How To Enjoy Your Weekend And Still Lose Weight

How To Enjoy Your Weekend And Still Lose Weight

Roy Ritchie

Coach | Nutritionist

Roy Ritchie

Coach | Nutritionist

You’re a normal human being, which means you have a social life.

Sometimes that social life involves going out for food and drinks.  Sometimes it means a casual beer–or two, or tres. There are also the times where you just want to go on a night out, wolfpack styles.

 

You know what happens in these scenarios, especially if you’re following a regimented training and diet plan. You simply cannot allow the sweet taste of alcohol pass your lips.

Your progress will automatically be diminished.

So you then wonder what you’re supposed to do in this instance. Sacrifice having a social life, or a part of it that you enjoy.  Then there’s the idea that you must live the cliché fitness lifestyle of being in the gym 24/7 and eating tupperware meals at every sitting.  Making the diet process even more difficult than Tom Cruise’s ability to not be the same character in every single movie he’s in.

I mean.  I love Tom, but can he at least give it shot just the once?

If you do decide to have a drink or a night out, it’s then riddled with guilt.  Mainly because of how hungover you are the next day. The food that you ate and then not being able to go train that day.  All this leaves the idea of you destroying your progress

 

WHAT IF THIS DOESN’T NEED TO BE THE CASE?

It’s like I said, fitness and dieting is part of your life. Life isn’t part of fitness and dieting.

The one thing I enjoy on a weekly basis is going to my favorite bar, Brewdog.  Trying out their craft beers while doing some reading, listening to music, or catching up with friends.

Another weekend favourite of mine again involves alcohol. Having nice liquor while winding down on a Sunday evening with a movie and snacks.

Despite this, I’m able to progress in the gym weekly in some capacity.  Making food choices that I enjoy without restriction.  All this while remaining lean and healthy, most of the time.

I say ‘most of the time’ because we all have those weeks where you can get bloated and give less fucks than Hank Moody.

But that’s life. Are you competing in a bodybuilding competition anytime soon?

No?

Good.

Lets get to the good bits.

 

BE CONSCIOUS

Being aware that there are going to be times that if you make the choice to go drinking then there’s the possibility that you’ll either:

  1. Drink way too much
  2. Eat too much when you’re drunk
  3. Be hungover for a couple of days and not be able to train or exercise
  4. Get injured while falling through a table attempting a headstand in a bar
  5. All of the above

Essentially, you can’t complain when you allow actions to overrule your thoughts despite having a specific goal in mind.  Only then to complain afterward that you didn’t quite reach that goal.

Enjoying your life and reaching your goals are very much possible.  This does require you to work within a specific grey area.

Too much of X means Y is harder to attain.

This is where I’m a big fan of flexible dieting and flexible living.  The problem being is, people assume that it’s a free pass to eat an unlimited amount of junk food only to wonder why they’re not progressing.

 

BE LIKE HANNIBAL

Nope, I’m not talking about Anthony Hopkins. Although, I’m surprised he’s not a hell of a lot leaner since he’s a big fan of a higher protein diet.

I’m talking about this guy…

Hannibal is always on the ball.  He’s the main reason the A-Team is constantly ahead of the government and their enemies.  He’s constantly planning ahead.  It’s the most simplest way to succeed at anything.

So how are you going to succeed in your fitness goals while still enjoying a fine tipple?

 

PLAY THE CALORIE GAME

Weekly fat loss progression is determined by an overall weekly calorie deficit.  Which means you can manage them, much like your finances.

If you know that you’re heading out on Saturday night, plan ahead.  Remove some calories from a couple of the days throughout the week to compensate for Saturday.

You can do this in various different ways.

 

5/2 METHOD.

I’m sure you may have heard of this as a popular fat loss method. How this works is by placing you in a weekly overall calorie deficit.  Just like any other diet, there’s no magic pill with this.  However, by reducing your calories by a larger percentage in two days of the week, you can place them in your calorie saving for the Saturday. By doing this, you’re still able to keep yourself within the overall weekly calorie deficit.

 

Here’s an example.

Weekly calories for fat loss are at 14000.

Instead of splitting it to 2000 per day, let’s use the calorie banking system.

Add 500 calories to Saturday.  Giving you 2500 for that day.

Removing 250 calories from Tuesday and Thursday.  Leaving these two days with 1750 calories.

This is enough for you to still not feel like that you’re dieting on either of these two days. However, if the calorie intake is a lot lower –let’s say around 1000 calories– then it’s still sustainable as it’s only for a single day.  Not weeks at a time.  This makes it still achievable for your fat loss goals.

 

MACRO BALANCING

This is similar to above.  With this, you’re adjusting your macronutrient numbers to balance out the overall calorie intake.

Again, let’s say you’re heading out on Saturday night.  Ready to crush the dance floor.

You don’t want to be the guy or girl drinking diet coke disguised as vodka and coke all night.  Or worse.  Having every single person asking you the question “Why aren’t you drinking? Are you ok?”  So out comes the balancing routine.

Most drinks that you’re likely to favour have carbs in them.  You want to enjoy them.  So let’s look to try and keep them in.

They also have calories.  Precious calories. So we’re keeping them in too.

That means they have to come from somewhere.  That somewhere being Food.

Now I’m not saying that you must starve yourself.  Far from it. What I am saying is that you curb the two things that are going to take up calorie space throughout the day.

First, there are carbs, which is self explanatory. However, another easy way to limit calorie intake is by reducing how much fat you consume.  With fat being 9 calories per gram you can make a hell of a saving here.

The easiest way to do this is by keeping your food intake throughout the day more protein and veggie dominant. Both of these food sources are more satiating–meaning they will keep you feeling fuller, and will keep your calorie intake lower throughout the day. Saving them for the evening.

 

TAKE A BREAK

You do know that you’re allowed to take a break from dieting, right?

In fact, I highly recommend this.  Especially if you’ve been dieting for quite some time.

This can be extremely healthy for the mind and work in your favour in the long run. The issue with dieting too hard for too long is that it can sometimes lead to actual body image issues and eating disorders.  This is due to the extreme levels that people can take it.  They can become far reliant on it in the belief that this is the only way to achieve–or maintain–a look.

