7 Top Tips to Look Great by Summer!!

Hi Everyone,

I wrote a post previously (see here) about Winter being the time to put in the hard work to get the body you want in the Summer. Well that is absolutely true Summer bodies are made in Winter. However if you over indulged a bit over the Christmas period (like me) and are keen to have a body to die for when beach season comes around (or at least not look like a beached whale), then what can you do to turn things around in the next few months.

Below are my 7 top tips for getting yourself beach ready and looking as well as feeling fantastic when Summer comes around. After all feeling fantastic on the inside will go a long way to helping you look great on the outside.

7 Top Summer Tips:

  1. Drink as much water as you can: Yeah yeah, yeah. I know you’ve heard it all before, hell I’ve even written about it numerous time (here and here) for example. It just happens to be true however. Did you know that drinking a large glass of water will make your body burn 30 calories more over the next hour than it would have done without drinking it, even if you just sit on your arse for that hour. 6 glasses a day = almost 1300 calories a week burnt off. Water also allows your body to work more efficiently, flushing toxins out of your body, improving your skin and also allowing more effective processing of proteins and good fats to help you build muscle and shed fat. Finally drinking lots of water make you feel more full, reduces your appetite and actively helps you shed weight.
  2. Cut out the booze: I know, I know, this is a hard one right. Well I don’t mean completely. This is a site for ordinary people and most of us like a few beers or glasses of wine now and then. However what I do is try to be good and have no alcohol at all from Sunday night when i hit the pillow, until Friday evening. Why? well a number of reasons. You sleep better which is major factor in both physical and mental wellbeing. You sleep well you look better, simple. Proper rest also allows your body to rebuild its cells and grow muscle. As well as sleeping better you will be cutting out tonnes of calories you probably didn’t even think about. A pint of Lager contains approx. 190/200 calories, wine even more at about 210. If you can cut out 8 beers or 8 glasses of wine a week that’s roughly another 1600 calories gone (2900 including the extra water.) Just these two measures alone over the period of 3 -5 months will have you shedding pounds in weight.
  3. Eat right: At this point I can feel you frowning at the screen “damn this all sounds like hard work” you’re saying. Well I have two answers to that. Firstly, I’m all about moderation and enjoying your lives so believe me I’m not saying you have to deny yourself completely. Secondly, yes it does involve a bit of effort…..shock horror!! Did you really expert to transform your lazy arse into Elle Macpherson or Dwayne Johnson without having to do just a little work? So what do I mean by eat right? Well in previous articles (here , here and here) I go into a lot more detail. However lets keep things simple. Try to reduce portion sizes by 10%. Cut as many starchy and heavily refined carbohydrates as possible (that means less bread, less white pasta, white rice, potatoes). Cut out or at the very least reduce sugar as much as possible (sorry, that means very few cakes, biscuits/cookies, sweets and definitely cut out the soda’s and fizzy drinks). Eat lean proteins – Fish, Chicken, lean red meat every day and get as much salad and vegetable matter down your neck as you can. Again, for me, the same rules apply as with booze. Cut it our Monday to Friday and then (within reason) enjoy what you want at the weekends. Do this and again that will be many hundreds of calories less per week. Combine with the above two measures and you’ll be rocking and rolling in terms of internal health and weight loss.
  4. Aerobic Exercise: Or as it’s also known cardiovascular exercise. By this I don’t mean an old school John Travolta aerobics session (leg warmers are soooo last century). Unless you love running and have plenty of time on your hands I also wouldn’t go the route of long distance running (nothing against this, it’s just not time efficient in getting you fit and looking good). I would go the way of HiiT (High Intensity Interval Training, or if you are more old school Circuit training. Pick 6 exercises that work your whole body between them. Do each exercise for 20/30 seconds or 10/12 reps with no rest in between. Once you have completed all 6 rest for 1 minute. Then repeat 3-6 times depending how fit you are. It should only take 10-20 mins max and you can do it in your garden, a park or even in the house if you can’t get to a gym. If possible try to incorporate some weights such as dumbbell/kettlebell into 2 or 3 of the exercises as this will tone muscle as well as build fitness and torch calories. This article and video demonstrates some examples you can use.
  5. Do some Strength/Weight training: I know that some of you hate weights. Ladies either get embarrassed using weights or mistakenly believe that they will turn into a 1970’s style East German shot putter as soon as they pick up a Dumbbell. Guys either don’t know what to do or again feel embarrassed by the muscle heads in the gym. Ignore all that, bite the bullet and do some strength/weight training. This sort of training tones and shapes your body like nothing else can. For ladies it will shape your legs and butt, define your shoulders and neckline and help shed those saggy backs of your arms that you hate when wearing summer dresses (yeah i know about those). It doesn’t have to be Olympic style lifting ladies, some smallish dumbbells and the right exercises will do the trick. Guys, unless you shift some weights around now and then it’s going to be very hard to tone up the muscles underneath that weight you have lost. Every man in the world looks better with slightly wider shoulders, a narrower waist, toned, fat free arms and a chest that is firm and free from moobs. We are not trying to turn you into Arnold Schwarzenegger here (unless you want to), just simply putting some muscle and toning onto your frame.
  6. Be targeted: I mean this in two ways. Firstly think about what you want to achieve by the Summer and write it down as a goal committed to paper becomes much more tangible and real. It could be I want to lose 2 dress sizes and tone up my butt. Or for guys, I want to get into 34 waist jeans and have muscular arms. Set a date to it eg by 1st if June i want to….. . Once you have done that you also need to be targeted in terms of your actual body. Take a look in the mirror and be honest. what are your good points that don’t need much work, and which are the bits that are heading south faster than you would like or are just a bit to squidgy and need some work. Once you have done that tailor your approach around those parts. If you are a lady and you want to firm up your bottom and legs then focus your training around those a little more (lots of lunges and squats). If you are a guy with a Pigeon chest or saggy triceps then target those areas and hammer things like presses and crossovers or push downs. It’s just common sense.
  7. Have fun and enjoy life: This is probably more important than all the others. None of the stuff above should be a chore. It’s all about moderation in life. By working hard and having some discipline some of the time, you can have fun and enjoy the good things in life the rest of the time. However it’s more than just that. I mean really enjoy life. Spend time with your kids, be stupid, laugh a lot, put work second to family, go on long walks, visit amazing places, eat good food, try new things. Get out and experience the world and squeeze the enjoyment from it. This is critical. People that are happy, enjoy life and are vibrant just exude a sense of wellbeing and simply look better. If you want to look and feel fabulous this summer the trust me, the six points above may help you along the way, but it’s this one, number 7 that will make all the difference.

