Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Food Vs Food-like products

Hi all,

First let me thank everyone who reads the blog. Im really grateful that you take the time (i try to keep it short) to read this and even more so to share it to your friends/family across the world. looking at the stats, the blog is reaching about 20 different countries now - which to me is an amazing compliment and makes me continue to draft ideas that may interest people.

Not being happy with 20 countries and the numerous language barriers i have added a translation function (top right of the blog page) so if you have an old Ecuadorian granny who would be interested in reading some kick-ass, sometimes chuckle-worthy health/training and fitness information then send her my blog which is now available in Spanish as well as 49 other languages. Again, this amazes me.

Todays blog is about food (nom nom nom). I cant take the plaudits for this title/idea as I have proudly pinched the term from (now an ex Client) JD who has moved back to Hong Kong. BTW, JD's trainer in Hong Kong was amazed at how much leaner (22% to 12%) AND stronger (all major lifts at good gym standards) he had gotten. Thats what you get when you get good instruction/direction with excellent client application - it just cant happen any other way. Most of all i will miss our 'in-between set" chats on 'Curb your enthusiasm' and JD's amazing impressions of the Cast! Very funny.

If you dont know Curb, this picture really captures the show

Ok, Are you eating food or are you eating food like products?

Have you ever thought about it like that? Take a walk around the supermarket and you will see a wide variety of tempting crap with attractive packaging that is designed by companies to entice
sugar-craving humans - How else could you sell something that will:

1) Make you fat
2) leaving you wanting more
2) probably contribute to an early death

oh yeah... but it tastes soooooooo good! sold to the lady with the outrageous cankles!

On a side note: I was watching Dr Oz the other day (great show, really informative) and some lady wrote in about her 'generic cankle issue'. Dr Oz being a nice guy went through all the possible reasons and while it was interesting and informative i couldnt help think he was lying through his teeth.

Why? Because if she was in a gym environment and she went through an assessment - a real straight talking human being/honest trainer would have said:

"I hate to break the news but you're approximately 40% bodyfat, which is morbidly obese"

I think Dr Oz ducked out of telling that woman the obvious, uncomfortable truth
The problem is that she and her family have terrible daily habits and they need to be addressed. Of course saying this would have been unpopular, but why? Why are people so defensive against the obvious? Real friends stab you in the front not the back. If somebody you know is 35-40%+ bodyfat, they may look "great" to you (although i dont believe that) but advise them that its not healthy to be that overweight, its actually dangerous - and its mostly down to greed and inactivity. 

Not a good look

Anyway... Here are some of the things im seeing recently.

Real food vs Food-like alternatives

Chicken and Rice (Known as Chicken Rice)

If you have ever been to Asia, almost every local lives on Chicken Rice, they love it so much that they name food stalls "Chicken Rice" after the famous dish (I would have loved to have been at that business name brainstorming session).

"Guys, what do you think of name Chicken rice? Brilliant. Job done. Lunch anyone?"

Real chicken looks like this...

Food-like alternative chicken looks like this....

Katsu curry with debatable chicken
Rice is a real food. However, continually eating white rice which has a GI scale of 65+ (with sauces and not burning it off) is a total disaster for your waistline. Eating rice 3 x day as a staple food in my opinion is crazy but i understand in this part of the world its an economical decision for some local people. However i will add that meat and veggies are cheap to buy locally so no excuses really. Brown rice will always be more expensive than white, If you have the money its just a question of how much you value your health. If you have a half-decent paid job and are eating rice 3xday you're not really given yourself any chnace to get leaner.

Real beverages Vs food-like drinks

One of the 10 original Precision Nutrition rules states:

"Do not consume liquids with more than 0 calories"
That only leaves water, herbal teas and black coffee. Unfortunately for all you guys who think thats boring, you may struggle to get in great shape by guzzling down sugar-laden drinks as your only form of liquid. Keep it simple when it comes to liquid, the more water than better. Its not box office, Its not a white chocolate frappacino but its essential to your health and body composition goals.

