Fork Fed: It’s NOT All About the Numbers

Post by Fork Fed

scale

Recently, I decided to measure my body fat percent on a body composition machine and boy oh boy was I nowhere near happy by the numbers. I’ve been going to my workouts religiously and watching what I eat, for the most part. My pant size has gone down 2 sizes, I’m much more toned and definitely stronger than I’ve ever been before. Why haven’t my numbers changed?? Here are some reasons as to why numbers do not really reflect that change that is DEFINITELY going on within you.

Equipment used to measure body fat percent is not always accurate!
The most common of all equipment to measure body fat percent is the bioelectrical impedance, and despite the fact that this machine is commonly available and easy to use, it is probably the least accurate way to measure body fat percentages. Bioelectrical impedance works by sending electrical impulses through the body and measuring how long they take to return; the quicker the return of the impulses are equates to a leaner body (fat hinders the movement of the impulses). This technique is not always accurate because hydration levels can also affect how fast the electrical impulses move through the body. The more hydrated you are the faster the impulses move; therefore if your body was somewhat dehydrated, you will be getting a false reading in regards to your body fat percent. The calipers are probably the most accurate, BUT you need to have a skilled person taking measurements and the measurements need to be taken in the same place at different times to ensure accuracy. It can be hard to remember the exact skin-fold that was measured previously.

The scale and BMI are the worst measures of weight loss.
Both the scale and body mass index (BMI) do not take your muscle mass into account. Therefore if you are someone that is working out and doing a lot of resistance training – you are building muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat. So, your weight might increase or stay the same regardless of the fact that you are actually losing fat and dropping in size. If you are not exercising and only restricting your food then using a scale to monitor your weight loss could actually be beneficial. Although to be completely honest with you, I do not like the term weight loss and prefer to focus on fat loss. Taking a look at BMI, it is a calculation of your weight and height. It does not take into account how much of your weight actually comes from muscle or fat, therefore it is the worst indication of whether or not you are at a healthy weight range.

The numbers may frustrate you, but don’t let them bring you down! Numbers do not always reflect everything. As long as you feel good about yourself, then that is all that matters. Make sure you are exercising, eating and sleeping well. Remember, any change you make should be a lifestyle one and not a temporary one. I hope this helps you if you’ve been let down by your weight.

Post by Hyatt Al Sayegh, a Clinical Dietitian and Dr. Sears Health Coach.
Founder of Fork Fed.

Image Source


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The Burrow Life

Post by Mark

burrow1

Not sure how to begin this post, I’ve already written and deleted a few intros already because I didn’t think anything I was writing was good enough to explain what I saw a few hours ago. I don’t even think my pictures do the place any justice. Last week a friend of mine told me about a new gym that was opening up in Murooj called The Burrow Life. I checked their instagram account out of curiosity and right away realized there was something special about them. From their branding to the style of photography they were using I knew they were aiming for something different. I got in touch with them and asked if I could pass by and check the place out, they agreed so I passed by earlier today.

burrow2

The first thing they wanted to make clear to me was that The Burrow Life wasn’t just a gym, it was a lifestyle brand and I knew exactly what they meant. Although they’re starting off as a gym the brand could grow and develop later on into other things like a clothing line or a restaurant or a whatever and I liked that approach. Their name and concept for the place is based off of Alice in Wonderland, when Alice went down the rabbit hole she entered a completely different world and they’re applying the same idea here. When I walked into The Burrow Life I was transported into a completely different world and it was beautiful on the other side.

The Burrow Life is focused around 5 different fitness activities, cross fit, bootcamp, boxing/Muay Thai, spinning and yoga. They’re all class based activities so as a member you’ll have to download their app and see what classes are available during the day and sign up for them. It’s a mixed gym but the classes are segregated, so guys could be doing cross fit while girls could be boxing at the same time, but you wouldn’t have guys and girls doing the same cross fit class together.

burrow3

The space is HUGE, when you first walk into the gym you walk into a living room like area since they didn’t want you to walk into a reception like all gyms do. From there you have a yoga room and then a really long corridor with a guys locker room on the left and a girls one on the right. There are showers and changing rooms of course but a cool feature is the lockers that all have USB ports inside so you could charge your phone while you train. At the end of the long corridor there are two glass rooms, on the left a spinning room and on the right a training room with kettle bells and TRX. Once you leave the corridor you enter a really large open space with a boxing ring in the middle, cross fit stations on the left, punching bags all along the right and some weight stations on the opposite end behind the ring. Finally there are stairs that take you up to the top floor where the bootcamp training section is along with a lounge for members to sit and chill while they wait for their classes or just to socialize. The place looks amazing and as I mentioned earlier, my pictures really don’t do it any justice.

