Exercising when pregnant

Exercising when pregnant

Continuing or adopting exercise during pregnancy has many benefits to both mother and child.

However, the % of pregnant woman who meet physical activity recommendations is low. This is partially due to confusion about recommendations and fear of causing harm. But there is now strong evidence that exercise is beneficial and induces no further risk of premature births, low birthing weight or fetal distress.

additionally, an unhealthy lifestyle during pregnancy can lead to:

– Excessive weight gain
– Gestational diabetes
– Caesarean section
– Lower back pain
– Incontinence
Being physically active reduces your risk of all of the above


Aerobic and strength exercises 3-4 days per week
Keep exercise moderate (this requires monitoring throughout session)

Strenuous exercise above 90% HR (can reduce blood flow to the uterus which may compromise fetal health)
Strenuous resistance training, isometric contractions, jumping, impact, exercises with high risk of falling or over stretching

Note: Exercise such as yoga and Pilates do not offer the same physiological benefits but they can of course still be enjoyed by pregnant women although avoid over stretching and certain spine positions.

Could your poo be the answer to the best diet for you?

Could your poo indicate the best diet for you?

A recent study looked at the relationship between gut bacteria and dieting success on a high fibre diet (lots of veg and whole grains).

Participants were split into two groups based on the ratio of bacteria in their stool samples (high and low).

The high fibre diet worked best for participants in the high ratio group with an average of 3.1kg more fat loss than the low ratio group on the same diet.
When compared to a ‘standard’ diet: diet type had no influence on the low ratio group suggesting the diet they adopted did not offer any benefit or detriment to fat loss.

The authors speculate that ~50% of the population may have a high ratio gut bacteria phenotype meaning they may benefit from adopting a high fibre diet.

For more info check out the full text linked below



Why do you have a coach/trainer? You are a personal trainer yourself surely you don’t need one..

Why do you have a coach/trainer? You are a personal trainer yourself surely you don’t need one..


I would go so far as to say personal trainers stand to gain the most from hiring their own trainer.

I’ll rattle through the obvious benefits first.

– Accountability
-Objective opinion

Basically all the benefits anyone gets from working with a trainer.

On top of this trainers also get:

– New ideas
– Experience from a client perspective
-Learning from the best (well you’re not going to hire a PT you don’t rate)

I think this is especially useful if you’re venturing into online PT. Find an online coach who’s work you rate/you look up to and work with them.  Not only will you likely benefit in terms of your own training but you’ll learn a lot – even the basics like how they manage their clients, complete check ins, take payment, hold initial consultations, adapt plans, give feedback, create accountability and build a relationship with their clients.

To be clear I am certainly not saying hire your favourite coach and then copy their plans and sell them as your own.
I would also be open with them. Tell them that you admire them and want to learn from them.. if they aren’t absolute melts they will be happy to help!

Don’t let your ego get in the way of your development- you’re not too good to have your own trainer.


Don’t obsess over numbers. Real world dieting is not an exact Science

Don’t obsess over the numbers –> Estimate and adjust based on progress

With so many apps and gadgets it is easy to get caught up in being over analytical.

Obsessing over these numbers is nonsensical given that they are all estimates.

Even if you meticulously track everything myfitnesspal is still an estimateof your calorie intake. On top of this food listing are often wrong too.. here is a little test: try adding up the macronutrients listed (carbohydrate and fat gs x4, fatgs x9) and see if they add up to the total calories listed.

There are so many points at which errors can creep in.
Don’t get me wrong.. I’m not saying they need to be more accurate I am saying you should put less emphasis on the numbers.

Basal metabolic rate calculations are estimates.

Maintenance calorie calculations are estimates.

Energy Expenditure trackers – heart rate monitors, step count, activity monitors..yup estimates.

Food tacking even if you’re on the high end of the anal spectrum is an estimate..

Calories (consumed and expended) count even if you don’t count them.

These tools are useful. Especially for accountability but don’t place too much value on them. They should be used as a starting point, an adherence tool and a way to monitor adaptations to dieting such as reduced activity levels.

PS: How you eat indicates if you need to or would benefit from tracking food intake..

If you have body composition goals but also want to eat out a lot, have a varied diet and don’t want to pre prepare meals you’re going to need to track your intake or at least play close attention to what is in your meals.

If you’re more consistent with what you eat on a daily basis then there is little need to track.

So you’re saying if I am basically sticking to a meal plan then I don’t need to track calories?

Yes.. thank you captain obvious.

