Frequently Asked Questions


As a personal trainer and obsessive ‘selfie’ taker, I get asked A LOT of questions about diet, training, supplements and body transformation.

Listed below are some of my most commonly asked questions, and the answers that I personally find to be true and the most effective…

  • How much cardio should I do? 

This is totally dependant on your goal. If your goal is to gain muscle, 1-2 sessions a week is enough. If you’re trying to shed fat, 4-5 sessions a week. For both goals, try and do your cardio for 20-30 minutes. Also, try and do fasted in the morning (before breakfast) so you can separate it wholly from any weight training you might have. And lastly, HIIT is going to be much more effective for both goals than steady state cardio (long runs, jogs etc).

  • I do lots of cardio but still don’t look toned?

That’s because cardio will burn calories and keep you fit, but it will not grow muscle or even encourage muscle maintenance. If you want that ‘toned’ look, YOU HAVE TO LIFT WEIGHTS!

  • If I lift weights, I’ll get bulky…

NO YOU WON’T! It takes YEARS of HEAVY WEIGHT LIFTING to gain muscle mass! Again, if you want to get ‘toned’, YOU HAVE TO LIFT WEIGHTS!

  • Should I cut out carbs?

NO! You need to assess WHAT carbs you eat and WHEN you eat them. So, first rule, STICK TO CLEAN CARBS! I’m talking fruit, veg, sweet potato and wholegrains like oats and brown rice. If your goal is fat loss, have your starchy carbs in the morning so you have a good energy release throughout the day / during training, and again post workout so you can feed muscle. If your goal is muscle gain, you need to be very liberal and generous with your carb intake!

  • I’m addicted to chocolate and bread so I can’t stick to a diet! What do I do?

Erm…we are all addicted to bread and chocolate. Everyone wants to eat a mountain of chocolate, cake, bread and pasta when they’ve gone a day without it. It’s normal. HOWEVER, if you want the body, you HAVE to sacrifice for it. It really is that simple. There’s no magic trick, no way around it, you have to eat on point to get aesthetic results. Remember, 1 cheat night a week is going to give you a window for chocolate / bread, so use it. Also remember that after week 3, the diet becomes second nature, you just have to get to that point. DO NOT GIVE UP – IT WILL GET EASIER!

  • I eat clean and train hard during the week and I still don’t see results!

The ‘weekend off’ is going to take away all the progress you made in the week. Think about it, you eat spotlessly Monday-Friday, train every day and feel great, you feel like you’re a week or 2 away from actually SEEING changes. Then Friday night rolls around and you drink a bottle of wine, order a takeaway, and eat that chocolate bar that’s been in the cupboard all week. Saturday morning comes and you go for a fry up before hitting the pub for a few beers. You go for dinner with friends and on Sunday you feel pants so you eat toast and biscuits in your pyjamas all day…now tell me, do you think you will get results by doing this every week? No.

  • How many days a week should I train?

If your diet is spotless, you can get away with training 3 days a week, hitting 2 body parts a session and doing some cardio after. However, it goes without saying that the more exercise you do, the quicker your results will come. Always ensure you have AT LEAST 1 full rest day a week though, and try to get AS MUCH SLEEP AS POSSIBLE!

  • How much is ‘too much’ on a cheat night?

Too much is too much! You already know what the answer is. Have 1 carbohydrate based meal and add A dessert and A drink if you feel the need to. That’s it. Any more and you are going overboard.

  • How long until I see results?

This depends on SO many factors. Your starting point, how committed you are to your diet and training…In my experience, clients who are 100% on point with their diet and training see results in week 4-5, clients who struggle to stick to either take longer. I personally jumped in 100% and I saw my body change in 3 weeks, but when I mess around my results come and go like the wind!

  • I’m happy with my body but I have pockets of fat on my arms / legs / stomach, how do I get rid of these?

The fitness world is somewhat divided on this topic…I personally am of the experience and opinion that it is IMPOSSIBLE to spot reduce fat. When we lose fat, we lose it evenly from all over our body, the more stubborn areas being the last to go. This is why CONSISTENCY IS KEY!

  • What supplements should I take?

If you lift weights and do resistance training, you should look into protein powders, yes. They do NOT make you bulky, they simply HELP your body to REPAIR torn muscle. Standard whey protein will do, or casein for before bed. If you don’t lift you don’t really need protein powders to be honest. Some people like pre workouts for energy, others don’t react so well to it. To be honest, a cup of coffee or a banana will do the trick just as well. Fat burners are for the VERY advanced and tend to be used for a few weeks pre competition / photo shoot, the idea that fat burners are for everybody’s everyday fat loss use is beyond misinformed and 100% WRONG. Omega oils are great for general health, fitness and well being.

 

THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS, IF YOU WANT AESTHETIC RESULTS, CONSISTENCY WITH DIET AND TRAINING IS THE ONLY WAY!


Hotel Chocolat Does it Again


Recently, I wrote a piece on the site about Hotel Chocolat and their inevntion of Supermilk - the high cocoa, low sugar, milk chocolate alternative that’s a perfect treat for those on the clean diet wagon.

This week, I found another product that I now do not know how I ever went without … I guarantee that it will SAVE you healthy chocoholics, and at 0 CALORIES!

The fact is, if you want fat loss, chocolate is a no no. You can have a couple of squares of DARK chocolate (Supermilk is better as it’s lower in sugar) as pre workout fuel, but other than that, it’s out-of-bounds.

Like most of my clients and clean eaters out there, I find that night time is when those cravings kick in, and the necessity for chocolate can sometimes feel a little…insane is probably the best way to put it!

Enter Hotel Chocolat Cocoa Infusion Tea

These tea bags have 0 calories - you literally pop them in hot water and let them soak like you would any other herbal tea. But the outcome? A hot chocolate without ANY of the guilt!

I have found myself having 3 cups of this stuff a night, and wondering how on earth I ever managed before!

Check out their various chocolate tea blends here … http://www.hotelchocolat.com/uk/search?searchterm=tea


What I Eat, How I Train


Since the very beginning of my fitness journey, I have posted ‘selfies’ on my various social media accounts. I do this for several reasons…

Firstly, I want to show people that the results you think are impossible ARE achievable! It just takes the RIGHT diet and exercise, along with consistency and knowledge.

