Join Kate's 30-Day Clean Eating Challenge!

Within a supportive, private Facebook group, Kate's challenge will comprise a series of realistic, easy to understand and implement recommendations and lessons for lifelong changes.

Here are just some of the things you’ll learn:

  • The emphasis is on small, bite-sized lessons, which are drip-fed to you one per day

  • How to loose fat and keep it off

  • How to maintain a healthy weight, so you avoid the risk of health-related diseases

  • How to supercharge your energy levels

  • Why whole foods keep you satisfied for longer, so you’re less tempted by eating junk

  • How to meal plan so you always have healthy food options

  • How to make healthy snacks, so you don’t graze on junk food when you’re hungry

  • Some of the best healthy food blogs that make life simple

  • How to identify food triggers that are (subconsciously) keeping you from your goals

  • Food swaps for cravings, so you can eat more of the foods you love without piling on the pounds or worrying about your health

  • Healthy breakfasts for busy mornings

  • How to use herbs and spices to power up your food and make them taste amazing

  • Some recipes suggestions to add variety to your life

  • How to strike a happy medium with your diet

  • Some facts about sugar, salt and fats, the good, the bad and the in between, so you'll be in a much better position to look after your own health, and the health of your family

  • Plus loads more...

It costs £30, just £1 per day, and will start on 7th January 2019!

If you would like to take part in Kate's 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge, or would like to know more, please drop us a line.

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Little Black Dress Challenge!


Following on from the success of our previous challenges, we've teamed up with local nutrition expert, Marcelle Dubruel, to bring you another great healthy eating & exercise plan, just in time for the Little Black Dress season!

How Does It Work?

Once you've signed up, you'll be invited to join our LBD Closed Facebook Group on the 27th October, where you'll meet your fellow participants. You'll then be able to download your healthy eating plan and get ready to start. Your LBD Challenge runs from the 1st to 30th November.

Over the weeks, within this private group, you'll share your journey, motivating and inspiring each other along the way.

What's Included?

  • A wide range of healthy, balanced, easy to prepare and no-hunger recipes
  • Weekly workouts from the HA fitness team
  • Nutrition and exercise support, answering any questions you may have
  • Membership of our closed Facebook group
  • Daily motivation, inspiration and guidance, helping you to make healthy eating fit around your lifestyle
  • Party survival tips, including what to eat and drink whilst also having fun
  • Bonus Treat Friday - there's cake!

How Much Does It Cost?

  • It's just £65 for the Challenge, and you get to keep all of the recipes.
  • Sign-up with a challenge buddy / introduce a friend, and enjoy a discount. If you sign-up together, it's just £110 for two (you each pay £55).

How Do I Sign-Up?

Head over to our Bootcamp page to book your place, or drop us a line for more info.

And it's not just for girls! Guys are welcome to join the challenge too (Black-Tie Challenge doesn't quite have the same ring to it).

Happy Training!

Heather & The HA Team

P.S. Don't be a plump pumpkin, purchase your class passes online today!

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

The Pelvic Floor (and a little prosecco)

post natal sponsors.jpg

Wimbledon Buggyfit (that's us), APPI (amazing physios in the Village) and Cake & Kale (highly qualified Wimbledon dietitian) are collaborating with Wimbledon & District NCT to bring you this informative evening.

This is a night of fun, wisdom and education for women of every stage:

  • What is your pelvic floor and what happens during pregnancy
  • How to train your pelvic floor and what exercises work
  • How to restore your core and what abdominal exercises you can safely do
  • The importance of exercise during pregnancy, post-natal and beyond
  • Top tips on optimum post-natal nutrition

Date and Time: Monday 2nd October 8.15pm - 9.30pm

Place: Hill Place House, 55a High Street, Wimbledon, London, SW19 5BA

Cost: £10 (includes Prosecco and nibbles!)

Book your place today!

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

NEW HA fitness Body Blitz 6 week challenge!

NEW HA fitness Body Blitz 6 week challenge!

We've teamed up with Marcelle Dubruel, a Wimbledon nutritional therapist specialising in weight and health management.

Marcelle has developed a healthy and tasty eating plan for boosting your metabolism alongside our fitness workouts.

