1 February 2019

What is behavioural therapy, why should you consider it and how does it relate to weight loss?




Image result for intelligent weight loss

Weight loss is a complicated, but you know that… Here’s what we know:

Behavioural therapy, which is made up of dietary and physical activity recommendations along with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), is a powerful and successful method of weight loss.

The problem most people have is keeping the weight off; this has been heavily researched, and it is now known that the average length of time from the start of weight loss to weight regain is 5-6 months.

Exercise plays a positive role in bucking this trend and maintaining weight loss, and also has a positive effect on insulin sensitivity which is good news in the prevention of type II diabetes (a high risk associated with obesity). In fact, in recent studies, the best weight loss and maintenance (in the 2 years after the start of the weight loss program) results were seen in those who incorporated exercise from start of the program. The success was attributed to the intensive style that was adopted where the weight loss participants met with their dietitian and physical trainer face to face for regular sessions.

What we knew prior to these studies was that the timing of the introduction of exercise to a weight loss program was key to obese individuals’ success. Research had shown that exercise was vital to keep weight off but that participants grew weary and eventually ceased exercising after 3-6 months (50% drop off rate). What was novel about the recent study was that if an intensive approach from the start was adopted then this was not the case and that participants saw a significantly better rate of success.

So the message from this research is to make sure you plan your weight loss journey:

Do consider how you are going to include the physical AND mental sides of weight loss in your approach and do consider how you are going to ensure the weight stays off once you have successfully lost it.

If you would like to try an intensive approach, we have developed a package that combines work with our Dietitian, Alice, with the physical training our personal trainers offer, just get in touch to discuss your requirements.

18 August 2018

Is the wait worth the weight?




Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting, what is it?

There are a number of ways of achieving the same goal here but simply put this is a period of fast in your eating. Common ways of introducing a break in eating are introducing a 14-16 hour fast into a 24 hour period, whilst this may sound like a long time one way people find relatively easy to achieve this stretch is by including the 8 hours of sleep at night time into this and skipping breakfast in the morning. Other ways you may have read about are the 5:2 diet, the 24 hour fast, alternate day fasting, the warrior diet, spontaneous meal skipping and many more!…

The 5:2 diet has previously been discussed here , the 24 hour fast is tricky for a lot of people as the fast window is so big, on the alternate day fasting it is recommended to eat 500kcals on your fast day, the warrior diet proposes a period of fast during the day and feast at night, and so on…

Q: What do the marketeers promise from the results of intermittent fasting? and what do some in the fitness industry (marketeers?) promise from the results of intermittent fasting?

A: Weight loss and improved athletic performance respectively

TRUTH:

Firstly throw away anything you read that promises you anything, you want to read only information backed by peer reviewed scientific study; this will ensure you receive objective, unbiased information not motivated by your cash. You will be offered statistics to prove or disprove a hypothesis made in the publication followed by a conclusion based on the stats, i.e. simply offered the scientific results.

We often hear from people that there is too much confusing and conflicting information out there, this is because you are reading information from the wrong source! The majority of people writing online are doing so because they are making a living doing so and therefore need to influence you!.A good place to start if you do not have access to scientific papers through a university is Google scholar. Fortunately I do have access to a University library (I am completing my doctorate as we speak!) and have filtered out some relevant papers on this subject to clarify the debate:

The subject of weight loss as a result of intermittent fasting (IF) is inconclusive. Testing hundreds of fasting protocols across many species in many research groups has not led to the guaranteed weight loss solution that is punted by get rich quick marketeers. The weight loss results from IF are no better than the results from calorie restriction and have actually been shown to increase sleep disturbance and reduce concentration/accuracy result when tested with patients in a Ramadan fasting study (similar to the warrior diet). What this means is that whilst you may lose weight as a result of IF it may not be directly due to the metabolic and hormonal changes that IF induces, instead probably being the results of a reduction in overall calorie intake.

Reducing your overall calorie intake has been proven scientifically to reduce weight, however this is only maintained long term under certain conditions for example; reducing calorie intake (generating a calorie deficit) by a small amount (a percentage of your daily BMI is usually the way we calculate this) over the medium term, ensuring you still hit your daily macro nutrient split (although varying these is reputed to have effects on satiety, which we will discuss in another post) and then gradually increasing your calories after the period of deficit. These results will be maximised with a balanced exercise program, but significantly the weight loss gains you make have been proven to be best in those who engage in regular exercise after the period of calorie deficit as well as during.

