June 5, 2016

Wild weather, storms, and freezing temperatures can make exercise motivation hard. The problem is not just with exercise, though. Research shows that those who exercise are also more motivated to make good food choices, so during the winter months it’s especially important to keep to your exercise schedule. We’ve all seen people yo-yo between the seasons, so don’t let it be you this year.

Nearly everyone loves a good comfort meal of pasta in the cooler weather, so this month we have a delicious version of carbonara that fits into a low-carb diet, but beware: if low-fat is your thing, this is probably not for you.

Slimmer of the Year Finalist – Elaine M, Prospect, SA

Lost 34.6 kilos & 100.5 cm

I commenced with Healthy Inspirations in February 2012 and since following the program, initially the Great Shape plan and then the Reset program, I have been able to lose over 34kgs.

I believe that a lot of the success of the program is to breakdown the main goal into smaller more achievable steps. Being able to meet these mini goals provides a great deal of motivation to continue on and soon build to achieve the overall goal. I believe that not only my determination to succeed but the support and encouragement given by the staff at Healthy Inspirations also provides motivation in continuing on the journey to weight loss and a healthier lifestyle.

Part of the Healthy Inspirations plan is to use their gym equipment and attend the fitness and well-being classes that they provide. Even though I have a couple of sporting injuries that has restricted my use of some of the gym equipment I have still used the gym, more particularly the exercise bike. To make up for the lack of gym work I have been walking regularly. I commenced walking for a minimum of half an hour every morning before work around the scenic Lighthouse and Wharf area at Port Adelaide. Some mornings I even had the Port River Dolphins to keep me company. I found that the kilos kept dropping and my shape was also changing. I lost approximately 10 kgs in three months. This has had a significant benefit to my health, where my blood pressure is now considered to be low and the Doctor is in the process of taking me off my medication for good. I have found that being on the Healthy Inspirations program is not a “diet” it is a way of life. My love of food and cooking has helped me to modify and create recipes that are tasty and enjoyable to eat as well as being in line with the plan.

Top three Healthy Inspirations tips:

  • Be organised, when preparing some of the delicious recipes, make a double batch and freezer it, great to take to work for lunches etc.
  • Even if you are unable to do the gym work, walking works wonders, start off with 10 mins a day and build it up to 30-45mins per day. It does pay off!
  • If you happen to have a hiccup or two in your journey to weight loss, put it behind you, and get back on the plan.

~ Elaine M~

Be the best ‘you’ possible

The ‘perfect’ bodies of celebrities, fitness models and athletes come with a lot of dedication, hard work, and genetic blessing. Photos are taken with perfect lighting or when the person is ready for a major performance. Some are even photo-shopped so there are no ‘flaws’ at all. We compare them to what we see in the mirror.

It’s really important to understand and accept – even embrace – your limitations.

  1. Do you have the time to put into looking as good as your idol? Most of us have to work, cook, do the housework, care for family, make time for friends, and fit in a bit of ‘me’ time. In short, most of us don’t have multiple hours every day to put into looking good.
  1. Do you have the expertise to do it yourself? Or do you have the financial resources (or sponsorship) to access professional help? Being as selfish as our idol is expensive business.
  1. Do you have the drive to work as hard as is needed? It’s a wet and windy Wednesday and the alarm goes off at 4.30am. What do you really want to do? Do you do it?
  1. Do you have the underlying body shape to look the way you’d like? No matter how hard she works, Elle Macpherson will never look like Serena Williams, and vice versa. Their body shapes are completely different, and their genetics and hormonal status supports the achievement of different results. They are as different from each other as they are from you.

If you’re unhappy with how you look, instead of trying to look like someone else why not aim for a better version of you? It’s achievable, satisfying, and realistic.

Be disciplined – but make it enjoyable

Decide on an exercise schedule that fits with other demands in your life, and that you enjoy, and stick to it. Make sure the schedule is ‘do-able’ whatever the weather. So what if it’s a wet and windy Wednesday? Get out of bed and do it anyway because that’s what you agreed on with yourself and it’s what makes you feel good, both physically and mentally. There’s a meme on social media that gets changed all the time, but it basically says “I wish I didn’t work out today – said no-one ever.”

