How to Reduce Your Soft Drink Intake

Soft drinks are very popular with a lot of the population and they are often cheaper than a bottle of water.

Regular consumption of sugary soft drinks has been associated with higher risks of developing diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, gout and obesity. Sounds scary? It is! The simple reason behind this is the amount of calories contained in many of these drinks. There are approximately 140 calories in a regular can of Coca Cola, and this is pretty similar with other brands as well. So by drinking 3 cans a day will add over 400 calories to your daily intake. Do this every day for a week and you could be increasing your weight by almost one pound. Doing this every day for a year could mean your weight increasing by around 3.5 stone. Now that is scary; just from 3 cans of sugary drinks per day.

Now turn that around; if you are currently drinking 3 cans of sugary drinks per day, think of the weight you could lose by cutting them out. Now you won’t lose 3.5 stone as your body will get used to not having them, but they are easy calories to cut out and will make a big difference to any weight loss programme.


What about the sugar-free alternatives; they must be better surely? They do not contain sugar and so most are calorie-free, however, they do include artificial sweeteners to make up for the lack of sugar. As they are generally calorie-free most people will drink more than they would usually consume of the full-sugar versions. By drinking more of these it is possible for you to become addicted to the sweeteners in the same way you would to the sugar in the full-calorie versions.

Now although I couldn’t find any evidence to prove long-term health risks, there have been studies completed that have linked ‘diet’ soft drinks with tooth decay, osteoporsis, heart disease and depression. Still not good news then!

Now, as with everything I advocate, it is probably not going to be sustainable to ‘never have another, ever!’. Consuming both full-calorie or diet versions of drinks occasionally is not going to cause any major health or weight issues. It is the regular and over consumption of these that are the issue.


Here are my top tips to reduce your consumption of soft drinks.

Don’t buy them – This is probably the easiest way to reduce consumption. If you don’t put them in your shopping trolley you are less likely to go out to the shops just to buy a can. Remember, ‘out of sight, out of mind’

Know your triggers – Do you drink soft drinks only at certain times of the day or at certain places? By identifying these triggers, you are more likely to find strategies to deal with them.

 Take it slow – In an ideal world we wouldn’t consume any of these drinks. However, we don’t live in the real world and for any changes to be sustainable start by reducing your intake by half. Then next week reduce it by half again. Soon you will find you are not having them every day and your habit is broken. You will then find it easier to reduce consumption even further if needed.

Make a healthy swap – We all need fluids to survive so if you are reducing your intake of soft drinks you need to replace them with something. You can try to swap the soft drink for a healthy alternative, such as water. If you don’t like the taste of water (as my wife doesn’t), you can add a slice of lemon, lime or orange for taste. Carbonated water with a slice of real fruit can also trick the brain into thinking it is having that can of soft drink.

Have a cup of tea – If you want more flavour than plain water, why not try to replace your soft drink with tea? Herbal, green and white teas have got numerous health benefits and are usually much better for you than the soft drinks.


Remind yourself – Always remember why you are doing this. Is it to:

Enhance your health?

Lose weight?

Reduce your intake of caffeine (contained in most cola related drinks)?

Reduce your intake of artificial sweeteners?

Save money?


Whatever your reason, remember it and keep it in mind when you buy your shopping.

If swapping to tea or water doesn’t make you crave the soft drink less, remind yourself why you are quitting soda. Is it:

– To enhance your health?

– To reduce your intake of artificial sweeteners?

– To reduce your intake of phosphoric acid?

– To reduce your intake of caffeine?

– To save money?

Whatever reason you may have, you know you will feel better for it!


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Why Can’t You Shift That Stubborn Fat

There is nothing worse than feeling like you are doing everything you can, but that last bit of stubborn fat just won’t shift. However, you could be preventing fat loss from a few bad habits that you have without knowing, or you could have simply reached a plateau in your training routine. I’m not going to go all ‘nanny-state’ on you, but if you are struggling, here are some things that could be getting in your way.


