Sally’s thoughtful gift of the UFIT Body Transformation Program helped Andy while they discover the biggest advantage of it all – being able to do this together.
Sean Norris did the UFIT Body Transformation program with his wife Robs. They both had similar goals - to lose weight, to train for major triathlon and running events, and to generally live a healthier lifestyle. They both succeeded. Sean lost 10kg over 3 months, and Robs also made some major life-changing improvements. We asked Sean to tell us more ...
What made you decide to do thIS program?
"I've always been overweight and thought it was OK to hover around the 99kg mark, then that went North to 103.5kgs and I was tired of making excuses. I also think since we had our daughter I did not want to be the fat dad on the beach in 10 years!"
How was it doing the program with your wife Robz?
"Awesome, she's a legend. It is always more fun doing these type of life goals with Robs! We push each other and support each other."
What did you find most challenging?
"In the beginning, I found it pretty easy to cut certain things out of the diet, and the hard part was a few cheeky beers. I am on the road a lot, and when you're in hotels or restaurants all the time it can be tough, and the good news is you build new favourite food combos that keep you away from crap nutrition.
And as we've reached the end of the program and I have lost weight and doing lots of training, I have found a few things sneaking back in, but it is much much less than before I started."
What KEPT YOU MOTIVATED?
"Seeing results and I look forward to training with Hidayat and Ryan, it's hard and fun at the same time and I love bear crawls and wall angels for lunch!!!😉"
What have you enjoyed most?
"All of it, learning how to build food strategies, seeing myself get fitter, lose weight and the best part having fun doing it. Since losing weight I am a lot faster running, it is incredible to see how much faster you can become after shedding a few kgs."
How has it changed you and your family?
"For a start I need a new wardrobe, my clothes are literally falling off me. Being fit, having energy and training is better than being overweight, sluggish and making excuses. I recently did the Bromo marathon and finished 28th out of 183 participants with a time of 6 hrs 11mins. On the family side it has been awesome to see Robs do so well, we are now taking on an Ironman 70.3 together as the next big hairy audacious goal."
What would you say about your UFIT team?
"It is literally a team with Wendy Riddell, Hidayat Osman and Ryan Tonge all working with me to get food smart, stronger, leaner and more mobile. They have been patient and encouraging, and most importantly it has been fun. Even though the body transformation part is over Wendy is still following up with me checking in and doing weigh-ins.
A process and journey like this is a commitment, it would not have been a success if I did not have Robs on the journey with me and a great team helping me achieve my goals.
It is an education and lifestyle change, it is up to me to keep going."
AND OVER TO SEAN'S COACHES ...
Sean has been training with two coaches, Ryan and Hidyat, and here is what Ryan has to say: "Sean is always inspiring to everyone around him, he never fails to come in the gym with a smile and a positive attitude. No matter how he is feeling, he will give 100% and there is no wonder why he has come as far as he has done! Keep up the good work Sean!”
Hidyat adds: "Sean's a great guy to coach. He's very easy going, very coachable and very diligent as he commits to every single session and I know he is very busy. He will question us on why we are doing certain exercises to help his understanding of how it is benefitting him, and I'm really pleased about how far he has come".
ROB lost a staggering 11.4kg AND 7.2% body fat in the last UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge AND TOLD US:
He shared his experience with us some more:
1. WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO DO THE CHALLENGE?
I am coming up to a significant birthday and having been over 100kg (always 108-110kg) for about 15 years, felt it was time to give it a proper go at getting into double figures and staying there!
2. HOW DID YOU FIND IT IN THE BEGINNING AND THE END?
In the beginning I felt very dizzy and lightheaded, plus exceptionally grumpy. I wasn't great to be around! I found it easy to maintain the food menus and exercise but I dreamt about beer and whisky … A LOT!
I found I lost a lot of weight in the first week then hit a plateau and it wasn’t until week 4 when I started to see the scales really change. It is worth sticking with it.
3. WHAT WAS THE MOST DIFFICULT AND EASIEST PART?
The hardest part was going out with work and not being able to join in with a drink. The easiest part was the food, especially the fry-ups every morning!
4. WHAT DID YOU LEARN THAT SURPRISED YOU?
How much sugar I take in on a normal day without realising. I haven’t been under 100kg since I was 25 and I feel so much better for it.
5. WHERE WILL YOU TAKE YOUR CLEAN & LEAN KNOWLEDGE FROM HERE?
For me it's about having a better balance so keeping the Clean & Lean food options for most of the week with a couple of cheat meals. Food prep is also really important, as is always have Clean & Lean snacks in the fridge!
SHVETA LOST 5.6% BODY FAT IN THE LAST UFIT CLEAN & LEAN CHALLENGE. SHE SHARED WITH US:
Why she did the Challenge
"I have always had problems with my weight and my problem was a bit of both - laziness and weak willpower with food. I took various gym memberships but could never stick to them out of sheer boredom. One day I attended a group fitness class and I was hooked. The music, the energy all around got me going and I didn't realise 1 hour was up. I joined that community and though I didn't do much about food intake, I did see some progress.
