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I didn’t listen…

So this weekend my wife was back home from seeing her parents for a few days (as it was school holidays and she's a teacher).

Being the "foodie" that I am, I suggested we go out for a meal to catch up.

We ended up going to for tapas (No. 48 Tapas and Grill in Marlborough, if you're wondering)

Great food, great atmosphere...and A LOT OF CHOICE.

Olives, anchovies, paella, seafood, spanish omelettes, steak, mushrooms, spinach <<< too much good food!

I'd noticed just how UNFUSSY I'd become.

^^^ Which depending on how you view your relationship with food, can be a GOOD or a BAD thing.

Why am I saying this?

Well a client of mine (her names Heather by the way) told me last week about the struggles she had when she first start doing the stuff that helps you lose weight and tone up.

^^^ this "stuff" being...not giving up foods, eating balanced portions, and ENJOYING food again.

"I didn't listen to my body" were her exact words.

She would eat when she thought she should eat rather than when she was hungry".

Breakfast...time to eat

10am...time for a snack?

12pm....time for lunch?

323pm... Jane's birthday cake at work!

5pm...picking at snacks

6pm...dinner

8pm...picking / snacking in front of the TV <<< FEELING HUNGRY!

And it was these RIGID times of eating that meant Heather was HUNGRY in the evening.

It meant she didn't SLEEP very well.

She was tired the next day.

And her hunger hormones would be telling her to EAT EAT EAT!

Sound familiar?

Like myself, Heather prefers to eat more in the evening when she can sit down with family, relax and unwind in front of the TV, and ENJOY her food.

But her previous beliefs about eating at set times meant this would mean she would overeat and feel guilty or go to bed hungry and have a poor nights sleep

^^^ and end up feeling groggy and moody the next day (Just like I did...and then take it out on the wife!!!)

But now, Heather is in tune with her body.

Through her experience on The Lean For Life Fat Loss Programme, Heather discovered the tips and tricks to eat when she's hungry, learnt how to distinguish between hunger and thirst, and gained the confidence to choose nutritious meals that energise the body and keep you full and more satisfied for longer!

^^^ And this has allowed her to target the stubborn fat she couldn't lose at Slimming World!

But the most important thing of all?

Heather now eats carbs before bed to help her sleep (she was terrified of this before) and can enjoy family time in the evening with a "guilt-free" glass of wine!

The downside?

She needs a new summer wardrobe!

​Speak soon,

Matt​

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4 Ways To “Stop Beating Yourself Up”

My story started when I was a kid.

Being surrounded by people "dieting", I could sense a "need" to "look good".

And I don't think I've ever worked with a female (or a male) who is completely satisfied with the way they look.

^^^ Isn't this sad?

You could have dropped a dress size, be eating more than ever, and be getting compliments from friends and family left, right, and centre yet...

"I just want to a flat(ter) stomach"

"I want (more) shapely legs"

"I need to lose 5 (more) pounds"

I guess it's good to set new goals and have desires.

It gives us some drive and motivation.

But there's a fine line between becoming obsessive (and letting your perception of the 'perfect body' impact how you think and feel about yourself everyday) and just having a goal that you're striving to achieve (e.g. a lean body, more energy and more confidence <<< which is generally a very healthy goal to have).

So, here's 4 strategies that can help you to "stop beating yourself up":

1. Listen to yourself -

What is it you actually want right now?

Our thoughts are filled with beliefs, fears and values of those around us.

Solution:

Be the best version of you and no one else!

Take a step back and set some goals (be it for your body, career, or relationships).

Ask yourself -


- Where do you want to be in 90 days time?

- To get there, where would you have to be in 60 / 30 days times (benchmarks)?

- Why wouldn't you achieve this? (what fears do you have to overcome / what stories do you need to forget)?

^^^ Are these stories even real?

2. Understand that the scales don't tell the whole story -

Try not to JUST use the scales as an indicator of YOU.

Daily fluctuations, hormones, food and water intake, time of day, stress, weather, muscle...can all impact the number on the scales.

If you were walking along the beach and feeling confident in your favourite swimwear, would you really care how much you weighed?

Plus, remember that getting "toned" means losing FAT and increasing muscle, which technically means that having JUST a "weight loss" goal could be misleading when tracking progress as muscle weighs more.

