No matter what you DON’T purchase that top if you haven’t reached your personal goal. I promise you will take accountability for your decisions and this will form part of your commitment to what is important to you!
Your nutrition and training don’t have to be complex. By sticking to a fundamental, realistic, and systematic approach to your goals you are more likely to achieve them. Don’t over complicate things – This is often my problem and as a result I jump between diets and training programs. Don’t go there. Get a program, stick to it and pull it through! Get to know your body and what works for YOU.
I’m sharing this and believe it is a good read for those in need of change.
SET GOALS AND DEVELOP A PLAN
First and foremost, you need a plan that is curtailed to your needs, goals, and lifestyle. You can’t pick up your husband’s, brother’s, or cousin’s workout plan and expect it to work. Before you jump in, sit down and think about what you want and why. If you’re not absolutely positive about what you want or why you want it, then you’ll struggle to follow through. It might seem like a really basic first step, but it’s the one most people fail to do.
You also need to be realistic. I see too many people with the get-back-into-my-high-school-jeans-by-tomorrow mindset fall off the wagon. Sure that’s a great goal for the long term, but you need to ask yourself: What am I capable of right now? If you are 50 or more pounds overweight, thinking you’ll be down to a size 32 in a matter of weeks will set you up for failure. Instead of focusing on that big, 50-pound goal, take a smaller bite. Try, “I will lose five pounds by the end of the month.” It may not be a drastic change, but achieving it will feel great and will serve as excellent motivation.
Additionally, choose a goal that bolsters your health and well-being and doesn’t just focus on the way you look. By improving your overall health, you’ll feel better, sleep better, think better, and live better!
Successful goal-achievers also pay constant attention to their progress. Write down your goal in hardcopy journal, in a phone app, or on BodySpace! This way you can revisit and assess how you’re doing.
True, training is probably the most difficult aspect to figure out. When I first began, I would walk into the gym and train my chest, biceps, and triceps. I would do this every single day. If this sounds familiar, that’s OK—you have to start somewhere.
This year, instead of doing some biceps curls and then heading to the treadmill, follow this basic system:
|Build Muscle||Shed Body Fat|
|Weight training frequency||3-6 days per week||4-6 days per week|
|Rest periods||1-2 minutes||30-45 seconds|
|Lifting load||Heavier weight||Lighter weight|
|Cardio frequency||2-4 times per week||4-6 times per week|
|Cardio duration||10-30 minutes||15-50 minutes|
Like I said before, the most important aspect of training is to support your goals. If you want to gain muscle, aim for longer rest periods between sets, exercise with heavier weights, and shoot for lower rep ranges. If you want to shed body fat, train with lighter weight, high reps, and short rest periods.
Remember, this doesn’t need to be super complex! It is better to keep it simple. The key is constant progress. Each week try more weight, more reps, or shorter rest periods. Record your workouts so you can keep track of your progression.
Although resistance training will be the most effective way to achieve your physique goals, I like to encourage cardio. If your goal is to gain muscle, keep your cardio sessions to just three times per week. Use high-intensity interval training (HIIT) techniques to ensure the preservation of your hard-earned muscle. If you want to lose body fat, I still suggest HIIT, but I’d increase the session frequency to 4-6 times per week and increase the duration.
Finally, you have to rest. Spending days away from the gym will allow your body adequate time to rebuild and repair. You can schedule rest days whenever they best fit your schedule, but don’t leave them out!
Nutrition might be the last thing I’ve written about, but it’s the most important part of your progress—it always trumps training. Despite its importance, people tend to overlook it because they “work so hard” in the gym. You can kill yourself every day, but if you supplement that training with cupcakes and hot chocolate, you won’t see gains or losses where you want them.
I also see people eat too little. The point of your fitness resolution is to make lasting change. Nobody wants to lose 50 pounds and then gain it all back again, right? A month-long liquid diet or 1,000-calorie plan might work in the short term, but they won’t provide you the nutrition for a healthy mind and body or the building blocks for a lifestyle change.
Don’t make it complicated. Simply put, your calories should come from all the major macro-nutrients: fat, carbohydrates, and protein. You need all of them— there isn’t a magic way to meet your goal by eliminating one or the other! Eat more protein than you think you need, don’t skimp on complex carbohydrates, and don’t skip healthy fats. Don’t worry about counting calories just yet. Get in the gym, eat whole, nutrient-dense food, drink plenty of water, and cut out the processed crap.
Similar to goal-setting and training, it’s important to keep track of your diet in a journal, app, or BodySpace. Write down what you eat, how you feel, and any other aspects of your nutrition you’d like to chart.
We covered the essentials, but there’s one more thing I need to cover. To be a success story, find something fitness-related that you enjoy doing. Whether it’s Zumba, CrossFit, bodybuilding, cycling, or powerlifting, do what you like. If you hate what you’re doing, then it’s difficult to be motivated to get back in and do it again. Furthermore, your fitness and your goals are personal. Make sure whatever you do is going to help you be the best you.
You have the tools to succeed. Now go do it!
SMART GOAL SETTING:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Accountable
R – Realistic
T – Time-frame
From my side my friends, I want to encourage you to take up this goal, challenge yourself and go out and DO IT FOR YOURSELF. For no other reason but YOURSELF. If you failed before so be it. Don’t dwell on the past or where you find yourself at this moment. Take it one small step at a time and be proud of every single healthier choice that you make.
We all mess up some point or another – I did too but NOW is the time to get back up, look up and NEVER EVER GIVE UP on yourself.
Be passionate about what you do and always give your best. You deserve to look and feel your best. Value yourself enough to make the changes toward becoming the BEST VERSION OF YOU!
I believe in you, so now believe in yourself.
You can follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ClaudineKidson
Facebook: Body and Lifestyle Challenges Claudine Kidson: https://www.facebook.com/ClaudineKidson
Have a fit and fabulous week everyone.
Truth about Fat Loss and Nutrition
So this weekend was the Truth about Fat loss and Nutrition Workshop and I believe it was a huge success, educating people about some general guidelines on nutrition / food labels and understanding the Truth about Fat Loss.
“We did a little test with the 4 products listed here and did you know that if you had to consume 1 litre of this milk, 1 litre of this 100% orange juice, 50 g box of future life cereal and 500g box of Kellogg’s Special K in a week….you would be putting 57 teaspoons of sugar into your body. No wonder people are not winning the fight against the bulge!!!!!! Avoid health foods…..especially if they come with an advert!!!”
Some of the foods we looked at was:
Thank you Eugene for an Exceptional Perfect Pulse Seminar – the knowledge you have is amazing and the passion you have for sharing the truth is absolutely inspiring…This is only the beginning of big things to come.
