Popular Q & A with Ask Jeeves…..here they are!

Wow .. a frenzy of questions arrived during the two hours of Ask the Fitness Expert on Ask Jeeves…. have a look at the most popular ones and answers below. To be repeated soon… any questions you have please feel free to comment and we will respond!

What is the best way to lose fat? I am a 19 year old student, 5″5 (I think), and 65 kilos right now, which is a good size, but I unfortunately have a pot belly. Have access to a gym, have been doing 20 minutes Conditioning followed by a 60 minute uphill run on the treadmill. What else can I do to help me lose this flab?

* Lots of people mistake losing weight with losing fat – so big well done for identifying its bodyfat and you have a healthy body weight…. the best thing to do, combined with your cardio is some weights 2-3 x per week – this could be with Bodypump, circuits, kettlebells, dumbells workouts etc…. your local uni gym will proabbly offer all these sessions… or you could buy a set of dumbells and do a workout in your room if you are motivated to.  Then have look at your nutrition… make sure you are eating little and often throughout the day…low sugars, and lots of complex carbs(rice, wholewheat pasta, quinoa, leafy green veg), quality protein (many students dont eat enough – lean meats, rice milk, beans, pulses) and good fats (seeds, fish, nuts) and going to bed before 11pm at least a few nights a week. Studies have shown that if you go to bed before 11pm your body will store less fat… and you are less likely to eat so muych sugar.  And if you are drinking, try to avoid too much as this will cause your body to store fat… hope that gives you some ideas to help get a flat tummy!

With all these diet plans out that encourage meal replacement such as LighterLife and Cambridge Diet do you think these assess peoples real weight issues or do you think re-educating people as to healthy eating would be a much better option?

Oooo – good question! I like it and very controversial…. I know people who swear by meal replacement options etc… but my opinion and method is all about educating people about why your body needs a little bit of everything and it is so important that it has carbs, proteins and fats as each does something in the body. Also by becoming aware of what you are eating allows you to know when you are hungry, when you are full, what foods make your feel good and have lots of energy, and what foods give you a short term fix and then a crash in energy.

I run workshops on healthy eating and body image for teenagers and adults and they are really popular. It is amazing how simple nutrition and understanding what food does for you – shows you how to respect your body, have a great body and feel good.

Plus your brain is a muscle and cannot store carbohydrate so if you dont feed it, then you cannot function as effectively or efficiently as if you did!

So many reasons to go for the healthy option – it may take longer but the results are great, permenant and you will feel full of energy..

At what stage does fitness ‘plateau’? I do a daily cycle commute and while I felt a big difference for the first few weeks after that I felt like that I had to cycle further or harder to get any impact. What tips could you give to avoid this?

Our bodies are really clever – so once we have done something for about 4-6 weeks it becomes normal and then you will see less gain from it, but still have the benefits. The best way to keep challenging your body is to choose a couple of days a week when you are going to do a speed session – so you will go as fast as you can for about 2mins, recover and then do the same again – this will lift your metabolic rate…. then you could choose a different route which is a couple of miles longer and see if you can do it in the same time…. or you could choose to cycle up and down a few hills twice to increase the leg strength and challenge yourself…. these would be done 2-3 times per week and then the other cycles would be as normal….  or you cycle to work as normal and add some core, running off the bike or strength sessions – but this depends on time.  Cross training is the key to waing up different muscles, and challenging your body without plateau … think of mixing things up every 4-6 weeks… enjoy!

** If you would like more off the questions and answers published then just comment and we will!