I asked my followers via Instagram is there any questions they would like to ask me about Nutrition or Exercise in more depth then a standard DM. Here are the first 10 questions I received. I hope you enjoy and find the answers very useful..
Am I a vegan?
No. I do NOT eat meat, fish, eggs and avoid dairy as much as I can. Confused? Am I a veggie then? No.
I would say most vegans, especially the ones I know are vegans due to the fact they are against cruelty to animals. Which is more of a good enough excuse to me to accept why they don’t consume animals/ animal products. Therefore they are vegans for EVERYTHING - food, clothing, furniture and cosmetics.
I do have a heart for animals, but what I care about more is myself, my own body. The health benefits of consuming a plant based diet. The worst I’ve felt for over 12months is tired or a little stressed out, which is down to the body or mind overworking, not some infectious illnesses such as cold or ‘man-flu’. I literally just want to flood my body with goodness, therefore the answer to “Am I a Vegan?” No I just do the ‘Jack Smith Diet’, I would say 90% plant based with room for the annual celebrations (more on this in my other blog ‘doom and gloom days’) I believe in FEELING GREAT and the “looking great” comes a bonus! :)
Will being Vegan make you loose weight?
If you all of a sudden become RAW vegan, you will literally drops them pounds in weeks. MUST READ** Very quickly let’s clear it up… This will become a FAD diet if you treat it like one - 8 week raw vegan diet to loose weight for ibiza and then back to reality after your holiday (the fad) you will gain them pounds faster than ever! Do NOT be this person. Very unsustainable. Raw Vegans have a very nutritious diet, but don’t play around with it if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Vegan weight loss - now you’ve cut the meat (beef gravy), fish (cod liver oil), dairy (halloumi fries), eggs (omelettes), great! Will it make you loose weight? Now Ethan and I are not ones for WEIGHT LOSS, in fact, it sends shivers down my spine saying it. It all depends on what you have replaced the the animal products with. As I've stated before, you can easily eat out now in a restaurant with vegan options, but 90% of the time this will NOT be healthy, it will often be deep fried to fulfil that scrumptious taste. As long as you’re mindful on the decisions of the ‘replacement’ foods, cutting out animal fats will certainly benefit to a start of weight loss. :)
How do I get rid of the last bits of fat that tend to sit on the lower abs?
One good way is to find a lamp, rub it really hard and hopefully a genie will appear… Joking, obviously. I’m currently sitting around 5% body fat maybe less. I couldn’t give you the exact number because it’s not something that sits on my mind or interests me for that matter. When I sit down and lean forward guess what ? I’ve got rolls, when I crunch, I’ve got rolls. These are massive examples that people use every single day to ‘think’ or to ‘pick-out’ that they’re fat. No I’m not scared of the “F” word. If you blew your cheeks out, this doesn’t mean you’re fat does it? Same principal. Whatever stage you’re at, just think to yourself every single day is progress. Some days will be better than others, if you’re making better choices than last year, you’re making progress, always look towards making a better you, a better mindset, a better lifestyle, better choices. You can not ask for more than that, it doesn’t matter how long it takes you, be you.
Back to the stubborn little fat around the bottom of your abs, one good suggestion is for me to ask you, what is your posture like? Do you walk around and you can see that little belly at the the bottom of your top? More often then not ‘Anterior Pelvic Tilt’ (google images) Basically, your bum sticks out and your gut protrudes therefore it can lead you to believe that you have stubborn lower ab fat. There are very simple exercises to change this posture and return to a neutral spine. Otherwise, my best advise is to not get hung up on it, I was once exactly the same - checking the mirror, squeezing my lower abs and it does get to you, try and not let this happen, this was once my most stubborn part of the body, but then I gave up worrying about it I thought and looked the positives - “ok that’s not perfect but I’m doing really well here” This is a typical thing I would say to myself. Months went by I was still eating exactly the same great nutrition, it was something I didn’t even think about at all anymore. Ethan had a photo shoot in the studio for pics for his website and there was one in-particular picture that I was bent over with very minimum ‘rolls’ I was so shocked but proud at the the same time. It is one very stubborn part of the body, but as I tell beginner clients it’s not going to take 4,5,6, weeks its going to take as long as it takes. Be proud of what you’re achieving every day and it WILL come eventually. Try not to overthink things like weight, size, portions etc or anything for that matter, because as we know overthinking never has positive affects. :)
If your diet is really good, how many training sessions p/w do you need?
Shall I sell the Jack Smith product here? Haha!
“IF” your diet is really good.
Ok, so you know how to eat, what’s what (micros and macros) and what works for you. You’re feeling good, but unsure about how often you should exercise? Unless you have a disability or disease that stops you, you need to be active every single day.
