Accountability Counts

Making excuses to tell yourself and making them to tell someone else is a different story altogether.  No matter how much self-discipline we have, it’s much easier to stick to achieving our goals if we have someone to report to.  Being accountable to someone isn’t about having a strict teacher or boss shouting at you when you haven’t done something you said you’d do.  It’s about having someone to check in with who can encourage you and share your successes with you.  Accountability is a huge part of what we do at Transform Personal Training and this is why:

Keeping You on the Straight and Narrow

It’s raining.  It’s cold.  The kids are being a pain.  The dog looks a bit peaky.  The house needs cleaning.  I’ve got too much work on.  These are all things we tell ourselves when we know we should be exercising but are trying to justify not bothering.  It’s much harder to make these excuses to a personal trainer even if you know they are going to be perfectly nice about it.  Good personal trainers don’t shame people for not sticking to their exercise plan.  They are just there to report to so you are less tempted to make excuses.  Similarly, we ask our clients to send us pictures of everything they eat so they feel more inclined to make healthy choices.

Keeping Track and Making Changes

Having a personal trainer to hold you accountable for your health and fitness goals is also helpful because they can monitor the progress you are making and nothing is more motivating than seeing you’re making progress.  They can also use this monitoring process to make changes to your exercise programme or diet if it isn’t working the way you would like it to or just doesn’t suit you.  When you send us pictures of what you’re eating, we can suggest small changes and adjustments to help you achieve your goals without you having to take on a whole new diet so it’s actually practically easier to eat healthily as well as easier to stay motivated to do it.

Sharing Success

When you do keep track of your progress and see that you’re doing really well, there’s nothing like having someone to share your success with especially when they know exactly what you would like to achieve, why you want to achieve it and what you have done to get there.  Even if you have just made a particularly healthy meal or had a really good week of exercise, it’s nice to show someone what you have done so they can join you in feeling good about it and encourage you to do more of it.

Accountability is such an important part of what we do to help our clients achieve their goals and we are never judgemental or overly strict.  We simply help you to make the changes you need to make with plenty of encouragement and helpful suggestions.  Call Rob on 01273 610609 or email contact@transformpthove.co.uk to talk about what you would like to achieve and how we can help you do it.

Have you ever wondered how your body reacts to sugar?

Sugar, as much as we love it, can be a cause of many health issues such as chronic health problems or heart diseases. Not only can access sugar sabotage your weight loss, but it can also take over from the space that should be reserved healthy - nutritious.

How about some facts?

Despite all the warnings and signs, people often tend to overlook this fact. The amount of sugar per day for women should not exceed 24 grams (6 tsp) and for men 36 grams (9 tsp). While, currently, the average for both genders is about 73 grams (17.4 tsp) per day!

Have you ever wondered what happens to your body after overeating on sugar? Let's break it down...

Your Brain

Sugar triggers the release of dopamine (your happy hormone), so yes sugar provides temporary feelings of happiness, which however might become addictive. The more sugar you eat, the more you need to reach that same 'sugar high'.

Your Skin

Sugar increases inflammation in the body, when it comes to skin - it could appear as a skin conditions such as acne.

Your Liver, Pancreas, and Kidneys

Your liver converts the excess sugar into fat, which over time can lead to fatty liver disease - similar to what alcohol abusers may suffer. When it comes to the pancreas and kidneys, overdoing it with sugar can lead to diabetes and kidney failure.

Your Digestion

Too much of processed sugar can negatively influence your gut microbiome, and lead to poor digestion.

Your Blood

Refined sugar and too much of it can cause blood spikes - highs and lows, and eventually lead to chronic health problems.

your-body-and-sugar

How sugar works?

Any sugar you consume broks down into glucose and fructose.

Glucose: is a simple sugar (monosaccharide) and the main component of carbohydrates, which is the body’s preferred source of energy. Glucose gets directly absorbed into the bloodstream to be used as energy.

Fructose: known to be - fruit sugar, this particular sugar is processed in the liver, where it's converted into glucose so that it can be used as energy.

Other than fruits, fructose is also in added to processed foods (high-fructose corn syrup for example). The difference is that when eaten in a fruit form you're also consuming fiber and nutrients that help slow down the absorption and keep your blood sugar levels steady.

The Bottom Line?

Not all sugar is created equal. Sugar naturally occurs in foods like fruits, veggies, dairy products and grains. When consuming these whole foods, you also get plenty of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. This includes fiber, which helps slow digestion and maintains your sugar levels steady.

