Simple Weight Loss

I put together this easy to follow infographic of how to eat for simple weight loss.

Eating for weight loss is often overcomplicated way more than it should be. In fact it doesn’t have to be complicated at all! Nail the basics, the important things in your diet first. And then if you want to, you can get picky about working on the smaller details!

Take a look:

simple weight loss

Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables fill you up using very few calories! They’re full of fibre, vitamins & minerals.

Opt for things like lettuce, rocket, tomato, onions, cucumber, celery, asparagus, kale, spinach, aubergine, mushroom, bell pepper, cabbage, broccoli.

Protein

Protein is important for muscle maintenance, growth, and repair. Plus it also fills you up, and your body burns calories through digesting it.

Preferably have lean sources of poultry, meat, fish, and dairy.

Flavour your Food

This is crucial! Bland food sucks!

Add herbs, seasonings, and spices, or low-calorie sauces.

Things like garlic, salt, pepper, soya sauce, mustard sugar-free ketchup, paprika, salsa, peri peri, basil, mint, chilli powder, oregano, etc.

Everything Else

After mostly filling up on vegetables and protein, you include whatever carbs and fats you still have room for.

Bread, rice, pasta, potato, grains, fruit, butter, nuts, oils.

Or even a little dessert, like ice cream, cake, chocolate, etc!

Something Calorie-Free to Drink

Save your calories for eating, not drinking!

Opt for things either calorie-free, or at least low in calories.

Water (still or sparkling), tea / coffee (black or with a little skimmed milk, with sweetener notsugar), squash (not juice), diet soft drinks (Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Pepsi Max etc. (not regular Coke).

I wore a Waist Trainer for a month. Here’s what happened

I wore a waist trainer for a month.  Here’s what happened

I’m not particularly proud of it, but it’s true: I wore a waist trainer.  For a whole month.

I’m always learning, so I’m often experimenting, trying and testing out different things that are fitness related.  The whole concept of waist trainers had me curious, so I figured “hey, what have I got to lose?”

What is a waist trainer?

For those who don’t know, when I say “waist trainer”, I am referring to what can only be described as a modern-day less-extreme version of a corset!  (Yes, I know I am only damaging my reputation even more here by telling you that I was basically wearing a corset!)

waist trainer

Essentially a waist trainer is a tightly worn belt that compresses your midsection, and it is to be worn for long durations of time daily, over periods of months or longer. I wore a waist trainer for most of the day for one month.  Albeit a shorter time period, I figured it was enough time to notice any changes that might occur.  Note, that I did not wear it whilst working out.

I am NOT referring to one of those compression belts made from neoprene.  Those are in my opinion a complete waste of time.  All they do is make you sweat from your abdominal area. They do not make you burn fat from your belly.  The only way to burn fat is by creating a calorie deficit, through diet and exercise. And even then, you can’t pick and choose the areas you lose fat from!

However, I must say that waist trainers (and corsets too), also do not make you lose belly fat.  You’ll need to be eating in a calorie deficit and exercising consistently to lose fat!

What are waist trainers meant to do?

Waist trainers are theoretically meant to make your waist “narrower”.  Obviously, they are unlikely to make your waist narrower from a front view.  You cannot change the size of your pelvis – this is determined by bone structure.  Though there is the possibility of waist trainers “atrophying” (making smaller) your oblique muscles (the core muscles that run down the outer sides of your midsection).  If this were to occur, then yes, to a degree, it could make your waist appear narrower from a front view.

More likely though, waist trainers are meant to force you to keep your stomach “sucked in”.  Thus, making your waist appear smaller from a side view, overcoming any stomach distention.  Basically, this means they are meant to encourage you to tense the Transversus Abdominis muscles – the abs muscles used to perform a stomach vacuum – read more about that in my posts HERE:

What did I do?

As mentioned, I wore a waist trainer every day for a month, wearing it for the most part of each day. I made sure to wear it tightly too, to ensure effectiveness (if it were to actually do anything, of course!)