Depending on goals, let’s take the common “beach bod” goal. This means you have a goal a target, which is great, therefore TRAINING is important. As I’ve stated in my last blog ‘top 4 exercises’ exercising and training is different, there is nothing wrong with just exercising/working-out, but when you train you have a goal, with exercising, you’re keeping the heart healthy. Having a PT is great because it’s personal to you and they should be giving you the best and the most effective way of training for your goal. The way you move (ROM) is more important than how much you can lift, or how you look say, but every PT is different, but so is every client. There are plenty of reasons why only doing 1, 2 or 3 sessions a week with a PT fits in with your lifestyle. Cost being one of them. If this is in your budget, great, I personally would recommend 4 sessions per week along side another high activity such as boxing or a dance class.
If you’re thinking “I can only do a once a week” that’s fine also. BUT, it’s easy for me to take on clients with this option because the agreement is that they’ll need to attend other training routines at least 3/4 more times to achieve these results. It’s unique for me as a PT because I can recommend attending Ethan’s classes in the studio. Ethan’s classes are perfect for this option. I know, because I do them, we train together, we think the same, therefore I don’t have to worry about types of exercises, the use of correct form etc plus I may also be there ;)
Can you clear up the the protein argument in plant based eating?
In one of my previous blogs ‘NO MEAT, NO PROTEIN’ there is a bigger insight to this question. Protein is protein, it doesn’t really matter where you get it from it’s protein. The problem is, what is surrounding that protein? More often than not, you’ll see local shops, supplements stores and even gyms make protein the biggest eye catcher in there.
“50g of protein, WOW, I’m having that!”
“Put some whey protein in that shake for me after this session, that’s right isn’t it?”
Personally to me, its such a sellout product. If it’s not made with sweeteners, refined sugar, saturated fats it’s probably worse, unknown powder with vanilla extract. This is not ALL protein products, some are fine, it is just rare.
As you now know, because you’ve read all of this blog (I hope) I do not eat meat, fish, eggs and avoid dairy as much as possible, so where do I get my protein from?
Our protein doesn’t have to come from animals or even supplements for that matter. PLANTS - VEGETABLES, SEEDS, NUTS & GRAINS. We as humans do NOT need meat/fish in our diets, especially the fat that comes with it, it’s one of the worst types of fat you can consume.
They’re is a ridiculous amount of protein in plant based nutrition, I don’t even have to think about where I’m getting my protein from no more. Honestly, at first I was reading about the debate on plant based protein because initially I was worried about being protein deficient. This doesn’t happen. Protein is in so many plants it literally adds up the more and more you have. My recommended veg question - the answer below (yes read more) has high quantities of protein, plus with the added ingredients to make your meal, you’ve now got more protein!
There is a argument out there from the unsure people, and the sellout product retailers which is “How can you get a WHOLE PROTEIN from plants, which you can from meat alone?”
Protein is made up from amino acids, there are 20 in total. You need 9 of the 20 amino acids to make up a whole protein. Meat, fish, and protein supplements (so they say) have the full amount (selling point). Most plants however do not. “Oh no!”
There are a couple that do (soy foods/buckwheat/quinoa).
Have you ever sat and ate the pita and hummus as a dip but without the pita? No? Strange, I thought it was just me! But BOOM the hummus (legumes)+(whole grains) pita = your full 9 amino acids - WHOLE PROTEIN. Once you start to mix up all the veg including your grains (breads/pastas/oats) legumes (peas/beans) nuts and seeds I’m sure you’ll be fine reaching enough protein for your day everyday! :)
How can I improve my mobility effectively?
Wow, where’s that genie? If there’s one thing I could speed up in my life it would be to increase my Range of Motion ‘ROM’. If you’re lucky enough to have great flexibility you should use it to your best ability, and begin to strengthen it to become as mobile as you can. If not, like me, you should be doing something everyday to regain your supple body. As a young child from birth to around 6 years old, your body is naturally supple, the way us humans are meant to be. But as intelligent humans we’ve found a way to make things easier in life, but the downside is we become lazy, the way we hold ourselves to the way we move, sit and even pick something as small as a pen off the ground. Our shoulders round off, our back begins to hunch and you’ll eventually get them ‘old age’ aches and pains. Do you really look forward to this? Do you really want this to happen? NO?
If you’re reading this… TODAY, you need to start to become more mobile for nothing else but your own benefit. It’s never too late to begin this, but the longer you leave it the more difficult you’ll find it to move the way you’re meant too. OLD AGE syndrome “I’m 65, I can’t touch my toes” I call BS. Allow your body to move the way it was designed too.