Your portion sizes are too big – It’s easy to think that because you are eating something healthy, you can eat as much as you want. However, just because something is healthy doesn’t mean you can over-do it. I’d never advise you to go hungry, but if you are eating high-calorie healthy foods, and not watching your portion sizes, you could easily start to gain weight, and store extra fat. Nuts are the perfect example of this, whilst they are a great source of good fat and protein for the body, they are also extremely calorie dense, and extremely easy to over-eat because they taste so good and you just seem to put them into your mouth, one after another. Make sure you are sticking to sensible portion sizes in all the foods you eat, including the healthy ones.


You consume liquid calories – If you are someone who drinks a lot of coffee, tea, juice or even worse fizzy drink, then you could be blowing your daily calorie intake in drinks. A large latte or hot chocolate from a high-street coffee shop could contain the equivalent calories of a meal. Liquid calories are also just empty calories, and unless it’s natural fruit juice they generally provide no nutritional value to the body (although be aware of the calories and sugars, albeit natural sugars in fruit juices). Stick to water, black tea or coffee, without sugar to get the fewest calories out of your drinks.


You’ve hit a plateau in your training – Your body will get used to any type of exercise, so if you are continuously doing the same thing day in and day out, then the body won’t respond the way it did when you first started. That’s why it’s important to keep the workouts changing on a constant basis. This is why I like to change the sessions I design for people. Just when your body adapts, the intensity or type of exercise changes – so not only will you find you’re capable of increasingly complex and challenging moves, it will help you break through plateaus and boost motivation because you’re doing something different. It’s also the best way to keep enjoying your exercise.


Mindless eating – We seem to be getting so distracted with technology that we don’t pay attention to what we put in our mouths. I’m always amazed at how many people I see in coffee shops, using their phones, whilst eating away. I also know of so many people who will sit at their desk and snack whilst still tapping away on their computer, or eat snacks in front of the television or social media. Mindless eating is when you are eating while doing something else and not concentrating on what you are eating. The problem with mindless eating is that when you aren’t paying attention to the food you often find yourself over-eating. Try and make sure that when you sit down to eat a meal, your focus is on that and that alone (although do not ignore the other people around the table).


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Why You Need to Eat Fat.

There is a common myth in the weight-loss world that eating fat makes you fat. For years, the diet industry (and government) campaigned that it was the fat in foods that made you overweight.

Therefore, most foods and diets for the last 30 years have promoted ‘low fat’ as being good. So why is the world getting fatter then?

New studies are now showing that there is no direct correlation between eating fat and your weight. At this point I will clarify that fat contains around 9 calories per gram compared to 4 calories per gram for carbohydrates and proteins. So eating the same amount of fats as carbs or proteins will result in you taking in more calories. But eating fat in moderation, as is the case with everything, will not make you fat.

Eating fat (the good kind), can actually help with fat loss, boost your metabolism and improve overall health. It is also essential for body cell development and certain brain functions. That’s why you will never see me telling you to cut fat out of your diet.


Today I’m telling you that it’s time to ditch the low-fat diet, and start incorporating fats back into your meals.

Low fat does not mean healthy.

Due to the power of advertising and marketing, the many years of low-fat diets being promoted has now made people assume that if a food is packaged as ‘low-fat’ it is good for you. However, in order for them to remove the fat from the food, salts and sugars are usually added, together with various additives and flavourings to make the food taste good.

‘Low-fat’ means that the food must contain no more than 3g of fat per 100g (3%) for solids, or 1.5g of fat per 100ml for liquids (1.5%) or 1.8g of fat per 100ml for semi-skimmed milk.

‘Reduced fat’ is even more ambiguous, being defined as the food must contain at least 25% less fat than the regular product to which it is being compared, and at least 3g less fat per 100g of food.

So a ‘reduced fat’ product may still be 50% fat, it is just not as high as the original product it is being compared to.

My advice is to always read the labels and to make sure you know what the food is made up of. Concentrate more on the calorie content of the food. If you need any advice, please get in touch.


Why fat is good? Your body needs the right nutrients to function properly. Fats are essential for your body, brain and organs to function properly.  They also help rebuild cells, give you energy and produce hormones. That’s why it’s an essential nutrient to include in your daily diet. Especially when you are doing extensive exercise and your body requires proper fuel. However, there is a big difference between fats. Most people define good fats as polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat and categorise saturated fats as a bad fat.


