Body Beautiful

How to avoid Christmas Weight Gain

Whilst I’m all for living by the 80/20 rule (80% healthy lifestyle 20% indulgent) December seems to be the one month of the year when the percentage flips the opposite way around! And yes, I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t enjoy ourselves, but go too over the top and you will most probably be regretful come January. 

Here are Five Top Tips to keep Christmas weight gain to a minimum:

1. Don’t feel you have to ‘treat’ yourself at every single Christmas event/party/gathering. Save your treat days for the special days such as Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. The rest of the time stick to your normal diet. 

2. Avoid pastry based canapes, these are obviously high in fat and carbohydrates and are the most calorific. Instead try sticking to meat and veggie options. 

3. Avoid creamy liquors and sugary cocktails which have a huge calorie content. Instead try sticking to a single vodka/gin with either soda water or slim line tonic water and fresh lime where possible, as these are a couple of the lowest calorie drinks. Or a glass of champagne has just 91 calories which is considerably less than a large glass of wine. 

4. Keep active! Go for a family walk Christmas day to walk off some of the huge roast before slumping in front of the TV with the Celebration chocolates for the rest of the afternoon/evening! Head to the ice rink (Somerset House/The Natural History Museum etc) over the holidays to arrange a festive day that doesn’t involve food. And don’t forget we have classes running over the festive period too! 

5. Stop when you’re full! Over indulging is what we do best at Christmas, but nine times out of ten it’s more a case of eating for the sake of it, because it’s there and because it’s Christmas, rather than the fact that we are actually enjoying it! Take a breath before you reach for the third mince pie and ask yourself if you really want it?

FAT FACTS! 

1 mince pie contains around 289 calories and 11g of fat

1 turkey dinner with all the trimmings contains around whopping 3000 calories and 90grams of fat! 

1 mini sausage roll contains around 54 calories and 3.7g fat

1 Egg nog contains around 344 calories and 19grams of fat 

10 average assorted chocolates contain around 700 calories and 25 grams of fat

A Make-up Free workout? Yes Please!

The thought of stepping out the house without a trace of make-up fills me with a certain dread. But sometimes (I’m thinking in particular the 6.30 am class) the choice of staying in bed an extra ten minutes overrides the desire to get up and apply my mascara…..

Luckily, there’s a cheat to help you save a few sacred minutes before an early morning workout and also add touch of glam this Christmas. The Posh Lash Co is a mobile luxury semi-permanent lash extension company that can create those luscious lashes you have always desired! 

Arriving with her snuggles: a soft warm winter wrap for you to get comfy in, scented candle and chill out music, Hayley carefully applies individual lashes to your own, to build up subtle to a more dramatic effect lashes that last around three weeks. 

Having had lash extensions before and not being particularly impressed, I was pleasantly surprised how good they looked (no need to apply extra mascara on top) and how long they lasted. Yes, you do have to take care of them, and the more you do the longer they will last. 

I went for the Dramatic Extra Full set to see me through the party season ahead. So if you fancy fluttering those lashes under the mistletoe then check out her festive offer on her website http://www.theposhlashco.com/

Take a look at my before and after pictures to see the results.

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How to Stay Motivated and Committed to fitness

Well, it may feel like the summer is drawing to an end (actually it’s felt like that the entire month of August if you’ve been here!) and it’s perfectly normal to feel slightly blue at the prospect of back to work and colder months ahead. So, it’s more important than ever to keep your spirits high and not allow yourself to wallow in post summer sadness! 

Keeping fit and healthy by throwing yourself back into your fitness routine, will not only give you more energy and make you feel happier, with the release of those happy hormones and all….but it will also give you a focus and help you get back into a good routine. 

Top Tips to get there

1. Set yourself a goal. Do you want to lose a few pounds to feel fabulous in time for the festive season? Or how about signing yourself and a friend up to charity race and work towards improving your overall fitness whilst raising money for a good cause? 

2. Commit. Sign up, choose your package and book your classes in in advance. By making an advanced commitment to yourself you are more likely to stay on track. Put the dates of your classes in your diary and stick to them like you would a social date. Remember this is an important date with yourself, so treat it like that and don’t let any other things that may crop up interfere. 

3. Grab a mate. Working out with a friend or maybe your partner, will give you even more motivation to stay on track as you won’t want to let each other down, plus you can make it a social event with dinner after. Just make sure you chose your workout buddy wisely! 

4. Be organised. If you’re coming to our early morning classes or evening classes, then make sure you pack your workout bag the night before, so that you’re ready to go! 

5. Don’t think, just Do. Yes there will be days when we have the sniffles or we just don’t feel like it. So unless you truly are under the weather, don’t give yourself time to make excuses, set yourself in automatic pilot mode and just get yourself to the studio. Once you’re lying on the reformer, we’ll make you do the rest!

