The little book of nutrition tips

The little book of nutrition tips


Check out the summary of my new book here…

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London outdoor small group personal training

London outdoor small group personal training


In this video clip personal trainer Chris Hines and physiotherapists and nutritional therapist Steve Hines share a quick and easy workout that you can do with just a kettlebell to lose pounds of body fat. This type of workout is what Chris and Steve put their clients through in their London outdoor small group personal training classes as well as their Reading outdoor small group personal training classes.

Come along for a free week of outdoor small group personal training to see if these workouts are right for you…

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The little book of nutrition tips

Balance your blood sugar with protein, fat and carbohydrates at every meal and snack.

Blood sugar levels are very important for providing the energy we need to go about our daily activities. Blood sugar is defined as the amount of glucose that is in the blood at any one time. All carbohydrates that you consume are broken down into sugar called glucose, which then provide energy to your muscles, heart and brain.

Blood sugar levels should stay fairly steady through the day. However, problems arise when blood sugar levels fluctuate erratically. If blood sugar levels are continually high it may mean that the hormone insulin, which signals cells to absorb glucose may no longer work properly. If blood sugar levels are low or continually up and down this can lead to energy slumps, tiredness during the day or lunchtime dips, if blood sugar levels are particularly low it is known as hypoglycaemia where you can suffer from the shakes, cold sweats and light-headedness.

Here is an example of how poorly controlled blood sugar can affect you. You wake up in the morning and your blood sugar levels are low from overnight fasting. Ideally you eat a good breakfast and your blood sugar levels rise slowly. This causes a little insulin to be released from the pancreas and insulin knocks on the doors of the liver and muscle cells asking if they will take the sugar out of the blood and in to the cells. If you are active and walked or cycled to work the muscles and liver will love the sugar as they will need it for energy. As you burn off the blood sugar and blood sugar levels begin to fall it makes you feel a little hungry so you have a sensible snack and blood sugar gently rises again. Once again as blood sugar levels begin to rise insulin is released from the pancreas, which knocks on the doors of the liver and muscle cells. This cycle of sensible eating and well-controlled blood sugar continues throughout the day and you have sustained energy and feel well.

Consider now that if you eat a lot of sugar at breakfast (the the Standard English breakfast of cereal, sugar, milk, toast and jam and a coffee with more sugar) your blood sugar will go through the roof, this causes the pancreas to release a lot of insulin. You sit on the bus or in the car to work and the muscle and liver cells now tell the insulin they don’t need that sugar from the blood, as they are not burning it for energy. So now the insulin knocks on the fat cells door and the fat cells welcome that sugar with open arms and convert it to fat for storage.

Because you have released a lot of insulin in response to very high blood sugar most of the sugar in your blood has now been stored in the fat cells and your blood sugar is low. This causes your adrenal glands to release the stress hormones cortisol and adrenalin. These hormones mobilise fats and proteins to the liver where they are converted to blood sugar, raising blood sugar levels once more. As you also feel hungry you have a cup of tea and biscuit or chocolate bar and the blood sugar levels get really high again. As you are now sat at your desk at work being inactive the muscle and liver cells still don’t want the sugar and the fat cells mop it up again.

This cycle of high insulin putting blood sugar into the fat cells, followed by low blood sugar and stress hormone release continues throughout the day. By mid afternoon your blood sugar levels are in your boots, your energy lulls and you have a headache, feel sleepy or you’re just starting to get your sugar cravings. This insulin-cortisol see-saw is a sure fire way to get fat, get bad cholesterol scores and increase risk factors for certain disease.

Find out how to balance your blood sugar with protein, fats and carbs at each meal; find out how to choose healthy balanced breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks; find out healthy recipes and ideas and how to eliminate sugar from your diet with Steve Hines Little book of nutrition tips now is available at

Little book of nutrition tips
Little book of nutrition tips
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The Dreaded Saddle Bags…

The dreaded saddle bags

Having had a few conversations with my female boot camp, personal training and nutrition clients’ recently one issue that has been raised is the dreaded saddle bags – the body fat that sits under the buttock on the hamstrings and on the groin. I get asked “what can I do about this”, “what exercises can I do to burn this fat”. I often don’t have the time to go in to a detailed response to these questions so I thought I would write a blog post on it.

The first thing I would say is that there are no specific exercises that are going to burn the fat in those areas. Doing butt exercises, groin squeezes and hamstrings exercises will make those muscles stronger but they will not directly burn fat from those area. You see the deposition of fat in those areas is hormonally mediated (but more on that in a minute).

