Setting yourself up for… FAILURE

At this time of year, you have eaten way too much, and you have this guilt within that you need to do something to make up for the over consumption.

New Year is coming, and you hear the whispers of ‘I want to get fit’, ‘I want to lose weight’ etc and you start to think along the same lines.

If this is you, do it for the right reasons and not because everyone else is doing it.

So,

What do you do?

You buy new gym clothes

You prepare to visit the gym that you haven’t visited for a while, perhaps since last January. Potentially, you have joined a new gym.

A bunch of cook/recipe books have been ordered and are due for delivery any day now.

Your motivation is high, and you are keen to get started and see some amazing results from all the hard work you are about to put in.

The first couple of weeks you feel amazing, you have more energy, you feel fitter and you are buzzing.

Then it hits, you are constantly starving, you are shattered, you are grumpy and on edge.

The visits to the gym decrease, your motivation wanes, you find yourself snacking on junk food.

Sound familiar?

This is very common and the main thing you are setting yourself up for is FAILURE.

Now, being motivated is great and I am not trying to discourage you, all I ask is that you have a plan of action before starting.

How long will your motivation last if you don’t see any results and the changes you make aren’t sustainable?

Well… what should I do, I hear you ask?

Set goals: What do you want to achieve? Make sure to have SMART goals so that you can track progress.

If I was to change ‘I want to lose weight’ to ‘I want to drive a car’, you would have some questions.

Where am I driving to?

How long will it take?

What roads am I driving?

To name a few.

You wouldn’t just jump in a car and drive around aimlessly, hoping that you end up where you want to be. The same applies for goals.

Change one thing at a time: Don’t overhaul your whole routine and expect it to ‘click’. Change one thing at a time and allow that to become part of your routine and once this happens, change something else.

Forming a habit is what you are trying to achieve, and this doesn’t happen overnight. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

 

“Life’s a journey not a destination”.

– Aerosmith

 

Your schedule: Any goals/changes that you make, make sure that they fit into your weekly schedule. There’s no point in setting a goal that would require you to be in the gym 6 days a week when you only have time for 3 days.

Schedule in exercise over a week as you would do any other appointments and stick to it.

If you take only one thing away, take this.

If you put money into a savings account, over time your savings will grow, and you will have more money. You wouldn’t save for one month and expect to be rich?

It is the same for your fitness.

If you start to exercise, over time you will become fitter/leaner, and you will see your results. Exercising for one month will not get you to where you want to be.

Thanks for reading and good luck!

Stuart.

Calories – Friend or Foe?

What is a calorie? Most would believe that it is the King of the nutrition world where you should bow down to its almighty power. You respect the calorie but also fear it at the same time.

A calorie, by its simplest definition, is a unit of energy. A food calorie refers to a kilocalorie, or 1000 cal. That is, 1 food cal equals 1 kcal, or the amount of energy needed to raise 1 kg water 1°C [1]. I will say it again, it is a unit of energy and that is all. Do you feel the same when thinking about ‘Watts’ or ‘Volts’?

There is an obsession today that is focused around calories and food that is, in general, having a negative impact.

When talking about foods, what is one of the first questions to be asked? How many calories does it have? It is great to have an understanding of nutrition, don’t let it dictate what you do.

People are almost afraid of food due to the thought of what it might do to them.

A calorie, by its simplest definition, is a unit of energy.

Your friends are going out for dinner and they ask you to join them. What would you do?

  • Decline their offer and instead choose to stay at home
  • Go out but have very little to eat with the fear of the extra calories
  • Go out and enjoy yourself

Say you are looking to consume 2000 calories a day to maintain your current weight. You have 300 calories for breakfast, 200 calories as a snack, 400 calories for lunch and another 100 calories as a snack leaving1000 calories for the rest of the day. If you were to go out for dinner and consume 800kcals and nothing else until the next day, what would this mean? Weight loss. You are in a calorie deficit by 200 calories.

The above shows you that you are still able to maintain/lose weight while enjoying yourself at the same time. Try not to look at food and automatically think ‘calories’, look at the food for what it is. Make your decisions based on if you like to eat the food or not rather than making the decision based on the calorie content.

Remember – foods that are high in calories will not make you gain weight, over consuming calories will.

Be accountable for your food choices allowing you to eat the foods you like and want to eat.

More importantly, ENJOY your food!

Any questions – email stuart@smtrainingandnutrition.com

 

 

 

 

References

1.    Andrea C Buchholz and Dale A Schoeller. Is a calorie a calorie? American Society for Clinical Nutrition. 2004

 

 

 

Not enough hours in the day?

Are you constantly wishing for more than 24 hours in a day?

You are working as hard as you can but never seem to get anything completed?

You want to look after you, but have no time to do so?