I didn’t wear it while working out, because I found it restrictive to move in or to breath as deeply as necessary to perform hard exercise.  Also, when performing exercise, I need my core muscles to be fully engaged.  I was wary that the waist trainer might make it more difficult to fully engage my core muscles.  This is because it would act similarly to a tight lifting belt, and take away the need for my core muscles to tense as hard as they normally would whilst exercising.

waist trainer

What happened?

Nothing happened, to be honest!  I got fed up of wearing it, because it wasn’t very comfortable.  Though out of stubbornness, I did continue to wear it each day for a month.

But no, my waist size remained the same.  I didn’t see any changes in how far I could perform a stomach vacuum either (i.e. how far I could suck my gut in).  In fact, if anything, I think my core muscles (including my Transversus Abdominis muscles) got weaker, so making it harder to do stomach vacuums to suck my gut in. This is probably because those core muscles got “lazy”.  I guess that after a while, they got used to being supported by the waist trainer.  I’ve seen the same thing happen with people who unnecessarily wear a lifting belt all the time whilst exercising.

The take home message

Save your time and money. Don’t bother with waist trainers. No, they don’t encourage you to burn body fat anyway.  The only way to burn fat is by creating a calorie deficit through diet and exercise. And even then, you can’t pick and choose the areas you lose fat from!  

Extra sweating from your midsection isn’t very helpful either.  This also doesn’t encourage fat loss!

You may possibly (though I think unlikely) be able to make your waist “smaller”.  But I think for that, you’d have to wear an actual corset. It would have to be VERY tight fitting, which would be VERY uncomfortable.  And I imagine that you’d have to wear it for the most part of each day, probably over a period of years!  In my opinion, this is definitely NOT worth it!

If you want to make your waist “smaller”, then continue to diet and exercise to bring your body fat down. And, also perform resistance training to make your shoulders and lats “bigger”, giving you a nice “V-taper” and creating the illusion of a smaller waist!

I talk more about training for bigger shoulders in my post HERE:

I talk more about training for wider lats HERE:

To find out more about my Online Coaching Services, please click the link HERE!

“Metabolic Damage”

Last post I spoke about “starvation mode”.  If you missed it, you can read it HERE

Basically, I spoke about how “starvation mode” (at least the version most of us know it as) is a myth.

In this post I want to talk about a fairly similar topic: “metabolic damage”.

You may have heard this term thrown around lately, as it seems to be the latest fad within fitness circles.

What is metabolic damage?

So, the theory goes something like this…

You follow a calorie-controlled diet for a prolonged period of time.  You workout regularly and consistently (particularly doing a lot of cardio, too). Over the weeks and months you manage to drop body fat and maintain or even build muscle mass too.  But what happens next?

It appears that all of that dieting and training negatively impacted your basal metabolic rate (slowed your metabolism).  Your body starts burning less calories than it should. And this ultimately brings your fat loss to a halt.  It has “damaged” your metabolism, i.e. “metabolic damage”.  Now the only way to fix it is by following a super complicated far-out bunch of witchcraft type diet techniques.

Not true.

Is metabolic damage real?

No, metabolic damage is not real.  End of article.  Just kidding! Keep reading.

As discussed in my post on “starvation mode”, when you are in a prolonged calorie deficit, it is true that processes do take place in the body to prevent further weight loss.  But it won’t “stop” you from losing fat.  And there are some external factors at play too when dieting.

So, it is true that:

 – You naturally tend to feel more tired and move less – i.e. NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) levels decrease (fidgeting, pacing, walking, etc).

– Also, it is true that your metabolism begins to slow down after consistent dieting (this is adaptive thermogenesis), meaning your body will burn less calories while at rest.

What may be classed as external factors, are:

– TEF (thermic effect of food) levels decrease, probably because you’ll be eating less food due to dieting.  So, your body will burn less calories through the process of digestion.

– You will burn less calories during exercise, because your body adapts to become more efficient at carrying out exercise while saving energy.  Plus, it may very well be that you are not training as hard as you think you are, if energy levels are declining from dieting.

But no, your body does not enter a “mode” where it refuses to drop body fat!  Nor does your metabolism get damaged.

