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Health and Wellbeing

Fakeaway Calzone

5 lockdown body weight exercises to help you burn fat


by Dan Ellis, Personal Trainer

I want you to answer the following questions honestly.

Do you suffer from anxiety?

Do you focus more on the things you have not yet achieved as apposed to the progress you have made?

Do you track your progress at all?


Now that you are (hopefully) being honest with yourself.

I want to start off with a short mental exercise.

I want you to close your eyes.

I want you to imagine your body exactly how you want it to be.

YOUR dream body.

Not someone else’s.

Not a body that you have seen on social media, YOURS!

I want you to imagine your legs, your shoulders, your back, your chest, your arms, your abs.

Remember this image should be something that makes YOU happy.

Most of you are now probably thinking that the body you have just imagined is not possible.

You don’t have the time to dedicate to getting your body in this shape.

Am I right?

Do you often think ‘this is never going to happen’, and go off track because you haven’t seen change in a week or so?

I’m not here to try and fill you full of false hope.

I’m here to tell you that realistically you can get your dream body, and granted that’s not going to happen in a week or two but with getting the basics right and CONSISTENTLY doing them, you will get there.

The Basics

  • Drink 3-4 L of water per day.
  • Workout 3-5 times a week.
  • Stay within your calorie allowance to keep you in a calorie deficit.
  • Get 7-8 hours sleep per night(not always possible but will be a massive help).
  • Get at least 10000 steps per day.

If you are not currently doing any or all of these things, start by doing one consistently for a week, then another on top of that and so on.

You will be amazed how quickly you start to feel better and progress with your fat loss.


Some weeks things will not change.

There are a lot of factors that can contribute to this.

Lack of sleep, stress, too much salt and this list goes on and on.

This is not a reason to give up.

If your body retains water the scale won’t change much if at all.

If you consistently keep doing the listed basics above eventually it will flush out the retained water and you will see a large drop.


When you feel you have not made progress do you feel like giving up?

9 times out of 10 you will have made progress with some form of the journey.

However, because you go another week without being at your ‘final destination’, you focus on the negative.

For example, the positives from the week could be that you were able to stick within your calories every day and complete 4 workouts.

Maybe you look in the mirror every day though and see no change from that.

That can be very de motivating.

As an example, I want to tell you about a past client of mine.

We have trained for over a year and this client suffers a lot of anxiety.

We take progress pictures as I do with most of my clients.

Sometimes as often as every other week she would come in and say “Dan, I feel like I’m not progressing”

This is a woman who had very little body fat when we started but also very little muscle or tone.

Growing her glutes was a main focus and they are now strong and have a great shape and she is lifting heavier and for more reps week on week.

It was simply down to how she viewed herself physically and mentally.


How to keep motivation HIGH.

To keep motivation high through the whole journey I make myself weekly goals.

Challenging but achievable goals.

This gives something to focus on rather than the bigger picture which is too far away and it becomes easy for motivation to be lost.

Try making weekly/bi-weekly goals to keep your motivation high.



What I want you to take away from this is to not focus on the negative.

If you focus on the negatives you will never see any positives or progress.

Make weekly/bi weekly goals to keep your motivation high.

Not everything will always be perfect, focus on the things you have made progress in and make a plan to work on the things that haven’t.

I hope this can help everybody or at least somebody with their own personal body image and keep you focusing on the positives.

If you have any comments or questions about anything above or fat loss/fitness related please don’t hesitate to contact me at danellispt@hotmail.com

Have you ‘fallen off the wagon?’

by Dan Ellis, Personal Trainer

Something has got to change.

Enough is enough.

You are tired of feeling unhappy with your body.

You have eaten everything ‘bad’ in your cupboards so there in no temptation.

You’ve been shopping and bought nothing but chicken, salad and vegetables.

Treated yourself to some new gym clothes and some new trainers.

This should keep you motivated.

But after a week of chicken and salad your taste buds are craving a bit more satisfaction than that.

Your whole body is aching from going all out for the last 7 days working out.

Your trying to juggle work, home schooling for the kids, a new workout routine and a whole new diet.

Stress is mounting.

Your body hasn’t changed at all this past week and you’ve been really good with your intake and not had a drop of alcohol all week either.

“I simply can’t go through this every single week, I’m feeling miserable”

So you will take a few days off eat triple the amount of calories you have been advised to stick to and think “ill start again on Monday”

Does this sound familiar to you?

You might think you are the only one, but I can assure you this happens to A LOT of people.

Perhaps you start to think that the body you dream of is unachievable?

Its too much like hard work?

All your motivation is now drained.

You can’t keep cooking healthy meals for you and different meals for everyone else in the house, you simply don’t have time for that.

As a personal trainer and an online coach I have seen and heard all of these countless times.

There are various reasons why this vicious cycle happens.

I don’t want to focus on that.

I want to focus on how to STOP it from happening.

I always use the phrase “its simple, but it’s not easy”

So in its most basic form, fat loss is calories in vs calories out.

This means that to lose fat you must be in a calorie deficit.

You must eat less than you burn off.

This does NOT mean that if you eat 2000 calories a day you must do a workout that burns 2001 calories every single day in your workout.

