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Is THIS actually helping you burn more fat?

"I wake up at around 6am, get the kids ready for school, do the school run, come back to do my exercise, and then eat my breakfast after so that I burn more fat. But I've been feeling a bit dizzy when exercising?"

^^^ This was a question I got this week.

Now, she was referring to "burn more fat" in the context of losing body fat and getting a flat stomach.

The thing is, exercising before eating WILL use more fat as energy AT THAT TIME!

Think about it, you burn what fuel is available....Fill your car with petrol, you'll burn petrol!

But "burning fat" as energy doesn't mean you'll LOSE more body fat and drop a few dress sizes.

Because it's what you do over the course of the day that counts.

Think about it like using half a tank of petrol in your car and then simply refilling it back up

^^^ You're back to square one

Who cares if you burn more fat in the space of an hour if over the course of the day / week / month / year you end up gaining fat?

Let's consider the following 2 scenarios...

SCENARIO 1:

You exercise before breakfast, feeling tired and dizzy <<< chances are, you don't perform very well and don't burn that many calories.

Plus, it becomes a bit of chore if you're feeling dizzy and tired everyday!

^^^ This USED to be me. Getting up at the crack of dawn and lacking sleep just so I did my exercise on an empty stomach to "burn more fat"... even though it suited me more to do it in the evening!

And it meant I no longer enjoyed it.

Which reminds me, what's the best diet and exercise programme in the world?

The one you can stick to!

SCENARIO 2:

You exercise after eating a balanced meal.

You now have more energy, you're more motivated, perform better, and BURN MORE CALORIES.

Now, if you cloned yourself (scary thought, I know) and one of you did Scenario 1 and the other did Scenario 2 (and burnt more calories by performing better in their exercise)...

Who do you think would lose more body fat?

I explain a bit more in this video here:

But what I'm getting at is this:

It simply comes down to personal preference.

Just because something "worked" for your friend (let's call her Jane), it doesn't mean it'll work for you.

You see, the only "diet" for you is the one with your name on that considers your lifestyle, home life, work, stress, family, preferences, and overall lifestyle!

And it frustrates me because I see people trying to copy celeb diets or adopt cookie cutter weight loss plans...

Only to blame themselves when they can't stick to them or pile the weight back on.

So...

Feel good exercising on an empty stomach?

Well, go for it!

Feel and perform better after eating a balanced and nutritious meal?

Then, don't force yourself to exercise on an empty stomach...

Because none of this stuff is "magic".

It's about applying the proven scientific principles to your lifestyle in order to create a nutrition and exercise strategy that is easy for you to stick to and helps you lose the stomach fat and KEEP IT OFF.

Have a great day,

Matt

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Fish and chips (with mushy peas) Friday!

It's Friday, bank holiday weekend...and I've got a nutritious, yet satisfying fish and chips (with mushy peas) recipe for you.

Ingredients (serves 2):

* 2 white fish fillets (I used sea bass with skin on)

* 60 g of flour (I used chickpea flour AKA gram flour as it's gluten free)

* 1 beaten egg

* 1 kcal fry spray (butter / coconut oil / olive oil can also be used but will increase fat content)

* Salt and pepper

* 2 average-sized potatoes

* 8 tablespoons of peas

* 1 knob of butter

* Handful of fresh mint (chopped)

* Juice from 1/2 a lemon

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 180 C

2) Chop the potatoes in half and part boil for 3 minutes

3) Put 60 g of flour and a pinch of salt and pepper into one bowl and 1 beaten egg into a separate bowl

4) Dip each fillet into the egg and then into the bowl of flour (making sure it is fully coated) and put to one side

5) Prepare an oven tray with 1 kcal fry spray, chop the potatoes into "chip-like" shapes, place them on to the tray and cook for 20-35 minutes (or until golden) in the oven (turning halfway through)

6) Meanwhile, use 1 kcal fry (or garlic olive oil works very well) and heat a frying pan on a moderate heat.

