Bringing Back The Motivation : 9 Ways to Keep You Motivated

Even the most motivated us can lose our motivation. There are times we don't feel like doing anything or even not thinking of anything. We get into slump that making positive changes seems to be difficult. 

But's not a hopeless thing! A small step can lead to giant step. You can get started down the road to positive change.

Yes, I know it seems impossible at times. You don't feel like doing anything. I've been there, in fact I still feel the same time after time. So you're not alone. 

When I fall out of exercise due to illness, busy with work or simply just being lazy. It's hard to get started again. But, I've always found way to break out of the slump and here are the things that I've learned :

1. One Goal. Whenever I’ve been in a slump, I’ve discovered that it’s often because I have too much going on in my life. I’m trying to do too much. And it saps my energy and motivation. It’s probably the most common mistake that people make: they try to take on too much, try to accomplish too many goals at once. You cannot maintain energy and focus (the two most important things in accomplishing a goal) if you are trying to do two or more goals at once. It’s not possible — I’ve tried it many times. You have to choose one goal, for now, and focus on it completely. I know, that’s hard. Still, I speak from experience. You can always do your other goals when you’ve accomplished your One Goal. 

2.Find inspiration. Inspiration, for me, comes from others who have achieved what I want to achieve, or who are currently doing it. I read other blogs, books, magazines. I Google my goal, and read success stories. 

3.Get excited. This sounds obvious, but most people don’t think about it much: if you want to break out of a slump, get yourself excited about a goal. But how can you do that when you don’t feel motivated? Well, it starts with inspiration from others (see above), but you have to take that excitement and build on it. Once I’ve done that, it’s just a matter of carrying that energy forward and keeping it going.

 4.Post your goal. Print out your goal in big words. Make your goal just a few words long, like a mantra (“Exercise 15 mins. Daily”), and post it up on your wall or refrigerator. Post it at home and work. Put it on your computer desktop. You want to have big reminders about your goal, to keep your focus and keep your excitement going. A picture of your goal (like a model with sexy abs, for example) also helps.

5. Think about it daily. If you think about your goal every day, it is much more likely to become true. To this end, posting the goal on your wall or computer desktop (as mentioned above) helps a lot. Sending yourself daily reminders also helps. And if you can commit to doing one small thing to further your goal (even just 5 minutes) every single day, your goal will almost certainly come true.

6.Realize that there’s an ebb and flow. Motivation is not a constant thing that is always there for you. It comes and goes, and comes and goes again, like the tide. But realize that while it may go away, it doesn’t do so permanently. It will come back. Just stick it out and wait for that motivation to come back.

7.Start small. Really small. If you are having a hard time getting started, it may be because you’re thinking too big. If you want to exercise, for example, you may be thinking that you have to do these intense workouts 5 days a week. No — instead, do small, tiny, baby steps. Just do 2 minutes of exercise. I know, that sounds wimpy. But it works. Commit to 2 minutes of exercise for one week. You may want to do more, but just stick to 2 minutes. It’s so easy, you can’t fail. Do it at the same time, every day.

8.Think about the benefits, not the difficulties. One common problem is that we think about how hard something is. Exercise sounds so hard! Just thinking about it makes you tired. But instead of thinking about how hard something is, think about what you will get out of it. For example, instead of thinking about how tiring exercise can be, focus on how good you’ll feel when you’re done, and how you’ll be healthier and slimmer over the long run. The benefits of something will help energize you.

9.Squash negative thoughts; replace them with positive ones. Along those lines, it’s important to start monitoring your thoughts. Recognize negative self-talk, which is really what’s causing your slump. Just spend a few days becoming aware of every negative thought. Then, after a few days, try squashing those negative thoughts like a bug, and then replacing them with a corresponding positive thought. Squash, “This is too hard!” and replace it with, “I can do this! If that wimp Leo can do it, so can I!” It sounds corny, but it works. Really. Seriously

