I’m going to start with spot reduction. This is quite a common question for us. We get people coming into us, and saying, “How do I lose it from my belly? How do I lose fat from my belly, how do I lose it from my bum, my thighs, backs of my arms and things like this?” The unfortunate [00:01:30] answer is we can’t spot reduce. I can’t give you an abs crunching programme for 30 days, and then you will lose body fat from your abs, or from the stomach in front of your abs, ’cause it’s just not gonna happen.
When I do answer that question, when someone says to me, “I want to lose body fat from my belly, ’cause I want to tone up my stomach.” My answer to [00:02:00] them would be, “Go do some squats, bench press, dead lifts, and shoulder presses. Nice and heavy.”
The reason for that is A, we can’t spot reduce fat. There is no point of doing a load of ab crunches hoping to release a six pack. Shall we say. Your best off doing higher calorie expending exercises that’s gonna help you put you in a calorie deficit over [00:02:30] time, and then unfortunately with patience and consistency, that body fat will come off.
Therefore, your area that you want your body fat to come off will come off it in time. Same example with the arms, I can’t get you through a load of tricep exercises and for the fact just to burn off that area. It just doesn’t happen, unfortunately.
Spot reduction, how to do that, the take away is [00:03:00] eat less calories than you burn per day. Maybe use some exercise programmes like full body workouts, which I am going to get onto in a minute. Some full body workouts so that helps you expend you more calories per day. Unfortunately we can’t help you spot reduce, but we can help you remove body fat from the whole body in time with some patience.
Coming on to meal plans. [00:03:30] Again, this is another request where people have come up to us and said, “I want a meal plan, can you give me a meal plan?” Now, we do have some meal plans for our clients. Now, we don’t give these meal plans directly to them. These are just ideas where they can get an idea of structure in the day.
They can get individual meal ideas as well. This book is a 1400 calorie book. [00:04:00] It has meals in it. It does give you shopping list and things like that, and cooking instructions on the meals.
Meal plans are not very helpful in a couple of ways. One, just giving you a cookie cutter meal plan, we don’t know your food preferences. We don’t know when you eat your food. We don’t know [00:04:30] your daily activities. We don’t know when you sit down and eat, or when it’s best for you to comfortably sit down and eat without forcing you into a set period to eat.
For example, we’ve recently had a client come to us from a previous gym. She was given … it was five meals on non-workout days, and she was given six meals on [00:05:00] workout days. She was given a very basic meal plan in the fact that it looked like a standard body builder type diet, where it was basically chicken, rice, broccoli, chicken, rice, broccoli and then on non-workout days, it was just chicken and broccoli, chicken and broccoli.
That obviously didn’t work for her, [00:05:30] because it wasn’t something that she would naturally do. Now, this is where working with people over time gives better results for us, because just giving you a meal plan where it’s four meals a day, you eat breakfast at this time, you have lunch at this time, you have a snack at say three o’clock, and you have dinner around five-seven.
What happens if you are in a meeting for two hours [00:06:00] and therefore you can’t get your lunch in on time. Therefore, you’re gonna come out that meeting, and you’re gonna rush your lunch, because you’ve told that eating little and often keeps your metabolism high. That’s not the case.
Dieting for weight loss can be very, very flexible. It’s the media [00:06:30] and the fitness celebrities, there’s are few very popular people at the moment who just give out bad information, or wrong information. HIIT workouts, I’ll go into that in a sec.
Meal plans without knowing someone’s daily plan, schedule, dislikes and likes, whether they want to sit down with their family and have a meal, or sit down with their partner [00:07:00] in the evening and have a meal, it’s very difficult to give someone dieting freedom and get them the results they want that they can then sustain.
The big thing we’re about here is education. It’s not just get people into our four week, eight week, twelve week, sixteen week programme, give them a meal plan, and then say off you go, you’re on your own now. For us, and for what I’ve seen out there, it just doesn’t work in keeping people [00:07:30] keeping those results long term.
For example, we’ve used Louise before and after, or progress photos as I like to call them on our page quite a lot. How we got that was actually in a very flexible way of eating. I didn’t give any meal plans. I gave her some meal ideas. Basically the easiest way was, she asked a question. [00:08:00] I gave her the answer. She went away and applied it. Came back, did it work, yes or no. Yes it did, okay. We’ll make a small adjustment here and that’s how we’ve got the amazing results we have done. Just purely with more habit based changes to the nutrition rather than giving the complete overhaul.
