Episode 2 – Ultimate Fitness with Gav Gillibrand
Welcome to the Fitter Healthier Dad podcast where you can learn how to improve your diet, lose fat and get fitter in a sustainable and fun way without spending hours in the gym. Here is your host, Darren Kirby.
Darren: This is season one, episode two of the Fitter Healthier Dad podcast and I’m super excited today to have my special guest, Gavin Gillibrand of Eighty20 Lifestyle. Hi, Gavin, how are you doing today?
Gavin: I’m very well, Darren. Thanks for inviting me on. I’m excited to chat with you and share some stuff with your listeners.
Darren: Excellent. Just for the listeners’ benefit, I came across Gav and his partner, Tom, around about six and a half, seven years ago now, and they’ve been quite instrumental in my whole kind of transformation. I’m really pleased that Gav’s agreed to come on today and I’ve got a lot knowledge and information from these guys, so hopefully we can share some of that with you today. Before we crack on, Gav, can you just give us some background on you? Because you’ve had quite a long career in the health and fitness space.
Gavin: Absolutely. I guess it all started–and we’ll take it right back–always been interested in sports and being healthy all my life, really. It featured very heavily at school and then long story short, I went to Uni, did Sports Science at University but then funnily enough–you’ll laugh at this. You might know this, Darren. Some of you might not know. I did my three years at Uni, but then fell into a very, very different career other than fitness and nutrition. Do you know this story Darren?
Darren: I don’t. No. I’m embarrassed to say.
Gavin: I’m going back. In 1993, I was 19, I actually went on Blind Date with the late great Cilla Black. Long story short, I won, I got picked and the famous comedian, the Irish comedian was on at the same time as me, Ed Byrne. Anyway, long story short, I got picked. The way I blagged myself onto the show was I told everyone that I was a stripper. True story. Which wasn’t entirely a lie because literally, a couple of months preceding actually going on to Blind Date, I’d actually been for an audition to become a stripper gram.
Long story short, went on the show, ended up in my year off, between A’ levels and university, started working as a kisser gram, stripper gram, gigs and pubs, turning up as a fireman, a policeman an officer and a gentleman as was very popular back then. Fast forward to three years, instead of going to Nutrition and Sports Science and Personal Training as I always thought I would, I ended up becoming a full-time male stripper for 15 years.
Darren: No way, really? That was a long time!
Gavin: In the meantime, I kept doing nutrition courses, kept sharpening the saw with every one, highly trained, until I moved to London, which was 10 years ago when I was 35 and I thought I need to get back into the real world. So yeah, 15 years full time career. Your listeners are probably laughing now, thinking why has this guy got any relevance? I also had a few clients during the day and I was still heavily involved in nutrition and staying in shape. But it was 35, so 10 years ago that I moved to London from–I was living in Kingston at the time and then Peterborough. Moved to London 10 years ago, and worked full time for the last 10 years in Central London in the City, Liverpool Street, as a one to one personal trainer. So that’s my background in terms of sport.
Since then, I’ve moved entirely online, so my business is entirely online. I’m coaching clients all over the world. In the last 10 years, gained a lot of experience, I think I’ve worked over 15,000 hours of one to one personal training for the last 10 years. That’s my background with a little funny story thrown in.
Darren: That’s a very amusing story and one which I didn’t know about. I think when I came across you was around about 2012, I think it was. When I started to really pay attention to fitness and nutrition. To kind of give a bit of background on that: 15 years, I’d been going to the gym three times a week, blindly pushing weights, no real plan. The listeners already know I kind of was invited to take part in a triathlon and from that point, that’s when I’ve kind of been hooked on fitness and nutrition and really started to pay attention. The reason I say all of that was because Gavin and Tom’s blog at the time was very instrumental in me making that initial change. I don’t know if it’s still up, Gav. Is your Ultimate City Fitness blog still up?
