Fads & Myths: I'm cutting carbs out of my diet

07 February, 2019  Nutrition

"I’m cutting carbs out of diet.” How many times have you heard people around you say this? Or maybe you’ve said this yourself?

Compare The Carbs 

Firstly, we must understand the primary function of carbohydrates is to provide ENERGY(each gram of carbs = 17 kilojoules). Carbohydrates are present in all fruit and vegetables, breads and grain products, and sugar and many packaged foods.

Did you know, all carbs are made from sugar? When most people say that they are cutting carbs out, they think of bread, rice and pasta. The above example is an example which compares 6 items that all contain carbs that you may not be aware of.

Recently, someone said to me that low carb diets are really popular these days, what do you think? Are they really? Or maybe with the increase in packaged food; takeaway; soft drinks and serving sizes over the last few couple of decades that we are now finally going back to what is normal again? (Let me know your thoughts in the comment below).

When it comes to a healthy diet or losing weight, cutting out carbs is not the answer. Instead, choose carbohydrate-rich foods that are healthy and full of dietary fibre. Try to limit your intake of snack foods, as they are high in kilojoules, saturated fat, sugars and salt, and have very few nutrients and most importantly, pay attention to the SERVING SIZE!


First 4 weeks of my nutrition after a long break

17 January, 2019  Nutrition

Majority of people who decide to do something about their health and fitness, do a lot of cardio in the first few weeks. Turn off the treadmill and get back inside! Doing cardio at the very beginning will make you quit your fitness journey quicker than you deciding to start! In my experience, I believe it’s due to 2 things:

  1. Cardio depletes your energy stores hence will increase your appetite, especially for carbohydrates, processed food and simple sugars because carbohydrates is the main source of energy for your body.
  2. When people have a goal, most go hard from the get go. The all or nothing approach, cardio everyday with a go hard or go home level of intensity coupled with a low calorie, low fat and low carbohydrate (if any) diet. How long do you think you could keep this up?

My approach to food is plan what you eat in advance and track the nutrients you eat (namely carbohydrates, protein and fat) so you don’t eat too little or too much. In the first 4 weeks, I calculate my maintenance macronutrients based on a number of factors such as my gender, experience with food and training goal. 

So yes. I still eat carbohydrates and fat, in fact carbohydrates consists of 35% of each meal, fats 30% and protein 35%. I do this for 2 weeks and re-measure to see if I need to update it or keep on the same.

I don’t use the word diet because it suggests a hardcore, all or nothing approach. And you know, with such an approach, it doesn’t last. And this is what people do coming back from holidays or when they decide to achieve a fitness goal. People feel proud that they are hard core. They tell everyone what they are doing, but I guarantee one thing they are not saying proudly, is how long they did it for.

People think they need to suffer. The key is to figure ot how to make it last long term.

Oh, one more thing that you must do. Your training and food plan must match. For example, in my first 2 weeks, my food plan is lower in calories, about 2000 calories and the macronutrients are balanced as stated above. So my training is low in intensity and difficulty and low to medium in volume.

If you'd like a copy of my food plan, contact us.

Remember, keep your eyes on the prize.



Fads & myths: You can't out train a bad diet

10 December, 2018  Nutrition

Would you give a Ferrari regular petrol? Of course not. You wouldn’t get much mileage and plus the performance of the car will suffer.

The same is true with your body. For you to get the best results for your body, your performance in the gym needs to be spot on. And you can’t perform well in the gym without the right optimum nutrition. 

The nutritional requirements of a person will be, for the most part the same or at least the fundamentals will be the same, such as, you need to eat a certain amount of protein, carbohydrates, fats and calories as well as you need to have plenty of vegetables and some fruit every day. However, it will differ as certain people have special requirements such as intolerances to food, food allergies, food preferences eg. Vegan, vegetarian etc., hence why I say ‘the right nutrition’.

And the right nutrition means all human bodies require a certain amount of macronutrients (protein, carbs and fats), micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), salt, sugar and fibre. If the right amount of nutrients aren’t met, then that’s when you go over your ‘body budget’ ie. you gain weight and fat, just like budgeting your finances. On the contrary, you go under your ‘body budget’ then yes, you’ll lose weight and fat, however you’ll be weaker, more moody, it will throw out your hormones and your performance at work, in your relationships, in the bedroom and everywhere else will suffer.

