Goal Setting for Success

Exercise plateau and lack of motivation are two factors which really limit us reaching our potential. Goal setting is a crucial part of gaining success, you must have a clear goal in mind every time you step into the gym and a long term vision of what you want to achieve.

Having  smaller short term goals and an overall long term goal will help to keep you motivated to keep working hard.

Goal setting for success should of course include what you want to achieve. But you must dig deeper and break the goal down into more detail.

Ask yourself what specifically do you want to  gain from exercise and nutrition whether its sports performance, fat loss, strength gains or increased energy levels you must write down detailed goals in which will help you achieve  success. For example if you want to strip body fat…

  • Decrease body fat percentage by 10 per cent
  • To lose 4 inches from waist
  • Drop 2 jean sizes

Once you have determined specific goals you now must give yourself a time frame in which you want to complete it in. This again will keep you more driven and achieving your training goals will become easier with a time line in place. So for example your goals would now look like this…

  • Decrease body fat percentage by 10 percent cent by June 10th for my holiday
  • To lose 4 inches from waist by March for wedding
  • Drop 2 jean sizes by February for my birthday.

Setting out a reward for when you accomplish your goals is another great way to keep you focused and driven to succeed. This reward should be something positive and not be anything related to bad eating habits or something counterproductive to what you’re trying to achieve. A good idea is to set a reward that encourages you to keep going and stay healthy like a beach holiday or a nice piece of clothing. Your goals may look a bit like this now..

  • Decrease body fat percentage by 10 percent by June for my holiday and buy a few nice new outfits for it.
  • To lose 4 inches from waist by march for the wedding to buy a certain dress
  • Drop 2 jean sizes by February for my birthday to fit into some new skinny jeans

Set your goals for success and achieve them using a well structured framework which will keep you focus and driven when things get tough.

Is it your slow metabolism to blame for increased body fat?

Your metabolism refers to the amount of energy or calories your body burns in order to maintain itself. The rate of which your metabolism runs is affected by different factors such as your body composition for example.

This blog will take a look at the relationship between exercise and nutrition and the body’s rate of metabolism.

Through consuming food and drinking liquids we of course are taking on calories which in turn is what enables the body to function. Your metabolism is a complex biochemical process which is constantly working even when your asleep, It maintains hormone function, repairs the bodies cells and circulates the blood.

These functions of your metabolism are referred to as your basal metabolic rate and determines how many calories you burn at rest.

One of the main factors which determine your basal metabolic rate is body mass. People with more muscle mass or people who are overweight will burn up more energy at rest.

Gender is another factor which can shape your metabolism, males usually have more muscle then women, they burn more calories throughout the day. Age also can dictate your metabolism because as we age testosterone levels drop meaning so does the amount of lean muscle tissue which again has a direct affect on the rate of your metabolism.

Factors such as the amount of exercise you do and the types of nutrients you consume will determine how many calories you burn; these two factors are the most variable. The more exercise you do the more calories you burn increasing your metabolism.


Is having a slow metabolism an excuse for gaining body fat?

This is often what people blame their weight gain on is having a slow metabolism. However a slow metabolism isn’t always responsible for an increase in body fat but in fact it’s the amount and quality of calories consumed compared to the calories burned through exercise which is to blame. If this ratio of calories consumed is greater then calories burned your body will not use it so it will be stored as fat around the body.

Leaner people have less body fat not necessarily because they have a fast metabolism but because they are more active. Having a slow metabolism is actually quite rare and doesn’t usually lead to obesity. Instead factors leading to obesity, weight gain and poor body composition are low activity levels, eating too many low quality calories, unhealthy habits, and lack of sleep and skipping meals.

Fitness St Johns Wood

There is allot of information available in regards to nutrition and fat loss. So much so that it becomes very confusing as information is contradicting its self leaving people perplexed at what exactly they should be doing. This blog will outline 5 foods that you should never eat in order to achieve a better body composition. I will then include healthy alternatives so you can make the swop and eat for success and achieve your goals.

1)   Do not eat FRIED FOOD

Frying food should be avoided at all costs. It offers no nutritional value to your body only serving up a big dose of fat and calories. By avoiding fried food you will be on the way to becoming leaner and healthier.
Instead of eating fried food, grill it instead and you will avoid that big serving of extra fat and calories. By grilling your food and making smart choices you can turn something unhealthy into a more nutritious but tasty meal. For example many people love to eat chips. If you really need some as a treat simply make your own by using sweet potato which is a slow release carbohydrate cut them into chips and drizzle some good quality olive oil onto them before putting them into the oven to cook.

