Snacks to get you ripped

Low calorie snacks…

If, like me, you want to snack but you don’t want to waste your calories then this is the guide for you.

You see, I like to eat light in the day so that I can slam a massive meal at night because I can’t sleep when I’m hungry.

The problem with always being out & about is that so much food is so calorically dense that it makes it a pain to snack on foods. For example,  a Mars bar is 250 calories, in fact, most chocolate bars are over 200 calories and I like to eat light and use my calories sparingly.

mars

A couple of chocolate bars and I’ve already eaten 500-750 calories. Three chocolate bars isn’t sufficient in getting me to my big at the end of the day; therefore, through trial & error, I have compiled a list of low calorie snacks which are all under 200 calories including chocolate bars.

 

#1 Chilli Milli – Asda – 70 calories – 29p

chilli

#2 Nature Valley popcorn bar – Tesco – 95 calories – under £1

nature valley

#3 Propercorn – Tesco – 120 calories – under £1

propercorn

#4  Chewitts – Sainsburys – 115 calories – under £1

strawberry-stickpack

#5 Apple – anywhere – 80 calories – under 50p

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#6 Fudge – Tesco – 114 calories – 25p

fudge

#7 Curly Wurly – Tesco – 118 calories – under 50p

curly wurly

#8 Chewing gum – anywhere – negligible calories – 50p

chewing gum

These rockets have made dieting a piece of piss for me. Being a student on a budget,  making wise choices both financially and calorically speaking, is the key for me.

 

I hope this helps you on your journey!

 

-S

 

Do I lose muscle if I miss my protein?

Picture this: you’re at your calorie budget. You ate everything you wanted but when you checked your MyFitnessPal, you saw you didn’t get in your protein.

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Shiiii…..

 

So you either do one of two things.

 

You go over your calories to get your protein in because you don’t want to lose any muscle.

 

Or…

 

You think screw it and you decide to take the risk anyway, despite the alarm bells ringing in your head.

alarm

You wake up the next day and start checking yourself out to see if you’ve lost gains. Nothing there. You proceed to step on the scale and your weight has dropped, of how much is muscle, who knows! You check your waist and that has also gone down.

weightscale_muscle_loss

So what happened…?

 

Well, although your muscles are in a catabolic state from the deficit, missing protein for a day doesn’t really matter. It’s what you do over the course of the week/month. That’s what truly matters.

 

But still you want to know, well, test your strength at the gym. Has it drastically decreased, say a couple of kg or 5lbs?

 

Side note – It’s important to note that a decrease in strength usually does occur during dieting, for me usually around 5th or 6th week into my cut.

 

In addition to that, if you’ve only lost a couple of reps on certain sets then you’re probably ok as this could be down to a number of things such as inadequate sleep, water, carbohydrates etc.

 

And…

muscle loss blog

If you did, I wouldn’t worry. Muscle memory is a real thing – as quick as you lost it that’s how quick you can regain it back.

muscle memory

So even if you did lose a bit of muscle, you can almost certainly rebuild it back in no time.

gain train

All aboard the ‘Gain Train’, next stop ‘Gain City’

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You feel me homie?

Until next time

-S

Should I go to the gym if I am sick?

Should I cut/train when I’m sick?

 

So you’ve been dieting week in week out, you’ve been training hard. You keep making progress and nothing looks like it can get in your way.

 

Then one day you wake up, you feel like crap, head pounding, body sweating buckets and you have 0 appetite.

food poisoning

Sucks right?….

 

Now I have my own strategy which I myself have found to be the most effective in getting back on track, with that being said one way doesn’t work for all, every person has their own way of dealing with shii….

 

Some of you will keep cutting and will keep training, pushing through all the pain because it will make you feel stronger (mentally). Whilst others will either give up or tone it down a notch.

What-Happens-When-You-Skip-the-Gym-2

Fair play to you all, mate if you do choose to keep pushing bear in mind that being in a caloric deficit already puts your body under a lot of stress, so training and cutting will only make recovering take that extra bit longer.

 

Let’s call this person,  ‘A’,

 

A – he doesn’t see obstacles he sees the finish line and does whatever it takes to get there. His ship is headed for impending doom but he doesn’t care.