How To Plan Your Exercise Program

"He fails to plan, plan to fail" -Proverb-

Starting fitness program may be one of the best things you can do for your health. Physical activity can reduce your risk of chronic disease, improve your balance and coordination, help you lose weight and even help you to sleep better. It's easy to say that you will exercise every day, most worthwhile activity require planning..starting and maintaining a physical activity program does too. When you are designing exercise program keep these points in mind :
  • What's is your fitness goals - Everyone has different goals when it comes to fitness, some just starting an exercise, you may want to lose weight. Others may have prepare for marathon, and for some people it's just maintaining their fitness goals. You and me have different fitness goals. So, choose which you want to achieve. 
  •  Make excercise top priority - You know already the benefits of doing physical activity. If you want to look good, feel good, shed excess fat, increase your energy levels, and feel relaxed and happy, make commitment for healthier lifestyle. Put exercise as your top priority, make time for it and stop making excuses.
  • Design a balanced routine - You don't want to go overboard with your exercise or get injured. For sure you don't want to lose muscles because you are doing too much of cardio exercise but neglecting weight training. Draw an activity plan when you can train your muscle groups as well your cardio. To shed some kilos you don't actually need to exercise for many hours. Aim for 60- 150 minutes of moderate activity. 

  • Plan your recovery time - Many people start exercising by working out too intense or too long and give up when their muscles and joints become sore. Plan time between sessions to rest your body and muscle growth.
  • Write down your plan - A written plan will help you to  stay on track. 
  • Be creative with your plan - There are many things you can do to improve your health. Thousands of weight training you can do, also different activities for your cardio. You can mix it up to avoid plateau. You can join dance classes, you can run, or you can use the elliptical machine..sooo keep you off from boredom.
  • Review your plans and goals - You may find that you can gradually increase some activities while others just too hard. You could find new activities, find more convenient times or trying new exercise.
  • Track your progress - This will keep you motivated and strive more in the future. Reaching your goal will give you more confidence and self-esteem. 

Low Carb My Way!

My first encounter with low carb diet was when I was trying to lose weight. I've done different types of diets and even tried some diet pills. They didn't workout well. I met my trainer and he suggested me to do low carb. So, that time I looked and searched whole informations about low carb.

When it comes to low carb, we always refer to Atkins diet. But I'm not a total fan of Atkins Diet but I'm a big fan of low carb diet. My low carb diet is modification from Atkins, South Beach or any other low carb diets. I do admend some of Atkins rule in low carb and alter it to my own calorie needs and activities. I'm quite active person, 5 times a week in the gym and I do half marathon 3 times a week.

So, as for my low carb is nothing but eating plan. And low carb doesn't mean I eat nothing but fats and proteins. I'm just consuming fewer carbs than other people. I eliminate almost all simple carbs except fruits, and fruits I only take low sugar and medium sugar fruits such as apple, pear, strawberry or avocado. I really go low on sugar intake. Put away all those sugary drinks and switch to total water, sometimes I mix it with lemon slices to vary.

Low carb my way is more eliminate all the bad carbs such as noodle, white rice, potatoes, starchy food, even to brown rice. For breakfast, I consume a low carb biscuits. Afterwards, I minimize my carb intake.  For energy boost before running or workout just apple and cheese string.         

It's very easy to do, I don't time when I have to eat. Whenever I'm hungry,I eat ( low carb of course ). Just take it easy, low carb is not that hard. Do it your own way because you know yourself better.

Happy Low Carbing!

Reasons Why Your Exercises Are Not Effective

Reason #1 : Cardio is Enough

Dr. Kenneth Copper the father of aerobic is finally admitted aerobics itself is not the one and only solution to fat loss. However, the latest survey stated over 80% women still not put the resistance training into their weight loss program. Why exercising with resistance is necessary ? The amount of calories that you burn during exercise is pretty minimal. The vast majority of the calories burned because of exercise are burned in the hours after you have finished exercising. And the length and amount of this ‘after-burn’ are determined by both the intensity of the exercise and the amount of muscle used during the exercise period..not by the amount of time spent exercising!!! So remember…you can exercise hard, or you can exercise long…but you can’t exercise hard for long.

Reason #2 : Resting Too Long Between Sets During Resistance Training
I have seen many people in the gym, who spend their resting time by checking messages in their phone or talking to the person who is next to them. 
When you exercise a muscle, you are ‘breaking the muscle down’…tiring it out. However, the human body is a fascinating machine. The muscle that you just exercised to failure will regain about 50% of its initial strength in the first of 10 seconds rest. After one minute the muscle will regain its strength by 90%. So, if our purpose is to ‘break the muscle down’ with exercise, why on earth would we want to let it recover (almost) fully between sets? That means that we are starting each set almost from the beginning again. How inefficient is that?

