Thursday, 30 January 2014

The Obalon Balloon Pill - INSANE!

I heard about this last week, and I still cannot believe it! A new weight loss drug that puts a balloon in your stomach.....this is just ridiculous...

It works by you swallowing the pill, attached to a thin tube. The doctors then use the tube to inflate the balloon, remove the tube and leave the balloon in your stomach, which can stay there for up to 3 months. You can take up to three pills at once, and after the three months, the doctors remove the pill. I literally can't believe what I am typing here....

It really doesn't sound nice does it? So, what are the problems....

It may well suppress your appetite, but it doesn't change what foods you eat. So even if you eat less, you could still be eating junk food that does nothing but add fat. Also, once the pill is removed, then what? I reckon people would go back to their old ways, as they have learned NOTHING during the time using the drug. There is no way this pill can guarantee long term weight loss, because, well.....its just a con! As I always say, why bother doing something if you can't do it forever? Things like this drug have a start date, but they also have an end date, and that's when things go bad. I don't mean to be graphic here, but I don't know if its just me, but walking around with a balloon in your stomach would be like walking around with a bubble of 'gas'..... can't be nice!

So, what do I think of this? I think it is utter garbage, just another 'way' of getting people to avoid a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. Whoever came up with this idea is a complete and utter moron and should never be allowed to work in the health industry again. When will people learn... healthy diet and exercise shifts fat, so stop bringing out con diets and stupid drugs!

Please, please, please do not use this drug - get yourself a healthy diet and exercise regularly and you will see results!

Why sit ups are a waste of time

Whether you're looking to burn fat or build muscle, doing sit ups really isn't the smartest idea. I know a fair few people who are in great shape, men and women, and they rarely, if at all do sit ups.

You see, sit ups burn hardly any calories, they might help to 'tone' muscle, but the days of sit ups are gone. Athletes and fitness enthusiasts much prefer exercises like leg raises, hanging knee raises, hanging leg raises, planks etc. Most people don't know that other exercises that are not predominantly aimed at the core, actually build up the core. Squatting actually hits your core a lot, but people just think it hits your legs.

If you want to burn fat, just stop doing sit ups. As mentioned, they burn hardly any calories, so why bother? To get great abs, you need to work your core but get rid of any excess body fat, and sit ups are not the way to achieve that. I'm sure you have seen people in the gym who are overweight and performing sit ups, thinking they are doing an awesome workout, I know I have.

To build up your core muscles, you need to place them under tension (like any other muscle). That's why doing 20 leg raises are a lot harder than doing 20 sit ups, and that's because sit ups just don't really do that much. So stop wasting your time doing sit ups and start performing leg raises, hanging leg raises, hanging knee raises etc.


Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Hungry or thirsty?

A common problem with people with weight problems, is that they think they're hungry when they actually aren't.

The human body is designed to be able to live on a moderate calorie intake, meaning, you don't need to eat all day. A common 'trigger' for eating is actually dehydration.

Most people don't drink enough water throughout the day, and there can be many reasons for this - for example, you may have a job that keeps you so busy you either forget or don't have time for a drink. This will obviously lead to dehydration. A common issue is that people don't tend to have breakfast, or if they do, its very little. But what do you do before you have breakfast? you wake up obviously! Sleeping actually dehydrates you a bit, so if you don't drink some fluid in the morning, add in little or no breakfast, by mid morning, you're likely to snack, not just because of the little or no breakfast, but what happened before? (or should I say what didn't happen....) you didn't have any fluids. So as the morning went on, you became more and more dehydrated, which makes you think you're hungry, when actually you just need a big (non alcoholic!) drink! You should be drinking a bare, bare minimum of 2 liters of water per day, but try to aim for 3, and spread it throughout the day. This will ensure that you are always hydrated, and you will be surprised how your 'hunger' would have decreased.

Give it a go! I drink a lot of water throughout the day, probably a minimum of 3 liters, and yes I do still get a bit peckish every now and again, but nearly always I feel fine, full, and don't have cravings.

Are you fed up with being overweight?

