Saturday 30 June 2018

Calculating your protein needs

As with all macronutrients, the amount you need will depend on your goal, but here i'm going to give you a very brief and simple way of calculating your protein needs for a weight loss diet, along with a list protein sources to include in your diet.

After overall calories have been calculated to create the deficit needed, the next step is to calculate your protein requirements as it plays a key role in maintaining your muscles as well as ensuring your body can recover from the intense workouts too.

Finding the right amount for you is going to depend on many variables, such as workout intensity, weight and even stress levels can be a factor to consider. 

However, this is for those of you who are taking part in the Digital Bootcamp who are looking to lose weight and tone up. My recommendations would be based on two factors, how intense/often you are working out and how much weight you are looking to lose. The research shows that a range between 1.4g-2g per kilogram of bodyweight is not only safe, but it may also improve the results you get from exercise. 

If you are new to exercising and changing your diet to lose weight, then aim for the higher amounts. Your training will not be intense enough to require higher carbohydrates from your diet, but your body will benefit from the additional protein. Those who exercise at maximum intensity each day and have been training for a while could drop down to the lower daily amount of 1.4g per kilogram of bodyweight. Regular exercisers have improved insulin resistance and can utilise carbohydrates better too, they will also usually burn more glycogen (how carbs are stored in the body) due to being able to train at a higher intensity and for longer too. 

So for the lower limit of protein requirements your calculation would be:

* Your weight in kg x 1.4 

For the higher end of the limit the calculation would be:

* Your weight in kg x 2 

This would give you the grams of protein per day that you should aim for. 

Some good sources of protein to include in your diet are:

Chicken (skin & bones removed) breast 
Lean Red Meat
Cottage Cheese
Turkey (skinless)
Whey Protein shakes
Soya Milk
Egg Whites
Bacon back

Thursday 10 November 2016

Nutriton for MMA, Boxing & Combat Sports Workshop - 27th November!


Sheffield - Sunday 27th November
Cost - £149 - includes full day's workshop, testing and all meals on the day
Limited places on each day

UPDATE - Over 50% of places have been sold already as of 12th October 2016.

With the sport of MMA growing in the UK at such a rapid rate there has never been a better time to be involved with the sport, which is one of the key reasons i have recently began working with MMA fighters again. With more money than ever coming in to the sport and a real possibility of hitting the highs of the UFC and the subsequent money and fame which comes with it, fighters are looking for the competitive edge in order to advance as quickly as possible.

Nutrition plays a huge role in developing athletes in all sports, however nutrition is now often considered to only be factor for making weight, with little emphasis put upon actually improving performance markers. When combined with scientifically backed evidence, it can deliver results to improve all aspects of performance, as well making the weight cut easier.

As well as offering a full consultancy service i have put together a full day workshop for both coaches and fighters with the ultimate aim being for those that attend to leave understanding more about setting up their nutrition plan and implementing key strategies to improve performance across all Boxing, MMA and Combat sports disciplines.

The full day workshop includes the following:

  • Fundamentals of combat nutrition - meal planning and macro requirements
  • Assessment tools - how to know if what you are doing is working. What data you need to be collecting
  • The psychology of making weight and what to look out for
  • The sensible approach to making weight, how to eat for fat loss whilst improving performance
  • Improving performance and utilising different nutrition strategies throughout a training cycle/camp
  • Smart Supplementation - what works, what doesn't - how to use what does
  • Same day weigh in and next day weigh in protocols and case studies - a look at how much can be lost and the effects on performance
  • The week of the fight - depletion in to dehydration and through to rehydration - and why so many get it wrong

    In addition to this you will undergo a series of testing for body fat levels and a dietary assessment.

    Spaces will be very limited due to the fact the day will include a lot of base testing, questions and feedback relevant to those who attend and to be able to give you a plan to take away with you, but also the practical elements too.

    The cost of the day will include all meals, some supplements to get you through the day and make sure you're recovered and able to train the next day if needs be as well as a take home bag including sample plans and guidelines for putting your own plans together. You will also get the chance to join our private online coaching group at a discounted rate. Total cost will be £149 per person for the full day.

    Limited places means we will assess all of those who contact us to attend, i will be looking to take this workshop across the UK, but i also want to help those who it will make the biggest difference with, this is not a first come first served, but a process whereby those who will benefit the most will be picked to attend.

    The workshop will be held on Sunday November the 27th in Sheffield.

