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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Video’s to fix your Back Pain!

low-back-painIt’s become a well worn cliché hasn’t it? “My back is killing me” has become such a common phrase, and it’s very true that there seems to be an absolute epidemic of low back pain everywhere you look. I know this only too well because I also have started to suffer from it over the last couple of years. Having done some research and examined my own as well as other people’s symptoms, the cause is both obvious and nowadays all too well publicised. Two reasons…….we all sit down far too much, and our posture is crap. It’s as simple as that. The good news is that we can ALL do something about it.

The Causes:

Firstly let me elaborate slightly. People tend to get three types of lower back pain. The first is caused by an injury. You slip, twist too quickly, lift something too heavy, hurt yourself in an accident or playing sport etc. For these types of back pain, generally speaking, some rest, light stretching and a bit of Physio will sort the problem out. The second cause is an actual structural problem. You have damaged discs or problems with the other bones and joints in your lumbar spine or hip region. This is not so easy to cure although carefully planned exercise and perhaps medical treatments can help.

The third cause is the one I listed above and is by far the most common. The world has changed a lot in the last 40/50 years. Our parents and grandparents led far more active and physical lives than we do. They walked everywhere instead of taking the car, they did more physical jobs and work, they had less gadgets at home to do the chores for them, there were no computers/ipads/gaming machines to keep us sat on our butt the whole time. In short we are a lot less active than we were. Both in our jobs and in our leisure time, large numbers of us now spend many many hours of each day sitting down. Not only that but because of the nature of that work, done at pc’s and laptops or hunched over ipads, phones or games controllers, our posture has become appalling.

The results are now very common. Tightness, tension and pain in your lower back. Stiffness and shooting pains down one or both legs, often in your hamstrings and even down the side of your calves. A feeling of weakness in your whole pelvic and hip area. Do any of these sound common? I bet they do. The causes of all of these problems are easy to diagnose and name. In almost all cases people will have very tight hip flexor muscles and a tight Psoas muscle. Almost certainly you will also have weak or tight Glute muscles and most probably your Hamstrings will be weaker than your quads.

I wrote a previous article here about something called Anterior Pelvic Tilt. This is a direct reaction to tight hip flexor and Psoas muscles. In my previous article the focus was mainly on how to reduce the size and look of your protruding belly by doing specific exercises for your Psoas muscle and that is indeed a positive side effect of fixing your tight hip flexors, weak Glutes and correcting your APT. However the main reason for doing all of this is to get rid of those nagging, quality of life destroying back pains that have been plaguing you all these years.

Below are a couple of videos by a guy I rely upon to supply me with great and scientific information about not only fitness but physical health. Please watch the first one which describes in detail the causes and reasons for APT and lower back pain and shows how you can remedy it.

Aside from just the APT , weak Glutes and overly tight hip flexor muscles, another cause of general back and lower back pain is weak deep core muscles. You ideally want to strengthen these without shortening your hip flexors any more than they already are. Generally speaking anything that bends your forwards (like sitting down, bending over a keypad etc), but also exercises like crunches , leg raises etc will also shorten those hip muscles when really we need to be stretching them. Therefore the 2nd video shows some Ab exercises you can do that will strengthen your core without shortening your hip flexors. Of course as well as these, just doing plain simple old planks on a daily basis will work wonders for your core and Glute muscles.

I hope you found both of these videos helpful. It’s a lot of information to take in but please believe me when i say that this 100% WILL help your back pain if you can adopt at least some of these measures on a daily basis.

To recap:

  • Try not to sit down for too long a period. Every hour get up, walk around, stretch, reach for the sky.
  • Be conscious of your posture. Wherever possible sit as upright as possible, head up, shoulders back, the same when walking. DO NOT slump forwards.
  • Stretch those hip flexor muscles, as often as you possibly can
  • Strengthen your Glute and Hamstring muscles. Make sure these are worked as much or more than other muscles in your workouts for the next few months.
  • Strengthen your core and deep core muscles, ideally by doing exercises that don’t shorten your hip flexors.

I don’t want to rely on my friend Jeff too much for his information and videos so later this week I’ll be posting my own video of a lower back and hip stretch routine that I do at least every couple of days (ideally daily) which takes only 6 or 7 minutes and which will have noticeable results within two weeks if you stick to it.

