11/09/15

10 simple steps to weight loss


I’m not saying this is a magical cure that will make you drop weight within a couple of days, maybe not even in a couple of weeks, but you WILL feel better, and you WILL look fitter if you follow all or even some of these. I’m not trying to push all this information on you, but I do have a lot of people asking me, so I thought I’d make you guys a list. Remember to be consistent this isn’t a one week mission. 

girl holding her fingers over her eyes wearing a chill sports top

 

Lift weights, I used to do Spinning, 30 minute abs classes, step and strength classes followed by working out with light weights on machines. I could even run 10km/h on the treadmill for 60 minutes. I would switch this around and stay in the gym for hours, without really seeing much result. I mean, yes I did tighten up, and yes my conditioning become a lot better, but it took me months to really see any result and it was minimal. Then, I started doing heavy weights after moving to Thailand. After around two months, I started seeing a body I had never seen before. Visible muscles and I was stronger than ever. This was so new and exciting and it soon became a lifestyle. I know it’s hard to get started but if you want someone to kick your butt in the beginning, Thailand has many affordable options for a private trainer. I also started up with one, using Bodycore Thailand. They have a 10 session deal, and definitely know what they are talking about.

Green tea in the morning, why? Read my last blog post about the health benefits of green tea.

Cut the alcohol When I first moved to Thailand I moved into a house with a bunch on 18-20 year old girls, all European and Scandinavian luk kruengs and we would party around 3 days a week. We were young ok… don’t blame us. I would still go to the gym and train with my trainer after… luckily he would cut me some slack and we started around 2 pm so this wasn’t a problem. But I could have definitely progressed a lot more both aesthetically and strength wise if I didn’t. Now that I drink maybe every second week or less, I’m definitely seeing more results and all in all feel a lot better. I hate being hung over, it ruins me for DAYS. I live with this Norwegian rule in my head that always makes me go overboard when I drink, it goes something along the lines of it being a waste to drink unless you’re getting wasted.

Count your calories!!! This one is so important, and is enough to already start seeing a huge difference. I know it’s boring and it takes time, but really, you will find it worth it. I’m not saying that this is something you should do everyday for the rest of your life because I sure know that I won’t, but, while you are trying to get your dream body for the beach or removing those few inches on your waist that came with the everyday binge of pizza and candies (we’ve all been there…)then you have to. It’s so easy to think that you are eating healthy or the right amount of calories, but you will be pretty shocked once you try counting. It’s always either too much or too little.There are also different ratios of carbs, fat and proteins you can follow and these are great to follow while counting calories. I use this amazing app called Myfitnesspal and it’s so easy to put your daily intake on it.You could estimate too, but it’s better to actually use a scale. Who knows exactly how 100 grams of chicken after it’s cooked looks like? Unless you’ve been counting earlier. After a while you kind of get the hang of it.. I also use this app by my old trainer Vishal, called Cals & macros and it’s just perfect for calculating how much you should eat to maintain, gain or for weight loss. You should use this app (or something similar) to estimate what you need to consume, otherwise you are going to put a ridiculously low number and lose lots of weight in a couple of days, just to gain it again in a second. I’ve lost 3kgs in around 4 weeks of cutting, and I haven’t felt hungry or sad at all about my eating. I’ve just cut the crap and substituted it with proper food instead. Again remember to be consistent. You can’t just do this for a week and then start eating your maintenance calories. You will most likely gain the weight back this way.

Cook at home. It’s so much easier to count calories when you cook at home. You have to count in the fats and added fried stuff into the equation as well and I find it hard when a restaurant cooks it. It’s totally fine to eat out as well, don’t get sad. It’s just easier to drop weight knowing what goes in. Otherwise, if you don’t mind spending some extra money and want your meals planned and calories counted, use Healthbox then there’s no excuse! I found that it saved me lots of time.

High protein diet, I always make sure to get lots of protein, I eat around 1+g pr lbs of bodyweight. This might just be me, but I feel like my body is a lot firmer with enough protein intake. I’ve tried working out without the protein, and I feel my body gets soggy. I use the Thai brand Dymatize, and can recommend the whey strawberry flavour. I’ve recently tried out MusclePharm Chocolate peanut butter as well, and this is now one of my favourites.   

 Move around. Download a workout app. For those days you can’t be bothered to hit the gym, or is too busy with work, or even if you want an extra workout on top of your workout, tabata is amazing. It only takes around 4 minutes of your time, and makes you pretty tired. Me and Tom tries to do Tabata together as often as we can as a little extra workout or when we think we have over eaten, hehe. I also just downloaded this app called Seven, it’s free and gives you a pretty good seven minute home workout that you can easily do if you have a yoga mat and a chair. It gets easy after a while but then you can just add weights. You can also buy more workout programs from them, but I thought 2,5 usd is a bit harsh…

