Weight loss Archives | ZONE FITNESS

Category Archives for "Weight loss"

Feeling Hungry

4 Reasons You’re Always Feeling Hungry

Always feeling hungry? You’re not alone.

I recently got this question from someone: “How do I deal with hunger pangs, especially at night?"

Maybe you're asking similar questions, "why am I always feeling hungry and what can I do to stave off the constant hunger pangs I feel from dawn to dust?"

Keep reading. I'm going to answer your questions in this post. 

Why You always Feeling Hungry

If you're in a constant hunger mode, either of these four things could be responsible:

1. You're not eating enough

2. You're eating too much of the wrong food

3. You're eating at the wrong time

4. Your brain is playing pranks on you

keep reading

How She Did It: 5 Weight Loss Lessons from A Woman Who Lost 30kg

I recently came across the story of a woman who lost 67lbs (30.3kg) in five months. This woman had battled with her weight for more than ten years. In October of 2017, she made another attempt, but there was something different this time. Something was at stake, and she must lose the weight. Otherwise, she'd miss something big.

She was given a six-month deadline to lose 50lbs (22kg), but she lost 67lbs (30.3kg) in five months and surprised both herself and everyone connected to her story.

How was this woman able to do in just five months what she hadn't been able to do in more than ten years? What did she do differently in 2017 that made it possible for her to lose 67lbs in 5 months? Stay with me as I share what she did and the five weight loss lessons you can learn from her story. 

keep reading

How To Lose Weight And Keep It Off

At least once a week, I get a question like this, “what’s your thought on ___? (insert the latest weight loss fad or trend). People jump on the wagon of whatever is hot and trendy is that they want the easiest and fastest way to lose weight.

In this post, I want to show you how to end the yo-yo cycle.

Two Things You Must Focus On To Lose Weight And Keep It Off

The two things I’m about to share with you have been tested and proven. Research has established that they work. Millions of people all around the world have self-experimented with them and have found them to be the most straightforward ways to lose weight and keep it off.

Many weight loss fads and trends have come and gone, but these two have outlasted them all and will continue to outlive them because they’re the only things that work; the only things that won’t change.

keep reading

Missing Piece of the weight loss puzzle

The Missing Piece Of The Weight Loss Puzzle

Ever wondered what the missing piece of the weight loss puzzle is? I found the missing piece, and I want to share it with you in this article.

But before I tell you what the missing piece is, can say something? Whoever told you that losing weight is not easy lied to you.

I bet you know someone who has lost 2-3kg in one week before. Maybe you’re that someone.

What about someone who lost up to 10kg or more in less than 30 days? I bet you know one or two people like that. And when you heard their stories or saw that it is possible to lose 10kg in less than 30 days, you thought to yourself, “I want to do this too.”

You thought it would be easy to lose weight because you saw someone lose many kilograms in just a few days.

That is proof that it is easy to lose weight.

keep reading


The Number One Weight Loss Mistake Dieters Make

Do you know the number on weight loss mistake dieters make? I'm talking about the very mistake that keeps dieters in a perpetual yo-yo cycle. I'll tell you what that is in a minute.

Consider this, someone who was to eating everything all her life realised that her relationship with food was unhealthy and decided to make changes. She cleared her kitchen of all the foods she considered to be bad and embarked on a strict diet.

The first week was good because her willpower was in high gear and her motivation was up. She was on a roll, and nothing was going to stop her.

She weighed herself every day, and she could see the number of the scale going down. She was happy with the result even though she secretly resented the punishment diet she was on.

The second week came by, and she was still on a diet, but her willpower has started to dwindle. She jumped on the scale on day 10 and noticed she had lost 10kg already.

She has lost 10kg in 10 days! She was delighted about the “progress” she had made.

keep reading

Is The Ketogenic Diet The New Fad Diet?

Is the ketogenic diet the new fad diet?

Short Answer: It depends on who is doing it, and how they’re doing it.

