Focus 4 Four Week Chllenge Transformations Weight Loss

Our 4 week challengers are feeling Springtacular

This week we saw yet another challenge finish and, as usual, some of the results are off the chart. It never seems to fail to surprise me what can be achieved in a single month! However, it is not the pictures, but the stories behind them that fill my heart with joy.

“I love seeing everyone fantastic results today, brilliant. It was my first focus4 and I have loved every minute of it. The support I have had from my coach and all the other ladies has been amazing. I have lost 19lb and 93cm over the last 28 days which is mind blowing and I look so different. The massive thing for me is that I feel so different both physically and mentally. I cried tears today but not the sad dispearing tears I normally cry when it comes to my weight/body, but happy tears. I sleep better, I have so much energy, my blood pressure is better. I can’t explain what this last month has done for me. I feel so lucky to have found this amazing group of people and look forward to the next challenges thank you all!”, Karina

Then I absolutely loved Helen’s results as well as the fact that she was doing it with three of her friends. In case you have not picked up my article on Eating Patterns and Social Contagion and how who we spend time with can influence our eating behaviors and ultimately how our health shows up. Our chance of becoming obese increases by 57% if our friend is obese, but if the friendship is mutual, the obesity increases by 171%, particularly for the same-sex friendships, so, it works the other way too – by surrounding yourself with community of people who are on the same mission as yourself – even more powerful if you have your own circle of influence joining too.

“Not only my first F4 challenge but also 3 friends joined me and absolutely smashed it. Although not quite ready for personal recognition I can confirm that A.A. lost 62cm and really close to her target weight; L.R.L. lost 15lbs in weight and is getting to grips with the tape measure ready for next time; Z.A., after a really busy month, is yet to add up all totals but delighted with her losses. All of us have loved the process. I’d like to congratulate them on sticking with it and believing in me.” Helen John

“Absolutely proud of myself… I have achieved so much in a month. I’ve pushed myself everyday to get to my goal but there’s a bit more to go yet… It’s been hard going sometimes but I managed to pick myself back up… I feel so much better in myself I think I need a new wardrobe! Anyone can achieve something if they put their mind to it & only yourself can change, no one else can do it for you!”, Tam

“Hi guys, this was my first month of doing this and really happy with the way its gone. 71 cm loss. This month for me was more about getting used to eating better foods and at the right times. And having a structured plan too follow. Not much exercise was carried out, but I do intend the change that for next challenge. I can’t wait for the next challenge now!”, Liam

“If i look back at first pictures from January Focus 4 after I had a few months just before Christmas of eating way too much and not exercising as much, I piled weight on… My problem area is definitely my stomach after having 3 children and I can have trouble with bloating but the change is massive after 2 challenges so I need to give myself pat on the back really and keep going until I’m where I want to be… I want to be lean but I want muscle tone and curves”, Tanya

Absolutely over the moon with my results in just 4 weeks! Massive thank you to my coach and all the team for the support and guidance. It’s been better than I could ever have imagined. So here’s my 4 week results:

💚 25.5 inches off
💚 9lb 2oz weight down
💚 Skin feels amazing and redness of Rosacea reduced HUGELY
💚 Fitness levels improving
💚 Confidence and self-esteem growing day by day

Loads more personal results achieved in the last 4 weeks, we’ve had some tough times in the family during this time but stuck with it and so glad to have that focus actually. Still a way to go but it’s a marathon not a sprint and I’m fully committed to doing the right thing this time rather than quick wins, faddy diets etc. You get out of your body what you put in and I feel great on these products. I can’t wait to start the next Focus4!”, Lia

“Hey guys, these are my results: I lost 21.5cm; Gained 2lb muscle; Body fat down; 1.7 Visceral fat down to 4.5; Water is up; Metabolism has increased; Metabolic age dropped 4 years; I’m happy with that as my goal was to build muscle on this challenge.”, Alicia

It has not all been weight loss as, Kirilee has been working on her body composition really hard over the past year!

Here are my results from focus 4: I’ve been bulking, filling out and growing muscle for my body building competition in July, while shredding body fat slowly using our challenges.

This is the first time I’ve been brave enough to wear a bikini for the challenge photos. As a coach, I’m super super proud of everyone involved and you have all been so amazing its so emotional”, Kirilee

Congratulations are also in order to Susannah who won our Step Challenge, Stacey who won Sleep Challenge by increasing her average sleep by 1 hour as well as to Natalina who is our Bake Off Winner!

Oh, it has been a total fun getting our competitive nature get the very best of us and £1600 was given away in total to all the most remarkable transformations, although, they are all winners in my heart!

While there are too many result to be able to mention them all, here is one that stands out for me. It is our coach Dee:

“Just finished my 6th Focus 4 and the smile on my face says it all. I have managed to shrink to a size 6-8 from an 18. Down to 20% body fat & getting amazing results that always leave me flabbergasted with this plan. Trust the process, set your goals & go for them!”, Dee

Dee’s transformation is remarkable on many levels. She is a customer who turned coach because it is that Transformed People Transform People. She is not in my team (I wish!), but I love the fact that we all work together, we are one team and proud of each other’s achievements. Dee shows the commitment to her progress and health and her progress is a testament of the power of the community and what “one challenge at a time” can do if you just embrace the journey and commit to long term progress! I had to personally congratulate Dee and she responded:

“Sanela, I remember my first Focus 4 watching the welcome videos being so excited. I literally could not wait because I knew how great this was going to be for me & it has truly saved my life!” (Dee).

Indeed, when opportunity presents itself, you must feel it in your gut, trust that feeling, believe in yourself and go for it!

Here are some other of our March 2021 4 Week Challenge results ad congratulations to all the participants:

Our next 4 week challenge starts 5th April 2021. If any of these testimonials and results have inspired you to join, let me know. You can also read more about 4 Week Challenge.

Until next time,

Here is to you & your health!

Sanela

Debbie front image weight loss testimonial

Debbie’s Weight Loss Transformation is so much more…

“12 months ago my life was very different… I had been very overweight for 14+ years and recently found myself separated from my husband of over 17 years.  It was time for me to get my life back on track! 

My best friend Hayley introduced me to Herbalife and I had my first consultation with Sanela and weigh in on 4th January 2020. Since this date, all aspects of my life has changed for the better!

I am more outgoing, with positive attitude, healthier, fitter and wake up looking forward to what the day will bring! Other diets worked for a small amount of time but as soon as I fell off the wagon, which always happened, the weight, plus more went straight back on. 

Herbalife Nutrition and its ethics stuck with me.  I understood the changes I needed to make in life and way and, for the first time, my weight was never the figure I focused. Instead, I focused on my health, especially the visceral fat, striving to bring this figure down to bring out the healthier person I knew was hiding deep down inside me.  

A lot has happened in 2020, virus has impacted everyone in one way or another, but I’ve not let this stop me! I am happy to say that I am one of the minority whose weight has gone in the right direction! Life is very good, my journey continues! I look forward to seeing what the next year will bring and know that Herbalife Nutrition will be in my life forever.

I simply cannot see me ever waking up and not having a shake for breakfast!

Love, Debbie”

More about my work with Debbie

I can not express enough how proud I am of Debbie.

During the entire year we worked together, I could see her transforming not only physically, but internal shift that was taking place was astounding.

I know Debbie has big plans for 2021, but let me reflect on her progress in 2020:

  • 25 kg or 55 lbs weight loss (4 Stones)
  • Visceral Fat dropping from dangerous 13.9 to 8.8 – which is around 3 litres of internal visceral fat lost.
  • Body fat went from 51% to 42%, which is still high, but Debbie is getting closer to healthier range.
  • Debbie’s lean muscle went from 46% to 55% of her body. She has not lost ANY lean muscle in the process suggesting that meal plan she is on is fully balanced for her unique body composition to keep her metabolism high.

Statistics aside, I have seen Debbie’s confidence grow with each month passing by, she truly is not only feeling healthier, but noticeably happier, she even bought a new house this year and has completely changed her life in the past 12 months.

Even in lockdown, Debbie and I stayed in touch and kept working on a 1-2-1- basis, but Debbie was also part of our 4 Week Challenge that kept inspiring Debbie to stay daily on track with her nutrition and fitness.

Debbie understood very soon that she did not sign up for a diet, but a Way Of Life, which already sets her apart from anyone just going on a “diet”!

Because she was ready, she was also teachable!

I LOVE what I do for all the people I meet and help and believe me when I say that I do understand that everyone is on a different journey and at a different point of readiness, which can not be rushed.

When we are not ready – there is just too much resistance and self-sabotage is a daily struggle.

Debbie was completely ready when she started 12 months ago, she kept being accountable to me even when we could not see each other during several months of the lock down.

Many used lockdown as an excuse to “take a break”. No judgement here, please. Remember, we are all on a different journey and a different point of readiness to change!

Debbie’s results just gave her more fuel and motivation to keep going and she truly achieved necessary mindset shift in 2020 needed to not only achieve results, but keep those results.

Debbie may as well be my absolute Star Client of 2020, however, I am a proud coach of all my client! Because it is our differences that make us unique in who we are.

I am hoping that Debbie’s story will inspire you to get started on your own journey and make 2021 YOUR BEST YEAR EVER.

Because you CAN and you are worth it!

Do not let circumstances dictate what you can achieve or not! You’ve got this and I’ve got you too!

If you feel you are at the point of readiness, let’s work together! DM me for details!

Until we meet again,

Wishing you a Healthy & Happy New Year 2021!

Yours in Health,

Sanela

4 Week Challenge Focus 4 28 Day Transformations

Sticking to a Meal Plan does NOT have to be yet another diet!

Warmest Greetings to you and I hope you are OK!

We have all been affected by the second lock down in some form or another and it has left many effected emotionally and mentally by it.

Helping people to live a healthy and active lifestyle is really important to me and I truly believe that no matter how hard it may be to focus on coming out healthier and stronger out of this situation, it is sometimes the only thing we can do – focus on what we CAN change!

Our well being is certainly at the top of the list!

Community that myself and my fellow health coaches created at Focus 4 – our 4 Week Challenge – is a safe and inspiring community with the biggest heart and dedicated to improving everyone’s life and to bring a bit of sparkle to our daily lives knowing we are doing something really good for ourselves and others.

It helps many feel less isolated and the rest to stay on track of their health goals.

What makes Focus 4 special, although support and heart based business make a difference – but it won’t get you results without an absolute commitment to science backed nutritional advice and meal plans.

