MOTIVATION COMES FROM RESULTS

MOTIVATION – THE HIDDEN GEM

BY

NICHOLAS CARACANDAS

For those of you that know me personally, or perhaps have read a few of my articles, you will know that I am famous for making a long story even longer 🙂

This being said, below is a short and sweet take on motivation. Most of us look for motivation BEFORE we start our journey. If you’re like me and are diabetic, we don’t have that luxury. Regardless of how motivated we are, if we don’t get our acts together and actively start seeking results as far as our fat mass, lean mass and diabetic control are concerned – the only other variable is a diabetic complication or two. Fact!

Honestly what more motivation as a diabetic do we need? For those of you unlike me, and for those of you that need a little more reason, below is where real motivation comes from.

Let’s start this by asking a question or two… After reading them, stop and think for a second. If you’re really invested, write your answer down and take it from just being a thought in your head and bring your reasons/excuses into reality.

What is stopping you from getting started? Starting a new hobby, training plan, better-eating habits or just being better at your diabetes?

Is it that you’re not motivated?

Here’s the thing… drum roll, please…

Motivation comes from results. All you have to do is get started. Once you start seeing the results that you’re getting, like losing fat, building muscle, or having less dependence on your medications, that is what keeps us motivated.

“The first step being the hardest” isn’t just a saying they use in drama/inspirational movies.

Motivation doesn’t come easy, and it definitely doesn’t come just by doing nothing. Motivation is an emotion like happiness and anger (it’s not ever-present).

So, if you really want to see the motivation to keep going and to keep moving forward, first, you just have to start.
Make the decision to start, commit to yourself, and remember the more action you take, the more results you see, the more motivation you will have every day.

As diabetics, we have an above-average strength within us all. We are warriors!

What are you planning to start?

 

If you are slightly overwhelmed by this process I totally understand. That’s why I have developed my Diabetic Athletic – D.I.Y training & nutrition program. I want to help you achieve your goals! Put your nutrition and training plans in my hands, let me do the thinking and let me teach you and help you in what  will be a rewarding and successful journey.

For those that need in-depth guidance, done-for-you daily nutritional plans, including all daily activity plans, done-for-you exercise plans and weekly coaching calls with me (and much more), the Diabetic Athletic – D.I.Y Program is the exact action plan you need!

You can see more about the Diabetic D.I.Y action plan HERE. 

 

Yours In Strength,

Nicholas Caracandas

 

PROTEIN, CARBS & FATS – WHAT THEY DO AND HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT

PROTEIN, CARBS & FATS – WHAT THEY DO AND HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT

WRITTEN BY

NICHOLAS CARACANDAS

 

If you’ve been struggling with your nutrition and can’t seem to achieve your desired physique despite having tried everything and anything google has thrown your way,  this article is for you.

In this article, I am going to explain what each macronutrient is used for ( Protein, Fats and Carbohydrates), as well as how you can attack your nutrition in a way that WILL yield results.

 I’m going to be helping you understand how to write the user manual to your body so that you can manage your own nutrition and achieve the results you want.

I always tell my members of Diabetic Athletic that nutrition should never be generic in its approach. We are all different and all have different lifestyles, stressors and most importantly, starting points.

These factors, as well as many others, play a huge part in how our bodies function. This means that our approach has to be person-specific.

Yes, protein, fats and carbs, all do the same thing in their specific rights for each person, however, the amount that we consume will vary from person to person and is result dependent.

Protein is responsible for things like:

1. Repair & Maintenance

2. Energy

3. Hormonal process’

4. Enzymes

5. Transportation & Storage of Molecules

6. Antibodies

But for this article, the main point is that protein is necessary for building and repairing body tissues. If you do not receive enough protein in your diet, muscle wasting and other symptoms may result.

The role of fats is daily energy, protection of joints, hormonal process’ / production of hormones and nutrient absorption.

The role of carbohydrates is pretty much just ENERGY… that’s it.

During exercise, fats are normally used where lower intensity exercise takes place. This is known as aerobic activity (running, jogging, swimming, slow steady cycling etc.

Higher intensity exercises burn or use more carbohydrates for fuel. This is known as Anaerobic exercises or resistance training, such as weight training or HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)

So it makes sense for 9/10 people to ensure most of your daily calorie allowance should be coming from proteins. The rest of the daily allowance is made up of Carbs and Fats.

If we take the previously mentioned into account it makes sense to have more Carbohydrates (energy), on training days and it makes sense to have more fats on non-training days. Proteins always remain as they are far higher in the rate as which they fill us up and keep us satisfied for longer. Protein also doesn’t get stored for future energy like carbs and fats are. These are just a few reasons.

Depending on our gender, age, weight and size our bodies will burn a different amount of calories at rest. This is called your BMR (or Basal Metabolic Rate). Basically, it’s the number of calories your body would need to burn if you were in a coma.

I don’t want to sidetrack but a lot of females wanting to lose weight will eat less than this amount as society seems to have brainwashed us into thinking you need to starve to lose weight. Yes, you have to eat less but there is a minimum amount that you cannot be under as you need to ensure your bodily process’ have the energy reserves they need to function optimally. Like brain function and thoughts, heart function/blood flow, digestion and even our lungs contracting and expanding. These automatic process’ require energy to take place. Energy our body will find. If you don’t eat enough.. well, I guess it’s your muscle mass that’s for dinner then.

In this case and point, if you starve yourself and eat less than the minimum you will lose weight on the scale and even Centimeters’s but probably NOT fat. You will lose muscle mass and as a female, muscle is HARD to come by. You can’t shape fat, you can only shape muscle and if you have none … well… you get my point.

If you want to look toned you have to have some muscle mass. The term toned is actually describing how a muscle looks at rest. It’s like trying to make an ice sculpture out of a small block of ice … not enough ice…no sculpture.

Back to BMR: Once you’ve determined your BMR, you need to take how active you are over 7 days. This is called your activity factor.

For example, You exercise 3 times a week and each workout is 45 minutes in duration. You also need to take the intensity output into consideration. Are your workouts slow-paced, moderate, or more intense?

Once you have this data you will be able to work out your TDEE. This is your total daily Energy expenditure.

