My first article in Brainz Mag

Stay healthy this festive season!

Hello everyone,

I’m new to the Brainz family so let me quickly introduce myself. My name is Tamara Makar, and I’m an IFBB Pro bodybuilder. I have been coaching people for about 15 years on how to achieve their desired physique and I very much enjoy what I do.

Today I would like to talk about 2 very trendy seasons: the festive season and the flu season.

Let’s start with the festive season since Christmas is just around the corner! I am a professional athlete, and my training and diet is my priority since this is my job. However, I have a full understanding of my clients and other people, who just want to stay healthy, and they are on a completely different level of passion for fitness. I understand that they have other priorities, maybe their jobs or their families, and keeping their fitness could be just another ‘chore’ in their lives.

Let me first start with this statement: the gym is not for everyone. Some people love it, others hate it. We have different priorities, different mind sets and different goals. If you don’t like the gym, if you don’t like lifting weights, do not do it. It’s hard to keep up something when you don’t enjoy doing it. To keep your health and fitness – however – you have to do something. Find what you enjoy doing. It could be walking, running, cycling, swimming, it could be anything really. You don’t have to lift weights to keep yourself fit and healthy. If you do something that you enjoy doing, you’re more likely to stick to it in the long run, instead of quitting and restarting periodically.

However, I’ve noticed that most people struggle with sticking to healthy food choices. The holidays are not a very good time to start a diet for most people. There are certain things though that you could do to prevent overeating:

1: drink lots of water. If you fill up your stomach with water you’re less likely to overeat.

2: try to eat more vegetables, and less carbs. Again, if you fill up with greens: salads, broccoli, asparagus, cucumber etc you will have no space to overeat the naughty foods.

3: try to reduce your portions. Usually there are many courses during festive season and if you want to eat all the food, you will definitely overeat. There’s nothing wrong with trying all the dishes on the menu – especially if you’re invited to someone’s home, because you don’t want to offend them by not eating what they’ve prepared. Have a small portion of foods, especially sweets, and try to fill up with vegetables instead of rice, bread or potatoes.

4: another idea is to serve your food on a smaller plate –  a smaller portion of food will look bigger on a smaller plate and that tricks the brain to believe it’s a full size portion.

But honestly, if you slide during the holidays, don’t sweat it – try and get back on track as soon as you can. A few days of holiday eating will not make you fat or ruin your work if you’ve been working hard – just like a few days of clean eating will not make you slim and healthy either. A little bit of rest will do good to your body, help with recovery and sometimes breaking the good habit of clean eating can be an advantage for your body. And if you haven’t been eating clean but you’re considering a change from next year, well, then enjoy the holidays and get serious once it’s finished.

When it comes to the flu season I’m a big believer of prevention.  It’s always easier to prevent something from happening, than dealing with the hassle and consequences when it occurs. We have a great immune system, and we can help this system to guard us from all attacks.

For a great immune system you need enough rest. How many hours do you sleep at night? Do you wake up tired or do you get some deep rest? If you can’t sleep at night I recommend you try and take some sleep aid: melatonin or antihistamine just to mention a few. If the problem is deeper, you might need some professional help.  Stress can cause some sleepless nights. There are different products and ways you can deal with stress – if you’re interested, hit me up and I’ll send you some information of what I recommend.

You will boost your immune system by taking vital vitamins. Vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, Echinacea, these all help strengthen your immune system. Multivitamins, that suggest to take 1 pill a day are usually not strong enough to stop us from catching any viruses. Especially if you train on a regular basis, you need a higher amount of vitamins and antioxidants for your recovery and immune system. There are some stronger concentration multivitamins that you could take to help your immune system – if you need any recommendation, drop me a message (I’m not endorsing any products here, that’s why I don’t want to put it in the article).

And of course, last but not least: working out boosts your immune system. Either the gym, walking, running, swimming, anything that gets your heart pumping. Go for it and enjoy knowing that you're doing something for your own health.

If you need any help with your diet or training plans, healthy choice of foods, how to get back on track or start again, please get in touch and I’m more than happy to help you with tips or full online coaching: hello@tamaramakar.me, www.tamaramakar.me