Blog | Leah Itsines

What Does BARE Mean?
What Does BARE Mean?
Probably a question that I get most often (apart from how to roll the perfect yiros haha) is What Does BARE Mean? Does it stand for something? Why did I start it? and Leah, how do I pronounce it?! If you've been curiously wondering, here's a short definition of what BARE is and why we have so many women living and breathing it.   BARE AcronymSounds the same as pronouncing the name of the animal, bear B.A.R.E standing for Balanced And Realistic Eating You guys know me well enough by now to know that I come from a big Greek family where food is EVERYTHING. As I grew older, I questioned more and more why more women chose not to enjoy a variety of food like what we did in our family. Somewhere along the way, women were told cooking was either an over-complicated form of art with 35 ingredients and requiring a university degree in flavour;  or that you could only prepare 3 very lonely ingredients, steamed, without a pinch of salt in sight.... forever. Eating healthy doesn’t need to be complicated or boring, because the truth is that both ways are unrealistic for the vast majority of us. So I wondered why is it that most eating regimes are trying to tell women to follow these kinds of harsh rules?  What happens to those of us that just want to eat good food and not have to think about absolutely every "bad" that's going into it. And those of us that just want to live and enjoy life? To be completely present in those special moments with our partners, our kids, our dog, our goldfish... whoever.. what happens to those of us trying to naturally live our lives AND eat healthily? BARE simply is about choosing ingredients that are realistic for you to cook with, in recipes that are realistic for you to love, and CONTINUE to love throughout your life. BARE is all about teaching women HOW to enjoy a nutritionally balanced and healthy relationship with food, without any restrictions. I never cut out any carbs, cut out any fats, or sugars.. because realistically speaking.. it isn't a regime that's maintainable for the majority of us. All of our guides, including BARE Lean, contain recipes from burgers and curries, to pancakes and banana bread. Each recipe is nutritionally balanced, quick, easy, and most importantly, written alongside a dietitian to ensure you're getting all the macronutrients your body needs. And also.. just sayin.. all the Greek-inspired recipes are approved by YiaYia.. so you tell me if that ain't some proof!! 😜   Simple philosophy? Yes. Applicable to everyone? Absolutely. Am I on a beautiful mission to show women how easy and maintainable it is to eat alongside these principles? YOU BETCHA.     I am always here with you every step of the way. I actually follow my own guides as well. So if at any time you want to chat about which BARE Guide is right for you, reach out to me here! Find out about BARE Lean here and how it can help you on your journey to feeling leaner, fitter, stronger and more confident in life!   Love always,Leah xx    
7 Steps To A PERFECT Grazing Board
7 Steps To A PERFECT Grazing Board
You guys know that I love a good grazing platter, but even more I love BUILDING a good grazing platter. Since the holiday season is approaching, if you're curious to learn step-by-step how I build my platters, then keep on reading because I'm about to show you EXACTLY how I do it in 7 Steps! 😍     What You'll Need: - A good sized board- Small bowls and/or plates- Fruits that have different colours- Dips- Olives- Cheese (at least 3-4 types of cheeses)- Cold Meats of different shapes, sizes, colour variations- Biscuits/Crackers/Bread Sticks- Small fruits, nuts, grapes, dates, dried fruit, etc. Anything that will help fill gaps to make the platter look fuller!           Step 1: Choose Your Board & Small Bowls You first need a large board - wooden is my favourite! I always use plates or bowls on top of my board to give it height and a little extra fancy-ness. Set them where you want them and get ready to build around them!         Step 2: Add Your Fruit Cut up your fruit into single-serve chunks/slices and place them at either end of your board. Doing this will help you to frame your board and give some really great colour to the whole board!         Step 3: Add Dips & Olives You want to find dips with the most colour, but also dips that will be most popular for your guests! For example, I like to use guacamole and tzatizki in my household since they are always a HUGE hit. And olives... a DEFINITE must. Sometimes I even get different types, some green, some black, some marinated. Depends what you think your guests will love!         Step 4: Add Your Cheeses Make sure you choose at least 3-4 cheeses for some variety in taste, texture AND appearance! For something a little extra fancy, I like to cut into mine (see the Brie!) to make it look a little more rustic. It also invites guests to cut into a cheese themselves, rather than holding onto that little inner-fear at the beginning of 'cutting the first slice' of a fresh board!         Step 5: Add Your Cold Meats I always like to go with Salami, Ham and Kabana as a base, and then if you're wanting a little more, you could do some Smoked Salmon, Prosciutto, etc. I always tell the person at the deli that I'd like the slices thin BUT also that they're for a grazing platter so I need to be able to roll them and have them not fall apart! They will usually always know how to slice it perfectly 😊 Once you've taken them home, you can keep the slices whole or cut them in half.. you can roll them, fold them, twist them.. any shape that you like that is easy for people to grab!         Step 6: Add Your Crackers Put your biscuits/crackers/bread sticks into bowls and in any spots that you can see the bottom of the board. The aim here is to fill in some of those gaps! If you're placing them on the board, you can get creative on how you want them to look as well! You can pile them up, fan them out in a straight line or even a curved line.. anything you like!       Step 7: Add Your Fillers Anything small and easy to scatter around will be your most helpful fillers at this point! Strawberries and passionfruit halves are my go-to favourite fillers because of how bright and cheerful they look! But you can seriously use anything as fillers! Whatever you choose as your fillers, start filling in those last few gaps with them!        And there you have it! Your VERY OWN grazing board in 7 simple steps! 🎉 Can't wait to see how you get down with your grazing boards! Every creation has their own flair and look about them.. which is what makes them all so unique and so amazing!   Happy grazing! Leah xx    
Top 10 BARE Lean Recipes On A Budget
Top 10 BARE Lean Recipes On A Budget
