Thursday, 29 December 2011

Little Changes for Weight Loss

Weight loss is a hot topic - always. And it is fair to say that many people really struggle to lose the weight that they want, and it is easy to understand why. There is so much information out there that contradicts itself, and many people are enticed by 'crash diets'. Crash diets are NEVER a good idea. But here are four ideas that can help to shed a few extra pounds.

1. Drop fruit juice from your diet. Despite it seeming a healthy drink, fruit juice contains a lot of sugar and people can drop a good few pounds a month by replacing it with water.

2. Avoid energy bars and products along similar lines. The reason for this is that when working out the energy from your last meal should be enough to get you through so you could do without the extra calories!

3. Add a piece of fruit or a vegetable to each meal. As well as the extra goodness you will receive from eating them, you will also feel fuller for longer and therefore be less likely to snack and will need less from your next meal.

4. Cut out the booze! As severe as it may sound this can help shed a good amount of weight each month. Or you could always try switching to a lighter beer!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

The Importance of a well balanced diet

When looking into fitness, health, muscle building and weight loss, diet is such a key thing to address. Essentially, a good diet is the key to a healthy body.

No one single food will provide all the nutrients that our body requires in order to function as it should so it is important to have a well balanced diet in order to get these nutrients. The body needs protein, fats, carbohydrates and fibre as well as vitamins and minerals.

For building muscle mass protein is key. However, carbs, fats and fibre should not be ignored. About 20 minutes after a weight lifting workout we should refuel our body and this should contain proteins and carbohydrates.

One of the most important pieces of advice with regards to weight loss is to not starve yourself. This will lead to more harm than good. The body begins to store fat and often weight can go on. You will not be living healthy by starvation.

A good diet can also help maintain everyday health and prevent long term disease and illness.

Eat right!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

A Twenty Minute Full Body Workout

This year I developed a home workout that focusses on the full body. The idea behind the workout is for it to be affordable and convenient but still be able to be effective at meeting the needs of the individual.

Check out The Workout

The page contains great information on what exercises to do and the benefits they bring to us. So far there has been some great feedback towards the workout already and I would like to hear yours.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Diet Myths – Part 3

Ok, this is the next instalment of my series of common diet myths. Today I will look at the final two myths regarding diet.

The first myth to discuss is to do with the elimination of carbs from your diet. People often try to incorporate high-protein, low carb diets into their lives, and often report rapid weight-loss. However, there are a number of reasons why you should keep carbs in your diet. Firstly, by focussing on a high protein diet you run the risk of increasing your chances of a heart-attack. Not good. Also, by cutting carbs, you can become irritable, nauseous and weak. Finally, eating too few carbohydrates can lead to the development of ketosis, which is a serious condition that can lead to gout and kidney stones.

The final myth to explode is that skipping meals is a good method for weight loss. This is unhealthy, and the fact is that your body is more likely to store food you do eat as fat because you have been starving yourself. If you eat inconsistently it makes it far more difficult for your body to regulate the metabolism. When you starve yourself, your body goes into ‘starvation mode’ which leads to it storing any extra calories as fat.

Hope this has helped

Friday, 4 November 2011

Diet Myths – Part 2

I posted about diet myths recently and I would like to follow that up with some more common myths that should be ignored!

The first myth that I will discuss today is that of avoiding dairy products. The rumour that is put about is that dairy products, such as cheese and milk, are fattening and unhealthy. To avoid dairy products would be a silly thing to do. They are a good source of protein, zinc and some B vitamins and they are PACKED with calcium, which is essential for healthy bones.

Now a fairly controversial one (or maybe not). Frozen and canned vegetables are often considered to contain less ‘good stuff’, such as vitamins, than fresh produce. This is a controversial one because it CAN be true, but it isn’t always. Often, by freezing, you can keep more vitamins and minerals than if fruits and vegetables have travelled a long distance. Usually, you will be just as well off by eating frozen vegetables as if you were eating fresh. (A bigger problem may be what is used to produce the vegetables that may affect what nutrition vegetables can provide, but that’s another issue).

