I'm more referring to the "reward" mechanisms that come with exercise that can offset your weight loss goals...
What to expect: 5 minutes of debunking with practical tips you can apply right away
Did you know that we "rate" statements as more "true" if we've heard them before?
Which brings me to:
"breakfast is the most important meal of the day"
^^^ Yep, I used to think this too.
And how many times have you heard people say this?
Do you believe "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" because of the science or simply because you've heard it sooooo many times that it MUST be true?
Before I go on, I just want to define "breakfast".
It is essentially "breaking the fast".
So whether you eat at 6 am, 8 am or 12pm for the first time, technically you are still "breaking the fast".
BUT I just want to refer to breakfast as the meal you eat pretty much straight away after waking.
Now, I currently DO eat breakfast (most days) at around 6 am.
But it's simply because I'm going through a stage where I'm looking to get stronger and gain some muscle (whilst staying pretty lean) so having breakfast allows me to...EAT MORE.
After all, it's another sitting / opportunity for me to take in extra calories.
But for most (including myself in around 6 weeks time), the main goal is to lose weight and "get lean", especially with summer edging closer.
And it's barely debatable that skipping breakfast leads to a lower overall food intake, which in turn, WILL lead to greater weight loss!
The counter to this is:
"But I'll then overeat later in the day".
Yes, you'll "overeat" (eat more later in the day), but because you've skipped a whole meal, you'll be unlikely to overeat to the extent that offsets how many calories you've saved!
So your OVERALL food intake is still more likely to be lower by skipping breakfast AKA the most important meal of the day
And this is exactly how "fasting" diets "work".
Eat less meals and you'll probably eat less.
Here's a few of my favourite breakfast "mantras":
- "Breakfast will spike your metabolism"
- "You must start your day with some healthy wholegrains"
- "You'll store more fat by skipping breakfast"
Put simply, anything will "spike" your metabolism.
Eating a burger will spike your metabolism as it will trigger digestion, which burns calories.
As for storing more fat by skipping breakfast...it simply comes down to OVERALL INTAKE.
Your body is burning and storing fat all day, but it's the NET BALANCE (energy in and energy out) that will determine whether you STORE or BURN fat!
So am I saying breakfast is "bad"?
Breakfast can and DOES work for many people.
For example, it can:
- Improve cognitive function - you may think more clearly
- Make people move more, perform better in their morning exercise, and result in them burning MORE CALORIES
So, as with most things in nutrition, it depends.
If you're exercising early in the morning, then I'd generally recommend you eat before to help INCREASE your performance and burn more calories.
But, much of the research saying that "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" is based on "observational" studies.
They look at associations.
The problem with this is that you can't be sure whether skipping breakfast caused weight gain OR whether it was because, "on average", these people drank more, ate more sugar, ate more fat, ATE MORE CALORIES and did less exercise...
What we do know is that what works for you may not work for me.
I have clients who eat breakfast.
Just like I have clients who skip breakfast.
In fact, one of my clients used to scoff down a bowl of porridge at 6 am even though she wasn't hungry and couldn't sit down because she was so busy sorting the kids out and getting ready.
She couldn't enjoy her food.
"skip" / "delay" the first meal of the day to a time where you can sit down and enjoy your food.
This way, she could eat more later in the day where she WAS HUNGRY and wanted to have something to SNACK on whilst watching TV with her family.
So, it depends.
And if you are a breakfast person, here's a few recommendations:
1. Omelette with feta cheese, spinach and peppers
3 eggs, 40g feta cheese , spinach, onion and pepper fried in 1kcal fry spray
Protein: 25 g Fat: 22 g, Carbs: 5 g
2. Protein chocolate porridge with blueberries
27g of oats (1 Quaker Oats sachet for example), 180ml milk (semi skimmed used here)
Microwave for about 2 minutes, stirring half way.
Then, add 1 handful of blueberries and stir in 1 scoop of chocolate (can be any flavour) protein powder.
Optional: add a teaspoon of honey and some Greek Yogurt!
Protein: 29 g, Fat: 7 g, Carbs: 34 g
40 g flour (I used gram flour as its wheat / gluten free but any will do), 1 egg, 40ml milk (semi skimmed / almond milk all works), 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1 scoop of chocolate (or banana works well) flavour protein powder.
