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June 18, 2017

Why Am I Still Gaining Fat Even Though I Exercise Regularly?

If you’re going to regular Zumba classes and are not seeing the numbers you want on the scale, then you are not alone! Plenty of people exercise regularly and yet they still cannot seem to shed the pounds. There could be a couple of reasons for this. True, a person could have a genetic issue – there are a variety of genetic issues that can make harder for a person to shed fat – but these genetic conditions are rare and it is far more likely that it is an issue with your diet or exercise, so let’s explore some of these issues a bit more in-depth.

1) You’re doing the wrong kind of exercise

Sure, you may be exercising regularly, but are you doing the right kind of exercise? While cardio is an important part of any good exercise regimen, cardio alone is not really the best way to go about burning fat. High-intensity interval training is probably the best way for people to burn fat. If you aren’t familiar with high-intensity interval training, it’s an exercise regimen wherein a person alternates between high-intensity exercises (like sprinting or squatting) for a small period of time and then switches to a lighter exercise for a small period.

A Zumba fitness classes alternates between high intensity tracks and lower intensity. Perhaps you need to try working out even HARDER during the higher tracks with full confidence that you will get a lower intensity part coming up. Have faith in the program.

STRONG by Zumba is a great addition to your regular Zumba classes. It is a high intensity interval training workout driven by the science of Synced Music Motivation. Using your own body weight, you will gain muscular endurance, tone, and definition, and you will experience an increased afterburn which helps with fat loss.

2) You aren’t cutting enough calories out of your diet

When you really break it down, losing fat is a simple process of calories in, calories out. The problem comes when people try to figure out just exactly how many calories they need to cut. You need to be careful when cutting calories. If you do not cut enough, you will not end up shedding enough fat, but if you cut too much, then you will not have enough energy to exercise regularly! Generally, you should aim to burn about 500 more calories than you consume each day. If you haven’t already gotten one of the many calorie tracking apps out there, you should get one immediately.

3) You’re not getting enough sleep

This may seem like an odd reason to be retaining fat, but believe it or not, sleep deprivation can really set back your weight loss efforts. There are two reasons for this. First off, sleep deprivation causes issues with the two hormones in your body that are responsible for controlling hunger (they are called ghrelin and leptin), which means you will be hungrier than you normally would be. Secondly, sleep deprivation causes your body to store more fat than it would under normal circumstances.

The truth is, sometimes you can be doing everything “right” and still struggle to see results. Remember, give it time! And don’t forget that you may actually be gaining kilos on the scale thanks to muscle, not fat!

March 23, 2017

How HIIT Style Training Improves Fat Loss

If you’ve read just about any fitness blog, magazine or website in recent years, then you’ll likely have come across HIIT.

HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training.

Sprinting at maximum heartrate for a short period of time and then switching to a slower form of exercise for a couple of minutes to recover before starting the whole cycle again.

This type of training is all the rage because it is known to burn more calories in less time when compared with steady state cardio.

HITT: High Intensity Tempo Training

Recently you have heard me talking about STRONG by Zumba, High Intensity Temp Training (HITT). The difference is that instead of focusing on time, it focuses on the music (tempo). You have a recharge sessions that give you the break you need to keep going. The best part is the music is synced perfectly to the movements that you don’t even realise you are working out!

But why is HIIT style training so effective? How does it work? What makes it so special?

What Happens When You Push it Hard

When you engage in HIIT, you start out by pushing hard and going at or near to your maximum heart rate. This is what makes all the difference. You are now you are depleting your body of all of its readily available energy in order to drive those fast twitch muscle fibers. This is anaerobic training (short-lasting, high-intensity activity, where your body’s demand for oxygen exceeds the oxygen supply available).

After this, you then switch to your regular exercise at around 70% of your maximum heart rate. This is a steady pace that you can maintain. It burns fat using the aerobic system and that allows you to recover and reduce the lactate and other metabolites that build up in your blood during intensive exercise.

Welcome to After Burn

Steady state cardio is normally something you can maintain for a long time before you start to tire out. This is why a lot of people will exercise by dance fitness, such as Zumba at a steady pace for 60 minutes.

If you do this after having done high intensity training however, you will be running at a point when you have very little available energy in your muscles and in your blood. When all the glycogen has been used up, you have to rely even more on fat in order to keep going. Your body becomes more efficient at burning fat. Awesome huh!

But this isn’t even the best bit. What’s so good about HIIT is that this after burn effect continues for hours after you finish training. You’re now going about your usual activities with less glycogen. This means you’ll burn more fat even to do regular things like picking up a fork, or walking across the room!

Athletic Benefits

HIIT is also great for other reasons. For starters, the explosive nature of the training means that you’re involving your fast twitch muscle fibers. This means that you’ll release more anabolic hormones like growth hormone, leading to more growth (or in other words – muscles!!).

