How to lose weight fast using Maths!!

Hi Everyone,

So if you are like me, or in fact any normal human being, you will have at one time or another wanted to lose some weight. How important that is to you will to a large extent depend on just how overweight you believe you are, and what your end goal is.

So you want to lose weight…….then what? How, over what period, in what way? Does this mean you’ve got to go on a diet? And if so which one, there are literally hundreds of them.

Now at this point I’m going to own up to being something of a hypocrite. I have written articles before (see here) where I have attacked diets and said that they don’t work. For me that still holds true. Rather than going ON A DIET I would advocate adopting a long term healthy eating plan that you can maintain AND that also allows you to eat some of the things you enjoy and have a blow out now and then whilst still controlling your weight.

However, that is not to say that you can’t adopt a plan to lose weight when necessary and this article is purely about the mechanics of how to do that. The subject has become almost fiendishly complicated in many peoples minds and my aim is to simplify it as much as possible. Low carb? Low Fat? High Protein? Which is the right path? Most people become so confused and frustrated they just revert back to their normal eating habits and never achieve the results they want.

So lets start with the basics….Calories. You’ve all heard of those right, your dreaded enemy in the battle with the scales. Well not really, a Calorie is just a calorie, it’s neutral. It’s how many and what you do with them that counts.

Calories and what to do with them.

A calorie is simply a measure of energy, heat energy to be precise. Food releases energy as it burns inside the body, so the more calories something contains, the more energy it releases. Body fat is essentially stored energy. So if you don’t use up the energy (Calories) that you eat, your body will store them as fat for future use (or not). Here is the first Maths fact. Each pound of Fat contains 3500 Calories. So in simple terms if you eat 3500 calories more than you use in a week, you will gain roughly a pound of fat.

Essentially you can think of your body as a bank account and Calories as money. If you use/spend the exact amount you put in the account you will remain level. If you put in more than you use your balance will go up (gain fat), and if you use more than you put in your balance will go down (one of the few times its good to spend too much).

To some extent it really is as simple as that. Use more Calories than you eat and you’ll lose weight. From a purely weight loss/gain point of view it also doesn’t really matter where those calories come from ie whether it is healthy or completely unhealthy food, the result will be the same. However not all calories are created equal and clearly from a health, nutritional, muscular, vascular and overall wellbeing perspective its good to eat as healthily as possible and get your calories from good sources.  Don’t just eat rubbish.

So, here is the key part. How do you work out exactly how many calories you use and how many you should be eating to obtain your goals.

This is where it becomes slightly more difficult, but keep reading and I’ll make it as simple as possible. Each persons metabolism (the speed and rate at which it burns calories) will vary slightly and is affected by how much and what type of activity and exercise you do. It also varies slightly from men to women. Roughly speaking however, these figures will work.

First you need to work out your Base Metabolic Rate (BMR). This is the rate that if you laid in bed all day and did very little you would burn calories. Essentially its your maintenance rate each day.

Do this calculation: 66+ (6.3 x your weight in pounds) + (12.9 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years). So to use me as an example:  (6.3 x 168lb) + (12.9 x 68) – (6.8 x 48) = 1675. So my BMR is 1675. You then have to factor in just how active you are. Do you sit at a desk all day and do no exercise, or do you work as a labourer and go to the gym?

Sedentary – desk job, very little exercise. Multiply BMR x 1.2

Lightly Active – Workout or do some activity 1-3 days per week. Multiply BMR x 1.325

Moderately Active – workout 3-5 days per week. Multiply BMR x 1.55

Very Active – workout 6-7 days per week. Multiply BMR x 1.725

Extremely Active – workout everyday in addition to a physically demanding job (rare). Multiply BMR x 1.9.

So again using me as an example. I am probably between moderately active as i workout 5 days a week but do a sedentary job, so i took a figure of 1.55. 1675 x 1.55 = 2596.25. So for me my Total daily expenditure of Calories living the lifestyle i do is 2596 per day or 18,173.75 calories a week.

Remember i said earlier that 3500 Calories = 1lb of fat. So very simply if i cut my calories intake by 3500 to 14,673 per week or 2096 per day, then i should lose a pound of fat per week. For most people it is sensible to cut your calorie intake by 15/20% (in my example it was 19%.

It really is as simple as that. Get a calculator, work out what your Base Metabolic rate is. Multiply that (be honest now) by your activity levels, cut 15/20% off of that figure and hey presto you will lose weight.

Of course what that means is that you do need to count calories fairly carefully. Nowadays most things are labelled so it’s not that hard. It also means you are allowed to have some good days and bad days as long as you achieve your overall target each week. It also means that whilst it is best to get your calories from non processed, healthy and natural products ( fish, meat , poultry, vegetables, healthy fats etc), you are allowed to be naughty now and then and hit the ice cream, as long as you meet your weekly target.

