I am going to try and keep this short and sweet, which I am awful at – here it goes.
If you want to lose some body fat, here are some very simple rules you will want to abide by, I will give you a little insight into them without going into too much detail. For more answers or expansion on any questions please just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back to you asap!
1. Accept the fact you’re consuming too many calories. When you earn more than you spend you will gain negative weight, its that simple, do not argue with the laws of thermodynamics.
2. Look into what you’re eating and point out the foods that are causing an issue, if you’re not sure then get someone to help – like a PT. (plug)
3. Eat less carbs. Now this does not mean NO CARB, I see you lot all moving your carb intake from 70% to 7% and fluctuating, I never said LOW carb I just said less. Carbs have one job and one job only in the body… energy. Use it or store it, that simple, yes really.
4. Eat more protein. ‘But Andrew I do not want to be bulky’. *sigh*.
Listen, theres 50 blokes in free weights doing whatever they can trying to bulk on muscle mass with 4 shakes a day and more protein bars than you could shake a stick at – they are still failing at putting on muscle…So trust me on this one, upping your protein intake by 20-40% will have no side effects apart from enabling you to sustain a leaner physique and generally looking and feeling better. Like I said, trust me on this one.
5. Move more, this can be as simple as parking a bit further away from the supermarket. I see people cramming their cars as close to the gym entrance as possible to avoid walking another 11.5 steps to the door. Stop it.
6. Lift weights, heavy ones too (if possible). I have been using weight training to improve male and female physiques for a while and still going strong. Besides training your physique will put you in good stead for when you do lose the fat. Your cardiovascular ability will rarely get you laid, yep I said it.
7. Plan what you’re doing. It does not have to be complex but at least have some direction and perhaps a goal and timeframe to ensure you’re on target, or not on target but still have a plan.
8. If it's not working, change it.
“Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.”
I hear Einstein said that, I am pretty sure I have said it more though. I ‘walk the floor’ whenever I want new clients and I am afraid I target the slaves to cardio machines. Oh, you’re using steady state cardio for fat loss along side no nutritional change? How is that going? How long have you been doing this for? People have sometimes invested months of time into a training program and seen NO RESULTS. Change it up, mix it up, or get help using a PT. (plug ;)
9. More is not always better. I had a client last year, fat loss was halted over a period of 2 weeks. I asked for a food log and actually saw calories were near the lowest I had seen them in the last 2-3 months and asked about personal life. Huge amounts of stress with work amongst other things and still hitting the gym 5 times a week. I got this client to drop 2 sessions a week and replace them with a pretty big meal. Guess what? Fat loss the next week.
10. Stop eating (as much) rubbish
It will creep in everyones diet, anyone who tells you they eat clean 100% of the time is either full of shit or has an eating disorder bigger than yours (if you have one, most of us do.) Just try and eat less and replace it with food that has a PURPOSE.
Wrapping it up here but if I had to summarise in 30 seconds the best fat loss strategy. It would be down to consistency – do what you know you need to do, but be very patient and more consistent.
Have a great day!
I mean its a silly question, really.
I know yeah, a few of you may have jobs you don’t like but training should be something you WANT to do.
I personally think that if you don’t enjoy your job you should go do something you want to but that’s digressing from the point of this post.
Training needs to be enjoyable for one main reason.
That’s another reason why I am ‘pro weights & anti-cardio’, the better you become or ‘fitter’ you become the more you have to do…
Even if you LOVE running, 6.5 hours of it isn’t really going to be a barrel of laughs.
Nor good for your joints.
So whys sustainability so important?
Well, look at your last diet.
Its your last diet and no longer your current for a reason because it wasn’t sustainable.
Juice+ this, herbashit, IIFYM and all that.
Find something you can do.
Find something that you can enjoy.
Find something that you can see yourself doing until the day you have to trade it in for a Zimmer frame.
Otherwise don’t bother doing it at all.
Sustainability is the most important thing in this game.
Even more important that meal prep snapchats.
This is why I’ve created an online platform with every single piece of know how you will need for a successful transformation. There are also a huge variety of workouts to choose from too!
61.7% of people in the uk are over weight or obese
The health problems we now face in the uk are staggering.
Yet we often fail to do something about it until it's too late.
