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Victorias Secret Show 2012

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In honour of the fact the the Victoria’s Secret show aired last night in the US and because those girls are amazing fitness inspiration (their workout schedule pre-show is insane) I’ve put together a mega gallery of my favourite models from the show. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the gym…

Enjoy!

Measuring your progress

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I had the delightful experience of getting my body fat % measured a couple of days ago as part of my introductory fitness assessment at my new gym. I’m pretty used to getting measured the normal way as part of being a model (still not my favourite thing to do!) but I’ve never had my body fat measured before.

It served to remind me that its good to keep a track on how your progressing with your health and fitness goals and measurements can be a good way of doing this. I much prefer measuring your waist, hips and even thigh and upper arm circumference, over using the scales. I find that my weight can fluctuate a LOT and that because muscle is denser than fat that putting in the hours in the gym doesn’t always equate to a hugely reduced number on the scale, and this can be seriously disheartening.

If you can get your body fat measured then this could also be a new way for you to monitor your progress or to set yourself a new goal. I was feeling a little bit stale workout wise and losing some motivation, but my setting myself the new goal of slightly reducing my body fat % I have a renewed drive to get into the gym and workout.

Another way of keeping tabs on how your time in the gym is affecting your body is to take pictures of yourself in your underwear/bikini at the start of your programme and then at regular intervals during; sometimes we don’t notice changes as they’re happening to us but by looking back over pictures you can really see how much you’ve changed, which I find helps to keep me on track.

Motivating yourself to do a workout or to stay away from the cookies can be super hard, especially at this time of year, so I hope that keeping track of your progress and finding a way to re-motivate yourself will help to keep you active and healthy this winter.

And just cos I find them super motivating, here are two of my favourite VS girls at the 2012 show.

 

 

Pre and Post Workout Snacks

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I’ve had some requests for suggestions on what to eat both before and after a workout so I’ve put together a run down of what I tend to eat pre and post workout.

I think it’s important however to listen to your body and give it what it’s asking for; for example if I’m working out first thing I have to eat something before. I usually wake up starving and I’ve found that without a small snack (usually a banana or a juice) I just don’t have the energy to workout properly. However, I know that some people feel terrible if they eat before their morning workout, whilst others need a full breakfast first. We’re all different so use my suggestions but also experiment and see what works for you.

Pre-Workout:

If I’m doing a long workout session or one that incorporates a lot of cardio then I usually go for a carb based snack pre-workout, although I try to make sure I have it at least an hour before I workout so I don’t feel heavy in the gym. An easy option is rye bread (or you can use rice cakes, spelt bread etc) with nut butter on top for a nice mix of slow-releasing energy from the complex carbohydrates and protein from the butter.

If you’re on the go then a natural, low sugar bar can be a great option. I’ve mentioned my love for nakd bars already on this site but Clif bars and Bounce balls are also great protein-rich sources of energy.

My final go-to snack is low fat greek yoghurt with wheat-free granola; I often make my own to make sure its not full of sugar but there are some great brands out there such as Rude Health that are naturally sweetened.

And finally, I sometimes have a big cup of coffee half an hour or so before a big workout for that immediate energy boost!

Post-Workout

What I eat post working out will depend largely on the type of workout I’ve done, even if I don’t end up eating for a good hour or so after my workout’s finished. Don’t eat if you’re not hungry after a workout just for the sake of it- listen to your body!

After any type of toning or weight bearing workout session then I make sure my post workout snack is largely protein based to help my muscles recover and rebuild.

Many girls are scared of them, fearing they’ll bulk them up like a bodybuilder, but my number 1 post-workout snack is a protein shake. Because I can’t tolerate whey I use alternative proteins such a hemp or brown rice powders usually in either vanilla or chocolate flavours. I tend to mix them with half water and half almond milk, adding in mixed berries, spinach, coconut oil, chia seeds for some fibre and a nut butter if I’m feeling in need of some extra energy. I also carry around sachets of protein powder that can be added to water for a quick and easy snack when I’m on the go.

