Tag Archives: Nutrition

Behaviours are Key

A simple method to assist in habit change.
Step 1 – Write down your habits you wish to change
Step 2 – ???
Step 3 – Success!
Of course the step two is the tricky part.
You’ve got plenty of options to choose from you see, and they all tend to work provided the consistency along with the desire to change is there.
This is one of the more notable ones that have shown some success over the years.
– Highlighting behaviours
This entails the current behaviours, them putting the against the desired or necessary behaviours required to elicit change.
Current Behaviour – Excessive drinking causing calorie surplus
Desired Behaviour – Reduced drinking to eliminate calorie surplus and aid towards calorie deficit for achievement of fat loss goal.
How you’d get there might be on one fell swoop or a series of small steps, either method is acceptable, and will vary person to person.
You see honestly assessing behaviours can reveal a lot.
Knowing how to make the changes and also accepting why they’d be positive in the long run can be quite effective for a lot of people.
That being said, this does rely on the person themselves.
While as a PT/coach you can offer support and extra ideas/options for helping create the new habits and have the older one evolve, the desire has to come from the person int question.
Any change won’t happen overnight.
In fact it may take years, so just be aware of that.

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Musings of Lockdown

Nutrition can be tricky at the best of times, in the current state of the world a lot are struggling to make good choices food wise.
While the reasons can be many, these are the common ones:
– Boredom
– Coping Mechanism
– Lack of Control
While some will get offended, others will seek to be educated in the above and for good reason.
You see the more we know the better our chances of success, whatever that means to you.
Stating the obvious here; no one would willingly choose to be morbidly obese, in poor health and happy about it.
When someone says that is their choice and they are happy it really just doesn’t make a lot of sense, chances are it’s something they’ve now learned to say to protect themselves from feeling ashamed.
Shame is quite interesting.
No one wants to feel it and will go to some extreme lengths to achieve a safe space where no shame can get them, that’s a topic for another day though.
Nutriton, or what we need to do in regards to it as an average person can be broken down as follows:
1 – Eat according to our TDEE needs (loss, gain, maintain)
2 – Consume non-processed foods (high nutrient density)
3 – Drink plenty of clear water
When people get bored they ignore numbers 1 & 2 by going after foods that will spike a rise in dopamine, these are usually high in refined carbohydrates and lack nutritional value.
Perhaps great for energy if you’re high active, otherwise they’re just empty calories that people want be they’re bored and need cheering up.
Coping mechanisms often blow 1,2 & 3 out of the water.
People won’t care about their choices of foods or beverage, they just want to ‘feel’ something and will use whatever they can to achieve that feeling.
This is the most dangerous because it is linked to a persons emotions are they won’t want to let that go, simply because when they feel the world is against them they can always good back to food or alcohol for their reprieve, not a good place to be in.
Lastly, lacking control, this can also effect 1,2 or 3 simply because there is no ‘off switch’ and little thought given to longer term consequences of what is consumed.
People are often aware they lack control, it’s a simple case that they just don’t care enough to do something about it.
Reading the above it’s not uncommon for people to feel attacked when these are addressed, often this will prompt one to ask –
“Why do you feel that way?”
So many times we are told to leave people alone to make their own choices.
Yet the same people that say this are the hypocrites that preach helming everyone with their problems etc etc.
The world only care when it needs to or has direct effects that compromise ‘insert persons’ life, otherwise they’ll be a roaring fan for all that is good paying lip service to it, with 0% chance of ever acting on their words.
People generally are very hollow these days.
As such nutrition is something that reveals a lot about a person and the place their in.
Even those who are ‘impeccable’ often do it because it gives them the mens elf absolute control over something, yet they then fall into that realm of neurotic and obsessive (coping mechanism), speaking from personal experience on that one.
What does nutrition mean to you on a personal level, meaning is it something simply to sustain life and you’re quite indifferent or is that more in it for you?
Taking some time in this lockdown to be 100% honest with yourself about why you walk the nutritional path you do can be quite revealing.
As such I will share my musing on this:
‘Simple means for a simple person, not afraid to eat what is enjoyed and won’t allow oneself to over eat because of the deeply intrenched fear of becoming obese.’
Yep, the last part is what really keeps my own nutrition fairly consistent.
The pain of being in such dire straits from being excessively overweight is a pain that doesn’t need to be, nor wants to ever be experienced again.
We can be anything we choose in this life, so why not be better than we used to be.
^ Something that stuck with me from childhood, being the skinny fat kid that got bullied n’all.
You should investigate this thoroughly.

