Dietary & Supplement Advice
Dietary and supplement advice. Whether you want to lose or gain weight diet, is the main contributing factor. I can write food diaries specific to your health and fitness goals. After you tell me how much weight you want to lose or gain, I calculate what your new calorie intake needs to be. It will include varying protein, carbohydrate and fat levels depending on your fitness goals. (See example below)
I will adapt the food diaries as your body fat levels, body shape and weight changes, to ensure continued results. Every session I will be asking what you've eaten and will suggest small changes in your diet and lifestyle that can be implemented over the coming months that will assist with weight loss or gain. There's no escape!
Problems with Crash Dieting
A new body shape doesn't happen overnight. It's all about implementing small and consistent changes in diet and lifestyle. If you were to experience dramatic changes you would be less likely to stick to the diet and training program. Crash dieting is the worst possible way you can lose weight as you're not eating enough protein to support your muscle mass, which could lead to muscle wastage. As a result, your metabolism could slow down, meaning when you revert back to your old eating habits, which you invariably will, you will end up being heavier and with more body fat than when you started.
Also, when crash dieting you are not dealing with the underlying psychological issues you may have regarding eating or fitness training. If certain issues are not resolved then history will repeat itself and your weight and body shape will 'yo-yo' leading to frustration and low motivation to make new changes thus leading to low self-esteem. If you embark on a healthy weight loss programme, including a healthy diet and fitness/weight training and accept that the changes to your body are attainable but will take time. Then the way you regard eating and training will change subtly over time and will become a habit that you will no longer rebel against and will become part of your daily routine, just like going to work. Then over the next 6 months to a year you will see positive changes to your body, that will be sustainable and will not disappear over a few weeks, as will happen when you stop your 'fad diet' and revert back to your old eating/training habits, thus leading to a more positive outlook and increased motivation to keep reinforcing the new programme thus assuring continuing results.
When you crash diet your body will trigger into starvation mode, as it does not know when it will receive its next meal, as the calories have now been restricted. As a result the body will store anything it digests as fat and will not allow any calories to be burnt off. That is why people who crash diet never lose weight from their abs (with men), hips or glutes (with women) as these are the main fat stores of the body. (The person will look gaunt in the face though). The body will only allow you to burn off excess fat when you are eating enough calories. The body does not need to store calories when the calorie intake it receives is regular. The women you see with toned bodies do eat! They just eat little and often and do not over eat and they exercise regularly.
It is not rocket science. IF YOU EAT MORE THAN YOUR BODY REQUIRES YOU WILL PUT ON WEIGHT AND BODY FAT AND IF YOU EAT LESS CALORIES THAN YOUR BODY REQUIRES THEN YOU WILL LOSE WEIGHT AND BODY FAT. Everybody can lose or put on weight or muscle mass, there are no exceptions.
With my help you won't have to crash diet and you can enjoy a moderately high calorie lifestyle. This will result in sustained weight loss and the weight will stay off, which is great for your state of mind. When we have reached your desired target weight and body shape you can even have an unhealthy weekend now and then! Again, this balance between being healthy, with a few unhealthy treats, is better for your body and a positive outlook.
Little and Often
Eating healthily does not need to be a horrendous chore! But it does require some pro-active planning and self- discipline. If you are starting a new job, which means you are expending fewer calories than you are used to, then you need to adapt your diet or exercise accordingly. This also applies to people that want to put on weight and start a more physical job. My advice to anyone trying to lose weight is to keep the changes to your diet small but regular. If you dramatically change your diet, lifestyle or gym time over-night you will keep it up for two weeks or so then rebel against it and eventually stop and return to your old habits and routine. If you implement small but effective changes over a few months, your body and mind will adjust gradually, then without realising your new diet or gym time will have become a habit and part of your daily routine.
As with the diet, if you are not used to this sudden change in routine and lifestyle, it is important not to take on too much new training too soon. Again, you may keep the new routine up for a few weeks but then you will slow down and eventually stop, as you lose motivation when you see no results. This is where I come in! I will keep you motivated so training is consistent and will make sure you are working to the correct intensities which will allow you to get results. I always suggest to new clients, that are new to fitness, to start off with 30 minute sessions, working out at the correct intensities, until their fitness levels increase. There is no point wasting money on an hour session if you can only last 30 minutes! Also you, as a new client, will feel a great sense of achievement when you progress from a 30 to a 45 minute or hour long session, as this move up illustrates an increase in fitness levels.