And then last year in September 2016, we moved to Singapore and my entire schedule went hay-wire. We started eating out more and last month I realised I had gained 10 kgs. All the weight I had put off the year before that and some more. Finally I realised till I don't mend my relationship with food, whatever I do will always bounce back. UFIT's Clean & Lean challenge seemed like the perfect thing to join.
It was a group thing + the competition part was really motivating + I knew I could do it if only I had the right knowledge and awareness about the food I consume.
How did she find it?
At the beginning, I was super-motivated. The thought that the first week we only have to consume greens was a little un-nerving but it wasn't so difficult. Thanks to the amazing options all over the CBD, I learnt to make similar salads at home for dinner. It wasn't as hard as I had expected. I felt lighter but felt a mix of highs and lows (energy wise).
The Saturday sessions always made me look forward to the new additions in the plan and that's what kept me going. However, towards the end of the third week, somehow I started getting demotivated. Maybe I was expecting too much and started doubting myself. But I started cheating a little here and there. I wish I had stuck to my willpower and hadn't done that now. Even after C&L ended, I've been continuing with the same dinner options and I don't feel it's being forced on me. I enjoy having them which is the best thing for me.
The most difficult and easiest part ...
The most difficult part was the weekends. When you're meeting friends, being social and saying no to everything. I had started dreading weekends if we had plans with someone. Making sensible choices was easier compared to constantly saying no to persistent friends. I can't seem to decide the easiest part of the challenge. I had started enjoying salads and dining outside, choosing the right places / foods to eat even when outside became easier and easier. Grocery shopping became easier and faster because you end up skipping most of the rows and only end up at the veggies / meat and frozen sections.
What was the biggest surprise?
I was always a little aware about how harmful sugar is for our body but that knowledge was only limited to processed foods. The Saturday sessions were an eye-opener. The biggest thing that I learnt was that even a clean diet like C&L gives you so many food and flavour options that you actually can't get tired of it.
Next steps ...
I'm looking forward to eating the C&L way and making the right choices if eating outside. It all comes down to decision-making and I feel the last 4 weeks have given me a lot of knowledge and particularly the result has given me that belief that I just have to keep working hard in this direction to reach the fitness level I want to be in. I'll be focusing on making those right decisions.
It's not to late to get into great shape for the forthcoming Silly Season!! The next UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge is running 28 October to 25 November - just in time for Christmas. Finish off your 2017 with a bang and sign up now here for Clean & Lean 17 !!
Since the low-fat food guidelines came in at the end of the 1970s, the amount of sugar in processed and commercially produced food increased hugely. The main reason for this is that when fat is removed from food it doesn’t taste, smell or look as appealling. So as an enhancement sugar was added to foods to make them more edible. Sugar is highly addictive, so products high in sugar sold well. In short the current generation is very addicted to sugar in comparison to our grandparents' generations.
Sugar is a natural product, found in a variety of natural foods such as fruit, vegetables, grains, legumes and dairy products. Its benefit is that it breaks down quickly and supplies the brain and muscles with instant energy to function. However, too much sugar will cause us to gain weight. Studies show that the average person consumes around 22 teaspoons of sugar a day from food, snacks and drinks. This is about 3 to 4 times more than the recommended intake advised by the American Dietician Association.
The damage caused by consuming too much sugar over time is wide and does not stop on the scale. Much of the problem is due to the consumption of white sugar and the corn or fructose syrup added to our processed food and drinks. Even though it has been well known for many years that these products are damaging our health, the consumption of processed food and sweetened drinks keeps increasing.
Why should we limit our sugar consumption?
1. SUGAR CREATES FAT AROUND THE INTERNAL ORGANS
Sugar (sucrose) as well as corn syrup contain fructose. Consuming too much will create a burden on the liver, that has to convert fructose into glucose, which our cells use for energy. The excess fructose will be stored in the liver and around it as fat cells. Fatty liver is damaging the liver functionality and long term this might cause cirrhosis.
2. SUGAR CAUSES INSULIN RESISTANCE
Insulin is a hormone that regulates human metabolism. Insulin is secreted by the pancreas whenever we eat something that contains sugar. The Insulin hormone sends a signal to the cells that they should put transporters for glucose onto their surface, thereby allowing glucose to get into the cells where it can be used to generate energy. When we eat sugar, glucose levels rise and Insulin levels rapidly increase in order to absorb the glucose from the bloodstream and into the cells.
However, when too much fat is accumulated, especially around our internal organs, our cells become resistant to the effects of insulin. In response, the pancreas will secrete even more insulin in order to insert the glucose into the cells. The problem is that insulin has additional functionality. One is to send signals to our fat cells, telling them to pick up fat from the bloodstream, store it and to also signal the fat cells to avoid burning the fat stored in them. Unfortunately, this is a vicious cycle, as it will generate more fatty cells and worsen the cell’s resistance to insulin.
