Struggles

I just want to start by saying how hard it is to write this and how much i have gone forwards and backwards as to whether to send this out but hey, here goes!

I am in a weird place

A place where im questioning a lot of what im doing and dwelling on a few things

I think its a perfect time for me to talk about struggles

When you help others a lot its very rare that you put yourself first and ignore your own struggles.

I do this a lot!

Its something i promised myself in my New Years Resolutions that i wouldn’t do and surprise surprise i have already failed at it!

2 Years ago i suffered my first ever attack of Anxiety. I was into my second year of being self employed and the main bread winner in my family and had taken a lot on trying to learn a new trade and supporting my wife and 2 children and hit a point where i had a huge drop in business.

I became very scared and stressed and became one of these shouty dads.

I literally took it all out on my wife and Kids and it was unfair.

So, i took myself off to the doctors and explained to him how i was feeling, im not going to lie, this was a very hard thing to do.

He passed me on a phone number of a counsellor and off i went.

A whole week later i decided to ring this number and agreed in my head that i didn’t want to continue how i was. I had also considered quitting my self employed job which i was very good at but could not see an end to the stress.

It turned out after having a questionnaire over the phone that i was in fact suffering from anxiety.

The anxiety was being fuelled by the drop in business and the thought of not being able to provide for my family and also not having enough time away from work.

Fast forward to last August where i had been in business for 3 years and the Anxiety hit again and this time it was much worse.

The worse part this time was i had a very successful business and i started to freeze. I was waking up with work to do and couldn’t do it, i didnt want to and i started letting a lot of people down.

I started shouting a lot again and i was a nightmare to be around. I had a game face which i was putting on at sessions and deep down i was truly unhappy.
My relationship with my wife was effected in a big way  and my kids were unfairly shouted at a lot.

Why am i sharing this?

Well, we all have our struggles and sometimes it does us good to get them out in the open.

Over the past week i have also started feeling the anxiety creeping in and have once again made phone calls to speak to a counsellor.

Being self employed in a job where you deal with other people’s emotions and place a lot of pressure on yourself to deliver can be a lonely place.

When we keep these things inside they build up and keep building until we self destruct, usually through poor eating, get shouty or just start generally being an arsehole like me!

I had an email last week from someone who does not know me who is on my email list, the email was from a post i wrote trying to help people and it said

“It must be great being so perfect”

Now i know we shouldn’t always listen to other people’s views on us however its hard and im sure we would agree we all try to be accepted and like being accepted!

Well, im not perfect, i have my own demons like everyone else, in fact, i probably hide them more than everyone else because im always putting everyone else first.

I like to write blog posts like this that can maybe helps others see that i have been through things like this and can help by lending an ear.

Everything i have written to do with nutrition is a combined effort of courses i have been on, ongoing education and also from my own weight loss journey that i still battle with on a daily basis.

Experience is the best educator and sometimes we all need to admit that we are not perfect and that we all need help.

I provide expertise in exercise and nutrition coaching and provide a supportive environment for all clients to share their own experiences and we all learn from them.

We don’t judge, we accept that we are all human fighting our own battles and we accept that we all need some support every now and then.

The question is

Do you have struggles daily/weekly? Do you self sabotage and are you actually aware of it and have you sought help?

Investing some time into a councillor for my anxiety has been the best thing i have ever done because i can talk to someone who knows what im going through.

Investing in a PT for my own training has also been invaluable as i dont need to worry about writing my own training program, i simply book the session into my diary and turn up!

My struggles are not something i want to pressurise my wife/family with.

Take some time to sit down today and think of your struggles and write them down, it will help you get started on the path to facing them head on rather than putting up with them and making yourself feel worse.

If you don’t have any struggles, lets be honest you are either very lucky or you are lying to yourself

 

Ross

 

 

12 Week PT from home Testimonial

Ross asked me to jot down a few words that captured my thoughts of LYFN, so having just polished off a very yummy ‘clean’ Shepherd’s Pie I decided that tonight was the night to jot down how I feel.  So… Where do I start?

