Wednesday, September 24, 2014

You cannot expect a specific result from doing random shit.

Serious talk here.

Adopting certain habits because they're "healthier" is great. Excellent idea. So long as they actually are "healthier" and you don't start to stress out over any unrealistic levels of adherence, I'm all for it. However... 

Body type & condition does not necessarily indicate health.

We have all learned this already, haven't we? Someone could be appear to be lean and athletic, but actually be running themselves into the ground and miserable. Someone else might not look so athletic, be carrying a little "extra" weight or whatever, but be in perfectly good health, fit and strong.

The reverse is also true. There is no sense in being frustrated that you are not seeing progress towards your goal body condition on the basis that you have adopted some healthier habits. Which is not to say that there is no point in adopting those habits, but the point is that they are healthier, not that they are necessarily conducive to your training and body condition goals. Those are related, but still separate issues.

Adopt those healthier habits within the context of an approach that is actually appropriate with your goal though? Then you are set for good health and good times.

Your TOTAL ENERGY INTAKE must be in a range that is appropriate to your lifestyle and your goal, most of the time. This does not have to be accurate to an obsessive level of adherence at a precise target, but it does have to be "in an appropriate range most of the time". Under eating is not going to do it. Even if all you eat are the healthiest choices of foods, under eating is not going to do it. You might be providing all the best nutritional resources through those choices of foods, but if you are not providing enough of them your body cannot reap the rewards of training. Rather you are just running yourself into the ground physically and emotionally.

Your APPROACH TO TRAINING must be constructive. Do not be sucked into the idea of fatigue chasing workouts to burn energy. Train constructively to put those nutritional resources to good use in building your goal body condition by getting stronger and healthier.

For people who think they have tried "everything" to lose weight or get into more athletic shape already.

A lot of people feel this way and I can empathise with you if you are one of them. People have tried all sorts of unpleasant, restrictive diets and so on... different exercise programs, maybe they've tried the healthy stuff too as discussed above. If you've tried the healthy way, and you've tried the horrible way and neither of them worked for you... it might be easy to feel that you've tried it all and nothing works.

I put it you however, there is one thing most people haven't tried. Something so obvious it may sound ridiculous at first, but if you really, REALLY think about it... how could it not work out?

Have you tried eating about the right amount to support a suitable healthy weight range, fuel your lifestyle and produce changes in body condition from an effective training program?

Now people might be thinking "of course I bloody have tried that. I barely ate anything at all when I was on that stupid such n such diet"... right? That's not what I asked though. That's not "about the right amount" as described.

If you've been prepared to try difficult, unpleasant and restrictive approaches several times in the past for no results, why wouldn't you at least try something relatively easy, not at all unpleasant or restrictive, that just makes sense and has worked for so many other people?

I am launching my new "Flexible Fueling pre-program" this week. It is free, and it is designed to deprogram any and every disordered and incorrect idea that most people have about their body and their relationship with food and exercise.

You can register at the top right of this page, or click here to learn a little more about the pre-program first.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Blog redesign and new FREE pre-program launch

The redesign is almost complete, and if I do say so myself I am pretty chuffed with it.

It was kind of a mess before, and there's actually a hell of a lot of great content (again, if I do say so myself) here so I kind of felt it deserved better.

It is interesting because this is usually more of a spontaneous blog than the blog on my official business site. Sometimes I just get an idea, log in here and bash it out, and often it turns out pretty good. Or it's something a bit abstract, or something I've already written about recently on the main blog so there's no point repeating myself there. As a result... there's probably more frequent updates here compared to the main site where I tend to be too much of a perfectionist and end up taking a lot longer to get things done.

Which is... probably not ideal really when you think about it.

Anyway. I'm pleased that this blog is now starting to look and feel more like a "real" website and I'll be using it in the weeks ahead to launch my new "Flexible Fueling Pre-Program" which you can read about and register for via the tabs at the top of the page.

