Recently I went through my first competition prep as a competitive sports model. I started dieting at 12 weeks and the results where astonishing. Just from making a few changes in the quantities in my diet as well as the quality of carbs and proteins I consumed. This is a short overview of the 12 weeks and what I ate as well as things I learnt about how you can get crazy results without being too strict on yourself in terms of diet and training(no supplements was used in this 12 weeks). I lost a total of 6 kilograms over this time. Continue reading My 12 week transformation: Nutrition is key
Oats, sweet potato, lean protein and veggies(just to name a few)…all good right?? Maybe not always.
So if these healthy foods are a staple in most of our diets and is used to fuel our day to day lives. Great!! But that is step 1. It is so important to get quality macro nutrients (Proteins, carbohydrates, fats) in every day. You just have to get the correct amounts in, and that is where most of us go wrong.
Let’s remember when trying to lose weight it is all about calories in vs calories out. When wanting to lose weight you want to be burning more calories than you consume so that your body uses fat stores for energy. This will mean you are in a calorie deficit. Then we look at food intake in terms of quality. It is crucial that we get our macro nutrients from whole food sources which contains quality macro nutrients. This will include foods like brown rice, quinoa, lean meats, potatoes, yams, whole wheat bread, avocado, nuts and veggies just to name a few. But with this said there is a common misconception most people have about eating healthy foods. Eating healthy and “clean” foods does not mean you can eat as much as you want of it.
Most people living a healthy lifestyle thinks if they switch it up from eating burgers and pizzas to having sweet potatoes and oats means that they can eat as much of it as they want to. This is not true. If you eat too much you will gain weight no matter how healthy your food source is. You can obviously eat more of the healthier food than unhealthy food because it is not so calorie dense. For example, take French fries. A medium serving of French fries will be equal to 2 large servings of roasted vegetables (Remember this when ordering sides at a restaurant). So yes you can technically eat more healthy food than oily unhealthy foods but you have to remember there are limits and you have to stick to them. “Binging” on healthy foods does not help towards fat loss as you will create a calorie surplus resulting in weight gain.
So for the future keep quantities in mind when you are not seeing any positive feedback from your bathroom scale. See if the amounts of food you consume can be the culprit of your weight loss plateau rather than the quality(although quality is very important). Change it up and see what happens.
Till next time…
Jfit Health and Adventures
JW Le Roux
From time to time we all go through a time where we just don’t have any motivation to train and standing up every morning knowing you must go train gives you a negative feeling in your gut. Well that is all natural and in this article I am going to give you a few handy tips on how to get over this training slump.
The reason why you may be getting fed up with training could be because it is boring you. Sticking to the same training regime for months on end will eventually burn you out and even your results will plateau. Start by changing things up. Get a new program or change your style of training. This will help to put some versatility in your training. For example, if you are use to circuit type training, change it up and start doing weight sessions maybe once or twice a week another example is if you are a bodybuilder type weightlifter who trains for an hour or so with long rests between sets go over to 30 minute sessions where you pick up the intensity. This change in training regimes will not only help you psychologically but physically as the change in training will shock your body by doing something different and working the muscles differently. In this way you can reach your goals quicker and see the results just from making some small changes.
Get a training partner… it’s always nice having someone backing you while you are training. Ask one of your friends or someone you know has the same goals and training methods as you to join you for a session. This can also benefit you if you are looking to lift some heavy weights as they can “spot” you which will help you push yourself past your limits. It can also be a good bonding session for you and your friend. Having a training partner can be fun and motivating so make sure to choose the right one so you do not stray off your goals. Joining training classes can also be an option. By doing this you open yourself to meeting new people and learning new training methods that you may have never thought about.
Make a change in environment. Become a member at a new gym or take a different route when you go for a jog. Seeing new things and people when going to train can be psychologically pleasing as you might get tired of seeing the same people in the gym and running past the same old building every day.
If all else fails purchase yourself some new training clothes and accessories. I know I always feel better when going training in a new gym t-shirt or new joggers. I feel like a little kid wanting to use his new toy for the first time. So go and buy yourself something nice that you can train in/with. As it is with me, it feels like my confidence goes up and there is just new urge inside of me to go and smash my next session. (https://lifestylemovementsociety.com/ check out this page for some great quality gym clothes and use my discount code jwfit05 for great deals).
