Want personalized advice on Nutrition?


Over the past 12 years I have worked in the Health and Fitness Industry as a Personal Trainer, Nutritionist, Group Exercise Instructor and International Health Club Manager in India, Philippines, Australia and New Zealand, I have had the pleasure of providing lifestyle and nutrition coaching to over 1000 people. From Sports People and Body Builders, to people that just want to get in better shape and enjoy the benefits of improved health.

As I travel from place to place and meet more and more people in need of help with their nutrition and general health, it has become increasingly harder to keep in touch with everyone.

As a result, I have developed a system to provide my clients advice and update their meal plans from anywhere in the world!

          View Your Meal Plans

So I developed www.TheOnlineNutritionist.net!

Each client gets their own online website where they can view their meal plans, input their exercise activity, search over 850 recipes and print their shopping list in just a few clicks of their mouse!

I encourage you to check it out.

Let me know what you think and if I can be of any help, just drop me a line at matt@theonlinenutritionist.net

Your in Health,

Matt, The Online Nutritionist

 

 

 

 

The best protein bars on the planet!


And so easy to make!

Protein bars are a convenient way of getting a healthy snack on the run. On face value, they may appear to be healthy, but look further into the ingredients and you will see that most are nothing more than glorified high protein candy bars. I personally do not recommend eating anything unless you know exactly what is in it.

In the attempt to sell more bars, many companies have resorted to adding chocolates, caramels and a whole heap of other sugar rich goodies to make their bars taste better.

If you look at the label of most protein bars on the market, you will often see that the sugar levels are about the same as a Mars bar. The fat content may be a few grams lower and the protein far lower, but sugar content will be similar. Some so called “Low Carb” bars, trick you by describing “Net Carbs” which is different from the overall carbs in the bar. Other sugars and carbs, which of course contain calories, are hidden as alcohol sugars or glycerine. They are still however sugars.

Most protein bars are highly refined to make them taste better and have better texture.

So, make your own! The following recipe makes the best tasting bars I have ever tasted. Seriously! And they have slow release carbs from oats and museli, good fats from nuts and are high in protein. These are ideal for anyone that wants a healthy high protein snack and especially good for Diabetics.

So here it is. Enjoy!

Brownie Protein Bars

Makes 10 bars

Ingredients

• 7 scoops chocolate protein powder (2.5g carbs and 30g protein per scoop)

• 1 cup/200g oatmeal/Museli (You can use a mix of Oatbran, Museli and oats)

• 90g natural peanut butter (I prefer crunchy)

• 3 Tbsp honey

• ½ cup low fat milk

• 3 tbsp crushed peanuts (70g)

Directions

  1. Place the protein powder, oatmeal, peanut butter, honey and milk into a food processor and roughly blend.
  2. With wet hands, roll into 10 bars and then roll in the crushed peanuts and press into bar shapes to finish.
  3. Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes

Each bar contains 10.5g Fat, 28g Protein and 22g Carbs. Total 295 calories

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Healthy food does not have to be boring!


A healthy and delicious take on a popular dessert, the Banana Split.

Paired with a low carb protein shake, this makes a perfect morning or afternoon tea snack and is so easy to prepare!

Although this may be a more typical dessert, I would not recommend eating 24g of carbs at night after dinner.

  1. Cut one med – large banana length ways and place in a frying pan on full heat with 1/2 tsp of low fat butter per banana half. Make sure the banana gets covered from end to end with butter.
  2. After about 30 – 45 second, turn the banana over and drizzle over 1/2 tsp of honey.
  3. 30 second later, turn the banana once more for 15 seconds until the honey has caramelized and remove.
  4. Place in a small plate and serve with 100g of full fat yoghurt and mixed berries.
  5. Serve with a freshly shaken and chilled low carb protein shake. (Blend with mixed berries if possible)

It’s that easy!

The breakdown:

  • 284 Calories
  • 24g Carbohydrates 212
  • 8g Fat
  • 29g Protein

Enjoy!

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Healthy Seafood Mornay


This is a super delicious meal that only takes 30 mins to throw together and can feed a family of five.