It’s easier that way to make a diet, or a nutritional plan work for the individual to change what they’re already doing [00:08:30] in small areas without giving a complete overhaul and scaring people, basically, that they have to have so many meals a day, which is just out of the norm for them.
You can lose weight with one meal a day, as long as that one meal will contain all the calories that you need, and you’re not flagging with energy throughout the day. If you’re one of these people that can last pretty much [00:09:00] all day without feeling hungry, without having energy dips, you can have one big meal in the evening.
If you are on 1400 calories for example, you could have all your 1400 calories in one meal. If you want to, if it fits with you. That’s not something I give out to everybody. That might happen, say for example, we have a client who has a really busy day, comes along and trains, [00:09:30] and hasn’t eaten. That client is on 1400 calories, so I won’t just say go and enjoy a very large healthy to an extent meal after the workout.
Cause they’re gonna need the calories coming in after the workout. They may not have been able to perform as well as they wanted to within the workout, purely because the lack of energy in the system already. The one meal a day plan is not something I would give as a long term thing, [00:10:00] but it’s part of the flexible plan you can have when you are trying to lose body fat. You don’t have to have five meals a day.
I mean I was taught when I was doing my personal training qualification, that getting your clients eating little and often actually keeps the metabolisms high and like I’ve already said that’s not the case. There’s been no scientific data to prove that actually is true. It’s false, basically.
Which is a [00:10:30] little bit of a worry when people come out of personal training school, and they’ve paid for that information, and it’s wrong basically and I’ve only learned that, because I’ve said to myself that I will always learn. I’m always doing courses, always doing more education, and you come across a lot more information doing that, and yet little and often isn’t there a thing [00:11:00] to lose weight.
You can have two meals, I’ll get on to that in a sec, you can have three meals. Meal plans just to give people long term success, again, meal plans just aren’t good thing to do on a one off basis. It’s best for you to build up your own meal plan through the education process. It might take a little longer, but you will get long term results, which is what we’re about here at 1st4Fitness.
Tracking Calories and Macros
[00:11:30] Tracking calories and macros. You can lose weight without tracking calories and macros. Again, that comes down to more habit based nutrition. For that, you can write down all the food that you have per day. You’ll have to weigh yourself to see if there’s any changes in weight. If your weight is slowly creeping up over time, I’ll say over two week period if you’re weighing yourself daily. I would say take some calories out of your day, [00:12:00] mainly carbohydrates.
Because, carbohydrates is mostly the macro nutrient people over eat on, or find it very easy to over eat on. For example, if you have chicken and pasta, if you had a large portion of pasta, I would say half that portion of pasta, so therefore you’ve halved your carbohydrate intake for that meal, therefore your calories will come down [00:12:30] for that meal. There’s small and habit-based things you can do along the way, which I’ve already covered in the meal plans.
The good thing about using things like My Fitness Pal and Fat Secret, the one I use personally is again, it’s more of an educational tool in the fact that you get to … as long as you’re not scanning it and pressing okay That’s it. As long as you’re scanning it or searching for it and putting in [00:13:00] and trying to get a mindful connection on okay 200 calories of chicken breasts looks like that, or it’s close to something you can eyeball very quickly. Over time, you can pretty much do away with the calorie tracker apps tracking daily to maybe tracking once a week, maybe tracking one a month, so your calories aren’t building up over time.
There’re a very good educational [00:13:30] tool. If you want to get really lean, say for example you’ve got someone who wants to expose their six pack for a holiday or they want to step on stage in a bikini or body building competition. Tracking calories will have to come down and be pretty on point for those occasions for those people. Purely because if you’re looking to get down to especially for guys single digit [00:14:00] body fat percentage, I don’t really like body fat percentages now, but if women want to get mid teens, early 20’s or late teens in their body fat percentage, they will have to be a lot more on point with what they’re eating, the calories and the macro break down. If that’s not where you want to be, you can be a little bit more relaxed in your tracking approach.
