1.Diets make you fat: Calorie counting has long been the health industries answer to weight management and for good reason. When we cut our food intake we lose weight (not always fat but more on this later). However, once our bodies register this decrease in food intake it adjusts its energy expenditure and returns to its normal weight leaving us not only at the same weight but with less energy. Why is this? Our bodies need a certain amount of calories to survive, when this amount is cut our bodies worry that our food resource is drying up, so it holds onto those calories with the greatest value. Protein and carbs are worth 4cals per gram, whereas fat is worth 9 cals. When we cut our calorie intake, our body stores fat to keep us alive. (although we can trick our bodies with Intermittent fasting)
What they don’t tell you about calories is the importance of where they come from. The simple rule of thumb is…. If god didn’t make it, don’t eat it. If you go into a shop and have to read the ingredients on the label then it probably isn’t very good for you. Your body uses 85% of your daily calorie intake simply to stay alive. So remember it’s not just about reducing calories it’s about increasing the quality of your calories. If you give your body usable calories i.e. those from, veg, fresh fish and lean meats and occasional fruit your health goals will become far easier to achieve.
2.Fat is burned in muscle: If you have spent the last year doing long cardio workout in a bid to lose weight I am sorry for what I am about to tell you. The best way to increase your fat burn is to increase your muscle. Fat is burned, in your muscle. (Don’t worry ladies this does not mean you will stack on muscle if you use weights, it is testosterone that builds bulk a substance of which your body has very little). This simply means resistance training is the best way to burn fat. The large compound movements that require the most muscle are most effective here, try squats, deadlifts, lunges, press ups, Bench press, seated row, Chin ups and overhead lifts. Ask an instructor if you are unsure of technique. Better still hire a personal trainer. (Do not hire a personal trainer until you read this)
3.Eat Organic: Today food is big business and he who produces the most food wins the price war. Unfortunately this is often to the detriment of the customer. Meat is treated heavily with antibiotics. Antibiotics work by killing both good and bad bacteria in the animal and in essence keeping it alive to allow it to grow fat, the more animals that are kept alive the more money can be made. Antibiotics however are not killed by cooking or killing which leaves us, the consumer full of good bacteria killing antibiotics.
If this weren’t enough to sway you animals are often corn fed, a food they are not designed to eat. Corn is a high fructose food that will increase our omega 6 levels to an unhealthy range and also increase inflammation.
Vegetables and fruit are also treated with pesticides, a substance unrecognisable to the human body. When the body does not recognise something it in turn treats it as a poison. This then puts our ‘healthy’ fruit and veg into the category of anti-nutrient. These anti-nutrients are named as such because they leach nutrients from the body in order to digest or neutralise them.
So the message is to eat organic where possible, eat grass fed free range meat where possible and organic veg. If this is not possible wash your veg thoroughly. Buy the best quality food you can afford.
4. Drink plenty of water: Even mild dehydration will slow one’s metabolism by as much as 3%. Lack of water is the #1 trigger of day time fatigue. Research from Simon Hartley at senseuk indicates that 8-10 glasses of water per day could significantly reduce back and join pain in 80% of sufferers. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic maths and difficulty focusing on a computer screen or a printed document.
Are you drinking the amount of water you should everyday? As a rule of thumb- drink half your weight (measured in lbs) in ounces of water per day. If you workout 3 plus time a week or during the summer months add another 24 plus ounces to that number. Additionally, caffeine and alcohol dehydrate the body; you would need to drink twice the amount of water as you did coffee, coke, tea or alcohol to replace the lost water.
5. The key to optimum health: There are a number of foods that for what ever reason, for example are, difficult to digest, act as poisons to the body or are simply empty calories that we should try and minimise in our diets. These foods are: hydrogenated fats, those found in pastries and chicken nuggets and other processed foods, sugar and aspartame (a sugar replacement), dairy, gluten found in bread. Bleach found in those foods that have been whitened i.e white flour, white rice etc and caffeine and alcohol (discussed above). The list below highlights a number of illnesses, ailments and allergies that all have their base in food. I’m sure you will find you have a few of these conditions. Simply by either reducing or decreasing as suggested you might find them clearing up in no time.
