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34 Tips To Improve Your Fitness Results

Today is the founder of CMPGyms, Chris Mason's 34th Birthday and so today we are going to bring you 34 Tips To Improve Your Fitness Results!

Nutrition

1. NEVER start your diet off with super low calories - you'll have nothing to change moving forward, you'll feel terrible and have ravenous hunger cravings and your diet will fail

2. Don't rule out ANY food group. There needs to be an amount of calories allotted to carbohydrates, fats and proteins at all stages of the diet.

3. Carbohydrates don't make you fat. 

4. Fats don't make you fat.

5. Calories make you fat in too high amounts.

6. Protein is the hardest food source to store as body fat and difficult to overeat for most people.

7. All or nothing diets don't work long term. You miss the foods that you're 'not allowed' to eat and eventually end up binging and regaining any weight lost.

8. Protein is the most essential macro nutrient that supplies the body with amino acids that it has to get from the diet. It cannot create all the amino acids needed to support physiology.

9. The biggest issue in ones diet is the imbalance between protein, fats and carbohydrates within their calorie intake. Get this right and your body will change in the way you want.

10. Vitamin D, Fish Oils and Probiotics are beneficial supplements to add alongside a healthy diet. 

11. Protein shakes don't help you magically build muscle just by taking them but they do allow you to meet your required protein intake if you're struggling to consume enough protein from other food sources.

12. When dieting for fat loss, start your calories higher and bring them down lower gradually over a 12-24 week timframe to more sustained success.

13. Nutrient dense foods are required to support the citric acid cycle and electron transport carrier system. An absense of enough vegetables and fruits in the diet can lead to a bottleneck in required nutrients for energy production.

Training

14. ALWAYS perfom weight training before any cardio exercise to maximum results

15. Cardio, unless you're aiming for a photoshoot, should be half the length of time spent weight training. So if you're training 4 hours per week with weights, 2 hours cardio would be the max you would perform to maintain recovery and adaptation.

16. Soreness from weights doesn't equal success or a good workout. Prolonged soreness leads to increased inflammation and is indicative of poor recovery which stagnates progress.

17. The reps to failure are the ones that place the muscle cells under the most 'pressure'. 

18. Though not every set within a set scheme needs to go to failure. If applicable, make the last set the failure set.

19. Wholebody workouts, Upper and Lower splits, Anterior and Posterior splits, Push, Pull, Legs and Body Part splits all have their place in a training cycle depending on the number of sessions you're able to perform per week. 

20. Aim to build progressive overload into all your workouts. Increasing the load, decreasing the rest, increasing or decreasing the reps or adding in a set can all be effective ways to build progressive overload into your workout plans.

21. You can't choose where your body loses fat by overtraining that one area. Spot reduction isn't possible. 

22. Train abs like any other muscle group. High reps, low reps, heavy loads, different resistance profiles. 

23. The first exercise you train in your session received the greatest stimulation.

24. You can priortise stubborn muscle groups by increasing the frequency that they are trained over the week. 

25. Generally speaking each muscle group should be trained 2x per week within your programming to ensure the required stimulus is met. 

26. Use intervals or steady state for your choice of cardio. Whichever works for you.

27. But know that intervals are the most time effective cardio but has a higher 'cost' in terms of fuel needed to perform them. Whereas 'steady state' cardio doesn't push the energy systems to maximum output are easier to recover from but will require more time.

28. Use 'stength training cardio' like sleds, ropes, tyres to add another dimension to your cardio training.

Mindset

29. Start with your 'why'.

To truly transform your health, fitness and body shape you have to have a strong enough reason to change otherwise you won't 'want it' enough and likely won't do the work. 

30. Focus on forming habits so that you do the work even when you aren't motivated to do it. 

31. Every person looking to transform their health, fitness and body shape goes through the 'emotional cycle' of change. 

There will be times when you want to quit, there will be times when you don't want to do what you need to do and there will be times when you slip. Acknowledge that these thoughts and feelings are normal which come and go and shouldn't mean that you give up on your goals. 

32. Plan 90 days in front. It takes at least 12 weeks to start seeing improvements in your health, fitness and body composition. Planning at least 90 days in front allows you to stay in control of a process that leads to results instead of just arriving at the gym or starting a diet and hoping for results.

33. Use a grateful log to document what you are happy and grateful for in your life. 

34. Have a vision of where you want to be personally, professionally and physically. 

Dream big.

Ready to start your transformaiton?

Enquire here.

Changes To Personal Training Services

Alongside undertaking a full covid - 19 risk assessment and receiving approval for operations from the local authority whilst making alterations and safety enhancements in the facility here are some operational changes to personal training services to ensure safety of staff and clients.