You may have gotten away with out training a bad diet in your early age, however as you get older, your metabolism slows down and you start to lose muscle. 

Cant Outtrain A Bad Diet2

So how much does your metabolism slow down with age? One study compared the Resting Metabolic Rate of 3 groups of people: those aged 20-34, 60-74 and over 90. Compared to the youngest group, people aged 60-74 burned roughly 122 fewer calories, while people over 90 burned around 422 fewer calories daily.

However, other factors such as your activity level, muscle mass, body fat percentage and gender play a massive part on the speed in which your metabolism slows, so the more active you are, the more resistance based training you do and the healthier you eat, the better for your metabolism.

Make no mistake, your training is very important to ensure you’re pushing your body out of its comfort zone, however your nutrition is more important for all the reasons mentioned above. Just like your Ferrari, you need fuel to be able to drive it… and the right fuel. 

I’m not saying you can’t enjoy your food and indulge. You’ve heard it before, everything in moderation. And if you do have a series of parties or outings to go to, use the strategy from our ‘How much of the ‘not-so-good choices’ can I eat and still keep the kilos off?’article.

Remember, keep your eyes on the prize.


All the 'not so good choices' you can eat that won't slow you down heading into 2019!

06 December, 2018  Nutrition

I could tell you not to worry about nutrition and diet and enjoy the festive season. But DIYPT clients have worked hard all year and don't want to give up all the hard work over 2 weeks of fun and food. So here are the 2 steps I give our clients to keep them on track. Give it a go!

Step 1: Divide your plate into thirds

Party Food Divided

One third is for vegetables. Load up your plate with vegetables because the more you eat, the more nutrients your body receives and the less room there is for other not-so-good choices that your liver may not appreciate later. 

Another third is for your protein. Protein is such an important nutrient because our bodies need it to perform so many different functions. Plus, it helps satisfy you and prevent you overeating later.

The final third on your plate is for the ‘not-so-good’ choices. The stuff we enjoy and indulge on. Indulge mindfully and in small portions.

Step 2: Eat slowly

Eat slowly. Chewing your food thoroughly helps to slow the eating process. It allows your stomach to talk to your brain telling us when we are full, as well as optimising the digestion and absorption of the food we are eating.

I use the guide of chewing 20 times before I swallow.  

Give these strategies a go at 3 different meals and comment below to tell us how it’s working out for you. Remember, keep your eyes on the prize… especially at Christmas time!



My 7 food must-haves

13 October, 2018  Nutrition

Welcome to the first video of a three part series. 

These 7 food items implemented in any food plan and for any goal, works!!! And don't just take my word for it. Ask the many other DIYPT members. 

Nevertheless, you have to remind yourself, how much do you value wanting a 6 pack or fitting into your wedding dress versus the immediate satisfaction of enjoying food. Make no mistake, I love food and value a great meal, so indulge once in a while and have everything in moderation. The problem is generally people indulge and eat too much.



Fads & myths: Diets are flawed

13 October, 2018  Nutrition

Diets will always be a hot topic, so I like to remind you that it's just a fad. We will forever keep talking about diets as long as it keeps giving people the false hope of a quick and easy solution.

Diets are flawed. It encourages cutting out certain foods completely which doesn't give you a complete nutritional balance of variety, energy, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and antioxidants that our body needs.

Think of something to cut out and I’m sure someone has tried it. Carbohydrates, sugar, fats, protein, anything that's orange, anything that starts with the letter 'B'. I know, silly, right? Trust me, I'm sure someone is doing this.

I don’t like the word diet, because it suggests it's a short term stint. You cut out certain foods, it is difficult to maintain this way of eating for a long period of time. And when you do stop the diet, you will put back on the weight plus more.

The most effective method I’ve found from my many years being a Trainer is tracking your macronutrients. Tracking macronutrients is about tracking the number of grams of protein, carbs and fats you consume on a particular day. This method allows more flexibility with food choices and easily maintained long term. Also there is no guessing, it either fits your macros or it doesn’t.

If you want to know more, check out our video Tracking macros, the DIYPT way


Is it ok to use olive oil for cooking?

13 September, 2018  Nutrition

The reason why I want to bust this myth is because I too was convinced that olive oil was not good for any type of frying. There is a strong argument that the smoke point of olive oil (190-220’c) is not high enough to prevent the damaging effects ie. when an oil is heated past its smoke point, it generates toxic fumes and free radicals which are extremely harmful to your body.

