Hey folks! How are we? I hope you are all well.
In this one I want to talk about how to structure your meals and snacks throughout the day to help you...
Let's get straight to the point on this one. DITCH THE CEREALS!!! This includes all the so called healthy stuff, so Alpen, Special K, Weetabix, Shredded Wheat, the whole useless F*****G lot of them.
Healthy cereals are the world's biggest con and they will not help you improve your health or lose weight. A meal based around wheat and pretty much zero protein or fat is not a healthy meal. It is unbalanced pro-inflammatory and will leave you feeling hungry again within an hour or so.
Make protein the main component of your breakfast instead of the carbs. So instead of cereals or toast, go for the following.
These are just some suggestions but the key is to think protein first as this will help you stay fuller longer and help you balance out blood sugar levels which will help prevent you snacking on crap.
LUNCHES AND DINNERS
So for this one you will probably notice a bit of theme occurring. Again, protein is your friend. Base you lunch choices around a good protein source. Protein should fill up a third of your plate, then a combination of a good carb choice like brown rice, quinoa, buck wheat, sweet potato, rye or sourdough bread, beans (not baked), chick peas etc. coupled with vegetables should make up around 50% of your plate. the other 15-20% should be made up of good fats, which include avocado, seeds, nuts, olive oil, feta cheese etc.
So snacks are an important part of your day and getting these right can keep you fueled well, keep your blood sugar levels fairly constant and again help prevent you snacking on unhealthy processed foods. So again, a good snack choice needs to either be based around a good protein source like the boiled egg option in the picture or a good fat option, like nuts and seeds, nut butter, goats cheese, feta cheese etc.
So a protein shake and a handful of nuts would be perfect, adding some avocado to the egg option would work well, as would peanut butter and apple or some nuts and seeds and a couple of pieces of dark chocolate.
So when talking about supplements, the first question we should ask is:
Do we really need them?
In an ideal world, I would always say NO! But, we don't live in an ideal world. We have busy lives which are stressful and often lead to us making compromising choices at meal times. So while not essential (if you can consistently stick to the diet outlined above) they do indeed make our lives a whole host easier.
We know that we have a golden 20 minutes after a workout where we need to get a good source of protein into our bodies to aid muscle repair and growth. We also know that we need a wide variety of vitamins and minerals and good fats in our diet.
So let's sum this up. If you can consistently hit good varied meal choices that contain good lean protein, good carb choices rich on B vitamins, a wide variety of fruit and veg and good fats then no you should be good with your food choices alone.
If however, you struggle with time etc and you need a top up, then I would go for a good natural whey or plant based protein supplement, a good multivitamin and a fish oil supplement to help you fill in the gaps.
Other supplements like creatine might be good for muscle building and sports performance but for good general health and to aid weight loss etc. Those three should have you covered.
Our days should consist of 4-5 separate meal or snack times. If you are looking at dropping body fat, go for 4, to build muscle and to enhance athletic performance aim for 5.
So our day should look like this.
Breakfast➡Mid morning snack ➡ Lunch ➡ Afternoon snack ➡ Evening meal.
As I said earlier, if fat loss is your primary goal, simply ditch one of the snacks, either is fine its just down to personal choice and preference.
Hopefully that should help clear things up for you and give you an insight into our nutrition methods and how it will help you get the results you need coupled with your training regime.
DO YOU STRUGGLE WITH MOTIVATION AND ACCOUNTABILITY?
So as a trainer, I know that telling you what to eat and when is not the real issue. There are more resources than ever on hand at the touch of a button to help you with recipes, meals, snacks and even training and exercise. The problem lies in being motivated and guided properly in order to help you make the right choices more consistently. This is where a great coach and a great program comes in.
So if you feel a bit confused or a bit overwhelmed and a bit unmotivated and unsupported then why not take action and get the help you need to achieve your goals.
At Faster Fitness Solutions our small group and 1:1 coaching packages have everything you need to help you guarantee success. All the resources, support and guidance you need to help you break down those mental barriers and achieve your goals and keep it up long term.
If you would like to find out more, click on the appropriate link below to get started.
So I was talking to the ladies in the group conditioning program about this last night and the topic of why men lose weight more easily than women came up.