Reason #3 : Poor Technique
You have the best fitness program that no one can beat, incredible motivation and amazing nutrition plan. But if you are not performing the exercises correctly, your results are still going to be far from optimum. Any exercise that is not performed correctly will only result injury. And if you are not performing the exercise correctly, you may be exercising completely different muscles than you think you are.

Reason #5 : Doing Outdated Exercise
We are living in the year 2012 now where many exercises have been improved and modified in order to minimize injury. Open up yourself to different types of exercise so you always have options and avoiding plateau. It's time to freshen up your routine and give yourself challenges in exercise. 

Reason #6 : Crunches Help Lose Belly Fat 
There is no proof doing 100 reps of crunches will shed the fat around your belly. Studies have shown that the belly fat area is most responsive to cardio and diet ( avoiding refined carbs, sugar and trans fat ). Speed up the process by cardio and resistance training. My favorite is planks. I still do crunches but limited only to 20 reps and do back up afterward.

What's In The Diet Pills ?

Many of you who have overweight or obesity problem must have tried diet pills. I have to confess, that I have used different type of diet pills, not just pills, the slimming tea, and even laxative. Anything that says "melt away the pounds", "fat burner" I would buy it. Did they work? Yes, but only for short term! When I stopped consuming those pills, I gained more weight and my body become resistant to the pills.

The funny thing is, I lost weight by doing low carb which I design to my own need. So, I came to a conclusion, the actual fat burners are come from real food!
Herbal diet pills, even though they are "all natural" can have potentially dangerous side effects depending upon their ingredients. "Herbal" does not necessarily means "safe".

However, I still curious what's inside the diet pills. Why they can make promises losing weight so quick? When you read the ingredients are you familiar with the names ? Most diet pills mainly contain of these ingredients below :

1. Orlistat ( Xenical ) - is used as fat blockers and remove excess fats through the intestines. These drugs also reduce the body's absorption of essential vitamins and nutrients.

2. Sibutramine - normally used as appetite suppressants stimulate the sympathetic nervouse system, which can raise blood pressure and heart rate.

3. Ephedrine - Many use this drug as dietary supplement to purpose weigh loss and body building. Consuming too much of this drug will cause stroke, and heart attack.

4. Norepinephrine and epinephrine - are chemicals that dictate metabolic responses within the body, such as oxygen release in muscles, blood vessel dilation and constriction and raising blood pressure. They are commonly used to treat depression.
( In my opinion )these drugs probably consumed to maintain "the happy feeling" so we can stick to our exercise.

Surely, diet pills are not a magic solution for weight loss. If you can eat real food why bother taking diet pills?

Recovery After Exercise

We are all know that getting enough rest after exercise is essential to a high level performance, but many still feel over train and feel guilty when we are taking a day off. Rest is physically important so that muscle can repair, rebuild and restrengthen. In worst cast scenario, having too few rest can lead to over training syndrome.

 Building recovery time into any training program is important because this is the time that the body adapts to the stress of exercise and the real training effect takes place. Recovery also allows the body to replenish energy stores and repair damaged tissues. Exercise or any other physical work causes changes in the body such as muscle tissue breakdown and the depletion of energy stores (muscle glycogen) as well as fluid loss.

If you’re just starting out in exercise, it’s important that you build into it slowly to allow you’re body to adapt to the demands of sport. Maybe try exercising on two consecutive days, but have a rest on the third day. If you just keep going, without any rest, your body will soon start to fatigue and you’ll find it difficult to complete any exercise sessions. 

If you have just started physical activity or performed a new exercise for the first time, you might be feeling a little sore or stiff but don’t start doubting all those promises of feeling better for exercising just yet. In most cases this is a reaction from your body as it tries to adapt to the new experience. Starting exercise or performing a new movement pattern can result in:
• Severe muscle soreness
• Muscle stiffness
• Decreases in strength
• Decreases in skill levels

For those who are more experienced exercisers and are maybe training for an event, rest and recovery is also vitally important.

