30 Step Weight Loss Program

Tiger Athletic Sandton is an upscale fitness facility that offers revolutionary, goal-specific strength & conditioning programs using an individualized approach to assess, motivate, educate and train clients regarding their health and fitness needs. We design safe and effective exercise programs, and provide the guidance to help clients achieve their personal wellness goals.

Jumpstart your weight loss with this 30-Step weight loss program of expert tips, meal plans and workouts! Trying to do everything in this paper at once can be overwhelming, start with the first step; book an assessment with your Tiger Athletic Personal Trainer, then work with your trainer, on getting one step a day right towards building yourself a leaner, slimmer more powerful physique through a healthier lifestyle!

Step 1 – Book an Assessment and Get Help Setting a Realistic Target

Your Tiger Athletic Personal Trainer will screen you for risk factors and symptoms of chronic cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic and orthopaedic diseases to optimize safety during exercise testing and participation and to help you set realistic goals; short term milestones that keep you motivated and adherent to your program. This is singularly the most important principle of your pre-participation assessment before engaging in a program of exercise.

Step 2 – Clean Out Your Fridge

Having Ice cream from the tub or cheese while standing in front of the fridge late at night is bound to lead to increased weight. Clean out your fridge and organise it in a way that will help you and your loved ones shed the unwanted weight.  How you organize your refrigerator could be working against you. Make your fridge an ally with these pros’ tricks

How to make your fridge a weight loss ally

  • Keep foods that are smart snack combos (natural almond butter and apples, or low-fat cottage cheese and celery) close to each other – Kristin McGee, yoga instructor and Health contributing editor.
  • Place herbs like parsley and cilantro stems-down in a cup of water and cover with a plastic bag. The water keeps them fresh longer, change it every few days. Seeing the herbs will make you want to cook with them—a good thing, as they add flavour but hardly any calories or sodium – Kathy Kaehler, celebrity trainer and founder of Sunday Set-Up, a healthy-eating club.
  • If you love avocados, say, but don’t want to overdo it, store serving-size containers on a middle shelf. You can get portion sizes of cheese and chocolate, too – Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, author of The Flexitarian Diet.
  • Put less healthy meals, such as macaroni and cheese, in opaque containers. Then hide them behind your healthy stuff so they’re not as top-of-mind – Jessica Fishman Levinson, RDN, author and nutrition consultant.
  • Have a container of precooked grains, like barley or quinoa, put half-cup measuring cup inside. Using a measuring cup to scoop out a portion – Cynthia Sass, RD, Health’s contributing nutrition editor.
  • Storing jarred veggies, like roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts and pickled beets, on a shelf in the fridge is ideal. They’re perfect additions to salads and soups and don’t require any prep time – Stephanie Middleberg, RD, New York City nutritionist.
  • Veggie salsas are filled with flavour and nutrients and contain very few calories, and are versatile—for example, to top turkey burgers or potatoes – David Katz, MD, director of the Yale Prevention Research Center and author of Disease-Proof.
  • Multipurpose Condiment – Grainy Dijon mustard is low-calorie and adds a savoury, rustic flavour. Use it in salad dressings and marinades and in place of some—or all—of the mayo called for in a recipe (say, for tuna salad) – Jessica Fishman Levinson, RDN.
  • Cut juice with seltzer water to slash calories (the fizz keeps it from tasting boring). Right when you get home from the market, fill a pitcher one-third of the way with juice and two-thirds of the way with seltzer – Kelsey Nixon, author of Kitchen Confidence.
  • Keep a natural sweetener – It’s nice to have fruit-sweetened jams, which are relatively low in sugar. They’re tasty with peanut butter on a brown-rice wrap, on oatmeal or drizzled on low-fat ice cream for dessert – Kristin McGee.
  • Buy blocks of hard cheeses, such as Parmesan and Asiago, because you must physically shred them with a grater when you’re using them in recipes or as a garnish. This makes you very aware of just how much cheese you’re adding, which helps with portion and calorie control – Kelsey Nixon.
  • Save the date – To make sure my leftover fruits and vegetables won’t go uneaten, I write down dates on plastic baggies and containers so I know how long they’ve been in my refrigerator – Harley Pasternak, celebrity trainer and author of The Body Reset Diet.
  • Keep big pitchers of water infused with mint or ginger and in-season fruit or citrus slices in the fridge up front. It usually lasts a couple of days, and it’s a great way to stay hydrated without lots of sugar or calories – Cynthia Sass, RD.
  • We are three times as likely to pick up the first thing we see in the fridge, but the problem is, we often put our favourite not-so-healthy foods at eye level. Store some veggies on the top shelf rather than just in the crisper – Brian Wansink, PhD, author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think.
  • A tub of Greek yogurt in your fridge is a must. It’s not only a breakfast staple—it works as a substitute for so many fattening spreads, such as sour cream and cream cheese – Eden Grinshpan, host of Eden Eats and Log On & Eat with Eden Grinshpan on the Cooking Channel.
  • Have quick protein handy – I boil a bunch of eggs at the beginning of the week for a high-protein, satisfying and nutritious option that’s easy to grab and go. Not to mention, they’re simple to put in a breakfast wrap or slice on a salad to make it a full meal – Ellie Krieger, RD, author of Weeknight Wonders.
  • Once a week, scan the fridge and pull forward items that need to be finished, like opened tomato paste or Greek yogurt. It’ll remind you to use them and to cook at home, which is healthier 99 percent of the time – Melissa d’Arabian, host of the Food Network’s Ten Dollar Dinners.

Step 3 – Stock Up on Superfoods

It’s important to keep a stock of healthy foods that allow you to put together a healthy meal at a moment’s notice. When eating out it is easy to consume north of 200 extra calories, making eating at home a no brainer when it comes to eating healthier and helping you kick the spare tyre.

A well-stocked kitchen allows you to throw together a fast, flavourful meal after a long day. And, when you wake up and must dash out the door for work, it pays to have grab-and-go breakfast and snack options on hand.

Essential Foods

  • Extra-virgin olive oil – Olive oil is one of the reasons why the – Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest in the world. Cook with it, but also drizzle over finished dishes, like grilled fish, pasta, and vegetables sides. Even though it is good fat, one tablespoon still packs 120 calories so use it sparingly.
  • Non-fat Greek yogurt – Greek yogurt is packed with 18 grams of protein per 170g serving. Though it’s creamy and seems indulgent, it contains just 100 calories per serving. Greek yogurt makes a great low-calorie and low-fat substitute in recipes for mayo and sour cream.
  • Canned olives – They have a long shelf life, they can be thrown into a variety of dishes, and they have heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Go for all-natural without added sodium. Throw them on top of salads, stir them into pastas, or try snacking on them. You can eat 10 for about 50 calories.
  • Honey – It’ll last in your cupboard for years. In addition to being a versatile sweetener, honey can serve as a hangover helper, cough soother, and more. Sweeten homemade marinades and salad dressings and incorporate it into whole-grain baking. Whole wheat flour can be denser, but adding honey in place of regular sugar keeps things tender and moist. In recipes that call for sugar, swap in an equal amount of honey.
  • Beans – Inexpensive, a great source of protein and fibre. One cup of chickpeas, for example, contains 15 grams of protein and 12 grams of fibre!
  • Quinoa – One cup of cooked quinoa contains 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fibre for just 222 calories, this wholegrain is a good source of energizing iron and B vitamins and is one of the speediest grains to cook; it’s ready in 15 minutes. Combine cooked quinoa with shredded chicken, chopped veggies, and toss with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper or, eat quinoa hot as a substitute for oatmeal. Stir in almond milk, dried fruit, nuts, and drizzle with honey.
  • Eggs – One egg contains six grams of protein for only 70 calories. One study found that overweight women who ate egg breakfasts lost twice as much weight as women who started their days with bread. Hard boil a bunch at the beginning of the week for an on-the-go breakfast or snack with a piece of cheese and fruit, or, throw a fried egg on top of a rice-and-veggie bowl or a salad for an extra dose of protein.
  • Sea salt – doctors recommend limiting your salt intake, excess sodium is often a problem in prepared and processed foods, not the foods you cook yourself. Adding a sprinkle of salt to the foods you cook in your kitchen helps flavours pop. Use just like you would regular salt, sea salt contains a higher mineral content than regular table salt.
  • Tomato paste – adds a great umami flavour, or a richness to food that you’re trying to keep low in calories and fat. Tomatoes, particularly tomato paste, are bursting with cancer-fighting lycopene. Use it to add an extra layer of flavour to curries and stir-fries.
  • Fresh herbs – packed with a surprising number of antioxidants they add a wonderful flavour to any dish. Herbs also give new life when used on leftovers or make already-prepared foods taste homemade.
  • Bananas – They’re economical, available all year, and supply a nice sweetness to foods like smoothies and plain yogurt without adding sugar.
  • Dark chocolate – Provides powerful disease-fighting polyphenols and has even been associated with weight loss. You can also use it as a surprise ingredient in sauces. For example, throw one square into a braising sauce for meat to elevate the flavour.
  • Garlic – Allows you to add flavour to your dishes quickly and easily without unhealthy fats or processed ingredients. Add to soups, stews, sautés, stir-fry, and marinades.
  • Frozen Shrimp – Four large shrimp are only 30 calories and contain virtually no fat. Shrimp also offer up a hefty dose of protein. Buy them peeled and deveined so they can be easily defrosted and incorporated into last-minute weeknight meals
  • Mustard – Packed with the immune-boosting mineral selenium and turmeric, a spice (that gives it its yellow pigment) with cancer-fighting properties. Keep a couple different varieties in your refrigerator, that includes Dijon for salad dressings, sauces, marinades, and in a coating for breading chicken and pork. Grain mustard is another favourite as a spread on sandwiches.
  • Flavoured Vinegar – This specialty ingredient is versatile and its heart healthy: Vinegar helps open your blood vessels to improve blood flow. Flavours like blackberry or strawberry balsamic can be drizzled to brighten the flavour of salads for few calories (1 teaspoon contains about 5).
  • Oatmeal – Improves appetite control and increases satiety. Known for helping to lower cholesterol numbers.
  • Herbs de Provence – This easy-to-find dried herb blend features thyme, rosemary, basil, parsley, oregano, tarragon, marjoram, and lavender that adds a nice herbaceous seasoning for any dish. Sprinkle on chicken, potatoes, grilled veggies. Also makes a great seasoning for eggs, combined with panko as a crust for fish, or on pizza.
  • Broth – You can keep a carton in your pantry for a long time until you’re ready to use it. It’s low in calories (one cup contains 38) with 5 grams of protein. Whether chicken, beef or veggie, use to make soups, stews, and chilies. It also makes a great substitute for oil when sautéing vegetables. Store leftover broth in ice cube trays in the freezer for quick access. When buying broth, read the ingredients list and avoiding those that contain added sugar and caramel colouring. Buy low-sodium whenever possible.
  • Ground chicken and turkey – Buying lean ground turkey or chicken breast saves on saturated fat compared to ground beef. Store in your freezer and thaw when ready to eat. It’s one meat that cooks in a jiffy and can be used in stir-fries, meat sauces, tacos, enchiladas, stuffed peppers, or rice bowls.

Step 4 – Attitudinal Assessment

Your personality plays a surprisingly large role in your ability to lose weight and keep it off. Your Tiger Athletic Personal Trainer will provide you with a guide to discover your personality type via an Attitudinal Assessment and use your own characteristics to lose weight and keep it off for good.

The assessment should not only be viewed as an assessment of physical condition, but also as a gauge of attitude, outlook and perspective. For each question, ask the client to rate him or herself on a scale of 1-4. The first time you go through this exercise, your client might want to answer only the first section for each question (denoted with an asterisk (*). You might come back whenever you feel the client is ready to complete the rest of each question. In the first part of each question, the assessment of where the client stands right now, the most motivated and driven athletes would likely have at least seven ratings of a “4” and not a single rating below “3”. Clients with three or more questions of which the answer was a “1” will need extra assistance to develop proper goals and may require frequent rewards, discussions, and education.

  1. What would you consider your present attitude towards exercise?
    1. I can’t stand the thought of it.
    2. I’ll do it because I know I should, but I don’t enjoy it.
    3. I don’t mind exercise, and I know it is beneficial
    4. I am motivated to exercise

*Your Answer: _____________________________________________________________________

How would you like to feel about exercise, if you could change your feelings?

*Your Answer: _____________________________________________________________________

Describe why and any specifics of how you would like to change your feelings about exercise and how those feelings might bring about positive change in your life:

*Your Answer: _____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. What would you consider your present attitude toward goal achievement?
    1. I feel that whatever happens, happens, and I’ll roll with the punches,
    2. I set goals and believe it adds clarity and gives me some control over my outcome.
    3. I write down my goals and believe it is a very valuable exercise in determining my future performance and achievement.
    4. I have written goals and I review them often. I believe I have the power to achieve anything I desire and know that setting goals is a vital part of achievement

*Your Answer: ____________________________________________________________________

How would you like to feel about goal achievement, if you could change your feelings?

*Your Answer: _____________________________________________________________________

Describe why and any specifics of how you would like to change your feelings about goal achievement and how those feelings might bring about positive change in your life:

*Your Answer: _____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. How important to you are the concepts of health and well-being?
    1. I don’t need to put any effort into bettering my health.
    2. I make certain I devote some time and effort into bettering my physical body.
    3. I am committed to maintaining and working to improve my health and physical well-being.
    4. My health and well-being are the foundation of all that i achieve, and they must remain my top priorities.

*Your Answer: _____________________________________________________________________

How would you like to feel about the concepts of health and well-being, if you could change your feelings?

*Your Answer: _____________________________________________________________________

Describe why and any specifics of how you would like to change your feelings about the concepts of health and well-being and how those feelings might bring about positive change in

*Your Answer: _____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. How strong and driving is your desire for improvement?
    1. I’m satisfied about the way things are. Striving for improvement might leave me frustrated and disappointed.
    2. I’d like to improve but I don’t know that it’s worth all the work involved.
    3. I love feeling as if I’ve battered myself and am open to any suggestions for improvement.
    4. I’m driven to excel and am committed to striving for consistent and ongoing improvement.

*Your Answer: _____________________________________________________________________

How strong and driven would you like to feel about improvement?