Each serving contains 6.2g fat, 25.5g protein, 45.5g carbs and only 292 cals! Ideal for a healthy lunch.

Ingredients:

  • 300g White Fish (I use frozen Basa Fillets)
  • 300g Shelled Prawns
  • 300g Potato (Approx 2 x med sized)
  • 200g Sweet Potato (Approx 1 small)
  • 2 cups of Cauliflower (Cut small)
  • 1 Cup Broccoli (Cut Small)
  • 1 Large Onion diced small
  • 2 Spring Onions finely chopped
  • 20g Low Fat Butter or Canola or Sunflower Butter
  • 20g White Plain Flour
  • 300ml Full Fat Milk (Mix in 100mls cold water)
  • ½ cup Boiled Long Grain White or Brown Rice

Method:

  1. Peel and cut two medium white potatoes and one small sweet potato into 1cm cubes.
  2. Place in a pot with 2 cups of cauliflower and 1 cup of broccoli cut small. Boil for 7-10 minutes so that the pieces are cooked but still firm.
  3. Melt 20g of low fat butter on a low heat. Sift in the flour and quickly mix to a paste. Start adding the milk/water and gradually mix into the paste until all the milk and water are combined. Add about 75mls at a time and only add more once the lumps are evened out. Using a wok with rounded sides and a curved wooden spoon is best
  4. Cut one med size brown onion into small pieces and add to the sauce.
  5. Add ½ tsp salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Mix in the white fish ( cut into 3cm cubes) and the shelled prawns.
  7. Drain the boiled veges and add to the sauce. Cook through until the fish flesh turns from pinky white to white.  Approx 15 minutes.
  8. Stir in two stems of finely cut spring onions. Simmer for 3 minutes.
  9. Place 1/5th of the mix on top of ½ cup boiled long grain white or brown rice.

Enjoy!

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Merry Christmas!


It’s that time of year again!

Christmas day is a special day of giving and sharing with family and friends.

We all love the feeling of giving and receiving presents, but it is the the act of sitting around the dinner table with your nearest and dearest and sharing food, memories and laughter that we will remember for many years to come.

Food brings people together and the experience is heightened when enjoyable foods are consumed .

Christmas day is one of those days where I believe diets should be completely off the menu and you should be able to treat yourself to what ever your heart and stomach desires! Enjoy an extra serving of Turkey and roast potatoes, have a drink… or two and enjoy the experience with family and friends.

But remember, “The Diet Starts Monday!”

I wish you and your family a very merry Christmas and a happy and safe new year!

The only way to lose weight!


Move More, Eat Less.

As obvious as it sounds, this really is the only way any diet will work. From the Atkins Diet to the South Beach Diet, Diets will only work if the dieter consumes less calories than they expend, with one exception.

While it is true that weight loss can only occur when we expend more calories than what we ingest, if we eat too little and make the gap between energy intake (food) and energy output (exercise) too large, things can go terribly wrong. For instance, put Lance Armstrong on a daily calorie intake of 2000, when on an average training day he would burn more than 13000 calories and before long, he would be sick as a dog and in a state of anorexia.

One of the most common complaints I would hear from my over 100kg clients, was that they would eat very little and exercise regularly but still gain weight. If the gap between energy out vs energy in is more than around 1000 calories a day, the result can often mean that the body goes into a state of starvation and holds on to as much fat weight as possible.  This is why very low calorie diets do not work and are never sustainable.

Why would your body want to let go of body fat stores when instinctively your brain is sending messages to the body that there is a severe lack of food and therefore must hold onto as much fat as possible to stay alive for as long as possible? When the mind perceives a lack of food, it automatically tells the body the best way to survive and fires into action. In instances of continued famine, (eating 1000 less calories than the energy we expend in a given day) the body reacts by storing fat. Fat, having the highest energy content at 9 calories per gram, is stored as adipose (fat) tissue on the body and supplies the body with over double the useable energy than that of carbohydrates and proteins. Proteins and carbohydrates offer only 4 calories per gram. Remember, we are generically wired for survival.