Well, firstly I’ve just finished eating a lovely, tasty and hearty meal made by my own fair hands with lovely wholesome ingredients.  I didn’t have to count calories or weigh out ingredients.  I just followed a super quick and easy recipe especially designed for my clean eating.  I feel pleasantly full, not stuffed and sluggish.  In fact, I actually feel good, smug even at my ability to resist processed and ‘unclean’ foods.  I don’t want to eat things that aren’t natural, that are filled with all manner of E numbers and additives.  Why?  Because I am making a life change to improve my nutrition and fitness.  This is for life and not just for Christmas!  So what else?….

Well, I’m also wide awake, I’m not slumping back into my cushions and verging on a little shuteye.  I’ve got a slight pleasurable ache in my thighs after a rigorous PT session last night.  Oh, and I’ve already worked out what I’m going to wear to work tomorrow, something that I haven’t been able to wear for a couple of years, because I haven’t felt able to due to unhappiness with my size and shape. Which leads me to tell you that I’ve actually already dropped a dress size.  Oh, and my belt has stopped straining on the very last hole, in fact I am now three holes thinner than when I started!
What else?  Oh yeah, my skin is clear – my annoying spots have all but gone!  And I get into bed and drop off to sleep quickly and enjoy a good night’s sleep….. EVERY night.
I have energy.  I’m fitter than I have been in years.  I don’t feel like I’m dragging a heavy slug around everywhere I go.
I am more confident with my body and shape, in fact, I don’t hate my body anymore.
I’m enjoying hearing people say “wow, you’ve lost weight haven’t you?” And I like telling them that I’m NOT dieting, but that I am making a life change, that I am eating clean and combining it with physical exercise.

If you’re still reading, then maybe what you’d really like to know is how much weight I’ve actually lost?  Well, I’ve lost 1st 2lbs in weight and 14″ from around my body.  If you don’t really know what that equates to (I didn’t), then imagine 16 cans of baked beans!  16 cans of baked beans!!!  Have you ever tried lifting that off of the side in the kitchen??!!
And guess what?….  I’ve managed all of this in under 12 weeks!
How?….  All I did was follow LYFN recipes and have two personal training sessions at home (yes, Ross comes to me and brings all of the equipment!) each week!  So what are you waiting for?  Get yourself into the LYFN team now!!

Oh, and my ultimate goals?  To lose another dress size.  To increase my fitness.  To feel good.  To love my body.  And d’you know what?  I know I can do it!

I crave sweet things all the time!

Do you constantly crave sweet things?

If i had £1 for every person i had ever spoken to that had brought this exact subject up, i would be a millionaire!

Sugar cravings are a huge factor in people cracking and giving up their diets.

Now, lets be fair, we all like something sweet but there is a big difference from having a little treat every now and then to grabbing the chocolate every night and binging!

So, what can be done?

Lets explain exactly what a sugar craving is and how they come about (in a non scientific way).

Generally a sugar craving arises when your blood sugar levels drop, the body wants energy to level out your blood sugars and the quickest form of energy it can convert is Sugar (Glucose)

The problem arises when we feed the body Sugar.

Refined Sugars found in white flours, white rice, white sugar, and the majority of pastas, breakfast cereals, sweets, Milk/White chocolate, Cakes etc take less time for the body to break them down, therefore leading to a quicker insulin response all around. This may sound good, but in the long run, quick spikes in insulin and glucose can damage your metabolism and lead to insulin resistance and more cravings.

The more refined a food is, the more it’s been stripped of this natural, information-rich fibers, fats, proteins, vitamins, and antioxidants.

At Bootcamp we call this the Biscuit theory. Eat 1 biscuit and put the packet away, NO CHANCE! You will end up craving more Biscuits, i guarantee it!

