5 Common Nutrition Mistakes

There are many misconceptions about healthy nutrition. Here are 5 common mistakes that people make.

Not eating enough protein

Protein means “of first importance” in Greek, so when you are choosing what to eat, first of all chose a good quality source of protein. Proteins are made of 20 different amino acids, some amino acids are essential – they must be consumed in the diet – whereas some are non-essential – your body can manufacture them. Amino acids and proteins are found in many foods. Meat, fish, seafood, dairy and eggs are primary sources of protein, but small amounts of protein are also found in grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and legumes.

Proteins are essential for building muscle tissue, collagen, bones, neurotransmitters, some hormones and for liver detoxification. Aim to eat good quality, lean and preferably organic sources of protein. It is recommended that we consume between 0.8-1.2g of protein per kg of bodyweight per day. So for example a 70kg man would need to eat up to 84g of protein. Most meat is roughly 22% protein so if you divide 84 by 0.22 it will equal the amount of “meat” you would need to eat to meet that protein requirement. In practice an average chicken breast is 170g chicken breast and would have around 37g of protein in it. A 70kg male would need to eat roughly 2 eggs for breakfast, a piece of fish for lunch and a piece of chicken for dinner to get the top end of protein they require on a daily basis. Obviously, more would be needed if you exercise as exercise damages muscles and more protein is required for muscle repair. In this case more protein can be gained by using protein shakes.

Evidence exists that high protein meals improved appetite and sense of fullness. Research published in the journal Obesity demonstrated that men eating a higher protein diet (25% of total calories) had less preoccupation with thoughts of food, and a decrease in late-night eating compared to men eating a normal protein diet (14% of total calories). So eating more protein is a great way to control your weight without thinking about cutting calories.

There is an argument that using protein shakes can be useful as a meal replacement and indeed research does suggest that whey protein shakes are better for weight management compared to using soy protein or carbohydrate shakes (Baer DJ, et al 2011). However, as demonstrated in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2011 eating a protein rich (38% of total energy) solid meal was better for appetite control and sense of fullness when compared to a protein rich (38% of total energy) liquid meal.

Being scared to eat fat

Unfortunately will still live in an era where we are scared to eat fat. Fat makes us fat and clogs our arteries. Therefore low fat products and egg white omelettes still prevail. However, fats are healthy for us. There are subclasses of fats called essential fats (omega 3 and omega 6 fats) that we need to get in our diet. We even need some of the dreaded saturated fat in our diet – just not too much. We get these essential fats from cold water fish, nuts, seeds and olive oil.

A study published in Diabetes Care examined the value of eating 75g of nuts (food rich in healthy fats) instead of a calorie equivalent muffin (muffins are often touted as a good breakfast food). A total of 117 type 2 diabetic subjects were randomised to one of three treatments for 3 months. One group received 75g of nuts, another group received a protein-fortified muffin, and the third group received half a serving of nuts with half a serving of muffin. The results showed that the group eating nuts had significant improvements in blood sugar management and serum lipids compared to the muffin and half nuts / half muffin group. This highlights the importance of sound nutrition and eating healthy protein and fats to help control your blood sugar, energy and sense of fullness.

Not eating breakfast

For whatever reason people still skip breakfast, perhaps because they are too busy to eat, don’t feel hungry or think that it can help them lose weight. The content of a healthy breakfast is debatable with the government and mass media promoting processed sugary foods as healthy.

Scientists at the University of Missouri used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the brain to identify whether breakfast consumption would alter neural activity in the regions of the brain that control appetite and satiety in a group of children. The researchers found that breakfast consumption led to better outcomes in terms of appetite control and sense of fullness compared to skipping breakfast. If you eat breakfast and stabilise your blood sugar better throughout the day you are less likely to consume excess calories and sugary snacks in between meals and make better food choices through the day. They also found that higher protein breakfasts were better than a normal cereal and milk based breakfast.

Over relying on Carbs for “energy”

Carbohydrate loading is a concept that both athletes and the general pubic know of. This is largely due to the marketing of carbohydrate based products such as whole grains, sugary snack foods and sports drinks being the champion or elite sports performance, and in some part to information passed on via successful ex-elite athletes extolling the virtues of the dietary regimens that propelled them to the top of their sport. The concept of carbohydrate loading improving performance has been so successful that people think they need to eat carbohydrate for day to day energy. However, your body can make energy from protein and fats as well as carbohydrates. Most people are unaware that we predominantly use fat as our main energy source at rest with only a small contribution coming from carbohydrate. It is only when we undertake intense bouts of exercise that carbohydrate becomes the main energy source. So unless you are exercising at a high intensity several times a week you don’t need to eat as much carbohydrate as you think.

