[Trending] Fitness Blogger Shares Surprising Food Comparisons That May Change The Way You Think About Food

According to personal trainer & nutrition coach Graeme Tomlinson, people can lose fat or build muscle by eating foods they enjoy, as opp...

According to personal trainer & nutrition coach Graeme Tomlinson, people can lose fat or build muscle by eating foods they enjoy, as opposed to following a restrictive diet. Nutrition, however, is a complicated and tricky topic, and anyone can get confused in the abundance of the information surrounding it. To clear things up, Tomlinson is educating his followers one Instagram post at a time, debunking a lot of popular myths along the way.

“I’ve been interested in fitness and nutrition since I was young – I used to play semi-professional cricket,” The Fitness Chef told Bored Panda. Now, it has already been 5 years since Tomlinson became a professional personal trainer & nutrition coach. The man also creates recipes for Men’s Health.

“The biggest problems that people who are trying to get in shape face are a lack of education and a mirage of false misinformation,” he added. Tomlinson thinks that the best way to tackle them is surrounding yourself with evidence-based information. Thus, the motto of his nutrition beliefs, “Evidence-based. Simple. No B.S.” Continue scrolling to check out his visual arguments, and you will definitely understand calories a little better.

More info: fitnesschef.ukInstagram | Facebook

I like the NHS. It’s an institution that saves lives, prevents disease and improves the health of millions of people

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Given that their product is named ‘vitamin water’, one would assume that the main benefit of drinking it would be; hydration and consumption of vitamins. We know that hydration and vitamins are two things beneficial to us, so you can foresee the attraction towards such a drink. It’s a drink that should improve our health. –In fact, one would be forgiven in assuming that this beverage is a better choice of hydration than water or a fizzy soft drink, due to its inclusion of vitamins. It’s mention of kiwi and strawberry flavour also sounds like it will taste nice. Furthermore, the seemingly normalized confusion between nutrient consumption and calorie consumption regarding fat loss, may lead one to believe that consumption of this drink will be advantageous for a fat loss goal.–Here’s what vitamin water really is; a flavoured water enhanced by cane sugar and ‘naturally occurring’ flavourings (whatever that truly means). Per bottle, it contains 32g of sugar, 120 calories and added vitamins. This is where we are in 2018. Despite there being an array of vitamins and fibre from real food, we only take note when it is presented in a shiny, well marketed product. –The simplicities of this comparison are as beautiful as they are alarming. Compare the vitamin water to any amount of water and the addition of actual kiwi & strawberries. Less than half the sugar, around half the calories, more fibre, sufficient vitamins, real versions of the flavours you enjoy and you actually get to EAT a reasonable volume of food.

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

It goes a little something like this. Sheila is overweight. She knows she’s overweight. She decides to do something about being overweight. She googles ‘how to lose weight’ and she finds an array of ads on page one of the google search results. ‘Lose 7lbs in 7 days’ grabs her attention. Sheila takes note of the speed at which she could lose weight. After all, if she could do it quicker, why wouldn’t she? She’s in. She opts for the 7lbs in 7 days juicing plan.

– £375 poorer for purchasing illustrious juicing ingredients and a new juicer, Sheila is ready for action. Days 1-2: Success – she takes note of the nice taste of the juices and adheres to the plan. –

Day 3-5: Sheila is beginning to feel hungry. She’s also lacking energy, noticing digestive abnormalities and is growing weary of the same pomegranate, beetroot and ginger juice for dinner.

Days 6-7: She now detests all aspects of the plan. Her social life doesn’t exist. She has no energy and she is now drinking a concoction of ‘f*ck knows what’ juices because she can’t be hooped cleaning the juicer for the 28th time in a week.

That’s said, Sheila steps on the scales and has indeed lost 7lbs in 7 days. In the subsequent 7 days Sheila returns to consuming solid food, thus her old eating habits which created the problem also return. She remains uneducated about the basic principles of fat loss. Therefore, 2 months later, when she becomes even more overweight, she panics and juices for 7 days. And so it goes on and on and on. In her mind, this is what you must do to lose fat. In reality, she just gets fatter over time. –

If she surrounded herself with reason, she’d understand fairly quickly that in order to lose fat, she simply has to: 1. Realise she must be in a calorie deficit. 2. Adhere to said calorie deficit for a period of time. 3. Be educated and aware. An 8 year old child could literally learn this information and teach her it with ease ๐Ÿ™‚. –

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Intermittent fasting (IF). This method of eating for fat loss has become quite popular over the last few years. –

In this specific ‘16:8’ example, the idea is that you fast for 16 hours and eat your daily calorie intake in an 8 hour window. Unless you’re a maniac, you would make probably make sure that the 16 hour fast coincided with sleep at night. Most likely, this method will also mean that you skip breakfast and eat your calories between 12-8pm. –

This method of IF, along with the 5:2 and 24 hour fasts are mostly used by those who want to lose fat. There have been studies which indicate that those who embark on a form of IF do lose fat, but this isn’t because of any perceived ‘IF magic’, rather that those people are simply eating less and potentially moving more over time. –

One problem I see with IF is it’s lack of specificity and individuality to one’s goals in terms of energy intake. Somebody may start IF to lose fat without a daily calorie target for their goal. Therefore, despite adhering to the fasting/eating windows, their energy intake may still exceed what they require for a calorie deficit. In order for intermittent fasting to work at all, the amount of energy consumed must correlate to the goal.

Comparing consumption of the same daily calorie intake of somebody following IF and another eating when they want over the course of a day; as long as the calorie intake meets the criteria of the goal, the goal will be achieved. Therefore, meal timing is irrelevant in terms of its relevance to body composition. It’s the total energy intake (and subsequent energy balance) that counts. –

Some may benefit from the simplicity IF’s concept because it causes them to eat less, whereas some may find it unsustainable to go long periods without eating. Either way, as long as you achieve a daily energy intake which supports your goal, it doesn’t matter when you eat. There is no right or wrong here. It just depends on what you prefer ๐Ÿ˜‰.

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Carbohydrates are vilified on a daily basis as being a direct cause of weight gain. They are lambasted up and down the country as the food group which purposefully denies you the body you want. “Carbs? No thanks I’m trying to lose weight” is a phrase that if everything else in the world became silent and only these words remained… would render our ears as ‘perished via extreme noise.’

There has been a development though. Now only ‘refined carbs cause weight gain.’ Whilst white pasta is seen as some sort of satanic Batman, wholewheat pasta is some sort of less evil Robin. “I’m being good today, I’m having whole-wheat pasta because I heard it’s better for me.” Well… In terms of body composition and nutrient intake, it is not. –

There is one main nutritional difference between these foods. Fibre. Whilst there is more fibre in the less refined foods which MAYBE increases satiety, feeling full does not directly mean anything. Why? Because you can literally choose to eat more if you wish.

It all boils down to the same thing again. Calories. As you can see, there is no difference in calories between rice, pasta or bread. Being fat or not fat is defined by calorie intake – which impacts energy balance – which impacts body composition. Regardless of the food. Therefore in Layman’s terms (despite all the noise), it’s impossible to argue that consuming a high fibre food will be better for your body composition than a lower fibre food. –

If you prefer white rice, pasta or bread, swapping out your preference for the slightly less refined version as a means to lose fat is pointless. For fat loss, consuming high fibre food you enjoy is a good idea if you are aware of their caloric value, just as much as consuming lesser fibre dense foods is a good idea if you are aware of their caloric value too. Above all, be aware, apply it to your goal and choose the food you enjoy most. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Food shopping. Whether it’s done with our physical presence or via the click of a button, we all need to do it. Though I suspect many of you have already given up on home delivery due to the consistent ‘sorry we had to swap this for a similar item… x17’, resulting in endless packets of sardines when you selected tuna steaks๐Ÿ˜.

Am I really going to analyse one’s physical state during a food shop and it’s correlation with your body composition? Well, yes I am. I am because one’s ‘state of satiation’ could determine what one buys. The greater one’s hunger is, the greater desire one has to consume a greater volume of calories. It’s called being human.

Despite you not being in the environment where you can select a shovel and horse food down your throat like you would dismiss earth into a trench, the same mental process can occur when food shopping. When ravenous, you’ll naturally select greater quantities of calorie dense food than if you were satiated. You’ll shop with ‘food eyes’ as opposed to calmly selecting your supportive calorie sources for the week ahead. –

If you buy food and it exists in your kitchen, you will eat it. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, but you will eventually. Simple logic tells us that consuming a host of calorie dense foods may impact our desired energy balance. –

If you’ve hit your calorie target for the day/week and a 4 pack of snickers is staring you out like Dwayne Johnson in a wrestling ring, you may eat it. Why? Because it’s tasty AF and you spent hard earned money purchasing it. On this occasion you don’t need it – but because it’s there, you’ll eat it. And you’ll potentially eat into your calorie deficit too. –

Organising your immediate calorie intake to fit your goal requires a calm, measured mindset. Organising your longer term calorie intake (food shopping), requires the same. Therefore, it’s probably a good idea if you shop when you’re in a rational state of mind ๐Ÿ™‚. –

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Time. The thing we apparently run out of in abundance. –

When it comes to anything in life, convenience is useful and speed is helpful. These two things also apply to preparation of calorie/nutrient intake to fit your goal. Convenience and speed can help the process.

But when somebody constantly says they flat out do not have 15 minutes per day to prepare a meal that will support their goal, they are full of sh*t. They really mean they don’t want to cook. They are not prioritising their goal. –

I once had a client who claimed they couldn’t cook. It was a hardship to them. If they did cook, they’d make the same meal over and over again. They bought extortionate ready made fitness meals to solve the problem, which unsurprisingly became financially unsustainable. The result would sometimes be a whole chocolate cake for breakfast. I’m not joking. –

Part of my coaching skill is to help people find a solution to their individual goal, breaking down barriers and to help find a manageable way in which they can begin to succeed. But sometimes you just have to call a spade a spade. If someone cannot be bothered to spend the bare minimum amount of time and effort supporting their goal, then quite frankly, they have to be prepared for minimal success. It would have been easy for me to soften the severity of the situation, but I wouldn’t have helped the client. Instead I called this client out. I said: “this is unacceptable”. “You expect change to occur, yet you make no effort to change”.

At the end of the day it comes down to our priorities. Anything worth having in life requires effort and time. But if we’re smart, the latter won’t be as arduous a prospect as we think. Time will never change. But the way we use it will determine the overall change in ourselves and success of our goals ๐Ÿคœ๐Ÿค›.

Swipe left for the easy 15 minutes recipe to this Chicken & Edamame Stir Fry ๐Ÿ›

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

We really do rip people off in the fitness industry, don’t we. We take the simplest and most universally approved metric of consumable energy and we still manage to f*ck it up for everyone. –

A calorie is a unit used to measure the energy value of food. For anyone looking to alter body shape, understanding the relevance of calories and energy balance is the first and most basic step to changing their composition. So, claiming that one calorie is different from the next naturally confuses people. It is also irresponsible. Because anyone who has ever lost or gained fat in the history of human civilisation has done so from a calorie deficit/surplus. –

What these fact fabricating, pseudoscience maniacs mean of course; is that foods of the same calorie amount which have different nutritional make ups, automatically compromise the ‘value’ of the calories. Yes, inclusion of protein, micronutrients and fibre improves the outlook on one’s overall health. But when it comes to ‘what happens to the calories consumed’, an avocado will directly wind up the same way as a tube of smarties. The avocado may be more beneficial to overall health and satiate you for longer, but that’s nothing to do the the proportional calorie value of both foods and it’s direct effect on body composition.

