February 2017 - Iron Paradise Fitness

Monthly Archives: February 2017

Meal Prep Sunday #5 – 2 Twists on Chicken & Rice

Tired of opening that Tupperware at dinner time and staring at plain chicken and rice, AGAIN!?  Well weep no more…

Chicken and rice has become synonymous with fitness and bodybuilding these days.  It seems to the dish that springs to people’s mind when they embark on a fitness programme.

“Do I have to eat chicken and rice 4 times a day?” is the usual question that gets asked.

The answer is no.  Of course you don’t.  Setting up your meal plan properly should mean that you have lots of flexibility to enjoy those foods you love and still make progress.

I think that the plain chicken and rice crew repeat that same meal out of convenience, laziness, an inability to cook, or a combination of all 3.  And I’m guilty of being in that posse for a time, but thankfully I’ve branched out into other dishes.  And when I do have chicken and rice, it’s not the plain and boring kind.  Frankly I don’t think I could get it down my throat without gagging.

Dry chicken, dry rice, and dry vegetables has no appeal for me.

If you’re looking to get out of the chicken and rice rut, then this is the blog for you.  Don’t get me wrong, chicken and rice is a great dish.  Lean meat and a good source of carbs.  It’s perfect for hitting those macros.  But you and I both know we can do better than boiling everything.

Let’s bring excitement back to this bodybuilding staple.

I’m sure you’ll love these two recipes, so get yourself in that kitchen and rustle up something to reignite those taste buds!

Let’s get cooking…

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How to measure body fat percentage accurately article

How Measure Body Fat Percentage Accurately

If you want to know how to measure body fat percentage accurately then you’ll want to read this article.

Read on to discover 6 ways to measure body fat percentage accurately and the pros and cons of each one. 

To shift your body fat you must first know your body fat. Now I don’t mean you should get to know your body fat on first name terms.  This isn’t some form of new age approach where you give your body fat a name like Sophie and spend time talking to it and politely asking her to leave.

No.  This is about establishing your start point.  Your body fat percentage.  If you know where you are and where you want to get to, the process gets that bit easier.

Fail to get step one right and your fitness journey could be a path of long, protracted turmoil and stagnation.  And we don’t want that to happen so let’s get you off on the right foot.

In this article we’ll be getting to know all about Sophie, sorry, your body fat percentage.  What it is, what’s a good amount to aim for, why you need to measure it, and how the hell you measure body fat accurately.

Knowing your body fat percentage isn’t 100% critical to a successful fitness programme, but it can be useful. And this is why I personally won’t start a client programme without first understanding this piece of information.

So get ready to say your goodbyes to Sophie.  The bitch is gonna be packing her bags and getting ready to leave real soon.

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Meal Prep Sunday #4 – 2 Chocolate Treats That Won’t Ruin Your Macros

Everyone loves chocolate!  When it comes to fat loss it’s often the first thing that gets discarded from the kitchen cupboards.  But does that really need to be the case? 

Whatever time of the year you start your new regime, it’s common practice that all the food you enjoy gets cast aside into the depths of the bin.  A tornado-like frenzy blasts through the kitchen, stripping the cupboards bare of everything but the vegetable and rice.

If after a few weeks you’re still ‘lucky’ enough to be sticking to the plan, in your heart of hearts you probably know it’s only a matter of time before you crack and end up succumbing to the temptation.  In a similar frenzy to the time you threw all those goodies away, you scratch and crawl to the back of what was the treat drawer, like that scary girl crawling out of the well in the film, The Ring.

Finally, you stumble across that one chocolate bar you saved in case of emergencies.  This is one such emergency!

Before you know it you’re face is smothered in milk chocolate like some weird milky brown face mask.

The truth is that a well-constructed meal plan makes this scenario a thing of the past.

Your meal plan shouldn’t be a thingyou dread looking at everyday.  When you’re trying to lose weight the last thing you want is to have to worry about cravings and the fact you’re generally miserable with the foods your coach is subscribing.  All the chicken and rice will count for nothing if you can’t stick to it for more than a few weeks.

Adherence is king.

And that’s one of the fundamental things you should have in mind when creating your plan.

With all Iron Paradise Fitness meal plans, I focus on sustainability.  Having a meal plan that you can stick to on a long-term basis is my priority.  I base every meal plan around the individual.  Whether you like chocolate, bread, ice cream, or have a weakness for a tasty burger, I pride myself on taking the time to build those things into your plan.  There might have to be some sacrifices in other areas, but so far I’ve not yet been defeated by a challenge (that’s opening myself up for failure right there…hahaha).

It’s also important to learn how to flex and adapt your nutrition plan, so that the randomness of day to day life doesn’t completely throw you off track.  And this is all part of the process I go through in my online coaching.

In this week’s instalment of my ‘Meal Prep Sunday’ blog series, I’ve got a couple of really easy recipes for you that will mean you can easily fit some chocolate into your diet, totally guilt free.  No binging required.

I’ve chosen these treats as they are super easy to make and require zero cooking whatsoever.  Just a small amount of prep time, then whack them in the fridge and enjoy as a snack or as part of a nice dessert with your favourite ice cream.

I’m sure you’ll love these two recipes, so get yourself in that kitchen and rustle up something to satisfy those chocolate cravings.

