Thursday, 27 February 2014

We could all do with the mindset of an F1 driver

As mentioned in other posts, I do love formula 1, and I do mention it from time to time within my posts. This time, I want to talk about the mindset of a formula 1 driver and how it can benefit anyone. My examples are going to be Britain's f1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, and here's why.

Starting with Lewis - The job of a formula 1 driver is extremely stressful, high pressure, requires the highest levels of concentration and dedication. Over the last few years, Lewis has been in the media a fair bit about his relationship with Nicole Scherzinger, and he has dealt with it in an admirable way. Sometimes the news has been great, but other times it's been bad to read...
Lewis knows and accepts that he is classed as a 'celebrity' and not just a racing driver. He had to deal with the very public break up with Nicole, and at the same time, having to still do his job as a racing driver. I remember seeing and hearing what Martin Brundle said about Lewis, I can't remember word for word, but he pretty much said that Lewis is the fastest man on the track, and there have been race weekends where he is so happy, excited, relaxed, so pleased to see all his fans and spend time signing autographs - pretty much a man at his peak. But he also said that there have been weekends where Lewis hasn't seemed himself, not as happy, not as relaxed, seemed a bit distant, and that was around the time of the public break up with Nicole. But did that ruin his performances on track? no. Did he drive as good as when he is '100% there'? probably not, but unless you personally know Lewis, I don't think you could have seen a difference in him once he stepped into the car. His mindset is so highly tuned and focused, that he could push aside the emotional struggles he was going through and do the job that he is paid to do. He did actually say in an interview that he has a job to do, he doesn't want to let his team down, his mechanics, all the guys behind the scene, so he goes out there and gives his all.

I don't know if any of you reading this have been through a bad break up, but if you have, I'm sure you weren't yourself - maybe cried at school or work, stayed in bed, stopped going out of the house, being miserable, down, depressed. Well, that shows how strong Lewis's mind is. He managed to still do his job whilst all of that was going on. That is why I have huge respect for Lewis and he is my favourite f1 driver.

Moving on to Jenson Button. Earlier this year I was completely stunned by the tragic news of his father John passing away. I have watched formula 1 for years, and always loved seeing Jenson and his father at race weekends. Whenever John was interviewed, he came across as such a nice guy, and not someone who just loved being on camera - sometimes he almost gave the impression of 'stop filming me, I'm just a dad, film the drivers'. I obviously don't know Jenson personally (I wish I did!) but even I could see the relationship he had with his father, and to have him suddenly pass away must have been devastating to say the least. A part of me thought 'will Jenson go testing? will he even race this season? I turned out to be wrong. Jenson did go testing, and he is racing, and I'm sure he will dedicate every race, every race victory (oh yes...he WILL win again!) and even a championship to his father (He can definitely win another championship). I remember when I lost my grandad, I didn't react anywhere near as good as Jenson has. I was lost, didn't know what to do, where to go, and that was at a time where I was climbing the ladder in county cricket for Essex. I was never the same again.

Driving a formula 1 car requires huge talent and concentration, and for these two guys who have gone through such difficult times (different experiences, but both emotional to each of them) and still go out there, gear up, hop in one of the fastest cars on this planet, and still do their job, that just shows how unbelievably strong they are. We can all learn something from these two incredible men. We can learn to separate our problems from things that just need to be done in our lives. There is always time for grieving, for being sad, for letting our feelings out, but sometimes you just need to put those feelings on hold, and get a job done.

When Lewis and Jenson were at McLaren, I loved it, two of the best drivers, both British, both fast. I'm sure they are going to kick ass this year and would love to see them having epic battles out on track. All the best to you both!

If you haven't already, follow Lewis and Jenson on twitter.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Have a structure

One thing that you can do to help you in general, let alone from a fitness point of view, is to have a structure. Let me explain...

I used to play cricket for Essex County Cricket Club, and at the same time I was enrolled at college and going to the gym regularly. I used to go for a quick workout in the morning, pop over to college, then go training in the afternoon, come home and do some college work, and sometimes pop over to my gym for a relaxing session in the jacuzzi and sauna. That was my structure, I knew what I was doing, when I was doing it and I loved it. I never really found myself bored thinking 'what shall I do?'. When I had spare time, I used to either watch a movie, play a bit of playstation, listen to music of sometimes just go for a drive (obviously when I was 17!). Boredom is a big killer for weight problems. When people are bored, they do tend to get something to eat, even when they're not particularly hungry, which can lead to weight gain. But having my structure back then kept me busy so I didn't think about eating because I was bored - I ate because of function (for my training, matches and fitness reasons). 

