G Got Fat – The Conclusion

G Got Fat – The Conclusion

It’s been an interesting 12 weeks. You’d think the challenge is done but it’s actually only beginning for me. The last few months have created the building blocks for my fitness. I’m now the fittest I’ve been since my hip surgery 2 years ago. I certainly came across my challenges along the way, my 9-month old son, Connor getting sick creating a lack of sleep for everyone at home, myself and Pam also becoming sick, social occasions, soreness. These are all part of life though. Everyone, no matter who you are, will have obstacles on any journey.

Over the whole period I lost a total of 7.5kg. A number that I’m very happy with. I had a fast initial drop off, one that was expected when changing from pints to salad! When you visit Ireland, you’ll understand… It was then a gradual drop off of weight until I got towards the last four weeks. The lower I got, the slower the drop was. It’s a natural progression of any weight loss journey. Our bodies are incredible at adapting to external stimuli, so we need to be ever adapting to keep up with it.

before and afterHere’s a look at the before and after pictures.

I immensely enjoyed my strength program. My body reacts well to that type of training, both mentally and physically and as mentioned in my previous post, I hit a few personal bests along the way. PBs are amazing. When you’ve done something you’ve never been able to do before, make a note of it because it’s a pretty big deal. Then, for the future, you’ve got something to work on and go beyond.

Now let’s take a look at the cold, hard results. My First DEXA scan was on the 15th of January and my second was the 22nd of April. Here’s a table comparing my before and after results and a picture of each DEXA scan:

Jan 15th April 22nd


98.5kg 91kg
Total Fat Mass 17.8kg


Total Fat %

18% 14.9%
Total Lean Mass 80.7kg


Body Mass Category

Healthy Lean
BMI 28.5



dexa before after

I found these results very interesting. Let me break each of the categories down for you.

First off let’s look at fat. Of my 7.5kg loss, 4kg of that was pure fat. 4kg of fat = 30,800kcals (see my fat-loss fact blog for more info on that. Kcal=calorie). That means over the 12 weeks, I burnt at least 30,800 more kcals than I consumed, which is a daily deficit of about 350 kcals. That is an extremely manageable amount to take out of your daily consumption. Given my size and level of activity, I burn anywhere from 2,800-3,500 kcals/day. That meant I could consume 2,500-3,200 kcals through food/drinks and still lose weight. It’s hugely important to know your energy input/output if you want to lose weight. How do you find out? There’s different formulae to calculate your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate – the amount of calories you burn just by functioning, not including exercise) and then you can wear a heart rate monitor to calculate extra calories. It’s not going to be 100% accurate but you’ll get a decent idea. Apps like My Fitness Pal help you track calories that you consume and will match them against calories burnt. Now, back to fat. Check out my % difference, 3.1%. Not much, but 4kg of fat is a decent amount. The % is based off lean mass, basically everything that isn’t fat and bone, therefore it doesn’t properly represent how much fat I actually have. When talking fat, talk kgs. You can’t hide from them! You can put on body fat and muscle mass over a given period and be left with the same % but have more kg of fat than before, which for most of us, is not ideal.

Next up is lean mass. There was a loss of 3.5kg. This is probably the DEXA’s weakness in that fluids are associated with lean mass in the results. That means there’s no way to determine how much of that was fluid loss and how much was muscle mass. If I wanted to get a more accurate reading on lean mass, I would have had to have fasted 5 hours before the DEXA each time and I don’t like being hungry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m hungry… My main focus wasn’t lean mass, I wanted to attack fat mass, so this number doesn’t bother me too much.


The bod mass category is classified by the DEXA centre and is split in to 4 categories; Overweight-Healthy-Lean-Athlete. The amount of body fat, in kg, determines your category. I went from Healthy to Lean. I’m currently in the low end of Lean and would like to get closer to the Athlete category. That would require me losing another 2.5-3kg of fat. Each category contains 4-5kg of fat, so the athlete category starts at 5kg of fat (any less and you’d be pretty close to dead) and goes up to 10kg. That’s where lean starts. Healthy begins at 14.5kg and overweight at 19kg. These are the figures for males, I have no idea what it is for females.