One word that is often used among people that are overweight is 'frustrated', and I can understand why. If you are someone who wants to lose some body fat but nothing seems to be happening, you're going to be fed up with not seeing results. But there could be a few reasons why you aren't seeing the results you want.

Firstly, and this might come across a bit harsh, but, you just might not be putting in enough effort. Its extremely easy to put weight on, but hard to burn it off, and it requires a lot of effort. That goes for both inside the gym and in the kitchen. If you aren't being as strict as you should (meaning, still eating junk food or doing half hearted workouts) then the results won't come. Its the same for a guy who wants to pack on a lot of muscle - if he doesn't train hard enough and eat enough of the right foods, he isn't going to add muscle.

You also need to be consistent. Its common for people to be known as a 'yo-yo dieter'. Someone that loses a bit of weight, then puts it back on and keeps going round and round in circles. You need to have a structure, so you don't jump up and down in weight. This could be anything from setting out your workouts, planning your meals or teaming up with friends for walks/runs/workouts.

Lastly, you need to be committed. There is no point giving 50% effort, because you won't get the results you're after and it would be a waste of time and money. Surround yourself with motivation (pictures of athletes, celebs, the old you), follow people who inspire you on twitter etc etc. It is hard work to get fit, but nobody is going to hand you a great body on a plate. No 'pill' or con diet will give you a great body for life, only you can do that. Put in the hard work and you will love your body forever.

If you need help with the nutrition side of things, pick up my get slim plan today.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Women and weights

Over the past few weeks, I have read a fair few tweets and small articles about women and weights. It seems to be that women are afraid of doing exercises with weights because they don't want to start bulging with muscles, but that really isn't what happens.

Women naturally have much lower levels of testosterone than men, which makes it really hard to build muscle, unless they 'use' (hence why most female bodybuilders tend to have male features). So by doing a couple of weighted workout sessions per week, you're not going to look like the female Arnie anytime soon! Adding weights into your workout will burn more calories and tone your muscles - giving good shape to your body. I've been in gyms where I have seen women jogging on the treadmill or texting on an exercise bike, and wonder why they're body doesn't change. You have to challenge your body in order for it to start changing, and going for a little jog isn't going to do that. Women like a guy who has packed on some muscle, because it gives him good shape and looks good. Its the same with women. By toning your muscles, you're giving your body good shape.

For a woman to pack on a lot of muscle and look 'bulky', you would have to train very, very hard and eat a lot of calories (same as a male bodybuilder). But if you just want to look toned, then weights is what you need. Adding weights to your workouts, eating a healthy diet will give you that 'fit' body you are looking for. Don't be afraid of weights, they're your friends!

Are you hiding your food addiction?

Sometimes, being overweight can make you feel very lonely, but trust me - you are not alone. Also, most overweight people would agree that they are embarrassed, and this can lead to them hiding their addiction. I have read people's stories, seen interviews on TV, about overweight individuals that try and hide their addiction - for example - won't eat in front of people/eat healthy foods in front of people but then binge when they get home/have little hiding places where they keep junk food and so on. So, how can you change this?

I think the first thing you can do, is reassure yourself that your loved ones are there to support you and will help you when the going gets tough. Your family and friends love you and don't want you to carry on eating more and more, so use their support to help you with your weight loss goal. They can almost be like your own trainer/nutritionist - throwing out the junk food you have in your home, not purchasing any more, join in with cooking healthy meals, join in with exercise etc etc. That way you won't feel alone, you will have a great support network around you. That's very important.....'a great support network'... let me explain.

Those who personally know me, know that I love formula 1 and I do use f1 in explaining things to do with health and fitness. Most of you will probably know who Lewis Hamilton is (English f1 driver). Many big names in formula 1 say he is the fastest driver on the grid, but when the very public break up between him and Nicole Scherzinger happened, people could tell it was affecting hi over a race weekend (when she was often present) it also seemed to affect his driving. But when he was with her, he was very happy with himself - as well as having his dad, brother, mother and close friends, he had his 'great support network', which gave him that 'x factor' on the track. That's the same with losing weight and getting fit - you need a support network around you, otherwise things can become very tough and you can feel very lonely.

