Will Protein Shakes Help You Tone Up?

Want to know a great way to divide a group of girls? Ask them their opinion on protein shakes!


The different opinions you will receive are pretty interesting, often amusing!
The standards I find are:


  1. Ew no, I like to eat proper food (because when proper food is brought down to liquid form it isn’t proper food anymore apparently)
  2. Won’t they make me huge like a bodybuilder? (Ask the local skinny guy in the gym about how easy it is to turn into a bodybuilder)
  3. Myself/friend/family member did those; lost 10 kilo’s in 5 weeks then put it all back on.


Number 3 certainly isn’t amusing, as it’s the sad truth of fad diets. Either way the responses show that most females are confused on the use and role of protein shake supplements.


What I’m going to clear up here is whether protein shakes do help you tone up and get better results from your training, or if you should save your money.


It ultimately comes down to the question ‘are you getting enough protein from your regular diet?’ Protein shakes are a supplement therefore they should supplement your diet.


How do you know if you are? Let’s explore.


A good general amount of daily protein to aim for maximum recovery and results from your training is 2 grams per kilo of lean body mass.


Some research suggests even 1.8 grams may be enough, but let’s go 2 to be safe.


Jane here is 65 kilo’s, she’s by no means overly fat, but her arms still jiggle when she waves and her stomach still pokes out over her tights a little.


She wants to lose a little body fat, and firm up those areas.


We work out she is approximately 25% body fat, meaning her lean body mass is about 49 kilo’s. For the sake of simplicity, the ideal protein intake for Jane is about 100 grams then.


Jane, is starting to get serious and like many girls have heard they need a protein source at each meal, so she ensures she does that. Does that mean she’ll hit her protein goal? Let’s have a look at a typical days eating.


Breakfast: 2 whole eggs – approx. 12 grams protein


Lunch: Tuna and Salad – approx. 15 grams of protein


Snack: handful of nuts – approx. 5 grams of protein


Dinner: Moderate sized Chicken breast + Vege’s – approx. 40 grams of protein


Total protein – 72 grams of protein


Keep in mind, that’s when she makes an EFFORT to get more protein in, she even snacked on what are so called ‘high protein snacks’ of nuts (reality is the amount of protein to calories and fat doesn’t make them an ideal choice or equal with other protein sources, sorry guidelines to healthy eating)


Whichever clown decided nuts and lean meat fit in the same category should have been stoned with macadamia’s.


Back to our Jane example, imagine her protein intake if she was eating like many females do with cereal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch and really only meat at dinner. No wonder so many girls never see the true results from their weights training!


So for Jane here, a simple protein shake supplement would go along whey (see what I did there) to reaching her protein needs. Most contain 20-30 grams of protein, and barely any carbs or fat. This would ensure she nailed her amount.


Could she get enough from diet alone? Definitely! If she added in a few egg whites and low fat cheese for breakfast, some greek yogurt as a snack, had another can of tuna with her salad and a slightly bigger chicken breast at dinner she’d be good to go.


For some though, it’s just far more convenient in terms of food prep and necessary portions to eat to just use a protein supplement.


Essentially, this is what it comes down to. So there is no yes or no answer. As always, it depends.


I’ll quickly address the three points from above that I mentioned as well.


  1. Protein shakes vary in what is exactly in them, but if used as a supplement they are not taking away from your main staples of food. Also, just because they are liquid does not mean they are necessarily of less quality. McDonalds does solid food, but you’d take a shake over that any day.
  2. Protein shakes won’t make you huge, bulky or grow muscles on your muscles. There are shakes designed towards mass gain that are loaded with carbs, so don’t confuse those for the standard whey protein powders that are low calorie, fat and carb. Otherwise you’ll feel like Regina George off Mean Girls eating her so called weight loss bars, only to be seeing the scales go up!


Regina George


  1. If you replace all your meals with shakes, you will probably go way to low on your daily energy needs, lose weight rapidly, and then gain it back when your transient will power wears off. In short, don’t bother!


There you go, you can now examine your own nutrition, and make an educated decision that will move you to getting better results.


Sweet, sweet progress.


Share this around if you liked it!


Committed to your long term success


David – The Body Shapers




Are Chemicals In Our Food Making You Fat? The Truth

There are a few things in life that just annoy me that little bit.


  1. People who are first at traffic lights and are half-asleep, which results in half the cars getting through that should (you know who you are).
  2. People who walk around with music blasting through their headphones so loud it’s practically a portable concert.
  3. People who refuse to eat food because it has ‘chemicals’ in it and that makes it fattening or unhealthy.


Now, I can’t do much about those first two, besides beeping my horn and stealing people’s phones from under them. However, I can set the incredibly misguided chemical haters straight here, so I may as well do just that.


There are a few issues with that stance on chemicals that need to be cleared up. Firstly, and fairly importantly.




It doesn’t matter if its an apple, a burrito or a cheesecake. Chemicals are what make up everything. We are consuming chemicals every single day, in fact, I’m sipping on some dihydrogen monoxide right now! Also known as H20 or water for the people that might have been off in their own world in high school science.


So it’s a fairly ill advised and mindless statement when someone just explains that there are chemicals in a certain food therefore it is bad, unhealthy or whatever you want to call it.


For some this may have been obvious, and you may be thinking ‘yeah okay, but it’s those massively long impossible to even pronounce chemicals on food packages that is what people mean by that. Those are the ones we must avoid at all costs! (probably spoken with some fist pumping and head nodding)’.


People may be inadvertently meaning that when they talk about chemicals in food, and there is some logic to that idea. But guess what, once again, every single food is full of chemical compounds you will have never heard of and probably can’t even pronounce.


