Looking for inspiration in your weight-loss program?
Look no further!
Australia's leading weight-loss expert Michelle Bridges shares her hot tips and amazing facts about diet and exercise to help you stay motivated.
Handy advice for a healthier life - something for every day of the year.
Some of Michelle's tips include:
Exercise is also a mood enhancer, helping you feel happier as well as healthier.
Labels on foods derived from plants - like oil and margarine - that shout 'low cholesterol' or 'cholesterol free' are meaningless, as all plant foods contain almost no cholesterol.
A kiwifruit contains more than your day's recommended dose of vitamin C. Keep the skin on to get the most nutrients AND silverbeet contains substantial levels of 16 different vitamins and minerals that your body needs.
At a cellular level, our bodies undergo change immediately after any exercise or food choices - either good or bad.
Michelle Bridgesbecame a household name when she first appeared as a trainer on Channel Ten's hit reality weight-loss show The Biggest Loser. She is now Australia's most recognised personal trainer, having worked in the fitness and weight-loss industry for over two decades. Michelle is also highly sought after as a motivational speaker.
Her bestselling books include Crunch Time, Crunch Time Cookbook, Losing the Last 5 Kilos, Michelle Bridges: 5 Minutes a Day and The No Excuses Cookbook.
Everyday Weight Loss: 365 bite-sized bits of inspiration, information and motivation
Author: Michelle Bridges
Question: What types of tips and facts are included in Everyday Weight Loss?
Michelle Bridges: Everyday Weight Loss contains 365 facts and tips, one for every day of the year which is why it is titled Everyday Weight Loss. The facts rotate from food facts to exercise and mindset facts which are the three main sections that I always talk about especially getting your head in the right place. Every year I'm asked "What are your ten top tips?" and because of that I wrote this book with real mixed bag of all my favourite tips and tricks. I believe everyone wants a little grab or bite sized piece of information that they can take with them for the rest of the day.
You can pick this book up, flick to any page and take one small piece of information and utilise that across the day.
Question: What is the aim of Everyday Weight Loss?
Michelle Bridges: Everyday Weight Loss will keep people conscious and have them thinking consciously about the choices that they're making around their exercise or being active and the choices they're making around their foods. I hope people will stop themselves and think 'I'm not going to order the hot chips and pie, like I normally have or the kebab and coke instead I'm consciously going to make a smart decision and have grilled fish with salad and a mineral water'.
Question: What is the best thing we can eat after a workout?
Michelle Bridges: After a workout the best thing to have is a form of low GI carbohydrate with some fructose, particularly if you've trained in the morning and want to have good energy throughout the day. One of the best meals after a morning training session would be porridge (you can get multigrain porridge) with blueberries and strawberries - not only are you getting the good low GI carbohydrates with good fibre which will fill you for longer, you are also getting fantastic antioxidants and nutrients from the fruit.
Question: What should we have to eat at night after a training session?
Michelle Bridges: If you're training later at night, I suggest that you have your normal evening meal, brush your teeth and its game over! Making sure that you're always giving yourself good nutrition means that you balance it accordingly across the day and try not to be too top heavy at each side of the day with three square meals which is what our grandparents used to have. You can maybe or maybe not have a snack; you may have a mid-morning snack and a mid-afternoon snack or just a mid-morning snack. It's not really that complicated.
The issue is what you put in your mouth that you don't think about such as the biscuit with a cup of tea or the piece of chocolate you're offered or the muffin with the coffee when you sit down with your girlfriend or the biscuits and cheese that you have on the plane on your way to a business meeting, that you forgot you even ate. It's the unconscious choices that usually end up having people on the slippery pole.
Question: Do you recommend calorie or kilojoule counting?
Michelle Bridges: Of course I do. I know people roll their eyes because it is boring and makes food seem boring. I'm not asking people to turn into calorie counting freaks but I am asking that they have a bit of a handle around the calories in the regular foods they are eating. If you know you are regularly have a certain cereal in the morning or have the same sandwich most days for lunch then it's not a bad idea to understand roughly how many calories are in the meal. A lot of people will be majorly surprised to find out that perhaps certain sandwiches ordered from a delicatessen and the soft drink they have with it equates to 600 calories, which is a huge amount.
You don't have to get crazy about it but you should have a little bit of an idea about what makes up some of the regular foods in your day-to-day nutrition, then you can get a handle on why it is that you're gaining weight or haven't been able to shift the weight if that's what you're trying to do. Once you get your head around the reasons then you can very quickly work out why things aren't changing.
It's about breaking habits; many people believe they have to have a 3pm chocolate and of course they don't but it is a habit or a ritual. We need to break old habits with new habits.
When I meet with a client I will take a look at what they're eating across the course of the day and quickly add up the numbers and they could be eating 3,000 calories - no wonder they haven't been able to loose weight! Calorie counting is a guide to how much is going in, with food; you don't need to get obsessive about it.
Question: What is your opinion on diet, protein and supplement shakes in comparison to food?
Michelle Bridges: Nothing beats real food and understanding how to shop, prepare and cook food because that's what you'll be doing for the rest of your life. Shakes are good for convenience but do you really see yourself drinking a shake for the rest of your life? Boring!
Shakes are great for convenience and I will sometimes have one if I'm racing out the door and I know I'm up late and I'm trying to do 100 things before I get out the door, instead of breakfast. Or, if I'm going to an evening event and I have to go straight from work and I haven't had time to think about a meal then I may have a protein shake to tie me over.
When people are trying to grasp at the ideas of shakes or grasp at anything, the result is a roller-coaster because they're bouncing to all these different diets which means their weight and confidence yo-yos up and down because they can't seem to find a sustainable method. The only lifeline that is sustainable is eating healthy, nutritious food in portions the size that our grandparents used to eat, not the portions that we eat today.
Question: Is weight loss more about food than exercise? How should we balance both?
Michelle Bridges: No it's about both, I've written about this; if I had two people and I let one exercise like crazy but eat whatever they want and the other didn't do any exercise but kept their diet squeaky clean then the non-exerciser would drop the weight. However that said, exercise is what our body is designed to do, we are supposed to get sweaty and the benefits mean that you get stronger muscles and bones, better posture, prevent injury and also means that you will have a head space that is a far more positive than negative. We know for a fact that exercise is extraordinarily good for depression and mindset.
Question: Is it true that increasing our muscle mass will increase our metabolism?
Michelle Bridges: Exercise has a trickle over affect not only because you have a positive mindset but by increasing muscle mass in our body by doing regular exercise turns your engine from a two-stroke into a V8. It is about consistency, you can't just exercise for three days, it's about being regular and when the regularity and rituals kick!
Interview by Brooke Hunter