Now if you can eat 1 Biscuit or a small amount of chocolate and be satisfied, you will not have to worry. However, working with clients for 5 years has shown us that’s extremely hard even with the best willpower in the world.

So how do we stop this happening?

First, we work with clients to remove as much refined sugars from their diets as possible.

We move clients towards more natural sources that do not create such quick spikes in Insulin.

Honey, Maple Syrup and Stevia can all be used as well as a small amount of dark chocolate.

We actually go as far as to providing a clean chocolate recipe to our clients that is made from cocoa powder, honey and coconut oil.

As a result of using more natural sugars, we see less spikes and controlled blood sugars and therefore sweet cravings reduce.

But is this all down to reducing refined sugars and replacing them with natural substitutes.

No.

A Balanced diet also helps in a big way to keep the body satisfied.

 

This is the biggest things we work on with clients.

If you can keep the body satisfied overall, your blood sugars will become more stable and therefore less cravings for refined sugars.

If you regularly suffer with Sugar cravings try initially focussing on the following

  • Make sure you are eating enough!

It still amazes me how little people eat on a day to day basis. SOme eat very little because diet culture has led them to believe they need to eat less to weight less (this causes huge problems!), some eat very littl due to hectic lives and food simply becomes less of a priority around other things.

  • Focus on Protein

How much Protein are you eating each day?

Proteins are your Meats, Fish, Quorn etc

Your 3 main meals each day should be based around a decent protein hit. Protein helps to keep you full and in turn helps balance your blood sugar levels. If you are generally hungry within 45-60 minutes of eating a main meal, try increasing the amount of protein you have on your plate, it will have a huge effect on keeping you satisfied.

  • Eat Less Refined Carbohydrates

Ditch the White Breads, Pasta, White Flours, Cakes, Sweets, Milk Chocolate, Crisps etc and replace with some cleaner carbohydrates.

Using Brown or Basmati Rice, Rice Noodles, Sweet Potato, New Potatoes and Wholemeal Wraps will be much better options and cause less sugar spikes and cravings.

  • Introduce some cleaner sweet treats

Its not always about avoiding sugar completely, its about reducing your intake and controlling your cravings.

With clients we introduce a once a day optional treat using natural sugars.

Greek Yoghurt mixed with some berries and drizzled with a little Honey
Our Cean Chocolate Recipe based around cocoa powder, coconut oil and Honey
Clean Hot Chocolate – Almond Milk mixed with cocoa powder and sweetened with Honey if needed

Using these treats you should once again see less cravings as they avoid refined sugars and also hit that sweet spot when you need to.

  • Eat Your 5 A Day!

Help keep yourself satisfied by including Fruit and Vegetables with your meals to go alongside your Protein.

This is another area we work hard on with clients to make sure they have healthy balanced recipes to choose from, and a lot of them!

  • Keep Hydrated

Another huge factor that most people overlook is the liquid they drink each day.

Drink 1-2 litres of water across the day and you will not only be more satisfied you will notice you feel brighter and more alert as our energy levels level out.

Just watch all those trips to the toilet :)

  • Monitor your Alcohol Intake

This is a ig one and also a hard one to cover with clients.

Generally most people consume too much alcohol and it has a huge impact on your daily balance.

There is nothing wrong with a drink here and there if you enjoy it however like sweet treats from refined sources, it needs to be regulated.

Alcohol increases cravings due to making you de-hydrated and also causing a hormonal inbalance.

One thing to be aware of is how you feel the following day, not just how you feel during a drink.

Most people make poor choices when it comes to food when thy have a drink or 2 (or more) and this then has an impact on the next day and sometime upto 2-3 days after depending on the amount consumed.

Have a drink by all means but if you cant regulate it, IT WILL BE HAVING AN EFFECT ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY.

 

If you work on all of the above i guarantee you will see a huge difference in your sweet cravings reducing.

However, is it all down to your food and drink?

