400Kcal a day diet…n=1

So yesterday I posted on FB about doing a 400Kcal diet for about a week to understand a little more about very low calorie diets and the psychology behind it.  See link below:

https://www.facebook.com/a5972s/posts/10155020742213730?pnref=story

Fair to say it got a few people curious.  The principle behind it is basically Intermittent Fasting with a limitation on calories set to no more that 400Kcals.  One of the first things that struck me was how alert I’ve felt on waking up, like incredibly so.  My sleep has also been consistent and deeper than usual.  In an effort to curb hunger, I’m drinking more, so overall my body is responding very well.

Am I hungry?  Around 4pm I do feel like I could eat something, so I plan to eat around 5pm and make use of all the calories.  All week I’ve played around with trying to get a wide variety of nutrients into my body, so today I’ve planned on creating a chicken and vegetable soup by using a slow cooker (great for this time of year).

Before I go into the ingredients, I’m actively measuring a few key health markers so that I can track what I’m doing and more importantly how I’m feeling during this week.  I’ve lost around 2kg in 4 days, mostly water and today I measured my blood glucose level and its around 3.3mmol/L, so overall not too bad.  Sleep quality and focus have massively improved amongst other markers showing improvement.

So todays meal breaks down a little like this:

400kcalSoup

So I have around 79Kcals to play with so I’m going to opt for a Cox Apple at 71Kcals, bringing me to just under 400Kcals for the day.  Important to know that critically I’m aiming for volume and satiety as its another 24 hours until tomorrow evening where I go again.  Psychologically I’m good shape and the weight is consistently falling off due to being in a massive calorie deficit.

Watch this space 🙂

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The key to motivation…

is Mindset!

Think back to a time when you had a task to complete.  It could be anything from simply cleaning the house to the first day of a new regime…remember how you felt?  Were you a little apprehensive? Did you procrastinate a little before getting stuck in? Then here’s a little tip for you…

Treat the task as if it were ‘Groundhog Day’…Give it everything you have and if the task goes beyond 24 hours reset the mindset as if its day one all over again….it really works!

If you’ve ever been on a diet you’ll remember that on day one you decided to start a fresh and get in all the healthy stuff to help you on your way but by the weekend the motivation to carry on weakened, so to keep going just remember that every day is day one.

Its incredible once you remember to mentally reset each day.  Wake up with the same energy as before and tackle the day as if it were your last!

Hit me up with comments and let me know how you get on 🙂

Floatation Tank Experience…

As an holistic & lifestyle coach, I’m very much interested in all avenues of well-being from nutrition right down to stress and sleep and I’ve been involved in some pretty amazing research to date, but a lot of the time I like to get in amongst the research and actually try things out for myself.  One such tool that presented itself to me was the option of an hour long session in a floatation tank.

Now for some, the very thought of being in isolation in a confined space brings on feelings of anxiety (the very issues that Floatation Tanks attempt to address!) so for what’s its worth here’s my take on yesterday’s experience.

For starters it’s important to shower beforehand as the solution within the ISOPOD is highly concentrated Epsom Salts.  Epsom Salts have a high magnesium content and for those that don’t understand the benefits of Magnesium, it literally serves hundreds of functions within the human body (1)

Because of the high mineral content, the water you lie in allows you to float unaided.  I’ll come on to why that’s important in a moment.

The hour long session provides you with 10 mins of relaxation music while you relax to a state between being awake and asleep.  This is then followed by 45 minutes of complete quiet with 5 mins of relaxation music at the end as a mental queue that the session is coming to a close.

You are given a set of ear plugs so that it avoids the Epsom Salt solutions from entering the ear canal; it also deprives your sense of hearing.

The pod itself has an internal light which allows you to turn off, again depriving you the sense of sight (it’s pitch black in there when the lights are out!).  You enter the pod fully naked too so as to deprive your body of the sense of touch, so removing all the sensory input that your brain has control over allows the mind to enter a deep state of relaxation.  Some people may find this concerning but to me removing all these inputs allowed me a deeper experience than I was expecting.

The experience is as close to zero gravity as we on earth are ever likely to experience.  Being in suspended animation was amazing, my mind was racing to start with and I found myself trying to tilt my head up.  Once I consciously realised I was doing it, I let myself go completely.

The feeling of letting go completely was so calming I could see how this type of intervention would work with clients with high stress markers.

Would I use it again?  Absolutely, the full benefits of a second or third session will be even more intense as I now have a full appreciation of what to expect, but believe me when I say that this is something I would definitely recommend anyone having a go at.

If you have any questions on this, feel free to leave a comment below…

Buying protein on a budget…

Food is expensive right? Well what if I told you that it needn’t be if you utilise a few tricks that I use almost weekly?