Here’s the problem.  The look is no use to you if a healthy mind and body don’t go hand in hand with it.

It’s like I keep saying.  Life is there to enjoy all year round, not when you think that you’re allowedit.

If you’re dieting, then the chances are that you have a good idea on how to estimate food and drinks.  This means that you’ll know if you’ve had too much, or not enough in terms of calories.  If you do consume too much, then that’s ok.  It’s not the end of the world as it’s simply one single day.

Taking a diet break for a day or two can also be great for fat loss in terms of it being used as a reefed of calories.

At times, if you’ve being dieting hard for fat loss, it’ll slow down.  This can lead to a possible plateau. So by having a day or two with a higher calorie intake can essentially help kick start your metabolism once again.  Giving your body something it’s wanted.  And the great thing is, if you give the body what it needs, the body will then give you what you want back.  Easier fat loss.

 

INTUITION

Intuitive eating is the most basic.  It can also be one of the more difficult ways to eat and drink.  This is because it requires you to actually be in tune with your body and mind.

Sounds a bit complex, right?  But it’s not.

Here are two perfect examples:

Your stomach rumbles.  You then give it some thought.

Are you actually peckish, hungry, or starving?

Knowing this can result in your following food choices.  This is why it’s always advisable to never go food shopping while you’re hungry as you’ll end up buying things you don’t actually want or need.

A simple rule to follow here is to drink a glass of water and give it 20 minutes. If you’re still hungry, then this means you actually are.  So go eat some food.

 

This is where the second example comes into play.

When you do sit yourself down to eat, you have three stages.

Satisfied, full, and stuffed.

Satisfied, means just that.  You’ve eaten enough and the meal is finished.  If you have food left on your plate then you can save it for later, once you’re hungry again.

Full is where you continue eating.  You may feel a little uncomfortable and know you’ve eaten a little too much.  The problem was that there was food left on the plate and you didn’t want it to go to waste.

Stuffed is, exactly that.  You’ve gone way passed the threshold of feeling full and asked for seconds.  Then moved onto dessert and had seconds of that too.  Think of the times you’ve been to a buffet or Christmas day.

I’m not telling you not to eat too much at Christmas, but it’s the perfect example.

Tapping into your intuition can take time and discipline.  Once you master it, even Mr Miyagi can’t stop you.

 

GET YOUR ASS IN THE GYM

You know you’re about to hit extra calories this weekend, so make it count.

If you have a lagging body part or a lift you want to hit a personal best on, then this is the perfect time to do it as you’ll now have the extra calories to back it up.

Extra calories result in extra nutrients. Just what the body is waiting for.

Not only can you improve your training, but you can also have some fun and go a little “bro”.  You can start throwing in some drop sets and adding fun exercises such as bicep curl rep challenges, or lunge challenges for the females.

I also like to add in some finishers on the odd day when I’m feeling up to it.  These days are primed for it.

A favorite of mine something called density training.

Basically, take a number of exercises.  Assign a number of reps to each exercise.  Set a timer, and then begin.  Repeat this circuit in perfect technique until the timer runs out.

Here’s an example for you.

For 10 minutes, perform the following circuit:

A1)  Kettlebell Swings x 10 reps

A2)  Bent Over Dumbbell Rows x 10 reps

A3)  Push-ups x 10 reps

Repeat this until time.

Simple, yet effective.

 

Another method I like is every minute on the minute (EMOM).

This is similar to density training as it’s timer based, but in a different manner.

Let’s take the deadlift in this example.

You set the weight at 50-60% of your current 1 rep max (if known), and the timer to 10 minutes.

When you start the timer, you perform 3 reps and rest until the timer hits minute two.  You then perform 3 more reps.

You do this until the 10 minutes is up.

Not only will you be absolutely toasted.  You’ll be super pumped, stronger and ready to soak up all them calories.

 

TIPPLE OF CHOICE

Wait, you didn’t think because I mentioned above about you having all your favorite drinks that this will always be the case.

Remember, booze has calories too.

In fact, alcohol itself is the unofficial fourth macronutrient. The black sheep.

Per 1 gram there are 7 calories, which means that this can add up fairly quickly.  Especially when it comes to drinks such as beers, wines, and most definitely cocktails.

Here are a few examples:

  • Long Island Ice Tea.  Calories up to 780.
  • Margarita.  Calories up to 740.
  • Pina Colada.  Calories up to 644.

And it doesn’t often stop at one drink either.

So what’s the solution, just not drink?

Well, that’s up to you.  If you do want to drink then there’s a way around this dilemma.  It’s ok, I’ve got your back.

You see not all alcoholic drinks are high in calories. In fact, there are quite a few firm favorites that you can manage into your diet without affecting it too much.

A simple method I adopted a while back is drinking more non-cheap vodka with soda water and lime.  When I first read about it I thought it sounded pretty hardcore and would surely get me hammered in no time.  But, the opposite happened.  Because it was more expensive vodka, the quality is better.  This meant it wasn’t leaving me in a mess.  This was also down to the soda water keeping me hydrated.  Keeping it an all round win, especially on the hangover side of things.

However, if you don’t fancy having a dreaded look on your face as if you’re drinking for a dare, then there’re some other options here for you.

  • Rum & Diet Coke.  Calories as low as 65.
  • Gin & Diet Tonic.  Calories as low as 115.
  • Cosmopolitan.  Calories as low as 150.

And just so you know, a Jagerbomb comes in at around 200 calories.

 

THE MUNCHIES 

We can’t be blaming the alcohol for everything now, can we?

Even if you do aim for the lower calorie drinks and are on course for a massive win, your drunken self may still guide you to the nearest kebab shop before heading home. Oh, that lovely 1000 calorie kebab.

One sure way I’ve found that works here is to have a decent sized meal before you go out.  Keep it higher in protein and veggies so that you’re feeling more full while you’re out.  This will keep you from snacking, and also getting the post night out munchies.

Of course, this isn’t bullet proof.  You might just decide to drag yourself to the kebab shop regardless.

Then there’s the following day.  Dialing for a takeaway because you can’t be bothered preparing a highly nutritious meal for yourself that you know will make you feel better in no time.

The thing is, the time it takes for you to wait for the takeaway to arrive tends to be longer than how long it would’ve taken to actually go and prepare a meal.  Go figure.

