Fundamentally Fit Fitness and healthy living is not a destination Tue, 02 Jun 2020 08:30:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Fundamentally Fit 32 32 COVID-19 Status June 1st Fri, 29 May 2020 07:56:16 +0000 Current Status

Fundamentally FIT is committed to training our client in the safest way possible. The current Government recommendations are evolving all the time and we look forward to welcoming you all back to the studio in the future.

We are continuing to train clients online as we always have done, including increased virtual PT sessions and nutrition coaching. The Government changes to outside training now mean that we are able to work with clients in their gardens and this is something we are starting to offer where access is available without going through the property.

We have also started offering Bounce Back Consultations for people looking to return to training in our private studio or working In-home once restrictions are lifted. This is a good idea if virtual training is not for you, but you would like to discuss your goals, program options, and get everything ready to start as soon as we get the green light.

The current position of the Government is that gyms and studios will fall under the July review, whereby a decision will be taken based on the current state of the pandemic. It is possible that small studios like Fundamentally FIT’s could get the go ahead sooner due to only working 1-2-1 and the ease of social distancing. Please get in touch, or keep an eye on the website and our social media channels for up to date information.

If you have any questions about your training, or if you would like a Get Ready Consultation then please contact

Stay Safe, Andy Strong – Owner

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NEW WEBSITE Fri, 29 May 2020 07:20:57 +0000 Welcome to the NEW Fundamentally FIT website!

Over the past few years Fundamentally FIT has seen some significant expansions in our services and the types of coaching we are able to offer. Our old website had been with us for a little too long so it’s exciting to be able to showcase how we build a winning relationship with our clients and the amazing journeys they have been on.

Take a look around and please feedback your thoughts and any recommendations. We also have several new features coming in the next couple of months, including a live calendar showing all our webinars and events, we also have a new shop in the pipeline where you can pick up some of our quick start programs and coaching materials.

Whether you are looking to train online, In-home, or at our private studio, it has never been easier to work with Fundamentally FIT and I hope you enjoy your time exploring our new online home.

Andy Strong – Owner

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What it means to be Plant-Based in 2020 Fri, 24 Jan 2020 18:23:36 +0000 What it means to be Plant-Based in 2020 EP: 2/3


Welcome back to the Fundamentally FIT three-part series looking at Plant-Based diets.

Back in Episode one, I was looking at some of the ethical and environmental more people are being tempted by this style of diet. I also look back on my experience of helping people make large scale lifestyle change and why this might be a challenge for the mainstream population.

Here in Episode two, I am looking at the many different definitions and ways in which you could adopt a plant-based diet in 2020. I take a look at the number of people adopting these diets to see if they match the media attention. Finally, I also explore some of the key touchpoints you need to be aware of and research further if you are adopting one of the main plant-based diets.

Coming Soon: Episode Three – Plant-Powered Endurance and the Game Changers.


Show Notes – Plant-Based Diet Classifications

Vegetarian – typically does not eat meat, fish, poultry or shellfish.

Lacto-Ovo vegetarian – Eats dairy foods and eggs but does not meat, poultry or fish.

Ovo vegetarian – Eats eggs but excludes all other animal foods including dairy.

Lacto vegetarians – Eats dairy but excludes all other animal foods including eggs

Vegans – Exclude all animal products including honey

Pescatarian – Includes fish or shellfish

Flexitarians – semi-vegetarians or those who only eat meat occasionally


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Your Diet or the Planet Thu, 09 Jan 2020 13:13:45 +0000 Your Diet or the Planet


One noticeable addition to the wave of January “diet” hype this year, is the BIG push towards plant-based diets for environmental reasons. Some T.V outlets, in particular, seem determined to push this message.

Undeniably the research into the impact of certain types of farming in different parts of the world, along with unsustainable levels of deforestation is having an impact on the planet we call home. The United Nations Environmental impact of consumption and production report makes for sober reading. Agriculture alone accounts for 70% of the global freshwater consumption, 38% of the total land use and 14% of the world’s global greenhouse emissions.


This is barely scratching the surface of what will undoubtedly become the most politically and ethically charged debate of the new decade. That being said I’m not an environmental scientist, I’m a nutrition coach and a Fitness Professional and, in many respects approaching this vastly complex topic from a much simpler starting point is perhaps a little easier to get your head around.

