Is tomato ketchup OK?
"Can I add tomato ketchup?" ..."are sweeteners OK in my tea and coffee?"
2 questions I got this morning from clients...
We have this idea that if food is bland or boring it must be good for us.
Truth is, a dollop of ketchup adds so little to your daily intake but can actually offer so much and HELP people get the right nutrition in, be it protein, veggies, fats or carbs.
One of my client finds it difficult to eat enough protein UNLESS he has some ketchup on top...
So ketchup on top of his meal means he gets more protein in and the right overall nutrition in for his needs to help him get fitter and stronger in the gym, build some muscle and lose more fat...
Add some flavour to your food and enjoy it...salsa, mustard, ketchup, balsamic vinegar, chopped tomatoes, herbs, spices whatever
Just account for it in your daily intake and you're good to get results and enjoy your food!
Have a great weekend,
Should You Really Be Doing THIS More Often Than Arsenal Bottle a Title Challenge?
“I need to get in shape…Which protein shake should I buy?”
Me: strawberry, chocolate or vanilla….
Choosing “the type” is really that simple and won’t have much impact on your fat loss!
BUT the supplement industry has us chugging down protein shakes and sports drinks more often than Arsenal bottle a title challenge…(I hope I don’t eat them words…)
All to get better performance?
So we can lose more fat?
Fill out our T shirts with muscle?
Get better sleep?
Well, this might be the case…
Now, I wasn’t actually shocked by the results of this study…rather that the study was done in the first place…
The results have ruffled the feathers of the nutrition “gurus” to say the least.
It’s typical sports drink vs. fast food on recovery and exercise performance in 11 guys
Now bear in mind that if you PERFROM better in anything you do exercise wise…you’ll burn more calories.
So there was a fast food group VS a group taking sports supplements that both did a 90 minute endurance-based workout before eating.
The fast food group were then given cakes, orange juice and a hashbrown (I’m pretty sure I see the cyclists on this diet outside the coffee shops on a Sunday morning in Marlborough) 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 came back to the lab and 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.
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!
It comes back down to BALANCE. MODERATION. And living.
You can be the guy that performs does a structured training programme a few times per week, enjoys the odd curry and a beer AND get’s the “you must have a fast metabolism!” from friends and family…
IF... you control for overall intake – as is explained in the Lean for Life Starter Kit…
CONFESSIONS of a Nutritionist and Personal Trainer
Why Your (my) "Bad" Habit Might Not Be So "Bad"
If I'm not talking about curry...I'm talking about coffee.
- It's social
- Increases your mental and physical performance
- Tastes good
- And means you can "justify" a break from work...
A new client recently said they're going to give up coffee for Lent.
Surprised - given his on-the-go, always moving lifestyle...and love for coffee - I asked him why?
"errrm, I read it's full of sugar"
Now coffee alone contains NO SUGAR...
It was triggered by an article in the Daily Mail...highlighting the teaspoons of sugar in coffees like lattes and cappuccinos.
Yes Lattes contain sugar...but it's because MILK contains SUGAR.
A standard Grande Latte at Starbucks ... with foam on top... has 17g of sugar. That's actually less sugar than the equivalent (470ml) amount in just milk....which has about 22g of sugar in...
You get the point...
Now having coffee after coffee all day may:
- Make you less sensitive to caffeine meaning you need more to feel it's effects
- Decrease your sleep quality resulting in poor recovery and low energy levels
- Mean you become out of touch with your own energy levels...relying on coffee after coffee to get you through the day
- Cut out caffeinated coffee after 6pm to avoid it interrupting your sleep..unless you're training late - I'll let you off!
- Try to stick to a max. of 2-3 caffeinated coffees per day with 1-2 cups coming before you exercise to increase performance, help build more muscle and burn more calories
- Get a good decaffeinated blend to get your coffee fix at other times
Recent research has shown that 2 large cups of coffee can give you an increase in exercise performance by nearly 5%...(Hodgson et al 2013)
^^^^ Is this a lot?
Well, if Usain Bolt would have lost 5 % of his performance in the 2012 Olympics...he would have been a nobody...strolling across the finish line in 7th...
So imagine what this 5% could do for your performance? Your fat loss? Your muscle gain? Your goal to fit back into those fitted jeans and feel confident about your body on your summer holiday?