Check out a standard banana and it’s crazy chemicals!



ingredients of a banana


Far out, stick that on some food packaging and that will scare some people off! I mean, there’s like 6 different kinds of acids in there…. All of which play their own role in a proper functioning body funnily enough.


Perhaps there are a few people still sitting there with their arms folded thinking ‘okay well as long as the chemicals are ‘natural’ and not artificial then it’s all sweet.’


In that case, those people should go and snack on some lovely natural poison Ivy. Nothing artificial at all, very deadly in small doses however.


Whether something will have positive effects or negative affects on your physiology and body depends not on whether it’s artificial or natural, but on the individual chemical itself and the amount.


The amount is very important in fact, as anything from water to vitamin C becomes toxic in the wrong doses. Where as commonly demonised trans fats and high fructose corn syrup have been shown to be perfectly fine in the right dose.


Essentially, we shouldn’t make assumptions on the effects of chemicals because they are added or processed as opposed to natural.


In saying that, is it possible to know the exact amounts and effect of every single chemical we consume? Of course not, no one knows that.


The take away you need to get from this post is that jumping to conclusions and making black and white statements are not wise.


It is important to educate yourself as much as possible. This leads to better decisions, less stress and less spreading of the wrong messages.


I do understand why people get these ideas though. If someone put’s up a post headlined ‘the 5 chemicals in food you must NEVER consume’, people will click on that in a heartbeat.


These people are simply scare mongering you into their way of thinking and also to get some attention.


Let’s be better than that, think for ourselves, and eradicate face palm worthy statements that X food has chemicals in it so it’s a no go if you want to be lean and sexy.


I hope you learned something from this, if so, share it with a friend and spread the learning some more!


Committed to your long term success


David – The Body Shapers




How To Socialise And Still Slim Down

Picture this, you’ve just decided that this week is the week to get your diet on track and get back into those old clothes you haven’t worn in years.

You load your fridge up with your go to healthy foods and you are all set to stay on track this time. Then your phone vibrates, and your close friends are all eyeing up the local Italian this weekend for a nice dinner. What goes through your head?

There are a few possibilities.

You decide to go, check the menu ahead and pick what looks to be the smallest salad. This sounds good in theory, until you comprehend that:

  1. You will probably be pretty hungry the whole night.
  2. Will have to watch everyone else getting stuck into pastas and pizzas.
  3. You will then have to answer to “are you on a diet again” all night. None of which are much fun.

Next option is saying you are busy that night and can’t make it. This may work once, maybe twice, but now your diet is impacting your social life and essentially worsening your quality of life. Isn’t losing weight meant to do the opposite of that?

This approach instantly leads to mental stress and anxiety knowing that you either keep the diet up and suffer socially, or stop the diet and suffer the pain of not keeping your word on sticking to the diet.

Finally, you could always go and take the ‘it’s just one night approach’ and enjoy it with your friends with freedom. The issue here is you are now in no control of what you are eating, and have no idea how much it will impact your goals.

I’ve seen and spoken to way too many people that take this approach of not worrying about the weekend eating because they were good during the week, and they rarely progress with their physique.

By over indulging with no plan on these meals, you are likely throwing away all the hard work you have done during the week. In my opinion, this is probably the worst option. The first 2 will still lead to results, just with suffering. This way will leave you at a stand still, even when working hard for the first half of the week.

So how on earth do juggle the social challenges we all face while consistently leaning up and improving your body?

Well it’s pretty simple actually, but not easy. When you think about it though, a lot of things in life are simple but not easy. Besides, if it were easy, everyone would be in the body they dream of. But I digress, here’s how you do it.



Maybe that makes sense to some but not others, therefore let me explain what I mean by that.

Firstly, weight loss (or specifically fat loss) is heavily determined by the number of calories we are eating in relation to how many we burn. It’s not the only factor, but it IS the most important, regardless of what other ‘experts’ will try to convince you to sell you their products.

By eating in an appropriate calorie deficit (eating less than you burn) fat loss will almost always occur, unless something funky is going on inside your body (major hormonal imbalance, gut issues etc).

With this in mind, the way to eat out with friends and enjoy it is to ensure you stick your calorie deficit. So I’m suggesting the salad option now am I? Far from it, you simply need to stick to the calorie deficit OVER THE WEEK, not just each day.

This means you can essentially ‘budget’ calories for planned larger meals so that you know you are still in an appropriate calorie deficit. Now it sounds like the ‘eat well during the week and pig out on the weekend’ option from before doesn’t it? Again, not quite, because we are ensuring we PLAN this. Let’s use an example:

Jane here is on the road to leaning out and bringing back her summer bikini body. She is training hard and sets her daily calories at 1500, knowing her daily expenditure is approximately 2000.

Jane’s group of girlfriends all want to have a big Saturday night this weekend and have a nice meal and maybe a few drinks. So let’s see how Jane can enjoy the night and continue towards that bikini.

Thursday and Friday Jane purposely sticks to 1000 calories for those days, by simply planning her meals and controlling the portions etc. This has saved her 1000 calories from those days. She also eats pretty light during Saturday knowing her dinner is coming up, so she only eats 500 during the day.

So coming to the dinner, she essentially has 2000 calories now in the bank. This allows her to enjoy her night with no mental stress or anxiety.

She has some garlic bread as an entrée (200 calories), devours half a pizza for mains (approx. 1000 calories), and a bit of ice-cream for desert (300 calories). She sneaks in 3 glasses of wine too with her meal (500 calories). Totalling approximately 2000 calories from her meal.

Now, that is a BIG meal. I used an overestimate to make the point though.

Jane will have had a great, stress free night and enjoyed herself while still maintaining the confidence that she is moving towards her goals.