Gavin: What happened (is), it’s kind of morphed. That was the original company. Tom and I started working together, yes, it was 2012, I started doing a weekly newsletter which you would have been on that newsletter. Then the business, Ultimate City Fitness, became Eighty20 Lifestyle which I am sole owner of that now. The blog has actually gone from strength to strength; from a weekly email back in 2012, I moved to twice a week then I moved to three times a week. Currently, I’m posting five times a week, so the blog is actually on Eighty20lifestyle.com which as of today will be changed over to Gavgillibrand.com.
We will be migrating the site over; as we speak, the guy is working on it. Probably by the end of the day, it’s Gavgillibrand.com. All the newsletters and all the daily emails are on that site. But yeah, the newsletter–although they’re now daily emails rather than a weekly newsletter five days a week–is instrumental in building my business.
Darren: It was fantastic for me because much like the majority of the guys listening to this, I was always searching for the kind of one thing that you needed to do in order to drop the weight and get your six pack abs and all that kind of stuff. But actually, the information that you put out is very simple, very basic, and very straightforward, but very effective. That’s kind of why I was drawn to the stuff that you kept putting out, the content you put out every week. Like I said, that’s been instrumental, particularly around my nutrition.
Gav’s approach is very simple. That doesn’t mean to say that the information is crap. It’s very, very good and it’s very effective. On that basis, Gav, do you want to just go through some of the things that you think that (are) very important, like the real basics that the listeners and the guys can go on and get hold of today and actually start implementing today?
Gavin: Absolutely. I think, let’s look at the problem then we’ll look at maybe the solution. I think the problem in the health and fitness industry as a whole is that there’s a lot of misinformation. There’s a lot of information that is sort of push down our throats by magazines, particularly celebrities, the news. It’s really duff information that people are fed and the bottom line, I would say I’ve drawn more towards this in the last couple of years. I’ve always known it was important, but in terms of losing weight, and that’s my sort of specialty and I would say that most people… If you said “Do you want to lose weight?” Nearly everyone would say, “Yeah, I want to lose at least a couple of pounds.” That’s a fair sort of assumption.
But as you mentioned before in the beginning, most people go to the gym blindly, and have no idea what firstly, one, the food they should be eating just to fuel themselves. And two, they’ve no idea of the amount of foods they’re taking in. They’re massively overeating and then wondering why they’re not getting results from the gym. The information that I really focus on now–obviously, I’m entirely online. So I’m coaching clients, I have currently got a client that’s just finished with me, lives in Australia. I’ve got a couple from America, and all over the UK at the moment. I’m not actually seeing these clients in person, so I’m not doing any training with them.
I’ve realized over the years now that the training aspect is really the icing on the cake. Of course, we want to get people moving because of all the health benefits, but in terms of losing body fat or losing weight, or however you want to look at it, the calories are everything. The first thing I tell everyone: we have to know how many calories you’re eating and that means tracking them. That means tracking them, using something as simple as MyFitnessPal or any of those trackers. A lot of people say, Well, I don’t really want to track my calories and it’s time consuming.
The truth is, it takes less than five minutes a day. It’s not time consuming, and two, if you can lose weight without tracking your calories, awesome. But the reality is, most people can’t because it’s a simple equation. If you’re eating more food than you need, you have a calorie surplus, you will gain weight or at least stay the way you are. If you eat fewer calories than you burn, you’re in what we call a deficit. You will lose weight. So if someone says I’ve tried everything by I just can’t lose weight, the answer lies in the calories they’re consuming, not from the activity they’re doing. Because the way I liken to it is if someone went for a jog, a one-hour jog, how many calories would they burn roughly in an hour? Maybe 500, 600 maybe?
Darren: Yeah, if they’re lucky.
