A Happy New Year to all, and we hope everyone is loving the fresh new look of the Zest PT website in 2014! We would love to hear your thoughts about it…. please contact Zest with your comments and feedback and let us know what you think!

On the health road you are taking it’s often easy to slip a little something into the diet that gives us a boost, makes us happy, helps when we are down or does it.

The research is growing to show sugar is also poisoning us.

Studies are proving sugar to be the biggest cause of fatty liver, which leads to insulin resistance, which then causes metabolic syndrome.

It’s is now being seen as the biggest precursor to heart disease and diabetes and cancer.

Ways it can affect your body:

-          Throws the body temperature control

-          Suppresses the immune system and impairs your     defense against disease

-          Causes rapid rise in adrenaline, hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating and crankiness in children.

-          Feeds cancer cells.

-          Causes an acidic digestive tract, indigestion and malabsorption.

-          Elevates inflammation.

-          Leads to weight gain and obesity

Next time you feel like a treat keep these figures in mind.

-          5 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon

-          Orange soft drink has 26g of sugar per 250ml.  Small glass has 5 tsps of sugar.

-          Rum and coke has 35g per 375ml can.  7 tsps of sugar

-          Berri orange juice has 18.8g per 200ml.  4 tsps of sugar

-          Coke has 43g per 390ml serve. 8.5 tsps of sugar

-          Chocolate, depending on brand, has 25g per bar. 5 tsps of sugar

-          1 chocolate chip cookie has 44g. 9 tsps of sugar

-          Ice cream 1 serve has 23g. 5 tsps of sugar

-          White bread 1 slice has 15g. 3 tsps of sugar

-          1 donut has 30g. 6 tsps of sugar.

The message is; ensure you are getting enough of the right food in so you will avoid the need for that sugar rush.

- Gav

In a lucky country like Australia, it’s easy enough to hang out a shingle, set-up a business and promote yourself as a Personal Trainer without ever achieving relevant qualifications or accreditations.

Do you know if your trainer is qualified or registered? If not, then ask.

Genuine fitness professionals will happily give you details of their qualifications and registrations.

Look for proof of registration with a recognised health and fitness industry body such as Fitness Australia or Kinect (incorporating VicFit). Registration is proof that your trainer is not only qualified but is undergoing ongoing, approved professional development to maintain their skills and learn new ones.

By the way, the Zest team are all fully qualified, registered and experienced. So relax … and enjoy your training with confidence!

If you are not getting a good 7-8 hours rest each night, then you might be sabotaging the weight loss benefits of your gym work-outs and good nutrition.

Many studies suggest that people who sleep less tend to weigh more. Why? There are many reasons.

Sleep deprivation can cause a chemical imbalance in the hormones that regulate eating and appetite, making crave more food and food higher in carbohydrates and fat.

Insomnia can slow down your metabolism, resulting in you burning less energy (calories/kilojoules).

When you sleep less, you feel fatigued and less likely to exercise or commit to counting your calories, weighing food, recording what you eat or sticking to your food intake commitment.

So how can you up your ZZZ’s and get a good night’s rest? Try restricting your caffeine intake in the hours before hitting the sack and also reconsider your pre-bed routine: is it relaxing and restful or are you watching shoot-em-up action movies and then expecting your brain to slip off into the land of nod?

And get moving! In another of life’s “magical” circular truisms, the more you exercise, the better you sleep and the better you sleep, the more motivated you feel about exercise. Yep, it all goes ‘round.

And there’s another bonus, apart from boosting your weight loss … healthy sleeping habits can lower stress and anxiety, making you a much nicer person to be around!

In late November Lee will lead a small group of Zest Zealots to Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain to put their bodies and their minds to the test in a 9-day hiking challenge.

The expedition is a culmination of a 30-week training program which put each group member into a customised program to address their particular challenges – from improving fitness, to changing lifestyle and achieving weight goals.

Training has covered skills such as carrying heavy backpacks, camping, on-the-track nutrition/hydration – skills that are unfamiliar to many of the group. “Every one of us has been pushed beyond our comfort zone and into new territory,” said Lee. “We each have our own personal challenges to face up to as well as the collective goal of completing the hike.”

The Zest Cradle Mountain team will commence their challenge at Cradle Mountain, itself, before hiking via the overland Track to St Clair. The route takes the long way round, taking in the special sights and scenery of this beautiful part of the world.

We will keep you posted about progress and follow-up with a post-trek report and photos.