Tag Archives: Nutrition

To vegan or not to vegan, that is the question.

Should you go vegan?

Yes or no?

The choice is yours.

I’m not vegan, however I know plenty and they’re happy as Larry.

Fairly healthy too.

They’re also not the preachy kind either who try to force their beliefs on you, they’re like real sensible people who just want an easy sustainable life 🙂

Did you know there are a lot of reasons going vegan improves people health:

– They start eating more nutritious vegetables
– Processed food intakes takes a considerable dive
– A greater awareness of their food is gained
– Accountability, consistency and adherence suddenly appear
– Eating more nutritionally dense foods, yep this again

There are more reasons, however those are the initial ones.

Do I feel this is for everyone?

Nope.

However it’s not as terrible as some people make out, for starters you won’t waste away (unless you’re not planning your meals correctly and eating enough calories).

You will get plenty of protein.

The food options you’ll have are numerous.

All in all you’ll have little to none of the perceived issues that people say you will have, unless YOU aren’t planning your nutritional needs correctly, however that’s all on you, nothing to do with being vegan.

As with anything it’s a choice, be that for moral or perceived health reasons.

You often find when you get in to discussion with people about these topics they take one of two routes for some reason to convince you of their bias/point:

– argumentum ad passione (appeal to emotions)
– argumentum ad hominem (personal attacks)

Sometimes both.

Occasionally people draw in morality to the fray as well, usually rendering their points moot at best.

If you want to get a point across try to be reasonable and friendly, attacking someones morality or trying to emotionally blackmail them isn’t the most optimal route to take, just saying.

Now in our modern world we can live in any which way we choose, however it seems that people want to force others to conform.

If said people don’t conform all hell breaks loose.

When contemplating a choice try to gather the facts, the unbiased, non-emotionally charged facts.

Them look at the bigger picture and decide if it’s for you.

Say it is for you, great, fill your boots.

However perhaps it’s not, no worries, let go of that thought process and move on.

Seems simple enough, right?

If you’ve been toying with the idea or transitioning, do your research and perhaps give it a go, or don’t, it’s your choice after all.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Calories Calories Calories

Think we need a nutrition post, haven’t had one in a while.

Morning All,

This is one where the PT’s/Coaches can get involved and display how they work with their clients.

Calories.

Despite what some Guru’s claim, they do matter.

Those crafty little things that people seem to struggle to have any form of candour with when tracking them.

At a base level, for those without any for of genetic or medical conditions, calories influence you the following ways:

Energy balance 101 –

– Positive Energy Balance = Calorie Surplus = Weight Gain
– Negative Energy Balance = Calorie Deficit = Weight Loss
– Energy Balance = Caloric Maintenance = Weight maintenance

Pretty simple.

Your own personal caloric needs will differ depending on these and other factors:

– Age
– Activity (TDEE)
– Lean Mass
– Hormones
– Current Weight

There are other factors as well such as TEF & NEAT/NEPA, however these will do for the purpose of this post.

We can also look at macros as well however that will be best suited to another day.

The big question now is this.

How do you establish the calories you need each day?

This is in regards to weight maintenance, once you know how many you need to consume to sustain your current physique you can manipulate then accordingly for your desired goal.

You have the following methods to choose form:

The Katch-McArdle Equation
The Cunningham Formula
The Mifflin-St Jeor Equation
The Revised Harris-Benedict Equation
The Owen Equation
The WHO/FAO/UNU Equation
The Aragon RMR Equation
The Eric Helms M&S Pyramid Equation

To name a few.

Those will all give you an estimate of your BRM (Basal Metabolic Rate) from here you’d then take the number provide by them and use an ‘Activity Multiplier’ to get again an estimate of your total calories for daily needs.

It’s worth noting that as with anything these are estimates.

There will always be some degree of movement, you’ll even find with the different equations above there can be up to a 300 calorie difference between them.

An older equation I’ve used was pilfered from a book called PowerLifting and is as follows:

(This give you calories for your daily needs based on your goal)

Losing Weight = BW in Lbs X 11-13

Gaining Weight = BW in Lbs X 17-19

I’ve found these to be pretty similar numbers wise to all of the others that involve activity multipliers and so on.

However if I do use this with a client I will not necessarily put them straight at those calorie targets.

