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BEAUTY ISSUE

            

Your Best

Workout
YOU + SAND + THIS =
  

Holly Barker

SWAP

FAT
FOR

MUSCLE

 
  

19

BEST
MOOD
FOODS

LOOK GOOD
NAKED
Cringe to confident now

SLEEP
FOR WEIGHT LOSS
& BETTER SKIN
Functional zeds decoded

HOW TO

CHEAT
CHEAT
DAYS
(Lets face it,
pizzas good)

SHOULD
YOU REALLY

QUIT
SUGAR?

What you didnt


think to ask

AUSTRALIAN

PUBLICATION

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

BEACH
BODY

FEBRUARY 2016
AUST $8.50 INC GST
N.Z. $10.80 INC GST

VOLUME 22 No. 2

cover model

HOW TO BE

HOLLY

BARKER

fitness model, trainer and gym owner


UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
ON PHOTOSHOOT FITNESS
Depending on my next goal or shoot and the amount of time I have,
the rep range for my exercises will increase as I get closer to the goal
date and I will usually incorporate more supersets to keep my workout
intensity level high and cardio up. As I increase my rep ranges, my
workouts need to be stimulating and enjoyable to keep me motivated,
so I will typically keep my muscle groups and exercise types similar but
change the routine or variation slightly.

ON FITNESS WISDOM
My biggest fitness mistake was overtraining. I enjoy training so much
and it is easy to get into the mindset of more is better but that
mindset can be detrimental when you are trying to take your fitness
to the next level. Rest is just as important as training properly. By
incorporating rest and recovery, my body has been able to respond
better and I am able to achieve the results and the physique I aim for.

HER FOOD CHOCOLATE


GODDESS PROTEIN FLUFF BUTTER
AS AN INDULGENT FITNESS-FRIENDLY SNACK, I LOVE MY PROTEIN NUT
BUTTERS. THEY ARE EASY TO MAKE AND STAY GREAT IN THE FRIDGE FOR
A LONG TIME, WHICH IS HANDY FOR WHENEVER YOU NEED THEM!
NEED

WORKOUT FUEL

240 g unsalted roasted cashews


60 g coconut oil
90 g roasted almond butter
5 scoops chocolate protein powder (try to
use an isolate protein)

Pre-workout
(typically breakfast)
126 g egg whites, 1 whole egg,
20 g large flake oats

DO
Blend the first three ingredients until smooth,
then add the protein powder and blend until
incorporated into fluff. Place in container and
let cool in fridge. Add to toast, egg whites,
oatmeal or just enjoy on your spoon!

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

Intra-workout
Magnum Nutraceuticals Hi-5
(BCAAs)
Post-workout
1 Scoop Magnum Nutraceuticals
Quattro protein powder and a
grapefruit

ON BODY MISTAKES
The greatest mistake people make in
fitness is thinking success depends
on a number. As women, we validate
ourselves so often by age, weight, dress
size, jean size, salary. To achieve optimal
happiness, I believe you must find what
stimulates you mentally, physically
and emotionally. Instead of living for a
number, live towards optimal health in
mind, heart and body.

ON CALORIES
The greatest challenge Ive overcome
was my relationship with food. Ive
had to come to the realisation that I
must fuel my body for what I want it to
accomplish. It is scary to consume a lot of
calories, to have an appetite and to satisfy
it, but to build a body for fitness and
to change my composition towards the
bikini body I train for requires a lot of
great fuel. I have educated myself on the
proper sources, the proper breakdowns
and the optimal timings to consume food
for the results I want to achieve and the
response is rewarding.

ON CHEAT DAYS
I believe in refeeds to stimulate your
metabolism, but I do believe the
approach is very personal. I feel that
each individual must find the best
approach for themself mentally before
implementing a strategy solely based on
physical output. The theories behind the
cheat are all similar, but the approach
is what can make or break your success.
If you are someone that has a bingetype behaviour, a cheat meal/cheat
day may not be the best approach and
cycling carbs or implementing a zig zag
nutrition approach is probably your best
strategy. When preparing for an event,
I prefer a carbohydrate cycle approach
and stay away from processed foods high
in sugar.

ON SELF-DOUBT AND
SOCIAL MEDIA
I absolutely encounter self-doubt. As I
continue to work towards my best self
and implement new training styles,
routines and nutrition, I will have days
where I will feel like I want the results
quicker. I will feel off some days, I will

be tired some days, I will be a grouch


thats life! On days where I doubt myself,
I find I am not asking myself the right
questions, so when I encounter selfdoubt I consciously try to change my
mindset from all the have tos that seem
to be bringing me down and ask myself,
what are the get tos I get to enjoy? There
are so many get tos that we all enjoy
each daythere really is no excuse to
stay with self-doubt as we each have the
ability to change our mindset! I came
across this quote from one of the guests
for a recent podcast: Do not compare
your documentary to everyone elses
highlight reels. This is so true in our age
of social media. Everyone is constantly
posting their highlight reels and this can
be draining on the best of us. We all have
mediocre days, we just dont always share
it with the rest of the world.

HER MOVES

ON BALANCE

Lying glute bridge at Smith machine, German


volume set, 10 sets of 10
Kick-backs, 4 sets of 10
Squats, 3 sets to failure
Front squat, 4 sets of 10
Plyo box step-ups (hold dumbbell in one hand
and step up to the alternate side), 3 sets of 20
(each leg)
Seated leg extension, 2 sets of 5 quick, 5 resisted,
5 quick + 2 strip set

Balance for me is constantly aligning


my actions to the results I am working
toward consistently every day in mind,
heart and body. Im practising and
learning every day and reflecting on my
growth constantly. As I learn and know
better, I do better and progress towards
my achievements. As long as I continue
to grow, to learn, to achieve, I will
continuously find new balance each day.

ON SUNDAYS
Sundays are low key. My husband, my
beagle, Billie, and I will go out and enjoy
a hike and get lost in the woods for a few
hours and then usually I will catch up
on computer work, housework and meal
prep in anticipation of a new week.

ON LIFE
Everybody has a story. Never sympathise
with their sadness, but empathise with
their situation. I dealt with a lot of
tragedy as a kid and I never really knew
how to deal with it or respond to it, so I
kind of coped with tragedy by avoidance
and non dealing. Since being a part of
such an amazing company and learning
from amazing mentors, I have learnt how
to empathise with a situation instead of
joining in misery with sympathy. This
has given me the ability to lift others up
instead of helping them stay down.

I am active seven days a week. I am currently lifting


five days a week and performing some type of
cardio seven days a week.

MONDAY Hamstrings
Stiff-leg deadlift, German volume set 20 warmup with bar, 10 sets of 10
Lying hamstring curl, 4 sets of 12 to 15
Sumo squats w/ Olympic bar, 4 sets of 12 to 15
Single-leg deadlift w/dumbbell, 4 sets of 12 to 15
(each leg)

TUESDAY Posterior Upper Body


Pre-exhaust wide grip pull-up, 3 sets of 8
Seated row, 4 sets of 15
Bent-over Olympic bar row x 20 (warm up with
bar, weight up to 6 rep max, 4 reps at 6 rep max)
One-arm dumbbell row, 4 sets of 10 (each side)

WEDNESDAY Quads/Glutes

THURSDAY Anterior Upper Body

Dumbbell hammer curl, 4 sets of 10


Cable lateral raise, 4 sets of 10
Ropes, 4 x 30 seconds
Straight bar cable bicep curl, 4 sets of 12
Seated press, 4 sets of 8
Javelin press, 3 sets to failure

FRIDAY Total Body Fitness Challenge


(free iPhone app)
This finishes the week with a cardio blast. It is a free
app and it populates exercises with demonstrations
and how-to photos, and times you while you
perform each move. The hard level challenges you
with 10 exercises, starting with 100 down to 10 with
a 10-minute finisher and the easy option challenges
you to 50 repetitions of an exercise, moving down to
10 with a five-minute finisher. It ensures that I have a
stimulated, intense session without having to think of
what I should do or what comes next.

MONDAY THROUGH SUNDAY Cardio


Walk the dog, hike, run, bike or whatever I feel like!

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

february 2016

24

feature
2 & 48 SHOOTING THE BREEZE
WITH HOLLY BARKER &
EXCLUSIVE SANDBLAST
WORKOUT
Fine-tune your physique with fitness
model and entrepreneur Holly Barker's
beach body blast
22 BEAUTY SLEEP
Could more zeds make you better
looking (not to mention slimmer and
smarter)?
32 THE FITSPO EFFECT
Your brain on scrolling through
popular fitness feeds
42 FAT LOSS FIRST?
The intricate science of burning fat
while building muscle

32

thrive
24 SNOOZE MAKEOVER
Sleep routine upgrades for better rest
26 DESTINY'S CHILD
Audit your genes to avoid food and
lifestyle mistakes
30 PREVIEW SCREENING
Ovarian cancer: who's at risk

move
46 FIT FOOD
Cinnamon proughnuts and gooey
Smores sandwiches...we swear this
is porn
54 FITGEIST FILTER
We rate this year's hottest fitness trends
58 WORKOUT: LOVIN' ARMS
Your wings as you've never seen them.
Brooke Stacey shows you how
66 MOTIVATION MIND HACKS
Hotwire your noggin to want to
work out

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

36

58

88

86
eat

Australia's best spas by state

36 SHOULD YOU REALLY QUIT


SUGAR?
The questions you didn't think to ask

glow

70 PART-TIME DIETERS
Food protocols for commitmentphobes

108 DATE NIGHT BODY


BOOTCAMP
Makeover cheats for maximum body
confidence

76 CHEAT DAY DIARY


How many cheat days you can really
get away with
78 FEEL-GOOD SMORGASBORD
What to eat, how and when for
optimal wellbeing
82 19 FEEL-PHENOMENAL FOODS
Expert mood food shopping list
86 TOPPED GEAR
Delicious low-cal toast toppings under
100 calories (plus which ones contain
more kJs than Pop Tarts)

be
88 ASANA SPEED DATE
Find your mat match

108 WANDER: TOUR OF BEAUTY

This Issues

DIGITAL CONTENT

112 DIY DAY SPA


How to copy your favourite day spa
treatments at home

every
10 FIRST WORD
72 #RAWFITSPO
126 BODYBLITZ
128 FINDER'S MARKETPLACE

45 CARDIO FOR FAT LOSS


AND TONING
HOW TO USE In-Site

Download
FREE app

Open In-Site app


and select magazine
channel

Scan over page to


access rich content

130 LAST WORD

112

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE APP NOW

www.insiteapp.com.au

94 SENSE & SENSIBILITY


Deepen your day-to-day experience by
harnessing your sesnses
98 SANCTUARY STYLE
Instant bathroom upgrades to
transform utilitarian into day spa luxe
www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

editors letter

editors

his year weve taken the whole Cupid theme a little less literally than St
Valentine intended, translating the rom-com vibe into news you can use
to feel good about you. I dont mean self-love it in a new-agey Instagram
memey, call-yourself-a-goddess way, but a badass so-do-deserve-a-facial
way. While the issue does have a bit of a beauty theme, the idea had less to
do with him than seizing the day spa (although Jo has your lights-on date
night sorted with DIY body treatment tricks). I know the dont make me
indulge sentiment sounds like the magazine equivalent of humblebrag, whereby you pretend to
hate something while inwardly revelling; how hard can hitting the beauty counter and massage
table be, right? The very fact that many of us dont fit in discretionary rituals such as manis,
yoga and spin class speaks to an epidemic of neglect founded on the belief that we should play
second fiddle. So here are my anti-sacrificial tips. If you struggle to believe youre important
enough to move and eat well, imagine youre a dachshund puppy. Now no walkies and packet
food sounds cruel. If that doesnt work, consider how indulgent it is to think oneself exempt
from biology (talk about humblebrag). Alternatively you could do it for our #rawfitspo page
a gallery dedicated to filter-free workout moments. If youre still intent on being a pleasure
martyr, I dare you to resist our round-up of Australias most luxe wellness and pamper spas
(Jo also has at-home versions for bath junkies). Combined with a yoga sequence from the Be
sections Asana Speed Date, its apt active recovery after blasting your body with cover model
Holly Barkers sandblaster workout, which uses beach gravity to firm your rig. Were pairing
it with Brooke Staceys avant-garde tricep sequence (tuckshop arms is such an ugly term). In
our revamped health section, Thrive, we geek out on how sleeping better can fix your skin
and cause weight loss without you quitting a thing. Speaking of amnesties, dont miss our
investigation into whether the whole quit sugar thing is science or religion. And you must try
the Mensa-grade mood food intel that has feeling good down to a fine isomer.
Wishing you a deserving month,

Rebecca Long // Editor

LOVE-IN
You said it. We liked it. Share your feedback via
Instagram, Facebook or email for a chance to
WIN A SIX-MONTH SUBSCRIPTION TO WH&F
AND COPY OF THE A-Z OF LOOKING GOOD,
total value $67.95.

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

@marias_fit_running_life Got my first ever


WINNER
issue today; I previously had a subscription to
another women's fitness mag that was rubbish,
so I changed it to yours and absolutely LOVE it!
Couldn't put it down and actually read the articles,
which were all fantastic. My new favourite mag!

whfmag
whandfmag
whandfmaged
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andfitness

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NEWSAGENTS

EDITORIAL

ADVERTISING SALES

Editor // Rebecca Long

Group Manager National Advertising //

rebecca@blitzmag.com.au
Editorial Assistant // Katelyn Swallow,
Molly Morelli
Associate Beauty Editor // Joanna Barry
Managing Editor // Ben Stone

Keith Rozario
National Advertising Manager // Nicole Byrne

nicky@blitzmag.com.au

MARKETING
Marketing & Events Manager // Robyn Newman

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

robyn@blitzmag.com.au

David Goding, Stephanie Osfield, Angela


Tufvesson, Evelyn Lewin, Dominique Suriano,
Sara Veneris, Hannah Blamey, Holly Barker,
Brooke Stacey

Chief Executive Officer // Silvio Morelli


Chief Financial Officer // Stefanie Morelli

ART

OUT
NOW
GET IT ONLINE

Art Director // Javie DSouza


Graphic Designers // Lysha Moniz, Diep

ADMINISTRATION &
CUSTOMER SERVICE

Nguyen, Adibowo Rusli, Adam Summers,


James Steer, Zeenia Bhikha, Jonathan Rudolph

Finance // Min You


Subscriptions Manager // Angelina Modica
Customer Service // Frances Ricchetti,

DIGITAL & ONLINE

Robyn Newman

Head of Digital Strategy // Karl Nemsow


Senior Web Developer // David Ding
Web Developer & Lead Programmer //

Email // customerservice@blitzmag.com.au
Phone // (03) 9574 8999 Fax: (03) 9574 8899

Davide Pani
Web designer // Amanda Oliver
Video Editor // Justin Oleyar
Online Content Editor // Christine Assirvaden
Online Content Producer // Zach Broadhurst

SUBSCRIBEAND
SHOP.COM

PHOTOGRAPHY

OR CALL 03 9574 8460


TO ORDER YOUR COPY

ndpictures.com

PO Box 4075, Mulgrave, 3170


Web // womenshealthandfitness.com.au
Articles published in this issue of Women's
Health & Fitness are Copyrighted 2016 and
are published by Blitz Publications and
Multi-media Group Pty Ltd under licence from
Bushi Pty Ltd.

PRINTING

Cover Image
Model // Holly Barker
Photographer // Noel Daganta /

Graphic Impressions Australia Pty. Ltd.


Ph: (03) 9574 9211

DISCLAIMER

THINKSTOCK

Opinions and viewpoints expressed in Womens Health & Fitness do not necessarily represent those of the
editor, staff or publishers. Responsible instructors, individuals or organisations with something valid and
relevant to say will, whenever possible, be given the opportunity. Reproduction of any material without
written permission from the publishers is strictly prohibited.
The acceptance of advertising does not necessarily imply endorsement of services or products. All
articles, photographs and other material submitted for publication in Womens Health & Fitness must be
accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Contributions are submitted at the senders risk and
while all possible care will be exercised, we cannot accept responsibility for loss.

AVAILABLE ON
THE APP STORE
Get the FREE app by searching for
AUSTRALIAN NATURAL HEALTH
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countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.

Please see www.blitzpublications.com.au/privacy-policy


for location of our privacy policy.

Women's Health and Fitness is on newsstands in:


Australia

New Zealand

contributors

JOANNA BARRY

SARAH McMAHON

SHEENA-LAUREN

Psychologist / Body
Image Expert
(bodymatters.com.au)

WH&F Trainer
(sheenalauren.com)

NICHELLE LAUS

MELANIE McGRICE

LUCINDA ZAMMIT

Associate
Beauty Editor

Trainer
(nichellelaus.com)

womenshealthandtness

PHOTOGRAPHY: THINKSTOCK

whfmag

Accredited
Practising Dietitian
(melaniemcgrice.com.au)

whandfmag

Nutritionist
(lucindazammit.com.au)

whandfmaged

I eat well,
therefore I am
P.S. DONT FORGET TO
HASHTAG YOUR INSTAGRAM
FIT FOOD #RAWFITSPO

whfmag

womenshealthandtness

whandfmag

whandfmaged

With health food this good, who needs cheat days?


Indulge on the daily with Womens Health & Fitness magazine.

first word

FIGURE

Whether you have hollow legs or feel stuffed


from half a banana could have something to
do with what shape Dad was in at conception.
New research published in Cell Metabolism
reveals that sperm cells from lean and obese men
contain different epigenetic marks that could
alter the next generations appetite by impacting
gene expression. More DNA news p. 26.

Gut microbes play a key role in making


cold burn fat according to new research.
While exposure to cold temperatures can mimic
the effects of exercise by facilitating formation of
beige and brown fat, a study published in Cell shows
that the efficacy of chilling depends on intestinal
bacteria composition. In a mouse study, Minnies who
lacked gut microbes and received a microbe transplant
had improved glucose metabolism, increased tolerance
to cold and weight loss. Pro-weight loss gut microbes
could be cultivated with exposure to temperatures
around six degrees Celsius for up to 10 days, experts
said. See you in Reykjavk.

THRIVE
TACTICAL
TEXT

Forget emoticons. How you punctuate text


messages directly impacts whether youre
perceived as sincere according to research
published in Computers in Human Behavior. In
a study, one-word texts such as okay, sure,
yeah and yup were interpreted differently
depending on subsequent grammar.
Full stops rendered preceding text
less sincere, researchers
found.

10

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

If you want to give yourself a


better chance of weathering
curveballs, prioritise sleep.
Clocking less than six
hours of sleep per night
compromises the brains
ability to regulate emotions,
making it that much harder
to deal. And it only takes one
night of insufficient sleep
to make you vulnerable to
meltdowns according to
a new Tel Aviv University
study that identified the
neurological mechanism
responsible for disturbed
emotion regulation and
increased anxiety due to sleep
debt. In effect, the brain loses
its ability to discern between
what is and isnt important,
reported The Journal of
Neuroscience.

8.7
The extra minutes those who
reported short sleep spend each
day engaging in unnecessary
eating than those logging seven
to eight hours according to a
study published in the American
Journal of Health Promotion.
Night owls also averaged an
extra 28.6 minutes of secondary
drinking, shedding new light on
links between poor kip and weight
gain. Secondary eating or drinking
is defined as eating or drinking
beverages other than water while
engaged in another activity. Also
known as Hoovering.

PHOTOGRAPHY: THINKSTOCK

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first word

The proportion by which impact was


reduced when runners habitually ran
barefoot in a new study published in
journal Nature. The impact reduction
depended on which way participants
feet struck the ground, so flag any shoe
amnesty with your physio first.

THE QUESTION:

FASTED OR FED?
Logic says that fasted cardio would make a
beeline for body fat, but theres more to the
equation than meets the eye.
SCIENCE SAYS:

MOVE

Low-intensity aerobic exercise in a fasted state


before breakfast, for example can foster
long-term improvements in performance and
weight loss with the theory that exercising in
a glycogen-depleted state creates adaptations
in the bodys fat oxidising so it turns to fat
for fuel according to a study published in
Sports Medicine.
EXPERT SAYS:

WANT

Extra strength now.

Change your warm-up. Standard static


stretches can actually impair your lifts
by making you feel weaker, a study published in
the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
shows. Stretching muscles to tension and holding
seemed to alter neurological function related to
muscles. In another study, athletes lost strength,
power and explosive muscle performance after static
stretching according to the Scandinavian Journal of
Medicine & Science in Sports.
DO

Dynamic stretching (e.g. leg


swings and hip twists), which
mimics movements youll do in your workout,
preparing muscles for game moment.
LOOKS LIKE

12

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

LUXE LEGS

We love these sleek black


(with a hint of floral) training
tights from Strydas new range. The
pretty pink is just the right amount of
girly, and the technology is pretty cool
too: the tights boast 10 form-V muscle
vents that claim to drain moisture
and heat from the body. But well
let you be the judge. $99.95,
stryda.com.au

PHOTOGRAPHY: THINKSTOCK

fit hack

If you are fuelled before your early-morning


training, you get more bang for your buck:
better performance, more enjoyment and
better fuel source activation. If you are low
on glycogen, the brain knows it, and it will
just slow you down or stop you earlier, says
exercise physiologist, clinical personal trainer
and author Jodie Hopkins (yourlifeyourbody.
com.au).

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first word

53

DUMB DIET
Elastic waists are the least concern for people
favouring high-fat diets. Intellect may also cop
it as immune cells in the brain start consuming
connections between neurons leading to cognitive
impairment. Thats what happens when a high-fat
diet leads to excess weight gain according to new
research. The damage sets in when body weight
enters the obesity category. However, a low-fat
diet can reverse the synapse loss and cognitive
impairment, experts reported in Brain, Behavior,
and Immunity. The high-fat diet comprised 60 per
cent fat.

The percentage by which risk of


developing binge eating increases
with each one-unit increase in
abdominal body fat according to a
new study linking body type to binge
susceptibility. Women with a so-called
apple shape may be at particular risk
of developing out-of-control eating,
with Drexel University academics
tipping that those with more midriff
fat had lower body satisfaction, which
could favour behaviours that trigger
bingeing such as food restriction.

EAT
EATING ONE MEAL MINDLESSLY MAY
CAUSE YOU TO OVEREAT AT THE
NEXT. THATS THE CAUTIONARY TALE
FROM A STUDY EMPHASISING THE
ROLE OF MEMORY IN FOOD CHOICES.
DISRUPTING THE ENCODING OF A
MEAL MEMORY SAY, BY WATCHING
TELE CAN MIMIC THE EFFECTS
OF AMNESIA, IN WHICH PEOPLE
EAT AGAIN BECAUSE THEY DONT
RECALL NOSHING. EPISODIC MEMORY
MAY BE USED TO CONTROL EATING
BEHAVIOUR, RESEARCHERS WROTE
IN JOURNAL HIPPOCAMPUS.

How far blood sugar rises after food has more


to do with personal nuance than nutrition
tropes suggest. In a recent study assessing
responses of people to more than 46,000
meals, experts found that people whose blood
sugar rose steeply in response to white bread
didnt necessarily soar with straight glucose.
More evidence for trial and error rather than
blindly following rules.
14

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

If youre off the Maltesers in the hope of retraining your tastebuds, bad news from a new
study that found participants on a three-month
reduced sugar diet with 40 per cent of calories
from sugars from fats, proteins and complex
carbs failed to lose their lust for supersweet tastes. The study published in the
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
was partly funded by PepsiCo.

PHOTOGRAPHY: THINKSTOCK

BESPOKE BLOOD SUGAR

Sweet
sympathy

E
E
FR OK
O
B
E

first word

Dear Brad,
CHOCOLATES? IF YOU REALLY
LOVED ME, YOU WOULD HAVE
MADE ME A BATCH OF CHOC-BEET
MUFFINS WITH WHOLESOME
CACAO AND POWDERED BEET
JUICE INSTEAD OF REFINED
SUGAR. (P.S. KEEPING THE RING.)
MUFFIN MIX $13.95,
ADVENTURESNACKS.COM.AU.

Personalised
Choice
Do what works for you has
long been the mantra sung by
numerous self-help books and
fitness bloggers, but now there is
scientific backing to the fact we
all work differently. According to
a Weizmann Institute of Science
study published in Cell, the way
our blood sugar levels (which,
when elevated, are a major risk
factor for obesity) react to the
same foods can vary greatly
between individuals. Scientists
monitored 800 peoples blood
sugar levels for a week and found
that a persons reaction to the
same meal differed depending
on individual lifestyle, medical
background and even gut health.
So, technically, one person could
have a better reaction to ice cream
then the person sitting next to
them at the dinner table! So stick
to healthy foods, but if the diet
isnt working, then there may be a
reason to adjust.
16

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

SUGAR-HIGH

We all know that sugar is bad for us, but


going cold turkey after years of addiction can
feel like coming down from a high-end (legal)
drug. Enter low-energy sweeteners (LES). A review
performed by researchers at the University of Bristol
found that LES, such as Stevia, were effective in
managing energy intake (i.e. people ate less) and
so were helpful in controlling body weight. The
evidence suggested that LES-based drinks were
actually more effective in managing obesity
then switching straight to water, probably
because it eased the transition from
sugar-laden beverages.

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89.0%

The percentage of kitchen hand towels


that contained coliforms (bacteria
that indicate the presence of other
pathogenic organisms such as diseasecausing bacterias EW!) in a 2014 North
American study of households published
in Food Trends. And the dreaded E.coli
was found in 25.6 per cent, most often
from cross-contamination after handling
meat. The fix? Wash your towels (and
hands) frequently! E-coli numbers were
significantly lower in the towels washed
more often.

PHOTOGRAPHY: THINKSTOCK

COOK

first word

Just NO
Need permission to meditate/
get a manicure/read? Redirect
some or your yes time to
you time. A study published
in Social Psychological and
Personality Science shows
that exceeding promises
doesnt result in any greater
appreciation than meeting
them (meaning sacrificing
a yoga class to laminate
presentation flash cards or
deliver a card you could post
is futile). Fairness was more
powerful than generosity,
researchers said.

BE

word

Happiness GPS
This will cheer pessimists. Scientists may
have pinpointed the area of the brain where
happiness is located. People with more
matter in the precuneus (thats a part of the
noggin involved in aspects of consciousness)
were able to feel happiness more intensely
and sadness less intensely in a Kyoto
University study. Those with bulkier preeks
also felt more satisfied with life overall.

PSYCHIC UNITY

The theory that certain core aspects of the human


condition transcend culture and race. Father of German
anthropology Adolf Bastian coined the term to describe
psychological and cognitive elements common to mankind.
Case in point: the Big Five traits of personality, which
research reveals are universal (although the expression of
them may be more or less overt).

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18

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

WHAT IT IS

AS IN

BRAIN SAYS

Concentrative

Focus on breath or
specific thoughts,
wilfully suppressing
other thoughts

Styles
that are
concentrative

Less activity in part of


brain processing selfrelated thoughts/feelings

Nondirective

Focus on breath or
specific sound but lets
mind wander freely

Acem
meditation,
mindfulness

Higher activity in part


of brain processing selfrelated thoughts/feelings

PHOTOGRAPHY: THINKSTOCK

Omm ID
Sure, meditation changes your brain, but not
all omms are equal. The part of the brain
involved in processing memories and emotions
is more active when the mind is left to
meander (nondirective meditation) than when
its made to focus on a particular thought or
sound (concentrative meditation) according to
journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

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first word

Simple
Dimple
Miranda Kerr put dimples back on
our want list and now cosmetic
surgery specialists are doing their
best to replicate her catwalkready smile. But what exactly are
they? According to the Journal of
Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery,
dimples are actually a deformity
caused by a fault (or shortening) of
the connective tissue of the face.
When a person smiles, and the short
muscles stretch, is causes a small
hollow in the skin. If you arent
genetically blessed, dimples can be
created under local anaesthetic using
a small suture to the muscles either
side of the mouth. You just need
to emotionally prepare for the notso-cute needle heading your way!

SPANX FOR
THE FACE
Contouring is well and truly in, and its
easier than expected to complement the
curves youve worked hard for in the gym by
highlighting those above the neck. Owner
of mineral make-up and education centre
Glam Affair, Crystal Dawson, told WH&F
how to create a kissable complexion.
CONTOUR: under the
cheekbones and over the
side of your forehead areas
to create the illusion your
cheeks are thinner. Choose
a foundation two or three
shades darker than your
average one. This best reflects
your skin tone so you can achieve a
subtle, natural contour, says Dawson. $58,
glamaffair.com.au
HIGHLIGHT: Highlighting an area with a
lighter colour draws the eye to it.
Apply powder to cheekbones,
middle brow area, down the
front of your nose, Cupids
bow and chin, says Dawson,
$56.00, glamaffair.com.au

GLOW

SET: for maximum staying


powder and to
reduce shine. Before
you set, ensure you have
buffed both colours
well to avoid a stripy or
unnatural look, says
Dawson. $56, glamaffair.
com.au

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protein balls or
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hit of vitamin C to
help replenish your
skins collagen
Botox free! $32.00,
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Getting away for a romantic weekend doesnt


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they are fun sized and safe, with zero potentially
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aloe vera, Kakadu plum and rosehip oil. Even
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20

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

PHOTOGRAPHY: THINKSTOCK

HEALTH HIT

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thrive

Beauty

SLEEP
COMMON SLEEP MISTAKES ARE
EMERGING AS HIDDEN SKIN
SABOTEURS. OPTIMISE YOUR
SLEEP HYGIENE FOR SMOOTHER,
CLEARER, BRIGHTER SKIN.
Words: Sara Veneris

As the bodys largest organ, skin is directly affected by sleep. As


the interface between our bodies and the environment, fielding all
sorts of assaults, skin needs time to rejuvenate. Skin adheres to a set
overnight program of cell renewal while continuing to regulate sebum
and hydration.
Poor sleep quality was shown to be associated with increased signs
of ageing, including slower recovery from the daily environmental
stressors, in a study funded by Este Lauder and conducted by the Skin
Study Center scientists at University Hospitals Case Medical Center.
Poor sleepers (those logging fewer than seven hours each night)
showed more pronounced visible signs of ageing such as fine lines,
uneven pigmentation, reduced elasticity and a loss of subcutaneous
fat (the layer of fat under the skin that gives us a plump and youthful
complexion). Poor sleepers also recovered more slowly from sunburn.
Dermatologist Dr Ritu Gupta from Costhetics (costhetics.com.au) says,
22

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

The effects of lack of sleep on skin are decreased cellular turnover and
repair, as well as the release of pro-inflammatory molecules that hinder
normal cell function. This includes the release of cortisol, which can
break down skin collagen.
Of course, sleep is important for many things other than looking
good. Sleep psychologist Danny Eckert from Neuroscience Research
Australia says sleep directly impacts cognitive function and most other
facets of health. Key brain processes such as memory and learning
rely on sleep, a variety of hormones are released during sleep such as
growth hormone, and blood pressure typically falls during sleep, which
is associated with cardio-protective effects, Eckert says.
And insufficient zeds have repeatedly been linked to both

diminished brain function and over-eating


as sleep deficits disrupt hunger and satiety
hormones and promote cravings for foods
that sabotage skin.

LAND OF NOD ROADMAP

SLEEP DEFICIT, OR THE


CUMULATIVE EFFECT OF
NOT GETTING ENOUGH
SLEEP, CAN HAVE
SHORT- AND LONG-TERM
ADVERSE EFFECTS.

There are five sleep stages. Dreaming


sleep, or rapid eye movement sleep, is most
important according to Eckert. During
REM sleep, the brain activity resembles
wakefulness although the bodys muscles are
relaxed and the eyes move rapidly, Dr Eckert
says. REM sleep is believed to be particularly
important for memory consolidation.
Research also suggests that deeper slowwave non-rapid eye movement (NREM)
may be important for a variety of learning
and memory processes and is crucially
important for normal secretion of a variety
of essential hormones (for example, growth
hormone), Dr Eckert says. While the
specifics of why we need sleep arent yet clear,
we do know that without it our entire systems
are compromised. Key brain processes

HOW INSOMNIA KILLS YOUR BEAUTY BUZZ


DULLNESS & WRINKLES
Skin loses life and luminosity when you
dont sleep for at least six to eight hours per
night, says Tracey Beeby, head of training
at Ultraceuticals. With insufficient sleep,
cortisol levels can rise, leading to a variety
of skin dysfunctions, she says. Your skin
follows a regular schedule in cohesion with
your body clock, fighting off damaging
trespassers such as UV rays during the
day and replenishing itself overnight. This
nighttime wind-down allows for DNA repair,
cellular energy production and detox, which
peak after dark due to an increased blood
flow to the skin. (If you often find yourself
with rosy cheeks late at night, thats your
body telling you its time for bed.) So the
less sleep you get, the less time your skin
has to bounce back, leaving your face
looking dull and lifeless the next day.