While deciding to change your diet for the good of the planet is a very noble thing to do, it’s not very realistic for the many people that I work with on a regular basis, or at least not straight away. Let me explain…


I have seen people try to change their lifestyles and diets for a multitude of reasons. Often, it’s to be a better role model to their kids, to counteract a health scare, to boost confidence and of course, to lose weight.
Despite all these important and valid reasons to adapt their diets and lifestyle the same all too common sticking points can occur.

• Lack of cooking skills
• Lack of healthy meals in a home cooking repertoire
• Poor time management for meal preparation
• Lack of structured lunch breaks for eating while at work
• Too many sugary drinks and not enough water
• Very low intakes vegetables and fruit


Each of these areas, of which this list is far from exhaustive, is vitally important to a successful lifestyle change in the long term. If we look a little closer then cooking, meal prepping and of course, fruit and vegetable intake are the unavoidable components of a successful and healthy plant-based or Vegan diet.

The very essence of a pant-based diet is to reduce or remove animal products from your diet and in turn increasing fruits, vegetables, pulses, beans, nuts and natural forms of plant-based nutrition. This is also where the benefits of this type of diet lie. Adopting this type of diet overnight means it’s easier to fall into an uncomfortable middle ground where your diet is made up of processed plant-based meat substitutes or Vegan fast foods which are rapidly plugging the vacuum on our supermarket shelves and our favourite delivery apps.

Like Dairy-free and gluten-free before them, Vegan and Plant-based are quickly becoming synonymous with being healthy by default. This is misguided, processed and manufactured plant-based food are still going to be unhealthier than whole foods. Equally, I would say that most of the people I work with don’t get a regular five a day, fruit and vegetables, with vegetables being the bigger challenge. I would also say that most would not consider a meat-free meal on a regular basis.


On its own, this should be a pause for thought. However, a well-balanced plant-based diet also requires time to adequately educate yourself to avoid the long-term health pitfalls and, the requirement to plan your meals adequately means that plant-based diets are very unlikely to reach the mainstream population this Veganuary.


So, where does this leave us when considering making the leap to a more plant-based diet such as Pescatarian (eats fish), flexitarian (eats meat occasionally) or a fully Vegan diet (eats no animal products)?
A plant-based diet in which ever form you choose can provide you with the balanced nutrition needed to lead a healthy life if you are prepared to put in the time needed at the outset. If you feel strongly enough to move your diet in this direction for environmental or ethical reasons, then allow yourself the time needed to do it well and to do it properly.

Despite the importance of the environment and climate, my many years working with people on lifestyle change has taught me that rapid overnight changes almost never stick for the majority of people, regardless of the motivator.
Start with a few meat-free meals each week and experiment with new plant-based cooking books. Build a repertoire of healthy plant-based meals over time and experiment with new foods and ingredients. Take time to seek out good education and learn how to fit these lifestyle changes around your own routine and family life.


Finally, you may never feel that you can make the switch to a fully plant-based diet and that’s ok. It is unrealistic to think that everyone should or needs to. We would all benefit from eating less meat from a health perspective and adopting some regular plant-based meals into your weekly routine along with purchasing higher welfare meat is going to be a positive step in the right direction for your health, the environment and supporting our farming communities here in the U.K.


I don’t feel that the pressure we are seeing currently to make this switch is the right basis to make such sweeping and dramatic changes overnight. Lasting change in my experience takes more time and if you are serious about making the switch then give yourself and others some breathing space to do it well.

Andy Strong


Check out the New 3 Part Podcast Your Diet or You Planet as I explore the environmental, health and fitness implications of switching to a plant-based diet.
Available on iTunes, Soundcloud, and all good podcasts distributors. Coming January 2020

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Flip Your Mindset Tue, 30 Jul 2019 17:33:45 +0000 Flip Your Mindset


Flip Your Mindset

We all know that Monday motivation is great for hitting the gym, dodging the workplace cake and kick-starting the “New You”. However, holding onto that Monday motivation and resolve throughout the week is somewhat harder to maintain.

The trick is often not about having more motivation, better goals, or even stronger resolve. Although these all have their place.