What typically happens is the target is compared to their current (this is established by having them track all their foods by the number for 2-3 weeks to gain a solid understanding of how much they’re eating).

Once this is done calories will be dropped or increased periodically by 50 per week until their is movement on the scales, then we stop adding and stay there until the scale stalls again, at which time 50 is added/dropped each week until steady movement once again begins.

This is repeated until people fall in the target ranges estimated form above, typically.

It has always seemed that people want an all or nothing approach with nutrition.

They want nutrition plans that they evidently won’t stick to (plus not many are actually qualified to write them anyway).

Or they want that drastic calorie drop because they think it will get them faster results, which is does for about 4 weeks and then they crash and burn in a glorious blaze.

You have to remember you can also factor in training, recovery and various other things as well.

If you start to hard and fast you soon find you run out of places to go, I speak from experience on this one.

How do you establish your calories?

What recommendations do you give your clients?

Perhaps you have questions on the above, if so feel free to pop them down below.

Let’s get discussing that ever so complicated (which is needn’t be) topic of nutrition.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Break your pattern

7 day weeks are overrated.
 
Especially for training.
 
Morning All,
 
When it comes to frequency of training we know that we should be hitting each muscle group or movement at least twice per week.
 
You can also look at this from the standpoint of hitting the muscle or movement every 3-5 days.
 
Most people do this by running on a 7day week, which is fair enough, most people have lives after all.
 
That said, there is a more interesting way.
 
Our body is a clever thing, it will begin to remember the pattern we adopt and as such we may unknowingly sabotage our progress.
 
Have you ever though about a rolling routine for your training?
 
Now if you have no training restrictions and can train on any day then a simple 4 day split of; Pull-Push-Legs-Rest-Repeat will work very well.
 
If you are constrained to the 7 day week fear not, you can still utilise a rolling training program while hitting the optimal frequency of every 3-5 days (2 exposures in a 7 day period), you just won’t train the same workout each time.
 
Say you have only 4 days a week to train:
 
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday
 
If you use the split above it might look like this:
 
Pull, Push, Legs, Pull – Week 1
Push, Legs, Pull, Push – Week 2
Legs, Pull, Push, Legs – Week 3
 
You can see it’s a three week rotation and you’re hitting each muscle every 3-5days while also not doing them on the same day of the week, meaning some extra mental stimulation as well.
 
You also have to factor in exercise crossover.
 
^^ Deadlift & squat for example, both hit the legs and posterior chain. Perhaps you have get ups as a warm up & prowler on Leg day as a finisher, these also hit the upper body isometrically, make sense?
 
As you can see there is no lack of logical structure here.
 
Something what would be very useful is perhaps having 3 distinct workout options (think same but different), so that each 3 day block of training hits the same muscle/movement actions just with different variations of the same exercises.
 
Then you’d set yourself the task of doing each 3 day mini cycle 6-8 times, progressing by a doing weight, sets or reps as needed.
 
That would mean you have a solid program that will last anywhere from 18-24 weeks.
 
Talk about forward planing for long term gains.
 
Here is an example of different movements you may use (I will give you 3 main lifts & variations per day) –
 
Pull –
Deadlift
Deficit Snatch Grip Deadlift
Block Pull
 
Push –
Standard Grip Bench Press
Close Grip Bench Press
Incline Press
 
Legs –
Squat
Front Squat
Hack Squat
 
This is with the main lift, I’d then advise perhaps 2-3 accessory lifts, erring on the side of 2 as over the years I’ve found less is more.
 
Guess what, you can also have different options for each of the accessory movements as well, talk about variety planned in to a specific goal.
 
Now this might seem like a lot of effort, however it works, it works well to be honest, it works best when combined with optimal nutrition (calories set accordingly of your goal).
 
Give it some thought, if you can’t cray it yourself feel free to ask for some help on here.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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What’s harder?

What’s harder, training or nutrition?
 
Now this is a common question and the answer for most is almost always the nutrition.
 
The funny thing is nutrition isn’t really that hard, you either need to be in a calorie surplus or deficit (depending on your goal), from there you will do well to keep a nutrition diary and record your foods, calories/macros too if you’re that focused.
 
Next you will do well to opt to eat mostly whole foods, however this is not a necessity although it is preferable for health and performance purposes.
 
