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Eating and drinking in excess this Christmas and New Year can help you lose weight – a lot of weight!

Muscle is precious. Build muscle then, do everything you can to preserve it.

Muscle is precious. Build muscle then, do everything you can to preserve it.

Don’t believe everything you read, see and hear

Don’t believe the headline – eating and drinking in excess this Christmas will not help you lose weight!

But I am making a point as to how we can become needlessly fearful (because of all the conflicting views out there) of exercising with weights or eating certain foods or doing just about anything.

Everyone seems to have an ‘opinion’ these days with the proliferation of social media and a lot of these views have insufficient and inappropriate evidence (scientific) to back them up. This applies to almost everything, but especially, weight/fat loss and exercise and eating and drinking, because well, we all do these activities, more or less.

It seems that everyone is suddenly an expert.

Anyone can show how, by selectively citing some scientific research and blowing it all out of context, you can build a case for any argument, including the subject heading that I have used.

If you have a small amount of scientific nous, it is super easy for someone to give an opinion and by selectively citing some scientific research (based on some ridiculously small sample) and blowing it all out of context. You see this quite regularly on mainstream media as the ‘sensationalism’ of these stories sells ratings.

The thing is you should strive to not believe everything you read, see and hear. Manage your funnel better.

Have no doubt.
Help yourself first.
God will meet you half way …
he ALWAYS does.
All you ahve to do is: BELIEVE.

Key habit: Build muscle.

Below is the start of my view on fat loss and body re-engineering …

If you need to lose fat leading up to the festive season and summer (in some parts of the world – like Sydney, Australia) – build muscle. Naturally. Full stop!

There are countless weight-loss programs on the net and every where you go and read. Terrific for increasing awareness. However, fat-loss plans and weight-loss plans that don’t include strength training, fundamentally, rob the body of muscle.

Now, you don’t want to do something that robs the body of muscle because the process of ageing does this anyway. Ageing, is partly, by definition, the deterioration of muscles due to the reduction in protein synthesis.

Weight-training to build muscle ‘off-sets the on-set of ageing’. It is the potion of youth. It keeps people younger, longer. I know, because I have witnessed these people who seem to look and act five, ten, fifteen and twenty years younger.

The common denominator: they build muscle!

I love Chess growing up.
I beat the University Chess Champion once.
Life is like a game of chess …. you’ve got to learn to think many steps ahead … but also be able to ‘play what’s in front of you’
A delicate but necessary balance to succeed at anything in life for that matter
Become a better chess player of life

Train SMART. Live BETTER.

I’ve always told everyone I have ever helped over the last two decades that every kilogram of muscle is a fat burning dynamo! Yep, a fat-burning dynamo.

If you compare your body’s metabolism (the rate at which it ‘burns’ calories) to that of an engine of a car, when you build lean body mass (muscle), you increase the engine size and power of your body. Your car engine (metabolism) goes from, say, a 1.8l engine to a 4.0l or even an 8.0l engine over time.

Muscle loss reduces calorie requirements, makes fat loss more difficult, and creates increased obstacles to the maintenance of a lean body, once the excess fat has been lost.

Fundamentally, your ‘life-force’ (or vitality) will be sucked out of you and you will literally feel like cr&p! Every single minute of every single day. Now, why would you or anyone for that matter want to feel like that every single day. I could and still can’t understand why people still do this to themselves. Instead of doing ‘life-affirming’ actions, they instead do ‘life destroying’ actions.

Not smart. Not sustainable.

Put simply, and to sum up – always remember, to help maintain a lean body, build muscle. To do this you need to Train SMART. Live Better.

It is as simple as that!

However, like some philosopher once said, “the easy things are also the hardest things to do”.

 

Don’t think. Do!

So, don’t think. Do!

If you can dream and imagine a much more improved physical version of you and believe in executing a plan to get you there, by all means go for it!

With 8 x Mr Olympia - "The King", Ronnie Coleman. Now, this man built and carried on his frame an unbelievable amount of muscle - 300lbs worth of it!

With 8 x Mr Olympia – “The King”, Ronnie Coleman. Now, this man built and carried on his frame an unbelievable amount of muscle – 300lbs worth of it!

And don’t worry if you have never entered a gym in your life or you haven’t done anything since your late teens or early twenties. It is never too late to start.

Regardless of your age, or how out of condition you may think you are at present, I believe it is never too late to start an exercise program. The power to decide rests in your hands (literally when you start lifting weights in a gym to help the person in the mirror – YOU).

You can transform your fitness and muscle strength at any age, along with your appearance, and health. I believe this is important because from my observations as a coach over the years, when people’s image improves, their performances improves too. Feeling good about yourself is an important part of being a well-balanced human being.

Make that choice – for you or a loved one. Make that choice to help you so that you can enjoy not just a long life but a good quality life by lowering the risks of early on-set of age-related physical and mental diseases. Respect and love the most important person in the world to you – YOU, first.

That way, by default, everyone gets the best of you, too.

You have one life, make the most of it all the best in the choices you make. No one else can make them for you, so choose well.

5 key areas to manage your living better … for better balance in your life

To assist in the quality of your life right now, consider improving on these 5 key areas to manage your living better – for better balance in your life:

  1. Eat – well composed, portioned meals, more frequently. If it is green leaf (and not a frog), include it in your meals.
  2. Water – drink adequate levels of water daily. An average adult should aim for 3L per day.
  3. Move – a combination of weight training, cardio and stretching done two to three times per week.
  4. Enjoy yourself – don’t forget to have fun and laugh at least once a day.
  5. Socially engage with your community in person.
  6. Get, learn and apply the basics (of life) right so that YOU can ….

