Treat Yourself with Low Carb Chocolate

Posted by Andrew Boyd from Carb Freedom

With Easter over and done with for another year, many of us may be feeling the ill effects of an over indulgence of chocolate. It’s an easy trap to fall into, especially for many of us who for 12 months of the year carefully watch over our chocolate intake. At Easter our guard can easily drop and we can find ourselves vulnerable to the temptations born of the Easter season. In fact, a recent report in Melbourne’s Sun Herald stated that in 2013 Australians spent over $150 million on chocolate over the Easter season.

Avoid Added Sugar

Yet while chocolate is often demonised as one of the great nemesis of the healthy eater it’s easy to forget that it is the added sugar contained within most commercially manufactured chocolates, rather than the cocoa, that is villainously high in carbohydrates. For example, a 100g serving of Cadbury milk chocolate contains 57g of sugar, whereas a low carb chocolate bar without any added sugars contains as little as 4g.

Low-Carb Chocolate

While unsweetened cocoa is quite high in fat, it’s not terribly high in carbs – its net carb content tends to sit between 10-15g per 100g, dependent on the brand. However, it’s important to bear in mind that the above count relates to pure cocoa, the most concentrated form of chocolate – far too bitter to eat by itself. In most cases we would look to use pure, unsweetened chocolate as part of a recipe and by then, its net carb count is diluted even further.

Transition to the Darkside

According to dietitian, Kate Save we should exercise caution when completely banning foods from our diet. “Don’t completely ban food. If you make food forbidden, an area in our brain tells us we have to have it, so allow yourself a small portion and the satisfaction of having it in little bits,” she says. Eating a small portion of dark chocolate can actually have many positive health benefits as it is high in vitamins and minerals.  So remember, reducing your intake of sugar and carbohydrates doesn’t have to take all the joy out of eating chocolate, you just have to think outside the box and familiarise yourself with eating darker chocolates with at least 70% cocoa.

Understanding packaged food labels


Ever wondered what all the things on the back of products food label actually mean. Well we help our clients every day understand what they are eating and what it does to their body and we make it easy to decipher a nutritional label.

The nutritional labels on foods can be hard to read, tricky and misleading. Between the calories per serve (which is usually in place to trick consumers) and the amounts of carbohydrates from fibre, or fats from saturated fats vs trans etc it really does get quite complicated! A lot of products will have statements like “sugar free” and “fat free” yet often are not that good for you and often taste far different from the original product.

We understand it gets confusing to understand and know that you are eating properly, so we have broken it down into easy to understand snippets to help you understand better.

Here are a few things that you should look for when reading the nutrition panels of packaged foods.

Ingredients list

The higher up the list the more the product contains- ie if there were 70% cashews 10% honey and 20% dates the ingredients list would read: cashews, dates, honey in descending order.

Calories per serve

I always opt to look at the measurements per 100g, that way it is a generic figure, no matter what the product is. A lot of companies try and trick consumers by saying that there is a lot of servings per item, meaning less calories however it would mean only a mouthful per serve, not the serving size you would ‘actually’ consume per ser Carbohydrate content

You may notice that underneath the carbohydrate content, it may contain fibre and sugars within the total figure. Dietary fibre is the indigestible part of plants and does not spike your blood sugar levels.

Sugar content

I avoid anything that contains artificial ‘sugar’ however if you are not a 100% clean eater, I would recommend you try and stick to less than 10-15grams of sugar per day. 1 teaspoon of sugar is 4 grams.  There are a few Australian recommendations that say no more than 6-8 teaspoons of added sugars each day, that is 16-32 grams per day of sweeteners. However, this doesn’t take into account sugars that are naturally occurring in fruits and vegetables.

Sugar alcohols

Typically found in diet bars or low calorie solutions, they are a type of carbohydrate, commonly used sugar alcohols are erythritol, glycerol, malitol, sorbitol, and xylitol, but there are many more out there! These should be listed under carbohydrates, however a lot of companies try to avoid this as to claim it being the great ‘low carb’ alternative, typically sugar alcohols do not spike insulin like sugar does, therefore a lot of companies argue the fact they do not believe it should be listed under carbohydrates. Their calorie content ranges from 0 to 3 calories per gram compared to 4 calories per gram for sucrose or other sugars. The FDA (USA Food and Drug Administration) regulations do not state that manufacturers have to declare the exact amount of sugar alcohols per serving, however if the label uses sugar free or no added sugar, the sugar alcohol must be listed separately under carbohydrates.


