Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The Power of saying NO!

Hi all,

The first of my New Year habit changes is to start writing the blog more regularly. Without boring you about the reasons why i had stopped, some of them are:

- Changing my laptop to an ipad
- Becoming very busy at work
- Not really having much to complain about (no ranting worth blog material)

Part of my new approach to work is to schedule in time to do the things that are enjoyable in this job; Reading, writing, planning, learning and basically becoming a better coach and now recently manager of fellow coaches. This blog is me getting a headstart on 2014.

The power of NO

If you've seen the outstanding Jim Carrey film "Yes Man" the you will know the incredible power that comes from just saying the word YES. In the movie, Carrey's character becomes almost a recluse to his friends after a divorce until he is dragged along to a 'Yes' seminar. This leads him into new adventures, promotion at work, saving a man from suicide and falling in love. If you never saw it, its worth 90 minutes of your life.

Today im going to argue the there is equal power in the word and action of NO, especially when we are involved in a diet or our recent 21 day Green/Clean eating challenge. 

"Success during a diet challenge will depend on the the things 
you don't eat rather than the things you do"

The above statement is just my own way of thinking when it comes to getting good results on a diet plan. With all the literature on fitness/health and millions of different diet books/systems available, I believe the majority of us know what it means to eat well or more accurately what we foods need to avoid to get in/stay in reasonable shape. The best way to succeed on a diet challenge is to ban certain foods from your life and set rules for a different periods of time (21 days, weekends, parts of the day, etc) to suit your individual lifestyles and schedules. 

Say NO to:

1. Bread

The problem with bread is that it contains allergens like wheat and gluten and most varieties are high GI and enter the body quickly as sugars. Bread is really not a great food to have in the diet if you are trying to drop bodyfat quickly. The other major issue is that its so readily available to purchase, easy to eat "on the go" and its cheap like most poor quality foods. 

Saying NO to bread means saying NO to the stores that sell sandwiches (e.g. Starbucks, 7/11 type shops) - staying out of these places is key to dieting success.

2. Dairy

I could probably write a whole blog on the perils of eating dairy; for a long time I've been suspect of its negative effect on clients physiques. Approximately 85% become intolerant to lactose after the age of 4 and consuming too much can cause bloating and digestive irritation.

Like bread, there are an abundance of cheap dairy products available on the high streets today including cheeses, yoghurts and a large variety of 'healthy' drinks. The contemporary cultural phenomenon of coffee houses play a huge part in the increase of the average waistline measurements. I would actually be very comfortable saying that 99% of products sold in coffee houses like Starbucks and Costa are detriment to having a good physique, and these places should be avoided to ensure better dieting success.

"99% of products sold in coffee houses like Starbucks and Costa 
are detriment to having a good physique"

3. Alcohol

Alcohol is a poison. Read that again and enjoy your pint! We routinely subject our bodies to a weekly dose of toxins through Alcohol and its making us fat and tired. Im not here to argue about the potential fun and social enjoyment you can have whilst sharing a drink with others, I'm here to say eliminating alcohol out of your life will make you slimmer and healthier, fact.

"Eliminating alcohol out of your life will make you slimmer and healthier, fact"

Over the past 8 years of watching some clients transform their physiques, i would say the biggest and most immediate changes came from those individuals who stopped drinking alcohol. Also, from personal experience i have cut down my alcohol consumption in the past 5 years and noticed a massive change in the quality of my sleep (especially on the weekends) which has resulted in better mood and energy at the start of the week.

Alcohol will effect sleeping patterns and energy 

4. Sugars

The very nature of the Green and Lean diet means there will be very low to zero sugar. There is no need for me to elaborate this point as its obvious.

The most recent experiment

Starting on November 21/2013 approximately 10 workmates, friends, clients, client's spouses started a 21 day Green and Lean Challenge, with everyone who wanted to be involved received a link to my previous blog on the subject:


My colleagues, housemates and PT clients were involved in daily conversations with myself regards tactics and menus but for the most part we all communicated through a Whatsapp group text titled "Green 21" where we shared pictures of green meal ideas and funny stories to keep each other entertained.

Bread free burgers are pretty awesome!

The results

Here are the final weight loss totals for the participants:

NW - 77.5kg to 72.9kg (4.6kg loss; BF% loss of approx 3%)
BM - 69.9kg to 61.8kg (8.1kg loss)
DC - 81.4kg to 77.8kg (3.8kg loss)
HK - (2kg loss)
TK - (5kg loss)
SH - (7.6kg loss)
AH - (3kg loss)
OA - (5kg loss)
LP - (3kg loss)
NL - (2kg loss)
CF - (2.5kg loss)
JC - (6kg loss)
NF - (3.5kg loss)

Total KG loss was 55.3kg at and average 4.25kg per person 

Just looking at the numbers above says this was a worthwhile exercise! However, with the challenge being 21 days of 100% strict green and lean eating - Interestingly, every single person failed the challenge except one!

Of course they did not FAIL as such, with most reporting 95% adherence throughout the 21 days... and this number seems enough to get a great result.

Did we learn anything new?

Looking at the 21 days and group as a whole i believe the following points are worth mentioning:

- You can actually create some fantastic meals during this challenge
- Creating a social group will result in better success when dieting
- Modern day social living/pressures have made it almost impossible to get into great shape
- We now see food as entertainment, this is a major issue when on a diet
- Hard boiled eggs are a easy, fantastic daily snack to stay on track with a clean, healthy diet

- From my own 3 weeks, i created a delicious new shake that i will continue to use as part of my diet. Here are the ingredients:

- Handful of raw nuts (cashews, pistachios or almonds)
- Splash of organic coconut oil
- Scoop of Pea protein (Vanilla)
- Avocado (half or whole)
- Dash of Cinnamon

Mix with cold water and ice for thick delicious shake.

What now?

After speaking to the majority of the group post-challenge, the major theme and lesson seems to be that of HABIT CHANGE. Most or all of them have committed to following the principles in some form, with a few promising to to revisit the 21 day challenge in January to start the new year when UFIT launch a massive GREEN and LEAN 2014 weight loss challenge.

Join UFITs Clean and Lean challenge in January!

For everyone who is interested please visit the UFIT facebook page for details or contact Becky@ufit.com.sg

I definitely encourage all readers of this blog to try it along with our group in January, however the Diamond can only be won by Singapore residents who can commit to the weekly weigh-ins at our Amoy street studio on Saturday mornings through January.

Thanks for reading and i will hopefully see you for the GREEN and LEAN CHALLENGE on January 6th.

Have a great Xmas Break and a fantastic start to your New Year!

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