Fitness Q&A

1. What made a biggest impact on losing weight? cut down carbs, junk food or did you go low fat?

To be honest. It was a bit of everything. I did all of the things mentioned above. I didn’t cut junk food completely, just reduce it to one or two cheats a week. I didn’t cut carbs completely just measure them to don’t over eat them. And I went high fat actually.

I find myself I feel fuller and with more energy having plenty of fats in my diet and by this I mean good fats like: avocado, almond butter, nuts, coconut milk (for curries and dishes), seeds, etc. I don’t consume any cow milk and cheese only on my cheat meals. 

But the above is up to each individual. I know some ladies that much rather have a higher carb diet and lower fat. So analyse how you feel, and do what your body feels happy with. 

2. When you are training should you always focus on a particular part of the body?

Not necessarily. I know extremely fit people that do a full body workouts every time they exercise. So they do 1 or 2 exercises of each body part in one session.

I personally prefer dividing the muscles into: legs & glutes, Chest & Shoulders, Bicep & Tricep and finally back. I squeeze abs work-outs in at least 3 of those days after each workout.

3. Best food for a flat tummy?

There is a few foods that do help to have a flat tummy but the truth is all this foods work in as a team. Is not like you can eat an apple and have a flat tummy. If you eat that apple covered in melted chocolate is not going to work. So all those articles you see saying: “10 foods that keep a flat tummy” are only trying to get you to click on their pages.

To get a flat tummy you need to constantly eat these foods and reduce your junk and processed food to a minimum. 85% of your meals should be fresh produce and healthy dishes. The other 15% you can squeeze in a little cheeky cheat meal or some processed sauce you like, mayo, etc…

Now in saying this the following foods are good to help you have a flat tummy if you include them often enough in your diet and of course if you exercise regularly:

-Almonds: These delicious and versatile nuts contain filling protein and fiber, not to mention vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant

– Apple: A large apple has five grams of fiber, but it’s also nearly 85 percent water, which helps you feel full

– Berries: The more fiber you eat the fewer calories you absorb from all the other stuff you put in your mouth

– Green VegetablesOne cup of spinach contains only about 40 calories, while a cup of broccoli has 55 calories and satisfies 20 percent of your day’s fiber requirement

-Yogurth (If its vegan even better) The probiotic bacteria in most yogurts help keep your digestive system healthy, which translates into a lower incidence of gas, bloating, and constipation, which can keep your tummy looking flat.

– Oily Fish: Seafood, especially fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel, is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. These uber-healthy fats may help promote fat burning by making your metabolism more efficient

– Cucumber: Thanks to the flavonoid antioxidant quercetin (which reduces swelling) and a high water content of 96%, cucumbers “can definitely help prevent bloating

Those foods above are just to mention a few, but remember is no all about eating this foods is about including them regularly, avoiding sugar as much as possible and beign active!

4. How to keep healthy when doing shift hours?

Shift hours for nurses for example have it very tough as your body clock is not working as effectively as it should.

When you’re working a shift schedule, your eating and exercise habits can suffer.  People who work shifts sometimes skip meals, eat irregularly, eat unhealthy food, and may find it hard to keep up a regular exercise schedule. To avoid icing up the pounds here is a few tips:
Have healthy foods readily available at home and at work. If you are tired you will be more likely to reach for any foods that are near, doesn’t matter if they are healthy or unhealthy so stock your kitchen and your work place with easy-to-eat raw vegetables (baby carrots, apple slices) and hummus, fruits (bananas, oranges), or a container of raw almonds and raisins. For carbs consider whole grains and “slow burning” foods like brown rice, oats, sweet potato, etc that keep you full and productive for longer stretches.
Do batch cooking! To have ready meals for when you get home. Freezing portion sizes of your favorite healthy meals for easy access, so you can just get home and re-heat your meals!
Eat small, frequent meals as opposed to large heavy ones. Heavy meals often have more calories than most people need in one sitting. Eating a large portion can also make you feel sluggish or tired while on the job. 

Sit down to eat. Pause for meals. Eat at a relaxed pace. Eating on the go or in front of a computer encourages mindless snacking.
Keep yourself hydrated. Your body often signals hunger and thirst in the same way. Bring a water bottle to work and fill it often. 
Exercise moderately. Try to take walks, walk up and down stairs, or stretch before or after your shift or during your breaks. People who exercise not only burn more calories during the day, but they sleep better as well
Get the sleep you need. People who sleep the recommended seven to nine hours each day are healthier, fitter, and less likely to suffer from obesity or other health issues than those who don’t sleep well. Remember that you can space out sleep with naps if a single period of rest isn’t possible with your schedule.  

5. Whats the best exercise classes? full body workout, step, spinning etc?

It all depends what are your goals. If in general you just want to maintain a lean body and be healthy, all those classes are very good. 

(Any activity that includes resistance and make you sweat is good)

Now, if your goal is to target specific body areas then I’d recommend you hitting the heavy weights machines at the gym.

6. Are pre-work outs good?

Like this “funny” memes about pre-works are thousands of them! I honestly don’t find them funny. This s*** powder can literally make you feeling like s*** and if you have anxiety or suffer with depression this is a terrible idea as it can leave you just feeling worse!