The ketogenic diet, or keto as it’s popularly called, is not new. Physicians have been using as a dietary therapy since the 1920s. It was the original therapeutic diet for treating children with epilepsy.

Long answer

Not too long ago fat was seen as the enemy of fat loss because many believed it was fat that was making us fat.

People who wanted to lose body fat were advised to reduce their dietary fat intake. Dieters paid premium prices for foods that were labelled as, low-fat or fat-free. In the land of dieting, fat was the most hated macronutrient!

But things have changed in recent years. We no longer see fat as the enemy of fat loss because the goalpost has moved, and another macronutrient is taking the backlash. Dieters can now eat as much fat as they want—thanks to Ketogenic diet and low carbs diet.

Congratulations fat! The supreme court of dieting has declared you not guilty. The proclamation: “It’s not fat that makes us fat!”

You’re now the new B.A.E, fat! Let’s make a (bulletproof coffee) toast to your victory!

Is The Ketogenic Diet The Best Solution

Why is it now okay to eat more fat? Did the chemical structures of fat and carbohydrates change? Are carbs dangerous or we are just looking for another food to blame?

My goal with this post is to tell you the truth about carbohydrates and their role in fat gain/fat loss.

Let’s dive in if you’re ready for the truth and nothing but the truth.


keep reading


To Fast is Human: A Simple Guide to Intermittent Fasting

​Back in April 2014, when I wrote my first intermittent fasting article, I was accused of encouraging people to starve themselves. I still remember how a particular weight loss coach carried the matter to her BB group, and I was the topic of their discussion.

Since the time I published that article, there have been new studies on fasting as a modality for weight loss, longevity, disease prevention, and as part of treatment for chronic diseases.

This post is the third update of my intermittent fasting article. I have made significant changes to the original post to reflect current scientific research on intermittent fasting/time-restricted feeding.

Please note that this post is about intermittent fasting only. It doesn’t apply to prolonged fasting (a prolonged fast is any fast that lasts for 48 hours or more).

Enjoy the article.

​What I Used to Believe About Intermittent Fasting

​When I first became a fitness professional, I used to believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Like many other well-meaning fitness pros, I preached the message of “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.” It was the dietary philosophy I lived and preached.

Then I began to read about intermittent fasting and all its health benefits, and I became a proponent.

​Isn’t Intermittent Fasting Another Fad Diet?

​No, intermittent fasting is not a fad diet.  Intermittent fasting became popular in 2013 when Hollywood celebrities like Hugh Jackman began to use the 16:8 protocol to get ripped for movie roles. However, intermittent fasting didn’t originate in Hollywood. Scientists have been studying the various forms of fasting in animals and humans before it became mainstream.

Up until 2017, I used to believe intermittent fasting is all about skipping breakfast, and I was always looking for studies that support my view. Yes, we all suffer from confirmation bias.

My view drastically changed when I began to learn more about circadian biology and how it affects everything. Now I know how metabolically beneficial compressing one’s food intake to certain hours within the human biological day can be.

​What Is Intermittent Fasting?

​Intermittent fasting is a method of eating that cycles between periods of fasting and feeding known as fasting window and feeding window, respectively.

When many people think about intermittent fasting, they think about skipping breakfast.

Intermittent fasting is not about skipping meals; it is about compressing your eating to a particular time window during the day (the human biological day when the sun is out).

There are advanced protocols of intermittent fasting that require skipping one or two meals or skipping a whole day meal (OMAD, alternate-day fasting, and the 5:2 diet ).  However, in its simplest form, intermittent fasting is about eating all your meals within a specific time window each day. Scientists call it time-restricted feeding (TRF).

All intermittent fasting protocols are a form of time-restricted feeding.

​Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is a method of eating that cycles between periods of fasting and feeding known as fasting window and feeding window, respectively. ​Intermittent fasting is not about skipping meals; it is about compressing your eating to a particular time window during the day

​Time-Restricted Feeding Explained

As explained earlier, time-restricted feeding (TRF) means that you eat all of your meals and within a particular window of time during the day (human biological day). There are two components of time-restricted feeding.