A simple strategy around this is to have something in place the day before.  You don’t even need to prepare a meal.  By just having it all in place so that you can easily do the rest when you’re tired or hungover makes it a whole lot easier.

This way you’ll be feeling better in no time, all the while still keeping on track with lower calorie meal choices.

 

SUMMARY

It’s like I’ve mentioned above, we all have lives to live, and they don’t need to be mega regimented or over the top partying.

 Be conscious:  Think before you make an action.

Be like Hannibal:  Have a plan in place.

5/2 Method:  Bank calories for the weekend.

Macro Counting:  Save on carbs and fats for your evening.

Take a break:  Use it as a day off, or a refeed.

Intuition:  Master your body’s cues.

Get your ass to the gym:  Hit PB’s.  Work on lagging body parts.  Throw in challenges and density training.

Tipple of choice:  Remove higher calorie drinks such as cocktails or lower calories options.

Munchies:  Eating a decent sized meal before going out to prevent hunger.

 

PS – You might like my award-winning email newsletter below, especially if your weekends are for enjoying a nice tipple, hanging out with other great folks all the while achieving elite status.

12 Tips to Successfully Diet

12 Tips to Successfully Diet

Roy Ritchie

Coach | Nutritionist

Roy Ritchie

Coach | Nutritionist

There are always periods over the year that you may struggle with weight gain. Holidays tend to be the main one, whether it’s taking a trip, or coming off the back of a seasonal holiday such as Christmas.

There’s the initial panic that you’ve gained some unwanted weight and feel sluggish and crap.

This often leads to a panic decision involving dieting and training.

Going from haven’t trained in a long time–or ever in your life, to 3-5 times a week.

Then making drastic cuts in your diet. Adopting the “less is better” mentality.

The great news is that you don’t need to do either of these things ever again.

Here are some tips that I’ve picked up over the years. These have helped many people move in and out of holiday periods with zero guilt, all the while seamlessly picking their diet goals back up.

 

1 – SET SMALL ACTIONABLE GOALS

A common issue with failure is that there are no clear goals, or that the goals are unrealistic at that time.

To make sure that you start off on the right foot–and stay there. Set yourself 3-5 small goals that you can easily achieve on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

From a training point of view, this can be something such as going to the gym three times a week while walking more on a daily basis.

From a diet point of view, this can be something such as increasing your protein and veg intake. Helping this along by increasing your water intake too.

The more that you’re able to meet these goals, then the more instant and long term results will come your way.

 

2 – TRACK YOUR PROGRESS

How can you know where you’re going, if you don’t know where you’ve been?

If you’re looking to lose some fat then you should have some way of measuring this other than the scales. Take body measurements and photos. These are used on social media as proof for a reason. They work.

Not only that, you can also keep track on your sleeping and stress patterns. Take notes with the aim to improve them.

If you’re struggling to lose fat, then all it may require is a small adjustment as opposed to a drastic diet overhaul.

 

3 – GIVE IT TIME

We live in an instant result society now. Whether it’s closing the Facebook app because it’s not loading the drunk guy failing at life video fast enough, or waiting 35 minutes for the oven to cook your meal like the instructions told you to.

Too often you may start program hopping after 3-4 weeks because you’ve not lost the 2 stone that you so desperately want to. Which just prolongs the process since you’re starting again every single time.

Give it at least 10-12 weeks. Look back at the changes and how they’ve affected you. If you’re hitting targets, then great. If not, then look to make some bigger adjustments.

 

4 – NEVER DENY YOURSELF OR CUT OUT FOOD GROUPS

The first thing that often happens is large food groups –such as carbs– are eliminated.  These will include foods that you really enjoy. Which brings me to ask the question, do you think by punishing yourself with food means that you’ll stick to the diet more?

The answer will most likely be no.  The average time that people can do this is around 2-4 weeks.  This will never sound like a short or long term successful diet.

To succeed at dieting you much enjoy it.  This means that you should include food groups and food choices that you actually like.

I’m a big fan of flexible dieting for this reason.  By keeping space in your daily diet for choices that you enjoy means you’re more likely to stick to it.  Moderation, as they say.

 

5 – HAVE A CLEAR PURPOSE

What is your reason for wanting to lose 8 pounds?

What would it mean to you?

Why is it important that do?

What will it mean to you once you do so?

These are simple questions that are not thought of but help paint the bigger picture.

You may be making a diet choice for a completely wrong reason, meaning that you’ll not stick to it.  If you can’t stick to it, then you’ll punish yourself for failing.

If you can answer these questions then it’ll set you up to succeed.  It gives you more motivation.  It creates a clear vision.

 

6 – LEARN ABOUT BASIC NUTRITION

You may successfully reach your goal weight, but still know nothing about the basics.  This can often lead to falling back into poor choices.  Gaining the weight over time and picking back up another “diet”.

 

If you’re able to learn more about calories and macronutrients, training and exercise, and stress and recovery, then you’ll develop more awareness.  You’ll be more confident in your choices on a daily basis.  You’ll remove more emotional decision making.

Learn more about calories here, and macronutrients here.

 

7 – AVOID EXTREME QUICK FIXES

There’s a reason that quick fix fad diets are popular.  They sell the idea of handing you the magic pill so that everything will fix itself.  The results are met within a matter of days and weeks with little effort.  Sometimes results can be achieved, but they’re very much short lived.

You’ve now been cast aside as you’re money has been taken.  Your before and after photos are on social media.  They’re got what they needed from you.

What do you do once the weight starts gaining within a matter of weeks?  Past the point of where it was at before.  Hop onto another quick fix with the lure of shiny bells and whistles?

Quicker results are possible.  They can set you up for longer term success if done correctly.

Quick fixes are also possible, but they leave you adrift at sea wondering how you got there and how to get back.

 

8 – MAKE IT ENJOYABLE

If someone handed you a shit sandwich, telling you that for you to reach your goal weight you had to eat these every day. Would you do it?

I really hope not, but you never know with people these days.

Removing choices that you enjoy –whether it’s in your training or diet– will always decrease your chances of long-term success.  Sure, sometimes you might have to test boundaries and go places you’re not keen on, but you can still keep hold of things that are for you.