The last of those figures is BMI. I don’t like BMI and I want to show you why. It’s height vs weight and doesn’t even look at composition. A score of 25 and under is healthy for BMI. I’m 26.5, which classifies me as overweight, yet I’m in the lean category. Please do not use BMI as an indicator of anything. That’s all I’ll say about that.


Here’s what I’ve learned from this experience.

  • First of all, I remembered just how easy it is to put on weight and lose focus. With Connor being born in the middle of last year and no real training goal, I put my training aside and let my fitness slip. Partner that with a long trip away and all of a sudden I found myself out of shape and feeling crap.
  • I learned that if you want to work hard, you have to rest hard! Some days I was doing two big training sessions within the day and if I didn’t have my food or sleep right, recovery was a lot harder.
  • Consistency is key. Something I already knew but was able to put it to good practice. Even if I was pushed for time, tired, not bothered I made sure I did my workout and ate what I needed to.
  • You can enjoy a few indulgences along the way. In the 12 weeks, I went to two engagement parties, and had a few occasions where I enjoyed a few drinks and ate some food that wasn’t all that healthy. Moderation is important when indulging and know that there are consequences to going off track too much.
  • It was much more manageable creating a routine that I can now follow after my initial period. Too often people go too extreme trying to maximise results in such a short space of time and then quit due to the difficulty. My biggest piece of advice is to keep it simple and keep it manageable!

I want to say a big thank you to my best friend/partner Pam who helped me along the way. She kept me motivated, encouraged me and helped keep me accountable for what I was doing.

I hope this will help anyone looking to go through a similar journey of their own. Good luck!


G Got Fat Part II

It’s the start of March now and I’m down to 94kg. It’s behind where I’d like to be but I’m still moving in the right direction. I’ve been on top of my exercise, it’s my diet that’s letting me down. A few too many meals have been on the unhealthier side. I was doing quite well with food up until mid-February, then I began indulging a little too often. The 90:10 rule works, 70:30 doesn’t… A blow out meal for me has been pizza with garlic bread or a burger from the Pantry and I’ve been guilty of using too much oil in some meals. Oil calories add up fast. There’s 120 calories in a table spoon of olive oil. Use 4 table spoons in 1 meal and all of a sudden you’ve added nearly 500 calories! I’ve started to get back on track with meals now and I’ll be working hard on smashing that 90:10 rule. Here’s two go-to meals I’ve been having that are tasty and easy:

Chicken and beetroot saladChicken-beetroot-salad

-Barbequed chicken marinated in pesto sauce


-Lightly steamed broccolini

-Shredded beetroot

-Half a squeezed lemon for dressing



-6 eggs, 4 egg whites whisked and seasoned with salt pepper and any other seasoning you want.

-Cherry tomatoes, halved

-Spinach leaves


Just fry the tomatoes in a skillet for 2 mins (I use coconut oil), throw in everything else on top and mix to combine, then chuck it in the oven for 20 mins at 180 degrees Celsius. Easy. Breakfast for 4 days (well two because Pam has half).

As mentioned in the previous post, I got a DEXA scan to get an exact measurement of my body fat. DEXA scans are used to determine bone density and body fat and are one of the most accurate measuring tools out there for body composition.

My body fat came back at 17%, which is 17.8kg. I want to drop 7kg of fat in total. That will bring me from the ‘healthy’ zone to the ‘lean’ zone as categorized by the doctor at the DEXA center. There are four categories ranging from overweight-healthy-lean-athlete each with a specific amount of body fat, measured in kg, per category.

Here’s a picture from my scan that shows where I’m holding my fat. I tend to hold a lot around my mid-section, which I’ve done all my life, most likely for hormonal reasons.










That’s all for this update. My next scan is due around the 15th of April so that gives me a month and a half left to maximize my results. Time to get back to work!



G got fat – Part I By Gareth Crotty (Personal Training Manager)

Start of the challenge, week 1

Start of the challenge, week 1


January 1st 2016. I’m feeling sluggish. I haven’t weighed this much in a long time. 5 weeks in Ireland and I’m feeling every pint and every loaf of bread I had along the way. Christmas at home was always going to be a time of indulgence. Short days, cold weather and catching up with family and friends, I fully expected to come back heavier. I managed to pack on 6kg in 5 weeks on the trip. More than a kilo a week! I left Melbourne at 95kg, 15kg of that being fat mass (16%). I prefer dealing in kgs rather than % with fat mass as kg is a quantifiable measurement of fat, whereas % is fat in relation to the rest of your body mass. These results were achieved through getting a DEXA scan, which I’ll go in to more detail at a later date. Now I know the damage done, it’s time to set a plan to lose that weight and get to where I want to be physically.