Polyunsaturated fats: These fats help lower your bad LDL cholesterol, as well as contain your essential omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are what helps boost brain function, improve your immune system and your mood. You’ll find these fats in your foods like salmon, mackerel, flaxseed, walnuts and chia seeds.


Monounsaturated fat: These fats help raise your good HDL cholesterol and lower your bad LDL cholesterol. This helps to reduce the build-up of plaque in your arteries and prevent heart disease. Studies have also shown that these fats also help to reduce belly fat. Foods that contain monounsaturated fats are olive oil, cashews, almonds, peanuts, sesame seeds and avocados.

Coconut oil is another great example of good fat you can eat. It contains medium-chain fatty acid, which are a healthier form of saturated fats. Our body metabolises these fatty acids differently, and immediately converts it to energy for our brain and muscles to function. It’s also great for boosting your immunity, metabolism and helps to improve digestion.


Saturated fats: Saturated fats are usually solid at room temperature (animal fats, butter, cheese, etc). These, if eaten in bulk, can raise your cholesterol and increase your risk of heart disease. These fats should make up a lower proportion of your fat intake.


Trans fats: Trans fats are the worst, as they are made from unsaturated fat that has been chemically processed to prolong the shelf life of packaged foods. They do not only raise your bad LDL cholesterol, and contribute towards heart disease, but they also increase inflammation in the body. Foods that include these fats are often processed cakes, crackers, crisps, biscuits, butter-type spreads and chips. In packaged foods, look out for the ingredient ‘hydrogenated vegetable oil’ as this is trans fat. You’ll be surprised at how many foods you’ll find that contain these chemically processed trans fats.


So, if you want to remove your body fat, it’s not about removing fat from your diet completely. It’s about finding a good balance between eating whole nutrient rich foods like vegetables, fruit, lean meat, nuts, seeds, legumes and fats in moderation. So ditch the low-fat diet and start nourishing your body instead with healthy wholesome foods.

If you want any advice, please contact me using the details below.

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How to Get Away From Emotional Eating

Emotional eating is probably one of the biggest reasons for people gaining weight and ruining their fitness improvements.

Quite a lot of people over-eat when they experience strong negative emotions, such as depression, anxiety, stress and relationship break-ups. They then feel guilty about overeating and the weight gain that has caused. This causes them to get emotional and over-eat again, causing a spiral that is difficult to break.

If you can learn to control the stress that leads to the emotions, or change your eating habits when you have negative emotions, you can regain control of your eating habits and start to break the habits you have formed.

What is emotional eating? To some extent, we are all emotional eaters. A lot of our social lives are based around food. We socialise or celebrate by going out for a nice dinner or catch up with friends over lunch. Eating only becomes a problem when you are using food to mask negative emotions, or use it to make you feel better. If your eating habits are based on emotions rather than hunger, your waistline and emotional state can suffer.

To find out if you are someone who emotionally eats, you can ask yourself these questions:

Do you mindlessly eat when you are bored, want a distraction and/or watching TV?

Do you reward yourself with food when you are having a good day?

Do you seek comfort in food when you are having a bad day?

Do you eat when you feel overwhelmed with stress and anxiety?

If you answered yes to these questions, then sometimes you eat based on emotions, rather than when you are hungry. It becomes a problem when you are using food to mask a deeper issue, and it’s making you gain weight and have an unhealthy relationship with food.

So how do you break free? The first step is to actually recognise if you are an emotional eater or not. Emotional eating is often just a behaviour or habit we have created ourselves over time. So, as you have created the habit, you can break it. Here are some possible ways to help you break free from emotional eating:

Become aware of your eating patterns In order to remove emotional eating, you need to become aware of your eating patterns and behaviours. Stop and recognise when you are eating out of hunger and when you are eating because of an emotional state. Pause, think before you buy the cake or reach for a pack of biscuits and ask yourself these questions; Am I actually hungry? How am I going to feel after I eat this? This will really make you confront why you are eating in the first place.