Often it is smarter to stop and think about how we perceive a situation and how we can flip our mindset to help us be more successful without being so hard on ourselves.

Here are a few ways you could flip your mindset with some common weekly progress blockers.


Road Block No 1:  The classic office birthday cake day dilemma.

When workplace tradition states that you must take in birthday cakes for your work colleges you could comply, but the frustration of derailing your efforts may negatively impact more than just one day, or a slice of cake.

The Mindset Flip: Instead of telling yourself you must take cakes to the office, you could say that my colleagues are probably also frustrated at the number of cakes at the office, so I’m not going to burden them with this on my birthday and instead take a fruit basket for people to enjoy. You get to bring your healthy habits to the workplace and have a positive impact not just on your goals but your workmates as well.


Road Block No 2: I hate doing the weekly shop

Eating healthy meals means planning ahead and getting to the supermarket, or ordering online. This can feel like a chore for some and a lack of planning means this could easily get skipped altogether. When this happens eating out or dialing becomes the norm for the week or, at best, poor unstructured eating.


The Mindset Flip: Keep things simple and have a repertoire of easy to cook midweek meals. Grilled meats or fish veg and brown rice don’t require a complex shopping list. You can also plan to go to the supermarket early in the morning when they open, or in the evening when they are quieter, making your trip much faster and time-efficient.

The real mindset flip though comes from switching you thinking from I don’t have time to go to the shops to, if I get to the shops and have healthier food choices in the house then I am already a big step closer to having a successful week and moving closer to my goals.


Example Three: Pushing through the exercise grind.

We all know how easy the first couple of weeks of a new training regime can be. While the training might be tough and your muscle sore, the excitement to be making a positive change is a great feeling. However, at some point, we all hit the grind where our goals are some way off, yet work still needs to be done to achieve them. At this point, it may feel tempting to sneak an extra glass of wine or skip the trip to the gym.


The Mindset Flip: I’m not going to lie, the grind hits us all at some point, it’s just part of the process. Learning to love the journey really is essential, especially when the goal is a big one. When thinking about the grind it’s helpful to think not about the individual session but where you are moving towards.

Don’t think I have to go to the gym; think today I get to move another step closer to my end goal.

For me, this is best described by the things my fitness has enabled me to experience and enjoy.

I have been lucky enough to run all over the world, meet inspiring people, I have walked up mountains and along beautiful coastal paths and share happy memories with friends and family alike. I always think about the things my fitness has and can do to enrich my life, rather than anyone session.

For you, this might be taking part in your very first 5k or walking along the beach in the hot weather with your family while on holiday. It could be that you want to try surfing with a loved one in Cornwall or play football with your kids in the park.

The training session is part of the journey, but the destinations are many and ultimately what we do it all for.

So next time you are struggling or telling yourself you “can’t” today, or “maybe” tomorrow, why not flip your mindset and take another look.


Andy Strong

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Chamonix-Mont Blanc, Vertical Kilometre Event Report Sun, 30 Jun 2019 20:16:25 +0000 Chamonix-Mont Blanc, Vertical Kilometre

Event Report


I have been lucky enough, or foolish (some might say) to have taken part in a lot of unusual and challenging events over the years. My recent trip to Chamonix, however, was something rather different altogether.

As we rolled into the beautiful Alpine town of Chamonix on Thursday afternoon, France and much of Europe was in the grips of an unseasonably hot heatwave. This was no sightseeing trip though (mostly), we had a date with a mountain and the Chamonix, Mont Blanc Vertical Kilometre. The Vertical Kilometre was part of a series events over the weekend including a 90K Ultradistance race, half marathon, 10K and the famous Mont Blanc marathon on the Sunday.

The VKM is a challenging event taking in 1000m meters of ascent over 3Km, straight up the mountain. Kirsty and I were invited by our friends to join them and after many weekends of repeat climbs of Boxhill it was time to see what this mountain had to throw at us, quite a lot as it turns out.

With the temperature in the mid 30s the race was put back an hour and although this helped there was no escaping the furnace. With our hydro packs brimming with water in every available pocket it was time to join the start and await your call up. This event is in a classic time trial format with each participant setting off individually every 15 seconds. I stood in the shaded start tent, my soaking wet hat, now almost dry after it’s pre-line up soaking only a few moments earlier. The timer counted down 5,4,3,2,1 and off into the sun I went, ready to take on the mountain and the unknown.

