Ripped to shreds!

Female Lean Physique

Here are a few tips for you to achieve maximum fat loss in the shortest space of time. Consistency is key!

Get your mind focussed on Fatloss 

This is very important, you need to be in the right head space to start with, to remain focused, disciplined and understand that the results will not just happen overnight. They will only happen if you remain focused. As Personal Trainers, we often hear ‘I want to lose fat’, but also ‘I want to build a booty/muscle’. Now these things are of course possible with weight training and correct nutrition. But they take time and perseverance. There are the select few that you see who’s job it is to be in peak shape and who are paid for their photo shoots you see on their socials. This is not reality though. This is their jobs, they train everyday sometimes twice a day. This is not possible for everyone. So give yourself a break and be realistic about what you can achieve.

Forget about cheat meals 

We have clients that walk in and listen to our advice and follow our plans and still ask ‘Am I able to have cheat meals?’ well, let’s just be really honest here. Do you want results in the shortest possible time? Well, the answer is ‘NO!’ Remain focussed, remain disciplined, focus on the goal and you will get the results. You will feel hungry, you will feel like you are missing out, you won’t be able to eat everything and anything in front of you but it will be worth it. If it was easy to be in great shape, everyone would be.

Fasted Cardio 

We know that cardio isn’t everyone’s favourite. BUT it is a necessary evil especially if you want to burn fat and get lean. Fasted cardio is when you do cardio before you have consumed any calories. In fact, exercising in a fasted state can burn up to 20% more fat then after eating. So we know that when you wake up the first thought may be to eat breakfast but try and get straight to the gym for a 45-minute session on the treadmill or Stairmaster before heading for the kitchen.

HIIT Cardio 

We have mentioned the benefits of cardio above, all forms of cardio are effective but we recommend that you look at LISS (Low-Intensity Steady State) and HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training). Both will burn fat and LISS is easier as its low intensity. HIIT involves periods of sprints and recovery periods. The beauty of HIIT is that you can get maximum results in minimal time and it stimulates fat burning for longer periods effectively you can burn fat for the rest of the day after a HIIT session. WIN, WIN!

Carbs 

You need to eat just as many carbs as you need when they will be utilized. You should only eat carbs on the days that you weight train. All other meals should be protein and contain healthy fat. Think of eating carbs as filling up your car with fuel. You need to consume your carbs pre and post workout. The carbs consumed before a workout will be converted by the liver into glycogen which will provide your muscles with energy and the carbs consumed post workout will be used to replenish those glycogen stores.

Sneaky Calorie Burning 

So on top of your cardio, you also need to be burning extra calories as often as you can. Walk to work, park the car further away from the office and walk. take the stairs. Walk the long way home from school with the kids. Just get moving, anyway, you can. These things that burn an extra 10/20/30 calories but throughout the day these add up which is what you want when we are looking for the maximum fat loss.

Keep food plain and simple 

As you are probably aware there are a number of spices, sauces and low calories additions to add to your food to add flavour and zing to your food. These are great, but we suggest that you try to aim for food to be in its cleanest state and keep things really simple. Plain and simple.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why you should be heading to a Farmers Markets

If you are focussing on leading a healthier, fitter lifestyle chances are Farmers Markets are on your radar – if not, they should be and this is why you should be planning a visit to your local Farmers Market.

1. Farmers Markets are good for your body and the environment

There is a lot to like about a Farmers Market. The Farmers themselves are often small, family run, non-industrial setups with a respect for their land, with a focus on low impact and sustainable and pesticide-free farming methods what this means for you is the produce arrives at the market in a near-organic state. Another benefit is the product will travel from farm to market a lot quicker more than likely be free from any preservatives that are added in the journey from farm to the supermarket – making farmers market produce is some of the healthiest you can buy.

2. Famers Markets are excellent for weight loss

This isn’t something that is going to happen overnight but if you are buying the majority of your meat, fruit and vegetables from a Farmer’s market the chances are you are going to lose a few pounds – why? Because you will be buying in quantities that you actually need rather than buying a trolley full of pre-packaged, offer led products that are full of processed rubbish and unnecessary additives.  You will be buying and eating clean and nutrient packed food.