First of all, I need a base to measure my results. My weight on my last day in Ireland was 101kg. Within 5 days of being back in Melbourne I was weighing in at 98.5kg. Out of the 2.5kg lost, I’d say a good kilo or more of that was fluids, as excessive alcohol and carb consumption leads to water retention. The other 1.5kg I’ll put down to different weighing scales and maybe a few hundred grams of actual weight loss. There’s no real way for me to know without a scan. The place where I get the DEXA scan closed for the Christmas period, so once they’ve opened I’ll get another one. I’ll also take circumference measurements to track any changes in size over the next few months.

How am I going to go about this weight loss?

Eat smarter and move more. It’s calories in vs calories out, to a certain degree. If you consume less calories than you burn, you will lose weight. There’s a little bit more to it though, the quality of the calories consumed will have an effect on your composition. 80% of fat loss comes down to diet, so step one is sorting out food.

My breakfasts will be high in protein and fat. I’ll try get most my carbs in around exercise to help replenish my energy stores. Lunches will be salads. I’m not a fan of munching on leaves so plenty of fresh veg to throw some crunch in to it and dinner will be meat and veg of some degree (I’ll post a few different meals along the way of what I’m eating so you get a better picture). For snacks I’ll have Greek yoghurt, fruit, nuts, smoothies and protein bars if I’m looking to indulge.

Next I’ve got to set some performance goals. My long term goal is to be 90-91kg with 10-11kg of body fat. I’ll soon find out exactly how far from that I am after the scan. The reason for that particular weight is because I want to fight at the 87-91kg weight division in boxing. I’ve no fight organized for this year yet, so I can’t associate that in to my training right now. What I can do is get boxing fit through sparring and boxing specific exercises.

My weekly training schedule will look something like this:

  • 1 x 30min 1-on-1 boxing session
  • 1 x 60min group boxing session
  • 1 x sparring session (when available, some weeks not on)
  • 1 x 45-60min track running session
  • 3 x gym sessions which range from rehab to high intensity

That’s the plan, now all I need to do is get started! Watch this space, I’ll update my progress along the way.


8 ways to stay in shape this Christmas







8 ways to stay in shape this Christmas

 By Dave Owen

When it comes to staying in shape, Christmas can be scarier than a Steven King novel.

Sure, there’s a good side to the festive season… it’s a time of giving, being with loved ones and reflecting on the year.

But it’s also a time when we can overindulge, and bring undone 12 months of dedicated training and discipline.

Each year, I inquisitively observe the behaviour of our gym members and PT clients.

I watch the priorities change and the focus shift, understandably, from ‘getting in shape for the beach’ to ‘sorry, I have to get to the next Christmas function’…all at a time of year when people are aiming to look great for their summer holiday.

But I have some good news. It doesn’t have to be this way.

This pattern can be easily broken with some simple planning, awareness and – dare I say it – self-control.

8 ways to beat the bulge this Christmas

Here’s my 8-step guide to staying in shape during December, so when the New Year arrives, you’ll be strutting around like an Instagram fitness girl (or boy)…

1.  Start the day the healthy way

Sure, it’s one of the biggest clichés in the industry that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but not just for the reason our parents believed. Yes it is your first ‘re-fuel’ after a night of sleep, but we now understand that it’s also much more. In a recent study, scientists discovered that what you eat for breakfast actually programs your fuel selection for the entire day. For example, eating a breakfast that is high in sugar and carbohydrates triggers a hormonal chain reaction that has your body looking for carbohydrates in the form of sugar as energy. On the flipside, if you eat a breakfast that is high in protein and good fats, your body will go looking for fats as fuel, therefore burning stored body fat.

Tip: Start the day with a healthy green smoothie (for example, with coconut water, green leafy vegetables and nuts) for a hit of all the micronutrients you’ll need for the day, without the calories.