If you'd like to read more about sugar check those out:

HE HEALTHIEST SUGAR ALTERNATIVES

IT IS TIME TO BREAK UP WITH SUGAR

The Deadly Truth about diet soft driinks

Cheers to those hot summer days when we tend to crave something cold and refreshing. To cool our bodies down, we often reach out for a bottle of coke for example. Oh sorry, I meant to say - DIET coke, because of course, you don't want to drink your sugar. You know what I'm talking about, right?

In a world where foods are no longer grown but rather genetically modified, it is easy to believe that diet foods and drinks are better for our health because they say to have less sugar. Well, here is the truth bomb.

The sad truth is, that the sugar that has been removed needed to be replaced by some unnatural alternative. Such artificial sweeteners used in drinks (but also low-fat, fat-free or sugar-free products) can have a damaging effect on our health. Drinking 'diet' soda drinks have been linked to type 2 diabetes and even cancer. And did you know?

Drinking diet soft drinks can lead to weight gain as opposed to keeping the pounds off. This is because the artificial sweeteners in diet drinks increase cravings and messes up the body's natural metabolism. But that's not all!

Beverages with artificial sweeteners have been linked to increased risk of high blood pressure, inflammation, stroke, and heart attack. Knowing all of this now, would a diet coke next time be the solution to satisfy your thirst?

What To Do

The answer is really simple - stay hydrated with water. While water should be your main source of hydration, having an occasional soda drink is no reason for panic.

How To Hydrate

Let's start with the fact that water makes up roughly 60% of our body weight, and therefore you should drink water more often than you think.

Hunger can often be mistaken for thirst and dehydration. On top of helping manage your appetite, staying hydrated keeps your body functioning well and of course, helps with weight loss.

TRANSFORM Tip:

When you feel like water isn't satisfying or refreshing enough, which at the time may be true especially if you feel dehydrated during hot summer days or following a workout, there are healthy alternatives.

Coconut water is a great natural way to hydrate and it sure is refreshing, especially if served cold. You can also make your own electrolyte water by adding a pinch of salt, a little maple or agave syrup, a squeeze of lemon and if you fancy, add some cinnamon too!

Electrolyte-enhanced water contains potassium and sodium, which help your body absorb the water more quickly.

Struggling to make hydration your new habit? We can help!

Book your free consultation NOW, and learn more about your body and weight loss!

4 High-Protein, Egg-Free & Low Calories Breakfast

What comes to your mind when you think of high protein breakfast? We bet it's eggs! Eggs are the most popular breakfast food. Eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. In fact, a whole egg contains all the nutrients needed to turn a single cell into an entire chicken.

But even when it comes to eggs - or any food for that matter, the good old - all in moderation - should be applied. Apart from being high in protein, egg also contain cholesterol. 

Did You Know?

A single medium-sized egg contains 186 mg of cholesterol, which is 62% of the recommended daily intake (RDI). In contrast, the white is mostly protein and low in cholesterol. Therefore, eating two or more eggs per day, will go over the recommended intake daily and can increase your bad cholesterol (LDL). 

1. PROTEIN RICH OVERNIGHT OATS

Ingredients (Serves: 1)

Directions

  1. Combine oats, milk, yogurt, almond butter, honey, spice, and apple in a 1-cup jar, stirring until very well blended.
  2. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
  3. Once Ready, stir before serving and sprinkle with walnuts.

Nutrition Information:

Per serving: Calories: 380; Total Fat: 14g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 3mg; Sodium: 82mg; Carbohydrate: 52g; Dietary Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 19g; Protein: 18g

2. SMASHED AVOCADO WITH TOMATO, MOZZARELLA & BASIL

Ingredients (Serves: 1)

Directions

  1. Spread avocado on toast.
  2. Top with cheese and tomatoes and sprinkle with chopped basil.

Nutrition Information:

Per serving: Calories: 224; Total Fat: 24g; Saturated Fat: 10g; Monounsaturated Fat: 8g; Cholesterol: 38mg; Sodium: 136mg; Carbohydrate: 26g; Dietary Fiber: 10g; Sugar: 5g; Protein: 23g

high-protein-egg-free-breakfast

3. CHAI SMOOTHIE BOWL

Ingredients (Serves: 1)

high-protein-egg-free-breakfast

Directions

  1. Heat the milk, add a tea bag and steep 1 minute.
  2. Squeeze the bag and refrigerate until cooled.
  3. Discard tea bag and combine tea-milk mixture, yogurt, oats and seeds in a blender. 
  4. Cut the banana into pieces, setting aside a few slices for garnish, and add to yogurt mixture.
  5. Process until smooth and well blended.
  6. Divide mixture into bowls and top with mango, blueberries, and almonds.