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Nutritional Nightmare

“What sort of things should I be eating?” 
This has to be one of the most commonly asked nutrition questions.
Provided you’re over the age of 12 there is a high probability you understand that eating more natural foods, or what many call whole foods is the way to go.
What he question above is really asking is this:
“What can I do to still eat the way I currently do and make the progress/recomposition I require?”
Sadly in my old grumpiness I tend to have a blank expression on my face when this is asked.
Often followed by myself asking the persons if they ant the truth or what they want to hear.
Many get offended, as you can imagine.
There are literally hundreds of thousands of books on how you can make thousands of meals with minimal ingredients that you could literally grow/raise at home.
Our issue is that as a people we’ve gotten lazy and too used to convenience, which is also why many are now obese.
^ You waist wants to be ideally no bigger than half your height in inches as an absolute max, ideally it’s not near that.
So if you’re 70″ tall, then a 35″ waist is the largest yours would ver want to be, and ideally it could do with being a couple of inches shy of that.
Excess visceral fat is the worst kind for peoples health.
If you’ve got enough belly for multiple people then instead of asking what you should eat, you’d do well to ask yourself this – what do I currently eat?
^^ Make a list of all the things you consume, don’t lie to yourself either about it.
Once you’ve got the list, seek out any comfort/convenience foods and aim for their opposites.
Oh, this doesn’t mean making brownies at home, while that is a nice thing to do occasionally it’ll do little to save you from what was chasing those people in the old Nike adverts.
While I understand it’s tough for some.
The change won’t happen from being told what to eat, it has to come from within you because unless you really want to change or improve you life, well, you won’t.
A harsh truth people don’t want to hear, however that is my answer to the very first question.
You should investigate this thoroughly.

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Scoring points, it’s not all bad

Given the surplus time some have found themselves with, it’s the perfect opportunity to focus on some restorative work.
Training for any goal can come with its fair share of aches, pains, niggle & injuries.
Many of us will forget to focus on long term function for short term success.
True enough some pay a higher price than others, however you’d do well to reduce some of that accrued debt.
What do I mean by this?
Here is a mindset option for you to perhaps adopt once this is all over.
Training 1 Hour = -30 points
Training 10 hours a week total = 300 points cost (debt)
To pay back the debt, here is how you amass credit:
– 8 Hours Sleep (7 days per week*) = +100 points
– Optimal Nutrition (whole foods daily**) = +100 points
– Massage (any external manual therapy) = +30 points
– Meditative Practice (any for 20min) = +20 points
– Mobility/Stretching Work Daily (10min) = +10 points
*meaning 56 total hours of sleep.
**Not eating like a child, high nutrient dense food ideally
As you can see the two that carry the most points are sleep & nutrition, meaning these need to be on point daily for the week to gain you only +200 points against your debt.
However ^^ this means you need this to be on point everyday, otherwise you won’t get the full benefit.
If you do 10 hours a week then you’re still -100 in debt.
You can regain a lot of points via meditative work, mobility & flexibility work.
Say you do a total of 5 sessions a week of meditative work, that’s +100 points.
Boom, your debit is paid.
Why stop there though?
The add in another 10min daily (70min total) of stretching/mobility work and perhaps have one massage a week, meaning +100 points credit to be used or banked.
You may attribute different points to your scale, the above is just an example.
The underlying usage is this – recovery is worth more than training.
Sounds silly, however the harder you train the harder you must recover too.
You should investigate this thoroughly.

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6 Secrets to Saving Calories.

