Friday, May 30, 2008
(Yeah, I know, you're still at the office slaving away at your desk but bear with me, I'm painting a picture here!)
After all those weeks of cutting calories, depriving yourself of treats and regularly thrashing yourself about in the gym (You know, the usual pre-holiday fitness panic) you're finally able to get your kit off, soak up some rays and chill out on the beach.
After all, idleness and holidays go hand in hand don't they?
Or do they? Or, more to the point, should they?
It may or may not surprise to you to find out that, on average, holiday makers put on around 5-7lbs in weight during their two weeks away from home, a figure (excuse the pun) only normally beaten by Christmas!
Now, 7lbs may not sound like a lot but in reality it represents some 24,500 extra calories stored either through reduced activity or excess food consumption.
Just to clarify, that's the equivalent of about 10 days worth of calories above and beyond those needed to maintain your weight during your holiday. And guess what?
Nearly all of this is fat!!
So maybe a week of sun, sea and sloth isn't such a great idea after all. Not unless you actually enjoy laying down lard!
The funny thing is, it's so easy to avoid piling on the holiday pounds.
In fact, many people find that they actually come back from their holidays leaner, more toned and far healthier than when they went away just by taking advantage of the opportunity to be more active and try new, healthier foods.
I know what you're thinking "I'm on holiday to enjoy myself and relax NOT to put myself through some harsh diet and thrash myself everyday" and you're right, a holiday should offer the chance to rejuvenate and replenish your tired body.
That's exactly why you should consider being more active during your break.
You see, contrary to popular belief, total bed-rest (or sunbed rest) is actually BAD for you.
Lazing your days away leads to muscle wasting, reduced metabolism, increased fat storage and increased lethargy.
This is why we're often more tired upon return from our hols than before we went away, we're simply allowing our bodies to degrade through immobility.
As if we're not already immobile enough in our day-to-day lives!
Of course, this can easily be avoided by incorporating a little and often approach to activity during your holiday. Just follow the simple tips laid out below and you may even come back in better shape than when you started your hols.
1. Take a walk, run or go for a swim before breakfast. This is a great way to fire up your metabolism and burn off some extra calories before you put more food into your body, and a great opportunity to get your towel on a sunbed before anyone else!
2. Spend at least 10 mins out of every hour on your feet Come on, 10 minutes is hardly a hardship and you can use this time to walk along the beach and even-up your tan in those hard to reach bits or even to check out the talent further up the beach!
3. Spend at least 10 mins out of every hour in the water. Swim, snorkel, surf, kayak, paddle or whatever takes your fancy. Just get in the water and move!
I'm sensing some resistance. Still too much effort?
Well, for those of you determined to travel the world, meet interesting people and wave at them from the comfort of your sunbed (you lazy lot!) all's not lost. There may still be a way of keeping you from piling on the pounds.
Isometric contractions are the ideal lazy-persons workout as they require no movement. Not one bit.
Now I've got your attention haven't I?
To perform isometrics simply contract the target muscles between 75-100% of their maximum effort and hold this contraction for 20-30 seconds before relaxing and choosing another target.
For the chest: Push the palms of your hands together in a prayer-type position. Now push, crush and push some more with all your might.
For the shoulders: Clasp your hands together and attempt to pull them apart as hard as you can
For your abdominals: Lie on your back, knees bent and hand on thighs. With arms outstretched and elbows locked, attempt a crunch type movement (Against your locked arms you won't be able to get up).
For your thighs: Straighten your legs and contract and squeeze as hard as you can. Easy!
For your inner thighs: Legs straight and ankles together try to push each ankle through the other one (You may want to place a towel between your ankles). A similar action can be done with the knees.
For your hips: Cross your legs and feet and attempt to pull the feet apart.
There you have it. The ultimate lazy-persons workout with not a weight, band or exercise gizmo in sight.
But don't let its simplicity fool you, this workout can be amazingly effective at increasing muscular tone and strength Working this way you can perform an almost endless circuit of exercises as you work around the body without ever getting off of your sunbed. Not bad huh?
Seriously though, movement is where it's at. The body is quite simply a movement machine. It likes it, wants it and needs it to function optimally, and by incorporating movement into your holiday you'll look and feel far better because of it.
I'm not suggesting that your holiday has to be all action and adventure from start to finish or that fitness should dominate your thoughts in any way, simply that you take a little time every day to look after your body and give it what it needs.
After all, what's the point of half killing yourself to get in shape prior to your hols if you're going to trash it all and look fat and unfit on your return?
See you on the beach!
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
The first Look Great Naked Challenge of 2008 has finally finished and the winner has been chosen.
Today I'm very pleased to announce the winner of the Luxury 2 week vacation to beautiful Thailand is....