Muscle is precious. Build muscle, then do everything you can possibly to do to preserve what you have. You will thank your lucky and wise stars as you age.

Don’t accelerate the ageing process as age does it for you anyway. Build muscle, as if your life depended on it (and it does). Build muscle as it is your personal preventative insurance against age-related diseases as your life ticks on … tick, tock, tick, tock!

Then, watch your energy, mental state and vitality soar to new heights and ….

Live, really live.

Until next time,

 

Cheers & ahoy!

The old Cap’n Viking Pirate Evangelist Muscled Monk … & managing your weight during Christmas festive season and beyond

Be the best you can be for you, first, then by default, everyone gets the best of you. Vv.

Be the best you can be for you, first, then by default, everyone gets the best of you.
Vv.

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Do you have a sweet tooth?

Keep it simple.

Keep it simple.

I have helped hundreds, even thousands of people re-engineer their bodies towards what they imagine themselves to be for over two decades now. I have learned many things about human beings.

One observation that stands out is that every individual is unique and what may work for someone, may not work for another. They journey with me through the various programs adopting my unique framework as I customize each program for each student.

Body re-engineering is about many things but I believe it is fundamentally about hormonal management. We are all hormonal creatures after all and I believe we are not ‘in control’ of ourselves as much as we think we are.

What do you think? Do you think you have full control over you? Can you hide your sadness when you’re sad? Can you resist laughing when you recognise the humour in something someone said? Can you resist food cravings when you start thinking about them?

Educating a top national sprinter of the importance of proper nutrition for recovery & optimal performance

Do you have a sweet tooth?

There are quite a few variables that directly affect how well you manage your hormones, in particular, the amount of insulin circulating in your blood. When you get better control of this, you move towards achieving metabolic control. And this is KEY. The quickest – and actually the only – way to achieve metabolic control is to restrict the amount of metabolically active carbohydrate you put in to the system.

It is as simple as that!

A good teacher is hard to find but finding a good student is even harder. Plan the work - to work the plan. Photo: discussing fine points of one of my programs with retired legend of rugby - Phil Waugh.

A good teacher is hard to find but finding a good student is even harder.
Plan the work – to work the plan.
Photo: discussing fine points of one of my programs with retired legend of rugby – Phil Waugh.

However, knowing is one thing and doing is another.

If you’re like most people, you probably have a sweet tooth or you don’t mind having chocolate every now and then. Unfortunately, for many, one sweet treat begs another and the unhealthy devotion to sugar can and does last a lifetime for the majority of people.

I believe we’re all sugar addicts, it is just a matter of the degree to which we indulge in this habit.

What I have found is that the craving can quickly disappear if the temptation is ignored. It is probably the most difficult habit to break, because it is everywhere and in almost everything edible. Our body and our brain craves it!

So, taking in to consideration the difficulty of ridding sugar and sweet from your diet and going ‘cold turkey’, I have listed a few possible choices and the relative grams. I have also indicated ‘how’ to consume these so as to lessen the impact on insulin receptors in your cells.

Abdominal/thigh pose with the top 2 Natural Bodybuilders in the world in 2007.
I achieved a 4.2% bodyfat level. I didn’t win the World Title because the other 3 guys were leaner than me (<4%).
Having a good understanding of sugar , the different sources and the effect these sources have on your blood is one of the keys to sustainability in sugar consumption

You can have sweets or chocolate if you must. I have listed only two examples of ‘snacks’ to give you some idea of quantity and approximate carbohydrate content (you can add to it with your choices). The important thing here is the steps I have listed after the short list below:

Sweet/chocolate

  • 1 milky way (miniature) – approx. 5g of carbs
  • 1 mars bar (miniature) – approx. 8g of carbs

As you want to lessen the insulin response to sugar, try doing this prior to enjoying your treat:

  • Drink a large glass of cold water 15 to 20 minutes before. Some research has shown that it reduces hunger which could mean you eat less.
  • Have a bowl of greens (long beans, broccoli, spinach)
  • Have it with coffee (if you’re having it after dinner)
  • Have it with some protein (if you’re indulging between meals)

Bodybuilding Pose: “Hands on hips – Most muscular”.
My formula for Abs/6-pack:
ABS = diet (the Right diet)

Before I go, my best advice to you is to drink ‘til you drown (but don’t drown). Drink water when you wake up, drink before meals, in between meals.

Drink, drink, drink! But, don’t drink while you eat as it hinders optimal digestion. If you do drink – sip, don’t gulp and limit it to less than a glass!

So, don’t just think about your sweet and mentally punish yourself. If you’re honest enough to accept that just like me and the majority of humans, that you have a sweet tooth, go ahead and have a treat or two and keep the pointers I have listed above in mind prior to eating them.

Sweets/sugar/carbohydrates/snacks is not the enemy, the mis-management of it, is!

You don’t need to torture yourself any more than what is already dished out to you by the world. Have your sweet in moderation and enjoy it … simply because you love yourself and you love the feeling you get when the hormones are released when you consume them and … well, you deserve it.

Best of vitality to you!

 

Until next time,

Setting his own standards through - Mind-muscle connection. 'flexing the muscles' in a "most-muscular' pose. Chris is an A+ student and the results show for a 47 year old man. On his way to realizing a physique and mind-set he imagines himself having. ... adopting my framework to body/mind re-engineering. No risk, no belief - no nothing! Chris also enjoyed weekly 'snacks' along his journey. Vv

Setting his own standards through –
Mind-muscle connection. ‘flexing the muscles’ in a “most-muscular’ pose.
Here, Chris, a very busy and successful businessman working towards achieving his goals. An A+ student and the results show for a 47 year old man who looks fantastic in a business suit. 
… adopting my framework to body/mind re-engineering.
Chris achieved his goals in 5 months in one of my uniquely tailored programs just for him.
Chris also enjoyed weekly ‘snacks’ along his journey.
Vv

 

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Brains eat books.

