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    It’s Possible To Reverse Type 2 Diabetes, According To One Woman Who Did It 

    Type 2 diabetes is often referred to as a lifestyle disease. Even so, it can be a lot to manage, with injections and closely monitoring blood glucose levels throughout the day, as well as closely managing food intake to make sure levels don’t go off-kilter. But is it reversible? Some say yes, with a healthy lifestyle and most especially, with weight loss. One woman managed to remove the disease from her life when she underwent bariatric surgery and lost weight in the process. Here, Jo-Anne Campbell’s story of how she could reverse type 2 diabetes.

    It started with tumours

    My journey started very strangely, with my sister having a dream in 2010 that I would die in January 2011. She has a foresight for these things. I put this dream of hers aside just to be confronted with a hard reality in January 2011. It was a very hot day as I remember and I decided to drink my husband’s last beer in the fridge. After falling asleep for a few hours, I woke up with pain in my abdomen and found that it had swollen significantly. I looked nine months pregnant.

    After seeing specialists and having tests and scans done it was determined that my liver was the issue. The scans showed my liver, which looked like pencil holes punched in it. It contained 43 tumours called adenomas in it. Each tumour has a possible 3 percent of becoming cancerous. One of the tumours had bled inside itself and became hard. It measured 5 by 7 cm in size.

    At this stage, I developed diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol. My specialist did not know what the tumours were exactly or how to treat them. Fortunately, I was referred to the best liver specialist in Africa. He could only remove four tumours – the liver and the tumours were fused together. There were just too many and because it was my hormones causing these tumours, I could not receive a liver transplant as my body would only make more tumours. The specialist did the surgery and it was successful. After one to two years, I managed to lose 20kg. I regained all and more weight over a span of five years and just accepted all the weight for another three years until I felt unwell again. I started eating increased portions and dropped all the exercise completely. That combination allowed the weight gain to increase. I weighed close to 110kg.

    Spiralling out of control

    With this increase in weight, my diabetes spiralled out of hand and no medication could help bring the sugar levels down. I was at this point very unhealthy and had to manage my increased blood pressure and diabetic medication. Every time the diabetic nurse saw me, she recommended to my doctor that they increase the insulin. In the end, I was on 120 units of insulin per day.

    I was plagued with exhaustion, not only physically but mentally as well. I became anxious when my sugar levels increased as well as my insulin medication at each visit with the diabetic nurse. That’s when I realized I was in a bad space regarding my health when one Sunday afternoon my left leg went numb and experienced heart palpitations. I thought I was going to have a stroke. That’s when I decided I was dying a slow death.

    The change

    I spoke to my doctor and told him I felt like I was dying and I knew I would not make it to 50 and my youngest child was only three years old at the time. With that, he gave me my last and most invasive option. Bariatric surgery, better known as a gastric bypass. That surgery happened in 2019 and has been very successful thus far. My diabetes disappeared within four days, as well as my high blood pressure and cholesterol.

    My lifestyle changed drastically after the surgery. I lost 35kg in ten months, a rapid change because of the reduction of my food intake and only managing to each certain food. After the operation, I could only manage a few tablespoons of soft foods a day. Then I could manage half a cup or 125ml three times per day. I drank a supplement most of the time. Now, I can manage about a 200ml of food but I must remember to eat slowly. I increased my exercise by two hours per day and started running.

    Jo-Anne Campbell who worked to reverse type 2 diabetes.

    The glow

    Now, I’m in a much healthier space. The bariatric surgery was by no means a quick fix. Life as I knew it changed drastically for me, especially after losing 35 kg in 10 months. I am able to do things like running, weight lifting and many other physical activities I never thought I would attempt.

    Today I feel like my past was a terrible dream that I woke up from. My confidence and energy levels have spiked instead of my glycaemic levels. I have a new love for life and have discovered that I should make the most of the health that I have gained during this time. I have no regrets about starting this journey as I can be alive to see my family grow and not have the fear of leaving them due to my health.

    Jo-Anne has written a book about her experience, called Memoirs of a Diabetic Survivor, available soon. More

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    TikTok’s Viral 30-30-30 Challenge: Does It Work For Weight Loss?

    Ah, another day, another viral TikTok challenge. This time, creators on the app are championing a novel approach to weight loss: the 30-30-30 challenge, which involves eating 30g of protein within 30 minutes of waking up, followed by 30 minutes of exercise.

    As with anything, there are merits and sticky points when it comes to the viral challenge. We spoke to the experts about the 30-30-30 challenge to see how it holds up against the tried-and-true weight loss approaches we know and (seem to) hate: consistent exercise paired with a varied, healthy diet.

    Meet the experts: Claire Julsing-Strydom is a registered dietician specialising in PCOS and weight loss at Nutritional Solutions. Martene Michael is a registered dietician at Nutri Dynamix and is currently completing a Master of Medical Science specialising in the impact of certain dietary patterns on the human body.

    So… What is the 30-30-30 challenge?

    Put simply, the 30-30-30 challenge involves three simple things. Wake up and within 30 minutes, eat 30g of protein. Then, do 30 minutes of steady-state cardio exercise. This exercise can be something very simple like bike riding or a walk. The aim is to keep your heart rate at around 135bmp (beats per minute) while being able to walk or read comfortably.

    This method was first seen in Timothy Ferriss’ book The 4-Hour Body but was made popular by biologist Gary Brecka on TikTok. The idea is that this forces the body to burn fat, as opposed to burning lean muscle (lean muscle burns fat at rest).

