The REAL secret to losing weight! by Ryan Hassell


The REAL secret to losing weight! by Ryan Hassell

Courtesy of:

Ever since the 3rd century BC, people have been looking for the 1 secret behind looking and feeling great. This search is still happening today, but what if I told you that this ‘secret’ has already been found?

The secret everyone is looking for is right under their noses. I wanted to help with this search so I am going to reveal this secret now.

The secret to changing your weight is actually very simple. All you need to do is create a negative energy balance.

What is a negative energy balance?

The simplest way to describe this is ‘calories‘. But before we can change it we need to know what it is:

Each day your body needs to burn energy to stay alive. You needs energy to pump blood round your body, digest food, repair your muscles, etc. There are trillions of cells that use and recreate energy every second during rest and during exercise. This is called your metabolism.

Metabolism = the sum of reactions that take place to build up and break down the body.

Your metabolism can be broken down into 5 different components:

1. Basal metabolic rate (BMR)

2. Resting metabolic rate (RMR)

3. Thermic effect of feeding (TEF)

4. Exercise activity

5. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT)

Adding all these up will give you the amount of energy you burn in any given time frame.

Now don’t worry about the terminology it’s actually simpler than it sounds.

Your basal metabolic rate is the minimum amount of energy expenditure needed to maintain vital functions of the body. In essence, your BMR is the amount of energy needed to stay alive without movement or digestion.

Now you can measure your BMR but it can be very difficult and expensive as it needs to be done under strict laboratory conditions.

A much easier way to find out how much energy you burn is to calculate your resting metabolic rate. This is measured in a similar way using oxygen consumption but the measurement is taken at rest.

The thermic effect of feeding is just the amount of energy you burn to digest, absorb and assimilate the nutrients in your food.

Exercise activity kind of speaks for itself. This is the amount of energy you burn when doing purposeful exercise. Things like running, weight lifting and swimming.

Non-exercise activity thermogenesis sounds scary but NEAT is just the amount of energy you burn moving around doing your daily activities. This could be walking to the shops, fidgeting, caring for children or taking the dog for a walk.

I don’t really want to go into all the scientific stuff, I like to keep things simple. But if you’re the type of person who loves to know the science, Precision Nutrition have a great article called ‘All about energy balance‘ check it out to get more in depth.

Estimating your energy needs

So now we know how your body uses energy, next what we want to do is find out how much energy you need.

The most accurate and most commonly used method of doing this is called the ‘Harris-Benedict equation for RMR’. The equation looks like this:

For men

RMR (in kcal/day) = 66.5 + (13.75 x weight in KG) + (1.85 x height in cm) – (4.68 x age in years)

For women

RMR (in kcal/day) = 655 + (9.56 x weight in KG) + (0.5 x height in cm) – (6.76 x age in years)

For example = A 35 year old male who weights 100kg, and is 180cm their RMR would be:

66.5 + (13.75 x 100) + (1.85 x 180) – (4.68 x 35) = 1610.7 kcal per day.

Note: No equation is perfect and is considered acceptable to predict RMR within 10% of the actual measured value.

However, if you are obese or one of the people who this equation doesn’t really work for then the answer could be off by as much as 43%!

An easier way to do this would be to use the table below, this way you can estimate your total calories needed, not just your RMR:

 The rule of energy balance

Now that you know how much energy you need, i’m going to start to go into the weight loss secret.

Your estimated calories is like your turning point for your body.

If you consume over that amount of calories then you will gain weight, if you consume under that amount of calories you will lose weight. If you consume exactly that amount your weight will stay the same.

It’s really that simple!

All you need to do to lose weight is consume less calories than you burn each day. The bigger the gap between how much you consume and how much you burn, the more weight you will lose.

This is called a negative energy balance. If you we’re to eat more then you would be in a positive energy balance. And eating just right would mean your energies are in balance.

Now, before you start to plan a starvation diet, let me give you the big reveal.

The real secret!

The truth is that counting calories is actually more harmful than you think.

 In fact in our coaching program we don’t recommend it at all. Our clients don’t have to count a single calorie.

In fact we have a calorie counting guide which you can download for FREE. Just click here to see why calorie counting is a waste of time.

Here’s the big secret, and the reason people can’t see it.

In a healthy person, appetite generally corresponds with daily energy needs.

The calorie estimation you made is already hardwired into your body via your hunger levels. And that is what people don’t realize.

So what can you do to make sure you’re eating enough to lose weight?

What to do now?

