Sugar and excess refined sugar

Just a quick post, i am going shortly on a santa and bob the builder themed weekend so won’t be back until monday!

Did you know that in the 1800’s, the average human consumed 13g of  sugar per day.

In the early 1900’s, it went up to 30g or thereabouts per day.

Then have a guess at what it is now for many people? 285g PER DAY!!!!! No wonder people are in a mess and excess refined sugar is linked to all sorts of diseases and even new diseases. The pure refined nasty stuff that majority of people consume can be 80g alone. Did you know that cardiovascular disease wan’t around until 1910, when scientists started to investigate it, now it is a huge problem with modern diets, lack of exercise and excess sugars and bad fats.

The daily recommended rate of refined/added sugar is 40g per day, one  can of pop can be that or even a little bit more than that!! Drinking excess calories is a quick way of putting on tons of weight, as well as sports drinks believe it or not, as these are definitely not needed unless you are doing more than 60 minutes of exercise each time you workout at high intensity, i like gold old fashioned water to hydrate during exercise myself.

To identify added sugar is easy, just look on the back of a product and under the sugar part, it will tell you if and how much sugar is in per serving. If you hitting around 25-30g a day, then you are doing very well and your body fat will be healthy, if you’re overweight, try and reach this or definitely under 40g.

Homework, as i’m away all weekend, try and find out how much sugar you consume most days, just pick up the product you are eating and it will tell you, remember to look for the sugar section and it may allow you to find out where you are going wrong, and where you are being very good.

Let me know your figures, should be fun!


Training at home

Training in the house

You should be looking at doing 3 workouts on your own if training in the house, and by that I mean working with resistance. That doesn’t have to be massive weights, or a stepper you never ever use, I’m talking about honest, simple exercises using your own bodyweight that work you very effectively indeed.

You need to pick 6-8 exercises when you are used to doing your home circuits, but even 4-5 exercises to start can be highly effective. The great thing about circuits too is that you are only limited by your imagination when designing your workouts. The goal is to work each body part in each workout and this is always easier than you think.

A press up for instance works not only your chest, but your shoulders, arms, back and legs even, and the all important core of your body (especially your lower back and stomach).

If you do a squat, it not only works your legs but your whole body in a way because of the energy demands it makes, your legs are your body’s biggest muscle group and therefore require most energy to work them, which in turn burns more calories. Also, when you develop your lean muscle tissue, your body demands more calories because one pound of lean muscle tissue burns up to 50 calories a day. One pound of fat for instance only burns two calories per day.

You can see that being leaner, and more shapely has many more benefits than you thought and starting a home fitness programme will very much get you on that track.

I’m going to give you plenty of options for your home circuits, and ones that are guaranteed to work every time, and get that all important metabolism going at a very quick rate, something a lot of you may not have experienced for a long time.

That’s 3 days a week covered (typically Monday, Wednesday and Friday), the other 2 days at least, I’m going to ask you to do some heart and lungs work (easiest way to describe it). This could be brisk walking, running, cycling, swimming, anything that gets your heart and lungs going. This again gets your metabolism going again, puts a lot of vital oxygen in your blood, and gets the all important process of fat-burning going again, just as the inside workouts do.

Again, the range of heart and lungs activities you do are only limited by your imagination and pick out your favourites. There are huge benefits though by mixing them up too. For example, you could do a cycle on a Sunday, and a swim on a Thursday? Or if you are running, mix your routes up to make it more fun, and combine longer routes with some shorter sprints, which really confuse the body and help you blast through plateaus.

Over the coming days, as I said, you will have lots of options thrown at you, if you are new to exercise, always make sure you get doctor’s approval before beginning any exercise programme. For the rest of you, no matter how experienced you are, it’s important to have a good structure in your exercise programme, once you have, you can then measure your progress. If you are improving most weeks or at least making a decent improvement every month, you will know your programme is working and this helps keep you motivated.

You will see a million faddy exercise gadgets and programmes, just like you will a million faddy diets, this one will work because the fundamentals of it are sound, based on science and tried and tested.


Making the connection!

