<![CDATA[LETSGETF.IT - BLOG]]>Sat, 28 Nov 2015 01:55:59 +0100Weebly<![CDATA[Mini Kettlebell Workout]]>Fri, 27 Nov 2015 22:20:23 GMThttp://www.letsgetf.it/blog/mini-kettlebell-workoutIn all the food talk over the last couple of posts, I failed to mention the little kettlebell workout I was doing each day, in order to conserve muscle mass. 

I didn't want to go too hard on this kind of calorie deficit, and risk injury or atrophy. So before my second meal each day I'd do a few little exercises to get the heart pumping and remind my body that sitting and typing isn't all my body was made for. I alternated between the following 2 routines with a 16kg kettlebell:

Routine 1

Dynamic Warm Up

Swings - 1 x 20
Swings, alternating sides - 2 x 20
Swings - 1 x 10
Presses - 4 x 10 (2 each side)
Bicep Curls - 4 x 10 (2 each side)

Plank - 60 secs

Routine 2

Dynamic Warm Up

Swings - 1 x 20
Swings, alternating sides - 2 x 20
Swings - 1 x 10
Push-ups - 2 x 25
Tricep Presses - 3 x 10

Plank - 3 x 60 secs
It's nothing extreme, but it's something. And it's something most people could commit to.
<![CDATA[Bringing it home: Days 6 - 10]]>Fri, 27 Nov 2015 21:56:56 GMThttp://www.letsgetf.it/blog/bringing-it-home-days-6-10Picture
Day 6: 108kg - f*********ck!
I thought after yesterday's little climb back up that I'd weigh around the same again, before steadily dropping again. Instead, I gained another 1.3kg. Of course, the human body fluctuates a fair bit in weight every day, so it's not yet a disaster! For dinner I used a fantastic recipe from Sonia's thehealthyfoodie.com. Pork medallions with mushroom sauce, served with a good heap of fresh asparagus and some spinach on the side. Absolutely gorgeous.

Day 7: 106.5kg - phew!
It's coming back down, thankfully. Hopefully I shan't be buying any steaks on Thursday! I went to a nice new brunch cafe in the nearby town of Clevedon, and had avocado and poached eggs with a chimmichurri-like sauce, and a good old mound of spinach. Dinner was fresh chorizo stuffed chicken breasts with green veg. Delish!

Day 8: 106.2kg - progress!
This is what I was hoping would happen! A big drop to get rid of initial water weight, bounce back and forth for one or two days as body finds some kind of balance again, and then incremental decreases in weight after that until day 10, touch wood!  Lunch was a carvery; I felt like such a martyr turning down the stuffing and yorkshire puddings. I rewarded myself with a good pile of roast parsnips and other roasted veg. Dinner was more meat: steak with red onion, tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach. I've managed to dig out an old cast iron steak pan, which cooks the steak and renders the fat perfectly and gives the other bits and bobs great flavour.

Day 9: 106kg - nearly there!
Today's a bit of a tough one to negotiate; going out with family again for a pub lunch! The menu wasn't exactly tailored towards the kind of diet that I'm doing, but I managed to get a bunless burger. I did give in and allow myself a few chips though. And a pint of Coke Zero. Naughty boy. Dinner was avocado, egg, bacon, and a big heap of salad.

Day 10: 105.6kg - last day!
Finally, 105.something! That's 5kg since I started last Monday! And despite having a few more carbs yesterday. Standard lunch today of egg, avocado and salad, but with some pulled pork as a bit of a protein boost. Dinner was a bit of a surf and turf; steak and king prawns with spinach, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, and another avocado! Seasoned the steak solely with pepper - can't afford to lose out to my dad just for a bit of water weight!

Final weigh in: 105kg - boom.
5.6kg in 10 days. 12 and a bit pounds. Mission accomplished. My dad managed, drumroll, 7lb. To be fair though, he's 26 years older than me, and has never been interested in nutrition. As proven by him proceeding to then have a big binge on mexican food and spend the next 24 hours moaning in pain. 