 To ensure you are eating enough, I recommend following the below simple rules:

 1. Eat slowly – it takes about 20 minutes for your body to realize that you have eaten something, so aim for 20-30 minute meals.

 2. Eat to 80% full – this will help you to make sure you are not going over that energy tipping point. Ask your self every so often, ‘how full am I between 1 and 10?’. If the answer is 8 or higher then stop eating.

 3. Eat more lean protein, colorful veggies and healthy fats. – Unfortunately our bodies haven’t adapted to the western diet so eating calorie dense foods like cookies and cake won’t register in your bodies hunger bar.

 4. Eat minimally processed carbs only after a workout. – You’re body uses up a lot of carbs during a workout so ensure to refuel with healthy carbs like brown rice, potatoes or quinoa. Although they are healthy it’s easy to eat too much of them so keep them to after workouts only.

 Try one or all of these rules and see how it works for you.

 If you’re new to health and fitness then check out our post ‘how to get going when you’re just starting out‘. It has loads of great tips on how to set yourself up for success.

Bad Exercises For Sciatica


8 Bad Exercises To Avoid For Sciatic Nerve Pain

Courtesy of:

Hand on hamstring musclesDo you feel the sensation of tingling and numbness in your lower back? Would you describe the radiating back pain as someone is pricking you with needles and pins? Does the incapacitating pain worsen when you cough, sneeze or sit down? If you are experiencing all these symptoms, then it is most likely that you are suffering from sciatica. The good news is that there are various exercises that will help you to alleviate sciatic nerve pain.

Sciatica is a symptom which is mainly signified by the pain in the sciatic nerve. Due to the vital role of the spinal cord, it is extremely essential to avoid bad exercises that will put more pressure on the spine resulting in worsening of the condition.

What Is Sciatica?

what is sciaticaSciatica is a syndrome which is commonly experienced as pain radiating from your lower back till the back of your thighs. The pain is usually spread along the pathway of the sciatic nerve. This is the longest and largest nerve present in your body and is as thick as your finger.

The sciatic nerve extends from the lower back, till your buttock and down to your legs. The sciatic nerve divides into two branches when it reaches the knee and ends in your feet. To make things more clear, sciatica is not a disorder but rather it is a symptom that signifies a problem associate with the sciatic nerve. There are two common types of sciatica listed as follows:

  1. Acute Sciatica – This is known as short-term sciatica, lasting for about 6 to 8 weeks, which does not require any professional medical attention. You can easily alleviate the unfavorable symptoms by opting for over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers.
  2. Chronic Sciatica – This is the long-term sciatica which requires professional treatment ranging from physical therapies, medications, exercises and other techniques.

What are the symptoms of sciatica?

The primary indicator of sciatica is pain radiating from the sciatica nerve. The symptoms may range from mild to severe and sharp pain around the spine region. The most common symptoms of sciatica are mentioned below:

  1. Numbness in both the legs.
  2. Tingling feeling in the feet and legs.
  3. Sharp burning sensation radiating from the lower back and upper buttock extending down till the legs.
  4. In severe cases, walking becomes a painful experience.
  5. Sensation of pain increases while bending or walking.

What causes sciatica?

The most common cause of sciatica is herniated intervertebral disc. The term herniate means to stick or bulge out. The role of the spongy intervertebral discs is to protect the spine and act as a shock absorber. Sometimes, due to injury or aging, the discs are ruptured which puts pressure on the exposed sciatic nerves resulting in the blockage of smooth blood flow to the region below your waist.

This is the main cause of inflammation and numbness experienced in this condition. Other causes include:causes of sciatic nerve pain

  • Cauda equina syndrome – This is an extremely rare and serious form of disorder which damages the nerves present on the lower side of the spine. Due to the compression on the spinal nerve roots you may experience numbness in the lower back. In some severe cases, it may damage the nervous system which results in paralysis. It is commonly categorized as a surgical emergency and you will need to consult a doctor immediately.
  • Spondylolisthesis – In this disease, one of the bones in your vertebra slides above the bone below it. This commonly occurs in the lumbosacral area which is the lower spine region. This automatically compresses the nerve roots which results in numbness of legs and back pain.
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis – This is a slow and gradual process in which the spinal canal starts becoming narrow. The narrowing squeezes the spinal nerves which triggers the symptoms of the sciatica. The treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis depends on the severity of the disorder. In initial stages painkillers, exercises and various non-surgical procedures are ample to treat the condition. However, in extreme cases you might need to undergo a surgery for treatment.
  • Tumour – Tumour in the spine may compress the root nerve which gives way to the sensation of numbness and tickling in the region below the waist.
  • Spinal injury – Any form of injury within the spine may result in sciatica.