*Your Answer: _____________________________________________________________________

Describe why and any specifics of how you would like to change your feelings about improvement and how those feelings might bring about positive change in your life:

*Your Answer: _____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. How do you feel about yourself and your abilities (Self-Esteem)?
    1. I am not comfortable with the way I look, feel, or perform in most situations.
    2. I would love to change many things about myself although I’m proud of who I am.
    3. I’m very good at the things I must do, take pride in many of my achievements, and am quite able to handle myself in most situations.
    4. I have great strength, ability and pride.

*Your Answer: _____________________________________________________________________

How would you like to feel about yourself and your abilities, if you could change your feelings?

*Your Answer: _____________________________________________________________________

Describe why and any specifics of how you would like to change your feelings about yourself and your abilities and how those feelings might bring about positive change in your life:

*Your Answer: _____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. How do you feel about your present physical condition in terms of the way you look?
    1. I would like to completely change my body.
    2. There are many things in my reflection in the mirror that I’m not comfortable with.
    3. For the most part I look OK, and I can look good in the right clothing, but I do feel uncomfortable with a few things about my physical appearance.
    4. I am proud of my body and am comfortable in any manner of dress in appropriate situations.

*Your Answer: ____________________________________________________________________

How would you like to feel about the way you look, if you could change your feelings?

*Your Answer: ____________________________________________________________________

Describe why and any specifics of how you would like to change your feelings about the way you look and how those feelings might bring about positive change in your life:

*Your Answer: _____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. How do you feel about your present physical conditions in terms of overall health?
    1. I wish I felt healthy.
    2. I feel healthy for my age compared to most people I meet.
    3. I maintain a high level of health.
    4. I am extremely healthy.

*Your Answer: ____________________________________________________________________

How would you like to feel about yourself and your abilities, if you could change your feelings?

*Your Answer: ____________________________________________________________________

Describe why and any specifics of how you would like to change your feelings about yourself and your abilities and how those feelings might bring about positive change in your life:

*Your Answer: _____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. How do you feel about your physical condition in terms of your performance in any chosen physical fields of endeavour (Sports, Training, Etc.)?
    1. I feel as if I’m in very poor condition and am uncomfortable when faced with a physical challenge.
    2. I am not comfortable with my performance abilities; however, I am comfortable training to improve.
    3. I feel very good about my ability to perform physically although I would like to improve.
    4. I have exceptional physical abilities and enjoy being called upon to display them.

*Your Answer: _________________________________________________________________

How would you like to feel about your performance, if you could change your feelings?

*Your Answer: _________________________________________________________________

Describe why and any specifics of how you would like to change your feelings about your performance and how those feelings might bring about positive change in your life:

*Your Answer: _____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. How strongly do you believe that you can improve your body?
    1. I believe most of my physical shortcomings are genetic, and most efforts to change would be a waste of time.
    2. I’ve seen many people change their bodies for the better and i’m sure with enough effort I can see some improvements.
    3. I strongly believe the proper combination of exercise and nutrition can bring about some improvement.
    4. I know without question that with the proper combination of exercise and nutrition I can bring about dramatic changes in my body.

*Your Answer: ____________________________________________________________________

How would you like to feel about your ability to improve your body, if you could change your feelings?

*Your Answer: ___________________________________________________________________

Describe why and any specifics of how you would like to change your feelings about your ability to improve your body and how those feelings might bring about positive change in your life:

*Your Answer: ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________

  1. When you begin a program or set a goal, how likely are you to follow through to its fruition?
    1. I’ve never been good at following things through to the end.
    2. With the right motivation and some evidence of results I think I might stick to a program.
    3. I have the patience and ability to commit to a program and will give it a chance to assess its value.
    4. Once I set a goal there’s no stopping me.

*Your Answer: ___________________________________________________________________

How would you like to feel about following through on goals, if you could change your feelings?

*Your Answer: ___________________________________________________________________

Describe why and any specifics of how you would like to change your feelings about following through on goals and how those feelings might bring about positive change in your life: *Your Answer: ___________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Step 5 – Set Your Training Appointments

30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio per day is recommended with two strength-training sessions a week, few people manage half of this. Tiger Athletic Sandton provides an extraordinary Strength & Conditioning workout that is simple, efficient and effective in 45 minutes. You can pop in, workout, enjoy a premium coffee or refreshment, have a hot shower and return to your everyday grind refreshed and refocused in under an hour!

We totally understand your lifestyle: Sometimes, on the 3 to 5 days per week that you are away from your Tiger Athletic Personal Trainer, it’s impossible to squeeze in a full-on workout. Tiger Athletic wants to help you burn calories with our resource, “Calorie Burn”, everyday tips to help you burn more of those unwanted calories!

Calorie Burn

Exercise is essential to maintaining weight and improving overall health, but with our busy schedules, it’s tough to fit in fitness. Sometimes coming to the gym feels like an impossible ask! To help you not skip out on weight loss and fitness goals altogether, here are a couple of easy ways to fit fitness into your everyday life.

  • Speed walk your errands – Instead of eating lunch work, lace up your sneakers and do your daily errands on foot during lunch break. Use your to-do list to map out a walking route, grab your wallet and iPod, and head outside for an hour of heart-pumping activity. Even if you need to drive to a mall first, cruise around on foot checking items off your list. Get your errands and workout out of the way!
  • Play in the park – Instead of meeting friends for Happy Hour after work on Friday or vegging on the couch over the weekend, head to the park for a couple of hours of play. Bring a Rugby ball for a bit of touch, a football for a little kick about or the kids and the dogs! Incorporate some activity into your social life—and avoid those couch potato calories!
  • Stand and flex – When waiting in line at the grocery store or bank (or anywhere), flex my abs/glutes for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times. It helps make the time pass, it’s a quick and easy way to work your core/glutes without anyone noticing.
  • Go the long way – Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park further away from your building so you get a little extra walking. If you ride the bus to work, get off a stop before your office and walk the extra distance.
  • Email and call less – Instead of calling or emailing a co-worker, get up from your desk and walk over to chat with them. You will get a lot more accomplished in a quick in-person meeting, and burn a few calories walking to their desk. It might not seem like a lot of activity, but all those small steps can equal big gains when they’re done consistently!
  • Ditch the shopping cart – If you have a small shopping list, ditch the cart and use two reusable bags to carry groceries. Throw a bag over each shoulder and walk around the grocery store collecting items. Carrying two heavy bags is a great workout, and, at the same time, I get my grocery shopping done for the week.
  • Wake Up! Give Me 50! – Before you shower in the morning, do 50 crunches and push-ups. It takes only five minutes and it sets the tone for the day.
  • Add 15 minutes to Fido’s walk – Walk your dog before/after work. On the days when it’ll be tough to fit in a workout, add an extra 15 minutes and power walking or run those extra steps.
  • Weekend Warrior – Fit in a workout on the weekend, but not when your household tasks take over most of your free time. Instead of missing out on a workout, wash the car by hand rather than taking it to the car wash, mow the lawn.

Step 6 – Portion Control

Nobody likes the word “diet”, you can cut calories painlessly by ‘tricking’ yourself into eating less. Your Tiger Athletic Personal Trainer goes through 14 research based ways to effortlessly and painlessly reduce your calorie intake.

Portion Control Tips

To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume, which inevitably means one thing: portion control. But you’re not necessarily doomed to a growling stomach until you reach your goal. Here are a couple of easy ways to cut portions, trim calories, and lose fat without counting the minutes until your next meal.

  • Start with a glass of H2O – Drink a big glass of water before you eat, filling your belly with water will naturally make you less likely to overeat. Plus, some symptoms of dehydration may be what’s causing your rumbling belly, so sipping some water before you eat may eliminate your “hunger” altogether.
  • Wear form-fitting clothes – Wearing an outfit with a waistband or perhaps a jacket with buttons can serve as a tool to prompt you to slow down and assess how you feel during your meal. As your clothing begins to feel a little snugger, it may keep you from going back for seconds.
  • Veggie fillers – Bulking up your meals with veggies is one easy way to cut calories while filling you up fast. Spinach, for example, can be used as a sandwich-topper or can add fibre and nutrients to pasta and stir-fries. Other ideas to eat more veggies: swap in mushrooms for half the ground meat in most recipes, make oatmeal more filling with diced apples, and use a whole-wheat pita in place of bread so you can stuff it with more veggies.
  • The color of your plate may influence how much you eat, according to a 2012 Cornell University study. The researchers discovered that when a plate and the food on it had a low color-contrast, like pasta with Alfredo sauce on a white plate, people at a buffet served themselves 22% more than when there was a higher color-contrast, like pasta with red sauce on a white plate or pasta with Alfredo sauce on a red plate. The study conclusions suggest that if you want to eat less, select plates that have a color-contrast to the food you’re eating for dinner. Or if you want to eat more healthy foods, like a bigger salad, eat greens from a large green plate or bowl!
  • Make carbs the topper instead of the base – Rethink the way you use grains and starches. Take a breakfast parfait, for instance: instead of starting with a granola base, fill your cup with yogurt and then sprinkle just a tiny amount of granola on top for the crunch you crave. Making a stir-fry? Load up your plate with veggies and a serving of lean protein, then add a quarter cup of brown rice.
  • Dim the lights and listen to relaxing music to set the tone for a more leisurely meal. Taking your time while eating increases enjoyment and decreases portions. Chew slowly, put down your fork between bites, and sip water to make your meal last longer.
  • Work for your food – Munch on foods that require shelling, peeling, or individual unwrapping. Oranges, edamame, and pistachios in their shells are healthy options.
  • Don’t eat from the bag or box – When you sit down with a bag of chips, do you really know how many you’re eating? Researchers from Cornell University sought to answer this question in a study and found that people ate 50% more chips when they were given no visual cues as to how large a portion should be. So, if you buy a bag of pretzels or tin of nuts that contains 10 servings, divide the contents of the container into 10 smaller baggies ahead of time.
  • Slurp your appetizer
  • Before you dive into your entrée, have some soup. Though it may seem counterintuitive to add more to your meal, research shows that starting a meal with soup may help you reduce your overall calorie intake. In a 2007 study, people who ate soup before their lunch entrée reduced their total calorie intake by 20%. Your best bet: a broth-based soup, preferably with veggies to help you feel full from the natural fibre.

Step 7 – Strength & Conditioning

Lifting Weights = More Muscle

More Muscle = Increased Metabolism

Increased Metabolism = Weight Loss

The average woman in her 30s who strength-trains two times a week for 30 to 40 minutes will burn an extra 100 calories a day within four months. In other words, the more muscle you build, the more calories your body burns. When it comes to working out and getting healthy, there are many different important components – such as strength and conditioning. To achieve your fitness goals, you need to have a strong core. Therefore, strength and conditioning is important and a critical addition to any fitness routine. Over the years experts have highlighted the importance of strength training in everyone

  • One of the top benefits of strength and conditioning is that it will help protect you from preventable injuries by strengthening tendons and ligaments and eliminate any muscle imbalances, which are some of the main causes of injury.
  • A strength and conditioning program can help prevent osteoporosis, which is one of the most common ailments athletes and women suffer from later in life. Integrating regular weight bearing exercise and strengthening, will strengthen your bones, which will in turn result in a strong musculoskeletal system. Strong bones mean that you will be able to lift, move, and perform a wide range of recreational activities with ease and safety.
  • A strength and conditioning program will help train your muscles, allowing you to lift and hold your body upright in a much safer manner. You may appear taller and more confident, as opposed to hunched over and weak.
  • Endorphins are released during a strength and conditioning session, providing you with the opportunity to burn calories at a faster rate, while strengthening and toning your muscles at the same time. As you are burning calories and those endorphins are flowing, your mood is elevated and you can deal with stressful scenarios much easier.
  • Increased Fitness – Strength and conditioning works to make your body stronger, providing you with the skills you need to create a more effective workout overall. When your core is strong, you will be able to transfer energy to the rest of the muscles, resulting in more powerful muscle contractions and quicker repetitions.
  • Increased Metabolism – Strength and conditioning increases your metabolism, helping you lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. By creating stronger muscles through strength and conditioning, you will burn more calories and keep the unwanted weight off.

Step 8 – Eat More Fat Burning Foods

Certain foods have a thermogenic effect, you literally burn calories as you chew. Other have nutrients and compounds that crank up your metabolism. Stoke your metabolic fire by eating more of these foods, while cutting out unhealthy snacks and empty calories.

  • Whole grains – Your body burns twice as many calories breaking down whole foods (especially those rich in fibre such as oatmeal and brown rice) than processed foods.
  • Lean meats – Protein has a high thermogenic effect: You burn about 30% of the calories the food contains during digestion (so a 300-calorie chicken breast requires about 90 calories to break it down).
  • Low-fat dairy products – Rich in calcium and vitamin D, these helps preserve and build muscle mass—essential for maintaining a robust metabolism.
  • Green tea – Drinking four cups of green tea a day helped people shed more than three kilograms in eight weeks, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports. Credit EGCG, a compound in the brew that temporarily speeds metabolism after sipping it. To up your intake, keep a jug of iced tea in the fridge.
  • Lentils – One cup packs 35% of your daily iron needs—good news, since up to 20% of us are iron- deficient. When you lack a nutrient, your metabolism slows because the body’s not getting what it needs to work efficiently.
  • Hot peppers – Capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their kick, heats up your body, which makes you melt additional calories. You can get it by eating raw, cooked, dried, or powdered peppers. Add as much cayenne or hot sauce as possible to soups, eggs, and meats.

Step 9 – Eliminate Bad Training Habits

Exercise is the most important component of a healthy weight loss plan, the scale will not move an inch if you take short cuts. You put in the time and effort, show up at the gym, and pride yourself in not taking shortcuts. So why is the scale not budging? Chances are, poor exercise form or bad workout habits are costing you precious calories. Here are some of the most common ways people cheat at their workouts without even realizing it, and ways to kick those saboteurs to the curb.