The Minnesota Experiment

I want to refresh your memories from my last post on “starvation mode” POST,and again mention the Minnesota Experiment.

You can read more details about this in my previous post. To summarise, an experiment was conducted on starvation.  The participants were genuinely starved (extremely low calories) and forced to perform hard physical activity every day for six months.  The findings of this dangerous study were that the participants lost 25% of their bodyweight on average.  And, despite being starved and worked to exhaustion, the participants’ only saw a fairly small reduction in their basal metabolic rate (metabolism).  Furthermore, this decrease in their basal metabolic rate was significantly remedied after twelve weeks of following a normal diet again.

The take home message: their bodies did not suffer metabolic damage.  They continued to lose weight over the duration of the experiment.  And their metabolisms pretty much returned to normal afterwards.  If this is what happened to these guys after six months of torturous conditions, do you really think it will be different for you? In comparison, your diet of a slight calorie deficit , with workouts a few times a week is a breeze!

And another metabolic damage study

Still not convinced?  OK, here’s another paper.  They concluded that “the theory of permanent, diet-induced metabolic slowing in non-obese individuals is not supported by the current literature”.

The rate of weight loss did slow down, but it never came to a stop.  And participants continued to lose weight for the duration of the study.

Zinchenko, Anastasia & Henselmans, Menno. (2016). Metabolic Damage: do Negative Metabolic Adaptations During Underfeeding Persist After Refeeding in Non-Obese Populations?. Medical Research Archives. 4. 10.18103/mra.v4i8.908.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/312308214_Metabolic_Damage_do_Negative_Metabolic_Adaptations_During_Underfeeding_Persist_After_Refeeding_in_Non-Obese_Populations

Then why does it seem that fat loss stalls after prolonged dieting?

This question is actually very simple to answer.

  1. Fat loss tends NOT to be linear, especially after dieting for a little while.  This means that after a few weeks into a calorie-controlled diet, you may very well not see a pattern of regular fat loss each week.  You might lose 1lb one week, 2lbs the next week, no change for the next two weeks, and then 1lb the week after.  It’s not always linear!  You may think that your body is not dropping fat anymore, when in fact it still is. The process just may have become slower.
  • You may be gaining muscle mass whilst dropping body fat.  This is especially possible for those new to resistance training.  If you lose a lb of fat but gain a lb of muscle, then your body weight will not have changed.
  • You may be retaining water.  This can happen depending on:
  1. hydration levels,
  2. the time of day you weigh yourself,
  3. your stress (cortisol) levels,
  4. your menstrual cycle if you are female,
  5. or even due to how much food you have still in your digestive system.
  • The most likely solution – you are eating too much.  Even when you have the best of intentions in sticking to your diet, adherence becomes harder and harder over time.  Portion sizes slowly begin to creep up, whether you know it or not. The best fix for this is to weigh and log all of your food and drink.

OK, metabolic damage doesn’t exist.  But what should I do after I finish dieting so to prevent regaining fat?

The answer to this question is really simple: reverse dieting.  I talk more about reverse dieting in this post HERE from when I used reverse dieting myself after dieting.  To sum it up, it is exactly as the name implies.  It is the process of gradually increasing calories and / or decreasing exercise levels over a time period to give your metabolism time to adjust back to normal, without piling on body fat.

I hope you found this post useful.  Yes, your metabolism will slow down a little from dieting.  But you now know that metabolic damage simply just doesn’t exist, so is one less thing to worry about.

“Starvation Mode”

It is quite likely that you have come across the term “starvation mode” before.

If you are dieting and exercising, but you are not seeing progress, then a common self-diagnosis is that your body has gone into “starvation mode”.  In this post I am going to reassure you that this is simply not the case!  Read on!

Here’s a common scenario

You were trying to lose weight, so you decreased your calorie intake and stayed disciplined to your workout routine.  You were happy to see your bodyweight readings going down, and your physical appearance was beginning to look slimmer and leaner.  Then all of a sudden, for no apparent reason, all progress appeared to stop!

You didn’t cheat on your diet.  You didn’t skip any workouts.

