We’ve all heard this, but do we know why?
Your digestive system is most active in the morning, so this is the best time to take in a good bulk of your food to get your metabolism going for the rest of the day. You should look at breakfast like an energy slingshot into the rest of your day, setting you up for success on your next meals.
Cortisol is also naturally higher in the mornings (well its supposed to be anyway), which controls hunger and the desire for food. Going a long time before eating can elevate these levels to harmful amounts, leading to muscle wastage for energy and an increased likelihood of eating the wrong thing at lunch.
All of our Personal Training Clients and Bootcamp members always remember to get formatted for a big healthy breakfast as soon as you rise, and the rest of the day will come naturally.
No, I’m not talking about having Paul O’Connell floating around your house turning off the lights, I am talking about the needless energy expenditure that’s draining your body of precious recovery time.
What am I talking about here? Almost everything, but some things are more of a hindrance than others. In a perfect world, we would train, be active, eat perfectly clean and get 8 hours sleep. Besides eating, sleeping, water and air, everything else in the world is holding back your training. Even training itself is holding back your training (in a way..), because it is something you have to recover from.
Eating, sleeping, food (clean), water and air are the only things that recover you, everything else (including training) effects this recovery. Of course training is beneficial, but you need to be able to recover form it effectively to grow stronger. The actual process of training is weakening your body.
So there is one thing we want to add to the water, air etc list, and that is “”. So it makes sense that reducing all the other negatives will increase your likelihood of recovering effectively and getting stronger. Cutting down on pollutions, chemicals, stresses, chronic strains, staying up late etc etc etc promotes faster recovery.
I suppose the main point I am trying to get at is in combatting illness, a serious negative on your system. Like an app running in the background draining power, an infection or an illness is something your body is pooling its resources to try and combat, when your immune system should be quickly dispelling toxins in the air and promoting quick muscle recovery. If you have an infection anywhere on your body, get it sorted. If you have gum disease, get it sorted. They are just hotbeds for toxins adding strain to your system, and ultimately effecting your gains in the gym.
Personal Training Clients and Bootcamp members always remember….
Eat clean, live clean, stay healthy. Simple as.
A study has shown that getting consistently less than 7 hours sleep per hour can be associated with diabetes, cardiovascular issues, depression, memory issues and can inhibit the good done by exercise*. (*http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2727237/)
A big issue with sleep deprivation is light. That could be light from a mobile or pad device, a tv, or an unnatural light shining into your room while sleeping. Basically, and light touching your skin in the late evening and especially while asleep supresses the release of melatonin which is important for your sleep/wake cycle.
Supressing melatonin has been linked to a lot of negatives, even cancer!
So what can we do? Try to keep things dim at night, maybe refrain from using your mobile phone in bed (or if you do reduce the brightness all the way), and try to sleep in a pitch black room. Your sleep will be more effective, and it will help you raise better and keep your metabolism humming!
Great tip for all of our Personal Training clients and Bootcamp members…Happy sleeping!
When I tell people what I do (Personal Training..) they always assume my job is to stop people from over-eating as I run them into the ground…
But its actually the exact opposite.
(First I’d like to point out this ISN’T directed at one person – I say this because more than half of my clients will think I’m referencing them!)
Most of my training clients come to me because they are stuck, not because they are lazy, they are motivated by their own drive for being better.Most have been already dieting and will pretty much stick to whatever I say.
The biggest hurdle I face with peoples nutrition is in breaking through that corporately profitable mentality that eating less and working out more is the solution. That wrongful idea keeps people buying bogus products, spending on fads (not one works long term!.. not one!) and yoyo-ing in weight.
A strong metabolism needs energy… clean, varied, natural energy, and lots of it. If you want to burn body fat, EAT LOTS of the right thing. If you want to build lean muscle… EAT EVEN MORE of the right thing. Its that simple.