Food energy is measured in calories. Every food has a different calorific value. A gram of lettuce has about 0.16 calories, whereas a gram of avocado has around 8 times as much with 1.26 calories. The scientific measurement of a calorie is the energy needed to increase the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 °C. Slightly technical, but pretty much meaning that the higher the calorie value of a particular food, the longer it takes your body to burn it off, making it a more sustainable source of fuel. Or on the positive side, the more energy available, the more energy we have available to perform exercise or daily tasks.

When we consume less calories than we expend over a sustained period of time, we experience weight loss. The energy required to burn one kilo of fat, is 7000 calories. Therefore, if you consume 500 less calories than what you expend every day for seven days, you will have created a deficit of 3500 calories. So, in theory, you should have burned ½ kilo of fat in one week. This is the case, unless the dieter gets too carried away and the gap between input and output becomes more than 1000 calories.

Do not make the mistake of thinking less is more. Eat less and move more, but you need to figure out how many calories you are eating and how many calories you are burning so you can maintain a healthy balance.A healthy deficit is around 500 calories a day. For 100kg plus people that are exercising, up to 1000 is possible but no higher.

I will cover more on how to figure out your energy output and input in the following posts.

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What’s the sweet deal with chocolate?


I like chocolate. I mean, I really really like chocolate. And as much as I love to hear all the great press about chocolate containing anti oxidants and being good for you, I still know that consuming too much will make me fat.

But what is it about chocolate that is so bad for us?

Well, basically there are three ingredients that make chocolate taste so great. Sugar, fats and cocoa.

As you can see from the nutritional info from my favorite chocolate on the right, 51g out of 100g is sugar, 37g fat and just 6g protein.

No wonder it tastes so damn good! I like chocolate…

Instead of eating milk chocolate, consider trying dark chocolate. You still get that rich chocolate taste which can actually satisfy your craving by eating a smaller amount. With a higher cocoa content, dark chocolate does contain significantly higher levels of antioxidants than milk chocolate and a lot less sugar.    36 grams less sugar to be exact! Great for diabetics.

Yes dark chocolate does contain a little more fat than it’s milkier bother, but it is still by far, the healthier option.

Did I mention, I like chocolate?? 🙂

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Why the universe doesnt want you to have abs!


Another clue as to why we sometimes struggle to lose weight may lay with our ancestors.

If we look at the lifestyle and eating habits of our prehistoric ancestors, we may better understand the constant battle we now face in fighting fat.

For millions of years, human beings have been hunters and gatherers by nature. The Males role was predominantly to impregnate women, create children then provide shelter and food. There was no dialing for a pizza. To feed hungry mouths, the man of the house would have to hunt and kill dinner to feed his family.

When a man puts on weight, the first place fat tissue gathers is around the abdomen. Unfortunately, this is also the last place the fat comes off too.

When we think of prehistoric man, we often conjure up images of Spartan like men with six pack abs and bulging biceps. This however was probably not the case. The reason? Firstly, once a kill had been made, large portions of food would be eaten to avoid spoilage or loss from scavengers. This was often followed by prolonged famine. This process forces the body to hold on to as much body fat as possible in order to increase chances of survival. The other reason is pre programmed genetics.

Pre Programmed Genetics

Our bodies are designed to evolve to ensure the continuation of human existence and pro creation. As the role of a male Homo Sapien was to make sure he and his dependents were fed; and knowing that food often came in the form of dangerous wild animals, the male anatomy developed some safety features. Fat gathers around the stomach region to protect vital organs and increase the chances of survival if attacked. Thankfully these days we do not need to hunt for our dinner!

In the case of Women, who’s main purpose was to bear and raise children, fat tissue would naturally (and still does) tend to gather around the hips to protect the child bearing organs. Again, for woman, this is the first place excess calories will be stored and the last place it will come off.

Fat tissue is also one of the best forms of insulation, another reason why fat gathers around our vital organs. You will find that races of people that live in warmer climates find it far easier to keep fat off, as the body does not require it for insulation. People that live in colder climates struggle more to shift the weight as the body instinctively needs it to stay insulated.

