Treat Yourself with Low Carb Chocolate

Posted by Andrew Boyd from Carb Freedom

With Easter over and done with for another year, many of us may be feeling the ill effects of an over indulgence of chocolate. It’s an easy trap to fall into, especially for many of us who for 12 months of the year carefully watch over our chocolate intake. At Easter our guard can easily drop and we can find ourselves vulnerable to the temptations born of the Easter season. In fact, a recent report in Melbourne’s Sun Herald stated that in 2013 Australians spent over $150 million on chocolate over the Easter season.

Avoid Added Sugar

Yet while chocolate is often demonised as one of the great nemesis of the healthy eater it’s easy to forget that it is the added sugar contained within most commercially manufactured chocolates, rather than the cocoa, that is villainously high in carbohydrates. For example, a 100g serving of Cadbury milk chocolate contains 57g of sugar, whereas a low carb chocolate bar without any added sugars contains as little as 4g.

Low-Carb Chocolate

While unsweetened cocoa is quite high in fat, it’s not terribly high in carbs – its net carb content tends to sit between 10-15g per 100g, dependent on the brand. However, it’s important to bear in mind that the above count relates to pure cocoa, the most concentrated form of chocolate – far too bitter to eat by itself. In most cases we would look to use pure, unsweetened chocolate as part of a recipe and by then, its net carb count is diluted even further.

Transition to the Darkside

According to dietitian, Kate Save we should exercise caution when completely banning foods from our diet. “Don’t completely ban food. If you make food forbidden, an area in our brain tells us we have to have it, so allow yourself a small portion and the satisfaction of having it in little bits,” she says. Eating a small portion of dark chocolate can actually have many positive health benefits as it is high in vitamins and minerals.  So remember, reducing your intake of sugar and carbohydrates doesn’t have to take all the joy out of eating chocolate, you just have to think outside the box and familiarise yourself with eating darker chocolates with at least 70% cocoa.

Understanding packaged food labels


Ever wondered what all the things on the back of products food label actually mean. Well we help our clients every day understand what they are eating and what it does to their body and we make it easy to decipher a nutritional label.

The nutritional labels on foods can be hard to read, tricky and misleading. Between the calories per serve (which is usually in place to trick consumers) and the amounts of carbohydrates from fibre, or fats from saturated fats vs trans etc it really does get quite complicated! A lot of products will have statements like “sugar free” and “fat free” yet often are not that good for you and often taste far different from the original product.

We understand it gets confusing to understand and know that you are eating properly, so we have broken it down into easy to understand snippets to help you understand better.

Here are a few things that you should look for when reading the nutrition panels of packaged foods.

Ingredients list

The higher up the list the more the product contains- ie if there were 70% cashews 10% honey and 20% dates the ingredients list would read: cashews, dates, honey in descending order.

Calories per serve

I always opt to look at the measurements per 100g, that way it is a generic figure, no matter what the product is. A lot of companies try and trick consumers by saying that there is a lot of servings per item, meaning less calories however it would mean only a mouthful per serve, not the serving size you would ‘actually’ consume per ser Carbohydrate content

You may notice that underneath the carbohydrate content, it may contain fibre and sugars within the total figure. Dietary fibre is the indigestible part of plants and does not spike your blood sugar levels.

Sugar content

I avoid anything that contains artificial ‘sugar’ however if you are not a 100% clean eater, I would recommend you try and stick to less than 10-15grams of sugar per day. 1 teaspoon of sugar is 4 grams.  There are a few Australian recommendations that say no more than 6-8 teaspoons of added sugars each day, that is 16-32 grams per day of sweeteners. However, this doesn’t take into account sugars that are naturally occurring in fruits and vegetables.

Sugar alcohols

Typically found in diet bars or low calorie solutions, they are a type of carbohydrate, commonly used sugar alcohols are erythritol, glycerol, malitol, sorbitol, and xylitol, but there are many more out there! These should be listed under carbohydrates, however a lot of companies try to avoid this as to claim it being the great ‘low carb’ alternative, typically sugar alcohols do not spike insulin like sugar does, therefore a lot of companies argue the fact they do not believe it should be listed under carbohydrates. Their calorie content ranges from 0 to 3 calories per gram compared to 4 calories per gram for sucrose or other sugars. The FDA (USA Food and Drug Administration) regulations do not state that manufacturers have to declare the exact amount of sugar alcohols per serving, however if the label uses sugar free or no added sugar, the sugar alcohol must be listed separately under carbohydrates.


