Here’s a subject you have heard me bang on about a few times. So i’m not going to break the habit, let’s look at it again!

Eating well shouldn’t be that hard, you know if you eat an apple, a piece of chicken, a piece of fish, brown rice, a potato, a carrot, porridge etc, you know you are eating well and you’re not having any refined sugar. Are you still confused about eating well or do you need more education about eating well? I think all of us need to educate ourselves from time to time, and remind ourselves of what can really be destroying our fat loss plans!

Tracking sugar is the hardest thing for most people, and food companies go out of their way to hide it in your foods. Let’s face it, sugar tastes nice and can be addictive, and will sometimes totally put you off eating plainer, natural foods full of nutrients. You will naturally crave more of the sugary foods, so the food company will win all round, as they know you will come back every time for their sugar-laced products, and the products range from everything, from so called healther cereals, to sliced ham’s, to sugary drinks dressed up as orange juice.

So how do these food companies hide their sugar in the foods they produce? They have to list the ingredients that are the biggest portions of the product first, and work the way down to the smallest additive.  Sugar in its plainest form will be sugar or sucrose. Then it gets pretty sly on the sugary ingredients. Fructose, corn syrup, glucose, honey, cane juice crystals, rice syrup, molassses, caramel, cane sugar, fruit juice, inverted sugar are just a few of the ways addictive calories are added to your food and derail your diet, and your body’s performance!

Most cereals in the supermarket are great examples of these additives, and many of the most popular ones have some or all of these ingredients. They create your cravings for sugar, and this will transfer to other food groups too, before you know you will be ingesting an awful lot of needless sugar in just one day. Have you ever got used to eating like this and then you’ve been on it so long that you accuse anyone who eats plainer, more wholesesome foods as “boring”, i know i’ve been accused of that a few times!! Eating all of these sugary foods every day doesn’t make you the life and soul of the party either!! It’s time to get all this rubbish out of your life and right now if you want to make some serious progress and quickly, let’s sort it out now!!

The more sugar you take in, the more you’re going to want more. The average person in this country and the US takes in 20 to 25 teaspoons of sugar per day, directly or indirectly. This alone will add up to 40 pounds of body fat increase per year, so up to you?

The sooner you make your commitment to eating more natural foods the better, if it’s man made, you know it’s nearly always a disaster for your body! Think about it and let’s make it happen this week.


Interval training

Snowed in for the first time in a long time today, so posting this a little earlier than planned! If you really want to maximise your fat burning, forget all those boring long distance runs that can stress your joints, try this one to jump start your metabolism!

If you are running for example, try and use lampposts as a guide for training intensity. You would jog slowly for one post, then sprint the next post, then jog the next, sprint the next one after and so on. Your efforts may only last a couple of minutes at a time to start with but this a great form of training for increasing your stamina, and really getting your fat burning underway.

If you on a treadmill in a gym, try running slow and steady for one minute, the sprint the next minute or certainly push it, slow for the next minute, sprint the next minute after that and so on. If you can work up to 20 minutes of this, you will be doing extremely well indeed!

If you are out cycling, try making your training intervals a bit longer, so you could still use landmarks, it’s just that they will be further spaced out. They could be 100 yards of sprinting on the bike, then 100 yards of steady pedalling, then you go for it again for 100 yards and so on. You can make the intervals any distance you want, depending on how you feel and which route you are on. Cycling is not always about long distances, and don’t forget, brit mark cavendish is one of the msot exciting riders, and he’s a sprinter who concentrates on the last couple of 100 metres in the tour de france (although he may have rode 100km before that!).

Ensure you have a good warm up before attempting any of these,  as they will stretch you over short periods and will be very intense. They can add great excitement to your workouts. To get up to this kind of workout, i would suggest you build up a base first to get some stamina levels and you don’t shock your system too quickly. You could even try using this system in a daily walk just to start off, it will work you hard, and break the monotony of the walk up.

All to be done when the snow goes of course!!


Gym based workouts

Had some emails in so i’m going to do a great gym circuit that works, and is very much using the same principles of the home workout, which really works too of course!