Nowadays, my structure is a slightly different, as I am no longer representing Essex, but I still love my structure. Once every two days I workout in the morning, and in the afternoons I do work (stuff for my website, blog, social media, nutrition plans, talking to clients etc). On non workout days, I split my 'working day' into two - morning and afternoon. I have a morning work session, and then an afternoon work session. I make notes/lists on my phone the night before with jobs to do the following day - so I know what I'm doing, when I'm doing it. This 'system' allows me to get things done and also keeps me busy, which again, stops me from eating because of boredom. But what about the evenings?

Well, the evenings can be a time where people do have a little 'eating session', and it's understandable in a way. But again, you want to have that structure, have things to do, which can stop the temptation. Personally, I have tv shows recorded that I watch in the evenings, do some browsing on the web for work, listen to music, maybe a bit of reading - just things that I enjoy, that relax me and keep me occupied. 

Maybe this post has helped you, maybe it hasn't, but hopefully you like that I have shared my own personal experiences, which have helped me and still help me. Having a structure is good, you don't have to be like a solider, but a routine is great to have. 

Monday, 24 February 2014

Protein flapjacks

Last week I received a bag of Protein Flapjacks from Hench Nutrition. It's always great to try new things, especially 'snack ideas', as that's a common downfall for people's weight. So, here is a bit of info about them:

Per 150g serving:

Energy - 546
Protein - 40.95g
Carbs - 85g
of which sugars - 1.2
Fat - 6g

So from the nutritional info, you can see that they are pretty good! Now, you maybe thinking, if they have hardly any sugar in them, surely it won't taste nice, well, I can say you're wrong! They taste amazing. Your typical flapjacks that you can buy in stores or coffee shops, usually taste sweet, sugary, sometimes sickly, and these actually do too, but without the garbage! They are very filling, taste sweet, which helps to fill you up, but they are healthy!

There are plenty of 'healthy snacks' on the market, but most of them aren't actually healthy when you dig a little deeper. These flapjacks are very easy to make, take about 20 minutes all together including cooking time, and the value for money is amazing.

I recommend these to everyone and anyone who wants to get in shape and needs a healthy snack, try these !


Sunday, 23 February 2014

Sunday Supplement

Today, I want to briefly talk about 'Beta-Alanine.

'BA' is actually a non-essential beta-amino acid, but nowadays it is a very common supplement used by athletes, bodybuilders and keen gym enthusiasts. If you have tried beta-alanine before, you may remember having a 'tingling' sensation the first time you either had the supplement or a pre-workout drink containing 'BA'.

'BA' can offer real performance enhancing benefits, and here's why. People who use it often say it has a 'caffeine-like' response - the feeling of enhanced alertness, concentration and energy. By supplementing your diet with 'BA', you can increase muscle carnosine concentrations (carnosine can help alleviate the 'burning sensation' in muscles when you train hard - more of it -> harder you can train). So by taking a 'BA' supplement, you can in effect, train harder for longer.

I have personally started using 'BA' and I can honestly say that I can feel a 'pump', and I have noticed I can push that little bit more in each workout. I like to think my nutrition is good, and it would be great if just nutrition could give me a better workout, but by taking 'BA', my workouts have been a lot better - which can lead to better results. I did have the tingling sensation the first time I used it, it did freak me out, but after about an hour it did subside. I researched it, and it is a natural feeling in the body, so it's not something alien, but it is a little strange. From then on, I didn't feel that sensation, but the workouts were still better.

I do like to keep things simple with nutrition and fitness, so I haven't (and won't) gone into too much detail, because let's face it, you guys just want the info, not the scientific explanations, and that's how I go about my work.

Feel free to try this supplement and see how it works for you.

Have a good Sunday everybody! 

Friday, 21 February 2014

Post injury training

Having had an injury for around 7 months, with a few workouts in between, I thought I should do a post on how to come back from an injury. Obviously it depends on the severity of the you injury you sustained, but I think this will apply to any injury.