Now as you probably heard, it is biologically a little easier for men to lose weight, bigger muscle mass, slightly faster metabolism etc. These differences however are not that significant and for me, this is not the real reason why men tend to lose weight or see differences faster than women on a weight loss program.
The Real Reasons Are To Do With Mindset And Their Approach
This really applies to ladies who are mums and wives and your in-built need or sense of responsibility to put everyone else first. In my 15 plus years of experience of being a PT, coaching both men and women, the clients who have been more consistent and got the better results have always been the men.
So why are men generally more successful than women with weight loss and making changes to their health?
Men Are More Selfish Than Women
Its really simple, they are able to switch focus onto themselves much more easily and prioritise their training and eating over other responsibilities they have.
Even if they are dads and husbands, they are still able to adopt more of a "me first attitude", we simply don't have as much of a desire to please and care for the needs of everyone else around us first, we find it easier to say no people if we don't want to do something and we don't generally have as much of an emotional connection to foods or other people's activities etc.
Mindset Is The Real Key To Getting Results
So here are my top 5 tips to help you prioritise you more and think more like a man and get results with your training and weight loss efforts
1. Learn to say NO! You cannot be everywhere at once and I promise the world will not fall down if you say no to someone.
2. Prioritise your training: Your gym sessions are your time for you, to do something for yourself. You are always doing things for others so you deserve a bit of time to focus on you and what you want. For 3 hours per week everyone else can F$£K OFF!
Your family will still love you even though you are not at their beckon call every minute of the day. Your husband is well capable of cooking a meal or putting a wash on. Trust me, I am a moron and even I can do it. Your house will not fall down and the kids won't starve or die if you come to the gym por spend an hour looking after yourself
"Think of it like this, if you had a dentist, solicitors or a doctors appointment would you still drop those to help your family out or would you say no I have to go to this appointment? The simple fact of the matter is this...
"If you want to be successful then your training sessions should carry the same amount of importance to you as any of these. If you do not show that you are prioritising these appointments your family and friends will treat them with contempt and not see them as important to you either".
3. You deserve to feel good about yourself, you should not worry about what others think of you. Their opinion does not matter at all.
4. Shit can wait! Don't sweat the little things. Even if you haven't finished a task, if you got a training session booked in, GO TRAINING!
5. Food is n, chocolate has absolutely zeroot your friend, it is not a comfort chocolate has absolutely zero benefits to your long term happiness as a human being. Neither does cakes or pastries.They will not solve your problems but they will make them worse.
This is a really big one and mindset shift that really needs to be made to be successful.
When you start a training program, you become an athlete. You might not think you are but I believe that you are and so does every other trainer in the world. So you need to believe it too. Now as an athlete you should be looking at food as a fuel,because folks that is all it is and your mindset should be fixed on how I can fuel myself most effectively for my workouts.
So don't get hung up on the weight loss thing think about performance, because if you are fueling your body to perform well in training then you are fueling it to be healthy...
"And excessive levels of body fat have no place on an efficient healthy body"
With Christmas just around the corner, the mindset of almost everyone in the UK and the Western World is this...
"One last blow out for Christmas, then I'm gonna hit it hard in January, get fit and lose weight".
I bet at least 8 out of every 10 of you reading this blog are thinking exactly that. I would also be willing to put my house on this not being the first year you have thought like this. I bet the same thoughts have been going through your head this time of year for pretty much the entirety of your adult life.
If I'm honest, I'm starting to wind my training down too and my diet over the past week or two is certainly not what it has been over the past few months. Being smack bang in the middle of party season, a bit more alcohol and a few more treats have been allowed to creep in. That's OK though, nobody is expecting you to be robots and any really sustainable nutrition program can adjust or allow for this.
Fortunately though, this blog post is not about nutrition (well at least not entirely). It's more about making the right decision when January comes around so you can break the cycle this year and find a health and fitness regime that you can sustain, be consistent with and ultimately GET RESULTS!
So here we go, here are my top 10 reasons why joining a commercial gym this January for what feels like the millionth time is definitely a BAD idea.
1. You probably won't get the help and support you need to get where you want to be
Gyms get crazy crowded this time of year and most commercial gyms have also done away with regular fitness instructors in place of personal trainers who do free work in place of paying rent. As a result, your gym membership cost aint going to include a program that's worth a damn or be updated and monitored regularly enough to actually get you anywhere.