ACNE & SAGGING


Severe sleep deprivation encourages the
release of cortisol, a stress hormone that
breaks down collagen, causing a loss in
elasticity. Beeby states that these stress
hormones impair the natural maintenance
activities of the skin, leading to an
increased rate of ageing, and also warns

that increased levels of this hormone


can stimulate oil production, leading to
increased congestion and acne.

PUFFY BAGS
Lack of sleep can show as an accentuation
of the hollows under the eyes, which
are often referred to as dark circles or
tear troughs, says Dr Gupta. It can also
accentuate any fine crepe-like wrinkles
around the area. So why does this happen?
A lack of sleep causes deoxygenated blood
vessels to dilate and flow closer to the
skins surface. As the skin under our eyes
is 10 times thinner than others areas of the
face, say good morning to bluish-tinged
panda eyes.

PUFFY EYES
Puffy eyes are caused by weakening of a
membrane that holds fat pads around the
eyeballs in our bony orbits. This weakness
allows the fat pads to protrude forwards,
says Beeby. Puffy eyes may also be caused
by sleeping on your stomach, which allows
fluid to pool around your eyes. If you sleep
on your side, you may wake to find one eye
puffier than the other, so try sleeping on
your back.

such as memory and learning rely on sleep,


a variety of hormones are released during
sleep such as growth hormone, and blood
pressure typically falls during sleep, which is
associated with cardio-protective effects.
Sleep deficit, or the cumulative effect of
not getting enough sleep, can have short- and
long-term adverse effects.
In the short term, the ability to think
clearly and perform complex tasks is
impaired, which can be unsafe, Dr Eckert
says. Many of the negative effects of sleep
deprivation are similar to those of alcohol
and when the two are combined, the effects
are even more pronounced.

KILO CREEP
One major strike against sleep loss is its
impact on appetite and weight.
Eating behaviours are altered with a
tendency towards consuming high-fat,
calorie-rich foods, Dr Eckert says. Short
sleep duration is associated with obesity
and increased mortality but the effects on
health and wellbeing may well be far more
widespread than we currently appreciate.
A study published in The American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that
brain activity in response to food stimuli was
greater after restricted sleep than a decent
kip, upping the odds of overeating.
Separate effects of sleep deficit on
metabolism can compound appetite
increase and reduced willpower, favouring
weight gain.
There is emerging evidence to suggest
metabolic function is impaired. For example,
in controlled laboratory studies when
otherwise healthy individuals are sleep
deprived, it can lead to a pre-diabetic state,
says Dr Eckert.

BRAIN FADE
Feeling sluggish at work could also come
down to sitting up watching Periscope. A
Harvard University study estimated that sleep
deprivation costs American companies $63.2
billion a year in lost productivity.
Power naps or whats known as biphasic sleep have also been shown to boost
memory and reaction time according to a
2009 study published in the Journal of Sleep
Research based on air traffic controllers.
Being well rested can even increase feelings
of gratitude according to two separate
studies.
www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

23

thrive

Words: Hannah Blamey

MAKEOVER
MOVE YOUR WORKOUTS
Vigorous exercise just before bed can impair
sleep, but Dr Eckert says that exercise at
other times is actually a sleep aid. It is
associated with increased levels of slowwave (deep) sleep.

SWITCH OFF
BEHAVIOUR
Ditch the macchiato, doughnut and laksa.
Avoid caffeine in the afternoon and
avoid large quantities of food, particularly
heavy fatty foods, immediately prior to sleep
that may make you feel uncomfortable and
prevent sleep, Dr Eckert says. If you suffer
reflux, avoid spicy foods, as when you lie
down it may come back to bite you.

ORDER A MOCKTAIL
A couple of vinos may feel like they usher
you backstage at lala land, but the sleep
you have when you get there is likely to be
flawed. Alcohol prior to sleep can impair
sleep quality, cause snoring and in some
cases lead to sleep apnoea, and should be
avoided, Dr Eckert says.
24

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

Working back at the office or with your


laptop on the couch can hijack your sleep
routine. Overly stimulating activities prior
to sleep can make it difficult to fall asleep
and should be avoided, Dr Eckert says.
Likewise detailed tasks. Maintaining a
regular sleep routine that includes avoiding
these types of activities immediately prior to
sleep is ideal. Exorcise the bedroom of any
screens, Eckert advises. According to a 2012
Harvard Health Letter, blue wavelengths
from fluorescent lightbulbs, LED lights and
computer and iPad screens wreak greater
havoc than white light on melatonin. In an
experiment, blue light suppressed melatonin
for around twice as long as green light. Red
light, on the other hand, had the mildest
effect on melatonin.

BEDROOM
Dim the lights
According to the National Sleep Foundation,
bright light inhibits the release of sleep
hormone melatonin, which can only be
stimulated in a dimly lit environment.
Any bright light can prevent the release of
melatonin, preventing the onset of sleep. If
you cant block 100 per cent of light, Eckert
advocates using a sleep mask to mimic a
dark sleeping environment.

Pull the blinds


Skip diaphanous window dressings
however romantic and go for a heavy
fabric or blinds that completely block light.
The first exposure to light in the morning
activates a part of your brain called the
supra-chiasmatic nucleus according to the
National Sleep Foundation. That means
processes associated with being awake
crank into gear, calling a premature end to
quality sleep.

Snuggle up
Sleep temperature is integral to the quality

PHOTOGRAPHY: THINKSTOCK

THE LAND OF DREAMS


CAN SEEM TO GET
FARTHER AWAY THE
MORE DESPERATE YOU
BECOME. MAXIMISE
YOUR CHANCES OF
DRIFTING OFF BY
UPGRADING CERTAIN
BEHAVIOURS AND
BEDROOM STAPLES.

snooze

of shut-eye. UniSAs Centre for Sleep


Research revealed that that normal initiation
of sleep demands a core body temperature
drop. Ordinarily, the body automatically
turns down its heat dial about 90 minutes
before sleep, while insomniacs who find it
hard to nod off tend to maintain a higher
body temperature. While your body should
regulate its own degrees, a hot or frigid
room can mess with the process. Eckert says
the ideal room temperature for sleep is 22
degrees Celsius. If you use an electric blanket
to take the chill off your sheets, turn it off
before falling asleep.

Luxe your crib


You can call high thread-count sheets a health
expense. While theyre not a magic sleeping
pill, Eckert says good bed linen complements
other measures to maximise comfort,
including temperature regulation.

Bound out of bed


CAFFEINE: 3pm latte fiends, find a new
vice (decaf, a walk around the block,
breathing exercises). While different people
respond differently to caffeine, its sixhour half-life means consuming caffeine
after about lunchtime can jeopardise
sleep quality and quantity. That means
feeling groggy in the morning. Worse, the
withdrawal symptoms can induce fatigue
that makes you reach for more coffee
just to feel awake, fuelling a vicious cycle.
Rather than giving you superhuman pep,
the buzz from a morning cuppa is likely
to be the result of reversing the fatiguing
effects of acute caffeine withdrawal.
After 12 or more hours sans caffeine, the
adenosine receptors that had been hijacked
by the drug are flooded with sleepiness
chemical adenosine which is normal. (If

you really can't stop any time, consider a


caffeine detox.)
SLEEP: Theres a reason sleep deprivation is
used as a form of torture. Sleep, like breath,
is essential for the efficient function of the
whole human body-mind machine. While
anyone whos tossed and turned or spent
half the night working knows the groggy
effect of inadequate shut-eye, research
shows that the impact may impair mental
function. Fatigue contributes to 20 to 30
per cent of transport accidents according
to 2011 research by the Australian Transport
Council. Whats more, without ticking all the
sleep stage boxes, learning and memory
are likely to suffer; when sleep deprivation
was applied before testing, mouse lemurs
produced more errors in a spatial learning
and memory retrieval task than those
allowed to nap. It gets worse. Dodgy kips
disruption to circadian rhythm encourages
chaotic energy intake and has been linked
to weight gain in multiple studies. Its
suspected that sleep deprivation pushes
up hunger hormone ghrelin and that
sleep-deprived people report eating more
generally energy-depleting simple carbs
the day after skipping sleep.
EXERCISE: Exercising first thing can turn
energy levels one-eighty by flooding your
brain with endorphins, not to mention
feeling kickass for getting yourself to class
instead of hitting snooze. Moving can
also generate physical energy according
to research published in Swiss medical
journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatic.
In a study, healthy adults experiencing
persistent fatigue who did as little as
20 minutes of low to moderate aerobic
exercise three days a week for six weeks
reported feeling less fatigued than their
previous baseline. Exercise enhances
blood flow carrying oxygen and nutrients
to muscle tissue, enabling production
of energy (geek term: adenosine
triphosphate). Better news: the energy
boost was greater in those exercising at
low intensity than those working out more
vigorously. A spinoff is that studies have
shown people who exercise in the AM are
more likely to eat well during the day.

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

25

thrive

Destinys
child

THERES NO NEED TO
GET ALL PARANOID,
BUT APPRAISING YOUR
BODY NOW COULD
GIVE YOU THE JUMP ON
DISEASE GENES.
WORDS: REBECCA LONG

26

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

So youre making all the right career moves for a cushy retirement
and minding your own genetic business when science asks you to
guess when youll die. Youd thought of going grey early (probable)
and middle-age spread (thanks Mum), but predicting your own fate
seems a little, well, macabre. But what if you could not only forecast
your fate, but change it? Advances in medical science mean that
even disease risk is now within your control. One of the biggest
recent breakthroughs in biological science suggests that even adult
humans are like switchboards, with genes able to be toggled on or
off. According to the decade-long Encode project, we each have
more power than fatalists thought to influence everything from
whether we gain weight after a bender to if and when we develop
heart disease.

DIY
By curating the foods and
chemicals ingested and
absorbed by the body,

WE CAN REDIRECT
DESTINY,
research suggests.

Dont get any ideas about eating your way to longer legs or
blonde hair; that stuff was hardwired before you drew breath.
But the broader blueprint theory has been blown apart by
recent research including a worldwide project involving over
400 scientists.
The key finding was that around four million switches
scientists had called genetic garbage or junk DNA are
critical to determining how cells and tissues behave.
According to a research paper published in journal Nature,
the finding could herald pathways to tweak DNA to prevent
all sorts of ailments from coeliac disease to certain cancers.
Imagine DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is an iPad.
Epigenomes chemical codes wrapped around DNA and
able to switch it on or off are the rules meted out by your
carrier (say, how much your internet slows when you blow
your data cap). The genome is the operating system (like
Android or iOS). Translated to twins, it means even two
people with the same biological framework can have vastly
different health profiles. Researchers at the Garvan Institute
concluded from a study of twins that we can suppress some
parts of a genome and amplify others simply by flicking
an off switch through a process known as methylation.
Methylation patterns, even in people with identical genes,
can change disease susceptibility. (Theres also an on switch
known as acetylation.)
The big question is how to know whos got what genome
and quite what will flick the right switches.
Researchers behind the study the biggest genetic study
since the Human Genome Project 11 years ago have
discovered that human DNA is more active than scientists
have long believed. Theres a lot happening behind the scenes.
Which means current research is focused on finding out
quite how we can manipulate our DNA to ward off disease
and even reverse certain adaptations. Chief among hopes
is food, which anchors the science of nutrigenomics. By
curating the foods and chemicals ingested and absorbed by
the body, we can redirect destiny, research suggests.

You probably maintain your own website, put oil in


your own car and perhaps even do your own waxing
(we wont tell). But if we told you you could tinker with
your DNA, would you? In case youre tempted, weve
rounded up the simplest ways to pimp your code.
HITTING THE GYM

Next time youre short on motivation to hit the cross-trainer, think of


your genes. In infrequent exercisers, working out actually skews gene
expression to trigger structural and metabolic adaptations in skeletal
muscle, boosting defences against metabolic disease, according
to a 2012 Swedish study published in the journal Cell Metabolism.
We determined whether DNA methylation plays a role in exerciseinduced gene expression, wrote Lund University researchers. Short
answer: yes and the greater the workout intensity, the lower the
concentration of methyl groups. The remarkable thing is that you
can up your bodys defences against metabolic disease before the
next episode of The Biggest Loser, with changes resulting from DNA
methylation observed within hours of exercise.

MEDITATION
Meditation can also reduce expression of inflammatory genes linked
to loneliness and heart disease according to researchers at UCLA. And
you dont need to sign up for monk training or dip your wardrobe in
tie-dye. In a study in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, just eight weeks
in a basic meditation program was shown to significantly reduce the
expression of inflammatory genes linked to loneliness. When adults
practised mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) for 30 minutes
daily, attended a weekly two-hour session and took part in a full-day
retreat, genes and protein markers associated with risk for heart
disease were measurably altered. It underscores a previous UCLA
study of Alzheimers carers that found that a form of yogic chanting
meditation reduced inflammatory gene expression.

DRINKING
Chronic alcohol use causes genetic changes that make it nigh on
impossible to quit once a habit takes hold. According to a study at
Chicagos UIC College of Medicine, alcohol affects how genes express
themselves in the brain and remodels chromatin in a way that means
when you do decide to go dry youll suffer extreme anxiety. These
changes may explain the low success rate of sobriety efforts and
reluctance of drinkers to try giving up again.

SERENDIPITY
Scientists have documented spontaneous reversion of corrupt genes
leading to inexplicable recoveries from illness. Somatic reversion
occurred in a study of sufferers of a rare genetic disorder supposed to
cap lifespan at 10 years. Researchers at Sydneys Garvan Institute said
the phenomenon could explain why some sufferers of a rare genetic
disorder limiting life expectancy to an average of 10 years lived to 50
or older. Some sufferers of X-linked lymphoproliferative disease (XLP)
showed that an abnormal gene had corrected itself in certain cells,
stopping the disease in its tracks.

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

27

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT


Nutrients travel along numerous metabolic pathways, where
theyre broken down into usable molecules. Theory goes that by
editing the nutrients entering the pathway, we can influence the
expression of genes. While its early days for the science, the offswitch methylation contains a clue. Scientists have joined the
dots between it and a metabolic pathway responsible for synthesising
methyl groups like dimmer switches for certain genes. Its now
known that there are key methyl-donating nutrients, including B
vitamins, SAM-e (often used as a mood booster) and folic acid.
The exciting news is that the volatility of DNA means certain
configurations and susceptibilities can be reversed.
The vexing task is identifying which nutrients will work for an
individuals genetic profile (since theres not yet a simple blood test
to map our genes). Unfortunately its not simply a matter of more
methyl-making foods is better; pair these nutrients with the wrong
genetic profile and they can kick-start adverse effects.
Broccoli is a case in point. While 50 to 80 per cent of people will
gain cancer protection from the vegie, via its effects on the GSMT1
gene, the other 20 to 50 per cent will field no benefit as they lack
the gene and will instead secrete the goodness. Caffeine is another
temperamental hero because the speed at which the liver breaks
down the compound is dictated by a certain gene, which comes in
fast and slow versions. If youve got the fast one, you gain protection
against heart attack from as little as one to three cups of coffee
according to a University of Toronto study. If youve got the slow
version, however, drinking the same amount of joe can actually
increase heart attack risk by a third. If that wasnt worrying enough,
fish oil can have its virtues undermined by a particular version of the
APOE gene. The 15 per cent of people with a less-common APOE
gene version not only failed to realise the cholesterol-lowering perks
from fish oil, they experienced increased bad cholesterol (LDL) by
around 16 per cent.
While some companies are already selling dietary advice based on
DNA testing, the science is still young. The Dietitians Association of
Australia (DAA) warns against DNA-based diets until the science is
more developed.
What we can do now is neutralise things we know do damage
like exposure to known carcinogens. Results of a study recently
reported in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research reveal that eating
spinach can mitigate the effects of a carcinogen in cooked meat. In
lab animals fed cancer-inducing meat, those also chowing down on
spinach had almost half the incidence of colon tumours.

GENES, JETSONS STYLE


Like haute couture, bespoke gene therapy recognises that no two
bodies are the same. But while bespoke gene therapy is the decades
hot biomedical ticket, it remains about as realistic as The Jetsons.
Of almost 1,700 clinical gene therapy trials initiated or approved
worldwide between 1989 and 2010, less than one per cent have had
real clinical benefits.
If youre picturing cloned sheep and brigades of blue-eyed
children, were not talking about genetic engineering.
The crux of gene therapy is replacing or modifying the effects
of faulty genes to cure a condition or alter its effects. For instance, a
28

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There is a butterfly effect-style


argument against

INTERFERING WITH
NATURE
even if it is with the best
intentions.

study published this year by Queensland Institute of Medical Research


scientists holds promise for modifying a protein in AIDS precursor HIV
to combat the infection. Rather than treating individual enzymes and
proteins involved in the disease, currently done using a cocktail of drugs,
gene therapy could end the disease in one hit by redirecting its own
mechanisms to restore the immune system. It would end the disease
process rather than wiping out the virus.
In cancer, taking the trial and error out of treatment may
ultimately mean higher survival rates, because time spent
establishing that a treatment is ineffective it often takes a few
months to tell can give cancer a chance to grow and spread.
But there is a butterfly effect-style argument against interfering
with nature even if it is with the best intentions. Devils advocates
warn that changing one thing without understanding the contextual
organism may jeopardise public health. Deactivating a virus, for
instance, could make it contagious and promote over-production of
a working gene, leading to untold effects.
Yet a related branch of custom medicine is already gaining
mainstream traction. Personalised medicine merges conventional
treatment methods with genomics to more accurately predict disease
risk and drug response according to the National Health and Medical
Research Centre (NHMRC).
The potential for genetic testing to optimise individual treatment
has already been demonstrated by some treatments, the centre said
in a report for healthcare professionals.
Example: the US therapeutic goods governing body, the Food and
Drug Administration (FDA), has issued advice to doctors to perform
DNA testing before prescribing to identify patients with susceptibility
to life-threatening bleeding sometimes associated with the drug. A
similar recommendation has been made for metabolism-related genes to
inform dosages of thiopurines for inflammatory bowel disease.
Using genetic testing to guide physicians in starting warfarin
therapy has the potential to reduce dosing complications, and also
lower healthcare costs, said Dr Kirk Voelker, a physician enlisted
by Floridas Sarasota Memorial Hospital, which was chosen to host a
study on genetic testing for warfarin.
The next step may be a quasi X-ray, sequencing patients genome
to detect genetic errors to blame for certain diseases a process the
Murdoch Childrens Research Institutes Professor David Thorburn
likens to finding a handful of typos in Tolstoys War and Peace. While
such mapping is still prohibitively expensive at $5,000, consider
that in 2003 mapping the genome cost $2.6 billion. Remember what
happened with the cost of flat screen teles? Its only a matter of time.

Your genes on

he fact that certain diseases run in the family doesnt


necessarily mean youre doomed. Studies of twins have
proven that identical genomes dont equal identical
disease manifestation, which receives input from gene
modification by environmental factors. The disease-gene link is
such a dice-roll, its got scientists scrambling for ways to predict
who will and wont get certain conditions. In recent research,
academics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and
Swedens Karolinska Institute sought to determine chemical tags,
or methyl groups, linked to switching on or off rheumatoid arthritis.
They whittled hundreds of markers down to four implicated in the
immune response linked to rheumatoid arthritis risk.

DISEASE

in the brains of humans. According to psychiatrist Dr Bruce Kehr


of Potomac Psychiatry, there is no depression gene or anxiety
gene. One inherits a susceptibility to these conditions through
multiple different genes, but the genes alone do not cause the
illnesses. The genetic material within the nucleus of brain cells must
first be influenced by epigenetic factors that come from outside
the brain, such as external environmental or internal physiologic
factors. Stressors such as a tiff with a colleague, or inflammation
caused by alcohol or drugs, can tip predisposing genes over the
edge, activating disorders such as anxiety disorder, depression and
bipolar disorder and OCD, Dr Kehr says.

WEIGHT
PERSONALITY
If you think you copped the neurotic gene or blame DNA for your glasshalf-empty disposition, you might be onto something. Behavioural
genetics is a hot topic, with research showing links between biology
and personality. In her book Personality Theories: An Introduction,
Barbara Engel says that heritability accounts for around 40 per cent of
the five factors commonly thought to comprise personality: openness,
conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism.
Functional neuroimaging has further linked genetic mechanisms and
anxiety-related personality traits, she writes. However, Engel says that
even genetically coded behaviours arent impossible to change. There
goes that defence for your explosive road rage.

MENTAL ILLNESS
Recent research indicts gene expression in myriad mental illnesses
and mood disorders including borderline personality disorder,
depression and schizophrenia. A study published in 2013 in the
journal Neuropsychopharmacology revealed certain alterations in
gene expression thought to contribute to structural and functional
brain changes associated with depression. In studies of animals,
when chromatin (to do with chromosomes) structure was altered
by epigenetic events, gene expression affected depressionrelated behaviour, the effects of antidepressants, and resistance
to depression. Post-mortems have identified similar mechanisms

If Mum was among the eight to 10 per cent of pregnant Australian


women who develop gestational diabetes, your genes may have
been primed to make you chubby according to findings from
the Garvan Institute. Those side effects are escalating levels of
obesity and diabetes, as well as more difficult births, caesarian
sections and a higher risk of sick babies, because diabetes makes
the placenta function less well, researcher Dr Jenny Gunton
wrote in journal Diabetologia. Experiments in mice confirmed the
foetal programming theory. We found that offspring from diabetic
mothers spontaneously get fat on a normal diet. They even tend to
eat a bit less than normal, but their metabolic rate is much lower,
so that doesnt compensate. Co-author Dr Lau said that higher
maternal blood sugars correlated with altered expression of brain
neuropeptides responsible for controlling energy balance and body
weight. And if you cant look at a churro without gaining a dress size,
or have a curious yen for cola, it may be your genes according to
leading endocrinologists. Associate Professor Jerry Greenfield, from
Sydneys Garvan Institute, agreed with a study in The New England
Journal of Medicine showing a direct correlation between soft drink
consumption, obesity and genetic predisposition to weight gain. ...
people are consuming more calories because their genes are driving
them to do so, he said. Genes not only drive people to eat more,
they also predispose at-risk people to gain more weight with calorie
overconsumption. Its a double whammy.

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29

thrive

The BRCA gene that famously made


Angelina a poster girl for pre-emptive
surgery isnt unusual. You have it. In
fact, you have two copies everyone
does. As long as BRCA1 and BRCA2
are in mint condition, they actually act
as cancer protection genes. Problems
arise, however, when you inherit a faulty
version of one of the copies from a parent.
Women who inherit a faulty BRCA1 gene
have approximately a 40 per cent lifetime
risk of developing ovarian cancer while
risk of ovarian cancer in women who
inherit a faulty BRCA2 gene is 10 to 15
per cent. Around one in 800 Australian
women carries a BRCA gene fault.
Am I one of them?

The first port of call in assessing risk is


scrutinising family medical history, says
Westmead Hospitals cancer genetics
specialist, Associate Professor Judy Kirk.
However, while a strong family history
of breast and/or ovarian cancer on either
the maternal or paternal side doesnt

30

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automatically equal higher risk, it


can. Family history is part of a
process of filtering those with
very low risk from expensive
genetic testing. If you do
have a family history, a GP
can refer you to a family
cancer clinic for advice
about genetic testing for
family members starting
with taking blood from a
family member with cancer
to find out whether they
have a culpable gene fault.
If they do have a fault, family
members can be tested to see
whether theyve inherited it. BRCA
gene faults can be passed down by
both females and males. We still dont
always understand why in some families,
for instance, one sister will develop breast
cancer at 30 years old and another sister
will never get it, Dr Kirk says.
If family history isnt a guide, what other
intel can I dig up?

The age at which a family members


cancer was diagnosed and the pathology
of the cancer determines the risk of you
carrying a familial gene fault according to
Prince of Wales Hospital head geneticist
Dr Kathy Tucker. If your mother was
diagnosed over the age of 50 and no other
family member has had breast or ovarian
cancer, the chance of you carrying a
faulty BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene is small
especially if other family members lived
to an old age. Women whose mothers had
two different episodes of breast cancer
face slightly higher risk as do those with
one or more blood relatives who has or
had breast or ovarian cancer under the
age of 40, Dr Tucker says. Jewish people
are more likely to carry a gene mutation.
What if my BRCAs faulty?

Women with a verified faulty gene copy

face a tough choice. Sciences capacity to


identify the fault before cancer takes hold
has heralded pre-emptive treatments
such as double mastectomy and removal
of fallopian tubes and ovaries, which
drastically reduces disease risk in
susceptible women if removed before
age 40. Contrary to what medicine long
thought, most ovarian cancers emerge
in the fallopian tube, not the ovary,
according to Royal North Shore Hospital
gynaecological oncologist Dr Gregory
Gard. While Angelina Jolie famously
chose the mastectomy option, only one
in five women who know they have the
fault do, Dr Gard says. Removing the
ovaries will make a woman menopausal,
which can increase her risk of heart
disease and osteoporosis, he warns.
It also spells the end of kids. Taking
hormone replacement therapy up to
menopause age can reduce the risk
of heart disease and osteoporosis.
Double mastectomy reduces the risk of
breast cancer to less than five per cent
according to Dr Tucker.
What are the other options?

A non-surgical preventative treatment


employs the combined oral contraceptive
pill, which can decrease ovarian cancer
risk by an estimated 50 per cent in
susceptible candidates when used for
five or more years. Breast cancer drug
Tamoxifen is another pre-emptive
option. For women who eschew both
surgery and drugs, regular mammograms
or MRI scans are recommended to detect
cancer early.
February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness
month. If you think you are at high risk of
breast and ovarian cancer and you want
to find out more about genetic testing
and the faulty BRCA gene, see your GP.
To learn more about BRCA and ovarian
cancer, visit ovariancancer.net.au

PHOTOGRAPHY: THINKSTOCK

PREVIEW
SCREENING

Greater awareness of genetic faults related


to gestation of certain cancers and links
to family history have heralded a wave of
medical fortune-telling and, in some cases,
pre-emptive surgery.

ITS MY

LIFE BLOOD
Lucinda Dennis, age 26
Fashion and lifestyle blogger, spicedfox.com

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thrive
mind

THE

Strong is the new skinny according to fitspiration devotees posting


workout pics on Instagram. But does the trend promote a healthier
lifestyle or yet another set of unhealthy ideals?
Words: Angela Tufvesson

ts a funeral for your fat. Suck it up


now and you wont have to suck
it in later. Sweat is our fat crying.
If youre one of the estimated five
million Aussie Instagram users
of which 60 per cent are women and
70 per cent are aged 18 to 34 youre
probably familiar with these popular
fitspiration (for the uninitiated: fitness
plus inspiration) slogans and the perfectly
posed images of gym-tight abs and clean
food flooding social media accounts in the
name of health and wellbeing.
Not so long ago, sweaty group classes
at the gym, wobbly yoga poses and an
awkward jog around the local park in your
trackies were private affairs witnessed by
only a small group of fellow exercisers
minding their own beeswax. Not to
mention that what you ate was between
you and the fridge.
Now its a tree falling in the forest
type of affair. If you didnt snap a postworkout selfie or pic of your organic/
sugar-free/gluten-free green smoothie
and post it on Instagram for your posse of
followers to coo over, how can you be sure
it happened?

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www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

More than 300 million monthly


active users scour Instagram for visual
encouragement to self-improve, so its little
wonder fitness is front and centre. The
#fitspo hashtag yields 24 million posts
and counting.
On the surface fitspo images may seem
like the ultimate social media do-gooder,
motivating us to exercise and pursue a
healthier lifestyle. And for some women,
looking at pretty pics of toned ladies doing
downward dog on the beach is a get-yourbutt-off-the-couch source of inspiration.
But for others, fitspo has warped the
way we think about working out. Where
fitness once dealt with the physical health
of the body, experts are increasingly
concerned that weve become too focused
on the way a fit person should look. And,
importantly, the fact that most of us dont
measure up to the Photoshopped thigh
gaps and filtered complexions populating
our Instagram accounts. Cue nasty body
image troubles that make us even less
likely to exercise. Yes, really. Heres what
you need to know about the difference
between healthy inspiration and unhealthy
ideals.

NOW TRENDING
Fitspo has evolved into a global social media movement heavily
populated by young and beautiful healthy-living devotees crafting
images of their workouts and meals to gain followers. The movement
has seen the sudden and super-sharp rise of the fitspo celebrity at
home and overseas. Locally, personal trainer Kayla Itsines has a
whopping 3.8 million Instagram followers while other prominent
fitness gurus like former pole vaulter Amanda Bisk and sisters
Diana and Felicia of Base Body Babes have amassed more than
400,000 followers.
So whats driving the push to share photographic evidence of
our health and fitness pursuits online? The fitspo trend is the
perfect combination of three vital components: an always trendy
topic (fitness); an on-trend social media platform (Instagram);
and changing market psychographics where people are craving
connection to real people rather than faceless corporations more
than ever before, says social media expert Leonie Prendeville,
founder of Lion in the Village Marketing .
The fistpo trend is definitely most prominent on Instagram;
however, we also see it booming on blogs and Facebook. This is
because it is a highly image-driven trend, which lends itself to all of
these platforms, and one that is driven by small-time celebrities, who
are now more commonly being called influencers.

PHOTOGRAPHY: THINKSTOCK

WHEN APPEARANCE EQUALS HEALTH


The everyday popularity of fitspo signals a social media-led move
away from thin as the idealised female body shape towards a more
achievable real body. Advocates say the movement is designed
to inspire people to achieve an empowered body image through
exercise and healthy eating. Why? Because strong is the new skinny.
But with so much attention placed on how we look rather than
the overall benefits of exercise and healthy eating, experts are
worried were confusing whats healthy with appearance and what
generates the most followers.
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33

Scroll
responsibly
WERE NOT SUGGESTING
YOU QUIT THE GRAM, BUT
UPGRADING YOUR SCROLLING
TECHNIQUE COULD PAY
DIVIDENDS FOR YOUR FITNESS
AND FREE YOU FROM A
NEGATIVE BODY THOUGHT
CYCLE.
Follow people who talk about
exercise as a feeling, not a look. This
Girl Can is an English campaign that
celebrates women who are doing
their thing no matter how well they do
it, how they look or even how red their
face gets. It offers up these fitspo
gems: I jiggle therefore I am and
Sweating like a pig, feeling like a fox.

Louise Adams, a clinical psychologist


specialising in eating, weight and body
image from Treat Yourself Well Sydney, says
placing so much emphasis on appearance as
a marker of health is not in itself healthy
and creates a nasty divide. In a culture that
places so much emphasis on appearance, we
have two choices: buy into it by striving to
be on the top of the heap to gain self-esteem
or not buy into it, she says.
The people who run these Instagram
accounts and the people liking them
are strivers who buy into the idea that
appearance equals worth and try hard to
win by being at the top. People at the top are
rewarded with likes, followers and attention,
which is very seductive for the strivers as
attention is where they get self-esteem from.
Personal trainer and holistic nutritionist
Amber Walker (amberwalker.com) says
superficial cues are incompatible with
empirical evidence for motivation, with
extrinsic motivation destined to fade.
Fitspiration photos offer a very limited
view of health and fitness, as they are
primarily focused on how to eat and exercise
to look a certain way, Walker says. They
completely take away how a person feels
emotionally, mentally and physically, which
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is integral to the definition of fitness.