It’s ok, you can put down the fat free rice cake while doing 500 reps of burpees.  There are other choices in life.

 

9 – PEOPLE WILL TRY TO DISCOURAGE YOU

Seriously, some people are dicks.  When you’re trying to make positive changes to your life while they’re sat there in their pit of bitterness and despair, they’ll fire at you.  They’ll hit hard.

They’ll question every piece of food that you’re eating.  Tell you that you’re wasting your time going to the gym.  While others encourage you by giving compliments, they’ll tell you that you look worse.

It can hurt.  It can make you doubt what you’re doing, but don’t let it.  People like this are in a place that you don’t want to be.  They’re most likely sad about their own body and lifestyle, but don’t know what to do about it.  By seeing you succeed, it highlights even more that they haven’t been able to, so they’ll try to bring you down.

Keep going. You’re doing awesome.

 

10 – CREATE A REWARD

You’ve done great, so why not reward yourself for it.

As humans, we take part with the lure of a trophy of some sort.  By creating a potential reward for you to work towards, you can have something else to look forward to other than your fitness goal.  It doesn’t need to be the end goal, but more a milestone.  Once it’s been reached you can then create another one to keep the momentum going.

It can be a new pair of jeans, a dress, or weekend away to somewhere that you’ve always wanted to visit.

 

11 – BE ACCOUNTABLE

Accountability is huge.  It keeps you going in those moments when you begin to procrastinate, feel tired, or doubt yourself.

A simple three-step procedure to do this is…

One, tell people.  Create a group of trusted people that will help keep you on track.  They’re there to make sure you succeed.  You can go to them in the moments that you do begin to falter.  I like to create a WhatsApp group for things such as this.

Two, make it public.  You don’t have to create a special Instagram account for it, but just let people know what you’re doing.  You’d be surprised at the amount of support you’ll get.  That way, there’s no going back.

Three, don’t lie.  You can lie to yourself and others, but where’s the gain in that.  If you’re failing to meet a marker then let someone know.  Get the help you need to keep going.

 

12 – HIRE A COACH

Every successful person has had a coach at some point in their lives.  Sometimes they’re had two or three at a time.

Despite the ego telling you that you can do it by yourself, you can always get there a hell of a lot quicker by hiring a quality coach or trainer.

You’ll be educated.  You’ll skip all the bullshit.  You’ll get results a lot faster and better than if you didn’t hire one.

As a matter of fact, I just happen to know a decent coach.

 

 

SUMMARY

You don’t have to apply all of these steps at once.  Instead, try adding in 2-3 of them each week until they become natural habits in your life.

Remember and have fun with it too.  They’re the best times.

Don’t be afraid to mix things around at times.  These aren’t set in stone.  You can manage and manipulate them to suit your goals at any given time.

Remember, people who seek only success rarely find it, because success is not an end in itself, but a consequence.

 

Ps – If you liked this article and gained value from it, then feel free to check out my weekly newsletter below.  I’ve heard it’s like reading Shakespeare.

Here’s How Dieting For Weight Loss Can Be Easy

Here’s How Dieting For Weight Loss Can Be Easy

Roy Ritchie

Coach | Nutritionist

Roy Ritchie

Coach | Nutritionist

If you’ve ever struggled to diet for fat loss because of constant hunger then this may be the perfect article for you. Here’s why.

You have made a conscious effort to diet for weight loss but found from day one that you felt the constant desire for more food.  Then the hunger kicks in which makes it as difficult as trying to choose something to watch on Netflix on a Saturday night.

Straight away the decision is to cut out a lot of foods.  Largely foods that satisfy you while keeping you feeling full, such as carbs.  This is because you may feel that it is this specific food group that’s the main cause for your weight gain.

The problem is, you love carbs.  You then quickly realise how much they actually made you feel full, which makes this whole decision to lose weight a painful one.  So you start to hate the experience and eventually quit.

Mainly because you’re already tired of constantly feeling hungry and thinking about it.  Just to make it worse, you also miss all the amazing food you just cut out of your daily diet.

 

WHAT IF YOU CAN LOSE WEIGHT WHILE NOT HAVING CUT FOODS?

The magic pill aside, what if losing weight could be just as easy as gaining weight.  Keeping in a lot food.  Especially tasty food.  All the while rarely feeling hungry.

Sounds like a really sweet deal right there.  You must now be wondering when I’m about to start plugging my new super magic weight loss powder, right?

It’s ok.  Don’t worry.  I ran out of my juice powders and pills last week.

But seriously, there is a way.  So let me get into the nitty gritty.

 

FOOD CHOICES

First off, we want to avoid food elimination.  We can limit certain foods that are higher in calories, but instead, we’re actually going to add foods into your diet.

You heard that right.  We’re adding food to help you lose weight.

This all comes down to the quality of the foods.  So let us break them down into two categories.

  • High nutrient / Low calorie density
  • Low nutrient / High calorie density

Let us break this down further.

Low-calorie foods tend to be foods that are higher in nutrients.  This is good.  More nutrients in your diet will result in your body functioning better.  Your immune system and digestive health being the main two.

Because they’re higher in nutrients they take the stomach more time to breakdown, meaning that you’ll feel fuller for longer.  Staving off the hunger cravings.

Oh, and the sweetest part of it is, they’re low in calories.  Some of them ultra low.  This then means that you can eat a hell of a lot more of these foods.

Eating large amounts of food at every meal, being completely satisfied, and still lose weight.

 

BUT WHAT ARE THESE MYTHICAL FOOD CHOICES?

These are split into three categories.

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Lean Meats

The problem arises because most people just don’t eat enough of any of these choices.  Leaving them feeling hungry and pissed off that dieting is so hard.

Here are a few examples to show you that I’m not feeding you the ole’ lies.

Veggies

  • Celery – around 6 calories per stalk
  • Radish – around 17 calories per cup
  • Asparagus – around 27 calories per cup
  • Lettuce – around 5 calories per cup
  • Mushrooms – around 15 calories per cup
  • Tomatoes – around 22 calories per medium tomato
  • Spinach – around 7 calories per cup
  • Peppers – around 30 calories per ½ cup

And of course everyone’s favourite, broccoli at around 30 calories per cup.