Type 2 diabetes
High blood pressure
Heart disease & strokes
Fatty liver disease
Here's some reasons you can't lose weight
1. You don’t track calories
2. You don’t walk 10,000 plus steps per day
3. You don’t lift weights
4. You don’t do the right intensity
5. You have no willingness to try
6. Your rest between sets are far to long
7. You think you want it enough but you actually don't
8. You are just fucking lazy
9. You get up late
10. You don’t get enough sleep
11. You give up when things get tough
12. You always make excuses
13. You don’t drink enough water
14. You don’t hold yourself accountable
15. You know what to do but you don’t do it
16. It’s always someone else’s fault
17. You have no routine
18. No consistency
19. You don’t set small weekly achievable goals
20. You lie to yourself
21. You haven’t established the main reason you gained weight in the first place
22. Your too busy
23. Healthy food is too expensive
24. You don’t have time to cook
25. You didn’t plan your day out
26. You ‘fell off the wagon’
27. You have a ‘slow metabolism’
28. You refuse help
29. You haven't joined my fantastic team
Quite often I find that female clients can be hesitant to pick up the barbell, this also goes for males often too!
Let alone getting them to train for strength.
Why are some females so scared by the concept?
For most its the preconceived conception that they will pick up a heavy weight and in the morning be the female Hulk.
This is bullshit.
Before we head into things, what are the benefits of strength training for women?
The biggest benefit...
Greater rate of fat loss!
Your rate of oxygen consumption post training is increased, and the more oxygen you are consuming, the more you are burning. This is known as Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).
Not to mention other factors such as curves, greater calorie expenditure, better quality sleep, increased energy and a better sex life.
Did you know;
▪ Women require less rest between sets.
▪ Women can train heavier more frequently than men.
▪ Women can do sets of 5 closer to their 1 Rep Max (1RM) than men.
I have listed some simple tips for you to start strength training.
1. Build yourself up slowly.
2. Start off with small, bodyweight movements covering basic movement patters (eg bodyweight squat, press ups, assisted pulls ups and so on).
From here you can then start to transition them into resistance machines and free weights.
It’s often not until you can physically see progress that you will become less hesitant to try new things.
Build your strength and confidence before throwing yourself in the deep end of the free weights area.
3. Use self motivation.
Motivate I hear you say? I am referring to the Self Determination Theory (SDT).
This simply put is everyone has the desire to feel involved or “be in the know” and have some form of structure that they have control of.
This theory concerns with human motivation, personality and optimal functioning. Rather than just the amount of motivation, self-determination theory focuses on different types of motivation.
4. So how do I apply this? Let’s say you’re about to take yourself through a back workout, and you hate training back.
If you really don’t want to do it, take control over that session, chose the destiny of the day.
Chose one of the exercises, give yourself an option (“OK so i can either do a barbell bent over row, or a deadlift”).
This gives you a feeling of ownership and comfort. You have chosen the exercise whether you like either option or not, you still in your mind have that feeling of control.
5. For those of you training with me you have alternative exercises to chose from. This is one of the great benefits of my training app.
6. Always let me know how you get on. I can see all of your logged workouts on my app so you’re in good hands.
I can see whether you’re doing something correct, or perhaps better than previously.
7. Make yourself familiar with a barbell.
8. As you progress you can slowly start to introduce the smith machine and barbell.
9. Remind yourself that utilising free weights will help you to increase your energy expenditure during and after training.
Perhaps even check out your favourite fitness athlete training with free weights. Start off with the barbell, this doesn’t require as much stabilisation as dumbbells and is used in most compound lifts.
10. Introduce the basic compound lifts (Squat, Deadlift, Shoulder press and Bench press).
11. Don’t overcomplicate it, keep it simple and easy to follow.
So there we have it, we will slowly break the misconceptions of females and weightlifting and help bring more strong women into the fitness industry.
It won’t be easy, some will jump into it straight away like a fish in water and others will struggle, but that’s what I am here for.
Give me a shout.
I'm going to try and make this really simple for you.
TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) is the total amount of calories you burn in the entire day, this could include, sleeping, eating, training, general moving around.
BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) is how many calories you would burn without getting out of bed, for example your braining ticking over in your head will burn around 700 calories.
