Hi guys and welcome to another episode of beer and biceps. This is episode 8 and in it we give you a complete myfitnesspal guide. We also discuss fat burners, Kirin Ichiban beer, and our favourite beer memories. Now I am not going to spend the rest of this article giving you an in-depth guide to using myfitnesspal, mainly because I have already completed a myfitnesspal pdf guide which you can download here: Getting to grips with My Fitness Pal
Check out the pdf above if you have no idea how to use it (or read my article on calorie counting), in this section we will look at how to get the most out of it. When you sign up for the website they give you the option of putting in all your information. Now for the first two weeks I wouldn’t even bother with that. Just log your daily calories and look at what your average is. Once you have done that you can use either this website or this website to discover what your calorie target should be (dependent on what your goals are – weight loss, maintenance, or gain).
You can then work out what your macronutrient count should be (use this article to work it out), then you should manually put this information into myfitnesspal (check that pdf out for exactly how to do this). Once you have your targets just consistently log in all your food for the next few weeks. Try to create some control. In the podcast I recommend eating the same breakfast each day (and adding a protein shake to it). This is 1) easier to manage 2) easier to log, and 3) means you can be more creative with other meals.
One of the more controversial debates in the fitness industry is over the use of fat burners. Seen by some as a miracle pill, and by others as a useless pill sold by snake oil salesmen. I as ever sit firmly on the fence on this subject. I acknowledge that there are a lot of scams, and garbage pills sold to the public. While also accepting that some fat burners can work, if used correctly. Ingredients such as caffeine, yohimbine, green tea extract, and capsaicin, can have a limited effect on your metabolism – and this can help to aid fat loss. You just need to be following a calorie controlled diet (see above) and exercising regularly. Fail to do either of these things, and your fat burner will have been a waste of money.
There’s not much point writing down our three memories, as the podcast covers them thoroughly. Instead I just wanted to talk about why this was such a great question. For many years while I was growing up beer was seen as fuel for a crazy night out, lad culture had made 12 pints of Stella seem like the right way to go for a drink. I loved this culture, and as a result I have many stories that I still cherish. Most of them being embarrassing as hell, but funny too.
I’m not sure whether the industry changed, or I changed (but I suspect both). But now going to the pub feels almost like a cultural experience. You purchase beers based on their interesting taste, your knowledge of the brewery, and perhaps based on the name/design of the packaging (this has led to some truly spectacular failures for me in the past – but I still do it occasionally). I know that this isn’t the case for everyone. I also know that my dad’s generation also had this culture to some extent. Beer festivals, The Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA), Micheal Jackson’s guide to beer (no not that Michael Jackson), were all popular in the 80s and 90s but you have to admit that the rise of craft beer has definitely changed the beer drinking scene.
Now my memories of beer are based on where I was, the company I was with, the beer itself, and the history behind it. My memory was of going to Belgium and drinking a Blonde ale which was from a 200 year old recipe. We weree on the site of the Battle of Waterloo. If you had asked me my favourite beer memory 3 years ago, I might have talked about when myself and my mate Marc drank 17 pints in one day. Stayed up to watch a Joe Calzaghe match, and sang along to Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler. Both are great memories, but I feel that the Belgium story represents my current approach to drinking.
Todd’s story brought me right back to being 17 and drinking underage. It was a very funny story – and I’m glad he edited out a lot of the embarrassing parts! His story represented another side of drinking, how the drinking culture is responsible for so many friendships at that age. I know that you can do this without alcohol, but it’s different. Going to a pub when half your mates are underage, the fear of walking into a Wetherspoons, going to an off licence because your mate can get served there etc … These stories are great to look back on, partly with embarrassment, and partly with nostalgia.
Our beer of the week was Kirin Ichiban, another Japanese beer. This is a pale lager which is 4.9% alcohol. I’ve drunk this in Japanese restaurants before and it is always stunning. But I was a little disappointed while drinking it during the podcast. It was still nice, a really refreshing beer. But it just didn’t bowl me over like it did in the restaurant. Partly this could be due to the setting. Where you are, what glass you are drinking out of, and what food you are eating/not eating, all make up part of the beer experience.
But it could also be the fact that the beer we were drinking is brewed in the UK. While the Japanese restaurant might have been importing directly from Japan. This makes a huge difference to how the beer turns out, as so much of beer is about the water used to make it.
In our next episode we are going to be talking all about protein. Why it is important, what are the benefits, why the huge interest in recent years, and how to get more of it into your diet. We’ll also be discussing any questions that you can throw our way, and drinking a mystery beer of Todd’s choice. Please comment below with any questions that you have. Remember we’re looking for guests to come on our podcast. So if you have anything that you want to talk about (and don’t mind coming round for a podcast/beer session) then message us.
As ever you can check us out on twitter, where we go by @beernbicepspod or you can check out instagram (where it is wall to wall beer pics) , or join our facebook group Beer N Biceps where we discuss everything, give first access to our articles/podcasts, and talk beer and fitness with anyone who’ll listen!
Matt Smith is the owner of Beer N Biceps. He has a degree in Sports Science, 10 years of experience working in the fitness industry, and has written for hundreds of fitness websites. He is a lover of good quality beer and believes that drinking in moderation can form part of a healthy lifestyle.