In my 20s and 30s I used to do weight training, road cycling, kickboxing, submission wrestling, surf lifesaving and I’d be hitting the gym most days of the week. No wonder I was so tired, anxious and not digesting and absorbing my nutrients properly!
These days I’m more into Pilates as a way of strengthening and toning my body, and walking every day to unwind and meditate. I’ve learnt to listen to my body and exercise accordingly.
Everyone is on their unique journey to make improvements to their health and fitness and there's a lot of confusion out there on how to best exercise and eat right to support a women’s physique. I find that many people can stress over finicky nutrition details rather than focusing on the broader picture – that is, sticking to fresh whole foods most of the time, while making sure you're having adequate amounts of protein, and incorporating exercise in your daily routine. This is key to how I keep fit, feeling great and sustaining lean muscle mass.
THE POWER OF EXERCISE
For me exercise is about a lot more than just preventing weight gain, heart disease, type 2 diabetes or depression, your body loves to move! It will reward you by slowing down the effects of ageing, increasing energy levels, reducing fatigue, and giving you the lean, toned look many of us desire.
Unfortunately, muscle shape and tone doesn’t just happen on it’s own – our muscles need to be both encouraged (via exercise) and nourished (when we eat well). Muscle is a metabolically active tissue, which burns energy not only during exercise but also at increased levels in the hour or so after exercise. It’s one of the best ways to encourage your body to utilise more fat as fuel.
I’m a big advocate for regular exercise, at least four - five days a week is the optimum, but if you can manage three that’s great to start. Yes most of us are all pretty stressed out these days and time poor - I sometimes have to remind myself to take the time out for number one and get some well deserved me time.
For me something as simple as going for a morning walk before work gives me clarity, energises my body and just makes me feel great for the rest of the day. I find as long as you do something you enjoy, it will become a part of your everyday lifestyle.
PROTEIN: THE PERFECT BODY SHAPING NUTRIENT
The key nutrient for overall health as well as body shaping is protein. It's essential to regulate the appetite, support lean toned muscles, boost metabolism, repair the body, support healthy skin and hair and encourage a healthy weight.
Consumption of protein rich meals - it is recommended you get between 80-120 g of protein a day to aid satiety and repair. For sports recovery and fitness the best time to consume protein is immediately after exercise when blood flow to the exercised muscles is high and the muscle is especially receptive to nutrients. Before exercise it can curb appetite and keep blood sugars stable to get you through your workout in the best physical condition.
The best protein powder for body shaping and toning are those without sugar, gluten, concentrates and lactose that can often aggravate the digestive system and are poorly absorbed. Have a look at the full ingredients list of what I don't want in my protein supplement.
A premium protein powder that is un-denatured and free from chemicals and additives will help your body nourish and support optimum health + wellbeing.
I’ve been in the fitness and health industry since my early 20s and have tasted many kinds of protein on the market. Some made me gain weight, some constipated me for days, and some made me feel bloated. This was the main reason I decided to design my own range of The Healthy Chef protein powders.
Protein can work effectively to regulate the appetite, increase satiety and encourage significant weight loss. For weight loss, it is recommended you get between 90 - 120 g of protein per day.
3 WAYS PROTEIN HELPS WITH BODY SHAPING:
1. It keeps you satisfied
Protein can work effectively to regulate the appetite, increase satiety and encourage significant weight loss, if that is your goal. When attempting to keep total calories down during dieting, protein supplementation can help to keep total food volume down but still provide support directly to the muscles, liver and immune system, which are critical to optimising body composition. For weight loss it is recommended you get between 80 – 120 g of protein per day to aid satiety and repair. See my recipe for Body Shaping Smoothie.
2. It’s has a thermogenic effect
As a general rule, your body expends more energy, or calories, to digest proteins than it does to digest carbohydrates and fats. This means you’ll burn more calories by eating lean protein foods as it takes up a lot of energy to process them, putting proteins at the top of the list in terms of thermic effect, according to the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism.
3. It maintains lean muscle
The best time to consume protein is immediately after intense exercise when blood flow to the exercised muscles is high and the muscle is especially receptive to nutrients. Before exercise it can curb appetite and keep blood sugars stable to get you through your workout in the best physical condition. I love using my Healthy Chef protein in my morning smoothies, or mixed in with Greek style yoghurt as it is high in BCAA’s (branched chain amino acids). Studies show that BCAA’s can reduce fatigue and improve exercise performance, reduce muscle breakdown and facilitate healing.
The Healthy Chef Protein range - supports weight loss + body shaping.
They are gluten free, cold pressed and free from sugar and fillers. No Bloating + No digestive disturbances. Available from The Healthy Chef eStore.