You Need The Health Benefits of Green Tea

What if I told you, legitimately, that you could improve all aspects of your wellbeing simply by drinking a certain type of drink every day? Well how about if I switched that around and told you you probably drink things every day (or at least every week) which would eventually cause your body to deteriorate and leave you in a worse state than when you started? Both of these statements are true.

What’s the type of drink that has a major negative effect on your body? Answers in the comments below!

And the drink with almost immeasurably positives? Green Tea. We LOVE Green Tea. We advocate drinking it every day, and for good reason. It improves both your BRAIN performance and your PHYSICAL performance. That sounds like an easy win!
If you don’t know much about its health benefits, here’s a quick rundown for you.


The Active Lifestyle Tea Pot!

The Active Lifestyle Tea Pot!

- Anti-Cancer - It’s loaded with polyphenols, which function as powerful antioxidants – including ‘epigallocatechin-3-gallate’ (EGCG) which helps to block carcinogenesis. (the formation of cancer.)(1)
- Improves Brain Function – Green tea contains caffeine – which is good or bad depending on how you look at it is. It is much less strong than coffee however, and also increases dopamine output. (2) The positive effects of caffeine have been well studied.
- Improves Learning and Memory – It contains the amino acid L-theanine, which overall has anti-anxiety effects and behavioural studies in animals suggest improved learning and memory. (3)
– Improves Fat Burning – there are many studies around showing increases in energy expenditure, fat oxidation and increased metabolic rate in humans from the use green tea. However, there are also some studies that don’t – there are other factors at play (for example the caffeine) but it’s definitely a good thing. Studies like this one on 60 obese Thai men concluded that green tea could reduce body weight by increasing energy expenditure and fat oxidation. (4)

There are many different types of green tea, from the more traditional Oolong, Chinese favourite Jasmine, and funky / posh flowering teas like Lotus, which start as a small ball and actually flower when you add the hot water!

Similarly, it’s available from many companies in many forms, but undoubtedly the tastiest way to enjoy it is to brew your green tea from actual loose tea leaves, rather than using tea bags from numerous brands. (These are fine, but can taste somewhat bitter when compared to real tea leaves.) If you are using tea bags, Clipper Pure Green Tea is tasty, and Double Dragon do a fragrant tasting jasmine tea variety.

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1. Biochem Pharmacol. 2011 Dec 15;82(12):1807-21. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2011.07.093. Epub 2011 Jul 30.
Green tea catechin, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG): mechanisms, perspectives and clinical applications.
Singh BN1, Shankar S, Srivastava RK.
2. Brain Res Brain Res Rev. 1992 May-Aug;17(2):139-70.
Caffeine and the central nervous system: mechanisms of action, biochemical, metabolic and psychostimulant effects.
Nehlig A1, Daval JL, Debry G.
3. J Herb Pharmacother. 2006;6(2):21-30.
The neuropharmacology of L-theanine(N-ethyl-L-glutamine): a possible neuroprotective and cognitive enhancing agent.
Nathan PJ1, Lu K, Gray M, Oliver C.
4. Physiology & Behavior
Volume 93, Issue 3, 27 February 2008, Pages 486–491
Effectiveness of green tea on weight reduction in obese Thais: A randomized, controlled trial
5. Paradee Auvichayapata, , ,
6. Montira Prapochanunga,
7. Oratai Tunkamnerdthaia,
8. Bung-orn Sripanidkulchaib,
9. Narong Auvichayapatc,
10. Bandit Thinkhamropd,
11. Soontorn Kunhasurae,
12. Srisuda Wongpratoomf,
13. Supat Sinawata,
14. Pranithi Hongprapasg

The Top Diet Myths Which ALWAYS Bear Repeating

Whatever happens in the world, some seemingly steadfast diet myths will still remain. However many times someone tells you, you will still find it hard to shake off these lies, but you can never know too much so sit up and pay attention! This is a very top level approach but its mantra cannot be ignored. If you are perturbed by what you want to eat individually every day, or how many carbs are in x y or z, consider that if you get 90% of your nutrition right, the final 10% is less important.

- Total Calories IN VS Total Calories OUT

The determining factor in whether you lose or gain weight. The End.