Secondly, I want to reaffirm to myself what I have achieved. This may sound silly, but when I started, I desperately wanted to be able to post pictures similar to my fitness idols, and when I finally got there, it became sort of a celebration of all the hard work that went into it.

Lastly, I do it because it is my business. It is my life. I am a qualified and active personal trainer, a nutritionist, I own a fitness business, I train 6 days a week and I love every smelly, sweaty, painful minute of it. My body reflects my business, and I am extremely proud of it.

Obviously with the selfies comes the flak, which I am completely used to and have no qualms either ignoring or fighting back against if I can be bothered. I used to get so anxious and panicky when someone wrote something negative about my character or my body, but in finding what I love I found my self confidence, and now the stupid comments are just an excuse for me to have a rant … which truth be told I quite enjoy!

However, when people in a position of influence, journalists for instance, write COMPLETE mistruths about me and convince young girls in particular that a healthy body is unhealthy or unachievable without starvation, I genuinely lose my cool.

I have many, many clients, both online and face-to-face.  They come to me with all sorts of goals – from general health, to weight loss, to low body fat, to recovery from eating disorders and more. MY social media accounts reflect MY goals, and MY goals are different from many…

If you want to be fit and healthy, eat healthy foods and move your body.

If you want to lose weight, eat healthy foods in small portions and move your body.

If you want muscle mass, eat healthy foods in large portions and lift heavy weights.

If you want all of the above, or ‘toning’ (which is a ridiculous word but that’s a rant for another time), things start to get a bit more complicated…

That’s where I’m at right now. I want low body fat and lean muscle mass. And because I work hard and research A LOT, I know how to achieve it IN A HEALTHY WAY. I use my social media and this website to share my knowledge and my results.

When people who know NOTHING about the human body point out a muscle like a Serratus Anterior or an External Oblique and say it’s a rib or a hip bone protruding from starvation, I literally want to tear my own hair out.  It’s not bone, it’s muscle, and you cannot have muscle mass if you don’t eat – PERIOD! 

So, with that in mind, I want to share a little about what I eat…

  • Right now, I am trying to shed fat, so I am on the lowest calorie count I have every been on, which is around 1400 calories a day.
  • This allows me to eat 5 or 6 meals a day.
  • I am carb cycling, which is an advanced dieting method and you ONLY need to use it if you too are advanced in BOTH diet and weight training. Do NOT bother with it if you are at the beginning stages or if you do not lift weights.
  • For 3 days I am low carbohydrate, carbohydrates from vegetables only, but high fat and high protein. So I eat a lot of eggs, nuts, nut butters, avocado, chicken, tuna, vegetables and protein powder to hit my sweet tooth.
  • On my 4th day, I will carb load. So I will have clean starchy carbs with every meal, such as oats or brown rice, sometimes clean simple carbs like fruit, but I stay within my calorie count.

Here is a little about how I train…

  • 4 – 5 mornings a week I do 20 – 30 minutes of fasted cardio … this is cardio before breakfast, on an empty stomach. It’s great for fat burning.
  • 6 afternoons / evenings a week I lift weights. I go as heavy as I can and do a high number of sets and reps. Also great for fat burning, but it keeps my muscles somewhat alive.
  • I have 1 rest day a week.

I eat. I train. I am HEALTHILY shedding fat, and come Christmas, I will have a break.

THE MORAL OF THE STORY IS THIS – IF YOU WANT TO LEARN ABOUT HEALTH AND FITNESS, GO TO A PROFESSIONAL. DO NOT TAKE YOUR INFORMATION OR OPINIONS FROM THE UNQUALIFIED – THEY WILL UNDOUBTEDLY BE WRONG.

And to end this little rant of mine I want to say this…

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to all my supporters and Fondues, who send me beautiful emails and comments every day. I do read them ALL, and YOU motivate ME to keep going.


Controlling your Cheat


The Cheat Meal – That one off occasion most fitties look forward to every week…

Not EVERY fitness fanatic has cheats – many see healthy eating as a permanent change and have no qualms never eating a takeaway again.

Another argument against cheats is that it is encouraging your brain to see bad food as a reward, which inevitably leads to some psychological trip wires when you’re trying to actually ENJOY and settle int0 a more healthy lifestyle.

The purpose of the cheat is mental and physical; you get to give your brain (and probably your social life) a night off, and you get to feed your glycogen stores in the muscle and leptin (fat burning hormone) levels.

However, I have loads of clients who would rather not stuff their face with ice cream one night a week, and to these clients I recommend clean ‘Refeed Days‘. A refeed day is one day a week when you can have more CLEAN starchy carbohydrates than usual (think oats, sweet potato, brown rice etc), once again allowing your glycogen and leptin levels to sky rocket and assist the coming week’s training and results.

There’s no denying that Refeed Days are better. The problem with cheats is that they can often lead you down a naughty path that you never intended to go down…

For example, last week I met an old friend for lunch and ordered pasta – a pretty good cheat all things considered. However, after our meal she left me with a cigarette, and because I was still in ‘cheat mode’, I indulged. Later that afternoon, I was a few minutes into lifting when a pounding headache came crashing down on me, effecting my training and making me feel quite sick to be honest. My body was not used to my bad old habits, and I payed for it.

And this type of slip up is common. I’ve heard of nights out that have lead to 3am chocolate binges, and I have lost count of clients who’s bowl of pasta turned into 3.

None of the above are good. It really IS important to see healthy eating as a lifestyle change, and to see a cheat meal once a week as a little break – NOT a reward or an excuse to go completely off the rails.

So, here are some rules to help you stick to your cheat:

1. MAKE SURE YOUR CHEAT IS A LATE DINNER - I say this to clients all the time. If your cheat is a late dinner, then chances are you will eat, be full, and want to go to bed. There is no time to turn every meal that day into a cheat and consume 3000 calories that your body simply does NOT need.

2. HAVE YOUR CHEAT AS YOUR POST WORKOUT MEAL - After you train, your body is in Anabolic mode, which is a fat burning, muscle building state. If you have your cheat after a good workout, leg day for example, that takeaway is a lot less likely to store as fat.

3. HAVE YOUR CHEAT THE NIGHT BEFORE A SERIOUS WORKOUT - The morning after my cheat, I always get up and do 30 minutes of fasted cardio, then return later in the day and train a big muscle group, like back or chest. I really use all that glycogen to fuel my training, and I see a huge improvement in my energy levels for days after my cheat.