7) Add the coated fish fillets to the pan (optional to tip the rest of the eggs and flour on top) and sprinkle some salt and pepper on top. Cook for about 4-5 minutes each side at a moderate to high heat (keep checking, it though)

8) Boil the peas until ready and either mash them or put them in a blender with the butter, lemon juice, mint, salt and pepper (return to a low heat if you need to in a new pan)

9) Serve as it is or you could even turn it into a chip butty (as my wife did)

Per serving:

Protein: 32 g

Carbs: 45 g

Fats: 25 g

Calories 533...

which is HALF the amount of calories as a traditional fish and chip shop takeaway...

And the same number of calories as:

A Starbucks Frappuccino 

But, just by being aware of what it's in different foods and what your body requires to have more energy and get a lean body really is half the battle.

Have a great bank holiday weekend!

Matt

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“I no longer have a double chin when my shirt is buttoned up”

If you had a "million pound" racehorse, how would you treat it?

Would you feed it rubbish so it didn't have any energy?

Would you not let it sleep so it felt tired and sluggish?

Would you not let it exercise so it wasn't fit enough to live up to it's expectations?

Of course, not.

But, we so often do this to ourselves.

Forgetting that it might mean we don't live up to our own expectations.

And it's something one of my clients picked up on this week during his update.

He mentioned that he was making better food choices, sleeping better, and...

that his shirt no longer gave him a "double chin" when buttoned up.

He felt more confident, had more energy, and wanted to do more exercise.

^^^ which I had to hold him back on as he's getting results doing what he's doing so why do more and make it less sustainable?

But the point is, a cascade of building positive habits meant that he wanted to do more!

And this doesn't just relate to exercise.

But also HOW we think, our mentality, our home life, and our work life!

Can you achieve more?

Speak soon,

Matt

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How to say no to Cadbury’s Milk Chocolate Buttons?

I've only recently got out of the (bad) habit of working from my kitchen.

Not because it meant that the occasional crumb would accompany a nutrition plan or because it meant my kitchen was messy (which I'll come on to later)

But because I would find myself snacking more.

Having a cuppa just to procrastinate.

Looking at the fridge and trying to persuade myself not to eat.

My environment was dictating what I was doing and thinking

^^^ which begs the question, when isn't it?

You go on the High Street and see McDonalds after McDonalds and Starbucks after Starbucks.

We're constantly "reminded" to eat.

But just being aware of this stuff can make a massive difference.

I'm a big fan of Professor Brian Wansink, who's all about designing your environment to make you SLIM!

Because it turns out that for every 4 minutes you spend in the kitchen, you eat (on average) an extra 80 calories!!!

And considering that an extra 100 calories per day for a year can lead to 10 lbs of weight gain, you can see how the stomach fat can easily sneak up on you!

Is it actually your "slow metabolism" or is it your environment?

Are we simply moving less and eating more?

And that's not all, a "messy" kitchen can increase our snacking by 44% (so put that Daily Mail away...).

But what can we do about this (apart from tidy up)?

Well, we can slowly change our habits and environment to help us make better lifestyle choices that'll get you a flat stomach.

For example, just one of the changes a client recently made on my coaching programme was moving all her "snack" food into 1 cupboard (as opposed to 4).

So, she wasn't restricting herself, but she was creating an environment where she didn't have to say "no" to Cadbury's milk chocolate buttons every 4 minutes...

Speak tomorrow,

Matt

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How to satisfy those cravings: burger and chips style!

I watched my first ever episode of Game of Thrones last night...safe to say I've got a fair few questions so I'll just stick to what I know for today (I spent the whole episode asking my wife "what" "when" and "how"...).

Kid's nutrition is a hot topic right now.

Now, I don't have kids, but as someone who works with children and families, I get that it's not as simple as saying "eat broccoli"...

And it's exactly why providing recipes is so powerful.

It gets you cooking and understanding what's actually in the meals you eat.

Plus, it's far more enjoyable when you make it.

And I'm not just talking salads, either.

I'm talking wraps, breakfast jars, stir frys, fish and chips, pizza, and burgers and chips.

Because they're only as "bad" (terrible word to use, I know) as you make them.

Here's a recipe for you to satisfy those cravings with a wholesome and nutritious...homemade burger and chips!

