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Celebs hit gym to get rid of festive weight

The new year hashtag #mkhaba must fall has taken off in a big way - with even the sultry Pam Andrews hitting the gym hard.

Seems she has left the raunchy pics in 2017 and has instead vowed to post workouts and meal plans as she tones her tush. Zoleka Mandela hasn't stopped with her home workouts, even during the festive period, as she aims to get to her target of 65kg soon.

While it's certainly not easy to drop the festive pounds, some people seem to think they can do it like Khanyi Mbau (face of Slimatone) and simply swallow a pill. Others believe they can be like Bussythebeast (Busisiwe Macatshwa) and slip into a waist training belt and the fat will melt away.

But as Macatshwa, a 29-year-old paramedic has proven, it's hard work - eating right and consistent exercise is the answer.

Her philosophy was simple: eat clean and train dirty, as she transformed from a whopping 82kg to 60kg with almost two years of dedication.

Still, the market is bombarded with slimming seeds, protein shakes and other gimmicks they swear will be an easy fix. But just how healthy are these quick fixes?

Zahra Said, life and wellness coach, says these products have a place and serve a purpose, depending on where one is on their personal journey.

"A meal replacement shake can help one create discipline around portions and best times to eat to support your body. These products do work, I'd imagine they are safe to use (if they're not safe they should not be sold to the public), however, we must learn how to use the products optimally and not make up our own way to suit us because perhaps we're lazy to follow instructions or maybe we're looking for a quick fix.

"I have never used waist trainers. I'm personally not fixated on what society deems as the perfect hourglass image that makes a woman beautiful or sexy.

"I believe that we must tune in, we have been given a beautiful vessel to enjoy life through. We are unique, not born to look the same or aspire to look like anyone else.

"Love yourself deeply and sincerely every day. You are beautiful, you can achieve anything you put your mind to.

"You have the potential inside of you to achieve your dream body," says Said.

Her advice is to learn how to use clean, organic food as sustenance to fuel our bodies.

"This is long term, this is where longevity lies and this is our personal responsibility to self.

"We created a way to support our clients through a healthy, clean, organic lifestyle by creating Authentic Food. We cater for private and corporate events. As well as supplying corporates with healthy, wholesome meals, we offer tailor-made meal plans and recipes teaching and guiding our clients on using super-foods in their daily lifestyle. We are truly passionate about the body, how we move and how we fuel our bodies."

She warns that diet supplements may seem like a magical solution, but most of these claims are not backed up by clinical research and can weigh heavy on kidneys.

According to research by http://healthyeating.sfgate.com it is theorised that meal replacements became a "crutch" of sorts and worked for short-term weight loss, but were not a long-term tool for weight maintenance.

Kath Younger, a blogger at Kath Eats Real Food, says when trying to lose weight many people also go cold turkey and focus on foods they can't have.

"No sugar, no alcohol, no dessert, no bread, no cheese. I like to tell my readers to focus on what they can have and tally up all the filling and nutritious super-foods out there."

She says this way of thinking can be detrimental in the long run.

So instead of depriving oneself of foods you love, learn to incorporate them into their diet in a healthier way.

Instead of adding a creamy high-fat sauce to your pasta, add lots of veggies, grilled shrimp and toss in olive oil and garlic.

If you simply can't live without bread, make a healthy sandwich for lunch on 100% whole-grain bread with grilled chicken, avocado, lettuce and tomato.

When people are trying to lose weight, they also often cut out an entire food group, like carbs or meat.

But fitness experts agree that this results in an unbalanced diet and deficiencies in certain nutrients and is often not sustainable for a lifetime.

Instead, people are swapping these for green juices and smoothies. Unfortunately, many times these beverages aren't made up of the right mix of nutrients.

Alissa Rumsey, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says on myfitnesspal.com that green juices lack fibre and protein, which are key nutrients in keeping you full and helping you meet your nutrient recommendations, and smoothies are typically loaded in sugar from juice, sweeteners, or too much fruit, and can be really high in calories from oversized portions of healthy fat sources like nuts and seeds.

She warns not to get caught up in the counting calories trend and instead to eat more. She says a moderate amount of fat is important as it helps with satiety. Don't replace fat with refined carbs, which can have a detrimental effect on health and weight. Include healthy fat at every meal, in the form of nuts, seeds, liquid oils, avocados, oily fish, soy and dairy products.

Also, don't ditch fruit and vegetables because some claim it has too much sugar.

Experts also agree that if there was a pill or a potion that really worked in the long term, then none of us would be talking about weight management at all.

The only long-term effective weight management skill is to think of food as fuel, drink water for hydration and to flush out toxins, and don't rely on magic shakes.

JJ Virgin from mindbodygreen.com says manufacturers often make powders (shakes) palatable with preservatives like maltodextrin, fructose and other sugars, excessive sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners. He says the solution is to read labels carefully and buy professional brands.

"Opt for protein powders with fewer ingredients that are low-sugar impact." He urges people to look out for the many different names for sugar, such as syrup, juice, concentrate, fructose and sweetener.

"My rule is no more than 5g of added sugar per 100-calorie serving," he says.

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