- Meal Frequency
– that is, how many times you eat or do not eat in a day, DOES NOT MATTER in the slightest. Eating more, smaller meals doesn’t burn more calories than eating fewer, larger meals.

- Eating carbs at night – do it. It’s better for you than eating them spread throughout the day. I’ve posted on this before (with accompanying scientific studies) but the important point is this – by continuously spiking your blood sugar during the day (by consuming carbs) you are encouraging your body to hold onto fat.


- If calories are equal, a moderate intake of fats, both saturated an unsaturated, and a lowering of carbohydrates, will cause reduction in body fat in almost everyone! An associated benefit of this is improving your cholesterol levels. HDL cholesterol is GOOD for you. LDL cholesterol is the BAD kind. Pay attention to this next time you go to the doctors for a blood test, or you spot a Daily Mail article championing some food that is now good for you, even though it was bad for you last year, but is now definitely good for you. (What?!)

Side note: Without turning this into a huge in-depth calories article – Those of you using varying protocols such as 5:2, Intermittent Fasting, and Carb Backloading, congratulations! Your body can see great success using these ideas but remember if your overall calories aren’t on point then you won’t see any changes! Psychologically, these are great ways to eat, because you become self-regulating with your food and learn what to eat for full satiation etc. Like anything else though, they all still require the most important personal tool of all for making changes – discipline.

One thing that’s helped me massively has been buying Dr. Zaks protein bread from Musclefood. For all my supplementation I use The Protein Works. In two slices of bread, you get 30g of protein. So for me it makes a fantastic addition to morning eggs!

Any questions or comments you know what to do! Thanks!

Beach Body Daily Workout and Nutrition Tips

Happy Tuesday everyone. How was your eating and training over the weekend? Time to get going again!

***Exercise Task***

Today’s workout is going to feature a range of bodyweight exercises that will challenge your body in a new way but allow you rest so you can really attack each set hard! Simple, but sucky I believe is the term I’ve used when telling clients about some of these…

Warm up for 2 minutes however you like, jogging on the spot is great or try skipping! See my article.

Once warm, you’re going to perform each exercise for a minute as hard as you possibly can, before resting for 45 seconds and then moving onto the next exercise!

Bodyweight Squats for 1 minute
>Rest 45 seconds
Push Up on floor for 1 minute – as soon as you reach failure change to push ups on knees
> Rest 45 seconds
High Knees for 1 minute as fast as you can

Rest 2 minutes.

Bodyweight Squats for 1 minute
>Rest 45 seconds
Top position plank hold (like at the top of a push up) – 1 minute
>Rest 45 seconds
Mountain Climbers for 1 minute as fast as you can

Beginners, do the whole thing once. Everyone else do it twice. If you want to tell everyone about it, do 3 rounds. Enjoy!

Mountain Climbers!

Mountain Climbes torch fat and calories!

***Nutrition ***

What were you drinking over the weekend? What are you drinking now? Thanks for the questions and posts on the last couple of days!

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Warm Up, because you aren’t f**king stupid.

I write a lot of workouts for a lot of people. I’ve trained and lifted weights or done martial arts with a lot of people. I even advise a lot of people. One thing is common – the ones in better body ‘shape’ (e.g. effective mobility, flexibility, fewer chronic issues and old nagging injuries) are the ones that warm up properly, every time they go to train or lift.
I’m not sure if it’s the broscience, the macho attitude, or the ignorance, but I only meet people who shrug and say ‘sometimes, not really’ when asked about their warm up in a weights environment.


I can’t stress this enough.

NB: This is not a warm up ^

Why Warm Up?

Your lifestyle (read job) is probably killing you. When you warm up before you train, you are easing your body into activity and movement that is likely 100% away from sitting at your desk or holding your phone to ear with your shoulder.
Warming up lubricates your joints, sends blood flow pumping around your body and kicks up your heart rate. As you age this becomes even more important, as your likelihood of getting hurt increases and the suppleness of your body falls. The more blood flowing around your body, the better the delivery of nutrients required for energy production. Finally, it’s a great way to get focused on your workout. Sportsman often talk about being focused or ‘in the zone’. Warming up is an essential way to prime your mind for the task ahead.

