CN FITNESS: Personal Training is an Aberdeen based personal training and performance centre:
CN FITNESS: Personal Training is an Aberdeen based personal training and performance centre:
I am sure you have all heard it before, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you need to eat when you wake up to get your metabolism going etc etc. What i am going to focus on in this short article is what to eat at breakfast and why? What should you eat first thing in the morning to give you improved mental clarity, increased energy, better apatite control, reduced cravings throughout the day and reduced bodyfat?
Meat and nuts
‘I thought this article was about what is the best option for breakfast, not dinner’
Yes it is, and my answer is meat and nuts.
The meat allows for a slow and steady rise in blood sugar and the healthy source of smart fats from the nuts allow your blood sugar to remain stable for extended periods of time, which is going to reduce cravings for sugar rich foods later in the day and keep energy levels consistent. This is a big problem with the typical breakfast consisting of toast or cerial and some sugar filled fruit juice. Yes those foods will do a good job of getting your blood sugar (glucose) levels up and they will do this very quickly, but not at a stable and sustainable rate and after a period of time your glucose levels will come crashing down and that why so many people have craving for carbohydrate rich foods during the day, because their glucose and insulin levels are up and down like a yo-yo.
Most people are lacking protein in their diet so this is going to help increase protein consumption which will help their performance in the gym and recovery times between workouts. When your muscles are sore after a workout, this is because the muscle fibers have been torn and damaged during your workout. The only thing that is going to help the muscles recover is protein, so ensuring protein intake is ample is important.
Also when you look at the thermic effect of food, this means how many calories it takes for your body to digest the food, it takes 2.5 – 3 times more calories to digest 100g of protein that it does to digest 100g of carbohydrates. So even if you are eating the same calories from a protein rich diet over a carbohydrate rich diet, your body will be burning more calories on the protein rich diet which will lead to improved body composition.
Any type of relatively lean, good quality meat it ideal. Such as turkey, chicken, venison. Fish is also great, cod, haddock, tuna etc.
Nuts should be unsalted, unroasted. Almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews nuts etc are ideal. A handful of nuts will do.
If you are allergic to nuts i would recommend replacing them with a low glycemic / low fructose fruit.
avocado, blackberries, blueberries, grapefruit, olives, plum, papaya, strawberries, raspberries etc.
Give this a shot and see how you feel. If you are currently having a typical British breakfast of toast or cerial i guarantee that after doing this for a week you will be feeling the benefits. No it’s not seen as the normal thing to do and so many people look at me like i am crazy when i suggest this. But what is more natural for a human being to be doing? Eating some good quality meat and nuts or a bowl of sugar filled artificial air balls for their breakfast?
4 Days out from my competition. What a good feeling it is to be sitting here writing that down! It has been a long journey up to this point, 17 weeks of dieting for this one day and now it is pretty much here.
Overall I am absolutely delighted with how this preparation has went. I have managed well, the diet has not been unbearable by any stretch of the imagination but most importantly I have managed to maintain everything else in my life throughout the process. It has been hard at times, and there have been days where I couldn’t go out to certain parties or events because the energy just wasint there, but overall it has been alright. I am very happy with my condition and I am pleased with how I am looking.
Putting yourself through a diet like this really is a journey and that is why I do this. To me it is not about stepping on stage and winning a competition, it is about much more than that. It is about having the will power and discipline to set yourself a strict plan, than you know is going to push you to the limit physically and also emotionally, and stick to it for months and months. Knowing that at any point, the lowest and hardest points of the diet, that at any time you can make it so much easier by just eating a few oatcakes and having a day off the gym, but having the dedication to persevere and stick to the plan and focus on the end result, no matter how hard it gets. It is character building and has taught me a lot about hard work. I think bodybuilding relates to life quite well, hear me out. In bodybuilding you simply have to put in the work to get the results, if you aren’t willing to work hard and make some sacrafises, then you aint getting anywhere. The same is true for life, especially in my business. If I want to make a success of something or achieve a certain goal, then I must put in the work to get there. At times it may feel like the required amount of work is not manageable, or that you simply don’t have the motivation to do it, but if you stick in, don’t give up and just work at it with a relentless tenacity to succeed, your efforts will be rewarded. T
hat is what bodybuilding has taught me over the years.