The other mistake people make is that they need to get their carbohydrate in the form of bread, rice, pasta and potato. But there are so many other foods that are sources of carbohydrates such as vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, legumes and pulses. All of these foods should be consumed to provide carbohydrate not just starchy grains and potato.

In order to turn your food into energy it has to go through many chemical steps that require vitamin and mineral co factors. The process of breaking down carbohydrates to energy required a host of B vitamins, vitamin C, zinc, magnesium, iron, copper, selenium and CoQ10. Clearly these nutrients don’t just come from starchy grains and potato but from a balanced diet of meat, fish and seafood; vegeeables, nuts, seeds and fruit as well.

Counting calories

Deciding the best way to lose weight can often be a little tricky – the basic premise of taking in less calories and burning more calories in the form of exercise holds true but there are a couple of caveats. The Department of Health recommends a calorie intake of around 2000 calories per day for women and 2500 for men and there have been calls to increase these guidelines by another 400-500 calories. However these guidelines may be too high or people just do not follow them and eat too many calories considering the number of people that are overweight in the UK. If you eat fewer calories you should lose weight, however the type of calories consumed can also have an impact on weight loss.

Research from Harvard School of Public Health investigated what would happen to people who eat a 1500-calorie low fat diet (1800 calories for men) compared to an 1800-calorie low carb diet (2100 calorie for men). The findings were that the higher calorie low carb dieters lost more weight than the lower calorie low fat dieters. A third group was studied who consumed a 1500-calorie (1800 calories for men) low carb diet and these people lost the most weight.

Another study looked at people on a calorie matched low carbohydrate or low fat diet, the food ratios were as follows:

• Low-fat: 60:20:20 (carbohydrate:fat:protein)
• Lower-carb: 45:35:20 (carbohydrate:fat:protein)

Women eating the low carb diet lost an average of 3.4 lbs (1.5 kg) more than the women eating the low fat diet (an average of 19.6 lbs v 16.2 lbs). Even the low carb diet was still fairly high in carbohydrates and could have been reduced further to maximise weight loss.
This would suggest that lower carb diets are better for weight management that low fat diets, but calories also need to be accounted for.


  • Avoid these common mistakes and make sure you…
  • Eat more healthy proteins such as lean meats and oily fish.
  • Eat breakfast every day. Eat eggs, fruit and yoghurt or porridge.
  • Eat healthy fats such as fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, avocado and olive oil.
    Cut back on the starchy carbs for energy, you don’t need as much as you think. Instead eat more vegetables.
  •  Be aware of the calories you eat but don’t count them religiously.



Baer DJ, et al. Whey protein but not soy protein supplementation alters body weight and composition in free-living overweight and obese adults. Journal of Nutrition. 2011; 141(8):1489-94

Greene, P. Willett, W. Devecis, J. and Skaf, A. (2003). Pilot 12-week feeding weight-loss comparisons: low-fat vs low-carbohydrate (ketogenic) diets. Obesity Research. 11(suppl): A23.

Leidy H. J, Bales-Voelker LI, Harris CT. A protein-rich beverage consumed as a breakfast meal leads to weaker appetitive and dietary responses v. a protein-rich solid breakfast meal in adolescents. British Journal of Nutrition. 2011 Jul;106(1):37-41. Epub 2011 Feb 15.

Leidy H. J, Lepping, R. J, Savage, C. R. And Harris, C. T (2011). Neural Responses to Visual Food Stimuli After a Normal vs. Higher Protein Breakfast in Breakfast-Skipping Teens: A Pilot fMRI Study. Obesity, 19, (10), 2019–2025.

Leidy HJ, Tang M, Armstrong CL, Martin CB, Campbell WW. (2011). The effects of consuming frequent, higher protein meals on appetite and satiety during weight loss in overweight/obese men. Obesity, 9 (4):818-24. Epub 2010 Sep 16.