Another benefit of HIIT is that it improves your energy efficiency. Because you’re pushing your cells to make energy more quickly, they become better at doing just that! This improves your health, fitness and athletic performance across the board!

So now you know the benefits of STRONG BY ZUMBA

So now you know even more about the benefits of HIIT style training! All you need to do is come along to a STRONG by Zumba class at ZCLUB and give it a go in a super fun, safe and friendly environment.

STRONG classes are held every Thursday night at 6pm at Main St Hall. For the complete class timetable click on this link.

We hope to see you there!

Katie Joy

January 9, 2017

Steps to Confidence

Building confidence is a necessary exercise for many of us. If self-confidence does not come naturally, building it up takes deliberate, conscious effort. While no step-by-step program is perfect, I’ve put together some steps that may help you build up your sense of confidence.


Write them down. Make a list of your goals, long and short term, and then below each goal write the steps it will take to get there. For example, if one of your goals is to lose weight right down the steps to achieve. It might go something like this:

Lose Weight

a. Wake up and drink 500ml of water
b. Walk or jog around the block for 20mins every day
c. Join ZCLUB Free Classes Plan and commit to 3-5 Fitness classes per week
d. Choose a healthy breakfast to eat everyday (after exercise)
e. Remove sweets and high sugar food from the house
f. Make a meal plan and grocery list
g. Commit to ‘x’ period of time

But whether it’s wight, relationships, business ventures, or self-improvement, writing your goals and their necessary steps can make those goals much less formidable and much more doable. That alone helps you feel more confident in moving forward.

Stop Comparing

While it’s good to have aspirations toward self-improvement, constantly comparing yourself the those who have achieved what you desire can get discouraging. For example, if you’d like to be a Zumba Instructor and get up on stage, speak confidently on the microphone and lead a group of people, you might be inspired by your favourite instructor or someone else who has achieved that goal. Remember that being inspired by them is fine, but your journey is yours alone.

Build a Positive Self-Image

It seems that when you are just certain you are going to fail before you try something, you are more likely to fail when you do try it. If you have a negative self-image and think you just can’t achieve anything, it’s likely that you won’t – thus underscoring this false impression about yourself. Stop listening to the negative inner voice and instead tell yourself that you can achieve your goals and, even if you fail, it’s not because you are a bad person or because you didn’t try.

Get to Know Yourself

This means spending some quiet time thinking or writing in a journal – some quiet time by yourself in which you assess your strengths, weaknesses, and personality. What are your character traits? What quirks and talents do you have? Pretend like you are being interviewed and that the interviewer is trying to get to know you. What questions would they ask?

Turn off the Media

That means shutting down your phone or computer NOW …hehehe
For a while, it might be good to turn off your devices and unplug for a while.

Go grab your journal and start reflecting.

I have put together a goal setting planner for. You can even download it Questions for You and get started towards creating a more confident you.

September 18, 2015

DietBet – a fun way to lose weight !!


Starting after the school holidays bet US$15 (AU$21) to loose 4% of your body weight!

All contestants entries go into a POT & the total is divided by the WINNERS!! I’m the only entry so far!!! Hope you join me on the challenge !


I have always hovered on the “overweight” side of the spectrum, rather than “underweight”. I think I’m like most people when it comes to food & believe our biggest problem is likely to be portion size. I’ve never been into fizzy drink or potato chips, but rather the bread, chocolate, milk, cheese type 😉

The best shape I’ve been in was 56kgs (163cm in height) when I lived in Bolivia and practiced Capoeria, a Brasilain Martial Art, for over 2 hours a day. I admit!! I was obsessed !!

Exercise is what keeps me in shape and I know if I stop, I would put on a few kilos. My biggest hurdle was after pregnancy when I would have well over 20kgs to loose! I know, I know!!! My body just loves to store fat! I think because it’s hard to monitor how much weight we put on during pregnancy versus how much is baby… Add the fact that exercise intensity generally decreases, it dosnt make a good combination. I’ve had 3 pregnancies and every time I have been faced with a MASSIVE weight loss to feel like myself again.

Sometimes a few kilos creep back on…. So I thought this DietBet would be a Fun and Social way to stay focused and drop those creepy kilos. I think we all really kind of “know” what to do, but we just don’t feel motivated to do it. Eat vegetables and fruit, stay away from sugar, processed foods and monitor carbs.

So if you would like to shed a few kilos in a social and fun way….please join me on the DietBet! You will be made accountable over the 4 weeks and it might be the kick up the booty you need, just before Christmas 😉

Just remember how great it feels to squeeze into that dress or jeans we always look longingly at in the cupboard 😉

love, bubbles and smiles,

Katie Joy xxx