She has appeared as Angel on Gladiators, had a regular segment on The Circle, and is also a Taekwondo instructor, a corporate speaker and journalist. She can currently be seen as one of the trainers on Australia’s The Biggest Loser on Channel 10.
Briefly describe your approach to weight loss and why you think it works so well?
My approach to weight loss is a mind, body and spirit take that focuses on mental health and emotional fitness, as well as physical results. Being a Weightloss Warrior is about learning how to react, controlling your reaction to food choices, as well as to emotional turmoil, stress and activity. Today more than ever, we are constantly assailed by toxic food, toxic people and toxic environments. I believe my approach works well long term because Weightloss Warriors empower themselves through quality choices and don’t guilt themselves into binge exercising or extreme fasting. A warrior makes conscious choices—understanding how each will affect their metabolism, their hormones and their happiness. They don’t beat themselves up over stray kilos or unrealistic goals and they never exercise out of guilt or shame themselves into deprivation. And they certainly don’t mindlessly follow a fad diet, someone else’s grueling training regime, or allow others to dictate a course of action without listening to their own body!
If you had to specifically nominate a type of woman that Weightloss Warrior is perfect for, who would that be? This could be in terms of her lifestyle, the type of dieter she is, the body type she has now or wishes to achieve in the future.
Anyone. No matter how old, active or unmotivated. It’s not a quick strip, but in saying that, you don’t have to lose 5kg five times over. This is a permanent, healthy weight loss philosophy and mindset that keeps the journey of flushing fat fun! What’s the point of transforming your life if you can’t enjoy the process?! No shakes, starvation or cardio crunching. Trust me! The recipes are sensible, the food and exercise manageable. This is weight loss forever.
If you had to nominate the top five tips for losing/maintaining weight using your approach what would they be? This could be a huge question so, to narrow it down, maybe think about the answers to a few of these questions:
a. What’s the absolute 2-3 most important things?
Eat naked. I eat naked all the time. My contestants on The Biggest Loser all ate naked and we got the winner! Eating naked means eating foods that are not dressed up in packaging. You don’t have to deprive yourself or cut foods out, you’ve just got to eat nude food. It’s a simple choice.
Water. We have to be careful not to become dehydrated and mistaken our thirst for hunger. We often mistaken our thirst for hunger and go searching for food. Our bodies are more sensitive to hunger than thirst so we have to make sure we don’t ‘drink our food,’ but drink when we’re thirsty and eat when we’re hungry. We have to be conscious to drink athletically. Measure your water intake and try to hit one or two liters a day. If you are dehydrated you shut down your fat burning system!!
Hormone bootcamp. We can all get a bit fat and fluidy at times, so it’s great to give our metabolisms a bootcamp every now and then.
The aim is to keep your ‘hunger hormone’ ghrelin low and the ‘I’m full’ hormone leptin high. To keep hunger low, eat lots of greens that are rich in water to fill you up. Dig into omega-3s for healthy brain and immune system and to keep the ‘I’m full’ hormone high start your day with a big breakfast then protein punch each meal there after so that you feel full for longer: yoghurt for breakfast, beans for lunch, cottage cheese for a snack, grilled salmon for dinner.
b. What’s the thing people are always surprised to be asked to do in your approach?
NO DIET! DIET IS A SWEARWORD! AND EXERCISE LESS! Exercise only accounts for 20% of how you look, eating healthy is 80%.
c. What do you have to change about the diet of most people you see?
Cutting out alcohol and sugar—the two nasties that promote fat storage!
My weightloss warriors on The Biggest Loser eat according to our warrior code: NO INVISIBLE FAT—sugar. Sugar is invisible fat in your body. Your body has an inbuilt detector to tell your brain when it has had too much fat, but it doesn’t have this detection system for sugar. Humans are the only mammal that gets obese and it’s not because of fat, it’s because we wipe ourselves out with sugar. Sugar temporarily increases blood pressure (for extra thinking) and blood sugar (for extra energy) and suppresses the body’s immune system. This sugar high SHUTS DOWN fat burn.
d. What food/exercise/lifestyle change do you ask everyone to make?
Find the right ‘fit’ for you. Ditch an indoor coffee catch up for a walk outside. Some people love the gym but it’s not the best fit for me – I prefer outside and ninja action. Get out, get active. Join a running group, drag your gym equipment outside, create a walking bus to school with the kids, take an active family holiday, bootcamps and group exercise outdoors are a fantastic way to get some healthy vitamin D and improve your health and fitness.
e. What do you think the biggest mistake is when people are trying to do lose weight and how does your approach tackle that?
