Tag Archives: Hula hoop

12 things you need to banish your love handles once and for all

When you take the decision to undertake a Fitness Makeover you have already overcome the first big obstacle in your quest: inertia. Now you have to gather your tools and resources so that you can actually get started and gain the momentum you need to make this task easy peasy. This in turn will help you stay the course and see your body transformation project through to the end.

Below is a list of all the things you need to finally banish those love handles once and for all. By the way, some of the links below point to products for which I will earn a tiny commission if you make a purchase. I am recommending them because both my clients and myself use them all the time and we are all benefiting from them. They are only suggestions and will hopefully give you an idea of what to look for if the items described are not available where you live.

1 – The winning mindset. Without this success will be hard to achieve and perhaps even elusive. In my experience, clients who spent time getting this right breezed through their programs and enjoyed every step of the process. Especially the part where they exceeded their initial goals. I can help you by offering you my FREE mini-course “Sips of Inspiration”: you will receive 8 short emails straight into your inbox every other day that will help you get clear on your reasons and provide you with the inspiration you need to become unstoppable. If you would rather have the short version you can download the infographic from the sidebar on the right.

2 – A preliminary plan. Once your head is in the right place you need to take a good look at your current lifestyle and see where you can fit in the various components of the fitness makeover program you choose to follow. Have a look at this link for an example of what it takes to go through a complete body transformation.

3 – The right gear for the job. Now that you have a good idea of how your fitness makeover project will fit into your life it’s time to find some great and stylish gear that will make you want to get down and dirty just so that you can wear it. Take a look at this post for a collection of the trendiest fitness clothes for ladies in 2016.

4 – A place to exercise. If you don’t want to sign up for a gym or get filthy in the park you can always exercise indoors in your house or flat. You really don’t need a lot of space and you can re-purpose your furniture to act like gym equipment. For most people this will be a perfectly acceptable choice. You can find more ideas here.

5 – Some basic exercise equipment. Although you can achieve amazing results just by doing bodyweight exercises, for even better results I would recommend investing in some basic equipment. You can create your very own home gym that you can store in the broom cupboard with just 3 items: a yoga mat to give you a soft and non-slippery floor surface, a swiss ball to use as a bench as well as an exercise tool and a pair of dumbbells with adjustable weights for when you are ready to give your fat burning moves a boost. If you find the idea of using weights a bit intimidating you could start out with some resistance bands instead. These aren’t as good as dumbbells but will still give you a jolly good workout. Finally, if you want something to do in lieu of traditional core exercises you could get a hula hoop. Depending on how you use it you can also get a cardio workout out of it.

6 – A trusted supplier of good quality produce. I highly recommend signing up for a weekly delivery of organic produce in a box. There are many companies offering this service nowadays and I urge you to give it a try. As well as eating food that tastes like it’s supposed to be you will be supporting your local farmers and encouraging a return to less intensive farming methods that are kinder to the environment and to the animals being part of the food chain. I have been using Abel and Cole for years now and wouldn’t go back to relying on store bought groceries for all my needs. If they happen to deliver in your area and would like to give them a try drop me an email and I will set you up to receive 50% off your 1st and 4th order with them. If they don’t deliver near you check this article for other companies offering a similar service.

7 – A trusted supplier of sports supplements. This is often a tricky subject for many clients. The thing is you don’t need to use any sports supplements at all to achieve your fitness makeover goals. You can do it by eating normal food. However, the task is a damn lot easier (and cheaper) if you use protein powders and other supplements that will help you grow and retain the muscle you are working so hard to build. There are various schools of thought as to how much protein you need to build muscle and lose fat. Some say you need 2g or protein for each Kg of body weight, some say you need a lot less. Regardless of who you choose to agree with, remember that exercising for fat loss is very different from going for a walk and therefore you have to treat your nutritional needs differently. To consume an adequate amount of protein every day you may need to eat large quantities of meat. This is both impractical and expensive whereas by using protein powders that are formulated with the needs of athletes in mind you will be able to meet your targets easily, cheaply and without eating 3 chickens a day. I have been using Bulk Powders for many years now and would highly recommend them. If you want to check them out use this link and if you decide to buy from them you will get 25% off your first order.