2.  Limit alcohol

I understand it’s Christmas, but I’m here to limit the damage!  So here are the facts: there is more to the relationship between alcohol consumption and weight gain than just drinking ‘empty’ calories. When you drink alcohol, your body needs to burn it off straight away. On top of that, to burn fat effectively, we need our liver (a key player in fat emulsification) to be in tip-top shape. So, if your liver is working overtime to process alcohol, it’s going to be harder for your body to break down fats. Sorry, but it you want to limit your weight gain this silly season, you’ll need to limit you alcohol intake.


3.  Eat real food and snack smart

So many of the calories we consume over Christmas come from snacking. Swap your processed snacks with fresh fruit and veggies (and small quantities of nuts), and you’ll go a long way towards winning the battle of calories-in/calories out.


4.  Daily exercise (including Christmas day)

With exercise, momentum and routine is king. Given the surplus of calories most of us consume at this time of year, it’s even more important to KEEP TRAINING! I love to train every day during the Christmas and New Year period, even if it’s something light, like a walk. Personally I love my Christmas-day run. It’s an awesome opportunity to get the endorphins going, clear the head and start the day burning calories, instead of storing them! It’s also a unique opportunity to get the kids out to give that new bike or skateboard a maiden run.


5.  Use a calorie and activity tracker

There’s nothing more humbling (or frightening) than tracking your calories during a Christmas ‘diet blowout’. It’s not uncommon to consume nearly a week’s calories in one day. This is where knowledge is key. Once you know what calories you’re putting in, you’ll have the knowledge you need to burn them off. There are lots of excellent activity and diet trackers on the market, but for me, you can’t go past the ‘My Fitness Pal’ app.


6.  Don’t let yourself get too hungry

We all know what happens when we arrive to a function feeling ravenous… it’s uncontrollable. Remember rule No. 3, snack smart. Keeping your hunger under control through healthy snacking will ensure you don’t arrive at a function feeling super hungry and ready to eat the entire festive buffet.


7.  Work it so that Christmas Day is your ‘cheat’ day

Most of us have one ‘cheat’ meal a week, some have a cheat day, and some even have a have a cheat life (but that’s another story!). Work your ‘cheat’ day (the day when you break your normal healthy eating regimen) so that it falls on Christmas Day.  That way, even with the extra drinks and food, you’ll still be complying your overall training program.


8.  Adjust your short-term (monthly) goal…and live a little!

Remember Christmas is a time to enjoy yourself, so be realistic. For some, it’s is a month-long affair, chock full of work and family get-togethers, while for others it’s simply a one-day celebration. Either way, it’s a good idea to adjust your eating and fitness goals a little, so they are commensurate with your social commitments. Life is to be enjoyed, and what better time to celebrate life…enjoy!


Merry Christmas.


The real facts about burning body fat


By Gareth Crotty.                                                                                                                       Personal Training Manager – One Fitness

body-fat-percentage-levels_visualThis time of year always seems to be about the ‘beach bod’, so let’s give you some facts about fat burning to help you on your journey. There are 7,700kcals (kcal=calorie) worth of energy in 1kg of fat. That means in order to burn 1kg of fat, you must have a calorie deficit of 7,700. Considering the average daily intake can be anywhere from 1,800-2,400kcals, it takes some time to burn that fat. People’s biggest mistake is not allowing the time for changes to take place within the body. Health and fitness is a lifestyle, not a temporary quick fix. Creating too big a calorie deficit to try accelerate the process will lead to injury or illness.

Here’s some quick maths to help you understand the fat loss process:
John, aged 35, burns 2,400kcals a day without adding exercise. His main goal is to lose weight. He does three reboots a week and burns on average 700kcals per session. He chooses a healthy 500 calorie daily deficit to attain his goals. So on his non work out days, John consumes 1,900kcal and on the days he does reboot, consumes 2,500kcals (2,400 + 700 = 3,100 – 500 = 2,500). John sticks to this religiously for 6 weeks. How much fat has he lost? Nearly 3 kilos of fat. Go John! Now this isn’t counting weight he will lose from fluid retention by tiding up his diet. Yes, he cut back on alcohol and consumed cleaner food in this period too, in order to hit his daily goals (The types of calories you put in to your body affect body composition too, but that’s a whole other conversation). Remember you can’t out train a bad diet!
Math for those who like this stuff: 500 daily deficit x 7 days a week = 3,500 x 6 weeks =21,000/7,700kcals in 1kg of fat = 2.75kg.
Now I hear some of you say ‘3 kilos? That’s not much for 6 weeks of work…’ But it’s not just three kilos, it’s three kilos of pure FAT. As mentioned above, eating cleaner food will have other effects on your body, such as decreasing bloatedness, cleaner digestive system and increase in energy. Meaning total weight loss could in fact be more. Have a look at this picture of 2kg of fat vs 2kg of muscle and tell me 3kg fat loss isn’t much.
For anyone having trouble getting their head around the above information, talk to one of our skilled trainers here at One Fitness and they’ll happily help you on your weight loss journey.