Your body burns a huge amount of calories simply to function.

I’m not going to get in to that right now, if you want to learn more about how calories work and how your body uses them, go to my website danellispt.com to request your FREE calorie guide.

So often I have people approach me with all the motivation in the world as described above.

The first thing I do is ask people WHY.

WHY do you want to lose fat.

You must always start with your WHY.

This must be a good enough reason to keep you going when times get tough.

It’s all well and good sticking to your calories and training hard when you feel good.

When you are aching, or you are stressed it becomes extremely easy to ‘fall off the wagon’

My aim has and always will be to ‘change people’s minds, bodies, and their lives’.

To do this your fat loss must be sustainable.

You are trying to change too many things at once and cut everything out.

This is causing you to stress and crave the foods you miss.

It simply does not have to be like this.

I love pizza.

I usually have pizza once a week.

Am I continuing to lose fat? YES!

This is because I allow it in my weekly diet.

It is counted within my daily calories.

I know it may seem easier for me to say because I am a coach, but I am human.

I have cravings as well.

The difference is I have gone about my fat loss with a plan.

A training plan and a calorie plan.

If you are ready and willing to give everything up and then expect your dream body to be waiting by the bedside for you when you wake up in a week, you are setting yourself up to ‘fall off the wagon’.

Tracking your food and counting calories is essential at first.

You need to know what you are putting in your body, calorie wise.

Otherwise you are just guessing.

You must expect failure.

If you expect to get your calories right every single day, you are going to be disappointed.

Very rarely in my coaching career has anybody had a straight path to their goals.

When you do ‘fall off the wagon’ and eat too much, don’t beat yourself up about it.

Simply move on and adjust your calories accordingly for the next few days to accommodate for the extra you had on that day.

If its something that keeps happening over and over again, you need to look at why this is.

Are you trying to adhere to someone else’s eating pattern or meal plan which has no place in your lifestyle?

When it comes to losing fat there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach.

We all live different lives.

Are you eating too much at the start of the day so by evening time you are starving but have no calories left in your allowance?

Simply cut your calories down in the morning.

Do what works for you.

This may be trial and error to see what works for you.

When you get to a point where you have the body you dreamt of, and believe me it is very possible, you want to be able to keep it.

I assume you don’t want to go through the whole process of losing fat every single year.

To do this you must accept that you are not going to eat ‘clean’ and stay on track 365 days of the year.

If you accept this fact you will be able to sustain your progress much easier.

It is also a lot easier on you mentally.

‘Falling off the wagon’ isn’t a bad thing.

You do need to be aware of when it happens though and have a plan in place for when it does occur.

Let’s round up the main points to keep in mind from the blog for you to remember.

  • Cutting all the foods out you love will only make you crave them more.
  • Have a calorie limit for the day and work the food you love in to them each week(in smaller amounts then you currently do)
  • your calorie deficit only has to be by 100-200 calories, don’t cut all your food out if its not necessary.
  • If you ‘fall off the wagon’ (go over your calories) don’t beat yourself up just reduce your calories slightly over next few days to compensate.
  • Remind yourself daily, weekly, monthly of your WHY.
  • Accept that mistakes will be made.
  • Check out my Instagram @danellispt for food that’s full of flavour and low in calorie to give you inspiration for your meals.

Any questions you have on any of the above please don’t hesitate to contact me.

8 Before 8

by Jill Ritchie, Life Coach

I’m going to share with you today what I believe we should all be doing to ensure that we have the best day that we can have

Dealing with Stress

by Dan Ellis, Personal Trainer

Let me introduce myself.

I’m Dan.

A personal trainer and online coach.

I specialise in fat-loss

I help change peoples mindset, bodies and their lives.

I have successfully done so for many, many people over the years.

A lot of people are feeling high levels of stress during these challenging times.

I want to help you by giving you my top 3 tips for dealing with stress, which I use every single day and have done even before this pandemic.

Routine is important for most of us.

We are creatures of habit.

I like to wake up have an ice cold glass of water while my coffee machine works its magic and finally by the end of that first coffee I feel a little bit alive at 5.30 am and I’m out the door and off to work.

I like my work, my days are usually anywhere from 12-15 hours long, work wise.

My days are spent helping as many people as possible, bit by bit I help change their lives for the better and it’s amazing.

As it has for many of us Covid-19 has disrupted my whole routine.

My work is now done from home.

My partner is furloughed so she is also at home.

At the beginning of lockdown I felt very unmotivated.

So this was my start to lockdown.

After feeling a lack of motivation and kind of treating it like a holiday, eating too many calories and drinking a little bit each night, I realised I had a choice.

I could let all of this get on top of me, or I can take it as an opportunity.

I decided on the latter.

I don’t have children.

However, a lot of my clients do.

For them, things got a lot tougher with the added pressure of either perhaps working from home or not working at all, on top of having their kids at home 24/7.

They must be home schooled.

You are not trained as a teacher, so keeping them engaged and from getting bored is proving difficult.

They are getting restless, and you are getting frustrated.

Feeling smothered and stressed as you are now home 24/7 with kids and perhaps partner for some of you, with what feels like zero time to yourself.