8 – A few meal ideas. I hardly ever recommend recipe books to my clients because I’d rather teach them how to construct their meals AFTER we have unlocked the secrets of how their metabolism works. Some people do well on a high fat diet, others do better on a low carb diet, others still are better off eating more starches but staying away from saturated fats. Typically, recipe books don’t do this. However, if you really insist on such a thing take a look at this recipe book for a collection of awesome fat burning dishes. I especially love the desserts section  😉

9 – An intake calories counter. Calories come after nutrients in terms of importance but they are still extremely important and should never be overlooked. At the end of the day if you want to lose fat you need to restrict your calories intake and the best way to ensure you are doing this is to use a calories counter. There are many available for free online, personally I have used My Fitness Pal in the past both for my clients and myself and found it rather useful especially in the beginning to get a reality check as to how many calories we were consuming on a daily basis. Sometimes it was too many, other times it wasn’t enough. The cool thing is the phone app so that you can track your meals on the go. If you used it straight out of the box it might not be very effective but the macronutrients ratios can be customised to suit your metabolism so with a few tweaks here and there it will become a most valuable tool.

10 – An outgoing calories counter. Keeping track of how many calories you burn on a daily basis is equally as important as knowing how many you acquire with your food and drinks. Restricting your intake with a combination of less food and more movement and exercise is hardly ever a good strategy. Exercise is stressful for the body and so sometimes, if we are going to be very busy with everyday physical tasks, it might be better to back off and rest instead of adding to the stress. My Fitness Pal also allows you to take into consideration the outgoing calories when calculating your nutritional needs, however if you want to get an idea of how many calories you burn during everyday activities have a look at this website. You will need to enter your height and weight for a more accurate reading but it’s quick and you don’t have to fiddle with an app on your phone.

11 – A way to measure your progress. It’s no good going through the effort of a fitness makeover if you don’t know if it’s working or not. Here are some recommendations for keeping track of the changes so you can re-assess and adjust if necessary.

12 – Celebrate your success with a style consultation. At the end of your fitness makeover you will most likely look very different and your body will be a different shape (within its natural shape). If you keep on wearing the same clothes as before you started you will keep on looking less than stellar too. That’s why I highly recommend investing in a consultation with a stylist to help you discover the colours that enhance your features and make you look like a rockstar even when you haven’t slept in 3 days. A good stylist will also analyse your natural shape and recommend the best style of garments for you. Although this step won’t necessary help you banish your love handles it will certainly help you camouflage them while you are still working on your transformation. This is a great place to start: the garments are great quality and you can get a few basic items in your best colours that you can add to your existing wardrobe.

So there you have it. If you can tick each item on this list you will be in a great place to start with your fitness makeover or adjust the course with your existing project. If you need help with any of this you can get in touch by calling 020 8144 5531 (please do leave a message if I can’t take the call) or by sending me a message. Best of luck and if you do have any other suggestions please let me know in the comments below!

 

Hula Hooping is fun. Period.

You will be surprised to discover that Hula Hooping is not just a fad that started in the 50′s or a phase you went through in childhood. As an activity, hooping actually dates back to the ancient Egyptian and Greek civilizations with records showing that people were already doing it in 500BC with hoops made out of grapevines, rattan and other hard grasses.

Can’t imagine that have been very comfortable or even easy to do but hey, you do what you can with what you’ve got!

Fast forward to the 21st Century and hula hoops have seen a resurgence in popularity because of the health benefits they bring to those who are brave enough to pick one up and have a go.

Modern hoops are larger and heavier than their ancestors thus rotating more slowly and requiring more calories to keep them going. This means that they can be very useful as part of any weight management program. Yay!

