My Favourite Products

My Top Products

There are so many health and fitness products out there on the market that it is hard to know what is worth buying and what isn't. We all have our favourite choices that we would swear by and I thought it would be good to share them here!

Protein Shakes

Personally, I opt for a low carb whey protein shake as my aim is to get lean and toned and I use it post workout where I need fast absorbing protein. I prefer chocolate flavour, in particular these two favourite brands:

QNT Zero Carb Metapure Whey Protein - Chocolate 

- 106 cals, 25g Protein, >1g Carbs (30g serving)

-This shake is absolutely great. It actually tastes chocolatey and if you blend it with water and ice, tastes exactly like a chocolate milkshake. It has next to no carbs and is only 100 calories. I couldn't ask for a better post workout shake.

Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein - Chocolate 

- 111 cals, 24g Protein, 1.6g Carbs (30g serving)

- This is also a good tasting shake. It works best with less water added and so is perfect if you don't want to feel bloated after a session from downing lots of liquid. Again, it is low calorie and low in carbs, which makes it a perfect lean shake.

Protein Bars

I would usually urge you to stay clear of protein bars as they tend to be very high in sugar and therefore, a protein shake would always be better. However, this particular brand has created a formula which means their bars are low net carbs:

Quest Bars 

- 180 Cals, 21g Protein, 22g Carbs  - 17g Fibre, 1g Sugar, 3g Net Carbs (Cookies and Cream Quest Bar)

-At first, these bars appear to contain a normal level of carbs compared to a bog standard protein bar, however at second glance, here the carb values are mostly made up of fibre. Fibre cannot be absorbed by the body and so it passes through us- therefore any fibre calories do not count. What's more, the fibre helps to break down other nutrients that have been consumed.
- They have made so many flavours of Quest Bar. I am currently in the process of trying them all, but I would definitely recommend Cookies and Cream, Peanut Butter, Double Chocolate Chunk. You feel great about eating these as they count as a healthy, high protein, chocolatey treat! 

Peanut Butter

I choose to eat a lot of peanut butter knowing it is a product high in fat. However, I hate it when it is also a product high in sugar - it is a totally unnecessary addition. I have two favourite peanut butters that I have. One is a high protein PB which I have with oats, in shakes, as post workout meals etc and the other is a standard PB for snacking and cooking with. Both are low in carbs - just like PB should be

Nuts N More High Protein Peanut Butter 

-188 Cals, 14g Protein, 6g Carbs - 5g Fibre, 1g Sugar (2 tablespoons) 

-This PB is the best tasting PB I have ever tried, and I have tried a lot. It is great on toast, with oats in a flapjack, or simply on a spoon. It contains flaxseeds, omega 3 and no added salt. It is high in protein, keeping you fuller for longer as well as having no added sugar. 
- They also have many different flavours of PB and sell almond butters too. As well as loving the plain PB, I am a huge fan of the Toffee Crunch PB and the Chocolate PB.

Peanut Butter & Co Crunchy Time PB 

-180 cals, 7g Protein, 8g Carbs - 2g Fibre, 3g Sugar (2 tablespoons)

- This PB has a very different texture from most PBs. It is less of a spread and more liquidy with actual chunks of peanut. This makes it perfect for cooking - using as a satay sauce on chicken or in a stirfry. It is also great to have on toast with jam. 
- It's only ingredients is peanuts and so it doesn't contain any added sugar or palm oil or anything. It is a healthy, tasty choice and I love it.


There are hundreds of cereals out there, with many claiming to be healthy, low calorie options. However, most are still filled with tonnes of sugar - exactly the nutrient we should be cutting down on. I have found a very low sugar cereal/ granola and I think it tastes great with milk, yoghurt, whatever!

Eat Natural with Nuts and Seeds  

- 219 cals, 5.8g protein, 19.5g carbs- 3.9g fibre, 6.4g sugar (50g serving)

- This cereal is full of good fats- containing cocount, almonds, rice puffs, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds. It helps to keep you fuller for longer, unlike other cereals which barely fill you up. It is great tasting and contains little sugar, so is a healthy option for breakfast.
- I love to mix it with some oats, peanut butter and honey to create my own tasty flapjack mixture!


