Saturday, 31 May 2014

Family and weight

Not everyone will enjoy this post, as it is to do with family and weight (two things that can be sensitive) but it is an issue, one that I have read and heard about a lot. Is your family adding to your weight gain?

This will mainly concern young children, because when you're young you don't do your own shopping and cooking, you simply eat what you are given. So who's job is it to raise children in a healthy way? the parents. Childhood obesity has been on the rise for quite some time now, and it's a major problem, no other way to say it. It is the parents responsibility to teach good habits to children, which will encourage them to grow up eating healthy. Yes, there is a chance that even if you raise them in a healthy way, they could completely change when they hit the late teens, but then its up to them. The chances are, that if they grow up eating a healthy diet, they will carry that through in their lives.

Its not just young children and toddlers that can have their weight affected by family. There is a problem - with men, they tend to laugh off weight, saying its relaxed muscle or something. I have witnessed and read dads doing it to their sons, and sons doing it to their dads. Women are a lot more sensitive about it, and if 'jokes' are made to them about their weight, they tend to take it offensively. Both situations aren't good for those wanting to lose weight. You need support when it comes to losing weight, and if your own family isn't behind you throughout your journey, it will be extremely hard to succeed. I remember watching a tv show called 'I used to be fat' (I think it was that one, but don't quote me on it), and there was a girl who was so desperate to lose weight, but her mother couldn't care less. It was only when the trainer went and spoke fairly harshly (not rude) to her, telling her that her daughters health is in a bad way, and if she kept buying junk food and cooking fatty meals for her, then she could die within 10 years. That was the perfect example of a lack of support at home, and its shocking. Being a parent, how can you intentionally make your children overweight?

This is a different example, but has the same principle. I remember when I played cricket for Essex CCC, and it was extremely difficult - I was up against people with a lot more cash, connections and went to 'the right schools'. During times where I questioned myself, my family were there to support me 100%, and that is what made the difference. If they would have not cared, or made jokes, saying I couldn't do it so I should just quit, I probably would have. Family can have a huge impact on you, and it can wear you down if you don't have the support from them.

My advice - sit down and talk to them. Lay out your goals and why you want to achieve them, and simply ask for their support. Their reaction to that will tell you all you need to know. If they still don't care, then treat them how they treat you - sounds harsh, but why should you bother when they don't? Not every family is tight. Just remember, it is your life, and if you want to lose weight for whatever reason, then you go and do that, don't give it up just because your mum, dad, brother or sister says you can't do it so why try.

Lee Gregory Fitness 

Friday, 30 May 2014

Special occasions and fitness goals

As it was my birthday on Wednesday, I wanted to do a post about special occasions and fitness. Everyone has them, whether its birthdays, Christmas, Easter, family events, weddings, or any other event. But what if you are on a fitness plan? do you stress out over party food and booze? is it okay to let yourself go?

Being a nutritionist, people seem to assume that I only ever eat healthy food and drink water. Well, I am the same as everyone else, I like to enjoy myself, and I did on my birthday. No I didn't get 'wasted', but I had a few drinks, some birthday cake, just the usual stuff. Is that one night of neglecting my diet going to ruin my goals? make me fat? make my body get rid of some muscle mass? NO!!

If you try and stick to your diet while at your birthday or a wedding, saying no to cake, unhealthy food and booze, you're not exactly going to be enjoying yourself are you. Your friends will be having a good time, and you will be worrying too much about not eating and drinking certain things. Whereas if you 'let your hair down' and have a good time (don't go crazy) then you won't be stressing, you will enjoy yourself, and you are not going to wreck your diet from an evening of 'cheating'. It's not like what you eat and drink is permanent, you can burn off it off after.

I'm not going to lie, I did feel a bit 'guilty' after my birthday evening, but end of the day, I enjoyed myself, had fun, and I'm back to working out and eating healthy as usual. While being healthy and keeping fit is important (I know that to some people, fitness is everything) but there are more important things in life, and I'm sure you will regret it if you don't join in the fun at special occasions, or not even bother going because you don't want to get tempted with bad food and alcohol.

So, to very quickly sum up - celebrating a birthday, wedding, or any other occasion, will NOT wreck your fitness goals.

Lee Gregory Fitness 

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Sunday Supplement - Dextrose

Welcome to Sunday Supplement!

Today I am briefly going to talk about Dextrose - similar to last week's maltodextrin. Dextrose is a simple carb (unlike maltodextrin) so it is easily absorbed and raises your blood sugar level. It is processed quicker than maltodextrin, so you will get a quicker response, but you will also get the 'fall' of the blood sugar levels.