Throw in some intensive exercise and you WILL achieve your targets. I’d also add that if you are heavily overweight and you are currently eating way over your total daily calorie expenditure then you will find that if you get your calorie levels to where they should be, then initially at least the 1lb per week barrier is conservative. You may find that for the first few weeks you lose 2lb or even more.

As some of you may have noticed, I’ve kept this on a very simple level. There is a lot more detail to be covered in terms of exactly HOW you should eat and WHAT you should eat. Specifically there is the complex topic of Protein, Fats and Carbs and if you really want to get into some detail, Macro levels and how to eat to build or maintain muscle. However, I’ll do an article on that in the next couple of weeks. For now lets keep it simple.

Work out your daily calorie rate to maintain your current lifestyle and activity levels using the formula I’ve given you. Knock off 15/20%. Eat as healthily as possible, treat yourself now and then (this is Ordinary Guy Fitness after all) and exercise regularly. Follow these simple numbers and the fat loss will come and weight loss will follow.

Take Care,

John

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How Eggs can help you lose Flab!!

Hi Everyone,

If you’ve read some of my blogs and posts before you will know that generally speaking I am very anti diet. As I explain here , in the long term I just don’t think they work. You can’t live “on a diet” forever  and inevitably at some point you will fall off the wagon. Much better, in my opinion, to change your eating habits for the long term and move to a more sustainable healthy eating plan where you eat well for the most part, but also allow yourself some treats and to misbehave on a regular basis. Read on to lose flab quickly and easily.

However I am now going to show myself up to be a complete hyprocrite and admit….I’m on a diet!! Let me explain. I am currently training really hard, hitting the gym 5 days a week, and trying to build muscle size AND stay lean at the same time (an impossible goal many would argue). However , despite my hard work both in the gym and trying to eat pretty well, I still have some stubborn flab around my lower belly, love handles and lower back. The classic slightly soft mid section of a guy in his late 40’s to be honest. Don’t get me wrong, I am being hyper critical of myself, but then again I am a vain bastard and summer is coming, what can I say.

So I wanted a diet/eating plan that would allow me to maintain my size, contained plenty of protein for ongoing muscle growth AND would hopefully help me shift some flab and fat.

So whilst looking around I stumbled across “The boiled egg diet”. It sounds horrific I know, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. For me it ticked all the boxes. Lots of protein, lots of good fats, very few (if any starchy carbs) but also lots of good carbs and fibre from Vegetables and fruit. Would this help me maintain muscle and lose some flab?

I’m well aware that in some circles eggs have a bad reputation. Too high in fat! Too much Cholesterol! The risk of illness etc!

However, from all the research I have done eggs are an extremely healthy food as they contain lots of protein and numerous nutrients. Eggs provide the necessary vitamins and nutrients for our bodies.

Eggs contain a lot of nutrients, high-quality protein, good fats, minerals and vitamins. One egg is rich in Selenium, vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin B5 and Vitamin B12. They also contain minerals and vitamins such as Folate, vitamin E, potassium, calcium, manganese, zinc and iron.

One large egg contains small amounts of carbohydrates, five grams of fat, six grams of quality protein and 77 calories. It is really important to mention that the white contains all the protein, while all the healthy nutrients are in the yolk.

The plan is to do it for just two weeks. Potentially just lose a few pounds, strip as much fat as possible and still ,as much as I can, maintain muscle size. I’ve been doing it for a week now. The diet is below. Take a look and I’ll give you my impressions of it after that.

The Diet:

Week 1:

Monday: Breakfast: two boiled eggs and fruit Lunch: two slices of meal bread and fruit Dinner: cooked chicken and salad

Tuesday: Breakfast: two boiled eggs and fruit Lunch: cooked chicken and green salad Dinner: orange, salad and two boiled eggs

Wednesday: Breakfast: two boiled eggs and fruit Lunch: one tomato, one slice of meal bread and low fat cheese Dinner: cooked chicken and salad

Thursday: Breakfast: two boiled eggs and fruit Lunch: fruit Dinner: streamed chicken

Friday: Breakfast: two boiled eggs Lunch: two boiled eggs and steamed vegetables Dinner: barbecued fish and salad

Saturday: Breakfast: two boiled eggs Lunch: fruit Dinner: steamed chicken and salad

Sunday: Breakfast: two boiled eggs and fruit Lunch: tomato salad and steamed vegetables with chicken Dinner: streamed vegetables

Week 2:

Monday: Breakfast: two boiled eggs Lunch: salad and chicken Dinner: orange, salad and two boiled eggs

Tuesday: Breakfast: two boiled eggs Lunch: salad and chicken Dinner: orange, salad and two boiled eggs

Wednesday: Breakfast: two boiled eggs and fruit Lunch: cooked chicken and salad Dinner: orange, salad and two boiled eggs

Thursday: Breakfast: two boiled eggs and fruit Lunch: steamed vegetables, two boiled eggs and low fat cheese Dinner: steamed chicken and salad

Friday: Breakfast:  two boiled eggs and fruit Lunch: tuna salad Dinner: two boiled eggs and salad

Saturday: Breakfast: two boiled eggs and fruit Lunch: cooked chicken and salad Dinner: fruits

Sunday: Breakfast: two boiled eggs Lunch and Dinner: steamed vegetables and steamed chicken

So here we are, at the end of week one, and what do I think?  Well firstly, not to state the obvious, I’m sick to bloody death of eggs!! However I can live with that part and there is only another week to go.

