7 Day Fatloss Challenge

Fancy a Fatloss Challenge before Christmas?
Try this for Just 1 Week….

The 717 Plan is really simple!
Everyday you limit yourself to –
7 grams of sugars
17 grams of starchy carbs and
Day 7 is your cheat day!

It’s a great way to break Carb cravings and give your Fatloss a brilliant boost.

You need to google your favourite ingredients that don’t come in a packet to measure the sugar and starch content.

Remember fruits and veg are all carbohydrates, they contain a balance of sugars and starches, so get a fat marker pen and write their values in BIG writing on the packaging so you know for sure how much you can use each day.

Fibrous veg – cabbage, spinach and all your cruciate veggies will fill you up and keep starches low.
Beware of root veg they are full of goodness BUT they bring mostly starches rather than sugars.

You will also restrict fruits – thin skinned berries might work better than Apricots or Dates for example while on this push. Obviously dried fruit will always trick you, just like fruit juice…. Not a good idea at any time, unless you mix it 50:50 with water or swap it for vitamin and fibre filled smoothies (not made from juice or concentrate).

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To decide and plan what to eat on your cheat day go to my blog http://www.jaxallenfitness.com. You might decide to repeat the plan again, just make sure you get enough calories, continue your exercise to maintain your muscle and to GET ENOUGH PROTEIN!

Questions – by text to 07831 680087 or by email jaxallenfitness@gmail.com

Good Luck, let me know how you get on.

Jax x

#3 REASON TO STOP DOING CRUNCHES

#3 STOP DOING CRUNCHES
Rock Hard Abs- at any age? Yes it is possible….
But probably not with the training you’re doing now

REASON #3: They Cause Wear & Tear on Your Spine and Neck

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Crunches repeatedly flex and extend the spine, which is comprised of a series of interconnected small joints. Much like any piece of complicated machinery, the spinal discs are subject to wear and tear—in other words, they are only able to support a certain number of bending motions over the course of a lifetime.

Subjecting your discs to the excessive wear and tear of crunches can reduce their ‘shelf life’ and result in nerve damage, a disc bulge or herniation, all of which are difficult to treat.

The other problem with crunches is they encourage a breathe pattern that is unnatural and almost trains your body to relax your abs when you inhale? Not so good when you need to support your spine movements at ALL times no matter what your breath is doing.

If you have ever tried Pilates you’ll know how your abs feel after class and sometimes for days after – contracted. The other important thing in a Pilates or any other ab session is the shape of your spine…. I used to ask clients to keep ‘neutral spine’ but I prefer ‘normal’ spine now when training abs. That’s because when your spine is in it’s normal shape it’s safe because your back and abdominal muscle will work together.

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Once in this ideal position, moving arms and legs will trigger deep muscles to fire just to keep your ‘normal’ spine. You can get a strong torso without straining your neck too. If you have a rounded upper back or difficulties with your neck or shoulders you can train abs with your head on the floor or supported with pillows.

So, there you have it – 3 very good reasons NEVER to do crunches ever again!

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Healthy Halloween Treats?

Halloween Treats – Better Choices
Carrot Fingers

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The biggest issue with Halloween candy other than the obvious…sugar… is the high amounts of high fructose corn syrup and GMO’s (genetically modified organisms). You should be aware of the dangers of sugar. You can bet that any product that contains high fructose corn syrup is a processed industrial food that is void of any nutrients. To increase health we want to seek whole, real, unprocessed foods that are rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.

Tomb Stones

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If you still want to hand out candy here are some “better” choices free of the ingredients above.

Endangered Species individually wrapped chocolates
Yummy Gummy Candies
Annie’s Gummy Snacks
Trader Joe’s Organic Pops
Unreal candy
Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups

In the States these products are available in Whole Foods stores. I haven’t checked in the Cheltenham store yet – but I’m sure they have these or similar alternatives.

Happy Halloween

#2 Reason NEVER to do Crunches!

#2 STOP DOING CRUNCHES
Rock Hard Abs- at any age? Yes it is possible….
But probably not with the training you’re doing now

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Nerve damage is another potential consequence of too many crunches. The crunch movement puts an unhealthy strain on the back right at its weakest point, which coincidentally is the section that contains the most nerves.
Damage to this weak area of the spine can result in serious, chronic pain that can last a lifetime and inhibit mobility and flexibility.

I often meet well developed clients that find Core exercises almost impossible- in Yoga and Pilates your core works all the time to stabilise and support every movement you make. In my Fatloss Fitcamps core exercises are vital and effective part of sessions.

REASON #2: Nerve Damage is Another Potential Problem

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Your core is made up of much more than just abdominal muscles. It’s the connection between shoulders and pelvis, it stabilises and controls the many movements of your spine. It’s important to work and develop the complete core – your back, hips and chest and of course your BUTT.