Words like “sweetened with stevia” fool us into a false sense of security, believing that only stevia is the sweetener used, however often it is used along side the sugar alcohols to achieve the desired sweet taste.

Fat content

Saturated fat and trans fat will both come underneath the banner of fats.  Saturated fats are fats that come from eggs, meat and dairy. Trans fats are the bad fats that come from cakes, pastries and many more.

Sodium content

I aim for no more than 1500-2400mg per day of sodium, typical table salt will hold water, bloat you, increases the risk of high blood pressure and many other health issues whereas Himalayan crystals and sea salt is great for your body, nerves and muscles.

Calories per macronutrient

The way that the total calories are calculated is under the basis of:

  • 1 gram of Protein contains 4 calories.
  • 1 gram of Carbohydrates contains 4 calories.
  • 1 gram of Fat contains 9 calories.


The FDA (in the USA) also regulate packaging to help it easier to understand for consumers too, this way you know the exact details that need to be met by laws.

If a food claims to be… It means that one serving of the product contains…
Calorie free Less than 5 calories
Sugar free Less than 0.5 grams of sugar
Fat free Less than 0.5 grams of fat
Low fat 3 grams of fat or less
Reduced fat or less fat At least 25 percent less fat than the regular product
Low in saturated fat 1 gram of saturated fat or less, with not more than 15 percent of the calories coming from saturated fat
Lean Less than 10 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol
Extra lean Less than 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol
Light (lite) At least one-third fewer calories or no more than half the fat of the regular product, or no more than half the sodium of the regular product
Cholesterol free Less than 2 milligrams of cholesterol and 2 grams (or less) of saturated fat
Low cholesterol 20 or fewer milligrams of cholesterol and 2 grams or less of saturated fat
Reduced cholesterol At least 25 percent less cholesterol than the regular product and 2 grams or less of saturated fat
Sodium free or no sodium Less than 5 milligrams of sodium and no sodium chloride in ingredients
Very low sodium 35 milligrams or less of sodium
Low sodium 140 milligrams or less of sodium
Reduced or less sodium At least 25 percent less sodium than the regular product
High fiber 5 grams or more of fiber
Good source of fiber 2.5 to 4.9 grams of fiber


After you start understanding labels you will become more familiar with what you are looking for on the labels. You will also be able to gauge what is a high content and a low content fairly quickly.

A great example is canned tomatoes, there are so many to choose from, however some cans contain as much as 13.6grams of sugar per serve versus a can with NO added sugars or salts.

Remember take a more active part in your healthy and lifestyle and you will live a healthy life.

It really is all about choice, education and making the first step in the right direction for your health.

Know your foods and understand what you are eating!

*Information within this article was sourced from the FDA, Heart Org and Google websites.


Chocolate and ice cream for dinner will help you lose weight

Ok, not really but there is a new shift in my nutrition now that allows us to have our carbs at night and to also burn fat more efficiently and build a little muscle in the process.

We first should talk about the more practised method of “no carbs after midday “ approach or carbs for breakfast is best. I’m not even going to get started on the breakfast thing, I will save that for another post. You should at least remember that starting your day with breakfast is important to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.

But the carbs at midday rule pretty much came about from the golden rule of that only carbs can be used as energy, which is an absolute crock of bull s#&t!!  It’s called Lipolysis, but check it out here

So the whole theory of needing carbs through the day for energy is a bit of a joke, don’t get me wrong you can still get results eating that way, but wouldn’t you want your body to burn your fat stores throughout the day and while you sleep?

So let’s look at it from a few different perspectives, the first one is the whole carbs at night, how does it not store as fat. It’s a really good question and the biggest reason is for increased release of insulin at only one part of the day, a rise in insulin can make you anabolic or in simple terms make you grow.