Training and Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a special time for those involved, yet many women believe that during pregnancy with normal weight gain and a changing figure, that sagging muscles are inevitable. But don’t worry, it’s not all downhill for your fitness. Maintaining an active lifestyle is important for your health and of course the baby’s health too. While you won’t be lifting any PB’s during your pregnancy, here is some helpful advice to keep you fit and safe along the way.

You must first gain medical clearance from your obstetrician. As I mentioned before, no significant gains will be made so it’s important that you don’t take on more than your body, or your baby’s for that matter, can handle.

A non-trainer, or a relative beginner to exercise should seek help from a fitness professional before undergoing any sort of physical exercise program. Whilst pregnant it’s best to use high repetition, low weight exercises based around machines that restrict your range of motion. A more experienced trainer can use a combination of machine weights and free weight exercises.

There are many changes occurring within the body during pregnancy, one of which is the release of a hormone called relaxin. Relaxin causes all muscles and joints to be mobile beyond their normal means, particularly the pelvic joints, to help during the pregnancy and with the birthing process. As a result, instability and injury to the sacroiliac joint and pubic symphysis can potentially occur. Due to the nature of giving birth and the demand it puts on the body, and the pelvic region in particular, a strong focus of your training should be based around strengthening the pelvic floor and gluteal muscles. Ask you trainer for exercises to improve strength in these areas.

Now you are pregnant, your exercise goals will need to change. The intensity of workouts will need to be lowered and the types of exercises will need to be modified. Particularly as the pregnancy progresses and the foetus grows.  A woman’s blood volume and core temperature both increase during pregnancy, so high intensity exercise that elevates the heart rate above 130-140bpm is not recommended as it can severely harm your unborn baby. Keep control of your heart rate with a heart rate monitor that clearly displays your HR while training.

Studies have shown that women can safely engage in resistance training for muscular endurance three days per week for 30 minutes throughout their pregnancy. It is also safe to partake in 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on a daily basis, provided intensity is controlled, as mentioned previously. Walking, swimming and cycling (on an exercise bike) are ideal for those not accustomed to regular exercise. They are low impact and low intensity activities that can easily be managed. Jogging is also an excellent form of aerobic activity, however, it is important to realise that if you have never jogged before, during pregnancy is not the time to begin.

When training, hydration is always important but becomes even more so during pregnancy. Your body may tend to heat up a lot quicker when pregnant so regular fluid intake is vital. Your baby may become distressed if you dehydrate. Once you are thirsty, you are already in a state of dehydration. Therefore drink water in small amounts on a regular basis before, during and after exercise to stay on top of hydration levels. Also, avoid working out in extremely hot conditions as your body will already be functioning at a higher temperature than normal.

A healthy body nurtures your unborn baby and provides it with the best opportunity to grow and develop safely. It also worth noting that regular exercise can help reduce the risk of developing hypertension, pre-eclampsia and diabetes during pregnancy. So while you are on this wonderful journey make sure you take care of the following;

Gain medical clearance from your obstetrician.

Seek professional advice for a suitable training program.

Strengthen the pelvic region.

Choose low impact and low-moderate intensity exercises.

Control core temperature and heart rate while training.

Aim to maintain general condition, not increase fitness during pregnancy.

Exercise regularly.

Ensure that your fluid intake is regular and consistent.

Do not exercise in extremely hot conditions.

And stop exercising if you feel any of the following

  • Pain
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath or dizziness
  • Palpitations
  • Vaginal discharge/bleeding

Consult your health professional immediately if any of those symptoms occur.

