Rob Woollen Personal Training Manchester

YOUR Personal Trainer - YOUR Future in Fitness!


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Week 2 - my friend's results

Posted by Rob Woollen on March 13, 2010 at 5:43 AM Comments comments (1)

Ok I got my friends results.

At the end of week 2 she had lost a further 1kg in weight. However this was all lean tissue.

Factors which may have affected this include: -

  • The fact that she had not done all the exercise planned for this week (in fact less than half of it)
  • We may have increased her intake slightly too much. A 1kg drop with no accompanying fat loss could be a simple matter of water content in her body.

We decided that next week she would rigorously follow her exercise programme which requires her to do 30 mins on five days of the week. The type of exercise is not hugely important when following a calorie deficit plan, although there are some tweaks we can make with conditioned clients to help with this. The body knows if it is "active" or "inactive" based on the regularity of exercise - this is far more important that the type. I may sound like I am underselling my services here, but there are many other factors for which personal training is hugeley beneficial. But 2 sessions a week of perfect fat burning exercise will always be trumped by 5 sessions of regular exercise even if the type is not as good.

We also decided to tweak her intake so that she now has (in addition to the food package): -

-2 slices of bread with lunch

-2 yoghurts

-2 slices of bread with evening meal

-2 portions of veg

-2 portions of fruit

-half a pint of milk

End of week 2

Posted by RWPT Personal Training on February 27, 2010 at 5:57 AM Comments comments (0)

Well week 2 is over. So what has been happening? (My results below)

  • We've increased our calorie intake considerably. I have added almost 1000 calories to the DietChef hamper each day, giving me an average of 2200 calories per day to allow for my active lifestyle.
  • My friend has upped her intake to ensure that she takes on 1800 per day as recommended by DietChef
  • We have both experienced times when we felt a little hungry, but on reflection - I get this anyway all the time. It hasn;t been that hard for me to stick to the plan. My friend reports that some days she has wanted to have an extra snack, but has managed not to cheat at all. We reckon it will be better if she spaces out her eating more evenly through the day.
  • Food is still ranking pretty high for taste etc. The standard is high. Be aware, a lot of the meat is from your cheaper cuts such as chicken thigh rather than breast. So what! That is what real meat tastes like! On average I reckon about 80% of the meals would be regarded as very good, with only 10% regarded as just average, and none regarded as poor.
  • Not getting bored of it yet as there is so much choice, although we are getting a bit sick of eating just bread, and have started to swap for weighed measurements of rice, cous-cous and pasta too.

Week 2 Results

So today I did my measurements. I have lost hardly any weight, but the biggest result came when I put on the bodystat. I have lost a full 2 pounds in body fat, and put back a pound of lean tissue. All this by eating more!! This proves all the theories we learn in nutrition courses about starvation mode and yo-yo dieting.

I am of over to my friend's house now - I'll post again when her results are in.

The moment of truth

Posted by RWPT Personal Training on February 20, 2010 at 2:49 PM Comments comments (0)

Today we redid our measurements. What follows should be a real lesson to anyone trying to get a leaner, fitter body.

It is important that these measurements are taken at the same time and preferably on the same day. We did this today.

Bear in mind that for the last four days we have been eating the Dietchef recommendation PLUS a massive 400 or so calories per day extra.

I had lost 4 pounds in weight. My friend had lost two pounds.

My friend was disappointed at first. "I was hoping for a bit more than two pounds" she said. I said nothing as I knew what was coming. This is the first time that I have been able to see these type of  results with the absolute definite knowledge of exactly what we had both eaten.

When we got to the Bodystat (this by the way is an extremely accurate % Fat testing machine costing around £300, not one of those body fat machines from the chemists) we found a whole different story. I had gained around 0.2lb of bodyfat, and lost 4lb of muscle and lean tissue. My friend, however, had lost a full pound of pure bodyfat. Our hydration levels (which can slightly affect results) were consistent across the two tests.

So how does this work? How have I gained body fat? Well the fact is that I have been so far below my daily requirement that my body had gone into a state of starvation. It will then take any opportunity to lay down a little fat, whilst slowing down the actions of the body and the organs to reserve fuel. It also uses its own muscles as fuel when in such a harsh state.

My friend on the other hand, had upped her levels in time to avoid this, and had done very well. Her one pound of body fat represents a fantastic calorie deficit of 500 per day! So well done her!

Fear not by the way - I am not wasting away! My 4 lb drop in lean tissue only represents a daily loss of 260 calories because of the way that the tissue is made up. Around 3lb of that is just water, whereas when we lose fat it is 100% fat!

So what to do now? Well my friend would be well advised to continue exactly as she has for the last 4 days and maintain her intake at 1800 calories. For my part, I need to be careful to get in my 1900 calories per day, and also to ensure that I am sufficiently fuelled for any sessions that I participate in. For the record, i took part in around 5 1/2 hours of exercise this week, of which about 3 hours would be considered vigorous. I am staying off my own training for the duration of this test - for YOU!! I may need to play around a little with my daily intake, and add a little extra for each hour that I train, but NOTE that when I entered my figures into the Dietchef website to get my daily allowance, I ticked the box that said "Moderate Exercise or sport 3-5 days a week.".