 

Fruits

  • Cucumber – around 22 calories per ½ a cucumber
  • Plum – around 30 calories per plum
  • Grapefruit – around 37 calories per ½
  • Strawberries – around 50 calories per cup
  • Honeydew melon – around 60 calories per cup
  • Blackberries – around 60 calories per cup

 

Lean Meats

  • Turkey breast deli meat – around 70 calories per ounce
  • Cod – around 70 calories per 3 ounces
  • Turkey legs – around 90 calories per 3 ounces
  • Chicken breast – around 90 calories per 3 ounces
  • Pork tenderloin – around 90 calories per 3 ounces
  • Eye of round steak – around 100 calories per 3 ounces

Although I’ve just spammed you with options, these are just a small number of choices that you have at your disposal.

Sure, veg can taste bland, but then this is up to you to make it interesting with condiments and spices.  Play around with these food choices to make amazingly tasty recipes.

 

LOW CALORIE – LOW NUTRIENT DENSITY

Not all food and drink choices offer low calories with high nutrients.  There are other really helpful choices that can make your weight loss dieting easier.

These aren’t specifically good for you on a nutrition level, but they’re certainly not “bad” for your health and diet.

  • low fat dairy
  • Natural sweeteners
  • Sugar-free jelly
  • Cooking spray
  • Low-fat rice cakes
  • Air popped popcorn

At times you can even get flavoured drops from supplement websites that don’t taste like vinegar.  Think of them like condiments and spices, but for other food choices such as yogurt and oats.

Let us look at the other side of the coin.

 

HIGH CALORIE – LOW NUTRIENT DENSITY

This is what you may class as “junk”, or “bad” food and drink choices.

Not all choices fall under this category.  There is still options that you would class as healthier food options but may not offer you a higher nutritional value, meaning that you will not be left feeling full and satisfied.

This doesn’t mean that you should discount them from your diet.  If you do, then this is where the enjoyment factor takes a hit.  Meaning that you’re more likely going to quit dieting.

Just so that we’re on the same wavelength.  Food and drink choices such as cake, cookies, sweets and most alcohols are classed as high calorie / low nutrient.

I just wanted to make sure.  You never know these days.  I came across a guy who thought eating mars bars and a bag of crisps (chips to my American & Canadian friends) a number of times a day, wasn’t doing his diet any harm.

Anyway. Let look at other choices you may not have known about.

  • Fats & oils – around 900 calories per 100g
  • Granola – around 500 calories per cup
  • Macadamia nuts – around 470 calories per ½ cup
  • Almond butter – around 200 calories per 2 tables spoons
  • Avocadoes – around 325 per avocado
  • Dark chocolate – around 600 calories per 100g
  • Dried fruit & fruit juices – up to 330 calories per 100g

I know what you are thinking, “aren’t nuts, avocados and olive oils healthy?”  Yeah, they most definitely are.  They are on the healthier scale of the nutrition charts.  The problem here is that they are also high in calories–at 9 calories per gram (you can read more in this article about fats).  The other issue is that they aren’t satiating at all, meaning you can easily over consume on them and never feel full.  You could also say that these food and drink choices are more high calorie / high-ish nutrient density.

This shows that not all healthier food choices can be beneficial for weight loss dieting.  Here’s a simple breakdown for you.

As you can see there is no need to eliminate any food choices from your diet.  It’s simply about the choices themselves.

You can still choose food and drinks that you enjoy such as cookies with a beer while not worrying about feeling hungry or consuming too many calories.  Just stack up on the lower calorie fruit and veg choices with your meals, which will do that job for you.  The more nutritious your diet is, then the more your body will thank you for it more in the meantime.

Play the percentages and win at dieting.

 

SUMMARY

No Suffering – Dieting doesn’t need to mean food cuts and hunger strikes.

Food Choices – Dieting is easier by increasing your food choices.

Low Calorie / High Nutrition – These choices make weight loss easy.

High Calorie / Low Nutrition – too much of these makes weight loss harder.

Play The Game – Dabbling in each food group will satisfy both the body and the mind. Making for a successful weight loss choice.

 

Ps – If you liked this article and want to find about out more ways to diet easier, then check out my weekly newsletter below.

How to fix and create bullet proof hips

How to fix and create bullet proof hips

Roy Ritchie

Coach | Nutritionist

Roy Ritchie

Coach | Nutritionist

In this day and age, we spend a hell of a lot of time in the seated position. At home on the sofa, when were commuting on transport, at some workplaces –if you’re in an office, and in most social places. In fact, we spend most of our days in the seated position.   This tends to result in an all too common issue.

Tight hips.

Not only can this cause issues in your posture, but it filters itself through to day-to-day basic activities such as walking.

It’s an area that’s too often ignored.  Until it’s eventually highlighted through training.  Especially with movements such as the squat and hip hinge variations.

Not only can bad hips prevent training progression, but it can also be linked to lower back pain and creating a weak core.  This means that no matter how much you train to strengthen these areas, you could be doing more bad than good.

No Bueno my friend.

The great news is that many people are starting to take notice. Attending yoga classes, foam rolling, and mobility exercises.  There’s still an issue, though.  Doing these once or twice a week just isn’t enough.  That’s like eating a salad for dinner a couple of times to counter a diet of cakes, and wonder why you still can’t lose weight.

What I do recommend is instead of trying to cram this into one long session.  Break it up into smaller bite-sized sessions.  Use them as part of your warmup, warmdowns, or even your morning routine.

It will literally take you less time than it would for Britney Spears to start and end her career once again.

Try out these hip mobility flows that I use myself and with all my clients to not only improve their hip mobility but also strength, and balance.

Note: I recommend you do these as part of your warm-up no matter what your training is, or what body part you’re training that day.

LUNGE TO COSSACK FLOW

REAR FOOT ELEVATED HIP FLEXION WITH LAT STRETCH

LATERAL LUNGE WITH OVERHEAD REACH

WALKING SPIDERMAN WITH OVERHEAD REACH

 

HIP ROTATION TO SQUAT FLOW

 

SQUAT TO STAND WITH OVERHEAD REACH

 

HIP BRIDGE TO REACH

 

This hip warmup mobility flow can be tricky, so I’ve broken it down into separate movements so that you can work it back up to the full flow.

