personal trainer in huddersfield and halifax
personal trainer in huddersfield and halifax

Do you struggle to lose weight?

If you struggle to lose weight on your own then you may need to consider hiring a Personal Trainer. A Personal Trainer will help you achieve your goals much quicker than you would if you were following your own workout routine. Personal Trainers can help to find the best training method to suit your personality and can also be a massive factor in helping you to push yourself to the limit and to your capabilities.

 

There are so many different benefits of a Personal Trainer; they can help to motivate you throughout your sessions. Personal Trainers are there to help you achieve your goals so they want to make you feel motivated towards your targets. If you struggle to maintain a healthy and balanced diet then a Personal Trainer will also help you to keep track of your diet and they can offer you nutritional advice to help you maintain a healthy diet which is another stride towards your weight loss.

 

Personal Trainers are also important because they can track your fat % loss through regular calliper measurements so you can keep track of your weight loss, this is a great way of motivating yourself to do better. Not only do Personal Trainers keep track of your diet and your weight but they will also keep track of what sessions you are doing and what weights you are lifting, this means that your Personal Trainer can evaluate where you are at with your training and how you are improving.

 

From all of the information that your Personal Trainer collects, he will be able to come up with new session ideas and new training regimes for you and will know how to push you further towards your goals quicker.

Hungover or just dehydrated?

It is extremely easy to make an electrolyte drink at home in your kitchen!

It is a fantastic way to hydrate the body with minerals as well as water! It is especially helpful for women who are pregnant and children who are suffering from sickness. With these cheap ingredients that you can find in your kitchen cupboard, you can create a healthier alternative to shop bought re hydration drinks or sachets!

Homemade Electrolyte Recipe:

• 2 cups of hot filtered water
• Juice from 1 lemon, lime or orange
• 2 Tbs of raw honey or pure maple syrup
• ½ tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp of sea salt or pink Himalayan salt.

Add the ingredients together and stir until the salt and honey have dissolved. Leave to cool then place in your refrigerator and consume within two days!

This homemade solution is very simple and it is much better for your body when compared to store bought alternatives!

Should I get a personal trainer?

There's nothing like a good workout session to boost your mood and keep you healthy, and while you can get the workout by yourself, personal trainers can help you go that extra step to ensure the time you spend in the gym is as efficient as possible.

 

Celeb clients of big-name trainers from Harley Pasternak to Tracy Anderson love to tell us how the personal trainers have transformed their bodies, and we watch Jillian Michaels and co. transform lives every week on The Biggest Loser.

 

Still not convinced? Here are 10 reasons getting a personal trainer is a good idea!

 

  1. Personal trainers teach you new things. If you're new to the gym experience, getting a personal trainer is a smart idea. Many gyms offer a free session at sign-up to help you get familiar with the machines, and more in-depth sessions can help perfect your form.
  2. Personal trainers are sometimes your therapist. Having friend drama? Your trainer can be the perfect person to talk it out with while you're bending, balancing, and lifting.
  3. Personal trainers are an objective eye. We all have areas we'd like to work on, and personal trainers can not only tell you realistically what to expect with each workout, but also how to optimise a session to target different muscle groups.
  4. Personal trainers are better than a mirror. Watching yourself while you work out can help you make sure your form is correct, but it's even better when someone is there to tweak it while you work.
  5. Personal trainers push your limits. Just when you think you can't go anymore, you'll be told to "hold for another minute" or do "10 more reps." And what do you do? You do it, and are all the better for it.
  6. Personal trainers hold you accountable. This one can be important for me, especially when happy hour is calling my name. It's much harder to justify blowing off an appointment with a personal trainer than just your own freestyling time at the gym.
  7. Personal trainers keep you from plateauing. A personal trainer always has a new workout up her sleeve to keep you having fun and seeing results!
  8. Personal trainers keep count. OK, maybe this is just me being lazy, but I just love the fact that someone else is keeping track of my reps, especially when I can barely lift my arms (let alone think) anymore.
  9. They can be eye candy. Are you a fan of one of these gym stereotypes? Finding one that fits the bill while challenging your fitness goals can be an added bonus. In any case, someone so dedicated to healthy living can be a real-life inspiration to help you meet your goals!
  10. Personal trainers love to see you sweat. Who loves to see you at your disheveled worst more than your trainer? All those huffs, puffs, and sweaty faces just tell them that they're doing their jobs! What do you love about your personal trainer?

Our second birthday

Locals celebrate The Fitness Suites’ second birthday Two years on and the thriving personal training centre is celebrating its second birthday despite the double dip recession. Chris Ball, founder of The Fitness Suite says “We really found a niche that people needed”. Times have changed and more and more people are looking to personal trainers to understand the science of fitness. This social shift, coupled with the desire to be healthier, has “created the perfect environment for us to flourish” says Chris.