The exercises you can do burn fat in those areas is what is known as body comp work. This involves doing exercises that uses as much muscle as possible – basically whole body exercises. Another gem you need to know is that when you train you should be working so hard you get a build up of lactate in the muscle to point that that muscle is burning and you can barely move it any more. These types of training will often times make you feel a little nauseous. You should do this type of training for around 30-40 minutes for a good effect. This is the type of training we do at boot camp so just ask some of our regular customers what this involves but here is a sneak preview

The next thing you need to know and much more importantly is that these areas of body fat are hormonally mediated. Basically the more oestrogen you have in your body (either in total – or unopposed by other hormones such as progesterone) – the more fat you will store on the lower body. This doesn’t need to be the oestrogen that your ovaries produce 9as many menopausal women have saddle bags as well) but the oestrogen that is made in your fat cells and the oestrogen you come in to contact with through your environment.


Fat cells

Fat cells contain an enzyme called aromatase. Its job is to create oestrogen from testosterone. This mechanism is perfect for post menopausal females as fat cells and the adrenal glands produce oestrogen as the ovaries slow down production. However this mechanism goes awry when you are overweight. You basically have more fat cells with more aromatase activity releasing oestrogen in to your system. So the best thing you can do is lose weight and reduce the activity of aromatase.

The best way to lose weight is to eat a Palaeolithic style diet. The basic premise of this is so easy it’s insane. Before you eat a food ask yourself – “was this food around 10,000 years ago?” if you answer “yes” then eat it, if you answer “No” don’t eat it! For example was a chicken, nuts carrots or an apple around 10,000 years ago – yes so eat them. Was a doughnut, snickers, pasta or bread and jam around 10,000 years ago – no so don’t eat them. Eating Paleo means you basically eat protein in the way of meat, fish, seafood or poultry with lots of vegetables and snack on nuts, seeds and fruits. I have written on this before so read these blog posts

Low carb “Boot camp” for rapid weight loss

Staunch Paleo diet enforcers also suggest we avoid grains, legumes and dairy. I would be a little bit more moderate on this. I suggest avoiding all gluten containing grains (see below) and eating other grains like rice, corn, millet and quinoa infrequently.

Go gluten free

It is a good idea to avoid dairy if you are dairy intolerant, however if you are not intolerant probiotic yoghurts can be enjoyed. I would also not eat too many legumes – you may enjoy some humus of falafel from time to time but I would not eat soy products

The truth about Soy

The liver’s job is to detoxify chemicals that we come into contact with, and it also has to detoxify steroid hormones such as oestrogen. The liver has 3 ways to do this – through methylation, glururonidation and sulphation. Bear with me on this, but the take home point is to eat foods that provide you with a host of B vitamins (this is not grains – the best source of B vitamins is animal protein and vegetables), foods that contain sulphur (which is eggs, onions, leeks, garlic) and foods that contain glucuronic acid which is broccoli, apples and grapefruit.

There is another group of foods that are “super foods” for the liver packed full of indoles, sulphur and other nutrients that help oestrogen detoxification – cruciferous vegetables. These include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, radishes and chard. Watercress is also particularly good and is packed full on these nutrients. However these vegetables must be eaten raw or lightly steamed as boiling or microwaving them destroys all the active cancer killing nutrients.

Another area where women constantly fall down with their diet is that they don’t eat enough protein. Women MUST eat enough protein, especially vegetarians, as liver detoxification is also determined by amino acids not just vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Once again meat, fish, seafood and poultry provide amino acids – so doing things like juice fasts as a detox is a bad idea as juice does not contain any protein.


Take home point: Eat protein at every meal (yes including breakfast)  then fill up on cruciferous and other vegetables, which contain indoles and sulphurophane that detoxify oestrogen. Snack on fruits, nuts and seeds.

Healthy breakfasts

The high protein breakfast

Breakfast cereal = Junk Food


Chemicals in our environment

Unfortunately we are bombarded with chemicals in our environment such as our drinking water (traces of Prozac and the pill have been found in our water), pesticides, plastics, cosmetics, HRT and the pill and industrial chemicals and heavy metals. These xenoestrogens chemical shape is identical to the shape of bodies own oestrogen and can bind on to oestrogen receptors in the body. However these chemical oestrogens are much more powerful than our bodies own oestrogen and send the cells haywire. Here is a link to an extensive series of articles on the topic.

