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The importance of Sleep on muscle gain.

Does sleep have any effect on your muscles?

Our Sports Scientists hear all the time from clients that their sleeping patterns are poor. Late nights out, working late, mind racing when your head hits the pillow etc. Can you relate?

It is very well known and documented that sleep plays a crucial part of humans’ general health and wellbeing. However, does sleep have any effect on muscle gain, retention or loss? Let’s dig deep and find out!

A number of studies have identified the importance of sleep on human hormonal balancing. When we sleep, our body releases anabolic hormones such as Testosterone & IGF-1 to aid the body in the recovery process. When sleep is insufficient, the release of these hormones is reduced which may lower the bodies’ ability to repair muscle or thus build muscle. So if you are doing regular strength training, but your sleep is compromised you could end up not getting those gains!

Studies have also shown that sleep is vital to make sure we don’t experience muscle atrophy (muscle break down). Lack of sleep will elevate hormones in our body, specifically CORTISOL. Cortisol is a stress hormone and when its elevated it has the effect of breaking down muscle tissue. This hormone is very Catabolic and reduces the rate of protein synthesis and inhibits muscle tissue growth.

So Elevated Cortisol = harder to gain muscle!!!

To reap the rewards of our hard work in the gym, you must get your sleep right.

The time in which we sleep directly influences cortisol levels as well! A number of studies have identified that individuals who slept during the day could not significantly reduce Cortisol levels when compared to people who slept during “regular” night hours. The conclusion of these studies stated that there is a direct correlation to cortisol secretion and our bodies natural clock (Circadian Rhythm) and it seems that catching up sleep the next day might not offset a bad night’s sleep.

To summarise, sleep plays a HUGE role in the growth and maintenance of muscle mass. LACK of sleep will contribute to breaking down your hard earned muscle! Sleep provides a state of recovery and repair for the body, allowing the “good” anabolic hormones to be secreted into the bloodstream and reducing the release of “bad” catabolic hormones.

Put your sleeping habits to the test with a DEXA scan and our experts will provide you with the advice you need to get to your goals!

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Can you convert Fat into Muscle?

Fat into Muscle.  Myth or fact?

When a client says they want to turn their fat into muscle what they are really saying is that they want to lose fat and gain muscle!

Now, there are really two goals in that sentence;

1. Reduce fat

2. Gain muscle.
This is a great goal and losing fat and gaining muscle is the fastest way to improve your body composition. But can it be done at the same time? Well the question is what you need to do to:

1. Loose fat

2. Gain muscle

To lose fat, you need to be in a caloric deficit.

For muscle gain, you need to be in a caloric surplus.

Weight gain or weight loss is essentially calories in vs calories out. When we burn more than what we consume, we lose weight & when we consume more than what we burn, we gain weight!

So you can see that these two goals are in opposition to each other and after 7,500 DEXA scans we know that for long-term body composition changes it is best to lose fat first and then build muscle! So how many calories do I need to be consuming to lose fat, and how many calories do I need to gain muscle? Well, this is a very individualised and person-specific question.

Factors that affect your ability to lose fat and to gain muscle, include:

  • your age
  • amount of lean tissue mass
  • hormonal profile
  • gut health
  • visceral fat levels
  • current fitness levels and
  • your gender

The most accurate and reliable method to understand your metabolism is with a “Metabolic test”. This test takes the guesswork out! It measures your metabolism accurately, based on where you are at today! It’s quick and easy and the results are given to you on the spot.
To summarise. You cannot directly convert fat into muscle (or muscle to fat) and the best way to improve your body composition is to know exactly how many calories to eat for fat loss and how many calories to eat for muscle gain. The best way to know this is to come in and get a metabolic test, and have your results explained with one of our sports scientists at Body Measure.

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Pounding the pavement to shift those kilos? Think about lifting kilos instead!

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In every gym around the country, and plenty of parks and footpaths too, you can see people slogging away at cardio exercise in an effort to lose weight. Huffing and puffing, there’s no doubt that they’re working hard, but are they really going to get the results that they are after?

