Take our 30 Day Ab Challenge

While most of us have some idea of what we need to do to make key changes to our bodies, it is often much easier said than done. This is why we wanted to put together a 30 day ab challenge, that’s easy to follow and if you stick with, should give you amazing results!

We firmly believe that this is because making large and healthy lifestyle changes into firm and residual lifestyle habits is extremely difficult.

It takes both a large amount of time, and a huge amount of willpower – in which the whole process can become quite draining.


Short term challenges

And it is for this reason we are huge proponents of short term challenges.

While they can be somewhat intense at times, they provide us with an excellent way to make large changes to our body in a very short amount of time.

Within this, they also have the ability to teach us healthy tricks and tips that we can introduce into our normal lives easily and effectively after the challenge is completed. Regular exercise is so important, so if you can keep it going, you’ll be a winner!

With this in mind, they can not only have a HUGE impact on your health and your body in the short term, but can also act as a catalyst to making lasting health changes.


30 Day Ab Challenge

Abs workout exercises

Which brings us to the ‘30 Day Ab Challenge’ – a 30 day challenge that we have put together that guarantees improved health and a tighter belly.

The 30 Day Ab Challenge focuses on promoting fat loss and abdominal tone through the implementation of key dietary and exercise strategies.

While these strategies are underpinned by sound research and simple concepts, there application will require a bit of work – but I can assure you with 100% certainty that the results will be worth it.


The 30 Day Ab Challenge Exercise Regime

Over the next 30 days we will be focusing on building strength in three key exercises.

These exercises focus the abdominal muscles in their entirety, and offer us the key to a strong core and a flat tummy.

I should note that we want to perform these exercises every day, and will progress the workouts every ten days.

The specific workouts are outlined below….


1. Plank

plank position

The plank is one of the most effective core exercises we can perform.

While it is quite simple to implement, this study shows it truly forces the abdominal muscles to work overtime.

The key here is to set up in a push-up position on your toes, where you are resting on your forearms rather than your hands – your elbows should be on the ground directly below your shoulders.

Once here, we want to elevate our hips slightly, and squeeze our bums as HARD as humanly possible.

Here is a very simple to follow video showing you 3 different versions of the Plank.


2. Russian Twist

The Russian twist is a fantastic exercise that works the abdominal muscles responsible for rotation (the oblique’s to be specific) in a big way.

With these, we want to set up in what many would consider the ‘top’ position of a sit up. Once there, we want to lean back slightly and elevate our feet from the floor – this is the position we maintain throughout the entire movement.

While holding this position, we want to tap the ground either side of us with both hands – eg. Left side then right side – this is a single repetition.


3. Reverse Abdominal Crunch

Our last exercise is arguably the most taxing.

It is similar to an abdominal crunch, but rather than moving our body, we are actually going to be moving our legs.

With this, we want to start by lying on our backs, with our knees drawn up to our chests and our back flat on the ground.

From here we are slowly going to extend our legs out straight in front of us until we feel like we can’t go any further without our backs coming off the floor – from this position we will bring our legs back to our chest – this is a single rep.


30 Day Ab Challenge Workouts for Women

When it comes to these exercises for women, we recommend using the following structure to your ab workouts every day.

Perform each movement back to back for the prescribed amount of time or reps, and then rest for 2 minutes.

Repeat for the total number of rounds.


PlankRussian TwistReverse CurlRounds
Days 1 – 1030 seconds20 reps10 reps3
Days 11 – 2045 seconds30 reps15 reps4
Days 21 – 3060 seconds40 reps20 reps4


30 Day Ab Challenge Workouts for Men

And for men, we recommend using the following structure to your ab workouts every day.

Perform each movement back to back for the prescribed amount of time or reps, and then rest for 2 minutes.

Repeat for the total number of rounds.


PlankRussian TwistReverse CurlRounds
Days 1 – 1060 seconds30 reps20 reps3
Days 11 – 2090 seconds45 reps30 reps4
Days 21 – 30120 seconds60 reps40 reps4


The 30 Day Ab Challenge Diet

Now this isn’t a typical diet – but rather a set of principles we want you to adhere to over the course of the 30 days.

In doing so, you are going to create the perfect environment for fat loss, the results of which will be truly massive.


Eliminate all processed carbohydrates

eliminate pasta

When we eat processed carbohydrates (think pastas, breads, rice, soft drinks, and junk foods), we see an increased secretion of insulin (our key fat storage hormone).

By avoiding those foods that cause insulin secretion, we reduce the amount of insulin within the blood – and as a result fat storage is reduced AND fat tissue becomes more readily available to be broken down and used for energy.

The result of which is greatly enhanced fat loss.


Eat a fist full of lean protein with every meal

Increasing protein intake has shown to increase the amount of energy we burn at rest – irrespective of the amount of exercise we are doing.

Additionally, protein is extremely satisfying, where its consumption can reduce feelings of hunger throughout the day.

This subsequently reduces snacking, and therefore lowers total daily energy intake.

