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You’ll be seeing a new look across our blog in the coming days. We think it reflects us and our message better, and we hope you like it as much as we do! We have taken a fair bit of time off to work on the new look, so we appreciate you all sticking with us during that time. Thank you!
Monday Myth Buster: Running on the Treadmill Creates Less Stress on the Knees than Running on the Pavement
Running is a fantastic workout, but it can play havoc with your knees! Many people believe that running on the treadmill creates less stress on their knees than running on the pavement but, unfortunately, that’s not true. Todd Schlifstein, the clinical instructor at New York University’s Medical Center says ” it is the force of your body weight on your knees that creates the stress, so it is the same whether you are on the treadmill or pavement”. He suggests mixing up your cardio workout to include cycling and rowing, both of which put less stress on your knees.
If you really can’t do without running, try the following tips:
- Increase the incline on your treadmill, or run hills where possible. According to Livestrong (www.livestrong.com), a 3% incline can reduce the stress on your knees by up to 24%!
- Buy trainers with built-in shock absorbers, or gel insoles for your regular trainers.
- If you are running outside, run on grass where possible. The softer surface provides less of an impact for your feet, which means less shock on your knees.
What does your cardio workout include? Do you mix it up or do you have a particular favourite exercise? If you’re a runner, will you be trying any of our tips? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
We hope you’ve all had a good week, but thank God it’s Friday, right?
Our Friday Funday winner is…………(drum roll)……………..
Congratulations! You’ve won a £5 Amazon voucher! Enter for next week’s Friday Funday competition by liking us on Facebook. There’s a link to the right of this post.
Although we are all looking forward to the weekend, it’s important not to let your hard work slide. Here are a few tips for staying active this weekend:
- Go out for a walk with your family or a few friends. Try somewhere you’ve never been before, or haven’t been to for ages, and explore! If it’s an open field or beach, act like a kid again and have a run around. Initiate a game of tag or stuck in the mud, no matter how old the group is!
- Catch up with a friend. Challenge them to a game of squash or badminton and put them through their paces. Or you could join them for a walk. If you have kids, take them with you in their buggy- pushing a buggy whilst walking increases calorie burn by up to 25%
- Take the kids swimming. Do competitions like who can do the longest handstand, have races and just have fun! It’s great if you can get a few laps in too, but if swimming isn’t your thing, try having a running race in the shallow end. The water creates lots of resistance so it works your muscles even harder than regular running.
Have a great weekend and we’ll see you next week!
Get up and do it! No Excuses!
Right now, I bet you’re sitting down. At your desk, on the sofa, on your bed. Stand up! Right now! Walk across the room, or downstairs, or to the coffee machine. I’ll wait for you to get back…
How many of you actually did that? If you did, well done! If you didn’t, why not? It’s tiny decisions like these that you make every day that have got you to where you are now, and will get you to where you want to be. Make the wrong one, and you’ll still be overweight and unfit 10, 20 years from now. Make the right one, and I guarantee you’ll be looking and feeling better in a matter of weeks or months.
Any activity is better than none at all. Even that tiny little walk you did just now is better than nothing! If you did that every day, it would soon add up to a fair bit of walking. Start small, with manageable activity, and build up as and when you can.
Here are some things you can do right now to add to your activity level (After that little walk of course!):
- Leg curls. Sit up straight, with your feet flat on the floor. Now raise your lower legs at the knee until they are at right-angles to your body. Hold for 3 seconds and lower. Do as many of these as you feel comfortable doing. This will work your thighs, calves and core.
- Butt clenches. Sit comfortably in your chair. Now tense the muscles in your bum, hold for 3 seconds and relax. Repeat as necessary!
- Thigh clenches. Ok, this one might need to be saved until you get home, especially if you are in a shared office! Put a cushion or pillow between your legs, and squeeze it with your thighs as hard as you can. Hold for 3 seconds and then relax. Repeat at least 20 times.
If you do 20 repeats of each exercise, that’s only 3 minutes of your day gone. Do this every day or at least every other day and you’ll be able to feel the benefits very soon. This is just your starting point, something you can do whilst sitting down. To get maximum results, you need to be doing a bit more, but we can work up to that!
Check back tomorrow for Friday Funday! We’ll be announcing the winner of our weekly competition! To enter, just like our Facebook page. There’s a quick link on the right of this post.
