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If you are on a healthy eating plan based on the current macronutrient portioning of food per day you are probably eating 2,000- 2,200 Kcalories if you are a female and approximately 2,600-2,800 Kcalories if you are a male.

The food pyramid emphasises that our break up of Kcalories should be 50% carbohydrate, 25% fats and 25% protein. As a 78 kilograms male, I should be eating approximately 2,700 Kcalories divided up into approximately 675 kcals of protein and fat and 1,350 Kcalories of carbohydrate per day. Being active, this prescription should keep me weight stable.

Caloric Restricted Weight Loss

If I was looking for weight loss and was prescribed a caloric restricted diet of 1,200 Kcalories, my division of macronutrients would be 600 Kcal of carbohydrate, 300 kcals of fat and protein. The 600 kcals of carbohydrate prescribed is enough to maintain my normal bodily functions at rest but is just barely enough to feed my brain as well if I have previously been on a high carbohydrate diet.

My Liver is pumping hard making any additional required glucose via converting some protein to glucose (gluconeogenesis). The protein conversion is only good for approximately an additional 200 Kcals so all in all I have approximately 800 Kcals of carbohydrate available for my 24 hours cycle. So at this point all is good and I am coping well.

My background in intensity had always been to“go hard or go home”.

My motto used to be “just do it…. and then spew it!"

As I have aged I have reviewed my old philosophy and realised the importance of multiple movement experiences, performed at low to moderate intensity for as much of the day as possible. What if I went back to my old ways and incorporated some high intensity exercise as part of my weight loss intervention in combination with my reduced 1,200 kcals diet?

Off and Running…

I am now on the treadmill running at 10 kilometres per hour. At this pace approximately 60% of my fuel will come from carbohydrates. Within the hour on the treadmill running at 10 kph I have used approximately 300 kcals of carbohydrates. In the 24 hours that incorporated this run I had 600 kcals of carbohydrate available for all the body systems to function at rest as well as an additional 200 Kcals that can be converted from protein to carbohydrates, so in total 800 kcals of carbohydrate.

My brain requires approximately 30% of my available carbohydrates, which translates into approximately 240 Kcals of energy (30% of 800 Kcalories).

If I expend 300 kcals of carbohydrates from my run, 600 kcals for the cells of the body (brain included) to perform their daily functions, I will have exceeded my total concentration of carbohydrates (600 + 200 = 800 Kcalories) for the day by 100 Kcals.

All of a sudden……“Houston we have a problem”.

If I run on the treadmill 3 days per week with a recovery day between each run, my body will adjust by storing more glycogen that can be used on the run days and I will be able to cope with the reduced carbohydrates available.

But what if I decided to run at this pace for 5 to 7 days of the week. After a week of this combination I could begin to feel tired, physically fatigue or as it has been described… “hit the wall”.

“Hitting the wall” is not restricted to just those who run marathons.

People on severe caloric restricted eating plans combined with high intensity exercise can also experience a similar feeling. I am now in the zone of Glycogen depletion. This can only get worse unless I take some time to recover between training sessions or eat more dietary carbohydrate, energy bars or energy drinks to quickly increase my blood sugar levels and thereby increase my Kcalories….. but this would be against the philosophy of our weight loss program.

The most obvious alternatives would be to:

  • Reduce the intensity of the training dose and expend the same number of Kcalories over a longer period of time tapping into my fat stores and preserving the limited carbohydrates stores for other functions.

  • Alternate high intensity days (glycogen dependent days) with much lower intensity days (fat dependent days).

  • Eat more carbohydrates with the intention of exercising at a high intensity every day.

  • Limit high intensity days to three times per week with at least a 24 hours recovery between training sessions and on the other days perform 10,000 steps or additional movement in the home, at work, active transport at an intensity between 2-6 METS (low to moderate).

What about limiting my carbohydrate intake?

A recent alternative recommendation is to limit our carbohydrate intake to 50 grams per day for two weeks, which will teach our body to utilise more of our fat stores.This method would require a rethink of the proportions of our macronutrients.

What if we changed our 1200 kcalories diet to include 30% protein, 20% carbohydrates and 50% of good fat?

The theory behind this would be that after a two weeks period of no intense exercise our body will begin to convert ketones from our fatty acids for energy to within an acceptable limit, which could potentially improve our fat loss. Ketones could potentially now provide approximately 50% of the brain’s fuel taking the pressure of it being fully carbohydrate dependent.