  • Momentum comes in handy when you’re attempting a long jump, but not if you’re lifting weights. Each exercise involves two phases: a concentric (contracting) move and an eccentric (stretch) phase. Building momentum by swinging your arms when doing a move like a bicep curl or a triceps push-down sacrifices results by not controlling the eccentric phase, and increases your risk of injury. Practice a two-second count on the concentric move and four to five second count on the eccentric.
  • Grasping the sidebars when walking on the treadmill or hanging on tight to the handles of the elliptical trainer cheats you out of the largest possible calorie burn, if you’re using your arms to make it easier on your legs, you’ll tire faster, because your arms can’t work as hard as your legs. Instead, use the rails only as a guide, keeping your fingertips lightly on them. If you find it impossible to maintain proper form without clutching the bars, lower the incline or slow down.
  • Holding a stretch for only a few seconds does little to increase your flexibility and may also result in injury. The right way to stretch: hold still (no bouncing!) for at least 20 to 30 seconds. Another common cheat comes during a hamstring stretch. If you round your back so you can reach farther down your extended leg, you’re preventing your hamstrings from actually getting stretched. It also puts unnecessary strain on your back.
  • Few things are more frustrating than dealing with a crowded gym, especially when other exercisers occupy the machines and equipment you’d planned on using. But waiting around wastes valuable time. Don’t wait for the equipment to be available—instead, fill time with exercises you can do without a machine, such as lunges, planks, or push-ups. Or you could jump rope or do a set of high-knees, anything’s better than waiting around. Spending five or more minutes between sets negatively impacts the overall quality and effectiveness of your workout.
  • Stretching between exercises rather than waiting until the end of your workout seems like a good way to save time, doing so could sacrifice your ability to perform your remaining exercises. Stretching between exercises, especially static stretching, may decrease the amount of weight you can lift. Leave stretches to the end as part of your cool down to activate recovery.
  • Simply showing up isn’t enough if you don’t put any real effort behind your moves. You can easily cheat your workout even during an intense cycling class. If you don’t increase the tension when the instructor tells you to, you can coast through and barely break a sweat. The same applies to other classes where you substitute an easy activity such as jogging in place instead of doing burpees because the latter is more difficult. Repeating a positive mantra to yourself may help you push through when you’d rather quit. A recent study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that cyclists who recited positive self-talk pedalled two minutes longer than those who did not.
  • Skipping out on the warm-up or cool-down means you’re missing a couple of crucial components of the class experience. The warm-up phase allows for your body temperature and heart rate to gradually increase, which helps reduce the risk of developing injuries while also preparing you for the main conditioning phase of the class. Meanwhile, abruptly stopping after an intense workout can produce pooling of blood in the lower extremities, which can sometimes lead to dizziness and even fainting. Show up on time and stick it through to the end.
  • If you’re reading this article while you’re on the treadmill, you’re not working hard enough. If you can read, text, or otherwise give your attention to some other non-workout related issue, you’re cheating yourself. An exception: music. Listening to tunes while working out can reduce your perception of effort and increase endurance by 15%, according to several studies.
  • Most gyms machines have televisions so members can catch up on the news or watch movies while doing cardio, and some even feature them in weightlifting areas. But spending half your workout flipping through the channels distracts you from the reason you came to the gym in the first place. Pick a channel and leave it there so you can spend the rest of your workout focusing on your fitness.
  • You work out in the ‘fat-burning zone’ If you want to lose weight, using the designated “fat burning zone” on your cardio machine’s monitor may not produce the results you want. Although you burn a greater percentage of fat calories (versus carbohydrates and protein) at this lower intensity, you also burn fewer overall calories than you would at a higher intensity. So, while 60% of the calories you burn come from fat at a low intensity and only 35% come from fat at a higher intensity, you burn more calories total at the higher intensity, which is the by far more important factor for weight loss. Try interval workouts once or twice a week in place of your regular long, steady state cardio.

Step 10 – Cut out “Low Fat Foods”

Look for anything labelled “low fat,” “fat free,” or “reduced fat.” While these labels are fine for dairy products like milk, you shouldn’t automatically assume other types of foods are any better for your diet than the full-fat versions. Companies use more sugar, salt, and additives to make them taste good. The result is foods that are lower in fat, sure, but sugarier and sometimes even more caloric. Many low-fat, reduced fat, and fat-free foods give you more than you bargained for: A recent UK study found that 10% of diet foods contain the same or more calories than the regular stuff, and that 40% had more sugar. When companies remove fat, they must use more sugar, salt, and additives to make the food taste better. Plus, research shows that a “low-fat” nutrition label leads all consumers, especially those who are overweight, to overeat.

  • Turkey bacon is lower in fat and calories than regular bacon—but not by much. One popular brand’s turkey bacon contains 35 calories and 3 grams of fat per serving, while center cut bacon (the leanest type of pork bacon) has 60 calories and 3.5 grams of fat. Both are processed meat products that are high in sodium and nitrites, which are linked to heart problems. The slimmer option: Either type of bacon can be a part of a healthy diet—as long as you enjoy it just once in a while, and in small portions. Use it more as a garnish than a main event by sprinkling crumbled strips over Brussels sprouts or atop a veggie-filled salad.
  • Low-fat bakery items like muffins and pastries aren’t any better for you than the full-fat varieties. A packaged low-fat blueberry muffin from one popular brand, for instance, packs 280 calories—that’s less than the regular muffin with 370 calories. But the low-fat one has more sugar (36 versus 29 grams), and just like the regular version, contains high fructose corn syrup. Another example: a reduced-fat blueberry muffin from a fast food chain contains 170 milligrams more sodium compared to the full-fat one. If you love baked goods, enjoy them on occasion. More often, do your own low-fat baking at home with clever ingredient swaps, like fruit purees or yogurt for some of the oil. You can also usually reduce the sugar in any recipe by one-third without changing the taste.
  • You should eat salad, but noshing on a fat-free salad coated with fat-free dressing will leave you super hungry in an hour. Food manufacturers add sugar or artificial sweetener to fat-free salad dressings to make them taste good, which can lead to blood sugar spikes that drive appetite. Another bonus of fat: it helps your body absorb beta-carotene and lycopene (both powerful antioxidants found in tomatoes, carrots, and red peppers), bottled dressings contain a laundry list of additives and preservatives. Your salad should have some fat in it, be it from full-fat salad dressing (make your own dressing at home with balsamic vinegar and oil), nuts, or seeds. Or you could slice some avocado on top of your greens: avocados are especially good for helping your body absorb the nutrients from your salad.
  • Two tablespoons of regular peanut butter contain 210 calories. The same amount of the reduced fat version? About 200 calories. When companies reduce fat, they add more sugar like corn syrup and additives to improve the taste and texture. Buy the real-deal full-fat peanut butter, choose one that has just two ingredients listed: peanuts and salt. Since peanut butter is calorie dense, it’s easy to overeat. Stick with a two-tablespoon serving.
  • You can buy egg substitutes in cartons in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, and they’re often used in omelettes at hotel buffets. They’re made from egg whites, stabilizers like guaran and colourings to give them that egg-y feel and taste for fewer calories and no fat. The problem is, the yolk—which has five grams of fat—is where all the good stuff is. The yolk contains choline, an essential nutrient that helps make a neurotransmitter involved in muscle function and memory, as well as immune-boosting vitamins A and D. Unless you have heart problems and your doctor has instructed you to limit your egg intake, eat the whole thing. In recent years, conventional wisdom on eggs has shifted from total avoidance too good to eat. Yes, they contain cholesterol, but a 2013 study in BMJ found that eating one egg a day didn’t increase risk for heart disease or stroke in healthy people.
  • Low-fat potato chips – one serving is 140 calories; the regular chips have 160 calories (and less sodium). The risk is thinking the reduced fat version is a healthier chip alternative and eating more than you would have otherwise. In fact, a Cornell study shows that we serve ourselves 25% more when foods are labelled low-fat compared to those without the label. Same goes for other popular low-fat salty snacks like pretzels (they’re just refined flour with a whole lot of salt), baked veggie straws (they contain very little actual veggies), and rice cakes, which are mostly air and carbs. Get your salty snack fix with roasted chickpeas or roasted edamame, which are packed with protein, or kale chips, which give you a huge dose of vitamin A, vitamin C, and antioxidants along with that satisfying crunch.
  • Oats and dried fruit sound healthy, most types of granola—”low fat” or not—sneak in sugar with names like brown rice syrup and evaporated cane juice. In fact, a serving of granola (just half to two-thirds of a cup) can have 17 grams of sugar. The super sweet start to your day will leave you with a blood sugar crash that has you reaching for snacks long before lunch. Top plain Greek yogurt—which contains up to 20 grams of satiating protein per serving—with a few tablespoons of whole grain cereal, nuts, and seeds.
  • Low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with fro-yo, but it’s easy to trick yourself into thinking that you can eat a large portion and pile it high with high-calorie candies. Frozen yogurt contains 17 grams of sugar per half-cup serving—same as ice cream. Have an infrequent (not daily) half-cup portion of something that you truly enjoy, even if it’s more decadent.
  • Fat-free yogurt often contains artificial color, added flavours and stabilizers, and more sugar to make it more palatable and eye-pleasing. What’s more, your body also needs some fat to absorb the vitamin D, and the added fat helps keep you satisfied. Depending on your calorie budget, opt for low-, reduced-, or even full-fat yogurt. A 2013 study found that eating high fat dairy was associated with having less body fat and lower odds obesity without increasing heart disease risk. If you do have fat-free yogurt, be sure to include some form of healthy fat with it, like almonds or pistachios.

Step 11 – Boxing

Blasting calories doesn’t mean you must spend countless hours in the gym. Boxing is a super-fast, super easy workout, perfect for days you are feeling too overwhelmed to workout. A typical boxing workout for weight loss, known as cardio or fitness boxing, involves a variety of elements that help you burn calories as you work toward losing weight. The aerobic nature of many of boxing’s exercises leads to a high calorie burn without a significant shock to your joints.

Boxing for women is really taking off. The idea of bulky arms, monster muscles and nose bleeds is wrong. Boxing is a brilliant way of sculpting and toning and that hulk-like muscle mass you’re worried about is just a figment of your imagination.

Whether you’re pounding a punch bag or skipping your heart out, boxing training is something every woman should try at least once. On top of toning your muscles, boxing has a load more benefits that make it a brilliant all-round exercise choice for women.

  • While we all exercise to look physically fit, we need to stop looking in the mirror and focus on the real benefit of exercise: to keep us healthier for longer. The main way of doing this is to keep that heart strong for as long as possible, boxing is a great workout for doing just that. A good boxing workout makes you breathe heavily and increases the rate at which your heart pumps blood around your body. Increased heart beat strengthens your heart’s muscles and lowers your chances of developing cardiovascular complications such as heart attacks and strokes.
  • Exercising effectively takes more than just jumping on a treadmill and hoping for the best. If you want to get the most out of your body then you need to work it the right way through a variety of different forms of exercise and keeping your heart rate at the right level. If it’s overall fitness you’re after, you need to get your head around both aerobic and anaerobic exercise present in boxing. Boxing is estimated to be 70-80% anaerobic and 20-30% aerobic. A boxing workout helps maintain the heart rate at 75%-85% regular heartbeat which is the recommended range if you are exercising. What does that mean? Well it all comes down to oxygen. Aerobic exercise is low energy exercise that can be done for extended periods of time – think yoga, swimming and running, because aerobic exercise is relatively gentle, your body is able maintain a reasonable amount of oxygen which is then carried to your muscles to use as fuel; giving them the energy they need to sustain the effort of whatever exercise it is you’re doing. This type of exercise is good for burning fat and improving cardiovascular health. Anaerobic exercise is any short, intense exercise like HIIT and uses up oxygen fast. This means lactic acid is produced and your body will not be able to sustain its energy levels for long. This type of exercise increases your endurance, muscle mass, metabolism and your ability to withstand fatigue. Being able to build up your body’s tolerance to anaerobic exercise means that you will increase the maximum amount of oxygen you use during exercise (your VO2) and have a higher threshold before lactic acid is produced – therefore making you fitter!
  • Boxing is such a high intensity workout that it burns through a LOT of calories. An hour of boxing burns around 350-500 calories depending on your weight and the intensity of the workout. An advanced female boxer on a high intensity boxing workout can burn more 500 calories an hour.
  • Boxing training sessions involve every muscle in the body, especially the core, shoulders, abs and obliques. A good boxing workout tones your legs, arms, chest, shoulders, back and helps you build a strong core – pretty much everything.
  • You get a massive endorphin release in the body from hitting a heavy bag or doing pad work with a partner, those chemicals give you a massive feeling of well-being. Boxing training will give you a huge sense of self confidence.
  • The best thing about boxing is that you don’t need to do it in a gym. Getting your own gloves and pads is a pretty good investment, a skipping rope and a stopwatch are two of the simplest things you can have at home and cost very little then you’re good to go!

Step 12 – High Protein Breakfasts

Hunger is one of the biggest obstacles to any weight-loss plan, a protein-packed breakfast slows digestion and keeps blood sugar steady, meaning you’ll feel more satisfied and energized for the rest of the day. Eggs are an easy way to get this belly-flattening nutrient in your morning meal. Eggs and veggies in the morning are a delicious way to jump-start your metabolism and fuel your whole day.

Cheesy Cast-Iron Skillet Scrambled Eggs

Cheese and eggs taste great together and may help combat osteoporosis. The reason: calcium in cheese is more easily absorbed into the body with the addition of vitamin D-rich eggs.
 This recipe calls for fresh goat cheese and a few chives snipped on top. Have it ready in under 15 minutes! 

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 small red onion, finely diced

1 jalapeño, cut into thin rounds, seeds included

12 large eggs, lightly beaten

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

120g goat cheese, crumbled

2 tablespoons finely chopped chives 

Preparation

In a large cast-iron skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and jalapeño and cook until soft (5–7 minutes). Stir in eggs, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring, until soft curds form (about 3 minutes).

Remove skillet from heat and mix in the goat cheese and chives. Serve immediately with whole-grain toast or English muffin, if desired.

Frittata with Ricotta and Mixed Greens

Next time you have guests over wow them with this. Protein, healthy fats, and greens make this delicious, low-calorie frittata as healthy as it is delicious. Dark, leafy greens like kale, Swiss chard, or mustard greens are about 30 calories a serving and among the healthiest foods you can put on your plate, with loads of vitamins A, C, and K, plus fibre. Don’t skimp on the fresh herbs called for in this recipe; they deliver a healthy dose of antioxidants along with flavour. 

Ingredients

1 third cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 medium red onion, finely diced

Pinch of red pepper flakes

500g chopped mixed greens (such as kale, Swiss chard, or mustard greens)

10 large eggs

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

½ teaspoon salt, divided

½ plus ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar

225g part-skim ricotta

1 cup fresh basil leaves

¾ cup fresh parsley leaves

¼ cup fresh mint leaves

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon pine nuts 

Preparation

15 minutes; Cook: 40 minutes; Total time: 55 minutes. This recipe gets extra flavour from fresh pesto, so you won’t want to skimp on the basil.