Take Care,

John

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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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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

8 Easy ways to start losing Weight NOW!!

Lose weight text with measure tape and fruits

You’ve tried every weight loss trick and diet out there from the Atkins to the Paleo and it just doesn’t work. You can’t stick to it for long and no matter how hard you try after a while the weight just creeps back on.

I could be wrong but you are probably just over complicating things and making your life too damn hard. Below is a list of 8 quick tips that if you follow, or even adopt just some of them you WILL lose weight. I’m not saying they are easy but they are simple. Follow them for a couple of months and watch the inches fall away just in time for Summer.

  1. Cut Out Sugar as much as possible: Sugar is a killer both in health terms and from a calorie and weight gain perspective. Stop putting sugar in your tea and coffee, stop eating cakes, sweets and chocolate and watch the rapid change in your body.
  2. Stop Drinking Fizzy or Sweetened Drinks: We all love a nice refreshing coke now and then but it is loaded with sugar and loaded with calories. In fact almost ALL artificial drinks and even many fruit juices are packed with calories. Wherever possible stick to water, black coffee, green tea’s or other completely natural drinks. Even be careful with fruit juice which is often full of sugar.
  3. Cut Out White Carbohydrates: What are white carbs? Well most  breads, pasta, potatoes, white rice. Believe me, if you can cut back heavily on these ingredients, especially the bread, then you will notice a rapid difference. Stick to sweet potato, brown rice, beans (all types) and veg for your carb sources.
  4. Cut back on Alcohol consumption: Yep unfortunately folks booze contains loads of calories. Beer, wine, mixers, even spirits are a) not great for you and b) pile on the pounds. You don’t have to stop completely but cut back as much as you can.
  5. Ditch processed and packaged foods: Generally speaking if it comes in a packet, has pictures and a label with ingredients on it, it won’t be good for you. Almost ALL processed food contains chemicals, preservatives, hidden sweeteners and processed fats. Just avoid them. Buy  fresh fish, meat, poultry and vegetables. You may need to spend a bit more time (not much) but if you cook it yourself and don’t eat from packets i GUARANTEE you will lose weight.
  6. Fill your house with healthy snacks: We ALL get the munchies from time to time and you are lying to yourself if you think you can be good 100% of the time. So when you want a snack you grab a choccy bar and worry later. However if you have bags of nuts, banana’s, apples, a small bar of high cocoa dark chocolate within easy reach then you can satisfy your short term craving and not feel too guilty about it.
  7. DON’T skimp on food or miss meals: I know this sounds strange but cutting back on food and missing meals will not help. If you cut calories too drastically and too quickly your body will start to store fat…and you don’t want that. Eat regularly and eat well BUT make sure it is healthy. Fresh fish or meat/poultry and LOADS of veg, salads, beans.
  8. Move it, Move it: It’s pretty obvious really but the more exercise and activity you do the more calories you burn. Of course working out is important but actually it’s the small things that add up over a period of a lifetime. Always take the stairs, not the lift or escalator. Walk the 10 minutes home instead of jumping on the bus. If you are going somewhere walk quickly don’t stroll. Carry stuff from the DIY store don’t get a trolley. It’s an attitude of mind really. Always try to use your body and take the harder option, it really really pays off.