Eat salads. You can eat SO much salad and it still won’t be much over 100 calories. I love to add crispy salad, tomatoes, red onions, corn and bell pepper. You can top it with chicken breast to get your daily protein intake. But don’t be one of those idiots who puts fried chicken, or lots of cheese or dressing on the salad. If you do have to add cheese to be able to eat the salad, make sure you weigh it. If you don’t bother weighing it all the time, just find out how much is in one tbsp.  I got one from Emborg with the lowest amount of calories possible and I still can’t put more than 20 grams in the salad, if I want my calories to be right. I’m not saying you can’t eat cheese, just eat it in moderation. Otherwise you could have eaten pretty much anything else and had the salad on the side. I do want to add one thing though, I find it ridiculous how all these products with lower        calories are so expensive. If I wasn’t on a diet I would choose the normal option, not because I think it tastes better, but because I don’t want to pay double the price unless I absolutely have to. Talk about trying to help people out… 

Buy healthy snacks. Before I would always snack on cookies and chips, I love chips, after my one week exchange program in Riga, I was called the snack girl, that’s how bad it is. I know I have to work extra hard if I want to eat that bag of chips, because I know, it WILL be a whole bag once I get started. If you do get hungry throughout the day, get carrots with dip, you can use greek yogurt and powder, or even low-fat sour cream if the rest of your day wasn’t high on fats. Fruits and berries are also delicious and high on vitamins and antioxidants, and so easy for us here in Thailand to find.  Another snack I usually have and that I get full on is 0% fat yoghurt and oats. It’s super delicious. I use the yoghurt from Meiji, available at every seven eleven. Almonds is also a great substitute for chips, but trying to lose weight, you gotta be careful as they are really high on fats and calories.

Actually follow this. Don’t follow it and then add some unhealthy stuff on the side, that doesn’t help. I used to get a healthbox meal plan where I had everything counted for and I had someone ask me “is it guaranteed weight loss” I mean, it’s not going to happen within one day, but yes, you will lose weights if you cut your calories to the right amount for weight loss and stick to that. It’s not going to help you if you cheat yourself and have the healthy meals PLUS a bag of chips or a burger at McDonald’s. I get so annoyed at people that say they eat so little but still gain so much, No you don’t eat too little. It’s impossible that you keep gaining weight if you under eat. Just think about it. It might be that your portions are small, but the food you choose is sky-high in calories… or you’re just fooling yourself.

Will you be joining me to get your dream body? I’m only on it until the 20th of September, then I’m off to a 3 week binge in the US and Europe. Hopefully I’ll find a gym here… or I’ll be back as a lump and will need you guys to lecture me.

-A

 

06/09/15

Why green tea should be a part of your diet


I’ve never really been a tea person, but after reading up on the health benefits of tea, and especially green tea, I try to drink it as often as I can. I used to be a lot better at it drinking it every morning, but somehow the habit got lost along the way. So from today; I will change things around, green tea first thing when I wake up.

There are so many nice options for green tea in Thailand, but the one we are using now we picked up from our travels through Nepal. It’s crazy how cheap the green tea is there. In Thailand I always end up paying 3-500 from markets or 300 baht from a little package of japanese green tea from Villa Market. Does anyone know where I can get some reasonable priced green tea here, please let me know.

For Tom’s birthday last year I surprised him with a long weekend trip to Chiang Rai and we stumbled upon this beautiful “little” tea center called tea center 101 on the way up to Mae Salong. They have all types of tea and show you how to drink it, list the benefits, and also sells all kinds of cups, pots and whatever you can imagine it being possible to drink tea from. They also had some delicious honey we brought home. On the way out I saw they had some cherry wine that I really wanted to buy, until they let me taste it, it was so strong I didn’t know what to do, haha. They had many different makes of these too so i definitely recommend you to try it if you ever go there.

While writing this post I went through my photo album from our trip to Chiang Rai, wanting to post some of the photos in this blog post but I’m going to keep it strictly to the tea, so I will be sharing it in it’s own post, as there are so many photos I want to show you.

Since Tom is an English man, well at least part English, he’s always been a fan of tea, whereas me just drinking it, just because it’s cold or I’m out in the mountains. Somehow warm drinks tastes delicious in high altitude. Anyways, my point was, I didn’t start drinking it until I did a little research on my own about it and found the health benefits to green tea, or even tea in general.

After reading it I thought it was dumb not to at least give it a try, and after a while I started to love drinking it.

Not only does green tea give me a lot of energy, but I believe it helps with increasing my fat burning too.

tea sets from thailand with floral print and grea tea in cup

Got these cute little sets, for only 100 baht each… they make drinking tea quite a hazzle, but at least it looks fancy! The tea “pot” on the other hand makes it so easy, if you are drinking tea without tea bags, you just put the tea in the top part, push a little button on the top and if filters the tea for you.

The list goes on and on but here are the top five reasons that convinced me.

  1. Weight Loss. Green tea increases the metabolism. The polyphenol found in green tea works to intensify levels of fat oxidation and the rate at which your body turns food into calories.
  2. Diabetes. Green tea apparently helps regulate glucose levels slowing the rise of blood sugar after eating. This can prevent high insulin spikes and resulting fat storage.
  3. Cholesterol. Green tea reduces bad cholesterol in the blood and improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol.
  4. Blood Pressure. Regular consumption of green tea is thought to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
  5. Anti-viral and Anti-bacterial. Tea catechins are strong antibacterial and antiviral agents which make them effective for treating everything from influenza to cancer. In some studies green tea has been shown to inhibit the spread of many diseases.

