Monthly Archives: March 2018


Well, That Was Waste Of Time

What am I talking about?

Diets! weight watchers, calorie counting, bulking, cutting, slimming world, fasting, clean eating and IIFYM (if-it-fits-your-macros) they are all a waste of time if you want a healthy longterm solution to a fit lean body and I am unhappy to say I found out the hard way. I have yoyo dieted tried almost everything to get lean and in shape for good and nothing worked. Yeah, I got a result (although some diets were too overwhelming for me to do for more than 2 weeks), as soon as I went out and enjoyed myself or stopped following the religious diet I very quickly went back to being not so lean and out of shape. Yeah, it’s obvious it would happen but I didn’t think It would so bloody quick.

I Have Some Good News Though

I found what actually works long term for a lean, healthy and in shape body that is actually sustainable.

Habit-Based Nutrition

Is the best way by far for long-term sustainable results and is what I recommend and coach my clients on. WHY? well, habits make up our lives from brushing our teeth to driving our cars they are all habits instinctively performed each day without effort or thought. Imagine being able to say the same about eating a healthy diet and leading a healthy lifetsyle. Now, let’s look back at the other forms of diet you may have done or seen in the past. They have you banish the processed foods and sweets from your home and eat their way straight away not to mention the products you may have to buy. Have you ever not hit a goal or result and just gave up because you were overwhelmed? You most likely had too much information to get through or tried to do too much at once. If this is you, I would like to share an amazingly powerful principle with you, one that will increase your chances of success and not just a small bit.

If you use the strategies here, your chances will go through the roof from less than 35% to more than 80%. That’s the difference between “maybe this will work” and “this is totally going happen.” This is the game changer and you know why it’s not everywhere or you haven’t heard of it before. It’s because it’s too simple and it’s not marketable to sell to you and make money. The main reason why all of these flashy diets you see on the market are still around is that they are still the same people coming back for more and more because they keep yo-yo dieting getting a result quickly if they stick to the strict yet sometimes overwhelming plan and then not being able to hold onto it, shortly reverting back into the same old eating habits that got them fat and out of shape to start with. Habit-based coaching works for to the long-term meaning you don’t have to come back for more. Its a slow and steady wins the race kind of strategy that works.

Focusing on less helps you achieve more.

For habit based nutritional change you need the commitment to one habit change every 2 weeks if you try do 2 or more you dramatically reduce your chances of staying on track and end up not sticking with it or not mastering any one habit change. You only move on once you are confident in your new habit and if not just continue until you do. It’s best to start off easy and gradually get more difficult as you go.

less-is-more-791109_1920

Here are some good habits to try for a lean and toned body…

  • Eat slowly count 60 chews a bite.
  • Stop eating when your 80% full.
  • Build a sleep ritual by reading 1 hour before bed with dimed lights.
  • Drink 1 glass of warm water with lemon with each meal.
  • Have 1 serving of protein each meal.
  • Get in 5 servings of fruit or vegetables each day.
  • Walk for 20 minutes each morning.
  • Eat only whole foods for 1 week straight.
  • Write a sentence of gratitude in your journal before bed every day.

To have the best success with this you need to keep yourself accountable by having someone check on you. If you don’t have someone you can declare your goals to the world on social media and keep them updated as you go. Our habit based coaching programs are designed just for you, your needs and goals. Get in touch if you want help today.

 

5 Weight-loss Myths **BUSTED**

 

When it comes to weight-loss the sheer amount of fake or misleading information online is cruel. It is all about making money for huge companies or even small time personal trainers trying to make a shady bit of cash. I have put together my top 5 weight-loss myths to help you gain the knowledge to make better choices and fewer mistakes for better, quicker results.

1. Eating less will make you less fat.

 

If you have extra body-fat to lose just eating less won’t be enough to get rid of it. Most people think that the scales tell a true story of how we are losing fat, however as you lose weight on the scales it can mostly be water weight and precious muscle mass being lost and not mostly fat. Best to use a measuring tape or how your clothes are fitting as well as the scales (but only use it at most once per week). Remember our bodies fluctuate in weight too, especially woman at that time of the month.

