10 lies women’s Health & Fitness magazines tell you!

Women’s magazines are lying to you!

In the run up to Christmas every year, health and fitness magazines go into overdrive with ridiculous headlines such as:

‘How to lose two stone in two weeks’

‘Get your 21 yr old body back’


‘Get little black dress ready in a week’

Obviously these headlines are there to grab your attention to sell magazines. Let me be honest with you: some things just won’t be achievable in a narrow time frame as these magazines would have you believe.

If you feel as though you’re not in great shape for Christmas party season, then please don’t fall for the stories in the glossy, photoshopped pages of health magazines.

These articles are not only false advertising but they can actually be quite damaging to your long-term health and body shape.

Ten lies the health and fitness magazine industry tells you

If it looks too good to be true, it’s probably airbrushed!


Take a look at the front cover of any of health and fitness magazine and inside artwork next time you’re at the news stand. They are without fail, decorated with a man or woman in perfect, almost impossible, physical shape. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that people don’t actually look like that when the photograph is taken! These photos have been Photoshopped and the magazines are duping you into believing people actually look that good. It creates a false reality, don’t be fooled. Even on Instagram, it’s possible to nip and tuck with a finger swipe – so don’t be fooled by flawless Instagram girls either.

One size fits all

The thing that frustrates me about these magazines is they offer ‘one size fits all’ solutions. Take a look back at the headlines I’ve written above. All of them are ludicrous as it is but they don’t make any allowance for people being DIFFERENT. Just as we all look different on the outside, we all function differently on the inside. Just because Jennifer Aniston looks amazing on the cabbage soup diet, doesn’t mean that you will too!

Quick Fix

Let’s assume ‘Lose two stone in two weeks’ really does work. What then? I’ll admit it is possible to lose a significant amount of weight in such a short period of time BUT there is a HUGE difference between weight loss and fat loss. Losing this much weight in such a short period of time often means losing a lot of body water and muscle mass. For a woman, losing muscle mass may sound like a good thing, but the reality is you need this muscle mass to give you shape and keep your metabolism high, without it you’re actually setting your body up to store more fat.

This is the reason why diets fail, you follow a massively restrictive diet for two weeks, and in doing so you put your body in a worse place, because your body is now less efficient at burning fat because you have less muscle mass as soon as you return to your normal eating pattern you’ll quickly put all of this weight back on and often a little bit more!

You need at least 30 days to make a lasting change. Don’t settle for quick fixes – go for long term sustainability.

Long, steady state, low intensity cardio is the biggest lie you’ve been sold over the last 20 years – it doesn’t work!

Cardio training

There are so many mixed messages out there about cardio training. My belief is that it can be good for you but only if performed correctly. The majority of health magazines will recommend ‘steady state’ cardio in which you perform the relevant exercise for long periods at a very low intensity. Put simply, this type of training doesn’t work and who really has 90 minutes per day to find time to exercise?! It’s best to go high intensity with your cardio for intervals, or, even better, try weights.

Spot training

Spot training is targeting very specific areas of your body. Sports scientists are in basic agreement that there is no such thing as spot fat reduction. And yet, these magazines continue to promote training protocols that offer to ‘shed to belly fat’ ‘lose your bingo wings’ or ‘lose your flabby butt’.  Whilst you can strengthen and tone the underlying muscles, your body has a pre-determined order in which it loses body fat, and sadly, you can’t play god. A long term plan with full body training and a continued healthy eating plan will always achieve the results that this type of training simply can’t.

Calorie restriction diets will just make you grumpy 

Calorie restriction diet 

Far too many diets in magazines are focussed on ‘calorie restriction’ rather than focussing on reducing inflammation and increasing ‘good calories’ such as quality proteins carbohydrates and fats. Obviously, you can’t just consume as many good calories as you want. But strict, calorie counting, diets have been done to death. They’ll leave you feeling tired and worn out and you’ll eventually give in to cravings. Eat a diet of real clean food that energises you and follow a progressive training programme in order to change your body shape.