Your TDEE is your BMR, plus all the calories you burn through work, play, exercise and even digesting food (this includes your daily activity factor).

Your TDEE is also the number of calories you need to be burning per day from exercise.

Your Calorie allowance is the number of calories you will consume per day. (no more, no less !)

Unless we know exactly what our TDEE is, we have no way of knowing how many calories to consume to trigger fat loss.

Now that you have your new total – that is your holy grail. If you hit that total every day you are pretty much-guaranteed results. The numbers are specific to you, your daily activity and your goals.

You get to eat whatever you like as long as you stick to the guidelines. Imagine – a nutrition plan that excludes nothing …

To track your daily totals you can use many calorie trackers – I recommend My Fitness Pal. If you are not a member of any of my programs and need help with the app I am here for you and will also be releasing videos on my Instagram account (@Diabetic_athletic), as to how you can best use the app.

Now you need a good training plan to suit the tailored nutrition plan.  It’s that easy.

If you are slightly overwhelmed by this process I totally understand. That’s why I have developed my FREE 3-week training & nutrition program. I want to help you achieve your goals. Put your nutrition and training plans in my hands, let me do the thinking and let me teach you and help you in what should always be a rewarding and successful journey.

You can sign up for the free program here. You get 3-weeks of training plans, nutritional guides, eating plans and my direct support from within my Facebook support group all for free. You may ask why… This is because my service comes from a place of empathy. Not only am I a diabetic coach and personal trainer by profession – I am a diabetic. A life long diabetic. I get the struggle, and I have lived it first hand. My job is how I support my fellow diabetic.

For those that need in-depth guidance, custom daily nutritional plans done for them, including all daily activity plans, and weekly coaching calls with me (and much more), this is what my Diabetic Athletic Mentorship program is for. Yes, you are charged for this, but you get far more than a program – you get a coach who is invested in you! If you want to see what I’m talking about – have a look here  www.diabeticathletic.com

 

Nicholas Caracandas

BREAK IT DOWN, BUILD YOURSELF UP

After my last article, you will now have an idea as to how to make your diet your own.  But, what about the food itself?  How can you guarantee a well-balanced, healthy diet?

As mentioned in my previous article  ‘You Can Lose Weight‘ I mentioned, that when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet and losing excess weight, there are four main things to pay extra attention to ensure that you lose weight for life.  These were – Calories, Carbs, Proteins and Fats.

CALORIES

Calories are measurements of energy.  It’s simple: 3 500 calories equals half a kilo of fat.  Burning 3 500 calories more than you eat, means losing half a kilo of fat.  There’s a very simple equation when it comes to weight loss and it is:

BURN MORE CALORIES THAN YOU CONSUME.

Men between the ages of 19 and 50 should consume between 2 200 and 2 600 calories per day and women between the ages of 19 and 50 should consume between 1 800 and 2 200 calories per day. This is a very general equation. You need to have your numbers worked out if you want to be successful at losing body fat. Visit my website and start my 3-week FREE training and nutrition and let me create a personalised plan for you. You’re guaranteed success this way! I promise you.

If you are active, you will burn more calories.  Your metabolism stays high, your energy levels stay strong and you naturally do less emotional and unconscious eating.  In fact, the more active you are, the better food choices you will want to make.  One thing leads to another.  It feels good to be active and it inspires you to want to compliment that good healthy feeling with healthy eating habits and food choices.

CARBS

Carbs are the most common source of energy found in food.  Refined might be good when it comes to manners, but not when it comes to your health.  Refined grains are stripped of all their nutrients and when you add refined sugar and fat to your refined grains (the three are usually found together) you have an artery just waiting to be clogged!

But, whilst carbs have generally got a bad rep, remember that not all carbs are bad.  In fact, I will go as far as saying that carbs are perfectly fine for an educated diabetic. A diabetic that eats carbs and has perfectly ‘normal’ and in-range glucose levels post meals, can eat what they like. Diabetes only happens when our sugars are out of range. That’s undeniable.

Whole grains are vital for diets that are rich in nutrition and are a good source of energy.  Refined grains break down quickly and make your body work harder to churn out insulin/glucose for energy – a danger for those at risk for diabetes.  Whole grains take longer to break down due to their fibre content and, therefore, require less insulin production and provide sustained energy for longer periods.  ‘Good carbs’ are unprocessed carbohydrates in their natural state.  Pretty much all leafy vegetables and fruits fall into this category.

In my view, the best incentive to choose whole grains when you are trying to lose weight is that foods with high fibre content make you feel fuller for longer with fewer calories.  Foods with high fibre content have also been found to help reduce cholesterol in the blood. Fibre is responsible for cleaning out the pipes not to mention the calories and carbs from fibre do not get allocated to calorie count OR carb counting. That’s a massive fact most don’t utilize.

Carbs are a source of energy. The amount of carbs you eat needs to be in tune with the amount of energy you require. If you are unsure – I and my Diabetic Athletic will help you. You can message me to chat by clicking here. Via this chat, you will also be able to join my free 3-week training and nutrition program for diabetics and access my Facebook support group.

PROTEINS

Protein is a long chain of amino acids linked together.  Also known as the building blocks of life, proteins most important function is to build, maintain and replace tissue in our bodies.  Our muscles, organs and some of our hormones are made up mostly of protein.

Proteins are involved in almost every function performed by the cells in our bodies.  Without protein, life would be impossible.  Our bodies are however only able to manufacture some of the amino acids (protein) we need to function; the rest (known as essential amino acids) must be obtained through our diets.  Great protein sources include fish, avocados, beans, soya, dairy, nuts and white meat poultry. There are 9 essential amino acids our bodies cannot produce, and so, we have to get them from external sources. For example, Eggs have all 9 essential amino acids.

So here comes the vegetarian, vegan, meat eater debate. I love meat. I’ll never not eat meat. Now that is out of the way, let me say that I also respect peoples choices and  I am here to guide everyone to better health while doing so.

If I asked you what kinds of foods contain protein (or more specifically essential amino acids) your first response would probably be meat.  The problem with meat (and all other animal products) is that it contains cholesterol. This is fine as long as you’re educated and practise the art of balance.

So, if you’re looking for a healthier alternative, for example, something with heart-health benefits and none of the risks associated with meat, you should try plant source proteins instead.

