Sunday, August 10, 2014

My return

I have been absent from this blog for quite some time! A lot has happened since I last blogged here - we moved to a new house and we have a baby on the way (to name but a few!). Life has been pretty hectic to say the least! But, we're now settled in the new place, and our boy is just under two months away.

With all the craziness of the last year or so, I've been a bit less good in terms of my eating habits and physical activities than I should have. Naturally that caused me to gain a few things, like a percentage or 4 of body fat, a few kilos on the scale an so on.

I am, however, back on track - I started taking the awesome Herbalife products a lot more seriously from the beginning of last week, but it was a bit of a slow start (still had some cheating going on - we just HAD to try the local pizza place of course, and I overestimated how much pizza their large servings actually had, so it was enough for two days!).

When I started though, I did my full Tanita Body Analysis reading, and I was a bit disappointed with the stats, but I knew that was to be expected. A week later I did them again, and, even with all the cheating going on, I'm very happy with the first week's results:

Sunday 3 August:

Body Fat Percentage - 24.6%
Body Water Percentage - 52.9%
Muscle Mass - 64.5kg
Physique rating - 2
Basal Metabolic Rate - 2009kcal
Metabolic Age - 47
Visceral Fat - 9

Sunday 10 August:

Body Fat Percentage - 24.1%  (down 0.5%)
Body Water Percentage - 53% (up 0.1%)
Muscle Mass - 65.4kg (up 0.9kg - this explains the actual weight gain I experienced!)
Physique rating - 2 (no change)
Basal Metabolic Rate - 2036kcal (up with about 25kcal)
Metabolic Age - 46 (down 1 year)
Visceral Fat - 8 (down 1 and into the healthy range)

Overall improvements - yay!

I have been on Herbalife now for almost 3 years, and I'm still amazed at how well the products work if you take them properly! Last week, I made a real effort to have 2-3 cups of Instant Herbal Beverage per day (each cup burns 70-80kcal remember!), lots of water, 2 Formula 1 Healthy Meal shakes a day with some extra protein powder, and healthy snacks in between (fruit, yogurt, almonds, awesome Herbalife Protein Bars, etc).

I tried cutting out things like bread, pastries, sugar (except for my first cup of tea for the day - 1.5 brown sugars in that), potatoes, rice, pasta - but yes, that didn't go as well as it could have.

Some of my cheat meals included: Chicken and Leek pie, pizza with lots of cheese, a mozzarella toasted sandwich or two (with no butter though), a scone and a few rusks here and there. Also a cider or two...

This week I'm going to start jogging again, and try to be even better, especially with those cheat meals and snacks!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

What to drink during a workout

It's only logical that while you are exercising, you will tend to sweat, which means you are not only losing water, but also electrolytes. Now, most people who have done some exercising at some stage or another have probably heard that you need to replenish electrolytes during and after your exercising, but the thing is, me included, most people don't really know what that actually means.

Some research (that sounds really grand on my part, I just Googled it...) revealed just what those things are. As you probably guess, it has something to do with electricity - to some extent hehe.

Here is a quote from How Stuff Works' website (click here for that page):
Electrolytes are important because they are what your cells (especially nerve, heart, muscle) use to maintain voltages across their cell membranes and to carry electrical impulses (nerve impulses, muscle contractions) across themselves and to other cells. Your kidneys work to keep the electrolyte concentrations in your blood constant despite changes in your body. For example, when you exercise heavily, you lose electrolytes in your sweat, particularly sodium and potassium. These electrolytes must be replaced to keep the electrolyte concentrations of your body fluids constant. So, many sports drinks have sodium chloride or potassium chloride added to them. They also have sugar and flavorings to provide your body with extra energy and to make the drink taste better.
That pages also mentioned that our body fluids, like blood, plasma and the fluid between our cells are much like seawater, containing a high concentration of sodium chloride (aka table salt).

Anyway, it comes down to the fact that sweating causes you to lose electrolytes, and it turns out they're pretty important for proper cell and muscle function. Here is a list (also thanks to Google) of some things that can happen if you run out:

  • Exhaustion
  • Muscle cramps and spasms
  • Restlessness
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Giddiness, fainting
  • Confusion
  • Bad temper
I've experienced nausea on quite a few occasions, and usually having a isotonic drink while I'm working out helps for that not to happen.

Now, Herbalife has 3 amazing products which helps a great deal with not only replacing lost electrolytes, but also energy while working out.

Herbalife 24 Hydrate

This is a great everyday product, as it has almost no calories. Each serving, which is 500ml by the way, is only 13 calories, and can literally be used by anyone at any time (yes, even for people who are not exercising!). It's got a great, subtle citrus flavour. It is also high in Vitamin C, which is a potent anti-oxidant. A box has 20 sachets, so enough for about a month if you take one serving per day during the week.

See Dr John Heiss in the video below explaining about Hydrate:

Click here if you want to Order Hydrate

H3O Pro

H3O Pro has been with Herbalife for much longer than the 24 range of products, but it is still an amazing product. Above, where I mentioned that I used to get nauseous when working out at the gym, I just always made sure I have some H3O with me, then I don't experience nausea at all.