All of the following things below can have a dramatic effect on your Blood Sugars and create sweet cravings

Stress. Any stressful situation can lead to less than optimal eating habits. Stress itself increases cortisol levels, which initially dampen hunger. Once the stress has abated, our hormones of hunger ramp up — “Refuel!” the body cries. This can lead many women with stressful jobs and lifestyles to a pattern of nighttime cravings, over-eating, and unwanted weight gain. Over time, chronic stress can lead to adrenal imbalance, eventually resulting in extreme exhaustion. So many women I see have reached a state of adrenal imbalance, and find the only way to get through the day is by drinking lots of caffeine and consuming sugar for quick energy bursts. But this only sets them up for further cravings and more energy depletion.

Hormonal fluctuations. Just before menstruation, when estrogen is low and progesterone is on its way down, beta-endorphin levels are at their lowest. These fluctuations may explain why many women who experience PMS also have cravings — and the accompanying serotonin–endorphin bursts that high-sugar foods can provide.

Insulin resistance. When you are resistant to insulin (Type 2 Diabetes, which can happen as a result of a long-term diet high in refined carbohydrates and low in micronutrients), glucose is not able to enter your cells and ends up staying in your blood as a result. This means your cells are starved for the fuel they need to operate, and signals are therefore sent to your brain to increase insulin. This results in cravings for sugar because even though you may be eating enough, your cells aren’t able to access the food.

Food sensitivities. Food sensitivities are often the result of a situation known as “leaky gut,” where partially digested food particles can make their way into the bloodstream through a damaged, inflamed mucosal lining in the digestive tract. The body regards these food particles as foreign antigens and mounts an immune response by sending antibodies. Combined antibodies and antigens in your bloodstream, known as immune complexes, can lead to intense cravings.

A lack of sweetness in your life. Many things in life can affect our serotonin and beta-endorphin levels — exercise, balanced nutrition, rewarding work, a positive relationship, even a sunny day. The joy we find in our lives speaks to our biochemistry. So when we are lacking positive energy and happiness, it’s not surprising that we seek to fill that void with sugar.

 

So, hopefully this blog post has given you something to think about when it comes to Sugar and sweet cravings?

Start working on all of the things mentioned and things will improve ina  big way for you and your weight loss journey will become easier.

Remember, change is hard but so worth it once you put the work in.

If you need any help please give me a shout at rossyoungfitness@gmail.com

Take care

 

Ross

 

Are diet fizzy drinks healthy?

Are diet fizzy drinks healthy?

A question asked by a client that has recently joined us at Bootcamp.

The client in question has tried many diets in the past and has always been confused around diet fizzy drinks stating that changing to them means they are talking the healthier option.

Now, this is not really a simple case of a straight forward answer.

Are they healthy?

It depends on your version of healthy!?

They provide very little nutritional value

They do however contain very much less sugar than there full sugar counterparts.

The majority of diets out there are purely run on dropping your calories.

For those that are not aware, in order to lose weight you need to be in a calorific deficit each day.

If you are eating more calories than you are burning, you will not lose weight, its that simple.

Now at LYB we do not track calories however our guidelines stick to whole foods to restrict the chances of over eating as the foods are more calorie dense and therefore you can generally eat more wholefoods than junk in terms of calories.

However, we also look at the nutrients you are putting in and also the structure of your foods across the day.

So, back to the point of this post

If you are someone that has dieted before and have swapped your fizzy drinks to the diet versions you are lowering your intake of calories and sugars from drinks and this of course is a good thing for your weight loss as long as you are not over eating and piling those calories back on through poor choices of foods.

Lowering the sugars will in turn be a good thing in avoiding things like diabetes once again as long as you are not increasing your sugars elsewhere.

This is where your overall structure comes in

Lets take a regular can of coke (330ml), that contains 139 calories per can so if you are drinking 4 of these a day that’s a whopping 556 Calories just from those drinks.