 It might be tempting to try one of these supplements before hitting the gym or heading out for a run, in hopes of increasing your energy levels, muscle power or endurance during your workout.

Preworkout supplements often contain a mystery blend of ingredients ranging from caffeine to guarana to creatine

You’ve got ingredients that are going to increase blood flow, increase heart rate, increase focus, increase blood flow to the skin and give you a little tingle

Too much caffeine can pose a health risk, and supplements can contain 4 times more than is found in a cup of coffee. A person could guzzle gallons of coffee and not suffer from a true caffeine overdose. But even at much lower levels, caffeine can worsen underlying conditions such as a heart arrhythmia, leading to cardiac arrest.

This drinks are usually used of olympians who are pushing themselves to the limit. But if you are doing a few weights or heading out for a 5k run this is just very damaging for your health. Drink a coffee and have a banana. That will be much better for your performance and your body.

7. How do you start strength training? Do you need a personal training or can you do it yourself?

(Image from book Men’s health big book of exercises)

I definitely think you can do a good routine by yourself with a good book a good look around the internet BUT to get your form right is always good to have a Personal Trainer available to correct you on your form. If your form isn’t good you can injure yourself badly or the exercise won’t give you the expected results.

I know that a lot of people do online training. (Maybe I will do it myself done day who knows). But I think if you can, you should train with someone who does person to person coaching so he/she can show you how to do the exercises  with a good form and they can measure your progress and your body fat, etc,

8. Best core exercises?

There is hundreds of different core exercises but to built a goo routine every time you do abs chose exercises that hits every muscle in your abdominals: the top, bottom and sides of your abs.

Here is an example:

9. How to start when you have no fitness condition at all

When I started to exercise I remember I went to a “jumping in a trampoline” class. I couldn’t believe how unfit I was. I honestly didn’t think I was that bad at it. I saw all the other girls jumping so high I  honestly could barely jump 10cm of the trampoline. Even the teacher asked me If I had an injury or something. I was mortified. It was one of those moments where I never wanted to come back to the gym again. 

After that class I was totally out of breathe, tired, sweaty and have to say that I hated it. So I decided to work on my physical condition before doing anything else. So I started to go only to the treadmill for about 3 weeks. Literally started just walking 3k, then jogging for 1 minute walking 2 and so on until I was able to jug 5k by week 3. 

At that stage I went to one of the trainers available in the gym and he gave me a full body routine which it was very easy. Few bicep curls, jump and jacks, lounges, etc. I did that for another 3 weeks mixed with my 5k walks and when I felt ready, I jumped to individual muscle groups weight sessions which I still do, but now I do heavier weights, and I  have jumped from 5k to do 10k. 

It is amazing how the body can go from not begin able to do anything to do bigger things. Don’t give up!

10. Recommended foods for before and after working out

 if you exercise on an empty stomach, you’re not giving yourself the fuel you need to power through an intense training session. So make sure you fuel yourself with some carbohydrates  and protein before your workouts. Here is a few vegetarian examples:

– Brown rice with black beans and veggies of choice

– Small sweet potato with steamed broccoli and drizzle of olive oil 

– Banana with almond butter 

– Multi-grain crackers with hummus 

– Smoothie with 250ml almond milk, 1/2 cup frozen berries and 1 banana

-Apple and a handful of almonds

During exercise, your body taps the fuel stored in your muscles known as glycogen for energy. After you’ve exercised, your muscles are depleted of their glycogen stores and broken down. Eating (or drinking) something that combines protein and carbohydrates 30 minutes to an hour after your workout will refill energy stores, builds and repairs your muscles that were broken down, and helps keep your metabolism burning strong.
Ideas for your post-workout meal:
-Protein shake made with half of a banana, almond milk, and hemp seeds (excellent protein source)
– Salad with roasted chickpeas (1/2 cup), light olive oil and vinegar
– Sautéed or steamed vegetables with an omelette
– Salmon & sweet potatoes 
– Multi-grain bread (2 slices) with raw peanut butter and chia seeds sprinkled on top
– Burrito with beans, brown rice, guacamole, and salsa

12 thoughts on “Fitness Q&A

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  4. Ronnie says:

    Hi Ursula, just wondering would you do some cardio work before your strength training? If so what and for how long? Also, if you don’t do a cardio warm up, what sort of warm up would you do before your strength training?


    • momfitnessdiary says:

      Hi Ronnie. I do cardio on separate days to my strength training. But If you want you could do both in one session. I would do first weights (30min) then cardio (another 30 min) . When I do weights i warm up by running 1k in the treadmill. Other warm up ideas would be 10 jumping jacks, 10 sit ups, 10 lunges on each leg, 10 burpees. And for cardio you can do 1 min running in treadmill one walking, one running , one walking for 30 minutes. X


  5. Ronnie says:

    Thanks for replying so quickly. I’ve seen recently where if you are doing both strength and cardio, a person should do cardio first. I’ve always done the opposite, warmed up with say 20 mins running on treadmill or 20 mins on a crosstrainer. To get most out of my strength should I do that first and then cardio?


  6. Ronnie says:

    I’ve always done cardio first to get my heart rate up and dripping sweat!!.I have this notion that if I’m not dripping sweat I’m not getting the most from my workout!!


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