February 25, 2018

Are Calories Important when it comes to weight loss?

Its nearly the New Year and its that time when everyone becomes a Fitness Expert. Reality TV stars are flogging workout DVDs and diet plans and it basically makes it even more confusing for the general public that want to try and lose some weight.

One of the most talked about topics amongst my fitness friends this week has been Joe Wickes one of the most popular Fitness and Diet Gurus in the UK stating on twitter that he doesn’t believe in calorie counting.bodycoach

Before going on to talk about Joes post lets have a look at some of the most popular diets and why they “work” to some degree.

Paleo Diet – You eat only the foods our hunter gatherer ancestors ate, by doing this you exclude high calorie processed foods so you therefore eat less calories.

Intermittent Fasting – You eat only between a certain period of time often between 1pm-8pm so effectively you eat less calories.

Weightwatchers – Points values are allocated to foods based around their calories so if you do it right … you eat less calories.

Slimming World – syns and free foods based around low fat, low calories food so in general if SW works for you its because you are eating less calories. The caveat to this is if its not working for you its because bizarrely SW have free foods that include pasta and potatoes, someone with a good appetite or a bit of a carb monster can easily eat TOO MANY CALORIES this way.

Back to Joes social media post……

So the Body Coach doesn’t believe in Calorie Counting and this for me is a fundamental reason why people doing his program will experience mixed results.

I actually like a lot of what Joe does, I have all his books as you can never have too many meal ideas.

I like the fact that he promotes people eating real foods, quick and easy to make and not fearing fat.


Here is the problem, if you crunch the ingredients from some of his recipes into a calorie tracker a single serving has more calories in than an XL KFC meal, sure the nutrition will most likely be better in the Body Coach recipe but if you only need to consume say 1600 cals a day and you are mislead in to thinking you can have two “healthy meals” at 900 calories each plus a breakfast and snacks you could easily be over shooting your calories by 400-600 per day. Thats enough to gain 1lb a week!

“Calories count but they don’t need counting”

So whats my take on this? Well I think Calories count but don’t necessarily need counting. I work with the majority of my clients using their hand to measure out portion sizes based on different macro nutrients, Protein, Carbohydrates and Fat. This system works well enough for most people to keep their calories in check. Your hand is usually in relation to the size of your body and you have it every where you go so its a simple system to follow.

Of course if I was preparing someone for a photo shoot or fitness modelling competition (which isnt my scene) then I would probably need to track calories more accurately. If someone had hit a plateaux with their progress I may also look at logging calories more carefully but for most people just starting out gaining a good understanding of what bad habits have caused them to be in a place they don’t want to be and a basic understanding of how their plate should look with Proteins, Fats and Carbohydrates gives them some flexibility.


The 4 Things you need for Weight Loss Success

As we have just passed the 10th Birthday of Body Fix Boot Camp  I often get asked how we have “survived’ so long. When I first started up I was the only Boot Camp around. Since then several have popped up and disappeared whilst we not only survive but thrive.Weight Loss inch loss

I put the success down to our clients, after all we only supply the tools they do the hard work.

When it comes to getting results I believe that there are 4 key reasons for our success with weight loss clients.

1. Correct Nutrition
I get really frustrated as I scroll through my facebook news feed at the number of crazy fad diets, so many pyramid sales diet shakes on the market now and other extreme diets. I don’t believe in fad diets and have met so many people that have suffered the yo-yo effect after doing them. They have lost a decent amount of weight, mainly water and glycogen weight and gained it back plus more because of the damage the fad diet has caused to their metabolism – soul destroying.
Our 4 week Transformation plan isn’t based on fads. Clients can lose significant numbers of inches with sustainable healthy eating and eating plenty of food, no starving the body with us!

2. Effective Workouts
Another popular facebook badge of honour seems to be that of the cardio queen who has just completed back to back classes for 3 hours at the local gym.

The key to workouts for fat loss is to work smart and not long. Overwork and over exercise leads to burnout and injury. You must do the right workout that’s suited to you and your goals, but also not some of the crazy over the top high intensity stuff that whilst it gets you sweaty and feeling like you’ve worked out actually places strain or stress your body so it “shuts down” and does not help you gain the results you want.
Body Fix workouts are designed to burn fat without sending your body’s systems into panic mode, the aim is to get the most “bang for your buck” in other words the best results in the shortest time.

3. The best support network
The biggest factor for creating positive change is surrounding yourself with the right people. This is the step most often overlooked. Without the proper motivation and accountability it’s easy to slip.
When you work in a group setting with like-minded, supportive people like in our 4 week challenge you feel motivated to not only let yourself down but also not let your fellow challengers down.

4. Lifestyle change = Maintain results
You are not changing just for the short term. The goal is to change your life to make a positive transformation and change your attitude and approach to food and exercise. In our 4 week Transformation Challenge we help our clients lose the weight and inches they want and then in our continuation program help them continue to make progress and maintain their results for life.

Find out more at www.BodyFixBootcxamp.co.uk 

If you think you can or think you can’t you’re probably right!

I like to think that mentally I’m quite “fit”, by that I mean that I have spent most of my life using some element of discipline around sport.

Training sessions that have been tough, games when you have 10 minutes left but think you have given everything but you have to keep going.

You get the voices in your head, the ones telling you to quit, the ones telling you to keep going…… generally its whichever voice shouts loudest that wins. 12112304_10154336149919778_5739688263793821762_n

I have a Diploma in Sports Psychology and I often think that helps me when it comes to preparing clients for events but its funny how I don’t always apply it to myself.

Most people that know me will have heard me say “I’m not a runner” , I genuinely think I’m not and because I’ve said it so many times internally and externally I have started to really believe it.