If you've taken a scroll through the BARE Lean guide, you'll notice that once you buy your staple ingredients, cooking on a budget (ie. getting the best bang for your buck) can be SUPER easy. But which recipes are the BEST of the best to whip up when you're on a budget you ask? Here are my TOP 10 budget-friendly meals from BARE Lean! 🔽 BREAKFASTS Blueberry Oatmeal  Page 39 Made using frozen blueberries, the Blueberry Oatmeal is a great one to make when you're on a budget. Buying fresh berries can get SUPER expensive, so it's nice to get that berry flavour without breaking the budget!   Peanut Butter On Toast Page 54 Made from simple, easy ingredients that you very likely already buy or already own! SUPER budget friendly, and who doesn't love peanut butter?!     SNACKS Dips & Veggies Page 67 These dips can be made in bulk which makes them really easy on the pocket since you don't have to buy tiny quantities and you can make one dip to last you the whole week! And they are ESPECIALLY great because the Roast Capsicum Dip and Spicy Butter Bean Dip can be FROZEN, making it EVEN EASIER to make in bulk!     Pumpkin Soup Page 77 Oh my goodness do I LOVE a good pumpkin soup. SO GOOD because they are packed with so many VEGGIES!! Plus the other ingredients are things you'll likely already have in your pantry AND you can make these in bulk, freeze in individual portions, and then just take them out when you need them! How amazing is that!!       Mocha Bliss Balls Page 73 If you haven't tried the Mocha Bliss Balls yet then you are seriously missing out! These are SO yum, and they only cost $4.60 AUD for the ENTIRE BATCH!! Plus they freeze SO well.. again making it really easy to buy in bulk, make in bulk, and then keep in the freezer for whenever you're ready for them! If you're not already a BARE Lean user, this recipe is available FOR FREE inside our 7 day BARE Lean Trial! Click here to sign up!       MAIN MEALS Caprese Pasta Salad Page 90 This is a really really easy dish to make with simple, fresh ingredients! And the ingredients for the dressing you very likely will already have in your pantry! The recipe uses cherry tomatoes, but if they're expensive where you are, you can always use regular tomatoes instead. EXTRA SAVER: If you have a little herb garden at home, home grown basil makes this dish even more cost savvy!       Roast Vegetable & Grain Salad Page 139 This salad is packed with ALL the goodies, and the best part is that they are basically ALL vegetables! Recipes with mostly vegetables are AMAZING because you can weigh them at the store and just buy what you need for your meal. You can also cook and freeze the vegetables for this recipe and keep them in the freezer, ready for you to defrost when you want to make it again! Quinoa really expensive where you are? That's okay! You can swap in whatever grain you already have at home or for a grain that's cheaper where you are!       Pork Salad & Pita Chips Page 134 This is a REALLY easy recipe to whip up and really kind to the pocket as well! This recipe is mostly just veg and meat! And if pork is too expensive where you are, you can absolutely swap for another meat! I just love making this because I can really easily marinate the meat and then pop them in the freezer in their portions.. making it SUPER practical to not have to buy meat in smaller quantities when they're at their most expensive!       Meatballs In Spanakorizo Page 126 The Meatballs In Spanakorizo... oh my. This dish is all kinds of heart-warming GOODNESS. And even better for YOU because it goes such a long way!! You can swap the meat around to suit your budget if beef mince is a more pricier option. But after you buy the meat, it's mostly just pantry staples and veggies! How easy is that!!       Tuna Bean Salad Page 146 This Tuna Bean Salad is seriously one of my FAVOURITES because it is so damn easy to whip up, and really easy on the pocket as well! Canned beans are really cheap to buy, and tinned tuna can be purchased in handy 5 packs which makes this recipe even more cost efficient! You can also swap the grain for one you already have in your pantry or one that's cheaper for you! Super versatile and easy to whip up on a budget.     So there you have it... my Top 10 BARE Lean recipes on a budget! All our recipes are super easy to make swaps to, so you can customise and accomodate for ingredients that may be more cost savvy for you wherever you are in the world! (and quite often I do the same!) I hope this helps you to make use of our most budget-friendly recipes in BARE Lean, and to also draw inspiration from on how YOU can make the other recipes more budget friendly! Leah xx
How To Multiply BARE Lean Recipes!
How To Multiply BARE Lean Recipes!
Multiplying your recipes for the week's meal prep? Getting the whole family on board? Or is it you can't keep your toddlers hands off your plate long enough to finish your BARE Lean meal? HAHA HOW AMAZING!! 😄 It is SO much easier to build healthy habits when the whole family gets involved or when you're able to cook meals in advance! But since most of the recipes in BARE Lean are serves for 1, there's a unique way to multiply the recipes so it's not a flavour overload by the time you've finished multiplying! So here's how to get it done...     Start with simple multiplying To make your BARE Lean recipes serve multiple portions, you'll of course need to multiply the quantities of the ingredients by the number of serves you want to make. For example, x 2 for two serves, x 4 for four serves and so on. BUT BEWARE!! There are some staple ingredients in recipes that you won't need to increase as much as others!   Pay close attention to the flavourful ingredients!! How you adjust your flavourful ingredients will take a little personal judgement while you're cooking. These are ingredients like onion, garlic, oil, stock, dressings, sauces, marinades and spices... as all of these ingredients INCREASE flavour! So you need to be careful that these ingredients aren’t over-used!   So this is what to do.. Let's say you're multiplying a recipe by 4. First you'll start by multiplying the main ingredients by 4 (the ingredients without the sauces, marinades, spices, etc). Then, multiply your flavourful ingredients, like the dressings, sauces marinades, spices, etc... by 2. Start cooking or assembling your dish and let the flavours infuse. After this point you'll want to do a taste-test of your meal. It may be absolutely spot on! But if it isn't, that's okay! You can just adjust those flavourful ingredients accordingly from there 😊   All the information you need and MORE on Page 47 of your BARE Lean Resources document 🙌🏼   Happy cooking!Leah xx  
What In The WORLD Is A Calorie Deficit?! & Why Is It SO Important For Weight Loss?
What In The WORLD Is A Calorie Deficit?! & Why Is It SO Important For Weight Loss?
