Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Cereal for breakfast? Don't believe the hype.

I seem to be going against the grain of society when advising people about what to eat for breakfast. "I can't live without my cereal," is often what I hear. Let me tell you the origins of a famous breakfast Cereal.

My Kellogg wanted to create a way for people to increase their fibre intake and transformed the way people ate breakfast. I imagine that the cereals back then had a much higher fibre content as we have much more advance methods of refining foods and grains. Cereals aren't really part of a natural diet. They are more a fashion which has grown into a tradition. Yes we need more fibre in our diet however, cereals are only one way to get it in. In my opinion, it is a pretty poor one. Have you ever had a bowl of cereal, belched and felt like you could have a second? This isn't the sign of a good source of fibre. The ironic thing is that a function of fibre is to make you feel full so you need to eat less.

There are many other sources of fibre which are much more nutrient dense. People who have an intolerance to gluten or other grains may find that cereals exacerbate this and may suffer from host of conditions ranging from bloating to skin problems. If you want superior health, fitness, or want to lose weight, ditch the cereal. Eggs, fish, grass fed meats, nuts, seeds and fruit are just some of the many alternatives. You will be going against the grain (excuse the pun) however the grain of society is not a good model to follow.

Soon I will walk you through a 5 day no cereal plan. Benefits will include, weight loss, less bloating (flatter stomach) increased energy and better appetite regulation. Stay tuned.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

It's all about your equipment

Around 2.5 million people play golf in the UK and over 55 million worldwide. The UK golf retail market brings in £350-£400 million. This includes gadgets, swing trainers and golf clubs. Players are always looking for the next gadget to take their golf to the next level. They buy into the claims that technology improvements will deliver. Only to see a minimal improvement before seeking yet another upgrade to their equipment.

The good news is that I am in total agreement about the equipment being to blame for poor golf. The bad news is that the equipment isn't your irons or your driver. It is your body! Modern life is killing your golf swing. Muscles are becoming stretched and weaker from inactivity and poor posture. If I were you, I would get a postural assessment from a physio or good trainer before even thinking about getting the latest driver. Want to hit the ball further? See a golf conditioning specialist in conjunction with a golf coach. That should give you an extra 30-50 yards to brag about instead of the latest driver.

1-2 pounds of weight loss.....

When I first qualified as a personal trainer, I was taught that the maximum safe amount of weight loss you can lose in a week is 1-2 pounds. I have since had this theory challenged by reputable practitioners and trainers. I have since modified my system and the potential weight loss I can offer has increased.

You may be asking how? Once you increase your metabolism, androgen levels (in men), growth hormone levels in conjunction with good nutrition and a proper exercise plan which boosts EPOC, 2 pounds should be a minimum. The problem is that most people haven't got a clue what I have just said. People guess or try a friend's diet because it worked for them. Cutting calories is the most common method. While calories need to be controlled, there is a lot more to it. Stay tuned for part 2 in which I will tell you EXACTLY how to achieve maximum weight loss.

The best diet in the world

Clients continually ask me, "what is the best diet?". This is a difficult question as it all depends on your goal and your guiding beliefs. You may beleive that all food is good for you as manufacturers couldn't possibly sell food that kills you. Therefore, follow my reduced calorie pizza diet. You may want to live and eat in harmony with the planet and achieve better health, which will require different food groups altogether.

Last year, I had this discussion with a neuroscientist and he said the paleo diet seems to be the one which fits in with the needs of our body rather than trends or advances in agriculture. This is a diet similar to early man which avoids refined foods and is rich in nutrients. The problem is that we haven't evolved as fast as farming methods have and we need to be eating a diet similar to that of a caveman.

What does this involve? Nuts, seeds, fruits, veggies, fish and lean meats. What about breads and other starchy carbohydrates? It would be highly unlikely to see a caveman eating a croissant for breakfast. These should be your treat foods rather than the base of diet. What will you expect from a caveman's diet? Better appetite regulation, reduction in bodyfat and an increase in lean tissue are just a few of the many benefits of a paleo diet. It took me a long time to change the way I eat. I wouldn't go back as I feel great as a result. It also helps me to keep my bodyfat low all year round.

There are plenty of books on paleo diets and paleo foods. If you want to know more, get in touch or speak to a health professional.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

David Lloyd's rant

I was listening to the radio the day after Great Britain lost to Lithuania, at tennis, in the Davis cup. To those who don't know, the Davis cup is the premier international team event in men's tennis. GB now play in the lower leagues and lost to a team they should have beaten. The knives were out and people were looking to assign blame for the shame of yet another loss. However, I heard David Lloyd shooting from the hip in his summation of what went wrong. He believes that we can't find and nurture talent in the UK and the system is the problem. There is a brand new state of the art of Tennis facility at Roehampton which he says "doesn't need carpeted changing rooms or plasma screens."

I agree with him as I am having serious barriers with my junior golf academy I am trying to set up. We seem to have this imperialist arrogance which is ego driven which is costing juniors a chance to excel. There appears to be a point blank refusal to look at the system and shake things up. Why do all our talented sports men and women go overseas to train and hone their skills? It isn't just the weather. They appear to have a better system and it is reported that they have a better work ethic. I interpret this to mean they have talented coaches who are able to coach and mentor talented indivuals. Look at the England football team and the way Capello has shaken up the same under performing England players and got them to the world cup finals. There are talented coaches and trainers here in the UK and my aim is to get them to the talented juniors out there.