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Exercise Myths - Part 2

Today I will look at two more common exercise myths that people need to be aware of. As before these are widely accepted to be true and the facts and research suggests otherwise.

The first myth to destroy today is the idea that if you want to lose weight you should avoid strength training because it will lead to you bulking up. It is now widely accepted that you can combine both cardiovascular exercises with weight training in order to maintain a healthy weight. In fact, strength training helps to increase and preserve muscle mass and this can help decrease percentage body fat.

The next myth to dispel today is regarding the idea that home workouts are not as beneficial to you as going to the gym. First of all, some people find it easier to stick to their workout program when it is home-based, which is more beneficial to us than something we cannot stick to. Secondly, you can exercise any body part you wish at home and so you will not be losing out by exercising at home. 

Check out my short full body workout here.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Diet Myths - Part 1

I recently posted about some common fitness myths that are common mistakes that people make. Today I will discuss some myths relating to diet.

The first myth today is about low, or no, fat diets. People believe that cutting fat out of your diet is a good idea. It isn't. As with most things it is about moderation. However, completely removing fat from your diet is truly a bad idea. Fat is important to our body, it is used for energy, to repair tissue as well as to help use vitamins. Do not eliminate fat from your diet!

The second myth that I will discuss is the idea that eating late at night will be more fattening to your body. Many diets suggest that after a certain time in the evening you should not eat. Again, this is not a good idea. To put it simply, you should eat when you are hungry. Listen to the clues that your body gives you!

On a completely different note, are there any De Niro fans reading?

Tuesday, 1 November 2011


Skipping is one of the best exercises for losing weight, keeping fit and staying in shape. It is a cario-vascular exercise that will increase your heart rate and burn fat. One of the key things about skipping is that it is better for your knees as the impact on them is shared between both knees, while running, for example, the impact falls on each leg individually and therefore impacts the knees more. The proof is in the pudding with skipping, just think how fit boxers are. A boxers' training regime includes skipping for, often, up to 45minutes!

Skipping Ropes 

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Fitness: My Twenty Minute Workout

Fitness: My Twenty Minute Workout: Hi. With me being dedicated to my fitness I decided to create a home workout . The idea of this workout is to exercise the whole body but wi...

Exercise Myths - Part 1

Today I am going to share some common fitness myths.

The first exercise myth that I will share is that doing crunches (or other abdominal exercises) will get rid of fat around your belly. This is simply false. Doing crunches helps to develop and strengthen the muscles of the abdomen, as well as helping to improve your posture. You CANNOT select where you lose fat, so doing abdominal exercises will not rid you of belly fat. To see your abs you need to combine cardio-vascular exercises with muscle building and this will help to decrease overall body fat. 

The second myth that I will discuss is the theory of ‘No Pain, No Gain’. The basic truth is that training should not be painful. If you are in pain, or uncomfortable, then your body is telling you something, so listen to it! 

 Hope this helps. 


Friday, 28 October 2011

My Twenty Minute Workout

Hi. With me being dedicated to my fitness I decided to create a home workout. The idea of this workout is to exercise the whole body but without the need for expensive gym memberships or gym equipment for home use.

The workout was developed using my own experiences of what has worked for me. A few years ago I was not in good shape. Since then I have used gyms and read countless articles on health and fitness, which has lead to the creation of this workout.

To get the best results from this workout I recommend that you complete it three or four times a week. This ensures that you get plenty of exercise but you also get recovery time for your body, which will also help your muscle development. 

Check out the workout here: Twenty Minute Workout

Friday, 21 October 2011

Press-Up Variation - 3 Point Press Up

I really believe that press ups, or push ups, are one of the best exercises a person can do. However, it is important to vary your exercises so your muscles do not get 'trained' to do them. Basically this means that the more you vary your workouts, the better the results. So, with that in mind, in this blog I will discuss a specific version of the press up that is a variation on the standard and is known as a Three-Point Press Up.

