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Incorporating Functional Medicine into your Program: Part 1

In my first blog we discussed the rationale behind using a functional medicine or a holistic approach to health and fitness… This time we get practical!

#Results! Achieving goals is the ultimate measurement to show a successful program. So here are some simple tips to help you accomplish your goals using tools from the FM practitioner’s tool kit.

G Steinem (unknown)

By approaching your training with planning, intention, passion and joy, you will reap great rewards…

• Set a goal that inspires you and write it down: I am going to reduce weight, lower body fat, increase muscle tone etc

• List a target of steps to achieve your goal and write them down: I commit to 4 sessions per week to achieve 2lbs weight loss per week, 3% fat loss in 4 weeks, or just to look hot in my budgie smugglers or bikini in one month’s time

• Measure your success: Simple tests such as scales and a tape measure to record, weight and circumference measurements or get your body fat measured by a bioimpedence machine or experienced body composition assessor such as biosignature practitioner or simply test drive fitting into THAT outfit you have been struggling to squeeze into for the last couple of years!


I know what I am going to do in the gym, I have visualised the workout, and all that is left is to exceed my expectations……

• Base resistance training around big bang for buck multi joint exercises such as squats, lunges, deadlifts, pushes & pulls etc

Using these exercises you can vary your reps each 4 week cycle of training, as follows:

Week 1-4 = 3 sets of 10-12 reps per exercise (6 exercises)
Week 5-8 = 4 sets of 6-8 reps per exercise (5 exercises)
Week 9-12 = 5 sets of 5 reps per exercise (4 exercises)
➢ Follow this with a fun week and then repeat the cycle

• Incorporate interval style work into your weekly routine: HIIT, tabata, sprint repeats etc

• Generally increase activity levels with walks or cycle rides with friends outside, dog walking, golf, family trips swimming, dancing and other fun activities

“EAT, DRINK & BE MERRY” Luke 22:19

Unfortunately most of us don’t eat great foods and added to that we consume it in less than ideal surroundings…

• Work out your resting metabolic rate. Check on line for a RMR calculator to assess the calorie output required to fuel you at rest, times this by 1.5 to give you the approximate calories you require when doing a moderate exercise regime. You can then break these daily calories down by the following nutrients to achieve a Mediterranean style approach to eating: carbs 55%, Protein 25%+ & fat 20%+. Finally you can tweak calories to create a weight loss strategy by subtracting an amount such as 250cals off of your daily total.

• Add some unprocessed good quality protein (approx 25%+) (ideally organic) into each main meal, especially breakfast. Protein at breakfast may help to sustain blood sugar levels throughout the day. My favourite is salmon and eggs on spinach with spelt bread & butter…….amino acids (protein) are the building blocks of life

• Carbs (approx 55%) are misunderstood, eat your veggies (ideally organic) & aim for a rainbow of colour on each plate: Spinach, broccoli, onion, red pepper, blueberries, aubergine, butternut squash, artichokes, white cabbage, garlic, pomegranate etc ……..each colour represents a phytonutrient which have an array of health benefits from immunity and brain health, right through to hormone balance and anti cancerous properties

• Additionally around training times aim to use small portions of tasty low allergy carbs such as brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, sweet potatoes, barley, lentils & spelt…….nutrient dense, fibre rich and great for energy and gut health

• Low fat is so 1980’s! Don’t be afraid of using good fats (approx 20-30% of diet) try oily fish, butter, cold pressed olive oil, hemp oil, coconut oil, nut oil, flax, butter & ghee…….studies show that non processed fats keep your cells healthy, are good for the heart and lower inflammation!

• Spice it up with a range of herbs and spices: curcumin, turmeric, sea salt, black pepper………tasty and there is an abundance of research on health benefits derived from herbs and spices including, reducing inflammation, promoting detoxification and improving immunity not to mention protecting against cancer

Stay tuned for part 2, up next..

_Gideon has 20 years experience as a personal trainer, strength and conditioning coach and educator, focused upon engaging patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. Gideon is also currently training as a naturopathic nutritionist, is a frequent writer for Men’s Fitness magazine and the resident trainer of UK TV show Britain’s Next Top Model.__
• Manages KX Fitness Team
• Personal Trainer
• Strength and Conditioning Coach
• Functional Medicine Consultant

Functional Medicine

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