Gavin: But 400. If that went for a normal jog. But you could cut 400 calories from your diet by just not eating a couple of snacks, so it’s a lot easier to reduce your calories by 400 calories from a nutritional standpoint, rather than going for a one-hour jog. The nutrition is the key. That’s the biggest thing. If I can teach that to someone in week one of a coaching programme and once they really get that, once they really understand that it’s calories in calories out, of course, the source of those calories will drive behaviour and they’ll dictate which hormones are switched on which possibly could… Ultimately, it’s down to calories. Does that help?
Darren: Yeah. There’s a couple of things in there as well. One of the things I tell the guys over in the community and that is for the first two weeks, if you’re coming to this cold and you’ve not really done any exercise before, and you’ve never really paid attention to your diet, I’m telling the guys to just don’t do any exercise for the first two weeks. Track your diet, see where your calories are, and you will be amazed at what you’re consuming and where all the macronutrients are, and then just adjust your diet first. Then, do your exercise. Because the majority of people that I see, particularly in gyms and at this time of the year more than ever, and I don’t want to sound derogatory, but they are massively overweight. They go on the machines and they do steady state cardio and this is why people I think give up at the end of the month, because they get demoralized and they have not achieved anything. Well, you’re not going to achieve anything if you still keep filling, your face with crap food and rubbish carbs.
Gavin: 100%. This is the way I try and describe it to clients in the beginning. Let’s say you’re the manager of Bank Darren. I’m the owner of the bank. I come to you at the end of year and I say to you, “Did we make any money this year?” And you say to me, “Well, I think we did. We took a lot of money in and a lot of money went out, but I didn’t record anything. I think we made some money.” And that’s exactly the same with someone’s nutrition.
Darren: Absolutely. I agree.
Gavin: If we know that the only way to lose weight, not the best way, the only way to lose body fat is to be in a deficit, which means you’re eating fewer calories than you’re burning. You have no idea how much you’re taking in, it’s just guesswork. And you’re right: That’s why someone could go to the gym three or four times a week, get 12-16 sessions in by the end of January, and they’ve not lost a pound. By default, most people probably would lose a couple of pounds because naturally they end up cutting their calories. What usually happens is that most people say, I’m cutting all the fat out and I’m reducing all carbs. We know it’s nothing to do with cutting fat or carbs; you need fat and carbs. It’s the calories. By default, they’ve just cut their calories, but they don’t know why or how.
Darren: One of the biggest things that I found, Gav, when I first started tracking is we automatically assume that we’re eating good meals and we might be eating three meals a day, but it’s what you eat in between those meals. And actually you can end up eating the equivalent of more than a meal just in snacking. That was one of the biggest things that I found.
Gavin: A lot of people misreport or don’t realize what they’re doing. When I get someone to track their calories, I literally mean everything and that means every mouthful of maybe baby food or a little half of a biscuit your son’s left, all these different things all add up. People say well, that wasn’t that much. Or the two beers you had at the weekend, everything. I can’t remember who the study was by, but I saw a really good graphic by a nutritionist called Alan Aragon. I don’t know if you’ve heard of him.
Darren: No, I’ve not heard of him.
Gavin: He’s one of the top evidence-based nutritional researchers on Instagram. I have to pull up the study at some point. But he said there was a study where they looked at people that were supposedly only eating 1200 calories a day and that these are guys who said, I’m only eating 1200 calories but I can’t lose weight. It turns out that on average, they were underreporting by nearly 1000 calories. Because I can tell you this, unless you’re only five stone, if you’re eating 1200 calories a day, you will lose weight. It’s a given because that’s a very small amount of calories to be having.
The point is that there’s so many people, even the ones that are tracking calories, maybe they’re not tracking them. They’re not necessarily lying to themselves; they just don’t realize that everything counts. There are ways of tracking them badly or misreporting, not intentionally, just recording sloppily, and not realizing that every single thing counts. Like if you grab three nights, there’s 20, 30, 40 calories there that you just have to account for, so there we go.