At the other end of the spectrum,
Adams says a second group of people feel
inadequate when they are bombarded with
all of this perfection. Research shows
that appearance concerns is close to the
number-one concern for many people and
a large proportion of these people dont
try to strive; instead, they avoid exercise
altogether, she says.
So the culture of Instagram and physical
perfection damages both groups of people
the ones who strive because, ultimately, their
self-esteem is externally based on attention
and likes and by having to keep trying to
perfect themselves, and the ones who feel
ashamed and not good enough.
Walker agrees. In many circumstances
the ideal bodies we see on Instagram do
not exist. Images are edited, filtered, nipped
and tucked through apps to create a flawless
end image. Fans following the tips of such
profiles in an attempt to achieve their
perfect body image are setting themselves
impossible expectations.
Every body and lifestyle is different.
It is unhealthy to judge a persons lifestyle
choices as suitable for your own purely
on the carefully selected images they put

Follow people who dont fit the


fitspo ideal. Fitspo is very narrow
and almost unattainable for the vast
majority of women, says Dr Sharon
Hetherington from Exercise and
Sports Science Australia. She suggests
following sporty celebs who dont fit
the fitspo ideal like tennis superstars
Venus and Serena Williams and
US Olympic hammer thrower
Amanda Bingson.
Be wary of fitspo celebs, especially
those without formal qualifications.
Everyone is clueing onto the fact
that most of these social media
accounts are highly curated thanks to
photoshoots, Photoshopping and prescheduled posts, says social media
expert Leonie Prendeville, founder
of Lion in the Village Marketing. The
next trend already starting to take off
is those who are willing to be more
open, honest and real. Those who
are willing to get real about both
the bikini body days and the bloated
days while remaining positive and
encouraging will thrive.
Use Instagram for fun, not fitness.
Ultimately, Instagram is a place where
you upload pictures of your cat its
not really a place to go to figure out
how to become fitter and healthier,
says Dr Ingrid Richardson, a digital
media expert from the School of Arts
at Murdoch University.

on Instagram. What we should be focused on is looking within,


finding what makes us feel good, what our body tells us it needs, not
comparing to others. Worse, the instinctual appeal of aspirational
images can obscure better judgment when seeking fitness counsel.
While there are a wealth of highly qualified medical, natural
and physical health professionals using Instagram as a means to
communicate with their followers, there are just as many unqualified
people posting health and fitness advice and workout videos. The
concern is that thousands and sometimes millions of people are
following the advice of these people who are in no way trained to
give such guidance.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST


The essence of this divide lies in what psychologists call social
comparison theory, which posits that women evaluate their
appearance by comparing themselves with the cultural ideals of
beauty and thinness presented in the media. Research shows that
this will almost always be an upward
comparison by which women fall
short, resulting in dissatisfaction
with their own appearance and body.
And for all the democratisation
that social media offers, we know
that what we see isnt always or,
mostly, never an accurate depiction
of real life. From thigh slimming to
tummy tucking and skin perfecting,
theres not much that social media
editing tools like Perfect365, Selfie
and Photowonder cant do to help us
transform from a make-up-free and sweaty gym-goer to a cover girl
in a digital instant.
In the first ever study to examine the effects of fitspiration on
body image, researchers at Flinders University randomly assigned
130 female participants to view either a set of fitspiration images on
Instagram or a control set of travel images on an iPad. They found
that while the women exposed to the fitspo images reported feeling
more inspired to improve their fitness and eat healthily, ultimately
the fitspo images induced greater body satisfaction and lower selfesteem than the holiday pics.
The study that we did showed that looking at the images in an
experimental context led women to feel more inspired to exercise,
but at the same time made them feel worse about their own bodies,
says lead researcher Professor Marika Tiggemann.
One of the reasons why it makes women feel worse about their
bodies is of course that most of the pictures are of beautiful, thin,
toned bodies, so if you compare yourself its no good. Another
reason is that the fitspiration imagery and idea in general, although
its promoting health and fitness, a lot of that promotion is
through appearance.
She says the findings support a body of research that
demonstrates that exercise motivated by appearance reasons rather
than health or enjoyment is associated with negative body image.

like a beefed-up version of the now-banned thinspo, which


encouraged women to restrict their calorie intake in the hope of
achieving a bone-thin physique. Fitspo may seem kinder in the
way it encourages us to be strong rather than skinny, but at its most
extreme the movement can elicit the same obsessive adherence to a
specific body shape. Its even been linked with the inflexible eating
behaviours of orthorexia which, while not officially recognised as an
eating disorder, draw similarities with anorexia and bulimia.
Fitspo is part of a general shift towards self-management
strategies and transforming yourself into a project through social
media, but it also taps into general obsessions with healthy eating,
says Dr Ingrid Richardson, a digital media expert from the School of
Arts at Murdoch University. Generally speaking, looking at the way
in which its represented on Instagram or Pinterest, it doesnt seem to
be a movement thats open to making compromise in ones lifestyle.
The advice that were given about lifestyle is that it has to be
about balance because its very difficult to maintain a lifestyle that
has no balance. A lot of
the ways this fitspiration
movement has represented
lifestyle is not sustainable in
the sense theres very little
room for compromise and
lots of backlash and selfdegradation as a result of not
doing exactly the right thing,
not eating healthy every
single meal, not exercising
every single day. Thats
really problematic.
Dr Sharon Hetherington from Exercise and Sports Science
Australia says the popularity of fitspo messages promoting a onedimensional understanding of strength is especially worrying.
Strength is about what you can do with your body personal
strength, moral strength, strength of character, she says. But
on Instagram, usually the word strong is associated with
women posing and flexing, so youre not seeing strength in all
its dimensions.
For the average woman, the amount of exercise that would be
required to even approach the fitspo body look is really difficult. The
amount of gym work and time and effort that goes into that is huge.
Certainly its a great goal to be fit and healthy but women are very
different in the way their bodies are built, and few women are able to
achieve this look.
Walker says what may appear to be motivating can insidiously
cultivate a new benchmark. For many women, Instagram
fitspiration photos do nothing but create an instant whipping stick to
deplete their self-esteem and confidence. Like the skinny movement
before it, the fit movement pressures women to live, eat and look a
certain way to feel attractive.
Adams agrees. All we have done from thinspiration to fitspiration
is change the body type to which we have to adhere. Its not anorexia
but were talking about something that is just as damaging. Aspiring
to have a certain body type is not healthy. It might not be starving
ourselves but its pumping ourselves full of protein shakes and lifting
weights its the same thing.

WHAT MAY APPEAR TO


BE MOTIVATING CAN
INSIDIOUSLY CULTIVATE
A NEW BENCHMARK.

A WOLF IN THINSPOS CLOTHING?


There is also increasing concern that fitspo looks suspiciously

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35

eat

Should you really

SUGAR?
36

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

AFTER YEARS OF CONSENSUS, ANTI-SUGAR


FUNDAMENTALISTS ARE BEING CHALLENGED TO
SHOW THAT THEIR MODE IS BASED ON SCIENCE,
NOT FAITH. WITH VALENTINES DESSERTS AFOOT,
WE INVITED INFLUENCERS FROM BOTH CAMPS TO
STATE THEIR CASE.
Words: Stephanie Oseld

Theres no doubt that sugar is less fashionable


than straight-leg sweatpants. Not only are
lollies off the shopping list, but fruit has fallen
from dietetic grace, shaking the food pyramid
and surrounding dietary guidelines to their
fructose-laden core. Since the release of David
Gillespies Sweet Poison in Australia in 2008
and the subsequent success of Sarah Wilsonss
bestselling I Quit Sugar book and program,
the sugar debate has been raging. But the very
debate speaks to retrospective uncertainty,
with early anti-sugar adopters evaluating
whether wholesale sugar abstinence is based
on science or whether its better compared
with religion. Have scientific studies simply
been curated to propagandise against dessert?
We invited influencers from both camps to
argue their case.

THE IDEA: SUGAR MAKES YOU EAT MORE


THE QUITTERS: Sugar is the only foodstuff to which we dont have
a corresponding hormone that recognises it in our bodies, which is
more proof we werent designed to eat it, says founder of the I Quit
Sugar empire Sarah Wilson. As a result, we store it as fat. As our
bodies dont recognise it, we have no sugar off switch. So we keep
eating it. And eating it. The research I have looked at confirms that it
is very difficult to eat sugar in moderation. I think in part thats why
there is all this emotion attached to discussion around sugar. If I told
people I no longer ate frozen peas, no-one would care. But when you
tell people youve quite sugar, they get angry and outraged. Fellow
anti-sugar celebrity Gillespie says fructose is particularly bad.
Theres one commonly consumed carbohydrate that doesnt trip
the appetite control switch in the human body and that is fructose,
which is found in foods like sugar and in fruit, says Gillespie. He

says this is a throwback to Stone Age times when fructose was in


short supply, so our bodies evolved to encourage us to eat as much as
possible when we happened upon a handful of berries or stole a little
honey from a hive. As a result, our bodies dont detect fructose as a
food and our livers convert it immediately to fat.
For this reason, those who advocate abstaining from sugar
recommend fructose-free sweeteners such as glucose, purchased in
powder form, or rice malt syrup. Its made from fermented, cooked
rice and is 100 per cent free, so its the sweetener we suggest to people
who are quitting sugar because the body will burn it off and it wont be
turned by the liver into fat, says Wilson.
THE MODERATES: Fructose is the major carbohydrate present in
fruit, and although some dietary fructose comes from fruit, a great
deal of fructose consumed in our diet is derived from sugar (sucrose),
says senior nutritionist with Nutrition Australia Aloysa Hourigan.
This is because sucrose consists of 50 per cent fructose and 50 per
cent glucose, she says. Sweet foods such as desserts, cakes, chocolate,
confectionery and soft drinks can be packed with added fructose.
Obviously some Australians are consuming too much of these kinds
of snack foods and it would be healthier for them to cut back. But
thats not the only message thats been taken away from the sugarfree diet trend, says Hourigan. Some people have taken the avoid
sugar message so far that they have cut out all fruit. They dont seem
to understand that the fructose in fruit comes with fibre and other
nutrients, so the natural sugars are absorbed more slowly and do not
act the same in the body as just eating fructose in sugary foods like
lollies, which can cause a rapid spike in insulin levels, says Hourigan.
Although many Australians eat excessive quantities of sugar and
should reduce their intake, there is absolutely no reason to cut natural
sources of sucrose and fructose, such as fruit, out of your diet.
The fructose is fattening idea has arisen from studies that
suggested that fructose might be converted to fat if eaten in very large
quantities, adds Alan Barclay, dietitian and chief scientific officer of
the Glycaemic Index Foundation. Yet in those studies, much larger
quantities of fructose were used than the average Australian would
be eating. Research actually shows that if you eat 100 kilojoules of
glucose or fructose, there is no big difference between the two in the
way your body burns fat. What matters most is the big picture of how
much youve eaten. If youre overeating, then your body will turn the
excess into fat. Barclay warns that some people fall into the trap of
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37

trading standard sugar forms for fructosefree rice malt syrup. Rice malt syrup has
a higher glycaemic index than sugar, so it
actually causes a bigger rise in your insulin
levels, Barclay explains. There is no
difference metabolically with how your body
deals with sugars and other carbohydrates.
Eventually, they are all broken down in the
gut to single sugar molecules and, via the
large intestine and the bloodstream, they
are taken up by cells that use the glucose for
energy. Fructose does get processed by the
liver, but only a very small percentage of the
fructose eaten is ever stored as fat.
THE IDEA: YOURE EITHER WITH SUGAR
OR AGAINST IT
THE QUITTERS: Discourse suggests that
sugar habits need to be all or nothing a
position espoused by the quitting set.
Although some nutritionists advise simply
cutting down on sugar, many no-sugar
advocates agree that when you are trying
to break a sugar habit, it is important to
quit all of it at first, says Wilson. That
includes fruit, fruit juice, agave and honey.
After a few weeks, once you have broken
your addiction to sugar, then it is fine to
introduce some fruit back into your diet, as
well as some table sugar alternatives, such
as rice malt syrup. There is a detox period
where you will feel under the weather. This
lasted only a week or two for me. For some
people it can last six weeks. But it does pass.
According to Wilson, The I Quit Sugar
program recommends five to nine teaspoons
of sugar a day. Thats roughly two serves of
low-fructose fruit. If that means you need to
cut back on sugar, Wilson suggests that you
eat more healthy fats and healthy sources of
protein. Fats fill us up and so they help take
care of the craving for a treat, which is part
of the sugar addiction, she says.
THE MODERATES: Most nutritionists and
dietitians believe that it is unrealistic (and
unnecessary) to cut out all sugars. If you
do this, you are more likely to experience
cravings that could lead you to eat excess
snack foods high in sugar or could lead you
to engage in binging on sugary foods, says
Barclay. Instead, the Dietitians Association
of Australia reflects Australian Dietary
Guidelines, which advise limiting intake of
foods and drinks containing added sugars
such as confectionery, sugar-sweetened soft
drinks and cordials, fruit drinks, vitamin
38

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

waters, energy and


sports drinks. World
Health Organization
guidelines
recommend that
added sugar intake
is limited to no
more than five to
10 per cent of your
days total energy
intake. This just refers
to added sugars and
does not include sugars
naturally occurring in food,
for example, in fruit, as the
WHO has found no adverse
effects from the consumption
of these sugars, says Hourigan.
THE IDEA THAT SUGARS CAN BE
She points out that for an average
HARMFUL IS IN PART RELATED TO THE
adult (19 to 50 years of age) the
RISE OF DIABETES TYPE 2, WHICH RAISES
recommended energy intake is
BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS AND THIS CAN
around 8,700 kJ per day, so this
DAMAGE BLOOD VESSELS AND CAUSE ALL
means that no more than 435 to
870 kJ should come from added
OTHER MANNER OF COMPLICATIONS.
sugars. Carbohydrates provide
BUT SUGARS ARE NOT THE ONLY
17 kilojoules per gram so doing
ISSUE. ALL THE CARBOHYDRATES
the maths, this equates with 25.6 g to
YOU EAT CAN PLAY A ROLE
51.2 g of sugar, Hourigan says. As one
IN THIS.
level teaspoon of sugar equals four grams
(a rounded teaspoon is five grams), you
should aim to eat no more than 6.4 to 12.8
teaspoons of added sugars per day. Bear in
mind that one 600ml can of soft drink alone
WHAT SUGAR IS THAT?
contains a whopping 10 to 13 teaspoons of
Rice syrup or rice malt syrup is made
sugar and one teaspoon of sugar in six cups
by culturing rice to break down
of tea/coffee can also take you to the daily
enzymes.
cap of five per cent. And thats before people
Stevia is a natural alternative derived
have any other foods with added sugars,
from a leaf and contains no fructose.
such as biscuits, bottled savoury sauces,
Glucose/dextrose Dextrose is more
breakfast cereals or sweet spreads, Hourigan
slowly absorbed than glucose.
points out.

THE CASE
FOR:

THE IDEA: SUGAR CAUSES DIABETES


THE QUITTERS: They say the evidence is
clear. A few years ago, a team of scientists
from the University of California called for
sugar to be treated as a poison, in much the
same ways as alcohol and nicotine, says
Wilson. Sugar is not just innocuous empty
kilojoules it is making us fat and making us
sick. There is plenty of evidence that shows
a strong link between sugar and an altered
metabolism, increased blood pressure,
disrupted hormone signalling, and sugar
also causes significant damage to the liver
that is still not fully understood, leading to

Sucrose is cane sugar. It's 50/50


glucose and fructose, so theres a
moderate digestion rate.

Fructose is fruit sugar. Fructosephobes say it metabolises differently


when its in fruit and tend to
recommend a couple of pieces per day.
Honey, maple syrup and molasses
(which isnt as sweet) are all natural
alternatives with varying fructose and
GI levels.
Agave is similar to Stevia. It is
sweeter than normal sugar, so we tend
to use less. It is around 90 per cent
fructose.

THE CASE
AGAINST:

other health issues like heart disease,


diabetes and cancer.
THE MODERATES: The

idea that sugars can be


SUGAR IS THE ONLY FOODSTUFF
harmful is in part related
TO WHICH WE DONT HAVE A
to the rise of diabetes
CORRESPONDING HORMONE THAT
type 2, which raises
RECOGNISES IT IN OUR BODIES, WHICH IS MORE
blood glucose levels
PROOF WE WERENT DESIGNED TO EAT IT, SAYS
and this can damage
WILSON. AS A RESULT, WE STORE IT AS FAT. AS
blood vessels and cause
OUR BODIES DONT RECOGNISE IT, WE HAVE NO
all other manner of
complications, says
SUGAR OFF SWITCH. SO WE KEEP EATING
Barclay. But sugars are
IT. AND EATING IT. THE RESEARCH I HAVE
not
the only issue. All the
LOOKED AT CONFIRMS THAT IT IS VERY
carbohydrates you eat can
DIFFICULT TO EAT SUGAR IN
play a role in this. So if you
MODERATION.
are eating lots of unrefined white

CODE NAME OSE: HOW TO SPOT


HIDDEN SUGAR
To identify and quantify sugar in
a product, Aloysa Hourigan from
Nutrition Australia suggests:
Read the nutrition information
panel under the per serve and per
100 g columns.
Understand the term total sugars:
As current labelling laws do not require
a listing for added sugars the total
sugars amount/number includes both
naturally occurring (e.g. in fruit and
milk) and added sugars.
Choose products with 15 g or less
per 100 g: Thats the recommendation
from the Australian Dietary Guidelines
and Australian Guide to Healthy Eating.
This 15 per cent includes both naturally
occurring and added sugars.
Watch for hidden sugars: These
go by many other names, including
dextrose, fructose, glucose, golden
syrup, honey, maple syrup, malt,
maltose, lactose, brown sugar, caster
sugar, palm sugar, raw sugar, sucrose,
and some newer names include agave
syrup, rice malt syrup, coconut sugar.

bread or potato chips, then these


kinds of foods will also be impacting on
your insulin levels and weight. According
to Barclay, the big picture is paramount.
Excessive kilojoules, not just sugar, is the
biggest problem. It can lead to weight gain
that can cause other health issues including
diabetes and higher risk of heart attack,
stroke and some cancers. Moderation in all
that we eat is the key.
THE IDEA: EVERYONES DOING IT
THE QUITTERS: They say that in the last
150 years Australians have gone from eating
no added sugar to more than a kilogram
a week. You would need to run seven

kilometres every day of your life just to burn


off the weight this adds, says Gillespie.
Meanwhile, according to Gillespie, a study
conducted at Princeton University showed
that sugar can be as addictive as heroin
because it stimulates similar receptors
in the brain. Yet our government has
spent years ignoring the fact that sugar is
problematic, says Gillespie. They wouldnt
allow manufacturers to lace our foods with
nicotine but allow increasing quantities of
sugar to be dumped into processed foods and
it is equally as addictive. Getting the next hit
is the reason we keep reaching for snack and
take-away foods instead of healthier options,
Gillespie says.
THE MODERATES: Nutrition always
involves fads, and the low carbs, low sugar
fad comes and goes, says Barclay. But
while there is all this focus on sugar, we are
ignoring other important nutrition issues.
Instead of demonising individual foods,
Barclay believes we need to look at the
macro approach of the range of nutrients
we are eating. There is strong evidence to
suggest that patterns of eating, such as the
Mediterranean diet or the traditional Asian
diet, can be very good for health and weight
maintenance. What these cuisines have in
common is that they include plenty of fresh
fruit and vegetables along with some carbs
and lean protein used in meals that are home
cooked. If you eat according to those healthy
principles, its hard to go wrong.

ADDICTION

DECONSTRUCTED
Nowhere has hype been more pronounced than in arguments for sugar
dependency. Addictivness has been championed by author of The
Blood Sugar Solution Dr Mark Hyman, who argues that some people
are genetically predisposed to suffer sugar addiction. I have observed
this in my patients, but now it is becoming clear why some have more
trouble kicking the sugar habit than others, he writes on his blog. The
science demonstrating that people can be biologically addicted to sugar
in the same way we can be addicted to heroin, cocaine or nicotine is
clear. So similar are the mechanisms in sugar and drug addiction, he
says, that recovering alcoholics often turn to sugar.
www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

39

HOW MUCH?

40

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

associated with LOWER overall blood flow to


the brain, which means more BAD decisions.
To keep your blood sugar stable:
Eat a nutritious breakfast with some
protein like eggs, protein shakes or nut
butters. Studies repeatedly show that
eating a healthy breakfast helps people
maintain weight loss.
Also, have smaller meals throughout the
day. Eat every three to four hours and have
some protein with each snack or meal
(lean animal protein, nuts, seeds, beans).
Avoid eating three hours before bedtime.

Eliminate sugar and artificial


sweeteners and your cravings will
disappear: Go cold turkey. If you are
addicted to narcotics or alcohol, you cant
simply just cut down. You have to stop for
your brain to reset. Eliminate refined sugars,
sodas, fruit juices, and artificial sweeteners
from your diet. These are all drugs that will
fuel cravings.

Determine if hidden food allergies


are triggering your cravings: We often
crave the very foods that we have a hidden
allergy to.

Get seven to eight hours of sleep:


Research shows that lack of sleep
increases cravings.

Optimise your nutrient status with


craving-cutting supplements:
Optimise your vitamin D level: According
to one study, when vitamin D levels are
low, the hormone that helps turn off your
appetite doesnt work and people feel
hungry all the time, no matter how much
they eat.
Optimise omega 3s: Low levels of omega
3 fatty acids are involved in normal
brain cell function, insulin control
and inflammation.
Consider taking natural supplements for
cravings control. Glutamine, tyrosine,
5-HTP are amino acids that help reduce
cravings. Stress-reducing herbs such as
Rhodiola can help. Chromium balances
blood sugar and can help take the edge
off cravings. Glucomannan fibre is very
helpful to reduce the spikes in sugar and
insulin that drive cravings and hunger.
For more information visit drhyman.
com.

PHOTOGRAPHY: THINKSTOCK

Eating sugar stimulates


free radicals that destroy
the neurons charged with
telling the brain were
satisfied, Dr Andrews
found. In a double
whammy, the hunger
neurons that urge us
Newly released dietary guidelines
to eat are shielded
for Australians have for the first time
by these free
included advice to limit added sugar. The
radicals, all but
guaranteeing
World Health Organization recommends
a sugar binge.
added sugars make up no more than 10
The more carbs
per cent of our daily food intake, while
and sugars you
new US data suggests we should limit
eat, the more your
added sugars to five to 10 per cent
appetite-control
of our total daily intake.
cells are damaged, and
potentially you consume
It has long
more, Dr Andrews wrote.
been suspected that
Other experts instead place
some of us have fewer
the onus for overeating sugary foods on
pleasure receptors than others,
the flavour not the chemical composition.
predisposing us to addiction to, well, almost
From a rat study published in PLoS One
anything. (Cheese, gambling, Instagram.)
A dearth of D2 dopamine receptors, linked
finding that rats offered water sweetened
to the brains reward response, means that
with intense calorie-free sweetener saccharin
addictive types need more of a reward than
over cocaine, researchers concluded that
others to register pleasure. In 1994 the UCLA
the addictive potential of intense sweetness
School of Medicines chair of psychiatry
results from an inborn hypersensitivity to
published a study showing that obese adults
sweet tastants. In most mammals, including
who overate had the same dopamine-related
rats and humans, sweet receptors evolved in
gene markers as alcoholics and other drug
ancestral environments poor in sugars and
addicts, indicating that theres a genetic code
are thus not adapted to high concentrations
for addiction.
of sweet tastants, authors wrote. The
A study at Philadelphias Monell
supranormal stimulation of these receptors
Chemical Senses Center, published in
by sugar-rich diets, such as those now widely
journal Addiction, linked a predisposition
available in modern societies, would generate
a supranormal reward signal in the brain,
for alcoholism with an inborn skew towards
with the potential to override self-control
sugar addiction. Researchers found that
mechanisms and thus to lead to addiction,
children with an extreme sweet tooth were
academics from Australias James Cook
more likely to have relatives with symptoms
University wrote. The stimulation of two
of alcoholism and depression. ...certain
receptors on the tongue by sweet tastants
groups of children may be especially attracted
such as soft drinks, authors concluded,
to intense sweetness due to their underlying
generates sensation humans and other
biology, the lead researcher wrote.
mammals find intensely rewarding. Sweet
Identifying sugar addiction isnt as
sensations evoked by sugar-sweetened foods
straightforward as it sounds, however,
and drinks are probably one of the most
because many symptoms mirror effects
precocious, frequent and intense sensory
of sugars on those who dont qualify for
pleasures of modern humans.
an addict diagnosis. In a study published
in the journal Nature, Monash University
neuroendocrinologist Dr Zane Andrews
THINK YOURE ADDICTED?
found that eating sugars, and other carbs,
Try these DIY rehab tactics from Dr
destroys appetite-suppressing cells, which
Mark Hyman:
could explain why its so much harder to
Balance your blood sugar: Research
stop eating Maltesers than mung beans.
studies say that low blood sugar levels are

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FAT
LOSS
FIRST?

How to slim
and firm fast

Losing body fat without shedding


muscle is one of the fitness worlds
trickiest manoeuvres, with all sorts
of conflicting theories. If youre
in the queue for a lean physique,
weve got the inside word on body
recomposition.

he question of whether to lose fat


or build muscle first is one of the
fitness worlds most anxiety-provoking
quandaries. Generally filed under
impossible, they do, on paper, demand
opposing strategies. When deciding which to
prioritise, the anxious moneys on visions of
newly formed muscle cosying up with existing

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

PHOTOGRAPHY: THINKSTOCK

Words: Maddie Lakos and Rebecca Long

flabby bits to create a sort of tank effect. Conversely, another band


of fat loss enthusiasts fears the skinny fat effect fostered by dieting
without exercise. Yet there are ways to manipulate training and diet
to promote both fat loss and muscle gain.

GYM FIRST, JUST

Exercise physiologist Gabrielle Maston from Changing Shape


(changingshape.net.au) says part of the difficulty people have
reconciling effective diet and exercise programs with expectations
is that its common to gain weight and lose size. If you gauge the
efficacy of a program by its effect on scale weight, youre unlikely to
stay the course to realise success (or even recognise it, just quietly).

Science votes firmly for gymming first. The extra muscle gained in
the gym increases metabolism, setting the scene for more efficient
WHY THE BULK MYTH JUST WONT DIE
dietary manipulation. Its the proportion of fat in your body to, well,
Trainers dont deny it they just advise that this too shall pass. Im
everything else collectively known as lean mass (muscle, skin,
sure plenty of girls have hit the weights and ended up getting bigger.
bone, water) that determines how efficiently you burn kilojoules.
This is actually quite common phenomenon, says personal trainer
Eating below your calorie needs without exercise leads to losses of
Timo Topp (timotopp.com). But after a short period of unwanted
lean muscle of up to 37 per cent according tto a study
t d
i
d start to shrink. The reality is when you work
expansion,
youd
published in The Journal of Nutrition Health
n muscles, you will get smaller, have less body
on developing lean
H
fat and be toned, says Topp. Maston concedes that an initial
and Aging.
size increease is possible but not inevitable. If youre bulkYet the solution is far from quick. A
bic, enlist an experienced PT and ask them to err
phob
study in the European Journal of Clinicaal
on the side of caution. Bulking comes from the
o
Nutrition (EJCN) concluded that it mayy
type of program that a bodybuilder does; their
take up to 96 workouts to increase
training program is very different and would
resting metabolic rate (RMR) by
have nowhere near the amount of cardio,
five per cent and suggested that a
Maston says. Accredited practising dietitian
combination of workouts and diet
Melanie McGrice (melaniemcgrice.com.
was the most efficient way to shift
au) says its impossible to achieve the gains
body composition in favour of fatbodybuilders do without a sizeable caloric
free mass.
Cant get your head around you hauling
excess think 1,000 kilojoules above total
weights? You can get some of the perks from
daily energy expenditure (TDEE) daily.
activities such as boxing and swimming.

WEIGHT UP

When your punch hits the pad there is


CHICKEN, EGG, CHEGG
resistance placed in the arms that builds
The days of 40-minute treadmill sessions
muscle tone, Maston says. Swimming
reside somewhere in the archives with
has a similar relationship with
Betacams and mid-thigh bike pants. But its
gravity.
nadir is comparable to that of carbs; ignorance
has bred an army of ill-informed dissidents marching
to the beat of their own narrative. While fat loss requires
one type of exercise and a caloric deficit, and muscle gain pretty
well demands the opposite, you can reconcile the two but youre
going to need cardio. Id recommend cardio on most days, and full
body weights three times a week, Maston says. The reconciliation
is tactical ratios of training to burn maximum calories and create a
caloric deficit.
And if, like many harder core weights devotees, you fear that
cardio will cause catabolism the opposite of the coveted anabolism
get this: In a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology,
participants subjected to 12 weeks of moderate to intensive cycling
sessions showed quadriceps muscle volume increases of an average
of six per cent (their diet was adjusted to match their TDEE).
To work for both goals, however, cardio needs to meet strict
criteria. High intensity interval training (HIIT) ticks both the
fat-burning and muscle-building boxes. In a 15-week study
published in the International Journal of Obesity, obese women
who performed three weekly 20-minute HIIT workouts lost three
times as much fat as peers training with equal frequency in slow
endurance training with sciences best guess citing less incitement of
stress hormone cortisol which is catabolic than with steady state
cardio. In fact, off days are the key to optimising fat burn.
www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

43

HIIT is very effective because it allows you to stress the


cardiovascular system and build lean muscle. This means your
adaptations to training will be greater than working at lower
intensities, Maston says.
I can opt to walk for 60 minutes and burn approximately 100
to 150 calories or I can run for 30 minutes, burn 200 to 250 calories
and add in a whole bodyweight training program. I will burn a
phenomenal amount of energy and build muscle at the same time,
Maston says.

CONSERVATION SOCIETY
How you lift, how much and how often determines whether youll
merely inhibit catabolism (the best-case scenario) or trade fat
for muscle.
In order to build muscle you have to overload, which means
challenging them until theyre sore, says Maston. Strength training

for hypertrophy (muscle building) requires bigger weights and


lower reps. What I was taught in uni and in my personal training
certificate is that strength training has to be at 60 to 80 per cent of
your one-rep maximum for six to 12 reps and three to four sets,
Maston says. One-rep maximum (1RM) is the amount of weight you
can lift for a single rep.
To establish yours, perform as many reps as you can with
submaximal weights and use the Epley or Brzycki equation to
calculate your one-rep max. Alternatively, simply use the heaviest
you can while completing prescribed sets and reps and increase
weight when you feel it getting easy.
Intensity also impacts how effectively training facilitates fat loss.
High-intensity exercise causes the body to produce more heat after
exercise, causing an afterburn, Maston says.
Rest is also integral to muscle growth since torn-down muscles
need time to repair (theyre finicky like that). Skipping recovery days
increases catabolic proteins and decreases production of muscle
repair genes such as myogenin according to a study published in
the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Maston advises
spreading three weights sessions over the week.

EAT TO LEAN
What and how much you eat plays a key role in whether your body
drops fat or adds muscle first. A study published in the Forum of
Nutrition journal showed that subjects on a calorie-restricted diet
who increased protein intake lost around 4.4 kg more than peers
eating comparable calories with a high proportion of carbs and less
protein. An impressive 3.7 kg of losses came from fat.

CUTE DRESS
EXPRESS
The rules:
Perform 3 x per week
Barbell squats
Walking lunges with a
bicep curl (dumbbell)
Push-ups
Chin-ups
Triceps dips
Shoulder
press dumbbell
Beginner
8 to 10 reps x 3 sets with
30 seconds rest
Intermediate
6 to 8 reps x 5 sets with
30 seconds rest
Advanced
6 to 12 reps x 3 to 4 sets
with 1 minute rest

44

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

LEAN DOWN IN
MINIMUM TIME
WITH THIS
PLAN FROM
GABRIELLE
MASTON

CARDIO KICKBACK
The rules:
At least 30 minutes, including
interval training
Jogging intervals or cross trainer
intervals, 1 minute easy, 1 minute hard
OR
4-minute run followed by a 3-minute
walk or slow jog, 5 times OR
2 minute high intensity, 1 minute low
intensity on the cross trainer at the
gym, 10 times
OR
1 explosive lap of the pool, 1 easy lap, 10
times
OR
3 minutes high-intensity cycling, 3
minutes low-intensity cycling, 5 times

Lean gains
The rules: Fasting for 14 hours per day and consuming a highprotein diet (consisting mainly of unprocessed foods). Training
day and rest day specific diets are recommended (e.g. more
carbohydrates on training days).

The web is teeming with half-truths.


Melanie McGrice sets the record straight.