Take Care,

John

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Join The Band to Build Muscles & Get Fit!

Don’t panic, we’re not talking music here (I’m tone deaf). We are talking about what i rate as the single best piece of home workout equipment you can buy. Watch the video, read the article and scroll right down to the bottom for some exciting news!!

Resistance Bands:

So what exactly are resistance bands and why do i rate them so highly? They are simply a set of latex tubes that come with handles, feet and door attachment. Usually they come in a set with 5 different colour tubes or bands and each has different resistance levels. By attaching all 5 bands you can really ramp up the weight/resistance to some quite high levels. I wrote in a previous article about these and some other pieces of essential home equipment but to me these are top of the list.

Why? Well because they are just so versatile. You can replicate probably 80% of the exercise’s that you can do in even the most well equipped Gym with just one piece of equipment that fits in a drawer. You can take it on holiday or business trips with you. They work equally effectively for beginners or for pretty serious trainers who are looking to build solid muscle. Resistance bands are also a little more forgiving on muscles, joints and tendons for those that have injuries or those who are perhaps getting on in years slightly. They are also perfect for ladies that either don’t want to go to the Gym or have busy lives with kids etc and want something they can do at home for 20 minutes a day.

They take a little getting used to and certainly a bit of experimentation to find the angles and exercises that work best for you, and that target the muscles that you want to target. However with a little practise you will find that you can work Shoulders, Chest, Biceps, Triceps and your entire back very easily. Working those leg muscles and Abs are a little more complex but still perfectly possibly.

Now i know that there are a load of guys out there shaking their heads and saying “resistance bands?? Really? They are for wimps!”  To a degree I can’t argue with that. If you are an advanced body builder or weight lifter then resistance bands cannot replace going to a gym and just shifting a shedload of heavy weights. If you are really trying to build massive muscles then resistance bands are not going to do it for you. However this blog is called Ordinary Guy Fitness and it aims to cater to the majority of people who want to get fit, lead healthier lifestyles and definitely tone up and build some muscle. For that aim these are perfect.

An additional, and for many people an essential benefit, is also the cost. Gym memberships generally speaking are expensive. Exercise classes are expensive and any sort of personal trainer is definitely expensive. I’m not putting you off of any of those things as I use or have used all of them, but many people are no fortunate enough to have the spare cash and in those cases a one of payment of maybe £20 or $25/27 is a very inexpensive way to buy a piece of equipment that can help you get fit and build some muscle.

If you want some tips on how to use the bands or incorporate them into your existing workout programme then drop me an email or comment and I’ll do my best to respond.

That’s it for this article. I will make it a mission to do my own video showing as many different band exercise’s as possible in the near future.

However at the top I promised you some exciting news. A couple of weeks ago in this blog post I talked about Ordinary Guy Fitness possibly offering some products that will help with your fitness, health and training goals. Well in a couple of weeks the first couple of products will be rolling off the production line and will be available on Amazon with Ordinary Guy Fitness branding and guarantee. Not only that but the very first products available will be Ordinary Guy Fitness Resistance Bands. Not only that but readers and subscribers to this blog , the Facebook page or my Twitter page will be given their very own discount codes that will not be available elsewhere. Make sure you don’t miss out. Go to the home page and subscribe to my email list now to make sure you don’t miss future posts and the release date.

Take Care,

John

Home Ab Workout to Blast Your Core!!

Hi Everybody,

Just a really quick post today. Following some previous exercise and video posts one of the most frequent questions I’ve been asked is can i show an Ab workout that people can do at home with no equipment. The answer to that is yes, or course. There are probably a dozen really good Ab exercises you can incorporate into an Ab workout. Your abdominal and core muscles are really tough, you need to work them hard and regularly and they will improve rapidly. Here is a combination of 6 exercises. Do them for the required number of reps or time shown in the video. Once you have completed the circuit take about a minutes rest, then repeat 3-5 times.

Ab Blaster Exercises:

Leg Raises with Hip Thrust: Lay on your back. Hold your legs out in front of you. Depending how advanced you are you can do this with legs bent or almost straight. Using your Abdominal muscles lift your legs up 90 degrees. When you reach this point use your lower Ab muscles to thrust your hips and legs up to the sky in a controlled motion. Lower your legs, under control, back out in front of you. Do not allow them to touch the floor. That is one rep. Repeat 10 times.