Whilst it’s a good idea to feel satiated and consume nutrients, the notion that ‘calories are not equal’ is based on pure subjectivity and assumption. Calories in an avocado don’t get refunded because they contain nutrients as much as calories in smarties don’t make you fat. In simple terms of energy balance, it doesn’t matter where the 175 calories derive from.

No matter what the fitness industry does to confuse you, focus on what food factually represents for your goal. Whilst some foods offer more value in nutrients and possible satiety, remember that no matter what the food/drink is; a calorie is a calorie as much as breathing is being alive. ๐Ÿคœ๐Ÿค›

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Wine is not bad. It can be enjoyed as part of a fulfilling, healthy diet. In fact, a glass of wine each day can possibly fit the same statement. –

But here’s the thing. For fat loss, I always advise a gradual and sustainable calorie deficit – usually 10-15% from maintenance. For example if 2500 daily calories maintains your current weight, shaving off 10% leaves you with 2500-250=2250 calories per day to hit that 10% deficit.

If we put daily consumption of a glass of wine into this scenario of daily, weekly and monthly calorie intake geared towards fat loss, this one glass could actually negate a big chunk of your calorie deficit. The question is; Do you really need it? Furthermore; Do you even track it?

If you do need it… Fair play. You’ll just have to adjust something else instead. But what this graphic does highlight is that over time, small entities of calories accumulate to affect the big picture. –

Balance and inclusion of all foods/drinks you enjoy is essential to sustain any weight change. But only if you are accountable and aware. It is incredibly easy to over consume calorie dense foods/drinks, especially at night when you’re bored. You bought the wine so let’s face it – you may as well drink it. –

The wine in this graphic represents any small amount of food/liquid which proportionately contains a lot of calories for its worth in satiety level and nutrient density. Therefore the likelihood of consuming multiple portions increases -along with the calories.

Sit down. Enjoy a glass of your favourite wine. But if fat loss is the aim, it’s probably a good idea to keep track of the amount you consume and align it with your goal ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿพ

Tag a wine lover who needs to see this ๐Ÿ˜‰.

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

In life, there are many things that lead us to feelings of guilt. That time you took your road rage out on an innocent pedestrian. The time you forgot a birthday or anniversary. That regretful one night stand whereby the other party fell in love with you after 7 hours… to name a few. But eating food has no place on this list. –

It has no place because it doesn’t make sense. We require calories to stay alive, which means feeling guilty about consuming calories means you feel guilty about being alive – which you don’t.

The main problem arises when an individual labels food as an entity that it is not. For example; instead of a bowl of life diminishing evil, this sticky toffee pudding is a calorie source which happens to be calorie dense and proportionately higher in carbs and fat than it is protein. But that’s it. It is nonetheless still a calorie source. If consumed in moderation it forms a very small part of your overall diet and therefore it’s influence on your overall diet will also be very small. –

Believing that this one dessert has the power to alter body composition, ruin your health and put you in a spiralling emotional nightmare is completely irrational. And no matter how strongly you feel these things, the simple ability to mentally consult in a rational, scientific riposte to this fictional guilt is always possible. You just have to choose to do it. –

In simple terms of energy balance, the immediate consequences of consuming 400 calories of sticky toffee pudding (or your favourite calorie dense food), equate to consuming 400 calories of any food on earth. –

As for Homer Simpson. He doesn’t give a f*ck about food guilt. And as far as I’m aware, he’s a fairly happy chap. A little chunky maybe. But then again, instead of eating one portion of sticky toffee pudding, he did eat all the donuts in the world ๐Ÿ˜‰. –

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

It’s high time the fitness industry sorted itself out. In no other industry does there exist such an abundance of misinformation, irrational logic, exaggerated claims, and plain made up drivel.

The biggest challenge for any newcomer to health & fitness is undoubtedly; how to avoid monumental confusion. Everywhere you looks there is a different opinion on the smallest of subjects. A statement may be established, only to be met with; “but what about this”…. “but it’s not all about that.” “that’s bullsh*t, see this study conducted on mice…”

If your initial knowledge of basic nutrition is poor, it’s easy to see how one can become consumed by misinformation – because one doesn’t know any better. One becomes subjective and emotional in a fictional thought process.

The thing is. I don’t think the fundamentals of health and fitness are subjective. Instead, the basic learning process should be based on facts and realities. Why? Because they will always exist as things that will never change. –

Looking at my graphic in subjectivity, whilst being consumed by media articles and jokestar fitness bloggers – you could easily believe what you hear. That eating clean is the only way for fat loss. That pasta (and all carbs) make you fat. That healthy fats will get you ripped. That energy balance is all about nutrients. –

But looking at my graphic in objectivity, whilst having a basic knowledge of nutrition, you’d see: Micronutrients. Pasta (which you enjoy). Beneficial fats. A mindset which understands energy balance. Each point is registered in your brain for the fact that it is. No pre-conceptions. No emotion. No guilt. No fear. No confusion. Now you can apply what you see to your goal.

Nutrition is what it is. In fact, it’s quite boring really. But I guarantee that 100% of you would take boring if it meant you could finally understand how to achieve the body and health you desire ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿคœ๐Ÿค›. –

P.s. Swipe left for my Salmon & Tagliatelle recipe) –

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Tag a pasta loving friend and hit save to enjoy this easy 15 minute recipe ๐Ÿ

Nuts are often regarded as a credible source of protein. After all, they do contain protein so this statement holds some credence. The things is though: most people concerned about their protein consumption are either; trying to lose fat, gain muscle or maintain body composition. If 612 calories from a handful of nuts (a snack), fits your plan and you’re succeeding at it, that’s cool.

If fat loss is the goal, my guess is that you’re striving for adequate protein consumption whilst avoiding calorie extortion. If you want to achieve that via consumption of nuts (in this case almonds), you’ll have to consume 612 calories to achieve a protein intake of 21g. –

Therefore, nuts (whilst including a host of vitamins and minerals such as B6, iron, magnesium & also mono/polyunsaturated fats) are probably not a credible source of protein – if the aim is to consume a meaningful protein portion. –

It all comes down to awareness. You possibly heard somewhere that nuts contain protein, but awareness of the total calorie amount of any food is also more important. As you can see here, you can literally eat a whole, balanced meal which has less calories, double the protein, plenty of nutrients and a strong likelihood that it will satiate you for longer than a handful of nuts.

Here’s how to make this Turkey & Chorizo Ragu ๐Ÿ
– –

1️⃣ Pre-heat pan, add 1 tsp of coconut oil, 100g of turkey mince. 1 tsp of turmeric, 1 tsp of garlic powder, 1 tsp of oregano, 1 tbsp of red pesto & 1/2 a chopped bell pepper. Cook on high heat for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.

2️⃣ Meanwhile, bring water to the boil, add a pinch of salt and add 50g of Penne pasta and simmer for 5-7 minutes until tender. Drain the penne.

3️⃣ Add 3 slices of chopped chorizo to the ragu before serving up on top of the drained penne and grating 10g of parmesan on top. –

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

‘Metabolism’ (noun). “The chemical processes that occurs within a living organism in order to maintain life”. –

This is the definition of a metabolic event. It occurs in thousands of intricate ways each day to ensure we survive and thrive. Yet back in around 2006 it was decided by a few ‘fitness guru’s’ that you had to alter your body’s metabolic performance in order to lose fat. ‘Speed it up’ if you will… –

If we take the metabolic process involved in food digestion, we know that this process requires energy in order to work. And given that fat loss requires you to be in an energy deficit, it sounds logical to claim that we can burn calories by digesting food regularly – because we can. But the fundamental flaw with this concept is that the calories we eat also count in the balance of energy – and they count a heck of a lot more than the efficiency of your metabolism.

The truth is, consuming food regularly as a means to boost your metabolism is just another unnecessary and unfounded fat loss myth. If you were to consume 1800 calories per day across six 300 calorie meals, you would probably burn around 10% during digestion (30 calories burned per meal and 180 in total). But if you consumed 1800 calories per day across two 900 calorie meals using the same principle, you would burn 90 calories per meal and still 180 in total. So it ends up the same…

Attempting to alter your metabolism to lose fat is another pointless, unnecessary thing that clouds your mindset. Because when it comes to fat loss, meal regularity does not matter. You don’t need to eat breakfast if you don’t want to. You can have big meals less frequently if that suits you. Just be in an achievable, enjoyable, realistic overall calorie deficit over a period of time and you will 100% lose fat. ๐Ÿคœ๐Ÿค›

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Perception. ‘Cheese is bad’. Action: Don’t eat cheese, or if you do, have a poverty portion. Result: unsatisfied.

Desire. ‘Cheese is tasty AF (especially when melted). Action: consume copious, uncontrolled quantities to satisfy ones needs. Result: excessive calorie intake and potential guilt.

Being smart: Combining your love of cheese with awareness of its nutritional property in relation to your goal. Action: Consume an enjoyable portion size that still fits the energy requirements of your goal (aka daily/weekly calorie intake). –

If you base your fitness journey on a series on unadjustable conditions/beliefs, your margin for flexibility is minimal, meaning you are constantly on the cusp of failure. If you flipped around this mindset completely and had no conditions/beliefs, you are open to any possible outcome, good or bad. But if you apply a solid set of conditions/evidence based beliefs, along with flexibility, you begin to shape an enjoyable diet that supports your goal. This is called being smart. –

Smart in the sense that you know you’ll desire those tasty AF foods. But also smart in the sense that you’ll still apply evidence based concepts to your decision making. In this example you know that a certain portion of cheese will be enough to satisfy your desire, without compromising your goal. –

It’s useful to listen to advice. But it’s up to you to research the value of that advice. Anyone who says you need to avoid certain foods to get the body you want is gravely misinforming you ๐Ÿ™‚. –

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

You’re in the supermarket. You walk precariously down the crisp aisle (or chips aisle if you’re American). “Nope, not this time! I need to lose weight so I’m going to be good… I’m going to source a healthy snack instead”. 16 minutes later (because that’s how long it takes to find the ‘health foods’ aisle), you are faced with an assortment of products. And there they are. Kale chips. In your determined mind you join ‘kale’ and ‘chips’ together to conclude that this is THE perfect alternative… You’ve heard kale cures obesity on instagram, whilst the inclusion of the word ‘chips’ has you salivating at the prospect of actual chips…

You’re at the checkout. £2.49. “Wow… these better be good.” You open the packet. The packet is EMPTY. “No, wait… there’s a few at the bottom… making up approximately 1/10 of the size of the packet. You’re already knarked off. You taste them. Now you are overwhelmed with anguish, despair and eternal doom. And this is despite being unaware that you just consumed more calories than you would have if you chose what you actually wanted to eat in the first place.

Micro-nutritionally, these kale chips are far superior to most potato chips. They contain the nutrients from kale and cashew nuts. But here’s the thing. The ‘healthy’ choice you made for fat loss becomes redundant if that choice exceeds the calories of the original choice. Yes, you’ve just consumed some micronutrients and monounsaturated fats (both good for long term health), but you also consumed more calories (at an extortionate price). If your diet is already balanced and effective, you should be consuming the bulk of these nutrients with main meals anyway. –

A good overall diet is a flexible diet. Rich in variety, nutrient intake and consumption of less optimal foods you enjoy in moderation. Eat your potato chips – but understand what that means. You’ll probably conclude that they can be enjoyed from time to time after all ๐Ÿ˜‰. –

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

I wonder if Usain Bolt, Sir Mo Farrah, Serena Williams… or Roger Federer have ever sipped Fit Tea… Or marveled over the marketed wonders of Herbalife… Perhaps after a gruelling session they’ve considered swapping out a nutritious meal for a glass of slim fast…?