Change the can of coke to a diet can (330ml) and you have 1 calorie per can and if you drank 4 of these a day you would be saving 552 Calories.

So, that’s a positive thing right?

Yes, if your diet is just looking at calories.

However, as i have explained above, we go deeper than that because our experience of working with clients needs us to go deeper than that.

A regular can of coke (330ml) contains 35g of sugar which equates to 6 teaspoons of sugar.

Sugar is a carbohydrate and if not used as energy will turn to fat.

4 Cans of coke each day equates to 24g of Sugar!!!!!!

Now, once again, compare that to its diet variety

A regular can of diet coke (330ml) contains 0g of sugar, thats right 0g of sugar

So once again based on calories and sugars, the diet coke is the better choice.

Now, diet drinks may contain less sugar but they also contain artificial sweeteners.

One of these artificial sweeteners has had a lot of bad press over the last couple of years

Aspartame

Now, being honest and looking at the research they are actually still yet to prove that it is actually bad for you

Yep, you heard me right, there is no official reports saying it is bad for you, it has been given so much bad press that people now avoid it.

Now my view on this as any one who has worked with me knows is that avoiding this is a good thing.

Here is why

I am an honest believer in the research i have done with clients over the last 5 years that fizzy drinks hinder weight loss

Not because of their consumption as such and their ingredients, its mainly a reaction that happens when people drink them

Here is what we find

People who drink cans of fizzy drink across the day generally drink less water

People who drink cans of fizzy drinks across the day generally suffer with higher sugar cravings, this is usually down to poor structure across the day with food and water

People who tend to drink fizzy drinks across the day and evening tend to stay up later and dont sleep aswell. Is this down to the drink itself, possibly but it would be hard to actually blame it on the drink.

All of the above are findings from working with clients

Most calorie based diets out there allow diet fizzy drinks to be free on their plans.

This is the bit i think people generally struggle with

Because they are told they can drink as many as they like because they are free, they drink less water, are generally more dehydrated and have more cravings across the day due to the combined dehydration from a lack of water and poor food structure.

We work with all clients to generally avoid these drinks and replace them with water and also work on the structure of their diets.

In turn people feel more energized, feel fuller, have less cravings and sleep better.

So in summary, are fizzy drinks unhealthy, well it all depends on the structure of your diet.

To classify one thing as the cause to you putting weight on is wrong, diet fizzy drinks can help people stay on track and be used as a low calorie treat or help in a social situation when choosing not to drink alcohol and not be barraged with 100 questions however, for most, that’s the problem, they dont limit how much they have and it reduces water intake and food structure.

One thing is for certain from a sugar point of view, if you are someone who is consuming a high volume of fizzy drinks you will be far better off swapping to the diet variety to save a shed load of calories and run less risk of high sugar related illnesses moving forward.

Have a think as to how many fizzy drinks you have a day?

If you are having fizzy drinks are you still drinking a decent amount of water each day?

Are you drinking fizzy drinks and suffering with sweet cravings?

As usual, i would love to hear your thoughts.

 

 

Ross

Quality Of Food

Have you ever heard the term

“You are what you eat”

Well, I have to say its such a true statement

One thing I am seeing regularly when starting to work with people is the real lack of education when it comes to foods

A lot of this is coming from the really poor advice diet culture has been giving them over the years and also the crap people regularly read and hear in the media

When was the last time you dieted and actually thought about the quality of food you are eating?

Seriously, just think about that for a second

Actually seriously thought about the foods you are consuming and whether they are going to benefit you nutritionally?

When I use to follow Weight Watchers they ran a points system

I could eat 27 points a day if I remember correctly (this may not be exact)

A 2 finger kit kat was 2 points so technically I could eat 13 x 2 finger kit kats across the day and hit my points total and lose weight

I also never use to eat,  would go days eating very little and just grazing and then binge on the weekends!

So where would my nutrients be coming from!?