 

Some of us give in – ‘Person B’ – Will give up, a pattern that can be seen throughout their life.

skipped

B -You see, as humans we naturally want to choose the path of least resistance. Robert Fritz, the author of this book says that in any given situation we gravitate towards what we know; what has been tried & tested because that is what is true for us, so we always choose the easiest way out.

 

So person B will get sick and he will use that as an excuse to skip the gym and skip his nutrition because it’s the easiest way, why? Because they have done that all their life.

bitch

Person B jumps ships the first chance he gets…

jump ship

Now we have our two types of people, I am going to introduce another type:

 

Person C –

 

C- Skips a workout because they actually feel like crap and they need to stay in bed. However, they continue to go on the other days because they feel up to it.  They also eat to maintenance because their body is already under a lot of stress from the deficit so they want to ensure they can recover as soon as possible.

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C – can see the obstacles but knows how to navigate around ensuring he reaches his final destination the safest way.

My experience

 

Now, I rarely get sick but when I do, everything but the kitchen sink gets thrown at me. I mean I’m so sick I can’t move without making it worse.

 

So each time,  I do the same thing. I skip a workout and if I am able, I eat to maintenance but if I have 0 appetite I fast 24 hours.

 

A 24 hour fast can help eliminate toxins from your body which can help to eliminate future illnesses. It aids the digestive system to repair itself – this is more important if you get food poisoning.

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In turn, it helps me to consume loads of water. Research has shown drinking more water is highly beneficial as it improves cognitive functioning, eliminates toxins, increases energy levels, improves mood and headaches etc…

5-gallon-water-jugs-stash

In addition, by eating at maintenance I make sure my body has the correct amount of energy to do everything it can to restore me back to 100%. If I have no appetite then I try to make sure I get in a bowl of vegetables with plenty of protein and a portion of fruit. This ensures I preserve my lean muscle whilst still getting in plenty of vitamins without having to force myself.

 

Following this, I usually am back in the gym, cutting the following day or two.

 

You see, the point I’m trying to make is a more lifestyle approach is more beneficial. Some people like to blow full steam ahead, however it isn’t necessary. Human beings are the only species that actually go against what their bodies are telling them.  

elephant

Skipping a day of working out or not eating at a deficit isn’t going to make the blindest bit of difference, because you would still have been in a deficit longer than you were in a surplus.

 

A lifestyle approach is far easier to follow. Gym and nutrition should come secondary to overall health.

 

I hope this aids in your recovery.

 

That’s all folks

 

-S

How do I know if I should lose weight

Welcome back chief,

So you want to know if you should in fact actually lose weight.

So you wake up one day, look in the mirror and your face is round like a melon, your stomach presses against your t-shirt and the three pairs of jeans you own no longer fit.

Trainer measures overweight man
Trainer measures overweight man

None of your friends, peers or family have said to you to lose weight except your mother because, well let’s face it, she’s your mum and when you were slim she said get bigger. Lesson one: don’t take health advice from your mum.

Anyways, I digress. You asked a few of your friends if you should lose weight and they said you look fine but as they were saying it you eyed them up and down and realised actually they need to lose weight.

Here is the thing about that:

Jim Rohn said: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time”. What does this mean? Well if all your friends are overweight then that’s probably why you are too. Why? Because gaining weight or being “big boned” is the direct/indirect result of that behaviour.

 

 

fat friends

Aside from fitness, look at successful people. They rarely ‘hang out’ with ‘unsuccessful’ or ‘unmotivated’ people because that would impact them in a negative way. If you constantly surround yourself with people who have goals and have plans then that will influence how you approach your day to day.

 

With that being said, if you ask for your friends’ honest opinion and if that ‘friend’ truly cares about you, he will tell you to lose weight. If he doesn’t, ask someone outside of your circle.

#1

If still you don’t get the response you are looking for buddy, that’s a cause for concern because firstly, you aren’t content with their response meaning you were looking for them to give it to you straight. Secondly, you are reading this right now and something triggered inside of you.