    To book one of the limited places please email me

    Saturday 20 August 2016

    How i got in to working with elite Boxers and MMA fighters

    Despite the fact i've never wanted to be pigeon holed as working within one sport, it's fair to say that most people who know me through my nutrition work will do so from the work i have done with professional boxers. I have however worked with athletes across many professional sports, including: football, rugby, cycling, triathlon, long distance running, powerlifting, bodybuilding and probably  few others i've forgotten about (which reminds me, time to take my Omega 3).

    With this in mind and considering i have been happy to let my public profile as a performance nutritionist take a back seat whilst i focus on developing and growing Nourish, i am still contacted for advice and consultations regularly by a wide range of people. I have however mainly focussed my limited time on working with boxers of late. The main reason being, that only having a small amount of time for client work i wanted to take on work that not only challenged me, but i could also get excited about. Work that made me want to read more journals, speak to more industry professionals to share ideas and work that i knew i'd be happy to work through the night for, to get the job done. Which is exactly what is required when working with professional boxers.

    The reason for writing this article was this past week i was asked again how i got in to working with boxers and how i saw my role within the support team and more specifically what my main role was as nutritionist. The answer i gave to the latter in terms of the most important parts of my role was  "setting a diet plan, implementing performance improving strategies and weight manipulation for making the weight" Those 3 aspects cover the core of what is expected of me from a client. However, most boxers when asked will first mention the making the weight aspect, it has become the most important aspect in their minds of the nutrition plan in recent times, with fighters draining weight to fight in lighter categories than they naturally should be.

    But this doesn't answer how i ended up working in this area, considering i've never fought professionally. Whilst at University studying for my nutrition degree i had already achieved a certain amount of success working with bodybuilders, again despite never competing myself. Bodybuilding is a strange sport, it is extreme, it requires the competitor to be completely self centred and yet push themselves to very dark places emotionally, they may not be getting punched  in the face but it is still a brutal sport for those who actually want to win. There is also an aspect of making a weight as they compete in weight (or height) categories. It was at this point i started to really look at the intricacies of making weight and how the body responded, i was also really getting in to nutritional biochemistry too, which helped me join a lot of dots up but also understand the 'why's' behind certain protocols success and others failures. Bodybuilding and boxing are nutritionally quite similar (thought they shouldn't be), if a professional boxer is getting nutrition advice from their coach these days they are missing a trick, the diet to make weight from my experience will be geared to weight loss, whilst ignoring performance improving strategies, while bodybuilders know they will sacrifice performance in the gym to cut weight. Many boxing coaches diets simply resemble an old school bodybuilders 'cutting' diet. My first task with a new client is always to break down their preconceptions about fat loss and show them how we can improve performance whilst still losing weight. Show them how it should really be done.

    It was during my time at University that i took up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I had done a bit of Thai boxing for a couple of years and thought i'd try a new discipline. Again this was a sport where making weight was a factor of competing and whilst speaking with the BJJ coach i offered to help out the guys competing and pointed out a few issues i had overheard. Again what i discovered were guys using very outdated methods, some with no real science behind them or even logic in some cases. What i also realised was there was a culture of dismissing just how important a factor to performance this aspect could become. If you don't make weight the right way, you cannot expect to fight and perform to the best of your ability. Guys were spending hours each day the week of a competition in the sauna, whilst loading on salt, going for runs in sweat suits and thinking that this was the only way to make the weight. After working with a couple of guys who were competing and explaining to the coach how he should implement a culture more focussed on the nutrition aspect, my details were passed to an MMA coach in London to help with his fighters. Through this i began to get work with different coaches helping them set up and implement basic strategies to help their fighters make weight along with going along and overseeing the weight making process too. At the time MMA was a sport that was growing rapidly, but like today there's still very little money in it at the bottom, but the fighters fight because they love the sport and they want to improve in anyway they can. This was a perfect environment for me, being around people who wanted to learn and who appreciated having professional advice on board. I found the coaches i worked with to be very forward thinking too. Whilst there are ego's aplenty, the coaches are often specialist, so they respect what others can bring to the table. Whilst i was travelling around working with different coaches and their fighters the money wasn't great and whilst this has never been a factor for me, my main money source was coming from working with athletes within the growing physique type competitions as well as bodybuilders, at this time i was very much cherry picking who i worked with, because i could. This was an area i found very easy to work in and it's fair to say unless i was working on a huge transformation or with someone expected to win a competition it didn't really challenge me enough.