How do I think I am going to do on the show on Sunday? Well I really do not know. There are 14 competitors in my class, which is huge for a Junior category so it is going to be competitive. All I know is that when I step on stage on Sunday I am going to be in the best shape of my life and could not have done anymore in the build up to this contest to do any better. As cheesy as it sounds to me I have already won. I am competing against myself and I have completed this diet, I have worked hard and I have got myself in the best shape possible. Regardless of what anyone else does or achieves on Sunday, I am happy with my efforts. I am not going to lie that winners trophy would be good and I have definitely though about where I will put it in my house. Only time will tell!
I am already thinking about what I am going to be doing after the contest. I am going to venice for 4 days and having a week off of the training so that week is going to be an easy one. Food and rest, thank you very much!
I take my trainng seriously though and I am not going to waste the last 5 months of work to put all the fat that I have lost back on in a matter of a few weeks, which is surprisingly easy to do after a diet of this nature. It is a VERY strange feeling stepping off stage after a competition. For the past 17 weeks every meal, every workout, every day my focus has been largely on this competition, there will not have been an hour gone by where it didn’t enter my mind, be that thinking about my next meal, my next workout, having low energy etc etc. Then all of a sudden after the competition I can do whatever I want and there are no real restrictions apart from ones I place on myself. It is such a good feeling. It honestly gives me a real improved appreciation for life and all the great things in it. That may sounds ridiculous to most of you but it is true. Im looking forward to going on long walks with my girlfriend without struggling for energy. I am looking forward to walking through town, seeing some food that looks nice in a shop and just buying it without thinking about how many grams of this and that are in it. Working with my clients and having the energy to fully enjoy the sessions without feeling weak and tired. Simply not being hungry and feeling satisfied after a meal. All these things you can easily take for granted until they are gone, and I cant wait to appreciate and enjoy them all again!
22 days to go.
I have been dieting now for 14 weeks and what a journey it has been. I have really enjoyed it so far and am very happy with the progress I have made. I have three weeks left to make some more progress and I am confident that on show day I will be as good as I can be.
Its been a while since my last blog update. I have been so busy this past month I cant explain. Working lots, getting my biosignature business set up, doing emails, diet plans, training plans for clients, training myself and still managing to have a social life and see my friends and girlfriend etc. I just haven’t had the time to sit down and write a update up.
So lets start with how I am coping with the diet and how I am feeling being so close to the show. Last time I competed this close to the show I was a physical and emotional mess, I had punished myself for a long time and my body was feeling pretty beat up. However this time round I am feeling so so much better. I am surprised at how well I am managing and how comfortable the whole thing has been. I am in a very good place mentally and I have set myself up well to deal with the physical and psychological struggle of dieting for such a long time and pushing my body this far.
Dont get me wrong, it has been difficult, and now in these last few weeks it really is becoming very very tough, but I am managing no problem. Energy is low and I feel pretty weak most of the time, there is no getting round that. When I stand up after sitting down I often get dizzy spells, i am waking up earlier in the morning just so I can get breakfast sooner, theres always a bit of a sinking feeling when I take the last bite of a meal and realise its three hours until I get more food.