The two components of time-restricted feeding:

1. The circadian rhythm component

2. The intermittent fasting component

The Circadian Rythm Component

Humans are diurnal. We’re biologically wired to eat during the day and fast during night time. When we don’t eat in alignment with our circadian rhythms, it can lead to metabolic disruptions that can make us susceptible to weight gain and a host of other chronic health conditions. When it comes to aligning your eating with your circadian rhythm, regularity is crucial.

That means:

  1. You can’t eat within an 8-hour window today and eat within a 14-hour window tomorrow.
  2. Your first and last meals must be on regular schedules.
  3. You can’t eat breakfast at 8 am one day, and 11 am on another day, and you can’t have dinner at 6 pm one night and 9 pm on another night.

The Intermittent Fasting Component

​As I said before, Intermittent fasting is not about skipping meals. It is about compressing your eating to a particular time window.

Therefore, if you’re eating your daily meals between 9 am-6 pm or 10 am-7 pm — and you don’t take any calorie-containing food/beverage before your first meal and after your last meal — you’re already doing intermittent fasting. Congratulations!

​Types of Intermittent Fasting

The 16:8 Protocol: In this method, you’ll fast for 16 hours and eat all your meals for the day within an 8-hour window. Your fasting window includes your sleeping hours.

The 18:6 Protocol: In this method, you’ll fast for 18 hours and eat all your meals for the day within an 8-hour window. Your fasting window includes your sleeping hours.

The One Meal A Day Diet (OMAD) Protocol: The OMAD diet is an advanced intermittent fasting protocol. You fast for 23 hours and eat all of your daily calories in just one meal each day (23:1).

The 5:2 Protocol: In this form of intermittent fasting, you will eat normally for five days a week and drastically limit caloric intake to 25% two days a week. The calorie restriction days can be two consecutive days, or non-consecutive.

The Alternate-day Fasting Protocol: In this method, you fast one day by not eating at all or eating 500 calories or fewer and eat normally the next day. You’re alternating between one day of fast and one day of normal feeding.

​Fasting Facts

​The 16:8 and 18:6 methods are the easiest form of intermittent fasting.The alternate-day fast is the most scientifically researched intermittent fasting protocol.

​Why Timing Matters

When intermittent fasting first became mainstream around 2012, many people (including yours truly) think it’s about skipping breakfast. Even today, some people still think intermittent fasting means skipping breakfast.

Intermittent fasting isn’t about skipping breakfast. It is about compressing your eating to a particular time window during the day.

In the first and second edition of this article, I argued that breakfast is not the meal one eats in the morning. My position on that is still the same because, by definition, breakfast means breaking the fast. It means your first meal of the day, not the meal you eat in the morning.

Every morning you wake up in a fasted state. How many hours you’ve fasted depend on when you had your last meal the previous day, and how many hours of sleep you had. You break your fast with the first meal you eat after those long hours of fasting. Breakfast, therefore, is your first meal of the day.

The question then is, is it okay to extend the fast till afternoon? In other words, is it okay to skip breakfast? Please grab a cup of green tea and let’s turn to health scientists for the answer.

To Skip Breakfast or Not

Whether you’re doing intermittent fasting or not, when you eat has a tremendous impact on your cardiometabolic health than you can ever imagine. Studies have shown that eating late at night is detrimental to the body. Late-night eating is defined as consuming any calorie-containing food or drink after 8 pm.

Therefore, if skipping one or two meals is the goal, it’s best to skip dinner instead of breakfast.

​A Quick Reminder

​Intermittent fasting isn’t about skipping breakfast; it is about compressing your eating to a particular time window. That means you can still eat three meals a day as long as you’re eating within your feeding window. However, you can do an advanced protocol of intermittent fasting, where you skip one or two meals a day. Or where you don’t eat at all during a 24 hr period.