Your Personal Training Sessions

IMPORTANT CHANGE #1 – Clients must complete an updated and new personal training agreement and health questionnaire via docusign before resuming training with us.

IMPORTANT CHANGE #2 – All clients must leave the building immediately upon the completion of their personal training session and should not arrive early to wait in the building.

IMPORTANT CHANGE #3 – Where possible clients will arrive ready to train. If requiring the use of changing rooms, clients must use the disinfectant spray to clean the changing room immediately after use.

Showers will be inaccessible at this time.

IMPORTANT CHANGE #4 – Temperature checks will be made upon entering the facility. Any client with a high temperature will be asked to leave immediately.

IMPORTANT CHANGE #5 - Clients must use the paper towels provided in the changing rooms and not bring their own towels for use.

IMPORTANT CHANGE #6 - Clients are responsible for cleaning their own sweat before WE clean the machine / weights with antibacterial spray. We will not wipe their sweat off the machines.

IMPORTANT CHANGE #7 – Clients should bring a separate pair of trainers to change into upon entering the facility.

THIS NEEDS TO BE DONE IN THE ENTRANCE AREA AND NOT THE CHANGING ROOM

IMPORTANT CHANGE #8 – you wash their hands for at least 20 seconds in hot soapy water or with hand sanitiser when they ARRIVE and when they LEAVING the facility

IMPORTANT CHANGE #9 – Social distancing of current guidelines must be observed at all times.

Clear entrances and exits for each floor of the facility to avoid client cross over and congestion between training sessions.

IMPORTANT CHANGE #10 – The facility must be well ventilated throughout the day, therefore windows will be open throughout your training session and cannot be closed.

IMPORTANT CHANGE #11 – Trainers will operate in 'bubble' teams which have their own designated floor or hours on the rota. Only personal trainers in their bubble teams are able to cross train clients where appointment changes are needed.

At present all staff will be using PPE.

IMPORTANT CHANGE #12 – Body fat assessments will not be possible, instead you are able to track circumference measurements alongside regular photos that we will take in accordance with your planned training and nutritional phases

IMPORTANT CHANGE #13 – Bank Transfer will be encouraged as the payment method for packages though card shall still be accepted via the terminal.

Cash payments will not be accepted.

FINAL CHANGE – If you feel ill at all, even if symptoms are unrelated to Covid-19, please do not attend your session and reschedule.

Thanks, 

Chris

Phased Opening Of Personal Training Services

At CMPGyms our client and staff safety is of upmost importance.

Being a private and appointment only personal training facility, it is far easier for us to manage changes to our operations that comply with our approved Covid-19 Risk Assessment.

Our personal training facility is situated over two floors and allows for a pure 1-2-1 service between client and personal trainer that complies with current operational requirements of social distancing, hygiene and risk prevention. 

That being said we are opening the facility over two phases that are outlined below.

Phase One - Existing CMP Clients

From Wednesday, 24th June, existing CMP clients will be able to return and resume their personal training services.

Trainers will be assigned a designated floor with separate entrances and exits for each. 

Temperature checks will be made on arrival with clear instructions sent to clients prior to sessions to ensure compliance with our Risk Assessment which will be clearly displayed in the facility.

Phase Two - accepting new clients

From Monday 6th July, depending on availability, we will be accepting new client enquiries and following up to arrange telephone consultations only.

Clients will be assigned a designated trainer and allocated appointment times based on their chosen package

I am sure by now that you're all ready to get back into training and have clear goals that you want to achieve. 

The landscape of the fitness industry will undoubtedly change but at Chris Mason Performance, our aim is to stay at the front of personal training services and personal training results.

Chris

The Top 5 Things I Learnt From Charles Poliquin

13 years ago when i entered the fitness industry things were very different to today.

Facebook was in it's infancy and there were no such things as instagram influencers and becoming a top personal trainer or strength coach meant travelling far and wide and investing thousands to learn from the best.

One of those was Charles Poliquin.

Now if you're reading this and aren't aware of Charles and his accomplishments, he was known as the world most successful strength coach having trained Olympic medalists across almost every sporting discipline as well as numerous athletes across the National Hockey League and National Football League among others. 

At the time of his death, he had achieved podium finishes with athletes across an incredible 17 different sports.

To describe the man fully, you would have had to have met him and to say that Charles had an aurora about him would be an understatement. Personally, i had not only the privilege of learning from Charles direct through his PCIP Strength Coach and Biosignature Practitioner qualifications and what's interesting to me is that many of the successful personal training business owner, those who've gone on to achieve national and international recognition all link back to Charles in some form.

So without delay, to honor Charles passing, i want to share with you the top 5 things i learnt from Charles Poliquin.

1. Training Should Follow Accumulation Phases and Intensification Phases

An accumulation phase is a block of training where total exercise volume is the key stressor. 