Ready to get your summer body sorted? Join our 6 week Body Blitz challenge and shimmy into summer.

HA Fitness Body Blitz Challenge is good for those who:

  • Want to feel energised, slim and healthy.
  • Would love to shed a few unwanted inches.
  • Are determined to feel “jean” fabulous by the summer.
  • Recognise the winning combination of exercise and balanced eating.
  • Enjoy healthy, family friendly eating for boosting metabolism.
  • Mean to get round to healthier living but life keeps getting in the way!
  • Welcome the support and guidance on just what to do!

HA Fitness Body Blitz Challenge comes in 3 parts:

1. The Meal Plan

A large range of options of tried and tested breakfasts, quick lunches, simple dinners and yummy snacks.

2. Exclusive membership to a closed Facebook Group

You'll be supported throughout the whole 6 weeks within the group. This is where it all happens...

  • All questions are welcome, especially the ones that may feel silly!
  • You can put your hand up and ask for help when you need it.
  • There will be support, encouragement and motivation from your nutritional therapist, Marcelle.
  • You'll be able to share your journey with like-minded Body Blitz enthusiasts, including Heather.
  • We'll give lots of guidance to make the challenge work for you in your lifestyle.
  • You receive Extra Facebook Group Bonuses, including Workout Wednesdays and Treat Fridays!

3. Commitment, support and accountability to exercise

We're asking you to do at least 3 workouts a week, every week, for the duration of the 6 week challenge. These can be at an HA fitness class, personal training session, or on your own (you'll get one workout every Wednesday in the Facebook Group!).

HA Fitness Body Blitz Challenge Housekeeping:

This exclusive challenge is only available to HA fitness personal training clients, holders of HA fitness class passes and current BootCamp members.

The 6 week challenge runs from Monday 24th April 2017 to Sunday 4th June 2017.

Cost: £85

Payment is required in full by 19th April 2017.

Payment secures your place and activates your membership. You will be invited to join the closed HA fitness Body Blitz Facebook group where you will have access to the pre-challenge resources.

Sign-up now! Or drop us a line for more info.

You'll easily get your workouts done at any of our Buggyfit or Fit In The Park sessions. Check out our full timetable for all the details.

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

New Mum? Weaning Or About To Start?

Long-term friend & client of HA fitness, Sara Patience, has been commissioned to write a book about weaning for parents. If you're at this stage, Sara would love to have a chat to you about how you're finding it.

Sara is uniquely qualified as a Paediatric Nutritionist (registered nutritionist) & Registered Health Visitor. She specialises in well child nutrition.

Get in touch with Sara to find out more.

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Will Exercising Before Breakfast Make Me Thin?

Cardio Controversy

Some research suggests that if you exercise first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, it may encourage your body to burn a greater proportion of fat as fuel.

The theory goes that your glycogen stores are depleted from fasting during the night. If you get up, don’t eat anything and immediately start exercising, your body then has to burn more fat as a source of energy.

Fat Chance!

Before you jump out of bed at 5am and head directly out for a run, there are few reasons why this isn’t necessarily a good plan.

Firstly, by skipping breakfast and going straight into your workout, you’re likely to tire sooner than if you’d munched on a banana first. 

Flagging energy levels may result in a shorter or less intensive session and you ultimately burn fewer calories. It can also have a ruinous effect on any type of endurance training.

On top of that, you could end up being so hungry following your workout that you scoff more calories than you would do normally!

Let Not the Sands of Time Spoil Your Breakfast!

Admittedly not everyone can stomach food first thing in the morning and then go straight into a workout. A smoothie or piece of fruit with water might be a wise option. It’s really what works for you.

What I’m trying to get across is that the timing of your cardio workout is not an important factor in fat loss.  The key is to burn more calories than you consume overall. Do this by exercising as much as possible and follow a healthy balanced diet.

My ideal is to get up early, eat a banana wrapped up in a piece of bread, and wash it down with a glass of water. Then get dressed and head out for a run.  It gets the workout done plus you glow with that feel-good factor and a smug sensation all day!

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Celebrating Spring Onions!