An energy deficit or calorie deficit (the same thing, just different wording!) are terms that seem to be popping up EVERY WHERE when it comes to losing weight, and with good reason since it's so important for us to know! But since it's definition can be pretty scientific, I get some EXTREMELY puzzled looks and awkward "i'm soooo not understanding this" 😬 smiles whenever I try to explain what it is and why it's SO essential for weight loss. So... sans all the scientific-talk... here is the EASIEST definition of what an energy deficit is, why it's SO important and HOW IT HELPS YOU lose weight! 💪🏼💪🏼   What Is An Energy Deficit? For us to understand this, let's start by understanding that any weight change in your body is from a change in your body's energy balance! What does that mean exactly? Let's take a look..     This is a visual representation of what our energy balance would look like IF we were in an energy deficit. It's a little more complex of course, but at the end of every day, our body calculates the difference between what we consume from food and drink, and compares it to the energy that our body uses. The aim is to tip the balance.. so to achieve an energy deficit, we need to be USING/BURNING more energy (through exercise and movement) than we are CONSUMING (through food and drink). If we don't tip the scales at all and it stays level, our body will remain at its current weight (in maintenance), or if we consume MORE than we use, our body will gain weight (by being in an energy surplus). So by exercising more and eating smart, we can achieve this energy deficit (yay!), but what happens when we tip the scales TOO much in that deficit?   What Crazy S**t Happens When The Deficit Is Too Much? Look, by the definition of an energy deficit, it's seems easy to assume that if we eat EVEN LESS and exercise EVEN MORE.. that we would be able to lose that pesky weight even quicker... right? ... RIGHT?? Eeeek.... not so right!  Sure, in the short term that weight is going to drop off quicker than a hot potato, but you will feel fatigued, hungry and feel like you're being too restrictive (SO unsustainable!). But the instant you begin to eat normally, or in a healthy, less aggressive deficit.. the weight will bounce back, you'll find yourself unable to sustain the weight loss long term, and could very likely fall into a habit of yo-yoing! Just think about being exhausted, fatigued and hungry eating crazy low 1200 calorie diets every day, PLUS exercising with tough workouts twice a day, every day, for the rest of your life. Because that's what it would take to keep that quick weight-loss off 😶  Not sustainable (or enjoyable) AT ALL IN THE SLIGHTEST!! The best thing about my weight loss journey is that I've enjoyed every single bit! I've enjoyed the challenges, enjoyed the progress and felt like it was something I could do long term.  So what, then, can we do to make sure we're setting ourselves up to achieve an energy deficit that's safe, won't bounce back or make us miserable?   How To Achieve A HEALTHY Energy Deficit First things first, let's touch on the fact that since we're talking about energy (calories) here, we need to know that while 1 calorie = 1 calorie, all calories are not equal in quality! Let's look at a typical biscuit versus an apple. Same calories, but entirely different nutritional value!! The biscuit has unhealthy fats, sugars, and not much else that really serves the body. Whereas an apple has fibre, vitamins and antioxidants (to name a few). We always need to make sure we're paying attention to the nutritional quality of our food as well.. Not just for our overall health, but also so we avoid things like sugar crashes and those slumps in energy that are caused from eating foods lacking in nutritional quality. Not to say I'm against biscuits (because that's absolutely not the case!).. but it IS important to note the difference! With BARE Lean being individually tailored to the person completing it, the headache of figuring out a sustainable and achievable energy deficit has all been done FOR you. BARE Lean isn't another low-calorie, numbers-focused or restrictive diet. We created and portioned ALL the BARE Lean recipes to meet your daily energy (calorie) requirements. So while eating from the guide and pairing that with at least 30 minutes of planned exercise 5 times per week, you and I both know that you're going to be in a realistic and sustainable energy deficit for your body! There's nothing worse than putting in the hard work, only to realise that the unrealistic program with the crazy deficit was putting you WAY too harsh of a deficit, causing more problems for you and having the weight bounce back super quick! 😯 Another thing to keep in mind to achieve a healthy energy deficit is to focus on what kind of exercise you're doing throughout the day! There is the energy we burn from our planned exercise, like from a gym class or a run, and then there is the energy we burn from non-exercise activity (NEAT), like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, gardening, cleaning, doing a little dance while cleaning haha, and so on. Incorporating BOTH into your week is the best thing you can do for your journey and the overall energy deficit! Tips on how to increase your NEAT here!  The BARE principles are (and always will be) about those LONG-TERM results to help you achieve a healthy mindset in LIFE above anything else! Knowledge is power, and we should absolutely understand why we're doing the things we do... but getting stuck on calories or energy deficits shouldn't be taking our attention away from our journey at all.. that's why we (Team BARE) work SO hard to do it all for you! So your day can just be about loving and enjoying your life 🥰🥰   SO glad to have you ladies on this journey with me! LOVE ALWAYS, Leah xx
Leah Itsines meal prepping breakfasts in her home kitchen in Adelaide, South Australia
How To Make Meal Prepping Work For YOU
Are you feeling a little overwhelmed with every single 'Meal Prep' post on social media right now? SO many people are.. you're not alone! And guess what... I used to feel overwhelmed by it too!  Every single night, Mitch and I would argue on what we felt like for dinner...and this conversation would go "yes, no...no... whatever I don’t mind...well what do you feel like?? You're not even helping!!" and that merry go round of a conversation would start at around 5:30pm when we finished work, and we'd finally be off to the store at 6:15pm, only to start dinner late and stress cook. I hated this, but I really, really didn't want to meal prep and eat out of a container. It all seemed too overwhelming for me, and I'm not a person who loves pre-cooked foods 2 or 3 days later, it's just not something that I love (my friends however, LOVE doing this!).  So, I had to think, how can I make meal prep work for me and my life/situation?  Firstly, let's get down to what I think meal prep is and what we 'think' it is. I think people believe it's ONLY for people who want to eat pre-cooked meals.. like cooking every one of their meals from scratch, having a LOAD of Tupperware containers AND being organised enough to have all the lids.....THIS ISN'T REALISTIC (I mean the lids bit.. literally no one is that organised hahaha).  