Now ok, im not saying weight watchers were telling me to eat 13 Kit Kats a day, that was my choice but that’s how I understood the guidelines

As long as I was hitting my daily points I would lose weight

Then I stopped losing weight and got very frustrated!

This is the major floor in most diets

Most people don’t follow the guidelines 100%

They squeeze all the naughti’es into their diet that made them gain weight in the first place and end up very unhappy when they don’t get the results.

What im also finding is that people are fighting hunger in a big way every day

This again comes down to quality of food

Chocolate Bars, Crisps, Biscuits, Cakes, Sweets are never going to fill you up and breaking the habit of eating these things daily is key to you winning long term.

You have to understand why these things don’t fill you up

In fact, these things will actually make you hungrier in the long run due to the effect they have on blood sugars

So, how do you address this?

Education

There is no 2 ways about it

You have to start taking responsibility for the foods and drink you are putting in your body and learn about the reactions food have in your body

This is where coaching comes in and it’s a big part of what we do at Live Young Bootcamp

We educate clients on why we want them to follow a certain structure and certain foods and also the reason for eliminating certain foods from the diet.

Is it just a case of asking people to avoid all of the bad things

NO

Its not that easy

However, there are certain things you can introduce that will have a dramatic effect on how your body feels on a daily basis

 

Structure

Structure is a big part of getting on top of your diet and breaking bad habits

It all starts with your first meal of the day

Protein (Meats, Fish, Eggs, Quorn, Whey Protein Powder) is a filler in your diet and helps maintain insulin levels so you don’t get any blood sugar spikes (the main cause for sugar cravings).

It simply keeps you full so its important to involve it in every main meal and extremely important to involve it in your breakfast.

This is the biggest mistake we see clients making on a daily basis.

Most people choose a carb based breakfast of cereals or toast which lacks in protein and they end up hungry again within an hour.

Planning how you are going to eat each day also plays a huge part in breaking habits.

Too many people go into each day unprepared and not knowing what they are going to eat and when and end up grabbing food on the run. The foods that you are going to end up grabbing are going to be of poor structure and poor quality and will almost certainly have raised sugar and salt levels leading to cravings later.

Plan your meals each day and how often you will eat.

My suggestion is 5-6 times a day ( 3 Main Meals and 2-3 snacks) eating every 3-4 hours.

Just by increasing the protein levels in your main meals and eating more regularly you will notice you will be fuller and have less cravings for junk.

Now, the important part.

Your nutrients

Basing your meals around a decent hit of protein leaves you with just a big old serving of Meat/Fish/Quorn/Eggs etc, so what do you put with it.

This is where your Fruit and Veg come in.

Packed with nutrients and a big part of a healthy balanced diet.

So make sure you are getting a minimum of 4-5 Veg across the day.

Fruit needs to be limited each day and we take clients back to just the berry family due to the increased anti oxidants they have in them (Strawberries, Blackberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Kiwi’s and Grapes)

A couple of servings of these fruit each day on top of your 4-5 Veg will give you a huge boost nutrients and help keep you full.

The last part of your main meals is Carbohydrates which I will explain in a separate blog post as this is a subject in itself.

 

Summary

Start looking at how your days worth of food compares to what I have talked about above.

Is it way off?

Are you relying on junk to get through the day everyday?

Are you getting enough Protein and Vegetables each day?

Are you spending everyday fighting hunger and generally unhappy with your diet?

Are you actually following your diet clubs guidelines or are you bending the rules slightly to fit in those extra foods you want?

 

One thing is for certain, once you sort out your structure you will not only be eating better quality foods, have a better structure across each day, be fuller for longer, lose those sugar cravings and will also start to lose lbs and inches from your body.

 

If you need any help please feel free to join our Free Female Fat Loss Group On Facebook via the link below

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1509467029374330/

If you would like to contact me you can do so via the email address below

ross@liveyoungbootcamp.co.uk

 

Thanks for reading

 

Ross
Live Young Bootcamp