The main problem here is, is that it can make fat and muscles cells grow, so if we consistently feed insulin then we run a higher risk of increasing growth rates in our fat cells as well as our muscle cells, that’s not what I want. The other point here is that when we are asleep we release growth hormone and this is also another hormone that will help us burn more fat.

As far as a social standpoint it’s also another great thing to be able to have your carbs at night and not feel guilty. There is also another good window for carbs and that is post workout, due to our muscle cells being open and exposed this is a good time to take on extra nutrients that will help re build and also help performance.

But at the end of the day if you don’t like the way this is then that’s fine, go and continue your method, it may work fine for you. I just want to list a few disadvantages to having carbs early in the day other than post workout

  • Weight gain
  • Insulin resistance
  • Make you sleepy
  • Depression
  • Increased hunger levels

But like I said this is just my opinion and I stand behind it, not only with studies as long as my arm, but also trial and error on a personal level and also with clients.

Beat Your Plateau In 5 Simple Steps

It happens to all of us at some point.

You have your workouts down pat, and your body is rapidly becoming leaner and more attractive. Friends and family notice and you feel fantastic.

And then it stops.

You are doing everything exactly the same as before except your body no longer responds.

You, my friend, have hit a plateau. It’s a frustrating place to be parked, so read the following 5 steps to get your body back into results mode.

Step #1: Reduce Sugar. A very effective way to restart your results is to reel in your sugar intake. Inspect all of your food for added sugars and eliminate items that contain high calorie sweeteners. This means no sugar, honey or maple syrup.

If you’ve already eliminated processed sugars from your diet, and have still hit a plateau, then it’s time to dig a little deeper by eliminating some of the natural sugars from your diet. Limit your intake of sweet fruits and eliminate dried fruits.

Step #2: Get More Sleep. We are supposed to get an average of eight hours of sleep each night. If you’re not getting adequate amounts of rest, you’re more likely to be hungry, overeat, and gain weight.

When you’re tired, you don’t feel like cooking a healthy meal, and you’re more likely to opt for fast (fattening) food. Then your lack of energy causes you to skip your workouts. And to make matter worse, sleep deprivation causes your metabolism to slow down, slowing or reversing your results. To beat your plateau, make sleep a priority.

Step #3: Drink Only Water. To restart your results you’ll need to make some changes. Sorry, but some of the changes aren’t going to be fun. If you’re one of the millions hooked on soft drink, alcohol, or other sweetened drinks, then your plateau will stay locked in place until you replace these drinks with water.

Keep in mind that your brain often confuses thirst with hunger. So at the first sign of hunger, don’t grab a snack or calorie-filled drinks. Instead, grab a glass of water.

Step #4: Eat Healthy Breakfast. But not just any breakfast. Your plateau-breaking breakfast should be low in carbs and high in protein. Try eggs, lean breakfast meats, a protein shake, or a mini-muffin made with almond flour.

Fitting breakfast into your busy morning may take some work, but research shows that the habit of eating a healthy breakfast is key to losing weight and keeping kilograms off. Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier to give yourself time to eat breakfast.

Step #5: Increase Exercise Intensity. It’s time to start taking your workouts more seriously. No more going through the motions, it’s all-out for you. If you want to get back on track with your body transformation, and to keep the fat melting away, then increase the amount and intensity of your exercise routine.

For most people, this is the most difficult lifestyle change of all, but the benefits are enormous. Try to get 30 to 60 minutes of intense exercise on most days of the week. When exercise is a normal part of your everyday routine, you’re more likely to stick with it, and your body will become slimmer and more toned.

The quickest and most permanent way to beat that plateau is through a combination of healthy eating and consistent, challenging workouts.

I’m here to help you meet your fitness and weight loss goals. You deserve that fit and attractive body—I can help you get it.

Call or email today and together we will overcome your fitness plateau.


Best Foods Before and After Exercise to maximize fat loss.

