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Alcohol – The things they don’t want you to know

The concept of a ‘dry January’ has become synonymous with people who drink. Whilst most people who sign up to this do so as a way to ‘detox’ after a busy Christmas and New Year, what many people don’t realise, due to the lack of information,  is that they are also reducing their weekly calorie intake at the same time. A bottle of white wine can contain between 800-1000 calories per bottle.  Below I speak to one of our clients who has played a vital role in encouraging the drinks industry to show the calorific content in their products.


Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe is a Labour Peer who focuses on health issues, in the House of Lords, related to drink and the links to Obesity and calories. I sat down with Lord Brooke and asked him about how he became interested in this subject and how h22020e sees the future.


How did you become interested in this subject?


Lord Brooke: I worked on a Lords committee that scrutinised European Union Legislation. The EU writes rules on what should appear on food and drink labels (eg Calories). In 2010 I spotted that alcohol was exempt even though there is a lot of sugar- and calories- in many alcoholic drinks. I discovered that all attempts to cover alcohol with the legislation had been thwarted by the powerful drinks lobby.  They had managed to delay any further reviews until 2014.


Have you encountered any resistance to your idea of placing calorie content on the packaging of alcohol?


Yes, much. Initially the Dept. Of Health was lukewarm. They have changed their approach as obesity has become a bigger problem. However, the Government has refused to legislate because they argue they are bound by EU rules. Instead they have opted for a voluntary approach, but this has let the powerful drinks lobby, which opposes this change, off the hook.


Why do you think they are reticent to show calories on their products?


We have a right to know what we are consuming- and that is what the public constantly say when polled on this topic. Some retailers- such as Sainsbury’s have taken notice and are now showing calories on their own branded alcoholic products.  But most do not- simply because they feel that when informed of sugar and calorie content, people would reduce their consumption of alcohol which in turn would have an adverse effect on sales and therefore profits.


The amount we drink is decreasing, yet obesity is rising. Why the paradox?


Obesity is growing because we eat and drink too much, especially sugar. And we exercise too little. Drinking has fallen due to the recession and, cultural and demographic changes in the country.  However, the United Kingdom is still nearly at the top of the European league tables for both alcohol consumption and for levels of obesity.


Where do you see the future, say in three years time?


Obesity is the big health problem facing the country. The long term forecasts only make the outlook more depressing. Late this year the Government will produce a new multifaceted strategy to tackle this issue. There is no single silver bullet answer. Reducing alcohol consumption will be part of this strategy.  Diageo have just announced that all its brands will carry calorie and sugar content on its packaging from the end of 2016.


Click on the link below and find out the facts they don’t want you to know:


Click Here

Ladies and Gentlemen, Resistance is not Futile (why cardio training is not the only answer)

So the conventional wisdom goes a little like this:


You to want burn fat you do cardio. You want to gain muscle you do weights. Seems a fair conclusion, right? Except it is not right, it’s not right at all. Please be assured this is not an anti-cardio rant, but an attempt to address the hugely popular misconception that cardio exercise is the principle key in exercise related weight loss. Or conversely weight training is all about bodybuilding.


Let’s ask ourselves where we get the most ‘bang for your buck’ while training for fat loss.


A good cardio session will burn between 500-800 calories, not bad at all when trying to lose weight. Since you must burn off 3500 calories in order to lose one pound/2.2kg of body fat, if you do enough of these cardio sessions, and make sure you’re not eating these calories back, weight loss will take place.


But, keep in mind here again that you are going to have to keep doing those long cardio sessions. Time will likely become a big factor with this one, as well as boredom could start to play a role eventually as well. Its also worth considering what it is you are actually burning during a long cardio session because it’s not just fat it’s lean muscle issue as well, which in reality is just what you should be aiming to retain.


So why might weight training have the edge in fat loss?


Studies have demonstrated that after a weight training workout, the metabolism can be boosted for up to 36 hours post-workout, meaning rather than burning say 60 calories an hour while sitting and watching TV, you’re burning 70. While you may think, ‘Big deal – 10 extra calories’, when you multiply this by 36 hours, you can see what a huge difference that makes in your daily calorie expenditure over that day and a half.


Here’s something worth remembering if you want to burn fat


Every pound of lean muscle your body holds will burn 50 calories in 24 hours even at rest just to sustain itself. And that’s without having to do anything!


So carry 5 pounds of lean muscle and that’s 250 calories gone right there and then. Do the multiples and you get the idea, I hope.


Age related muscle loss (Sacropenia)


People who are physically inactive can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass per decade after the age of 30. Even if you active you will still experience muscle loss.


So the paradox is you can be fit and losing weight but still be getting weaker.


Your heart and lungs are doing just fine and you are pretty skinny, yet posture is not great and the reason you now have constant aching in your neck and back isn’t because you have tight muscles, it’s because they have become so weak they can no longer support the structures around them.