 

You should be looking to optimise health and body composition by eating a balanced and healthy diet of fruits and vegetable with lean meats, eggs and other wholes foods, limiting junk and sugary drinks. Eating enough to be satisfied but not bloated and full as hell is a good habit to get into as well.

 

Try not to restrict yourselves either, doing that only leads to binging and yoyo dieting which is crap. Have your favourite foods in moderation and optimally after hard training sessions or activities.

 

By increasing muscle mass with resistance training and staying generally active you will not only lose the unwanted fat quicker but change your shape to look and feel strong and sexy as hell too.

2. Eating Fat Is Bad For You

 

Luckily the world is starting to realise that the outdated research on fat from the 70s is a load of bull. You see a scientist did a pretty bad experiment a long time ago that resulted in giving fat and cholesterol a bad name. The science was flawed and unfortunately it caught on in the media and people started to steer clear of fat. Then what happened the food product companies saw a gap in the market for low-fat diet products and this started the BILLION-euro fat-free diet food industry, was it on purpose? maybe so.

 

For example, fat-free spreads, low-fat yoghurts, or low-fat milk to name only a few, became normal household food products for most of the population.

 

What’s the problem you might say?

 

Well, fat gives food a nice taste and if it is taken away it needs to be replaced and what tastes great and is very cheap? Sugar, sugar became a key ingredient in most of these fat-free products to make it taste good and become really addictive. We know now that too much sugar is bad for us and causes serious diseases like type 2 diabetes and obesity, among other health problems.

 

Unfortunately, the food industries know people are catching on with the bad effects of sugar in our diets and children’s diets. So, now they use taste enhancers or chemically enhanced sugar or sugars with different names, for example, aspartame, fructose, maltodextrin and sucrose to name just a few, sneaking the sugar into food products. They will try and get away with whatever is just about legal.

 

Let’s not forget the health benefits of fat, a staple healthy necessary macronutrient (large main nutrient) in every person’s diet. Naturally occurring fat in our whole foods or minimally processed fats/oils are a great healthy part of our diets…

 

That helps us:

 

  • balance blood sugars (steady energy levels)
  • produce hormones to help our body function properly
  • provide key nutrients like Omega 3, 6 for a healthy heart
  • get good cholesterol into our blood called HDL (high, density, lipid proteins)

 

Some examples of fat in foods avocados, fish, steak, nuts, rapeseed oil, real butter and coconut oil to name only a few.

 

3. Cardio Or HIIT Or Weights Are The Best For Weight-loss.

 

This one is simple and short in explanation, to show you how simple it is…

 

No one way or the other is best, it’s a combination of all, with good sleep/recovery and sound nutrition. But nothing remarkable will happen without consistency & commitment.

 

4. Protein makes you bulky

 

Firstly, if you don’t know the definition of bulky its big, brawny, muscular or thick and it could be used like this, I want to bulk up or, I’m too bulky for this t-shirt.

 

Protein does not make you bulky. Just like carbs and fats don’t make you bulky. Protein builds & repairs damaged muscles and helps with other bodily functions. In order to become bulky, if you are not naturally a bulky person already, is to eat more food than you need while consistently damaging your muscles with resistance training. If you are bulky and don’t like it, eat healthier and move more to try to lean up a bit, as most mistake bulk for fat. If you’re trying to trim and slim up and your already lean (have little bodyfat) then you can look at dieting and endurance training to burn away muscle mass.

 

As always things take time and effort so don’t try something for only a month and expect results, do it for at least 3 or until your pleased with the results, then evaluate and make a plan to continue for the future. My advice would be learning to love and embrace your body and be proud of your good points and live with your not so good points unless it impedes your health and happiness. Everybody has hang-ups on their body, remember no-bodies perfect.

5. Detox Diets Are Good

 

Have you been a victim of being sold a detox diet? Let’s explain why you have been conned.

 

Your body, the thing you live in is extremely smart and runs like a universe inside you. Detoxification happens in your body no matter what you do, it has built-in detox organs called the liver and kidneys.

 

Some detox diets “CLAIM” you can be healthier and lose weight. However, there is no scientific evidence to back up such claims. Therefore it’s not worth shit.