Now, I’m sure that example has ruffled a few people’s feathers and maybe left some with plenty of questions. So let me add a few extra points.

There is of course a difference between doing the example above and say sticking to a consistent daily calorie limit and also sticking to “healthy” or “clean foods” instead of a bit of nice restaurant food and a glass or two of wine. I am certainly not saying the effect is identical.

However, the minimal difference between those two approaches in terms of end result is 100% worth it as your plan is now SUSTAINABLE and ENJOYABLE in the long term.

Being able to stick to a nutrition plan for the long-haul is THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR when designing an approach. If you take the approaches I mentioned first in this post, than your chances of throwing in the towel are twice as high, and you run the risk of getting stuck into the off and on yo-yo dieting cycle too many people are trapped in.

Secondly, our body isn’t of course super simple, where we can dial in to the last calorie how much we are eating and budgeting for other days. The example above used easy numbers to keep it straightforward. You can’t always accurately gauge the calories in foods from restaurants either and I get that.

However, all that is completely fine. You don’t need to be 100% accurate, you just need to stay conscious of what you are doing and do it as best you can. Consider this: there are 7000 calories in one kilo. If you are 250 calories off in your approximation of your meal, is it really going to make much difference? Exactly.

Another good point to consider is does this approach work in reverse? What if you went 2000 calories overboard one night and then much lighter the next few days?

Well, it does sort of work, but not as well. Firstly, by having that big meal being preceded by lighter days, are body is ready to handle an influx in calories. Our glycogen stores will be empty and ready to be topped up, and we will be more sensitive to insulin.

Apart from physiologically, psychologically it is harder. Our body is able to work fairly well on a sacrifice first, reward later basis. We can handle a little bit of hunger on Friday, because we know we will enjoy Saturday night. However, if we’ve gone overboard Saturday night, holding back on Sunday when you get peckish isn’t so easy, as there is nothing to look forward to.

I’ve used this approach with clients and I know it works. Recently one of my clients used this when Anzac Day celebrations were on. She knew she was going to spend a lot of Anzac Day playing 2-up at the local pub, eating pub food and having a drink or two.

So, she planned for it, went easier a few days before and allowed room, and then thoroughly enjoyed Anzac Day with freedom. In the last 4 weeks alone she dropped 2.5kg’s, 4.5 cm’s from her waist, and went from struggling to do 3 push-ups to cranking out 12 in one set!

I don’t know about you, but spending 15 minutes planning your next few days of eating to allow you to get those sorts of results AND enjoy time out with friends and family is a no brainer to me.

Once you develop this ability to be in such control of your body and life, long lasting results are simply inevitable. Don’t be like everyone else who’s all or nothing. Those people tend to get nothing.

Committed to your long-term success.


David – Head Coach

Steering Clear Of Sickness – 3 Tips To Staying Healthy


Thanks to the fairly drastic change in weather lately it seems almost everyone either has a family member that is sick, or they themselves are unwell.


Which has led me to give you 3 of my tips to staying fighting fit and away from the box of tissues this winter.


Now, I’m certainly not a doctor, but since I’ve applied some of these strategies I have barely been sick once in the last 3 years.


Regardless, we are all different so your best bet as always is to try them out and find out for yourself. With that, let’s dive in!


  1. Emphasize eating well


A famous bodybuilder named Serge Nubret once said “every sickness comes from food”. Honestly, he’s onto something big time here.


Ensuring your diet is on point is more than half the battle. If you are lacking in certain micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) then your body isn’t running on all cylinders.


Vitamin C is one of the primary vitamins you want to make sure you get adequate intake of, along with the others of course.


Your best bed for nailing vitamin C is to add in some citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables to your regular nutrition. Adding in more vegetables and ensuring you have a variety of them is a pretty good start in general.


So if you are spending more time opening packets than at the chopping board, take some control and don’t skimp on the vege’s!


Mum was right, huh?


  1. Sleep well


Sleep deprivation plays havoc on many of our physiological systems, one of which happens to be our immune system.


Not only do we crave sweeter foods (which makes point 1 harder) but we stress more, produce more cortisol, and ultimately have less chance of beating off the bugs that cause us sickness.


Focus on quantity of sleep and quality. Quantity wise 7-8 hours ideal for most.


A whole blog could be dedicated to quality of sleep, but simple strategies like having a dark room, removing artificial light shortly before bed, getting adequate sunlight during the day and building a routine of sleeping at similar times will all go along way.


These will help you get a more rejuvenating and deeper sleep, so that the body is fresh the next day.


  1. Exercise in the right amounts


Exercising is important for staying healthy, but like most things the important aspect is the dose.


Exercise is a stressor on the body, one which needs to be recovered from. More stress means more recovery demands, which may be a good or bad thing.


If the body is already working hard to recover from sickness or not get it in the first place, placing too much extra stress on it is not wise.


Elite athletes are notorious for over training and then falling ill, demonstrating that more isn’t always better.


So aim for regular exercise, but ensure it is making you feel better from it, not worse.


If it leaves you so run down you can’t make it down the stairs for the next 3 days, it’s probably putting extra stress on your body that may not be ideal for proper functioning.


Finding the sweet spot is highly individual, so try to be in tune with your body and don’t be afraid to experiment!


Apply these tips above and see the difference they make to your health. Then you can join me in making fun of sick people while we run around feeling great!


Karma will probably get me now and I’ll be bed ridden tomorrow. Either way hope you took something away from this!


Committed to your long term success


David – Head Coach The Body Shapers




How To Find What Works For You


One of the beauties of life is the fact that we are all unique. We are all-individual and thus have the joy of leading a life that is ours and ours alone.