There is clear evidence to suggest that a diet that is derived exclusively from the vegetable kingdom can provide all the essential amino acids for optimal health.  Some proof: in three weeks overweight subjects lost on average 5 – 8 kilograms on a plant-based diet.  People with weight to lose the most weight when they start a low-fat, plant-based diet. Now we have to think about this. If you change your diet and start eating more veg and leafy greens… All you’re really doing is cleaning up your act… Pun intended.

Balance and good nutritional practice are all that’s required. You don’t HAVE TO be on either extreme.

I understand some people love their meat (me included) and don’t want to give it up (count me in again).  That’s okay, but you should stick to organic, free-range, grass-fed sources and try healthier options like lean beef.  Also, give white meat poultry (my personal substitute) a try or fish or seafood.  You might like it more than you think.

FATS

Most foods contain some type of fat and some are better for you than others.  Fats are a necessary nutrient.  Our bodies need fat to function properly.  It helps with our energy production and blood clotting.  Fats also help to regulate blood pressure and to maintain a healthy nervous system.  Fats carry soluble vitamins from the food in your body and your skin, hair and nails all depend on it. Fats help your body absorb some nutrients and produce important hormones, too. Your body definitely needs fat.

However, eating the wrong kinds of fat can be harmful and can lead to weight gain, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. You don’t need to do Ketogenic diets either… Balance remember?

Let me break it down for you.

There are good healthy fats; these fats include:

  • monounsaturated fat: olives, avocados and nuts;
  • polyunsaturated fat: vegetable oils, bananas, hempseed and cereals; and
  • omega 3 fatty acids: fish, flax (flax seeds) and walnuts.

Then, of course, there are bad fats; these include:

  • saturated fat: animal products such as meat, dairy and eggs;
  • trans fats: hydrogenated oils found in cookies, crackers, cakes and also common in fried foods like doughnuts and french fries; and
  • cholesterol: animal products, dairy.

If you want to start a FREE 3-week training program that delivers your workouts 3x per week, provides you with nutritional guides and plans all tied together with support and a direct line to me: Click HERE and sign up for my 3-week training and nutrition plan.

If you’d like to know more about my Carb Counting Masterclass for Diabetics you can do so by clicking here. The Diabetic Athletic Carb Counting Masterclass will explain what carb counting is, why we carb count as diabetics and how you can figure out your own insulin to carb ratios.

To see more about the Diabetic Athletic 10-week program for diabetics you can visit https://www.diabeticathletic.com. This is the ultimate program for diabetics and is backed by a 100% money-back guarantee. You have nothing to lose other than your unwanted body fat, your high glucose ranges and your diabetic overwhelm.

Yours in training, nutrition and diabetes,

Nicholas Caracandas.

Diabetic Athletic

5 RULES FOR WEIGHT LOSS WITH DIABETES

When it comes to diet I have always liked to keep things fairly simple. Why? Because simple is effective.

Too many people complicate things. Their weight, measurements, going crazy over macros, and obsess over their food. I am willing to admit that this can be extremely effective for some but in my experience, most people fall apart following this type of plan. Simply put, we live in a day and age of way too much information. Everybody is a guru and John from the pub who’s sister is doing keto doesn’t actually know better.

So here are  ‘5 Simple Rules For Fat Loss’. They are rules I have developed and used with clients over the years and rules I have followed at times myself. I’ve seen others attain tremendous success as well as by following them.

Remember that the rules are simple to follow but that doesn’t make the process easy. If you want to see results you’ll need to stay dedicated. You’ll have to have self-control, will power, and determination. Mostly you will need to be consistent long enough to see results.

Diet alone also won’t be enough to see the weight loss you want. You’ll need to be on an exercise program and get plenty of sleep. Do those things in conjunction with these rules and you’ll see some rapid results.

As with any and all training and nutrition programs, there is no one size fits all. This being said – regardless of who or what you are.. stick to these rules and I’d bet my bottom dollar you’ll be happy with the outcome.

Here are the rules:

1) Eat 5 small meals per day. Ideally, they are spaced 3 hours apart. What do I mean by meals? Small feedings. You should never exceed 400-500 calories in any one meal. Your daily total should end up between 1600 and 2500 calories per day. Make sure you at least eat the minimum to support the work you are doing.

2) Eat real food. Ditch the processed foods and sugar. If it was made in a lab don’t eat it. If you can’t pronounce it don’t put it in your mouth. If it wasn’t made 100 years ago it’s not food now. Basically, if you can kill it or pluck it from the ground it’s fair game. Be diligent with this. Read labels and pay attention. Also, get used to making your food at home and doing a little food prep. Being lazy is what got you stuck in the first place.

3) Control your carbs. When it comes to ‘macros’ don’t go crazy with counting and percentages and all sorts of nonsense but limit your carbohydrates to 100 g per day. Also no carbohydrates after 3-4pm. That means no fruit, starches, or sugars past 4pm. Only meat and veggies. The rest of your calories will come from protein and fat. Try to eat around 1g of protein per pound of body weight daily.

4) No food later than 3 hours before bedtime. That means if you go to bed at 10pm then the last bite of food you have is done before 7pm. Never cheat this rule. If you are hungry learn to deal with it. This one is tricky as I  have a bedtime snack with my bedtime long-acting insulin. This being said – I’m not overweight.

5) Don’t drink your calories. Eat solid food. If you are thirsty learn to love water and not the water with flavour in it. Just plain, wet, water. Before you ask if this includes alcohol. Consider yourself on alcohol probation.

 

BONUS TIP:

Good glucose control:

It doesn’t matter how good your training and nutrition program is, if you don’t control your blood glucose levels, you’ll never build the body ( or mind) you desire.

What does good diabetes control look like to you?

  1. Do you check your blood glucose levels regularly?
  2. Do you correct high blood glucose ASAP?
  3. Do you question ‘WHY’ your blood glucose levels go outside range, and get to the root of the problem?

Call it obsessed, but some of us want to get more out of training and live longer.

Poor blood sugar control (both short and long term) is the enemy to building a better looking and feeling body.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO TREAT OR CONTROL OUR DIABETES?

