Welcome to Health Hacks
Take some time to read through our posts, which are neatly arranged for a fluent build-up of knowledge. Understanding why you do what you do is a great motivator. All the important information about what our meal plans are based on is here so you can make informed decisions about your health.
Setting yourself up for success
To achieve your physical goal, you must have a clear understanding of the essential components which influence your health. The most important factor is your mind set. Everything flows from there.
Bad habits interrupt your life and jeopardize your health — both mentally and physically. But it’s important to realise that bad habits provide some type of benefit in your life, so it’s very difficult to simply eliminate them.
Breaking bad habits takes more than willpower. If it was as simple as telling yourself “just don’t do it” we’d all be in excellent health. The easiest way to kick a bad habit is to replace it with a new one that feels good.
Research has shown that it takes approximately 21 days of repetition to create a new habit, while it takes 90 days to break an existing one. If you want to change your eating habits, you need to be very clear about what you are replacing it with.
Change allows us to grow, but it doesn't come without growing pains. The most effective way to permanetly change poor eating habits, is to follow a healthy meal plan for up to 12 weeks. By doing that, you will not only learn how to eat well, but also develop a conscious awareness around food while replacing your bad habits with excellent new ones. It’s really that simple!
If you’d like to know more about the science of habits, this TED talk by psychiatrist Judson Brewer is a good place to start.
Why you should eat for your Goal Weight
The number of calories you should be eating on a daily basis is entirely based on your goal weight, in other words, if you currently weigh 70kg, and your goal is to weigh 60kg, you need to consume the number of calories your body needs to maintain your weight at 60kg.
To lose fat, you need to create a caloric deficit. Meaning, you need to be BELOW your calorie maintenance level so that you end up burning more calories than you consume. When that happens, your stored body fat will be burned for energy instead. By eating the ideal number of calories for your goal weight (which will be less than your current weight), you will create a calorie deficit.
To maintain your current weight, you need to be AT your calorie maintenance level so that you’re consuming and burning the same number of calories. If your primary goal is to lose weight, and you consume the right number of calories for your goal weight then you will stop losing weight when you reach your goal weight, as you will now be at your maintenance level.
To build muscle, you need to create a caloric surplus. Meaning, you need to be ABOVE your calorie maintenance level so that you’re consuming more calories than you burn. When that happens, your body will have the extra calories it needs to create new muscle tissue. To create the ideal calorie surplus for muscle gains without gaining fat, your goal weight must be higher than your current weight, ideally 5kg for women and 10kg for men.
If you set your primary goal on gaining muscle before losing your excess body fat, your muscle will grow in size underneath a layer of fat, making you look even fatter. For this reason, the right approach is to first trim away all excess fat before you shift your goal towards muscle gains.