You can use this product pre or post workout. It is a carb after all so you will be receiving energy, but as with other forms of sugar, that energy will soon fall. But when it comes to post workout, your muscles need to be replenished, so taking a 'hit' of dextrose can help to restore glycogen levels in your muscles and aid recovery.

If you do your research, like me, you will find that dextrose can benefit bodybuilders/weight trainers and athletes, mostly post workout. Trainers often advise that taking dextrose with other supplements such as glutamine, whey protein and creatine will create a bigger insulin response, therefore driving more nutrients into the muscles quicker.

As with any supplements, it's all about trial and error - what might work for one, won't necessarily work for another. As with maltodextrin, I do recommend this as I think it can help with your recovery. Try it and see how you get on.

Lee Gregory Fitness 

Friday, 23 May 2014

Who you should listen to?

Today's post, I want to talk about something a little different - rather than talk about a workout/supplement/equipment/diet etc. A while back I wrote a post on the kind of people who you should not listen to, well today I want to talk about the people who you should listen to when it comes to building muscle, burning fat or sporting performance.

There are literally so many people out there today, mostly online, that think they know best when it comes to nutrition and fitness. I have personally met a fair few that thought they knew everything, when in fact they knew hardly anything. Online is the worst though - so many people sitting behind a computer screen that may not even have any qualifications or experience, but yet call themselves experts, and think they know everything. As there are so many, I can see why people who are looking for advice end up listening to the wrong person. So who should you listen to?

It may sound obvious, but I would, and do, advise people to listen to those who are established. Personal trainers and nutritionists who write in magazines such as Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Muscle and Fitness, Women's Health, Women's Fitness and so on are ones to start listening to. If they spoke garbage, they wouldn't get asked to write in magazines such as those. Some people may disagree with what they have to say on certain topics, but that is just a difference in opinion, rather than talking rubbish. I don't personally tend to listen to people if they have a 'one off' article in a magazine. They may well be up and coming and extremely knowledgeable, but to keep the amount of people I go to for knowledge down, I have picked a few people that I trust. This way, i'm not reading 25 different opinions on 25 different topics. There was a time where I signed up to nearly every nutrition and fitness newsletter that I could find, and I just ended up with a mass load of unread emails. Whereas now, I stick to a few, and they are - Nick Micthell, Jeff Cavaliere, Charles Poliquin and Charlotte Ord. Why those people? because I regularly see and read their opinions on lots of different topics to do with nutrition and fitness, and they don't talk garbage. They are all genuine and well respected in their field.

I'm not saying that you have to listen to the same people as I do, but I think it will be beneficial if you select a few people who you regularly listen to, whether you're wanting to lose fat, build muscle, sport specific training, or if you are a personal trainer or nutritionist. If you concentrate on those people and simply ignore the 'trolls' (as they seem to be known as) out there, you won't feel bombarded with tons of views. Being overloaded with information is very common, and it can sometimes affect your goals because you end up feeling stressed - 'this guy said do this, and now that guy is saying its wrong, I don't know what to do!'

Don't just find trainers and nutritionists that have the most followers on Twitter, because that doesn't mean anything. I have come across some absolute lunatics on twitter that have a huge following, and talk utter nonsense. I came across a trainer in America that had nearly 300 thousand followers, and Nick Mitchell has around 20 thousand. The guy in the states spoke so much dross that I quickly unfollowed him. So don't always go by the amount of followers. You want to find a few people that are respected in their industry and follow them, read their blogs, watch their YouTube videos, and just see what you think to be honest. You are in control of who you listen to, so don't just listen someone because a friend listens to them, because they could be getting fed false information.

I hope you have found this post useful, As mentioned, there are a lot of "think I know it all's" out there, so if you come across them, ignore them!

Lee Gregory Fitness 

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Do calories count?

So many people talk about calories, worry about calories, look for calories on food packaging, but do they actually count? My answer? yes, they do.

Some of you reading this may know that I'm not a big believer in 'counting calories', so you may be thinking I have just contradicted myself there (there are times where calorie counting is needed! but I do like the relaxed approach to fat loss and muscle gain - eat healthy foods, cut out the crap, and train hard!), but I haven't. Calories are important, but that doesn't mean you have to count them. Lets look at an example - a typical male, 25 years old, wanting to gain muscle mass. If you do a little reading about how to put size on, you will soon find out that you have to eat more. The problem with that is a lot of people just think 'eat more food' and forget the importance of what food you are actually eating. This is where calories DO count, even if you are adding size without counting calories. If this guy in the example consumed 3000 calories per day, but those calories came from processed food and junk, but very little calories came from god quality nutritious food, what would the result be? Not very good. Compare that to 3000 calories coming from good quality nutrition - vegetables, lean meats, fish, healthy fats, complex carbs, what would the result be? better gains, not adding excess fat, lean muscle growth, more energy, feel fresher, recovery better.