That’s it. 8 simple things that you can start to implement in your life that WILL make you lose weight. Now I am a realist and this is a blog for Ordinary people. I can visualise the large “GULP” you are all taking at the thought of all those things you need to give up. However this is a long term plan and the odd blip or weekend break out is not going to harm you. Read this previous post here which explains why if you are consistent in your approach you can allow yourself the odd naughty moment. If you can regularly adopt 5 or 6 of the points above and use them 80% of the time then you will be well on the road to a slimmer, lighter, healthier and better version of yourself.

Take Care,

John

 

Drink Beer & Get Fit – What do You Want?

Beer Fitness Image

Hi Again Everyone,

I’m in the process of writing a book, the title of which will be “Drink Beer and Get Fit”. I can sense fitness professionals around the world throwing their hands up in horror at that title and castigating me for setting a bad example. If you’ve followed my blog you will know that I am approaching Health and Fitness from the perspective of an ordinary person and the truth is that most ordinary people will not live the life of a fitness model or a monk and WILL sometimes indulge in a beer or three or bottle of wine. Below is an extract from the first chapter of the book. I hope you like it and it strikes a chord with you. If it does then please let me know in the comments section.

Chapter 1. The First Step-Knowing what you Want.

So I’m guessing that if you’ve bought, borrowed or possibly even stolen this book you must have a reason. Maybe you just love Beer, saw the word in the title and couldn’t resist. Maybe it made you curious “can I really drink Beer and get fit? How does that work?”

More likely however you are unhappy with some aspect of your health, weight, shape or fitness and want to do something about it? Right? It must be or why else would you be here.

It’s important though that you really think about what it actually is that you want to achieve. You can change your lifestyle and change or improve your health, fitness, size, shape and weight in many different ways. What you actually want to achieve is important because it will to some extent dictate what you need to do and how to go about it.

So let’s break down some of the most basic needs and desires that might be driving you.

Weight:

Most people are slightly overweight to some degree but the changes you need to make to your lifestyle will be to a large extent dictated by just how much weight you want to lose. It is possible to become much fitter without actually losing much weight. You will still be healthier, stronger, fitter, but may still be carrying some extra blub around your middle, chest, arms and backside. You may be happy with that. Losing weight may not be that necessary, either because you are already close to where you want to be, or because you are comfortable the way you are. That’s fine, be true to yourself and certainly don’t be led by the images you see in magazines and the media.

However there are a few points to bear in mind. Carrying an extra stone around won’t do you too much long term harm but two, three stones or more, anything bordering on or straying into the territory of obesity will definitely have long term health effects as you get older. Diabetes, Heart problems, knee and joint issues and just general length of life are all directly linked to being heavily overweight and without wishing to lecture you, you really should think about doing something about it.

If weight loss is your key aim then the food and dietary parts of this book are the bits you should pay attention to and actively try to incorporate into your lifestyle. That is not to say that you should ignore the fitness chapters completely, in fact they go hand in hand. Following the tips and tricks around food and diet will 100% help you lose weight, however if you incorporate that alongside the fitness advice in other chapters two things will happen.

