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

The usual blurb……. Please like, share, recommend or comment 🙂

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/ordinaryguyfitness

Instagram: Ordinaryguyfitness

Twitter: @Ordguyfitness

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaF5X0aDrRG7FRb9CVz9hlA

Amazon Products: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01KQAWUU6   Use Code OGSALE01 at checkout to get a further 15% off.

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.

Follow me, like or share from:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ordinaryguyfitness

Twitter: @ordguyfitness

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaF5X0aDrRG7FRb9CVz9hlA

6 Reasons Water is your best friend!!

Drinking water

Boy oh boy……it’s hot!! It’s been 33/34 degree’s c or pushing into the 90’s F in the UK the last few days and with no wind or air it’s felt hotter. Not that I’m complaining, I’d live the rest of my life in just shorts if i could. However when it’s like this we all tend to spend a lot of time looking in the fridge and thinking “what the hell can i drink?”

We all realise that when it’s hot like this you need to drink more, not just to quench your thirst but to keep yourself hydrated. We are all aware that hydration is so important and that dehydration is a BAD thing right? Of course……but do we really go about it the right way and do we know what we really should be drinking?

The answer is WATER!!!! We probably all know that but do we know why? Do we know just how good for us it is and what many of the amazing benefits are of drinking plain ol simple H2O? We are probably all vaguely aware from our school days that our bodies are largely made up of water, 70%+ and that should tell you why it is just so vital for so many elements of our health.

Below I’ve detailed 6 reasons why drinking more water daily will have immediate, positive and visible benefits to you, your body and your health. Firstly though lets deal with one of the big issues. You’ve probably all heard the “You need to drink 2-4 litres of water per day, or at least 8 large glasses”…….hmmmmm really? In an ideal world that might be true, but this site is all about reality and ordinary people. How realistic is that? For a start, with the best will in the world, drinking 4 litres of water a day + other drinks would mean you’d spend half your life in the toilet. There is also the practicality element depending on how and where you work, and then there is the boredom factor (I’ll cover that a bit later). In my view we need to get real here. Most of us don’t drink enough water so any extra is an improvement….but what should we be aiming for? If you can drink 1.5-2 lires of water a day or 3 to 4 pints, plus your normal consumption of other drinks, that’s plenty. That equates to a couple of decent sized glasses in the morning (when it’s most important), 1 at lunchtime, 1 at dinner time and maybe a smaller one before bed. Job done.

Reasons to drink Water.

  1. Drinking water actively helps you to lose weight. How? Well in a number of ways. Water actually helps to fire up and fuel your metabolism. An increased metabolism helps burn more calories even without exercise. Not only that but the water helps flush away excess fats in the body. An additional benefit is that drinking water helps alleviate hunger pains. Try drinking a large glass of water 15 minutes before a meal and you will feel slightly less hungry when you eat. Do this at every meal and it will aid your weight loss.
  2. One for the ladies. Drinking extra or more water will have a dramatic effect on your skin. Many of us, especially ladies who apparently are “so much busier” than us guys, are walking around partially dehydrated much of the time. Your skin and the fatty layer just below it contain a huge amount of water. If you allow your overall water levels to drop that skin and fatty layer will shrivel and tighten, and you know what that means……….the dreaded wrinkles. I’ve no idea who this lady is but hope she doesn’t mind me using this picture. Check out the difference after just 4 weeks. Noticeably less wrinkles and grooves in the face, dark marks under the eyes are gone and the general colour and tone of the skin looks so much better. Give it a go ladies…it works.

Skin-benefits-of-drinking-water-anti-aging-remedy

3. Big improvements in the function of ALL of your internal organs. Your kidneys and Liver cannot function properly without enough water in your body and these are vital for flushing out toxins, cleaning your blood and generally purifying your whole body. Over the long term these can be badly damaged by prolonged lack of water but this can be quickly improved by upping your daily intake. However it’s not just those. Your heart and arteries love water, as it also helps to clear away some of the clogging that age and diet produce and also helps the heart pump blood more effectively around your body. Finally your stomach and intestines use water to regulate and make your digestive system work much more effectively. You will go to the loo more regularly (both types) and less painfully and after a time will feel less bloated and cramped in the stomach area. There are even some studies that suggest that drinking plenty of water can help prevent certain types of cancer such as colon cancer.