4. IF YOU DON’T NEED IT, DON’T DO IT! - If you don’t have a social event that week or a family / date night that requires a takeaway for old times sake, don’t have a cheat. Have a big old refeed meal of clean starchy carbohydrates instead.

5. STICK TO ONE NIGHT A WEEK! - I usually recommend my clients have their cheat on a Sunday night, so they can train and commit to a spotless diet all week, weigh in on a Sunday morning and then eat what they like that evening. To my more social clients, it’s usually a Saturday, allowing them to have a night out with friends. Plan what night works best for you, and then give 100% until that night arrives.

 

Remember that cheats are meant to HELP your results, NOT hinder them. The trick is to always remember your goals, and DO NOT STOP UNTIL YOU GET THERE.


Calories, Loss and The Starvation Response


If weight loss or fat loss is your goal, then calories are going to play a huge part in getting you there…

What people forget or fail to understand is that a calorie is a unit of energy – NOT fat.

The first thing your body is going to do with a few calories? Use them to SURVIVE. Breathing, moving, digesting…EVERY function you can think of is fuelled by calories.

The second thing your body will do with your calories? Use them for ENERGY! If you didn’t get enough calories in your daily diet, walking to the loo would be exhausting.

The third thing it’s going to do with calories? Start to feed the various stores in your body. Fat stores, muscle stores … here you go stores, I’ve had enough, you take some for later. This is why calories play such a huge role in muscle gain and fat loss.

So, if you are eating as many calories as you NEED to survive and fuel your energy levels throughout the day, you will NOT gain weight. It’s that simple.

How do you structure calories around your day-to-day life and training with a loss as your goal? I’ll explain…

If you are brand spanking new to dieting and you are coming out of a truly troublesome diet, DO NOT WORRY ABOUT CALORIES YET! Clean up your food intake (meats, eggs, nuts, seeds, wholegrains, fruit and veg) first and keep your portion sizes small and you WILL lose weight – trust me! Your body LOVES using CLEAN food for FUEL and it will start to do so. If you keep your portions low, your calories will also be low, and you won’t gain.

If you are already on the clean food train and want to step it up, you need to calculate your calories using The Harris Benedict Equation. This is how you will figure out what the right calorie count is for YOU personally. EVERYBODY HAS A DIFFERENT COUNT depending on their own height, weight, age, activity level, etc…

Once you have your count, start to GRADUALLY decrease the number week by week. I suggest lowering it by 50 calories each week until you start to see good results. If your diet is CLEAN and you are MOVING, you should start to see results a few weeks in…

You should never drop more than 500 calories below your daily count – here’s why…

The love triangle of loss, calories and metabolism is spiteful. You need to try and keep the latter 2 in line with the former 1. SO, as I said, you want to drop your calories GRADUALLY so that as soon as you start to see results, YOU CAN STOP. The reason why you stop is because the more food you can eat while losing, the higher you can keep your metabolic rate while losing. You want to keep your metabolism as high as you possibly can at all times…

TOO LOW CALORIES = TOO LOW METABOLISM

TOO LOW METABOLISM = THE STARVATION RESPONSE

The Starvation Response? If you drop your calories too low, your body is going to notice and it is going to go into survival mode. You will STOP seeing results and instead, your body will come to a grinding halt, holding on to fat stores and fighting to keep them on your body. Why? Because you are starving yourself and your body has no idea when it will eat again or how much you are going to let it have. It needs a back up, and fat is the best option it has.

Also, remember that once you mess with your metabolism, it is a screaming NIGHTMARE trying to fix it again. You will gain, you will yo-yo, and it will take MONTHS of fluctuating to get it back on track. DON’T BOTHER! DO IT PROPERLY!

So there you have it – clean up the diet, get moving, calculate your calorie count and keep your metabolic rate as high as possible. Don’t let it overwhelm you, like all things in life, practice makes perfect.


COCO PRO


When it comes to diet, some people’s downfall is chocolate, for others it’s white bread, and millions of us crave sugary drinks…

Coconut water has always been a great, HEALTHY alternative for those who love their fruit juice and sugar filled squash, as it’s an all natural energy drink that will do great things for your body:

  • Coconut water is rich in vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, enzymes, amino acids and cytokine.
  • Coconut water contains less sodium than any other energy drink.
  • Coconut water is a natural electrolyte and isotonic source which helps increase the body’s metabolism.
  • Coconut water contains cytokinins and lauric acid which can minimise the aging of skin cells, balance PH levels, and keep the connective tissues strong and hydrated.

If you train and you’re looking for a protein boost as well as a thirst quencher, there’s a great new product out called Coco Pro

Coco Pro is a hydrating recovery drink that is a perfect accompaniment to a hard gym session. It is LOW in calories and HIGH in protein, making it an ideal refreshment for those in an anabolic window!

Take a look at the yummy new product here:

http://drinkcocopro.com


CONSISTENCY


We all know that in order to change our bodies – whether it be internally for health and fitness or externally for aesthetic achievement – diet and exercise is mandatory. The first steps are ordering the salad instead of the burger, and getting off your butt to go to the gym.

It’s the next step that stops most in their tracks, and has the masses going round in circles looking for a ‘quick fix’…

CONSISTENCY

Yes, if you eat the salad and start to move you WILL see results. No, you will not see them on day one. You will not see them in week one. You will not see them in month one.

Diet and exercise ONLY WORK if you are CONSISTENT!

I will bust my butt and eat spotlessly every day for well over a month before I actually SEE the changes start to take shape on my body.

Consistency is HARD, it’s hard saying no to the office brownies every day. It’s hard to say no to the glass of wine every night. But the fact of the matter is, if you want results, you have to sacrifice.

This does not mean you should be punishing your brain and body in order to look good naked, but you need to find the right balance.

You should be eating healthy foods and exercising MOST days, while relaxing and eating that burger SOME days.

This is where cheat nights come into play…

In the beginning stages, I recommend having ONE NIGHT A WEEK when you can relax, drink the wine, order the pizza and eat the ice cream. This is going to keep you focused during the week and allow you to take a mental breath at the end of it.