Solution:

Assess how your clothes fit...you might not have lost much weight, but have you dropped a dress size?

3. Get in tune with your body -

Your body WANTS to be nourished. If you're constantly dieting, perhaps you need a break?

Diet breaks can actually boost your metabolism, help nourish the body, give you more energy, and get you on track to get that "toned" look!

4. Celebrate what your body can do -

Could it be that your body is craving energy from...exercise.

Walks, jogs, cycles, resistance exercise etc...These all make you fitter, stronger and faster.

This can help you shift the focus away from just "weight" and towards the everyday benefits you're now getting:

- You're no longer out of breath walking up stairs

- Carrying bags has become easier

- You're sleeping better and have more energy (so you can be more productive with your time and spend more time with family and friends)

And it just might be that with the right training and nutrition, you achieve your goals in the process...

^^^ And enjoying the PROCESS is what it's all about.

So, happy hump day!

Be proud of yourself and be the best version of you (and no one else!).

Speak tomorrow,

Matt "enjoying the process" Fruci

PS. I'll be talking a bit more about why you should STOP dieting soon!

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“I’m SOOOO Hungry I Could Eat A Bus…

Do you ever have one of those days where you're sooooo hungry that you "could eat a bus"?

It usually happens to me when I've:

1. Had a rubbish nights sleep

2. Feeling stressed / overwhelmed (some people go the opposite way and eat less...)

3. I'm eating tasty food (my taste buds tell me I'm hungry...)​

4. I've not eating enough​

​And according to the research, there could be other reasons too:

​- You're lacking in protein and fibre (these help to keep you full)

Solution: Increase your intake of lean meats, fish, beans / pulses and veggies!

- Your ratio of omega 3 and omega 6 fats is out of whack (essential fats)

- ​You're eating too much processed foods (this may impact your hunger hormones)

- And for females...you might feel like ​"you could eat a bus" if you're in the premenstrual phase...

Below is a quick summary:

​And below is a summary of whether you could actually eat a bus...

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Why I failed…

I found out (the hard way) that eating too much of a "good" food can be a bad thing!

This pretty much sums up why I failed (in my opinion)...

I liked the "idea" of eating "low-carb", but it meant that going out for meals was difficult, I had to give up some of my favourite foods, and it made exercise feel "harder".

I liked the "idea" of ONLY eating whole - so-called - "fat burning" foods allday, everyday, but it got boring.

^^^ I couldn't stick to it.

And what's the best diet in the world?

The one you'll do!​

Don't get me wrong, I got pretty lean on some of these diets I've tried.

But, it was at the expense of my social life​...and it made my relationship with food even worse!

I also never seemed to be able to lose that "last bit​ of fat around the stomach"...

Until I realised that there is a better way!​

Now, the key to a successful weight-loss (fat loss) strategy ​is to create an energy deficit through your diet and / or exercise programme.

​And one way to ensure you have a diet that you can stick to is to:

Make sure you feel full and satisfied! ​

 ^^^ something I completely overlooked...

The amount of food on your plate (the weight) will play a key role in how full and satisfied you feel, which will help you overcome and control urges to binge / overeat.

This is exactly why I get all my clients to track their hunger levels. ​

Because food choices will impact this and making simple food swaps (without actually eating fewer calories) can make a big difference to whether you stick to your nutrition plan or just pile the weight back on.

I used to think popcorn was "junk food" (it obviously can be depending on how you make it)​.

There was no persuading me, though.

I also "heard" that avocado was a fat burning food, so I would eat 1, and sometimes 2 or 3 everyday...without having the knowledge of how much energy this was giving me.

I just thought it was "good for me" so more must be "better for me"...​

Here's the comparison between the "junk food" and the "fat burning" food (and if you're wondering what this looks like, watch the video):​

​66 g of popcorn kernels cooked in 1 kcal fry spray and topped with sea salt and stevia provides:

Fat: 7.1 g, Carbs: 32 g, Fibre: 10.1 g, Protein: 9.2 g, Calories: 229

136 g (meat only) avocado (1 avocado) provides:

Fat: 20 g, Carbs: 12 g, Fibre: 9 g, Protein: 2.7 g, Calories: 239​

​So, an avocado provides more calories than all of that popcorn, yet takes barely any time to eat and - in my opinion - doesn't really fill me up.