4. Reduces fatigue and improves mood. Many people wander around constantly saying “I feel so tired all the time”, or feeling grouchy and grumpy, unable to easily deal with the day to day issues that life throws at us all. Research has shown that just a 2% drop in ideal water levels can dramatically increase fatigue in the body, lead to an inability to concentrate and can also alter mood in a negative way. Upping your water intake will over a period of time give you more energy (and that alone will improve your mood), but also has a direct positive effect on your brain function and actively puts you in a more positive mind set and improves your mood. Water makes you smile…….not sure if that’s a catchphrase yet but maybe it should be.

5. Drinking water improves joint pain and issues with muscles and ligaments. Joints are just that, joints. If you have a door hinge and it gets stiff, what does it need…..oil. Well joints in the human body are no different. Our shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, ankles etc etc all move and all need lubrication to do that easily and effectively. Cartilage, spinal discs, ligaments, tendons etc all contain water to give them their flexibility and sponginess. If you become dehydrated or just don’t quite have enough water then guess what? All those joints stiffen up a little. I’m not going to tell you that it is a miracle cure and if the cartilage in your knee is completely shot that drinking water will solve it, that just isn’t true. But it is true that if your are a normal person , drinking extra water will help lubricate those joints, add some extra tone and flexibility to your muscles, soften and relax your tendons and ligaments and over all that may add just an extra 1-3% improvement in how your body feels. Isn’t that a great result from something that just flows out of the tap??

6. The last one is not so obvious but increasingly seems like it may be important. Drinking water helps to regulate your bodies PH levels. What’s that? The PH level is the balance between Acidity and Alkaline levels in your body. It is best to be pretty neutral or moving slightly towards Alkaline. There is some research that seems to indicate that excess acidity in the body “may” be a cause of various diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Things like bad diet, lack of water, smoking etc can all cause higher levels of acidity. Drinking extra water helps balance your PH levels and although this is not proven , a balanced PH level is much more likely to lead to longer term health benefits.

Hydration - water - lemon

So here are just a couple of tips to help you add more of this vital, life giving and health promoting substance into your daily routines. Firstly, drink a large glass of water pretty much as soon as you get up. Head down the stairs or into the bathroom and glug down a decent sized glass before you do anything else (coffee comes 2nd I’m afraid). Not only does this get one of your days glasses done before you can think about it, but your body which has had no hydration for the 5, 6 or 8 hours (if you’re lucky) that you’ve been asleep, desperately needs it.

Drink another glass 15 minutes before lunch and 15 minutes before dinner. You will eat slightly less but it will also actively improve the digestion of the food you eat.

My final tip, cos lets face it, gallons of water can be slightly boring, is add some simple ingredients to freshen up the flavour slightly. I’d suggest fresh lemons and/or some mint or Ginger. Simply get a large jug or 2 litre bottle. Fill with water. Slice up a lemon and add to the water, stick it in the fridge and away you go. Mint and ginger as extra’s if you want to be totally radical.

I hope you enjoyed this and please please give it a try. Make drinking 3 to 4 pints of water (around 1.5-2 litres) a day your mission over the hot summer months. Do it every day and then come back to me in a month and tell me how you feel.

Take Care,

John

Please don’t forget to check out my other sites.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ordinaryguyfitness

Twitter: @ordguyfitness

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaF5X0aDrRG7FRb9CVz9hlA

 

Small Goals Lead to Great Things!

Yes You Can!

Hey Everybody,
Firstly I owe you an apology. I’ve been missing in action for a week and no new posts so sorry to have let you down. I’m back now and hope you enjoy this one.

I read a post today by a really good friend of mine who also happens to be a fantastic personal trainer and the fittest guy I know. He talked about a small single goal that he set himself just two weeks ago that he wanted to achieve by tomorrow, 1st July, which is his birthday (Happy Birthday Mate). It revolved around wanting to get his personal best up to a certain amount of weight for a single specific lift……and it got me thinking.

To me what he did is a perfect example of what we should all be doing. Setting small, simple, very targeted, completely measurable goals over short time periods. He did it, and he achieved it, and so can you.