This again isn’t hard, yet people will makes excuses, piss wings and moan that is it because of the following REAL reason; they don’t want to have to change bad habits.
 
Might sound harsh, however that doesn’t stop it being true.
 
Now as written above, you don’t HAVE to change the foods you eat, provided your calories/macros are set correctly and you hit them you can choose the foods sources, so the excuse of “Good nutrition is too restrictive and hard to stick to” gets thrown out of the window, now it’s just a case of you hitting the number you need to.
 
This is where tracking your calories etc becomes important, again though, you don’t have to, just don’t expect much in the way of progress if yo don’t know what you’re eating calorie wise.
 
Some will chuck in the barrier or “Well I don’t know who to work this out” which again is a redundant excuse considering all the calculators that are available to people, not to mention you can also speak to a respected of successful trainer/coach and have them do it for you.
 
My suggestion would be Eric Helms and his work, or look up the Harris-Benedict calorie calculation formula, boom no more barriers or confusion.
 
Everyone, I don’t mean to sound cynical or jaded, yet I am, this is because over the years I have developed less and less patience for people poor excuses and lack of drive to achieve a result.
 
You have two options really, you either want to make a change, in which case myself and many other people in this industry will bend over backwards to help you. OR, you don’t really want to change in which case we wish you all the best and we can end our conversations promptly.
 
Now as people who want to help we can give you all the tools, help you stay accountable, speak to you daily to make sure you have all the support you need, however if you don’t want to change no amount of help from us or anyone else will make you want to change, that decision has to come from you, from your heart.
 
The knowledge of knowing what will help you in getting results isn’t hard, it’s not the training or the nutrition that is hard, it’s making the conscious choice to change.
 
We, I want to help you, however the real question is do you want to help yourself?
 
Give it some thought.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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The secret that all fat loss diets don’t want you to know

Diets, there’s certainly a lot of them, especially of the weight loss variety.
 
Keto
Paleo
Carb Cycling
IIFYM
Mediterranean
Zone
Atkins
The Blood of Your Enemies
5:2
Intermittent Fasting
And many many more
 
You’ll find a lot of them actually work to some degree and the reason for that is typically one that all have in common.
 
A calorie deficit.
 
The main factor in shifting weight downwards on the scales is being in a calorie deficit, or negative energy balance, you’ll find this can be achieved via a purely nutritional deficit or a combination of nutrition and training.
 
If you do aim to mix training (weight lifting) and nutrition to create a good deficit you’ll find that you get a better result, this is because your body will now have an inherent need to maintain muscle and strength while shifting fat, meaning you’ll achieve that ‘toned’ look that is wanted.
If you’re in a deficit you will become lighter, that’s just how the body works, even if you’re eating ‘bad foods’, while food choice is important for health reasons, a deficit is a deficit, you can technically each jelly beans and toast and shift weight, provide you’re in a deficit, however I’d advise eating more whole foods, unless you don’t care for your heath, your choice.
 
Nothing fancy today, just a few words on how to shift the excess and those words are, caloric deficit (or negative energy balance for the science nerds).
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Step 1: Get up earlier

How do you start your day?
For many it is by seeking out every last second they can in bed, followed by a lacklustre meal, usually cereal of something convenient and then off to work, however before th sit down at their desk this is some form of coffee laden drink at their side because they just can’t function without one.
Does this sound like you?
If it does the chances are you’re not quite in the shape that you desire and have that lovely spare tyre around your midsection, not to mention you struggle to focus and always feel tired/crap.
Sound familiar?
A lot of people got to be too late, get up as close to the rise as possible and inadequately fuel their body.
Today we shall look at a nice little routine for the mornings that will achieve the following:
– Better body composition
– Optimal health
– Mental focus
– Create a positive new habit & lifestyle change
Here is how you do it in 5 easy to follow steps.
Step 1: Get up earlier, stand by the bed and take 10 deep breaths, this will help wake you up
Step 2: 10min Kettlebell Workout upon waking, you can choose what to do
Step 3: Shower & get ready for work
Step 4: Make a nutritious meal of breakfast, perhaps salmon, eggs and spinach
Step 5: Don’t buy coffee, you don’t need it, opt for water instead
I can already hear a lot of people complaining and coming up with their excuses, if you’re one of them that’s okay, I’m not interested in those who don’t want to help themselves so you may continue as you are.
If you’re one of the few who has read this and wants to make a change then I salute you.
You owe your health to no one, especially not me, do it for yourself and make the positive lifestyle changes you need to succeed.
Enjoy,
Ross

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Stop blaming others for YOUR shortcomings.

