Friday, 6 April 2012

Food and movement: The art of keeping it simple

As I sit here contemplating how big and ass I really am, I thought why not write a new blog?

By the way Its Good Friday, a holiday or late start to most human beings… but to me its another day of getting up super early even though the gym opens at 8am! Yes I got it wrong again, Don’t feel bad as I did the exact same thing last time.

Orchard road, Singapore at 06:30am

So I now have 2 extra hours to kill before work i can write up an idea ive had in my head for the past few days called "Food and Movement". In my opinion these are the fundamentals that anybody has to worry about to get in better shape. The world has gotten a little bit too clever, a little bit to analytical and really forgot the nuts and bolts of how people got into shape back in the day. Im looking around at people and most i see are overfat, its true. These people (in my opinion and whether they care or not) are regularly making poor food choices and not moving enough to support their calorific intake. simple enough?

"Work more, eat less will 99% of the time fix a problem"

...As i write the 24hr cafe sound system is pumping out heavy trance! 06:50am. Get in.

Component 1: Food
According to Precision Nutrition, there are 10 golden rules to live by. Lets look at some of them:
Habit 4: If fat loss is your goal, eat veggies and fruits with any meal: ‘other carbs’ only after exercise. If you have got fat to lose, you have got to earn those higher carb meals by exercising first! *Note: When it comes to body composition change, carb timing strategy is the single most effective strategy to kick fat loss in those stubborn and hard to remove fat stores.
I think 'other carbs' seems to be the modern day issue as almost everything seems to contain carbs. Put simply Carbs is energy, so if you dont use it - you will wear it.

Habit 6: Don’t drink beverages with more than 0 calories. Drink water as your habitual beverage and green tea is also a great choice.  Coffee in moderation works too.
The emergence of Starbucks, Costa and other coffee places has escalated the poor food we all consume. Ive mentioned in earlier blogs that about 1/month i enjoy a ice blended frappacino (which i consider a dessert) but unfortunately folk seem to think this is coffee! Its not at all. Coffee places are riddled with dead calories, stick with the simple choices like Americanos, Expressos, Nuts and fruits and get out of there with the same size waist as you went in!
Black gold!

Check out the shooping list below, how many of these do you consume regularly?
Carbohydrate (Low GI)
Wholemeal bread
Wholemeal pasta
Wholemeal rice
Peanut Butter
Cottage Cheese
Hazel Nuts
Beans, pulses, wholegrains

Olive oil

Flaxseed oil
Soya Milk

Natural yogurt
If you stick to this list (90% of the time) you will be fine. Remembering that carbs are best eaten after exercise. If you cant or 'dont like' any of the foods above i really cant help you. Really. Make some sacrifices in terms of taste to get a better result - if you are one of the people who are overfat and "want to lower bodyfat levels" - PLEASE stop having an opinion on food and 'schooling' others on nutrition.
Step 1: seek out somebody you want to look like
Step 2: Ask them what they did and how they did it
Step 3: Listen and use the advice

Component 2: Movement
Im keeping this as simple as i can. There are 1000s of ways to get this done and my only advice for you is basic.

If you love exercising and training...
Seek out people/trainers with the same passion as you and find out what are the most challenging and effective forms and get stuck into different programs and training phases to get better results. As training isnt your main issue, really dial in with your nutrition - this will enhance your results and really start to give you the body your training deserves. If you 'train hard to eat whatever you like on the weekend' thats ok - but really analyze that statement and ask yourself 'how long that will last before your body starts to let you know thats probably not the best way to go?'. Reward your training with proper nutrition and see better results.

Perfect example: CrossFit
Why are these girls/guys in such good shape? Because they work hard (movement) and eat towards fat loss (Paleo). Its really that simple.
These girls probably dont do 'Zumba'
If you hate exercising and training...
I meet people who 'hate' training. really i do. I assume they either dont 'get it' or don't do the right things and/or havent got the results from their particular choice of training. As im not one of these people i really can't empathise but i will give this advice... Find something (physical) that you enjoy doing and do lots of it.

Perfect example: Zumba/Danzika
At our gym, there is a dance class called "Danzika" - its basically MY worse nightmare. There about 10 x 5 minute tracks with all different dances from around the world, energetically led by our resident latin swinger David (the girls love him). Every single class is full of 20+ smiling faces and they all leave sweating and laughing - its awesome. Do you think these ladies (and usually one guy - weird) felt for one minute they were 'training'? No way. They have found an escape from training in this dance class and thats great in terms of getting movement into your week.
I challenge you to find your 'Danzika' - or exercises that raising your pulse while you ENJOY. Because if you really hate 'training' then its your only answer to getting in better shape.
Did i mention i love Zumba?

Final thoughts
Combine components 1 and 2 and you should be on your way to getting in shape. If you're dancing (no pun intended) between both or simply doing 1 of the above components then you are probably unhappy and frustrated with the way you look. Match nutrtion with exercise. I dont know you but there is a 90% chance you eat far too much for your energy demands - Thats not sexy. Zumba clearly is! :)


  1. Like it nath, but would like to add that zumba is one of those things that you can do at varying intensities. There's a lot of people that use zumba to appear like they are exercising,(2 x/week without really breaking a sweat) The ones that look good do it all the time and work their asses off.

  2. Danzika is Leo's class, and it has nothing to do with Latino Jam, David's class, which actually is great. Dont be jelaous, dear))). I do David's class (used to be a dancer in my previous life back home). P.S. I am in quite a good shape;)

  3. Hey anonymous, thanks for reading the blog and taking the time to comment. im not sure who this is so cant reply personally but will try my best to reply to the words you wrote.

    i really cant work out the tome of your post... is negative/positive or sarcastic?

    i have and always will be complimentary to the GX guys and the amazing work they do - especially david and leo since they arrived.

    Im not sure what you think i would be jealous about? I said his class was 'awesome' and that everyone loved it?

    I think its great that you have reached a point in your training/life that you think you're in good shape - because thats the whole goal of training i think. Ive never met an out-of-shape dancer BTW so kudos to you and your chosen activities, keep doing the same things i guess :)

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  4. the reason I said the class is MY worst nightmare is because i dont feel im a particularly good dancer and i would feel silly in there (amongst a large group of women who can dance!) not because i dont think its any good :)

  5. Thanks for an answer;). Love your blog and your serious attitude. Sure you re a great PT. XX


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