Plan your training carefully, include rest days where you let you’re body recover from the stress and begin to adapt to the training. Try thinking ahead to the race/event date, plan different sessions for each week. Maybe do a couple of weeks of more intensive and hard sessions, but follow that with an ‘easy week’ where you’re body can adapt to all the hard training you’ve been doing .

There are things you can do to help you recover after exercise :

1. Sleep is one of the most important forms of rest and provides time for the body to adapt to the physical and mental demands of training.
• Make sure you’re getting enough sleep (8hours per night is a good guideline)
• Ensure your sleep is good quality, make sure the room is dark, quiet and peaceful.
Passive resting such as reading and listening to music are great ways for the body to relax, both physically and mentally.

2. Cool-down routines are important. If you cease exercise immediately, without cooling down, blood lactate buildup in the muscle tissue won’t be flushed away as efficiently, resulting in muscle soreness and swelling. Cooling down after exercise gives your muscles time to buffer the lactic acid, and it keeps the blood flowing through your capillaries, which reduces lactic acid buildup.

3. Rehydrate yourself after exercising.
Post-workout dehydration causes several unwanted conditions:
  • Waste products will remain in your muscle tissue, increasing your post-workout muscle soreness
  • Thicker blood stresses your cardiovascular system
  • Dehydration significantly reduces mental and physical performance
  • Nutrients, especially the serum amino acid needed for protein synthesis, will not be delivered to your muscle tissue as efficiently
Your recovery from exercise is dependent upon re hydrating yourself after working out. This is the most important step you can take. If you neglect re hydration, your recovery will stall completely.

Last Day of 2011: Being Healthy Never Waits

Accompanied by the sound of rain from outside, my cup of sugar free coffee and I thought it's a perfect time to write an article.

So, today is the last day of 2011, a lot people are already preparing their new years's resolutions. Same like last year, this year I didn't wait until 2012 to start a better and healthier life. When I decided to start then it starts, I don't wait.

Starting a healthier life doesn't wait the day to pass by, the minute you realized it, the right minute you start. Don't say.."oh..I'll start my diet tomorrow and today I'll have my favorite cake" or "Tomorrow I'm going to start dieting, so today I can have anything I want".

The opportunity to live healthier is given each day, there's no special day to start a healthy life. You might not start at all. New Year is only one of moments to kick start, but why not start earlier ? Don't wait for 2012 or 2013 or the next years to have healthy life.

Happy New Year Anyway...

Abs Are Made in The Kitchen Not in The Gym

The title above is inspired by one of Dave Zinczenko's tweets ( he's Men's and Women's Health Editor), and somewhat true. It's a wake up call for everyone who is doing hundreds of crunches for flatter abs, and yet still wondering why those fats still hanging happily in your belly. 

Doing too many crunches at the expense of other, more comprehensive movements can lead to the dreaded “aerobic abs.”  That’s the term celebrity trainer Steve Maresca coined to describe the distended stomachs of those who focus only on the rectus abdominus muscles targeted by sit-ups and crunches. 

Thousand times of crunches and longer core exercises won't make your abs flat if you don't eat the right food. Now, the right food sure comes from the kitchen right? So, what to eat ? 

Start cooking low carb food, embrace the good fat such as; olive oil, avocado, fish etc, avoid deep fried food as often as possible and try to reduce the sodium intake. 

The man made his points though, I don't do much sit-ups ( 20 reps maximum ) for the last 4 years, I'm more focus on the food intake, how my food is prepared. I need to know what ingredients are in my food. I spend a long time doing my grocery because reading all the nutrition facts. When the food contains a lot of carbohydrates, sugars and sodium, I skip them. 

The Flat abs starts in the kitchen! 

I'd Rather Be Low Carber Eater Than Burning Calories

When you consuming something, especially food that contain trans fat, sugar and salt, ever thought how to get rid of the calories that stay in your belly? or the effect caused after you consume them?  I don't mean to scare people off, but seriously when you find out how much calories you have taken and the effort to lose them, it's probably won't worth at all. 