I decided to do a post today on my view on a few things…Why do I feel the need to bring the truth to people on Fat Loss and Nutrition or health in general? Because I feel we need to start moving forward by knowing the truth. We live in a world where things get covered up way to easy and I’m so sick of companies making millions of profit by clever advertising skills, “covering the truth and exposing lies”. The general public in return are the ones walking around with sickness and health concerns.
I walked into a well known “Health Shop” yesterday where they sell supplements etc. So you would think the people employed in this positions will be educated in their field of expertise. As I walked down the isle I couldn’t help but to overhear the conversation of the guy (Supplement sales person) giving advice for a lady wanting to buy supplements & products to lose weight! I almost felt as if I can run the guy against the wall when the first thing he said to the lady was to cut out ALL CARBOHYDRATES and limit protein by replacing it with a “Shake”. Even typing this message makes me so angry when I think of this misleading and wrong advice…Listen today – NO Shake will replace good quality protein and neither will you have sustainable energy to get through a day without carbohydrates. We tend to trust others with our health or follow advice without really focusing on what the truth behind it is…We put our trust in someone who walks around with the qualifications without taking the time to research if it is indeed the correct information…
First of all Ladies & Gents you NEED PROTEIN | CARBOHYDRATES & FAT in your diet.
Your body needs carbs, healthy fats and protein. Protein is essential for tissue growth and repair. Dietary protein supplies the building blocks of muscle tissue. You have to remember that when you hit the gym for your weight training routine you are actually breaking down your muscle tissues. So WHY is your diet so important? Because you build your muscles outside of the gym just like they say Abs are made in the kitchen – that is the TRUTH…To do that you need a proper nutritional plan with the correct amount of protein/carbs/healthy fats to fuel your body…That is why I believe BCAA (Branch Chain Amino Acids) is a good “supplement” to add to your plan if possible. If insufficient amino acids are present, your body will start breaking down muscle tissues to get the required aminos and you don’t want that. So what is the use of a good weight training session, if you don’t nourish your muscles when you walk out of the gym?! So never leave out the correct amount of Protein and Carbohydrates to fuel your body for sustainable energy levels throughout the day! So if you feel depleted and hungry most of the time consider looking at your protein intake. Remember protein takes longer for your body to digest which means you will be fuller for longer…
Since your body expends more energy to process proteins than it does to digest carbohydrates and fats, people who consume more protein throughout the day might see faster fat-loss results than people on a lower-protein diet plan.
Ladies protein WON’T make you bulky or muscular that is NOT the truth…You don’t have the amount of testosterone like males to build muscles like your boyfriend 😉 So make sure you incorporate high quality protein sources into your diet like fish, eggs, chicken and lean cut red meats. And if needed SUPPLEMENT with a good quality Pure/Isolated/ Whey Protein.
Not replace it but SUPPLEMENT with a protein shake…
Your body needs energy to survive. Your systems energy requirements are mostly met by your daily food intake. The energy value of food is important but the source of the calories and your portion control takes priority. The more processed and refined the lower the vitamin and mineral value of food will be and the higher the Glycemic Index or fat value tends to be. Processed and refined foods tend to have a drastic effect on elevating your blood sugar levels and increase the likelihood of fat storage occurring. And don’t ask questions when those cravings kicked in…
Guideline on how to measure Calories and Kilojoules:
Calories and Kilojoules is measured per gram of food:
1g of Carbohydrate = 4 calories / 17kj
1g of Protein = 4 calories / 17kj
1g of fat = 9 calories / 37kj
1g of alcohol = 7 calories / 29kj
Stay away from refined and process foods and try to balance your macro values to support your goals or general healthy living. Never follow a diet by leaving out a macro nutrient. DON’T follow a low carb diet / a low protein diet. It is not healthy and your weight loss goals will not be sustainable. Everything is about BALANCE…Consistency is key and always option for the best healthiest choices. Make a mindful decision to educate yourself on the values of food and see it as an investment in your health. Don’t let weight loss become an obsession but rather see it as a journey to better health and lifestyle.
Its all about the choices you make, so think about what you fuel your body with!
Have a super amazing and productive educated week 😉
I had to share this with you. There is so many myths out there about diet, nutrition and fat-loss. Most of us are left with confusion and end up following the wrong advice or believe systems…
Get the real fat-loss facts right here! These six Optimum athletes know just what it takes to uncover those muscles hiding out under your body fat. Here’s what they have to say about some of those pervasive fat-loss myths.
Not seeing the fat-loss results you’ve been training for? It may be because you’re falling for some fat-loss falsehoods! Get the straight facts about fat loss right here. Most regular gym-goers are there for one thing and one thing only: to lose fat. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that goal, many people aren’t training for it in the most efficient ways and thus struggle to make real progress. What’s usually to blame for these ineffective fat-loss plans is a whole bunch of misinformation.
“If I train abs really hard every day, I will lose belly fat and get a six-pack.”
Everyone has a six-pack. It’s a muscle called your rectus abdominus. The only reason it’s not visible on everyone is because it’s usually covered with a layer of body fat. You could do 1,000 crunches seven days per week, but that won’t help you burn that layer of fat.
In order to lose fat, you must monitor your caloric intake and eat fewer calories than you expend. That way, your body will use stored fat for fuel. When your body burns fat for fuel, you don’t get to pick which parts of your body the fat will come off. Eventually, your entire body will be leaner, including that coveted abdominal area!
“You can turn all of your body fat into toned muscle by lifting weights.”
It is not possible to turn your body fat into muscle. Fat is fat and muscle is muscle—you can’t magically turn one into the other by lifting weights or doing cardio. However, weight training is the easiest way to control the shape of your body. The more muscle you have, the more fat your body will burn.
Keep in mind, though, that you can have a lot of muscle and still have fat covering it up. That’s why you need to do weight training, cardio, and have a clean, nutritious diet to maximize your weight loss and body-shaping potential.
“When trying to lose weight you need to drop your carbs and fats, but keep your protein intake high.”
Fats and carbs both play a role in fat loss. Fats are responsible for hormone production, joint lubrication, and many other important health and muscle-building factors. Dropping your fats too low could compromise your health and your goals. Everyone’s body and metabolism is different, so it’s crucial to know how many grams of healthy fat you need to eat for a balanced nutrition regimen.
Carbs are always perceived as the enemy, but they too have a significant role in fat loss. The body needs glucose to work, and to a certain level, your brain requires it to think and function optimally. Some will argue that technically we don’t need carbs, but many of your body’s basic functions will decrease in performance without the right amount of carbs at the right times.
As for protein, a high-protein diet could benefit people in a caloric deficit.
“Eating fat makes you fat.”