Nutrition Information

Per serving: Calories: 263; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 5mg; Sodium: 91mg; Carbohydrate: 38g; Dietary Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 16g; Protein: 17g

4. FLUFFY CHICKPEA OMELETTE 

Ingredients (Serves: 1)

Directions

  1. In a bowl, mix all dry ingredients, then add yogurt water and mix well. Add more water if needed to make a thick pour-able batter. Mix well and let sit for 2 minutes.
  2. In a non-sticking frying pan sautė tomato, onion and eventually add the prepared batter. Move the pan if you need to move the batter around.
  3. Cook for 5 - 7 minutes, the first pancake usually takes longer as the pan heats up.
  4. Flip it over very carefully and cook for another 2 - 3 mins on the other side. Serve hot with more veggies and a sauce of your choice.

Trying to Lose Weight? Avoid These 3 Common Mistakes!

Snacks are always a tough topic. It’s almost like the marmite - people either love snacking or hate it. Now, what if we tell you that snacking can actually a good thing, but it can also be the reason that sabotages your weight loss progress. Read on to see what tips we have for you.

The key to successful snacking is to know what to eat. Also understanding what common snacking mistakes could be in the way of you achieving your ideal shape. We carefully prepared this ‘mistake guide’ for you to understand a healthy and beneficial way to enjoy your favourite snacks.

Here are the most common mistakes you want to avoid.

1. SNACKING OUT OF BOREDOM

We often tend to snack when we work, study or watch a film, and before you know it the whole large bowl of popcorn is gone.

When you start to feel hungry or feel the need for a snack, first just try to reach out for a glass of water instead. Wait for around 20 minutes and if you’re still experiencing hunger, then reach out for your healthy snack.

2. LESS IS MORE

Nuts, seeds and dried fruit, although healthy and delicious, they are also very easy to overeat on. You better watch out! Over-snacking is another very common issue.

You want to apply the good old 'all in moderation' rule, because even when it comes to healthy snacking you don't want to overdo it. Instead, aim for appropriate portion sizes. Good examples are nuts and seeds, you don't want to eat more than 28g (a handful) of these in one day (unless you follow a vegan diet and nuts/ seed are the only sources of fat intake - then go nuts).

OUR TIP:

Instead of eating right from the big packaging, prepare small snack bags or serve an appropriate amount of your snack in a bowl.

weight loss mistakes

3. REGULARITY IS THE KEY

Having a light lunch and then starving yourself until dinner will either result in overeating in the evening or reaching out for a fast unhealthy snack. You want to make sure you don't get to the point when your blood sugar gets too low so that you'd wanna eat anything and everything you lay your eyes on.

WE SUGGEST:

be prepared! If you know you'll be in for a long day at work, prepare a healthy packed lunch and some snacks. You want to make sure your snacks are balanced in macros: fat, carbohydrates and protein. You can read more on this topic HERE.

The Solution?

A great snack would, for example, be: cucumber with canned tuna and a whole grain cracker, peanut butter rye toast with banana, or yogurt with fruit and nuts.

You'd be surprised how much can those three simple steps help you in achieving your weight loss goals. It really can be that simple if you put your mind to it. However, if you feel confused and need a little extra guidance in your weight loss journey, don't be afraid to get in touch with us or claim your free consultation, by clicking HERE.

Missing a workout? Is it a big deal?

You just started your new fitness routine, you feel pumped and super motivated. Then you get tangled up in the daily busyness and you skip a workout, and two, three, or even more! Before you know it, you missed a whole week and you are slowly getting out of shape.

Now what?

Missing a workout once in a while is nothing to worry about. It's actually good for your body to take rests and have the time to recover. So how fast will you actually get out of shape? Read on to find out...

I've sipped a week of training, now what?

First, let me tell you - missing a workout isn't all that bad. A lot depends on what kind of a fitness programme/ plan you are following. If you are on a pretty intense fitness routine, a week off might provide you and your body with a nice recovery benefits. You might even see improvement when you return back to your routine, not only physically but also mentally (a little boost of motivation).

However, once your time off gets closer or past a one-week margin, you may start noticing some decrease in your strength and fitness.

I've Missed a Workout for Almost a Month!

