Fat Loss 101

5 Fat loss hacks to get lean in 2019

Getting lean/losing weight/cutting whatever you want to call it… for most people, it isn’t an easy process. But it certainly is simple. There’s lots of good information and a whole lot of bad information, out there! This is my attempt to give you some basic principles on how to bring your goals to life.

Calories matter

This is not to say that everyone should be counting every calorie or be scared of food. Calories matter they are a measure of the energy you are putting into your body and the energy your body is using. Fundamentally, if you are wanting to lose weight you need to be consuming fewer calories than you expend. Personally, I like to keep a track of my calories because I like to eat lots of the sweeter things in life and that helps me make sure it doesn’t get out of hand. But there are many ways to achieve the same results and I will explain these later.

Get yo’ protein up!

I’m not about to sell you some magic powder to drink, but protein is definitely your friend during your cut. Why is protein so important? Firstly, because it’s necessary for the maintenance of the muscle mass you’ve been working for in the gym. As well as this, a high protein diet is going to help you feel fuller and this will reduce the urge to binge eat. There is lots of information around how much protein you should consume, if you are cutting I would recommend 1.8 – 2 grams per kilogram of body weight and this should help limit the amount of muscle mass you lose (Phillips and Van Loon, 2011). For some people getting their protein up may mean the use of shakes and supplements. But it’s just as easy to do this with food. Some of my favourites are O% Fat Natural Yogurt, Egg Whites, Chicken, Milk, Black Beans (shout out my vegans). These are just to name a few, if you’re struggling for high protein meal ideas, then check out some of the Flavaful recipes on the blog.

Keep it light…

One easy way to lose weight that doesn’t involve tracking macros or counting calories is to eat food that is less dense in energy. For a lot of foods, this could simply be switching to the light/low fat/less sugar option. Making a few of these switches to things you eat every day could well result in the caloric deficit you need to lose weight without a whole bunch of stress and effort on your part. Obviously, you have to be careful, drinking a diet Coke doesn’t mean you can have that fourth cookie, and for some products, you need to check that it is actually less calorific rather than just impressive marketing. But this is an easy win and while cutting is definitely a journey and there is no magic pill, you want to make it as painless as possible and this helps.

Move more

All the points above largely deal with energy intake but energy expenditure is just as important a part of this equation. If you’re looking to cut you need to move more, there are so many ways you can do this without it being a chore. Go on a  fun a walk in the morning, take the stairs, do the vacuuming, go play sports. Whatever it is, moving more is going to increase your caloric expenditure and help make your cut a little bit easier to maintain.

Not So Fast!

When it comes to losing weight people are very impatient. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been asked for advice on how to get in shape, I’m like cool what are your goals? and the response I receive is well I’m going on holiday next week, abs got to be poppin’. There are many reasons why this kind of mindset is not the best, it tends to result in a lack of results at best and often times will drive people to try crash diets and whatever other fads Instagram is selling. When it comes to cutting slow and steady, for most people, wins the race. A slower cut allows you to maintain more muscle mass, which will help you gain definition as you lose fat mass. It also means you’ll be able to eat more, which means better training sessions, less chance of getting ill and most importantly less chance of being ‘Hangry’ which your friends and family will appreciate.  The amount of weight you should aim to lose each week is going to vary between individuals depending on training status and where you’re starting from. But Garthe et al., 2011 recommends 0.7% of body mass per week and I think this is a good starting point for most individuals.

I hope this was useful, it’s really just an introduction to a topic that is so interesting and often times so misunderstood. If you happen to like this blog, I’ll come back with part two.

Let’s help each other, share your fitness secrets in the comments, what helps keep you on track with your fitness goals?

Sources/Learn more

WEIGHT MANAGEMENT FOR ATHLETES AND ACTIVE INDIVIDUALS

Phillips, S.M. and Van Loon, L.J., 2011. Dietary protein for athletes: from requirements to optimum adaptation. Journal of sports sciences29(sup1), pp.S29-S38.

Garthe, I., Raastad, T., Refsnes, P.E., Koivisto, A. and Sundgot-Borgen, J., 2011. Effect of two different weight-loss rates on body composition and strength and power-related performance in elite athletes. 
International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism21(2), pp.97-104.

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Pumpkin Soup

There’s nothing spooky about this pumpkin soup. Growing up in a Jamaican household we don’t really do much celebrating for Halloween, but while the rest of the country is carving pumpkins, we’re cooking pumpkin soup. So I’m going to let you in and show you this secret winter recipe. It’s time to get rid of all that trick or treat chocolate and let the flava into your life!

Soup is a staple of any good Carribean kitchen, we can *Jamaican accent* ‘tek anyting an mek soup’. So over the winter months, I’m going to share a variety of different Flavas, hit that follow button and go check out my Instagram, so you don’t miss out. But we’re going to start with one that’s super easy to make and tastes amazing!

Ingredients

  • 400g Pumpkin
  • 40g Coconut Milk
  • A Clove of Garlic
  • A Finger Chilli (for some spice!)
  • A Stock Cube
  • Dried Thyme
  • Black Pepper

Method

  1. Peel, dice and boil your pumpkin for 10-15 minutes
  2. Drain the water from your pan and add your coconut milk, garlic, chilli and stock cube.
  3. Blend the contents of your pan until it’s smooth, like an 80’s jazz band
  4. Add your stock cube, thyme and black pepper
  5. Let it simmer for 10 minutes, stirring it occasionally
  6. Serve and enjoy the flava

Macros

Calories (kcal): 140
Carbohydrates (g): 18
Fats (g): 6
Protein (g): 2

Jamaican Browned Stew Fish

Inspired by my recent trip to Jamaica, I’m coming back to the blog with some real Caribbean cooking. I spent a lot of time living it up by the beach and tasting everything the ocean had to offer, this has to be one of my favourite meals from the trip. I’m going to recreate it for you all. So you can bring the Flava into your life.