We’d be inclined to say, sadly no. They might lose weight, but not necessarily fat. A Penn State study put dieters into three groups – no exercise, cardio exercise only, and cardio exercise and weight training – and while they all lost weight, the weight lifting group lost around three kilos more fat than the other groups. The weight lifting group’s loss was almost pure fat, while the others lost both fat and muscle. And as we know, losing muscle will decrease your metabolic rate and contribute to a range of other health problems.

Cardio exercise, like running, cycling and swimming is great for improving your heart health and for burning fat for the period of time that you are exercising. But to alter your body to burn fat more effectively all day, even when you are sitting at your desk or asleep in your bed, you really need to build more muscle mass.

Why weight training trumps cardio for fat loss

One of the main reasons why weight training is better than cardio for fat loss is the post-workout effect on metabolism. Weight training can trigger increased calorie burn for up to 36 hours after you’ve finished your session!

A second factor is that in addition to burning more calories after the workout itself, weight training will increase the amount of lean muscle mass in your body. This lean muscle mass will increase your basal metabolic rate (the amount of calories you’d burn just lying in bed all day doing nothing but breathing), and make your body a more efficient fat burning machine all day, every day, not just training days.

Weight training also promotes an anabolic state in the body , encouraging the creation and maintenance of lean muscle tissue. Cardio training however can cause a catabolic state in the body, triggering the release of the stress hormone cortisol which can lead to muscle loss and also promote fat accumulation in the abdominal region. And as we’ve discussed before, abdominal fat is bad news!

How to get your muscles to do the heavy weight-loss lifting

The best approach for fat loss is metabolic strength training – a high-intensity, full-body interval workout. Rather than a traditional body-building program using free weights and weight machines, metabolic strength training is based on a variety of combinations and repetitions using free weights, kettlebells, barbells, dumbbells and resistance bands. Rather than being about how much you can lift, it is about making the body efficient, lean, toned and strong.

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To get the maximum benefits from metabolic strength training, try these tips from Alwyn Cosgrove, author of The New Rules of Lifting for Life:

  • Train the whole body on non-consecutive days, three to four times per week
  • Use compound exercises with free weights
  • Choose a weight that allows you to complete no more than three to four sets of 12 to 15 repetitions if you’re a beginner, or six to eight reps if you are an experienced lifter
  • Keep your rest time between sets to under a minute
  • Alternate sets of lower-body and upper-body exercises
  • Continually challenge yourself with heavier weights and new and different exercise variations

So, don’t be scared of lifting weights to achieve your weight loss goals! Strength training will allow your body to develop more lean muscle tissue and change your body composition. You’ll increase your metabolic rate and turn your body into a strong and efficient fat burning machine that not only looks better but works better too. We see the effects of this type of training at Body Measure all the time- it works! Come in an see us for a DEXA scan- we can help you achieve your goals and keep you on track with your training!

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What’s your baseline? And where do you want to be?

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Bianca realised she needs to stay on top of her her game by watching her baseline and keeping fit and healthy.

Now, everyone knows that we should eat better food, move more and generally look after ourselves better. And look, we get it – change is hard, and it can be easier just to carry on with things the way they are. But February is a great time of year to assess your health. Christmas is over, kids are back at school, and the work year is back into full swing. The social calendar is settling back down to a normal level and weekly routines are resuming.

So many of our clients come to us confused and overwhelmed by all the conflicting food, exercise and wellness advice they hear in the media and from their social circle. It can be hard to know what is accurate or what is right for their individual case.

Thankfully, our clients have taken the first step of breaking out of this cycle by booking a DEXA scan and getting a baseline. With our scans, we can provide you with a true picture of your health, not just your weight. We provide you with a breakdown of fat tissue versus lean muscle mass, and valuable insight into where your body is storing that fat. The health implications of hidden abdominal fat can be fatal, so getting a true picture of your inner health is a very effective motivator for change in a way that doing up your jeans or looking good in a bikini might not be for some people. Did you know that the Body Measure DEXA scanner is the only model in the world where you can actually see your visceral fat?

What to expect from a DEXA scan?

Getting a DEXA scan is simple and non-invasive. Unlike old fashioned, and often inaccurate skin fold testing you are fully clothed for the scan. We’ll get you to remove all metal from your body, then lie on the DEXA table, where the scan takes about five minutes.

