Monthly Archives

February 2017

Why Sleep is Important for Fitness

By News

Sleep is vital for recovery and hormone balance such as reducing cortisol levels. With out optimal sleep we can say good bye to fat loss and muscle gain..

The 8 hour rule of sleep is just a random number thrown about for how much sleep we need. We actually need 90 minutes to get through a full sleep cycle. That included stages of light and deep sleep which are critical for recovery of an athlete.

You should aim for 5 sleep cycles every 24 hours which totals 7.5 hours a day. This is usually enough for the average person. A high level athlete might add another sleep cycle a day to aid recovery.

These 5 sleep cycles would ideally be taken through the night, although that is not essential. You could have 4 through the night and an extra 90 minute nap in the day if thats more convenient for you.

This totals 35 sleep cycles a week. If you don’t feel better after a week of 35 cycles. Increase to 6 cycles a day. Or if 5 feels too much. Decrease to 4 cycles a day. Everyone is different!

Eating Less Doesn’t Cause Fat Loss

By Diets, Nutrition

Yes, thats right..Eating less doesn’t cause fat loss. Diets do not work!

Want to know why?

Eating lower calories than your body needs to survive will more often than not start to burn into your muscle tissue rather than fat. Do you really want to use up your muscle which you have slaved away in the gym to build?

Why does your body burn muscle?

Well..When you go on a calorie restrictive diet, your body will think it is starving and begin to change its hormones to ensure fat stores stay as high as possible for survival. High muscle mass is not actually essential so your body will use your muscle tissue as energy.

When eating less, your body wants to HOLD onto fat.

What else do we know about muscle? Muscle tissue burns lots of calories which makes you have a high metabolism, which means you can eat more. Soooooo this means when you reduce your calories and your body thinks it needs to survive, whats the first thing its going to get rid of? Muscle tissue, because it is ‘expensive’ to maintain. This means your muscle mass will slowly reduce, so you can say good bye to strong legs and toned glutes 🙁 It also means you will have a lower metabolism so will have to eat less and less calories to maintain your weight.

2 years later, I still pose exactly the same. 💁

A post shared by Charlie Francis (@charliefrancisfitness) on

So in the long term, as soon as we decide to stop starving our self and go back to eating a ‘normal diet’, this is now seen to our body as over eating and we will begin to pile on body fat.

The adverts for weight loss programmes never tell you that their diet will not work unless you stay on their unmaintainable starvation diet forever and maintain in a chronically food deprived state for the rest of your life. They don’t tell you if you do go back to your ‘normal diet’ you will gain even more weight back than when you started.. This is because they are bullshit money making scams which will ruin your life. Continually taking money from you while actually making you fatter in the long run.

So actually going on a low calorie diet is worse than doing nothing!!!

After we have been starved for a period of time the number one goal is to get any lost fat back in our fat stores so that if we starve again we don’t die. Just incase, our bodies make sure we store some extra fat for emergencies. This is called ‘Fat Super Accumulation’. Fat super accumulation after a restrictive calorie diet is one of the main causes for obesity. What is awful about this is that it doesn’t even require us to eat loads. You only have to go back to a normal diet to gain a load of fat.

Going on a low calorie diet will not only cause you to be fat in the long run.. It will effect your hormone levels. You will be cranky all the time. You won’t sleep because your grumbly tummy will keep you awake at night. Work will make you grumpy and you will be unproductive. You will be shit in bed. Yes thats right… Your sex drive will be non-existent. Your performance in the gym will be shocking. Loading up the barbell is a workout in its self, let along lifting the damn thing. Every simple life activity the hardest task in the world with the extreme lack of energy.

At roughly 10% body fat, I vividly remember thinking getting up to change the channel on the TV was too much effort. I ended up watching antique road show for hours on end because I couldn’t be bothered to move basically.

Diets don’t make you lean and lovely. They make you ill, sad, fat and slow.

How do I know this? Because this has all happened to me. It has happened to probably most of you reading this post and we all know dieting doesn’t work. You ruin relationships. Your a fucking bitch all the time. You fall out with your family. You are unhappy and at the end of it all you end up fat with no friends, severely sleep deprived and malnourished. Dieting is bad for your health both physically and mentally.

The ONLY way to get a healthy and banging body is to eat a nutritious, realistic and maintainable diet supported with a MAINTAINABLE exercise routine. You must eat enough calories to support life and normal hormone function but not support fat storage. If your body is in a happy healthy state, hormones will be held at a level where fat can be lost at a SLOW rate but fat loss will be able to be maintained in the long run. The ultimate goal is to keep a high metabolism throughout the process to ensure you can eat a normal diet while performing well in the gym. There is no set amount of calories anyone should eat, everyone is SO different so when looking for a personal trainer/nutrition coach, check they have experience in the area and that they don’t make their clients eat 800 calories a day and perform hours of cardio.