One fear of many is gaining excess amounts of body fat in their adaptive training period.
I can understand that fear on a personal level.
One thing to remember though, you don’t need to be 100% stage lean or athletically ripped all the time.
In fact it’s not healthy for you physically or mentally.
That being said, to some people this is ‘them’ an it’s how they are and all they choose to be, in which case that’s cool because their understanding is that for constant aesthetic glory there may be a sacrifice to physical performance (lifting, sport, etc) or health, and that’s a price they’re willing to pay.
So before you get on at the people who want to ‘look good’ all the time, just remember, it’s their choice.
After all, you can’t say shit these days about people destroying their health through obesity because it’s ‘body shaming’ yet you can take lumps out of those who love fitness because it’s ‘obsessive’ and ‘unhealthy’.
Fucking hypocritical bullshit that is 😂
Anyway, here are the 6 secrets:
1 – Hold the Milk
Drinking black coffee, tea, or things such as mint/peppermint tea’ etc isa great way to save on calories if you’re a little worried that some will sneak up on you.
2 – Condiment Reduction
Mayonnaise, I love it, however… what I think might be say 15g is actually more like 50g 😋
Spreads, sauces and all things related are often very calorie dense and super easy to consume plentifully, so reducing how much you have will save you a rather large amount of calories.
This doesn’t mean stop having it, just reduce it.
^^ You can also substitute for spices, check your cupboard because I’m sure there’s a 5-spice in there somewhere hidden away.
3 – Less Cardboard Carbs
I know that people are stockpiling the nonperishables.
Cookies, sweets, biscuits, cereals, and all things carb that come in a box, while they last for decades and taste delicious, you can chow down on 600+ calories in a matter of mere minutes if you’re too careful.
Swap these for veg.
Seriously, instead of snacking on cereal bars eat a packet of peppers, you can buy either of these for about £1 (three large peppers or 4-6 cereal bars), same price, massive difference in both nutritional quality and calorie content.
4 – Unhealthy Health Food Trends
Juicing, fat free foods, meal replacements, basically anything that is a ‘trend’ is something to watch out for as they are often love in nutritional value and high in unneeded calories.
Now you may have read juices and feel confused because they’re meant to be good for you, ad to be fair veg only ones are great, adding in one or two fruits also won’t hurt, however…..
It’s the heavy fruit ones and also the added scoops of whey (or some form of protein), peanut butter, Nutella etc that skyrocket the calories, making what was once a tidy snack into a calorie laden catastrophe.
As for meal replacements, etc, well, just cook and don’t be lazy.
5 – Diet & Zero
Now some people love fizzy or carbonated drinks, if this is your vice then going for the Diet or Zero option will save you on the extra calories in this time.
I’d also alternate with drinking water, for example:
1 pint water > 1 pint Coke 0 > 1 pint water > 1 pint coke 0
This way you’ll learn to control yourself and also end up appreciating the carbonate beverages far more. Plus water is apparently pretty good for you accordion to ancient lore.
6 – Alcohol avoidance
Personally I feel people soul avid this entirely, less for special occasions (weddings, christmas or new year, not birthdays as it’s always someones birthday).
Give it’s 7 calories per gram this is the fastest way to rack up unwanted ones and pile on the pounds, which is a 40’+ waistline is your goal then by all means fill your boots, however that may be not so beneficial for your health.
Now some people feel they need a drink and can’t live without one.
Being someone who has slain the demon known as alcoholism (high functioning I might add), this can be a hard thing for people to put to bed or not rely on.
I can say that opting for spirits s a substitute to beers, stouts, and other dense drinks will reduce the total calories consumed, this means neat, no mixers – you’ll drink less that way. While not ideal, it’s a start.
There you have it, some ways you can curve your consumed calories while you stay safe at home.
#7 – Bouns Tip – Portion Control
It’s easy to simply eat too much in the form of too big a portion, don’t eat more than you need.
Piling up a plate is nothing short of gluttony, take only what you need and err on the side of less, you can always snack on peppers post meal if you’re still feeling you need a nibble.

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If you struggle with snacking, read this.

A note on nutrition.
Chances are that like many you’re indoors and constantly finding yourself hungry or snacking.
There are two main reasons for this:
1 – You’re bored
2 – You’re not eating enough NUTRIENT dense foods
Both are common, however it’s the second we shall look at.
When you eat energy dense foods, think processed foods as opposed to whole ones, your body will not be satiated and keep sending you to the fridge or cupboards.
Look at it through this comparative lens:
300 calories of processed food = energy, minimal nutrients
300 calories of meat & veg = energy, maximal nutrients
The calories are theoretically the same yet the second meal will keep you satiated, the first will have you heading back for more within as little as 30min or perhaps less.
Now this isn’t rocket science, it’s common sense.
Of course people will get a bit butt hurt because they want their sweets and treats, and those people can have them and the excess body fat that is also likely to follow.
The next time you’re thinking of digging into the larder, stop and think, are you bored or is your body telling you that you need more nutrients?

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Corona Calories.