We all understand this quite easily, so it baffles me when people get confused as to why a fitness or nutrition program that worked for their friend or family member didn’t work for them in the exact same way.


When it comes to health, changing your body, getting fit or even most other aspects in your life where you are chasing a goal, I find one phrase always holds true.


There is no universal path to individual success, but there is an individual path to universal success.


Read that again.


You can’t expect the same results from the same process when we are totally different people. We understand this in so many aspects of life, so why is our physiology any different?


We know back in school some kids would cram for tests the couple of nights before and do well, and others would need to keep up consistently or they would burn out.


Some people learn better through listening, others through reading. Some work better alone, some in groups. What if these people were told that only one method was the best and everyone should do that?


Exhausted Student Falling Asleep While Cramming --- Image by © Randy Faris/Corbis

His friend said just cram it all the night before, because it worked for him!

These are fairly simple concepts right? Then, for example why is it when someone reads an article titled ‘you must cut out carbs to lose weight’ we view it as a necessity for every single person who wants to lose weight?


There is something about fitness and health information that drags us into making conclusions that are absolute. I understand writers need to come across certain of their points for people to take them on board, but it results in everyone forgetting that little fact I mentioned earlier that we are individuals!


So maybe you know a friend who cut out bread and lost 10kg’s, maybe you know someone who would walk an hour a day and that got them in great shape, or maybe you read about someone who just did weights training and controlled their portion sizes and now looks incredible.


You MUST understand that these people have found those individual paths that lead them to their universal success (achieving their goal). The challenge clearly now lies in finding that individual path.


It would be lovely if a one size fits all approach worked, we’d also have a damn boring existence if we were all that similar however.


This isn’t to say that there isn’t methods that are far more likely to work than others for the results you want, it simply means there will always be some individual variance in results.


How do you now ensure that you still get to your goal then? Well, you find that individual path and stay on it!


Here are the steps to do just that.


  1. Decide on the goal or outcome
  2. Learn as much as you need to get onto what seems to be the right path at the time
  3. Measure and monitor the results and progress while staying on the track diligently
  4. Ask yourself if you are moving towards that goal at the rate you desire or if you are already there. If so, continue what you are doing. If not, continue to step 5
  5. Look at the path you chose, review the results and use your best knowledge to adjust the path slightly. Repeat steps 3-5 until you no longer have to go to step 5.


Sounds simple enough? Some things in life need to be simplified to give us the courage to apply them and ensure we do not hesitate through being overwhelmed.


I’ll give you an example of all that above.


  1. The goal is to drop 8% body fat and lose 12cm around your waist before your next birthday in 4 months.
  2. You take some (only some) time reading, researching and learning from appropriate sources on the best way to do that. You can expedite the process by finding an expert on that goal and having a proper consultation with that person. The key here is only spend enough time learning to pick a good path, then you must apply what you have learned, as that is where you will truly learn. You decide on your path, which is to begin eating healthier and go to the gym 4 times a week.
  3. You monitor your body fat on scales; the ones that do body fat obviously, and measure your waist once a fortnight. You stick to the plan diligently
  4. After 6 weeks, you are only down 1% body fat and 2cm from your waist
  5. You aren’t sure what else to do, so you book in a conversation with a trainer that a friend goes to and you discuss your efforts with them. From the discussion you realize that you were eating healthy, but not controlling your portion sizes. The trainer also advises you to focus more on resistance training in the gym and not so much cardio. You adjust those things and stick to that path



Repeat again


  1. Measurements and weigh-ins are done the same as before
  2. In the next 6 weeks you drop 6% body fat and 8 cm from your waist! You now have 1 month to get the last 1% body fat and 2cm from your waist. You stick to the path and get there.


In this example, simply eating healthier wasn’t enough, as the person was likely still over eating even though the foods were what they considered healthy. This happens for a lot of people, things like nuts, some fruits and other recipes that are considered healthy can add up in calories very easily.

The switch to more resistance training helped them greatly as they were likely too focused on cardio training and had very little lean muscle mass. Their metabolism was slow because of that and that hindered their fat loss.


However, maybe that person has a friend who only had to eat healthy and do some cardio at the gym and they got great results? The key was that the person in our example was open-minded as to the fact that they may have to experiment with different methods to get a result that works for THEM as an individual.


Once you understand you are individual, and have the determination to find the right path for your unique self, you can achieve amazing things.


Don’t quit on finding that path.


Committed to your long term success,


David – Head Coach The Body Shapers

3 Ways To Make Exercising Fun If You Don’t Enjoy It

For many people, exercising is something that is one of the most enjoyable parts of their lifestyle.


They love the feeling of it, the results and it acts as a stress relief. Needless to say these people are generally the fitter, healthier and leaner ones.


Then there’s others, who just don’t seem to get the same enjoyment out of exercising. The can’t get over the fact that it hurts, burns or makes them sweaty.


Cat in water

These people can probably relate to this guy here.


They look at it as something they have to do, not want to do. Of course, these tend to be those who are not so fit, probably want to shed a few kilo’s and go through on and off stages of regular exercise.


The caveat here is, these people tend to be stuck on a vicious cycle. They don’t enjoy exercising because they are unfit and feel self-conscious about how they look, so that leads them to exercise less. Which only exacerbates the issues I just mentioned.


It’s a tough situation to be in for these people. These people are who this advice is aimed at, because they need to shift their focus and change their attitude otherwise they may never break this cycle.


They will never enjoy exercise, and never reap the physical and mental health benefits from it. They will never experience the vitality and energy in their lives they deserve.