    READ MORE: What Is The 75 Hard Challenge—And Is It Safe? Trainers Break Down The Pros And Cons

    What does 30g of protein look like?

    While you’re welcome to eat a combination of carbs and fats with your meal, in order to reap the benefits of the 30-30-30 challenge, your protein must be at 30g.

    This looks like:

    Three scrambled eggs with cheese

    A protein powder shake

    High-protein bread or flapjacks

    1 cup of Greek yoghurt with berries and peanut butter

    A tofu scramble

    What does the 30 minutes of exercise look like?

    Since you’d need to keep your body at 135 bpm, stick to steady-state cardio. This could look like:


    Riding a bike


    Running slowly


    READ MORE: 3 High-Protein, Low-Carb Breakfast Recipes You’ll Actually Love To Eat

    What are the benefits of the 30-30-30 challenge?

    A high-protein breakfast is a win

    Experts agree that a filling breakfast is a slam dunk towards weight loss goals. “I think it’s a great idea to wake up, have decent protein for breakfast and then exercise,” says registered dietician Claire Julsing-Strydom. “As a dietician, I often see people do things like oats, but add no protein, or they have toast with avo, which is fat but no protein – and they find that their energy levels dip throughout the day, they get hungrier throughout the day. We know that protein does give us more satiety and it helps with glucose control, too.”

    Martene Michael, a registered dietician, agrees. “With intermittent fasting, eating breakfast has been a hot topic of debate for a while. This 30-30-30 trend brings back breakfast, and I am all for it,” she says. “Encouraging a nutrient-dense, high-protein breakfast may be helpful in improving satiety and in turn, helps to reduce the consumption of high calorie, nutrient-dense foods throughout the day. Research continues to find that eating a protein-rich breakfast may be useful in stabilising blood sugar levels, combats insulin resistance and assisting in long-term, sustained weight loss.”

    Pre-workout fuel is a great idea

    “We also know that exercising straight after a meal helps with glucose control so I think what we’re getting here is the better blood glucose control with the protein,” says Julsing-Strydom.

    We also know that fasted cardio might not be a great idea when it comes to fat loss. “In the popular TikTok video, Brecka discusses the dangers of working out in a fasted state,” notes Michael. “Exercising in a fasted state can lead to the depletion of glycogen reserves, which typically occurs around 20 minutes into a workout. Once glycogen stores are exhausted, the body may resort to breaking down lean muscle tissue to sustain energy levels. This process can compromise muscle integrity and hinder the overall effectiveness of the workout.” Added to that, says Michael, “Consuming protein before a workout can help to prevent muscle breakdown during exercise and can provide amino acids as a readily available energy source during exercise.”

    READ MORE: What Is Cozy Cardio On TikTok? Trainers Weigh In On The Comfy Workout Trend

    What should you watch out for while doing the 30-30-30 challenge?

    According to Michael, make sure that your pre-workout meal also contains some form of healthy carbohydrates.

    “Our brain and muscle’s primary fuel source is carbohydrates. Thus, rather than aiming to hit 30g of protein in a pre-workout meal, it would be advisable to aim to consume a balanced pre-workout meal, consisting of easily digestible carbohydrate and protein sources – such as a light protein shake, rice cakes with fat-free cottage cheese or a low fat/fat-free mini yoghurt with some berries, seeds or nuts,” she says.

    Not everyone can eat that early

    Per Julsing-Strydom, some women might find it difficult to eat a rounded meal within 30 minutes of waking. “If someone would struggle to get this amount of protein in the morning, we’d normally recommend a shake so overall I don’t think this is a bad thing,” she notes. If this is you, it’s not necessarily a bad thing to eat a bit later, says Julsing-Strydom. “I think we mustn’t get into rigid formulas like this – normally those are the ones that do well on social media for the new diet on the block,” she says.

    Steady-state cardio is great, but might not burn all the fat

    “While LISS cardio has its benefits, it is not a magical or exclusive method for fat burning. The perception of any exercise as a ‘fat-burning’ solution can be misleading, and it’s important to understand the broader context of weight management and body composition,” warns Michael. “LISS (low-impact steady state) cardio may be effective for certain individuals. However, for others who have a higher baseline fitness level, this type of exercise may prove to be ineffective. Thus the type of exercise recommended should be based on a personalised approach.”

    READ MORE: Here’s How To Make Weight Loss Goals That Will Actually Stick in 2024

    Overall, experts warn against being too rigid in your weight loss approach. The 30-30-30 challenge, while helpful and potentially healthy, does have a rigidity to it that might not work for everyone. “As with any trending diet, caution is advised, and consulting with a registered dietitian or healthcare professional can provide personalized guidance tailored to your specific needs and goals,” says Michael. “Ultimately, creating a sustainable and healthy lifestyle involves adopting practices that work best for your body to promote long-term health and well-being.” We couldn’t agree more!

    Michelle is the features editor at WH. She’s immensely curious about the world, passionate about health and wellness and enjoys a good surf when the waves are good. More

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    Weight Loss Pills: We Delved Deep Into The Science To See If Any Actually Work

    If you’re trying to lose weight, chances are you’ve thought about weight loss pills. They’re tantalisingly simple and easy to use: just pop a powerful supp and watch as the fat melts away, right?