That is a perfect example of why calories count. Yes, you need to eat more to gain size, but if you eat more junk, you will gain size, but it will be mostly fat.

Flip that around to a fat loss example. A typical female calorie intake is 2000, let's drop that to around 1500. If she was eating 2000 kcal of junk food, and reduced that to 1500, still junk food, yes she's going to lose a little bit of fat, but then she will plateau. Whereas, if she consumed 1500 kcal of good nutrition - lots of vegetables, lean protein, some carbs, fruit, water, she would lose fat, and continue to lose fat.

Do you have to measure your calories? I personally don't think so, but that's just what I believe, what works for me, and what works for my clients. I used to think you should count everything, but it didn't work with my clients - they felt stressed, annoyed, having to weigh out everything, measure everything, record it, and it just annoyed them too much and felt like a chore. Whereas now, I believe that if you exercise regularly and to a good intensity (no point training if you're just going to walk on a treadmill and then go home) and eat healthy foods, cutting out the fat, sugary foods, junk foods, processed foods, then you can reach your goals.

Obviously, if you eat tons of healthy food, train in the gym, and wanting to lose weight, you may well struggle. But what you will find by eating healthy, is you actually get fuller much easier, so you could struggle to eat a lot anyway. But what I have found with my clients is that by keeping things relaxed, they are less stressed, worry less, enjoy the journey of losing fat, rather than feeling stressed everyday. If you eat healthy moderate sized meals, train hard in the gym, you're going to lose fat. You aren't feeding your body any fat or junk, your burning calories in the gym, and you're feeding your body with nutritious food. Perfect recipe.

Remember - a calorie isn't a 'one size fits all' thing. Each calorie is different depending on where it comes from.

Lee Gregory Fitness

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Sunday Supplement - maltodextrin


I hope you're having a great weekend in the sun! (UK readers)

Today I want to talk about maltodextrin. I personally use this post workout, and have found it to be very beneficial. Maltodextrin is a complex carb (many people think it is just a simple sugar). As it is a complex carb, you don't get the sudden spike and then drop in blood sugar levels. It is absorbed fairly quickly, but will have to pass through the liver for the bonds of glucose molecules to be broken down, then it is passed straight to the gut. The rate in which maltodextrin is is used for glycogen replenishment is actually a little slower than another products such as dextrose, but with dextrose you will get a quicker drop of insulin and blood sugar levels.

Since using this product, I have noticed that I recover quicker, which is obviously beneficial. Before using this (and a few other supplements) it used to take me longer to recover and it just used to bug me that I couldn't train as often.

This is a quick post, but it's still a great supplement to try. The great thing about maltodextrin, is that it's cheap! So head on over to Hench Nutrition, use the discount code HNBKHM1H

Lee Gregory Fitness

Friday, 16 May 2014

Hench protein hot chocolate

Today is a review of Hench Nutrition's protein hot chocolate. I received a sample of this, as well as a lot of other products (was a 'hench' order!) and I want to share my thoughts of this product with you.

Within the last couple of years, there have been a lot of alternative protein products for sale. Instead of buying protein powder, nowadays you can buy flapjack mixes, protein ice cream, protein bread, protein pasta, protein pizza mix, protein pancakes, and also protein hot chocolate. I think its a neat idea - many people like hot drinks, and a cup of hot chocolate in the evenings is a common drink. But what if you are into fitness? a typical hot chocolate drink isn't great for muscle growth, so the guys at Hench decided to make a protein one! Here are the stats:

Per 30g serving
Kcal - 110
Protein - 18.6g
Carbs - 5g
of which sugars - 4.6g
Fat - 1.8g

That is pretty impressive!

It is very quick to make as well. Simply pour 200ml of water into a shaker, add 30g of the hot chocolate mix, shake, pour into a microwavable cup for 60-90 seconds. Stir and enjoy.

I would say this product is mainly aimed for the evening, as it is a slow release protein drink. But you could have a cup whenever you would need a slow release protein 'hit'. You could have a cup in the morning if you know you are super busy and won't be able to get a meal or a shake in.