8 Bad Exercises To Avoid For Sciatica Nerve Pain

Doctors recommend exercises as the best ailment for treating and fighting the unfavorable symptoms of sciatica. Researches indicate that exercises prove to be of immense benefit which should be given more priority than bed rest. The main aim of exercise is to provide conditioning in a manner that it prevents recurrence of pain in the near future.

If you continue the normal routine of rest for a prolonged period of time, then your back bones may become weak and will be less likely to provide support. This is a process of de-conditioning which is experienced when you go without exercising or moving your spinal structure for a long time.

As important as exercise is for the health of your spinal discs, you need to understand that not all exercise regime will compliment your disorder. Thus, you need to be extra careful to avoid exercises that may prove to be detrimental for your condition. Some of the exercises that are a big “NO” for you to indulge in if you are suffering from sciatica are listed as follows:

  1. Standing hamstring stretchHeavy stretching of the hamstrings – The hamstrings muscles are extremely sensitive in this condition. While stretching the hamstrings muscles, you are also stretching the sciatic nerves indirectly. As such, this will only worsen the injury caused by the compression already exerted on them.
  2. Bent over rows – One of the causes of herniated discs is linked with the posture maintained in the bent over rows exercise. This exercise has drastic impact on the health of your spine and may upset its structure. The main reason for spine injury occurs due to the immense pressure exerted on the spine during the bent over rows stance. The pressure damages the intervertebral discs which expose the root nerves leading towards inflammation and infection.
  3. Straight legged sit-ups – If you notice, the main pattern that is observed in exercises causing sciatica usually seem to exert excessive pressure on the already sensitive spine region. Straight legged sit ups is another exercise which comes under the category of vigorous exercising that upsets the structure of spinal cord. This aggregates the inflammation and numbness experienced in the region below the waist and in extreme cases, permanent nerve damage may also occur.
  4. Abdominal stretches – This is another exercise linked with worsening the condition of sciatica. The stance of stretches applies pressure on the back bone area which gives way to compression of the sciatica nerve pain. The common complain experienced by abdominal stretches practitioners who are suffering from sciatica is nerve irritation. Thus, it is advisable that you avoid this exercise completely during the course of sciatica treatment.Abdominal stretch exercise
  5. Full body squats – Another exercise that you need to discontinue if you have sciatica disorder is full body squats while standing accompanied by barbells on shoulders. This is an extremely harmful exercise which is associated with various lower spine damages. The weight of the barbell exerts pressure on the lower back which causes compression of the spine nerves and damages the intervertebral discs. You might suffer from irritated nerves and even herniated disc if you continue doing this form of exercise with sciatica. The pain distributes from the lower back and extends to the buttocks and legs.
  6. Heavy dead-lifts – Weightlifters are often addicted to heavy dead-lifts but the addiction and dedication that they assign to their physical well-being often goes astray when they cause damage to their spinal cord. Heavy dead-lifts is another form of exercise that may result in spine injury if it is not discontinued after suffering from the painful syndromes of sciatica. Heavy dead-lifts is one of the major contributors to lower back pain and is also associated to cause the complications as experienced in sciatica.
  7. leg lifts exerciseWeightlifting exercises – People suffering from sciatica usually add weightlifting exercises as part of their daily exercise to ensure smooth movement of the spinal cord. However, it should be thoroughly noted that these form of exercises should be done by offering support to the lower back. Otherwise, it will create problems for your condition.
  8. Leg exercises – According to a research, people suffering from back pain should avoid exercises such as leg lifts and leg curls while facing downwards.  Any exercise with heavy weight lifting will automatically put pressure on the lower back region which instigates the symptoms and complications of sciatica. Also make sure that you avoid exercises that put your back in the stance of acting as a fulcrum such as keeping legs straight during exercises. This puts excessive pressure on the spinal cord and may worsen the condition.

The main aim of sciatica-friendly exercise is to strengthen the back muscles. This makes it fundamental to consult a professional fitness trainer who can draft a healthy exercise regime for your sciatica nerve pain.  If you want to work out on your own, then you will need to remember the 8 bad exercises to avoid for sciatic nerve pain.

You should focus your energy on exercising the region surrounding the sciatica nerve rather than pulling direct pressure on it. An excellent example of such an exercise is the pelvic tilt which is perfect for the sufferers of sciatica nerve pain.