Words like “sweetened with stevia” fool us into a false sense of security, believing that only stevia is the sweetener used, however often it is used along side the sugar alcohols to achieve the desired sweet taste.

Fat content

Saturated fat and trans fat will both come underneath the banner of fats.  Saturated fats are fats that come from eggs, meat and dairy. Trans fats are the bad fats that come from cakes, pastries and many more.

Sodium content

I aim for no more than 1500-2400mg per day of sodium, typical table salt will hold water, bloat you, increases the risk of high blood pressure and many other health issues whereas Himalayan crystals and sea salt is great for your body, nerves and muscles.

Calories per macronutrient

The way that the total calories are calculated is under the basis of:

  • 1 gram of Protein contains 4 calories.
  • 1 gram of Carbohydrates contains 4 calories.
  • 1 gram of Fat contains 9 calories.


The FDA (in the USA) also regulate packaging to help it easier to understand for consumers too, this way you know the exact details that need to be met by laws.

If a food claims to be… It means that one serving of the product contains…
Calorie free Less than 5 calories
Sugar free Less than 0.5 grams of sugar
Fat free Less than 0.5 grams of fat
Low fat 3 grams of fat or less
Reduced fat or less fat At least 25 percent less fat than the regular product
Low in saturated fat 1 gram of saturated fat or less, with not more than 15 percent of the calories coming from saturated fat
Lean Less than 10 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol
Extra lean Less than 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol
Light (lite) At least one-third fewer calories or no more than half the fat of the regular product, or no more than half the sodium of the regular product
Cholesterol free Less than 2 milligrams of cholesterol and 2 grams (or less) of saturated fat
Low cholesterol 20 or fewer milligrams of cholesterol and 2 grams or less of saturated fat
Reduced cholesterol At least 25 percent less cholesterol than the regular product and 2 grams or less of saturated fat
Sodium free or no sodium Less than 5 milligrams of sodium and no sodium chloride in ingredients
Very low sodium 35 milligrams or less of sodium
Low sodium 140 milligrams or less of sodium
Reduced or less sodium At least 25 percent less sodium than the regular product
High fiber 5 grams or more of fiber
Good source of fiber 2.5 to 4.9 grams of fiber


After you start understanding labels you will become more familiar with what you are looking for on the labels. You will also be able to gauge what is a high content and a low content fairly quickly.

A great example is canned tomatoes, there are so many to choose from, however some cans contain as much as 13.6grams of sugar per serve versus a can with NO added sugars or salts.

Remember take a more active part in your healthy and lifestyle and you will live a healthy life.

It really is all about choice, education and making the first step in the right direction for your health.

Know your foods and understand what you are eating!

*Information within this article was sourced from the FDA, Heart Org and Google websites.


Chocolate and ice cream for dinner will help you lose weight

Ok, not really but there is a new shift in my nutrition now that allows us to have our carbs at night and to also burn fat more efficiently and build a little muscle in the process.

We first should talk about the more practised method of “no carbs after midday “ approach or carbs for breakfast is best. I’m not even going to get started on the breakfast thing, I will save that for another post. You should at least remember that starting your day with breakfast is important to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.

But the carbs at midday rule pretty much came about from the golden rule of that only carbs can be used as energy, which is an absolute crock of bull s#&t!!  It’s called Lipolysis, but check it out here

So the whole theory of needing carbs through the day for energy is a bit of a joke, don’t get me wrong you can still get results eating that way, but wouldn’t you want your body to burn your fat stores throughout the day and while you sleep?

So let’s look at it from a few different perspectives, the first one is the whole carbs at night, how does it not store as fat. It’s a really good question and the biggest reason is for increased release of insulin at only one part of the day, a rise in insulin can make you anabolic or in simple terms make you grow.