Additionally, the skeletal muscles would be better adapted to metabolise fatty acids sparing the additional glycogen and protein that was previously used a fuel. The accompanying exercise prescription would involve low to moderate intensity activities of daily living, of which walking would be the cornerstone. Remember we have potentially 80,000 Kcals of energy available for fuel from fat compared to 2,000 Kcals of carbohydrate.... so why not try and use it. This theory tips the carbohydrate loading theory of performance on its head! Think about it as it could have merit in everything we do from weight loss, improvements in health and athletic performance. 

Arthur C Clarke once said  “I don’t pretend to have all the answers. But the questions are certainly worth thinking about".

Dr Paul Batman

Australian College - Fitness

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What do expectations mean to you? If you refer to a dictionary, expectation is a noun that means “a strong belief about what might happen in the future or thinking that something should be a certain way”. Expectations are created based on an individual’s perspectives and standards and oftentimes, they are just merely predictions or conjectures derived from incomplete information. In reality, we all see things differently; however, failure to see things from someone else’s perspective has proven to be very problematic and may even cause people to be estranged from others more than ever, especially from the ones that they care about.

If only expectations were properly managed, then it would be a lot easier to navigate through day to day life without the dramas. So what do we do in order to manage or align our expectations towards ourselves and other people? First of all, it's important for us to understand that expectations are not goals.

Do not mistake expectations for goals

Setting goals and implementing them help us improve ourselves over time, however, when they’re already becoming rigid and inflexible, it’s a sign that they are turning into expectations. In order for us to reach our peak performance, we need to focus more on goals and make sure to never ever let them slide over into expectations. There’s a great value in setting goals that are based on principles, and aiming to achieve them by exerting our best effort while being challenged but not pressured and frustrated.


“Building up expectations, creating unrealistic time frames, feeling like our end goal is the end all, be all can all lead to frustration or anxiety. We end up feeling as though we have to power through what we want rather than enjoying the process and just let the results come as it may.”

― Gretchen Bleiler




Constantly perform reality checks


We have our own vision of an ideal world. We dream about stability, equality, justice, and absolute freedom. We want to be in a safe and nurturing environment where we can develop our core skills and gain knowledge to enrich and make our lives more meaningful. But amidst all the wishful thinking, we must also perform check ups constantly to see if our grasp of reality is still healthy and intact or if we already lost touch of what’s real and what’s not. This method will also help us stay focused on more important things, rather than getting caught up in trying to perfect something that’s already good enough.


“When one's expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have.”

― Stephen Hawking


“There's strong data that, within companies, the No. 1 reason for ethical violations is the pressure to meet expectations, sometimes unrealistic expectations.”

― Stephen Covey


Communication is Key

When there is a lack of communication, a lot of things can go wrong. As much as possible, try to overcome communication barriers. Never make assumptions! Context is definitely important when it comes to communication. So always put context into consideration to prevent the potential pitfalls in professional and personal life and everything else in between.

Intuition may also induce expectations


The human brain is wired in a particular way. Based on the book Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, we process information in two different modes. The first mode is intuitive, unconscious, automatic and emotional. The second mode is slow, rational, conscious, reflective, reasoning and deliberate. Let’s look into the intuitive mode. Using our intuition or gut feeling can be advantageous. Albert Einstein even quoted that “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift”, however, your intuitive and judging functions also have the tendency to get out of hand. When this happens, your mind could become clouded by unrealistic expectations. To prevent this from happening, you need to be able to fine-tune your intuition and not be misled by it. This can be done through observation and lessons learned from various life experiences for you to gain the knowledge and wisdom that can help you plow through life with less heartache and disappointment.

“Expectations were like fine pottery. The harder you held them, the more likely they were to crack.”

― Brandon Sanderson





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Those who strive for perfection are leaders and high achievers, but when they push themselves too much, they tend to get into extremely toxic situations. Working hard to achieve something is great, however, when the frustration level is sky high and there is already chronic dissatisfaction and unhappiness in life, we need to start reaching for the pause button, clear the mind and self-reflect.


Overthinking, fear of failure and excessive worrying are very common in perfectionists. Negative thoughts and behaviours affect the quality of life. More damage is done when they get stuck in analysis paralysis, therefore, decision-making is stalled and no action is done. 


Everyone commits mistakes. Problems and unexpected challenges come. The best way to handle them is not to run away and hide but to tackle them head-on. Instead of worrying about what’s going to happen when you do something, think about things that can actually go wrong when you don’t do anything at all. Or, better yet, get over your fears, and think about what can go right in any given situation. Take control and take action!


“Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. 

If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.”

― Arthur Somers Roche


“I never worry about action, but only about inaction.”

― Winston Churchill


“People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them.”