Poultry, red meat, pork, and eggs are the main sources of protein to include into your diet.

Protein supplements are recommended as an easy protein snack, as are protein balls. Both of these offer a simple way to curb cravings for sweet food, allowing us to keep our diet on track easily and effectively.


Drink More Water

drink more water

Our final tip is a simple one – drink more water.

Drinking water can help fat loss through two mechanisms.

First up, it ensures our cells are hydrated and healthy.

This assists the body transport fats in and out of our cells, increasing their availability to be broken down and used for energy.

Secondly, drinking water can reduce our hunger signals, eliminating the need for snacking through the day.

Through these two mechanisms, we will see a significant increase in abdominal fat loss.



The 30 Day Ab challenge offers a unique and effective way to build abdominal strength and get a flatter tummy.

Using both smart dietary and exercise strategies, we can guarantee you will see results as quick as humanly possible.


Struggling with the exercises above?

If you find it a struggle to hold your own weight with your arms, therefore making the exercises above too hard, this great exercise video below shows you some super Ab’s exercises you can do standing up….


Let us know

Give it a try and see the results for yourself – and with this in mind, we would love to hear how you get on – so please drop us a comment and we will get back to you ASAP.



Do NOT do the above challenge if you are pregnant. We also strongly recommend you consult your doctor before beginning any exercise and / or diet program. You should be in good physical condition and be able to participate in the exercise and if you feel at all unwell throughout any period of the above programme please stop immediately and speak to your doctor.

When participating in any exercise or exercise program, you should also understand that there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in this exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge calmhappyhealthy.com from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of  calmhappyhealthy.com’s negligence.



Workout challenges – Obtaining a Great Body

We take a look at some of the workout challenges that people face when looking to achieve a great physique.

Eating a well-balanced diet and training regularly is not only essential to maintaining an optimal level of health, but also to building and developing a strong, lean, and well-rounded physique (which is arguably the most common training goal we see in the gym on a day to day basis).

And while most of us have the knowledge required to achieve these goals, we frequently come across certain barriers that make it extremely difficult to attain them.


How do you manage these barriers?

While these barriers may differ slightly on the individual’s personal scenario, there are common trends for workout challenges that we frequently see across the board – irrespective of training status, training preference, and lifestyle.

In the following article we are going to touch on each of these barriers and make clear recommendations on how to manage them, allowing you to conquer your training related goals as easily and as effectively as possible!


Dietary Challenges

The vast majority of regular gym goers (72%) find themselves following a strict diet plan as means to try and making lasting changes to their body.

Within that, a massive 50% of all gym goers find that maintaining a healthy and well-rounded diet the most difficult aspect of making lasting changes to their body.


This becomes quite interesting if we break it down even further, as it actually gives us a little insight into why most people may have difficulty adhering to their diet, and as such, have difficulty seeing training related improvements in themselves.

Firstly, 70% of those who train on a regular basis actually create their own diet plan, with 64% suggesting that the diet they try to follow fits under the category of a clean eating diet plan.

This actually provides us with a huge amount of information telling us that those who most likely have the hardest time adhering to their diet are those who

1) make their own diet plan

2) they try to eat clean all the time.


Can you actually adhere to it?

Now while this approach may have merit if it can actually be adhered to, it does come with some serious downfalls.

You see, we as people have the perception that when dieting we should be eating very strictly, essentially avoiding all the foods that we like (or that may be perceived as ‘bad’ for us).

This is further compounded by the ‘clean eating’ trend, which effectively requires us to abstain from eating anything sweet or high in fat.

This approach requires an extremely large amount of willpower, and as such, can become extremely draining from a mental perspective.

As a result, it becomes very easy to fall into dietary ‘lapses’, where we find our willpower breaking and we binge on too much “un-clean’ food as a result.

This further results in more negative feelings, and the cycle repeats itself – in which we see little or no improvement in ourselves.

So what can we do about it?


Adhere to the 80% rule

The 80% rule effectively requires us to eat clean and healthy 80% of the time, leaving a little bit of wiggle room in our dietary plans.

This means that the entire dietary process is not as draining on our will power, leaving us in a better mental state each and every day.

This improves not only the quality of our training, but also completely eliminates the risk of us having large binges on unhealthy foods every couple of days.

This is best implemented by picking one meal every 2-3 days that doesn’t have to be clean.

I typically do this with dinner, so I can head out for tacos once or twice a week with friends, and not have to worry about what I am eating (or how much for that matter).


The Challenges of Daily Life

Combined with the difficulty of adhering to a diet, almost 40% of trainees find balancing their daily life one of the largest workout challenges to exercising regularly. And we get it.

The Challenges of Daily Life

Each and every one of us have to try and manage our extremely busy lives on a day to day basis, and often working out is the thing that gets squeezed out.

While I would be the first to admit that this could unquestionably happen to anyone, there is another contributing factor here.

Within this, a further 30% of people find it extremely difficult to adhere to their muscle gain workout.