Kudos to Dean Somerset for this one.

HIP ROTATION

 

HIP ROTATION TO EXTENSION

 

HIP ROTATION TO LUNGE

 

FULL HIP MOBILITY WARMUP FLOW

SUMMARY

Warmup – Spend 5-10 minutes before your workout on mobilizing the hips for health, performance, and longevity.

Daily – Try out a movement flow when you first get up in the moment to build the daily habit.

Prioritize – If you only have time for a mobility flow or an extra training set, then the mobility flow to reap far more rewards.

 

 P.S.  If you’re loving –not only your hips, but also the rest of your body to be bulletproof, then you should definitely check out my newsletter below.

The Comprehensive Guide To Lose Weight Without Tracking

The Comprehensive Guide To Lose Weight Without Tracking

Roy Ritchie

Coach | Nutritionist

Roy Ritchie

Coach | Nutritionist

You take a bite.  Log it in My Fitness Pal.

Preparing a meal.  Make sure that you have the measurement to the gram.

You take a sip of that sweet, sweet liquor.  Oh, don’t forget to enter the digits later.

I may be slightly exaggerating here, or am I?

Calorie and macro tracking is no doubt a sure way to get results, whether it’s for fat loss or strength and muscle gain.  But, it can take its toll.

A part of the process is to keep you as stress-free as possible.  However, if you live this way constantly then it can actually add to stress.  Limiting your overall progress.  Of course, this is counter productive to your fitness goals.

Food trackers such as My Fitness Pal have no doubt changed the game in terms of helping educate people and dial in results, but there does come a point where it can actually rule your life.

A dieting process doesn’t – and shouldn’t – be a 24/7 regimented elephant in the room.  The problem is that it can be whether you notice it or not.

A healthy dieting process needs breaks so that you’re able to keep touch with intuitive eating.  It needs to exist so that you’re not bound by dieting barriers within your mind.

Neither of these ever need to be an issue.

So how can you continue to get amazing results and without ever writing down that cookie you devoured?

 

INCREASE PROTEIN INTAKE

You would be surprised how often people just don’t eat enough protein in their diet.  I have to admit, if I’m on the go then I have to remind myself at times to favour these sources over simply throwing in an extra garlic bread.

Because protein is such a satiating macronutrient, it keeps you feeling more full for longer.  So by prioritising it, it’ll limit how much fats and carbs your add into your meals.  Keeping your calories lower without ever counting them.

A great tactic I also like is to aim for the protein source first when you’re sitting down for meals.  At least this way you can feel full quicker, and possibly limit your fat and carb calories at the same time.

Not only is protein important for recovery, building strength and muscle, it can also help you actually lose fat by burning calories as you eat.  You heard that right my friend.  This is because of the thermogenic effect of food (TEF).  Protein is made up of 20 amino acids which can take the gut time to break them all down for digestion.  This requires energy.  Resulting in calories being burned.  Sounds like a pretty sweet deal right there.

If you want to read more on protein then check out this article on macros.

 

DON’T FORGET YOUR VEG 

Along with protein, I’m also shocked at how many people just do not eat enough veg.

Sure, there is the classic stigma attached that they’re bland and boring.  Broccoli and cauliflower every day.  Don’t forget the cucumber.  I have to agree here.  When it’s laid out like that, then pass me the number for Papa Johns pizza now.

Of course, veg is like any other food.  It’s only as bland or tasty as you prepare it, so get inventive with condiments, spices, and sauces.  Of course, try out different types of veg and preparing them in different ways.

So why is veg so important?

Your body craves nutrients for overall health and function.  Veggies are stacked with all of this.  So by loading your plate of different types of veg, this not only helps all of this, but – like protein – it takes time for the body to process these foods.  Keeping you feeling fuller for longer. Score!

The other bonus you get from veggies is that they’re super low in calories.  This means that you’re able to load up on food, feeling full, and not have to worry about your calorie intake.  Not that you ever should.

Check out this article on low calorie and high nutrient density for more on this.

 

LIMIT LIQUID CALORIES

This can be one of the worst offenders to any weight loss goals.  Mainly because they provide all the calories, but very few – or none – or the nutritious returns that food can.

I even favour a food protein source over a shake every day of the week so that I’ll appreciate and enjoy it more rather than just downing a quick shake.  This will still leave me feeling hungry and wanting more.

If you head into the gym then you’re most likely going to see people with Monster, Red Bull, or other types of energy drinks.  All loaded with empty calories.

Even the marketers get in on the act with promises of healthier drink options such as vitamin waters and fruit juices.  What they don’t tell you is that they’re also carrying a shit ton of calories too.

This can end up leaving you wondering why the hell you aren’t losing weight and cutting out more food from your diet.  Instead, it should be these drinks.

No beuno my friend.

This is why I like to lean toward diet Cherry Pepsi Max (I know, I’m truly living on the edge) and coffee.  I love the taste and they easily keep my calories low.

These figures can vary, but here’s an example.

 

SNACKING

Like the liquid calories, snacking can be a pain in the ass.

The problem with snacking is that people who struggle with dieting just can’t stop.  Which ramps up their frustration and stress levels.

And when they focus too much on trying to stop snacking they take their eye off the ball in other areas.  All the while snacking still exists.

A dieting double-edged sword.

Instead of trying to simply stop snacking.  Replace the snack choice.  You see, snacking is habitual.  It’s a part of your life.  A part that you enjoy.  So when you try to eliminate a habit, it creates resistance.  More problems for you to deal with.

To make this easier you should aim to replace your snacking choices.  Rather than grabbing that slab of chocolate that’s on a deal in the supermarket which will leave you still feeling hungry – and guilty – afterward, aim for a protein source or a piece of fruit.

Not only will these snack choices provide you with even more nutritious value.  They will help keep you feeling full and your calories low.

 

THE MAGIC RATIO

Ok I may have tricked you there.  There is no magic ratio.  What there can be, though, is a ratio for your main meals to tick all the boxes of providing nutrition, keeping you feeling full, lower calorie intake, and be tasty as fuck.

Where people tend to go wrong is, for example, they’re preparing a pasta dish.  They throw in a few nuggets of chicken, half a jar of pasta sauce, followed by half a pan of cooked pasta.