I hope this helps!

www.leegregoryfitness.com 

www.facebook.com/LeeGregoryFitness 

Friday, 24 January 2014

"Upbeat" drink review

I recently received a free sample of 'Upbeat high protein dairy drink' (strawberry) and I thought I would write a review on it.

To start with I loved the packaging, its simple, clean, cut, and effective, very eye catching. But I was quite thirsty, so I went straight in for the taste! I was pleasantly surprised! a great texture, great taste (but not too sweet) and after drinking it, I felt fuller, which is what you need for a snack!

The nutritional content is also very impressive:
Per bottle,

Kcal - 145
Protein - 20g
Carbohydrates - 11.5g
of which sugars - 11g
Fat - 2g
of which saturates - 1.2g
Fibre - 0.7g
Sodium - 0.14g
Calcium - 140mg

This would make a great 'post-workout' drink - a good kick of protein, few carbs, but the sugar as well (which is needed after a workout)

I would recommend trying these! visit their website - www.feelingupbeat.com

Follow them on twitter - @feelingupbeat

Is there a magic pill?

Some people may disagree with this, but I believe that a fair percentage of people who are overweight, are desperate/lazy. Those people will most likely sign up for a diet where they are given shakes or pills, rather than making the physical effort of eating healthy and exercising regularly. But....is there a magic pill? Here's the answer - NO!

There are many CON diets out there that are designed purely to line the pockets of companies with your cash. Some may work for the short term - i.e. - starve yourself, drop weight (including muscle and water loss!) and then as soon as you start eating real food again, the weight comes back. So, is that what you would call 'working'? I certainly wouldn't. But the people who sold you that diet have probably recently bought a new car and a huge house! (I'm sure they will send a thank you card...)

There is no 'magic pill', no 'one thing' that will drop your body fat and give you the body of your dreams. You need to put in the hard work to change your lifestyle. By doing that you will be able to do that for the long term, to have a body you are happy with and that isn't going to go away once you 'finish' because there is no end date to having a healthy lifestyle.

I understand that some people are desperate to lose weight and 'cure' their food addiction, and these adverts that promise people so much, draw them in. I completely understand, BUT you can lose weight, you can be happy, you can be confident, you just have to be willing to work hard. Does a newly qualified lawyer jump into a million pounds a year job? no.... they have to work their ass off to build their career, work their way up that ladder, and then after all that hard grafting they can reach their goals. Its the same with weight - put the hard work in, and you WILL have a body you are happy with. Stop wasting time and money on these con diets that are designed purely for financial benefit to those who invented them.

Start with a healthy eating plan and regular exercise, and if you put the hard work in, you will see results - results that last!

Check out my healthy eating 'get slim' plan.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Are you a fighter?

Firstly, I'm not asking if you fight people.... But being a fighter is a great trait to have. Let me explain...

Every single person has their own problems, some maybe small, some maybe huge, but they are all annoying issues to have to that person. Those problems can affect people's lives in many ways, and one common one can be their weight. These issues could be - relationships, stress at work, not liking their job, school, family problems, money worries, living situation and so on. But there is one type of person that makes it through their issues and come out a stronger person - a fighter. Life is tough, that's a given, but you have to fight, you can't let things stop you from doing something that you either need to do or want to do. I know that it's not as simple as 'doing it, believe me, I know! I have gone through a lot, and still going through problems at the moment, but you have to fight through it. You may not overcome your hurdles straight away, but if you keep fighting, keep battling through, then you will eventually get through them.

Its so common that people's weight suffers because of personal problems that make them turn to comfort food. But you just have to surround yourself with motivation - reasons why you want to get fit and healthy - could be because of your children, a family member, a partner, want to increase your confidence, change career, do a challenge that your weight is currently stopping you, and so on... Be a fighter! fight through it, and when you come out the other side, you're going to have a new found confidence, believing you can do what you set your mind to. Its like building a new you, a better you, a stronger you, and you CAN do it. "fight for what's worth having" - a healthy body is worth having, for whatever reason you have for wanting that.