Firstly, I feel the need to say that I don’t support any single diet or method on its own and taken out of context. Diabetes is a common condition, however, the treatment for it is very person dependent. We as coaches have to take things like history, struggles, limitations, lifestyle, mindset and so much more into consideration before directing fellow diabetics down the best road for their success.

I’m writing this article as a diabetic coach providing general, and helpful tips and points that have been battle-tested through my 15+ years as a fitness professional with hundreds of client and my  24+ years as Type 1 Diabetic myself.

To sum this up we need to use nutrition and activity as equal if not more important priorities to our medication.

As diabetics, our medication is 100% needed to assist and ensure our glucose levels are in range. Our medications don’t have the power to do this if we as diabetics are missing the other two pieces of this puzzle.

Medication can’t work in a body that is under-active and without proper diabetic nutrition. This is the bottom line, no matter how we choose to look at it.

Your medication requirements just go up, heart health decreases, fat is gained, kidneys are affected by the increase in meds taken, our mental health and body become stressed due to this fact and complications become more of a possibility than ever – the list goes on.

Our medication is needed however, so is a good diet and activity plan. It’s a three-piece triangle of control.

FOOD/NUTRITION

First of all, it’s important to understand that diabetes is a metabolic condition where our body cannot tolerate carbohydrates.

Knowing this means you can’t manage diabetes well by feeding your body more and more carbs. I always say that carbs aren’t our enemy however, they aren’t our friends either – especially when the only tool we use to combat/ use them – is our medication.

Trying to manage diabetes by eating more and more carbohydrates and only using our medication as the “fix” is the same as trying to cure a drug addict of addiction by giving them more drugs.

Where your blood sugar control and your diet are concerned, remember that we are going to have sacrifice something somewhere – We’re diabetics, and that’s ok.

We need to be mindful of our diabetes and what it is. It is a beast, and we need to learn how to tame the beast.

Diabetes works on the simple logic that since your body has a carbohydrate intolerance, you should restrict its intake. Not delete the intake, just restrict it.

I like to use the example of earning money here, seeing as we all have to work for money in order to live and we can relate.

There is more than one way to earn more money each month. Two examples are: Either we charge more, or we can spend less. Both of these methods will ensure we have more money at the end of the month.

So which is better? Well, it depends on the individual, however, personally, I would choose to do both.

Low carb diets still have us eating about 50-70g of carbs per day. Just to put this into a relative term, 1 slice of bread, 1x apple or 1 glass of milk on average is 15g of carbs.

This is not to say you need to eat this amount. The point I am making is that a large number of my fellow diabetics think that low carb is far less than this per day.

This is where knowledge is power. Most think that low carb means go as low as possible as in zero… Also, a bad move, as this leads to a broken relationship with food and inconsistent methods that cannot be sustained long term.

To replace the restricted amount of carbs, you use good fats. Ideally, your daily intake of good fats should be 50-60% of your calorie requirement per day. The other 40 -50% should be half protein and half carbohydrate.

This isn’t high fats, low carbs or any of the other fads we hear of – this is just normal and effective dietary practice.

I get that carbs taste good. Enjoy them as long as your diabetes enjoys them too. Thats my approach for my personal diet.

You can test this for yourself, rather than taking my word for it.

For the next week, try different amounts of carbs per meal – e.g., 15g, 30g, & 60g, – and monitor the impact on your BG, mood, and energy levels over the next few hours following those meals.

This way, you will be able to test how your diabetes, your activity and your medication are doing and if your triangle of control is working in favour of your life as a diabetic.

ACTIVITY /EXERCISE

By now we all know that I am a strength and conditioning coach by profession and a type 1 diabetic for almost as long as I have walked this earth.

As a Diabetic and as a gym owner, sports coach and competitive athlete, I can say with confidence that my diabetes is exponentially harder to control if I do not do some kind of activity each day.

My glucose levels remain well-controlled (I use the Dexcom G6), and have my graphs looking flat and controlled each day due to this fact.

This all changes every single day I don’t do some kind of planned activity. It is an immediate shift in the wrong direction.

Even just being active by walking or increasing the amount of total activity I do, has a daily positive effect on my glucose levels. It doesn’t always need to be a gym routine (in fact, overall activity is far more important that 1 hour in a gym).

This applies to all diabetics as it is just how the body works.

We become more sensitive to the insulin in our bloodstream, regardless of being type 1 or type 2.

Type 2’s have insulin in a body that doesn’t have the ability to use it properly. Type 1’s have a manual process and need to administer insulin from an external source. Pre-Diabetics are displaying signs of a body that is becoming resistant to insulin. Being overweight is the number 1 cause of becoming insulin resistant. We become overweight from less activity and poor nutritional habits (8/10 times).

The more active we are the better our body is able to use and absorb insulin – regardless of where it comes from.

Activity and exercise create a demand for carbs, which our body struggles to tolerate and breakdown anyway.  This leads to us becoming so much more able to breakdown carbs and glucose(same thing), without relying on so much insulin or medication being given.

Activity, improves blood flow, heart health and circulation, which is something that is negatively affected just by being a diabetic.

Your glucose ranges will be far more stable and your emotional and mental well-being is also lifted when you are better at your diabetes. Stress, overwhelm and being unhappy in your own skin cause poor glucose control – not just sugars and carbs.

Increased activity ticks every single one of the boxes.

If we put this activity, together with a nutritional plan of action that you enjoy, can sustain and feel happy about, you will notice that your life with diabetes is far less overwhelming and stressful. 

Once we put these methods together with our medication we have a complete triangle of control that takes us from a life of surviving with diabetes, to a life of thriving with diabetes.

After all of this, it’s time to put the final piece in place – Your support system.

As diabetics, we can all relate to the fact that we face hundreds of decisions per day, week, and month – more than the average person.

Each decision either takes us closer or further away from a life of good control and diabetic freedom.

Most diabetics have 2 goals in mind:

1) Fat loss and

2) Glucose control.

These are blanket goals as they each have endless benefits to us as diabetics. However, Fat loss and diabetic control are two very different sides to the same coin.

What we do for better blood sugars isn’t the same as what we have to do for fat loss.