We live in a world where shifting the blame is common place, no one wants to take responsibility for anything, least of all their own health.
 
“Fast food companies & sugary drinks are to blame.”
 
“Saturated fats are to blame.”
 
“Carbs are to blame.”
 
No, you’re to blame.
 
Not companies, not individual foods, not work stress, no your kids, YOU.
 
The problem is you and your choices.
 
If we look at things logically we can discern why people crave certain foods from a deficiencies standpoint, we can even see the seeking of sugary to increase serotonin levels and other such things, however the way we deal with our needs is down to no one but ourselves.
 
People are gluttonous, greedy and selfish when it comes to doing what they want and when the guilt sets in they find excuses rather than dealing with any potential negative mental associates/coping mechanisms they’ve created.
 
It needs to stop.
 
The great many need to understand that when all is said and done the buck stops with them. They hold all the control of their own choices, no one can really force them to make one, not really.
 
Look at nutrition, it’s all on you.
 
Reflection is something everyone should practice because taking the time to sit and look back over ourselves and our choices can provide clarity, if we let it, or we could bury our heads in the sand, your choice.
 
Give it some thought.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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How nutrition is a lot like moving house.

A simple analogy for nutrition that will change the way you think.
 
If you’re driving to a certain destination for let’s say a permanent house move, you know, moving from a 2 bed semi to a 3 bed detached, how do you get there?
 
Easy, by planning a route and continuing to drive towards said destination.
 
If you stop, you don’t get any closer to it.
 
If you turn around and go back to your previous one (the 3 bed semi) you have gone backwards to where you were before in stead of going to your new home (3 bed detached), obviously, which seems silly, doesn’t it.
 
Now apply that to nutrition.
 
You pick a goal.
You move towards your goal by making small sustainable lifestyle.
If you stop making the changes you stop processing.
If you go back to old habits you end up back where you started.
 
^^ How is this hard for people to understand?
 
If you want lasting results you need to make a lasting change.
 
Much like moving home, you don’t upgrade a house and then go back to living in your old one, you change, yet it seems many people think nutrition is an exception to this rule. They make a change, get results and then expect to keep that change by eating as they used to (excessively).
 
Madness.
 
Give the analogy some thought.
 
Do you want to move forwards or stay where you are, because once you go forwards there are then only three options after that.
 
1 – Keep moving forwards, on to a 4 bed (optimal)
2 – Stay where you are because you’re happy, in your 3 bed
3 – Go backwards, returning to your 2 bed semi
 
Your choice.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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A diet option of old.

Carb Cycling.
 
What is it?
 
While it has a fancy name, carb cycling simply means eating more carbohydrates on some days and less on others, usually used when people are ‘cutting’ and in a calorie deficit.
 
You will find this method of dieting also fits in quite well for a lot of people.
 
Typically you’ll have a high carb day – for my clients this would be a day where they are eating back at their maintenance calories pre-cut. Plenty of choice and mixture of simple/complex carbs.
 
A medium carb day – I will program this for the majority of training days, usually meaning they are in a deficit of 500 calories form maintenance. Mostly complex carbs with simper ons saved for post workout.
 
A low carb day – As you can guess this is a day where the carbs are scarce, I will often advice a lot of veg (the ultimate low carb volume producer) on this day to increase food volume. Not uncommon for people to have a deficit of 750+ from their maintenance on this day, these are days with little activity and no training typically.
 
Now you can plan a specific set of L-M-H days to achieve the calorie deficit they needs or you can set an overall ‘weekly or monthly deficit’ you’d like you client to achieve and give them free run to use the days how they’d like; just make them aware that if they use too many high days they will have little to no wiggle room by the end of the month and potentially get no progress due to not hitting their required deficit.
 
Find what method works for acc individual.
 
Personally I’m a big fan of the target deficit, you can then track how they do from progress pictures and adjust calories up or down as needed.
 
Try it and see how it works for you.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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