Firstly it will be easier to lose the weight and you will lose it faster. Not only that but it will be easier to keep it off. Why is that? It’s very simple really. Exercising burns calories, the more calories you burn the more weight you’ll lose. It really isn’t a Stephen Hawkingesque concept. Not only that, but the exercise will help to fire up your metabolism. Certain types of exercise which I’ll explain later not only burn up calories whilst you exercise but light a forest fire under your metabolism which mean that your body will continue to burn calories at an increased rate for many hours after you stop exercising. How cool is that? You can be sitting on the sofa watching Masterchef and lusting after all the food you can’t eat (only kidding) and still have a firing metabolism that is eating calories and weight hours after you left the Gym or got off the bike.

Secondly and more importantly the exercise itself will start to repair, improve and counteract the adverse health effects that we already discussed. Your heart and lungs will become healthier and work more efficiently, your joints and muscles will become stronger thus improving your mobility and the likelihood of Diabetes and other similar diseases will decrease.

Fitness:

Again this is an area where you really need to give some thought to what it is that you are seeking to achieve. Are you trying to get fit for a specific reason or event such as doing a 5/10k charity run, playing for a 5-a-side football team or climbing Everest? Or are you, as most people are, just seeking to be a fitter, stronger, leaner version of your current self. It’s also very important to be honest with yourself. We may all have grand dreams (I still cling to the hope of becoming world Middleweight boxing champion) but the reality is that was never ever a possibility let alone now that I’m 47.

That is not to say you should set your sights too low or not too dream, but do be aware of your initial limitations and set yourself some goals that for an initial period at least are achievable. What do I mean by that? Well you know yourself far better than I possibly can. If you currently get out of breath walking to the bus stop a little too fast then quite clearly your initial aims need to focus around improving your general fitness and aerobic capacity so that you can walk and do some decent exercise without getting out of breath or collapsing at the bus stop. In fact if you are very unfit, have had health problems or are very overweight it’s always sensible to have a quick chat to your doctor before starting any exercise regime.

Alternatively if you are already reasonably capable and can run, or possibly already play some sport then absolutely set your eyes on the horizon and have some ambitious goals. I have a friend who is a fantastic Personal Trainer and he has achieved some amazing things with some of his clients. Taking them from injuries and disabilities or extreme obesity, to running marathons, losing half their body weight, transforming their body shape. It can be done, anything is possible, but you need to have a plan and be realistic at the outset. In a later chapter I will cover the subject of your mindset, mentality and how one of the most critical things you can do is alter how you think about challenges and your attitude to your life, your health, your diet etc…..but that’s for later. All good things come to those (that read the chapters in order).

Shape:

If you eat better over a period of time and also exercise then inevitably your shape will change, and for the better. So why am I giving this a separate category? Well because when I refer to shape and people who want to change their shape I guess I am talking more about the people who have some sort of a goal in mind. We may not be talking Arnold Schwarzenegger type ambitions but certainly you’d like to add some muscle, possible reveal some abdominal muscles, even achieve that wide shoulder , v tapered look that athletes and superhero’s have.

So can that be done? You bet. Of course it depends to a degree on your starting point but you CAN get there. To lose weight and become fitter as outlined in the two sections above you need to work hard and be reasonably dedicated. To dramatically change your shape and become muscular and/or lean and sleek you need to do exactly the same thing but just work a bit harder and change how you exercise slightly.

Again a degree of realism is the key here. If you are 55 years old and carrying an extra four or five stone around with you then sculpting a six pack and arms that Hercules would be proud of is a big ambition that is going to take a great deal of work and some serious dedication. However I am not here to put you off, in fact I’d positively encourage you to think positively, set goals and work your butt off to achieve them.

That’s it, that’s part of the first chapter. I hope you enjoyed it. There is much more to come and I hope to have the book done and published by the end of the year. As i said earlier I’d welcome your comments. If you like the sound of it then please subscribe to my emailing list on the website. That way you won’t miss any more posts and all subscribers will get the first notification of availability as well as fantastic chances to get freebies of the book and other offers to follow. Once again, thanks for reading.

Take Care,

John

Healthy Easter Freebies….for everyone!! Subscribe Now!!