Select 6-8 exercises again, trying to work each body part in each circuit, and try to do a total of 3 circuits if your fitness allows. Take sips of water in between each circuit, and use good form in each exercise, no cheating or using too much weight for the sake of it!!

Use 8-10 reps for each exercise, and i like 12-15 reps on the leg exercises, you will get out of breath so scale down the weight you normally use, over the weeks that weight will go back up slowly as your fitness improves.

Bench press (chest)

One arm dumbbell rowing (back)

Upright rows (shoulders)

Leg press (legs)

Arm dips (using bench) (triceps)

Dumbbell curls (arms)

Sit ups (do as many as possible)

So basically, you will be using the same principles as the home circuit (see my previous posts), and if you really put a good effort in, you will get an excellent sweat and really get out of breath. Plus you will be breaking down muscle tissue, as you should now by now will raise your metabolism significantly (burn more calories 24 hours a day!).

Other examples would be

Pec deck

Lat pulldowns

Lateral raises

Leg extensions

Leg curls

Plank-Aim for 1 minute eventually (the gold standard)

Alternate squat thrusts-your best effort on each one, it’s a great exercise!

Your combination of circuits is only limited by your imagination. The bottom line is i repeat, DO EACH EXERCISE IN PROPER FORM, not simply so quick as just to finish it, or you won’t get the results you want!

I would do these circuits in the gym on a monday, wednesday and a friday (use the 48 hours in between each circuit to your advantage). These are over quickly but bring some big results to your body’s firmness and stamina levels. All good stuff!


To train with asthma or not? Turning back the clock!

Simon, a new member now living in Chicago, has joined because he wants to get back into shape again, after many years of focusing on his career, and his family, having three children now, he wishes to return to the fitness of his youth. At 41 years young, he feels out of it, and in his own words, more than a little scared about taking the plunge into the commitment of being fit and healthy again.

Through his years of inactivity, he has increased his issues with asthma, and was wondering whether it was possible again to get into shape with this seemingly threatening condition (it is for many people). I suffered with this condition myself and have offered him some words of reassurance. If it wasn’t for exercise, my asthma would be still holding me back, and stop me doing a lot of things. When you cannot do things most people consider normal, your self-confidence is shot to bits, your self-esteem is crushed and a “limited” life of activity is no fun and very bad for morale. I now train many people with asthma, and they feel the same as me, if they DON’T exercise, they get the wheezing back and feel terrible, their workouts and good food are now the best medicine they can take, and there are no limitations left in their lives any more, even on the cold days like now!!

Simon is also wondering whether he can really do it again, he is 41 now and how will his body react? I have reasured him again and i have had individuals start training at 70 years of age, so he has a major headstart! He will be doing the 12 week challenge, and i will advise him to begin slowly, let his tendons and ligaments get used to exercise again, and give it time to adjust again. Then he can propel himself the former heights with a sound diet too. The lack of confidence he has now will disappear through the things he will accomplish, the self-esteem will come back and his children will have a great role model to look up to. He has two choices, either get into great shape or face the slow decline into old age, with the so called “limitations” that many people face in life.

 He wants an active life for himself and his kids, see how he gets on and watch for his posts, i know he needs encouragement and hopefully, he will help everyone else out too!


See your future

I like some of the comments being posted behind my posts by users of this site. They are positive, they are helpful, and full of real life experience. In a way, you are all practicing a very important habit, you are trying to see where you are going before you even get there, this is not nonsense or jumping the gun, it does really help to visualise your future, and the way you want to look.

Some of the ways you can do this is remember the way you used to be at your very best, dig out the old photo’s of when you looked great, or even in you don’t have them to hand, you can get inspired by someone else’s transformation and cut that photo out, on how you want to look. All you women do it all the time, you pick out a photo of a woman with the hair you want and take it to the hairdresser don’t you?

Using this site and being constantly reminded of what is possible will be proof to you every day that transformations are really possible. The new energetic healthy you is not that far away as long as you fully adopt a healthy lifestyle, and hit your workouts with purpose, and simply do not “go through the motions”! The more you imagine and visualise your future body, the stronger your mind will become, as well as the drive and determination you’re going to need to get there. Apart from good eating and good training, this will fuel your ultimate success more than anything.