2) Do not eat WHITE BREAD

Products such as white bread also have little nutritional value but what is worse the calories consumed from white bread will be released in one big dose. Your body will not be able to use all of this energy and is quickly turned into sugar by the body meaning it is much more likely to be stored as fat.

If you must have bread opt for whole meal bread which has a much better nutritional value then its white counterpart. The energy is secreted from whole meal bread slowly meaning that you are less likely to store it as fat.

3) Do not eat SALAD DRESSING

Salads can be very low in calories and full of good nutrients but avoid adding the high calorie dressing that will have you putting weight.

Instead opt for a drizzle of olive oil or vinegar dressing. They have a lower calorie count and add flavor to your salads. Make your own dressing using olive oil, lemon and fresh chilli.

4) DO not eat WHITE RICE
White rice is similar to white bread in terms of little nutritional value and being high in calories. Its high glycemic level will have you storing more fat around the body.

Instead switch to brown rice. Your body will receive more vitamin B and importantly will keep your blood sugar levels more constant.


Refined sugars are of course well known for storing fat and causing more serious health issues. Refined sugars should be avoided at all costs; your body does not need them.

Switch to fruits such as berries, grapefruits and apples. They also contain sugars however these sugars are naturally occurring and host high nutritional values. Things like blueberries and grapefruits are have lower sugar content and offer plenty antioxidants and fat burning properties.

Weight Loss St Johns Wood

When people want to lose weight they should increase exercise and assess their diet to see what they can change. It’s common knowledge that by increasing energy expenditure you will increase weight loss. But unfortunately its not always as simple as that, people who are new to exercise and are out of shape may actually stay or increase body weight slightly at the start of their program.

This information shouldn’t stop you from exercising as it will lead to sustained fat loss but it’s important for motivational reasons to understand why you may gain weight slightly at the beginning. Below are the reasons behind weight gain while exercising and eating well in the initial stages of your program.

Lean Muscle Tissue.

To induce better body composition you should be implementing resistance training as the cornerstone of your program. Resistance training aims to increase lean muscle tissue which increases your metabolism and creates a better fat burning environment within your body. For a beginner implementing a good progressive weights program and nutritional plan will result in gaining lean muscle tissue relatively easily when compared to someone with more training experience as they have far more potential to fill.

It’s this muscle gain which is one of the main reasons why some novice lifters may gain a little weight, however this initial rise will then have a positive effect by increasing your metabolism and burning body fat. Muscles are structurally far more dense and heavy when compared to the same amount of body fat so an increase in lean muscle doesn’t transfer to an increase in size.

It’s for this reason that measuring your success in the gym should be done by body fat readings via callipers rather than just getting on the scales. This gives you a true reflection of how well you’re doing by giving your body fat percentage.

Consistency with weight training and good nutrition will lead to increased strength, healthier joints, and denser bones and will increase the body’s fat burning capabilities helping you stay leaner. Its important to consider this when you first start training hard to avoid disappointment. If you are incorporating nutrition and training you should be increasing lean muscle tissue which may cause a slight increase in weight to start with.


Nutritional habits.

When you increase exercise your body will burn more calories then before leaving you feeling hungry. People often then eat more as a result. I suggest keeping a detailed food journal to keep track of the quantity and quality of what you’re eating.

Just because you have worked out doesn’t mean you can eat what you like. Nutrition accounts up to 70% of your success in regards to fat loss. At the same time you cannot simply starve yourself as this is counter productive for muscle building. This approach will simply slow your metabolism right down and eat into your lean muscle tissue while decreasing hormonal functions. Choose healthy nutritious calories to fuel your body through the workouts and aid in recovery and muscle gain.

Fluid intake

Water intake can also make a difference if your weighing your self on the scales. So if you do weigh yourself instead of using a calliper to determine your body fat percentage you should take into account the time of day your weighing yourself. Its important to be consistent with this, to get a true reflection weigh yourself in the morning before any water or food.

