A diet and exercise overhaul

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

It's high time my health and fitness plan was reassessed and given a much-needed shake up, today's post comes from Josh Mann, a personal trainer and nutrition advisor who is scrutinising my current regime and putting forward his recommendations. This is very exciting for me! Over to Josh
Sophie and I have been have been speaking recently on Twitter and I have offered to have a look at her current regime and see if there is anything she can improve upon to get the results she wants.
First, lets look at your current lifestyle and what you have done to get yourself where you are today………
Finding this out is crucial to understand what current activities a person undertakes on a day-to-day basis, but it is also important to find out and negotiate the time they have to dedicate to their goals. This will have a big impact on the advice and recommendations I would give to somebody.
· After an active childhood, you (as most people do) have fallen into the trap of becoming inactive as an adult.
· You’ve decided to attend a boot camp and gained confidence as you’ve gotten fitter. Since then you’ve taken up running and previously entered both 5k and 10K running events (with personal bests of 22min12secs and 46mins57secs respectively) – not a bad baseline to work from.
What activity are you participating in on a weekly basis?

· Daily dog walks
· 2x boot camp style workouts a week
· 2x interval style running sessions that last between 12-20 minutes
· Now looking to add a long run lasting between 45 minutes and an hour on the weekend.
From this you can see throughout the week you are quite active, I like that you’re out walking the dog and making the effort to do some form of activity. You do not have loads of time to exercise because of your work so you are keeping sessions short and intense so you can burn a reasonable amount of calories.
What’s the mission captain?
Let’s talk about goals – what do you actually want to achieve?
All goals should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant & have a Time-Frame. This will help you keep focused throughout the duration of your journey.
Let’s have a look at your goal:
S – you want to be able to run 10k in less than 46 minutes
M – It is something that can be timed with a stopwatch
A – You already have a PB of 46mins 57secs, and are a regular exerciser so to improve by 58 seconds does not sound unrealistic to me
R – You’re a keen runner, who is looking to better yourself and improve your overall health and running is a great way of doing this
T – I feel 12 weeks is a realistic timeframe to achieve this in.
Lets have a look at the nutrition side of things……
Nutrition will make or break your goals. Getting enough good quality nutrients is key to helping you recover from exercise, but it will determine whether or not you get the body of your dreams.
I asked you to fill out a food diary, logging everything you ate and drank throughout the course of a week. I would recommend that everybody do this at some point in the near future, as it can be a really good indicator of bad habits.
From your Food Diary I was able to produce the following stats:

Food Diary (Average) Target Difference
Calories 2102 2000 102
Carbs(g) 277 251 26
Protein(g) 81 104 -23
Fat(g) 59 65 -6

Over the course of a week you can see that on average you are consuming 100 calories a day more than you need to. It may not seem like a lot, but that’s an extra 36,500 calories over the course of the year – this will not help appearance or performance.
The majority of people do not eat enough protein and you definitely fall into this category – you are eating around three quarters of the amount of protein that you actually need. If you are active, you need more protein to help recovery and build lean muscle (this helps you burn more calories at rest). The NHS recommends 0.8g of protein per kilo of bodyweight – this is fine if you do no exercise at all. But if you are exercising (and doing so on a regular basis) you need to double that amount – and before you say anything, no, you are not going to get huge ladies!
To me it appears that you are getting enough fat in your diet. I like to aim for around 1-1.5g per kilo of bodyweight. Fat is vital for overall health and should not be cut out of somebodies diet (see my blog on low fat diets). You just need to make sure that you’re getting fat from good sources such as butter, lean read meats, oily fish and nuts.
Carbohydrates are the last things I tackle because you should get your protein and fat sorted first and let carbohydrates make up the rest of your diet. You have included a range of Carbs including oats, bread and cereals in your food diary. I think oats are a good source of carbs but bread and cereal on the other hand, I don’t. The focus should be on unprocessed foods like starchy veg and 100% whole grains. Lets not forget those green veggies, these should be consumed daily and in large quantities. They offer too many benefits to describe here.
Moving forwards
I like that you are currently including two intense running sessions a week in your regime as this will help improve speed. The only changes I would make to your current exercise routine is to remove the boot camp style training and get some more miles in. I’m not saying that a boot camp style workout is bad, but for your goals it is not a relevant style of training. These boot camp sessions should be replaced by two running sessions, each lasting between 30-45 minutes. One of the runs should be quite easy and the other running at the speed required for you to hit your goal.
If you implement the nutrition strategy that I have suggested above, you should see your recovery time improve, have more energy and feel full at meal times.
Anything else to look at?
You have told me that you get between 6-6.5 hours of sleep per night. Now for me, I think you need at least another hour to aid recovery.
Sleeping continually for either less than six hours or more than nine hours in adults has been associated with poorer health.
Below are the daily hours of sleep people need at the different stages of their lives:
· Children: 10 to 11 hours of sleep
· Adults: 7 to 8 hours of sleep (adolescents need a bit more)
· Older adults: 7 to 9 hours of sleep
When we sleep the body carries out a number of functions that we are often unaware of; producing processes that help you deal with physical and mental stress, information processing, memory formation and the repair and restoration of (muscle) tissues. It is a natural process and something that is essential to our overall well-being. If you struggle with getting a good nights sleep then I would recommend using a supplement called ZMA. The zinc and magnesium will help you relax and help you sleep through the night.
Before you go…….Read this!

Before you decide to get started on a brand new health and fitness journey, whether that be running (like Sophie) or for general weight loss, really take the time to make an honest assessment of your current circumstances. Better yet get someone let myself to do it for you. We can discuss achievable goals and make sure you have all the tools you need to achieve them.
Thank you to Josh Mann for this report! It has definitely given me the motivation and direction I need to go forward with renewed vigour and positivity. If you want Josh Mann Fitness to set you on the right track then check out his site for details of all he can offer you, follow his blog for great health and fitness posts and give him a tweet @joshmannfitness on Twitter too. I'll be keeping you up to date on the new changes I'm making soon. Good times.

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