Finding the time

These two pieces of information tell us that the vast majority of people who find it difficult to find the time to train, also follow a more traditional body part training split.

Now, while body part training splits do have high capacity to build muscle mass, they do require us to get to the gym anywhere from 5 to 7 days per week, for at least an hour at a time.

If we take a second to think about this, then it becomes quite apparent that this is not an efficient method of training – particularly if someone has a busy schedule.

So what can we do about it?


Use a more efficient training split

It is incredibly important that we tailor make our training program to fit our busy schedule – and NOT try and fit our schedule around our hefty training plan.

This may mean that we can only train 2-3 times per week (which is completely fine).

If this is the case then it is time to opt for a full body training split, in which we prioritise large compound movements and hit every key muscle group in the body every single session.

This makes for a much more efficient means of training, in which we can still see great results even if we only make it to the gym two times per week.

The same approach can be applied if we can make it four times per week, but for only 45 minutes per session.

In this scenario we could try an upper/lower training split, in which we train upper body two times per week and lower body two times per week.



There is no doubt that we will face some workout challenges when trying to train regularly and improve ourselves physically.

For most, these challenges will revolve around diet and time management.

By using the tips outlined in this article, we can effectively limit the impact that these challenges have on our training ability, allowing us to see vast improvement in our both our body, and in our mental clarity – further improving our training related results tenfold.


Struggling to get yourself motivated for Exercise? If so, don’t miss our article on ‘7 ways to improve your fitness motivation’


Let Us Know

What workout challenges do you find yourself facing?  And how you do overcome them?

We’d love for you to let us know and share your advise four our other readers in the comments below…


Improve Your Fitness Motivation

The benefits of improving your fitness are too numerous to fully cover in one article, but improved health, body composition, strength and mood are a few of the major ones. With so many benefits you’d think that finding the motivation to train would be easy, but sadly this is rarely the case. That’s why we’d like to help you get your fitness motivation back!

It is for this reason that so many new gym members who sign up in January have given up by March.

Luckily there are some very effective ways to improve your fitness motivation and beating workout challenges. This article will identify seven of the best techniques and help you to turn a chore into a hobby.

Let’s get started….


Tip #1. Train With a Friend

train with friends

Training alone can be a difficult challenge for some people, while others love it. So only follow this tip if you’re struggling to get to the gym on your own.

Having someone that you can train with can massively improve your gym trips.

Friend’s can chat with you during a session, push you harder by setting a good example, give you a reason not to cancel, and spending so much one-on-one time with a friend can really help improve your friendship.

One thing that you should be aware of though, is picking the right friend for this.

If you are a reluctant gym goer, and you decide to train with someone who is even more reluctant than you then you’ll both stop turning up!

You need to find a friend who loves training, and is happy to take you under their wing.

A side note on this tip is to start training with your girl or boyfriend. It is proven that your relationship will only become stronger and it will also help you with not having too many cheat meals at home!


Tip #2. Make Gym Friends

Following on from that last tip, if you can’t find any friend who is interested in training with you then your next best option is to make friends with people who are already in the gym.

If you’re a naturally extroverted person, then this should be nice and easy. Just talk to some of the gym regulars and be friendly.

You’ll fit right in!

yoga class

For introverts, this tip might sound unrealistic. If this is the case then you’ll have to think outside the box. Joining a fitness class is a great way to socialise without having to approach people.

You can also make friends with the gym staff. Ask them a couple questions when you sign up, take advantage of any free inductions/personal trainer sessions, and say hi/bye whenever you turn up.

Soon you’ll have people who will recognise you and make you feel welcome whenever you enter the gym.


Tip #3. Buy Yourself a Motivation Outfit

Say your goal is to lose a couple of inches off your waist (or to fit back into those awesome jeans you love), as initial motivation goes this can be quite effective. But after a while the motivation can fade.

One trick to help sustain your motivation is to buy yourself a really nice outfit that you will only be able to fit into when you’ve hit your goals. Buy that outfit on day one, and place it somewhere where you can see it regularly.

The dream of wearing it will help motivate you to train.


Tip #4. Treat Yourself to a Cheat Meal After Every 5th Workout

One of the most common mistakes people make is increasing their calories when they start exercising. Many new gym goers have an attitude that “I’m burning more calories, so I can consume more without gaining weight”.

running on a tread mill

Sadly this issue usually leads to either weight gain, or poor results. The problem is that it is difficult to estimate calories.

If you spent 40 minutes running on a treadmill you could expect to burn 200-300 calories.

If you then went home and ate an additional 5 tablespoons of peanut butter you would be consuming 470 calories and would therefore GAIN weight.


Increase you motivation to train

That’s why a good diet and training are so closely linked. That doesn’t mean that you can never eat unhealthy food again though.

All you need to do is schedule it. One great way of doing that is to only have a cheat meal after every 5 workouts. This will help to prevent overeating, but it will also hugely increase the motivation to train.

If you really fancy a burger and fries but have only trained 4 times this week, then you’ll be much more likely to get yourself to the gym, than if you didn’t have anything to look forward to.