As most of you know I am a keen salsa dancer and usually dance about three times a week. For the past few weeks my dancing has been, well, pretty much a disaster. I can dance and I manage a few dances but I am just so exhausted that I cannot enjoy it and what should be a nice relaxed enjoyable dance feels like a gruelling workout that no one could enjoy. I am still going along to the dancing venues to show face and see all my friends but it does suck having to explain to every girl that asks me to dance that I don’t have the energy because I am dieting for a competition etc. Last Wednesday was the most difficult day of my prep so far, I just felt like a zombie all day, in good spirits but was exhausted. I still went along to dancing at night but two dances in I just said no enough is enough, took my dances shoes off and just sat and watched. Even the music, which to me is usually beautiful, was annoying me, people asking me to dance, people quizzing me one my diet, my training, my work. I was so exhausted that opening my mouth to speak felt like a titanic effort and it was just horrible. I couldn’t even casually chat with my friends because of how fatigued I was. I honestly felt like I just wanted to disappear and sit in a room on my own with a tub of ice cream hahaha. I just decided at that point I needed to go home and get some rest. I explain to all my friends and they understand are totally supportive, we just laugh about it and I keep on smiling. My girlfriend has been especially good in situations like this, how understanding she is and how well she puts up with me being a zombie is pretty special, im a lucky guy! Its only small moments that are this bad and most of the time I am alright.
My training has been going very well and despite the fact that I am now 7kg lighter than I was 14 weeks ago my strength has pretty much stayed the same. There are days where I am lifting less because of how fatigued I am but on a good day my weights are the same as they were before.I had a leg workout last week and I was warming up doing body weight lunges and I was struggling to balance because I was getting dizzy spells and felt sick, that is to be expected at the end of a leg workout but during the warm up, well lets just say that workout was not much fun, I got through it though and actually had a good session. I am happy with this as loosing strength is something that is very common when dieting for a bodybuilding show. I have been taking 20 branch chain amino acid capsules during every workout since the start of this prep and I really feel this has helped stop muscle breakdown.
I am still not doing any direct cardio sessions which I am happy with. I thought that as I got leaner I would maybe have to start doing more cardio sessions to keep the bodyfat coming down but this is not the case at all. My metabolism is obviously still pretty fast and I am eating a decent amount of food. Well I say a decent amount, I mean 2700 calories a day. That is not crazy low by any means but its about 1000 less than when I started this diet 14 weeks ago and for my training intensity and activity levels, I can definitely feel the calorie deficit. I have started making sure I walk to work every day which is a 25 minute walk there and 25 minute walk back so this is increasing my calorie expenditure and helping with the last bit of fat loss.
I have ordered my tan and my posing trunks and have been working on my posing for my routine etc. It is all feeling very real now and its only 23 days until I try to become a Scottish Champion for the 2nd time. I cant wait!!!!!
I am pleased to say that I am now a qualified Biosignature Practitioner. This week in Sweden has been absolutely great. The wealth of knowledge that I have gained, first hand, from one of the greatest strength and conditioning coaches in the world, has been invaluable.
So what is this Biosignautre Modulation all about. Biosignature modulation means what it says. It is reading someone’s biological signature and knowing how to modify it through nutrition, supplementation and lifestyle recommendations.
This biological signature is found through taking accurate body fat measurements from 12 areas of the body, each of which is related to a specific hormone level. For example if you have a high amount of body fat on your midsection this suggests you have cortisol levels, if you have high body fat on your mid-axillary (ribs) then this suggests you may have some thyroid problems etc etc.
This courses highlighted to me how seriously what we eat, how we live and the environment that surrounds us can affect our bodies balance and hormone levels, and how this can wreak havoc on the health of our bodies, and the progress we make, or lack of, in the gym. Here is a simple example.
Did you know that, depending on where you live, 40 – 96% of people do not produce enough hydrochloric stomach acid to properly digest food? This is mainly, but not solely, due to cortisol, caused by stress, stopping the production of this essential acid. Living in the high stress, toxic dense country that is Britain, it is going to be closer to the 96% of people. Without enough HCL (hydrochloric acid) you are almost certainly going to fail in losing weight, improving fitness or improving health, because a large % of what you are consuming is not even getting digested as there simply isn’t enough acid to do so. This seems pretty fundamental and basic, and it is. But it is so so overlooked. This is just an example of the kind of things I have been taught this week. There are many many more very important things that so many people fall short on with the health of their bodies, myself included! These things are usually surprisingly easy to resolve, through very specific and tailored nutritional and supplementational programmes and that is where the biosignature comes in! It has been an eye opener and is not just going to improve my clients results and health, but also my own.
