Monday 27 April 2015

New PT Deal April/May '15

New for April/May 2015. Monthly PT payment plans & Out now! £120 PT deal. 

Tuesday 14 April 2015

Body fat loss super tips & risks of low-calorie eating

Body fat Loss Planning
Firstly, let's work on the assumption that the total amount of fat the body can burn off each day is restricted by a number of factors, including
1. The body's preferred source of energy - mainly glycogen and sugar!
2. The daily intake of calories. Food eaten
3. The body's daily usage of calories. Work done
"So don't eat and lose the weight, right?" WRONG!
In the absence of dietary carbohydrates and energy from other sources, the body does NOT simply go straight for the fat stores. A body that is used to eating regular carbs will be very good at using up all the body's available glycogen first, before going for the body fat! Hence low calorie diets have spectacular fast results for "slimmers". This is because glycogen is "water heavy" and as the body uses up the glycogen stored in the muscles and the liver, this "water weight" drops off. This is often referred to as "its mostly water you are losing". Well, they're nearly right. In reality, it is not only water, but muscle energy, muscle mass, and also a disastrous slowing down of the body's metabolic rate. Also, for good measure, when food is absent, the body takes about 24-48 hours to activate this slowing metabolism, a "fat storage" function that will gladly accept the next big meal straight onto the ribs and belly. It is not as easy to then get the metabolism back up, as the body will have lost some muscle along the way, the very machines/engines that boost the metabolism.
I've included some maths below which get a bit complicated, but conclude that with no physical exercise, but not eating more than 1800 to 2000 calories per day in healthy food and limited added fat and processed carbs/sugars, it is possible to burn off 1 pound of fat per week. 
If you do an hour's hi tempo cardio exercise, that's another 500 kcal burned off per day. So, its logical to assume you will burn more fat per day as a result. Well, it may well lose some weight, but again, if there is insufficient food coming in, the body will once again drain the glycogen. And, if you are trying to improve your physical fitness and performance, you need to feed the muscles after a workout, in order to promote maximum adaptation, repair and recovery. This is the confusing part for most people and leads to the question;
How much do I need to eat to keep my fitness improving, and also lose weight?
The answer is, eat the foods that make the digestive system work hard for the nutrients the body needs. This does not mean, actually eating less. In fact, eating the right foods in the right quantities can actually take some doing.
Certain foods will not be (easily) stored as fat. If you include a lean white protein, or egg, in each "meal" and boost the plate with hot or cold vegetables, nuts, seeds, berries and fruit, you should be full and have plenty of energy. Note that energy does not come from high carbs intake, but rather the amino acids and minerals found in proteins and the plants mentioned.
So, for example. What percentage of a meal is stored as fat, and why?
Foods that are whole in their form - fresh off the tree or plant - that need to be well chewed before swallowing - will digest slower, and release their energy slower - and at the rate the body is built to receive it. This natural delay prevents a rise in the hormone insulin which promotes fat storage. As long as the insulin gland, the pancreas, remains under-stimulated, this places an immediate limit on fat storage. Once this is achieved, the body then receives a steady and satisfying flow of energy from food, so it is not starved of energy, but it will be stimulated into burning a range of nutrients for energy, not just glycogen. 
In the absence of huge doses of carbs then (white starchy foods), the body will become more proficient at seizing the proteins and fats (in both food and in the body's stores) as energy which means, in turn, that the rate of fat usage - burning - per day, should increase.
So, in conclusion:
1. Burn off as many calories as physically possible each day
2. Try to progress your ability and fitness and performance as time passes: Faster. For longer. More often, Or all 3.
3. Stop all processed carbohydrate intake. Its unnatural, and unnecessary, even for a tough workout. Go for meat and veg, Meat and fruit, seeds and nuts.
3a. Eat smallish meals regularly through the day but never eat to feeling stuffed and "tired".
4. Eat lean white meat, fish and eggs in most meals and snacks.
5. Add vegetables, seeds, nuts, berries and fruit to each meal and snack
With these factors in place most of the time, you can expect to burn off between 2 and 4lbs a week, perform good workouts and feel satisfied when you eat. If this plan sounds excessively tough to complete, try doing it for a fortnight, then go back to relative normality for a few weeks, before attempting it again. The overall effect over a year should be significant progress.
I reckon you could lose 6lb in a 12-14 day period. More depending on the number and intensity of cardio sessions.
Any questions welcome.
The Maths
Approximate calories used by your body per day - 2000 kcal.
Assumed percentage of that energy from:
Glycogen/sugars - 80%
Fats - 20%
Therefore Daily calories from:
Glycogen/sugars - 1600 kcal
Fats - 400 kcal
Calories in 1lb of fat = 3000 kcal
Days required to burn 1lb body fat - 3000/400 = 7 days


Paul Richardson
PWR Personal Training
07855 121232

Monday 13 April 2015


cited from

What is Oxytocin?
Oxytocin is a powerful hormone. When we hug or kiss a loved one, oxytocin levels drive up. It also acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. In fact, the hormone plays a huge role inpair bonding. Prairie voles, one of nature's most monogamous species, produce oxytocin in spades. This hormone is also greatly stimulated during sex, birth, breast feeding—the list goes on.

Cortisol - stress hormone

If you're stressed you probably have high levels of cortisol. Here are some reasons why you might need to change your lifestyle to give your body a helping hand to deal with this stress hormone.

Negative effects of Cortisol

cited from

Cortisol is a hormone that is absolutely crucial for life. Without it we would not be able to survive. However, when we live in chronic strain, worry, and stress, the adrenal glands produce relatively high amounts of cortisol. The problem with cortisol is that our bodies are not meant to be exposed to these relatively high amounts for long periods of time. However, many people who have stress as an obstacle to cure are experiencing the negative effects of cortisol.
  1. High cortisol decreases immunity. Cortisol is a corticosteroid and like prednisone, cortisone, and beclomethasone, it inhibits the actions of white blood cells. Initially, this usually leads to increased susceptibility to infections. Eventually, this may actually lead to long stretches of time without colds because the immune system is so weakened.
  2. High cortisol increases abdominal fat deposition. For reasons still unknown, high levels of cortisol induce the body to lay down adipose tissue in the abdomen and upper back/neck. In fact, for those people affected it is next to impossible to lose abdominal fat without addressing stress.
  3. High cortisol breaks down muscle, bone, and connective tissue. Cortisol is a gluconeogenic hormone. Gluconeogenesis is a process that creates sugar from existing tissue. Cortisol promotes the breakdown of muscle, bone, and connective tissue in order to increase blood sugar for the brain.
  4. High cortisol inhibits thyroid hormone activation. The thyroid gland makes 2 major hormones; thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyroine (T3). It predominantly makes T4, which is actually an in-active hormone. T4 is carried in the bloodstream and eventually hits a receptor on or in a cell and becomes activate to T3. High cortisol inhibits this conversion and thus creates a form of hypothyroid.

"...our own biology—which was designed to insure our survival as hunters and gatherers—is sabotaging our bodies and minds in a sedentary digital age. What can we do to defuse this time-bomb?"
cited in the article here:

Thursday 2 April 2015

Trigger foods to curb cravings

Question from a male, 50 year old client, yesterday.
"How do I get rid of this fat around my ribs and under my armpits?"
David is a 50 year old man who is in great shape, works out 4 or 5 times a week, has strong legs and arms and good body fat levels. However, he has his target trouble spots like everyone else. Aside from the usual battle with the belly and belt line, David has found this area to the side of his chest to be a difficult spot to trim down. Most people will have a body part they are frustrated with. These are the gifts passed on to us from our ancestors, built into their DNA - "You will have fatty deposits around here, there, and down there."
My answer takes two simple topics into consideration. 1. Diet; and 2. Diet.

1. Diet - sacrifice
Those who show off their bodies in competition are the people who are best at controlling their diets. It would be wise to follow their example. Most of them will declare that they have to make sacrifices in order to force their bodies to shed more and more body fat, often more than their natural design allows. As such, their bodies contain less fat than their natural shape dictates. In other words, their bodies are looking to store fat where their bodies blueprint dictates it to go.
For the layman who thinks he is doing all the right things in the gym and in the kitchen, he or she must realise that an extra special effort is required if those final few pounds of fat are to melt away.
Ultimately, diet is the key and discipline is the door.

2. Diet - part 2 - Food as fun or food as fun-ction?
It is all well and good other people trying to convince us that fresh and healthy food is better tasting than processed slop but our taste buds are built to seek out salt, sugar, flavour and fat! Before we can make a decision we have eaten a round of toast, a plate of chips or a quick sandwich or two. Convenience food is just that, and it is marketed and placed perfectly for those weak moments.
Fine, eat processed food then. Give up trying. One cake can't hurt. Go on, just have one more....

Get organised and plan ahead. Write down a shopping list in your lunch break, and fill it with fresh fruit and crunchy vegetables, lean white meats and fish.

More to follow....

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