 

 

 

 

The 6 month countdown to the perfect wedding look

Get Jennifer Anniston’s Wedding Glow with Perfect7’s top pre-wedding tips!

Jennifer Anniston has regularly said that her youthful looks are owed to her high intake of omega-3, an ingredient that is found in oily fish such as salmon and mackerel. Omega-3 can also be taken as a supplement such as cod liver oil, or Seven Seas’ new beauty supplement – Perfect7 Woman.
During the 6 month countdown to your big day, you’ll be starting to think about all of the ways your can look your best self. It’s time to start prepping and primping to achieve the perfect bridal glow and gorgeous hair – just like Jen.
The Perfect7 experts have pulled together their top tips to help you look the healthiest and most radiant that you’ve ever been. Not only will your hair, nails, skin and body LOOK as good as our favourite Friend’s star, but you will be feeling your best as well.

6 months – join the gym or start a fitness class

Planning a wedding is exercise in itself, but joining a gym or starting a regular class will not only help you to tone up for your special day, but it will also give you some well-deserved endorphins that will help you to stay positive and happy during what can be a stressful time.
“Your body loves movement so whether that’s a quick run in the morning or even something fun and active like a hula hooping class, your body will really love you for it” Personal Trainer Chris Zaremba says.

4 months – ditch the ‘diet’

At this point, you should start to think about your dietary habits, and making a few small but effective changes to the way to eat.
Fad diets and crash diets tend to be a temporary solution that will of course help you to shed some weight, but they’re not always very good for your immune system and often end up making you feel tired, which is not what you want when planning a wedding.
Introducing a few small changes such as switching out pasta and potatoes for quinoa will help you achieve your long-term goal – so you can look fab on your honeymoon too! Just be sensible and remember to love your body and think about what you’re putting into it.
Introducing more oily fish into your diet will help you in so many ways. “Omega-3 can't be made in the body so need to be supplied in the diet. There is mounting evidence that omega-3 can help with mood swings and depression as well as skin, hair and nails. If you don't like oily fish, try eating walnuts, flaxseeds/ linseeds chia seeds, flaxseed oil and rapeseed oil or take an omega-3 supplement such as Perfect7 Woman – put a couple of packs in your bathroom cabinet and take them each morning” says Dietician Helen Bond.

2 months – care for your hair

You might think that hair and make-up is something you can organise on the day of your wedding, but think ahead - now is the time to start preparing your hair for all that blow drying and styling.
Use coconut oil on your hair every night for silky results. Also take a supplement containing Biotin, a mineral that can help the cells in your hair repair, for long luscious locks.
Also, plan ahead and book your hair and make-up artist now to avoid any last minute stress. Get their email address and feel no shame in sending them over and hair-spiration along the way.

1 month – nail it!

There is nothing worse than chipping nails when you want a close up of that ring! "Put a teaspoon of finely chopped garlic into your base coat. Apply 3 times a week to natural nails for a chip fix. It strengthens nails really well (some people claim it also helps them grow faster).
A supplement containing zinc is also great for building up nail strength” celebrity nail technician Lucy Tucker says.

2 weeks – get your face in shape

It isn’t just about your make-up looking fabulous on your wedding day; your skin is just as important. “I’d recommend any products that contain vitamin C or clay. They are great for anti-ageing and detoxifying skin ahead of your wedding day” says celebrity facialist Nuz Shugaa.
If you really want to tone your face ready for your close up, why not try ‘face yoga’. Do it every night to help with skin elasticity. It’s a great chance to get some me time in as well.

2 days – top up the tan

Your day is just around the corner. You’re bound to have a beautiful natural glow by now but if you’re thinking about having a spray tan as well – now it the time to do it.
Make sure you’re booked in to get your tan at least 48 hours ahead of your wedding to allow enough time for development and also for you to rinse off the top coat. There is nothing worse than brown marks on the most important dress you’ll ever own!
Once you’ve showered and are left looking like you’ve just come back from ‘St Tropez’, apply plenty of moisturiser to keep your tan for longer, giving you a head start on your honeymoon.

1 day – avoid a hair scare

“Rose water with equal parts of Witch Hazel, which has very astringent properties, will give any pre-bridal weave a refreshing lift” hints renowned Trichologist Madeleine Preston.
“Try washing with this the night before your wedding day so your hair is ready to take the heat.”

YOUR WEDDING

By now you will be looking and feeling your radiant best. You’ve booked yourself a hair and make-up artist well in advance so there is nothing left to worry about. Sit back and relax while someone makes you look beautiful and enjoy your life as Mr and Mrs!

For your chance to win a three month supply of Perfect 7 Woman simply head over to our Instagram page https://instagram.com/powerpilatesuk/ give us a like and repost the Perfect 7 Woman post.