    At this stage i began to work with a few amateur boxers, one's who were looking to turn professional through a coach i had been introduced to at an MMA event. I had already worked with a couple of UK professional boxers at the time and my network and contacts was growing and it was then i met a coach from America who had brought his MMA fighters over to the UK to train with a couple of fighters i'd worked with. I was fortunate to be introduced to him and from there my details were passed to a couple of boxing coaches in America. I then began advising boxers in both the UK and America and soon picked up a couple of clients in Europe too, throughout this my links all came from recommendation by coaches and fighters i had worked with, rather than a social media presence. It was a time where the importance of nutrition was filtering down to boxing, a sport which does seem to be a good few years behind when it comes to sports science. A perfect example of this is the lack of education coming from the british board of boxing control in comparison to say the football or rugby associations, who heavily invest in education.

    It was in 2012 when i began working with Kell Brook, at which point my profile and the subsequent boom in social media meant i became more recognised for my work in boxing. It is fair to say that if you know and understand boxing you would be aware that Kell was known for struggling with making the weight, but whilst working alongside and S&C coach the process, once adhered to yielded excellent results both in terms of improved performance and recovery and as Kell was well on his way to becoming what he is today there was the obvious press interest, of which i wasn't always happy about (face for radio) but cannot deny it helped my profile. Since finishing working with Kell in 2013 i have worked with a number of boxers from amateurs to professionals, from all over the world too and have been involved on many different levels, some require more work than others and the service i offer very much comes down to what i feel is required to meet the clients expectations. What i always ensure is that i work a way in which i am happy with. Nutrition is a huge passion of mine, as is helping people, but i have found the quickest to lose passion is to work a way in which doesn't suit me. I happily admit i'm not suited to working with everyone and not every client relationship has ended happily!

    When studying nutrition my intention was always to go down the public health route, i wanted to be able to work in an area that could help as many people as possible, but as this became near impossible due to government cuts when i was graduating, i found myself able to make a positive difference in sports i had a huge passion for. Combining my passion for nutrition and interest in these sports has been something i am immensely proud of, as are my achievements in nutrition, considering when i begged my way on to my nutrition degree my only scientific studies had been GCSE level.

    I simply fell in to working with boxers and MMA fighters, i never set out with a plan to work in this field, but my natural enthusiasm, professionalism and ability to make a positive difference are what kept me progressing as a nutritionist and within the sports. Overall there have been many positives and some negatives too, but it has also been very satisfying to see the positive impact i have made.

    As for the future, it is likely i'll focus more time on Nourish, pick my jobs and clients wisely and maybe even look at focussing more time on clients within different sports again. But one things for sure, i'll still always be following and working with MMA and boxing.

    Thursday 4 August 2016

    Nutrition for combat sports & making weight workshop


    There has never been a bigger demand for correct nutrition practices within combat sports, with more money than ever the allure of reaching the top of the sport is huge. What has subsequently been created is sports with competitors who will take any competitive edge they can get, with a key area being their nutrition and strength & conditioning. This has brought about many dangerous practices as well as many poor nutrition practices. It is fair to say that these sports are generally far behind when it comes to sports science.

    All levels of combat sports require some understanding of nutrition from improving performance and recovery to making weight the correct way. However there seems to be no signs of governing bodies stepping in for the safety of competitors to educate them. Much of the advice around is old science taken from other sports which do not take in to account the importance of physical performance. There remains many bad and potentially dangerous practices within making weight protocols used even at the highest levels and there are still many boxers and MMA fighters failing drug tests for banned supplements.

    Having worked directly with nearly 100 clients helping them to make weight i have developed my own nutritional methods to ensure they always make weight and do it the safest way possible. More importantly all of my clients have had their post weigh in nutrition overhauled to enable them to be better in the ring or cage come fight night, after all this is a performance based sport and not making weight competition! My clients have ranged from amateur through to world level and come from all corners of the world in many different sports. I have decided to put all that i have learned in to a workshop, one that will give you the skill set to understand your clients requirements, how to asses them and how to get them on weight but at peak performance too.

    During this workshop you will learn the following:
    • Basics of nutrition and health
    • Fundamentals of combat nutrition - meal planning and macro requirements
    • Assessment tools - how to know if what you are doing is working. What data you need to be collecting
    • The psychology of making weight and what to look out for - Keep your client keen!
    • The sensible approach to making weight, how to eat for fat loss whilst improving performance 
    • Improving performance and utilising fasting, carb back loading and other specific nutrition strategies through a training cycle/camp
    • Smart Supplementation - what works, what doesn't
    • Same day weigh in and next day weigh in protocols and case studies - in depth look at how much can be lost and the effects on performance
    • The week of the fight 
    • The all important aspect of dehydration and dropping the final bit of weight
    • Post fight and setting up the next training camp
    As well as these key areas we'll look at working with other coaches and the tools you'll need to ensure you get the best out of working with S&C and boxing/other technique coaches too. 