With saying all that, here are 3 ways to turn this dilemma around and begin to make exercise something you look forward to every time:


  1. Give your exercise a purpose and not a number on the scales


For many of those who struggle to exercise and enjoy it, the number 1 reason they bring themselves to even attempt it is to just lose weight.


That’s their end goal, and if the number on the scale doesn’t shift, their limited will power and motivation will dwindle further.


So many things impact your weight on the scales that it is a horrible guide of progress if it is your only focus. Time of day, water retention, muscle gain or loss, time of menstrual cycle for girls etc all play a factor in what that number reads.


Try this instead; focus on your performance and progress in the gym instead. See if you can increase your weights, improve your fitness or push yourself a little harder each session.


What if you are a girl who doesn’t exercise much and you set a goal of doing 3 proper push-ups off your toes. If you achieve this goal, then chances are you will have decreased in body fat, gained strength and lean muscle mass. This will resilt in you looking better, clothes fitting better and your body measurements decreasing. All without even looking at the scales!


With this goal or similar, each time you step into the gym, you have a purpose, something you are going after. Every time to take a step forward, you will gain a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction knowing you are improving.

Girl doing push-ups

Purpose is powerful, it is a need of all humans.

You now have a goal when you exercise, instead of making exercise the goal.


  1. Find a partner or group that you are comfortable with


Many who don’t enjoy exercise will initially think this is a terrible idea, as being around others who are fitter than them makes them feel more self-conscious about their body and lack of fitness.


That’s why the ‘you are comfortable with’ part of the tip above is so crucial. Finding a group or partner that you can be open about regarding your struggles and challenges with exercise will set you free from the pain of others judgments.


If you straight out say to them that you have always struggled with exercise, understand that you aren’t where you want to be with your health and fitness and explain that you just need some support, you will get it.


This turns the situation around where the other people who may be fitter than you will HELP you push harder and encourage you, as opposed to you feeling not worthy and self-conscious exercising with them.


Find this appropriate group and you will find the boost you need from others, and there enjoyment of exercise will rub off on you. Especially as you see yourself catch up to them!


  1. Try something new


If you still can’t stand exercising, then simply experimenting with different styles is something you must try.


If you’ve always just ran outside on your own, mix it up and try out a local gym. If you normally do big boot camps, try some individual training or 1 on 1 with a trainer where you get more attention.


Maybe it’s a smaller change. Maybe you always run at the same pace for a long period of time? Try just changing that to alternating between intervals of high intensity and low intensity.


Maybe you lift weights but always do a body part split, with a leg day, arms day, back day etc. Try switching to a full body routine.


What if you aren’t exercising at all? Over the next month pick something different to try each week!


Try running outdoors one week, a local gym one week, pick up an old sport you haven’t played in years one week and then try group training with a personal trainer one week. Gyms and trainers will generally offer 1 week free trials (we do here at The Body Shapers) so you can sample many different ways and see which seems most suited to you!


Take note though, some of these methods will better suit your goals than others. These are simply strategies for those who REALLY need to find a way to do any form of exercise. As any form of exercise will be far superior to none. If you are someone who does exercise regularly and finds that easy, then picking the option best suited to your goals is a wiser choice.


Regardless, investing time into finding which exercise method you enjoy the most (or hate the least!) is worthwhile. Go out, experiment and enjoy learning.


Apply these strategies and you’ll find it’s the end of your on and off cycles of regular exercise.


Committed to your long term success.


David Mifsud – Head Coach The Body Shapers


P.S – If you think you need that very kick start on your weight loss journey, then apply for our amazing four week fat furnace program!

This program is designed to shed body fat and begin building you a fit and lean body. The training, nutrition and support is all done for you!
We have 5 spots available, so if you are serious for some results, apply by clicking on the photo below or on this link  http://www.thebodyshapers.com.au/four-week-fat-furnace/

3 Keys To Making Diet Changes That Last

The word diet to most people seems to imply a temporary event.


It’s associated with something we do for set period of time for a certain goal, and then it’s done after that.


But any diet that is started knowing it will end on a certain date, will 99% of time backfire! You are setting yourself up to rebound both physically and psychologically.


Once the rebound sets in and the results you got begin to slip away, we enter “I’ll start my diet again next week” territory. Which will often be thought in someone’s head every week, for the next, well, who knows how many weeks!


The key to counteracting this cycle is to understand apply some simple strategies to make nutritional changes that lead to the results you want, ACTUALLY LAST.


If we are able to make them something we can do in the long haul, we can finally ditch the short-term diet mentality and get results that are to stay.


Let’s dive into the 3 keys to making that happen.



  1. You must first understand why you must learn to create long-lasting change


The place to start is actually in your own mind. No changes to the eating or food diaries yet. You must first get 100% CLEAR on why you HAVE to learn how to make changes that last. An answer of ‘oh so I feel good all the time’ will not suffice here. Make a list of EVERYTHING you will get from discovering how to eat well consistently and therefore having the health, fitness and body you want all the time.


This list should be comprehensive; it should have physical aspects like wearing nicer clothes, psychological aspects like feeling more confident, and social aspects like attracting the opposite sex more or feeling better meeting new people.


Once this list is made, you now make a list of everything you will get if you DON’T make permanent changes to your diet. This isn’t to be negative, but to act as a driver of change. Again, physical, psychological and social aspects should be involved. Don’t hold back, I remember one client said she might never be able to sit in an aero plane and travel if she didn’t make changes now. Powerful stuff!


Now you have two solid lists that are now your why. Why you MUST start this today! The best thing to do is to stick that list to doors, bathroom mirrors or even the fridge. Now that you are constantly reminded of what this means to you, you won’t have motivation that comes and goes, you will have inspiration that lasts! Inspiration to get all those things you know you will have!


