How to hit fibre goals with ease…

Hitting fibre, made easy.

How to hit fibre goals

 

If, like me, you struggle to get a solid amount of fibre, then read on…

 

So you have just woken up, you’ve crawled to the toilet, sat down and nothing, zilch, nada.

You’re not quite sure what is up but you’re hellbent on getting your next low weight. After all, you do usually drop weight around this time of the week, sound like you? Read on…

weigh scale

That low weigh-in doesn’t come. You check your log, review what you ate and bang there it is, hiding in plain sight. Your fibre intake was way too low yesterday. As a rule of thumb, for every 1000 calories, you should consume 10 grams of fiber.

 

I have compiled a list of my favourite go-to foods high in fibre that I incorporate into my diet on a daily basis.

 

#1 Popcorn – Favourite brand Propercorn

 

My favourite flavour is Fiery Worcester sauce, it’s low in calories – roughly around 400 calories for a big packet and has 12 grams of fibre, I mean come on, 12 grams! – this is for an 80g packet.

propercorn

You can find them at most superstores. Tesco Express typically sell the smaller packets that yield around 100 calories give or take.

 

#2 Burgen Soya And Linseed Bread 800G – £1.25 – 5 grams of fibre per slice also has 6.7 grams of protein.

burgen soya

Typically found in Tesco, tastes great and if you have 4 slices of bread, you’ve already got 20 grams of fibre.

 

#3 Chicken Quorn – £2.79 – 100 grams has 6.9 grams of fibre and 13.8 grams of protein.

 chicken quorn

Whether you boil it or fry it, it tastes great. Add some seasoning for a peri peri chicken alternative. Even if you don’t, it still tastes great. So easy to hit fibre and protein goals.

 

#4 Baked Beans – In all it’s glory – 4-6 pack costs between £2-3.00 half a can has 175 calories, 7.6 grams of fibre and 9.8 grams of Protein

branston

Can be found anywhere.

 

#5 KTC Spinach puree – 800g – 0.75p – 100 grams = 34 calories – 3.4 grams of fibre and 3.5 grams of protein.

ktc spinach puree

I buy it from Asda. The tin is huge so you get tons of volume, especially during a cut this helps so much and has a decent amount of protein. So you get a big bang for your buck.

 

I boil it and then pour it all over my meal. The taste is incredible.

 

#6 Fruit – an apple is 40p – 70-80 calories – 2.4 grams of fibre and a pound for a pack –

gala apples

One of your five a day, need I say more?

 

#7  Kelloggs All-Bran Cereal – 500G – £2.09 – 40 grams has 134 calories and 11 grams of fibre and as an added bonus you get 5.6 grams of protein.

fibre all bran

However, if you’re on that budget life, regular bran flakes is usually under £1.00 – 30 grams has 109 calories and has around 4 grams of fibre with 3.6 grams of protein.

 

#8 Vegetables – frozen vegetables are usually a pound; in Lidl they are 0.89p. 3-4grams of fibre per serving.

vegetable medley

I fry my vegetables and season them so they taste amazing, some melted low fat cheese, a bit of barbeque sauce, in a tortilla, say no more.

 

#9 Kanpur chapatti garden – under £1.00 from Lidl – 123 calories,  3.7 grams of fibre and protein.

kanpur

Melt some cheese, add some eggs, meat or whatever the hell you like and it’ll be the most satisfying thing ever.

 

#10   T.Cont 74% Plain Chocolate Bar – 100G – £1.00 – 561 calories – 12.7 grams of fibre

tesco dark choc

Dark chocolate is not for everyone but for those of us that prefer dark chocolate over milk. This is amazing.

 

#11 Lidl Protein Rolls – 39p – 14.3 grams fibre – 30 grams of protein

Tastes amazing, high in protein, high in fibre and so filling.

lidl protein roll

How to lose belly fat

Lose belly fat fast

You’re sitting there watching your favourite TV show and boom that’s when it hits you. The lead actor enters the scene shredded and lean. Suddenly, you start to feel self conscious about yourself. A sudden rush of motivation floods through.

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Flickr – GreggMp

You buy a gym membership, you hop on the treadmill, run your heart out thinking that with every step you take, you get a little closer to being that guy. To follow, you start doing your crunches, sit ups and anything else you can think of to target your abdominals.