I tell my people what type of things to eat:
Lots of fish, lots of meat, lots of varied veggies and fruits, healthy fats.
… and they do eat it because I tell them to. But they over-look something. LOTS OF!!!!! And they are also training way too much, out-putting way too many calories for what they’re taking in.
When I do a diet log I usually calculate people are taking in around 800-1200 calories of these good foods, because they still resort to smaller “dieting” portions. You are not “dieting”, you are eating like an absolute animal. You’re metabolism is super-charged. You should be getting hungry if you haven’t eaten in 3-4 hours like an V* engine guzzling diesel. You shouldn’t be “stuffed” after a chicken breast, that’s a sign you’re metabolisms locked down.
The surprising thing is that when I raise people intakes of proteins or healthy fats (good for building calories) eventually they start to get hungrier, and ALAS, the results start to show. But how in Gods name did they lose weight after eating much more?
Because they’ve activated their metabolism! They are now free to ride the powerful train more muscle, a leaner tighter stomach, and a more improved sate of physical well-being!
I could be with a 100 people training every day and that’s what sometimes eludes me. How are you getting on? Any exercises causing issues? These are common enough questions, but what’s actually driving you to get into your car, come down, and work your a** off?
I am hoping that for many people it starts with the obvious, looking better! But then it turns into something way more beneficial to us, and that’s a sense of achievement, to become stronger and better each time.
I’m not sure if I will ever really care how fast my car can go, its just a car. I’m more concerned with how fast I can go, how long I’ll live, how I can take a stairs without getting out of breathe. The only thing that cannot be taken from you is your body. Yes it can be damaged and you can lose parts, but strengthening it will reduce that risk. This is what’s important to me, that and I just love pumping sweat and the feeling of a good workout.This organic machine is the only thing that’s actually yours, everything else is just traded and borrowed. I have no interest in being the guy who finds it hard to get out of his Lamborghini because he’s been enjoying the “high life” so much.
Treat your body likes it the one thing you own. Because it is officially now and always will be yours.
This thought and the desire to be fitter motivates me, if you have something that gets you up in the morning, maybe its playing with your kids, overcoming and injury, anything!
Post below and share what gives you the drive…
I recently read a very interesting article on a piece of research that seems to be changing the way we view the “burn”. You know, that hot acidy feeling in the muscle caused by intense exercise, the burn that was previously thought to be the effect of a waste by-product produced from burning sugars in the muscle (lactic acid).
This research is starting to show that this burning sensation is actually caused by the release of myokines, a metabolic signalling molecule whose role is to instruct the body to release fat from storage (body fat) and also tell muscle tissue to burn it off. It seems to be an automatic response from our bodies in times of high energy demand, to dump body fat as an additional form of energy to sugars. When you train light you burn a higher ratio of fats, when you train hard you burn a higher ratio of carbohydrates, and when you train like an animal and feel the burn your body is basically trying burn high ratio of both.
These myokines also have an amazing anti-inflammatory response, which makes sense as your body is trying to be as efficient as possible at repairing itself. When the body gets pushed hard, these molecules help muscle repair by reducing inflammation. It’s like your body releasing molecules that can both cook and clean. Well that’s my take on it anyway; correct me if I’m wrong.
It really should be noted as to how powerful an anti-inflammatory tool these molecules are said to be, more powerful than anything found in any fruit or vegetable, making this the real anti-aging and recovery tool. Reducing inflammation is the most potent way of improving your body in my opinion. The only way it can be undone is by over-training, so this is why we recommend only training 3 times a week, intensely!
See you in training to produce some Myokines, to put a few extra years on your life and keep you far far away from a doctors ward.
A great example for Personal Trainings Clients to see how we do it.
Not by any means perfect, but the strategy for fat lean and lean muscle support are there. I kept to my goal of 1% a week this week (haven eaten the following). This is a busy weeks eating, with realistic strategies and issues to overcome.