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We’ll then use the results to provide you with a comprehensive breakdown of your body composition. You’ll be provided with:

  • Your body fat percentage
  • Your total muscle mass
  • The total fat on your body
  • The location of your body fat (intra-muscular, subcutaneous, and the dangerous visceral fat in the abdominal region)
  • Bone weight and bone density
  • Your basal metabolic rate (BMR)
  • Your BMI
  • An overview of how much fat you need to lose to achieve your goals

Our clients find this process extremely valuable and highly motivating towards their body composition goals.

Paula Beckton, a contestant on Channel 7’s Bringing Sexy Back, reflects the sentiments of many of our clients, saying that, “having a DEXA scan at the start really sets the pace and allows you to be very clear on what your starting point is and what you want to get away from being.”

So you’ve had a scan, what next?

We’ll provide you with effective suggestions of diet and lifestyle changes that you can make that will help you to achieve your wellness goals. To keep you motivated, we recommend periodic scans to review your process, something that Paula has found very useful. As she says, “when you lose weight, you sometimes don’t see yourself how much weight you have lost. You might think, oh, I’ve only lost 12 kilograms, but when a scan can show you what that 12 kilograms actually means in health and not just weight, it can really give you a mental edge to continue to work towards your goals.”

We find that nutrition and exercise is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. All bodies respond differently, and with a follow up scan you can see how your unique body is changing and assess if further tweaks need to be made to get you results, rather than being frustrated by your progress.

So, what are you waiting for? Book in now and make this February fabulous!

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Beer bellies and muffin tops: Are you hiding behind cute names for abdominal fat?

January has arrived, and with the New Year typically come thoughts of a renewed commitment to health and wellness. Maybe those jeans are a little bit tighter after the excesses of Christmas. (Just me? No, didn’t think so.) Maybe you’re hiding under a t-shirt at the beach. Or maybe you’ve always done those things but you’ve decided that it’s time to really change this time.

As a society, we have lots of cute and funny sounding names for abdominal fat. We call it our beer belly, a muffin top, joke about our love handles or our cuddly belly. But the harsh reality is that there is nothing cute, sweet or harmless about abdominal fat stores. Fat around your belly is literally suffocating your vital organs. That visceral, or hidden, fat is a known contributor to increased risk of heart attack, type 2 diabetes, a range of cancers and more.beerbelly-dexascanner-bodymeasure-sydney

In our blogs we keep banging on about the risks of abdominal fat. That’s because the research into the health implications of this type of fat is very clear – too much abdominal fat is a killer. But, on the flip side, we continually see our customers turn their health around through embracing a healthier lifestyle that focuses on freshly prepared foods and plenty of activity. With regular DEXA scans, we can see the evidence of this dangerous, deadly fat burning away and being replaced with muscle mass and lean tissue.

Five top tips for shifting that beer belly

  1. OK, we’re not going to be popular for this one, but it’s a no-brainer. Cut back on the beer. Sorry. Alcohol is high in carbohydrates but has no nutritional value. Your body will burn off alcohol before any other food, so it leads to your body storing additional calories as fat.
  2. Embrace vegetables. Increasing your vegetable intake is one of the easiest ways to reduce processed carbohydrates from your diet. Carbs aren’t bad, we just tend to eat too many in our modern, processed food culture. Try out zucchini noodles with your bolognaise sauce, or give cauliflower rice a try with your curry. There are loads of easy and tasty ideas to make veggies a bigger part of your diet.
  3. Move more. When you are starting out, the most important thing is just to be more active. Find something that you enjoy (or can at least tolerate). If you’re already active, increase the amount of weight bearing exercise that you do. Building more muscle mass will help your body to be a more efficient fat burning machine. Weight bearing exercise also improves your bone density, which is very important for both women AND men as we age.liftingweights-dexascanner-sydney-strength
  4. Rest better. Studies show that a lack of sleep is a contributing factor to excess fat storage. Inadequate or poor quality sleep can impede your body’s ability to process carbohydrate, leading to an excess of insulin production and ultimately storing more body fat and developing insulin resistance, a precursor to type 2 diabetes.
  5. Keep measuring. The most important element to reducing abdominal fat and increasing muscle mass is consistency with your lifestyle changes. But we know that sometimes it can be hard to maintain your motivation when you aren’t always seeing immediate changes. This is where regular DEXA scans can play a vital role, as even if the number on the scale isn’t changing, our scans can show you how those hidden fat stores are reducing in size and being replaced by healthy muscle mass.