Here are some rough examples  and the estimated of calories you'll consume :
  • Muffin : 1 muffin is equal to 300-350 calories, 43.1 gram carbohydrates, 22.7 gram sugars. 
  • Donut : 1 original donut is sames as 200 - 250 calories, 39 gram carbohydrates and 18 gram sugars. Bear in mind that the numbers of calories, carbohydrates and sugars are increase along with the type of glazing. If you take jelly glazed donut, the calorie intake will reach to 350 calories per 1 donut. 
  • Cookie : 1 cookie carries 66 calories, 8.4 gram carbohydrates, and 3.5 gram of sugars. Yes, it's only 1 cookie, can you imagine if you eat up until 10 cookie chips? Just multiply the numbers !
  • Noodles : A 160gram of noodle contain 221 calories, 40.3 carbohydrates and 0.6 gram of sugars.
  • Croissant : 1 plain croissant is equal to 270 calories, 28 gram carbohydrates and 4gram of sugar

Now let's calculate how much effort you have to do when you eat the food above : To burn 300 calories you need to run at least 5km with average pace of 8.5km/hour, do 45 minutes of high intensity aerobic and the tough deal is even 500 times of crunches will not make the calories to go away instantly. 

Having one donuts will have to run
5km with pace 8.5km/hour
Just another note, the healthy daily intake for carbohydrate is 300 gram/day                              ( that's maximum ! ). I mention the sugars on purpose, because sugar is type of simple carbohydrate. So,if you eat 1 muffin for breakfast, the total carbohydrate that you have eaten will be 65.8gram. Now,in order to lose weight, you need to reduce your carbohydrate intake to 100-200gram each day. If you have just one muffin in the morning, it will only leaves you to 35-135gram carbohydrate (hmm...not really a good news eh? ). 

The more calories you take, the harder you have to exercise. If you have exercise too hard, will cause you over training, and not good for your body. 

Conclusion ? Yes, I'd rather be low carber than I have to work hard on burning calories. I want to maximize my training by limiting my carbohydrates intake. If you don't fancy a gym, reducing carbohydrates will help your diet. 

Healthy Food Gone Bad

I was strolling the supermarket yesterday, I was hungry and I was looking for some energy booster as I was going to exercise. I needed something fulfilling, yet still in low carb. And what I found out was not appealing at all..

The healthy foods that suppose to support our diet can go bad for us. We all know carrots, apple, peanuts, lemon, fish, chicken breast, oats, grains, shrimps and even water are really good for us.  What make them bad is the additional ingredients. The number one is sugar, sugar can be used as preservatives or flavor enhancer. Sugar is easily absorb by the body, and change into energy. I've seen power bars that claimed to be good for you, but contain lots of sugar. Yes, it is really powerful before you go exercise, but when checking Another example is oat biscuits. We all know oat is good carbohydrate and high in fibre, but then the manufacturer add some sugar in it, then the oat biscuit become dangerous for your health.

As for drinks, I see many packaged drinks are loaded with sugar. Especially green tea drinks. Yes, green tea is very good, rich in nutrients, works as antioxidant but then the sad thing is the manufacturer add more sugar in it. So, the green tea which suppose to give us all the benefits turn into guilty drink, because the added sugar.

I had to put away the muesli bar and green tea, I looked for another option, peanuts and pumpkin seeds. Again, I was disappointed when I read the nutrition fact on the back, sadly the manufacturer put sugar and salt in it. Even the peanuts now have great deal of carbs.

Secondly, is salt. Same as sugar, salt is often used as preservative and give flavor to food. But when you have it too much, your blood pressure will increase. The high sodium food can be found on canned food or processed food.

Thirdly, deep fried food. Anything that goes too much will ruin your health and diet. I love dory fish so much, but when you fry it in deep oil or make it into fish and chips, your good fat turn into bad fat ( trans fat ).

So, let's maintain our food healthy and eat wisely. Cut back the sugars and salt. Might taste bland, but your body and taste bud will adjust. Make sure you read the nutrition facts before you buy anything.

At the end I bought apples and mini Babybel cheese and they are worked like a charm.

Hello Again Low Carb

Low carb post workout meal : stir fry veggie, egg, plain
yoghurt with fresh fruits
From all the diet types I have tried, low carb is the one works best for me. Because I still can eat 4-6 times each, no hunger, no sorrow and yet I lose weight. Whenever, I feel to flatten my stomach, or gain weight, I simply cut the carbs, eat plenty of good protein and of course exercise 3 times a week. 