Learn the cause Once you determine when you emotionally eat, it’s good to sit down and figure out what is causing you to do so. When you realise what is causing you to overeat you can get to work on stopping it. A good way of doing this is to keep a food diary. Write down everything that you eat and drink in a day and why you have chosen it. Also keep a note of your mood during the day and any good or bad experiences you have had. By writing these things down, it will make you look at the reasons why you are eating and will allow you to make a healthier choice.

Find something apart from eating that makes you feel good Once you have worked out the cause you can then do something about creating a new, healthier, habit. After a stressful day at work you may want to swap the tub of ice cream for a soak in the bath with some relaxing music. It may be that you join a gym and go straight after work to exercise the stress out of your system. Write down a list of activities that you enjoy and make you feel less stressed and happy. Keep the list with you and if you feel the need to eat to make you feel better after a hard day, look at the list instead. Once you get into the habit of using healthier alternatives they will become second nature and you will have ditched the emotional eating.

 Ditch the ‘diets’ While ‘diets’ will work at first for weight-loss, they will not do anything to help with emotional eating. When you restrict yourself with diets it is easy to then want and crave the foods that you have banned yourself from eating. When you eventually cave in to temptation, you will then be left with worse feelings of guilt, anger and disappointment, plus a feeling of failure. This can then result in you falling back into the emotional eating spiral. Instead of restricting yourself to an off-the-shelf diet, try to find some healthy alternatives to foods you previously ate and create your own sustainable food plan. This way you can still eat the foods you previously enjoyed, but in moderation and without the emotions attached to them.


Remember, emotional eating is just a habit that has been formed over time and all bad habits can be broken. So if you do find yourself reaching for the ice-cream on a bad day, don’t worry you can break free from the emotional eating pattern.

If you need any specific advice on any area of nutrition or fitness, please get in touch on the details below and I will be more than happy to help you.


Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

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My Guide for a Happier, More Positive Life

A lot of people think that I’m confident and happy with myself all the time but sometimes this just isn’t true. I have as many insecurities as the next person, I just know how to deal with them.

Thinking negatively about yourself means that you unintentionally draw negatives from every situation and this becomes a bad habit. You focus on the worst and always focus on the things about yourself and your life that you dislike, instead of appreciating the good things. It’s horrible being stuck in that dark hole of negativity. I have been in this place before and it was my main reason for joining a gym. I now know how to deal with negative situations in my life and how to turn them in to positives. When you learn to become a more positive person then you attract more positivity in and it snowballs to a happier life from there.


Learn to accept compliments – If you think negatively about yourself it can be hard to accept compliments and you often try to reject them by pushing them away. Sometimes you look at the compliments in a negative way and can even assume that they are being sarcastic. When someone compliments you, say thank you and accept it. Allow that compliment to make you feel good because you deserve it.


Stop comparing – There is a lot more to you than what people see and EVERY single person has struggles and battles and we all have insecurities. When you sit and compare yourself to others, it can leave you feeling inadequate and negative about yourself. Instead recognise that everyone is unique and has something to offer, just as that person who you compare yourself too has their own struggles too.


Learn from the negatives – A good workout doesn’t make you the best in the world and a bad workout doesn’t make you rubbish! Try to see all things in a positive way and draw positives from every situation. Don’t stress too much when things don’t go your way or when you make mistakes. All the events that happen in your life are building your character. As long as you can look at things constructively so that you can learn from them, they are not a waste and they are for the greater good. Everything that has happened to me – good and bad has been for a reason, even though I didn’t think that at the time.


Learn to let go – If something does go wrong, learn from it and then let it go. Holding onto the hurt, anger or frustration won’t do you any good. Those kinds of emotions can eat away at you if you let them. If you’re angry or upset about something try taking a step back and see what you can do to let it go and move on. We can’t always control what happens to us in life but we can control how we react to it.


Be grateful – There are a lot of wonderful things you should be happy about and just being alive is great; appreciate it and make the most of it. When you learn to be grateful of your life, even if it’s the small things, you automatically bring so much more positivity into your life. If you really struggle with this then try and write down one thing every day that you can be grateful for, no matter how big or small. Soon you will find that even on a really bad day you can find something that makes you happy.