And I'm not done yet...
Coffee and tea consumption (both caffeinated and decaffeinated) was associated with a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes...(Huxley et al 2009).
You don't need to give up your "favourite" drinks or foods. Structure them in to your daily / weekly food intake - just like my clients do - and you too can lose your gut and be ready for your summer holiday!
That "bad" habit of ours isn't too bad after all...
"If you want a snog, you're sharing your garlic chicken"
It was time to loosen my belt and pick my weekend curry...from a menu NEARLY as big as the list of foods I had to "ban" from my diet to drop fat and get "beach lean".
I remember being like:
only brown rice
only wholemeal pasta
only sweet potato
Acting like these changes would make a big difference....
And how wrong I was...
I was restricted with my choice. I wasn't in control...unlike Saturday when choosing my curry.
Do I go vindaloo? Do I go for one of the 10000 special house dishes? Do I go for the garlic chicken like the guy sat behind me who was fiercely told by his Mrs:
If you want a snog tonight, you're sharing your garlic chicken
There are so many dishes. You can pick anything you want and this is probably one of the reasons - along with not having to cook and being able to spend time with friends and family - that we eat out.
We get variety, choice and flexibility. We try new things <<<< read that again. Now ask yourself whether you have that in your fat loss diet?
If not, how likely is it that you're going to stick to your diet?
And consider this...a 3-day diet is no good for anybody...just like a 12 week diet..
Because if you can't see yourself doing it in 3 months, 6 months, 12 months etc. it's probably doomed for failure..
And the problem is that THIS ^^^ is the consequence of being on a "diet" and NOT a nutritional strategy fit for your lifestyle providing flexibility and SUSTAINABLE FAT LOSS!
And this is exactly why I created The Lean For Life Starter Kit. A FREE step-by-step guide to drop body fat and fit back into your favourite clothes whilst eating the foods you like...
^^^It's a sustainable meaning that after 3 days, 7 days, 10 days, 12 weeks, 1 year...you won't pile it all back on...
So NO you don't have to share your garlic chicken...unless you want a snog of course...
Eating More To Lose Fat?
6am and I've woken up on this fine Sunday morning - not through choice but rather through the choice of my crying AND HUNGRY dog.
But...going through my emails and reading this from a client:
"This refeed day is nothing less than a blessing. You have no idea. I can't believe the relationship I used to have with food; such small amounts of carbs and fats and thinking that I was keeping myself well fed - I've grown to appreciate food so much more"
I now have the facial expression of a small child at Christmas...
Not only has her relationship with food improved
^^^^ which is HUGE for sanity!
But she's also LOSING MORE FAT!
"FINALLY, WE'VE HIT 70! My confidence is at an all time high"
But what is a refeed day?
A refeed day is where you bring your food intake UP (you eat more) to increase your metabolism and help you burn more fat.
This is to try and prevent the old "starvation mode" where your body gets stubborn and holds on to fat...
^^^^ often from chronic undereating!
So this refeed day - at the VERY LEAST - can halt a decrease in our metabolism
if done properly can even increase our metabolism...
Calories and certain types of carbs will have the greatest impact on our metabolism during this refeed day!
How much do you increase your food intake by?
Well, it depends. Depends how much you're eating now. Overeat too much and your body will probably just put on more fat.
It's trial and error...but once you hit that sweet spot you may well know about it!
check this study from 2014:
Overweight females who had "diet breaks" (e.g. refeed days where they could eat more) for 3 days every 11 days (over a 42 day period), maintained their metabolism (calories burned at rest)
had nearly double the weight-loss and OVER double the body fat loss compared to those who simply just did a diet for 42 days...WITHOUT REFEEDING!...
^^^ Perhaps this was why my dog woke me up at 6am?
Anyway, I'm guessing this might be you during your "refeed" at Sunday lunch later today....
If Chicken Tikka Masala Was a Fat Loss Supplement...
If you know me well, you'd have probably shared a curry with me. It's my favourite food and something I'm not going to give up...ever...
Even if it's "fattening" as they say...
But is it?
What if Chicken Tikka Masala was actually a fat loss supplement?*
*as part of a balanced diet (as they say)
What would it look like if you replaced a "fat burning" supplement with "chicken tikka masala"?
Just like this >>>>
What is Chicken Tikka Masala?
