Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Don't wait for the perfect time to lose weight.

So you have a plan, you know what changes you need to make and what you need to do to get to where you want to go.
The next step is to actually take action!
Don't wait for that good time, when everything seems settled, that time that allows you to focus on the task in hand with minimal distractions. Why? Because invariably that time never comes!
Aim to take whatever action you can as soon as possible.
It doesn't need to be the prefect plan,  any short term changes you can make right now that will gather some momentum.
Small changes will lead to the start of some kind of result that will entice you to make more changes that will gather more momentum leading to big progress.
Ask yourself what habits could you realistically install in the next week and go from there.
Any action you take will move you forwards, having the right information without implementation will keep you right where you are. 

Friday, 25 September 2015

Weight Loss Mindset...

Good Nutrition, Regular Exercise is important but having the right mindset could make the difference.
Athletes can be separated by tenths of a second, but who has the right mindset will very well make the difference.

When it comes to health and fitness goals, what is your mindset?

Are you asking your self if you really can achieve it or are you saying anything is possible with time and effort.
If you hit a set back do you say "I knew I couldn't do it" or do you remind yourself that successful people had many failures and set backs along the way. Maybe we could see it that it's a message that we need to increase our efforts or adopt a different strategy. If someone holds you accountable do you say "It's not my fault, it was..." And end up resenting them a bit?  Or do you consider they have your best interests at heart, but ultimately it is down to you.

Think about something you are successful in, what mindset did you have.
Did you take on the challenge, learn from set backs and take ownership?

We can have a totally different mind set when it comes to different things.
I maybe able to advise when it comes to lifestyle, but have a fixed mindset when it comes to other stuff!

But awareness is the key, if we become aware we have a fixed mindset about something, maybe we can learn to look at it differently and change our mindset.

I always liked the saying "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change".

Monday, 21 September 2015

Weight Loss Hype...

Long time ago, when I started in corporate fitness it was my job on accasion, depending on shift patterns to open the gym.
That meant being up at "sparrow's fart."
Before the rest of the world had even had chance to stratch it's bottom, you get the picture, early!
During breakfast I would watch TV, all these sales channels had popped up with fit people telling you how they got a six pack from using an invention that works your abs.
Some people selling the products looked like Personal Trainers, if they were, for me this was the Fitness Professional's equivalent of selling your soul to the devil!

Eventually the ad agencies I presume made them put in the small print, that to get results you would need have a sound nutrition plan in place.

If the manufactures included some Nutrition advice and programmes with the product, then maybe you could forgive them.

It does not matter how much you target an area where there is a storage of body fat with particular exercises, it won't change!
Fat does not turn into muscle, they are different layers and types of tissue.
The only way to lose body fat is to use it for energy, by moderating the energy you put in your body (the most effective) and or moving more (second most effective).

Being able to see definition in a muscle means, the body fat is low enough, that muscle is now closer to the skin and can be visible, it has been revealed.

I am still learning about all the groups and nutrition plans out there, but it's not a healthy or effective solution if it's not long term, or it's so drastic if you stop, it's lowered your metabolism so much, that now you store body fat even more effectively!
It shouldn't be something you have to follow strictly forever, other wise you will quickly go back.
I would say, I am happy getting steady results, my body fat percentage is classed as "quite lean" so now I eat very healthy 80% of the time, 20% not so good.
Because I've done it the healthy, steady way, it's just now a sustainable healthy lifestyle.

Friday, 18 September 2015

The next weight loss steps and stages.

I was despatching some information to a small group as usual I didn't hold back on the information :).

One of the group really seemed to relate to the information and seemed keen to put it into practice, another responded quite negatively.

Seemed strange to me as both had the same objective, then as the conversation progressed I realised they were at different stages.

The first person knew and was applying most the information, so hung on to the additional tips, the other person was doing the first bit and then just got overwhelmed by the information.

So in this post, here are some steps, go to the stage you are at and progress from there.

For Weight Loss results, first decrease all the obvious stuff you know if you consume regularly will slow progress, yes that includes alcohol too :)
If cutting it out is unrealistic, then set yourself a minimum amount.
This has to be done if weight loss is the goal because you can't have both!

Next it's high energy Carbohydrate to cut out or eat in only small portions, Pastas, rice, potato, bread, cereals that contain lots of sugar.
So you don't get hungry slightly increase your Protein and Healthy Fat. In the evening for example bigger portion of Chille, smaller portion of Rice and so on...

Next, try and moderate portion size, we can only process so much. Ideally eat 3 moderate main meals and 2 snacks. Prepare food if you can, if time is the issue and you need a convenient option then meal replacements and snack replacements work, but shouldn't replace healthy food if you can do that option.

