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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Cardio then Weights, Or Weights then Cardio?


We are all pressed for time and want to make sure that the minutes spent in the gym are as effective as they can be and provide us with the best results for the time spent.

I often get asked what is best for losing fat? Cardio then Weights or Weights then Cardio?ImageImage

If you get the answer correct, you can hugely increase the effectiveness of your workout. So here is the answer and why.

Weights first, then Cardio

Why?

Your body can not burn fat until it has burned 80% of your glycogen stores. (Carbohydrates broken down into blood sugars, stored in your blood, liver and muscles). So use your glycogen stores for your more explosive exercises such as your weights routine. By the end of an intense 45 minute weights workout, you are likely to have burned a large amount of your glycogen store. When you do cardio after, you are much more likely to be using fat as a fuel source.

Also, doing extensive amounts of cardio before your weights routine, will make you weak when you need to be at your strongest.

I do recommend however to do a 5 minute warm up on a relevant piece of cardio. If you are doing upper body, then use a cross trainer using your arms, or a grinder. For Legs, a light jog or stationary bike is suitable.

I prefer to work out in the morning when my stomach and blood sugars are low. A serving of low carb protein shake with a scoop of creatine and glutamine 45 mins before your workout is advisable for optimum results.

Look out for my next post about Weights Vs Cardio for weight loss. Which is better and why?

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The best return on investment is time spent on YOUR health


The old saying, “You get out what you put in” is a great little motto to remember when striving to achieve anything you value in life.

If you are serious about learning another language, you can not practice 5 minutes a day and expect to be fluent in three months. Same goes with your health and fitness. Spend five minutes a day, and not much will change.

The great thing about investing time in your health and fitness is the return. Invest 45 minutes a day, three days a week and reduce your chances of getting heart disease or cancer by over 40%, sleep better, have more energy, reduce stress, lose body fat, reduce your resting heart rate and live longer..

Invest 45 minutes a day, five days a week and 30-45 minutes in the evening to prepare a healthy dinner and some well balanced meals for the following day and all of the above PLUS the body you have always wanted is available to you.

I do not know of any other investment of ones time that gives a return that has so many benefits.

Here are a few steps towards achieving your health goals.

Step one. Decide WHY?

You need to ponder the reasons why investing time and effort in your health and fitness is important to you? Is it to lose weight so that you can live longer and have much better quality time with your children and family? Is it to become fit enough to travel the world and see it’s many beautiful sights? Is it to get off blood pressure medication or manage diabetes so that you live longer and have a much better quality of life? Or do you just want a body that is smoking hot to attract the opposite sex? What ever it is, it has to be important to you and most importantly, have meaning and purpose.

Step two. Know clearly what your goal is.

Then visualize yourself in vivid colorful images of how you would like to look and how life will be different once you have acheived this goal. I usually do this last thing at night before I sleep and first thing in the morning. Your subconscious mind does not know the difference between what is real and what is not. If you can go there in the mind, you can go there in the body.

Step three. Make YOUR health a priority.

Understand that without it, you are nothing. With bad health, you are restricted and burdened. Not only does bad health and chronic disease effect you, but it also  effects your family and loved ones that care for you.

Your health must become number one priority in your life. Yes it may take some of your time, but I guarantee the time you spend, will bring ease and grace to every other area of your life. Life is to be enjoyed!

Step four. Plan it.

Get advice on what you need to eat and how much exercise you need to do to achieve your goal and then follow it. The old 80/20 rule applies here. Be good and stick to the plan 80% of the time and give yourself 20% leeway.

Step five. START!

In my next post, I will share more about my routine and diet. I exercise around 1.5hrs a day and spend about 40 minutes in the evening preparing all my meals. It really doesn’t take that long to cook healthy and delicious foods.

Here is a pic of today’s meals. Along with two protein shakes, this makes up 2400 calories, 240g protein, 240g Carbs and about 54g Fat.

Image

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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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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!

Work out how many calories you are burning, just like a nutritionist!


Our energy output is a determined by two things.

  1. The calories burned from normal bodily function (Basal metabolic rate or BMR) such as breathing, organ function and digesting food.
  2. Additional natural movement such as moving limbs and walking throughout the course of the day and any additional exercise.

Working out your BMR

BMR is dependent on the individuals body weight and can be roughly calculated by multiplying your lean body mass in pounds by 14. (There are 2.2lbs per kilo).

You will need to measure your body fat levels with a trainer at your gym. Once you know your body fat, work out your lean mass. Your lean mass is made up of Muscle, bone, ligaments, tendons and water. We sometimes refer to this as your “active mass” as this is the mass that has calorie burning capabilities, unlike fat mass.

Eg. A person at 200lb with 20% body fat leaves 160lbs lean mass. 160lbs x 14 = 2240 calories. 14 always stays as a constant.This number is your BMR, or the amount of calories you burn per day in a sedentary state.

You can print this screen and record this number below.

My BMR is: ________ Calories per day

Then you need to add additional exercise to find out how many calories you approximately expend on a daily basis.

Count how many minutes of exercise you are doing on a daily basis and at what intensity. Eg. 60 minutes at 80% intensity. 60 x 0.8 = 48 active minutes at 100% intensity.

Regardless of what exercise, you can roughly gauge the intensity by how high your average heart rate is during the exercise is. Take 220, minus your age and that is your maximum, or 100% intensity. Eg. I am 32yo. My 100% intensity is 188 heart beats per minute. 80% of 188 would be 150.4 beats per minute.