Lower carb is generally always better for blood sugars, purely because as diabetics, we are carb intolerant and by consuming fewer carbs (which are sugars), we put less strain on our endocrine system.

For fat loss- regardless of calories coming from carbs, fats, chocolate or veggies- if the amount of calories consumed are greater than the amount we burn per day through activity – fat gain will occur, guaranteed 100% of the time.

Fat gain causes, poor diabetic control because being overweight causes us to be more resistant to insulin.

Same coin – two different approaches needed if we want to achieve both goals (glucose control + fat loss).

This is where having a diabetic coach & mentor becomes such a good idea. Having someone to assist you with all of these daily decisions is where the game really starts to change for us as diabetics.

I used to have a client (an attorney), that would do personal training with me and on her first day she said this:

“I spend all day reading and making decisions. I don’t want to think about what I need to do here or count my reps. That’s all for you to do”.

Just because we use a diabetic coach, doesn’t mean we can’t do it ourselves. The question is, 1) Can you?, and 2) Do you want to do it yourself?

Life is busy, and our plates are full (no pun intended). Even world-class athletes have coaches and trainers. They are far more athletic and able than the coach – however, they have other concerns to be thinking about as athletes.

 

If you want to start a 3-week training program that delivers your workouts 3x per week, provides you with nutritional guides and plans all tied together with support and a direct line to me: Click HERE and sign up for my free 3-week training and nutrition plan.

If you’d like to know more about my Carb Counting Masterclass for Diabetics you can do so by clicking here. The Diabetic Athletic Carb Counting Masterclass will explain what carb counting is, why we carb count as diabetics and how you can figure out your own insulin to carb ratios.

To see more about the Diabetic Athletic 10-week program for diabetics you can visit https://www.diabeticathletic.com. This is the ultimate program for diabetics and is backed by a 100% money-back guarantee. You have nothing to lose other than your unwanted body fat, your high glucose ranges and your diabetic overwhelm.

3 RULES FOR DIABETIC FAT LOSS NUTRITION

Here are my tops 3 tips as a Type 1 Diabetic – Strength & conditioning coach to help you stay lean all year long.

1. Pay attention to your calories:

Personally, I’m so tired of seeing personal trainers give advice to people telling them to cut carbs, sugars and anything enjoyable out of their lives and diets. Provided you keep a close eye on your caloric intake you can lose fat without giving up the foods you enjoy most.  Most of the time, people don’t realise that those small packets of cashew nuts you get at Woolworths (the tiny packets), are 450 calories. Yes, I can already hear you say “but it’s healthy”. Those cashew nuts are as much as a bottle of wine or even a pie.

Granted, the nuts or in fact a healthier choice, however, as far as fat loss is concerned, 450 calories is 450 calories no matter how you try and spin the story. Being overweight is unhealthy, just like pie.

What you choose to fill your daily calorie allowance up with is up to you.

If they come from carbs, healthy fats, tofu or Protein, they will only ever make you fat if the total daily intake is more than your daily calorie budget/total calories burned through activity.

BOTTOM LINE: Make sure your diet comes from high-quality foods. Keep processed foods to a minimum and ensure your diet is 10-20% INDULGENCE. This way you get to reach your goals while maintaining the healthiest relationship with food.

 

2. Stop with the “all or nothing” approach

Scientific studies prove that all or nothing diets will lead to binge eating and failure. Try using some common sense here – How long do you think quitting all carbs or sugar is going to last? Granted we as diabetics have to limit glucose/carb intake, but there it is… “limit”, as in manage and measure.

Ever tried fasting? What happens after a fast? … that’s right, overindulgence and binging – almost every single time.

You need to have a little bit of give and take. Eating “healthily” generally doesn’t do the trick. Its blind faith and it won’t work.

Find a balance between enjoying your food while making sure not to abuse it and you will do better than the person next to you who is busy demonising carbs and everything else under the sun.

3. If you don’t enjoy it you WILL cheat and overeat.

Your chosen diet ( yes, you choose what diet you’re on ), needs to taste great, and include the things you enjoy. It needs to suit your lifestyle and schedule. If it doesn’t, you will quit.

You’ll ruin your relationship with food, become bored and increase the chance of ending up at square one all over again.

As long as you are tracking your intake & you can stick to what you are doing, the exact types of food you consume are irrelevant for fat loss!

Make sure the sum of all your choices has a positive average and all will be well in the kingdom.

You don’t get bad foods, you only get bad diets overall. Having carb-filled meals is perfect for fat loss, as long as your other priorities are met – such as your diabetic control, your required daily protein target and your activity levels.

Overeating all day long and drinking calories with friends all weekend long .. that’s a problem! Eating well in the week and overeating on the weekend, yep -that’s the problem.

Not understanding that it is the calories we need to reduce and not the food is the main problem most of us face whether we realise it or not.

If you want to start a 3-week training program that delivers your workouts 3x per week, provides you with nutritional guides and plans all tied together with support and a direct line to me: Click HERE and sign up for my free 3-week training and nutrition plan.

If you’d like to know more about my Carb Counting Masterclass for Diabetics you can do so by clicking here. The Diabetic Athletic Carb Counting Masterclass will explain what carb counting is, why we carb count as diabetics and how you can figure out your own insulin to carb ratios.

To see more about the Diabetic Athletic 10-week program for diabetics you can visit http://www.diabeticathletic.com. This is the ultimate program for diabetics and is backed by a 100% money-back guarantee. You have nothing to lose other than your unwanted body fat, your high glucose ranges and your diabetic overwhelm.

WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH CARBS, FIBRE & CALORIES?

There are three types of carbs/sugar, fibre and starch. Out of which, sugar and starch are turned into glucose for energy.

Fibre doesn’t breakdown as we lack the enzyme to digest it. And so, it doesn’t increase blood sugar levels, it passes to the digestive system and forms bulk to be expelled as waste.

Fibre also doesn’t contribute to the calorie count. For this reason, diabetics are recommended to eat more fibre to keep the sugar levels under control.

Just think about it, fibre cleans out the system, can’t be absorbed as far as calories and fat gain are concerned and, we don’t count the grams of carbs from fibre when we carb count for our insulin doses.