People often say ‘I wish I could do to the gym but I’ve just no time’. While this can be true for some it also can be an excuse for others. If you really wanted to watch your favourite TV show on a Monday night, would you make time? If you wanted to go out with your friends, would you make time? It boils down to wanting it or thinking you should have it. There is a difference between ‘I want to exercise’ and ‘I think I should exercise’.

Maybe you don’t have the energy to do anything else after you have finished your work. Believe it or not but exercise can help with this, it can give you MORE energy. Maybe you are too stressed to exercise – exercise can help with this also. 

Take responsibility. If you want to be fit, healthier, leaner, less stressed or just feel better about yourself then do something about it. 

You are maybe thinking that it’s easy for me to say. That I’m one of the ‘weirdos’ who loves to exercise. 

That’s not the case. 

Actually, it’s not until recently that I decided I had to change my ways. I have a young family, work odd hours and have childcare responsibilities. My spare time is limited and for a long while I had the excuse ‘I don’t have time’. I still managed to watch TV at night or go on my computer. My diet was poor due to bad food choices, choosing convenient food over home cooked because ‘I didn’t have time’. 

What changed? 

I wasn’t happy. Happiness is important, right?

I also found extra motivation. My son is 2 and I want to be around as long as possible for him. I needed to look after myself. 

Another big incentive was the fact in 2017 I turn 30. Is that all I hear you say?! Yes I’m bald but I’m still in my twenties. 

What helped me? Time management. 

Planning my time was a massive help. I work multiple jobs, all varying in times, I look after my son, I want to see my wife (weird for a husband to say, I know), I need to plan and prep my work and I also want some ME time. 

I prioritised tasks, from urgent/important all the way to non important. 

I set my week out. For each day I broke it down to six sections – early/late morning, early/late afternoon and early/late evening. 

First, I looked at things that I had to do such as work and childcare. I couldn’t change these. 

Second, I put in anything else that is important or urgent. Replying to emails, lesson planning and contacting clients. These had to be done during the week but didn’t have a set time. 

I then had my week planned out so I was able to see my spare time. I could add in any other odd jobs that needed completed. This also highlighted time I could use to exercise which in my case was go to the gym. 

If you want something. Go get it. Period

Maybe you always have a Monday night free and there’s a badminton club on a Monday night? Give it a go. Maybe you have a friend that’s free on a Thursday afternoon as well. Go for a walk? Exercise doesn’t have to be treadmills and cross trainers. Find something that you enjoy and not what you think you should do. 

Stop making excuses and instead have action. 

If there is no struggle, then there is no progress.

If I can do anything to help or if you have any questions about the above, give me a shout. 

Stuart 

http://www.smtrainingandnutrition.com



Exercise and Nutrition

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It is the time of year where many start a ‘get healthy’ routine. To do this they start to exercise more than what they have done previously as well as paying closer attention to what they are eating. Typically, under-eating is what happens and along with the additional exercise weight loss occurs. This is science. If you burn off more calories than what you are consuming, then you will lose weight.

Energy in < Energy out = Weight loss

Carbohydrates have been seen to be the ‘bad guy’ for many years now. ‘If you eat too much bread, you will get fat’. Due to this, carbohydrates tend to be the first to be reduced in a diet. Just to be clear. If you eat too much of anything and your body doesn’t require the energy there and then, it will be stored as fat. Now, you can argue that for an individual who is sedentary that a diet consisting of a lower amount of carbohydrates could be beneficial but you are not sedentary. You have increased your activity levels, for most it is a big increase. The main function of carbohydrates is to provide energy – energy that you will need for the exercise you have planned.

 Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of energy

 At this point, you are maybe thinking, ‘I’ve reduced my carbohydrates, I’m exercising 5 days a week and my weight is coming down’. This all sounds like you are on the right track, right? One question I would suggest you ask yourself – can I sustain this approach? If the answer is no, change something. If the answer is yes, are you really consuming a diet that consists of low carbohydrates.

 The weight you are losing, isn’t just fat. There is a big difference between weight loss and fat loss, but that is for another post. The lack of carbohydrates, over time, will make you feel lethargic, moody, training results can decrease due to the lack of energy, potential injuries can occur, increased ratio of fat to lean muscle can happen. Doesn’t sound good, right?

 For most you would be looking at a diet consisting of around 2-4g per kilo of bodyweight. For example, someone who was 80kg, would intake 160-320g of carbohydrates a day, equating to 640-1280 calories per day. This will help to keep your body’s energy levels up and allow you to get the most from your workout.  If you are exercising at a moderate/high intensity up to 60 minutes, this may increase to 5-6g per kilo bodyweight. These are just guidelines, and should be adjusted to meet your own needs.