[00:14:30] Using the apps is a very handy tool. Again, for example we’ve had number of clients who have told us that they were eating healthy, but they’re still gaining weight or they’re not losing weight, but they’re eating healthy. They don’t put the connection together between over eating healthy food and eating in a calorie deficit.
[00:15:00] Basically, I just told them to go away and track everything they eat for one, two, three, maybe five days. Be really honest and be religious with themselves in the tracking of their food. Some of them have been quite surprised that how many calories they are consuming when they’re completely honest with themselves.
When that happens for us, that’s actually a very good sign in the fact that we can now start the educational process of bringing calories down to fit in with more their lifestyle, [00:15:30] their approach to things, and start to show them how flexible dieting for weight loss can actually be. Yeah. That’s the downside of tracking the calories and macros with apps. You have to be honest with yourself. The minute you don’t start putting everything in, in a way [00:16:00] you start to lie to yourself about how many calories you’re consuming.
There is a video that I’ve done on under-reporting. Under-reporting is basically not reporting all the calories you’re consuming. The video I’ve done was a BBC documentary and she said that she was consuming on average 1100 calories a day. Before that, she was saying that she’s tried all the diets under the sun. She just got slow metabolism, which is why she’s not losing [00:16:30] weight.
That was taken out of the equation when they did metabolic test on her. It was shown her metabolism was fine. There was nothing wrong with it. Then, they put her through a week long test where she was recording the food that she was eating, by a written diary and a video diary.
Then they did what’s called doubly labelled water. It’s basic water of isotopes you drink it, you pee it [00:17:00] out and within that urine they can see how many calories you’re consuming. How many calories you are burning per day. She thought that she was eating 1100 calories. When they did the test with the doubly labelled water, she was actually eating 3000 calories on average.
There’s a massive difference there. I think they said it was about 43% difference between what she thought she was eating to what she was actually eating. That’s the reason why she was not losing [00:17:30] weight or gaining weight, was because she was just under-reporting.
Now, there’s two sides to that. You’re either under reporting knowingly, so that’s people who are tracking their food and eating something and they’re consciously not putting in on their diary or in their apps.
Then you have people who are unknowingly under-reporting. Those people are, for them, [00:18:00] just a little more education needs to happen. For those who unknowingly under reporting just are not being completely honest with themselves, but they don’t realise that they’re not doing it.
For example, in an office someone bring in donuts or some form of sweet type food. You just pick one small one, and [00:18:30] because it’s only a small thing, you don’t think that it’s worth putting in the app, where those small things do add up quite a lot. Even with coffees with milk in, even though if you’re having one a day, it’s probably not much of a deal, but when you’re having two, three, four, five a day and you’re putting sugars and milk in, those small calories per drink will add up, so being honest with the tracking is the best way.
Slimming World and Weight Watchers
[00:19:00] Slimming World and Weight Watchers. These programmes, it’s very strange when I see some of the things, especially Slimming World, some of the things they say; their rules to their method. Taking a step back. You have the dieting principle at the bottom. [00:19:30] The dieting principle to lose weight is a calorie deficit. There’s no other way around it. That’s how you lose weight. Then on top that, you have your method. You can have million and one ways to lose weight as long as that is adhering to the principle underneath.
We have Slimming World and Weight Watchers they are A, they’re not educating people. They have a social support, which is [00:20:00] a good thing, but the support you get is again non-educational. I’ve heard a number of stories from clients here who have gone to Slimming World and Weight Watchers. You have overweight reps, as I call them, so the person hosting those Weight Watchers and Slimming Clubs, they’re over weight themselves. I’ve heard a couple of stories [00:20:30] where the person hosting the social meetings or weigh-ins have been quite patronising. They have no real nutritional education. That’s a negative, and their rules to their methods.
For example, Slimming World. They have free foods. [00:21:00] Unless they’ve changed it recently, one of the free foods was white potato. You can have as much white potato as you want on their plan and you still will lose weight. I can kind of see why they have chosen white potato, but saying it’s a free food, just doesn’t work.
White potato on some experiments and [00:21:30] some studies and research has been shown to fill people up for longer. I can kind of understand how and why they said white potatoes are free food. If it’s going to fill people up for longer, the long term-effect of filling people up on white potato should stop them eating later on in the day.