In terms of more constructive criticism…here goes. The effect has not been incredible but I’m fairly pleased. Mainly because I seem to be hitting the main goals. I haven’t noticeably lost any muscle size or definition but I HAVE lost about 2 pounds in weight and thankfully that seems to have mostly been in my target area around my midriff and belly. It isn’t dramatic but it is noticeable and strangely, even though I only look slightly slimmer, I really feel different. I just feel leaner, a bit more taught, tighter in the areas I wanted to tighten up. Now that may just be psychological and we will see where we are in another week, but for now it seems to be working.

Other side effects are also positive. The massive cutback on anything sugary and complete cut out of alcohol has me feeling more alert, staying awake later, but sleeping better. I’m also smashing my gym workouts for the last week.

So is there any downside?  Well Yes… I must admit to finding it pretty boring. Eggs, fruit, steamed veg and plain chicken is torture to a man who craves flavour and loves his food. However I’m adding garlic, chilli and ginger to just about everything and that has improved things.

The other definite drawback is that the eggs, whilst not creating the expected eggy fart environment 24/7, are causing some bad breath issues sometimes. The eggs seem to have the effect of drying your mouth out a bit and that creates a sort of sour feeling. I’ve found that if you just drink even more water AND clean your teeth an extra time mid day, it goes away.

So, if like me, you want to still build muscle, cut the flab AND eat healthy then after week 1 I would definitely recommend the boiled egg diet. For me it’s something I may do for 2 weeks every 3 months or so just to strip some unwanted fat.

Having said all that, I am dreaming of next Tuesday when I’ve promised myself a “bad” day and when I sure as hell won’t be boiling any eggs.

Take Care,

John

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Top 20 Weight Loss Foods you MUST Eat!

top-20-weight-loss-food-on-the-planet

Without going too Game of Thrones on you….WINTER IS COMING. What does that mean? Well if you are anything like me when it gets cold and dark out you want to eat hearty, hot, stomach filling yummies that make you forget about the outside. However as we all know “Summer bodies are made in the Winter”. It’s very easy to pile on the pounds between October and March and we don’t really notice as we spend our lives in big baggy jumpers and coats.

So with that in mind I thought it was timely to knock out a quick list of the most waistline friendly foods you can eat in order to keep you looking slim, trim and utterly divine in time for next Summer.

Please bear in mind here that as I always say, this blog is ORDINARY GUY FITNESS and that means i positively encourage you to indulge now and then, treat yourself occasionally and eat, drink and be merry over Christmas. However life is about balance and if you are good 80% of the time, you can be naughty the other 20%.

So without further ado….let’s crack on with the list.

Weight Loss Foods:

