Thursday, 26 January 2017

10 Misconceptions about Weight Loss

I hear a lot of myths from my clients when it comes to dieting and weight loss so I thought I would debunk some of those myths. Here are the 10 most common I hear:

1. Carbohydrates make you fat! 

Carbs don’t make you fat, excess calories make you fat. You can cut all the carbs you want, but if you are still in a calories surplus, your body will store those calories as fat. There are good carbs and bad carbs. Fruits, vegetables, oats and sweet potato are examples of good carbs. Your body uses carbohydrates as fuel which helps you exercise and burn fat. Fruits and vegetables are powerful weight loss foods that you should be eating lots of. Good carbohydrates are also high in fibre and help regulate your blood sugar level.

2. Fats are bad for you!

Eating the wrong kinds of fats can play a role in weight gain, but eating the right kind can help you lose weight as part of a calorie controlled diet. Saturated fats like high-fat cuts of meat, dairy products and trans-fats in cookies, doughnuts and cakes in excess quantities are bad for you because they raise your cholesterol and increase your risk of heart disease. However, monounsaturated fats in avocados, olives, olive oil and polyunsaturated fats, such as pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and walnuts support your health. They help to lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease. They don’t make you fat as long as you don’t overdo them.

3. Don't weigh yourself!

As far as I am concerned you should weigh yourself every day which helps you to compare the average weights each week. Most importantly though, when you have set yourself a nutrition plan and you are tracking your calories you will see how your current plan is affecting your weight allowing you to make small adjustments over time to lose weight.

4. Snacking is a bad idea!

Mindless snacking will most certainly sabotage your weight loss plan, but calculated snacking is an excellent strategy to keep you feeling satisfied between meals. You’ll also be less likely to overeat at mealtime, or binge when hunger gets the best of you. Try and incorporate one two snacks into your daily plan.

5. You shouldn't eat after 7pm

Your body does not know what time it is and a calorie is a calorie no matter when you eat it. It’s about the total calories you eat in that day not when you eat them. Obviously try to eat a good hour and a half before you go to sleep but if you are in a calorie deficit and you eat your last meal at 9pm and go to sleep at 11pm every night, you will lose weight!

6. Don't do strength training, it will make you bulky!

Here is probably the most common myth I hear. Some people, especially women, are concerned about doing too much strength training and getting too big. You are not going to get super big muscles overnight. It takes a lot of hard work to get big including putting your body in a calorific surplus of the correct calories to help you grow, YOU WILL NOT GET BIG IN A CALORIFIC DEFICIT. Strength training is important for weight loss as muscle tissue burns more calories per day than fat tissue does.

7. Losing weight is a linear process!

Losing weight is usually not a linear process, like some people think. Some days and weeks you may lose, while during others you may gain a little bit. This is not a cause for concern. It is normal for body weight to fluctuate up and down by a few pounds. For example, you may be carrying more food in your digestive system or your body may be holding on to more water than usual. This is more relevant in women, as water weight can fluctuate quite a bit during the menstrual cycle. As long as you are consistent with your weight loss plan you will succeed in the long term!

8. Eating breakfast is necessary to lose weight!

Whether you eat breakfast or skip breakfast, it doesn’t really matter. Eating breakfast does not boost your metabolism and eating multiple, smaller meals does not make you burn more calories throughout the day. Again it all comes down to the amount of calories you eat in that day whether it be 6 small meals or 3 larger meals. Plan your meals around what suits your body and timetable best!

9. Eat whatever you want as long as you exercise!

This is certainly not the case. Losing weight occurs when you create a calorie deficit either by eating fewer calories, burning calories through exercise or a combination of both. Diet plans that include cutting calories and regular physical activity tend to be the most successful and sustainable. Also the quality of the food you consume and regular physical activity are important to overall health, regardless of weight.

