for a healthy body, home and planet

My Wellness Journey


Things i have learnt over the last few months, with my weight loss and fitness journey. This info has been gleaned from all sorts of sources, I am not a medical professional, just someone who has enjoyed their journey so far to a healthier and stronger body.

Not only do we need water to survive, but we need water to maintain or lose weight.

You kidneys and liver can work in tandem. Usually the kidneys flush out the toxins with our urine, and the liver regulates among other things our weight by monitoring our blood sugar levels and how much insulin is released into the blood stream. That is a very important thing for our liver to do. We don’t want it to have to stop that process. But if we aren’t drinking enough water, our kidneys get over loaded, so the liver has to stop its important work and help the kidneys instead to get rid of toxins. So drink more water. More general fluids are ok. Things like soups etc. But water is the best of all. Sugary drinks and caffine drinks make the kidney work harder to flush out the additives before it can put the water to work. So guess what? Yes, you guessed it, the liver has to help. So all of that sugar you just drank, if it’s not burnt off, just gets stored as fat.

So drink just plain water with sugary drinks as an occasional treat.

If you really need to buy those McDs or BK etc fast foods, fill up your cup with water instead of fizzy drink. Your body will thank you for it. Most fast food outlets have a filter water tap at the end of their fizzy drink dispensers.

Protein is essential if you want to lose weight and build muscle. Or even just to lose weight. Be less concerned about whether the meat etc is fatty. Fat doesnt make you fat, over-eating, sugar and carbohydrates do. Stop eating the low fat versions of yoghurt and cheese, go for the normal ones. These have more butter fat so fill you up with less actual food. The low fat versions are often full of sugar (especially yoghurt), and other additives that are hard for your body to process. And they won’t fill you up, so you are left feeling hungry again sooner, meaning you over-eat.

Try to buy a butter spread with the most actual real butter in it. These ones are more expensive, but they aren’t full of the man made oils full of chemicals which stay in your system because they are hard to process… the result, they make you put on weight.

To give your adrenal glands a fighting chance to give you enough energy for the day, without requiring stimulants like caffine. You need to eat around 1 gram of protein for every 1 kg you weigh. For people trying to build muscle this requirement is double if not more depending on the amount of muscle they are building.

That’s why I often put a sprinkle of a protein shake on my gluten free cereal in the morning. It helps since I am doing regular weight resistance training, so my muscles need the extra protein.

Most sports involve physically breaking down muscle during the activity and repairing it afterwards. Endurance altheletes need about 50% more protein than a sedentary person. Body builders need twice as much protein as a sedentary person.

Here’s rough estimates of the amount of protein in food which I found by trolling various websites for information…

1 egg has 6g
100g eggs 13g
49833_story__red-meat1 large egg (50)g 6g
1 tub of Greek yoghurt has 10g
100g yoghurt, milk, soy milk 6g
Half a cup of cottage cheese 10g
100g chicken breast 30g
100g fish (tuna, salmon, halibut) 26g
100g cheese 32g
100g pork loin chops 25g
100g lean beef and veal 36g
100g tofu 7g
100g soy beans 17g
100g seeds, peanuts, almonds 33g

I try to have mostly protein for lunch and it keeps me going through the afternoon. Scrambled eggs or omelete etc. When working away from home we just need to be thinking outside a box a bit more. Instead of sandwiches, perhaps scrambled eggs etc that you can heat up. Or I use our family recipe for a easy as to make, home made egg spread that is great on sandwiches. Still getting carbs but at least a bit of protein as well. The egg spread keeps for several days in the fridge in an air tight container. But it never lasts long enough to go off, as it is popular in our place, and gets eaten.

This straight from the Healthy Food Guide magazine… In the last 30 years the standard dinner plate has increased from a diametre of 25 cms to 30 cms. So we often eat way more for dinner than we should. I had thought for a while that my portion sizes were too big. So I have systematically been reducing what I eat at dinner time to around half of what I ate 12 months ago.