Overall, warming up greatly reduces the chances of injury to muscles or connective tissues – you can warm up effectively in just a couple of minutes. If you have mobility or foam rolling to do now is a great time to do it! I saw something in the middle east that I hoped I’d never see in a gym again – people walk upto the dumbbells, pick up some light ones, wave them around like they want to be butterflies, and then go and lift their weights. Madness. (see video above if you have not).

A Simple, Effective Warm Up:

Taking just a few minutes, start by walking around and rotating your arms for about 20-30 seconds. Then break out into a light jog, switching between running forwards and lateral sidesteps. This is a primer if you like – now move onto more specific bodyparts, for example jumping jacks or star jumps are a fantastic, safe, whole body warm up. Next, some lunges or warrior pose stretches will get your hips and glutes firing. Finally, some easy, good depth bodyweight squats will help mobilise your lower body. You’re now probably pretty warm and can move to doing whatever it was you were training for.

As an example, my athletic warm up base is as follows, but changes depending on what exercises I am performing or where I have soreness:

Walking Hip Stretch
Walking Quad Stretch
Leg Swings
Thoracic extensions from warrior pose and over foam roller
McGill Tripod
Alternate Glute Bridge
External Rotations for shoulders
Foam roll adductors, piriformis and hamstrings

Squatting 110 kgs in Hollywood, LA

Squatting 110 kgs for reps in Hollywood, LA

Below are some warming up suggestions I use variations of myself from those at the very top of our industry, this is Train Heroic taking us through DeFranco’s Agile 8.

Here’s Joe DeFranco presenting his Limber 11 flexibility routine, which has built on the Agile 8 and contains his upgrades and thoughts, so it’s worth a watch.

Make sure you warm up people, I hope this helps! If you have any questions please get at me or hit up the Facebook group!

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Research Update on Low Carb / Ketogenic diets VS Traditional Western Diet

A quick, short post from me today (makes a change) but as I was doing my reading this morning I came across a great post by Bayesian Bodybuilding, where they have considered the scientific research that is currently about on Low Carb Ketogenic Diets when compared with traditional Western Models. It backs up all my existing thoughts about Low Carb diets and I will continue to champion them amongst my family and clients.

Protein, eggs, chicken, beef, fish, steak,

Firstly, a study on recreationally active women showed that those who ingested more FAT were both STRONGER and LEANER than those who ingested carbohydrate heavy food. “Participants consuming greater than 5% of calories from fat had a significantly higher bench press 1RM.” The study suggests that women have to consider what they intake carefully as there may be significant implications to their body composition.

Succinctly, it showed that lean body mass increased when Low Carbing to a comparable rate with the traditional diet, possibly outperforming it but the low carb group featured a ‘carb-up’ at the end of the study.

When considering strength and power, as I would have suspected, the traditional Western carbohydrate heavy diet resulted in superior results over the Low Carb group, who made improvements but on a lower level.

Finally, the data suggests that these extreme diets ARE safe. The good cholesterol (HDL) increased in the Low Carb group and triglycerides rose.

Massive thanks to Bayesian Bodybuilding for a great write up, you can read the full article including journal abstracts at their site – Carbs VS Fat Research Update

Thanks, have a great day everyone!

Daily Free Beach Body Workout and Nutrition Tips!

Noms! Chicken Bacon and fresh vegetables in a wrap

How is everyone feeling today? You’ve had your first real taste now of the changes you need to be making to move forward. Now it’s time to continue learning and putting into practice. Hopefully you don’t have much soreness yet, your muscles just feel like they’ve started to do something?!

*** Nutrition Task ***

You’ve had a few days to adjust, now it’s time to make sure you’re accountable. More protein, cut carbs, no snacks. Now, let’s consider drinks…

If you drunk alcohol this weekend, what did you go for? The best drinks for your body (in terms of calories) are vodka, fresh lime and soda. (If you say ‘lime’ you’ll get lime cordial, which is a lot of sugar, so make sure you ask for fresh lime!)