Our chicken tikka masala is a delicious high protein meal combined with low GI (Glycaemic Index) carbohydrates such as basmati rice specially formulated to support your high protein diet.
What Does Chicken Tikka Masala Do?
Chicken Tikka Masala is an advanced high protein meal that will contribute to the growth and maintenance of lean mass.
Chicken Tikka Masala delivers OVER 20 g of high quality proteins which can be easily digested and absorbed into the body. Chicken Tikka Masala, also supplies a beneficial blend of ingredients including: the fat burners capsicum.
The added basmati rice is a healthy source of low GI (glycemic index) carbohydrates providing a sustained energy release which helps to maintain normal blood sugar levels. The low GI of the rice combined with the protein and fats contribute to the reduction of the blood glucose rise after it is consumed.
Who is Chicken Tikka Masala For?
Chicken tikka masala is ideal for anyone taking part in intense, physical exercise looking to increase daily protein intake.
Chicken tikka masala is recommended for anyone looking to lose weight, reduce body fat levels but maintain or increase lean mass. It is advised to consume chicken tikka masala throughout the day to increase daily protein intake or before/after a workout as a source of protein.
Here's how you might use it:
Alex wants to lose fat and get lean. Using The FREE Lean For Life Starter Kit, he knows that to start losing fat he needs to consumes between 2000-2200 calories per day...
This equates to:
160-180g of protein
60-70g of fat
200-220g of carbs
So how does this look in real food?
Turkey and spinach omelette
45g protein, 8g of fat, 21g carbs, 336 calories
Tuna sandwich with 2 slices of bread (with light mayo, onion, mustard and olive oil, parsley and cucumber)
53g protein, 17g fat, 46g carbs, 549 calories
Chicken tikka masala with basmati rice and a glass of red wine
Protein 40g, fat 20g, carbs 60g, calories 700 (including glass of red)
Chocolate whey protein mixed with low fat Greek yogurt, blueberries, oats, cinnamon, mixed nuts, and cocoa powder.
40g protein, 15g fat, 60g carbs, 535 calories
TOTAL FOR THE DAY:
178g protein, 60g fat, 187g carbs, 120 calories from the vino, 2120 TOTAL calories
So get your "fat burning" spicy, capsicum loaded, chicken tikka masala now!
PS. If you're wondering where to get this from, check out The Palm near Marlborough
3 Quick Tips For Eating On The Go
This ones for those busy weeks. You're snowed under with work but still want to keep on track with your nutrition...so you have more energy, perform better, and get lean!
1. Look for foods high in protein when out and about
It's more filling that carbs and fats
It'll help ensure you hit the amount of protein you need to maximise recovery and muscle building despite your busy
It's important for your immune system so can prevent you getting run down
Grab some pre-packed / rotisserie chicken from a supermarket...cheap and high in protein
Have high protein snacks, like nuts and seeds handy (count your fats though)
Whey protein powder is easy to pack and commute with
2. Prep some food on a Sunday
This can give you a head start for the week.
Cook a bit more for your Sunday lunch and store it in the fridge. I often have enough to last me until Tuesday / Wednesday.
You've got left over roast chicken from the Sunday dinner. Put some in a wrap, chuck some red onion, peppers, salsa, spinach and some balsamic vinegar in with it and wrap it up in some foil...
At least then, you've got one meal that you've prepped for the next day...making you less likely to grab anything and everything when you're starving and on the go...
3. Eat a BIG or a SMALL meal before you leave...
There's no right or wrong answer here.
A) Eat a big breakfast to prevent you snacking and wanting food on the go
B) Eat a smaller breakfast / skip breakfast and save some calories for later to allow you to pick and choose what you want later..perhaps you have a work lunch? A social event later?
But this all comes back to THIS >>>
Understanding how much you're eating...and eat what you want to fit your needs
Use The FREE Lean For Life Starter Kit to know exactly how much you need to eat lose fat and get lean...
Then simply use the targets as a goal...adjust...and get lean.
No "banned" foods
No MORE FADS
I Wish I'd Have Known THIS When I Started...
I'd open my eyes, questioning how it was possible. It felt like I'd just gone to bed.
Yet the annoying jingle - AKA my alarm clock - that I couldn't ever be bothered to change...would be going off...