So, you do what most of us do when we have a problem.  You search online.  You talk to your friends.

And you soon come to the conclusion that you are not losing weight because your body has gone into “starvation mode”.

Starvation Mode

What is “starvation mode”?

“Starvation mode” is the term used to describe the theory stating that when your body feels it is being deprived of food, a survival mechanism is triggered where the body will stop you from losing body fat.  So, the theory concludes that if you have been dieting and then all of a sudden, your weight loss stalls, it is because your body “thinks” it is being starved.

Sound legit?  Keep reading!

Is “starvation mode” real?

The short answer here, is yes, but not to the extent you might think.  Yes, it is true that processes do take place in the body to prevent further weight loss, following a prolonged restricted calorie intake. Though it won’t “stop” you from losing fat.  And there are some external factors at play too when dieting.

– You naturally tend to feel more tired and move less – i.e. NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) levels decrease (fidgeting, pacing, walking, etc).

– Also, it is true that your metabolism begins to slow down after consistent dieting (this is adaptive thermogenesis), meaning your body will burn less calories while at rest.

What may be classed as external factors, are:

– TEF (thermic effect of food) levels decrease, probably because you’ll be eating less food when dieting, so your body will burn less calories through the process of digestion.

– You will burn less calories during exercise, because your body adapts to become more efficient at carrying out exercise while saving energy.  Plus, it may very well be that you are not training as hard as you think you are, if energy levels are declining through dieting.

But no, your body does not enter a “mode” where it refuses to drop body fat!

So, when dieting, you will feel more tired and less prone to move and burn energy spontaneously and unnecessarily (e.g. fidgeting).  And your metabolism will begin to slow, but this will not stop you from continuing to lose body fat.

An extreme example here, but have you ever seen someone suffering from anorexia?  They still continue to drop body fat despite literally starving themselves, right?!

The Minnesota Experiment

The Minnesota Experiment is worth mentioning, just to emphasise my point.  So, let’s go back in history a little.

Towards the end of the Second World War in 1944, an experiment was carried out to see the best way to assist starving people to return to a healthy body weight.

36 soldiers participated in the experiment, in which for six months they were put through conditions meant to replicate a prisoner of war (POW) camp.  These men were made to do hours of manual labour each day.  Plus, they had to march for many miles, and were only given a diet of half the calories of their average daily calorie output. They were quite literally starved.

At the end of the six months, the men had lost on average 25% of their bodyweight.  Their metabolisms (basal metabolic rate) were estimated to be only 20% lower than they had been previously (not a great deal considering the circumstances!).

The men were put on a “recovery diet” over the twelve weeks afterwards, at which point their metabolisms were recalculated to be only 10% lower than normal.  Which isn’t such a great deal at all!

So, my point here?  If these guys were to be put under the most extreme circumstances of actual starvation, and yet:

  1. They were continuing to drop body fat
  2. Their metabolisms didn’t even slow down by a great deal, and their metabolisms recovered fairly quickly afterwards too…

…then it is safe to say that the average person following a conservative diet and exercise program has nothing to worry about!

Starvation Mode

Then why does it seem that fat loss stalls after prolonged dieting?

This question is actually very simple to answer.

  • Fat loss tends NOT to be linear, especially after dieting for a little while.  This means that after a few weeks into a calorie-controlled diet, you may very well not see a pattern of regular fat loss each week.  You might lose 1lb one week, 2lbs the next week, no change for the next two weeks, and then 1lb the week after.  It’s not always linear!  You may think that your body is not dropping fat anymore, when in fact it still is. The process just may have become slower.
  • You may be gaining muscle mass whilst dropping body fat.  This is especially possible for those new to resistance training.  If you lose a lb of fat but gain a lb of muscle, then your body weight will not have changed.
  • You may be retaining water.  This can happen depending on:
  1. hydration levels,
  2. the time of day you weigh yourself,
  3. your stress (cortisol) levels,
  4. your menstrual cycle if you are female,
  5. or even due to how much food you have still in your digestive system.
  • The most likely solution – you are eating too much.  Even when you have the best of intentions in sticking to your diet, adherence becomes harder and harder over time.  Portion sizes slowly begin to creep up, whether you know it or not. The best fix for this is to weigh and log all of your food and drink.