As for the carbs, they convert to sugar, it’s important to choose carbs wisely. Pick the complex carbs as it undergoes slow digestion with steady increases in glucose levels instead of spiking glucose levels.

This is where the glycemic index and glycemic load come into play. I have an entire module of videos with me explaining fibre, carbs, fruits, vegetables, sugars and their different kinds of effects, inside my Diabetic Athletic 10-week program.

Rather than worrying about the accuracy of calorie-counting and the relatively small differences in calorie estimates contributed by the fibre in your diet, it may be best to focus on eating the recommended amount of fibre each day, which is 14 grams of fibre for every 1,000 calories you consume.

For those that adhere to their diet by tracking calories or energy balance, it may be better to count the calories from fats, proteins, and total carbohydrates and try to increase physical activity to burn more calories since these are activities you can modify and control.

The take away here is to control the elements you can. Everything else will fall into place.

If you’d like my help and guidance regarding your own specific diet and training plan visit my 3-week FREE training and nutrition plan for diabetics by clicking HERE.

If you’re interested in what carb counting is, why we carb count as diabetics and how you can apply carb counting to your life as a diabetic – you can watch my Carb Counting Masterclass HERE.

If you want to see what my Diabetic Athletic Mentorship Program is about, you can click HERE and have a look at what the Diabetic Athletic 10-week flagship program is all about.

If you want to talk to me and ask me any questions you can message me HERE

MY TOP 3 STRATEGIES FOR FASTER FAT-LOSS

Ok so, first things – Let’s agree that most of us want to have good firm muscle tone, nicely shaped arms and legs, and less jiggle in the right places when we jump up and down. There is nothing wrong wanting to feel proud and happy in your own skin. Regardless of how you look… as long as you’re proud and happy, that’s all that matters.
In this article, I’m going to be talking about muscle so I urge the ladies to remember that ‘tone’ is a term for how a muscle looks at rest. You can’t shape or tone fat.
Ladies, if it makes you feel better you can replace the word muscle with “tone” anytime you like throughout this article.
If you have a decent amount of muscle but a moderate amount of fat covering that muscle, you won’t be able to see any muscle tone. It’s covered up. Simple enough.
In my 15 + years as a strength & conditioning coach & helping people lose body fat, I have seen many impressive looking outlines while t-shirts etc are on… however I think we can all relate, this doesn’t always transfer to looking that great naked and more importantly having the mental confidence of feeling good in your own skin.
For most, to look good naked, being lean is the key. Without it, our true shape and curves, as well as hard work can’t really be seen.
People trying to achieve their best bodies will want plenty of muscle tone. But simply having muscle isn’t enough to look good if we still have stubborn fat mass covering it up.
On the other hand, few of us want to compete in bodybuilding or even reach anywhere near that level of extreme leanness. Getting there requires sacrifices, suffering, nutritional strategizing, discipline, and the willingness to feel like crap most of the time.
The good news is, losing enough fat to look awesome in everyday life isn’t that complicated.
But it still requires discipline, which is why most of us who love food (and not always the good kind) could use a few tricks to help us along the way.
These are extra tips that go above and beyond the foundational must-haves for anyone wanting to lose body fat. These work and make a massive difference. Yes, they may seem a little bit extra, but then again not doing them will leave you potentially looking a little bit extra. We all have choices to make 🙂
Strategy #1:
Do Something Before You Eat for 7-15 Minutes.
I was probably my leanest when I was 22 -26 years old. I used a calorie restriction to achieve my lean physique however the calorie tracking wasn’t very strict and my diet wasn’t that great where food choices were made. I ate a lot each day however, I exercised more. This means that although I ate a LOT, my energy expenditure was still higher than my calorie intake – therefore putting me at a caloric deficit.
While I did use caloric restriction (no diet is magical enough to allow you to lose fat while eating more than you burn), I can’t say that my diet was great. I tried to make good food choices, but I also ate things that are typically considered a no-no when trying to lose fat.
There is a very simple strategy for these “no-no” foods: You can eat them, but you need to do some sort of physical activity prior to having them.
It doesn’t have to match the calories in that food or anything fancy like that. It also doesn’t need to be a full-on workout. It just needs to be SOMETHING.
The only rule? If it is going to be a low-intensity activity, like brisk walking or playing with a football, it had to be done for about 12-15 minutes. If was a bit more intense, like a mix of push-ups, crunches, jumps, sprints, and resistance band exercises, it needed to be done for 7 minutes, with more work than rest time.
I’m not saying you can counteract a McDonald’s trio by getting on a stationary bike for 30 minutes. The purpose of the exercise period prior to eating has nothing to do with burning more calories. It’s only a strategy to help you eat less.
The fact remains that when it comes to losing fat, although there are many important factors (macro ratio, food selection, meal timing, etc.), the caloric balance remains the key element. And the main problem most people have is simply eating too much – meal frequency or portion control.
Why does this strategy work? Here’s what it does:
1) It drastically decreases boredom and psychological eating most of us experience.
2) Doing something physical will also help you get your mind off of that perceived craving.
3) Being physically active can help decrease hunger even a short burst of activity can increase insulin sensitivity.
Of course, your inner devil’s advocate will argue that you have a busy schedule and you don’t have time for this. Really? Do you train? Well, that counts for one.
Don’t you have time to do 3 sets of push-ups, crunches, and air squats in the morning upon waking before breakfast? Can’t you take a short 15-minute walk or run up and down the stairs at the office a few times before lunch? Can’t you go take a short 30-minute walk with your wife to unwind after your workday, before dinner?
And if you think about it, the intense physical activity will actually amp you up for your day. Or if you choose the less intense route, it may help you relax and decrease cortisol and other stress hormones.
Other than that, it’ll make you more conscientious about that extra meal because you’ll need to invest a little bit of effort and time. But since it can be done in 7 minutes it shouldn’t be a problem at all.
There is a quote by Jim Wendler. Jim was asked what he thought about kids eating fast food. To which he answered: “It’s fine if they push the Prowler to get there.”
Strategy #2:
Speaking of Jim Wendler, this next tip comes from him. It’s amazingly simple and will greatly help with portion control; it might even help you build muscle in the process.
Prior to your main meals of the day, drink a protein shake, ideally 5-10 minutes before the meal.
Once again the true key to fat loss is eating less. Most people have problems with portion control and that’s why they do better when they resort to extreme diets. Take the keto diet, for example, a high-fat and moderate-to-high protein meal is a lot more satiating than a high-carb, moderate-protein meal. A higher fat meal also takes a lot longer to digest, which reduces hunger.
Intermittent fasting uses a different approach. While most variations of it don’t control portions, by having a long period without food you can control total daily food intake. It’s harder to overeat when you can only eat within a 4-hour window of time. This being said, if you do overeat in your ‘eating window’ of your intermittent fast.. you’ll still get fat.
If you can find a way to decrease caloric intake without feeling like crap, your chances of success are greater because it’ll be easier to stick with it in the long run.
Drinking a thick protein shake 5-10 minutes prior to a meal will decrease appetite, especially if blended with a good amount of ice and water. Contrary to popular belief, not all protein shakes are the same. Different ingredients do different things and there is a variety of sources that proteins can come from. Look for casein, which is a protein that will digest slowly and blunt hunger for longer.
When you’re on a diet and your portions are reduced, having that shake will leave you satisfied even if you ate less than usual. And if you are “free-eating” (no planned portions) the pre-meal shake will prevent you from clearing out the buffet.
Drink the shake before the meal or it will defeat the purpose. You’re not using it merely for additional protein, but as a tool to reduce subsequent food intake.
Now, people who struggle with basic logic and reasoning will say this: “Nick, you said that the key to fat loss is creating a caloric deficit. Protein shakes have a caloric value, don’t they?”
Of course, they do. Each gram of protein provides roughly 4 calories of energy. However, since protein is extremely difficult to use for fuel as it needs to be converted to glucose and even harder to store as fat, consuming more of it will not negatively impact fat loss.
The purpose of consuming the shake before mealtime is to make you want to eat less at the dinner table, so you’ll end up consuming fewer total calories.
Strategy #3: No Training? No Carbs!
This is a pretty common approach in physique sports. Matt Porter, for example, one of the smartest men in bodybuilding, uses this approach during contest preps. And it’s been around. Thirty years ago the late Dr Fred Hatfield, who squatted 1014 pounds at age 45, wrote, “Eat for what you’re going to be doing and not for what you’ve done”.
If you aren’t going to train hard, and your goal is fat loss, then you don’t need “fast fuel” that day. Note that if your goal is to build maximum size, not get lean, I recommend having carbs on off days. But when trying to get lean this is a very simple approach. You don’t even need to necessarily count calories, just don’t eat any carbs.
Keep It Simple
If you’re trying to get completely shredded it’ll be necessary to follow a precise diet plan.
If your objective is simply to get leaner, you don’t have to be that strict about it. It all comes down to food reduction, which is a matter of portion size and meal frequency.
The key here is reducing hunger and modifying the psychological behaviour that makes you crave food for non-essential reasons – boredom, stress, emotions, habit, etc.
If you want to get lean simply:
1) Eat mostly unprocessed food.
2) Keep your protein intake high.
3) Keep your daily activity high
4) Try the tips above.
5) Kepp you glucose levels in range – ALWAYS

