April 26, 2015

Nutrition, Tips

Nutrition advice you need to know

Last week I had the fantastic opportunity along with another 149 individuals to listen to wise words and solid advice from two health and fitness gurus Danny Lennon and Dominic Munnelly.Two guys who are so passionate about the industry.These guys are people  I look upto and learn from as much as possible.Dominic is now a mentor of mine and a guy that has kindly guided me along my way since returning from the States and when i heard they were putting on a FREE seminar at CrossFit Green I booked myself and some of my clients in straight away.NoSurprise it was fully booked out in 24 hours.

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So I’ve put together this article for you guys to go over couple of things that were mentioned and basically to try spread the real message and truth about what actually works and a way of guiding you along your health and fitness journey.

The industry is a place in my opinion where there is v v good advice yet unfortunately quite poor misleading info.Nutrition is one of the craziest avenues to godown.Even myself as a trainer i still scratch my head at some of the stuff.From Paleo,Fasting,Weight watchers,Herbalife,Magic fat-loss pills the list is endless,and then you have the training itself.What place to join?Who to follow?What program to work from?CrossFit?Bodybuilding?Zumba?Bootcamps?Commercial gyms?..again list goes on

If your confused on gyms please go read my article i did on that.It will definitely help you out.

Anyway back to the point of this article .

Firstly let me mention these are some of the points/ideas/suggestions I took from this seminar and I could be mis-quoting Danny/Dominic, Yet I don’t think I am as i very much believe in their ways on nutrition and I’m very much on the same page when it comes to  looking after clients providing them with simple yet science backed nutrition.But I have to put that in just in case.

What did we cover?

Nutrition (Fat loss + Performance)

Hopefully some of this info can help you out and you apply it to your life.

Context Matters

Does this “diet” or approach apply to me?

What works for me or you,may not work be ideal for him or her.You see we all have different goals,body types,hormonal systems,activity levels,lifestyle surroundings etc.Therefore don’t be fooled by going down the same avenue just because it seems to work for her.My goal perhaps is to loose weight,yours is to increase strength and his is to put on some muscle.Therefore we all need different training regimes,and definitely different ways we treat our daily food intake.


No matter what nutrition approach we do take,Remember this one.

“The core principles always have to apply”  (Meaning forget the little details at first and lay a solid foundation getting the basics right)

*Forget Diet pills,Miracle 6 week transformation medicine,juicing detoxes,and certain crazy supplements and so on* ….THEY WONT WORK….

This is where i see people make mistakes.They are looking at the smaller things (taking supplements looking for the quick fix but then their sleep is poor and there not eating enough real food and perhaps doing the wrong type of training) not focusing on the little big things<—-Great book BTW

So lets look at the important stuff that you really should have nailed down in order of importance.

  1. Calories In/Calories Out (Energy Balance) What is going in? What is going out?

Something I myself have been shying away from and its hard to believe its the most important no matter what the goal is but when Danny broke it all down it just made so much sense that when the goal is fatloss/weight loss calories going in and out are quite important.So go measure your recommended Caloric intake using this Free calorie calculator and work off that.I suppose its pretty basic stuff when you think about?Eat lots of calories and spend little to no time with activity will eventually lead to a road to weight gain.So get working on that,starting working with how many calories you should be taking in with the correct macro-nutrient breakdown for you and your goal.


2.Correct amount of Macronutrients/Fibre/Micronutrients/Water in your daily intake

Most of your food needs to come from natural,minimal processed,whole/real foods.So pretty much meats,fish,vegetables some fruits,nuts,seeds,eggs,some dairy and grain products.

Macros meaning Carbs such as (Potato white/sweet,wild rice,butternut squash,quinoa,green leafy veg spinage,kale,broccoli,cabbage,green beans,asparagus,sprouts) (daily g depending on the person activity level and goal)

Proteins such as red meats,chicken/turkey,fatty fish,eggs.(2g per kg BW) More protein in diet the better.I guarantee it will lead to better changes in the body,make you feel fuller and stop those sugar cravings.