The goal here may be improve metabolic, hypertrophic or to endurance based pathways to lose body fat, build muscle and/or increase work capacity.

An intensification phase is a block of training where the intensity of the training is the key stressor.

The goal here would be to increase power or relative strength causing mostly central nervous systems adaptions.

For Example;

Accumulation Phase 1 - 4 Sets of 12 Reps

Intensification Phase 1 - 5 Sets of 6-8 Reps

Accumulation Phase 2 - 4 Sets of 10,10,12,12

Intensification Phase 2 - 6 Sets of 6,6,4,4,2,2

2. As Ones Training Age Increases, Lower Reps Are Necessary To Continue Strength Improvements 

When you first start lifting weights, you aren't very strong and aren't able to lift much weight for a given number of reps and can make improve in virtually any rep bracket because you're new to training with weights and your training age is more or less zero.

But after years of weight training where you've built a more efficient CNS and are more efficient at recruiting muscle fibres to produce more force, lower repetition training is require to continue strength training adaptions and improvements.

For example, in your first year of training you may be working within a 8-12 repetition range which will produce strength training improvements but as you progress and your training age (the number of years you've been training properly) increases, you may need to be training using methods such as 5x5 or wave loading to continue improving.

3. The Skill Of An Exercise Dictates The Number of Reps

Exercises which are more complex in nature with a higher risk profile such as Olympic lifts require lower repetitions to ensure the safety of the athlete or client.

Charles recommended for example, that the snatch Olympic lift would be performed for no higher than two repetitions and the power clean no higher than six. 

Higher repetitions would lead would lead to fatigue, improper technique, impaired motor learning and greater risk for injury.

4. The Higher The Reps, The Lower The Sets Whereas The Lower The Reps, The Higher The Sets Are Needed

Remember point #1 where we will observe either an accumulation or an intensification phase to ensure correct ordering of our programs for continued progress?

Well, the total number of sets per exercise is influenced too depending on which phase you are following to ensure maximal stimulus is received by the CNS, energy systems and muscle fibre type we are trying to influence.

For example, you may choose a rep and set scheme of 4 sets of an exercise for 10,10,12,12 repetitions if the goal was hypertrophy and you may choose 7 sets of 3 if strength training was the goal.

More set ares required for the strength training scheme as the CNS becomes more efficient overtime at recruiting largely fast twitch motor units to produce force where as less sets are required for the lighter, 'pump' based work found within the hypertrophy based rep schemes.

5. To Prevent Overtraining, Cut Back On Volume Not Intensity

After a period of time each training program reaches the part of the bell shaped curve where maximal adaptation has occurred and the body is no longer responding to the program. Similarly, after a period of time following either an accumulation or intensity based workout there will come a point where you may start to over reach possibly over train if you were to continue with the program.

To avoid either case, Poliquin recommends cutting back on the number of sets instead of lightening the load and further delaying recovery which leads to a reversal of your strength adaptions and progress.

For example,

If you have been bench pressing a record weight for you of 100kg for 5 reps and 5 sets by the end of intensification phase but are beginning to feel constant fatigue, loss of motivation and generally taxed and the next workout would look like this after warm up sets;

Set 1 - 105kg x 5reps

Set 2 - 105kg x 2reps 

Instead of lowering the weight to 100kg possibly even 90- 95kg to continue for all 5 sets, you would now terminate the exercise at set 2 and move onto the next exercise in program.

Critical drop off like this is a sign that the performance just isn't there and the body hasn't recovered from the last workout. 

So, To Conclude

In this article i've shared with you just five of the things that i've learnt from Charles Poliquin and could have quite easily made the tips in this article into the thousands such was Charles impact on those who learnt from him.

His teachings and reputation will continue to grow and we'll continue to benefit from Charles 'clinical pears' (for those who learnt from him 😉 ) forever.

I for one am grateful.

Chris.

The Story Of Two Wolves

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. 

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.

The reason why i love this legend is that it's true, 

Every single one of us suffers with 

Self doubt, 

Negativity 

Lack of belief

An ability to predict future failure based of past experience

Jealousy of others

Especially when it comes to something that can be as emotive as how you feel about your body

But as you can see, 

For all the 'bad', 

There is 'good' too, depending on what YOU do next and which wolf you feed.

If you want to change your body, health and fitness, 

The exciting thing is that it is in YOUR hands.

Start eating better, 

Start moving more and going to the gym 

Start goal setting 

Start a grateful log and write in the 3 things each day that are positive about your life 

Start LIVING life on your terms, in a positive way that makes you HAPPY. 

The constant battle of the two wolves in your head is a constant 

but it is the one that you feed, which grows.

