How Long Before You Start to See Results?

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Arguably one of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to fitness is how long will it take before I start to see results? The honest answer to this questions is that “it depends.” There are several factors which will affect how long it will take before you see results such as: what your goal is, where you currently are in relation to that goal, how consistent you are with training and nutrition, your job, other priorities, how much stress you are under, whether or not you are getting adequate sleep and recovery, etc.

Personally I’m not a fan of this question because it seems to suggest that the healthy habits that we create (i.e exercising and eating better) are temporary and when people think in this way they may end up taking more drastic and unsustainable measures to achieve their goals. Instead, we should think of making lifestyle changes by taking small and sustainable steps that we can see ourselves doing for the foreseeable future.

Another reason I’m not a fan of this question is because we are meant to be enjoying the process and journey that we embark on in order to achieve our goals. No matter what your goal is the process to achieving it is never going to be linear. If all you do is think about the end results you may become frustrated and discouraged during the moments that things aren’t going according to plan.

You must remember that you didn’t get where you are overnight so you’re not going to get to where you want to be overnight either. The not so sexy and unmarketable truth about fitness goals is that for the majority of people they will take a long time to achieve. This is one of the reasons that we need to set short-term goals, to keep ourselves motivated along the way. Just because our goals may take longer to achieve doesn’t mean we should give up on them, ultimately the time will pass either way so we may as well spend it doing something productive.

Just some food for thought.

Jay xx

Coconut Raspberry & Oat Muffins

 

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Ingredients: 

  • 90g coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp oats
  • 2 eggs
  • A handful fresh raspberries
  • Filling of your choice I opted for either peanut butter and jam or hazelnut chocolate spread

Method:

  • Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees
  • Blend together all the ingredients (i used my nutri-bullet but you could alternatively use a whisk)  except for the ones for the ones you’ll be using for the filling
  • Place mixture into muffin moulds
  • Bake at 150 for 10-12 until golden
  • Once done give 10 minutes to cool
  • Cut muffins in half and put filling inside
  • Enjoy

Hope you guys enjoy these as much as I did

Jay xx

Pull Ups: Squats for you Upper Body

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Recently there has been so much attention paid to booty building and training legs (which I have nothing against) but I would like to bring attention back to the upper body. Pull-ups are arguably one of the most difficult body weight exercises to perform. However, they are also one of the most effective, recruiting several muscles simultaneously to perform the movement including: back muscles, arms, shoulders, scapular, abdominal muscles, pelvic floor, hands and forearms. It’s essentially a squat for your upper body. Pulls ups help to develop strength, create muscle definition and can help to increase shoulder to waist ratio. Many argue that the pull-up is the best exercise to test your upper body strength.

But what if you aren’t able to perform pull ups yet? Don’t worry I got your back (pun intended), here are a few tips to help master this move:

  1. Lose excessive body fat: The key word here being excessive. The heavier you are the harder it will be to pull yourself up.
  2. Strengthen the individual muscles used to perform pull-ups: make sure you training programs includes the muscles I listed above which are all used to perform a pull up.
  3. Assisted pull ups: Using a band or an assisted pull up machine with a resistance that will allow you to get between 8-12 reps
  4. Negatives: Jump up to the top of the pull up movement and lower yourself back down as slowly as you can until you are in a dead hang position.
  5. Pull-ups: Once you’re able to perform a body weight pull up the best way to get better at them is to practice. Play about with different grips and rep ranges.

Hope you guys find these helpful.

Jay xx

Self-Love Is The New #RelationshipGoals

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The most important relationship in your life is the one that you have with yourself. Not only does this relationship dictate and affect the relationships you have with others but it also impacts all areas of your life. It is crucial that you learn to have a good and loving relationship with yourself because unless you do it won’t matter what you achieve or who you date, you’ll constantly feel as if there is something missing and you’ll keep setting goals for yourself and trying different things in hopes that they will help to fill in the missing piece, but they won’t.

In my last relationship my ex didn’t value my worth, he disrespected me and convinced me that I was lucky that someone like him would even consider being with me. The crazy thing is that I believed him and I stuck around. I’m ashamed to admit that the only reason he was able to treat me the way he did was because I didn’t have a strong relationship with myself, because I failed at that time to see my true worth and because I lacked confidence.

The reason I’ve wanted to share this experience with you guys is to illustrate how great an impact the relationship we have with ourselves can have on the other areas of our lives. Maybe some of you have a similar story not necessarily as a romantic relationship but perhaps the relationship with your parents, a friend or even your boss.