The main problem here is, is that it can make fat and muscles cells grow, so if we consistently feed insulin then we run a higher risk of increasing growth rates in our fat cells as well as our muscle cells, that’s not what I want. The other point here is that when we are asleep we release growth hormone and this is also another hormone that will help us burn more fat.

As far as a social standpoint it’s also another great thing to be able to have your carbs at night and not feel guilty. There is also another good window for carbs and that is post workout, due to our muscle cells being open and exposed this is a good time to take on extra nutrients that will help re build and also help performance.

But at the end of the day if you don’t like the way this is then that’s fine, go and continue your method, it may work fine for you. I just want to list a few disadvantages to having carbs early in the day other than post workout

  • Weight gain
  • Insulin resistance
  • Make you sleepy
  • Depression
  • Increased hunger levels

But like I said this is just my opinion and I stand behind it, not only with studies as long as my arm, but also trial and error on a personal level and also with clients.

Beat Your Plateau In 5 Simple Steps

It happens to all of us at some point.

You have your workouts down pat, and your body is rapidly becoming leaner and more attractive. Friends and family notice and you feel fantastic.

And then it stops.

You are doing everything exactly the same as before except your body no longer responds.

You, my friend, have hit a plateau. It’s a frustrating place to be parked, so read the following 5 steps to get your body back into results mode.

Step #1: Reduce Sugar. A very effective way to restart your results is to reel in your sugar intake. Inspect all of your food for added sugars and eliminate items that contain high calorie sweeteners. This means no sugar, honey or maple syrup.

If you’ve already eliminated processed sugars from your diet, and have still hit a plateau, then it’s time to dig a little deeper by eliminating some of the natural sugars from your diet. Limit your intake of sweet fruits and eliminate dried fruits.

Step #2: Get More Sleep. We are supposed to get an average of eight hours of sleep each night. If you’re not getting adequate amounts of rest, you’re more likely to be hungry, overeat, and gain weight.

When you’re tired, you don’t feel like cooking a healthy meal, and you’re more likely to opt for fast (fattening) food. Then your lack of energy causes you to skip your workouts. And to make matter worse, sleep deprivation causes your metabolism to slow down, slowing or reversing your results. To beat your plateau, make sleep a priority.

Step #3: Drink Only Water. To restart your results you’ll need to make some changes. Sorry, but some of the changes aren’t going to be fun. If you’re one of the millions hooked on soft drink, alcohol, or other sweetened drinks, then your plateau will stay locked in place until you replace these drinks with water.

Keep in mind that your brain often confuses thirst with hunger. So at the first sign of hunger, don’t grab a snack or calorie-filled drinks. Instead, grab a glass of water.

Step #4: Eat Healthy Breakfast. But not just any breakfast. Your plateau-breaking breakfast should be low in carbs and high in protein. Try eggs, lean breakfast meats, a protein shake, or a mini-muffin made with almond flour.

Fitting breakfast into your busy morning may take some work, but research shows that the habit of eating a healthy breakfast is key to losing weight and keeping kilograms off. Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier to give yourself time to eat breakfast.

Step #5: Increase Exercise Intensity. It’s time to start taking your workouts more seriously. No more going through the motions, it’s all-out for you. If you want to get back on track with your body transformation, and to keep the fat melting away, then increase the amount and intensity of your exercise routine.

For most people, this is the most difficult lifestyle change of all, but the benefits are enormous. Try to get 30 to 60 minutes of intense exercise on most days of the week. When exercise is a normal part of your everyday routine, you’re more likely to stick with it, and your body will become slimmer and more toned.

The quickest and most permanent way to beat that plateau is through a combination of healthy eating and consistent, challenging workouts.

I’m here to help you meet your fitness and weight loss goals. You deserve that fit and attractive body—I can help you get it.

Call or email today and together we will overcome your fitness plateau.


Body Weight Fluctuations

It is important to remember that we all fluctuate with our body weight. For many of us these fluctuations could be up to 2kg from one day to another.