And just like these people who have changed negative habits, shut out negative self talk and finally achieved the results that they wanted, you could achieve them too depending on your next move.

Want to become one of our next success stories? Complete an enquiry form below for our 1-2-1 personal training services at our private gym here in Sheffield

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Total Fat Loss Workout

I've got to be honest with you,

When most people think of a workout designed to help you lose weight, they automatically assume that the routine will consist of the treadmill, the rower, circuits and spin classes.

The assumption is that the most effective way to burn calories is simply through cardio based activities and even better if you can SEE the number of calories burned on a screen in front of you.

But for me, the most bang for your buck exercise will always be weight training and weight training is right at the heart of the CMP Transformation program. 

Why? Because weight training allows us to build muscle, strengthen existing muscle fibers, improve bone mineral density, improve posture, develop strong joints, raise metabolism at rest and during exercise and allow us create more variability in our exercise programming

Rather than just continuing to run for longer or perform more intervals, weight training allows us to pack in a good amount of quality stimulus into a relatively short period of time that continues to push the body towards the body composition results that we want. 

Problem is, most people aren't sure where to start with it or how to set up a weight training routine 

or have read so many different opinions, magazines and articles online about how to weight train that they end up performing the wrong routines for their goals and believe that the only way to build muscle and drop fat is through traditional body building splits which require more time and frequency in the gym than they're able to commit to

So, Why Not Work The Body As A Whole With Weights Instead?

One of my favourite styles of weight training to start a body transformation program with is a whole body program, in which every major muscle is trained during the session.

We've talked in previous articles about the importance of frequency when it comes to stimulating the pathways needed to build or retain muscle during a transformation program. The literature supports frequent activation and training of muscle groups over once per week stimulation like in traditional split training routines.

So the following routine is one that allows our body transformation coaching to start with an bang and a lays the foundation for a serious transformation result. 

I'm going to give you a few options for using this total body workout, right the way from straight sets to super sets and even giant sets if you're able to commandeer the space and the equipment!

Straight Sets

As the name suggests, straight sets are where you will take one exercise and complete the desired sets and reps before moving onto the next exercise in the sequence.

Straight sets can be a useful strategy to implement in your program if you're always exercising at time where your gym is busy or at peak times. 

Exercise

Sets & Reps

Rest

A. Chest Press

2-3 sets of 6 - 15 reps

45 - 90s

B. Pulldowns

2-3 sets of 6 - 15 reps

45 - 90s

C. Seated Rows

2-3 sets of 6 - 15 reps

45 - 90s

D1. Lateral Raises

2-3 sets of 6 - 15 reps

45 - 90s

D2. Rear Delt Rows

2-3 sets of 6 - 15 reps

45 - 90s

E. Lying Leg Curls

2-3 sets of 6 - 15 reps

45 - 90s

F. Split Squats

2-3 sets of 6 - 15 reps

45 - 90s

G. Leg Extensions

2-3 sets of 6 - 15 reps

45 - 90s

F. Planks

2-3 sets of As Long As Possible

45 - 90s

Upper / Lower Supersets

This upper / lower superset program is more commonly known as peripheral heart action training as we're placing a great demand on the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems abilities to deliver oxygenated blood to the working muscles, clear and expel waste products from the muscle tissue and create a constant supply of energy to continue to work at the capacity required.

This style of programming is one of my favourite ways to kick off body transformation coaching in my private gyms due to the rapid improvement in work capacity from using this program. The exercise selection, sets and reps and rest is then tailored to the individual. 

Exercise

Sets & Reps

Rest

A1. Chest Press

2-3 sets of 6 - 15 reps

45 - 90s

A2. Lying Leg Curls

2-3 sets of 6 - 15 reps

45 - 90s

B1. Lat Pulldowns

2-3 sets of 6 - 15 reps

45 - 90s

B2. Split Squats

2-3 sets of 6 - 15 reps

45 - 90s

C1. Seated Rows

2-3 sets of 6 - 15 reps

45 - 90s

C2. Leg Extensions

2-3 sets of 6 - 15 reps

45 - 90s

D1. Lateral Raises

2-3 sets of 6 - 15 reps

45 - 90s

D2. Rear Delt Rows

2-3 sets of 6 - 15 reps

45 - 90s

E. Planks

2-3 sets of As Long As Possible

45 - 90s

Giant Sets

Giant sets are another great option if you're short on time but want to provide the body with a metabolic stimulus required for your goals. Be warned though, giant sets can be brutal if done correctly. 