It’s fair to same some avid gym goers are in a bit of a panic.
A few questions regarding how much people should be eating int his time has been popping up.
In all honesty most would do well to take the calories down a notch, simply due to the fact they eat too many as it is, yet in some cases the extra calories may be beneficial because of extra recovery.
What to do, right?
First it would be to try and consume as many of your calories from nutrient dense food sources (meat/veg), then you can worry about the rest.
Without all the fancy calories equations using activity multipliers this will serve you well.
Take your total bodyweight in lbs:
Multiply it by 13, those will be your corona calories (for most people).
Me bing a slight 74kg (163lbs), it gives me this:
163 x 13 = 2119 calories per day.
This would be based on reduced activity (a lot of walking and grappling for me).
Believe it or not that is about right to sustain my current weight with minimal activity that would allow maximal LBM preservation.
A normal day will see me right with 2800-3200 to sustain my weight, I know this because of adding them up on random days across serval months to see trends (on myself personally).
While the method I offer isn’t as complex as many, it works.
The above will serve you well in this time.
Here are the other numbers I use when life is back to normality and training/activity is back up.
To lose mass: BW x11-13
(starting at 13, dropping slowly to 11)
To gain mass: BW x17-19
(starting at 17, building slowly to 19)
^^ You start at the lower number and see if your mass/LBM is going the way you want it to, then stay with those callers until progress stops and adjust up or down accordingly.
One main issue people come across is the go to the extreme end far too soon and then have nowhere left to go, a common mistake that people repeatedly make time and again.
Don’t be one of them.
As for macros, if that’s your things, here is my suggestion:
Protein – 1g per pound of total BW
Fat – 35% total daily calories
Carbs – whatever calories are left after Pro/Fat tallied up

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☯️Public Service Announcement☯️

Despite the popular belief surrounding this notion.

You can’t out-train consistently bad nutritional choices.

Many will disagree with this, yet upon careful observation of their health, performance and finally aesthetic we can often come to some striking conclusions.

The main one being that they’re steeped in cognitive dissonance.

This doesn’t mean you need to be some sort of nutrition monk, there is still plenty of wiggle room, however you’ll rarely find people at the top of their game who eat terrible quality foods.

Teenagers and the genetically super-elite seem to mystify many.

They seem to circumvent this idea that poor nutrition leads to poor performance, obesity and generally bad health.

Until they’re about 26 that is.

Quality of food matters, if someone says it doesn’t, run.

Run away as fast as you can because they’re clearly infected with some form of madness because no logically sane person would believe otherwise.

Unless they want to because of deep emotional needs.

You see most people are emotionally attached to their food.

Unwilling to give any poor choices away, they fight tooth and nail for their creature comforts and mental crutches, even if detrimental to long term heath, many won’t be told.

Personally I think that’s fair enough, we can leave them to it.

We can try hard to help people, to educate and inspire, however some just don’t want to change.

They’d rather weight until the wheels have fallen off the wagon completely – diabetes, obesity, or plenty of other health issues linked with poor nutrition and excess body fat, you take your pick.

While body positive mantra that everyone is beautiful is one to support 100%, there is no compromise to condone or support that which leads to poor health.

You’d be hard pressed to find many people at 300lbs with a fat mass percentage of 40%+ that is the paragon of health.

Now this is not to say being super lean or addicted to fitness and your aesthetic does much for your health either.

Many sacrifice their health for how they look, on either rend of the scale.

For a society of people who talk about health, we’re a poor example of it.

Get ill?

Go to the Dr’s and get drugs, it’s easier than lifestyle change.

Here are a couple of simple things to remember:

– Excess body fat means you have a calorie surplus problem
– Poor health often follows poor quality food choices
– Too late is too late, once some damage is done it can’t be fixed

Not what many want to hear.

I’m sure all the excuses about medical conditions, a hard life and the kitchen sink will come out, however that’s little more than a crutch to lean on.

Like it or not, your health is in your hands.