Of course they haven’t. Whilst the diets of the athletes above may vary, they all consume real food. We idolize these people and believe their sporting abilities make their biological make up different to ours, but they are actually the same as us. Whilst their technical abilities, skill and conditioned fitness is far superior, they also have to monitor and control their lifestyle to fit their goal – just like we do.

Whilst eating a variety of real food, an athlete’s balance of calories consumed will be controlled in relation to the amount of calories they expend. This doesn’t mean that we have to turn our life upside down and take up athletics or tennis. It means we have to be smart enough to realise that the principle demonstrated by most athletes is all the evidence we require. –

The products on the right of this graphic have no relationship with the fundamentals of our biology. They do not nourish, do not do anything that a calorie deficit doesn’t already do, do not alter thermodynamics and do not cleanse us. They do however, cost a lot of money and propose an experience which is simply; unequivocal bullshit. –

We are screwing around with nonsense products, making our own understanding more complicated. We are caught up in mainstream drivel via rumour or unfounded heresay. We eat too many calories and don’t move enough – the fact that 30% of the world is obese is evidence of this. Of that 30% who take active steps to lose fat, I would estimate that a high proportion are using a ludicrous product, strategy or diet, expecting it to get them over the line instead of themselves. But in reality, fat loss is so much cheaper and easier than this – Ask Mo ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿคœ๐Ÿค›.

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

The ‘clean eating’ trend has dominated social media for a while now. Today, most health conscious recipe books fall under this categorized notion that; ‘eating clean food will make you lean’. –

Whilst the recipes will be excellent for an individual looking to consume more nutrients, there is an issue facing an individual who wants to lose fat (or do both). Where the recipes and support will be inspiring and educational to a degree, there is a distinct lack of focus on the direct cause of the individual’s problem – energy balance.

These recipe books often fail to display the basic calorie amounts for each recipe, instead claiming that consuming nutritious ingredients alone will get you lean. This doesn’t cut it I’m afraid.

Here we have one raw chocolate slice, made by a celebrity fitness blogger vs three mainstream chocolate bars. Whilst there may be more nutrients and naturally occurring ingredients in the raw slice, the calories are equal. –

Consumption of 3 processed chocolate bars in one sitting would probably be classed as a binging episode, yet consumption of a 55g raw chocolate slice would not. Again – the calories are equal. Furthermore, consumption of the raw chocolate slice may be deemed as healthy, as much as consumption of one of the chocolate bars being deemed unhealthy. The calories of the chocolate bar would be 1/3 of the raw slice. We need to look deeper and evaluate food objectively, despite how well it’s presented to us. –

Consuming high quality food is important for our overall health. In terms of fat loss it helps… but it doesn’t define it. Quantity of calories consumed in relation to how much energy you expend does. Consuming whole, minimally processed ingredients is definitely a good thing. But if your goal is fat loss – it’s only good if it also fits your energy requirement ๐Ÿ™‚. –

Which one (or 3) are you going for? All 4 are delicious ๐Ÿ˜Ž… –

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Diet (noun). The word that puts people off entertaining any thoughts about attempting to make nutritional changes to support an aspiring goal… (usually fat loss). The word may say diet(ing), but really you read it as: ‘the eternal struggle’… ‘something I need serious willpower for’… ‘something I cannot accomplish’… ‘eating kale goujons for breakfast’… –

The thing is though – it is only a word. It’s entity as a word is only formed by your own approach to it in practical terms. Despite your perception of a difficult process, your perception is defined by your knowledge. There are many ways you can achieve your goal, but to ensure success you need to make sure it’s a sustainable, non B.S. process, suitable to your needs.

There is a multitude of information on nutrition available. From here you have to evaluate what is relevant to you. But just because you read somewhere that something is universally good or bad, doesn’t mean it applies to you. This is where you have to do the research and put the effort in.

Becoming healthier and losing fat does not have to encompass bland food, pills, supplements, meal replacements, believing in a blogger who promotes ‘fat loss’ products via a promo code, cutting out food groups, demonizing foods, believing exacerbating media claims, starving yourself or being miserable during a monumental struggle…

Instead, it can include any aspect of nutrition or lifestyle that you want. You just have to be aware and educated as to what everything you do actually means in terms of your own goal. Make tasty food fit your energy balance, be aware of B.S. information, spot pseudoscience, consume your favourite foods in moderation, understand your caloric needs and move more in a way you enjoy. –

We don’t like struggling. It has to end at some point – and it will, because you’re unhappy. A good life though… happiness and success enables that to continue forever ๐Ÿคœ๐Ÿค›

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Here we are again. Putting to bed false perceptions on fat loss. The idea that food type defines whether fat loss occurs or not… Describing misplaced concepts about quality ingredients as a means to manage or change body composition…

Consumption of nutrients and quality ingredients is vital for optimal health and there is no doubt that the two juices on the left contain an abundance of nutrients. But they also contain calories and sugar – 1100 of total calories deriving from sugar to be exact. 1350 calories and 275g of sugar in total.

I did plan to do this graphic with the zero sugar versions of the soft drinks on the right, but this actually displays my point better. Whilst the drinks on the right are bereft of any nutritional value, seven of the cans combine to 411 calories and 99g of sugar. That’s less than 1/3 of the calories of the ‘superfood’, ‘invigorating’ drinks on the left. In addition, nearly 1/3 of their sugar content.

If the goal is to alter body composition, every decision you make is important – everything you do means something. This doesn’t mean that you need to worry or be confused as to what you need to do or consume to achieve your goal. It means you need to be objective. You need to understand the basic fundamentals of energy balance and apply that theory to your goal.

Consuming 1350 calories from the juices on the left may fit your goal. However, I suspect that consuming such a proportion of calories from a drink each week will not necessarily support your goal as well as consuming water and actual fruit, complete with fibre to help with satiety.

Health and fitness is all encompassing. Many parts of it overlap. But don’t get confused with nutrient intake and calorie intake – whilst they are both important, they represent very different things. Ideally you want to be smart and get the best of both facets.
Despite what well marketed products say, no food/drink makes you thin or fat, but an overall diet and lifestyle can ๐Ÿ™‚.

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Mindset is key to long term success at anything. This includes improving aspects of your diet and losing/gaining weight. –

If you’re miserable doing something voluntarily, naturally you will not last long. You might force yourself for a while, but ultimately things unravel. Just like the above restrictive diet does. –

Changing processes in order to cause change is good, but understanding these changes is even better. Fat loss requires a calorie deficit, but it also requires you to be in a deficit consistently over a period of time. To stick at something consistently for a period of time you have to enjoy it and experience a degree of success. It’s about long term averages. The above example is indicative of the impatient ‘all or nothing approach’ where the rational concept of averages is ignored. Unsurprisingly, this type of dieting reaps no progress. In fact, given the heavy intermittent calorie excesses, it maybe causes regress. –

Instead of viewing your diet every Monday as a punishment to your weekend of excess (which was brought about by the previous week’s punishment), isn’t it a better idea to learn a little about energy balance, basic nutrition, how your favourite foods CAN fit into your diet each day and begin enjoying the process? That’s surely not too much to ask of yourself…. –

Stop being miserable. Start enjoying a pragmatic, goal supportive diet that you can enjoy every single day ๐Ÿ™‚. –

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Here’s one. Appetite suppressants. Imagine this scenario; You’re in a supermarket desperately trying to make positive choices for your fat loss goal. You’re in the weight loss section. There it is – an appetite suppressant pill. You’re sceptical, but you read the small print on the box… because you’re having a mare. –

It says you can to suppress your appetite by ‘filling 30-40% of your stomach’ after consumption of said pill. Additionally, you read that their pill can ‘control appetite and hunger pangs’ and ‘it is particularly suitable for those who constantly have a big appetite and cannot control portion size’. You’re getting drawn in because you are uneducated and this madness seems logical…

At this point there ought to be a figure resembling a blood sucking dementor souring from the supermarket shelf. That figure should slap you hard in the face, remove the box from your hand and tell you to f*ck off. Because you know what else suppresses appetite? Food.

The way in which these tablets are marketed suggest that eating any food is bad. That being hungry is bad. That consuming food is the reason people are fat. The message this sends out is; ‘why bother with food when you can feel satiated with pills?’. The obvious rebuttal to these ludicrous messages is; *Because you require food to live*. The companies creating these tablets are idiots. But you’re an even bigger idiot if you buy and consume them as a viable means to lose fat. –

People are not fat because they eat. They are fat because they consume too many calories for the amount they move. Whether this is down to poor education, laziness or lack of awareness. Therefore the sooner people bother to learn the basics of energy balance, the sooner they can implement a calorie controlled diet, rich in all the foods they enjoy, whilst achieving their long term goal. And the sooner these f*ckface companies stop making money off vulnerable human beings ๐Ÿ™‚. –

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

‘Emotional eating’. The thing is though – when it comes to body composition, no matter what process you choose and how you execute it, any change which occurs is the result of science (thermodynamics). Whilst we cannot change the course of science, we can change our emotions to influence the scientific process. The feelings we get which result in turning to excess food for comfort can be eradicated by choice. We can literally choose to do this. We control our emotions, they do not control us. We need to be stronger. –

Take eating a cookie or a moderate amount of ice cream for example. In your head you might tell yourself that eating a cookie or ice cream is bad (but you love them). Now that you’re already bad, why not eat 4 cookies, or a whole tub of ice cream? The reality is though, that this particular cookie is 240 calories and this moderate amount of ice cream is 150. What does that mean for your fitness goal? You tell me. But I estimate that it could absolutely fit into your diet, regardless of your goal.

Eating this cookie/ice cream is one tiny episode in your life. It’s a small part of your overall lifestyle which defines your goal. Your execution of energy balance, nutrients absorbed, bodily function is science. So is the effect of 240 calories or 960. 150 calories or 1000. You literally make these choices. Be objective.

The principle of the paragraph above can be used for the asparagus too. Consuming a nutrient dense, healthy food will not automatically achieve your fitness goals alone. Don’t fall into a false sense of achievement – you merely ate a food here. What does the big picture look like? –

You can’t change science. But you can change irrational, useless emotions into informed executions of educated, rational choices that help you. This choice may be a whole tub of ice cream, but at least you know that it still fits the plan ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ˜Ž.

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Imagine this. You’re with a friend who’s goal is also to lose fat and take control of their body composition. You’re both in a convenience store. Your friend decides to opt for 100g of this ‘healthy superfood mix’, whilst you see a kit kat chunky and cannot resist. In fact you like them so much that you’ll take two…

There you both are, eating your snacks. Your friend is smug, you are beginning to feel guilty about your choice (as you nibble the chocolate around the edges)…. All the while, both oblivious to the fact that TWO kit kat chunky’s (406 calories) is a BETTER one-off choice for your goal than 100g of a so called superfood mix (480 calories). FYI – one KK chunky is 203 calories… –

I have said this many times and I’ll say it once more. Body composition is entirely determined by energy balance (calories in vs calories out). If you create a calorie deficit you will reduce fat, if you create a calorie surplus, you will gain fat. It is literally this simple and it always will be. –

Now then. The fruit and nut mix contains more nutrients than a kit kat chunky. But nutrients do not define body composition, calories do. –

If fat loss is the goal, you MUST understand and be aware of the calories you consume, whether it’s from some miracle berry, a mound of broccoli or a tub of Ben and Jerry’s. –

If you humanise the concept of body composition; it doesn’t care about nutrients, it only cares about calories. Of course, in order to optimise health, you want to find the sweet spot between consuming adequate nutrients for health & function, whilst finding the right energy (calorie) balance for health and composition. –

The fruit & nut mix isn’t good as much as the kit kat chunky isn’t bad. Blindly assuming one food will help with fat loss because it contains more nutrients is a naive and redundant thought process. You need to see food as food, enjoy it, but be aware exactly what consumption means for your goal ๐Ÿคœ๐Ÿค›.

