Weight Loss vs. Happiness

Hey All, welcome to another week of health, fitness, and opportunity!

Below is a re-Blogged Post from http://the-zeit.com/, and its a beauty!
If you think just losing weight or getting more muscle will make you happy, think again. It’s the holistic, 100%, inside-out approach that will make the difference!
Visit http://the-zeit.com/ for more great Posts! In the meantime, we hope you enjoy this!

The Zeit

So you are struggling to lose weight because you know once you achieve your goal you will be happy right? Well, let me be the barrier of bad news; that’s not going to happen!

Woman gagged by a measuring tape Happiness is not determined by a measuring tape or a weight scale.
Photo by Jeanne Claire Maarbes

View original post 541 more words

Core Health Dynamics | Ketosis 101!

“Miracle Weight Loss”, “Fat Burning”, “The only D.I.E.t you’ll ever need”, ” Ketosis”….wait…what? One of these things is not like the other as the jingle on Sesame Street used to go.

If you Follow my Blog (which you should), then you’ll have realised I am vehemently against anything that promotes rapid fat loss or instant muscle gains, and anything with the word ‘D.I.E.t’ in it. So it annoys me that Ketosis is now being thrown around as the miracle cure-all for each of these. It’s a great tool in its own right, and is heavily reared in science and biochemistry. It is no passing fad or little box of pills you take from the supermarket.

HOWEVER…. (apologies for the upper case, but you really need to read this part) – Ketosis should NOT be used by:

  • Pre or post-natal women (say up to 9 months after the actual birth)
  • Those with Adrenal or Chronic Fatigue
  • Anyone who has hormonal issues or suffers from moderate Depression onwards.

The reason for this is that Ketosis while being a great tool when used properly, can play havoc with the hormones and chemicals in your body. If you’re not sure how to implement this into your Health and Fitness routine and want to try it, I would strongly suggest you seek the services of a Nutritionist, Naturopath, or an Endocrinologist (an ‘Endo’ who knows something about nutrition and exercise?…hmmm…good luck with that ūüôā ).

Or just hit me up via my web page – http://www.corehd.com.au.

Now, that’s the Disclaimer finished with. What is good about Ketosis? You can use it to regulate your weight, burn fat instead of glucose when training, and get rid of ‘brain fog’ and generally have sharper cognitive function. Good, huh?

The Infographic below from Craigasaurous and Daerina is a great visual depiction of what Ketosis is, how it happens, and how you can use it for specific Health and Fitness goals.

Oh, one more thing – yes, I use Ketosis and Intermittent Fasting about 5 days per week, as long as I’m not coming down with an infection or my ongoing Adrenal Fatigue issues decide to kick in. (No sitting the fence with Core Health Dynamics!).






Sources and Notes:

Fitness 101 | Workouts for the Time Poor – Part 1 : Muscle Building!

Have you or someone you know started a fitness program full of good intentions, only for it all to drop away within the first couple of weeks? Most people I speak with in regards to any type of training have been through this, where other priorities take precedence over their best intentions. This is a reality of the world we live in. There are always things to be done, competing work and personal responsibilities, and we are connected to all of them via the technology in our pockets, on our desks at work, or even at home on the lounge. And for every convenience these items afford us, they also cost us in many other ways.Time is perhaps the biggest cost. A close second would be health and fitness which could include some ‘downtime’, physical activity, or having time to eat properly.

So going to back to your good intentions and your fitness program. How can we ensure that we incorporate these two elements, whilst having time to execute them effectively, and therefore reap the positive results?

This Post is the first of two-part series on the two most requested aspects of fitness –
1) I want bigger muscles.
2) I want to lose weight.

This Post, Fitness 101 | Workouts for the Time Poor – Part 1 : Muscle Building!, will focus on the first of these.

Let’s assume you can find 45 minutes, three to four times per week. You can find this between meetings, by blocking out 60 minutes at any time of the day (15 minutes for that shower and change, no one likes a smelly, sweat laden co-worker!), or by getting up an hour earlier, or home an hour later.

And let’s assume you have access to a gym, either at home, near your office, or in the hotel you’re staying at for that business trip.

Finally, let’s assume you want to build muscle and definition, while feeling stronger with more energy. How do we do this? Compound Exercises!

What are Compound Exercises?