Visit Body Measure in Crows Nest Sydney for your DEXA scan and combat that dangerous abdominal fat!!

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Measure your Motivation

“Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.” H. James Harrington

Harrington was writing about business, but his words ring just as true when it comes to your health and wellbeing. We wholeheartedly believe, and the results that our clients achieve reinforce this every day, that measurement is the first critical step towards taking charge of your health and maintaining motivation on your journey to reaching your ideal weight with more muscle mass.

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Starting is easy, it’s keeping going that’s the trick

And it is maintaining motivation that is key. Starting to make better food choices and exercise more is easy. You can see that in action in the first week of January as everyone heads to the gym and stocks up on supplies for salads and green smoothies. But by late February (if it’s even that long!), life starts to get in the way, excuses are made and before you know it, you’ve not been to the gym for four weeks and you’re having takeaway pizza for dinner for the second time in a week.

Improving health and fitness doesn’t come from New Year resolutions and January detoxes. It comes from consistent actions and choices all year round. A DEXA scan to determine your starting point and periodic scans throughout the year to track the changes in your body composition can do wonders to keep you on track. Visibly seeing the reduction in your body fat percentage and an increase in muscle mass really reinforces your commitment to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight with a good proportion of lean tissue.

Knowledge is power

Certainly, this was the case for Paula Beckton when she appeared on Channel 7’s Bringing Sexy Back. As Paula says:

“The DEXA scan revealed the true me. Knowing and facing the damage I was doing inside was really important and a pivotal point as you don’t actually know that when you weigh yourself on the scales at home. Seeing the amount of fat I had on my body was quite confronting.”

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Paula Beckton confronts her DEXA scan results on Channel 7’s Bringing Sexy Back

But the DEXA scan didn’t just provide motivation at the beginning for Paula. As she was having regular scans to review her body composition, Paula was able to bypass the frustration that many people have when they are trying to improve their health and lose weight, but the number on the scales just isn’t shifting as much or as quickly as they might have hoped for.

“When you lose weight, you sometimes don’t see yourself how much weight you have lost. You might think, oh, I’ve only lost 12 kilograms, but when a scan can show you what that loss of 12 kilograms actually means in health and not just weight, it can really give you a mental edge to continue to work towards your goals,” says Paula.

Consistent action does get results

Don’t let your motivation to change your life and achieve your health goals fizzle out by the middle of February. Don’t let yourself become demoralised by the small changes you see on the outside, when there could well be much more significant changes to the very dangerous visceral fat on your insides. Come in for a DEXA scan, get a true picture of your health and how that IS changing as you get leaner and reduce your body fat percentage. And by this time next year, you really will see the results of making all those small actions and choices throughout the year.

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Finding motivation in fat facts- Bringing Sexy Back!

When Paula Beckton was selected as a contestant on Channel 7’s Bringing Sexy Back, she weighed 101 kilograms. However, Paula had convinced herself that the figure was only a number. It was only when she had her first DEXA scan, and was confronted with the facts about her body composition behind it, that Paula had what she called her moment of truth:

“The DEXA scan revealed the true me. Knowing and facing the damage I was doing inside was really important and a pivotal point. You don’t actually know that when you weigh yourself on the scales at home. Seeing the DEXA scan imaging of the amount of fat I had on my body was quite confronting, I think on the show I said that it was “really gross” and I can’t deny that it was shocking. I could see how much my weight gain had affected my health and how poor a role model I was being for my children.”

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Paula reviews her Dexa Scan on Channel Seven’s Bringing Sexy Back

 

Starting her journey with a DEXA scan and being provided with detailed body composition data was a key motivational tool for Paula. “Having a DEXA scan at the start really sets the pace and allows you to be very clear on what your starting point is and what you want to get away from being.”

As most overweight people who’ve tried to make lifestyle changes know, it can be tough. Maintaining motivation and momentum to lose weight is difficult when the number on your bathroom scales is barely shifting.