Working in the fitness industry brings many challenges as we try and help our clients reach their goals. The majority of clients I assist are people seeking to lose weight and shape their body but I also assist athletes looking to build their strength to perform at their best and many triathletes looking to better themselves when competing. Whilst I could offer general advise that could cover everything from body building, weight loss, endurance and much more the purpose of this article is to provide a solid base of options to assist you in maximizing your weight loss through nutrition that supports your lifestyle and aids your recovery from exercise.

It must be noted that a ‘clean’ diet is required to maximize results as well as getting the bets possible nutrition you can to aid your body. If you do not get enough calories you affect your bodies ability to burn fat as well as if you get to many calories your body many not be able to burn the calories and you start storing the left over calories as fat.

I therefore give you some simple things you can follow to get maximum results.


Removed the unwanted
In today’s society we are bamboozled with terms like low fat, reduce fat, sugar free, low carb, high protein etc but what is really best for us. Whilst there are some great foods out there that come packaged “I love cheese and yoghurt” some if not most are best consumed in small quantities and/or on special occasions. Below I list the foods I suggest you remove or limit from your diet if you want to get maximum results with your fat loss.

  • Sugar
  • Fructose
  • Wheat
  • Grains
  • Dairy
  • Milky Coffee
  • Trans & Saturated fats
  • Fast Foods
  • Alcohol


Add to your fridge and pantry

  • Oats – Contain a wide array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and are a great source of protein, complex carbohydrates and iron. The high soluble fibre content leaves you feeling fuller for longer and may be useful for lower LDL cholesterol levels.
  • Red Meat – Great source of protein and iron as well as zinc and B vitamins. Avoid cuts high in saturated fat.
  • Coconut oil – contains short term medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs), which is a “healthy” form saturated fat compared to trans fat. It is also know to ease digestion, help reduce weight, support immunity, boost your metabolism and many other things. Start cooking with coconut oil today.
  • Cinnamon – Studies suggest it may play a role in lowering blood sugar levels in diabetes.
  • Chilli – Known to raise metabolic rate and high in antioxidants.
  • Green Tea – Studies have shown it to increase metabolism as well as the bodies ability to burn fat thereby aiding weight loss. It is also high in antioxidants which can help reduce the risk of some cancers. Some studies also show reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and improved cholesterol profiles.
  • Blueberries – Contains the highest levels of antioxidants of all fresh fruits and have been show to reduce belly fat and improve blood sugar control. They also promote urinary tract health, preserve vision, maintain brain health and prevent heart disease and cancer. Raspberries are another great choice.
  • Celery – Promotes a healthy immune system due to high levels of vitamin C and lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels due to its pthalides. Also contains coumarins which have been shown to prevent cancer and may have anti- inflammatory properties. It helps to flush out excess fluid and reduce belly fat.
  • Cranberries – Very high in antioxidant content and a rich source of dietary fibre. Used for many years in the prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections, they are now also thought to help reduce the hardening of arteries and levels of bad cholesterol.
  • Goji Berries – Contains all essentials amino acids and have the highest levels of protein of any fruit. Loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They also contain natural anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal compounds.
  • Almond Milk – a fantastic milk replacement that is packed with good fats and is very tasty.
  • Nuts and Seeds (Almonds
Brazil Nuts Cashew Nuts Macadamia Nuts Pecans
Walnuts, Chestnuts Hazelnuts Pistachios Pumpkin Seeds Sesame Seeds Pine Nuts
  • Avocado – Can increase levels of good cholesterol and decrease levels of bad cholesterol as they contain oleic acid. Also contains high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin which protects your vision. They help to improve the absorption of other nutrients when included in meals and may offer protection against some forms of cancer.
  • Sweet Potato – High in flavour they aid digestion and increase fat burning. Full of antioxidants which protect from cancer, boost the immune system and may have anti- inflammatory effects.
  • Cottage Cheese – Nutrient rich, high in protein and low in saturated fat. High in calcium which can protect bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporisis.
  • Goats Cheese – is far better than cheeses made from dairy, it’s lower in fat and calories, higher in protein, great for your brain and a metabolic booster.
  • Acia Berries – High concentration of antioxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acids. Thought to combat the aging process and aid in the absorption of fish oils.
  • Water – suppresses appetite, speeds up metabolism, reduces water retention and calorie free.
  • Eggs – High in protein. Studies now show that there is no significant link between egg consumption and heart disease and that in fact they may help prevent blood clots, stroke and heart attacks. They are a good source of choline which helps regulat the brain, nervous system, cardiovascular system and contain lutein and zeaxanthin which protects vision.
  • Fish – Rich in omega-3 fatty acids which contribute to the health of the brain and eye tissue as well as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. May also lower the risk of developing depression and help diabetics control their sugar levels. May relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and autoimmune disease.
  • Dark Chocolate – Contains multiple compounds which promote the release of endorphins having a positive effect on your mood. High in antioxidants which protect from cancer and aging as well as flavoniods which help control blood sugar. Promotes blood flow to the brain and can help lower blood pressure, and as it contains caffiene may also boost metabolism.
  • Broccoli – High in vitamin C, folic acid and fibre as well as calcium. As such it aids iron absorption, prevents catoracts, improves immunity, may help to control high blood pressure and cholestorel levels. High in antioxidants and has a strong, postive impact on the body detoxification system.
  • Black Coffee – you enjoy your workout more, research has found. It can also enhance your energy and reduce post-exercise muscle soreness.  Black coffee is rich in antioxidants which protect against cancer and ageing as well as a metabolism booster. Can improve athletic endurance and performance and promotes digestion. Can help to treat headaches and decrease the risk of depression and Parkinson’s disease.