There are many reasons why we fluctuate to such varying degrees:

  • We consume heavy meals.
  • Our portion sizes increase.
  • For women, they retain fluid around their menstrual cycle.
  • You retain fluid after resistance training.
  • Your body holds fluid after endurance events.
  • If you are stressed you will store fluid.
  • Not getting enough sleep… you guessed it… will cause you to store fluid.

What should we do:

  • Only weigh yourself once a week.
  • Make sure that the day you choose to weigh yourself is the same each week and at approximately the same time.
  • Do not rely on scales; take photos often as these can show the real changes.
  • Take measurements of your body on a weekly basis.
  • Remove the need and thought of weight and go by how you feel. If your clothes feel good and you feel good does it really matter that you weigh 500g more?
  • Get 6-8 hours of sleep a night.
  • Try relaxation techniques to reduce your stress.
  • Keep your portion sizes in check: palm size of protein, 2 fists of cruciferous carbs and 2 tablespoons of good fats.

At the end of the day common sense must prevail. Weighing yourself on a daily basis achieves nothing. For most it simply builds anxiety. Stop looking at yourself as though you’re on a diet and live life. Do the important things like eating healthy and exercising, while having the bad stuff in moderation, and things will be ok.







10 Tips To Keep You From Succumbing To Your Cravings

Do you lack the willpower required to abstain from giving in to your cravings? Do you eat great for several days and then blow it by giving in to sugary and salty foods?

We all succumb, it’s human nature, but it’s important to not beat yourself up about it and get yourself back on track as quickly as possible. A bad meal can ruin a day, but a bad day can ruin a good week.

Do you find yourself craving sugary or fatty snacks or foods? Do you beat yourself up because you lack the willpower to abstain? Well, put the boxing gloves away and try these tips to keep yourself from caving in to those crazy cravings.

  1. Don’t skip meals – Skipping meals causes you to crave. This happens because your body’s serotonin level drops making it harder for you to resist food, especially those that are bad for you. Ensure you eat enough high quality food and keep your fluid levels up.
  2. Keep yourself nourished – Ensure that you are getting enough nutrients. There are many arguments on how to keep yourself nourished. One way is to have 4-6 small meals, spread out over the day. If you are getting enough calories and keeping yourself nourished then you will not have the desire to give in to cravings.
  3. Plan your meals in advance – This way you will always have something healthy to snack on, rather than just settling for a sugary or fatty treat from the local shops. Failing to plan is planning to fail.
  4. Get plenty of sleep – 6-8 hours a night is best. When you sleep you also burn fat, which is an extra bonus in reaching your goals. If you can take a 20-minute power nap that will aid you in not giving in to your cravings.
  5. Drink plenty of water – Aim for 3 litres a day to have a healthy body, flush out toxins and keep yourself from being dehydrated. Usually when we feel hungry we are actually dehydrated. Drink a large glass of water and then if you are still hungry consume your healthy pre-prepared snack.
  6. Exercise – Something as simple as taking a 30-minute walk can reduce your cravings. What happens is that it takes you away from your temptations, and better yet, it takes your mind off your cravings and boosts your endorphins to elevate your mood.
  7. Make a positive choice – Do you really need that piece of chocolate or packet of chips? Do you really want that feeling of disgust after consuming food that makes you feel yucky and bloated? Try frozen grapes as they are a healthier option over chocolate. Avoid sugar at all costs.
  8. Keep yourself busy – Its 3pm and the end of the day is nearing. You are getting restless, you are looking at the clock and you start thinking a chocolate or bag of chips would be nice. Take a deep breath, have a walk around the office, chat to a colleague and get back to work. Keep yourself busy and stop your mind from wandering. Another suggestion is to call a friend and have an enjoyable conversation; sometimes a little distraction is all that you need.
  9. Remove temptations – Get junk food out of the house.
  10. Brush your teeth – By brushing your teeth you are actually telling yourself and your brain that you have finished eating. It is amazing how such a simple thing can turn off your cravings. Pack your toothbrush and brush your teeth after every meal. Your waistline and dentist will thank you.

It really is that simple. Follow these simple tips and never give in to cravings again.