 

Fad diets have always been a favourite of the ‘yo-yo’ dieter however people are now realising that this form of weight loss isn’t sustainable. Infact, the majority of weight loss experienced on such diets usually comes from water. “We must focus on changing the body’s composition in order to increase our metabolic rate and the only way to do that is in the gym”

 

Chris says. “I created The Fitness Suite back in 2011 when I realised people had had enough of running endlessly on treadmills and not really getting any noticeable results” says Chris, “Fitness is and will always be a science” he goes on to explain. “A lot of people were questioning the cost of personal training, especially in our current climate so I thought that’s it… We will offer bespoke personal training at an affordable cost” and so The Fitness Suite ethos was born. Chris believes the key to success lay in a person’s motivation. “It is the ‘why’ we do something, not just the ‘what’ we need to do” that motivates a person to repeat the same behaviour.

 

Here at The Fitness Suite all of our personal trainers focus on the whole being: the mind, body and soul not just the body. “If we can connect all three then a person is likely to achieve everything they hope for and more”. The Fitness Suite is located in Elland and is looking to establish a new facility in Leeds this year. The Fitness Suite currently provides Halifax, Huddersfield and the surrounding areas of West Yorkshire with fully qualified personal trainers.

 

Further information from: Chris Ball 01422 647078

Top 10 reasons to hire a personal trainer

Motivation

One of the main reasons people benefit from a personal trainer is that they lack in motivation to stick with a consistent exercise program or to even motivate themselves to exercise. Certified personal trainers can provide structure and accountability, and can provide new training programmes for individuals to encourage them to motivate with a new programme.

 

Individualised programmes

If you have any chronic health conditions, injuries or training goals (running a marathon, for example) a Personal trainer will work with you and help to plan a safe and effective training programme to help you achieve your goals.

 

Efficiency

A Personal Trainer will help you focus on the results that you are wanting to achieve and will help you to stop wasting your time doing inefficient workouts. A personal trainer has a plan and will help you get maximum results in as little time that the goals are achievable.

 

Improve technical skills

If you play a certain sport, the right personal trainer will help you advance your skill by showing you new training methods specific to your sport. The Personal Trainer will combine skills training into your program so you improve not only your strength and endurance, but your agility and mental focus as well.

 

You are new to exercise

If you are a total beginner, a personal trainer is the ultimate fitness instructor. A good personal trainer will introduce you to a very simple, effective routine and build efficiently so before you know it, you have the confidence and knowledge to decide what is right for you.

 

Break through plateaus

Ok, you are already in pretty decent shape, but you've been there for years. If you are stuck in the same routine and want to break out of a rut, a personal trainer is the perfect solution. A trainer will jump start, not only your motivation, but your routine as well and push you further than you would do if you was doing your own routines and push you to your limits to achieve the next level.

 

Learn how to go it alone

If you eventually want to learn all the different methods in how and when to change your programme on your own to suit your goals and targets then a Personal Trainer would be a great person to teach you how to change your programme to suit your goals.

 

Workout Safely

A personal trainer watches your form, observes your sessions and can provide objective feedback about your limits and strengths. Most people try and forget the signals that our body gives us and either try and push themselves too hard or give up really easily but because a personal trainer can watch what you are doing while you are doing it, they can help push you or slow you down as necessary to make sure you are working safely and within your limits.

 

Workout at home

Many personal trainers make house calls. If you don't have the time or motivation to go to a gym, but have a hard time knowing what to do on your own at home, a personal trainer can bring fitness into your living room.

 

Lose Weight

Personal Trainers help you to set achievable weight loss or toning targets and they will keep track of where you are and what you need to do in order to achieve your targets. Some Personal Trainers also require you to record your diets so they can give you areas for improvements regarding your diets to help you achieve your goals.

Why does your diet fail at weekends?

A lot of people manage to keep on track with their diet during the week, but when Saturday and Sunday come, they let themselves lose it and start eating everything in sight. Thus, the results achieved during the week go to waste!

 

Of the thousands of people that diet during the week, 90 per cent will fail at the weekend and within the 2 days' actually put additional weight on. So, why are so many of us unsuccessful when it comes to dieting at weekends? Why, once you have failed on a diet, is so hard to try the same diet again the following monday? And why do we put on even more weight after each diet? Why do most diets fail?

 

Well it is not the diet that fails; if the diet follows the principal of you consuming less calories than you burn it will be successful. But it’s the way the human mind works that’s the problem. As humans we only do any activity for one of two reasons: to move towards pleasure or to move away from pain. Unfortunately to move away from pain is the main driving force for most diets.

 

Dieting is often triggered by something – maybe clothes no longer fit, a photo or maybe the comments of others – and we got at it with gusto. After some initial success, and thinking that you’ve cracked it, the pressure cooker syndrome kicks in. The pressure cooker syndrome We often start a diet because we’re under pressure to change. We put in great effort and see success – feel better about ourselves, maybe family and friends start to comment on how good we look, our clothes start to fit or we even drop down a size. This reduces the pain we were under to achieve and ‘releases the pressure slightly’.

 

It is usually at this point that we decide to modify the plan we have been following, maybe we reduce the exercise or start adding things to the diet. The result of this is that we don’t lose weight at the same speed and we start to get frustrated. We keep on modifying but do not do the one sure fire way to success, repeat what we did to start with as that now seems really painful.