If you have any further questions or would like some advice on your training during your pregnancy, please ask one of our friendly trainers at One who will be more than happy to help you out.

Muscle and your metabolism

Brighton Barbell Club  at One Fitness presents:

Muscle and your metabolism

It is now known that muscle is the single biggest driver of our metabolism, accounting for a staggering 66% of the body’s metabolic action. Aside from muscle mass, the other two main influences on your metabolic processes are nutrition (12%) and exercise (17%).

To get the body you want and deserve, you must perform resistance training to build lean muscle.

Armed with this new knowledge, there has been a staggering turnaround in the way leading health and fitness professionals view exercise and its influence on body fat.

Gone are the days of low intensity cardio at 60 -75% of your max heart rate. Sure, training in this “fat burning zone” will burn fat while you train, but as soon as you stop training, your fat burning stops too.

Most people don’t have 20 spare hours a week to do it the old-fashioned way. Given the percentages mentioned above, it is smarter to train the lean muscle mass (66% of your metabolism) – and optimise your exercise and nutrition – so that you burn more calories, even at rest.

An essential part of this program is your resistance training, to build more lean muscle… to work on the largest part of the metabolic pie – the 66%. Resistance training is also vital when it comes to the promotion of key hormones. Controlling key hormones will help you control your body composition (body fat to lean muscle ratio).

The resistance-training element to our Brighton Barbell Club program is very personal; our experienced personal trainers will guide you on exactly when and how to do resistance training in way that will increase lean muscle and turbo-charge your metabolism.

A special note to women

Every day we hear women in the gym express concern that resistance training might make them look “too muscular” or “like a bodybuilder”. Please be assured that, unless you’re genetic freak, the only muscle you will notice will be lean, toned and shapely. It takes hours and hours of training at extreme intensity to gain the physique of a body builder

And one for men

The most amazing thing about BBC, is that if you’re a man seeking that ripped sports model look, it can get you there. With a little more food to feed the muscle – and a more intense training schedule – you too can be ready for the next Calvin Klein modeling job!

We like to look at it this way: Brighton Barbell Club basically resets our body to how it should work, resulting in the perfect male and female physiques.


What to eat and how much to eat for optimum health and for your ideal body shape and size?

It can all seem a little confusing and an overwhelming area to explore. Right now you could pick up a book that says to eat bucket-loads of carbohydrates as they are essential for energy and beside it on the shelf will be a book that tells you not to eat carbs because they’ll make you fat and tired.

Any of the following eight factors may be involved. As you read, reflect on your own health and body while you consider each factor. You will soon see the aspects of your body chemistry that you will need to target.

1. Calories

You can’t eat like a piglet and expect your body fat to co-operate. If you eat well and exercise regularly and body fat still poses a problem for you, then your answer is probably not in the calorie department. There will be other aspects of your biochemistry that need to be addressed.

If you do overeat at times even though you know you would be better off not doing so, then getting to the bottom of why you do this could change your life. The reason may be biochemical or emotional.

2. Stress Hormones

The human body makes two dominant stress hormones. They are adrenalin and cortisol. Cortisol is our chronic stress hormone. In other words, we tend to make too much of it when we are stressed for a long time.

Historically, cortisol was designed to save your life when food was scarce so even though food may be abundant for you today, cortisol sends a message to every cell in your body that your metabolism needs to be slowed down so that those precious fat stores can keep you going until the food supply returns.

Cortisol lays fat down around your middle, on the back of your arms and you grow, what I lovingly call, a back verandah. Most people’s response to fat accumulation around their tummies is to go on a diet, which means eating less food. This only confirms to your body what cortisol has driven your body to believe is true, when in fact the opposite is true and food is likely to be abundant for you.

When you restrict your food intake on your “diet” you slow your metabolism even further, making it feel like you only have to look at food for weight to go on! If cortisol is a contributing factor to your weight gain, going on a calorie restricted diet is not your answer. Sorting out your cortisol is and there are numerous

3. Sex Hormones

The major sex hormones for women are estrogen and progesterone, with testosterone also playing a role. The balance of these hormones can influence whether you are storing fat or burning it. Estrogen lays down fat. Progesterone on the other hand, is essential for us to be able to access body fat to burn it. Reproductively, progesterone’s job is to hold the lining of the uterus in place after estrogen has laid it down. Biologically though, progesterone has many functions. It is one of our most powerful anti-anxiety agents. It is also an anti-depressant and a diuretic, which means that it allows us to excrete any excess fluid we may be carrying. It is essential for burning body fat.