What's the price? For 300g, it is just £7.49. For 1kg, it is only £19.99. What a bargain!

The taste of this product matched some of the best hot chocolates I have had in the past. But this one 'kicks butt' in the nutrition department. So, if you are a lover of hot chocolate, but are also into fitness, swap your old product for this one!

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

Lee Gregory Fitness

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Roll with the foam!

A few months ago I decided to treat myself to a foam roller, after reading great reviews from trainers and athletes. It is a great piece of kit, very simple, but man does it hurt.... in a good way!

So, what is it? Its simply a roll of foam! It depends on what roller you buy, but they can either be smooth or have a 'tyre tread-like' texture to it. My roller is smooth, just a basic one really. I am sure the manufacturing process is a little more complicated than making a roll made of foam, but it is still a simple, great piece of kit to own.

What is it used for? hurting you!! only joking.... It's used to help recover from a tough workout/training session/sport/matches etc. It is similar to having a massage. It is designed to 'roll out' your muscle tissue to help get rid of the toxins, to stretch out the fibers, and to get the recovery process underway. I remember watching a Youtube video of Rob Riches training in America, and half way through his leg session, he actually used a foam roller in between sets. I could see the pain through his facial expression, but he said it helps him to finish the sets. It really does help to flush out the toxins and can help you push that litter harder and further.

Here are the main benefits of using a foam roller:

- Helps to break up adhesions
- Helps to relax your muscles (after the pain!)
- Increases blood flow to your muscles
- Helps to lengthen tight muscles
- Helps to speed up recovery
- Helps to break up scar tissue

I have mentioned a few times a foam roller being painful - it is! but it is worthwhile. The great thing is that you don't need to use it for that long to reap the benefits. I would say anywhere between 5 and 15 minutes would be sufficient (best used after a workout/session, but can be used between workouts). A foam roller can help to speed up your recovery, but if you add some static stretches in after, you can recover even faster. By that, I am not saying you will recover so quick that you can train a few hours later, that would be nuts, but you will recover quicker.

From seeing the benefits mentioned above, and personally feeling the benefits, I highly recommend purchasing a foam roller. They are relatively cheap to be honest, anywhere from £10-20. Why not give it a go?

Lee Gregory Fitness

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

fast VS slow weight loss

I am sure you have seen advertisements (on TV, Facebook, Twitter, elsewhere online) with an offer of you paying 'x' amount of money, and in return you will get 'rapid weight loss! Are these kinds of 'diets' or as I like to call them, 'an outright con!' worth your money and do actually work? I think I will go with.....NO!

It may seem like to my readers that I disagree with a lot of 'things' out there in the fitness world, and that is true to be honest, because there is literally so much garbage out there. A lot of companies get set up with the one goal of taking money, and they do that because they know the 'fat loss' part of the industry is swamped with (and I mean no disrespect here) desperate people. So they 'prey' on those people, knowing that they will get a fairly high percentage of the people they reach, 'sign up!'. To me that's just wrong. They will of course deny that they do this, but the 'systems' that they have created are not sustainable, which means one thing - repeat business! and what does that mean? more cash in their pockets. I won't name any companies, but the ones I am primarily talking about are ones that use very low calorie 'diet plans', shake diets, having pre-pared 'healthy' meals delivered to your house and so on.

All of these ways of losing weight will work to some degree. Initially (first few weeks) you will lose weight, that is almost guaranteed. But the weight that you will lose won't all be fat, it will be mostly fluid, muscle tissue as well as some fat. Is that what you want? well some of you may think 'well I just want to lose weight!'. That is all well and good, but you don't lose the fat that you want to lose, your body won't be in 'good shape' and you simply losing mass. As soon as you stop one of those diets, the weight will come back on, and you will circle back to pay them more money to lose some more fluid!

Diets like these can give you a 'happy boost' early on because you see the number on the scales drop, but it doesn't last for very long. Its common for people to then get upset/depressed/annoyed, and you definitely don't want that.

So, what is the alternative?

"Slow and steady wins the race!"

You want to be patient when it comes to fat loss. If you do it right, it won't come back and bite you in the backside! You can burn fat without exercise if you eat correctly. Your body is designed to store fat but also to get rid of it. So if you have a diet that consists of lots of vegetables, lean proteins (chicken, turkey, fish), complex carbs (sweet potato/brown rice) water, some fruits, cutting out junk/processed foods/sugars/alcohol/fats - then your body will get rid of the fat. Obviously you can speed this process up by training, hard! High intensity interval training is probably the best way to go if you want to burn fat. By training as well as eating right, you will be 'sculpting' your body into a lean, fit machine! This will give you great shape in suits/dresses/bikini's/board shorts/summer wear, and so on. That is what people want, to not only look god in certain clothes, but also beachwear, and 'con diets' will NOT give you that.

