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How Your Diet Changes Your Skin


 

Written by Hayleigh Bennett

Eat Run Lift's HIIT and female weight loss specialist. Hayleigh is exclusively available as an online coach.
Learn more about Hayleigh here >

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Glowing,
Radiant,
Luminous,

Skin.

The secret won’t be found in the latest X cleanser and it’s definitely not X foundation – the key to maintaining a healthy complexion doesn’t come from a bottle. From the odd-spot to acne, to redness and lacklustre skin – the food you eat is just as important for your skin as it is for your waistline.

This could go one of two ways – simplified “eat this and that” to complicated “what even is gluconeogenesis”... I’m going to try and meet you half way and give you the knowledge about how your diet changes your skin.

Food. We all consume it.

Food gets digested and broken down into vitamins, minerals and amino acids that your body can use to build healthy skin. The less human interference to these foods – the better! This can be broken down into Hi-GI and Low GI (GI – Glycemic Index). Hi-GI means an excess of sugars or carbohydrates (which turn into sugars). Low GI diets have been proven to be beneficial to acne-prone skin which can be seen as reducing sugar and replacing with nutrient-dense foods (fruits, vegetables, omega-3).

Protein is important to develop the amino acids that go into making collagen (strength in your skin) and elastic tissue (suppleness). However, ditch the protein bars (remember our post 20 ‘Health Foods’ That Aren’t Actually Healthy?) – these are essentially a candy bar – the sugar goes into your bloodstream, making your insulin levels spike, which can aggravate acne, wrinkles and rashes.

Some of you might be surprised when I say ditch the dairy. For some people, the hormones found in milk play a role in excess sebum production that promotes acne. Sebum is the bodies natural oil supply made by the sebaceous glands that are found around the hair follicles. When excess sebum is produced and dead skin cells clog the follicles they become irritated and inflamed resulting in pimples, whiteheads and blackheads.

Try to avoid grains and grain-fed animals – including beef (choose grass-fed). Grains make palmitic acid, which settles through the arteries (think of ‘marbling’). Carbohydrates drive the release of cortisol – the stress hormone. Cortisol breaks down muscle tissue and liberates glucose (a process called gluconeogenesis – a normal physiological response to stress). When you’re overstressed you’re creating an over-production of cortisol which competes with testosterone for detoxification and can backlog testosterone. An excessive conversion of testosterone to DHT (dihydrotestosterone) is one of the most common defects seen in acne and has been linked to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, obesity and PCOS. Stimulants such as coffee can encourage and increase in cortisol levels, particularly when having more than one throughout the day.

So what else can you be doing?

Introducing more zinc into your diet either in a supplement or by consuming nuts (particularly brazil nuts), pumpkin seeds, mushrooms and seafood. Zinc is required to convert beta-carotene into Vitamin A - an antioxidant that assists in maintaining healthy skin, aids skin repair and keeps lines and wrinkles in the skin away by producing more collagen.

Don’t like the idea of a green smoothie? Try liquid chlorophyll. Diluted in water or on it’s own, it oxygenates the skin and works from the inside-out to keep the skin healthy and glowing.

PS: Avocados can supply skin with healthy fats and phytonutrients – we all love avocados here at Eat Run Lift!

References

ATP Science. (2017).  Acne. Episode 94. [ONLINE]. 21 April 2017. Available from: https://soundcloud.com/atpproject/episode-95-acne

Goldberg, D. J., 2017, Secrets of Great Skin: The Definitive Guide to Anti-Aging Skin Care. 1st ed. USA: Innova Publishing.

Forbes. 2017. Eating for Beauty – The Best Diet for Healthy Clear Skin. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/sarahwu/2014/09/16/eating-for-beauty-the-best-diet-for-healthy-clear-skin/#306c13a41e6

Food

Recipe: Gluten Free Mushroom Gnocchi

Makes 2 servings
(per 1) Carbs 146.4g / Fat 13.8g / Protein 20.4g / Calories 778.5 (per serve)


Ingredients

  • 1-2 tsp avocado oil
  • 500g (17oz) gluten free gnocchi (this meal can be vegan if you opt for a brand which makes gnocchi without the egg)
  • 3 cups of chopped mushrooms
  • 1 can washed cannellini beans
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • Baby spinach

Method

  1. Place 1-2 tsp of avocado oil into a skillet on a low heat

  2. Add gnocchi to skillet, ensuring there are gaps between the individual pieces

  3. Allow the gnocchi to cook for 3-5 minutes on each side to allow them to become slightly crispy on the outside but cooked through the centre.