I'd sit there for a few seconds and tolerate the annoying sound before going into "robot" mode...
On my mission to lose fat and get lean, I'd pretend to be enthusiastic about the morning jog I was about to do...
"No pain, no gain" <<<< I used to fall for that one too...
I'd think to myself, "it'll be worth it, it's getting me closer to my goal of getting beach lean"
But the thing is, I didn't enjoy jogging. It hurt my knees, meant I didn't sleep as long as I wanted to...and took increasing amounts of TIME out of my day.
Because I gathered that if i wanted to progress, I would obviously have to do more (so I was on the right track there...)..
But doing more meant more TIME. It meant less sleep. It would sometimes mean less weight training sessions...which I actually enjoyed but thought I shouldn't do too much of because I only wanted to get lean so I should do more cardio.
It also meant I would compromise my work OR social life - something would have to give - unless I just gave into the:
"I don't have time" excuse...which is often an excuse for when our programme doesn't fit our lifestyle and WHAT WE ENJOY.
You see just like I hated my annoying alarm clock, I hated jogging. It got on my nerved but I couldn't ever be bothered to do anything about it. And the sad thing? I was no longer enjoying exercise...
It was only when I could be bothered to consider other options (and alarm clock ring tones) and through years of study at university, making a load of mistakes myself, and helping tons of other guys lose fat and get lean...that I realised:
The BEST "training" or "diet" programme is that ONE you'll DO
The one that you enjoy, fits your lifestyle and DOESN'T get in the way of the things you actually want to do in life.
And this is when I really got into lifting weights and high intensity interval cardio work.
High intensity interval training refers to short bursts of sprints, jumps, skipping, battlerope, sledge pushes etc. There are a variety of ways you can do it. 1 minute on, 1 minute off. 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off. 20 seconds on, 2 minutes off. There’s no right or wrong way.
It was quick, fun and progressive. I could progress:
GET FASTER (I'm still slow...always will be but I got fastER)
Without it taking more TIME
You see, there's no right or wrong way to lose fat and get lean.
I'm sorry for going all vanilla on you now, but it's just how it is.
If you burn the same amount of calories in the session (including the ”after-effect” in the case of high intensity exercise) your fat loss results will be the same.
Here's a few things to consider.
High Intensity Exercise, like interval training, can:
- Be stressful - you have to WORK HARD
- Impair recovery - this could mean your next training session is poor because of a lack of recovery
- Make you more prone to injury due to the high intensity required
That said, high intensity interval training is also:
- Quick - you can burn a lot of calories over the day by doing an intense 10 minutes
- It's convenient to do - you don't need any equipment. You could do tuck jumps, burps, or any body weight movement FAST and it will work
When it comes to low intensity exercise, such as jogging, you have to consider that:
- It will generally take longer to burn the same amount of calories
- It can be monotonous and boring
- It will mean spending more time working out
That said, low intensity exercise is:
- Less stressful
- Doesn't impact recovery as much so could be done more often and allow you to burn more calories in the long-term
- Can be quite a productive task - you could answer emails, do some work, listen / read, watch TV / sport whilst doing it...just make sure the pedals are still going round! Shouting at the ref on the TV doesn't count as exercise...
For me personally, I don’t like to spend longer in the gym than I have to.
When my training programme has me doing resistance exercise and cardio, I prefer to focus on my resistance exercise at the start of the session and then get my cardio - in the form of high intensity interval training - done at the end in QUICKLY so I can SAVE TIME and get on with my day…
I'll sometimes do it whilst I’m waiting for dinner to cook (tuck jumps in the kitchen…even Dora - my dog - joins in).
Here’s an example of a high intensity interval protocol:
Use a stationary bike:
5 sets of 30 seconds sprints.
1-5 seconds – sprint as fast as you can with little resistance
6-30 seconds – bump up the resistance on the bike so it feels like you’re suddenly stuck in the mud and KEEP SPRINTING ALL OUT until you get to 30 seconds
Rest until you’re breathing is getting back to normal and go again!
Do what you enjoy. Do what fits your lifestyle. Why?
Because there's no happy ending to an unhappy journey
Why spend time doing stuff you loathe when you COULD do stuff you enjoy more or at least take less time doing?
PS. If you haven't don't so already, you can grab a copy of the toolkit I've used to lose fat and get lean for free using the form below