Or imagine that it’s Monday and you have a dinner date on Friday. You’ll have to train every day that week to hit your 5 workouts, or be faced with ordering grilled chicken and salad when you get to the restaurant.


Tip #5. Make Workouts Fun

For the most part, exercise isn’t fun. If you enjoyed it you probably wouldn’t be reading an article on fitness motivation! You also should be looking for a good workout routine, rather than one that is just filled with interesting exercises.

Avoiding deadlifts and squats because you’d rather play with the plyometric equipment is going to give you bad results.

But you still need to leave the gym feeling happy. Which means that you should always include at least one exercise that you really enjoy, and (if possible) save it till the end.

Also, if there is an exercise that you absolutely hate then you should consider finding an alternative.

If you HATE front squats, then take them out of your program. Replace them with regular squats, or leg presses, or lunges.

If you are leaving the gym miserable, then it will be really hard to find the motivation to go back there again the next day. If you leave on an endorphin high, then turning up again won’t seem like such a chore.


Tip #6. Schedule Your Sessions

structure your exercise

Do you enjoy going to work? Or brushing your teeth? Or walking the dog while it’s raining? Probably not. But you do these tasks every day. Why? Because they are scheduled into your day.

Every morning you know that you need to brush your teeth before leaving the house. Your job has shift times, and you need to get there on-time or you’d get fired. Your dog knows that every day at 6pm you take them for a walk, and will usually be standing with their lead in their mouth at 5:50pm.

Doing tasks that you don’t enjoy is all about creating routines and scheduling your life around them, rather than scheduling them around your life. You don’t skip work because you’re supposed to be meeting your friends for breakfast. You tell your friends that you can’t do breakfast because you have work.

Fit your social life around your workouts

Now imagine that your training was like that. Instead of trying to fit your workouts in around your social life, you instead try to fit your social life around your workouts.

This doesn’t mean that you have to cut down on seeing friends and family, it just means that if you usually train at 7pm, you’ll make plans to see your friends at 9pm. Rather than cancelling the gym to see your friends at 7pm.

This mindset shift can make a huge difference to your fitness motivation. Making fitness a priority that is parallel to work, family, and friends, will help you to avoid losing motivation when temptation overcomes you.


Tip #7. Create a Fitness Journey

This last tip is a little bit out there, but please stick with us and we think it will help your fitness motivation! What makes people climb mountains?

climb mountains

What makes people run ultra-marathons for charity? Or spend their life savings to create their own company? Dreams. Creating stories in your head, where you are the protagonist/hero.

When you see body transformations from people who were at one point too overweight to walk down the street, but lost 30lbs in a year, they always tell a story.

They will say something like “One day I just looked at myself in the mirror and decided that something had to change”.

During this transformation there would have been lots of difficult and challenging times. But they would have persevered.


Creating a journey can help your fitness motivation

How did they do this? By creating a journey, by telling themselves that the end result will make all the hard work worth it. Same with someone climbing Everest.

You would never climb Everest if there were no benefits to doing so. When it’s day 34 and your eyes are crying frozen tears, you’ll keep going because you’ll have a vision of standing at the top and looking down on the world below.

It’s the same with fitness, create a goal. Something that inspires you, something that will help keep you going to the gym when you don’t feel like it.

When it’s snowing outside and you feel a cold coming on, when your friends are begging you to go to a bar on Thursday rather than train, when your partner has bought a pizza and 2 gallons of ice cream, and you’re holding a Tupperware container filled with kale.

Creating a fitness journey and remembering why you are doing all of this (to stay or become fit!), is the greatest motivation of all.


Let us know

How do you motivate yourself to get back into exercise if you have had a break from it?

We’d love to hear your ideas and tips, share them with your fellow readers who need more fitness motivation.


What does protein do for our bodies?

What does protein do for our bodies? We take a look and also show you 4 amazingly simple energy packed protein ball recipes.

It is commonly known that fats and carbohydrates provide our body with energy that allows us to function effectively on a day to day basis, but proteins role in the human body is often less discussed.

This is a shame, because protein is arguably the most important one, out of the three key Macronutrients found in food (Protein, Fat, and Carbohydrates).

The protein that we consume is made up of small compounds known as amino acids.


Amino Acids

Amino Acids are often considered the building blocks of the body, because they are the molecules used in the repair and growth of damaged human tissue.

They are used to produce important hormones and enzymes, while also playing important roles in a host of other processes.

Keeping this in mind, it is safe to say that without protein we would be in a bit of trouble.

It is also important to note that Protein molecules are comprised of long chains of amino acids that are ‘bound’ together.

The length and shape of this chain varies greatly between protein types (and the sources they come from), and determines the speed at which they are broken down into amino acids and absorbed through the digestive system.


20 types of different Amino Acids

There are 20 different types of amino acids found throughout the body, of which 11 can actually be produced within the body.

The remaining nine are known as essential amino acids and are considered essential because they cannot be made by the body – and subsequently must be obtained through diet.