burrow4

The Burrow Life is set to open this coming Saturday. They’re only going to offer semi annual and annual memberships. I can’t say how much the cost is since that’s the only thing they didn’t want me to mention in my post but I can say it’s very similar to Inspire. Personally I think this is by far, and I mean BY FAR the best looking gym in Kuwait and the best looking gym I’ve personally ever seen be it in person or in photos anywhere. Sometimes pictures make a place look better than it actually is but I’m telling you in this case my photos really don’t do the place any justice. It looks much better in person. I’ve literally been sending these pictures to every gym goer I know telling them how great the place looks. Anyway, I’ve got all the photos I took below but also make sure you check out their instagram account for more details [Here]


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Al Hamra Thermae Gym

Post by Mark

hamragym

Figured I’d post about this gym (Al Hamra Thermae) since I just passed by to check it out awhile ago. It’s not the nicest looking mens gym, but they’re located on the 74th floor of Al Hamra Tower and they’ve got a pretty good offer at the moment. They’ve brought down their price to KD700 year plus will give you a month free which brings the price down to around KD50 a month.

The nicest thing about the gym though is twice a week they swap with the womens gym on the 3rd floor and you get access to use the outdoor running track. If you’re interested you could call them up on 97997797.

Not sure if the womens gym have a similar offer, I tried calling them up but no one picked up (60660060).


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Best Gym in Kuwait 2015

Post by Mark

circuitplus

circuitplus

nima

I have a cousin I see once every few years. Every time I see him, he mentions cross-fit (Ali, I know you’re reading this, please stop). When I first heard about it, it sounded good. Then you meet the people. Not necessary the people themselves, but their social media character. Jumping onto boxes, or over, or whatever it is. And I thought, “this…isn’t for me.”

I suppose the point is to inspire you, or themselves or someone. And I hope sincerely, that the mundane video of your friend jumping onto or over a box, inspires someone. Because if it does, that person was probably in a very dark place. Occasionally people will tell me “they” (the facist a person pays to yell inspirational instagram messages at them while the person repeatedly picks up and puts down otherwise useless pieces of metal) will work them until they puke. Isn’t that great? The smell of sweat and vomit! Just what you want around you while you’re breathing heavy.

For these reasons and many more, I cannot condone gyms. They’re far too moist and inherently narcissistic and I can’t for the life of me understand what anyone else to be narcissistic about.

I don’t believe in gyms. I believe in genetics. I, for one, am a delightfully svelte size 30 waist. Forever more and always. I love you, me.

TIP: Google “box jump fails” for more inspiration.

mark

Winner: Circuit+
The amount of gyms we have in Kuwait and the amount that are popping up is going to soon start exceeding the amount of burger joints we have, and thats a good thing. Every other person in Kuwait is now doing CrossFit and the gym that probably started this craze in Kuwait is Circuit+. CrossFit was already available in Kuwait but Circuit+ took it mainstream and made it much more accessible to everyone. Right now they’ve got a couple of locations in Kuwait but their Shuwaikh one is just massive, it’s crazy huge. But, their gym aside, what I love about Circuit+ the most is their annual Battle of The East CrossFit competition. It’s a world class event bringing in competitors from around the world and creating a fantastic show for everyone in Kuwait to take part in and to watch. They’ve created a huge community and are giving back to Kuwait and for that reason I’ve chosen them as this years best gym in Kuwait.

Runner up:Inspire Pure Fitness
Inspire is the best mixed (as in guys and girls) gym you could sign up to and their new location at the Sahara Country Club is also the nicest looking gym in Kuwait. But, you’ll also have to sell your kidney to be able to afford their membership which can reach KD1,950 a year with their mandatory weekly PT sessions.


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Ordering Supplements Online to Kuwait

Post by Mark

supplements

A couple of weeks back I asked if anyone had any difficulties ordering fitness supplements online. I got a variety of answers back but generally the response was that customs wouldn’t give me a hard time unless they were in a bad mood. So I went ahead and placed an order of seven different supplements and sent them to my Aramex Shop & Ship mailbox. Earlier this morning the courier dropped them off without a hitch.