Fat doesn’t make you fat—consuming too many calories does. Foods that contain fat are part of a healthy diet, help maintain your lean body mass, and assist with metabolic function. Healthy fats, like omega-3 fatty acids, can be found in extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, almonds, avocados, cashews, peanuts, walnuts, flaxseeds, and more. If you want to lose fat, you need to eat fewer calories and/or burn more calories.
“Cardio is all I need for fat loss.”
Every gym has the guy or gal who does an hour and half of cardio but never seems to make physique changes. They’re living proof that if you don’t change things up, steady-state cardio will become less and less effective at reducing your body fat.
Most people will be able to quickly lose a few pounds when they start a cardiovascular program. Usually, this “program” is a long, drawn out battle with the treadmill or my most-hated machine, the elliptical. The initial drop in body fat is due to the new stimuli, but that trend quickly begins to taper off until eventually the individual is able to go longer and longer distances without any change in body composition. As you get “better” at doing cardio, your body makes specific adaptations to the stress being placed on it in order to become more efficient. Your body will increase your ability to transport and use oxygen, create more capillaries to deliver blood and oxygen to the needed muscles, and will strengthen the bones and muscles being used.
Simply put, as you get better at the activity, you stop expending the same amount of calories. Eventually, you’ll reach a point where you simply stop burning fat. This is a necessary adaptation from our ancestors who had to travel long distances without the amenities that we have today. (Of course, they weren’t eating any donuts or Big Macs.)
Once your body adapts to the stress you put on it, it’s time to change the stress. Personally, I’d only run for a long distance if I were being chased by a hungry lion, so it’s unlikely you’d catch me on the treadmill. I prefer to do weight training circuits combined with calisthenics, sprints, and jumps to keep things interesting. You can mix things however you wish, as long as you find it challenging.
Little to no rest between exercises
Rest 3-5 minutes between circuits
Repeat circuit 3 times
20 box jumps
30 air squats
Bear crawl: length of gym
Crab walk: length of the gym
Rope drills (waves, slams, etc.): 4 sets of 30 seconds
Agility ladder drills: 4 sets
This should be about a 20-minute cardio session that yields 10 times the results than an hour of boredom on the treadmill.
“Eating small meals frequently speeds up your metabolism so you can burn more fat.”
Bro-scientists will insist that eating small portions every 2-3 hours will increase your metabolism. They base this on the thermic effect of food (TEF), which refers to the energy (calorie) cost of your body processing the food you consume. On average, 15 percent of the calories you consume are burned by processing them (although the rate varies by macronutrient). Someone took this idea and assumed that the more frequently people consume their meals, the more frequent TEF will take effect and thus increase fat oxidation.
This seems like a good thought at first. But numerous research studies have proven this to be false and simple math reinforces what these studies already show. Here’s an example:
Let’s look at two people consuming 1800 calories. The 0.15 represents the thermic effect of food.
Person 1 consumes 6 meals of 300 calories: 300 x 0.15 + 300 x 0.15 + 300 x 0.15 + 300 x 0.15 + 300 x 0.15 + 300 x 0.15 = 270 calories burned.
Person 2 consumes 3 meals of 600 calories: 600 x 0.15 + 600 x 0.15 + 600 x 0.15 = 270 calories burned.
As you can see, the amount of calories oxidized through digestion is the same no matter how frequently a person eats.
Eating more frequently holds no metabolic advantage over eating less frequently. Of course, if spreading your meals across six feeds per day is more comfortable and easier for you, then do it. The key is to choose a meal frequency that fits your lifestyle. That way, you’ll be more likely to stick to your plan over time.
I have come so far and I believe YOU CAN 2. I’m sharing this even if I can inspire 1 person to make the decision to CHANGE and become the BEST version of yourself. Never EVER EVER give up and NEVER fear failure…
BELIEVE AND YOU WILL ACHIEVE. Never give up on yourself you are worth it.
Hi all my fit and fab friends, how is everyone doing?
Well I decided to do a post on my progress – Week 5 is where I’m at!
I have to admit that its been a “challenge” this last 5 weeks just to actually manage my schedule/time and lifestyle to make it to the gym. I realized by the end of week 4 that I’m putting so much pressure on myself and decided to make a MIND SHIFT! Things have changed in my life and it is time for me to adapt accordingly. NO I cant train twice a day like I use to – I’m limited to 45-60 min 4x a week so I had to make the decision get negative about it or embrace it and see it as my effort of the best!
So I cancelled my 4 week measurement session but decided yesterday I must face it…So I went and hey I was impressed with myself.
Dropped only 1kg but so much in centimeters and fat.
Herewith my 5 week measurement.
Week 5 Progress Pics:
I want to encourage you to take progress photographs EVEN if you don’t feel like it! I didn’t realize I was making progress until I saw this photos. It will motivate you to work hard!
NEVER GIVE UP -Even if your progress is slow or you only manage 45 min a day or whatever situation you face JUST KNOW that your best is the best!
There is times that I feel discouraged and think about all the reasons WHY I cant train or get to the gym – but the difference is I still do it even though I don’t feel like it 😉
So again I want to encourage you to put in the effort that you know you are capable of – If it takes you 3 months longer to reach your goals so be it at least you are on your way!
WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE QUITTING THINK ABOUT WHY YOU STARTED IN THE FIRST PLACE…
Week 2 Progress
Hi to all my fit and fabulous friends… So let me recap on what I’ve been up to J
Today is day 10 of my 12 Week Body Makeover Challenge. So far I believe so good – 100% clean on my diet and ok I’m getting to one training session a day – 45min – 60 min max. I had legs on my program today but have to admit I did not have one of the best days in the gym. I don’t get to do cardio at the moment and this to me is a huge disappointment!
I have to admit that I was slightly discouraged today for I keep comparing this transformation to my previous one only to realize I’m setting myself up for failure in that way and I need to change my way of thinking…
Sometimes in life our circumstances change and so I realized tonight that, I need to adjust my mindset accordingly. As everyone knows by now I’m a new mommy to a beautiful baby girl and obviously the time limit for myself is limited. I feel so guilty to pick her up at the daycare only to take her to the next stop – the gym L. It is terrible but I just don’t have any other option. I do feel rushed in the gym and not even to mention that I’m there on the busiest time of the day – Late afternoon 16:30/17:00 when everyone train after work! But again I don’t have any other option so I must make it work! So the gym is full, equipment all in use, my time is limited so do you think there is a chance to get irritated or discouraged – YES there is.
Today I want to encourage you by telling you that we have the ability to make the decision whether or not we are going to allow our circumstances to determine our attitude or will we make the decision to change our mindset, adjust, be positive and make the best out of it?
So even though I cant train twice a day like I use to I will make the best out of the opportunity that I do have to train.