10. Large calorie deficits will help me lose weight quicker!

If you eat nothing but celery or oranges all day long for a week you will, of course, lose weight. But fad diets that drastically cut calories will quickly become boring and won’t be effective in the long run. It’s not necessary to starve to lose weight - making small changes that you can stick to is the key to long-term success. Track your daily weight and make small adjustments weekly!

I hope you have enjoyed my blog and found it useful!

Rich Palmer PT
"Making your fitness goals a reality"

Thursday, 12 March 2015

The Truth About Alcohol

Going out and socialising wouldn't be the same without alcohol. But for those of us with an agenda to lose weight, adding alcohol to the equation makes this a tough thing to do. Here’s why:

Alcohol is the second most potent source of calories  Partying with alcohol is fun because we like feeling intoxicated, but this intoxication comes with a calorific price tag. One gram of alcohol is 7 calories, which is more than one gram of carbohydrate (4 calories) and protein (4 calories).

We don’t burn extra calories to metabolize alcohol  Not like we do from digesting carbs, fat and protein. This phenomenon, called the “thermic effect of food”, refers to the energy we use to digest food into small, absorbable components. Because alcohol is so easy to absorb, it enters our bloodstream without burning any extra calories!

Your liver does the dirty work  Because alcohol is seen as a toxin, the liver prioritizes metabolizing alcohol first, which means you won’t be burning calories from other sources while that happens. The liver is only able to clear alcohol at a rate of around one ounce per hour, which is why consuming more than this will leave you feeling tipsy.

Alcohol makes your blood sugar drop, making you want to reach for carbs  The liver helps keep our blood sugar steady, but a liver busy at work metabolizing alcohol can’t do this effectively, causing your blood sugar to drop and stay low until the alcohol is metabolized. This explains why you crave carbs and wake up the next day with a headache.

Alcohol calories that aren’t burned will be stored as fat  This is true for all extra calories eaten no matter the source, but what makes alcohol calories worse is that they are stored in your liver first. It takes time for the liver to ship out the alcohol-induced fat for proper storage in your fat cells. If the liver doesn’t do this fast enough (or if you drink too much, too often) the fat stays stuck in your liver and around your abdomen giving you what we refer to as a “beer belly.”

This of course doesn’t mean that you need to completely dodge all social occasions. Here are some tips to help you drink more responsibly, both for your health and fitness goals:

1. Pour yourself half as much. This will help you limit yourself to one or two drinks per party.
2. Avoid higher calorie mixed drinks like eggnog, margaritas, mudslides, or other sugary mixed drinks.
3. Alternate between having alcohol and water to stay well hydrated.
4. Sip slowly and take the time of enjoy your alcoholic beverage.
5. Keep your alcohol budget at or below 200 calories. Pick these lower calorie alcohol alternatives:
  • Red or white wine: 5 ounces | Calories; 125, Carbohydrate: 4g
  • Light beer: 12 ounces | Calories: 100; Carbohydrate: 5g
  • Champagne: 5 ounces | Calories: 100; Carbohydrate: 1g
  • Vodka, whiskey, rum or gin: 1.5 ounces | Calories: 96; Carbohydrate: 0g

If you live in Sutton Coldfield or any of the surrounding areas and would like more advice on this and any other related exercise issues please get in touch with your Home Trainer Sutton Coldfield!

Rich Palmer PT
“making your fitness goals a reality”

Thursday, 5 February 2015

5 Reasons How Protein can help with Weight Loss

In the beginning of your weight loss journey, protein is important because it helps you feel fuller longer. Having protein around slows down digestion making us more satisfied and less likely to go back for seconds. If this happens over the course of multiple days your calorie savings can help with weight loss.

I don’t know about you, but when I come off a sugar high onto a sugar low I can make food decisions I’ll later regret. Pairing protein with carbohydrate-rich foods slows down the absorption of sugar from your stomach into your bloodstream, which may help keep your blood sugar going sky high and prevent future cravings.