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Nights out are there to be enjoyed. Chances are that they aren’t going to be enjoyed fully if you track every calorie you consume. But there is room for some sort of awareness of the energy you are consuming. This same awareness can be the difference between a great night out where you consume a huge access and an equally great night out where you limit the damage. –

For example; on the left there is multiple consumption of double vodka coke.. on the right – single vodka diet cokes. A significant calorie saving here. –

In addition, on the left there is copious amounts of drinks, some may say ridiculous. On the right, a reasonable amount, but not stupid. More calorie savings.

Finally, on the left, we have the ‘consequential of being plastered’ decision to eat a pizza. On the right there is no pizza. 2000 calories saved.

This example is indicative of the whole “I eat really healthy during the week and let my hair down at weekend”mentality. Let’s say Ashley (unisex) has a 10% calorie deficit for fat loss set at 1800 calories per day (12600 per week). Sun-Fri he/she nails it and hits 1800 daily to a tee, so much so that he/she feels he/she deserves to go out and ‘unwind’. But he/she consumes 4100 calories on top of his/her 1800, totaling 5900 calories on Saturdays… Every week. That’s a new daily average of 2300 calories per day, not 1800. That’s 3 days worth of calories in 1. If done 4 times a month – an extra 8 days of calories. –

Let’s face it, it’s fun to go on nights out. They should be enjoyed as part of a healthy lifestyle. But when the calorie excess prevents you from achieving your goal, it’s probably a good idea to limit their frequency, or adopt a few tips from the right hand side of this graphic. Both sides of this graphic achieve they same outcome – fun. But they represent entirely different meanings in terms of body composition. –

P.s. Going home with someone is optional ๐Ÿ˜†. –

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

If you want to remain sane and understand the very basics of nutrition and human biology, it’s probably a good idea not to entertain what the mainstream media have to say about any aspect of health (certainly not in the last 20 years). –

These 4 examples are a mere scraping of the rubbish we are constantly fed. The worst bit is that we lap it up. None of these headlines truly mean anything to your health – because the environment in which this so called evidence came to light was likely skewed, cherry picked, insignificantly proven or in most cases, not even tested on humans. Let’s briefly clear up this particular quartet of crap…

– ‘Diet drinks cause diabetes and weight gain’… Reality: Given that diet drinks contain no sugar, therefore there is no insulin activity to affect diabetes. They contain no calories, therefore no weight is gained. Ever. –
– ‘A glass of red wine makes you live longer’… Reality: On what basis? What about the other 8263529 variables in ones life? Furthermore, what if that glass of wine is the tipping point for a calorie surplus, or insulin spikes over a longer period of time? –
– ‘Chocolate is good for your heart’… Reality: Well I can think of about 50 foods which are better – as well as basic lifestyle practices… but they don’t sound as good in a headline I guess…

– ‘Consuming too much protein is as bad for your health as smoking’. Reality: The lowest ebb. We need protein to live. We don’t need f*cking cigarettes to live. After reading this, smokers will smoke instead of eating a cheese and ham sandwich because they are apparently the same… Time to go home…

I’m still waiting for the article headline that says ‘eat less, move more and consume adequate nutrients’. Somehow I don’t think that would make the cut… –

Mainstream media is there to inform you about current events, but not to educate you in sensible nutrition practice… ๐Ÿ˜ช๐Ÿ™ˆ

What do you guys think? Comment below ๐Ÿ™‚.

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Chocolate is the example here, but this post is representative of any foods you might label as BAD. –

If you’ve banned calorie dense foods it’s likely that your goal is fat loss. And if you forbid yourself from eating certain foods as a means to lose fat, you probably don’t grasp that it’s the quantities that are important. Otherwise you’d understand that these foods CAN be consumed in moderation. Naturally, with this ‘good/bad foods’ mindset, it is extremely likely that you won’t measure the quantities of the ‘healthier’ food you choose either. Therefore the ‘good’ food is also likely to go unmeasured in terms of calories. As calories in vs calories out determines body composition, not knowing becomes a problem. –

As you can see on the left of this graphic, many of those so called ‘better’ alternatives are also calorie dense. In fact, some are significantly higher in calories than the desired food. With this same mindset of good and bad, you believe that you can eat lots of them – that no harm will be done. But when you consume over 1000 calories on alternatives to chocolate, all of a sudden the reason you didn’t eat a chocolate bar becomes redundant. Being oblivious to calorie intake is no use for fat loss. –
– “But what about the nutrients Graeme… and the protein & fibre etc”. Well, I would advise that it’s better to source your nutrients and fibre from main meals, not tasty snacks. This leaves you with the freedom to include non nutritious foods you enjoy in moderation if they fit your required calorie intake.

Nutrients are important for overall health, but when that means you spend £10 on fashionable, calorie dense alternatives, which results in oblivious consumption of hundreds more calories than the original, it’s probably better to save your money, enjoy some chocolate and learn to understand how a calorie deficit works ๐Ÿ™‚. Thanks for the graphic inspiration

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

‘But measuring portions and tracking calorie intake is boring Graeme’. Yes, it is. But for all of the 4 minutes and 32 seconds it takes you each day, it could literally be the difference between fat loss progress, no progress or even regress.

– ‘But who measures butter to the gram Graeme?’ Well, you. A couple of times only… Then after this you’ll hopefully be able to eye ball it. The whole point of tracking is to educate you for the future, not punish you in the present.

If you do track portion sizes of food as a means to measure your fitness goal, it needs to be accurate. If it isn’t it becomes somewhat useless. Whilst it’s not completely pointless and there is some awareness, as you can see, it is easy to underestimate or carelessly miscalculate portions. Whilst this isn’t really a problem for low calorie foods like vegetables, it can be with calorie dense foods. The calorie difference upon erroneous judgement is much bigger with calorie dense foods. –

Paying attention to the types of food you consume is important for overall health, but it’s the QUANTITY which matters most when it comes to fat loss, maintenance or weight gain. After all, body composition is completely determined by calories in vs calories out. –

I guess it comes down to how much you want it. If you are trying to lose fat but aren’t, there is a reason. Sometimes you do have to be meticulous in the beginning so that you can be aware and educated thereafter. Sometimes you have to decide that sacrificing 4 minutes and 32 seconds each day for a few weeks to accurately measure what you consume is a small price to pay in order to actually succeed. Sometimes you have to put in a bit of effort to get what you want ๐Ÿคœ๐Ÿค›๐Ÿ™‚. –

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

In simple terms, consuming 1600 calories will have the same effect on an individual’s body composition, regardless of the calorie source. I’m using 1600 as a relative calorie example here, but the principle is the same for any calorie amount.

The food on the left accumulates to 1600 calories. If that is your daily target for fat loss, you could repeat this meal daily and succeed – this is fact. However, the problem is that it’s just one meal. You will likely still have 2-3 addition meals in that day. Additional meals = additional calories. FYI the ingredients on the left are not particularly satiating and are probably not conducive to optimal health if eaten in heavy regularity. –

On the right – There is a lot more food here. In fact, it’s a full day of eating. 1600 calories deriving from varied nutrients and inclusive of smartly selected treats. Therefore it will probably keep you satiated all day, reducing the need for more calories.

The long and short of it is, if you’re overweight or obese, you are eating too many calories for the amount you move. I would go further to estimate that consistent unaware consumption of calorie dense foods plays a pivotal role in creating a calorie surplus, simply due to the lack of value for calories consumed.

Calorie dense foods such as takeaways/fast food are not inherently bad. But this graphic shows that it’s probably a good idea that you become aware of how many calories you consume from these sources, whilst being aware that you could consume a much higher volume of food for the same calorie amount. –

The resulting logic will probably be that consumption of meals such as Macdonald’s are done sparingly, whereas high volume, calorie smart foods you enjoy are going to be a better idea for a sustainable, balanced calorie/nutrient intake ๐Ÿค“.

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

It is a great shame that some continue to claim that human beings are ‘addicted’ to sugar. And it’s an even greater shame that people accept it as a cohesive cause of the ever worsening obesity crisis. –

Sugar is, after all, a necessity in ones diet. All carbohydrates are essentially sugar of some sort and all do the same job at the end of the day (once digested).

Sweet potato? Mostly carbs (aka sugar). Quinoa? The same. I don’t know about you, but I don’t see too many people binging on quinoa. Come to think of it, I don’t see too many people eating straight sugar either. “But people are only addicted to refined sugar Graeme… Natural sugars not addictive”. Well… refined sugar is metabolically processed the same as any sugar that naturally occurs in any food. It just so happens that nutrient dense foods containing sugar have a bunch of nutrients in there which make them satiating and beneficial to our health. –

People are not addicted to sugar. If they were, they’d surely bypass items which dilute it, like additional ingredients in food. People would be buying bags of sugar and consuming it by the spoonful. Yet this does not happen. –

Instead of placing the blame on a sugar addiction, look deeper and with more logic. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that most high sugar foods taste nice and are usually CALORIE DENSE. Thus instead of obesity being the result of a sugar addiction epidemic, it is simply a result of human beings consuming too many calories for the amount they move. –

It just so happens that some of the foods which are eaten in excessive volume have sugar included in their ingredients. This is proven by the fact that chocolate tastes starkly different to that of gummy bears… A Twix bar is different to strawberry laces… or pasta… and so on. We enjoy sugar as a subsidiary of many other tastes. It does not cause obesity – a consistent calorie surplus does. What do you think ๐Ÿค“? –

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Here we are again. Talking about obesity. And why it continues to rise in the UK (and the rest of the world). But more specifically in this case, how f*cked up we have become in our proposed solution to it. Irrational cherry picking and outright lies are vomited into our mainstream media every day. The latest installment of the former was last week on BBC 1. Apparently carbs are bad again ๐Ÿ˜’..

In the 1990s, fat was the culprit. Out of all the food groups wrongly demonized, I guess fat makes the most sense as it contains 9 calories per gram and is thus the most calorie dense macronutrient. However, this was/is still an incredibly naive idea.

In the early 2000s, carbs were the apparent cause of weight gain. You know… those carbs in the from of cakes, biscuits and pastries…. Yeah, the ones which actually contain more calories from fat๐Ÿ˜‘. What about berries? Obviously lower in calories, but they are carbs too… This one is a joke as it can’t even correctly differentiate the foods it wants to demonize. –

In the last few years the blame has shifted to sugar – particularly refined sugar. It is not particularly satiating and is easy to over consume – but consumption is still decided by you. Naturally, it is included in sweet, calorie dense foods – so it’s easy to blame I guess ๐Ÿ˜‘.