3. Farmers Markets are an experience for the senses rather than a chore

For most of us, a trip to the supermarket isn’t an overly enjoyable experience (especially if you have young children to take with you).  But, a visit to the Farmers Market, can be an event, a day out, an experience for the senses. A rainbow of colours, produce to smell and squeeze for freshness.

Farmers’ markets deliver the freshest, most earth-friendly and nutrient-dense options in the area but are also reconnecting us with the pleasures of discovering, tasting, touching and smelling whole, real food in a welcoming environment – no trollies or aisles in sight.

4. Farmers Markets are social events – they are good for the soul 

Supermarkets are set up for ease and convenience. Aisles are labelled, self-service checkouts are there so you can speed through your shop. Although this is great it doesn’t provide you with the opportunity to be sociable and interact with your neighbours and community. When you visit a Farmers Market the person behind the stall can tell you exactly where the produce has come from, how it was reared, grown and how quickly it travelled from farm to the market. Another bonus is you will get to meet like-minded people who are interested in fuelling their bodies and feeding their families with the best, local and fresh ingredients.

So this weekend instead of heading for a supermarket why not search for your local Farmers Market.

Farmers Markets are good for the mind, body and soul

Don’t forget your bags to carry home your fresh produce!

Here we list a few Local Farmers Market to check out:

Barnstaple’s Farmers Market in Pannier Market every Tuesday and Friday.

Braunton Farmers’ Market in Braunton Parish Hall on the fourth Saturday in the month from 9.30am-12.00pm.

Heanton Farmers’ Market which is on the second Saturday in the month from 9.30am to 12.00pm in Wrafton Village Hall.

Orchard Farm Shop at St Johns Garden Centre.

Let us know if we are missing any local events.

Foods to boost your energy

5 foods to boost your energy 

Do you ever get to that point in the day where you just want a quick pick me, a little boost, a burst of energy to see you through the rest of the day (or maybe just until lunch)?… Well here are our top 5 energy-boosting foods to help you through the day. 

Fruit  

Fruit is a great start and energy booster to add to your day, the natural levels of fructose (or sugars) make this a great food for boosting your energy through the day, and due to fresh fruits high amount of fiber it helps to stabilize your blood sugar levels and reduce the amount of hunger you feel, making it great for hitting your sweet tooth as well and ensuring you don’t gorge, all this whilst boosting your energy levels.  

Eggs  

Okay so eggs are probably a norm in your day-to-day eating routine but what you probably didn’t know if there’s a great reason to have a couple of hard-boiled eggs as a snack in the day to boost your energy…and here’s why: The yolk of the egg contains a high concentration of B vitamins which help to convert the food you eat into usable energy sources, and the bonus – plenty of vitamin D to help maintain strong bones and an efficient immune system. 

Nuts 

Okay so nuts are quite a regular snack right? But really you should use them when you’re starved of energy and need a little pick me up during the day, why? I’ll tell you why. Nuts have a great blend of fats proteins and fiber, unlike simple sugars which are broken down and used quickly due to having less fiber, nuts have a high amount of fiber which means they are broken down over a longer period of time and will help you be full of energy for longer.

Dark Chocolate

So I thought I’d sneak a little treat in here and it’s dark chocolate. If you’re fancying a little treat dark chocolate could be your answer for an energy boost. Dark chocolate contains a natural stimulant called theobromine, which acts in a similar way to caffeine and boosts your energy and mood.

Water 

I had to somehow squeeze this one in here, one of the most important things that have a direct effect on your energy levels is your hydration level. Dehydration hits a lot quicker and harder than hunger, and this is why water can be so important for keeping your energy levels high. Water is also the transport mechanism used for getting nutrients used for energy around the body. Finally, without enough water, we cannot metabolize the food we eat for energy in the first place, and this is why water had to make my list. 

So there you have it, 5 great foods/drinks that are great to boost your energy.  

Absolute Training and Nutrition is an exclusive training facility in Barnstaple. We offer Personal Training, Semi-Private and Group Training Sessions as well as a brand new Deli opening very soon in our Studio on Pottington Estate.