What the studies do agree on with IF, however, is that of gut health improvements leading to lifespan extension, it ameliorates the clinical course and pathology of Multiple sclerosis (MS) and can counteract other disease processes, has profound beneficial effects on many different indices of health, can improve functional outcome in a wide range of age-related disorders including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancers and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease Parkinson’s disease and stroke. All due to a cascade of reactions related to the gut flora changes.

So that’s the science. Now you make up your own mind

31 July 2018

Macro’s 101




online macronutrients

You’ll hear this term a lot if you read anything to do with food and balance; in the fitness industry we use it in the same way as they do in the nutritional industry. Which is to say that a diet is made up of macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients, or macro’s are your carbohydrates, fats and proteins whereas micronutrients are your vitamins and minerals.

In biochemistry a macronutrient is any substance such as carbon, hydrogen or oxygen that is required by the body in relatively large amounts and it is the same in botany (plants) for nitrogen, hydrogen or phosphorus.

Macro, from the Greek makros, means large and so we use it to describe fuels that are required in large amounts by the body.

Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are made up from molecules and these in turn are made up from atoms of carbon, hydrogen or oxygen in different combinations. It is how these atoms are put together and with what bonds between them that determines their function in the body. Essentially, the break down of molecules releases energy and this energy is used by the body to function.

The body operates a priority system whereby the first source of energy is derives is from the glucose circulating in the blood. This is a small molecule that is easily accessible and easily broken down to be used for energy, however there is only a certain amount of circulating glucose one can store in ones blood and so the body then must turn to its second choice. This usually happens after about 20mins of aerobic exercise and is one of the key factors we consider when, as online personal trainers or Brighton personal trainers, we are creating weight loss plans for clients. Because what happens next is crucial; the body looks for its next favourite energy source and as a result of prior planning it is able to accesses the molecules of fat it has stored for just these occasions.

These are converted to glucose to be used for energy, in fact the number one goal of the body is to serve the brain with energy so this is the first place the body will check if it needs fuelling. In an exercise session the energy will quickly then be directed to the working muscles via the pumping blood flow to ensure they can keep operating at the level needed.

So that’s it in a nutshell! If you have any questions about any of this or anything else just drop us a line as usual…

30 May 2018

Food and Exercise made simple




food and exercise

What if you could combine the services of an expert in nutrition and dietetics; someone who could take account of your personal food likes and dislikes, who understood your work routine and time restrictions and could plan all 3 meals a day for you – down to the gram!

….Along with an expert in health and fitness; someone who could plan an exercise regime for you whilst noting your biomechanics and fitness levels, who considered your injuries and body type along with your exercise loves and hates.

Not just people who have gone off and done weekend courses or online training but genuine experts who have spent years studying and working with people like you. Who understand how you tick, when yes means no and when to push and when to give you space. People who actually like people, people who have learned as much in their academic pursuit as they have in clinics and studios around the world. Experts in their fields who give talks, seminars, teach and train others and who are quite rightly highly respected.

What if these people talked to each other, altered their prescription for you based on your feedback and response. What if they incrementally pushed you along a clear and planned path whilst continually communicating with you and listening to your wants each step of the way?

Would you fall of the wagon then? Would ya? Well would ya?

Maybe…

But what if those same people picked you up, helped you dust yourself off and provided a push up back onto the wagon, without pressure, without patronising you but instead with a very fair, kind and firm hand until you were well seated and gently started nudging you along again.

Would that work for you? Would it give you the boost to get your own drive back? Could it buy you the precious… oh so precious time you need to sleep/think/plan/catch up/take control/ and eventually walk, head tall away from them in control, with all the confidence in the world?

YES?

Well what’s stopping you?

Here you go: https://brightonfit.co.uk/weight-loss/

 

 

23 March 2018

Brightonfit personal trainer workouts




Ever wondered what kind of workouts we do? Well the answer is we do all of the workouts we ask you to do! Otherwise how would we know what to ask of you and where the difficult sections were and how to coach you through and design a balanced program?

This Brighton personal training session is designed for intermediates. It should take you about 45mins and some of the exercises use a weight (ball, kettlebell or dumbell), you should be able to perform this at home, in a park or your gym.