What the issue is, is how many people just have white potatoes on their own? People are gonna have cheeses, people are gonna have butters, [00:22:00] mayonnaise, and obviously meats as well to eat with it. If someone is gonna have a large potato, they’re probably gonna throw some butter, some cheese, say for example, some tuna on top, and the total calorie volume of that meal is gonna be quite high. It just doesn’t work that way.
On the flip side of that, [00:22:30] so I actually went out on Saturday and bought one of Joe Wick’s cook books. I went and bought that. I’ve been knocking the guy for a while and I thought I’d actually go and get one of his books and read it. That statement there “Eat More, Exercise Less, Lose Fat”, it’s just not true. Sorry to say, but that statement there makes [00:23:00] no sense at all. Another one of his statements is … HIIT is one of most effective tools for burning body fat. Again, that’s not true either. The only benefit to HIIT training, high intensity interval training is purely saving [00:23:30] time. It’s not benefit to burning fat, it’s not benefit to building muscle. It’s just a very good exercise tool to getting a lot of work in, in a short period of time, and helping increasing the calories. If you’re not in a calorie deficit, high interval training will not help you at all.
Going through some of these, they’re good ideas, and you will have to do a lot of manual adjusting [00:24:00] to them. For example, speaking of Tuna. That one meal there, I’ve worked out to be 821 calories. If I gave one of my clients that for them to eat twice a day, they’ll be in a calorie surplus and they’ll put on weight. Doesn’t matter how healthy that is. Again, serves one, all the ingredients there, 821 calories.
Again, there’s a lot of misinformation [00:24:30] out there. Slimming World, Weight Watchers, they’re one of obviously the biggest, or two of the biggest names out there, but are giving out really bad weight loss advice. Unfortunately, Joe Wicks possibly started out having … wanting to give good intentions on the good advice that he gives, has actually given out not so good advice.
Another thing we come across is people who [00:25:00] over eat. That’s a simple one, but when they’re in a dieting phase, and a social event comes up or a partner out of the blue says, “We’re going out for dinner.” They over eat, or it’s a stressful day at work, you get home and as some of our clients have called it “Fuck it attack” where it’s just been a really bad day. They’ve opened up a bottle of wine. They’ve gone for a take away. [00:25:30] Yeah, they then think fuck it, I’m gonna start again next Monday, and it’s a Wednesday. You’ve got all those days there where you can over consume again and really start to push back a lot of the work you’ve already done.
One thing I would say in unplanned overeating times, would be to do a what’s called a calorie borrowing. [00:26:00] Let’s say it’s an unplanned event and you’ve guessed that you over-ate by about 1000 calories. What you could do, is you could take 500 calories out of the next two days so that your weekly calorie intake hasn’t changed.
You can spread that out over four days and have 250 calories off. That’s an unplanned way [00:26:30] of making up for over consuming calories the next couple of days. You don’t have to say “Fuck it” and then wait a couple of weeks, or the next week to start again. You can bring it all back in.
If you’ve got a planned social event, something we say here is for people to cut back on some of the calories leading in to the event. For example, you’re going out with friends on a Saturday night, you can roughly work out what you would normally eat and maybe give [00:27:00] yourself a little bit of a buffer as well.
What you can do is take some calories off the days leading to, say for example, Saturday night, take some calories off during the week, reserve like a 1000 calories and then if you need to, you can take calories off the days after as well, to bring the calories, so over two week period, you still can consume the right amount of calories to lose weight.
There’s ways and means around unplanned splurges, [00:27:30] overeating. If that does happen, there’s no need to panic. It can still be brought in. Obviously, those types of events will still have an effect at slowing things down, but if you want to go out and do those things and enjoy life, you can. It would just take a little bit longer. Dieting for weight loss doesn’t have to be as restrictive as a lot of people make it out to be.
[00:28:00] Talking of methods of keeping to a calorie deficit. Intermittent fasting. This is another method that has gotten a lot of movement lately. There’s nothing special about it. Fasting, if it does do anything special in the short term, so for example, if it’s gonna help you a [00:28:30] little bit each day, is gonna be very marginal. Intermittent fasting is a handy tool to adhere to a calorie deficit.
