Monday, November 21, 2011

Slim Secrets Ask the Trainer - Should I do Yoga?

Courtney's Answer: Yoga is a great way to stretch your muscles, as well as relaxing your mind and body. After a good yoga session you will always feel energised, however if weight loss is your goal, I would suggest you mix it up with some higher intensity exercise, such as circuits involving both weight training and cardio. Try a 'one day on, one day off' routine, alternating between both forms to maximise your results!

What forms of exercise do you all find works best?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Courtney Barber for Slim Secrets - 5 foods you should never eat!

Hi Everyone!

I hope you all have been having a great week! Have you been hitting the gym and keeping those fitness goals? Remember consistency is key – so if you feel as though you haven’t done enough exercise for the week then make sure you take advantage of the weekend sunshine!

Today we are focussing on nutrition and more importantly foods that should not be part of your diet. You don’t want to be adding those extra calories back in after you have been working so hard at the gym during the week. There are many foods that have no nutritional benefits whatsoever, especially to those who wish to stay slim and in shape! Read below and see if you have been snacking on some of these items – you may find the source of those unwanted calories!

5 Foods You Should Never Eat

1. White Bread – This one is terrible! No-one should be eating white bread, especially with all the lovely wholemeal and grain breads in the market today, not to mention alternate options such as wraps and brown rice. White bread is high GI (glycemic index) carbohydrates. These carbohydrates cause sugars to be released quickly into the bloodstream, thus releasing insulin. This is the same reaction that happens when we eat anything high in sugar such as lollies etc, so ditch the white bread!

2. Animal Fat – I don’t know how many times I have seen people order a lovely steak at a restaurant, only to leave most of the lean meat and eat the large portion of fat on the outside! Obviously there are always going to be small amounts of animal fat in our diet, however stick to lean cuts and always remember to trim skin and extra fat off the portion.

3. Meat Pies – Did you know that on average a store bought or frozen meat pie contains around 20 grams of saturated fat and half a teaspoon of salt! Not to mention that meat pies only need to contain 25% actual “meat”, which can come from the connective tissue, the blood and blood vessels and skin. Yuck! That right there is a reason not to eat anymore “mystery meat” pies!

4. Potato Chips – Lucky for you chip lovers, Slim Secrets has their own range of Guilt Free Chips which you can snack on, which have less than 1.2 grams of fat per serve and are gluten free! Compared to normal potato chips, which have over 10 grams of fat per serve and are loaded with salt, sugars and other additives, the Slim Secrets variety are definitely the way to go. 

5. Breakfast Cereals – Most people think that breakfast cereals are a healthy way to start the day, but unfortunately most of them are far from healthy. Containing very high amounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates, they are very easy to over-eat. Make sure you always check the serving size also, as some may claim that they are low in sugar, however the serving size is for half a cup – most people eat at least a cup or two when they pour their cereal!

Do you regularly eat the foods on this list? If so, then it’s time to make some changes to your diet! Stay tuned for Monday’s blog post and remember keep emailing me with your questions!


Courtney Barber for Slim Secrets - 10 exercises every woman should do!

Hi everyone!

I have been getting many questions lately about weight training, particularly the best exercises for women who want to firm up their bodies and create some sexy lean muscle! So I have put together my "must do" list of exercises for women that really hit the trouble spots and should be incorporated into everyone's routine on a weekly basis. Whether you regularly weight train or usually stick to cardio, these exercises are great for sculpting our bodies into a sleek yet feminine shape.

10 exercises every woman should do

1. PliƩ Squat

2. Walking Lunge

3. Tricep Dip

4. Shoulder Press

6. Pec Dec or Flat Flye

7. Reverse Crunch

8. Chin up or assisted chin up

9. Bent over rear Delt raise

10. Bent knee crunch

To hit your body in one go, why not put them all together into a circuit. Or incorporate a few into your usual routine. If you are unsure on how to do any of the exercises, feel free to email me through the Ask The Trainer tab or look them up on Youtube (there are many videos which will show you the correct form).

Try them out this week and let me know how you go!

Have a healthy and happy week!


Courtney Barber for Slim Secrets - How to have fun at an event (when your on a diet!)

The holiday season is upon us and I'm sure many of you are putting together the few last minute touches to your outfits, as well as deciding what parties you are going to attend! Holiday season is a great time for socialising, however it can strike fear into the hearts of those that are currently watching their weight or on a diet (which could include a large portion of the female sector at any given time!) Thinking about the gauntlet of calories at these events can make even the healthiest eaters a bit nervous.

The trick is to conciously make a plan BEFORE you attend your events, so that you are not eating and drinking yourself into oblivion and undoing all that hard work you have been putting in at the gym over the past days or weeks. It doesn't mean that you have to forgo all the fun and sit in the corner eating a stick of celery, however, with the right plan you can have a fabulous time and still fit into your dress at the end of the day!

The Plan

1. When you are at home getting ready, try to drink at least a 1 litre bottle of water before you leave. This will ensure that you are hydrated before you see the first tray of champagne and wont be drinking just because you are thirsty!

2. If your event doesn't involve a lunch or set menu, have a healthy snack or meal beforehand. For the same reasons as No 1, this will stop you from eating the whole tray of party snacks when you arrive because you are starving.

3. Think fresh and healthy, not oily and fatty when it comes to snacks. Look for the vegetable and fruit platters and steer clear of anything that has been deep fried, crumbed, battered or covered in sauces! Protein sauces such as chicken and ham are great, as well as natural almonds, walnuts etc...

4. If you are drinking but want a low calorie option, stick to vodka, lime and soda or vodka with a diet mixer. Champagne, wine and beer are all high in calories and sugar and you know you will drink a lot of them!

5. Between each alcoholic beverage, have one glass of water. This will keep you hydrated and may even help to stop that hangover the next day.

6. Pop some Slim Secrets Wanted Under 100 Calories bars in your clutch or purse. They are the perfect size for event snacking and the best option when you are waiting for a taxi at the end of the day!

7. If you want to have one treat at the event, look for the most fabulous dessert on offer! Don't pile your plate high - just choose one. Savour each bite and enjoy it!

Enjoy your events and remember the plan!