Makes 8 servings. Serving size: 1 wedge frittata with 1 ½ tablespoons pesto

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 280

Fat per serving: 22g

Saturated fat per serving: 5.4g

Monounsaturated fat per serving: 12.3g

Polyunsaturated fat per serving: 3.1g

Protein per serving: 14g

Carbohydrate per serving: 8g

Fibre per serving: 2g

Cholesterol per serving: 242mg

Iron per serving: 3mg

Sodium per serving: 347mg

Calcium per serving: 209mg

Scrambled Eggs with Chilies

These spicy eggs are like sunshine on a plate. They cook up in 4 minutes, pack nearly 20 grams of protein and a measly 6 grams of carbs, and the hot chillies are natural fat-burners and mood boosters. This recipe calls for using two large eggs plus egg whites, but you can swap that ratio if you are watching your saturated fat and cholesterol.

Ingredients

2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg white

Pinch of kosher salt and fresh pepper

Cooking spray

1 small jalapeño, seeded and minced

6 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 scallion, thinly sliced

Prep Time: 5 min

Cook Time: 4 min

The bigger the real burn, the bigger the fat burn when it comes to chilies. Go as fiery as you can stand. Makes 1 serving

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 194

Fat per serving: 11.2g

Saturated fat per serving: 3.4g

Monounsaturated fat per serving: 4.7g

Polyunsaturated fat per serving: 2.2g

Protein per serving:17g

Carbohydrate per serving: 6g

Fibre per serving: 1g

Cholesterol per serving: 372mg

Iron per serving: 2mg

Sodium per serving:        319mg

Calcium per serving:       77mg

Bacon and Jalapeno Egg Sandwich

This crispy, meaty breakfast sandwich was inspired by the classic McMuffin, but it’s so much better for you! This version calls for organic eggs, a whole-grain English muffin, reduced-fat cheese, and a metabolism-boosting jalapeno pepper. Low-fat, high-protein bacon makes it hearty enough to keep you full and satisfied all day. 

Ingredients

1-piece bacon

1 whole-grain English muffin, split

Cooking spray

1 large organic egg

10g reduced-fat cheddar

Pepper

½ small jalapeño, thinly sliced

2 thin slices red onion

1 thick slice tomato

4-5 sprigs fresh cilantro

Preparation

Warm a skillet over medium heat. Cook the bacon until crisp. Set aside.

Place muffin, cut-side down, in skillet. Press to toast (2 minutes). Set aside.

Coat skillet with cooking spray. Cook egg about 30 seconds. Sprinkle with pepper and cheese. Cook until set. Transfer egg to muffin half. Top with the bacon, jalapeño, onion, tomato, cilantro, and second muffin half.

This healthy breakfast egg sandwich, featuring bacon and jalapeño peppers, is a tasty and nutritious way to fuel up in the morning Build a better-than-ever egg sandwich using organic eggs, a whole-grain English muffin, reduced-fat cheese, and a few other exciting extras like jalapeno that will give your metabolism a spicy boost. Makes 1 sandwich.

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 313

Fat per serving: 11g

Saturated fat per serving: 2.9g

Monounsaturated fat per serving: 3.7g

Polyunsaturated fat per serving: 1.9g

Protein per serving: 21g

Carbohydrate per serving: 35g

Fibre per serving: 7g

Cholesterol per serving: 215mg

Iron per serving: 3mg

Sodium per serving: 565mg

Calcium per serving: 277mg

Braised Kale Frittata

Instead of your usual omelette, try this antioxidant-packed baked frittata that uses kale and tomatoes. This delicious recipe is a good source of iron as well as protein, with only 7 grams of carbs. 

Ingredients

6 large eggs

4 large egg whites

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

20g Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped oregano

Cooking spray

2 cups

¾ cup chopped cherry tomatoes

Prep Time: 12 min

Cook Time: 30 min

Makes: 4 servings

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 204

Fat per serving: 12.6g

Saturated fat per serving: 3.6g

Monounsaturated fat per serving: 6g

Polyunsaturated fat per serving: 2.1g

Protein per serving: 16g

Carbohydrate per serving: 7g

Fibre per serving: 2g

Cholesterol per serving: 283mg

Iron per serving: 3mg

Sodium per serving: 511mg

Calcium per serving: 155mg

Mini Smoked-Salmon Frittatas

Possibly the healthiest and most delicious brunch recipe ever created, these mini frittatas pack 17 grams of protein each, almost no carbs, and loads of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, thanks to the smoked salmon. They cook up in less than 30 minutes, so why not make them this weekend?

Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup diced onion

½ teaspoon salt

Pinch of pepper

120g smoked salmon, diced

6 large eggs

8 large egg whites

1 tablespoon half-and-half

3 tablespoons 1% milk

90g less-fat cream cheese, cubed

2 tablespoons scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish

Preparation

Preheat oven to 160°. Heat oil in a non-stick skillet. Sauté onion 2–3 minutes or until soft; add salt, pepper, and salmon. Remove from stove top; let cool.

Combine the next 4 ingredients (through milk) in a bowl. Stir in the cream cheese. Lightly coat 6 (225g) ramekins with cooking spray. Add 2 tablespoons of salmon mixture to each ramekin. Pour ¾ cup egg mixture into each ramekin.

Place ramekins on baking sheet; bake 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Garnish, if desired.

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 30 min

A perfect brunch dish, these smoked salmon frittatas are as impressive as they are tasty. Bake and serve in mini ramekins with a side of fresh fruit and juice. Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 179

Fat per serving: 11g

Saturated fat per serving: 4g

Monounsaturated fat per serving: 5g

Polyunsaturated fat per serving: 1g

Protein per serving: 17g

Carbohydrate per serving: 3g

Fibre per serving: 0.0g

Cholesterol per serving: 226mg

Iron per serving: 1mg

Sodium per serving: 665mg

Calcium per serving: 63mg

Sun-Dried Tomato, Goat Cheese, and Fresh Basil Frittata

Savour the Mediterranean flavours of this veggie-filled frittata, packed with protein, antioxidants, and calcium. For a lower-cholesterol version, use egg substitute and fat-free cheese. 

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup minced onion

4 large eggs

2 egg whites

¼ teaspoon pepper

90g sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil

¼ cup goat cheese

¼ cup basil chiffonade

Preparation

Sauté vegetables. Preheat the oven to broil. Use a well-seasoned, iron skillet or a non-stick skillet with a heatproof handle. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the skillet over medium-high heat, and add 1 cup minced onion. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.

Add the egg mixture to pan. Whisk together 4 large eggs and 2 egg whites, and season with ¼ teaspoon pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the onions, patting down any lumps with a wooden spoon. Scatter 3 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil evenly over the pan surface.

Add cheese and put in broiler. Distribute ¼ cup goat cheese over the top of the frittata, then place the skillet under the broiler for 2 minutes, until the frittata rises slightly and becomes light and settled. Remove from broiler and top with ¼ cup basil chiffonade. (Stack basil, then roll the stack, and slice it into feathery, 1/4-inch pieces.)

Plate and serve. To remove the frittata from the iron skillet, place a large plate over the top of the pan, invert the frittata onto the plate, and cut it into wedges. With a non-stick skillet, slide the frittata onto a serving plate, then cut into wedges.

Prep Time: 7 min

Cook Time: 8 min

This Sun-Dried Tomato, Goat Cheese, and Fresh Basil Frittata is a quick and easy breakfast or brunch dish that your entire family will love. Plus, it’s a healthy meal option and ready in less than 20 minutes. Makes 6 servings

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 146

Fat per serving: 8g

Saturated fat per serving: 3g

Monounsaturated fat per serving: 3g

Polyunsaturated fat per serving: 1g

Protein per serving: 9g

Carbohydrate per serving: 11g

Fibre per serving: 2g

Cholesterol per serving: 145mg

Iron per serving: 2mg

Sodium per serving: 398mg

Calcium per serving: 55mg

Asparagus with Poached Eggs and Parmesan

Poached eggs, asparagus, and Parmesan make this the ultimate brunch recipe, but it’s light enough to enjoy any time. Asparagus, a seasonal spring veggie, is full of vitamin K and folic acid, which keeps your cardiovascular system healthy. Plus, with 18 grams of protein, you’ll have plenty of energy for the rest of the day.

Ingredients

8 large eggs

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon salt, divided

2 bunches asparagus spears, trimmed (about 40)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 tablespoons coarsely grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 10 min

Try this dish for breakfast or brunch. It features a simple poached egg served over asparagus spears cooked in a lemon-butter sauce. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 256

Fat per serving: 18g

Saturated fat per serving: 6g

Monounsaturated fat per serving: 7g

Polyunsaturated fat per serving: 2g

Protein per serving: 18g

Carbohydrate per serving: 8g

Fibre per serving: 3g

Cholesterol per serving: 435mg

Iron per serving: 3mg

Sodium per serving: 518mg

Calcium per serving: 147mg

Crostini with Spinach, Poached Egg, and Creamy Mustard Sauce

Low heat is the key to making perfect poached eggs, and low-fat sour cream and mustard transforms rich Hollandaise sauce into a flavourful, low-fat version. Tip: Use whole grain bread for the crostini to kick up the fibre. 

Ingredients

¼ cup reduced-fat sour cream

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 teaspoons water

4 (1.5cm thick) slices crusty whole-grain bread, toasted

2 cups baby spinach

1 teaspoon white vinegar

4 large eggs

Preparation

Stir together sour cream and next 5 ingredients (through pepper) in a small bowl with water. Place 1 slice toast on each of 4 serving plates and top each with spinach.

In a large saucepan, bring 6cm of water to a simmer; add vinegar. Working one at a time, crack eggs into a cup and gently slip into water. Simmer 2-3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, place a poached egg on top of spinach. Spoon about 1 TBSP sauce over each crostino before serving.

Prep Time: 5 min

Cook Time: 8 min

Low heat is the key to perfect poaching and silken eggs in this one-dish meal of Crostini with Spinach, Poached Egg, and Creamy Mustard Sauce. Try this protein powerhouse a different way. Makes 4 servings (serving size: 1 slice bread, 1 egg, 1/2 cup spinach, 1 tbsp. sauce)

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 215

Fat per serving: 8.2g

Saturated fat per serving: 3g

Monounsaturated fat per serving: 2.6g

Polyunsaturated fat per serving: 1.8g

Protein per serving: 13g

Carbohydrate per serving: 22g

Fibre per serving: 4g

Cholesterol per serving: 191mg

Iron per serving: 2mg

Sodium per serving: 490mg

Calcium per serving: 104mg

Spinach and Egg Breakfast Wrap with Avocado and Parmesan Cheese

This wrap packs 22 grams of protein as well as heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which can help you lose belly fat. Avocados also pack high amounts of potassium, magnesium, folate, protein, and vitamins B6, E, and K. Add to that fibre and cholesterol-lowering plant sterols. 

Ingredients

Non-stick cooking spray

150g baby spinach, chopped

4 eggs

4 egg whites

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

110g Parmesan cheese

1 avocado, sliced

4 whole-wheat tortillas

Hot sauce 

Preparation

Spray a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

Add spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted, 2 minutes.

Whisk together eggs and egg whites in a small bowl. Add eggs to skillet and cook, stirring, until cooked through, 3–4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Place ¼ of egg mixture in the center of each tortilla, and sprinkle with 30g cheese.

Top with 4 slices avocado and fold, burrito-style.  Slice in half and serve.

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 5 min

4 servings (serving size: 1 wrap)

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 366

Fat per serving: 2g

Saturated fat per serving: 8g

Monounsaturated fat per serving: 7g

Polyunsaturated fat per serving: 2g

Cholesterol per serving: 242mg

Protein per serving: 22g

Carbohydrate per serving: 30g

Sugars per serving: 1g

Fibre per serving: 7g

Sodium per serving: 666mg 

Step 13 – Have a Vegetarian Day

Thing is, a plant-based diet doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. Research shows that vegetarians and vegans tend to have lower BMIs than meat-eaters, however, in America, less than 5% of adults consider themselves vegetarians, and 84% of vegetarians and vegans eventually go back to eating meat at least some of the time. Having just one meat-free day a week has been shown to reduce risk for chronic preventable conditions including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, not to mention it may also help you lose weight.

Meat-free meals

You don’t have to be a vegetarian to love a meatless meal. By now the evidence is strong: Fruits and veggies are some of the healthiest items on your plate (and should fill half of it, according to government recommendations). That’s where vegetarian meals come in handy. Tasty, flavourful, and meat-free, what’s not to love?

 

Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy

This classic gets an upgrade with radishes, cashews, and chili.

Ingredients: Baby bok choy, dark sesame oil, spring onions or scallions, low-sodium soy sauce, sugar, Whole chilli, chopped cashews, small radishes, sesame seeds

Calories: 138

Ingredients

6 heads baby bok choy

2 tablespoons dark sesame oil

2 spring onions or 1 bunch scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

½ teaspoon sugar

1 Whole chilli, very thinly sliced

¼ cup chopped cashews

3 small radishes, very thinly sliced

1 ½ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Preparation

Trim leafy greens from bok choy; chop greens and reserve. (You should have about 2 cups.) Cut stalks into 1-inch pieces. Discard root ends.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet or wok over high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add bok choy stalks and onions. Stir-fry until just softened, about 2 minutes. Add reserved greens, soy sauce, sugar and chili. Stir-fry until liquid has thickened, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture and sauce to a serving bowl. Top with cashews, radish slices and sesame seeds; serve immediately.

Active: 15 min

Total: 15 min

This classic gets an upgrade with radishes, cashews and chili. Serves 4

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 138

Fat per serving: 12g

Saturated fat per serving: 2g

Cholesterol per serving: 0mg

Fibre per serving: 1g

Protein per serving:        3g

Carbohydrate per serving: 7g

Sodium per serving:        420mg

Iron per serving: 3mg

Calcium per serving: 45mg

 

This Recipe Is

Low Carbohydrate

Low Cholesterol

Meatless

Super Green Salad

Shaved asparagus looks very elegant. But if your spears are thin, don’t bother.

Ingredients: Kosher salt, asparagus spears, edamame, English peas, extra-virgin olive oil, almonds, garlic, lemon zest, basil, mint, tarragon, lemon, Manchego cheese

Calories: 226

Ingredients

Kosher salt

2 x 500g. bunches large asparagus spears

1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed

1 cup frozen or fresh English peas

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted

2 cloves garlic

1 ½ teaspoon lemon zest

1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves

½ cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves

¼ cup loosely packed fresh tarragon leaves

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

60g shaved Manchego cheese

Preparation

Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a large pot; add 1 tablespoon salt. Have ready a bowl of ice water.