This variation requires a slight change on a regular press up but it will make the exercise more intense. Get into the normal press up position. Now, place one foot on top of the other, making it three points. That is the only change, so from here do your normal press up routine, change feet to ensure both sides of the body are equal. You should feel a difference, it will be harder to complete your normal amount of press ups.

Thursday, 13 October 2011


I have recently read a report that may help with our fight against obesity. The fat that we generally see as body fat is called white fat. There is also another type of fat, known as brown fat. It was thought, by scientists, which after infancy humans no longer produced brown fat. However, recent research has shown that it is still present in adult humans.

Why is this important though? Well, according to the report, brown fat is so full of blood vessels and mitochondria. This is important as it makes brown fat very good when converting calories into energy. However, with obesity, this process malfunctions, making it more difficult to convert the calories into energy.

A study that was published on October 5th, explains that orexin, which is a hormone the brain produces, activated the calorie burning brown fat in mice. The study suggests that an orexin supplementation could be a new way of treating obesity and other metabolic disorders.

These findings could be so valuable, in my opinion. If it turns out that these are affective then it could lead to a lot more healthy people in the world. Hopefully this research proves fruitful.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The Best Time To Exercise

There are lots of different ideas as to what the best time of day to exercise is. It is generally accepted that first thing in the morning, or last thing at night are the two best times to complete your training.

There are many advantages to exercising first thing in the morning. Firstly, there being fewer distractions and schedules to worry about early on in the day and you can make time for exercise by getting up earlier. Exercising in the morning raises your heart rate and therefore metabolism for the day, which allows for more calories to be burnt throughout the day, the body will also be energised for the day. Finally, according to some reports, exercising in the morning allows your brain to function better for hours.

 There are also many advantages to exercising in the evening. Firstly, for most people, the temperature of the body peaks at around 6 p.m. and exercising around this weak will allow for the best workout for both endurance and for building muscle. Secondly, by this time, your muscles will be warm and flexible, making it easier to work out. Exercising later in the day can also act as a stress relief after a day of work/school etc.

There are also advantages to training at other times during the day; however I feel that these two are the best from my experience. Ultimately, I would say that exercising in the morning is the best for losing weight and training in either the morning or the evening is equally good for muscle building/toning. A few years ago I began losing weight and getting into better shape and the majority of my training was completed in the morning and so I feel that this is definitely what I would advise to anyone wanting to lose belly fat.

Friday, 8 July 2011

The importance of good form

With regards to building muscle and/or strength and exercising there is something that is far more important than the size of the weight that you are lifting. That is not to say that you should not try heavier weights and develop, but there is something more important, in my experience, than that.

What I am talking about is form. Doing the exercises properly is the most important thing to do. Form, is far more important than the size of the weight. Completing exercises properly will allow a person to get far more from their workout than if they rush the exercises, for whatever reason.

You should not attempt to lift a weight that means you cannot complete the full range of motion required for the exercise. If you are unable to lift the weight properly then it is likely that it is far too heavy. Not being able to lift it means that you are not gaining what you should be from the weight lift.

You should not do the exercises too quickly, as this leads to an uncontrolled movement, which means that, again, you are missing out when it comes to what you gain from your workout. This also increases the chances of injury occurring.

So, the key points to remember are; form is the most important thing in exercise, do not rush the exercise as it may cause you to not complete the exercise correctly, use a smaller weight in order to complete the exercise the right way and feel, and see, the benefits.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Chinese Tea

I read a blog on another site today that discussed chinese tea, claiming that it can help you lose weight. Despite the poor use of English and the clear fact that the writer was just trying to sell a product it is something that I am interested in trying.
I, personally, already drink green tea, and I do feel that this gives me energy and I also love drinking it. White tea is another that I am fond of. It is commonly accepted that the caffeine in tea can boost your metabolism and therefore help, when in a healthy diet, to lose weight. However, whether Ooolong tea (which is the tea that was discussed in the blog that I mentioned) will have a better effect, than green tea for example, or not remains to be seen.
My main issue with drinking tea at all is that I don't want to become addicted to it (through the caffeine). I know from experience that my mother and father can't go a day (or is that hour) without a cup of tea, and I don't want to get to this stage!

