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GrahamsGut.com — Diary of a mans attempt to lose his gut. — Page 2

Here’s some good breakfast recipes from Uk Lifestyle:

b r e a k f a s t

Time after time, studies show that people who eat breakfast are routinely slimmer than those who don’t.  One of the reasons for this is because ‘breaking the fast’ of the night before with a healthy, high fibre, slow releasing meal really helps to avoid over eating throughout the rest of the day.

So, here are three ridiculously healthy, low calorie and high fibre morning meals that can all be made in minutes.

Orange, kiwi and ginger oats 
Don’t have time for porridge? Try this delicious little oaty number instead.  Packed with immune strengthening vitamin C, the slow releasing oats will help to keep your energised all morning.

Preparation time: 3 minutes
2 tbsp oats
1 kiwi fruit, peeled and diced
150ml fresh orange juice
1 piece of stem ginger finely chopped

Simply put the oats, kiwi fruit and chopped ginger in a bowl.  Pour over the orange juice and leave for a couple of minutes for the oats to soften slightly.

Nutritional information:

Kcal: 218
Fat: 2g
Protein: 5g
Carbohydrate: 44g


Tropical treat smoothie
Smoothies are always a winner at any time of the day simply because they are so quick to prepare. They are also a great way of increasing your intake of fruit and all the vitamins, minerals and immune boosting antioxidants that fruit contains.  You can use frozen or tinned fruits. Frozen are often cheaper than their fresh equivalents, require no peeling or chopping and instantly chill your smoothie.  If using tinned, look for fruits canned in their own juices rather than in sugary syrups.

Preparation time: 3 minutes
100g frozen mango pieces (available from most good supermarkets)
1 banana
1 passion fruit
1 orange, freshly squeezed to give 100ml of juice

Blend together the mango, banana and orange juice then stir in the passion fruit before serving.

Nutritional information:
Kcal: 175
Fat: 0g
Protein: 3g
Carbohydrate: 43g


Bacon, tomato and basil toasty 
Everyone loves a bacon sandwich and this is a really healthy, quick and easy to make variation on the same theme.  The combination of hot tomato, fresh basil and bacon makes a fabulous breakfast, lunch or supper.

Preparation time: 3 minutes
2 slices of stone ground wholemeal or wholegrain bread
6 — 7 cherry tomatoes
2 slices of extra lean bacon, pre-grilled or use sliced ham
2 teaspoons fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground, black pepper

Either pre-grill the bacon the night before or simply use sliced ham instead.  Pop the tomatoes on a plate and in the microwave for 1 minute and place bread in the toaster. Place the bacon on the toast, top with the tomatoes, sprinkle with the basil leaves and pop the remaining slice of toast on top – then tuck in.

Nutritional information:
Kcal: 218
Fat: 4g
Protein: 5g
Carbohydrate: 44g


Well, if you believe what they say in the newspapers, then Sofia Vergara prefers to do exercise to stay looking amazing rather than dieting. But then what do the papers know?

But there’s an interesting point here. What’s better, diet or exercise? The fact is, if you want to lose weight it doesn’t matter how much exercise you do, if you eat badly then you’re really going to struggle. By contrast, you can lose weight without doing any exercise at all as long as you reduce your calorie intake to less than you need each day. Around 1200-1500 a day will see you lose as much weight as you need to lose, safely and consistently.

But the best thing to do is to do both. 30 minutes exercise every day plus five or six small, well balanced meals a day is all you need to do to get in great shape, and if you do that then eating an ice cream now and again will do no harm at all.

Modern FamilyModern FamilyModern Family


Has it really been a month since my last  update?

Apologies for that, the weeks have just flown by and we now find ourselves in March.

So how have I been getting on? Pretty good actually. Here’s my latest stats:

As you can see, I’ve lost all the weight I put on over Christmas, plus another Kilo. More importantly, my Lean Mass and Fat Mass are pretty near the centre of the chart.

What this means is… I’m at a healthy weight, with a healthy amount of muscle compared to fat. I reckon I need to get the fat mass down to 14% for it to be dead centre.