Sandercock, G. R. H. Voss, C. and Dye, L. (2010) Associations between habitual school-day breakfast consumption, body mass index, physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness in English schoolchildren. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 64, 1086-1092 (October 2010) | doi:10.1038/ejcn.2010.145

The Endocrine Society. “Cutting Carbs Is More Effective Than Low-Fat Diet for Insulin-Resistant Women, Study Finds.” ScienceDaily 21 June 2010. 7 July 2010 <http://www.sciencedaily.com¬ /releases/2010/06/100619173919.htm>.

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Wandsworth Nutritional Therapist

Wandsworth nutritional therapist explains why you should eat organic food to prevent insulin resistance. There tends to be quite a debate about the pros and cons of organic food. Some research studies come out claiming organic food is healthier in terms of nutrient density compared to no organic food. For example The Soil Association’s document “organic farming, food quality and human health report” concluded that the evidence supports the hypothesis that organically grown crops are significantly different in terms of food safety, nutritional content and nutritional value from those produced by non-organic farming and recommends that consumers wishing to improve their intake of minerals, vitamin C and antioxidant phytonutrients while reducing their exposure to potentially harmful pesticide residues, nitrates, genetically modified organisms and artificial additives used in food processing should, wherever possible, choose organically produced food.


However other research claims that organic food is not healthier than nonorganic food, see here for more on this.


What seems to be missed in the debate on organic versus non-organic food is the irrefutable fact that most non-organic foods are covered in a chemical cocktail of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. There are over 400 chemicals licensed to be sprayed on crops throughout the UK, often times in combination. A field of wheat can be sprayed up to 8 times from the time it’s sown to the times it’s harvested with multiple chemicals. What we are starting to realise is that these chemicals are a leading cause of insulin resistance, obesity and diabetes.


There is now a huge body of evidence that links persistent organic pollutants (POPs) to diabetes. A study in 2006 study found a “striking” dose response relationships between six POPs and the prevalence of diabetes in U.S. adults. The higher the levels of these POPs found in their blood, the higher the prevalence of diabetes. In a follow up study published by the same authors PCBs and organochlorine pesticides were the most strongly associated with the prevalence of diabetes.


The mechanism behind the link between pesticides and diabetes is as follows. These PCBs and organochlorine pesticides are similar in chemical structure to your body’s own oestrogen. Therefore they are capable of mimicking oestrogen in the body and binding on to oestrogen receptors on cell membranes.


We now know that the beta cells in the pancreas that release insulin have oestrogen receptors on them. These beta cells can become stimulated by the widespread environmental contamination of pesticides leading to increased insulin secretion with or without the presence of sugar in the blood and leading poor blood glucose maintenance.  If you have constantly high insulin levels the cells become insulin resistant and you can develop diabetes or become obese.


Now earlier I stated that most non-organic foods are covered in these chemicals and in my Wandsworth nutritional therapist 12 week nutritional therapy programme I help my clients decide which food they can buy organic and which they can buy non-organic. The Environmental working group have published a list called the dirty dozen. This is a list of 12 foods that are most contaminated with pesticides and definitely should be avoided unless they are organic. These include:


  • Celery
  • Peaches
  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Nectarines
  • Peppers
  • Spinach, kale and collard greens
  • Cherries
  • Potatoes
  • Imported grapes
  • Lettuce


They also published a list called the clean 15 – this is a list of foods that had the least amount of detectable pesticides on them. The Clean 15 include:

  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupe melon
  • Aubergine
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Mango
  • Onions
  • Pineapples
  • Sweet corn
  • Onions
  • Sweet peas
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Watermelon


Some evidence from the past


The Haughley Experiment was the first scientific comparative study of organic farming and conventional chemical-based farming, started in 1939 by Lady Eve Balfour. In the book “The Haughley Experiment” you can find a reference to a school in New Zealand who began farming their own organic food. They had a noticeable reduction in children reporting to the school nurse and a significant reduction in injuries among rugby players, particularly ligament injuries.


So not only does eating organic foods protect us from consuming chemicals that may lead us to be overweight and obsess or develop diabetes, they may also protect our bodies from illness and injury. Bob Rakowski sums it up nicely when he suggests that if you are not buying organic food you are supporting and industry that is poisoning every man, women and child on the planet.