The main thing I was worried about was getting injured again, and that happened once during my recovery. I came back to quick, thought it was fine and it 'went' again. My injury was ligament damage in my right wrist. The problem with ligament injuries is they take quite a while to fully heal. After doing some research I found out that there's pretty much two phases of the injury - 1) initial repair, and 2) full repair. It will take quite a while for my ligaments to be back at full strength, but with the proper precautions I can workout pain free. So, what's the best way to start working out after an injury?


If you rush it, your injury will come back, if you start lifting too heavy weights too early, your injury will come back, and you could make it even worse. It's extremely frustrating not being able to pound the weights, but it is the best way. Whatever injury you have had, try and strap that area up. I strap my wrist up a fair bit and this gives the support that it needs. You want to start off light, slowly building up the intensity. This way you will give your body the best chance to ease itself back into training, rather than a sudden strain placed on the newly healed body part.

It does sound like common sense, but believe me, when you're injured you don't think 'slowly', you just want to get back into it. But you will thank yourself for easing back into training, as you're highly likely to not re-injure yourself!

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Fitness apps

Technology has absolutely boomed over the last few years, and its even gone into the fitness industry, but is it any good?

I have browsed on the Blackberry app store and the Google play store and have come across a variety of different apps for weight loss and muscle gain. In the last few weeks I have downloaded and had a look at 8 different apps. Some were for weight loss and some were for muscle building. In all honesty, they are a bit of a let down, and here's why.

The apps that I downloaded were pretty basic - including a BMI calculator, a basic calorie counter and some exercise diagrams. Granted, I did only download the free ones, but about half of them were completely free, with the others having an option to upgrade to the full version at a cost, so I haven't looked at a few of the full versions. With that being said, they still seem pretty basic. I have seen some reviews of fitness apps that say they are better than personal trainers.... I'm not sure whether those people were drunk or not, but I have no idea how an app can be better than a trainer. Yes, you can enter your details, record your food intake, type in the exercises you have done, but do you really need an app for that? A big part of a personal trainers job is to motivate you, tell you/show you what to do and how to do it, be supportive and connect with you, yes you guessed it, on a personal level! An app cannot motivate you, show you how to do exercises, correct you if your form isn't up to scratch etc etc.

To me, it just seems like the apps are a technological version of writing things on a sheet of paper with a pen. Some people may think the app is more convenient, but going into the gym with your mobile phone or tablet isn't the way to go forward, you're there to train, not have your techno gadgets out! If you're unsure on your technique, ask a trainer/instructor working in the gym, as the app may have a picture, but you're still guessing how to do it, whereas a trainer can easily correct you. Hiring a personal trainer costs money, but an app is just pointless if you ask me. I downloaded a few and just couldn't see a benefit of keeping them. The only app that I can think of that would be good if you were into distance training, would be one that tracks where you run/cycle, how far, your heart beat, speed etc. That would be handy information if you wanted to keep track of your progress in more detail. The muscle gain apps had charts to fill in with how much you lifted, reps, sets etc, but the problem with apps is they can fail, crash, or even get removed from the app store, pen and paper can't be removed!

Sorry for the negative post, and some may disagree with me (and that's fine) but they just seem to be a little gimic to me.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Why you're NOT losing fat

There are many blogs/article/books etc on how to burn fat, but there's not that much on why you're NOT losing fat. There are some common mistakes people make, and if you're making any of these, that could be why your not dropping the lbs !

Some people 'talk the talk' but don't actually 'walk the walk'. It's an old saying, but its so true. If you want to seriously get in shape, then you need to put the hard work in, nobody is going to hand you an amazing body, you have to earn it. So if you're in the gym, jogging on a treadmill, and moan about not getting results? then you're the one at fault. Nobody is ever going to get an amazing body like those you see in women's health/mens health magazines by jogging on a treadmill, and trying not to sweat too much so your make up doesn't get ruined! 

You want to focus on high intensity workouts, circuit training, exercises that gets your blood pumping and causing you to sweat. That is how you burn fat, by training hard! Don't be afraid of using weights - women reading will NOT turn into Arnold Schwarzenegger if you lift some weights! Using weights will burn more fat and tone/build your muscles to give you great shape. 

Another reason why you're not losing fat can be down to your nutrition. You could do 3-4 amazing workouts each week, but if your diet consists of microwave meals, takeaways, alcohol, sweets, processed foods, then you will never see the results you want. It's a balancing act - how many calories you consume (and where those calories come from) compared to how many calories you burn. If you eat more (bad) calories than you burn each day, you will put on weight. If you burn more than you eat (or eat healthy and kick ass in the gym) then you will lose weight. You want to make sure you drink lots of water, herbal teas, eat plenty of protein, moderate complex carbs (i.e. sweet potato) fruits, vegetables and healthy fats (oily fish). 