Yes, following a meal plan can certainly in many cases sound like just another diet (and I know this to be true as I have seen so many I would not touch with a pole!).

However, try to build a house or anything without – a plan!!!

When meal plans are nutritionally sound and created to help establish Healthy, Active Lifestyle habits that can be followed for life and enjoyed by the whole family – this can be a Saving Grace for people who have no routine, no nutritional knowledge or healthy habits and who would benefit from a plan they can follow and stick to, that will not make them hungry, cranky, lower their energy and metabolism.

Also, did you know that very latest research says we have on average 237 thoughts about food each day and people who struggle with weight have over 100 more thoughts about food, so, way over 300 EVERY SINGLE DAY!

When you know exactly what you are doing and why so you can plan your shopping, plan your meals in advance as well as prepare your meals and have them readily available at home, work, in your bag – so you can stay on plan – can you imagine how this will reduce the amount of thoughts of food such as “What shall I have (for lunch, snack, dinner, breakfast…?”, “I am hungry, I don’t know what to have!” (while crisps are calling you from the cupboard!)?

Our participants are seeing an improved wellness in all aspects of their health and that is what counts!

It is not about eliminating food groups, but learning the balance and what makes us feel good!

It is about throwing away the scales and weight loss focus, but focus on Healthy, Active Lifestyle and celebrating our bodies!

Furthermore, our true secret is the safe community that offers our participants support and accountability found to be 3 times more likely to deliver results.

  • F4 Aneta 90 days results
  • Focus 4 Testimonials and Results of a 4 week challenge
  • Focus 4 Testimonials and Results of a 4 week challenge
  • Focus 4 Testimonials and Results of a 4 week challenge
  • Focus 4 - 4 week challenge testimonials
  • Focus 4 - 4 week challenge testimonials
  • Focus 4 - 4 week challenge testimonials

Here is what some of our participants are saying:

Rebecca: 

“For me it is how much I relied on and ‘needed’ sugar and caffeine to the extent I couldn’t go in a shop without buying chocolate. Only 2 weeks in and my energy is much better and lasts longer now than with the quick fixes”

Kate: 

“For me it’s the amazing recipes, realising I don’t need the amount of carbs I was having before. Having something to follow helps me stay on track so much more! And being part of something helps.”

Mel: 

“Definitely not bloated now and digestion is better”!

Emma: 

“Since starting and revamping my complete food relationship I’ve also found lots of foods that were making me feel so poorly. I constantly had tummy issues which would flare. Since cutting out pasta, rice, bread and most starchy carbs my digestion is 1000% better. It always reacts very quickly now if I eat something which I’m sensitive too. 

I had a few spoonfuls of Wholemeal Rice last night and my digestion was unsettled for a few hours. It does limit me sometimes, I tend to stick to lean protein and veggies and then every now and then I re-introduce something to see what happens. The list is growing of things to cut out but I know I feel so much better so the limitations are definitely worth it!”

Michaela: 

“Focus 4 for sure has helped with my digestion, being a shift worker helps massively, and hydration, less standard teas/coffees & realised how happy my body became with simply just having water with fruit infused for flavour. Also, it helped improve my sleep; I normally struggle to get off to sleep, this is no longer an issue – plus it’s quality sleep unbroken.”

Monique: 

“For me it’s the way I eat altogether. It transformed my body for the better and can’t think of having anything else anymore. A while ago we were at friends and dinner was pizza…took me two days to overcome. I quit drinking ages ago and to be honest: the ice cream shop in town is still a major challenge for me!”

Heather: 

“I am definitely not bloated and it makes me think how many carbs i used to eat, I feel better in myself i feel healthy and i love the recipes and support!”

Susannah: 

“What a difference in my eating habits since doing focus 4 I’ve tried so many new recipes. Some ingredients I’ve never even tried but would of automatically said I won’t eat it. There’s more healthier food in my shopping every week so it’s also having an impact on the children.”

Chris: 

“Two surprises for me:

1) It’s not about eating less. I never used to have as many snacks – they are just healthier now.

2) As well as feeling less bloated I’ve had no reflux which I did struggle with sometime before.”

Reby: 

“Few things I’ve found in the nearly 3 years of using Herbalife Nutrition and following Focus 4 plan:

1) I used to really suffer with bloating/inflamed tummy and really bad flatulence, but since eating clean this has totally gone! Even if I do eat one or two naughty things I’m now usually ok. I do suffer however if I completely over indulge (not often now) but I know what to do to get back on track! 

2) The amount of food to eat and frequency! I was always having a ‘snack’ as my breakfast so no wonder I was lacking in energy!! I love food and eating so this is fantastic! 

3) Water for energy! This was a revelation for me! How can something plain and zero calorie give you energy?!? But it so does!!! I always drank water and carried it with me but didn’t get to 3 litres a day which I do now! If I’m tired I always think about how much water I have had and usually it’s not much!”

Emma: 

“I have only been on plan for 3 weeks and im loving the programme. The biggest change i have noticed is my mindset. This plan is so easy to follow. Unlike other diets I am not constantly obsessing over food, thinking about my next meal, concerned with what I’m missing, craving the sweet things. On this plan I want to choose the healthier option not only because they are good for me but because they taste good. 

I have gone from drinking 4 cups of coffee a day to a aloe mango drink in the morning and 2lts of water. Water used to make me feel sick. I love the support groups and will always be grateful to my husband for giving us this journey.”

Claire: 

“For me I am so surprised how I have stuck to the plan, I never stick to anything, my excuse has always been how busy I am in work, but this plan helps me be more organised with my snacks and shakes, it’s easy as I can have something healthy in the car on my way to work or when I’m out on the road for work, I always used to grab something quick which is usually something not great for you! 

But, how things have changed! I have not only changed my eating habits, I’m drinking much more water and losing inches. I also was so embarrassed taking my starting photo … now I’m looking forward to talking the end photo! 

I am also really looking forward to the next challenge!”

So, if you are in need of some support, then join us! This is what you can count on:

  • Energy going through the roof
  • Stable blood sugar levels
  • Hormonal Balance
  • Personalised Nutrition
  • Support and accountability within the group
  • Your own health coach that has your back outside of the challenge
  • Better digestive health
  • Less brain fog, more focus and concentration
  • Daily fitness to keep you going
  • Fun & Excitement as we always come up with new incentives, games & competitions

Ask yourself – if you continue with your current lifestyle – will you be healthier and in a better shape in one, two, five years time than you are now?

If you are not happy with your answer to the question – there is a solution! Change is heard, but change is the only thing we must do in order for our life and health to change!

You are worth your best life and health! Go for it!

More about 4 Week Challenge!

Until next time, yours in Health,

Sanela

P.S. If you did not know about this service before, check out my Free Online Wellness Evaluation Questionnaire to help assess your current lifestyle and give recommendations on how to improve certain aspects of your health so you can reach your wellness goals.

The One About Energy Levels

The One About Energy Levels

Do you find yourself often lacking energy and focus and then reaching for a fix of your choice – coffee, tea or energy drink?

You are not alone! Most people do experience lack of energy from time to time and in this video I explain where our energy comes from and how to improve our energy levels on a daily basis without quick fixes that do not serve us!

I hope you enjoyed the video, let me please know if it resonated with you. Please feel free to reach out if you would like to improve your nutritional intake in a way that is personalised for you, so you can enjoy the benefits of having energy & vitality!

Stay tuned for more videos and, in the mean time, wishing you an abundance of energy!

Kindest regards,

Sanela

Th One About Meal PLanning

The One About Meal Planning

Do You often find yourself sabotaging your weight loss efforts by being unprepared and then giving in to temptations? Number one rule is – be prepared and here is why meal planning is crucial if you would like to reach your wellness and weight management goals…

I hope this was of a value and, until next time, enjoy the benefits of being prepared so you can reach your wellness goals and enjoy Healthy, Active Lifestyle!

Yours in Health,

Sanela

the one about metabolism

The One about Metabolism

This is the first video in Health Weight Management series as knowing how to eat to boost your metabolism as well as what to avoid that busts your metabolism is one of the most important healthy weight management know-hows…

Hope it was of a value! Please feel free to share!

Would you like to find out my take on some other aspect of weight management? Let me know!

Until next time,

Yours in health,

Sanela

Herbalife Nutrition Aloe Mango Healthy Hydration

Intermittent Fasting v Balanced Nutrition & Healthy Breakfast

I am being asked about Intermittent Fasting a lot these days.

So, what is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent Fasting is simply taking a break from eating for 14 to 48 hours.

In my experience entirely, interest seems to come primarily from two groups:

  • Teenagers who might see it as a trend and may want to combine it with Veganism that they know very little about in terms of how to incorporate it in a balanced and nutritionally optimal way, although their intention may come from all the right reasons. This all is a worry as certainly in case of Intermittent Fasting, if ever advised, it would be for healthy adults and certainly not recommended for growing teenagers.
  • Adults who wish to implement it as a way of losing weight: less opportunities to eat leads to consuming less calories and, naturally, it will boost your weight loss. Question is, what is that weight loss made of (muscle tissue or actual fat loss) and whether it can ever be considered as a lifestyle?

I find it interesting that same people who might object to the concept of nourishing and science backed meal replacement shakes (taken once or twice a day as part of eating 5-6 times balanced meals each day with at least 1500 calories and optimum amount of all the nutrients) thinking they will “starve”, are more than open to the idea of, well, starving.

Without doubt, the appeal to Intermittent Fasting is real and I had to look into it more closely. It seemed fair to start with an official disclaimer aimed at Intermittent Fasting:

Fasting is not recommended for pregnant/lactating women, diabetics, active athletes and those following a structured training programme, if you are under 18 years of age, persons with an eating disorder or a BMI under 18.5, and anyone with an illness, a medical condition, or following a medical treatment. Also, medical supervision is recommended for any fast over 24 hours.

So, it does leave out quite a large part of the population, suggesting it is not entirely safe, certainly not for those who fall into the above categories. This advice certainly should be followed.

What does the research tell us about Intermittent Fasting?

Some research into Intermittent Fasting shows that when you fast, it causes your insulin levels to decline, that there is a benefit to the human growth hormone as it increases and that your cells also initiate important cellular repair processes and change which genes they express.

So, overall, great great news and, naturally, I want all this for my body too, right?

As a matter of fact, fasting is very common in many religions and customs, it is an ancient and powerful method that can promote healing and regeneration and, if done correctly, can be very good for our health, as even modern science now proves it.