  1. Use a nutrition strategy that is flexible


Now your head is in the right space, it’s time to get to action.


To stick to a nutrition plan that gets results for the long run, it almost always needs built in flexibility. Only the 0.01% of dedicated people will be able to maintain a standard social and family life while 100% sticking to some overly strict plan.


However, with the right strategy, one can maintain a normal lifestyle and never feel like they have slipped up on their nutrition plan.


For many of my clients, this involves understanding an ideal breakdown of calories, protein, carbs and fats and focusing on those aspects. Then it’s simply a matter of hitting those numbers in the easiest way possible. This allows flexibility in food choices, means meals that aren’t cooked at home are still allowed into the diet (as all foods are really protein, carbs and fats ultimately) and allows sustainability for the long term.


Others may look for a 90% – 10% style where they stick to certain guidelines for 90% of the time, and have some more freedom 15% of the time. For example, if you have 5 meals a day, then you eat 35 meals a week. Which means 32 of those meals are within your nutrition plan, and 3 have some more freedom and luxury.


That could mean a few nights a week of socializing are when you have some freedom, or maybe just to have some special home cooked meals you don’t want to live without.


This strategy works too in terms of sustainability, one just needs to monitor and ensure they are still getting the desired results.


Note this isn’t mindlessly binging on those meals outside of the 90%, it is planned different meals that still allow the goal to be reached. Many people eat well monday-friday then the weekend is a total write off. This is NOT the strategy I outlined above, as there isn’t any plan to this eating. It’s just weekend laziness!


  1. Get someone to keep you accountable


Your head is in the right spot; you have a plan that can be stuck with, the final step is finding someone to support you and ensure you follow through with the plan long enough for it to become a habit.


This journey certainly isn’t easy, so there’s no reason you are forced to go at it alone.


Once your nutrition plan and all that comes with it (being organized, using willpower appropriately etc) is a habit, you’ll see how easy it is to stick to for the long-term. Funnily enough,iIt is for the same reason it’s so hard to initially make the right changes!


Once we make something a habit, it is hard to change. An old saying goes ‘the chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too strong to be broken’.


So your goal, is to turn the changes you’ve made to your nutrition into a habit. The initial difficulties are inevitable, so having a third party to keep you pushing is crucial.


It needs to be someone who supports your goals and truly wants you to succeed. Only this person will encourage the best side of you to come out. They will know when you can push a little more and not give in, instead of enabling you like others might.


So choose wisely, and let their support drive you to creating the results you want.


These steps are the tools you need to create the health and body you want, all that is left is the effort from yourself.


Good Luck.


To your long term success.


David Mifsud – Head Coach The Body Shapers

The Key To Big Goals – Taking One Step At A Time

What do you do when you have a burning desire for a goal, but it seems way out of your reach? How do you muster up the internal drive to chase it when it’s so far away?


Well, have you ever considered that the way to walk up the road to the shops, and run a marathon is actually the same? You merely put one foot in front of the other and keep doing that until you get to the end! If you simply keep doing that, you will arrive at both destinations soon enough.


However if you asked someone about taking on either of those two tasks, everyone (except for maybe the super fit crowd) would probably cringe when you told them about the marathon and chuckle at the walk to the shops!


This is because it’s human nature to place too much focus on the end result and what we will have to do to get there. We would straight away see that we would have to walk for 10 minutes in the first, and run for 42 kilometers in the latter.


By dwelling on the total work done to reach the end goal, we overwhelm ourselves and will already have mentally been beaten by the task before we even begin it. It’s an unfortunate cognitive bias of the brain, which often stops us from even attempting many challenges.


Now, the point of this is not to say that a marathon and a 10-minute walk are an evenly challenging task, of course not. What you must understand though is that if you simply focus on your next step and not the total result, any challenge is within reach and accomplished with the same process.


When you switch your mindset to focus on the process, and simply do your best to take the next step, you will get to wherever you want to be soon enough.


What do you do when you are driving to a location you’ve never been? Do you just go ‘oh, well, here’s my destination and I just want to end up there’? Of course not, you just focus on the road map you have and concentrate on the next turn you have to make. Then you look for the next turn, and the next turn.


You still know the end destination, but your attention is now merely on your next step. You know you will arrive there eventually.


Will Smith said when he was younger his father told him and his siblings to build a wall. They said to their dad that was a ridiculous and impossible task. Their fathers reply was ‘don’t try to build a wall, just try to place the next brick as perfectly as possible. Before you know it, you will have a wall.’


Begin with the end in mind, but allow your effort and focus to be place upon each day, hour, minute, moment, as that is what will get you to your end.


All this theory may not sound like it gives you practical steps, but having your mindset correct is paramount to your success when you apply practical steps. In saying that, here is how you can apply this mindset and take action, because ultimately, to know and not do is to not know.



Have faith in the journey.


We have just discussed that if you can allow your mind to come to the conclusion that one foot in front of the other will always get you to where you want to be, it can’t not. This means your attitude now is not will I get there, but when.


The first step for you then is you must now mentally already see it, already have the vision of yourself at your goal, because you have the confidence to know you will undoubtedly get there. Once it’s achieved in your head, your body will go after it with certainty.


Never lose that faith that every step is one step closer, even if you think that step was a failure. Failure is never the end; it’s just the beginning of a new approach. It’s only the end if you quit. Keep your faith and that will never be an option.


Simply put your 100% effort and focus into taking one step forward everyday.


There is no such thing as overnight successes. Whenever you see what appears to be someone rising to the top or achieving from out of no where, there is generally years and years of hard work and struggle been put in. The outside just only sees the triumph of the individual.

Truth about successThis sums it up pretty well.