Ingredients (Serves 4 (adult portions)...with leftovers for the next day)

* 1 Burger bun (I used a Brioche gluten free bun which is the only gluten free bread that doesn't taste like cardboard, in my opinion)

* 500 g lean beef mince (or you can use turkey mince)

*1 kcal fry spray (olive oil, butter, or coconut oil could be used also)

* 1 egg

* 3 average-sized white potatoes (sweet potatoes are fine, too)

* 4 mini corn on the cobs

* 1 Iceberg / crispy lettuce

* 4 tomatoes

* Pinch of salt, pepper and paprika to taste

* Optional:

- 1 slice of cheese (I went for cheddar cheese with chilli flakes in)

- Lightly fried onions in 1kcal fry spray.

- Sauerkraut

- Salsa

Method:

1) Pre-heat the oven to 180 C

2) Chop the potatoes in half (optional to peel them if you want to make them more like fries), part-boil them for 3 minutes, and leave to sit

3) Place the mince in a bowl, add in one beaten egg, a pinch of salt, pepper, and paprika, and mix together with your hands

4) Spray an oven tray with 1 kcal fry spray, mould the beef mince mix into 6 burgers, place them on the tray and put them in the oven for about 25-30 minutes (or until the middle is not pink)

5) Prepare another oven tray with 1 kcal fry spray, cut the potatoes into thin "chip-like" shapes (peel them if you want them more like fries) and place them onto the oven tray.

6) Add the mini corn on the cobs to the tray and place them in the oven for 20-25 minutes (if the corn takes a while, finish them off by boiling them in water). Be sure to turn the chips halfway through.

7) Get the burger bun ready, shred some lettuce up, cut tomatoes, and lightly fry some finely chopped onions in 1 kcal fry spray.

8) Once the burgers and chips are ready, layer the bun with lettuce, add the beef, cheese, tomato, onions and optional sauerkraut and salsa. Add the chips and corn on the cob on the side and you're good to go!

And that's potentially 4 of your 5 a day in...

Burger and chips!

Per portion:

Protein: 35 g

Carbs: 70 g

Fibre: 10 g

Fat: 20 g

Calories: 600

Unfortunately, I didn't have room for pudding.

I was stuffed!

Simply because I applied the principles of choosing more wholesome and nutritious ingredients, which underpins the success of "most" effective nutritional strategies.

Plus, it meant I wasn't raiding the fridge before bed (which is saying something)

Give it a try tonight and let me know how you get on.

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I did it “once” and then 35 London Marathons Later…

Did you watch the London Marathon yesterday?

Inspirational stuff, right?

Although watching it whilst I was tucking in to a leftover homemade burger (recipe to come tomorrow) did make me feel a little guilty...

But, from the guy looking to break the world record for being the fastest to run the marathon with a fridge on his back to the fastest guy dressed as a dinosaur...I was inspired.

I then saw an interview with one of the "Ever Presents" (a group who've ran every London Marathon ever).

He was asked whether he'd ever planned to run 36 in a row (probably a stupid question...) to which he replied:

"I did one, then I thought I'd go for the hat-trick, then the double hat-trick, then the triple hat-trick and then it went on from there, really"

And it reminds me of what happens when you set off on a body transformation journey.

You set one goal, achieve it, build confidence, set another one, achieve it, build more confidence, and it goes "on from there"

For example, I go through 30 day, 60 day, and 90 day goals with all my clients on my body transformation programme.

Yet these change depending on what clients ACTUALLY WANT compared to what they THINK they want <<< Big difference.

And also depending on how their body responds to a the nutrition and exercise.

For example, if you haven't been eating enough protein, you may get a leaner body quicker than someone else.

Just like, if you've been feeling tired a lot but have been deficient in micronutrients, such as certain B Vitamins, then you may feel more energetic and decide that you want to exercise more.

My point is that the first step is the hardest.

Why?

Because we don't always know what we actually want at this stage.

But it's only through doing that we really know.

So, instead of "Ready, Aim, Fire"...

Perhaps it's time to think "Ready, Fire, Aim"...

Matt

PS.  I've got a wholesome, nutritious, and satisfying...Burger and chips recipe for you tomorrow that I shared with my clients on my body transformation programme over the weekend

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8 Things Only Those Who’ve Tried A Low Carb Diet Will Understand

You probably already know that I used to be a one of those "low-carb" zealots.

Thinking that carbs were "bad"...

I thought it was a question of:

"Shall I eat carbs or fats?"

^^^ not realising that the answer is usually...