Fad diets are swear words! Women often think starving will help them lose weight, but starving shuts down the metabolism. When you eat more food, more often you will lose weight. Try my 1-second ninja diet and make the split second decision now to go off all fad diets FOREVER! Imagine having a ninja on your side to fight your fat for you. You do! Your metabolism. The metabolism is made up of a delicate chemistry of hormones. When these hormones get out of whack, we put on weight. If you regulate your hormones through eating the right foods at the right time, your metabolism will do the hard work for you. The metabolism is like a muscle that needs training. You need to train your insides first, outside next.
f. If people do nothing else from your approach, what’s the one non-negotiable thing to take on?
WATER: Your greatest weightloss warrior weapon is the most popular product on the diet market. It suppresses appetite, improves strength, increases speed, helps you lose stubborn fat, improves your complexion, keeps you alert, beats tiredness and helps you sleep well. It’s your armor and your ammunition in the battle for good health and you’ll never conquer the scales without it—and it’s free!
g. What’s your favourite weight loss tip ever?
Listen to your body. Don’t be a fitness soldier, be a Weightloss Warrior. Don’t compare yourself to others. Make every day your best day, and take it one step at a time.
Weight loss is a life long commitment. It’s not a fad diet that you go on or off. Health, like a martial art, is a discipline. You don’t earn your black belt over night but have to start at the beginning as a white belt beginner and work towards self-mastery. A black belt body only comes with commitment.
You have to learn how to listen to your body. When you listen to your body, you can control your appetite. I do Taekwondo to control my appetite. When you do martial arts you become incredibly aware of the mind/body connection. You have to train the mind to train the body. We often overeat, use food as an anesthetic, antidepressant, for comfort because we have lost touch with our inner selves. When you are tuned in you can better feel your appetite, respond to your body, know what your body needs, how to care for yourself and ask the important question; am I hungry or am I hurting? I find this connection through martial arts. Others find it through yoga, meditation, pilates or whatever it is. Getting ya Zen on is just as important as getting ya ninja on!
Home/Hotel Ninja Exercises from Tiffiny Hall’s Gym of Life:
Shopping bags: Fill shopping bags with heavy items and perform the following exercises. Tip: avoid plastic bags! Or just carry one bag in from the car at a time after you do a supermarket run.
- Bicep milk curls : Bicep curls with one litre milk bottles, held from the handle. If you are out of milk you could use rice containers, phone books, candle sticks, discarded bricks or even a ream of paper.
- Sports bag: Fill a sports bag with heavy items. If you don’t have a sports bag yet, fill up a mop bucket with water.
- Bedroom boxing: Boxing with a partner using bedroom pillows as bags .
- Water bottle get ups: Fill 4L water bottles use as weights for various exercises.
- Chair dips: Advance the exercise by placing a heavy coffee table book in your lap.
- Fridge push ups: Lean up against the fridge and push yourself away from it.
- Couch kicks: With hands on the arm of the coach, kick one leg out at a time. Diamond push ups on back of couch.
- Laundry basket lifts : Lift the laundry basket above your head.
- Ab ad breaks: work your abs every commercial break.
- Swivel-chair push and pulls: On bended knee roll the chair out as far as you can then snap it back for a core work out.
- Marching dishes: March on the spot whilst doing the dishes.
- Close line laps: Walk ten laps of the close line whilst listening to your favourite book on tape or podcast.
- Letterbox laps: Jog twelve laps from your house to the letterbox.
- Tele chubby workouts in ad breaks with phone books
- Phone fat blast: Walk laps of the hallway whilst you talk to a friend.
- Domestic fitness: Vacuum with a full backpack to ad resistance. Wax on, wax off window washing. Ditch the mop and wash the floor with two wet towels—make your feet scrub. Hang out the washing with squat jumps instead of bending from your back.
What an average 70kg woman will burn off being a health ninja:
- Walking up stairs with one heavy item for twenty minutes = 210 calories (40g raw nuts)
- Letter box laps = 163 calories (one Tim Tam)
- Squats with household item = 210 calories (two sushi tuna rolls)
- Biceps curls with household item = 105 calories (one glass of wine)
- Marching dishes = 93 calories (120g spaghetti bolognaise)
- Running up stairs = 230 calories (one slice of Hawaiian pizza)
- Walking up stairs = 186 calories (50g of Camembert cheese)
- Hill climbs = 186 calories (two pieces of white bread)
- Walking whilst carrying baby 7kg = 93 calories (one cup of orange juice)
- Walking on treadmill at 6.5km/hr whilst watching TV = 700 calories (one bowl of ice cream)
- Clothes line laps at a brisk pace = 340 calories (half a croissant)
- Punching whilst holding a household item = 440 calories (one muffin)
- Couch kicks = 310 calories (one chocolate bar) • Martial arts = 700 calories (Burns two large bowls of fries!)
- Dining room dips = 105 calories (one cup of chocolate milk)
- Vacuuming with a full backpack = 200 calories (one full cream milk latte)
For more info on Tiffiny, visit her website at: http://www.tiffinyhall.com.au/
You can purchase her book, Weightloss Warrior: How to Win the Battle Within, at bookstores around Australia, or here on Booktopia: