She’s a popular health, fitness and lifestyle blogger, so we figured ‘The Food Medic’ (a.k.a Hazel Wallace) was the right person to ask about all of our workout and nutritional queries…
First of all Hazel, you look incredible and we’re very jealous! But people that have great figures often seem to get told that they’re very lucky. Do you deem yourself as lucky, or do you believe anyone can achieve what you have?
That’s very kind of you to say, thank you! I wouldn’t say that I was lucky or that I got into the shape that I am in by magic. It’s took me over 2 years to get to where I am physically and mentally and it has required a lot of dedication with daily workouts and healthy eating. I guess I am lucky in one respect because I really enjoy following a healthy lifestyle. I love the rush of endorphins a work out gives me! I think that comes with time because I didn’t find it easy to begin with. It’s all about building habits and being consistent. I think if someone is serious about getting in shape, then they can do it. Anyone can do it, you’ve just got to want it.
We all know that exercise can be tough. So when you’re doing a work out that’s really burning, what can you do to help yourself get through the pain?
That ‘burn’ you get when you’re working out happens when you’re muscles are getting fatigued. Your body responds by producing lactic acid which causes that burning sensation. This a good sign as it means you’re challenging your muscles which will make them stronger. I personally chase the burn in my workouts and use it to gauge the intensity of my workout. When it gets really tough, I just focus on the music or slowly count in my head to get through the final reps! Although this is a normal sensation, it’s important to recognise when to stop if the pain is different and too uncomfortable to continue.
With the New Year getting closer, January will see an influx of new gym starters. As The Food Medic, what advice can you give for gym newbies to keep focused?
Write down your goals and stick them somewhere; on your fridge, your desk, your laptop screen. Seeing them written down will be a daily reminder to get up and kick butt. Changing up your training and trying out new classes is also a fun way to stay motivated. Let’s face it, we all get a little bored if we do the same thing everyday so by adding variety to your week you are less likely to dread the gym.
Great advice, thanks! Do you ever struggle to find the motivation to do a workout yourself, and do you ever have cheat days?
YES! Particularly during winter when it’s pouring down outside and all I want to do is snuggle up and watch Netflix. If I’m really suffering with lack of motivation I rope in one of my best friends to come work out with me! I also do have the odd ‘cheat meal’ but I HATE this term. No one should feel like their diet is that restrictive that they can’t have a little treat every now and then. I don’t schedule in a whole ‘cheat day’ but instead, I have a couple of treats throughout the week such as a bag of Pick n’ Mix at the cinema.
Best food to eat pre-workout?
I don’t take pre-workout supplements before I work out but I usually have a strong coffee with a teaspoon of coconut oil stirred in. Sounds strange right? But coconut oil is made up of MCT’S, OR Medium Chain Triglycerides. MCTs are rapidly absorbed by the body and are quickly metabolised to provide fuel. If I’m hungry I will also have a protein shake or banana.
What do you think about protein shakes? Are they harmful to us?
Protein supplements are a great, convenient, way to make sure you’re hitting your daily protein macros. I think a lot of girls fear protein shakes because of the misconception that it will turn them into the Hulk. Protein on its own cannot make your muscles grow. Protein, coupled with a balanced diet inclusive of carbohydrates and weight lifting can. However it does not happen overnight and it takes a lot of hard work in the gym to increase muscle mass!
We’re all prone to a sweet snack, which for many of us is a quick chocolate bar from the ‘naughty cupboard!’ Can you recommend any healthier snacks that can still keep our sweet-tooth satisfied?
Dark chocolate is a great alternative! The reason dark chocolate is considered healthier than standard milk chocolate is because it is less processed and contains fewer additives such as hydrogenated oils, flavours, colourings and sugar – which is why it tastes slightly bitter! Processing the cocoa bean reduces the antioxidant content so when you’re choosing your chocolate next, opt for a bar with greater than 70% cocoa content.
Many people are always looking for tips on how to tone up, so can you give us a few workouts that are good for the legs, tums and bums?
For supermodel legs my secret weapon is pistol squats using a TRX! This exercise targets your glutes, quads and hamstrings for beautifully toned legs.
After a workout we can really ache the next day. Any tips on how to prevent us from walking like we’re in our eighties?!
STRETCH! Stretching after a workout enhances recovery and helps to reduce those next day DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness), which is particularly helpful after a tough leg day! A warm bath with magnesium salts is also a great way to soothe aching muscles before bed time.