If you’d like my help and guidance regarding your own specific diet and training plan visit my 3-week FREE training and nutrition plan for diabetics by clicking HERE.

If you’re interested in what carb counting is, why we carb count as diabetics and how you can apply carb counting to your life as a diabetic – you can watch my Carb Counting Masterclass HERE.

If you want to see what my Diabetic Athletic Mentorship Program is about, you can click HERE and have a look at what the Diabetic Athletic 10-week flagship program is all about.

If you want to talk to me and ask me any questions you can message me HERE

SCALE WEIGHT – FRIEND OR FOE?

How much do you weigh?

Who cares!?

Weight is one of the most meaningless measures of your fitness. Here’s why and what you should be measuring instead.

Firstly:

The Scale Does Not Differentiate Between Weight and Fat.

The scale measures weight, which is the total weight of all your body mass. This includes muscle, water, tendons, ligaments, organs, and water. All this tells you is how heavy you are in relation to gravity. It tells you nothing about your body composition.

Let’s just take this time to mention that the bioelectrical impedance scales or analysis methods that give you your body composition DO NOT WORK… They can estimate at best.

Someone who weighs 60 kg with 40% body fat is going to look a lot different than someone who is the same weight and has 15% body fat. One person is going to be overweight, while the other is going to have great muscle definition.

You would never know this when you step on a scale.

>> Weight Fluctuates Drastically Throughout the Day.

Your weight is very closely tied to your water retention. Since your body is over 60% made up of water, you can imagine how much your body fluids fluctuate throughout the day.

How much you drink, what you eat, the amount you sweat, hormone fluctuations, female cycles, and the time of day you weigh yourself all drastically influence the number on the scale. The scale is really just measuring these short-term fluctuations in water retention.

>> The Scale can Create an Unhealthy Obsession With Weight.

How many times a day do you weigh yourself? I’ve found that most people weigh themselves on a daily basis. There are plenty of people who don’t, but the majority step on the scale one or more times throughout the day. Why?

All this does is make you happy when you see it go down and then stress out when you see it go up.

Your mood throughout the day is tied to the number on the scale. That’s right, the scale and its measure of water retention and total body mass are telling you how to feel.

>> A Low Weight Does Not Automatically Equal a Healthy Body.

I can’t emphasize this enough. Being skinny does not automatically mean you’re healthy. There are people walking around weighing close to nothing that still carries around high percentages of body fat.

That means they have next to no muscle. I call it skinny fat.

Its a thing. Ask anybody in a running club. That’s them in a nutshell. Thin to the eye and soft to the touch.

They likely do very little exercise that maintains muscle and eat close to nothing, which means they consume very little vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

A healthy body comes from the combination of physical activity and healthy food that is comprised of a caloric threshold. Your resulting body composition is a side effect of this kind of lifestyle.

Calorie Deficit is HOW you lose weight or fat. Good habits (such as training styles and adequate protein intake), and your Decisions are WHY you lose fat.

>> Scale weight Is a Motivation Killer.

How many times have you spent hours in the gym literally working your butt off while also eating as healthy as possible, only to see the scale not budge or at times, even go up?