For the most part, protein sources are pretty much the most expensive food item on your bill.  Protein provides the building blocks to support life and without it we would just waste away to nothing.  Go into any food retailer and you will notice that protein sources generally comes at a premium but we can stack the odds in our favour…

1. Build a relationship with a local food retailer

Supermarkets are convenient I get that, but what they have managed to do is push out the local retailers because they can’t compete.  Lately there has been a resurgence in smaller retailers fighting back.  Finding a retailer and building a relationship with them pays dividends in the long run.  I’ve lost count of the amount of ‘free stuff’ I get from my local butcher/fishmonger and the quality of the meat is so much better than its comparable item in a supermarket.  Case in point is Bacon…supermarket bacon is full of water and generally has a higher sodium content.  The stuff I get from the butcher doesn’t shrink to nothing and the taste is far superior, so source out your local retailer and build that relationship with them.

2. Farmers markets

There has been a rise in farmer markets of late and the array of foods on offer is staggering.  Find a local one and be prepared to strike a deal.  A key tactic I use is to drop down to my local farmers market around half an hour before the end, its a great opportunity to bag some fantastic deals (just make sure you have room in your fridge to store your purchases as food here is fresh and has a short shelf life

3. Supermarket reduced items

If you must use a supermarket, get accustomed to the time of day when they display reduced food items.  I have witnessed many times people milling around supermarkets around 8pm, as this is roughly when supermarket retailers try to sell those last remaining items with a short shelf life.  Its a great time to utilise that freezer if you can’t eat them in the short term.

4. Farms

Farms are a great place to buy cheap produce.  My local farm is organic and supplies the eggs I eat (I get through a LOT of them!).  Compared to supermarkets eggs, eggs from a farm are a lot cheaper too.  You can also bag some great deals on seasonal produce also.

5. Buy in bulk

With most things buying in bulk reduces the cost per item.  Splitting the cost with a small syndicate is another option as it increases your buying power and reduces the overall cost to you.  Costco is a great place to get buy in bulk but not everyone has the room for 30 chicken breasts or pork chops, so using a syndicate is a great way to reduce costs and storage space.

6. Food exchange

This is a great idea where you buy or produce in bulk then swap food items with neighbours / co-workers.  Many people commute to work yet they have someone they know locally who sells cheap food.  I used to know a guy that owned chickens and he used to bring in boxes of eggs that would be swapped with someone else that knew a cheap fishmonger local to them.  That relationship worked a treat for both parties.

There are many ways you can reduce costs and I hope this has given you a few ideas.  If you know other methods then feel free to post comments below…I’d love to know how you get on 🙂

It starts today…

So between now and 10 weeks time I’m planning to go sub 8% body fat. Why am I telling you this? Because it makes me accountable and focussed on the goal. I’ve been playing around with various nutritional and training protocols in an effort to see what works and doesn’t work for me. Notice I said ‘me’…we are all different and what works for me may not work for you but I will share milestone progress and dietary notes as I go along…

The bullsh!t stops here, head down, its game time…

I wish you could feel how I feel everyday…

When you wake up with an abundance of energy ready to kickstart the day with a bang you know you’ve got something right, well I feel like this everyday. I’ve become very adept at driving nutrients to where they need to go.  When every cell in your body has what it needs to perform optimally there really is no other feeling like it.

I’m not trying to brag, everything is possible with the right attitude and I’ve made this a lifestyle choice.  People take their health for granted until something goes wrong, I remember in my 20s thinking I was invincible and putting my body through hell.  Back then I thought I was bionic, I was so competitive that I was the guy that had a point to prove – I wanted to be faster and stronger than the guys I trained with and pushed my body to the absolute limits until my body literally gave up and put the brakes on.  A succession of injuries affected me pyschologically.  I was run down and didn’t understand why.

Scroll forward to today and I’m back to feeling incredible again, but this time I’m more educated.  I train intelligently and listen to the feedback my body gives me.  I’m really in tune with it.  The body is phenomenal at telling you things you need to know, you just need to understand the feedback and respond accordingly.

I had some blood tests recently as part of a wider health check and the follow-up with the doctor was extremely positive.

When my doctor looked at the variables and couldn’t figure out how I’d managed such a brilliant set of results, my response…

“I’m a nutritionist, its what I do…”

I take my role very seriously, I want others to experience the daily high of feeling incredible too so if you’ve ever considered that its time to change your lifestyle then myself and countless other nutritionists are out there to help you reach your goals…

Summer is here isn’t it?

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So recently I’ve taken time out to spend with family and developing the business end of this nutrition enterprise. Today was the first opportunity in a while to get out in the sunshine…the weather has not been kind of late so I took full advantage. The problem was nobody shared the same inclination as me in my local gym. I went down there to a) get changed into my outdoor gear for a spot of triathlon training and b) to get hydrated from the water fountain upstairs. I was amazed to see EVERY piece of cardio equipment in full use. A glance out of the window would have alerted anyone to the fact that the sun was out but despite this people were opting to stay indoors. Across the road from the gym is a beautiful country park with lots of cycle and running routes to make full use of, so I was a little baffled to say the least.

Sometimes its great to look at the world around you and realise there is more to this world than meets the eyes. Indoor training is for when the weather aint that great and for the odd days we do get decent weather we should make full use of it…