The session is split into 3 x 15 minute sections. Each section contains 5 exercises. You should aim to complete each exercise 10 times each side (ie split jacks) or 20 time if using both sides of your body together (ie a box jump). You must not rest between exercises and when you get to the end of the first 5 you rest for up to 60 seconds before repeating 4 more times. That will be the end of the first section and you may rest for up to 3 minutes before repeating the same format for the second and third section.

This is a fast paced session, each exercise must be performed with the focus on form, power and speed with the goal of keeping your heart rate as high as you can for as long as you can whilst maintaining form.

The explosive exercises (tucks, jacks, jumps, squats and thrusts) are very important to make sure you are really jumping/pushing hard and fast in combination. These are the plyometric sections of the workout and improve the power capacity of your muscles in a slightly different way to some of the pure strength based ones.

This workout can be repeated as often as you like. Remember not to train on sore muscles. You will develop lean muscle and burn excess fat very effectively training like this, but remember even as personal trainers doing these sessions we don’t rely on just one type of training and we mix these sessions up with running in Brighton and Hove, pure strength training and training specifically for the sports we play and recommend that you do the same. Watch this blog for more training sessions.

Click on the photo below for a link to a bigger image you can print out if you like.

Let us know how it goes….any questions, get in touch.

brightonfit personal trainer workout

25 April 2017

How to do the 5:2 diet




how to do the 5-2 diet

 

If you read this blog you will know I don’t think much of diets, diet foods, the diet industry and so on.

I have good reason of course because I deal with people struggling with weight loss on a daily basis and feel that the diet industry does more damage than good. In fact I don’t really see much good done at all within the industry…except in a few instance; when people become accountable to one another in a group situation where the mutual goal of the group is healthy eating and wellness. Or in situations where individuals are educated and start to take responsibility for their own eating and learning. These 2 weight loss strategies I am a fan of.

And to some extent I feel that the success of the 5:2 diet is not in its scientific construction but due to the fact that it forces people to count calories and understand what adds up to what. In a week because of this their total calorie consumption is marginally lower than what it had been and therefore these people loose weight. Because the calorie reduction is only marginally lower than their previous intake they have not crash dieted and therefore tend not to re-gain the weight. Added to this they tent to keep this pattern of eating up furthermore they have educated themselves along the way by having to add calories for such a period that they cannot help but make better choices further down the line. It is a win win win eating plan

….you do not need to buy the books through. In fact if you buy the books in my opinion you loose one of the wins which is huge, because you don’t educate yourself on what meals can make up your 500kcal day and instead you rely on someone else’s knowledge.

 

28 January 2017

Weight loss; which works best exercise or diets?




brightonfit bodyfat

If your body shape falls towards or beyond the right hand side of these sets of images (approx. over 25%) and you are reading this then you are probably interested in the answer to the question of exercise vs. diets.

I’ll try and amass the vast swathes of research done in this field here: Firstly with respect to diets there is simply no diet that works better for fat loss than another; what makes a diet ‘successful’ is one that is adhered to over time. So whatever you can stick to is what will provide the most result. The reason I have highlighted the word success is that by its nature a diet is usually a short term program and what we see has the most success is sustainable (i.e. long term) modifications to ones diet.

So let us consider that verses exercise and take a look at what has the most effect. The best way to consider which of these has the most effect is to compare the results using the same currency. If we consider the body as a physiological entity then we are talking about calories. When we look at how many calories our bodies require on a 24hr cycle we see the majority are needed to operate internal functions such as breathing and metabolising our food (BMR). Only a small percentage on top of this would be burned in an exercise session. Therefore the effect of exercise alone on immediate calorie expenditure is heavily diluted by all the other calorie expenses of the body; you can see your calorie requirement and BMR here.

However in most forms of exercise you build lean muscle either as an intent or a by product depending on your session choice; and here is where exercise wins in the comparison to diets. Lean muscle burns lots more calories than other tissue types and so whilst it is not an immediate effect on calorie expenditure by the body a long term effect of exercise does result in more calories (and therefore fat) being burnt.

So what about diets; or as we said earlier changing your diet? Well if the answer is consistency you have to ask yourself “Can i live like this?” and if the answer is no then you have made your changes too strict and you must change them to be more realistic. If you can keep a food diary this will really help, studies show that what people are notoriously bad at is estimating the calories they eat. If you start with a diary and a calculator you can tot up your intake accurately and wont leave anything to chance. As you gain experience you can probably start trusting that your estimations are accurate, but its worth checking in every now and again to ensure you have not drifted!