When you’re NOT on a night out, the only drinks you are allowed are the following…


No additional sugar, herbal and green tea is best but I’m trying to make the transition easier for you!

Many people don’t realise that by drinking a glass of juice they are taking in around 50g of sugar. Juice isn’t very healthy, and shouldn’t be drunk often. Blame marketers for lying to you.

*** Exercise Task ***

Today we are going to be doing our first workout using your body as resistance! The last few days have been to ease you in and prepare you for an actual workout. You can do it at home, at work (lol) or outside in the park or your garden!

Spend 2-3 minutes warming up – warming up is important and you need to do it EVERY single time you’re going to work out. Essentially you want to get your body moving, so a brisk walk with arm rotations for 1 minute before jogging for another minute should be great!

Once you’re warm, the workout is as follows –

10 bodyweight squats / 1 push up
9 bodyweight squats / 2 push ups
8 bodyweight squats / 3 push ups

All the way down to 1 squat 10 push ups. If you can’t do that many push ups – I want you to do what you can in the full push up position. When you fail, switch to doing push ups on your knees to work your upper body.

For beginners, go through everything once. If you’re advanced do the circuit TWICE. It’s totally ok if you get halfway through and can’t carry on, or you find it easy and want to go through 3 or 4 times you can!

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Losing Fat for that Beach Body – Day 3 Tasks

Thanks to those of you that have given me a signal and said you’re putting your ass into this!

As we’re in Day 3, let’s have a little review – where should you be at?

Taken ‘before’ progress photos
Taken pictures of ALL YOUR FOOD
Done 10 minutes of exercise, whatever it may have been

How are you feeling after yesterday’s movement? How did you feel after you ate your meals? How do you feel overall?

The more aware you are of your body, the better you will feel and the happier you will be. Are you one of those that reaches for the painkillers or headache tablets at every opportunity? Obviously people are predisposed to certain problems as we’re all different, but the goal here is to improve your health via improved food, therefore requiring less use of painkillers or drugs.

Someone mentioned that me posting the tasks at the end of the day isn’t helpful as people have already lived / planned / enjoyed the majority of the day. So, here’s a task, plan it into your tomorrow and we’ll go from there!

***Nutrition Task***

If you don’t eat enough protein, you won’t see the changes you want. Getting enough protein is imperitive to reaching your goals. However, this program is for leaning up and getting a bit more ripped, so that means not only eating healthier, but eating smarter. Think about what you ate yesterday. How could you improve on it? Do you know?

Here are three tips to start implementing NOW:

1. UP your Protein Intake – choose dishes where meat is an ingredient – beef, chicken, lamb, turkey and fish are all fabulous choices. But make sure that meat is involved somewhere.
2. Reduce your Carbohydrate intake. All carbohydrates (effectively) are sugar. All are broken down to glucose to be used by the body for movement and activity. A ‘serving’ of carbohydrates is a closed fist size – eg. A tight handful or pasta or rice. If you had pasta last night with a WHOLE plate of pasta, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG. Replace these starchy carbs with vegetables or salad.
3. NO SNACKING. Today (or tomorrow, lol). You’re not going to snack – you’re going to be good. Say no to chocolate, biscuits, cake, or whatever else is going around your office today. I don’t care that it’s Margaret’s birthday from HR, she’s fat and unhealthy and you will be too if you keep eating shite. (Hmph.)

Therefore, your ‘ideal’ meal now contains a lump of protein, a smaller serving of carbohydrates and a side of fresh vegetables. Welcome to heath(ier) eating. When you’ve got what you think is a meal that looks shareable, send it over to me and we can see if you’re on the right track!

***Exercise Task***

10 minutes of exercise yesterday – what did you do? How do you feel today?

Today we are upping the ante, you’re going to do your first workout! You’re only going to work out for 8 minutes in total. And 2 of those are warming up. If you have any questions or issues, get at me in the comments below!

Day 3 Workout:

40 seconds: a fast walk, including rotating your arms and generally getting moving to prepare your body for the session ahead.
10 seconds: plank
20 seconds: jogging on the spot
20 seconds: lateral sidesteps
20 seconds: star jumps / jumping jacks

Now you should feel pretty warm and are probably sweating a little bit! Time to put in some work. You have 6 minutes to do today, suck it up and go hard!