Targets & Goal setting
Keeping consistent with your diet and training and thus creating consistent results with both, is very important for your body but it is also essential for your psychological state of mind. You do not want to set unattainable targets, as you will get depressed when you do not achieve them. You also do not want to ride the emotional rollercoaster of 'yo yo' dieting or crash dieting. Constantly weighing yourself and feeling elation when your weight decreases and frustration when it increases, will leave you drained. You will forget or may not even know that body weight fluctuates a few kilos a day and is very normal in doing so. Factors such as stress, water retention through diet, (a litre of water weighs 1kg), what you ate the night before i.e. how much protein, as this takes a long time for your body to process, if you have been to the toilet, if you are weighing yourself at the same time of day and if you are a woman on your period. Because of this I would suggest only weighing yourself once every one or two months. So hide those scales!
How to measure results
Remember your weight is not the be all and end all and do not pay much attention to your BMI either. BMI is for the average trainer and does not take into account muscle mass. I come out as over-weight when calculating my BMI and that is simply because I have a lot of muscle, which weighs a lot and I am not very tall! Weight only becomes a factor if you are anorexic and need to put on 2 stone or obese and need to lose 2 stone. If you are in between, all that matters is the amount of muscle mass you have on your body compared to the amount of fat.
The best way to measure this is not by checking your weight but by taking before and after photographs, before and after measurements, noticing changes in your clothes size and observing people's reactions that have not seen you for a while. Electronic devices that attempt to measure body fat are inaccurate as they do not take into account your hydration levels which affect the electric current. Scales that you stand on to measure your body fat are inaccurate as the current will find the shortest path through your body thus it does not include the top half of your body! Like- wise hand held devices will only measure the top half of your body! Devices which attach to one hand and one foot are very inaccurate also as are callipers, as the techniques used and interpretations of the results will differ from user to user.
Sticking to a Programme
I guarantee as soon as you start seeing some changes in your tone or fitness levels, keeping the diet or training going will be easy. All you need to do is start the training then the diet will fall into place. That is where I come in! I will help you stay motivated and disciplined, always suggesting easy and effective changes to your diet and lifestyle, such as buying a heart rate monitor to turn times when you are already walking the dog or walking to work into effective fat burning activities, as you will be able to monitor your heart rate and adjust your pace in order to stay in your fat burning zone thus burning off more carb/fat calories during the day or night. I will also suggest other times and days to train to fit around you, so your training remains consistent and your body gets used to burning off fat as a daily routine. If you have not trained before and have over eaten your body needs to adjust and get used to burning off fat instead of storing it. This can take time and be frustrating and, again, this is where I step in.
Once you have started a new diet or fitness programme the most important thing is to stick to it! Consistency of training i.e. week in week out is vital along with a consistent healthy diet. You are more likely to stick to a new training programme if you have your weeks sessions booked in because as with making an appointment with the doctors, for example, once it has been made you will be more likely to keep it! I will always show you exercises you can do at home on your own to help boost your weekly burn off calorie quota or design you a programme with the equipment you have at home or if you go away on holiday with the objects you have at your disposal in your hotel room! I am here to help and make sure training becomes a part of your life where we find reasons and ways to train and do not find excuses not to train!
How to Eat to Lose Weight & Tone Up
The trick to losing weight is eating the correct food group with the correct portion size at the correct time of the day. As I said before, burning off fat is all about eating little and often. This is because every time you eat you kick start your metabolism which starts to burn off fat and carbs. So it is very important to eat breakfast as the metabolism, if kept feed, will be burning off fat and carbs for the majority of the day. It is very important not to have large time lapses in between meals, greater than 3 hours, as your metabolism starts to slow down and as you have not eaten for a while, psychologically you will eat more than you need to, creating an even bigger problem. In this instance your metabolism is running slowly so the majority of the meal will be stored as fat. The trick is to eat every 2 hours and to never feel full or hungry. You never want to be one of those people who skip breakfast then eat a massive portion for diner!
Instead of eating 3 meals a day 4 hours apart try eating 6 meals a day 2 hours apart. Some of you might say, 'I do not have the time to eat 6 times a day'. But with careful planning I can show you how to do so. Treat each meal as the same portion size. Work out your daily calorie intake and divide it by six. So, if your calorie intake for the day is 1200 then each portion should be 200 calories. Eating this way does not leave you feeling bloated, hungry or mentally or physically tired, so you will be less likely to snack on foods with high sugar and fat content which could lead to weight gains. If you eat the correct food groups, with the correct portion size, at the correct time of the day your digestive system will be under less strain and you will feel less bloated, as the majority of yesterdays food will have been digested rather than sitting in your stomach over night.