All three cases contradict each other. Mainly because most foods contain fat, carbs, protein and some form of sugar (all calorie sources). What’s more – you can only gain fat if you exist in a calorie surplus, regardless of the food source. Sure, consumption of some foods rather than others can make overeating calories a possibility, but not necessarily an eventuality. Instead, we need to look at ourselves and stop blaming everything under the sun. The buck stops with us. We eat too many calories for the amount we move. That’s it. –

We need to be better educated. Start by sacking off anyone who demonizes any food group, along with their false, fear provoking headlines. –

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Let’s talk about compromise. The facts are that most of the time, eventually we end up doing what we want to do. In this case, smothering peanut butter on toast to accommodate a tasty snack (and a desire to eat peanut butter because it’s tasty AF). –

Limitation, exclusion… hyper moderation (new phrase ๐Ÿ˜Ž) are things you are told you need to do in order to progress. Whilst this is 100% true in that less calories = more fat loss, when it comes to foods you adore, you can still be conflicted in your mind. You’re told you cannot indulge, but you still want to. You want a certain food but you’ve banned it, or you’ve been specifically told not to eat it. Let me tell you something. Eventually you will eat that food, and the longer you deprive yourself of it, the more monumental the extortionate excess will be. Additionally, making the portion size so small that you barely taste it also makes the experience pointless. It defeats the purpose and the reason you consume that food in the first place – because you like the taste of it. –

Sometimes it’s about accepting that you will indulge in your favourite foods. Accept that you love a certain food and enjoy it I’m accountable excess (without being too ridiculous with portion size). Take it for what it is. Progress can still be made if you come to a compromise. Don’t dip your toast in a bucket of peanut butter, instead enjoy a moderate whack of the stuff. When you do it, be accountable and adjust the rest of your diet to accommodate if need be. After all, you want to be balanced in your calorie intake, but also in your mind. Both are crucial if you want to be happy and successful longterm.

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

You don’t have to track calories. But if losing or gaining weight is the goal, understanding their importance is key to your longevity of success.

The whole idea of calorie counting being a boring punishment for nutritional misdemeanors is wrong to begin with. Because, you see… The whole idea of calorie counting is so that you are empowered with enough knowledge that you don’t need to continue doing it. Instead of a chore, think of it as a learning process. Learn for a few weeks or months, ingrain the knowledge, use it and keep it. If done properly, you’ll not need to count calories sooner than you think.

If it is to be effective, it has to resonate and mould future choices. I.e. “650 calories for a few nuts? Ok, I may have an alternative snack” or “that pizza was 1750 calories so I’ll eat less tomorrow”…

I’m not here to berate those who eat intuitively. If no change in body composition is desired then there is no need to count calories. But when it comes to fat loss, ‘intuition’ is nearly useless. It means; ‘Listen to your body’… ‘Eat when you are hungry’. Of course these intuitions are useful, if you are hungry you should probably eat. But, for fat loss, that logic doesn’t stack up against knowing WHAT and HOW MUCH you are eating (and drinking). I simply cannot comprehend how intuition can be a better option when trying to lose weight. This is primarily due to not knowing WHAT or HOW much you are eating and if you’re in a calorie deficit or not. In addition, chances are your understanding of ‘eating intuitively’ created the problem in the first place. –

Eat intuitively from the start if you like – you might lose fat. Alternatively, measure calorie intake from the start and consistently execute a sustainable calorie deficit – you will lose fat. It’s a simple case of tracking calorie intake properly for a period of time to earn the right to eat with educated intuition for the rest of your life ๐Ÿคœ๐Ÿค›. –

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

In the last 10-15 years there has been substantial pressure on the fitness industry consumer (mostly people looking to lose fat) to buy into a particular way of achieving their goal. In this case I want to point out just a small arrangement of myths that probably started because a pseudoscientist had a contact from Silicon Valley… who then put it online in 2009 and it went viral on fitness blogs worldwide. –

The worst thing about it is that professionals within the industry promote some of it. What do we do? Lap it up of course… Why? Because it sounds like it could be true. “Eating carbs must be the reason I’ve put on 4 stone over 5 years”. I can categorically state that it’s not. But it sounds good and it passes the blame elsewhere. –

Let’s keep this precise and blunt tonight:

Assertion; ‘Carbs make you fat’. Reality; carbs do not make you fat – a calorie surplus does (this may include carbs of course).

Assertion; ‘Don’t eat after 6pm’. Reality; Regarding body composition, it doesn’t matter what time of day you eat. Literally. –

Assertion; ‘Red meat is bad’. Reality; overconsumption of any food may impact negatively, not just red meat. Red meat is protein dense. –

Assertion; ‘Clean food’. Reality; it’s just food (usually fruit & veg) with more micronutrients. It’s a good idea to eat them for overall health, but they are not magical fat loss foods. –

I would probably go as far to say that 99% of the things you’ve heard through the grapevine are either; factually false, grossly over exaggerated or do not apply to you. Stick with the boring stuff, it’s been proven to work… well… forever really ๐Ÿ™‚. –

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Who’s going to the cinema this week? Just in case anyone wasn’t already aware – eating and making as much noise as possible is standard procedure at cineworld ๐Ÿ˜‚. –

2 hours without access to food may bring out the same panic buying of food as seen by premier league managers on footballers on transfer deadline day. A 2nd rate continental defender with a track record of injuries (that’s the hot dog). An over valued striker who doesn’t score any goals (that’s the Coca-Cola). Finally, signing a midfielder, despite having too many already (that’s the 2 scoops of ice cream).

I’m all for enjoying social occasions as much as possible. But sometimes, if we want to progress in fat loss, we have to think. Purchasing all of the items on the left hand side inevitably means you’ll consume them (because they taste good).

This is what I call ‘mindless eating’. In this example, the main focus is on the movie rather than the enjoyment of the food/drink. So naturally, we don’t think as much about what/how much we are consuming. Despite not being hungry, we continue to eat… and eat…. and eat. –

You can still indulge, but by being a bit smarter you can progress more. In this graphic you’ll see that three of the items are essentially the same on both sides (the coke, the popcorn and the ice cream). The popcorn and ice cream are simply smaller portions, whilst there is no hot dog. Finally, for a similar taste there is 0 calorie Diet Coke in place of the full blooded sugar that is Coca-Cola. –

If you go to the cinema (or any social occasions that presents these choices), it’s about being smart. If you can make 2005 calories on a couple of snacks and a drink support your goal, go for it. But if done regularly, I estimate that it’s going to eat heavily into your calorie deficit, which is what you need if you want to lose fat. –

Both sides of this graphic will enhance your cinema experience, but one side is a bit smarter than the other if fat loss is the aim… –

Any good films on just now??? –

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

I was recently slated for 13 minutes in a YouTube video made by a well known ‘master of juicing’, criticising my views on his (and all) juice diets and what I believe to be an unnecessary step in losing weight. Whilst I am no doctor, my views are replicated by several qualified medical practitioners who practice evidence based science. –

His main criticism of me was that I hadn’t read his book – I don’t need to. The master of juicing’s rationale for advocating sole consumption of juice for days and weeks at a time was “to give the body a chance to do what it naturally wants to do”. Despite not being a doctor, I recognize this statement as pseudosciencey bullsh*t. Juicing is completely unnecessary as a means for sustainable weight loss and scientifically unproven to benefit health in any way. In fact, it could develop/ingrain an unhealthy relationship with food and the weight loss process. –

No doubt many people have had success on a juicing diet – though their interpretation of success may be warped. The master of juicing rebuffed by questioning of the necessity and sustainability of his methods, ensuring me in his video that sustainability is something ‘he covers’ in his book. This was apparently exemplified by some case studies of people who had lost weight over a few months (after the initial juice only phase). He said that the sole consumption of juice for days/weeks was the kickstart needed to go on and lose weight for good. Okay…

My response to this is; the majority of the weight that these individuals lost was in the period AFTER the ‘juice only’ phase. Subsequently, individuals simply returned to consuming food whilst being in a calorie deficit – that’s all. Doesn’t it therefore make sense to skip the ‘juicing kickstart’ and eat food in a calorie deficit from the start? All the while learning, saving money and enjoying it? Eating food is a necessity for health, sustainability of weight loss, digestion and sanity. Juice diets are absolutely not. –

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

What is food? The primary use of food is to gather, consume, metabolise and utilise energy. Some foods contain more energy (calories) than others, whilst some contain more nutrients than others. Therefore, put simply, salad and pizza are the same thing. Neither are good or bad, both are neutral. The only important factor to consider is how they fit your overall diet and lifestyle. This includes overall calorie/nutrient consumption and overall activity level. At no point should emotions or guilt come into it…unless it’s happiness. –

When it comes to feeling healthy, having energy and maintaining the body composition you want, you probably want to analyse this in a little more detail. The salad (and most whole foods) contain more fibre, vitamins and minerals than most processed, lower fibre foods – like pizza… or cola bottles ๐Ÿคค… This results in a greater level of satiety if your diet is based mainly on whole foods. Again no need for any stress, emotion or guilt here.

Unless you’re trying to gain weight, it makes sense to, over time, eat a higher volume of these whole, nutrient dense, filling foods which are lower in calories, compared to a small volume of high calorie food which may not satisfy your needs and possibly result in the need for more energy. But this doesn’t mean that calorie dense, processed foods are bad. You just have to consume them in moderation and awareness of what they represent. –

At the end of the day, salad, pizza and all foods are means to an end. It’s up to you to decide what regularity of food type/portion size will benefit your goal and allow you to enjoy eating. Instead of getting unnecessarily emotional about eating pizza, try to think methodically instead – “This pizza is x calories… how can I fit it into my largely nutritious diet regularly.” This is a much healthier mindset which is far more useful, whilst being free from unnecessary guilt. Be happy when you eat salad or pizza, knowing that either will support your goal ๐Ÿคœ๐Ÿค›. –

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

I did a post a few weeks ago where I coined the HEALTHY SMART HAPPY slogan (HSH), where I explained the importance of; 1. Consumption of nutrient dense food most of the time (healthy). 2. Finding tasty lower calorie foods that still meet your needs (smart). 3. Enjoying anything in moderation on occasion (happy). But there is another side to the ‘smart’.. sometimes we think we are being smart, but actually, we’re not. –

Finding the right balance between calorie and nutrient consumption is key to long-term health. The idea is that you achieve an energy balance (calories in vs calories out) to match your weight loss/maintenance/weight gain goal. You also want to optimize you’re health and feel good. Therefore it’s a good idea to consume a variety of nutrients within these calories. However, healthier foods with more nutrients does not mean they will be better for weight loss… Energy balance will define that.

Instead of labelling ‘foods for weight loss’, isn’t it a better idea to address the fact that calories apply to all foods (nutritious and non nutritious). Then from there assess your overall intake? This is a more rational and useful approach. –

All of these foods are tasty items with calories, macros and in these cases, a tiny amount of micronutrients. Include them all if you enjoy them, but eat them as food – not because you heard in the daily mail that they help with weight loss, because they don’t. It’s your overall diet, means of measurement and lifestyle which decides this. –

The most nutritious item on this graphic is the chocolate Brazil nuts. But I’d say it’s heavily leaned in the calorie corner for the worth of nutrients in this case. Due to this I would choose the snickers, but it’s up to you. To be exact; 574 calories for 7 nuts, 1.7g of fibre and 8.4g of protein. “Ah But Graeme… the fibre and protein will fill you up for longer”… Well I’d bloody hope so after putting away 574 cals on 7 nuts. Even if they are delicious ๐Ÿ˜.

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Nutritionally speaking, snacking on fruit is better than snacking on processed foods of less nutritional value for a multitude of reasons. Nutrients. Hydration. Fibre. Vitamins… to name a few reasons. –

However, the term ‘fruit’ should not be confused with ‘dried fruit’ or further modified fruit such as these banana chips. This is because the calorie and sugar properties can be very different from the fresh versions.

Why are the banana chips SO much higher in calories? Well, it’s a very simple answer. Fresh banana gets 70% of its weight from water. Whereas dried bananas lose around 95% of water content, making them a far more concentrated calorie source. Essentially, per 100g, you’re eating the calorie worth of what would be a LOT more fresh bananas. The same applies to all dried fruit. –

Banana chips are also different from dried banana. These chips are dehydrated, but also coated in oil and contain additional sugar, making their calorie/sugar content even higher still.