... Ann Thomas from Baltimore!
Ann had an amazing time with the program and lost over 27lbs as well as almost 8 inches lost around the waist (you can see this clearly in the before and after photo's, just look at the waistband and hips in the after shots.
Here's the tale of the tape before and after...
Day 1 Day 90 Total Loss
Weight 147 lbs 120 lbs -27 lbs (that's almost 2 stones in the UK!)
Bust 93 cms 82 cms -11 cms
Waist 89 cms 70 cms -19cm (that's almost 8 inches!)
Hips 107 cms 93.5 cms -12.5 cms
Thighs 63 cms 53 cms -10 cms
Calves 39 cms 35.5 cms -3.5 cms
Upper arm 31.5 cms 26.5 cms -5 cms
And check out the before and afters!
(Ann has a high profile job and would rather her identity remain private at this point)
Here's Ann's Story in its full enedited version...
In the past I’ve always managed my weight through short bursts of just being careful of what I eat, losing the few pounds I wanted to and then returning to my usual eating habits directly afterwards!
I've never really been one for dieting or eating healthily - I could easily substitute a cake or chocolate bar for a meal. The only time I really consciously followed any diet plan (a low fat one) was after having my second child and I piled on weight.
In my thirties I was happy to be distinctly average – a comfortable size 12 – 14, did very little exercise and just occasionally controlled my weight through eating carefully every so often. However, in my forties I have to say I’ve become much more body conscious – maybe because my kids are now 19 and 17 years old, and therefore as they become more independent I have more time to focus on me.
Since hitting 40 I've been really active - running regularly - and even doing a marathon when I was 44 - this meant that I could eat what I liked and kept my weight down. In the first year of running I managed to lose about 10 lbs – a real bonus! I was doing something I actually enjoyed – well, enjoy, is probably the wrong word – I endured running as the benefits was that I looked so much better and I still could eat whatever I wanted! Having a really sweet tooth, every time I had a coffee (about 8 cups a day), I also had biscuits or chocolate to go with them! Running also kept me fit enough to go surfing whenever I managed to get a break – something I love doing.
It has only been over the last 18 months that my weight has started to creep on - no matter how much exercise I did I could no longer control my weight. Any attempts to try and lose weight lasted two or three days before I would reward myself with something nice to eat for doing an extra long run or whatever. I think I really decided I needed to take serious action when I really struggled to pull on my wetsuit – I not only looked like a beached whale I also felt exhausted before I had a chance to drag my board to the sea! But that was in November and I had to get Christmas out of the way and all sorts of other excuses.
By January 2008 I had enough of not doing anything to help myself – I felt disheartened as I started to sort out all the clothes that no longer fit me – trying jeans on that fit you two years ago but you can’t pull on over your thighs is a singularly upsetting experience!
I then decided that I should give myself a chance of getting back into them rather than going out and buying new clothes in larger sizes. I needed to really look at my eating habits - I knew that committing to exercise wouldn't be a problem - I also knew committing to a healthy eating plan would be the hard bit for me. I went onto the internet and started to look at various plans - lots of promises of what a diet could do for you but seemed unbelievable - great idea to be able to lose weight and still eat whatever you wanted but you know it's a lie!
This programme appealed to me because it didn't pull any punches - you know it's going to be tough - it isn't like other diets where you are allowed a piece or chocolate, the odd glass or wine as a treat if you've been good - it's about having to mentally get yourself in the right space to be able to accept the challenge and be determined to go for it.
I discovered the Elimination Diet half way through January but decided not to start it till I felt 100% committed mentally to actually doing it - I really didn't want to fail.
The first week was tough - despite the preparation I still spent the first three days of the diet just looking in the fridge and thinking I had nothing I could eat. I think I lived on omellettes, yoghurt and fruit for a few days until I got my head around what I could or couldn't eat but after you see the results it becomes a lot easier. I got the cook book just to give me some ideas and then adapted some of them to my taste. The big plus of the programme was that I never felt hungry - I seem to be eating more than ever before!
There have been several highs for me: being able to see a difference in my shape and how my clothes fit – even in the first week, being able to pull down my jeans without unfastening them in the third week, being able to do the same in a brand new pair of jeans in the eighth week!
People noticing a difference in how you look even though they see you almost every day. Noticing that I actually have a waist and abs!
The lows, with hindsight have not been too bad but at the time they just felt awful – hankering after hot cross buns over Easter but not giving in.
Having to mentally wrestle with yourself on trying not to succumb and have a piece of chocolate when people around you are saying that ‘one piece won’t do you any harm!’
Going to restaurants and knowing you’re not going to have a glass of wine, no bread or a desert!