So the answer is yes you can order supplements online and save a ton of money compared to buying them locally. Two of my supplements turned out to be pretty heavy (one was basically a kilo) and that kinda screwed up my savings but, for my next order I will be leaving those two heavy supplements out. The amount of savings I can achieve range anywhere from 50% to 75% off the local cost including shipping and customs. The only thing to keep in mind is not to order from the brands I’ve listed below since according to Aramex, the customs department are instructed to hold these brands:

– Muscle Tech
– Vitol Products
– Ultimate Nutrition Inc.
– Labrada Nutrition Inc.
– Bio Engineered Supplement & Nutrition Inc. “BSN”
– Nurtex Research Inc.
– USP Labs LLC
– Pharma Freak
– ISS Research
– Diamond Nutrition Inc. “DMI “
– Nutrabolics
– Experimental and Applied Sciences “IAS”

I ordered all my supplements from Amazon since they have some of the cheapest prices I found online [Link]


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Electro Muscular Training in Kuwait

Post by Mark

miha1

A friend of mine recently started managing the social media account of a fitness studio in Kuwait called 20Seven. Unlike regular gyms they were using something called Electro Muscular Training (EMT) for their exercises which I thought sounded like total BS. I kept poking fun at her comparing it to the As Seen on TV gizmo where the commercial shows people wearing a patch on their abs that stimulates the muscles electronically while they’re tanning pool side. It just didn’t make any sense to me but the more I researched it the more legit EMT seemed, or at least the concept. My friend invited me to pass by and try it and since I knew the owner as well I figured I’d be polite and give it a shot.

So last Thursday I headed to their studio to try out EMT. Thursdays and Fridays are the only days I don’t have gym, they’re my rest days and since I didn’t think I would be getting much of a workout from EMT, I figured I’d pass by try it out and then continue with my day. Clearly I arrived there extremely skeptical about the whole thing but I kept an open mind as I always do. Once I was there I was introduced to the EMS trainer who proceeded to explain to me how everything worked and what we would be doing in the session. The sessions are only 20 minutes long and we were going to divide it into 15 minute of strength training, 5 minutes of cardio and once it’s over an extra 5 minutes of recovery. EMS basically sends impulse currents to specific parts of your body. In the 60s Soviet sport scientists applied EMS in the training of elite athletes and claimed 40% force gains. Today EMS is widely used in physiotherapy.

miha2

Before starting the workout I had to wear a special outfit, kinda like a wetsuit that had all these wires sticking out which then connects to their EMS machine. Then one by one the trainer applied electric current to various parts of my suit and told me to inform her when the level of discomfort became unbearable so she could set the level and move on to another part of my body. It felt like I was getting electrocuted by a low current, it wasn’t painful but it felt strange. Once we were ready she told me no matter how fit I was or how much of an athlete I was, everyone starts off here as a beginner. In my head I was thinking whatever just hit me with everything you’ve got. She told me to follow her moves and that the currents would come every few seconds. So I would have a few seconds rest and then the current would hit, a few seconds rest and then the current would hit again. Before the current hits I would have to be in a certain position matching hers and hold it like that throughout the electro stimulation. So for example she would go into a squat position and I would do the same and then hold that position while the current hit me.

It was a killer. I wasn’t expecting it to be difficult but damn my legs especially were starting to give up on me. When the current hits your muscles tense up and it becomes really difficult to hold whatever position you’re in. 15 minutes later I was ready to end my session but we still had 5 more minutes of cardio left and I was already exhausted. I was actually getting a real workout, I was sweating and I was also getting muscle fatigue… I was not expecting that.

miha3

Once we were done with the session I was honest and told them I came in really skeptical but I now understood what all the fuss was about. I don’t think anyone can get muscular from EMT but I don’t think thats why athletes use it. The entire Bayern Munich football club, Usain Bolt and Rafael Nadal are just some athletes who use EMT and they all use it as an addition on top of their regular workout regime. EMT helps increase muscle strength and performance but regular people also use EMT as a quick work out. Its an alternative to gyming for couch potatoes.