 While exercising, unless you are spending a good amount of time doing so, there isn’t a need to be gulping down that sugary drink or taking the gels. They may taste good; however, they aren’t needed and may make your calorie intake higher than your output.  For anything up to around 60 minutes, water will do just fine. For activities lasting longer than 60 minutes, a sports drink can help to replace sweat fluid and electrolytes.

Know your sweat rate. Ideally you would weight yourself in the nude before and after exercise. When weighing after exercise, you would pat yourself dry to get rid of any excess fluid/weight. You are looking for the difference in your weight while also taking note of how much fluid you had during exercise. For example;

 Start of exercise: 80kg

After exercise: 79.5kg

Fluid consumed: 500mls

Time: 30 minutes

 Overall fluid loss would be 1 litre as you have lost 0.5kg in weight but also replaced 0.5kg with the 500mls consumed. Remember 1 litre = 1 kilo. Take the 1 litre and divide by 0.5 to calculate your hourly sweat rate as this was over a period of 30 minutes. In this case the sweat rate would be 2 litres per hour. To fully hydrate, aim to consume 1.5 litres of fluid for every kilo lost during exercise to compensate for fluid lost through urination. Therefore, the end total would be 3 litres of fluid to fully hydrate.

 1 kilo is the same as 1 litre

 Once you have finished your exercise, you are aiming to refuel the body to recover from your session while preparing for the next session. The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) advise to consume a meal consisting of carbohydrates and protein with a ratio of 1:0.5 within 30 minutes of exercise while also consuming a high carbohydrate meal within 2 hours following exercise.

 If you are looking to train again in short succession i.e. training in the evening and again the next morning, you should look to start the recovery process as soon as you have finished to help replenish the energy stores within the muscles. Eating carbohydrates with a high Glycaemic Index would be beneficial as they would get into the body quickly.

 If you are not training again within 24 hours, then there isn’t a big demand to eat the carbohydrate rich foods.

 A big thing to take away from this would be that carbohydrates are not the enemy and if you are an active individual, you need carbs.

 If you have any questions of the above or if you would like to give feedback, please feel free to leave a comment of email me at stuart@smtrainingandnutrition.com

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Stuart.

You don’t have to be a genius to improve your diet

We have all been in the situation where we search the internet, desperate for all the answers. 

How many calories should I eat? 

What percentage split should I use for my macronutrients? 

What’s the best diet for fat loss? 

How long do I need to spend on the treadmill if I eat this Mars Bar?! 

Before you know it, you have found a whole heap of information, formulas and equation that require you to be at an Einstein level to understand. 

Keep it simple. 

If you are just starting out and you are wanting to improve your diet, there’s no need to start counting calories. 

1. Eat more single ingredient foods – these are nutrient dense foods that have plenty good stuff in them. Make your meals as fresh as possible using foods that are close as possible to their natural state. 

2. Eat breakfast – set yourself up for the day ahead. Give your body the energy it needs after fasting all night. 

3. Drink around 2-4 litres of water a day – keep you hydrated all day (the extra bathrooms breaks will be worth it)
4. Reduce the amount of processed foods – foods that have been packed full of artificial sweeteners etc. These are foods that are low in nutrients and have no real significant benefits. These are often higher in calories which results in weight gain. 

5. Eat plenty fruit and vegetables – both are full of vitamins and minerals which help the body to function properly. Eat your greens! 

6. Eat more fibre – proper fibre intake can help to ensure gut health while also assisting in weight loss. 

If you consistently follow the above 6 steps you should start to notice results. Not a single calorie has been counted! 

So, what’s the best diet?

The one that works for you. 

The one you can consistently stick to. 

The one you where you can perform at your best. 

Sorry I can’t be as specific as you would like me to be. 

Work on creating good habits and the rest will come. 

Have a good week. 

Stuart 

Where to start?! 

There hasn’t been a lot of communication in the last few weeks, however, that doesn’t mean it’s all been quiet. I’ve been busy behind the scenes, aiming to give the best service possible, so make sure you stay up to date by following the link below. 

http://smtrainingandnutrition.us14.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=6a29d58ed6fe020f0e1ed5e25&id=697fc0965f

Where should you start when it comes to your nutrition? First, you need to know where you are right now. Only when you know that can you put a plan in place to go forward. 

Second, don’t overhaul your whole diet, only eating plain boring ‘healthy’ foods. Realistically, how long will you be able to keep that going? Make small changes to start with, maybe picking two for three goals per week.

Let’s say you eat a lot of ready/microwave meals, one goal could be to eat a homecooked meal at least 5 times a week. Maybe it’s eat more vegetables, drink more water, eat breakfast every morning. Whatever these mini goals are no matter how small, if you do them consistently, they will make a big change. 

Don’t worry about counting your macros and making sure you get the right split. When and if you need to do that, you can worry about it at a future date. You want to try and lay down some good habits which will become your normal routine. A routine you can consistently achieve and is sustainable in the long run. Change too much too soon and you will be stuck going back and forth, one diet to the next. 