But, fasting once a month or being it an annual practice like it is for Muslims during Ramadan, is slightly different from those who wish to live by it. Hence, the long disclaimer above.

As a believer in having breakfast, I can not just ignore the science and research behind Healthy Breakfast, “breaking the fast” from the moment we wake up as our empty tanks require nutrition to run effectively!

Certainly if you’re diabetic, hypoglycemic or pregnant, breakfast is essential to maintain glucose levels, but, what about these important and well researched benefits for the rest of us:

  • Improved energy levels & metabolism.
  • Provision of essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, protein and fibre (compared to no breakfast).
  • Stable blood sugar levels, which effects our hormones responsible for weight management, reduces hunger and cravings, reducing our chance of over-consuming high calorie foods later in the day.
  • Improved memory and concentration.

So, if Intermittent Fasting can indeed improve our present health and future longevity and while Healthy Breakfast has already well researched benefits for our metabolism, weight management, concentration, moods, etc – can those two be combined?

I was glad to hear that Dr David Heber, Chief, Clinical Nutrition Director, Nutritional Medicine and Obesity Professor at the UCLA, certainly thinks so:

“In ancient times, humans did not do intermittent fasting as a weight loss diet. They had no choice as there was little or no food available in many environments from cold caves to hot deserts. Today with fast foods and street foods everywhere, many people only stop eating at night and while sleeping.

I am sure many can relate to this is as sometimes we’re not even listening to our body signals because we’re mindlessly stuck in our habits around eating as we are so used to having food around us all the time.

Dr David Heber suggests that “eliminating after dinner binge eating of snacks after 5 PM and not eating for 14 hours until 7 AM qualifies you as an Intermittent Fasting Dieter.”

So, it does not have to be a big deal and there certainly is a safe way for everyone to benefit from Intermittent Fasting during the night when body is generally regenerating and cells are given the space and time to get the DNA debris and waste products out, but without missing out on ever so important Healthy Breakfast, an opportunity to fuel body for the day ahead.

Dr David Heber continues:

Your body goes through a change in metabolism every night while you are sleeping and not eating. These changes are the adaptation to starvation which allows you to survive long periods without food. You lose body protein and muscle during long-term fasting which has to be restored with more protein when you resume eating a healthy diet without high fat/high sugar snack foods.

I don’t recommend fasting for many days as this will lead to losing muscle, lowered metabolism, and weight regain. The body normally adapts to fasting and breaks down fat to spare protein being used to keep blood glucose up while you sleep.

Amino acids from protein account for half of glucose production while you sleep with the other half coming from glycogen breakdown in muscle and liver. Ketone bodies formed from fat in the liver rise while you are sleeping and are used for energy by your cells and organs.

Having a Protein-Rich Shake at breakfast (The most important meal of the day) helps to restore your muscle protein lost during sleep and will lead to healthy weight management in combination with resistance exercise and a Healthy Active Lifestyle!

I share his views that behaviour of Intermittent Fasting as, while it works for some and is seen as a lifestyle choice for many, it is not as good as combining Balanced Nutrition and Healthy Active Lifestyle.

Certainly not as a way of life.

But, if you must try it or if you desire to implement it for the benefits of cell longevity and all other researched benefits of IF – consider taking Dr D. Heber’s advice and building a habit of an early dinner, eliminate snacking after dinner and having your Healthy Breakfast when you wake up, which would allow at least 12 -14 hours for body to fast – giving body a break from food during the evening and night when body is naturally resting and regenerating.

This would also solve mindless snacking in the evening that many have an issue with and certainly make it possible to have the best from both worlds, after all.

Yours in health,

Sanela

Immune Health & Weight Management

Managing weight and taking care of our immune health has never been more important

As I write this, Covid-19 is about to officially reach 1 million infected and 50,000 deaths worldwide. Situation is unprecedented and it is not over yet. And numbers are telling us that it is going to get much worse before it gets better.

As we are all adjusting to our new way of life for now, resilience and hope implanted in us all is telling us that “this too shall pass” and that most of us will see this through and come at the other end.

Saying that, life may never be the same again and it will be a long road to recovery for most of us – not only financially, but emotionally too because Corona is leaving trauma in its tracks.

Whilst most are recovering from the virus, way too many are not. They are taken into hospitals and some never to be seen again. In lock down, there is no such thing as locking arms and hearts together to grieve. So many families are left behind to grieve on their own and not even able to attend a funeral. This is trauma.

Whoever is lucky enough not to have this experience by now, or yet, is taking it seriously and taking precautions.

We all know by now that social distancing, staying at home and personal hygiene are essential to stop the virus from spreading.

However, what will save us is not just avoiding the virus, but beating it by strengthening our body’s chances to beat it!

Because, it is now a known fact that this virus is here to stay.

And we can not all hide forever.

Statistics show that most vulnerable are those with existing health conditions, especially those with respiratory conditions, then those who are obese and/ or already have compromised immunity due to conditions such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular illness.

Dr David Heber from the UCLA released his own series of online videos about Covid-19 and his message that stuck with me was the one regarding Obesity and Diabetes being identified as risk factors for COVID-19 infection by the World Health Organization (WHO).

This is a problem for most of the Western countries. 65% of adults in the UK alone are overweight or obese and it is hitting them the most.

Here is a great explanation by Dr David Heber, world renowned expert in cardiovascular health and obesity, why this is a challenge in relation to Covid-19 that specifically attack the respiratory tract in the critically ill:

Upper body and abdominal fat restricts the inflation of the lungs through mechanical pressure both on the sides of the lungs and below the diaphragm which moves down when you breathe in opening the lung passages and allowing air into the lungs as they expand.

Abdominal obesity also reduces lung function through inflammation from substances released by fat cells and the actions of the Microbiome causing narrowing of small airways in the lungs. There is an association of obesity and asthma especially in obese children where spasm of airways due to increased smooth muscle cells in airway walls makes them react to airways.

With so many people around the world overweight or obese, we can all do something to fight COVID-19 through Balanced Nutrition and a Healthy Active Lifestyle which will reduce the effects of excess abdominal and body fat on lung function!”

So, what we should NOT be doing right now is eating through our emergency reserves of high in sugar and salt canned foods, increasing alcohol consumption (because it is all too depressing) and worry-eating through stacks of biscuits and other unhealthy snacks…

Well, I can not tell anyone what one should or should not be doing, however, I hope anyone who falls into the higher risk category recognises by now that this is not only an opportunity, but a necessity to take care of their health.

I have been so inspired by so many people taking this time to re-invent themselves, learn new skills or to find the creative streak in them they never thought they had. Social media is full of them and they are brightening our day each day!

Same with our health – we may never have a better opportunity to truly focus on building some healthy habits, strengthening our immunity and even losing some weight whilst in the lock down.

Because it really is a question of necessity and survival for many and an opportunity many have been waiting for, if you can see it like that.

So, let’s not waste time!

I have been so impressed by many of my clients who are sticking even more firmly to their habits, and some old clients I have not heard from in years that contacted me, wanting to stock up on our nutritional products.

Penny has already dropped for many – health is the only thing within their control.

And the only thing that matters right now.

No money in the world can save us if our health is poor!

An interesting study has just come out from Italy where a hospital in Italy has added “10 grams of vitamin C intravenously in addition to conventional therapy” to be given to “patients with COVID-19 pneumonia admitted to ARNAS Civico-Di Cristina-Benfratelli, Palermo” hospital. (This is a registered trial of 500: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04323514.)

A meta-analysis of five trials just got published in the Journal of Intensive care showing that oral Vitamin C shortens time needing a ventilator by 25%:

“471 patients requiring ventilation for over 10 h, receiving an oral dosage of 1–6 g/day of vitamin C shortened ventilation time on average by 25% (P < 0.0001).” (https://jintensivecare.biomedcentral.com/…/s40560-020-0432-y)

Bravo, Italy!

But also, let’s be clear – this is not a new science! Nevertheless, a welcomed one.

Because, the truth is, our body is a miracle and when we give it what it needs, it knows what to do! And benefit of nutrition for that very purpose should not be ignored.

Strengthening our immunity has always been about reduction in recovery, not necessarily being totally immune to all the viruses that come our way.

Weight loss has always been about developing healthy habits that not just help reduce number on the scales, but nourish the body rather than deprive it further as many “diets” tent to do. Which leads us back to Immune Health.

If the Covid-19 vaccine does not materialise very soon, and even after it does, these two areas – weight management & immune health – will become even more important as a way forward for all of us, whether we are within risk category or not.

So, what does it look like taking care of ourselves right now.

Firstly, try not to panic as our emotions play a huge role in food choices we make. Meditate, learn breathing techniques, do not feed yourself with Covid-19 news all day long, instead – read a book, watch inspiring videos, anything to stay calm and positive.

Increase fruits and vegetables in diet and use this time to cook. We all know by now, once the initial supermarket panic was over, that there is enough produce in the stores.

If you are not great at cooking – use this time to learn to cook some simple meals.

Plan your meals. Small portions spread over 5-6 meals a day will be perfect to sustain your energy levels. Focusing on combination of protein, complex carbs and healthy fats to get the balance on your plate will ensure your blood sugars are stable, so are your hormones and hunger and cravings are kept at bay.

Instead of sugary cereals for breakfast, have a yoghurt with some fruit and seeds, or stock up on our vegan Formula 1 Healthy Breakfast that is loved by adults and children alike and will give the body the start it needs while nourishing the body.

You can even use our Formula 1 to make a porridge based breakfast that is more balanced and nutritious, if porridge is your thing!

For supplements, check out our Vitamins, Minerals & Phytonutrient supplements that will help give body nutrients it may not be currently getting. Formula 2 Multivitamin & Mineral complex for Men/ Women is a great place to start.

Feel free to stock up on some pharmaceutical grade Vitamin C and take 1000mg per day.

Stock up on your Vitamin D stores too as we will all be lacking some sunshine.

Above all that, use your allowance to go outside for a walk or a run, catch up on sleep, hydrate well, introduce more fruits, vegetables and lean meats into your diet…

However, remember that all the above is futile if you do not drop added sugar and other sweets in your diet, eliminate juices from carton, fizzy drinks and processed foods especially processed meats, cut out alcohol, reduce smoking (here is your chance to cut it out completely!).

Above all, stay positive, hopeful, solution oriented.

We can not control what will happen, but we can control what we each do in our own little worlds.

There has never been a better time to honour our bodies as that may just be the one thing in our control right now, which is a blessing.

Whatever happens, we can, at least, say we are doing our best!

Stay safe and healthy!