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Lose Your Muffin Top for Good

Lose your muffin top for good. The unsightly bulge of fat that sits around the waistband and hangs over your jeans like the crust of a muffin that overhangs the cup cake is aptly named the muffin top. It is the scourge of anyone who wants to wear hipsters, a low slung belt or who just wants to look good in skinny jeans. However this particular area of fat storage is down to poor regulation of your blood sugar and the hormone insulin. Once you get these under control you will start to lose fat from this unsightly area.

The first thing you can do is to control your blood sugar. The best way to do this is to eat a low glycemic load diet. This involves consuming healthy protein (such as meat, fish, seafood, poultry and eggs) and fats (such as nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocados, oily fish and coconut oil) with low glycemic load fruits, vegetables, grain and legumes.

The glycemic load is a system of classifying carbohydrate containing foods by how quickly the carbohydrate is released into the blood stream. The GL system scores foods as low GL that are less than 10, moderate GL that are 11-20 and high GL as anything over 20.

It is beyond the scope of this article to outline the GL of all carbohydrate containing foods, but a general rule is that thin skinned fruits such as berries, apples, pears and plums and green leafy vegetables are all low GL. Things like potatoes, bread and whole grains are moderate GL and all processed foods such as sugar, sweats, chocolates and white grains are high GL. This may be a bit of an over simplification but you will certainly start losing weight if you eat lean protein and healthy fats with mainly low GL food, a little moderate GL food and no high GL foods. See here for more on the GL of foods.

A good way to bust through a plateau of weight loss and start melting away the muffin top is to do a 2 week low carb boot camp as used by Steve Hines in his nutritionist for weight loss programme:

2-week boot camp phase

The boot camp phase is a higher protein, lower carbohydrate diet. It forms the foundation of how you should eat to initially lose weight and then – with certain foods added back in for a fuller varied diet – maintain a healthy weight.

This type of “low carb” boot camp phase is the staple of many successful weight loss programmes including, but not exclusively:

• Anne Louise Gittleman – Fat Flush plan
• Charles Poliquin – BioSignature
• Patrick Holford – The low GL diet

I have taken different things from the above named programmes as well as from the likes of Jonny Bowden and Mauro Di Pasquale to create the following 2-week bootcamp.

After the initial two weeks other foods can be added back to the diet to make it a more balanced diet to meet all your nutritional needs.

Number 1: Protein in Greek means “of first importance” so make sure your first choice in a meal is a good quality portion of protein. Once you have worked out your daily protein requirement simply divided this by 3 or 5 (depending on whether you eat 3 or 5 meals a day) and eat that amount of protein at each meal.


Protein requirement = 550g per day
• Breakfast: 120g
• Snack: 40g
• Lunch: 150g
• Snack: 40g
• Dinner: 200g

Weigh your protein after it has been cooked to make sure you are getting the right amount at each meal. Make sure to eat quality organic meat and fish to avoid oestrogens, growth hormones, antibiotics and pesticides stored in animal fat.

Number 2: For 14 days eat a 100% strict LOW carbohydrate diet (this means NO alcohol, grains, fruits, dairy, starchy vegetables etc…) except:

• Artichokes, avocado (1 a day), asparagus, aubergine, bamboo shoots, beetroot greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, raw carrots, celery, chard, collards, courgette, cucumber, fennel, green beans, kale, lettuce leaves (all types), mushrooms, olives (3 a day), onions, parsley, peas, peppers, radishes, sauerkraut, spinach, tomatoes, turnips, water chestnuts and watercress.

You can eat as much of these fibrous carbohydrates a day as you can as they are in low carbohydrate content, high in fibre, rich in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients and they cause only a little insulin to be released. Aim for 4-5 servings of these vegetables a day. Fibrous carbohydrates DO NOT include any grains, breads or starches – only the vegetables on the list above.

You can also eat:

• 2 eggs a day
• 2-3 servings a day of nuts or 2 tablespoons of nut butter
• Lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, horseradish and pickles.
• Ginger, garlic, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, turmeric, basil, thyme, oregano, black pepper, sage, cardamom etc…
• Butter, olive oil, walnut, avocado and sesame oil.

Here’s an example of how to do it for a 75 kg male:

Breakfast: 7am
100g salmon, 6-10 nuts, black coffee and water.

Mid morning snack: 10am
Large Romaine lettuce leaves, 50g of sliced beef, horseradish – crepes.

Lunch: 1pm
170g chicken breast with mixed leaf salad, tomato, ½ avocado, radishes and 1 tbsp olive oil.

Mid afternoon snack: 3:30pm
Crudités of carrot, pepper and courgette with 50g of prawns

Dinner: 7pm
150g steak, steamed broccoli, cauliflower and a small slice of butter to season the vegetables

1.5 l of water throughout the day
2 cups of green tea

As I said at the end of the 2 weeks slowly add back other foods for a varied diet, start with thin skinned fruits- adding back 1-2 servings a day for a week or two, then try sweet potato, humus or whole grain rice. The key is to eat small amounts of these carbohydrates making vegetables the centre of your carbohydrate content of a meal.


Certain supplements have an effect on lowering insulin production or making you more sensitive to insulin. Here are some examples:

• 2-3 g of fish oil with every meal
• Multivitamin and mineral 1 a day
• Cinnamon
• Chromium
• Fenugreek

So when you eat a low carb diet to control insulin and re-sensitise your cells to insulin with certain supplements you’ll soon melt away that muffin top.

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What are nutritional supplements

We have launched Steve”s new book on kindle

What are


Plus you can also get the little book of nutrition tips as well…






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3 Ways to a Flat Tummy – Guaranteed.

Having a washboard tummy everyone’s dream. Being able to fit into those skinny jeans and actually be able to button them up or looking in the mirror to admire the ripples of muscle on that six pack is not such a distant a dream as you may think. These 3 tips are a sure-fire way to get a flat tummy – guaranteed.


Number 1: Reduce and remove your food intolerances


Food allergy and food intolerances are becoming more widely recognised amongst nutritional and conventional medical practitioners. Up to 2% of the population may suffer from food allergies, which can be quite a serious condition, such as a child having an allergy to nuts. As for food intolerances, well anywhere up to 45% of the population may suffer from them. A food intolerance is considered to be less severe than a food allergy, and can manifest as low grade “silent inflammation” with sub clinical symptoms such as brain fog, irritable bowel, headaches or low energy. One of things that food intolerance can do is cause bloating and this is the worst thing that can happen if you want a flat tummy.


These food intolerances may also create no outward symptoms at all but can be creating havoc on the inside. Research from the Clinical Institute of Medical and Chemical Laboratory Diagnostics in Austria have shown that obese children have significantly higher IgG antibodies against certain foods than normal weight children. So these food intolerances can be involved in the development of obesity and atherosclerosis.


The most common food intolerances are wheat, gluten, cow’s milk, eggs, soy and yeast. These are found in bread, pasta, bakery products, dairy products and soy products. If you can’t afford a food intolerance test (as they can be between £170 and £265) then you can do an elimination diet.


For 2 weeks eliminate all potential food intolerances and just eat the following foods:


– all meat, seafood, poultry and fish (except tuna, and swordfish) as your source of protein. Combine these protein sources with unlimited amounts of vegetables such as artichokes, avocado (1 a day), asparagus, aubergine, bamboo shoots, beetroot greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, raw carrots, celery, chard, collards, courgette, cucumber, fennel, green beans, kale, lettuce leaves (all types), mushrooms, olives (3 a day), onions, parsley, peas, peppers, radishes, sauerkraut, spinach, tomatoes, turnips, water chestnuts and watercress. During this 2 weeks don’t eat grains, dairy, starchy vegetables or drink alcohol. This will help your immune system to calm down, it will allow your gut to heal and you will also lose a little weight.


After the initial 2 weeks of food elimination try introducing some of the foods that you have been avoiding back in to the diet one at a time each week over the course of a couple of months and see which foods may any of your symptoms return. For example for one week slowly add pasta and bread back into your diet. If you start getting bloated again or your IBS returns you can be pretty sure that you are gluten intolerant, and if you don’t avoid it you won’t have a flat tummy.


Number 2: Stress


Stress comes in many forms be it a stressful day at work where you are constantly answering the phone or can’t keep up with all the e-mails you are getting; you are in meeting all day or you have that deadline to meet and you have not quite done enough work for it yet – arghhhh! It can come from being stuck in traffic, or arguing with you husband and kids, however it can also be from eating poor foods, not getting enough sleep, light or exercise or worrying about money etc…

Regardless of what type of stress you are under today your body responds in the same way as if you were alive 10,000 years ago and under stress running from a tiger – you release adrenalin (which increases you heart rate and blood pressure) and you release cortisol. Now this survival mechanism that has evolved in us over 1000’s of years is perfectly adapted for running from a tiger, but not well adapted to modern stress.