Your time to yourself, your escape was perhaps a workout in the gym which now is not possible.

Sound familiar?

Who knows how long this will go on for.

If there is a second bad wave of this virus it could be that lockdown is repeated and we must go through it all again!

Therefore, you need a way to deal with stress that is going to actually be more productive than just arguing with your partner and/or kids, eating chocolate or drinking wine etc.

So here are my top 3 tips for DEALING WITH STRESS!

Create a new routine. 

When you have a plan and you have some organisation for your day ahead, it takes all of the thinking and procrastination away.  When trying to do too many things at once your mind becomes flooded and this will build stress, and this is a vicious cycle you could end up going through daily.

Try writing down your plan either at the start of the week or the end of each day for the next day.

The list should include all the essential things you need to get done each day.

Tick things off as you complete them.

I always feel a lot less motivated to do anything if I do not have a plan.

If I have lots of things to do but haven’t written which ones are most important, I often end up trying to do two or three things at once and end up completing none of them and this just adds to my stress.

This might seem silly writing a plan for the day but humour me and try it.

It works wonders.

Even write down meal times.


Plan ‘me time’.

Now you have your day planned.

On that plan you must have some ‘me time’, whether that is 30 mins in the bath with the door locked, doing a workout or reading a book.

Whatever helps you to escape even if you only have a short window of time.

This is essential.

A great stress relief I find is simply being outdoors and going for a walk.

As I said earlier I’m used to my working days being anywhere from 12-15 hours, that’s outside of my home.

Now both me and my partner are together 24/7 and yes, it’s nice but we are starting to get on each other’s nerves a bit and it’s important to factor in that ‘me time’.


The biggest stress relief for me is working out.

When we feel good, we deal with stress much easier.

Gyms are not accessible at the moment.  If you are used to lifting weights or using resistance machines, this is a major disruption to your training.

However, progress can still be made towards your goals. If you are used to working out, stopping  will not help with your stress levels.

You must adapt your workouts.

There are thousands of workouts that you can adapt to your own circumstances.

Some people hate running, running or cardio in general are not the only exercises that can be done from home.

There’s a lot you can do to burn fat without doing cardio, try some bodyweight exercises instead.

Get creative, if you don’t have home gym equipment, use what you have around the house.

Keep it simple.  Don’t overthink it.  Overthinking leads to stress.

The important thing is that you factor in that ‘me time’ and for me that means moving in some capacity i.e. working out or walking, without anybody around if possible.


Train your mind to deal with stress.

Stress is always going to be there.

How we deal with it can change.

Stress, both physically and mentally can be a good thing.

Lets focus on the mental stress side of things.

If we deal with stress correctly it can make us stronger mentally in the long term.

Therefore, the next time stress comes along we just deal with it and move on.

This is by no means easy and it won’t happen overnight, but it is something I recommend you keep working at until it becomes natural.

This is something I learned to do a few months back as I used to often let stress get the better of me before this.

Let me give you a regular scenario of stress for me (before lockdown).

I used to get quite stressed when driving, I’d be angry when people sit in the middle lane or sit in overtaking lane going way under the speed limit.

Then I just thought one day, this is ridiculous how stressed I get about this.

My point of bringing up my road rage is to simply say that it is pointless me being stressed about this.

These other drivers are still going to keep doing things that get me frustrated and stressed.

I have absolutely zero control over that.

Does me being stressed and angry about it change anything other than my mood?


Stressing over things you have no control over won’t change anything about the situation other than your mood towards it.

You must train your mind to think logically in a situation.

The next time a stressful situation comes about, picture your body lift up above the situation and looking down and think logically ‘is my stress going to change anything about this situation?’

The answer is most likely ‘NO’.

Let me give you an example from certain things I know many mums may be dealing with right now during this pandemic.

You may feel like there is not enough time in the day to –

  • Do your job
  • Home school your kids (and you may have kids who are different ages and therefore have different needs and learning abilities)
  • Have ‘me time’
  • Go food shopping
  • Make healthy meals

This is a general example of some of the causes of stress you might be dealing with right now.

Let me just say at this point that I totally understand that it is an extremely difficult situation.

Training your mind to deal with stress is no easy thing and is something that needs to be repeated over and over.

However, if you are stressed, that list will still remain the same, but it makes it a lot harder to deal with and probably makes the atmosphere in your home a lot worse.

If you think logically about how to fit all these things into your day, the list remains the same but more manageable.

The logical thing to do would be to go back to my first tip and ‘create a plan’.

This will take a lot of the thinking out of the day when the day arrives.

Have a timetable in place for your child/children.

A timetable for your partner and a timetable for yourself.

You will deal with your day so much better.

Plan your workouts in advance.

If you don’t know how to do that, hire a coach.

Plan your meals in advance to make the food shopping as quick and easy as possible.

You can eat delicious healthy meals that take very little preparation time.

They don’t have to be bland.

I have a lot of meal ideas on my Instagram feed for this very purpose.


I sincerely hope these 3 tips for dealing with stress can help relieve some of it for yourself and your family during these challenging times and in the long term here after.

These are strategies I use every day.


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