If you think that it is “starvation mode” that has brought your fat loss to a stop, then think again. I am almost 99% sure that “starvation mode” is not the reason!

Is it worth taking Caffeine?

Caffeine is found in almost all pre-workout supplements.  It is found in energy drinks (like Red Bull, Monster, etc), as well as in coffee.  It is also present in various other things we often don’t suspect, like chocolate, soft drinks, and even cold and flu capsules.

For the moment, lets ignore inadvertent consumption of caffeine.  I’m going to focus on those who intentionally take caffeine with the purpose of seeking an energy boost.  Considering how many coffee drinkers there are in the world, caffeine is one of the most commonly used “drugs” globally!  So many of us feel like we can’t even function before having that morning coffee!

But what’s really the deal with caffeine?  And how can it effect performance?

caffeine

Mental and Physical Performance

Let’s cut the chase: caffeine “works”!  It’s true. The “energy boost” experienced by those who take caffeine is not imaginary or placebo.  Caffeine actually does aid physical and mental performance. Caffeine has a positive effect on both muscle cells and brain cells.  It can provide better focus, as well as better exercise performance.

Fat Loss

And there’s more!  Caffeine can also aid fat burning too!

Caffeine increases the production of heat and epinephrine (adrenaline), which helps burn more fat during exercise.

caffeine

When to Take Caffeine

Caffeine is absorbed into the blood stream quite quickly.  Following an intake of caffeine, levels in the blood stream seem to peak after about 60 – 90 minutes.  So, it makes sense to take caffeine approximately this time frame out from a workout, event, race etc.

How Much to Take

Recommendations are in the range of 3 – 6mg per kg of bodyweight to improve performance. So, a person weighing 80kg would take anywhere from 240mg to 480mg.

For your information, one 500ml can of Monster contains 169.05mg of caffeine.  Or one cup of regular strength coffee has about 95mg of caffeine.  A pre-workout supplement usually has about 400mg.

caffeine

Considerations

There are a few points to consider when it comes to caffeine use.

Firstly, note that caffeine has a half-life of 4 – 6 hours.  In other words, after 4 – 6 hours, half of it will still be in your blood stream.  It is for this reason that you don’t want to be taking caffeine too late in the day, otherwise you will struggle to sleep.

Another point to note, is that your body develops a tolerance to caffeine if you use it regularly.  So, if you already regularly consume lots of coffee, or even chocolate, soft drinks, or other caffeine containing products, you may need to take higher caffeine doses to see any benefit.  For this reason, it would make sense to keep caffeine use low / infrequent, to save it for when it is really needed.

Furthermore, it is debatable, but caffeine does appear to be addictive.  This is another reason not to take caffeine too frequently, or to use it in unnecessary circumstances.  Save it for events / hard workouts only.

Also to consider, are some of the side effects caffeine can have.  Some of these include, trembling, jitteriness, anxiety, and rapid heart rate.  So, don’t go overboard on your caffeine usage.

caffeine

Are Pre Workout Supplements Worth it?

This isn’t such a black and white question.  As mentioned previously, pre-workout supplements usually contain about 400mg of caffeine.  Compare this to a 500ml can of an energy drink, which contains about 169.05mg.  Or one cup of regular strength coffee has about 95mg of caffeine.

Pre-workout supplements usually do come with a higher price tag.  But, considering that they can provide a simpler means of getting an adequate intake of caffeine to aid performance (you’d need to drink several cups of coffee, or probably two or more 500ml cans of energy drink to get a comparable caffeine intake), they might be worth it.

caffeine

Conclusion

Caffeine is one of the limited supplements available that are proven to deliver performance enhancing results.  Caffeine can improve physical and mental performance, as well as enhance fat loss.

If you choose to use caffeine, take it an hour or so before hard physical activity.

But to avoid building a higher tolerance to it, and to avoid addiction, don’t use caffeine too regularly.

Be wary of the other possible side effects of too much caffeine.