As you get more and more used to the healthy lifestyle, the diet and the exercise, you will learn to have treats every few days without letting it derail you or seeing it as a big deal. But this takes time, at least a few months into the lifestyle change…

As cliche as it sounds, it really is a lifestyle change, and big changes like that take TIME to adjust to.

Be patient, be consistent, you will get there.


Supplement Bodybuilding ask some Questions


See the full interview here: http://supplementbodybuilding.com/interview-chloe-madeley-fitness-world-influence/

After receiving third place as a contestant in Dancing on Ice alongside Michael Zenezini, what motivated you to get started with your fitness journey?

“Dancing on Ice was long before I got into health and fitness – I remember Michael always trying to force feed me fruit and take me to the gym with him! It wasn’t until two years later when I met my now ex-boyfriend, who was a personal trainer, that I got really interested in training. He got me into weight lifting and I enjoyed it so much that one thing lead to another, and fitness slowly became a huge part of my life.”

Could you enlighten us a little bit about your fitness success and goals, in specific all the weight loss? What kind of training do you go through? What is your diet like? And have you taken any sort of supplements through the process?

“When I’m trying to gain muscle I lift very heavy, usually 3 sets of 8, and do a couple of HIIT sessions a week to keep the fat at bay. I eat clean but I eat lots of starchy carbs like oats, and I’ll have one cheat night a week.

When I’m trying to ‘cut up’ and get lean, I will do fasted HIIT in the morning and then do light weight lifting later in the day, usually 4 sets of 15. My starchy carbs are usually minimal and structured around my workouts (pre and post) – or I will carb cycle (3 days low, 1 day high). I normally start with the former and a few weeks in start carb cycling.

I have always taken protein powder supplements because I have a sweet tooth and if I didn’t make protein pancakes or mug cakes most days I would probably be really unhappy, and I want to enjoy the process as much as I can! I’m cutting right now and iSUPP sent me a great fat burner called Meta-Ripwhich I take pre training and gives me a good boost. I don’t take pre workouts as they make me sick.”

See the full interview here: http://supplementbodybuilding.com/interview-chloe-madeley-fitness-world-influence/


Halfway Point Hurdles


Hello my lovely Fondues!

You may have noticed that posts this week have been few and far between, so I wanted to check in with you all, explain why and share some struggles which I hope will placate, motivate and remind some of you of your own goals…

At the end of September, I returned home from my second holiday of the summer a solid 17lbs heavier than I was in June…

In the space of a few months, I had gradually crept from 125lbs to 142lbs…and I wasn’t remotely phased by it. I wasn’t panicked because I knew the second I stepped onto the plane that a weight gain was coming, and after an extremely difficult spring I wasn’t going to obsess over it. I was going to enjoy my summer, desserts and all.

And that I did. By the time I sat down to recalculate my new calorie counts, macro splits and training regime for Autumn, I had a little fat roll on my belly that had been forged with love and pizza.

I set myself a 12 week plan. I calculated my calories and figured out a gradual deficit for a steady loss. I split my macros in a way that I know from experience works well for me, and for the first time ever I incorporated carb cycling into my plan.

I began fasted cardio and changed my weight training routines from heavy lifting to lots of compound exercises with high sets and reps. I threw in some supersets and got to work.

I am now at the end of week 7 and I have lost a total of 10lbs gradually over the last couple months.

I knew week 7 was going to be particularly tough because this week, my entire family have come from up north to celebrate my niece’s 2nd birthday, Halloween and Fireworks night.

With a total of 9 people in my house, 3 traditions, cake, chocolate, mulled wine and beer, it has definitely been hit and miss to say the least!

On Saturday, I broke at around 8pm when the ‘kids’ (my brothers and I) decided to get a bit boozey…

On Wednesday, I broke when my dad decided mulled wine and fireworks were a marriage made in heaven (they are)…

And on Thursday, last night, I broke when my mother asked me to make sticky toffee pudding…

As the events began to unfold, I started to panic a little. I have been 100% on point with my diet and training, and the results were finally starting to show. I was backtracking, and my structure was beginning to fall apart. Not to mention the stomach ache – my body certainly cannot handle sugars like it could 2 months ago.

However, one thing that has actually improved with all the cheating is my training, which has been intense, high energy, extensive and extremely enjoyable. This morning, while destroying my fasted cardio on the cross trainer, a bikini competitor I know came over to have a little catch up. I told her about my week, and she said that whenever she’s at the halfway point in her comp prep, she will often have a few days off the diet and even training in order to refuel and reboot for the second leg of prep…

I suddenly realised that like everything in life, sometimes you quite literally NEED a break in order to stay on track. Not only has the wobble in my diet refuelled my training (and will probably continue to well into next week), it has also reminded what my goal is and what I need to do in order to get there.

I have loved every second of this week and all the mulled wine that went into it, but as of today, I am reminded of what I need to do to get where I’m going, and exactly where I want to be in 6 weeks time!

I hope this post reminds some of you that we are all human, we all break sometimes, and in between goals there is a little thing called life that needs to be enjoyed.


Olympic Lifting


For nearly 2 years now I have been lifting weights and learning as I go.

In the beginning, I was doing a lot of isolation work, meaning I was targeting specific muscles in order to grow them (think bicep curls, chest flyes, leg curls etc). This was partly because I had a bicep loving boy showing me the ropes, but also because I was new to weights and I didn’t know how to channel my training toward my goals.

As I progressed, I learned that for what I wanted, compound movements were more appropriate. Compound movements target several muscle groups at once (think squats, deadlifts, presses, rows etc). Not only do you hit a few areas with one lift, if you perform these exercises at a good pace you are also getting some great HIIT into your workout.

The training that I do now is very similar to Crossfit, I just don’t use a specific Crossfit gym. But frustratingly for me, there are moves that have always been out of my reach which I know are ideal for what I want to achieve with my body…

I have never been taught Olympic lifts by a pro and therefor I have never attempted them. My #1 concern with any weighted exercise is form, and if I feel my form isn’t right yet, I won’t attempt the lift.

This week, two incredible PTs (Ashton Turner and David Arnot) invited me down to their gym to teach me some Oly lifts. Not only did they get me snatching a weighted Olympic bar after 45 minutes, they ended up throwing the move into a KILLER circuit that had me drenched in sweat and gasping for my life.