A lot of these magazines suggest their programmes are ‘easy’: such as ‘try these 3 simple steps’, ‘learn the big secret to losing belly fat’. Nothing is ‘easy’ if it’s worth having. It doesn’t have to be crushingly difficult but let’s be honest, if you really want to make a change, it will not be easy.

‘Fad’ diets

The reason that magazines advertise fad diets is because they sell well. Usually, it’s the same old diet with a few simple tweaks here and there – rebranded, perhaps with a celebrity endorsement to gain a few extra sales! Don’t believe the hype of a new fad diet.


Be careful when these magazines talk about any kind of quote ‘expert’, sure: they’re called a ‘health and fitness expert’ but what has this person actually done to get that title? Usually nothing, they just like the idea of getting their name in a magazine! Only trust people that can back up their claims with qualifications and give their real name.

With incremental, sustainable progress you’ll get there.

No motivation to continue

A classic problem is starting a diet in a bubble of motivation and enthusiasm and then the bubble bursts, leaving the individual depleted and feeling like a failure. Most people think that motivation leads to action but it’s the other way round. Do one thing first, get motivated by your own mini successes and pretty soon you’ll have great momentum towards your goals.

I don’t believe in the promises of health and fitness magazines, what I do believe in is steady progress towards your dream physique. If you want to discover a nutrition programme that guarantees results and works for your specific needs in a safe and effective manner whilst really looking after your body – check out the Can DO Plan.

If you want to find out more, you can contact me directly here.

Running – A Physiotherapy Perspective – by Andre Le Leu

Personally, there is no better feeling then when I hit my ‘second wind’, I find myself drifting into a day dream, my breathing has finally steadied, and my legs seems to work without me thinking about it.  I feel free to glide through the rest of my run without that sense of pain or fatigue, then there is the euphoria which brings me back to running time after time.  The science, behind the ‘second wind phenomena’ comes when the body releases a large about of endorphins into the system in response to stress.  Endorphins are our bodies natural morphine supply, and yes we all crave them.  You can stimulate endorphin release in a number of ways such eating chocolate, taking a hot bath, or laughing with friends.  The ‘second wind’ phenomena however, gives you that double bonus of feeling great and pushing the body to work off that extra latte.


Here are some basic tips to optimise your running experience and hopefully reduce the risk of some of the more common injuries. The first bit is to target the calf complex and yes there are two muscles involved here, the soleus which helps us to balance and stand up all day and the gastrocnemius that helps us to sprint or jump.  A quick test to check the length of the calf muscle is to try a knee to wall test.


There should be no more than ½ an inch difference between the two legs. If there is a big difference then you need to work at stretching out the tight side, otherwise your stride may become uneven. 


Next for the hamstrings, these are a really important muscle group as they help us to stop quickly as well as improving rotational control of the knee.  A progressive strengthening program in the ‘off season’ has become the main-stay of most professional sports, so it must be useful for all of us to take time to train them up!


The final muscle group is the gluteus maximus (bum), this is the power house of the body and is critical to our ‘core stability’ and limb alignment. Not only does the glut stabilise the hip and spine but is also absorbs the impact energy from the feet hitting the pavement.  A quick test to check the balance and strength of the gluteus maximus is to perform a single leg hip thrust.  The effort and co-ordination of the movement should be the same on both legs, if one side is more difficult than the other then you can use this movement as a training exercise or seek professional advice.


By Andre Le Leu – Physiotherapist


Top Ten Habits of Healthy People

We’re on the countdown to the Christmas Party season. Somehow 2015 is nearly over, how has it been for you? If your goal at the start of the year was to achieve some amazing fitness goals, feel really good about yourself and look great naked let me explain how.


It’s easy to get lost in the various fad diets that appear on the market and confused by the latest fitness trends. The truth is that most diets DON’T work and most fitness programmes WILL work if they are just followed consistently.


The real key to achieving your goals is to create really good habits that can allow you to consistently perform at your best. Don’t be like everyone else and make some empty promises to yourself on 1st January, start getting into great habits now!


Here are ten great habits of healthy people…


1. Exercise
If we all moved a bit more then we’d all feel a lot better about ourselves! Don’t focus on the end goal, just start off with creating a routine. If you decide you’re going to run a marathon this year but the thought of getting started fills you with dread you’re probably going to give up on your goal quite quickly.

In an ideal world I would advise that you try to move in some way every day, but try this as a goal for this year…

I recommend that you aim for 150 workouts in 2015. Get to the gym or put on your running shoes three times EVERY week for the whole year and I guarantee you will be looking and feeling so much better in 12 months’ time!


2. Make a plan

Failing to plan is planning to fail!

Nothing happens until we decide it’s going to happen and if you make a commitment with yourself then you need to get in the habit of fulfilling that commitment each week.

Don’t see it as a chore. If you have a meeting with your boss at 9am every Monday morning then you know you have to show up. Make the appointments with yourself even more of a priority!


3. Get some sleep.

Sleep is vital to a healthy lifestyle. You can survive on four hours sleep per night but your body won’t thank you for it. Create an environment that will allow you to switch off: No television, no mobile phones, keeps the room dark and at a comfortable temperature and most importantly invest in a great bed, you spend a third of our life there, look forward to getting in it! In just a few weeks’ time you will be one of those really annoying bouncy early morning people! 😉


4. Meditate.
The thought of switching off from the outside world and switching in to you is one that scares most people. Just find a quiet place to relax and switch off your mind and focus on taking deep breaths for 5-10 minutes and it will allow you to switch from a re-active state to very proactive and in control person.


5. Listen to music.

Listening to your favourite artist or to a song that takes you to your “happy place” can really put a smile on your face, be an amazing stress reliever and also a great way to get you “in the zone” for your training sessions.


6. Get up early.

Make an appointment with yourself every morning. Don’t press the snooze button, get up, have a pint of water, have a high protein breakfast, go for a walk, take five minutes to plan a great day and head off to work with plenty of time to spare. I guarantee you will have an amazing day! Now imagine what you could achieve if you did this every day?!


7. Avoid alcohol.
After a stressful day the perfect way for most people to unwind is with a nice glass of wine, right? The odd glass now and then won’t do too much harm but binge drinking and a dependency on alcohol is a recipe for disaster. Love life, have fun, just don’t be dependent on anything to make you happy!


8. Laugh more.
Don’t take life too seriously, laughter really is the best medicine to unwind, de-stress and have fun. The therapeutic effects of a good giggle can decrease your stress hormones, increase your “feel good” endorphin levels and allow you to release your frustrations and boost your self-esteem. So dig out that comedy DVD or give your funniest friend a call.


9. Have sex!
There are many benefits to a good sex life. Having fun and really being in the moment with your other half is an incredible way to unwind. People who have a great sex life are happier and less stressed!


10. Act like a kid
Life was much less complicated when we were kids and sometimes we forget that just because we’ve grown up doesn’t mean we can’t still act like a kid! Work, relationships and even your training sessions can become tedious and dull quite easily. Make these things more fun, playful and enjoyable and you’ll get so much more from each of them!

Does Weight Training Make Women Bulky?

There are numerous myths and scare stories around the issue of female resistance training that cause most women to stay well away from the weights room in the gym through the fear of growing bulky muscles.


This simply won’t happen!


The truth is that women don’t have enough of the hormones in their body that allow for increased muscle mass. In fact they actually have 10 to 30 times less amounts of testosterone and human growth hormone than males.


In fact most male weight trainers will tell you that simply lifting weights isn’t going to guarantee instant muscle gain. It takes serious dedication, a precise and appropriate weight training programme, a strict and scientifically engineered diet complete with dietary supplementation and for a number of guys, chemical enhancement to see these results!


Muscle mass just won’t suddenly appear because you dare to lift weights. Unfortunately many women believe this myth and therefore miss out on all of the benefits that strength training offers.