  4. Add in 3 cups of chopped mushrooms and 1 can of washed cannellini beans, allow this to cook for another 5 minutes.

  5. Add in 1/3 cup of coconut milk and a handful of dairy free cheese (if you don't need to be dairy-free with your diet choose parmesan for a better flavour match), allow this all to melt in for another 10 minutes.

  6. Lastly add in some baby spinach (however much you desire) and stir this through, the spinach will wilt very quickly, so don't let it cook for more than another 5 minutes.

  7. Serve and add baby spinach on top

Food

Recipe: Beet & Marinated Mushroom Salad

Makes 2 servings
(per 1) Carbs 36.8g / Fat 30.2g / Protein 16.7g / Calories 464


Ingredients

  • 1 avocado 
  • 2 beetroot
  • 4 portobello mushrooms
  • 40g (2 small handfuls) pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 red cabbage
  • 3-4 large handfuls of spinach and rocket

Marinate Ingredients
(measurements not exact, just make enough to cover the mushrooms)

  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C (~400F)
  2. Prepare two beetroot to be roasted (remove tops, wash the outside, place in al foil and add a small amount of water inside), place the wrapped beetroots in a tray and allow to cook for 1 hour
  3. Create your marinate mix
  4. After beetroots have been placed in the oven slice up 4 portobello mushrooms and place them in the mix, allow them to sit in the mix for at least 15 minutes before you cook them.
  5. Cook the mushrooms on a medium heat in a skillet for approximately 10 minutes.
  6. Place mushrooms in a container in the fridge to cool down.
  7. Remove the beetroot from the oven after an hour, press a fork into the beetroot to ensure they are cooked, if the fork slides in easily they are done.
  8. Cut the other end off the beetroot and slice a line from the top to the bottom, this will allow you to easily remove the beetroot skin.
  9. After the skin has been removed dice up the beetroot and then place it in a container in the freezer to cool down for 10 minutes.
  10. Slice up 1 avocado.
  11. Cut up 1/4 of a red cabbage, and prep your spinach and rocket.
  12. Plate up the leafy ingredients, add the mushrooms and beetroot, sprinkle some pumpkin seeds over the top and then add your avocado!

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High Calorie Does Not Equal Unhealthy

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A common event we see take place when people start a new training or exercise program, or start adjusting their diet, is that they often opt for low calorie foods. From a young age the media, people around us, and even the education system have told us that calories (and counting them daily) is a way to stay on top of what you're eating, or a way to lose weight. "Low calorie" is a selling point on the labels of products you'll commonly see in the grocery store. While yes, it's true that a caloric surplus over an extended period of time can cause weight gain, most people don't realise that they simply aren't eating enough (for some, this can be noticed by bad cravings or wanting to binge eat).

After a few weeks of eating a low calorie diet a change will take place in your body. Your metabolism will begin to slow and your weight loss will plateau. In this situation it is common for people to cut calories again to see more weight loss. After a few months you may begin to find yourself getting fatigue, nausea, constipation or diarrhoea and even gallstones. If you still continue to stay on a low calorie diet after a few months you may see more serious side-effects, such as extremely low blood pressure, swelling of the joints, trouble concentrating, anaemia, brittle fingernails, potassium deficiency, heart abnormalities, and depression.

Often diet plans or online advice will tell women to opt for calorie ranges as low as "1200-1400" (note: depending on your height, age, sex 1200 cal/day may be acceptable for your body). We've also noticed that apps such as MyFitnessPal will generally set your "calorie goal" for the day at 1200, as standard. Calories are not something you should be overly worried about, just something to check in on from time to time; you should be more concerned about the type of foods you are eating. 500 calories of vegetables will not have the same impact on your body as 500 calories of a doughnut. Often, a correctly calculated and sustainable caloric intake will be higher than you think, you'd be surprised how difficult it can be some days to get enough calories in of the right foods (especially if you're someone who eats a plant-based diet). The Get Lean: Nutrition Guide offers a full explanation and way to calculate your daily caloric intake if you're unsure what it really is.

I have compiled a list of some calorie-dense healthy foods to help ensure that you're not under-eating!

Note: some of these foods you simply would not eat '100G' of, this is just to keep the measurement standard.

Note: some of these foods you simply would not eat '100G' of, this is just to keep the measurement standard.