Pink indicates a training day and green a non training day (or low intensity cardio). The blue numbers are there to reference what Ive done at certain points.
You can see I have gone for high protein and high fiber in my main meals, and tried to keep my snacks to the same or containing more fats to supplement in energy. My carbs have been controlled (for the most part) to daytime amd in and around training. You can see much less carb intake on non training days as my energy requirements are not as great. You can also notice more fat intake where I’ve dropped carbs.
Now I’ll go through the blue numbered points and offer am explaination (and in some places excuses!)
I was up early so its a rush meal. Cream in my coffee slows down the caffeine effect providing a more consistent energy to wake me up naturally, and cortisol is higher in the morning and fast acting caffeine can raise your cortisol levels higher (you want to lower your cortisol as the day begins). The protein shake is not ideal because whey protein is fast acting, but I was in a rush (so this protein source is better than nothing). The handful of blueberries atleast would slow down the release of the whey.
I dont have a pre-training snack when I eat a meal up to 2 hours before hand. When I dont eat within maybe 3 hours before hand I’ll have a protein shake. This didnt happen this week so its not in the example.
Where you see facebook look back through the timeline to the date mentioned to see the post with the recipe.
When not hungry before bed… dont eat and get into bed! This is a good opportunity for fat burning through the night. Just be sure to eat as soon as you rise as you’ll likely get hungry quicker.
Had a handful of blueberries (which is still a sugar) on my non training day as I felt tired from not eating close to bed the night before. This feeling was low blood sugar so I used the berries to raise it back up.
Had a protein shake after I trained (with a vitamin C tab as an anti-inflammatory). Good for instant recovery, and a good idea if you won’t be eating until over an hour after training.
Was calling out somewhere and got out of work real late. Had to go for something on the run and went for a burrito. I had just trained so I was in a position where carbs could be utilised. I ordered a burrito with extra beef, mininal sauce and no rice or cheese. So considering I trained this wasn’t too bad at all. Carbs in the wrap and protein in the beef. Good for building muscle.
As I was out I couldnt cook before heading to an early meeting, so I did the best I could on the move and picked up a packet of ham and an apple. Low GI fruit and poor quality protein is all I had access to. It would keep me full and wouldn’t take me out of my fat burning cycle too much.
Again, out all day so had an emergency protein shake. It will at the very least keep your body from going into starvation mode and becoming catabolic (burning muscle for energy).
Had 2 peanut butter cookies which are a great low GI high fat treat. They are however high calorie so watch your quantities! 2-3 max.
Went for lunch after training. Its a good opportunity to be a little more open with food as sugars are more utilised after training, being coverted to glycogen to replacement whats been exhausted from your muscle (as in point 7). So I got the protein in the chicken, and kept the sugars to low GI with sweet potato.
My cheat meal, do not judge me! Haha. I could easily get through a kilo of jellies, bit I kept it in moderation. I like simple sugars in my cheat meals. TERRIBLE for burning fat, but good for refilling any lost muscle glycogen (point 7 and 11). I can atleast come out confident that my strength will be peaked in my next workout.
Didnt fill out Sunday but it was a very typical non training day regiment. Made a veg smoothie which I had throughout the day to keep my stomack from grumbling! And obviously high protein and moderate healthy fats.
Any questions on anything in this post just throw them my way! Hope this gives you some guidance. Its not necessarily easy for anyone, so if you have any obstacles I’ve probably been through it myself.
What I ate the last week…
It can be a big help to my Personal Training clients to have an idea of how I eat while trying to burn maximal fat.
– Non Training Days
Breakfast was usually 2 full poached eggs with spinach, and a third a cup of natural granola with same amount of natural Greek style yoghurt and some blueberries. When I could I’d add some meat (lean bacon/ham/chicken) or smoked salmon into a 4 egg white/ 2 yolk omelette. Animal protein is great in the morning, but its tough to take in alone. If I got really bored of eggs, I’d have some left overs from last nights meat and veg dinner.