If you attend the gym and use any sort of weight, dumbbell, kettlebell etc this is where you can now effectively use it to your advantage to sneak in some mobility work. Weighted mobility is vital for that extra push especially if you’re alone. Every joint in the body has it’s own function and own ROM. If theres things that you could do as a child i.e. “the crab” (wheel/ bridge) but can’t do now, it’s down to lack of ROM, that you have lost over the years of not using it. To spend more time on increasing your ROM rather than lifting heavy weights, your going to feel 100% better. If it’s no quite for you to completely swap it, then as I said sneak it it as part of your routine. Remember mobility = flexibility + strength, so it can be used as a set in your training. :)
What Veg do I recommend?
All vegetables are fantastic, they are simply the the oil to our bodies, they are packed full of our essential MICRO’S and MACRO’S nutrients. If you are the person who’s NOT one for vegetables, now’s the time to start, because I’m surprised you haven’t shut down already. They are ESSENTIAL for us as human beings. If you’re a sufferer from colds and flus, this is your answer nothing else these will also act as your immune system. (read more about this in my ‘Doom and Gloom Days’ blog)
There are ones that are better than others, try and opt for the dark leafy ones, these have the most goodness in them. My top tips are:
They don’t have to go all together, but defiantly try and get one of them in per meal. The other veg is great too and combined not only will make one nutritious meal, they make a delicious one too! As a tip for them dark leafy ones especially, try not and fry or overcook them as they will lose their nutritional value the more they’re cooked. :)
I do HIIT sessions five times a week and my progress seems to have halted, do I need to do less sessions?
HIIT sessions are great, I personally try and get 2 sessions of some sort of HIIT training per week as my conditioning. It’s fast, enjoyable and over before you know it.
Repeating this over 5x per week for long periods of time can eventually make you hit a plateau stage therefore not much is changing or even challenging. Your effort that you put in isn’t the same as 8/10 weeks ago which can even lead to regression an boredom. This is not what you want, training is tough enough without being bored doing. It will eventually become a chore and we all know how we feel about chores.
You need a challenge, you need to feel that same way you did 4/5 weeks in, it’s great you’ve come this far, but now is your time to raise the bar and to explore more functional moves, more challenging sessions. Repeating the same class most days will basically get you as far as you can go and is great for beginners. I highly recommend Ethan’s studio for both challenging and beginners. His classes will provide all the training you need from HIIT to Functional to Mobility sessions. Find something that isn’t repetitive and challenges you, if you find the classes are easy then it’s always a good sign you can step up a gear and start a new stage to progress. :)
Whats the deal with Carbohydrates and general eating after 8pm?
Try not to listen to the so called influences who can not back up what they’re selling. A lot of people don’t train until 8pm onwards due to work etc, so are they not allowed to eat after they train? They 100% need to refuel. On very few occasions I’ve had to train at 10pm this still doesn’t mean I wont be eating afterwards. Refuelling is the most important part of recovery, regardless of the time. If you’re asleep in bed and you wake up at 2am hungry as a hippo, roll over a get some more sleep you don’t need something eat at this hour.
The big Carbohydrate scare of avoiding them of a night is a big myth. They play huge part of the recovery, and yes they provide huge amount energy, but not the same energy you get from caffeine so you wont be bouncing away trying to sleep. Avoid simple carbs, and keep to as many whole food carbs as you can. If you’re options are refined carbs, make sure they’re wholemeal or wholegrain.
Do you think there is a difference between what men can eat and woman can eat? I find that men seem to be able to eat a lot more variety, and women have to be a lot more ‘careful’
The answer to this can go in all different directions due to the fact of the size difference between male and female, the different muscle mass etc.
If we keep it to what we know, every single person is unique due the fact we all have different lifestyles, jobs and priorities. We all need nutritious food, simple. If you’ve got a active lifestyle, an active job, you’re probably going to need more food for fuel and recovery.
You should never go hungry and starve yourself thinking this will benefit you (fasting being a different subject) you eat when you’re hungry and you eat the amount you feel you need to eat. Don’t stop eating because you think No1. People are watching No2. Thinking you’ll gain weight by eating them extra two spoonfuls, this is very immature.
“Focus on what you’re eating, not the amount.”
The subject about women may need to be more careful when it comes to food… how many times have you ate out and seen a guy and girl across the room and the girl is having a salad? This is very sad. We have been conditioned by the media to now feel that women need to be eating different - the lesser dense food. Ladies, girls, women THIS IS A HUGE MYTH. As humans we are biological machines and we feed off the exact same nutrition, this same nutrition that makes us grow, that makes us happy, that makes us function. We are humans together, let’s keep it that way. :)
I hope these answers helped your thoughts and questions, especially for the people who asked me!
My other blogs do go into futher details and depth about their subjects, but this was just an insight of what you guys wanted to know :)
STAY HAPPY, LIVE HEALTHY, BE ACTIVE,