Friday, 31 May 2013

A common weight loss EXCUSE

I have done many posts on my blog about losing weight and getting in to shape, but there is one thing that is vital, and its something people tend to use as an easy escape route.

If I had a quid for every time I have heard this line, I could open my own health center! - 'I don't have the time to exercise or make healthy meals'. Forgive me if this comes across as rude, but that is utter garbage!

I know a range of different people with a range of different jobs. I know a guy that works in an investment bank, working stupid amount of hours, but he still manages to get in the gym, workout and also cook healthy meals at home. How is that possible your asking?? here's how...

Unless your unemployed or a spoiled stay at home child that does nothing, you won't magically have time given to you to get your ass to the gym or spend half hour cooking up a healthy meal in the kitchen, you have to make the time! I have had people telling me they don't have the money for a gym membership or healthy food, don't have the time to workout because of work, blah blah blah... These are the same people that go out shopping every week for new over priced outfits because they apparently can't be seen out twice in the same clothes, going out getting drunk 3 times a week etc etc. That to me is a bad lifestyle choice, but each to their own! If you can make time for things like that, or anything else you like to do in your free time, then that shows me one thing - you actually can manage your time and create time to do something you want to do. So! if you want to get a good body, then you already have the ability to create time for something, so you will be able to create the time a few times a week to go and workout!

This may seem like an 'angry post', but it is rather frustrating hearing the same thing all the time, when it just isn't true, its just an easy excuse to turn to. If you want to get in shape bad enough, then you will make the time, simple as that. If you don't want to make the time, then you can't sit and moan that you haven't got the body you want.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Will women bulk up by using weights?

This is something that I read about a fair amount. Women seem to be afraid of using weights because they think they will add too much muscle, so they avoid them and hop on the cross trainer for half hour.

By using weights in your workouts, you aren't suddenly going to have bulging muscles. The female celebrities that have their 'great figure' spoken about in magazines, I would strongly believe they all use weights during their workouts. Using weights when you work out not only burns more calories but they also create the 'great shape' that women strive to have. Weights are obviously used by male and female weight trainers/bodybuilders because they are needed to gain a lot of muscle mass. But they will constantly progress, lifting very heavy weights, and also eating a ton of food with a high protein percentage. If you combine heavy weight training with a high calorie, high protein diet, yes you will gain muscle mass. But by lifting light-ish weights and just eating healthy, you aren't going to start bursting out of your clothes with muscle, your simply going to have a much better, fitter looking physique.

So, ladies, don't be afraid of using weights, they are perfectly safe to use to get a better looking body, and you don't have to worry about turning into a bodybuilder! (unless you want to be like one!)

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Recovery

Well, even though it is my birthday, I thought I would do a post for you guys, this time.... on recovery.

I will mainly aim this post on weight training, as it is the most popular type of training I see and hear about. Weight training has two parts to it - the training, and the recovery, both as important as the other. When your in the gym, 'pumping iron', you are actually breaking your muscle tissue down, causing microscopic tears, which in turn get repaired. So, when lifting the weights, you're not getting bigger or stronger there, your simply tearing your muscles. This is where recovery comes in.

Your body will heal itself on its own, eventually, but when your in training, and working out 3-4 times per week, you need to recover quicker. My recent post on 'post workout nutrition' is what is key here. You need to refuel your system with energy and protein. Protein is what repairs the muscle tissue that you tore in the gym, and carbs replenish energy stores. But, what most people don't tend to do, is listen to their body, and that's a grave error. A lot of people train before they have fully recovered, which can lead to a poor workout, but worse - injury. After a heavy gym session, your body needs rest as well as recovery. You need to ensure you get plenty of sleep and relax your muscles. Ice baths can help but are not always accessible, but I have known weight trainers to use sauna's, jacuzzi's and steam rooms and have claimed they help. Last of all, you need the right nutrition. As stated in my recent post, you need a good hit of protein and carbs post workout, with a daily diet consisting of lots of fruit and veg, protein, carbs and healthy fats. If you recover like this, you will notice a difference in how you feel within 24-48 hours after your workout.

Train smart, eat smart!

Friday, 24 May 2013

Post-workout nutrition

Following on from my pre-workout nutrition post, I thought it would be good to add in some info about post-workout nutrition.

Now, you have just finished a hard workout in the gym, now what? Its time to start repairing your muscles!

After a hard weights session, your muscles are in a state of breakdown, so they require repairing and growing bigger and stronger. Everyone knows that protein builds muscle, but that's not all you need. A combination of protein, carbs and just a tad of sugar is a great post workout combination. The protein will start repairing your muscles, the carbs will re-stock your energy stores, and the sugar will go straight into the muscles as they are craving for 'direct energy'. This is the only time where I would say sugar is beneficial. I have read it in many articles, including ones on 'bodybuilding.com', where trainers/nutritionists have stated that sugar is okay post workout. You will find many shakes have a bit of sugar in them.

There is no point in having a hard workout in the gym, coming out feeling like you have just lifted the building, and then doing nothing. Building muscle starts in the gym by lifting weights, but it is VITAL to have good nutrition in order to get the body you want.

Supplements are one thing, but nothing beats healthy nutrition through fresh food. Supplements are called that for a reason - to supplement your nutrition, NOT to replace it. So make sure you get the bulk of your nutrition through foods - lean meats, complex carbs, fruit and veg. Don't just rely on shakes!


Pre- workout nutrition

Just a quick one!

To me, there are two kinds of 'gym-goers' - the people that give fitness a half hearted attempt or go there to chat with friends, and then you have the real fitness fanatics. Now, the people that go to the gym and pretty much do nothing but chat or use the jacuzzi, there is no point in reading this post. However, to the people that love working out, love training, then have a read!

Nutrition is a HUGE part of getting into great shape, and a common thing I get asked is - 'What can I take to get a better workout?'

There are a few common ways of enabling you to get a better workout. With most people, your energy stores are more likely to deplete before you actually feel shattered. I have been in gyms with guys that have had to cut a workout short, because they just haven't got that energy, even though they said things such as 'I feel like I can lift more weights though, I feel fine!'. This may sound a bit strange - have no energy in muscles but feel fine'. Your right, it does sound strange, but it happens, and this is where pre-workout nutrition comes into action. There are products such as creatine, caffeine supplements or just good old carbs to help you power through a good workout. You pretty much need to ensure you have enough energy and back up energy. As weight lifting is hard on your muscles, you need to have enough energy to make sure you can replenish those energy stores to enable you to keep lifting those weights. This is why it is never a good idea to workout on an empty stomach, because your body needs fuel to have a good workout. Some other methods are - having a protein shake/protein and carb shake/protein and carb meal, before a workout. This is so you get some carbs in to fuel their workout and then protein in their system to get repairing as you break your muscles down with weights.

Hope this helps!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Is exercise addiction good or bad?

This is actually a fairly common topic. So many people that get into the health and fitness lifestyle are soon to admit that it can become addictive. But is exercise addiction good for you?

There are many bad addictions out there - smoking, drinking, drugs etc, so compared to those, exercise addiction is a good thing. But taking exercises away from those bad addictions, I personally don't think its a great thing, and here's why.

I have known people to have relationships and friendships ruined because of exercise, sounds strange doesn't it? Because fitness can become addictive, a lot of people tend to go too far, spending so much money on equipment, supplements, gym memberships. They also ditch their friends and loved ones to go to the gym, bodybuilding expeditions, a long bike ride/run and so on. These are some of the bad effects of exercise addiction that can affect people's personal lives. Other effects are things such as injuries and over training. I personally know of a lady that has joint problems and easily gets injured because she has been addicted to exercise for years, this just is not good and is past 'healthy'.

With the money side of things, it can soon start to rack up big bills. You get guys that are so addicted to lifting weights and getting bigger, that they are easily spending £100 a week on just supplements. Add that to their grocery shopping bill that i'm not even going to put a figure on because that bill can be huge! Imagine if you were in a relationship, and you personally are spending a fortune on supplements, gym memberships, clothing, muscle building foods, and then you buy your partner a small little present? They won't be impressed!

So, overall, I personally don't think exercise addiction is a good thing. Become fit and healthy and enjoying that lifestyle is THE BEST, but becoming addicted and have it take over your life is too much. Life is much more than that. Just remember, people who become addicted to anything end up being extremely selfish.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

My view - How to help bullying

I did a post on bulling a while back that ended up being extremely popular, but now I want to share with you my opinion on how to help it.

I think the one thing that bullies and bullying victims have in common, is a lack of self confidence. Why do I think this? Well, when I was at school, I saw bullies and I saw victims, and both kind of showed a lack of 'something', and then I realised it was confidence. The victims were usually people that the bullies knew wouldn't stand up for themselves or have a go back, so the bullies though 'easy targets'. But I also saw that the bullies did it, usually, for attention and to make themselves 'feel better'. As I mentioned in my post a while back, I was a victim like a lot of people, and I knew for a fact I lacked confidence. I knew friends that got bullied, and they lacked confidence. Unfortunately I did know (wasn't friends with them) bullies, and guess what.....they lacked confidence. I always noticed that when the bullies were one on one with someone who wasn't exactly in their 'usual circle of friends', they never bullied them, but as soon as the bullies friends came along....the bullying and mocking started. If someone is happy with their life, happy with their self as an individual, they have no reason to bully someone. So, that's my personal opinion on that, so now here are my ideas on how to help.

One thing that I know can very much help, or even transform someones confidence and self esteem, is health and fitness. I used to play Cricket for Essex CCC, always training, playing matches and being in the gym. But, because I was amongst some very good players, and some great players (the pro's), I never felt good enough, I found myself lacking that self confidence that I very much needed. Because of the lack of that, I never pushed as hard as I should have, which in turn would have helped my confidence.
So, I think by incorporating some kind of health/fitness/nutrition as well as sports into schools (more than there is now), that can boost children's confidence levels, and also give them a new hobby. Now, not everyone will go for it, but I definitely think 'victims' would give it a try. Anyone who exercises regularly will know this - working out releases endorphin's (a feel good hormone), so that itself will help people feel better, more confident. I have a friend (won't name) who got bullied, always felt like he hit rock bottom, and started to believe what the bullies used to say. He did actually get into a sport and into the gym, and here's the great part. By working out, playing sport, he built his confidence so high that he no longer cared what bullies said to him, because he knew it was not true and that confidence almost acted like an 'anti-virus' program - just blocked it out. This was great!! I'm not saying that teens should pump iron all day! weights has a minimum age, but general exercise and sports is what I mean - weights can come in at college/uni (where bullying still happens) I know what you may be thinking, what about physical assaults as well as just mocking and ridiculing. Well, this is where my second idea comes into play.

At the moment, there aren't really any major consequences for bullies, so they carry on. But, if they knew that there actions had severe consequences, I personally think they would stop. My idea is to bring in a system that 'bullying actions' go on your record, which in turn can affect you getting into uni's, go against you when finding a job and so on. If bullies knew that their actions will go against them and stay 'on record', which could seriously affect things they want to do in life, why would they carry on? they wouldn't.

There has to be a system in place which punishes their actions, not just having a 'telling off' from a teacher, because they don't care about that - they actually find it funny.

I will leave it there, don't want my post to go on forever! Thank you for reading.


Lose weight and KEEP IT OFF

I have decided to do this post as many people have the problem of keeping weight off after losing some. The main thing about keeping weight off is the word - 'lifestyle'.

It can be hard to change or keep a certain lifestyle to keep the weight off, here is an example. The TV show 'The Biggest Loser' is a great way to see how hard it can be. The 'contestants' are in a controlled environment where they don't have their usual 'day to day' activities such as work, so in a way, it is easier for them. A lot of the contestants I have read about after the show has finished, have actually put the weight back on, which is a shame, but it is understandable. They go from that 'controlled environment' back home where they have to go to work everyday, maybe they have kids to look after and so on, and they lose grip with the healthy lifestyle.

So, how to actually keep that weight off? its all about discipline and lifestyle.

If you have a personal trainer and nutritionist for a year and lose all the fat you want and tone up, most of you will likely stop paying for their services and carry on on your own, which is okay. The problem is - keeping that determination, focus and discipline to keep doing things without the help and motivation from trainers/nutritionists. After  that time with your trainer and nutritionist, you will soon be in a set routine of making healthy meals, exercises regularly, saying no to the junk food etc, and that's what you want! Keep focused, stay determined, stay motivated and you WILL keep the weight off, FOR GOOD!

To keep your weight off, you need to KEEP the lifestyle of going to the gym regularly and eating healthy. If you start to slip, you will start to gain the weight back, and all that money spent on gym memberships, personal trainers and nutritionists would have been a waste. The lifestyle that seems to be common these days, unfortunately is going out clubbing, partying, drinking most days of the week, and this is NOT the one to have, it will just slowly destroy your body. You think doing all of that will attract the opposite sex? make your life better? make you happy? no! Most people who are 'addicted' to that lifestyle do it because of problems they are facing or going through a rough time, so drinking and partying takes their mind off it. What will be better is to get into fitness! Its THE best 'high' you can get that is good for you, so don't get drawn into that binge drinking lifestyle. Being fit, healthy, in great shape, looking good, feeling good is the way to go!

Hope this helps!


Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Top 6 weight loss tips!

Here is a quick post laying out my top weight loss tips!

1) Cut out the junk foods! - no more takeaway's, sweets, chocolate, processed foods

2) Get moving! - get a gym membership or if your on a budget, go for runs/bike rides and home circuits

3) Drink more water! - keeping hydrated is important

4) Eat a higher protein diet! - protein fills you up, which will make you eat less

5) Lots of fruit and veg! - fruit and veg are so good for you and they don't contain tons of calories, just good calories!

6) Ditch the booze! - alcohol has 7 calories per g, which is nearly as much as fat! Just think how easy it is to drink a fair amount of alcohol on a night out... Get rid of it!

These 6 tips will make a huge difference and start shedding those pounds!

Good luck!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Fitness and relationships

Okay, I know what your thinking - 'He's not a relationship guru?', and you would be right, but this is just another benefit of the health and fitness lifestyle!

In relationships, things can go two ways - you both love the same things, or you both love different things. If your a couple that loves the same TV shows, love the same restaurants, love the same hobbies/sports and so on, then i think you should still carry on reading. However there are some couples need some things to do together, and This is where fitness could help!

By bringing a healthy lifestyle into your relationship  it could help you to become a closer couple. There are plenty of fitness related things that you can do together. Some of these include - cooking together, grocery shopping together, going to the gym, going for walks, bike rides, runs, hiking, playing sports and so on. These are things that are not that expensive to do and they are great ways to spend some quality time with your partner. The the problem with the common things to do as a couple like going out for a meal, going to the cinema etc, is they can become very repetitive over time. But with the things I mentioned above, they aren't boring, and they work amazingly well at bringing you closer, and that's what relationships are about - spending quality time with the one you love, enjoying life together. You don't want to just stand still, doing the norm, you want to get out there, trying new things, but most importantly - living a healthy lifestyle, because that means you will live a healthier life and a longer life - more time with your loved one!

I hope you liked this post, it is something different to what I usually write about, but hey.... my blog tag line does include 'Lifestyle'!



Friday, 17 May 2013

How fitness can help your career

Being fit and healthy can benefit many things in life - prevent various types of cancers and diseases, reduce your chance of injury, reduce your chance of getting ill, can boost self confidence and so on. But one thing that I never seem to read that fitness can help, is your career. BUT it really can, here's how...

I know many people in different careers, ranging from banking to personal training, and I have yet to find a job that fitness can't help, even a little. Lets take the banking industry for example. Your in an office most of the day, dressed in a smart suit, so how can fitness help?? Well, not everyone will know, but the banking industry is extremely cut throat and requires a strong personality to not only stand out but to progress. Its simple things like, standing tall, holding your ground, being a strong character etc, that you need to be good at your job. By turning to fitness, getting into shape, this will give you that confidence, that 'edge' that you need to stand out in the crowd. I did know a guy that worked for a bank, and he was your typical, fast food eater, alcohol drinker, but then thought 'sod this, I'm gonna do something about it!'. He got in the gym, changed his diet completely and got into great shape. He then noticed that people looked at him differently, talked to him differently, but most of all, respected him.

I do mention him a lot in tweets and posts, but if you look at Dwayne Johnson and how he comes across. Yes he is 6ft4, which is an imposing height as it is, but he weighs around 260lbs and is built like a tank! Next time you see him on tv or in a movie, look at how he walks, the confidence he has, its insane! and that's because of fitness. Being in great shape gave him the confidence he needed when he was a wrestler and now as an actor.

Another area of work that fitness can help, is interviews. Imagine you were an employer and someone came in for an interview, in shape, held their self well, confident, you have to be impressed! People who are fit and healthy are not lazy people, they work hard at their health and physique, so they aren't likely to be lazy at work. This can be a huge 'tick' in the interview process before your 'cv' even comes into it.

This is just another benefit of being healthy and fit.

Hope this helps!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Why you are NOT losing weight

Becoming stressed because you are not losing weight like you thought you would is unbelievably common. Here are some top reasons why you are not losing weight.

- Not being strict enough

Losing fat is a hard thing to do and requires dedication and  commitment, so if your always snacking and not making wise nutritional  choices, then your not going to lose weight. You have to give 100% all the time. Be careful that you don't become over-strict, as this will make you obsessive which will not help weight loss.

- Drinking your calories

This is very common, as many people don't realise how many calories some drinks have. Alcohol has way more calories than most people think, and Its very easy to drink a lot. On a night out, its not uncommon for people to drink at least 2000 calories just from booze, and this is obviously not going to help you to lose weight. Its the same for non-alcoholic drinks. How easy is it to consume a can of fizzy drink? Very! But these are all calories that your body does not need.

- Constantly weighing yourself

Most people know that stress is not beneficial to anything really, and constantly weighing yourself just causes stress. Stress can swing two ways - losing a lot of weight in a bad way! Or (most commonly) make you gain weight. You want to weigh yourself once a week or once every fortnight.  This way, you will be concentrating on your day to day life and not worrying if you have lost weight since the morning!

- Not exercising enough

Having a healthy diet is important, but weight loss will not be overly quick, and especially not as quick as most people will want it to be with diet alone. To speed things up you should be exercising at least 3 times per week. This will burn a lot of calories and get you fitter, which in turn burns more fat. So, exercise regularly to speed up weight loss.

Gym bag essentials

I often get asked what's the best equipment/clothes/trainers etc, so I thought I would do a quick post on what I would call 'gym bag essentials'.

- A good sized gym bag (dur!)
- A good, comfortable pair of running trainers (Adidas/Asics are great)
- Guys tops - either a breathable t-shirt or tank top
- Women's tops - Breathable t-shirt/tank top and a sports bra is best
- Guys shorts - personal preference on length and fit
- Women's shorts - most common are slim fit 3/4 trousers or slim firt shorts
- Padded ankle socks
- A lightweight watch
- mp3 player
- Absorbent gym towel
- Bath towel/body wash/deodorant
- Change of clothes
- Post gym snack (could be a protein shake/bar, banana, or even a pre-cooked meal)
- Big bottle of water

Hope this helps!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Being ill and workouts

Everyone hates being ill, but i think the keen 'fitness freaks' hate it even more. There is nothing worse than waking up on your workout day, to find yourself feeling like you've been hit by a train! So, is it okay to workout even if you are under the weather?

Over the last couple of weeks I have started getting back into my workouts after a 5 month lay off, and this week I have had quite a bad cold (every guy knows man flu is deadly!). I did manage to get a workout in yesterday morning, and it was the afternoon that the cold decided to set up camp! If i'm honest, i didn't go 100% in the workout, and I think that was because It was the start of being attacked by man flu!

I have read many things about workout out and being ill, and it all depends on how you feel. If you have 'minor symptoms'  such as a sore throat/runny nose, then it is okay to work out, but just not at your maximum tempo. However, if you have symptoms that are much worse ( i won't name them just in case my readers are eating!) then it is best to rest your body for a couple of days and then get back into your workouts.

It comes down to common sense I think. If you are feeling so bad that you feel like you have been the punching bag to Mike Tyson and David Haye, then I don't think its wise to workout! Judge yourself by how you are feeling, but if you are suffering from a few minor symptoms then it is okay to have a moderate workout.

Hope this helps!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

A unique weight loss method

If you Google 'how to lose weight', you will be bombarded with exercises and nutrition methods, but here is a unique way that can help you to get in shape that you don't tend to find on Google searches for weight loss.

When I was playing for Essex County cricket Club, the one thing that really helped me was having a role model, and that was a guy called Brett Lee. By having a role model, I was able to attempt to copy what he did, both on and off the field. That can be the same for getting into shape. Losing fat and building muscle is a hard thing to do, so by having someone that you would love to be like, someone who you admire, can really help. There are many male celebrities/athletes out there that guys look up to. These include - Dwayne 'the rock' Johnson, Jason Statham, Reggie Bush, Vin Diesel and so on. I personally look up to Dwayne Johnson; he is an incredible athlete, takes his training very seriously and it all pays off.

Some guys may think it is a bit 'gay' to idolise men, but what else should you do? Want to be like women? No. I personally know some guys that store pictures of their idol on there phone/mp3 player, so when they are working out, they can have a quick look at what they want to look like, which motivates them even more. I think this is a great, free way of motivating yourself.

Hope this helps.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Thank You

This is most likely way too late, but there are a few people that I want to thank, because if it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have achieved what I did in cricket.

I started my cricket career at a club called Bentley CC. It was a great place to play, friendly people, good coached, very enthusiastic players. I played there for about 8 years I would say, progressing from the under age teams through to the adults teams. But there are two men in particular that I want to say thank you too. These two guys are - Nick Hammond and Martin Larrett. Nick ran the club (and I think still does) and Martin was the coach for the under age groups. I started off under Martin's 'control' in the under age groups. He quickly saw talent in me, and pushed me hard to get the best out of me. Sometimes he was what some might call 'harsh', but it was for the best, and it did get the best out of me. He also gave me freedom to play how I played - freely and natural. He rarely criticised me if i made a mistake playing my natural game as that is what he loved. I honestly believe I wouldn't have progressed the way I did if it wasn't for him taking me 'under his wing' at a young age.

I then moved up the age groups and was coached by Nick Hammond. He was similar to Martin, in the way that he let me play the way I played. He always gave me the same freedom, but was also 'harsh' sometimes, but was all for my benefit. I'll admit, sometimes I hated the 'harsh treatment' from both Martin and Nick, but it worked, and it was needed. I always felt that Martin and Nick 'had my back' and wanted the best for me. It was down to them that i got my first Essex trial which I got through and went on to a fantastic 'career' at Essex.

This moves me onto a guy, a very special guy to me, called Pete Williams. I first met Pete when i started training at Essex, and he coached me for about 5/6 years I think. He unfortunately had to put up with my teenage 'tantrums' (sorry Pete!) but he was such a fantastic coach. He was so knowledgeable about both bowling and batting, and much of his 'wisdom' brushed off onto me.

The next person I would like to thank is my old bowling coach, Ian Pont. I met Ian when I was playing at Essex, and he was responsible for pushing my name forward to train with the Essex 1st team. He saw a lot of potential in me and he brought out the best. However, looking back now, I really do feel that I never fully showed my true talent, which is annoying but i'll have to live with that. Ian was the guy who took my bowling up a few levels where I was able to bowl well at professional cricketers, both county and international, and quite a lot of the time, bowled very well against them. Huge thanks to Ian.

Lastly, my thanks goes out to ex Essex and Zimbabwe cricketer, Grant Flower. When I played at Essex and trained with the 1st team, I met Grant and we got on well. He was always happy to work with me on batting but also bowling. There were times where he needed a batsman to bowl at, so I always offered. He worked with me a lot, improving many area's of my batting which I felt, made me a much better batsman. He also introduced me to his Brother, Andy, who worked with me in the nets sometimes and also took me to the gym on a few occasions.

I would just like to thank the whole of the Essex CCC staff and players who were there when I played. It was such a great place to play and train.

I represented the District team, Essex from 13-19, the Essex 2nd team and was 12th man on a number of occasions for the Essex 1st team.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Good vs bad calories!


Whenever someone is looking to lose weight or pack on muscle, the word ‘Calories’ is bound to come up somewhere. So I am going to explain what calories you need, and a little comparison.

If you’re looking to shed some fat, then you need to have a calorie deficit (the difference between the calories you burn to the calories you consume). This deficit will cause a decline in your weight. Let’s look at an example. If you are a typical male who consumes 2500 calories per day, but wants to lose weight, you would want to drop a number of calories, to say, 2000. If you did that and also performed exercise, you will lose weight, or will you? If those 2000 calories came from fast food, takeaways, sugary snacks and bottles of coke, then you are not going to be losing weight. However, if those 2000 calories came from good sources of protein, fruit, vegetables, healthy fats, complex carbs, and then you will lose weight.

Even though they could both add up to 2000 calories, there can still be a massive difference. This is why some trainers/nutritionists do not like ‘calorie counting’, as it promotes people to stick to a number and not certain foods. The same goes with people who want to pack on muscle. Everyone knows that you have to eat protein to get big, but you also need to eat more calories. If a guy wanting to bulk up started at eating 2500 calories, but needs to eat 3500 calories per day, then it is completely pointless eating 3500 calories coming from fatty, sugary foods. They need to come from good, healthy sources of food – plenty of fruits, vegetables, protein, healthy fats and carbs.

So, there is a huge difference between certain calories. A calorie is not just a calorie, so don’t live by numbers, make sure you watch what you eat if you want to turn your goals into reality. 

Monday, 6 May 2013

The Rock and steroids ?

Over the last couple of years, Dwayne 'the rock' Johnson has been accused of using steroids and other illegal muscle enhancing drugs from pretty much every angle. I honestly do not know where these people get their 'facts' from.

Dwayne Johnson has been an athlete nearly all of his life, starting out in american football, then going into wrestling. He has trained for strength, speed, power and agility nearly all of his active career. The career he has had, has demanded him to be in the best shape, and he was known as one of the hardest trainers in the business. Dwayne is loaded, he has access to the best diet, all the gym equipment he wants, the best supplements, so of course he is going to be in the best shape. But one thing that he has more than many athletes, is the self motivation, the drive, the willingness to push himself to the max.

I personally do not know Dwayne Johnson, neither does 99.9% of the people who have accused him of illegal drug abuse, so how can they accuse him? I honestly think it is pure jealousy, that a guy who has hit his 40's is in way better shape than 20 something year olds who train a lot.

He is a great athlete and he trains harder than most people, that is why he is in amazing shape. Haters are gonna hate, but they are just pathetic and jealous, many people love him, and I admire him as an athlete.

bbq's and losing weight

The summer seems to be finally arriving in the UK, so its time to clean off those bbq's and get grillin! But are bbq's healthy?

 A summer bbq doesn't tend to be healthy, because its common buy cheaper burgers and sausages that come with s very high fat and saturated fat percentage, which is not good! So how can a bbq be made healthier? As having a bbq is not a daily thing, try and buy good quality meats, which will have a higher protein percentage and a lower level of fat and saturated fat. With white meat such as chicken, trim off any excess fat, this will make it leaner. Try adding different things to the barbie such as prawns and other fish, as seafood is very good for you. With the marinades,  choose low fat options, no full fat creams or anything, as you can still have a tasty marinade without it being fatty.

Another top tip is to make up a big bowl of salad, potato salad is great for the summer. This will help as it will be on show so your more likely going to eat it. Also, you do need something other than meat to eat, otherwise you will feel bloated.

Hope these tips help, and have a great bbq!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Blackberry Z10 review

So its been around a couple of months of owning my Blackberry Z10, and I have to say, I'm pretty impressed, and here's why.

I have used many phones, both smart and non smartphones, ranging from Nokia, Samsung, blackberry, Sony and more. Out of all the smartphones I have used, none have been as functional as the Z10.

The Z10 has some great features, including remember, hub, peak, flow, time shift, bbm video, the all new amazing keyboard and more. One of my favourite features has to be the hub. The hub is where you have all of your accounts in one place, where you simply have to slide the screen to the left and there it Is. Here is where I can access my Facebook, Twitter, work and personal email, bbm, Linkedin and calls. I used to own a Samsung galaxy s3, and I used to have to go into individual apps, come out of them to go into another, whereas with the Z10 I simply swipe to the left, can go I to Facebook, reply to a message, swipe back and then check my emails. The even better thing about this, is its all within the hub, not actually going I to individual apps. This is so handy when I have to juggle work emails, business emails, twitter interactions and Facebook messages.

Another feature I want to talk about is Blackberry remember. This app is not only a notepad, but a check list. Here is where I make all of my lists for work and my personal life. It can also be integrated with the calender as well. I have used other 'list apps' but this is by far the best.

The speed of the software is very impressive, the sliding between pages is very smooth too. Previous Blackberry's were known to freeze and have the good old timer on screen. Not with the Z10! I have not experienced any freezing at all, its just been smooth sailing.

At the moment, the only downside I see is the app store. It is not as big as the android or apple store, but it has got a lot of the main apps already. I think Blackberry 10 will become more popular and that will draw the attention from more and more app developers.

Overall, I personally believe the Blackberry Z10 is a great phone with amazing features, some of which are non existent on other smartphones.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Do carbs really make you fat?

I really do hate repeating myself, but I feel this will be something I am going to have to repeat throughout my career. Carbohydrates themselves do not make you fat, it all depends how much you eat.

Carbs are your body's primary energy source. If you eat too few, you wont have enough energy, but eat too much and it can sit on you as fat. There are many diets out there that cut out carbs altogether, and that is just such a bad way to go about weight loss. You need to find the right balance. Carbs have 4 calories per 1g, so if your eating 500g per day, that is 2000 calories from just carbs. You want to aim for around 800-1200 calories from carbs, especially if your training in the gym as you will need the energy for your workouts.

This was just a quick post to tell you to eat carbs,  even if your goals are to lose weight, just limit them.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Junk food, booze and weight loss

A fairly high percentage of people who come to me for a nutrition plan, know and accept that they will have to cut out the 'bad foods' in order to lose weight. However, I do still get some people ask questions like - 'can i still get drunk?' , 'can I still have my takeaway's?'

People that want to get in shape, to look better and to lead a healthier lifestyle, are willing to give up 'the crap', but some people seem to be really stubborn about it. I will lay it out in simple terms.

If you want to lose weight, tone up (especially for the up coming 'summer') then you are going to have to ditch the booze, the fast food, the sweets and other treats. Those foods are nothing but bad news when it comes to getting into shape, so why bother eating them? let alone paying for them! The thing is, when it comes to fat, the body stores it farrrrrr easier than it is to burn it off, so help yourself out from the start, and don't eat it.

The only way I allow these kinds of foods to enter a diet, is once per week, and that's one MEAL per week, not a whole day! Say if its a Friday or Saturday night, and your having your friends over for a movie night, poker night or watching the big game. Having a pizza and a few beers will be relaxing and would be classed as your 'cheat meal'. Doing this every night will NOT help you lose weight in any way. However, if you do have this 'cheat method', I do advise going to the gym the next day, otherwise you may feel bad for having stuffed a pizza!

So, in my eyes, if you want to lose weight, tone up/bulk up, get in shape, then just ditch the above foods, at least for a while to get yourself well on your way to your new body. I honestly believe once you get into the whole 'healthy lifestyle', you won't want to go back to burgers, chips, pizza's and tons of booze!