There are 10 sachets in a box, and it also has a great lemony flavour. This product is the best when used during your workouts, and is roughly 130 calories per serving. It too has various anti-oxidants, replaces electrolytes and gives you extra energy to enhance your workout.

Click here to Order H3O Pro

Herbalife 24 Prolong

This is the big kahuna of the Herbalife Sports Drink range. Prolong was created by Dr John Heiss, which impressed Herbalife's CEO Michael O. Johnson so much, that he asked Dr Heiss to come and develop the best sports nutritional range of products for Herbalife the world has ever seen:

My father-in-law swears by his Prolong, and just completed his 9th Argus in March (and he's 61 years old!), in an amazing time of 3 hours 41 minutes. During his training, and the actual event, he mostly used Prolong for sustained energy.

Here is a summary of what Prolong provides the body:
  • Dual-source carbohydrate blend facilitates caloric utilization
  • Whey protein isolate helps reduce muscle breakdown
  • 850 mg electrolytes support proper muscle function
  • B Vitamins support carbohydrate metabolism
  • 500% DV Vitamin C helps combat free radicals
It not only helps with immediate energy, but also with sustained energy while you are working out. Each serving is 125 - 300 calories, and should basically only be used for high intensity or lengthy workouts.

Here is Dr Heiss briefly explaining about Prolong:

Click here to Order Prolong

Here is also a picture I took of a slide at a big presentation, which sums up when you should use which of the above:

Week 5 was a bust :(

I'm ashamed to admit, week 5 I totally fell off the wagon. I started with a bang last week, and did a full 2 days of exercises, and then Easter weekend hit and all went straight down the drain. Alas, I didn't do anything for the remainder of week 5.

But, I'm happy to report I'm back in it again, I started yesterday with my second attempt at week 5, and so far it's going well! I did my exercises both yesterday and today, and I look forward to finishing this week with a bang!

Also, the new Virgin Active gym literally down the road from us has FINALLY opened its doors to the public, so I can finally start going to that again. For some or other weird reason I seem to be able to jog on a treadmill much more easily than on the road. Anyway, will hit the gym every now and then too!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Week 5 has started

I just finished the first exercise for week 5. Week 4 was the rest week, which only consisted out of exercising 3 days in the week instead of 5, but I have to admit, I only exercised 2 of those days. At least it's 200% better than what I used to do before starting with this program.

So, I'm now in the second half of phase 1. I'm also looking forward to Thursday, which will be 4 weeks after I did my first body analysis, I'm very keen on seeing my results!

Anyway, my recovery shake this morning is something really nice! Here is the combination I concocted:

  • 125ml Soy Milk
  • 3x Scoops of Herbalife Formula 1 Healthy Meal, Vanilla Flavour
  • 3x huge tablespoons of fat free Strawberry Yogurt (Pick n Pay's brand is my favourite)
  • 100ml Blackcurrant juice (here in South Africa we get Liquifruit, I used that)
  • A little bit of water just to thin it out a bit (this is optional of course)
Shake it up real good, and enjoy! I'm confident that I got all my vitamins, minerals, good proteins and carbs in for a kickass morning.

If you also have a nice recipe, please share it by leaving a comment below :)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Week 4, a rest week

I'm 2 thirds through week 4, which is one of the 2 rest weeks in phase 1. It has exercising on 3 days, instead of 5, where you do one metabolic exercise, and the remaining 2 is up to you to decide on which of the other exercises you want to do.

I did Shoulder Stabilization, and haven't decided on the 3rd one yet, will probably be total body integration :)

Enjoying the rest week, but looking forward to starting the 2nd half of phase 1.

Cheers for now, and have a kickass weekend!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Week 3 Done and Dusted

I'm happy to report that I completed week 3 as well. I just want to mention, however, that I skipped Friday for some reason (the day just completely got away from me), so I did Friday's exercises (Metabolic 1) on Saturday, with the idea of doing Saturday's exercises on Sunday (which is Total Body Integration). Sunday also turned out to be a dud. I did get to do that yesterday though, so I still managed to complete week 3 successfully :D

My wife also joined in yesterday with the Total Body Integration (lots of squats and planking exercises) and today I can really feel that I've worked my glutes!

For good measure, I have also been drinking lots of Herbalife's Instant Herbal Beverage (we also call it Thermo) - at least 4 cups a day (I actually make it with cold water and gulp it down as quickly as I can!). It is well known for the fact that it burns between 60 and 80 calories per cup (it generates heat in the body they say...), which is an awesome fat burning tea. Needless to say, I also have loads of energy thanks to the tea!

I almost did my full body analysis last week again, but decided to wait until the end of the month like I initially planned. I cannot wait to see the results!

I started week 4 officially today, which is a rest week (that's how the program works, 3 phases of 8 weeks each, and every 4th week is a rest week) - so I'm almost halfway through phase 1, and I'm now in the rest week. I'm not doing anything today, and tomorrow I'll be doing the Metabolic 1 exercises.