Eat well

Decide which eating pattern you’re going to follow, and stick to it. Avoid chopping and changing, or making variations to do it your own way. If you don’t like something about it, talk to your coach about how you can make it work. Starving yourself won’t give you the results you want, and neither will eating whatever you please. Be realistic, be patient, and be aware of your food behaviours.

Get support

Making change to habits is hard work but every step in the right direction is a step toward a new, positive habit. Make sure you have people supporting you who care about the results you get, and who are caring enough to hold you accountable. Those who tempt you with food treats, sabotage your exercise plans, or discourage your exercise intentions are not supporting you. If need be, talk to them about what you want to achieve and tell them how important their support is to you.

Identify exactly what you want to achieve

After reading “Identify exactly what you want to achieve”, most people will automatically think about a non-specific goal. Lose weight. Get fit. Feel better. They missed the meaning of the word “exactly”.

When deciding on what you’d really like to achieve, beige statements will never work.

To lose weight, for example, means that success occurs whether you lose 50g or 50kg. Both mean that you’ve lost weight, but very few people would feel successful at losing only 50g. Instead, you need to be very specific: “I will lose 12kg.”

Success at “to get fit” means that you need a clear idea about what “fit” means to you. An elite athlete might complain about losing fitness due to an injury, but their actual fitness level is still far greater than that of the average person. Getting fit for someone just starting to implement an exercise program into a previously inactive lifestyle, it might mean being able to walk 5km. It’s relative, and so the goal must be specified.

Feel better is perhaps the least specific goal of all. Feel better than what? How do you measure it? How will you know when you’ve been successful?

It’s important to determine how you want to feel better. “I want to eliminate reflux.” “I need to have enough energy to push my grandchild on the swings for 10 minutes.” “My sleep quality needs to allow me to get through night-shift without 8 cups of coffee. When I drink one or two cups for enjoyment and not to keep me awake, I’ll be happy.”

Most people have a mix of weight, exercise and wellness goals. Think carefully about the goal, write it down and repeat it daily to keep on track.

For help in identifying your goals and how to achieve them, have a chat with a Health Coach at your nearest Healthy Inspirations centre. They can help you set a plan into motion and then encourage, motivate, and keep you accountable to achieve your goals.

Healthy Recipes – Low-carbonara
Serves 4


  • 900 g zucchini
  • 300 ml cream
  • 300 g bacon, diced
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 50 ml mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • 100 g grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes
  • Handful basil leaves


  1. Make spirals of the zucchini with a spiralizer, or make thin strips with a potato peeler.
  2. Pour the cream into a sauce pan and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and let boil for a few minutes until reduced a little.
  3. Fry bacon in butter in a fry pan over moderate heat until crispy. Remove from the pan and keep warm.
  4. Lower the temperature of the fry pan, crack the eggs into the pan and cook until the whites are just set and the yolk still runny.
  5. Mix in the mayonnaise with the cream, salt and pepper to taste. Add zucchini into the warm cream sauce.
  6. Divide between serving plates and top each serving with an egg. Pierce the yolks so that they run over the creamy zucchini. Serve immediately with bacon, parsley and parmesan cheese, and garnish with cherry tomatoes and basil leaves.


How many minutes?

Popular fast foods, snacks and drinks may be very tempting but give some thought to the number of minutes of exercise you will need to set aside, on top of your normal exercise, to burn off the extra energy they provide. Even a very small ‘treat’ can have a negative impact on your weight loss success.

Question: How many extra hours/minutes of activity does it take to burn off a bucket of hot chips?

Strenuous Aerobics: 46 minutes
Social Golf: 92 minutes
Energetic Dancing: 61 minutes
Jogging 8 kph: 46 minutes
Swimming: 61 minutes
Walking: 92 minutes