 

Some types of detox diets

  • Cutting out all foods except fruits and vegetables.
  • Eating only 1 meal per day and drinking water all day
  • Special tea’s/shakes replacing some or all meals.
  • Fasting or a combo of these

Be aware that most detox diets try and sell you something, for example, pills, herbals, teas, and instructions to be able to start them. It’s a money maker so don’t fall for it, the person selling them to you might even have your best interest at heart, but they are just ill informed of the bull shit.

 

You may lose weight and people may be able to show you proof but it is most likely unsustainable weight loss and it gets put on as soon as the detox diet is finished, and detox diets are short lived. They don’t last long. When people lose weight in such drastic way, it’s mostly water weight and valuable muscle mass, with little fat actually burnt off.

 

If you don’t mind wasting money and not being sure if the detox diet is safe and you really want to try one it’s up to you. The kickstart and placebo may help you for the beginning but nothing is better than just eating clean drinking water and exercising.

 

How to detox healthily

Or should I say how to help your already detoxing body detox?

Drink more water to help speed up the process. About 8 glasses per day and eating clean. Eating clean is eating real whole foods, plenty of fruit and veg and organic meats, eggs, nuts and legumes, cutting out the junk and processed packaged food.

5 Key Habits Of Healthy People

 

When it comes to being healthy it’s all a combination of small simple daily habits. Everyone has habits even the most disorganised people. Top psychologists say that habits come in 3 stages.

The trigger- Something that reminds you to do a certain action

The action- The behaviour you do after the trigger

The outcome- The pleasurable outcome of the behaviour.

For example: When you wake up from hearing your alarm that is your trigger, to make you do the action of getting up and starting your day, giving you’re the pleasure of living or seeing what your day has to offer.

The problem is that most of the time the human brain wants to be safe, comfortable and seek easy pleasures all the time. So, the human brain will do its absolute best to do this, even if it damages your health in the long-term, for example, eating cake for breakfast or ordering takeaway pizza every day.

 

So, the best way to set new healthy habits is to join them up with current habits. Why? for adults, it is extremely hard to form new habits or get rid of old ones. The neuropathways are set very deeply into your brain. The best way is to replace and bump away bad habits with good ones by getting rid of triggers as best you can or add-on habits to a current daily habit like after you brush your teeth at night make it your business to put your gym bag in the front seat of your car.

For example: If you eat a bar of chocolate at night don’t buy it or have a replacement like smaller frozen dark chocolates in the freezer or brush your teeth after dinner so you are disrupting the old habit you have had, because who wants to eat after brushing their teeth at night.

Making your gym bag before bed time and leaving it in the front seat of your car. Do this enough times, say 21 times, it will soon be a habit that gives you pleasure.

Seeing the bag in your car triggers the action of actually going the gym then the pleasure and endorphins of training will set a habit for you branching it off of the current habit of brushing your teeth the night before

 

The Healthy Habits

  1. After brushing your teeth in the morning drink 2 spoons of apple cider vinegar with water at room temperature. This will get the juices flowing in your stomach and kick-start your metabolism. This also helps with your gut health, improving your ability to absorb nutrients from food better .Then having a high protein, high-fat breakfast with no processed carbs will help you stay lean and healthy.

 

 

  1. Put all electronics including phones outside of the bedroom at night and wind down 1 hour before bed by reading a book or writing a few sentences of gratitude for the day you have had, example- grateful for a home, food and family etc? This will keep you social and be living in the real world not wasting life on social media. Plus, you get much better-quality sleep.

 

  1. When you go shopping make sure you have had a good meal and make a shopping list to what you plan on eating for the week. You don’t want to be starving while walking past the cream cakes now do you. We all know what happens there.

 

  1. Eat at the dinner table with family and make it a social celebration of life and communication. Don’t just stuff your face in the sitting room alone watching cartoons on TV that’s only ok for teenagers in puberty.

 

  1. When possible don’t use the car. Walk to your friend’s house, shopping market or work if its local enough. If you use public transport get off a stop or 2 before reaching your destination. If you want to be really cool, cycle to work if it’s too far to walk. This will all add up to a few more calories burned but more importantly increase your life expectancy, and help the planet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Fitness Products That Every Fitness Enthusiast Needs

 

Gadgets can help you stick with the program or just make things easier. I have 3 of the essential fitness products every fitness enthusiast needs.