  1. Whole eggs – Once feared to be full of cholesterol, whole eggs happen to be making a comeback. New research has shown they don’t negatively affect bloodstream cholesterol or cause cardiac arrest. They’re full of protein, healthy fats, and will make you feel full whilst having a really low quantity of calories. Eggs will also be incredibly nutrient dense and will help you get all of the nutrients you’ll need on a calorie restricted diet. The majority of the nutrients are based in the yolks.
  2. Leafy Vegetables – Leafy vegetables include kale, green spinach, collards, swiss chards along with a couple of others. They’ve several qualities which make them ideal for keeping weight down. They’re lower in both calories and carbohydrates, but packed with fibre. Leafy vegetables will also be incredibly healthy and very high in most types of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Including calcium, that have been proven to assist with fat loss in certain studies.
  3. Salmon & Oily Fish – Oily fish like Salmon is amazingly healthy. It’s also very satisfying, making you feel full for a number of hours with relatively few calories. Salmon is also packed with top quality protein, healthy fats as well as a variety of essential nutrients. Salmon can also be packed with Omega-3 fatty chemicals, that have been proven helpful in lowering inflammation, which may play a significant role in weight problems and metabolic disease. Spanish mackerel, trout, sardines, and other kinds of oily fish will also be excellent.
  4. Cruciferous Vegetables – These veggies include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and sprouts. Like other veggies, they’re full of fibre and they are incredibly fulfilling. What’s more… these kinds of vegetables also have a tendency to contain decent levels of protein.brocolli
  5. Lean Meats & Chicken – Meat continues to be unfairly demonized. The reality is that meat is a diet friendly food, because it’s full of protein. Protein is easily the most fulfilling nutrient, and eating a higher protein diet will make you melt away up to 80 to 100 more calories each day. Research has proven that growing your protein intake to 30% of calories can reduce cravings by 60%, reduce desire to have late-night snacks by half, and cause weight reduction of up to one pound per week… simply by adding protein into the diet.
  6. Steamed Potato’s – What?? I hear you say. White-coloured taters appear to have fallen from favour for many reasons. However… they’ve several qualities which make them an ideal food, both to lose weight and for optimal health and wellness. They contain a remarkably diverse selection of nutrients, just about everything we need. They’re particularly full of potassium, a nutrient that many people don’t get an adequate amount of and plays a huge role in bloodstream pressure control. They are also extremely filling. This means that when you eat white-colored, steamed taters, you’ll naturally feel full and consume less food of other types. Sweet potato, turnips and other root veg have many of the same properties.
  7. Tuna – Tuna is yet another low-calorie, high protein food. It’s lean fish… there isn’t much fat inside it. Tuna is well-liked by bodybuilders and fitness models who’re on the cut, because it’s a terrific way to keep protein high, with total fat and calories low. If you are attempting to highlight protein intake, then make certain to select tuna canned in water, not oil.
  8. Beans & Legumes – Some beans and legumes could be advantageous to lose weight. These include lentils, black beans, kidney beans and a few others. They are usually full of fibre and protein ,and tend to be very filling which means you reduce overall calorie intake.
  9. Soups – Foods with a low energy density (ie that take almost more effort to eat than calories they contain) are great when losing weight. Vegetable soups fall into this category. Some research has proven that eating the very same food, except produced in a soup rather than as solid food, makes people feel more satiated and eat considerably less calories.
  10. Cottage Cheese – Dairy items are usually full of protein. Among the best ones is cottage cheese… calorie for calorie, it’s mostly just protein with hardly any carb and fat. Most dairy items will also be full of calcium, and that has been proven to assist in the bodies fat burning process.
  11. Avocados – Avocados really are a unique kind of fruit. Whereas most fruit has elevated levels of carbohydrates, avocados consist mainly of healthy fats. They’re particularly full of monounsaturated oleic acid, exactly the same kind of fat present in essential olive oil. Avocados are great as inclusions in salad, because research has shown the fats inside them can boost the nutrient uptake in the veggies 2.6 to fifteen-fold. Additionally they contain many essential nutrients, including fibre and potassium.
  12. Apple Cider Vinegar – Apple cider vinegar treatment has become amazingly popular within the natural health community. It can be used in condiments, like dressings or vinaigrettes. Many people even dilute it in water and drink it. Several studies in humans claim that vinegar could be helpful to lose weight. Taking vinegar simultaneously with a high-carb meal can increase feelings of fullness making people eat 200-275 less calories during the day. Vinegar has additionally been proven to lessen bloodstream sugar spikes after foods, which can lead to a variety of advantageous effects on health within the long term.
  13. Nuts – Despite being full of fat, nuts aren’t naturally fattening. They’re a great snack, that contains balanced levels of protein, fibre and healthy fats. Research has proven that eating nuts can improve metabolic health and even result in weight reduction. Research has also proven that individuals who eat nuts are usually healthier, and leaner, than those who don’t.nuts
  14. Some Whole Grain Products – Despite grains getting a poor rap recently, there are several types which are certainly healthy. Notable good examples include oatmeal, brown grain and quinoa. Oatmeal consist of beta-glucans, soluble fibers which have been proven to improve satisfaction when eating and improve metabolic health. If you are on a really low-carb diet then you’ll wish to avoid grains, since they’re full of carbohydrates. But there’s no problem with eating a few of the healthier grains if you’re able to tolerate them.
  15. Chilli & Other Peppers – Eating chili and all kinds of peppers might be helpful on a diet. They have a substance known as capsaicin, that has been proven in lowering appetite while increasing fat loss in studies. It is even offered in supplement form and is a very common component in lots of commercial diet supplements. It also speeds up your bodies metabolism.
  16. Fruit – Most health professionals agree that fruit is good. Numerous research has proven that individuals who consume the most fruit (and veggies) are usually healthier than individuals who don’t. While they contain sugar, they also have a low energy density and take time to munch. Plus, the fibre aids in preventing the sugar from being launched too rapidly into the blood stream.
  17. Grapefruit – One fruit that should be highlighted is grapefruit, because its effects on weight loss happen to have been analyzed directly. One study of 91 obese people, eating half a grapefruit before foods caused weight reduction of 1.6 kg during a period of 12 days. The grapefruit also helped reductions in blood insulin resistance, a metabolic abnormality that’s implicated in a variety of chronic illnesses. So… eating half a grapefruit about 30 minutes before a number of your everyday foods will let you feel more satiated and eat less overall calories.grapefruit-weight-loss-diabetes
  18. Chia Seed Products – Chia seed products are some of the most healthy meals around. They contain 12 grams of carb per ounce, which is pretty high, but 11 of those individuals grams are fibre. This will make chia seed products a minimal-carb friendly food, and among the best sources of fibre on the planet.
  19. Coconut Oil – Not all fats are equal. Cocounut oil has elevated levels of fatty chemicals of medium length, known as Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs). These are far more satisfying and lower in calories. Some studies have even shown that coconut oil can help to actively reduce stomach fat. Coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil should be the only fats you need for cooking and sauces.
  20. Full fat natural yoghurt – A great dairy product. Yoghurt consists of probiotic bacteria that may enhance the efficiency and balance of your stomach. Getting a properly balanced stomach can help safeguard against inflammation and leptin resistance, the primary hormonal driver of weight problems. Just make certain to select full-fat yoghurt… this is the good stuff. High in protein and good fats as well as the right sort of bacteria. Low-fat yogurt is generally packed with sugar, so it is advisable to avoid it like the plague.