Treat yourself the way you would treat your best friends – Think of it like this: If your best friend was going for a job interview what would you say to him or her? You wouldn’t say: “Don’t even bother going, you’re not good enough, there will be others going who are way better than you, you’ll never get this job, you’re not smart enough and you don’t have enough experience” (you know where I am coming from). Instead you would say something along the lines of “You are going to kill it today. You are an intelligent, confident and highly motivated person with the drive and determination to do anything. You’ll get this”. So then why do we talk about ourselves with such negativity? We let horrible thoughts creep in and then believe them to be true. So treat and talk to yourself just as you would treat and talk to your best friend; tell yourself what you would tell them and don’t allow that negative self-talk to take hold.

*if your friends can’t sing, please don’t tell them to apply for X-Factor; it will only end in embarrassment!!


Take control of your emotions – When you’re dealing with things in the moment, you’re consumed by it and your emotions and that’s all you are able to see. Take control of your thoughts and pull yourself out of the situation. There’s no point thinking negatively about it. Deal with it the best way you know how and know you have complete control over how you feel.

It’s tough, but so important to look at life with gratitude for all of your experiences – they all add to who you are – your character and your wisdom. Treat every experience as a stepping stone to the next thing. Changing your thoughts to be more positive will make a huge difference and will honestly change your life.


I challenge you to start putting these into practice daily and eventually you will become a positive person and you’ll start seeing positive changes in all areas of your life.


Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

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Core Training Mistakes You Need To Stop

Summer is here (officially, despite the weather) and I bet there are a lot of you who want to get a holiday body by trying to add definition to your abdominals. There are two components to getting a sculpted stomach. Number one is what you should be doing in terms of diet and exercise and number two is also what you shouldn’t be doing. So here are some of the most common mistakes when it comes to ab training that you need to stop today.


Just doing crunches I can’t emphasise enough, doing one hundred, one thousand or one million crunches is not going to give you abs. In fact, crunches are probably one of the least effective exercises for getting that toned waistline. They definitely have their place in an exercise routine but alone they won’t give you that six pack you desire. Getting abs is all about doing different exercises that engage the core in different ways.  That’s why in my training plans you will be given a range of different core exercises that target different areas on your abdominal region.


Thinking you can plank out your bad diet Even if you have the best exercise routine, that does all the right stuff training wise you will not get those abs if you don’t match your exercise routine with a smart diet. There is a saying that abs are made in the kitchen. Whilst they aren’t solely made in the kitchen, what you eat does have a big part to do with whether or not you get that flat toned stomach. Having visible abs all comes down to body fat and you can’t keep that down if you have a poor diet. Try replacing refined carbs (white bread, white pasta, white rice and sugar) with complex carbs like quinoa, brown rice, sweet potato and oats.


Not working the whole abdominal region It’s important that when you want abs, you work the whole abdominal region not just one area. You can do this by making sure you vary your ab exercises and routine on a regular basis. DO NOT JUST DO CRUNCHES!!


Starting with abs One mistake you can make is working your abs at the beginning of your exercise routine. You need your core stabilised throughout your other exercises to protect yourself, so if you work your abs first you can fatigue the abdominal region and risk injury. That’s why in my training plans you will use your abs throughout your workout and then focus on them at the end of your workout.


Only doing isolated ab exercises Don’t just focus on isolated ab exercises in your workout routine. It’s so important to incorporate other compound exercises like deadlifts, squats and overhead presses that also work the whole abdominal region. That way you are getting other body parts working whilst also working your core. So make sure you include these larger compound exercises into your training.


Getting tight toned abs is like winning a trophy for all your hard efforts at the gym. A trophy you will be happy to show off on the beach this year!


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Common Exercise Answers Every Woman Should Know

I’ll start by saying that the title of this is a little misleading as this blog applies to everyone, both male and female. I have titled it as such as these are the questions I get mainly from women.

Whilst the internet is a great way to connect with people, there is also a mass of mis-information out there, especially when it comes to health and fitness for females. So to help you out a bit, here are some answers to common questions I get asked.