“Compound exercises are multi-joint movements that work several muscles or muscle groups at one time.”[1]


“Compound exercises are moves that involve more than one joint and muscle group at a time, as opposed to an¬†isolation exercise¬†which only works one muscle/joint at a time.” [2]

Effectively a compound Exercise has the benefit of using more than just a single muscle in each movement. This means you’re working out multiple muscles all at once. See how the time saving aspect comes into it?

Why are Compound Exercises so good for my body?

Because of their nature, Compound Exercises are very functional, meaning they incorporate moves that you would use  in your everyday life. For example, a Squat is simply bending at the knee to the ground, as if you are picking  something off the floor (like your kids toys, or those TPS Reports that get catapulted off the office printer). Deadlifts are a functional movement incorporating Hamstring, Glutes, and lower back movements, so similar to lifting your kids off each other while they  fight over those toys, or while you bend down to throw the TPS Report office printer out the window!

The added bonus on top of improving your functional movement is that you will get stronger more quickly due to using multiple muscle groups that are working together all at once.

Why will it only take 45 minutes?

Because you’re working multiple muscle groups simultaneously, you don’t have to spend time sorting out different weights, changing machines, or do two or three different sets, to work out two to three different muscles. Therefore, you’re saving time, and also using just one lot of equipment. ¬†Almost to good to be true, huh?

Here’s how you do it:

1. Squat:

SquatThe Squat is the 101 of any effective resistance training and muscle building program. Your largest muscles are located in your thighs (Rectus Femoris and Vastus Lateralis mainly) and your butt (Gluteals, or Glutes). This will build strength and power in your lower body. You’ll notice it when you have to pick something up off the floor or get down onto your haunches. You won’t be groaning or wincing so much, however you will be groaning and wincing plenty when you’re doing this movement! The more you work these leg muscles, the more overall muscle gaining benefits you will have due to them pumping naturally occurring HGH (Human Growth Hormone) throughout your body.

Ensure that you don’t overdo it on the weight, and that you use a ‘spotter’ ( another person to assist with the movement) or a Squat rack, where you can easily lift and replace the weight between Sets.

A variation on the standard Squat is the Body Weight Squat. This is a great option if you have never done Squats before, have existing knee injuries or soreness, or don’t have access to weights. Simply use your body weight instead, as per the diagram below:

Bodyweight Squats

2. Deadlift:

Bent Leg Deadlift


Perhaps the most underrated and therefore under utilised movement, the Deadlift will give you killer upper leg strength, and really develops those vitally important rear leg muscles that make up the Hamstring. It will also tighten your butt!

The Bent Leg Deadlift as per the diagram above is recommended for those not used to this movement. It’s a good place to start, and there should be emphasis on technique and form, not on the speed of the movement itself. If done too quickly, lower back injuries can occur.

The Straight Leg or Stiff Leg Deadlift as per the diagram below puts more emphasis on the Hamstring, and is a great complimentary move with the Squat. Again,be careful of that lower back. Do a few unweighted Reps first using just the Bar itself so you get that technique right and stretch out a little.


3. Bench Press:


Oh Yeah! Is there any resistance training program out there that doesn’t include this classic move? Great for the shoulders, chest, arms, and upper back, the Bench Press is the complete upper body exercise.

Again it’s all about form and technique. When lifting the weight up, if you are shaking, wobbly, arching the back or kicking the feet of the floor to get that bar overhead, STOP! You’re going too heavy, too early. It takes time to build up a respectable Bench Press, and some of the worst injuries I’ve seen in a Gym is from guys trying to lift every weight plate they can find and things going badly. Start with the Barbell itself first, and do a few practice movements. Ensure your feet are firmly placed on the ground, think positively about taking the weight and being able to lift it, then breathe out and lift. Most Barbells will be Olympic standard, meaning they will weigh 20 kilograms¬†(44 pounds ) without any added weight. This will give you a good idea of where you can start (see the Program recommendations at the end of this article). And if possible, always use a ‘Spotter’, or at the very least a proper Bench Press rack.

4. Pull Ups:


One word: WHOONG! That’s usually the noise you make when lifting that chin up to the bar when doing a Pull Up! The overhand Pull Up, as per the diagram above, is a classic move, a favourite of all military outfits to test the physical and mental resolve of new recruits. If you can lift your own body weight, you can lift someone elses bodyweight, which comes in pretty handy in a combat situation. It builds shoulder, back, and arm strength like you wouldn’t believe!