Late-night Eating Is Not Good For Your Waistlines

​In this study, researchers found a strong association between nighttime eating and increased body fat.

​According to the study, “these results provide evidence that the consumption of food during the circadian evening and/or night, independent of more traditional risk factors such as amount or content of food intake and activity level, plays an important role in body composition.” (Emphasis mine)

A 2013 study of 420 people who followed a 30-week weight loss programme found that the timing of food intake predicts weight loss effectiveness.

“Eating late may influence the success of weight-loss therapy. Novel therapeutic strategies should incorporate not only the caloric intake and macronutrient distribution—as is classically done—but also the timing of food.” (Emphasis mine)

​Late-night Eating Is Not Good For Your Health

​In a crossover study, early time-restricted feeding was shown to improve insulin sensitivity, blood pressure, and oxidative stress in prediabetic men.

The cardiometabolic improvements seen in this study were independent of weight loss.

A 2017 study published in the journal of current biology found meal timing to be a major regulator of the human circadian system.  According to study authours, “timed meals play a role in synchronising peripheral circadian rhythms in humans.”

Time-restricted feeding is a preventative and therapeutic intervention against diverse nutritional challenges. This study here and this one here support the findings in the other studies referenced above.

​Pro Tip

​​There is strong evidence to support the notion that late-night eating is detrimental to our health and waistlines. Whenever you’re doing an advanced intermittent fasting protocol​, skip dinner, not breakfast.

​Can Intermittent Fasting Help Me Lose Weight?

​You may be saying, “Esta, this your long story no concern me o. My question is, will I lose weight with this time-restricted  feeding/intermittent fasting thing?”

The answer is both Yes and No.

You will lose weight with intermittent fasting as long as you’re not eating three days worth of meal within your daily 6-8hours feeding window.

Some people use intermittent fasting as a crutch for bad eating. If weight loss is the goal, what you eat, and how much you eat during your feeding window matter.

A 2018 study conducted at the University of Illinois looked at the effects of TRF on weight loss.

Twenty-three obese and sedentary subjects participated in an 8-h time-restricted feeding intervention. The participants were allowed to eat whatever they wanted between 10 am to 6 pm and fasted between 6 pm to 10 am (water only fasting). The study lasted for 12 weeks.

At the end of the 12 weeks study, the average weight loss was approximately 3% of the starting weight. That means a participant who started at 100kg lost around 3kg at the end of the 12 weeks study.

You might be scratching your head at the 3kg loss in 12kg. Like, “what, 3kg in 12 weeks?. That’s way too small.”

I feel you, but let me explain the reason the average weight loss was 3%.

The objective of the study was to see whether people can lose weight by just compressing their food intake to a particular window during the day. That’s why the feeding was ad libitum; study participants ate as they desired. They didn’t count calories, didn’t change anything in their diet, and they didn’t change their activity level. The only thing they did was to compress their feeding window.

On average, the participants ate 300 fewer calories per day throughout the 12 weeks study. So without effort, the average participant lost 3% of their body weight in 12 weeks just by eating within an eight-hour window.

Key lesson from the study

​ Intermittent fasting, or any nutrition protocol for that matter, is not a magic bullet for weight loss. Therefore, if your goal is to lose more than 3% of your body weight in three months, ​you might want to do a combination of the three things listed below.

  1. 1
    ​Eat quality foods in the right quantity (no overeating, no sugar, no junks, no highly processed foods.
  2. 2
    ​Eat within  6-8 hours window (16:8 or 18:6 protocols)
  3. 3
    Exercise regularly

​If can you combine these three things, you can expect to lose a significant amount in twelve weeks.

What Breaks A Fast?

​One of the questions I get asked a lot is this, “what breaks a fast?” People ask this question because they want to know what they can drink or eat during the fasting window.

Well, the answer depends on why you’re fasting. I fast every day using the 18:6 protocol and the only thing I take during my fasting window is plain water.

The reason is that my goal is to align my eating with my circadian rhythms. For this purpose, I avoid anything that can kickstart the metabolic process in the liver.