Making the connection between feeling good through exercise and eating better, is critical to your long term success in following a sound health and fitness plan. If you keep on complaining everything is hard, you make excuses not to exercise, you complain all the time that healthy food is boring, and life is not worth living without all those sauces on top to flavour them, then you are clearly arenot “making the connection”.

Let’s go over the same message once again, your body can take 12 weeks to get used to a more natural way of eating, with no artificial additives, no harmful sauces, no excess sugar, no excess fat that isn’t  needed, those are the facts and sometimes you have to face the facts, and stop making the same old lame excuses, if you want to be in shape, or at least get leaner and get more energy in your life, you’re going to have to eat better full stop, drink more water and exercise with purpose, although exercising at all would make a nice little start for some.

This is a big secret for some, but making that connection is vital and numero uno!! There are many ways to get it and enjoying your exercise would be a start, but sometimes that enjoyment doesn’t come until you get a few workouts under your belt, get a routine going and start to eat well, then the feeling better process really begins and things suddenly get “enjoyable” remarkably!

Most of us do things for a reason, to avoid pain and gain pleasure. Contrary to popular belief, exercise and eating well does bring us pleasure if we do it right, and for instance, when we get compliments on how well we are looking and maybe we have lost some weight, there’s nothing better than that feeling. The short-term discomfort of getting yourself into an exercise plan will soon be outweighed by about a thousand different benefits, let’s get out there and make the connection once and for all!

Inspiration and desperation!

Most people will actually get off their backsides for one of two reasons. It will be either be out of inspiration or out of desperation! How many of you have never applied for a job because  although you knew you had the ability to do the job, it would be “easier” to ignore it and stay in your “comfort zone”, even if being in that comfort zone didn’t make you particularly happy, you were worse off financially and emotionally.

You may be inspired to do things sometimes by seeing others battle and win against all the odds, and you will be encouraged to follow suit. It’s always great when others have shown you the way to do it, and will often give you the nudge to lift your game a level or two.

I certainly followed the desperation route, I remember working in a fairly mundane office job, having already passed my health and fitness qualifications, I saw an opening for a job in a new health club. Someone in the office questioned me loudly and doubted my ability to get that job (although secretly I was not prepared to settle for that job anyway, I wanted to work for myself). I was already fitness instructing 4 hours a day and decided I needed to do something big with my new qualifications.

My response was out of desperation and I wanted massive change in my life, the next step was I phoned the local paper to put myself on trial and train the chief reporter, and if she found me not that good-report it, if she found it good-report it, the results thankfully turned out very well and my one act of desperation allowed me to get real momentum in my career and encouraged me to keep taking action. I didn’t listen to the “you’ll never do it” brigade (and there were plenty), I just kept my head down and did it, and momentum became very powerful indeed, so much so that it became like second nature.

This piece is not to “big myself up”, its to encourage you to take action as it can become a habit, a very good one, and it was desperately hard for me to take the first step too!

If you keep on working hard, keep on doing good things often without receiving any credit, do things because you want to and help others, and you will be on the road to being more successful in your chosen field.

Staying on course

So how’s it all going? Have you managed to stay on course, and if you have, does it feel better? Have you avoided getting blitzed in the Christmas party? Have you managed to train the day after consuming all those goodies?

Have you hidden behind the excuse of “I have no time”? What about training before work, even one set of everything will make a difference, anything is better than not doing a thing? What doing even something means is that you are still keeping your hand in, you are still keeping your metabolism going, you are still helping your mood stay high even with the upcoming or ongoing stresses, you are still in the “game” of exercise, and that means you are not going to give in that easily.

I started a workplace class off today in Llantrisant, and the great thing about it, they were all keen to get going as they were either new to exercise, or hadn’t exercised for a long time. There’s nothing like that enthusiasm of getting going for the first time, and real sense of excitement and wonder of how exactly how far you can take yourself. This is one example of a group determined not to slip back over Christmas, and I actually think they will improve, and hit the ground running in 2010, which is always a great situation.

Your choice, you either collapse under all the rubbish food and booze, or you still have a bit of what you fancy, put some good food in there too, and get a couple of fresh air workouts in and really feel energised about the big start to the new year!