Healthy Fats such as avocado,olives,cream,coconut oil,extra virgin olive oil,full fat greek/natural yogurt (0.8-1.5g per kg BW)

Fibre meaning sources like various beans,chickpeas,apples,some potatoes and fibrous vegetables

Water –Drink up 2-4 litres daily

Try eat little and often if possible,or at least try get your 3-4 main meals a day right

What does the right plate look like in a main meal?

  • Eat 3-4 good main meals a day
  • Allow time to prepare your meals.(Failure to prep,prep to fail)
  • Eat a protein source at every main meal ideally 20-40g
  • Load up plate with good selection of green leafy vegetables
  • Thumbsize portion of fat or cook your meats/fish in coconut oil
  • Slow down,enjoy your food and relax
  • Hydrate during meal times

Great shopping list above to work off from

3.Just eat real food,and enjoy it! #JERF

Super Quote Danny did mention was “Nutrition should be something that enhances your life and something shouldn’t  take over”

Avoid to think of any food that should be forbidden or banned from your daily life(Unless you know you have food intolerance’s).

Adopt a 80/20 or maybe even a 90/10 approach.I myself go with 80/20 as it works well.80% of the time i will eat well and enjoy my food and 20% i tend to eat stuff that i truly enjoy in moderation.A person eating 100% clean is a path that is actually quite unnecessary and has proven to lead to a crash and into a binge somewhere down the line.So go have that pizza or ben and jerrys ice cream,yet remember know when is enough!


Allow 10-20% to foods that you truly enjoy,enjoy it,never feel guilty yet at the same time don’t go crazy.

Remember real foods are not just going to keep you healthy, they will keep you feeling fuller and will stop sugar cravings throughout the day.

4.Small smart steady steps

Some people make a common mistake of totally giving up on nice things,going all out strict then 2-3 weeks later a massive crash comes around and your back to square 1 feeling crap.

So this is what you should really do.

Pick 1-2 small changes and stick with it for 7 days.It could be something simple as starting your day off with a pint of filtered water.Make this a priority each day,then sooner or later this will become a good healthy habit.Following this pick another challenge for days 7-14.This could be aiming to get at least 20-30g protein per meal.Keep track record of these tasks and grade yourself throughout the 7 days.How did it go out of 10?


Writing down good habits will instill good success and another super quote that was mentioned was “Adherence is the no1 important rule to a successful diet”

A couple of my recent tasks have been things such as

  • Quality sleep (shoot for 8)
  • Start day off with water
  • Cut back on coffee intake (Avoid using coffee just to get me going)
  • Set aside 1-2 hours every Sunday to prep my week ahead (food/programming/training)
  • At least 20 mins daily working on mobility/allocating my own training time
  • 1 hour daily of self development using podcasts or audible (Go check out Gary Vaynerchuk orSeth Godin)
  • 30 mins walk daily to switch off
  • Spending good quality time with Niamh and family at weekend


“So what protein are you on?”


 Supplements too got a big mention of course.That industry is a huge money maker for big companys but guess what perhaps some of you guys shouldn’t even consider going down that route yet.Lots of us make the big mistake of purchasing protein/creatine/BCAAs etc in hope its going to solve all our problems yet at the same time we still haven’t got the basics mentioned above right first.

Every January in my previous gym we would always have newer members seeking to find the best supplement to make them look super fit yet for breakfast they were probably still having tea and toast and with little to no training experience.

Get the food right first,find a good coach,work with him/her for a while,ask them for advice on supplementation.

Having said that for performance nutrition its no harm to go down this route providing the basics are dialed in.

Protein/Creatine/Beta Alanine/and some electrolytes are pretty much all good things to be going towards.towards. Ive pushed a couple of athletes i coach towards a basic monohyrdate creatine and they have gotten fantastic results from it with their performance and recovery. Others mentioend were basic pre-workouts like Caffeine (200-400mg) and a big surprise for me which I will test out was Sodium bicarbonate (15-25g)

Again there is a huge selection of pre workouts to choose from but the 2 above got a really good review and they are products that wont break the bank!

All in all it was a super seminar and was nice to see so many people turnout.Was also really cool to be around a couple of other like minded passionate trainers who really do care about this industry and their clients.

Thanks again to Cf Green,Danny Lennon and Dominic Munnelly

Hope you enjoyed this article.

And if you need any more advice on training or nutrition

Get in touch