BOTH!

Don't get me wrong, I DID get results using a low-carb diet.

And low(er) carb diets are useful strategies at certain times for certain people.

Just like low(er) fat diets are useful strategies at certain times for certain people.

But saying that everyone with a pulse (I guess that means my dog, too?) should be on a low-carb diet (or a low-fat diet for that matter) is crazy and zealotry if you consider the science.

There ARE other ways to lose weight that also happen to make life TASTE a whole lot better!

Have you ever been on a low-carb diet?

If yes, here's 8 things that you'll probably resonate with:

1) You're moody - The thought, sight, and talk of carbs is really starting to annoy you-

All you want is a slice of fresh, crusty bread...dipped in some balsamic vinegar with a side of pasta, rice, potatoes, and ice cream.

You're not asking for much.

2) You smell - what's that smell?...YOU

If you're on a low-carb (I mean ultra low, here) diet, your body may start to produce ketones to help use fat as "fuel".

Sound's great, but if you develop bad breath and body odour...is it that great?

And no, you can't even blame this one on the onions (my wife can sense if I'd had onion from a mile away...)

3) You feel lethargic - Did you know remote controls were invented for low-carb dieters so they didn't have to get up and change the channel?

You can't be bothered to do much.

Your strength and endurance is down.

^^^ All resulting in you burning less calories...

You might even have to say goodbye to the type of training that actually builds a lean body...

4) You're constipated - Because you've cut out grains, beans, fruit and some veggies and nuts...you've also skipped a load of fibre.

Fibre is not only important for digestion but also our immune system.

Foods containing fibre often act as "food" for our good bacteria in our gut, which help to fight off illnesses and even allergies.

5) You think you've lost 3 kg of fat in 3 days - the scales might have gone down, but much of it will probably be water and the glycogen (stored glucose for energy) from carbs in your muscle.

You may even feel dehydrated.

So, you might want to head to the pub for a "low-carb" gin and tonic.

6) You're the awkward one at social events - "um, I'll have steak and salad, please."

This was me.

I got so frustrated just looking at local foods and chef specials when eating out...wishing I could have them...

Only to settle for my crispy lettuce, tasty cucumber, and steak (for the 10th meal out in a row)

7) You're not actually eating low-carb -

You're still eating a ton of fruit, peanuts, and oats thinking that these don't contain carbs.

^^^ me, again.

The thing is, I was confused because I was told "carbs were bad", but oats were a "superfood".

How can a food be "super" and "bad"?

^^^ Debunking stuff like this is exactly what got me into nutrition...

It's no wonder we're so confused, right?

8) You let everyone know that you're on a low-carb diet and tell everyone else to do it

You send all of your work colleagues and friends a message to let them know you're "low-carb".

You even put it on your out-of-office email (just in case there's a meeting and the caterers need to know your low-carb requirements).

Have you been on a low-carb diet before? How did it go for you?

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Fasting for weight loss?

One of my clients messaged me yesterday with a link to a video (on the Daily Mail) of Mark Wright (the guy from The Only Way is Essex) saying that:

You should never run "over 20 minutes because you start burning muscle"

^^^ This is prime example of celebs and the Daily Mail doing what they do best...gossiping!

Now, where do I start...

If this really was the case, the likes of Maria Sharapova (who plays tennis for sometimes 3 hours at a time) wouldn't have an inch of muscle on them.

^^^ yet, she has an impressively lean and toned physique (which requires muscle).

You see, you're probably scared at the thought of "muscle" <<< it sounds masculine.

Yet, being "toned" is actually a combination of losing fat and increasing muscle (which also increases our fitness, makes everyday tasks easier, and can reduce our risk of metabolic diseases, like diabetes and heart disease).

Anyway, my client then asked me about the topic of "fasting" and whether it helps you lose weight.

What she was referring to was a protocol where you basically delay breakfast by a few hours.

So, she was asking whether it would be better to have her first meal at 12pm (when she has her lunch break at work) as she's busy in the morning doing the school run and getting to work so often chooses "rubbish" foods.

Short answer:

If this suits your lifestyle and means you can sit down, enjoy your food, and make better decisions then go for it!

Likewise, if you skip breakfast but then feel STARVING and crave a sugar-fix or anything you can get your hands on, then it's probably not for you.