Bulk-cut
The rules: Overfeed in order to gain muscle, then diet
heavily to lose weight or shred in periodic cycles.
The perks: Eating a calorie surplus during bulk cycles
and only having to calorie reduce for short periods
of time.
The facts: People need to be careful with this diet
as during the bulk stage, people often gain more fat
than muscle, and once youve gained fat cells, theyre
with you for the rest of your life. Its hard, and takes a
long time to build muscle, and most people dont have
the technology to know whether they are gaining fat
or muscle. People also often turn to eating a lot of
unhealthy foods during the bulk stage, which is bad
for their general health.

The perks: Only having to worry about eating for 10 hours in


a day.
The facts: Only eating within an eight to 10 hour period may
help you lose body fat, but its not as beneficial for increasing
muscle mass, particularly if you work out in the evening. Its quite
a complicated diet that wont be very practical for most Aussies,
so people following it certainly need to be dedicated and have
their wits about them.

What to eat
ANABOLIC EATS
Caloric deficit? Check. Enough protein to spare muscle from being
chewed up as a source of functional energy? Check. Lose fat and
build muscle with Melanie McGrices lean bean intel.
5,500 kJ per day
180 g carbohydrates (3,000 kJ)
80 g protein (1,360 kJ)
30 g fat (1,150 kJ) AND
2.2 L fluid

You wont have muscle catabolism as long as you are


meeting your protein and carbohydrate requirements.
If you purely lose weight without monitoring your
muscle mass, you can lose muscle mass, and its very
hard to rebuild once youve lost it, says McGrice. It is
important to ensure you are consuming adequate protein
intake to build muscle, yet not so many kilojoules that
they are gaining fat. A high-protein diet means eating
around two grams of protein per kilogram of body
weight per day.
According to a 2006 study published in journal
Sports Medicine, the maintenance of fat-free mass is
crucial to maintaining resting metabolic rate the
efficiency of which ultimately influences whether youre
likely to lose, maintain or gain weight.
In practical terms against your fat loss training
regimen? On all days, eat every couple of hours.
Eating five to six meals per day can be beneficial
for muscle gain, particularly if youre doing a lot of
physical activity, McGrice says. However, you need
to ensure total daily kilojoule consumption equals a

2,000 kilojoule deficit once you account for what you


burn between staying alive (BMR), incidental activity,
thermogenesis from digestion and workout burn. Ive
known some clients to gain weight on this diet as a result
of underestimating kilojoule intake, McGrice warns.
Dieting for weight loss and muscle doesnt just
mean cutting carbs and fats and loading up on protein
24/7. While protein is an essential part of preventing
catabolism or even promoting muscle growth without
a balance of other macronutrients, all that protein
wont be used effectively. Without adequate fats and
carbohydrates, your body will use protein as fuel rather
than repair, says McGrice. Without the right diet,
workouts go to waste, and these rules are especially
important post workout when your body is trying to
refuel your freshly worked (and probably sore) muscles.
I would recommend eating a small, nutritious snack
that contains both carbohydrate and protein within 30
minutes of completing your workout, says McGrice.

whfmag
whandfmag
whandfmaged
womenshealth
andfitness

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

45

move
fit food

Drool-worthy

RECOVERY
SNACKS

With trainer and fitness model Kyla


Gagnon // insideoutfitnessvictoria.com

CINNAMON PROUGHNUTS
Makes 4

SMORES PROTEIN CUP


Makes 1

NEED

DO

1 cups gluten-free flour


1 scoop unflavoured
protein powder
tsp baking powder
tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sugar
Pinch sea salt
cup unsweetened
apple sauce
cup light sour cream
cup almond milk
cup coconut oil

In a bowl, whisk all dry ingredients. In a


separate bowl, mix wet ingredients except
coconut oil. Add wet to dry and mix well.
Pour into prepared doughnut shapers, filling
to full. Bake at 180C for eight to 10
minutes. Before you remove doughnuts from
oven, heat coconut oil in a small saucepan at
medium-high (not high). Remove doughnuts
from oven and remove from pan. Using
tongs, place each doughnut in the oil and
cover completely. Remove and immediately
roll in cinnamon and, if desired, a little sugar.
Protein: 11 g // Carb: 63 g

NEED

1 scoops chocolate protein powder


1 tbsp cacao
2 tbsp melted marshmallow (or marshmallow fluff)
digestive biscuit
Water

DO
Combine protein and cacao with one to two tablespoons
of water to create a thick pudding. Lightly grease a small,
round plastic container with coconut oil (this will be
your serving dish). Place half the mixture into the cup
and place the biscuit on top. Freeze for 10 to 20 minutes.
Remove from freezer and top with melted marshmallow
before pouring remaining protein pudding on top.
Freeze for another 20 to 30 minutes. Macros are for the
entire portion but you can also divide the mixture into
two or three using a mini muffin tin.
Protein: 45 g // Carb: 1.5 g

WHAT TO EAT WHEN

STRENGTH TRAINING
MACRO CRIB NOTES

46

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

Pre workout
Around 0.15 g of protein
and 0.15 g carbohydrate per
kilogram of body mass.

Visual guide
200 ml reduced fat milk (10 g
protein/15 g carbs) or 200 g plain
yoghurt (10 g protein/22 g carbs)

Post workout
25 g protein and 1
g/kg body weight
carbohydrate.

move

BIKINI RASH NOTWITHSTANDING,


SAND IS THE ULTIMATE SUMMER
FITNESS ACCOMPLICE. THIS
TACTICAL WHOLE BODY CIRCUIT
FROM TRAINER HOLLY BARKER
GETS A RESISTANCE UPGRADE
FROM GRAVITY.
Words/workout: Holly Barker (pictured)
Photography: Noel Daganta

48

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

This high-octane workout draws on


principles of intensity to make you sweat
and churn through calories during and
after your workout. Unlike standard
moves on a mat or concrete, however, this
circuit is end-to-end resistance thanks to
the added challenge of keeping yourself
upright and moving in sand. Its the
perfect way to start your beach day. Once
youve worked up a sweat, simply plunge
into the ocean. Ah, summer vibes.

THE
PERFORM FOUR TO FIVE SETS OF
20 REPS WITH A TWO-MINUTE
REST BETWEEN ROUNDS. JUMP
FOR JOY WHEN COMPLETE!

WALKING LUNGE TWIST


Step forward into lunge position. At full lunge, twist torso towards front hip, return to centre
and step forward, bringing back leg forward. Repeat with each step, twisting torso from side
to side towards front hip on each side. 20 reps.
www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

49

SINGLE-LEG DEADLIFT
Position weight to left side and raise right foot slightly to take weight off.
Keeping neck and spine position neutral, tilt your weight forward while
reaching your right foot back, leg straight and toe pointing towards the
ground. Use your left arm for balance on left hip and right arm reaching
towards the floor. Return to upright position and repeat. Switch to
alternate side after first side is completed. 20 reps.

SKATE LUNGE-BACKS
Step back and over towards the direction of your front leg. Explode off of the
back leg in a skate motion to switch leg positions, alternating your front leg
to the back and towards the alternate front leg. Repeat motion, keeping your
hands in a stable position in front of your torso. 20 reps (each side)

POP SQUAT
Squat to 90 degrees, feet shoulder-width apart, knees in
line with toes. Explode out of your squat and through your
heals. Land softly back to your squat starting position and
prepare to repeat. 20 reps.
50

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SIDE LUNGE
Step to the right in a deep squat position. Bring the legs together and
reverse squat position to the left side. Stay in your squat position
throughout the movement. 20 reps (each side)

JUMPING JACKS
Explode up into the air, spreading legs apart and raising hands above
head in one motion. Land back down, cushioning the land, and
repeat back up. 20 reps

HIGH KNEES
With legs hip-width apart and hands in a runners stance,
explode out from one leg, lifting the alternate knee as high as
possible. In a skipping-like motion, repeat high knee on each
side to completion. 20 reps (each side)
www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

51

promotional feature

Fiercel

FIT

THE COURSE
Obstacle courses are run over five to 20
km and usually involve about 15 hurdles,
allowing participants to break free from
fitness plateaus in an entertaining yet
challenging environment. The Night Attack
event is pitched at an entry level of 5 km
with 17 obstacles. Obstacles can include
anything from cargo nets, mud crawls and
monkey bars to rope climbs, person lifts and
balance beams. Think lots of water, mud and
all things beast-mode!

TRAINING AND NUTRITION


Training for any endurance-style event is
key to enjoying the actual day. Training
should involve a mix of strength, anaerobic
sprint and endurance training for best
results. Start your preparation a minimum
of five weeks out from the run, especially if
physical activity has not been on your to-dolist recently.
To prime your body and mind for the
challenge, read up on suggested techniques
for respective obstacles. For example, Night
Attacks Ring the Bell rope climb can be
done by simply muscling your way up
the rope or using a proper rope-climbing
technique of crossing the rope over one foot
and then standing on top to save upper body
muscle fatigue.
52

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The obstacle course is the modern gym on steroids, with


millions of athletes, mums and fitness buffs participating
in worldwide events each year. Considering the challenges
ability to test stamina, strength and mental toughness,
WH&F spoke to the experts behind Melbournes annual
Night Attack proudly supported by the Arnold Classic
(nightattack.com.au) about how to best prepare to jump,
slide, swim and roll your way to the finish line.
Two days out from start time, up your
overall caloric intake, especially your protein,
to ensure you have the stamina required for
the long haul.

ON THE NIGHT
Choose appropriate clothing ditch the
cotton socks or shorts that tend to soak up
water and mud and instead opt for synthetic,
tight-fitting gym gear that is quick-drying
and wont get caught in obstacles. Long pants
can help avoid abrasions to knees and legs,
and gloves will aid your grip on climbing
obstacles, especially when your hands get wet.
To avoid injury, Dr Kieran McCarthy, True
Grit event doctor, says awareness is key.
Have a look at the obstacle as you
approach; try to determine the best way over
by watching other people, says McCarthy.
You also need to watch out for other
participantsscan your surroundings and
move out the way if youre in danger.
Stay well hydrated and don a
positive attitude!
*Extracted from The Complete Obstacle
Conditioning Program by ex-Special Forces
members Adam McNamee, Scott Evennet and
Rhys Dowden. For a full training and nutrition

program, and all things obstacle, purchase a full


version at: http://obstacleconditioning.com.au
Night Attack hits Melbourne March 1719
and each registration includes an entry into
the Arnold Classic.
Visit nightattack.com.au for further details
and to register.

TOP OBSTACLE TIPS


from True Grit founder Adam McNamee
THE A FRAME: If you are afraid of
heights, keep your body low to the bar
as you cross over the top, and avoid
looking down.
COMMANDO CRAWL: Keep the
entire body low and compact when
crawling under barbed wire, especially
the glutes.
THE RAMP: Get a helping hand from
teammates this one is a killer if you
go it alone.
SPIDERS WEB: Keep a low centre
of gravity to avoid getting tangled,
especially in the dark.
ARCTIC BLAST: A jump into iced
water requires pace get in and out
before the leg muscles start to seize.

PROUDLY Presented By

MARCH 18, 19 & 20, 2016


MELBOURNE CONVENTION & EXHIBITION CENTRE

Coming soon to

Melbourne
17, 18 & 19 March 2016
17 + obstacles 5km

Www.nightattack.com.au

SCAN PAGE TO
CHECK OUT THE
NIGHT ATTACK
EVENT!

move

Fitgeist
FILTER
WHATS
TRENDING IN
FITNESS AND
HOW TO MAKE
IT WORK FOR
YOU

PHOTOGRAPHY: THINKSTOCK

Theres a fine line between being


fashionably quick on the uptake
and tragically fooled by fads. We set
personal-trainer-about-town and
Bachelor of Human Nutrition Zana
Glamuzina the challenge of filtering
the BS from the new year fitsphere.
(We know youre not a sucker.)

54

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YOU WANTTHAT LEAN LOOK


Youre training frequently but still
cant get the lean look youve always
wanted. Spicing up your training
and manipulating TUT may be what
you need!
Most females perform a movement
for a few reps and a few sets while never
seeing a change in shape or strength.
TRY: TUT
TUT, or time under tension, is a strength
training technique that creates body
awareness, improves control of lifts and
develops strength that is essential for
creating a lean body.

Every weights session, you should be


consciously thinking about your TUT!
HOW: Pick an exercise, and then pick a
tempo; for example a lunge 3 counts
down, 1 count hold, 2 counts up.
Try to slow down the eccentric phase
in each rep. For example, in your next
squat try a tempo of 5 down, 2 hold, 2
up, ensuring you squeeze your glutes as
you come up and really feel that burn.
INSIDERS TIP: Focus more on the
tempo at which the exercise is performed
rather than the amount of weight youre
lifting.

YOU WANT...TO BE ONE OF THOSE


SUPER-FIT (AND PERKY) PEOPLE
You need to decide on a goal and time frame.
Determine your current fitness level and, from this,
structure a weekly plan to reach your goal. Setting
a fitness goal and having a plan means you are no
longer just exercising you are training! Record your
weekly progress so you can see any improvements or
plateaus in your training.

YOU WANTBETTER RESULTS IN LESS TIME


TRY: GIANT SETS
Youre busy and, if the truth be known,
would rather spend your down time making
proughnuts and working on your next big
plan than cranking out DB curls. You need
a workout that crams more into a shorter
amount of time (and to build muscle and burn
fat more effectively). A giant set is a group of
four or more exercises that target one part of
the body, such as arms or legs.

TRY: HIIT
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) involves
alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise
with active recovery sessions. These short, intense
workouts burn high levels of calories and improve
athletic capacity.
HOW: Try the following routine over two to four weeks
and complete two times per week. Make sure you
record whether you reached the program goal or not.
A. WORKOUT 1: INCLINE SPRINTS (LVL 35)

30-second maximal output then drop incline and


actively recover for 2 min x 5 sets

HOW: Choose 10 multi-joint exercises such


as squats, lunges and leg presses and perform
these exercises one after another to complete
one set (like a big circuit). Rest for 90 seconds
at the end of each set and repeat three times
through.

B. WORKOUT 2: INCLINE SPRINTS (LVL 35)

WHY: Not only will it train cardiovascular


fitness, but it will shock your body into getting
stronger in a shorter amount of time.

D. WORKOUT 4: INCLINE SPRINTS (LVL 35)

INSIDERS TIP: If done correctly, you


complete one HUGE workout per week and
get the same results as if you were doing three
to four smaller workouts per week.

INSIDERS TIP: Try this instead of long steady-state


cardio sessions and watch your fitness levels soar!

45-second maximal output then drop incline and


actively recover for 2 min x 5 sets
C. WORKOUT 3: INCLINE SPRINTS (LVL 35)

45-second maximal output, drop incline and


actively recover for 1.5 min x 5 sets
45-second maximal output, drop the incline and
actively recover for 1 min x 5 sets

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

55

YOU WANTA PERKY BUTT


YOU WANT...TONED ARMS
Of course youve already dog-eared
Brookes toned triceps workout (p. 58),
but if youre looking to mix up your
wing workouts, theres a protocol just
made for ousting tuckshop arms.
TRY: SUPERSETTING
ANTAGONISING
Supersetting antagonising is the
pairing of two opposite muscle groups
such as chest and back, triceps and
biceps and quads and hamstrings. The
science behind this technique is to
loosen one muscle while its antagonist
contracts. This allows more weight to
be used, or additional reps performed.
HOW: Give this little workout a go and
say goodbye to flabby arms!
A. DUMBBELL EXTERNAL ROTATION

10 reps 4 sets, tempo 3; 0; 2; rest


30 seconds
B. INCLINE DUMBBELL PREACHER
CURL 1012reps 4 sets, tempo

3; 0; 1
C. TRICEP ROPE PUSHDOWNS 15

reps 4 sets, tempo 2; 0; 2; rest


45 seconds
D. SCOTT CURL REVERSE BICEPS
CURLS 810 reps 4 sets, tempo

2; 0; 2
E. OVERHEAD DUMBBELL TRICEPS
EXTENSION 1215 reps 4 sets,

tempo 2; 2; 1; rest 45 seconds


WHY: Supersetting agonist and
antagonist muscle groups is not only
time efficient and great for building
lean, toned arms, but it also increases
the afterburn effect of your workout by
up to 24 hours.
INSIDERS TIP: Try and finish off your
arms day with 3 x 500m sprints on the
rower to really get your arms burning.

56

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YOU WANTTHE PERKS


OF HITTING THE GYM
WITHOUT, WELL, HITTING
THE GYM
Some days life can get in the way of your
gym routine, but this shouldnt mean
compromising your fitness. Some fitness
professionals believe you can achieve the
same levels of fitness and strength using
only your body weight, as if you were
using a range of weights and equipment.
TRY: CALISTHENICS
Calisthenics is a form of exercise where
one uses only their body weight to
complete a range of exercises. Through
squatting, jumping, pushing, pulling
and swinging, calisthenics can increase
strength, fitness and flexibility.
HOW:
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.

BURPEES 10 reps 2 sets


SQUAT JUMPS 15 reps 3 sets
COMMANDOS 24 reps 2 sets
PUSH-UPS 15 reps 3 sets
STRAIGHT-LEG RAISES 15 reps 2 sets

Rest for two minutes and repeat three


times.

The ultimate butt workout builds a


perky butt that not only looks the biz
in skinnies but is structurally sound
to facilitate optimal biomechanical
function (free and resilient movement
to you and us). You had no idea how
important your booty was, right?
TRY: BARRE
The Barre class trend is sweeping the
nation with the ballet-based workout
becoming available at gyms and
Pilates studios across the country. The
classes aim to increase core strength,
develop long, strong limbs and increase
flexibility. If you dont have access to a
Barre class, you can channel some of the
signature moves in your own workout.
HOW: You need to complete a range of
butt-lifting exercises!
A. SUPINE GLUTE BRIDGES 20 reps
with 20 small pulses at the top
B. SINGLE-LEG GLUTE BRIDGES 5
each leg (ensure hips are level)
C. 90-DEGREE BACK EXTENSION 10
reps (squeeze at the top)
D. CABLE KICKBACKS 10 reps
each leg
Try to contract your glutes
throughout the entire exercise. Keep
the movements small and controlled to
focus on the constant tension.
WHY: Most people have underdeveloped glute muscles and struggle
to activate their glutes properly during
exercises. This can result in not only a
flat derriere, but also injuries, which is
why glute isolation work is important.
INSIDERS TIP: You should aim to do
these 10 times per week if you really
want to build a booty.

YOU WANTCORE STRENGTH


TRY: PRE-WORKOUT MUSCLE
ENGAGEMENT
When youre pushed for time, you want
to get the most bang for your buck.
Pre-workout muscle engagement is a
technique that aims to engage more
muscles throughout your workout,
which burns more calories and creates a
stable base.
HOW: Try adding the following core
and glute activation exercises into
your routine:
A. TOE TAPS 20 reps
B. PLANK 1 min
C. LEG RAISES 10 reps each leg
D. CLAMS 20 reps each leg
E. BODY ROLLS 10 reps

Complete 2 rounds
WHY: A strong core will ensure you
engage the correct muscles during your
training and allow you to build a wellshaped physique.
INSIDERS TIP: Begin each workout
with the routine above and you will be
well on your way to a killer core!
Activating these muscles prior to
your workout will promote a muscle/
mind connection. This increases muscle
fibre activation, improving your lifts
and decreasing your risk of injury.
Alternatively, if you are unable
to effectively engage your core, try a
Pilates class to ensure you have the
correct technique to build your base.

ZANA IS A TRAINER AT GOODLIFE HEALTH CLUBS PRAHRAN


// GOODLIFEHEALTHCLUBS.COM.AU

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womenshealthandfitness

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move

GET SHAPELY, FIRM, WOBBLE-FREE


TRICEPS IN MINIMUM TIME WITH THIS
TARGETED SEQUENCE BY TRAINER
AND FITNESS MODEL BROOKE STACEY
(PICTURED).
PHOTOGRAPHY: JAMES PATRICK // JAMESPATRICK.COM
58

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THE RULES: R E PE AT A L L E X E RCI SE S FOR THRE E SE TS OF 10 RE P S

THE MOVE:
TRICEPS OVERHEAD EXTENSION WITH ROPE
Why: Keeping your body in proper
standing alignment with core
stabilisation and isolation of the overhead
tricep extension is an excellent total body
exercise with focus on the tricep muscles.
How: Attach a rope to a high pulley.
After selecting an appropriate weight,
grab rope with both hands and face
away from the cable.
With a slight bend in hips, lean
forward slightly and engage core.
Position your hands behind your
head with elbows pointing straight up.
Your elbows should start out flexed.

This is your starting position.


To perform movement, extend
through the elbow while keeping the
upper arm in same position. Push your
arms forward.
Squeeze your triceps at the top of
the movement and slowly lower the
weight back to the starting position.
Nail it: Keeping elbows in close to
head while performing the movement
will help with the isolation of the tricep
extension. Keep your core engaged
with shoulders down and back away
from neck.

THE MOVE:
TRICEPS PUSHDOWN ROPE ATTACHMENT
Why: This is a strength, cable machine isolation
movement for triceps to help target and strengthen.
How: Attach rope to a high pulley. Grab with a
neutral grip, palms facing one another.
Standing up with torso straight and very small
inclination forward, bring your arms up to 90
degrees. This is your starting position.
Using the tricep, bring the rope down. At the end
of the movement the arms are fully extended.
Nail it: The upper arms should always remain
stationary next to your torso and only your forearms
should move. Exhale as you perform this movement.
Keep your core engaged through the entire
exercise as well as shoulders down and back away
from your neck.

THE MOVE:
SKULLCRUSHERS
Why: Skullcrushers are a great exercise to superset
with other tricep exercises and work well as the
second exercise because you can go fairly heavy
with weight.
How: Lie down on bench and bring weight up.
Keep arms straight up to ensure youre working
against gravity.
Only bend your elbows. Avoid allowing upper
arms to move. If they do, allow some of the load to
your shoulders.
Lower the weight under control, using a speed that
is deliberate and consistent. Keep wrists straight and
strong. Power weight back up but stop short of full
extension to allow constant tension on muscle and no
rest at the top of movement.
Nail it: Keep your elbows in tight and avoid elbow
flare to ensure triceps do the bulk of the work. Allowing
your elbows to flare reduces the triceps workload.
www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

59

THE MOVE:
SEATED TRICEPS DUMBBELL PRESS
Why: Doing seated dumbbell triceps
presses allows you to concentrate
specifically on strengthening. Isolated
tricep exercises build muscle.
How: Sit down on a bench
and grasp a dumbbell with both
hands and hold it overhead at arms
length. Keeping your upper arms
close to your head (elbows in) and
perpendicular to the floor, lower the
resistance behind your head until
your forearms touch your biceps.

Go back to the starting position


by using the triceps to raise the
dumbbell. Breathe out as you
perform this step.
Nail it: The upper arm should
remain stationary and only the
forearm should move during
exercise. Breathe in as you perform
this step. Keep good posture
throughout exercise with core
engaged and shoulders down and
back away from neck.

THE MOVE:
BENCH DIPS/TRICEPS DIPS
Why: Using your own body weight for triceps dips is a
great exercise you can do anywhere. You can also vary the
intensity by alternating your leg position and add weight
for greater residence.
How: With bench behind you, place both hands
on the edge, fully extended and shoulder-width apart.
The legs will be extended forward. This will be your
starting position.
Slowly lower your body as you inhale as you bend
at the elbows until you lower yourself to slightly less
than 90 degree angle between the upper arm and the
forearm. Keep elbows as close to body as possible during
movement. Use your triceps to bring your torso up to
starting position.
Nail it: Variations include placing your legs on
another flat bench in front of you for more of a challenge.
Placing weight in your lap with legs extended can also
make the exercise more challenging. Keep shoulders
back and down at all time away from neck to keep good
posture throughout exercise.

60

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THE MOVE:
TRIANGLE PUSH-UPS
Why: The triangle push-up gets its name from the
position of your hands. Mastering this movement
with a modified position of knees on the ground is
recommended to keep proper form. The triangle
push-up is an excellent total body and core exercise
with emphasis on triceps.
How: Begin the move by positioning hands on
the mat directly under chest with fingers spread

THE MOVE:
CLOSE-GRIP BALL PUSH-UP
Why: This is an advanced total body
move that works not only triceps but
pecs, delts and core as well.
How: Secure the ball for minimal
movement during exercise. Get in
standard push-up position with hands
on medicine ball under chest. Your left
thumb and forefinger should touch
your right thumb and forefinger. Brace
your core with arms fully extended and
keep elbows close to body. Slowly lower
yourself towards Swiss ball.
Once your chest touches the ball,
press back to starting position.
Exhale breath on push-up.
Nail it: Keep your core tight and
engaged throughout entire exercise
movement as if you were doing a plank.
In order to get full body muscle activation
during exercise, dont let back sway.

and thumbs and forefingers touching, making a


triangle shape. Straighten legs in a plank position
(harder) or knees on ground (easier). Make sure
the back is flat and abs are engaged as you bend the
elbows, lowering until your chin or chest touches the
mat. At the bottom of the movement your elbows
will naturally flare out to the side. Press back up to
starting position while keeping a rigid torso through
entire movement.
Nail it: If you cant go all the way down to a full
push-up, go as far as you can and work your way up
to a full push-up as strength grows. Exhale breath as
you push back up to starting position.

THE MOVE:
CABLE ONE-ARM TRICEPS EXTENSION
Why: Isolating the triceps one arm at a time with
cable extensions helps concentrate on the triceps
muscle and ensures continuous muscle tension
throughout entire exercise.
How: With your right hand, grab a single
handle attached to the high cable pulley. Stand
directly in front of weight stack. Now pull the
weight down so that your upper arm and elbow
are locked into the side of your body. Your upper
arm and forearm should form an acute angle
(less than 90 degrees). You can keep the other
arm by the waist and can have one foot in front

of the other for better balance. This will be your


starting position. As you contract the triceps,
move the single handle attachment down to your
side until your arm is straight. Breathe out as you
perform this movement. Squeeze the triceps and
hold in this contracted position. Slowly return
handle to starting position.
Nail it: You can also use exercise bands to
perform this movement. To execute this move
properly, only your forearms should move.
Your upper arms should remain stationary at all
times.

BROOKESTACEY.COM

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

61

move
Brooke
Stacey, 35

ON FAT LOSS

Former cover model


and WH&F contributing
trainer
(get her new year
workout from p. 58)

WEIGHTS OR CARDIO?
The way to sculpt and tone your body is by lifting consistently with
resistance training. The amount of time it will take to get results
will vary depending on your starting ability, current weight, muscle
mass and body fat. You should see results and progress within
12 weeks of consistent training and eating better. When you do
resistance training you are building muscle, burning fat and creating
the body shape you are after, such as a slimmer waistline, more
shapely hips and glutes and stronger, more toned legs and arms.

WEIGHT OR MEASUREMENTS?
I dont regularly weigh myself or take body fat percentages or
measurements unless I am about to start a new 12-week training
program and wish to evaluate my bodys response. I normally
measure my appearance from the way my clothes fit and how I
feel and look in the mirror. Placing less emphasis on measuring
and how I look and more emphasis on how Im feeling helps me to
maintain a lifestyle and consistent body image. For people starting
their fitness journey or a new training program, measurements can
be helpful so you can gauge progress but weight is not a good
measure as muscle does weigh more than fat and weight loss isnt
necessarily good if its mostly muscle. Instead go with girth of waist,
glutes and legs or body fat percentage.

CARBS OR NO CARBS?
When lifting weights several days a week, you need to fuel muscle
growth with lean proteins, good fats and whole grains. You dont
always need to eat chicken, sweet potatoes and asparagus. For lunch,
I recommend a homemade sandwich with wholegrain bread, turkey,
mustard, spinach and lettuce. What you do need to realise is that
what you need to eat is determined by your current activity level
and adequately fuelling that. If you stop training as much, you need
to prioritise adequate protein to maintain the muscle mass you have
and not overeat carbs.

CALORIES OR MACROS?
If you are training five days a week in the gym lifting weights,
you will need to eat more and fuel your body for that activity
level. The biggest mistake I see among people pursuing fat loss
is cutting back too much on eating or not eating at all. You dont
need a competitors diet to live a healthy, fit lifestyle. You must
eat throughout the day to fuel your body; it is what food and how
much you eat that determines whether you will lose fat or gain it.
If you have good muscle mass but can only get to the gym a couple
of days a week, you need to be more strict, limiting carbs and
moderating portions.
62

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

CHEAT DAYS OR INTUITIVE EATING?


Before a competition or photo shoot, I will tighten down my
eating and make sure that I am not enjoying extra indulgences like
dessert or too many nights eating out at restaurants. My favourite
indulgences are sweet potato fries, ice cream or sorbet, and cheese.
For eating out, I recommend learning how to order healthier at
your favourite restaurants for Mexican, think broth-based tortilla
soup rather than chips and cheese as an appetiser.

FOOD OR SUPPLEMENTS?
I like to take whey protein as a post-workout snack or midday snack
if I am on the go as its a great way to get the amount of protein
necessary to fuel muscle growth. I also like to support my workouts
with branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are the building
blocks of protein and therefore muscle. BCAAs make up almost
one-third of skeletal muscle tissue in humans, and leucine, isoleucine
and valine are the three most important aminos for feeding hungry
muscle. I also take a one-a-day womens multivitamin and fish oil.

YOGA OR NO YOGA?
I love to incorporate hot, vinyasa flow yoga into my weekly workout
routines as I find it helps me stay limber and flexible and keeps me
from getting too stiff from lifting.
brookestacey.com

MAKE
TODAY
COUNT
Protein

23g

Carbs

Fats

20g

2g

DIET WHEY

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move

#Rawfitspo
Pre-Valentines Day workout inspiration from those who matter most.
EXTRACTED FROM THINK LIKE AN ATHELETE BY DAVID NICHOLSON,
PUBLISHED BY HARDIE GRANT, RRP $ 22.95

THERE IS MORE
WISDOM IN YOUR
BODY THAN IN
YOUR DEEPEST
PHILOSOPHY.

JILIAN FUESHKO & VICTORIA JAROSZ

FIND OTHERS
WHO SHARE YOUR

LAURA KARAM

CHRIS GAUVIN

I DON'T FOCUS ON WHAT IM UP AGAINST. I FOCUS ON


MY GOALS AND I TRY TO IGNORE THE REST.

RAW

FITSPO

Stay committed in your


decisions, but stay flexible in
your approach.
64

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

CHRISTIE HOVORKA

BECK PRYOR & LIZZ MILNE

KATE ALBURY

PAMMY SUE

PAIN IS

TEMPORARY,

PRACTICE PUTS BRAINS


IN YOUR MUSCLES

PRIDE IS FOR EVER.

Want to be part of our raw fitspo?


Watch our Facebook page for
callouts. (Filter free, please.)

CHRISTIANN SANDERS

JACKIE & SAMANTHA WILSON


THE BEST TRAINING PROGRAMME
IN THE WORLD IS ABSOLUTELY
WORTHLESS WITHOUT THE WILL TO
EXECUTE IT PROPERLY, CONSISTENTLY
AND WITH INTENSITY.

THE DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN
IMPOSSIBLE AND
POSSIBLE LIES
IN A PERSONS
DETERMINATION.

LEXY STANLEY

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

65

move

Motivation
Geez I regret that workout. No-one, anywhere,
ever, was among last years most pinned and reposted memes for good reason. It speaks to quite
how common it is to view exercise with something
between terror and disdain. The reassuring fact
is that many of us have to fight tooth and nail to
get ourselves to the gym. Its excellent news for
entrepreneurial types, since the commonness
means theres a huge market for fads. That market
is also inexhaustible in a similar way to the one for
diet shakes and pills or anything else designed to
do nothing more than momentarily coddle hope.
The problem with approaches that pique excitement
through promises of fun is that they dont resolve
the reasons most of us fear or loathe exercise, which
has more to do with a mental facsimile than reality
(hands up whos ever been on the treadmill and
thought, huh, this is not so bad?)
Mental tactics can also make the difference
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between staying in bed and making Pump class.


For instance, prospection (imagining how youll
feel when what is now the future becomes the
past) is just one such hack. Strategic conversations
with yourself and distraction can also work.