Optional: cocoa powder, honey or stevia to sweeten
Whisk / blend and fry just like a pancake using 1kcal fry spray. Top with some blueberries.
Protein: 34 g, Fat: 9 g, Carbs: 34 g
- Breakfast isn't magic
- Breakfast isn't evil
- It comes down to overall food intake across the day
- If you go for breakfast, look to get some protein in to help keep you full and promote recovery
- If you're exercising early and don't have the energy to exercise without breakfast, eat breakfast
- If you're not hungry in the morning and don't enjoy breakfast...skip it...the breakfast boogeyman will not come and take you away despite what Snap, Crackle and Pop tell you...
Do you eat breakfast? Let me know
I recently (about 3 weeks ago now) overheard someone in Starbucks saying she had bought a 5-day juice diet from Groupon, as it was “74% off”.
Me being me, I went and looked this up (anything to procrastinate…)
Here’s the lowdown:
• Contains 5 juices per day and a bed time tea
• Both contain a variety of juices that provide an intense alkalizing effect
• Packed full of flavour with no loss of nutrient value
• Arriving on a Monday, the programmes can be followed for three or five-days
• Juice no. 1: carrot, apple, ginger
• Juice no. 2: parsnip, pear, lime
• Juice no. 3: blueberry, mint, kale
• Juice no. 4: coconut water, yuzu, blue spirulina
• Juice no. 5: kale, avocado, coconut
Juice no 6: bedtime tea
The words “detox” and “cleanse” were mentioned over and over again by the woman, as she confidently justified her decision.
And I actually have nothing against having some juices to complement a diet, particularly if they choose to use mainly vegetables and struggle to get fruit and veg in their diet.
But, my concern is what happens after 5 days?
Truth is, a 5-day diet doesn't do any good for most people...
And it comes down to the question of: what have you learnt?
Maybe that drinking juice for a few days meant you couldn’t enjoy a coffee out in Starbucks with your friend?
You’ll probably lose a bit of weight.
Albeit mainly water and stored glycogen (stored carbs in your muscle).
And if you do it for long enough, you’ll probably lose a fair bit of muscle with that too.
And with muscle being a huge contributor to your metabolism and the calories your burn, you could be setting yourself up for weight regain!
Now, I don’t blame her for trying this.
“Everyone else is doing it” (or WAS...it does seem to be dying a death...hence the "74% off)
So it must work, right?
Just like it did for Kate Middleton post-baby…who probably also has her own chefs, 24 / 7 child care, servants, and organic Earl Grey…And for all we know, might not have even done a "juice diet.
But if she did, I'm sure she was well looked-after
And for the rest of us?
There’s no AFTER CARE…
Or AFTER AFTER CARE, for that matter.
You’re now reliant on these shake diets to lose weight.
There’s no education.
But because “it worked” <<< “worked” meaning you lost weight and put it back on again...you believe in it.
And unfortunately, you’ll continue to:
- Be frustrated by yoyo dieting habits
- Be confused about why you’re not getting “lean”
- And continue to shout LOUDER how coconut oil cures cellulite…along with everything else…
What I'm leading up to is this:
A 5-day diet doesn't do any good for most people.
When you start something, think about the journey.
What's the after-plan?
Where do you go next to keep the weight off?
Whatever "diet" you do, always be critical and ask how you're going to keep this weight off!
So this weekend, I ate some chocolate, drank some wine, ate some fish, had some meat, ate vegetables, had some fruit and had some grains.
^^^ Pretty predictable, right? And I bet you did pretty much the same and had a great weekend too.
You're probably wondering why I'm saying this and what it's got to do with your goal of losing fat, right?
Simply put, you already know WHAT TO DO.
How do I know?
Because these great times with family and friends and "indulgences" with your favourite foods and drinks are A PART OF LIFE and SHOULD be a part of your nutritional strategy to lose fat.
Fact is, if you go cold turkey on your favourite foods and say you can NEVER get merry again...you're going to crave them even more.
It's human nature. When you can't get what you want...you want it even more, be it that Hot Cross Bun or last Cream Egg snapped up by the wife...
Ever seen fingermarks on a "wet paint" sign? My point, EXACTLY!!!