Although available all year-round in supermarkets, spring onions are now just about coming into season and are at their peak in taste and flavour…well they didn’t get that name for nothing!

They’re basically a normal onion picked early, before the bulb has had a chance to swell up, and they belong to the same family as garlic, leeks, shallots and chives.

Spring Onions are Good for You Because…

They contain no fat, no cholesterol, and are low in calories and salt. They’re also packed full of good stuff including vitamins A and C, iron, calcium and fibre.

Research has shown that eating onions may help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and prevent the formation of blood clots. They’re also thought to protect against cancer and heart disease.

There’s More to Them Than Crispy Duck Pancakes!

Despite being small and immature, spring onions can still pack a punch! They’re ideal for quickly injecting a burst of flavour and a dash of colour into your food.

Raw spring onions are great for adding an earthy kick to salads, sandwich fillings and salsas. The greens are also a tasty alternative to chives, and can be tossed into scrabbled eggs, cottage cheese, omelets and dips.

When cooked, they can bring a subtle hint of onion flavour into a wide range of dishes, especially stir-fries and soups. They’re also delicious partnered up with ginger in Thai, Chinese and Japanese-style meals.

Handle Your Onions With Care!

Look for a bunch that’s got bright green and perky leaves. The bulbs should be hard, crisp and unblemished. Steer clear of any specimens that are slimy, wilting or limp!

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

What is the difference between Clementines and Satsumas?

Citrus Celebration - The Ultimate Guilt Free Snacks with Health Benefits

For me, the deliciously tangy aroma of a Clementine or Satsuma being peeled and eaten goes hand-in-hand with the festive season. At this time of year, there are so many pleasurably calorific foods and drinks around, and these sweet fruits, which come in their own convenient and natural packaging, are one of the few Christmassy things that can be enjoyed guilt-free.

Clementines and Satsumas are in season just when we need them. They’re loaded with vitamin C, so can help prevent colds and flu at a time when our bodies have to battle hard to ward off infections. They’re also a bright and sunny addition to the fruit bowl on dull, grey winter days (and you may find a few jumbled up with nuts and chocolate coins at the bottom of your Christmas stocking…but only if you’ve been good!)

But Is There Any Difference Between Them?

Lets first talk about mandarins and tangerines. Mandarin is the collective name for all small orangey-type fruit (but not the bigger oranges). Tangerines are a variety of Mandarin, and usually have seeds in them.

Clementines and Satsumas are similar to tangerines, but are cultivated to be seedless (although you’ll occasionally find seeds in them due to uninvited bees getting in on the breeding process) and are usually sweeter.

Clementines are traditionally from North Africa, whereas Satsumas originate from Japan. It’s not easy to tell the difference between the two, although the Clementines are meant to have a slightly tighter skin.

To make things even more confusing, different countries use different terms for defining the fruit. And shops have been known to mis-label the various varieties, so you may believe you’re eating a Satsuma, when actually it’s a Clementine!

The Weighty Ones are More Juicy!

As with most fruits, choose carefully and go for the ones that look shiny and healthy, without any bruising or discoloured skin. If you can, try and feel how heavy the fruit are. If they feel light, they’re likely to be disappointingly dry and juiceless.

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Crunch Your Way Through Some Apples & Pears

Summer berries and salads may no longer be in season, but that’s no reason to cut back on your 5-a-day fruit and veg portions.

British apples and pears are delicious and definitely worth hunting down at the moment. Food that has been grown locally always tastes better, and you can feel virtuous for supporting British growers and reducing your food miles! Choose organic for the best taste-bud experience.

Both apples and pears have a stronger flavour if you eat them at room temperature, although storing them in the fridge will keep them fresh for longer.

Apples and pears are both low calorie and low GI, so make good weight-loss snacks. Nutritionally, they’re much better if you eat them raw with their skins on. 

Nice Pear!

One chin-dribbling, juicy pear will provide you with zinc, vitamins C and E, some B vitamins and lots of dietary fibre.

Pears are great on their own and are also really tasty in salads. Try combining the sweetness of pears with slightly bitter salad leaves such as radicchio, rocket and watercress.

For a special treat (that'll make your diet go a bit pear-shaped!) try poaching them in red wine, or drizzling baked pears with chocolate!