Next post Reason #3 Avoid Spine Wear & Tear
Don’t miss it – like and follow my blog.
Thanks Jax.

#1 Reasons To Stop Doing Crunches

X #1 STOP DOING CRUNCHES
Rock Hard Abs- at any age? Yes it is possible….
But probably not with the training you’re doing now….

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REASON #1: Crunches Only Work the Surface Muscles, Not The Deeper Core Muscles
This is a problem for two reasons. First, this creates an imbalance between weak and strong muscles with the most important muscles—the inner ones—being overlooked.

And while the outer muscles may look good, they do nothing to protect the stability or integrity of the spinal column. Additionally, strong outer muscles covering weak core muscles provide a false sense of security, significantly increasing the risk of back injury.

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Do you know the one about the Body builder that bent over the basin to brush his teeth and his back gave in? Sounds silly but when your inner core doesn’t function it can be the slightest load that causes a nasty injury.

Secondly, our bodies are designed to work “most effectively” as a single unit of strength and power.
It is ALWAYS in our best interest to challenge our abdominal muscles with larger, more strenuous movements, minimizing our time with isolation exercises, resulting in the desired outcome…a chiseled and hardened exterior.

This type of approach, also known as working the chain, demands our network of ab muscles to generate far more power, burning more calories and creating a true balance of strength in all aspects of the abdominal wall.

The bonus is that you don’t have to diet so hard to obtain that impressive midsection. The most important requirement is consistency and forcing your abs to respond by fully engaging and developing all the muscles of your core at once, instead of just a few some of the time.

My Yoga, Pilates and Fitcamp sessions all include large, multi-muscle movements that fully engage your core which will guarantee the abs you deserve for the effort you put in!

So, don’t waste your workout time on crunches include multi-plane, multi-muscle exercises that are safer, more effective and Save Time too.

Next post Reason #2 How to Avoid Nerve Damage.
Don’t miss it – like and follow my blog.
Thanks Jax.

Which Sugar Is OK?

Excessive Sugar, Even “Whole Food” Sugars

A pan of clean-eating brownies is a beautiful way to get in a treat every now and then, and a wonderful alternative to processed sweets, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call these recipes healthy. To me, the healthy label implies something you should be eating, can eat often, for the benefit of your health. Sugar is a treat, not an essential nutrient, and too much sugar in any form from maple syrup to honey is not beneficial to you. Decide yourself about Agave (shown to raise blood sugar as much as table sugar or honey) and Stevia or Truvia a no calorie vegatable sweetener that can be used just like regular cane or beet sugar.

Although a teaspoon or so of these sugars a day is probably fine, save the high-sugar recipes for your “every now and then” category to be enjoyed on special occasions

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How Much Fat Should You Eat?

Excessive Calories From Fats

First of all, FATS ARE NOT BAD FOR YOU, before anyone jumps on me for being fat-phobic. They are essential and nutritious in the right amounts. But many recipe creators have taken the healthy fats concept and run with it in a sort of “loophole” direction, labeling recipes as healthy that contain upwards of 800-1000+ calories per serving. Yes, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing!

Typical recipes like this might contain a high amount of cheese, oil, avocado, bacon, or butter/nut butter. Fats are healthy and essential, but also must be kept in ratio with the rest of your diet to some degree, especially if your goal is fat loss.

Remember, the key to eating healthy fats is that a little bit goes a long way.

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How Many Calories Should You Eat for Your Sport?

SUNDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) — With the New York City Marathon just two weeks away, a sports diet expert advises runners that proper nutrition and hydration are crucial for anyone training for the Nov. 3 race.

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Long-distance runners are at risk for low bone density, stress fractures and irregular periods, so it’s important for them to provide their bodies with enough energy to achieve peak performance and prevent injuries, said Brooke Schantz, a registered dietitian and board-certified specialist in sports dietetics at Loyola University Health System in Maywood, Ill.

She offers this simple way for runners to calculate their caloric needs:

Between 30 and 60 minutes of activity a day requires 16 to 18 calories per pound of body weight.
One to one and a half hours of activity a day requires 19 to 21 calories per pound.
One and a half to two hours of activity a day requires 22 to 24 calories per pound.
Two to three hours of activity a day requires 25 to 30 or more calories per pound.
It’s also a good idea to consult a registered dietitian for a tailored nutrition plan, Schantz said.

Some of her other suggestions:

Avoid high-fiber foods the night before and the morning of the race. Eating these types of foods — such as high-fiber cereals, grains, granola bars, fruits and vegetables — could result in intestinal distress and cramping on race day.