This style of programming is one that you may struggle to implement in a large commercial gym but could be one that you're able to save for those days where the gym is quieter and you're ready to push yourself hard

Exercise

Sets & Reps

Rest

A1. Chest Press

2-3 sets of 6 - 15 reps

45 - 90s

A2. Lying Leg Curls

2-3 sets of 6 - 15 reps

45 - 90s

A3. Lat Pulldowns

2-3 sets of 6 - 15 reps

45 - 90s

A4. Split Squats

2-3 sets of 6 - 15 reps

45 - 90s

B1. Seated Rows

2-3 sets of 6 - 15 reps

45 - 90s

B2. Leg Extensions

2-3 sets of 6 - 15 reps

45 - 90s

D1. Lateral Raises

2-3 sets of 6 - 15 reps

45 - 90s

D2. Rear Delt Rows

2-3 sets of 6 - 15 reps

45 - 90s

E. Planks

2-3 sets of As Long As Possible

45 - 90s

More Bang For Your Buck

All in all, total body training can be a great approach to take for your weight lifting workouts. 

They allow you to train a muscle more frequently, allow you to work across all energy systems whilst concurrently building muscle and improving fitness in the early stages of a transformation program. 

Another advantage is that total body workouts can be very time efficient and only require three to four workouts per week to start producing fantastic fat loss results.

That's why they're my 'more bang for your buck' workouts and ones that i can rely on time and time again to produce results.

Start making total body workouts a part of your routine! 

Ready To Start Your Transformation? Complete Our Enquiry Form Here.

The Definitive Guide To Fats

Let's talk about FAT.

They're definitely a food group that i know confuses a lot of people, especially the types of fat and whether they have a positive or negative impact on your chances of losing weight.

Then there are some fats which you're told not to eat and others that you're told are the best thing since sliced bread, so what do you believe. 

So let's clear things up for you with our definitive guide to fats!

First Of All, What Exactly Is Fat?

Structurally, fats are made from  carbon, oxygen and hydrogen and vary in length of bonds depending on the type of fat.

Fats, unlike carbohydrates and proteins, are the most energy dense macro nutrient available to us because they provide a whopping 9 calories per gram, 5 more than carbs and fats which come in at 4 calories per gram. 

There are three main types of fats that we obtain from the diet

  • Saturated Fatty Acids
  • Monounsaturated Fatty Acids
  • Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids 

There is also another type of fat present in the diet called a trans fat which is man made - more on this one later

Saturated Fat

Saturated fatty acids are found largely most animal products such as beef  pork and lamb, alongside diary products like cream, cheese, butter, whole milk and most prepared foods like pastries, cakes and some ready meals.

Structurally, their carbon chain is saturated with hydrogen bonds with zero double bonds. This raises the melting point of saturated fatty acids compare to mono and poly unsaturated fatty acids which are broken down much easier.

So here is the part where maybe you're expecting me to tell you that saturated fatty acids are bad for you and the rest are good. Well, kind of and kind of not.

You see, for a long time it has been the view that saturated fats increase the bad (low densisty lipoproteins, LDL) cholesterol that in turn clogs your arteries and increases risk for heart attacks and strokes. Whilst too high a consumption of saturated fat does increase LDL cholesterol, surprisingly saturated fatty acids also increase the good cholesterol too, high density lipoproteins (HDL).

A meta analysis of the research conducted in 2010 by Siri-Tarino, P.W. et al (1) which included 347,747 participants with a 5-23 year follow up, found there was no significant link to conclude that saturated fatty acids were the primary course of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and coronary heart disease (CHD).

The Cochrane Database Systematic Review by Hooper et al (2015) included 15 randomized control trials with over 59,000 participants found no significant improvement of reducing saturated fat in the diet in relation to heart attacks, strokes and all cause deaths.

However, Hooper et al (2015) and Vessby et al (2001) did find that replacing saturated fatty acids with mono or n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids did lead to improvements in cholesterol and insulin sensitivity due to the cardio protective nature of these types of fatty acids. 

So whilst saturated fatty acids have historically been view as the 'bad' fat to be avoided at all costs, the literature doesn't support that view and actually, saturated fat can be included in a healthy diet. 

Mono Unsaturated Fat

Mono unsaturated fatty acids are found in some animal meats, milk, nuts, avocados and olives alongside oils such as olive oil, sunflower oil, canola oil and nut oils.

The mono unsaturated fatty acid chain has one double carbon bond meaning that it has a lower melting point that saturated fats but a lower melting point than polyunsaturated fatty acids

There is plenty of evidence in the literature to show that mono unsaturated fatty acids can have a positive impact on all areas of health, especially when saturated fats and carbohydrates are replaced in the diet by mono unsaturated fatty acids whist maintaining energy balance or an energy deficit. 

The presence of mono unsaturated fatty acids have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity and inflammation, (3, 4, 5, 6, 7). Which in turn reduces the risk for heart disease and certain types of cancer (3, 4, 5, 6, 7).

Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids 

Structurally polyunsaturated fatty acid chain has more than one double bond and has the lowest melting point of all fatty acids.

Poly unsaturated fatty acids aren't like saturated fats or mono unsaturated fats in the respect that they  and are considered essential and cannot be created by the body. These poly unsaturated fatty acids, Omega 3's and Omega 6's, must be provided by the diet to ensure the adequate levels needed. 

Omega 3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish such as Salmon, Herring, Sardines, Mackerel and Trout.

Between to two polyunsaturated fatty acids, it is the Omega 3 fatty acid that is superstar and the benefits of this fatty acid on cognitive function and heart health are well documented in the literature. This is due to two types of acids found in Omega 3's; Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA).

van Gelder et al (2007) concluded that a moderate intake of EPA and DHA may postpone cognitive decline. Whereas, Yamagishi et al (2008) found an inverse relationship between fish and omega-3 intakes and cardiovascular mortality, especially heart failure, suggesting a protective effect against cardiovascular diseases.

Omega 6 fatty acids are found in safflower oil, grapeseed oil, soybean oil, flaxseed oil, sunflower oil, nuts, cereals, wholegrains as well as condiments such as salad dressings and mayonnaise.

Most people are consuming more than enough Omega 6 fatty acids in the diet, though an increase in Omega 3 fatty acids may be needed if you aren't eating fatty fish or supplementing with Omega 3 fish oils on a regular basis to optimise health. 

It has been suggested that an imbalance in amount of Omega 6 fatty acids vs Omega 3 consumed may lead to increases in inflammatory markers associated with health decline (10, 11)

Trans Fats

Here's where things take a little twist in our guide to fats. 

Because there is another fat that we must be aware of, that potentially can have huge implications on our health and ability to lose weight and that is trans fats, in particular the man made versions. 

Trans fats can actually be found naturally in some foods such as diary, beef and lamb.

But the hydrogenated trans fats are not found in foods naturally. These type of fats, through the hydrogenation process, have a chemical structure that has been altered to have hydrogen atoms on opposing sides of the carbon chain. The structure of unsaturated fats to create trans fat were altered to be used during the cooking process to extend the shelf life of foods.

Foods containing trans fats include cakes, pies, biscuits, crackers, shortening, most bakery products, margarine, most fast and deep fried foods, some frozen foods and some microwavable meals, vegetable oils.

Trans fats have been shown to significantly increase the bad cholesterol (LDL) without raising the good cholesterol (HDL) like most fatty acids do alongside impairing insulin sensitivity and blood sugar management as well as increasing markers of inflammation (12,13,14).

Because these fatty acids aren't found in foods naturally and have been chemically altered in a way that can impact physiological function and overall health, it would be a good idea to limit your intake of trans fats to the odd treat here and there. 

Also, historically food manufacturers weren't required to list the presence of trans and hydrogenated fats on the food labels. Though thankfully, due to more awareness regarding their negative impact on health, some companies will display that their product is trans and hydrogenated fat free so i'd recommend checking the food labels of what you're eating to be sure. 

Summing It All Up

Whilst there are clear differences between the type of fats we eat and also differences in the impact of these fats on our health, it is important to note that all types of these fats provide 9 calories per gram

And because the body, in relation to fat storage, is able to store all these types of fats triglyceride within fat cells it is important to understand just how many calories you're actually eating from fat within your diet.

Naturally, based on what you've read so far in this article it would be remiss of me to not suggest ensuring that polyunsaturated fatty acids (in particular Omega 3 Fatty acids) and mono unsaturated fatty acids are higher than saturated fats due to their cardio protective nature and improvements on markers of health. It would also be remiss of me to not suggest keeping trans and hydrogenated fats to the bare minimum within your diets to preserve function and health.

From a caloric point of view, when setting a meal plan, my personal preference would be to recommend going no higher than 30% of your total calories from all types of fats to preserve a calorie deficit and allow you to see improvements in your body composition results. 

Results like the ones below.

Chris

Need Help Improving Your Diet To Achieve Results? Enquire About Our Coaching Here

References

1. Siri-Tarino, P.W. et al (2010). Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the associated of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition. Mar;91(3):535-46

2. Hooper, L. et al (2015). Reduction in saturated fat intake for cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database Systematic Review. Jun 10;(6):CD011737

3. Garg, A. (1998) High-monounsaturated fat diets for patients with diabetes mellitus: a meta-analysis. American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition. 67 (3 Suppl):577S-582S.