Setting off on this race I have never been so slow, or should I say conservative. The road quickly winds to the edge of town and the first “warm up” hill of the day up to the base of the mountain by the ski lift. Immediately my throat was raw, dry and my chest heavy, the 1000m of suffering had begun.

While this event could be described as a run, most of those who do run are superhuman athletes or more like mountain goats. It was something very special to see these highly skilled elites glide up the mountain. My tactic, however, was to run-walk until the incline became too steep and then adopt as fast a power hike as I could muster.

The initial 300m of the ascent were brutal and probably some of the hardest. The combination of the heat, incline and daunting nature every time you glanced up meant finding a groove was hard. The route is largely a zig zag trail and I managed to run most of the zigs and walk the zags. This helped me find a rhythm and catching fellow competitors meant I had a little rest-bite alongside some of my more unplanned stoppages, to catch my breath and take in the view.

The course largely follows the path beneath the cable cars and the welcome banging and cow bells from those passing overhead offered some needed support and a moral boost. At the 600m mark the path starts to curve to the right of the mountain with the decidedly narrow single-track path not affording you much margin for error or fatigue. The mountain trail STILL weaves ever upwards and the notion of running finally ebbs away, it was time to focus on “hiking with intent”. At around 750m the course starts to take it’s expected transition from zig zag trail to technical assault course.

The upward momentum now accelerates as you climb and clamber over rocks, up ladders and pulling yourself up using heavy duty cables and ropes. As you climb the metal steps forged into the rockface a head for heights is a necessity, but upper body strength and nerves of steel aren’t a bad set of tools to have either.

At this point some of the faster participants had started catching me up and made the narrow pathways even more congested. Finding safe points to let them through became harder, but the rest was welcome each time.

With the final 100m in sight the noise from the top was getting louder and my determination not to lose ground to the five closest competitors with whom I had been jostling position with over the previous 900m kicks in. I take a deep breath, grit my teeth and decide to ignore the burning in my legs and push on up the pass, largely on my hands and knees.

As I reached the top of the winding section of path everything drops away to reveal the stunning mountain range on the other side of the valley and Mont Blanc itself. As I do the cable cars swings overhead and is an image that will never leave me. The marshals are ready and waiting to stop weary competitors from staggering too close to the edge. I am ushered up the final rocks and grab the cable and haul myself up the final stretch of trail.

Finally, I reach the ladder onto the cable car platform and the crowds are roaring. I step up and find the last of my energy returning to my legs and run (I say “run” loosely at this point) to the final winding set of stairs. As I reach the top I can see the final 100m to the finish line and the last mini climb of the day.
Crossing the line, I immediately make good use of the benches for competitors, shaking hands with those finishers around me. I had managed to climb the 1000m in 1 hour and nineteen minutes and while unlikely to break any records, this event challenged me in ways, I have not experienced in a long time.

I am delighted to say that everyone in our gang made up the mountain successfully and we all enjoyed a well-deserved victory beer on the finish line. While I would not say that this event is for everyone, it has proved to me, yet again that there are always new ways to challenge yourself and new ways to experience the benefits of living a healthier lifestyle.

It has been wonderful to have so much support from everyone as I took on this more unusual challenge and I want to say a very big thank you to everyone for your kind messages and emails of support and encouragement.


We all have our own mountain to climb when it comes to living a heathier lifestyle, mine was just a little more literal in this case. I hope this story has inspired some of you to step outside the ordinary and try something just a little bit crazy with your next goal.




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Why Now is the Time to get serious about Your goals. Mon, 01 Apr 2019 08:39:23 +0000 Why Now is the Time to get serious about

Your goals.


As we finally head into spring and winter loosens its grip, our attention naturally turns to summer goals. While January is undoubtably a busy and important time in the fitness industry, it is April that brings most people out of their long winter hibernation.

The changing of the clocks brings warmer weather (hopefully), lighter evenings and renewed inspiration to get exercising. This is also the very best time of year to make serious progress towards your goals. April to June is hands down the easiest time of the year to lose weight, tone up and regain your body confidence, and for a few very simple reasons.