Because of the resistance to insulin, the glucose doesn't enter the cells properly and fat storage doesn't break down into energy as well and we feel lack of energy and hunger. As a result we eat more and gain more fat.
Consistent resistance to Insulin will lead eventually to Type 2 Diabetes.
3. SUGAR INCREASES OUR RISK TO SUFFER FROM TYPE 2 DIABETES
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar to be too high, and in time might damage other vital systems in the body. Type 2 diabetes is caused by combination of genetics and lifestyle factors. Being overweight does increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. In addition, a diet high in sugar from any source contributes as well. Research has proven that drinking sugary/sweetened drinks is linked to type 2 diabetes.
4. SUGAR MAY CAUSE OVEREATING
Studies show that excessive consumption of sugar damages the ability of our body to signal the brain that we are not hungry any more. The reason for that is that high levels of sugar in our bloodstream cause our brain to become intolerant to a hormone called Leptin. In a normal healthy situation, Leptin is secreted by fat cells when they become bigger. When the brain senses the increased Leptin levels, it signals to our body that we are full and we have enough fat stored for rainy days. When the brain develops resistance to Leptin, it doesn't get the message that the fat cells are full of fat. This situation leads to increased food intake and decreased fat burning.
5. SUGAR AFFECTS THE BLOOD LIPIDS
Blood lipids such as LDL and HDL cholesterol are markers of the biological processes that impact cardiovascular disease. When we think about the impact of food on blood lipids, dietary fat typically comes to mind. Yet a new study shows that dietary carbohydrate, specifically high-fructose corn syrup, can have a large impact on blood lipid markers of cardiovascular disease risk. Researchers noticed that "bad" cholesterol and triglyceride levels spiked in those people who consumed more sugar then others. One of the assumptions for this phenomenon is that the sugar damage to the liver, causing the liver to produce more cholesterol than needed.
6. SUGAR AFFECTS THE HEART
Excessive consumption of sugar increases the blood lipids in the arteries, which raises blood pressure and increases the chance of having a heart attack or stroke. In fact, 65% of the people suffering from unbalanced type 2 diabetes, die from heart attack or stroke.
7. SUGAR AFFECTS ALZHEIMER DISEASE
New study proves that there is strong correlation between high consumption of sugar and the increased risk of Alzheimer’s. The study shows how the decreased ability to produce energy from glucose has negatively affected brain metabolism and created damage to the brain neurons. It has been referred to and named as "brain diabetes".
8. SUGAR IS ADDICTIVE
Sugar affects the brain in a similar way to drugs such as opiates, alcohol and other legal and illegal drugs. It affects the pleasure centre of the brain by increasing the serotonin, dopamine and endorphin levels. As a result, the body develops tolerance to glucose in the same way it does for other drugs. In time, in order to feel good, we will need more of the sugar. Studies conducted on rats showed serious withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and tremor when the rats were banned from sugar. No wonder so many of us find it so hard to reduces the intake of sugar in our daily diet.
9. SUGAR MAKE YOU TIRED
Sugar makes you more alert and energetic for a short period of time. However, this energy does not last for longer than 30 minutes. Thereafter the energy level drops significantly and you feel exhausted and drained, this is referred as ‘sugar rollercoaster’.
10. SUGAR DAMAGES THE SKIN
Sugar cause insulin levels to spike, which leads to a burst of inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin. Digested sugar permanently attaches to the broken collagen through a process known as glycation. The result is sagging skin, wrinkles and higher sensitivity to the sun. Aside from increasing the effects of aging, glycation can also exacerbate skin conditions like acne and rosacea.
HOW WE CAN HELP YOU REDUCE SUGAR
The UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge is based around the premise of cleansing your body of sugars and reducing carbohydrates - under the controlled guidance of our nutritionist Wendy Riddell - and re-introducing limited healthy sugars at the right time, whilst getting nourishment from a balanced diet of healthy fats, proteins and vegetables.
Whether you are new to the Challenge or have done it before - the benefits of stripping sugars and eating Clean & Lean are endless:
Reduced body fat
Brighter whiter eyes
Reduced blood pressure
Increase training health
Zero blood sugar crashes
Reduced hunger & cravings
And even better - with the UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge you're not alone. You get the expert guidance of Wendy Riddell, a supportive community of others sharing the same experience, an online community to meet and get inspired by, and an e-cookbook with delicious healthy recipes to try. And - the excitement of knowing you are giving your body the love and attention it deserves.
Sign up here for the next Challenge starting 13 January 2018.
It doesn't take a military regime of gym and diet to achieve the results you want for your you body and health. Just ask Steve Chapman, a recent graduate of our body transformation course. Over the course of 5 months, Steve and his trainer, Matt, applied the UFIT principles of exercise and nutrition to achieve his goals. We sat down with Steve and Matt to hear about the transformation.