With summer mere days away and women up and down the country looking to tone up and shift weight fast, former Biggest Loser personal trainer, Libby Babet, has one piece of advice.
Forget the drastic programmes and think about the long-term.
The Bondi-based PT sat down with FEMAIL, in advance of the launch of her book with fellow trainers, Totally BUF, this December, to find out how you can overhaul your approach to fitness, diet and health this summer – and see lasting results.
The good news is it’s not all roasted kale and green vegetables.
Bondi-based personal trainer and one member of the BUF girls, Libby Babet (pictured), sat down with FEMAIL to talk about how to get in shape this summer
According to Libby, changing your mindset is as important to getting on track with your health, fitness and nutrition goals as everything else
Libby (pictured with the BUF girls) said it’s not about a one-day punitive regime – instead, you need to think about forever – abandon cheat days and allow yourself a little of what you want
‘There’s no point banning foods, because you’ll just end up craving them and overloading on them,’ Libby (pictured) explained
‘It’s much better to have a glass of wine each night or a bit of chocolate during the day than big cheat nights – wine and chocolate can be soul food when eaten right,’ Libby said
Libby Babet’s day on a plate
* FIRST THING: Libby said she will start most days with a room temperature glass of water. She said she prefers this to cold water, because the body absorbs it quicker than cold water.
* PRE TRAINING: Before she trains, Libby said she’ll have a mug of green tea or black coffee with a dash of milk, and a quarter of a frozen banana mixed with protein powder and green powder.
* BREAKFAST: Libby will have a huge breakfast after she’s trained clients. This will typically be a huge pile of vegetables, boiled eggs and olive oil.
* LUNCH: Lunch will be similarly big, and typically can look like a big salad with chicken, avocado and a slice of sourdough bread on the side.
* DINNER: Dinner can be anything, from freshly-prepared meat, grains and vegetables to something convenient. Last night, Libby said she had vegetable soup with frozen veg.
* SNACKS: Libby said she will always carry around pre-prepared bags of nuts and desiccated coconut wit her. She also swears by protein powders mixed with banana for when she is busy training and doesn’t have much time.
When it comes to having a healthy mind and body, for Libby it’s all about changing your attitude first.
‘If you want to change your body, try to avoid having the attitude that you need to go to extreme lengths,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Anyone can keep up a punitive programme or regime for ten days, but what’s the point when you’re going to quit it straight afterwards?’.
Instead, Libby and the other BUF (beautiful, unstoppable, fearless) trainers are all about the ‘forever’ programme:
‘There’s no point banning foods, because you’ll just end up craving them and overloading on them,’ Libby explained.
‘Instead, to take your health to the next level, you need to be curious. Rather than just eating for the sake of it, sit down and think: How could I make this meal a little bit better for me?’.
Libby herself confessed she doesn’t ban foods, including bread and chocolate:
‘I don’t subscribe to the whole cheat day/cheat meal thing,’ she added. ‘Because the very opposite of what you want to do for your body is give it a spike in insulin, which binge drinking or binge eating does.
‘It’s much better to have a glass of wine each night or a couple of pieces of chocolate during the day than big cheat nights – wine and chocolate can be soul food when eaten right.’
Libby (pictured) believes in cross training your diet, as well as your exercise, as she said our bodies get too used to routine sometimes
‘There is a place for convenience foods, they just have to be healthy ones. Have backups in your fridge so you don’t feel yourself needing to buy takeaway,’ Libby said
Libby outlined that in different stages of a women’s month, she will need to eat different things – for instance, green leafy vegetables are at their most powerful during a woman’s period
As many a health nut will know, a healthy body is as much – if not more – food, as it is exercise.
But Libby said the right nutritional choices are ‘the best versions of what is available to you at the time’.
‘Lots of people are busy – as am I – and so while I love going down to the farmers’ markets in Bondi, I don’t have time,’ Libby said.
Nutritional tips and tricks to curb cravings
* The more sugar you eat, the more you want. You need to put in what you want to get out.
* Fat, protein and fibre are what tell you that you’re full. Sugar and carbs don’t. Incorporate them into every meal and limit the others.
* Think of food as information for your body, rather than fuel. You need to give it the right information.
* Ditch the starchy carbs like white bread, rice cakes etc – and replace them with wholesome, nourishing options – sweet potato, quinoa and sourdough bread, for instance.
‘There is a place for convenience foods, they just have to be healthy ones. Have backups in your fridge so you don’t feel yourself needing to buy takeaway.
‘Some of my favourites and go-tos after a busy day are frozen vegetables, rice, tahini and chilli.
‘I’m not a big meal prepper, but I do boil a dozen or so eggs at the beginning of the week, and chop up some fruit or veg.
‘I often freeze my vegetables, including banana, for snacks on the go – and make sure there’s always some plain Greek yoghurt or coconut yoghurt in my fridge.’
Interestingly, while Libby said she does return to foods often, she also said that if you’re looking to get lean quickly, it can be a good idea to ‘cross train your diet as well as your training’.
‘As women, we so often get suck in routine, but it’s much better for your body to mix it up and eat when you get hungry,’ she said.
‘In different weeks, we also need different foods – for instance, around the time of your period, it’s so important to eat green leafy vegetables.’
Libby (pictured) said the key to falling in love with exercise is to stop thinking of it as exercise, and instead see it as ‘movement’ and a stress relief
She trains three times a week on a good week, and mixes this up with regular movement, such as night walks, yoga and stretching
The PT is also a huge fan of ‘night walks’ – which she said can change ‘both your body shape and your mind’ – she said they help to decompress the body after dinner
Of course, with mindful healthy eating ideally comes a decent training regime.
And Libby said the key to falling in love with exercise is to stop thinking of it as exercise, and instead see it as ‘movement’ and a stress relief:
‘The people who are most consistent with exercise are those who see it as play time or a stress relief,’ Libby said – rather than something they have to do.
Libby Babet and the BUF girls’ new book, Totally BUF, is out in December (pictured)
‘Stop thinking about working out and instead replace it with movement. Think about how can I move my body today? It might be a simple walk at lunchtime or a stretch in the morning, whatever works for you.’
The PT is also a huge fan of ‘night walks’ – which she said can change ‘both your body shape and your mind’.
‘Instead of vegging out in front of the TV after dinner, get your partner or your flatmate and go for a night walk. It will help to decompress your body, make you feel better and sleep well – which is key to a healthy figure.’
Libby said she probably trains around three times per week, but she also cross trains this hard HIIT (high intensity interval training) with yoga and long walks.
‘It all depends on my mental state,’ she said. ‘If I’m on holiday, I’ll likely do lots of exercise because I’m relaxed – hikes, beach runs etc.
‘But you need to ramp up or down your workouts, depending on what’s going on in your life.’
Libby Babet and the BUF girls’ new book, Totally BUF: Your 6 week guide to becoming Beautiful, Unstoppable and Fearless is published by Hachette Australia in December 2017.
It retails for AUD $39.99 and is available from all good bookstores. To try the Totally BUF programme online, please click here.