Be strong, be tough, be persistent, be a fighter...

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

I hate the word 'convenience'

There are a fair few theories as to why the nation is becoming more and more obese, but this is one way - the word 'convenience'.

If I asked someone whether they would come home from a busy day, and cook a tasty, healthy, fresh dinner, OR order a takeaway / pop a ready-meal into the microwave, I am pretty darn sure of the answer!

These days, unhealthy food is so easy to eat, that people choose it over cooking healthy meals. With a ready-meal, all you have to do is pop it in the microwave for a few mins and its ready to eat. With a takeaway, people can order it, go and shower or whatever they do when they get home from work, and then dinner is delivered. It is lazy yes, but its just the fact of being so convenient. Its the same with snacks - foods such as chocolate bars and crisps take little to no effort to eat - all you have to do is open the packet and eat.

Nowadays, how easy it is to eat junk food is kind of a joke, and because of how easy it is, that's why people will do it. They would rather watch TV when their dinner is on its way or cooking in the microwave. Again, comes down to being lazy. BUT, doing it every now and then if you are genuinely short for time, is okay, The problem comes along when you do it too much, because it becomes a habit, and an extremely bad one! Yes it takes time to make healthy meals, but it doesn't take hours. You can cook healthy, delicious meals in 15 minutes! I personally have a few cook books that are healthy 15 minute meals, perfect for weekdays! It simply takes a little effort, and it can be a huge change in your lifestyle, a positive change!

I do seriously hate the word 'convenience', and I truly believe it is a big reason for obesity. There are two clear benefits of making your own meals - 1) You will eat healthier, therefore losing body fat. 2) You will save money, as cooking healthy meals yourself is cheaper than junk food!

Don't get suckered in to this dreaded word! Put a bit of effort in to create your own healthy, tasty meals!

Monday, 20 January 2014

5 common mistakes made in the gym

I'm sure you have walked into a gym and seen a guy lifting weights with awful form, but that's just one of many mistakes that are made! Here are some others... Do NOT make these!

1) Going to the gym without a plan
This is one of the most common mistakes made in the gym. I lost count a long time ago with the amount of people I have seen in gyms walking around like a zombie not knowing what exercise to do next. You can always tell who has planned a session and who has no idea what to do. As the old saying goes 'failing to plan is planning to fail'.

2) Performing cardio before your lifting session
If your goal is to 'get big' and pack on the muscle, you still need a little bit of cardio, but not too much and not before you lift. Think about it, if you do a 30 minute cardio session, and then go and start your weights, you're not going to be 'fresh' for the workout are you? which could lead to poor technique, or even injury.

3) Not warming up
You get told as a young kid to warm up properly before playing sport or something similar, but many people still don't warm up. In order to prevent injury and work out effectively, you must warm up, otherwise its like trying to stretch a frozen elastic band - snap!

4) Neglecting certain body parts
The most common body part to neglect is the legs. There are some comical pictures of men with huge upper bodies but skinny small legs, but it does happen! I have personally seen that in the gym, guys who wear tracksuit bottoms and a tank top, they look great, but as soon as they take the bottoms off, its rather amusing!!  You need to balance your training and make sure you train all body parts. You can focus on a few more than others, but you need to train all of them.

5) Always training the same
If you're someone that never changes their routine, reps, sets, equipment etc, then you need too! you're not going to see results by doing the same thing every workout. You need to keep challenging your body, keeping it on its toes, that way you will get the results you want.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Why the 'fitness life' RULES!

I see two groups of people these days (obviously there are more, but I'm focusing on these two). You have the 'party people' who go out to bars and clubs all the time, drunken holidays and living the party lifestyle. Then you have the fitness people, who love to workout, train, do physical things like playing sports, bike riding, enter marathons and so on. I love the fitness life, and here is why I think it rules...

Being into fitness doesn't just mean you want to look good, there are many more benefits. To start with, being fit, looking good, makes you feel good - gives you more confidence. That can help you in everyday life - being more productive at work, starting a new career, doing things you didn't have the confidence to do before etc etc. It can then help your love life. By being more confident, you're more likely to approach men/women, that previously you have been too nervous to do. By having more confidence in yourself, you're less likely to be paranoid in a relationship or always thinking your partner will find someone better. If you are with someone who is also into fitness, you can go to the gym together, go on holidays and do things other than sit by the pool all day - for example mountain biking, hikes, sightseeing and more.