I have reassessed using the box "Hard Exercise or sport 6-7 days a week" and it asks me to intake 2200 calories per day. So using the 1500 plan (which only actually contains 900 calories) I will need to find 1300 of my own.

So what is my opinion of Diet Chef at the moment? Well it is clear that they have offended me by writing a response which managed to both question my knowledge and credibility and ignore the very valid points that I made. Despite this, I really want this test to work, and to be able to finally tell my clients about a product that solves their problem. So with a little bit of adjustment for my friend, and a lot of adjustment for me (but that is due to my job) I still think it could have some merit. What it does is allow you to know exactly what is in every meal of the day with no messing about. Is it the end of the world to have to add some bread and fruit? Well, let us see how next week goes.

Days 3-7

Posted by RWPT Personal Training on February 20, 2010 at 2:38 PM Comments comments (0)

Having left things for a few days to allow Dietchef to respond, let's get you up to date with the food plan.

I have been keeping a score of the meals provided in terms of taste - I will reveal that at the end. For now let me say simply that the majority of it is excellent, some of it is just pretty good and only one or two items have been just ok.

We tried to carry on keeping to the exact plan set out by the Dietchef manual, but with such a low calorie count, it was absolutely impossible. Even after I added in over 600 calories per day, I was only getting 1500 per day.

Whether it was psychological or not I do not know, but I have been feeling very hungry since day 2. So from day 4 onwards, we decided to ignore the manual and just ensure that we took in the recommended number of calories per day. For me this means adding a massive 950 calories per day to the plan.

My friend - depsite not being a personal trainer, but in fact what Sarika from Dietchef describes as an "average overweight person who perhaps does not exercise enough" still needs to add an incredible 1100 calories top her plan to get the right amount.

We decided to keep to the plan. Having to add so many calories makes this a really hard plan for my friend as she needs to think so hard about what to have. We agreed that she would have

The food provided by Dietchef

  • Approx 650 Kcal

The recommended additions: -

  • Half a pint of milk (95 Kcal)
  • 2 Portions of fruit (around 150-200 Kcal)
  • 1 Portion Veg (30-50 Kcal)

Another 600 calories as expected as she needs 1800 not 1200

  • 4 slices bread (400 Kcal)
  • 2 Yoghurts (200 Kcal)

And a further 250 calories because the plan is way under

  • An extra portion of veg (50 Kcal)
  • An extra yoghurt (100 Kcal)
  • An extra slice of bread (100 Kcal)

This is not too hard to work out, but does require far more thought than we had hoped from a plan that promises to deliver all your requirement in one convenient hamper.

Dietchef response - they obviously think I am stupid

Posted by RWPT Personal Training on February 20, 2010 at 9:37 AM Comments comments (0)

I have not blogged for a few days as I contacted Dietchef to give them the opportunity to see my concerns and to respond. I have not visited the blog since then a sI wanted to give them a chance to open dialogue, but today found that Dietchef had decided to post directly to my public blog without responding to me in person. They have not bothered to read what I have put, or to pay any attention to my concerns. Their response is copied below: -

"Hi Rob,

I am pleased you have enjoyed the food on Diet Chef.

Toclarify any confusion, you have signed up to the 1500 Plan. This is thename of the plan, thus it is very clear the meals you have ordered willcontain 1500 calories.

The Diet Chef website has indicatedthat you need closer to 1900 calories for safe weight loss. Therefore,if this is an inconvenience to you, you should have been aware of thisbefore starting the diet.

This diet does not target personaltrainers who are not looking to lose weight. It is aimed at theaverage, overweight person, who perhaps does not exercise enough, forwhom closer to 1500 calories is more likely to be suitable. For them,this diet could help to change attitudes to portion control and offer asolution in providing a hassle-free diet they can stick to.

Kind Regards,

The Diet Chef Press Office"

Diet chef obviously think I am a little bit thick. I am a qualified nutrition and weight loss instructor at level 3 on the National Qualifications Framwork, and a specialist exercise instructor at level 4 (the highest level available to an exercise instructor).

Let us look at the facts here: -

  • I am on the 1500 plan
  • Dietchef advise that I add 2 portions of fruit (max 200 calories), a portion of vegetables (around 30-50 calories) and half a pint of milk per day (95 calories). At the very most this would be 300 calories.
  • They provide me with 880 calories in their so-called 1500 Plan
  • By following their rules, my 1500 Plan only provides me with 1250 calories at the very most. In fact most fruit will come in at around 60-70 calories so my total could be a great deal lower.

So in summary, as I expected Dietchef provide far less than the name suggests. far from providing 1500 calories as their response suggests ("clearly"), the 1500 Plan provides less than 900.

Dietchef Day 2

Posted by RWPT Personal Training on February 14, 2010 at 1:26 PM Comments comments (2)

Well day 2 is nearly over.