People who are forcing breakfast, because they hear breakfast is the most important meal of the day, again, it’s not. You can have your first meal of the day whenever you want to and not have any negative effects of on putting on body fat. [00:29:00] If you are for example, a working mother, who needs to get the kids ready for school, needs to get ready for work, and the morning seems like a massive panic and rush. You’ve been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you feel as if you have to eat something.
Basically you’re eating on the move. You’re forcing toast in your mouth, while you’re putting kids in the car. [00:29:30] The good thing about intermittent fasting approach is you can just not have breakfast, your first meal of the day could be lunch time. It could be mid-afternoon. Your next meal could be in the evening when you sit down with your partner to have dinner.
Intermittent fasting, the standard is 16-8. You fast for 16 hours, and you [00:30:00] eat all your calories within the eight hour window. You’re still eating your calories. You can’t over consume calories. Say for example, if someone is on a 1400 calorie plan, they could split that into two meals, so that first meal could be mid afternoon, and the next meal could be in the evening with dinner, family and friends. Therefore, that 1400 calorie day, [00:30:30] you’ve got that amount for two meals.
Therefore, your meals could be a lot bigger than having five small meals that equate up to 1400 calories. That’s a handy way for busy people. The downside to that is some people that we’ve come across here, do need some form of breakfast, because they just feel as if they just don’t have the energy, they don’t have the cognitive function [00:31:00] to think in the morning, which is fine.
Intermittent fasting is not for everyone. It’s just a tool to adhere to the calorie deficit. That’s all. There’s nothing special about it, although there are a lot of people promoting intermittent fasting as a magical tool, like they’re doing with the ketogenic diet at the moment, but yeah. Anyway.
Whole Body Workouts Or Body Part Workout Split Programmes
Exercise-wise, in Joe’s book, he’s basically done [00:31:30] what I would call a more the body building training split than anything else. Doing a training session where you’re doing – Trying to find the actual programme he’s got written down. The actual training session and I cannot find it now. [00:32:00] In one of his books, he’s got chest and back on one day. Arms then rest, then legs. Then, something else I think it might be cardio on a Friday. That type of approach, again, that’s not to bash Joe. That’s actually a standard what we call a body part split. You’re focusing on certain body parts on their own [00:32:30] special days.
The reason why I call them body building part splits is because you can focus all your time, say for example, I want to build my arms up, you can focus the training session just on arms or you can just focus it just on legs, or you can focus it just on chest.
Depending on where you are with your training history, and what you want to achieve. [00:33:00] Full body workouts might work better for you than training body part splits. For example, a full body workout would be push-pull, you got legs, you got hip hinge, you then might want to throw some form of ab work in there, or cardio element to it.
That could be, say for example squats, dead lifts like I said earlier [00:33:30] squats, dead lifts, bench press. That’s your legs, squats, dead lifts, so that’s also your lower back as well. All your legs hit in those two exercises. You got your bench press is gonna hit your chest, and triceps as well, so that’s back of the arms little bit of the front of the shoulder. You’ve got your military press, or your shoulder press, which is gonna hit obviously shoulders, triceps.
You could also throw in there some form of row or pull. That could be a lat pull [00:34:00] down. That’s pulling down from the side, or you can do a bent row with dumbbells that be your back and biceps. Those five exercises there will cover the whole body in a short period of time. That’s one of the, in that room in there, we have … actually if I could just show you, so in that room in there. That’s where we do our fat burning first fit challenge sessions. [00:34:30] This room back here is where we do our personal training sessions.
The workouts are all full body workouts. There’s no workout in here where we just specialise on arms. There’s no real need to focus on that at the moment with the majority of the people that come in here, purely because the fat loss is the main goal. A lot of the exercises anyway are hitting arms in directly rather than doing bicep curls and tricep push downs. We use, again, [00:35:00] coming back to what I said at the beginning, we use compound movements mostly to hit more muscle groups in one move than break it down into lots of small other moves.
Again, depending on where you are, and if you’re starting out fairly new, it’s probably two years of good lifting weights [00:35:30] would be a good amount of time to stay on full body workouts. Even past then, a full body workouts are still gonna be very effective for you for fat loss and muscle toning.