_MG_9765

I love children and I love my kids.

There’s not a day that goes by where they don’t make me aware or more aware of aspects of life. There is no doubt in my mind that having children is a blessing. No doubt at all.

I love telling my kids imaginary stories and get lost in them with them. They have story time every night just before bed, part of their bed-time routine. They have been born in to a home of books like many children all over the world, a rich source of knowledge.

Sometimes, they can get lazy and mis-treat books – theirs, Cathy’s or mine in a less-than desirable manner. For example, they would throw it on the floor or walk over books or leave them strewn all over their bed-room.

I have constantly reminded them of the importance of looking after their books and treating them with respect, likening books to food. I would say things like –

“Kids, please take good care of your books, they are nutrition for your mind – food for your brain”.

Or something along the lines of –

“You wouldn’t eat food off the ground that is dirty, would you? You would get an up-set stomach if you did, just like books for your mind.”

Now, I know my daughter who is two years older than Zachary, fully understands my messages but my son, Zachary has not given me any inclination in the last year that he was getting this message, until last week.

Well, his mother – Cathy, was asked a question by Zachary at the dinner table about a week ago (I was at work) relating to nutrition. This is how it kind of unfolded –

Zachary asked his mum, Cathy how the brain gets its food.

Cathy proceeded to start explaining the process of digestion, that is – when you eat the food is chewed and then makes its way done the oesophagus down to the stomach and then enters the intestines. It passes through the linings in to the blood and then is pumped to the brain and so forth. Both my children just love the processes of the human body explained to them. They never seem to grow tired of this topic at this stage.

Before Cathy could finish her answer, Zachary interrupted and said –

“No, mum!”

“… Brains eat books!”

When Cathy relayed the story to me, I was surprised. But I was also content that my son had not only been listening to my ranting about the importance of books and taking better care of them, he was making conversation regarding this topic.

I was particularly impressed that he had summed up my messages better than I ever did. He used less words. I had never said “brains eat books” but I did say many other statements that meant the same thing.

You would be hard pressed to get much better than “Brains eat books”. I know I never said it that way.

So simple. So true. So beautiful said.

He took everything I said in over a year and filtered it and got to the essence and spat out a 3-word summary. That was just brilliant, I simply love the intelligence behind the thinking.

So, keep feeding your brains … with books. The right books. The right nutrition.

After all, they do say – you are what you eat (for the mind and body).

Eat well.

 

Until next time,

VVc_logo_cropped

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7.5 Diet Tips that may help ease your bloating.

Was there ever a time where you’ve grudgingly complained? –

“what’s the point with all the exercising?!” when the minute you try to slip into a tight skirt or your favourite pair of jeans, your stomach blows up like an inflated balloon.

I find that it has been a common point of disappointment with quite a few people I have helped over the years. And it can be quite de-motivating for those who put in all the hard work in the gym and still suffer from excessive bloating.

So, if you’re one of these people who suffer from this condition, maybe your diet (for the body) needs a little assistance.

Here are a few tips that may help:

1. Eat small, well-compositioned meals

  • Eat them more frequently – ideally, ‘split’ over 5 or 6 meals throughout each day.

2. Take your time –

  • Try eating slowly or slower.
  •  Observe the speed at which you consume your food. Do you inhale it or do you take your time and try chewing it thoroughly before swallowing? Don’t rush the mush.

3. Reduce salt intake –

  •  The sodium in salt holds water in your body so watch your salt intake. For you women out there, ‘that time of the month’ may play a part in that bloated feeling.
  • So, try reading the labels of the foods you eat so you can have a miss on the high sodium-content foods.

4. Say no to refined (very processed) foods –

  • Choose complex carbohydrates (like sweet potato, brown rice, whole-grain pasta or breads).
  • Highly refined products can leave you feeling quite bloated (especially white, wheat-based products).

5. An aversion to milk and milk products –

  • Your bloating can be significantly influenced by lactose. From the lactose in milk and milk products.
  • Try replacing all dairy items with rice milk or soy etc.

6. Limit your fizzy drink consumption –

  • Limit it to non-calorie/zero sugar varieties.

7.5 Eat some yoghurt –

  • Eating some yoghurt with active acidophilous culture could deflate you down to your normal size.

I hope these tips help you reduce your bloating or even reverse it.

Now, don’t stop going to the gym and exercising just because your bloating doesn’t seem to get any better no matter how hard you work-out. Keep up your training with consistency and persistence. Keep up your investment in your health and fitness.

Your health (physical and mental) is literally your wealth. It is only when it is taken away from you, that you realize the value of it so put aside some time towards this every single day.

And don’t be too worried about the bloated stomach. There are many cultures in the world that find a rounded belly more sexier and fulfilling than a flat stomach. The middle-East and Pacific Island countries love a well-rounded tummy.

Keep up your daily crunches and other tummy exercises but you don’t need to do a thousand sit-ups. No,these exercises don’t actually get rid of fat. They only tighten and strengthen the muscles (abdominal wall) on top of your stomach. Its the extent of body-fat you have that determines whether or not you can ‘see’ your abdominals. For example, you will begin to see your abs at or under 9% of body-fat, so excessive amounts of abdominal work will not reveal your abs until you work on losing fat.

