Switching from heels to flats
FIT TIP: Have you ever experienced foot pain when switching from high heels to flat shoes? This isn’t an issue I have had first hand experience with, but I think I can still help out!
Wearing heels for long periods can result in a shortening and tightening of the Achilles’ tendon. When you walk in a relatively flat shoe, your foot flexes up (dorsiflexes) when your heel hits the ground and then flexes down (plantarflexes) as you toe off. If the Achilles’ tendon is short and tight because of high heels, the foot loses its ability to flex up and down, so switching to a flat can cause heel and calf pain. Flats can also aggravate conditions like plantar fasciitis if they lack good arch and heel support.
If you’re moving away from high heels to flats, do so gradually, wearing lower heels at first. That will give your Achilles’ tendon time to relax and stretch out. You should also try doing some of the standard exercises for stretching the Achilles’ tendon, such as keeping your heel on the ground and your leg straight as you lean forward.
‘Beer belly’ – the silent killer
FIT TIP: As the years start ticking by, we often succumb to the ‘mid life spread’, often resulting in what has been termed a ‘beer belly’ – the round stomach bump that forms mainly on men and starts to make them look rather pregnant (with a baby keg perhaps). Hovever, beer is not to blame in most cases. The cause of this is ‘visceral fat’, which is the fat that stores internally around the organs. This fat grows to such a level that it starts to squeeze the organs and push them out, which is why if you ever touch a ‘beer belly’, it will actually feel hard. That is because you are touching the stomach which has been pushed outwards by the fat inside!! This is a VERY dangerous condition and is a silent killer.
Females are much less prone to this condition, because they tend to store fat subcutaneously (that is, just under the skin). Because this is much more visible, the appearance can be much worse than visceral fat, however the health risk is nowhere near as high. But be aware – high levels of fat in females also means that the visceral fat rating will increase to dangerous levels.
At the Busy Body studio, we have a very fancy piece of equipment that uses electrical impulses and can determine your visceral fat rating!!
So how can we get rid of visceral fat?? The same way we reduce all other forms of fat. Your best options are a healthy eating plan, strength training (once per week), and high intensity cardio (2-3 times per week).
Alcohol… and your weight loss goal!
FIT TIP: We all know that alcohol and weight loss aren’t exactly good partners, but that doesn’t mean you need to stay away completely!
All alcoholic drinks contain calories, which your body needs to burn off. And our bodies prioritise alcohol over all other ‘macronutrients’ (protein, fat and carbs) because, unfortunately, it is a poison – and our liver needs to get rid of it! Due to this, any food we eat while drinking alcohol will have a much higher chance of being stored as fat. Do not eat high fat, high calorie snacks while drinking!
Also, when we drink alcohol, our metabolism slows down, so our fat burning ability is reduced for up to 3 days after a good drinking session!.
So how can we keep drinking? Limit the number of drinks per night to 2 or 3, and choose your poison wisely! The best options are red wine (for the anti-oxidants), and clear spirits. You can request a single-shot of clear spirits in a diet mixer or soda water, and only have 80 calories per drink. This is almost half that of a standard beer or wine (around 140 calories each). Low-carb beers are a good alternative to standard beer, as the calories are reduced to around 110. If you like white wine, go for dry white (140 calories) rather than sweet (190 calories).
You can still drink alcohol and lose weight by following these recommendations!