Snacking on fruit is great. But you still have to be smart about it. If weight loss or reducing sugar intake is your goal you are better placed to consume fresh fruits, rather than dried or modified.. So called healthy foods still need the same level of awareness. They contain calories and sugar, just like any less nutritious food does. It’s this type of blind consumption without awareness that could stall fat loss progress or lead to insulin related health problems.

Simply defining all forms of fruit as a good option is slightly short sighted. As you can see, gram for gram the differences can be astronomical. “But I snack on fruit”… yes but you also snack on calories and sugar. Therefore is might be a better idea to get clues up on the nutritional values of the food you consume. The likelihood is that you’ll source fresh fruit, lower in calories (and sugar if that’s a concern) ๐Ÿ™‚. –

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

When eating out (and eating in general) there is a plethora of misconceptions regarding what’s ‘good and bad’. This results in the inevitable unnecessary elimination of the food you want, for something you’ll tolerate because you hear it’s ‘healthy’ aka ‘supports’ your goals. The problem is that most of the time, you simply don’t know what you’re consuming.

For example; unless you enjoy it more, choosing brown bread over white is as pointless as choosing sweet potato fries instead of regular fries (unless you prefer SP fries). More fibre you say? How about you take care of your fibre intake with your overall nutritional intake instead. After all, you go out to catch up with friends, have fun. You don’t go out to stress profusely about decimal points of fibre intake (hopefully).

Consumption of one mildly excessive, non controlled meal out of 20-25 meals each week will not impact progress unless you eat out several times per week – then the lack of knowledge as to what you are consuming may become an issue. It’s surely a better idea to, when out, order what you want when out and enjoy it.
Then focus on your goal with controlled, measured intake of calories and nutrients the rest of the week (about 95% of your intake). It’s called balance. –

Of course, if you KNOW for certain that a particular choice will be more beneficial to your goal and you’ll enjoy consuming it – that is the time to strike as you have control and accurate knowledge concerning your intake. But my guess is that these opportunities will be minimal. –

Some restaurant chains provide nutritional information online which is great. This highlights that often, the perceived ‘healthy’ salad or pasta dish is just as excessive in calories as that huge AF burger you were eying up on the next table. –

Enjoy supporting your goal consistently most of the time whilst relishing moderate excess. Don’t be a hero ordering something you don’t want, based on no evidence, whilst your mate tucks into a party in their mouth ๐Ÿ‘. –

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Here’s one. Kale. A nutritious plant by nature, but it rose to new found fame in around 2009 when people decided to make it a platinum member of their ‘superfood’ gang. It often appears on ‘healthy’ menus and you’ll see it whoring itself out all over certain ‘clean eating’ Instagram accounts. Kale puts out in the fitness industry, I’ll give it that.

You’re out for lunch. The menu appears. Skim read… (that sounds nice)… skim.. KALE. At this point sirens go off and your inner voice is provoked to remind you; “F*CK EVERYTHING ELSE AT ALL COSTS. KALE. IF YOU WANT TO GET IN SHAPE CHOOSE THE KALE ONE. IT WAS ON THE COVER OF WOMAN’S HEALTH. KALE… (p.s. how annoying are block capital text rants ๐Ÿคฃ). Anyway, as a result you tell the waitress; “I’ll have the assorted bean, spiraldenasuperfoodona, rabbit dropping & kale salad please”… and it’s over. You did it. You chose weight loss and health, right? –

Here’s the thing. I’m not having a go at kale. Kale is a mightily great source of nutrients. But at the end of the day, it’s just a food. It is just the same as many other nutrient dense food sources, like good old lettuce for example. –

Consumption of kale means nothing, except the basic fact that you consumed kale. Sure, it is a better food to consume than some. But it alone (or consumption of any individual food/drink) does not define you, your health or your compositional goals. Your entire calorie/nutrient intake, exercise, sleep and NEAT define these things. So I guess kale can be part of that, if you really want it to. But kale alone will not solve a calorie surplus.

I’m using kale as an example here (I’m starting to feel sorry for the pain I’ve caused it ๐Ÿคฃ), but the same goes for any so called ‘super magical’ food. At the end of the day, it’s consumption is just one small piece of the jigsaw puzzle that is every day caloric/nutrient intake & lifestyle. It only amounts to something good if all of the other pieces fit in the right place ๐Ÿ™‚.

I am braced for missiles landing on this post ๐Ÿš€

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

“Surely a couple of biscuits a day won’t make me fat or impact progress?” Well, not overnight. But (as you can see), it’s all dependent on the bigger picture… Days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months. Things snowball. –

Do biscuits ruin your calorie deficit or create a calorie surplus? No. But it becomes problematic if you’re trying to lose fat, whilst blindly eating calorie dense foods you don’t even remember. Consider all of the other variables that take place in the world of thermodynamics… –

Balance and inclusion of all foods you like is essential to sustain any weight change, but only if you are accountable and aware. It is incredibly easy to over consume calorie dense snacks, especially at work during the dreaded meetings, or when you’re bored. Everyone else is eating biscuits and let’s face it – biscuits are delicious. –

The biscuits in this graphic represent any small amount of food which possesses a lot of calories for its size, satiety level and nutritional worth. Therefore the likelihood of consuming multiple portions increases – and so do the calories. –

More examples: 1 quality street – really? How about 8 (approx 500 calories in 2 minutes).
1 cookie? What about 3 and 650 calories in 5 minutes…. Hopefully, if anything this post might make you aware of your very own trigger food which could be the cause of weight gain/lack of progress.

Eat biscuits and any favourite food often – because you like them. But make them fit your goal. If you normally eat 6 biscuits per day, reduce it to 4… or 3…. or 1. If you normally drink 2 glasses of wine every day, maybe have 1… If you normally eat 3 chocolate bars each day, maybe have 2. Maybe move a bit more too…

A simple post with basic arithmetic you say? But that’s literally what it boils down to at the end of the day. That and using our most basic intellect ๐Ÿ™‚.

Help someone you know by tagging them in this one ๐Ÿ™‹‍♂️!

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Before I get trolled by the usual misinformed extremists, let’s establish a couple of things: This smoothie has more nutrients than this bag of skittles. Will you be more satisfied after consuming the smoothie compared to the skittles? Possibly, as it has more fibre, but this is subjective. Everyone’s hunger hormones (leptin & ghrelin) work differently. What satisfies one individual’s hunger may not be replicated in another. –

This is why it is always a good idea to model your food/drink intake on facts. Consuming 750ml of the smoothie (which isn’t that much btw) means your putting away 84g of sugar and 381 calories – that’s nearly 3.5 times the recommended daily sugar intake. “But they are natural sugars Graeme”. *Well, they are sugars from a whole food… but what you’re likely getting confused about is the nutrient density in the smoothie, compared to the skittles. Whilst this is better for overall health, it has little correlation with composition. What does? Calories in vs calories out. Sugar = calories. It doesn’t matter where the sugar comes from. –

What about the skittles sugar quantity? Touchรฉ – you got me. However, the facts are that you could consume nearly two bags of skittles and still be under the sugar/calories of the ‘superfood’ smoothie. Yet the skittles are apparently an ‘avoid at all costs’ food for any health conscious individual. –

There are no superfoods/drinks. Some foods/drinks have nutrients, some don’t. It’s always a good idea to consume nutrients, but not if you have to digest 84g of sugar in the process. Consuming 381 calories regularly from a drink when trying to lose or even maintain weight is a terrible idea. Eating a piece of fruit instead is probably a better solution. Much cheaper too. –

As ever, it all boils down to awareness and the ability to skillfully cut through the marketing B.S. and do what is actually right for you, despite all the noise form the ‘super hero’ foods…

Which would you consume? Expecting a high amount of ‘neither’ answers below ๐Ÿค“!

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Above are two different methods to achieve the same goal – fat loss. Note that the 5lb and 1lb weight losses are only examples to highlight my points below. –

The method on the left, aka a fad/panic diet designed to lose weight quickly, without even considering its necessity or sustainability. The facts are that eating FAR fewer calories and unnecessarily removing/banning foods from your diet will result in fast fat loss. –

Let’s say that a particular restrictive diet resulted in a weight loss of 5lbs per week. To make this happen, your calorie intake needs to be extremely different, but so does your life. It’s kind of like having a Ferrari and downgrading to a 1974 1.0L old banger – the drastic change will be difficult. –

Setting out to lose weight this way is not courageous. It’s lazy. The mindset is wrong. Losing weight to improve health is not a toy that you play with for a temporary time and then abandon for the next restrictive/fad diet. Despite what the fitness industry tells you, health, fitness, weight loss, whatever it is you want is not about ‘the great challenge’, ‘the punishment for past crimes’, or ‘the quest for your favourite instagrammers abs’. It’s about common sense. And it’s about you.

On the right the representative example shows a 1lb weight loss each week. The calorie deficit will be small, but measured. But crucially, it’s already far more achievable. It also includes all of the foods you enjoy and you’re more likely to have energy to exercise (which also helps greatly). The only thing you have to implement is SMALL change, awareness, rationality and consistency. –

What would you rather? Lose 10lbs in two weeks whilst feeling like shit, becoming demented and having zero energy… before giving up and reverting back to the diet/lifestyle that got you into the mess? –

Or would you rather lose 2lbs in two weeks, enjoying the process, eating all the foods you like, whilst knowing you can sustain it long term? It’s slower, but it’s a no brainer. So let’s use our brains a little more ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ˜Ž. –

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Sally – “No bread for me please I’m trying to lose weight…. But if I was to have some bread I’d obviously choose brown… because I’m being good and it’s better for you”…

Back to me now. As you can see, in terms of energy, there is no difference between white of brown bread. Brown bread will have more fibre as it’s slightly (and I mean slightly) less processed, but that’s about it. –

The other thing is – we ALWAYS have something else on our bread. Something else = more calories. In this example smearing on a couple of generous knifes of peanut butter and jam more than triples the total calories (but it’s still the bread that makes you fat, right? ๐ŸŒš). All of a sudden it’s not really about the colour of the bread… is it. –

We have to look at food for what it is – Food. Some foods have more calories than others, some have more nutrients than others. But at the end of the day, it’s just food. Demonizing any food as one that will automatically make you gain fat by eating it, regardless of quantity, is quite frankly… a joke of a statement. It is also universally unproven and false.

Bread by itself is one calorie variable. Using this example, peanut butter adds a second variable, whilst the jam adds a third (and the latter 2 cream all over the so called first ‘bad’ variable in terms of calories). This principle can be applied to one’s mindset when assessing and addressing their overall diet. Does it support their goal? Is the energy balance working for them? These are the important things, rather than discriminating bread ffs!

A calorie surplus makes you fat, not bread. –

P.s. I’ve just eaten both of these slices… 660 calories and sore teeth. Pretty tasty though… ๐Ÿ‘€

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Special K. The ‘healthy’ cereal that ‘makes you slim’. There was a time a while ago where Kellogg’s created the special K diet for those looking to lose weight. ‘Drop a jeans size in 2 weeks’ I believe it was called…

The concept was that you would eat special K suggested cereal servings/special K protein bar for breakfast and lunch, followed by a ‘normal’ meal for dinner (so this could literally entail ANYTHING… aka HEAPS of calories). I talk in the past tense as this is surely no longer a thing… I hope ๐Ÿ‘€.