One caveat is that portion sizes can creep up (or down) so you may want to check yo self every so often.


The perfect diet and exercise plan

The perfect diet and exercise plan

Theoretically there is one. But you have way more wiggle room than you think.

If you get the basics right then there are countless diet and exercise plans that will get you results.

Factors you may want to consider are:
– Ease:  how easy is this way of dieting and training to incorporate into my life
– Convenience: how far out of my way do I have to go to make these changes? Does it fit with my work/family/social life?
– Time: how much time do I have to give? Can I afford to add in a cardio session or should I just eat a bit less. Do I want to spend my evenings meal prepping or do I want to choose a more flexible approach?
– Expense: Can I afford my chosen diet of steak and nuts for breakfast daily?
– Biggest return on effort: making sure you nail the basics – put your effort in here. Focus on what matters e,g overall macros as opposed to meal timings
– Preference: finding what you enjoy the most/dislike the least (easy to forget not everyone enjoys this stuff and you’re weight loss clients at least initially probably don’t!)

You sure as hell don’t need the perfect diet to lose weight.

The key components or ‘the basics’  for most general population weight loss clients are:

a) They are exercising at all- going from nothing to something has huge benefits

b) They are in an energy deficit- initial weight loss can be fairly easy especially when you are starting from a poor diet

Both of which can be reasonably painless if left uncomplicated and lead by the above factors.

The vicious cycle of shit

The vicious cycle of shit and how to break it

We’ve all been there.. You feel a bit low so you decide to eat your feelings and then you feel even worse so you try to eat those feelings too. This turns into a cycle and you begin to rely on food for comfort which is only ever a short term solution.

Now I’m not saying that food isn’t comforting and should never be used for comfort. However, I think we should consider the context. For example when I feel stressed I like to go home and see my parents which inevitably involves having a meal with them. It’s normally not what I would usually eat but its nice to be cooked for and the company, conversation, home environment and my dog Toby is generally very comforting… The food adds very little.

Where using food for comfort is (in my opinion) a negative is when you end up eating a whole tub of ice cream a lone in your room. I don’t think that is ever going to make you feel better. Probably not acutely and definitely not long term.

5 things that tend to make me feel better:

1) seeing friends or family (unless you just want to be on your own in which case see 2 and 3)
2) being outdoors
3) exercise
4) time
5) perspective- does this have any long term impact? Will you care about it this time next month (or even next week)

If you’ve tried all these and you still feel shit then I am out of ideas. If this does help then do what you’ve got to do to deal with the issue, learn from it and move on.

BASICALLY the point I am so awfully trying to make is that eating shit food will likely make you feel shit both physically and mentally and may also give you spots so if you’re trying to feel better don’t eat shit.
Above is a diagram I made to try and explain this concept.

Hot Yoga and Weight loss

The scale weight is a funny one.

So much emotion gets attached to it.

I mean.. do you really think you’ve lot 3kg of fat during an hour long hot yoga class?

You’re actually just dehydrated …and maybe a little more flexible and relaxed.

Oh and you’ve burnt ~3-400 calories not 23,100 calories (estimated calories in 3kf of fat)

Despite knowing this people still seem to get a sense of satisfaction when they see that they lost ‘X’ amount of weight during the class.

Weight loss seems to make even the most logical people illogical

When more isn’t always better..train hard, recover harder!

If some is good.. more is better.

That’s the general mentality in relation to pretty much everything. However, this is almost never the case.

We tend to quickly saturate the response of a stimulus.

For example.. ‘if some protein stimulates muscle protein synthesis then more will indefinitely stimulate it more’ ..this is not the case.

The response becomes saturated or maxed out pretty quickly (25-30g high quality protein). After this more protein will not further increase muscle protein synthesis.

Similar is true for exercise.

Consider the amount of exercise you can effectively recover and adapt to rather than the amount you can physically squeeze into your week.. which will inevitably reduce the quality of your training too. A well structured training program will get you better results and free up your time. Giving you the biggest rewards for the work you put in.

This comes down to what is termed your maximal recoverable volume (MRV for short). This is essentially the most training you can do and recover from. If you are a casual gym goer this isn’t something you are going to need to worry about too much. If you are an athlete looking to improve your performance or a body builder trying to optimise the amount of muscle mass you can put on this should be a key consideration in your training program.

Take home: more isn’t always better. Train hard.. recover harder.
Make sure you’re giving your body the time and nutrients required to adapt to your training load otherwise you’re spinning your wheels.

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