S x

Herbalife Nutrition Health Coaches & Customer Community

What have my clients taught me over the years…

“Life is a box of chocolates, you never know which one you are going to get!”

One never knows what will be the outcome of the very first client appointment. It is sometimes a start of a wonderful relationship. And, at times, it ends right there before it even had a chance to begin.

You can not even rely on the feeling one gets as we can never be completely sure what goes inside someone else’s head. I surely was wrong many times.

These days I try not to invest any energy into dwelling what will happen. It can mess with the natural flow of the meeting. The more I am just myself and allow potential clients to be honest and true to themselves, the better chance of working together.

When the feeling is really good (and you always have some feeling) and it turns out to be true, it is the most exciting part of my work. Being given a chance of making someone’s life better is the best feeling of all and an adrenaline in itself.

And only then the real work starts…

One of the very first lessons I learnt early on was:

DO NOT GET ATTACHED TO AN OUTCOME, BE AN AUTHENTIC YOU

Being attached to an outcome makes us less authentic and client could easily feel they are either being pushed or manipulated into starting, which is not a way to start any relationship. It actually is a dead end.

For me, it also means that my happiness and love of my work is not dependent on the outcome of the single evaluation. I am just planting seeds and spreading the love for nutrition and health.

Most of my clients are a pure joy to work with and are the reason why I love my work. But, it is not always smooth sailing. And challenging relationships with clients have taught me most about myself, what kind of a coach I want to be and how I want to show up with my work.

So, another thing I learnt:

BE CLEAR ABOUT RESPONSIBILITIES & STAY ACCOUNTABLE

If I am out of alignment with myself, not taking care of my own body and my emotional being, it manifests itself as feeling stuck, overwhelmed, lacking inspiration and joy that I get through my work.

This is not the place where we can authentically serve and where love for our work can shine through!

So, I owe it to myself to be my own first responsibility in order to be able to do great work and help inspire others to take action!

I can educate, support, guide, however – I am NOT responsible what my clients ultimately think, do and the results they get.

I did not understand this always, which caused me to put some blame on myself when things did not work out. Clients that consistently did not get results used to give me anxiety.

I was questioning myself, what I missed, what more I could have done and then, when I was exhausted with self-blame, instead of letting go, I would try even harder hoping this time I could do more for them, offer more of my time, offer discounts that are fear based rather than to honour client’s loyalty and show gratitude…

Wow… I am sweating just when I think about it.

I now know that, while this came from the right intention – pure desire to help – it did not come from the right place – it came from self-doubt, feeling I was not (good) enough and fear of loss – thinking “I will lose them, if only I did more, they would stay!”

Oh how things have shifted!

And that is why every single client had a place in my own journey, which contributed to the confidence I have today!

I have nothing but gratitude to all the people on my journey as all these experiences only made me a better coach and a better human too.

What else did I learn?

PATIENCE

I am impatient by nature. I have always been a person of action, driven, as I find great satisfaction in the achievement!

Health results, however, can not be rushed. Like you can not rush your child finally understanding algebra or learning to read fluently. (I tried, failed and then got a tutor with all the patience my boys needed!)

With an enthusiasm of my early thirties when I was just starting as a health coach, I recognise now that lack of patience got the better of me on on more occasions than I wish to remember.

Because health was important to me and taking care of myself came naturally to me, I could not understand that it is a process, sometimes a rather long one for most.

It was listening to Anthony Robbins that opened my eyes to what kind of a coach I want to be. He is talking about success being 20% mechanics (my support, my meal plan, nutritional products) and 80% psychology.

Wow, it blew my mind!

I realised that I am not in a transactional business. This is a business of emotions, deep emotions that make our reality. My clients first needed a breakthrough in order to eventually start loving themselves enough to commit to change needed to see the results they dream of. They also needed to believe that this is possible.

So, I accepted that success is not a straight line and I could breathe finally, although true work was only beginning! This new awareness hardly made me an expert. What it did, however, is put me on a quest of my own personal development, so I can understand myself better as well as human psychology.

Transformations and results will happen when clients are ready and not a minute before clients want it far more for themselves than I can ever want it for them.

Actually, what I want is irrelevant. I know that now and I learnt to stay in my lane. And be OK with it, whatever happens.

My responsibility is to continue being someone who can inspire them and guide them – help adjust the sails when they go off course, with love and compassion. And, with permission, to dig a little bit deeper each time to help them go further.

Which takes me to the next lesson…

HOLDING SPACE

Holding space means being willing to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they’re on without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome.

This is paramount for health coaching.

Last thing any client needs is my judgement when they lapse. They judge themselves enough, and sometimes they get enough from the society or people closest to them.

They need to know I am a safe place that will hear them without judgement and help them, in their own time, to turn it around.

And this is something we can practice in every relationship we encounter. With our children, spouse, friends…

I have heard of the concept only few years back and I only wish I understood it even sooner, but it is never too late to develop this awareness and learn to intentionally show up with tenderness, compassion, empathy and kindness. It can transform any relationship.

Holding space is also about understanding the next lesson…

BOUNDARIES & SELF RESPECT

Oh, this is a tricky one! Tricky for most and it certainly was for me! Big time.

I will be honest. People with (healthy) boundaries used to irritate me. I thought they were rude, unhelpful, selfish.

Eventually, I realised that other people’s clear boundaries only caused such resistance within me because I personally had issues with asserting boundaries.

I now recognise people who lack boundaries and also grew to have much admiration when I come across people with healthy boundaries (especially when they also have a skill of communicating it well).

I come from the society that lacks boundaries to the core, I do not even think we have a word for it, so, if I ever wanted to have healthy and happy relationships, I had to get better in this respect. Or continue to grow bitter.

I have entered this business prepared to be inconvenienced, but without setting my limits, knowing where I stand, feeling uneasy about confrontations or showing assertiveness – it was a tough going at times.

I open my door to clients and often see them at times that fit into their busy schedules even if I had to go out of my way to rearrange my own schedule. Of course, I am more than happy to accommodate as they are equally trying to accommodate my services into their busy, often too busy, life as well. So, it is a healthy “give and take” on both sides.

Then you get little red flags with some clients. You feel unappreciated, taken advantage of. Resentment sets in, which literally sucks the joy out of the work you love.

Experience taught me that the right client with the right character would know this boundary. Because most times it is a matter of respect. Respect they have for me, but – respect I first had to have for myself.

They were only following my lead, after all.

So, I raised my standard over the years, which was a subtle change that happened within me, not something that I necessarily openly communicated, although, it must have come through how I spoke and how I carried myself.

I noticed type of clients that sought me has changed, there is a healthier “give and take” relationships, whilst existing clients that gave me those little red flags just naturally dropped off. Relationships that do not work out are mutually communicated and there are “no hard” feelings.

This brought so much peace and reignited the joy my work gives me.

And, all those that pushed my limits – I am forever grateful to as they brought to light where I needed to improve in order to honour my feelings whilst developing healthier relationships with not just my clients, but anyone in my life.

Of course, I am still for greater part work in progress and learning to be kinder to myself, but the awareness of the boundaries issue has been a game changer.


Health Coaching is a privilege I do not take for granted. My clients let me into their lives. I get to know their family members, their stories, their fears, their dreams, their hopes, their challenges. Whatever they feel comfortable sharing. This is an honour. Never a burden.

I am dealing with real people, with real emotions and as much as they are here to learn from me, my clients are bottomless well of insights and lessons I am blessed to receive and grow from.

Sharing these insights is my way of honoring every single person who walked through my door and who let me into their world.

If you are my client – “Namaste!”

If you used to be my client – “Namaste!”

And, final insight…

DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY

Everyone has hopes and dreams, fears and challenges, real emotions and is just trying to do the best they can.

Sometimes, other’s best is not good enough for us and we take someone else’s actions to heart too much and give it meaning and unnecessary emotions that suck the energy out of us.

Here is what gave me a different perspective. It literally blew my mind and I go back to it each time I run a risk of interpreting someone else’s actions as an attack on me. It is a quote from one of my favourite books, “The Four Agreements” and The Agreement Number TWO says:

“Don’t take anything personally! Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream…”

Understanding this has truly set me free from needless suffering and frustration on many occasions and it continues to do so.

It helps me have a better flow when working with clients, without resistance on my part.

It certainly helps with letting go, letting live and moving on.

This brought me most peace.


I would like to finish with the quote from Wabi Sabi book that speaks volumes to me:

“We bloom and ripen with time. Our character develops and our wisdom deepens as we age. We have more to offer to the world with every experience we go through!”

I turned my lessons into blessings and failings into my strengths and I am excited about the next chapter and what new experiences will teach me.

I have finally excepted that we are never a finished products… we are all rough diamonds at a different stages of polishing…

The same as my clients, I am also only trying to do my best! And that is the best anyone can do!

If you are looking to start your health journey – NAMASTE!

If you are a coach that is just starting off – hang in there, it is a beautiful profession and hope some of this has been of a value.

If you are an experienced coach – I would love to know – what were YOUR biggest lessons on your coaching journey?

If you are someone who can relate in any way – let me know!

Thank you and, until next time, yours in health,

Sanela

Become the best version of yourself… Start today!

In the end, our health is usually one thing we CAN have control over and if you are someone at the start of your journey, remember that Rome has not been built in one day and our attempt to improve our physique and health should pretty much be approached with bearing the same in mind…

We need a plan, patience & vision.

Those with vision move even in darkness.

Our vision for ourselves is best when not focused on the outside appearance alone as our health and beauty are a lot more than just skin deep.

Our vision needs to be strong and inspire action every day, which will make us more patient and committed to a long term goals.

Then we need a plan that is simple, even fun and that nourishes us on our path to becoming the best version of ourselves.

Start Today

One of the biggest mistakes we all make is waiting for the “perfect storm”, that perfect moment to start something new… to start a new diet, to stop smoking, to look for a better job, start that project, make an important phone call, study for the exam…

The only perfect moment is RIGHT NOW.

Delaying action whilst waiting for that perfect opportunity is simply procrastination and the more we do it, the more we develop a habit of it that can be very costly.

Procrastination is an issue of self-regulation and, when it comes to health, it can cost us our health because we delay doing the right thing for our health and well-being over a period of time that can even go for decades. The result is a poor health, until it sometimes can be too late.

Procrastinators can change their behavior and it is said that highly structured cognitive behavioral therapy can work really well. If you have an issue with starting things – work on your psychology first.