Use these handy tips to elevate your training motivation and get back on tract to start enjoying the process again. Remember to keep your passion for training alive and enjoy every moment…
JW Le Roux
Training: The mind muscle connection for optimal results
Are you a busy person who sometimes feels that there is no time to make healthy and enjoyable meals? Or do you just dread standing hours in the kitchen making food. Well if you are, feel free to try some of these great ideas to speed up the food making process and make it suit your busy lifestyle. These meals are all easy on the budget and you can save a lot by just making these quick and simple meals rather than buying unhealthy, expensive takeaways.
If I think of quick and simple meals the first think that jumps to my mind is rice cakes. Make sure you are always fully stocked with these jewels. It is incredibly filling and there is so many ways in which you can utilize this carb source to make the ultimate meals. So just be creative spread some of your favorite spreads like avocado, cottage cheese or any of your favorite nut butters on. Add some extra biltong or something meaty if you want to add some volume to the meal. Personally I enjoy cottage cheese, cucumber and tuna on my rice cake and second in line would definitely be avocado spread on top (make in a burger format if you are afraid of it smudging in your tupperware). An interesting one to try out is to make a cereal out of your rice cakes. This is a handy post training meal. Simply pack your rice cakes into a tupperware and take it with when you go training. After training take your post workout shake with water or milk (protein supplement of choice) and crumble your rice cakes into the shake. If you manage to get the right consistency you will get that great tasting rice crispie like crunch that tastes like a cheat meal.
Any person that is health conscious knows that oats is an amazing food source which is rich in fibre and carries a wonderful balance of good fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Oats is such a versatile food. You can add literally anything to it. I usually fill my bowl of oats with my desired amount of oats and add water until all the oats is under water (all about how you prefer your consistency). Pop it into the microwave for 2 minutes and there you have it. Now you can be creative. Add your favorite fruits, nut butters, cinnamon, protein powders or be the plain salted person. Now how long did that take you? 5 minutes?
Go for some fish. Canned tuna is packed in lean proteins and is great to add to a range of vegetables or salads. Tuna is the ultimate protein source if you are buying on a budget. This can replace your more expensive proteins such as red meats and chicken. Add some tuna to your salad or load up a bowl of tuna with some peas, lettuce, tomato and sweetcorn. This balanced meal is filling and contains a range of nutrients to power your day. Tuna sandwiches is always a great go-to meal that can be made in no time… I would recommend adding a little bit of sauce or cottage cheese to your tuna meals as it tends to be dry.
Blackbeans and chickpeas are great options to consider. The internet is filled with great recipes where you can incorporate them. They are easy to find and so convenient as it is mostly available canned. Both these food types are low in calories and can be used to make low calorie meals. They are vegan friendly and chickpeas has a relatively high protein content.
Proteins is such an important nutrient in any active persons diet and is the cornerstone to muscle recovery. That is why our next quick muscle meal is all about eggs. Boil yourself some eggs. Eggs has a great balance of proteins to fats. Fats in eggs are very healthy but if you are looking to stray away from the fats just stay with the white part. Boiling eggs will take you around 8 minutes depends on how you enjoy them. Some nice “extras” you can have with your eggs include avocado, some slices of ham/bacon and obviously your favorite spices or put it on some toast as a sandwich with some lettuce tomato and whatever else you enjoy. Use cottage cheese on your sandwich as a healthy alternative to butter. This will also help you reduce the fat content your meal.
It does not get easier and simpler than that. All of these meals takes no longer than 10 minutes to make and contains all the nutrients you need to smash the day. Not to mention easy on your bank account. These simple meals can especially be incorporated as post or pre-workout meals. No more excuses for missing meals and being hungry. Try some of these quick meals or snacks if you want to call it that. Now you will never have to settle for the unhealthy takeaways that makes you feel guilty all the time. Go healthy the easy way!
JW Le Roux
Jfitness Health and Adventures
We all know that in order to make progress in the gym you have to work hard and strive to be better than before. But is the secret to progress measured in sweating more and and doing more sets/reps of a certain exercise. Yes it is to a certain extent but let’s talk about something a lot of people tend to forget when working out. The mind muscle connection..
A lot of people tend to go to the gym and tell themselves “ok I’ve got 45 minutes to crush myself” then they do a workout full throttle sweating and killing it, but how effective was that workout? Where you focusing on form and working the muscle or where you just going thru the motions? Sometimes especially when we do high intensity sessions we tend to forget about working the muscle and all our focus goes into just finishing the workout as fast as possible. This way of high intensity training can be effective but maybe if you just change things up a little bit you can make your workout so much more effective. Forget about just getting your weights from A to B and start focusing on actually contracting the muscle and feeling the muscle work. Especially with your isolation exercises. Still take your 45 min or how long you are planning to train and slow things down a bit. Increase your focus. Use your muscles when training and make sure it is not all momentum. Work on the muscle, not on the weights. In the end that is what we go to the gym for right? To work our muscles..
So for your next workout or even your next outdoor walk get your muscles going. When walking drive with your legs and make them work. In the gym, connect your mind to your muscles and go smash it!
JW Le Roux
Jfitness, Health and Adventures
Before I start I just want to mention that all the information below is based on personal opinion. This is the knowledge I have built up in the fitness industry and my experiences on supplementation and health in the gym environment.
The subject on supplementing your body with a bunch of different powders and pills can get very scientific and we can go very deep into this matter but nobody wants to sit and read about how your body digests branch chain amino acids and how our hormones react to artificial testosterone boosters. So let’s keep it simple.
Let’s talk about protein powders. So you get loads of different protein powders with the most common one’s being your Whey Protein and Mass gainers so for a start let us focus on them. The main idea of a mass gainer as the word says is for weight gain(obviously). These products are usually very calorie dense and some can contain around 400+ calories per 100 gram of powder with around 72 g of carbs 2.5 g of fats and 25 g protein. This is only half a serving. If I can put it into perspective a full serving of this mass gainer would be equal to 8 eggs in protein content and the carbohydrates will equal out at around 7 slices of brown bread. Though this does not mean that a mass gainer is some kind of magic thing that if you drink it after hitting the gym that you will turn into some kind of mini hulk in 3 weeks. This is a common misconception many beginner gym goers and teenagers have on supplements. For a beginner who wants to build muscles the main focus is to get in a certain amount of calories so that he can gain weight at a substantial rate, right? Yes, but taking a supplement like a mass gainer is not always the best solution as it does not have all the needed micro-nutrients and quality carbohydrates your natural foods like oatmeal and eggs have and this is crucial for giving you energy for your workouts and making sure you get the best possible recovery. Yes it can be hard to get in all that food that equals out to a protein shake but sacrifice a bit of calories and get in a proper meal with an abundance of benefits than just slurping down a protein shake.
As a beginner make your “bodybuilding” journey a fun one. How does pancakes sound? Yes pancakes! Slap a few pancakes together pre-workout with some peanut butter or honey and there you go(remember moderation) or throw some extra peanut butter on your sandwich for school. Sneak in extra calories wherever you can. Just keep healthy choices in mind and don’t go overboard on the sugars and takeaways. Try and get in most of your foods from whole food sources(Veg, eggs, potatoes, steak) and limit refined food sources(Pastries, candy, pizza, soda). Prioritize your mass shakes for times when you will not be able to get a meal in or when the day is going to be too busy to make food.
What Is Whey Protein? Well whey is probably the most used powdered supplement in the fitness industry. It is used for building lean muscle and losing weight by men and women. To me this is a great supplement to always have close by. It is great for adding to smoothies and supplementing your daily energy needs. It contains small amounts of fats and carbs and is mainly a protein source, but same goes for your whey. This is no fancy powder. Most whey proteins are made from milk using filtration technologies. This means your are actually just drinking powdered milk and in some instances egg whites with some flavour added to it.
So my personal opinion would be that there is nothing wrong with a good old protein shake but nothing beats a proper balanced meal. As we all know a protein shake just is much easier to get in and there is no effort into throwing some powder into milk/water shake it up and off you go. So here’s what I do. Always keep a good quality mass gainer/ whey protein in your cupboard. Use it only when really needed such as long road trips or busy days where you will not get time to make a proper meal. You can even use it to make great smoothies which I would definitely recommend and is probably the best way to make use of such supplements as you get in a wide variety of nutrients(p.s. give it a go in your oats). Nutrients from whole food sources will always be our best option so focus on that first before jumping into a tub of powder and hoping to see the best results.