*45 seconds – Burpees – as many as you can. Rest 15 seconds.
*45 seconds – Star Jumps – as many as you can. Rest 15 seconds.
*45 seconds – Push ups or Push up hold in top position if can’t do full rep – as many as you can. Rest 15 seconds.

*30 seconds – Speed Skater Lateral Hops – as many as you can. Rest 30 seconds. (Push off your left foot, land on your right foot, push off right foot and land on left side, repeat ad infinitum).
*30 seconds – Forearm Plank with opposite shoulder touch – as many as you can. Rest 30 seconds. (From a forearm plank, touch your opposite shoulder with your hand. Eg lift your right arm and touch your left shoulder, then switch sides.)
*30 seconds – Long Jumps – as many as you can. (Standing in a normal front facing stance, simply jump as far forward as you can and land by planting both feet on the ground.)

Relax and enjoy the fact that you’re done. Or rather, you should feel totally pooped and be cursing me. Either way, you’ll feel better in about 10/15 minutes when the endorphins kick in! Have a great evening everyone!

Beach Body Free Daily Tips Guide Day 2

Hey everyone, who’s following the beach body tips then? Hit like / share or comment below if you are! It’s time to see who’s really playing here to work and who isn’t!

If you are taking part in this and have taken your photos yesterday, keep them somewhere safe so that you are easily able to compare your progress at the end. If you’re proud of your results and send them in to me to use I’ll sort out some prizes or something at the end! All progress is important and you can stay anonymous if you’d prefer!

So let’s weed out the fakers shall we… It’s time to get serious.

To get results and see changes in your body, you’re going to learn how to make better food choices and learn about basic training. Half the effort, double the results remember.

***Nutrition Task:***

I want you to take a picture of your dinner! And anything you eat this evening. If you eat it, you have to take a picture of it. Simple!

***Exercise Task:***

Today, your task takes literally 10 minutes. ALL you have to do, is move. Show me you’re serious and put aside 10 minutes today to do something you wouldn’t normally do. Either go for a jog, a walk, do a few runs up and down the stairs, or maybe some bodyweight exercises like squats and push ups for those that know how to do them.

Therefore, you have taken pictures of what you’re eating, and you’ve done 10 minutes of ANY kind of exercise today. I want you then to send ME the info from today’s tasks – either Facebook message it to me privately, or post it directly as a reply to this thread. Send pictures of what you’ve eaten and a short sentence with the exercise YOU did. I’ll keep the pictures and exercises, which we’ll use later on (anonymity is fine!) all towards healthier food choices and subsequent fat loss.

From there, I can see who is actually interested in this, and I can tailor the ongoing nutrition tips and workout ideas so they are more effective for you all.

No more excuses, time is ticking.

Steak - protein - eggs - protein and fat - potatoes - carbs - fruit -carbs

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The Beach Body Crash Course

It’s almost SUMMER HOLIDAY TIME – Is Your Body Beach Ready?

As we enter June and glimmers of sunshine bask England (this may or may not be true) people start to really look forward to their summer holidays! Every year Brits head to the Med to relax in the sun and top up their tans on the glorious, sandy beaches.

Introducing the Beach Body Crash Course Series. By following my small training and nutrition tips here, you will see the results in yourself and enjoy big changes by the time you get on a plane!

As a massive *THANK YOU* to those who took part in the group and helped support my questionnaire, the upcoming series of posts here (and replicated later on the blog, will focus on how to trim up and lose body fat, giving you a much leaner and toned look by the time you hit the beach. Basically, you’ll do half the work and get twice the results. I will be running a 3 or 4 week crash summer body bootcamp with included training sessions… Contact me for details. (see below.)

Let’s be honest, who couldn’t benefit from this?! I know that I myself need to be much stricter with my eating, even a daily reminder would help!

*Today’s* task is very simple – stand in front of a mirror and take a full length shot of yourself. Now turn to the side and do the same. This is your starting point. You can look back on these pictures whilst you’re enjoying your holiday and you’ll instantly be able to see the progress you’ve made!

