Little steps to a healthier you

Sumeha Khalid
September 03, 2019

This week You! talks to Lubna Khan Faraz, a holistic health and lifestyle coach based in Islamabad, who shares some of her tips and tricks to a healthy lifestyle ...

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From lack of time to financial constraints, inclement weather, injury or medical issues, there are a number of environmental and lifestyle factors that often serve as external barriers to people trying to lose weight or improve their overall health. Coupled with internal barriers such as low self-esteem and intimidation about exercising in front of others, it gets even harder to reach one’s fitness goals. While obstacles are inevitable, with the right systems in place, you can get back on track even after temporary slip ups. Lubna Khan Faraz, a holistic health and lifestyle coach, started her venture ‘Fit n Fab with Lubna’ keeping all of this in mind.

Based in Islamabad, Lubna is a certified fitness leadership speaker and trainer from Canada. After completing her Human Resources and Law degree from University of Toronto, she worked for five years in Toronto’s hospitality industry as an Operations Manager for Hilton Hotels Corporation. While working there, she also got a diploma in fitness and nutrition from Humber College in Toronto and worked as a personal trainer for a year along with her job at Hilton.

“After moving to Pakistan, I wanted to further explore my options in my career and started working for PEAD Foundation (Peace, Education and Development) as a Programme Manager and led the project of USAID, ‘Let Girls Learn - pathways to success’. While working for PEAD, I still wanted to pursue my passion for health, fitness and overall wellness. I started my own company and consultancy called “Fit n Fab with Lubna”. Through my consultancy, I am driven to help my clients improve their overall health and wellness, achieve their goals and develop sustainable lifestyle habits. Due to my belief in bio-individuality, I use my knowledge and experience, based on latest researches and theories, to provide clients with individualised recommendations,” she shares.

Lubna’s mission is to spread awareness on a holistic approach to wellness and encourage healthy, mindful living. While consulting, she has written many health and fitness blogs for Global Village Space and hosts a health segment at the local radio station about health and wellness. In an interview with You! Lubna shares some of her tips and tricks to leading a healthy lifestyle...

You! How do you maintain your healthy eating habits in Pakistan?

Lubna Khan Faraz: I have fun finding healthy substitutes of my favourite foods. I try to shop for as many fruits and vegetables myself and experiment with different recipes. If there is a certain dish that I like from a cuisine, I try to re-make a healthier and heartier version of it. Pakistan has such fresh herbs and spices and I love playing with them.

You! Tell us about your morning routine...

LKF: My morning starts with a good warm glass of lemon and Honey water. I head to the gym for a good workout, come back and make a nice smoothie for breakfast mostly. Then I head out to work.

You! What do you opt for when eating out?

LKF: My order at any restaurant ends up being very customised. I usually order their sides and appetisers, such as a larger portion of steamed or sautŽed vegetables, a good vegetable soup or baked or grilled meat choices. I usually don’t order salads here as I love making my own and my own dressings for them too.

You! What is your skincare routine?

LKF: I love skincare. I like to splurge on my skincare products as I feel skin is such an important aspect of our body. I cleanse with a nice creamy cleanser, tone, apply an essence, serum, eye cream and moisturiser. I use an SPF daily in the morning under my makeup. I also use facemasks at least three times a week to either do a skin peel or hydrate my skin as needed and according to the weather.

You! Suggest some useful tips for working out...

LFK: I love working out on an empty stomach, I feel that it shows rapid results when you do so. I also believe that HIIT (high-intensity-interval training) is extremely effective. I do strength training as well and divide my workouts for each day. Day 1 - back and biceps with 20 min cardio HIIT, Day 2 - chest and triceps with 20 min cardio, Day 3 - Legs with 20 min cardio, and Day 4 - shoulders with 30 min cardio. The 5th day is usually my rest day and then I do yoga on the weekends.

You! What is your secret recipe for smoothies and effective weight loss?

LKF: My formula for smoothies is very simple. I use greens (spinach/kale or any collard greens), fats (coconut oil, almond butter), fibre (chia or flax seeds) and good pure protein powder along with nut milk or water and some fruit to flavour. If you use this formula, I guarantee weight loss and satiety!

You! How do you manage to stay on track with a small baby?

LKF: Taking care of a baby and staying on track with my meals and workouts is definitely a commitment and requires dedication. But, if you keep yourself disciplined, anything is possible!

You! For women who are going through postpartum, what would you recommend?

LKF: Take it easy on your body and start moving when you feel comfortable, and eat healthy! Take your vitamin supplements, try to consume protein, fats, fibre and greens with each meal and you should be back on track in no time. Also, look into healthy snacking, keep nuts around and stay well hydrated!

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