    If only. Weight loss pills work if the fundamental principle of weight loss is in place: a caloric deficit. “A calorie deficit is necessary to lose weight,” says Megan Lee, a registered dietician at Gabi Meltzer Dietician. “This is established when the body is using more energy than it is taking in from food. Calorie deficits occur through behavioural changes like increasing energy expenditure through movement or decreasing total calorie intake through dietary modifications. They do not occur from simply ingesting the compounds found in diet pills.” But that doesn’t stop weight loss pills from creeping up and doing the rounds on TikTok, where people swear by its efficacy. The results are more likely from a healthy diet and plenty of movement which contributes to a caloric deficit.

    Nonetheless, we decided to closely investigate the plethora of weight loss pills around to see how they actually work. We chatted with experts and scrutinised the studies to bring you fact-checked information about each supp we could find online that’s popular. Without further ado, the weight loss pills and how they work.

    CLA Safflower

    What it is

    CLA stands for conjugated linoleic acid—a fat high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (a.k.a. the good kinds). Safflower is a plant that looks like a dandelion but isn’t. The oil extracted from it is produced by the seeds of the plant, which contains CLA.

    What it does

    Well… not much. According to one 2007 study, CLA supplements could increase fat oxidation (the process by which the body breaks down fats into smaller molecules so they can be used for energy). The study also found that CLA could burn energy during sleep. Sounds promising!

    Does it work?

    The bad news? The study involved less than 50 subjects, which is less than the required amount to really move the needle and conclusively say that this weight loss pill works. Added to that, safflower oil only contains a small amount of CLA—about 0.7 milligrams of CLA per gram of fat. More is probably needed to really induce the effects listed above.

    READ MORE: Can CLA Safflower Oil Supplements Really Help You Lose Weight?   

    Garcinia Cambogia

    What it is

    Ah, the fave weight loss supplement for aeons. This strange-sounding word is actually a fruit commonly grown in India and Southeast Asia. The rind contains a chemical (hydroxycitric acid or HCA) which is where the crux of weight loss claims stem from. It’s been studied for its appetite-suppressant effects, which is why so many weight loss pills contain the extract.

    What it does

    Per studies and reviews, the appetite suppressant effects are said to be what facilitates weight loss. Pretty clear, right – the less you eat, the less your caloric intake, meaning you’d be in a caloric deficit, leading to a slimmer figure.

    Does it work?

    Erm… kind of. The claims that garcinia cambogia works are down to very few robust randomised studies. Only five of these showed any amount of weight loss. In those studies, participants didn’t see the needle move much in the direction of weight loss. “While weight loss may have occurred in some of the studies, most showed no clinically significant reduction in body fat or body weight,” says Lee. “Dietary modification and physical activity remain the most suitable method to alter body composition in the general population.” Added to that, per one expert, your weight loss from taking the supplement is around half a kilo – hardly enough to write home about.

    READ MORE: Exactly What You Need To Know About Garcinia Cambogia Extract For Weight Loss


    What it is

    Made from the bark of an evergreen tree, called Pausinystalia yohimbe. The tree grows in West and Central Africa in lowland forests. From the bark comes yohimbe, and the supplement is used to treat erectile dysfunction as well as weight loss.  

    What it does

    Yohimbe is an alpha-2 adrenoceptor antagonist, meaning that it enhances the release of both serotonin (the happiness hormone) and norepinephrine (your fight-or-flight hormone). The alpha-2 adrenoceptor antagonist serves as the crux of where weight loss is thought to happen. Using the receptor, it’s thought that it could block receptors in fat cells which could theoretically result in weight loss. One study looked at 20 obese females who consumed a measly 1,000-calorie diet for three weeks while taking yohimbe. They lost more weight than those in the placebo group. It’s worth noting that the subjects took 5mg of yohimbe four times a day.

    Does it work?

    We’d need more robust studies to confirm if yohimbe works for weight loss or not. Other studies concluded that yohimbe had no significant impact on weight loss.


    What it is

    Berberine is a compound found in many plants, including barberry, goldenseal and goldthread. (Never heard of ‘em? Us neither. We move.) It’s been cultivated and used for over 3000 years in China and South Asia. The parts of the plant barberry have been used in different ways.

    What it does

    Now, the fun part. The possible health benefits come from how it affects enzymes in the bod. It’s been associated with lowering cholesterol, maintaining a healthy heart, controlling blood sugar, lowering blood pressure and helping with the symptoms of PCOS. When it comes to weight loss, it’s thought that the resulting fat loss might come from how it interacts with insulin and the hormones that keep fat cells in check. Per one study, it might increase brown adipose tissue (the good kind) and its activity, leading to potential fat loss.

    Does it work?

    According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, the jury is out on this one. Some studies find that it’s effective, while others say it’s not worth your moola. Plus, existing studies featured people with comorbidities like diabetes or fatty liver disease, so any resulting weight loss might be a result of berberine on these existing conditions. What we really need is concrete and reliable studies to link berberine to weight loss.

    READ MORE: Nature’s Ozempic: What Are The Benefits Of Berberine? 

    Psyllium husk

    What it is

    The brown powder, eschewed once for its texture, is making a strong comeback with claims that it could lead to weight loss. A soluble fibre, the husk is used in laxatives and treats high blood sugar, diarrhoea and high cholesterol. It absorbs water fiercely, making you feel fuller for longer.

    What it does

    It’s superpower appears to be that it boosts satiety, making you feel fuller for longer – a powerful technique in weight loss efforts.

    Does it work?

    Proponents claim that psyllium triggers receptors in your intestines, promoting fullness so you’re less likely to eat more. Cue caloric deficit note up top. While this is indeed the chief mechanism of Ozempic, psyllium husk does not work at all in the same way as the drug. Ozempic works in the brain; psyllium husk works in the gut temporarily.