The “thermic effect of food” (TEF) is the energy we use to digest food into small, absorbable components. Protein has a higher TEF compared to carbs and fat meaning you’re actually burning more calories to process protein than to process the other two.

It may be surprising, but it is a scientific fact that your body cannot effectively burn and use fat as energy if it doesn't have help from either carbohydrate or protein. As you are losing weight, your body loses both muscle and fat. During this process it is especially important that you continue to eat enough protein in your diet. Having enough protein from your food intake, fuels fat burning while preserving calorie-burning lean muscle.

Your protein needs increase especially after bouts of intense exercise so increasing your protein intake on days that you exercise is hugely beneficial. Additionally, if you strength train consider having a high protein snack right after a training session when the muscle is sensitive to nutrients that it can use to repair and grow.

One important thing to realize is eating more protein alone won’t necessarily help you shed excess weight in a healthy way. When consumed in excessive amounts it can still lead to weight gain much like eating excess carbs or fat would, and could put unnecessary strain on the kidneys over a long period of time. An increased protein intake should still form only part of a calorie controlled diet.

If you live in Sutton Coldfield or any of the surrounding areas and would like more advice on this and any other related exercise issues please get in touch with your Personal Trainer Sutton Coldfield!

Rich Palmer PT
“making your fitness goals a reality”

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

My Top 5 Supplements for Muscle Growth


Protein powder is a convenient, low cost way to add muscle building protein to your diet!


Creatine allows you to lift weights with more strength and power!


Glutamine helps your body to utilize protein more efficiently, prevents the breakdown of muscle cells and increases growth hormone levels!

4. EAA's

Essential Amino Acids act as muscle building blocks for your muscle cell walls, help produce muscle building hormones and speed up muscle recovery!

5. ZMA

ZMA enhances protein synthesis, increase your energy levels when lifting weights and improves your sleep quality!

Hope you have found this mini blog useful! Remember a Personal Trainer is a great way to help you achieve your goals and get you into shape using the correct training techniques and nutrition!

Rich Palmer PT
“making your fitness goals a reality”

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

My 5 Top Tips to Build Muscle!

1   1) Hit Compound Exercises

Building muscle quickly will not work doing isolation exercises like bicep curls or tricep extensions unless you are already very muscular. Compound exercises like pull-ups, squats, bench pressing, or deadlifts will be much more effective. These exercises will not only work muscles in less time, but will also allow you to use much heavier weight than you would with any isolation exercises.

2) Go Heavy! 

A lot of people that try to build muscle do not use heavy enough weight. Pick heavy weights and go to failure for each set. Failure means until you can’t do anymore even if I put a gun to your head! One of the reasons bodybuilders have a partner is so there is someone there to help them when the weight gets too heavy to lift with good form. If you don’t have a workout partner, just stop when you get too tired to lift with good form, rest a few seconds and then keep lifting to complete the set. A Personal Trainer will help motivate you through your sets and make sure that your form is correct!

3) Do Less cardio

Your body needs calories in order to build muscle so if you’re doing a significant amount of cardio like biking or running, you are burning calories that your body could otherwise use for muscle building. If you want to build muscle as fast as possible, limit your cardio to a brief 2-3 session of HIIT CARDIO.

4) Eat Enough Calories

To increase your muscle mass you have to consume more calories than you burn. Instead of shoving any old food down your throat, try to get your calories from healthy protein sources like grass-fed beef, healthy fat sources like coconut milk, avocados, and healthy carbohydrate sources like potatoes and yams. You should be eating 6-7 meals a day!

5) Rest

To build muscle quickly, you need to fatigue a muscle group, but then give it time to rest. If you work a muscle too hard, too many days in a row, those muscle fibres will become too damaged to properly repair and grow. Typically, a muscle needs at least 72 hours to properly repair from a muscle-building, weight training session. A good rule to follow is to wait until you are no longer sore in a muscle before working it again. Also, MAKE SURE THAT YOU GET ENOUGH SLEEP!