As a result, the physical consumption of protein is integral to maintaining the health of the body at a cellular level, and building and repairing muscle and connective tissue.


Proteins role in exercise

Now, as mentioned previously, when it comes to exercise specifically, carbohydrates and fats are where we find all our energy – but that doesn’t mean that protein doesn’t have an important role to play.

So what does protein do for us during exercise?

When we exercise at a moderate intensity we actually stress and damage the body at both a tissue and cellular level.

While this may not sound like a good thing, it is actually essential to adapting and improving – assuming we have adequate protein available.


exercise from cycling

During exercise we stress the cardiovascular and muscular system to a point where it is currently unable to cope with the demands placed on the body.

With weight training specifically, this results in increased muscle damage, while with aerobic based training it results in an increase in metabolic damage (caused by increased lactate production).


What does this stress do?

This stress tells the body to adapt to a point where it can handle this increased load, and subsequently it uses amino acids to repair and build new muscle tissue, and create new cells capable of handling increased lactate production.

This essentially improves our capacity to handle exercise at a given intensity.

But (there is always a but), it is important to note that this only occurs if we have enough amino acids available to facilitate this process. If we do not, the body will not recover quickly enough to adapt to this stress, essentially leaving us in the same place as where we started.

This means we need to eat enough protein to allow the body to recover and adapt from the stress of exercise.


Protein and Body Composition

Now, while we know that maintaining an adequate protein intake is essential to maximize the effects of exercise (by facilitating the recovery processes associated), it is also important to touch on the question of what does protein do for body composition?

Maintaining a relatively high protein intake is known to be an excellent way to improve muscle mass (and increasing the growth and repair of muscle tissue) and aid recovery.

Muscle mass

muscle mass

Interestingly, muscle mass is what is known as active tissue – meaning that it requires energy to maintain its basic physiological processes.

Keeping this in mind, by eating a decent amount of protein we can increase our lean muscle tissue and therefore increase the amount of energy we burn at rest – increasing our capacity to lose fat over time significantly.


Energy we burn

In combination with its capacity to improve muscle mass, protein also has the highest thermic effect food of the three key macronutrients (Thermic effect of food describes the amount of energy required to break down and digest what we eat).

As a result, by simply eating more protein we can increase the amount of energy we burn digesting our food – which can further improve fat loss capacity

And finally, Protein is also extremely satisfying at a physiological level.

Protein has the highest satiety rating the macronutrients, and as a result actually makes us feel fuller for longer.

This is likely to reduce overeating throughout the day, causing a reduction in daily energy intake.


How much protein should we eat?

eggs for protein

So, now we have a good idea as to why maintaining a decent protein intake is so important, it’s time to establish how much we actually need on a daily basis.

Now, first thing that we should mention is that the authorities on health recommend a daily intake 56 grams of protein per day to maintain health. This amount does vary very slightly in response to your age, gender, activity levels, and weight.

But it is also incredibly important to state that even though this information does come from a governing body, this is what most health and fitness professionals would consider an extremely low protein intake.


Is this enough protein?

I would argue that it is not anywhere near sufficient to promote muscle growth, adapt to exercise, or promote changes in body composition.

Especially when we consider that the body is in a constant state of rebuilding. Throughout the day we are rebuilding and creating new tissue, building new hormones and enzymes, and building new cells.

With this in mind, it is important we consume enough protein to sustain these processes comfortably.

Additionally, assuming we undertake regular exercise at a moderate intensity, we are going to need more protein to repair and grow tissue that is damaged during exercise.

So taking all of this into consideration, a recommended protein intake of 1 gram per pound of bodyweight should be more than adequate to meet those requirements essential to maintaining metabolic processes, and building new tissue.


Protein Packed Energy Balls

homemade protein balls

While we understand that 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight may sound like a lot, it shouldn’t be that difficult to consume.

But if you are having some difficulty achieving an adequate protein intake, we have a solution…..

Protein packed energy balls.


4 simple protein ball recipes

If you would prefer to make these at home why not try the following recipes.

They outline some great high protein snacks that also taste fantastic!


1. No Bake Oatmeal Protein Energy Balls


  • –          1 ½ cup of rolled oats
  • –          2 scoops of vanilla protein powder
  • –          ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • –          ½ cup of peanut butter
  • –          2 tablespoons of honey
  • –          2-4 tablespoons of almond milk



  1. This recipe is as delicious as it is simple.
  2. First step is to add all the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  3. Then proceed to add the honey and peanut butter– stir to combine.
  4. From here we simple add our milk slowly until we get a nice sticky consistency.
  5. Finally roll into balls and store in the fridge – you will thank me later!


2. High Protein Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls


  • –          ½ cup of peanut butter
  • –          ½ cup of chocolate protein powder
  • –          1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
  • –          1 tablespoon of honey
  • –          10 dates
  • –          1 teaspoon of vanilla essence



  1. Start these off by adding all of the ingredients into a blender blitzing until they are completely combined.
  2. Then proceed to add small amounts of water to the mixture (while stirring) until it is a nice and sticky consistency.
  3. Roll into balls and store in the freezer!