Plus, it's pretty boring to eat on it's own.

Now, I still eat avocados  (usually in salads). They're full of healthy fats etc.

But my point ​is that you CAN lose weight (achieve fat loss) without "giving up" foods or going to the extreme. 

There's a BETTER way.​

And it just so happens that popcorn (a food I used to "give up" and crave)​ can help me feel full and satisfied. It's loaded with fibre and pretty much provides the identical nutrition as the "superfood" oats!

So, focus on what matters:

- Building a nutrition plan you can stick to

​Which usually involves (at minimum) these 2 things:

​- NOT giving up your favourite foods!

But at the same time, making sure you feel full and satisfied by:​

​- Making the "majority" of your diet full of high volume, nutrient dense foods (avocados AND popcorn...).

​Learn from my mistakes.

If it wasn't for my "all or nothing" / "no bad foods" mentality, I would have probably been where I am today 5 years ago! 

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Want Better Legs?

The Simple, Yet Overlooked, Move For Better Legs...



Why I like it?



- It doesn't require too much technical teaching so you can get a 'feel' for the muscle that's working <<< You can shape your legs WITHOUT putting heavy stuff on your back



- However, once you get this 'feel' for the muscle, it gives you confidence and you can (if you wish) apply this to other moves that require a bit more technical teaching, like squats <<< which can have a greater impact on overall training and calories burned...plus they'll make everyday tasks, like shopping and queuing for coffee at Costa, much easier!



- There's no messing around with plates and bars. It's quick to do (meaning I don't have spend as long training) and will STILL provide a great stimulus on the muscle!



- It's tucked away in the corner and no one can really see you <<< allowing some funny faces to go unnoticed (unless you post a video on Facebook)


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Cooking and Nutrition Workshop With STFC

Another successful youth team cooking and nutrition workshop with STFC.

The foundations of a LONG-TERM successful nutritional strategy, be it for weight loss or performance, is education.

If you don't know the "why" it simply won't last.

You'll be reliant on a cookie-cutter "meal-plan" that Kate Middleton used to shed her post-baby weight...

If you don't have the tools to understand exactly "why" and "how" it works you can't adapt the strategy for when you hit those stubborn fat loss periods.

You also can't adapt it to your lifestyle >>>

Your working pattern, your hobbies, your social life and your favourite foods (yep, chocolate included).

^^^ And if you don't do this, then it's only a matter of time before you give in to those so-called "bad" foods and think you failed...

Get the basics right and do them very well...consistently...

And you might just find that those so-called "bad" foods might not be so bad!

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10-Minute Fluffy American-Style Chocolate Coated Pancakes

Hungry?

Not got much time?

Sweet tooth?

Try these 10-minute fluffy, American-style chocolate pancakes (can be gluten and dairy free, should you have any allergies / intolerances).

Handy to make a load for on-the-go or as a late night snack whilst watching a film... 

Plus, they're pretty high in fibre and protein to help keep you full!​

Ingredients (Makes 4 American-Style pancakes):​

  • 130 g of gram flour (chickpea flour)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 140 ml of almond milk (or usual milk)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 servings of Stevia / Truvia to sweeten (or 1 scoop of flavoured whey protein powder if you need the protein)
  • 1 kcal fry spray for frying
  • Drop of apple cider vinegar (optional to help make them fluffier)
  • Optional: 5 g cocoa powder

For the topping:

  • 30 g of dark chocolate (I used 70% cocoa)
  • A drop of almond milk / milk
  • Handful of chopped strawberries

​Method:

1. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, stevia / protein powder in a bowl

2. In a separate bowl, mix​ the milk and egg and slowly mix this into the flour mix until you get a smooth batter (with no lumps)

​3. Heat some 1 kcal fry spray in a pan and pour in 1/2 the mixture (less or more depending on size of your pan) over a medium heat. 

4. Turn the pancake after 2 minutes / when the top is bubbling​, making sure both sides are golden and slightly risen.

5. Melt the chocolate with a drop of milk ​in a saucepan

6. Stack the pancakes up and top with strawberries and the melted chocolate!​

​Rough nutrition per pancake (excluding protein powder):

Calories: 131​

Protein: ​6 g

Carbs: 20 g

Fat: 3 g​

​Rough nutrition per pancake (including protein powder):

Calories: 151

Protein: ​11 g

Carbs: 20 g

Fat: 3 g​

Give them a try and let me know how you get on!