When asked their favourite fast food, 62% of Americans said pizza! Unfortunately most of the pizzas around have thick crusts, stringy cheese, oily meat…making you hungry, right? Well, if you are one of the ones who would put pizza at the top of your list (it’s definitely pretty high up there for me!) then don’t despair! There are ways you can make your calorific pizza into a healthier, lighter option.
If you’re eating pizza at a restaurant:
- Choose the thin crust, preferably wholemeal if it’s available. ‘I don’t like wholemeal!’ I hear you cry. Well, the taste is almost unnoticeable once you factor in the toppings
- Share a pizza with a friend, and get a salad on the side. You still get your beloved pizza, but half as much as you would normally eat, and a nice nutritious salad to boost your vitamin intake too!
- Ask for low fat cheese instead of mozzarella. Just 1 ounce of mozzarella contains 6g of fat, compared to 3g of fat in reduced fat cheddar!
- Stay away from pepperoni and salami. In some places they fry these in oil before putting them on your pizza. In other places, the meat is so cheap, it’s mainly fat anyway! Choose ham or chicken instead. If you like the spice, ask for tandoori chicken or add peppers or jalapenos.
- Load your pizza with vegetables. Tomatoes, green peppers, sweetcorn, baby spinach. This will increase the nutritional value of your pizza and fill you up more quickly.
If you’re eating pizza at home:
- Make your own! You have no idea what goes into the pizzas you get from the supermarket. Next time you’re there, check the food label on your favourite pizza. Shocked by the fat value? Check out the salt value! People underestimate how simple and inexpensive it is to make your own pizza at home! Here’s a recipe I brought home from my holiday in Italy:
500g strong bread flour (I use half white, half wholemeal. It tastes like white but contains less carbs)
1 packet of dried yeast (you can use live yeast if you can get it, but the dried version works just as well)
300ml warm water (you can use 100ml milk and 200ml water if you prefer a richer taste)
pinch of salt
Pour the water into a jug or bowl (the water should not be hot, or it will denature the yeast. You should be able to put your hand in it comfortably and it not feel cold)
Add the yeast to the water and stir until it has dissolved (it may fizz if it has been activated already)
Measure out the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the pinch of salt.
Slowly, a bit at a time, add the water and yeast mixture to the flour, stirring all the time.
It should form a soft dough. Knead this for 10 minutes to activate the yeast, then cover with a cloth and leave for 30mins-2 hours to rise. It should roughly double in size.
Knead the dough again and either roll out into a circle, or mould it into your baking tray (I prefer the latter, as it is a lot quicker and easier, and gives a more rustic look).
Once you’ve put your toppings on the pizza, it usually takes about 25 minutes to cook in an oven at 180C, but this will depend on the toppings you use.
Experiment with toppings. I once used a can of chopped tomatoes as the sauce, but it was too wet and made the base soggy. Yuck! So the next time, I tried it with a sieved tomato sauce (passata) and it worked perfectly! Half the fun is in the experimenting!
- Use the same principles for eating at a restaurant- keep the crust thin, include a salad, use low fat cheese, load the pizza with vegetables, and stay away from oily meats
- If you’re really pressed for time, you could try my super-quick pizza, ready in a few minutes! The secret is to use a pitta bread or folded tortilla wrap as the base. Then add your toppings as usual, and cook under the grill for 7-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. If you use this method, only use cooked meat on your pizza, as the cooking time won’t be enough to fully cook raw meat.
So how do you think the recipes sound? Have any of you had your own faux pas with pizzas? If you try either of the recipes, do let me know, I’d love to hear how they turned out for you!
Today was a really important day for us at Lux Coaching, as we officially re-branded as a weight loss and weight management specialist. Our company name has been changed to Lux Coaching & Weight Management, and we have a new website: http://www.happy-healthy-weight.co.uk, as well as a new Facebook page.
We hope this re-branding will help us to break into our niche successfully and enable us to concentrate more on the areas of life we are most passionate about- health, diet and fitness.
Please feel free to check out our website and let us know what you think. We’d really appreciate any feedback you have! And don’t forget to sign up to our free weekly newsletter to find out how to beat your food cravings!
Here’s to the future! May it be a happy, healthy and successful one for us all!