The Role Of Leptin In Weight Loss

Leptin is a hormone that is naturally produced by the fat cells in the body, also known as adipocytes. Leptin plays a major role in suppressing the appetite and regulating metabolism. When released into the bloodstream it acts on receptors in the brain, signalling that the body has had enough to eat. A feeling of fullness is experienced, which helps regulate our eating behaviour and helps control our energy balance. It is widely known that leptin helps the body utilise fat stores. Your leptin levels need to be high in order to burn fat, and when leptin levels decrease, your fat stores increase.

When people lose weight through food restriction alone, there is a subsequent reduction in metabolic rate because there is a loss of both fat and lean body tissue. Leptin levels decline and the metabolism slows down in response to receiving less food energy. However, leptin may play a role in sparing lean muscle mass when dieting, by causing weight to only be lost from fat deposits. Additionally, leptin does not decrease the metabolism, even when caloric intake is reduced.

Leptin and Obesity
Many obese people make attempts at weight loss but eventually gain the weight back. This is likely to be due to the fact that leptin production is reduced when weight is lost through dieting alone. Low leptin levels trigger fat storage rather than fat burning, as low food intake triggers the starvation mode. Leptin supplementation, when taken alongside a caloric-restricted diet, does not produce a decline in metabolism and is a more successful method in maintaining weight loss in the long-term.
Leptin Insensitivity
A leptin insensitivity is commonly considered the underlying cause of obesity in humans, predisposing affected individuals to easily gain weight. To naturally boost leptin levels, eat small meals that are evenly spread out throughout the day and consume adequate amounts of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and other nutritionally valuable foods. Maintaining proper metabolic function is the key to keeping hormones in balance and producing ideal levels of leptin for appetite regulation and weight management.

Fat Loss
When Leptin was first discovered it was considered the anti-obesity hormone. Through decreased food intake and increased energy expenditure, which results in rapid weight loss, lean muscle mass can be preserved.

Most people have noticed that a diet usually starts out quite easy, particularly if one is obese. However, as the duration of the diet is extended, cravings start to set in and they become more and more intense. We recommend that “cheat” days be employed to prevent this, as they reset hormonal levels and glycogen levels, but also for your mental wellbeing.

Decreases in leptin are strongly associated with increased sensations of hunger. The lower your leptin levels go, the more severe the sensations of hunger are.

Energy Expenditure
Like hunger control, fat loss is remarkably easier at the beginning of a diet. However, it invariably slows, and if appropriate steps are not taken, it stops. Low leptin levels are correlated with decreases in resting energy expenditure.

In dieters, it is a common practice that when they reach a plateau (leptin levels are low) they cut their calorie intake even further, while increasing their physical activity. Unfortunately, this is just going to decrease leptin levels even more, making things that much worse.

What you should be doing is the exact opposite. We do this by employing a cheat meal into our clients’ plans. The cheat meal is a planned ‘non calorie restricted’ refeed. These refeeds should be done before signs of low leptin levels become apparent. We recommend this be every 7 days, and it is usually followed by an intermittent fasting period.

The Refeed
The primary purpose of the refeed is to boost depleted glycogen levels and therefore your metabolism. There are arguments that any refeed should only be 50% higher in calorie intake than the diet you are on. We believe that restrictions on refeeds are not necessary, unless your leptin levels are drastically low, in which case you would refeed more regularly. With a high calorie refeed, usually in the form of quality carbohydrates, proteins and good fats, you can keep your metabolism firing and leptin levels at a more sustainable level.

Assuming we have not created drastically low leptin levels, our refeed will be 20-50% ABOVE maintenance, for 12-48 hours. The higher the calories, the shorter the refeed, and there are arguments in support of this. If they are drastically low, 5-7 days of 20% above maintenance, is recommended. In general, the lower you are below your natural body fat set point, and the longer or more drastic your diet, the more frequent the refeed.

Our primary macronutrient will be carbohydrate, which enters the blood as glucose. Insulin also potentiates glucose stimulated leptin production, therefore high GI carbs are most ideal. Protein should be 1g/lb, and a bit of fat and fructose from foods that you enjoy is acceptable, but the rest is non-fructose carbohydrates.