 

Why can’t we start the same diet again, it was successful before? Once the brain knows that a diet is painful, as it means avoiding the so-called pleasures and treats, it won’t go towards pain. So we find going back on the same diet almost impossible. Even if we use will power to start it, if we carry on with the same mindset we will give it up even quicker than we did previously. Why do we put even more weight on? If we enter a diet with the wrong mindset, we set ourselves in a program of deprivation. The brain will do everything it can to avoid pain so our pain threshold for putting on weight will now be less than our pain threshold for being overweight. This means it will take even more pain before we are kicked into action; and this is why we put on even more weight each time following a diet program.

 

The recipe for success – in five simple steps

 

1. Move towards pleasure. This is the way to success in any aspect of your life, if we find a way to build something into our lives that is constantly leading us towards pleasure we will want to achieve more and more of it and it will keep driving us on. There is no limit to this approach. Rather than thinking that you must change you start thinking of what success would be like for you. You have to see and feel a really strong compelling reason. It might only be a slight change in mindset but it will make all the difference; something as simple as don’t see food as the enemy and eating ‘diet foods’ you don’t like. Learn to cook and enjoy healthy food.

 

2. Create the correct mindset To create the right mindset, the first thing is to set a compelling view of what you want the result to be. · Write down every single reason why this MUST happen · Write down every single way you can achieve this · Pick the 20% that will give you 80% of the results and start working a plan around them. · Start taking massive action towards it. If you have large amounts of weight to lose break it down into small manageable sections with goals at each stage. This way you can celebrate every goal along the way.

 

3. Think nutrition not calories Remember – The body doesn’t understand calories. What the body does understand is nutrition. If you feed the body food full of nutrition such as salads, juices and vegetables it fills the stomach quicker, makes you feel fuller for longer and is usually much lower in calories. Any diet will work as long as you input less than you burn (but this doesn’t mean though that all diets are equal). Calories don’t necessarily fill you and stop you feeling hungry in the same way. Processed foods and other similar foods are often high in calories and low in nutrition. They only fill you in the short term. Obsidian’s very successful approach is all about nutrition. If you feed the body food full of nutrition such as salads, juices, pulses, beans and vegetables it fills the stomach quicker, makes you feel fuller for longer and is usually much lower in calories, helping you to achieving your weight loss goals. The more you can add fruit, vegetables, pulses and beans to your diet the less you will want and crave other foods. Current research shows that diets that limit and eliminate things such as meat and dairy products and replace them with nutritious items like those listed above will help to cleanse the body and help it to control illnesses.

 

4. Make a plan Write out a seven day eating plan, incorporating the above, which you believe you can stick to for the next week based on the following criteria: · Design your eating around how you normally behave · Identify the times you ate last week when you didn’t need or want to eat. Try to eliminate those completely this week (and more) · Identify the times when you ate out of habit or because you were bored. Try to eliminate those completely this week (and more) · Identify your snacking habits from last week either cut out those snacks OR choose something you can snack on which is healthier · Look at the places you ate last week and see if avoiding those places this week reduces your habit of eating

 

5. Mindful Eating You can develop strategies to take more control over food and eating. As above, focusing on when we eat, what we’re eating, why we eat and where we eat a longer term change can be achieved. Two of my favourite and most successful techniques include, thinking about a food that we absolutely love and one we detest – then think about the nice item smothered in the horrible one. Most of us then go, yuk, I really couldn’t eat that. This shows us that we CAN change judgement and our thoughts on food – a desire for food doesn’t control us. We decide what we like and we can re-educate ourselves, just by recognising the tricks the mind can play on us and taking control. The second even easier approach is to ensure we’re concentrating on what and how we’re eating – not allowing our minds to be oblivious to it as we watch TV or simply scoff it down while doing something else. Slow down, really taste the food, chew properly, put your knife and fork down in between mouthfuls and really try and look out for the signal from your stomach that it’s full. Even, get into the habit of leaving something on your plate – just to show yourself that you don’t have to eat everything if you’re no longer full.

 

If you need any further help with creating an eating plan that suits your body type and your lifestyle or you would like to know how we can help you visit the website www.chrisballpt.co.uk



Do you give in to temptation?

Why is it so easy to give in to temptation? Why is it that we tend to crave sugary foods? How can I stop giving in to my food cravings?

 

Food cravings are intense yearnings for a certain type of food. Most food cravings are thought to be brought on by hormone fluctuations, fluctuations in blood sugar levels, emotional and psychological reasons and from nutritional deficiencies in your body.

 

Imagine for just a second that you have had a very stressful week at work, it’s Friday night and all week you have made really good healthy choices when preparing your meals. Tonight you’re staying in watching a movie with your partner, the lights are dimmed down and you’re snuggled under an incredibly comfy duvet. Your partner comes into the room with crisps, chocolate, biscuits the full works. Now what do you do? Almost every thought process in your mind desires the foods that you see before your eyes despite knowing the consequences. He/she offers you a piece of chocolate and you just can’t say no- you give in to temptation and you eat a piece. Wait, all is not lost, this situation can be rescued, after all it is just one piece of chocolate and you can still opt for a healthier choice to fulfil your hunger. You can still redeem the situation but instead you again give in to temptation because you have tasted how good that one piece of chocolate was. You reason with yourself that it will do no harm when in fact the consequences can be quite substantial when dieting down.

