Gym memberships, the truth

A number of years ago, i was talking to one of the manager’s of the biggest gym in the area, and he proudly boasted that they had 6000 members. I looked around at the training area and asked him, “what if they all show up”?, he replied “oh there’s no chance of that”, i then told him that at best you couldn’t fit more than 60 people (at a push) in the gym area, so asked him again, what if even 10% show up, he told me again “there’s no chance of that”! That would still be 600 people (10%)!!

I told him its a sad situation when if you get 60 people, you’re at your maximum, and that’s only 1% of your membership!!! He replied that they rarely had that and most people never showed up after their initial couple of weeks. He went on and told me that the gym machines were all rented and they needed at least a couple of thousand members to pay the overheads and staff.

They would employ sales staff to attract people in supermarkets, getting them to sign direct debits, and this was a process that happened 4-5 times per year, constantly looking for new people because a large percentage would cancel their membership once they realised they never went!

I found out over the years that this practice was common throughout most big scale gyms, and was saddened to see so many people signing up for the new gyms, only to share their dissatisfaction with me when they found out they didn’t use their membership, like i warned them before they signed.

If you’re part of my programme, or using this site to further develop your physical and mental potential, you know you’re not going to get short-changed, given “fancy” advice, or diets that are in fashion for a few weeks. YOU KNOW that you will get tried and tested advice, common sense and a programme that will last you for life!

You may have been a victim of gym mis-selling, been members of countless weight loss clubs, or just not had enough confidence to get into great shape once and for all? Whatever your situation, you can be sure this is the forum where you can get the answer to any question you have, as well as being able to write your own story/experience to inspire others!

Keep your thoughts coming in,


family menu ideas

As the response to yeserday was very positive, here’s some actual menu’s that seem to work really well in practice so let me know what you think again?

Some simple ideas for a simple, full of energy week!

  • Monday
  • Breakfast Porridge with blueberries and strawberries. Glass of apple juice
  • Mid-morning banana and tangerine
  • Lunch wholemeal wrap with chicken and salad
  • Afternoon Apricots and almonds
  • Supper chicken stir fry with couscous and salad
  • Tip 1  when you’re making healthy food, make it tasty by being  more creative, use different flavours such as spices herbs and make your own sauces more or use lower fat versions. This will then feel as if healthy food is finally tasty for you!
  • Tuesday
  • Breakfast porridge with a little honey and sultanas for flavour. Glass of orange juice
  • Mid-morning-3 oatcakes and an orange
  • Lunch turkey and veggies stuffed into a wholemeal pitta bread
  • Afternoon a fruit salad
  • Evening mashed sweet potatoes with some trout stuffed with peppers and peas in sliver foil
  • Tip 2 let children decide what evening meal is which makes food choices more interesting
  • Wednesday
  • Breakfast-muesli with chopped apple and blueberries. Glass of orange juice
  • Mid-morning a small handful of almonds and a banana
  • Lunch jacket potato with tin of tuna and a green salad
  • Pm fresh fruit and yoghurt smoothie made night before from fridge put in cooler box
  • Evening prawn stir fry with jacket potato
  • Tip 3 let kids pick veggies and prawns and help cook the stir fry as it’s so simple
  • Thursday
  • Breakfast porridge with grated apple and cut up dates. Glass of red orange juice
  • Mid morning wholemeal muffin with apple
  • Lunch scrambled eggs in school on wholemeal toast with beans, no spread
  • Pm strawberry smoothie in cool box
  • Evening  home made cawl, broth full of veggies with pieces of ham or chicken
  • Tip 4 limit or eliminate salt in cooking or on food
  • Friday
  • Breakfast poached eggs on wholemeal toast with beans and glass of pineapple juice
  • Mid-morning pieces of pineapple
  • Lunch two wholemeal  turkey sandwiches with little spread and plenty of salad
  • Pm natural yoghurt with berries and nuts in cool box
  • Evening salmon fishcakes with potato and green beans
  • Tip 5-frozen fruit, veg, chicken, fish are as good as fresh food so having a good freezer supply is vital
  • Saturday
  • Breakfast scrambled eggs on wholemeal toast with glass or orange juice
  • Mid-morning apple and small flapjack
  • Lunch tuna, potatoes, olives, red onion, green beans, boiled egg
  • Pm dried cranberries and walnuts
  • Evening butternut squash and soya bean risotto with broccoli
  • Tip 6 Keep plenty of snacks available, fruit, nuts and more natural snack bars
  • Sunday
  • Breakfast 2 boiled eggs with whole wheat bread to dip in and glass of orange juice
  • Mid-morning fave veggies with hummus dip
  • Lunch traditional lunch but try to reduce gravy a little bit
  • Pm frozen fruit and yoghurt smoothie
  • Evening salmon and prawn casserole with mashed potato and spinach

Tip 7 use a variety of foods throughout the week, and remember to keep your shopping trolley mostly full of fresh, nutritious food but with the occasional treat. Everything in moderation works and this way you will keep your cravings at bay.

See how you get on and let me know any problems/advantages you find with it.


Guide to eating well as a family

Living as a family often means eating together too, so it’s important to get the right foods in, to help make your family as healthy and active as possible. You won’t always be perfect, but making small sacrifices can be important in the long term, and make sure healthy habits are formed early, which means they are likely to last long term studies have shown.

Here are some ideas i have given out to all the parents i train, to help them make healthier lives for their children and themselves! 

 The right way to eat for your family


  • Breakfast

–     We all  have problems eating breakfast, especially eating good stuff. Here’s some ideas. 