Lastly, you could simply be overdoing it. If you train too much, your body cannot recover. Some people become addicted and end up training every single day, sometimes twice a day too! Your body needs rest - its when it recovers, builds muscle and processes food. Be smart about it, train enough, but don't become obsessed. 

A quick tip - don't weigh yourself every day! If you do want to weigh yourself to make sure your on the right track, do it once per week maximum. Another good way of tracking your progress is to take measurements of your body. That way you can see your body becoming smaller! 

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Sunday Supplement

Welcome to the first 'Sunday Supplement' blog post. Every Sunday I will create a post about a different supplement. I kind of borrowed the name from the popular football show, but it has nothing to do with football. So, today? Casein protein!

What is casein protein? Well it's a form of protein powder that is known as 'night time protein', and this is because of its slow release. Common protein powder releases fairly quickly, but during the night (let's say an average of 8 hours sleep) you preferably want a constant release of protein so your body can repair itself while you sleep. This is where casein comes in handy. Casein powders tend to vary between 6-8 hours release time.

Some people use casein during the day too, so if you have a busy day where you might not be able to eat for a while, then a casein shake will be perfect. I personally use it at night, to avoid muscle breakdown while I sleep.

It's well worth investing in, especially if you are serious about getting results. There are many brands that sell casein, one being 'Optimum nutrition, gold standard casein' (as pictured above. I am  not linked with ON at all, simply using the picture for visual purposes).

Sunday supplement will be back next Sunday with a new supplement!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

The ultimate fat loss rule

I have seen so many posts, comments, videos etc, about the best way to burn fat. Some are certain types of exercise (like zumba) some are specific circuits, some are how hard you train, how many reps and sets, how often, I could go on forever... But there is always one method that people don't talk about. That is.... diet, diet, diet, diet, diet, and...oh yeah, diet!!

You could workout hard, train regularly, correct form etc etc, but if you have a poor diet, you're not going to lose weight the way you would like to. Nutrition is the hardest part of getting in shape, because people are so easily tempted by bad foods. But if you cut out the junk foods, sugary foods, processed foods, you will see a big difference in your training.

There are some exercises and type of training that are better for burning fat, but even if you do them, if your diet is bad, you're not going to get
anywhere. Being a nutritionist, I know first hand how hard diet is for people, and how easy it is to wander off course. But you need to stay motivated, constantly thinking of the end result, and you can do it. Humans do like habits, and many people have bad habits, but if you can train your body to have good habits (such as eating healthy, lean foods, and training hard) and getting rid of the bad habits (eating junk food, processed foods, sugary foods) then you will be pleased with the results you get. Many people tend to get frustrated with not seeing results, but in most cases, I would say to take another look at their diets, as that is often the problem. Its simple really, body fat is determined by how many calories you consume compared to how many you burn. If you eat more than you burn, you're going to store fat (if the calories are 'bad calories'). You may think that a daily subway, or chocolate binge can't do that much damage, but it can, and it often doesn't stop at having one or two things.

If you want to get in good shape, your diet is always no.1! Sort it out, and you will get great results.

Pre-workout nutrition

A common debate is 'should you eat before your workout', and people seem divided. I personally eat before I workout, as do many other people, including trainers, gym go'ers and athletes.

If you're into fitness, then you would obviously have heard of supplements, and what's a popular supplement? - pre-workout. That in itself shows that people purchase things to consume before their workout. Now, I'm not saying that just because supplement companies sell a pre-workout supp, that means you need something before, but its a part of the reason. If you wake up, at say, 7am, and workout at 8.30. Your body hasn't had any nutrients all night long, or morning. So if you try and workout, you will most likely feel light headed, possibly ill. Some people say you burn more fat this way, but honestly, I don't believe that. Your body needs energy to burn fat, so if you have nothing in your system, your body will use anything for fuel, including muscle tissue.