How much weight you could lose safely, without it just being water weight and muscle tissue, all depends on how good you are with your diet and how often and hard you train in the gym. The thing you want to remember is that you want consistent fat loss - there will be weeks where you do plateau, but train through it, mix things up, and you will be fine. What you don't want to happen, is you start losing a lot of weight fast, and then it slows and and comes to a halt (just like 'con diets'). It may be annoying having to wait, but you will be forever thankful. I always say 'if you can't do it forever' don't do it at all'. So if you can't maintain a ludicrous 500 calorie a day diet, then don't even start!

So, to sum up - If you go for the quick fat loss route, you will be disappointed. You may well lose weight at the beginning, but it won't all be fat, and it will come back as soon as you stop the 'diet' that you started.

If you opt for the slow route, then it will take longer to see results, but if you give everything you have to eating healthy and training hard, the results will come, your body will be healthier, you won't be on a 'diet' that you will have to stop over paying a company for, so the weight won't come back on. Also, your body will look far, far better because you are actually training it and making it fitter.

Hope you liked this post, and please share!

Lee Gregory Fitness

Monday, 12 May 2014

a GREAT way to lose fat!

Since launching Lee Gregory Fitness, I have spoken to lots of different people about health, nutrition, fitness, fat loss, muscle building, and much more! But there are a few common questions that I get asked, and one of them is - 'I sometimes lack motivation to workout, how can I help that?'. Here is my best piece of advice for this....


Training on your own can sometimes become a bit lonely, and some people find it hard to motivate themselves, or tend to do a 'half hearted' session. I can understand in a way, but I have always been someone that has been completely fine on their own, and have nearly always trained on my own. A super way to help this situation, is to train with a friend(s), or better yet, an enemy! (not really an enemy....but maybe someone in your sports team that you compete against).

This can really boost your motivation and training levels. On the occasions where I haven't trained on my own, I have trained with guys that I used to play cricket with for Essex CCC. Whether it was the pro's or guys in my team, I pushed hard, because I did not want to lose against them. It's amazing how competitive you are, even if you don't think you are! The great thing about fitness, is if you train with a friend of a group of friends, you can monitor your training, who's doing the best - amount of weight, reps, sets, duration, sprints, and the big one.....the scales! (even though it's not the most accurate, but its a bit of fun for the competition!) 

Not only can fitness bring friends closer together, creating a team of your own, but you can even meet new people at the gym that could join in. It makes training more fun, but also increases your output! You WILL train harder when there is competition (unless you are someone that really doesn't care, which if you are, you won't get results anyway....).

Another great thing about this method, is that when things get tough, you have your friends around you, which will be your own little support network. Things can get tough during fat loss or muscle building, and if you are on your own, you can quickly feel lonely, lose your motivation and focus. But if you have that network around you, it makes it better, easier, more fun, more challenging, and you will get awesome results! 

You could also get a trainer to train the lot of you in a group session if you need help getting started, to show you the ropes and get you on the right track. 

I really urge people to try this. So get your mates in the gym with you and see who trains the hardest and who gets the best results! But remember, you are all in it together - a team, a unit!

Thanks to those people who like and share my blog! I appreciate it! 

Sunday, 11 May 2014

The use of supplements


Today I want to briefly talk about the use of supplements, rather than a supplement in particular.

Many people who want to gain muscle, tend to head straight to the whey protein isle, which I can understand, but there is so much more to muscle building than whey protein. Supplements are most common among those who are looking to build muscle mass, increase sporting performance and bodybuilders, but they can also be used to help fat loss.

What supplements you use all depends on your goal. If you want to build muscle, then there are a ton of supplements available, but not all of them are good. My best advice is to treat supplements the way I treat nutrition - keep things simple (don't buy every supplement out there!). The main ones you want are - pre-workout supplements and a post- workout supplements. These will help you get the best out of your workouts and then aid your recovery.

Too many people seem to rely on supplements way too much. I have always said you should make sure your nutrition is as good as it can be before going into supplements. The word itself gives it away - 'supplement', meaning you add them to your already good diet. If you simply rely on them too much, you won't reach your goals. This is because if you neglect your nutrition, no matter how many supplements you take, the 'garbage' that you eat will outweigh the good you are doing in the gym and your supplement intake.