I ended up getting muscle soreness in my bum a couple of days later which is a sign of a good workout. But, I was surprised I got any sort of muscle soreness since I heavily workout all my body and that specific week I had done quite a bit of leg workouts. Yet the EMT training was able to reach muscles I wasn’t able to during my regular workouts and thats why I’m probably going to start doing one EMT session a week on top of my current busy gym schedule. You’re only recommended to do EMT twice a week by the way since you need rest days between each workout. Price wise it’s not that bad. 1 session of EMT is KD25 but depending on the package you take it can go down to as low as KD15. Keep in mind there is no gym membership here and it’s a 20 minute private session with a personal trainer. If you’re interested to find out more, check out 20Seven’s instagram page [Here]


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Impromptu Dance in Japan

Post by Mark


[YouTube]

Zaina is a Kuwaiti Zumba instructor who was in Japan recently and had a pretty cool experience which I thought would be interesting to share here:

Quick background story: I was in Osaka, Japan with some friends right outside the metro station en route to Kyoto. On the way in I noticed a bunch of different dance crews practicing in their own corners, with their own boom boxes. I sat around and watched for a while until my friend suggested we Zumba!

Despite the major language barrier between us, we managed to find a way and communicated through dance. This is definitely one of the best moments that I’ve encountered on my journey in the Zumba and dance world. OH I also need to mention that this video is the first and only shot. This amazing group of dancers had never heard the song or seen ANY of the choreo prior to what you see!

I loved the whole thing from the story to the video which is why I wanted to share it here. If you’re interested in Zumba you can follow Zaina on instagram @zainzumba or on Facebook [Here]

zaina


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5 Stripes – Custom Mixed Organic Cereals

Post by Mark

5stripes

I heard about 5 Stripes from a friend of mine and I thought it was an interesting idea. 5 Stripes is a local creation and according to their website they’re the first company in the Middle East that allows you to custom mix your own cereal from a wide range of organic ingredients. They also have pre mixed cereals but whether you custom mix or go with a pre mix, they all come in cool long cylindrical containers.

You can custom mix your ingredients using their website and once you place an order you get a special code which you could use the next time you want to reorder the same mix. That way you don’t waste time creating your custom mix over and over again. If you’re interested, check out their website [Here]


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Orbea and Olma Bicycles

Post by Mark

orbea

If you’re looking for a good branded bike in Kuwait you really don’t have much options other than Trek. I actually had to order my bicycle online due to this fact but things are starting to get better. VIB is a small bike store that opened around a year ago in the Al-Rai area but recently moved to Salmiya and opened up shop right next to Extreme Sports (the Trek dealer).

VIB carry two brands of bicycles, Olma and the race winning Orbea which is the more popular brand and the one that a lot of top racers use. Back at the Beijing Olympics two gold medal winners were on Orbea bikes for example. They carry both road and mountain bikes and seem to have a large variety to choose from. Prices vary but most of the ones I checked hovered at around KD300.

If you’re interested in their bikes, they’re open from 10 to 1 and then again 3 to 9. Their phone number is 55219829 and here is their location on [Google Maps]


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A Tip for Keeping Your Nutrition in Check

Post by Amy Freeman

caloriecounting

Post by Amy Freeman

When I first moved to Kuwait from New Zealand, my workouts stayed pretty much the same as did the contents of my diet. So when I found it really hard to lose weight one of the things that I realized is that I hadn’t taken in to account how somewhat inactive my life had become outside my workouts. It’s a common thing in Kuwait especially in summer which starts in May and lasts all the way till October.

So I started doing something that I had never done before and to be honest I had never had to do before. I started counting my macronutrients (carbs, fat and protein) and calories.

After finding that this had positive results I suggested it to some of my clients to try out as well. They also ended up having positive results.

What this made me realize first and foremost is that ‘accidental exercise’; such as walking down 2 blocks to pay a phone bill or taking the dog to the park does actually make a difference overall to your body composition and it does make it easier to be a little more flexible with nutrition.

It also made me realize how much unnecessary snacking I was doing such as while preparing dinner or when I was bored. Probably the biggest thing I noticed is how much of a difference NOT eating out makes.

There are many ways to find out how many calories a day you should be having and what your macros should be but I suggest going to see either a nutritionist or a reputable coach that has experience. If you don’t have access to either of those things then you can get an idea of where to start at this website [Here]

Most of the time it is a trial and error thing, everybody is different and sometimes it takes a
couple of months to fine tune things.

Lastly remember that not all calories and macros are equal. For example, If you have a 1,500 calorie diet of chips and chocolate versus a 1500 calorie diet of beef, quinoa and broccoli, there is going to be a huge difference in how those two bodies look and perform.

Happy Training Kuwait

Post by Amy Freeman, a Strength and Conditioning Coach from New Zealand and currently a Personal Trainer at Inspire Pure Fitness in Kuwait.


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