Courtesy of:

6 Ways to Save Time Preparing Meals


Finding time for everything you want to do is usually difficult and can be a real headache when you try to fit everything in the order. This cause stress and may leads to serious condition or disorders.

One of the most important parts of everyone’s day is eating. Eating out indeed saves your time from preparing food and cooking yourself. There are many people who eat at fast food places or restaurants, but this does not necessary means it is all healthy and can be costly in long-term.

Why not try to eat healthy and get to save some cash in return?

Luckily, there are some ways you can save time when preparing meals. With proper planning, you could actually spend as little time as possible in the kitchen and yet able to prepare healthy delicious meals.

Find out 6 tips on food preparation on to Save Time Preparing Meals


  1. Planning Your Meals Beforehand Can Be a Good Way to Save Time

One of the best and simplest ways to spend as little time as possible in the kitchen is to plan your meals beforehand. You could do that by sticking a note on your fridge as a calendar of sorts or having a document on your computer or phone with every meal you plan to have that week or month. Certain places like iOS Store or Google App Store offer applications that can be used as your planner. They also sometimes have features like calorie count, which can ensure that you are being conscious of your macronutrient and calories intake such as ‘Fitness Pal’ apps.

After you have made a plan of meals have a shopping list prepared. By doing so you will be able to save some money and be able to resist buying junk food on impulse. This will not only be a great way to have a healthier life, but also something which will save you time as you only have to purchase groceries once. A good plan will save you time and money.


  1. Prepare your vegetables all at once


Vegetables are one of the most fundamental parts of any meal. Whether you are the healthy life fanatic and eat nothing but salad or use vegetables as snacks or side dishes, it is no doubt that you spend some time in the kitchen preparing them. Once you are able to find one day per week which is not filled with various task use it to prepare all the vegetables you are going to use.

The process is not difficult once you are in the rhythm and chopping or cutting can be a rather enjoyable activity. If it is really hard to prepared cut fresh vegetables ahead of time, the next best alternative would be frozen vegetables. You can easily find frozen broccoli, peas, corns, carrots at the frozen food section. Frozen is better than canned due to less preservatives and salt used.

The fact that you will do everything in one day leaves you with more free time for the rest of the week. Also, the preparing of meals is much easier when at least some part of the dish is already prepared. Vegetables are a needed for a nutritious meal.


  1. Begin Your Mornings with a Pre-made Food.


Many people claim that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. They are probably right. Unfortunately, though, not everyone has time to get up and prepare everything before going to work. Some people manage to grab a cup of coffee and be on their way to work without eating anything. This is a bad practice as this usually means stopping at a junk food store and grabbing something to eat before coming to work. That is why it is recommended to have something prepared in the evening prior. There are plenty of different kinds of food that can be prepared beforehand. Try some overnight oats, pre-mashed hard boiled eggs for sandwich filling.


  1. Prepare Your Meals on Weekends


Just like the third advice, this one also works as a great time saver. Preparing meals on the weekend is a good way to ensure you have more time every other day of the week. This is not only a great advice to save time but it also reduces the amount of stress if you do not have enough time to head to the store during your lunch break.


  1. Make Extra Food and Store It


If you have some time to spare use it wisely. When making a meal it is usually no problem to increase the number of meals. For example, if you are making a lasagna, adding extra ingredients to increase quantity is a good idea. You will be able to put extra in the fridge for later use. The same can be said about plenty of other meals. Generally food is still safe to eat up to 2 nights in the fridge, while up to couple weeks when frozen.


  1. Make Meals That Are Quicker to Make

recipe book

The final and probably the most obvious tip is to make meals that do not take a long time. The Internet is full of recipes which require little time to make. It all depends on you to do some research.

Salads and sandwiches are indeed fast to make. If you want more variety, it will be good to be more creative with the oven. It takes 20-30mins to bake fish, chicken in the oven, but you only need to splatter some spices (salt, pepper, lemon slices) on it and before baking it in the oven. If you line the baking tray with aluminum foil, you don’t even need to clean up after!



There are plenty of other ways you can save extra time and money when preparing meals. Even though the alternative to eat out is there, it is better if you know what that you are consuming healthy food.

It is much better to prepare as many meals yourself as no amount of time is more important than maintaining ahealthier life. It is pointless  to have all the time or money; but an unhealthy body with an illness.

Getting experience in food cooking is a great way to improve your overall quality of life and with the number of recipes you can find online it should be a hobby, not a chore.