A treatment to make sun spots a thing of the past


With the summer in full flow we're all (or at least should be) more conscious of over exposure to the sun’s harmful rays. I know myself, I have been far from sensible in the past and have seriously burnt my English Rose (or milk bottle white!) complexion on several occasions. The possible health consequences of such actions go without saying, but what has become apparent over recent years are sun spots and pigmentation in my skin that as far as I was aware was something that I would have to learn to live with. Well apparently not so.....
Anti-ageing specialist Dr Mark Holmes, (and my own trusted skin specialist) is one of just five doctors in the UK who owns a Neogen Plasma system machine, which promises revolutionary results.
This plasma skin regeneration system is an effective treatment for deep wrinkles, pigmentation from sun damage and lax skin on the face, neck, décolleté and back of hands. This pioneering option treats the whole skin architecture, leading to multiple benefits simultaneously.
Looking at the before and after pictures it’s not hard to see why Dr Holmes patients are raving about it! If you want to find out more information please head over to his website. Dr Holmes now practices from East Grindstead, Buckhurst Hill (Essex) and Notting Hill.
 

How to avoid the Holiday weight gain


So you know how the story goes: you spend weeks working your butt off in class, are meticulous about every mouthful and have even devoted yourself to a daily body brushing ritual, only to undo all your good work, with a week of sun, sea and sangria!
Sure, summer holidays are to be enjoyed and I am all for letting my hair down and having a good time, we all deserve a break from work and time to relax. But, what a shame to put all that hard work to waste with one week of over indulgence and lack of exercise?
So if you’re one of many who return from their holiday feeling more like a beached whale than a sun-kissed beach babe, then maybe a few healthy holiday tips wouldn’t go a miss…..

Eat Mediterranean Style  

Summer eating should be light, fresh and healthy, but too many helpings from the bread basket and ice creams after dinner will amount to several extra unwanted pounds on the scales on your return. Fresh Mediterranean dishes are delicious, because they make the most of local, fresh produce, so there’s no need to feel that you are missing out. When by the sea, indulge in the wonderful seafood’s on offer and the tasty fresh salads and veg.
 
As always there are a plenty of healthy swaps that you could make:
- Instead of buttery croissants for breakfast, opt for fresh exotic fruits with yoghurt, smoked salmon and eggs.
- Opt tomato sauces rather than creamy sauces.
- Avoid pizza and pasta dishes which high carbohydrate content will leave you bloated, instead choose a fish or meat dish with plenty of fresh veg or salad.
- Skip desserts and go for a fresh mint tea to aid digestion
- Avoid the bread basket at dinner. We don’t normally eat bread with meals on a daily basis, so adding this in every day will soon clock up your calorie content. Make sure you don’t arrive starving to the dinner table and risk temptation.
- Avoid snacking in between meals, especially with high fat and sugary snacks that you wouldn’t normally eat at home. Opt for a handful of nuts over crisps which will at least offer nutritional content, just remember that nuts are very high in fat and the ones coated in sugar and salt do not count as healthy snacks!
- Go easy on the ice cream! Everyone tends to gorge on ice cream on holiday. Just remember 2 scoop of ice cream contains around 500 calories. Instead choose fresh fruit or an ice lolly.
Remember, being in another country is a big temptation to try all the different foods on offer and there’s no need to miss out, just choose wisely and remember you don’t have to eat everything in sight!

Santé!  

Now, I’m not going to tell you to avoid alcohol, because you know as well as I do that this simply isn’t going to happen! What I would advise, is that you try to avoid drinking during the day (where possible) and limit yourself to just one alcoholic drink over dinner, just to keep alcohol consumption down slightly.
The lowest calorie drink is vodka, soda water and fresh lime and mint, so if you really are conscious of overloading on the sugar then stick with this summer goodie! Or how about a gin and slimline tonic with fresh cucumber and strawberries? Adding slices of fresh fruit will liven up your drink and hopefully help you avoid more sugary alternatives.
Drinking plenty of water goes without saying. Avoid all fizzy, sugary drinks on the beach and take a big bottle of iced water with you to sip throughout the day. It’s so important to stay hydrated in the sun and drinking water will avoid overdoing the empty calorie sugary drinks. Just remember each can of fizzy drink contains around 10 teaspoons of sugar! 

Keep moving!

Lazing on the beach may be your idea of holiday heaven, but if you start your day with some kind of activity then you can enjoy a lazy afternoon on the beach guilt free!
Find a hotel with a gym or somewhere that offers fitness classes, so that you can squeeze in a few morning sessions throughout your stay.
If the gym is not your thing, then pop your trainers on and go for a long brisk walk, bike ride or run along the beach.
Just half an hour to an hour a day, building up a sweat and getting the heart rate going will not only get your day off to a good start, but it will also help burn off a few calories, keep you toned and looking good in your beach attire and motivate you to make healthier food choices throughout your holiday too.
 