Most importantly, hooping is a gentle activity that doesn’t place the joints under strain and as such is safe for most people. It can be tricky to get going but once you have mastered the basics you can really let your imagination run wild and start to experiment with different tricks and techniques to test your co-ordination and timing. Play your favourite music in the background and you are all set for a truly exhilarating experience.

Of course you don’t have to just take my word for it. My claims that hula hooping is good for you are backed up by science!  😉

Buffled by the fact that some obese individuals managed to lose large amounts of weight doing nothing different other than playing with a hula hoop, scientists decided to explore this further and find out if there was a correlation between hooping and massive fat loss.

Recent research carried out at the University of Wisconsin showed that a good hula hooping session will help burn approximately 420 KCal per hour (!) comparing favourably with higher impact forms of exercise such as boot camps and cardio kickboxing thus making it a SMART Fitness choice!

Waist hooping alone will work all the major and minor core muscles as well as helping in the development of rhythm and co-ordination. Hooping will help you shrink your waist and also tone your thighs. When moving on to hand hooping and circus tricks you will be able to get a full body workout that is still gentle but awesome fun.

Because hooping is relaxing it will do wonders for keeping your stress at bay. As women get older and their hormone levels drop they lose their first line of defense against stress. Relaxing activities like hooping can help you restore the balance and create the best environment to promote fat loss.

What do I need to get the most out of my hooping?

Get this hoop on Amazon for only £19.99. You can make it heavier and you can easily disassemble the parts so it’s easy to carry with you. Btw, this is an affiliate link. If you buy the hoop I will make a small profit from the sale.

The best hoop to get you started needs to be fairly heavy, 1 or 2 Kg is ideal. This is because a heavier hoop generates momentum and moves slowly therefore making hooping easier.

Try not to go for anything too fancy or too thick with knobs on the inside as they will limit your options when it comes to moving around or even practicing easy tricks. The hoop on the right is perfect, albeit a bit light for my taste for fitness and weight loss purposes.

According to Mary Pulak, the designer of the hula hooping workout used in the 2010 study, a heavier hoop “creates enough force to give a fantastic workout, but it’s not heavy enough to bruise your body”.

Because you need to keep your core tight to whip the weighted hoop around your waist, heavier hoops also work your abs more than their lightweight counterparts, she says.

In terms of size, the bigger and heavier the hoop, the easier it is to use because it gives you more time to react to the forward and backward hooping movements. The diameter of the right-sized hoop should be between the height of your waist and your breastbone.

I have a copy of the DVD with the workout used in the research study mentioned above. The actual workout will take a bit to learn as it involves a lot of moving around while you are waist hooping: you will be walking in all directions, moving your arms, squatting and lunging. If you are new to hooping these are all skills that will take some time to get just right before you can follow along with the workout. But that’s all part of the fun!

If you then decide to progress on to hoop dancing and circus tricks you will need a lighter, but still weighted, hoop. This is because you will spend a lot of time using your hoop with your hands, jumping in and out of it, flipping it in the air and catching it. I tried this with my fitness hoop and got bruised all over as a result. Then I bought a professional hoop and I was fine.

Hooping foot through hoopAmong other benefits hula hooping is relaxing and is said to have meditative qualities and encourages you to keep on improving on your flexibility the moment you start jumping in and out of the hoop.

Depending on how far you go with the circus tricks, hooping can bring back the element of play into everyday life, it’s a mood enhancer and stimulates the 2nd chakra governing sexuality, creativity and emotions.

I used hooping successfully with many clients who hated the idea of doing cardio and although hooping won’t give you the same metabolic stimulus as a jolly good HIIT session it will still help you bring the energy expenditure towards the red.

You can tell who my clients are (or were) because they all have had a go at hooping at some point or another. Even some men tried it and enjoyed it…

Everyone can do it and I really cannot emphasize enough how enjoyable this form of exercise is. Lose yourself in your favourite spot outdoors and burn those calories!

What are you waiting for? Get hooping!

If you want my help in learning how to lose weight with hooping get in touch by booking your complimentary 30 minute call right now!