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Beware the Company You Keep

Nutrition is a struggle for a lot of people.
The connection many have to their foods is strong.
Considering most people have a food for every situation, mood or desired feeling they’re after its easy to understand.
Try to make some adjustments, even those that will result in long term benefit and people just can’t handle it.
Like a child they pine over their treats and get pissy.
Of course you can eat, drink and otherwise consume whatever you choose if you’re an adult yet you’d do well not to expect sympathy or leeway when you start complaining about being overweight.
That my friends is the result of your choice, own it.
Now you’ll find many start to say that it’s easier for some, they don’t have that sweet tooth or what ever other bollocks will be cultivated to justify their behaviour.
True enough there can be some deep psychological reasons for addiction to foods, yet given the level of intelligence and information in our world now people know this already.
Thus is comes down to their own choice.
So you might be wandering what makes people decide to go for a different choice, the answer is simple yet not very nice.
They’ve finally reached the point where they feel bad enough about themselves to do something.
The discomfort now outweighs the small pleasurable hit they get from food.
In my experience people are more likely to move away from pain than towards pleasure.
Yet this can be hard when you’ve got an addiction.
Oh yes, many people are heavily addicted to food, or rather the feeling that food gives them.
Being the emotional creatures we are we get addicted to the feeling that we get from ‘the thing’ as opposed to getting addicted to the actual thing itself, for the most part.
If you’re genuinely not sure why you can’t make an adjustment to your nutrition then apply the following steps.
1 – Eat as normal
2 – Write down each feeling/emotion said food provides
3 – Reflect on this and make a choice
I know people will start to bitch piss and moan about life being for enjoyment blah blah blah.
Okay we get it, people like foods such as ice cream.
News flash, this is pretty much true across the board.
Decedent foods will always be sought after because that’s how we evolved, to seek out those foods that light up our senses and make us feel good, yet in our world of overly abundant amounts of them this just leads to one unfortunate outcome….
You get fat.
There I said it.
Making poor food choices multiple times over and in large quantities will lead you down he path of getting fat.
Of course how large you become will be determined by your social circle and what they consider to be acceptable.
You see peer pressure is just as prevalent amongst obese people as they say it is amongst the slim.
If you’re surrounded by the large and you’re not large then in time you will join them. They will make subtle remarks over time about you not eating enough, being small and so on.
Eventually their peer pressure leads you to obesity and poor health.
If you delve in to the social circles/backgrounds of people you’ll find the reasons for why they are the way they are.
You are the way you are because of the choices your group allows you to make because it fits in with their values, beliefs and biases.
The mythic state of being an individual is not really what people think it is.
A tough truth to hear.
Take some time to mull over this.
Look at the people around you, closest to you and see just how they’ve influenced you.
Then make a choice, stay in the place you’re in or make a change.

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Nom Nom Nom

Is there a food that you just can’t live without?
Many have at least one.
Some have a fridge full, that must be consumed under various circumstances or when certain conditions are met.
To some this may be called addiction, others it’s meal prep.
Depending on how you view things.
Consistency of the foods we eat isn’t actually that hard to achieve, if you think about it logically you’ll find people stick with select foods day in day out.
The difference is often the quality of food.
Taking this in to consideration you can swap one food habit with another, if only it was that easy.
Which realistically it is, however if you’re not willing to let go of a food or something that is perhaps not the most optimal choice for your health, you may want to question why.
Plenty of people understand what they should do.
Especially in regards to nutrition, yet they don’t.
Emotion, that is the reason, or at least what it boils down to in the end.
Becoming married to a certain food, or even stye of eating can be quite detrimental.
If you have the ability to have something just because you want it, and yet can as easily go without then I’d say you’ve found that place where you’ve got all your plates spinning well.
When someone says “I have to have….” alarm bells ring.
Less for medical reasons no one needs to have anything. Want to have, perhaps.
Self control, will power, what ever you call restraint, it’s being mindful and aware of what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and more importantly being okay with it.
By okay with it I mean this in regards to accepting any or all potential consequences that come with said choice.
It is common we will tend to leave ourselves ‘outs’.
Reasons for our choices that make us feel less bad about the choice we made food wise, yet if you end up feeling that way do you ever stop to ask why?
Hopefully you’ve noticed the common theme.
Asking why, being able to understand, learn and grow from each choice and layer you peel back in regards to delving in to your depths.
A little bit about how I eat.
I just eat based on what I feel I need, the mythical ‘listening to my body’ kind of thing.
There are no set times to eat.
No set meal frequency or specific meals/macros to be hit.
I’ve done my time playing with those factors to see what impact they had, which can be described as minimal.
Some days I will not eat until the evening, not because of some protocol telling me to, merely because life gets in the way and food waits until later.
No I didn’t get hangry because I’m not 6months old and still clasping my mothers tit for sustenance.
While food can indeed affect your mood, you have to understand that you will be aware of this impending shift and if you choose to be ‘hangry’ then it’s a choice you’ve made willingly.
Yep, that’s why people get pissy and then say “I haven’t eaten.” as if it exonerates them.
Umm, no, you know you’re hungry and you’re using that as your excuse to be a prize bell-end, congrats you’ve unlocked an achievement.
Now I’m sure some will be running to PubMed to find all the studies on low blood sugar, fluctuating concentration levels and a whole host of other information to justify them being a little bit of a dick when they get hungry.
Please feel free to do this, just understand it still doesn’t change the fact that if you know you’re hungry and choose to be a dick, you’re choosing to be a dick, end of.
You will often find the only people capable of such things are those privileged enough to do so.
People that don’t have a choice just get on with it.
How do your nutritional habits affect you?
Take some time to sit and reflect on this.

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