I did add the Waterslim product from USN to my supplements and I have to say what an exceptional product to reduce water retention!
This product is scientifically formulated to eliminate water retention under the skin to amplify weight control.
Scientifically formulated to eliminate water retention under the skin to amplify weight control.
WHEN DO I TAKE IT?
Prior to breakfast
Exceptional diuretic properties
Anti-fat mass effect
Allows significant weight loss (mainly as temporary water loss)
Helps to refine the silhouette
No side-effects or adverse effects shown in studies
I took a progress pic tonight to see if I can see any difference…I didn’t think there is ANY progress until I saw the pic and realized I definitely dropped some water!
Decided to share with you – Don’t look at the quality it was taken with my phone and I didn’t plan to share it 😉 Still a long way to go – BUT keeping my head up, lets do this…
Defining your goals will be the first step of your journey to success!
You have to be clear on what it is that you want to achieve. The moment you define what it is you want to accomplish the easier it will be to set out your goals and objectives.
By having set goals you are already more focused towards your success than not having a starting point or clear vision of your goal!
Write down your goal and be realistic. Take your time and really think this through. Differentiate between your personal goal, family goal, financial or business goal.
As I said be realistic about this. WHY do I say so? So that you don’t end up setting unrealistic goals in an unrealistic timeframe to only be overwhelmed and discouraged by not reaching them in the end. By setting realistic goals in a proper timeframe will increase your chances of actually achieving them.
No matter how small or how big your goal might be, write it down or print it out and put it somewhere where you will be “visually” reminded of how bad you really want this.
Once you have your goal, set your time frame for achieving your goal. Work on a time frame for a long-term or short-term goal. For example – Have a 3 Month / 6 Month / 1 Year / 5 Year / 10 Year Goal.
You will see how amazing it is to look back after 3 months or a year and actually see what you have achieved or reached.
The feeling of achieving a goal is absolutely priceless and it is like an “inner being” accomplishment!!
Be SMART when you set your goals?
Tips to help you achieve your goals:
Get a mentor or “role model”. This person must be an inspiration to you or someone who achieved a similar goal than the one you are setting for yourself. Do research on the goal or similar goals or people who reached it for example a Weight Loss goal. Research the things they did or what helped them to achieve their goals and let this be a guideline for you! Always remember to never compare yourself with others we are all unique individuals.
Let it be a guide or motivation only. Then share your goal with a friend, your spouse, co-worker, family member or through a blog. This will keep you accountable believe me this is how my blog became such a big part of my “journey”. Sharing stories by not only motivating myself in the end but others as well.
So go on set those goals. Don’t set NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS rather set SOLUTIONS and GOALS.
We can do this.
I will shortly share why I posted this specific topic on Goals or Motivation.
Please share this post with others so that we can help and motivate each others to becoming the best we could be…
COMMITMENT IS THE GLUE THAT BONDS YOU TO YOUR GOALS!
Have a super awesome day it’s almost the weekend! Whoop
There is something on my heart and I want to share with you what I have noticed this last couple of months being pregnant…If you haven’t also already noticed, but once you fall pregnant it is as if everyone starts telling you how you should live your life, what is allowed and what isn’t, what you should be doing when you should be doing it and so the list goes on.
Today I want to tell you that to much mixed information is NOT a good thing. Go with what you feel is the right decision for YOU! Get a trusted friend or someone you KNOW will not share any information if not proven facts or only by sharing experiences without coming down on you on the what you should and shouldn’t be doing! If you believe that raw meat, sushi, raw eggs for example is a no no during pregnancy – Then stick to what you believe in and don’t let others try to convince you otherwise!
I can give you my own story and you can do with it whatever you like but I do hope it can encourage you in some area. First of all I want to encourage all to stay on a healthy balanced nutritious diet. When I say diet I mean lifestyle – NO CRASH / weight loss diet! I want to stretch the importance of continuing the lifestyle as before pregnancy or if it wasn’t all that good to better your lifestyle. I made the mistake of letting go. From being SUPER fit and active in the gym once a day – to a not so fit once a week in the gym without any confidence…
With tears in my eyes I want to encourage you to not let go. Don’t see your pregnancy as a escape route of a healthy lifestyle. Don’t have the mindset oh well I’m gaining all this weight anyways so why bother making healthier choices… Since the day I found out of my pregnancy it was as if my body went into overdrive and I gained weight by the day – or that is how it felt. It was a HUGE adjustment and with all the changes going on inside my body I started to fall into a “depression” if I can call it that. I started getting negative about my body the way I look and then the pattern started of I don’t care anymore. BUT DON’T GO THERE. Your lifestyle is so important for the little one growing inside of you. As most of you know I have a under active thyroid (Hypothyroidism). So let me explain this briefly:
The thyroid gland
Your thyroid is an endocrine gland. This means it secretes hormones into your bloodstream. Hormones are chemicals produced by your body to help regulate how your cells and organs work. They are sometimes called chemical messengers.
Your thyroid gland makes two hormones: thyroxine (also called T4) and triiodothyronine (also called T3). Together, these hormones regulate your body’s growth and metabolism. Your metabolism is how quickly your body burns energy and how quickly reactions in your body happen. It affects lots of things, including how much you weigh and how much you sleep.
The production of thyroid hormones is controlled by another hormone called thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). This is made by an endocrine gland in your brain called the pituitary gland.
Hypothyroidism causes a general slowing down of your body’s functions.
Some of the symptoms include:
- feeling tired and sleeping a lot
- feeling the cold easily
- dry and/or pale skin
- coarse, thinning hair and brittle nails
- sore muscles, slow movements and weakness
- a hoarse or croaky voice
- a change in facial expression
- problems with memory and concentration
- weight gain
- fertility problems and increased risk of miscarriage
- heavy, irregular or prolonged menstrual periods
- a slow heart rate
TIP: If you experience some of the above or all make an appointment and go and see you GP and get a reference for a blood test.
While pregnant, it is important to continue your medication and to make sure you go for regular check ups or blood tests to regulate your levels.
I believe this was a big cause of my extreme weight gain in the first 3+ months of my pregnancy – Why because I didn’t go for my regular check up at first and when I did I got the news that my medication had to be DOUBLED…So what if I went earlier would that have meant less weight gain? Well since my dosage of my thyroid medication is correct my weight gain seemed to stabilize resulting in only picking up the necessary weight.
Still left with the weight, feeling down I realized HEY THIS IS NOT THE END…You can still make a difference, you still CAN make better choices and let the rest of your pregnancy be a healthy one.
So last night I made the decision that no matter the weight gained up to now its time to get up, focus and make everyday a better day and to enjoy the last few months of my pregnancy.