 

Cravings such as these can cause havoc when you are dieting. In this scenario you have already given in to temptation and once you have done this the temptation is greater to do it again and repeat the process several times over. Even when you reason with yourself that it was just the once and you won’t let it happen again. It is easy to see from this situation how it could easily escalate and slow down your attempt to lose weight or in the worst case scenario increase your weight. When we consume comfort foods the pleasure reward chemical dopamine is released as well as other feel good hormones. This builds an association with our brain. Our brain encourages us to repeat the behaviour again so that we get another dopamine buzz. Overtime this is how the behaviour becomes a fixed habit albeit, not a positive one. We crave sugary foods and struggle to stop eating them because we enjoy the feeling of happiness associated with the release of dopamine.

 

To avoid ruining your diet when you do your weekly shopping, even though it may be hard, don’t go down the sweetie aisle. Walk straight past, try not to even look at it, imagine it’s not there. Remove all the temptation in your home. So when a craving does come on you can’t reach for the sweets. The first month is the hardest. Research shows it usually takes about 28 days to beat a habit and a further 3 months to be in with a chance of never repeating it. Next time your loved one shows you they care by spoiling you with unhealthy foods say NO and dig this article out to show them.

Protein- Pre or post workout?

Protein is the construction block of muscles and is essential for repair and growth after training. Every time you exercise, and predominantly during resistance training, you cause muscle microfiber tears (when the fibres in the muscles are damaged due to the amount of strenuous exercise). The effect creates an incentive and environment for muscle repair and growth. The body responds to the damage by sending nutrients, including proteins and other growth factors like testosterone, to the muscle to help it grow and repair itself much quicker than normal. Most people may think that protein is used for fuel for the body but research shows that protein is not used by the muscles for fuel unless the circumstances are extreme (for example, starvation). Instead, fat and carbohydrate are the main fuels.

 

Protein should be consumed before exercise and within 30 minutes of finishing your workout as this will help with growth and recovery. The guideline for protein consumption after exercise is 1.8g of protein to every 1kg of body weight. Peanut butter is a great source of protein and holds 9 grams of protein for every 2 table spoons full, another great source is yoghurt.

 

If you workout often or are training for an event, you need to fuel your body if you want to perform well and make improvements. Part of your objective is ensuring that your glycogen stores do not deplete. When this happens, you become easily fatigued, recover slower from your workouts and are more prone to illness or injury. Pre and post workout protein is imperative for your training to help your muscle growth and reparation.

 

A peanut butter sandwich, milk, cereal, energy bar and nuts are all good snacks to have after your workout because they are high in protein and will help your muscles with reparation and growth, it is essential that you get proteins into your post workout plan to make sure that you are prepared for the next session. If you struggle to consume food post workouts you will need to consider supplementing your diet where it lacks. Protein shakes and bars are a great way to achieve the levels of protein your body requires. Do be weary of cheap products. Make sure gram for gram your protein really is the most affordable. If you need advice just ask!

Are personal trainers necessary?

Personal trainers are exercise specialists who help individuals meet their individual fitness objectives. Studies show that personal trainers can offer a great benefit to anyone looking to increase their muscular strength, endurance, body composition, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility and general sports or physical performance.

 

While potentially costly, personal trainers offer a one-on-one training and customised fitness programme that can radically change your overall fitness level. Other benefits of a personal trainer are that it can help with your motivation and confidence; they can also help you to progress and help you with your goal setting and your personal fitness targets.

 

Motivation and Confidence: If you sometimes have trouble motivating yourself to go to the gym, getting a personal trainer means that another individual is already dedicated your goals for you -- which can be a significant instigator for staying on track with your workout routine. Having a personal trainer with you throughout different exercises also means that you can have someone who will be there protecting you from injuries so you can put all your effort and power into the exercise without having to worry about injuries.

 

Goal-Setting and Progression: On your first day with a personal trainer, you will characteristically sit down and plan out your personal fitness goals. Your instructor will then use their knowledge to chart a series of aerobic and strength-training workouts designed to help you reach your potential. This unique connection provides a luxury to the exerciser, since it eradicates all of the responsibility of having to decide on your own fitness routine and workout circuit. All you have to do is show up and work out.

 

Using personal trainers can also help you beneficially by helping with:

1. Weight loss

2. Body shaping and muscle toning

3. Cardiovascular fitness Increase energy, stamina, & endurance

4. Increase sports performance Increase muscle strength, muscle endurance, and muscle flexibility

5. Improve coordination

6. Improve immunity

7. Reduce stress and anxiety

8. Enhance self-esteem

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Winter Training

Winter training can be tough for everyone wanting to stay in good shape. Firstly, the cold weather can affect your performance, increasing the likelihood of mental fatigue. Secondly, snow and ice means it can be very dangerous, consequently slowing you down. Not to mention the dark nights altering your mood and motivation. So how do people manage to beat the winter blues?

 

Planning is the answer.

 

One area to consider when planning a winter training programme is your nutrition. Because the amount and intensity of training during winter can differ greatly to that in the summer, athletes need to give serious thought to their nutrition and hydration plans. Make sure you are eating foods that are high in complex carbohydrates and proteins. Also, don’t forget you can still dehydrate in winter. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to maintain good hydration; this is imperative to getting the most from your training sessions.