Paula was able to bypass this frustration, thanks to regular DEXA scans to review her body composition. The scans empowered Paula with critical information on maintaining momentum, keeping her focused on her journey towards a more ideal weight.

“When you lose weight, you sometimes don’t see yourself how much weight you have lost. You might think, oh, I’ve only lost 12 kilograms, but with the DEXA scan showing me what that loss of 12 kilograms actually means in regards to health and not just weight, it really gave me a mental edge to continue to work towards my goals,” says Paula.

PAULA
Paula’s weight loss transformation!

 

Thanks to Bringing Sexy Back and the insights provided by DEXA scans, Paula has been able to make significant lifestyle changes – all while managing the regular challenges of daily life.

“I made this work, I wasn’t locked away for three months. I had all my usual responsibilities as a mother, a wife, and a business owner. I worked, I cooked, I cleaned and did all the normal things that a working mother of four kids does. My exercise regime consisted of 20 minutes in the morning on a cross trainer as that was all the time I had available to me, so I made the most of those 20 minutes every day.

“I had tried and failed at so many diets in the past – otherwise I wouldn’t have reached 101 kilograms! I knew that this time around any changes would need to be sustainable in the overall context of my life.”

With four children, Paula was motivated to improve her own health so that she could continue to be present in their lives and able to keep up with them. “My kids’ obvious pride in me being healthy is a great feeling and knowing that their little arms came closer and closer together when they hug me is fantastic.”

Yet, with juggling four children and a busy work life, Paula had to recognise that one of the most important factors in her success was self-motivation and a willingness to put herself first.

“I had to commit to myself that there would not be anything that was going to stop me, not even the repertoire of excuses I had from past efforts. I needed to make the right choices for myself, and not just for the kids.”

The experience of appearing on Bringing Sexy Back and the empowering information from the DEXA scans, has been a life-changing experience for Paula.

“I have made a healthy lifestyle change and it was such a wonderful opportunity. I would strongly encourage others to take the steps to jump start their new life and embrace living, truly living, a new healthier lifestyle towards health and fitness.”

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Weight loss and Dexa scanning- Q and A with Paula Beckton from Channel 7’s Bringing Sexy Back

After your first Dexa scan, how did finding your truth, inspire you to begin your weight loss journey?  

‘My moment of truth’ as I call it was a big reality check and wake up call. I had known that I had put on weight and pretty much stopped weighing myself as it was only going up. However; that was only a number, I thought I could deal with ‘that number’. Seeing the amount of fat I had on my body was ‘really gross’ (I think I said on the show!). I could see the outline of my body and how much ‘that number’ had affected my health, and how much a poor role model I was being to my children.

I didn’t want to know the truth I see what I see every day and I carry it with me every day and having that scan done was just another twist of reality, for what I have become’ (quote from the show).

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Why do you believe it is important to get such accurate readings from a DEXA scan?

The importance of the Dexa scan was to see the true me and face all of the facts not just ‘that number.’ Knowing and facing the damage I was doing inside was really important and a pivotal point as you don’t actually know that when you weigh yourself on the scales at home.

You can’t walk away from it, you can’t turn the page or say that poor person look what happened to them because that poor person is me’ (quote from the show)

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Can you tell us more about your beliefs that weight loss needs a life style change rather than a diet change?

I can’t remember how many diets I had tried in the past and obviously failed so many times otherwise I wouldn’t of reached 101kg! This time round it was going to be a lifestyle change something that was sustainable, I wasn’t about to do another diet and fail again and again and again. Why do something short term, why not make it a moment that you can live? I now say ‘live a lifestyle not a diet’ and so what if I put a piece of bread in my mouth, I know what I need to do and I know I can’t do it every day. Life is about living not dieting. When you have kids you make the most of it and make the right choices as an adult and for yourself, not just for the kids.

What were your biggest challenges in your weight loss journey and how did you overcome it?

Portion serves was my biggest obstacle knowing that there should be a different in size to Marks plate and mine and not have him ask which one is mine. Smaller meals throughout the day and more flavour was a great option.

The 2nd obstacle was not eating, who would of thought doing this would sabotage my metabolism! I now have been reunited with my metabolism and feeling hungry is a sure sign of success. However; the true success is what I then eat. Being organised with food and setting an alarm to eat at 10am and 2pm was instrumental and then would help stop eating a massive meal at night time.