That is the single most important indicator. You no longer feel happy with the way you look. We’ve all seen those memes saying you should love your body, which is true. You should love your body enough to know what you are currently doing is impacting your health more.

slim belly

Some of these health risks include but are not limited to, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and so on…

Again, I am not saying you need to have abs and be shredded like a fitness model, you just need to get into the 12-15% body fat range and all of those drastically improve.

fat-and-slim-bellies-facebook

Other indicators include any form of activity become substantially more difficult like walking. If you are out of breath from short walks or the walk itself now becomes a chore.

 

#2

 

Your joints ache, the more weight you carry the harder it becomes to walk around. Imagine weighing around 70 kilos and then walking around with a barbell, then add 10kg on each side.  Traditional barbell weighs around 20 kilos (44 lbs) so you are looking at 110kg (240lbs).

 

This is something I also noticed as I dropped fat – the leaner I got, the easier things became. I felt like I was flying when I was walking. I was no longer out of breath and the pain in the my joints completely disappeared.

 

#3

 

You have to go out to buy new clothes or you can’t make it to the first notch in your belt.

Fat
Fat woman trying to wear jeans

You find that you buy larger clothes not just because of your weight but because you are still self conscious about yourself. You want to wear looser clothing so your belly, in all its glory, doesn’t shine through.

 

#4

 

You just don’t feel great, energy levels are low, you feel bloated and huge all the time and you yearn to be skinnier.

 

If any of these sound like you and you’ve tried fad diets like juice cleanses, tea diets and waist trimmers but nothing has worked, then click here to another post I wrote on how to actually lose fat.

juice diet

You see, there is a lot of misinformation out there and I was in a similar position whereby the diets weren’t working, in fact I was actually gaining weight. A little research and I discovered the real truth. With that being said, if you are ready to start losing weight, check out my article and take the first step to a better you.

 

-S

 

 

GOMO – How to make it your summer!

I just want to start this post by saying, you are your biggest obstacle!

“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.”

― Amit Ray, Om Chanting and Meditation

What does he mean? Well, if you are somebody who refrains from attending social events, you like to keep yourself to yourself, an introvert who would rather sit at home watching tv shows but still kind of wants to get out of their shell, then now is the perfect opportunity.

Eventbrite have launched a campaign called GOMO (going out more often) instead of FOMO (fear of missing out). This could be your defining summer. I can’t express how much regret I have with the summers of fun I missed out on. The experiences I missed out on, the friendships I could have made and the places I could have been.

I personally find that there is nothing worse than being asked what did you get up to and you replying “bugger all”. You just sound lame and boring. The reality of the situation is, you want to be the guy/girl who lists all the amazing things they do.

I get it, you don’t have anything to prove, you are a great person and well fun to be around. People just need to take the time to get to know you. With that being said, if you never show it how will anyone ever know, right?

Use this summer to not only have fun but to become a better version of you. The people you could potentially meet will not only help you grow as a person but will give you perspective on what you actually enjoy doing.

Here are some things you can do this summer!

Walks

Go for walks – I can’t explain how regularly I do this and how each time I go for a stroll, the better I feel. I find it very soothing and relaxing especially with the weather being so great.

summer walks

Exercise

I find exercise to be the single most relieving thing you can do. It really helps me unwind. I feel great all day and we now know that exercise can release endorphins which is why we feel great after.

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Volunteer

There are tons of volunteering schemes you can do throughout London. A simple search will show a whole array of things to do, for example, you can volunteer at bikeworks. If that doesn’t take your fancy, there are other areas you can volunteer in.

volunteer

Festivals

There are so many great festivals you can go to. Grab a friend and make them go or if you have the cash, buy them a ticket. Here is a list of the top festivals happening this summer.

festival

Holidays

If you have the cash, go on a road trip with your friends. It doesn’t even have to be expensive. This summer, me and my friends are road tripping across Europe. Specifically, France-Belgium-Germany. Road trips are always so much banter and I’d rather be out and about exploring and making a fool of myself than sitting at home trying to decide what to watch!

beach

To Do list

If there is something you know you have been wanting to do for a while but because you’re a mug and you keep putting it off, now is the perfect chance to do them. I knew I wanted to start a blog, so I did, hi guys 🙂

 

I also wanted to hit a new personal record at the gym and I did! Strive for the little progression each week in whatever you want to do, over time it will add up and you will only have yourself to thank.