Darren: It’s being conscious and it’s having that awareness and that might sound a little bit… “Of course, I’m aware of what I’m eating,” but you’re not. You’re unconscious, you do these things that are kind of a default in the back of your mind, you might come into the kitchen, like you just said there, Gav. If kids left half a biscuit or they’ve got a bit of some of their dinner left, “I’m just going to finish that, that’s not going to make any difference,” and you just forget about that. But that is all calories in versus what’s going out.
That’s kind of very high-level diet side of things, Gav. Around the fitness side of things, let’s assume we’ve tracked that for two weeks and we know where we’re at with our calories. Do we then just join a gym and we just start doing a bit of running and we start going on the elliptical trainer and we lift a few weights? What’s your recommendations around that side of things?
Gavin: Sure. Of course, it all depends on the client and the starting point. I’ll give you some context to that. Let’s look at this the person that’s massively overweight. Let’s look at someone that looks maybe like yourself, Darren, back in the day. 17 stone, you’re 12 stone so you’ve lost five stone of body fat but let’s look at the average guy. I work with a lot of guys that are 16-17 stone. If someone has done no movement for the last five to 10 years, it’s going to be unwise for them to be smashing out the weights three or four times a week. Again, it all depends on the starting point.
If someone is going from zero, something as little as tracking their calories and then going for a two or three mile walk twice a week, that could be a great start.
But let’s flip that around. Let’s go with some guy that’s 17 stone yet he’s used to doing weight training three or four times a week, but just can’t seem to lose the weight. He absolutely would be tracking his calories and lifting weights. We know that weight training is the number one fat burner because it’s building lean body mass and that lean body mass is expensive in terms of the metabolism in the body. What I mean by that is it’s going to take more calories to sustain that muscle, which is why someone with more muscle mass can tend to eat a lot more food than someone who has less muscle mass because it’s metabolically expensive.
The context is there so depending on the starting point, just moving around the block could be a great start for someone but if you’re asking me, what is the number one best way to burn body fat, it’s lifting weights. Now cardio is important but if you think about it, cardio just means heart and lungs; that’s all cardiorespiratory is, short for heart and lungs. If you’re doing weight training, and you’re doing squats, deadlifts, bench press, all the sort of typical multi joint exercises, compound exercises, you’re going to be working your heart and lungs anyway. You’re doing cardio whether you think you’re doing cardio or not.
I think the lines have been blurred; a lot of people think, Well, I’m not running or jogging, or swimming, or cycling, or cross training, or all these typical cardio-based activities. Of course, they are cardio, but anything that raises the heart rate, which weight training will do, is cardio as well. We’re going to focus on, obviously, the calories we’ve mentioned, but lifting weights or resistance training is where you want to start. The starting point depends on the individual and where they are in the beginning.
Darren: Absolutely. I think the natural reaction to going to the gym or starting to exercise or upping your exercise, is that we just need to go hard and fast. And as long as we’re either puffing or we’re sweating, then we must be doing something good. It’s having that, again, intelligence and awareness to think, No, actually, what is it that I’m trying to do here? I don’t know about you, Gav, but I think that’s the other biggest factor. Is why are you doing what you’re doing and what is it you want to achieve? Because a lot of people don’t actually take the time to work that out and then if they don’t know why they’re doing it, then when it gets tough, it’s easier to give up, isn’t it?
Gavin: You’ve hit it there on the head. This is what I do with a lot of my clients. Not a lot of them, all of them. One of their first modules that we work on is establishing some set goals and also looking at their why. I’ll explain what I mean by that. You write a goal. Most people don’t even have goals. A lot of them say I want to lose weight. And the first thing I do when I get an email from a potential client, “How much do you weigh now? How much weight would you like to lose and why?” When I say why I mean as in, why now and why is this important to you? What’s your real reason behind that?
