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

 

 

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.

IMG-20160608-WA0009

  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!

IMG-20160608-WA0005

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.

IMG-20160608-WA0006

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

 

 

The best tasting protein bars…

I think the worst thing in the world is seeing a protein bar flavoured cookies & cream when in actual fact it tastes like sprinkled cinnamon on cardboard.

 

Falling into that trap is the worst thing, one that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. It does nothing for your cravings, then you walk around thinking I’ve just wasted my money and calories on something that has done nothing for me other than buying something that will satisfy me and let’s face it, who wants to waste their calories on a limited budget as it is.

 

On that note, let’s do this!

 

#1 Quest bar – Cookies & Cream is my number 1 – 190 calories – 21g protein – £2.99

quest

Tastes amazing and if you microwave it beforehand, I promise you won’t regret it.

 

#2  Grenade carb killa – White chocolate – 215 calories – 22.4g protein

white choc

You can buy this in Holland & Barrett – £2.50

 

It melts in your mouth, it’s imperative that you take your time with it, don’t get all caught up in the moment. Every bite counts with this bar.

 

#3 USN chocolate ice cream bar – 300 calories – 24g protein – £2.99

 

Every company now does their own version of chocolate flavoured protein bars. Some are alright and some just taste like a rubber covered in Walden Farms chocolate syrup. This bar however, in my opinion is the best chocolate flavoured bar

choc icecream protein bar

Available in Holland & Barrett

 

#4 Superdrug white chocolate & Raspberry – 225 calories – 14g protein – £1.50-£2.00

 

For me, the perfect protein bar not only has to taste great but it also has to be satisfying. The problem with some bars is that they are too soft so you rarely get to enjoy the bar to its fullest.

white choc ras

This bar has a 10/10 chewy factor and it tastes amazing. I bought 3 of them, lol.

 

#5 Superdrug Chocolate peanut butter – 264 calories – 19g protein – £1.50-£2.00

 

Because who doesn’t like chocolate and peanut butter?

superdrug choc pean

Often companies try to combine these products in order to emulate Ben & Jerry’s and Reese’s. I can tell you now, Superdrug pulled it off.

 

#6 Syntha 6 – chocolate fudge – 300 calories – 30g protein – £3.50

 

Simply amazing, sometimes you can get them on offer at Holland & Barrett. The taste is on point, chewy factor 10/10 and when on offer it’s a win win.

syntha 6

#7 Sci Mx double chocolate cookie – 304 calories – 20g protein – £2.00

 

Although not a bar, this is a fine alternative to Lenny & Larry’s cookie. You can buy this at Superdrug. I found it in the Cutty Sark, London branch. It’s £2.00 and has 300 calories and it is also very satisfying.

superdrug cookie

#8 Precision Engineered chocolate chip flapjack – 291 calories – 23g protein – £1.79

 

Because why not? Now, out of all the Precision Engineered range, this is my favourite. The rest simply aren’t enjoyable because they are rock solid. Who eats bricks man?

precision engineered

From Holland & Barrett

 

Taste – 6/10 and chewy factor – 8/10. Chewy factor makes it worth getting. Usually on offer at H&B and cheap protein on the go.

 

What is the whoosh effect? and how to elicit one

What is a whoosh! and how to get one…

Today I am going to talk about the whoosh effect, the theories behind it, when it typically happens i.e symptoms to look out for, to whom it affects and my experience with it.

 

What is the whoosh effect?

 

In a nutshell, the whoosh effect is when your body drops a ton of weight (anything from 3-5lbs) overnight; this weight is from the result of dieting. In theory, your body should have dropped weight at a steady pace for e.g. 1-2 lbs a week. However, as we know, weight loss is never linear.

 

The theory behind the whoosh effect is during fat loss, as your fat cells shrink they sometimes get filled up with water glycerol. It is believed this is the mechanism behind the bodily function in your fat cell that attracts water. Supposedly, the fat cells hold the water in, before dropping them like a bad habit.

whoosh

What does this mean?

 

Well, you could have been dieting for weeks, steadily losing weight each week and then for a brief period your body composition, weight and size would not have changed. This could psychologically be so draining because you’ve been in a solid deficit, you’ve been diligent in your tracking and you have been working out plenty but lo and behold for weeks on end you have looked exactly the same.

 

When does it happen/symptoms?

 

So, you’re at the point of mental break and you say to yourself “screw it”, you consume 5000 calories with a ton of carbs and hardly any water. You know you’ve messed up, you’re already dreading stepping on the scale the following morning, feeling bloated and having a puffy face.

Bathroom scale
Standing on bathroom scale concept for dieting, slimming or overweight

However, you look in the mirror and actually you look so much more leaner. You step on the scale and you’ve dropped 3-5lbs (different for everyone). Then you check yourself out in the mirror for a brief period, mirin the changes but at the same time you have no frickin idea what has happened.

 

You google it, ask around as well and soon discover that squishy fat and whoosh has happened to other people. However, no sufficient research has been done on this phenomenon but what the heck who cares man, you’ve dropped weight, you look great. But, still it looms at the back of your mind.

whoosh example
You can see a visual difference.

Whom does it effect?