Next getting the balance right 40% Carbs (from veggies and some fruit) 30% Protein and 30% healthy fat. Make up each meal or snack.
So if you imagine a plate like a pie chart.

Next try and think of as many healthy foods and snacks as possible to give you a variation.

The list could go on, such as drink more water, rather than other fluids.

So work out which step you are on and progress!

Monday, 14 September 2015

What I learned from Weight Loss Forums...

I am very new to weight loss forums, but I wanted to have a look and I love answering questions. (If I have the answer). After 18 years in the industry I have a few answers by now :)

Looking through the forums people are trying all the different "diets" and plans out there, sometimes going from one to the next!

I don't know why this is.

Firstly, I have never advised anyone to go on any plan.
As mentioned in a previous post, the ultimate plan is Paleo, for sceintific reasons, however, I am a Personal Trainer  who loves eating healthy, but Paleo is too strict for me!
Paleo is based on eating natural foods, so a Paleo "influenced" plan is more realistic.

For any Nutritional plan to work, you have to be able to say "With a little bit of discipline, I could realistically make that a lifestyle".
The plan has to have eating natural food at its core.
It has to be balanced, meaning it's not massively heavy on one macro nutrient (carbohydrate, protein or fat).
It has to fit your lifestyle, we are all so busy nowadays that it can't just be healthy, but sometimes convenient too.

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Friday, 11 September 2015

Feel comfy in clothes or Ultra Lean?

I remember in a previous gym I worked at, a lady asking a trainer for some "losing weight advice" she was enthusiastically told for the next 15 minutes how she could be in the best shape of her life and have incredibly low body fat.

After which I watched her walk off and join her friend on an exercise bike, after settling in on her bike, she exclaimed to her friend who had seen what was happening that it all sounded too much and she was going back to which ever extreme diet she had followed that either didn't work or brought about short term results before she gained it back.

Don't get me wrong, it was good information, it just didn't quite match the ladies goal, she just wanted to drop a few pounds and feel more comfortable in her clothes.

The action plan has to be relative to the goal. 

For some specific weight loss advice- read on!

Healthy Weight Maintenance: Firstly how very lucky! If it's through discipline and eating healthy, way to go! 
If you just have amazing genetics, better just keep it to yourself before you become unpopular!
Seriously though, for most of us, it does require being healthy most of the time, so this is something to keep doing, otherwise you may need to read the next tip very soon or the one after...

Nearly there, few pounds to lose:
Again, good going! If clothes are still steadily getting baggier, keep doing what you are doing! If you have hit a plateaux, go back to your nutrition, can you further decrease any high energy foods, spread portions across the day, change up your exercise programme a little.

Got at least a stone (14lbs)  to lose:
Again if you are already losing steadily, keep doing what you are doing. If it's slowed, back to nutrition habits, don't try and change everything, but start to decrease high energy foods, increase healthy protein and healthy fat, watch portion size and aim to do a couple of strength training circuits a week.

More than a stone (14+ lbs)
Losing that much over time should have a big positive effect on your life, firstly figure out how it would change and benefit yours.
Nutrition habits are always the place to begin, decreasing food you know isn't good for you, implement things steadily, try and find food that is both healthy and tastes good, that way you have a better chance of making it a lifestyle.

Actually I want to be in the best shape of my life, with super low bodyfat!:
It's all about the discipline / life balance, but careful random people might ask you sternly "do you even eat anything other than Chicken and Brocholi?"

Monday, 7 September 2015

Is your Weight Loss slow, despite low Calorie / low fat?

For health and weight loss, the body can only process so much fuel or energy per meal. All Carbohydrate sources turn to energy or glucose to be converted to glycogen, the bodies fuel source.
Body Fat is a secondary stored energy source (the bodies preferred and primary source is Carbohydrate) 
So if the goal is to be leaner or to avoid illnesses such as diabetes, then Carbohydrate has to be moderated.
But different Carbohydrates have different amounts of fuel as illustrated above.
Vegetables contain very little fuel whilst you can see that in bread (and also Pasta, Rice, Potatoes and most cereals) that even a small amount contains a lot of fuel.
In the industry we tend to use the 30 grams of Carbohydrate maximum per meal advice as most servings are 30g and the average person (whom I'm yet to meet :))
can only process a maximum of 30 grams of Carbohydrate per meal.
If weight loss is the goal, this is one of the tips that will have the most effect, when it comes down to foods containing energy or fuel, what is not processed and used by the body goes into storage. How do we store our surplus energy? Body Fat!
So by moderating our energy intake each meal, we will not be storing.
Bottom line; have a big portion of Vegetables per meal but if you are trying to lose weight then rely on Vegetables mostly for your fuel or have very small portions of the high energy Carbohydrates.