However, there is increasing evidence that suggests olive oil is completely fine to use for shallow frying.

If olive oil is used to shallow fry foods for short periods, it is unlikely that your body would be exposed to greater concentrations of aldehydes than it normally would as a result of your body’s normal metabolic processes. While there are clearly healthier ways to cook foods, frying food with olive oil is unlikely to be significantly bad for your health” (James Brown, Lecturer in Biology and Biomedical Science).

Olive Oil Blog Article

Furthermore, the type of olive oil matters. Rachel Adams (Senior Lecturer at Cardiff Metropolitan University) states that smoke points tend to increase with olive oil quality, as the free fatty acid content tends to decrease and the antioxidant content increases. 

So I suggest if you want to cook, and especially if you want to fry with olive oil, use high quality (low acidity) extra virgin olive oil. It has an exorbitant body of research supporting it as a safe option for cooking, including shallow frying. This is because extra virgin olive oil has three key qualities that make it an excellent cooking oil: it contains predominantly stable monounsaturated fatty acids, it has a low level of free fatty acids and it has a high level of protective antioxidants.


60 sec Juno - Up n Go

09 August, 2018  Nutrition

This episode of 60 second Juno, I rip into the breakfast drink Up n Go, why they aren't good for you and why you need to stop drinking them.

The video goes for 3 minutes, so my deepest apologies for not keeping to 60 seconds. I promise, it's worth 3 minutes.

WARNING: Because I'm so against Up N Go and am very passionate about what I do, there is a tiny bit of swearing at the end of the video. So I apologise in advance.


Carbohydrates for runners

08 August, 2018  Nutrition

Carbohydrates are the main energy source of the human diet. And runners in particular need a lot of carbohydrates, because your muscles are fueled mainly by carbohydrate when you run.

However, just like fuel for your car, the type of carbs is very important to ensure your body is well maintained and performs at its peak. You wouldn’t pour E10 petrol into a Mercedes Benz, would you? At the same token, you wouldn’t eat large portions of cake and pizza if you want a personal best in your next race.

Immediately before, during and after exercise, high glycemic (GI) carbs are best which are fast-acting at restoring your energy levels as they have been depleted from your run. Here are 3 of my favs:

  1. Bananas (I have after a workout) - one large banana has 31g of carbs)
  2. Energy bars (I have before and/or after a workout) – choose bars that are high in carbs, moderate in protein, and low in fat and fiber. The one I have is Clif Bar (Crunchy Peanut Butter is my favourite)
  3. Sports drinks (I have during a workout)– 600ml of a Gatorade has 36g of carbs plus they contain electrolytes and water for hydration.

All other times, get your carbs from low glycemic foods that provide long lasting energy and are full of other nutritents needed for recovery. I go for:

  • Rolled oats – perfect for pre or post run breakfast. 100g gives you an enormous 55.3g of carbs.
  • Brown rice – Whole grains are better for you than refined grains like white rice because they contain more fibre, vitamins and minerals.
  • Whole wheat pasta – gives you more nutrients, energy and promotes less fat storage than regular pasta.

In terms of how much carbs you should have, on your training days you’ll have 25-30% more than a non-training day. And as a rough guide, most males will benefit from 2 palm sized worth of carbs and females, 1 palm size per meal.

If you feel like it’s not enough or too much, PM me and I’ll let you know exactly how much carbs you should have per meal.


Fads & myths: Shake diets

10 July, 2018  Nutrition

Shake Diet Article

Weight loss shake and powder diets are great for quick weight loss results. And that is the problem with them.

It’s a no brainer. If you go on a low calorie liquid diet of shakes, you are going to lose weight, fast!

Ask yourself, how many people do you know have loss more than 5kg in a short period of time on a shake diet? Probably quite a lot. Of those people, how many were able to maintain their weight loss long term? Probably not many and in 100% of cases, they put back on the weight.

There are many reasons why weight loss shake diets DON’T work. These 3, in my opinion, are the main reasons:

1. You drastically lower your calories

Let’s look deep into it. The reason why you’re losing weight isn’t because of the shakes themselves. It’s because you’re consuming less calories than your body needs, and the day you return to your normal routine, you’ll instantly put all the weight back on.