 

You go home covered in sweat, satisfied and hungry for the end product. You wake up the next day and feel sore all over your body and in particular, your abs. This strikes a chord with you and only makes you push harder. You continue to do this for a few weeks and eventually begin to realise that vision you had of being lean is slowly beginning to fade.

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Flickr – GreggMp

Your motivation dissipates; you discontinue all activity resuming all your old bad habits. You start eating more because you possibly ate some brutal diet that provided you with nothing but a bad relationship with food.

 

Another year passes by and thus the cycle continues…sound familiar?

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Flickr – The U.S Army

The reason why all those crunches did nothing was because abs are made in the kitchen. I bet you’ve heard that somewhere.

 

The reality is you have to reduce belly fat in order to reveal your abs. You do this by eating less. It is as simple as that. No amount of cardio, crunches, pills and juice cleansers will reveal your abs.

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Flickr – studio tdes

Simply, you need to put yourself in an energy restricted state also known as caloric restriction. For the most part, all you need to know is it is calories ‘in’ vs calories ‘out’.

 

I have linked an earlier post on how to work out your calories.

 

Until next time.

 

-S

 

How to train/lose weight during Ramadan

Last year I was in the middle of my cut down of 10lbs and Ramadan had come sooner than I expected. Far too soon.

Fitness had become so much a part of my life I really didn’t know what I was going to do, the idea of ballooning up again terrified me. Especially after I had worked so hard to get down. So, I began searching for a full proof method that I could adhere to during this holy month for Muslims.

I found some posts but none that had really resonated with me. You see, some said train before the fast opens, I tried that and well to be honest I felt like crap and I was so dehydrated within minutes of working out that I gave up and went home.

Another suggested to do light weights and I’m not about that life…

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Flickr – Chuck D

However, there were some that really hit the nail on the head.  I stumbled on an article that suggested doing it after opening my fast with water and a real light meal saving majority of your calories post workout and prior to bed.

Now, I chose to not eat immediately after opening my fast. Instead, I had a cup of black coffee and a litre of water before making my way down to the gym, why?

So that I could capitalize on all of the benefits of course…

#1 – Decrease in insulin –  for those of you who don’t know. When insulin is high your body is not using your fat stores as fuel, it is using the food.

 

#2 – Increase in human growth hormone – HGH increased by 2 or 3 x in a fasted state. HGH can help increase lean body mass as well as reduce body fat.

 

#3 – Your body uses the time to remove waste material from cells

 

#4 – Can help with stemming the growth of a tumour as well as other benefits.

 

An abstract from the linked article –

 

Sirtuin family proteins whose functions are involved in specific aspects of longevity, stress response and metabolism. Sirtuins, particularly SIRT1 and SIRT3, can be activated by fasting and further exhibit their effects in insulin response, antioxidant defense, and glycolysis”

 

In short, the benefits of fasting throughout the workout far outweigh snacking before working out.

 

At the time, I was doing 6 days a week, cardio 4 times a week and I was consuming 225g protein, around 200g carbs and 64g fats so it was safe to say I was stuffed whilst hitting my caloric deficit.

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Flickr – UNE Photos

 

It was great, although the cardio was excessive and unnecessary as well as the 6 days a week of strength training. However, I have opted for a far more sustainable approach where I walk an hour before opening the fast with water on rest days and on the other days go to the gym. Strength training is the primary focus to ensure you retain as much muscle as possible in a deficit, this is done 2-3 x a week.

So for example:

Monday – Strength train

Tuesday – Walk for an hour

Wednesday – Strength train

Thursday – Walk for an hour

Friday – Strength train 

The weekend – Walk for an hour each day.

I then eat all my calories post workout; I’m happy, full, satisfied and I sleep great.

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Flickr – Rusaila Bazlamit

 

The most important thing I learned was to do what works for you. If you can’t workout fasted, don’t. It has to become a part of your life, you’ve got to be able to do it like clockwork. Yes, you will have to be disciplined; if it was that easy, everybody would be doing it.

 

Instead of immediately throwing the idea out the window saying “I can’t do this”, try. You will be surprised how capable your body is and the only obstacle in your way, is you.   

 

With that being said, if you have been waiting for the right time to start losing weight, NOW is as good as a time as any. Work out your calories, get optimal protein, a portion of vegetables and a serving of fruit and like magic fat will start melting off.

myfitnesspal

You could be down 10lbs by the end of the month and well on your way of fitting into your brand new Eid clothes that you bought a month in advance.