Books are sometimes a great place to start and so are videos and podcasts to help with awareness and insights into what is stopping you and how to take an inspired action and stop procrastinating.

And remember, the path to the best version of yourself starts today and here are some basics to help you get started…

Hydration, Hydration, Hydration

First thing is to re-visit how much water you drink daily.

Coffees, teas, fizzy and other sugary drinks simply do not count and all represent problem on multitude of levels including cellular damage, dehydration, low energy, weight gain.

Our bodies function best when body is well hydrated with at least 8 glasses of water a day, which is minimum 2 litres for most adults. More water is recommended for those of a bigger frame, especially men and when exercising as body loses water rapidly through sweat.

Water is sometimes the only catalyst that makes things work. As kidneys are responsible for detox, which can not happen without water, and whilst liver is responsible for breaking/ metabolising fat – when water is scarce, liver tends to help the kidneys and breaking the fat becomes secondary; as a result fat loss will be compromised.

If you are to start with one habit, start with water.

Apart from flushing toxins, water helps digest food & circulate blood. Food contains only 20% of fluid intake, so, hydration through healthy beverages is necessary.

A couple of glasses upon waking up with some lemon and then hydrate with one glass on the hour every hour. Set your phone reminders. Use fruit as water infusion. Green tea is fantastic alternative to regular tea and coffee.

Thermojetics Instant Herbal Beverage

Our Thermojetics Herbal Beverage is great for every day hydration as well as part of the weight management plan. I love adding some lemon to it too for added nutritional benefit.

It is a combination of green tea and other botanical ingredients. It has not been treated with alcohol unlike most teas from the high street stores; process of extraction and purification happens with water and charcoal, leaving the finished product with high antioxidant/ phytonutrient value, similar to the plant when it is picked up; it is highly refreshing and catechins compounds cause thermojetics effect that help boost metabolism and energy levels as well as help burn fat.

Alcohol

Alcohol is a bad news for not only fat loss but for our general health. It is a stress to the body that body treats as a poison.

If you would like to take your body composition to the next level, the best advice I could give you is to not only limit, but completely cut out alcohol.

Not many are able to do that and I approach it with care with clients as it is one thing that causes so much resistance. I do believe in taking small steps and limiting alcohol consumption to less to what is a norm to start with, then seeing the results we get and finally decreasing it further.

One can still have results if weekly units are minimal, up to 1-2 glasses of wine, as an example, but anything more will generally hinder the results greatly.

Cutting on calories in food to accommodate alcohol is highly undesirable and results will be limited, if any. Cortisol is a fat storing hormone in our body that alcohol (together with lack of sleep, too much cardio activity and stress) seem to elevate and, as a result, body is in a state of fat storing rather than fat burning.

So, think about your alcohol consumption and how much you really want to improve your health and body composition. Every success requires some form of sacrifice.

Think Protein to avoid Hunger & Slower Metabolism

Most people need to eat more protein. Or reduce protein coming from animal sources.

Protein is a very important factor for your immunity as body needs protein so that the white blood cells can produce antibodies that seek out and destroy invading viruses and bacteria.

It helps stabilise blood sugar levels and, therefore prevents hunger and fat storing. Apart from multitude of other uses, protein is incredibly important for the prevention of muscle loss over lifetime, especially when you are on a weight management plan.

Dieting is very much linked to a muscle wastage when dieting is not done right, which is the major cause of yo-yo syndrome – losing weight, then putting it back on again.

With loss of muscle, your metabolism is slower and so is body’s ability to burn calories. You may find yourself gaining all the weight (and more) back on that you lost, although you may be consuming calories that used to maintain your weight in the past. Your body has less lean muscle to burn them off and therefore, fat gain is inevitable.

High protein foods such as fish, soya products and low-fat dairy products can help to boost your immunity as well as increase your metabolism and support your lean muscle on your weight management plan.

Protein for Vegetarians & Vegans

Whilst I am not vegetarian myself, I support vegetarianism greatly, even veganism. The only issue I find with clients who are vegetarian or vegan is that they still suffer from an inadequate amount of lean muscle due to lack of protein in their diet, sometimes low energy levels and excess body fat that they simply are unable to shift.

All of these issues are sorted with our personalised nutrition plan that targets what they might lack in their diet – protein, plant protein in particular, and micro nutrient intake.

Whilst eating wholefoods can have remarkable good effects on the body, it is a well-known fact that, according to World Health Organisation, UNICEF, UK Ministry of Agriculture and Royal Society of Chemistry – vitamin and mineral depletion of our soil is a global problem with up to 72% depletion of nutrients in fruit and vegetables in Europe alone over the past 60 years.

Supplementation with pharmaceutical graded supplements can make a massive difference in energy levels of anyone, even those who already follow a healthy diet, Vegetarians & Vegans included who would greatly benefit from more macro nutrient balance in their diet.

Protein for Meat Eaters

Whilst protein is an important macro nutrient – meat eaters should take this information with caution.

Meat and dairy can cause high acidity in the body, that leaches nutrients from your muscle and bones and therefore deplete your energy levels and immunity, therefore meat protein must be well-balanced with plant protein.

Whilst getting THAT beach body will require eating personalised amount of protein each day (around 1 gram of protein for each pound of lean muscle – more if exercising and/or building muscle) in the right balance and frequency – you will do more damage on a cellular level if trying to get it all from animal sources.

My goal with clients who are meat eaters is to increase their protein intake whilst balancing plant with animal sources as well as increase their micro nutrient intake.

Generally, once there is a better balance of proteins v carbs & macro nutrients v micro nutrients (Vitamins and Minerals) established, in the right frequency, blood sugar levels are stable, cravings diminish, energy levels increase and we are more likely to have a sustainable fat loss.

Good Carbs v Bad Carbs

We need to stop thinking that carbs are our enemy. Body relies on carbohydrates for fuel, however, they are not all equal. The least processed carbs such as fruit and vegetables are extremely beneficial as they deliver all important nutrients, vitamins & minerals, to the body, together with powerful antioxidants and fibre.

To get that beach body, if that is what you desire, now that we drink more water and include protein in each meal whilst balancing plant with animal protein – we need to combine some Good Carbohydrates with that protein.

That means having a colourful diet of fruits, vegetables, legumes each and every day.

Bad Carbohydrates will go against our efforts to slim down, feel and look healthy and reduce our body fat. Bad carbohydrates are those highly processed and refined foods such as sugars, pastries, cakes, sweets, cereals, white pasta, white bread, sugary drinks, just to name the few.

They do not boost, but rather bust your metabolism, leaving you craving for more, whilst storing excess calories as fat, depleting your energy levels as they are usually void of nutrition.

They may also compromise your digestion and therefore, absorption of nutrients which has an effect not only on energy levels and immunity, but will be a contributing factor to weight gain too.

Fibre Factor

Fibre is a type of carbohydrate and one of THE most important dietary factors for helping support healthy digestion. Fibre is found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains and plays a big part in keeping our bodies healthy.

Adults are recommended minimum 25 grams of fibre each day for healthy digestion, so including high-fibre foods and fibre supplements in your diet can greatly help improve your digestion.

Fibre rich foods are slow sugar releasing and, when combined with protein, they keep your blood sugar levels stable and fuller for longer.

Most of the clients I see struggle to get adequate amount of fibre in their diet. If not sure, MyFitnessPal is a great tool to check if you do. I use it to check my own fibre, protein, Calcium and fat levels occasionally.

I teach clients to use it, if they wish, in addition to my support which we use as part of the education process so they see how getting perfect balance of 40% carbohydrate, 30% protein and 30% fat intake within personalised calorie intake gets them results.

The moment they step out of the equation and there is less protein and more carbohydrates, the results are less visible at their weekly body composition check, or there are no results at all. Penny drops every time as they learn more how food balance and frequency affects us.

Should we count calories?

Calories are not all created equal. 100 calories of vegetables is not the same on a cellular level and on the level how body processes it and it’s affect on the body when compared to 100 calories worth of chocolate Maltesers (which, by the way, are NOT lighter than air).

I use client’s Resting Metabolic Rate to calculate the calorie ceiling they need to be under in order to lose weight, using a simple formula, however, because my personalised weight management solutions are already calorie controlled, my clients do not need to necessarily count calories.

They would just need to follow the prescribed meal plan that includes some great recipes, use their hand to determine portion sizes of macros and, sometimes, write a food diary as a great way to gauge daily food intake and those that do – have a better result.

They also learn how what they consume in any given week relates to changes in their body composition. All part of the education process and raising the awareness on how certain foods effect us. The moment they skip snacks or meals or eat unbalanced meals and snacks – they see decline in muscle, just as one of the examples.

Calories are important or rather learning about them, to help us become more conscientious about our food choices, but, balance in macro nutrients is even more important because not all calories are created equal.

Skipping dinner because we blew our calorie ceiling during the day (or any other meal or snack for whatever reason) is surely not the path to health OR healthy weight loss (or rather, fat loss) and improved body composition.

Get more active

Now that we drink more water, focus on lean and/ or plant protein and good carbohydrates with plenty of fibre, whilst banning all refined sugary carbohydrates – it is time we need to get more active if we want to see some great results! Remember, results come best from 80% nutrition and 20% exercise plan.

Believe it or not, we all have the six-pack muscles, but most people have it all hidden under the layer of abdominal fat. It is time to unwrap it! If you are not used to exercise, start with walking more and then find the local class that you enjoy, perhaps build it to a couple of classes a week.

The science shows that the best form of fitness that help you get into shape in less time is any form of High Intensity Interval Resistance Training. It is a combination of a little bit of cardio with resistance and weight training, all in one single workout. It not only burns a lot of calories during exercise, but it has the highest after-burn with up to 1000 calories burnt in 38 hour window post-exercise.

Try to find your own HIIRT or HIIT class near you or create a program that you can do at home.

Now that we have most of it covered and you are more aware what is needed to get you started on the journey of becoming the best version of yourself, I would like to remind you of the first point I made – start today!

Get the picture of yourself when you were at your best and get emotionally connected to that vision of yourself. Let it be your guide, your North Star.

If not sure how to start or if anything inspired you in this article, do get in touch, drop me a line. I would love to help. Free Evaluation offer stands, it can be slightly daunting starting on your own and you, whilst will need to do it by yourself, you do not need to be alone in the process. As many as 75% have better success when having the right support.

Until then, life is colourful, make your diet colourful too and feel the difference! Afterall, life is much more fun lived in colour!