You don't want to eat a load of food before you workout, as working out on a heavy stomach could make you ill, and that's just not a good idea. But you want to have something to eat, some fast digesting protein, and some carbohydrates, preferably 30 minutes or more before you start your workout. This way your body will be fueled, and therefore it can start burning the fat and repairing muscle tissue. Think about it..... if you don't have any energy in your body because you haven't eaten for quite a while, how on earth do you plan on working out? you will be shattered at the very start! I have personally seen guys faint in the gym before, and when I've asked if they are okay, they have said its because they haven't eaten. If you're training for muscle gain, then you definitely need food, otherwise your body could be burning muscle tissue for energy, which is completely pointless when you want to build muscle.

So get some carbs and protein in you before your workout (the protein will help repair your muscles quicker) and you can always try some pre-workout supplements and see what you think. You need to find what works for you, as everyone is different, but don't listen to people that say you should workout on an empty stomach, because you shouldn't.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Nutrition & aging

This post will mainly target women, but men also care about the aging process as well. Let's get something straight first, everyone ages, its a natural process and you can't stop it. But what you can do is help slow it down. There are literally thousands of anti aging creams and gels on the market today, that aren't that cheap, promise so much but the results aren't always that worth while. One thing most people forget or don't even realise is that good nutrition can REALLY help the ageing process.

Think about it - what you put into your body is what your body has to use to repair and grow. If you feed your body nothing but inflammatory foods and drinks, that is going to do no good for your body, especially your skin. Unfortunately skin tends to be one of the last parts of the body to be nourished, that's why you have to be fairly strict if you want to look good in your later years. I'm not saying you can never have an alcoholic drink or a cheat meal ever again, because you can, but you have to be consistent with your nutrition. I have even come across women that are using anti-aging products in their 20's! I'm sorry but, are you crazy?? Those products are manufactured for people that are older, not people with youthful skin, so if you're doing that, just stop. To treat your skin from the inside, you need to be hydrated and have a healthy diet that contains lots of vitamins and minerals (from food! don't drug yourself up on vitamin tablets and eat a rubbish diet) By piling good food and drink into your body, you're going to be feeding your skin with what it wants and needs.

Some of you reading this might think 'That sounds like way to much effort', and that's fine. But I can assure you it is a whole lot cheaper than forking out on those expensive creams, and its far, far better for you. People who smoke/drink/use sunbeds/eat a poor diet/even do drugs, you can tell who they are when they are older because they look haggard, and if you don't want to look like that, then stop now, and change your diet.

If you want some help getting started, I do have a 'healthy skin' eating plan on my website, feel free to pick up your copy.

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Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Should you train with DOMS?

Firstly, 'DOMS' means - delayed onset muscle soreness. If you have ever had a workout, and the next few days you're sore, then you have had DOMS. It usually hits you 24-48 hours after your workout. I've seen this topic bounce around twitter quite a lot, and the question always is - 'should I workout when I have
DOMS? My answer - yes, but it depends.

DOMS is actually a by product of training, swelling of the cell membrane, but many people use DOMS as an excuse not to train. If you have it real bad, and you can barely move, then yes, take a break, but in most cases, you will be sore but you can still move. Working out with DOMS actually flushes the swelling away, therefore relieving the soreness.

Many people are put off by DOMS, as they think they will injure their muscles, but as mentioned, as long as you can move, walk, a good range of motion, then you can train. It will feel strange, and might be tough, but as I said, it will help to flush out the swelling.

Just be wise, if you can barely walk, or screaming in agony (well, if your screaming in agony, then you may well have an injury!) then take a rest, but training with DOMS is perfectly fine.

Monday, 10 February 2014

What to look for in a PT

There are many, many personal trainers out there, so finding the right one for you can be hard, but here is my advice in finding a good one

Some people still think that all personal trainers are 'roided up' big heads, when that isn't true. Sure, there are many trainers out there that spend more time flexing in the mirror than concentrating on their clients, but not all are like that. So, to start with, you want to check out someones approach to you. If they seem cocky, arrogant or don't seem that interested in your needs, then walk away, fast! Some trainers go on an on about how they have transformed peoples lives, what they've done, their achievements, blah blah blah. That's all well and good, you want to know the background of a trainer, but if all they do is talk about themselves, then find someone else, personal training is about YOU, not them. You have the right to ask them whatever questions you want - their background, how long they have been a PT, their training etc etc, but if they love to talk about themselves all the time, its a big no no.

Another tip is to ask around to see if anyone recommends a PT. Referrals are crucial to a good trainer. If nobody seems to recommend a trainer, then that says it all really doesn't it.... If a PT is good, people will tell people! they will tweet, Facebook updates, text, etc etc, so ask around! A thing to remember is, if a PT is busy, then that usually means they're good. It shows that they are having regular clients, and regularly getting new clients.