So to all the pregnant ladies out there lets do this. To all the non pregnant ladies WANTING to get pregnant start making better choices as from TODAY…Not Monday or next week TODAY! If you are over weight or under weight get your body into shape now.
Conclusion to the general blog followers: Let every single day be a day with a new meaning. New way of living, healthier options than the day before. Don’t focus on your past failures focus on the success of your future. If you got discouraged at some point get back up today. You deserve the absolute best so get your mind and body connected and start living the best life today!
If I could do it so can you!
First things first…Do you want to enter the USN 12 Week Challenge 2012 then you have to start by purchasing your 12 Week Body Transformation Starter Pack. Supplements included in the starter pack will be:
(This will last you approximately 3-4 weeks)
- Pure CLA 1000 (45’s)
- Phedra-Cut Ultra XT (60’s)
- Diet Fuel Ultralean (1kg)
- Protein Dessert (454g)
What I would add to this:
- Women’s Ultra Two-a-day Daily Vitamin
- USN OMEGA PRO 3,6,9
- Phedra Cut Ultra SF (for the evenings) / Lipo
If you don’t want to enter the competition and only do the Challenge you can buy the products separately. There are great specials available and I would suggest you buy the combo packs for they work out much cheaper in the end.
Next: So lets do a quick breakdown on each product explaining the function of each supplement.
Tip: It is a good idea to get clued up on the supplements that you will be using. Not only to educate yourself on the role it plays but for you to know what you are fuelling your body with. As the Challenge Progress we will add to the supplements but for now this is the most important…
Before I begin it is so important to know your supplements and what you put into your mouth. Why do I use USN? First of all I must give them credit on their AMAZING customer support and advice.
Gareth Powell from USN has been of amazing support throughout my Challenge. All my questions have always been answered and more. So before I go any further thank you Gareth and the team at USN for making each customer/individual feel valued as a client and for the exceptional products!
This is the link to their website: USN – Ultimate Sports Nutrition
Email Gareth at USN should you have any queries on this 12 Week challenge or for some advice: email@example.com
Trust me even though this is allot of information make the time to read through it and get the foundation right of your knowledge beforehand.
WOMEN’s ULTRA TWO-A-DAY
A daily multi-vitamin designed for the female who requires an essential supplement for a balanced, nutritious diet.
USN WOMEN’S TWO A DAY is a scientifically formulated, nutrient rich multi-vitamin/multi nutrient, designed for the active female who has specific micronutrient demands for the continued maintenance of good health, immune support and energy availability.
Daily with breakfast.
- Increased energy levels
- Improves overall performance
- Stimulates cognitive function
- High in antioxidants
Improves immune function
OMEGA PRO 3,6,9
ADVANCED CELLULAR ANTI-OXIDANT
A combination of Omega-9 (mono-unsaturated fatty acids) and Omega-3 and -6 (poly-unsaturated fatty acids). Omega-3 and -6 are Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s).
USN OMEGA PRO consists of a combination of Omega-9 (mono-unsaturated fatty acids) and Omega-3 and -6 (poly-unsaturated fatty acids) – Omega-3 and -6 are essential fatty acids.
All these fatty acids are necessary for the formation of healthy cell membranes, the proper development and functioning of the brain and nervous system, and for the production of hormone-like substances called eicosanoids (thromboxanes, leukotrienes, prostaglandins).
These chemicals regulate numerous body functions, including blood pressure, blood viscosity, and vasoconstriction, immune and inflammatory response. They have profound beneficial effects on the body an influence hormone production, immunity and cardiovascular health in addition, they keep the skin and other tissues youthful.
- Daily with food.
- Optimises metabolic function
- Balances hormone production
- Promotes cardiovascular health
- Boosts sports performance
- Reduces exercise related pain
PHEDRA-CUT LIPO XT
EXTREME THERMOGENIC FAT LOSS ACTIVATOR
Phedra-Cut Lipo XT provides all the benefits of the Phedra-Cut Ultra XT, but now includes a patent-pending encapsulated form of premium, highly concentrated natural capsicum extract, Capsimax™, which protects the esophagus and gastric barrier from the burn often experienced with cayenne pepper and its extracts. Due to the protective nature of this encapsulation, a higher quantity of capsicum actives form part of the formula, making it even more effective as a weight control aid.
- Prior to meals.
- Supports a healthy metabolism
- Reduced carb absorption
- Appetite control
- Reduced glucose production in liver
- Inhibited fat cell formation (Anti-adipogenic activity)
- Mood & mental acuity enhancement
- Anti-oxidation during fat breakdown
- Energy boosting
DIRECTIONS FOR USE
During the 2 off days of not using Phedra-Cut Lipo XT, it is advised to use Phedra-Cut Stimulant Free 2 times per day, 30 minutes prior to meals.
PHEDRA-CUT ULTRA XT
FAST ACTING THERMOGENIC FAT BURNER
An advanced, multi-phase extreme thermogenic, fast activating fat loss activator, scientifically formulated to rapidly increase fat metabolism, appetite suppression and to boost energy production.
PHEDRA-CUT ULTRA XT is an advanced fat loss activator, consisting of a synergistic blend of natural ingredients, which have all proven to assist in safe and effective weight loss.
Benefits of PHEDRA-CUT XT:
• Increased fat burning activity (incl. abdominal fat)
• Blood glucose regulation (which may eliminate cravings)
• Reduced carbohydrate absorption
• Appetite suppression
• Reduced glucose production in the liver
• Reduced fat accumulation
• Inhibit fat cell formation (Anti-adipogenic activity)
• Mood and mental acuity enhancement
• No estrogenic interactions
• Anti-oxidation during fat breakdown
• Energy boosting
Prior to meals.
- Increased fat burning activity
- Advanced blood glucose regulation
- Reduced carbohydrate absorption
- Appetite suppression
- Reduced glucose production in the liver
- Mood and mental acuity enhancement
- Inhibits fat cell formation
- Antioxidant effect
PHEDRA-CUT ULTRA STIMULANT FREE
FAST ACTING NON-THERMOGENIC DAY AND NIGHT FAT BURNER
A non-stimulant primary weight loss supplement designed to optimise the metabolic pathways associated with increase fat and carbohydrate metabolism without increasing thermogenisis or central nervous system activity.
PHEDRA-CUT ULTRA SF has been formulated for individuals wishing to achieve optimal weight-control and energy levels, without central nervous system stimulation.
It can also be used in combination with Phedra-Cut Ultra XT to continue the weight-regulating process during the night as well as over weekends.