I will use myself as an example:
I have been dieting for my contest for 10 weeks now, so I am very lean at this stage. Charles Poliquin actually measured my bodyfat and told me I had the leanest triceps he had seen for a while. Coming from the most respected strength and conditioning coach in the world and someone who travels the world delivering courses on bodyfat testing, that was quite a huge compliment!
All of my readings were good, however I have a disproportionate amount of fat in the posterior part of my upper leg, the hamstrings and glutes. What this tells me is that the environment that surrounds me is causing my body to be exposed to excessive toxin levels and this is raising my estrogen (female hormone) levels. My body should be more efficient at eliminating these toxins to help protect me form their estrogen raising effects, but it just cant keep up with the amount of toxins I am exposed to on a daily basis. This makes perfect sense as I live in a big city, drive a car most days, have a mobile phone and even worse keep it in my pocket all day (this has been proven to lower testosterone levels, the opposite hormone of estrogen, up to 30% in a day), use fluoride toothpaste, eat out of plastic tubs, use a microwave etc etc etc, all of these things are highly toxic.
Getting all this information presented to you can be quite overwhelming and it can seem like the only way to be healthy is to go and live in an isolated cave and spend the rest of your days meditating and drinking rain water. That is not what this course is about, not at all. This course is about teaching people how to make simple changes to their lifestyle, and provide them with essential nutrients to help battle whatever it is that their bodies are struggling with, be it high cortisol, underactive thyroid, excessive estrogen, low tetestrone, low growth hormone etc etc. The list is endless.
So what can I do about my high toxin and estrogen levels.
Firstly I can make simple choices that will help drastically reduce my expose to toxins.
A few examples are:
-Stop carrying my phone in my pocket when I cant answer it any way, which is about 8 hours a day at work.
– stop using a microwave
– get a battery powered alarm clock rather than using my phone (much less radiation)
– buy a water filter for drinking water
– make sure that the plastic tubs and water bottles I use are BPA free, this is a highly toxic chemical found in most plastic tubs. When you microwave these tubs, literally cancer in a tub. And most mothers do this with their babies bottles ………………..
– Reduce use of car
– delete apps on phone that I don’t use. The more apps your phone has, the more radiation it emits, this is scientifically researched
-stop using non stick pans, George foreman grill etc. These leak titanium onto your food . . . . yummy! Use ceramic pans instead
– Use organic coffee. Coffee will extend life, if it is the right type. Non organic coffee is heavily sprayed with pesticides etc some of which are very toxic
These are just a few examples of the very manageable and realistic things that I can start doing which will reduce my toxic exposure.
SUPPLIMENT DETOX PROTOCALL:
I will be starting a supplement protocol to lower estrogen levels and help my body detoxify the toxins it is exposed to. It will be a good quality fish oil, multi vitamin / mineral, magnesium, Vitamin D3, green antioxidant powder, two products called Estro Detox and DIM Avail which are for estrogen detox, calcium D-Glucarate and some fibre. At the end of this programme my body will have greatly reduced in toxicity and my estrogen levels will have lowered, and yes, this will mean less fat on my hamstrings.
This can be done for all areas of the body, depending on YOUR individual biological signature.
I will be updating my website very soon, detailing the biosignature packages I will be offering. I am really looking forward to bringing this to Aberdeen and helping my cleints, past, present and future, get results and most importantly, improve their health and quality of life.
I am now 7 and a half weeks out from my contest. Almost ten weeks into my diet. I cannot believe how fast it is passing, how far I have progressed, but most surprisingly, how easily I have managed so far.
The past few weeks have been very productive and i have dropped another 1kg in the past two weeks and I am now at 78.5kg. I am starting to look very lean and feel I am going to be in optimal condition come show day, June 10th.
Here is a picture of my legs from a few days back. Veins are starting to appear in legs, abs, calfs, which is a very good sign.