The trick to be succesful low carb is cut the sugar and sodium, which is quite tough because they are hidden in processed foods, drinks and claimed low fat. Being low carber, you have be good friends with the good fat, such as butter, olive oil,etc. Your other best friend doing low carb is proteins, swap your mash potatoes, rice and other carbs with proteins to fill you up. To be really honest when it comes to food, protein and fat are the best mix. Fat makes your food tasty without have to add sugar or salt. 

So, does low carb can be successful if you have sweet tooth ? Nothing is impossible, so the answer even if you have sweet tooth, low carb can be your success diet. How ? I chew on carrots for something sweet, or I'll blend plain yoghurt with kiwi fruit and strawberry. Have the sweet taste from fresh fruits, especially low carb fruits such as apple, kiwi, and berries. You may have little twist with oranges or grapefruits. Another trick is you can take dark chocolate to satisfy your sweet tooth. 

Have these yummy food without worries! 
The great thing about low carb is you can modify your own meal, not much of restriction and you don't need to count your calorie intake. What I do is limited the carb intake which is not more than 150g/ day. 

Being low carber, it is something for long term not just temporary. It's changing a habit, breaking the ice and exploring something new. After 4 years as low carber, it's much easier to control the craving, more sensitive towards sugar and salt. Whoever invented this diet, I salute you. It's the best diet ever! 

It's Full 4 Weeks Holiday!! and I'm Going Gym-ing!!

The time for holiday is finally arrived, and it's full 4 weeks holiday! I'm staying in Jakarta for the whole holiday but I'm looking forward for the total fun in the gym. I'm making gym as my favorite hang out, my mecca ( okay..that's too much ).

As a start, I will work on my running techniques, endurance and hopefully I can increase the time on the treadmill. Another program I want to work on is more on flat abs and reducing body fat. And the fun stuff for me will be is more time to join the dance classes!

My holiday will filled by improving my health for the future and yet I'm still having fun..hellow holiday!!

Exericising at Home

What a bugger for this morning, woke up early and ready for my gym. I defeated my laziness by still keeping it positive and march to the gym. I imagined running for 3km, and do total body workout ( because it's Sunday, and usually the machines are not used by so many members ). It was probably not a good start, when I got there the gym was still closed and there was a notice says "Will be open at 14.00"..I was like 'oh mann...'

I didn't want to wait until 14.00, so went back home and just decided to have exercise at home. My mind was already set to exercise,so when the gym closed, it didn't stop me at all.

For a start, I opened YouTube and checked up some dance exercise,and I found Ritmix 17 Flamenco is very interesting to start. So, I did that for 30 minutes. Then, I continued with abdominal exercises, from stand up crunch, obelique, and lower abs exercise. Finished with the abs, I did another 30 minutes of Body Combat ( I have downloaded some of Body Combat videos from YOuTube ), then wrapped my exercise with good morning for my back. 

Considered what I've done today, I guess there should be no excuse not to exercise. You don't really need to go to gym just for exercise. It's simple, low cost and easy to do.

Adieu Vidal Gomez..It Had Been Six Amazing Years of Dancing

Vidal's farewell party 4/12/11
Six years back, I didn't know how to dance, I didn't know how to move, how to count in dancing. I was a new member back then. This Spanish guy named Vidal Gomez came along, and he was new instructor in Jakarta. Joined his strict but fun classes from Latin dance, Celebrity Sculpt and Step. He's very expressive person until now. He told us how to let it out in dancing, how to become someone else when we dance, everything !

Vidal's last class at Celebrity Fitness PIM 2
I joined almost his classes, I loved and until now love his classes. He just has his own charisma, his own way to bring the best energy in the class. When I had all the break ups, I just joined his classes and everything turned out better. I learned a lot from him. Now, the six years has past. He's not getting any younger, he decided to take a break and move to Kuala Lumpur ( still in the same gym ). Six years seems very fast ( time flies when you are having fun ). One whole month, I chased him all the way, went to different clubs just to see him. You know, when someone is leaving, nothing you can do beside spending the time you have with that person. Same with Vidal. No matter how tired I was, I dragged myself to his classes. Six years of chasing him to different clubs, there was time I even got warning letter from my previous employer because I often ran away from work.