If you'd like to learn more, grab your copy of the Nutrition Guide, or subscribe to the blog so we can keep in touch!

 
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Food

Video: 3 Protein Smoothie Recipes

Rachel did up a little video on 3 protein smoothie recipes. If you don't like just drinking protein powder and water these are some great options for you!

Recipe: Banana Protein Bars

Beau and I are always throwing around ideas. Always. And most of the time when I have a food idea he is quick to add, "are you adding protein into it!?!" And sometimes I have to cave, like I've done with this recipe. These are a really handy little snack for before training. The banana and the carbohydrates in the oats will give you energy and the protein in them will help with your recovery! I decided to use a chia and flaxseed sprinkle in this, the one I have contains chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, sultanas and a bunch of other things!

Makes 12 bars
(per 1) Carbs 34.2g / Fat 3.6g / Protein 5.5g / Calories 174.5


Ingredients

  • 6 ripe bananas 
  • 3 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 3/4 cup GAT Supertein vanilla protein
  • 1/2 cup chia + flaxseed sprinkle
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2.5 cups oats

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200C
  2. Line a deep baking tray with baking paper
  3. Place peeled bananas in a large bowl and mash them using a fork until they are a runny consistency and there are no large lumps
  4. Stir in the rest of the ingredients into the banana until they are mixed evenly
  5. Pour the mix into the baking tray and then place it into the oven
  6. Let the bars cook for 30 minutes or until they are slightly crunchy on the top and the edges
  7. Remove from the oven and let them cool before serving

fitnessinfo

CardiNo

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Why you can use more than just your treadmill... by Beau.

When it comes to losing weight most people think that going for a run or doing some cardio is going to make them burn the fat they ate over Christmas, but the truth is there are better ways to get it done, mainly through healthy eating and weights!

When you go for a run or a jog your body is working in its aerobic system which means most of the energy that gets burnt is fat, but not efficiently enough to result in massive weight loss, this is also a low intensity exercise that mainly helps your fitness levels increase by helping oxygen travel through out the body faster. In an hour of jogging your body only burns approximately 478 calories whereas an hour of weights will burn twice as much due to an after-burn effect where your body is trying to recover and repair from haemoglobin supplied through your white blood cells. So your body is actively trying to fix all the tearing of your muscle caused by the contractions you did whilst lifting. Think of all dem gains brah!

Lets talk more about how weights are more beneficial to burn fat than running.

When we do weights we use our phosphate energy system that relies on carbs to fuel our muscles, so the harder we train and more effort we put in, the more that burger you had for lunch will just be a figment of your imagination! Want to sit on your butt and burn calories faster than a runner? Yeah? Cooooooool! Go lift some weights! Your metabolism increases when you are following a strength program which creates lean muscle mass, the more muscle you have, the more your body will eat up calories, that’s why you see body builders or athletes eating 1000s of cals a day just so their body has enough energy to perform. You may not be LeBron James or The Rock, but your body is a machine that needs fuel and eating the correct amount of calories a day will see you drop weight and get lean in no time, even if you have got a great composition of muscle and you have a week of bad eating, those kgs will come off faster than they did before.

I’m not saying to stop running, all I’m saying is that you need to have an even work out program that lets you cover your weight loss, muscle gains, fitness levels and healthy eating. Its all about balance and getting sh!t done. Most of the time people will fail because they don’t stick to a program or they fall off a healthy eating plan. If you can’t get to a gym, calisthenics and HIIT is your best alternative to weight training. Don’t know what it is? Well then jump on our 8 week challenge to get the right start to your 2015!

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Food

Recipe: Strawberry Nut Cake

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A couple of weeks before Christmas my extended family all likes to get together for a big lunch to celebrate. One of my favourite things that we do together is instead of all buying each other gifts for Christmas we each put in about $20 or so and then collect all the money up and donate it to a charity. Today was that day and my family was in charge of bringing the desserts (I was so happy with that decision haha). My mum took along some normal christmas cakes but then also bought fruit platters and some healthy bars she makes and I decided to make a raw vegan cheesecake, but it ended up being a nutcake and it was a hit. This recipe is gluten free, dairy free, sugar free and totally vegan (but still tastes so good). There is a tiny bit left in the freezer so guess what I am going to eat while Beau is out at basketball...

Note: this recipe takes a bit of time to make, best to prepare it the day before you need it!