3. Almond and Cranberry Energy Balls


  • –          1 cup of rolled oats
  • –          1/3 cup of almonds
  • –          1/3 cup of shredded coconut
  • –          1 tablespoon of flaxseed
  • –          1 tablespoon of honey
  • –          ½ cup of almond butter
  • –          1/3 cup of chopped cranberries



  1. Start by baking the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes
  2. Then place in the fridge until cool.
  3. Then add butter, add the baked mix, flaxseed, honey, and cranberries into a large bowl and mix thoroughly – producing a thick and sticky mixture.
  4. Roll into balls and store in the refrigerator.


4. Easy Choc-Almond Protein Balls


  • –          1 cup of raw almonds
  • –          1 cup of raisins
  • –          2 scoops of chocolate protein powder
  • –          1 cup of shredded coconut
  • –          ¼ teaspoon of salt



  1. Start by blitzing the almonds in a food processor until a creamy butter is formed – then add raisins and mix until everything is nice and smooth.
  2. Add in the salt and protein powder and mix until everything is thoroughly combined.
  3. Proceed to roll into balls and cover in coconut.
  4. Either enjoy immediately (and you will enjoy them) or store in the fridge!


To round it up

Considering the importance of protein, relative to optimizing health and recovery processes, it becomes apparent that ensuring that we consume adequate protein is absolutely essential.

With this in mind, we should strive to consume 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight each day.

While this may sound like a large amount, it is easily obtainable if we consume high protein snacks throughout the day.

The best of these are the high protein energy balls outlined in this article – which are both incredibly easy to make and taste absolutely delicious too!



Lets Us Know…

We’d love to hear if you tried any of the above protein ball recipes and loved them!

And please do share any other fantastic recipes you know of that can benefit others in the comments below.


7 Benefits of Working Out Consistently

You’re probably aware of the many health benefits of diet and exercise, but hopefully you are also aware that exercising just three times over the course of a year is not going to be sufficient to attain your goals. You need to be consistent! In this article we are going to look at seven health benefits of working out regularly.

We will try to avoid the obvious ones, such as “if you work out consistently you will build muscles” or “if you work out regularly you will increase strength”.

Instead we will take a look at benefits that are focused on areas outside of strength, fat loss, and muscle gain.

Saying that though, just in case you’re unsure of the obvious benefits we will take a quick look at those first….


Obvious Benefits of Exercising Regularly

physical exercise

One of the main health benefits of working out regularly is of course increased fitness, your cardiovascular system would be improved significantly whether you jog around the park, or deadlift 200kg.

Provided that your diet is in order you could also expect to lose body fat and overall weight as well as help with cholesterol levels. You should also see an increase to your muscular strength and endurance as well as some muscle hypertrophy.

So that is the obvious benefits, now let’s take a look at the seven less obvious benefits to working out consistently….


Less Obvious Health Benefits of Working Out Regularly

Benefit #1. Increased Testosterone

Testosterone is the male sex hormone, though it is also present in smaller amounts in women. It has many benefits such as increased muscle gain, improved mood, reduced body fat, and increased libido.

Exercise can cause a short-term increase in testosterone. Research found that performing free weight exercises led to large increases in serum testosterone.

This is great for the short-term, but what people really want is long-term increases in testosterone. One of the health benefits of working out regularly is you should see a more long-term increase.

Not only will you be getting frequent spikes in testosterone thanks to the free weight resistance exercises, but you will also be getting reduced aromatase (an enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen).

Almost every benefit from exercise that men get is down to increased testosterone and exercise increases testosterone production. Which is a great circular relationship.

Remember that women can also benefit from increased testosterone, but they should also see benefits from increased estrogen.


Benefit #2. Improved Sleep Quality

The relationship between exercise and sleep quality is a complicated one. Highly intensive exercise can produce cortisol which is a hormone that is released during stressful times.

In high levels, cortisol can negatively affect sleep quality and duration. This then further increases cortisol which creates a vicious cycle. This is why bad sleep quality is one of the signs of over-training.

But if you are training consistently you should not be in danger of over-exerting yourself. Instead you should be receiving all of the benefits of exercise we mentioned above.


All benefits are linked

Many of these benefits (weight loss, improved mood, increased testosterone) have been shown to improve sleep quality. A study found that aerobic exercise improved sleep quality in older adults with insomnia.

Improved sleep can also help increase testosterone, regulate appetite (very useful for people who are dieting), and improve mood, libido, and cognitive function. It can also reduce stress which will help lower cortisol.

Hopefully you are beginning to see the interconnected relationships that all of these benefits have 😉


Benefit #3. Increased Independence


Whereas the last two looked at scientific reactions to long-term exercise, this benefit is a lot more of a physical one. As people age they generally get stronger and frailer, women go through menopause, and men go through their own equivalent.