1. A Foam Roller

Unless you are a top-class athlete with money to burn you won’t have a masseuse with you at all training sessions. So, the next best thing is a foam roller. It’s like having a personal masseuse with you whenever you need one. But at a one-off investment of 10 to 30 euro or so, they are a hell of a lot cheaper and convenient once you know how to use one properly.

 

Why is it important for every gym-goer or active person to have one? Every muscle in our body is made up of fibres and each muscle has a skin around it called the facia. It’s like a sausage skin.

 

When we exercise we use our muscles and they become torn and even the thin fibres that make up the muscle tissue becomes cross-linked and stuck together. This is what gives us the soreness after working hard a day or 2 after. That and dead blood that was used to carry oxygen and glycogen (energy-sugar) to the muscle cells. If left untreated you can develop bad mobility in your joints, more injuries and chronic pain.

 

Here is a foam rolling exercise video to do before training sessions, or just to do to keep your body mobile, injury and pain-free. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEyLrs-Ps7Q

 

2. A BPA free Water Bottle

poison-684990_1920

 

You would think drinking from a water bottle was ok. However, a lot of plastic containers are damaging to our health. Most water bottles are made of plastic, aren’t they? Well, plastics are made up of polymers literally meaning “many units” these are the blocks that build plastic after going through a chemical change.

 

How do we know if a plastic is safe? If they go through detailed tests from food authorities, labs and independent third-party labs.

What is BPA = Bisphenol A is a monomer (single unit of plastic) used in some plastic to coat food tin cans to prevent metal degrading from containing food. Another one is BPS Bisphenol S. These are some labels you will see on bottles stating that they do not contain these chemicals which is good. Provided that this is not a lie. Get reputable brands.

 

Why is BPA bad?

It is said that BPA and other plastic chemicals mimic and can mess up our hormones. The very hormones we need to function properly and reach fat loss and muscle building goals. Our sex hormones oestrogen and testosterone and more are affected by the toxins in plastics. When you buy a bottle of water they say on it do not reuse, leave in sunshine or heat and consume within 2 days or so.

 

This is because the chemicals like BPA can seep into the water we are drinking damaging our health slowly but surely. A question for you? Have you ever been thirsty and seen you had a bottle of water sitting in the car, probably for days in sun heat and the water tasted like chemicals after you drank it? I know I did.

 

So, what can we do? Invest in a decent water container from a good brand and keep it clean. I know bodyfirst.ie do great BPA free water jugs try them out, they do large and small and in blue and pink.

 

3. Proper Fitness Footwear

athlete-847657_1920

Depending on your training the optimal footwear is essential. This really depends on your commitment and budget too. You see if your lifting weights a lot, as in deadlifting, squatting, Olympic lifting etc you are better off investing in a good pair of weightlifting shoes. This will make things easier, safer and optimise your major lifts.

 

If you are running long distance or sprinting, you need the right type of runner while considering your foot shape too. This will help you perform better going faster and lasting longer. Plus, you will lessen your chances of getting injured and rubbing causing blisters.

 

For weight-lifting, you can spend approximately 160 to 250 on shoes. Just remember you will lift more as you will get more force from the floor as there is no cushioning under you, unlike running shoes. You also get a nice bit of ankle height to help you squat deeper, especially if your ankle mobility is bad. You also get more stability security. If you don’t have the budget or the commitment though, you can use a pair of tight vans or converse hightops.

For long distance running a pair of aisics seem to be best. You will spend over 90 to 250 euros though for this brand. These runners will give you great cushioning, durability and stability. But if your looking to save money you can opt for the Nike, Adidas or other good brands you will spend 30 to 100 for these.

 

Then you have your fashionable gym runner that has no purpose other than being comfortable while doing bicep curls in the squat rack.

 

5 Simple Ways to Lose Belly Fat This Week

 

Belly fat for most is where we begin to gain weight and it is also where it’s last to go. Whether you have tried before and failed or are on a mission to get the last few lbs off the belly to show your abs. These top 5 simple ways to lose belly fat will help you in the short term but more importantly, they are actually long-term solutions too.