Free Wellness Evaluation

Common mistakes when weight loss is your goal

Whether you are reading this as the New Year is approaching and you are making Weight Loss part of your New Year’s Resolution, or whether you are, in general, trying to control your weight… this is for you. This article is created without an expiry date in mind because, without doubt, you are not alone as weight loss is one of the goals for a huge majority of people worldwide at any point during the year.

Weight loss is a science and without the right know-how – something many struggle with for many reasons… here are some.

1.Thinking that being motivated right now will be enough to carry you through! According to the clinical psychologist Joseph Luciani – 80% of the people fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions and only 8% achieve it. This is very much true for all the goals we set in life and main reasons for such low rate of success are lack of planning and setting unrealistic expectations. Simply put – the excitement at the prospect of hitting the goal one day gets better of you… and initial motivation can soon take a nose dive when reality hits.

2.Thinking that you know it all and fail to engage a support system! You have a weight management goal in mind, you read a related article about a specific hip new diet that everyone is raving about, it sounded simple enough, it also made sense, it is fresh & new and you are excited and off you go… A month down the line, if you are lucky to last that long, you realise it is not as easy, there are circumstances you have not planned for, questions specific to you that you do not have an answer for, challenges you are not equipped to deal with, you may even not have results to show for – you feel alone and you hit the wall….

3.Underestimating time it will take to achieve your goal. This is also about unrealistic expectations & lack of planning. Most people overestimate what can be achieved in a month and totally underestimate what change and progress a whole year can bring. Stop thinking short term weight loss and start thinking long term health.

4.Focusing on “weight loss” alone and ignoring or not understanding the science! Skipping meals, eating skimpy salads, counting calories, watching those scales like a hawk, making your life miserable every time scales do not show progress, etc – is a sure way to give up eventually. Your goal may be weight loss, but you will have far more success by focusing on health, developing healthy habits that give you long term health as long term weight loss will be a guaranteed side-effect.

5.Giving up when going gets tough. Old habits are indeed hard to break. But, the truth is – if change is not hard – it is not real change! Being realistic at what to expect and having a support system in place is everything when going gets tough to pull you through the challenging times.

If you see yourself in any of the above, your weight loss efforts will hit the obstacle at some point, it will leave you frustrated, without visible results and, even if some weight loss is achieved, frustration will get the better of you and, if you decide to give up at that point, you will most likely gain back what you lost, if not more.

This is disheartening and makes many lose faith and give up altogether. Until something new comes along.

And the process, in most cases, repeats itself.

This is just the fact and I am here to tell you that it is not your fault. You are only doing the best you know and the best you can.

The truth is, the game was rigged from the start.

Because, going back to the beginning – weight loss is a science!

Unless you invested time in studying it or were helped to understand how your body works, the effect of food on weight management, hormones, metabolism, etc. and were fully supported in the process – it is a losing game for majority. If it was easy – we would not have an epidemic at hand.

I am here to give you hope as there is a way to fix it all, get your weight management in control and keep your unwanted pounds forever off.

What you need is a plan you can stick to long term.

I feel better in my mid 40s than I did in my 30s. I have now been successfully managing my weight since 2004 and it was only after I understood how our body works and with the right support and plan.

It has helped me to live healthier & happier life thanks to the energy and vitality that I feel and being healthy has influenced all other areas of my life. Because, when you feel good about yourself – life feels good too.

And it is exactly my transformation that made me excited about helping others on their journey!

When you are zapped of energy and do not feel good about yourself – it will have an effect on your happiness and the way you come up in the world – the relationship with your family, your social life, career, etc. Not because the number on the scales matters – but because how you FEEL about yourself matters.

Health is a state of mind and it starts from nourishing your body first.

So, how would you FEEL if you were the best version of you?

Don’t you think you are worth it? Don’t you feel it is time?

I am here to tell you that you CAN have the results you desire and that you are worth it!

Work with me

As someone who has helped hundreds of people in the past 15 years to become the best versions of themselves, I would like to help YOU!

The questions to ask yourself are:

  1. Why do I want to make the change, what am I to gain?
  2. Is my goal concrete and measurable?
  3. What is my exact plan?
  4. Who can support me as you work toward change?

If you are ready for the most unbelievable journey of becoming the better if not The best version of yourself, but do not have a plan and support – I have a clear plan, and support system that works and now is the time to take action that your future self will thank you!

It is time to stop winging it!

You have nothing to lose but your weight… and to keep it off for good!

Here is to you and your health & wellness,

Sanela

healthy dining out

Healthy Dining Out

There are is a valid reason why many who try their hardest to stay on top of their weight management goals, dread dining out. Food prepared for us in the shops and restaurants will have hidden calories, added salt, fat and sugar, so, of course it is a lot easier to control our food intake at home.

But, it does not need to be too difficult when we are eating out. It should remain a fun and pleasurable experience, with a little know-how…

First rule is – do not starve yourself prior to your meal out thinking if you eat too much at the restaurant that it will somehow even out. We, of course, think about calories.

The reality could not be further from the truth. Not because calories do not entirely matter, but because there are other factors in play.

Hungry tummy will lower your blood sugar levels and leave you with no will power to make wise choices.

Great strategy is to check out restaurant menu beforehand and decide what to order as more and more companies are putting their menus online. 

Choose meals that comply with MEAL BALANCE – healthy carbohydrates combined with healthy fats and lean/ plant protein!

Once at the restaurant, here are some useful tips:

  • Swap pie dishes or meals with bacon and sausages for healthier lean protein options such as chicken or fish (not fried) 
  • Swap creamy, cheesy or “chef special” sauces for sauces that are tomato or vegetable based and make sure you do not overdo them either!
  • Swap regular potato or chips for sweet potato
  • Swap white or deep fried rice for plain wild or brown rice, quinoa, lentils, beans or sweet potato
  • Swap any dessert with a fruit salad or yoghurt based dessert, share it with a friend or skip it all together 
  • Swap fried vegetables with steamed vegetables, served plain
  • Swap alcohol or fizzy drink with a glass of sparkling or still water with a slice of lemon
  • Ask for sauce on the side if ordering a salad so you can be in control of how much you put on
  • Ask for salt not to be added to your meal during meal preparation
  • Try not to order too much, stick to the main meal or two starters… you can always order more if still hungry
  • Do not be tempted by oversized dishes because they are a better value
  • Ask for a bread basket to be taken away or moved away from you
  • Instead of side order of carbs, order vegetables: steamed or as salad

Here are some tips if you are buying lunch on the go:

  • Ideally, avoid sandwiches, but if you must – choose brown or wholemeal bread.
  • Avoid cheese and deli meats in your sandwiches, except lower fat cheese like buffalo mozzarella 
  • Choose sandwiches with lean meat and lots of vegetables. Best fillings are chicken, turkey, tuna, boiled eggs, avocado, vegetables…
  • Choose salads with dressing on the side and without oil or mayonnaise.
  • Avoid carb based salads like pasta, potato, rice or couscous salads
  • Avoid meal deals that include fizzy drink and crisps or chocolate… have water and a piece of fruit instead
  • Choose healthier fillings for your baked potato like tuna & sweet corn or cottage cheese and avoid cheese toppings or adding butter
  • Choose vegetable soups without added carbs, but know that they could be loaded with salt and fat.
  • Swap your take away coffee with herbal teas

Food Labels

If you are buying pre-packaged meals, always check the labels, especially excess salt and fat:

  • Keep SALT below 0.3 gr and below (per 100 gr)
  • Seek foods with at least 15 gr of PROTEIN per 100 gr (or more)
  • Keep SUGAR below 5 gr per 100 gr.
  • Keep FAT below 3 gr per 100 gr

If dining out at the restaurant, of course that each cuisine will have their healthier alternatives, so we could easily have a list of tips for each type of restaurant, but some of the above tips are universal and good enough for you to stay in control wherever you dine.

More important thing is to go out armed with great attitude that you will enjoy time spent with friends and/ or family, but not at the expense of your wellness goals!

Happy, healthy eating out 🙂

Get excited about losing weight again

How to get excited about losing weight again…

Most of us are programmed to think about what we will be missing out on when we have a big task ahead to complete rather than what we will gain in the process. So, we talk ourselves out of it!

Weight loss is one of these things we struggle seeing through!

It is one gigantic mission for many! Mission that many start and not complete or are on a roller coaster throughout life of completing and re-completing over and over again.

We know we should because it cuts down the health risks. But, it takes too much effort, too much time and, quite frankly, you might not even know where to start!

Most do not realise that if they perceive weight loss as hard – maintenance is even harder as it requires a whole new mindset shift.

I know, I have just made this whole thing rather depressing. LOL.

But, I encourage you to read on.

We come up with all the possible excuses why now is not the right time, how we have not found the plan that works for us, etc. Like most of it is not just common sense – drop added sugar and processed foods, increase water and exercise, make portions smaller and you are half way there already.

Yes, only half way as there is more to it and everyone’s understanding of what this really implies can vary. But, half way is always good enough place to start.

Beats not starting any time, right?

I know! It is all easier said than done!

Partly because food industry has made us addicted to sugar, flour and salt and we are just digging the hole even deeper and unable to get ourselves out of it.

Did you know that the food industry invest billions on research linking their products to happiness?

They bring in special experts who make combinations of salt, sugar and flour so perfect that we are addicted to the high it gives us from the first “hello”! And then we are so hooked that we keep seeking that same high… Which is why we sometimes eat even without thinking!

So, they play with our minds and body chemistry making us addicted to consuming way beyond our energy requirements. And way below our nutrition requirements.

This also means that it is time to stop blaming yourself for having a few pounds extra… or a lot more… System is clearly rigged and designed to keep us addicted and sick.

And I really believe this. There are forces out there who profit on our addictions and sickness. And are allowed to do so.

However, knowing this does not diminish our personal responsibility and the power I believe we have!

I believe when human mind is open to receive the knowledge it also has the power to make different decisions for themselves. And one decision at a time can have a compound effect on our future life.

Did you know, that if you have a smart phone these days – you have access to more information and knowledge than what President of the United States had 20 years ago?

I heard this over the weekend and I believe it. And I love it.

So, no excuses!

When eyes see things and ears hear new information – you can never undo it! When your mind expands with knowledge, it can never be retracted.

There is nothing that we can not do!

We just need to be willing to learn and seek knowledge!

And, how to be excited again about losing weight?

First, do not make it about weight loss! That is the first rule!

Because it truly is not about losing weight!

Second rule is figuring out what drives you to be HEALTHY instead?

How would your life be different? What could you do that you are unable to do now? What would you be able to wear? How would that make you feel?