I think most women want bucket loads of it forever! If estrogen is far too high for the amount of progesterone being produced, body fat will be stored. It is however essential to get to the bottom of why there is either poor progesterone production or why estrogen is in excess. Some people have excellent progesterone levels but their estrogen is simply far too high to balance the progesterone. The liver plays a central role in whether estrogen levels are appropriate or far too high for body fat to be burnt. Getting this hormonal balance right can change a woman’s life, for not only will she burn body fat far more easily, but her menstrual cycle will cause her, (and those around her!) far less PMT grief! Getting on top of your hormonal balance can change your head-space as well as your body.

4. The Liver

The liver is the second largest organ in the human body after our skin. One of its primary roles is that of detoxification. Detoxification is essentially a transformation process with two phases and during this process the liver decides whether to fully process a substance or recycle (reabsorb) it. The liver has to process things we consume such as alcohol, caffeine and trans fats but also things we absorb through our skin. You only need to think about the way nicotine patches work to realise how effectively we absorb substances through our skin. The liver also has to detoxify substances the body naturally makes, such as cholesterol and sex hormones.

The liver also picks up any shortfall in digestion so if people are suffering from constipation or IBS, the liver will have an additional workload. The best way to imagine how the liver functions, is to compare it to a motorway. When you first drive onto a motorway, you want to go 100km per hour but sometimes you have to crawl along at 30km per hour because the traffic is all banked up. The same thing happens with your liver. You want things to fly through your liver at 100km per hour and be fully dealt with, not crawl through at 30km per hour.

It is when the traffic in the liver gets all banked up that it can impact on how we feel and function every day, including our hormonal balance. Sorting out liver function can also change your life and lead to far more effective fat burning.

+ Do you feel frustrated when you can’t seem to budge the bulge?

+ Maybe you’re doing all the right things, without getting results?

Guess what – fat burning is not always a case of calories in and calories out.

Losing weight and getting fit isn’t a black and white situation. In fact, there are nine contributing factors that you might not have considered. Last week we were lucky enough to get schooled on the first four by our favourite women’s health expert, Dr Libby Weaver, and now we’re back for part 2.

5. The Thyroid

The thyroid gland is a little butterfly shaped gland that sits in your throat area. It makes hormones that play an enormous role in your metabolic rate as well as your temperature regulation.

The thyroid gland can become over active or under active and it is the latter scenario that can lead to weight gain that can be incredibly difficult to shift until this issue is addressed. The thyroid gland is also susceptible to auto-immune diseases, meaning your immune system, which is supposed to defend you from infection, starts to see the thyroid gland as a foreign substance and attacks it leading to a change in its function. Infection and/or poor liver function are two factors that can initiate this process.

It is important to work out the path that lead someone to altered thyroid function because the road that led this to occur is the road that needs to be taken to correct the dysfunction. Like with all health challenges, we need to understand the “why”.

6. Insulin

The pancreas is another gland that makes a hormone intricately linked to body fat burning or accumulation. Insulin, which is a fat storage hormone, is made by the pancreas. We make it when blood glucose levels increase via carbohydrate consumption, caffeine and/or adrenalin (stress). Yet we must consume some carbohydrates as they are vital to the function of our brain, kidneys and red blood cells, in particular. So how do we manage this?

When it comes to body fat accumulation, it is the OVER PRODUCTION and/or big surges of insulin that are the problem, not insulin itself. Many people have excellent blood glucose levels (also called blood sugar levels) inside the normal range, yet they have to make a huge amount of insulin to keep their blood sugar levels within the normal range.

So whether it is on and off surges of insulin throughout the day as your blood sugar flies through the roof and then subsequently plummets and then surges again, or because of your overproduction of insulin, burning body fat for energy will prove difficult.

7. Gut Bacteria

Recent research has found two distinct groups of gut bacteria inhabiting the colon can influence whether you are storing fat or burning it. The big long scientific names for these classes of bugs are Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes.