I know.  I used to be that person.

A simple way around this is by looking at having a decent amount of each macro along with veg per meal.

Use this image as a perfect example.

Again.  It’s no magic pill, but it’s something you can eyeball no matter where you are.

 

LOAD UP ON WATER

This is another one that sounds like a no-brainer, but are you actually doing this?

You’d be surprised at how often you don’t prioritise water intake throughout your day.

Water has an insane amount of importance when it comes to your health.  When it comes to hunger, then it’s priceless.

We tend to panic at the feeling – or thought – of hunger.  Immediately reaching for food whenever the trigger strikes.  It’s worth noting that hunger isn’t a bad thing by the way.  When it does, then simply drink a glass of water.  This can eliminate whether it’s actual hunger or thirst.

If the feeling is still there after half an hour, then it’s likely that you are hungry.  Again, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

 

KEEP A CAP ON ALCOHOL

This can vary depending on your choice of alcohol of course.

You can easily reach a weight loss goal while still enjoying alcohol in your life, so try to avoid feeling that you must automatically remove it faster than you need to remove that one person that posts ten times a day about absolutely nothing on Facebook.

Alcohol is like the liquid calories I mentioned above.  It carries zero nutritional value.  Of course, you can view this however you want.  If you’re able to reach your weight goals while enjoying a drink or two throughout the week then there’s no reason to change that.

If you want to know more about how to set yourself up for weight loss goals while still being able to enjoy booze then check out my article on that here.

 

GO ON MINI FASTS

People tend to get caught up on what the best method of intermittent fasting is.  Just like everything else, there are various ways to go about this.  There is no one wizardry method to follow.

On certain days – such as a rest day – you can save yourself up to 400 calories by skipping breakfast and not eating until lunch time.

Although, if breakfast is your jam, then you can skip lunch or dinner instead.  It’s all about personal preference.  It’s your diet at the end of the day, so do what works for you.

Not only will this know off a chunk of calories from your day.  It’ll teach you more about hunger.  Why you shouldn’t sprint to the nearest Nandoes as soon as you feel your stomach rumbling.  That you won’t actually suffer and die if you feel genuine hunger for a period of time.

There are worse things in life.  Believe me.

An added plus point to going on fasts is that it’ll also teach you more about intuitive eating.

Stomach “I’m hungry.  Feed me”

You “Are you really that hungry?”

Stomach “Meh, I can wait”

You “Yeah you will”

Eating when you want, and when you need to.

 

DON’T BE BORING

It’s ok; I’m not saying you are boring.  That’s a little too judgemental.  I’m talking about your food.

When people think about dieting for weight loss they can go into autopilot.  Removing everything that they enjoy, or have deemed as “bad” food.  Only then deciding that veg has a place in life.  Posting on Facebook about how they can’t stop dreaming about the Dominoes pizza guy.  He’s all of a sudden more popular than Ryan Gosling.  Even to straight guys.

Food is more than fuel for your training.  To not be viewed as a cheat, or something to binge on whenever you get emotional.

It’s there to be enjoyed.  It’s a big part of your social life.  It’s freakin’ amazing if you allow it to be.

You fancy some of that Ben & Jerry’s ice cream that on deal at the moment?  Cool, go get it.

Got a craving for a Five Guys burger?  Hella yeah!

That bag of steamed broccoli not going to cut it on your cinema date? Bin it.

My point is, we all know about healthy living and moderation.  Applying it isn’t so hard.  We just make it so.

Thinking and living this way is far healthier than jumping on countless fad diets, only to continuously be left feeling more deflated than before.

 

SUMMARY

Increase Protein – Protein is more than just for training.  It’s an important part of a healthy diet.  It’ll keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Don’t Forget Your Veg – Like protein, veg is another important food source that is packed with nutrients.  Aim for 1-3 portions daily.

Limit Liquid Calories – Liquid calories can be easily over consumed on.  Aim for food over false marketing healthy juice options.

Snacking – Avoid trying to eliminate snacking.  It’s a healthy daily habit.  Instead, aim to replace snack options for more protein and fruit based ones.

The Magic Ratio – Instead of overloading your plate – ramping up your calorie intake – follow a simple ratio that will keep your meals highly nutritious and lower in calories.

Load Up On Water – Don’t confuse hunger with thirst.  Drink a glass of water whenever you feel hungry to make sure.  Also keep your intake high for health benefits.

Keep A Cap On Alcohol – Alcohol – like snacking – can be another habitual and social aspect in our lives.  It doesn’t need to be fully cut out for weight loss.  Just limited.

Go On Mini Fasts – Fasting for short periods of the day – such as skipping breakfast – will save you up to 400 calories without even trying.

Don’t Be Boring – Dieting for weight loss can be viewed as boring or restrictive.  Avoid thinking this way.  Learn to enjoy food and how it plays a part in your life. Keep moderation in mind.

 

P.S. So you enjoyed this, huh? We’ll if you want to find out more ways to diet at ease then check out my newsletter below.

The self sabotaging feedback loop

The self sabotaging feedback loop

Roy Ritchie

Coach | Nutritionist

Roy Ritchie

Coach | Nutritionist

Have you ever wondered why when you get that draining thought or feeling.  The one that just won’t go away, so you avoid it. The one that leaves you rooted to the same spot for days, weeks, or even months?

You’re sticking to your diet regimentally each and ever day. Counting the calories and macros. Training five times a week. Eating as clean as you possibly can, but somehow each time you step on the scales, they don’t move. You look the same in every update photo. Your stomach just won’t lean out. You can’t seem to get past a sticking point with the weight you’re lifting.

You’ve been in this scenario. We all have. It must be what it feel like to have Nicolas Cage’s career.

He keeps churning out movie after movie, but they just keep getting progressively worse.  (Sorry Nic. I love you, but it’s time to be honest here. Just promise me you won’t make a Con Air 2.)

This is what is called the behavioral feedback loop.

 

LET US PICTURE THE SCENE OF DIETING.

As mentioned above. Your weight hasn’t budged in a few weeks. You have officially plateaued. But the problem is, you don’t know how to get out of it.

This creates frustration and stress.