Energy levels have generally been not too bad but at times I have been feeling absolutely exhausted. To the point where I feel I need to sit down and just take a minute to find my feet and compose myself. Slight dizzy spells and just extreme fatigue. This is just due to my blood sugar getting extremely low but when this happens I usually am due a meal pretty soon so it is manageable. I just try not to think about it and keep moving around, after composing myself, and keeping myself busy. As soon as I sit down and feel sorry for myself then it just gets worse, so I avoid this as much as possible. I have found myself staring longingly at my kitchen cupboards a few times but that is to be expected.
At other times I feel fine and hunger or energy is no issue at all. My weekly cheat meals really help boost glycogen levels and keep my energy up for a good few days after. So generally mon – wed is pretty easy and as the week goes on I get more depleted and energy gets lower.
I am currently in Sweden doing my Biosignature Modulation. This is a course that looks at bodyfat testing and hormonal profiling and learning how to optimise peoples hormone levels, for optimal body fat levels. I got a full body fat test and my reading came out at 6.6% fat which I was very happy with and I would say it is quite accurate. I aim to be at around 4% body fat on show day so I have a few % to loose. However going from 15-13% fat is a hell of a lot easier than going from 6.6-4% fat. I have six weeks to get it done and I am confident. The show is in seven weeks but I aim to be in perfect condition one week out, so I can relax and coast into the show, being confident with my physique. Rather than punishing myself to lose fat right up until the day of the show, this is not an ideal situation.
I will be doing a report on my week in Sweden and letting you know my thoughts. So far though, it is one of the most interesting things I have ever done!
Eliko Sports Centre: Halmstad, Sweden:
10 WEEKS TO GO:
The past week has been good without too much to report. Diet has been spot on and training has been good.
My energy levels this past week have been as expected. Average I guess. Overall I am still feeling very very good and the lack of energy and hunger is no issue. There are times though, just moments for half an hour or so, where I can really feel my blood sugar absolutely plummeting and the lethargy can be quite intense. I only had one real spell of this this week, and it was when I was training a client outside, running up hills etc. I just have to put a brave face on and wait until my next salad!
I have noticed that the amount I am enjoying my food is increasing, and the amount of satisfaction I am getting out of my meals is decreasing. I am finishing most meals looking at my plate and thinking ‘ok, I cant wait until my next meal’. Again this is to be expected. I feel if I keep myself busy it is not as much of an issue as other things apart from food are consuming my attention. However if I am sitting around the house for a few hours then I am just watching the clock, waiting for feeding time!
Strength in my training is going up which I am happy with. Upper body is responding very well to this programme. Lower body is struggling slightly. I haven’t used back squats in a long time, I have been doing mostly front squats, and it is taking me a bit of time to get used to the technique. I think after a few weeks I finally have it nailed and can now concentrate on increasing the weight.
I had a bit of an issue in my last leg workout. I was doing split squat lunges and my left leg got a sharp pain down the outside of the thigh. This was 3 days ago and the pain is still occasional present but at totally random times. It is definitely subsiding though and I have been doing a lot of stretching and foam rolling to keep on top of it. I am going to train lower body tomorrow and hopefully it is alright, which I am confident it will be. Just one of those little niggles, I will push through and take care of it.
My weight stayed the same last week, which I am happy about. I expect a drop of about another 0.5kg this week which will take me to 79.0kg. I will post some more photos next week.
I have reduced fat by 20g a day and am doing one extra high intensity interval training session on the spin bikes to keep the body fat moving in the right direction. So currently 4 heavy weight sessions, 1 metabolic fat loss weights session and 1 HIIT 15 minute cardio session. I am on target for coming in as good as I can be, but it is not long now. 10 weeks will pass very very quickly so I need to make the magic start happening pretty dam soon. I could step on stage now and probably do quite well, but I want to be the leanest person at this contest, not just in my category, in the whole dam show. Here is an example of how lean I aim to get. This is the 2010 BNBF Overall Scottish Champion.