However, for me the hardest thing was ensuring that I drank water – to begin with the only way I could was to write everything down to ensure I drank my quota for the day. I think I was at my lowest point when I discovered how unhealthy hospitals are!
My husband was rushed into hospital and I spent a few days hanging around with none of the catering facilities having anything to eat that was remotely healthy looking! Some of the exercise sessions were more enjoyable than others – but at least they are varied and short! The best way of dealing with it was just to get on with it and don’t procrastinate! `- it was one of my goals to ensure I did every session - no matter how tired I was or how little time I had.
So what I have achieved in 90 days? Well, to be blunt a new body and the confidence of knowing that once I’ve set my mind on a goal I can achieve it! One of my goals was to look good in a bikini - who would of thought that at the age of 48 I can wear one without any overhang anywhere! When I started the programme I was 147 lbs after 90 days I'm 120 lbs and have dropped two dress sizes - I've never felt so fit and toned - I'm the weight now that I was when I was a teenager! "
What struck me most about Ann is that she reminded me of just about everyone I've ever worked with. Average genetics (like us all), time poor, struggling with fitting in 'real life' and still staying fit, toned and healthy. Yet here she was, for a full 90 days not allowing a single thing to put her off course or distract her from what she wanted.
And, of course, she got it!
Ann's a great ambassador for the program and she certainly deserves this trip of a lifetime as a reward for all her hard efforts don't you think? : )
Please join me in a round of congratulations to Ann!
P.S - You can join the Look Great Naked Challenge and get results just like Ann and many, many others for as little as £10 a week. Just pop on over to www.lookgreatnakedchallenge.com and you could be walking on to the beach this summer in the best shape of your life!
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
that summer is well and truly on the way and that the annual mad
rush to get in shape is about to begin in earnest.
Other than the first craziness of January when everyone rushes to
take out gym memberships (and quits them within 6 weeks!), these
next 2-3 months are, without a doubt, the busiest time of the year
for people in my profession.
Yet, just like with the January crowd, it doesn't take too long
before the reasons, justifications and downright excuses kick in
and people start seeking reasons to quit.
Now, there are tons and tons of reasons but, by far, the most
'popular' one is time.
It seems that people simply cannot fit everything they need to do
in life into a 24 hour period AND still find time to work out.
I sympathise. I really do.
I run 5 businesses and have a large family and, despite the fact
that I work in a fitness environment and it's my profession, I
still struggle to find time too.
That's why I'm always creating workout systems that can be done
fast (normally in less than 20 minutes) so that people can get in,
get out and still get results without having their programs take
over their lives.
The Look Great Naked Challenge is a great example of that. All the
workouts are 30 minutes or less with many being much, much faster.
And my soon to be released '4x4 Fatloss' program is even faster!
Just 16 minutes a day will provide all the fat burning and
body-sculpting results of the traditional hour-long workouts you've
become accustomed to.
In fact, you may have already tried some of them.(If not, look at previous posts on this blog and get to it!)
If not, here's another chance to experience one of my new 4 minute
workouts for yourself.
You can get more workouts just like this as part of my Look Great Naked Challenge for just £10 a week.
To your success
I'm really sorry, I don't know what I was thinking!
My good friend Craig Ballantyne told me about a week ago about his
the amazing sale he's having over at turbulencetraining.com where he's added 5 all-new reports into his best-selling Turbulence Training package, meaning that anyone who signs up before the offer period finishes tomorrow will get even greater results from his
program... and faster too!
I just looked at the reports myself and I must admit, they're really something.
But I fogot to tell my readers!
I don't want you to miss out though, so I thought I'd take a minute right now to let you know all about it...
==> A 4 Week fat burning meal planning report from Dr Chris Mohr
==> Bikini Ready Abs program from the 'Fit Yummy Mummy' herself, Holly Rigsby
==> Turbulence Training for Amazing Abs by Craig Ballantyne
==>The 'BIG 5' Fatloss Exercise circuit also by Craig
==> The Trouble spot Tune up by Joey Atlas
and... get this, there are TEN MORE amazing ebooks in the package
Now, I don't normally promote other people's fatloss programs as,
to put it bluntly, I'm in that market too and it pulls customers
away from me, but Craig's package is simply too good to miss out on.
But here's the thing...
I really have left it quite late to tell you about this.
Craig's special promotion comes down tomorrow and after that,
whilst you'll still be able to buy his Turbulence Training program
online, you won't be able to get all the extra goodies he's laying
on for you right now.
So look, if you seriously want to get in great shape for the
summer, I suggest you at the very least check out what's on offer
and decide for yourself whether or not you think it'll help you.
P.S - Don't forget to check out Craig's Body Tranformation
Challenge too... he's giving away $2000!