 

That’s it. A pretty comprehensive list. Loads of yummy things in there. What is the common thread amongst them all?? They are all pretty much natural products. Avoid processed and packaged foods wherever you can. Eat healthily from the list above, even in fairly large quantities, train 3 to 4 times a week and you WILL lose weight and will look and feel healthier and slimmer.

Take Care

John

 

 

 

Don’t Believe the Hype! Food Fascists.

Food FadsSo I’m going to be completely contradictory here. How? Well I’m a blogger in the Health, Fitness and Food sector and I’m just about to tell you not to take food bloggers seriously. What…..why? Well mainly because I believe in you, you as an individual, you as a person with their own mind who can make their own decisions on what is best for you.

Food Fads:

Blogging has become a huge industry in it’s own right in the last 10 years. It has created and made superstars of some bloggers, many of whom have gone on to write books, appear on TV and become media stars. A large proportion of those have been in the health, food and fitness sector. Am i just a teensy weensy bit jealous……of course I bloody am. However that doesn’t stop me from seeing through all the shiny success and great ratings to recognise some of the truth.

Many of these people are promoting and pushing pretty strident messages about what you should and shouldn’t do. You MUST eat this way or that way, you must NOT eat this, DON’T touch that, THIS will make you slim and healthy, THAT will make you fat and kill you. Many of the messages that are put out there are food fascism. I don’t have an axe to grind on any particular way of eating. I don’t really care if you are a vegan, a raw food nut, a high/low protein geek or a no carbs junkie. My personal belief is that ALL of these systems have the potential to be harmful or good for you depending on how you approach them.

I watched a documentary on TV last week (see below) and it brought home to me a) how huge this industry has become, b) how the message can become corrupted by the amount of money involved and c) how much harm it can potentially do because there are a large number of sensitive, needy and sometimes vulnerable people out there.

Now don’t get me wrong, having watched this programme I am pretty sure it had it’s own axe to grind and was trying to set an agenda of it’s own. It was occasionally quite cruel and overly personal about some of the topics and people involved. However it did get me thinking and actually made me consider what I was doing and how i go about things. Are there that many people out that really do slavishly follow what so many of these online guru’s are producing, and just how well researched and factual is it after all?

As I said even though it’s not my particular choice if you happen to be vegetarian or vegan, a raw food only fan or any other subset of mainstream eating then that is entirely your choice.

However what I would advocate is DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH….and by that I don’t just mean watch a few Youtube channels and jump in with both feet. I mean do some proper research. Consult recognised and properly qualified nutritionists, speak to a variety of health and/or fitness professionals, read about the real life pro’s and cons of adopting any eating system for a long period of time.

If you have read my blogs for a while you know what I advocate…..it’s very simple and pretty easy to follow. I advocate eating a healthy, varied diet for about 80% of the time, doing some vigorous form of exercise or training as often as possible, and then eat/drink whatever the hell you like (within reason) the other 20% of the time. I called this blog and my sites Ordinary Guy Fitness for the most basic of reasons, because I am an Ordinary guy and so are 90% of you, and being fit and healthy for many people is challenging enough without making it overly complicated.

So just in case you haven’t read my blogs previously what exactly am I suggesting you eat? Again it’s really simple. Lots of natural produce with fairly high protein levels, high NATURAL fat levels and slightly lower carb levels….but nothing excessive. That means good quality meats, poultry and fish, or beans, pulses and nuts for your protein. Again good meats and oily fish or nuts, eggs, avocado, real butter, good cheese etc for your sources of good fat. Still have carbs but as much as possible get them from vegetables, sweet potato, brown rice and eat a bit less bread, pasta, white rice etc.

Try to reduce your portion levels just slightly and as much as possible (5 days a week) steer clear of sweets, snacks, refined sugars, fizzy or sweetened drinks and booze. The other two days a week….go out, enjoy yourselves, eat the food you enjoy or the treat you craved. That doesn’t mean stuff yourself or overeat for the sake of it, but DO enjoy. By doing that you will stay on the right path and ensure you can follow a healthy plan for the long term without feeling you are denying yourself.

Whatever you do, be confident in yourself and your OWN ability to make the right choices. Try not to follow the latest fad, become devoted to the latest online food sensation or healthy eating guru, and don’t convince yourself that you or anyone’s else’s version of “clean eating” is the only way forward. It’s a big wide world out there with many things to experience, enjoy and savour. We all have our own ways of doing things so celebrate your own individuality and work out what is right for you.