As soon as you "ban" these foods...the value you place on these foods increases. You end up focussing on WHAT you CAN'T EAT. The "devil" in our mind does a very good job in helping us justify why WE SHOULD now eat the whole pack of Cream Eggs...
We binge...and then we feel like crap. A let down. A failure. "I haven't got the willpower"...when in fact we're just focussing on the WRONG stuff rather than the STUFF that matters...TOTAL ENERGY INTAKE
We can probably learn a thing or two from the Japanese <<< These guys have the longest life expectancy.
And guess what a recent study on 77,000 men and women in Japan found?
"balanced consumption of ENERGY (calories), grains, vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, eggs, soy products, dairy products, confectionaries, and alcoholic beverages can contribute to increased longevity by decreasing the risk of death predominantly from cardiovascular disease"
^^^ but you've heard this all before, right? Just like you've heard that "this is England's year" before (although even I'm excited about that performance against the Germans) only to be LET DOWN when it comes to the DO.
And losing fat is no different.
It's the DO that gets you the RESULTS. If you can't stick to something you won't do it and it's exactly why the simple, yet effective Fruci Fit Accountability System was developed and is helping guys lose fat and keep it off...even whilst on holiday drinking cocktails.
You can learn more by CLICKING HERE!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend
PS. Putting Wayne Rooney back in the England team is just like "banning" your favourite foods to help you lose fat. It "feels" right, but it's probably not!
You're working long hours and throwing the gym on top can often mean a trade off between your social life / family time and getting the body you want...
It really doesn't have to be.
By now you should be adjusting your food intake and seeing your belly fat go down...even with the Easter eggs (because you know how to fit them into your nutrition strategy now, right?)
SO your NUTRITIONAL STRATEGY CREATES THE FAT LOSS!!
And it's no secret that lifting weights WILL change your body shape.
BUT that's not all.
Muscle can help increase your metabolism so you burn more calories at rest resulting in an INCREASED CHANCE that you'll keep the FAT OFF.
Muscle is also protective against diseases like diabetes!!
So if you're not lifting weights...there's step 1 for you!
But let's take a closer look at the 3 things busy guys should consider with their training to GET LEAN and fill their T shirt with muscle...instead of fat:
1. Don't train for fat loss- I know, I know...this doesn't really make sense. But here's the thing...to build a powerful lean physique you need to have muscle. To build muscle you need to be increasing your VOLUME of work over time.
Volume = the sets you do X the reps you do X the weight you lift
^^ increase this and YOU WILL create a stimulus to increase muscle!
So this doesn't mean doing endless burpees...
Rather, you could do the following for a LOWER body workout:
Deadlifts 2 sets of 8
Squats 2 sets 8
Leg press 2 sets of 10
Calf raises 2 sets of 10
Leg extensions 2 sets of 10
Leg curls 2 sets of 10
Deadlifts 3 sets of 8
Squats 3 sets 8
Leg press 3 sets of 10
Calf raises 3 sets of 10
Leg extensions 3 sets of 10
Leg curls 3 sets of 10
^^^ So the sets have increased...not the the weight. However, your TOTAL VOLUME has increased so there's a greater stimulus on the muscle.
It's not all about the weight lifted. There are many ways to progress. Lifting weights IS a skill! The more you do it, the better you get at, and the more muscle you will build over time IF YOU PROGRESS!
2. You don't have to leave the gym crawling on your hands and knees - Again, you might be shocked by this.
BUT going to failure every session may actually decrease your volume.
For example, let say you go to failure on the first set and get 12 reps. You'll now be fatigued for the second set and might only get 7 reps. By the 3rd set you're screwed and get 5 reps. You'd be better off stopping a bit shy of failure and doing 3 sets of 8 or 9...SO YOUR TOTAL VOLUME IS INCREASED!
3. Do back-to-back exercises and high intensity interval training
I don't like being in the gym any longer than I need to. So instead of sitting their "resting" in-between sets and saying you "don't have time", try doing opposite muscle groups back-to-back.
Example: perform a chest exercise and go straight to a back exercise. This will help you keep up your performance (and volume) as you're working different muscle groups that don't interfere with each other. It will also mean you're in and out of the gym in less time and get spend more time doing the things you want to do.
and it's the same with interval training:
Try this for 3 rounds as fast as you can each time, resting as long as needed (can be done whilst cooking your dinner too):
- 10 squats up and down from a chair
- 10 lunges
- 10 plank to push up position movements >>> here's what I mean https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuDHTvys3KY (can't help but laugh at the comment I got on the video too...)