As mentioned, supplements are primarily used for muscle building and sporting performance (sports such as rugby, NFL, cricket, football), but they can also be used for fat loss. What is the one thing you need for fat loss? (among other things of course...) You need to have intensity in your training - supplements can help you with that. There are pre-workout supps that can give you a 'boost' in your workouts - therefore burning more calories and lowering your fat percentage. Also, by being able to recover quicker after your workouts, you can train more frequently - shedding more pounds. It does depend on your goals, but supplements really can help you and take you to that 'next level', but only if you use them correctly.

If you have any questions about supplement usage that you would like me to answer, please feel free to message me via my website or on my Facebook page (links below)


Facebook Page

Lee Gregory Fitness

Friday, 9 May 2014

Make sure you have a reason

Too many people seem to go to the gym without a plan, and wander from machine to machine not really knowing what to do. Is this you?? if so, you need to fix it.

I have been to quite a few different gyms over the years, ranging from fitness first, virgin active, a private one in Singapore, Australia, hotel gyms, and pretty much in every gym I have been too, there are those people who don't really know what to do, because they haven't really got a plan. For example, I have a plan of what I want to do, how I want to look, and I know what I need to do in order to reach that. No, I don't know everything about building muscle, but I know a good amount, and I have many years in front of me to learn the rest (which I am already doing!). So when I workout, I have a few routines that I do, using different equipment, hitting different muscles. This makes sure that I don't waste my time, I'm not standing around, thinking what to do next, getting distracted by the TV's (you thought I was going to say women then didn't you!).

I remember chatting to some people in the gyms I have been too, and I would say around half of those people knew what they were doing, had their goals set out and didn't waste their time. But the other half used lines such as 'I just want to, you know, tone up a little bit?'. I'm sorry, is that a question? I thought you were telling me what you goal is? Those people are the ones who will never reach their 'goal' that they have set themselves because they have no idea what they are doing. If you are a newbie, a beginner, or just need help, ask the trainers, or better yet, employ one. Its better to pay a bit of money to get yourself on the right track, rather than wasting membership fee's and your own time going to the gym for a daydream session.

Most people who are like that, do tend to be newbies to the gym, and that is perfectly okay, everyone has to start somewhere. But don't worry about having to ask for help, it is perfectly okay to do that!

I'm not a big believer in session by session, planned workouts, because lets face it, sometimes you could wake up with a sore calf/hamstring/shoulder, and you will have to change your routine, or the pieces of equipment you need may not be available to you during your workout. Just because you don't plan your workouts down to exercise, rep and set, doesn't mean you don't have a plan. If you are 'clued up' of what exercise to do for what muscle group, and have worked out what sets/reps work best for your body (everyone is different and responds to different styles) then you can train well every single session.

My best advice? If you aren't really sure what to do, go see a personal trainer, even pay for a few sessions to get you on the right track. Don't waste your time wandering around the gym not knowing what the heck you're doing.

Lee Gregory Fitness

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Load up at breakfast!

Many people who are looking to lose body fat, tend to do the same thing - cut out (or dramatically reduce) carbs, eat no fat, have small meals and mainly stick to salads. Whilst it is good to cut out the junk, cutting out carbs completely and living on just salads, you are starving your body, which does you no good what so ever.

What is the benefit of having a bigger breakfast?

If you have a good breakfast in the morning, and not just a slice of toast and a coffee, you are fueling your body for the day. While you sleep, you're obviously not eating, so if you have a small breakfast, your body will be running on very little fuel, which means you will get hungry not long after, and could easily be tempted by an unhealthy snack.

Many people tend to have a small breakfast, a bigger lunch, and a bigger dinner. You need to flip that around - a bigger breakfast, an average lunch and a smaller dinner. Why? Because You need energy at the start of the day, a bit more at lunch, and then only a bit more at dinner. If you have a massive dinner, most of the calories you eat will be unused and get stored as fat, because you're not doing much in the evenings (unless you have an evening job..). If you eat a bigger breakfast, you will help to reduce the 'mid morning cravings', which means you won't snack as much, if at all.

An example of a good breakfast? I personally love bacon and eggs, but most people avoid bacon because of the higher fat level. A great breakfast would be an omelette - mushrooms/veg/bacon/chorizo, your choice really. You could also add in a small bowl of porridge to get some 'slow release carbs' in your system. Sounds a lot right? an omelette and porridge? but it's good, it will fill you up, and that's what you want. Combine that with a big glass of water and that would be pretty darn good!

