Blog - Health & Fitness
For more than 20 years the media has bombarded us with a perpetual diet craze. An avalanche of fad diets are announced one after another as breaking news while producing zero true results.
Sure, you may lose 5, 10 or even 20 pounds on a fad diet...but you'll gain it all back and then some. How can I be so confident that your results will be short lived? It's actually a simple concept, and once you understand it you will be forever saved from the tortures of yo-yo dieting.
Fad diets saddle you with unreasonable calorie restrictions and some even cut out entire food groups just to produce that short lived drop in weight-a process that is actually harmful to your health. The fad diets also ignore one major component to shaping up: exercise.
You see, most fad diets operate on one age old premise: cut calories, cut calories, cut calories. By restricting the type and amount of food consumed the fad dieter usually sees an immediate drop in weight. If only it stopped there...
But it doesn't stop there. Life continues, and the fad dieter returns to their pre-diet eating habits-with one major difference in their body due to the sudden drop in pounds. Their calorie requirements have gotten smaller.
In practical terms this means that the dieter will begin gaining weight even though they are eating their normal pre-diet portions. And since exercise hasn't become a part of their routine, the unneeded calories will result in pounds gained. So what's a dieter to do? Find a brand new diet to follow-right? Wrong.
There is a way to drop pounds and firm your body, but you won't read about it in the next diet book or hear it on the news. The solution to your fad dieting nightmare is a lifestyle change.
One week has passed since WBFF London fitness model competition where I was awarded a Top 5 placing, and I can honestly say that I was in the best shape of my life. It’s an amazing feeling when you just keep improving after many years of training. I started working out 12 years ago as a scrawny teenager who couldn’t do a single push-up or pull-up due to bone condition and multiple surgeries suffered as a kid.
To achieve a body transformation you need a suitable training programme, quality nutrition and adequate recovery. And then you have to be consistent with it over a certain timeframe. You must set the foundation to reap the rewards of your hard work. However, when it comes to truly maximizing your efforts, if you are looking for elite results you must approach the matter like an elite athlete would. This means introducing some key supplements into your daily nutrition.
The two photos above are taken exactly five months apart - 2nd of January and 1st of June. It’s a bit embarrassing to publish the first photo, as you can see that I don’t look quite the same as in my professional fitness photos. Yes, I went a bit off track around last Christmas – I was visiting my mum in Paris, and I guess that’s what TOO MUCH foie gras and macarons do to you. Also, I didn’t train for a few weeks, and because my body is inclined to become quite skinny when I’m not throwing heavy iron around, I also lost a lot of muscle :(
However, the basic truth is that muscle gain or loss is not a runaway train. You always have the power to change your body by taking action and giving it 100% effort. And if you’ve been in good shape before, your body responds even quicker, as the mystical force of muscle memory kicks in.
Here are the top 5 supplements that helped me achieve a top 5 placing at WBFF London, as I used them various amounts during both muscle gain and fat loss phase of my programme:
A few ideas for some quick on-the-go meals from your local grocery store. Portion size should be individualised for best results. Watch the video for full description!
Chicken breast with carrot, cauliflower and broccoli.
Roast beef with curly kale.
One of the biggest things I’ve done this year was getting ready for WBFF London fitness model competition. I dedicated about 3 months making some muscle gains and improving my weak points, and then 12 weeks to gradually get leaner and achieve a good contest condition.
I wanted to make sure that I showcase a new and improved version of myself. Body transformation is no rocket science once you know what you’re doing and stay consistent with it. Intelligent training programme, quality nutrition and adequate recovery – those are the basics. And then there is another aspect that can certainly give you an edge. I’m talking about supplements.
I am very lucky to be sponsored by the best-selling supplement company Optimum Nutrition. With their help I managed to achieve some great improvements in my physique. The two photos are taken less than 12 weeks apart. I could have managed it even quicker, but I chose a gradual approach in order to preserve the muscle gains that I acquired.
Here are the supplements I used in various amounts during both muscle gain and fat loss phase of my programme:
Ginger is a wonderful herb root that has been used for centuries as a food, spice and medicine. It is known to produce miracles when trying to fight off a cold, and it also promotes digestion and stimulates metabolism, which leads to increased calorie burning. With so many health benefits to it, it makes sense to start adding ginger to some of your dishes, or to start brewing a daily glass of ginger tea by simply adding boiling water to slices of ginger root. You may also want to add green tea and / or lemon to make it taste better and get more benefits from it.
Lots of research has confirmed the effects on your immunity by this all-natural remedy. This means you get sick less often, recover more quickly when you do get sick, and that even if everyone else around you is coming down with flu or cold you can stay healthy.
Provides Pain Relief
No matter what type of pain you’re suffering from, ginger can act as a natural pain reliever. Ginger can also help with delayed-onset muscle soreness, as it has been concluded in a study published in the Journal of Pain. It shows ginger acting as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory without the negative side effects of normal pain relievers. Ginger is better at treating delayed onset muscle soreness, because it doesn’t affect pain immediately after it’s consumed, but is actually more effective the next day.