Similarly, a sense of supreme confidence is achieved when you can lift your own body weight when you may not have been able to do so since you were a kid in the playground. It’s just about the ultimate power move, and I’ve had Clients grinning from ear to ear after achieving just one of these after weeks of training.

For a more intense bicep workout, the Underhand Pull Up as per the diagram below can be used interchangeably (and a hint: It’s usually easier to do than an Overhand Pull Up!).

File of U.S. Marines Lance Corporal Vincent grimacing as she practices pulls-ups at Camp Foster on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa

If you’re not confident you can do even one of these two versions immediately, that’s fine. Start with lying on your back, and using anything from a bar, a chair, or anything you can grip above your head, and just raise your body weight from the ground. You’ll be surprised how quickly this conditions the muscles to perform standard Pull Ups.

5. Push Ups:

Push Ups

The ultimate Compound Exercise that can be done anywhere, anytime, without any equipment whatsoever, the Push Up should be part of EVERY fitness routine. Not only great for the upper body, but by also moving the feet wider, you engage the Core and leg muscles to help with the lifting. It’s a great way to finish this workout!

Standard Push Ups such as those in the diagram above aren’t always easy to start with. You can work up to them by using Knee Push Ups as per the diagram below:

Knee Push Ups


So there you have it! A full body, muscle-building workout that should take no more than 45 minutes, even less if you tweak it a little. After just two weeks of three to four sessions per week, I guarantee you’ll be feeling stronger, and will be doing all the functional stuff such as bending down, picking things up, and reaching above your head when carrying objects like it’s effortless. Oh, and you’ll look better in that business shirt or business dress too!

Program Specifics

If you want access to this Program in Excel format which you can print off and use, just contact me via http://www.corehd.com.au. I’m happy to share this program and give you one or two extra tips if required!

Full Body Muscle Gainer Program

Time: 3 sessions per week minimum; 5 sessions per week maximum; 30 – 45 minutes per sessions depending on time availability

Sets: 3 – 4 depending on time availability

Reps: 8 – 12

Workout in this order:

1) Squats – find your 1RM (1 Reptition Maximum), and Squat 70% of this total.

2) Deadlift – find your 1RM,and Deadlift 75% of this total.

3) Bench Press – find your 1RM, and Bench Press 60% of this total.

4) Pull Ups – you don’t have to do all the Reps for each Set in one go. You can rest, then keep going till you get to at least 8.

5) Push Ups


  • We are going from lower body to upper body, and effectively ‘super setting’ with the Pull Ups and Push Ups.
  • This is so we work your biggest muscles first (thighs and glutes), then leave you with the upper body pump around your arms, chest and shoulders with the Pull Ups and Push Ups.
  • We’re also going lighter in terms of 1RM on the Bench Press so we don’t destroy your arms immediately.
  • Stretch up prior to the workout.
  • Ideal rest times between sets is 60 seconds. Seeing as we are trying to save time here, do 20 seconds rest minimum.
  • Ensure you are drinking at least 1L (4 – 5 glasses) of water for the session.
  • Try and ingest high quality Protein within 1 hour of the workout to maximise gains.




Sources and Notes:

[1] Which is better РCompound or Isolation exercises, Elizabeth Quinn,  http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/strengthtraining/a/compound_ex.htm

[2] Compound Exercises РPaige Waehner, http://exercise.about.com/od/exerciseglossaryterms/g/Compound-Exercises.htm

Core Health Dynamics | Top 10 Exercise Myths! (Will Number #7 ever go away?)

Exercise. Fitness. Workout. Training.

There are so many names for just moving at an accelerated rate to increase your heart rate and/or your muscle mass. There are even more fallacies out there about what, how, why, where and when to do this.

This Infographic has the Top 10 Exercise Myths. I agree with most (not all) of these. It’s a great resource and well put together.

So what do you think? Are there any ‘myths’ on the list that you live by, or will you be nodding your head as you read? Let us know!



Top 10 myths

Your ‘Food and Protein’ Table!

  1. any of a class of nitrogenous organic compounds which have large molecules composed of one or more long chains of amino acids and are an essential part of all living organisms, especially as structural components of body tissues such as muscle, hair, etc., and as enzymes and antibodies.