Check out our other premises – Absolute Spin – Home of indoor cycling in central Barnstaple.

Contact us info@absolutetrainingandnutrition.com or give us a call on 01271 370600.

Make sure you are following us on FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest and YouTube.

Homemade Peanut Butter in the NutriBullet

peanut butter

Who loves Peanut Butter?

Most peanut butter you can buy in the supermarket is full of chemicals and nasty additives. Then you have the more natural and healthier forms of peanut butter but they usually come with a juicy price tag.

Give this simple recipe a go and you can have vegetarian, gluten-free homemade peanut butter in just 2 mins.

4 ingredients:

1 cup of peanuts

1 tsp Honey

1/4 tsp Salt

1 tsp Peanut oil

Do you have a high powered blender looking pretty in your kitchen?

Method:

Simply add all ingredients into the blender (we made this in a Nutri bullet with the extractor blade and it was super simple)

Blend for about 5 secs and it will form a dough like consistency which will stick to the walls of the container.

Remove the mixture from the walls of the container and blend for a further 10 seconds until you get a smooth peanut butter.

Transfer it into a jar or container and store at room temperature for 2 hours or in the fridge for up to 2 months.

 

 

Dear Mama,

We understand that your life is busy, we understand that sometimes it’s not always possible to make training when the kids are unwell or it is the school holidays. We respect the fact that you are making positive choices when it comes to your nutrition, to stay on track as much as you can.

As personal trainers, we want our clients to find a happy medium when it comes to their training and goals. We won’t ever berate you for missing training, we get it, sometimes life just gets in the way. We are here to encourage and support you every step of the way.

Here are a few pieces of advice we share with all of our clients but especially those who have small humans to factor into their schedules.

  1. Schedule your workouts and training sessions as if they are a business meeting. This way you can plan ahead and make arrangements for childcare. If it doesn’t go to plan, take the kids to the park for a runaround OR do one of Coach Aysha workouts FYI we record a live workout every Friday morning at 10:30am on Facebook.
  2. Have you heard the saying Fail to plan, plan to fail? Well, Planning and prepping your meals will save you stress, panic and possible failure especially when you know you are going to be busy, how many of you end up picking at the kid’s food at soft play? finishing off the kid’s dinner and then not eating a proper meal?  Always make sure you have healthy and nutritious meals and snacks prepared to avoid pigging out on rubbish. Our Guide to meal prepping could give you some pointers.
  3. DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS, in reality, or on social media. That mother of 3 on Instagram, who appears to be successfully juggling a hectic life with a beaming smile, rock-hard abs and looking immaculate. All is not always what it seems. Do not be fooled by the perfection you see in that square.
  4. We always urge our clients to remind themselves why they started? If you are having a bad day, if you are questioning your results then revisit pictures to remind yourself how far you have come and how much you have achieved on your journey, so far. Do it, you will be grateful you did.
  5. At the end of a busy day (we know most days are for you) try to find the time to relax, run a bath, read a few pages of a book, scroll through social media, whatever your preference, find time to wind down. Resting and getting a decent nights sleep is just as important as training and nutrition.
  6. Give yourself a pat on the back. The job you do is hard. The fact that you are exercising regularly and making a conscious effort to look after yourself is something to be really proud of! We are proud of you!

So our final words; keep up the great work, treat your health as a priority, if life gets in the way because of the kids and/or the husband is working away, or your childcare falls through. Don’t stress. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. You are doing an amazing job. Tomorrow is a brand new day!

Share this with a Mama who is doing a fabulous job and needs a little reminder of how well she is doing. Go on, share the love.

Absolute Training and Nutrition is an exclusive training facility in Barnstaple. We offer Personal Training, Semi-Private and Group Training Sessions as well as a brand new Deli opening very soon in our Studio on Pottington Estate.

Check out our other premises – Absolute Spin – Home of indoor cycling in central Barnstaple.

Contact us info@absolutetrainingandnutrition.com or give us a call on 01271 370600.

Make sure you are following us on FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest and YouTube.