It's actually quite common for people to change trainers early on, and that's because after a few sessions you will get to know what the trainer is like. So if your trainer isn't punctual, polite, 100% interested in your needs, concentrates on your session 100%, has his phone out (unless there is an emergency of course...) then it's time to change trainer. The whole concept of 'personal training' is that it's personal. If you have a trainer that plonks you on a treadmill and disappears for 15 minutes, heck....I wouldn't even finish the session! I would walk out then and there! You want to feel like you are getting value for your money, after all, personal training is cheap.

You want to hire a trainer that is presentable. Now, I'm not saying that he/she has to spend a fortune on clothes and equipment, but if they look scruffy, and seem like they just chucked on any old t-shirt and trousers, then look else where straight away! If a trainer can't be bothered to 'look the part', then I doubt that they are any good. There maybe a rare occasion where you have a fantastic trainer that looks a mess, but as I don't personally know every trainer in the world, I'm speaking in general terms.

The most important thing to look for in a trainer, is that he/she gets results! Whether it's shown on their website, Facebook page, blog, posters, or whatever else, make sure they get results! The trainer could look the part, talk the part, act like the worlds best trainer, but if they don't get results, then it means they are NO GOOD! It's like someone who plays golf - they can go and buy every single bit of clothing and equipment that Tiger Woods has, does that mean they will be amazing? hell no! usually means they're an idiot....

Be smart, ask questions, and remember - it's your money your handing over, don't waste it on a wannabe.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Supplements and training

Being on Twitter is great, because I have linked with many other men and women who are into fitness. But it's also good because I can see what people do, with things such as supplements, training, what exercises etc etc. I have seen some awful examples of how NOT to use supplements, so I thought I would do a quick 'end of the week' post about supplements and training.

If you're someone who wants to add lean muscle mass, then supplements can definitely help you, but they are not the 'be all or end all'. You always want to start with a solid diet (whether you are training for fat loss, muscle gain or sporting performance) so don't ever rely on supplements. So, what are the most common supplements used? Well that has to be whey protein, casein protein, creatine, bcaa's, glutamine and all in ones. Some of you reading this may think there are other supps that are more common, but these are the ones I always see bouncing around Twitter, Facebook and forums.

Some people take 1 protein shake a day, whereas some people take 4 or more! It all depends on your goal, your budget, your day to day schedule and, well, how lazy you are. Things like shakes are extremely convenient, far quicker than cooking a high protein meal. So there are some people out there that stick to 4 or more shakes per day instead of eating real food, and whilst you're getting protein in, you should get as much as you can from food. Consuming a lot of powders and capsules is not that healthy for you. Yes, things like whey protein has many benefits, but your body doesn't like too much of it, it much prefers food. Say if your an average male wanting to gain muscle, you want to consume at least 3000 calories per day, preferably more. You want to make sure the bulk of that intake comes from real food, and then you can top it up with supplements. Again, it does depends on a few things. A lot of healthy food can become expensive, as supplements are cheaper, so if you're in that position, then do buy supplements, but try and get as much food as you can (look out for deals and promotions). If you are on the road a lot with work, then you can cook the night before so you have high protein, healthy meals on the go.

Just try and be smart about it, eat as much fresh, healthy foods as possible, and then use supplements to top up your diet.

Head over to Hench Nutrition and use my code - HNBKHM1H for a discount. 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Healthy 'fry up'

A cooked breakfast is one the most popular meals around, but some of them are unbelievably UNhealthy. The worst kinds are from fast food 'restaurants' or local cafe's. Can you have a healthier one though? yes, for sure!

Firstly, I just want to clarify that I'm not saying this is a solid nutritionally healthy meal, it's simply a healthier alternative to the common 'fry up'.

