How much protein should I eat?

by Drew Price on November 13, 2009
in Uncategorized

Protein can aid recovery, better body shape and support muscle mass but how much do you eat?

Meat for protein in meals blog

If you’re worried about strength, athletic performance and body shape you have probably thought about your protein intake at some point. There’s a lot of info out there and a lot of opinion – most of it revolving around the issue of muscle mass. So how much protein do you need?

When you ask this question you’re really asking

  • How much should you eat? And,
  • How much protein can you eat in a sitting?

Reasons to eat more protein: It’s more than just about your muscles you know!

“Question: I’ve read that you don’t need any more than 20g of quality protein in a sitting to get maximum stimulation of muscle protein synthesis, so I shouldn’t bother with any more, no?”

When you eat quality protein the concentrations of amino acids in the blood rise. This rise, if big enough can stimulate the body to lay down more protein in the form of muscle tissue. We like this. A lot. However, recently studies have shown that protein synthesis plateaus out at about 20-25g of protein in a sitting. With many nutrition protocols and professionals advising you to eat maybe double or more per sitting, why would you consider eating any more? Read more..

Poly unsaturated fats bad for your health?

by Drew Price on July 24, 2009
in Uncategorized

Shocker! Research out recently demonstrates that higher intakes of omega 6 fats are linked to bowel disease. Could everything you understand about ‘good fats’ and ‘bad fats’ be wrong?


mung_beans-blog

Yet again new information highlights the fact that though food producing companies use the potential benefits of  certain nutrients as a selling point,  the truth is usually far more complex…..

Poly unsaturated fats (think omega 6, omega 3, fish and flax oils etc) have been pushed and pushed on the strength of their health benefits. Encouraging effects on heart, brain and joint health and been demonstrated but there’s also information that you don’t hear a huge amount about. Much of it surrounds omega 6 in particular.

THIS article on the BBC highlights the findings of a group of multinational group of researchers looking at the effects of different levels of dietary fats. They found that high intakes of certain poly unsaturated fats could have a severe impact upon  gut health. In a sentence:

‘Those with high intakes of omega 6 polyunsaturated fats were almost twice as likely to develop ulcerative colitis’

In fact some of the conclusions were startling;

An estimated 30% of cases could be attributed to having dietary intakes higher than the lowest quartile of linoleic acid intake.

Startling but not completely unexpected. Why? Below we’ll look at the why’s and hows: Read more..

Clinical nutrition update: a new mechanism governing hunger? Sterols and cancer

by Drew Price on July 6, 2009
in Uncategorized

Two interesting reports from the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition this month…..

ejcn image

GI and satiety

We all know that eating lower GI carb sources is the smart choice, what is being discovered now is more and more info on the actual mechanisms of this contribution to health – as well as the odd suprise.

Glycemic Index (GI) is a measure of the rate at which carbohydrate hits the blood after you consume a carbohydrate containing meal.  When you consume a meal with high GI carbs, a significant portion of the carbs are released speedily into the blood….

Glycemic index Read more..

Essential fatty acid supplements – your choices explained

by Drew Price on July 29, 2008
in Uncategorized

Essential fatty acid (‘EFA’) supplements are becoming more popular with interest about more weird and wonderful supplements like krill oil growing. EFA supplements are sometimes necessary for basic health due to the way that our food is produced, and the types of diets we choose, however this is generally a lifestyle choice. Today we generally get far too much omega 6 and far too little omega 3 (also called O3) in our diets. This is bad for a number of reasons Read more..

Diet for weightloss

There are diets for this and diets for that but one thing connects many of them – fat loss. How do you identify a good weight loss diet and what are rules of ANY good weight management program?

The rules of the good weightloss diet.

The diet will…

  1. Ensure sufficient water, macro, micro and phytonutrients for health as well as sufficient fibre
  2. Safeguard lean mass (organs, muscle etc) whilst supporting fat mass loss
  3. Allow sufficient ‘energy’ to exercise well and function from day to day
  4. Take account of the users health levels and lifestyle
  5. Ensure lasting results through good health, behavior change (if necessary) and solid long term diet.

There are lots of diets on the market but you must be sure that the one you choose complies to the above if it is going to support healthy long term weight management.

Choose carefully.

Batched Training: Get more from less…. Part II

by Drew Price on June 16, 2008
in Uncategorized

In the first part of this blog on Batched Workouts we went over why you might want to try these time saving intensity increasing sessions, the reasons were as follows:

    Decreased traveling time

    Decreased traveling expense (and stress and pollution!)