Hope you have found this blog interesting! Remember a Personal Trainer is a great way to help you achieve your goals and get you into shape using the correct training techniques and nutrition!

Rich Palmer PT
“making your fitness goals a reality”

Thursday, 23 October 2014

5 Myths about getting a Six-pack

1) Abs are made in the gym
Most people think that doing all kinds of core and ab exercises will show the six-pack  the fastest. This is not the case, in order to reveal the abdominal muscles; you need to focus on your nutrition first.  The saying, “abs are made in the kitchen” is actually very true; eating correctly will strip the body of the layers of fat, revealing the abdominal muscularity. No matter how many crunches you do, you cannot out-crunch a bad diet! A personal trainer would be able to give you the nutritional advice you need!

2) Crunches and Sit-ups are the best exercises to make the abs show

These exercises are low energy moves and burn relatively few calories.  If you want your six-pack to show, you need to focus on the major calorie burning moves, such as compound moves (squats, lunges, deadlifts, etc). There is no way to actually “spot reduce” fat in the abdominal area, so you need to burn more calories overall.  The more muscles you use at once, the more calories are burned, thus revealing the lean muscle underneath the layer of body fat.

3) Core muscles should be worked every single day
Core muscles (including the abdominals) are just like any other muscle group of the body, and they require adequate rest in order to fully develop.  Be sure you include rest days to allow your muscle groups to fully recover.

4) Do loads of Cardio
When it comes to revealing your muscularity and definition, it’s important to burn calories so the body can strip away body fat.  When it comes to burning the most calories, focus on the most efficient exercises. Cardio is great to add a few more burned calories, but if you want the most calories burned for your time, moving weights is the best option. Maybe hire a personal trainer to help build you a tailor made workout programme!

5) Supplements will make the difference
The bottom line is that supplements only help you if your nutrition and exercise program are correct. Even though some supplements contain caffeine and green tea extract, they won’t make the abdominal muscles magically appear. Eat a clean and balanced diet and you’ll see the difference.

Hope you have found this blog interesting! Remember a Personal Trainer is a great way to help you achieve your goals and get you into shape using the correct training techniques and nutrition!

Rich Palmer PT
“making your fitness goals a reality”


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

5 Reasons not to miss Leg Day!

1) Balance of Physique

Whether you are training for performance or aesthetics, it is important to have balance in your physique. There is nothing more ridiculous looking than a guy with a huge upper body with a pair of chicken legs. A good set of legs is the foundation of a great physique!

2) A Healthy Spine

If you imagine a tree, it is only as strong as the roots and base that are holding it up. The same applies to the human body. One example of this is weak glutes. They put more work on the lower back and hamstrings which leads to tight hip flexors that pull on the lumbar spine. This creates an anterior pelvic tilt causing the abdomen to protrude thus adding further pressure on the back!

3) Increased Fat Loss

The exercises that are most beneficial for fat loss are Squats, Deadlifts, Step-ups, and other variations. The large muscles in the lower body burn more calories, create more lactic acid, and ultimately lead to a greater fat loss effect.  If you want to reveal that six pack make sure you are using the big muscles; your quads, hamstrings and glutes!

4) Bigger, faster and stronger

Squats are one of the most anabolic exercises, lower body exercises in general create more of the anabolic hormones required for building muscles and increasing strength. Women should not be afraid of performing these exercises either. You wont get a masculine physique from these exercises, you will get a great set of legs perfect for that bikini every women wants to wear on the beach!

5) Quality of Life

Quality of life is probably the most important reason to exercise. Mobility impacts quality of life greatly as you get older. Correct lower body training helps maintain flexibility, strength, and mobility. Being able to do the things you love doing later in life is made much more easier when you have taken care of your legs with proper and correct training!

Hope you have found this blog interesting! Remember a Personal Trainer is a great way to help to achieve your goals and get you into shape while making sure you perform the exercises using the correct techniques!

Rich Palmer PT
making your fitness goals a reality”