Sometimes if I’ve made something really yummy I can easily get back into the old habit of piling up my plate. So I use my knife and push half of it to the side of my plate. Then once I have eaten the first half I guage whether I am still hungry enough to eat the rest. Usually I am full or maybe a little bit hungry which is ok. I can have some fruit or even dessert. And leave the other half of my dinner for a great lunch tomorrow.

If you drop down your portion sizes too fast. You might feel a bit light headed for a day or so. But it passes. A way around it. Do it gradually and make sure your dinner is mostly protein. It fills you up and keeps you full. If its mostly carbs, you will be hungry again sooner. So weight gain central…

Try not to eat anything after your evening meal. At least not two hours before bed. As you sleep and you go through the fasting process because you arent eating for 8+ hours, your liver is resetting your metabolism and resetting your blood sugar and insulin levels which is essential for weight management. If we don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis, especially if we eat something of a carbohydrate or sugary nature, just before bed, it puts the body under stress and that resetting of the blood sugar levels can’t happen as efficiently. The result, weight gain.

Some people think half an hour of easy exercise will help them lose weight. It is doing them lots of good giving them stamina and endurance etc. But often, it actually won’t help them lose weight.

You need to kick start the metabolism by hard and fast aerobic exercise first thing in the morning. This keeps the body burning fat for the rest of the day, even when your not exercising. And you also need to tone the muscles a few times during the week as well. So a combination of aerobic exercise with muscle toning is the winning combination for effective weight loss. I lost 5 kgs in around 3 months by only doing 10 mins of aerobic exercise most days, with longer sessions of weight resistance training or swimming, 1-2 days per week

I have found for me that hard and fast exercise first thing in the morning before breakfast, works well for me. Or if I can’t do it then, in the evening is the next best time.

I do five minutes exercycling as fast as I can, first thing in the morning, every day or every other day with another 5 minutes upper and lower body workout on my TG1000. I find it works better that way as I am warmed up from the cycling and don’t hurt my muscles so much. I can get a decent sweat up on even the coldest winter morning.

Then 1 to 2 times a week I do weight resistance training on my muscles. This really helps burn more fat and build slim muscles.

I do a couple of other bits and pieces in between like 3 mins hula hoop.  Yes you read that right, hula hooping. An adult needs to use an adult sized and weighted hula hoop to be effective. It works on your core posture muscles of your stomach and back. And while you are laughing about the hula hoop. You only need to do it for 3 minutes a day. Any more than that, you will have very sore stomach muscles. I lost 2 cms off my waist and hips in the first two weeks of hula hooping! This was additional to all the other exercise I had being doing as above, but including swimming at least once a week as well.

Overall it doesn’t sound like a lot of exercise, well it’s not, but I am still losing weight. And gaining muscle. I have now lost 10 kgs in 8 months of doing this regime. I would probably gain more muscle therefore burn more fat if I did more weight training. 6 months ago I did weight training 4 times a week with just the same amount of aerobic training as described above. Plus I was also swimming 2 to 3 times a week. And the weight literally poured off me. I haven’t gone swimming for a few months now being winter, but still steadily dropping weight. I am pretty happy with my weight now, so am just in maintenance mode to keep fit and strong.

Additional exercises I do from time to time is tummy crunches etc in a spa pool. Usually once or twice a week.

Planking is a really good exercise that works on the core muscles. I could hardly stay in position for 10 seconds when I first tried it a few months ago. Now i can hold position or 50 seconds. It is a very good daily challenge to set for yourself to see how long you can plank for.

It’s also a good practice to be holding your tummy muscles in. When I first tried this my muscles were so slack and weak, they wouldn’t really move.  I suspect the result of two pregnancies ending with C-sections. They really seem to destroy the strength of the stomach muscles. And lots of years in a industry where you just spend a lot of time sitting at a computer all day. I have found when driving on long car journeys or sitting at a computer for a long time. If I experience any back pain, it is usually because my stomach muscles have got lazy, so I pull in my tummy, therefore straightening my back, and the pain and fatigue goes away.

Your health and wellness journey is probably very different to mine. There is no defined route to take, if it’s daunting, then any start is good.