Keeping in the theme of all things Protein (see the previous Post on Low Protein Nutrition), below is a table that details the most common foods and their average Protein Content.

Good for those wanting to increase muscle mass, reduce weight, or just wanting to know how much Protein is in their meals, this table also details the total Calories present in each 100g portion.

We hope you find it useful Р enjoy!


Type Food Protein (g/100 g) Calories (per 100 g) Percent Calories from Protein
Animal Atlantic salmon 19.8 136 59.4
Animal Chicken egg 12.2 142 35.1
Animal Lamb 1/8 inch fat trim 17.8 222 32.8
Animal Lean Chicken 23.1 105 90
Animal Lean beef sirloin 21.3 136 63.9
Animal Pork belly 9.3 504 7.6
Dairy Camembert 16.4 297 22.6
Dairy Cheddar cheese 24.8 411 24.7
Dairy Cottage cheese 11.3 104 44.3
Dairy Cow’s milk 3.3 64 20.9
Dairy Cream cheese 7.4 339 8.9
Dairy Low fat yoghurt 5.3 55 39.5
Dairy Parmesan cheese 34.7 364 39
Dairy Plain yoghurt 5.4 81 27.1
Dairy Triple Brie 12.2 446 11.2
Dairy Vanilla ice cream 1.9 178 4.4
Dry fruit Pitted dates 1.9 338 2.3
Dry fruit Sultanas 3.1 304 4.2
Fruit Apple 0.3 59 2.1
Fruit Avocado 2 172 4.8
Fruit Banana 1.1 100 4.5
Fruit Black pitted olives 2.2 182 4.9
Fruit Orange 0.9 52 7
Fruit Plum 0.7 52 5.5
Fruit Strawberry 0.7 37 7.7
Grain Jasmine white rice 7.2 361 8.2
Grain Medium grain whole rice 7.6 363 8.6
Grain Pearl barley 8 304 10.8
Grain Polenta 8.6 368 9.6
Grain Rolled oats 13.4 360 15.2
Grain Wholemeal flour 11.2 324 14.1
Legume Chickpeas dry 19.3 309 25.6
Legume Split red lentils 24.2 260 38.1
Legume Split yellow peas 23 296 31.8
Legume French lentils 23.7 258 37.5
Nuts Almonds 23.2 565 16.8
Nuts Cashews 18.2 584 12.8
Nuts Peanuts 24.7 552 18.3
Nuts Pecan 9.8 692 5.8
Nuts Pine nuts 13 687 7.7
Nuts Walnuts 15.2 692 9
Processed Bacon 16 294 22.3
Processed Beef sausages 12.8 224 23.3
Processed Chicken liver pate 9.1 333 11.2
Processed Chorizo 18.4 287 26.2
Processed Commercial Bircher muesli 12.1 410 12.1
Processed Commercial Hommus 5.4 323 6.8
Processed Commercial jam 0.3 268 0.5
Processed Commercial mustard 7 150 19.1
Processed Commercial peanut butter 30.2 597 20.7
Processed Commercial pepperoni 25.3 393 26.4
Processed Commercial salsa 1.6 38 17
Processed Commercial sauerkraut 1.3 21 24.4
Processed Corn flakes 7.8 373 8.6
Processed Custard powder 0.5 360 0.6
Processed Dark chocolate 5 521 3.9
Processed Desiccated coconut 6.6 645 4.2
Processed Dill pickle 0.8 9 33.1
Processed Fresh pasta sheet 10.9 286 15.6
Processed Gingernut biscuit 4.9 446 4.5
Processed Hazelnut spread 5.4 323 6.8
Processed Italian pasta 12.5 358 14.3
Processed Rice vermicelli 9.6 353 11.1
Processed Salted corn chips 8.2 498 6.7
Processed Salted potato chips 7.6 500 6.2
Processed Tomato sauce 1.8 141 5.2
Processed Vitaweat original 11.2 371 12.4
Processed Wheat bix 12.4 337 15
Processed White chocolate 5 571 3.6
Processed White flour 10.1 344 12
Processed Wholemeal bread 8.3 218 15.5
Seeds Golden linseed 32.4 288 46
Seeds Pumpkin kernels (peppitas) 24.4 557 17.9
Seeds Sunflower kernels 22.7 550 16.9
Seeds White quinoa 13.5 358 15.4
Vegetable Cauliflower 2 30 26.6
Vegetable Cos lettuce 1.2 21 23.3
Vegetable Cucumber 0.7 18 15.5
Vegetable Potato 2 84 9.7
Vegetable Sweet potato 1.6 89 7.3
Vegetable Tomato 0.9 21 17.2