Muscle mass lowers, bone density drops, and suddenly you are 70 years old and need help to do the gardening, or you fall over and break a hip.

Some of you reading this may be laughing, but it is a genuine concern that WILL affect you in the future.


Keeping your independence as you age

Exercising consistently can help you to keep your independence as you age. It may also help some of you to gain independence right now. If you are constantly needing people to help you lift things, then training in the gym can help you manage for yourself.

So much of exercise is focused on short-term goals, but reaching 90 years old in good physical and mental health should be the ultimate aim for everyone!


Benefit #4. Establishing a Routine

Being consistent with your training can lead to amazing results, but to be consistent you need to be following a routine. Training at the same time each day, on the same day each week.

This makes it a lot easier to turn up to the gym, as you factor gym time into your daily plans.

But your body will also adapt to your training time, it will help you to peak physically at this time. Anyone who usually trains at 6pm but decides to try a 6am session will know what I am are talking about.

Your routine will allow you to get the best workout results possible, your recovery and sleep patterns will adapt to this.


Benefit #5. Improved Social Life

improve your social life

If you are already sociable then going to the gym on Friday nights won’t help that, but many millions of people out there are less sociable than ever.

Men tend to lose friends as they age until their social circle is tiny.

Training in a gym can help to change that, particularly if you are consistent and follow a set routine. You will see the same people day in, day out, and eventually you might find you now have a whole new social circle.

How close you allow these people into your life is up to you (and them too obviously), it can range from having someone to nod at every day, to someone to train with, to someone to go for a beer with on the weekend.

This goes double for elderly men and women. Get yourself into that gym and make some awesome new friends!


Benefit #6. Improved Fertility

If you are struggling to conceive then one of the best ways to manage it is to lose weight, exercising consistently can help with that.

Consistent exercise can also lower stress, increase testosterone and improve sleep – all factors that can affect fertility.


Benefit #7. Lowered Injury Risk


Have you ever had a friend who decided to join into a 3 on 3 basketball game, fall over and damage their cruciate ligament? The reason behind this? Partly bad luck, but partly their lack of fitness.

Exercising consistently can strengthen muscles, but also ligaments, joints, and bones. People who exercise will also have better flexibility, better reactions, and better hand eye coordination.

This all adds up to less risk of injury in the future.


Final Thoughts

When people first start training they are usually concerned with how to get amazing results in the fastest way possible. They want to get that perfect body without putting in the effort.

They follow training programs that guarantee abs in just 12 weeks, or follow diets that will get them “beach ready in 30 days”.

But there are no real tricks to fat loss, it’s all about consistency. It’s about turning up 4-5 times per week (or more) getting your session in, eating well (but within a calorie deficit), and making sure that you are sleeping properly.

That’s all there is to it.


Consistency is the key

Every benefit of working out that you can imagine all come down to being consistent. You don’t need to do anything fancy.

Walk 10,000 steps per day, go to the gym, hit your calorie and macro targets, go to bed at the right time. Wake up and repeat.

This may not sound fun or sexy, but it should do. Because it means that you don’t have to turn your life upside down every time you want to lose weight.


Follow a simple plan

You are following a simple plan that is easy to do, being consistent means that you can reward yourself more without sabotaging your results and you’ll really see the health benefits of working out regularly.

Going for 10 beers and a pizza with your friends is never going to aid weight loss, but the guy who exercises 5 times per week is going to survive it better than the guy who only trains every two months.

Life is there to be enjoyed, and being consistent with your training and diet allows you more opportunities to have fun, both now and in the future.


Let Us Know…

What’s your experience? Have you seen the great health benefits of working out regularly?

What’s your routine like?

Why not help others learn from your experience, please let us all know in the comments below….


Ways to increase metabolism naturally

We’re sure you’ve already heard the word metabolism but it is not what you think it is. Yes, metabolism does play a role in keeping your bragging friend in tip top shape, but that’s not the entire story. So I thought i’d write about what your metabolism actually is and ways to increase metabolism naturally.


How does your Metabolism work?

Regulated by your thyroid gland, your metabolism is constantly running, even when you’re asleep.

Metabolism can be compared to an engine that keeps you going and to keep it going, you need to feed it with nutrients.


The thyroid gland

Since your thyroid gland controls your metabolism, it is critical that you keep the health of your thyroid gland in check.

When the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone (a condition called hypothyroidism), your metabolism can get severely compromised.

At least 3.7% of American adults are known to suffer from an underactive thyroid. Fortunately, it can be improved with the right diet and hormone replacement therapy.


Metabolism and metabolic rate

metabolic rate

The word metabolism is commonly used interchangeably with metabolic rate, hence, the skinny friend reference.

Metabolic rate is the amount of calories you burn and metabolism is a combination of two processes, anabolism and catabolism.

Anabolism involves the synthesis of compounds to be used by your cells and catabolism is the breakdown of molecules for energy.

The higher your metabolic rate, the more calories and fat you will burn and the easier it becomes to keep unnecessary pounds off.