The Fed State
Leptin is responsible for the anabolic hormonal setting that is associated with the so-called “fed state”, and the lack thereof during underfeeding. Therefore, in addition to its high importance in our fat loss efforts, it is extremely important in increasing and maintaining muscle mass.

The reason we lose muscle mass when dieting, despite resistance training and adequate protein intake, is hormonal. Hormones are also the reason we cannot gain our maximum amount of muscle without over eating, which in turn leads to some fat gains. With the exception of insulin, leptin controls these anabolic hormones and both insulin and leptin are mediated by glucose, therefore they go hand in hand.

Increased leptin levels lead to preferential refilling of liver glycogen stores, which is a prime indicator of the fed state, as well as an increase in testosterone and human growth hormone. It also blunts ACTH, which signals cortisol secretion in the adrenals and inhibits cortisol synthesis directly.

Beyond Leptin
Though leptin is the master hormone, there are numerous other signals involved in adipostatic control — and this is where it REALLY gets complicated. Some of these signals are directly modulated by leptin (anorexic peptides are increased and orexigenic are decreased), while some are not. Some are redundant (meaning if they are taken out of the equation, something else takes over), while others are not. At last count, there were about 15 of them — cortisol, ghrelin, neuropeptide-Y, orexigen a & b, melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH), cotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), and agouti-related peptide (AgRP) are a few that come to mind — and there are almost certainly many more that we are not yet aware of.



Stop Making Excuses And You Will Get Results

I am frustrated today after having no one turn up to my group session, due to it raining. A little bit of rain is not going to hurt anyone, yet my group was more willing to part with their money rather than turn up and work on hitting their goals.

Every day I hear people make excuses about:

  • Why they cannot eat well
  • Why they ate at Maccas
  • Why they fell off the wagon
  • How peer pressure forced them to drink
  • Why they can’t train due to bad weather
  • Why they cannot lift as much weight as someone else
  • Why they don’t want to work certain muscle groups
  • How their finances are preventing them from training (yet they can afford to eat out every day, which indicates they do not have their priorities right)

Does this sound like you? Are you the person that knows all about fitness and yet you are 20kg overweight? We are all experts, yet many of us do nothing about it.

To be honest, it all gets a bit boring. Excuses, excuses and more excuses. Let me tell you something: I am the expert. I know how to train you to lose weight, since I have done it myself and helped many before you, and will continue to help people achieve their goals. I live and breathe this industry, and like many of my peers, I strive to make a difference.

Look, lets get serious now. If you want to change, you need to make changes. Thinking healthy and being healthy is all it takes. Do not make excuses for your actions. You ate chocolate because you did not have the willpower to say “No”; you ate at Maccas because you were too lazy to prepare a meal in advance, or simply go home and cook (it probably would have taken 20 minutes anyway).

People ask me, each and everyday, endless amounts of questions regarding fitness, and I will continue to answer them until I am blue in the face.

I get questions such as:

  • When do I train?
  • What times do I eat?
  • What do I eat?
  • How many carbs should I be eating?
  • What is the best way to count calories?
  • Why am I not losing weight when I trained 3 times this week?
  • How do I keep fit and maintain my ideal weight?
  • What’s your secret?

The list goes on…

I love the last one, “What’s your secret?” It’s simple really:

  • I make good decisions
  • I make good food and drink choices
  • I exercise everyday, even if only 20 minutes
  • I make good decisions that affect my lifestyle
  • I plan my week
  • I am consistent
  • I do not starve myself
  • I do not calorie count
  • I know what works for me

Lets put it simply… Life is about decisions.

Everyday you wake up and you start making decisions, we make hundreds everyday. Yet when it comes to our lifestyles, we seem to make excuses, and lots of them.

Now I am not some sort of fitness freak that never eats anything bad. I am happy to admit there are times I step outside my normal plan, but I make a positive decision, stand by it and move forward. As I teach my clients: you can have a cheat meal every week, just not everyday.

Now, you may have a personal trainer who says, “Count your protein, carbs and fats, and do everything to moderation.”

