How to PUT ON pounds over the festive period

Ok guys, here are just a few tips on how to successfully PUT ON WEIGHT over Christmas and New Year.


Christmas is almost here and we just switch off from being healthy and switch on our ‘festive batteries’ thinking that this is the only time of the year when we can eat and drink whatever we want right? So, here you go – dedicated to all those aiming at upsizing your clothes in January smiley2

spare tyres

1. CHOCOLATE, WINE, BISCUITS AND MINCE PIES are all on special offers in supermarkets now. Go and get them ALL while stock lasts, make sure you buy a few boxes of each and a few cases of wine or you might run out of them by the end of 2013 or they will be out of date by 2014! 

The more – the better…that’s the secret to multiplying those fabulous spare tires around your waist 😉 

wine and cheese2. By the end of November – beginning of December you have done enough exercises for the year – time to stop going to the gym, attend fitness classes, cycling, running etc!  It’s time to start enjoying a glass or 2 of vino, cheese, cakes, mince pies and chocolates on a daily basis because it’s that time of the year when you can do that without feeling guilty about it. Guilt usually comes in January, but you have the whole month till January so open that bottle, get that tin of biscuits out of the cupboard and enjoy your treats on December nights in front of the fire or TV  – we only live once and remember: we live to eat  not eat to live 😉

 drunk xmas 3.  On the day of your Christmas party it’s better not to eat anything or you might not be able to eat that 5 course Christmas meal (oooops). And don’t drink water on your night out – nights out are for drinking alcohol not water. There’s no reason why you should even pace yourself and stay hydrated  – it’s more fun to be one of the wobbling bodies on the dance floor bumping into people and thinking to yourself that you are pulling the Patrick Swayze moves. 

4. When you wake up in the morning (or early afternoon) after a Christmas night out your must have breakfast should be a good old fry up which must be fried not grilled (why would you grill a FRY UP?? that’s just pure silly isn’t it!). What can be better than stuffing yourself with even more fat and cholesterol!

fry up

  Your breakfast must include black pudding, a couple of sausages, fried bread, and hush browns – this is the perfect combination that will almost certainly cure your hangover. Don’t even think of maybe going for a walk and getting some fresh air the day after your night out – get comfy on your couch and finish that tin of biscuits from your cupboard.

cakes 5. Never miss out on numerous tea breaks and home baking at work (cupcakes with sugary fatty icing, shortbread, cakes, biscuits, donuts yum yum). Forget about snacking on low-fat greet yogurt with a handful of nuts and berries – who needs to keep those cravings at bay when it’s almost Christmas! A good take away a couple of times a week for your lunch is also a good idea to keep that Christmas spirit going at work! Who needs those chicken salads and homemade soups at this time of the year?! 



smiley xmas






Christmas is fast approaching and we are all excited about our Christmas Nights out and festive celebrations this month. As much as it is the most exciting time of the year for most people we tend to just let it go and indulge, indulge and overindulge day after day reassuring ourselves than we will hit the gym and will start a new diet from January and thinking that Christmas is the ‘all you can eat’ time of the year.


Well, bad news is that it’s going to take you a very long time to get rid of that fat you have put on within weeks. Have a look at this picture:

  • 1 pound of muscle burns about 50 calories a day
  • 1 pound of fat burns 4 calories a day

So, imagine how long it will take you to burn 5 lbs of fat (and most diets won’t help you to get rid of fat because in order to get rid of FAT you have to exercise and consume protein, fat, carbs and fibre (the ratio of consumption of the above varies but they have to be a part of your every day diet). The reality is that after following the majority of ‘wrong’ diets, counting calories, depriving yourselves of good fats, protein, fibre and consuming food substitutes or packaged meals full of additives your lost pounds will soon find you and will multiply unless you want to stick to calorie and points counting for the rest of your life (it might work for some people and they are quite happy to do that but this is not a long term solution)

nutritional cleansing copy

I hope these 5 TIPS will help you to tackle the Christmas parties:

1. Ok, you have a Christmas party planned and you are sooo looking forward to all the food and drinks you are going to consume that you start preparing yourself for it since early morning (or even better! from night before)…and what exactly do we usually do? yes, we do not eat for hours and hours before the party so that we can ‘enjoy’ the festive menu and cocktails and looking good and deflated in that little black dress…WRONG! So wrong! why is it wrong? Well, if you are going to the restaurant on an empty stomach you are going to eat A LOT and eat it FAST. And because you are so hungry you will also get drunk fast (which might be good for your bank account as you won’t spend a lot because you will be ‘celebrating’  in a taxi on your way home). drunk womanWhat CAN you do? Well, first of all eat your breakfast (ideally protein rich), and if your Christmas party is in the afternoon – have a snack before you leave the house (fruit, nuts, etc) so that you are not starving when you arrive to the restaurant. If your party is in the evening – have breakfast and lunch and have a snack before you leave for the party.

2. Before you leave for the party – drink a pint of WATER and take a bottle of water with you so that you can keep drinking on the way to the venue. Ask for a jug of water in the restaurant to keep you hydrated and to give yourself an option to drink something else rather than alcohol the whole night. If there’s a buffet at the party – make sure you are drinking a lot of water or you’ll end up snacking on the party food the whole night (and if it’s ok to have some of it since it’s your xmas night out – snacking on it the whole night (and drinking!) will not only add a few pounds on your body but might also leave you bloated and might very well give you an upset tummy. Drinking loads of water will also prevent you from being hangover the following day.

3. If there’s a dance floor  – DANCE AWAY! danceThe more you move – the better! Dancing burns loads of calories so unleash your inner Michael Jackson and show everybody your groovy moves (the groovier – the better 😉

4. Take aways.

take awayOOOHHH we LOVE a good take away after a good night out (especially clubbing), don’t we? I am sure this tip won’t even entertain the majority, but have you tried carrying a bag of nuts with you? Since I started carrying cashew nuts with me everywhere I do not get a temptation to have sugary, fatty snacks when I’m out and about. I just snack on nuts and they keep my hunger at bay. Just think how many calories and fat from a take away meal you are adding to your already consumed ones from your night out and booze??

5. Alcohol. As much as we all know we are going to be drinking on a night out, those who watch what they eat and drink might want to switch from drinking cocktails,  alcopops (An alcopop is an alcoholic beverage made with fruit juices and other flavorings which tend to conceal the alcohol content of the drink behind a sweet, fruity flavour (in other words: full of sugar, additives and calories. )) to sticking to g&t (There are 103 calories in 1 oz. gin and 3 oz. tonic) (slimline tonic), or  up your sophistication level while lowering your calorie count by ordering a glass of champagne. A 4-oz. glass of bubbly is only 85 calories. Don’t take me wrong – I LOVE cocktails but I wouldn’t spend the whole night drinking them. If you ARE sticking to cocktails for the whole night – go for lower calorie ones, such as

 – MOJITO. Mint, lime, and soda water are all naturally low-cal, a shot of rum is about 100 calories, and 2 tbsp. of sugar (ask for half the normal serving) in the form of syrup is about 40 calories.(140kcal)

 –  Sour-Apple Martini made with 2 1/2 oz. sour mix and 3/4 oz. each vodka and sour apple liqueur is a 160-calorie treat.


 – Tequila and Soda. Viva la Tequila! Tequila on the rocks with club soda is a 100-calorie drink. Add a squeeze of lime to up the refreshment factor.

 – Sea Breeze. If you usually order a vodka-cranberry, try a sea breeze. The 4 oz. of grapefruit juice, 1½ oz. of cranberry juice, and 1 oz. of vodka will set you back about 180 calories.

Among the most fattening ones are LONG ISLAND ICE TEA (780 kcal), MARGARITA (740 kcal), PINA COLADA (644 kcal), WHITE RUSSIAN (425 kcal).