We all have big dreams: Building a great business, owning a Ferrari, getting a proper six pack (yep that’s mine, i own up!) or playing football for England. However realistically it’s very unlikely that you can just make the jump in one easy move from where you are now to that big ambition. In reality it will be a slow and gradual process with successes and failures along the way. We have all heard the sayings, sometimes clichés – “every journey starts with a single step”, “don’t run before you can walk” etc etc. We probably disregard them but you know what, they are 100% true.

If you set yourself unrealistic and possibly unachievable goals too early in your fitness and health process a couple of things will happen. 1) You won’t achieve them because they will be impossible without putting the building blocks in place first. 2) When you don’t achieve them you will dent your confidence, feel crap about yourself and that will make it so much harder mentally to get to where you want to go.

baby steps 1

Baby Steps:

It is a cliché but seriously, start with some Baby Steps. What do i mean by that? Well in reality it is actually really straightforward. Think about your lifestyle and think about what it is that you want to achieve. Do you want to lose a load of weight, run a marathon, build great bicep and chest muscles, or combinations of all of the above? Then think of some small, specifically measurable and definitely achievable goals. Now I don’t mean something so stupidly easy that actually it isn’t a goal at all. It needs to require some effort and at least a bit of willpower otherwise what’s the point. Try to think of a list of at least 10 things that you absolutely KNOW that if you did them and could achieve them, then you would be well on the path towards hitting some of your bigger targets and long term goals. Not only that but you will feel fantastic about yourself and that self confidence will really help push you further along that path.

So I am going to set you all a task, and you’d better bloody do it as I will be watching!!!

Pick a simple small goal that you can achieve tomorrow. It can be anything but it needs to be Health & Fitness related eg “I will eat no biscuits, sweets or fizzy drinks tomorrow whatsoever”. Or “I will walk back from the station rather than get the bus”. Or “I will ONLY drink water all day tomorrow”.

Then pick a similar but different goal that you set yourself for the next week eg “I will work out or go to the Gym 4 times”. “I will not drink any alcohol until this time next week”. “I will cut out ALL bread for the entire week”. Again it can be anything but it needs to be specific to health and fitness and it needs to be something you can do in a week or maintain for a week.

Then finally set yourself another small goal that you can achieve for a month. It has to be an action and it has to be specific, so saying “i want to lose half a stone” is not an action, it’s just a hope, an aim a dream. It needs to be something like “I will do a minimum of 20 workouts in the month”. Then keep a record and make sure you do them. Or, “I will increase my squats by 15kg by end of the month”. Or, “I will cut out sugar totally for the month” (That’s a real toughie but by all means give it a go).

You need to keep records of what you are doing. Write it down, put a sign up around the house, put it out there on Facebook…..by declaring things publicly you force yourself to avoid embarrassment by making sure you hit the goal. Do this as often as you can, set new ones on a regular basis. By setting these small, regular and most importantly achievable goals I promise you, you will transform your life.

Success is this way!You may think “how can these silly little goals” get me to where i want to be? I understand that thought process….but you’re wrong! They all add up. Daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals and lots of them… Very quickly over the matter of just 3 to 4 months all those small things that you have achieved will almost imperceptibly transform you. Just by doing these tiny little things you WILL lose weight, become healthier, become stronger, lift more, run faster, fit in those jeans. Your friends will notice, you’ll get compliments on your butt. You will BE on the road to success and it won’t feel like you have really had to work for it. Again another cliché for you SUCCESS BREEDS SUCCESS!” It is a cliché, but it’s there for a reason……because it’s true!

So don’t hesitate and don’t let me down. Get off your arse, go and grab a pen and paper and start writing……”Tomorrow I WILL (or WON’T)……”, “For the next week i WILL……..” and finally “By the end of next Month or during the next month i WILL……..”

Please report back, let me know how you get on, i really do welcome your comments. Once again sorry for the lack of action but MY goal is to write more posts over the next month.

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

3 “Alternative” Cures You Will Love!!

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

Natural/Alternative Health Cures.

gelatin-remedy-for-joint-pain

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

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

Turmeric-Golden-Milk-

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

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

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

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

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

Take Care,

John

Weight Training: Volume or Time instead of Reps!