Last class at FX
Well, the time for him to go is finally arrive, I couldn't hold my tears running down from my eyes ( even when I'm writing this I can't help myself from crying ). He's always been my all time favorite instructor. My very first dance teacher. I wouldn't know how to dance if not because of him. Now, I can teach my friends how dance thanks to him. He always be missed, I will miss his classes. I know I have to move on, but I'll dwell for his departure for one week. Just one week. Then move on.
Adieu Vidal Gomez....six amazing years of dancing!!

Week 2 - Muffin Top Challenge ( My Confession )

As I'm entering the week 2 for muffin top challenge, the challenge itself become tougher. And it's getting tougher to cut the carbs while you're on PMS. The urge to munch and eat a lot is increased. The body is bloating and nothing I feel beside feeling exhausted all the time.

Today,I cheated ( Yes..I confess ). I took so some potato crisps, not the whole portion, just tiny bit, and I had sugary meal on the way home. All of them satisfied me a lot and seriously divine!! Luckily I could stop myself not eating them too much.

However, this week is really challenging. I miss my Nescafe coffee so bad. I don't mind cut the carbs for the whole two weeks but my coffee??'s killing me! It's my toughest challenge. I haven't have my coffee for 2 weeks now. It's like missing your boyfriend unti it hurts ( okay I probably exagerrating ). Don't know what will I do if this challenge finally accomplished.

Well, diet is not compeletely ruined, I had grilled chicked salad with avocado, kiwi fruit, and not to forget my fat fighther : Lemon Water!! Cheers!

Muffin Top Challenge - 3 Days Recap

Although I can't really put my progress in daily basis, I'm proudly announce that my waist line is slimmed down. I haven't measured yet, have my trousers as my bench mark. Most of them are loose already, I think I'm back to my normal size. Now, I don't need to squeeze my abs to button my trousers.

I still have more clothes to fit on before I actually stop my muffin top challenge program. It's still going on, until I can fit to all my old clothes.

During my challenge, I found three new besties, they are avocados, edamame and lemon. Boy, they are my savior. Everyday, I take lemon water and to make my meal fulfilling I add extra avocados. They are tasty and divine. Avocados are good for anything, mix with chicken, tossed in salad, or as a dip.
I take edamame as my snack or whenever I have crave to munch something.

As for lemon, it really helps me burn more fat and great thirst quencher. I still have 10 days to do low carb        ( limiting less than 100g each day ), by the time I finish with 2 weeks low carb, I will start gradually consume the good carbs.

Staying positive! Expect nothing but the result.

Going Bold for 2 Weeks Total Low Carb Diet - Day 1

After 1 week decreasing my carb intake to just 175g per day, I'm rising the bar to a very low carb diet for just 2 weeks.

Today is the first day, for the first time after years and years I give up my favorite Nescafe French Vanilla *ouch* . Very tough indeed, I feel soo sleepy. My brain is not connected to real world, I felt not awakened yet. I hope that's just my mind set. I don't feel hungry, just very sleepy because I have to really give up my Nescafe french vanilla.

For breakfast, I ate lettuce with pan seared beef patties, tofu cubes and beansprout. Quite fullfiling although I missed my coffee.

At snack time, I had raw carrot sticks, canned tuna and lettuce. Because I couldn't help myself not having coffee, I changed my coffee to just semi black coffee with no sugar, just some tiny drops of low fat milk. Oh boy..I'm awakened already.

My lunch meal still consist of high protein and no carb. It was only sauteed beansprout, spinach and tempeh. If I get hungry among the 3 main meal times, I just much peanuts or carrot sticks.

My first day on very low carb is quite daunting, but I stay positive and just get on with it.