Being into fitness can really impact your career too. I have read articles, peoples experiences and have known a few people that have had a boost in their career because of fitness. By having that confidence, being in shape, liking how you look, you have a raised 'presence' in your career. You believe in yourself more, which  makes others believe in you too. As I said, fitness isn't just about looking good in a mirror. It can really impact your life.

Compare that to the people who get drunk 4 times a week, and feel sluggish and tired because their body always has alcohol and junk food in it. To me its an obvious choice, but I am someone who has always been into nutrition and fitness. Its up to you which life you want to live, but by the time you're 40 years old, you don't want to look and feel haggard, you would rather look and feel fit and healthy
.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Do you want to lose weight?

This is just a simple post, for those who want to lose weight. Some of this may come across as obvious, but sometimes its the obvious things people forget...

If you want to lose weight and get in shape, just try and keep things as simple as possible. When people start over complicating things, that's when the quitting tends to start. Just remember, to lose weight is a simple equation - healthy eating + regular exercise = weight loss.

What exercise is best you ask? Well, high intensity interval training is what many fitness professionals recommend. So no more jogging on the treadmill for 30 minutes! Introduce weights into your routine (girls, don't worry, you're not going to suddenly bulk up!), weights can increase calorie burn, therefore shedding more fat. Mix things up as well, you don't want to get bored - try different exercises, different circuits, play around with reps and sets or duration.

With the diet side, again, keep things simple! don't worry about counting everything you eat and drink as that can easily start to feel like a chore. Just remember its all a balancing act - calories in vs calories out. Make sure you eat lean meats (low fat), complex carbs (sweet potato), fruits and vegetables, healthy fats (avocado) and drink plenty of water!

If you keep things simple, you will learn to love the fitness life! Losing weight doesn't have to be complicated or stressful. Once you start, you won't want to stop!

The 'fresh air' workout

There are many, many different workouts out there, ranging from - heavy weight training, light weight circuits, body
weight circuits, zumba, spinning classes, pilates, yoga, and many more! But here is a slightly different workout...

The good ole outdoors is an overlooked gym! Getting out in the fresh air is extremely healthy for you in itself, but there are lots of ways to get fit and get fresh air at the same time. The late Paul Walker loved the outdoors and got in shape by surfing, beach fitness, bike riding, hiking and more. That shows that you don't always have to be in a gym to get fit.

Going for runs, bike rides and walks are all free to do and great for your health. Some people can't afford a gym membership, so training outdoors is the best alternative they can do. But there are plenty of people that can afford a gym membership but just choose to train outdoors as they don't like the gym environment. If you're lucky enough to live somewhere where you can go proper mountain biking, then you should, a
s its a great workout and you get to see some scenery! A lot of people say that running on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike is just boring, so mountain biking or cross country running is the thing to do!

Great outdoor workouts:

- Running
- Walking
- Bike riding
- Mountain biking
- Cross country running
- Swimming (if you live by the beach!)
- Playing sports
- Beach running
- Rowing
- Rock climbing

And I'm sure there are more!

Don't underestimate what you can do outside of the gym....

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Charlotte Ord - an inspiration

Over the years I have had a few role models, especially when I played cricket for Essex CCC, but now I'm in the fitness industry working as a nutritionist, I have a few more role models, one being Charlotte Ord.

Charlotte is one of the trainers on 'The Biggest Loser' UK. But she has done much more than that, and to be honest, she's a heck of a woman! Starting out by being pretty good at sport representing her county and then playing lacrosse for her country. After leaving university with an honours degree in psychology and sociology, she then combined that with her sporting background and headed for the fitness industry. I have heard her say that she has had a little bit of luck, especially with landing her first job in the fitness industry - a managerial role in a large corporate gym, but come on....everyone gets luck one way or another! I have followed Charlotte for a while now, via Facebook, Twitter, her blog and on TV, and one thing keeps smacking me in the face....