- Increased fat burning activity (without CNS stimulation)
- Blood glucose regulation (which may eliminate cravings)
- Reduced carb absorption
- Appetite suppression
- Reduced fat accumulation (also in liver)
- Mood & mental acuity enhancement
- Anti-oxidation during fat breakdown
- Energy boosting
- May lower the level of CRP (C-reactive protein) in the body and hence reduce leptin resistance.
- Prior to meals.
- Decreases weight and fat mass
- Suppresses appetite
- Improves blood glucose regulation
- Reduces starch digestion
- Inhibits amalayse enzyme production
- Improves thyroid function
- Increases fat and glycogen metabolism
- Improves metabolic function and energy levels
PURE CLA 1000
ADVANCED BODY TONER
A non-stimulant weight loss supplement that supports weight loss and the metabolic processes involved with fat burning. With further health benefits including blood sugar regulation to promote a lean physique.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid is seen as a “wonder nutrient” that occurs naturally in a wide variety of foods such as beef, some dairy products and turkey.
This “wonder nutrient” has been scientifically proven to inhibit the process that is responsible for the deposition of fat in the body (especially in the abdominal and leg areas). CLA directs the body to use fat reserves for energy. Research has shown CLA to increase lean muscle while reducing body fat. A number of other studies also revealed dramatic cholesterol-reducing effects with CLA supplementation.
USN CLA 1000 primarily provides the Cis 9, Trans 10 and Trans 11, Cis 12 isomers in a 50:50 ratio, as recommended for optimal efficiency. Supplementing with CLA should result in a leaner, healthier body.
- With or directly after meals.
- Promotes fat metabolism
- Protect lean muscle mass
- Increases energy expenditure
- Anti-cancer properties
- Enhances immune function
- Powerful antioxidant
- Prevents high cholesterol
DIET FUEL ULTRALEAN
LOW-GI SLIMMING SHAKE
Premium high protein
Low-carbohydrate meal replacement
Contains the USN Lean System for effective weight management
USN DIET FUEL ULTRALEAN represents the newest and most advanced technology for the reduction of body fat as well as the maintenance of lean muscle tissue.
This delicious, low-GI, low-kJ meal replacement formula provides you with a complete, nutritious meal for anytime of the day. It contains all the essential nutrients in adequate quantities to ensure healthy and lasting weight loss.
The USN Lean System™ blend consists of N-Acetyl-L-Carnitine, HCA (Hydroxycitric acid) and a high level of bio-available Calcium, which has been shown to assist the weight-loss process through various effective mechanisms (excluding central nervous system stimulation).
The formula has a high fibre content to increase satiety levels and to assist with digestion. The reduction in hunger is further promoted through the addition of 25g High Biological Value Protein from various sources, which triggers a natural weight loss hormone (PYY) in the body.
The high quality Protein substrates also assist in improving Protein synthesis, regulating blood sugar levels to reduce cravings and improving overall health. Lactazyme™ is added to assist in the breakdown of Milk Protein and improved absorption.
- As a dietary supplement
- Two servings daily at 10:00am and again at 3:00pm
- Muscle retention
- Muscle growth
- Stabilises blood sugar levels
- Suppresses appetite
- Increases fat and glucose metabolism
Remember to take your first “BEFORE” photos with your measurements the day you start your challenge.
I’m here to assist you if you have ANY QUESTIONS. My 12 week training program as almost done for those who will be interested.
Take on this Challenge you CAN DO THIS, you will never ever look back.
Click on the image to download your diet for your fridge!
Wow what an exceptional day…There is so many things that I want to type or share that I actually don’t know where to start!
This is a Prego post for all the beautiful mommies or pregnant ladies out there or even those thinking about getting pregnant or whatever this is for you!
Let me tell you today that it is an absolute miracle to see a little growing person when going for a sonar. Today was a day filled with so many emotions. This was our second visit to the doctor and we had an appointment with a specialist who specializes in analyzing sonar’s and who does the scan for down syndrome etc. Not sure what you call her position but wow what a visit! While being confident that nothing will be wrong there will always be that “stressful” moment to see if everything is ok with baby and that there are no abnormalities.
I’m 12 weeks and 4 days today, expected due date is 19 January 2013 and even though I feel like a mini hippo at the moment it is just so worth it all! I did speak to the doc about my concerns for picking up SO MANY weight and he assured me that I don’t have anything to worry about at this stage and that when he met me I was way to small weighing just under 45kg! He also mentioned that I must remember that the intensity in my training took a huge setback and that I must just relax and stay healthy by making the right nutritious choices. So it is time to make peace and be grateful for every second! So to the ladies feeling a bit fat or bloated we all have those days and there will be better days! Being pregnant is something beautiful and you as a women is precious and beautiful no matter what the scale may show you! Don’t condemn who you are and where you’re at. Look ahead and be confident in who you are!
So let me share with you our amazing visit by showing you a video and photo or two 🙂
I find it very informative when browsing the net searching for a 12 week scan/sonar or to get an idea of what to expect even though every visit / person will have a different experience!
Baby even waved at us at a stage or that is what mommy believe he/she did ;-). We saw all 1o the fingers, feet, nose, little lips, heard the heartbeat at 150bpm and 64.5mm long. Its really an unbelievable feeling when you hear the heartbeat and see that everything is in place.
This is a clip of baby Kidson 🙂
This was amazing, baby kicked and moved around for a while was amazing to see:
And this is mommy with her #babybump 😉
Here I go off to gym will post tomorrow telling you about my out of breath 5km Challenge day 1 😉
Helloa all my fit and fabulous blog friends & followers,
I’m so back and ready for action ;-)…Yes I know I have only been recently back in the gym but I am super excited about every day ahead…
So what happened? The whole pregnancy, weight gain etc was a HUGE adjustment and to be honest for a while there I did not know how to cope with all the changes taking place inside/outside my body ;-)! For some reason I’m just gaining weight at the speed of light and I started to feel more and more self conscious about the fact that I have a definite baby bump at 12 weeks 3 days! My thyroid medication is consistent and its not as if I’m eating for 3 😉
But yesterday when that little voice inside my head said don’t go to the gym, you look fat/bloated and and and, I decided to silence the voice inside my head and to just DO IT!
And you know what it was the best decision I could have made…Yes I’m the fattest that I have ever been but that wont keep me from being fit and healthy! Have you been through something similar? If so please share with me.
I decided to take it one step at a time and just to enjoy every moment of it…I don’t have any pressure in the gym as I’m no longer working towards competing for now! It is still sad to see everyone getting ready/planning for the Body Beautiful South Africa – But hey next year is going to be a BIG YEAR :-)! Are you thinking about competing / are you currently prepping for a competition?
I’m starting with the Shape 5 week 5km challenge – Imagine a few months back I was comfortably running a 10-15km run. Where my challenge was – being so fit struggling to get my heart rate up I’m now struggling to keep the heart rate down.hehehe amazing how things change and how we adjust!