Health and Fitness products are sold at different prices everywhere you go. Therefore it is important to know where the best place to buy products from are. 

Dolphin Fitness 

To buy my Protein Shakes, I use Dolphin Fitness. They have any brand you could want at very low prices. They offer different sized tubs, with increasing discounts as you buy more. You can get free delivery if you pick delivery 9am-5pm and they are reliable at delivering on the correct day. You also get a free gift with your purchases occasionally. They offer another 5% off all purchases if you put in the code. 

In my opinion these are some of the tastiest brands around and they suit my goals perfectly. I would recommend any of them in a heart beat, but understand my opinions are not always shared by others.

Having said that, I urge that you give them a go as you never know until you try! 

Ben Malka - A Weightloss Story

Ben Malka - A Weightloss Story

Thank you for inviting me to guest write on your blog Sam, it’s a pleasure.

Morning, afternoon, evening to everyone and thank you for taking the time to read my post.

Health is a very important aspect of my life. I wake up every morning at 5am to whack on my gear and hit the gym. My breakfast is usually the same during the week because I stick to timings (it makes everything more regimented). I have Dr Zaks protein toast with meridian peanut butter and a tsp of honey split across both slices. I grab my meal from the fridge and a mars bar and hit the road. I jump on the first train out of Edgware station along with all the builders who are all guzzling their Red Bulls to help them wake up. I am usually the first person to arrive at the gym, which opens at 6:30, and at this time I enjoy my mars bar, which all fits into my macros – so I can enjoy a sugar spike during my workout.

I split my training routine across 5 days and rest on the weekend. It’s never the same. Every day will be a different muscle group, (I sometimes train legs twice because it’s my favorite muscle group and my genetics lean more towards my lower body), with treadmill HIIT on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

But it wasn’t all like this. When I was kid I was always the large one around town. I blame this to excessive eating. It’s not the fact I ate chocolate or crisps, it’s that I ate too much of it. I think this is where people make the mistake that sugar is bad for you and it isn’t! I still eat a mars 5 times a week and guess what, I have a six-pack! Anyway, overeating led me to my biggest size of 20 stone and 1 pound. This is a hefty number to see on the scale, however when you are this size you don’t actually notice how big you really are.

I was subject to all the fat comments at school, which made me go red and hope the laughter would stop! Sometimes it got quite bad and I even had a teacher make a comment in front of a class of thirty kids about my weight, which was quite depressing and killed my self-esteem further.

What really kicked me into my mindset to shift a few pounds was working with my old boss at my Saturday job. He used to continually give me the old spiel about how he used to be big… but never as big as me (another blow to the old esteem). I would be asked to run around Hatton Garden delivering rings to suppliers and as a result of this, I noticed my size 42 inch suit trousers becoming looser. I liked the change and decided to ring up my cousin Joseph, who was already into his fitness and told him I was going to join the David Lloyd Gym. He was the first and last gym partner who taught me the basics of lifting weights. This is wear my love for the gym began to grow into an obsession (a healthy one).

I proceeded to loose around 5 stone, but my diet was still my downfall as I had little knowledge of how many calories I was consuming. I used to constantly spend time researching and testing out new theories, but last year (December 2013) is when I saw the light. After getting an internship at a global media agency after being unemployed for nearly a year, I discovered macros – the holy grail of controlling food intake. Using Myfitness Pal, I would set a macros limit for protein, carbs and fats and stick to this. I saw my body change rapidly and saw gains in all my lifting, as well as my body fat slowly dropping. I also quit smoking in this time period, as the snowball effect from motivation in my training began to spill over into my work (I got made full time at the media agency on my birthday!).

What I want to express to you guys is that it is possible to change your body, but you can’t look at other people and say “I want a body like that” because you are not them! Instead go over to the nearest mirror and look directly in it because this is who your competition is; yourself.