You Can’t Beat The House (but you can get better odds)

It’s happened on a few occasions in the past, usually in social situations where I’m meeting people for the first time.  Inevitably the ‘so what do you do?’ question gets asked.


I tell them that I’m a personal trainer and know a bit about nutrition too (at this point the conversation tends to go one of two ways).  Most tend to nod fairly approvingly and although they might not have used the services of a trainer in the past, they have at some point considered it.  The concept of doing some exercise and eating reasonably well is not completely alien to them.


Then there are the others. I’ve noticed over the years a slight narrowing of the eyes, a quizzical almost incredulous look; perhaps it’s unease? With these people there sometimes comes a level of almost hostile questioning.  Invariably you find these people would happily spend more energy evading exercise than they would actually doing some.   That somehow looking after yourself is just something other people do.


I have come to the conclusion that sometimes we try our hardest when attempting to justify something we know we should be doing but really don’t want to.


A repost I’ve heard in various forms over the years: “why would I work out for six months so I can live six months longer?” True, why would you if that were the only outcome?   I try as politely as I can at this point to tell them they’re rather missing the point.  Exercise and diet are not about increasing longevity, after all fit people die too.  We can’t play God, but we can reduce the odds of diseases that could do us harm.  It’s about the quality of life you have whilst you are here.


It’s not about becoming an elite athlete or living a monastic lifestyle, it’s about balancing out and evening things up.  For example, if it were in your power to reduce, almost eradicate, the chances of getting the most common form of Diabetes (Type 2) and its associated illnesses, would you want to make a few adjustments if you could? If you could reduce the risk factors of many cancers because of their associated link with obesity, would you?


The thing is, it doesn’t take a huge leap to make a difference.  Exercise and diet should be part of your life but they don’t have to dominate it, nor should they.


Education and access to information are key.  Understanding what you can do to influence your future health is vital. Look out for our simple guides coming soon to get you started.

Testimonial – Andrew Harting – Chief Executive HWM Aston Martin

“On a needs’ scale, Body Architecture has moved personal training from a luxury to a staple of our family life.


Small enough to remain personal but big enough to hold all the equipment anyone sensibly needs, the gym space is just right and so convenient right next to Battersea Bridge.


But, great though the space is, the standout is the quality of the tight crew of personal trainers. They understand the complexities of the human form and design fitness programmes that are challenging, fun and varied but ever sensitive to our different goals and the occasional obstacles that life puts in our way. No supermarket gym can ever provide this bespoke service.


As a bonus, the Body Architecture team is all so friendly and welcoming.


Truly, Body Architecture is our ‘home from home’ gym.”


Andrew Harting

Chief Executive HWM Aston Martin

Your Future Health (the fork in the road)

Notwithstanding the completely unforeseen, we do have an element of control and a certain level of personal responsibility with regard to our future health.  The problem is we often take it for granted.


It’s not difficult to be blinded by our own day to day responsibilities.  Our duties to others, for example work and family, dominate our waking hours to the point that we may merely end up existing just so we can fulfil these obligations.  This can lead to a form of unconscious personal neglect:   grabbing food regardless of its nutritional value, because it fills the immediate need;  little or no exercise since you were in your 20’s; sedentary work environments; or a taxi service for your children perhaps.  And, just maybe a little too much alcohol to help you ‘relax’?


Like it or not there comes a point(let’s call it Mid-Life – I’ll let you decide when that is) when you realise that the accumulation of all or some of these things have taken their toll. The sideways glance in the mirror reveals a look you are not familiar with or indeed fond of.  Your doctor says your cholesterol is up a point or two and at this rate statins are in your near future.


Should you be this out of breath as you ascend the escalators one step at a time?


It’s these little indicators that bring us to ‘the fork in the road‘. The point at which it’s time to make a choice about the route we wish to take with our future health.


Do we accept that this decline is inevitable and we are comfortable with that or do we arrest and attempt to reverse it.  If you’ve chosen the former then carry on as you are, you have already made a start on your chosen route and continuing requires no adaption.  If, however you choose the latter then what is your plan to change?  You are certainly going to need one, and one that you can live with.


It’s at this point that informed guidance is crucial. Putting on a T-shirt and shorts and running round the block isn’t really going to cut it.  Joining a gym and wandering aimlessly looking at all the nice equipment without really knowing what to do with it… well that won’t help either!


Not forgetting that nutrition is going to be an enormous factor in your progress or otherwise.


First check with a health professional and tell them what it is you want to do.  As well as making sure it’s safe for you they may also have a few ideas to get you going.  Consider getting a Personal Trainer even if it’s just to get you started, (


And above all have a plan. Here’s a link to one of our other blogs that might just help.

Unfit to Fit (making the first move)

Have you ever thought of doing something for yourself and others but were put off because you knew what it was you wanted to do, yet felt that you didn’t have the tools to achieve it?.