An Apple a Day…

Crunchy apples are full of lots of good stuff. They’re a great source of nutrients, such as potassium, calcium, vitamin C and dietary fibre.

Apples are a great snack when eaten raw, sliced up with yogurt or grated on muesli. They can also be made into a healthy sauce when pureed and served with meats such as pork.

Of course they can always be made into yummy, diet-demolishing crumbles, pies and strudels!

Did you know...

Conference pears are named after an international pear conference, where the variety won first prize in 1885.

All Bramley apples are descended from a tree that is still growing in Southwell, Nottinghamshire.

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Fats: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly…

Most people are familiar with the terms trans, saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat. But how do they differ, and what do they do?

The first thing to understand is that fats are classified by their "saturation". This means the amount of hydrogen atoms attached to the fat molecules.

The Loveable Rogue: Saturated Fat

Saturated fats are completely "saturated". In other words, each fat molecule is completely covered in hydrogen atoms.

Saturated fats remain solid at room temperature. They’re found in meat and dairy products, cooking fats and hard margarines. They're typically to blame for the high calorific value of most cakes, biscuits, chocolates and puddings!

Unfortunately, these are also the fats that raise blood cholesterol levels, promote hardening of the arteries, and contribute to blood clots, heart attacks and strokes.

Your Oily Ally: Polyunsaturated Fat

These fats are typically liquid at room temperature and are not "saturated" with hydrogen atoms.

Polyunsaturated fat may help prevent heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol levels, and could reduce the symptoms of joint problems and certain skin diseases. They include the healthy heart and brainfood fat, omega-3, which is found in oily fish salmon, mackerel, sardines and fresh (not canned) tuna.

Your Mediterranean Mate: Monounsaturated Fat

Found in vegetable oils that remain liquid at room temperature, monounsaturated fats are also not "saturated" with hydrogen atoms.

Monounsaturated fats are found in olives, olive oil, groundnut oil, nuts, and avocados. The so-called "Mediterranean diet" is rich in monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturates, have been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels and therefore help in reducing the risk of heart disease.

The Frankenstein Fat: Trans Fat

Trans fats are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. They're found in processed, fried (especially doughnuts) and baked goods (including partries and biscuits).

They've been popular in the past because they're cheap, easy to use and last a long time. However, recent research has shown that trans fats raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels, lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels, and increase your risk of developing heart disease.

How Much is Too Much?

All fats are equally high in calories and should be eaten in moderation. A good place to start is to look at the labels on the back of foods.

  • High fat is considered anything more than 20g fat per 100g
  • Low fat is 3g fat or less per 100g.
  • High levels of saturated fat is more than 5g saturates per 100g
  • Low levels of saturated fat is 1.5g saturates or less per 100g

Trans fats don't need to be labelled separately under European law. However, hydrogenated vegetable oil must be listed, and this may contain trans fats.

Don’t be Fooled by “Low-Fat” Labels

Don't always assume that 'low fat' on a label means that it's a healthy choice.

All the 'low-fat" really means is that the food is 25% lower in fat than the standard equivalent. If the food is high in fat in the first place, then the low-fat version may still be high in fat!

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

What’s the Point of Sports Drinks & Gels?: Part 2

Re-fueling on the Run

There’s a variety of sports drinks, gels and bars on the market to provide you with a quick carbohydrate hit whilst on the run. All are designed to boost your energy levels and prevent you from resorting to using fat as a major fuel supply during endurance events.

Research suggests that you should consume between 30-60 grams of carbohydrate per hour (depending on your size and exercise intensity) when exercising. It's worth noting that this is the maximum amount that your body can deal with, so consuming more than this will not make you run faster or further!

As it takes at least 30 minutes for the carbohydrate to be absorbed into the bloodstream, it’s important to start consuming it before you start feeling tired.

Drink & Be Merry!

Sports drinks are a great way to replenish spent energy and also re-hydrate your drained body.

Most big city marathons have drinks like Lucozade Sport at regular intervals. However many people find that they can’t tolerate the taste or suffer from stomach cramps after drinking it. It's worth experimenting on training runs first!

