Exercise is not a punishment for enjoying food and drink

Monday is always a great day to ….

You can fill in the blank word or words but how often does this happen? A big weekend followed by a big Monday plan that goes – well, I’m sure you know how that story turns out.

Here are a few thoughts floating around my head after some chit-chats with different people over the last week.

  • Exercise is for developing better movement, getting stronger and fitter, having fun and feeling great afterwards.
  • Exercise will help you live longer with more physical independence and wellbeing.
  • Don’t confuse exercising with weight loss.
  • More is not more in most cases.
  • Make exercise fun but safe.
  • How much food you eat is the only factor that will help you lose body fat or build muscle.
  • Better sleep and stress management will make it easier to manage your eating.
  • In any combination, variation or cultural persuasion, eat vegetables, proteins, natural fats and enough carbohydrates with a sprinkling of flavoursome herbs and spices as preferred.
  • Experiment to see what works best for you.
  • Make eating fun but in limitation.
  • Be a reasonable adult.
  • If you miss a training session or have a big splurge on a Saturday – don’t compensate by ‘smashing out’ a gym session or ‘hard dieting’. Just pick up where you left on and continue life.

Got any thoughts to add to this? Let me know.

Need to book in for more details chat about this? Get me below.

Jamie

How to Bulletproof Your Future

Part 1

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In the gym it’s pretty obvious how we spend our time. People turn up, we warm up, we do some strength work and movement skill work, have a chit-chat then say our ‘see you next times’.

The why and the what else is all-too-often not discussed in much detail apart from some passing suggestions about getting in some aerobic work and keeping up some stretching at home etc.

This year, my goal is to help people bulletproof their futures. 

I’d love to be offering a proverbial radioactive spider to help turn you into a superhero version of yourself, and actually, compared to to an alternative, I might be doing just that!

This year I will naturally be spending time espousing the benefits of strength and mobility training, because that what 90% of my gym time with people is spent doing. BUT, I am going to be spending more time promoting the other stuff, the things we probably do not spend enough time promoting.

My role is that of a health and fitness promoter, not just a personal trainer. Fitness is what most of trainers spend lots of time on but health… meh, we could be doing heaps better at that.

Our bodies maintain a healthy balanced system when it’s treated as intended. It’s a bit like a bike chain. Left unused it will rust, stiffen and eventually fail when used. Our bodies have a blueprint, a design and a purpose. There are a number of things we are meant to do daily and frequently to sustain the balance.

Let’s look at these briefly. I will be spending time over the coming weeks looking more deeply into these according to what research has found and I’ll cover to how to action improvements.

  • Sleep 7 to 9 hours a day.
  • Eat a balanced diet of plants, proteins, fats and water too.
  • Stay strong in all the movements our mechanics perform in.
  • Walk daily and get out of breath from time to time.
  • Move well and often without restriction, pain or discomfort.

What happens when we drift away from our intend? We specialise. This is a subject that puts the cat right amongst the pigeons.

Whilst admiring a specialist and their very particular set of skills, they have most likely sacrificed many other essential elements of what makes up complete health. 

A few general examples:

  • The cyclist who does not work on their strength training
  • The powerlifter who neglects their body fat levels and aerobic health
  • The overly busy father who works 55 hours a week yet neglects his family
  • The very busy mum who focuses entirely on her children and family and neglects their own fitness and nutrition
  • The Gymnast who focuses wholeheartedly on their sport and sacrifices their joint health

While you can admire all these people for their dedication and successes, isn’t it a shame they sacrifice to do so. It’s not a moral shame either. It’s a shame that the essential physical components that make us fully operational humans are missing. Being mobile, strong, aerobically capable; being able to fully recover from each day with good nutrition and adequate sleep is what amounts to enable our bodies to thrive. Being good at one thing is fine, but the pay-off is a health trade-off. 

2019 is the year I’ll be wearing more of my health promotion hat and not just my PT hat. So much of my last 10 years have been spent on learning and developing better knowledge and application of training programs, exercises, progressions, regressions and systems but one thing has become quite apparent – it just doesn’t matter if we are not getting the basics of health in place.

