Given the current state of the health & fitness industry, there is usually so much information out there that can confuse many of you. One question will usually get 5 or 6 or 14 different answers.
A lot of you who read this want to get the best bang for the buck results based on your time invested. Let’s face it, no-one wants to waste their valuable time.
So, I thought I’d create a list of some of the most common questions that I see flying around online and that I get asked and give the answers here. These answers will apply to 99.99999% of you out there and will hopefully save a lot of headaches. This nutrition and training stuff isn’t as complicated as many marketing companies or personal trainers or many internet fitness stars will have you think. Many will complicate it just to get you to look at their latest product – creating a problem that isn’t really there but providing a £40 solution which you don’t need.
A good coach will lay it out in simple, honest terms with no agenda that will ultimately benefit you, the client. That’s what we’re here for, we want to help YOU.
You’ll hopefully start to see a theme as you go through these….!
Q) Which foods will make me fat?
A) The ones you usually over-indulge on. No ‘one’ food makes you fat. It’s the amount of said food.
Q) What is the best time to train?
A) When it fits your schedule. There is no perfect time.
Q) How many calories should I consume to lose fat?
A) This is based on height, weight, age, gender and how active you are during the week. Everyone is different. A coach can help you here.
It is also very unlikely it’s this magical 1200 calorie target that seems to be popular in many magazines.
However, if you’re asking this question it’s probably less than you’re eating right now.
Q) So how many calories should I drop to lose fat?
A) An amount that you can sustainably drop and be consistent with. Not just eat a lot less for a few days and then binge on treats because you’re starving. 10-20% of your maintenance calories is usually a good starting point and go from there.
Maintenance is a term to basically describe how many calories you require to stay at the exact weight you are no with no/ little activity throughout your day.
Q) Do I NEED a post workout supplement?
A) No. You do not ‘need’ too. For convenience, preference and budget – you ‘could’ but it’s very rarely a must. No trainer should EVER be telling you to have x, y, z supplementation – they are not allowed to (unless they’re a registered dietician) and they can only discuss the advantages and disadvantages with you if you have any questions.
Your gains won’t disappear without that “magic” protein powder with added fairy dust. Real food for the win.
Q) How many meals should I be eating per day for X goal?
A) Usually, three-four if you’re active/ exercise regularly. Any more than this won’t make any real-world noticable difference.
Q) What is better? High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or Low Impact Steady State (LISS) cardio?
A) The one which fits your schedule and you can keep up regularly.
Q) What’s better? Fasted or non-fasted training?
A) The one you can do and fits with your schedule. The science shows extremely little difference. In the real world, it’s negligible.
Q) What’s better? Free weights or machines?
A) The one you have best access to.
Q) What’s the best supplementation (read: pre-workout/ intra-workout/ post-workout/ night-time powder/ pill/ drink) to help my weight training and give me more muscle and less fat?
A) Harder work and greater intensity. Always.
Q) What’s the best rep/ set range to build muscle?
A) If you’re your average gym goer without access to scientific testing whilst you’re working out – the one that works for you and you can sustain.
Q) How do I get rid of that stubborn fat?
A) Diet for longer, track more precisely and be more consistent.
Q) And the big one – save the best for last. What’s the best diet to lose fat?
A) A diet which you can sustain, enjoy and creates a 10-20% caloric deficit based on your maintenance level.
Hopefully you’ll see a lot of those answers are good common sense and cut through most of the over-marketed mis-information that’s out there!
Until next time.