Saying that – do enjoy your night out! Eat plenty, but healthy, drink wisely and stay on the dance floor till you drop!

Have a good week

Natallia xxx



DropadresssizeHi guys! FAT LOSS….This is one of the ongoing problems for most of us….How many articles have you read about losing weight? how many diets have you unsuccessfully followed? If we try to google fat loss or weight loss thousands of articles will pop up offering numerous ways of dropping a few dress sizes. But which one is it safe to follow? Well, I have tried calorie counting,  over exercising, surviving on rabbit food and many other ways of losing weight and body fat. Some of them worked for me and helped me to lose WEIGHT but not fat. I can honestly say that the very first time in years my body shape changed and I started gaining muscle and losing fat after starting to follow a high protein, high fiber, low carb eating plan and doing HIIT workouts and 30 mins fat burning rest based workouts (incorporating weights. These workouts are based on Metabolic Effect rest-based workouts but I’m waiting for my exam to be accessed so technically can’t call them Metabolic Effect though this is exactly what we are doing in these classes). My fitness level has improved drastically and though I do have treat days I try to stick to this eating regime most of the time because it works, it brings results and there’s no calorie counting, no points counting – eat clean, snack wise and do your exercises and you will discover a new you! There’s no magic pill – it takes time and effort but the whole point is IT BRINGS TERRIFIC RESULTS. I am not trying to force anybody to follow this but if you have a spare minute or two – enjoy the reading!

1. EAT CLEAN. Clean means eating food with no additives (or not a lot of them), foods high in protein (chicken, lean meats, fish etc), eat good carbs (brown rice, sweet potatoes, etc), limit your alcohol and sweets intake. Eat loads of veg and use balsamic vinegar and olive oil in your salads instead of salad creams, mayo or whatever else is out there.



coconutThe health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength. These benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc.

Weight Loss

Coconut oil is very useful in reducing weight. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. It is also easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and enzymes systems. Further, it increases the body metabolism by removing stress on pancreases, thereby burning out more energy and helping obese and overweight people reduce their weight. Hence, people living in tropical coastal areas, who eat coconut oil daily as their primary cooking oil, are normally not fat, obese or overweight.


Internal use of coconut oil occurs primarily as cooking oil. Coconut oil helps in improving the digestive system and thus prevents various stomach and digestion related problems including irritable bowel syndrome. The saturated fats present in coconut oil have anti microbial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, parasites, etc., that cause indigestion. Coconut oil also helps in absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.


Coconut oil is also good for the immune system. It strengthens the immune system as it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which is claimed to help in dealing with viruses and bacteria causing diseases such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. It helps in fighting harmful bacteria such as listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia.


fish oilTake fish oil to lose weight and build muscle. Two recent studies provide more reasons to supplement with omega-3 fatty acids. The evidence supporting fish oil as a wonder supplement just seems to keep coming in.

A recent study of healthy adults showed that taking fish oil for six weeks significantly increased lean mass and reduced body fat, and these subjects weren’t even exercising. Imagine the benefits if you are following a resistance training programming!

Interestingly, subjects had a decrease in cortisol levels after taking fish oil. Researchers suggested that because cortisol has a protein degrading effect and is thought to result in increases in fat mass, the lower cortisol levels were responsible for the participants’ weight loss and muscle development.  More good news since higher cortisol levels are associated with higher mortality rates, meaning that fish oil supplementation has significant implications for both body composition and overall health and well-being.

Another study of people over age 65 found similar muscle-building benefits from omega-3 fatty acid supplementation. Researchers didn’t test cortisol response to taking fish oil but did find that it increases muscle anabolic signaling activity, meaning that it enhances protein synthesis, ultimately having a positive effect on lean body mass. Combine your fish oil intake with a solid resistance training principles for optimal body composition results.