    Decreased time spent warming up

    Increased training density (the amount of work in a short time)

    Freeing up whole days where no evening is used up or no kit needs to be carried

    Allowing longer for recovery periods

    Fits between sports activity more easily

    Decreased duration needed for steady state cardio

Toady we’ll look a little bit closer at the format and the types of workout

More on the format or Batched workouts

The format for the Batch Workouts are a variation on the following theme

Warm-up (including mobility work)

  • Weights One: compound lifts (push pull legs)
  • Metabolic conditioning
  • Weights Two: Isolation or machines (depending upon needs)
  • Steady state cardiovascualr work (dependent upon needs)
  • Warm-down (including strength and prehab)

The different movements and drills must be in that order for you to be able to perform them well. The warm-up is obvious but there’s no stretching there just mobilisation drills. Static stretching can impact upon your ability to lift heavy, switching the muscle off. Next the intense heavy compound weights come before the metabolic conditioning for obvious reasons – you will be too fatigued after. However you will notice there’s another weights session. This is the isolation and/or machine only session and for those looking for muscle gains in certain groups one common example is arms or shoulders. They are placed after the met. con. session as if they were before they would compromise your ability to do the compound exercises involved in the different met con drills. Sure you want be able to go as hard on them but the ‘pre fatigue’ of the drills will mean the muscle will be smoked afterwards.

The warm-down is where stretching and prehab movements can be incorporated.

A batched workout example

  • Warm-up (including mobility work)
  • Weights One: Deadlift, bodybuilder style bench, barbell row 5×5
  • Metabolic conditioning: for time superset dumbbell thrusters & pull-ups 20, 15, 10, 5 reps
  • Weights Two: Lateral raises, bicpes preacher curles
  • Steady state cardiovascular work: 15 minutes bike
  • Warm-down: Light stretching etc

Different sessions for different goals

Different people have different goals and needs, below is an examples of how you may change similar sessions to incorporate different goals

Physique: hypertrophy (muscle gain) and conditioning

  • Warm-up (including mobility work)
  • Weights One 5×5: Deadlift, bodybuilder style bench, barbell row
  • Metabolic conditioning: dumbbell thrusters, pull-ups 20, 15, 10, 5
  • Weights Two: a1 rear lateral raises, a2 incline flye. b1 biceps preacher curls a2 Close grip bench
  • Steady state cardiovascular work: 0 minutes
  • Warm-down

Physique: fat loss and muscle maintainance

  • Warm-up (including mobility work)
  • Weights One 5×5: Deadlift, bodybuilder style bench, barbell row
  • Metabolic conditioning: dumbbell thrusters, pull-ups 20, 15, 10, 5
  • Weights Two: a1 rear lateral raises, a2 bicpes preacher curls
  • Steady state cardiovascular work: 15 minutes
  • Warm-down

Athlete

  • Warm-up (including mobility work)
  • Weights One 5×5: Olympic lift, split squats, unilateral heavy upper body work
  • Metabolic conditioning: sled pushing
  • Weights Two: twisting movements like cable chest press and rows
  • Steady state cardiovascular work: 15 minutes (in required)
  • Warm-down

(this would of course be one of two or three session the other having plyometric drils etc)

If you’re detained or a novice then these types of training sessions are either 1) not for you or 2) going to have to be altered so allow you to get the best out of them, you may even wish to leave out the metabolic conditioning al together:

Beginners

  • Warm-up
  • Weights: squat, dumbbell bench press, dumbbell row, external rotations
  • Difficult but steady state cardiovascular work: 20 mins rowing machine and bike
  • Warm-down

Nutrition to support this batching

We all know that what you eat can have a great effect on how you perform in the gym, with the slightly long sessions of a batched workout you have to turn your attention to fueling and recovery. There’s a couple of ways to do this (in my preferred order)

  1. A shake containing higher GI carbs and protein just before during and afterwards.
  2. A shake containing lower glycmeic index carbs 15 mins before and then another straight afterwards
  3. A meal of solid protein and low GI carbs 2 hours before then sipping a recovery drink towards the end of the session.

This would sit on top of your normal healthy diet based on lots of fibrous veg, lean meats and fish with nuts, seeds, fruit, whole grains as required.

Batched Diet hacks

Get more good, interesting, tasty foods in your life, support good health and great body and cut the mess and stress.