Trim tough ends from asparagus. Cut 1 bunch diagonally into 6cm pieces. Shave stalks of remaining asparagus with a vegetable peeler. Add diagonally cut asparagus, edamame and peas to boiling water; cook for 4 minutes. Plunge vegetables into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain well.

Process oil, almonds, garlic and lemon zest in a blender until smooth. Add herbs and process until smooth.

Place dressing, shaved asparagus, cooked asparagus mixture, lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl; toss to coat. Top with Manchego.

Cook: 25 min

Total: 25 min

Shaved asparagus looks very elegant. But if your spears are thin, don’t bother. Serves 8

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 226

Fat per serving: 18g

Saturated fat per serving: 4g

Cholesterol per serving: 8mg

Fibre per serving: 5g

Protein per serving: 8g

Carbohydrate per serving: 10g

Sodium per serving:        314mg

Iron per serving: 4mg

Calcium per serving: 160mg 

This Recipe Is

Low Carbohydrate

Low Cholesterol

Low Saturated Fat

Meatless

 

Arugula Salad with Shaved Artichokes

Artichokes—which are rich in magnesium and folate—are related to thistles and sunflowers.

Ingredients: Cider vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, Kosher salt and black pepper, ramps or scallions, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, spring garlic or garlic, lemon, artichokes

Calories: 125

Ingredients

1 cup cider vinegar

½ cup sugar

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

Kosher salt and black pepper

8 ramps or 8 scallions (white and light green parts only), trimmed

125ml cup mayonnaise

½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons minced spring garlic or 2 cloves garlic, smashed to a paste

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

3 fresh globe artichokes

½ lemon

5 cups loosely packed baby arugula leaves

120g cremini mushrooms, very thinly sliced

Preparation

Stir together vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, 1 cup water and 1 tablespoon salt in a large saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Add ramps; reduce heat to medium-high and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain.

Process mayonnaise, Parmesan, garlic, 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon black pepper and ½ teaspoon salt in a mini food processor until smooth.

Stir together 4 to 6 cups water (enough to cover artichokes) and remaining ¼ cup lemon juice in a large bowl. Trim about 5cm from top of each artichoke. Cut each artichoke in half vertically. Remove fuzzy thistle from bottom with a spoon; discard. Trim any leaves and dark green layer from base. Rub edges with lemon and place in lemon-water mixture. Once all artichokes are trimmed, remove 1 at a time 
from water and thinly slice with a mandolin or sharp knife. Place in a large bowl. Add dressing, arugula and mushrooms; toss to coat. Top with ramps.

Prep: 30 min

Total: 30 min

Artichoke are rich in magnesium and folate and are related to thistles and sunflowers. Serves 6

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 125

Fat per serving: 5g

Saturated fat per serving: 1g

Cholesterol per serving: 6mg

Fibre per serving: 4g

Protein per serving: 6g

Carbohydrate per serving: 14g

Sodium per serving: 618mg

Iron per serving: 2mg

Calcium per serving: 146mg 

This Recipe Is

Low Carbohydrate

Low Cholesterol

Low Fat

Low Saturated Fat

Meatless

Greek-Style Baby Potatoes

Poaching potatoes in olive oil makes for a luxurious side to serve with a light main dish.

Ingredients: Red bell pepper, olive oil, baby new potatoes, bay leaves, Castelvetrano or other large olives, flat-leaf parsley leaves, Kosher salt and black pepper

Calories: 368

Ingredients

1 red bell pepper, halved lengthwise and seeded

4 cups olive oil

1 ½ pounds baby new potatoes, halved (about 4 cups)

4 fresh bay leaves

12 Castelvetrano or other large olives, halved (about 1/3 cup)

½ cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Kosher salt and black pepper

Preparation

Preheat broiler. Place bell pepper halves cut-side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Brush tops with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Broil 4 inches from heat until charred, 6 to 8 minutes. Place in a bowl; cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel and cut into strips.

Combine potatoes, bay leaves and remaining oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Simmer until potatoes are very tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

Transfer potatoes to a bowl with a slotted spoon; discard bay leaves. Stir in olives, parsley, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Serve warm.

Active: 15 min

Total: 30 min

Poaching potatoes in olive oil makes for a luxurious side to serve with a light main dish. Serves 4 

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 368

Fat per serving: 25g

Saturated fat per serving: 3g

Cholesterol per serving: 0mg

Fibre per serving: 4g

Protein per serving: 4g

Carbohydrate per serving: 33g

Sodium per serving:        737mg

Iron per serving: 2mg

Calcium per serving: 37mg 

This Recipe Is

Low Cholesterol

Radish and Turnip Sauté

This dish uses radish and turnip greens. (Or you can sub in mustard greens.)

Ingredients: Radishes, butter, unsalted butter, extra-virgin olive oil, turnips, turnip greens, cider vinegar, Kosher salt and black pepper

Calories: 127

Ingredients

1 bunch radishes (about 12 oz.)

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

300g young turnips (about 4 small), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 cups chopped turnip greens

1 ½ tablespoons cider vinegar

Kosher salt and black pepper

Preparation

Trim greens from radishes; chop greens and reserve. (You should have about 1 cup.) Cut radishes into quarters.

Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add radishes and turnips. Sauté, stirring often, until lightly caramelized, about 7 minutes. Stir in turnip greens, vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and reserved radish greens. Cook, stirring constantly, until greens are wilted, about 1 minute. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.

Active: 15 min

Total: 15 min

This dish uses the radish and turnip greens, too. (Or you can sub in mustard greens.) Serves 4 

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 127

Fat per serving: 10g

Saturated fat per serving: 4g

Cholesterol per serving: 15mg

Fibre per serving: 4g

Protein per serving:        2g

Carbohydrate per serving: 10g

Sodium per serving:        333mg

Iron per serving: 1mg

Calcium per serving: 98mg 

This Recipe Is

Low Calorie

Low Saturated Fat

Meatless

Spring Beets with Rhubarb Vinaigrette

One cup of rhubarb packs 10 percent of your daily calcium.

Ingredients: Rhubarb, red wine, honey, red wine vinegar, shallot, thyme, kosher salt and black pepper, beets, olive oil, goat cheese, pistachios

Calories: 207

Ingredients

300g finely chopped rhubarb

¼ cup red wine

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot

3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

Kosher salt and black pepper

750g beets, peeled and cut into small wedges

3 tablespoons olive oil

50g crumbled soft goat cheese

½ cup chopped pistachios

2 tablespoons honey

Preparation

Stir together rhubarb, 2 cups water, wine, honey, and vinegar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until rhubarb has broken down, about 10 minutes. Pour mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing solids to extract liquid. Discard solids. Wipe saucepan clean. Place strained liquid in saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1/3 cup, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; stir in shallot, 2 teaspoons of the thyme and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Place a steamer basket in a large stockpot with a tight-fitting lid. Add water to just below steamer basket and place stockpot over high heat. Place beets in steamer basket. Cover and cook until beets are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a plate; refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Whisk oil into rhubarb mixture. Add beets; toss to coat. Transfer to a serving bowl. Top with goat cheese, pistachios and remaining 1 teaspoon thyme.

Active: 35 min

Total: 1 hour 5 min

One cup of rhubarb packs 10% of your daily calcium. Serves 6 

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 207

Fat per serving: 12g

Saturated fat per serving: 2g

Cholesterol per serving: 3mg

Fibre per serving: 5g

Protein per serving:        5g

Carbohydrate per serving: 21g

Sodium per serving:        280mg

Iron per serving: 2mg

Calcium per serving: 75mg 

This Recipe Is

Low Calorie

Low Cholesterol

Low Saturated Fat

Coastal Carrot “Fettuccine”

Slash carbs and boost fibre by shaving carrots into colourful “noodles” in this Paleo pasta dish.

Calories: 114

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

½ cup grape tomatoes, quartered if large

2 ½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

3 large rainbow or orange carrots

1 cup tomato sauce

¼ teaspoon sweet paprika

¼ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, toasted, for garnish

Preparation

Heat oil over medium-low heat in a large skillet. Add garlic and sauté until soft and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and 2 Tbsp. basil; sauté until tomatoes burst and release their juices, about 5 minutes. Shave carrots into ribbons, using either a spiral slicer (aka spiralizer) or a vegetable peeler.

Add carrots, tomato sauce, paprika, salt, and pepper to skillet and cook until carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 Tbsp. basil and garnish with pumpkin seeds before serving.

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 15 min

Total: 30 min

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 114

Fat per serving: 8g

Saturated fat per serving: 1g

Cholesterol per serving: 0mg

Fibre per serving: 3g

Protein per serving:        2g

Carbohydrates per serving: 11g

Sodium per serving:        505mg

Iron per serving: 1mg

Calcium per serving: 35mg 

This Recipe Is

Low Calorie

Low Carbohydrate

Low Cholesterol

Low Saturated Fat

Meatless

Step 14 – Tiger Athletic Calisthenic Bible

The primary aim of The Callisthenic Bible is to teach and promote physical literacy. It is a widely held misconception that one needs to be a member of one of our expensive commercial gyms or have expensive gym equipment and supplements to lose weight, get stronger and live a more active, fulfilling life.

The word calisthenics comes from the ancient Greek words kálos (κάλλος), which means “beauty”, and sthénos (σθένος), meaning “strength”. It is the art of using one’s body weight and qualities of inertia to develop one’s physique. Exercises in The Callisthenic Bible are an important component of the training program to help women to get in touch with their unique physiques and help them understand that they can get healthy using just their bodies, the physical environment and a little imagination. https://tigerathletic.blog/2016/06/22/tiger-athletic-calisthenic-bible/

Step 15 – Post Workout Overeating

Avoid this weight-loss trap: Many people eat rich foods and larger portions after working out, either because they are truly hungry or just feel like they earned the reward. They end up eating back all, or more than the calories they have just worked so hard to burn! There’s nothing wrong with small snack or a filling dinner after exercising, but before you dig in, you must understand your body’s true nutrition needs so you don’t end up gaining weight despite all your hard work.

  • Work out right before a meal – If you’re always hungry after you exercise—regardless of whether you ate beforehand or how many calories you burned—try to schedule your workouts before one of your main meals. That way, you can refuel with calories you would have consumed anyway, without having to add extra snacks into your day.
  • Make your workout fun – Thinking about exercise less as a chore and more as something you do because you enjoy it can help you eat less afterward, according to a 2014 Cornell University study. Researchers led volunteers on a 1.4—mile walk, telling half of them that it was for exercise and half that it was a scenic stroll. The “exercise” group ate 35% more chocolate pudding for dessert than the “scenic” group. In another experiment, volunteers were given post-walk snacks, and the “exercisers” ate 124% more calories than those who were told it was just for fun.
  • Pair protein and carbs – When you do need a snack to recover from a tough sweat session, try a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein. This will allow you to begin to replenish your energy levels and repair muscle damage resulting from the workout. For workouts less than an hour, keep your snack to 150 to 200 calories total—an open-faced peanut butter and honey sandwich, a slice of turkey and cheese on crackers, or a handful of trail mix.
  • Low-fat dairy is another great recovery food with plenty of protein to help tide you over until your next meal. Studies have shown that refuelling with dairy—low-fat chocolate milk, specifically—helps improve subsequent athletic performances better than traditional sports drinks.
  • Sometimes, overeating after exercise is more a consequence of routine than anything else. When you consistently consume a 500-calorie smoothie after you finish up at the gym, you start to get into that habit of consuming a smoothie no matter how long or intense your exercise was. Choose different snacks for different workouts—the shorter the duration, the fewer calories you need to replenish. It’s important for weight loss and weight maintenance to get in tune with your body and learn to eat in response to hunger, versus eating in response to boredom, stress, or the idea of rewarding yourself for exercising.
  • Activity trackers like the Fitbit and Jawbone have become a trendy way to estimate physical activity expenditure throughout the day. But a 2014 Iowa State University study found that not all devices are accurate in estimating calorie burn during workouts. The least accurate device, the Basis Band, had an error rate of 23.5%. Even the most accurate trackers can still only provide an estimate of true calorie burn and it’s not smart to base your refuelling strategy entirely on their calculations.
  • It may seem counterintuitive, but eating more throughout the day may be your ticket to consuming fewer calories overall, especially if you tend to pig out post-workout. Incorporating two to three healthy snacks throughout the day will help regulate hunger between meals, increase energy, and keep metabolism bumped up.
  • You may feel like you burned a million calories during your Spin class, but research shows that we tend to overestimate our energy expenditure during exercise—by as much as four-fold, according to a study from the University of Ottawa. When volunteers were then asked to eat back all the calories they’d just burned, they tended to consume two to three times more than what they’d expended. If you are trying to lose weight, you will need to consume fewer calories than you expend.
  • Replacing the fluids, you lost during a workout should be priority number one. Having a lot of water in the belly also reduces appetite. Drink water as soon as you finish training, but not too much, taking in too much water (or any fluid) can cause water intoxication due to excessively low levels of salt in the body.
  • Ask yourself if you really need to eat. You’re going to eat those calories eventually, so why not save them for your next meal when you’re hungry?
  • For workouts lasting longer than two hours—like a long bike ride or a marathon training run—sucking down a gel or sipping a sports drink will keep you from feeling ravenous afterward. Try to consume 30 to 60 grams of carbs—that’s 120 to 240 calories—every hour after your first hour. Avoid anything with protein, since it takes longer to for the stomach to digest.

Step 16 – Controlling Your Cravings

The first 12 weeks of any new training program are termed the ‘resistance phase’, your mind and body are struggling to be 100% on the same team regards your newly adopted lifestyle and the changes it entails. It’s normal to have visions of fast food and confectionary floating through your head. What you might not realize though, is that many of your daily habits, like having a too-light breakfast or even perusing the internet can strengthen your hankerings and weaken your willpower.