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Could Your Good Intentions Be Making You Fatter?

Before we begin, I'm talking purely from experience of working one-to-one with weight-loss clients and as someone who struggled with an eating disorder growing up.

Now, I'm getting more and more questions about  ​what the "best foods" to eat to lose weight are and what I think about the "x" diet, "cutting out gluten", "ditching dairy", "never eating grains", "giving up bread", "only having shakes" etc...

I also recently held a webinar for a few of my clients in the Fruci Fit Inner Circle members area.

​And it worries me.

​For the simple reason that it can make you become "obsessed" about food.

It reminds me of (the old, misled, and confused) ME!​

Now, learning about "clean" foods or the paleo diet can be useful.

If you don't know what it is, here's a quick summary:

​Eliminate wholegrains, legumes (including peanut butter...), grains (yep, bread too), dairy, even some fruits and vegetables (some even ban potatoes...), and all processed foods...

Leaving you with foods like lean meats, fish, eggs, butter, coconut oil, green veggies, nuts (not peanuts)​, and perhaps some quinoa if you're lucky (and depending on who you hear about the diet from).

​^^^ And with these limited food choices, you'll probably actually learn to love some wholesome foods that provide a bucket load of nutrition, improve your cooking skills, and LOSE SOME WEIGHT...

​So how could it make you fatter? 

1. You want what you can't have ​- restricting so many foods can make you crave them even MORE, which can lead to binges and the perception that "I failed" and "I don't have the willpower". You beat yourself up and question whether there's something wrong with you...

2. You​ now see foods as "evil" or "magic" - Eating out at social events has now become a nightmare. You either order another "chicken and salad with no sauce" (that was me) or you feel guilty about your indulgence in something as innocent as a jacket potato or some white rice (That was me, too)

^^^ EVERYTHING was about food. I don't think I'd be married today if I wouldn't have changed my ways...​

3. You end up eating a ton of fat and don't understand portion size - The key to losing weight is overall energy balance. Years back I would eat a ton of the "fat burning" avocado because the diet said "eat as much as you like" (again, promoting binging tendencies), without understanding that fat has over double the amount of calories as protein and carbs.

4. You get stuck in a vicious cycle -  Eat clean --> miss your favourite foods --> give in to the temptations as it's your friends birthday --> binge --> feel like a failure --> "diet starts again tomorrow" --> REPEAT

​And it's not just the stress of work, kids, family life, and body image that can make us turn to food to help us deal with our problems...

It's ​the birthdays, family gatherings, and celebrations that ALSO make us eat more <<< the good times!

So you're probably kidding yourself if you think that you'll NEVER eat an "evil" food again .​

​^^^ Something I failed to grasp!

And that feeling of "failure" doesn't just disappear either.

It's like a tiny voice in your head trying to convince you that "this food is BAD"...​

But luckily, I myself, and my coaching clients are now utilising nutritional strategies that allow you to include all foods  (chocolate and wine, too), enjoy social events again, and NOT be run be the fear of "bad" foods and dieting "failure". 

Don't get me wrong, we should eat to nourish the body using wholesome, good quality foods and this is the foundation of every clients nutritional strategy. 

^^^ But this doesn't mean giving up your favourite foods.

Life is too short​ to stress about that chocolate bar...

You can lose weight​ WITHOUT giving up your favourite foods...

Both myself and my clients are living proof of this​.

And if recent research is anything to go by, putting an end to the stressful "diet - restrict - binge - "diet starts tomorrow" cycle, might just improve your mental health and help you live longer...​

Matt​

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Nutritionist Fined £100 For Going In McDonalds…

What to expect: 5 minutes reading to discover whether burning fat = weight loss and why you should read the whole story to avoid COSTLY mistakes...

​DON'T MISS THE SMALL PRINT...

^^^ An important (and costly) lesson for me this week, as I hate throwing money down the drain!

So 2 weeks back, my wifi was down and I needed internet access from around 730 am to do some work before my coaching in Swindon.

Costa? Not open until 830 am...

Food Gallery? Too far from where I was coaching...

McDonalds? Open 24/7...with FREE wifi.

I'm reluctant to admit it but their coffee is pretty good (although I'm not a big fan of their values as a company)​.