Knowing that you had a vision of the goals A-Z,  but didn’t know how to get from A-B.  Fear of the unknown is often what prevents us from making a move that might just make our lives that bit better.


As personal trainers we speak from experience from when we say this is a common factor, when we question new clients about their motivations for coming to see us.  They know roughly what they want but really didn’t know how to start.  Just by asking a few basic questions we establish their true motivations.


Establish a clear vision of what you want from the start, if that changes you can always adapt the approach.


The questions we ask are not entirely for our benefit, they often have the effect of making the client think and subsequently understand what it is they really want. It’s the first, and pretty crucial stage, in the process that really allows us to give the guidance they truly seek.


It’s still entirely possible to apply these questions and principles without someone asking them of you. You just have to be as honest as you can with yourself.  Here are few examples of questions we might ask in no particular order.


  1. Did you enjoy the last exercise you took or was it a chore?
  2. If you could pick the top three things you would like to get from exercise what would they be? (think carefully about this one and try not to give generic answers, remember it’s about you)
  3. Are you doing this under duress. Is someone close pressuring you to change?
  4. What do want to see when you look in the mirror?
  5. What is your understanding of balanced nutrition? (it’s okay to admit you don’t really have one, that’s what education is for!)
  6. How much time can I realistically devout to this?


Plan your exercise ahead, a week at a time. By knowing when you are going to exercise because you’ve made time for it will mean that there is far less likelihood of you putting it off to a day that never comes!


Understand what it is you really want.


Understand what it will really take to get you there.


And finally designate the time to do it!


If you need that extra push to get you started come a see what we do at

The Benefits of Hiring a Personal Trainer

The stereotypical image of the ‘drill sergeant’ personal trainer yelling at their clients is (in most cases!) a long way from the truth. The reality is that your trainer is going to there to guide and support you in achieving the pre-determined goals you have set.  A good personal trainer can be an instrumental part of you reaching your health and fitness targets.  Below I set three of the reasons why I believe a personal trainer can be invaluable.


Personalised Programme and maximising your workout time.


Everyone has their own targets and goals, and everyone has a different starting point.  By having a personalised programme that is tailored to your requirements, and that is adjusted in accordance to your improvements mean that you will never fall into the trap of doing the same routine over and over again.  This means that in each session you will be maximising your time (and effort) meaning that the results will come quicker.


Correct technique and injury prevention


A personal trainer will be by your side ensuring that all exercises are done with good technique. The benefits are twofold. Firstly, good technique will mean that you are getting the maximum from each exercise that you do. Secondly, one of the most common forms of injury in the gym is poor technique. A personal trainer will monitor your technique, correcting any areas that can leave you susceptible to injury.


Fresh Ideas and motivation


One of the most common reasons why people stop working out is that they get bored repeating the same routine over and over again. A personal trainer will bring variety to your training, challenging you to try new exercises and constantly encouraging you to achieve new goals. Whether it’s boxing, battle ropes or the Landmine torso unit, a trainer will guide and motivate you every step of the way.

The Body Architecture Gift Voucher

If you want to share the joy, pain and ecstasy of a Body Architecture Personal Training session you will now be able to. The Body Architecture Gift Voucher is the ideal present for a friend who requires that little push to get them on the road to a healthier life.  Gift Vouchers can be bought for individual sessions, or in blocks of 5 and 10.  The Gift Vouchers can be worded as you wish and sent directly to the recipient or to you to give personally.


If you wish to purchase a Body Architecture Gift Voucher please get in touch by email or phone and speak to Stuart or Stewart.

Welcome to Body Architecture’s NEW Website

Welcome to Body Architecture’s new website. You will now be able to visit us (and show us off to all your friends and work colleagues!) on your PC, tablet and mobile device. After years of reliable service we thought the old website, along with some very dated profile pictures, needed freshening up.


Hopefully you will find all the information easy to access, allowing you to find out about all the Personal Training and Physiotherapy packages that are available. After many years of demand (especially pre-summer holiday and Christmas) we have Body Architecture Gift Vouchers available to buy. So if you want to treat/punish a loved one, please click on the Gift Voucher Icon which will give you all the information you need.


One new area of the site will be this blog. You’ll be able to keep up to date with all the latest news and interesting ideas on training, nutrition and rehab. Look out for contributions from Venetia on how to get legs like a Victoria Secrets model, arms like Jennifer Aniston and abs like Camron Diaz. Rob will be giving you the lowdown on all things juice related and the benefits of clean living, and Barry will be espousing the virtues of acupuncture!


Please let us know what you think of our new site- all comments are welcome.

Body Architecture

Welcome to South-West London’s most exclusive personal fitness training and therapy centre, located in stunningly designed Albion Riverside on the banks of the Thames. Providing Personal Training, Physiotherapy and Nutrition Services in Battersea, Chelsea, Clapham, SW11 and SW3