  • “Cravings”—such a dirty word when you’re trying to lose weight or keep it off. No matter what your “I-want-it-now” food is—pizza, burgers, ice cream, cupcakes—you probably wrestle with what you want to do (eat it now!) with what you “should” do (go eat veggies).
  • Maybe you’re not hungry in the morning, but eating some calories now can keep cravings at bay later. In one study in the Nutrition Journal, overweight girls who ate a 350-calorie breakfast with at least 13 grams of protein had reduced cravings for sweet and savoury foods compared to breakfast skippers. Researchers aren’t exactly sure why, but protein may help stimulate the release of dopamine, a neurochemical involved in the brain’s reward centres that can help manage cravings. A half-cup of cottage cheese, 2 hard-boiled eggs, or a cup of cooked oatmeal with two tablespoons of peanut butter will do the trick.
  • Craving candy? Try eating a bowl of super-sweet sliced strawberries. What about chips? Crunch on salted, in-shell pistachios. Substituting what you’re jonesing for with a similar-tasting healthy equivalent should be enough to satisfy you.
  • You can’t get your hand out of the bag of cheesy chips. If you don’t understand why, you can’t do anything about it, keep a cravings journal. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just jot down a few notes on your phone. When some craving hits, log your emotions: you’re tired, anxious, stressed, bored. Eventually, you’ll pick out common patterns, and you can deal with the causes head on, rather than trying to eat as a solution.
  • You can satisfy your yearning while still eating healthy by pairing a larger portion of healthy foods with a small amount of what you think you want. It works because it makes meals more fun and tasty, but still gives your body the nutrition it needs to function at its best, suggests a Vanderbilt University study. The researchers call it a “vice-virtue bundle.” Order the salad with grilled salmon with a side of fries or get a piece of grilled chicken and veggies with a small bowl of mac and cheese. Fill up on the good stuff, and eat a quarter to half a portion of the splurge.
  • It’s your friend’s birthday and there is cake. If you eat a slice, will you feel joyous or wracked with guilt? Delighting in delicious food rather than feeling shame about eating it may be key. People who said they associated chocolate cake with celebration had more control over their eating habits and had less trouble maintaining and losing weight, reported a 2014 study in the journal Appetite. One reason? Feeling guilty may make you try to ignore your thoughts, a strategy that backfires, causing you to obsess over the cake even more.
  • Straight-up willpower doesn’t always work. It leads people to feeling like failures when they give in. A winning strategy: distraction. One study found that three minutes spent playing the game Tetris reduced the strength of food cravings better than a control condition where people spent the same amount of time waiting around. A 15-minute walk can also help reduce chocolate cravings, reports a 2013 UK study. Since cravings usually don’t stick around long, you just need to stick it out momentarily.
  • The mental battle between you and the box of cookies in the pantry does not have to be fought every day. Out of sight, out of mind. If it’s 9 p.m. and you want a cookie, you’re probably not going to go out and get some, however, if they’re staring you in the face every time you open the pantry, it’s all too easy to grab one.
  • You’ve got good intentions: to eat well, you tell yourself that the doughnut is off limits or the burger is sinful or a “bad” food. But your perception matters. Dieters have more intense and harder-to-resist cravings than non-dieters or people who are just trying to maintain their weight, particularly for their off-limits foods, according to a study published in Appetite. When you deny yourself foods you love all the time, it will build up and explode, making you more likely to binge. Allowing yourself a little something every day, whether you’re looking to lose weight or not, can help take the power away from your cravings.
  • Grilled cheese. A fudge-topped sundae. Pizza. Food porn is fun to look at, but don’t be shocked when suddenly you’re struck with a desire to run to the nearest fast food restaurant or ice cream parlour. In a small preliminary study from the University of Southern California, researchers found that images of high-calorie foods spark more activity in the reward areas of the brain than photos of low-calorie fare. There are plenty of health bloggers out there who create delicious-looking-but-nutritious food, so if you can’t resist food porn, at least follow people who post pics of healthy eats.

Step 17 – Circuit Training with Weights – Sculpt Your Butt, Legs and Core

Circuit training is a great boredom buster: Moving quickly from one exercise to the next means your mind doesn’t have time to wander or tune out. An all-strength circuit burns 30 percent more calories (about nine per minute!) than a typical weight workout and offers more cardio benefits.

Your Tiger Athletic Personal Trainer, is a health and fitness professional who uses an individualized approach to assess, motivate, educate and train you regards your health and fitness needs. They design safe and effective exercise programs and provide the guidance to help you achieve your personal goals through one on one’ or small group training.

Let’s chat about your health.

Step 18 – Find the Hidden Sugar in Your Daily Diet

You can cut up to 200 calories per day by slashing your ‘hidden’ sugar intake. You may not be eating doughnuts by the tray or quenching your thirst with litres of Coke, but that doesn’t mean sugar is absent from your diet. You’re likely eating sugar throughout the day without even realizing it, sugar is added to foods that don’t even taste sweet, like breads, condiments, sauces. That’s why most of us taking more than double the recommended amount of added sugar per day despite ‘watching’ what we eat.

  • You’ll quickly realize just how often sugar is added to foods when you look for it on ingredients lists. Even things that you don’t think are sweet, like tomato sauce, crackers, condiments, and salad dressings can be packed with sugar. Ingredients are listed in order of how much exists in the product. If it’s in the top three ingredients, it’s high.
  • When you read food labels, you need to look for more than just the word “sugar.” Sugar hides under several aliases, including high fructose corn syrup, dried cane syrup, invert sugar, molasses, sucrose (or any word ending in “-ose”), brown rice syrup, honey, and maple syrup. These can be listed separately on ingredients lists, so many foods, even seemingly healthy ones like yogurt and cereal, may contain three or four different types of sweetener. If several sugars appear on the label, it’s an indication that the food is less healthy than you may think.
  • Buy foods labelled “no added sugar” or “unsweetened.” You’ll find unsweetened versions of these common foods in most grocery stories: non-dairy milk like almond and soy, nut butters (look for those made with only nuts and salt), applesauce, oatmeal, and canned fruit (they should be packed in juice—not syrup).
  • Going cold turkey on sugar isn’t realistic for most people, cut back slowly. If you normally put two sachets of sugar in your coffee, for instance, try one for a week, then half, and finally add only a splash of milk. For your yogurt, mix half a serving of sweetened yogurt with half a serving of plain, and eventually move on to adding natural sweetness with fresh fruit.
  • Unhealthy carbs loaded with sugar can cause blood sugar to rise rapidly (and dive just as quickly, leaving you hungry again). To minimize this rapid rise and fall, pair protein, healthy fats, and fibre with your meal, all of which can slow down the release of blood sugar in your body and keep you full for longer. (At breakfast, that means adding almonds to your usual oatmeal or pairing eggs with your morning toast, and for your midday snack, a slice of turkey/chicken breast or cheese along with your apple.) Fats are a key player because they help keep you fuller for longer, thus helping to decrease your desire for sugar. Focus on fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, and heart-healthy oils like olive oil, walnut oil, and coconut oil.
  • When you’re reducing your sugar intake, you may be tempted to switch to artificial sugars for your sweet fix. But resist reaching for the diet soda, sugar-free candy, and packets of fake sugar in your latte. When you eat something sweet, your body expects calories and nutrition, but artificial sugars don’t give your body those things, that may be why fake sugars are associated with weight gain, not loss, according to a 2010 review in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine.
  • Using vanilla bean and vanilla extract, spices, and citrus zests to add sweetness to foods without having to use sugar and for zero calories. Order an unsweetened latte and add flavour with cocoa or vanilla powder. Skip flavoured oatmeal and add a sweet kick with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. One bonus for sprinkling on the cinnamon: according to a meta-analysis in the Journal of Medicinal Food, the spice has been shown to naturally regulate blood sugar, which helps control your appetite.
  • Avoiding soda is a good idea, but that’s not the only sugar-packed drink out there. Even drinks that are considered healthy can contain more sugar than you’re supposed to have in an entire day. Case in point: “enhanced” waters (eight teaspoons per bottle), bottled iced teas (more than nine teaspoons per bottle), energy drinks (almost seven teaspoons per can), bottled coffee drinks (eight teaspoons per bottle), and store-bought smoothies (more than a dozen teaspoons—for a small).
  • You can still indulge in an occasional sweet treat after you resolve to slash sugar. The idea is to avoid wasting your daily sugar quota on non-dessert foods like cereals, ketchup, and bread. To avoid overdoing it, set specific rules about when you may enjoy dessert: only after dinner on the weekends or at restaurants as a special treat.
  • At first, cutting down on sugar can feel like an impossible task. Eventually, though, your taste buds will adjust. Super-sweet foods like ice cream and candy will start to taste too sweet. When you could have a whole slice of cake before, now a couple bites will be enough. You’ll notice the natural sweetness in fruits and vegetables and they’ll taste better, too.

Step 19 – Skip Packaged Foods

The latest nutrition movement is clean eating, which promotes eating whole, unprocessed foods. For anyone trying to lose weight, cutting down consumption of added sugar is essential and eating clean is one way to do it – lean meats, veggies, and fruits and working to eliminate artificial and processed foods.

  • Chose whole, natural foods. Limit or eliminate processed foods.
  • Chose unrefined over refined foods.
  • Incorporate protein, carbohydrates and fats in every meal.
  • Watch out for fat, salt and sugar.
  • Eat 5 to 6 small meals per day. That’s 3 main meals and 2 healthy snacks.
  • Don’t drink your calories, like specialty coffees and soft drinks. These can add 400 – 500 extra calories per day!
  • Get moving! Tiger Athletic has a variety of fun, body specific exercise programs.

Step 20 – Make Your Home a Slimmer Place 

Home should serve as a break from the constant lure of the drive-thru or the office canteen, if your home isn’t setup correctly, it may be encouraging bad habits. From organizing your kitchen to your thermostat setting.

  • If your cabinets are so stuffed that you need to put food on your counters, fridge, or exposed shelving, you’re setting yourself up to trigger a craving. A bag of potato chips or chocolate out in the open will put the food on your radar when you walk by. The minute you see that visual cue, you want it. Clean out your pantry on a regular basis. Get rid of expired food and stuff you bought that you don’t like and won’t eat even if it’s healthy. Or, come up with alternate storage plans, like a cabinet in your basement.
  • If healthy food is hidden, you’re less likely to eat it. That’s especially true if you keep fruits that don’t need to be refrigerated like apples or oranges or whole veggies tucked away in the crisper drawers. When you’re busy, it’s faster to rip open a bag of chips than cut crudités. Buy a pretty fruit bowl or basket so you’re more inclined to fill it; display in plain sight so you’re more likely to grab a piece. Pre-slice veggies and put them in clear containers front-and-center in the fridge for easy snacking.
  • The fact that you can go anywhere: home, the office, the store and the temperature is set at somewhere comfortable is a surprising contributor to obesity. Your body simply doesn’t have to work to expend energy to warm itself up, suggests a 2014 study in Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism. The result: your metabolism sputters. Turn down your thermostat a few degrees. Being cold activates your brown fat, which spurs your metabolism and improves glucose sensitivity. If the change is too abrupt, start with one degree and gradually decrease the temperature. You’ll quickly adapt to the chillier temp.
  • Everyone wants to hide exercise equipment in case of unexpected guests. But how often does that really happen? Or, we hide it in rooms we don’t want to go in, like the garage. When your option is to go on an exercise bike covered in dust or sit on a comfortable couch in front of the TV, it’s not rocket science which option wins. Keep your dumbbells next to your couch so you’re reminded to use them while you watch TV. Set up equipment like a yoga mat or exercise bike in a space in your home you want to be in, like by a window or on the patio.
  • You’re inviting the wrong people over – Look at who your friends are,” says James O. Hill, PhD, director of the Colorado Nutrition Obesity Research Center. “You’re going to behave similarly to the people you spend time with.” If your friends are more the type to sit around and drink beer and eat chips, then you will be, too. Okay, no one’s saying to lose your friends—no matter how bad their health habits. “Look for friends who are doing the right thing, and have them over, too,” says Dr. Hill. If they’re more active and like to eat nutritious foods, you’re more likely to adopt their habits. Conversely, their attitude can rub off on your less-than-virtuous pals.
  • When you don’t get enough sleep, your body scrambles hormone levels that control hunger, making you crave junk food. In one International Journal of Endocrinology study, sleep-deprived adults who were exposed to dim light in the morning had lower concentrations of the fullness hormone leptin, while those in blue light (the kind from energy-efficient bulbs) had higher leptin levels. When you wake up, open your shades to allow natural sunlight in and turn on lamps and overhead lights. You will also wake up faster.
  • It’s easy to take an extra scoop of pap or pasta when all you must do is reach across the table to get it, even when you’re not hungry. Dish out food straight from your pots and pans. This strategy decreased food intake by 10% for women in a Cornell University study or dish out dinner, then put the rest away. If you want seconds, you must go through the trouble of reheating, which most people won’t do, at the very least, it gives your body time to feel full, so you’ll take a smaller second portion.
  • You come home, put on sweats, eat dinner, and cosy up on your couch for the night with reality TV. Getting into that sleepy, sedentary, restful mode means you’re starting night time before its night time. Change into active clothes, turn on lights, and play energizing music after dinner. One study in PLOS One found that people walk at a faster pace to upbeat tunes compared to slower, more relaxing music. With higher energy, you’re also more likely to go outside for a post-dinner walk.
  • More TV watching is associated with a greater risk of being overweight or obese. Screen time is sedentary time. Besides, most of us watch things we don’t really like simply to fill up time. You don’t have to get rid of TV completely. However, consider removing the one from your bedroom (experts say to keep this area for sex and sleep only) and kitchen (TV encourages lingering and snacking). Cut down on your TV time and you’re more likely to be more active without even trying.
  • Plates that are as big as platters, wine glasses that are goblets, and bowls that may as well be troughs, large serving dishes play a trick on you: you subconsciously want to fill the space, so you wind up dishing out more. Cornell research found that adults and kids poured more cereal into large bowls and consumed 44% more calories. To decrease portion sizes, plates should be no more than 25cm across and bowls less than 550g, recommends study author Brian Wansink, PhD, in his book Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life.

Step 21 – Unleash Your Inner Animal – Burn Fat & Learn Self Defence

It is a great way to change-up your workout and try something new. Sculpt Muscles and Blast Fat. Kickboxing is an easy way to lose weight, burn calories and get stronger. Knock out boredom and blast fat all over your body!