On a more serious note, although being overfat is an important health risk, I believe where you carry your fat is even more important. Don’t be too concerned with how much you weigh! Be concerned with what your body-shape is: is it an ‘apple shape’ (with most of your weight around your tummy) or a ‘pear shape'(weight mostly around your hips and thighs)?

Now don’t confuse feeling ‘bloated’ to carrying excess visceral fat around the mid-section (typical area of deposit for middle-aged men). The greater the discrepancy between your waist and your hips (your waist:Hip ratio), the greater your health and life risk. These risks stem from insulin-related metabolic problems like high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes. NOTE: as a guide, men should strive to have a waist-to-hip ratio less than or equal to 1 and women should aim for 0.8 or less.

Recognize that storing fat in the tummy area does not cause your health risk to rise – it is simply another symptom of the underlying metabolic disorder: insulin resistance. So, it is in your best interest to you and your life to do all that you can to manage the accumulation of fat in this area so that your risk is lowered to an acceptable level. The gym is a good place to start to complement a good diet and stretching program.

If all else fails, try practising holding it in. Yep, There are some products out there (some undies for you ladies) that may assist with tummy bulges. Men, you could probably try wearing a weight-training belt around your waist.

See how this goes.

All the best in your journey towards a tighter-tummy. I will leave you with one summary: manage your tummy, manage your life risks.

 

Until next time,

Paul V2 (1)

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12.5 of Life’s Living Tips to live by.

 

Checking for tracks on the ground for past visitors?

Love life and life will love you back.

That wide?

Life Tips – too many to count – that wide.

I am sure by this stage in your life you have come across many health tips and are practising some and have not even considered others for whatever reason.

There is certainly no magic formula to optimum health and fitness but you can make your life a little more liveable by doing a few things a little better.

To improve your overall personal immunity.

What you are today is to some extent the cumulative compound effect of the habits you have decided to make a part of your life. Wonderful, I hope.

I have listed some health and hygiene habits I practise daily and I would like to share them with you. These are only 12.5 tips. I have found these tips to be both true and effective in cultivating outstanding health and fitness habits.

Habits that have added to my life and I am certain will positively add to your life rather than subtract.

Have a read and see if you think it beneficial to your life. It has been to mine so far:

  1. Drink water first thing upon waking with a hint of citrus:
    1. Try drinking a glass of water (250 ml) upon waking in the morning. If you can, try squeezing in some lemon and a drop of honey.
    2. Drink 1 litre of water per 25 kg of bodyweight. So, a 75 kg person should be drinking a minimum of 3 L of water daily.
  1. Brush your teeth after every meal:
    1. If you can, brush once after every meal and once before going to sleep at night. I eat at least 6 times per day and I brush at least 4 times per day.
  1. Eat a balanced diet:
    1. Concentrate on a diet of good wholesome food.
    2. Try to do without white-based flour products and sugar.
  1. Chew well:
    1. Digestion starts in your mouth as you’re well aware.
    2. Make it a little easy on your stomach muscles and digestive juices by chewing your food well. Take your time and enjoy the essence of each food you consume.
    3. Try not to talk too much while you’re eating and focus on your food more. You should remember that it is not only important to consider quantity and quality of source of your food. You should also ask yourself how well your body is absorbing and assimilating all the food you’re eating.
    4. Liken your digestive system to that of a factory. Have you asked yourself how much ‘wastage’ your digestive factory is incurring? How much of the input (food) you’re taking in is actually being used for and by your body? How efficient and effective is your digestive system? Well, you can reduce your ‘wastage’ significantly by simply chewing well or better than you are currently doing.
  1. Apply good moisturiser to your skin after you shower at night:
    1. Aim to use a moisturiser that has Vitamin E and soborlene for improve health and elasticity of your skin.
    2. Stay away from other combinations.
  1. Get enough fresh air and direct sunlight every day:
    1. The health and vitality of you and your body (and mind) needs the sun’s rays. Even if you’re very, very busy at work try and take at least 20 minutes out to get some fresh air and sunlight.
    2. Be sure to use a good sunblock too (if you’re fair skinned).
    3. For people living in countries with very little sun, it is vital for your vitamin D production, the presence of which is necessary for your immunity against common ailments in addition to other benefits.
  1. Do your plumbing (#2s) in the morning:
    1. Try and get in to the habit of ‘sitting on your throne” and excreting your waste in the morning before work or your work out.
    2. My children and I refer to this activity as the ‘boom-boom’! Call it what you will, train your body to do its plumbing first thing in the morning.
  1. Keep your mind calm and have a positive attitude:
    1. At all times, everyday.
    2. Strive to never lose control in all areas of your life.
  1. Make your exercise sessions a pleasure not a burden:
    1. Use the hour in the gym as your ‘meditation hour’
    2. Your time to work on your internal muscle and external muscles
  1. Train at least three times per week:
    1. Weight training in the gym is a must. The benefits to you is a no-brainer!
    2. Follow your weights session with 20 to 30 minutes cardio of ‘power-walking’ ( I will elaborate in a future blog about how I do this and why I think this is one of the best forms of cardio you can do now and in to your old age) on a treadmill or outside.  
  1. Get adequate rest daily:
    1. Make sure you get sufficient sleep every day

12.5 Keep good posture:

  1. At all times – when seated and standing.

There are many more of “Life’s lessons” to live by hence the “12.5” (not exhaustive in any way) tips but these are some simple ones that come to my mind as I write this and could add a little more life in to your years. It could add more vitality to you. Take it as a reminder, a catalyst or whichever way you want.

One of my goals is just to make you more ‘aware’. The rest (action and adaptation) is up to you.