The growing tide of oestrogen related problems


Decrease sources of xenoestrogens

  • Filter your drinking water with a Britta filter.
  • Use a shower filter (Aki water filter).
  • Eliminate plastics by storing your food in parchment paper, glass jars and cook in stainless steel.
  • Eat organic food
  • Reduce medications (especially the pill – it depletes folic acid – consider the coil)
  • No spray / fake tans (yes I know you will hate this one, but do you want to be brown with fat legs for the rest of your life?)
  • Avoid parabens found in creams, shampoo, moisturisers, toothpaste, cosmetics and deodorant.



There are certain nutrients in supplement form that can help you get rid of the saddle bags as well. These include DIM, sulphurophane, calcium D glucurate and fibre. DIM and sulphurophane are concentrated extracts of the nutrients found in cruciferous vegetables, where as calcium D glucurate is a concentrated form of glucuronic acid found in apples, broccoli and grapefruit – it is not a form of calcium. You could also consider doing an oestrogen based nutritional cleanse

Rapid fat loss – a case study



  1. Do high intensity interval type exercise including using resistance equipment
  2. Lose weight. Eat protein at every meal (yes including breakfast) then fill up on cruciferous and other vegetables. Snack on fruits, nuts and seeds
  3. Decrease sources of xenoestrogens
  4. Use foods and supplements to detoxify oestrogens or do an oestrogen based cleanse
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The truth about soy part 2

Soy and cancer

One of the biggest arguments for the use of soy is that it protects against cancer. This is based on the fact that people in the Far East have lower rates of breast, prostate and colon cancer. However, this cannot be attributed solely the soy consumption and is likely also due to the higher consumption of fruit and vegetables, fish, green tea and nuts. What you are not told about though is that people in the Far East suffer more from oesophagus, stomach, thyroid, pancreas and liver cancer – this also cannot be solely attributed to soy consumption – but do not be fooled in to thinking soy is a panacea for cancer treatment. You see the use of soy that may save you from breast cancer may kill you from thyroid cancer.

Soy Isoflavones are also touted as having anti cancer properties. This again may be misleading. Soy Isoflavones in high therapeutic doses appear to anti-oestrogenic, however in lower dietary induced doses they appear to be oestrogenic and can stimulate cancer cell growth.

The use of soy in cancer management is complicated, inconsistent and inconclusive.

Other affects of soy

Soy food may act as natural birth control as if affects fertility, results in menstrual problems and reproductive disorders. You need to be soy free for 3 months before you normalise your LH and FSH again. Soy is also touted as a high protein food, but soy beans lack methionine, like all legumes and does not deliver a completed amino acid profile.

Should we eat soy?

If you are of Asian descent the use of a small amount of traditional soy may be warranted, however if you are of any other descent eating a little traditional soy such as going out to eat sushi will probably be quite enjoyable and will certainly not kill you if you do it infrequently, however AVOID PROCESSED SOY FOODS full stop – this includes tofu, soy milk, edemame, soy cheese, soy ice cream, textured vegetable protein and any food products containing any amount of soy.

For a more in depth analysis please read:

The Whole Soy Story by Kaayla T. Daniel from whom I have based this article.

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The truth about Soy

Contrary to what you may think or what you have been lead to believe soy foods were not widely eaten by the Orientals. Soy consumption may be somewhere from 9.3g to 36g a day in the Far East, with the average in Japan being only 18g a day.

Even the China Study written by staunch vegan diet advocate T. Colin Campbell reports that only 12g of legumes are consumed per day in China with only a third of that being soy. So when the soy industry tells you that soy foods have been part of the Eastern diet for over 5000 years bear in mind that this was only in very small amounts.

Also consider that they would have consumed traditional fermented soy products such as miso, tempeh and natto not soy milk, soy cheese, textured vegetable proteins added to burgers and sausages etc… The traditional soy foods undergo a time honoured and slow processing that removes the many toxins, anti nutrients and indigestible chemicals found in the soy beans. Modern processed soy foods contain all of these toxins.

These toxins include:

  • Protease inhibitors that inhibit the digestive enzymes trypsin, chymotrypsin and elastase. Fermentation of soy (as in traditional soy products) inactivates most of these, however soy milk and tofu still contain them. This can lead to pancreas hypertrophy and hyperplasia and possibly lead to pancreatic cancer.