Because people don’t want to lose weight because they want to lose weight. They want to lose weight because it’s going to give them more energy; they’re going to wear better clothes; they’re going to feel sexier; they’re going to improve their marriage. There’s a reason behind that, so you’re right. Motivation and goals are all great when the wheels of life and the cogs of life are turning very, very well. When life is sweet, when it’s warm, when the weather’s good, when the boss is being cool, when money’s great, motivation’s high. What are you going to do when you’ve got no motivation? That’s when the goal and the great reason why comes into play. Rather than having motivation to push you, you need that why, that massive reason why that you’ve attached an emotion and passion to. That’s going to pull you as well as you pushing. Does that make sense?
Darren: Yeah. And that was exactly for me. Once I had the 15 years prior to me not getting any results. Over the last six and a half years, since I’ve had this goal and this desire to do triathlon and now Iron Man and the rest of it, I’ve always got that in the forefront of my mind. When training gets tough, when it’s horrible, when it’s cold and it’s wet and you don’t want to go out, it’s like, do I want to turn up to the start line in a crap shape? No, I don’t. So get your ass out there and get training. So yeah, I think that’s very, very important.
The other thing I want to ask you as well, Gav, is around time. Now, a lot of us, a lot of the guys in the community, we’ve all got families, we’ve all got careers. Life is a constant juggle, isn’t it? And your fitness and nutrition is easy to do but it’s easy not to do and it’s easy to use that excuse of, “Well, I just don’t have the time.” What would you say around that?
Gavin: It’s a good point but there’s an acronym that some of your listeners may have not heard of. It’s N-E-A-T. Neat. That means non-exercise activity thermogenesis. Basically, what that means is, it’s activities that are non-gym based or exercise. People think I need to go to the gym three times a week or I need to go for a jog three times a week. And that’s great but they beat themselves up when they don’t get those sessions done, those planned sessions. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis are things like doing the gardening, playing with the kids, walking to work, taking the stairs, all these different things, instead of taking the lift. All these things add up.
I really try and show my clients it’s great if you can get to your planned session three for the week. That’s awesome. But if you can only get two, you maybe get off a stop earlier from the bus or from the tube or walk to work. All these things massively add up. Loads of ways where you can get activity into your lifestyle without actually getting the gym kit on and putting your trainers on because that tends to be the barrier for a lot of people.
Most people that are overweight, and I’m being completely honest here, they like food far more than they like exercise. That’s the reality. That might not be the case for everyone and I’m not saying it is, but the reality is most people that have got a lot of weight to lose tend to not really like exercise that much. The hardest thing for them is actually physically, “Okay I’ve got an hour here. Is it a case of opening a can of beer and watching Netflix or going for a 20-minute jog?” The reality is when it’s cold and dark and you’re tired, Netflix and a tin of lager is a lot more attractive than lacing the trainers up and just bloody getting out there and doing it.
The way I like to help people is we’ve got a look at the goals and the why and we talked about that, but so sometimes you just need to do it. Regardless of the situation, however I feel, I’m just going to get up and do things. But also, be aware that the more active you are as a whole, just in life, that it all adds up.
Darren: It does.
Gavin: I’m going to give an example. I’ve just had a conversation with an old client of mine, a lady called Iris. She probably won’t end up hearing this but she did a six-week training programme, I worked with 10 girls, I did a group programme with 10 girls. She lost 15 pounds in six weeks, which is a great result considering she’d struggled for years losing any weight, but she went on to lose up to I think it’s 42 pounds now, in six months. But she hasn’t worked out because she’s had a couple of discs removed from a spine. A bad spinal problem. The point I’m making, all she does is just walk but she got her calories right and she still lost over two and a half stone. That’s hopefully some inspiration for any of your guys listening that exercise is important of course, but we have to get the calories right. Once you get that, you can still lose weight.