- 10 alternate knee rises OR bunny hops as it's Easter!
PS. HAPPY EASTERwww.frucifit.com
Want to improve your posture? Struggle to "feel" the back muscles working?
Try using a wider grip to allow you to get your elbows further back so you can activate the back muscles.
The beauty of using this machine is that it keeps you stable, minimising injury risk and allowing you to really focus on the back muscles.
PS. Forgive the Spurs shorts...
How people seem to "eat whatever they want" and still lose fat?
Is it really a "fast metabolism"?
Is it a well-thought out nutritional strategy?
I'm well and truly ready for a weekend of eating, drinking, relaxing and spending time with friends and family...
My Italian grandad will not be satisfied until I've had 5 plates...and even then I get:
"you've eaten too quick...you're just full up of wind" <<< Sounds even funnier in an Italian accent.
So what I'm saying is this:
Your environment plays a huge role in your eating habits, your fat loss, and ultimately how you look and feel.
I've been going over some strategies with some clients in the Fruci Fit Inner Circle group to help them ENJOY themselves whilst staying on track with their goal of ditching the love handles and building a more muscular physique.
The beauty of this process is not only the outcome (a lean physique, more confidence and more energy)
BUT also the ability to ENJOY food and drink and STILL stay on track...
In this video I go over a few tips that a few of my clients are doing this weekend to stay on track whilst STILL enjoying all of their favourite food and drink:
Use the tips in conjunction with The Lean For Life Starter Kit...
Remember that it's what you do ON AVERAGE that counts.
One healthy meal doesn't make you Ben Affleck or "Batman"
Just like one unhealthy meal DOESN'T make you that bloated belly...
PS. Superman vs Batman film this weekend...to flop or not to flop?
So this week Wolfsburg and Germany striker Max Kruse has been dropped by Germany for the game against England this Saturday...
For leaving 75 000 Euros of poker winnings in the back of a taxi...
Wait for it...
Being addicted to NUTELLA...
He's been told to curb his "unhealthy" addiction...
It sounds a bit like me and my beloved peanut butter (especially with the buy one get one half price off at Holland and Barrett lingering just like the infamous DFS sale...)
Now fortunately for Kruse and his Nutella addiction...the science would suggest that his NUTELLA addiction CAN STAY providing his overall intake is controlled.
So a study compared your typical sports drink vs. fast food on recovery and exercise performance in 11 guys
After a 90 minute workout, the fast food group were given cakes, orange juice and a hash brown...whereas the sports supplement group were given a Gatorade and some organic peanut butter.
2 hrs later, the fast food group were given a hamburger, coke and fries. The sports supplement group were given energy bars and protein bars.
The CALORIES in both groups were EQUAL.
A week later, the guys switched over to the opposite diet.
There was no difference in time trial times after eating fast food compared to sports supplements. Glycogen (carbohydrate stores) RECOVERY WAS NOT different.
Glycogen is essentially your muscles stored fuel. Your body taps into this when you exercise.
There was also no difference in insulin levels, blood glucose or cholesterol.
Does this mean we should eat a load of junk food?
Of course not.
FOOD and meals containing wholefoods like potatoes, rice, meats, wraps, sandwiches veg, fruit are generally what I recommend whether it’s around exercise or not….Not sports supplements or fast food for that matter.
But what this does tell us is that
Sports supplements aren’t “magic”…but can be convenient!!!
“Fast food” isn’t necessarily “evil” IF calories are equal…and can also be useful for our mind…helping us stick to our overall nutrition strategy whilst enjoying our food!
You can be the guy that improves his fitness, does a progressive weight training programme a few times per week, enjoys the odd EASTER EGG and beer AND get’s the “you must have a fast metabolism!” from friends and family…
So enjoy your Easter Eggs (and Nutella)...just get the BASICS right!
1/3 of dieters regain more than they lose in the first place....
^^^ read that again
So it's no wonder that shows like the Biggest Loser aren't holding reunion shows...because in their words:
"we're all fat again"
I've been banging on about the importance of setting goals recently to theLean For Life Starter Kit Subscribers
Not just the fluffy SMART kind either...