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Hi Everyone,

I posted this (see below) a few days ago and had a great response. However it’s Easter and I’m in a good mood spending the time off with my kids etc. So I’ve decided to extend the offer to EVERYONE! Yep that’s right, everyone who goes onto my Blog website www.ordinaryguyfitness.com and signs up onto the email subscription service will be sent a free Pdf on how to eat, what to eat and when to eat to stay lean, mean and shed fat. Don’t hesitate, do it now. 

Hello again Ladies & Gents,

As you may know this is a relatively new venture for me but I am really passionate about spreading knowledge and information on how to be more healthy, fitter, stronger and leaner. I want it to grow and as I’ve already said on my website www.ordinaryguyfitness.com I am completely honest about the fact that at some point I’d hope to earn some money from this venture. I see nothing wrong with that. I spend my time and provide you guys with some knowledge, tips, motivation and hopefully some entertainment. In return at some point in the future I will hopefully earn some money for my efforts. If that doesn’t float your boat or you disagree then don’t read the rest of this post, i totally understand. However if you feel that is fair then please do read on.

In order to grow my websites presence and build it’s following i need to attract as much traffic to it as possible. That means you, your friends, your friends friends and as many people out there in the big wide world as possible. I’m also very keen to make sure that those of you who enjoy my posts don’t miss out.

So with that in mind I have a new feature on the site which is an email subscription service. Simply go to the main page on my site ,look at the menu on the right hand side and you’ll see the email subscription box. Enter your email, hit subscribe and follow the instructions. You will then receive a simple email each time a new post comes out so that you don’t miss out. Don’t worry I’m not going to bombard you. I do have a real life and two to three posts a week is about all I will manage so i won’t be filling up your inbox.

As a little incentive I’ve come up with a fantastic FREE GIFT for the first 20 subscribers. You will receive a short healthy eating tip sheet and blueprint that tells you how and what to eat, when to eat and what to avoid to stay lean, mean and lose flab in time for summer.

I haven’t done this before and hope it works so watch this space. You’ll never know unless you try right????

Anyway, i hope you appreciate me being honest and up front about my motives and as always i welcome any comments and will do my best to answer.

So come on don’t hesitate, go to the website and Subscribe now….Please!

Take Care,

John

Daily Eating Tips to Guarantee you Lose Weight!!

Scales

Yep that’s right, if you follow most of these tips I Guarantee you will lose weight. I’m going to stick my neck out and personally promise you that if you follow this guide for 4 weeks you will have lost weight, possibly even a significant amount of weight depending on your starting point.

Firstly, to allow me at least some chance of being right, there are a few rules here that you need to stick to.

  • You MUST exercise. By that i mean at least twice a week you need to do some form of energetic exercise that gets you blowing hard and works your muscles. That could be running, a weight session in the Gym, some form of exercise class, or even just a vigorous home work out. The other 5 days you need to do at least 20 minutes of some form of activity that raises your pulse and brings on a mild sweat. That could be a brisk walk, a 20 minute home circuit as detailed in one of my previous posts here, or a quick session with some dumbbells in your garage.
  • You MUST attempt to eat healthily and stick to the plan for a minimum of 4 days and ideally 5 days of each week. If you go to less than 4 full days you will negate all the positive effects and to be honest may as well not bother (I will cut you some slack if you have a lot of social activity but for one week only)
  • You MUST be hardcore about cutting out the big evil in your kitchen…..SUGAR! That means on your good days, No biscuits, No chocolate, No fizzy drinks (or any other juice or sugary drinks) and if possible cut out or definitely cut back drastically on any alcohol from Monday through to at least Friday evening.

Got That? Gonna stick to it? Of course you are. So here we go…

Breakfast! We all know that old saying “The most important meal of the day”. Well i hate to break it to you but that ain’t necessarily true. Many people now believe that intermittent fasting (going for lengthy periods without food, or only eating at certain times) is the way forward. I have to say that i do believe it works but it’s probably a bit unfair to drop you newbies straight in at the deep end. So here are a few simple ideas for breakfast that will satisfy your overnight cravings but won’t break the Calorie bank.

A boiled egg, or two if you insist (No soldiers to dip in it), followed by a banana. Black coffee, no sugar.

A medium sized bowl of Greek yoghurt or Skyr yoghurt with a large helping of blueberries thrown in. Drizzle with some organic honey if you need a hit of sweetness.

A small bowl of oats and nuts with the same yoghurt as above, again with some honey to sweeten.