Get in shape

I have written articles on how to get into shape. If you’ve always wanted to be slim this could be your chance. There is a lot of misinformation out there when in actual fact losing fat is so easy and the best part is you don’t have to give up foods or skip socials.

 

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Whatever it may be, use this free time to do something. You will be so happy at the end of the summer that you did something positive and you won’t be that person who has nothing to add to a conversation.

If you are feeling extra confident, organise your own event. Eventbrite will provide you with the means to sell tickets!

Yours

-S

 

 

 

  

How to ‘cheat’ the ‘cheat day’

We are only human with so much willpower.

 

Ever wake up sometimes and you’ve gone from diet to cheat day real quick. I mean things have been going well, you’ve been leaning down, tracking everything. You’ve had no cravings because you’ve been smart about incorporating the foods you like, by all means, you’d even stretch it to being ‘perfect’.

 

But…

 

One morning you wake up, you’re not hungry but you feel like jumping those steps to the fridge because you remembered that tub of Ben & Jerry’s you stashed at the bottom of the freezer the other week. Everything is screaming at you to binge and you don’t know why?

fridge crave
We’ve all been there.

The worst is when it happens late at night after you’ve eaten all your calories for the day and you can’t sleep. The water you’ve been sipping on isn’t helping, neither is the pepsi max cherry you have; the usual distractions do nothing.

pepsi mac

And then it happens. All of a sudden in a space of 3 minutes you’re up, dressed and in the car eagerly anticipating getting into any superstore that has everything – sound like you?

SONY DSC
SONY DSC

I know them feels brother. You don’t even massively want to cheat, because your low weigh in day is tomorrow; the water weight; the toxic gas chamber you are going to unleash in your toilet that no amount of air freshener can mask and not to mention having to wait another week to see your weight drop.

Cheat-Day

Long…

cheat toilet

But again, it happens to the best of us…

 

I have drawn up a strategy to help you deal with this.

 

1.First and foremost still try to push your first meal as late as possible. Find things to do. Keep busy.

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  1. Start your day with junk food. Whenever I feel like having a cheat day I usually start my day off with low calorie chocolates, sweets, ice cream (or whatever you are craving) so that if I do find I don’t want to cheat anymore, I still have tons of calories left over!

  1. Have a big meal of junk but still hit your caloric budget. An effective strategy I found was to eat belgian chocolate frozen greek yogurt!

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I marched to asda and bought three of them, £2.00 each and it only has 420 Kcal per tub. So in total I had consumed 1260 calories, each tub has 20g of protein. After I had got through them, I was stuffed and as a bonus, I had gotten 60g of protein.

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As a bonus, I still had 600 kcal left over to hit the rest of my protein. I get that with chocolate whey protein, greek yogurt, fruit, muesli and some honey.

whey yog

By the end of the night, I have hit my deficit and I no longer have the urge to binge. I have found this strategy to be most effective. Effectively binge using your caloric budget, as a result you will continue to lean down, psychologically you feel great, it’s fun and it’s fresh.

 

It’s important to understand that sometimes going off the plan is ok. If you do end up binging, don’t think about it after, don’t try to make up for it because that will only make things 10x harder than they need to be.

 

Because that is where the real damage is done. Just accept what has happened and focus on hitting your deficit and chances are you would have undone most of it in a couple of days of dieting.

 

I hope this helps you in your quest to be shredded af.

 

Kthanksbye

-S  

How to eat a tub of cookie dough ice cream whilst dieting.

How to eat tubs without getting fat.

If, like me, you don’t like weighing out how much ice cream you can have because that inner fat boy could never be satisfied with such small portions, then read on…

fatkid

You see, I’ve cut many times and as a result I’ve learnt what works and what doesn’t. For example, I know I crave ice cream but I don’t crave those additional calories. I want cookie dough ice cream but I know a Ben & Jerry’s 500ml tub has 1150 calories and I know it won’t satisfy because I know all I’ll have is a small portion of calories to get in some protein.