You can buy other brands, such as the Science in Sport PSP22, which are easier to stomach. However carrying a couple of litres of liquid around 26.2 miles can be a bit cumbersome!

Get Gelled Up!

A logistically easier option is to carry energy gels, which can be tucked into shorts, belts and pockets etc.

They are essentially concentrated drinks of about 100 calories each, and they come in range of flavours and textures.  It's important to take on some water (usually around 200ml) with the gels to help them get absorbed into your bloodstream.

Beans, Bars & Bananas

Some people carry jelly beans, bars and bananas and munch on them whilst running. These can all be good sources of quick-release energy if you eat a little and often. They also need to be consumed with plenty of water to help them be absorbed.

What Else Should You Know?

You ideally need to strike a balance between carbohydrate availability, performance and minimizing digestive distress. Practice is the best way to do this. 10 miles into your marathon is neither the time nor the place to discover that a particular sports drink gives you diarrhea!

A word of warning, if you're training for less than an hour, you should not be using sports gels or drinks. You only need to be taking on water to avoid dehydration.

Finally, the amount of glycogen stored in your muscles before you set off will have a huge impact on your performance. To boost your glycogen levels, you should eat plenty of carbohydrates in the days before, and morning of your marathon. This will mean that you will be able to run for longer and harder before you have to rely too much on your fat stores (see Part 1) for fuel.

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Deflating that spare tyre!

How to get rid of that bulging waistline

Performing hundreds of sit-ups maybe great for developing a six-pack, however most of us need to concentrate on reducing that not-so-attractive layer of fat top first.

It’s not just about the way you look that’s important. If you tend to store fat around your middle you have a greater risk of developing conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.

Just how big is too big?

The British Heart Foundation says that you have a greater risk to your health if your waistline is larger than 94cm (37”) for men or 80cm (32”) for women.

You need to measure around the bit that is mid-way between your hip bone and the bottom of your ribs (don't cheat by holding your tummy in, let everything hang out!)

How to loose a pound of fat

The best way to get your waistline back is by eating a healthy, low fat diet plus lots of regular exercise.  Basically you need to burn off more than you put in.

To quantify this, one pound of stored body fat equals 3500 calories.

Put another way, if you create a 3500 calorie deficit in a week through diet, exercise or a combination of both, you will lose one pound. That might sound a lot, but over a week, it amounts to just 500 calories a day.

The best way to do this is to increase your activity levels so that you are burning an extra 250 calories, and decrease your food intake so that you are consuming 250 calories less a day.

How to burn 250 calories

This will depend on your age, sex, weight and metabolism, as well as how intensely you exercise, but here are a few examples of what it takes to burn around 250 calories:

  • A 10 stone person running moderately hard for 20 minutes
  • A 12 stone person moderately cycling for 30 minutes
  • A 14 stone person walking fast for 35 minutes (not necessarily all in one go).

It's often difficult to fit in structured exercise into a busy lifestyle especially if you work long hours and have a family. Here's a few things you can do to help to knock off a few calories each week:

  • Take the stairs rather than the lift (up as well as down!)
  • Walk or cycle to work or the station
  • Walk to a sandwich shop at lunchtime that’s further away than your regular one
  • Stand on the bus/train instead of sitting down
  • When you get home from work, play with your kids on the floor rather than slumping in a chair
  • Go out for a bike ride, football in the park or kite flying with your kids at weekends

How to consume 250 calories less a day

The following are easy things to cut out of your diet that are around 250 calories each (some are a hell of a lot more!):

  • High calorie breakfasts: 1 Danish pastry, 1 muffin (American-style), 2 small croissants or 1 Starbucks Grande latte made with whole milk
  • Meals extras: Half a naan bread, 1 small potion of chips, 1 large dollop of mayonnaise or a large spring roll
  • Snacks and puddings: 1 piece of cake, 1 chocolate bar, 2 small portions of cheese, 1 portion of ice cream
  • Alcohol: 1.5 pints of lager or 1.5 large glasses (250 ml) of wine

Every little bit helps!

If this all sounds too much, just think that doing more than you are doing now is a step in the right direction.

Posted by Heather Waghorn.