DISTRACTION
Few things are worse than spending 40 minutes
watching the clock, wishing your legs werent
burning. If workouts feel like torture, no amount
of reframing is going to work as youre creating
fresh (and strong) evidence for the contention
that exercise sucks. The challenge, particularly
for those with specific fitness goals that cant
be ticked with a Zumba class, is to find reliable
ways to take your mind elsewhere. One welldocumented tactic is listening to music. Research
shows that listening to music during a workout
can extend the duration before fatigue takes hold,

DESPITE THE APPEAL OF MEMES


AND AFFIRMATIONS, STATEMENTS OF
EFFERVESCENT POSITIVITY CAN WORK
AGAINST ACHIEVING GOALS.
effectively buying extra time (and assisting your mission to reimagine exercise as somewhere between neutral and enjoyable). The
diversion (also known as dissociation) lowers perceptions of effort
while endorphins released in response to hearing music we like can
mask fatigue according to psychologist Dane Barclay from Victorias
Performance and Sports Psychology Clinic. When we recognise
that we are not enjoying something, our mind sends a spike of stress
hormone cortisol to engage us in a behaviour that removes distress,
he says. Yet playlist selection is key as music that doesnt match the
workout tempo (think beats per minute) can backfire, piquing the
bodys pain response.

PROSPECTION
Unlike traditional theories of decision-making, which reconcile
expected outcomes and a persons current motivational state,
prospection considers a persons ability to think a step ahead to
how theyll feel if the likely sequence upon choosing one or other
option eventuates think feeling stuffed and guilty during Suits
if you choose to have another piece of Mars Bar slice now. Simply,
prospection is the ability to anticipate future mental processes and
motivational and emotional states according to a paper published in
journal Frontiers in Neuroscience. Just as you can tap into evidence
that you can do things you doubt you can, you can tap into aversive
experiences when youve encountered an outcome similar to the
one youd expect given a certain course of action now. Staying home
and telling the girls you have a migraine, for instance, is likely to
leave you feeling lousier than you possibly could from any half-hour
workout. Conversely, you probably know well that theres nothing
more empowering than conquering a challenge, so you can be pretty
sure that even if the workout does suck (and its unlikely), the feeling
afterwards will be worth it. (No-one, anywhere, eh-ver.)

SELF-TALK
Despite the appeal of memes and affirmations, statements of effervescent
positivity can work against achieving goals. The problem, experts say, is
that layering a conscious thought over contrary unconscious core beliefs
can lead to counterproductive inner conflict (think analysis paralysis)
and self-flagellation when results fail to materialise. A study published
in journal Psychological Science suggests that rather than steamrolling
doubts and telling yourself youre sure youll run faster today than ever,
also known as declarative self-talk, acknowledge your fear that youll
barely make the 1km mark and come up with a question that challenges
you to refute your contention (known as interrogative self-talk). Will I
run my fastest time? Last summer I struggled in the heat, but training
in the heat will help me to run better times in hot conditions. The trick
is to acknowledge doubts and incorporate them into your answer; while
hell, yes might get you out the door, if its unrealistic, youre destined to
fail and failure will only disempower you by solidifying doubt.

Good pain
DECODED
WO RDS : D O M I N I Q UE S URI A N O

Youll be familiar with the satisfying soreness


that follows a heavy workout, but some types of
muscle pain can work against you.

uscle growth is all about the process of healing


when we lift weights, our muscles incur microscopic
damage in their fibres and connective tissue,
making them fatigued and sore. From there, the
healing process takes effect when specialised cells (called
satellite cells nothing to do with TVs) begin fusing together
and attach to the damaged tissue. The satellite cells fuse
with muscle fibres, increasing cross-section thickness, and
eventually transitioning into new protein strands. Components
of the cells are then used to create additional strands as well.
These strands increase both size and strength of muscle
fibres, which result in the increase of muscle mass when you
lift regularly. The resting period after a workout is vital at this
stage the healing process needs to take effect when you
arent lifting weights or extensively using your muscles.
Recovery is one of the most important components of
any good training programme and the amount and timing of
recovery should be integrated into your program based on the
type and frequency of exercise you are doing, says Fitness
First head of fitness Rob Hale.
Serious strength training designed for changes to your
muscle mass, tone and strength should overload your muscular
system enough that you experience some soreness in the
muscles you targeted.
It was once believed that the soreness you feel (aka delayed
onset muscle soreness, or DOMS) 24 to 72 hours or more after
a workout was a build-up of lactic acid, which muscles produce
as they use energy. But instead, it is now believed to be a direct
result of the muscle tearing. When DOMS disappear, it usually
means that the muscles have healed. But you dont have to
wait until then to continue with exercise as long as you don't
over-exercise or over-stimulate your body.

How long should you rest between workouts?


There is no set rest period. The best option is to listen to your
body its not wise to work out extensively on a set of sore
muscles because that is what leads to larger muscle tears.
Taking it slowly and eating the right foods to aid recovery is
key. Recognise the difference between pain and soreness, and
if you feel chronic muscle or joint soreness along with impaired
physical performance, you need to slow down and rest easy.
DOMS can typically last anywhere from 24 to 72 hours
and occur within the first 24 hours post training. Therefore it
is advised to have 24 to 48 hours rest between heavy strength
training to allow your muscle to recover properly before
overloading them again, says Hale.

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67

Generally, the older you are, the less time you need to
heal. Healing and growth is most successful with rest after
eating a meal of carbohydrates, protein and fat immediately
after a workout. Protein provides raw material that can be
used to complete the healing process.
On completion of my workout, I am sweaty and
exhausted. My body is in overdrive, begging for nutrients to
repair and recover with so they can be bigger and stronger
tomorrow. I always have a good-quality whey protein shake
on the ready as it is fast digesting, making for quick delivery
to my exhausted healing muscles. If I have the time to sit
down and eat a small meal immediately (within 20 minutes), I
will ensure my meal contains a good source of fast-digesting
carbs and protein, says WH&F head trainer Sheena-Lauren.
I want carbs in this meal as not only will it help to
increase my energy levels but they will be used to help better
the efficiency of getting protein to my tired and damaged
muscles rather then be stored as fat. We must remember that
when we lift weights, we are breaking muscle fibres, so we
need to ensure they repair optimally for stronger regrowth,
which means stronger and more toned muscles.
Try do a split-training program where you train a
different muscle group on different days to speed recovery.
Follow a five-day schedule that mirrors a pattern such as: legs
and abs on day 1, chest on day 2, back and abs on day 3, rest
on day 4 and shoulder and abs on day 5.
For diet, Sheena-Lauren recommends post-workout meals
that have 150 grams of sweet potato with 300 grams of
cottage cheese, one chicken breast with 125 grams of sweet
potato, or 1.5 bananas with two tablespoons of peanut butter.

TEMPTED TO TAKE A BREAK FROM


GYM BUT FEAR LOSING YOUR
GAINS? MEASURE YOUR WINDOW OF
OPPORTUNITY WITH THIS SCIENCE.
How long it actually takes for strength and cardio fitness to
wane or to gain is dependent on lots of things, says personal
trainer Scott Hunt (fitnessenhancement.com). If youve only
been training for three months, then your level of fitness is
going to decline a lot faster than someone who has been
training for three years; but in saying that, if youve achieved
a really high level of fitness in those three months, then thats
going to affect it too. In a perfect world, your fitness would
stick around for the same amount of time as youd been
working on it, but sadly this just isnt the case: You lose
fitness a fair bit faster than you gain it, says Hunt. But when
you start from scratch, it goes back quickly too. Different
elements of your fitness decline at different rates and, if you
ignore other factors like how much lounging and imbibing
youre planning on consuming while youre away it would
look kind of like this:

STRENGTH
Week 1: Recovered

By the end of your first week away, youre probably feeling pretty
awesome. The first week is pretty much a recovery week, says
Hunt. Like bodybuilders who train legs, arms, etc. one day a
week, by the following week, theyre fully recovered and ready to
train again.
Week 23: Holding

The next three weeks of your trip will fly by without much change
to your gains; although, if youre not watching what you eat (and
we assume youre not), then a little extra soft stuff might have
started to creep on. At this stage your body is maintaining your
strength and muscle tone pretty well based on your nutrition and
how much incidental activity you are doing, says Hunt.
Week 45: Gradual decline

Depending on how much muscle youre packing, youll start


to notice changes in strength and tone after three to five weeks
without exercise. Again, it depends on how much incidental
activity you are doing, but after this much time being sedentary,
youll lose the vast majority of what gains youve got, says Hunt.
Your muscles wont really waste away without exercise, but how
long and how well they stick around depends on many things:
How much muscle youll hold on to largely depends on how
much you had to begin with, and how long youve been training
for, says Hunt. If youve been training for years and maintaining
a high level of fitness, you might hold onto your strength for
longer; like if youve got three kilograms of muscle versus one
kilogram of musclethe more you have, the longer its going to
take for it to go.
Its also going to depend on how much attention youre
paying to your diet. If youre living off chips and beer (or wine
and cheese), your body isnt likely to use that nutrition towards
muscle maintenance. If your nutrition doesnt back you up,
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PHOTOGRAPHY: THINKSTOCK

Week 68: Mostly holding

that is when more muscle loss happens, says Hunt. If


youre not getting your recommended intake of protein
or if youre not eating enough calories to maintain your
body weight, this will have an impact on your muscle.
Dietary protein is broken down into amino acids, i.e. the
building blocks of muscle. Without adequate protein,
your body is going to try to maintain a homeostatic state
of protein degradation and synthesis (aka your protein
balance) by breaking down bodily proteins, i.e. muscle.
Direct translation: bye-bye biceps.

session. The bad news? The second session is going to


suck. For your first session, youre going to be really
well recovered, you might have a lot of energy and be
excited, but depending on how much you fatigue your
muscles if you wake up the next day hurting the
next session is going to be really tough, says Hunt.
Allowing plenty of time for recovery is essential, as well
as listening to your body. If you think you can handle
a five-kilometre run, do it, but if you only get three
kilometres done, thats okay.

CARDIO FITNESS
Week 1: Holding

At one week in youd probably still be keen to do a few


laps, although it might not be as fast as youd hoped.
Your cardio fitness will decline a lot faster than your
strength and muscle tone, says Hunt. Again it depends
on how fit you were in the first place, but after 24 hours,
youre usually fully recovered from cardio exercise
depending on what youre doing, so within four or five
days, youll start to lose it.
Week 2: Gradual decline

DONT PASS UP THE CHANCE


FOR A HOLIDAY JUST
BECAUSE YOURE WORRIED
ABOUT YOUR FITNESS,
JUST TRAIN EXTRA HARD BEFORE
IT AND AFTER IT.

If youre not getting your heart rate up pounding the


pavement on your holiday, chances are by just your
second week of inactivity, your cardio fitness is already
kaput. This isnt to say that youre going to get puffed on
your afternoon stroll, but you probably couldnt crack
your PB. The reality is that cardio fitness is reliant
on consistency and challenging yourself, so if its not
making you uncomfortable, youre probably not working
hard enough, says Hunt. A good tell for me is if being
able to carry on a conversation or not. If youre too out
of breath for a chat then youre working.
Week 38: Decline

After another week or five without putting your cardio


shoes on, the very idea of breaking into a run might
cause discomfort. Your body can get its cardio fitness
back in no time. Cardiovascular disease and obesity
are often attributed to a lack of physical activity, says
Hunt. But while its no lie that exercise burns calories
and keeps you healthy, a little time without is normal.
Its important to remember that its okay to have periods
where youre ultra fit followed by periods where youre
less fit thats life. Sometimes youre forced to have a
break due to life issues, and other times its a break for a
good reason like a holiday. Dont pass up the chance for
a holiday just because youre worried about your fitness;
just train extra hard before it and after it to get back to
where you want to be ASAP. You may even find the
break reinvigorates you to step it up upon return.

GAIN TIMELINE
Week 1: If youre hitting up the gym for the first time
or returning from eight luscious weeks of fitness-free
adventures, get ready for some good and bad news. The
good news? Youll probably feel pretty good in the first
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69

eat

PHOTOGRAPHY: THINKSTOCK

Part-time

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DIET

FORGET MULTI-TASKING. IN AN AGE WHEN ANYONE


WHOS ANYONE HAS AT LEAST ONE SLASH IN THEIR
BIO, FEW PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO COMMIT TO A
FULL-TIME DIET. BUT CAN YOU SLIM DOWN ON A
PART-TIME DIET?
Words: David Goding and Rebecca Long

Countless people have tried and failed to


bypass the laws of physics when it comes to
weight loss. The dieters dilemma of whether
to suck it up and deal with perpetual
hunger and turn down dinner invitations
and cake dates or accept their cakey girth
is universal at least in the privileged,
developed Western world. We all know what
its like to try to resist food and we can all
agree that it feels somewhere between unfair
and unfeasible.
While the abhorrence may be in
part symptomatic of the era of instant
gratification sanctioned by social medias
truncated reward timelines not to mention
FOMO favourite foods it also speaks to the
very mechanisms that keep us alive. Dieting
is hard because of survival instincts.
The parallel refusals of physics and
instinct to capitulate have forced the diet
industry to get creative. Among more
popular contemporary loopholes is fasting,
which promises to let you have your cake
and eat it when it doesnt have you hogtied
with a celery stick in your teeth. While
proponents celebrate the end of gazing
longingly at caf windows (while noting
how weird your mouth looks when you eat
celery), the no camp admonishes fasting
for promoting extreme relationships with
food and undermining the similarly trendy
moderation credo.

NATURAL SELECTION

ERS

In cave days fasting wasnt discretionary it


was a corollary to hunting and gathering.
If the wild animal we tried to ensnare the
night before got away, we were in for a
day of stomach grumbles. Natural light
cycles Neanderthals didnt have copper
pendants also favoured prolonged periods
of foodlessness that seem foreign in the
7-Eleven age.
Without artificial lighting, they were
finished with food relatively early in the
evening and although they arose with the
sun, there is good reason to believe that

some time elapsed before they ate, says GP


Dr Carole Hungerford (carolehungerford.
com.au). You worked first, ate second.
You burnt energy, and then replaced it. We
do the reverse. We eat first, pre-emptively
fuelling in case our supplies run low. The
price is called the metabolic syndrome.
People would naturally go 15 hours
without food overnight.
From a metabolic point of view, this
constituted a true fast, says Dr Hungerford.
As blood sugar levels fell in the early
hours of the morning, adrenalin and
cortisol surged to give an alarm signal. It is
often accompanied by a period of intense
salivation and hunger. Most people will
have experienced this at some stage. As
the appetite-suppressant effect of cortisol
kicks in, and the glucose-releasing effect
of adrenalin mobilises liver glycogen, the
ravenous feeling quickly abates.

MODERN FASTS
Theres no end in sight to the deluge of
variants on proprietary intermittent fasting
protocol 5:2, including Paleo-centric
approaches and tricked up timings that
make it sound almost, well, moderate.
Enter the 20:4, 16:8, the hugely popular
5:2 and the day on/day off diet, or DODO,
which all promote a period of relatively
normal eating succeeded by a period of
reduced caloric intake.
The 16:8 protocol is one such franchise
developed by Martin Berkhan and marketed
under the banner LeanGains.
Its based on an eight-hour feeding
period followed by a 16-hour fast, says
Brian St. Pierre, nutrition educator at
Precision Nutrition. Slightly less normal is
the 20:4 protocol, also known as the Warrior
Diet, which adds a twist in imploring
participants to work out in a fasted state.
The best known yet by no means most
moderate is 5:2, which has been popularised
as a non-diet diet that permits freestyle
eating most of the time while steadily
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71

causing weight loss. The catch is that for two days a week,
adherents are limited to a paltry 2,000 kilojoules, effectively
compensating for five days eating at or near maintenance.
Its not a magic bullet, but basic math founded on the
inescapable truth that to lose body fat you need to burn
more calories than you consume. If your total daily
energy expenditure (TDEE) was 7,000 kilojoules and you
consumed 6,060 kilojoules five days a week and 2,000 on
the other two, youd net a 14,700 kJ loss equivalent to
about a third of a kilo of body fat over a week without
feeling as though you were dieting (that 960 kJ daily
shortfall is a large skinny latte and tablespoon of peanut
butter (see p. 87).
If you like the idea of confining your deprivation to
discrete days rather than spending weeks or months saying
no to cake dates and social dinners, the DODO diet,
developed by nutritionist Drew Price, works on similar
principles as 5:2 except you restrict every second day rather
than twice a week albeit with less severity.
I think the results you see are caused by the calorie
deficit, not by the fasting itself, says Kate Gudorf, from
the Dietitians Association of Australia. And in the
case of the 5:2 diet youre eating 500 calories a day for a
woman and 600 for a man. Thats well below what we
would recommend.

Studies have shown that weight loss as a result of


fasting is just as good as regular portion control and
healthy eating.

FOR WEIGHT LOSS


You might be thrown for a loop and want to chew your
arm off, but your body will follow a charted process.
The bodys initial reaction is one of shock, says Dr
Michael Mosley, psychiatrist and co-author of The Fast
Diet. Signals go to the brain reminding you that you are
hungry, urging you to go out and find something to eat.
But you resist. The body now decides that the reason you
are not eating as much and as frequently as you usually
do must be because you are now in a famine situation.
During the first 24 hours of a fast, there are some
quite profound changes going on inside the body, says
Dr Mosley. Within a few hours, glucose circulating in

STUDIES HAVE SHOWN THAT WEIGHT


LOSS AS A RESULT OF FASTING IS
JUST AS GOOD AS REGULAR PORTION
CONTROL AND HEALTHY EATING.

THE 5:2 DIET


WHAT IS IT: Also known as intermittent fasting, the 5:2 diet
involves eating as you normally do five days a week and restricting
your calorie intake on remaining days to just 500 calories (2,100
kilojoules) for women and 600 calories (2,500 kilojoules) for
men well below the average recommendation of 2,000 a day for
women.

vegetables, fruit, grains, dairy/dairy alternatives and protein


sources such as lean meats, eggs and nuts. It is also possible that
on days of kilojoule restriction, dieters may exhibit side effects
such as dizziness, irritability, reduced concentration and lethargy
and possibly wont have the energy to partake in physical activity
or exercise.

THE GOOD: The science behind the diet means that many
dieters will initially exhibit weight loss, and Jessica Tzvetkoff,
nutritionist from nutritionandstyle.com.au, says there can be
additional benefits including the reduction of blood glucose
and LDL cholesterol, a reduction in a persons risk of developing
age-related conditions such as cancer, Alzheimers, heart disease
and diabetes.

THE UGLY: I consider fasting one day followed by eating


whatever you like the next disordered eating, Tzvetkoff says.
The 5:2 worryingly sounds a lot like bulimia fasting followed by
bouts of binge eating minus the purging and/or laxatives. People
following the 5:2 need to make sure they dont overextend the
fasting days, leaving them at risk of developing an eating disorder,
she warns. Dr Robert Grenfell, National Cardiovascular Health
Director at the Heart Foundation, says fasting may cause serious
complications for people taking certain medications, and pregnant
women. there may be serious issues with fasting that require
medical supervision, he says, warning that intake on normal days
may not necessarily be healthy.

THE BAD: Aside from the potential for it to result in a feeding


frenzy because you can the 5:2 diet does not instil healthy
eating habits, Tzvetkoff warns. Im concerned that fad diets such
as the 5:2 dont educate the dieter on healthy eating habits nor
does it promote long-term behaviour change and may even lead
to eating disorders in vulnerable people. There is some convincing
evidence on the benefits of intermittent fasting; however, it needs
to be researched more extensively before the potential benefits
and harms are realised, says Tzvetkoff. There is also the possibility
that dieters wont reach their nutrient requirements. Although
the diet states you can eat whatever you like five days of the
week, its important to be eating a wide variety of foods including

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DAILY DO-IT: Ultimately, to lose weight, you need to restrict your


kilojoule consumption somewhat. Downsizing your meals is a good
place to start; however, you should never feel hungry. Its important
to keep energy levels up by eating regularly. According to Dr
Grenfell, theres no magic to weight loss. The Heart Foundation
recommends changing eating habits gradually, ensuring the five
food groups are included every day and exercising regularly.

BINGE CITY

the blood is consumed. If thats not being replaced by


food then the body turns to glycogen, a stable form of
glucose that is stored in the muscles and liver.
Fat burning doesnt start until stored glucose
(glycogen) has been depleted. What actually happens
is that fatty acids are broken down in the liver, resulting
in the production of something called ketone bodies.
The brain uses these ketone bodies as a source of
energy, instead of glucose, Dr Mosley says. And any
subsequent carbohydrate intake even if you are only
eating 2,000 kilojoules will cause the body to revert to
burning carbs.
Yet thats not the problem detractors have with fasting
diets. Fasting can actually increase risk of weight gain.
Research has found significant metabolic changes in
people who fast for the Islamic month of Ramadan, when
Muslims forego food and drink during daylight hours.
Accredited practising dietitian Dr Alan Barclay
from the Dietitians Association of Australia says that
participants in fasts will lose weight rapidly and that the
more they lose, the more theyre likely to gain longer term.
Going for a day wont harm the body, but if you fast
for longer you immediately use up your bodys glycogen
stores as an energy fuel, so you lose weight fairly rapidly.
The body has around 12 to 24 hours worth of
carbohydrate stores before it synthesises glucose by
breaking down muscle mass to liberate constituent
protein in the process of gluconeogenesis according to
Professor of Human Nutrition Jennie Brand-Miller.
If you lose a lot of muscle or organ mass, thats the
most metabolically active tissue, so you would have to
build it up again, says Dr Barclay. Muscles obviously
require exercise and a well-balanced diet with sufficient
protein. When you get back to your normal ways youll
put on proportionately more fat, Dr Barclay says.
Womens higher proportion of fat to muscle enables
them to fast for longer than men since muscle requires a
lot more calories to maintain, Dr Barclay says.

If youre prone to bingeing defined as eating excessive


quantities of food in a short time and uncontrolled
manner fasting may be useful to reset your relationship
and disrupt rituals that have become wired into
your brain.
Being hungry every so often is a good thing, says
Price. Its a way of resetting your attitude to appetite
and food intake. When you go hungry for a slightly
longer period of time, you learn that youre not going to
keel over and that it is only a feeling. It also helps you
reconnect with what real hunger is and separate it from
the hunger caused by habitual eating.
It can also be employed as a kickstart strategy for diet
changes much like ripping off a Band-Aid rather than
peeling it painful follicle by painful follicle.
The appetite you build when fasting can help reset
your expectations to the point where the vegetables
you thought bland are exploding with flavour and the
usual sweet, salty and fatty choices are a little too much
to handle. This resetting of the palate acts as the thin
end of the wedge when it comes to changing your diet,
Price says.
But it can also be a precarious strategy for people
suffering from restrictive eating disorders such as
anorexia and bulimia. As well as being seduced by
the euphoria experienced in the early stages of fasting
some people can find it almost spiritual, says
Gudorf the obsessive thinking that helps to maintain
disordered eating and prohibit behaviour change can be
further cemented by changes to brain chemicals such as
serotonin.
If you are considering a full- or part-time fast, talk to
a dietitian and your treating team for illnesses including
diabetes, low blood pressure, pregnancy and mental
health issues, which can be exacerbated by changes in
neurotransmitters promoted by fasting.
People who chronically exceed their energy needs are
not ideal candidates.
In some cases, people may even gain weight.
People think of it as a licence to eat freely for five
days a week as long as they have the two days of fasting,
says Gudorf. If youre eating sensibly and healthily for
five days then you will see weight loss but a lot of people
arent doing that.
Disappointingly, fasting also seems to be more
effective for those that need it the least, says St. Pierre.
The results weve noticed are that intermittent
fasting seems to work best in people who are already
fairly lean 15 per cent body fat for men and 22 per cent
body fat for women especially lean young men, he
says. It seems to be less effective for women.
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73

Fasts to

SLOW AGEING
It mightnt be a magic
weight loss bullet, but
if eating less meant
youd live longer,
would you?
In certain parts of the
world including parts
of the Peruvian Andes,
Ecuador and Japan
it is not unusual for
people to live to 100.
If you want to
slow down ageing, you
want to slow down
your metabolism, says
anti-ageing expert
Dr Michael Elstein,
because the faster
you metabolise, the
more free radicals you
generate.
Scientists now
believe that the body
is actually designed
to live to 120, its just
that it struggles to
withstand the assaults
of processed and
deep-fried foods.
Aside from
manipulating
epigenetics, there is
a simple way to slow
your bodys march
towards mortality but
you might be hungry.

74

THE OKINAWA PRINCIPLE


THE THEORY: Based on the inhabitants of the
Japanese islands of Okinawa, where people live
long and relatively disease-free lives, the Okinawa
principle follows a simple 80/20 approach to
portions: eat until youre 80 per cent full because
it takes 20 minutes for your brain to register that
youre full.
FOR: Eating a low-calorie or calorie-restricted diet
has been shown to lower the risk of developing
chronic disease and thus slowing the ageing process,
says naturopath Sarah Stevens. Okinawans tend to
have lower body mass index, resulting in a lowered
risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer three of
the biggest causes of death in Western countries.
In Okinawa, there are 34 centenarians per 100,000
compared to an average of only five for most of the
West. The word retirement literally doesnt exist in the
local dialect.
We know that it is environmental factors rather
than good genes that are primarily responsible for
the health and youth of these people, because studies
show that when they move to other countries and
adopt local diets they also develop local diseases and
other signs of ageing, says author Sally Beare.
BUT: Its the ratio of protein to carbohydrates rather
than calories consumed that really matters, says
Professor Stephen Simpson from the University
of Sydney.
What weve found is if you account for the protein
to carb balance effect, the calorie effect disappears.
Ideally, we should be looking to have around 15 per
cent of our diet made up of protein, with the rest carbs
and fats, says Prof Simpson.
We know that high protein, low carbs in the diet
is a combination that drives pro-ageing pathways of
metabolism, he says. Anything over 25 per cent of
total energy coming from protein and youll eat less,
which is great if you want to lose weight, but youve
got to bear in mind that it may come with longer-term
costs, among which our studies suggest is a greater
rate of ageing.
But reducing protein consumption too much can
favour overeating, so its a fine balance.

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FASTING
THE THEORY: Regular fasting helps to slow
metabolism, which slows the ageing process.
FOR: I think we evolved to have some fasting
days, just because we werent able to hunt down
that animal that day, says naturopath Mim Beim.
It does have the effect of slowing your metabolic
rate and gives us a break from the free radicals that
we create when we digest. A lot of my patients do
really well if they include a day of not eating.
Dr Andrew Weil, renowned integrative medicine
practitioner and author of Spontaneous Healing, is
also an advocate.
I have experimented with fasting one day
a week, usually on Mondays, he says. When I
fast, I consume nothing but water or herb tea,
sometimes with lemon in it, and I find this to be
a useful physical and psychological discipline. It
feels healthy.
There are many secondary benefits as
well, such as greatly increased appreciation of
food following a fast and greater ability to eat
consciously rather than unconsciously.
BUT: On the flipside, with a slow metabolism,
youre also prone to putting on weight, which
doesnt help with longevity, says Dr Elstein. And
when you slow your metabolism down, everything
slows down your brain slows down and your body
slows down, which is not always conducive to an
active life. Its also very hard to stick to.
Such a dip in your calorie intake can cause side
effects in some people, and if youre skinny and
sensitive to the cold, its probably not for you.
Your body can become stressed, blood
sugar levels can become unbalanced and you
produce higher levels of the stress hormone
cortisol, says Stevens. When this happens, you
increase inflammation in your body, which can
cause more wear and tear. There is a fine line
between fasting and putting your body under
stress and limiting your overall calorie intake.

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INFLATABLE FLAMINGOS AND FOOD
If you hook a blow-up swan up to a basketball
compressor (this also works with flamingos),
the newly rotund bird comprises the same
amount of PVC as it did before inflation.
Human bodies are similarly unable to
instantly convert energy to extra muscle or
fat mass. Contrary to caveats issued by many
fitness professionals, there is a significant
margin for diet error.
Not only are most foods less culpable than
their pop notorieties suggest (hello, carbs),
even exceeding your calorie needs by a decent
margin is unlikely to do much more than
make you feel guilty.
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If you think youll gain


weight from a single
cake date, good news: Your
bodys more forgiving than
you think.
Words: Angela Tufvesson

According to Associate Professor


Timothy Gill from the Boden Institute
of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise & Eating
Disorders at the University of Sydney, we
dont gain weight on a day-to-day basis.
And the human body is programmed to
fight tooth and nail to maintain its weight
in the same way it resists weight loss.
So if you overeat on a day, it doesnt
mean youre going to gain weight in
fact, youre unlikely to gain weight just
by overeating on a single day, Assoc Prof
Gill says.
The body does this by making subtle
changes to internal processes that enable
it to store extra energy until its needed
or burn off unwanted energy in the short
term. The body will evoke a number
of mechanisms including reducing
your appetite, increasing the amount

PHOTOGRAPHY: THINKSTOCK

Between the term cheat day and circadian


vernacular of contemporary calorie counting
culture where fitness tracking apps deify
24-hour blocks and even science relies on
total daily energy expenditure its little
wonder weve come to imagine that our
bodies keep as tight a diary as Donald
Trumps PA. In fact, theres a reason blowouts
tend to lead to days-long cake-fests under the
blown it now clause.
Yet science is unsympathetic to the case
for calendarising dietary intake. While you
might wake up feeling heavier after a burger
or lighter after a light dinner of salad, your
weights likely indifferent to the previous
days quota.

of energy lost by heat and decreasing the


efficiency of storage, which means one of
the components of energy expenditure
increases. Theres a whole lot of mechanisms
that the body has to achieve this.
When you feel less hungry the day
after takeaway or your heart races and
temperature soars after a three-course meal,
your body is trying to maintain homeostasis.
The body is really brilliant at balancing
things out over a period, so we can really
confidently say that any one-off meal or
overindulgence is not going to make any
difference in the long term, says obesity
expert Dr Rick Kausman.
While there is no such thing as the
perfect energy balance since the bodys
needs fluctuate depending on factors as
minute as wound healing, the relevant
maths is reassuring for those who imagine a
chocolate bar going straight to their hips.
In theory, to gain a kilo of body fat,
youd need to exceed your bodys energy
requirements by a seismic 37,000 kilojoules
or 8,809 calories. For perspective, a
chocolate bar contains about 1,200
kilojoules or 300 calories. To gain a kilo in
a day, youd need to eat the equivalent of 18
Big Macs, says accredited practising dietitian
Lauren McGuckin, a spokesperson for the
Dietitians Association of Australia.
If you do weigh more the morning after a
big night out, its not your imagination. But
its also not real. The weight fluctuations
after a big weekend that make you feel guilty
could be coming from so many different
factors like fluid retention and when you last
went to the toilet its hard to determine,
says McGuckin.

A WHOLE LOT O CHEATIN


Its not the whopper splurges you need to
watch but getting into a habit of exceeding
your energy needs by much smaller amounts
(go figure). According to Assoc Prof Gill, a
couple of weeks of eating a daily chocolate
bar in addition to your caloric needs can
materialise as weight gain. Estimates suggest
that theres a window of about 175 to 250
extra calories a day on average before the
body starts adding mass.
We appear to go along for periods of
stable weight and then through a sustained
period of overeating for perhaps a couple of
weeks when our weight starts to increase,
he says. It continues to increase until

it reaches a new level and then we have


another period of sustained weight balance.
The opposite of a weight loss plateau, this
balancing act is formally known as dynamic
energy balance. While the concept is
relatively new, studies reveal that instead of
gaining weight in equal increments over a
set period of time, we experience periods of
equilibrium followed by weight gain. The
longer this pattern repeats, the greater the
weight gain.
At the start of the process your body is
trying to reduce your weight back down to
the lower level and the energy balance that
existed down at that lower level, says Assoc
Prof Gill. As you move along that weight
gain trajectory, your body starts to push you
up to the new energy balance at the higher
weight level. So the processes that initially
worked to prevent that weight gain are now
assisting that weight gain to ensure you get
back into energy balance.
McGuckin recommends the 80/20
paradigm, whereby 80 per cent of your
overall diet comprises whole foods and the
other 20 per cent is indulgence. If you
become comfortable with a little bit of flex
and enjoying something indulgent daily
or weekly, thats fine, she says. Just make
sure that most of the time youre choosing
from lean meats, wholegrain carbohydrates,
vegetables, fruit and low-fat dairy products.
Thats not to say theres no merit in
confining indulgence to a day; in the
case that you actually binge and a binge
actually means excessive food consumed
despite satiety in an out-of-control fashion
partitioning days can help you to move
forward without punishing yourself with
undereating, which is likely to perpetuate
a starve-binge cycle.
Rather than everything in
moderation, which has been
trotted out for decades, theres
a much keener way of being
more real with it, which is
everything in moderation,
including moderation,
and thats a much more
appropriate way of
thinking about our eating
behaviour. Sometimes
we eat more than what
our body is asking for,
and thats okay, says Dr
Kausman.