Do you want to know what I believe? I believe that meal prep is whatever you can do in the kitchen to help you prepare for the week ahead. This can be anything from organising your meal planner, cleaning out your fridge, cleaning your kitchen, chopping a few veggies, making a few marinades  - it does NOT have to be as extensive as cooking every single meal.. but it CAN be (if that’s what suits you). So here are my 3 BIG TIPS that I use myself to make meal prepping work like a charm in my kitchen. Then I'm going to show you exactly what I did last weekend that made my meal prep super simple & completely stress free!   1. Slow It Down & Take It All In This is one for anyone who’s got any of my BARE Guides – this is so important! Taking your time to really look at the information, soak up all the knowledge, read through the recipes and understand how it all works can make a world of difference for your stress. I always point people in the direction of the resources because they are your best help when it comes to information that can help you along your journey. For example, BARE Lean has pages 31 and 31 dedicated to the most frequently asked questions about meal prep, and also has almost 10 pages worth of cooking resources to help when you’re in the kitchen. Start here, take it slow, take notes if you need. Make it work for you and how you’d like to move forward with meal prep.   2. Don’t Let It Consume You & Break Up The Effort One thing I wanted to keep for meal prep was my weekends! I first tried to meal prep everything on a Sunday, but found myself feeling like I was losing the last day of the weekend where I get to spend with Mitch or my family (or my cute little niece!).   Fridays: I meal plan, I write out all the meals I’d love and a shopping list to attach (usually it’s a very simple one, with just fresh fruit and meats). I love having the BARE Lean portal so that I can have two tabs open, my recipes and then the planners. I write my meals in the planner and do the shopping list at the same time – super easy! Saturdays: If I’ve forgotten to meal plan on Friday, I’ll do it Saturday morning haha! I then will go grocery shopping in the morning, come home and quickly throw everything into the fridge/away into the pantry and then call it a ‘future Leah problem’ and slowly back away from the kitchen (it works wonders haha).   Sundays: Sunday morning I’ll get up, quickly lightly prepare some of the recipes I’ll be making from Monday to Wednesday, or any of the foods that I’m making in bulk (i.e pasta sauces etc). Wednesdays: If I need to pop to the shops again for things I’ve forgotten or change of mind, then I’ll do it Wednesday after work! That way I can grab new ingredients, and prep anything I need to for Thursday, Friday and Saturday (but it’s no longer than 1 hour and I’ll do it while I’m waiting for dinner to cook, nothing special!)   3. Keep It Simple There is no need to have something different every single day, so don’t feel bad for having the same breakfast if you’re a creature of habit, or the same lunch/dinner. Again, it’s up to YOU! If you’re someone who doesn’t want a long cooked breakfast, choose a simple recipe like PB on toast (bare lean!) or something like an overnight oat, that you can prepare and leave in the fridge for a grab and go. Remember, whatever suits you!   My Go-To Strategy Last Weekend Okay so now we’ve got those fabulous tips out of the way, let’s get into what I did last weekend! Here is a screenshot of my planner..       As you can see, VERY simple breakfast, lunches and snacks. I do this because I’m typically at work, I don’t want to heat up food and I’m always in a rush in the morning so I don’t want to cook things – so this works absolutely perfect for me. As for dinner, I have something different every night but below you will see how I prep for those meals!   My Prep List: TUNA SALAD: Chop veggies (not tomatoes or anything ‘soft’) for salad. Get tuna cans and rice packets ready. BIRTHDAY CAKE SLICE: Make this into muffins, portion out 6 for the week and freeze the remaining for a grab and go next week or the week after. GLAZED PORK: Marinate meat. CHICKEN SCHNITZELS: Crumb chicken, if you can make in bulk – then do that! CARBONARA: Instead of chopping veg, I’ll pop all ingredients on a bowl, ready to be cut on the night (minimal effort here, but saves me rummaging through the fridge for ingredients! I don’t cut anything that’s more than 2-3 days because it’s hard to keep as fresh as possible (that doesn’t mean you have to do the same, it’s absolutely fine to cut for 4-5 days in advance, but I’d prefer to shorten that time). MONGOLIAN BEEF: Marinate Meats. Now, as you can see this is for Thursday – So I will marinate it and pop it in the freezer and take out Thursday morning. This isn’t necessary – but I don’t like leaving uncooked meats in the fridge for more than 2-3 days.   So as you can see, I’m not fully making anything! Just small, easy steps that will help me minimise time spent chopping and cleaning mess during the week, and way easier for me to get home and have a meal on the table in 20-30 minutes. THIS is why I love meal prep – because I found a way that it works for ME!   How Can You Apply It? Each time you look at your BARE Meal planner, just think ‘how could I make this meal eaiser for me to cook when it comes to dinner-time” – that way you can be less overwhelmed during the week, feel WAY more organised and then you can slowly slowly build on that momentum. OR, you can ditch any sort of meal prep all-together and just smash out every meal you like on a daily bases – you do YOU!   I hope this helps and gives you a small insight into how I make meal prep work for me, and that it helps you in the kitchen in the coming weeks! Don’t forget we have the BARE challenge coming up on November 2nd that you could put your new meal prep skills to good use! WOOO!! You can find more information about the challenge HERE.   LOVE LEAH XX      
Leah Itsines in her gym in Adelaide, South Australia
6 Ways To Mix Up Your Routine
We all know around weeks 4-6, a little mental hurdle pops up during ANY new regime. You're feeling a little bit unmotivated, a little bit bored, a little bit meh.. and trust me, I know this feeling 150%.  So what should you do when this happens? 🎉 SHAKE. THINGS. UP. 🎉 So here are my 6 BIG TIPS on how you can mix up your routine to feel MOTIVATED and FAB again on your journey! TIP 1:  Wake Up Earlier! No snoozing your alarm. Get up and get active earlier! Whether that's a workout first thing in the morning, or a neighbour hood walk while the sun rises.. you would not BELIEVE how good it will feel for your motivation!  And if being physically active first thing in the morning isn't for you.. that's okay! Try being mentally active instead! Have a morning cup of coffee or tea while the sun rises, read for half an hour before you get ready for work, anything you like! Sometimes the mind just needs a change of scenery or routine. Whether you're being active, or just taking some me-time in the morning, it will set up your whole day in a positive frame of mind and you will absolutely love it!! As well as waking up earlier, do your absolute best to get out of bed BEFORE you scroll through your phone (because we all know the deep hole you can fall into of watching peoples stories or aimlessly scrolling....1 hour later you're still doing it!) so jumping out of bed, getting changed and THEN you can check your phone.  