  • Phytates that bind and carry minerals out of the body. Only soaking and fermenting break them down. Tofu, soy milk and soy protein carry most of their phytayes intake and can lead to anaemia, zinc deficiency and calcium deficiency.


  • Lectins that are indigestible and can lead to gastro instetinal damage and food intolerances. It is now widely believed in functional medicine that food intolerances contribute to autoimmune diseases.


  • Saponins that also damage the GI tract, act as protease inhibitors and are known goitrogens that can damage the thyroid. Only alcohol extraction removes them. Once again few saponins are found in traditional soy products.


  • Oxalates which decrease calcium absorption and may lead to the formation of kidney stones.


  • Manganese, which is an essential mineral, however soy beans contain quite a bit of manganese and if you over eat soy you can get manganese toxicity, especially in infants fed soy infant formula that may lead to brain damage.


  • Fluride which if consumed in excess is a neurotoxin.


  • Aluminium which is a metal that has no known health benefit in humans. The aluminium is taken up by the soy beans from the soil, during processing and from tap water used in food processing.
  • Phytoestrogens such as the Isoflavones genistein, daidzein and glyciein. These oestrogens can increase the oestrogen burden on the body and lead to health problems associated with excess oestrogen. Soy products also lower testosterone. 


  • Goitrogens that affect thyroid health and inhibit thyroid peroxidase – an enzyme essential for the formation of thyroid hormones.

Doesn’t sound such a miracle food after all, eh? Next i’ll discuss the biased and distorted views the soy industry will have us believe about soy and cancer.

Read The Whole Soy Story by Kaayla T. Daniel from whom I have based this article.

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The great Cholesterol lie!

This is a re-post from Dr Briffa’s excellent blog. I wanted to share this with you as I agree with the sentiment of the post. Here is the link and the text…

“Actuaries are individuals who use mathematics to assess, among other things, the financial impact of risk and uncertainty. Their critical analysis of data is an essential part of evaluating things like how much our we pay for our insurance premiums and what our pension contributions should be. I was recently made aware of a piece which appeared in the August 2011 edition of Actuary – the Magazine for the Actuarial Profession. Written by actuary Garth Lane and entitled Heart of the Matter, it deftly disassembles many of the cherished beliefs held by the medical profession that related to heart disease and its prevention [1].

Mr Lane starts by skewering original research conducted in the 1950s by epidemiologist Ancel Keys which purported to show a relationship between fat consumption and heart disease in a handful of countries. But as Mr Lane points out, this represented a ‘misuse’ of the data. When we look at the wider evidence available at the time, the supposed relationship between fat and heart disease simply disappears.

Subsequently, the focus was thrown on cholesterol-containing foods. But, as Mr Lane points out, in the late 1990s Ancel Keys himself admitted that “There’s no connection whatsoever between cholesterol in food and cholesterol in blood. And we’ve known that all along. Cholesterol in the diet doesn’t matter unless you happen to be a chicken or a rabbit.”

So, what is the relationship between cholesterol levels and heart disease? Mr Lane points our attention towards a study published in 2009 which measured supposedly unhealthy LDL-cholesterol in almost 137,000 individuals admitted to hospital with a heart attack [2]. 75 per cent of heart attack victims had LDL levels below the recommended threshold of 3.4 mmol/l (130 mg/dl). Yes, that’s right – the majority of people who have a heart attack have cholesterol levels their doctor would be proud of.

Mr Lane goes further when he refers to the fact that in ‘primary prevention’ (people without established cardiovascular disease), statins do not save lives. He also draws our attention to the risk of ‘probably under-reported’ side-effects including liver and muscle damage.

Here’s Mr Lane’s closing paragraph in full: “Statins are not the swallows heralding a summer free of heart disease for everyone. Arguably, if we do not insist on a proper answer to the question of what really causes heart disease then we may unduly medicate millions of people for little benefit at the danger of making a significant number of them seriously ill.”

I wholeheartedly agree with Mr Lane on this, and ask, how come he sees this but the vast majority of doctors don’t? Could part of the reason be that actuaries are trained to take a critical eye data, but we doctors are not (although, we think we are). And could another reason be something to do with money? Some elements of industry, at least in part to swell the coffers, will seemingly contort the evidence to convince doctors that statins are wonder drugs. Actuaries do work that has financial implications too, the difference being that decisions are based on more objective analysis of the facts.”