    Scientific evidence is also mixed as to whether or not taking this supplement will result in weight loss. However, upping your fibre intake is a good idea, so use the husk to fill up, but watch that you don’t overdo it. If you’re taking medication, don’t take psyllium before your meds – these could interfere with your medication’s absorption.

    READ MORE: Is Psyllium Husk A Viable Alternative To Ozempic?  

    What it is

    You’ll know this one. It’s one of the most drunk teas in the world with powerful health benefits. Green tea is rich in antioxidants, promoting heart health, boosting the liver and brain and even helping skin glow.

    What it does

    It’s a mainstay in weight loss pills. The main idea: since green tea is rich in catechins and caffeine, these compounds are attributed to its weight loss properties. That’s because caffeine and catechins are known to regulate the hormones that assist in thermogenesis (a kind of fat-burning process). In short, thermogenesis is the process during which calories in your body are used to digest food and produce heat. It’s also thought that green tea suppresses appetite, leading to weight loss.  

    Does it work?

    In one 2005 study, people who took a mix of green tea extract, caffeine and guarana before every meal burned around 179 more calories 24 hours after. However, other studies found that green tea extract had no significant effects. Plus, having too much green tea extract could damage the liver, leading to liver failure. Be very careful with your brew.

    Apple cider vinegar

    What it is

    Apple cider vinegar, or ACV, as it’s called, is a vinegar made from crushed, fermented apples, yeast and sugar. Standard fermentation stuff. It’s used in food and in almost everything else, from curing UTIs to helping heartburn to bloatedness. So it’s natural that we turned to ACV for weight loss.

    What it does

    ACV has high levels of acetic acid. This acid has been shown to improve metabolism and can prevent fat deposition in mice. From there, various studies started rolling in that found ACV can deliver modest weight loss.

    Does it work?

    We’ll let Dr Robert H. Shmerling, Senior Faculty Editor at Harvard Health Publishing, say it for us. “In all, the scientific evidence that vinegar consumption (whether of the apple cider variety or not) is a reliable, long-term means of losing excess weight is not compelling.” However, ACV might prevent blood sugar spikes, making you feel better. That’s about it.

    READ MORE: What To Know Before Taking Apple Cider Vinegar Pills To Lose Weight

    What it is

    Green coffee beans are coffee beans that are not roasted. The active chemical in the raw bean, chlorogenic acid, is destroyed when one roasts the bean. It’s thought that this acid is what contributes to weight loss.

    What it does

    A natural antioxidant, it’s thought that chlorogenic acid keeps inflammation in the body at lower levels and could also lower blood pressure. The chemical may work by lowering blood sugar and blocking a fat build-up but studies are yet to validate this claim.

    Does it work?

    When it comes to weight loss, the research is murky. Some claim that when taking green coffee bean extract and a low-calorie diet, you’ll lose more weight than just being in a caloric deficit. But the amount of weight difference isn’t significant enough to support the claim. Plus, green coffee bean extract doesn’t come without its own side effects, ranging from headaches and upset stomachs to heightened anxiety. Use with caution.

    Sea moss

    What it is

    Sea moss, or Chondrus crispus, is a type of algae that grows in Atlantic oceans. It grows in different colours, from purple, white and green and each colour has its own set of benefits.

    What it does

    Sea moss has a long list of purported benefits that should be studied more thoroughly. They contain vitamins and minerals, are low in calories and are reportedly high in live bacteria that support the gut. Because it’s high in fibre, it might work for weight loss by keeping you fuller for longer, preventing you from overeating and leading to that all-important caloric deficit.

    Does it work?

    The research on sea moss is fledgling at best and more needs to be studied before experts can make a definitive link between weight loss and the ocean grub.

    READ MORE: Um, People Are Using Sea Moss For Weight Loss But Does It Work?

    All in all, while weight loss pills could yield results, they’re no replacement for the tried-and-true expert-approved weight loss methods. What that looks like? Regular exercise and a healthier diet. “Taking diet pills may have a small effect on weight loss, but they do not foster positive behavioural changes that ultimately lead to sustained weight maintenance, positive self-esteem or longevity,” says Lee. “Many of the beneficial components of weight loss pills can be taken in through an adequate and varied diet. Building on beneficial habits around food intake, movement and mental well-being is more likely to create a lifestyle that enhances overall health, longevity and acceptance of one’s self.” More

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    You Won’t Believe These 6 Health Benefits Of Homemade Chocolate Cake

    When are peanut butter cookies and chocolate cake healthy? When you’re making them. Bust out a Bundt pan and cook up some perks…

    1. Less Stress

    Measuring out ingredients or kneading dough forces you to concentrate. These mindful moments calm the brain’s emotional centre – and direct blood flow to its impulse control hub. Which means you’ll feel more chilled overall.

    TRY RECIPE: This Beetroot Chocolate Cake Is So Moist It Doesn’t Even Need Icing

    2. Boosted Immunity

    Eeek, you’ve burnt the base! When it happens, focus on the upside: now you, too, can join the #PinterestFail sisterhood! Regularly flipping judge-y thoughts to more positive ones can lower stress hormone levels, which improves cell health and your body’s overall ability to fight off illness.

    3. Enhanced Cognition

    Any way you bake it, mixing up Grandma’s muesli rusks provides great brain benefits. Stringently following a recipe strengthens your procedural memory (a form of long-term recall that allows you to do something you haven’t done in years – you know, the “it’s like riding a bike” cliché). But going rogue – and say, holding the raisins and adding dried cranberries – flexes your smarts and gives your strategic reasoning skills a workout.