You need to exercise
My most important tip is to find an activity that you enjoy doing. You are much more likely to stick with it if this is the case, whether it is walking, running, swimming, boxing, or aerobic classes. Once you find something you enjoy doing you just need to make sure that you do it at a moderate intensity level (you should feel slightly short of breath but still able to carry on a conversation) in order to maximise your fat burn.

If you want to increase your muscle mass, and therefore your metabolic rate you can also add in some resistance exercise. This does not have to mean lifting heavy weights, even light resistance exercise can have benefits. However It is important to have the right technique to prevent injury with these exercises, so if in doubt make sure you seek assistance from someone trained in the field.


Before Exercise
To optimize your performance, you need to eat a minimum of 1-2 hours before. Research has established that carbohydrate intake during exercise delays the onset of fatigue and improves endurance exercise performance. This happens because carbs enhance the availability of blood glucose to active muscle. Roughly 70% of the energy in your pre-workout meal should come from carbs, but choose low-glycemic carbs like oatmeal, veggies or sweet potatoes instead of simple sugars or lollies to avoid wild fluctuations in your blood-sugar levels. Protein is the next important nutrient to consider in order to decrease muscle breakdown during and after your workout. Fat takes the longest to digest, so a pre-workout meal should be relatively low in fat.


A meal of 150-300 calories depending on how you feel, how quickly you digest and how close to a workout you are is ideal for a pre workout feed.

Some examples are

  • A bowl of oats with some berries
  • Yoghurt and berries
  • Coconut water
  • Some sweet potato and chicken (this is great post workout too)
  • Black Coffee

It need not be complicated, just have a wholesome afternoon snack a few hours before you workout and you should be just fine.


After Exercise
I usually suggest to my clients that after a workout to consume a protein shake to start the process of replenishing and repair their muscles. I also encourage that they consume food 30-60minutes after their workout to maximize the fat burning process.

Unless you have the goal of gaining muscle where I suggest you consume carbs post workout I recommend a good Whey protein be consumed. A whey protein is usually enough for most people to recover. With whey protein the increase in melatonin causes a stress response but it is a good source of glutathione. However you cannot beat a post workout meal if you are not into liquid meals. You get the calorie burn form the actual digestion without the negative effects of liquid meals. I recommend something like chicken, a bunch of greens and sweet potato after a workout.
Closing Statement
I think it is important to remember that there are a multitude of diets and each to their own on what they follow as long as it is safe. I like to keep things pretty simply. Healthy unprocessed foods daily in the right portion sizes and I always feel satisfied. I do not tell my clients you need to consume 1200 calories per day I advocate healthy living. You can have great food without it being in a wrapper but if you must have something (and we all do) think about it, make plans for it, and look at what needs to be done to ensure it does not impact you (or your waist line).