Sit Up/Crunch With Twist: Lay on your back with your knees bent and slightly apart. Hold your hands together with arms extended behind your head. Using your abdominals sit up and crunch forward moving your arms to extension between your knees. Lower, under control back to the floor. That is one rep. Then repeat, this time when you reach the top twist and crunch to the left, then lower back to the floor. Finally repeat the sit up again but this time twist and crunch to the right. Do 12 reps. 3 for each part.

Windscreen Wipers: Lay flat on your back, arms at your sides. Raise both legs together up to 90 degrees above your body. Under control slowly lower them down to one side as far as you can reach tensing your Ab muscles and controlling your legs down. Pause without your legs touching the floor. Then lift and raise them back to the middle. That is one rep. Then repeat on the other side. Do 10 reps in total.

Russian Twists: Sit in a semi upright position, slightly leaning backwards. Lift your feet off the floor, cross your ankles and hold them there. Then without letting your feet touch the floor and continuing to lean slightly backwards twist your torso from side to side and touch your hands on the floor to either side of your body. Do 16 reps (8 each side). I would normally do this using a weight or medicine ball but this workout is with no equipment, hence no weight.

Side Plank: Laying on your side place your feet on top of each other. Then raise yourself up onto your elbow which should be directly under your shoulder. Use the arm to support yourself and ensure that your body is in an entirely straight line. Squeeze your hips, side and torso to make sure you hold your body perfectly straight with no dipping down. Hold for 20 seconds on the right side, then turn and do the same on your left side.

Front Plank: Lay face down on the floor. Raise yourself up onto both elbows again placed under your shoulders to support your body weight and lift up onto your toes. Again it is important to hold your body completely straight. Do not lift your bum in the air OR allow your hips to sag. Whilst holding the position squeeze your torso, glutes, abs and thighs as hard as you can. Hold the position for 30 seconds.

That’s it. As i said repeat 3-5 times and aim to do this or something very similar 4 or 5 times a week. You will make progress quickly and having a strong core and Abdominal muscles is incredibly beneficial for health, posture, overall fitness and makes a big difference to how you look and carry your self.

Take Care,

John

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

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

Why Diets Don’t Work……..Ever!

muscle-building-foods

You’ve all been there. You look in the mirror and sigh, try to pull on a pair of jeans or skirt you haven’t worn for a while and mysteriously can’t get the zip done up no matter how hard you tug. “That’s it, I’m going on a diet” you say. On a Diet, those three words sum up the problem with diets and the reason they just don’t, won’t, can’t work….not in the long term anyway. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Atkins, the Cabbage Soup or the Caveman diet, ultimately they will fail and you will gain back any weight you lost. Why? Well because the whole phrase going on a diet implies that at some point you will come OFF of that diet, and what happens then? Inevitably the bad habits come back and the weight starts to creep back on.

Also the whole psychology behind dieting creates a negative mindset. It’s all about denial. Denying yourself the foods you’d like to eat, being hungry all the time, forcing yourself to do something you aren’t mad keen about in a desperate drive to lose some weight. If you have that mind set how does it make you feel. Anxious? Depressed? Stressed? At some point you are going to crack. No matter how much will power you have you can’t keep that up for the rest of your life.

Wouldn’t it be soooooo much better to feel positive about your food, what you eat and how you eat? Wouldn’t it be better to east tasty, fun foods, eat decent sized portions and also NOT to feel guilty or beat yourself up when you occasionally tuck into something bad like a sticky toffee pudding with cream. “What, how can i eat that on a diet?”.  Well on a diet you can’t, but if you follow what I’m about to say you CAN!

What you need to do is change your whole outlook and attitude to food. You need to change how you eat and what you eat FOREVER. You aren’t going on a difficult diet, you are going to change your lifestyle and become a HEALTHY EATER. This really isn’t rocket science, in fact it’s absolute common sense and to be honest our grandparents generations and the ones before that did it as a matter of course.