Other good protein-based snacks include a handful of raw unsalted nuts with a piece of fruit, greek yoghurt with mixed seeds and berries, lean protein (such as chicken, turkey or tofu) with broccoli or a power protein ball made with chocolate protein powder and almond butter blended together and rolled into little balls, which are then rolled in chia seeds, coconut flakes and cinnamon. Yummy!

If you’re workouts been more cardio based, or just especially gruelling then add in a complex carbohydrate element to the protein. Think a piece of fruit, or dried fruit with the berries, a wholemeal slice of bread or cracker with the chicken and veg and some oats to your protein shake.

Hope this helps and I’d love to hear some of your pre and post workout snack suggestions!

And for today’s fitness inspiration I’m going back to one of my faves, who’s abs are giving me serious ab envy right now. Doutzen Kroes!

10 Day Intense Day 4&5

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Any hopes I had that things would get a little easier were quickly dashed when I woke up Saturday morning feeling all kinds of exhausted and achey. The grey skies were not helping to inspire me out of the door, so in the end I did my shoulders and chest circuit twice and then did 40 minutes of interval cardio on the cross trainer, with some walking lunges at the end instead of my run.

By Sunday I had my get up and go back a little bit so did the whole workout but even with a day off from the running I was still finding doing the same workout day in day out a bit uninspiring, probably because I’m so used to mixing things up all the time. I think its good for my willpower to stick to one thing though and will hopefully mean that I’ll really see some results.

The hardest part of the weekend by far though was sticking to my diet, what with a baby shower, my sisters birthday drinks and a kids birthday party (my friend’s daughters) there was plenty of temptation put in my way. The baby shower even had my favourite gluten and dairy free cupcakes but as they’re still loaded with sugar I had to pass :(

In order to avoid temptation I carried around a bag of nuts in my bag with me, to make sure I always had a healthy go-to snack with me so hunger didn’t drive me towards the forbidden goodies and I also made sure I ate well at meal-times, again to avoid cracking because of hunger. The weekend (especially Sunday) is normally the time when I relax on my diet a little bit so I felt extra deprived but as they say, no pain, no gain so hopefully it’ll be worth it!

I pinned this picture earlier today (if you’re not already following me on Pinterest then you can find me at www.pinterest.com/gwynethmodel) and her body, especially how it’s changed post-baby, continue to inspire me, as she clearly works hard and eats right in order to look this good. The one and only, Doutzen Kroes…

 

Spring into Bikini Plan part 3: Back to Basics

Doutzen Kroes

I’ve tried plenty of diet and exercise plans during my modelling career, from low-carb, food combining paired with 6 days a week in the gym doing complicated classes or only working out in the morning on an empty stomach to lose weight. You name it, I’ve probably tried it.

And here’s the big secret I’m going to share with you now, it just doesn’t need to be so complicated. Honestly.

After years of trying every fad diet and/or exercise programme going what I’ve learnt is that the best results come when you take it back to basics.

In food terms this means eating whole, unprocessed foods that are as close to their natural state as possible, think vegetables, fruits, fish, lean meats, wholegrains, nuts and seeds. Stay away from too much processed food, especially high sugar or those containing nasty things like trans-fats. Eat when you’re hungry but don’t overeat. Enjoy your food-eating is a pleasure and enjoying fresh, natural food really is one. Don’t be afraid of fat as long as it’s the natural kind (think olive oil, oily fish, avocados and nuts). And don’t stress too much about it- if nothing else stress produces cortisol, which lays fat down around your stomach.  Bad times all round.

And when it comes to exercise, find something you enjoy. Experiment until you do, as if you enjoy something you’ll keep doing it. Mix up between cardio based exercises and resistance training to improve your health overall as well as helping you to look more lean and toned. Perform exercises properly, take the time to learn the correct form as this is what will produce the results you’re looking for and help you to avoid injury. Take it slowly to start with, especially if you’re not doing anything at the moment. The fastest way to give up on exercise is to go at it full pelt, get injured and then give up.

So there you go, some simple, easy to live by rules for looking your best inside and out!

And today’s model fitness inspiration is the phenomenal Doutzen Kroes, who I think looks so strong and healthy after having her baby. A true fitness inspiration!