Monday, 28 March 2016

Can Red Meat 'Give You Cancer'?

Red meat gets a lot of bad press, with a vast amount of articles claiming it causes cancer, but does it?

Long story short, those claims are largely exaggerated. Studies have shown that eating good quality red meat is not actually damaging to your health (eating an average amount). It's actually the processed and over-cooked red meat that can be of danger. Organic, grass fed red meat, for example, is actually very nutritious - it's packed full of protein, creatine, iron, zinc, selenium and vitamin b12.

It always seems to lead back to that one word - moderation. If you only ever eat red meat, then too much will begin to cause issues, but that's the case for many foods out there - moderation is key. Certain foods will always be linked to illnesses/diseases and media companies will jump on the band wagon and label them as 'cancerous'

I remember reading one article that talked about a study which showed the diets and lifestyles of a large number of people with cancer and other illnesses. The vast majority of the diets were poor - containing a lot of fatty fast food, alcohol, fizzy drinks and so on. The author of the article actually said that because of studies like that, newspapers and magazines simply assume that foods such as red meat causes cancer - without taking into account any other diet and lifestyle choices.

The bottom line? stick to good quality red meat, and avoid the processed and over-cooked. Oh, and of course, have a healthy diet and lifestyle!

Lee Gregory Fitness

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Are You Losing Fat, Muscle or Water?

Losing body fat is something that millions of people want to do every day, but there are so many different ways to do it, which can cause different results. You obviously want to lose body fat, but it's very easy to lose water and muscle instead.

Losing body fat the safe way does take time - you can only lose around 1.3kg-1.5kg of pure fat per week (according to studies), so if you're losing more than that, then it's not just fat.

Dropping your calories too low will cause your body to go into 'starvation mode', which will actually cling onto fat and shed muscle and water. Carbohydrates are the first macro that people usually drop first - thinking they 'cause weight gain'. Carbs are energy, your main energy source, so don't cut them out completely. Carbs can actually be beneficial to fat loss, but obviously not too many. Adjust your levels to find what's right for you.

You may think cutting out carbs makes sense, but if you cut out carbs, you're cutting a third of your intake (carbs, fats and proteins) so yes, you'll lose weight. However, it's not sustainable, and when you reintroduce carbs, then you'll begin to put the fat back on.

Track your progress to find out if you're losing fat or fluid and muscle. Too fast 'weight loss' and you're most likely losing fluid and muscle tissue. Losing 'weight' at a reasonable rate means you're more than likely losing body fat.

Lee Gregory Fitness

Monday, 21 March 2016

SimplyBest VitaMen Plus Review

Multivitamins - one of the most common supplements on the market today. I received this one from my sponsors Simply Supplements. I have used their other multivitamin before, so I didn't know how this one wold be different, but it is, It's specifically aimed at men aged 18-50. Now I will be honest, it is pretty hard to know if any one supplement works for you, as it's not a drug, you don't get a 'hit' when you use them. However, after prolonged use (hence why I didn't do this review 5 days after using it) you will begin to notice a difference within yourself, if it works. This multivitamin is noticeably larger than the one I previously used, so my gut instinct told me "there's a lot more goodness in this one!"

First of all, let's look at the ingredients:

As you can see, it's packed full of much needed nutrients. The main benefits of this multivitamin are:

- Energy levels (from the B vitamins)
- Testosterone levels and reproductive health (High levels of zinc)
- Immune support (Vitamin C and zinc)
- Muscle growth and maintenance (l-arginine, l-carnitine, l-glutamine)
- Hair and skin (Zinc, selenium, vitamin B)

The result?

This year hasn't started so well for me - have had a number of issues that have annoyingly interrupted my workouts and have been forced to take breaks from the gym - which has caused great amounts of stress! Even with that, I can honestly say that I have felt a difference. I am nearly at the end of the pack I received, so have had quite a lot of the multivitamins now, and I've just felt better. I know that is a blunt description, but there have been a number of nights where I have had poor quality sleep, during the day I have still felt energised, more alert, and almost like I didn't notice not having enough sleep. I do like to think my diet is pretty good (being a nutritionist, it should be!) but even with that, it's still hard to get the correct levels of so many vitamins and minerals that your body needs, especially if you're more of an active individual, so a multivitamin is a must.