So, if your smallest meal of the day is breakfast, then try flipping it over, that change in itself can burn fat!

Lee Gregory Fitness

Don't force your beliefs

This is a bit of an unhappy post today, as something really bugged me when I was on my way home this morning. I came up to a bit of traffic near to town, and a man had one of those advertising vest tops on, and it said 'Keep Calm & Be A Vegetarian'. As well as that, he was handing out leaflets, and slipped one through my open window. He was 'preaching' how humans should not eat animals, and we should all be vegetarians. Now, I don't know if this guy worked for a company or doing it off his own back, but it really annoyed me, and I'll tell you why.

Everyone has their opinion, everyone has the ability to have their own choices, and we should not be pressured into doing something. It's the same with religion - it's a very sensitive topic, but its a good comparison. If someone chooses to believe in a God, who am I to tell them otherwise? I personally don't believe in any religion, and if someone wants to, that is their choice and I'm not going to preach to them why I think they shouldn't. But I occasionally have people knocking on my door, pretty much trying to convince me to believe in God and to go to church. I think that is wrong. It's the same with food - I don't preach to people to eat meat, I simply preach about being healthy, exercising and living a healthy life.

When it comes to what foods we choose to eat, that is our choice, some may opt to eat meat, some may not like how we produce meat and choose to be a vegetarian, I respect what people choose and I don't try and change their minds. There are benefits of eating meats, and there are benefits of not eating meats, it's all about having the right balance, eating for your goals and choosing what foods you are comfortable eating.

The majority of people eat meat, and that might purely a coincidence that all of those people like it, or it might have something to do with humans eating meat for thousands of years. Go way back in the day, the caveman era, humans ate meat, because that is what was available to them. Was a bit more 'life or death' trying to catch the animals though....thankfully its not so dangerous these days! I believe the human body is built to eat meats, as that's how humans have developed, but again, if you don't believe in eating meats, that is your choice, and I won't tell you to believe otherwise.

I think I will end my little rant there. It would be nice not having people trying to get others to believe in what they believe, but hey ho....that's life!

Lee Gregory Fitness

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Be realistic

One thing that many people do when it comes to fat loss or muscle gain, is that they are unrealistic! Some of THE best transformations I have seen have come from Nick Mitchell and his gym UP Fitness, but they are not transformations of a 20 stone overweight individual to low fat and muscle bound in 2 weeks! But some people expect things like that....

One of the most common scenarios that I see online, are people who are going on holiday, and 2-4 weeks before their flight, they go on a 'beach body' workout plan. But these are the same people that like to go out clubbing, drinking, and usually the ones who are going on a clubbing holiday. So, there are two things wrong there - 1) Someone who is like that will never get in 'beach body' shape in 2-4 weeks, or even 2-4 months! 2) they could lose a few pounds, but will most likely gain that back in the first few days of their holiday, making it pointless.

You CAN lose fat and gain a bit of tone in a few weeks leading up to a holiday. BUT you have to be strict with your diet and train dam hard. Most people don't want that, most people just want to eat what they want, drink what they want, but have a 'beach body', well.....that will NEVER happen. Your body is a reflection of how you treat it (obviously that doesn't include people with illness's/diseases etc....)

The same goes for fat loss.

This is more common with women than men, but people still expect way too much. If you want to lose fat, you have to be dedicated, and not just do the bare minimum. I regularly see women posting online about wanting that perfect 'bikini body', but there is no sign of them making the effort to get one. If you go out drinking and partying 2 or 3 times per week, having takeaways and starving yourself during the day, you are not going to get a bikini body. If you do starve yourself, yes you will lose weight, but that word is important - weight. You will be losing a little bit of fat, but mostly fluid and muscle tissue. You want to lose fat and actually increase muscle, this is what will give you the bikini body, and not just 'be a hanger for a bikini', as one trainer I know puts it.

If you are going on holiday and want to get in shape, then start sooner than 2 weeks before your flight. This way, if you aren't the most dedicated, you have longer to get the results, but my advice is to be fully committed. You need to be strict with your nutrition - begin with lowering the carbs (DON'T cut them completely!) and train hard in the gym. Focus on full body workouts, as this burns the most calories. Don't just jog on a treadmill for 20 minutes and go home, that will do nothing except waste your time. Use weights, don't be afraid of them, this will burn more calories as it makes your body work harder and will help to tone up your muscles.

Thanks for reading, and as always, please share my blog if you find my writing helpful/interesting!