(clock design M&Co. 5 O’Clock, Tibor and Maria Kalman)

Practically speaking, which is what this blog is all about, ‘diet’ is only a small part of the nutrition picture, it is also the lifestyle you lead, the types of cooking you like to do or find easy. These are all things that have a huge influence on what goes into your mouth.

When we looked at Batched Training we discussed the methods you would use to switch up your training focusing more on the things that work and saving yourself a LOT of time in the process. Here we’ll try and cover a few ideas that may work for diet and nutrition meaning less time stress and mess but rather a better more interesting diet, better health and a better body.

Batching for those who don’t know is the process of saving up similar tasks and doing them together to save all the time you spend in preparation. If you’re not convinced I have put more examples in the Batched Training entry. With exercise this would be getting to the gym, getting changed, showering, warming up etc. When talking about diet and nutrition you would think about things such as chopping vegetables, cooking, washing up of filling the machine and so on.

Below are some examples of Batching hacks I use in clinic.

Batch one: Food list and food shopping

Put together a lists of foods that you will go through in the week, put in a ‘core’ of good foods; lean meats, veg, pulses, grains, quality dairy etc. This is make things a lot easier, healthier and save you money. You can even go so far as putting together a menu for the week and buying just those foods.

If you’re leading a busy hectic life you need to do one thing first off: buy at least some of your food on-line.

We would all like to be able to shop locally, buying fresh ingredients on the day and you can when you have time but you have to safeguard your diet, this means buying good choices every week including

  • Lean meats (pref organic with lots of game etc)
  • Lots of fibrous vegetables
  • Nuts & seeds
  • Tins of pulses, tomatoes etc
  • Frozen vegetables as a back up

With on-line shopping not only do you not have to travel there and back (remember your time is money) and by using the proforma shopping lists from you account to make it an almost one click experience, even more time saved. By using tools like MySpupermarket you can even save money filling your basket and comparing the supermarkets.

So time and money saved.

Batch two: Food preparation

I am a big fan of chopped frozen veg for busy people. If it’s a choice between that and not eating veg then go for it. When your shopping arrives you can take 10 mins to dice up a load of veg and meat , divide into usable portions and freeze for use later in the week. Seems stupid but this will save LOTS of time.

Batch three: Cook up a load of meals all at once

Did you know you can cook more than one meal at once. Obvious I know, but you’d be surprised the amount of people that haven’t though about this. Dedicate 90 mins somewhere in the week to cooking up a load of stews, stir fry soups etc and store them in the fridge and freezer to eat through the week.

You can also use the double dinner trick as well; just cook twice as much as you need and take to work the next day (if office politics allows!), it’s simple, obvious buy most people forget about this. Of course it works better for some dished than others – scrambled eggs would not be a good choice here!

This also works for portion of protein like chicken breasts, salmon etc. Cook them all at once and store for use in other dishes.

The ‘Pret Audit’: batching your lunch fact finding and decisions

Go to the 3 nearest sandwich shops to work, select 4 dishes that comply to your needs for example; maybe you’re carrying a little too much weight and need to cut down on carbs and/or fats and need to up the protein? Write down the choices (that is very important) and keep this list in your desk draw.

When at work with no food from home look at the list make your selection (a 1st and 2snd choice from the same place) then leave to buy it.

Batch five: Supplements

In an earlier blog I discussed the types of Supplements people may use in the context of a busy but healthy lifestyle. Many people use these proteins, vitamins, fish oils, herbs etc but most have trouble remembering to take them every day. By dividing them down into packs using small ziplock bags containing all the pills and capsules for each day you can just grab and go in the morning confident in the knowledge that all you need is there.

This also works for protein powders as well though by simply having a tub at work in the desk draw and one at home there’s little need for this.

The above hacks swing between really obvious, a bit geeky and simply really boring but they do work. I encourage you to give them all a god for just 2 weeks (the second week is where the magic really kicks in) and see how much time this frees up leaving you to enjoy life and not be tied to the cooker

The James Bond Diet and James Bond training; Daniel Craig, his training and diet

by Drew Price on June 5, 2008
in Uncategorized

OK a little bit of fun here: to celebrate the release of the new Bond book Devil May Care I have written an article to clear up some of the loose ends on Daniel Craig;s training for his Bond role in Casino Royale which has just been published over at Bond Lifestyle . Topics covered include:

  • the Danial Craig Workout (all the variations you’ve read about),
  • a proven physique workout for the Bond Body,
  • a ‘real James Bond workout’; special ops and swat type training,
  • lots of info on conditioning, diet and recovery info and plans and
  • a sample James Bond Diet.