2. Your body needs real food

Your body needs real food to function so your body receives a variety of nutrients from protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals mainly.

Shakes may seem like they fill you up but using them as a meal replacement is dangerous. Most of the shakes don’t have the wide range of vitamins and minerals you need and if you’re not eating healthy meals along with the shakes, then you may develop nutrient deficiencies and other health problems.

Study after study has proven that the best way to get your nutrients is through real food.

3. You’re not addressing the root cause

The reason why people have a weight loss issue is either because they are an emotional eater or because they fail to plan or both.

People turn to food when they are emotional because food gives them endorphins, giving them a temporary boost of happiness that only leads to more guilt and negative feelings later.

If you’re an emotional eater you need to create mechanisms to help you cope like seeing a therapist, devoting time to increase your mindset or developing new stress release habits.

As we get older and receive more responsibilities we become time poor and our priorities change from looking after our health to looking after other people or other things like your career or earning money.


One of my favourite saying is “You fail to plan, you plan to fail”. There are so many things in life that happen to you and are out of our control. Equally there are things that are in your control, so you need to plan yourself so you can achieve your fitness goal.

Having shakes all the time is not the answer. If it were, then everyone would do it! If you want an answer for your personal circumstance, then contact me  on jonathan@diypt.com.au.

Keep your eyes on the prize.


Fads & myths: IIFYM

06 June, 2018  Nutrition

IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) is truly a myth. Make no mistake, tracking your macronutrients and IIFYM are a very effective method that yields long term results if done correctly and is a method that I use with my online DIYPT clients as well as my face to face clients.

A quick definition. Macronutrients are the nutrients which our body needs plenty of ie. carbohyrdates, protein and fats. Each of us, depending on many factors have a certain amount of carbohydrates, protein and fat our body needs everyday. If you want me to calculate your personalized macronutrients, feel free to contact us or add a comment below.

Where I have a problem with IIFYM is when it is taken too literally, eating whatever you’d like just as long as it fits your macros. IIFYM suggests that no food is off limits, eating junk food and highly processed foods like chocolate, French fries and ice cream, just as long as it fits your macros. I used to work with a Personal Trainer who used to eat ice cream and white rice for dinner! I almost puked when I saw it. And to justify it, he would say “It’s ok, it’s Skinny Cow ice cream”. We would have many debates about IIFYM and of course, he never would listen. His way obviously didn’t work, his body never looked the part.

So with my clients we ensure 80-90% of their food for the day is from high quality, non-processed, healthy food because eating low quality, highly processed food and large portions means you might be missing important vitamins and minerals.

Also food tracking has the potential to lead to some unhealthy food behaviors. You shouldn't obsess about getting the exact right number of calories and macronutrients every day—listening to your body and giving it the nutrition it needs is more important than hitting certain numbers.

If you do need help with your nutrition, contact us for a free consult.


60 sec Juno - Boost your immune system

05 June, 2018  Nutrition

Are you getting sick or are people around you sick? In 60 seconds, Juno (did you know) that these 2 methods have been with me for over 10 years, so give them a go.

As always, if you have other remedies and are a DIYPT member, please share in the comments below.


60 sec Juno - Fruit

08 May, 2018  Nutrition


60 second Juno is about giving you a small chunk of valuable information in 60 seconds. 

There are many things out there where since the introduction of it, we knew  was good for us but as soon as the food manufacturers got a hold of it, people started questioning if it was really any good. 

An example of this is fruit. So in 60 seconds I'll run through the 3 types of fruit which has made us confused about if fruit is good or bad for us.


Supplements for a better night’s rest

07 May, 2018  Nutrition

 Melatonin And Magnesium

We all know that sleep is very important and with all of the connections to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure, and cognitive failure, the need to sleep goes far beyond just looking better and seeing results from your diet and exercise efforts.

While there’s no hard number that applies to all people, a good rule of thumb is to receive between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, and to make sure that one poor night of sleep isn’t followed up with a few more. It might not seem like much, but it could make all the difference and mean more than any other health decision you make.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, supplement with melatonin and magnesium.

Melatonin regulates the wake/sleep cycle to help you get a better night’s rest. According to Dr. Margie Danchin from The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by a gland in the brain in response to the dark stimulus created as the sun goes down. It helps to regulate the body clock in almost everyone, and is often used for jet lag, as well as for inducing sleep (although it doesn’t work in everyone). It can help some kids fall asleep faster and to stay asleep for longer.