TIP 2:  Try New Meals By this point you have probably picked your most comfortable-to-prep meals and have likely found yourself in a meal-prep rut. Like sometimes I go WEEKS really loving tuna.. so I end up with majority of my meals including tuna. Which is completely fine (ps. garlic and chilli tuna mixed is LIFE), but then I wonder why I get bored after 3-4 weeks of it hahaha!  You could be doing it without even realising it!! Are majority of your meals chicken, over other types of protein? Are you favouring a specific salad recipe because its easy and familiar? Are all your snacks protein balls because you made them in week 1 and you know they're tasty? Familiar territory is SUPER easy, but it can get BORING without even realising it's the reason why you're feeling bored! We are only human.. once we find a recipe we LOVE, we tend to stick to it.. But my suggestion? Let's mix it uuupppp! Try planning at least 1 day a week to try something completely out of your comfort zone. Your routine and motivation levels will thank you for it later.. and who knows, you may fall in love with a new recipe!! TIP 3:  Change Your Workouts If you're not enjoying your workouts or feeling a bit bored by them, now's a good time to try something new! You don't have to change your workout schedule every day, but once or twice a week try something completely new! You may even find you enjoy something you never knew you did! There are so many yoga studios, pilates studios or HIIT gyms that offer a low-cost (or even sometimes free!) trial period where you can try out their classes! Ask a friend to come along with you for an added bonus, or go solo and join in with people embarking on their own fitness journeys! Or if group-fitness isn't your thing, something as simple as scheduling a new environment for your workout could do the trick! A walk around the neighbourhood, a beach-walk in the morning or in the afternoon, a visit to a local park or grassed area for a solo BARE Lean workout... it could make all the difference to your mindset around your routine!   TIP 4:  Prepare, Be Organised and Re-Focus! This is a thing you can ABSOLUTELY control! Prepare and organise your meals for the week, and seriously become best friends with your freezer to help you get ahead of your nutrition plan! If you're feeling a little lack of motivation in the kitchen and meal prep in containers is your thing.. get some new prep containers (if you're an organised QUEEEEEN, colour coordinate those bad boys!) and JUST WATCH how ORGANISED and BOSS you feel to jump into a new week of healthy eating! I swear it's like the equivalent of buying new activewear or downloading a new playlist 😂💪🏼 Making an effort to re-focus is something that can be SO powerful too! TRY THIS! When you wake up in the morning, SAY to yourself 3 times what your goals and intentions are for the day ahead. Things like 'I will make choices to look after my body today' 'I will be kind with my thoughts today' 'I will go into today happy and motivated to make positive decisions!'. Physically saying or writing down a goal of ours in the morning makes us feel more committed to seeing it through! To the brain, thinking something, and saying something are 2 different things... we naturally don't like to do things that are OPPOSITE to what we say.. so verbally committing to our goals can really work to re-focus!! 😊 TIP 5:  Be More Active In Your Day We all know exercise releases endorphins to make you feel happier and more motivated, so why not take every op to get yourself moving or doing something other than sitting! There are SO MANY WAYS to increase your daily exercise. Some of which include taking the stairs instead of the elevator, park further from your office and walk, or even walk to work! Stand at your desk rather than sit. Walk to get your lunch, or walk around the block after you’ve eaten lunch. Do a little dance while you're doing the housework - it all counts!! Any way that you can get your body moving and releasing those feel-good endorphins! TIP 6:  Challenge Yourself With Something NEW! There is seriously NO BETTER WAY to mix up your routine than by getting involved in a fresh new challenge! Have you signed up for our BARE 6 Week Challenge yet?! Because nothing says 'motivation' like knowing you can win 1 of 7 HUGE prizes just for being on your journey to reaching your goals! It all going down on November 2nd and you are SO invited!! Find all the details here! I can't wait to see you all smashing some SERIOUS goals!Leah x
How SLEEP Can Affect Your Journey To Becoming Leaner!
How SLEEP Can Affect Your Journey To Becoming Leaner!
SLEEP IS SO UNDERRATED! Am I right? I'm one of those pretend old ladies who instead of socialising on a Saturday night, hop into bed at 8pm and am excited for the long night of sleep ahead haha!  Sleep is something I've always made sure to look after, but since starting my #bareleanjourney, it's become much for evident why it is so important!  Sleep is an important, yet typically overlooked part of a healthy lifestyle (and sometimes.... kids don't exactly make it an 'overlooked' situation - parents, I hear you!!).  Like nutrition and exercise, if sleep is neglected, it can have negative flow-on effects and has shown to influence weight gain, what we eat and how we exercise - and I can absolutely agree to this!  This week I've been struggling to get to sleep (yes, It was probably the late pre-workout or coffee at 8pm...but we're not in the blame business here...haha!) and it noticed each morning I would be reaching for a sugary snack which I knew would give me a quick hit of energy, and throughout the day I was hungrier, snakier and just all round more sluggish (which made me less excited to exercise).  So this week, I'm planning on putting sleep as a first priority (that doesn't sound so bad!) - and here are my top tips for you to do the same.  Let's get into it... 1) Get clear on your why Whenever you're trying to establish a new habit, it's important to understand your reasons behind it. These reasons give you more motivation and inspiration to make the desired change happen, because you recognise the positive impact it's going to have on your life. So first and foremost, why do you want to get more sleep? How will this impact your life, your health and happiness? How will you feel when you start getting more sleep? What in yourself and in your life will improve? Take time to note these answers down in your phone or in a journal, and visualise the positive impact. 2) Go backwards If you're struggling to workout what time you need to get to be and go to sleep, the best thing you can do is FIRST work out what time you want/need to wake up, and then go backwards from there. For instance... If you need to wake up at 6am then to get 8 hours sleep you want to be asleep by 10pm.  If you know it takes you 20 minutes to fall alseep (and this doesn't include time sitting on your phone or reading), then you know you need to be in bed by 9:40pm. And if you know it takes you 15 minutes to get ready for bed then you need to start brushing your teeth and washing your face by 9:25pm. You can easily continue to work backwards from here! You may want to add time for a shower or time to wind etc but knowing these times helps to give you clarity and organise your night time activities accordingly. 