A poor relationship with yourself can act as a barrier blocking you from reaching your potential, be that in a  job (you won’t apply for because you don’t think you’re good enough) a goal (you won’t aim for because you believe you’re incapable of achieving it) or a relationship with someone you like (that you won’t pursue because you convince yourself they are too good for you).

Many of us spend so much of our lives searching for external factors (be that a job, a partner, a fancy car, our dream body, etc) because we believe that these things will bring us happiness, when in truth the most important factor that we need to be happy can be found within ourselves and through changing our mindset. It may be a cliché but that doesn’t stop it from being true!

I’m not claiming to have perfected the relationship with myself, as with any relationship in life it is not perfect, but I am working on it and I am investing in it because it is important. As someone who grew up hating every single thing about myself right down to the colour of my skin (which is absurd because this melanin is lit AF) I can honestly say that changing my mindset and continually working on building a better relationship with myself has improved all areas of my life. Not only do I choose to focus on the positives but I’ve come to learn to love the things I once hated about myself. Learning to love and appreciate myself over the years has also helped me ensure that I will never again allow anyone to be a part of my life if they try to bring me down or attempt to diminish my self-worth.

The key message I hope that you guys take from this today is that you are good enough, you are amazing, you are smart, you are beautiful and you’re an absolute badass. There is nothing that you need to achieve or acquire, there is no relationship status that you need to gain for any of this to be true. The sooner you realise this, and the sooner you build a strong and healthy relationship with yourself, the better life becomes. “Never forget there is only one of you and you are as breathtaking as they come.” -E. Russell

Just some food for thought.

Jay xx

Making it a Lifestyle: Being Fit and Healthy Goes Beyond the Time Spent at the Gym

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We all know how important it is to engage in some form of physical activity regularly. For most of us the chosen means to stay fit and healthy is through exercise at the gym. However, being fit and healthy goes beyond the time that we spend working out. Being active outside of the gym and ensuring that we are filling our bodies with mostly nutrient dense food is just as important. We spend most of our time outside the gym so what we do during that time will have a great impact on our lives and our goals.

Here are a few tips to help ensure that you are making the most of your time outside of the gym:

  1. Aim to get 10 000 daily steps: Walk or take the stairs more often. Try parking further away or taking the stairs instead of the lift wherever possible even going to a bathroom that is further away at work.
  2. Be mindful of what you’re putting into your body: By no means do I think you should deprive yourself of food that you enjoy (everything in moderation) but you do need to be mindful of what you’re eating and how much of it you’re eating.
  3. Participate in activities that are fun and will keep you active and moving: Going swimming, bike riding, trampolining, hiking, bowling, ice-skating, going to the beach, etc.
  4. Get friends and family to participate: Getting friends and family to participate in activities with you such as going for a for a daily walk after dinner or on your lunch break can help to keep you motivated and make you more accountable to keep it up.
  5. Think of making it part of your lifestyle and not just a temporary measure: Shifting your mindset and thinking of doing things as part of your lifestyle helps to ensure that you view your commitment as long-term and will also help ensure that you are making positive sustainable changes that will help you achieve your goals.

Just some food for though

Jay xx

5 Tips to Help Create a Healthy Relationship with Food

 

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Having battled for so many years in a toxic relationship with food. I thought I would share with you guys a few tips that have helped me find balance when it comes to nutrition and build a healthier relationship with food.

  1. Don’t Restrict = When you restrict food you start focusing on all the things that you can’t have and this can lead to binge eating. When you’ve binged you feel crappy and when you feel crappy you binge more and thus a vicious cycle is created. Instead of restricting, focus on ensuring that the majority of your meals are made up of nutrient dense foods while still allowing yourself to enjoy all your favourite things (in moderation of course 😉 ). Approaching nutrition in this way allows you to fill your body with mostly nutrient dense foods without feeling deprived.
  1. Don’t Label Foods = When you stop labelling food as being either “good” or “bad” you give yourself the freedom to  just enjoy the foods that are good for your soul without feeling guilt.
  1. View it as a lifestyle change = The approach to nutrition you take (i.e. paleo, keto, vegan, vegetarian, etc) should be taken for the right reasons. You shouldn’t pick it solely to lose weight. Moreover, you should be able to see yourself doing it a year from now. Viewing things from this perspective will help you step away from the quick fix mentality and you will be more likely to make sustainable changes that will allow you to be consistent in the long-term.
  1. Address the underlying issues which trigger you to binge or avoid food = Addressing what triggers you and leads you to having a toxic relationship with food is crucial. Failing to address these issues will block you from making true progress and instead you’ll fall back into old unhealthy habits. For me there were a few issues which needed to be addressed most notable were the relationship I had with myself, building up my self-confidence and self-esteem and the second was to recognise when I was stressed and to find alternative ways of coping with it. Since addressing these issues I no longer go to food for comfort.
  1. Be patient = Changing old habits and creating new ones takes time. It is not going to be a smooth process, you will most likely make mistakes. Be patient and be kind to yourself and most importantly don’t give up. I’m not claiming to be perfect but these factors have helped me build a healthier relationship with food and I hope that they can do the same for you guys.

Hope you guys find these helpful

Love Jay xx

5 Tips to Help Turn Behavioural Changes into Habits

 

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When it comes down to it, deep down we all know WHAT we need to do to achieve our goals. For example with fitness goals we know that we need to exercise more, eat better, etc. The WHAT isn’t the problem it’s the HOW. How do we go about making these changes and turning them into habits? Today I’m going to share with you a few tips on how to go about making these changes:

  1. Take It One Step At A Time:

One of the main reasons people give up on their goals is because they try to do too much at once and become overwhelmed. Instead of trying to change everything at once pick one thing to focus on. For example  picking to focus on being consistent with training and once you’ve achieved that moving on to focusing on improving nutrition.

  1. Celebrate Small Accomplishments: 

It’s important to celebrate the small accomplishments. Rewards help to reaffirm and reinforce behaviour as well as acting as a source of motivation. Just make sure that the reward you choose isn’t counterproductive to your goals. For example if your goal is fat-loss don’t reward yourself with food (as this is counterproductive to your goal, you should of course allow for flexiblity in you diet remember everything in moderation) instead you could possibly buy yourself that pair of shoes you always wanted or a new workout outfit.

  1. Be Accountable:

Being accountable to ourselves or someone else can help to turn daily practices into habits. For fitness goals you could perhaps get a gym buddy or a personal trainer, track your progress (through use of photos or diary) or make your goal public through social media.

  1. Accept That You Will Make Mistakes:

No journey will work out exactly according to plan. You have to accept the fact that you will make mistakes. The important thing is to learn from them. There will be ups and downs, there will be bad days, don’t let them put you off of achieving your goals.

  1. Remember Why You Started: 

Make sure that the reason why you are embarking on your journey is strong. Don’t just set a goal to lose weight. Focus on why you want to lose that weight? Your reason why will help you to keep disciplined on the bad days.

Hope you guys find these helpful

Jay xx

4 Factors that could be Sabotaging your Fitness Journey

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A fitness journey can be an extremely long and frustrating process. So there is nothing worse than nailing your training and nutrition (and I mean consistently not just some of the time) and still not feeling like you’re any closer to achieving your goals.

It is easy to get caught up in focusing on certain factors (i.e. training and nutrition) while neglecting seemingly insignificant ones that actually play a major role within our fitness journey. Such as:

Setting Clear Goals

When you are trying to achieve goals at the same time that require the exact opposite of each other you are sabotaging your chances of success because what you are doing to achieve Goal A is counter productive to what you need to do to achieve Goal B and vice versa.

The most common example of this are people who are trying to lose fat and build muscle at the same time. This is a massive oversimplification but basically losing fat and building muscle require different caloric needs. To lose fat you must be in a calorie deficit and to build muscle you must be in a calorie surplus.

What to take from this is that you need to ensure that you are setting clear goals and working towards that and not doing work that is counterproductive to the goal that you hope to achieve.

Staying Hydrated

Hydration is arguably one of the most overlooked components with respect to the achievement of our fitness goals. Ensuring that we are adequately hydrated is not only important for our fitness goals, but it is generally important for our overall health and well-being. Make sure you’re getting enough water.

How much water you need to drink will vary for every individual and depend on your level of activity. According to NHS guidelines you should be aiming to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. However, this is quite vague, so a good general rule to go by is to ensure that you are not thirsty at any point throughout the day (as thirst is a sign of dehydration).

Getting Enough Sleep 

In a Harvard study conducted in 2008 experts concluded that “getting enough high-quality sleep may be as important to health and well-being as nutrition and exercise.” When we don’t get enough sleep we feel tired, grumpy and lack focus. While the odd  bad nights sleep won’t do us any harm, several nights of lack of sleep will have considerable negative impact on our fitness goals and our health. According to the NHS the average individual requires 8 hours of good quality sleep every night.

Getting Adequate Recovery 

Ensuring that you’ve scheduled recovery days in your training program is just as crucial to the achievement of your fitness goals as your workouts. Recovery plays several roles from helping to prevent injury to fighting against burning out (both mentally and physically)

Just some food for thought

Jay xx