As I explain on the registration page, what's happening is that my Flexible Fueling Online Coaching program is pretty awesome, and the people who do it get tremendous results where before they weren't getting any, and they find it a hell of a lot easier. It is really what I'd call a "great results from training, within a healthy goal weight range, without dietary restriction" program.

That's what I would call it, if that rolled off the tongue a bit better. But let's break that down a phrase at a time;

Great results from training: because I give you an effective training program, called Power, Precision & Pump.
Within a healthy goal weight range: means we're not hung up on a specific goal weight, as much as we are interested in getting into great condition, looking and feeling good. If you're significantly over weight then it's also a weight loss program, but if you're not, then it isn't.
Without dietary restriction: is the most important part. We can only expect to see results from training if we are appropriately fueled. Contrary to what most people believe, it is not the failure to adhere to some restrictive dieting protocol that prevents us from seeing results from training. It is attempting to adhere to such a protocol in the first place.

That's the summary of what the Flexible Fueling program is all about. As this is a system that comes with custom guidelines for each individual client, there is a limit to how many new people I can work with at a time. For this reason, I'll be encouraging people to register in advance, and then they'll have VIP, priority access when I launch the next season of the program. And in the meantime, they get the free pre-program which will get them ready for action and ready for success.

I know, right? As if I don't already give too much away for free.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Comfort foods, emotional eating, guilty pleasures... let's straighten this out once and for all.

What is your number one "guilty pleasure" as far as foods goes? That one indulgence you struggle to resist once in a while, a little too often in fact, that is holding you back from achieving your goals in terms of weight loss or body conditioning?

How would you like to overcome that problem, RIGHT NOW?

That's not a rhetorical question. Before you read any further DECIDE and say to yourself "yes, as a matter of fact I would like very much to overcome that problem right now".

Good then.

Those are all trick questions by the way.

#1 eating whatever the hell you like isn't hurting anyone else. So why should you feel "guilty" about it? Unless your idea of "pleasure" is pulling the wings off butterflies or something horrible like that, it aint nothing to feel guilty about. We're here for a good time not a long time god dammit.

#2 still, guilty or not if there's a thorn in your side preventing you from achieving the goals you have set for yourself, that's a problem to be addressed. IS IT, though? Is that one meal or snack in isolation enough to bring your otherwise flawless efforts undone?

Nope.

If you're training effectively, and especially if you also have an active and busy lifestyle outside of the gym, you require a certain amount of energy. I say "require" as it is not really optional. You require a certain amount, and if you're in the habit of failing to consume that amount, you're really just running yourself into the ground. Now THAT is an unhealthy choice we need to stop making!

Even if your goal is to lose a significant amount of weight, this still applies to you. You need to meet that minimum requirement of energy and other resources from foods. Now, we can run some maths and apply what we know about sports nutrition to determine with pretty good accuracy what that requirement might be. Given that it is a minimum requirement though, and we're interested in producing tremendous results in changing body composition and condition through training (rather than destructively trying to starve weight off, which we all know doesn't work), your optimal requirement is likely to be considerably higher.

Now, if we're in the habit of consuming somewhere within those minimum and optimum intake targets, what do we know? We know that literally all of that energy and all of those other valuable resources are being taken up and put to good use. Regardless of the source of those resources, they are being utilised in producing your goal body condition. Whether they are from the most responsible, healthy and nutritious source, or whether they are from the most frivolous and indulgent choice, all of it is fuel and resources that your body REQUIRES.

I cannot  stress that enough. Your body requires energy, just as it requires protein, vitamins, minerals, water, oxygen, and so on.

Which is not to say just eat as much as you want of whatever you like with reckless abandon. We still need to arrive within our target range for total intake, with adequate protein, and enough fresh fruit and veg to meet our vitamin, mineral, and fibre requirements. Too many frivolous choices will make that goal less likely to attain. Some indulgent treats here and there, fit nicely into a plan that meets both your physical requirements as well as your psychological ones? Absolutely fine, and in fact more than fine. Beneficial. Required. Non optional.
 