 

Valentine’s 3-course Meal

Starter  

Prawn salad with mango and chilly  

Serves: 2 

Prep time: 10 min 

Cook time: 2 min 

Per serving: 95kcal 9.1g protein 2g fat 0.4g saturates 10.7g carbs 8.3g sugar 2.2g fibre 1g salt 109mg calcium 1.3mg iron 

75g sugar snap peas, trimmed  

100g cooked king prawns  

1/2 small ripe mango, peeled, flesh removed and thinly sliced  

1/8 cucumber, halved lengthways and thinly sliced diagonally  

Handful of Oriental salad leaves 

For the dressing (serves two with leftovers) 

2 tbsp mirin (Japanese rice wine)  

2 tbsp lime juice  

1 tbsp reduced-salt soy sauce  

1 tbsp sesame oil 

1 long red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped 

1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger 

1 tsp brown sugar 

Method: 

Blanch the sugar snap peas in a saucepan of boiling water for 2 minutes or until they are bright green and slightly tender. 

Drain and refresh under cold running water, then transfer to a large bowl with the prawns, mango, cucumber and salad leaves and gently toss to combine. 

Put all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Divide the salad among 2 serving plates, then drizzle each with 2tsp of the dressing.  

FACT: Prawns are a packed with protein to help keep you feeling fuller for longer. They contain zinc, too, which helps to keep skin, hair and nails healthy so you’ll look your best on Valentine’s night. 

Plus, zinc is vital for maintaining levels of testosterone in men – perfect for boosting libido. 

Main course  

Steak and chips with tomato chutney  

Serves: 2 

Prep time: 10 min 

Cook time: 25 min  

Per serving: 386kcal l 38.5g protein l 10.6g fat l 3.1g saturates l 35.4g carbs l 8.6g sugar l 10g fibre l 1g salt l 137mg calcium l 5.5mg iron 

100g low-fat oven chips/ or opt for sweet potato  

2 x 120g lean sirloin steaks  

75g baby spinach  

325g frozen peas  

1 tsp Dijon mustard, to serve  

For the tomato chutney  

Cooking oil spray 

1 onion, finely chopped  

1–2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped  

2 garlic cloves, crushed  

400g tin chopped tomatoes 

Method: 

Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas 7. To make the tomato chutney, put a saucepan over a medium heat and spray with a little oil. Add the onion and chillies and cook for 3 min or until the onion softens. 

Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 min, then add the tomatoes and stir to combine. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10–15 min until the mixture thickens. Transfer to a serving bowl and set aside to cool.  

Cook the oven chips according to the packet instructions.  

Meanwhile, put a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. When hot, spray with a little oil, then add the steaks and cook for 2–3 min on each side for medium-rare, or until cooked to your liking. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil, then set aside to rest.  

While the steaks are resting, steam the spinach and peas separately for 2–3 min each until the spinach is just wilted and the peas are heated through. 

Serve the steaks with the oven chips, spinach and peas, with a dollop each of mustard and tomato chutney. 

FACT: Tinned tomatoes are loaded with an antioxidant called lycopene. Studies show this can help protect against certain cancers, especially prostate cancer in men. 

Better still, cooked tomatoes contain more lycopene than fresh ones, while the addition of a little fat – in this case from the steak – will help the body absorb more of this nutrient. 

Dessert  

CRÈME BRÛLÉE 

Makes 4 

Prep time: 10 mins plus chilling 

Cook time: 35 mins 

Per serving: 192kcal | 30.8g sugar | 10.3g protein | 0g fibre | 3.6g fat | 0.3g salt | 1.1g saturates | 243mg calcium | 30.8g carbs | 0.7mg iron  

325ml skimmed milk  

150g light condensed milk  

1tsp vanilla extract, or zest of 1 lemon or orange  

2 eggs, beaten  

4tsp caster sugar 

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Put 4 x 200ml ramekins in a baking dish.  

Combine the skimmed and condensed milks in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, and then remove the pan from the heat. Add the vanilla extract or citrus zest and the eggs, then whisk until well combined. Strain the mixture into the ramekins. 