To put it simply, when I do weights, I keep my rest periods to about one minute. My intensity is about 75%. When I do a spin cycle class, I average about 85%. If I am doing sprints or fast paced running, I can get up to about 90%.

Count your active minutes per day for a week.

Monday:       ________Mins at _____% intensity = _______ active mins

Tuesday:      ________Mins at _____% intensity = _______ active mins

Wednesday: ________Mins at_____% intensity = _______ active mins

Thursday:    ________ Mins at _____% intensity = _______ active mins

Friday:         ________Mins at _____% intensity = _______ active mins

Saturday:     ________Mins at _____% intensity = _______ active mins

Sunday:       ________Mins at _____% intensity = _______ active mins

TOTAL                                                                     _______ active mins

Take your total number of active minutes and divide the number by 60. =_______

Then add this number to 14.  14 + _____ = _____  Eg. 14 + 3.7 = 17.7

Now take that number and multiple it by your total lean mass in pounds. Eg. 180lbs lean mass X 17.7 = 2832 calories burned on average per day. Some days may be higher and some days less, but this will be very close and will give you a good idea of how many calories to consume each day.

(New number)_____ x _____lbs lean mass

My Daily Energy Output is _____ calories

For dieters that want to lose fat weight, subtract 500 to 1000 calories off your daily expenditure and consume that amount of calories.

For some smaller people, you may find that this level of calories is too low. Even for the smallest dieter, it is important to never consume any less than 1200 calories for a woman and no less than 1800 calories for a male for any sustained period of time.

I know there are a lot of calculations! If you have any questions, just let me know!

If you can master the above, you will now be able to work out how many calories you are burning, just like a nutritionist!

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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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Is your vacation “Worth the Weight”?


Is Holiday Weight Gain (HWG) an unavoidable phenomenon?

Maybe returning home with extra baggage around your middle, is just one of those things we need to experience in order to enjoy a good holiday. I actually know people that use the increased number of notches on their belt as an indication of how much they enjoyed their holiday!

We all know that once we step away from our homes, our routine and our refrigerators, our ability to eat right and get the same level of exercise can be tricky. Most of us are resigned to thinking that it is just impossible to eat well, exercise and still enjoy our holiday and as a result, we often just give up and expect to return home several kilos heavier. But this does not have to be the case.

Here are my top ten tips for you to enjoy your holiday, whilst minimizing the impact to your waistline.

  1. Eat often. With so much to see and do, we sometimes forget to eat. Leaving large gaps between meals will force your metabolism to slow down and make your body store fat. Try and eat five to six times a day, or at least every three to four hours.
  2. Move more. Choose activities that require you to use your legs and expend the calories you eat. Burn some rubber on your flip flops and get out and about to see what your destination has to offer! Generally when we are on holiday, we tend to move a lot more than we would during a normal day at work. With these extra calories burned, sneaking a beer or two after a hard days sightseeing, can be possible without gaining weight.
  3. Stay away from processed foods. If you look at the label and even when it is written in English, you still don’t understand what it is, yet alone be able to pronounce it, try to avoid it. Stick to meals consisting of whole foods. After all, the fresh aromatic flavors of freshly cooked foods will be what you remember about your holiday. Not the snack from a vending machine.
  4. Try not to eat carbohydrate rich foods alone. Adding a little protein and fat will slow down the absorption of the meal and provide a longer release of energy. Carbohydrates can cause spikes of blood sugar which makes the body release insulin. Insulin is a hormone responsible for storing body fat.
  5. Watch the soda and juices. Sightseeing can be thirsty work! Make sure you always have plenty of filtered water with you to stay hydrated. Avoid soda or fruit juices that will add another 100 calories each glass!
  6. Cut the carbs at dinner. Avoid eating rice, noodles, breads, potato and any other carbohydrate rich foods at dinner time. Your body can only burn fat when 80% of your carbohydrate stores are burned. Try choosing meals with lots of fresh veggies (except root veges) and easily digested proteins such as chicken, fish or seafood.
  7. When in Asian countries, avoid meals containing MSG. Try finding out what the locals call MSG and request none to be added when ordering your meal. In the Philippines MSG is referred to as Vetsin. Monosodium Glutamate is a commonly used flavor enhancer that can cause nausea and headaches. Many people can be sensitive to MSG and this is not something you want to discover while on holiday!
  8. Eat up big at breakfast! After a long sleep, it’s important to refuel the body. A big feed at breakfast will give you the energy to get your day started.
  9. Buy a “Fit Band”.A Fit Band can fit in the side pocket of your suitcase and there

    Fit Bands. Approx. $20ea

    are literally hundreds of exercises you can do with them. Learn a few basic exercises and start or end the day with 15 minutes of exercise. In my next post I will go through a few basic exercises.

  10. Get some sleep. Without at least six hours of quality sleep a night, your body will release cortisol. Cortisol in normal levels helps support many bodily functions. But in high levels it can impair digestion, metabolism and mental function. This can leave us feeling stressed and weakens the immune system making us more susceptible to picking up any bugs we encounter.

So go and enjoy your vacation. Experience the amazing flavors and aromas unique to each country you visit and see the sights you traveled to see.

With just a little preparation and thought there is no reason why you can’t enjoy your holiday and still return home without the extra baggage in your trunk!

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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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