First of all, no need to panic! But, you might want to get back to your routine soon. Again, a lot depends on what type of fitness programme you're following and what results you are expecting.

If you’re following an aerobic training program (swimming, running, or cycling), you may experience decline in your endurance in just about two weeks or so after stopping your routine. Such declines may not be obvious at first, but the longer your break, the more noticeable the changes may be (obviously).

missing workout skipping gym

What if Your Goal is Fat Loss?

When you stop exercising for whatever reason while trying to lose fat, a lot depends on your diet too. Exercise is what creates a caloric deficit, therefore it's important you chose the foods you eat accordingly. If you keep eating the same amount of calories as you were while following a fitness routine, you will likely gain some weight.

So to avoid weight regain, make sure to adjust your caloric intake to balance out for the calories you’re not burning through exercise.

Consistency IS the Key

If you’re consistent with your training, taking a day or two off here and there isn’t such a big deal.

Be smart - if you're skipping your routine, always try to walk to places instead of driving, take stairs instead of the elevator and so on.

How fast you lose progress also depends on your training 'history'. If you’re new to exercising and you take a few weeks off, you will most likely lose more progress than a person who’s been training continuously for a couple of years.

There are a million reasons why you might have to skip a workout. Whatever your reasons may be, the key to not losing progress is to get back into your routine as soon as you can. Avoid postponing your workout for another day, what is stopping you today from hopping back on?

NOTE: If you’re sick or injured, take your time and get back into your exercise routine. Work with a medical and/or fitness professional such as Rob, if needed.

Book your FREE consultation with Rob today!

What to eat before & after a workout

You are putting a lot of effort into your workouts so it is obvious that you expect to see progress in reaching your goals. Knowing what to eat and when can make all the difference to your fitness programme no matter what your goal is.

Following our recent blog on 5 QUESTIONS YOU DEFINITELY WANT TO ASK YOUR PERSONAL TRAINER, at Transform PT, we decided to address yet another well discussed topic.

eating before and after a workout

Eating before a workout?

An outgoing debate if people should eat before a workout or not may lead to lots of fights even between the best gym buddies. Whether you are a pre-workout food believer or not, let’s look at it in this way. Simply picture your body as a car – you can’t expect it to drive 200 miles without any petrol in the tank, can you?

When and What to Eat

Just like the car, our bodies need fuel. Ideally, you want to have some form of fuel in your system before a workout. Eating something small and simple about an hour or so before you head out for your workout is the way to go. Try fruit and yogurt, peanut butter on toast or avocado toast with a broiled egg - nothing that’s too much otherwise you will feel sluggish and heavy.

eating before and after a workout

On the other hand, not eating enough before a workout can make you feel dizzy or lightheaded. Not eating may also impact your performance and reduce results. You are also more likely to get injured. If you prefer to exercise first thing in the morning, try to at least have a banana or a sugar free protein bar on the go. Make sure to drink water before, during, and after exercise.

• We recommend to eat light meals and foods which contain simple carbohydrates and some protein 30 minutes to an hour before a workout - see ‘snacks’ examples bellow.

• Eating a meal with around 300 - 450 calories containing a good source of protein, complex carbohydrates, and little fat, 2-3 hours before a workout.

Reasons to eat before a workout:

1. Gives you more energy
2. Prevents muscle breakdown
3. Increase muscle recovery

Here are some tips on how to fuel up before a workout:

SNACKS

MEALS

Eating after a workout

The eating after a workout is no brainer. We all know just how important it is to replenish the body after a strenuous exercise. Luckily, most of us naturally have the desire to eat something considerably healthy following a workout.

Generally speaking, eating after a workout is important. You sort of ‘feed’ the muscles that you’ve just trained. Suggested is a small snack soon after you finish your sweat session - ideally something with protein and fibre rich carbohydrates. Following an hour or two later, would be the time for your main meal.

Benefits of eating nutritious meal after a workout:

• Increases muscle 'growth'
• Restores your glycogen levels
• Enhances recovery

Watch out!

eating before and after a workout

The most common post-workout mistake of eating too much and choosing less healthy options can sabotage all your hard work and efforts. If you burn 300 calories during your workout, you don’t want to be consuming a 500 calorie junk food. Period.

We highly recommend that you eat after a workout, as that is all about replacing the calories and nutrients you just burned. First of all you want to make sure to replenish the glycogen and electrolytes that you have lost during your exercise. Secondly, eating protein and complex carbs rich meal after a workout can help with speedy recovery of your muscles. This is especially important following a weight training session.