Life is for living but eat right and make every training session count.

Why Resistance Training Is Important

Body Transformations For Life combines resistance training and cardio workouts for a comprehensive fitness program that is designed to enhance the figure. Resistance training will help your body to work for you instead of against you. Sometimes referred to as strength training, these exercises target individual muscle groups with specific exercises.

Resistance exercises can be done in a gym but they can just as easily be done in your own home. A quality and varied program done 4-5 times a week is key to getting results. Any program should target major muscle groups with big compound movements such as squat variations, pull-up variations, press variations or deadlift variations. Do not focus on small target areas like your arms and nor should a workout be a set time limit of like 45 minutes. Remember in order to build and tone muscles to achieve muscular definition you need to work your muscle to the point of muscle fatigue.

It is common knowledge that women fear resistance training especially with weights. They are afraid they will develop bulky manly looking muscles. This is so far from the truth it is no longer funny. The exercises that we teach you are designed to accentuate your target area with sexy curves and tighten your core for the long lean look often seen in dancers. It is worthwhile remembering that not all women want the same thing hence why a personal trainer has a very important role to identify and implement the right course of action to allow you to reach your goal.

Resistance training can help to achieve muscle definition quickly but you need to start slowly, especially if you haven’t lifted weights in a while, or never done any weight lifting at all. Start with the major muscle groups and follow for a minimum of 4 weeks, after such time then vary up the program, get more targeted and start pushing yourself and your body, this way you can avoid early and frustrating injuries. After following your dedicated program of resistance training for a minimum of 6-12 weeks, your muscles will become stronger and more flexible and you will start to notice those beautiful curves created by your well-toned muscles! As well as this your measurements will show some fantastic results from when you first started.

Resistance training and building muscle has some fantastic hidden benefits. Each pound of muscle can burn 50 calories a day! You burn more fat with 30 minutes of resistance training than you do with a 30 minute run. The more muscular your body becomes the easier it is to burn calories. You’ll even burn calories when you sleep. It’s a proven fact that muscle burns fat even at rest.


Do this, Not that

5 tips to making your training more effective!

1.    Do: HIIT, Don’t: Steady-State Cardio:

  • For years the general public has been fed information by the mainstream media about having to do aerobic exercise for 45-60mins (otherwise known as steady-state cardio) as the best way to burn fat. But what good personal trainers and strength coaches have known is that interval training and strength training (or combinations of both – known as metabolic strength training) are the best ways to lose body fat.
  • This type of training is now also scientifically proven. Results of certain studies have been astounding; one in particular showed that interval training lost 900% more fat than an endurance training program. That’s 9 times the amount of subcutaneous fat.
  • Interval training has not only been shown to be an incredibly effective form of training, but it also allows you to stop performing the boring, mindless treadmill cardio sessions and actually begin to have fun while training!

2.    Do: Full body or Upper/Lower splits, Don’t: Bodypart Splits

  • Efficiency in your training should be a number one priority. Time is a precious commodity and nobody likes having their time wasted. Why, then, would you spend your entire training session performing arm curl variations or calf raises?
  • What’s going to be more effective at building more lean mass and losing more body fat – performing arm exercises for 45 minutes or training your whole body performing big compound movements like squat variations, pull-up variations, press variations or deadlift variations?
  • What’s going to recruit more muscle fibers? What’s going to burn more calories? If you want to get better results in less time, then perform full body training routines prioritising big compound movements.

3.     Do: Core stabilization movements, Don’t: Crunches or Sit-Ups

  • Performing endless repetitions of a hundred different variations of crunches and sit-ups is not the best way to lose that winter belly. It may even be doing more harm than good. Recent research has shown us that repetitive flexion movements (like crunches and sit-ups) are the exact recipe for spinal disc herniation.
  • The main function of the ‘abs’ is not trunk flexion, it is to resist movement. The core is not a producer of force, it is a transducer of force.
  • The final nail in the coffin is that crunches and sit-ups do nothing but reinforce poor posture by bringing the sternum closer to the pelvis. Thus giving you a Neanderthal like posture.
  • If you want to learn more on this topic, and alternative exercises please come and see me and I can show you some awesome new exercises you’ve probably never seen or heard of!