My story got published in the Daily Star for anyone who would like to read it but thank you for having me on here. Everything I write is my personal preference and everyone is different.

Ben Malka

Increase that Metabolism

Increase that Metabolism

A couple of summers ago, I managed to get to a point where I had increased my metabolism so much that I was generally able to eat what I wanted without seeing much change in my body. I have never had that before and so it was an amazing place for me to be. I am no longer at that point and I do see differences in my body week to week based on how I eat. However, I am ready to get back to where I was by implementing these tips. Have a look and try these out. 

*For the best weight loss results, combine these tips with a clean diet and regular exercise* 

Tricks to Increase your Metabolism

1. Eat Breakfast 

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, mainly because it is what gives you the energy to get going. After a long fast during the night, your body needs that nutrients on waking up to kick that metabolism into action. If you skip breakfast, you are increasing the time between eating, meaning your body goes into starvation mode and starts to store any food that you do eat. 

2. Small Meals throughout the day

People tend to eat three big meals a day; breakfast, lunch, dinner. However, if you are awake for 15 hours of the day, then you are only eating every 5 hours. In that time, your metabolism slows down as it does not need to work to break down food. If you eat more often (every 3 hours) your metabolism gets less of a chance to slow down as it needs to constantly be working and elevated. (Of course, if you eat 5 meals in a day, then they do need to be smaller in size than 3 big meals - just split your calories over 5 instead of 3.) You will find yourself getting more hungry this way - a good sign that you are burning up your food!

3. Green Tea and Coffee

Adding in a few cups of green tea and coffee to your day can help to increase metabolism. Green tea contains catechins which are antioxidants that are known to increase your resting metabolism by 4%. Coffee is a stimulant and the caffeine has been said to boost your metabolism by up to 8%. 

4. Protein 

The more muscle you have, the greater your rate of burning in the body. Therefore you should hit the weights section and build more muscle in order to burn more fat naturally. Also, protein takes longer to digest than other foods, meaning thermogenesis occurs for a longer time frame. Overall, you are burning more calories on a greater time scale. 


High intensity interval training is a sure fire way to up that metabolism. It is only a 30 minute workout and so is fairly easy to squeeze into the middle of your day. As well as burning lots of calories in a short period of time by raising your metabolic rate during exercise, it also have a long lasting effect on the body. Your metabolic rate remains elevated for hours afterwards, meaning you continue to burn calories long after the workout. If you are really feeling up to it, try HIIT in the morning and then another session in the afternoon. This longs out the period of an elevated metabolism. 

6. Water 

You need water for normal bodily functions - this includes that metabolism. If you consume high levels of water then your metabolism can function more efficiently and quickly. 

7. Omega 3

Eating fish and other foods high in omega 3 can help to increase your metabolism. Omega 3 helps to decrease blood sugar levels, regulate your metabolism and also decrease your leptin resistance. This is a sure fire way to slash the calories and loose weight. 

8. Keep eating those Calories

It's really important not to decrease your calorie consumption too drastically when trying to loose weight. Your body will notice your lowered food intake and adjust it's metabolism accordingly. Actually by eating more calories, your body keeps its metabolism elevated as it doesn't need to store food for a later use. 

In order to loose weight, you need to increase your metabolism. If you don't have time to go to the gym more often then there are a few little tricks you can add into your day to help elevate your metabolic rate and shed the pounds. Eventually you will hit a point where your metabolism is so fast you need to eat often because you are hungry, but are able to burn up what you eat and don't gain weight. Surely that is a win-win situation?

Good v Bad carbs

Good v Bad Carbs

We've all heard the references to good and bad carbs, but do we actually know what it means and what the difference is?

2 Types of Carb

Carbohydrates can be split into 2 different categories - complex carbs and simple carbs.