This guestpost is courtesy of Lifestyle Tic, find more tips:



Courtesy of:

I have played with CT(Cold Thermogenesis) for a few years now and had great benefit in overall health,vitality,and recovery. Like any journey it has had its share of pitfalls and failures. I have played with ice packs,ice vests,cold showers,cold weather workouts,ice baths,cold water swims,and even swimming in frozen pools and lakes. After all that, I realized there is actually an easy and effective progression to cold adaptation and all the benefits that come along with it. Since I have some experience with CT,when I experienced a Cryo Chamber I knew right away that its mostly marketing and another quick fix for most people that don’t want to put in the effort and time to truly experience benefit from CT. Cryo chambers have there place for a certain type of individual but all the claims that are made are only true of prolonged cold exposure of more than the 3 minutes that you get using cryo chambers. If you are new to cold exposure and not at all adapted then it can be a great tool in getting you started. The issue is that once you start to adapt and its no longer cold to you for just the 3 minutes you get,then its not anywhere near as effective as cold water exposure for 10-30 minutes.Especially when you look at the ridiculous cost involved. I see them as a gimmick for a wealthy type of client that likes the convenience of not getting wet and only needing a few minutes to get it in. All I felt was a bit refreshed after.

Cryo Chamber In Las Vegas

Cryo Chamber In Las Vegas

Good old ice bath at roughly 55 degrees F for 20-30 minutes

Good old ice bath at roughly 55 degrees F for 20-30 minutes

That being said lets look at some of the commonly known benefits of CT.

-Lowers Body Fat

-Helps With Immune Function

-Reverse Diabetes

-Strengthen Adrenal Function

-Lower Inflammation

-Increase Hormone Levels

-Deep/Quality Sleep


-Tight And Healthy Skin

-General Faster Recovery For Training

Now lets see the reason and the mechanisms at work that make these benefits happen. I will go over what I think are the big 3. This is just skimming what is happening but I want to keep this understandable for myself and you.


-BAT(Brown Adipose Tissue)OR BROWN FAT




BAT(Brown Adipose Tissue)

WAT(White Adipose Tissue) is used to store excess calories we consume but BAT actually burns WAT to produce heat. When fully activated brown fat activates 300 times more heat than any tissue in the body. Your body is trying to maintain its ideal 96.6 to 101 degrees fahrenheit. So when you are exposed to cold you activate BAT. The beautiful thing is that you usually need to burn through blood glucose and glycogen stores in the liver and muscles before you can utilize fat for energy,but BAT activation directly burns WAT for fuel. BAT in adults is mainly found in the collarbone and upper chest and back area. You can actually raise the level of BAT in your body with cold exposure,proper exercise,and even certain foods,but CT is the most effective way I have found. Also glucose uptake has been observed to increase 12X in BAT by cold exposure.


Adiponectin is a protein hormone that is involved in regulating glucose levels and fatty acid breakdown. It is secreted by adipose tissue(Fat) during cold exposure. When the hormone is released it breaks down fat and shuttles glucose into the muscles which in turn lowers blood sugar. Hence the reason CT can help reverse diabetes. Low adiponectin levels go hand in hand with quite a few health issues. The big ones being obesity and diabetes.

Adiponectin Benefits

-Fat Burning And Weight Loss

-Insulin Sensitivity

-Muscular Enhancement

-Reduced Inflammation

-Improves Heart Disease And Metabolic Disorders


Irisin is a hormone released by muscle tissue during higher intensity CT and after high intensity workouts. The key with Irisin seems to be the fact that when its released it lowers Myostatin.

Myostatin is a signaling protein that binds to muscle tissue inhibiting division and growth. NOT GOOD FOR MUSCLE BUILDING!

-So Irisin lowers Myostatin allowing increased muscle growth.

This explains to me why when I incorporate a lot of CT into  my routine,I drop body fat and keep muscle while holding on to strength gains. Another huge benefit to Irisin release is thats its associated with longevity due to the fact that studies have shown its linked to increasing DNA Telomere length which itself is widely associated with a longer lifespan.

So Basically-

CT=Increases Irisin=Lower Myostatin=Allows Increased Muscle Growth

You will not get these hormones released in a cryo chamber in 3 minutes. That is why I think they are bogus. Again they have there place with someone who has money burning a hole in there pocket and is just starting out with CT and isn’t ready for the cold water yet. If that’s your case then use them a few days a week for a month and then move on to better methods.