Not eating after a workout can result in fatigue and low blood sugar. You are also disturbing your body's natural repair process and in the long run it will be harder to reach your fitness goals.

Example foods to eat after a workout:

CARBS

PROTEIN

FATS

Is this post & pre-workout talk still a little too confusing? No worries - we got your back! Book your free consultation with us and let clear all the confusion up! 

5 Easy Steps for Weight Loss

Losing weight is never easy, especially if you need to have the results FAST. There are a number of different ways to lose weight depending on, well lots of things. Whether you want to lose weight fast, or slow with long lasting result, whether you will be following a workout routine or not.

Of course the long-lasting results are the right way to leading a healthy lifestyle. However, at times you might need a quick fix for a wedding for example or some other special event.

In this blog we will look specifically on the easy way to lose weight fast.

lose weight fast

1. Keep a Track of Your Diet

This can be a tough one for most people, depending on where's your diet at. If you follow a diet high in sugar, fried and processed food then you might want to consider some serious changes, not necessarily for your weight loss but for your over all health too. If you follow a considerably healthy lifestyle than you may not need any drastic changes in your diet.

Counting calories and macros are a great way of keeping a track of where you get your energy from. However, counting calories might not be as important as knowing your food's nutritional values and the type and amount of macros they have to offer. (you can read more on macros HERE)

We encourage our clients to use a diet tracking app/ website such as myfitnesspal. There you can simply input what you eat, but try to be honest! The app, depending on your goal and your needs, will calculate your daily calorie intake without judgement.

A good idea is to get a body composition assessment, to provide you with more accurate tracking throughout your training programme. Muscles are more metabolically active and its a healthier tissue than fat, so it is important to see how you reduce fat while gain muscle. You will never be able to view this on a regular scale.  If your body fat has decreased and lean mass increased, a little weight gain at the beginning can mean your routine is working after all.

2. Reduce Eating Sugar and Carbs

This is one of the most important parts of a quick weight loss, and a one you have most likely heard of already.

When you cut back on sugars and carbs, your hunger levels will naturally lower (you know, sugar cravings). And instead of burning carbs for energy, your body starts feeding off from your stored fat. Other than that lowering carbs and sugar intake also lowers insulin levels, so that your kidneys can eliminate excess sodium and excess water from your body. This is because carbs store extra water which can result in a little bit of a puffy appearance. Therefore you can achieve the short-term results of looking leaner as your body loses water weight.

Note that for a long-term results and a transformational lifestyle change, we recommend a diet with a moderate complex carbs consumptions. A good example of complex carbs would be: whole-grain sources which are the most efficient and healthiest fuel like corn, peas, white and sweet potatoes, squashes, wholewheat bread, brown rice, oats, chickpeas, beans, lentils. You can read more about carbs in one of our blogs: HERE!

3. Eat Your Protein, Fats and Veggies

Each meal you eat throughout the day should include a protein source, some fat and of course vegetables (preferably low carb). Eating this way, your carb consumption will be automatically lowered to around 20–50 grams per day, which is your aim during weight loss.

We recommend you eat 3 meals per day accompanied by 2 snacks - morning and afternoon. And always remember: all in moderation

Best Protein Sources

Vegetables (non-starchy)

Fat Sources

lose weight fast

4. Fibre is Your Friend

A diet based mostly on protein and vegetables contains all the fibre, vitamins and minerals you need to be healthy. Fibre helps to slow the digestion speed of carbs, keeping you fuller for longer but also maintaining a steadier blood sugar. So no more sugar rushes & crushes, followed by overeating.

This is also why whole grain products, fruit and vegetables tend to be a better choice than their not so fibre rich simple carbs.

5. Lift Weights

Choose weight lifting as a part of your workout routine, and not necessarily cardio. Or mix it up with a combination of the two. Initially, resistance training might cause a little weight gain due to your body's inflammatory response. Weight lifting, burns calories, builds some lean muscle tissue and keeps your metabolism going.

It has been shown that with a low-carb diet you can gain a bit of muscle too while losing body fat. People who follow low-intensity exercise programme although burning calories, they often tend to eat more.

If it's you are new to weight loss whether the quick way or the transformational way, or the whole weight loss thing is a little too confusing, we recommend to seek a help from a professional, and that's what we are here for! Book a FREE consultation with us now!

INSTANT DOWNLOAD

EBOOK: 10 STEPS TO ELIMINATING CRAVINGS

This ebook reveals the 10 steps to eliminating cravings so you're never hungry again!