 

Online Trainer is a great tool for athlete who are struggling for time to plan their nutrition. Sign up to our online trainer and have the planning done for you. What you eat and when you eat, are the two key principles to a good diet. Struggling with ideas for your sessions? Get in touch and find out more about how personal trainers can help you.

 

Most of all be careful, falling on the ice can cause significant injury and does render people inactive for significant amounts of time. Always wear the correct clothing to keep your muscles warm and your feet secure. Finally, Good Luck!

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Are you prepared?

Most of us think Christmas is months away, but like most years, it will be here before you know it. There are ways you can prepare if you act now. Here are our top 10 tips….

 

1. Go to work on an egg
According to recent research from the Rochester Centre for Obesity in America, eating eggs for breakfast can help to prevent hunger sufficiently so that calorie intakes are reduced by more than 400 calories throughout the rest of the day!
In the study, 30 overweight or obese women ate either an egg-based breakfast or a bagel-based breakfast, containing the same amount of calories and almost identical levels of protein. The researchers recorded the women’s eating habits and found that just before lunch, the women who had eaten eggs for breakfast felt less hungry and ate a smaller lunch as a result. Better still, over the next 36 hours the group eating the egg-containing breakfast consumed, on average, 417 calories less than the bagel-eating group.
It seems that eating eggs for breakfast makes you feel fuller for longer so that you eat less at your next few meals. Combine them with wholemeal toast and a glass of vitamin-C rich unsweetened orange juice, which will help the body make the best use of the iron in the eggs.

 

2. Breakfast like a King
Okay, you’ve heard it a million times before, but skipping breakfast (or any other meal) will give you hunger pangs that quickly leave you reaching for sugary foods to boost flagging energy levels!
Studies at the University of Leeds found that eating earlier in the day helps to prevent people from getting hungry, losing control and overeating in the evening. But what if you never feel hungry in the morning? Chances are, if you can last until mid-morning or lunchtime before eating, you’re having too much to eat in the evening – I guarantee if you have a smaller dinner, earlier in the evening, you’ll wake up with a ravenous appetite! Bottom line: by spreading meals evenly throughout the day – and always eating breakfast – you’ll feel satisfied for longer and be less likely to give in to snacks.

 

3. Go for low GI foods
Foods with a low Glycaemic Index (GI) slowly release sugar into the blood, providing you with a steady supply of energy. This leaves you feeling satisfied for longer so that you’re less likely to snack. In contrast, foods with a high GI cause a rapid – but short-lived – rise in blood sugar, leaving you lacking in energy and feeling hungry within a short time, so that you end up reaching for a snack. Bottom line: eating foods with a low GI prevents swings in blood sugar, helping you to have better control over your appetite because you feel fuller for longer.

Good low GI choices include most fruit and veg, whole-wheat pasta, porridge, wholegrain cereals, lentils, beans, nuts, brown and basmati rice and wholemeal bread.

 

4. Eat slowly
The brain requires around 20 minutes to receive the signal you are full, so no matter how much you eat during this time, your satiety signal won’t come any sooner. That’s why it’s a good idea to eat slowly.
Having a low-fat starter is a great idea if you’re trying to lose weight as it takes time to eat and will reduce your appetite for the main course. It also explains why it’s a good idea to wait a while before deciding whether you really want a dessert or a second helping. Also, try putting down your knife and fork between meals- It’s the oldest trick in the book, but it works!

 

5. Fill up on fibre
When it comes to kicking hunger, swap all things white for all things brown. This means ditching bread, white spaghetti, cornflakes and white rice and instead opting for wholemeal bread, wholewheat pasta, wholegrain cereals and brown rice.
There are several reasons why high-fibre foods help to combat hunger. Firstly, foods containing a lot of fibre generally take longer to chew. As well as helping you to feel more satisfied, this automatically slows down the speed at which you eat, giving your brain time to register feelings of fullness so that you’re less like to overeat.
Secondly, fibre acts like a sponge and absorbs and holds on to water. This means fibre-rich foods swell up in your stomach, helping to fill you up. But best of all, because fibre is harder to digest, it stays in your stomach for longer keeping you feeling fuller for longer, so you’re less likely to want to snack between meals.
The following foods are all good sources of fibre:

  • Wholemeal, granary and soft grain varieties of bread
  • Wholegrain breakfast cereals, e.g. Weetabix, bran flakes, unsweetened muesli, Shreddies and porridge oats
  • Wholemeal pasta and brown rice
  • Beans, lentils and peas
  • Fresh and dried fruits – particularly if the skins are eaten
  • Vegetables – particularly if the skins are eaten
  • Nuts and seeds

 

6. Quench your thirst

Before grabbing something to eat, check whether you’re really thirsty rather than hungry. It’s easy to confuse thirst and hunger with the result that many people grab a snack or fill their plate for a second time when what they really need is a glass of water. Better still, water is needed for every chemical reaction in the body, including burning fat. And not only will it help to fill you up, it’ll work wonders for your skin and hair. For maximum ‘filling power’ opt for sparkling water – the bubbles will help to fight those hunger pangs.