For Lunch I’d stick to oily fish like salmon or mackerel, had with a big bowl of a mixed salad I’d get in Lidl. Ideally this would be raw organic and prepared by myself but I’d seldom have the time. I’d add more fibre by drinking part of the veggie smoothie I’d make the night before (in post below). The fish and massive intake of fibre would keep me full and energetic through the afternoon. If I couldn’t take in oily fish I would have a fat source with my chicken (1/3 avocado, spoon of peanut butter etc).
I would snack intermittently on mixed nuts, not paying very close attention to how many. Of course I am taking in vast amounts of other nutrients in my set meals so I wouldn’t be that hungry. If you make the mistake of not eating enough protein and fibre you could end up eating too many nuts. I might also snack on cottage cheese with avocado, or an apple and some peanut butter (but keep the apple early in the day – sugar). I might snack twice in the day.
For dinner I would stick to some general variation of meat/fish and veg. Fairly simple. Big portions of veg, especially broccoli and other cruciferous greens (spinach, cabbage). It would usually be a stir fry with a small amount of sauce, trying to stick to either marinated meats, soy sauce, or cream based sauces. Nothing too sweet!
That would be my last meal before bed, having eaten 3 hours before putting the head down. I drank lots of filtered water through the day, maybe 4 litres altogether with more on training days.
– Training Days
Training day nutrition strategies stayed the same except the timing of carbohydrates became important. I wanted to be fuelled effectively during the Underground workouts, as I am also trying to improve fitness and physical performance over the next few weeks. My protein levels are always high anyway, and my diet is actually built around recovery, so the main thing I need to watch is energy.
Sugars are your fast energy. Its not a good idea to have low blood sugar while training, and you need good glycogen stores (form of sugar stored in your muscle) to perform strong exercises.
All I did was eat an apple and an orange before training. The apple gave me a balanced release of energy, and the orange gave me natural vitamin C (which is good to have in your system even before training). I made sure I had eaten a good meal 2 hours before, or had snacked decently (with this fruit) an hour before. If I got in a good meal 2 hours before I would just add the orange, and this would be enough to get me through the workout.
After my workout I would snack on some blueberries, and take a Vit C tab (1000mgs). I might have a whey protein shake too if it was going to be more than an hour before my dinner.
I would be very consistent with my meals, basing the diet around getting in enough protein and fibre that I would never be hungry. Its hard to over-eat these thing so just pile them in. Your body becomes more metabolic when you eat large quantities.
Any questions guys just let me know!
I’ll be performing a 6 week training and nutrition plan thats just as much for you as for me. Well not a plan really, Im just going to make it up as I go along. So I’ll give you details on everything I do and why, and my trai…ning regime as it unfolds. Im about 13% bodyfat at the moment, and the aim is 7-8% in 6 weeks. I’ll show you how I controlled my inflammation to maximise fat burning and muscle building potential, the foods I ate and some of the key strategies that helped along the way.
This is me at my most fudge. Since November, 13 hours days and lots of time on the laptop have resulted in a high jellies diet. I train 2-3 Underground workouts a week when I can fit it in, which keeps me at roughly 12-13% bodyfat. My metabolism is strong so I do maintain shape, but my diet has been seriously lacking recently (partially because I know I’ll be doing this plan). The workouts can do little more than maintain yiur body shape, nutrition changes it. Its reassuring to know that you’ll maintain good shape even with a bad diet when you get into it. My sugar intake has been purposely high, which is why i attached the pic of my handles (your primary sugar storage site) Like most people work in a series of waves. But Im not unfit or consider myself unhealthy.This is purely aesthetics thing to let you know how a PT might do it themselves and their level of commitment (be it good or bad)
People ask me all the time what do I do when its time to trim, so now I’ll show them exactly.
Tomorrow I’ll bring you through a basic days nutrition and supplementation.
Any questions just throw them at me.