What this means is that the road to succeeding at fitness, health, finances, relationships etc is accomplished by just consistently putting in the work day in and day out.


For some that scares them, they don’t like the idea of having to put in effort everyday. These people want the quick fix, the easy way out, don’t let it be you.


The perspective you need is one of confidence, confidence that if you simply put the work in today, and take one step forward each day, you can rest easy knowing you are on the right path.


This is the attitude that will make it easy for you to do what is necessary each day. You know that if you just get up out of bed and win that day, you will be at your goal before you know it. It’s a calming attitude that allows focus, not overwhelming anxiety.


Want to lose 20 kilo’s? Want to do Tough Mudder this year? Maybe your goal isn’t with your health, maybe it’s to get out of your passionless job and chase something more meaningful.


Decide that’s your goal, and then switch focus to the current day. You can’t achieve those things in one day. So ask yourself what can you do today to move one step toward that? Decide on that, take action, and be done with the day. Repeat those steps keeping your focus on the process.


You will eventually find yourself lost in process, lost in continually finding the next step. This will lead to enjoyment, and the process becomes both fun and easy. Any task is now within your reach.


Be willing to adjust, adapt and overcome.


Each new step will provide a challenge. There will be setbacks, difficulties, adversity and moments where it all seems to hard.


The difference between those who make it and those who don’t is how they respond to those moments.


To paraphrase a famous quote, you must meet triumph and disaster, and treat those two imposters as the same. Disaster is a chance to search for a better way. Triumph is a chance to reflect upon what worked and improve it further.


Do not be held back by sticking to one method, idea, guideline or dogma. Use all the tools in your toolbox; the goal is to just place that next brick as perfectly as possible. It doesn’t matter if you place it by hand, foot, with a friend, or hire a crane, just place it.


If you can adapt, adjust and overcome, you will make those next steps faster than the rest.


So, go take the first step in your marathon. If someone tells you that you can’t make it, give him or her an even bigger smile from the finish line.


Just focus on that one step at a time.


Committed to your long term success


David Mifsud – Head Coach The Body Shapers

Why You Shouldn’t Label Foods As ‘Healthy’

When talking about different foods, no one ever seems to have a problem describing them as ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy’. It’s like all foods come with an invisible label that we give them to determine whether they are good for us or not.


This inevitably ends up in fitness professionals like myself getting asked ‘is X food healthy?’ ‘I heard Y was so unhealthy, is that true?’


I’m all for answering questions and teaching people, but here is my perspective on such questions and why they aren’t the questions you should be asking yourself or me.


Whether a food is ‘healthy’ (that is, leads to an improvement in health) is completely determined by the CONTEXT in which it is consumed.


Read that again.


It simply means what situation you are in individually determines the effect of what you eat.


Here’s the perfect example to understand my point.


Imagine a parent telling a child speeding is bad. Then the kid sees an ambulance race by and observes it was speeding. The parent is then left to attempt to explain that speeding is fine for some people in certain situations so it’s not always bad. The kid is no doubt left slightly confused, and probably an urge to speed!



This is how most kids would look, but probably not as cute.


This is EXACTLY like dealing with different foods in your diet. You hear someone deem a food to be unhealthy, then you see someone else who is pretty damn healthy/fit/smart consuming it, and you are left scratching your head like the kid who saw the ambulance speeding.


The young man knows the rules; the wise man knows the exceptions.


This all sounds lovely in theory, but what are some practical examples of this then? I’ll give you a few.


Firstly, let’s take something like oats. Standard wholegrain rolled oats.


For your average Joe that say lacks fibre in his diet, may tend to eat calorie dense food too much, or has a cholesterol issue, oats would be a ‘healthy’ choice as they help all those problems above.


Now, what if this same person was celiac or had a strong gluten or wheat sensitivity (Rare but does exist)? Well oats for them would lead to discomfort in their stomachs, bloating and lethargy, and probably slightly weaken their immune system.


Same food, two different contexts therefore differing results in the effect on ones health.


What about an example where no medical issue is involved? How about sports drinks like Gatorade?


If we took an elite endurance cyclist who was pedaling for half his day, a drink that helps him replenish glycogen stores and is calorie dense to ensure he can get enough fuel back into him in general is a smart idea.


In this scenario, the sports drink will do more for his health than say fruit. As he’d have to eat SO much fruit to meet his energy and carbohydrate needs, it wouldn’t be feasible and he wouldn’t perform as well.


If your typical adult was to ingest the same type of drink, it’s not going to have the same effect. This person’s tour de France is probably from the bed, to the office, to the couch and then back to bed. Consuming calorie dense, nutrient poor beverages that won’t lead to feeling satiated will make it difficult to not over consume total calories and get adequate vitamins and minerals in their diet.


Last example, what about fast food? Surely no context makes fast food appropriate. Well, I’m here to tell you there is!


Once again a sedentary individual probably should be steering clear most of the time of fast food. It’s incredibly easy to over eat on and going to leave you missing out on some important nutrients.


But, let’s say we had a person who was going far to extreme on dieting and exercise. They were training 1-2 times a day and purposefully under eating. Due to this, their metabolism has slowed down, their hormones aren’t at appropriate levels and they overall feel crap.


This person would BENEFIT from a higher calorie meal thrown in amongst their extremely strict protocol. Bodybuilders have done this for years where they utilise higher calorie and carb days as a planned ‘cheat meal’ to actually improve their physique.


These meals reverse some of the effects of above, such as helping to stop metabolic slowdown, aiding proper hormone production such as leptin (greatly aids in satiety), and improve ones well being.