This is what they say about it:
In a normal, uncomplicated pregnancy, your resting heart rate will elevate by 15 to 20 beats per minute. As is the case with all of the major organ systems, cardiovascular changes that take place during pregnancy are believed to be triggered by hormonal signals, primarily increases in progesterone and estrogen, which alert the body to the presence of a fetus. These changes begin in the first trimester.
Why Does Heart Rate Shoot Up?
Changes in your circulatory system gradually occur after you conceive. The change is to fulfil the requirements of extra blood in your body to nourish your baby. The blood during pregnancy circulates through placenta to ensure the supply of blood, oxygen and nutrients to the developing fetus in your body. The cardiac output of your heart increases by 30-40 percent and your blood pressure decline slightly as more of your blood is aimed at the uterus, kidneys and skin.
It used to be that pregnant women were advised not to allow their heart rate to go above 140 beats per min during pregnancy. However, in 1994, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology changed its recommendation because there was no evidence that a heart rate greater than 140 beats per min was harmful for the mother or baby. Instead, pregnant women should use their perceived rate of exertion to measure intensity, and aim to exercise at a level that allows them to carry on a conversation while exercising.
So that explains the fact that before I know my heart rate is 135-140 bmp while exercising! lol
Just thankful to have my Polar FT80 to monitor my heart rate while working out!
If you don’t have a heart rate monitor yet and you are serious about working out / gym / running I would definitely say it is worth every cent!
Great feautures like
- Advanced training analyzing
- Training Diary
- Training Load
- Training programs
To help you train safely and effectively, the training computer determines your heart rate target zone limits automatically according to your age-based maximum heart rate (220 minus age). The limits are determined either in beats per minute (bpm) or as a percentage (%) of your maximum heart rate.
Keep your heart healthy by living a healthy lifestyle and by following a good nutrition plan!
Well we will be visiting the doctor tomorrow to visit baby Kidson so I’m super ExCiTeD. Will keep you posted!
Have a super day and let me know what you are up 2 by commenting below the post…
Helloa healthy fit blog friends, I know I dissapeared from the face of the “electronic” planet for a while but there has been so much going on in my life lately!
But hey here I am SUPER excited to share with you all what happened the past few weeks!
So as the season of our Action Netball were progressing and me starting to workout harder with new goals in mind – Things suddenly CHANGED and took a turn into a different direction…
So can you guess?
Well what started off as this; me and my hubby having lots of fun and sharing the love 😉
THAT RESULTED IN THIS:
And progressed over the four weeks after finding out I’m pregnant to a little baby developing inside my tummy…
This is indeed a little miracle in the making. We prayed and trusted God for this blessing for almost a year and His timing was perfect!
So all the mommies 2 be let me know how far along you are!
So no more this…
But time for this, its a HUGE adjustment let me be honest…
Will keep you posted…
I’m doing a quick poll on whether you would pay R150 for a complete 12 week training program created and designed by me. It is A5 in size, easy to print, laminate and perfect to take with to the gym!
I took all the exercises that I used over completing my 12 week total body transformation challenge and designed the program accordingly.
Believe me I know what it feels like not having a program or a personal trainer. I did not have a Personal Trainer during my 12 week Challenge I had to figure everything out myself.
Let me know if you would be interested or not by completing the poll below?
Hello all my amazing friends following my blog – Welcome to a new bright and beautiful week – Monday…
How was your weekend? I had a super amazing weekend. There is nothing like spending time with good friends…Had so much laughs, fun and such a great time!
First of all does this sound familiar to you: “I’ll start Monday with my diet”, “I will focus again on Monday” or whatever the sentence or context its used in can you associate with it?
Well I sure can 😉 and believe most of us can – BUT today I want to tell you that no matter what day of the week YOU CAN make healthier choices, even if your day started of being an emotional roller coaster or if you did slip up having that chocolate – Put it behind you and let the next choice be a healthier one getting you closer to reaching your goals!
I can confess today that I have slipped up, majorly not even only a little; but you know what that is the amazing part? You are the one in charge and you CAN make a difference in your life! We all have weaknesses I can tell you that but does everyone admit it?
I’m an emotional eater and whenever I feel down, depressed I reach for sweets…There is nothing that can set you back as much us sweets with high amounts of sugar/corn syrup etc which can also be found in processed foods. You have to pinpoint your weak points and take hold of it and change it…You absolutely do have the power to change and you have the willpower to turn it around. Don’t let it take hold of you. An addiction/bad habit can be anything from smoking, binge eating, exercise abuse, alcohol or whatever leaves you with the feeling of being dependent on “it”!
Conclusion: Take the time today even for 5 minutes and think about the things that is holding you back. Whether in your personal life, your fitness goals, your relationships or just in general. Write it down and start to get a action plan TODAY! Mine is the fact that sweets is like an addiction, once I start I don’t have the power to stop BUT TODAY this will change. I make a declaration to myself that I am stronger than the temptation and I can resist it…
This is another reason I have a blog…Not to put up a front of who I am not but by sharing my imperfections helping others to become their best.
So my promise to myself this week is to say no to sweet cravings/chocolates/sugar. Come on lets stand together and help each other to overcome some obstacles. Is there something that is holding you back today? Lets take 1 day and 1 step at a time.
Hope you have a super fabulous week – Get active – Get into the gym – Eat clean – Work hard – Smile – Be positive – Love your body – Don’t condemn yourself – Speak life!!
How awesome is this???
I was a winner yesterday for Ryan Hughes Ebook!
Now let me tell you I am super excited to start incorporating this into my program!
This style of training is exactly what I need, taking things to a new level 🙂
I have experienced that the fitter I become the harder it is to work up a sweat and to end up getting a good calorie burn and explosive workout.
My resting heart rate is somewhere in the 60/70’s sometimes lower so for me to get it up I need to incorporate active rests between my sets!
What type of style do you have when it comes to training?
Hello blogging friends…
So the long weekend came to an end and everyone is back in the rat race ;-).
I had a mini vacation for a week – but have to admit it was anything but a time for rest! We went to Cape Town for a few days for the wedding of my beautiful friends Landi & Roy. I was a bridesmaid and was proud to be part of such a beautiful meaningful day! The venue was in Yzerfontein named Strandkombuis. It was a perfect beach wedding and it turned out to be the day with perfect weather conditions. The day before was everything but perfect weather wise, but deep down in my heart I knew the weather on the wedding day will turn out to be perfect!