It’s really really simple to do. Basically you just need to eat fresh food. That’s it. “It can’t be that simple?”  Well actually it pretty much is with a couple of rules. The key is to avoid processed and packaged produce as much as you possibly can. Avoid sweet or packaged snacks as much as you can and avoid fizzy or sweetened drinks as much as you can, and cut back slightly on Carbs such as potatoes, bread and pasta. That is pretty much it. Other than that you can still eat 2 to 3 meals a day and for your main dinner you can eat pretty healthy/large portions.

So what do i mean by processed foods? Again it’s simple. Anything that comes in a packet or packaging that has a list of ingredients needs either to be avoided or the label carefully studied. ALL ready meals, most childrens meals, ALL fizzy drinks, anything that has lists of chemicals, sweeteners or E numbers on the label. “Hmmmm, so what can i eat?” As i said, basically it is fresh stuff. Meat, Fish, Poultry, Eggs, Beans, Nuts and Vegetables / Salad / Fruit. Within reason you can eat as much of these as you like. Throw in some exercise and you will either lose weight (if you are currently overweight), or maintain a healthy weight (if you are not really that overweight).

Is it a bit more difficult, less convenient in this busy modern world. Yes it is slightly but would you prefer the slight inconvenience of having to buy and prepare fresh food and healthy meals that you can eat a lot of and enjoy, or suffer the misery of continually being on a deny yourself everything type diet?

So what does this mean in practical terms? The best way to illustrate that is probably to tell you what I’m eating at the moment. I am on a drive to lose some weight and strip some blub from around my middle area. I’m not overweight at all really. I was about 12 stone 5 pounds  and want to get down to about 11 stone 10 if possible. Why? Well because as I’ve already told you I’m vain and would love once in my life to have some proper 6 pack abs. So I’m training quite hard and want to lose some weight but at the same time don’t want to lose any muscle and therefore need to eat well and decent portions. So here is what i ate yesterday and will eat today.

Yesterday: Went to the Gym first thing. When i got back i had a medium bowl of Greek Yoghurt (the real stuff, not Greek style) with a large handful of blueberries thrown in and a drizzle of honey over the top. This was washed down with a double scoop protein shake. Late morning i had a Banana. At lunch i had 2 eggs, simply cracked into a bowl, salt and pepper and microwaved for 1 minute. Mid afternoon a large handful of mixed nuts. Then for dinner we sat down as a family and smashed into 3 beautiful lamb cutlets (with the lovely crispy fat as well) and a large salad. The salad was mixed leaves, loads of tomato’s, red pepper, spring onion and a large avocado. It took ten minutes to make the salad and about 7 minutes to cook the chops, what’s hard about that? I was full and very happy.

Today is a no Gym day. So far I’ve had the same bowl of Yoghurt, Blueberries and Honey plus one banana. For lunch i plan a couple of Ryvita’s smeared in delicious Nut butter, probably another Banana and some Melon I’ve got in the fridge. Mid afternoon I’ll probably break cover, be bad and have a cup of coffee with a biscuit. Then for dinner it will be similar to last night. We have some marinated spicy turkey breast steaks with a different type of salad and maybe some couscous.

Is it working? Absolutely! I’m down to 12 stone 1 pound. Feel great and am seeing some Abs appear (although long way to go yet). Also the trick here is that I don’t deny myself. We have got a few social nights out coming up in the next few weeks and on those nights I’m going to eat and drink what the hell i like, no denial whatsoever. Can you do that on a diet? No. However on a lifelong healthy eating plan you can cut yourself some slack and break loose now and then.

To just go back over this and make things very clear. The critical thing you need to change is not just your diet, it’s your attitude to food and eating. Be proud of the fact that you are changing your life for the better. In the book I’m writing I talk about pride as being a big motivating factor and maybe my next post will be about pride and other tools you can use for motivation. Your attitude needs to be “I am going to eat well, eat healthily, prepare my food myself instead of letting the supermarket do it, and I can eat big portions and be bad now and again”. It’s just common sense, it’s just going back to what our Grandparent did and adopting their “meat and two veg” lifestyle but making it more fun.

Future posts will start to give recipe advice, tips on how to prepare food in advance to cut down on time and if you want I’m happy to give more examples of what I’m eating.

Take Care,

John