I explain more in this video here: 

Have a great weekend and in the words of Danny Dyer (on Celebrity Juice this week when sending a birthday message to the Queen):

"Go out tonight, ###### and enjoy yourself!" (I kept it clean...)

Matt "loves a gossip" Fruci

PS. What's even more frustrating is that The Only Way is Essex is now responsible for "no carbs" AND not running for more than 20 minutes...

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Keeping your weight off, your hunger, and this weekend’s London Marathon

I was chatting to a friend this week about the London Marathon (as I know two people running it).

We were talking about how many calories you burn when you run the London marathon (it makes me feel tired just thinking about it...).

On average, it's 2,600 calories (this does depend on age, sex, height, weight etc.)

BUT, most marathon runners aren't 'average'.

You see, they would have trained and built up for it (I would hope, anyway).

Why?

To get fitter.

Which is great because it can make everyday tasks (like shopping) easier and decrease our risk of diseases, like heart disease and diabetes.

The bad news?

They're body now uses less calories and less energy to run!

So theoretically, we now have to "do more" to burn the same amount of calories and lose weight...

And it's the same when "dieting" to lose weight.

Do we have a weight loss problem in this country?

Probably not.

Most of us CAN lose weight.

Cambridge, Weight Watchers, Atkins, Slimming World, Fasting...

^^^ They all make us lose "weight".

But the million dollar question is: Can we keep the weight off?

You see, some of these diets make us change too much, too soon.

Which means we often can't stick to it because our body is telling us to eat more and we give in to our favourite foods that we "gave up".

...Cue the weight regain!

But what if you can keep the weight off for a year?

Well, recent research has shown that if you maintain your weight loss for a year then your body will adjust to this new leaner body and your hunger hormones won't be screaming at your and telling you to finish the Ben & Jerry's...

And how do you keep the weight off?

* By having a bespoke nutrition and exercise plan that fits your lifestyle so you can eat your chocolate, drink your wine, and still get lean!

* By being accountable and setting goals (30, 60, and 90 day goals at a time to ensure you actually achieve them and they don't get 'washed' away) so you know exactly WHY you're doing what you're doing.

* By doing 'stuff' you enjoy (because you'll be more likely to stick to it and keep the weight off long-term)

* By having the knowledge to adjust your nutrition and exercise plan to attack STUBBORN FAT (aka the love handles).

It's not rocket science, it's just about taking small consistent baby steps everyday and having a strategy to lose fat, get lean, and stay lean that's guaranteed.

Matt

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A NEAT way to lose weight and get lean…

We're often reliant on picking up what 'worked' last time by going back to Slimming World or on Cambridge (despite putting the weight back on in some cases).

Now, it's no secret that "crash diets" can slow our metabolism down and mean that we burn less calories at rest.

But is this really the only reason why we struggle to lose weight and keep it off?

Not quite.

A big factor in this is something call NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis if you speak Latin...)

^^^ this refers to the calories you burn from fidgeting, cleaning, walking to work, using the stairs instead of the lift, looking after kids, shopping, typing on a laptop etc.

So essentially, it's the calories you burn outside of eating, sleeping, and organised exercise (like the gym or running).

And it's NEAT that can often explain why we can't lose weight even though we're eating like a pigeon and giving up all of our favourite foods.

Because crash diets and chronic undereating decreases our NEAT <<< it makes us move less.

We opt for the lift instead of the stairs.

Drive to the shops instead of walking.

Stop twitching our leg whilst sitting down (or doing pelvic floor exercises in the case of one of my clients)

Some research has even shown that the difference between an overweight twin and a lean twin is their "fidgeting" habits.

One is always on his feet and can't sit still and the other is quite happy to sit there and play computer games...

So, NEAT might just explain that gradual weight gain

(something a client of mine recently talked about as she's gone back to work where she sits at a desk all day now her son is in nursery...).

And this is exactly why I structure in days (and weeks in some cases) where clients on my Lean For Life Fat Loss Programme eat MORE and actually "exercise" less (especially around the premenstrual phase).

Speak tomorrow (we're nearly at the end of the week...),

Matt "taking the stairs" Fruci

PS. My wife says I talk too much, but at least now I can say I'm just increasing my NEAT!