Unfortunately if you are under stress and release more cortisol through the day many things can happen. Cortisol can shrink and age your brain, it can waste away your bones and muscles and it can cause you to store fat on your tummy. Research has now confirmed that women who suffer more stress have more fat on their tummy – which is a disaster if you want a guaranteed flat tummy.

So what can you do? Eat regular meals and snack to balance your blood sugar, eat foods rich in magnesium like greens, vitamin C such as peppers, kiwi and oranges and foods rich in B vitamins such as meat and fish. These nutrients help protect your body from the effects of stress. Also get adequate sleep to rest and repair and remember to take some time for yourself to relax like going for a walk or going for a massage.


Number 3: Whole body exercise – not just core conditioning


To get that washboard tummy you need to exercise. You may have heard you need to train your abs to get that flatter tummy, however, beware as this is not the best way to do it! Lying on the floor doing abs crunches and Pilates is not effective for weight loss. There is no direct link from the fat cell to the muscle cell, so doing crunches will not burn tummy fat. The best exercises that create large activation in abdominal muscles are squats, dead lifts and chin ups anyway! Of course if you add in some crunches or Pilates at the end of your workout for fun / variety – go for it but make proper weight training the focus of your session.


What you need to do is this: You need to lift weights and do interval training. Yes even you girls need to do lift weights; this will not turn you in to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Weight lifting builds muscle tissue and muscle is your friend. It makes you more sensitive to insulin (which is good) and gives you more metabolically active tissue that can burn fat 24/7. As I’ve said doing squats, lunges, dead lifts, chip ups and other large compound exercises are your friend when it comes to a flatter tumm.


You also need to do interval training. This is different to steady state cardio such as going for a half hour run. Instead you run hard for a period of time, say 1 minute after which you walk or jog for say 1-2 minutes and repeat this for up to 20 minutes (if you can do more than 20 minutes you are either very fit – or you are not exercising hard enough). This type of training is great for increasing post work out EPOC and for raising your metabolism- which means you burn fat for hours after you have finished training.

So there you have it put these 3 tips into practice for a guaranteed flatter tummy.


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London nutritionist food myths 12 – Soy

London nutritionist Steve Hines shares his thoughts on Soy foods. They are not as healthy as you think.


To learn more about healthy eating contact Steve Hines for a consultation.


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Residential bootcamp May 2012 Bisham Abbey

PeakXVfitness residential brochure

So we are running our inaugural residential bootcamp May 25th- May 27th at Bisham Abbey. We have had a few requests for a non residential day rate. We can offer you the 3 days for a non-residential rate of £249 (that includes only lunch and the workouts on all three days).

Places are limited so make sure you book your place by signing up at our LONDON bootcamp page and paying a non-refundable deposit of £87. It’s on a first come first served basis and a number of places have already been snapped up – so act now.

Click here and scroll down to the bottom to make payment…

There is going to be lots of great workouts, nutrition lectures are we guarantee you’ll have a great time.

Kind regards,

Steve and Chris

P.S here is the link again; act now to book your place…

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Residential bootcamp May 2012

We are delighted to confirm Friday May 25th till Sunday May 27th as our inaugural Residential Bootcamp at Bisham Abbey http://www.bishamabbeynsc.co.uk/.

Here is the brochure PeakXVfitness residential brochure

Places are limited, but we currently have available a mixture of twin and single rooms – some en-suite, the others are shared bathroom. Requests can be made for single or twin occupancy (friend or partner) but room allocation will be sorted out on arrival. Prices include food, accommodation and activities for the weekend. There is free parking on site.

We will structure the weekend so that you arrive for a 9am start on the Friday and leave by 5pm on the Sunday. The weekend will consist of are usual great workouts, both in the on site gym and outdoors, lectures on health and nutrition, body fat measures and BioSignature plans to take away plus we guarantee lots of fun…

The cost for this weekend is £337 and it will be on a first come first served basis as we had over 100 people show interest from the Survey monkey questionnaire.