The Tiger Athletic Kickboxing Work Out

If you’re stuck in a workout rut or looking for a motivating fitness routine, you might consider adding a high-energy kickboxing workout to the schedule. Kickboxing workouts combine martial arts techniques with heart-pumping cardio, which means you can get a total body workout and whip yourself into shape in no time. Whether you’re a fitness newbie or long-time gym aficionado, undertaking a kickboxing workout at least once per week can help you feel re-energized and out of a rut. Here are benefits of kickboxing delivered by your Karate black belt and Coaching Science Graduate Tiger Athletic Personal Trainer:

  • You can kick and punch your way to a stress-free zone within minutes of your high-energy kickboxing routine. The movements in kickboxing challenge several core muscle groups and will give you a total body workout, fast.
  • Kickboxing helps you release endorphins which will give your mood a boost and help you feel more confident. Endorphins will also make you feel happier and more positive for several hours after the workout.
  • If you’re suffering from posture problems and have poor coordination, you can strengthen your ‘core’ and improve your reflexes and coordination skills. The swift punches and kicks in the kickboxing routine will give you a chance to focus your energy to execute each movement successfully.
  • Muscle and Fitness Magazine reports that fitness kickboxing can burn over 800 calories per hour, and you’ll be toning up your entire body as you rev up your metabolism. It’s a high-power cardio routine that’s great for weight loss and getting you in shape, fast. (Source: CKOKickboxing.com)
  • If you’ve been pounding on the treadmill for several weeks and need a break from your usual cardio routine, kickboxing is the perfect cross-training workout. You can add some weights by wearing wrist weights or ankle weights, or just putting on a pair of lightweight boxing gloves for extra resistance. Just one or two routines a week can help you break out of a fitness rut, fast.
  • Kickboxing is a high-energy cardio routine that will give your body and mind a boost, and will increase your energy levels. You’ll be breathing hard and sweating out toxins; this process will give your energy levels a much-needed boost.
  • If you’re hunched over a computer all day, kickboxing workouts will challenge many muscle groups that don’t get enough attention throughout the day, and you’ll start to build up your core. Core muscles in around your abdominal wall are targeted with kickboxing routines because you need to use your waist and abs for balance, and to execute each carefully coordinated move.

Kickboxing workouts offer several benefits for your body and mind, and are a great choice for getting out of a fitness rut. Whether you’re a fitness fanatic or just getting started with a workout routine, kickboxing can help you reach your fitness goals.

Step 22 – Crank Up Your Metabolism

How fast your body burns calories is dependent on many things, among them; genetics, your sex, and your age. Resistance training is the best thing you can do to reverse the inevitable age-related slowdown. If you have signed up for a Tiger Athletic Strength & Conditioning Program, then you’re already heading in the right direction!

  • Add whey protein to your smoothie. Whey protein increases calorie burn and fat utilization, helps the body maintain muscle, and triggers the brain to feel full, protein has a thermogenic effect, meaning it makes your body produce more heat and, in turn, burn more calories, but whey may be the most effective non-animal protein. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that fat oxidation and the thermic effect was greater with whey than with soy or casein.
  • Drinking two glasses of water before every meal helped dieters lose an average of 7 kilograms (2.2kilograms more than the non-water drinkers) over three months in a study presented at the American Chemical Society’s annual conference. Taking quick hydration breaks throughout the day also boosts your metabolic machinery and research shows staying properly hydrated keeps you feeling energized.
  • When your annoyed co-worker tells you you’re bouncing your leg, perhaps you can explain that you’re just doing some non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT)—the expert term for fidgeting. Research shows that NEAT may help you burn an additional 350 calories a day. Small bursts of activity, like running upstairs, pacing while you’re on the phone, or shifting around in your seat all count. It adds up quickly, so take advantage of any chance to move more throughout your day.
  • Caffeine’s ability to speed up the central nervous system makes it a powerful metabolism booster; coffee beans provide antioxidants and real health value. Provided your cup is not laden with cream and syrup, coffee can be a great way to give you energy as well as some antioxidants. Coffee has been shown to improve energy levels during exercise, especially endurance activity, and help people work harder longer, which therefore burns more calories. Drinking coffee after a workout can also be beneficial. Consuming caffeine after exercise increased muscle glycogen by 66% in endurance athletes, enabling them to more quickly replenish energy stores used through exercise, according to a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.
  • If you drink three cups of coffee a day, consider swapping in green tea for one of them. In addition to giving you the metabolism-boosting caffeine jolt you crave, green tea is a rich source of antioxidants called catechins. And, in a study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition, drinking green tea combined with a total of three hours of moderate exercise a week reduced abdominal fat in subjects over a three-month period. Unsweetened, brewed green tea was shown to increase calorie burn by about 100 calories per day brew your own and avoid added sugar or artificial sweeteners.
  • Probiotics, the healthy bacteria found in yogurt, pickles, and other fermented foods like sauerkraut, may help you lose weight, if you’re a woman, shows a new study published in the British Journal of Nutrition. Overweight men and women followed a 12-week weight loss diet; half of the volunteers also took a probiotic pill every day. Women in the probiotic group lost more weight than those in the placebo group and continued to lose weight during the 12-week maintenance period afterward (the probiotic didn’t make any difference for men). Consuming probiotics in food form has other waist-friendly benefits: Yogurt, like other full-fat dairy, also has a fatty acid called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) that studies show can improve fat burning. Avoid fruit-on-the-bottom varieties, which can have as much sugar as a candy bar.
  • Taking a quick break to look at funny cat videos on YouTube or take a Buzzfeed quiz doesn’t just feel good, you’re also burning calories in the process. A study from the International Journal of Obesity showed a 10 to 20% increase in energy expenditure (calories burned) and heart rate during genuine laughter. This translated to an increase of 10 to 40 calories burned within 10 to 15 minutes of laughter.
  • When you want to add flavour to your food, reach for hot sauce or chilli powder. Chilli peppers contain the chemical capsaicin. The capsaicin in the chili peppers has a thermogenic effect, causing the body to burn up to an additional 90 calories immediately following a meal. One study shows capsaicin activates brown fat, which increases calorie burning.
  • Eating a small mid-afternoon meal will prevent over eating at dinner time and it will also keep your metabolism stoked. Eating small meals raises your metabolism every time you eat. The key is to include a lean protein and complex carb each time, not processed or junk food. A few no-effort options: cottage cheese and fruit, peanut butter and an apple, or Greek yogurt with berries.
  • Having a salad for lunch or dinner fills you up with belly-flattening fibre and nutrients, and adding one more ingredient will really stoke your metabolism: salmon. You already learned the metabolism-boosting effects of protein, but with salmon you’ll also get a dose of omega-3 fatty acids. In a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, supplementing diets with fish oil for six weeks increased lean muscle and decreased fat. Other studies have shown similar effects. Scientists speculate this reaction may be due to fish oil’s ability to reduce levels of fat-storage enzymes in the body.
  • Do you really need to stay seated while you listen in on a conference call or wait on hold with the internet company? This super-easy tweak nearly doubles the number of calories your body will burn. A 68 kilogram person, for example, burns 72 calories an hour sitting and 129 calories an hour standing. Walking around an office slowly increases the burn to 143 calories an hour. You recruit more muscle fibres and must use your postural muscles to stabilize yourself, which burns more calories. Make it a habit to stand and walk around each time the phone rings and get up out of your chair at least once every hour.
  • Pick organic produce. Pesticides found on conventionally grown produce, called “obesogens,” are blamed for slowing metabolism and predisposing some people to gain weight. One of the biggest hidden causes of weight loss resistance is toxicity. Buy organic whenever possible and choose the cleanest, highest-quality cuts of meat.
  • Take one bite at a time. Wolfing down your food makes it more likely you’ll eat more, says a study published by the American Dietetic Association. Another study found even among women who didn’t diet, reducing stress and practicing mindfulness can prevent fat gain. It takes about 20 minutes before a hormone called cholecystokinin (CCK) tells your brain to stop eating. When you engulf a burger and fries, you don’t give CCK enough time to relay the message to your brain, and you eat too much, speed eating also raises fat-storing insulin levels. Just as important as eating the right diet is slowing down and becoming mindful when you eat.
  • Exposure to the type of blue light emitted by smartphones, computers, and tablets immediately before and after dinner increased hunger and impacted glucose metabolism in people who participated in a small North-western University study. The study authors aren’t sure of the reasons for the link, and say more research is needed—but even if the link between blue light and appetite doesn’t hold up in later studies, other research shows that limiting mealtime distractions helps control portions.

Step 23 – Good Bacteria – Your Gut Can Make You Slim

Your digestive tract contains about 1,000 species of bacteria. Why should you care? It turns out that having a healthy balance of those bugs can help you lose weight and bust cravings for fattening foods.

Consider this: Right now, as you’re sitting there, there’s a battle raging in your belly. Some 1,000 species of bacteria are duking it out, trying to establish dominance. Why should you care? Because whether the good bacteria in your gut or the bad triumph doesn’t just decide how well you digest your dinner, respond to allergens and fend off diseases, it also helps determine how much weight you’re likely to gain or lose.

Simply put, if you get the microbiome, that collection of bacteria inside you healthy, you will lose weight. It’s less about eating a certain percentage of carbohydrates, protein and fat than about correcting the overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria, which is making you crave the wrong foods, triggering inflammation.

A flurry of ground-breaking findings is helping to connect the dots about how our gut bacteria may shape our shape. In a study in the British Journal of Nutrition, obese women who took a probiotic supplement (of the bacteria Lactobacillus rhamnosus) lost twice as much weight and fat over about six months and were better at keeping it off as those who took a placebo. Probiotics may have helped by controlling the women’s appetites, which seem to have waned as their microbiomes changed.

Unhealthy gut bacteria also produce food cravings: A study published in BioEssays suggests that some microbes may drive us to eat doughnuts or another tempting treat. These gut bugs send chemical messages to the brain that sway our appetite and mood, perhaps making us feel anxious until we gobble a square of dark chocolate or a T-bone steak.

Fortunately, we can begin to take control by feeding our microbiome the right foods. “I tell my patients, ‘The bacteria follow the food,'” says gastroenterologist Robynne Chutkan, MD, founder of the Digestive Center for Women in Chevy Chase, Md., and author of Gutbliss. “What we eat dictates the kind of bacteria we grow in our gut garden.”

This is big news: There are trillions of microbes in your belly that will, if you feed them well, help you fight flab and win.

  • Get Your Two P’s – Basically, it all begins with probiotics and prebiotics, components of food believed to play an important role in improving gut health. Probiotics are a type of good bacteria, like the ones that already reside in your gut. Ingesting these organism’s aids digestion and helps change and repopulate intestinal bacteria to balance what doctors refer to as “gut flora.” Prebiotics are plant-fibre compounds, also found in food, that pass undigested through the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract and help stimulate the growth of good bacteria. When pre- and probiotics are combined, they become an intestinal power couple.
  • Fermented foods deliver probiotics directly to the gut. A cup of yogurt a day? It’s a nice start. Look for products that say, “live and active cultures” on the label, and be careful when it comes to fruit-infused flavours: Some are loaded with sugar, which can feed bad bugs, so be sure to check the ingredients and aim for fewer than 15 grams per serving. For even more probiotics, try Greek yogurt or kefir, a tangy dairy drink that’s packed with good bugs. A 2011 Harvard study found that yogurt was more strongly linked to weight loss than any other health food. In fact, people who ate an extra serving a day lost nearly half a kilogram every four years.
  • Research shows that foods that are high in fibre help promote the growth of friendly bacteria. Case in point: In a University of Illinois study, people who ate high-fibre snack bars experienced a growth of anti-inflammatory bacteria in their bellies.
  1. What you don’t eat is every bit as crucial as what you do add to your diet. Keep your gut flora fit by cutting back on these offenders.
  2. Refined carbs – Fatty and sugary foods not only tend to lack fibre, which is ideal food for the microbiome, but can also cause bad bacteria to thrive. And let’s face it: If you’re pounding that bag of potato chips, chances are you’re not munching on celery sticks, blueberries and other gut-friendly eats.
  3. Animal protein – A diet heavy in fat and protein (such as meat and cheese) feeds a type of bacteria, Bilophilia, that has been linked to inflammation. Lawrence David, PhD, assistant professor at Duke University’s Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy, saw the levels of this bacteria shoot up in study participants scarfing ribs and brisket, but not in those eating squash and lentils. Dr. Kellman suggests limiting red meat to once a week. It’s smart for your heart and hips!

Step 24 – Quinoa!

Quinoa is a dieter’s dream food: Each 1-cup cooked serving packs 8 grams of boep reducing protein and 5 grams of fibre. The pseudo cereal (it’s a seed) is also extremely versatile: in addition to swapping it in as a replacement for rice, you can use it to top a salad, mix it into a smoothie, or even eat it as a hot cereal for breakfast.