TEF (Thermal effect of feeding) this is how many calories your body will burn whilst consuming and processing food. Your TEF will increase with a high protein diet.
EAT (Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) is the amount of calories you burn in a gym.
Now your NEAT (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) is a big component and is everything you do outside of a gym. For example, taking the stairs instead of the lift or walking rather than taking the car.
Studies show that those who increase their NEAT have far superior fat loss results than those who just go to the gym everyday. Do Not neglect your NEAT, it is the golden ticket to results.
Sugar cravings are when presented with a choice of foods, we chose the ones which are sugary, not always the ones we should.
Why is this?
Poor willpower? Usually not!
OK firstly you need to understand something called HOMEOSTASIS
It means the body is always in a state of balance:
- You get too hot, you sweat and cool down.
-You get too cold, you shiver and warm up.
This happens all over the body in much more complicated circumstances.
All foods have a different affect on our blood sugar level, this is the amount of sugar in the blood, it circulates around the body.
Some foods elevate our blood sugar fast. (High Glycemic Index G.I)
Some foods elevate our blood sugar slow. (Low GI)
You have probably heard you should eat carbs low in GI.
Most “whole” foods are of low GI.
Many processed foods are high GI.
Sugar is like cocaine to the bloodstream, it elevates it incredibly fast.
Its breakfast time, you fancy some corn flakes with a bit of sugar and skimmed milk.
That is a lot of sugar.
Sugar content enters the blood stream quickly and causes your blood sugar level to rise very fast.
The bodies response is to secret insulin, in an almost unnatural manner, its going ape shit to control it in most cases as it needs to bring your blood sugar down.
(If blood sugar goes too high you can lose a foot, eyesight etc. from lack of circulation. These are the dangers to diabetics from being hyperglycemic (high blood sugar).)
So in most cases in non slim people (politically correct haha) do not secrete the right amount of insulin for how much sugar is in the blood, besides you went a little ape shit to control all that sugar so chances are you have driven your blood sugar down too fast and too much.
So – its now about an hour after your breakfast and you’re feeling sluggish.
Insulin makes you sluggish.
You’re feeling tired and reaching for a cup of coffee, you have brain fog.
This is probably the low blood sugar, now…
Your bodies evolutionary response kicks in…
RAISE YOUR BLOOD SUGAR TO OPTIMUM LEVELS
It sends you a signal, eat something that will raise it.
Now you have your willpower vs an evolutionary response.
Usually you can guess who wins…
So how can you avoid this?
Eat less foods that elevate blood sugar.
THIS is why we want to avoid sugar, not because ‘it makes us fat’ but…
Because it kicks off a huge chain of high and low blood sugar, false hunger and shit food choices.
Which usually messes up your diet for the day… Which I am sure you will start again tomorrow…
This is why I am such a big advocate of avoiding carbs in the first part of the day during breakfast.
ALSO – You are more sensitive to insulin first thing in the morning, where it can do more bad than good.
It's not just all poor will power after all, just poor food choices that lead to poorer food choices.
There are four hormones that are critical to the success of your weight loss program. Cortisol, insulin, thyroid, and the sex hormones (testosterone in men, and progesterone in women). When kept in balance, these hormones have the largest effect on metabolism. When out of balance, they can prevent you from achieving the fitness results you desire.
Hormones could probably be one of the contributing reasons why you oftentimes don’t see continued results. Increasing caloric expenditure while decreasing caloric intake is a tried and true method for achieving weight loss, but many times that foolproof system fails.
Cortisol is a glucocorticoid produced in the adrenal glands in response to stress. Mental stress (work), emotional stress (divorce), physical stress (exercise), or environmental stress (toxins) are all forms of stress that cause your body to increase the production of cortisol.
When cortisol levels increase, it stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, aka the “fight or flight” system. This activation tells your body you are in some form of imminent danger and it immediately increases your blood pressure, elevates your heart rate, and releases glucose into the blood stream from your liver. If this happens for an extended period, it will start to affect other hormones and wreak havoc on your metabolism.
Some of the more important symptoms of elevated cortisol include increased insulin resistance, reduced production of thyroid stimulating hormone, blockage of T4 to T3 (thyroid), and depression of testosterone production in men and progesterone production in women2. Left unchecked, chronically elevated cortisol creates an internal environment that becomes very difficult to allow for weight loss.