Not that I can talk. I congratulated myself with the Johnny Vegas burger at Annie's Burger Shack in Nottingham - big beef pattie, back bacon, black pudding, pulled pork, sweet chilli paste, toffee apple sauce, and a mini Guinness doughnut in a burger with onion rings and curly fries. And proceeded to spend the next 24 hours moaning in pain. And also planning my next visit. They've got around 20 or so different burgers - seems I've found my replacement for The Bird in Hamburg - albeit a 2 hour drive from home...

I'm continuing eating as I did over the 10 days until I go onto the next experiment- trialling a no-food based diet, à la Soylent concept that has been sweeping the world. That begins on Sunday. More info to come.

<![CDATA[In The Beginning: Days 1 - 5]]>Fri, 20 Nov 2015 19:19:20 GMThttp://www.letsgetf.it/blog/in-the-beginning-days-1-5Day 1: 110.6kg - back to square one.

Got up just before 7AM, I did a couple of kettlebell exercises before starting the day with a coconut oil coffee. Taking my steaming mug through to the study, I worked for a few hours before the hunger for something more substantial began. I held out til 12, having the occasional glass of water here and there, and then devoured a king prawn and spinach omelette, served with avocado and lashings of Cholula chilli & garlic hot sauce. After having eaten, my hunger decided to ramp itself up somewhat, and I spent the afternoon battling the urge to raid the cupboards before I had steak with kale and broccoli at around 6pm. I rounded that off with a raspberry, kale, lime and cucumber smoothie. Just raspberries may have been tastier. Went to bed around 10PM.

Day 2: 108kg - I'm on my way!

Was very happy to see my weight on the scales this morning. Yeah, I know it's water weight that I've lost, but it's weight. And that's what counts in this competition. Had my morning coconut coffee at around 7am and got cracking with work. I got a bit hungry mid-morning – work was fairly uneventful – and decided to do a couple of kettlebell exercises to take my mind off it. When lunch rolled around I had roasted tuna steaks with shallots and tomatoes, and an avocado & beetroot salad. The afternoon carried on much in the same vein, and I had a cod fillet with poached eggs, spinach and hollandaise sauce at around 6PM. Tasty, although the sauce split on me so it wasn't the most attractive plate of food. Headache from lack of sugar started to kick in, I tried to battle it with copious amounts of water.

Day 3: 106.4kg - keeping up the progress.

Very similar day to the last two, I won't bore you with too many details. Had a meat day again (I'm trying to alternate fish & meat). Omelette with salad & sriracha for lunch, and steak tartare with salad for dinner.  The steak tartare recipe I got from my girlfriend's dad whilst in Australia last month, and will be posted here as soon as my new camera arrives! Headache intensified slightly, went to bed earlier.

Day 4: 106.4kg - now the work begins.

No weight loss over the last 24 hours. Not to worry, was kind of expecting this. Can't really keep on losing 2kg per day. If I could, I'd be charging extortionate amounts to read this blog. Fish day again today; prawn burgers for lunch(recipe coming!) and salmon curry for dinner (recipe not coming, because I cocked it up). I had a bit more salt today, will see how that affects my weight tomorrow (salt binds water).

Day 5: 106.7kg - cursed sodium!

As expected, my weight was slightly higher today. I was expecting it to be more pronounced, but maybe I've burnt off some fat in the mean time and that has cancelled it out. I'll have to be super careful about sodium in the last 48 hours of the challenge, in order to ensure victory! Today I had steak and salad for lunch, and turkey burgers with avocado, spinach, and a chipotle mayo for dinner (burger recipe also coming!)
Good start, gotta keep it going another 5 days.
<![CDATA[Bollocks.]]>Sun, 15 Nov 2015 21:59:26 GMThttp://www.letsgetf.it/blog/bollocksI've been working out how to come back to this for months. Some clever way to excuse myself for pigging out, that will make you laugh and excuse me for cocking up. But, I've finally decided that done is better than perfect. So, in that vein...

...I slipped. Back to mid-April weight. I lost self control whilst travelling Europe in August (copious amounts of Port helped that), didn't regain it in September, nor did I in October in Australia. 

I've had some great experiences and great food in that time, so I'm not going to beat myself up too much (partly because the amount of padding I've gained would cushion the blows and make it futile). I'll spare you the douchebaggery of a food album though, and instead move on to my next challenge.