There was an online fitness article recently that created a bit of a stir in the social media. It’s trying to portray the concept of “clean eating” as a myth, despite it being heavily adopted in the fitness industry, and helping millions of people all over the world to start a healthier lifestyle, get in terrific shape, and look fabulous.
Apparently “there is no evidence that any food will cause more fat gain than the excess calories it provides; there is also no evidence that eating a certain food will help you lose fat; and fat loss is ultimately about calories in versus calories out.” It even goes as far as calling clean eating an eating disorder. Wow.
Crying For Attention?
Firstly, I’d like to speculate on the intention of the aforementioned article. People like to buy into ideas that make themselves feel good, e.g. having a massive piece of their favorite cake every day without any implications on health and physique.
It’s essentially what most of us would like to hear, because to change your attitude towards food, be organized, stay disciplined and only treat yourself on special occasions is much harder, and it takes willpower, which may already be depleted from work commitments and the stress of modern life.Also, pure sensationalism and going against common wisdom can help to attract attention in a saturated market.
If you are reading this, you're probably already paying attention to what you eat, and are trying to live a healthy lifestyle. Good intentions and having a goal to strive for is a great place to start, nonetheless, there is always something more that we can do to accelerate the progress in reaching your desired physique and improving your health. Quite often we overlook something just because of the habits we have developed, and in this way we could potentially sabotage all our great efforts towards reaching our desirable outcome.
Have you considered the calories you consume in a liquid form? It's not only about calories, because different nutrients affect your body in different ways, but in this context I'm mainly referring to sugar. We all know that it makes you fat. And for most people, the more you eat, the more you want. The fact is - it's even easier to overdose on sugar in a liquid form, whether you're enjoying a soft drink, juice, smoothie or your favourite beverage from Starbucks.
A Daily Mail article came out a couple of days ago, analysing the data recorded by five volunteers who recorded everything they drank for a week. As per usual with mainstream media, I don't agree to many of the "expert's" opinions e.g. only counting calories instead of macronutrients; everyone should get their calcium from milk; the idea that body can only absorb 30g of protein etc. However, despite all these fallacies, the purpose of the aforementioned article is to drive people's attention towards improving their health buy cutting out all the sugary drinks from their diet, and that is something that's always been a pre-condition I've set with my clients starting a body transformation programme.
Are sugar cravings sometimes driving you nuts? Strong mindset and commitment to your goals always come first, but sometimes you just need an external boost. Glutamine is a natural supplement that can help you prevent food cravings and maintain optimal body composition.
Glutamine is most abundant free amino acid in the body. Not only it can help you avoid unhealthy food cravings, improve your digestion and nutrient absorption, and speed up recovery from training, it also helps decrease the insulin response to food, hence, preventing fat gain.
Glutamine And Sugar Cravings
Glutamine can improve the messages sent by the neurotransmitters to and from the brain, helping you to deal with food cravings. It has even been used as a treatment for alcoholism because it can calm compulsive feelings. Taking 10g of glutamine first thing in the morning, and with your pre- and post-workout meal would be a good start. Also, mix it in a cup of water and have a shot whenever you feel like you’re about to go on a sugar binge. You’ll see the unhealthy urges disappear in no time.
If you’re still not taking whey protein, you really should get with the programme. Not only you will be able to recover faster, but you’ll get leaner too. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that supplementing with whey protein resulted in fat loss, decreased body weight, and a smaller waist circumference in an overweight group of people – and the participants didn’t even exercise!
Increasing protein intake can help you lose fat because of the thermogenic effect, which is the energy utilized while digesting and metabolizing food. Protein produces the greatest thermogenesis, and whey protein is better than other forms such as casein, pea, hemp or soy for elevating the thermic effect.
Whey protein activates pathways in your brain to release transmitters that blunt hunger and maintain satiety for longer. The aforementioned study found out that fasting ghrelin was lower in participants consuming whey protein compared with soy or carbs. This is significant because ghrelin can serve as a hunger signal. Higher levels of this hormone may lead to increased calorie consumption.
How many of you enjoy a good authentic Indian curry? You may not have realized that it doesn’t just taste great but also an active ingredient in curry powder provides a world of health benefits. This spice is turmeric, and the magic compound is curcumin.
Historical Use Of Turmeric
Turmeric is a common food flavoring and coloring in Asian cooking. The use of it has been described in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine as early as the seventh century AD. In various Asian folk medicine traditions, turmeric has been used to treat a long list of conditions, including diarrhea, fever, bronchitis, colds, parasitic worms, leprosy, and bladder and kidney inflammations. Herbalists have applied turmeric salve to bruises, leech bites, festering eye infections, mouth inflammations, skin conditions, and infected wounds. Some people even inhale smoke from burning turmeric to relieve chronic coughs. Not sure about the latter, but let me know about your experience if you decide to get high on some curry powder.