The foods you can have in your healthier option are - Beans, bacon, sausages, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms and toast. The reason why most fry-ups are unhealthy is because the ingredients are poor and they are cooked in fat. So, to change that, you want to buy healthier foods and to not cook them in fat. Red meat is actually good for you, but in moderation, as it comes with a higher fat percentage (and we don't want that around our waists!) With the sausages and bacon, you want to pick the leanest (least fat) options. Have a look at the nutritional info, compare a few, and choose the leanest. Try and go for organic or free range. Beans aren't actually bad for you at all, just have to be careful with the sugar content. A few brands, most popular being Heinz, offer a reduced sugar and salt option, so go for that. Eggs, well....If anyone tells you eggs aren't good for you, then they're insane, so add a couple of eggs into your breakfast - fried/poached/scrambled. Tomatoes are a great addition, good source of vitamins A, C, K, Folate and potassium. They are low in sat fat, cholesterol and calories! Mushrooms are one of the few sources of vitamin D, can boost your immune system and kick start your metabolism! Who doesn't like a bit of toast? (well, some don't!) you want to opt for a healthier one - NO WHITE BREAD!! Burgen are a a good brand.

So, there you go, you can cook a 'fry up' in a healthy way. Leave out the grease, leave out the fatty options, and it can be better! Again, I'm not saying to eat it every day, but if you fancy one, you can cook a healthier one!

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Building muscle on a budget

Guys that are serious about building muscle would have read a fair amount of information and feel comfortable that they know what they have to do (the basics anyway!) but it can be expensive. Either having your own equipment or a gym membership, all the food you need to eat, the supplements to help you and so on. So, if you're on a budget, can you still build muscle? yes!

If you have the money every month to pay for a gym membership, make sure you go to a gym that has the right equipment to build muscle - they should have good weight racks, bars, benches, squat racks, leg presses and so on. If the gym is full of treadmills and vibration plates, leave!! If you don't have the money to pay every month, then save a little and spend £100-200 on some weights, a bench, chin up bar and anything else you want. It is a lump sum in one go, but once you bought it, you keep it and don't have to pay again. Being on a budget, you want to stick to the basics - squats, bench press (different angles) Dumbbell press/fly, chin ups, barbell press, curls etc etc. These exercises have been around for a very long time, and they work.

The nutrition side of things can be expensive, but it can also be cheaper. You always want to look out for deals, especially on meats. Sometimes it will be cheaper to bulk buy (even though it seems expensive at the time of purchase, per product it is cheaper) so you would want to do that. You don't have to go for 'the best of the best' in terms of quality, as long as its not scraps! It's always worth while cutting back on other expenditures and spend more on your training. If you are dead keen on getting in shape, then you don't need to go out clubbing 4 times a week! Stop buying the latest designer clothes or wasting money on new gadgets, think of your training! Try Muscle Food - great food, great prices - promo code - LG21156

With supplements, there are brands out there that are cheaper, but some have awful ingredients, and I came across one that refused to tell me some of their 'secret' ingredients! stay away from those! I am sponsored by Hench Nutrition, and I'm not sitting here trying to flog them to you, but they are a cheaper brand, a smaller brand, but the products are great. If you want to try them, use my discount code - HNBKHM1H. If you don't want to try them, that's fine!

I actually know a guy who is a bin man, but he's in great shape, because that's what he spends his money on. Its not always about spending a fortune, it's about being wise, As mentioned, if you are serious about getting in shape, then you can do even on a budget - be smart, be wise, be committed! 

Monday, 3 February 2014

Late night eating

I have read a fair few views on 'late night eating', and the most common worry is 'if I eat late at night, will I get fat?' The answer? It depends....

'Getting fat' depends on calorie intake vs calorie expenditure, so if you eat more calories than you burn, you will get fat, regardless when you eat. But a study in america showed many people ate near to 20% of their daily intake at 8pm or later, which isn't good. If you eat strictly healthy, then you're not going to put weight on anyway, but if you eat most of that food late at night? there is a chance your body will store it as fat. If you haven't got the best diet, and you eat a lot of food late at night, then your body will do nothing with that except store it as fat. The reason for this? Your body doesn't need a lot of energy at night, so if you give it a lot, it has no use for it.

I tell my clients and anyone that wants advice, to try and not eat food within 1-2 hours of sleeping. You want to eat most of your calories during the day, as that's when your body needs energy to deal with the daily tasks. Also, most people who are overweight, tend to eat a small breakfast, bigger lunch, and then an even bigger dinner. By simply swapping that around, so you have a good size breakfast, slightly smaller lunch, and a smaller dinner, that in itself can lose weight. Your body does burn calories whilst you sleep, because it is still functioning obviously, but if you give it more than it needs, it will store it as fat.

So, try and be smart about it, feed your body when it needs energy. Eat for purpose, not just for the sake of it.

Try my 'get slim' healthy eating plan