Try this, have carbs for the first two meals, protein and carbs for the second two and only protein for the last two. You need carbs for the first two meals to energise you for the day and keep you mentally and physically awake. Do not cut all carbs out of your diet as you will feel very tired by 4pm, when you will be more likely to snack on sugar to keep your brain active, which could lead to weight gains. Remember the body is designed to eat all food groups and functions best when receiving all of them, including some fat. When you eat a balanced diet and eat at regular intervals you can actually feel your metabolism working with you, not against you! If your body knows it is recieving consistent calories, at regular intervals, it will allow you to burn off your fat stores otherwise it will add to them.
Take a look at this simple diet, for example, and ask yourself 'could I stick to this?' Complex carbs are needed for breakfast as energy will be released slowly. Wheetabix is great as it is quick to eat and filling. Have it with skimmed milk and no sugar. So, at 7am, for example, have breakfast. Prepare your snacks and lunch the night before. For example, make two sandwiches consisting of 4 pieces of brown bread, brown is always better than white as it contains more vitamins and minerals. Add chicken or any meat, salad, lettuce, tomato etc., no margarine or butter and low fat salad cream or mayonnaise. Cut into halves and eat one half every two hours starting at 10 am. Then at 6/7pm for your evening meal, only have meat and vegetables. Again, keep the portion size the same as for the other meals. So 1-2 chicken breasts or steaks and 4 table spoons of coloured vegetables. Coloured vegetables do contain some carbs but this will be negligible.
Drink water throughout the day but not in excessive amounts. (1litre of water weighs 1kg). You only need to drink around two litres of water a day. Any more will just lead to water retention and a loss of body tone. Vary the protein and carb sources weekly so you do not get bored but make sure you use brown rice, bread or pasta. Varying your protein sources, just like your training, is very important. For one week eat white meat, and for another eat fish. For another eat red meat and for another eat egg whites. Egg whites are a massive source of protein (1 egg contains 6-10g of protein) and contain no carbs or fat whatsoever. They are cheap and easy to prepare and eat. Simply separate the white from the yolk. Try not to drink raw egg whites as only a small portion of the protein will be absorbed. Far more of the egg white protein will be absorbed if it is cooked.
Remember the golden rule NO CARBS OR FAT AFTER 6PM, that's no rice, pasta, bread, potatoes, cereals, biscuits, cheese or fatty/sweet puddings, including fruit. This is because your metabolism slows down after 6pm and does not require any more energy from calories so, if you feed it any of the above foods, which will provide energy, they will not be broken down and used but will be broken down and stored as fat, which could result in weight gains. The trick is to use your metabolism' cycles to help you burn of fat naturally and healthily. If you eat a large, carb breakfast, with brown bread, pasta etc and eat little and often throughout the day, then your metabolism will be working properly and will be burning of fat and carbs effectively. Then, if you cut the carbs and fat after 6pm, and if your metabolism requires any more energy, then it will break down your fat stores to access the calories it requires, rather than gaining them from the carbs your have just eaten from your evening meal, which could lead to weight gains. That's how you lose weight from the correct areas, fat stores, on your body, naturally and safely. So, men will lose the excess fat/size around their abs (male fat stores) and women will lose fat/size around their glutes and hips (female fat stores).
Start to eat slower and you will feel fuller quicker. Also, put your smaller food portions on smaller plates, then, over time, you will trick your brain into thinking you are eating a larger portion and will feel full, when actually you are eating less! If you are hungry before bed drink a pint of water, or half a pint of skimmed milk, or eat a boiled egg (throw the yolk away) or half a banana to take the hunger pains away and eating these will also make sure you do not eat the wrong foods at this late time, which could lead to weight gains. Then after you sleep and you will find your stomach feels 'sucked' in the following morning, as the process described above will have been occuring. Do not eat just before bed as the sugar will keep you awake and the majority of what you have eaten will be stored as fat as the body does not require any energy. That is why going out drinking and having a heavy night will, if done regularly, will cause you to become overweight. Most people will eat before they go out so they will have already had their calorie quota for the day. Then they will drink and will forget how many calories are in single shots or doubles and the mixers and then eat again on the way home, then sleep! It could not be a worse combination.