Sources and Notes:

Nutrition 101 – Can’t do Protein? Try these Top 5 Tips! (Number #2 may throw you…)

A basic building block for muscle, healthy mass gain, and maintenance, ¬†Protein is essential for any body at any age. Prevalent in all animal products, it’s easily accessible and affordable for most people. Meat, Eggs, and Dairy products are all great sources. Better still, they taste great. Who doesn’t love a Sunday roast, or a BBQ with friends, or that full plate of eggs and bacon for breakfast? And while I’m not big on dairy as too much seems to want to take on my digestive system in an all out bar fight, occasionally having fresh cream in my coffee or that small bowl of ice cream are two things I look forward to each week!

Pull the Protein!

But what if you can’t stomach even the average amounts of daily recommended Protein? What if you had a medical condition, either existing or new, that simply prevented you from indulging in this essential Macronutrient? And how do you maintain weight, let alone put on muscle mass? Even the Sunday Roast would be a rare treat savoured more than the ice cream!¬†Unfortunately, there are illnesses out there that do prevent certain people from being able to eat even the daily recommended amounts of protein. That’s not to say they can’t eat any protein. It just means they have to cut down on the standard amount. This means less meat, eggs, and most forms of dairy (the ice cream doesn’t fall into this category, so breathe a sigh of relief!). Also, having reduced Protein is not a death sentence for your muscle gaining or workout regimen. Yes, it will be more difficult, however all people and therefore metabolisms are different. Some people will be more affected than others when it comes to increasing or maintaining mass. However, we’ve added in some bonus Workout Tips below which should help.

When Protein attacks!

Urea is a waste product created by the food you eat. The Liver metabolises your meals and snacks, and passes the waste to your Kidneys to deal with. A healthy pair of Kidneys will deal with this no problem. However, when your Kidneys aren’t so healthy, or you may only have one kidney, removal of Urea is severely impaired. Similarly, if you’re Liver is not up to scratch, it will have trouble converting food to waste. Fatigue and loss of appetite (hence high protein / low carb diet fads) will result from this build up of waste product. There is also evidence on excess Protein causing issues with healthy individuals causing things like kidney stones, however there is a lot of conflicting data here. To balance this out though, as a Personal Trainer and student studying a Food and Nutrition degree, I am on a high Protein diet most of the time and have no problems whatsoever. Again, it would come down to the individual as their tolerance around the amount of Protein they consume as long as they have no known existing Liver or Kidney issues.

The Key

Top 5 tips when you can’t do Protein

So for those who can’t tolerate even normal amounts of Protein, let alone increased amounts for fitness, Core Health Dynamics recommendations are below:

#5 – Reduce your intake of all meat: Note we said ‘reduce’, not ‘stop’. Unless you have a severe Kidney condition, your body should be able to handle eating smaller servings of meat at longer intervals. This would mean eating a half to a third of the recommended portion size. For example, instead of that 200g (7oz) steak, cook, order or cut it down the middle. And perhaps make that your single red meat serving for that week, substituting in vegetarian options or other meat options as per the tips below.

Workout Tip: Use your heavier workout days to consume meat. For example, if you can only stomach say two reduced servings of meat per week, time these to fit in with these bigger days.

#4 – Eat turkey and fish instead of red meats: Turkey and fish will have slightly less amounts of Protein per serving than red meats. For example, 100g(3.5oz) turkey and salmon will have 30g (1.1oz) and 26g (0.9oz) of Protein respectively, versus 100g (3.5oz) of beef having 36g (1.3oz) of Protein. It may not sound like a lot, but you could probably see if your body reacts positively having one serving of fish or turkey and one serving of red meat per week.