    Outcomes -

    You will be shown real case studies and walked through what works and why and how to effectively plan a nutrition programme for a training camp.  At the end you will be expected to understand the athletes requirements, how to meal plan, what nutritional strategies and supplements to use and when and how to ensure your client stays focussed and motivated.

    Places will be limited in order to keep the group interaction high. This will be a full day workshop. For more information email

    Dates will be released at the end of August.

    Thursday 17 March 2016

    The Sugar Tax is a smokescreen

    In the past few days we've had the budget which brought many 'Sugar Tax' supporters out in joy at the Conservative's announcement of the introduction of a Sugar Tax which will come in to play from 2018, delayed until then to give the company's enough time to change their damaging mixtures, or find a way around the tax.

    Let's just dwell on that point for a second. The Government are admitting there's a problem with sugar and that something drastic needs to be done, highlighted by the fact they said they didn't want any new taxes only a few months ago and that David Cameron really didn't want this tax, but are not willing to take immediate action. They will protect the financial interests of these companies and put their profits OVER the public's health. In no other situation can i see how the authorities would take this stance. "we know what you're doing is bad, but we'll let you carry on until you figure out how to change so as not to damage your profits."

    Whilst many will argue that a sugar tax is a positive step, the reality is that this is simply a smokescreen and deflection tool aimed at pacifying people in order for the government to be able to show they are doing something at least to protect and positively influence the nations health, whilst implementing many more damaging cuts to welfare budgets affecting many of societies most vulnerable.

    This week i have also sat in on meetings where the focus was public health, nutrition, poverty and food issues. What i have come away with feeling is that no longer can we as individuals or communities afford to rely on the government to protect us or even look after our health. I have a genuine worry for the nations health. Obesity rates are only heading one way as are diabetes. In addition to this 'lifestyle diseases' which covers many more health issues including cancer is on the rise. The NHS is crippled, on it's knees and is now destined to live out the rest of it's existence merely funnelling funds in to profit driven organisations. If you think of getting ill and your first thought is to think how a hospital will look after you or the NHS is your safety blanket, then you really need to wake up. The NHS is now a lottery with very few winning tickets, do not entrust your health with this organisation. Sadly it is still full from the bottom up with people who want to help and make a difference, such as junior doctors forced to strike due to poor pay and working conditions, as well as many nurses now stretched from working in smaller teams. Let us also take this chance to look at the food on offer in hospitals, if you are unlucky enough to find yourself staying over in a hospital you'll need to be fed, if you are ill and weak your body is crying out for good nutritious foods, that will support recovery with the right vitamins and minerals. But no, what you will likely get is nutritionally poor food made with the focus clearly on costs and keeping them low. As a nutritionist, this absolutely disgusts me. It sickens me that we sit back and allow this. We allow the sick and elderly to be fed food which is not fit for purpose, it does not aid recovery and it certainly does not taste great. At the very least if you're going to eat poor quality food you want some flavour from it.

    Anyway, back to the sugar tax. The expected revenue generated from this will be £520m per year. A sum of money most people can only dream of and could probably never really comprehend, but it is a very small drop in the ocean of a near £16 BILLION industry. What the industry has been really worried about though is that a sugar tax will lower consumption, this is what really hurts profits. Therefore, expect more than a fight from the companies, more corners will be cut and more artificial sweeteners with effects we'll not be able to find out about to be rushed through for use by the big companies.

    The increase in sugar consumption over the years has played a huge part in the current obesity crisis, to deny this is flat out stupidity. Some senior members of suspect boards will however stand firm on the main issue being calorie consumption, whilst they ignore that it is way too easy to over consume on sugary products than it is fruit and vegetables, lean proteins, complex carbohydrate sources, pulses and beans.

    If we are to put a dent in the major health issues there needs to be more done than just taxing sugary drinks. There needs to be a strong and robust plan to follow through on this, it needs to be a spring board for action and not token gesture. Public Health England has proposed that weaning the nation from it's sugar addiction would save in the region £15bn and almost 80,000 lives in a generation. Those are huge figures. The £520 million generated from the Sugar Tax per year doesn't look all that impressive now does it.

    Ultimately this post is not about the problems we are facing, but the actions we need to take. The actions you the individual need to take. The chances are if you become ill you will not be looked after to any decent standard, you are now just a number, a report, a case and a statistic. Do not be fooled in to thinking the NHS, your GP or Public Health bodies have the resources to keep you alive, keep you well and support recovery from lifestyle diseases. If you are lucky enough however you'll drop on an individual with enough fight and energy left to help you through your problems, but are you really willing to take that chance with your health and life? The reality though is longer waiting times, less consultation time, less time with your GP, increased pressure on staff meaning slipping standards (they are human after all) and ultimately a system where the people it serves become the ones which suffer. All in the name of money. If the government can magic money out of thin air for wars to send troops to then why can't they simply magic some funds for the war on a much bigger killer than terrorism, lifestyle diseases?!