BUT the stuff that gets you REALLY thinking. It can be quite uncomfortable actually.
Anyway, here's a question I often get when we set goals:
"But Matt, what's a realistic amount of weight (I prefer to use FAT) loss to expect over 90 days?"
why 90 days?
Well any longer I find it just gets washed away and we end up doing nothing...a bit like those New Years Resolutions where set a goal and give ourselves 12 months to achieve it. It gets to March and we think "ah well, I still got 9 months of the year"...gets to August and it's kind of just washed away and we're in exactly the same position as we were in January!
Now realistic fat loss depends on your current situation.
- How much body fat do you have?
- What is your weight?
- How much training are you willing to commit to?
- What stage in your life are you at? What are you willing to sacrifice?
- Do you have a wedding / holiday that you REALLY want to look your best at?
But here's a general guide for FAT LOSS based on my experience working with other guys who want to maintain muscle and KEEP THEIR METABOLISM as high as possible so they can ditch the belly fat:
Body fat > 30% then you're looking around 1 - 1.5 kg per week
Body fat 21%-29% then you're looking around 0.7 - 1 kg per week
Body fat 15% - 20% then you're looking around 0.5 - 0.8 kg per week
But this all depends YOUR situation... AND NOT what Chris Hemsworth did to get in shape for THOR!!
One thing is for sure, I want you to focus on LOSING FAT and CHANGING YOUR BODY SHAPE...not just body weight!
Change is hard.
But it becomes a lot more SIMPLE once you admit where you are and what you want.
Because you can then devise a REALISTIC and SUSTAINABLE plan that fits your lifestyle so you actually stick to it!
And as for keeping it off, this really comes down to education. Understand the WHAT and WHY behind your fat loss so you can adjust your strategy and maintain and build on your stronger and fitter physique...unlike the guys on Biggest Loser...
So yesterday I got into quite a heated debate about the old sugar tax.
It actually stemmed from me seeing a picture of cycling pedals next to benches put up on Facebook by a friend holidaying in Spain at the moment <<< a pretty clever incentive to get people moving. A bit like the "piano-style" stairs in Japan which play music as you step.
Well anyway, I just threw it out there that the money used from the sugar tax could fund such incentives.
To which he replied:
"Well it's just going to mean more people drink 'diet' coke which is even worse for you"...going on to say that "it makes you crave more junk food"
^^^^ and I used to think this too...
BUT just like you now know from the Lean For Life Starter Kit...TOTAL ENERGY INTAKE will determine how much FAT YOU LOSE.
NOT if the foods organic...natural (whatever that means)...or was around in the caveman era..
A recent study of all studies showed that low calorie sweetened products DECREASED our overall food intake and INCREASED weight loss compared to drinking sugary products.
So as you'd probably expect...drinking a diet coke will help you save calories and increase your weight loss!!
you're probably thinking that surely water is just the BEST option to SHED YOUR BELLY FAT, right?
Well it doesn't seem as simple as this...
In fact, compared to water alone, adults consuming low energy sweetened products lost - on average - 1.24 kg MORE.
So why is this?
Well it seems that "diet" drinks or products may provide that pleasure we're seeking from food but without the excess calories to go with it..
So we feel satisfied...less likely to reward ourselves or crave that Cream Egg (Ok,you now probably can't stop thinking about how much you want a cream egg....luckily you should know how you can include this into your nutritional strategy using the FREE Lean For Life Starter Kit...so you're not in yoyo dieting cycle of restricting and binging)...
Does this mean I recommend you swap water for sweetened products? Not quite. If you're happy with water then stick to water.
BUT the beauty of science is that you can't argue with the data, no matter what I believe!
And as for "sweetener" being "toxic"...I spoke about this previously but in a nutshell, there's no evidence that in doses possible for humans that sweeteners are cancerous or toxic. Dosage is key. Did you know that apples actually contain a poison?
and it's these myths that make us confused.
They make things complex. So complex that we have an excuse not to follow it...
"it's too hard"
And this is exactly why I make things simple, yet effective in the FREE Lean For Life Starter Kit
PS. "Diet" products are making a comeback...just like Southampton did on the weekend (sorry Liverpool fans...)
PPS. for all of you geeks who want to read the science for themselves, here's the full paper for you