2. 80-90% of all people who try to get fit this way quit by February
Bad statistic that isn't it, well its true and if you have ever been determined enough to stick it out until mid February you will have experienced how much easier it is to get into that class or get on to the piece of kit you want.
There are many reasons for this but boredom is a big one. You start with what you think will be a great program, do it religiously for 3-4 weeks and maybe even get results at first. Unfortunately though, a program has to be updated around every 4 weeks to keep it fresh and stop your body adjusting to its demands. Here lies the problem, your bored of your current program, your results stop and you don't have a clue how to change it up to keep those results coming.
So just like last year and the year before, you get frustrated and give up. Never mind though, there is always next year you think. There is only one problem with that mentality however. Next year you are probably going to be fatter, more unfit and more unhappy with yourself, making it much, much harder to get those results and make those long term changes you crave every year.
3. You will get pretty much zero nutrition support or guidance
Everybody has heard the saying "You can't out-train a bad diet". Unfortunately, I wish you could but you just can't. So even in the unlikely event that your fitness instructor at the gym does set you up with a kick ass program that does actually help you get fitter, stronger and move better, unfortunately you are still fat. That's because you are missing the main ingredient in the equation, which is getting your nutrition right and learning how to fuel yourself in the right way. Unfortunately, the only way to get that is by shelling out an extra £120-£500 per month on a personal trainer on top of that gym membership you are already paying for.
Even then, most of your training is still done on your own as you can probably only afford 1-2 sessions per week with your trainer. Sounds like an expensive solution to me...
4. You will have nobody to help you set goals or be accountable to.
Goal setting is really important as it helps you define what exactly you want to achieve as well as the reasons for wanting to achieve it. Unfortunately though, this is what most of you get caught up in. Your focus is on your long-term goal, you define your progress solely on how much weight you lose or what you look like in the mirror from one week to the next.
Now trust me! I have been in this game for more than 15 years and this is a recipe for disaster. So instead of maintaining that long term focus, put your ultimate goal to the back of your mind and focus on the little things.
The small things that will help you get there like...
The list could go on but you get the picture, right? Unfortunately, training on your own at a commercial gym means there is nobody to help you set these little goals, nobody to hold you accountable and no-one to help you set achievable long term goals either. There is nobody to keep you on track and help you to see the value in the other ways you are progressing like improvements in your fitness, your body changing shape or how much more confident you have gotten now that you are a bad ass in the gym.
So please try not to solely focus on your weight, get the little things right, day in day out, celebrate your successes and learn from your failures and I promise the weight will take care of itself.
5. Training in a gym can be a lonely endeavor
These days in a gym, everyone wears ear phones, listens to their own music and are in their own little world. There is no banter, no support when it gets tough and nobody to bounce off and be inspired by. Now don't get me wrong, I love training on my own, it's my solace and my bit of "me time" every day. Like me, there are other weird people who are like this. The difference between me and those other people compared to the general population however, is that we know exactly what we a re doing, we are intrinsically self motivated, we know how to plan and execute workouts and we have a sadistic ability to push ourselves through a lot of suffering for no reward other than the satisfaction of having done it.
Now I think I am only like this because I am a trainer and I am coaching other people all day and I have a very social job, so I like the remoteness it gives me just for an hour per day. For most people this is a recipe for failure as they struggle to find motivation and support that they would otherwise get from a trainer or even better, a small group personal training program.
6. For a lot of people, a gym is not a pleasant place to be
This is something I hear a lot, especially in my "ladies only group program". Statements like...
"I never liked training in a gym I always felt uncomfortable"
"I feel like everyone is looking at me"
"I feel like I don't know what I am doing"
Now I can assure you, nobody is staring at you, in fact, most people won't even acknowledge the fact that you are there unless you are doing something really cool or really loud and ridiculous or you are on the machine they want.
Either way, trying to force yourself to be somewhere that you really don't feel comfortable in is probably not a recipe for long-term success. So instead of going down this route yet again, why don't you try something else, like a place with other ladies and gents in the same situation, who are there to support you and help motivate, somewhere away from all those grunting meat heads who walk around like they are carrying carpets and leave sweat over everything they touch.