I had another one on here, actually. Lifting weights, another thing we hear a lot is women will fear lifting weights, because they will get big [00:36:00] and bulky. That is purely not the case. You will be quite surprised at how much weight you can lift, and you’ll just tone up muscle. You can get very strong without putting on a lot of muscle.
Now, I really wish it was that simple to put on muscle, because I wouldn’t have the issue with my arms. [00:36:30] My arms would be a lot bigger than what they are. It’s very difficult for me to put on muscle. If you were looking at putting on muscle time versus reward, and you’re looking at as an investment point of view. It wouldn’t be a very good investment.
For example for me, because of the amount of time I’ve been lifting, I think if I was to get everything right, get all my calories right, [00:37:00] my protein, carbs and fats right. Get all the training at the right intensity. I think now, the most I can gain per month would be .2 kilos of muscle a month. That’s at the higher end of things. That would be only if everything’s [00:37:30] bang on, so gaining muscle is a very, very slow, painful process for guys with fairly high testosterone. Women, you can get quite a very good fat burning effect by lifting heavy weights, which would also help you tone your muscles as well.
Personally, I’m not a fan of the word, tone, purely for the fact that tone for me means losing body fat and gaining [00:38:00] little bit of muscle. Tone for me to be to bring out the muscular shape. Tone, for me, is just to lose body fat around the muscle, gaining muscle, so then you start to see the shape through the skin, basically.
Yeah. Women, I would say, don’t worry about lifting heavy weights. In fact, that would benefit you more than spending time on a cardio machine for an hour. [00:38:30] ‘Cause that’s not going to tone up your arms anyway.
Vegan diet. I had a fairly long conversation with someone on Saturday or Friday. We’ve had a quite few vegans and vegetarians come through here. There’s nothing wrong with people going on those diets for ethical reasons and moral reasons, but when people turn [00:39:00] to those diets, because they’ve been told that it’s healthier, unfortunately that’s not the case.
There’s been quite a big increase of people turning to a vegan diet, purely because of a programme called “What the Health”. I haven’t seen the programme. I’ve heard a lot about it. [00:39:30] Quite frankly, I wouldn’t waste my time watching it. It has a biassed opinion, and the main outcome they want on that programme is for it’s audience to become vegans. Their arguments for turning to vegans are again very biassed, very misleading, completely wrong, and the comparisons are laughable to say the least.
Vegans and vegetarians
[00:40:00] Vegans and vegetarians, they have an issue with protein coming in. The non-vegan women here, when we give them their protein targets or protein range to aim for, a lot of them find that hard to hit even with meats. With vegan diet, having to work on plant based proteins, and getting that in, does [00:40:30] add an element of difficulty to a weight loss plan or a dieting plan.
Saying that, is not impossible, it just means there’s a lot more planning involved in comparison to a meat eating based diet. That’s one thing that I would say if you are vegan or vegetarian, going through the apps and seeing if you are getting adequate amount of protein in would be the first [00:41:00] thing I would say. If not, and you physically can’t eat anymore, that’s when I would say turn to things protein powders, like whey protein powders. They’re safe, they’re by-products of cheese.
They’re not as processed as people make them out to be. They are not as unhealthy. In fact, whey protein is actually being shown to be very healthy for a lot of people. [00:41:30] All it’s gonna do is give you the protein calories. Whether you choose your plant based proteins, or pea proteins, or hemp proteins. I would say the first recommendation would be on a vegan diet, just to track your macros, track your proteins, see how much protein you are getting in, and then see where you can add extra protein in.
The other downside to a vegan plan is the fact that [00:42:00] meat-based proteins are what we call complete proteins. They have the full amino acid structure. Whereas with the majority of plant based proteins, they are missing at least one of the amino acids. They are not complete proteins. They’re incomplete proteins. The best thing to do would be have a mixed protein source on your vegan plant. You gonna try and complete the proteins over the day, rather per [00:42:30] meal.
I hope that was helpful. That has been 42 minutes of me ranting on one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine topics. I hope that’s been helpful. Like I said at the very beginning, if you have any questions, please post them below this video. My promise to you, again promise putting it out there, is that I will reply back to every question that we get in on form or another. [00:43:00] Yeah and enjoy the rest of your Monday.