My Guilt Free Snacks

Having an appetite like a wolf, I often get hungry in within 2 hours. And because I low food so much that I don't want to give up my food like that. So what to do ? I had done browsing and reading what food I can eat without gaining weight and deliciously fulfilling.  Here are my favorites :

1. Edamame
Boiled edamame have it cold or warm
Also popular with the name green soy bean, vegetable bean or beer bean whatever you want to name it has many health benefits and very easy to prepare ( with just 2 minutes to cook in boiling water ). The soybean is a complete protein containing isoflavones and filled with antioxidants. Edamame has no cholesterol, very little saturated fat and has higher protein than other soy beans.
Edamame is also great addition for your salad or side dish. I love the natural flavor of edamame so I won't add any flouring, not even salt.

2. Peanuts
When the needs of something crunchy, I munch for peanuts. The delicious taste and crunchy texture is the reason why I love this snack. Peanuts can lower your cholesterol level and low in carbohydrate.

3. Cheddar Cheese 
One slice of Kraft Cheddar Cheese can boost my energy before exercise. I often buy the single pack, because it's very easy to carry and can go with anything from just salad, tuna, beef and even fruit ( love the mixed taste of cheddar cheese and kiwi fruit ). If you miss the taste of dairy products then cheddar cheese is something you can grab.

4. Kiwi Fruit 
Seriously, I can never get enough with this fruit. I can have 2 kiwi fruits each day. Kiwi fruits is very rich in vitamin C, lower carbohydrates than apple (kiwi has 11g carbs and apple 16g of carbs ). The refreshing taste ( and little bit of sour ) really fits my taste bud. Beside high in vitamin C, Kiwi also another great source of antioxidants and potassium. Cut the kiwi into half and just scoop it out!

5. Apple

The old saying one apple a day keep a doctor away is really true. Consuming an apple each day can fight the bad cholesterol. The other benefit is apple can reduce the risk for breast cancer and colon cancer. The pectin in apples can lower the insulin level and may help for those who suffer diabetes.

6. Carrots 
Eat them raw or cook it into soup or toss them into salad, carrots is just good in any way. The sweet crunchy texture, high in beta carotene, respectable calcium content is top notch  for fat fighting. Recent research from Harvard University eating carrots five times a week, can decrease the risk of stroke.

So, there you are my favorite guilt free snacks to keep your body fueled. Have them in any way you like, but make sure to exclude sugar in the process and limit the salt.

My Week 1 Progress (3 Weeks Muffin Top Challenge )

I didn't realize it's been one week that I decided to back on my low carb diet and with well planned exercise. For the record, I'm really happy with my result. There's no significant result on the weight but I'm cheering for the 1.5cm disappearance of my muffin top! Woot..woot...

Though I've had done low card diet before, doing it again now is still a challenge for. The first day is the toughest of course, the second day my body start to adjust and the next days are just easier for me to do. On the day 1, I only consume 250g of carbs, next day I lowered down to 200g, on the next day 175g until now, I maintain to 175g of carbs each day.

I go to the gym 4 times in a week, with combination of weight training, running and dancing. If I don't have my dance class, I run for 3km if I have class, I don't do running. Saturdays is my cardio day, when I have 3.5 running and 2 dance classes ( with 2 hours rest before my dance classes ).

This result surely motivate me to do more. Get myself more active, learning the right techniques when doing weight training, eat more sensible food. By the way for the last one week I've been tracking my food intake on

Since today ( Sunday ) is my whole day to rest my body, I limit my carbs intake just until 150g and more on protein.

I have 2 weeks to go to shed some kgs and banishing my muffin top. Wish me LUck!!

When Life Gives You Lemon..

Just simply squeeze it and make it into juice and if you are too lazy to squeeze a lemon then cut into 2-3 slices and make fresh lemon flavored water!

Daily consumption of lemon can make huge difference for your skin. It acts as anti-aging remedy and can remove wrinkles and blackheads ( bye bye expensive skin treatment ), lemon also contains vitamin B, riboflavin, calcium ( who would ever thought? ) and magnesium.

Lemon waters works like wonder to control your blood pressure consider the content of potassium in it. Lemon water can treat a person who is suffering from cold, flu or fever. It helps to break fever by increasing perspiration. The very best of lemon is it is good for weight loss !

If lemon is so good for you, how much you should drink ? It depends on you. If you are weigh less than 70kg, one ounce of lemon juice is enough for you. But if you are weigh than 70kg, it is preferred to consume 2 ounces lemon juice each day.

So, don't be afraid when life gives you lemon, simply cherish it!