    READ MORE: 15 Wellness Journals To Kickstart Your Year

    4. A Healthier Heart

    Moving from counter to fridge and back does not = cardio for the day! But it does engage your muscles, which improves the way your body metabolises sugars and fats. Keep at it for two hours and you’ll net better blood-sugar levels – and, over time, significantly lower “bad” cholesterol. This, in turn, strengthens your ticker.

    5. A Longer Life

    Friends don’t let friends bake alone – at least not if they want to spend their golden years together. Batter-ing up with a loved one can build strong bonds that tack years onto your life. Sharing the fruit(cake)s of your labour is even better: generous acts lower inflammation levels, curbing your risk for chronic diseases like diabetes.

    READ MORE: Everything You Need To Know About Type 1 Diabetes

    6. A Slimmer Bod

    Isn’t it ironic? Indulging in homemade treats once a week buoys self-control, maintains a healthy-eating motivation (finally, a break from kale!) and prevents the “oh, what the hell” effect that leads to inhaling the whole tray. The key is planning the indulgence. Have one or two brownies warm out of the oven, then feed the rest to friends.

    Sources: Dr Nicole M. Avena, author of Why Diets Fail; Dr Elisha Goldstein, author of Uncovering Happiness; Dr Timothy De Waal Malefyt, Fordham University; Dr Emma Seppälä, Stanford University School Of Medicine. More

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    Here’s How To Make Weight Loss Goals That Will Actually Stick in 2024

    Quick question: how are your New Year’s resolutions coming on? If your answer is a shifty, awkward silence, chances are the goals you set weren’t designed to set you up for success in the first place. Goal-setting can be a powerful tool, but it’s also a specific science. Get it wrong and that dress you’re aiming to fit into is going to stay at the back of your cupboard. But get it right and prepare to tap into a force of motivation that will help you achieve anything you set your mind to. The best part? It’s not hard.

    Achieving Your Weight Loss Goals: Know Your Motivation

    On the surface, this sounds pretty straightforward, but it’s super important to narrow down what actually motivates you. Understanding the benefits of your goals will help you achieve them, says Raeesa Seedat, dietician and spokesperson for the Association for Dietetics in South Africa. The key to finding those benefits is asking yourself “Why?”. So, if you want to lose weight, ask yourself why. Is it because you want to know what it’s like to walk up a flight of stairs and not be out of breath? Do you want to lower your blood pressure? Or are you just keen to see yourself with a six-pack of abs?

    Whatever your reason, make sure it’s something that has meaning to you; somehow it should better your life and there should be real value in achieving it. If you’re not excited about – and even slightly scared of – your goal, there’s a good chance you won’t stick to it. Once you’ve found your “why”, write it down and look at it whenever you feel like slacking off.

    READ MORE: How To Burn Calories Without Actually Exercising

    Get Smart

    Ever heard the saying, “Work smarter, not harder”? Surprise, surprise, it’s also the ultimate motto on the road map to being your own #goals. SMART is an acronym of the attributes that your winning goal should have. By ticking each one off, you’ll create a clear target to work towards – and achieve. Time to smarten up…

    Be Specific

    When it comes to planning, you can’t be unsure or vague. “A practical way to do this is to change desire into a clear goal,” says Dr Craig Nossel, co-founder of Evia Health. The first crucial step in setting goals is knowing exactly what you want to achieve. Saying, “I want to lose weight” is not good enough. “Your goal needs to be well defined. Instead, identify a specific amount of weight you want to lose, like, “I want to lose five kilos” or “I want to lose 10 percent body fat,” he says.

    READ MORE: Volume Eating: The Pros, Cons And Nuances Of The Weight Loss Approach

    Measure Up

    “There are a number of mistakes people make when goal-setting – mainly setting goals that are vague, unmeasurable or impractical,” says Nossel. It’s important that your goals are able to be measured, so choose your number, whether it’s a weight on the scale, a mark on a measuring tape or a distance you want to run. It could even be a move you want to master, like a pull-up. As long as you can measure your success.

    Make it Attainable

    Making sure your goals are attainable is as important as knowing exactly what you want to achieve. “If your goals are too difficult to attain, then not fully achieving them is most likely going to demotivate you,” says psychologist Jogini Packery. Never run further than a Parkrun? The Soweto Marathon probably shouldn’t be your first race. You have to hit that sweet spot of doable, but challenging. The Soweto 10-kay will still be twice as far as you’ve ever run (challenging), but with training, it’s totally possible. Remember that goals are there to challenge you to be better than you already are, so don’t be afraid to aim for something high, but break that lofty long-term goal up into smaller short-term goals – like running 10 kays, then 21, then 42. Or losing 1.2 percent body fat per month until, four months later, you’ve almost hit your goal of losing five percent! Setting smaller, achievable targets is a great way to keep you motivated because you see results almost constantly.

    READ MORE: How One Woman Lost Half Her Bodyweight – And Kept It Off

    Keep it Realistic

    It’s one thing to dream big, but you also need to be sensible. A 2016 study by Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy found that unrealistic and poorly planned goals are the number one reason people become demotivated. “If, for example, you haven’t trained in months and suddenly go back to training at high intensity five days a week, the exhaustion and DOMS alone will be demotivating,” says personal trainer Aneeka Buys. You may find you skip a day because you’re tired and sore. That day becomes two and next thing you know, you’re back at square one. Instead, start with HIIT two days a week and plan to build up steadily from there.