    Do not wait to fight illness until it comes to you. Your fight should start now with an improved diet. Eat more fruit and vegetables, drink enough water, cut down on sugary snacks and foods laden with trans fats. Become a conscious eater and care where your food comes from. You would not put red diesel in a Ferrari so why fuel your body with junk. You only get one life and watching it pass you by whilst you are out of breath, sat on the sofa, unable to sleep and addicted to junk food is not living. It is existing to pay taxes to a government that does not care about you. Exercise is key too. Give your body a reason to live; move more, find an activity you enjoy and push yourself on a regular basis.

    The Sugar Tax is a start, but unless there's more to come it is nothing more than a smokescreen. Your health is in your own hands and you only have yourself to blame if you don't look after it.

    Wednesday 3 February 2016

    Canelo Alvarez Vs Amir Khan - How much difference will the weight make?

    It's fair to say that not many people saw this fight coming, but like many it is definitely one i am excited about. Having become, like many other boxing fans, quite despondent over the direction of Khan's career especially in light of his refusal to grant the UK fight fans the fight we all really wanted to see against Kell Brook, i can now say that i am firmly back on the Khan fan train and i would love to see an upset against Canelo.

    However, there are some real issues and concerns regarding this fight as boxing can be quite a brutal sport. The key questions relate to the weight difference and what the affect of that could be with Canelo known for coming in up to 20lbs heavier than what he officially weighs in at. There's also the power difference too, Canelo showed against James Kirkland he can really bang and that was against a natural middleweight too. Can Khan really stand up to that power? Well with his questionable chin many believe this will be an easy night for Canelo and will be over as soon as he connects with any real venom.

    Compare this to Khan who's power is questionable as well as the fact he is really coming up from light welterweight having only ever fought at 147lbs against Collazo the only true welterweight and then Alexander who was really a light welterweight and Algieri who again was really a light welterweight. This shows how big a step up this is for Khan and whilst there were concerns about him making light welterweight himself and growing in to the 147b division the question remains as to whether he can really hang with a powerful big hitting guy at the heavier weight, so far that has been left unanswered and what a fight for him to have to answer all of these questions!

    Some will argue that Mayweathers speed and agility/reflexes made Canelo look flat footed, even lacking ideas and at times easy to hit but Khan is not Mayweather and he's also not shown the consistent discipline needed to strategically beat an opponent with many advantages over him. Khan's speed will no doubt be his key advantage but as with any boxer moving up in weight and going from 147b to 155b is a big jump then Khan will lose some of his speed.

    From a nutritionist point of view Khan will not have to endure the lengthy dieting which can seriously affect a boxers performance, with his nutrition being more focussed on performance aspect such as strength, fitness and recovery it's fair to assume Khan will enjoy this training camp a lot more. It would be expected though that his nutritionist and S&C team have monitored him enough to be able plan out and measure progress to ensure he's not slowing down with the extra weight, the blueprint of speed being key against Canelo is there from Mayweather, Angulo and Lara. Khan's team need to ensure that he carrie more power but his speed remains. You would also expect that Khan will come in at the weight easy without the drying out process. Whilst many boxers with a good drying out protocol under the guidance of a nutritionist should not feel any negative affects from dropping up to 8% of their body weight to make the weight those who struggle or think once they've made the weight they can eat what they want are the one's who will suffer come the second half of a fight. The weight draining undertaken by Canelo has been questioned as a reason for him sometimes labouring through the final rounds of a fight.

    Having worked with many boxers and understanding the key aspects of making weight the safe way as well as knowing of many who make it the wrong way my belief is that if there is a check weigh in requested from the Khan camp for the next day then Canelo may in fact slow down in the latter rounds. If Khan can keep on the move in the early rounds, make Canelo miss and catch him with counters then take control with his superior speed and conditioning in the latter rounds then he may just be able to win.

    So from a nutritionist point of view this fight makes for very interesting viewing, with 13 weeks to go i'm sure their nutrition and S&C teams already have their plans in place. Ideally Canelo will make the weight comfortably and regain the weight sensibly from drying out and Khan's speed and conditioning will be improved through a less restrictive diet and we, the fans will see 2 of the best fighters around at their peaks come May 7th.