#3 – Find low protein Dairy and Dairy alternatives: Almond Milk, Oat Milk, frozen yoghurt and even custard (yes, a dessert, so watch the sugar content) have lower Protein contents. Typically, the frozen yoghurt and custard will have 3g (0.11oz) – 4g (0.14oz) of Protein per standard serving. And that is the key for this tip – ‘per standard serving’. Don’t go crazy and over indulge, otherwise that Protein content will rise dramatically. Being an Oat Milk¬†aficionado¬†myself despite being on a low-Gluten nutrition plan, I can personally vouch for it being a yummy alternative and great for recipes. It also has only 1g (0.04oz) of Protein per 100ml (3.4oz)!

Workout Tip: Homemade custard is fairly to make, and despite using egg yolks, can be made with relatively low protein (use 1 egg!). Find the recipe here, and throw in a banana for Supper or that late night snack if you’re still hungry after dinner.

#2 – Consume more Fat: There, I said it! However, ensure it’s ‘good’ fat. And by good fat I mean Olive Oil, Coconut Oil and Butter. Try and source organic versions of each of these, with the butter being grass-fed where possible. The cognitive, nervous system, skin and body joint ¬†benefits of consuming these Fats is well documented. Plus they have a high satiety rating, meaning they will help fill you up and not tempt you to eat too many bad Carbs or sugar laden foods.

#1.5..and consume Carbs: whew, never thought I’d do a Post advocating Carbs, but here we are! I am not a fan of grains, especially wheat based products such as breads, pasta and especially cereals. However, there are some exceptions. And if you can’t consume the requisite amount of protein, you will need Carbs to power yourself up each day. Brown rice, Sourdough bread, and Porridge (Oatmeal) are good sources of energy and won’t have such a detrimental impact on you even if you are Gluten intolerant. This is not to say that you overdo these foods. Having too much will affect you if you are gluten intolerant, or have even slight gluten allergies. However they are more viable options in the land of Carbs than their industrially produced, sugar laden and hydrolysed fat wheat and corn-based cousins.

Workout Tip: For Fitness, it’s not just what you eat, but WHEN you eat. Having Carbs BEFORE to a training session will fuel you up. Having fat AFTER a training session will make you feel fuller quicker, so you won’t be starving a reaching for the first ‘bad’ snack you see.

Healthy Meal 1

#1 РLove your vegetables and fruit: low-Protein or not, eating lots of vegetables is beneficial for everyone! It is hard to consume too many of these and have any dire medical issues. In fact, going to the toilet more regularly or excessive flatulence are the main areas of concern, probably more for those around you than yourself. Most green, leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables will have higher amounts of Protein. Even then though these higher amounts are much, much lower than the content in meats and dairy. The more colourful vegetables such as Capsicum (Peppers), Tomato, and Carrots have a bunch of antioxidants per serving. So mixing up the greens with colours is a good option.

Fruits get a bad rap thanks to Fructose. Remember from my previous Post on the Top 5 Food Additives to Avoid, anything that ends in ‘ose’ is a sugar. Table sugar is ‘Sucrose’. Sugar inside fruit is Fructose. Consuming excessive amounts of Fructose, especially when its an additive inside fruits juices, lollies (candy), cakes and processed foods as High Fructose Corn Syrup is bad. However, it occurs naturally in fruits, with Apples typically having the highest amount. However, having an apple a day will not cause you to put on excessive weight or suffer from Diabetes. Add in a banana per day too. Your body will thank you for it.


So, let me know what you think. Are you on a low-Protein diet? If so, how do you compensate for this food wise?

Do you still workout? Can you still go as hard as you used to and get results? I’d love to know so I can learn more myself and help out those Clients where high Protein for both weight loss or muscle gain is not an option!

Sources and Notes:

Core Health Dynamics | We love Butter!

Yep, we sure do! Grass-fed, organic Butter has a multitude of reasons to be consumed on vegetables, as a creamy sauce, even in your coffee (don’t knock it till you’ve tried it)!

The Infographic below is from Dave Asprey at The Bulletproof Executive. Although I don’t agree with all of his views and crazy nutrition principles, I love his podcast and his Bulletproof Diet (I hate that word…D.I.E…t), and I love the fact he is willing to question health and wellness dogma and push the boundaries!

Hope you enjoy this infographic,  and that it changes your views on what food we perceive as being good versus bad for our bodies!


Why (some) Butter Is Good For You: An Infographic from The Bulletproof Executive.

Source and Notes: