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Updated: Aug 30

Part 01 of 02: Unpacking the Nutrition Mystery

I always get lots of questions from clients, friends and people generally, about nutrition ideas and nutrition philosophies – things they’ve read about on the internet or seen on their Instagram, new fad diets or belief systems they’ve seen on late night television heard about from their friends or even just stuff they’ve come up with themselves while lying in bed awake at night.

Read along if you want to learn why your nutrition probably isn’t working and what you can do to fix it.

What you Can do to Fix Your Nutrition

There is one trend I’ve noticed over the past 25 years about the questions I am being asked – they’re getting more ridiculous… it seems people are worse informed and more confused now, about the basics of nutrition, than they have ever been. And this is despite there being more solid, well researched scientific facts about what people need to be doing to attain a good healthy well balanced diet.

I think the following words by Dr John Berardi (Precision Nutrition) really illustrate what I’m talking about…

Nowadays, it seems like people are starting to think of nutrition as a "belief system" vs. a legitimate science. In other words, the answer to "What should I eat?" is determined by faith, magical thinking, emotional attachments, or what feels "truthy"... ...rather than on real evidence or the scientific method. And until we fix this, nutrition will only get more confusing, not less. The big problem: Most people start with the Internet. You don't have to look far on Facebook or Instagram to find a charismatic person with a great body and sales pitch offering their own beliefs as a "protocol" or "system". Plus, a quick search on Google for "healthy eating", "healthy diet", or "good nutrition" turns up hundreds of millions of results. Each person or website has its own story: A story about which diet, supplement, food, or nutrition practice someone *believes* is best. Yet nutrition is NOT a belief system. Nutrition is a *science*. Like chemistry and physics, it follows certain principles. And, when you understand these principles, you're able to make the best decisions for yourself (and/or recommendations for others). Base your nutrition choices on FACT, not feelings.

To be clear: We're not "bad" for wanting to follow belief systems. Following a clear set of rules can be a huge relief to those of us that find nutrition confusing or overwhelming. The people who start or share a belief system aren't "bad" either. Most of them are good, genuine, positive people just trying to make other people's lives better. But the problem happens when we base our own health decisions on emotional bias or the rules of a certain philosophy... ...and either ignore what science has to say about the facts, or perhaps have no idea whether such facts even exist. In the end, nutrition science is a big field. We can't know everything, and certainly not all at once. But we CAN start to put the biased beliefs away -- and embrace learning, critical thinking, and evidence-based analysis to every eating decision we make.

Look, the truth is there is no magic bullet when it comes to healthy nutrition, but there are plenty of well-known scientific nutrition facts based on biochemistry and how people react to foods and their environment; and these facts are used to determine sound nutrition principles that if applied well, will help anyone who choses to put in the hard work, yes HARD WORK, (I can hear people slamming their laptops closed or scrolling to the next screen as soon as they read this) achieve their physical success.

In part 02 of this article series I will outline some principles that will no doubt help you along the journey.


Part 02 of 02: Here are our top 5 tips to stay motivated when the temperature drops

Advantages of exercising in winter and tips on how to stay motivated

Follow these tips to maximise on the advantage of exercising in winter

Plan a holiday. Booking a winter escape to somewhere warm provides a goal and strong incentive to keep exercising through those winter weeks. Many Club Forma clients head away to Europe during the latter weeks of winter helping them to stay focussed on their health and fitness goals leading up to then.

Establish realistic goals. Be kind to yourself and set goals that challenge but are realistic and achievable. Setting lofty physical appearance goals might seem exciting at the time, however once the initial excitement of undertaking a new exercise regime has worn off, those hard to achieve goals can become demotivating. If you’re not sure what is achievable for you, investing in a personal trainer and getting some expert help would be a great investment.

Being accountable to others. Studies have found that making a financial commitment, such as paying for a gym membership, is not enough incentive for most people to routinely show up and do the work that is required to achieve their goals. A recent survey found 6.2 million Australians have a gym membership, however 50% of them were attend the gym less than once a week – that’s 3.1 million adults. Partnering up with a workout buddy or investing in a personal trainer is a great way of making sure you turn up to your workouts and smash your goals. It will make those workouts a lot more engaging and fun also. At Club Forma our trainers sometimes use misdirection as a technique, where we engage the client in fun conversation, so they often arrive at the end of a really intense workout without knowing how they got there.

Build movement into your everyday life. Getting off the tram one or two stops early and walking the rest of the way or walking the stairs rather than taking the elevator. Plan to meet friends at a venue that is within walking distance to your home or walking to the shops and carrying your groceries back home are great ways of adding exercise to your day.

Don’t give up. It might seem a simple proposition, but reminding yourself that springtime is only 12 weeks away and counting… can keep your head in the game and help you stay focused on your exercise. That’s only two 6-week training cycles – springtime and the warm weather will be here before you know it.


[1] NSW Food Authority: Media Release, Australians expected to gain 15 million kgs this winter,

Ernersson A et al. (2010) Long-term increase in fat mass after a four week intervention with fast food based hyper-alimentation and limitation of physical activity. Nutrition & Metabolism, 7:68.


Updated: Jun 30

Part 01 of 02: Why winter might be the best time for you to drop body fat.

If you are thinking about slacking off your exercise and nutrition routine now that the cold months of winter are here, you might want to think again and not for the reason you might think.

Winter is almost here and when it’s cold and miserable out, it can be hard to stay motivated about your fitness.

…we tend to want to stay indoors and hibernate, meaning we eat more and do less.

A 2012 study [1] from the NSW Food Authority and NSW Health found that over winter, the average Australian adult gains anywhere from two to five kilograms of unwanted weight.

The study, one of the first to investigate winter eating habits in relation to fast food and snack consumption also found:

  • 90% of Australians eat more fast foods, snacks and takeaways during winter because doing so makes them feel ‘warmer and happier’.

  • 59% accept that any weight gain over winter will be due to eating more fast food and snacks and exercising less.

Nearly four in ten women (38 per cent) and one in two men (53 per cent) are expected to gain up to five kilograms over winter says the Dietitians Association of Australia.

And the really bad news is that we might not lose those kilos come springtime. Swedish researchers found that just one month of overeating can lead to weight gain that lasts for years.

What does this mean for you?

Let’s take a quick look at the numbers

  • Studies show the average Australian gains 2.5-5kg of extra weight over the winter months.

  • On average a person can sustainably reduce body fat by 150-200g per week.

This means, if during the 12 weeks of winter, you maintain your commitment to your health and exercise routine (we will further expand on what this commitment can be, in part 2 of this article series) – on average you will hit the warm weather of spring with 4–7kg less body fat than you would have if you gave into the cold and stopped doing your workouts… That’s a significant amount of body fat.

Plus, you will have a body you feel much more confident in for summer.

Not to mention you will have been stronger, healthier, and more successful in all other aspects of your life during the 3 months of winter.

Something to think about when it’s blustery and cold out and that sneaky voice whispers in your ear – “It’s so cold out, maybe I’ll just skip this workout and stay indoors.”

Part 2 of this article series will outline some tips on how to stay motivated and approaches you can take regarding your exercise during the colder months.

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