“Ah shit I can’t believe my weight hasn’t budged again, I’m a total failure at this dieting stuff. I shouldn’t bother. Argh no way, I’m an actual failure for thinking I’m a failure at this stupid dieting. I really need to stop thinking I’m a failure. Balls, I’ve just thought it again. I must be a failure!”

 

What about your training?

You are trying to get stronger on a week to week basis, but not matter what you do you just can’t get past that specific bastardly number.

This must mean that it is you, who is the problem.

“Well, that was another poor workout. I actually think I’m getting weaker. This is annoying as hell. Stop getting annoyed at yourself, it doesn’t matter. Of course it does! Argh, now I’m getting annoyed because I’m annoyed at my training. Now I’m just completely annoyed at everything!”

 

IT’S OK TO THINK THIS WAY

This is simply a natural human behavior. It’s frustrating but natural.

The main issue is that we fall into a negative thought process far too easily.

“Madness is like gravity. All it takes is just a little… push.”

– The Joker

 

As mad as the joker is. He has a good point.

Other than the scales, the barbell, or any other feedback we come across on a daily basis.  What is this push?

Social media.

Whether we like it or not, we live in a world of constant comparison. This is mainly through social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. As soon as we wake up we reach for out phones to check out what the world is up to. Our brain is then processing all the super amazing things that every person and their dog are up to. Even stupid cat videos have it better than us all of a sudden.

Once Facebook is done with us we move over to Instagram.

No doubt we follow people that feed our interests, which means one thing. They are knocking it out the park on a second to second basis. Each time you refresh your feed someone else has lost another 2lbs of weight. Added another 10kg to their squat. Living it up on their worldwide travels. All the while you’re sat there wondering what you’re doing wrong.

Kind of depressing. Like being virtually kicked full pelt straight in the ball sack – or ovaries, and wondering “what the hell am I doing wrong?”

What you must remember is that social media is simply a highlight reel. It’s smoke and mirrors. Showing you only what people want you to see. And on the rare occasion, people are brutally honest about their hard times which is refreshing. Not that they’re going through hard times. Just that you can relate.

Of course, social media isn’t the only factor.  Your daily life in general is full of external comparisons.  Magazines, Tv, work, and friends.

 

ACTUALLY. YOU SHOULD CARE LESS

You know that you are placing way too much emphasis on a thought, experience, or action. But you are reliving it over and over. So… you really should just stop giving a shit.

Try to care less about the actual event itself and realise that it’s nothing more than a passing thought, feeling, or moment. The quicker you acknowledge it and move on, then you can start to make progress in what it is you’re actually trying to do.

 

TYPES OF FEEDBACK LOOPS

This all sounds like feedback loops are 100% negative and that you should avoid them at all costs. It’s ok, this is not the case at all. Like anything in this life, feedback loops can be split into two parts.

  • Bad Habits
  • Good Habits

 

Bad Habits

When it comes to bad habits we want to find a good balance here. Much like anything in life – such as our diets – we live in a thought process of everything in moderation. By automatically viewing something as a bad habit that is just going to cause stress and doubt. Look for that balance instead. Allow them to have a place to exist so that you know you can simply pick it up and drop it as you please.

Keep skipping the gym – Get up an hour earlier and have your bag packed so that you are ready to go as soon as you wake up.

Can’t stop snacking – Swap out your choice of snack to something that is still tasty, lower in calories and will satisfy.

 

Good Habits

The funny thing about good habits is that we know they make us feel happier. They have nothing but a great return. But somehow we find a way to do them less or drop them entirely. It’s like we love the idea of suffering. Humans are strange creatures after all.

Rather than look at balancing them out – like we do with bad habits. We should aim to reinforce them. Build on that good habit to further strengthen the habit itself.

Not only will this feedback bring a sense of progress, it’ll also bring a sense of optimism and happiness (even though we all get weird at the thought of happiness).

Examples of this are:

Dieting for fat loss – Preparing healthier meals ahead of time so that when there’s temptation at work – or when you get home from work tired – you know you have a tasty, filling, and lower calorie meal option at the ready. Doing this consistently will result in fat loss changes. This feedback will motivate you further to stick to this habit.

Going to the gym – Setting yourself a target of going to the gym at least three times a week at the times you know which will fit with your lifestyle. While going there, you’re progressing in your training goals each week. Keeping a record of your efforts to reinforce the feedback. Making you more likely to keep going, and looking forward to each workout.

 

BUILDING A FEEDBACK LOOP TO WIN

As easy as it sounds to fall into a negative feedback loop. It’s also just as easy to build one to succeed.

Action – This will always be a starting point. This is triggered by measuring up the data that you are consuming. Once it is consumed, it then elicits a change in behavior.

Reaction – Now that you have measured up the data, you need to compare it to something.

“My weight loss efforts are…”

This answer can be a result of where you currently are, and where you want to be. This comparison needs to be purposeful to what you are actually looking to achieve.   Not a reaction to something that isn’t.

Modification – Once you’ve measured up the feedback to your current goals. Make the relevant changed that are needed to progress. Don’t dwell too much on it as this can then fall into the negative space. Absorb, process, and adjust. The faster you action this then the more likely you are to stick to the habit.

 

SUMMARY

Of course, it’s important to understand that we don’t live in a world of eternal happiness where unicorns shit hot fudge sundaes and craft beer flows from the kitchen sink.

There are always going to be times when the wheels fall off and you feel like a failure. You’re not a failure. You are allowed these moments. This is where we learn.

Negative Feedback From Dieting – A thought of failure which adds another layer of failure, upon another thought of failure.

This Thought Is Ok – Failure is ok. Accepting it is important. But social media and other external factors can make it a whole lot worse if you allow it.

Actually. You Should Care Less – We say we don’t give a shit about things, but we don’t really believe this. We actually should care less, though. It will relieve stress and negative thoughts.

Types Of Feedback Loops – These loops are split into both good and bad habits. Knowing how to manage them is important.

Building A Feedback Loop To Win – Being aware of the process of feedback and how to control it to prevent being in a negative loop.

 

P.S. If you are currently in a negative loop of being controlled by the scales and poor squatting, then you should check out my newsletter below. If you aren’t, then you still should. It’s full of epic stuff and lolz