 

7. Cut down on caffeine
If you’re in the habit of drinking loads of caffeinated drinks because you think they’ll rev up your metabolism, think again. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that too much caffeine in the form of diet cola, tea and coffee might have the opposite effect and leave you feeling more hungry. In some studies high caffeine intakes have also been found to prepare the body for storing fat whenever food is eaten. So to prevent hunger, you might be better off swapping cola for a glass of sparkling water and tea and coffee for a cup of herbal or fruit tea.

 

8. Stock up on low-calorie fillers
Keep your fridge and cupboards stocked with a selection of low-calorie foods that can easily be turned into hunger-busting snacks or tasty starters.
Try the following when hunger hits:

  • Vegetable sticks with salsa or tzatziki (or make your own yogurt dip by mixing 1 small pot low-fat plain yogurt with 1 clove of crushed garlic, 1tsp mint sauce and 1 tsp lemon juice.)
  • Bowl of low-fat soup or a low-cal cup-a-soup
  • Slice of melon
  • Prawn cocktail with a fat-free seafood dressing
  • Corn-on-the-cob without butter
  • 1/2 grapefruit with artificial sweetener
  • Bowl of fresh fruit salad or piece of fresh fruit.



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Make Your New Years’ Resolution a Reality

If only we could say the magic word ‘Abracadabra’ and all our fitness dreams came true. While this is not reality there are some easy steps that will see those Christmas pounds drop and your life take a turn for the better.

Think SMART whilst setting your goals: Is it specific, measurable, achievable and realistic. Then decide on the time frame. Whilst it’s not realistic for most of us to look like a model pin up it is realistic to promise yourself to include a little exercise every day.

 

Avoid choosing a resolution that you’ve been unsuccessful in achieving time and time again. This will only lead to negative emotions and reinforce the feeling of failure. Try to look beyond the things you can’t control. Instead of saying I want to lose three stones say I want to focus on eating correctly. Let the weight loss fit in with the things you can control.

 

Write down a plan of how your goals will be reached. Think about it, all great businesses start with a plan, a detailed description of its mission and how it can be achieved. Write your own plan and check back regularly to see if you are on track.

 

Break it down and it will be less intimidating. Rather than one end goal set three or four closer goals. For example, if your goal is to lose three stones in the year, your smaller goals could be losing 7lbs in less than a month.

 

Have a plan B: Don’t assume achieving your goal is plain sailing. Plan for hurdles along the way so you are not caught out and you know what to do when you get there. What will stop you from exercising? What will be a likely trigger to eating something unhealthy? This may mean seeking help from a family member or a professional, writing in a diary etc.

 

We are creatures of ritual. Give it time to stick. Most experts would agree it takes at least 3-4 weeks to create a habit and at least 3 months for it to become part of your everyday routine.

 

Reward yourself every time you reach one of your bite size goals, don’t wait for the END goal. Find other positive areas of health and fitness like a massage or a facial as a reward. The more you do to feel good and look good the greater the motivation to carry on.

 

Don’t go it alone! Don’t be afraid to seek professional assistance. Everyone needs help and sometimes a friend isn’t enough. Sometimes you need the help of a trained professional. Don’t feel that seeking help is a way of copping out. When it comes to fitness, research has shown that professionals greatly improve a person’s chance at success.

 

On average about 20% of us keep our New Year's resolutions. Unfortunately, some of the biggest failures are found in fitness resolutions. But don't let the statistics get you down. By following the tips above you'll be better equipped to fall into the successful 20% category.



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Just Another Fad Diet

Summer is here and the thought of a ‘lose weight fast diet’ is very appealing, but is it healthy and most of all, does it work?

 

Here we go again. Your friend just came through the door smiling and holding a piece of paper that you are about to learn is the next best thing since gold. Yes, it’s the latest fad diet. Everyone is doing it, including some of the world’s best known A-List celebrities and you have to do it, don’t you?

 

Having completed the diet you jump on the scales. You’ve lost 5lbs in a week and you feel amazing. It worked…..

 

Days later the body returns to its normal state and the weight piles back on. But it’s not the diet that failed; it’s our fault we tell ourselves. It must be that oversized portion, or treat that you had days ago to celebrate that caused you to gain back the 5lbs.

These fad diets come and go but the theory remains the same, instant weight loss solutions. But how many of you are all too familiar with the yo-yo effect that these diets have. I’m guessing, most of you could not name or even remember the number of fad diets you have tried over the years.

 

So why do these diets not work?

Quite often in these fad diets, the weight loss experienced is from loss of water in our bodies, not fat. Most of these diets are designed to dehydrate the body in order to get you results quickly. Paired with your desire to lose weight, reinforces the feelings of achievement and lead us into a false sense of security.

 

Secondly, diet is only part of the solution. Most, if not all of the fad diets I have seen in my life time do not require you to exercise. Exercise burns fuel, exercise burns fat.

 

Ask yourself this question, where did the fat go in a week? We do not think with such logic when it comes to diet. Not because we are uneducated but because most of all deep down, we know they don’t make sense, but we want to believe in it.