1. Summer Goals are Unavoidable.

As we move into the spring it becomes inevitable that out summer goals are now unavoidable if your serious about them. Whether you are looking to enhance body confidence for your holiday or a wedding, looking to get more from your summer break with enhanced fitness or you might want to take on a summer challenge like a 10K, Race for Life, triathlon or an obstacle race.

These are are very popular and understandable goals for the summer months. No goals happen over night and so now is the time to get serious, or be disappointed.


2. Lighter Eating

The winter months make us crave heavy comforting foods as we hibernate in front of the fire. Spring and summer are naturally the opposite of this type of eating and in turn make it easier to lose weight. Less will power, lighter eating, better results. Make sure your not extending your winter eating habits and give your diet a spring clean. A little planning is always needed, but now is the time to maximise your return.


3. Lighter Evenings.

Time is always a big factor in successfully achieving your goals, whether it’s losing weight, running a 10K or body sculpting in the gym. Each year when the clocks change my working pattern always shift with my clients. Many switch from late evening sessions to training early in the morning. This frees up time in the evening for family, additional training, or simply getting in 10,000 steps after work. The longer, lighter days make you feel like you have more time, more energy and feel less stressed about fitting in all your training. Longer days mean, less excuses and more consistent results for those ready to take advantage of them.


4. The Results Hot Spot

While Fundamentally FIT clients prove time and time again that you can achieve amazing results at any time of the year, undoubtably the results hot spot of the year is April – June. This is for the very simple reasons outlined above already, but also because it’s the typical 12 week window of the year when focus is at it’s highest and importantly, before the summer holiday season begins.

Between June and August, we will all go on our summer holidays and the temperature creeps up. As this happens, we exercise less, socialise more at summer BBQ’s and often lose our focus once the big event we are training for is over. Add in the summer holidays with the kids and life gets more complicated.

The results hot spot is right now! We are entering the 12-16 weeks of the year when all the stars align to make it as easy as possible to hit your goals, if your ready to roll up your sleeves, pull on your trainers and get moving.


Enjoy the Spring and Good Luck with your Summer Goals.

If you would like to learn about our Small Group Training, Personal Training, or Nutrition Coaching Services then please contact us for a complimentary consultation.


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You Don’t Need To Be A Cover Model To Be A Fitness Super Hero Fri, 25 Jan 2019 06:01:34 +0000 You Don’t Need To Be A Cover Model To Be A Fitness Super Hero


In 2019 we can say with certainty that there is nobody having a bad fitness day on Instagram. This bubble of perfectness can be both inspiring and motivational at times, but all too often serves to make our own efforts feel mediocre or below par. Today I want to talk to you about why aiming for a cover model physique doesn’t always make you a real fitness superhero.

In 2018, Sport England ran a powerful campaign called This Girl Can. It was aimed at empowering women of all abilities and backgrounds to get involved in sport. What I loved about this campaign was that it was one of the first of its kind to send the right kind of message about the power of sport and exercise out to the masses.
In the This Girl Can campaign it featured real people taking part in sport and one of the main taglines in its feature advert was “I jiggle therefore I am”. Despite being aimed at women, this message is universal to all.
What this advert and campaign managed to do was breath fresh air and realism into an often unrealistic and over glamourised industry, something we should all be able to relate to.

According to Parliamentary statistics, obesity rates have increased from 15-26% since 1993 with the 45- 74 age groups making up the majority of this increase. Put simply a lot of us are struggling with our weight.
Despite having lost a considerable amount of weight since my late teens I still feel noticeably self-consciousness even today. I still catch myself folding my arms to cover my stomach and worry people are judging my size. Some things are so deep routed they never really go away altogether.

The honest reality is that we all jiggle, or at least those of us who are human do.

Now I would never want to take away from those who work tirelessly in the gym, pool, running track or classes to achieve their dream bodies. I take my hat off to you and commend your hard work.
For most of us though, we jiggle a little bit and that’s ok.

I hope that we see more ad campaigns like This Girl Can because the alternative is the imperfect bubble of Instagram and social media. Despite the motivation these videos and photographs can provide, it ultimately encourages us to compare ourselves to people who are often living dramatically different lives.
They might be a professional model who gets paid to train in their working day. They might be an actor working tirelessly on a new role with the best trainers and dieticians in the world. Or they could simply be people who don’t have to get up at 6am for work each day, do a 12-14-hour shift and still look after a family.