Makes 1 cake (approx. 12 slices)
(per slice) Carbs 68g / Fat 39g / Protein 11g / Calories 636

all

Ingredients

Topping:

  • 3 cups strawberries (I used a frozen packet and thawed them)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 punnets fresh strawberries [for serving]
  • (optional) blueberries [for serving]
  • (optional) crushed cashews [for serving]

Filling:

  • 3.5 cups cashews (soaked in water for about half an hour before you decide to make this layer)
  • 3/4 cup coconut nectar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Base:

  • 1.5 cups macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/3 nutmeg

Method

  1. Lightly grease a springform pan with coconut oil
  2. Put all the 'base' ingredients in a food processor and process until they are crumbly
  3. Remove the base ingredients from the processor and press down into the bottom of the pan, it should form a thin base. Place in the freezer for 1 hour.
  4. Good idea to start soaking the cashews now until the base has been in the freezer for an hour and you start making the next section.
  5. Once the cashews have been soaking for half an hour, combine all the 'filling' ingredients in your food processor, but this time, leave the processor running until it is a very smooth consistency.
  6. Pour on top of the 'base' section in the springform pan and then place it back in the freezer overnight.
  7. The next day combine the thawed frozen strawberries and a small amount of water in the food processor until the mixture is runny.
  8. Pour this over the 'filling' layer in the pan and put back in the freezer just for about 15 minutes, until it is very cold but not completely frozen.
  9. Prepare the ingredients you wish to have as the decoration, I used strawberries and crushed almonds, blueberries would work great as well.
  10. Place the decorative fruits on top of the cake before the 'topping' layer has completely set.
  11. Return to the freezer until 15 minutes before it needs to be consumed.

Note: We had to make a 40 minute trip to where our lunch was today and the cake didn't like that one bit, it kept it's form and we had cold things around it to try and keep the temperature down, but the strawberry topping layer begins to melt once it's been out of the fridge for about 20 minutes or so. We popped it into a freezer as soon as we were at our destination and it was fine - but just a word of warning! Keep it frozen until about 10 minutes or so before serving for best results.

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Food

7 Tips for Healthy Eating on Holiday

fruit

So if you've caught my posts on Instagram you'll probably notice that Beau and I are in Thailand at the moment on a nice little getaway. If you're anything like me then you probably don't want a few weeks of holiday and relaxation to mess up all your hard work. I've put together a few tips to help you stay on track with your eating habits, because yes it's nice to enjoy some treats and it's fantastic to get to try different foods whilst you're on vacation - but if you overdo it you're probably not going to end up feeling too crash hot when you get back home anyway.

1) Stay hydrated! Keeping hydrated is going to help stop your body from sending a false 'hunger' signal to your brain, more often than you realise your sense of 'hunger' (or wanting to just snack on whatever you see) is actually your body trying to tell you that you need to drink some water.

2) Try to avoid sugary drinks These may seem like a treat if you don't have them very often, but sugary drinks are just empty calories. If it's hot where you are and water isn't quite refreshing enough try to have a soda water and pop some fruit into the bottle if you can.

3) Don't worry about leftovers One thing that seems to have been drummed into most of us since we were kids is to "finish your plate". Once you're satisfied (not stuffed full) stop eating. Just because someone serves you a huge meal at a restaurant or hotel does not mean you have to eat everything on the plate.

4) Don't let yourself get hungry Hunger leads to poor food choices, make sure you've got snacks so that you're not just eating 3 basic meals a day.

5) Snack wisely Try to find somewhere to buy yourself a bunch of unprocessed, simple food that you can snack on if you really need something to eat between meals (nuts/fruit/veggies always make good snacks to just grab and go). Beau and I walked down the markets and picked up a bunch of fruit for the equivalent of just a few Australian dollars.

6) Use good judgement Does the food look fresh? Do you have a decent idea of what ingredients are in it?

7) Limit starchy carbohydrates At the hotel we are staying in Phuket they provide breakfast every morning, and a lot of the options tend to include things like toast, croissants, rice & noodle dishes, and other highly processed carbohydrates. On top of that many of the restaurants and food stalls around load up their meals with rice or noodles, so keep an eye on the amount of carbohydrates that you are eating (that aren't fruit/veg) because you don't necessarily want too many of these, they will fill you up but the sense of fullness will not last very long at all.

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Food

Recipe: Peaches and Cream Smoothie

peachesncream

Photography by me, set styling by Kymberly Louise

Whilst Beau and I are busy packing and getting ready to head overseas tomorrow amongst still working and finishing off our books smoothies have become such a convenient snack option for us. This little number is a great option for the mornings.


