Tag Archives: Nutrition
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.
Diets, there’s certainly a lot of them, especially of the weight loss variety.
The Blood of Your Enemies
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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
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
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.
“It’s okay for them, they can eat what they want, they have a fast metabolism.”
^^ I hear this a lot.
Is this something you’ve said in the past, along with the classic – “I’ve got a slow metabolism, I gain weight instantly if I eat.”
Do you know how these people with this seemingly godlike metabolism do it?
Do you want to know?
I will tell you.
Their metabolism is not that far off from yours, the only difference is how they live their lives, which usually look like this:
– They eat at or just below their required maintenance calories (you don’t)
– They move more and thus have a higher energy expenditure, typically from CV training and/or weightlifting which helps create EPOC/In road, (you don’t)
– They have more lean muscle mass (you don’t)
Can you see a pattern forming here?
The whole fast/slow metabolism excuse is utter nonsense for most average people. It’s usually a simple case that their energy expenditure is lower than their energy intake.
Wait, what’s that I hear?
You have thyroid problems?
So do a lot of other people and guess what, if it is managed by the doctor then you don’t have a thyroid problem, you have an eating problem as in you eat too much.
Now is it true there will always be some people who are the exceptions and because of this the world and it’s dog jump on that and claim to be the exception, I can safely say from experience this is not the case, trust me on that.
Ironically the exceptions never use being the exception as an excuse, they just find a way to make things work and achieve their goals. It’s only the average who use the exception excuse.
So to summarise…
They don’t have a fast metabolism.
You don’t have a slow metabolism.
They eat less, move more and have higher amount of lean mass than you, it’s that simple.
Stop making excuses and start looking for ways in which YOU can make the changes you need, if you need help please ask and you will get it.
Yesterday we touched on who doing too much can hold people back, today we shall look at how the opposite can help you being to once again make headway.
MED, remember that?
Minimum effective dose.
Find what the bare minimum you can do and make progress form and do that until you no longer make progress, then perhaps add the next smallest amount and progress once again.
A simple thought that still adheres to the GAS/SAID principle.
It will allow you more time to recover, spend time doing other things you enjoy and for the average person, give you results while also having a life.
Sounds perfect, right?
That being the case, why don’t people do it?
Because as we discussed yesterday, too many think more is better and even more than that must mean even better still, not always true, sadly.
You will also find that when you take down how much you’ve been doing, you recover and allow the super-compensation element of GAS to happen, meaning gains.
Keeping in mind MED, how many times per week do you need to train to make progress?
Twice, that’s a great start.
Both sessions would follow a full body approach with limited moves that will give you the best bang for your buck.
Day 1 – Monday
A1 – Front Squat or Squat 10×5
A2 – DB Row 10×6
B1 – Press 8×6
B2 – Chin 8×6
C1 – Dip 50 reps in as few sets as possible
D1 – Loaded Carry 10min x Total Distance (famers walk, etc)
Day 2 – Thursday
A1 – Deficit Deadlift (any grip) 10×5
A2 – DB Press 10×6-8
B1 – Bench Press or Incline 6×6-8
B2 – BB Row 6×6-8
C1 – Curl 50 rep goal in as few sets as possible
D1 – Prowler or Sprints 10min x total Distance
Combine this with solid nutrition (plenty of whole foods and a calorie deficit or surplus depending on your goal) and three simple factors to progress and you’ll be laughing at the gains you make.
How to progress:
– Add weight where possible (fractional plates are good)
– If you can’t add weight, reduce rest
– Rest at it’s lowest, increase TUT (time under tension) with a slower negative portion of the lift
In each session aim to keep a good pace and finish within 45-75min, you’ll find the less you faff the better the workout you get.
Obviously over time you will potentially need to add more frequency taking training to 3 days per week, but the longer you can progress on 2 the better.
Funnily enough you will find that most elite lifters seem to find 4xP/W is their optimal limit because in each session they train HARD and create a deep ‘in road’ meaning they’ve stimulated growth, you need to do this too.
Remember, doing less can help your progress.