Beach Ready for December
I'm going to be having a beach Christmas again this year; I'm heading to the Maldives with family. In January I'll be back in Australia for a month of southern hemisphere summer. In my current shape, being topless on the beach sure ain't going to be much fun. So I'm going to try and go 2 for 2 and lose those 10kg I lost in April and May once again in 5 weeks. And then, I really need to keep it off. Because every year I spend yoyoing is a year less of prime fitness and health.

10 Days 11lb
My Dad also wants to lose a bit of weight, and is convinced that his vegetarian detox diet is the quickest way to achieve it. 10lb (4.5kg) in 10 days he claims. Now, normally I'd harp on about "weight loss doesn't equal fat loss", but screw it. I'm going to win. And for that I need to lose 11lb (5kg). I'm going to be using my standard three-prong diet approach combined with kettlebell exercises and walking to achieve this. Over the five weeks I'll upgrade this to running hopefully!

Weigh in and measurements at 7am tomorrow. ]]>
<![CDATA[Kugelsicher]]>Wed, 12 Aug 2015 17:27:18 GMThttp://www.letsgetf.it/blog/kugelsicher
At the start of this adventure, I posted about my experiences with starting the Bulletproof Diet by Dave Asprey. I also wrote a short piece on my progress for Men's Health Germany, which hits the shelves on 12.8, along with Nutrition & Lifestyle Editor Rufus Rieder's stellar article (in German). You'll find my contribution on the right, in case you hadn't noticed the return of that terrible towel pic to the front page yet!

My German readers can look forward to a couple of blog posts in (currently slightly rusty) German over the coming days. Anglophones don't have to worry - there'll be stuff for you too!

Am Anfang dieses Abenteuers, postete ich einen Bericht über meine Erfahrungen mit dem Bulletproof-Diät von Dave Asprey. Parallel schrieb ich eine kurze Zusammenfassung meiner Ergebnisse für Men's Health Deutschland, der ab 12.9  auf dem Kiosk oder hier zu finden ist. Mein Beitrag findet ihr, wie ihr bestimmt schon bemerkt habt, hier rechts! 

Deutsche Leser können sich auf ein paar weitere deutschen Blog-Posts in den kommenden Tagen und Wochen freuen, sodass es sich lohnt, immer wieder hier vorbeizuschauen!
<![CDATA[Quick and Dirty]]>Sun, 02 Aug 2015 20:03:10 GMThttp://www.letsgetf.it/blog/quick-and-dirtyJust a quick one with no pics of the prep or finished product, as I couldn't wait to start eating it, and am still finishing it (Laptop at the dinner table? How did my mother raise me!?). I posted a while back about different sauce possibilities, and discovered a new, pretty simple one tonight that goes great with richer meals to lighten them up a bit (I had a big dirty chorizo omelette with it this evening)

So just imagine a red mess and you're pretty much there...

Salsa-ey Thing

Top search result for "license free photos kitchen"
0.5 - 1 Red Chillis, depending on heat preferences, seeds removed
1 Large Tomato
3 Spring Onions
1 Large Garlic Clove
1 Glug Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Squeeze Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Pinch Salt

Dice the tomato, and finely chop the spring onions. Add to a small bowl. Either finely dice or crush the garlic into the mixture, and then do the same for the chilli, making sure not to lose any of the chilli juice. Mix together with the salt and lemon juice (and leave for around 15 minutes if time isn't of the essence). Finally, add the olive oil and mix well, leaving it for a minute or two before serving. This provides enough for one portion (in my opinion). 

This "recipe" could probably be improved with the addition of some form of herbs, but sadly didn't have any fresh ones to hand. 

It's a rather juicy sauce, so also great if you're having something that soaks up a lot of fluid (see my adventures with coconut flour for reference). 
<![CDATA[Mug Cake.]]>Sat, 25 Jul 2015 19:08:34 GMThttp://www.letsgetf.it/blog/mug-cake
Light and Dark. Balanced Diet?
It's a cake in a mug. A cake. In a mug.