Then on the NOT SO COOL NOTE: I lost my purse or it got stolen 😦 what a bummer to stop all my cards etc. Also no gym for the week and let me tell you I felt like crap after the week although I did manage to go for 1 run hehe, and to crown it all off I got a phone call from USN for the next Expresso shoot within a week…This Friday 4th of May! Feeling bloated, irritated with myself for not being able to workout and I feel few kg heavier after the “mini vacation”. But in good spirit I’m back in the gym and loving every minute of it!
Tonight is Zumba whoop whoop always the best high intensity cardio workout. I love the sweat and the burn is just a bonus.
What do you have planned for the day?
Well have a super fantastic HuMp DaY – Stay healthy & fit…
For those doing the USN 12 Week Challenge – DON’T give in or don’t give up. You have what it takes to be transformed from inside and out. It will get hard at times but that is when you must keep your eyes focused on your goal!
Good luck to those entering dehydration phase keep it up almost there…
Read this out loud and clear…Today I want you to get in front of the things that’s holding you back to becoming the best you can be…
We focus so much on the solutions of our journeys or problems that we sometimes get sidetracked by what is least important.
Today I want to encourage you – look beyond what you think is impossible! We have our entire lives in front of us to make a difference in our everyday lives or too loose weight etc etc. STOP making excuses and just get started. Its not that difficult – YOU CAN OVERCOME YOUR BIGGEST FEARS!!!!!
I’m preaching to myself here: I have neglected a few things in my life but the time has come to stop meditating on the past and to focus on today with a vision for the feature.
Smile, be positive, don’t get discouraged when you fail – Get back up and go for it!
Don’t let bad habits withhold you from your results – You have the power to change!
This is what I did this morning, and let me tell you my legs is like jelly at the moment 😉 but loving it. What body part do you train on a Monday? Do you have a routine or set program? Every week same muscle group same exercise on same days? I get bored way to easy so I love variation in my routines and different exercises on different days. I print my log sheets out per week and go through them the night before my workout. This works great! My body is always guessing!
Well if you must still hit the gym today – Enjoy it and give it your best. Always train as if it is your last day!
7 minutes on the stepper
4-5 warm-up sets of 10-12 reps
3 sets to failure in 12-20 reps
2 warm-up sets of 15 reps
3 sets to failure in 12-15 reps
Lying Hamstring Curl
2 warm-up sets of 15 reps
3 sets to failure in 12-15 reps
2 warm-up sets of 15-20 reps
2 sets to failure in 15-20 reps
2 warm-up sets of 15-20 reps
3 sets to failure in 20-30 reps
Cardio – Cool down
12 minutes incline walking on treadmill
Food – Reading Food Labels
These days people are becoming a lot more aware of what is added or removed from food products and are learning to keep a close eye on what is displayed on the food label. Many products try and deceive us by expressing the nutritional value of the product in hidden terms, but there are ways of monitoring this and getting what you need from the label or “nutritional value” table. Luckily there is a South African Food Legislation Document in the pipeline which will help to regulate what is allowed to be put onto food labels, but for now learning how to understand a food label will go a long way. Some food labels can be very simple; others can become quite complicated and offer a large amount of information. Here’s what to look for:
Total Fat content
For a food to be considered “low fat”, it should contain less than 3g fat per 100g. “Fat free” foods should contain less than 0.5g fat per 100g. Watch out for labels that say “reduced fat” or “90% fat free” because this does not actually mean that it is low in fat. A “reduced fat” product only needs to have 25% less fat than the original product so can still have quite a high fat content! Remember that although “low fat” is less than 3g fat per 100g, this doesn’t mean that you only have to choose foods that are that low in fat. As long as you ensure that your entire meal contains around 10g-13g of fat you are on track.
Saturated fat, Unsaturated fat and Trans fatty acid content
The more detailed labels will break fat content down into total fat, saturated fat, unsaturated fat and lately even trans fatty acids are labeled. Choose products with a greater percentage of unsaturated fats and try to avoid trans fatty acids as much as possible. Look out for the term “hydrogenated vegetable oils” in the ingredient list as this is another term for trans fatty acids. Keep in mind that even too much of the “good fat” can be harmful.
This is one of the trickier things to recognize. Sometimes a product can boast that it has ZERO or NIL fat but in reality it actually has a high energy content. Energy that is not used up efficiently through daily activities or exercise is stored in the body and converted to fat. Energy can be expressed in calories (cal) or kilojoules (kJ). Each calorie is equivalent to 4.2 joules. These days most people refer to kilojoules. This is 1,000 times greater than a joule. So 1 kilocalorie (1 kcal= 1000 cal) is equivalent to 4.2 kJ. It is important to be aware of how much energy a food product contains, but just counting the calories can often lead to one not including sufficient nutrients in the diet.
Carbohydrates are a rich form of energy but this also depends on its form. Simple and complex carbohydrates release glucose into the blood at varying rates and this has lead to many products indicating a Glycaemic Index value. Carbohydrate foods that break down quickly during digestion have the highest G.I. factors. Conversely, carbohydrates, which break down slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the blood stream, have low G.I. factors.
Low G.I. (Less than 55)
Intermediated G.I. (55 – 70)
High G.I. (More than 70)
If you are looking for a food product that can provide a lasting energy release then one with a low G.I. is better. If you require energy quickly, then one with a higher G.I. is better.
Protein is usually given as a single value or as a percentage of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adults. It is recommended that the amount of protein you eat makes up 15 – 20% of your diet.
These values are indicated as either a total value or are broken down into soluble dietary fibre and insoluble dietary fibre. Fibre is essential, but as with anything else, too much of a good thing can do more harm. A food which is an excellent source of fibre will contain at least 5g fibre per 100g, but as long as you look out for foods that contain at least 2.5g fibre per 100g you are making a good choice.
Vitamins and minerals
Products containing any vitamins or minerals are very eager to display them and have numerous ways of doing so. It is better to get your minerals and vitamins naturally from your food rather than taking supplements. By reading the labels you will be able to see what nutrients you are eating. The packaging is only allowed to mention a vitamin or mineral if it will provide at least 1/3 of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). Just remember that food preparation and various food combinations can have a large effect on how many nutrients your body will actually absorb.
Many preservatives such as Tartrazine, Mono Sodium Glutamate (MSG) and Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) can cause allergic reactions and are usually clearly displayed on the label. Those products that do not contain them are even more graphic at ensuring that the customer sees that that are “preservative free”.
In a nutshell, there is much about a product that can be learnt from its label. If there isn’t a label, this can be a sign to be cautious. If there is no nutritional value table but there is an ingredient list you will be able to have an idea of what the nutrition content is- if the first few ingredients are high fat or high sugar ingredients then be wary of the product.
So next time you go shopping make sure you have a few more minutes to glance at the food labels and fill your basket with a healthier selection of groceries.