High Protein diets – are they any good for us?

Are protein diets good for us? Everyone raves about the Atkins diet/protein diets, so why are they so bad for us?

Let’s look at the benefits of Protein and the important role within our body.

Protein enables us to carry out its unique function of building and repairing body issues such as the

•formation of skin and hair
•Forms fibrous connective tissue found in the bones, muscle and cartilage.
•Transports oxygen around the body via blood
•Provides protection from bacteria and viruses.
•Stores oxygen in the muscles.

We require 10-15% of calories from protein which isn’t as much as you may think. On average, we consume around 17% per day which is slightly over the recommended guidelines.

Sources of good protein

We can obtain protein from two sources, Animal and plant protein.
When choosing animal protein, ensure that this is low in fat

•Chicken •Soya
•Low fat mince •Vegetables
•Eggs •Nuts
•Fish •Seeds
•Diary products •Beans and pulses

In a normal condition, your body burns carbohydrates for calories, however in the case of high protein diet with a low carb, your body tries to obtain calories from your fat stores. Thus your fat largely from your belly, thighs becomes the energy stores of your body.

High Protein diets – Should you consume these types of diets?

High protein diets are one of the best resources when you are looking to lose weight fast, however, high protein diets results in 30 to 40 percent of calories from protein which is not suitable if you are above 40 years of age as these diets have associated risk of some very deadly diseases like Kidney failure, high cholesterol, kidney stones, osteoporosis, cancer & unhealthy metabolic state due to the increase in fat content which are found in a lot of animal proteins.

If you are consuming a high protein but low carb diet then you are inviting much bigger problems to your body than fat. High protein diet puts too much strain on your kidneys efficiency as well as a rich resource of high cholesterol. Avoidances of natural contents of your diet like carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals result in high risk of cancer as well.

The diseases may not visible in near future but can eventually become life threatening. So, I will not recommend you to take this type of diet, but there are some circumstances when a diet rich in protein may benefit some people.

Any good reasons for a high protein diet?

So after reading the above, are there any times we can consume a high protein diet? The only time I would recommend a higher level of protein within a diet is for strength athletes. An increase of protein intake would require an increase of carbohydrates intake to avoid the formation of ketone bodies and acidosis. Provided that the above guidelines are considered and implemented, there is no reason that an athlete cannot effectively use a high protein regime and maintain good health; however, eating extra protein will not achieve the desired goal by itself!

To ensure you are eating the correct levels of protein in your diet, I suggest you seek advice from a nutritionist/advisor.

Sarah Pennicott


Benefits of Personal Training

It can be a difficult decision to make on whether or not to use personal training. While many workouts can be done on your own, some require a second person to assist you. There are times that you might not be able to find someone to assist you. There is also a chance you are a novice to exercising and need direction to help you learn the proper way to do certain exercises. No matter why you are looking at personal training there are some positive benefits to you that might help your decision.

To begin with a personal trainer can review your current workout schedule and determine if you are utilizing the time with the best selection of exercises. Sometimes the reason why you are not losing weight or gaining muscle has nothing to do with lack of exercise, rather it falls more on the actual exercises you are doing. A personal training session can review how you exercise and information you the direction you need to take your workouts to help benefit you to achieve your full potential.
Since each personal training session is designed uniquely for you, you and your personal trainer can go through the process of each exercise you should be doing step by step. If your posture for instance is presenting you with a problem, during your personal training session, your trainer can help you correct this and present you with new options on doing the exercise.

Balance is another factor that can be taken into consideration for wanting to work with a trainer. How you position your body and the balance you maintain will help certain muscles grow. If you are doing an exercise incorrectly, you will not achieve the maximum muscle growth or weight loss. During personal training a trainer will step in and adjust your position to help correct your stance.

Time is important to everyone and while you can choose to do your own exercise routine over several hours, a personal training session can give you direct results in one session under an hour. Your body will receive the same results if not more than that session that you personally designed. This means you end up with maximum results as a result of a trained specialist.