I recently done a post on personal trainers being 'understanding', and every time I have seen Charlotte on TV, whether its training people on The Biggest Loser, or an interview, she always comes across as someone who really understands the addiction that people have with food. Many people think of it as 'ah they just love to eat food', but Charlotte is excellent at getting to the root cause, and doing it in a way that isn't harsh, rude, or even condescending. I have seen her kick people's asses in the gym, as well as connect with them in a, well, a loving way actually! You can really see she cares about those she trains, and I think that is just incredible. Some people think of personal trainers as beefed up, arrogant people, and Charlotte is a perfect example of an amazing trainer.

I currently work as a nutritionist, but I plan on being a personal trainer in the future, and its people like Charlotte that has inspired me, and motivates me to do better, to learn, to develop, and to do the best job I can do. Thank you Charlotte!

You can follow her here (If you're crazy enough that you haven't already!)

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

The best trait a PT can have

Personal training has boomed over the last 5 years (from reports that I have read) and some people have said its due to the 'society of today', with self image becoming a 'big thing'. But what makes a god PT? well, a lot of things, but there is one trait that I truly believe you need if you want to become a successful but also highly respected personal trainer. That trait is - 'understanding'.

You can look like Dwayne Johnson (I refer to him a lot, but com'on....hes a tank!) you can have as much knowledge of the human body as a scientist, but a lot of people who get a PT, want someone who is understanding, not just some beefed up, muscle bound trainer who will just tell them what to do. Personal training contains that one word - personal. A trainer and a client should have a bond, a connection, mutual trust, and many people have had bad experiences which has lead to weight gain - so if a trainer has been through similar emotional or mental battles, then they know what those feelings are like.

People who are overweight/obese and want a trainer, they can be intimidated by the 'army soldier' style of a trainer, they would much prefer someone who they can connect with, someone who can help them mentally as well as physically - as the mental side of things is a huge part of getting into shape and changing their lifestyle. Some may disagree with this post, but I still believe it. I myself have been through some extremely tough and challenging times, physically but also emotionally and mentally, and I believe that in the future (when I go into personal training) It will benefit me, even though at the time it was horrible.

Take your side, agree or disagree, but the word 'personal' is in the job title for a reason...

Monday, 13 January 2014

Why nutrition IS important

Whether you are aiming for weight loss, muscle building or sporting performance, nutrition is vital. Many people don't mind going to the gym and working out (or posing!) but not everyone likes the nutrition side of things.

When I played cricket for Essex CCC, I trained hard, worked out in the gym regularly, but it wasn't until I got myself a nutritionist and sorted out my diet that I really noticed the benefits of nutrition. It makes sense though, right? If your goal is to build muscle, then yes, a good gym plan is crucial, but you don't build muscle in the gym, you break it down - nutrition is where your muscles grow. So if your nutrition is poor, then your progress will be poor. Your muscles need the correct nutrients in order to grow, get bigger and stronger.

If your goal is weight loss, then nutrition is extremely important. Losing fat is all about a calorie balance - calories consumed vs calories burned. You could be working hard in the gym, but if you're consuming more calories than you're burning, then you're not going to be shedding the pounds. You have to make sure your eating lean, healthy foods - protein, complex carbs, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats.

Sport is where I believe nutrition has really taken off in the last 10 years. Every professional sports team will have a nutritionist, providing the athletes with the nutrition they need to perform at their best. Different sports require different nutritional needs, so a diet for a footballer will not be the same for a cricketer.

Don't dismiss nutrition, it is very important no matter what your goal is.

Check out my nutrition plans

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Why you're not gaining muscle

Not gaining muscle and size is a very common problem for people. Everyone who wants to get big knows they should eat protein, but there are other mistakes people are making.

1) You simply aren't eating enough food

It's not just protein that you need, you in fact need a lot of calories coming from protein, carbs and fats. If you take the suggested average calorie intake for a male - 2500, to lose weight, you need to consume less calories, but to gain weight you need to eat more. You need to add at least 500 or more calories a day to start gaining size. Your hard work in the gym wont matter if you're not getting enough nutrients.