However, we must remember that we are not Olympic athletes and I always tell my clients that a balance between being healthy and unhealthy always needs to be reached. All I want you to do is to reverse your 80% unhealthy habits and 20% healthy habits. Everyone needs a reward for their efforts, and that is fine just as long as you are healthy from Sunday to Thursday for example. The more you start to train the less you will feel you will need to reward yourself as you will now know how long it took you to burn those calories off, as the heart rate monitor we use in the sessions will tell us! I want you to look at the labels on the foods or drinks you consume and remember how long it took you and how hard it was to burn off the 268 calories in the chocolate bar, you are just about to eat, which was about 30mins! I guarantee all you will need to see and feel is some slight tone from your training sessions and you will start to be more conscious about your diet. You will start to look at the back of packets of food and drink, working out the calorie content and dividing your meals up into food groups. When this happens the results will just keep getting better and better as you will now start to make healthy choices.
Just think you want to have a high protein, low carb, low fat and low sugar diet and in the beginning start by making simple and small changes, just like with your training. For example, stop adding sugar to tea, change to diet fizzy drinks and choose no added sugar cordials. Change to skimmed milk and do not put sugar on your cereals and choose cereals that contain low levels of added sugar and salt. If you are having jam, for example, on your toast do not also have margarine/butter and if you are having salad cream or mayonnaise in your sandwiches, do not have margarine/butter as well. Also choose extra low fat salad cream. If there are times in the day where you snack at work or eat late at night (you may find yourself in front of your fridge or a cupboard, even though you are not hungry) or when your are watching a film, for example, its usually due to bad habits or being bored. Don't change these habits right away as you may rebel against them but just eat low fat/calorie foods such as low fat/salted popcorn or rice cakes or small pieces of veg, like carrot sticks with a low fat dip. Eventually you will feel full and stop but far less damage will have been done! These small changes all add up at the end of the week, just like with the extra calories you will burn off by cycling to the gym or running to work. Combine the two, extra calories burnt off through activity and calories not eaten through diet, and you will soon see consistent changes in your tone and a reduction to your body fat levels.
Calorie Counting & Food Diary
If you are often on the road or do not have a lot of time to eat i.e. you do not have specific food breaks, then simple preparation can help. For example cook brown pasta or rice the night before and put in a lunch box. Add whatever meat you like and chop in the vegetables you like. Season with black pepper and mix in low fat salad cream or any other sauce. Put a fork in the box then eat a few mouthfuls at a time. The combination of foods is very filling and is a balanced meal as it contains complex carbs for energy, protein and vitamins and minerals. You can create a different meal every time! Plus eating little and often is a great way to help the metabolism burn off fat.
A very useful tool you need to own is a calorie counter book. This will contain the breakdown of the fat, protein, carb and fibre content of most foods. It will also state the calories per 100g or 100ml. This information is vital when preparing meals and sticking to a strict calorie diet. It will also help you to get used to portion control as until you know how many calories are in a certain portion, you will always think you are eating less calories than you are. When I show clients actually how many calories they are eating in relation to their portion size they are amazed and shocked! Portion size is one of the biggest contributors to weight gain. In the beginning you may rebel to your new portion size but that will only last for as long as it takes for your brain to reset its anchor of what it thinks is a large portion. This will only take a few weeks. The longer you eat the new portion size the more you will reinforce that it is large, as your brain no longer has anything to compare it to. The book is a great tool, helping me design my clients food diaries. It can show them that they can eat interesting meals that are still healthy. It is also very informative and will leave you shocked when you discover that there are masses of calories in certain foods and drinks where you may have thought there were only a few!
Whether you are looking for weight loss or size and strength gains I can also give advice on which dietary supplements are suitable to use alongside a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Below is an example of one of the food diaries that I use for Weight Loss & Strength Gain
|Time||Food||Cals||Carbs (g)||Pro (g)||Fat (g)|
|250ml Skimmed Milk||80||11||8.5||0.5|
|1 Multi Vitmin Tablet||-||-||-||-|
|10:30am||100g Chicken Breast||148||-||32||2.2|
|15g Green Lettuce||2||0.25||0.1||-|
|1/2 Table spoon light salad cream||18||1||0.15||1.5|
|12:30||200g pasta shapes||178||36.2||6.2||0.8|
|100g Tuna in oil||189||-||27.1||9|
|60g mixed leaf salad||10||1.8||0.6||-|
|1 Table spoon light salad cream||36||-||32||2.2|
|2:30pm||100g Chicken breast||148||-||32||2.2|
|15g green lettuce||2||0.25||0.1||-|
|½ Table spoon light salad cream||18||1||0.15||1.5|
|6:00pm||500ml Lucozade sport||140||32||-||-|
|8:30pm||Grilled Salmon steak 100g||215||-||24,2||13.1|
|80g frozen veg (boiled)||44||6.6||2.6||0.8|