While your body continues to grow as you are doing your exercises, the need for new routines to retrain the muscles increases as well. Your body needs new methods of muscle building to avoid stalling. If you are only doing one basic routine your will plateau and no longer see the results and more often then not you will begin to notice you will go back to slightly before your peak stage.

With personal training you never have to worry about reaching that peaking stage. A trainer will notice the results slowing down and will in turn form a new set of exercises to continue giving your phenomenal results. In fact it can often take another person observing you to see if you are making progress at all.
With MasterFitness Personal Training we can help you to change your body shape through nutritional analysis and fitness training for weight loss, toning and improving your strength.

From the free initial consultation I will work with you to assess your priorities and create your perfect, individualised healthy lifestyle programme. Regular monitoring and evaluation of your progress will not only help to keep fitness training sessions enjoyable and motivating but will also mean that if any difficulties arise you will never have to tackle them alone.


•Personal trainers can help anyone regardless of physical condition
•Increased Cardiovascular Health
•Your heart will pump more efficiently and you will notice a drop in blood pressure. The heart is a muscle that needs to be strengthened like all your others
•Stamina Increase: As you workout with a trainer, the exercises you do will help you be able to do other things in your life easier. You will find you have more energy to go out and enjoy life.
•Boosted Immunity: With your physical health increasing so does your immunity. A healthier and fit body tends to fight off infections and illness.
•Reduced Stress: As the endorphins are expelled into your body from your work out, you will find your stress level decreases and you begin to feel less anxiety and stress from normal life.
•Build up your confidence and self esteem.
•Provide you with personal one-to-one attention.


What are Boot Camps


Boot camp is a type of physical training program conducted by personal trainers, and former military personnel, hence Boot camps are often based on the military style of training which are usually held outdoors.

If you’re looking to get into best shape while completely changing the way you look, boot camp exercises is for right for you. More and more people are starting to catch on to this hot new workout.

There are so many different benefits that boot camp exercises and workouts have to offer.


One of the first benefits that you’ll get from boot camp is improved cardiovascular fitness. Since these workouts have you on the move throughout the entire time, your heart will be getting a great workout and not to mention, burning more calories.
As an added benefit, you’ll also increase your body’s ability to withstand fatigue, so you can work harder and harder with each session you perform.


This will really improve your level of strength. Think you have to hit the weights to get stronger? No! Using your own bodyweight, you will increase muscle tone and definition. It’s this factor that helps boot camp classes completely change your body and get you looking leaner and more defined.


One of the most attractive benefits of boot camp classes is the improvement it gives to your agility ability. Since you will be moving from exercise to exercise, many of which require a high level of balance and coordination, you will really increase your overall agility.


Boot camps are designed so that you all work together. When you add a social aspect to your workout program you’re going to enjoy it more, not to mention, meeting new friends.


In boot camp, we use our own body weight for exercises. Too many people underestimate the benefits that body weight exercises can provide you, when in all reality; they can really help to enhance strength, boost agility, and help you look better than you ever have before

Push ups
Tricep Dips
Lunges/Walking Lunges
Star Jumps
Knee Raisers

These are just some of the exercises.

Top Tip for the day

Strength Training Is Not Just for Men

Everyone should strength train. Strength training builds muscle and increases bone density. Train all major muscle groups 1-3 times per week.

Loose weight, Eat Healthy the natural way

With so much conflicting information out there, it is easy to become confused about healthy eating. You don’t need to go on any special diet to loose weight; you just need to eat the right foods and how much we need to consume to loose the weight in a healthy balanced way.

A healthy diet is likely to include a large number or variety of foods, from each of the food groups, as this allows us to get all the nutrients that we need.

We need energy to live and this is provided by the carbohydrate, protein and fat in our diets, however, the balance between these nutrients must be right for us to remain healthy. Getting the right amounts of vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and water is also important for health.

Different food and drinks provide different amounts of energy. Carbohydrate is the most important source of energy for the body. Sources of carbohydrate include starchy foods, e.g. bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, pulses and breakfast cereals.

We all need different amounts of energy and this will depend on your own basal metabolic rate (BMR), which measures the amount of energy you use to maintain the basic functions of the body, as well as your level of activity. Some activities use more energy than the others.

Your weight depends on the balance between how much energy you consume from food and drinks, and how much energy you use up by being active. When you eat or drink more energy than you use up, you put on weight; if you consume less energy from your diet than you expend, you lose weight; but if you eat and drink the same amount of energy as you use up, you are in energy balance and your weight remains the same

I offer a 8 week class to help with the principles of eating healthy in a natural way. There are no points system, no fad diest, its purley based on your own individual calories and eating the correct balance of foods.

•Small group of 10 people


•Discuss course contents
•Weigh and measure all participants
•Identify your existing eating habits or patterns
•Discuss possible changes to your habits/patterns
•Provide a forum in which you can feel supported enough to share experiences and get to know each other.


•Establish the guidelines for a healthy diet.


•help you to understand the principles of weight management in simple terms of energy balance
•show you what calories are, where we get them from and the way in which they influence total energy intake and their role in weight management
•Show you what happens to the excess calories we consume and don’t use.


•Show you how to adapt the healthy eating plan to suit varying lifestyles.


•Discuss the benefits of fibre, salt, vitamins and minerals,
•Discuss the effects of salt, pre-packaged food and alcohol on a healthy eating plan
•Discuss opportunities for enhancing the nutritional value of meals through recipe adaptation.


•Highlight the importance of exercise in the slimming process and show how it fits into the energy balance equation
•Discuss the difference between physical activity and exercise


•Explore the relationship between food and body image
•Raise your awareness of the links between emotion and food
•Discuss strategies with the group on ways of dealing with the factors that influence eating habits.


•Conclude the course
•Establish weight and inch loss
•Help you to continue with the progress made to date.

FATS – why are they good for you?

Fat has to be the most debated part of food. Most people are so scared of fat in their diet due to guidelines like the food pyramid; however, fat is an essential part of our diet if we are to function properly.

Fat plays an important role in the body such as;

Energy: Fat produces more energy compared to protein and Carbohydrates.

Storage: The body stores fat, also known as adipose tissue. Fat can be stored
when alternative energy resource are not available.

Transportation: Vitamins A, D, E and K are only soluble in fat and therefore can
only be transported round the body in fat. Without fat, these vitamins would not be
able to transport around the body which would lead to problems such as bone
growth, nail production, eye sight, kidney function and many more.

Water proofing: Fat in the skin helps with hydration; it prevents water loss through
the skin via evaporation.

Fat is an essential part of our cell membranes and aids in detoxification and good fat sources contain a number of antioxidants.

There are 3 types of fats:
•Saturated fat
•Unsaturated fat

Saturated Fat:
These fats are considered to be bad for you as they raise cholesterol and linked to heart dieses. They are normally a solid fat at room temperature. These fats are found in meats and diary products, coconut and palm oils.

Unsaturated Fat
These are normally a liquid at room temperature.
rans Fat:
These can be found in some margarines, many fast foods, snacks and foods from hydronated oils such as fried chips.

The UK government guidelines have recommended we consume between 33-35% of fat in our diet. If you want to figure out if diet does contain this amount, you will need to figure your total caloric intake each day and how many calories you are consuming from fat each day.

Essential Fatty acids
Omega 3 and 6 are the two essential fatty acids which help the cardiovascular, reproductive, immune and nervous system to function as well as being involved in manufacture and repair of all membrane cells.

Omega 3 fat sources help with brain function. These foods are found in oily fish
Whitebait & herrings
Oils – linseed oil, whetgerm, walnuts, rapeseed oil and soya beans.

Omega 3 fat sources have anti inflammatory properties so it is good for joints and injuries.

Fish oil (the best source of Omega 3 fats) increases basal metabolic rate helping you burn more calories overall. Fish oil also improves the use of fat as a fuel source during exercise meaning you use less muscle glycogen and more fat for your training. This means you lose body fat faster.

Omega 6 fats are found in walnuts, sunflower seeds, sunflower oil and whetgerm.
These are a more healthier fats. They are believed to reduce cholesterol and help reduce heart disease and offering some protection against cancers.

So, all in all, fats are not as bad as you think, you just need to eat the right fats and stay away from the bad fats.