Makes 1 serving
Carbs 26g / Fat 3g / Protein 5g / Calories 143

coeliacvegetarian

Ingredients

  • 1 large peach
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 3 tbsp greek yoghurt
  • 1 tsp honey
  • (optional) 1 tsp coconut nectar [for extra sweetness]
  • 3-4 ice cubes

Method

  1. No real steps, just cut the peach up and throw it all into a blender!
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Food

Recipe: Blueberry Breakfast Crumble

blueberry bake

Photograph by me, set styled by Kymberly Louise.

I don't know about anyone else but I am pretty obsessed with blueberries, to the point that every time I go to the supermarket I check the price of them and as soon as it's decent I grab a bunch of containers. This breakfast is a crunchy combination of blueberries and baked oatmeal. You can eat it plain, with yoghurt or add a dash of almond milk like I tend to do.


Makes 2 servings
(per 1) 289kcal / 6.1 P / 45.2 C / 9.7F

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*As per usual the type of oats you use will determine whether this is GF or not*


Ingredients

  • 1 cup oats

  • 1 cup blueberries

  • 1 tbsp coconut nectar

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

  • 3 tbsp almond milk

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200C

  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and then transfer to 2 ramekins

  3. Bake until the oats are a golden brown and look 'crunchy' (takes about 25-30 mins in my gas oven)

  4. Remove from oven and add extra fruit or yoghurt, nut milk etc before serving.

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Food

Recipe: Cinnamon Bun Oats

cinnamonbun

Anyone who knows me really well knows that I am absolutely obsessed with cinnamon buns (when I first started eating healthy I actually had dreams about them because I wasn't letting myself eat them). For a while I've been trying to come up with something that tastes like cinnamon buns but isn't completely terrible for you and I think I've finally got it!


Makes 1 serving
Carbs 54.5g / Protein 6.5g / Fat 4g / Calories 252

coeliacvegetarian

Ingredients

  • 1/2 a banana
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence (or 1/4 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 2g Stevia

Ingredients (Icing) this will make enough for 2/3 servings

  • 1/4 cup Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 2g Stevia

Method

1. Heat oven to 180°C (356°F)
2. Make the 'icing' by combining all the icing ingredients in a glass, stirring together and them placing it in the fridge.
3. In a bowl mash the required amount of banana, add in all the other ingredients and mix until it is an even consistency
4. Place in an oven-safe bowl or mould and let cook for 15-20 minutes (until the top is firm)
5. Remove from oven and let it cool a little before removing from the mould or bowl
6. Pour some of the icing over the oats!

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Food

Recipe: Strawberry Salad

strawberrysalad

This is a super quick Summer-y kind of salad. I've been packing this in jars lately for my lunch at work. Would also go well with some crushed walnuts or pine nuts...


Makes 1 serving
Carbs 11.4g / Fat 15.2g / Protein 11.2g / Calories 218

coeliacvegetarian

Ingredients

  • 7 Strawberries
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 50g goats cheese feta

Method

1. Wash strawberries and baby spinach
2. Chop up the strawberries and throw strawberries, spinach and pepitas together
3. Crumble goat's cheese feta and then balsamic vinegar over the top
4. Mix it all together you're good to go

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Food

How Much Is Enough?

One thing I tend to notice is people saying they're eating "pretty healthy" but then their serving sizes are quite large. It's so easy to overeat and not even realise it, and if you are trying to lose weight eating more calories than your body needs is still going to eventually cause you to gain weight. The sizes that restaurants feed you is not a single serving! I've done up a little downloadable chart that has a bunch of pretty common foods and how much of them actually qualifies as a serving.

Click on the image below for it to open full resolution.

servingsizechart

How many of these should you eat per day? Vegetables: 5 servings Fruit: 2 servings Milk, yoghurt, cheese, nut milks: 2.5 servings (4 if you're over 50 years of age) Grains: 4-6 servings Meat, eggs, nuts, seeds: 2.5-3 servings Junk food (this includes alcohol too): 0-2 servings Servings can be higher for more active individuals.

Did any of the serving sizes surprise you? 

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Food

Where To Begin?

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Something that I've been asked a fair few times on my Instagram page is how to get started with a healthier lifestyle. For me, deciding to actually clean up my diet and live a more healthy lifestyle happened in a split second. If you're like me and that happens to you, run with that momentum!!! Seriously, just embrace it and do not look back! However I do understand that not everyone will have this miraculous moment early on in their journeys, and some may not get it at all, which will require just a little more effort in making the transition, taking it as a step by step process.