 

If you want to take the first steps into losing weight, I have already written an article in an earlier post on how to do this.

 

If you are still unsure, leave a comment and I’ll help you.

 

That’s all folks

 

-S  

  

 

Curb your cravings – made easy!

How to curb them cravings

 

So you’ve been dieting for a few weeks now and it’s been going great but you feel your willpower slipping. Each day the temptation to eat more than you should gets more difficult to hold back from.

We have all been there, so I know how brutal it can be but luckily I have compiled a list that can make it so effortless for those days where you’ve had your candy, ice-cream or pizza but you really wished you had a bar of chocolate.

#1

Cadbury Highlights – 40 cals per 11 grams that’s about 2 tea spoons –  have a hot chocolate drink

 

£3.50 at any superstore

cadbury highlights.jpg

 

Mix it in your greek yogurt for chocolate pudding or freeze for ice-cream and if that don’t do it then mix it with milk for a tasty chocolate milkshake.

 

 

#2

PB2 powder peanut butter

45 calories for 2 tablespoons – sweet deal

pb2.jpg

I love peanut butter but I hate wasting my calories and fat macros for marginal amounts so with some googling I discovered this gem. £5 on Amazon and an absolute life saver.

 

Chocolate peanut butter is my favourite thing in the world, it’s not Reese’s but it is damn close enough

 

#3

Walden Farms pancake syrup/mocha/chocolate

walden farms pancake syrup.png

0 calories and £5 a bottle off Amazon

 

#4

Asda good & counted chocolate frozen yogurt – 420 calories per tub and only £2

good and counted.jpg

And it has 20 grams of protein.

 

#5

Waitrose Belgian chocolate frozen yogurt – 370 calories and £3

belgian choc.jpg

#6

Chewitts stick – 120 calories and 60p –  a good way of curbing cravings and not going over calories

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#7

Popchips

£1.89 for an 85g pack that only has 370 calories, they are incredibly filling and satisfying.

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#8

Propercorn

£1.59 and 389 calories and there so many more flavours.

propercorn_all packs.jpg

#9

Carte D’or Light Vanilla Ice-Cream

630 calories for a 900ml tub! Usually on offer for £2

cart dor light.jpg

I hope this helps in curbing your cravings because let’s face it we are all human. Best of luck.

 

-S

 

How many calories should I eat?

So, in the last blog post I explained how eating healthy doesn’t necessarily mean you will lose fat; in this article, I would like to explore how you determine what calories you need without going in to the specifics of nutrition, each macronutrient and the law of thermodynamics.

So how do I determine the calories I need to lose weight?

Simple, first you calculate your maintenance calories. Your maintenance calories are how much you can eat and still be able to maintain your weight.

For most of us, we would multiply our bodyweight x 14-15 – that is the most accurate calculator without having to take in other factors like height, age and all that other mumbo jumbo…

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Flickr – Fit Approach

Once you have your maintenance calories you then subtract according to how much fat each week you ‘wish’ to lose. I say ‘wish’ just because fat loss is never linear – your weight can go up 2lbs one day and down 4Ibs another day.

If you want to slowly lose weight whilst focusing on strength gains then your best option would be to eat slightly below maintenance, a good number would 200-300 below maintenance. This would equal to about half a pound a week.  

If you want something slightly more aggressive, then eating 500 calories below maintenance would equal 1lb of fat loss a week, with this approach you can gain strength whilst losing fat.

However, if you hold more than 20lbs of fat and you only want to focus on losing it then I would say eat 700-800 below maintenance. This would equal roughly 1.5 lbs a week.

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Flickr – Alan Cleaver

 

So what does this look like for the average 180lb male?

So, his maintenance would be 180lbs x 15 = 2700

For a slower cut he should eat around 2400 calories and every 2-3 weeks he should readjust his calories to keep fat loss progressing.

For a slightly aggressive approach, he would eat 2200 calories.

And finally…

If he wants to lose 1.5-2lbs a week he should eat around 1900 calories.

(These numbers will vary from individual to individual)

So now you have your numbers, what are you waiting for?

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Flickr – Alan Cleaver

-S      

 

“I am the master of my fate; / I am the captain of my soul. – William Ernest Henley

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