Complex carbs 

  • Complex carbs contain long chains of sugar molecules which the body takes time to break down and use. 
  • They have a low glycemic load, which means that low sugar levels are released at a consistent rate to keep you going throughout the day. 
  • They contain wholegrain which means they are high in fibre, vitamins and minerals which are very important for the body. 

Simple Carbs

  • Simple carbs are made up of easy to digest, basic sugars with little nutritional value - also termed 'empty calories' 
  • They have a high glycemic load, which means that blood sugar levels are dramatically raised on consumption
  • They contain little nutrients - are low in fibre, vitamins and minerals - another reason why they are termed 'empty calories'

Digesting Time 

Clearly we want our food to keep us full and energised over a prolonged period of time. Complex carbs do this, as the body takes time to break them down. Therefore, we feel fuller for longer and have energy for the whole day. Simple carbs on the other hand are broken down very quickly. You get a rush of energy and this is followed by a crash. 

Glycemic Load

The glycemic load, related to glycemic index, estimates how much carbohydrate is in the food and how much each gram of it will raise blood glucose levels. Complex carbs have a low glycemic load which means, per gram of carbohydrate, glucose levels will not be raised too much. Simple carbs on the other hand have a high glycemic load meaning that they raise blood glucose levels a lot per gram of carbs. If you read my post about sugar, you will see the negative effects that spikes in sugar, and therefore insulin have on the body. 


Fibre is very important in our diet. Although we cannot digest it, it helps to slow down the absorption of other nutrients. This prevents spikes and dips in blood sugar levels - which reduces the chance of type 2 diabetes. It helps to lower blood cholesterol which prevents heart disease and also contributes to satiety- feeling full. 


Fruit and Veg

Fruit and veg are simple carbs - they contain basic sugars with short chains. However, in the body, they are treated more like complex carbs as the high fibre content changes the way they are processed. Instead of being broken down quickly, the fibre slows down their digestion and allows energy to be released slowly. This makes fruit and veg an excellent choice of carb. 


Although considered a complex carb, potatoes have a high glycemic load, which means their effect on the body is more like that of a simple carbs. Sugar is released very quickly, causing spikes in blood glucose and subsequently insulin. Potatoes are therefore not a great choice of carb. 

Good v Bad Carb List

Good carbs 

Brown rice
Whole- grain bread
Sweet potatoes
Root vegetables

Bad carbs 

Tables sugar
Corn syrup
Fruit Juice
White bread
Cakes and biscuits
White pasta
Fizzy drinks
Most packaged cereals

Carbohydrates are the main supply of energy for the body and so are important to consume in the diet. However, where we get our carbs from is important, as they are not created equally. Complex carbs are good for us, due to their nutritious content and slow release energy. Simple carbs on the other hand lead to spikes in blood glucose levels, as they cause energy to be released all in one go and therefore should be limited.

Healthy Alternatives to our unhealthy treats

Healthy Alternatives to Unhealthy Treats

Despite knowing how bad they are for us, we can't help but love all those unhealthy, snacky foods. But what if there was a way to get the same happy feeling on treating yourself, without the after guilt? 

I have come up with a few ideas for healthy alternatives to our unhealthy foes.


The average whole pizza dough weighs in at about 1000 calories. This is a huge amount, even before any toppings are added. My suggestion, if you want pizza is to opt for a different base.

Instead of hitting that dough, choose a flat bread base - at around 170 calories a tortilla. Alternatively, if you prefer more depth to your bottom, toast some sandwich thins - only 100 cals per slice. You could have 10 of these compared to one pizza dough base for the same calorie intake!

Make your own tomato sauce from tinned tomatoes, a little sugar, seasoning and onions and spread across your tortilla/thin. 
Sprinkle on a little cheese and coat with your normal, favourite toppings. 
Put this delicacy under the grill and wait for the cheese to bubble.  

Overall, this is a much better and healthier way to have your pizza. It creates the same comforting happiness, without the ridiculous calorie consumption. 