Weight training is incredibly beneficial to women and my team of trainers and I incorporate some form of strength training element into all of our female client’s programmes. The down side is that YES, it may mean that your overall weight may go up but as I always say to my clients “is the number on those scales really important if you look and feel so much better?”


The bottom line is that muscle tissue weights more than fat. Therefore, as you increase your muscle tissue, your “weight” will increase.


However, here’s the good bit, Muscle is thermogenic which means that by having more of it this will increase your resting metabolism. The denser your muscle tissue, the more calories you will burn even at a complete rest. Those with dense muscles burn more calories by just engaging in their regular daily activities. In fact, research shows that for each pound of muscle earned, you will expend 35 to 50 more calories per day.


So, if you gain three pounds of muscle, you will burn 40 more calories per pound, which equates to 120 additional calories per day, which translates into 3,600 additional calories per month and ultimately results in a weight loss of 10 to 12 pounds in a single year.


Weight training is also an incredibly powerful weapon against osteoporosis, a disease characterised by low bone mass, leading to an increased susceptibility to fractures of the wrists, hips, and spine. About 3 million people in the UK have osteoporosis and every year more than 230,000 fractures occur because of it. In fact, statistics show that one in two women over the age of 50 will suffer from an osteoporosis-related fracture during their lifetime.


So maybe the question should be can we really live healthily without weight training?


For more information check out this link.

The Great Calorie Debate

You want to lose weight?


Just cut your calories right?


Or burn a few more in the gym??


This started off as a simple conversation in the studio earlier this week and soon turned in to a pretty heated debate! So we thought we’d share our view on why all calories aren’t created equally and how your body is just too smart to fall for this simple trick!…




In theory the calories in vs calories out debate works but the reality is your body is far too intelligent for this to work as a long term weight loss solution and there are a number of considerations you need to be aware of as to why following this simple equation won’t get you the results you desire.


The truth is your body is an amazing control centre that is monitoring and regulating constantly therefore the fewer calories you consume, the fewer calories your body burns.


There are around 3500 calories in a pound of fat. So if your goal is to lose 1 pound of fat per week simple maths tells us that if you simply reduce your calorie intake by 500 calories per day you’ll lose one pound of fat per week and you can just keep doing this until you hit your desired weight. Simple 




Well, NO


You’ll probably find that you lose a pound in the first week but less and less in subsequent weeks as your body adapts to this change and starts to literally run cooler to conserve the lower amount of calories you are now consuming – effectively increasing the value of each calorie!


It’s a tough job to outsmart the human body!
Here’s the even worse news…


The long term damage of this approach is that your body has now effectively lowered its Basal Metabolic rate – the amount energy expended daily at rest.

So, when you go back to your normal eating habits you easily put on the weight you’ve lost AND more!


This is the reason why most calorie restrictive diets don’t work as a long term solution and why most people go back to weight watchers time and time again.


My other problem with calorie counting is that All Calories Are Not Created Equally!
Simply put some of the things we eat are just not food! They are “food like substances!”


Real food or GOOD CALORIES, are those that supply energy to the body in an effective and efficient manner. They ensure that all of our bodily processes like hormone production, muscle growth and organ function develop and perform in the way that they should.


BAD CALORIES are those that stimulate excessive insulin levels (which is the real cause of fat storage and will be properly discussed in another blog post) they offer very little to the body except for fat accumulation and poor health.


So what do you do?


Here are a few simple tricks:


Don’t fall for marketing tricks! No matter how “Low Cal” it may be, if your body cannot use it, digest it and function optimally from consuming it your causing harm to your health and adding to that growing waist line!


Eat real food.


Our simple philosophy at All About You is that if it’s lived or come out of the ground it will benefit your body and you can pretty much eat as much as you like of these foods!


We are now offering nutrition and lifestyle consultations at the studio. If you like the sound of this and want to find out more, CONTACT US for more information.