Try it for a couple weeks to a month and I’m pretty confident that you will see some progress. 

Be accountable. 

Be consistent. 

If you can do the above then the results won’t be far away. 

If you need a little help, you know where I am. 

Have a good week! 

Stuart 

How important is a coach that understands?

If you knew that the person who you are thinking of asking for help with your nutrition has experienced similar struggles, would you be more or less likely to ask for help?

If you visit or talk to someone who is lean and exercises would this put you off. would you feel embarrassed? Have you ever thought or said something similar to,’They won’t know what I go through on a daily basis’ or ‘They don’t know, they are just so lean, it must be really easy for them’.

I used to play a lot of football up until roughly 6 years ago. Due to this, I never once worried about what I was eating as I was doing more than enough to burn it off. The football then stopped but the eating habits continued. Since then I have experienced the highs and lows of being overweight, not feeling comfortable with the way I look, wanting to do something about it but being stuck in a rut.

I know what it is like to wake up and be dazed by the question, ‘what do I wear?’. Constantly wearing baggy clothes to hide any weight issues, always wearing the same handful of tops as they are comfortable to me. A night out, having to wear a shirt, wasn’t my idea of fun. All I would think about would be getting back to the house so I could take of my jeans and get into my comfortable joggers so my legs could breathe!

I know where you are coming from, maybe I haven’t experienced exactly the same as you but I’m not a million miles away.

Now, it’s not going to be a case of what works for me will work for you. What I eat compared to what you eat will be different. What I will do, is apply the knowledge I have and treat you as an individual. What I offer you will fit in with your lifestyle and be something that you can sustain. There will be no fad diet, no quick fix, just real food eaten in a real way.

I have managed to change my habits for the better through dedication and hard work and you can too. No food is ‘bad’ food. Eat in moderation and be accountable for your food choices.

How bad do you want it?

7 days with poor nutrition makes one weak 

One of the biggest reasons for not having a great diet is ‘I don’t have the time’. 

Is that an excuse or are we really that busy?

Let’s break it down. There are 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day and then 7 days in a week. If my maths are right, that should equal 10080 minutes. You have over 10000 minutes a week, granted for a lot of those minutes you will be sleeping, but of those minutes you only need a small percentage to plan your food. 

Try this. Write down your weekly routine and see where you have any gaps. Designate time to plan your meals for the week or cook a meal which you can then put into portions and freeze or put on the fridge. If you set time aside specifically for this, then you are more likely to do it rather than ‘I’ll get around to it’. It can only take 5-10 minutes to get a bit of paper and write down what you want to be eating and a shopping list for all the ingredients. Cooking time can be anywhere from 15 minutes to around an hour. 

Think about what you want to eat and plan for 3 days. When preparing those meals, cook enough to give you two portions. You now have meals for 6 days of the week. What a timesaver! 

For most, a Sunday afternoon could be the ideal time to cook up a storm in the kitchen. It may mean time off your TV time one night during the week, but I’m sure you’ll agree it’s worth it. 

Have you got a slow cooker? Chuck all the ingredients in the cooker in the morning and then when you are home from work, everything is ready. 

Prepare your breakfast or lunch the night before. Make it part of your nightly routine and this will save you time in the morning. 

Planning and preparation is everything. If you know what you what to eat and when then it will be a lot easier to stick to. Don’t rely on coming home from work after a long day and making good food choices. That could be your downfall. If you have went out of your way to buy or cook the food before hand, it could make all the difference in reaching for the takeaway menu or ready meal. 

‘Fail to prepare, prepare to fail’.

A simple change such as eating more home cooked meals can make a huge difference. 

Try some of these ideas and let me know how you get on. If you have some of your own, I would love to hear them so get in touch. 

Happy eating.  

Stuart 

SM Training & Nutrition’s First Post

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to SM T&N’s first ever post. I would just like to say a massive thank you for everyone who has taken time out of their busy schedule and showed an interest in SM T&N.

I would like to start by saying that if you are looking for a quick fix or help with severe dieting then this probably isn’t the site for you.

The word ‘diet’ to me gets used a lot, especially with the words ‘going on a’ used before it. If you were to go on a diet, that would suggest you would come off it at some point, right? Don’t get me wrong, there are some individuals who do need to diet, for example those who do it for their sport or competition. Your ‘diet’ should be what you eat, it should be varied, realistic, achievable and sustainable.

I want to educate you on nutrition while helping you to create a healthy relationship with food that you can make work in the long-term. Am I going to ask you to make massive changes straight away? Definitely not. I will work closely with you, making small changes, not all at once, to help you achieve your goals.

If you are thinking that this sounds like something you would be interested in then why not get in touch. I can then answer any questions you have.

Only a short post for now.

Thanks again!

Stuart