 

It’s very easy to fall into the trap that I have described. But here are five of my key principles that I have been teaching people for years:-

  • Portions should be the size of your palm; our bodies do not need any more.
  • You should eat every three hours to keep your metabolism awake and burning calories.
  • Eat at the same time every day in order to build a routine; this will prevent you missing a meal and reaching for a mid-meal snack.
  • Every meal should contain protein. Protein helps to speed up the metabolism and burn fat.
  • Eat all your carbs in the morning or afternoon. Carbs are used as energy, and let’s be honest; most of us do not run marathons on an evening.

There is no such thing as good and bad food. Every food means something different to your body. So this summer enjoy everything in moderation and stick to my five principles and you will be dropping pounds in no time at all.



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Forget a Universal Diet

Eating breakfast is one of the best tips I can give you to help you burn fat. Just to recap people who eat breakfast within an hour after waking are leaner and weigh less than people who skip morning meals. By eating breakfast, you'll burn 5% more calories all throughout the day. Choose a high-protein breakfast like eggs, and you'll also be less hungry at lunch time than those who only eat a high carbohydrate breakfast. Boil a few eggs the night before, and have a quick morning meal to speed up your metabolism all day.

 

Book store shelves are full of dietary advice; all making big fat promises to make you thin. As if there is some universal formula, some ‘a-ha’ discovery (as I like to call them).  Well for decades researchers have tried and tested just about everything. Carb free, high protein, liquid only, sushi, vegetable, and milk shake nutrition to name just a few. Not to mention methods of dieting such as chewing hundreds of times or standing on your head whilst eating. People want to hear that there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods and that by avoiding ‘bad’ foods you will lose weight and feel great. This common naivety is why the industry is worth billions of pounds. Yet, we have a rising epidemic of obesity.

 

That’s correct; the industry is worth billions of pounds and to keep you and the general public believing that diets are about didactic edicts that change every few years is one of the many ways to line the pockets of the elite.

 

Well I want to help you make changes to your diet that do not involve cutting out foods like pizzas and other foods that you think are ‘bad’. Because it isn’t about the food you eat. I am saying this because Mark Haub, a nutritional professor at Kansas State University proved it isn’t. He dropped his calorie intake to 1800 calories (800 less than his normal balanced diet) and lost 27 pounds whilst lowering his cholesterol. The shocking truth is the 1800 calories were made up of Doritos, chocolate brownies and other ‘bad’ foods.

 

Laughable really isn’t it? Well the fact is you can lose weight living on pizza and gain weight living on bananas (providing you eat a lot of bananas). However there are lots of nutritional reasons why choosing an apple is better than pizza but if your sole goal is to lose fat it doesn’t matter what foods you eat. It’s the calories that matter. Calories after all are energy, and if you are taking in more energy than you’re burning then you’re getting fat.

 

I remember in 2005 a study followed 165 people on different diets. Atkins, Weight Watchers etc. After a year the average weight loss was 6 pounds, but there were no tangible differences among any of the results achieved by each diet. In essence the diets were all rubbish.

 

So here is my rule number 2:-

My advice to you is always have the mentality ‘calories in=calories out’. Understandably the latter is harder to measure but if you’re eating a cookie or a high calorie food and are not working out, you’re going to get fat. Likewise if you’re not working out and having two cookies you’re going to get even fatter than if you just have the one.  Try to keep your calories less than what you think you might burn that day. If you’re going to the gym or working out to one of my fat burning sessions then you know you can afford to eat more calories. 3 simple sentences to remember:


If the calories in are greater than the calories out then you’re going to get fatter.

If the calories in are equal to the calories out then you’re going to stay the same.

If the calories in are less than the calories out then you’re going to lose weight.

 

For now, you just have to follow my simple rules and watch the pounds drop. There are no universal quick fixes. It’s all about the knowledge. Knowing what you know now after reading this email I bet at least 90% look at the calories in the next thing you eat. Some of you will go on to count the calories for the entire day.



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Why missing breakfast makes you fat!

In my job there are a number of things that repeat themselves time and time again. Diets are one of them. So many people think the word diet refers to ‘good food’ or ‘absence of bad food’. Well it doesn’t. The word diet means how you shape eating habits. Not how you mis-shape it to so many of these companies that try to sell you a product or ‘diet’ that contains the miracle cure to fat fighting. When I ask a client how is your diet, 9 out of 10 say ‘good’. When I ask them to delve further they describe to me the fruits and seeds that they eat and the takeaways that they now never eat. In their mind they genuinely believe this is ‘good dieting’. Well to put it bluntly it isn’t. The type of food (good/bad) is so unimportant when it comes to a good diet. Here is my day in the life of a good dieter (or so they believe) and what it really means to the body.


The alarm goes off. You jump out of bed. Oh no! You're late again and today you have an important meeting at work. You get the kids up, prepare breakfast and lunch for the family, grab a cup of coffee and you're out the door. No time to eat, you'll just grab something after you drop the kids off at school. You arrive at the office a few minutes late, when you realise you forgot to get something to eat. Oh, well, its lunch in a couple of hours.


Is this a typical morning for you?