If you are in the London area, send them a tweet for training enquiries (@ashtonturnerfit / @davidarnot_pt). If you’re outside of London, jump on Google and have a look for your closest Oly lifting pros.

These lifts will hit almost EVERY muscle group in your body at once, and they will get your heart pumping like you’re on a treadmill. If you’re looking for fat burning and muscle building double whammys, you should definitely be looking into it…

Video


HOGNUTS NUT BUTTERS


It’s fair to say that nut butters have saved more than a few fitties from falling off the diet wagon!

When all you want is some form of dessert-like indulgence, the cleanest and yummiest option available to you is going to be nut butter.

I was joyous when I found a clean peanut spread that fit with my diet, and later hit my macros right, but there is no denying that even peanut butter can lose it’s novelty factor after a few months of sucking spoons.

I’m currently into week 6 of my cutting phase, and anyone who follows me will know that the last few days have been a struggle with my diet. I’m 100% on point, but those late nights thinking about cake and ice cream are becoming somewhat of a fixture.

Enter the nutritional godsend that is Hognuts

Hognuts is a Yorkshire based nut butter supplier and here is why they are the Hog’s Nuts (sorry):

  • Per 100g, most ‘clean’ nut butters will have around 700 calories, 51g fat, 14g carb, 26g protein.
  • Per 100g, Hognuts has around 500 calories, 27g fat, 11g carbs, 57g protein.
  • Not only that, Hognuts can boast several INCREDIBLE flavours to placate your sweet tooth, including: Almond Butter, Maple & Pecan, Bourbon Vanilla Crunch, Chocolate Salt Caramel, Cinnamon Bun, Chocolate Coconut Creme, Caramel Amaretto Macchiato, Coconut and Cashew and Chocolate Salt Caramel.

Don’t be put off by the more sugary sounding stuff, all of their products fall into the nutritional map I listed above, and man alive will Hognuts come to your rescue when you’re feeling the sugar pangs of that clean diet!

@Hognutsbutters is their Twitter handle and they list several places for you to make an order, including http://hognutsbutters.bigcartel.com

Happy spoon sucking!


Fat Burners and Diet Pills


I get asked A LOT about fat burners and diet pills…

I want to make a few things abundantly clear before I start talking about these products…

  • Diet pills tend to be appetite suppressants and I would NEVER recommend to them to ANYONE. If your body is hungry, it’s because it needs to EAT. Diet pills will seriously mess with your metabolism and they have no place in a healthy diet, regardless of aesthetic goal.
  • Fat burners I would only recommend to the very advanced, who most likely wouldn’t even need them. If you are new to a healthy diet and regular training, you have a LONG way to go and a lot of research to do before you even start thinking about fat burners.
  • THERE IS NO MAGIC PILL THAT WILL GET YOU ‘RIPPED’! IT TAKES HARD WORK, DEDICATION, TIME AND CONSISTENCY!
  • There is no real, substantial evidence that fat burners of any kind actually work.
  • If you are advanced and you do look into fat burners, please remember they are for TEMPORARY use – for a few weeks at a time only. They are not meant to be a permanent fixture in your diet!

So, if you are new to a healthy diet and training, please do not start buying up fat burners thinking it’s the fast track – it’s not. Metabolism, calories, macros, hormones, cardio and weight lifting are the things you need to be researching, NOT a bunch of pills.

For those who are more advanced, who are looking to cut up through a calorie deficit, cardio and other such approaches, here’s my experience with some popular fat burners on the market:

RASPBERRY KETONES: MYPROTEIN - These were the first fat burners I tried, alongside a clean diet and regular training. This particular product came in powder form which you mix with water. It was pretty unpleasant to take as it tasted like chlorine and scratched my throat on the way down, which ended up being sore for days at a time. However, I did see a difference in my body fat % after 2-3 weeks.

CLA: ePROTEIN / LONSDALE - CLA is probably the most popular fat burner on the market, and I’m not entirely sure why. I gave one of the brands 3 weeks and the second the same length of time, and I didn’t see any real difference or enhanced fat loss. However, it was a hell of a lot easier to take and didn’t give me any side effects whatsoever.

META-RIP: iSUPP - I’d read good reviews of META-RIP and I know iSupp are a good quality brand, so I was interested to give their in house fat burner a try. These were my favourite yet. They can be used as a pre workout, which I was worried would make me jittery/dizzy/sick as pre workouts often do with me, but they didn’t at all, they just made me feel energetic and I really enjoyed training. META-RIP is predominantly a fat burning, metabolism boosting supplement and thus far is my best yet.

metarip10529541-1395068394-712122-1claUnknown


Hotel Chocolat Come to the Rescue!


The amount of clients and Fondue followers who have told me their diet is derailed by chocolate must be in the hundreds. Let’s face it, we LOVE the stuff.

Every time I write an online nutrition plan or sit down for a consultation, I seem to have to say “Chocolate is FULL of sugar, you have to avoid it if you want to drop the weight. You can have DARK chocolate, just stick to a couple of squares a day.”

This is usually the chocolate lover’s best option. Dark chocolate is high in fat and low in sugar, so it’s a perfect snack for a low carbohydrate weight loss diet. However, not everyone is a fan of the bitterness, and the clients go on to suffer in silence or eventually break when they pass a stand of milky goodness!

So imagine my relief when Hotel Chocolat came up with Supermilk!

Supermilk is the chocolate giant’s new creation. Here’s how the genius idea came to light:

  • Most of the chocolate bars we know and love have around 25% cocoa and 50% sugar, the latter making them ideal for weight gain!
  • Most dark chocolate bars contain around 70% cocoa and 30% sugar.
  • SUPERMILK is high in cocoa like dark chocolate (65%), but LOWER in sugar than dark chocolate (20%), making up that last percentage with milk. The added milk keeps it higher in fat, lower in sugar and gives it that creamy taste dark chocolate just doesn’t have.

I’m currently on a high protein, high fat, low carbohydrate diet and I am seeing great results. Dark chocolate has been my pre workout snack of choice lately, I need the fat for energy and it placates my sweet tooth. Yesterday, I tried Supermilk for the first time, and it tasted like a high end, deliciously creamy milk chocolate bar, yet I knew it had less sugar content than my usual 2 squares 70%.