What do you worry about when it comes to your health? You know weight is big part of those worries. Because you understand the risks. So, figure out how good would it feel not to have those worries.

If you come from a family that is overweight or obese, let me tell you… It is NOT in your genes! We can live to be 100 and have six pack well into our 60s or 70s or even 80s with the right lifestyle practices.

That is a fact!

OK, you don’t want a six pack! And that is more than cool!

Good news is – six pack is not a requirement for a long and happy and healthy life!

But right lifestyle practices and routines are!

Get excited because of how amazing it would feel to have the energy to face all the life’s challenges!

Without nourishing and looking after our bodies – it simply will not serve us well or to our full potential.

With health – we can achieve anything! That is why our health is our biggest wealth!

And if you think that it is easier to be healthy when you are wealthy… well, maybe you are right, but how about turning this on its head and think:

… if I achieve my best health, it is way easier to achieve wealth I desire!

If that is what you desire, of course!

Anyway, does the idea of being at the best shape and energy excite you?

Seeing and feeling how your life would be different is a good place to start because you must find what excites you about achieving (and keeping) great health in order to ever be able to achieve weight loss and keep your weight off!

Weight loss is just a by product!

Can you see that to be the case?

Mindset shift on getting excited about having a healthy, active lifestyle that will inspire you as well as the others around you is the key!

Then you just get through the motions of creating a brand new YOU and, you’ve guessed it – leaner figure just happens.

You can not solve the problem with the same mind that created it. And I am not the smart cookie that said this. But, I use it often as it is one of the fundamental truths around!

Stop worrying about weight as that will just keep you chained to a weight loss prison!

Get excited about health and let the vision of your NEW YOU make you take an inspired action!

Then, you need to get consistent and develop resilience, but that is another topic.

For now, just get excited and take some steps. Because when you are excited, truly excited and able to hold that vision – even if you do not see the whole road ahead – you will be less likely to give up.

So, drink more water.

Stop skipping breakfast.

Have a nourishing breakfast that is low in sugar and high in protein.

Eat regularly.

Exercise more.

Start somewhere. One healthy habit at a time and solutions will present themselves.

Because, if you change nothing – nothing will change!

We all had to start somewhere!

I believe in you!

Yours in health,

Sanela

Nutritional Therapist and a Herbalife Nutrition Health Coach

13 Reasons Calorie Counting is OUT

Many resort to calorie counting as the best way to monitor their food intake and, if you have not heard it before, I am here to tell you that those days are gone… for good… because calorie counting is not an exact science as you thought it might be both when it comes to the factors concerning calorie consumption as well as calorie expenditure.

And, I think this a good news as it can free us from endless measuring and counting. Life is too short, right?

Studies show up to 25% errors when counting calories on each side: 25% error on calories we consume and 25% error on calories we burn because of our own individual differences, industry as well as our own measurements errors.

Eat well and sleep well to be well

Eat well, sleep well to be well!

I do not think that we talk often enough about rest and sleep and their connection with our general health and weight management. Not only that they are connected, but the way we eat, our nutrition, can also influence not only our weight management, which is not a big news to anyone, but it can also influence how well we sleep. It is called Sleep Nutrition.

An average adult should get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per day.

So, how well are you doing?
Do you have difficulty falling asleep?
Are you perhaps waking up a lot during the night and then finding it difficult to fall back to sleep?
Are you waking up tired and feeling unsettled or irritable throughout the day?

If any of this is you, I hope this article will be able to shed a bit of light and, ultimately, help.

Herbalife Nutrition Healthy Fats

Healthy Fats: no healthy diet exists without them!

Here is one topic that is confusing the hell out of people. Fat in a diet.

Is fat bad? Should we have any fat in our diet? How much, if so? What kind of fat? What about keto diets? Etc.

We used to believe that fat is bad and diets should be low-fat… I know. I was there myself. Luckily, I had an awareness of protein and knew that cereals, bread, pastas are of no good to me, so I focused on protein and veg. And this worked really well. However, it WAS missing a healthy fat element and luckily science has moved on and with that, the way we now think of a properly balanced diet.

Low fat diet frenzy started in the 70s and it took decades before we realised that it was not fat, but sugar and simple carbohydrates, that are a true enemy. Many low-fat produce, like yoghurt as an example, were just added sugar to taste better. Same with baked goods: they reduced fat, whilst increasing sugar to compensate and sold us the notion that low fat was healthier. Think of muffins, cakes, etc.

Herbalife Nutrition Independent Herbalife Member, Bath UK Healthy Meals

10 “Food Frauds” to be aware of…

It was one of our Healthier & Fitter in 4 Weeks Challenge participants that inspired me to write this article. We are all proud of Kelly as she refused a cake yesterday, although it was “vegan and low sugar”. Many would even go as far as to say it is a “healthy cake”. Truth is – result to your blood sugar levels and impact on hormones would be just the same. Of course it is better when we use less sugar, but, it is not a great difference you might think it is.

I have recently visited Vegan festival here in Bath. What a fabulous movement, veganism that is. It is needed to bring our awareness of the suffering of animals. I believe in it and believe that is where, as a society, we must venture not only to save our souls from animals being mistreated in our name, but to save the environment too. Although, as we get the honey from the bees, I see nothing wrong from getting milk & cheese from the cows or eggs from our feathery friends. As long as we demand our food suppliers treat our animals with respect, as the nature intended. We must not stay ignorant of the way animals are torchered in life and death, in the name of our ever-growing food demand.

That is it on that subject for now as it is a different subject entirely. What was apparent from the probably good 90% of the food choices offered at the Bath Vegan Festival – we have a long way to go to understand what healthy and balanced means.

So, let’s start there when we talk about foods that are not entirely healthy although name would suggest they are. Some are even food frauds. But both are just the same – sneaky little diet wreckers.

weight gain Herbalife Nutrition Independent Herbalife Member, Bath UK Healthy Meals

Unexplained Weight Gain? These could be possible reasons

Weight management is a science. Beautiful science, that is. If you invest time in understanding it – managing your weight and your health becomes a game where you stand a chance winning it each time, for life.

Then, there are situations where you just might scratch your head, situations where it is not that simple and by the book, where you find yourself with an unexplained weight gain.

If you lack the knowledge of the basics, you will probably not find yourself in this article in case reasons for your weight gain are simply down to the lack of balance and frequency in your nutrition and diet.

If you eat more calories than what your body needs to function (more energy than you are burning), if your diet is out of balance (too many carbohydrates and too little proten) or if you suddenly cut back on exercise and continue eating the same amount as you did with exercise – of course you may gain weight! If your diet is not balanced, your body composition can be changing as well as you may be experiencing weight gain.

So, diet indeed is a major culprit.

However, if you’re doing everything the same as you normally  do and your weight still goes up – then you may need to dig a little deeper why that is…

Herbalife Nutrition Independent Herbalife Member, Bath UK Healthy Meals

How to ensure fast metabolism

Metabolism is THE word. It is the reason why one person can eat like a growing teenager and not gain a pound, while another person’s every indulgence shows up on their waist.

What is Metabolism?

It is the name for the chemical processes by which our bodies convert food that we eat into the energy that we need to survive and function. It powers all our chemical processes from breathing to blinking.

The minimum amount of energy your body requires to carry out these chemical processes is called the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) or resting metabolic rate (RMR).

What determines our metabolic rate? Or what determines how effectively we burn the calories we consume into energy?

The aim is to burn all the food that we eat and not to have any excess, otherwise body will be storing it as fat and that is how we gain weight.

So, what determines how fast or slow the process happens is the combination of one’s body size, age, gender and genes. Of course, foods that we eat and drink will also effect the metabolism as some support it and some hinder the process.

Herbalife Nutrition Independent Herbalife Member, Bath UK Healthy Meals

Trying to lose weight? It may be time to reconsider your drinking habit

While many of us can happily give up our fatty or sugary favourites, I find that certainly many of my clients find more difficult to give up alcohol, especially at weekends. It is built into our culture and it is a large part in how we enjoy time with friends and loved ones.

Apart from an obvious case where a person may be an addict, for vast amount of people alcohol has become a lot more than just an activity to partake when we are in social environment in order to perhaps celebrate something. Many use it to take an edge off a rough day, some do it almost on a daily basis. It has become a way of life. There is possibly even an emotion attached to it.

Coming home from a hard day, pouring a large glass of Pinot Noir (or whatever your poison is) to sip whilst you are cooking your healthy dinner for your family or your partner, then another one over dinner and perhaps even one more as you snuggle up on the sofa to wind down. It s almost like a scene from a movie that glorifies this lifestyle. It may help you relax and you rely on alcohol to achieve that state.

This is only one of million other scenarios, however, one thing that strikes me regularly when starting a client on their nutrition plan is their excitement to change their diet and start their plan and then their equal reluctance to give up their drink.

Sometimes the decision whether to go ahead with my coaching or not depends solely on how much their alcohol habit will be affected if they were to embark on a healthier & fitter self-betterment journey. It can easily sound like an addiction. And sometimes giving up alcohol is just one change too many they are not prepared to make.

Of course, it is OK not to be ready, it is our call when we are going to decide to change. And I am not in any way saying that alcohol should be avoided by absolutely everyone and at every circumstance. However, alcohol addiction is a reality for many. And obesity can be accelerated or even caused by alcohol, including many diseases. So, having any alcohol in a diet is a problem for many.

Herbalife Nutrition Independent Herbalife Member, Bath UK Healthy Meals

Change your habits, change your life… How do we create new habits?

Thank you for clicking on this article as its title is everything but original. But, that does not make it less true. Actually, it is a huge deal!

Our life is truly a reflection of our habits at every level of our existence. We become what we think about because what we think about is what we will focus on and that will influence what action we take, which, ultimately, leads to a particular outcome (or outcomes for different areas of our life). Results, in one word.

Einstein’s famous definition of insanity is repeating the same actions over and over again and expecting different result. And, yet, that is exactly what majority of us do.

We have around 60 000 thoughts every single day, take or add a few, and research suggests that 98% of those thoughts are exactly the same thoughts we have every single day.

So, anyone wanting to change their life – what we need to change are habits and behaviours, which will influence our actions and the end result – our life.

Sounds simple, but we all know it is easier said that done. But at least we know that we got to change something. Because…

Change nothing – nothing changes.
Change a little – little changes.
Change a lot – a lot changes.

Habits come to mind as a logical one thing that we need to focus on changing. When it comes to health – habits are absolutely everything.