4.     Do: Low-Reps, Don’t: High-Reps

  • Performing endless repetitions of a weight you can lift upwards of 20 times isn’t doing your goals any favours. This promotes what is called a “skinny-fat” look.
  • You will lack good muscle tone, of which there are two types: myogenic and neurogenic. These are basically scientific words for muscle hardness: myogenic refers to how your muscles look at rest and neurogenic refers to when contraction takes place.
  • Lower repetition training leads to increased neurogenic tone, while myogenic tone is also improved by lifting heavier weights.

5.     Do: Stay on stable ground when you’re training, Don’t: Use a BOSU or Swiss ball for all your exercises

  • You will burn less calories. You won’t be able to use nearly as much weight on a BOSU ball as you would on a stable surface performing the same exercise. Burning calories (and hence, fat) is all about progressive resistance/overload (stressing the body, the hormonal response for a set of BOSU ball squats vs. BB/DB/KB squats would be enormously different). BOSU balls are inferior in this regard as they create much less of a metabolic disturbance.
  • You will actually make yourself weaker. Gaining strength is all about force production. By training on an unstable surface, you’re limiting the amount of force you can generate in any given exercise (you can’t fully recruit muscle fibres). For athletes in particular, this is crucial.
  • Unstable surface training has, though, been shown in research to be effective at the rehabilitation of ankle injuries.

Wrapping Up

There you have it, five ways to make your training more effective. If you would like to learn more about these techniques, or to apply them into your training to set you on the way to your goals contact me at

Body Weight Fluctuations

It is important to remember that we all fluctuate with our body weight. For many of us these fluctuations could be up to 2kg from one day to another.

There are many reasons why we fluctuate to such varying degrees:

  • We consume heavy meals.
  • Our portion sizes increase.
  • For women, they retain fluid around their menstrual cycle.
  • You retain fluid after resistance training.
  • Your body holds fluid after endurance events.
  • If you are stressed you will store fluid.
  • Not getting enough sleep… you guessed it… will cause you to store fluid.

What should we do:

  • Only weigh yourself once a week.
  • Make sure that the day you choose to weigh yourself is the same each week and at approximately the same time.
  • Do not rely on scales; take photos often as these can show the real changes.
  • Take measurements of your body on a weekly basis.
  • Remove the need and thought of weight and go by how you feel. If your clothes feel good and you feel good does it really matter that you weigh 500g more?
  • Get 6-8 hours of sleep a night.
  • Try relaxation techniques to reduce your stress.
  • Keep your portion sizes in check: palm size of protein, 2 fists of cruciferous carbs and 2 tablespoons of good fats.

At the end of the day common sense must prevail. Weighing yourself on a daily basis achieves nothing. For most it simply builds anxiety. Stop looking at yourself as though you’re on a diet and live life. Do the important things like eating healthy and exercising, while having the bad stuff in moderation, and things will be ok.







10 Tips To Keep You From Succumbing To Your Cravings

Do you lack the willpower required to abstain from giving in to your cravings? Do you eat great for several days and then blow it by giving in to sugary and salty foods?

We all succumb, it’s human nature, but it’s important to not beat yourself up about it and get yourself back on track as quickly as possible. A bad meal can ruin a day, but a bad day can ruin a good week.

Do you find yourself craving sugary or fatty snacks or foods? Do you beat yourself up because you lack the willpower to abstain? Well, put the boxing gloves away and try these tips to keep yourself from caving in to those crazy cravings.