This product is a must try for all you chocolate lovers out there, looking for a little relief and a guilt free reward.

http://www.hotelchocolat.com/uk/about/supermilk


Hold on to the Wagon!


Everybody knows in order to get aesthetic results you have to clean up your diet and you have to exercise. However, people often forget that these two things won’t get you your dream body after a week of commitment. Nor will they after a month of it.

CONSISTENCY IS KEY!

I can diet and train like a machine for weeks, but the body I know I am capable of achieving doesn’t start to shine through until I am well into my second month of CONSISTENCY. On top of this, I am lucky. I’ve never been bigger than a big size 10, and if I had, it would take me even longer to see changes.

 

I know it’s hard when you’re waiting to see changes and someone comes over with brownies, trust me I know it all too well! Here are some tips on how to stay on the wagon:

1. IF YOU DO NOT BUY IT, YOU CANNOT EAT IT! Do NOT buy anything you know is going to set you back! Not on your lunch break, not at the supermarket, not for your partner. Temptation is NOT for the faint of heart, so don’t make life harder for yourself!

2. AVOID RESTAURANTS WHERE HEALTHY EATING IS NOT AN OPTION! Eating out when you’re trying to stay on the diet wagon is not as hard as you think, it largely depends on where you’re going. CHOOSE WISELY! For example, I have to avoid Italian altogether because I am ADDICTED to pizza. But when it comes to Chinese, there is a local restaurant that serves incredible authentic meats and sides of Chinese vegetables. My friends get their noodles, I get my duck and broccoli, and everyone is happy!

3. PREP YOUR MEALS! This is how all the athletes, fitness models and fitspos you know and love stay on track! Invest in some tupperware and when you have a day / night off, cook quadruple what you need for lunch and dinner, stick it in the boxes and voila – you have microwaveable, portable meals to take everywhere with you. Also keep healthy snacks like nuts in your handbag, car and at work so you don’t grab the wrong thing when your tummy rumbles.

4. LOOK INTO PROTEIN POWDERS! I have a sweet tooth and man alive do protein powders save me! I make pancakes out of mine (1 scoop protein, 1 egg), I also make mug cakes and cookies and brittle. If you have a sweet tooth and the idea of eating  chicken and broccoli for 3 months solid is a living nightmare for you, have a browse through our supplement associates on the right hand side of the page.

5. SET LONG TERM COMMITMENTS AND SHORT TERM REWARDS! Ok, this is KEY and is what keeps me 100% focused and in track! Right now, I am 100% committed to my diet and training, and I will be until the third week of December when I will eat chocolate Santas, sherry trifle and turkey sandwiches galore! I have been pretty spotless for 4 weeks now, and I’m incredibly excited for what my body will look like come November. It is VITAL that you give 100% for long periods of time, knowing that there will be a short period at the end when you can relax, eat what you want and put your feet up.

6. USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO INSPIRE AND MOTIVATE YOURSELF! My Instagram, my Facebook, my Twitter and my screensaver…all FULL of women who I admire. Women who train hard, who share their struggles, who help with recipe ideas and advice on how to train, and who look INCREDIBLE. Whenever I have some down time, I scroll through my social media accounts and my motivation to stay on track SKY ROCKETS. USE SOCIAL MEDIA!

7. ENJOY THE CHALLENGE! It’s REALLY hard at first, those first 3 weeks in particular are killer, but as the weeks roll on it gets MUCH easier to walk past the doughnuts and say no to the pizza. It actually ends up feeling REALLY good when you’re strong enough to say no, and remember your goals.

8. FIND A HEALTHY INDULGENCE! Mine is milky coffee. Milk isn’t great when you’re trying to lean up, but coffee sure as hell is! I find ways to make 2 or 3 cups of milky coffee fit into my calories and macros every day, and it keeps me sane!

9. TELL PEOPLE WHAT YOUR GOALS ARE! Yes, we all have friends, family and co workers who make comments about how often we’re in the gym. Who tell us they think the fact we’re eating of tupperware means we have an eating disorder. It’s exhausting. But tell them what you’re trying to achieve and WHY. Compare your dream with theirs, something they sacrifice for. Chances are, once they see your passion, they will be able to relate and can support you along the way.

10. REMEMBER THAT RESULTS TAKE TIME! Please do NOT get disheartened when you’re into week 4 and still struggling to see changes. THEY WILL COME! This is a lifestyle change, not a quick fix, and it may take a few months but TRUST THE PROCESS! If you give 100% to your diet and training, YOU WILL GET THERE!


What Cardio, When


If you’re looking to burn fat, cardio is an unfortunate must.

What I cannot stress enough though is the importance of DIET. If you slave away drenched in sweat and feeling like you’re going to die for half an hour, you may as well reap the rewards instead of backtracking by eating a cheeseburger. The myth that if you exercise you can eat what you want and still get abs is total crap, diet is #1, exercise is #2, results are #3!

If you couple exercise with a spotless diet and you are CONSISTENT, the results will amaze you.

So, here’s what cardio you should be doing and when, in order to burn those stubborn fat stores:

STEADY STATE CARDIO: Steady cardio is basically long walks, jogs and runs. Going for long periods of time at a steady pace is definitely going to improve your fitness levels, and is a great option if you are a beginner. The best way to do SSC is with some form of resistance; so uphill, on the cross trainer or the rowing machine. However, if you are already fit and are looking to really blast the fat, you need to move on to…

HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING: HIIT is the best form of fat burning activity there is. Period. What HIIT means is fully exerting yourself for 30seconds-1minute (depending on your fitness levels) and then stopping completely or slowly recovering for the same amount of time. You do this over and over for 20-30 minutes, again, depending on your fitness levels. Like steady state cardio, if you are new to this then any form of HIIT is great, sprinting, skipping, burpees…but if you are slightly fitter than most, try it resisted. So find a hill or put the treadmill on an incline before you sprint, get on the cross trainer and ramp up the resistance every other minute. You’ll know you’re REALLY fit when you’re doing 30 minutes of resisted HIIT!