First off, do not expect to become some sort of god or goddess overnight, and don't have unrealistic expectations for what you can achieve. Perfection does not exist, and once you accept this the whole thing becomes a lot easier. If you are trying to get lean or lose weight or gain muscle etc, it is important that you do have relevant goals though, and that you actually write them down or print them out… just have them somewhere that is physically available for viewing, i.e. a note on your fridge or written on the front of a book you have to use a lot. For myself, I don't know what I can transform my body into, because it's already changed more than I expected it to - so an inspirational photo won't help me because I will just end up comparing myself to it and I don't believe that's a mentally-healthy way to approach things, and I don't want to motivate myself by looking at old photos as a 'warning' to not slip off track because these changes have been for the positive. So I have a note for myself which says, "EAT METICULOUS. TRAIN RIDICULOUS" to remind me of what I want to focus on. If you are just beginning, it's fantastic to set a date for your goals too, this makes them measurable, e.g. "I will lose 3% body fat in a month". If you just want to live healthier and aren't too fussed on any particular physical goal, just find a way to remind yourself to eat healthy when you first begin.

Now lets talk about your mindset. If you worked really hard at your job, managed to climb your way up to the top and start making a huge amount of money and bought yourself a new Lamborghini, are you going to just put sub-par fuel in that thing, or are you going to actually treat it well and only put the high quality stuff in… pretty easy answer, right? I find it helps to think about food in this sort of way, it's literally a fuel for your body to run, that does NOT mean it has to be boring though, there are so many delicious things you can make, you just have to do some trial and error. The human body is absolutely incredible, so it deserves to be looked after. Having a variety of high quality macro and micronutrients in your diet is going to help you reach your physical best, make your skin great, increase cognitive function and elevate and even out your mood. Snacking on a bag of Doritos in the afternoon and grabbing some takeout for dinner on your way home from work is probably not going to do all that for you. When you are going to eat something take a step back and think, "How is this helping my body at a chemical level?" it will help you re-evaluate what you are about to eat. For example, blueberries: very high in antioxidants and contain vitamins A, B, C, E and zinc, just to mention a few. Lentils: high in protein, contain soluble fibre which will lower cholesterol levels and are also packed full of complex carbohydrates which will help increase your energy levels (it definitely does not have to be that specific).

Ready to make the change?

1. Clean all the rubbish food out of your cupboards and fridge, it's time for a fresh start… pun not intended haha.

2. Figure out your goals and write them down, draw them, collage them or pay a goddamn artist to paint a mural for you, just get it visible in your day-to-day life. Start to supplement in healthy foods which you enjoy, and try new things, you'll never know if you like it until you try it.

3. Commit to making the change to healthy eating, you can have 2 "bad meals" per week, or 1 for quicker results (going overboard in your cheat meal is not going to help you, I usually like to just get a nice veggie burger or sushi for mine, but I am trying to be pretty strict with my food nowadays).

4. Meal prep is key. Eating every couple of hours will help you too. A general amount of meals during a day for me is breakfast > snack > lunch > snack > dinner. Write down a list of meals and snacks that you will eat during the week. I like to cook up a batch of foods and I've learnt not to get bored of them. I will eat the same lunch 3 days in a row, and and the same dinner 3 days in a row, then switch it up.

5. While you're at it, plan your workouts. If you have never really exercised consistently before, commit to doing at least 4 half hour workouts a week, you can always build it up from there, and remember resistance is just as important, if not more important, than cardio.

6. Go shopping and only purchase what is on your list, try to mainly stick to the refrigerated and fresh produce sections. By minimising the amount of time you have to spend in the general aisles you're going to reduce temptations to put naughty things in your shopping trolley!

7. Don't torture yourself if you slip up, just tell yourself you'll do better, relax, and get back to your original plan.

8. Drink lots of water!!! 1L per 30kg of body weight is the recommended amount, more if you exercise, and more if you live in a warmer climate. This will be pretty difficult to adapt to at first, it makes it easier if you tell yourself how many millilitres (or bottles) you need to have had by certain times of the day. Personally I find myself drinking around 4L on a regular day now because the weather is heating up, I could probably rave on about the benefits for a week if someone let me.

 

I'm interested to know how other people found their motivation, did it happen in a split second or did you have to have patience and make small changes?

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