Friday, 31 July 2015

Keeping it Simple...

There are times when we receive a lot of information at once that it can become overwhelming. 

When that happens the chances of taking action decreases.

Sometimes something sounds too simple, in order to allow ourselves to procrastinate and a reason not to take action we try and make it more complicated than it actually is.

To lose weight, a lot of it comes down to your nutrition habits, as much of the time as is possible you must strive to eat as healthy as you can. To know which foods you can eat a lot of regularly and the foods you have to have as occasionally as possible.
To get the balance right, to never have too bigger portion that leaves you feeling full. 
To move a bit more, be more active this is what your body was designed to do.
To keep repeating the above into some kind of lifestyle that takes you to were you want to go and to maintain it as best you can, simple.

Monday, 27 July 2015

The best Nutrition plan?

First and foremost any Nutrition plan that increases your awareness to what you are eating for health as well as weight loss is advantageous!

The ones I would stay away from unless through medical advice are low calorie food plans that teach the body it's in a world of scarcity, which means long term yo yoing weight and slow metabolism, teaching your body to store fat.

The best one, well as an exercise professional, the healthiest types of exercise are based on the natural design of the human body, which hasn't changed much through evolution.

So the best, it's got to be Paleo!

However, I'm a trainer who enjoys healthy food, but Paleo is quite strict.
My advice would be eat as much Paleo type foods as you can especially Vegetables, followed by Lean Protein.

If your goal is to be very lean, then you have to be strict.

If your goal is to lead a healthy lifestyle like the rest of us, then a Paleo "inspired' plan is the way forward. Try and eat Paleo foods in abundance, then the less healthy foods like diary products should be consumed in smaller amounts and so on.
What the balance of Paleo foods does (slightly higher Protein and Healthy Fat, slightly lower high energy Carbohydrate) is stabilise our blood sugar, the key to healthy weight loss!

Paleo people didn't live long? Well they were nearly wild, they had a few threats to contend with, child mortality was low, just because they had access to only whole food, doesn't mean it was always in abundance, that we in the western world enjoy!

Friday, 24 July 2015

A Visual Guide to...

...Body Fat Percentage.

"These damn Personal Trainers
keep talking about Body Fat %.
It doesn't mean anything to me!"

How about some visualisation!?

You see the scales can show one thing but unless you have lost body fat your shape may not change.

It's body fat weight not total weight that determines your health risk.

So see if the pictures mean more than just a number, can you see where you are and where you would like to be?

What have you got to do to get there?

Not sure, use the comments section to ask a question...

Monday, 20 July 2015

No Failure only Review.

You don't fail, just because of one unhealthy meal, or one missed exercise session, or not being quite where you wanted in the time frame you planned, slow steady progress isn't failure, slipping into bad habits isn't failure, finding it tough going but doing your best to persist isn't failure, lacking motivation sometimes, situations arising that are beyond your control that affect your lifestyle isn't failing...

Failure is when you give up completely.
Failure is when you say "I tried, it didn't work, so now I'm stopping".
Failure is when you give up on your goals.
Failure is when you accept a current situation that you are not happy with.
Failure is to stop taking action completely.

If you are taking action, or even the slightest bit of action, you are not failing.
If your habits and lifestyle are not were you want them to be, don't give up, because giving up is failing.
So have an attitude of no failure, but review your situation instead!
If you are doing something that will impede your goals, ask yourself if you have even the slightest bit of control, is there something you can do differently next time? Is there a different plan you could implement, even some simple changes?

The good news is you always get another chance to do things differently to achieve that goal...

...but don't wait too long, because you won't get the time back.

If you have a weight loss question, put it in the comments section and I will do my best to answer it in a future blog.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Fast verses Slow and Sustainable...

Just before going on holiday is a popular time for low calorie diets.
When we don't eat we see it as contributing to our weight loss goal.
I remember a Personal Training colleague when I worked abroad liking the fact that when nursing a hangover (shock and awe a Personal Trainer with a hangover!) that he didn't eat much that day.

On lower calorie diets we lose a bit of body fat, but muscle and water too, slowing our metabolism in the long run, teaching it to store more fat as soon as it can.

Everyone works to their own goals, I try and promote healthy long term weight loss where I can.

My advice is if you are leaving it late, do it the healthy way; eat natural, try and moderate your high energy carbohydrate and slightly increase your Protein and Healthy Fat .

Depicted in the diagram below even if you lose only a pound of muscle in one week, it takes up a lot of room and your shape will change more significantly!

If you wish to put a question about Healthy Weight Loss feel, just use the comment section, 

Thanks Ed.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Keeping it Simple...

I'm not going to lie, I'm quite into my fitness science.
However when we are faced with information overload, it can be a bit overwhelming, which maybe causes you to decrease taking action, or on the flip side if it something you have been trying to do for a while and it all seems incredibly challenging and you are met with different sources saying different things, or when something seems too simple, we complicate it in a way to justify our lack of progress.

But this stuff isn't complex, I know I'm doing it!

If your goal is weight loss (and 80% of people I talk to have the same goal) then: 70-80% of the result is down to your nutrition. Eat natural and healthy as best you can and moderate or have very little high energy carbs, avoid big portions, eat balanced meals little and often.
Engage in resistance exercise if you can, use big exercises and do interval (periods of work and recovery) rather steady state cardio.

If your goal is health, posture related, mobility, joint function or maintaining an active lifestyle, then include movement every day, even if it's just walking, increase your posture awareness, walk, stand and sit tall.
Try not to be in one position too long, especially seated. Foam Roll if you have access to one, stretch and try and do exercises with a degree of instability to challenge the stability / framework muscles, especially the deep mid section and backside muscles.