There are 2 good options when to do your cardio:

FASTED: Let me start by saying fasted cardio is NOT a must, and in the beginning you will find it particularly challenging. Like all things fitness though, it does get easier and become second nature. Fasted cardio means doing cardio first thing in the morning, before breakfast, with nothing in your system. The idea is that if you have nothing for your body to draw on for energy, it has no choice but to burn fat for fuel. I didn’t do fasted cardio for a long, long time and I still got incredible results. However, I do fasted cardio now and it has to be said that my results come quicker. You don’t need to do fasted HIIT, going for a 20 minute jog will be really effective. However, HIIT is always a better option, you may just need to work up to it. The best thing about fasted cardio is that by the time you’re eating breakfast, your cardio is done for the day, your metabolism is skyrocketing and you do feel pretty great.

AFTER WEIGHTS: Another great time to do your cardio is AFTER weight sessions. This is because when you lift weights, your body uses it’s glycogen (converted carbohydrate) stores for energy. So by the time you hit the treadmill, your body’s preferred use of energy is going to be fat. I would recommend doing cardio after all your weighted sessions, except on leg day. Legs are your biggest muscle group, therefor exercising them burns the most calories and requires the most energy from your body. On top of this, leg exercises such as squats, deadlifts, lunges and step ups are ALL compound movements and incorporate a lot of cardiovascular activity. Use leg days as your rest from cardio.


Enhance LDN asks some questions…


How do you structure your training? 

When I’m trying to gain muscle, I train a different body part a day, 6 days a week. I usually do 3 sets of 8 reps and lift as heavy as I possibly can.

When I’m trying to shed fat I do split sessions, so I train 2 body parts a day, 6 days a week, and I do fasted cardio every morning for 20 minutes.

 

What is your nutritional mantra? 

You cannot out exercise a bad diet! I’ve experienced it myself and every day I go through it with clients, no matter how much your train, if your diet isn’t spot on you’re wasting your time.

 

Do you follow a specific macro plan?

Yes, just so I know I’m not over or under eating. When I’m trying to gain muscle I eat a lot of carbs and I’ll have cheat meals once or twice a week, I’m a lot more relaxed about it all.

When I’m trying to cut up I’m much stricter. I carb cycle and I monitor my macros pretty spotlessly.

 

How do you make your nutrition fit into your lifestyle, do you have to restrict anything?

I have to be very carful with carbohydrates because they really bulk me up, my muscles absolutely love them. However if there’s a birthday or family meal I have no problem ordering whatever I want, because as long as it happens infrequently, it’s a great way to refuel both my mentality and physique.

 

READ THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE:

http://www.enhancenutritionldn.com/#!Enhance-Nutrition-LDN-talk-to-Chloe-Madeley/cwzj/EC4F73A0-7511-4D61-92CD-86C4F4554FD5


Advanced Dieting – Macros and Carb Cycling


The fact of the matter is, if you’re trying to get in shape and your diet isn’t bang on point, it’s REALLY not going to happen.

In today’s day and age, almost everyone has a few hurdles to clear in their diet before they can start thinking about advanced approaches that will progress weight loss, fat loss or muscle gain.

I want to map out where I believe you should start, and where you can advance towards as you gradually tick the boxes…

STEP 1 – CLEAN UP THE DIET

When I first started training properly the ONLY thing PTs told me to do with my diet was CLEAN IT UP. Eating clean essentially means eating INGREDIENTS. Think fruit, vegetables, chicken, fish, meat, nuts, seeds, eggs…your body has no use for junk food except to store it as fat, so CUT OUT THE CRAP!

By training properly and eating the right foods, my body started changing in a matter of weeks.

STEP 2 - LEARNING ABOUT CARBOHYDRATES 

It took me a few weeks to get the clean diet down (meaning that I wasn’t craving junk food anymore or breaking and having a cheat meal). At that point, my results started to slow down and it was time to take it to the next level.

We all know that carbohydrates can encourage weight gain, this is because carbohydrates are a sugar that get converted into glycogen in the body, which then gets used for energy, stopping you burning fat.

THIS DOES NOT MEAN STOP EATING CARBS! What it means is UNDERSTAND what carbs you should be eating and when you should be eating them.

Fruit and veg are your 2 best carb options. Go easy on the fruit as it’s high in fructose (sugar), 1 piece a day is enough. Do NOT go easy on the veg. Vegetables are full of fibre that will aid digestion, keep you feeling fuller for longer and even discourage food storing as fat.

Starchy, complex carbs such as wholegrains and potatoes should only be eaten in small amounts, directly pre lifting for energy release and post lifting when your body is in anabolic (fat burning, muscle building) mode.

STEP 3 – CALORIE COUNTING

Yes, calorie counting is essential in losing weight, but it should come into play LATER, when your clean diet has taken shape, your understanding of carbohydrates has had an impact on your intake, and your results have started to steady. This happened to me after a few MONTHS, and that’s when I started looking at my calories…

How many calories a day you should be on is 100% subjective. You need to factor in your height, weight, age and daily activity level. Use a method called the Harris Benedict Formula.

You want to be very careful to decrease your calories GRADUAllY, and KNOW WHEN TO STOP! If you go too far, you won’t be able to train properly and you will  push your body into starvation mode, encouraging it to store fat. I have seen this happen countless times. Too low calories will have the OPPOSITE of the desired effect.

STEP 4 – COUNTING MACROS

IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) is a relatively new dieting method and in my opinion, it is for the more advanced.

Within your specific calorie count, you split the 3 macros – FATS, PROTEIN AND CARBOHYDRATES – into appropriate percentages and then weigh them out into grams. You need MyFitnessPal to do this and it is extremely time consuming and confusing at first, but after a few weeks it does become second nature.

The biggest misconception with macros is that you can eat whatever the hell you want as long as it fits your numbers. I highly recommend you do not do this, I have experimented with it in the past and it definitely did not work for me. In my experience the people it works for tend to have a hell of a lot of muscle mass, which means they can be a lot more gung ho with their diet choices!

Like calorie counting, macro counts are 100% subjective and depend on your aesthetic goals, workout routines and nutritional sensitivities. For example, if your goal is to gain muscle, you would have a high carbohydrate and protein %, but a low fat %. If your goal was to lose weight, you would have a higher protein and fat %, but a lower carbohydrate %. HOWEVER, everybody has different macro splits as everybody has a different body type and method of training.  I cannot stress enough that it is SUBJECTIVE.