    Time Yourself

    If your goal doesn’t have a cut-off date, you’re less likely to stick to it. A timeline keeps your eye on the prize. “You have to set a date by which you want to achieve your goal,” says Buys. Not having a time frame makes your goal seem less urgent – and then it becomes something you can put off. Hold yourself accountable by making a commitment, like signing up for a race. If you feel accountable, you’re less likely to become demotivated, says Buys.

    READ MORE: How To *Actually* Lose Belly Fat With Diet And Exercise

    And Action!

    By now your weight-loss goal should look something like this: I will lose five percent of my body fat by 1 April. What you want to achieve is clear: you’ve set a time frame, it’s measurable, totally achievable and realistic. Now it’s time to map out your plan of action. How are you going to make this a reality? That’s where mini targets come in – things that may be different to your main goal, but will help you achieve it. For example, you may aim to get in four 30-minute workouts per week or meal prep every evening so you avoid the office canteen.

    A week’s worth of exercise and healthy eating? That’s an achievement within itself. But it’s also going to get you closer to that five percent fat loss. “It may seem trivial, but each step counts,” says dietician Raeesa Seedat. By taking the mini steps, you’re making progress that will ultimately lead to your end goal. In her study, Cuddy found that focusing on little bits of improvement was the secret to successful goal planning. By switching your focus to the little achievements you make daily, you’ll keep yourself motivated and before you know it, you’ll be your very own #goals. More

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    4 Easy Exercises You Can’t Ignore If You’re Walking For Weight Loss

    There’s more to good walking form than standing up straight. Proper foot alignment and a powerful push-off keep you walking longer and stronger. First, use this simple test to find out how fit you are, then make good technique second nature with these exercises from Dr Suki Munseli, developer of Dynamic Walking.

    1. Shirt pull

    Why it’s crucial: Lengthens spine to prevent slumping.

    Cross your arms at the wrists in front of your waist and raise your arms, as if you’re pulling a shirt up and over your head. Grow taller as you reach up. Lower your arms, letting your shoulders drop into place. Repeat frequently during a walk to avoid back tightness.

    READ MORE: 18 New Running Shoes To Help You Run Faster And Farther In 2024

    2. Pendulum swing

    Why it’s crucial: Keeps hips lifted for a smooth stride.

    Holding onto something for support, like the back of a chair, balance on your right leg and swing your left leg forward and backward eight to 10 times without touching your foot to the ground. Repeat, this time swinging your right leg.

    3. Heel-toe roll

    Why it’s crucial: Realigns feet and knees.

    Stand with your feet parallel, one shoe-width apart. With your knees slightly bent, roll from heel to toe eight to 10 times, rocking back and forth down the centre of your feet.

    READ MORE: Walking For Weight Loss: Does It Work? Plus, 9 Tips To Get You There

    4. Kick sand

    Why it’s crucial: Increases push-off power.

    Standing tall, scrape the ground with one foot as if to kick sand behind you, like a dog digging a hole. Use your whole leg, from the hip to the butt. Don’t lean forward too much. Repeat six times on each side.

    Here are five ways to burn more fat during your walking workouts. Plus, we’ve got the beginner guide: how to lose weight with running!

    Originally published in Prevention’s Walking For Weight Loss. More

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    How To Burn Calories Without Actually Exercising

    Can one exercise without actually working out? The answer is ‘Yes’! Real talk: According to the Heart & Stroke Foundation Of South Africa, one should get in a minimum of 150 minutes of physical activity each week. This brings an array of benefits.

    Firstly, engaging in regular movement enhances physical fitness and boosts overall health.

    It elevates cardiovascular endurance, strengthening the heart muscle and improving blood circulation throughout the body.

    Additionally, working out helps control weight by burning calories and building lean muscles.

    Moreover, it plays a vital role in preventing chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension by regulating blood sugar levels and lowering blood pressure.

    Furthermore, exercise acts as a natural mood booster due to its ability to release endorphins – the feel-good hormones – which reduce stress levels and alleviate symptoms of anxiety or depression.

    Saying all of that, in terms of working out, the struggle is a very real thing during the holidays. Sun’s out, and all you want to do is have fun in the outdoors. Motivation to get your booty to the gym is very low. But we have a solution! You can get your minutes in and still have summer fun.

    Here are a few simple tricks you can use to turn your days into simple workouts, without actually exercising.

    1. Take A Hike To Burn Calories

    Climbing a mountain beats another lap of your local park. But varying the elevation will benefit more than your boredom. While walking uphill replicates moves like lunges, the descent is an effective muscle builder, too – because it’s an eccentric (muscle-lengthening) exercise, the result is muscles braking as they resist the pull of gravity. It’s the same action as lowering a weight to the ground against resistance. What’s more, research from the Vorarlberg Institute in Austria found that the descent was almost twice as effective as the ascent at removing blood sugars and improving glucose tolerance in hikers. At the risk of sounding like your mum, please do wear proper footwear.

    2. Lighten Up To See More Gains

    Whether your baggage allowance is set by FlySafair or the space in the boot of your car, we suspect your 12kg kettlebell isn’t making the cut. But you don’t need to lift heavy to get results. A Medicine & Science In Sports & Exercise study found that exhausting your muscles with a 300-rep set triggers your muscles’ stress response – in a good way. Granted, that’s a lot of reps, but you could balance a book in the other hand, too. So, if you have a bit of weight in your backpack while hiking or walking around – it’s a good thing.