Doing the Major Series North on Sunday, a 12km Obstacle Run was to be honest quite daunting for me and my preparation hadn’t exactly gone to plan.

That said on Sunday morning in a chilly field at Bramham Park I stood there, trainers carpet taped on to my feet ready to go with my usual hill walking buddies. I was up for it, I wanted to put in a decent performance, my internal dialogue was on overdrive whilst externally I was trying to look relaxed.

Without boring you with a blow by blow account of the event I can summarise it in one short sentence……. I LOVED IT! 10539123_10154336150004778_5704595475842108300_n

I found running on the soft ground fairly easy, enjoyed wading chest deep through the stench trenches, summersaulting over the scramble net, crawling under barbed wire, nets and the epic slide towards the end.

After checking my final time of 1 hour 49 minutes a fairly respectable time given that we stuck together as a team it turns out that whilst I may not be Mo Farrah, I can actually run a bit.

Moral of the story….. If you think you CAN or think you CAN’T you are probably right.

What is “core” training?

In a recent feedback survey for our Boot Campers the number one thing that people wanted to do more of was “core work”. It was my fault as I listed it as one of the options without really ever explaining what “core” was. DH before and after website

So in the wider world Core gets used to describe the abdominal area , people think of sit ups , six packs and flat stomachs.

This is where things get confusing…… to start with you could do sit ups all day long every day but unless you have a low enough body fat % you wont see the toned abdominals below. In fact we NEVER do sit ups in Boot Camp. Why? With me being a sports therapist as well as a PT I have studied Stuart McGills work and he has proven to me beyond reasonable doubt that Sit ups , crunches…. whatever you want to call them put you at an extremely high risk of injury. The pressure that goes through the disc when doing them can often exceed 2000 psi , that coupled with the fact that people seem obsessed with doing 100s at a time means that you are creating repeated stress in your lower back in a classic injury movement.

Does everyone that includes sit ups get injured? No, of course not but I work on a risk and reward basis and there is no benefit to your average person training for health doing sit ups yet their is a significant increase in risk. Sure if I was training a thai boxer or athlete that required abdominal flexion for their sport we would probably chuck some in but not for your average recreational exerciser.

So what is core training and what do I program in Boot Camp?

1. Stability

As it would suggest you hold a static position for a challenging amount of time, Plank, Hip Bridges and Bird Dog are the ones that immediately spring to mind.

2. Dynamic Stability

In these exercises you will hold a stable position whilst moving your arms or legs . Examples are mountain climbers, renegade row, leg walk outs, elbow to knees, spidermans, dead bugs.

3. Strength

It always annoys me if I train in a big gym and I hear a PT tell a client that they are about to do core stability work and then bust out the ab cradle for some sit ups. (never EVER use an ab cradle) Sit ups are core strength not stability.  Strength exercise would be things like the McGill curl up, Turkish get ups.

Of course I have only looked here at what would be considered core specific exercises, look at a squat your core muscles work hard to maintain a straight posture, add a weight to that same squat and the core muscles work double time. Y Lunges would be the same and of course the clean and press.

To summarise, training your core muscles is important, not for a flat stomach but for injury prevention and because its an important link in the chain of how your body works.


If its a flat stomach you desire then a focus on good nutrition and big muscle group exercises for maximum calorie expenditure is much more important.

Hope this helps.


P.S. Check out Daves 8 week PT before and after pictures and have a guess how much and what core work we did in that 8 weeks of 2 x 45 minute sessions per week!

What is a Boot Camp?

When starting Body Fix Boot Camp back in 2007 I agonised over what to call it.

I knew that I wanted to create a group program that could rival the results and support that Personal Training offers, I wanted it to be more than a faceless fitness class where people turn up with the instructor not knowing their names or what their goals were.testimonial web page 3

Boot Camp seemed to be a buzz word at the time and despite my concerns about people expecting some sort of army fatigue wearing drill sergeant thats what we went with.

So what exactly does it involve?

If you look up the definition of Boot Camp you will probably see something along the lines of:

a short, intensive, and rigorous course of training.

What we actually deliver is:-

A structured 4 Week program, with each session built on core skills, techniques and exercises from the previous one.

A supportive network around you

Simple Nutritional programming with sample meal plans, recipe books and strategies for emotional eating.

I genuinely believe after 8 years of running the program that our results exceed those of most 1 to 1 Personal trainers.

When you put that in to context – if you had 3 Personal Training sessions per week with a good PT you would be paying upwards of £360 for a 4 week block.

With us collecting together a group of people with similar goals we can deliver a program with individual tweaks for each person at a price thats nearly £300 cheaper per 4 weeks AND gets results that are just as good if not better. In fact our per session price is actually cheaper than most “turn up if you feel like it” fitness classes!


Some people work harder and get BETTER results in the group setting, its social and you meet new friends that can support you with your goals.

So in summary…….

Don’t be put off by the title “bootcamp” you won’t get screamed at, you won’t be asked to do anything you are not able to.

You will be pushed to achieve the best that you can, you will be encouraged to work at your own pace and improve week on week, you will be expected to enjoy it ,have fun, join in the group banter and look forward to attending.

We hope to see you at a session soon and you can view our start dates at www.bodyfixbootcamp.com  

The BEST way to Exercise for Fat Loss


Want to work with us? Find your nearest venue HERE

Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge

On the 17th May several of our Clifton Moor and Riccall Boot Campers took on the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge.

For any of you not familiar with it involves a 24.5 mile hike around Yorkshires highest Peaks, Pen Y Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough.

The changeable Yorkshire Dales weather was kind and despite high winds it stayed dry for most of the groups with the last couple copping for a bit of a soaking.

All our Campers made it back within the 12 hour time limit with the first back in an impressive 8 hours 22 minutes!