This recipe shows what fitness n flava is all about. Delicious food that will help you stay on track towards your fitness goals. Fish is a great source of Omega 3, Vitamin D and many other minerals. Helping to do everything from lowering blood pressure and improving brain function to reducing inflammation in your joints. This is definitely a recipe to add to your meal prep rotation.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole fresh fish (in Jamaica Snapper is a favourite, I’ll be using Sea Bass)
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 1/2 Sweet Pepper
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tomato
  • 1/2 Scotch Bonnet Pepper
  • 2 Tbs Vinegar
  • All Purpose Seasoning
  • Vegetable Stock Cube
  • A Dash of Pimento/Allspice
  • Thyme
  • 50ml Coconut Milk

Method

  1. Make sure your fish is scaled and clean your fish, you can get the fishmonger to do this, it saves time or you can cook the recipe with fish filets.
  2. Rub down the fish with vinegar.
  3. Chop your onions, pepper and scotch bonnet, slice all of these into rings.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a frying pan and cook these of a low heat for 5-7 minutes
  5. Once these are cooked remove them from the pan and place them to the side.
  6. Lightly dust your fish with some all-purpose seasoning on both sides.
  7. Using the same oil you cooking you fresh seasonings in, fry the fish for approximately 5 minutes each side (Until cooked)
  8. Slice your tomato and dice your garlic then add these to the pan along with the fresh seasoning prepared earlier.
  9. Add 1 cup of water along with your thyme, coconut milk, stock cube and pimento.
  10. Let is all simmer for 8 minutes
  11. Serve and enjoy!

Graduate Gains

How to make gains and look great for busy people…

Everyone knows about the freshers 15 lbs (Coming home for Christmas looking like you already ate the turkey). Somewhere between vodka – squash mixers and 2 for 1 dominos pizza, it becomes real difficult to stay in shape. But you spend the next 3 years fighting it, getting yourself in the best shape of your life, certain you’re about 1 month of hard training away from that Gymshark endorsement. Now it’s time to graduate and as the weeks pass you come to realise, it’s just as difficult to stay in shape now, as it was during freshers.

Adults (the real ones, who have long finished with student life) told you,  “it’s not as easy to stay in shape with a full-time job and responsibilities”. Now you know they weren’t lying. Hours of sitting in an office, that cool place you go for lunch and all those epic office snacks are not great for the gains. But, there’s no need to give up, that graduation day pic doesn’t need to be the last time your Insta was lit, there is a better way!

These are my top 5 tips to help you stay in shape after you’ve rocked that cap and gown.

Microwave Egg Whites (& other handy snacks)

One major problem of grad life is the lack of flexibility it’s hard to make sure all your meals are on point when you have a 9-5. You tried carrying the meal prep bag but let’s face it the tube is too hot for that and it’s effort anyway. However, there are a bunch of quick snacks you can make at work that will keep your protein high and your macros on point. Microwave egg whites, yes you heard me, microwave egg whites, 6 egg whites, 4 minutes in the microwave, that’s 22g of protein in a snack that’s under 100 calories. Egg whites too bland?? There are plenty of options, 0% Greek yoghurt with some fruit is poppin’. If that graduate paycheck is treating you well, then there’s Grenade, Barbells or Fulfill and tons of other options in terms of protein bars or other snacks. But the key is to put yourself in a position where you can eat well all day, whatever your budget.

Get Up!

You’re an adult now, it’s time to stop hitting that snooze button and go get it! The morning is a perfect time to get your workout in, whether that’s a long walk or a session in the gym. Think of how good it will feel to be getting fitter, stronger and healthier while everyone else is still fighting with there alarm clock.

ALARM

Power Hour Workouts

I’m busy is no longer an excuse! Go in there, put in the work, then get out. You don’t need to spend 2-3 hours in the gym. You can get great results consistently putting in an hour of hard work 4-5 times a week. Comment if y’all are interested and I’ll let you know what my training week looks like in a future blog.

Find your passion

Post graduation is a great time to start something new, whether it’s running a marathon or going to your first powerlifting meet, you’ll feel a fresh wave of motivation. It’s so much easier to put in the work when you have a goal. Hold yourself accountable, better yet, find a friend, train together and hold each other accountable.

Prioritise!

How bad do you want it?! I know you’ve managed to watch the whole series of love island, your up to date on Game of Thrones and you’ve just spent the last hour scrolling through Instagram. It’s time to roll out of bed and put in that work. You got this, I believe in you!

 

 

500 kcal French Toast

Forget your avocado on toast, Fitness n Flava is here to take your brunch game to a new level. I love this recipe, perfect for the summer vibes, and the Marcos will keep your summer body intact whatever your goals may be! Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments!

Ingredients:

  • 260g White Bread Baton
  • 3 Egg Whites
  • 50ml Milk
  • Tsp Cinnamon
  • Tsp Nutmeg
  • 200g Strawberries
  • More fruit to decorate

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Method

  1. Slice your bread into roughly 8 even pieces, then place them in a baking tray
  2. Grab a bowl and whisk your milk, egg whites, cinnamon and nutmeg together
  3. Pour your mixture over the bread and then drain the excess from the baking tray
  4. Repeat this process until all the mixture has been absorbed by the bread
  5. Grab a non-stick frying pan and cook your bread until it’s brown on both sides
  6. For your strawberries, slice them into halves heat up a saucepan and cook them on a high heat for 2-3 minutes
  7. Serve and Enjoy!

Macros (2 Servings):

Calories (kcal) – 454
Fat (g) – 3
Carbohydrates (g) – 87.1
Protein (g) – 20g

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