How To Stay Motivated To Eat Healthy & Work Out


Summer is always the time of year when people have some kind of fitness project planned for themselves, such as our Beach Body Challenge. I want to share with you how to make it work for you.

There have been some very successful personal training businesses that have done well from a model of 6 week or 12 week projects. They work so well because the expectations are set early and there is a very definite start and finish. This can help with motivation a lot as people can make sacrifices for short periods such as this. 

So how do we get this to work for you? All of us have stopped and started on many a "get back in shape" plan.  "I'm really serious about it this time! I will be 100% dedicated! I will stick to the plan!"

 
Tip 1 - Decide how long your project will be and halve it


For most of us 12 weeks or even 6 weeks is a really long time to train 4-6x a week, stick to a meal plan and restrict ourselves socially to avoid temptation. My advice, especially if you have tried and failed before is to break it up into 2 week blocks or halve what you originally intended. You need to be saying to yourself things like "Of course I could do that! That is so easy to do! Are you sure its not too little?"

By doing this we alleviate a huge amount of self imposed expectation and a huge drain on our willpower which we know is a limited resource. It also allows us the ability to get our head down for a short period of time with better clarity and focus before we start questioning our motivations in the first place. Once we hit this reduced target, we can reassess how we got on and the set the next target/ deadline for ourselves.

Obviously there is a minimum amount of willpower and effort required, which I think is two weeks, but hopefully you see my point about getting started and breaking the journey. For 6 weeks this would be 3x2 week sprints with a progress review every 2 weeks to see what is working and what needs tweaking.

 
Tip 2 - Plan it all out


Before embarking on an intense fitness project, make sure you have everything planned out.

Food

  • Where do I get my meat and veg from?
  • How much do I need to budget?
  • Should I outsource it?
  • What do I need for my goals?

Lifestyle

  • What social events do I say yes or no to? What are the absolute essentials I can't miss?
  • What will I say when people ask me what and why I am doing this?
  • How do I get myself to bed earlier so I can get the recovery I need?
  • When is the best time to train according to my daily routine?

Mindset

  • How will I remind myself why I started this for when times get hard?
  • Who is really supportive of me doing this and how can I spend more time around them during this?
  • How can I make this project as easy as possible for myself?

 

 Tip 3 - Keep motivated by tracking your progress


It is very important to keep track of how you are getting on on an intense project. Motivation will vary and nothing helps more than having feedback throughout.

Some examples may include:

Factual- body fat %, weight, how much stronger am I getting in class?

Visual- photographic before and afters

Behavioural- habit checklist "Did I eat X amount of meals today- Yes or No" did I snack inbetween meals?

Recovery- How motivated out of 10 am I to train today- 1-10, keep a tally each day

 
Tips 4 - Bring friends

It has been proven time and time again, that people succeed far more frequently when involved in a group scenario. The accountability, social aspect and fun factor really come into play here. Especially when times get tough, getting fit can be a pretty lonely place. You do not see your friends as much as you used to, the vices you used to indulge in to let some steam out are gone and many people are questioning your motives constantly as it can make them feel uncomfortable. 

When planning a project, try to find a friend or meet some new like minded people and make it a social event. Go to any good gym class and see how busy they are. Always the same faces, the same community. These people stay on it for years. We are social by nature so take full advantage of that when possible!

Healthy Beach Body Brownies

healthy chocolate brownies


It's great to see that we're all getting into healthy cooking and sharing our recipes over on the Beach Body Challenge Facebook page. You can still sign up and work towards getting fit and healthy for the summer. For more info click right here. Below is a gorgeous recipe for Healthy Chocolate Brownies by our lovely client Britta Reynolds. 

'I'm sure many of you are like me and always crave something sweet when trying to eat healthy. If so this is the most amazing brownie recipe and the beauty is it has no added sugar, wheat or dairy yet it still taste fab.'
- Britta

Healthy chocolate brownies

300g dates (No stones)
50ml water
1 vanilla pod - remove tough ends and chop 
150g coconut oil melted plus extra for greasing baking tin
100g dark chocolate broken into smaller pieces preferably one without added sugar and at least 70% cocoa - I use 85%
2 eggs
100g ground almond
200g chopped roasted natural nuts

In a food processor or blender chop the dates, water, vanilla and melted coconut oil, once it's finely chopped add the chocolate and blend until it's a smooth mass. 
Transfer to bowl and whisk in eggs followed with ground almond. (I have previously done everything in my food processor it still taste as good, and once baked there is only a small difference in consistency) 
Lastly, mix in chopped nuts and add to tin.
Bake at 160 Celsius for 30 mins.
The cake keeps well, as long as it is stored in an airtight container.