An Hour at the Gym Is Worth Two at the Tailor’s

Posted on October 3, 2012

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Suits are all about fit. If you're already fit, the cut of the suit accentuates your body. While a good tailor can hide your flaws, it's best you make it his job to bring out your best features.

Suits are all about fit. If you’re already fit, the cut of the suit accentuates your body. While a good tailor can hide your flaws, it’s best you make it his job to bring out your best features.

For all the talk about cut and fit when it comes to suits, the facts are that as much as your tailor might be a wizard at disguising unsightly bumps and bulges, the master at Saville Row is still casting an illusion- You’re the one that needs to make it real. The adage- an hour at the gym is worth two at the tailor’s, applies so succinctly because the fitter you are, the more your tailor’s job it is to accentuate your broad shoulders and pecs and the less it is disguise your stomach and waist.

The Monsieur’s Biggest Gym Tip

My advice? Long distance running. It still one of the highest calorie burning exercises out there. But here is the most important way to get extra mileage out from your usual routine- a good healthy diet:

Nuts are a great source of protein and fibre, unfortunately due to high fat content, accidental over indulgence can set your fitness goals backward.

Nuts are a great source of protein and fibre, unfortunately due to high fat content, accidental over indulgence can set your fitness goals backward.

Nuts for Protein & Fibre

Con: High fat

  • Almonds & Walnuts: high in omega 3s, the stuff salmon is high in as well, great for hearts and minds.
  • Cashews: immensely heart healthy thanks to monounsaturated fats- calcium is great for bones and potassium, well, erections (was immensely tempted to throw in a “boner” aliteration).
  • Pumpkin seeds: your prostrate will love you for this, it keeps inflammation away.
  • Sunflower seeds: the thiamin keeps your muscles, cardiovascular and nervous systems healthy

The Monsieur’s diet tip: As mentioned, it’s quite easy to overindulge on nuts. However, if you shun de-shelled and go for the full shell versions, ridding the shells on pumpkin and sunflower seeds act as natural controls to overeating on these seeds of protein. It’s frustrating to peel too many and the break in between eating each morsel allows your stomach time to inform you when it’s satisfied.

While immensely delicious, just avoiding a combination of the two in a sandwich. Or worse, FRIED in sandwich form.

While immensely delicious, just avoiding a combination of the two in a sandwich. Or worse, FRIED in sandwich form.

Peanut Butter & Bananas

Con: High carbs, hard to find low sugar (organic alternatives)

There’s a reason why long distance runners down a couple of bananas before a run. High in fibre, they keep you less hungry during a run while the potassium (while giving you that oomph in the bedroom) keep your blood pressure in check and keep muscle cramps at bay. But therein lies the problem, it’s extremely easy to consume and most of the time, we don’t expend the same amounts of energy as a marathon runner, making a diet with bananas a little more complex in terms of caloric mathematics.

Peanut butter is great, however most that you find out there have already been processed and sugarised beyond what their natural state is. Organic peanut butter sans sugar is quite bland and only a little salty, those are a great option but hard to find and more than likely, almost 50-100% more expensive than regular peanut butter.

The Monsieur’s diet tip: Share a banana if you can, that’s what partners are for. If you decide to pull the trigger on organic peanut butter, don’t make the mistake of slathering it on processed white bread, go for rye or wholemeal and more importantly, stick to 1 spoon per slice- organic peanut butter might not have processed sugar added but it’s still pretty high in fat content.

Like Gatorade, unless you are a high performance athlete, energy bars are totally irrelevant for you. They usually pack the calories of a full meal but don't quite keep you as full as a complete meal.

Like Gatorade, unless you are a high performance athlete, energy bars are totally irrelevant for you. They usually pack the calories of a full meal but don’t quite keep you as full as a complete meal.

Energy Bars

Avoid at all costs

Even the “healthy” no fat versions tend to have either artificial sweetners or make up for the lack of yummy fats with lots of actual sugar. Even the honey bonded nut versions are really fattening thanks to high natural sugar and fat content. If you must, go for a low carb protein bar. Those usually cost as much as a full meal but can be found at all GNC outlets.

Fruit & Veggie Snacks

Con: Depending on fruit, it can be pretty high sugar

Fruits like apples and pears are great- the fibre and moderate sugar content tends to keep your insulin and appetite levels in check. However if you start to binge on pineapples, watermelons, lychees and durians, you can expect your sugar levels to spike, the resulting crash only motivates you psychologically to crave more sugar.

Veggies: I recommend carrot sticks, they’re easier to prepare, if you have the benefit of getting the sweeter australian grown ones, you’re in for a real treat. I wouldn’t recommend celery sticks, they’re quite a turn off when consumed with regularity and could lead to a psychological aversion to fruit and veggie snacks in the long run.

This is my take and it’s what I’ve found works for me, however, TIME’s healthland has an excellent write up on running diets, it’s a great alternative look to my suggestions. It’s important that you experiment and find out what fits your routine and body chemistry best.

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Posted in: lifestyle