  1. Don’t skip meals – Skipping meals causes you to crave. This happens because your body’s serotonin level drops making it harder for you to resist food, especially those that are bad for you. Ensure you eat enough high quality food and keep your fluid levels up.
  2. Keep yourself nourished – Ensure that you are getting enough nutrients. There are many arguments on how to keep yourself nourished. One way is to have 4-6 small meals, spread out over the day. If you are getting enough calories and keeping yourself nourished then you will not have the desire to give in to cravings.
  3. Plan your meals in advance – This way you will always have something healthy to snack on, rather than just settling for a sugary or fatty treat from the local shops. Failing to plan is planning to fail.
  4. Get plenty of sleep – 6-8 hours a night is best. When you sleep you also burn fat, which is an extra bonus in reaching your goals. If you can take a 20-minute power nap that will aid you in not giving in to your cravings.
  5. Drink plenty of water – Aim for 3 litres a day to have a healthy body, flush out toxins and keep yourself from being dehydrated. Usually when we feel hungry we are actually dehydrated. Drink a large glass of water and then if you are still hungry consume your healthy pre-prepared snack.
  6. Exercise – Something as simple as taking a 30-minute walk can reduce your cravings. What happens is that it takes you away from your temptations, and better yet, it takes your mind off your cravings and boosts your endorphins to elevate your mood.
  7. Make a positive choice – Do you really need that piece of chocolate or packet of chips? Do you really want that feeling of disgust after consuming food that makes you feel yucky and bloated? Try frozen grapes as they are a healthier option over chocolate. Avoid sugar at all costs.
  8. Keep yourself busy – Its 3pm and the end of the day is nearing. You are getting restless, you are looking at the clock and you start thinking a chocolate or bag of chips would be nice. Take a deep breath, have a walk around the office, chat to a colleague and get back to work. Keep yourself busy and stop your mind from wandering. Another suggestion is to call a friend and have an enjoyable conversation; sometimes a little distraction is all that you need.
  9. Remove temptations – Get junk food out of the house.
  10. Brush your teeth – By brushing your teeth you are actually telling yourself and your brain that you have finished eating. It is amazing how such a simple thing can turn off your cravings. Pack your toothbrush and brush your teeth after every meal. Your waistline and dentist will thank you.

It really is that simple. Follow these simple tips and never give in to cravings again.



Why women should use weights

I am sure you have heard the adage, “Girls that lift weights get bulky.” I am sorry to tell you but this just isn’t going to happen, unless you are increasing your testosterone levels beyond your normal levels. Women just do not have the levels of testosterone that men do, so instead of bulking up, they are replacing fat with lean muscle mass.

The combination of resistance and cardiovascular workouts is designed to enhance a woman’s figure. The idea of resistance training is to help you replace fat with muscle, and we do this by working with your body, rather than against it. This is done through strength based training and by targeting specific muscle groups.

Many women fear resistance training, especially with weights. They are afraid that they will develop manly looking muscles. The exercises that we get our female clients to do are designed to meet their individual goals, whether that be for strength, in order to compete, or to enhance their figures. The exercises will also accentuate your curves and tighten your core, for the lean sexy look that most women desire.

Resistance exercises can be carried out at home or at a gym. Initially, you do not need a lot to add resistance. In fact, for some just using their bodyweight can achieve the desired result. You can also use everyday household items, such as water bottles filled with sand or cans of baked beans; the options are endless.

To get positive results you need to do a minimum of 30 minutes of resistance training. We recommend that you back it up with a Tabata HIIT workout to increase the amount of fat you are burning. Remember, in order to build and tone your muscles, to achieve muscular definition, you need to work your muscles to the point of muscle fatigue.

We have a range of programs that are specifically targeted towards women and they incorporate the use of weights, which tone the body and strip off fat and cellulite. These exercises are designed to build, strengthen and stretch your muscles, through a series of repetitions and a predefined number of sets. They will fatigue the muscles and encourage fat burning, as well as the building of lean muscle mass.

Resistance training can help you to achieve muscle definition quickly, but you need to start slowly or lighter if you have never lifted weights before, or you have not done so for a long time. You will notice, after a period of time, that your body becoming leaner and more defined. It should be noted that a well-balanced and clean diet is an essential part of any training program.

It is a proven fact that resistance training burns fat, and the more muscular your body the easier it is to burn the calories you intake. In addition, incorporating resistance training into your workout schedule will see you burn fat even while you sleep, since your body will be working hard to repair the muscles.