I've gone through several different recipes from various websites, looking for a convenient dessert that's high in indulgence and low on guilt. There are some great options out there, but I've not been convinced to date. So l've played around a bit and come up with the recipe below.

It should go without saying that this dessert is NOT healthy, it is merely the most decadent yet conformant dessert that I've found. Enjoy the recipe below, and let me know in the comments if you have any tweaks or ways to pimp it!

Sidenote: No way I'm making my target weight.

letsgetf.at gooey mug cake

  • 1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Flour
  • 2 Tsp Arrowroot Starch
  • 0.5 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 4 Tbsp Almond Milk
  • 2 Tbsp Ghee (Melted)
  • 1.5 Tbsp Maple Syrup

  • Ice Cream
  • Fresh Raspberries
  • Chocolate Chips
This recipe serves one.

Add all the dry ingredients to a large mug with thick sides, including the chocolate chips, if you've opted for them.

Add the wet ingredients and mix together until there are no dry pockets/lumps. This may take a few seconds.

Microwave for 80 seconds, and serve immediately! 

I personally like to serve coconut milk ice cream and fresh raspberries with it- if you make an exception and have dairy, you will not regret a good clotted cream ice cream.

Enjoy and please share if you think your friends will like this!
<![CDATA[Back in the Game & SitRep]]>Sat, 18 Jul 2015 21:33:27 GMThttp://www.letsgetf.it/blog/back-in-the-game-sitrepAfter a week of sin, it's easy to lose sight entirely. Luckily I managed to summon the willpower to fight it though. So after those days of debauchery, I went cold turkey again, eating clean, drinking lots of water to flush everything out, and starting each day with some kettlebell exercises. 10 days later I was back to a consistent 99kg. Even now, it never fails to astound me how much the body can hold onto, and how willing it is to give it up when you start eating right again. 

I've now got under three weeks until my deadline of August 10th, and the 95kg goal is looking like a massively tall order, unless I adopt some bodybuilding style dehydration scheme, but that's not going to happen- it's about health too, not just weight. So I'm going to keep plugging away at the nutrition as best I can, keep doing kettlebell and bodyweight exercises each day, and see how far I get. 

Even if I don't reach that 95kg goal by 10th August, I won't be annoyed. This lifestyle switch, although I did have fixed waypoints in mind, was never just about shedding kilos. It's been about getting back to a body I can be proud of, and that I don't feel like hiding (much to the annoyance of anybody that has to share a mirror with me!). Within the next couple of days I'll be uploading another progress post that I prepared just before I left Hamburg; the last report before the 10th August. I didn't post it at the time because I hoped to improve further before a report was due!

Quick Situation Update
So, for those that haven't found out through other means, I have left my previous job at Runner's World, Men's Health & Women's Health, have temporarily returned to the UK, and am now working on becoming self employed, pursuing a few of my own projects. My goal with this is to be able to work wherever I am, and thereby bring in money whilst travelling.

I'll be in the UK for July & September, in August I'll be travelling with my girlfriend, Georgia, and in October hopefully spending a month with her in Australia.

As of November? Watch this space.]]>
<![CDATA[A Confession]]>Wed, 01 Jul 2015 17:20:28 GMThttp://www.letsgetf.it/blog/a-confessionBild
Forgive me, for I have sinned. A lot.

Saturday 20th: My leaving party, as I moved back to the UK on the 30th June. Having hardly touched alcohol in the past weeks and months, I knew I'd have to be careful not to get too drunk too quick. That knowledge was stored in the same part of my brain as the knowledge that you should thoroughly wash yoghurt pots before recycling them. Basically, I didn't act on it. Followed it up with a Doner Salad- my alcohol destroyed brain decided to return to healthy mode at that moment...

Sunday 21st: ...and promptly return to unhealthy mode as I experienced the worst hangover I have had in years. I ordered a burger and chips with a big bottle of Dr. Pepper for lunch on the sofa, and ate this whilst whimpering to my girlfriend, Georgia, on Skype. When evening came around, I polished off a big chinese takeaway.

Monday 22nd: Ate relatively healthily, however did not manage to train, as I had planned to do.

Tuesday 23rd: Same as Monday pretty much. 