The thing is. Whilst consuming vermin sized portions of Special K will naturally create a calorie deficit, so does eating any food, as long as you consume less energy than you expend. –

Maybe Kelloggs should create the same diet with their coco pops? Because exactly the same results would be achieved (nutritionally they are basically equal). But it’s the power of marketing, words and human vulnerability which run true here. This results in many perceiving the product on the left as ‘good’ for losing weight, whilst most people believe the product on the right will be inherently ‘bad’ for weight loss. But the reality is that neither are good or bad for weight loss.

Weight loss can only occur if you are in a calorie deficit, regardless of food type. This example is indicative of MANY foods/products which market themselves as a food which makes you lose weight. It’s not the type of food that does the job, instead it’s the quantity of food. –

Sustainability is the key to weight loss. Chipping away at a small, gradual deficit is a good idea, as well as basing your diet on Whole Foods with actual nutritional value – because I’m guessing you also want to feel healthy and perform ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‹‍♂️. Which would you go for? Or would you avoid all together? I hope you’re enjoying your bank holiday!! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

It is possible to consume balanced, nutritious food on a budget, but in 2018 it’s becoming ever more difficult when it comes to doing the same with convenience food. This is compounded by the fact that we rely on convenience more than ever – commuting, travel, time constraints etc…

Why is there such a price difference? Do supermarkets want us to be unhealthy? Do they want us to get fat? No. It’s down to the increased cost of quality, fresh produce in comparison to cheap, processed, mass made, lower quality produce. Another factor worth considering is consumer demand – our desire to be healthy and eat quality ingredients. Think of it like a fashion accessory… Consumer demand = ๐Ÿ’ฐ

The big question is – how could this cost of healthier ingredients decrease? At which point in the process could a cut be made, if any? Is it a case of saturating shelves with healthier convenience foods and limiting so called poorer quality foods? Would that create the competition which would reduce prices? I doubt it’s viable. After all, people still want/need to make money. That said, Britain is heading towards a staggering 30% obesity rate any day soon…

I know one cheap, easy way to get around this. Buy quality ingredients at a good price and sacrifice a couple of hours each week to prepare your ‘on the go’ meals. That way you save money and remain in control ๐Ÿ˜Ž. Have I cherry picked the cheapest poor quality foods and most expensive high quality foods? I don’t think so. Selections on both sides account for numerous examples of below and high quality food on the go, where it’s clearly getting more expensive to eat well conveniently… Too expensive for some, which is a great shame. A MacDonald’s cheeseburger is £0.99, whilst the average high quality salad with various meat/fish comes to £6. –

What do you think? Have your say below ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™! –

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Guilt free vs guilt free.

The nakd bar on the left markets some of its products as ‘guilt free’. This is absolutely correct. In fact, I like this. Why on earth would you feel guilty after consuming food? After all, we need energy to live. It doesn’t make sense to feel guilty doing something completely natural such as consuming food. However, this statement and very concept of ‘guilt free’, means that there must be foods that are not guilt free, right? There must be foods that you should feel guilty about consuming, right?

Perhaps three of these Reese’s peanut butter cups? No ‘guilt free’ marketing in sight… High calorie…? High sugar…? Chocolate…??? Is it bad for you? If you eat it, should you be ashamed? No. It’s thought of this way because it’s never marketed as healthy. But it’s still food. Instead it’s seen as a vice – something you really want/enjoy but shouldn’t really have. When it’s consumed, for some strange reason you feel guilt. Then negative relationships with food are born, instead of seeing it for what it is – food. –

Let’s get one thing straight. The mechanical movement of hand to food – food to mouth… and the digestive process in the gastrointestinal tract is exactly the same with both of these delicious peanut bars. One just happens to have more calories and less friendly macros. But as long as you are aware of this, moderate your consumption and make it fit your goal, is there any need for guilt? No. There is not.

The takeaway point from this post should be that consumption of any food should NOT make you feel guilty. Why? Because you should be aware of the nutritional aspects of all of the foods/drinks that you consume. Choose to be educated rather than basing your health on meaningless words (or lack of words) on a packet, without looking deeper. The only emotions experienced during consumption of food should be happiness and fulfillment ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ™‚. –

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

If you feel the need to eat vast amounts of calories at the weekend, either your overall method is not working (not enjoyable) or you’re underestimating the consumed weekend calories. As you can see, calorie excess on the weekend (because you feel you worked hard during the week) can actually nullify that so called hard work. In fact, in this case it is counter productive. The question I would ask is; is your daily calorie target realistic? Do you even have a calorie target?

My second point is that perhaps you’re unaware or underestimate the sheer volume of calories consumed over the weekend. You relax and feel you deserve ‘a break’. A break from what though? If you do it right, you shouldn’t really need a break. If you have a negative outlook on the process it’s either; not going to last or you’ll fluctuate up and down in consistency. Both of these will limit results.

Forget the specifics of this post for a second. I’m emphasizing that, by whatever means, you cannot lose fat if you are not in a calorie deficit over a sustained period of time.

If you’re just starting out in a fat loss mission, I’d recommended tracking the daily calories you currently consume (accurately!), and then deduct 10-15% off of that daily number, track and hit that number on average each week. Once you see progress after a few weeks and more fat loss is the aim, deduct another small amount… and so on, until you reach a position you want to maintain. By then you’ll have a good understanding of nutritional information/portion sizes in food and probably don’t have to continue tracking. It takes time.

Or, focus on a weekly calorie number. So, if you consume high calories one day, adjust the next couple of days so that it’s still the target average. If you know you will consume more calories, plan to reduce calories 1-2 days before to offset the damage – again, so that the weekly average is still on target. It really is about averages and it really is that simple.

One last thing – move more ๐Ÿ™‚. –

Tag a mate to help them out ๐Ÿคœ๐Ÿค›๐Ÿ™

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Coca-Cola vs Naked smoothie. Surely the naked smoothie is healthy, right? Well it has more nutrients, of that there is no doubt. But is it actually better for you? Let’s look at the bigger picture.

The smoothie has more sugar. Sugar is not inherently bad, but 41g of sugar per 375ml (50g per 450ml bottle) is a huge consumption for a ‘healthy’ source of hydration/nutrients. The smoothie is also higher in calories. Calories are not inherently bad, but 202 calories from a drink is a bit of a waste. P.s. the Coca-Cola is just as bad in both facets.

The fundamental question here is; why are you consuming either? I’d assume you’d consume the Coca-Cola for taste, but the smoothie for ‘health’. –

Whilst the smoothie has a load of sugar, it has WAY more nutrients than the Coca-Cola, credit where credit is due. But is this a viable, long term means to consume nutrients for the average person? I wouldn’t say so.

If you are looking to take in more nutrients, isn’t it a better idea to eat them? Prepare meals with vegetables and fruits? Consume them normally instead of unknowingly binging on them in smoothies, resulting in unnecessary amounts of sugar (and calories) being consumed. You shouldn’t need to get most of your nutrients from one single drink.

So is the Smoothie better than the Coca-Cola? If you’re whole diet is already supporting a nutrient dense intake of foods, my answer would be NO. You shouldn’t need it.

Hydrate on water/zero cal flavoured water, eat plenty of whole foods and be aware of calories and nutrients consumed. –

It’s a stalemate: Coca-Cola 0-0 Naked Smoothies. *75248 apples sent off 35’. Attendance: 0. –

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Coconut oil vs Butter. Which one is best?

Let’s briefly describe the entities of both before I begin. Both are essentially a saturated fat source. One from coconut and the other from dairy. 82% of coconut oil is saturated fat, whilst 63% of butter is saturated fat. Coconut oil is seen as the ‘savior oil’, whilst butter is a washed up old foost which was big in the 50s, but apparently not now. –

Is saturated fat bad? Well, the scientists cannot make their mind up, but from the meta analysis that I’ve seen, particularly from the association of dietary circulating and supplement fatty acids with coronary risks, in 76 studies containing 643,226 participants, they found no link between saturated fat and heart disease. Furthermore, that saturated fat had been shown to raise HDL cholesterol (the good one), and change LDL cholesterol from small (the bad one), to large (which is mostly benign). Interesting.

With this in mind, neither of the above are bad for you as much as neither are good for you. Does coconut oil carry overwhelming health/fat loss benefits compared to butter or lard? I think it’s maybe a better idea to look at the bigger picture. What does your energy balance look like? How many nutrients do you consume from main food sources? Sometimes getting caught up in the small details is not necessary. –

As you can see, the simple facts are that both are very similar in terms of calorie density, whilst coconut oil contains more saturated fat. Therefore in terms of body composition, both will be fairly equal based on equal consumption. –

What about olive oil you say? In terms of energy balance, olive oil is slightly higher in calories than coconut oil and butter. In terms of fat breakdown it’s mostly monounsaturated, contains a small amount of omega 3 and a good whack of omega 6 – which supports heart health. Maybe the benefits of olive oil has cast a shadow on the likes of butter, which seem to be pretty benign in terms of affecting heart health ๐Ÿค“. Enjoy them all, but be aware. –

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Which one would you pick? (Neither is also an option ๐Ÿ˜…) –

The point here is not to promote the Big Mac over the pasta due to its lower calorie value, but to highlight the extortionate calorie value of a supposed ‘salad’. Salad = healthy in most minds. But what does ‘healthy’ even mean?

A lot of people trying to lose weight or moderate calorie intake would assume that the pasta salad is going to be more beneficial their goals than a Big Mac. Who would blame them – I don’t. “The word salad is on the box, chicken is lean… pasta? Well it’s better than a friggin Big Mac, right?”

But this example once again shows that education, understanding of food labelling and informed judgements are key to making the best choice for your goal. In isolation, this comparison shows the Big Mac as a better option for fat loss in pure terms of calorie intake supporting a calorie deficit (which you require for fat loss).

There are of course several different variables which could mean that either of these choices will still support your goals. Total daily calorie intake outwith each for example. But nearly 1000 calories on a ‘routine’ Chicken & bacon pasta tub (which is unlikely to be seen as a treat or recognised for its calorie density), may not be the best idea for most. Neither is a Big Mac in all probability, but this comparison is interesting nonetheless.

Remember – body composition is determined by calories in vs calories out. Health and function is supported by nutrients consumed. Therefore it’s a good idea to be aware of the calories you consume on a daily basis and organise most of your diet around nutrient dense whole foods. Then at times, whilst being accountable, eat cake. ๐Ÿ™‚

P.s. I’d eat neither because I wouldn’t enjoy the experience… enjoyment is another important factor when choosing what you eat. If forced to choose I’d go for the Big Mac ๐Ÿ’‍♂️. –

As ever, tag a mate to help them out ๐Ÿคœ๐Ÿค›

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Being good or being bad? In terms of nutrition, what does this mean? Well… Nothing really. But nearly all of the time both phrases are directed at body composition, as opposed to ‘good’ nutrient intake.

If offered 1 slice of toast with a whack of peanut butter, or 2 slices of toast with a moderate amount of jam, people may choose the peanut butter toast as the healthier option. The ‘good’ option for weight loss, based on consuming less sugar and more nutrients. Naturally, peanut butter will be lathered on, whereas jam is a ‘less healthy’ food and may actually be used more sparingly. –

Whilst you get the ‘good’ of protein and healthy fats with the PB toast, the same cannot be said regarding calories. Is 380 calories from a snack a good idea for you? Does it fill you up? Can you stop at one slice? ‘Good’ all of a sudden has many variables before you determine whether any food choice is actually supportive.

What does your total calorie and nutrient intake look like? Once you’re aware of this, you’ll have a better idea of what’s ‘good’. For example, if you are aiming for a calorie deficit of 1400 calories per day, 380 calories is a big chunk of this written off already. All variables aside, in black & white – eating 1 slice of the PB toast every day instead of 2 slices of toast and jam (as per the above portions) will mean more fat is gained/less fat is lost. Fact. This is simply because more calories are consumed. Don’t assume that healthier ingredients (which are better for long term health) will be better for weight loss. That’s not how it works. You want the best of both facets.