 

Are you also becoming a regular tea drinker now?

-A

28/08/15

I’m in love with the coco


pineapple and coconut oil on a table

Cold pressed coco nut oil, Tom got it from Koh Talu last a couple of years ago, meaning you don’t have to apply that much per treatment.

My hair has been going crazy these days, I’m suspecting it was from straightening my hair one day back in Norway, while it was still wet. It feels like a piece of wool. I think I’ll be going to the hairdresser for a treatment in soon unless this coconut oil works for me. I’ve been using coconut oil when my hair has been dry before and it’s worked like a charm. I love how it has no chemicals and leaves the smooth, sleek and strong afterwards.

I also love the smell of the oil, it takes me straight back to the beach and makes me feel so calm. The downside is that you have to deal with greasy hair for a couple of days, oh well.

pineapple and coconut oil on balcony table

You can find coconut oil pretty much everywhere in Thailand…

I saw a DIY hair treatment by a friend of my here in Bangkok too, I might try that if have some extra time on my hands. girl holding her hair wearing a sports bra

I used to be addicted to hair extensions before, so that’s left quite a mark on my hair too. I used it from when I was 14-21 years and my hair never got any longer as I kept on cutting it and putting on new extensions. My hair hasn’t been this long naturally for 10 years, it’s crazy. I do feel it’s a little bit short, and I would love some more volume, so after shooting a little bit with Tom yesterday I decided to order some hair clips. I only got around 7 pieces for a total of 70 g of 18” remy hair, so it will only be for volume and maybe 1 cm of length. I’m so excited for it to arrive, as I have been missing it a lot. I’ll most likely only wear it for photos and out and about on occasion, as human hair clips tend to get very annoying.

girl holding her hair looking out balcony

So happy for it be friday today, my last day of eating healthy for the week and counting calories before my binge eating tomorrow. I’ve planned to eat pizza, bamee, cheese doodles, daim, my white kinder bueno that I’ve been saving for 2 weeks now!, swedish meatballs I ordered from work and hopefully some mexican from Casa Azul. I’m going to be in a food coma.

Tonight we are going to the NEON – Night Lights to have some fun and dance, dance, dance, so I’ll be burning off everything- ready for tomorrow.

 

Will I be seeing any of you there?

-A

24/08/15

Health box – Making good health easy


Since I quit virgin active due to travelling and us moving back to Sukhumvit and most likely going back to smart fitness, I’ve actually been dieting. I know… me dieting sounds absurd but I’ve actually been quite OK at it. I started cooking at home and counting calories a week ago, and it’s been going pretty well. But I wanted a little break from it. Dieting is quite a hassle, especially when you work full time. It’s not only the cooking and cleaning up afterwards, you also have to count the calories and macros. It’s fine if you make simple dishes, but for me who likes a lot of flavours and variation it gets quite time consuming.

meal from healthbox and snack box on table next to sunflowers

First meal day, so exited for the rest. There’s another box in the bag. I like the clean and earthy presentation.

But for now, starting from today I’m using health box for a week to try it out. I’m already after day one feeling like I’m saving a lot of time. No dishes, no need to count calories, just get it delivered straight to my door for lunch. I’ve ordered the two meals a day plan, and each of my meals are around 500 calories. I also have a snack box on 200 calories that I’m eating on workout days. In addition I have shakes before/after workout and before bedtime incase you think it sounds like little. They have 3 different plans, one for weight loss, one for healthy eating and the one I chose; the fitness training program. You give them your height, weight and age and tell them what you want to obtain and how much activity you do daily and they will tell you how much you should eat.

For my fitness program the ratio of Carb: Protein: Fat is 40:35:25.

fruit box from healthbox on a table

I think for next week I will make everything on sunday and box it and count it already then. I just want my abs for when we are beaching it up in Spain next month. Agh, we’ve been working so much lately it’s going to be amazing having 3 weeks off just chilling, eating, exploring, and having bottles after bottles of wine. I’m on cloud nine thinking about it.

making good health easy print

It’s true… they are making it too easy, saves you so much time. The fruit box was today’s snack box and contained around 190 calories. Nice, fresh and organic.

nicoise chicken salad from healthbox

Todays lunch; chicken nicoise salad, the chicken was a bit dry, but the dinner really made up for it!

So far it’s all been quite nice, and I’ll let you know more once I’ve tried it out a bit longer. It’s so hard to find healthy food in Bangkok, so I think this might be a hit for a lot of people. The price is pretty decent too compared to Absolute Fit Food. And nutrition value is good compared to Polpa which has 19g in one meal. And that’s the low fat meal.

Tom is already on his 2nd week of health box and he is sure he wants to go on with it for a while. I think it’s a nice break from the kitchen but I don’t think I will be doing it for more than a week or when I’m really busy. Or will I also get hooked?

-A