More vitality … better energy … better opportunities …. Better life to you.

 

Until next time,

Photo op with a local resident and her dog. Lovely.

Photo op with a local resident and her dog. Lovely.

An old school pose.

An old school pose.

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We all stink.

A variation of the 'back single biceps" pose ... on the beach.

A variation of the ‘back single biceps” pose … on the beach.

I don’t know about you but my tolerance for stench is pretty high.

It probably was harnessed over the last 23 years of being in and around gym floors working out among other gym enthusiasts. Yep, I can handle pretty awful smells now and I am very happy about that.

A lot of times my family would complain of a smell but it wouldn’t even affect my nostrils. It doesn’t even register on the Odour Richter scale. That’s how tolerant my nose is to stench.

Now, I know this is quite an embarrassing topic to talk about but I am going to just let’er rip and talk about gas, flatulence, cutting the cheese, wind, anal acoustics … well, you get my drift. In all my years in the gym my nose has smelled them all.

All and every kind of fart there is, I think.

Lifters and potential lifters beware: everyone’s farting up a storm in the weights room. It makes sense doesn’t it – when you’re squeezing, grimacing and grunting and pushing, the occasional gas leak is bound to happen.

This still is far better than the smells people must endure in those closed up, very small group cycling/machine/cardio rooms. That is just wrong and unhealthy. Anything you experience (in terms of smell) in the weights areas of gyms is nothing compared to the stench these claustrophobic classes enthusiasts experience.

However, there are people who love it and god bless them.

When (and not if) you experience this sometimes nauseous gas in the weights room, you will know.

But don’t panic, here’s a few tips to help you get through the experience relatively unscathed:

  • Switch to ‘mouth breathing’ when you’re in the weights room
  • Bury your nose in your own shirt/towel. Your own stink tends to be more acceptable than the other person next to you
  • Keep it quick, efficient and effective. No dillydallying!
  • Now I don’t always say this but don’t forget, there is always tomorrow.

There you go, now if you smell the occasional fart emitted by your partner (husband/boyfriend or wife/girlfriend), remind yourself of how much more awful the smells (combinations of farts and body odour) it is for most people that go to a gym. Far worse than what you periodically inhale in the comfort of home.

My point is: Don’t get mad at him/her!

Look at it from another perspective. I think, tell him or her that they need to work on their diet and make it smell more. Yep, that’s right – they should improve their stink!

Why?

Now, I am going to make a bold statement now – because the stinker your fart is, the better your diet is. Your fart is closely related to your diet. Yep, I know sounds crazy right – no, it doesn’t! The output (farts) is a direct result of the input in to your system. You see, protein stinks or rather nitrogen gas which is protein by-product from your gut, smells.

So, it follows that if your fart does not stink enough, then, your protein intake is inadequate. And what did I say about the importance of protein in your diet? The more, the better.

Your goal: Increase your daily protein intake to adequate levels for your lean body mass. This creates an anabolic environment that helps you stay younger – longer. It is part of the fountain of youth – aids in muscle retention.

And your farts will smell even worse. Why would you want this?

Well, simply that the more impressive your fart stench, the healthier you are. I know, I know, there could be several reasons for having very stink farts but let’s keep it simple. So, we can all agree, that it is highly likely that:

Increased protein consumption = increased fart stench.

Use the stink as an indicator of how healthy your diet is. And you don’t need no fancy gadget or app to monitor how stink you are.

Just use what the good Lord gave you: your nose.

So, there you have it – we all stink! And you thought …. You didn’t right? Admittedly, to varying degrees. Most people go see specialists out of concern for their bad fart stench. I think you’ve got to seriously consider the risk of having low-stench farts and its implications. It is something to take heed.

Hypothesis: if your fart does not stink, then I think you’ve got something seriously wrong with your diet and digestive system. Go get it looked at or use it as a sign to bump up your protein intake. So, here’s an interesting formula:

More (adequate) protein ==> Healthier diet==> Stinker farts ==> longer life ==> Better ‘life’ in your years.

So, there you go, enjoy the next fart you have and assess the intensity of your stench. Don’t hide away in the corner. Let it out and get feedback from people around you. If they make for the nearest door, take it as a good sign. If they hang around then it could be smelling you something to be concerned about.

Remember: The worse the smell, the better.

Until next time,

Slight variation of side chest pose.

Slight variation of side chest pose.

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action, ageing, awareness, body, diet, eating, life

Muscle: the REAL potion of youth.

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Remember this: the older you get, the more important muscle becomes.

Believe me, I have seen the anti-ageing effects of continuous muscle-training in all ages, particularly the aged. Muscle is the real potion of youth, the real anti-ageing substance.

It is very important that you factor this in to your life now: build muscle and preserve it with everything you have got. You don’t need to look try to build so much muscle to try to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger when he was younger or the current Mr Olympia, nor do you need to look like Ms Figure Olympia either.

However, the more muscle you have and keep will lower the risk that your last 20 years of your life isn’t the most unpleasant experience of your life.

It is your ‘preventative insurance’ for the quality of life you will have in the last quarter of your life.

Plan now. Act now.

If you’ve noticed, most of today’s messages in the health industry focuses on us doing everything we can to reduce our risks of heart attack other heart-related illnesses and the benefits in the short-term (ie. Weight-loss, muscle building etc). Well and good.

But it is the long-term that we should all be focused on. Don’t get me wrong, these messages are important but I believe they lose their relevance as we move in to the second half of our lives, particularly after 60 years. I have concluded this in my observations of men and women past 50 years in the gym over the last 23 years.