7. You have no idea if you are performing the exercises correctly
So like a few of the other points before, unless you are forking out that extra couple of hundred quid a month on a trainer, you have zero idea if your technique is good. Now sure you can watch a few Youtube clips to help but there is nobody there to give you cues or help you adjust the little things to ensure you are getting the bang for your buck from every movement
Now stuff like deadlifting with curved spine is probably not as dangerous as we originally thought it was but it certainly isn't the best way to go for muscle development of fat loss, so having someone who can help refine your technique to ensure you are getting the best from it is essential to keep you motivated and to help you develop in the way you want.
8. The gyms are full of useless machines that are of no use to anyone
Seriously, when I was a tutor, travelling around the country teaching other trainers, I used to look around the gyms I visited and think "WOW! There is probably over 1/2 million pounds worth of useless kit in here".
Now you have probably heard an instructor or some other complete moron tell you that the machines are great for beginners. No they are not, not at all,
Training on these machines means 2 things.
a). Your training program is going to take absolutely ages as you would need to use about 4 different machines to get the same benefit that you would get from an exercise like a kettle bell swing.
b). They are rubbish for muscle building and fat loss. Because you are sat down and working small muscle groups, you are not getting out of breath, increasing your testosterone levels or hitting the intensity you need to really build muscle mass, lose fat or actually get fit.
So I beg you. Stop training on these pathetic bits of wasted metal, time and money. Pick up a barbell, kettle bell or a dumbbell and FFS learn to move and be functional in your training so it actually has a purpose.
9. There is no one to slow you down and make sure you don't burn out or get injured
Now this is actually a biggie, especially in January and especially for those who start a HIIT class from scratch or start running.
In January, you git the bug, you are determined to smash it so you train as hard as you can every day. After a couple of weeks though, because of the impact, you start picking up niggles, which turn into an injury a stop you training. Guess what happens to most people then? Yep, they quit because they are frustrated, de-motivated and annoyed.
So my advice on this one, to start slow, you don't have to kill yourself every time and please, don't train every day. You need recovery time to allow your muscles, bones, joints, cells and brain to heal and get refreshed. 3 days per week is plenty, in fact, if you are training right, 3 days per week is all you need to become a badass and develop some serious fitness.
Even top level Olympic athletes don't train every day, so please do not think that you need to.
10. The gyms don't want you there
Now this one, very few people believe when I tell them. Its a well know fact in the fitness industry that a commercial gym's business plan is based around 80% of their members not attending but still paying the monthly fee.
Now back when I worked for a commercial gym, which shall remain nameless (Serco, Manchester council) Lol! Our sales training went like this. If someone is an active member then email them with motivational info, workout tips etc. If however someone didn't attend the gym in 8-10 weeks we told to stop contacting them so we don't remind them they had a gym membership. That way they would not take up any space and we would still get the membership fee every month.
Now that is true of every commercial gym all around the world. Not very ethical or caring is it? So instead of going somewhere that really only wants your money, why not go somewhere you are valued, where people know your name and who you are. Where the trainers actually want to help you be the best you can be and the other people you train with become your mates, help motivate and keep you on track even when you want to give up.
So maybe somewhere that doesn't cost hundreds of pounds per month to get awesome coaching, high quality nutrition advice, mindset coaching to help you set and stick to goals and an environment that leaves you feeling nothing but supported and motivated.
I just wish there was somewhere like that in HD8 that we could go to so 2020 could be the year where you actually followed things through, stuck it out and achieved the goals you set out for yourself all those years ago.
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ONLY 8 SPACES AVAILABLE OFFER ENDS FEBRUARY 14TH
Session times: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10am
Location: Faster Fitness Solutions, Denby Dale Industrial Park, HD8 8QH
Trainer: Darren Thomas (Owner Faster Fitness Solutions)
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Here is what you get on the program
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REMEMBER!!! THE OFFER ENDS FEBRUARY 14TH.
Darren has over 10 years experience in the fitness industry as a personal trainer, sports injury therapist and most recently as an educator to other trainers. Originally from South Wales, he went to Liverpool University to study Sports Science and liked the city so much, he decided to stay. Since finishing his degree he set up a thriving personal training and injury rehab business which continues to this day. He has recently moved over to Denby Dale in West Yorkshire and has opened Faster Fitness Solutions, a multi-purpose training and rehabilitation facility located in the heart of the village.