1. Lane G. Heart of the Matter. Actuary. August 2011;28-29

2. Sachdeva A, et al. Lipid levels in patients hospitalized with coronary artery disease: an analysis of 136,905 hospitalizations in Get With The Guidelines. Am Heart J. 2009;157(1):111-117

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7 secrets for weight loss

London nutritionist for weight loss Steve Hines shares his 7 secrets for successful weight loss. Tip – they are not what you think they are…

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Want to know how to live healthier and longer?

Want to know how to live healthier and longer?


London Nutritionist Steve Hines shares with you how to live healthier and longer through activating the SIRT 1 genes.

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London outdoor group personal training

London outdoor group personal training


Does the thought of outdoor group personal training appeal to you?

Many people going to the gym either find it boring or don’t get any results. Unless you hire a personal trainer which can be very expensive the chances are you won’t really know what to in the gym do to make your workouts fun and effective.

The other problem with joining a gym is the joining fees, expensive monthly payments, one year contracts and aggressive 3 month cancellation policy.  You see, when you join a gym you may be getting classes, the latest gym equipment, towels and soap in the showers, but that is it. You are paying to walk through the door and use the facilities – nothing more. If you want any further expertise such as a personal trainer then you have to pay more money, sometimes up to £50 an hour!

Nor do you get any nutrition advice (although many unqualified and unregulated personal trainers will claim that they provide nutrition advice), nor will you get any regular goal assessment and monitoring, motivation or accountability. You are basically left to your own devices to use the gym as the club’s sales team peruse the elusive targets of securing more sales and generating more members.

We also know for a fact that over 80% of gym members don’t get the result they’ve signed up for and the health club industry knows this too. What’s also astonishing is that 50% of a gym’s membership base is inactive at any one time! That means these people are paying for nothing. So it’s no wonder why people are leaving the gyms in droves and looking for better, more reliable and financially more viable options.

So what is the answer?  If you are looking for great workouts that produce results in a fun and sociable environment then outdoor group personal training might be for you.


Secrets that the gym goers don’t know

Manipulating hormones during exercise is one of the key elements to successful fat loss. Research has shown that doing resistance training, particularly when performed in a circuit as performed on an outdoor group personal training class, increases certain hormones such as testosterone, cortisol and growth hormone. The goal with this type of weight training circuit is to produce as much lactate as possible in the working muscles. When lactate builds up in your muscles you get that burning sensation as they quiver under the strain of hard exercise.

Lactate production is directly correlated to growth hormone production – so training hard to produce as much lactate as possible is a great way to burn fat. Here’s how it works. Lactate is an acid and as the lactate builds up in your muscles and blood your blood pH goes down (becoming more acidic). This causes your growth hormone production to go up. In the liver growth hormone is converted to a substance called insulin growth like factor 1 (IGF1) and this causes more fat to be burnt during exercise thus making you lose more body fat.

Blood lactate concentration is correlated to the amount and size of the muscles used during an exercise. Therefore using exercises that target a large group of muscles such as squats, kettle bell swings, walking lunges and many of the other exercises used in outdoor group personal training is much more effective for building up lactate than using an exercise that only uses a small amount of muscle mass such as wrist curls.

This type of resistance training is also much more effective than doing cardio for weight loss. Long slow cardio, like spending half an hour walking up hill on a treadmill (which may be effective for initial weight loss if you are extremely over weight, but that weight loss will soon plateau unless you change to another type of exercise) just taps in to your type 1 muscle fibres, these muscle fibres respond to this type of exercise by getting smaller and reducing androgen receptors. This also leaves your type 2 muscle fibres (that can be anything up to and above 50% of your muscle mass) completely unused. This is a disaster for weight loss! Imagine trying to fight a battle with only 50% of your army active – you are going to lose that battle. The same is true for weight loss.

Also consider this, go into any gym in the world and you will see most of the fat unfit people plodding along on the treadmill watching the TV of riding a bike whilst reading a magazine. If you can watch the TV or read whilst you are training you are wasting your time, you will not get any results, you do not belong in the gym and should go home and park your fat arse on your sofa and watch TV or read there!

What you need to do is resistance training as your primary form of exercise. Resistance exercise increases your muscle mass which will mean you burn more fat 24/7. It helps increase your bone mineral density. It improves your immune system. It improves your insulin sensitivity. And most importantly it helps you lose weight.

So if you want to weight loss results you should try the exercises in this video. Also consider joining an outdoor group personal training class such as that offered by PeakXVfitness. At a fraction of the price of gym membership and additional personal training we guarantee results.

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