Although we now live in a much safer and controlled environment, unfortunately for us, these safety features are already pre programmed into our genetics. All you need to do is look around and see the areas men and woman generally will store their body fat.

So as you can see, we are not actually designed to have six pack abs. Having abs is actually highly un natural, hence the difficulties men and woman have with shifting fat from those protective regions.

The healthy range of body fat for men to maintain is between 12 – 18% and women 18 – 26%. For the abdomen muscles to be noticed, the outer layers of fat need to be reduced to around 6-8%. Going against nature, you need to understand the body to know how to trick it into letting go of fat stores.

Despite the fact that we are constantly faced with battling our pre programmed genetics, if we make our health and fitness a priority, we can win the fight against fat!

My 3rd Body Building Comp in 2006

Fortunately for us, these days fresh vegetables, butchered meats and dairy is so readily available and we can pretty much consume quality foods whenever we wish.

When good food is so much more convenient than any other time in history, there is really no excuse to opt for bad convenience foods. Make your health a priority!

I know how hard it is to get abs and I can tell you, the process to getting them is not easy. Exercising two hours a day and eating a super strict diet is not what many people consider “Natural behavior”! The good news is, once you have them, they are much easier to maintain.

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Breakfast of Champions!


A tasty and healthy breakfast that takes less than five minutes to prepare.

  • Five egg whites
  • One yolk
  • Red Onion finely chopped
  • One small Tomato finely chopped (Drain fluid)
  • Chives
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Use a small amount of spray oil in a 25cm frying pan

Whisk the egg whites and one yolk until fully combined. Add remaining ingredients and pour into the pre heated frying pan. Cook until the egg has set and flip. Continue cooking for 15 seconds and then remove from the pan. Too easy!

Meal contains:

  • 33g Carbohydrate
  • 20 – 25g Protein (Depending on egg size)
  • 6g Fat
  • Total calories 266

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Get off the Juice! Which has more sugar? Soda or Juice?


Many people are shocked to find out that fruit juice actually contains the SAME amount of sugar as soda.

Just like any other substance we ingest, fruit juices can make you fat.

Last night when I visited the super market, I took these pictures to show the similarities between the two beverages.

When you look at the nutritional info on a popular brand fruit juice, you will see that there is 10.1g of sugar per 100mls. That is about two tsp of sugar. An average glass holds 250mls, so potentially you are consuming 25g of sugar or 5tsp in a 10 second gulp! As the fruit has been juiced, a lot of the fiber has been lost, leaving mainly sugar and water.

On the right you will see the nutritional info from a popular soda manufacturer. The total sugar per 100mls is 10.6g. Only 0.5g more than the juice!

Fruit juices and soda, when consumed alone, catapult their sugars into our blood stream within minutes after consumption. As a result, this makes our blood sugar levels spike, triggering a large insulin release to bring our sugar levels back into line. Insulin is a hormone which is responsible for storing body fat and needs to be avoided. Admittedly, soda does have slightly worse effects on blood sugar levels due to its sugars being in a more simple form. (I will post more soon about the effects of unstable blood sugar levels and insulin)

Both beverages however both have approximately the same calorie content.

So the other reason why juices can make us gain weight is because calorie conscious people often make the mistake of only taking into consideration calories consumed from food. We have always been told that soda is bad (which it is) and fruit juice is healthy, so who would have thought that downing a few glasses of juice a day could actually make you fat!?  Four glasses of juice a day is approximately 400 calories! This can easily throw your daily calorie goals way off if not factored into your eating plan.

Now, just because fruit juices are not great for you, that doesn’t mean that fruit is not. An intact piece of fruit contains fiber which when ingested, slows down the release of blood sugar and limits the chances of the body releasing insulin. For more info on the effects different fruits have on your sugar levels, I suggest you get hold of a book called “The Glycemic Index”.

Instead of consuming fruit juices, try squeezing half a citrus fruit in a glass of sparkling water and dropping some Stevia in to sweeten things up. Stevia is a completely natural sweetener made from the leaves of the Stevia plant.

Give it a go and lay off the juice!

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