I just have a milkshake to drink which I will have about 7:30pm. The verdict for today? Well the food has, once again, been delicious. I had Cocoa Nib Porridge, Red Pepper and Goats Cheese Soup and Chicken Fricassee. I spoke to my friend tonight and she said, "These just taste so much better than ready meals". I totally agree, I mean they are ready meals, but they taste good enough to eat out on.

I totalled up my calories for the day again, and came up with 1552, including my milkshake later. This is still a matter of concern for me as it is 250 calories below the intake recommended by the Dietchef website (and agreed by me). For this week, we are both going to continue to eat by the book, that is adding 400 (600 for my friend) calories to my hamper along with half a pint of milk and three portions of fruit/ veg. I suspect that by the end of the week I will have lost more than the 1-2 pounds recommended, but that this will be more lean tissue than fat. I will reassess where to go from there, but it may be that I will decide to ensure that my daily calorie intake is the 1900 that Dietchef suggest I should be eating.

This, however, will mean a substantial increase in the cost of this diet programme as I will need to top up with almost 800 calories per day. I can't (and certainly won't) make all that up in bread! More importantly, it starts to make this diet less of an attractive offer for people who hoped not to have to count calories and just want to be given the food that they need to eat.To add 800 calories in a nutritionally acceptable way will mean getting a good balance of carbohydrate, good fats and protein.

To put it in perspective, I could get the right calorie intake by simply eating twice what they provided me with! The jury is still out on the calorie content and nutritional value of this system, but as it stands the food tastes amazing. I have felt a little bit hungrier today, but that may be caused by the fact that I have become aware that following this diet is forcing me to undereat to the tune of 400 calories per day.

Dietchef - Day One

Posted by RWPT Personal Training on February 13, 2010 at 1:33 PM Comments comments (3)
Well! Day one is over. Below I will give you our starting measurements and fill you in on what we got to eat and how it made us feel. My measurements: - Male, Aged 33 Weight 70.5kg (11st 3 lb) Body Fat - 9.6kg (21 lb) Body Fat % =13.6 Recommended level is 13-19% Lean mass - 60.9kg (134 lb) My friend's Female, Aged 35 Weight - 78.8kg (12st 6 lb) Body Fat - 26.2kg (57 lb) Body Fat %= 33.2% Recommended level is 21-29% Lean Mass 52.6kg (116 lb) As you will see, I am close to the bottom of my recommended body fat levels. However this is ok for two reasons. One is that this is just a trial. I am doing this so that I can give you honest feedback. It is not how I intend to live. Secondly, this is relevant for some athletes and bodybuilders and with my being of very lean build, I should expect to be close to the bottom anyway. So - to the food: - I had treacle and pecan granola with some of my milk allowance. As I was training early I also had my snack which was a banana fruit bar. It was a lot less cereal than I would normally eat when trying to maintain or gain weight, but I felt surprisingly satisfied after it. In late morning I had another snack. This is one of the great things about this plan, you can eat a little more on one day by taking it off another. It all balances out as long as you only eat what is in the hamper and the exact extras you have been allocated. As I am not training tomorrow, I had a pack of oaty crisps (tomato and herb) and tomorrow will have no snack. For lunch I had Chorizo and Bean soup, and was pleasantly surprised that it was full of beans, not watery like I expected. I had a slice of toast with this. In the afternoon I had an orange and a yoghurt. I am going to use a yoghurt as one of my 100 calorie "upgrades" as I too need calcium due to high activity levels. For tea I had a delicious Beef in Black Velvet Porter. No idea what that is but it was very tasty. I had a portion of curly kale and one of asparagus. I topped up with 2 slices of bread.. Again I was surprisingly full after what seemed to be a smallish portion. I finished with a milkshake this evening, which should take my total to the right number of calories. How did I feel? Actually I have felt very satisfied all day, and have been surprised at that. The best thing is that the food so far was absolutely delicious. My friend reports similar experience and has felt fulfilled and enjoyed her food today. She had meatballs and green beans for tea and the same soup as me for lunch and enjoyed them both. One thing that needs to be considered is my actual intake. I wrote down everything I ate today and found that I have only taken in under 1500 calories. I have not included the bag of oat crisps that I "borrowed" from tomorrow. So why could this be an issue? Well as the people at Dietchef rightly say, it is not only a little dangerous, but also false economy to lose weight too quickly. If you eat less than the recommended amount then you will not lose fat but lean tissue (mainly muscle). This in turn makes it harder for you to maintain the weight loss in future. I worked out that the calories I was given in my pack worked out at 879 for today. That does seem slightly low given that it is supposed to be a 1500 per day plan - only 60% of your requirement is provided. All I should need to add to get up to 1500 calories is 250ml milk and 3 portions of fruit/veg. I then added in 600 calories myself in milk, bread, fruit and vegetables. This still leaves me 400 calories short for today. It may well be that this balances out over the week which is absolutely fine- it is not essential that you count every calorie every single day. However I will keep an eye on this over the week. Perhaps I made choices today that just happened to be lower in calories than the other options. Today I had: - Milk -250ml 90Kcal; Granola 40g -160 Kcal; Cocoa and Orange bar 131 Kcal; 1 slice bread -