    3. Build Strength On The Beach

    If you’re heading to a stretch of sand in the next few months, swap pounding the pavements for a softer terrain. Sand absorbs more energy than firm surfaces, recruiting more muscles in your legs, as well as engaging more of your core. It could even reduce your risk of injury, with a 2017 study published in the European Journal Of Sport Science finding that women who ran on soft sand experienced less muscle damage and inflammation than those who ran on grass 

    4. Stretching Is Exercise

    Whiling away an afternoon on the picnic blanket? Put that time to good use by giving your muscles a stretch. The Journal Of Applied Physiology reports that stretching a muscle has a similar effect to weight training: both cause micro tears that stimulate your cells to boost growth. Target your quads, calves and hams (no, not the sandwiches).

    READ MORE: What Is Cozy Cardio On TikTok? Trainers Weigh In On The Comfy Workout Trend

    5. Take The Top Down

    Make your holiday hire car a convertible. Studies by Concordia University in Canada found that an hour behind the wheel of a sports car caused a measurable rise in growth hormone, hitting the accelerator on your muscle-building progress, not to mention your tan. Just check your weather app first if you’re staycationing.

    READ MORE: Tone Up The Fun Way With This Strength And Cardio Dance Workout

    6. Strokes Of Genius

    Admittedly, the pool is more about posing than performance at this time of year. But for those brief few laps, swap freestyle for butterfly. It relies heavily on the upper body, fatiguing you faster. Plus, it looks pretty pro. Arms day, done. Leg day? Use the lilo to do some kicks.

    7. Join The Exercise Band

    Gyms might be open, but you can still make gains from your lounge (or garden). Research in the Journal Of Strength & Conditioning rated the chest press against the resistance band push-up and found both to be equally effective. Bands also come in handy for the three-legged race, if you’re inclined to turn your workout into a sports day.

    8. Use The Park As Your Playground

    Don’t fancy sweating it out indoors when themercury is rising quicker than the numbers ona December wedding guestlist? Worry not. Thispark-friendly circuit, designed by PT SamanthaMcGowan (@samsays_pt), is calibrated to deliveras big a lift as anything the gym floor has tooffer. Do 12 to 15 reps of each move, completingas many rounds as possible in 10 mins.

    Triceps Dip

    This one’s a toughie, so start with your knees bent. Place your hands on a bench and lift yourself up, then dip your hips, keeping your elbows tucked. Fancy a challenge? Straighten your legs.

    Decline Push-up

    Master the incline version first, with your hands on a bench and feet on the floor as you push up. Switch to the opposite way when you’re feeling strong.

    Shoulder press

    Shoulder presses require balance, as well as strength, so the seated version makes a slightly easier option. Take one dumbbell (or two) and slowly lift it overhead with your palm facing inwards. Try it standing once that’s nailed.

    9. Take A Break

    After all of some movement, finally, don’t be afraid to do, well, nothing at all. In a University of Tokyo study, those who took three-week breaks within a six-month plan saw similar improvements in muscle mass to those who trained continuously. In that case, we’ll see you next month. More

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    Volume Eating: The Pros, Cons And Nuances Of The Weight Loss Approach

    True or false: Losing weight is all about eating less and burning more calories. The answer? False in some cases. One diet plan, for example, has gained popularity for supposedly allowing you to eat more food while still maintaining a calorie deficit: volume eating.

    High Volume, Low Energy

    Volume eating is a method or approach that promotes eating high-volume, yet low-energy foods, in an attempt to create a calorie deficit without feeling hungry, says Lisa Moskovitz, RD, a registered dietitian, CEO of Virtual Nutrition Experts and the author of The Core 3 Healthy Eating Plan. “By eating lower calorie, more voluminous foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein, you have the sensation of fullness yet you’re able to keep calories at a minimum,” she explains.

    That said, volume eating may not be suitable for individuals with certain medical conditions, such as gastrointestinal disorders or those with food allergies or intolerances, says Jihad Kudsi, MD, an obesity medicine specialist, bariatric surgeon and the chairman of the Department of Surgery at Duly Health and Care. “In these cases, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to assess whether volume eating aligns with your specific health needs and to explore alternative dietary approaches if necessary.”

    Meet the experts: Jihad Kudsi, MD, is an obesity medicine specialist, bariatric surgeon and the chairman of the Department of Surgery at Duly Health and Care. Dina Peralta-Reich, MD, is an obesity medicine specialist and founder of New York Weight Wellness Medicine. Lisa Moskovitz, RD, is a registered dietitian, CEO of Virtual Nutrition Experts and the author of The Core 3 Healthy Eating Plan. Amanda Sauceda, RD, is a registered dietitian and founder of The Mindful Gut.

    Intrigued about whether volume eating can help you lose weight in a healthy way? Keep scrolling for everything you need to know about the weight loss method including the pros and cons and how to maximise its effects.

    What is volume eating?

    As the name implies, volume eating is a dietary approach focused on consuming larger quantities of foods that are low in calorie density but high in volume, such as vegetables and fruits, reiterates Dr Kudsi. “It’s a strategy that allows individuals to feel full and satisfied while managing their calorie intake,” he explains.

    How it works

    You prioritise foods with high water and fibre content, such as fruit and veggies, since they take up more space in the stomach, promoting fullness and reducing your overall calorie consumption, explains Dr Kudsi.