    We are either going to see Canelo steamroll and KO Khan who struggled to adapt with the extra weight early or Khan will make it interesting and take Canelo in to the late rounds to see if he can hang with real speed and counters for 12 rounds.

    For British fight fans i'd love to see Khan take this one and set up the fight against Brook, someone who surely only has a handful of fights left at 147lb himself.

    Thursday 31 July 2014

    Some general musings on the likes of Herbalife/juice+/body wraps etc

    Whenever you see the opening line "i'm often asked..." the writer is probably fabricating that bit and just using it to flex their knowledge or simply push their services. Now this is no different for me right now, so "i'm often asked...." about herbalife, juice+, raspberry ketones, body wraps etc and whatever other fad type diet is out there at the time, my response is to send them a few links to read from other people i respect, whats the point in me typing out what's already been said so many times.

    I have refrained from commenting publicly and writing an article on these for a good few years now, despite being asked by magazines or online publications, so many people, some who are just regurgitating what they read without understanding, have an opinion on these types of companies and love to shout about it, love to be seen as being against these companies, like it's some sort of credibility badge. Deal with these people the same as you deal with reps, push them on their reasons, their knowledge and understanding, it is up to you to gather all of the information and make an informed choice. Chances are a high % won't actually understand and most will just say "Errr pyramid selling" but is that worse than 'regurgitated information shouting' not in my eyes. The person who needs to understand, who finds themselves in a situation where they are considering these products, probably through desperation or insecure feeling is actually no better off.

    So what about my sell? Well consider this. Herbalife and the such cost you around £100 per month. Envisage paying that for the rest of your life, well you wouldnt would you? So you're already subconsciously stating you're looking for a quick fix and in agreement that it's not a long term solution to your current situation. Let's go one step further, what after that quick fix? Do you know anymore, understand any better about your body or food, do you think you'll have made progress in any way other than losing some weight? No you probably wont and you won't have advanced your knowledge that you could pass on to your family and friends either. You'll understand that one aspect, be it a shake, juices, detox or wraps. But you can't and won't enjoy living like that for the rest of your life. Plus your partner, kids and family won't benefit from it (unless you become another rep and push it hard on them. Seriously don't do that).

    "So i get asked a lot..." do i do nutrition and training plans and what do they entail. The amount of people on my friends list i get messages from, sometimes 2, 3 or even 4 times over a number of years, all people i know i can help hear my prices see my explanation of it not being a quick fix but a lifestyle change and then just don't even say thanks or reply, well i've lost count. Do you think i don't check their progress every time they message me again?! I always do and zero improvement has been made. Sometimes these are the same people who will post up asking their friends about herbalife/juice+ etc, you can almost read the desperation.

    So they're happy to pay £100 a month for a fad, something that has loads of negatives written about it, but when i quote £150 a month for full nutritional coaching which will change the way you eat, arm you with recipes to suit any situation, change the way you look at food, won't sell you shakes, juices or supplements, will positively impact your families nutrition, give you an education you can pass on and definitely won't wrap you in cling film. I have a proven track record with an academic background and can get the results you want. I'm also pretty well respected by my peers. People still compare me to the fad diets?!

    Now i'm not the only one who can do that for you, there are plenty of other highly qualified people out there who can coach and help you make the changes you want or need to in your life. It really is just about finding the right person for you to work with.

    So when you need to sort your nutrition out ask yourself whether you need to go and see someone who knows about all aspects of nutrition including shakes, juices, detoxing, low carb, performance nutrition, paleo, gluten free, atkins etc or do you go to someone who understands and is 'selling' just one option.

    The reason not to use one size fits all, fad options is because by the end of it you'll actually be no better off and the money invested helps only you for the time using it.

    Wednesday 23 July 2014

    The key 'good' nutritional habits to implement

    One of the key aspects of any nutrition plan i work on with clients is to initially break and form new habits.

    A habit is defined as a regular tendency or practice, hard to give up.

    We obviously do not want to break good habits, we want to form new one's but bad habits are one's we need to break in order to make progress. The reason for this is because a good nutrition plan focussed on goals should always have an underlying base of good healthy nutritional habits.

    The key habits i always initially work on with clients are:

    1) increase fruit and vegetable intake - Predominantly from green veg to begin with. It is evident with many people that they are not eating enough fruit and vegetables, the notion of 5 a day being enough is dated and misunderstood, if you train hard then you'll need more than a granny, but the government still recommends the same amount, go figure?! Aim to eat vegetables with every meal to begin with, usually 2 palm sized amounts. Fruit can follow a meal as a dessert and is great with crushed nuts and some greek yoghurt.