  • You can throw some sultanas, berries or some banana over your cereal, how about mixing 2 or 3 fruit juices up together as a drink or making your own smoothie by throwing in some fruit with some milk in a blender, you can make your own muesli more fun by putting in some apricots, dates, figs, chopped orange and apples.
  • How about chopping up a ripe banana on some toast instead of a big spoon of butter or marge?
  • Eggs are great for protein and can taste great on toast. These ideas work well especially when you’re trying  to get more fruit in your diet without really noticing.

–     mid-morning

–     Remember this is a way of life and not a diet! No starving yourself please?

  •  Smaller apples with more flavour work well as well as tangerines which can be easier to peel than oranges.
  • Kiwis taste great as well as cherries, blueberries and strawberries.
  • Nuts like brazils, cashews and almonds are beautiful as a handful and give you a lot of good fats for a change!





–     Because you’ve eaten twice before lunch time, you should feel less hungry  than you normally do. If you’re starving eating lunch, then you’re likely to pick the wrong foods and have a real binge.

–     Packed lunches are often the choice for most children and with a little planning, they can make a successful day for you.

  • Sandwiches are often king and although wholemeal bread is king, white bread kids love and with some wholemeal flour can be better than just plain white, also you could combine white and wholemeal slices in a sandwich?
  • Whole meal pitta bread is also a great choice and is lower in calories and can make a great change. Also, when making a sandwich, try and pack it with veggies as well as the meat,  fish, chicken etc, it may be a toughie to start with but you’ll soon get used to it.
  • Fish is a great food for the brain as well as rest of body which can be mixed with things like pesto and veggies, and can go great in a sandwich. Chicken also works well and seems to be universally liked, providing a high protein source and goes well with any combo of veg and salad. Lean beef is also good as it’s tasty and much lower in fat than it used to be .

–      Remember to keep the spread small too, don’t slap it on, merely a smearing will do

  •   If you want to use mayo, use a small amount and the lowest in fat please.
  •  I used to have yoghurts in my sandwich box but most seem full of sugar these days. Natural yoghurt sounds horrible but with some berries, chopped apples, dried fruit, nuts in a re-usable sealed pot can be very tasty and hugely energising.
  •  Rather than put cheese in a sandwich, use it as a snack. There a lot of cheese snacks these days but most are full of additives, a simple piece or two of tasty cheese will do the trick. Low fat versions for parents or cottage cheese versions much better again!
  •  However good your lunch box, don’t serve the same stuff every day or kids get bored, mix it up with different fruit, different bread for sandwiches, different yoghurts etc and interest will be maintained. Same with parents, we all get bored if you don’t change it!
  • Using dips works too with things like hummus and a cool box for the lunch box will keep all of these healthy ingredients cool and much more appetising after being in a school bag all morning. Same with parents food boxes, we all want nice food and cool to taste.

–     You’re never going to completely ban treats so just trying scaling them down to very other day to start. Most of us  adapt quickly to this and soon get used to having treats sometimes just once a week. A good idea sometimes is to make your own cakes perhaps using a little less sugar than normal. And if you put mostly natural ingredients in, at least they are going  to be much better than what we can get in shops!

  •  Mid-afternoon

–     This is a typical time when all of our energy levels are tested.

  •  A small handful of nuts (almonds, brazils, cashews etc) would be a great choice and give you some of the healthy fats your body needs.
  • A piece of fruit such as an apple, banana or orange would be great too for some added energy.
  • Remember to keep a variety of food every day so you’re not eating the same old stuff all the time or you will rebel and grab something that’s high in fat and sugars and normally off limits for you.
  • Evening meal

–     How many of us have got home and felt starving even before we’ve got through the door. We pick something sometimes like a cheese sandwich to tide us over before the bit meal comes along. There’s nothing we can do about it either unless we have followed the typical day’s eating we have just talked about which will sort out those feelings.

  • Good examples of an evening meal would be some chicken/fish, with vegetables in whatever way you want as long as they’re not drowned in rich sauces, from a stir fry with a little olive oil to any healthy cooking method you want, and some brown rice, whole wheat pasta or some new potatoes and more examples to follow.
  • You can get buy or make your own tomato sauce/pesto to add to these meals. 
  • Always look to add veg to whatever meal you’re having in the evening, extra veg on some pasta and top of a pizza, use hummus as a dip,
  • use fruit salad a gorgeous dessert, or some natural yoghurt with fruit chopped in, with some nuts and maybe dried fruit also, a bit of imagination can go a long way in making the most important family meal of the day a roaring success!
  • Eating often is fun and good for you!

–     This day’s eating is all about eating every 3 hours or so, raising the rate our bodies burn calories so we burn more fat, feeling full throughout the day so we don’t feel the need to binge at certain time, and actually feel about hundred times better than we have before.


Positive trade off’s

–     You CAN keep this way of eating up if you really try and all it takes sometimes is  5 minutes preparation the night before making a packed lunch.

–     Plus, all that money you will have spent on junk food can go on something worthwhile, like a new dvd or some new clothes!

  • Summing up

–     changing your lifestyle to a rewarding healthy one starts with what you put into your body. Make it a priority when you go to a supermarket to influence your parents on what you want to eat. As a parent, you can inspire your kids to eat well too. They will listen if you tell then you want good food (and vice-versa) and soon it will become second nature.

–     Make sure you try and work up to 5 servings of fruit and veg a day

–     Try and get 2 servings of protein such as fish, chicken, eggs, lean beef, nuts, lentils etc per day.

–     Choose 2 portions of milk, yoghurt, cheese etc for calcium and extra protein

–     Use whole meal/wholegrain versions of pasta, bread, rice, cereals, potatoes to give you lots of energy every day.

–     Try to limit these in your diet using them more as a treat-Crisps, cakes, biscuits, pastries, chips, mayo,  salad cream, margarine, cooking oil, pop/fizzy drinks

Do your best and give it a go!