They aren't the smallest of tablets, but I had no issue with them. If you're looking to improve your health, or want to optimise your health (if you're an athlete/fitness enthusiast), then I highly recommend this multivitamin.

Check it out here and use my code for 10% off site wide! LEEG10

Lee Gregory Fitness

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Is It Worth Paying For A Personal Trainer?

The one issue with personal trainers, is the same with many other things in life - they cost money. A good personal trainer will be charging anywhere from £50 upwards - yes you do get cheaper than that, but they tend to be the less experienced (they can still be very good though!! everyone has to start from somewhere) or they are the 'not so good' PT's. So yes, the money can soon start adding up, but is it worth it? It depends...

If you're the type of person who only wants to get in shape when your yearly holiday comes along, then no, paying a lot of money for a PT will not make any sense. However, if you're someone who has always wanted to change the way they look, always wanted a better body, always wanted that increase in confidence, then yes, the money is definitely worth it. I advise my clients and others that you can always make cut backs in your day to day, week to week expenditure, in order to pay for something that you truly want. If you're unwilling to give up your weekend booze nights and fancy meals out in order to pay for a PT, then hiring one is simply not for you. It all depends on your goals and commitment. 

One tactic that many people use is to buy a small block of PT sessions to 'get them going'. This will be enough time with a decent PT who can show you what to do, how to do it, give advice on your diet and lifestyle, and as long as you're paying attention you'll pick up the basics fairly quickly and can take it form there (if you can't afford to keep paying for the PT). 

Choosing a PT is a whole other story. It can be pot luck sometimes to be honest, however in the modern day, it can be a little easier with the use of the internet! Find a few PT's online and google them, search for them on social media, see the kind of content they are putting out there and the feedback they get. If you come across a PT who only ever puts content relating to him/her selling products/plans, then move along. Those who are only trying to 'sell sell sell' are mostly just interested in the money, not actually helping individuals. Even some of the top guys out there give A LOT away for free - Jamie Alderton for example. He gives a lot of free content over Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Periscope, Facebook Live and so on. With saying that, even if you come across someone who seems amazing, it is all about that 'personal connection' - you may have your first session and find that you don't like their style, or simply don't get on with them. It's YOUR money at the end of the day, so don't stay with someone unless you feel that it's right. 

Bottom line? Yes, it is totally worth paying for a personal trainer if your head is in the game and you're serious about getting results. Trying to do it on your own could very easily result in many years of trial and error, which will lead to frustration due to the lack of results. 

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Are Low-Fat Products Healthier?"


You see this everywhere, but are low-fat foods healthier?

To be bluntly honest? no.

To remove fat from foods such as yogurt an mayonnaise, they have to be highly processed - which is rarely a good thing. Yes, while fat contains a  lot of calories, it does provide flavour, and by removing the fat, you remove the flavour. Will they sell the products like that? no, as they'll be bland, so they end up piling in a ton of sugar and other sweeteners/additives - which is worse than fat.

Most foods out there that are 'fat free' or 'low fat', often have very high levels of sugar, which will simply spike your blood sugar levels, and then they'll crash - giving you that miserable feeling. What will you do next? go and get some more! and the cycle continues. My best advice is to stay away from fatty foods the majority of the time, but you're better off having higher fat foods, than super high levels of sugar.

It's a short post, but it's to the point.

Lee Gregory Fitness

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Is Vaping Safe?

Vaping - the supposedly 'healthy' alternative to smoking cigarettes, but is it actually healthy?

The idea behind 'vaping' is actually a good one, but it does have its risks. The action of vaping is obviously the same as traditional smoking - having something in your hand. Many people who quit smoking tend to say that they have to keep their hand busy as they're used to holding a cigarette. The claim is that vaping is around 95% healthier than smoking a cigarette, but what about that last 5%?