In order to achieve optimal metabolic rate (fat burning), 25% of your daily calories should come at breakfast Between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. cortisol levels are at their highest, elevating your metabolism so you can get ready for the day. This is the time where your body needs as much fuel as possible. Not to mention, you have just slept for however many hours without taking on board any fuel. You wouldn’t drive your car without fuel would you? Your body doesn’t just stop working so it has to find energy from somewhere. Well it can’t be energy from food because you haven’t had any! Therefore it breaks down the easiest thing it can….. Muscle! All that hard work at the gym down the drain because you didn’t have breakfast. Muscle is the key ingredient to fat burning after all because it requires energy to sustain itself. That’s where fat comes in. Having a more dense/toned muscle structure increases your metabolic rate because there are more fibres that require energy. Think about it like this:

A 15st person made up of fat burns X amount of calories whilst sat on the couch.

A 15st person made up of muscle burns Y amount of calories whilst sat on the couch.


Y has to be greater than X because we know that muscle requires energy (formally known as calories) to remain ‘active’ muscle whereas fat requires very little energy to remain fat. Therefore as I say to all my Clients do not be afraid of weights. It is a myth that women can grow muscles. They can tone but not build. You will not, I repeat you will not look like a body builder when you lift weights. You will however get to your goal of fat loss a lot quicker than if you just run on a treadmill. Not only that but it will stay off longer if you ever stop training.

Finally lunch time arrives and you are famished. You order a Chef Salad and a diet soda. While you're waiting, you munch on a few buttered rolls, why not? Everybody else is. Look at this choice closely. Just because you ordered a salad it has no implication to losing weight what so ever. There is no Protein (the nutrition found in food that muscles are made from) in your order, just carbs (the nutrition we convert in to energy- and if the energy isn’t used it is stored as fat).

Later that afternoon you find yourself starting to fade, so you take a trip down to visit the vending machine for a quick pick-me-up. It’s ok though, it’s just one you tell yourself. You finally leave the office, get the kids and arrive home. There you find yourself nibbling here and there while you're making dinner. Dinner consists of pasta, sausage, salad and more bread. Ooooo the Carbs just keep popping up. That’s because most foods that you can just reach for like bread etc. are high in Carbs.


Doesn't it make sense to eat most of your calories during the day when you are active? What I’m trying to say is why carbs at night? It doesn’t make sense, it’s not like you’re going to run a marathon after tea is it. Think about all that excess energy your body has now. It isn’t going to just disappear so it relaxes……. On your hips! Just in case one day you do decide to run that marathon.

After tucking the kids into bed, you collapse onto the couch. But not before opening that bottle of wine. A couple of glasses later and you may find yourself reaching for the snacks again. After all, your body doesn’t know whether it is coming or going. You haven’t taught it right and wrong like you have your kids. You finally fall into bed, ready to do it all over again the next day.

Starting your day off with no breakfast, followed by a medium sized lunch, and a snack, only to go home and pig out at dinner leaves your body looking like your meal strategy. Small on top, a little bigger in the middle and big on the bottom.

Change the shape of your body, by changing your meal strategy. Here are some tips to get you off to a good start:


Elevate your metabolism by drinking 16 ounces of water before breakfast


Have a large breakfast consisting of a carbohydrate, fat & protein (good fats are crucial in replacing old fats. Trying to avoid fats only force your body to hold on to the fat you already have. After all, it’s intelligent, and it doesn’t know when you will next be getting any)


Always eat right for your Metabolic Type


Have a medium sized lunch consisting of a Carbs, fats & proteins


Eat a snack consisting of fruit or nuts in between meals


Have a small dinner consisting of a low carbs, fats & high protein foods


Never skip a meal


You have the power to change your eating habits and the shape of your body. Begin this journey by always eating breakfast. Breakfast doesn't have to be at 7:00 a.m., for some it may be later in the morning. Always remember that you hold the key to achieving the shape you desire.



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What can a Personal Trainer do for me?

Think about it this way. A well designed and thought out program is better than pick and mix when it comes to exercise. Our bodies are a science and we must treat them like science. But once you've had a program explained to you is it still worth paying for the services? According to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, YES!!

 

The study, by researchers at the University of Brasilia in Brazil, builds on previous studies that have found that people doing weight training build more muscle and gain more strength when they’re supervised than when they’re on their own. In this case, the study compared 124 untrained young men, and had them undertake an 11-week training program with either a coach for every five athletes or a coach for every 25 athletes. Sure enough, the more highly supervised athletes gained significantly more strength in bench press and knee extensor exercises.

As the paper explains, personal trainers “may help to control important training variables such as load, rest intervals, and exercise technique and to provide motivation and psychological reinforcement,” so it’s hard to nail down exactly what’s happening. But the data provide some interesting insights.

One initially confusing fact is that the total volume of weight lifted was pretty much the same between the two groups. On closer examination, what happens is that the less-supervised group picks a slightly lighter weight and lifts three sets in a nice, controlled manner. The heavily supervised group picks a more ambitious target, reaches failure during the third set, and has to stop a few reps earlier. Total volume is the same, but the guys reaching failure get bigger training benefits.

 

So really you need to ask youself, do i want the most from my workouts. If the answer is yes then personal training is for you.

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