4. DO WEIGHT TRAINING 11acombined with cardio/interval training and go for long walks whenever possible. If you want to lose fat you HAVE TO lift some weights. These are the Metabolic Effect principles. The reason metabolic effect advocates short intense exercise combining weight training and cardio in one workout AND low intensity leisure walking is because these two activities are the most efficient way to exercise.  They:

– Build muscle AND burn fat
– They burn fat both during and after the workout
– Leisure walking can be done anywhere and short intense exercise saves on time
– Both have hormonal effects that reduce hunger and cravings.


avocadosMany people refuse eating avocados and nuts (including nut butter) because they are high in fat…yes, they are but it’s good fat. Your body needs all the 3 components: fats, protein and carbs but the ratio of them should be different.

6. PLAN EVERYTHING! plan everythingPlan your meals, workouts, shopping lists etc. What happens if you don’t plan your lunch or dinner? well, you eat whatever you can see in the kitchen cupboards & in your fridge mainly bread, cheese, crisps, and the rest of easily accessible high fat, sugar foods loaded with additives and with zero healthy benefits. BUT if you come home from work and your dinner is almost done in a slow cooker, or it’s cooked and just waiting for you to heat it up you will avoid snacking on the wrong foods.

7. waterWhenever you feel you are getting hungry – have a pint of water or a mug of fruit/green tea. If that doesn’t help – have a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts.


          Eat every 3-4 hours (3 main meals a day + 3-4 snacks). 3 meals a day

9. Do not eat more than 5-10 bites of carbs a meal. carbsThe whiter the carbs are – the less bites you should eat, i.e. if you are having a steak with salad and brown rice – 5-10 spoons of brown rice is ok, BUT if you choose to have chips stick to 5 bite size portions.

10. Include loads of fiber into your diet. fiber(this is an article from Charles Poliquin blog):

The media have done an impressive job in making the public aware of the importance of fiber, particularly its role in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and cancer. But did you know that fiber also can help you achieve your weight-loss goals? Yes, by means of its key role in digestive health and creating a sense of fullness, fiber can help you lose weight. However, it’s estimated that only 5 percent of US workers consume the daily requirement of fiber, so more education is needed.

How much fiber do you need? According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, an adult male between the ages of 19 and 50 needs about 38 grams of fiber a day, and an adult woman needs about 25 grams. Another way to look at it is 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories consumed; the average American gets about 15 grams a day, total.

One of the reasons we are consuming less fiber is that various food processing methods can strip fiber from the food. Fortunately, food-labeling laws enable us to determine how much fiber a product contains. These laws also cover advertising, because for a manufacturer to make a health claim that their food contains fiber that can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, the food needs to contain no less than 0.6 grams of fiber for the referenced amount. Further, the fiber reported cannot be fortified or added to the product. By the way, for every gram of fiber consumed you will lose about 2.2 points on your LDL score.

Another reason Americans are consuming less fiber is that we don’t consume enough fibrous carbs. The main source of carbs should be fibrous. Fibrous carbs typically have very low carb content. Their inherent high fiber brings about a very moderate insulin response, thus making them an ideal fat loss food. The best sources of fibrous carbs include the following:

• Broccoli
• Lettuce
• Cabbage
• Cauliflower
• Mushrooms
• Green beans
• Onions
• Asparagus
• Cucumber
• Spinach
• All forms of peppers
• Zucchini
• Cauliflower

Grains obviously have fiber, but not as much as you think. A slice of white bread may contain only 0.5 grams of fiber, whereas a slice of whole wheat may contain 2 grams per slice. Compare those numbers to a cup of navy beans containing 17 grams and a cup of raspberries containing 8 grams. Also, breads contain gluten, and a large percentage of the population is gluten sensitive. Instead of using bread for sandwiches, use dark leafy greens to wrap the meat. It will lower the glycemic index and help shift the acid/alkaline base in your favor.

Fiber blends that will encourage effective detoxification include chia and flax-seed; fibers of carrot, beet and citrus; cranberry seed; apple pectin; and psyllium.

The message is now clear: Fiber is critical to good health and belongs in every weight-loss protocol. It’s time to make a serious effort to put more fiber on your plate!


positive attitude

Natallia x