Gym St Johns Wood

Good nutrition and discipline forms the cornerstone to fat loss so it’s important we implement smart eating into our routine. Snacking during the day can have a positive effect on achieving better body composition for a number of reasons when its done correctly.

There are a lot of different methods to eating healthily but eating smaller meals more regularly throughout the day is a great option to choose for most people as it keeps their satiety levels in check and stokes their metabolisms for fat loss at Gym St Johns Wood.

The blueprint for leading a healthy well balanced diet is to consume 3 meals a day with 1 or 2 snacks in between. The snacks should be timed to limit hunger and avoid blood sugar levels dipping. You want to avoid the feeling of hunger during the mornings or afternoon as you are far more likely to consume a sugary snack to try and for fill your low energy levels.

Below are suggestions on how to snack smart and enjoy better energy levels and body composition.


Snack for increased Energy Levels.

Most people find that they experience a mid afternoon crash at work where they feel they have low energy levels. “Snacking smart” means that you consume a small snack to avoid this by eating a source of food that is high in protein and healthy fats. This aid’s with stabilizing blood sugar levels and produces sustain energy release until dinner. Below are some great suggestions for some healthy snacks.

  • Raw almonds unsalted. These are easy to over eat so make sure you consume a portion which is close to the size of your thumb
  • Low fat natural cottage cheese
  • Avocado and egg white
  • Teaspoon of hummus on whole grain crackers.
  • Apple and organic natural un-sweetened and salted peanut butter.


Snack for better Body Composition

Many people when trying to loose body fat assume that less food is better and often cut any snacking out and try to eat little to no carbohydrates.

This approach is not ideal as any results you may initially gain will be at the expense of muscle tissue and will also affect optimal immune system function. Snacking and eating smaller more regular meals ensure you have a well balanced nutritious diet that is healthy and improves body composition. It stops you from feeling hungry during the day and keeps you feeling alert and energized.

In terms of choosing healthy snacks it has to fit in with your daily calorie expenditure and nutrient needs.

If you want to become lean and loose body fat choose low calorie nutrient filled snacks. If you have a strenuous training schedule and you want to add muscle or replenish your body with fuel opt for high protein high calorie snacks.

Snacking to meet your nutritional demands

Snacking will help you reach your nutritional targets through the day in regards to vegetable, calcium, protein and fruit intake.

They offer you an opportunity to consume valuable nutrients your body needs to function and burn fat. It is important to be organised when it comes to your nutrition so always try to have healthy snacks ready made and available for when you need them. This will go a long way to helping you avoid snacking on sugary quick fix snacks.

The Variety of food you eat throughout the week is important for several reasons. Making sure you eat a variety of foods throughout the week ensures your body is getting amount of nutrients and it helps to keep you satisfied.

If you eat the same meals day in day out you are far more likely to slip up because you will be sick of it.

Ideal small meals or snacks include boiled egg salad with mixed spinach leaves, tomatoes and Kidney beans. Tuna and low fat cottage cheese with black pepper and tomatoes. Avocado, beetroot salad with mixed leaves, basil, feta and grilled salmon.

Weight Loss London

Below are five steps that you can implement to generate a fat melting environment for your body. By following these steps you will be able to increase your metabolism, maintain lean muscle tissue, optimise hormonal function and strengthen your immune system.

In order to achieve the above you have to assess your lifestyle then adapt or change certain parts of it. This doesn’t mean it has to be disruptive to your life, usually its simple small factors that you may need to tweak in regards to how you exercise and your approach to nutrition.

If you are successful in making these small lifestyle changes you will lose body fat and keep it off.

The five steps below are small adjustments you need to make in order to get great results.

Step 1) Cutting out sugary Drinks
There have been many studies that indicate sugary drinks have a strong correlation to weight gain.

This study from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio concluded that those who drank two or more diet soft drinks a day had the largest waistline increases—about five times more than that of non-drinkers.

Soft drinks often have misleading information and marketing on them stating their healthy etc. Even if they are low in calories they will be high in sweeteners and additives creating health issues.

They also increase your appetite for other sugary foods. So by adjusting to drinking water or green tea you will dramatically promote fat loss.

Step 2) Stop eating bread

The energy in white bread especially is released rapidly into the blood stream. Your body cannot process it all so instead of being used as a fuel for the body it is more likely to be stored as fat.