Pour boiling water into the baking dish to come halfway up the ramekins. Bake for 30 min or until the desserts are just set but still have a slight wobble. Cool, then chill in the fridge for at least 4 hr or overnight.  

Preheat the grill to high. Sprinkle 2 of the crème brûlées with 1tsp of the caster sugar, gently smoothing it over the surface with your finger. 

Use a cook’s blow torch, if you have one, to caramelise the tops or pop them under a hot grill until the sugar becomes a golden crust. Serve straightaway. The two leftover brûlées will keep in the fridge, covered, for up to three days. 

FACT: Most of us know that milk contains protein and bone-strengthening calcium, but it’s also an important source of a B vitamin called riboflavin. This nutrient is essential for keeping the nervous system functioning normally and can help reduce tiredness and fatigue, so you’ll be full of energy for the fun night ahead. 

Absolute Training and Nutrition is an exclusive training facility in Barnstaple. We offer Personal TrainingSemi-Private and Group Training Sessions as well as Pilates and a Deli in our Studio on Pottington Estate.

Check out our other premises – Absolute Spin – Home of indoor cycling in central Barnstaple.

Contact us info@absolutetrainingandnutrition.com or give us a call on 01271 370600.

Make sure you are following us on FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest and YouTube.

Protein Pancake Recipe

protein pancakes

Pancake Day is near and we are sorry to inform you but traditional pancakes have very little nutritional value, apologies for being the bearer of bad news.

However, fear not, this recipe for protein pancakes with no added sugar and loaded with muscle-repairing protein, they should remove the urge to pig out on their sugary cousin.

This recipe is so simple and takes just minutes to prepare and whats even better is a great way to kick-start or end your day with a protein boost!

If you are training and monitoring your nutrition you will already know the importance of protein in repairing and fuelling the body.

Protein Pancakes

Recipe makes 4 – one serving/two pancakes is half of the mixture – keep the other half of mixture in the fridge or even cook it all and share with someone…

1 whole egg

1 egg white

two scoops of vanilla protein powder

80g oats

50-100ml water (the amount you use is dependent on desired consistency)

Blend everything and distribute a portion of the mixture into a non-stick pan.

268 KCAL | 22g P | 30g C | 7g F

Now don’t go mad with the toppings!

Absolute Training and Nutrition is an exclusive training facility in Barnstaple. We offer Personal TrainingSemi-Private and Group Training Sessions as well as Pilates and a Deli in our Studio on Pottington Estate.

Make sure you check out our other premises – Absolute Spin – Home of indoor cycling in central Barnstaple.

Contact us info@absolutetrainingandnutrition.com or give us a call on 01271 370600.

Make sure you are following us on FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest and YouTube.

Set Goals. Smash Them. Repeat.  

Set goals and smash them

Through my time working in gyms and studios, I always come across the same things and there’s something I’d really like to address. This subject is ‘end goals’ and what I mean by this is what is your final destination? When will you be happy with what you have achieved? The short answer to this is never, but there’s a little more behind this that I’d like to explore. We all start our fitness journey with a specific goal or accomplishment in mind, especially this time of year when everyone seems to have some form of resolution, whether it be stopping drinking or shifting that stone that’s been hanging around our midsections. The first thing I’ll say is to stop making resolutions and start making realistic lifestyle changes that have some longevity behind them.  

This all stemmed from a conversation I recently had with a client (it’s okay I am getting to my point I promise). This client has lost almost 5 stone in their time working with us but recently was asked by a friend why they hadn’t stopped training yet. Obviously, a shocked response followed, but what was the real reason they hadn’t stopped training yet? They’ve been training for almost a year and had absolutely (no pun intended) smashed their goals out of the park, but the goals they once had aren’t the goals they have now, they’re done and finished, it was there to be broken in the first place. And now they have bigger and more difficult goals to reach. But breaking them down into smaller ones along the way had been more achievable.  

So what I’m really trying to get at here is we will always want more, the goals we originally wanted to achieve will be achieved but we need to set more and strive for more, and when we achieve that we will do the same again, it’s a cycle and we will always want to push ourselves than further before, its human nature. So set your goals, hit them and then set them again, but make sure at the end of the day that you are happy and are being the best you that you can be. 