As we move through our 50s and then 60s, one of our main focuses in life is about thwarting the natural progression of ageing towards, which is ‘slowing down’. When the body ‘slows down’, it fundamentally means that the body’s systems won’t work as well as they once did, and you don’t have to look very far to observe examples of this. Look at your own family or extended family. Are your perceptions of your older parents and grandparents changed? Are they showing symptoms of ageing already? What about you?

This is where your ‘muscles’ are able to assist you. But first you have to be willing to help them.

The deterioration of self, due to ageing is inevitable and some ‘rust’ will form and illness can set you back. However, the potion of youth – your muscles can ‘off-set’ the on-set of ageing. Specifically, it is what you eat and do to support them that can slow down the deterioration rate (like the depreciation rate of a car).

This, my friends, is the ultimate benefit of all those hours of sweating with the weights in the gym – it is more of a long term strategy, like superannuation. You will have the POWER to make the most of the 20 or 30 or so years ahead.

Why?

Well, people use to ‘kick-the-bucket’ naturally much younger in the recent past. Now, medical advances has meant we are living much longer than our forefathers did. Living longer is important but it is not the most important thing. Why would you want to live out the rest of your life not being able to carry out normal daily activities pain-free. I think it is more important to make the most of the extra 20 to 30 years.

This, however, is dependent on you finding ways to keep your body (especially your muscles) and brain going.

From what I have deduced from helping hundreds of elderly people in the gym over the last 20 + years is: that the key to living long and having a quality life after 60 is not just to avoid illnesses. No, the key is mostly – your muscles.

Yes, your muscles!

They do more than just move you around and ‘flex’ and extend when you need them to. They hold the keys to your anti-ageing formula but the important thing to remember is your muscles are more vulnerable than you think. If you don’t already know, apart from the aesthetic benefits of muscle, it does much more for you. After water, protein is the 2nd most abundant substance in your body and protein is the building blocks of your precious potion: muscles.

Muscle helps every one of your body’s cells and organs. It helps reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and ensures that your brain gets the fuel it needs to function optimally to ensure that the body’s functions operates optimally too.

So, if your body is to have any chance at all of enduring the retirement plans you’ve made for the years ahead, it needs your help. NOW.

You need to treat the investment you make in your muscles now and in to your old age as you would your financial security in old age.

How, you may be asking yourself?

Here are my top pointers:

  1. Ensure you consume adequate daily protein levels.
    1. I have concluded that most adults consume less than adequate levels of daily protein for their age and lifestyles. Understand this, just like a car, your body amasses normal wear and tear as the years pile up. Your body needs protein for repair and muscle re-building. You need more of some things when you’re older than you did when you were younger and PROTEIN is one of them.
  2. Your muscles have memory and need a re-minder
    1. We all need some reminder in life that we are ‘needed’ and the same goes for muscles. You have muscles everywhere and it is vital that you focus on working your ‘whole body’ when you train with weighted resistance.
  3. Design a program that includes: resistance training, relevant cardio exercises and flexibility and balance routines to help stave off the debilitating effects of ageing.

It is vital that you remember that your immune system ‘steals’ from your muscles every single day, just to function normally, but particularly when you’re ill or it notices a ‘foreign’ substance in the body. You can start to lose a lot of muscle if you have more than 3 days of immobility and being bed-rested.

Don’t speed up the process of ageing by resting more than you should. Lying around robs you of muscle which you cannot afford to lose. Stay active as much as you possibly can.

“See” the nexus between the effort you invest in your muscles now and the quality of your daily life in your old age.

Save yourself first – NOW for a better quality life in your future. Invest in your muscles today for a better life tomorrow. It would certainly make your mobility during your travel plans in old age much more enjoyable.

All the best in your decision.

Until next time,

Most muscular pose.  World Natural Bodybuilding Championships, NY USA. Represented: Australia. Placing: 4th.

Most muscular pose.
World Natural Bodybuilding Championships, NY USA.
Represented: Australia.
Placing: 4th.

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action, adaptation, awareness, body, diet, eating, Energy, Goals, habits, muscles

Eating right actually takes less time than you think. Tip # 8: Limit and substitute your cups of coffee.

Paul V2 (1)

Not too long ago I was guilty of having one-too-many with this one.

It can be addictive.

I admit I drank anywhere between 3 and 5 cups of black coffee per day. I have worked my way down to a maximum of 3 a day, taken at the right time. But I have implemented an important change and it is my primary suggestion in this blog.

What about you? Do you have coffee? How much do you have per day?

When used sensibly, caffeine-rich beverages can be a smart ‘pick-me-up’ drink to boost your alertness and satisfy your caffeine ‘hit’ during your work day. It fires your adrenaline which in turn helps mobilize fat cells and taps in to stores of glycogen (stored carbohydrates) for energy.

Here’s my suggestion or tip (Tip # 8): Try to limit your succeeding cups of coffees by switching one or two cups of coffee with decaffeinated tea.

I must admit I have learned this one off my wife who is quite diligent in substituting caffeinated-free tea for cups of coffee. I learned that it can surely trick your body in to thinking its getting what its used to, without adding extra calories (depending on how you take it) to your daily total.

Even if you drink your coffee like I do (straight black), I have also learned that too much of it can still be one of the reasons your progress in body re-engineering is stalling. You see, excess caffeine triggers more of the release of the stress-hormone “cortisol”. Why is this not ideal? Well, the cortisol regulates many biological functions – from blood pressure to efficiently using the proteins, fats and carbohydrates that you consume.

Sound good? Yes it might sound good but having too much cortisol in your system can be detrimental to your brain, leak calcium from your bones and may lower your immune system.