Once you have your photos done, spend the next couple of days noticing what is going into your mouth!

Come back tomorrow for the next post!


The Beach Body Crash Course series is based around a simple principle of making small changes and completing a task every day – though only a small change, it will impact your body with big results, especially as the tips will combine and build on one another!

Oh and please share this with anyone that you think will benefit from some tips for leaning up this summer, get at me with any questions below!

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Happy Sunday everyone!

A big challenge many people face is that they simply find it hard to get good amounts of protein in their diet without massively overeating or eating so much that they can’t see the body fat changes that they want! A consistent question I’m often asked is ‘How Can I get More Protein’. The first step is to familiarise yourself with what foods actually contain worthwhile protein levels. Nuts, dairy (and eggs), meat and lentils all are useful here. Remember though that meat is the only complete protein, that is it provides all 9 essential amino acids that your body can’t produce on its own. (There are over 200 amino acids, about 22 standard amino acids, but they can be used in many different ways. 9 are notarised as ‘essential’ because the body can’t produce these itself.) This means that you can combine protein sources to make up complete proteins if needed – beans and brown rice for example and spinach mixed with almonds.
Usually, not seeing changes is a result of not eating enough protein. So the simplest way to speed up your results is to make sure that you’re maximising your protein intake each day.

Protein Powder!

I get my protein now from The Protein Works, which I found recently after moving back from the Middle East. The taste and flavours are good, delivery took just one day (I ordered on a weekend and it was here on Monday). Check out their range of Protein Powders which are high in protein content and decently priced. FYI, I used to use MyProtein before, which is probably the most popular in the UK, but I gave up on them after consistently terrible customer service – and for someone who would spend a couple of hundred quid every 2 months, this was unacceptable!


1. Add more meat to your diet. This one had to be said – eating lentils, beans and eggs will get you protein undoubtedly, but there’s no substitute for almost 30g of protein in one hit with 100g of lean steak!

2. Make sure that you always have high protein foods available to snack on. Your fridge, and especially your work lunch if you take food to work, should always contain nuts such as almonds or brazil nuts, and ideally sandwich meat such as turkey or chicken. Eating a few slices of good quality pre-packed chicken can easily be worth 15g – 30g of protein.

3. Consciously choose PROTEIN. The way to see changes is (unfortunately) to be strict with yourself. Eating chocolate every day is a no-no. If you are considering foods, try and think about what is best value in terms of containing protein. A Friday afternoon pub lunch for example can offer up varied menu choices. Choose the chicken or fish dish over the vegetarian pasta and your body will thank you.

4. Similarly, do you have to drink a pint every time?!

5. This has built up to the key – number 5 – Change Your MINDSET. The obvious truth when trying to change how your body looks is that you have to do something different to what you have been doing previously to see long term changes. If you ignore your protein, you will find it hard to progress. Therefore, the more you consider what you’re eating and how you can get more good quality food, especially protein, into your diet, the better. Make sure you are improving. This is the difference between training, and working out. If you’re training, you are heading towards a goal and have improvement in your sights.


Tasty Protein Flapjack bars from The Protein Works!

Extra: Protein bars/supplements. I didn’t want to list this one as a ‘main’ point, but it is undeniable that supplementation can go a long way to helping improve one’s protein intake. Overall, bars are a good way to get a hit of protein, most contain the equivalent of a protein shake, 15-25g of protein in one bar. Unfortunately most contain a similar amount of carbs, meaning that they are a calorific way of getting in your protein. I’ve used a large range of bars which I’ll address in detail in another post. Check out the tasty tasty Protein Works Flapjack Bars for some goodness!

So there you have it – keep these tips at the forefront of your mind and you will see both your protein intake rise and your results happen faster! If you find yourself struggling with healthy eating or nutrition and don’t know where to turn, drop me a message and we’ll get you on track! If you like this and want to be updated with more articles in the future, join up on the Facebook Group ->

James Schofield Fitness Training


If you want to grab any of the protein I’ve mentioned from The Protein Works, check out their site here! Definitely good quality, well priced supplements. The best thing about them is the huge range – they have GM free, lactose free, and even gluten free powders.

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