Make lifestyle changes by swopping bread for alternatives. Instead of having a traditional tuna sandwich with bread, opt for tuna lettuce raps. Select a robust type of lettuce leaf such as a gem lettuce and rap the tuna up inside it and adding vegetables.

Step 3) Intensity is Key when it comes to Cardio.

In order to achieve better body composition we need to implement the most effective forms of training that will help to produce results efficiently.

There have been many studies into what forms of cardio are most beneficial for fat loss and maintain good body composition levels. They found that high intensity interval training is the most efficient for fat loss when compared to steady state aerobic exercise.

To implement high intensity training into your program complete short rounds of exercise at your maximum rate of intensity followed by a short rest period and then repeat for a desired number of rounds or time.

For example Sprint for 30seconds followed by rest for 30 seconds and repeat for 10 rounds or more.

Step 4) Cut down on sugar

Cutting down on sugar is another change which has to happen if you’re going to achieve a leaner physique. Your body doesn’t need refined sugars so don’t consume any and you will eventually feel and look much better for it.

Many people crave sugary snacks but avoid it by filling up on whole foods and keep your blood sugar levels steady.

Step 5) Find a good personal Trainer

Employ a professional to take the guessing out of your workouts. When I write your personalised programme it is designed produce the best results in the most efficient time possible.

By using the knowledge and experience I have in body transformations you can expect to build lean muscle tissue, burn body fat optimise hormonal function through good nutrition.

Take a look at the body transformations my clients have already achieved.

personal trainer Highgate

Before and After

There are many before and after pictures of people who have lost a considerable amount of body fat and added lean muscle tissue improving their physic, lifestyle and confidence.

They worked hard to achieve what they have achieved and didn’t give up when things got tough which is the attitude you need to improve your body composition and quality of life.

Many people are still trapped inside a physic that they hate. They are despite to change things around but different obstacles keep getting in their way such as family commitments, work and social life so they put it off for another week or month. The truth is you will always be faced with these obstacles in life so don’t hide behind them.

Find away around them and make your self happy with the body you live in.

Get the body you deserve

Realizing that you have the power to change your life around is where it starts. By taking responsibility your health and fitness you build the body you want. Below are 3 steps to follow to make these changes and achieve your goals.

1)     Feel the pain

Remember the pain caused by your un-happiness with the body you live in and let this emotion drive you forward. Use it as motivation to stay focused and work to achieve what you need to do regain your confidence, health and lean physic.

2)     Set Your Goals

Set your goals and know what you want to achieve. This clarity will help you work hard because you have a specific motive. Picture the body you want and get it.

3)     Get on With it

Do not get stuck on the first step, actually putting in the hard work is what really counts so you have to stop thinking about it and put all your efforts into achieving it. There is no time like the present to get started on your nutrition and workouts.

Stop gaining and start loosing

Gaining weight can be due to a number of different factors in your life which can effect eating and exercise patterns. Why has your body weight increased and how can you stop it increasing further.

1)     Avoid these fat mistakes

People go through different things in life which effect them in different ways. Similarly people gain fat for different reasons, whether its comfort eating due to depression or lack of exercise because of low confidence there is never one simple solution that works for everyone. You have to come to terms with the reason why your comfort eating or not exercising to get the results you really want.

The first step is to think back to when you where at your healthiest weight and ask your self when did I start putting on weight. Did you put it on slowly over a long period of time or was it sudden? Below are some major events in people’s lives which often effect peoples eating and exercise habits.

A) University:

Studies show that time spent at University is the easiest time for us to gain body fat. This is usually down to the life style students lead from drinking more alcohol to not eating right.

B) Being Married:

Putting on weight when you’re married can be easy. Through comfort eating in front of the TV with your partner can quickly put on the pounds.

C) Pregnancy:

During pregnancy women of course put weight on but so do men. Through sympathy eating with their partner. Men often gain weight too.


d) Work: The type of work you do largely effects your body composition. Many people spend hours sitting behind a desk every day with a commute to and from work leaving little time to exercise.

The second step is to again think of the time things started to slip and work out where the changes in your lifestyle. Below are some behavioural categories that may be what changed for you.


A)    Nutritional Habits:

Was it you’re eating patterns that changed during university or marriage for example? Often peoples nutritional habits change due to adjustments in their life and it could be that you had a well balanced diet eating sensibly to filling up on empty calories from alcohol and eating cheap processed foods at University.