Healthy Eating posterI hope you enjoyed this article and I apologise for my lengthy absence. Please continue reading and there will be many more articles to come.

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Confession? Good for the Soul or Your Waistline?

Eating ConfessionsI’m not a religious guy, very far from it. The idea of confessing my sins is not something that really appeals to me, partly because in my case it would just take far too long and partly because the idea of admitting my wrongdoings (real or imagined) to someone else and them judging me for it just doesn’t feel right. However that doesn’t mean that I do no wrong OR that I don’t admit it…..to myself at least. Today’s blog is a way to confess your sins…..even if only to yourself, that I guarantee will also help you to lose weight and improve your diet and eating habits enormously. What the hell am I talking about? Read on and I’ll explain…

The vast majority of people that I speak to or observe who are trying to get themselves fit, or especially who are trying to trim that waistline and lose weight have one major obstacle, something that catches them out every time. What am I talking about…..it’s those bad eating or refuelling habits. Even those who are consciously making the effort and really believe they are “eating healthy” are often letting themselves down badly in the kitchen.

Little Sins That Kill Your Wasit line:

The killer is the small things, the little sins that you don’t even think about that ruin all your plans and knock you off track so that losing the weight, reducing fat levels, reducing your waistline and getting fitter becomes a much harder and longer journey than it should. If you’ve read any of my previous posts and even the title of this blog Ordinary Guy Fitness should demonstrate that I’m no evil taskmaster who wants to ruin your life and take away any fun or enjoyment. In fact in a previous post here I talk about how if you are consistent in your training and eating then you can cut yourself some slack now and then and have a blow out. However that doesn’t mean that 5, 6 or 7 days a week you can sneak a little treat or indulgence in and it will go un-noticed.

Biscuits

The fact is that most people, even those trying to be good simply don’t realise how all those tiny little slip ups, or small things that you think “won’t hurt” quickly add up. Let me give you a few examples. Tea and Coffee drinkers, and there are plenty of you, may have 3, 4 or even 5 cups a day. Let’s say you have just over a teaspoon of sugar with each cup….that’s 17 calories per spoon or 85 per day or just under 600 calories per week. In fact drinks are where most people fall down badly eg Fruit juice = average 120-150 calories per 250ml serving. 4 glasses of what you think is healthy fruit juice a week = 1000 calories. A can of soda/fizzy drink eg Coke = approx. 140 calories. It’s late at night, you’ve been good all day, you are watching TV and decide to have a cup of tea and treat yourself to 2 biscuits, “two biscuits can’t hurt right?” Depending on your weapon of choice there are between 60-95 calories per biscuit. Throw in the sugar and milk in the tea and your little pre bed treat just cost you 200 Calories. 5 days a week that’s another 1000 calories added. You’re peckish, you had a really healthy breakfast and lunch but it’s now mid afternoon. You open the fridge and there is a mini pork pie. It’s protein right….can’t be bad for me. It goes down in about 3 bites….another 185 calories. My point is that just in those few examples I have given you that is an extra 2500/3000 calories per week, and that doesn’t count any of the Wednesday night beers or glasses of wine after work which could easily add another 600-1000. That’s a real issue. Here you are trying to be good, watching what you eat, in your meals at least, yet just through small things that you consider insignificant you could be adding anything from 2000 to maybe even 3500/4000 calories a week. Let’s put that in perspective. If you are a lady looking to lose weight you will probably be aiming for a target Calorie intake of between 1400-2000 per day (depending on size and training activity etc). If you are a man it could be 1600-2400. That means that just through the odd little slip up you are eating a whole extra day’s food or maybe even 2. You are consuming 8 or 9 days worth of calories in just 7. How are you going to get a slimmer waistline doing that? Answer….you aren’t!

So here’s what I recommend. It’s a bit of a pain but boy does it work. Keep a food diary. Sounds simple, it is. Get yourself a little waiters pad and initially for a week write down every single little thing that goes in your mouth or down your neck. I do mean EVERYTHING. Every sweet, every spoonful of sugar, every nibble of a biscuit and particularly every single drink. Keep notes. Think of it as confession time. The trick is total honesty. You don’t need to tell anyone else, it can just be your secret, but you really do need to keep a note of every one of your sins. Then at the end of the first week get that pad, set aside an hour and go on google. Try to work out as accurately as possible the amount of calories you have consumed, focus particularly on the drinks, any snacks or anything you just know is probably not good or that is an extra that you could have cut out. I’ll guarantee that you’ll be shocked. Don’t cheat and deny yourself everything just to get a good result. Do what you would normally do and then do the maths. Once you know where all those little extra’s are coming from and more importantly KNOW what they are costing you it will become far far easier to exercise will power. Not only that but just by being conscious of the details and how bad those little inconsequential things can be, you will magically stop wanting them so badly.

So is confession good for the soul? Who knows!! However by acknowledging and then confessing your eating sins, to yourself at least, you will be taking the first and most important steps on the path to righteousness and much more importantly, a smaller waist.