Darren: Yeah, definitely. I think what you said around the motivation is once you start to get those calories right and you’re eating the right calories, and you make a little bit of progress, one of the biggest things that I found is you have a mindset shift. You have a mindset shift in that you’ve made the progress and you’re feeling good. You’re like, “Well, I don’t want to go back to where I was before, so I’m going to keep on going with these small little changes that I’ve made. I’m really understanding what food I should be eating.” And it just kind of spurs you on.
Now, you probably will know the science behind this. There is obviously a science behind the fact of, I don’t know whether it’s dopamine or stuff like that. In a sense of: once you’ve dragged yourself out to do whatever you’re going to do in terms of exercise or play with the kids or go for a walk, when you come back, you feel so much better. So much clearer in your mind and so much more switched on.
Gavin: 100%. Really, the sort of philosophy wins. I look at this as, if someone starts with a simple walk around the block, that’s what it means. It’s the hardest step, that first walk. You go for that one-mile walk because unless you’re physically incapacitated, everyone can go for a one-mile walk. Everyone can do that. You don’t even need to put trainers on or a gym kit. You can go for a one-mile walk. Now, if you did that three times a week, the next week, you could say, “Well, you know, this week, I’m going to walk two miles.” When you’re releasing those hormones, you said you got those endorphins being released, there’s adrenaline, there’s dopamine and that real sense of reward, you come back and think, you know what, that felt quite good.
Because there’s not one person on this planet that doesn’t feel good when they do a small amount of exercise because the blood’s pumping oxygen through the brain, through the heart, everything. You do feel invigorated. The hardest thing is doing that first walk but once you’ve done one walk, you can do two. Once you’ve done two miles, you can do five. As you say, you’re doing triathlons, you’re doing half Iron Man and you can do a full Iron Man. We’re not telling anyone to do that. We’re telling everyone to just get moving and it’s just that first step, isn’t it?
Darren: Yeah. That’s the other thing as well is that you have to find what works for you. What works for your mate, for your friends, might not necessarily work for you. There’s definitely not a one size fits all here, I think. But like you’ve said, just get moving. Once you’re moving, that’s half the battle.
Gavin: Absolutely, yeah. You’ve hit the nail on the head. Things have to be fun. I say to my coaching clients all the time, if you’re doing something and you’re not enjoying it, you will do a couple of weeks of it and it will just bite the dust. If you don’t like weight training… I mean, give it a go because we know it’s an effective exercise, but if you like lifting weights, lift weights. If you really hate lifting weights, and some people do, go for a run. There’s a lot of guys that lift weights that don’t like running. Get on a bike, play a sport, play football, play badminton, go and play squash, do whatever you enjoy. Because ultimately, if it becomes a chore, you’re not going to do it. If you enjoy something, regardless of the weather, it’s very easy to get out there and do it. Like if you love running and it’s cold and wet, it’s still going to be like, do I really want to go outside but I’ve got a run planned? There’d be times… You’ve entered obviously all three now: running, swimming and cycling, but there must be times when you think, “God, I really don’t want to do these runs completely. “
Darren: Yeah, there is.
Gavin: But you clearly enjoy running otherwise you wouldn’t be doing triathlons. But if you hate running, literally detest running, the chances of you getting out at six in the morning when it’s cold and wet are going to be so slim. You have to find something you enjoy otherwise you’re just not going to get results.
Darren: No, definitely. And I think the other thing that I’ve realized, and this will obviously depend on how old your kids are. That’s get the kids involved. A couple of areas: Swimming. If the kids have got swimming lessons, well, there’s nothing to stop you jumping in the pool besides a swimming lesson and doing a few lengths. You don’t have to swim miles and miles and miles, but again, swimming is a low impact, all-body exercise. The other thing is the whole kind of community of parkrun now. My boys now do a parkrun with me, they might not run the whole thing, but they’ll do the whole five K’s and it’s just about involving them as well. Once they start to see positive effects, it can only be good for them and their future when they get to adults and realizing that it’s good to stay fit and healthier.