Whilst I agree with this, to a degree, it is not sustainable. You cannot count calories, proteins, carbs and fats (PCF) all the time. You need to live your life. You cannot look at every meal and wonder if it exceeds your PCF’s. Instead, look at it very simply: does the meal contain the right portions of protein, carbs and good fats?

Why not focus on being healthy instead. Eat clean food and don’t be fooled by a packet  with“Healthy”written on it. If it’s in a packet, it’s not healthy, in my opinion.

I hear people say all the time, “I went out for lunch/dinner with friends/family/colleagues, and I just ate what everyone else was eating, and I drank alcohol too.”

You know what, it’s a BS excuse. You know it, and I know it.

Why do you need to eat a rubbish meal when you go out for dinner?

  • You could replace chips with veggies
  • Get sauces/dressings on the side
  • Cook a meal for your friends instead
  • Replace wine with soda water & lime

Stop making excuses, it’s as simple as that. Yes, tomorrow is another day, but why not make today a good day.

People ask me, “How do you do it?” It’s simple: I plan. I plan my food; I plan when I will have a cheat meal; I plan what I will buy at the shops.  It’s all in the planning.

If you have a good PT, he or she should be able to help you with this, if not, you can do it on your own:

  • Grab a piece of paper and draw a table for 7 days, with 6 meals a day
  • Write down when you will exercise
  • Write down all your events, dinners etc.
  • Add your meals and snacks, making sure you are eating good food
  • Don’t forget to drink 3 liters of water per day

You have now, very simply, planned your week out. Best of all, it probably took less than 30 minutes to do.

Now you can create a shopping list. You can make food in advance and freeze it if you want.

Heed my best advice: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

Well that’s it guys, I am pretty passionate about this stuff and I know you can do it. If you do need help look me up, since helping people is what I do for a living.


So many diets, so many choices!

Over the years we have all been bombarded with “Low Fat”, “Low Carb”, “High Protein”, “High Fat” diet solutions. No wonder we are confused about what we should be eating! The truth is that we all need protein, carbohydrates AND fats in order to have a good balanced diet which will allow our bodies to function at their maximum and also to lose fat efficiently. Again, it is simply about knowing how to make good choices in each of these categories at each meal.

I believe that all meals should contain a healthy range of proteins, carbs and fats (PCF) however what I eat training 15+ hours per week is far different to someone doing 1 PT session a week. The solution is education as eluded to in my first article. Start making changes by keeping a food diary. look at your food diary and look at where you can cut out the unnecessary and replace with better ‘healthy’ choices. Then look at your portions and ask yourself are your portions right for you. A basic principal I follow is a palm size of proteins, two fists of carbs and a table spoon of good fats.

After 2 to 3 weeks not only will you be far more knowledgable but you will be eating a more balanced diet and feeling healthier for it. It takes 21 days to form a new habit so stick with it and lean on your trainer to help you through it.

Tell us how you make changes and we will help you with practical changes where necessary to help you kick your goals.

Basic PCF Principals

Many “diets” focus on calorie restriction as a method of weight loss. Whilst obviously if we are eating excess calories we will gain weight, we believe that focussing on calorie restriction is the wrong approach. In fact not eating enough can contribute to making fat loss difficult. When your body thinks it is starving it goes into “survival mode”, dropping your metabolism (and therefore your ability to burn calories and fat), and actually starts trying to hold onto your fat. Exactly the opposite of what we are trying to achieve!

The truth of the matter is that we all have to eat! This is the reason that our focus is on making good choices, and including foods that are beneficial to the functioning of our body instead of avoiding food. The most important tool in fat loss and improving health is knowledge. The only way you can make good choices which will give you the body you want is if you know and understand what is going into your body. Once you have this knowledge there is no reason that you can not only get the body you want, but sustain it for the years to come!

Take the time and understand your Proteins, Carbohydrates, Fats and other things such as simple sugars and complex carbohydrates to name a few. A great way to do this is complete a food diary and discuss with your trainer. If you get stuck while shopping then come along to one of our shopping tours and we will show you how to make great choices that are good for you and leave you not wanting to grab junk food. As trainers we understand the difficult and even fall off the wagon, the key to our success is how we learn from it and how we get back onto the wagon.