Not good.

Coffee (black coffee) can certainly assist you in losing fat but only when used at the right time. When should you use it to maximize fat loss? I try and take it 20 to 30 minutes prior to my cardio session or workout as this is shown to assist in the mobilization of more fat cells and use.

However, like I mentioned earlier, excess caffeine taken at the wrong time, can have a negative impact on your weight loss too. Excess cortisol raises insulin levels as your sugar levels rise. This encourages the body to store the excess calories as fat.

Again, not good.

Also, coffee acts as a diuretic and so forces water out of your body via increased toilet visits. In fact for every cup of coffee you drink, you may likely need to drink two cups of water to replace the amount of liquid the coffee drink forces you to urinate out.

Not good again.

This is not good but compounds this effect is that people replace this first cup of coffee with another cup and so become even more water de-hydrated. This is not ideal also in your quest for building and keeping good lean muscle mass.

If you find yourself in this situation do yourself a favour and stop this cycle now by substituting that second cup of coffee with a de-caffeinated cup of tea.

I thank my beautiful and loving wife, Cathy for this one.

It should only take you a minute of your time.

Total estimated time for previous 7 tips (b/f) = 20 minutes

Add time for this tip (Tip #8) = 1 minute

Total estimate time to apply All Tips (8) = 21 minutes.

My top 8 practical Tips to a better, healthier you takes only an estimated 21 minutes out of your day. Safely, supporting my original goal of proving to you that my top 10 tips to eating healthy takes less time than you think – in this instance it should take you a grand total of 21 minutes to eat healthy in your day.

Don’t tell yourself that you don’t have the time to do this. Instead ask yourself  can you afford not to do it.

Apply Action.

Adapt.

Try it. Feel better!

 

Until next time,

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Eating right actually takes less time than you think. Tip # 7: Food supplements.

Side Chest

Side Chest

Tip #7: Food Supplements.

The food tip says it all – ‘Food supplements’. That is what it is and should not be anything but that.

Just that: supplements! Purpose: to supplement!

Supplementing your diet with some of the countless food supplement products you can get out there today is good for several reasons:

1. Efficiency: allows you to consume your minimum daily requirements of say, with minimum of preparation time, minimum fuss. A typical serving of protein shake would give you anywhere between 20g and 40g of protein. So, depending on your goals and daily protein intake requirements, mixing and drinking a protein shake saves you time. You don’t need to defrost, marinate and cook a steak for example to get that serving of 30 to 40g of protein in to you.

2. Variety available: You have such a plethora of brands, colors and types in our world today, to suit almost every individual taste and want there is. Overcomes food monotony and spices up your taste buds and life with variety.

3. Convenience: very little time taken to prepare and drink the supplement. Particularly relevant for today’s ‘busy’ professional who is in and out of meetings and don’t have the time to sit down to eat a meal.

4. Cost: apart from time cost, supplement companies are at each other’s neck’s with competition and price-wars are very prevalent in today’s world. Increased competition leads to lower cost. Excellent for the discerning customer: you.

5. there are others …..

However, nutrition should be primarily about food – real food. It should not be confused with supplements. Even though this point is of paramount importance, you still find that discussions in and around the gym and training revolve around supplements. You hear gym members asking so ‘what supplements are you taking?” As if there is some magic supplement that everyone else is on that you should be on too.

I’ve been saying it for over two decades now, it does not matter what supplements you take, if you don’t have a sound and proper diet aligned with your goals, all the supplements in the world would not build you the body you want.

Period!

Here are a few things to consider prior to placing some dependence on ‘bodybuilding supplements’:

1. Be clear on what your physical goals are. Eating for mass is quite different to eating to get lean.
2. Set your daily caloric consumption plan (includes protein/carbs/fats portions).
3. Deliberate consumption of macro-nutrient, portion-controlled meals eaten over 5 to evenly-spaced meals towards the daily caloric targets.
4. Adequate daily consumption of water.
5. The generation of lean body mass (muscle) through the routine application and adaption of points 1 through 4.

Once the above points are considered, supplements has a role to play and may assist you move towards your physical goals, faster, if used in the right way.

So, lets have a re-cap of the total time you would take to implement these tips.

Total time taken to apply Top 6 Tips (b/f) = 17 minutes (1020 seconds).
Estimated time to apply Tip 7 (this tip) ~ 3 minutes (180 seconds) *
Total daily estimated time for 7 tips ~ 20 minutes (1200 seconds)

* NOTE: based on the assumption that you will take 2 x protein shake servings at specified time during your day.

So, there you go, my seven tips to a better you this summer and also supporting my subject-heading that “eating right actually takes less time than you think”.

Running total so far ~ 20 minutes (still less than half an hour per day).

Apply Action.

Adapt Accordingly.

 

Until next time,

B&W3284Paul V2 (1)

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adaptation, awareness, balance, better choices, Body shape, body weight, choices, diet, eating, game of life, habits, happiness, Imagination, life, muscles, needs, responsibility, self discipline, self-respect, you, your life

Eating Right actually takes less time than you think. Tip # 6: Eat more snacks!

Educating a top national sprinter of the importance of proper nutrition for recovery & growth for optimal performance

Eating more snacks

How good is that?!

Eating more snacks, that is. It makes us all feel good just reading that tip. Gives you some mental peace of mind, a release valve when you’re on a ‘slimming diet’ program or just contemplating the thought of going months on end saying ‘no’ to all the good food you’re used to eating.

It can be quite difficult for many to create what I refer to as your own self-imposed ‘purity bubble’ when everyone around you is consuming everything. In abundance. Yes, indeed, it can be very difficult.