It’s a bit of fun, but remember I’m a Registered Nutritionist and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist so there may even be some nuggets of good information in there!

Of course Quantum of solace is on the way so an update may be necessary at some point.

Find the article here: The real James Bond workout

The Capsule Kitchen

by Drew Price on June 4, 2008
in Uncategorized

First published March ’08

If you only have tasty ‘good’ foods in your kitchen then you are going to eat well at least some of the time, right? So stop messing around, save time effort and money and but what you need to to get you to your goals of a strong healthy body.

The Capsule Kitchen is an idea I use often in clinic and something that I will expand on in an up-coming book but below is a condensed version of the food choices component. The full version of the Capsule Kitchen also encompasses food bought less often, cookware and utensils as tricks you can use to make buying your food simple, easy and quick and also save money at the same time. However, for not we’ll stick to the shopping list

What is on the shopping list

On top of just listing foods that you should get regularly I find helpful to put in the context of your kitchen at home. As I can’t tailor this plan to each of you just make sure that yo have a good amount of the following always on hand.

What is in the kitchen

The cupboards

Nuts

Dried Fruit
Legumes: either tinned or dried including lentils, chickpeas, beans etc
Oils and fats

Virgin or extra virgin olive oil is great for salads and low temperature cooking (roasting vegetables etc). Coconut oil is great for frying (it is a more healthy type of saturated fat) as is butter. NB other healthy fats like flax and fish oils should be kept in the fridge

Green and other similar teas
Spices
Vinegar

Tinned fish: mackerel, salmon, tuna, pilchards etc

The fridge

Poultry
Lean cuts of meat
Fish: Oily and non oily
Eggs
Cheese: Both high quality low fat and also strong cheeses
Fruits and berries (some of course can be kept out of the fridge)
Fibrous vegetables
Sauces: try to find the low fat and low sugar options, they are out there it us takes a little looking.

In the freezer

Your freezer is your safety net for when you fridge stocks run low.

Frozen berries
Meat, poultry an fish
Vegetables:
pre chopped by you and in bag bought from the freezer section; it doesn;t matter, just keep a selection.
Pre-cooked foods:
Every time you cook up stews, chicken breasts, stir-frys, chilli’s etc then cook 2 or 3 times as much as you need and divide into single servings.

What is NOT in the kitchen

There are very few ‘bad foods’ but only ‘bad diets’ but the more of the flowing foods you can leave out of your diet the closer you will reach your goals. ‘If it’s in the house then in the end you are probably going to end up eating it’, if this is a given then you would be well advised to consider binning the following:

The fridge

Soft drinks and most juices
Mayonnaise
Fatty dairy products
Processed and/or high fat meat products
Most foods in colourful boxes

The freezer

Ice cream
Frozen deserts
Frozen ready meals and similar products
Cheap meat products (grill steaks etc)

The cupboards

Crisps chips and other snack foods
ANY products containing hydrogenated oils
Biscuits
Highly processed baking and baked products
Tinned fruit in syrup

My top 5 – lifestyle and sports supplement choices

by Drew Price on June 4, 2008
in Uncategorized

Supplements are just that, additions where required to a solid healthy diet that suits you and your lifestyle. There’s a lot of money to be made out of these products and so a bewildering array of and classes of supplement have sprung up.

Here are my opinions on the top 5 of both sports and lifestyle supplements formed from working with athletes and busy health conscious people.

Top 5 ‘lifestyle’ supplements

These types of supplements are the ones used to aid your diet, they are essentially readily usable ‘functional food’ that allow you to easily bridge a gap having a concentrated serving of the desired nutrient(s) or food type

1) Fish oils
2) Milk protein concentrate
3) Greens powder
4) Flax seed powder (omega 3, lignans and fibre)
5) Unflavored whey (cooking etc)

Top 5 sports supplements

Sorts supplements are ones that are going to aid training and recovery as part of a suitable nutriton plan, they sit on top of the required amount of healthy foods as an adjunct.

1) Recovery drinks (usually whey, matodextrin and dextrose mix)
2) Fish oils
3) Beta alanine
4) Nootropics and some neurostimulants (DMAE and the like more info in an article I wrote here)
5) Creatine monohydrate (not creatine ethyle ester? Why? Look here..)

Not everybody should use these supplements, in fact most people don’t need to and some just should not so check first if you are considering using any supplements. All the above are ADDITIONS to a solid healthy diet, right for you and your goals so get that sorted first, whole food is much more important than the above.

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