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General Questions

  • Does fluid retention affect my scale weight during my period?

    It’s definitely true for most women, although the severity varies a lot between individuals. The menstrual cycle is regulated by a number of glands, which produce different hormones during different stages of the cycle. These hormone fluctuations are responsible for a number of side effects, including a build-up of fluid in the extremities (hands and feet) and the breasts. If fluid retention is a problem, it usually occurs during the last week of the cycle, and is one of the many well-known symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS).

    The difference this makes to a woman’s weight is usually no more than about half a kilogram, but it can be more in susceptible individuals. Once a period begins, the fluid usually dissipates within a few days.

    Whilst it’s possible to treat this with diuretics, this is only usually recommended in extreme cases, where the symptoms cause major discomfort. The best approach for most women is to keep up their water consumption, watch their salt intake and just wait for it to pass. Some like to use dandelion tea, and some green vegies, such as celery, asparagus and fennel are also reputed to help.

    Whilst it is annoying, it’s only a temporary effect and won’t affect weight loss in the long term. Being aware of the timing of your cycle can be helpful though, so that you don’t freak out over a minor weight gain at “that time”. This is especially important if PMS tends you make you more emotional and maybe even just a little crazy...

    Just continue to eat and exercise as normal, and try not to worry about some minor fluctuations in scale weight.

  • I am a beginner and I want to get fit. How do I exercise and how do I eat?

    I know exactly how you feel at this point in time, because before I began bodybuilding (a few years ago now), I was completely clueless just like you. It can be so amazingly overwhelming not knowing how to achieve big results for your own body - especially considering that every man and his dog has a different approach to success.

    I'll begin by saying that in order to make a significant improvement in your physique, this requires education, consistency and dedication. You need to know the fundamentals to your nutrition and exercise routine. You then need to apply this theory into a consistent training and eating regime. From there you must remain dedicated and focussed - it is all too easy to undo your hard work by slacking off.

    Because everyone is just so different, and I don't know your specific goals, it is very difficult for me (or anyone for that matter) to advise you to do A-B-C. For example, to become fitter, what would this entail - becoming stronger or building muscle or being able to sprint faster or being able to run for longer distances? Depending upon your specific goals, your training would vary significantly.

    Your nutrition will also follow a similar path. If you wanted to build muscle, you would need to consume more than if you wanted to lose fat, for example. I can say however, for general health, the more natural your diet is, the better you will feel within yourself. Disregarding supplementation, if you attempt to eliminate as much processed food from your diet, you will generally achieve health and fitness goals faster. For example - dumping the processed breads, cakes, packaged foods etc. for natural vegetables, fruits, grains, meats, dairy and eggs.

    Whilst I realise that this is a very vague answer, as a fitness professional, it is near impossible for me to provide you with an effective plan as mentioned above. I can however suggest that you begin with a course that I am publishing to assist with your education. This will help you to understand the basics of both exercise and diet - and how to implement these into your lifestyle in order to achieve your goals:

    http://www.aminoz.com.au/course-introduction-physical-freedom-ac-48.html

    I hope this helps.  If you would like some specific plans drawn up with support, I do offer both face-to-face and online personal training services.  Click here for more information.

    All the best.

  • How do you get anorexia nervosa? Is vomiting a symptom of anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa?

    Anorexia nervosa is a very complex disease. Keep in mind that it is a psychological disease - being skinny does not necessarily imply that one suffers from anorexia nervosa.

    Whilst I am no psychologist, I do know that every single case of anorexia nervosa is different. Similarly to obesity, people have different life experiences which can transcend into an unfortunate disease such as anorexia nervosa. Some examples could include low self-esteem, bad childhood experiences, bullying, family issues, stressful events and so on. Anorexia nervosa could also be linked to genetic, hormone or chemical imbalances. So as a result, it is impossible to throw a "blanket" reason in order to cover everyone who suffers from this condition.

    Anorexia nervosa does deal with self-image issues. Whilst someone may be drastically underweight, their self perception is so warped that they can still be unhappy with their level of body fat. Think of it this way - you can look in the mirror one day and be really happy...whilst the next you may be disappointed with what you see. Whilst the image in the mirror may still be the same, it's your own self perception that has changed.  However in a person suffering from something as severe as anorexia nervosa, this sense of perception is warped by hyperbolic proportions.

    With regards to sticking their finger down their throat, this is not the case with people suffering from anorexia nervosa. People with anorexia nervosa simply eat very, very little. On the other hand, people with bulimia nervosa will actually eat considerable amounts of food (binges), but then induce vomiting in order to avoid digesting that food. Laxatives and possible excessive exercise could also be another trait of those suffering from bulimia nervosa. Again, bulimia nervosa is another psychological disease.

  • I have gained weight - 2kg in 3 days! Is this fluid retention, fat mass or muscle mass?

    There are three major variations to consider when you are weighing yourself. Primarily, the scales will display changes in:

    1. Muscle Mass
    2. Fat Mass
    3. Fluid Retention

    Another factor to consider is the amount of food consumed - obviously if you consumed a large meal prior to weighing yourself, the scales will read a relatively higher figure. However assuming this is not the case, you should focus on the above three variables.

    Of course there are your organs, bone structure, blood etc. that add up to the final body mass figure, however these do not typically fluctuate at the same rate as muscle/fat/fluid.

    A significant weight loss or gain in a short amount of time such as you have described could primarily be the result of fluid retention. Fluid retention can be affected by many factors, two of which being:

    1. Sodium retention
    2. Glycogen retention

    Sodium, a mineral, is most commonly associated with table salt (chemically sodium chloride). An increase in sodium retention can increase the amount of water retained within cells of the human body. A simple example of this is when you consume a food that is particularly salty, you become thirsty. This is because your body requires more water in order to dilute the higher sodium concentration within the bodily cells.

    Glycogen is simply carbohydrate stored within muscle cells which is a great source of energy. Without going into too much detail, every gram of glycogen stored requires approximately 2.7g of water within the muscle cells. By increasing your carbohydrate dietary intake, this can increase your glycogen retention, thus increasing water retention.

    Fat could be a contributor in your situation, but it is extremely unlikely that it is as significant as fluid retention. The process in which fat is created is much slower than how much fluid can be retained in the same short timeframe.

    On the other hand, relative to fat, muscle is built extremely slowly in males and even slower in females due to hormonal differences. For an average male, building 5 kg of lean muscle mass (11 lbs) in an entire year is a phenomenal achievement. Without the use of steroids, this would only be achieved by following a strict and consistent nutritional and training regime. In 3 days, you would not be able to build any substantial amount of muscle in order to affect the readings on the scales.

    I hope this is of help to you. For more information on fundamental weight gain and weight loss, I highly recommend the following course:

    http://www.aminoz.com.au/course-introduction-physical-freedom-ac-48.html

  • During your Australian BodyBlitz Challenge, how did you achieve such a great tan for your final photo Jay?

    I am naturally fairly white, so I needed a lot of help with the tanning.

    For the final 6 or so weeks, I spent a bit of time sunbaking and using the solarium to brown at least a little.  Nothing too excessive, but enough to develop a natural tan somewhat.

    A few weeks out from the final photo's, I went to a day spa and had a spray on tan done professionally. Set me back about $20, but it came up really nicely. I had it set on the darkest setting possible just to test the waters and see how it reacted with my skin.

    2 days before the final photo shoot I had the same tan done and was very happy with the result.

    If you're going to do this, have it sprayed on manually by a pro - not those tanning booths. I spoke to several people about these and was strongly advised against the booths.

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