Won’t I get bulky from lifting weights? This is one of the most common questions I hear when it comes to training women. They don’t want to get bulky so shy away from lifting weights.

Answer: I can assure you that lifting weights alone will not make you bulky. You will only gain bulk if you lift heavy weights and eat a calorie surplus (eat more than you burn off). In fact, lifting weights will actually help you to lose weight and look better. Whilst lifting weights will mean you will put on muscle, it will be lean muscle that will make you look slim and toned. Muscle also burns more calories, so the more lean muscle you have, the more efficient your body will be at burning fat. Which actually means you can eat more and not store fat. Sound good?


Can you reduce fat from certain areas of your body? There are a lot of promises out there on how to reduce fat only from a particular area of the body. However, you can’t just focus on one area of the body and reduce fat there. The stomach is the most common one you see, where people believe a million sit-ups will result in a six pack.

Answer: In order to reduce your body-fat you need to do the right exercise and eat a balanced healthy diet. If you want to see your abs, you need to burn fat from your entire body. Exercising a body part will help to build lean muscle in that area, you need to burn fat from your entire body to see the muscles underneath.


I only need to do cardio exercises to lose weight? This is another very common myth so many people fall into. They spend hours of running or doing spin classes in the hope of losing weight.

Answer: Cardio has been said to burn more calories in that moment of exercise, which is why people see it as an effective tool to use for weight loss. Whilst cardio is extremely good for you, for the best result you need to incorporate both weights and cardio together. That’s because in order to burn fat, you to have to build lean muscle, which means you need to incorporate resistance/strength training into your exercise routine. Remember, lifting weights is not going to get you bulky.


As long as I exercise it doesn’t matter what I eat? I see a lot of people take on the mentality of “well I did a hard workout, so I can eat whatever I want”. Whilst I promote having a balanced lifestyle and allowing for eating the foods you want in moderation, eating whatever you want all the time, just because you did some exercise, is not going to get you results.

Answer: The biggest component to losing weight is actually nutrition. As you may have heard before, ‘abs are made in the kitchen’. Whilst they aren’t solely made in the kitchen, what you eat has a major impact on the results you will get. Losing weight is a basic equation; burn more calories than you consume. If, including your exercise, you are using 2,500 calories a day but you are eating 3,000 calories you will gain weight. If you are using 2,500 calories a day but only eating 2,000 calories, you will lose weight. My recommendations are to exercise and eat a well-balanced, whole-food diet, that will give you energy to sustain you throughout your day.


Can I go on a diet to lose the weight I want to and get my dream body? The ‘diet’ world has been using the same message for years now and that is in order to lose weight you must severely restrict the foods you eat. We’ve all heard of the ‘Cabbage Soup Diet’ and others that are similar. Well, yes, you will lose weight quickly but it will not be sustainable and is likely to result in further weight gain after you ditch the diet.

Answer: To get the body you want you need to eat healthy whole foods. Whilst it’s important to not overeat, obsessing about calorie control and majorly restricting them only leads to an unhealthy relationship with food. The best thing to do is aim to eat the majority of your daily foods that are not processed or packaged. Still have your favourite snacks in moderation, as by doing this you will not feel deprived and that way you are less likely to binge on foods that most ‘diets’ would ban.


Remember, we are trying to build a sustainable healthy lifestyle. A strong body, built with a varied exercise routine, coupled with good sustainable nutrition means that you will look and feel better than you ever have before.


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What is the Best Training Plan For You?

If you type ‘running training plans’ into a search engine, you will be greeted by pages of different plans. How do you choose which one to follow? Which one is going to be the best one for you? Are you going to choose a high-mileage plan, or one that gets you running less miles but at a more intense pace?


Most of the plans you will find in the search engines have been designed to get results from the majority of people that follow them. If you are able to pick the right plan for your ability and you can follow the plan, then you are more than likely to improve. However, what happens if the plan doesn’t fit in with your life?