My point here is not to starve yourself for a week and hit maccas drive through with a bank cheque to pay for your meal. My point is blanket statements about certain foods are naïve, and simply lead to either OCD health freaks who generally know very little about health, or confusion from most people on what to actually eat.


Maybe these sort of confusions is why you haven’t ever achieved the body you want? I know they set me back for a long time before I began digging deeper and learning more.


Now I understand we aren’t all registered dieticians, however that does mean you should proceed with extra caution when you label foods to others as ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy’. The only thing worse than one person who doesn’t understand what they are talking about is multiple people.


If this area is one you really struggle with, one you really want to conquer, and get the health and body you deserve you need to find someone who can clear up the confusion and show you what you need to do.


Either way, all I can is pray I get asked less questions about which of these two almonds is healthier. Maybe that day will never come.


Hope you enjoyed this topic.


Take control of your body.


David Mifsud – Head Coach The Body Shapers

The Dangers of Restrictive Dieting

It would be safe to say that we all have that one friend or family member, whose idea of a diet is to starve themselves. The sad truth is that even they probably know that this is definitely not the ideal way to lose weight.


If you’ve ever tried this, you certainly aren’t alone. You can’t be blamed too much either; it’s human nature to attempt things like this. We see ourselves not fitting into our old clothes or a friend makes a sneaky comment and our instant reaction is ‘okay, nope that’s it, got get thin so I’m just going to barely eat from today until I’m thin, end of story!’


We want things for very little effort and we want them yesterday. As I said we deep down know this isn’t ideal as it cannot last, but today I want to give to the facts behind what this does to your body so you won’t even consider it next time you feel like it’s time to take control of your body.


Why is it so bad to heavily restrict yourself on a diet then? Here’s the 3 main issues you will always run into.


  1. You can’t maintain this style of eating.


The biggest and most obvious problem is of course a diet that restricts us of enough food or even certain foods you typically eat will be almost impossible to continue with for the long-term. You may hold out for 6 weeks, but the results you got in that time have a slim to none chance of sticking around.


Your body is essentially fighting against you as soon as you start this process. It will respond initially by dropping a decent chunk of weight. We all know those people who will brag about losing 4kg’s in a week, at least you can keep them quiet when you ask in 4 weeks how much they lost that week.


Once you’ve had an initial surge of weight loss (notice weight loss, not entirely fat loss), your body will essentially be saying ‘hold up, this isn’t good, time to take drastic measures’. This means energy levels plummet, hunger and cravings crank up, and you might even be a bit more grumpy throughout the day.


Once these effects become too powerful, you really have no choice but to return to your old eating. Or you keep on trucking and deal with food hallucinations and fighting a strong urge to punch that annoying co-worker who never shuts up.


Individual will power will determine how long someone sticks this out, but long-term almost no one will make it. We all want our nice new body for the long-term, so forget this short-term results crap.


  1. You will greatly slow down your metabolism


Our metabolism is probably our greatest asset for losing fat and maintaining the slim body we want. Know some friends of yours that eat like pigs and never gain any weight? It’s likely they have a red hot metabolism that can handle whatever they are chowing down on.


Our body looks to survive, and it will do that however possible. If you throw a restrictive diet at it of severely low calories, its best survival mechanism is to lower your metabolic rate so that it can survive off the lowered calories.


So right now you are probably thinking ‘so I can never lose weight then? My body will just slow down its metabolism, I’m doomed!’ This isn’t the case at all, your chances of this metabolic slow down will be highly determined by the severity of your diet.


Gradually lower your calories and perform the right type of metabolism boosting training that builds lean muscle mass (I discussed this here) and you’ll have a very little drop in your metabolism or even improve it! Essentially, encourage your body and it will play along, force your body and it will fight back.


A restrictive, sever diet falls under the force your body category and it will inevitably fight back.



  1. You will develop a bad relationship with food


This is a not so common discussion topic when people talk about losing weight, but it is crucial to your success.


When I say bad relationship with food, it can mean a few things.


Firstly, some people will say, just avoid carbs completely in the hope of getting slim. What this ends up doing is conditioning their mind to think carbs = bad. Not only is this not even the case, it sets themselves up for a mental battle constantly.


Before you know it you are at a family members place for dinner and they’ve whipped up their famous pasta bake. These situations are unavoidable mental stressors now due to the mental outlook you now have with food.


Your options are to eat the foods you consider bad and feel bad for that, or reject these foods knowing you may upset others and in the end feel bad as well. It’s the absolute last thing you want when you should be enjoying social occasions.


If this same person had taken a dietary approach where they know how to include carbohydrate rich food in their diet and still drop body fat, they could have planned for this night, enjoyed the food, and left with no stress or negative emotions. A diet restricted of certain foods makes this damn near impossible.


What if someone is just restricting themselves in general and at each meal isn’t satisfied? Well this leads to constant anxiety as they will probably be thinking about food/ their next meal all day, struggle sleeping at night, and be irritated a lot of the day feeling like they’ll never be satisfied again. Once again, this added stress destroys your chances of successfully transforming your body.


The main reason these mental stressors will sabotage your fat loss attempts is stress increases the release of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is necessary for many things in life (especially hard exercise), but constantly elevated cortisol is destructive. It will keep you holding onto that last bit of fat, make you lose muscle and contribute to metabolic slowdown, and have you feeling crap day to day.


If you diet leaves you stressed out all day because of the relationship with food you now have, drop it straightaway and seek out a better approach.


You now know that you must resist that little voice in your head wants you to go all out on weight loss and get as thin as possible as fast as possible. You need to be patient and utilize a strategy that makes your bodywork with you not against you.


Educating yourself like you just did is the key to the right choices, and being in control of your body. Play it smart.


To your long term success


David Mifsud – Head Coach The Body Shapers