Lee Gregory Fitness 

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Sunday Supplement


Today, I want to talk about Vitamin B12. This vitamin is one that a lot of people haven't heard of but it has amazing, and also necessary, benefits.

Firstly, what is vitamin B12? Well, it is a vitamin that is water soluble, and it's primary function is to keep nerves and red blood cells healthy. But it also has some other benefits:

- B12 is needed to convert carbs into glucose - leading to an increase in energy. So if you are always feeling tired, it could be down to a lack of B12. Can also help with memory.

- It helps to regulate the nervous system (mentioned above) and to reduce stress.

- It helps to keep your digestive system healthy, and can help prevent heart disease by improving your cholesterol levels.

- It aids the reproduction of cells, and helps to keep your hair skin and nails healthy.

- It has also been linked to help fight against (and prevent) breast, lung, colon and prostate cancers.

So, from those benefits, you can quite clearly see that B12 is a very important vitamin. The thing is, people know that you need vitamins and minerals, but most people don't realise how important some of them are. The body is a very, very complex 'machine', and if you don't feed it correctly, problems will occur.

B12 is also important within bodybuilding. Obviously, with benefits such as improved energy, nerves and cell renewal, it will clearly aid your results.

Food sources of vitamin B12:

- Salmon
- Eggs
- Cod
- Meats (grass fed)
- Cheese
- Milk

Depending on your current levels, and your goals, you may want to supplement with vitamin B12.

As with most of my posts, I like to keep it short, that way you're not overloaded with information. I hope you find this post interesting, and maybe you will up your B12 intake if you feel like you are low. Obviously, the best way to know if you need more, is to get a blood test to find out your actual levels.

(the above picture is not a recommendation of mine, it is simply there for image purposes)

Lee Gregory Fitness

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Ayrton Senna

This is a slightly different post, but means a lot to me to be writing this. I am a massive, massive formula 1 fan, and even though I cannot really remember it, I watched the race when Ayrton died (even though I was just 4 years old). It's such a shame that I couldn't watch him through his sadly shortened career, but I have been a fan of his since.

I have the Senna dvd, I have watched numerous documentaries on his life, who he was as a person, who he was off the track, on the track, and so on. Was he a real fitness athlete? not compared to today's standards, but he was one of the most talented drivers, one of the most strong minded, passionate, driven, determined individuals to race a formula 1 car. So, why am I writing this? because we could all learn from him. Earlier I posted a tweet saying - "those who fail, are those who never try", and Ayrton was someone that gave his all, all the time. Seeing some of the old 'on board' footage, you see him fighting and wrestling with his car around extremely difficult tracks, where most people would 'back off', slow down, be careful - him? he just went for it. He believed in his ability and he trusted himself. He used to talk about God always looking out for him, and that he will be safe with God behind him. I myself am not religious, but I respect others beliefs.

So many people today, simply do not try hard enough. People quit before even trying. Many people have goals in life, but they don't reach for them because they are afraid of failing. Formula 1 is one of the hardest sports to firstly get into, and secondly to stay in. What if Ayrton just thought 'oh, I'm not going to make it, its too tough', the world would never have seen one of the talented men behind a wheel.

Some people are in the job of their dreams, and they 'leave it there', they stop trying to go further, stop pushing, stop challenging themselves. Ayrton is a 3 time world champion, that means that after he won his first title, he wasn't happy enough, he wanted more, he wanted to go faster, he wanted to prove to people that it wasn't a one off. He used to walk the tracks, seeing where he could gain time, seeing where he could brake later, earlier, turn in sooner or later, carry more speed, how to exit the corners quicker, all because he wanted to go faster and challenge himself. I was not there, obviously, but with all of the footage I have seen of Ayrton, I rarely, if at all, heard him moaning. So many people today just moan way too much, about work, about relationships, about the weather, about their boss, about getting up early. If you have a dream, you should give it your all, because there is a chance that you can make that dream a reality, just like Ayrton did. He knew things weren't perfect, he knew the cars in those days didn't have amazing traction, so he knew he had to fight every single lap, every single race, and he embraced that. I believe that is why he was great in wet conditions - because he believed in himself, his talent, and he trusted his ability.

To be honest, I could talk about Ayrton Senna for days and days, but I'm sure you will soon get fed up! If you haven't already, I advise you to watch the dvd 'Senna', it is extremely inspirational (and emotional), and you will see what 'fighting for your passion' really means.

It has been 20 years to the day since the world lost the one and only Ayrton Senna. Rest in peace, you were the best in my eyes, and as a person......a true legend.