A couple of tips that can help you stay on the straight and narrow:

1 = Never eat lunch out unless someone else is buying! This is pretty simply a filtering mechanism to prevent you eating food that you have not prepared but is a good way to remind yourself.

2 = A couple of minutes a day with your food diary is more valuable than 30 mins in the gym.

 

4 January 2017

So what really works?




New years resolutions with Brightonfit

 

Of course we all make New Year resolutions with the best of intentions; gym membership sign ups are at an annual high and January is the most popular month to go ‘dry’. BUT the once busy January gym floor is back to its usual regulars only by March and those who abstained from the booze resume normal drinking habits around this time too. So how do you get resolutions to stick?

The answer is not to change the resolution but change the approach you take to achieve them. If you look at those around you who are positive, happy, successful and in control of their health you probably wont find many of the achieved these life goals overnight. They usually chipped away at them over a period of time and most likely suffered downs as well as ups along the way as life buffeted them around.

We must expect the same when we set fitness/weight loss/health goals and not beat ourselves up when we are beset by adversity. Gaining a pound on a weight loss plan not the end of the world and certainly is not a reason to stop trying. Not hitting a PB in a training session does not mean your not making gains overall, its just not your day. The trick is to stand back and look at your overall progress, you did not get to this place that you are trying to improve from overnight; it took years for you to gain this weight/loose fitness you once had/feel unhealthy (delete as appropriate, or tick all 3!) and you certainly cannot expect to change it all in January.

So my advice to you would be resolve to change your expectations for 2017. Good luck

4 April 2014

DietBet weight loss game – now that’s what I call genius!




Simply put this is the most amazing weight loss tool that I have ever come across. Forget gizmo’s that monitor your heart rate, measure your run gradient, forget trainers with arch technology and stride support struts, forget poncy gym memberships where you spend more time in the treatment rooms and saunas than you do on the treadmills. DietBet has the solution. 

Continue Reading

16 July 2013

How weight watchers and slimming world changed my view on dieting.




Weight-Watchers-Point-Calculator

I’ve lost track of the number of clients who walk through my doors telling or asking me about the latest fad diet. Or the ones who think food is the enemy, and the ones who think that once they’ve eaten badly once in the day that’s it! They get frustrated at falling off the wagon so continue to eat badly for the rest of the day because they have messed up and feel there is no point in sticking to the plan as they’ve screwed up already and tomorrow they will start again and be “good”

What weight watchers and slimming world do is fantastic as they focus on our psychology and incorporate them into their plans rather than just telling you what you can and can’t eat. The first thing they do is accommodate for the aforementioned my providing allowances (syns or points) for these occasions. This means that you can fall off the wagon but that it is OK. This encourages people to not beat themselves up and to not spiral into a self destruct mode wrt food. You simply tot up your mistakes and make sure you don’t go over a certain amount. The focus is very much on being a realistic nutritional plan that includes margin for error.

The second is to eat healthy foods plentifully. There are plenty of “free” foods in these approaches and this often comes as a surprise to people when they feel that food is the enemy. In fact re-educating people that food is necessary for healthy bodily function and development is incorporated in these approaches. It helps demonstrate that losing weight doesn’t have to be an uncomfortable, calorie restricting starvation process and that actually longer lasting easier to achieve results can be gained by eating lots of healthy fresh and varied foods.

And finally they tap into the social nature of human beings – group psychology can motivate people and generate a sense of camaraderie and “team”. Going to weekly weigh-ins and listening to other people’s success and disappointments each week can boost people enormously. Often it can make the difference between making a success of the plans or not. Having someone next to you bearing their soul and sharing how and why they saw a weight change can make you think “well if they can do it so can I”

So although the plans themselves are simply good eating guidelines based on minimising fat especially ones of a saturated nature and making sure you get a good balance of complex low GI carbs and clean proteins, where they stand head and shoulders above the rest is their inclusion of how our brains work. I really like the no nonsense clear and healthy approach message they give to eating and how they suggest you are in it for the long term gain not a short fix. I know lots and lots of people who have tried these “diets” and had huge results that last.

 

 

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