How exercise can improve cortisol balance:
High intensity exercise done when cortisol levels are elevated above healthy ranges can add more stress to an already stressed system. If you think you may be in a state of chronically, or acutely, elevate cortisol, reducing the intensity of the training will not further increase cortisol. Reducing intensity helps the body to recover sooner, lowering cortisol.
Insulin is produced in the beta cells of the pancreas in response to elevated glucose levels in the blood. In small doses, insulin is very anabolic, but when insulin is secreted over long periods of time, such as when someone is in a state of insulin resistance, then the metabolism does some interesting things.
First, since the muscles are not getting fed, they signal the brain telling it you are hungry, especially for sugar since it is the fastest thing to bring energy levels up. Next it increases inflammation systemically which then increases cortisol. Lastly, when glucose levels rise, your body tries really hard to do anything it can to lower it so it shifts fuel utilization away from fat-burning to carb-burning. Bye-bye fat loss.
How exercise can positively affect insulin:
Since insulin balance and blood glucose regulation go hand-in-hand, and elevated blood glucose has been shown to slow down fat utilization4, maintaining a healthy insulin balance is important for the metabolism. High intensity interval training has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity. However, if cortisol is also suspected as being elevated, HIIT can also increase cortisol, worsening insulin resistance. A proper balance of 1-2 HIIT sessions per week, mixed with lower intensity, and recovery-based activities is a good way to start to positively affect insulin sensitivity, while allowing for long periods of recovery between bouts.
Thyroid hormone is the main metabolic hormone in the body. It is produced by the thyroid gland, located in the throat, in response to thyroid stimulating hormone that comes from the pituitary gland. However, the initial hormone produced by the thyroid, thyroxine4 (T4), is metabolically inactive. It must be converted into T3 in order to affect your metabolism. As previously stated, elevated cortisol can inhibit this conversion.
Many people that have been “diagnosed” with hypothyroid have a functioning thyroid, but their T3 level are low due to other factors. While many doctors will quickly prescribe synthetic thyroid drugs, it is important to identify what could be causing these decreased levels.
How exercise can improve thyroid balance:
Exercise intensity, especially in terms of cardiovascular exercise, has a profound effect on the thyroid hormones. A study on exercise intensity and thyroid hormone levels found that at anaerobic threshold (~70% of MHR) all thyroid hormones were improved from baseline. As intensity continued to increased, TSH also continued to rise.
Testosterone and progesterone are the two main hormones in males and females, respectively. In males, if testosterone levels fall, it causes a loss of energy, limited ability to build and maintain muscle mass, and a loss in libido. In women, lowered progesterone production causes an imbalance in the oestrogen to progesterone ratio resulting in irregular menstrual cycles, an increased risk for PCOS, pre-menopausal symptoms, and an increase of fat storage around the hips and triceps.
Ironically, elevated cortisol (i.e., chronic stress) can lower both testosterone and progesterone production through a phenomenon known as pregnenolone steal. In addition, there are several other causes to lowered sex hormones, including pesticides, xeno-estrogens, and nutrient deficiencies.
How exercise affects sex hormones:
High intensity resistance training has been shown to have the most beneficial effect on testosterone in men, and cardio training and resistance training at a moderate intensity has shown similar results on the sex hormones in women.
We all know leading up to Christmas is a time where we find it hard to resist the temptations of over-indulging, often leading to feelings of guilt, anger and disappointment if we lose the battle of the bulge. So what do many of us do?
We resolve to kick-start the New Year with a plan to trim that added weight. Unfortunately, this act of conceding to the Christmas festivities and waiting until the New Year (termed Waiting List Effect) is nothing short of an excuse to avoid some simple mindful efforts. Efforts we could easily implement to help curb our excesses or weight gain. More importantly, by implementing some mindful strategies, especially this time of the year, we can avoid the discomfort associated with allowing ourselves to fall so far into despair where regaining our true form seems almost impossible, rather than possible or even probable. Consider implementing some of these simple ideas that require only a modest amount of effort and notice the results for yourself!