If you’re following a training program, not getting stronger, not losing fat, not feeling fitter, most likely it’s not the training that’s to blame, it’s the poor attention given to these other components. 

Before contemplating becoming an expert or a specialist, weigh up being a really good generalist. Being able to undertake a wide array of components of being human is so much more wealthy than being awesome at one or a restricted number of things. 

Until next time, do weigh yourself up. What are you doing more of or what are you doing proportionately less? Consider that list above:

  • Sleep 7 to 9 hours a day.
  • Eat a balanced diet of plants, proteins, fats and water too.
  • Stay strong in all the movements our mechanics perform in.
  • Walk daily and get out of breath from time to time.
  • Move well and often without restriction, pain or discomfort.

 

Part 2 – Sleep 

 

Getting Back to Old Fashioned Health Values

Attaining optimal physical health in the year 2018 is probably a little bit confusing. Do short-cuts exist? Can you hack a boost with a magical coffee and fasting for 3 days? Is there a wonder food? Is there one exercise that’ll do the job and is strength training all you need to lead a wonderful and fulfilling life allowing you to thrive into old age with grace and all your human facets in place?

If anyone tells you ‘just need ____’, they are most likely full of cr@p!

To get a grasp of how and what is means to lead an optimally, healthy life as a human, you need to grasp what it means to be an optimally, healthy human. What is our system designed to do?

Thankfully the impartial and unbiased side of the medical and sports science world has outlined this for us on numerous occasions. We’ll delve into this later on.

For the purposes of physical health, strength, wellbeing and seeing results from training, I like to focus on the following areas:

  • Recovery
  • Nutrition
  • Cardiovascular exercise
  • Resistance exercise
  • Movement practice

Here’s a wee infographic I’m working on. Eventually it will have links to resources for each area.

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For a very long time (until recently) people have included the above ‘agenda’ in their lives out of lifestyle necessity.

Until the 1950s and 1960s people had lifestyles that promoted:

  • moving more than sitting,
  • activities that kept them strong,
  • eating mostly unprocessed foods,
  • sleeping a good 7 to 8 hours rather than binge watching TV until they fell asleep.

Standards and values of basic human performance have dropped dramatically. Waist inches have climbed and even though we are living longer, we are just delaying death rather than prolonging life. Let’s read that last sentence again.

Waist inches have climbed and even though we are living longer, we are just delaying death rather than prolonging life.

There is no doubt that we will never return to a lifestyle that demands more physical living unless war and famine dictates it!

If you value old fashioned physical standards of health, attaining a good balance of physical living, what do you need to do?

At the start of the blog I mentioned that medical and sport science has informed us what we need to do. Let’s recap on what is promoted:

Sleep: 7 – 8 hours is optimal despite the fact that some people tell you that 5 hours is all they need.

Nutrition: No diets are required. Just aim to gradually reduce processed foods and meals and snacks and instead target fruits and vegetables that are in season NOW. Three to four fist sized portions a day. Eat unprocessed sources of protein, roughly the same size of 2 to 3 palm sizes. Eat unprocessed (read – natural) sources of carbohydrates like rice, potatoes and other root vegetables. Roughly 2 to 3 palm fulls a day. More information from Precision Nutrition. 

Cardiovascular: The targets have been made clear. Walk 30 to 90 minutes a day. You do not have to get seriously out breath, just get up and walk for at least 30 accumulated minutes a day. Simple really. Once this standard is met, then an additional 2 higher intensity sessions can be added a week – 30 minutes of effort that take you pulse to 180 – your age. Not flat-out death chasing stuff! Read more here.

Resistance Training: Two to three times a week undertake a strength training program that includes all the essential human movements. These are the most common physical movements we are required to perform and designed to perform frequently. These can be labelled as Squatting, Pushing, Pulling, Bracing (our torso), Hinging / Bending at the hips and Carrying weight. A well structured plan can be simple and undertaken in as little as 20 to 30 minutes. Need a hand, just ask.