I would be the first to say you can change your lifestyle and live a healthier happier life. Dreaming of a cover model physique is fine but if you’re defining your fitness success by what you see in magazines and online you are more likely to undervalue your superherohero efforts and progress.

Sport England taught us that This Girl Can and in 2019 I am telling you that Everyone can be a fitness super hero.

Take your first steps to becoming a fitness Super Hero and start having fun with sport, fitness and exercise, that’s how winning is really done.

Andy Strong

Fundamentally FIT

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Stepping Outside the Health & Fitness Noise This January Tue, 01 Jan 2019 19:26:12 +0000 Stepping Outside the Health & Fitness Noise This January


January is an exciting time for those ready to make positive lifestyle changes. It can also become stressful and confusing when trying to decide how exactly you should make that change and who you should be listening to.


The online health & fitness space is getting increasingly crowded and 2019 is without a doubt, a new peak, in my professional opinion. Online adverts, emails, and social media are bursting at the seams with “solutions” and companies are marketing hard to reach you in time for the New Year Diet season.


Many companies and individuals continue to make outlandish claims while others are starting to target each other in hope of capturing their competitor’s audiences and customers for themselves. The Health, Fitness & Nutrition industry has never been so competitive.


So why am I telling you all this, rather than writing your typical overly cliché New Year Blog about resolutions and new beginnings?

Simple, I want you to have a successful start to the year. To do that, the best and most honest advice I can offer you is, to listen to yourself.


Despite the Health and Fitness industry being very crowded, there are also a lot of very well qualified people with true passion for helping you achieve your goals. With a saturation of choice both online and offline means, it is wise to take a step back from the hype and focus more closely on what type of support and help you really need as an individual to be successful.


For example, off the shelf or one size fits all solutions seldom deliver long-term results for everyone – we are all different so maybe a more tailored approach could make all the difference. However, maybe you are looking for a short-term blitz and can afford to be a little more radical in the approach and service you choose. Whatever your goals, whatever your motivations, you need to start with you as an individual and not a product. Select a service that fits your needs and one that you will enjoy being a part of.


The key ingredients required for improved fitness, weight loss, and enhanced lifestyle will surprise nobody. Hard work, consistency, patience and having fun. Afterall if you are going to work hard and build consistency you need to enjoy the training, the people you work out with and the place you go to do it. Equally, food needs to be enjoyable, engaging and not overly restrictive.  Give these some serious consideration before jumping into your New Year routines and diets and you will invest your money more wisely and reap more rewards, not just this January but for the whole of 2019.


Wishing you a Happy, Healthy and Successful 2019

Andy Strong


To discuss your Health, Fitness & Nutrition Goals this January please feel free to request a complimentary consultation or contact

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Why Meal Replacements Still aren’t the Answer You’re Looking For Thu, 27 Sep 2018 12:04:13 +0000 Why Meal Replacements Still aren’t the Answer You’re Looking For


As the obesity epidemic tightens it’s hold on the NHS and the nation’s health, we are seeing more research into finding a workable solution to our weight loss struggles. One new study reported on the BBC website today links the need to switch to a meal replacement diet as one possible solution.

As a nutrition coach, I recognise that for certain individuals, the fact they are obese is of far greater risk to their long-term health than going on a very low-calorie diet, and therefore, a more direct or dramatic approach can be justifiable. These individuals are already obese (BMI of 30 or higher) and have an increased risk of developing cancer, type two diabetes and heart disease to name but a few of the conditions heavily linked with obesity and poor lifestyle choices.

It has been suggested that meal replacements should be offered on the NHS as a solution to these individuals weight loss struggles, and in turn lower the burden of treatment costs long-term to the NHS.

This study was very small, only 278 people and most importantly they worked with a counsellor alongside the meal replacement diet. The diet consisted of shakes and soups totaling less than a thousand calories per day and below the current NHS minimum calorie intake guidelines for the general public. After a year the average sustained weight loss was just over a stone and a half, which while very positive is by no means record-breaking or likely to change the tide in the battle against obesity.