Wednesday 24th: Big old Tuna and Avocado mess for lunch, followed up by two litres of beer and a big burger with chips for dinner.

Thursday 25th: Scones, jam, cream, some beer, and everything the fridge still had to offer.

Friday 26th: Ordered chinese takeaway for lunch, then had a big Mcdonald's feast for dinner, as well as 200g of Ritter Sport, a bag of gummy bears and a Red Bull whilst driving from Hamburg to the Netherlands. Couple of beers on arrival.

Saturday 27th: Driving from the Netherlands to Bristol, I cleaned off a McDonald's breakfast, a load more sweets and chocolate, a Burger King lunch, some ice cream and a huge curry for dinner.

Sunday 28th: Driving from Bristol back to the Netherlands; Cooked breakfast, chocolate and sweets, big McDonald's dinner, followed by a plate of Macaroni.

Monday 29th: Drive from Netherlands to Hamburg; More McDonald's, chinese takeaway for lunch, burger, chips and beers for dinner. 

Tuesday 30th: Big McDonald's lunch, then barbecue & ciders for dinner.

During all this, my exercise was limited to lugging boxes up and down stairs (very tiring and sweaty work, however not enough to offset the dietary onslaught I put my body through!). As a result of eating all this crap, I am back up to 104kg!

This morning I started eating healthily again, and I hope to see at least  3 of those kilos drop off as I get all the rubbish out of my system. I've now got 39 days until my goal. It's going to be bloody tight.

Time to get serious again!

<![CDATA[Experiments with Pre- & Post-Workout Nutrition]]>Sat, 13 Jun 2015 13:18:17 GMThttp://www.letsgetf.it/blog/experiments-with-pre-post-workout-nutritionLast night, whilst tucking into some all you can eat tapas with a few friends, one, Matt, asked me the following:
"If you're training at lunchtime, and you don't eat until around lunchtime
because of intermittent fasting, how do you have the energy for a workout?"
A very good question. Whilst fasted exercise is a big concept currently, it's mainly for steady state cardio, not high intensity or strength training. I've experimented with a fair few things over the last few years, and have found what tends to work best for me.

For all you guys and girls that are about to run out to the gym and just wanted some quick information, here it is:
Up to 30 mins before:
Directly after:
Post Workout Meal:
1 Double Espresso, 10g BCAA
10g BCAA
10g BCAA
Lean Protein + Carbs: Chicken/Tuna & Rice/(Sweet) Potato
Ok, now the people in a hurry have buggered off, let's pad that out a bit.

Although I try and generally stick to the mantra "Just Eat Real Food", I find that BCAAs have a positive effect on my workout and my progress. With regards to the post workout meal, this should be the largest meal of the day. I ensure that mine is low fat, and allow myself starchy carbs with high glucose content with my protein. I go for glucose rich carbs as fructose takes a detour through the liver, whereas glucose can be processed in the muscle itself. 

Even now, on a ketogenic diet, I make sure I get post workout carbs in, as unless eaten to excess, these do not necessarily boot one out of ketosis. This approach to the ketogenic diet is known as a Targeted Ketogenic Diet, as carb intake is targeted at workout performance and post-workout recovery. 

Before coming to the conclusion that white rice or sweet potato were the best source of carbs, I tried using potato starch. However, potato starch is a resistant starch until it is heated, which means the body cannot use it, and it just feeds gut bacteria instead. But not only did it not provide me with post workout carbs, it also provided me with an interesting side effect. Gas. I could go on, I won't.

Extra: Back when I was rowing, I would tuck into something that I would nowadays reserve for cheat day before early morning training. Delicious, but heavy on the stomach, and not really effective. Or paleo. Here's the "recipe": warm 2-3 heaped tablespoons of Nutella in a pan until melted, then add 2 heaped tablespoons of smooth peanut butter. Once this was all molten, I'd gradually add oats/muesli until the entire mass congealed into a ball and none of the mixture was stuck to the bottom or sides of the pan. All that was left was to wolf it down, straight from pan to mouth, before blitzing out the door to grab my bike and make training on time. Training was followed by a big old bucket of pasta. Needless to say, this was not entirely conducive to weight loss.

What does your pre- and post-workout nutrition consist of?