What are your favourite motivational tools on your weight loss journey?

I honestly thought I was going to use it as a piñata when Cam asked me to create a body cast of myself. That was ONE massive turning point in my life. BUT having that cast and seeing but feeling what I had became wanted to make me get so far away from that it wasn’t funny, many of tears happened looking at that thing! I absolutely love it now and I am soooo proud of it!

Like a lot of people my kids are my motivation. Being around for all 4 of them and keeping up with them as they grow but also them being proud of me being healthy is a great feeling and every hug they gave me their little arms came closer and closer together and they can hold their elbows when they hug me before they could only just touch their fingertips. Kids have their own way to motivate us without them having to say a word.

The other thing, which some people may find silly, is having a normal size bathroom towel fit around me! I love being able to close that gap and now being able to wrap it around me, I know I have change and it wasn’t the towel size.

Sometimes you have to really break things down and find the small things that matter and motivate you along the way.

PAULA

Why is it important to have a dexa scan not only at the beginning of your weight loss challenge but throughout your journey?

Having the Dexa scan at the start really sets the pace and what you want to get away from. Know the moments of achievement was inside and out, physically and emotionally was amazing to see it in front of you and broken down with no rose coloured glasses, just facts and facing the truth. When you lose weight you also sometimes don’t see yourself to how much weight you have lost and might just say oh yeah I have only lost 12kg, but seeing what that loss of 12kg actually means in health not just weight, there is nothing else like it, it give you the edge mentally.

As well as being in the public eye, you had a team supporting you on your weight loss. Why do you think is important to having a supportive and motivational team around you?

I had a small team around me to start with, but my number one team was my family. Let’s be honest you can have a support team around you but have you been honest to them? Have you broken it all down and shown them? Without getting everything out in the open with my husband I think I may of failed again and well I really didn’t give thought to getting it out in the open and doing it on national TV! until about a month into filming when it hit me and I turned to Mark glassy eyed and he asked me what’s wrong! It was that moment I said I’m going to be on Tv like ‘ALL’ of me! Wow that was a moment I will never forget, the total honesty, the total truth everything no more hiding and it was that point of knowing well that’s the truth they know it now I have to do something about it.

I found that the most important supportive person had to be myself, I had to put myself first and motivate myself if a person is going to make a change they have to want to make that change themselves. I made that commitment to myself and there was not going to be anything that would stop me, not even the repertoire of excuses I had from the past efforts.

How have you found maintaining your new lifestyle in terms of fitness activities?

I honestly know that I can sit back and say that I made this work, I wasn’t locked away for 3months, I had to do this in my own life, as a mother, as a wife, a business owner, I had to work, I had to cook, I had to clean (ok that did get put down the priority list) I had kids to take care of and live a fairly normal life as another mum out there. I made it work and I know others can also. I made commitments to myself that I could maintain. I honestly really only did 20mins in the morning first up on the cross trainer that Fit online supplied to me, I only had 20mins free and I made it work. My lifestyle now doesn’t need as much regular training as I did, I just make sure when I do train, as I always did, I make the most of each session, I don’t got there to look pretty and come out the same way everything comes down to how much effort and commitment you are willing to put in.

Why should people enter your competition?

The life changing opportunity that I was given by Channel 7 on Bringing sexy Back was just that! It was a healthy lifestyle change and such a wonderful opportunity. If I can help give someone else a jump start at their new life and experience a little of what I have then I would be so happy knowing that I have the old saying ‘pay it forward’ it truly is how we all support each other without knowing. The emails and Face book messages have been so inspiration al from so many people out there in the same situation I was and it is just my way of trying to say thank you and help change the life of someone else to ‘live a lifestyle and not a diet’.

To enter Paula’s competition to kick start your healthy lifestyle journey- which involves winning over $4500 in prizes (including a FREE before and after Dexa scan) visit Paula Beckton “Bringing Sexy Back” Facebook page to enter!

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Direction to Health

Physiotherapist Emma Esslemont recently discovered the huge benefits of getting a Dexa Scan at Body Measure in Crows Nest. Mainly, she loved the fact she was given perspective and direction as to what is needed to be ‘healthier’.