Metabolism rate – factors

Some people have faster metabolism than others, this is on account of several factors such as one’s lifestyle, genetics, age, gender and weight.


Sure, you can’t do much about genetics and age, but certain lifestyle changes are a surefire way to rev your metabolism, for better health and a better physique.

Additionally, the biochemical reactions associated with metabolism are closely intertwined with your nutrition.

Therefore, proper nutrition is essential for a healthy metabolism.

We’ll get into how you can make your metabolism work to your advantage shortly. Let’s understand how it works first.


Basal Metabolic Rate

Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR is a measure of the minimum energy it takes for your body to burn a maximum amount of calories.

Your BMR is 40 to 70% of the energy needed by your body to function at its current rate.

Just like your metabolism, your BMR is also influenced by weight, your lifestyle and your age. It is affected by your activity levels as well.

Therefore, if a person leads a sedentary lifestyle or states that they have a “slow metabolism”, what they really mean is that their BMR is low.


Metabolism hacks you need to know

As mentioned earlier, there are several ways through which you can hack into your metabolism and make it work the way you want it to.

If you’re looking to improve your health and fitness, chances are you’ll want it to be faster.

The following is a no B.S. list of natural techniques that you can apply in your daily life to boost your metabolic rate and get the results you want.


1. Train intensely


If you’re looking for a way to amp your metabolic rate fast, skip the boring steady-state workouts and try high intensity interval training or HIIT.

HIIT involves quick and intense bursts of activity, which you can perform at home, outside or at the gym.

Since you’re working out way more strenuously than you usually do within a period of time, chances are you’ll increase your metabolic rate and burn more fat, even after your workout.


2. Strength train

weight training

Building muscle and achieving a leaner body is a great way of increasing your overall metabolic rate (including BMR). Your muscles are far more active than your fat.

With more muscle, you will be burning more calories every day, even during rest.

Weight loss can result in metabolic decline. Fortunately, lifting weights can help you retain muscle mass and sustain your metabolic levels.

One study with 48 overweight female participants showed that even with a 800 calorie diet, the women who did resistance training were able to maintain their strength and metabolism, while losing significant fat weight.

The women who didn’t exercise at all or performed aerobic exercises, only lost fat and muscle weight and experienced a drop in their metabolic rate.


3. Have plenty of protein

grilled chicken protein

As we mentioned earlier in this article, food has a huge role to play when it comes to your metabolism.

Following a meal, your metabolism is often up for a few hours. This is a phenomenon called the thermic effect of food or TEF for short.

TEF is the result of the additional calories the body needs to digest and absorb the nutrients from your meal.


What is Protein

So what is Protein? Protein is a slow-digesting nutrient that has the largest effect on your TEF. Having a protein-rich meal can increase your metabolic rate by 15 to 30%. Carbs cause a 5 to 10% increase and fats, a sad 0 to 3%.

As a bonus, eating more protein also helps you feel full and satiated, stopping you from overeating. It also prevents you from losing muscle, which commonly occurs from dieting.


4. Add Spice

On the subject of food, did you know that you can increase your metabolism by adding the right spices? This simple hack can be done to a wide range of meals and can increase your TEF by a few hours.

This is due to a component called capsaicin, which releases heat once ingested. If you’ve ever wondered why you sweat after particularly spicy food, capsaicin is often why – but at least it’s good for you!

It can be found in numerous spices, but chili and ginger both have high levels. The latter also contains gingerol, which does many of the same things, while also providing an anti-inflammatory benefit.

Try adding a little chili to your meals or even adding ginger to your tea. This will keep your metabolism up for a longer period after you’ve eaten.


5. Reduce being sedentary, it kills your metabolism.

Leading a sedentary lifestyle is a definite way of decreasing the amount of fat you burn daily.

Sadly, most jobs require people to be sedentary at work, which can wreak havoc to your metabolic rate and overall health.

sitting down


While working out or playing a sport can improve your metabolic rate drastically, simply standing more often, walking more or taking the stairs can help increase it too.

One study showed that you are burning 16% fewer calories when you’re sitting compared to standing. Sitting down too much can harm your overall health.

Using a standing desk and performing certain tasks while standing or walking, such as answering the phone, are great ways to reduce the amount of time you’re sitting every day.


6. Get more sleep

Sleep is critical for great health, which includes a healthy metabolism.

Lacking sleep on a long-term basis can severely increase your risk of diabetes, depression and heart disease.

Furthermore, a plethora of studies show that poor sleep may negatively affect your metabolic rate and increase your chances of gaining weight.


Is a better metabolism only gifted to people who are “born with it”?

Having a higher metabolic rate means you can burn more fat while exercising and during rest, while sustaining your gains.

Is a better metabolism only gifted to people who are “born with it”? The answer is no.

While some people are naturally able to burn more calories than others, you can easily increase metabolism naturally by making some lifestyle changes such as (more) exercise, changing your workout routine, eating plenty of protein and getting some good sleep.


Let us know

We’d love to hear in the comments below any tips you have on how you can increase metabolism naturally….

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