· Symptoms associated with essential Oil deficiency (not enough Omega-3) Dry Skin, Inflammatory health problems, water retention, high blood pressure, poor learning, memory and concentration, impaired child growth, heart attack, stroke, cancer, obesity, diabetes, asthma, arthritis, ADHD, postpartum depression, Alzheimers disease.
- · Symptoms associated with dehydration: Asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, allergies, low back pain, arthritis, peptic ulcers.
- · Symptoms associated with excess sugar: kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, ADD and ADHD, behavioural problems, depression, violent tendencies, tooth decay, colon cancer, schizophrenia, osteoporosis, yeast and fungal overgrowth, chronic fatigue.
- · Symptoms associated with Gluten Intolerance: Fatigue, energy slumps, headaches, skin conditions, constipation, diarrhoea, irritable bowels, heartburn, excess gas, bloating, abdominal cramping, food craving, water retention, weight gain.
- · Symptoms of diary intolerance: stomach aches, wind, bloating, cramping, diarrhoea, constipation, runny nose, asthma, earaches, diabetes, heart disease, anaemia, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, infertility.
6. Motivation: Motivation, much like confidence doesn’t really exist. If you fake it for long enough it will just become part of who you are or in this case what you do. Here are a few tips to help strengthen your resolve in those early months.
Make an appointment and stick to it. Whether it’s with yourself, with a friend or even a personal trainer making an appointment will make you more likely to attend. Especially, if someone else is relying on you.
Set short term and long term goals. In the short term, what do you want to achieve? 1lb weight loss per week, lifting a certain weight, running a certain distance. Once you have reach this goal set another, just make sure it aligns with your long term goals. In the long term. How do you want to look? Feel? What will people say when they see the new you? Paint a vivid picture in your mind of the thinner or more muscular or healthier you. Make it as bright and colourful as you can. Visualise yourself moving towards it each time you train or eat a healthy meal.
Take advantage of social media. Tell the world what you plan to do and promise to put an ‘after’ swim suit shot on facebook in 6 months time or you will donate £1000 to the absolute health improvement fund. (other charities are available)
7. Burn more fat for 38 hours: One hour of continuous cardiovascular exercise will burn approximately 600 calories during the hour of training and 100 in the hour afterward but after that your metabolism will return to its normal rate. When we engage in resistance training or interval training we can burn up to 250 calories in 30 minutes of training and again 100 in the hour after training, but where this form of training becomes more beneficial is that it will keep your metabolism burning fat at a higher rate for up to 38 hours after training and will also have a far greater impact on your fitness levels.
So what is interval training? Interval training is all about achieving your bodies maximum output as frequently as possible during one session. It will really push you out of your comfort zone but trust me when I tell you the result are well worth the effort. Try this simple example of interval training. After a 5 minute warm up on any CV machine you are ready to start your 15 minute session.
This can be done on any machine or even outside, for this example I will use the treadmill. Setting the treadmill on an incline of 1, run for 2 minutes at RPE 8 ( Rate of Perceived Excursion; on a scale of 1-10) Then after 2 minutes drop down to a comfortable walking pace about RPE 5 now repeat this 5 more times. You’re done! Have a 5 minute gentle cool down walk or jog. Mix this in with your regularly training and the results will amaze you. Speak to a trainer for help devising more.
8. Follow the 80-20 rule: Train hard and eat healthily 80% of the time. The other 20% of the time you can do what you like (within reason). Have that piece of chocolate cake and a few glasses of wine. It will strengthen your resolve and serve to remind you why you are doing this in the first place…. so you can enjoy the things you love in moderation without feeling guilty. Don’t berate yourself if you miss a training session or have a bad food day, just put it behind you and carry on.
2lbs of body fat per week is a realistic target, likewise, 0.5-0.75lbs of muscle gain per week is all it is possible for your body to gain. With this in mind, make your goals realistic. Consistency, variety and technique (to avoid injury setbacks) are the keys to your success.
I do hope these hints and tip will help you in your quest what ever your goals may be. For further information or to book a free personal training consultation call Ed on 01179 555 258
Until then eat well and train hard