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HACK #1 - SPEND TIME BAREFOOT
With modern conveniences, such as shoes and flat surfaces, our feet do not function as optimally or move as freely as they are designed to. Shoes tend to have a slight heel creating a positive plantarflexed position, resulting in shortened calves and issues further up the chain, squeeze your toes together, creating bent and fused toe joints and also prevent your feet from adjusting and deforming to the ground beneath them. Constantly wearing shoes and walking on level surfaces has forced our bodies to adjust and loaded the ankles with the work of the foot.
Kick your shoes off, spend time barefoot on a variety of surfaces and gradually regain your ability to move more freely. Rebuild your movement from the ground up.
Check out Katy Bowman's website https://nutritiousmovement.com/
HACK #2 - LIFT WEIGHTS, BURN FAT
The age old conundrum, should you perform cardiovascular or resistance training to eliminate body fat?
There is a common misconception that cardio is the most effective way to rid yourself of those unwanted kilos. Calories in < Calories out = Weight loss has been the equation for weight loss for years, perhaps this is why cardio has been popularised as the most effective method for reducing weight. However, this approach may leave you with a less than desirable body composition.
Enter, resistance training. Resistance training is more effective in reducing body fat in more ways than one. 1) Performing compound movements, require far greater muscular activation than cardio. The greater your muscular activation, the greater your energy expenditure. Therefore, you are able to burn more calories utilising resistance training than in a cardio session of the same length. 2) Resistance training can result in a temporarily increased metabolic state, causing your body to expend more energy even after the session is complete. 3) Consistent resistance training results in increased muscle mass, the greater your muscle mass the greater your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), requiring your body to expend more energy in a resting state.
The other misconception I hear all the time is "won't resistance training make me look like a man?". Ladies if you are concerned about getting 'bulky' or looking 'manish' don't. Resistance training will assist you in developing lean muscle mass, leaving you looking toned, taut and terriffic. Ward off those tuck shop arms for years to come, LIFT!
HACK #3 - A CALORIE IS A CALORIE
In the world of health and fitness you will hear the term 'macros' thrown around alot. Macros refers to the three main macronutrients; fat, protein and carbohydrates. Each of these three macronutrients play an important role and provide your body with information. The energy provided per gram of macronutrient is as follows:
Carbohydrates provide 4 calories per gram
Protein also provides 4 calories per gram
Fat provides 9 calories per gram
The calorie is a calorie myth was coined to have you believe that all calories are created equal. Unfortunately, it is not that simple and leads to misinformation such as: calorie intake < calorie expenditure = weight loss.
Leading people to believe they can consume whatever they want so long as they don't exceed their calorie expenditure for the day. While this may result in weight loss, it will not result in optimal health. For example 300 calories from lean meat, vegetables and natural fats will create a far varied hormonal and chemical response to 300 calories from a McDonald's meal. Therefore a calorie is NOT a calorie. Consider where you source your caloric intake before your next meal.
HACK #4 - FLEXIBILITY VS. MOBILITY
While flexibility might be great and look impressive, is it optimal?
Mobility refers to the ability to control your joints through their full range of motion (ROM). Improved mobility reduces the incidence of injuries that occur in the end range and allows you to produce more force through a greater ROM.
How can you improve your mobility?
Add resistance (i.e. pause squats)
Spend time in the top/bottom of your positions (i.e. asian squat)
When performing movements, work through full ROM
Work deficit ranges, providing you already have a strong foundation in your normal ROM (i.e. deficit deadlifts)
Adjust the tempo of your reps, perform them slowly with control and correct activation
Flexibility may allow a person to get in to certain positions, but, mobility will allow them to be strong in those positions. Check out our blog on mobility.
HACK #5 - STOP EATING LOW-FAT!
Will consuming fat make you fat?
Like anything, too much of a good thing can cause negative side effects or consequences. However, sensible consumption of a diet high in good fats, such as those depicted on the left, will give you more energy than you can poke a stick at, has many great health benefits and will not cause obesity. That being said, anything eaten in excess or greater than your total energy expenditure will cause you too gain weight. With 1g of fat equivalent to 9 calories, 2.25 times more calories than are provided by carbohydrates and protein, it is reasonably easy to reach your required caloric intake for the day.
By reducing your carbohydrate intake and increasing your intake of quality fats, you can comfortably lose weight, while feeling fuller and avoid the highs and lows associated with your typical high carbohydrate diet.
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