They say it is super important, even for absolute pro athletes, to have rest days in each week, and a rest week in each 4 week cycle.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The 24 Fit DVD Coaches

I haven't properly introduced the two coaches in the Herbalife 24 Fit DVD Workout Series.

Samantha Clayton
Sam is an athlete and fitness instructor. She's a Olympic level sprinter, and took part in the 2000 summer Olympics in Sydney, where she did the 200m sprint, as well as the 4x100m relay:

Here are some links:

Samantha Clayton's website
Samantha Clayton on Facebook
Samantha Clayton on Twitter

Tom Holland
Tom is an exercise physiologist, and the author of various books and video workouts. He's also an elite endurance athlete, and has run over 50 marathons, and is a 19-time Ironman triathlete and has won several bodybuilding awards.

Here are some links for Tom's sites and social media:

Tom Holland's website
Tom Holland on Twitter
Tom Holland on Facebook

As you can see, some awesome experience for the series! Having lots of fun with it!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Halfway through week 3

This morning I did my weekly weigh in, and came down 0.6kg (just over a pound) since last week. I must admit, I'm a bit disappointed in that, because I've been really good with my eating and dieting this week. But, I'm going to try and not let it discourage me too much. At least it's a positive (or should I rather say negative?) result :)

I once again did the shoulder stabilization exercises this morning - together with day 5, this is one of the tougher exercises of the week. It focuses on the small muscles around your shoulders, and ending the session with push-ups doesn't help either! My whole upper body is now shaking hehe - at least it feels like I actually did something!

It's also the only exercise in the first phase that is done by Tom and not Sam - hehe, my favourite quote from this workout is "Enough of that!".

Anyway, after weighing I wasn't all too pleased with my measly 0.6kg, but now after the workout I have decided to just carry on what I'm doing. The 24 Fit DVD series is a 24 week regimen after all, and it's only been 2 and a half weeks so far.

I guess I must also keep in mind that phase 1 focuses on smaller muscles, so I shouldn't realistically expect much in terms of weight loss. I'm now going to have a Rebuild Strength as a recovery shake, always look forward to that, they taste amazing, and you just mix it with water!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Week 3

I did day 1's exercises this morning - AFTER VISITING THE DENTIST!! Just shows you how dedicated I am to get through the whole 24 weeks hey :)

Once again it went well, I'm slowly starting to do what the level 2 girl is doing on screen. I'm also happy to report that this exercise program has gotten me more motivated to eat much better again. Initially, I lost 11kg in 12 weeks, after which my weight loss slowed down a bit, but after that I dropped another 5kg in about 4-5 months. Not shabby at all, considering us going back to relative normal eating (specifically eating out more and so on...).

So, I've been on the 16kg mark for quite a while, and actually gained a few kilos (luckily not everything back again) over the last year. We are excellent examples of comfort eaters, the wife and I, so whenever we have a crappy day, we indulge with Death by Chocolate ice creams, or are too lazy to prepare decent food, so we order take aways.

Anyway, since I started doing the exercise thing properly with the Herbalife 24 Fit DVD series, I decided to start eating better as well. I have a clear goal this time around - I finally want to hit my goal weight (which at this stage is around 75kg) - but the weight for me isn't the most important thing. If I feel good and am healthy, and the Tanita readings are satisfactory for me (for example, my first target is to get my body fat percentage under 20%, my last Tanita reading was just under 23%), then I won't really mind at which weight I am.

That is also something we always tell our customers - if they ask what their ideal weight is for their height and body structure, then I reply with it not being about how much you weigh, but how you look and feel for yourself. If my body fat percentage was 15%, and I weighed 100kg because of a high muscle mass, then I wouldn't be bothered about the scale at all. In the end, it's about being healthy and feeling good.

I'll end this post with one last thought - at my first Herbalife Extravaganza in 2011, one of the Herbalife doctors (can't remember his name I'm sorry to admit...) mentioned something that really stuck with me - he said: "Everybody dies in the end, but there is a huge difference between dying in bad health, and dying in good health." That is such a true statement, we'll all die one day, but I'd much rather die in GOOD health than in bad health, and luckily a lot of how we age is in our own hands. And it all starts with you wanting to make a change - that is exactly the same way I started. I made the decision, and boy am I glad I did!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Week 2 done and dusted

This morning I had an early appointment, so I didn't exercise my usual time, which is early morning before the day begins - and to be honest, I almost didn't get around to it. But, I'm happy to report that I just finished my exercises a couple of minutes ago (started around 17:00). Late, I know, but rather late than never!

The fifth day of phase 1 is by far the toughest one of the bunch, good thing that the 2 days after that are rest days! The planking at the end is especially hard, and you can really feel your body fighting just to keep you up! But, I prevailed, and that puts week 2 in the done and dusted category. I'm now having a nice Rebuild Strength as a recovery drink, which will help me build, repair and gain muscle!

Looking forward to week 3!