Your saving grace is your imagination.

The more vivid your imagination is of the image you visualize yourself to be, the less difficult it is to maintain that purity bubble. Your desire and need for this has to be greater than your need for instant gratification from temptation in the short-term. You goal (image) could be to ….

… To look and feel better about yourself at Christmas, say.

My tip of eating more snacks will assist in your journey towards this goal. Phew, finally, a nutritional tip that agrees with the majority of us! Finally, a tip that we all want to do more of and yes, the more snacks you consume, the better.

But not too fast now … there are conditions though.

There is a definite ‘mind-muscle’ connection. Train your muscles to train & exercise your brain and help it release all those necessary life-affirming hormones to flood your body … needed nutrition for the cells and soul. Try it.

there are conditions 

This tip should take you less than 4 minutes flat!

Add that to the running total of my previous Top 5 Tips which was thirteen minutes.

Sum of estimated time taken to perform the Top 6 Tips = 17 minutes. A whopping 17 minutes (or 1020 seconds) out of your busy day with the goal of eating right.

Just to remind you that these Top Ten Tips to eating right also has another goal and that is to demonstrate to you that it should take you less than 30 minutes (1800 seconds) out of your day to eat right. And why is this important to you and worth your body, mind and spirit’s time? Because it is important to provide the best ‘mix’ of raw materials to the being, the machine, the energy-ball that is – YOU.

I am not going to go in to why snacking is important. I have elaborated on this in a previous blog “snacking. The more, the better”.

What I am going to do is give you a list of some good snacks you should carry with you every day before you leave the house for work, play or socialize. Whether you’re a vegetarian or an omnivore, we all still get most of our protein from the three main meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner. And, before you get the wrong idea, by snack I don’t mean cupcakes and fries!

Nope, I refer to a well-composed small meal on the run.

Your life is a continous journey of setting, failing and succeeding in goals … until you …
kick the bucket!
Keep moving forward, I say!

The choice of what you eat is always yours 

Whilst food is analysed to shreds keep this one fact in mind for simplicity’s sake: once any form of carbohydrate is eaten (whether its fast burning or slow burning), your body converts all carbohydrates to sugar. So, from that standpoint all sources of carbs are equivalent. However, what is different from the types of snacks I will be listing below and junk choices are essential input the body needs.

Essentials such as fiber, the vitamins and minerals and some cancer-fighting phyto-chemicals found in vegetables and fruits.

At the end of the day, the choice of what you eat is always yours, but so are the level of risks attached to those choices and the consequences likely to occur to your health. Your life.

Choose wisely.

Carbohydrate (Carb) comparisons examples:

1 marshmallow = 1 medium raw carrot = 7 cups mushrooms = 420g (3 ½ cups) of broccoli = ½ cup melon = ½ orange = ¼ very small potato = 1/7 Mars Bar = 1/3 medium banana = 7 jelly beans = 14 cups fresh lettuce = 3 french fries!

Interesting calorie to volume ratios relating to just a small sample comparison, isn’t it?

The snacks below provide approximately 5g or less. If you’re hitting the weights in the gym, add a protein shake (with low carbs or no carbs) to these to ensure that you’re getting adequate levels of protein for muscle repair and growth. A serving should give you between 20g and 30g additional protein.

½ medium avocado = 1 medium carrot = 1 cup frozen spinach = 1 medium tomato = ½ cup diced eggplant = ¼ cup blueberries = ½ cup strawberries = ½ cup snap beans.

Other snack options:

Sandwich (light bread, 30g meat) P:C = 7g:7g

Apple/cheddar slices (1/4 apple/30g cheese) P:C = 7g:1g

Cottage cheese  (1/4 cup) P:C = 7g:2g

Hard-boiled egg (1 large) P:C = 6g: 0.6g

Lean meat slices (30g) P:C = 7g: 0.1g

Walnuts (30g) P:C = 4g: 5g

Macadamia (30g) P:C = 3g: 4g

An exhaustive list of ideal snacks? No. Rightly so.

Homework for you: try to become more aware of what you’re consuming. Start measuring the food you eat. We measure everything else – how much money we spend; how much time you spend at work; what size coffee you want; buying a new pair of shoes or trousers.

Measuring is part of our every-day life. We’re constantly measuring. Why not start measuring your food intake. Buy yourself a food scale and measure your foods.  Make it habit. To make it habit, repeat to remember and remember to repeat. Like a good pair of shoes, make your food ‘mix’ fit right. For you – the YOU, you want to be (in a few months perhaps).

There you have it, my 6th Tip of my series of Top Ten Tips to a better you, this summer.

If by some chance, a part of you, a part of your goal is to lose excess body fat – and for most people who suffer from insulin resistance, it is – this tip, along with the previous five and the next four will be good for you. It will offer you one of  the easiest and most effective system available (through the power of habit) for doing that quickly, safely and sustainably.

Two common questions I have heard from the many hundreds of people I have helped over the last two decades is:

  1. How quick can I lose weight and how long will it take to reach my goal?
  2. How much food can I eat each day?

Before you seek answers to this, my tip to you is try adopting my Top Ten Tips in to your daily life. Work it in to your lifestyle. The metabolic adaptations that occurs in your body as a result of falling insulin and the increased sensitivity achieved triggers off many good things.

Your improved sensitivity to insulin will in turn increase the rate at which you burn calorie (even at rest) and you will find the new you, sooner than you think.

Act.

Adapt.

…. And give you a little bit more peace of mind.

Good luck in your choices.

Until next time,

Do the Right Thing, ALWAYS.

 

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