Gavin: Absolutely. We all know this. That kids don’t necessarily do what we tell them; they watch us, don’t they? They copy us, so being a great role model for the kids, I don’t know a father out there that doesn’t want to be a great role model for their kids. Just unfortunately a lot of people are not always sure how to be. If you ask them, “Do you want to be?” Of course. I would say every father would say yes, of course I want to be the best role model. But if you’ve got four, five, six stone to lose yourself, whether you like it or not, your son is going to be looking at you and thinking that’s okay.
I’m not here to judge anyone. I’m not saying you’re a bad person because you’ve got that weight to lose. No, because I spend my life helping guys lose weight. It’s just you don’t know how to do it. But by getting moving, looking at your own diet, when your son even if he’s like three, four, five years old, if he sees you losing weight and he sees you doing a parkrun or he sees you getting on a bike, that’s going to inspire him to be the best person that he can be because he wants to be like his dad, he wants to be like his old man. Everyone knows this but they’re just not sure how to do it themselves. It’s just starting very, very slow, just looking at the food, moving, going for a walk around the block and then taking your kids with you. That’s a great point. I think it’s a great idea.
Darren: I think this comes back to the point that you made originally and that is there is no kind of one pill you can take and it’s going to fix everything. It’s about keeping it simple and keeping it fun. I think those are the two main mantras that I first got from when I first connected with you online and I think it just kind of sums it up, really.
Darren: Cool. Alright, Gav. What five key things could the listeners take away from this podcast and do today, do you think?
Gavin: Five key things. Okay, let me think about this. If we’re talking in terms of if they’re starting…
Darren: This could be either nutrition or fitness.
Gavin: Okay. I’ll break it down into nutrition and then exercise. Let’s do a couple of points from each one, shall we? Let’s look at nutrition first. You have to know the numbers. That is the number one thing and that means you have to track your food and use MyFitnessPal, download it on your phone. You can easily scan foods direct from the packet into your phone and it will tell you exactly what you’re eating. Do this for two weeks. You actually need to be then eating in what we call a deficit where it means you’re eating less calories than you’re burning. That’s the number one thing. Look at the calories.
Number two, the second part in nutrition, you want to focus on protein. There’s a great formula that I use, I have done for years now. It’s 2-1-1. You’ve probably seen this in my emails and newsletters, Darren, at some point. 2-1-1 fat loss formula. The two stands for grams of protein so it’s two grams of protein per kilo of intended body weight. I’ll explain what I mean by that. Let’s say you’re 100 kilos, you want to be 80 kilos, you want to lose 20 kilos which is a sort of average goal for a lot of guys. You would take your intended body weight, 80 kilos times that by two, that would give you 160 grams of protein per day. That would be the optimal. It’s a lot of protein but it’s optimal in terms of burning body fat.
Secondly, the one is one gram of carbohydrate and the other one is one gram of fat. So you would look at 80 grams of carbs and 80 grams of fat and from that, you can work out the calories. This is just a base; everyone will be slightly different. We know there’s four calories per gram of protein, we know there’s four calories per gram of carbohydrate and we know there’s nine calories per gram of fat, so we can work out calories. That’s a good start. But the two numbers you really want to pay attention to are the overall calories and the grams of protein. I tell people to hit the calories and look at the grams of protein. There are the two things that we need to look at in terms of nutrition.
A couple of points in terms of exercise. If we’re starting at the beginning, ultimately just start moving. Again, of course it depends on context and depends on where your individual starting point is. If you’re a complete beginner, never done anything, go for a walk around the block. That’s it. Do not go to the gym and start lifting weights four or five times a week, because in week two, it’s not going to happen and you’re going to get injured. Start with a walk around the block. But when you already go to the gym, think about using the whole body every session. Don’t go into the gym and start splitting muscle parts up, do chest and arms, or triceps and biceps. Go in there, use all the muscle groups at once and focus on the big movements like squats, deadlifts, bench press, chin ups, dips. All these exercises, they use more than one muscle group or three muscle groups and more multi-joint compound exercises, because they’re going to build the most muscle and help burn body fat.
