Why You Must Eat More Vegetables and Fruit Too

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We all know that we should eat more fruit and vegetables, but do you really know why it is so important?

Energy Density

I think most of us think of the vitamins and minerals in fruit and vegetables when we think of why they are so good for us, however this is just part of the picture! When it comes to weight loss / maintenance (and disease prevention) the energy denseness of food plays a vitally important part. Energy density relates to the number of calories in food versus the weight of the food. For example:

  • 100g bar of chocolate = 520 calories (High Energy Density)
  • 100g of apple = 52 calories (Low Energy Density)

It’s easy to determine which foods have high energy density and should be limited! Energy dense foods tends to have:

  • very little water
  • high fat content
  • usually processed / manufactured

Fruit and vegetables on the other hand have loads of water, and very little fat making them low in energy density!

How Hunger Works

Energy Density can help control hunger! One of the mechanisms used is when the stomach is full, a signal is sent to the brain to tell you to stop eating. One of the problems with energy dense foods such as chocolate and crisps is that you can eat an awful lot of them before you begin to feel full.

Because the volume (bulk) of the food you eat directly affects how full you feel, its imperative you consume plenty of vegetables and fruit (Low energy density foods) every day.

Fruit is usually much more energy dense than vegetables, meaning that when you aim for your 5 a day, you really should focus more on vegetables. It’s very interesting to note that Kaizen Active have NEVER ever had a client approach us for weight loss who eats a lot of vegetables, but we do often have clients approach us for weight loss who eat 2-3 pieces of fruit a day. makes you think….

Did you know?

Not only is being overweight awful for confidence, increases your risk of heart attacks, diabetes and depression (to name but a few), it also significantly increases your risk of developing a number of different cancers!

Below are The World Cancer Research Funds recommendations for reducing your risk of getting cancer. You will notice that Kaizen Active’s own nutrition guidelines are very similar – that’s because not only do we want to help people lose weight, we want to help them avoid diseases where possible too!

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Click the link to get more information and some great practical tips for improving the Energy Density of your food. Just a few simple swaps could make all the difference!

Summary and Next Steps

Put simply, eating too much energy dense food makes us far more likely to consume more calories than we need which in turn leads to gaining weight / having difficulty losing weight. Sadly, the range of processed / convenience foods we have available nowadays makes this more likely to be the rule than the exception.

Energy density directly affects how many calories you will consume, and how many calories you consume will directly affect your weight! In my opinion, I don’t think its possible to lose weight and keep it off, or maintain your body weight unless you eat plenty of vegetables and fruit, so if you don’t do this already you better make some changes!

Take Action:  Increase the amount of vegetables (and to a lesser extent fruit) that you eat! Start small by adding side salads and fruit, or decreasing your evening meal potatoes / rice /pasta and adding some steamed / microwaveable veg! Try focusing on this one area for a month and see what a difference it makes for you!

And just incase you need a little extra motivation: Swapping a chocolate bar for an apple very day could save you over 100 calories a day. Over the course of a year that’s a weight loss of over 10lbs from one simple swap!


How would YOU feel if you lost 12lbs in 28 days?

How would YOU feel if you lost 12lbs in 28 days?

I ask this question because yesterday I got a message on facebook from one of our Team Training clients, asking a few questions about her nutrition. Now it’s important to set the scene – this particular young lady had just lost 12lbs in her first 28 days. Pretty damn awesome right?

Well not exactly (in her eyes)…. you see she wanted to lose a stone, and therefore missed her target by 2lbs. So for this young lady (you know who you are) consider yourself told off, and learn to celebrate your wins!

Lesson 1 – when you lose 12 lbs in a month – be ecstatic! You did great, and maybe you should tell yourself that! The better you ‘talk to yourself’ the happier you will be, and a happier you is much more likely to be able to lose weight and maintain it than a you who beats herself /himself up! Celebrate your wins!

So onto her questions, and what we can all learn from them:

Question - So I eat breakfast too late. Would it be fine to have a protein shake or a banana when I wake and then porridge at 10am?

My Thoughts – I had commented that she ate breakfast too late (9am) throughout my reviews, and in my mind this is usually too late and can be problematic. However I had no idea when I was reviewing her diary how much weight she was losing, and therefore I would like to change my answer to – normally I feel its really important for most people to eat something as close to waking as possible, however it doesn’t seem like eating breakfast later is causing you any problems!

