Thursday, 26 September 2013

How to get a better nights sleep

Everyday I see posts online from people that are either shattered and haven't had enough sleep, or can't get to sleep. So how can you have a better sleep so you wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and raring to go?

You need to 'de-clutter', both your mind and surroundings.I'm going to split this into three parts - 1) living on your own, 2) living with family/friends and 3) stress.

If you live at home with family or friends, you're bedroom will likely be your mini apartment. If your at home with family, your parents will most likely control the living room, and you will have your own tv etc in your bedroom, so you spend most of your time there. Whilst it's great to have a tv, playstation, dvds, computer etc in your room, if can actually cause 'bad sleep'. Whereas if you lived on your own, your tv, dvds, playstaion etc will be in your living room. So if you want to watch a movie or some tv in the evening, you will do so in the living room and then go to your bedroom when you want to sleep. So your bedroom becomes your 'place of peace', which can give you far better sleep. I have personally watched many property tv shows, and one thing that seems to be very common, is whenever they are creating a bedroom, they always base it around the word 'peaceful'. They want it to be a calm place, where you have no distractions, so its very relaxing - therefore having better sleep.

However, being at home with family, you will often have many distractions in your bedroom. As mentioned above - tv, playstation, computer, even things like dart boards! All of those things can affect sleep because you will become tempted to use them. Especially when a new playstation game comes out - GTA 5 - where im sure many kids (and adults!) will stay up late playing it! I have read articles about studies that have been done, showing the difference between watching tv/playing playstation before going to sleep, and reading a book or listening to music before going to sleep. The majority of the time its the latter that is better. This seems to be because watching tv/a movie/playing playstation, engages your brain, keeps it active and alert, which then makes it harder to fall asleep and get a better nights sleep. Meanwhile, popping the headphones on and listening to some music or reading a book doesn't engage your brain as much, which enables you to fall asleep easier and have a more peaceful sleep.

Another common factor that can mess around with your sleep is stress. Everyone has it, whether its a tiny little problem or a huge problem, everyone stress's about something. So, how can you help get rid of it? My best advice is to prioritise. Work out if the thing that is stressing you is as big as you think. For example, something that you won't be able to help stressing over is something for work - i.e. if you have a big presentation to do in a couple of days. But something like, apparently 'not having anything to wear' on a night out, is just not worth stressing over. They are just two examples, but by separating stress that you can't help and stress that you can help, you will reduce your overall stress levels and feel more relaxed. Life is like 2 great boxers fighting eachother - sometimes you will land the punches, other times you will get hit, and you just have to accept that. If you think you can go through life without taking any punches, then you're insane! Once you accept that everything won't always be perfect, you can learn to let certain things go and concentrate on others. Not only will it help your overall mood, but it will give you the sleep you need!

Hope this helps!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Social networking addiction

Social networking sites have taken over everything. Nearly every business nowadays has a Facebook page and Twitter account. There are adverts on TV mentioning 'follow us on Twitter' or 'find us on Facebook'. There are currently more than 1 billion Facebook users, which is crazy, but has the 'craze' of social networking made people addicted to it? Here are just 5 ways that are associated with social networking addiction.

1) Constantly checking into places. If you are someone that checks into every train station, restaurant, club, bar, shop, then I think your a little bit addicted. Social networking is for, well, networking, not to let everyone know where you are every second of every day! On a serious note, by doing that, it has enabled stalkers to 'stalk more' as they know where the person is all the time, so, be careful!

2) Uploading hundreds and hundreds of pictures when you are out. If you go out to a restaurant, bar, club, shop etc, and feel the need to upload a picture of every meal you buy, every drink you have, every piece of clothing you are looking at, then its time to delete your camera app! Pictures are great, everyone loves to have 'memories', but I am sure as hell that people aren't interested in seeing every piece of food you eat! Try enjoying your meal and the people you are there with rather than being on your phone....

3) This one is more popular than you can imagine - Using social networking sites whilst using the lavatory.... - Who actually does this? what kind of person rushes to the bathroom, 'begins' and then thinks - 'I better update my Facebook status!'??? If you are doing this, my god....sell your smartphone and go back to a Nokia 3310!!

4) Using social networking sites as soon as you open your eyes in the morning. If the first thing you do every single morning when you wake up, is checking your social networking accounts, then that is a sign you are addicted to them. Most people tend to wake up and go straight to the bathroom/kitchen, or check the news/weather. But if your first instinct is to check your Facebook or Twitter, then that is a clue that when you're awake, you can't stay away from those apps/sites.

5) Lastly, constantly tweeting about yourself/uploading hundred of pictures of yourself and liking your own Facebook posts. It is a little bit strange if you like your own Facebook posts.....why do that? obviously you like what you said because you said it! You don't then have to show your friends - 'I very much like what I just said guys!' - stop!. I guess if your someone who uploads tons of (what is now known as) 'selfies', Then you probably have many mirrors throughout your house as you love yourself. If you upload picture after picture of you pouting into the camera, there is only one reason for that -attention seeking, and nobody likes an attention seeker!

Some of you reading this may disagree and say something like 'so if I take a picture of myself that means I'm addicted to Facebook?'. These are things that I have commonly seen written in articles that have actually been about social networking addiction, as it is a real thing! But just remember, people that are addicted to something usually deny it...

Monday, 16 September 2013

Mayweather vs Alvarez

This was the fight, this was the bout that was called Mayweather's toughest fight to date. Alvarez is an up and coming fighter with great skills, but it wasn't enough to beat Mayweather.

The night before the fight, I remember saying to my brother that the only way I see Alvarez winning is by KO, and to do that, he would have had to come out of the blocks ready for battle. With Alvarez's power and the speed that he does have (still not quick enough for Floyd) I honestly think he could have challenged Mayweather, maybe unsettled him or even got the KO, but he came out too slow. The first 4 rounds, he was following what Floyd was doing, and that wasn't the game plan he needed. Floyd does not like it when he is smothered, pressured with punches and combo's, but Alvarez fought at the pace that is comfortable for Floyd.

On 'my scorecard', I only gave 3 rounds to Alvarez, and I was to find out that those rounds were when Mayweather said he suffered a dislocated elbow, which would tie into Alvarez scoring those rounds. The rest of the fight Floyd just dominated, he fought at his pace, his range, and was picking off Alvarez with his precision punches. I noticed that Alvarez started to become very frustrated, getting hit a lot in the face when coming forward, trying to 'talk' to Floyd, all signs of a talented boxer being frustrated because he couldn't get his own punches off.

One thing I liked about Alvarez was that he targeted Floyd's body a lot more than any other opponent of Mayweather's that I have seen lately. Floyd's head movement is too fast for pretty much all of the fighters out there, so it's a waste of time going for it unless you have tremendous speed. The thing to do is target his body (which also isn't easy as he has a superb defense) to try and weaken him, slow him down and allow more shots to get through.

It was a great fight to see, another fantastic performance by Mayweather, showing he can attack and defend. I think Alvarez's tactics were wrong, he needed to smother Floyd, but ended up giving too many rounds away. What next for Floyd Mayweather? Maybe Khan? we shall see, but I honestly don't see Floyd getting beat...

Friday, 13 September 2013

Why 'shake' diets are a waste!

People who want to lose weight tend to have something in common - they want a quick fix. They usually aren't prepared for the hard work in actually changing their lifestyle, but are these 'diets' actually good? Hell no.

Let me ask you something, if you start a 'diet' that consists of having 3 shakes a day, can you do that for the rest of your life? NO! Is it safe/healthy to do it even long-ish term? NO! So why on earth do people do them? because they want to lose weight and usually can't be bothered to get exercising and prepare their own healthy meals, so they pay a company to deliver powdered meals to their door.

SO, why don't they work? Well, its because you can't do it forever, or even long term. So what happens when you finish your 'course' or shakes? you have to go back to reality, having to go shopping and cook your own meals. You would have gotten used to drinking shakes that are given to you, so you will be lost when it comes to eating healthily and continue losing weight. Also, with these shakes, they are usually low calorie shakes, and your not actually just burning fat - your breaking up muscle tissue as well!

These companies do make me laugh, because they claim to employ nutritionists (biggest joke on earth). Being a nutritionist myself, I am mortified if they think 'good nutrition' means giving powdered shakes to people for weight loss. I most certainly will NEVER give shakes of any kind to lose weight. I use the approach of ACTUAL food, healthy food, not powder.

If you go on one of these 'diets' then you will find yourself gaining weight after you stop your 'course', unless in the meantime you become a nutrition expert. The failure rate of long term weight loss using these companies is quite awful, hence why there are personal trainers and nutritionists out there that do things right, that get the best result. Don't believe me? try and find a university course for nutrition or a personal training course that says 'to lose weight, especially long term, you must drink powdered shakes'. You have more chance in seeing Usain Bolt run the 100m in 1 minute.

If you seriously want to lose weight and change your life, please do not use these companies, it is a waste of time and money.

My GET SLIM healthy eating plan is just £5 - which is based on real nutrition, real foods, and is easy to follow! :) just head to the e-store 

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Food Addiction

There is a trainer that I would consider is my role model, and that person is a guy called Jessie Pavelka. He has a new TV show that's called 'Fat: the fight of my life', and it is truly incredible.

Most people tend to think over weight/obese people are just lazy and eat tons of food, which sometimes can be true. But its often a certain circumstance or two that leads to the weight gain, common reasons being bullying/loved ones deaths. Bad things that happen can tend to lead to food addiction, which is the same as any other addiction - they turn to it to take away feelings. Alcohol is a substance that some people use to 'get away', stop thinking of the bad things, thinking that alcohol will make them forget about them etc etc. People do that with food, they eat a lot of bad food to get away from whatever is bothering them, and they feel as though it makes them feel better about the situation.

Jessie Pavelka's show is about morbidly obese people, who have an addiction with food due to a number of reasons. His job is not just a 'trainer', but someone to break down the walls that they have put up which has lead to the weight gain. Once they get to the root of the problem, they can then fix that problem. Jessie knows that its not all going to be smooth sailing, he knows that the 'client' will fall backwards at some point, because it is an addiction. If you take somebody who is addicted to smoking, its common for them to have a cigarette here and there during the 'quitting phase', and that is the same with food. At some point an obese person will give in to the the bad food, and then hate them self for doing that. The problem with giving into those temptations is that your feeding your body that addiction again, which will grab hold of you and want more of it. That is why losing weight can be so dam hard, because you have to break habits that could have been around for many years, and that is not easy.

You can help fight against food addiction with things that motivate you. If your of an older age and are obese, things that should motivate you are your children, partner and possible grandchildren. I'm sure you would want to be around as long as possible to see your family grow. If you are of a younger age and are obese, you have your whole life ahead of you, a career, a family of your own, surely you would want to be around for every single bit of that? Those are just some of the most common pieces of inspiration to keep on going with your weight loss journey. It will be tough, physically, but more importantly, mentally. But that shouldn't stop you, it should push you, drive you, make you want to be the best possible version of yourself and give you the life you deserve.

Everyone deserves a great life, and weight shouldn't stop you experiencing the things that you want to experience.

Addictions can be broken, but the only people that do break them, are those who won't give up - so don't give up, and you will have a new life.

Friday, 6 September 2013


This post is for those who are getting into the fitness lifestyle/already in the fitness lifestyle but not seeing the desired results. This post is not for those who go to the gym for every other possible reason except working out!

Mr Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson himself has done a few videos with the sole purpose of getting the message of 'focus' across. That word - focus - is unbelievably important if you are wanting great results. Being someone that has been in and around gyms/fitness/nutrition for about 8 years, I have certainly seen the huge difference between those who focus and those who don't. I have lost count with the amount of people I have seen in gyms that seem to be there for socialising. I have seen people 'hog' gym equipment, not by using it! but by standing there, saying they are using it when they are really on their phones probably texting lies to girls with how much they are lifting. That really bothers me - people in the gym standing around, chatting non stop, texting, tweeting, its a gym! not a coffee house! Apart from working out, being polite by talking to people (but not for ages! after all, people are there to workout, but if someone says hi how are you? then by all means, respond, but don't get into a full blown conversation unless your workout is over!) the only other thing that is acceptable is changing music on your ipod/mp3/phone, but its still easier to make a playlist prior to your workout. Does this sound a little harsh? maybe...but its necessary.