4. Perez- Martinez, P. et al  (2010). Dietary fat differentially influences regulatory endothelial function during the postprandial state in patients with metabolic syndrome: from the LIPGENE study. Atherosclerosis. April;209(2):533-8

5. Vessby, B. et al  (2001). Substituting dietary saturated fat for monounsaturated fat impairs insulin sensitivity in healthy men and women: The KANWU study. Diabetologia. Mar;44(3):312-9

6. Appel, L. J. et al (2005). Effects of protein, monounsaturated fat and carbohydrate on blood pressure and serum lipids: results of the OmniHeart randomized trial. JAMA. Nov. 16;294(19):2455-64

7. Franceschi, S. et al (1996). Intake of macronutrients and risk of breast cancer. Lancet. May.18;347(9012):1351-6

8. van Gelder et al (2007). Fish consumption,n-3 fatty acids and subsequent 5-y cognitive decline in elderly men: The Zutphen Elderly Study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Apr;85(4):1142-7

9. Yamagishi, K. et al (2008). Fish, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and mortality from cardiovascular diseases in a nationwide community based cohort of Japanese men and women the JACC (Japan Collaborative Cohort Study for Evaluation of Cancer Risk) Study.

10. Tortosa-Caparros. E. et al (2017). Anti-inflammatory effects of omega 3 and omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids in cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. Critical Reviews in Food Science. 2;57(16):3421-3429

11. Simopolous, A. P. (2008). The importance of the omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid ration in cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases. Experimental Biology and Medicine. Jun;233(6):674-88

12. Hans, S. N. et al (2002). Effect of hydrogenated and saturated, relative to polyunsaturated, fat on immune and inflammatory responses of adults with moderate hypercholesterolemia. Journal of Lipid Research. Mar, 43(3):445-52

13. Hu, F. et al (2001). Diet, lifestyle and the risk of type 2 diabetus mellitus in Women. New England Journal of Medicine. 345:790-797

14. Mozaffarian, D. et al (2009). Health effects of trans-fatty acids: experimental and observational evidence. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 63,5-21

How The Menopause Can Affect Weight Loss

The Menopause. 

Let's talk about it.

For sure, it's an uncomfortable time for most ladies 

With symptoms including;

  • Hot Flushes
  • Night Sweats
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Reduced Sex Drive
  • Mood Swings
  • Prolonged Tiredness

There's no doubt about it, your body is changing in a pretty big way.

But there's another part of the menopause that affects Women just as much as the above symptoms.

Weight Gain 

Am i right?

Well speaking for experience of working with menopausal ladies over the last  12 years, i know for certain that most ladies find it harder to lose weight as they go through the menopause and the aim of this article is to give you some reasons as to why that is so.

So here are the top three menopausal changes that you need to be aware. 

1. Changes In Hormones

The two most prominent hormones in female physiology are oestrogen and progesterone.

These two hormones work together in aiding the function of the female body whilst also impacting other hormones and physiological processes in the body.

As your body enters the menopause, changes in the levels of oestrogen and progesterone occur, as do levels of stress hormones, testosterone insulin, thyroid and other hormones that influence your metabolism. 

Your levels of insulin sensitivity drop, meaning that you're able to use less carbohydrates from the diet.

Stress hormones such as cortisol, stay elevated for longer periods of time which in turn will affect energy production, sleep and concentration.

Levels of active thyroid (t3) begin to decrease too, again affecting energy levels throughout the day and also your weight.

Testosterone levels also influencing libido alongside your female sex hormones, which are dropping too.

All in all, there's a lot of change and it's more or less occurring at the same point in time.

Simple put, these changes in the levels of oestrogen and progresterone are responsible largely for the symptoms and side effects you're experience during the menopause, of which will vary from person to person but the changes in the other hormones are also affecting how your body is functioning too!

2. Metabolic Decline and Muscle Loss

One other unwanted side affect to aging in general and not just the menopause is that metabolically we start to decline as we age.

This means we become less efficient at creating energy and burning / using calories. The same is said for digestion and assimilation of food too.

We could be eating the same amount of calories but actually not using those calories in the way we do when we're more metabolically robust. It has been estimated that we decline 0.5 - 1 % for each year we live after the age of 30!

Not only that, naturally we start to lose muscle tissue as we age which party contributes to the loss of metabolism. 

Muscle tissue is largely where we house the specialized metabolic machinery that creates energy from protein, fats and carbohydrates!   

Combine this with those changes in hormones listed above and it's easy to see why you start to lose the ability to drop body fat in the way you were able to before you entered the menopause.

3. Changes In Where You Store Fat

When the levels of oestrogen and progresterone aren't balanced or the levels of each are lowered, body fat distribution goes with it.

Your body starts moving excess nutrients to be stored more centrally than pre menopause where the bodies preference would have been to store more fat around the uterus to aid the female reproductive system.  ​

This is bad news if you wanted a flatter tummy and slimmer waist!

And just like we highlighted above, how you use calories is changing too which can make you feel more prone to storing weight than you were before.