2) You're not training hard enough

I think we have all seen them - people in the gym 'going through the motions'. Those are the people that won't get any real results. If you want to be big, strong and lean, you need to push your body to its limits! I'm pretty dam sure Dwayne Johnson doesn't just 'go through the motions'!

3) You're doing too much cardio

Performing too much cardio will make mass building virtually impossible, especially if you're already not eating enough. Burning more and more calories is pretty pointless when you want to get bigger - to get bigger, you need more calories, not to burn more.

4) You're not training right

If your goal is to get bigger, then you need to train for that. It seems that most people (trainers and fitness enthusiasts) would agree that 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps is best for hypertrophy. You want to concentrate on correct form and hitting muscles from different angles.

5) You're not getting enough rest

When you workout, that is NOT the time when your muscles grow, its actually the time they get broken down. Nutrition and rest is what causes them to get bigger and stronger. A lot of people don't get enough rest in between workouts, which hinders muscle growth. Make sure you get enough rest, sleep and correct nutrition.

6) You're not getting enough protein

This one is pretty obvious, but it seems as though many people don't get enough protein. Trainers and athletes that I trust recommend around 1.3-1.5g of protein per pound of body weight. You don't want to stick to just one form of protein (i.e. chicken). Eating a variety of protein foods can be highly beneficial to muscle building. (different foods contain different amino acid profiles)

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Hench 50% protein cookies

I recently received my monthly stack from Hench Nutrition, and one of the products I got was their 50%
protein cookies.

There are many protein foods out there nowadays - brownies, pancakes, ice cream, porridge, crisps and more. This is the first time I tried a protein cookie. Here is the nutritional info:

Per 75g cookie

Energy: 320kcal
Protein: 37.5g
Carbohydrate: 20.1g
of which sugars: 7.4g
Fat: 10g
of which saturates: 3.9
Fibre: 1.1g
Sodium: 270mg

Now, if you were expecting a cookie to have no fat or sugar in it what so ever, then you are wrong. The protein content is high, and having personally tasted one, they are very nice to eat. It is the ideal snack, its not something that you would eat 5 a day of, but it is a great snack, especially if you are on the road a lot. While the taste is very good, its not like your typical cookie - it hasn't got that sugary, sweet, sickly taste to it, but that's because its not made with ten ton of rubbish!

Bottom line - it tastes great, the content is great, and the price is good as well! I recommend them!

Get your protein cookies today!

The BEST way to keep the weight off

There are so many diets out there that promise so much, but many of them fail. So, what is the best way to lose weight and keep it off?

Well, you want to opt for a 'diet' that you can do forever, simple as! Diet's that are ridiculously strict, can never be sustained, so once its over you're going to put weight back on. That is the trouble with many of the 'fad diets' out there - you may lose a bit of weight whilst on them, but as soon as they are over, the weight comes back. That is why my approach works, because I don't calorie count, my plans are not overly strict, but most importantly - they are designed for the long term.

Another negative with very strict diets, is that many people get fed up with them and often quit. If something is too strict, people are unlikely to go through with it (you will get some that will, but most will quit early on). And again, if a diet is so strict that people quit, its not exactly a diet that is worth while, because you cannot possibly do it for the rest of your life. I have seen some celebrities 'back' certain diets that are very strict, and there is a reason for that. You will find that celeb's will go on these short term (sometimes 'shake diets') if they have an important photo shoot coming up, or even a movie, and need to shed a few pounds. Some celeb's are always up and down with their weight, and they are the ones that use the 'quick fixes' too often. People that are consistently in shape will have diets and training programs that are sustainable, nothing that is overly strict or designed for the short term. Those are the people you want to copy.

If you want the weight gone forever, and not come back with a vengeance, then get yourself on a sustainable healthy diet and exercise plan.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Every little bit helps!

No, this is nothing to do with Tesco, even though the terms are similar! It's to do with fat loss.