And how you obtain your required caffeine intake to aid performance is up to you. Pre-workout supplements are the simpler yet pricier option.  Otherwise you could opt for coffee or energy drinks.

caffeine

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7775331

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2333832

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1616022

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16018347

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7775331

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15672985

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10049999

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10906543

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10049999

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9729561

Feta Cheese Chicken Breast

These taste great! Chicken Breast sliced length ways with Gherkin and Feta Cheese in the middle! Cook for about an hour. Season with paprika, parsley, sugar-free ketchup, and mustard…or your own choice of herbs and spices!

Serves 2 people.

Just a quick video here! I had these with mixed vegetables on the side, and lentils. But you could have them with rice or couscous or whatever else you fancied!

Also note that I opted for reduced-fat Feta Cheese to lower the calorie content. The condiments and herbs and spices I used were super low calorie too!

Nutritional Info

Per Feta Cheese Chicken Breast:
Calories = 214 cals
Protein = 30g
Carbs = 6g
Fats = 8g

Traps Training

Big traps are cool! In fact I’d say having big traps is freakin awesome! Abs are obviously cool too. But the problem is that unless you walk around all day without a shirt on, nobody will even know you have that coveted six pack!

But a big pair of traps on the other hand, are noticeable with or without a shirt on! Even while wearing a long sleeve shirt! I don’t think any other body part can get the same admiration and attention even while covered up!

Trapezius

By “traps”, I am of course referring to the trapezius muscle, that is visible on top of the shoulders, tying in the shoulders to the neck. In my opinion it gives the impression of a powerful strong physique!

traps

How to train your traps

The traps are hit INDIRECTLY through exercises like deadlifts and rows. And to an extent presses, pull ups, and pull downs. They are also used in back squats.

But to isolate and hit the traps DIRECTLY, this is best done through shrugging movements.

Monkey Shrugs

My favourite direct traps isolation exercise right now is “Monkey Shrugs”. This is demonstrated in the video at the top of the page. I find these are done best using dumbbells, where you shrug hard and hold the squeeze at the top, while simultaneous bending the elbows and raising the upper arms upwards. You will have to use a lighter weight than you would for standard dumbbell shrugs. But I find the contraction and trapezius activation from this exercise to be superior to anything else!

Cryotherapy – I was doing it first!

Cryotherapy – I was doing it first! 

I remember back when I used to play ice hockey, one of my coaches once told me of the benefits of having a cold bath.  He said it would aid muscle soreness and help the body recover after a hard week of training. He said it would help me to recover in time for games (which normally took place on the weekend).

My coach recommended 10-20 minutes or so with mainly the legs (the most used body part used in ice hockey) submerged in a bath filled with cold water.  And he suggested doing this the morning of game day.  So I did.

My Weekend Cold Bath Routine

Almost every Saturday and Sunday for nearly 2 years, I would fill the bath tub up to about chest level with water on the lowest temperature setting out the tap.  It would take me about 5 painful minutes to gradually get into the bath, with my breathing thrashing and my heart rate pumping like I’d been running hill sprints.  Once finally in the bath, I would start my timer and would stay in there for 15 even more painful minutes.  Often, I would listen to music to help pass the time, but it didn’t help much.  15 minutes doesn’t sound like long, but it felt like days!  Once the timer finally beeped, I would jump out of the bath and it would feel like my skin was burning as the regular room temperature hit me!  It was awful.  So why did I carry on doing this each weekend, despite how much I hated it?  Simple – it worked!

Cryotherapy

It worked for me

I must admit that it worked! No matter how sore or tired my muscles were before I got into that Godforsaken cold bath, I always felt the soreness gone afterwards.  Which is why I continued to do it!

Fast forward years later to present day, where it is now common practice for athletes from a variety of sports to be using similar recovery practices through cold water immersion / cryotherapy.  It is absolutely no surprise to me that this is the case!  I was doing it first lol.  And I saw first-hand the benefits of it!

Cryotherapy

Do I still do it?

I will happily admit that I have NOT used cold baths / cryotherapy since I stopped playing hockey, even though I am convinced of its recovery benefits.  I just really really really don’t like it, so I don’t do it!

Are there negatives of doing it?

Actually yes, it seems that you should avoid a cold bath right after training if your goal is muscle size/strength.  There is research to suggest that it slows muscle growth.

https://physoc.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1113/JP270570

Cryotherapy

Where’s the proof that it works?

If you know me well enough, you know that I like to back up my own experiences and opinions with scientific literature when possible.

First let’s look at why it works:

The reason seems to be that when exposing the body to cold temperatures, it releases norepinephrine (a hormone), which helps remove inflammation.

It appears that cold baths constrict blood vessels to “flush” lactic acid (a waste product that causes muscle soreness – DOMS).

Evidence:

There is some evidence that concluded that cold water immersion reducing DOMS (delayed muscle soreness), but it could not conclude that it improved recovery or reduced fatigue.

https://www.cochranelibrary.com/resolve/doi?DOI=10.1002/14651858.CD008262.pub2

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0062356

One review showed that 11 – 15 minutes of cold-water immersion should be sufficient to see the benefits of it.

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs40279-015-0431-7

Cryotherapy

Warm up again after!

I will close this post by stating the importance of making sure that you warm your body up again afterwards, and to give yourself enough time to do so.  I couldn’t imagine a worse feeling than trying to partake in hard exercise shortly after stepping out of a cold bath!

Kuku Sabzi – I’m learning to cook!

I am learning to cook! I am always preaching to people about making their food interesting and flavourful! Too many people think healthy food = boring food, which is just not true!

I am always on the hunt for new cooking ideas. So when a friend offered to show me how to cook an Iranian dish, I jumped on the opportunity!

No please keep in mind that I wasn’t taking notes or anything, but hopefully I’ve remembered everything correctly!

Kuku Sabzi?

The Iranian dish I learnt how to cook, is Kuku Sabzi.

kuku sabzi

Preparation / cooking time approximately 30 minutes. Serves 2 people.

Ingredients

2 bunches of Parsley

1 bunch of Dill

2 tbsp of Dried Barberries (Zereshk)

1 tbsp Olive Oil (or use Low-Calorie Cooking Spray)

6 Whole eggs (or use just Egg Whites)

Half a tsp Sweetener

Salt and Pepper

1 packet of Microwavable Basmati Rice (or replace this with Mixed Veg / Cauli-Rice)

Instructions

Finely chop the Parsley and Dill.

Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the 6 eggs.  Mix the ingredients together in the bowl thoroughly.  Set aside for the moment.

kuku sabzi

Rinse the dried Barberries thoroughly under cold water, and remove any stones / stems. Let dry.

Lightly grease a pan with Olive Oil, and add the Sweetener.  Add the Barberries and heat on low while stirring, for approximately 10 minutes until they soften.

kuku sabzi

Tansfer the Barberries into the mixing bowl with the other ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Grease a large pan with Olive Oil and pour the mixture from the bowl into the pan.

kuku sabzi

Cook the mixture until it is firm, flipping the mixture over so to cook both sides.

Season with Salt and Pepper and serve with Microwavable Basmati Rice.

Nutrition Stats

This meal may potentially be a little higher calorie for your liking. If so I’d suggest a light breakfast / lunch if you plan on making Kuku Sabzi! Otherwise, see the substitutions below to bring the calories down! But anyway, per serving as it is, the stats are:

Calories: 511
Protein: 22g
Carbs: 50g
Fats: 23g

Substitutions

To bring the calorie count down, you could:
– Replace the Olive Oil for Low-Calorie Cooking Spray
– Swap the Whole eggs for just Egg Whites
– Replace the Rice for Mixed Veg / Cauli-Rice.

No Gym? No Problem! Y HANDCUFFS

No Gym? No Problem! If you wanted to do a home workout, you are in luck!

I have created a series of videos showing exercises you can do with no equipment.

Sometime it’s not so easy to get to the gym. Or you might find yourself away, travelling, etc.

But the exercises I will be sharing in this video series fit into a home workout perfectly!

Y HANDCUFFS

home workout