Chicken Nuggets

As kids, we can all remember devouring into a plate full of chicken nuggets. However, as adults, this has become a less legitimate thing to do as we know that they are made from poor quality chicken deep fried in unhealthy batter and oil. 
However, my option allows you to indulge in your favourite childhood treats in a healthy way. 
1. Buy some chicken breasts from the supermarket and using a rolling pin, bash them until thin (alternatively buy chicken/turkey steaks). 
2. Put bread slices into a blender until they become crumbs
3. Coat the chicken in egg
3. Roll the coated chicken in the crumbs until they stick
4. Using a light amount of oil, fry the chicken until golden brown on the outside and then place in the oven until fully cooked inside.

And there you have it - healthier, adult chicken nuggets.


There is nothing better than sinking your teeth into a beautifully juicy beef burger filled with salad and ketchup. This feeling is even better when you know your burger isn't filled with unhealthy fat and grease.
Swap the beef mince for 7% turkey fat, add seasoning as you please and mould into patties ready to fry.
You can add onions, spices, sauces - anything you want - to the mixture in order to create a beautiful taste without the added fat or calories.
Have it carbless, or with the bread for an extra special, but healthy, treat

Apple Pie 

Apple crumble is a classic summer dish that we could not live without. However, the topping is filled with high levels of butter, flour, and sugar. My option will not make it much less calorific, but will change where the calories are coming from. Instead of a pie, go for a crumble and and choose oats over flour to top the dish.Peel and chop apples and put in the microwave to gently cook. Try not to add sugar at this stage to keep that sharp, healthy taste within the fruit.

Blend together oats and nuts, a little sugar and butter until crumbly. 
Cover the apples with this topping and bake in the oven until golden brown

Replacing the flour with oats and nuts will add healthy fats and slow release carbs to the dish. This is a much better way to get your calories, rather than from white flour. The lack of sugar within the fruit is a healthier option as well. 


We all love a good old melt in the mouth brownie, but we also all know that they are extremely bad for us. Instead of indulging in this sugary, buttery, moist treat, give your own energy bars a go.

It is totally up to you what you put in them but here are some of my suggestions

Try blending these together and then forming into a shape of your choice - ball/rectangle etc

Dates, Cocoa powder, cashew nuts and raisins 
Coconut, cashew nuts, dates, peanut butter
Oats, peanut butter
Oats, peanut butter, cocoa powder, 
Dates, cranberries, almonds
Coconut, mixed nuts, dates

The options are endless but these treats don't require any added sugar as the sweetness from the raisins/dates/cranberries are enough. Also, the stickiness of the dates/peanut butter holds all the ingredients together in a delicious energy ball/brownie substitute. 


The all important question - Daddy or chips? My answer; daddy. But the answer to daddy or sweet potato chips, is a lot harder for me! 

Sweet potatoes are a healthier alternative to the regular white potato. You can do pretty much anything with them, including making your own chips. Chop them up into chip shaped pieces and coat in some oil. Sprinkle salt, pepper and paprika for an extra kick and cook in the oven until soft.

These are my favourite carb to have with a meal and are a great substitute for deep fried potato chips! 

Ice cream 

One of man's greatest sins is eating a whole tub of Ben and Jerry's sitting in front of the TV. Well now you don't have to. Instead, choose a bowl of yoghurt and add fruit compote, honey, granola - whatever makes you feel happy, just without the high saturated fat content! 


Coke, Lemonade, Fanta etc are just such a waste of calories in my opinion and their sugar content is quite unbelievable. If only consumed occasionally, diet soda is a better choice, but in the long run, these aren't much better for your health. Instead, try adding a little bit of fruit juice/cordial (lime, elderflower etc) to a glass of fizzy water and get the same taste sensation, without the huge volume of calories. Just what you need to refresh your palette on a nice, summers day! 

I hope these have given you a good idea of how you can still treat yourself to nice food, just without consuming quite so many calories and fat.
Please get in touch if you have any special healthy treat substitutes - I'd love to hear about them and add them to this list.
Also, stay tuned for my next post about how to increase your metabolism, coming later this week!