Shaping Up with fitness trainer Graham Low

Personal fitness trainer Graham Low in his centre at the Seaham Marina.
Personal fitness trainer Graham Low in his centre at the Seaham Marina.
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Three things that could be slowing down your weight loss

DEHYDRATION

A glass of water half full or half empty.

A glass of water half full or half empty.

Hydration increases your ability to burn stored body fat because it helps boost your metabolism.

Water is a natural appetite suppressant and it helps curb cravings so you’re less likely to eat and drink sugary snacks, where a lot of people go wrong.

If you’re body is dehydrated your fat burning process will slow down.

So don’t wait until you’re thirsty to take a drink of water, start drinking it as soon as you wake up on a morning – have a glass with your breakfast. Then keep sipping throughout the day.

An avocado.

An avocado.

You need to have a minimum of 2 litres of water per day. Really, you should aim for 3 litres, especially on the days that you workout.

That may seem like a lot but trust me, it really will help you burn fat and the pounds will drop off.

When your body is hydrated you will also see other benefits including:

• Healthier skin

• Healthier teeth and bones

• Healthier joints

• Improved digestion

• Reduces fatigue

• Suppresses appetite

• Increased fat metabolism

My advice is to fill up a 2 litre bottle on a morning and make sure it’s gone by the end of the day. And replace your normal cups of tea and coffee for three cups of green tea per day.

If you find yourself forgetting to drink water, set a reminder alarm on your phone to go off every couple of hours until you get into the habit.

NOT ENOUGH HEALTHY FAT

Fat stored in your body, around your waist, hips and bum can’t be burned efficiently without eating healthy fats to help the process.

Healthy fats from nuts, seeds, coconut oil, olive oil, eggs, avocados and fish aid weight loss in a number of ways:

l They give you energy and they fuel your body to burn more calories.

l Help you avoid energy slumps.

l Suppress your appetite because they stay around in your digestive system for longer (meaning you won’t feel the need to raid the fridge every half an hour).

l Reduce cravings for sugary foods and drinks because they help control blood sugar levels.

l With the correct exercise programme, fats can help you build muscle, which, in turn will increase your metabolism and get you burning extra fat.

The best thing you can do is fuel your body with healthy fats on a morning. Make sure you don’t skip breakfast. Try the avocado and egg bagel in the recipe section to get your day off to the best start.

TOO MANY SIMPLE SUGARS

The main problem with simple sugars (see below) is that they cause you to have uncontrollable cravings and they make you eat more.

When you eat or drink a simple carbohydrate or a simple sugar – whether it’s a can of fizzy pop, a scoop of ice cream, or piece of chocolate – the sugar quickly rushes into your bloodstream.

You typically feel a quick rush of energy. Your body then promptly reacts to this sudden spike in blood sugar by calling on the pancreas to produce additional insulin to remove the excess sugar from your 
blood.

And for the moment, you have significantly lower blood sugar as a result of the insulin doing its job, resulting in a sense or feeling of needing more fuel, more energy and more calories.

And when your blood sugar is low, you begin to crave more of the quick-release, simple sugars, and hence you have just started the sugar craving cycle.

How can you avoid getting into a sugar craving cycle?

Increase the amount of good fats in your diet and substitute the simple carbohydrates with the complex carbohydrates from the list below.

Simple Carbohydrates

(bad for weight loss)

White bread

White rice

Pasta

Cakes

Biscuits

Pastries

Sweetened yoghurts

Tortillas

Fruit juice concentrates

White potato

Chocolate

Crisps

Complex Carbohydrates

(good for weight loss)

Wholemeal and wholegrain products

Wholegrain rice

Fresh and frozen vegetables

Sweet potatoes

Pulses

Quinoa

Soy beans

Lentils

Peas

Kidney beans

Black eyed peas

RECIPE OF THE WEEK

Egg, bacon and acocado bagel

Ingredients

Wholemeal bagel, halved and toasted

Two eggs, scrambled

1/2 avocado, mashed

Two rashers smoked lean bacon

1tsp coconut oil

Method

Put the bacon under the grill on a high heat until the bacon is cooked to your liking. I personally like it well done, slightly crispy.

While the bacon is cooking, half the avocado, remove the skin and stone and mash with a fork and set aside.

Lightly whisk the eggs. Heat a small, non-stick frying pan for a minute or so, then add the coconut oil and let it melt.

At this point cut the bagel in half and toast in a toaster.

Pour the egg mixture into the pan and let it sit, without stirring, for 20 seconds. Stir with a wooden spoon, lifting and folding it over from the bottom of the pan. Let it sit for another 10 seconds then stir and fold again.

Repeat until the eggs are softly set and slightly runny in places, then remove from the heat and leave for a few seconds to finish cooking.

Give a final stir and serve the egg on one half of the bagel and place the bacon on top. Spread the mashed avocado on the other half.

Five-minute cardio AMRAP

AMRAP stands for As Many Rounds As Possible. For this workout you have to complete as many rounds as possible of the below exercises, in five minutes.

10 STAR JUMPS

Start with your feet together and your hands down by your side. Jump your feet apart and at the same time raise your hands to the side and take them above your head. Return to the start position and repeat as many times as possible in 30 seconds.

10 TEN METER RUNS

Mark out a 10 meter area and run between the markers 10 times as quickly as possible.

10 HILL CLIMBS

Get into a press-up position so your hands are directly under your chest at shoulder width apart with straight arms.

Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.

Lift your right foot off the floor and quickly raise your knee as close to your chest as you can.

Return to the starting position and repeat with your left leg. Continue alternating for 10 reps.

You can see a video of me putting one of my PT clients through this workout on my Facebook page.

Search for East Coast Fitness or go to www.facebook.com/eastcoastfitnessseaham


FITNESS TIP

Any time is fitness time. You don’t have to hit the gym to get fit. Make the most of your commute by walking or cycling to work.

Likewise, swap your chair for a fitball. Use your lunch breaks to slot in an extra workout and your tea breaks for a stretching session.

If your goal is weight loss, look for opportunities to stand rather than sitting, as this burns more calories.

Your Trainer: Graham Low, owner of East Coast Fitness, is an award-winning personal trainer based in Seaham. The ex-professional footballer was nominated for the Small Business of the Year and Leisure Awards at the Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards last year. Graham won the Leisure Award at the North East Hotels Association Awards while working as gym manager at Seaham Hall in 2012. For personal training, boot camps, small group training and online programmes email graham@eastcoast-fitness.com or visit www.eastcoast-fitness.com