Thursday, 31 May 2012

Summer Shape Up

As summer is almost here and holidays are just around the corner I thought I’d share a few tips to help those of you who want to shed those last few pounds before the bikini season.

So keeping it short and sweet…

Number 1: Cut out all unnecessary/simple carbs (bread, pasta, cakes, biscuits, cereals). Grains = flabby gains!
Your carbs should come mainly from vegetables, and fruits (ideally low Glycemic Index fruits like berries).
So less grains, more veggies!

Number 2: Eat protein and fat (yes, fat!) at every meal. Gone are the days of toast or cereal for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch. Meat, fish, eggs, seafood, and organic (preferably raw) dairy should provide your protein and fat fuels.

Number 3: Lift weights. Male or female, if you want to shape up and tone your body, you need to lift weights. Barbell Squats, Deadlifts, Chin-ups, Bench Press and Overhead presses should make up the bulk of your training programme. Add in some sprint intervals and Kettlebell Swings, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for success. 3-4 times a week along with a good diet and you’ll soon start to see the results that have eluded you for so long. Just make sure you’re lifting as heavy as you can with good technique.
Heavy + Bad Technique = Injury
Light + Good Technique = Slow Progress
Heavy + Good Technique = Good Progress!

Number 4: Sleep! You should be aiming for not only quantity, but quality. Bed by 11 in a pitch black room (no lights whatsoever – even the LED on your TV or alarm clock should be covered), and phone and Wi-Fi OFF! You’re not going to be making calls or surfing the net while you sleep, so turn them off until the morning – they WILL disrupt your sleep quality.

Number 5: Water. I’ve said it a million times – 1 litre per 50lbs bodyweight every day! Water is what we should be drinking. Ditch the diet drinks, and if you’re serious about this, cut out alcohol too, at least until you’re at your target weight – if you’re drinking more than a couple of glasses of red wine a week and not losing weight, you’ve only got yourself to blame!

And finally,
Number 6: Be consistent. Stick with it. Some people see results in the first week, some people it may take a bit longer; but if you give it time, it will happen. Steady progress is more permanent. Fast results are likely to disappear as fast as they came! And for your own sake, DON’T weigh yourself! Use your clothes as a way to measure your progress, or take some measurements and photos. You’ll be surprised at how much your body can change without your weight changing with it.

Saturday, 19 May 2012


Well known as being the most important meal of the day, many people tend to skip breakfast or opt for something quick and convenient in their morning rush, but what is this doing to your body?

Eating breakfast not only helps you to make better food choices throughout the day, but studies have also shown that those who skip breakfast tend to overeat later in the day, contributing to higher body fat levels and BMI. So skipping that all important meal in a vain attempt to lose weight is actually doing the complete opposite and helping you to store excess body fat!

As important as actually eating breakfast (if not more so), is what you eat. This is the same for any meal, but even more so for breakfast, and needs highlighting since the typical “breakfast foods” are so out of sync with what we need to kick off our day.

Toast or cereal seems to be the popular choice for adults and kids alike, no doubt because it’s quick and easy; but this is possibly the worst breakfast you can have! Worse even than skipping it altogether!

Forget your “wholegrain goodness” and “keeping hunger locked up ‘til lunch”, or how “grrrreat!” they are, these processed, refined carbohydrates are majorly lacking in nutrition (they actually have to add synthetic vitamins/minerals to these cereals to be allowed to sell them as “food”). Not to mention the insulin response of eating a high-carb, low fat, low protein meal!

Add to that the fact that wheat and processed dairy are two of the biggest culprits for food intolerance, and sugar sends energy levels sky-rocketing, then crashing back down again, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Erratic energy levels, hunger well before lunch, poor concentration and weight gain follow.

So what should you eat for Breakfast?

It’s important to “break your fast” with nutritionally rich foods, providing the nutrients your body needs, and keeping you satisfied right through until lunch-time. Contrary to what the cereal producers tell you, that’s NOT carbohydrates! The foods that satiate us and keep us from feeling hungry again soon after are protein and fats. These have a low insulin response – meaning no energy spike then crash. They are digested more slowly and your brain actually registers that you’ve received some nutrition – so you won’t be hungry again for a while.

One of the best things you can do is remember that food is food; there are no “breakfast foods”, “lunch foods”, or “dinner foods”.

I highly recommend the “Meat and Nut” breakfast. Simply rotate daily between different meat (not processed) and nut combinations. Chicken breasts and a handful of Almonds; Steak and a handful of Cashews; Turkey and a handful of Brazil nuts… you get the idea.

Tea, coffee and herbal teas are acceptable, but avoid processed milk and fruit juices.

This will set you up for the day, prevent you from overeating and making poor food choices, and ensure more steady energy levels.

Give it a try