This is where most of the online plans fall down; real life gets in the way of running. It always has done; it always will do. Family, friends, work; they all are higher up in the pecking order than running (and rightly so) meaning that if something comes up, your run will be changed or ditched. So what do you do next? Do you change the run, just forget it, or play catch up and run further or faster the following day?


The next big stumbling block with online training plans is what happens if you get ill or injured? The plans do not have any alternatives if the worst happens and you have to take time out due to illness or injury. Do you jump back in on the day you feel able to run again? Do you go back to the day you last ran and try to play catch up?


There are so many variables during the standard 12-16 weeks of a marathon training plan, and those variables still apply even if you are training to run a faster 10k or if you are just starting off and you want to run your first 5k. It is highly unlikely that you will be able to run every run on your training plan.


So this is where I can help you. I’m not going to beat around the bush, from now on this is me blatantly advertising my services. I have written my own training plans since 2011 and I’ve seen my marathon time reduce from 3:04 to 2:44 and my shorter race distances improve as well. I have also suffered fewer injuries, which mean I train more consistently, which in turns improves my fitness. It is a circle I am pleased I have got into.


Following an initial consultation meeting (either face to face, telephone or via email) I will write a training plan that is based around the days and times you are able to run and what you want to achieve (realistic goals only please; I cannot turn you into a 2:04 marathon runner). Depending on your budget, I can check in with you on a daily, weekly or monthly basis in order to make any changes necessary to your plan if your lifestyle has changed, or you have suffered illness or injury.

This means that you always know what runs you should be doing and when. Your plan will keep you working hard and improving, but will also keep you sensible when first starting, or if you are ill or injured. There are also options for me to keep you company on the runs that you dislike the most (if you are within the Leicestershire area).


All of the information on my personalised training plans can be found here and if you want anything that is not on my website then please let me know and I will work out how I can help you.


Remember, the best running plan for you is one that you will stick to. It is that simple; if it fits around your life and you can follow it consistently you will improve.


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online personal trainer

How to Get and Stay Motivated

I’m sure you already have goals you want to achieve. I previously wrote about setting yourself goals being a key ingredient to success. However, just as goals are important, it’s also extremely important to stay motivated when working towards them. So many people start their journey with these great intentions to make some serious changes and then they hit some challenges, lose momentum and don’t reach to where they want to go. So to help you stay on track I thought I’d share a few things with you that help me stay motivated and working towards my goals.


Have a clear picture of what you want – Firstly, have a clear picture of your goal. It’s nearly impossible to achieve something if you don’t really know what it is you actually want. Write down the specifics of what you want and the more detailed you can be the better. Then plan what you’re going to do to reach your goal(s) and write it down. When you have a clear picture in your head of what you want and what you are going to do to get there, it will be easier to stay on track when things get difficult. And they will get difficult, so be prepared. I am used to writing plans for people to help make their goals achievable. Please contact me if you need help.


Write down your ‘why?’ – The best way to stay motivated is to remember your ‘why?’. Your goal may be to lose weight, get fitter or stronger, but ‘why?’ it is important to you is a key to success. If you explore deeper into that ‘why?‘ then you will probably find that whilst losing weight or getting fitter is the aim, you will actually have a deeper reasoning behind it. You may want to feel more confident or perhaps it’s so you can get your health back and have more energy to be around your family. Making sure you know your ‘why?’ is so important and is going to be the key to getting you through the tough times.


Get organised – If you want to stay on track towards your goals then you need to get good at being organised. Prepare your meals in advance so there’s no chance of slipping up. If you know you’re going somewhere where there’s no healthy food then prepare healthy food to take with you (work, etc). It might seem boring and like you’re “missing out” but people will be asking you what you eat soon. When eating in restaurants, go online and check the menu so that you can plan your choices in advance and don’t make snap decisions when you arrive. Work out what days and times you are going to exercise. Fit ‘healthy eating and exercise’ into your life; plan a way to make it work and stick to it.


Find other motivators – Find photos of a body that is similar to your shape and close to what you want for yourself (make it realistic). Every time you feel unmotivated look at the photos and remind yourself what you want and again ‘why?’. Remember that you’re not trying to look like the people in these pictures; you are using their success as motivation for you to become YOUR best self. Create yourself a little vision board (on paper or your phone) of something you can look at on a daily basis to remind yourself of those goals. Before reaching for that chocolate bar, or skipping out of your exercise session, go take a look at your board and you’ll be straight back on track.