However, before you supplement with melatonin ensure you’ve consulted with your Doctor and tried all strategies to optimise your sleep first including reducing ‘screen time’ at night ie. TV, smart phones, iPads or e-books because the light exposure from screens actually delays the natural secretion of melatonin and confuses your brain, thinking that it’s daylight and the sun is still up.

The other supplement you want to use to help you with your sleep is magnesium.

Insomnia is a common symptom of magnesium deficiency. People with low magnesium often experience restless sleep, waking frequently during the night. Maintaining healthy magnesium levels often leads to deeper, more sound sleep. Magnesium plays a role in supporting deep sleep by maintaining healthy levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep. Research indicates supplemental magnesium can improve sleep quality, especially in people with poor sleep (thesleepdoctor.com).

There are weeks when I only sleep about 4-5 hours a night but yet still able to do high intensity training 3-4 times a week including 5 minute sparring rounds in the boxing ring. And my clients, family and friends ask me how I do it. Well a lot of willpower but Magnesium helps as well.

Which product do you recommend?

For melatonin, I personally haven’t needed to use it. You want to look for one that is all natural and 5mg per tablet is average. If you need something stronger, 10mg per tablet will do the trick. This one from Natrol seems to tick all the right boxes.

For magnesium, I like Ethical Nutrient mega mag.




Need to get back into it? Stop being so sweet

10 April, 2018  Nutrition

When I come back from holidays or if people tell me they "need to get back into it", I focus on reducing sugar amounts. It’s just one thing I need to focus on for my food plan and if you are like me, I love chocolate and my sweets so this is a good place to start.  I don’t cut it out completely, so how much do I reduce by?

Reduce your sugar to the levels recommended by the World Health Organization. For women, 6 teaspoons a day (25g) and for men, 9 teaspoons (37.5g). This is by far the single most effective step in getting a flatter stomach. It has been proven by me and our DIYPT members time and time again. 

Woman Carrying Sweets

Why should I avoid sugar?

This question may sound obvious, but you'll be surprised how many times I get asked this question. There are many reasons why you should avoid the sweet stuff:

  • It provides fuel for cancer cells
  • It impairs the function of white blood cells
  • It promotes weight gain
  • It makes the body produce less leptin (needed for appetite regulation)
  • It disrupts how amino acids transfer to muscles
  • It spurs insulin resistance, which can lead to Type II diabetes
  • It induces oxidative stress

(source: paleohacks.com)

Not all sugar is terrible for you. Natural sources like that from fruit, honey, and maple syrup aren’t as bad as from processed sugars and HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) but it’s still possible to overdo it. There’s no reason to cut all fruit out of your diet in an attempt to remove all sugar; you’d be giving up all those antioxidants, phytochemicals, fiber, minerals, and vitamins at the same time.

How can I cut sugar out of my diet?

Choose some of these painless methods to help you without making it feel like it’s too hard. My favourite tip is number 4.

  1. Stop buying processed foods – This is the biggest change you can make as pretty much everything that comes in a box, can or bag has added sugars.
  2. Choose whole, fresh fruit over juice, dried fruits or other fruit products like fruit snack bars.
  3. Avoid flavoured yoghurt – most yoghurt has just as much sugar in them as lollies. Don’t eat them! Buy or make your own plain yoghurt and add fruit and if you’re really desperate, honey if you need some sweetness.
  4. Give yourself a quota - If you are weaning yourself back off of sugar, one of the easiest ways to do it is to give yourself a “quota” when it comes to sugar, and use it on dessert. If you normally eat dessert every day, then cut sugar by avoiding all sweets except at dessert. Over the next few weeks, cut back the amount of desserts you have per week. Another way to help is to replace half of your desserts with fresh fruit.
  5. Give yourself rules about dessert - Leading in from the last point, once you’ve cut sugar intake back to just desserts, you should then start weaning yourself off of desserts. Give yourself certain days of the week to eat desserts (and no, don’t say “every day that ends in ‘day”). Say, for example, you only eat them on even days, or on weekends, or on special occasions.
  6. Don’t keep treats in the house – It’s a fact. More often than not, if a treat is in your house, you will eventually eat it. 
  7. Try xylitol or stevia
  8. Avoid mixed alcohol drinks
  9. Cut out soft drinks
  10. Try dark chocolate – if chocolate is your weakness, try dark chocolate because it’s better for you, has health benefits and you’re less likely to eat as much as you would milk chocolate.