Water Vs Vitamin water
I hate to upset avid followers of the 'super healthy' sugar... (cough cough) i mean Vitamin water. To say its delicious and nutritious is mis-leading. Apparently, they have actually altered the serving size to make it look like there is less sugar in a bottle. well it's 22.5g for 500ml which is moderate/low for these kind of drinks but its still 22.5g of sugar that you could probably do without if your trying to lose fat. Not working intensily and drinking these to 'fuel' your sessions may be an easy way to see results?

Just one example of popular 'sugar water' products
You cant go wrong with water. Its not that sexy but its probably the cheapest and best thing you could add to your day. 

Americano Vs Frappacino
Coffee shops are horrible places. Yeah, they are cool and they make you feel trendy/cool and like a cast member from 'friends' when you're there but they are minefields for poor nutritional decisions . Im not here to spoilt the coffee movement, far from it. I love coffee. (I actually have a Nespresso machine at home so i can hit a beautiful double espresso with touch of cinnamon every morning at 0530am before work...Wow!). My point is the high street coffee shops are 95% crappy foods to eat if you wanna be lean. Cakes, muffins, doughnuts, breads, sandwiches, etc. Also, the drink options (apart from herbal teas and straight coffees) are highly calorific and should be avoided. Some of the choices should simply be labelled as dessert.

Thats not coffee love, its a liquid cake!

"In my opinion, the modern day coffee shop culture is one major factor that is keeping people fat"

Young coconut Vs canned young coconut

After taking advice from a client on the benefits of young coconut water i have started to try to add them to my weekly shop. If you haven't heard of the benefits, they:
- Full of Minerals, vitamins, Amino acids and Antioxidants
- Addresses Urinary disorders
- Maintains electrolyte balance
- Breaks kidney stones
- Used as blood plasma substitute
- Kills intestinal worms
- Anti bacterial
- Can help overcome nausea or vomiting

Sounds like a can of bleach doesn't it? But it tastes amazing and cosy 60p for one.
My new lucozade
This is good, but modern day businesses have turned a perfectly healthy and natural drink into a sugar laden "health" drink.

The can i loooked at in the shops had 20g extra sugar

Green tea Vs Canned green tea

exactly the same deal here. Ive been tempted at times to get one of these healthy 'thirst quenchers', but take one look at the side of the can and the 25g sugar always makes me put it back down. Canned green tea is like real green tea only cold, full of additives and full of sugar. What a 'sweet' deal (pun intended). Seriously, what are you thinking? buy 25 bags of organic green tea for $5 (which is far cheaper than the cans) and save money as well as sugar and unwanted calories. just don't go there - they actually taste rubbish.

Its boring as hell but really good for you

If you don't like the taste of green tea... grow up!

Only joking (slightly), add a slice of lemon or try the numerous flavours they now have. If you still don't like it then i cant help you. Its like saying you don't like green veggies. Tough, you gotta learn to find a way to like them or you're gonna always reach for the bread to fill up your plate. In terms of getting body composition improvements, its an easy choice really.

Need to stop as this could go on, I found lots of different food vs food like situations out there in the local stores and some of them are just shocking. Its really sad when i see an adults shopping basket choc-full of shitty food-like items, fizzy, sugary drinks as i know they are taking that garbage home to their kids and breeding another generation of malnutritioned youngsters. I must say my local chinese supermarket seem to be world champions at food-like products. I only go in there for wtaer, almonds, eggs, chicken and green veggies. Which is really only what you would need.
Any other examples of food Vs food-like? Feel free to comment and start a discussion, i want this blog to become more interactive. Let me know what you think.

and finally...

What has the world come to?

Flavoured tofu + fake turkey pizza, thats the fakest item i could find.

Please help spread the word and Share with your social network friends :)


  1. Nice post mr. Willaims - real food is always the winner in my book!

  2. Yeah like this mate. The facts are there eat and drink clean get lean, but as you correctly point out it greatly ignored. Keep the blogs coming mate


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