All I’ve been doing to get to this stage is exactly the same thing I’ve done for the last year… eat five or six small, well balanced meals a day, and about 30-60 minutes exercise. Of course, I didn’t start off doing 30-60 minutes exercise! That’s what I do  now because I’m stronger and fitter than I was when I started. If you’ve been following from the beginning you’ll know in the first months I was doing about 5 minutes exercise a day, and I’ve built on that over a year so that I’m giving my body a chance to adapt. More importantly, I’m allowing my habits to change gradually rather than trying to change them overnight.

I’ve also been making sure the calories I consume are very slightly less than what I’m burning up each day, and sure enough, over time you HAVE to lose weight.

The challenge I face now is losing the remaining fat without losing muscle. I’ve promised myself six pack abs and the only way to get them is to lose what remains of the fat on my gut. The trouble with fat is that it comes off last where it went on first. For a guy, the stomach gets fat first, then it spreads across the rest of the body. When you lose weight, it comes off in reverse, coming off your face and butt and chest and finally your gut. So I’m in danger of looking ‘skinny’ by the time it’s gone from my gut unless I make sure my muscles get bigger to compensate for this.

I’ve done a lot of study on this subject over the last year and  discovered that the best way to lose fat is by doing regular cardio (20 minutes a day) combined with resistance exercises (weight lifting) to build muscle, combined with restricting your calorie intake by around 10% a day. Of course, if you are restricting your calories, you run the risk of not giving your body the required nutrients it needs to build muscle, so you have to make sure the calories you do consume are useful ones.

At this stage my eating has become very healthy indeed. But I’m also making sure I eat enough protein throughout the day to allow my muscles to grow despite eating reduced calories. According to my research, if you want to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time you should consume 1g of protein per 1lb of bodyweight you are. So in my case I need to eat between 140-150 grams of protein a day, throughout the day. This is probably around double what is considered ‘average’ but then the average person eats predominantly carbohydrates as the majority part of their diet. For me at the moment it is more like 35% protein, 35% carbs, 30% fat (good fats!).

Now before you start thinking there must be a lot of work involved tracking not only my calories, but also the protein content in my meals… think again. I discovered a free app on the iPhone that does it all for me. It even scans the bar codes on products you get at the store and logs all the information for you, giving you a daily, weekly and monthly tally of how you’re doing.

They have a free website that does it to:


It seems like a bit of a hassle at first but you quickly save your regular meals into the planner and it’s then just a matter of pressing one button and your whole meal is entered with all the nutritional breakdown logged. So I can see at a glance how many calories I’ve consumed and exactly how much protein I’ve had in any given day.

So that’s it for now. I hope you find this useful. Give it a go and you’ll find it gets quite addictive. Just make sure you put everything in. I even include cups of tea because being a Brit I drink it with a drop of milk and those calories add up!



I just read a very interesting article in Harpers Bazaar about Gwyneth Paltrow and how she manages to look so good at 39 years old.

So basically she works out for one and a half hours a day with a personal trainer, changing the exercise routines every ten days to get the muscle confusion I was talking about in my last article.

Now, that’s all fine and I think if anyone has the time to work out for an hour and a half every day, and follow a careful diet then you are going to look pretty good. In fact, when you see photos in the magazines and online of people with fabulous bodies, you can be pretty sure that they spend at least an hour a day working out and they will be following a very healthy diet.Gwyneth Paltrow

But this doesn’t mean that you have to do the same. Especially if you don’t do any exercise at the moment. When I started on my weight loss journey last year there was no way I could do more than ten or twenty minutes exercise a day, and to be honest I wouldn’t have wanted to even had I been able.

I think for a lot of people, the idea of having to do that much work, and change your lifestyle that much, to be healthy is so off putting that you’d never do it. But as I’ve proven over the last year,  just making small changes makes a huge difference over time. In the beginning I only ever exercised a few minutes a day, and that was easy enough to fit into my day and to enable me to get used to the idea of exercising a bit each day.

Now that I’ve lost my gut (mostly) and have a new goal of getting ‘ripped’, I have stepped up my exercise. Now I exercise for around an hour, five days a week. This is something I could never have seen myself doing a year ago, as I wouldn’t have been able to, nor wanted to. But that was fine.

So don’t feel like you have to workout like an athlete to get in shape. Start slow, set long term goals (years, not weeks) and take it one step at a time. You will get there as long as you give yourself the chance to do so, and for many people, myself included, jumping into a massive workout and going on a strict diet from the outset is just not going to work.