To secure your spot we need a non-refundable deposit of £87 that can be paid through our LONDON bootcamp website http://www.peakxvfitness.com/bootcamps-london (please confirm with an e-mail that you have paid – (steve@peakxvfitness.com) steve (at) peakxvfitness (dot) com). The remainder of the fee must be taken in full by the 15th May.

So who’s in??????

To find out more read this PeakXVfitness residential brochure

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4 Sneaky Hormones That Are Ruining Your Fat Burning!

4 Sneaky Hormones That Are Ruining Your Fat Burning! Much has been spoken recently about the importance of hormones in fat burning and there are all sorts of pills and potions that claim to be able to manipulate hormones to improve fat burning but in this article we want to look into the four key hormones that influence fat burning and weight loss. This will give you all the information you need to make informed choices when it comes to food and activity.

Whether you’re on a diet or are taking part in vigorous exercise this information will be critical to your success. The two main hormones we’ll look at first are insulin and cortisol and  we’ll show you how they synergistically work to mess up your weight loss efforts. After that we’re going to describe the functions of two little known hormones – leptin and grehlin.



Many of you will have heard of the hormone insulin, perhaps some of you know a person with type 1 diabetes who has to inject insulin many times a day to keep their blood sugar stable, or perhaps you may be or know a person with type 2 diabetes who has been told they have high levels of insulin or that they have insulin resistance.

But what actually is insulin and what does it do?

Insulin is a peptide hormone released from the pancreas in response to food being eaten. Insulin’s job is to carry the breakdown products of carbohydrate digestion – namely glucose – into the cells to be used for energy. Insulin also carries the breakdown products of protein digestion – namely amino acids – into the cells for a number of functions including protein synthesis. It seems that the breakdown product of fats in the diet – namely free fatty acids – do not have an effect on insulin. Insulin can communicate with all manner of cells in the body; muscle cells, brain cells, liver cells and fat cells telling them to take in glucose and amino acids. This mechanism works perfectly if there is a good balance of protein, fats and carbohydrates in the diet. The problem arises when there is excess carbohydrate in the diet, especially carbohydrates that release their glucose very quickly, which leads to sharp rises in blood glucose levels. Once the liver and muscle cells are full of the sugar they need insulin can no longer have an effect, however the fat cells happily take up the remaining sugar from the blood stream and an interesting thing happens. The glucose in the fats cells is metabolised to a substance called glycerol 3 phosphate, which in turn can be converted to triglycerides, essentially turning sugar in to fat.

When there is insulin floating around in the blood stream you body shuts off lipolysis – the signals to burn fat. You see you can’t burn fat and store sugar at the same time; you can only do one or the other. So keep your insulin low and your fat burning turned on. This is vitally important for anyone who wants to reduce their body fat to understand as without dietary modification fat loss will be futile. Seek a nutrition consultation.



Stress is a major cause of weight gain. We tend to eat more when we are stressed and use food as comfort, particularly sweet sugary foods. Stress comes in many forms – food intolerances, alcohol consumption, financial stress, relationship stress, mental emotional stress, poor blood sugar regulation etc… When you are stressed you release the stress hormone cortisol. One job of cortisol is to raise blood sugar by releasing fats and protein that are sent to the liver and converted to glucose, however if this glucose is not used (as most of us are inactive when we are stressed such as at work or sitting in traffic) it gets re-stored as fat – particularly visceral fat that accumulates around the organs. Research has shown that stress leads to the accumulation of fat stored on the tummy area. So if you want to lose some weight, you are going to need to de-stress. As you can see both insulin and cortisol work together to keep you fat particularly if you’re stressed and eat poorly. This is why it’s vitally important to eat right, exercise and reduce the stress in your life to get these sneaky hormones on your team.


Leptin and grehlin

Two hormones called leptin and grehlin are important in weight control. Leptin is produced from white adipose tissue and from cells in the stomach. As you eat leptin rises and tells the brain that you are full and you stop eating. However, with conditions such as over eating and obesity leptin levels can become extremely high leading to leptin resistance, a condition much like insulin resistance, where lots of leptin is in the blood but your brain doesn’t respond to it any more. Therefore you don’t feel full and carry on over eating. Increased leptin also causes increased insulin production and can exacerbate insulin resistance, high blood sugar and the accumulation of more fat.