What are the two main things I 'bang on' about for fat loss? Healthy diet and training hard. BUT there are many other opportunities to add to that calorie burn on a daily basis. It could be simply things like hoovering! Don't worry, I haven't lost my mind. If you hoover your whole house, that actually burns calories, and it all adds up! Take a walk instead of jumping in your car, use the stairs instead of getting the lift, If you have kids - go play football over the park with them. There are many more things that you can add into your daily life, and they all add up. You could burn an extra 100-500 calories by doing various little bits throughout the day.

Exercise is not just limited to when you go to the gym. Every time you exert your body, your using energy (calories) and its just a balancing act - how many calories you eat/drink and how many you burn. So next time you start moaning about doing some household chores, or using your car less, just think about the fat loss benefit!

Thinking about using fat loss pills?

Fat burners have always been a popular topic for debate. This is because some people think they work whereas other people think its a con. Many fat burners that I have seen, seem to have a high dose of caffeine, which is obviously going to make you feel alert, but do they work?

I have personally used one brand (will not name) and I have to be honest - I didn't notice any 'fat burning results', all I did notice is that I felt more alert, and that will be because of the caffeine. By being more alert, you will feel like you have more energy, so your going to push that little more in your workout, therefore burning more calories - but you don't need a pill for that. 

By simply having more energy before your workout, you're going to be able to push harder, without the need for caffeine. Let's be honest, if there was a magic pill out there that burned fat, personal trainers and nutritionists would not exist. Fat loss is down to a healthy diet and a good workout plan. By eating healthy foods and training hard (in or out of a gym) then you will lose weight, you don't need a pill. But a lot of it will be psychological - you take a pill that claims to give you a boost in your workout and burn fat, so you automatically believe it and workout harder, knowing you have taken that pill. 

I can see why people buy them - a pill that claims to burn fat and give you a better workout - people will snap that up, as it is a lot easier than changing their diet and pushing harder in their workouts. If you want to try them, go ahead, some people will swear by them, but I don't think they are needed - depending on the brand, they aren't always cheap either....

 

Saturday, 4 January 2014

10 reasons to get in the gym

This post is simple - 10 reasons why you should get yourself in the gym!

1) STRESS - Going to the gym can help to get rid of any stress you may have. Some people drink alcohol, some people smoke cigarettes, some people do drugs (the nutters!), BUT the best and healthiest way to get rid of that stress, is to get in the gym!

2) SELF IMPROVEMENT - This is just obvious really, but getting yourself in the gym can improve your body, which in turn can improve your self confidence and how you feel about yourself as a whole.

3) SOCIALISING - Joining a gym can expand your social life by meeting new people. Over the years I have met a lot of people in the gyms I have been too, and have made some great friends. Everyone goes to the gym for one main reason - getting into shape (which can also lead to these other reasons) so you have something in common with everyone in there.

4) ME TIME - Have you ever wanted a break? either from work or your personal life? Well the gym can give that to you, it can be the place you go to, to workout, see your friends, take out stress, just have some to yourself - which, lets face it, we all need at some point!

5) HELP PREVENT ILLNESSES - Working out in a gym can help prevent illnesses. By exercising, you are making your body healthier and more efficient, therefore helping to avoid any problems with your heart, lungs, bones, and more!

6) ITS A GOOD HOBBY - Going to the gym gives you something to do. If you are someone that has time on their hands and usually ends up snacking or sitting on the couch, then going to the gym can really help. Its a great hobby, its something that you can learn to love and actually look forward too.

7) LIVE LONGER - By being fitter and healthier, you're giving yourself the best possible chance to live a longer and happier life.

8) MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD - Working out releases the 'feel good hormone' which, well, makes you feel good, duh! So if you're someone that lacks self confidence, exercising can really help!

9) SUPPORT - Gyms are full of trainers, instructors and other people that have been working out for a long time. So if you feel intimidated, not knowing what to do, then you don't need to worry as you have the support you need inside that gym!

10) A NEW YOU - By joining a gym and starting working out, you can begin to create a new you, a fresh start even. This could help you to start a new career, or do something that you have always wanted to do but haven't had the confidence or couldn't physically do it.