 

Water retention doesn’t affect us all, in fact, some people can drop weight at a steady pace each week with no issues whatsoever. If that is you, go screw yourself. If this isn’t you, hold tight, I’ve gotchu homie.

 

If you are somebody that retains water, male or female, then chances are you will experience a whoosh at least a couple of times during periods of dieting. For you, I have listed below tried and tested solutions that you, yourself can implement to get you out of this bloody mess.

 

My experience

 

This is an account of my experience with water retention and the whoosh. If you scroll further down, I have listed each step you should take in order to elicit a whoosh.

 

I was midway through dieting and I was losing about half a pound a week which was strange as I was losing 1-1.5 lbs just weeks before. Eventually, it came to a complete halt. I felt my motivation slip, noone is perfect with their diet. One night I said “Let’s do this, Game on!” I went ham in the kitchen, everything was at my mercy, no regrets. The next day I woke up 3lbs lighter and significantly leaner.

the rock

I was astonished, as this was my first time. My whoosh virginity had been taken and I felt great.

 

This happened again a few weeks later but this time it was after a moderate refeed of around 3-400 grams of carbs.   

 

And finally…

 

During my second cut, I experienced it one more time; however this time, I tried everything. I first did the dry refeed, a normal refeed with loads of water, a refeed for a couple of days in a deficit and then up to maintenance for the same amount of time.

refeed day

I tried a cheat day and this time I gained no weight and looked exactly the same.

 

I knew something else was going, being in a deficit was putting a huge stress on my body, cortisol levels were raised to the point where 5000 calories did nothing to my weight on the scale, appearance and size.

 

So in the end I decided to take a diet break. I ate at a slight surplus, roughly around 3000 calories and I did this for a week and like magic, I noticed my libido increase, my energy levels increase and most importantly for me, my weight went up for the first time in weeks.

 

I then went back to dieting and hey presto, bob’s your uncle, my weight began to drop.

 

I hope this article helps to explain what this whoosh effect is and how to elicit that kind of response. If this happened to you, welcome to the club, solidarity.    

 

Solutions

 

So I have explained that when weight loss has stalled, you see no changes and you have squishy fat all over your body are common symptoms. Now, I am going to tell you how to elicit a whoosh response.

 

Do a huge refeed in carbs, up to maintenance or slightly above. Same as any other refeed day but just add some more carbs. That is the trigger and limit your water intake, in other words, if you are dehydrated at the end of the night then you’ve achieved this.

 

Do a huge refeed same as above but drink 8 litres of water.

refeed pizza

Have a massive refeed day or cheat day, full of carbs.

 

Refeed up to maintenance till it happens.

 

If after refeeding for a week nothing has happened, don’t sweat it. Go back to your diet and it should just fall off.
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-S

 

 

 

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 hit protein numbers on a budget

Budget protein

If, like me, you have also discovered that buying meat is so damn expensive, then read on…

As a student, living off a budget, watching fitness youtubers get free protein supplements and meals just makes me die a little inside.

So screw them… at least till I’m either rich or sponsored. All that free protein.

In the meantime, I have found an efficient way of getting in sufficient amount of protein and below is a list of my cheapest and favourites. This is something I have been using everyday for the last year.

#1 MuscleFood’s Protein powder

A 2.5kg chocolate milk flavour packet is £33.75 and lasts about 2-3 months give or take. If that is too much, a 1kg packet is £16.75 and lasts around a month, again give or take.

whey protein

One scoop has around 21 grams of protein.

 

My favourite flavours are: chocolate milk, strawberries and cream, cookies and cream, cherry bakewell and vanilla ice cream.

 

#2 Janes Tesco fat free greek yogurt

janes tesco

A 200g pot has nearly 15 grams of protein and is only 50p.

 

I like to mix it with my protein powder, fruit, muesli and freeze it for an amazing ice-cream for them cutting days.

 

#3  Tuna chunks

 

You can get this from anywhere to be honest. Tesco is closest to me so I always go there.

tuna chunks

Nearly 30 grams of protein and only 75p.

 

#4 eggs

IDShot_540x540

1 egg typically contains around 6 grams of protein and a 15 egg tray is usually around £1.

 

#5 low fat cheese  

 

A 30 gram serving has around 94 calories and around 9 grams of protein, slightly more expensive but lasts 1-1.5 weeks depending on how much cheese you eat each day.

low fat chesse

It’s usually between £1.50 – £2.50.

 

Also grate your own cheese, you get more usage out of a block.

 

#6 Lidl protein bread rolls

lidl protein roll

27 grams of protein and only 39p, yes 39p. Buy 12 and it’s only £4.68. If you have two, that’s 54 grams of protein a day.

 

#7 Skimmed milk

 

Around 7 grams of protein per 200 ml, 35 calories and roughly £1 in most places.

skimmed milk

Mix it with whey protein, pb2, hot chocolate powder, honey and some fruit and it will probably be the best thing you ever drink.

 

Alright chief, I hope this helps in your quest to get a sufficient amount of protein in as a student because I know how rough it can get.

 

With that being said you can easily hit your protein numbers if you combine all these ingredients together.

 

If you do have anything to add to this list, please comment below and I’ll add it in!

 

-S