Movement Practice: This is probably one area that should increase compared to strength training as we age. As a goal now, if you spend 30 minutes strength training, you should spend up to an hour on a movement practice. What do I mean movement practice? Yoga, Animal Flow, Original Strength, whatever flexibility techniques you like but in any case, you gotta get looser. As we age our hips, biceps, chest, hamstrings and other areas develop and hold onto more tension due to fatigue, posture, lifestyle. Stretch, move – get all loosey-goosey.

Building this into a week as a beginner

  • Walk every day for 30 minutes (3.5 hours a week)
  • Strength Train twice a week for 30 minutes (1 hour a week)
  • Stretch / Get Mobile 4 times a week for 30 minutes (2 hours a week)
  • Start a habit of eating mostly natural foods
  • Sleep every day for 7 to 8 hours

Yes, you read that right. Exercising for 6 ½ hours is essential for a beginner. Any less and you really are leaving a lot on the table. Any less and your lifestyle will be underpowered to assist you into old age.

It’s a serious matter but think of it this way. Do you want to spend the final years of your life in assisted aged care, unable to clean your own bum or do you want to thrive until your dying day.

To quote Steve “Coach Fury” Holiner, ‘Live Long, Be Strong, Die Mighty’! 

I know I’ve laid out a handful of information here. If you want to start to thrive now and you’re not sure where to start, get in touch and I will happily steer you in the right direction. Not a sales pitch, I just want to help.

 

 

Food for thought!!

Have you ever taken a drink of something and immediately had a recollection of a previous memory of a food, a smell, a person, a time in your life etc?

I rarely drink herbal tea but this morning as I sat down to update some member gym programs I thought, “mmm, let’s have a cup of Peppermint Tea”!

peppermint tea

Oddly on my first sip I was hit with an instant memory of my time in Germany during 1989 and ‘cheese on Pumpernickel’, a flat, dense, rye based bread. Very nice actually.

So this got me wondering about what had just happened and the thought occurred to me, can you use drinks or foods to remember a healthier you?

Recollections are varied of course. Not every memory is of a good time. But, imagine if a food or drink stimulated a recollection of a healthier time in your life, if indeed you are looking for a health overhaul. What if you could recall what you did back then, what kind of foods you did eat, who you spent time with, your hobbies or preoccupations, how you felt in general. Would you use that recollection to try to replicate the conditions that at that time contributed to your healthier self?

Just some food for thought. What do you think?

Right now, I am seriously considering finding some Pumpernickel… yummy!

Keen to read more about how and why your brain gifts you this? Read what Andrea Beaman has to say.

 

Be a Smart Ass, not a Dumb Ass!

Righteo, the mega fun eating time has come to an end now that Christmas and the New Year is over. Not entirely of course, it’s still great to enjoy food a little, but balance must be restored… well, if you’re after a bit of fat loss it’s rather important now isn’t it!
Now, whilst many are running head first into chaotic, cataclysmic schemes involving expensive supplements, drinks, potions and ridiculous exercise plans, let us keep our heads whilst they lose theirs.
Be a Smart Ass, not a Dumb Ass!
Let’s put together a plan to actually get results. Now, I’m not going to propose any particular exercise plan as that’s far too personal for this post, but I am promoting the one habit rule.
Brains much smarter than mine have shown over and over again that focussing on working on one habit at a time is far more successful than the old cluster bomb attack.
So, let’s get into habit #1 for this week.
PLAN YOUR MEALS

“Sounds like a lot of work”, you’re perhaps thinking but all I’m suggesting is that for this week you make basic list of meals for every day. You probably already eat the same(ish) breakfast and probably only have some variety for lunches so just leaves evening meals.

So, what kind of meals should you list?

Don’t go all silly on us and try to be over complicated and uber-healthy, that’ll happen in time but try to come up with meals that:

  • Firstly, you enjoy eating.
  • That include a natural protein source like beef, chicken, fish, pork, legumes or eggs for example.
  • That include vegetables that you enjoy or at least tolerate!
  • Include flavouring from herbs or spices or a dressing.