    2) Hydration - make sure you are drinking enough water. This is simply the most important nutrient for the body above all others, you'll die sooner without water than without food! Males aim for 2 litres per day and females 1.5l as a starting point. Add 0.5l per hour of training.

    3) Increase the protein you eat. To make this easy eat some protein at every meal. It should be the first nutrient that you think about when putting your meal together. Prioritise this and vegetables and your body composition will naturally improve as will your energy levels. Protein helps boost metabolism, keeps you feeling fuller for longer and helps with recovery and building of lean muscle from strenuous work outs. Males aim for a fist sized portion with each meal, half of this for females (3-5 meals per day). Most people are hugely under eating protein too and the research which suggest eating too much protein is bad for your health is actually incorrect and always fails to stand up to the scrutiny of real science.

    4) Embrace fats - Healthy fats that is, just like people not all fats are created equal. Avoid artificial trans fats, usually found in processed foods. Eat mainly oily fish, nuts, seeds, avocado's, eggs and real butter. Not only will these fats give you plenty of nutrients they will also help improve body composition. The old adage of all fats being bad is dated and incorrect.

    5) Learn to love the kitchen again - This one is key, way too many people have detached from the kitchen and are cooking only a few meals from scratch each week. Overhaul your kitchen, fill it with single ingredient (non-processed) and whole foods and buy some good healthy recipe books. Making the kitchen a place you enjoy being is a habit that will serve you well for the rest of your life. If you can't cook, don't worry, a good recipe book along with Youtube instructional videos will see you competent in the kitchen in no time. Confidence comes from consistency.

    6) Sleep - you can eat the perfect diet for you, train as hard as you like but if you don't rest enough your body will never run optimally and stress will become a limiting factor. Aiming for 8 hours a night is a great starting point. If you have trouble sleeping you may notice this changes when you move to other healthier eating habits as vital nutrients used to aid sleep are no longer deficient. However like all other habits, you have to be consistent. This means going to bed at the same time each night and getting up at the same time each morning, allow your mind to relax before bed too, minimise distractions such as the internet, your phone or TV at least 30 minutes before bed.

    Habits generally take 3 weeks to adopt and become a 'habit' therefore take your time implementing them, there's no rush to adopt all the one's listed above immediately, remember eating healthy is a lifestyle choice not a quick fix. The results you get from adopting healthier habits will last you longer than any fad diet will.

    What about breaking bad habits? I'll cover that in the next article.

    An insight in to what i will cover is:
    Have a go at implementing the good habits and watch the old bad habits drop off.

    If you have any questions about the points above or your own nutrition in general then please feel free to ask.


    Sunday 13 July 2014

    Introduction to Sports Nutrition workshop - Saturday 6th September

    This one full day workshop will introduce you to the science of sports nutrition used in order to promote exercise and sports performance. You will learn how to use diet and nutritional strategies to optimise performance and look at ways to enhance your/clients sporting goals.

    Having studied Sports Nutrition at degree level I have worked with many different athletes of varying levels and capabilities, using sound scientific research I have always delivered for my clients. From working with professional boxers needing to drop weight fast through to professional footballers coming back from injury. What I have learned over the last decade since I started studying nutrition is that the level of misunderstanding across the board around key sports nutrition strategies is huge, with physios, S&C coaches, and sports coaches in general being influenced by their own surroundings. This has led to many conflicting practices, with the athlete being the one losing out.

    This one day workshop will give you the tools to assess athletes and make recommendations where you see fit. I have brought together all of my experience of achieving results and my own learning and research techniques to put together a course which not only gives you a great underpinning knowledge or sports nutrition but also acts as a spring board to constantly improve your knowledge. Had this course been available to me when I started out on my journey of studying nutrition my learning experience would have been much quicker.

    My aim is to empower you with real world, usable skills and knowledge that you can instantly implement in to your own diet or that of your clients. An understanding of the basic principles of nutrition is required, however this is not a barrier to entry, you will be supplied with your own reading list for before the event.

    The one day workshop will include, presentations, discussions, case studies and post course reading with 1-2-1 feedback.

    The workshop will take place over a full day (9am-6pm) and all food will be included, this will be held at Nourish in Sheffield.

    The workshop programme has been constructed and reviewed by leading nutritionists and dietitians. By the end you'll be confident to understand sports nutrition's key principles and how to apply them.