It happens all the time, and do you know what usually happens?

People think “what’s the point in torturing myself if I’m not going to lose any weight anyway?”

Again, the scale is only measuring total body mass. It doesn’t tell you how much of that mass is muscle and how much is fat. You could have gained 2kg of muscle and lost 2lkg of fat, but the scale wouldn’t have told you that. In fact the scale would read no progress !!

You could have improved several measures of your health, such as cholesterol levels, blood pressure, triglycerides, dropped a few dress sizes and even improved your mental well-being and self-confidence, but the scale won’t show you that either.

Instead, it stops your motivation and drive dead in its tracks. You were mere days or weeks away from transforming your life, but you put your trust in the scale instead of in the weight loss process.

Emphasis on the word PROCESS.

So….How Should You Be Monitoring Your Progress?

Now, we don’t want to completely bash scales, because they do have their place as long as you fully understand their purpose.

Scales work in conjunction with other progress measurement tools to give you a complete picture. Alone, the scale is misleading, but combined with other measurement tools, it will give you a clearer picture of your body composition, fitness, and health.

Measure the circumference of your body parts with a tape measure. Take progress pictures every week. Listen to comments people are making about your body and the way you look.

Pay attention to the way you feel. If you’re having medical tests done, look at the results.

All of these methods offer true peace of mind that what you’re doing is working. Placing all your faith into your scale will put you on the straight and narrow to betrayal, confusion, and frustration. Enlist the help of other measurement tools and experience numbers that are a factual representation of your body.

If you’d like to find out more about my 3-week FREE training and nutrition plan for diabetics just click HERE.

If you’re interested in what carb counting is, why we carb count as diabetics and how you can apply carb counting to your life as a diabetic – you can watch my Carb Counting Masterclass HERE.

If you want to see what my Diabetic Athletic Mentorship Program is about, you can click HERE and have a look at what the Diabetic Athletic 10-week flagship program is all about.

If you want to talk to me and ask me any questions you can message me HERE

HABITS & BEHAVIOURS

Habit, in psychology, is any regularly repeated behaviour that requires little or no thought and is learned rather than innate. A habit—which can be part of any activity, ranging from eating and sleeping to thinking and reacting—is developed through reinforcement and repetition.

Have you ever heard the saying we are what we repeatedly do?

I always teach my clients that we learn new skills through repetition.

As a kid, my father taught me how to tie my shoelaces and click my fingers by making me repeatedly attempt to get it right. I remember being a bit frustrated and as far as the clicking of the fingers was concerned I can actually remember a bit tears being involved. I had an army dad but so the methods were different however, the lesson still applies and through repetition, I learned new skills.

What has stayed with me all this time was not how frustrating it was having to attempt something over and over that, I just couldn’t get right, but rather the fact that if you give something enough time and attention – no matter how hard it seems at that specific moment in time, you will prevail and end up in a far greater situation than before.

Repetition over time becomes muscle memory and finally becomes a reflex. A reflex is something that takes place without us trying to think about how to do them. If I asked you to click your fingers or tie your shoelaces, it wouldn’t take much thought as to how to do that. You’ve done it so many times that it just happens.

What once took every ounce of concentration and practise is now something that we can do without any thought.   

This is the same for nutrition and the process in which to lose fat.  This is also the same for us diabetics trying to get the balance of diet, lifestyle, the effects of carbs to insulin ratios, and activity right.

Being able to write the user manual to your body and get yourself in the best shape possible is not going to happen without practice.

We all know that practice is the hardest part. It’s important to remember that this will pass and the end goal is what you need to keep your eyes on.

Skills are not easy to learn.  That’s what we call them skills!

Learning to track your calories, lose weight, gain muscle, make healthy choices, and even balance out the unhealthy choices so its not a train smash when they do happen is a skill set that must be learned.

The more skills you have in your toolbox the more successful you will be in any and every facet of life.

In order to change any facet of our life, we need to alter our behaviours and habits. In this case, I’m talking to you about nutrition… and exercise – but ultimately fat loss.

All the habitual behaviours that you do right now that are contributing to an outcome or life or physique that you don’t enjoy are all coming from something that you started doing not stopped doing. People try to change this by stopping to do certain things.

You cannot create a habit by stopping something. It lacks the qualities required for something to be habitual.

For example – people will stop eating sugar, stop eating carbs, stop going to bed late at night whatever it might be.

You must start something in order to create NEW behaviours instead of giving up on existing behaviours.

Yes giving up bad habits is a good idea but as much as energy balance is imperative for fat loss so is balance in everyday life.

Starting nutrition plans or exercise regimes can be tough – however, it is meant to compliment your life and not take away from it, or complicate it.

The way I do my nutritional guidance for my TopShape members is not normal: “give up sugar”, “no more of this and no more of that”.

If all you do is just take away from people it becomes unsustainable and unenjoyable.

On my Diabetic Athletic online program, I get my clients to learn new skills and habits. Instead of spending all your time deleting your old habits and behaviours, we rather concentrate on creating new ones.

Your focus is on the creation of new habits and in turn skills. These newly acquired behaviours become your focus and become your strengths.

You start to see above-average results and still have that feeling of building yourself up rather than taking things away.

Always remember that learning new things will always come with a challenge. If you want to lose weight and live a healthy life with better diabetic control, remember this as your end goal because that’s what counts. That’s what you want for yourself right now. We tend to lose sight of this when we are on the journey and things become challenging.

Rough seas make good sailors. Nutrition, diabetes, and training are all one-day games. Today might be harder than yesterday. You wake up the next day and give it all you got again and again. These small efforts each day paint a picture.

How your picture ends up is how you approach each day.

Stay strong, remember why you started, accept the challenge and remember that when you reach that end goal it will all seem worth it.

If you’d like to find out more about my 3-week FREE training and nutrition plan for diabetics just click HERE.

If you’re interested in what carb counting is, why we carb count as diabetics and how you can apply carb counting to your life as a diabetic – you can watch my Carb Counting Masterclass HERE.

If you want to see what my Diabetic Athletic Mentorship Program is about, you can click HERE and have a look at what the Diabetic Athletic 10-week flagship program is all about.

If you want to talk to me and ask me any questions you can message me HERE