If your goal is to align your eating with your circadian rhythms, you should stay away from everything except plain water or plain green tea. Not even coffee because it kickstarts the metabolic process in the liver.

When the liver starts working, the other organs of the digestives system get the signal that it’s day time. Just as the brain sees the light and wakes up, the liver sees food or any calorie-containing drink and wakes up.

​Pro Tip

If your goal is to eat in alignment with your circadian rhythms, please note that regularity is vital.  Therefore, your eating pattern can’t be erratic.  What that means is that your first and last meals/calorie-containing drinks must be on regular schedules.

​If you eat breakfast at 9 am today, you can’t eat at 11 am or 1 pm tomorrow. Also,  if you eat your last meal at 7 pm today, you can’t eat tomorrow’s own at 9 pm. The first rule here is regularity.

Can I Still Eat 3 Meals A Day?

​Yes, you can still eat three meals a day while doing intermittent fasting. Remember, intermittent fasting isn’t primarily about skipping meals; it’s about compressing your eating to a particular time window during the day.

You don’t need to skip any meals, especially if your goal is to make this way of eating a lifestyle.

​What About the OMAD?

​The one meal a day diet (OMAD) is an advanced intermittent fasting protocol. You fast for 23 hours and eat one meal a day within one hour window.

Is The OMAD Diet Safe?

​In the short-term, the answer is yes. No one is going to die for not eating for 23 hours. Also, fasting has been shown to have numerous health benefits.  So, ignore the people who are saying you need to eat 5-6 meals a day to raise your metabolism. Eating round the clock is detrimental to your metabolism!

That being said, be aware that following a fasting protocol that limits your feeding to a very short window isn’t something you should do for more than 8-12 weeks. The studies I have seen suggest that the One Meal A Day protocol may increase some cardiovascular disease risk factors. For this sole reason, you should not do the diet for more than 8-12 weeks at a stretch.

There you have it! I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Now I want to hear from you! Tell me in the comments what you learned from this article. Also, if you have any questions, drop them in the comments, and I’ll answer them.

Weight loss plateau

How To Bust Through A Weight Loss Plateau

Are you experiencing a weight loss plateau? Read this article to learn how you can start losing weight again.

So you have lost a significant amount of weight then all of a sudden you stopped losing weight. You’ve evaluated your nutrition and exercise habits to see if there was something you were not doing right, but everything looked okay.

Welcome to a weight loss plateau, the most dreaded place for Fit Friends.

But you don’t need to panic because there is a way out. Stay with me, and I’ll show how to bust through the plateau.

First, let’s talk about the potential causes, and after that, we’ll talk about the solutions.

The three potential causes of a weight loss plateau

keep reading

3 ways your mind can help you

3 Ways Your Mind Can Help You Lose Weight

As humans, we are always faced with many choices, but how we respond to the choices we face is what determines the outcome we get. When it comes to weight loss, some people only focus on the nutrition and the fitness part things. But food and fitness decisions are not always made in isolation, the mind plays a role in the decision-making process.

In this article, I share the three ways your mind can help you lose weight.

Three ways your mind can help you lose weight

Don’t do what comes naturally to you

We all have our default responses to things. Your default response is how you react to a stimulus or a trigger. It is your first choice of action when you are faced with a particular situation. It is what comes naturally to you.

For example, if you like akara and Agege bread, there are chances that you’d stop to buy anytime you drive, or walk by the akara seller. Why is that? Because that is your default response.

When your eyes see the akara, a thought flashes in your mind that says “I want to eat!” If you react by default, you are going to buy and eat to satisfy the urge. And 15-20 minutes later you’ll regret your actions and feel bad, and depressed that you have lost it again. Sounds familiar?

A better way to deal with the situation is to choose your response. When the stimulus (akara and bread) is pressing your button, DO NOT DO WHAT COMES NATURALLY TO YOU. Exercise control for a few seconds and follow the next tip.

keep reading