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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Ladies….How to banish flabby arms and saggy butts!

Bingo WingsThe dreaded Bingo wings, dinner lady arms (no offence to dinner ladies), bat wings….whatever you want to call them, most ladies hate them. With summer coming and the time to ditch the jumpers and break out the T-Shirts, summer dresses and even the Bikini’s upon us, many women look in the mirror and sigh discontentedly at the site of those “soft”, flabby and sometimes even saggy bits. It’s not just the backs of your arms, it’s your bum, your thighs, your belly and your waist…….aaaargghhh!!!

Well don’t panic you CAN do something about all of these problems and right now. Mid March gives you time to do something about all of these areas before we properly hit Summer in June.

Firstly, without wanting to sound like a broken record, you all know that what you eat and drink, your diet and nutrition generally is going to play a big part. This isn’t a diet article so i won’t bang on about it but if you can eat cleaner, cut out the processed crap, cut back on sugar, drink less alcohol and ideally also do some cardio based work then you are going to start to lose fat from all of those wobbly areas listed above that you hate.

However in this blog I’m going to focus on what exercises you can do to tone, firm up and add some tightness or even a bit of muscle to those soft bits. First an honesty alert. This is going to take some work. Not necessarily a huge amount of time, 20 to 30 minutes a day will do the job but during that 20 minutes you HAVE to work hard and it will be sore. No pain no gain is a cliché but it’s also true……Right, ready? Here we go.

Baggy Arms: Most women don’t spend much time in everyday life using their Tricep muscles which is the muscle that runs down the back of your upper arm. It is the muscle that extends your arm from a bent to straight position and are also the muscles you use when pushing things away from your body. It is this muscle that you need to work hard and tone up to avoid having baggy, saggy arms. So logically any exercises that involves pushing or better still straightening of your arm against resistance will work this muscle. Here are three you can do at home with no equipment.

Lady push ups: The push up or press up is a great Tricep exercise IF you do it right. The trick is to keep your hands no more than shoulder width apart and as you go down towards the floor keep your elbows tucked in close to your side. Aim for 3 sets of 8.

Chair Tricep Dips: Another great exercise for really isolating the backs of those arms. Initially start with the easy version which means your feet will be quite close to you. Make it harder by gradually moving your feet further away as you get stronger. Also be careful not to come down past a 90 degree bend in your arm or you may damage your shoulder. Aim for 3 sets of 12.

Overhead Tricep extension: This is a brilliant exercise that really stretches and tones your Tricep muscle. If you have access to some weights (At home or gym) just use a light dumbbell initially (maybe 1.5 or 2kg) If you don’t have access to a dumbbell then a bottle of water (500ml, 750ml or even 1 litre) will do the job to start with. Aim for 3 sets of 12 reps.  Each day pick 2 of the exercises and do the number of sets listed. Keep rest time between sets fairly low (max 1 minute). It should only take 6/8 minutes total.

Now for your thighs and bum!! Waheey, everyone wants great thighs and a shapely backside don’t they? Again though it’s not easy, your diet is very important but you also have to work hard. Your Quads (front of leg), Hamstrings (back of leg) and Glutes (backside) are some of the biggest muscles in the body and as a result need to be worked hard to change them.

Lunges: There are a number of different variations of the lunge, all of which work a slightly different part of your thighs and backside. Therefore I’d recommend doing a different one each day and rotate them. Initially start without any weight until you feel comfortable and can control the movements. Then as you get stronger add in some weight, but don’t go too heavy. It’s more important to go low when you dip down and really squeeze the muscles as you push back up. Start with 3 sets of 12 (6 on each leg) and work up to 3 sets of 20.

Squats: As with lunges there are many different variations, both with and without weights. To really strengthen and tone your legs you will need to use some weight at some point. However, initially you can do a perfectly good job just with body weight. Again try to use some of the different variations and change each day to work different parts of the leg and backside. Keep your back straight, chest up and head & eyes looking ahead and up. Push your butt backwards and lower it towards the floor, do not lean forward and topple over your feet. If using bodyweight do 3 sets of 12 to 15. If you progress to using some weights do 3 x 8/10.

Hip Thrusters/Glute Bridge: Hip thrusters or the Glute bridge as it is sometimes called is an excellent exercise for toning, firming and shaping your bum. Again it needs to be done correctly and the key thing here is to really focus on squeezing and engaging your Glute or Bum muscles as you push up and at the top of the exercise. Go for 4 sets of 15/16 when using both legs and 3 sets each side of 7/8 when just using one leg. Again i would choose 2 of these exercises to do each day and again it should take less than 10 minutes.

Finally lets get to your stomach and core. The truth of the matter (yes i know the truth hurts) is that if you are carrying a fair amount of excess weight and have a very flabby stomach and waist area it is pretty hard to really tone and shape it without losing some of that weight first. However you can do core and stomach exercises that will pull in and tighten your abdominal and core muscles underneath the soft tissue and simply by pulling you tighter it will give the illusion of having lost a couple of inches.

The Plank: The king of core exercises. Again there are loads of variation and the video shows a few that are all great for women and will work your entire core, ab and waist area. Initially just focus on the plain front plank until you gain some strength and then after a week or so try some of the variations. Everyone’s core strength varies but initially aim for 4 sets of 20 seconds at a time (with only 30/40 seconds rest in between). If that is too hard just do 15 seconds but the aim should be to get up to 45 seconds+ to really make it work. Concentrate on really squeezing everything tightly, your stomach, thighs and butt in particular.

The Hip Lift: This works deep core muscles and lower stomach muscles. Concentrate on keeping your legs straight above and thrusting upwards with your pelvis and lower stomach. If it helps you can slightly place your hands under the edge of your bum/thighs to support yourself. Aim for 3 sets of 10 with 40 seconds rest in between.

Russian Twists: I’ve no idea why they are called that, invented by a Russian i guess. Initially start off doing this without a weight, but again as you get stronger add some weight in. Either use a small dumbbell, a kettle bell or even just a 2 litre bottle of water. Aim for 3 sets of 8 on each side. Concentrate on keeping your feet raised just off the floor and lean very slightly back with your torso which places tension on your abs and core. As with the above choose two exercises each day and rotate them. Again this should only take 7 or 8 minutes tops. With Ab exercises try to keep rest between sets minimal for maximum effect.

That’s it ladies. 20 to 30 minutes each day and believe me in two months you will really notice the difference. Your wobbly arms will be firmer and leaner. Your upper legs and bum will definitely be tighter and shapelier and your waist and midriff will have been pulled in ad you will look slimmer. The key here is hard work. You need to push yourself. As you get better either increase the number of sets and reps or add in some more weight. Just doing the same thing day after day and not improving will halt your progress.

Take Care,

John