People with more Bacteroidetes in their large bowel have been shown to burn fat more readily while those with more Firmicutes are more likely to store fat. Even if two people ate the same amount of calories the dominant gut bacterial species can make those calories seem almost like a much larger amount for people with more Firmicutes. Addressing gut health and digestion can change your chemistry to one of fat burning rather than storage.

9. Emotions

Humans store fat when they don’t feel safe, whatever that means to them. We have rules about what it means for us to feel safe, usually in the areas of relationships, finances and work. Trouble is, we don’t usually know what they are. Some of us have had traumatic experiences in life that have led to us to feel unsafe, while others have created meanings about things that happened when they were little that they continue to replay now they are adults. It’s like an itch that constantly gets scratched, only you usually don’t realise why you felt sad or uneasy or why your heart started to race or why your mood has changed “suddenly”.

Getting to the heart of why you do what you do, when you know what you know changes your life, including your health behaviours.


Dr Libby Weaver is an internationally acclaimed nutritional biochemist, author and speaker, based in Sydney Australia. Her natural ability to break down even the most complex of concepts into layman’s terms has seen audiences across the world embrace her holistic approach and unique form of education. With abundant knowledge, scientific research and a true desire to help others see their own light and beauty, Dr Libby empowers and inspires people to take charge of their health and happiness.

For more insights and know-how from this wonderful holistic biochemist, visit her website. Make friends with Dr Libby Weaver on TwitterFacebookGoogle+ and Instagram!

10 steps to increasing your metabolism

How to increase your metabolism FAST

1. Perform exercises that are designed to simulate lean muscle.                                                                                                                    

Talk to a professional about creating a balanced resistance training program to match your goals, ensuring you simulate lean muscle – one of the key drivers for rebooting your metabolism.

2. Use interval-based cardio exercise to turbo-boost weight loss                                                                                                              

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is now accepted as the best type of training to strip fat. Use HIIT between your lean-muscle workouts (resistance training) or combine the two by booking into a Metabolic Reboot session at One Fitness.

3. Use breakfast to program your body’s fuel selection for the day

Recent studies show that breakfast programs your body for the rest of the day. If you eat a breakfast that is high in sugar and carbohydrate, your body will burn sugar and carbs for the rest of the day. Eat a breakfast that is high in protein and has a balance of good fats, and your body will be looking for fat as a fuel for the rest of the day.

4. Learn the art of nutrient timing (aka Macro timing)

The timing of the food and nutrients you consume is a key development in metabolic science, this topic is an article in itself but basically don’t eat high energy carbs unless it is either to fuel a training session (60mins before training) or to replace energy after a training session (120mins after a training session)

5. Eat every two to three hours

Meal frequency is a key factor in a speedy metabolism. Increase your number of daily meals (most people should be aiming for six: three whole-food meals and three protein-based liquid meals).

6. Treat all processed carbohydrates as sugar

This is one of the misunderstood rules of nutrition. As soon as you process a carbohydrate, it structurally becomes a step closer to sugar. So when it comes to something like, let’s say, white flour, by the time it hits your stomach, it is basically sugar. Remember to treat all processed carbohydrates as sugar, and also remember sugar is the enemy.

7. Make better liquid choices

Your liquid choices need to be in sync with your overall plan. No sugary soft drinks, juices or sweetened water. More plain water, and watch the sodium in mineral/soda water.

8. Be prepared to plan and be disciplined

Success largely depends on developing planning and preparation strategies that ensure consistency.

9. Set goals, be true to them, and be accountable

Establish SMART goals and use the 12 week goal-setting system. Nobody’s perfect, but understand yourself, and re-visit your plan often.

10. Live by the ‘90/10 Rule’

A good eating plan needs to be realistic and sustainable. The ‘90/10 Rule’ simply means that 90% of the time you are on you plan, and 10% of the time you are not. This gives you some flexibility for those unforeseen hurdles that inevitability will be put in front of you. I allow my clients to have 10% of food outside of the guidelines. This is so you get to live life, eat the occasional dinner out, or have that meal you have craved for over the past week. But remember, it is strictly 10% of your meals or less. Any more than that and you will see a dramatic decrease in progression.
So live by the ‘90/10 Rule’ – enjoy life and get amazing results!

I look forward to seeing you in our 24hr gym soon…



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