How do I track how much sugar intake I’ve had?

I get all our members to track what they eat using this app, because how do you know exactly how much sugar you’ve had if you don’t track it?

Download an App called My Fitness Pal on your smart phone, tablet or you can go to their website and use it on your computer. It is very user friendly, however if you’re struggling and need help, please don’t hesitate to email me. 

Remember, keep your eyes on the prize!


Diets, which one is the best?

01 February, 2018  Nutrition

If you’ve clicked here, you’re probably looking for a fast track, one concrete answer solution like when Neo chose the red pill in the Matrix.

I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but I believe there is no single perfect diet that will help solve your health and/or weight/fat loss problems.

The reason why all diets have reported to yield awesome results is because of a number of factors:

  1. They help control appetite and food intake. In most cases they encourage a lower calorie intake, and we all know that nobody does low calories forever.
  2. They focus on food quality
  3. They help eliminate any nutrient deficiencies
  4. They promote regular exercise

All diets no matter how dissimilar they are, have all four of these factors. And these are very difficult to maintain long term because of many things but the main ones are:

  • You can’t function on a lower calorie diet 
  • High quality foods are expensive
  • Lack of variety hence become bored of eating the same types of food
  • Life events get in the way and circumstances may change

And if you do lose weight dramatically in a week from dieting, hand on heart, this is not healthy. I guarantee you, you won’t be able to maintain the diet forever. And when you do go back to eating normally, you will gain the weight back plus more!!!

If you can prove me wrong, please PM or email me separately. I’d love to know how you did it and I’m sure plenty of people would to.

With our DIYPT members, we firstly get them to understand what they’re putting in their mouths and how much they are consuming by getting them to track their meals in an app called My Fitness Pal. They become educated on what foods make them gain weight or fat, and then from there we give them a food plan with suggestions of what they should be eating for their individual needs.

PM or email me and I’ll help you with your next steps. My email is jonathan@diypt.com.au.



Fads & myths: The Health Star rating

29 January, 2018  Nutrition

In just 2 minutes I'm going to tell you why the Health Star rating cannot be trusted.


4 Nutrition principles to fat loss

13 January, 2018  Nutrition

 Friends Eating Birdseyeview

Have you tried to lose weight or lose fat and have had little success? Why is it so hard?

I find the main reason is that there is too much information out there. If you go to a bookstore, they’ll have multiple aisles on nutrition. On amazon.com.au, there are about 4,000 diet books alone!

It doesn't need to be that hard. When it comes to fat loss nutrition, I believe there are only 4 things you need to think about.

Most of you have read enough about how to lose fat, so what do you think the 4 principles are?

My 4 principles are:

  1. Calorie balance
  2. Protein up
  3. Substitute grains for greens
  4. Add good fats into your meals

Everything else, you can forget about it. Just keep things simple and uncomplicated.

These 4 principles are nothing new. And they derive from what many other Trainers, Nutritionists and Dietitians believe are important factors in fat loss nutrition.


1. Calorie balance

When I say calorie balance, I’m referring to the number of calories you consume compared to the number of calories you burn. Calorie balance is what determines weight loss or weight gain.

The best method for measuring this, is macronutrient counting. In our DIYPT programs we use this method and our members have received amazing results from it.

For some of you, you may not be ready for this because you’re just starting out with exercising and/or you may not be ready for the commitment needed to macro count.

So one method you can do without having to count calories and macronutrients is eating less calories in the form of carbs and fats on days you’re not doing high intensity exercise and eating more carbs and fats on the days you are doing high intensity exercise. When I’m saying high intensity exercise I’m referring to any resistance base weight training or doing high intensity interval workouts like boxing or interval sprints. Doing long, low intensity cardio is NOT high intensity exercise.


2. Protein up

Time after time, I keep preaching the need to increase your protein, exercising or not, because the benefits of protein include:

  • Builds muscle and prevents muscle loss if you are in a calorie deficit
  • Speeds up your metabolism and muscle recovery
  • Requires more energy than other macros for your body to digest, hence burning more calories gram for gram through the digestion process.
  • Helps you feel fuller for longer
  • Provides important amino acid (fuels your body muscles, blood cells, organs etc.)