If you have found this an interesting read then you may want to check out the importance of setting a realistic goal

If you would like some advice or even just a chat, pop into ATN Barnstaple for an informal sit-down and a coffee, and see how we could help you on your journey to be your best self.

Absolute Training and Nutrition is an exclusive training facility in Barnstaple. We offer Personal TrainingSemi-Private and Group Training Sessions as well as Pilates and a Deli in our Studio on Pottington Estate.

We also have Absolute Spin – Home of indoor cycling in central Barnstaple.

Contact us info@absolutetrainingandnutrition.com or give us a call on 01271 370600.

Make sure you are following us on FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest and YouTube.

 

“Detoxing” is a myth

Detoxing is a myth but you should still look after your liver

“Detoxing” is a myth but you do still need to look after your liver.  We are sure that you have heard or have considered a “detox” of some sort at some stage in your life.

The Detoxification process happens in the kidneys, liver, bowel and even via the skin.  Your liver is a powerhouse of detoxification. Starting a ‘detox’ generally means that you stop putting so much pressure on the liver, you start removing things from your diet that you need to detoxify whilst increasing the nutrients that your body needs alongside to do its job effectively.

To reap the benefits of increased well being, we suggest you try and make minor adjustments to your lifestyle on a daily basis this will also help protect against future disease.

Here are our top tips for “Detoxing” without juicing, fasting or restricting:

  • Stay Hydrated
  • Eat whole foods
  • Stay clear of trigger foods such as alcohol, caffeine
  • Get a good nights sleep
  • Take your time whilst eating
  • Keep stress to a minimum
  • Eat regularly and consistently throughout the day
  • Be active, Get moving!

Absolute Training and Nutrition is an exclusive training facility in Barnstaple. We offer Personal TrainingSemi-Private and Group Training Sessions as well as Pilates and a Deli in our Studio on Pottington Estate.

We also have Absolute Spin – Home of indoor cycling in central Barnstaple.

Contact us info@absolutetrainingandnutrition.com or give us a call on 01271 370600.

Make sure you are following us on FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest and YouTube.

 

 

Protein Treats vs Sugary Treats

Now we are not encouraging you to hit the gym and then stuff your face BUT if you are craving a sweet treat and you also want something that packs some protein and allows you to hit your macros then this isn’t the worst option!

Mars have created a version of their popular bars Mars and Snickers which you can pretend are good for you. Because they are. Sort of anyway.

Mars Protein Bar
Mars Protein Bar – (Picture: Mars)

Mars Protein: Protein 19 g Fat: 5 g  Carbs: 22 g of which sugars: 13 g  Calories: 200

Standard Mars: Protein 3 g Fat: 10 g, Carbs: 40 g of which sugars: 25 g, Calories: 260

 

 

 

 

 

Snickers Protein Bar – (Picture: Mars)

Snickers Protein: Protein 18 g Fat: 7.1 g  Carbs: 18.4g of which sugars: 9.5 g  Calories: 199

Standard Snickers: Protein 5 g Fat: 13 g, Carbs: 26 g of which sugars: 22 g, Calories: 245

Basically, they have replaced the sugary nougat-y bit with a protein-packed nougat-y bit. 18/19 grams of protein, to be precise. WOW. They also come in at 200 calories.

Are they a healthier option than scrambled egg and salmon for example?  Don’t be silly they are chocolate and caramel after all. But if you have a chocolate cravings post-workout, this could be the best solution.

You can buy these from Supplements to go in Barnstaple. You can also buy them from Amazon.

Absolute Training and Nutrition is an exclusive training facility in Barnstaple. We offer Personal TrainingSemi-Private and Group Training Sessions as well as Pilates and a Deli in our Studio on Pottington Estate.

We also have Absolute Spin – Home of indoor cycling in central Barnstaple.

Contact us info@absolutetrainingandnutrition.com or give us a call on 01271 370600.

Make sure you are following us on FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest and YouTube.