Grehlin on the other hand stimulates hunger, increases food intake and increases fat mass. It is produced in the stomach, the pancreas and hypothalamic arcuate nucleus in the brain. We know from research that inadequate sleep is associated with high levels of grehlin and leads to increased appetite and overeating, thus getting adequate sleep is essential for weight control. So get plenty of sleep and don’t over eat to control leptin and grehlin.

In summary, to offset the downside of these very powerful hormones you need to eat a good mixture of foods from protein, carbohydrate and fat sources. Taking up a good fat burning exercise programme that decreases insulin resistance coupled with good stress reduction measures should allow your body to effectively shed body fat at a safe and sensible rate. If you’re interested in finding out precisely how to do this check out this great online resource from our website:


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Get fish into your diet

Get fish into your diet

Expert Nutritional Therapist Steve Hines shares how he gets fish into his diet.

As an island nation surrounded by the sea and it’s rich produce you would think we

would be a nation of seafood lovers, however the palate of the British nation doesn’t

extend much beyond fish fingers, cod and chips and tinned tuna. This may in part

be due to the lost art of preparing and cooking seafood or to the fact that people

claim they don’t like fish. But it needn’t be this way. With a little bit of imagination

you can make fish and seafood taste delicious and it takes no time at all to cook.

If you take a trip down to your local fish monger you will see a whole host of

different produce and expanding your horizons beyond cod and tuna can reignite

your interest in this delicious food.


Look out for oily fish such as mackerel, sardines, trout, pilchards, herring as well as

salmon. Mackerel for instance is quite cheap, and trout is a cheaper alternative to

salmon. For white fish look out for pollock, sea bass, sea bream, gurnard as well as

cod and haddock. Some other types of fish such as pangasius, snapper, tilapia are

also becoming popular and can be bought at the fish monger. Then of course there

is seafood such as mussels, prawns, crab and cockles.


Fresh fish is always better but eating some tinned fish now and then is also a good

way to get more of this food into your diet. For instance as well as tinned tuna

tinned mackerel, sardines, pilchards and salmon can also be bought quite cheaply

in the supermarket


If you don’t know what to do with fish just try one of these simple recipes.


Mackerel pate

 Expert nutritional therapist Steve Hines shares how to get fish into your diet










Drain then empty a tin of mackerel into a bowel; add a dash of olive oil, some

smoked paprika, salt and pepper and blend together with a hand held food

processor (or mush together with a fork). Spread over two rice cakes for a delicious



Baked salmon with roasted vegetables

 Expert Nutritional therpaist Steve Hines shares how to get fish into the diet









Cover the salmon fillet in sesame seeds and set aside. Chop up some Mediterranean

vegetables such as courgette, aubergine, peppers and onions and roast them in

olive oil, garlic, chilli and thyme for 30 minutes or so. For the last 12-15 minutes of

the vegetables cooking throw the salmon in the oven and serve the salmon on a bed

of the vegetables.


Fish parcels


Use Pollock, sea bream, gurnard or mackerel. For a Mediterranean flavour place

the fish on a base of fennel in tin foil, add a dash of olive oil, some thyme and oregano

and some lemon juice. Fold up the parcel and place in the oven for 15 minutes at

180 degrees Celsius. Serve with a garden salad, chopped tomatoes and olives. For an

oriental flavour add the fish to a base of chopped chillies, ginger, garlic and lemon

grass, add a dash of sesame oil and tamari sauce and cook. Serve with whole grain

rice and some steamed bok choy.


Fish and chips


Dice up some potato or sweet potato into wedges (leave the skin on) and par boil

for 10 minutes, then toss them in oil or butter and place in a hot oven for 20-30

minutes until cooked and crisp on the outside. In the mean time take some white

fish like sea bass or pangasius, season with salt and pepper, bay leaves and a sprig

of thyme and steam bake (place some water in the bottom of the baking tray and

cover with foil) for 15-20 minutes. Serve with the potatoes and some tinned mushy



Welsh mussels


Dice up an onion and a leek and sweat down in some butter. Chop up some smoked

bacon back and add to the onion and leeks. Finally throw in your mussels and cover

until the mussels open and then serve. Throw away any mussels that have not



Squid salad


Chop up some squid and fry it off in some olive oil with chilli flakes, garlic, salt and

pepper. Serve on a bed of mixed salad.


There you go, quick simple and delicious seafood in less than 30 minutes

(often times 15-20 minutes). See below why nutritional therapist Steve Hines believes

we should be eating more protein like fish.





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