3) Set night alarms Everyone knows to set a morning alarm but do you know to set a night alarm? Night alarms are great for letting you know when it time to get ready for bed and also go to sleep. For instance... You may have an alarm go off at 8:40pm letting you know you have 20 minutes left until it's time to get ready for bed - this way you can begin to wrap up anything you're doing and not feel suddenly rushed later on in the night. Then at 9:00pm you'll have a second alarm telling you it's time to get ready for bed and enjoy some wind down time e.g. reading, meditating, a nice bath etc. Finally, at 9:40pm you'll have a final alarm to tell you it's time to turn lights off, put your phone a way, get comfy in bed and close your eyes. By setting these night alarms, you don't have to keep checking the time or worry about accidentally having a late night because it's already programmed in your calendar to remind you. It's amazing how a bit of organisation can be so freeing. 4) Wind down I'm a big fan of wind down time. For me, this is key to relaxing my body and mind, and getting them ready for bed.  My favourite way to wind down is a bath. I love getting all my candles out and essential oils - lavender is perfect for preparing for bed -, and then pouring myself a nice warm bath to soak in, while listening to a guided mediation. My days can get so crazy - and I'm sure your's can too - so these 20-40 minutes are amazing!  What you do in your wind down time is completely up to you!  Simply focus on activities that will help you relax and get ready bed, such as meditation, journaling, reading, ying yoga, cuddling with your pet, spending time with your partner, drawing, having a cup of tea, listening to music etc While it's tempting, I recommend you try to not watch too much Netflix or TV, or be on your phone or laptop during this time. At night, light throws off your body's biological clock—the circadian rhythm - because it thinks it's still day time! And, therefore isn't ready for bed, which is why you may find it hard to fall asleep after spending time in front of a screen. I also REALLY love listening to a 'deep sleep release' meditation that makes me drift off to sleep in no time.  5) Move your body Exercise is AMAZING for sleep! Even just 20-30 minutes a day can help enjoy a more restful sleep.  I mean it makes sense, doesn't it?! When you exercise you expend energy, and therefore helps you to feel more tired and ready to rest at the end of each day.  Research also shows that regular exercise, can help to boost sleep duration and quality, as well as enable you to spend more time in deep sleep! Sounds pretty amazing hey?  So there you go! I hope all this information and tips helps you to prioritise your sleep and enjoy deeper rest. Be sure to let me know any comments you have! I love hearing from you and reading your beautiful messages. For more information on my #leanjourney, check out this blog I wrote HERE!  Leah xx
Free BARE Lean Meatloaf Recipe
Free BARE Lean Meatloaf Recipe
Hey you guys! I thought you'd LOVE one of the free BARE Lean recipes for your weekly meal rotation, gosh it's delicious! This recipe is a 'general' serving - remember the BARE Lean guide is individually portioned so your serving size may be different within the guide.  This meal is SO delish, can be made in advance in frozen and i promise you, will change your mind on meat loaf (if you know, you know haha!). Serves: 6 Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes Tips: You can use mini loaf tins instead of a large loaf tin for portion controlled individual servings. This recipe can be frozen cooked or the mince mixture raw.   Meatloaf: 700g lean beef mince (raw) 165g breadcrumbs 1 red onion, grated 2 garlic cloves, crushed 1 tomato, diced 4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked 40g parsley, chopped (reserve 1 tablespoon for the vegetables) 1 teaspoon mustard powder ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 egg Salt and pepper Olive oil spray Glaze: 1 ½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 250ml tomato passata 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar 75ml beef stock, room temperature 2 tablespoons tomato paste Veggies: 1.75kg potatoes, peeled and quartered 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped 300g frozen peas 60g butter, room temperature To serve: Tomato sauce/ketchup (optional) Directions:  Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Spray a loaf tin with olive oil and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the glaze ingredients. Reserve 2 tablespoons of this mixture and set aside. To a large bowl, add all of the meatloaf ingredients. Using your hands, mix until well combined. Add the reserved 2 tablespoons of glaze and stir to combine. Transfer the meatloaf mixture to the prepared loaf tin and smooth out any cracks in the surface. Pour half the glaze over the meatloaf and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and pour over the remaining glaze. Continue baking for about 20 minutes. Once cooked through, remove from the oven and cool in the loaf tin for 10 minutes before removing. While the meatloaf is cooking, boil the potatoes in a large pot of salted water over high heat for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. To cook the carrots and peas, place a steamer basket over the pot with the potatoes (make sure the basket is not touching the water). Place the carrots in the steamer basket and cover with a lid. Steam for 10 minutes, remove the lid and add the peas. Steam for another 1 to 2 minutes until the carrots are tender but still have a bit of bite. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of parsley. When the potatoes are tender, drain off the water, add the butter, remaining parsley and season. Mash the potatoes until smooth. Turn the meatloaf out onto a chopping board and cut into thick slices. Serve with mashed potatoes, carrots, peas and tomato sauce, if desired. I hope you love the recipe.. I am SO EXCITED to smash this week with BARE Lean! Our new BARE Lean challenge is starting soon and we are so excited! For more information on the challenge, click HERE!  Lot's of love,  Leah xx
BARE 6 Week Challenge Starting November 2nd
BARE 6 Week Challenge Starting November 2nd
YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN ASKING - AND IT'S HERE! WOOOO! The BARE 6 Week Challenge is BACK.. Can you tell how excited I am?! All the information in relation to the BARE 6 Week Challenge is listed below - I can't WAIT! I need this, you need this - we all need this together and I can't wait to bring it all the way to christmas (yes....Christmas is so near uh!!) with an absolute bang!  REGISTER HERE   WHAT IS IT?  The BARE Challenge is here to give you a little spark in your routine, to start something new and to challenge yourself into building new, healthy habits that will last a lifetime. The challenge is to smash your goals in whatever they may be, for 6 weeks. The challenge is to eat BARE, progress in your goals and strive towards becoming a better version of you over the 6 week period. To join in on our BARE Guide 6 Week Challenge, all you have to do is purchase a BARE Guide, either BARE Lean, BARE Regular or even BARE Vegetarian.. there is nothing else you need to do other than sit tight....and wait for the fun! Our BARE 6 Week Challenge will start on Monday the 2nd of November and run until Monday the 14th of December.    WHAT PRIZES ARE THERE?  Good question, I'll touch on this a little below but we will be rewarding people this BARE 6 Week Challenge. First prize is $1000 AUD (omgggggg YAS!) Second prize is $500 AUD Third prize is $300 AUD  We will also have 4 fab prizes which will be a $200 grocery voucher at the store of your choice. HOW DO YOU PICK A 'WINNER'? I will be rewarding 7 lucky winners with all different prizes - all of which I'm super excited about! These winners will be women who are living & breathing the BARE healthy eating lifestyle over the 6 week period. As the BARE 6 Week Challenge  is about YOUR goals around mental, emotional and physical health and nutrition, we will be judging the winners with a range of factors set out below. 1. Social Media Activity We of course need to be able to see that you’re active, living and breathing the BARE way when it comes to being online! Being active could be posting on Instagram. Remember to tag @leahitsines & @bareguide so we see it, sharing your creations on Facebook and with the FB group community, engaging on the BARE Guide & Leah's Instagram posts and overall being active on social media. 2. Goal Progress We’d love to be able to see your progress. Of course everyone has their own goals so we want to take ALL types of tracked goals into consideration. Your progress could relate to how many dress sizes you've gone down, how many CM you've lost off, or something like how much better you feel mentally & emotionally (ANY PROGRESS!).  3. Support, community contribution and active members The BARE community is an incredible place for support, and we’d love to be able to see you asking, sharing and inspiring others on your journey within the BARE Guide Facebook community group. If you don’t have Facebook this is okay - We’d love to see support on your other social media profiles. As a base, we’d love to see that you’re a positive and active member of the BARE Guide community and are smashing through your goals, supporting and inspiring women all around you.    HOW DO YOU PARTICIPATE IN THIS CHALLENGE?  The BARE 6 Week Challenge isn’t for a specific guide, it’s for ANY BARE Guide that you own, whether that's BARE Regular, Vegetarian or BARE Lean. The BARE Lean members will have access to the dashboard, which will be easier to use for progress measuring, which helps when working towards their goals - This isn't necessary, but still great to have! All you need to do is register using the button below :) REGISTER HERE   WHEN DOES THE CHALLENGE START & END?  The BARE 6 Week Challenge will start on Monday the 2nd of November and run until Monday the 14th of December, however, you can join at any time from today onwards. If you start on Monday the 2nd of November you just increase your chances of winning one of the amazing prices.   WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO FOR THE CHALLENGE? The BARE 6 Week Challenge is designed so you can eat from your BARE Guide & smash your goals over the next 6 weeks. This is designed to support your goals and help you strive towards being a better version of you.    DO I GET ANY ADDITIONAL CONTENT DURING THIS TIME?  Lucky you.. You'll receive the below during the duration of the BARE 6 Week Challenge 2 FREE weekly workouts in the FB group LIVE Check ins every week in the FB group LIVE cooks every Wednesday in the Facebook group    HOW DO I SIGN UP? To sign up all you have to do is purchase either the BARE Lean, Regular or Vegetarian Guide. If you already have these guide's and you would like to join that's okay, you'll automatically be added to the challenge. Please note, it'll be easier if you have BARE Lean to track progress with our inbuilt dashboard, however, any BARE Guide is fine.  I'm super excited & I can't wait to SMASH our goals together as an amazing community.    What are you waiting for?! Start Your BARE Lean Journey Today! REGISTER NOW! JOIN BARE LEAN
Leah Itsines walking her dog Wally at Mount Osmond Walking Trail in Adelaide, South Australia
Will Fasted Cardio Help You Burn More Fat?
It’s hard to ignore all the fitness information out there saying that the latest way of eating or doing exercise is the BEST way to reduce body fat. Especially when they come with a side of “you should absolutely DO THIS for the BEST AND ONLY chance of fat loss”. Yeah.. I can see why it’s a little hard to ignore claims like that! 😂 One of the topics that keeps resurfacing is ‘fasted exercise’. There are so many claims saying that doing fasted cardio or training first thing in the morning is better for fat loss. But is it, really? 🤔   What Is Fasted Cardio? For those that don’t know, fasted cardio (or fasted training) is when you exercise on an empty stomach. It’s typically done first thing in the morning after having woken up, without consuming any food over the 8-12 hours you just spent sleeping. You are only allowed water to hydrate during your exercise, but that’s all until you are finished training and are able to eat post-workout!     Why Are People Doing It? Many people in the industry say that getting your heart pumping first thing in the morning on an empty stomach is the best way to burn fat. They say that this is because exercising in a fasted state allows your body to better access it’s fat stores and use those as its energy source, rather than using the carbohydrate-based stores that your body usually uses as its energy source. Since we get our carbohydrate-based stores from the food we eat, the idea behind fasted exercise is that your body would be able to burn off the fat stores you’re trying to get rid of quicker since it’s using them directly for energy.   Does It Actually Work Better For Fat Loss? I’m not going to sugarcoat it for you guys, there’s just not enough rock-hard science that supports the claim! And even the tests that have been done show marginal results at best, hardly being able to prove that the body drops fat quicker as a result of fasted exercise. 😲 When tested, the results show minimal changes in body weight and composition when comparing fasted exercising to exercising while fed. Researchers even tested different exercise intensities to see if maybe there was a correlation between the level of exercise intensity while fasted and overall fat loss, but again, the results weren’t meaningful. So if there’s no real scientific influence on weight loss, why do people enjoy it so much? 💭   What’s So Great About Fasted Exercise Anyway? Some people find that training first thing in the morning is better for their mental health 💡 The idea of ‘being up before the rest of the world’ working on themselves and/or training in a near-empty gym can be an amazing feeling for some. Of course this can absolutely be done after eating some food, but some people prefer to get up, have a tall glass of water and head straight to the gym to start their day! 