Clare Johnston is a Nutritionist and Personal Trainer and has worked in the industry for 6 years. After working in the hospital system, Clare has taken her expertise and started a career helping others at Fitness First Penrith. Clare runs a very successful 10 week weight loss and fitness challenge at the end of which she gives away $500 to the client who has achieved the best result. Contact Clare by emailing email@example.com for more information
So we constantly hear people arguing over which is the most effective weight loss workout. Here is my opinion as a trainer and a nutritionist.
If you have a healthy diet full of a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meats, chicken, fish, eggs, low-fat dairy chances are you wont need a supplement. For those who have allergies or intollerances to these foods you may be in need of a supplement. Lets take a look at a few popular options.
Fish oil; if you dont eat fresh fish twice a week and dont want to you should look at a fish oil supplement. Fish oil has the following health benifits aid in treatment of heart diseases, high cholesterol, depression, anxiety, AHDH, low immunity, cancer, diabetes, inflammation, arthritis, IBD, AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, eye disorders, macular degeneration and ulcers. It also helps in weight loss, pregnancy, fertility and skin care (particularly for conditions such as psoriasis and acne). All this is from the omega-3 fatty acids. Eat your fish or take a supplement!
Multi vitamins; eat fresh fruit and veg/salad everyday? Eat something of every colour? If yes, then you dont need one. Fresh food is better than a vitamin tablet but if you won't eat fresh fruit and vegetables than yes you may want to look at a supplement.
Berocca; contains B vitamins. These are some of the most commonly found vitamins in the food we eat. Generally not required. Sold on the promise of ‘giving you back your B B Bounce’. If you’re feeling low in energy you may be better off reviewing your overall diet, get more sleep and do some exercise, stretching and breathing.
Probiotics; such as inner health plus or yakult are really good for your digestive tract and immune system. I recommend taking one of these daily to put good bacteria back into the digestive tract. Also benificial to take post antibiotics and if you drink protein shakes.
Glucosomine; whilst glucosomine is naturally produced within the body, its production decreases as we age. It’s purpose is to prevent distruction of cartlidge by enzymes. Overuse of joints especially under weight can also cause wear and tear. A good quality glucosomine supplement can be helpful to repair damaged cartlidge.
Vitamin C; another very easily obtained vitamin from fresh fruit and veggies and therefore a waste of your hard earned money. If you consume more than 2000 milligrams a day of vitamin c you put yourself at risk of developing kidney stones.
Iron; for those who don't eat red meat or their bodies have difficulty storing iron, a supplement is required but this must be determined by blood tests and recommended by a doctor first.
If you are going to take a supplement, speak to a doctor, pharmacist or DIetican first and research brands/products before taking them.
As a personal trainer and a nutritionist I often have people ask me how much exercise they have to do to burn off certain foods. Many people think that just a few more minutes on their power walk will burn off a chocolate bar or some people seem to think “I worked out at the gym today so I can eat this piece of banana bread”. Nu uh. Did you know that a piece of banana bread can have up to 30 grams of fat? Do not be fooled by the healthy- sounding name, it’s basically cake in bread shape.
What do I need to do to burn it off?
- 1 piece chocolate cake -> 250 calories = 25 mins running
- 1 small packet Doritos or chips -> 140 calories = 15 minutes running
- ½ cup premium ice cream -> 280 calories = 38 minutes running
- 1 king size chocolate bar -> 500 calories = 1 hour 20 minutes power walking or a high intensity exercise class
- 1 piece of cheesecake -> 400 calories = 40 minutes running
- 1 chocolate brownie -> 350 calories = 45 minutes circuit training
- 1 large flavoured coffee (syrups and or powders) -> 450 calories = 40 minutes on the cross trainer
- 1 fast food burger -> 510 calories = 1 hour and 35 mins cleaning the house
Myth: It’s ok for me to eat junk food because ill burn it off at the gym.
Truth: It takes a lot more than you think to burn off that junk food! Often people are unaware just how many calories are in the foods they are eating and how many they burn in a session at the gym. Also, the old saying you are what you eat is true. Eat rubbish and you will look and feel rubbish. Do you want to repair your cells with greasy, sugar processed chemicals or with light, colourful, healthy nutrients?
Myth: I’m slim/skinny looking so I don’t need to exercise or watch what I eat.
Truth: Just because you have been blessed with good genes doesn’t mean you should abuse them! Exercise and a healthy diet helps you maintain healthy cholesterol levels, blood pressure, decreases your risk of lifestyle diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, lowers levels of depression and anxiety, increased self-esteem, as well as clear complexion, shiny hair and strong nails.