Both of these options can absolutely fit in to your existing diet. Think objectively. How many calories are you consuming? How many nutrients are you consuming? Just be aware that the subjective thought process of ‘being good’ essentially means jack shit at the end of the day. ๐Ÿ™‚

Tag a mate that this could help! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿค›

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

‘Superfood’ vs ‘Food with no alleged superpowers’ – which one would you choose? ๐Ÿค“

Here we have 50g of goji berries, one of the chief ‘superfoods’ going vs 50g of fresh raspberries, one of ‘foods’ going. –

There is no denying that the goji berry has a glittering array of nutrients which greatly benefit certain aspects of our health. However, as they are often only available in dried form, what about their effect in our blood sugar and body composition? Well, as you can see, eaten regularly the calorie and sugar density for total volume of food consumed is extortionate (as is the price).

Fresh raspberries on the other hand, less actual fruits per 50g in comparison due to water being present, but per the same weight, they still contain a multitude of vitamins to keep us healthy, but at a fraction of the cost in terms of calories, sugar and your wallet. –

The term superfood is not just attributed to goji berries of course. It’s slapped across a bunch of nutrient dense foods these days. However, just because a food has ‘got into bed’ (๐Ÿ˜‚) with marketers and popular media, doesn’t make it any better than those foods who didn’t make the cut. –

Horsing ‘superfoods’ by the wheel barrow because you believe they will magically help you lose weight/keep you healthy is a marketers dream, but in truth, completely naive. The bigger picture needs addressed. Consumption of one food which has been chatted up/bummed a bit in the media will literally do nothing for you in isolation. In fact, if eaten regularly, there are far better ‘non-super’ alternatives which support overall health. ๐Ÿ™‚

This comparison is just one example of many. At the end of the day, there are no superfoods – only foods. Any food is ok in moderation. Think about how supportive or unsupportive your overall diet and lifestyle is for your goal. Be educated and be aware. ๐Ÿ™‚

Not so super? What do you think? Tag a mate that this could help! ๐Ÿ™‚

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Which one looks better? ๐Ÿ‘€

When someone decides they want to lose weight, their perception is often negative from the get go. Sometimes it’s viewed as a form of punishment being letting yourself become overweight. “That’s it, no more foods I like.” “Extremely small portions.” “I’m going to be hungry.” “Time to grit my teeth and force down the rabbit food.” “No more chocolate”. “No more carbs” etc etc… The clock is already ticking with this mindset and perception. It’s simply not going to last. –

If weight loss is the goal, the reality is that if doesn’t matter what you eat, as long as you’re in a calorie deficit. However, if you took this literally and decided to chew down junk food 24/7 you’d find it very hard to eat any volume of food as those foods are often calorie dense. And you’d also feel like shit. –

It’s a better idea to address how many calories you currently consume and reduce this total daily amount by 10-15%. No need to cut out food groups or ban any foods. That’s literally ridiculous and does not address the real issues which got you into this situation.

In addition, start moving more, understand a little more about nutritional contents of food and track it. Soon enough you’ll realise that you get bang for your buck with whole foods in terms of calories consumed and your level of satiety (feeling full). But you’ll also realise that you can absolutely include all of your favourite foods – in moderation. It’s all about awareness, facts, logic and applying them rationally – this is objective. It’s not about perceptions, extremities or punishment. They are subjective. –

Extremities never last. Moderation is much more likely to. Choose moderation to get the best form of diet, body composition and happiness. It may sound boring, it may take a little while, but instead of intermittently eating rabbit food, it’ll probably stick forever. ๐Ÿ™‚๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿคœ๐Ÿค›

As ever, tag a mate who needs to hear this ๐Ÿคœ๐Ÿค›๐ŸŽŠ๐ŸŒˆ

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Which one would you choose ๐Ÿค”?

The thing is, most people who are conscious about their health or weight, would automatically choose the eat natural bar, even though they might actually want the crunchie deep down. Maybe because of the ‘healthy’ marketing or the fact that it says it has dark chocolate, fruit and nuts included, all of which are nutritionally more beneficial that a bunch of sugar in the crunchie, right? “So surely that’ll make me thin also?”

Not necessarily. Let’s look at the first port of call for weight loss – calorie control and a calorie deficit. As you can see the eat natural bar is higher in calories than the crunchie. Whilst you may be marginally healthier consuming regular eat natural bars’ nutrients instead of crunchies, you’ll gain marginally more fat too. “But the eat natural bar will keep me fuller for longer”… Well, it does have more fibre, but I’m not so sure given the amount of protein is very low. In fact, it’s virtually the same as the crunchie. If you choose to be unaware of the calorie content of ‘healthy’ branded foods, they also become more likely to be overeaten. “But they are healthy so it’s ok, isn’t it?” No.

The main point of this post is perhaps to steer you away from so called ‘health bars’ as a means to be healthy or lose weight. What about getting your nutrients from fresh fruit & vegetables in main meals instead? Then you can afford to have a bloody crunchie from time to time and enjoy that experience instead of tolerating it. All the while being fully aware of the total calories and nutrients you are consuming in relation to your goal. ๐Ÿ™‚๐ŸŒˆ

As ever, tag a mate if you feel they need to hear this. ๐Ÿค“

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

‘Healthy’ Snack vs Forgotten Snack ๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿง

Since it’s throw back Thursday, let’s have a quiet reminisce about a forgotten snack, blown away by the new ‘healthy’ kids on the block… ๐Ÿ˜ช.

Ok, a muller rice (not the low fat version) isn’t seen as necessarily great, but coupled with a 150g portion of strawberries, whilst standing next to the snack on the left, suddenly doesn’t look so bad. Especially compared to the 7425885426 portions of fruit (and consequential sugar) in the ‘healthy juice’. In this comparison, it’s actually a pretty decent snack, but most people might not see it that way. It’s forgotten in the mirage of ‘healthy’ marketing. –

Of course there are benefits to eating nuts and a bunch of fruit. You’re consuming plenty of nutrients, but in this case you’re also consuming 506 calories via and handful of food and a few slurps of juice. In addition, 53g of sugar. –

All foods/drinks above can be eaten as part of a healthy, balanced diet. But just because a product is marketed as healthy, shiny and trendy doesn’t necessarily mean that’s it’s going to help you on the long run. Especially if you consume lots of it without being aware of the caloric impact. ๐Ÿ™‚

Which one would you choose? Or would you mix & match? Comment below! ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿคœ๐Ÿค›

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

True/false? Many of you will have heard this phrase before. But unsurprisingly, I doubt you read it in the journal of nutrition, or any journal for that matter.

๐ŸŒšFor years this ‘no carbs after dark’ metabolic artifice has plagued the fitness industry for those trying to stay/get lean. It was born out of the correct fact that our metabolism slows down as we sleep, which isn’t surprising as we aren’t moving much during this time. But this bears no correlation to this claim.

๐Ÿ˜According to a study published by obesity journal, a test group that ate most daily carbohydrates at dinner, compared to those who spread them out during the day actually showed greater losses in total body weight, body fat and waist circumference. This study is a small sample, but interesting nonetheless. –
๐Ÿ˜To summarize another study published in the Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease Journal, it found that eating carbs at night “may prevent midday hunger, better support weight loss and improve metabolic outcomes over conventional weight loss diets”. The study looked at macronutrient distribution throughout the day and its impact on hunger controlling hormones such as ghrelin, leptin and adiponectin. Subjects who consumed more carbs at night reported greater satiety. (Both studies referenced in comments). These are just two studies of course. But slightly more reliable than the ban carbs at nightfall brigade. –

Important considerations:

1️⃣At the end of the day body composition is determined by energy in vs energy out, regardless of food/nutrient type.

2️⃣By reducing carbs at night, it’s simply an over complicated way to reduce calorie intake.
3️⃣A 10-15% gradual calorie reduction and increased movement over a period of time is measured and more achievable for fat loss.
4️⃣ This doesn’t mean you can start smashing loads of additional carbs at night. If you do that you’ll be in a calorie surplus and gain weight.
5️⃣Any extreme advice is probably not good advice. –

Myth crushed. Your thoughts? ๐Ÿค“

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Lets talk about ‘good/bad’ sugar. ๐Ÿ‡Naked (Pepsi) ‘superfood’ ingredients: 74 blueberries, 5 blackberries, 3 1/3 apples & 1 2/3 bananas. Would you eat these fruit in 2 minutes? Or even in one day? That would surely be classed as a binge? The tango contains refined sugar and… a heap of junk really… However ๐Ÿ‘‡ ๐Ÿ˜ฎIs this Naked drink good or bad? Well, it’s neither really. It depends on your overall diet. But let’s establish a fact straight off the bat. It may be delivered differently, but all sugar it will eventually have the same metabolic effect on our body. In terms of isolation, sugar passes through the stomach and reaches the small intestine, it literally doesn’t matter if it came from a blueberry or a soft drink. Good sugars you say? No such thing… ๐Ÿค“Depending on the amount of sugar already present in your blood, this will determine what happens to the next batch of sugar you consume. If you already have a shit load in there, once digested the new load will form either fat or glycogen – regardless of the food source. ๐Ÿ˜‡Now, what people probably mean by ‘natural/good sugar’ is in fact the additional features of a whole food. In this case, purรฉed fruit has more fibre and nutrients than the soft drink. This may fill you up for longer and reduce the immediate need for more energy. *Note the term ‘MAY’. However, the sheer volume of ingredients in this Naked drink makes it excessive in sugar, regardless of its nutrient density. ๐Ÿ˜ฒIn conclusion, this juice above is a great source of vitamins and minerals. But it has no advantage over any other food/drink in terms of weight loss. In fact, it could be detrimental depending on volume of consumption. The fibre in it may fill you up, helping to control subsequent calories. But ‘may’ is not scientific. Whereas energy in vs energy out is. Refined sugar = energy. Naturally occurring ‘good’ sugar = energy. Naked Superfood Drink = 243 calories… A can of Apple Tango = 33 calories. You decide what’s best for your goal… –
Comment below with your thoughts as always ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ™

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

It’s January 9. We are 22 days away from a large portion of the population reverting back to old habits after a month of punishment for eating too many mince pies and drinking too much. Normal service resumed. Or is it? Here’s the thing with that mindset.
– ๐Ÿคจ What takes a month is probably only going to last a month. If you’ve spent 5 years piling weight on it’s going to take a lot longer than 1 month to shift it. What takes a year will probably stick with you forever.

๐Ÿ˜ฉ Punishment… really? You’re allowed to have fun you know. You’re allowed to be relaxed sometimes. What about February – November. Ask yourself what you’re doing during those months to help your goal. –
๐Ÿคฉ Most of our wildest dreams are possible, but they take time, effort, commitment and desire. Expecting a miraculous change after 1 month is simply not feasible.

๐Ÿ˜… Chill out. Why does it have to happen so fast? Why can’t you build lasting habits, make progress gradual, sustainable and HAVE A LIFE in the process. The all or nothing approach doesn’t last. It cannot last… ๐Ÿ˜Š Rather than aiming for unrealistic and sporadic perfection, just aim to be consistent and embrace the set backs, the slip ups and the blips. Because each time you come back from one of those you’ll be far stronger mentally to achieve everything you want to. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ’ช

Image credits: thefitnesschef_

Source: BoredPanda


Viral 2755738393848696700

Post a Comment