 

Low fat vanilla ice cream like Carte D’or doesn’t please me whatsoever, it’s too plain.

cart dor light

In addition, a tub of Ben & Jerry’s has all my dietary fat in a tub. I could calorically make it work but from a macronutrient standpoint that’s where the hiccup is.

 

That’s where the issue lies….

 

You see it wasn’t a case of fitting it into my macros or calories or even saving it for a refeed day. I wanted to find a way of being able to eat it everyday whilst still having a ton of calories/macros to eat whatever I wanted.

 

Some may argue, learn to control yourself. If that is you, there is a red x in the corner of the screen, go click on it. This is for my brothers and sisters that have binge tendencies, we’ve never been that kind. Learning this method has changed my view of dieting and ice cream.

cheatrest
Life.

You see, when I only followed macros I always craved more fat macros, why? Because I wanted to be able to eat Ben & Jerry’s and still have macros left over.

 

Now, as I WAS saying, ice cream fills me, it makes me happy and it satisfies me especially when I know I can eat more later. Again, not talking about portion control,I’m talking about calorie control.

smilingdog

I have compiled a list of lower calorie ice cream tubs that include all our favourite flavours that friends over at Ben & Jerry’s make.

 

Each tub has roughly around 36-40 grams of dietary fat. Half the fat, but all the flavour.

My Alternatives:

# The Tesco Range

#1 Tesco – Cookie Dough – £2.00 – 480 ml – 720 Kcal

Tastes just like Ben and Jerry’s, it only has 720 calories and it is only £2.00 year round. The key is “Partially reconstituted skimmed milk powder”, this is what brings the caloric value down. I always look for this first because if it isn’t there, chances are it calorically will be too expensive.

cookie dough tesco

#2 Tesco – Peanut Caramel  – £2.00 – 480ml – 705 Kcal – 36g of fat for the tub.  

tesco peanut

Amazing, you must try. Peanut butter cup can’t compare to this sensation. This is for the homies that love peanut butter and want to incorporate it into their diet daily.

 

#3 Tesco – Caramel Shortcake – £2.00 – 480ml – 758 Kcal

caramel icecream

Hardly any difference

 

#4 Tesco – Chewy Caramel – £2.00 – 480ml – 672 Kcal

chewy caramel

This is a premium ice cream, only saw it once. It may be in your area. One of the best and calorically speaking the 2nd lowest.

choc brownie icecream

#5 Tesco – Chocolate Fudge Brownie – £2.00 – 480ml – 729 Kcal

 

A cheap alternative to the Ben & Jerry’s version but tastes exactly the same.

mint choc

#6 Tesco – Mint Chocolate – £2.00 – 480ml – 710 Kcal

 

Not much of a fan of mint chocolate but took a gamble and surprisingly wasn’t disappointed.  

# The Spar Range

#7 Spar – strawberry cheesecake – £2.00 – 480ml – 770 Kcal

icecream

The Spar range I actually have found to taste better but either way it really comes down to what is closer to you.

spar icecream

#8 Spar – Chocolate Fudge Brownie  – £2.00 – 480 ml  – 633 Kcal (Calorically speaking, the lowest one)

 

Calorically speaking, this yields the least. Tastes great and is more like a small snack leading up to the big meal.

 

#9 Spar – Caramel Shortcake – £2.00 – 500ml – 856 Kcal (Calorically speaking, highest of the range)

This was so good, I wish it didn’t have to end. An extra 20ml, highest in calories without compromising your daily budget.

#10 Spar – Cookie dough – £2.00 – 480ml – 758 Kcal

A great alternative to the Ben & Jerry’s brand.

As a rule of thumb, look for grocery brands i.e (Tesco, Spar, Asda). In the ingredients it should say ‘partially reconstituted skimmed milk powder’ and finally check the nutrition content. If each scoop or 100ml is roughly between 140-150 calories then you’re good to go, make your way to the checkout.

Using this strategy, I no longer crave Ben & Jerry’s. I’d rather make the smarter choices.

fan of icecream gif

Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll show you where to get low calorie cheesecake.

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-S