Success in achieving your goal weight range and body condition isn't down to willpower, discipline, restraint or any other "moral" personality traits. It is down to providing a suitable energy balance to enable your body to perform at training, and to recover and adapt with the creation and maintenance of more lean muscle and bone tissue at the expense of adipose (aka fat) tissue.

For those of you who don't know, I have a nice system called "Flexible Fueling" which has helped a lot of people overcome problems with emotional eating, disordered eating and just plain old "trying really hard but not seeing satisfactory results from training and dieting" as well.

If you'd like to find out more about how you can eat without restriction whilst still losing weight click the link below and get started with the FREE pre-program, and you'll have priority access when I launch the next season of Online Coaching.  There's a great testimonial on that page as well, go see what my clients are saying.

Sign Up For VIP Access.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Being in shape and a food snob does not make you better than other people.

Below, you can see a screen shot I took of the findings of a meta-analysis released last week, that looked at studies of all “named” diets. I highlighted the part that is most significant to the point I want to make in this entry.


Everywhere you look, people are telling you “this diet I sell is the only one that works, for these reasons. Everyone else has got it all wrong for all these reasons”. Well, the researchers wanted to find out which diet really was the best one, and if there was really all that much difference between one diet and another.

The result? As you see above. One diet is as good as another. People can be successful with any diet so long as total intake is not inappropriate. We knew that anyway, but now it has been verified and documented.

I am a bit disappointed that this study hasn’t caused much of a stir in the industry as far as I've been made aware. It is the best possible news for the people out there who have struggled with their weight, or with their relationship with food. Quite literally, this study has shown that everyone can be successful, by using whatever approach and whatever choice of foods best suits them… and this is the recommended approach, rather than trying to force everyone to “eat it, it’s good for you”.

This really takes all the usual talk about “discipline”, “will power” and so forth out of the equation. For reasons we can speculate on, this doesn’t sit so well with certain people. People who… I suppose they feel that their own results from training are proof that they’re a better and more virtuous person than everyone else. 

Bollocks.

At an advanced level of contest preparation, sure. People are going to need to stick to some tight and precise nutritional targets, and there will be days when it does come down to discipline in not giving in to a craving or the temptation of an indulgent food choice that is not a part of the plan. For people who's goal is simply to not be obese anymore, though? Come on.

Not everyone has such elite level goals, and why should they? For most people, it would be enough to be healthier and feel more confident in their appearance. Even at what might seem a quite advanced level of lean and athletic body composition, hitting somewhere within an appropriate range of total intake (with suitable macronutrient ratios) with reasonable consistency is all that's required.

It comes down more to organisation than anything else. Getting organised with a plan to meet your nutritional needs with the choices of foods that best suits you, on the schedule that best suits you. Willpower and discipline might be required if you needed to go hungry, to abstain from the foods you enjoy, or to force yourself to eat foods that you dislike. As we've established, none of that is actually required or helpful.

For the industry people and self appointed experts on the internet:

Have a look at this shit will ya?
#dickheads is more like it.
If your primary objective is really to help people, you’ll embrace these findings and work to enable people to achieve their goals via whatever choices best suit them. Otherwise, I put it to you that your real primary objective is in convincing everyone that they should be emulating your choices, your lifestyle, and validating your ego.

Honestly I feel like some of these “coaches” and other supposed authorities should just come clean and admit that they hate fat people and resent the notion that people can get results and achieve the goals they set for themselves, without proving that they “deserve” it by adopting some entirely irrational and bizarre level of food snobbery.
  
I suppose that when people think that being in athletic shape and "eating clean" makes them better than everyone else, it's hard to accept that it is actually meaningless. People are successful because they find an approach that works for them; that meets their energy requirements and suits them as an individual. If that means "eating clean", great... do what works for you and what makes you happy. It doesn't mean that it's the only way though, or that people don't deserve to be successful through other means. That's just ridiculous.