Arnold 2We all would love a torso like Arnolds right? If you are into weight training then you’d have to be crazy not to think Mr Schwarzenegger looked incredible in his prime. However, genetics, an unbelievable amount of hard work and probably some illicit substances all went towards making him the icon he is.

If you are like me, a fairly ordinary guy, you’d be pretty happy looking even half as good as he did. However, even to achieve that, especially as you get a bit older, still takes a lot of hard work, clean eating and heavy lifting. You CAN achieve great things if you put your mind to it but even the most dedicated weight trainers will become a bit jaded from time to time. One of the reasons for this is repetition. You can mix up your exercises as much as possible but 90% of people will still end up doing a fixed number of reps and sets. Depending on if you are training for size and muscular growth, or just for strength, I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll end up doing something like 4 or 5 sets of 6-12 reps on most exercises. Over a period of time, when you have been doing that for month after month it can become hard to stay motivated. So what do you do about it? Well below I’ve detailed two different methods which you may not have tried before but which can bring some variety and even new gains and improvement to your time worn routines.

Volume Training:

Initially this can be a slightly difficult concept to get your head around and the first thing you’ll need to take to the Gym with you is a small pen and pad. This is the way it works. Lets say you are training your Chest, you will need to count the total volume of weight that you lift across all your reps and sets for all your chest exercises. You can do it in pounds or kilograms, whatever floats your boat. So let me illustrate this for you with a full example and breakdown of a typical workout. I’ll use nice round figures on the weights to keep it simple.

Barbell Bench Press: 5 sets of 10 reps @ 80kg . So 10 reps would be 10 x 80kg = 800kg. 5 sets of that is 5 x 800 = 4000kg Lifted.

Barbell Incline Press: 5 sets of 10 @ 50kg. 10 reps would be 500kg. 5 sets of that is 2500kg.

Dumbbell Decline Press: 4 sets of 10 @ 60kg (30kg each hand). 10 x 60kg = 600kg. 4 sets of that 2400kg.

Dumbbell Flys: 4 sets of 10 @ 30kg (15kg each hand). 10 x 30kg = 300kg. 4 sets = 1200kg.

So in total for your chest you have lifted 10,100 kg for your chest. Keep a record of that and the next time you train your chest make sure you lift more total volume than that figure. You can do that by using exactly the same exercises but increasing the weight, doing more over all reps or simply by doing some extra sets or exercises. You can use this technique for all body parts. Keep your records to hand, make sure you document them and train this way for a couple of months. You will be amazed at the amount of extra volume you can add in a couple of months and if you work hard will be equally amazed at the gains in size and strength that you make using this method.

Stopwatch weights

Time:

By time i DO NOT mean the length of time you actually spend in the Gym and train for. I’m a big advocate of getting in and out of the Gym quickly, 60/70 minutes absolute max…..you do have a life after all. What i mean by time is “time under tension” for the muscle. The way you do this is to do an exercise for a fixed period of time such as 40 seconds. You need to use a weight that you can lift smoothly and continuously as the trick is to have the muscle constantly under tension for the entire 40 seconds. Don’t pause at the top or bottom of a rep, try to keep the weight moving the whole time. However do not rush, you need to maintain strict and correct form throughout the exercise. This is surprisingly hard and you may well need to lower the weight compared to what you would normally use when just doing a set number of reps. By the 3rd or 4th set you will be struggling by the time you get to 30 seconds but its important to keep pushing through to the end even if you end up doing half reps for the last few seconds.

The key here is the continuous time under tension for the muscle. By giving it no time to rest and being constantly under strain it forces the muscles into something called Hypertrophy which is the state that makes your muscles grow. You can use this technique for every exercise you do and it makes for a seriously intense workout when done properly. It will initially take some experimentation with the weights but once you get it right you will love the pump and growth you get from using this method. Again, try it for a couple of months and see what happens.

So if you use the standard Reps method, Volume method and Time under tension method you now have three different ways of training. By changing things up your body never knows what to expect and this in turn helps you to keep growing and improving. For any of these methods to really work you need to give them some time. It’s no good doing it once and then going back to reps. Trust me, pick one of the methods and do it for 4 times a week for all your body parts and see where you are after a month, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Take care,

John