The dangers can come from who makes the flavorings. Obviously, chemicals are used, and that means it's open for 'abuse', where people can add in dangerous ingredients, which could easily reduce that 'healthier percentage' down from levels much lower than 95.

From articles that I've read from doctors and those who specialise in smoking and the new vaping technology, the general opinion seems to be that it's 'okay'. Obviously it is ideal to avoid both vaping and cigarettes, but let's face it, that's not going to happen - people will always smoke. However, vaping does seem to be better than smoking your traditional cigarette.

I don't have any personal experience of smoking either, and I never will, but I have been asked about it, so I thought it would be easier to write a blog post. Best option? avoid both.

Lee Gregory Fitness 

Friday, 11 March 2016

"Can I really get a 6-pack in a month?!"

How quickly you can reveal your 6-pack depends on a few things - what your physique is currently like, how strict you are with your diet, and how hard you train. But even with those things, is it possible? just 4 weeks?

To be honest, yes it is. If you're morbidly obese, then no, it's not, but if you're in 'average shape', then yes, it's totally possible. You have to be strict with your diet, avoiding crap such as fast food, sugary drinks, cakes, sweets and so on. You have to train your butt off and stay focused. 

Is it possible to create the worlds best abs in 4 weeks? no, not in this universe anyway! To get to the point of seeing a visible 6 pack is doable, but not everyone is prepared to put in the hard work. A 4 week transformation is only doable if you're committed to that goal, if you're going to be temped with nights out boozing and sitting in front of the sofa stuffing a Domino's watching your favourite boxset, then you haven't got a chance in hell. 

Many people out there believe that you can't do it, as it's 'not healthy'. If you're feeding your body with nutritious meals, plenty of protein, lots of veg, healthy fats, water, moderate carbs, and any beneficial supplements, then how isn't that healthy? Starving your body having 3 shakes a day, now that's not healthy! 

To achieve fast results like this, you need to push your body to it's limits (I never say beyond it's limits, as that will mean injury). You will need to be prepared with your meals, supplements (if using), getting enough quality sleep (7-9 hours) and you must be prepared to train when you really don't feel like it (you only have 4 weeks!) 

Bottom line? Yes, a 6-pack in 4 weeks is doable, is it for everyone? absolutely not - most are simply not prepared for the workload. 

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Should You Be Eating Bacon?

A lot of people demonise many foods out there, bacon being one of the most common.

The main 'criticism' of bacon (as well as many other foods) is that it can increase your risk of cancer - but in the modern day, I sometimes think "what doesn't??". All I seem to read is that this food, that food, this food, that food, will 'give you cancer'. There's a few studies that I've read that say most foods (as well as other things) can give you an increased risk of cancer, so the actual question is, what foods are the lowest risk? Is bacon a high risk food? The truth is, not overly.

I'm about to use a word that I use nearly every day when talking to people about nutrition - it depends. Bacon is okay, as long as you don't eat it every single day - once or twice a week will not really do anything. However, if you eat it once or twice a week, alongside an unhealthy diet, then yes, it can be a problem. Eating a healthy, balanced diet with the odd serving of bacon isn't going to put you in hospital, put it that way...

Every year you'll see stories appear in publications that talk about the next 'demon food', as I like to call them. A lot of these 'stories' just go round and round in cycles, and some of them are complete and utter bulls**t, with the only aim of 'making headlines'. I personally eat bacon, and I enjoy it (good quality bacon though, not the greasy, mostly fatty bacon), but do I eat it everyday? no, sometimes not even once every 2 weeks! Moderation is key, and so is your overall diet.

The main issue is that those who eat a lot of bacon, tend to have a pretty awful diet in general. It's the same as saturated fat (which is actually good for you - your brain needs it!) but most people eat far too much, and far too often.

Bacon - it's okay to have every now and then, it's not going to kill you, regardless of what the unqualified and uneducated journalists tell you, simply to make a headline. The odd bit of chocolate, bacon, alcohol, sweets, coca cola - if it is 'an odd bit', every now and then, it will do nothing to your overall health.


Lee Gregory Fitness