After that first week you may find that you like the habit of keeping a diary. Making the notes and being able to see visually what you are consuming may be what you need to keep you on track. For others just that initial shock will do the trick. Give it a go, even if you are not overweight and just trying to shed a little body fat for summer or to trim an inch off your waistline show off your abs, this trick really works.

As always if you like this post, please share, like, comment and subscribe to my email list.

Take Care,

John

3 “Alternative” Cures You Will Love!!

alternative-medicineIf you are into health and fitness like me you do a LOT of reading. The internet has become such a fantastic information source and medium for conducting research that it’s sometimes hard to leave it alone. One of the areas that has an incredible amount of information if you want to spend the time searching for it is Alternative health, fitness and diet ideas, especially those focused on natural products. What I’m not talking about here are the types of extracts of this or that root of that, that you can find on the shelves of chemists. I’m talking about natural products that you can source and make yourself and which i believe will help you to be healthier, fitter and stronger and may also help any number of ailments that you currently suffer from. These are all completely natural and cannot do you any harm so give them a try for a month and see what happens. I’d welcome your feedback.

Natural/Alternative Health Cures.

gelatin-remedy-for-joint-pain

Water & Gelatin: This sounds an odd one right? Well it’s not. Gelatin is a naturally occurring substance which is a by product of animal and livestock bones (sorry vegetarians). It contains a large amount of collagen and is also a natural lubricant. For this reason it is extremely effective in treating joint and bone pain in knees, elbows, shoulders and backs, and helping with reducing some of the inflammation from arthritis. However in addition to this it also helps strengthen and produce healthier nails, hair and tendons/ligaments and is also thought to aid with digestive issues such as Ulcers. I have provided two links here and here to articles that provide a lot more info. Below is a simple recipe.

At night mix 5g (approx. 2 teaspoons) of Gelatin (can be bought at any health store). Into a small glass of COLD water (ideally from the fridge) and stir. Then leave it on the side overnight. The Gelatin will swell and form a light jelly overnight. Eat/drink this in the morning. If you want you can mix with honey, fruit or yoghurt for flavour. Do this each day for a month and you should see noticeable results. Repeat a couple of times a year.

Turmeric-Golden-Milk-

Golden/Turmeric Milk: Turmeric has been used in Ayurverdic Indian medicine for thousands of years. It has proven anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. As with the Gelatin the anti-inflammatory properties are great for joint pain but it also helps reduce inflammation and irritation in the intestines and gut, promotes skin health, can help to relieve coughs and colds and is also said (although not clinically proven) to slow the onset of Alzheimers and be a preventative against some types of cancer. Again I have provide a link here to an article but just google it and you’ll find several others. Again below is a simple recipe, although you can add various extras both for flavour and to increase it’s effectiveness eg Ginger.

Ideally use fresh turmeric root which you grate yourself but if you can’t get that then fresh powder is ok. Grind a 1 inch piece of root or take 2 to 3 teaspoons of powder and pour into a glass of milk. Bring to a simmer for approx. 10 minutes. You can either drink it warm or allow to cool and drink it that way. An alternative is to make a golden turmeric paste which can be kept in the fridge for up to a month and used daily. The recipe for this is in the link i provided.

Lemon-–Honey-WaterLemon & Honey Water: Again this seems very simple and it is. Organic honey has a number of well know benefits ranging from immune system boosts to anti-allergenic properties. Lemon despite being acidic in taste is actually highly alkaline. Acidity in the body is thought to be one of the main causes of all sorts of inflammation, infections and is increasingly stated as one of the main contributors to various cancers. As well as boosting your immune system, preventing inflammation and illness this drink is also a fantastic detox agent that flushes impurities from your Liver and Kidneys. There are also claims that it boosts metabolism and can help with weight loss. The recipe for this is very simple. Take a look at the link here for the full list of its benefits.

Take a large glass of warm (not hot) water. Squeeze in half an organic lemon and then stir in 2 teaspoons of your favourite organic honey. Drink straight away. Its best to take this first thing in the morning and do it every day. Do not drink tea or coffee for an hour afterwards as they can negate the positive effects.

I hope you find these cures beneficial and I’d welcome your comments on how it goes as you try them out.

Take Care,

John

Food Prep – The Road to Getting Lean!

Good Food  Food Prep

We all want washboard Abs, great chest and arm muscles and if you’re a lady a nice tight butt and slim hips. You may be prepared to put in the hard physical work necessary and hit the Gym, train or workout 5 times a week, but that’s only half the battle. What food you buy, what food you eat and how you eat,to my mind at least, is the hardest part of the battle. Most of us are prepared to shift the weights , hit the treadmill and wear the Lycra to get fit, it’s the healthy eating and laying off the booze that leads us astray.

I’ve written before about the need for consistency and firmly believe that if you eat and train well 80%+ of the time then you can allow yourself the odd bad night or weekend. However there is no getting around it, the food that you eat is critical if you want to shed those pounds, reduce body fat and finally show those long hidden abs.