Let’s get cooking (or chilling in this week’s case)…

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Intermittent Fasting Blog Pic

Intermittent Fasting – Fact or Fad?

Is Intermittent Fasting what you need to lose more fat and build more muscle, quickly?

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. At least that what they tell  us. Intermittent Fasting has gained popularity in recent years and is bringing that notion into question. So, is it still the case that your bowl of Sugar Puffs in the morning is the most critical food that will pass your lips all day. Or was The Honey Monster wrong all along? And is Intermittent Fasting the meal timing strategy you need to get those big results?

To answer that question, this article is going to pick through the detail and confusion for you. Because you’re going to find out all the information on Intermittent Fasting you’ll ever need.  Now, some of you will know about the concept already. But for others it will be an alien concept that requires further explanation.

Without doubt, when I first heard about the idea of Intermittent Fasting (IF for short) I was immediately sceptical.  Going without food for a lengthy period of time and then ‘feasting’ for a fixed period of time sounded like just another fad diet approach, pedalled by some celebrity.

However, my initial scepticism may have been misplaced.  Because there is evidence to show that it might have some legs.

What you’ll discover in this article

This definitive guide to Intermittent Fasting is my way of giving you the answers to those burning questions. Ultimately, I’m aiming to help you decide if Intermittent Fasting is something you want to try for yourself.  Because it might not be for everybody, but it could be the nutrition strategy you’ve been looking for.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • What the whole Intermittent Fasting concept actually is.
  • What the weight / fat loss benefits associated to Intermittent Fasting are.
  • If there are any additional health health benefits with Intermittent Fasting
  • How to figure out if Intermittent Fasting is right for you.
  • When you should and shouldn’t you use Intermittent Fasting

Let’s get right into the detail and find out if Tony the Tiger was right.  Is breakfast really “ggggggggrrrrrrrrreat”?

Intermittent Fasting Blog - Frosties Cereal

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Meal Prep Sunday #3 – 2 Great Tasting Alternatives to Boring Rice Dishes

Does your meal plan consist of dull and boring carbohydrate sources?  Plain brown rice with no flavour?  Dry and tasteless food choices day after day that leave you uninspired and unmotivated?

In this week’s instalment of my ‘Meal Prep Sunday’ blog series, I’ve got a couple of really easy recipes for you to liven up your carb intake for next week.  I’ve chosen these dishes so that you can match them with your favourite protein to add some much needed flavour into your Tupperware containers.  Throw in in some chicken, fish, or whatever your favourite choice is and you’ll have a complete dish that will slot nicely in to your meal plan.

Your meal plan need never be that dark cloud that looms over your head again.  You should be able to look forward to the meals and snacks you’ve lovingly prepared at the weekend.

With all Iron Paradise Fitness meal plans, I focus on sustainability.  Having a meal plan that you can stick to on a long-term basis is the holy grail.  But that holy grail shouldn’t been as hard to find as some form of Indiana Jones style crusade.  It should be something that is straight-forward and easy to understand.  It’s also important to learn how to flex and adapt your nutrition plan, so that the randomness of day to day life doesn’t completely throw you off track.  And this is all part of the process I go through in my online coaching.

Build Muscle with Iron Paradise Fitness

Photo by Josh Hallett

I’m sure you’ll love these dishes, so get cooking and be sure to let me know what you think.

Let’s get cooking…

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#THEDAILYGRIND 013: To Cheat or Not to Cheat?

“Hi.  I’ll have 4 meat samosas, the chicken korma with Pilau rice, and a Naan bread.  Oh and could you add in 5 poppadoms.  Oh and could you add in 4 bottles of beer.  Don’t worry, it’s my cheat day.”

Sound familiar?  That single takeaway order just weighed in at a whopping 3,330 calories!!!  That’s more calories than I’m currently consuming each day on my bulk!

I get it.  It’s Friday night.  You’ve had a long week at work.  You’ve been hitting the gym hard all week, your diet has been on point, but you’re absolutely out on your feet.  You just can’t face cooking another meal.  Tonight you just want to rest.  Someone else can do the hard work for a change.  So you ransack the drawer in the kitchen that’s hiding the one takeaway menu you’d secretly hidden for emergencies such as this, and you start dialling.

This is all ok isn’t it?  It’s all part of the plan.  It’s that little (or not so little in this case) treat for all that hard work during the week.  It’s a mental break from having to count calories and worry about macros.  You tell yourself it’ll be beneficial in the long run.

But is it?

Could this small indulgence be the one thing that’s holding you back from achieving your weight and fat loss goals?

Let’s find out by starting with the basics first.

The simple truth is that a cheat meal (and definitely a cheat day) can put your progress off the rails and have it careering into oblivion if you’re not careful.

But it need not be the case.  You can have your cake and eat it (I never understood that phrase, what’s the point of having cake if you can’t eat it?…).

In this article, I’m going to guide you through the do’s and don’ts of cheat meals and how you can build the concept into your meal plans without worrying about the negative effects to your weight loss and progress.  I’ll teach you how a second on the lips need not mean a lifetime on the hips.  All it takes is a few simple tips and a little application.

So why not sit back, put your feet up, grab that tub of Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup ice cream and a large spoon.  And tuck in while I show you how to make sure you can enjoy that indulgent treat and feel good about it at the same time.

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