B)    Activity Level:

The second point is your activity level which can lead to weight gain. Think about how active you where before your life changing event and are you doing anything different now.

Now you can be sure of what events started the weight gain and what behavioral patterns changed as a result you can make your first step in putting things right by contacting me.

5 Marketing scams that won’t get you a flat stomach

Summer is around the corner and it’s now you have to think about your training and nutrition if you really want to achieve your goals by the summer. There’s money to be made from people who are desperate to shed their body fat ready for their holidays and the summer months so in this blog I will list 5 marketing scams that will not help you achieve your goals so you don’t waste your time or money.

1)     Fat burning Pills

People want to believe there is a quick fix to looking and feeling great so are easily sold on diet pills. There expensive and they don’t work effectively. Instead strip body fat and stay lean and healthy through regular intense exercise. Not only will you improve your body composition but you will increase cardiovascular health too.

2)     Sit ups everyday isn’t the answer

Many people are led to believe that performing sit up or crunches is what’s needed to reveal tight abs. This is a big mistake leading to disappointment. Big compound exercises such as front squats, deadlifts, over head presses and pull ups are the best way to build a solid core. Then you need to incorporate high intensity cardiovascular work to further help strip the layer of abdominal fat away to expose your chiselled mid section.

3)     Weight loss and Fad Diets

There a plenty of companies who release pre packed diets marketing them as low fat or low calorie meals. They often contain refined sugars or artificial ingredients that your body can’t use effectively. Stick to whole foods to ensure your body receives all the nutrients it needs to function and burn body fat.

4)     Avoiding Carbohydrates to burn fat

Don’t avoid carbohydrates all together; your body needs them for fuel. Stick to eating complex carbohydrates for higher energy levels such as sweet potatoes, quinea and bulgar wheat for slow sustained energy release and to keep blood sugar levels stable.

5)     Making yourself Hungry

This is a very common mistake. People who cut their calories drastically in an effort to lose weight, slow there metabolism down, they become irritable and much more likely to binge of refined sugars. If you don’t give your body the nutrients it needs it can’t function properly. Eat smaller nutritious meals throughout the day.

Avoid the 5 marketing scams above and you will save money and time in achieving a tight defined torso. Below are 3 simple points you need to be aware of in order to achieve your goals.

1)     No Processed foods

Cut out processed foods. Clear your kitchen out of junk food so you aren’t tempted and remind yourself of your goals and why you want to achieve it.

2)     Eat Nutritious Foods

Only consume whole foods such as fresh vegetables, whole grains, raw nuts, lean meats and fish. Keep your diet clean.

3)     Train efficiently

Train efficiently with me. Take all the guess work out of your workout programming and cut the time it takes to achieve anything in half by training with a professional.

7 ways of staying lean and healthy

When you have worked hard and reached your original goal you now have to stay focused and keep it on. This blog will look at 7 ways of staying lean and maintaining a healthy body.

1)      Keep Active

Don’t forget how you achieved your goals in first place. It’s vital that a resistance program should form the cornerstone of your workouts with some form of interval training at the end of the session to enhance your fat burning capabilities. It is essential to have your nutrition plan become second nature while becoming more active in everyday life.


2)      Nutrition

Eating well is a lifestyle which you have to maintain to stay lean. Stick to basics of a well balanced nutritious diet. Cut out all processed foods, consume healthy fats from almonds avocados and eggs, lean protein from chicken, fish and lean red meat, lots of dark green vegetables and complex carbohydrates found in sweet potato.


3)      Avoid TV

Many people watch up to 35 hours of TV every week. Not only are you sitting down being inactive, it encourages snacking and a sedentary lifestyle. Get out and about and live life.


4)      Simplicity is Key

Your nutrition is not complicated; as long as you have a balanced diet you can eat similar meals to keep it simple.


5)      Keeping on Top

Make sure you keep on top of your weight management, weigh yourself every 2 weeks to monitor your progress.


6)      Eat for muscle tissue growth and not emotions

Eating emotionally is often the reason why people become overweight. Nutrition is to be used as fuel for your metabolism and muscle synthesis, eliminate emotional eating.


7)      Forget the slip up

You will have bad days for different reasons, life will get in the way and you may not have the time to workout etc. Do not let this discourage you, tomorrow is another day and you must get back on track straight away.