The great thing is if those are both your goals they are easy to combine!

Friday, 10 July 2015

Ed the "tubby hubby".

Today I'm spending my last day in my 30s, so I'm going to do a brief history of my own lifestyle challenges I have had previously.
(I know what you are thinking, never mind the self indulgence, any chance of some information? :))
Well the idea being that all though my challenges are no where near as bad as some, hopefully you can relate to the brief following...

I have always been active, think it was age 19, although I did a lot of Mountain Bike riding and some racing, due to eating habits had developed a spare tyre round the mid section, this was a bit unknown for me! I could not wait to get rid of the mid section tyre fast enough!
Changed my eating to less and ultra healthy and three months later was 2stone lighter and much weaker and very drawn in the face and had low energy, which happens when it's not just body fat you lose.
I started researching about doing it the right way and staying healthy, after a few years of doing this I realised I knew enough to help others.

A few years later, whilst working abroad, without changing my habits, I lost weight rapidly, my hair thinned, I had shaky hands and a rapid pulse, doing squats or running fast made me feel dizzy and sick.
When I described the rapid weight loss, people would always say how lucky I was, I didn't feel that lucky and something didn't seem right.
I didn't look very healthy, despite having a healthy lifestyle.
A few months passed and I was diagnosed with Thyroid disfunction.
I was put on medication, which causes rapid weight gain, in a few months I had gained 3.5 stone, most of it fat, I did not resemble a Personal Trainer, I had recently got engaged and given the affectionate nick name of "tubby hubby" the old self esteem took a bit of a battering.
When this was stabilised I looked healthier, but resigned myself to the fact I would not be as in shape as before.
Fitness and Nutrition science has remained constant, until the only time when any findings brought about information different than before, I remember it was a seminar I attended that had come hot off the press from top leading experts.
Instead of low fat, lower calorie for weight loss, it was all about blood sugar stabilisation. Eat more natural, consume less high energy foods to be leaner, for me this aligned with all the other health and fitness science I had learned and just slotted in to place. I applied it and realised I was back in total control of what shape I wanted to be in.

To be honest, yes I'm a slim build naturally, so at worst I was probably as heavy as I could be, dare I say it, being overweight was a novelty at first.
But I quickly realised it does affect you.
But I only got an insight, I realise most people I speak to have it far, far worse.
But it doesn't have to be that way, once you choose to adopt the right habits, it is under your power to take it as far as you want to, it may not be easy, but what do they say about anything worth having?

Monday, 6 July 2015

When is motivation at its highest? (apart from new year).

After the weekend I have noticed is when peoples motivation for weight loss is at it's highest.
Gyms are at their busiest the first day after the weekend.
I am not sure how bad their lifestyles are at the week end, but everyone has their focused face on after the week end!
To be honest I get it, I enjoy nothing more on at least one day to get away from the healthy lifestyle, to take a break.
The only reason it works for me is that my good days consistently out number my bad, that's it!
I know I'm a personal trainer, but I'm not all that crazy about exercise!
What I do like is the healthy feeling it gives me and being in quite good shape.
Today is the day people exercise post week end, motivation is at a high point for the week and what I want to go through is the best modalities of exercise for weight loss.
The answer is the one that gives you the biggest after burn after you have finished or EPOC (Excess post exercise oxygen consumption). (I sound like I just swallowed a text book!).
Nutrition is number one for weight loss, but 2nd is Strength Training, anything that stimulates muscle and big exercises, could be traditional like using Dumbbells, or could be body weight like Squats and Press ups, but it could take Metabolism up to 48 hours to come back down after you finish! Big exercises (lots of muscle groups at once) performed in a circuit is the most effective. 

3rd is Cardio interval training, periods of work and recovery, any method. I like using one minute steady and 30 seconds fast, everyone I help and train doesn't mind working hard for 30 seconds at a time!
Then repeat, dosen't have to be long.
The metabolism takes about 6-8 hours to come back down after.
Next is steady state or same speed cardio, jogging or anything where the intensity stays the same through out.
Metabolism comes back down after about 1-2 hours, regardless of duration.

The best option? Do strength training type exercises, followed by Interval Cardio!

The worst option is inactivity! I don't know anyone trying to get any result, that achieved it through inactivity!
I said it before most types of exercise are not that interesting or just uncomfortable, being sweaty or cold if it's outside, or wet. When you are forming a habit, that's the hard part, keep going though until it all becomes second nature!
The question is are the results worth it? Are all the benefits you are going to experience personal to you worth having?

Friday, 3 July 2015

Straight from the Personal Trainer...

In the nearly 20 years I have been in the industry, new lifestyle methods have come along, new exercise modalities, new science, new thinking when it comes to weight loss...

However one that remains the same is that 70-80% of your weight loss results comes from your NUTRITION PLAN!

It is near on impossible to out exercise a bad nutrition plan.
I taught Spin Classes for ages, people would come up to me at the end of a class and exclaim "I burnt 700 calories in your class, that must mean I can pretty much eat what I want?"
I commended the partcipants on this feat, but had to point out that a pound of body fat or (.454 kgs) contains 3,500 calories and I suggested the best idea if weight loss is the goal to attend one of my nutrition seminars!
As I Personal Trainer I wish this wasn't the case, as I directly effect people's exercise routines and only advise and hold them accountable on their Nutrition, so I have nothing to gain from telling them their Nutrition is key, other than helping them get results!

The Nutrition information out there can be miss leading, different plans, as a whole we focus too much on low fat/ low calorie, but that's for another post...