So does anyone know how much protein you should have? Extensive research suggests a range between 0.8-2.7 grams per kg of body weight per day and depends on other factors such as gender, exercise type and frequency and training goal.

Who I want to help in this blog are vegetarians, because these people generally lack enough protein in their diets. Where you can start is having at least a cup of legumes per day and supplement with vegetarian friendly protein powders and protein bars.


3. Substitute grains with greens

Grains for starters are high in kilojoules. For example 2 slices (100g) of wholemeal bread has 936kJ, 100g pasta (1,476kJ), 100g rice (1,513kJ). This is a lot if the daily intake for an average Australian adult is 8,700kJ a day.

As a society we eat too much processed grains such as biscuits, cereals, snack bars, cakes and most breads because they are convenient and taste good. However eating too much can be very bad for you including increase hormones that lead to fat gain.

We all know the benefits of eating green vegetables such as rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals but we stay away from them because they taste bland and boring. However, there is more to just eating vegetables in a salad. You can have them as sauteed, steamed, baked, grilled, as pesto veggies and even chips, like oven baked kale chips.


4. Add good fats into your meals

For many years society has turned us away from eating fat with the increased popularity of fat free products dominating our supermarket shelves.

Fortunately, we now know better with an abundant amount of research highlighting the benefits of good fats in our diet. Namely, it assists in heart health, hormone regulation, brain function, and in terms of your fitness goal, eating good sources of fat enhances your body’s ability to burn fat, eating more good fats means eating less carbs and makes you satiable. When carbs are minimal in our bodies, fats is the next macronutrient in line to be used for energy.

Where people go wrong is the consumption of processed fats found in all packaged food such as cakes, processed fats found in deep fried foods, hydrogenated fats such as margarine and most shelf table cooking oils (e.g. vegetable, soybean, corn oil etc.). Hence the difference between healthy, good fat vs bad fat.

The healthy fats you want to be consuming are relatively unprocessed fats from whole foods such as: nuts (e.g. almonds), seeds (e.g. chia seeds), coconut (e.g. coconut oil), avocado, olives (e.g. extra virgin olive oil) and egg yolks. Other foods you should include in your meals that are high in good fat include: cheese, dark chocolate, fatty fish, animal organs, organic and/or grass fed meats.

So if you are starting out on your fitness journey or are wanting proven tips to help you shed off your unwanted fat, try the 4 principles above. If you want more, then let me introduce you to macro counting, the DIYPT way.

Remember, keep your eyes on the prize.



Beating Eating Triggers Tip Sheet - Sensations

11 June, 2017  Nutrition

Blog Eating Triggers Sensations

Your diet is travelling along nicely until something happens. That ‘something’ is an eating trigger that causes you to overeat or eat inappropriately. Knowing your eating triggers is the first step to overcoming them. Here are some tips to beat one of the four common categories of eating triggers – Sensations.


Sensations are the physiological and biochemical changes that occur in our bodies in response to eating food or being deprived of it. These sensation triggers include; an empty stomach, low blood sugar levels or an unbalanced ratio of neurotransmitter chemicals in the brain.

How to beat ‘sensation’ eating triggers:

Tick the eating habits you’ve already mastered. Cross or highlight the ones you need to work on:

  • Eat regularly and avoid skipping meals, which can leave you hungry and prone to overeating.
  • Choose foods that fill you up with fewer calories and help level out blood sugars. For example, sources of low glycaemic index (GI) carbohydrates such as rolled oats, yoghurt and grainy bread.
  • Include some higher-protein foods including; lean meat, chicken, fish, dairy or beans at lunch and dinner to help you feel satisfied.
  • Where possible, try to limit or avoid stimulant foods such as coffee, cola drinks and chocolate, particularly at times when you crave them. This pattern of consumption reinforces the negative habit.
  • Beware of depriving yourself too much and eating too little food. This will amplify your sensations of hunger and cravings, which will make you more prone to experiencing the other types of eating triggers.

The key to beating sensation eating triggers is to level out your body’s natural chemical highs and lows.

Remember, keep your eyes on the prize.


By Matt O’Neill, Dietitian - SmartShape.com.au