Monitor your sweat loss and weigh yourself before and after long runs. For every pound lost during a run, replace it with 16 ounces of water. Monitoring urine color is a good way to assess hydration levels. The clearer your urine, the more hydrated you are.

Consume 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrates every hour when exercising more than one hour. They can be consumed on the move in different forms, including gels, jelly beans, sports drinks, sports bars or a combination thereof.

Carbohydrate loading before a marathon can help improve performance. Some carbo-loading plans start six days before a race, but even beginning a high-carb diet the day before the race can help maintain a high-intensity run.

Protein also is important for increasing lean muscle mass and aiding in muscle repair. Endurance athletes require 1.2 to 1.4 grams for every 2.2 pounds per day.

Be sure to practice a nutrition and hydration schedule ahead of the marathon. Race day is not the time to try out new foods and beverages.

Why You Must Not Eat Processed Foods!

Processed Food Ingredients

Oh the disappointment when I spot a deliciously appetizing recipe that is labeled healthy, follow the link, and find that indeed, it was too good to be true. Usually the offending ingredient is a can of processed soup, artificial sweetener, a white tortilla or bun, a processed cheese, cold cuts or meats full of nitrites, packaged crescent dough, etc. It seems that this stems from the “old school” mentality that food is healthy if it helps you to lose weight or is low in calories, no matter where the food comes from.

Processed food is terrible for you and has no place in a healthy diet. The additives and chemicals in these food-like products are proving to be more and more addictive, cancer-causing, and one of the major culprits behind the sickness and obesity epidemic in our country. You will be doing your body a huge favor by leaving these ingredients out as often as you possibly can.

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How to Cheat AND Lose Fat

6 Rules For Cheat Meals

1. NEVER ever, ever eat a cheat meal on your own

2. You’re allowed to cheat on 10% of your meals at MOST

3. Your cheat meal window is exactly 1 hour

4. Eat until full, but never more

5. Put your knife & fork down and chew your food

6. Avoid foods that “give you trouble”

After struggling to plan and control cheat meals, I’ve discovered these 6 simple guidelines will allow you to get the maximum benefit from your cheat meal without slowing your progress or putting your long term nutrition strategy at risk.

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Mmmm, think I might pass on the personal 9″ cake, thanks
Let’s run through them quickly…

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1. NEVER ever, ever eat a cheat meal on your own: The joy of food is tied very strongly to socialization. Don’t waste a cheat meal by eating it on your own. Also, eating with others provides a bit of natural constraint. You’re less likely to make a total pig of yourself if you’re in polite company. But when you’re on your own you’re more likely to turn into a bottomless pit.

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2. You’re allowed to cheat with 10% of your meals at MOST: Out of every 10 meals you eat, only ONE can be a cheat meal. Ideally it’ll be even less, but that’s your max. At first, you should make a tally in your journal just to make sure you don’t go over your limit. But eventually you’ll just get a feel for the natural rhythm of your cheats.

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3, Your cheat meal window is exactly 1 hour:

Just like the 10% rule, this rule quantifies your cheat meals for you. Look at your watch when you sit down and start your meal. When 60 minutes are up- they’re up. You won’t do too much damage in an hour. But it’s so easy to let one cheat meal turn into a day with 5-6 hours of grazing on empty calories. And that can definitely dig into your progress and even set off days worth of cravings.

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4. Eat until full, but never more: This one is tough for a lot of people—especially at first. You go into your cheat meal thinking you have to make the most of it, because you’ll be going back on your “diet” afterward. But that’s not what a cheat meal is about. It’s about variety and letting loose a bit, not about pigging out. At worst, only 9 meals will go by before you get to do it again! But more importantly, you’ll learn to enjoy the process of eating healthy whole foods 90% of the time. Remember, we’re building a new lifestyle, not going on a “diet.”

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5, Put your fork down and chew your food: I don’t know about you, but I get downright excited over a cheat meal. So it’s easy to get carried away and scoff your food down like you won’t see food ever again. But that’s daft? Your delicious dining experience is done in 5 minutes flat! Drag it out a bit. Put your fork down between each bite. Savour each mouthful as you chew it rather than swallowing it whole. Take the time to consciously “taste” every bite.

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6, Avoid foods that “give you trouble”: If you stop and think about it, you’ll come to realize that certain foods are problematic for you. Maybe you feel sluggish after you eat them. Or perhaps you get bloating or gas. It might be you’ve got some sort of food intolerance or even allergy related to that food. Eating it will cause irritation and lead to both an immune reaction and inflammation in your body. That signals your body to store fat, especially around the belly.

There you have it, 6 rules to live by if you want to cheat—guilt free.

What about you? Share your stories—the good, the bad and the ugly—about your personal relationship with cheat meals. Any tips? Cautionary advice? Let me know…

Jax x

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