It’s okay to treat yourself – Allow yourself some treats, plan for them and have them without any guilt or regrets. Throughout the week if there is something in particular that you keep craving then tell yourself that you can have it, in moderation. I have two squares of dark chocolate most evenings as I love chocolate and it is a way of me stopping the cravings that come from denying yourself food. By overly restricting yourself you are bound to binge at some point, which will lead to the negative thoughts of ‘failing’.


Motivation is a daily habit – Staying motivated is a day-to-day thing. You don’t just become motivated and then you are motivated forever. You have to work on it every day. It’s the same with everything in life. If you want to change something that you’re unhappy with, you have to make an effort every day. You’re re-programming yourself to think and act differently to how you were previously. It takes time and the beginning is always the hardest. If you keep at it, it will get easier every day and eventually it will become part of who you are.


Remember when you are aiming to make big changes in your life, things are going to get tough and you will hit bumps along the road to success. The important thing is not let those things deter you from the bigger picture. The good news is, if you are consistent (key word) you will never have to go back to your starting place ever again. Once you know what it feels like you won’t want to stop. Trust the process and stick at it. You can, and will, do this.


If you are making some changes in your life, whether big or small, then make sure you join me on Facebook (MH Health and Fitness) and Twitter (@MHHealthandFit) and let me know what they are.


Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

Contact me today to ask any questions or to book your FREE consultation

Call me on 07815 044521 or email me at

How to Get Fit and Healthy Without A Gym Membership

Let me tell you a little secret; if you want to get fit and healthy, or lose weight, you don’t actually need to go to the gym. So many people use the excuse of not wanting to sign up to a gym as a way of them not being able to do exercise. This then stops them getting fitter or losing the weight they want to.


Getting fit and healthy should be fun and something you want to do, especially if you want to make long lasting changes. So if you are one of those people who can’t stand the thought of stepping foot in a gym then here are some ideas to get in shape without a gym membership.


Get outdoors Exercising outdoors is fun and there are plenty of options to choose from. Running is great way to stay in shape, get the heart rate up and is a great stress relief. If you run then try and mix it up with interval training and hill sprints to burn more calories. If running isn’t your thing, then head into the garden and do some body weight outdoor workouts. My training sessions are great if you want to be given that extra push in your workouts, and I can tailor sessions from individuals, up to four people. Being outdoors when exercising really energises you, so that’s another bonus.


Do something at home Most of the workouts I get my clients to do can actually be replicated at home. Most use little or no equipment and can be completed with just your own bodyweight. That way you don’t need to be paying to see me every day of the week as by signing up to a block of sessions you will also get a programme of exercises to take away with you. This allows you to work out at home in front of the TV or while listening to your favourite music.


Make it social If you find you aren’t motivated exercising on your own, commit to something with a friend, or group of friends. If you have nobody who’s keen, let me know and I will fit you into a session with others, helping you to make new friends. You’ll be surprised at how much fun it is achieving fitness goals with other people similar to you, where you can get support and motivate each other. You may end up making lifelong friends out of it.


Get active daily Being active isn’t just about going out there and exercising. Look at ways you can incorporate more activity into your daily routine. Perhaps you could start walking to work, or get off a couple of stops earlier on your bus and walk the rest. Instead of driving to the local shops, walk. Rather than taking a lift or escalator use the stairs. Also try to get out of work at lunchtime for a quick walk; this also helps to clear your mind.

When you start making more activities like this a habit then you make being active part of your daily activity. This helps burn more calories during the day and keeps your fitness levels up.


Starting something new is always hard, but once you start feeling the benefits it becomes easy. It’s the snowball effect; the better you feel, the more active you will do and then you get even more fitter and healthier. So go out there, get out of your comfort zone, do something positive for yourself, find some fun and start getting active today.


Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

Contact me today to ask any questions or to book your FREE consultation

Call me on 07815 044521 or email me at