If you are exceeding your energy needs


on the daily, your eating behaviour
could be to blame. Before you spring
for the gaffer tape, check that youre
not doing this.
PROBLEM: Insufficient protein
Research reveals that humans drive for
protein is so powerful that we overeat
in our pursuit to consume more of it. A
University of Sydney study published in
Cell Metabolism reveals calorie intake
increases as protein intake decreases .
SOLUTION: The researchers
recommend that high quality protein
low in fat and high in good quality
complex carbohydrates comprises
15 to 20 per cent of your daily calorie
intake. Chow down on lean meats,
legumes, fish, eggs and tofu.
PROBLEM: Mindlessness
Whether its the portion sizes at your
local, a bout of intense work stress or
mindless nibbling in front of the telly,
theres a whole gamut of reasons why
we eat more than what we need or
when were not hungry at all.
SOLUTION: Try to eat intuitively only
when youre hungry. Focus on eating
when you feel hungry and stopping
when you feel full.
PROBLEM: Too many choices
It turns out the expression feast your
eyes is accurate. Research suggests
that when we can choose from a wide
variety of foods say, at Christmas
lunch or a hotel buffet breakfast we
eat more. Called the smorgasbord
effect, new flavours are thought to
stimulate renewed eating, whereas we
quickly grow bored of a single flavour
and stop eating sooner.
SOLUTION: Limit yourself to a few
choices rather than sampling a little of
everything to keep the smorgasbord
effect in check.

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77

eat

PHOTOGRAPHY: THINKSTOCK

Feelgood
smorgasbord

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PRIORITISING
DIETARY
PRECURSORS TO KEY
BRAIN CHEMICALS COULD
MAKE YOU FEEL A WHOLE
LOT BETTER ABOUT,
WELL, LIFE.
Most of us are more than
familiar with using a Neil
Young ballad or Gunners set to
regulate our mood either by matching
or opposing our state of mind. Few would be
unfamiliar with knocking back the odd vino for
a bit of Dutch optimism or courage. But when it
comes to regulating emotion, food tends to be an
afterthought (eating an entire packet of Maltesers
in your PJs after a crap day doesnt count).
There is an increasing amount of research
pointing towards food as having a powerful
effect on the way we feel, both physically and
emotionally, says Alexandra Massey, author of
Superfoods to Boost Your Mood.
While most people now know that suboptimal neurotransmitters are implicated
in mood disorders such as depression and
manipulated by medications such as serotonin
reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), the scope of strategic
nutrition to cultivate emotional states has been
largely overlooked. In fact, while pharmaceuticals
can stop neurotransmitters such as serotonin
from escaping, they cant create more of it. The
only way to synthesise it is by ingesting foods
containing precursor amino acids.
Known as essential amino acids, These
chemicals are made in the brain from the food we
eat and are highly sensitive to the type of foods
that are eaten, says Massey.
Whats more, while they are primarily
brain dwellers, neurotransmitters also occupy
other sites chiefly the stomach. The gut is
sometimes even referred to as the second brain
or little brain.
The gut is referred to as the second brain
because there are millions of nerve cells around
the intestines, almost as many as in the brain,
says nutritionist and advisor to the Mindd
Foundation Frances Dalton.
The guts so-called enteric nervous system

Words: David Goding

uses around 30 different neurotransmitters


the same as the brain and employs some 100
million neurons, which is more than either the
spinal chord or the peripheral nervous system.
We know that fear causes gut problems
thats where the term shit scared comes from,
says Joel Bornstein, from the University of
Melbourne. People who are frightened enough,
without question, show gut problems.
Dalton says the most stark manifestation of
the tete-a-tete is diet. Our modern diet has been
referred to as SAD Standard Australian Diet
and it is sad, she says. Its, sadly, extremely
deficient in nutrients and life-giving, vitalityenhancing raw vegetables and fruits. Most people
are eating high amounts of processed food-like
products a bunch of chemicals masquerading as
healthy food which are devoid of nutrients and
full of unnatural toxic chemicals such as artificial
preservatives, colourings and flavourings, which
overburden the bodys detoxification systems.
Many of the so-called psychological problems
people are faced with today, such as anxiety,
depression, and even more serious conditions
such as schizophrenia and autism are related to
problems in the gut, she says.
Yet working the science demands precision.
While in theory chowing down on turkey,
which is a rich source of serotonin precursor
tryptophan, would make you grin like a Cheshire
cat, its not that simple. In many instances,
food already in your system or eaten with your
favourite mood food can negate the effects.
For instance, tryptophan competes for access
to the brain with fellow amino acid tyrosine,
meaning even the most concentrated source of
essential amino acids will fail to raise a smile.
Combining tryptophan with carbs, on the other
hand, effectively acts as a valet, giving tryptophan
priority access. Amino acids are constituents of
protein.

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79

PROTEIN
THE TRANSMITTERS: Serotonin (calm,
contentment); dopamine (focus, alertness)
CRITERIA: 20 to 30 grams of protein per meal (at
least a palm-size portion of protein three times
a day)
ON A PLATE: Turkey, beef, pork, cheese, chicken,
wild game
SABOTEURS: To beat competing amino acids
across the blood brain barrier, tryptophan needs
sufficient calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and B
vitamins. It also needs a small amount of complex
carbohydrates, which release insulin, keeping the
other amino acids at bay. Healthy fats increase the
availability of tryptophan in the brain.
Without protein you cannot feel optimistic,
enthusiastic, calm or comforted, says Julia Ross,
author of The Mood Cure and a pioneer in the
field of nutritional psychology. She says shes seen
people experience marked mood shifts within
days of adding more protein. The more protein,
the better youre able to feel, she says.
Tryptophan is a veritable hero in
happiness circles.
Tryptophan first converts into a substance
called 5-HTP, which then converts directly into
serotonin, says Ross. The reason that serotonin
is so emotionally vital is that it is our primary
defence against both depression and anxiety.
Serotonin deficiency is a factor in many seemingly
unrelated psychological and physical symptoms,
ranging from panic and irritability to insomnia,
PMS, and muscle pain.
Few foods contain 5-HTP or serotonin
themselves, so everything depends on you getting
enough tryptophan from your diet.

CARBS
THE TRANSMITTERS: Serotonin (calm, contentment)
CRITERIA: Due to the slow-release effect, its not a great idea to
load up too close to bedtime. You wont have the time frame to
burn it off, the brain doesnt need the activity, and youll only feel
sluggish in the morning.
ON A PLATE: Wholegrain cereal/bread, sweet potato, oats/
porridge
SABOTEURS: Avoid refined breakfast cereals, rice crackers and
go easy on the fruit juice
When it comes to the role of carbs in getting tryptophan into
the brain, think of the search for a car spot at Westfield three
days before Christmas. In amino acid land, the competition for
a brain spot is intense. Consider carbs valet parking for select
neurotransmitter precursors including serotonin. Yet get the
wrong kind of carbs and watch the whole thing crumble.
Fast-release carbohydrates such as sugary drinks and snacks
and white bread are disastrous, says Dale Pinnock, nutritionist
and author of The Medicinal Chef. These foods cause a sugar
rush and a surge of adrenaline that can make us feel manic and
edgy. Adrenaline is to anxiety what petrol is to a bonfire. On top
of that, the body has to deal with this sugar at a rapid pace, and
what goes up must come down, so we are left in a slump. This
causes low moods and mental fog. Low-GI carbs, conversely,
prevent mood swings. A low-GI diet will keep blood sugar
levels at a steady and consistent level, keeping moods stable and
preventing mood swings, says Pinnock.

ESSENTIAL FATS
THE TRANSMITTERS: Dopamine (focus, excitement)
CRITERIA: Ensure that youre eating more omega-3s than
omega-6s
ON A PLATE: Oily fish (sardines, salmon) and flaxseed oil are
chief sources of omega-3s. Omega-6s are native to margarine
and vegetable oils.
SABOTEURS: Saturated fats, e.g. butter and sour cream
Essential fats are like door grease they literally let the brains
parts move freely.
Your body is supposed to be full of fat, about 28 per cent
for women and 18 per cent for men, says Ross. Up to 60 per
cent of your brain should be composed of specialised fatty
substances that have to be replaced constantly and have very
complex mood-related duties.
Omega-3s, which comprise fatty chains called
DHA and EPA, are the chief mood mongers. Every
80

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time you consume omega-3, your brain gets first dibs,


because no other fats can do as good a job, says Ross.
Omega-6 fats, on the other hand, can undermine mood;
depression rates correlate precisely with the ratio of
omega-3 fats to omega-6 fats in the brain, Ross says.
If we add more omega-3, we can quickly raise a potent
natural antidepressant brain chemical called dopamine by
40 per cent. That translates to mental and physical alertness,
focus, and excitement.
Oily fish and flaxseed oil contain omega-3s while omega-6s
reside in margarine and vegetable oils.
Saturated fats can also boost the brain, Ross says. One
mood benefit provided by the creamy fats weve been
avoiding all these years is that they support the function of
the omega-3s in our brains, reducing the negative effects of
the excess omega-6s. They actually lower levels of the most
potentially damaging omega-6 fat, arachidonic acid.

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19

feel-phenomenal

FOODS

TO HELP YOU EAT YOUR


WAY TO HAPPINESS,
CLINICAL DIETITIAN DR
SARAH SCHENKER AND
PSYCHOLOGIST AND
NUTRITIONAL THERAPIST
DR CHRISTY FERGUSSON
SERVE UP FARE TO MAKE
YOU FEEL OKELY-DOKELY.

82

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PUMPKIN SEEDS (PEPITAS)


Dr Sarah Schenker says: Pumpkin seeds contain
tryptophan the amino acid needed to make several
important hormones including the mood-regulating
neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin plays a role
in fighting anxiety, promoting good moods and
producing the hormone melatonin to help regulate your
sleep pattern.
Dr Christy Fergusson says: A handful of pumpkin seeds
could be all you need to give your body the building
blocks it needs to make serotonin and wave goodbye
to cravings and the blues, especially as the tryptophan
helps to produce important B-vitamin niacin, needed
for good mental health and to prevent depression.

cause feelings of stress and anxiety, only to crash soon


after, which can then leave you feeling lethargic or in
low spirits. Low-GI foods such as wholegrain basmati
rice contain the type of carbohydrate that releases
energy slowly, keeping your blood sugar levels steady
and maintaining a more balanced, calm mood.
Dr Christy Fergusson says: Many of us spend our days
riding the blood sugar rollercoaster. We feel happy
one minute, and then the next we are spiralling down
towards irritability and anxiety. Wholegrain basmati
rice could be just what you need to jump off the
rollercoaster and feel calm and content from morning
until night.

Work it: Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on salads, breakfast


cereals, porridge and stir into yoghurts.

Work it: Serve wholegrain basmati rice with curries,


stews, casseroles, tagines and use in pilafs and
kedgeree.

CHIA SEEDS

QUINOA

Dr Sarah Schenker says: Chia seeds are rich in fibre,


calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus and magnesium.
Just one tablespoon of chia seeds contains five grams
of fibre. So adding a tablespoon of chia seeds to your
breakfast is a great way to increase your fibre intake
and stabilise blood sugar levels.
Dr Christy Fergusson says: Chia seeds are also rich in
protein and packed full of tryptophan, an amino acid
that encourages good mood, sleep and a sense of calm.
Work it: Soak chia seeds in coconut water or
yoghurt overnight and then mix with fruit for a
nutritious breakfast.

SALMON
Dr Sarah Schenker says: Salmon is a rich source of
omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for
good mental health, brain function, energy production,
oxygen transfer and immunity. Salmon contains
omega-3 fats DPA (docosapentaenoic acid) and EPA
(eicosapentaenoic acid), which can help to reduce
inflammation. High levels of inflammation may be linked
to depression.
Dr Christy Fergusson says: Salmon is rich in DHA
(docosahexaenoic acid). A lack of DHA increases
corticotrophin, the hormone that is responsible for your
day-to-day emotions. Without this your hypothalamic
pituitaryadrenal axis can become imbalanced and
affect your ability to stay cool and calm, leaving you
irritated, anxious and moody.
Work it: Serve pan fried with steamed vegetables or
flake into basmati rice.

WHOLEGRAIN BASMATI RICE


Dr Sarah Schenker says: Fluctuations in blood sugar
levels are usually associated with what we eat and drink
but can also be caused by changes in mood and energy.
After eating sugary foods or refined carbohydrates,
your blood sugar levels can rise rapidly, which may

Dr Sarah Schenker says: Quinoa provides complex


carbohydrates and fibre, which helps to maintain
stable blood sugar levels. With a higher amount of
protein than most grains, quinoa can help to control
your appetite and reduce cravings for sugary and fatty
snacks between meals. Feeling more in control of your
appetite can reduce stress levels and help you make
healthier choices at meal times.
Dr Christy Fergusson says: To make feel-good happy
chemicals, known as neurotransmitters, we need to
provide the body with the building blocks in the form
of amino acids found in complete proteins. Quinoa
a complete protein can therefore provide us an
abundant supply of amino acids. Just what our body
needs to keep our brain brimming with feel-good
brain chemicals.
Work it: Use quinoa in risottos and add to soups
and salads.

CHICKPEAS
Dr Sarah Schenker says: Chickpeas contain substances
known as phytoestrogens, which can help to balance
hormones such as testosterone, found in both men
and women. When the level of this hormone rises,
mood can be affected and increased feelings of stress
and anxiety can occur. The fibre in chickpeas can
prevent blood sugar fluctuations, which are associated
with irritability.
Dr Christy Fergusson says: If you have been
struggling with hormone havoc, nutritional superstars
phytoestrogens could be just what your hormones
need to go from haywire to harmonious. They lock into
your hormone receptor sites and offer your body a
more natural and gentler form of oestrogen. Over time,
this can help to correct hormone havoc and make any
monthly moods more bearable.
Work it: Add chickpeas to salads, soups and stews and
use to make hummus.

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83

COCONUT
Dr Sarah Schenker says: Coconut flesh is high in
protein and fibre. The saturated fat in coconut oil
supports the thyroid gland and the nervous system,
both of which are important for maintaining your
energy levels and help keep you in a positive mood.
Dr Christy Fergusson says: The fatty acids in
coconut oil are excellent for killing harmful pathogens
(disease) and so potentially help prevent infections
which are both physically and mentally wearing.
Work it: Add coconut to curries, grate into yoghurt
and serve with fruit salad.

ASPARAGUS
Dr Sarah Schenker says: Asparagus is one of the
richest sources of B vitamin folate available, a lack of
which has been linked to poor mood.

THE FATTY ACIDS IN


COCONUT OIL ARE
EXCELLENT FOR
KILLING HARMFUL
PATHOGENS
(DISEASE) AND
SO POTENTIALLY
HELP PREVENT
INFECTIONS

Dr Christy Fergusson says: Folate is one of the key


ingredients your body needs to make the feel-good
mood chemical serotonin, without which you cant
properly metabolise what your body needs to feel upbeat
and smiley.
Work it: Serve steamed with fish or chicken dishes, use in
omelettes and risottos.

BLUEBERRIES
Dr Sarah Schenker says: Blueberries contain large
amounts of vitamins, including vitamin C and antioxidants
that can help you feel more energetic and promote a
healthier mood.
Dr Christy Fergusson says: Blueberries are also full
of seeds packed with the nutrient zinc essential for
hormone balance.
Work it: Throw a handful of blueberries into your
porridge or blend with yoghurt to make smoothies.

SPINACH
Dr Sarah Schenker says: Spinach contains important
vitamins including vitamins A, C and E, which are needed
for the healthy production of thyroid hormones. Energy,
appetite, mood, weight and body temperature are all
governed by hormones that are produced by the thyroid
gland and any hormone imbalance can produce a wide
variety of symptoms.
Dr Christy Fergusson says: If you have been struggling
with low energy, weight gain and suspect your thyroid
could be crying out for help, spinach will help give
your system the ingredients it needs to make your
thyroid hormones.
Work it: Use in salads, stir fries and soups.

AVOCADO
Dr Sarah Schenker says: Avocado is one of the highest
sources of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin,
promoting feelings of happiness and relaxation. Avocados
also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce your
risk of depression.
Dr Christy Fergusson says: Omega-3 fatty acids are vital
for optimal brain function and will keep mood steady.
Work it: Slice or mash avocado and add to wraps
and pitta instead of mayonnaise. Add avocado to any
smoothie for a creamy, dairy-free taste.

CHICKEN/TURKEY
Dr Sarah Schenker says: Chicken and turkey are good
proteins and a source of tryptophan, which is important
for digestion, skin, nerves and serotonin production,
promoting healthy sleep. Whats more, these foods also
provide chromium, a dietary mineral that can help the
body use insulin more effectively, improving energy
levels. They also contain amino acid tyrosine, used to
make the hormone adrenalin; aiding optimism, motivation
and alertness.

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and pathogens (disease), your mood


could suffer.
Dr Christy Fergusson says: Serotonin is
by far one of the most important brain
chemicals for determining our mood and
regulating our sleep. Of the approximately
40 million brain cells, the majority are
influenced by serotonin either directly
or indirectly. In particular those cells that
make us experience happiness, attraction,
memory, appetite, sleep and even
social behaviour.
This rich source of tryptophan is most
effective when enjoyed with carbohydrate.
This helps your body to absorb the
tryptophan and boosts happy chemical,
serotonin, more quickly.
Work it: Use chicken or turkey in wraps and
pitta pockets. Use turkey mince instead of
beef or lamb mince in cottage pie or chilli
con carne.

POMEGRANATES
Dr Sarah Schenker says: The
phytochemicals found in pomegranates
stimulate the oestrogen and serotonin
receptors in your body, so great news for
mood boosting.
Dr Christy Fergusson says: Pomegranate
boosts serotonin levels and can help to
lessen feelings of depression.
Work it: Add pomegranate to tagines and
couscous or sprinkle pomegranate seeds
on your salad. Pomegranate seeds are also
great for snacking.

GINGER
Dr Sarah Schenker says: Ginger contains
a potent antioxidant, gingerol, which
helps neutralise the harmful chemicals
our bodies produce when we experience
stress. Ginger can also help calm anxiety
and can settle a nervous stomach.
Dr Christy Fergusson says: Ginger is
believed to have anti-inflammatory
qualities. (Inflammation has been linked to
depressive symptoms.)
Work it: Grate some ginger into your
soups and stir-fries and use to make tea.

BANANAS
Dr Sarah Schenker says: Bananas
contain tryptophan and vitamins A, B6
and C, fibre, potassium, phosphorous
and iron as well as carbohydrates to get
past the blood brain barrier. The body
uses tryptophan to make serotonin and
melatonin mood-boosting and sleepregulating chemicals respectively.
Dr Christy Fergusson says: The average
bananas 12 milligrams of tyrosine
combined with the bananas vitamin
content helps the brain manufacture feelgood brain chemicals.
Bananas are also packed with
mood-boosting minerals magnesium
and potassium.
Work it: Slice half a banana onto
wholemeal toast in the morning or blend
into your smoothie.

BEETROOT
Dr Sarah Schenker says: Beetroots
contain a nutrient known as betaine,
which can improve the production of
the natural mood-enhancing serotonin,
which plays a part in fighting anxiety,
promoting good moods and producing
the hormone melatonin to help regulate
your sleep pattern.
Dr Christy Fergusson says: Beetroot
is not only your livers best friend, it is
also perfect for calming your nerves and
boosting your mood.
Work it: Add beetroot raw or cooked to
salads and use to make beetroot hummus
or even beetroot brownies.

YOGHURT
Dr Sarah Schenker says: Probiotic bacteria
in yoghurt has been shown to improve
mood due to the presence of serotonin
receptors in the gut; an imbalance in
good and bad bacteria can disrupt the
production of serotonin. Probiotics keep
levels of bad bacteria down. Yoghurt is also
a good source of calcium, which helps to
reduce stress and anxiety.

Work it: Use yoghurt in recipes instead


of cream and enjoy with cereal instead
of milk.

BRAZIL NUTS
Dr Sarah Schenker says: Brazil nuts are
the richest source of the mineral selenium,
containing 10 times more than the next
richest source. Selenium-rich food helps
to combat depression and studies have
shown that eating a small handful of Brazil
nuts every day can help to improve mood.
Dr Christy Fergusson says: The thyroid,
which is integral to mood, relies on mineral
selenium. Research shows that people with
low levels of selenium are more prone to
depression and anxiety. One review paper
published in Nutritional Neuroscience
found at least five studies linking selenium
deficiency with depression. You only need
three a day to reach the recommended
daily allowance for this mineral.
Work it: Eat a small handful of Brazil nuts
between meals; chop and sprinkle into
yoghurt with grated dark chocolate.

BEANS
Dr Sarah Schenker says: The fibre, protein
and complex carbohydrates in beans
can reduce the amount of insulin needed
after eating. Insulin is released to regulate
blood sugar levels, so if too much is
produced, mood and energy levels can be
negatively affected.
Dr Christy Fergusson says: To balance
blood sugar levels, beans are the ultimate
slow-releasing energy-packed food.
Work it: Replace half the quantity of
red meat in dishes such as bolognaise,
cottage pie or chilli con carne with beans.
Butter beans are also a great way to add
protein to salads.

For more information visit tilda.com.au

Dr Christy Fergusson says: Around 95


per cent of serotonin is located in your
gut. If your gut contains too much yeast

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

85

eat

GEAR
filling toppers

86

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

under 100 calories


To increase the satisfaction quotient, expand
your toast repertoire to include a low-glycaemic
combination of protein and fibre sources think lowfat cottage cheese or cream cheese topped with fresh
fruit. Let your flavour imagination run wild.
(Youll still be full at lunchtime.)
sliced banana with 2
tsp low-fat cottage cheese
or ricotta
2 tbsp mashed avocado,
diced tomato and 1
tbsp Vegemite
1 tbsp baked beans, 1
tbsp avocado
1 tbsp low-fat cottage
cheese with sliced
strawberries, melon
or apple
2 egg whites (scrambled
or hard-boiled) with 1
tsp avocado and 1 tbsp
baked beans

2 egg whites (scrambled


or hard-boiled) with 25 g
slice of fat-removed bacon
1 tsp Nutella with 1 tbsp
cottage cheese and sliced
orange or strawberries or
whole raspberries
1 tbsp cottage cheese
with a squeeze of lemon
or lime and black pepper,
chopped fresh tomato
1 tbsp hummus with 1
hard-boiled egg white,
salt and pepper
1 tbsp ricotta, 1 egg,
spinach, salt and pepper

PHOTOGRAPHY: THINKSTOCK

Valentines Day means two things: bling and brekkie


in bed. (Theres something romantic about rolling
around in toast crumbs, right?) But while wholegrain
bread has been given the green light as a good
carb, its bedfellows are not so gracious. A single
tablespoon of nut butter contains approximately the
same number of kilojoules as two pieces of toast.
And when you consider that most participants in
a study published in the Journal of the Academy
of Nutrition and Dietetics underestimated their
consumption of condiments by around 43 per cent,
its easy to see why bread has been wrongly convicted.
Most recommended serving sizes are seven grams,
so equate to one teaspoon, and a serving size of
20 grams equates to a tablespoon of spread, says
accredited practising dietitian Melanie McGrice
(melaniemcgrice.com.au). Yet serving sizes should
generally be smaller the more calorie-dense the
spread (nut butters take the cake with 798 kJ for two
tablespoons). Add a tablespoon of jam and youll
cop the calorie equal of three pieces of toast plus
the toast. As with all things, even peanut butter and
jam can be part of a balanced diet. By paring two
tablespoons of PB and a tablespoon of jam to two
teaspoons each, youll save 305 kJ. (Enough for that
Ferrero Rocher. Just saying.)

All measurements are 2 tbsp unless specified

STRAWBERRY
PRESERVES
420 kJ
Fat/Sat.Fat (g): 0/0
Sod. (mg): 0
Carbs (g): 26

VEGEMITE
160 kJ
Fat/Sat.Fat (g): 0.1/0.1
Sod. (mg): 690
Carbs (g): 4

Fibre (g): 0
Sugars (g): 18
Protein (g): 0

SALTED BUTTER
857 kJ
Fat/Sat.Fat (g): 23/14.6
Sod. (mg): 164
Carbs (g): 0

Fibre (g): 0
Sugars (g): 0
Protein (g): .2

Fibre (g): 0
Sugars (g): 0.4
Protein (g): 5

COTTAGE CHEESE,
LOW-FAT
172 kJ
Fat/Sat.Fat (g): 1.1/.7
Sod. (mg): 183
Carbs (g): 2.7

Fibre (g): 0
Sugars (g): 1.8
Protein (g): 5.5

MOST RECOMMENDED
SERVING SIZES ARE

SEVEN GRAMS,
SO EQUATE TO
ONE TEASPOON,

ALMOND BUTTER,
UNSALTED
798 kJ
Fat/Sat.Fat (g): 16/1.5
Sod. (mg): 0
Carbs (g): 6

Fibre (g): 4
Sugars (g): 2
Protein (g): 7

AND A SERVING SIZE OF


20 GRAMS EQUATES TO A
TABLESPOON OF SPREAD
CREAM CHEESE
420 kJ

NATURAL PEANUT BUTTER, UNSALTED 798 kJ


Fat/Sat.Fat (g): 16/2
Sod. (mg): 0

Carbs (g): 7
Fibre (g): 3

Sugars (g): 1
Protein (g): 8

Fat/Sat.Fat (g): 10/6


Sod. (mg): 105
Carbs (g): 1

Fibre (g): 0
Sugars (g): 1
Protein (g): 2

LIGHT CREAM CHEESE


294 kJ
Fat/Sat.Fat (g): 6/3.5
Sod. (mg): 140
Carbs (g): 2

Fibre (g): 0
Sugars (g): 2
Protein (g): 2

FAT-FREE CREAM CHEESE


126 kJ
Fat/Sat.Fat (g): 0/0
Sod. (mg): 210
Carbs (g): 2

HUMMUS
294 kJ
Fat/Sat.Fat (g): 6/1
Sod. (mg): 120
Carbs (g): 4

Fibre (g): 1
Sugars (g): 0
Protein (g): 2

Fibre (g): 0
Sugars (g): 0
Protein (g): 4

RICOTTA,
LOW-FAT
64 kJ
Fat/Sat.Fat (g): 0.9/0.6
Sod. (mg): 34
Carbs (g): 0.4

Fibre (g): 0
Sugars (g): 0.4
Protein (g): 1.3

NUTELLA
435 kJ
Fat/Sat.Fat (g): 6.1/2
Sod. (mg): 7
Carbs (g): 11

Fibre (g): 0
Sugars (g): 11
Protein (g): 1.5

AVOCADO (HALF) 475 kJ


Fat/Sat.Fat (g): 12/2.6
Sod. (mg): 2
Carbs (g): 0.3

Fibre (g): 1.5


Sugars (g): 0.3
Protein (g): 1

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

87

be

ASANA

speed

date

TRIED, FAILED AND RESOLVED TO


TRY AGAIN TO BE A YOGA PERSON?
FIND A YOGA STYLE TO SUIT YOUR
GOALS AND PERSONALITY. NAMASTE.

PHOTOGRAPHY: THINKSTOCK

Words: Madeline Lakos

88

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

I
RECOVERY

FITNESS

MIND

Increasingly praised by the fitness set for


its mettle in keeping lifters limbs limber
enough to bang out HIIT sprints and keeping
catabolic cortisol down, yoga is shaking off
its incense roots.
Yoga practice comprises breath and
poses. But according to devotees, its more
than the sum of its parts. There are so
many styles of yoga and its a shame if
people are put off by one experience,
says Bianca Machliss, co-director of Yoga
Synergy (yogasynergy.com) and qualified
physiotherapist. I feel there needs to be
more encouragement for people to try all the
different kinds of yoga to see what fits best
for them.
Many yoga drop-outs may have tried
one style, decided it wasnt for them, and
developed a fear of anything mat related.
While all yoga orbits the basic premise
of union, different styles of yoga usually
emphasise different elements of practice:
some are slow and meditative while others
are vigorous and dynamic and others still
inhere a spiritual core.
Machliss, who works with a number
of athletes, believes that fit individuals are
the perfect candidates for yoga. I think

most athletes are really yogis already:


they have incredible discipline, focus and
ability, and any challenge is met with a very
good mental approach and patience to get
better overcoming challenges is one of the
lessons to learn in yoga, how you overcome
challenges is what its all about. You will see
differences in body type and personality
as to how well they cope and sometimes
athletes do struggle with the flexibility, she
says. This means they have to learn not to
be competitive and accept what their body is
allowing them to do in this present moment.
Melbourne yogini Jean Campbell
(melbourneyogashala.com.au) says, There
are so many styles today and each one will
place different emphasis on one or more
aspects of the classical system. Some are
purely physical and some will incorporate
the breath and mindfulness techniques.
And dont underestimate the significance
of the teacher. Credentials and experience
and personality and teaching style can
each contribute significantly to whether
you find your yoga groove. Even within a
style, teachers can vary greatly and so your
experience can be very different, Campbell
says.

FIND YOUR GROOVE


HATHA/GENTLE YOGA
BREATHING // CONTROL
Hatha yoga while the term hatha actually describes
any kind of yoga containing asana, most classes
advertising hatha yoga are often describing classes that
are more slow and gentle.

BIKRAM
BREATHING // CONTROL //
CORE STRENGTH/POSTURE
Bikram yoga is the proprietary style of hot yoga
founded by Bikram Choudhury. It is performed in a
hot room (around 40 degrees Celsius) and comprises
the same 26 static postures and two breathing exercises,
performed to the same scripted dialogue. Classes run
for 90 minutes. A 2013 study published in the Journal of
Strength and Conditioning Research found that Bikram
yoga training had a positive effect on lower back and
hamstring flexibility, shoulder flexibility and deadlift
strength. Another study in the Journal of Science and

Fitness found that Bikram yoga also improved life


satisfaction and core self-evaluation (or positive selfconcept).

HOT YOGA
UPPER BODY STRENGTH // CORE STRENGTH //
CONTROL
Hot yoga stems from Bikram yoga. Where Bikram yoga
is always practised in the same way and very closely
aligned with Bikram Choudhury hot yoga plays
by its own rules. Depending on where you practise,
hot yoga may be very similar to Bikram but employ
a flow/vinyasa routine that forbids using the Bikram
name. In some instances the room may be a lower
temperature (but still hot) and sessions may go for a
shorter period of time. Although hot yoga practice
is often less structured than Bikram, it still has great
health benefits. A study published in the International
Journal of Experimental Medicine that asked 50 obese
women to perform hot yoga for one year found that the
practice improved heart rate, blood pressure, body fat
measurement and psychological self-evaluation.
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89

ASHTANGA
UPPER BODY STRENGTH // CORE
STRENGTH/POSTURE // ALIGNMENT //
CONTROL // BREATHING
The choice of purists, Ashtanga literally
means eight limbs representing the eight
aspects or steps of yoga practice. There are
parallels between the poses in Ashtanga and
contemporary Vinyasa, but unlike its modern
successor, Ashtanga comprises set poses
rather than freestyle sequences. There are
six sequences in this style and practitioners
work progressively through the postures.
Practice starts with sun salutations and the
vinyasas (linking movements between each
posture) build strength and keep the heat up
in the body. A recent study in Frontiers in
Human Neuroscience found that Ashtanga
yoga practitioners were adept at processing
internal signals from their own body,
meaning that they respond to proprioceptive
(sense of body in space) and vestibular
(balance) cues rather than external or visual
cues. Synchronising breath with movement,
focussed breathing, core strength and internal
focus are emphasised in Ashtanga.

FLOW/VINYASA
CORE STRENGTH // UPPER BODY
STRENGTH // BREATHING
Vinyasa essentially describes the
synchronisation of breath with movement
and the orderly steps or sequencing of
postures, so flow vinyasa places emphasis
on breathing and linking movement with
breathing. Vinyasa yoga can also describe a
style that is derived from Ashtanga yoga. The
teachers are able to vary the sequences in a
class to place emphasis on different types of
postures. Typically these classes can be quite
dynamic, similar to Ashtanga yoga.