I hope this will help you kickstart your fitness journey in the right direction. Always remember that nutrition is the cornerstone of any athletes performance and results. So strive to work on your nutrition and you will see the difference in not time.
JW Le Roux
Jfit, Health and Adventures
Well here we are. 2018 already. Fast moving world, everything happening in a blink of an eye and we are struggling to stay ahead in live. Work is taking over all our time and technology is controlling our lives. Where do you get time to better yourself and work on your health and fitness live. Well maybe I can help you with a few simple hacks to start improving your overall health and mindset about healthy living.
First things first. It all starts with a simple change of mindset. Tell yourself that you are going to take the time to do the little bit of extra effort to walk rather than to take the elevator or you are going to stand up 15 minutes earlier in the morning to make yourself a proper bowl of oatmeal rather than stacking a bunch sugary cereal into a bowl and mixing it with milk on your way to work. Just making that small change in your mindset will cost nothing but a little bit of motivation and after no time you will realize that it has become a part of your lifestyle. After it has become a part of your lifestyle you will come to see that taking the stairs and making oatmeal in the morning has become habits and it just fits into your daily routine as anything else. Give it a try…
Let’s look at nutrition
Living a fitness lifestyle it did not take me to long to realize how important nutrition is and what a impact it can have on your daily energy levels, productivity and overall well being. This counts if you are a active person or not!
Try these 3 tips…
Let’s start small. Focus on making small changes and keeping to it. SUGARS!!! We all know that sugars is not great for you. But lets not make it a big problem. If you are a person with a sweet tooth who loves a chocolate or 2 or a teaspoon or 3 try and bring it down to 1 teaspoon and half a chocolate and see how it goes #tip number 1. Remember it is all about moderation. Love eating big plates of food and filling up properly. Hmmm maybe this could mean bad news for your bathroom scale….or not? Tip number 2- If you are a big eater(as I am) focus on going green and keeping calorie dense foods lower. For example a simple plate of chicken, rice, sauce and veg. Keep your portions of sauce and chicken the same and swap a small bit of rice for veg and you won’t believe the difference. My final tip with regards to nutrition would be to always keep an open mind when eating takeaways. Being busy means eating takeaways is inevitable but let’s make the best of it. MacDonald’s anyone? Yes lets hack a MacDonald’s meal and make it as guilt free as possible. Before ordering the biggest double stack beef patty burger and large fries think again. Take she small beef burger or even better, a grilled chicken burger and instead of fries take a small wrap or salad(can even take a large salad and increase bulk of meal). If you want to better the meal even more ask for no sauce or sauce on the side(you can at MacDonald’s I’ve done it before). And there you have it, guilt free takeaways.
These are just a few tips to improve on your eating habits. Try them for a few weeks and see how it catches on. You won’t believe, before you know it this will just be a way of living and does not take thinking twice to make the healthier decision .
Get up get active
For now forget about going to the gym or doing 7 km runs every morning. It is hard to be more active when you work a 9-5 office job. That does not mean we can’t change it up a bit to get you up and going. Here are 3 tips on being more active:
#Number 1- Set yourself step goals. Most of us have smartphones that count your daily steps. Set your first goal at 3000 and see how long you can keep it up. Crank it up a notch if you see you can hit the targeted goal easily and get yourself a goal you can stick to. Increase your steps by going to the toilets the furthest to your office, park bit further away form your office than usual or take your mid-morning coffee for 10 min walk outside and before you know it your steps is completed. #Number 2- Do some stretching. Stretching is a wonderful way to get your body going in the morning and it has loads of mental and physical benefits. Take 5-10 minutes before going to bed and after standing up and dedicate it to stretching. Go on google and find a few nice stretching moves that you like and do them every morning and evening. This will help you feel better and more energetic in the mornings. Stretching will also improve your posture and overall muscle function. #Number 3- Nobody works 24/7. All of us have weekends and days off from work. Utilize those days by taking your loved one or pets for a walk to the nearest coffee shop or if you need a few small groceries, take a walk to the nearest groceries store. Invite some friends for a walk on the beach. Be creative and think of nice things to do to get the activity up. Always seek for new effective ways to move around more and increase your daily energy expenditure.
I hope this few short tips will be beneficial to you. I personally encourage any person to try them out and see things start to change. This will lead to a new healthier and happier you. All the best…
JW Le Roux