  • Toss into a smoothie You’ve probably heard of people sprinkling chia or flax seeds into their – smoothies to boost protein content. Add quinoa to the list—you can blend cooked quinoa into any smoothie recipe. The dose of protein will transform your fruit smoothie into a legitimate morning meal that will keep you full until lunch. Use ½ cup of cooked quinoa per 1 cup of smoothie.
  • Use instead of oatmeal – Not up for making time-intensive steel-cut oatmeal? Sub in quinoa. The grains cook a lot faster because they’re so small. Plus, you can still season your cereal with all your favourite toppings, like cinnamon, fresh fruit, and nuts. You’ll get more nutritional value too as a cup of cooked quinoa packs double the protein than the same serving of oatmeal. That’s good for staying full and keeping your blood pressure in check.
  • Make your own energy bars – It’s easy to make your own version of your favourite breakfast bar that you buy at the store. Combine about two cups of cooked quinoa with a cup of whole-wheat flour and add nuts, seeds, dried fruit, or chocolate chips. Then stir in two cups of cooked oats to enhance the whole-grain count, eggs or flax seed meal to help bind the mixture, and a teaspoon of baking soda so the bars will rise as they cook. You could also add a touch of honey or maple syrup for extra sweetness or nut butter for more protein. Prepare a pan with cooking spray, add your mix, and bake at 190° for 20 minutes.
  • Quiche might be the perfect breakfast. All you need are eggs, a few handfuls of your favourite veggies, a crust, and maybe some meat and cheese. And yes, you can also throw in some quinoa. Adding quinoa to the egg filling of your favourite quiche recipe gives the dish an extra dose of protein and antioxidants. The amount of quinoa used may vary depending on the recipe, but generally you can stick with one cup of cooked quinoa for every eight eggs. Bake per the recipe instructions.
  • Mixing cooked quinoa with your favourite greens is one of the easiest ways to boost your whole-grain intake. When it comes to salads, quinoa is extremely versatile. Whether you go for a Mediterranean salad with cucumbers and garbanzo beans or spice things up with cilantro, roasted corn, and jalapenos for a Mexican twist, quinoa pairs well with just about anything and is more nutritious than high-calorie croutons. Here’s a tip to make things even more tasty. If you use quinoa at the bottom of your salad as a base, it will absorb even more flavour from the veggies and dressing.
  • A good chili is all about the variety of textures and stirring in cooked quinoa adds a bit more. Plus, quinoa adds even more fibre and protein to a dish that’s already chockfull of nutrients from traditional ingredients like lentils, beans, carrots, onion, and corn. For one batch of chili, about two cups of cooked quinoa should work. Just be mindful you don’t overdo it in proportion to the other ingredients. Add quinoa in the last 15 minutes of cooking so it doesn’t get overdone.
  • Replace rice with cooked quinoa in the filling of any “stuffed” veggie recipe—think bell peppers or butternut squash—for a nutrient boost. Not only does quinoa provide almost 16% of your daily iron value compared to brown rice, but it also has more phosphorous, potassium, folate, and zinc. And since the grain is packed with protein, you could cut down on the meat in your favourite recipe without losing the nutrient’s satiating and belly-flattening effects.
  • A burrito is another no-brainer way to add quinoa to your diet by using it to replace rice. After cooking about a cup of quinoa, sauté the rest of the veggies you want to wrap up (spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes). When they’re cooked through, stir them into the quinoa and then roll the mixture up in three to four whole-wheat tortillas with salsa and beans and bake for about 15 minutes. Before you know it, you’ll have enough protein- and vitamin-packed burritos to eat for lunch for most of the week.
  • For a more filling burger, all you need is some cooked quinoa. Add 1 cup of quinoa per 500g of ground meat to make four servings. And if you’re a vegetarian, then you can use quinoa to make patties. In this case, you would use ½ cup of cooked quinoa with 1 cup of beans to get the same serving size. While whole quinoa in addition to an egg substitute can be a great binder, you may still have issues getting things to hold. Luckily, there’s a trick to ensure you never must see your patties crumble on your spatula. “You need something that will add moisture and has a sticky consistency. Using sweet potato as a paste will help keep the patty together.
  • Use as a binder for meatloaf – In most meatloaf recipes, breadcrumbs are added to help bind the ingredients together, but breadcrumbs can be high in fat and sodium, not to mention simple carbohydrates that spike your blood sugar. A better option would be to use cooked quinoa in their place. Swap out the breadcrumbs in any meatloaf recipe for the same amount of cooked quinoa. That will give the bread a nutty flavour and texture.
  • Make healthier breaded chicken – Breading chicken breasts with quinoa instead of breadcrumbs provides the same crispy goodness you’re used to—and you might like this healthier version even more. Cooked quinoa is ideal as breading because when it’s toasted it gets super crunch. Dip the chicken breasts in whisked eggs, coat the breasts in cooked quinoa, season with salt and pepper, and then bake in the oven at 220° for 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Love rice pudding? Then you should try quinoa pudding. Quinoa pudding is prepped just like any other pudding recipe, except swap in cooked quinoa for the rice or tapioca to mix with the usual ingredients like milk, sugar, and eggs. Top with cinnamon, berries, or chopped nuts. In any case, you’ll end up with a delicious treat that packs extra protein and can be stored in the fridge.
  • Got quinoa left over after dinner? Use the rest in a parfait. Layer the grain with non-fat Greek yogurt and top with berries, nuts, and honey for an easy sweet treat that’s sure to satisfy. Bonus: quinoa is a much healthier choice than granola, which is typically loaded with fat, sugar, and calories.
  • Quinoa complements the other ingredients you’d normally find in a fritter, like cheese, onion, and pepper. “When you’re eating, texture is important. Quinoa will give a fritter a nutty texture to help balance out the creaminess of ingredients like sweet potato. In addition to spices like black pepper and paprika, fill your fritter with nutritious and satisfying veggies such as broccoli, scallions, zucchini, and corn.

Step 25 – Ballet Inspired Workout!

Ever wonder how dancers get their long, lean legs? Genetics plays a part, sure, but ballet is a serious workout. To bust the boredom and take you a little out of your comfort zone with loads of fun of course, your Tiger Athletic Personal Trainer takes you through a 30-minute ballet-inspired workout which focuses on your lower half.

Want to lose the jiggle for good? Tiger Athletic Ballet-inspired workouts blast fat, focusing on your lower-half resulting in toned abs, bums, and legs. Getting you slim and trim with a 30-minute routine. Here’s the secret: Most exercises involve “micro-movements,” in which you move just an inch or two. “They take out the momentum, forcing you to stay in the contraction, which tires muscles faster, giving you faster results”.

  • Hundreds – Warm up first with 2 minutes of standing knee lifts. Next, lie on your back, draw knees up, lift head and shoulders, and bring chin to chest, coming into a tight ball. Keeping your upper body lifted, extend legs toward ceiling, or, for more of a challenge, at a diagonal; extend arms (as shown). Pump arms up and down 4 times, then hold arms still and curl torso a tiny bit up and down twice. Repeat series 10 times.
  • Push ups – Get on hands and knees, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width. Bring feet toward your seat and tuck tailbone under. Bend elbows out to sides, lowering chest toward floor, then push back up; repeat 15 times. Next, lower halfway down and hold; do 15 little pulses (pushing up and lowering down an inch) before coming all the way back up.
  • Triceps dips – Sit with knees bent and feet hip-width on floor, hands behind you on either side of hips, fingers forward. Lift hips off floor and shift weight back. Bend and straighten elbows 20 times, leaving feet flat, then come onto heels and repeat. Staying on heels, walk feet forward (keep weight shifted back) and do 20 more dips.
  • Extension parallel – Stand with back at fist’s distance away from barre, feet hip-distance apart, knees slightly bent; reach back with wide arms and grab barre. Extend left leg (knee toward ceiling) and flex foot (as shown). Do the following moves for 30 seconds each: Lift and lower leg a couple of inches; make small circles as if tracing a dime in the air with heel. Repeat circles in other direction, and point toes and do small leg lifts. Repeat series on opposite side.
  • Plie & releve – Stand with one hand on barre, the other on hip. Bring feet wider than hip-distance; turn toes out slightly and bend knees (keep knees behind toes), pushing hips back to sink seat to knee level. Do the following moves for 30 seconds each: Bend knees a bit more, lowering then raising an inch; lower again and hold, slightly pressing knees back then releasing (as if pulsing). Rise on toes, then lower and raise an inch; lower an inch and hold, pressing knees back, then releasing them.
  • Standing straight leg – Stand with right hand forward on barre, knees slightly bent, heels together, toes apart. Wrap left arm around waist and grab barre. Extend left leg diagonally back with toes pointed; tuck tailbone. Do the following moves for 30 seconds each: Lift and lower left leg a couple inches; hold left foot a few inches off floor and make dime-size circles with leg. Circle leg in opposite direction; flex foot, then lift and lower a couple inches. Make dime-size circles; reverse direction. Repeat series on opposite side.
  • Semi-fold over – Face barre, feet hip-width, knees slightly bent; stack bent forearms on barre. Walk feet back until body is folded 90 degrees at waist; rest head on arms. Keeping hips level, extend right leg straight back with foot flexed (as shown). Do the following moves for 30 seconds each: Raise and lower leg a couple inches; make dime-size circles with leg. Reverse circle direction; point toes, then lift and lower a couple of inches. Make tiny circles with leg; reverse circle direction.
  • Tap & curl – Sit with knees bent, feet hip-width on the floor. Grab beneath thighs with elbows wide, then round back, bringing lower back toward mat; tuck tailbone. Do the following moves for 30 seconds each: Extend arms straight by hips, tap fists twice against mat, then lift fists.

With arms still, lower and raise upper body an inch; with upper body still, tap fists twice against thighs, then open arms out. Lower and raise upper body an inch; extend arms up and tap fists toward each other twice, then open. Hold arms still and lower and lift body an inch.

Step 26 – Weigh Yourself

Why? Recent research shows an association between weighing yourself and weight loss. In a study, the more often people stepped on the scale, the more weight they lost. Once a week is enough, don’t just rely on your personal trainer for your weight measurements. Keep the numbers, it is self-motivation and regulation in action!

Step 27 – Jump Rope

No time for cardio on the days that you are not at Tiger Athletic doing your Strength & Conditioning work? No problem! Not only does jumping rope help you burn calories, it also strengthens your legs, glutes, arms, and shoulders in as little as 5 minutes.

Jumping rope is a quick, convenient way to get your heart rate up whether you’re on the go or in your living room. A rope fits into any bag, so you know what that means…no excuses!

5-Minute Jump Rope Workout

If this routine feels too difficult at any point, try shortening the jumping segments by 20 to 30 seconds. Looking for more of a challenge? Repeat the circuit twice or do body weight exercises during your 30-second rest periods. You can also try variations of jump roping like high knees or jumping jack legs.

  • 0:00 – 1:00 – Warm up jumping rope at an easy pace using a two-footed hop jump.
  • 1:00 – 1:30 – Pick up the pace and jump rope as quickly as you can for the next 30 seconds.
  • 1:30 – 2:00 – Rest.
  • 2:00 – 3:00 – Jump rope as quickly as you can in a jogging style so that your feet go over the rope one at a time.
  • 3:00 – 3:30 – Rest.
  • 3:30 – 4:30 – Jump rope as quickly as you can in a two-footed hop with a side-to-side jump.
  • 4:30 – 5:00 – Rest.

Step 28 – Umami?

You’re probably familiar with salty, sweet, bitter, and sour, but did you know there’s a fifth taste? It’s called umami, and a recent study shows that it has a unique effect on appetite.

Umami, which means, a pleasant savoury taste, has been described as a mouth-watering, brothy, meaty sensation with a long-lasting aftertaste that balances the total flavour of a dish. Some chefs refer to umami as a flavour synergizer and, in the form of the food additive monosodium glutamate (MSG), it acts as a flavour enhancer.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the addition of MSG to soup stimulated appetite during eating, but also boosted post-meal satiety, which resulted in eating less later in the Step. As an additive, MSG is something to avoid: research in the ’60s revealed that large amounts fed to mice destroyed nerve cells in the brain. And people who are sensitive to large amounts of MSG may experience side effects ranging from headaches to trouble breathing. However, umami flavour also occurs naturally in several healthy foods.

The Tiger Athletic resource “Umami”, available below, highlights five nutrient-rich umami options that may help you eat less, along with easy ways to enjoy them!

  • Mushrooms provide just 20 calories per cup, and they’re the only plant source of vitamin D, a key nutrient linked to lower rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and certain cancers. Studies also link low vitamin D intake to more total fat and belly fat, and recent research has found that adequate blood vitamin D levels improve muscle strength and help muscles work more efficiently by boosting energy from within cells. Mushrooms also contain unique antioxidants that fight aging and heart disease, and natural substances in mushrooms have been shown to protect against breast cancer by preventing levels of estrogen in the body from becoming excessive. Shiitake, Japan’s most popular mushroom, is particularly rich in umami flavour. Simply sauté some ‘shrooms in organic, low-sodium vegetable broth with a bit of garlic, and add them to almost anything, including omelettes, salads, soups, or open-faced sandwiches.
  • Truffles, are one of the world’s greatest delicacies, contain three types of natural umami substances. This fungus, which has been referred to as the diamond in the kitchen, is quite expensive because it’s difficult to cultivate, but a tiny amount goes a long way. Just a thinly sliced or shaved bit of truffle adds robust flavour to any dish, but you can also use truffle oil to make a simple vinaigrette along with extra virgin olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice, and herbs. Or drizzle truffle oil over cooked veggies, spaghetti squash, or a lean protein like organic eggs or fish.
  • Green tea – The list of green tea’s benefits is impressive. Regular consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of obesity, heart disease, blood pressure, cancer, and osteoporosis, as well as overall anti-aging benefits. In addition to using green tea as a beverage along with meals, I like to use both brewed tea and loose leaves in cooking. I whip loose tea leaves into smoothies or combine them with pepper and other herbs like thyme as a rub. Brewed tea makes a great base for a marinade or soup or a flavourful liquid for steaming veggies or whole grain rice.
  • Seaweed – benefits range from heart protection to weight loss. One recent research review concluded that some seaweed proteins work just like blood pressure meds, and in animal research, a component in brown seaweed was shown to help rats burn more body fat. In addition, seaweed’s star nutrient iodine helps regulate the thyroid, and its magnesium may help enhance mood and improve sleep. In addition to making a side of seaweed salad a staple in your sushi orders, you can add a dollop to many savoury dishes, including scrambled eggs, stir fry’s, and soups.
  • Tomatoes – Levels of the umami provider glutamic acid increase as tomatoes ripen, and research shows that in the inner agoutis of a tomato are tied to a stronger umami aftertaste. To take advantage, add sliced ripe tomatoes to a garden salad, or roast or grill tomatoes to further intensify their flavour. Bonus: cooking tomatoes provide more lycopene (as much as a 164% boost!), an antioxidant linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, and cancer, as well as skin benefits, including preventing wrinkles.

Step 29 – The Humble “Plank”

The plank may be the single-most effective exercise you can do: it works your entire body, from your shoulders to your glutes. Your Tiger Athletic Personal Trainer will go through five variations of this exercise that you can use in front of the tv, just before going to bed or in your hotel room when you are on the road for business or leisure and not at Tiger Athletic blasting fat. It is a simple, versatile exercise that doesn’t require much space or technical expertise to execute and will be a valuable addition to your weight loss arsenal.

Step 30 – Get Inspired!

Well done you’ve made it to Step 30! It’s not unique if you’re struggling to maintain your motivation. Research shows that although most exercise beginners start their plans feeling motivated, many of them lose steam at the one-month mark. Daily reminders to self on why you’re losing weight, sticking with the habits you’ve adopted through these 30 steps and not missing your Tiger Athletic workout sessions will help you continue until you have reached your ideal weight!

Reference:

  1. NSCA
  2. Harvard
  3. Health Magazine
  4. Cornell University
  5. Duke University
  6. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
  7. Journal of The International Society of Sports Nutrition
  8. Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism
  9. University of Ottawa
  10. Vanderbilt University
  11. University of Southern California
  12. British Medical Journal

 

 

 

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