Friday, 1 July 2011

Team Sports

I have been reading an article recently (a few times over as it so happens) regarding team sports. I take part in team sports (football, or soccer) at least two or three times a week and the article definitely struck home with me. The basic premise of the article suggests that team sports increase ‘happy hormones’ as well as increasing fitness levels.

The study, at West Virginia University, suggests that training solo means you are five times more likely to have a poor perception of your own health. This means that playing sport in teams can help to avoid depression and boost hormones making you a happier person!

I’ve always found it easier to exercise through playing football, rather than going to the gym (although I do go to the gym) as it is a far more enjoyable experience. Now it seems that this will help me both physically and mentally.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Protein Shakes

I am someone who does not drink protein shakes regularly, but I do have them now and then. However, I have just read an article that suggests that protein shakes can add years to your life. According to the article, scientists have discovered that consuming amino acids can lengthen your lifespan by up to 12%, which is 9 years for the average male in the United Kingdom.

The report claims that the amino acids that are digested when drinking a shake a day increase the activation of the mitochondria in the cells. This, in turn, slows down the aging process.

With this being said, amino acid supplements may be an option that I look into, as they are readily available and this maybe something worth trying. Watch this space.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Police Fitness

I read an interesting article yesterday about fitness within the police force here in England. The article discusses the proposal of annual fitness tests being introduced in order to ensure that the police officers are in top shape. The current system in place means that only new recruits need to pass a fitness examination to prove they are fit enough to go on duty. This means that more experienced police officers can get out of shape without being checked on. This is quite a worrying idea in a sense. The police in England are unarmed and therefore, surely, they should be required to be in top shape to stop criminals and protect the public. I, personally, would certainly not want unfit officers protecting me.

According to the article, the current fitness test includes and endurance shuttle run, where officers must run back and forth on a 15 metre track in time to beeps. This lasts for three and a half minutes and is intended to mimic foot chases. The second stage involves chest presses and pulls to improve strength and power. It is these current tests that the annual tests would be modelled on.

However, the article goes on to state that the proposals could falter due to equality laws that are in place that make it illegal to discriminate against employees on the grounds of sex or age. To me this seems ridiculous. Given the nature of the job, and the responsibility that is involved, I would certainly encourage annual fitness tests, and possibly even more regular checks than that. Police officers should be at the height of fitness in this country.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Acai Berries

Being interested in health, fitness, weight loss and the like I am always researching and coming across different ideas and products. There has been, I guess, a ‘hot topic’ over the last couple of years within the weight loss world, and the topic is on acai berries. These are supposed to be a ‘Super Food’ that you take as a supplement to help lose weight, and they have gained quite a lot of attention. Now, this is not something that I have tried, though I have thought about it, but here is why I haven’t tried it. It’s just a fruit. Like many other fruits it will have its positive aspects, but at the end of the day you’ll need to be eating a well balanced diet with or without these acai berries. Like I mentioned, I have not tried the acai berry, but I just cannot see it being any more beneficial than simply eating right and exercising.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Ab Circle Pro

I've just seen an advert for these ab workout machines. They're supposed to tone your abs and give you a cardio workout at the same time. It's hard to explain what they are, but basically you hold the handles while you kneel on a platform that rotates and this works your abs. Of course, on the advert, this is a product that everyone enjoys, and it doesn't feel like they're exercising! I personally think that it will be very beneficial to your abs, and will also probably give you a good cardio workout, but enjoy it like it's not exercise? I doubt that. Highly, doubt that!

Quite expensive too, maybe when the price comes down I might have to try one.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

A quick one

I think I will start skipping. I've read that it's easier on the knees than running and can burn about as many calories. Should keep my footwork quick too!