A lot of guys and girls out there that really want to get into the 'Fit Life', get in shape, be healthy etc, usually have role models. For instance, if a guy wants to be a body builder, their idols will probably be Mr Phil Heath, or Mr Jay Cutler. Staying with that example, do you think those two guys go to the gym, have a chit chat, tweet, update their Facebook status, text women? ermmmm no. Those two guys will go to the gym, and destroy their session, that is how they have got their physiques. A lot of gyms nowadays tend to have a kind of cafe inside, where you can sit down, have a drink, chat with friends etc. That is the time to chill out and have a chat. So you want to go to the gym, hit your workout hard, and then after, jump in the sauna/steam room/jacuzzi, have a drink and chat with friends. You don't want to try and workout and socialise at the same time. Not only will you be hogging the equipment which will annoy others, but you will be wasting time and money going to the gym as you won't get the results your after. You must FOCUS when you are at the gym!

A lot of people use the gym as an 'escape', try it! leave Facebook, Twitter and any other social networking sites that you use in the locker room! Hit the gym, train hard, after your session you can chill out. FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Can boredom make you fat?

Boredom is a very common reason for weight gain. When people are bored, they tend to eat - could be going out to a cafe, ordering a takeaway or raiding the fridge. 

When someone is bored, they tend to think they are 'starving', when they really aren't, its just the bored part of their brain telling them to go get something to eat as there is nothing else to do. Have you ever been doing something that you really enjoy - playing a sport, going shopping, playing a playstation game, or anything else - and thinking half way through, 'wow, im starving', I highly doubt it. That's because you are doing something that you enjoy and you're concentrating on it. After you have played sport, or have been shopping for a day, sure - you're going to be hungry, but whilst your actually doing that thing, your too busy to think about food. However, when you have nothing to do, you tend to go and eat, which is bad. 

How to fix this? 

Find something to do! whether its going for a run, going to the gym, housework, homework, coursework etc etc, doing something will take your mind off of food, which means you won't be eating for the sake of it and taking in unnecessary and unwanted calories. 

Monday, 2 September 2013

Dawn French weight loss

I recently read an article about Dawn French which made me pop on here and write about it, because it made me a little bit angry...

Dawn French is known as the 'funny, big and bubbly' actress, although she's not 'big' anymore. I think this is right, but forgive me if the figures aren't 100% accurate, but she lost an incredible 8 stone! down from 19 (I think), so how did her fans react?? BAD! I couldn't believe it when I read this. The article said that the reaction to her amazing weight loss was 'Dawn French accused of betraying fat fans'. So someone that has been overweight for a long time, increasing the chances of various different health problems, has betrayed people she doesn't even know? really? How can the public be so selfish and so mean? Her weight loss is amazing, especially as she claims that she only ate less and walked more. Now, some people may think that with all the money she has, she must of had a top trainer, but if she says she hasn't, its up to you to believe it or not. Either way, she lost over a third of her body weight.

Dawn's reaction to the fans comments was one of shock. She said that she was worried that her popularity over the years was only because she was big, whereas now she is a lot smaller, having fans say she has betrayed them because of weight loss, it's shocking! Why can't people be happy for her?

If you are one of these fans that reacted in that way, you should be ashamed of yourself. People still don't seem to understand just how bad of a problem obesity is. Surely if you are a fan of Dawn French, her weight loss should inspire you?? should get you motivated and think 'I can do it too!'. Not go onto Facebook or Twitter and start ranting that she has betrayed her 'fat fans'!

Let's not beat around the bush here, Dawn was a big girl, and she wasn't 20 years old either, so to manage the weight loss she has, its pretty incredible. It shows people out there that think they can't lose weight for whatever reason, that you can do it, that you can shift those pounds and begin a new chapter in your life. Don't resent weight loss stories, let them inspire you.