POWER YOGA
CORE STRENGTH // UPPER BODY
STRENGTH // BREATHING
Power yoga can describe a variety of class
types some similar to Ashtanga or Vinyasa
yoga and some closer to traditional Hatha
yoga. Generally speaking, it tends to be
dynamic, involving sequences to create
strength, flexibility and balance. Baron
Baptiste is a famous teacher of this type
90

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

of yoga. His Baptiste yoga draws on the


teachings of Krishnamacharya and two of his
students, Iyengar and Desikachar.

IYENGAR
BREATHING
Iyengar yoga was developed by BKS Iyengar
as a style of yoga that could be mastered
by anyone. He developed an approach to
yoga postures that emphasises alignment
and precision. This style of yoga is also
well known for the use of props (such as
blocks, belts and blankets) to make the
classical postures more accessible to the
average person. Frequently, postures are
held for longer than other styles of yoga.
Another aspect of this style is the restorative
sequences, which again use props to allow
you to stay in supported positions for
extended periods of time.

KUNDALINI
MIND // FITNESS
Kundalini yoga is often called the yoga
of awareness. No two Kundalini classes
are the same, but many emphasise breath
(sometimes forceful breath, where air is
sucked in and out rhythmically) and different
kinds of movement, not just asana. It focuses
on the life force at the base of the spine,
often conceptualised as a curled up, sleeping
serpent. The practice of Kundalini yoga is
meant to wake this serpent, causing it to
rise through all the chakras, resulting in a
healthier, happier existence.

AERIAL
CORE STRENGTH/POSTURE // CONTROL
// ALIGNMENT
Aerial, or antigravity yoga, has its roots in
acrobatics. It involves gently tangling yourself
in a specially designed fabric hammock
and using this hammock to accentuate and
support postures. Depending on where you
practise, aerial yoga may work with traditional
yogic principles, or diverge into postures
unique to the styles. But postures are generally
more static and sometimes slower than
Ashtanga or vinyasa styles, making it a good
recovery workout.

SIVANANDA
CORE STRENGTH // BREATHING //
CONTROL
Sivananda yoga is a style of yoga that focuses
on all aspects of health and wellbeing. This
philosophy is embodied by five principles:
exercise (asana), breathing, relaxation, diet
(vegetarian) and positive thinking. Practice
usually begins in savasana (corpse pose) and
sessions usually include sun salutations as well
as static asana.
Other styles or lineages that have a similar
wholistic approach are Yoga in Daily Life and
Integral Yoga.

ANUSARA
BREATHING // CONTROL
Anusara yoga is about the embodiment of
supreme consciousness, or oneness. It aims

to create an uplifting and empowering


experience through the expression of
asana from inside out, or from the
heart, thereby intertwining the physical
and spiritual elements of yoga practice.
Universal alignment principles are
applied to each posture. These are
biomechanical alignment instructions
developed by the creators of this style,
indicating an approach to movement and
intention in each posture. Anusara also
emphasises sequencing asana (similar
to Iyengar). Classes often conclude
with meditation.

VINIYOGA
BREATHING
Viniyoga refers to personalising a
yoga practice to the individual. It
takes into account the persons age,
injuries, posture, health, lifestyle, work
commitments, responsibilities, etc.
The teacher designs a practice that
meets the needs of the student, helping
them progress towards a particular
goal. It comes from the teachings of
Krishnamacharya. Krishnamacharya
was a true yoga master who taught many
of the famous modern yoga teachers
such as BKS Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois,
Desikachar (Krishnamacharyas son),
Srivatsa Ramaswami, Indra Devi, A.G.
Mohan and Indra Mohan. Traditionally
yoga was always taught like this. It is
only a modern invention to have group
classes where everyone does the same
practice together.

MAT matchmaker

f youre practising yoga to upgrade


your fitness, you need to choose a
style that complements the strengths
and weaknesses native to your regular
training and body type. For example, a bike
rider whos just done a 200 kilometre bike
ride probably shouldnt do a hot yoga class
that day or the next day as it will impact
their rehydration, which is really important
for the body to recover, says PT Emma
Smith. Long, static stretching may also
undermine performance come race day. A
study published in the Scandinavian Journal
of Medicine & Science in Sports found static
stretching (where muscles are stretched and
held for longer periods) to be detrimental to
power, explosive performance and strength,
and concluded that static stretching should
be avoided as a warm-up. As a general
rule, I recommend that athletes do yoga on
a scheduled rest day, or a day which they
are planning to do less intense exercise,
says Smith. For runners, flexibility isnt
necessarily advantageous. Becoming more
flexible isnt necessarily a good thing, and
it doesnt necessarily make you good at
yogaits more about controlling your
individual range of motion. The more range
of motion you have, the more range you
have to control. Most runners, for example,
really dont need to get their leg over their
shoulder. If you force too much flexibility
without gaining control of that new range,
it could potentially lead to injuries like

impingement syndrome around the hip


and other consequences anywhere from the
pelvis and lumbar spine because the whole
lumbo-pelvic-hip unit has muscles and
nerve supplies in common to all three areas.

YOGA YOUR WAY


THE RUNNER
Runners tend to have tight hips, tight
calves, sore feet, and usually forget to focus
on upper body strength or posture, says
Smith. Choose yoga styles that balance
these areas and focus on breathing.
Do yoga for: Upper body strength, core/
posture, recovery, breathing

THE CYCLIST
Sitting in a static position for long periods
can lead to stiffness. Those who cycle
a lot tend to have tight glutes, deep hip
rotators, ITB, lower back and neck pain,
says Smith. These will usually benefit from
leg stretches and postures with reverse
position on the bike, like backward bends,
and seated postures will help open up hips.
Do yoga for: core/posture, alignment,
breathing

THE HIIT JUNKIE


You need to have a decent strength base
before you engage in this kind of exercise,
so your yoga practice should support this
strength. It can also help to cultivate better
breath control to aid sprints.
Do yoga for: upper body strength, core/
posture, control, breathing

YIN
BREATHING
Yin yoga involves staying in passive
postures for three to five minutes or
longer. The idea is to coax the connective
tissues to release tension in the fascia
and around the joints, which occurs after
about three minutes in what is often
likened to melting. Participants may find
that fear of snapping in half is replaced
by relative comfort and ability to hold
the pose for much longer. People often
attend these classes as a way to balance
out strenuous exercise or yoga practice.
Classes are often held at night in a semidark room and end with meditation.
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be

&
Its easy to take
the senses for granted.
They are, after all, automatic.
But tuning in to the point at
which your body connects with
the so-called big wide world can
whittle stress, make you feel
loved and even decrease body
dissatisfaction.

Youre on your way home from work after a stressful day. All you
want to do is flop on your couch, eat a huge serve of steaming spag
bol, and catch up on last years Gruen Transfer.
Instead, as you race to the bus in your new heels (which you now
believe are actually torture devices; seriously, who thought heels this
high were a good idea?), you almost cry in frustration as the bus
whizzes past you. Great. Now youre standing in the rain, getting
soaked while silently seething.
As if youre not feeling bad enough, you start coughing on the
fumes from the guy whos smoking so close to you that you can
practically taste his ciggie on your lips. Your head feels like its going to
explode from the chaotic screaming of cars racing and beeping nearby.
Your hearts racing and you dont know whether to scream, cry or both.
94

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

Yep, youre on sensory overload and your stress levels are soaring
through the roof.
Sound familiar? While each component of the above may make
your blood pressure rise, when you combine all that sensory stimuli
together youre bound to feel more than a little wrung out.
Its amazing how much our senses influence our emotions, yet how
rarely we consider each of them on their own when it comes to our
stress levels. If annoying and frustrating sensations (like painful heels,
soaking clothes and the stench of smoke) make us feel awful, logic
dictates that our senses also have the power to soothe.
Turns out you can go from stress-head to blissed-out simply by
tuning in to your five senses. Ready to learn how? You can thank
us later.

PHOTOGRAPHY: THINKSTOCK

WO R D S : E V E LY N L E W I N

TASTE
Theres something sublime about devouring gelati
on a hot summers day, or tucking into tiramisu
after a wood-fired pizza. And dont get us started
on Nutella and banana crepes. Lets just say, foods
often described as heavenly for a reason.
Our sense of taste can give us so much
pleasure. But its more than that. Food doesnt just
satisfy our needs (and our taste buds), it can also
help us unwind.
When we bite into our favourite foods, our
brain receives a rush of feel-good chemicals that
make us feel happy and relaxed, says clinical
psychologist Kellie Wilson from Mind Life Clinic
in Victoria. And, if youve ever tucked into a
bowl of ice cream after a stressful day, were sure
you agree.
According to research, theres a reason for this.
Published in June 2014, the research from the
Monell Chemical Senses Center showed that there
are receptors for stress-activated hormones in our
taste cells. So when were stressed, we respond
differently to tastes. Which may be why chocolate
tastes so damn good when were under the pump.
Thats not a licence to dig into a giant bowl of
nachos every time youre feeling overwhelmed
(sorry). Mind you, having something that tastes
great when youre feeling stressed isnt the end of
the world.

USE THAT NEWS:


If youre feeling particularly overwrought and
want something comforting to eat, choose a
food thats also nutritious. Think steamed pears
with maple syrup; creamy yoghurt topped
with berries; or fresh popcorn drizzled with
melted butter.
Dont beat yourself up for reaching for sweet
treats when youre super stressed. (You dont
need to give yourself more stuff to stress
out about!)
To get the most pleasure from eating (without
overdoing it), eat slowly and focus on the taste
and texture of your food, Wilson suggests. She
says you can help avoid mindless eating by not
eating in front of the TV or computer.
A wine appreciation course could be right up
your alley if you want to get in tune with your
sense of taste. While it seems like an excuse
to get blotto, wine appreciation courses are
actually about tasting the wines and developing
a more refined palate. (Hint: youre usually
encouraged to just taste the wine, not actually
swallow it).

SOFT, WARM, SMOOTH TEXTURES


ACTIVATE THE BRAINS ORBITOFRONTAL
CORTEX, WHICH IS LINKED TO FEELINGS
OF REWARD AND COMPASSION

TOUCH
Theres nothing like a deep tissue
massage to ease those knots in your
back. But massage isnt just great
because it helps sore muscles unwind.
The simple act of touch plays a role too.
Our brain has a strong response
to touch, Wilson says. Soft, warm,
smooth textures activate the brains
orbitofrontal cortex, which is linked
to feelings of reward and compassion,
helping to create feelings of calmness
and warmth.
Research published in 2010
in The Journal of Alternative and
Complementary Medicine supports this.
It showed that having a massage reduced
levels of stress hormone cortisol. So
while your bodys unwinding, your
stress levels are plummeting too.
If you cant afford a massage, a
simple hug can yield more significant
wellbeing benefits than the old xo
suggests. Hugging has [also] been
found to increase the brain chemical
oxytocin, which in turn decreases the
physical signs of stress, Wilson says.
And if you dont have someone nearby
to hug, you can get similar health
benefits from hugging your four-legged
friends. Simply patting your pet can
help you chill out and bring you loads
of feel-good hormones.

USE THAT NEWS:


Book a massage and enjoy the
sensation of touch as it eases your
stress levels

Hug it out. Hug your boyfriend,


hug your sister, hug your mum, hug
your friends. The more hugs, the
better (but maybe avoid that creepy
guy at work).
Hold hands with your partner and
enjoy the simple act of touching.
Let your cat curl up in your lap and
stroke her fur as she purrs away.
Bliss.
We couldnt talk about touch
without touching on the topic of sex
(pun intended). There are so many
health benefits to getting cosy with
your loved one, and reduced stress
is definitely one of them.
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95

SLOW, QUIET, CLASSICAL MUSIC IN


PARTICULAR CAN HELP SLOW OUR
HEART RATE, LOWER OUR BLOOD
PRESSURE AND REDUCE OUR LEVELS
OF STRESS HORMONES.

SMELL
If walking into your mums
kitchen and smelling her famous
minestrone simmering away on the
stove makes you feel instantly calm,
youre not alone. We underestimate
our sense of smell, but certain
scents can help to reverse the
stress response.
Enjoyable smells have the
capacity to provide an immediate
lift to our mood and can put us in
an improved state of mind, says
Wilson. Its why we add scented
bubble bath to our tubs, and why we
spray ourselves with fresh perfume;
these smells arent just enjoyable,
they also help us feel more relaxed.
Research published in 2010 in
the Journal of Biological Chemistry
agrees. It showed that when mice
breathed in the fragrance of jasmine
they became dramatically calmer.
Brain scans showed the effect of a
chemical called GABA (which helps
relieve anxiety) increased more
than five times when the mice smelt
jasmine, and acted as strongly as
sleeping pills and relaxants.
As Wilson puts it, It really is
worth stopping to smell the roses,
or brewed coffee, freshly baked
bread, your favourite perfume
or anything else your nose finds
pleasing. An estimated 80 per
cent of womens perfumes contain
jasmine.
Lavender is also being leveraged
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as a complement to harder sciences.


Globally renowned dermatologist
Leslie Baumann says progressive
clinicians are introducing the scent
into consulting suites to help ease
patient anxiety. A study published
in 2012 in the Scandinavian
Journal of Caring Sciences
concluded that administration
of a lavender inhalant reduced
anxiety in patients undergoing IUD
insertion. Participants who inhaled
the scent 30 minutes before the
procedure experienced a greater
drop in anxiety on the Spielberger
questionnaire a standard measure
of anxiety than those exposed to
a placebo.

USE THAT NEWS:


Tune in to your sense of
smell. When youre smelling
something pleasant, appreciate
its calming effect.
Spray your fav perfume as youre
heading out in the morning
for an instant pick-me-up and
mood calmer.
Try to look for bubble baths
or scented air fresheners that
contain jasmine.
Bake cookies and inhale that
fresh, yummy smell (just try not
to polish off a whole tray).
Head to the great outdoors and
really savour the different scents
you come across.

SOUND
Music has such a strong effect on our emotions. It can
make your good mood feel better and your sad mood less
lonely. Soothing tunes can help you chillax, too.
A new study published in October 2014 in Belfast
looked at over 200 children and adolescents and showed
that music therapy improved self-esteem and reduced
symptoms of depression.
Sound therapy can even make surgery less stressful.
Binaural beats, a type of audio therapy, consist of two
tones, which are at a specific, though slightly different
frequency, from each other. Each tone is delivered to a
separate ear via headphones. Its said to produce alphafrequency brainwaves, which helps us relax and reduces
pain and fear.
A recent study, presented in November 2012 at
the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of
Ophthalmology, showed that binaural beats significantly
reduced patients anxiety during cataract surgery (a surgery
for which patients are awake).
Psychologists wont be surprised by such findings. As
Wilson says, Sounds can have a tremendously relaxing
effect on our mind and body. She says slow, quiet,
classical music in particular can help slow our heart rate,
lower our blood pressure and reduce our levels of stress
hormones. Mozart, anyone?

USE THAT NEWS:


Listen to the type of music you love. If Queen Bey
makes you feel empowered, crank up the volume.

Also consider listening


to other types of music,
too. The Journal of
Athletic Enhancement
published a study in
November 2014 which
showed that listening to
music enhanced putting
performance (in golf). The
music that gave the most
improvement was jazz. We
wonder if that translates
for all sports
Enjoy simple sounds too.
Head to the beach and
listen to the sound of
waves crash on the shore,
and seagulls squawking.
Or head to your park and
listen to the birds singing
in the trees.
Listen to audio books
and let yourself get swept
up in the storyline while
focusing on the soothing
tones of the narrator.

SIGHT
Bet you feel super stressed when youre staring at
your office walls (or worse, at that report thats due
but not yet done). But chances are you feel mega
calm when you then glimpse a pic of you and your
bestie from your latest hiking holiday.
Its no coincidence, says Wilson. Gazing at
visually pleasant images (particularly cooling
colours such as blue and green) can help lower
blood pressure as well as reduce the level of stress
hormones in our blood. This can help promote
feelings of relaxation and calmness.
A 2008 study, published in Psychological
Science, showed people did better in memory tasks
after looking at natural scenes compared to people
who looked at city settings. Simply looking at
nature helps us feel calmer, which is like giving our
brain a break. That means that when we return to
work after, our brains feel refreshed and are better
able to focus and perform better recall.

as they fly
by and notice the
colours on the tree as it sways in the breeze.
Change your screensaver to a natural scene
(think waterfalls or mountains). If your boss
allows it, keep visually soothing images on your
office walls too.
Make your bedroom a zen retreat by painting
the walls green or blue (the colours Wilson
recommends for an ultimate relaxation hit).
If you want another burst of visual therapy, its
time to get arty. Head to a local art gallery and
savour the visual sights and let them dazzle you.
Alternatively, make your own artwork.
Engaging in creating visual masterpieces (or
even just popping blobs of paint on canvas) can
help soothe your soul.

USE THAT NEWS:


Step outside and soak up your environment.
Look at everything around you in detail. Watch
the clouds changing overhead, study the birds

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SANCTUARY

style

Creating a focus on wellness in your


bathroom means paying attention to the
details, says head of styling at Temple &
Webster Jessica Bellef (templeandwebster.
com.au).
This includes the products you use.
Skip the harsh chemicals and choose
botanical-based body products that are kind
to the environment and to your skin.
Bellef says theres a reason people pay
monstrous amounts for retreat and day spa
experiences. The devil is in the detail, from
light levels to thread count.
Include a scented candle or oil burner
for bathing bliss, she suggests. Potted
plants keep your space feeling fresh and
actually improves the air quality. According
to NASA, the best air purifiers include peace
lilies and Boston ferns.
And while our lives can be hectic and
full, our bathroom shouldnt be. As houses
get smaller and bathrooms more compact,
Bellef says creative storage is key. Become in
tune with your daily routine and make sure
the products you use every day are within
easy reach it will take a lot of stress and
clutter out of your mornings!
Floating shelves will open up storage
surface area in petite bathrooms with
limited floorspace, Bellef says. To avoid
a cluttered look on open shelving, use
neat storage boxes and woven baskets to
hide your bathroom basics. Utilise drawer
organisers or corral important items in a
decorative tray on your countertop.
98

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

NOT JUST A DEPOT FOR


SLAPPING ON LIPPIE ON
YOUR WAY OUT THE DOOR,
THE BATHROOM CAN BE
SCULPTED INTO A HAVEN
WHERE YOU CAN ESCAPE
THE DAILY GRIND.

RE-CREATE YOUR OWN


LUXE RETREAT WITH A
BATHROOM SENSORY
ADVENTURE.

Theres no point dodging cosmetic chemicals when


youre dragging your mitts through toxic bench
sprays. Keep your paws crag free with Bondi Wash
plant-based cleaning products with natural oils to
nourish. Bench Spray, $20, bondiwash.com.au
What better way to shoot the breeze
while youre drying between your toes
than luxuriating in a towel massage?
The bath sheet from Sheridans luxury
retreat collection features miles of plush
100 per cent Turkish cotton. Mmm.
$94.95, sheridan.com.au

Indoor greenerys star keeps rising, with


increasing evidence that indoor plants can
reduce air pollutants and contribute to wellbeing.
The bathroom is no exception. Turn your
bathroom into a greenhouse with plants that
thrive in humid climates such as Boston or birds
nest fern or peace lilies. This Boskke perspex
planter is a cinch to wipe over.

TEMPLE & WEBSTER

$35, hardtofind.com.au

Forget baths. If youre a time poor multi-tasker, sneak in some


micro me or us time with a mower (massage shower). A
proper shower not only ensures the sensory perks of high
pressure, it will ensure optimal water savings. We love this sleek
European design from Reeces Destination Happiness campaign.
Nikles Qatre 250 Overhead Shower, $295, reece.com.au

Like good art, a good candle should evoke a feeling.


But dont spring for synthetic fragrance; rekindle the
excitement of an island escape with this coconut and wild
lime candle from Grace & James. Scented with natural oils
and extracts and with a cotton wick, its part of the Artist
Series. $65 (80 hours), graceandjames.com.au

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

99

be
wander

TOUR OF
WHETHER YOU FANCY A CUT AND POLISH IN SALUBRIOUS
ENVIRONS OR RESETTING WITH A LUXE RETREAT AMIDST
BALINESE GARDENS, WEVE FOUND A SPA TO SUIT.

NSW

PURE LUXE
NATURES ENERGY

The place: Everything is based on earthy


elements at Natures Energy in Sydneys Balmain. The spa baths are
surrounded by dark cobbled stones, creating an experience akin to being
in a secluded rainforest.
Just leave the kids at home.
The experience: Book
yourself in for an indulgent
massage with hydrating,
sweet-smelling products
such as shea butter and
coconut, sunflower and
jojoba oil. Your skin feels
amazing after! They also
perform massages tailored
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www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

to expectant mothers and sports professionals.


Details: 312 Darling Street, Balmain, (02) 9555 5533,
naturesenergy.com.au

PAPURI ORGANIC SPA


The place: Papuri Organic Spa combines traditional Indonesian and
Cambodian influences with a truly modern feel. Walk in from the street,
entering through wooden, black-lacquered doors into a peaceful haven.
Everything is organic, from the welcome tea and bathrobes to the cotton
buds and slippers. Sharon Stone and Richard Gere are regular clients at
Papuri in Bali and Spain, so youre in good company.
The experience: The Mali Moonlight Massage, which is a
combination of traditional Thai massage, aromatherapy, reiki and
acupressure techniques. The perfect antidote to those tiresome back
knots. A dip in the hydrotherapy bath and steam room are also a must.
Details: 55 Miller Street, Pyrmont, (02) 9660 1916,
panpuriorganicspa.com.au

Byron at Byron Resort & Spa

hours of pure luxe, including a body polish and massage, mask, scalp
massage, facial, hand and foot treatment with locally made organic
products. If you want to try something different, opt for the Esoteric
Breast Massage. By far the most hippie treatment on the menu, it
focuses on restoring nurturing honour to the fairer sex.
Details: 933 Fernleigh Road, Brooklet, (02) 6687 1216,
gaiaretreat.com.au

PURE LUXE
IKATAN BALINESE DAY SPA

WELLNESS
BYRON AT BYRON RESORT & SPA
The place: Want total mind, body and soul regeneration? At Byron
at Byron Resort & Spa, there are six luxurious treatment rooms
specialising in several signature relaxation, renewal and resultsfocused treatments. All treatments encompass native Australian
ingredients, such as macadamia nut and fragonia, for a distinctive
Byron Bay feel. At the resort, theres also reflexology, naturopathic
consultations, tarot card readings, acupuncture and daily yoga classes
to while away the day.
The experience: The uber-indulgent Cypress Sojourn, which is
$370 for three hours of bliss, is the ultimate face and body therapy,
commencing with an invigorating body brush followed by a relaxing
full-body aromatic massage. Youre then treated to a Pevonia
facial, manicure and pedicure, including an aromatic salt footbath
and massage.
Details: 7797 Broken Head Road, Byron Bay, (02) 6639 2110,
thebyronatbyron.com.au

GAIA LIFESTYLE RETREAT


The place: Gaia was launched
by Olivia Newton-John and her
interior designer friend Gregg
Cave in 2005. Located in the
lush, emerald-green hinterland
of Byron Bay, this soul-soothing
hippy hangout is your muchneeded weekend reprieve from
deadlines, to-do lists and the
stresses of work and city life.
Everything at Gaia works to
detox the mind and body,
from the psychic readings and
balancing therapies to the spa treatments and menu. Daily activities
such as yoga and tai chi are also thrown into the experience. Oprah is
reportedly a fan.
The experience: The treatments draw on massage and healing
techniques from around the world. The most ludicrously indulgent
is the Gaia Goddess (or Gaia Man) which involves four-and-a-half

QLD

The place: Voted best destination spa


in Australia, Ikatan Balinese Day Spa
is set on an acreage just a few minutes
outside of Noosa. Truly tranquil, it
boasts gorgeous Balinese gardens and
villa-style treatment rooms that truly
embrace nature slightly redolent of
a traditional Balinese village. Set deep
within the trees, their air-conditioned
treatment rooms and open-air
pavilions are mini paradises within
a paradise. You feel deeply relaxed
almost straight away.
The experience: Go all out with a
Retreat Day Package, which includes
yoga, meditation, meals and spa treatments. Alternatively, opt
for the Kharma Rejuvenation Package which includes a coconut
scrub and skin wrap followed by an hour-long Balinese massage
and personalised anti-ageing facial, ending with lunch and tea in
the garden, and a deluxe pedicure.
Details: 46 Grays Road, Doonan, (07) 5471 1199, ikatanspa.com

ONE WYBELENNA DAY SPA


The place: Located in Brookfield, 20 minutes from Brisbanes
CBD, One Wybelenna offers a range of sublime treatments such
as the deluxe chocolate scrub, crystal and pearl elixir for face
and body, and a Padabhyang Indian foot and leg massage. The
architecturally designed space features stunning gardens, a lap
pool and spa and multiple lounging areas designed to complement
the subtropical climate.

One Wybelenna Day Spa


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101

Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat

The experience: The Crystal and Pearl


Elixir treatment is a combined face and
body therapy using extracts of precious
stones and minerals to energise and firm the
skin. All-over body exfoliation merges with
an exquisite massage for silken smoothness.
Crystals are placed on the bodys seven
chakra points to restore energy levels to
balance while a Pearl Noir Facial uses black
pearls said to have powerful anti-ageing
effects. 120 minutes, $325.
Details: 1 Wybelenna Street, Brookfield,
(07) 3878 7549, onewybelenna.com

WELLNESS
GWINGANNA LIFESTYLE RETREAT
The place: A weekend spent at Gwinganna
in Tallebudgera will leave you relaxed,
revived and re-energised. Nestled in the lush
Gold Coast hinterlands, Gwinganna offers
everything from yoga to tai chi classes,
naturopathic consultations to detox body
wraps even surfing lessons. Whatever
you need to unwind. You may just run into
Hugh Jackman there.
The experience: Why not make a week
of it and try the seven-day Gwinganna
detox package? You dont have to be a

VIC

health nut to appreciate the freshly prepared


organic meals, spa treatments and lifestyle
workshops. A thoroughly enriching mind,
body and soul experience.
Details: 192 Syndicate Road,
Tallebudgera, 1800 219 272, gwinganna.com

DAINTREE ECO LODGE AND SPA


The place: All treatments take place in a
truly healing environment the heart of the
Daintree Rainforest for maximum relaxation.
Feel the natural vitality of the surrounds. The
treatments integrate the wisdom of ancient
cultures and medicines, spirituality and
healing, preserving indigenous traditions.
The experience: The Walbul-Walbul
(Butterfly) treatment sees you melt away
with a drizzling of warm oil and a sprinkling
of desert salt. Enjoy a luxurious massage
and exfoliation before being cocooned in
warm and nourishing mud. The treatments
based on the caterpillars transition into a
beautiful butterfly. Immersed in the ancient
rainforest, and with the soothing sounds of
the waterfall as your soundtrack, youll feel
one with nature in no time.
Details: 3189 Mossman-Daintree Road,
Daintree, (07) 4098 6100, daintree-ecolodge.
com.au

PURE LUXE
SPA DE MARRAKECH

The place: A traditional Moroccan bathhouse in Victorias picturesque Yarra


Valley. Theres a steam temple, and treatments include colour therapy sessions,
aromatherapy massage, radiant facials and exquisite dining. At the centre, youll
find a Roman bathhouse where guests can relax in hot mineral spring water. Its
the perfect setting for a girls getaway, romantic couples retreat or solo R n R.
The experience: After your aromatherapy massage or facial, indulge your
tastebuds with a Moroccan feast comprising tagines, pastries, harira soup
and Persian love cakes prepared by the in-house chef.
Details: 14 Mountain Crescent, Montrose, (03) 9737 0413,
spademarrakech.com.au
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LAVANYA DAY SPA


The place: Whether you spend an hour or half a day at Lavanya Day
Spa, your experience is sure to be second to none. Nestled inside the
award-winning Captains Retreat B&B, Lavanya will have you feeling
deeply relaxed the moment you walk through their door. With a
penchant for premium quality and local ingredients, the treatments
are good for the body, soul and planet.
The experience: Indulge with their signature Paprika Power facial
and full body massage and escape for two hours into a haze. Paprika
stimulates the natural circulation in the skin, working to detoxify,
oxygenate and rejuvenate.
Details: 2 Ferguson St, Williamstown, (03) 9681 9587,
lavanyaretreat.com.au

WELLNESS
PENINSULA HOT SPRINGS
The place: Soak up the tranquil bushland surrounds and fresh
air at Peninsula Hot Springs, Australias first natural geo-thermal
springs. There are 20 different bathing experiences with both a social
bathhouse area and secluded private area for chill-out time. Add
on a luxurious treatment from facials and salt scrubs to hot stone
treatments and body wraps inspired by traditional Aboriginal
ingredients and techniques. Youll quickly edge your way closer to
inner zen.
The experience: The hour-long Mala Mapi treatment begins
with an aromatic oil massage and desert salt exfoliation followed
by a warm silky and mineral-rich Mapi mud mask and de-stressing
scalp massage.