    For example, instead of eating a tablespoon of peanut butter, which is about 94 calories, you would opt for a tablespoon of applesauce at about 15 calories, says Amanda Sauceda, RD, a registered dietitian and founder of The Mindful Gut. It’s the same portion size but a sizable difference in caloric value, she explains.

    Does volume eating work for weight loss?

    Maybe. Volume eating can be effective for weight loss since it provides the fullness factor without tons of calories, says Moskovitz.

    “Most voluminous foods promoted through this approach are higher in fiber which can slow digestion, helping you feel fuller for a longer period of time and research shows that volume eating can be effective, especially for those who depend on larger amounts of foods to feel content,” she explains.

    However, it’s also crucial to consider the long-term perspective. Statistics show that within two years, most dieters experience weight regain, says Dr. Kudsi. “While calorie-restricting diets are often successful at initiating weight loss, they frequently fall short in supporting sustained weight management.”

    Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which may include aspects like volume eating or a plant-based whole-food diet, can be pivotal, but it’s also vital to recognise that obesity is a multifaceted condition influenced by genetics and hormones and may require guidance from a doctor, Dr Kudsi adds.

    Pros Of Volume Eating

    You may consume more nutrients.

    Because volume eating requires you to load up on the fruits and vegetables you will have a higher intake of essential vitamins, minerals, gut-friendly fibre and disease-fighting antioxidants, says Moskovitz. To maximise your nutrient intake, Sauceda suggests eating a variety of colors which should equate to a variety of nutrients.

    You’ll likely feel fuller for longer.

    In addition to taking longer to digest, therefore helping with the fullness factor, most fibre-packed fruits and vegetables have high water content which provides even more volume without the calories, in turn keeping you satisfied, Dr. Kudsi explains.

    However, it’s also important to incorporate protein and healthy fats into your diet to help you stay full for the long run, says Dina Peralta-Reich, MD, an obesity medicine specialist and founder of New York Weight Wellness Medicine.

    You may lose some weight.

    To lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn and volume eating can help achieve this by allowing you to eat larger portions of food while simultaneously lowering your overall caloric intake, says Dr Peralta-Reich.

    Cons Of Volume Eating

    You may sacrifice quality for quantity.

    A common mistake of volume eating is sacrificing quality for quantity, says Dr Kudsi. “While volume eating can help control calorie intake, it’s essential to choose nutrient-dense options and not rely solely on low-calorie, processed foods,” he explains.

    Remember those popular 100-calorie prepackaged snacks from back in the day? They may technically be lower in cals than a handful of raw nuts (which are loaded with healthy fats and anti-inflammatory properties), but they’re also much less nutritious, notes Sauceda.

    You could experience digestive issues.

    Large amounts of fibrous foods like fruits and veggies can be hard for the body to break down and digest which may cause gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhoea, says Moskovitz.

    To help prevent discomfort, it’s best to introduce high-fibre foods slowly and not all at once, so your body has time to acclimate and adjust, adds Sauceda.

    You may actually end up overeating.

    Eating more low-calorie food is the goal of volume eating, but it can also make eating larger amounts of food a “hardwired habit,” says Moskovitz.

    When there are no low-calorie voluminous foods accessible, overeating other calorie-dense foods may feel like an impulse, so it’s important to always stay mindful of quantity, quality and portion control, she explains.

    You may miss out on key macronutrients.

    High-volume eating generally increases the amount of vitamins and minerals you’re consuming, but it’s also possible to be deficient in protein and fat if not done correctly, says Dr. Peralta-Reich.

    Therefore, you need to be aware of your food choices and be sure to include portions of lean protein like fish, chicken, eggs and turkey, and whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, farro and whole grain bread, she explains.

    You may end up over restricting.

    If you find yourself hyper-focused on portion size and calories, volume eating can be problematic and could lead to unhealthy forms of restrictive eating, says Sauceda. In the same vein, if you have a history of eating disorders, volume eating should be avoided or discussed with a doctor or registered dietitian, she adds.

    Tips For Trying Volume Eating

    Eating large volumes of food can be a healthy habit as long as you’re mindful of providing your body with the essential nutrients it needs throughout the day, says Dr. Peralta-Reich. This means including a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats (avocado, nuts, seeds and olive oil) to ensure you’re eating a balanced diet that provides your body with optimal nourishment, she explains.

    Another pro tip? Try pairing fruits and vegetables with heart-healthy, energy-dense foods like extra virgin olive oil, almonds, avocados, chia seeds, fatty fish, whole grains and cheese, says Moskovitz. These high-fat foods may have more calories, but they’re also important for the absorption of vitamins and they make food more palatable and enjoyable, she adds.

    Additionally, don’t get too caught up in calorie counting, says Sauceda. “Calorie counting is a different strategy and just because a food is higher in calories doesn’t mean you should eliminate it,” she explains. Volume eating is only healthy and helpful if you prioritise variety and get all the necessary daily nutrients, Moskovitz stresses. “When it comes to healthy eating, variety beats volume and quality overrides quantity.”

    Lastly, it’s always best to talk to a doctor or registered dietitian before embarking on a diet, especially if you’re hoping for long-term, sustainable results, says Moskovitz. From there, they can help you build healthy eating habits and create a personalised plan based on your goals.

    The concept of volume eating can be beneficial, but anything in extreme has its pitfalls, says Moskovitz. Your best bet? “Embrace a long-term lifestyle change by focusing on whole, unprocessed foods to not only enhance satiety and nutrient intake, but also to support sustained health and well-being,” adds Dr. Kudsi.

    This article written by Andi Breitowich was originally published on Women’s Health. More