 

1. Speed up your gut movement:

By speeding up your guts digestion you are essentially speeding up your metabolism. Your metabolism is responsible for converting the food you eat into usable energy for your body to use. So, when you’re eating the right food and eating it slowly, chewing a lot, drinking enough water, being active etc your speeding up your metabolism. Think of your digestive system as a plumed pipe in a house toilet that goes in a zig-zag around bends carrying stuff (crap)

 

Your digestive system is just like that only longer, 30 feet on average all packed into the trunk of our bodies. If you throw bits of chunky cardboard or rolls of toilet paper down the toilet it gets clogged up yeah!! or slows down the flow of water waste. It’s the same with eating junk food and not even chewing it enough to go down to your stomach smoothly. It will clog and slow down your digestion, metabolism and gains & fat-loss.

 

 

2. Sleep more

 

Get into bed 1 hour before you usually do, starting tonight. Instead of watching Netflix or scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed. Just go asleep. If this seems difficult-(You may even say) “watching tv or using my phone helps me nod off” Well it doesn’t get you quality sleep. The bright lights and exciting news really excites the brain and keeps it active when you should be winding down. Try changing your sleeping habits a little with these 3 simple steps.

 

  1. Put all electronics out of your bedroom including TV’s and mobile phones (if you need an alarm put it on your phone and leave it in your bathroom or get an old-school alarm clock. The bedroom is for sleep, relaxing and sex and nothing else. Doing this gets rid of the temptation to check your phone too.

 

  1. Sprinkle a few drops of lavender extract oil on your pillow this is a natural sleep aid and yes it really works.

 

  1. Have your last meal about 2 ½ to 3 hours before bedtime and make sure its high in protein and fats and low in carbs. A carb-heavy meal can sit in your stomach and make you feel uncomfortable while sleeping plus carbs are usually needed for intense training and eaten before bed they are most likely going to be stored as fat as they won’t be used up. Especially if you’re the type of person that looks at bread and puts on body fat.

 

 3. Be aware of the liquid calories

 

If you struggle to lose fat and get lean and you think you eat healthily. Then your problem could be in the high-calorie drinks you have. You could swap them for less calorific options…

 

  • Gin and tonics instead of sugary cocktails,
  • Coconut/almond milk instead of Cows milk
  • Light beers instead of Guinness,
  • or fruit and veg juices/smoothies instead of cokes and other fizzy drinks

 

  • Or drink less of them

 

  • Or ditch them for much-needed water or green tea.

 

When you add up all the liquid drinks you could be easily getting in too much energy/calories from them and still feel hungry. Therefore, totally stopping your fat-loss goals. It is much better to eat food calories as this will fill you and provide less sugar and more protein.

 

For example, a 300 calorie chicken salad is going to be more nutritious, filling and healthier than a 300 calorie Starbucks Frappuccino

 

 

4. Use a training and food journal

Writing down everything that you eat and the exercises you do will keep you accountable and help you find the leaks in your lifestyle that need to be changed to help you see more progress. You will become more mindful of what you eat and how active you are. Then after a while, you can change it up slightly to help you speed up the results.

 

 5. Bodyweight HIIT to rev up the fat burning process

HIIT is great for burning fat, it’s fun, it gets you fit, but more importantly, it burns belly fat really quickly.

Combine this with bodyweight you really blow torch the fat burning process

So, bodyweight HIIT is mixing things up from burpees tuck jumps, push-ups,  jumping jacks, plyo lunges and a lot more, in high intensity interval training sessions

 

Example 20 seconds on 10 seconds rest (or the other way around if you’re a beginner) of burpees for 4 rounds. Simple and can be done anywhere. Plus, its can be made easier or header with more or less rest or working time or just changing the exercise.

 

So that’s it, if you do even one of these 5 tips you’ll make a difference but if you do all, you’re in for a nice surprise when you comfortably put on the old favourite jeans you don’t fit into anymore in the next week or 2. Or even reveal that 6 pack after 6-12 weeks.

Let me know how you get on with these I would love to hear If you were able to stick to the plan.

 

Stephen

 

 

 

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close