STEP 5 – CARB CYCLING

It has taken me almost 2 years to get lean enough that carb cycling is even an option for me. You do not need to carb cycle by any means; eating clean, knowing when to eat starchy carbohydrates, counting calories and counting macros within those calories is DEFINITELY enough! However, I enjoy pushing myself and sort of have to for my job, so carb cycling has been a part of my diet for the last month or so, and I am seeing results.

Carb cycling is a way of calculating your macros so that you have high, medium and low carb days.

A good place to start is to go low carb on none exercise or cardio only days (carbs from vegetables only), and high carb on heavy weight lifting days (leg days for example).

If you lift, it is really important to ensure you have enough carb days in your diet to sustain your training and results. For example, I lift weights 6 days a week and I am on a 3 low day, 1 high day cycle. However, one athlete I know is currently ‘cutting’ for a competition and is doing 1 day low, 1 day high.

As I keep saying, it really is 100% subjective and will totally depend on your body type, training, goals and nutritional sensitivities.

 

 

If you are interested in learning more about your diet and what your specific calorie, macro or cycles should look like, please email info@fitnessfondue.com and enquire about online personal training. 


Lifting for Your Goals


Whether you’re trying to shed fat or gain muscle, resistance training is PIVOTAL for aesthetic progress.

HOW you structure your resistance training will differ depending on your goals…

TO GAIN MUSCLE 

It’s important to understand that gaining muscle is a good starting point no matter what your desired result is. More muscle means more calories burned even at rest, and muscle is what will leave you looking ‘toned’ once you drop some body fat. Not to mention learning to lift heavy is seriously FUN.

To gain muscle, you need to be lifting weights in the right range. Try 3 sets of 8 repetitions per exercise and go AS HEAVY AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN.

Every few weeks, try to increase the weight a little, keep challenging yourself and pushing yourself, and that muscle should really start to build after a few weeks of heavy lifting.

Make sure you train every body part evenly – legs, back, shoulders, arms, chest and abs.

TO SHED FAT

You can start shedding fat with or without taking the time to gain some muscle beforehand, but I don’t recommend you do so. As I said above, more muscle means more calories burned even at rest, and the more muscle you have the more ‘toned’ you will look once you’ve shed some body fat. You are going to lose muscle as you lose fat anyway, so you may as well gain as much of it as you can beforehand.

To shed the fat you need to do some cardio. You can do this first thing in the morning before breakfast (fasted) or AFTER weights. Start with 20 minutes and gradually work your way up to 30 minutes as the weeks progress.

When it comes to resistance training you have 2 options, you can either lift weights, doing 4-5 sets of 12-15 repetitions and going as heavy as you can within this range, or you can just do body strength exercises such as push ups, sit ups, squats, jumps etc. If you choose to do body strength exercises, compile them into a circuit and perform the circuit for 30minutes-1hour each day, or make sure you do 5 sets of 25 repetitions in order to overload the muscle.

 

No matter what your goals are, we recommend training 3-6 days a week and always giving 100%.

Diet is also key in aesthetic progress.

If you are unsure where to start, please email info@fitnessfondue.com and enquire about online personal training.


Diets


The fact of the matter is, everyone wants to eat KFC and still look great naked. Sadly, for the majority of us, that just isn’t going to happen.

Everybody knows that Fitness Fondue promotes CLEAN eating, but in this post I’m going to talk about 3 popular diets and explain the pros and cons of each…

 

1. COUNTING POINTS: There are a few diets like this out there and they are incredibly popular because you really CAN eat that KFC and still lose weight!

First off, let me say that these diets are NOT healthy, so if health is your aim, steer well clear. However, I will say that they are a good starting point for beginners. If you are quite overweight and are looking to ease into the process, counting points is a good way to do so. After a few weeks/months however, they need to be ditched like day old trash. Why? Because at some point, that daily bar of chocolate isn’t going to be a reduction anymore, it will become a dietary staple. Your body will stop responding to the minor changes in your diet and will instead start storing the daily treats as fat.

 

2. JUICING: Juicing is the new craze, and there is definitely a place for it in everyone’s diet. However, this place is SHORT TERM and should work on cycles ONLY.

I have had clients who juiced every day for weeks or even months at a time, lost tons of weight and then gained it all back as soon as they reintroduced solids to their diets. They completely damaged their metabolism, which took months to fix and was incredibly disheartening for them.

If you are going to juice, I recommend you do so as a DETOX option. So after a holiday or a few days off the healthy wagon, try juicing for 2-6 days to detox your system.

 

3. ATKINS: Atkins has come back into fashion thanks to a certain Kardashian who has made some pretty misinformed statements about weight loss! Pieces us PTs have to then pick up and scramble to explain!

So, Atkins, does it work? Of course it works, you’ve cut out a MAJOR energy providing food group! Is it healthy? HELL NO.

Look, when it comes to carbs, they should be in your DAILY diet. HOWEVER, you do not need STARCHY carbs in your daily diet. Fruits and vegetables are carbohydrates and are ESSENTIAL for health AND weight loss. They provide fibre which aids the digestive system and discourages food from storing as fat. They also provide vitamins and minerals which allows your body to use food for FUEL instead of storing it as fat, not to mention keep you healthy, healthy, healthy.

STARCHY carbohydrates such as bread, rice and pasta should only ever be WHOLEMEAL and if weight loss is your goal, should only be included if you are resistance training (using weights or performing body strength exercises).

 


eProtein


When it comes to supplements, Fitness Fondue are constantly trying new brands and weeding out which ones we like. Believe us when we say that if we don’t like the product, we don’t put it on the site.

All the brands on FF have something to offer our fitties, whether it’s great value for money or great quality products, and we are pleased to add eProtein to the mix!

eProtein has an amazing range of supplements, including straight Whey Protein, Ultimate Whey Protein with added BCAAS, Diet Whey, Weight Gainers, fat burners, pre workouts, vitamins and more.

What we really, REALLY like about eProtein is their quality and taste. We’ve all ordered a protein and been disappointed with how it tastes, dreading post workout shakes and feeling a bit queasy at the thought of them, but we can honestly say that eProtein has the BEST tasting products we have tried yet.

Take a look at their website by clicking on the eProtein banner on the right hand side of the page. If there’s anything you like the look of, don’t forget your 10% discount with the code FITFOND and your FREE shaker!

Happy hunting, Fondues!