So I get a coffee and get on with a few hours work. ​

Little did I know (until yesterday), that I went 30 minutes over the parking allowance and was snapped on camera...

And I soon became:

"The nutritionist fined £100 for going in McDonalds"...​

​Personally, I think the fast-food giant are trying to get rid of all nutritionists...

But anyway, ​why am I saying this?

Well, on that same day, I talked about the differences between:

"Fat-burning" and "weight-loss"​

​I talked about how just because you are "burning more fat" during a type of exercise or at some point in the day, it doesn't mean you're going to lose weight.

Just because a food increases "fat burning" it doesn't mean it will help you lose weight!​

And this shocked some people...​

The fact that you don't need to "use fat" to "lose fat"...​

​You might have seen the "fat burning zone" that's on most cardio equipment?

Well, it's correct that you burn more fat WHILST you're doing that exercise in the fat-burning zone but it doesn't mean you're going to burn more fat over the course of the day and lose more weight.

​^^^ And what's more important, whether you burn more fat for an hour or whether you hit your weight / fat loss targets over the weeks, months and year?

​So, there was me saying all this having just completely missed the "maximum parking stay" sign at McDonalds...

^^^ I didn't read the whole story

And it's same reason why we're not where we want to be​ with our goal of getting a summer lean body.

"You're missing the forest ​for the trees"...

"Putting the cart before the horse"...

So, are there any benefits for trying to increase "fat-burning" during exercise?

​Yes (kind of)!

​Improving your ability to use fat as energy may help improve your metabolic health...

But, it's difficult to say whether it's simply due to the effects of just exercise in general or because you're actually "burning more fat" whilst you exercise...

Take home​

  • McDonalds hate nutritionists
  • I need to take note of signs and read the whole story...
  • "Fat burning" doesn't = weight loss

​Speak soon,

Matt "loves McDonalds" Fruci​

PS. do you do any type of exercise or eat any "fat burning" foods to help you lose "weight"?​

PPS. I used to force myself to eat brown rice because I read somewhere that it helps you burn more fat...​

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High Protein Savoury Pancakes (Gluten and Dairy Free Option)

High in protein, keeps you full, means you make the most of leftovers, and takes about 10 minutes to make...

​Ingredients For 2 Pancakes:

  • 55 g of flour (Gram Flour if you want it gluten-free)
  • 100 g Cooked chicken (about 1 chicken breast)
  • A pinch of salt and black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 150 ml of milk (almond milk if you want it dairy free)
  • Some chopped spring onions
  • Sweetcorn
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 kcal fry spray to fry if you want to reduce fat intake
  • Optional (but also compulsory): garlic olive oil to top / fry...

If you're thinking:

Where do I get Gram flour from?

I came across this offer in Morrisons today...​

It's cheap, low in fat, pretty high in protein due to the chickpeas / yellow split peas, and has moderate carbs. 

It's also the closest flour to "wheat" flour that I've ever used <<< Unfortunately, I'm allergic to wheat...

Method:

1. Mix the flour and salt in a bowl

2. Whisk the egg and milk in another bowl and slowly pour this into the bowl with the flour, until you get a "batter" consistency. Leave to one side.

3. Chop some spring onion and add this into the mixture with the chicken and sweetcorn. ​

4. Heat a small pan with garlic olive oil or ​1 kcal fry spray. When it's at a high heat, add the batter mix and fry for about 2 minutes at a moderate heat before turning and repeating. 

5. Slide off on to a plate, season with black pepper, and the optional (but also compulsory) garlic olive oil!​

Rough nutrition provided PER ONE PANCAKE (using gluten and dairy free recipe WITH 1 tablespoon of garlic olive oil):

​Calories: 288

Protein: 22 g

Carbs: 23 g

Fat:​ 12 g

If I was going to make this better?

Add in some cheese or make a cheese sauce...​

This was tasty, took 10 minutes, was low in calories (meaning I can eat MORE and I love having a full plate)​, and surprisingly filling, particularly if you add in some extra veggies, like peppers, chopped spinach and onion. 

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

Matt​

PS. Are you looking for the support, tools and accountability to ditch the dieting for good so you can take control of your eating habits, tone up and fit back into your favourite clothes?

This might be for you: https://frucifit.com/october-trial/