She also asks the question: If you knew you were at higher risk of developing chronic disease would you change your lifestyle?

Check out her experience below:

Last weekend I went and got a DEXA Scan & it was probably the most interesting & worthwhile $85 I have spent in a long time.

Why?

Chronic disease is literally taking over the world. If it’s not heart disease its diabetes or cancer; obesity or depression. It’s all around us and it’s pretty scary.

This really hit home recently for me following a conversation with my mum. My parents are in their mid 60’s and both have had a pretty clean bill of health. Many of their close friends however have not been so fortunate. In the last 6 months my godfather passed suddenly from a heart attack (he had underlying heart disease), my godmother is battling breast cancer and another close family friend recently found out she had a brain tumour. Bad things happen in 3’s so I have my fingers crossed that that’s the last of the bad news.

A DEXA scan is the most accurate test to measure our body composition and bone density. Our bodies are comprised of fat, bone, muscle and of course our vital organs. In the past body mass index (BMI) has been the measure of choice in the medical world. This uses your weight and height to calculate whether you are normal, overweight, obese or morbidly obese. The shortfall of this is that people who have a lot of muscle such as sportsmen & athletes were falling into the obese category because it doesn’t account for differences in muscle mass and fat mass.

The DEXA scan addresses all of this allowing an accurate measure of body fat, lean muscle and bone density. It takes out ‘water weight’ (the mass of our bladder and bowel) and also is capable of breaking down measurements into different regions. This is particularly important medically as higher levels of visceral fat in the abdominal region (yep I’m talking beer bellies and muffin tops) is a huge risk factor for many chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke.

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Doctors, personal trainers and nutritionists can then use this information to implement prevention strategies into one’s lifestyle. People with lower bone density will benefit from weight bearing & resistance exercises to strengthen the bones while people with high visceral fat may need to address certain aspects of their diet.

Considering that the fitness industry is BOOMING at the moment; there’s boot camps, running groups, gym franchises popping up EVERYWHERE we really don’t seem to be getting any healthier. Australia is one of the ‘fattest’ nations in the world!

Why?

I honestly believe that it’s because so many of us are not aware of our unhealthy we really are. Health and wellbeing isn’t as simple as exercising every day, sure this helps (and I highly encourage it) BUT many other aspects need attention, especially diet and nutrition. Having this scan, and having a visual image of my body composition which is then mapped against normal values for my age group gives you a little perspective and also gives you direction as to what you need to do to be ‘healthier’.

I’ll leave you with this thought.

If you knew you were at higher risk of developing chronic disease would you change your lifestyle?

It’s $85 that could quite literally save your life.

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Visceral Fat and trying to lose weight!

Did you know that having visceral fat can make losing body fat even harder?Man and woman body fat

Although almost everyone has visceral fat in their body, some individuals have a lot more than others.  By eating foods that are filled with fatty or sugar based substances, the visceral fat in your system will promote weight gain.

Visceral fat, is the bad fat around the organs of your stomach and can lead to problematic issues like diabetes and heart disease. So right there is a good reason to change your body composition and lose this bad fat.

But visceral fat is also a major player in weight gain.  Unlike other types of body fat, visceral fat alters the way that our body divides food and then stores fat cells. So that you metabolism is geared toward storing fat, rather than using it as a fuel source.  Additionally, this specific type of fat is one of the main causes of insulin resistance, which directly results in extra weight gain.

Luckily, there are many different ways for you to lose visceral fat and avoid weight gain all together.  Whether it’s through nutritional supplements like vitamins and supplements, regular exercise or a healthy diet, visceral fat can be reduced to healthy levels.

But, what if you don’t even know if you have visceral fat in your body?  The answer is much easier to find than you might think; especially with one quick and simple visit to Body Measure in Crow’s Nest, Sydney. Body Measure are Sydney’s leading experts in body composition.

The most exact way to get instant visceral fat results is by getting it measured with a Dexa Scan.

One of the most advanced measuring systems in the world, a Dexa Scan will provide you with tangible results.  Body Measure dexa Scan is the only machine in the word that can visualize the visceral fat in your body.

This state of the art body composition analysis only takes 5 minutes.

We will explain your results on the day and give you an in-depth review of the final outcome.