Details: Springs Lane, Fingal, (03) 5950 8777,


peninsulahotsprings.com

NORBU URBAN RETREAT AT THE OLSEN HOTEL


The place: In the award-winning Olsen Hotel, Norbu Urban Retreat
is a holistic wellness centre that integrates luxuriant treatments with
an extensive range of health and wellness options. All treatments
are designed to boost circulation, increase oxygenation to optimise
organ function and remove toxins.
The experience: Try the signature Berry Refined Firming
Peel by Eminence. The exfoliation aids greater penetration and
absorption of the actives, with a yummy fruit cocktail of blueberries,
raspberries and blackberries infusing the skin with antioxidants
to tighten tissue. After one exfoliating treatment, your expression
lines appear relaxed, skin is glowing, texture is smoother and skin
is plumped.
Details: Mezzanine, The Olsen, 637 Chapel Street, South Yarra,
(03) 9040 1199, norbu.com.au

Peninsula Hot Springs

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103

ACT

SA

PURE LUXE

WELLNESS

GERANIUM DAY SPA FOR WOMEN

LIVE WELL SPA AND WELLNESS CENTRE

The place: This picturesque bush retreat for women is


perfect for a getaway with your favourite lady pals, or
by yourself if youre partied out or just need to reflect
and relax. The day spa, situated just 30 minutes outside
of Canberra, is sustainable; meaning every drop of
water is recycled and directed back toward their
gorgeous gardens and tree-planting program.
The experience: Geranium Houses detox spa
package a two-hour body buffet including
litho-cal body peel, detox-thalasso body wrap, and
aromatherapy massage.
Details: 154 Fairview Road, Springrange, (02) 6230
9220, geraniumhouse.com.au

The place: Get back in touch with your spiritual self


and allow your body to heal and relax at Live Well.
Located in a restored heritage building, this holistic
wellness centre amalgamates luxury treatments and
cutting-edge complementary medicine including
acupuncture, naturopathy, remedial massage
and osteopathy.
The experience: Splendour, a delightfully indulgent
treatment that includes a full-body relaxation or
remedial massage, Juice Blend customised facial and
time in the recovery pod with a hot herbal tea in hand.
Details: 35 Murray Crescent, Manuka, (02) 6295
0400, livewellnaturally.com.au

PURE LUXE
SOUTHERN OCEAN LODGE

The place: Due to its truly secluded location, perched


high on a cliff top, you can only access the treatment
rooms via a boardwalk through the coastal flora. Once
you reach your private oasis, admire the view, rewind
and relax, soaking up the sounds of waves crashing in the
background.
The experience: Their Ligurian Honey and Almond
Wrap features ingredients that are locally produced. The
90-minute treatment begins with a Bay of Shoals mineral
salt exfoliation before youre wrapped in a cocoon of
nourishing honey and almonds. Youre then treated to
a massage using essential oil sourced from around the
island, and a spritz of fragrant wild rosella flower mist.
Details: Hanson Bay Road, Kingscote, (02) 9918 4355,
southernoceanlodge.com.au

WELLNESS
KANGAROO ISLAND HEALTH
RETREAT
The place: Want your spa treatments
served up alongside spectacular
scenery, wildlife and locally produced
gourmet food? Book yourself a stay at
the world-renowned Kangaroo Island
Health Retreat. This empowering,
educating and healing experience will
leave you totally refreshed by the time
you return home.
The experience: One of their
signature multi-day programs includes
a health assessment, daily mentoring,
yoga, pilates, meals and cooking
classes, plus massage treatments,
nutrition lectures and a post-program
follow-up.
Details: 227 Bates Road, Emu Bay,
Kangaroo Island, (08) 8553 5374,
kihealthretreat.com

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Waldheim Alpine Spa

TAS
PURE LUXE
WALDHEIM ALPINE SPA AT PEPPERS
CRADLE MOUNTAIN LODGE
The place: The spa well and truly makes the
most of its spectacular location, overlooking
the Cradle Mountain and its ancient forests,
snow-capped pine trees and crisp mountain
streams. Drop in and ease your body after a
day of bushwalking in the mountains.
The experience: There are many
luxurious face and body treatments on offer,
each using completely natural Tasmanianmade skincare products. Revel in treatments
like Highland Healing, where your therapist
will customise a 60-minute full-body
massage, relieving tension in your weary legs
and shoulders.
Details: 4038 Cradle Mountain Road,
Cradle Mountain, (03) 6492 2100, peppers.
com.au

WA

WELLNESS
HARMONY HILL WELLNESS &
ORGANIC SPA RETREAT
The place: This 42-acre bush retreat, perched
high in the hills above Hobart, draws on
both Eastern and Western therapies. There
are three treatment rooms, a sauna and a
hot tub. Their skilled therapists will assess
your condition holistically, drawing on their
knowledge of Ayurvedic medicine and Asian
philosophies to advise you on a rebalancing
treatment.
The experience: The five-night detox
retreat, including daily yoga and meditation,
massages and healing treatments including
reflexology.
Details: 210 Old Bernies Road, Margate,
(03) 6294 8177, organicspa-retreat.com

Indijup Spa Retreat

PURE LUXE
INDIJUP SPA RETREAT
The place: A spa retreat surrounded by
national parkland, sprawling vineyards
and unspoiled beaches. There are 10
luxurious villas, each with a private
plunge pool overlooking a secluded
beach. As well as massages, they deal in
invigorating sea salt scrubs, clay body
masks and detoxing baths infused with
Australian native ingredients such as
juniper berry, cypress and lemon myrtle.
The experience: Rather than choose
a specific treatment, go in for a private
consultation. The gently handed, highly
skilled staff will design a treatment
experience especially for you.
Details: 1 Cape Clairault
Road, Yallingup, (08) 9750 1300,
injidupsparetreat.com.au

WELLNESS
KALYAANA SPA & WELLNESS
RETREAT
The place: This tiny boutique sanctuary
caps its guest list at four, creating a truly
intimate experience amid five tranquil
acres of gardens including a kitchen
garden and sensory herb garden.
The experience: If you want a holistic
health and wellbeing experience with
delicious cuisine, an extensive range of
therapies and healing modalities and
rejuvenating treatments without the
bustle of bigger retreats, this is it. The
luxurious home comforts are a nice touch.
Details: Lot 705 Maslin Street,
Bridgetown, (08) 9761 1420,
kalyaanawellnessretreat.com.au

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

105

be
wander

ABOUT TOWN
YO, YOGES // NSW
Want a yoga body and vibe without the spiritual stuff? Launched in December, Urban Yoga
fuses the bendy asana caper with tracks from the likes of Fleetwood Mac and Chet Faker with
big-screen music clip visuals. For locations, prices and bookings visit urbanyoga.com.au

GLORIOUS MUD // SA
Get in touch with your inner GI Jane as you crawl under low
wires, scale cargo nets and run through mud when True Grit
returns to Adelaide in May. The 10 km military-inspired
obstacle challenge is not for the faint of manicure, but its a
whole lot of fun. Register at truegrit.com.au

SMELLS LIKE TEAM SPIRIT // VIC


Quell FOMO. The Nike Training Club Tour familiar to Sydney fitness buffs will this year get a satellite event in Melbourne. Pull together a
team and prepare for half a day of Pilates, running and boxing sessions led by Nike trainers. Therell also be a live screening of the opening
workout from Sydney to foster a collegiate love-in vibe. 19 March. For pricing and to register visit ntctour.com.au

BALANCED BREAK // WA
They had us at organic wine, but Paper
Tiger Health and Wellness Balance Breaks
are refreshingly moderate in other ways
too. Hosted at the beautiful Gilgara Retreat
three hours south of Perth, the all-inclusive
packages include yoga, Boxilates, cooking
demonstrations, postural assessment,
massages and mentioned wine. The
next break is scheduled for April. Visit
papertigerwellness.com

106

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ZENSPO // QLD
Keeping up with the
march of new wellness
products could be a fulltime gig. Save yourself
days of Instagram
scrolling by getting the
scoop on all things mindbody at the Mind Body
Spirit festival in Brisbane
in March. Dont miss
the meditation centre
and soul cooking stage.
Expect oodles of free
samples, so dont bring
the small handbag. Visit
mbsfestival.com.au

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glow

Feeling self-conscious about bikini


stubble or bad breath can kill
the passion faster than you can
say flanelette pyjamas. Body
gripes that fly under the radar in
daily life can become big deals
come date night. Reverse the
romance killers with this guide
to bringing sexy back.
108

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PHOTOGRAPHY: THINKSTOCK

body bootcamp

FUZZY LEGS
Theres nothing sexier than silky-smooth legs come show
time! Always wax a week in advance. Too early and you risk
regrowth, and too last-minute and you may get a nasty skin
reaction. Start by exfoliating with an invigorating scrub. This
allows the wax to better grip the hairs and ensures there
are fewer dead skin cells left to clog pores and cause nasty
ingrowns. Forget the moisturiser, as this will mess with the
waxs grip, but give yourself a dusting of talcum powder to
stop the wax from grabbing your skin. Then place down the
strip, running your hand in the direction of the hair growth.
Count to 30 and hold the skin taut before pulling the strip
away in the opposite direction of the growth. Do it quickly
and repeat if necessary. If you have a few strays, tweeze them
out to avoid irritation. Wait half an hour before putting on
moisturiser or tight clothes.
ESSENTIALS
Schick Intuition Pure Nourishment, $12.70, schick.com.au
Bump eRaiser Triple Action Lotion, $16.75,
bumperaiser.com.au
ANDREA Extra Strength Hair Remover for the Body,
$18.95, beautyhq.com.au
Nads Body Wax Strips for Dry Skin, $14.95, nads.com.au

BAD BREATH
Whats the point of having a bold red mouth if the breath
coming out of it is just as show stopping? Having pleasant
breath starts with good oral hygiene. Try to drink a lot of
water, dont consume too many sugary drinks and brush
for two minutes with a soft-bristle toothbrush twice a day,
rinsing and flossing while youre at it. Use a mouthwash that
wont disrupt the pH level in your mouth, and gargle for 20
seconds. The source of nasty breath is usually the soft tissue
on your tongue, where germs and bacteria tend to build up,
so buy yourself a plastic or metal tongue
scraper. This will get rid of that unsightly
white matter that causes halitosis and is
especially
important
for people
who drink
coffee.

ROUGH SKIN
After a season of warm clothes and wintry weather, your skin may
be feeling dehydrated and rougher than usual. Try a basic DIY body
scrub of espresso coffee grounds, two cups of olive oil (warmed in the
saucepan) and two tablespoons of honey. You can even add a few drops
of tea tree oil and sea salt to make yourself feel extra clean. Apply the
paste to your body, really rubbing it in before rinsing and towelling off.
Combine this with dry brushing a few days before. Dry brushing in a
swirling motion, starting at your legs and working up, stimulates the
lymphatic system, increases circulation, banishes chicken skin, fights
cellulite and leaves you feeling smoother than ever.
ESSENTIALS
Molton Brown Eucalyptus Body Polisher, $70, moltonbrown.com.au
Eminence Organic Skin Care Coconut Sugar Scrub, $74,
eminenceorganics.com.au
Cafe Skin Scrub, $14.95, cafeskinscrub.com.au
Natura Siberica Oblepikha and Honey Body Scrub, $20,
naturasiberica.net.au

SMELLY ARMPITS
Smell can be one of the
simplest predictors of
attraction, sending chemical
signals to our brains about
who to have babies with,
but you dont want to
bowl them over with your
pheromones. A subtle whiff
is more than enough! As such, you may want
ESSENTIALS
to take care of that armpit situation by masking
NIVEA Stress Protect
the potency. Sweat itself doesnt smell; its the
Stick for Women,
bacteria breakdown that causes the odour. The
$14.75, nivea.com.au
more hair you have, the more surface area the
Vanessa Megan Citrus
bacteria has to cling to, so waxing or shaving
Grove Deodorant,
$18.95, vanessamegan.
may help. Certain foods, including chilli, onions
com
and garlic, are notorious odour culprits, as is
QV Sport 3 in 1
alcohol and red meat, so limit your consumption
Shower Wash, $15,
if possible. Eating well lots of fresh fruits
qvskincare.com.au
and vegetables and clean proteins helps to
Blue Stratos
keep your fragrance fresh. Wear natural fibres,
Deodorising Talc, $9,
avoiding synthetics that dont allow your body
keysun.com.au
to breathe. If youre an extreme sweater, you
could have hyperhidrosis and you may even want to consider over-the-counter
antiperspirants or Botox injections in your overactive sweat glands.

ESSENTIALS

Ultrafresh Breath Spray , $4, churchdwight.com.au


Weleda Ratanhia Mouthwash Concentrate, $13.95, weleda.com.au
ORAL-B ProfessionalCare 8500, $149.95, oralb.com
Weleda Salt Toothpaste, $9.95, weleda.com.au

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

109

STINKY FEET
Bacteria that lives on your skin and in your shoes eats up your bodys sweat,
producing an acid by-product that reeks. Our bodies are covered in glands that
secrete sweat to cool us down and our feet are particularly prone to sweating due
to their higher concentration of glands.
Got a hot date? Want to curb that feeling of anxiety whenever you remove
your shoes? Stop foot odour at its source by targeting sweat, dead skin and
bacteria. Wash your feet with antibacterial soap and scrub off dead skin. If your
feet are not exfoliated, calluses can become a feeding ground for brevibacterium,
the same microbe that gives Limburger cheese its pungency. When it breaks
down the proteins in flaking skin, sulfur-rich amino acids are released, along
with the overpowering odour.
Stop the bacteria build-up by wearing fresh and clean cotton socks and letting
your shoes air-dry after every wear. Before you go out, give your feet the once
over with an ankle-down deodorant spray. Youre left irresistible and totally
kissable from top to toe.

ESSENTIALS
Skin Republic Foot Active , $8, theskinrepublic.com.au
The Body Shop Peppermint Cooling Foot Spray,
$14.95, thebodyshop.com.au
Scholl Fresh Step Anti-Perspirant, $11, scholl.com.au
Dettol Healthy Touch Refresh Hygienic Soap, $3.15,
dettol.com.au

MANGY NAILS

BIKINI STUBBLE
W t to
t gett your vajayjay
j j V-day ready? Start by eeliminating
Want
those pesky red bumps around your bikini line! Your best bet for
prevention is laser hair removal, but if you dont have the time
and/or money and need to resort to shaving, make sure you use a
moisturising, alcohol-free shaving cream. Always use a fresh, sharp
razor. Old blades can harbour infection-causing bacteria and require
pushing down for a close shave. That pressure cuts hair at an angle
that is more likely to grow into the skin. Shave in the direction
of hair growth and always exfoliate beforehand to remove flaky
skin cells that can jam your follicles. Avoid picking ingrowns, as
this can easily lead to scarring, and try Bliss Ingrown Eliminating
Pads instead. They are soaked with both glycolic and salicylic
acids, which help to reduce dead skin build-up and inflammation,
stopping ingrowns from forming in the first place. These are great to
use a few days post-shave or wax, depending on how sensitive your
skin is.

For some, dirty fingernails are a dating deal-breaker. Who


knows how many gross germs are camping out under there?
Researchers have found that bacteria that cause vomiting and
diarrhoea are often lurking under peoples fingernails. Filthy!
Dont ruin your sexy come-hither gesture with chipped,
grubby fingernails and frayed cuticles. Take your digits to town
with this DIY treatment! Buy yourself a nailbrush or use a
soft-bristled toothbrush and soap to flush out the debris regular
hand washing doesnt reach.
After clipping and filing, you can then whiten dull fingertips
by mixing two tablespoons of baking soda and a tablespoon of
3% hydrogen peroxide in a bowl. Apply with a Q-tip to your
nails, leave for three minutes, then rinse. Then slather your tips
and your cuticles with a mix of jojoba and chamomile oil to
moisturise before polishing and painting.
ESSENTIALS
OPI Avoplex Exfoliating Cuticle Treatment, $18.95, opi.net.au
Bio Sculpture Anti-Fungal Treatment, $28.95, biosculpture.
com.au
Revitanail Nail Strengthener, $29.95, revitanail.com.au
Manicare 5 Piece Manicure Set, $20, manicare.com

ESSENTIALS

Waxaway Aquawax Roll On Kit, $14.95, waxaway.com.au


Schick Hydro Silk TrimStyle, $22, schick.com.au
Dermalogica Soothing Shave Cream, $27.50, dermalogica.com.au
Bliss Ingrown Eliminator Pads, $39.95, blissworld.com

whfmag

110

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glow

DIY

Day
Spa

PHOTOGRAPHY: THINKSTOCK

If you cant afford


a deluxe villa or annual
leave, recreate the spa
experience at home for a fraction
of the cost. Turn date night into a
spa experience, invite your besties
p spa experience or tune
d treat yourself to me
your body and mind
will thank you.

112

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

SET THE SCENE


Set aside a few hours for a head-to-toe treatment. Get
your mind into spa mode by turning off your phone.
Cue a playlist of relaxing tunes, and then slip into a robe.
Light some natural wax, essential oil-based candles to
create a non-toxic atmosphere and let the scents flow
over you. Studies show that certain aromatherapy scents
can trigger reactions within the body that relieve stress,
enhance mental clarity and concentration, help us
gain energy and even help us with pain management.
A candles dim light can also be beneficial. Bright
lights activate cells in the eye known as intrinsically
photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs),
affecting your brains limbic system the centre for
mood, memory and learning. Less-intense light wont
overstimulate, helping your brain relax so your body can
fully enjoy the experience. Sip some herbal tea and feel
like youre floating on a cloud.

HEALTHY HAIR MASK

Aroma Co Sweet Lime & Mandarin Diffuser, $39.95,


thearomatherapycompany.co.nz

While in the bath, apply a luscious hair mask


and leave for 30 minutes. As youd apply a face
mask to freshly cleansed skin, apply the hair
mask to freshly washed hair, which is more
capable of absorbing the nutrients. Want a
few DIY recipes? For normal hair, mash an
avocado and add a tablespoon of honey and
two tablespoons of olive oil. For dry hair,
make an intense conditioning paste by mixing
a tablespoon of oatmeal with a tablespoon of
fresh milk and a tablespoon of almond oil.
Massage this into your hair for a few minutes,
and then wrap it in a shower cap or hot towel,
which has the effect of a steamer, ensuring better
absorption of ingredients into your scalp.

Circa Home Electric Wax Warmer, $39.95,


circahome.com.au

De Lorenzo Equilibrium Masque, $31.50,


delorenzo.com.au

ECOYA Sweet Pea & Jasmine Madison Jar, $39.95,


ecoya.com

L'OREAL PARIS Vitamino Color A-Ox Fresh


Masque, $26, lorealparis.com.au
Redken Frizz Dismiss Mask, $35.95,
redken.com.au

STUDIES SHOW THAT CERTAIN


AROMATHERAPY SCENTS CAN TRIGGER
REACTIONS WITHIN THE BODY THAT
RELIEVE STRESS, ENHANCE MENTAL
CLARITY AND CONCENTRATION, HELP US
GAIN ENERGY AND EVEN HELP US WITH
PAIN MANAGEMENT.

RUN A BATH
Feel out of whack? Research from the Complementary
Therapies in Medicine journal found that soaking in
warm water daily for eight weeks is more effective at
easing anxiety than a prescription drug. Relaxation
releases painkilling endorphins in the brain, while the
hot water can soothe body aches and even clear a stuffy
nose. Baths also give you the chance to stop your day
for a few minutes in a way that showers cant. Add your
favourite oil into your bath and soak for 15 minutes.
The heat allows the oil to soak deep into your tissues
and rejuvenate them. Brush your nails with the oil and
soap before rinsing off.

Kerstin Florian
Heublumen Bath, $65,
kerstinflorian.com.au
Natura Siberica
Revitalising Siberian
Bath Salts, $15,
naturasiberica.net.au
Sisley Paris Eau de
Campagne Bath Oil, $120,
sisley.com.au
Thalgo Precious Milk
Bath Effervescemt
Sugars, $41, thalgo.com.au

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

113

STEAM TREAT

CLEANSE AND TONE

Make like the professional salons and give


yourself a steam facial. Doing it at home
is convenient and cost effective. As well as
relaxing you, it will open up your pores and
help release the impurities, including any
dead cells, dirt, bacteria or other trapped
matter that could be causing breakouts.
The warm humidity may also increase
perspiration and stimulate blood circulation
making it easier to wash away your bodys
wastes and toxins. For the perfect steam,
create an infusion with boiling water and
herbs such as lemongrass, mint, parsley,
lavender and rose petals in a teapot. Then
plug the sink and pour it in. Wait until the
liquid cools to around 43 degrees, then
drape a towel over your head and lean
over it, ensuring your face is at least 30
centimetres away from the water. If you
let too much heat get near your skin, the
increased blood flow can lead to broken
capillaries. Steam for five minutes then
follow up with a light exfoliation and plenty
of moisturiser to keep your skin hydrated.

Give your skin a thorough clean by double


cleansing. Use a milky cleansing lotion with a
low pH level if you have dry or sensitive skin,
or a gel cleanser if you have oily or combination
skin. Apply to your face, then rinse and repeat.
Toner is the next step and its important you
tailor it to your skin type. Toners vary from
skin-tightening, bacteria-quashing astringents
for oily skin to hydrating formulas for dry
skin and water mists for sensitive skin. Want
a gentle toner thats free from parabens and
preservatives? Try mixing one cup of green tea
and one cup of cold chamomile tea and leave to
cool completely. Spray directly on your face or
soak some cotton pads in the solution and place
on your eyes to reduce puffiness.

Conair True Glow Warm Steam


and Cool Mist Facial Sauna, $74.95,
conairaustralia.com.au

Cedar + Stone Rose Water, $25,


cedarandstone.com.au

The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil, $16.95,


thebodyshop.com.au
Kerstin Florian Clarifying Lavender Oil,
$65, kerstinflorian.com.au
Breathe Floral Facial Steam, $17.95,
thelaborganics.com.au

114

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CLINIQUE Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil,


$45, clinique.com.au
Aspect Purastat 5 Cleanser, $61.60,
advancedskintechnology.com.au
Mary Kay Skinvigorate Cleansing Brush,
$65, marykay.com.au
Obagi Nu-Derm Toner, $49.95, obagi.net.au

PEEL AWAY
Leave your skin looking irresistibly radiant and
healthy with an exfoliating peel. Look for ones that
contain high concentrations of active ingredients
and exfoliating acids like lactic, glycolic or salicylic.
Glycolic acid is a form of alpha hydroxy acid
(AHA) derived from plants and vegetables and is
relatively gentle for a mild peel effect. Lactic acid
is generated from the fermentation of milk and
works to gently slough off the first layer of the
epidermis, leaving skin smoother and reducing
the appearance of fine lines. Salicylic acid, with
its ability to exfoliate and neutralise bacteria, is a
staple for any acne-fighting routine. Leave the peel
on for five to 10 minutes before wiping away with
a warm and damp muslin cloth. This eliminates
flakiness and roughness, leaving you with
smoother skin and a clearer complexion.

Elizabeth Arden PRO


Skin Perfecting Peel Pads,
$79, elizabethardenpro.
com.au
Philosophy
Microdelivery Overnight
Anti-Aging Peel, $110,
philosophyskincare.com.au
Skinstitut Enzymatic
Micro Peel, $45,
skinstitut.com
Medik8 Light Peel, $120,
medik8.com.au
Kerstin Florian
Brightening Body Peel
Pads, $69, kerstinflorian.
com.au

OIL UP
After a facial, its important to treat your face like its baby skin.
This is where serums and face oils come in. Theyre lightweight,
hydrating and long lasting. Choose one thats rich in nourishing
oils and omega-3, which will help your skin retain water. Dry
skin types should look out for one loaded with antioxidants,
such as vitamin C and E, to keep your hydration levels topped.
If you have especially dry skin, you can even apply your normal
moisturiser on top. Oily skin types should look out for formulas
with plant extracts to help balance sebum production. And
those with sensitive skin, prone to flare-ups and blotchiness,
should find a chemical-free product with almond oil and
vitamin E to soothe. Apply one pump to your neck, cheeks and
forehead, avoiding the T-zone entirely. Use your warmed hands
to press in before letting it sink into your skin.

NeoStrata Bionic Face Serum, $69.95, neostrata.com.au


Clinique Smart Treatment Oil, $80, clinique.com.au
Rosehip by Essano Collagen Repair Serum, $30, 1800 239 657
Eminence Organic Skin Care Blackberry Pore-Refining Serum,
$69, eminenceorganics.com.au

BODY BLISS

MANI AND PEDI

Spend all day tethered to a desk without proper exercise


and stretching? Self-massage can help counter the damage,
boasting myriad benefits. As well as improving blood flow,
which plumps up ageing skin, it reduces the appearance of
cellulite, enhances the bodys rate of recovery, encourages
lymphatic drainage of toxins and exfoliates the skin. Start
by dry brushing in a circular, swirling motion. Dont forget
the back and sides of the thighs where cellulite tends to
be most prevalent. Move onto your lower legs, and then
repeat on your arms, stomach, chest and back, spending
90 seconds on each body part. Then load your hands
with warmed olive oil and work up the body, starting
at the soles of your feet and moving towards your heart
and lungs. Youll feel truly invigorated by the time you
get to your upper body. There are also mental benefits
to massage, ranging from an increased peace of mind, a
relaxed state of mental alertness and reduction in anxiety
levels. Never underestimate the power of touch! Studies
show that even a half-hour massage can boost your
immune system and lessen stress levels, making you feel
calmer and happier.

To keep your hands in tip-top shape, avoid


washing with drying alcohol-based soaps. And
resist trimming those cuticles you can harm
the skin at the edge of the nail that protects it
from bacteria and infection. Instead, turn to
cuticle solvents that soften hardened skin and
exfoliate to help whiten nails and lift surface
stains. Love the special treatment your hands
and feet get at the salon? Why not DIY? Give
them a luxurious scrub with two tablespoons
of olive oil mixed with one cup of sea salt and
one cup of brown sugar. Use this to slough away
rough skin, then rinse and pat dry before filing
and painting your fingernails and toenails with
your favourite polish. You can prevent chipping
by wrapping your polish (including base coat
and top coat) around the edge of your nail. For
a salon-smooth paint job, start by placing a
drop of nail polish in the middle of your nail
before carefully pushing the polish toward your
cuticle without touching it, then pull the brush
toward your nail tip. If your nails are looking
brittle and discoloured, take a break from the
polish altogether. You should go polish-free at
least one week every month.

OPI Pedi Massage


Tropical Citrus, $24.95,
opi.net.au
Palmers Cocoa Butter
Formula Massage Cream,
$16, palmersaustralia.com
Endota Spa Organics
Coconut & Grapefruit
Melting Body Balm, $55,
endotadayspa.com.au
Weleda Perineum
Massage Oil, $22.95,
weleda.com.au
Manicare Cellulite Bristle
Brush, $17, manicare.com

Remington Flawless Nails Manicure &


Pedicure Kit, $49.95, remington-products.
com.au
Manicare 5 Piece Grooming Set, $28,
manicare.com
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat, $16.95,
au.sallyhansen.com
Revitanail Conditioning
Remover Wipes, $6.95,
revitanail.com.au
OPI RapiDry Spray, $17.95, opi.net.au

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

115

bodyblitz
THIS MONTHS

BODYBLITZ
WINNER

LEANNE
HARRY
Leanne Harry was sick of the rollercoaster ride
that was her weight gain; thats why she made a
plan to reclaim her health.

fter the birth of my two


daughters, the first in
2012 and the second
in 2013, I found myself
overweight and very unhappy with
how I looked and felt. I decided
in January 2014 that I would lose
the weight and was motivated and
excited about making a change.
I found it difficult to prioritise
my weight loss while caring for
my two children and it took much
longer than what I had originally
planned. I would exercise when I
could; I would walk, run or attend
a gym class if the children were
cared for. But by mid-2015 I felt
frustrated, upset and disappointed
about how I looked and felt. Thats
when I decided to join the BodyBlitz
challenge. I needed a goal to work
towards and to be held accountable.
The BodyBlitz challenge provided a
sense of urgency and a deadline to
lose the weight.
I became really organised. I
would plan out the week ahead,
set myself small goals and began to
utilise the crche at the local gym. I
would plan the week around my two
resistance sessions with my personal

2016

trainer and then I would attend gym


classes on the other days.
Now I am stronger, healthier
and I feel much better in myself
overall. Simple things like picking
up my child is a breeze and I
run up the stairs now instead of
plodding along. Everything just
feels easier and I am much happier.
The BodyBlitz challenge has
taught me the importance of
planning and of having a goal to
work towards. I have also learnt that
you have to let some things go. You
cant do everything perfectly and
things dont always go to plan. If you
do what you can, when you can, to
the best of your ability, then thats
the best you can do and you should
be proud! Dont let the things that
stand in your way stop you from
getting to where you want to be. Ive
done that so many times before
this time I just kept picking myself
up and moving forward.

ON OVERCOMING
CHALLENGES:
I completely lost weeks three and
four of the challenge as my children
and myself came down with the flu.

To register for the


BODYBLITZ CHALLENGE, visit
womenshealthandtness.com.au/bodyblitz

116

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

BEFORE

Getting back on track required some motivation


on my part at the time it felt like an impossible
task. But I wasnt going to let all my efforts in
weeks one and two be for nothing. So I picked
myself up and charged on.

ON WORKOUT MOTIVATION:
It was hard to keep a regular fitness regime
in place while juggling motherhood and
sick children throughout winter. I was very
tempted to throw in the towel and give up like
I normally do.
Instead of focusing on my weight loss,
my goal was to attend the gym a particular
number of times per week. This type of goal
planning was crucial to my success, especially
on the days where my children were sick and I
would miss a class. I felt reassured knowing I
had planned alternative classes for later in the
week and I could make up the difference.
As my husband works away, both of my
children became regulars at the crche and
thankfully they absolutely loved it. They
would often say to me first thing in the
morning, Please can we go to the crche
today! That was enough motivation for me
to go to the gym on those days when I didnt
really want to. Thanks, girls!

ON FOOD SWAPS:
For the first week of the challenge I felt very
lost and thought food preparation was too
much work. But after taking a bit of time to sit

WHAT I ATE:
Meal 1: Coffee, scrambled eggs
Meal 2: Greek yoghurt, banana
Meal 3: Smoked salmon salad,
20 almonds
Meal 4: Tuna, tomato, onion on
Salada crackers
Meal 5: Chicken breast, steamed vegies,
sweet potato
Meal 6: Post-workout protein shake
*4 litres of water per day average

WHAT I DID:
Monday: RPM cycling class
Tuesday: TRX resistance class
Wednesday: Resistance training (whole
body)
Thursday: RPM extreme cycling class
Friday: Resistance training (whole body)
Saturday: RPM cycling class
Sunday: Rest

I FIND IT MUCH MORE


ENJOYABLE MAKING
FRESH, HOME-COOKED
MEALS RATHER THAN
EATING OUT LIKE I USE TO.
down, make a plan and get organised, it was
actually so much easier than life before. Meals
and snacks were ready to go when I wanted
them and my diet was balanced and healthy.
Just half an hour or so of preparation can
make the entire week so much easier!
I am much more conscious about what I eat
these days and I actually prefer to eat a healthy
diet that gives me lots of energy. I find it much
more enjoyable making fresh, home-cooked
meals rather than eating out like I use to.
I am lucky that my two girls are very
versatile in what they eat and were happy to
eat the fresh, healthy meals along with me. It
made it so much easier for me overall.

YOUR

LIFE

ON TREATS:
On the days where things didnt go to plan,
when I was at home with sick children or sick
myself, I just decided to accept it for what it
was and enjoy the moment. Occasionally I
would have takeaway or I would treat myself
to something sweet. If I had beat myself up
for eating some chocolate or having a glass of
wine, I would never have made it to the end.
I just tried to make my food choices better
overall and eat less treats at one time.

ON MEASUREMENTS:
I am very happy with the before and after
measurements. I committed to finishing the
challenge with a change for the better, no
matter how big or small the change was. I am
pleased with the end result and look forward
to where my health and fitness journey will
take me down the track.

6G

ill
t
s

ens

th Fitn
n
m gazine, p us
much more!!

ON GOALS:
I took the challenge on a day-by-day or week-byweek basis. I set small, achievable goals along the
way and rewarded myself when I reached them.
If I focused on the full 12 weeks, it seemed too
big of a task and was overwhelming.
I have been working hard since the end
of the challenge to increase my lean muscle
mass and I have a physique goal I am
working towards. Im excited for what the
future holds!

2016

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shout-out

@basebodybabes

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last word

Brittney Cutts
my mantra

Hailing from small-town New Zealand, this


young up-and-comer has not only managed
to find Aussie-based love in Australian
Football Leauge (AFL) star Matthew Suckling,
but she has also worked hard to build a body,
brand and career to match. A personal trainer
and womens wellness coach who lives by her
own advice, Brittney Cutts told WH&F about
her mission to help the world B.Active.
My brand B.Active is all about helping
women achieve their health and fitness goals
through my own experiences and education.
I post on Instagram about my life and things
Ive learnt. I want to encourage people to
make healthier choices every day and to lead
a lifestyle they can maintain; to B.Active,
B.Nourished and B.Happy.
When I was growing up I used to get
teased for having chicken legs and for
being too skinny. I used to eat a McDonalds
cheeseburger a day to try and beef myself up,
which shows how oblivious I was to health
and nutrition. I want to help other young
women avoid those kinds of mistakes.
My average diet is full of food! I
absolutely love it. I try to be as healthy as
possible most of the time, but Im not afraid
of a glass of wine either. I am a much happier
person when I have balance. If I want to lose
a little body fat, I will base my meals around
meats, vegetables and good fats like avocado,
walnuts and salmon. I supplement with iron,
a probiotic and Trilogy greens.
My favourite form of exercise is boxing.
It is a good form of cardio and makes me
feel like a bit of a badass. Its a great stress
reliever too.
Exercise and nutrition are important to
me because theyre natural antidepressants.
I think its intriguing how we can sculpt how
our body looks on the outside while also
achieving a sense of wellness on the inside.
My body looks and feels horrible when I eat
junk or under-train.
I overcome my cravings by removing
foods that lack nutritional value from my
122

www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au

YOUR BODY IS A
REFLECTION OF YOUR
LIFESTYLE.

BRITTS
TOP
HEALTHY
LIFESTYLE
TIPS:
shopping list. I find it hard to stay away from
the Nutella jar sometimes, but if I dont buy it
then I cant eat it!
I keep motivated by changing my phones
background picture to reflect my next goal,
so its always in my minds eye! There is a
real sense of accomplishment when I work
hard to achieve that goal and can change
the photo.
I take time out to relax by going on
spontaneous adventures. I leave my phone
behind and get out of the city. Or I book a lastminute holiday to somewhere warm and with
a beach, like Bali. I love random getaways and
activities to break up my routine.
I have built my social media following
(@brittactive) by being real. I am not a

1. Stay away from the middle sections


of the supermarket. Buy fresh
foods and get your meat from the
markets where possible.
2 . Remember that sugar is addictive
and has zero nutritional value.
3. Sleep!
4. Train with 110% effort or not at all.
5. Love your body and laugh a lot.

model and I dont over-promote or worry


too much about how many followers I have.
I just post about my life and continuously
think about how each post might help other
women in some small way.
The best advice Ive ever received was to
build a career that you love. There is no point
spending 80 per cent of your day unhappy.
I admire people who live their life
the way they really want to. They are the
happiest ones, I think. It shouldnt matter
how much money, friends or followers
someone has, everyone is different. If they
are happy, so be it!

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