    The course content includes:

    • Basic Nutrition - The importance of being healthy first
    • Hydration - 
      • Factors influencing fluid needs
      • Calculating fluid needs
      • Achieving optimal hydration

    • Macronutrients - 
      • Carbohydrates 
        • Debunking CHO myths
        • Why CHO is important in sports nutrition
        • Requirements for different settings/disciplines
        • Carb loading, depletion, cycling and timing 
      • Protein 
        • Understanding the role of protein in the diet
        • Sport specific requirements
        • protein turnover
        • optimising recovery and timing
      • Fat 
        • Understanding the types
        • The role of fat in athletes diet and health
        • High fat diets - recent research
      • Nutrient timing and the importance in sport
    • Assessing the needs of an athlete
      • Looking at the methods used to assess the needs of an athlete
        • What data is required
        • Physiological assessment 
        • Interview and questionnaire protocols 
    • Nutritional strategies - what, when and how to use them (Myth debunking)
      • Competition prep and optimising recovery
    • Supplements - what, when and how to use them
    • Meal planning - case studies and discussions, putting it in to practice 

    Once completed you'll know how to get better results with yourself or clients, apply and implement the scientific knowledge you've gained in to real world settings instantly, improve your professional development skill set and set yourself up to understand the growing field of sports nutrition and it's importance.

    This workshop is aimed at:
    Sports coaches
    Any therapist who works with clients who exercise - from casual gym users to elite athletes

    This will be an intense day of learning, with breaks for food. You will be expected and encouraged to discuss your own views and beliefs around nutrition. There will be limited places available in order to keep the interaction levels of high quality. Questions will be encouraged.

    You will also be given a list of recommended reading as well as a blog, social media and journals list to keep your knowledge updated. Please note the workshop will be recorded, if you wish to not be in the recording then please state so at the time of booking. 

    Saturday 6th September (early bird book by 9th August)
    Future dates TBC

    Early Bird booking (4 weeks before date) is £80 (£10 donated to Archer Project Sheffield)
    Standard booking £100 (£10 donated to Archer Project Sheffield)

    Webinar booking
    This option will be available later in the year. Once you have attended one of the workshop dates you will be given access to one of the following dates streamed webinar 

    To book your place simply email me

    50% non-refundable deposit will be require upon booking with the remainder to paid on the day.

    If you have an interest in sports nutrition and want to accelerate your learning and your clients results, then this course is for you. Do not wait to book on until the last minute, strictly limited numbers.

    Monday 7 July 2014

    Updated client packages - July 2014

    Having now worked with many clients of all levels, i have of late found myself taking on clients in need of a quick fix, results within a matter of weeks or client enquiries with unrealistic goals. This i believe has sprung up from the countless dehydrated, carb depleted fast turnaround photo's which social media seems to be full of. 

    In the past year i've been so busy with Nourish that my client work has had taken a back seat, in that time i've worked with many of clients to get great results, of which i'm very proud. The one's i really enjoyed working with were the one's i worked closer with to achieve their goals. Some have been the type of clients who want to show their photo's off, others it's been about changing their life for the better. I've also worked with a handful of clients i'd consider to have 'slipped through the net' and by that i mean if i'd have been solely doing client work i would have not taken them on, i have chosen to learn from these clients too though. The one's who make excuses for not sticking to a diet, for prioritising their unhealthy habits over making real change, the one's who thought payment alone equalled results. In essence the one's who wanted it but didn't want to do what it takes to really change. Those are the people i'm moving away from working with.

    All of this has lead me to assessing how i view client work, my working day is long and my main goal is Nourish, my healthy fast food restaurant. But i will always enjoy working closely with clients and so i have decided that i will limit the number of clients i work with at any one time, i'll be more selective and each client i work with must have an understanding of what it will take to achieve their goals. The important bit is they must have a real goal. I do consider myself to be above the usual PT, i have achieved a lot more than the average trainer or even nutritionist, i put that down to the fact i work hard to constantly improve and i'm a believer in the science, not the fiction of nutrition. I do not want to become another guy that just sells 6 pack packages and makes this a numbers game. It's not and never has been about turning out programmes for as many people as possible. I'll leave that to the cookie cutter/copy & paste trainers.

    This is why from now on the only rule i will have with clients is we get the job done. It's not about programmes at arms length, i do that with my elite clients who don't get paid if they don't perform so have to stick to my nutritional plans, it's about working with more real people who really need to change.

    My whole ethos and outlook has changed. If you want to get ripped for a holiday hit google, have some discipline and stop whining. If however you want to be the fittest you've ever been, get out of a rut, feel the best you can, enter a race or competition you never thought you could even enter or you simply want to live a much better life and want my help on that journey then that's what i want to do more of.

    The only package available from now in will the guaranteed results package. Minimum packages will be £2000 for 6 months.