― George Bernard Shaw


“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.”

― Elbert Hubbard


“The best possible way to prepare for tomorrow is to concentrate with all your intelligence, all your enthusiasm, on doing today's work superbly today. That is the only possible way you can prepare for the future.”

― Dale Carnegie



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Athletes train every day to improve their skills in order to achieve victory in a particular sports competition. And if they are amateur athletes, they need to work even harder and be more disciplined in their training. Optimised training methods are incorporated in their routine to reach the gold standard. Practice is a very important element for athletes to develop well over time. When this is done consistently on a daily basis, they will surely reap the rewards in the end.


The goal to reach peak performance is not only applicable to professional athletes. Perhaps you have also experienced that you performed to the best of your ability just like athletes do. Try to recall those special moments when you have achieved above and beyond what is expected of you, and that you constantly excel in everything you do. These are the moments that you have to value and pay close attention to because that should serve as your starting point.


Establish the framework that would empower you to always perform at your peak, up to a certain degree that you feel your life routine is already centered on it. It’s definitely the kind of culture that we all need to develop to attain a better quality of personal and work life.


“Don't lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations. Expect the best of yourself, and then do what is necessary to make it a reality.”

― Ralph Marston

Be more focused and learn how to create your flow.


Flow comes in different stages depending on an individual’s characteristics and skill level. When you find your flow, do your best not to break it so as you continue to improve your skills, you are then also able to take on more difficult challenges in the long run. When you reach higher levels, you do not only enhance your skills, but you become more patient and resilient at the same time.


“What we can control is our performance and our execution, and that's what we're going to focus on.”

― Bill Belichick


Be more open to learning new things.


When you have the motivation and determination to learn, it will be easier for you to absorb new information. You will be more aware and engaged than you have ever been! Aside from learning the proper knowledge and hard skills necessary to reach new levels, it’s also important for us to develop Emotional Intelligence. Like many other things, EQ can be learned as well. Emotions are a very critical aspect of your journey to making better decisions and to be more efficient and effective in any circumstance. The use of emotions is actually the cornerstone of peak performance.


"The More You Know, the More You Can Grow.”

― Martin Hilbert




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A lot of people are victims of toxic situations. In fact, we are all surrounded by a lot of negative energies and emotions that drain us until we do not have the willpower left to face them. They paralyse us and undermine our capacity to function well and prevent us from reaching our full potential.

The sad truth is, no one is exempted from dysfunctional environments. We are all eventually bound to experience this at some point. It doesn’t matter what your current status is in life is at the moment, you can still fall into the sinkhole of unfavourable circumstances. But whatever these circumstances are, the great news is that every problem has a solution, even if it’s not exactly the kind of outcome you hoped for.

Toxic emotions and experiences from our past can sabotage us or keep us stuck with the same old thoughts, patterns, and regrets.

― Debbie Ford

If you are in a toxic environment, you will waste away.

― Richie Norton


The worst scenarios can absolutely destroy confidence and self-esteem so if you feel that you’re moving towards a life of utter distress or have been stuck deep into this slippery slope territory and would like to completely walk out of it and start a cleanse, you need to make a firm decision that you are going to follow through and never look back.


What you believe is very powerful. If you have toxic emotions of fear, guilt, and depression, it is because you have wrong thinking, and you have the wrong thinking because of wrong believing.

― Joseph Prince

My encouragement: delete the energy vampires from your life, clean out all complexity, build a team around you that frees you to fly, remove anything toxic, and cherish simplicity.

Because that's where genius lives.

― Robin Sharma

It would be very hard to progress in life if you constantly feel broken. Allow yourself to heal and keep your peace. Also, bear in mind that recovery never happens overnight; it should be an ongoing process. Everyone’s recovery journey is very personal and unique so you need to peel off the layers of yourself to get in touch with your innermost beliefs and convictions.

Once you're in a position where you can choose to not be around toxic environments, just do that as much as you can.

― Frankie Cosmos

Starting today when you begin to see signs that things are becoming toxic, do something about it right away. Life is too short so be happy and live your life to the fullest!

Helpful articles:

Combat Burnout and Reignite Passion for Work

Learn How to Manage Stress


Shift Your Paradigm and Unlock Opportunities


Achieve Your Education Goals!

Study a nationally accredited and professional online course and get 20% off*. Subscribe to our Newsletter to receive an eVoucher that can be used on top of our monthly promotion.


Whether you are looking to upskill or reskill to improve your career prospects or are looking for an exciting new career opportunity, you will find a course to meet your needs in our extensive online course catalogue.


*Terms & Conditions Apply.


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