One of the biggest issues and regular excuses that people make is the time and effort it takes to prepare healthy food compared to so called “convenience” food. Yes it may well take a bit of extra effort when shopping and preparing your food but it is worth it. The key is to BE PREPARED! When you go shopping you need to know what to buy and what you are going to do with it. I’d also suggest that you prepare at least some of your meals in advance. I often spend 45 minutes on a Sunday or Monday and knock up 4 or 5 meals that I can have for lunch every day the rest of the week. It may be slightly boring but it will be healthy, good for my waistline and contain lots of protein to help me build muscle and shed fat. With Summer coming fast and not much time to get into swimsuit shape why not try this for the next month and see what happens.

Below is a brief shopping list of some of the things to buy weekly or put in your store cupboard that will help you eat clean, healthy and become lean. Below that is a simple recipe that I use that will make your 4 meals that you can stick in the fridge and just microwave as needed.

Shopping List:

Steak, Chicken Breasts, Turkey breasts, Turkey Mince, Lean Pork, Lamb cutlets, Fish – Pretty much any and all types of fish are fine. Vegetables – Brocolli, Cauliflower, Avocado, Greens, Salad leaves, Green beans, Onions, Asparagus, Red Peppers, mushrooms, Spring Onion, Carrots, Beans & Lentils, Sweet Potato, Brown rice. Fresh Ginger, Chilli’s, Garlic. Fresh herbs like Coriander, Basil, Tarragon, Mint. Lemons, Blueberries, Strawberries, Banana’s, Apples, Pineapple, Melon. Dried spices such as Turmeric, Cinnamon, Paprika, Black pepper. Coconut oil ,Olive Oil and some light soy sauce for cooking and dressings. Bags of mixed nuts for snacking. Greek (Not greek “style”) Yoghurt or Skyr Yoghurt. Pure peanut butter or nut butter. The final thing would be a good Whey Protein powder. That’s pretty much it. If you cook and eat exclusively from that list of ingredients above you will a) be eating very healthily and b) in combination with regular exercise be almost guaranteed to become leaner and more muscular.

Foods to try to avoid would be: Bread, Pasta, Potatoes, Sweets, Crisps, Chocolate bars, cakes (all pretty obvious). Almost all packaged and processed foods (wherever possible, it’s very difficult to completely eradicate these). Sweetened drinks, fizzy drinks and booze (again a couple of beers or glasses of wine at the weekend won’t hurt much).

So now you’ve bought all the right things….what to cook. Here is a simple recipe that you can knock up on a Sunday, stick in the fridge or freezer and will give you a healthy, muscle building lunch or dinner for the next 4 days or so. Other than the ingredients above the only thing you’ll need is a good stack of smallish Tupperware boxes with lids.

Right, lets kick off. Firstly. Get a large bowl of water on the boil. Add in enough brown rice to make 4 small/medium sized portions. Add a dash of salt and leave to simmer away for approximately 25 minutes (Brown rice takes longer to cook than normal rice and retains a firmer texture even when cooked).

Then in a large frying pan or preferably a wok do the following. Add two tablespoons of Coconut oil and heat. Then add one large diced onion, a couple of carrots cut into small round slices, one red pepper diced, a handful of mushrooms diced, 2 cloves of Garlic finely chopped and a large thumb sized piece of ginger sliced or chopped. Depending on if you like your food spicy or not you could also add anything from half to a whole chilli chopped. Fry this off for a couple of minutes until everything starts to soften. Then add in one large Turkey breast cut into smallish cubes (one large turkey breast is normally equivalent in size to around 3 chicken breasts). Continue to fry this for around 4 to 5 minutes. Then as the Turkey starts to brown off add the following. 2 large teaspoons of Turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon of paprika and half a teaspoon of Cinnamon. Continue to cook and stir for around 3 more minutes. If it starts to dry out add a bit more oil as needed. Also grind in a good heap of fresh black pepper. Once you know the Turkey is cooked turn out the heat.

When the rice is cooked, drain any remaining water and also then pour a kettle of boiling water over the rice and drain again to remove excess starch. Then once the water is gone tip the rice into the Turkey and veg mix and stir until it is thoroughly mixed through. Then add in a couple of teaspoons of olive oil and a couple of teaspoons of soy sauce and stir thoroughly again. At this point you want all the rice to darken slightly to show the soy is mixed right through. If you want you can also finely chop a couple of spring onions and stir those in. Allow everything to cool down, split equally into about 4 Tupperware boxes, put the lid on and either freeze or refrigerate. When you want to eat it just microwave for a couple of minutes and away you go. The whole dish including chopping the veg and turkey takes a max of 30/35 minutes and that’s 4 meals done.

There are a whole load of variations of this type of thing that you can do and I’ll do more recipe’s as time goes on. In fact if anyone would like to see videos of recipes such as this please let me know.

I hope you found this helpful, your comments are welcome.

Take Care,

John