Self-Awareness: Hunger versus Appetite
Increasing self-awareness of undesirable behaviours (i.e., making us more consciously aware of our actions) can help progress our well-meaning intentions into a formal plan. However, if there is not a means for execution, then any plan (no matter how well-intentioned) will most likely fail.
One effective strategy for improving self-awareness is to first differentiate hunger from appetite. Appetite appears to be the root of many cases of over-eating. While key differences are presented in the following table, hunger is essentially a biological response reminding us to replenish depleted energy reserves for physiological purposes, whereas appetite is a desire or interest to eat specific foods. Appetite can be triggered by various stimuli (i.e., smell of freshly baked bread, sight of a large dessert buffet) in the absence of hunger that oftentimes results in impulsive consequences. In other words, you may eat due to your appetite even though you are not technically hungry.
Although we have some conscious awareness to various eating triggers, most influence our sub-conscious mind, frequently driving us to eat mindlessly. Researchers demonstrated this when surveying individuals who believed they only made approximately 15-food related decisions on a daily basis. These researchers determined that we actually make approximately 200 food-related daily decisions, reinforcing the notion of a sub-conscious influence (1, 2). Therefore, improving self-awareness to these stimuli offers a critical opportunity to exercise greater conscious control of eating. The fundamental idea for success is focused around awareness of the triggers in our own lives. Start with your dietary danger zones (e.g., times snacking at your desk, while driving, when bored, at social events or restaurants, etc.) and begin recording a log of any events, experiences or situations that act as a trigger (e.g., meeting with your boss, meeting your friends for happy hour). Over time, this aggregated information should reveal problematic areas that can then be addressed with a plan to control them.
Another effective strategy is to learn to recognise and manage our own hunger levels, preventing unnecessary over-eating that can lead to increased body weight. Although hunger and appetite are quite different, they are often confused when trying to lose weight. Managing and not ignoring hunger is critical to weight loss. The practice of ignoring hunger should always be avoided because it significantly slows the body’s metabolic rate, which can impair any weight loss strategy.
Use the hunger scale presented below – aim to remain within the four-to-six score range as much as possible to avoid overeating and control unnecessary snacking (3). We have numerous biological responses that work to preserve energy reserves in the body and they push us to eat when those reserves become depleted (to some extent). Allowing your hunger scale to drop below a score of “4” will increase the tendency for binge eating as the body aggressively aims to restore energy reserves. An interesting observation in the U.S. (where obesity is an issue), is that Americans tend to stop eating at a score of “7” whereas in leaner nations, individuals tend to stop eating at a score of “6”, eating less calories (1). Numerous reasons can be identified for this overeating that includes large portions sizes, our ‘clean the plate mentality’ and abundance (value) of available cheap food.
Success at changing our eating behaviours involves small initial victories that build our self-efficacy, which can in turn influence our attitudes and beliefs. Therefore, before telling clients what they should or should not eat, stop for a moment to explore whether you actually understand why certain choices are made (i.e., seek to understand before being understood). Why would you ever tell someone to eliminate a food that may be connected to some deeply rooted emotion or experience? Remember, eating is a social and experiential behaviour that needs to be fully understood before making any change. Given this logistical challenge, perhaps we should consider tackling existing eating behaviours in a simpler way; by reducing portion sizes.
Portion sizes have steadily increased by 15 – 70% over the past 40 years due to various economic, social, technological and other reasons. As portion sizes have slowly increased during this time, we have sub-consciously lost track of a standard serving size, and now consume more calories than ever before (4). Coincidently plates and cups have also become larger to accommodate bigger servings, so mini-size your plates and glasses (e.g., use side plates). Researchers using Chex Mix®served in various sized bowls found that individuals consumed 59% more calories when eating out of the larger bowls (5). Another study using 5-day old popcorn (described as tasting like Styrofoam®) also found that even with horrible-tasting food, people eating out of the larger containers consumed 53% more food (6).
By strategically mini-sizing eating utensils (using smaller plates and glasses), the perception of food eaten can be positively influenced as illustrated below. This can reduce total caloric intake. Researchers have also determined that reducing portion sizes up to 20% usually go unnoticed, whereas reducing portions sizes by up to 30% or more creates more conscious awareness to the reductions and increased perceptions of being deprived of food and choices, which can lead to
threats to change (1).