 

After this, the recipes are whatever you like. Don’t expect yourself to be Heston Blumenthal, just list meals you enjoy with the criteria I listed above. You can repeat meals too.

This isn’t the end of the process, but by first acknowledging food, the following steps will be simpler and easier.

Next week, habit #2 of course … stay tuned for 6 weeks of habit building awesomeness.

The Simplest Weight Control Method

Eatmove, and live better.

Precision Nutrition

Change your body, and your life, with personal coaching, support and guidance with the world’s leading nutrition coaching system and certified trainer, Jamie Hunter.

A large component of healthy and sustainable nutrition for weight loss, weight gain and sports performance lie in your eating habits.

If you’d like to take part and share in our upcoming workshops, or you would like to receive personal nutritional coaching, register on the form below.

How does nutrition coaching work?

Until recently, the process for helping people lose weight was a rather authoritarian procedure. A client would record a food journal and the coach would make a list of what’s wrong and what needs fixed, usually focusing on calorie restrictions and indeed, counting calories. Additionally, many systems would have followed diets, eliminating whole food groups in order to illicit a calorie deficit. Diet sheets would be given out with all the meals laid out for a week, missing whatever was required to be missing and including whatever was required to included.

precision-nutrition-food-labels-part-3-menu-caloriesThese systems may have worked for a limited time and are still very common place but, one element was ignored. Sustainability. What happens when the diet sheets get boring and or the client stops hiring the services of the coach? Old habits set in again without the knowledge of why and what should be done. I’m sure we’ve seen this kind of scenario in ourselves, family or colleagues. A fantastic weight loss followed by an un-welcomed weight regain!

A whole new system has arisen over the past 10 years and is only really gaining steam and recognition very recently. Precision Nutrition co-founder Dr John Berardi is perhaps the leading advocate of habit based nutrition coaching. Rather than forcing people to take action, he teaches habit based coaching that meets people where they are and guides them one step at a time towards letting new healthier nutrition habits set in. A new habit really can’t be forced into place, it has to be willingly accepted through small incremental, almost minuscule adjustments over a period of time.

The New Coaching Process

When a client starts nutrition coaching, the system commences with a few assessments to ascertain where the starting point is. This does include keeping a food journal in whatever form the client prefers. Photos, online submissions, google drive, hand written – whatever works. From here a realistic goal and time-frame is set and of course, why this goal is a goal. This is carried out in week one, maybe over a couple of sessions.

From here the coach works with the client to identify habits that limit making changes, habits that at some point need to be addressed to achieve the goal and then, from this list as it were, the most reasonable habit is worked on first. Only ONE habit at a time is worked on. This is a crucial point as taking on too many habits at any one time does lead to failure in most cases. The initial target is ONE goal per week or fortnight or longer and coach and client meet once per week for 45 minutes.

There are lots of other interim items that the coach and client work on, but the above outlines the coaching process in the simplest form to explain here.

Coaching programs

  • Available over 6, 10 or 14 weeks
  • Coach and client meet once per week for 45 minutes.
  • Tailored for individual needs and dietary preferences
  • NO COUNTING CALORIES!
  • Available in conjunction with personal exercise training

If you’d like to learn more, just register your interest below.

Register your interest below.

Georgie Fear – Getting Lean with 4 Habits

Start talking of diets and nutrition and it is evident that we are in an era of much confusion and the world of nutrition and what makes for healthy nutrition is becoming very hard to comprehend.

Enter Georgie Fear and her habit based approach to nutrition.

Georgie is a registered dietitian, professional nutrition coach and is author of Lean Habits. Scott Iardella interviews this passionate coach in this podcast.

Please listen in and also be sure to visit Georgie website www.askgeorgie.com

Enjoy this one and be sure to share with friends.

If you’re interested in learning more about habit based nutrition, please get in touch. This is what we do at FitStrong after-all.