That’s it in terms of nutrition. We’ve already obviously just touched the surface. But if someone was a complete beginner right now and they had at least a couple of stone to lose, if they track their calories and started walking around the block, they’d start to lose weight. Simple as that.
Darren: The funny thing with that, Gav, is a lot of people listening to this will be thinking, What,
it’s that simple? It can’t be that simple. But it actually is.
Gavin: That’s it, and here’s the thing: Ignore all of these diet plans that come out. Every single diet is designed to do one thing and one thing alone and that’s to get you into a calorie deficit. And I’m going to name a few diets. You could support the South Beach diet–high protein, low carb. The Cabbage Soup diet, the Cambridge diet, the Slim Fast, there’s five or six there of literally 100. If you think about it, people lose weight because they eat fewer calories than they burn. The diet that I tell people to use is just healthy nutrition principles. There is no diet; there isn’t a name for it. It’s controlling the calories, keeping the protein reasonably high and moving.
Unfortunately, it’s not sexy. If I wrote a book along those lines, it would be called, Watch Your Calories, Get Moving, and it’s just not sexy. It’s not Hollywood on doing it. So, ignore all the diet plans that are coming out, fancy ideas, or this new crazy way to burn body fat. That would be my advice.
Darren: And it’s great advice. Very relevant. Before we wrap it up, Gav, is there anything that I didn’t ask you, which you feel I should have and would benefit the listeners?
Gavin: Well, if people want to get in touch with me direct, I think we mentioned Eighty20 Lifestyle earlier on, but maybe we could mention the website and I’ve got a book. Darren, do you know that I’ve got a book coming out in the next couple of weeks?
Darren: Did hear on your podcast with Luke. You were in the midst of writing one.
Gavin: There’s a couple of things. Guys can find me at www.gavgillibrand.com. That’s just literally migrated over today. The book should be out in a couple of weeks and it’s aimed at guys I would say in their 40s with kids that have really struggled with health, their weight, and it kind of goes into more detail about what we talked about today. Calorie deficit and the 2-1-1 fat loss formula. This is going to be called The GHG Method: A No Bullshit Approach To Losing Body Fat, Upgrading Your Mindset & Radically Changing Your Life. That should be out in a couple of weeks but you’ll be able to find that on my website.
Darren: Sorry, Gav. I lost you there… You want to just start where you were doing Gavgillibrand.com and then pick it up from there?
Gavin: Okay. Gavgillibrand.com. You can find me on there and then the book should be coming out in a couple of weeks. That will be called The GHG Method: A No Bullshit Approach To Losing Body Fat, Upgrading Your Mindset & Radically Changing Your Life. People will be able to get a look at the book on the website, there’ll be everything. And it goes into more detail about what we talked about today. Calorie deficit, training principles and all the basics. This is to get someone from the couch to moving and to losing body fat. It’s really sort of focused on guys in their late 30s or 40s with kids. Busy, stressed out guys with life in the way, so it will really help them.
Darren: That sounds fantastic. I’ll definitely be getting a copy. Have you got a separate website for that, Gav, or that will be on your Gavgillibrand.com?
Gavin: It will be on the GHGmethod.com. It will be available on there but also it will be on Gavingillibrand.com as well.
Darren: Perfect. All right. Well, that’s perfect, Gav. It’s been great talking to you today. Like I said in the beginning, I testament a lot of my progress to you guys, so I really appreciate that. I really appreciate your time. I’ll put the links in the show notes to your websites and your book. Thanks very much for your time, Gav, and hopefully we’ll speak again soon.
Gavin: Awesome. Thanks for the invite, Darren, and hopefully listeners have gained a few ideas from that. My pleasure.
Darren: Perfect. Thanks, Gav.
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