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!

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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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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