A small portion of scrambled eggs (2 eggs is fine) with some flakes of smoked salmon broken into it. Add pepper and you have a breakfast for kings.

One slice of wholegrain toast smeared with Nut butter/peanut butter and if it floats your boat also add sliced banana on top.

That’s it. 5 breakfasts and I’m sure you can conjure variations on these themes. The key is not having big volumes and avoiding crappy sugar filled cereals and loads of bread. So what about lunch?

Lunch to some degree depends how active you are. If you hit the gym in the morning or have an active job that involves physical exertion then you are allowed a little bit more. If not then be good and stick to the plan and remember it’s only for 4 to 5 days.

Crack 2 eggs into a small bowl, sprinkle some salt, add a fair bit of pepper and microwave for between a minute and minute 30 seconds. Get a spoon and eat. It’s surprisingly filling and has lots of protein and not many calories.

Get a ripe avocado, mash it up with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and some chopped chilli until you have a rough paste. Spread it on a piece of wholegrain toast or ryvita, drizzle with lemon. Job done.

If you are training hard and want something more substantial try this. I make a batch up on a Monday and it lasts me 3 days. Boil a decent amount of brown rice for 20/25 mins (until soft). In another pan fry (coconut oil) some chicken, onions, peppers, carrots, Garlic and a LOT of fresh chopped ginger. Mix the rice in with the chicken, give it a good stir and drizzle with some light soy sauce as you stir it. Let it cool down, put in some Tupperware and stick in the fridge. Microwave for 2 minutes when needed and easy to take to work with you.

How about a chicken drumstick – cooked or cold with a mix of salad leaves , drizzle of Olive Oil and some balsamic vinegar. Again just use your imagination, stick to meats, proteins, veg, eggs or maybe small portions of cheese and you’ll be fine. The idea of lunch is just to fill a hole and fulfil your nutritional needs, NOT fill you up!

Right, most people’s main meal….dinner. Here you have a new best friend….salads! “Whaaaat? Salad, that’s rabbit food”. Not true. You can supercharge salads and make them hugely enjoyable. Use  the standard ingredients and then add the extra’s that add flavour. These include blue cheese, feta cheese, parmesan, walnuts, grapefruit (yep), basil, coriander, olives, chopped/sliced chilli, chopped/sliced ginger. Exciting dressings using lime/lemon juice, different types of vinegar, a drizzle of soy sauce. You can easily have a variety of salads 3 to 4 nights a week. Don’t panic though because alongside the salad you will have one of the following: Grilled or pan fried chicken with whatever spices and herbs you fancy, sweet chilli turkey breasts, a couple of lamb chops, grilled or pan fried salmon, mackerel or pretty much any fish you fancy.

Or if you don’t fancy a salad one night how about some chicken, turkey, fish or pork, a big serving of Brocolli and some sweet potato mash with added spices, olive oil and loads of pepper.

What about snacks? Well if possible try to avoid them but we all know that ain’t gonna happen. So have a bag of mixed nuts in the cupboard and grab a handful a couple of times a day. Always have banana’s on hand and peel one if you feel the need. A bag of carrots in the fridge and grab one (unpeeled) to munch on whenever you want. Of an evening 2 or 3 squares of genuine full cocoa dark chocolate won’t break the bank.

The other key as I’ve said is what you drink. Wherever possible it’s going to be water (add lemon, lime, mint, ginger if you need some flavour). Otherwise black coffee, a glass of milk a day is fine and if you really must a glass of red wine a couple of times a week is also fine of an evening.

Then what happens at the weekend. Well that comes down to you. It would be stupid to spend every weekend deliberately cramming bad things down your neck. Try to be good. Avoid the processed crap we have talked about, try to stick to good snacks and not bad ones, but otherwise reward yourself. If you want a few drinks, have them. If you are going for a meal, have what you want, fancy a good breakfast, have a healthy fry up. The key is to be sensible. If you go for a big curry and beers on Saturday night, why not skip breakfast on Sunday. You’re a grown up (hopefully) so just be sensible and stick to what you know is right. Enjoy your weekend and reward yourself for your sacrifice in the week, but unless its a big event keep thinking about the long term goals.

There will be a lot more recipe’s and details on food and eating patterns in the weeks to come. As always, any questions or comments please fire them at me, I’m ready and willing to answer.

Take Care,

John