Myth: I’m a girl, lifting weights will make me huge like Arnold.
Truth: Girls can’t get big naturally as they lack the hormone testosterone that promotes growth to the extent that men get. Doing resistance work will give females strength and slight size increases but as a trade off, your metabolism will increase and you will burn more calories when your body is at rest (doing nothing). Not to mention you will look lean and healthy. No-one wants that flabby look.
Myth: Carbs make you fat.
Truth: It’s not the nutritious carbs making you fat, it’s the processed food or excessive consumption of food that contributes to weight gain. The body actually needs carbohydrate to be able to burn fat and to send protein to muscles. Cut out the processed carbs like muffins and lollies but keep the nutritious ones like veggies, fruit and whole grains.
Myth: My stomach isn’t rumbling so I can skip my post-work out meal and save more calories.
Truth: You need food for your body to repair after a workout. If you don’t eat a sensible snack or meal, your body will go into a state of ketosis and break down muscle for protein to be able to repair muscle and cells, effectively ruining your workout. You may not feel hungry but your body has gone into starvation mode to protect itself and it is highly likely that you will go on a binge later on.
Your metabolism is at its highest after a workout so take advantage of this and eat something healthy to keep it up and burning calories.
I will be running Nutrition seminars at Fitness First in Penrith NSW. If you live in the area and are interested in finding out more about nutrition and food. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
There’s nothing quite as enjoyable as a good coffee but what about when you add on all the extras? Syrups, cream, cookies? Here are some things to watch out for;
People often ask is it better to work out in the morning or the evening? This question does not have a set in stone answer. Lets look at the pros and cons for each:
- Before breakfast workouts can tap into your energy stores.
- You have a sense of acomplishment for the day.
- Your metabolim is working harder and faster and burning more calories for the entire day.
- You don't run the risk of skipping the work out because you’re too tired from work/have to cook dinner/take the kids somewhere.
- Its easy to hit the snooze button/its cold.
- You feel hungrier throughout the day.
- You may not have as much energy and therefore not work as hard pre-breakfast.
- You have plenty of energy from your daily intake of food.
- Great stress reliever.
- Motivation to burn off something you ate in the day.
- Something to look forward to to get you through your day.
- You may skip it in preference to go home and watch tv/eat dinner/take the kids somewhere.
- Tired from the drive home.
- Your metabolism will increase post work out but drops when you go to bed.
There are pros and cons to each of the options. Overall yes your metabolism increase from a morning workout will remain higher for longer but not everyone can work as hard pre-breakfast so you may not burn as many calories in the session. You just have to work out which is best for you and your schedual. Remember, any work out is better than no work out!
This is an excuse I hear far too often and is applied to either eating healthy food or exercising. Well here I have your tips on how to save time and fit in the things you need to.
Pears are an underrated fruit in my opinion. They do bruise and scratch more easily than say an apple but they are sweet and delicious crunchy or soft and are packed with fibre (3.1g per 100g) and vitamins! Potassium required post work out for rehydration, vitamin C for immunity and anti-oxidants to fight cancer. Pears are a good source of minerals such as copper, iron, potassium, manganese and magnesium as well as B-complex vitamins such as folates, riboflavin and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6). There’s only 58 calories per 100g! They are quite versatile too. Here are a few quick things you can do with them;
- Add to a cheese platter for a refreshing palate cleanser.
- Grate over porridge for more fibre and natural sweetness.
- Poach in a fruit syrup for a warm winter dessert.
- Dice and top cereal or yoghurt.
- Munch on post work out with a handful of raw nuts.
- Dip and set tips in dark chocolate for a semi-healthy dessert (crunchy best for this).
- Throw in the blender along with berries, banana and a little juice or water or milk for a yummy smoothie.
- Add to a salad with rocket, walnuts, shaved parmesan and balsamic dressing.
At a time when obesity is a big issue many of us are looking for ways to cut calories from our diets. Take a walk down your local supermarket and you will see shelves full of products claiming to be ‘97% fat-free’ but what exactly does this mean?
Some clients exercise 5 days a week, eat lots of healthy food, drink plenty of water, get plenty of sleep and then party on the weekends accompanied by binge drinking. They then come to me and ask “why can’t I lose weight?”
I know that it's confusing with all the diet options out there. You have Atkins, Body Trim, Tony Ferguson, Weight Watchers, Lemon Detox Diet, low carb vs low fat, paleo etc. The problem is these are short-term quick-fix diets.