🏃‍♀️ If you love this regime and it’s working for you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it! Fasted exercise can also be great if your routine (and your body) calls for a super early workout schedule. Personally, I walk ‘fasted’ in the morning because I am up at 5am and can’t stomach food at 4:30am haha! But again, it's a preference that suits ME and I know my body responds well to that decision.     When Should You Absolutely Eat Before Exercise? If you’re training for prolonged periods of time where intensity and sustained energy is what you need to finish, typically you will need the energy (from food) to support and give you the stamina your body needs. 🏋🏻‍♀️ Even if you're training normally and half-way through you’re feeling lethargic and without energy, you could benefit from having even a banana or a light pre-workout snack like these Peanut Butter Bars before you exercise. The key is to listen to what your body is telling you. You may even find that you need more than a light snack before training!  The Take Away The truth is that we are all different. We have bodies that perform better training in different ways because our body’s are UNIQUE. But it’s good to keep in mind that we also personally prefer training in different ways too, which should be a huge determining factor in choosing a regime that works for you 💛 My years of being a Personal Trainer had me training women who absolutely needed to eat before they exercised, and then others who would literally feel like they were going to vomit if they ate within an hour and a half of exercising. Some feel their bodies are too sluggish training in the afternoon because of having eaten 2 full meals before getting to training, while others feel like they’re at their absolute peak during this time.   I guess what I’m trying to say is... If you feel better with a banana or a bowl of oats in your tank before you train, you SHOULD! 👏🏼 If you feel better training at night after 3 full meals, you SHOULD! 👏🏼 And if you feel better training first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, you SHOULD! 👏🏼   One way is not better than the other! The important thing is that you are listening to your YOUR BODY, sticking to a regime that best suits YOU, and most importantly that you are ENJOYING your routine. A training routine you enjoy while hitting your nutrition goals is going to be the reason you get results, not fasted exercise!     If you’re feeling stuck when it comes to your nutrition, it would be WELL worth checking out BARE Lean with 120+ recipes completely tailored to the energy requirements of YOUR body. I personally use it on my own journey, and I can’t tell you how much it has helped to have my nutrition completely taken care of and feel stress-free with my food! 🍳 If you have any questions about how BARE Lean can help you, please always feel welcome to reach out! Any question you have, my team and I are here to help! 💛   I hope you’re as keen as I am to finish this week off with a BANG! 🙌🏼 Leah xx    
The Scales Are Lying About Your Weight Loss Progress!
The Scales Are Lying About Your Weight Loss Progress!
Somehow there is a HUGE belief that the number on the scales will define your happiness, health, success and will solve your problems. When it absolutely doesn't. Infact, the scales lie about our weight loss progress every day! On morning, I weighed 71.3kg, got my period, and weighed 73.1kg the very next morning. Did I put on 1.8kg overnight? Unlikely. More recently, I weighed 68.9kg one morning, peed, and then weighed myself directly after and was 68.4kg 😂😂 CRAZY!!! But do you know what’s even crazier? How much we RELY on the scales to determine our progress! Women’s weight fluctuates SO much. It'd be CRAZY to rely solely on the scales! Here's another fun fact for you about how the scale is lying about your progress...   You could be smashing your workouts and nutrition, getting leaner, fitter, stronger & more confident.. losing fat and gaining some amazing strength.. and your scale will have NO idea how to determine the difference between your new muscle and fat.. so it’s only going to show you the TOTAL number! And because muscle takes up a smaller space than fat (weighs the same but is different in comparison), the scale can show that you've even INCREASED weight when you've actually DECREASED fat. Talk about a let-down by the time it comes to weighing-in! Thousands of women have been in contact with me while doing BARE Lean and saying that sometimes the scales haven’t moved in weeks for them, but the physical measurements of their body have GONE DOWN ⬇️ by huge amounts!!     There has to be less of a focus on the number, and more about how you FEEL! But how do we do this and be able to track our progress? As women, we have to find ways to place more focus on goals that DON'T involve the scales – wins that are completely in our control and will make us genuinely HAPPY! I call these non-scale goals and I absolutely LOVE measuring them.   Here are my non-scale goals: To fit into a smaller size of clothing (my old clothes!!) To FEEL stronger in the gym (progression in my exercises) To FEEL good in a bikini (just to comfortably lounge around in) To FEEL lighter on my feet / leaner To FEEL more confident in my own skin & clothes To FEEL like I have more energy each day   These are my personal wins and I honestly know they will make me FEEL SO HAPPY when I reach them!! I can't stress enough, it's not about WEIGHT or the number on the scales.. that number is just a unit of measure.. and it loves to flat lie to our faces! So write down your new FEEL-GOOD non-scale goals and whatever they are.. track THEM and measure your progress on what REALLY matters during your journey! Just last week I grabbed a pair of jeans that used to fit so damn snug, put them on again and they FIT, It was such a great feeling! And after sharing that win with you all, so many of you are trying on clothes that you hadn’t in a while, using that as one of your non-scale wins and are now LOVING your journey because of it! All by changing your mindset!! 😍👖       So share THIS.. share your non-scale wins and CELEBRATE THEM because THOSE are the ones that matter! 💛 Remember that weight loss doesn’t mean you can’t go out with your friends, that you can’t have cake at your friends birthday, that you have to say no to social events and weigh yourself every day to make sure you're on the right track…. weight loss means being consistently mindful of your choices, keeping your activity levels up, hydrating, tracking the wins over time that MATTER and continuously looking for ways to grow mentally along the way. THIS is why I created BARE Lean... because this journey isn't just about getting leaner! I wanted to create a product that gives you ALL the tools you need on your weight loss journey (the ones that matter!). So I created an online platform where you can track the changes to your energy levels, stress levels, mood, body measurements and upload your progress photos! I know how AMAZING it will be for you all to see those changes flourish over time! 💪🏼 If you EVER have any questions about how I may be able to help you, PLEASE reach out because I am here for you! 💛 I hope you enjoy the rest of your week and I can't wait for us to celebrate our non-scale wins together 🥰 Leah xx