It is being said that it takes 21 days to change habits. But, science shows that this is a myth. Psychologists may agree that while it perhaps takes 21 days of consistent and conscientious effort to create a new habit, it takes far longer to break an existing habit.

More recently, study of 96 people was published in The European Journal of Social Philosophy and it states that it took an average 66 days to form a habit, such as eating a healthy snack or exercising regularly. That is to reach the point of Automaticity. When we develop a new behaviour that we do automatically, like brushing teeth is. The point of unconscious competence.

They found that creating a new habit depends on type of behaviour we are trying to change, the person and the circumstances. It can also take anywhere from 18 days to 254 days for people to form a new habit, which is an average of 66 days, but this highlights why it takes longer for some to adopt new habits.

I always talk to my client that after weight loss comes maintenance and research shows that maintenance is actually harder. Why? Because they have not yet reached the state of automaticity. They lost weight with my support, but those that take it for granted and have not fully committed to living a healthy, active lifestyle for life are the ones that will struggle to keep the weight off.

So, how do we create new habits?

Formula 1 New generation

New Generation Formula 1

After four decades, Formula 1 has changed for even better and we can not be more excited about it. It is cleaner and yummier than ever. It is New Generation Formula 1….

  • It is Vegan
  • It is Gluten Free
  • It is Dairy Free
  • High in Fibre (5 gr)
  • High in Protein (18+)
  • High in Vitamins & Minerals (25)
  • Natural Colour and Flavouring

Our Formula 1, almost unchanged for nearly four decades, is an advanced formula that made Herbalife Nutrition the leader in weight management and meal replacement industry.

Because what is good – feels good. You know it. Your body knows it.

Independent clinical studies on Formula 1 show how combining F1 meal replacement with regular diet produced better weight loss and fat loss results than food diet alone. That is in line with the recent research on meal replacements, in general.

And there is so much research on meal replacements and a role they play in an effective weight management although their role goes way beyond just weight management. Our Formula 1 is a primarily a nutritional product that can replace nutrients that we may not be getting through regular diet.

Our Formula 1 offers convenience, taste and nutrition all in one shake

World Diabetes Day www.wellness4life.co.uk

World Diabetes Day

14th November is World Diabetes Day. As more and more people have diabetes and increasing amount of people are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, and the fact that lifestyle plays a big part in disease development – while it is important to raise the awareness of the disease, it is also very important to talk about its prevention.

Personally, I have diabetes in the family. I grew up with both of my aunties, my mum’s two only sisters, being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. One died from it and the other died of cancer before diabetes could claim her too. In my opinion, based on what I recall, apart from following the treatment – neither of them really took necessary care when it came to changing their lifestyle.

My mother, on the other hand, one that has always been more health conscious compared to her sisters, lived to her 79th birthday and has never developed the disease. She had a balanced diet and healthy weight. Still, this topic feels like it is very close to home as I love and miss my aunties very much.

So, what is causing Diabetes and how can we prevent it?

Herbalife Nutrition Independent Herbalife Member, Bath UK Healthy Meals

4 Pillars of True Health – Path to being Healthy AND Fit

Ever thought if it is possible to be very fit and yet to be very unhealthy at the same time? I think it is very common…

It is usually demonstrated in regular exercise and feeling strong and fit, however, having low energy levels, possibly suffering from an impaired digestion or skin problems or frequent colds or some other form of ailment or even disease, even having excess weight!

You might be that person yourself or you might know someone who you even admire for being an example when it comes to their dedication to fitness, however, you can see they might not be eating great and are “getting away with a murder” when it comes to eating.

Some people I know are exercising so they CAN “eat what they want”. Or can they, really? That is the question.

It is also a possibility to be very healthy with great energy levels and youthfulness because of an attention to a healthy diet, however, to struggle to run for three minutes or get up a few flights of stairs.

I used to be this person after I had children and know the feeling very well. Exercise does burn extra calories, however, its role in weight management is actually minimal compared to its extraordinary role in our overall health, ageing process and general strength and stamina.

So, I think many will agree when I say that our aim, ideally, might be to be both – healthy AND fit.

The question is – are You? And, if not, how do we achieve both?

I can tell you that there is a lot more to it than just diet and exercise, but they seem to be good places to start!

NUTRITION

First pillar is Nutrition, of course. It is because, 80% of our health IS nutrition – what you eat and drink throughout the day because it does not matter how hard you work in the gym if you do not control what you put on your plate.

Your level of nutrition body gets will impact your mood as well as how your body functions. Ideally, we need to start seeing food as medicine. Because food CAN have that effect.

We ourselves are powerful beyond measure and it is equally incredible what our bodies can do when we give them the right nourishment and fuel that helps our cells thrive. Your nutrition is the first key to your healthy lifestyle and all the exercise in the world can not help you if you are not fuelling your cells right, in the right balance and frequency.

The latest research confirms that only 1 in 4 people, that is 25% of the population, across 15 European countries, considers nutrition when making their health choices.

Malnutrition (poor diet that results in micro-nutrient deficiencies that lead to disease) is estimated to cost £19.6 billion in the UK annually where malnourished adults account for about 30% of hospital admissions. No wonder we have such shocking figures if only a few consider nutrition in the first place.

I think there is a lot more to it and certainly education plays a huge part.

We are all different and different diets work for different people (where by diet I mean – a way of life, what works the best for you), however, at least 80% are absolute fundamentals that work for all of us because, simply put, we are all members of the human race and body is the engine that is pretty standard for everyone – same rules apply for majority of us:

To function optimally, body needs protein, fibre, healthy fats, micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, etc) and water delivered each day in the right balance and frequency!

On top of all that, we need to eliminate foods that drain our cells, lower immunity, cause inflammation, make us age faster and, ultimately, cause the disease.

EXERCISE

Second pillar is EXERCISE. It might be only 20% of your weight management efforts, however, benefits of exercise far exceed its benefits just for managing weight.

We are wired to move our bodies and what exercise does is quite astonishing. Exercise gives us energy, it releases dopamine which makes us feel better, happier, stronger; it releases serotonin which helps us feel more relaxed and it relieves stress, it helps neurogenesis or body to grow more brain cells; it accelerates learning and processing of information, makes us more alert, have more will power, makes us more motivated…

We are wired to move, all we lack is a habit of doing so intentionally, so, building exercise into our DAILY routine is an absolute game changer.

Best time to do it is in the morning, very first thing! Why? Because of all of the above that I mentioned that happens almost instantly after exercise. Also, because if you don’t, you know it – the day takes over and you are less likely to find time for it later on. How difficult is it to make time for it by just getting up 30 minutes earlier. You are worth it!

If you can go out and exercise in the nature, in the fresh air, it is even more impactful as it can be almost as a form of meditation, but even if you exercise at home, you will be awake, feel strong and ready to face the day.

Also, when you build exercise into your routine and learn about nutrition and start making the right food choices – then you are setting yourself up for success.

Remember, you can be fit, but unhealthy… and you can be healthy, but unfit… The ultimate goal to a long-term overall health is being FIT & HEALTHY!

And we are not done, not yet.

REST

Third pillar is REST.

Rest probably should have been first because it is after rest that we exercise and then feed our bodies. Body that is not rested is body that is not ready for anything. Good rest during the night regenerates our cells, repairs our muscle tissue, deep sleep rejuvenates our whole body.

If you have ever woken up not feeling rested enough, you know the feeling and can appreciate the importance of great rest.

If you have ever woken up feeling rested – you know that feeling too and how phenomenally it feels.

Sleep is a whole different topic, but best advice is to try to get 8 hours of sleep, avoid technology and LED lights 1-2 hours before bed time, as well as caffeine. Sleep in a dark and cool room.

All of those, and many more, help us rest during the night, however, there is another form of rest – relaxation during the day.

Allowing yourself time, even if it is 10-20 minutes to switch off, meditate, have a walk in the nature, clear your mind or even have a power nap that many successful people build into their daily schedule in order to freshen up and it helps them refocus.

There is a huge amount of evidence on the benefits of daily meditation on our well-being as well as productivity.

So, make sure you are not in your head and in all frenzy and activity all day long.

MINDSET

Forth pillar you might think is an unusual one, but it impacts our health massively – working on our HEALTH MINDSET. I am sure you have heard “80% nutrition, 20% exercise, 100% mindset!” Because we are creatures of habit and building healthy habits is built in the mind first!

Everything starts with a thought and healthy starts from making a CHOICE to be healthy, every single day. And this, in my opinion, is indeed the pillar worth mentioning because it is exactly with mindset itself that most struggle with before they can achieve health or reach their health, wellness, fitness goals.

Once we choose to be healthy, we need to start working on building habits that support our healthy, active lifestyle so we can continue taking action and feeding our bodies with the right nutrition, exercising our body daily and giving it rest and relaxation it needs.

To build those habits, we need to invest time in surrounding ourselves with people, influences, education, support that will help us achieve that.

We need to keep feeding our healthy mindset with healthy thoughts so our healthy active lifestyle continues to manifest itself.

So, how do YOU support your mindset?

Remember that if people around you are unhealthy, there is a nearly 50% chance you will be too. So, you must surround yourself also with positive examples. Find a coach, find a running buddy, enroll yourself on to a health programme that fits your lifestyle and gets you the support and education you need, etc.

So, think about this for a moment:

  • Who are the people around you?
  • What have they got you thinking? Reading? Doing?
  • Who are you following on social media? I am serious here. Who are your influencers?
  • What are you reading, listening to, watching?
  • Where is all that leading you?

If you want to be healthy, but are following, as an example – deep-fried pizza recipes on social media, or slogans how life is too short and should be enjoyed without limit so you can eat what you want and when you want it… you get the picture… Well, clearly none of that is really helpful.

If you have higher health goals, then you need to set clear goals, design a plan, surround yourself with the right support, positive affirmations and, ultimately, take action.

Most importantly, keep educating yourself what healthy is and what it is not because, life is a lot more fun when we are not sick and when we have energy to face the day.

Investment in our health is arguably the best investment you can make because life IS too short and it is worth and much easier living it in a healthy and fit body. Not because fit & healthy defines you and so does not the lack of it. But, because we are all worth living our best versions of ourselves – physically, mentally, spiritually.

I hope my four pillars gave you an insight into areas where you need to focus into making your health more balanced and health goals achievable. If you liked it, please share, because – sharing is caring. 🙂

I believe that health is our greatest wealth and state where happiness resides, so wishing you to be healthy and happy, always!

Yours in Health,

Sanela