So Does This Mean You Can't Lose Weight During The Menopause? No!

* Ruth dropped 30lbs in 30 weeks to look phenomenal at 60!

* Rachael achieved her ultimate aim after her phenomenal transformation

* Kay lost 16lbs and a lot of belly fat by eating right and weight training with CMP

* Jona lost a whopping 31lbs in 12 weeks following our guidance.

Tell Me What I Need To Do....

Despite everything we've just talked about above, about how much your body is changing and making it harder for you lose weight.

You're not a lost cause as the couple of results i've just shared with you show.

The truth about losing weight and body fat during the menopause, is that it is the same approach that will work as when you were younger. So if you're not sure, here's a few tips of what we would include in your transformation fat loss plan to achieve result inspite of menopausal changes;

  • Protein at each and every meal to support lean muscle tissue and provide the body with essential amino acids
  • Fewer carbohydrates and fats in the diet to control the calorie deficit so that you start to lose weight
  • More micro nutrients to aid the detoxification processes and oestrogen metabolism.
  • 2 Litres of water at least - because hydration is given and required
  • Strength training 3-4x per week with a focus on technique, execution and effort
  • Change your weight training routine every 4 - 6 weeks 
  • Body Fat analysis every 2 - 4 weeks, feedback is crucial for progress
  • Interval training alongside aerobic exercise as a part of your cardiovascular section of the program

Once you start consistently doing the things that will bring success, results will start to follow. 

The menopause can cause big changes to your body and how you feel, but the parts you can control are usually the ones that are going to improve your shape, weight, health and how you feel if you're doing the right things.

Don't let the menopause make you feel like a lost cause, because you aren't and you still have a lot you can achieve.

Yours in health,

Chris

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Losing Weight Whilst Still Eating As A Family

Sometimes the biggest challenges facing us when we're trying to lose weight are the ones that i'd say are life challenges.

Like making sure you've done your 'big shop' and have every bit of food you need in your cupboards or fridge to stay on your meal plan

Or looking at your diary for the week ahead and making sure that on the days when you're literally flying from meeting to meeting, client to client or job to job that you know how to get through it without gorging on sugary foods and treats just to get your through to the end of the week.

Another challenge, and this one is hugely important, is when you're trying to stick to your diet but can't eat with your family. You're making completely seperate meals in attempt to stay to plan whilst your family eat their regular food.

You stick it out for a while, but it's no fun when you're making different meals all the time and feel segregated at meals times.

So what do you do?

Introducing Calorie Back Loading

​Here's the thing, 

You don't have to make your meal with your family different or less enjoyable if you work a little harder on the meals that come before your evening meal. 

And in fact, you can still include most of your favourite family meals and still be in the calorie deficit you need in order to lose weight and body fat.

So here's how you do it.

Make your breakfast, lunches and snacks higher in lean proteins and lower in both carbohydrates and fats so that you can 'save' those calories till later 

Side note : this isn't a plan that means you can overeat and not put weight on, because you will if you still eat too much. It's a plan to save most of the calories you're going to be eating for the time where you'd rather eat them.

And it means you can still eat the following family meals and enjoy losing weight as you go.

The tradional family meal, Cottage Pie

Chicken Fajitas, anyone?

Who doesn't love a roast?

You can include other foods like

  • Curries
  • Stir Fry's
  • Spaghetti Bolognaise
  • Pasta Bakes
  • Homemade Fish and Chips
  • Casseroles
  • Risottos
  • Linguine's
  • All types of homemade wraps, 'kebabs' and skewers
  • Hot pots
  • Fish Pies
  • 5% Fat Burgers
  • Pitta Pizza's
  • Chilli's 
  • Burritos
  • plus more!

Now, your meal plan will still need a little individualization depending on your weight, level of muscle mass, activity level, current calorie intake but you can use a similar template to the one below;

M1. Greek Yoghurt Protein Mousse or Omlette with 1-2 Eggs, 1-2 Egg Whites and Vegetables (GY and Protein Powder Mixed in a bowl - try it!)

M2. Cajun Chicken Salad

M3. Snacks - Banana, Apple, Deli Meats

🏋️‍♂️👨‍👩‍👧‍👦🍲🍛 M4. FAMILY MEAL 🏋️‍♂️👨‍👩‍👧‍👦🍲🍛

Now, no meal plan is ever perfect and always takes time to adjust your habits and behaviours and requires time to build consistency so make sure you develop the system that works for you!

This way you can keep EVERYONE happy whilst you stay committed to your plan

To achieve results like these.....

No need to segregate yourself from your family, just to lose weight.

Structure your food, organise your meals and more importantly enjoy the process of seeing the results that you want.

Yours in health,

Chris

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