Importantly, this study strongly advised people not to follow this type of diet without the correct guidance and counseling alongside it.


So, this leaves us in an interesting position, on the face of it low-calorie meal replacements could aid weight loss. This is no real surprise as any low-calorie diet will work if you can stick to it. Calories are strictly controlled through shakes and soups making adherence simpler as you don’t personally have to do any calorie counting.

The big problem comes when you can’t stick to the plan. This approach seems easy, but in reality, it’s hard work (all weight loss undeniably is). I have had clients in the past who simply cannot stick to this meal replacements as it’s so restrictive and often means avoiding family meals, eating alone and an increased tendency to binge or have big blowouts.

This study also points to the fact that all participants still need to learn the skills to eat healthily in the future. This includes understanding how to balance your diet, how to manage portion control, developing eating on the go skills, learning to cook more healthily and vitally integrating these skills into your lifestyle.

My big worry with the growing popularisation of this dietary approach comes not from its ability to work, as for some it is still much better than the alternative long-term ill health. The problem is that certain fundamental diet and life skills are unavoidable. The normalisation or legitimisation of this approach in the mainstream opens the doors to countless meal replacement products which are not tightly controlled in a medical environment like this study provided. People will be increasingly tempted to try it because they think it’s the right way to go and they will have none of the additional support or education, provided by a nutrition specialist like myself, or a dietary counselor like Brainreframe.

Your long-term health and diet requires learning these skills and importantly the reasons why you struggle with your diet in the first place.

Do you struggle with your diet because you don’t know what to eat and how to balance your lifestyle, or is it because you have an emotional connection with food which is holding you back? Without answering these questions fully meal replacement products become just that, a temporary replacement, a sticking plaster and another way to kick the can down the road for another day.

I also worry about the motivations behind this type of advice. It is a clear demonstration of how fast-paced our lives are and that it is now easier to consider a dramatic unnatural way to lose weight and gain your nutrients than it is to help people slow down and look after themselves properly. It’s a reflection of an NHS in crisis, that it is now being asked to consider something which I am sure they would really, rather not. It is also a fair question to ask who will be making money out of selling these products to the NHS, and where the money behind the future research is coming from to ensure transparency.

Do meal replacements work, yes in most cases based on the maths alone. Are meal replacements the right solution, yes, for some people they offer a way to minimise the damage already done due to obesity and poor lifestyle. Are meal replacements the solution to our weight loss as a society, absolutely, not. This is not a magic bullet and this study also points to the need for further research being needed.


Regardless of the approach, you chose to use to lose weight and regain your health it has to be sustainable or you will be back to square one. Learning to cook, getting your 5-7 fruits and veg each day, eating plenty of fish, choosing lean sources of protein and cutting back alcohol, sugary snacks, and takeaways/ meals out are undeniably at the center of the long-term solution. For some, the initial weight loss from meal replacement will be what they need to spur on future change, for the majority, however, I am far from being convinced that this will be the case.

If you are feeling motivated to get stuck into your weight loss journey then I wish you every success in the future. As a nutrition coach who has helped countless people do the same thing my advice to you is not to focus just on the easy wins like meal replacements, but how you can tackle the bigger changes to your lifestyle that will make you successful for the long term. Tackle these gradually and remember, you might not hit your goal weight overnight but you don’t have to be at your goal weight before you start feeling better.

Andy Strong


P.S When you feel you are ready, here is how to be apart of the Fundamentally FIT community…


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Knowing where to start when losing weight can be confusing and frustrating, that’s why we designed our Free Kitchen Audit to help get you started. Learn what to eat, what to clear out and how Coach Andy lost over three stone.  – Pick up Your Free Weight Loss Cheat Sheet Her


Join the 3R’s Weight Loss Group 
Fundamentally FIT’s 3R Weight Loss Group is the hub of our online Nutrition and Lifestyle Coaching. Here our clients learn how to lose weight for good in a friendly community that knows what it takes to finally stop, quitting and start winning – Learn More Here


Ready Talk? Jump on a FREE Coaching Call with Andy and see how he can help.  
If you’d like to jump straight in and work us directly click the link and arrange your Free coaching call with Andy. We will talk through goals, your struggles and how we can help you take control of your diet, health, and confidence.  – Request Free Coaching Call


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