Answer - Feel free to try the swap you suggested, but just make sure that by changing your approach you don’t end up consuming extra calories. See how it works for you.

Lesson 2 - With our Ultimate Fat loss Guide we give you an approach and structure which is in essence guidelines of how to eat. However no one way is right for everyone, and its therefore all about what works for you. In the first month we recommend you stick as closely to the plan so you can see for yourself what this style of eating can achieve. From month 2 onwards feel free to deviate a little, and learn what works for you. And as always if you have any questions – just ask.

Question – Is Jam out of the Question?

Answer - Nothing is EVER out the question, however we tend to think of it as what does your body need? So could toast and jam be ok as a breakfast? A slice of toast and jam before a morning training session could be ideal as its light and packed with carbs for energy. Equally so the simple sugars in toast and jam would also work well immediately after exercise to refuel your muscles. So jam is not out of the question, but just limit it, and I wouldn’t be snacking on it!

Question - Sparkling Water – is that OK?

Answer -  Definitely, but  avoid artificially sweetened waters / or even no added sugar versions, as they still have sugar and in general terms consuming liquid calories is a bad thing.


So I hope this post helps you begin to take a fresh approach to nutrition. What we teach you at outset should just be the beginning. There is no absolute right or wrong way, just what works for you.  Learn the main principles (found in your Ultimate Fat Loss Guide) and then experiment, and as always if you have any questions – just ask!

Have a Great Day!


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In the Battle of Diets Vs Lifestyle Change – Team Kaizen Have Your Back

Yesterday we started our new and improved Team Training (the closest thing you can get to great personal training) but with the sessions delivered to small groups. The class was great with a real focus on technique which makes such a difference to enjoying safe and effective workouts! However Kaizen Active are about a lot more than just awesome exercise classes!

Here’s what happened AFTER the class, and what Kaizen Active is all about:

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 10.30.071. Jamie got on the scales and was upset that he’d let himself get out of shape again, having worked so hard and done so well in the past. So here is something no one should ever forget:

If you are unhappy with your weight or simply don’t like how you look and feel, your job is not finished when you get to your target weight or start to feel better…. You can NEVER take your new body and confidence for granted because it doesn’t take long to end up back where you started…or even a little bit heavier! Make sure you tell yourself this story often, and set all goals accordingly.

Losing weight, feeling fit and EVERYTHING that goes with it requires COMMITMENT TO LIFESTYLE CHANGE. Anything else (diets especially) are just a temporary measure with very temporary results!

For lifelong results you must COMMIT to changing aspects of your lifestyle FOREVER! This is at the core of Kaizen Active. We are about helping to change lives forever, not just a little while!

2. The support of your team mates is VITAL: A number of other Kaizen’s immediately offered support and when it comes to the challenge of losing weight forever, the support of others around you is incredibly powerful. If you are going to do battle, make sure you have a great army, because there are times when you will tire, and the strength and support of your army (team) is the difference between winning and losing: FACT!

This is an example of when Team Training is definitely even better than personal training!

Huge thanks to Pauline Anderson, Andy Mitchell, Lorna Ferguson & Sandra Atkinson who immediately offered their support and encouragement to Jamie. You guys rock! THIS is what being part of Kaizen Active is all about. It’s about a fun journey to awesomeness, with ups and downs along the way with great people around you to make sure that when you stumble, or even fall, it won’t be long at all before a Kaizen or two or more help you back up and get you back on track!

What we do here is special :-) Who do you know that could really benefit from having Team Kaizen on their side?

Please click like and share his post with friends if you agree and think people need to commit to lifestyle change :-) And as always, tell us YOUR thoughts :-)

Have a great day everyone :-)

Oh and finally, thanks for inspiring us!

Gordie, DT & The Kaizen Active Team

#livewithpurpose #onlyoneoutcome #kaizenpower

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Kaizen Active Christmas Workout Video 1

Here’s a great little workout to keep you going over the Christmas break! It’s a Hurricane style workout with 3 sections, each with 3 exercises. Each section takes 9 minutes in total, and you can rest for 1-2 minutes between sections. Total Workout Time: 30-33 minutes

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