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Martin Silva – Quick Wins In Nutrition, Movement, Mindset & Sleep

Content by: Martin Silva

Watch the full interview below or listen to the full episode on your iPhone HERE.

Stu: This week, I’m excited to welcome Martin Silva back to the podcast. Martin is a transformation coach, award-winning fitness model, public speaker, and podcaster. His focus and commitment with a holistic approach to long-term health sets him apart from his peers. In this episode, we talk about the low hanging fruit or quick wins that we can all consider when wanting to improve our health and wellness. Over to Martin …

Audio Version

Some questions asked during this episode:

  • How should we eat for optimal health?
  • Is resistance training favoured over cardio?
  • What sleep tips always deliver the results?

Get more of Martin Silva:

If you enjoyed this, then we think you’ll enjoy this interview:


The views expressed on this podcast are the personal views of the host and guest speakers and not the views of Bega Cheese Limited or 180 Nutrition Pty Ltd. In addition, the views expressed should not be taken or relied upon as medical advice. Listeners should speak to their doctor to obtain medical advice.

Disclaimer: The transcript below has not been proofread and some words may be mis-transcribed.

Full Transcript

Stu

(00:03)

Hey, this is Stu from 180 Nutrition and welcome to another episode of the health sessions. It’s here that we connect with the world’s best experts in health, wellness, and human performance in an attempt to cut through the confusion around what it actually takes to achieve a long lasting health. Now I’m sure that’s something that we all strive to have. I certainly do.

(00:23)

Before we get into the show today, you might not know that we make products too. That’s right. We are into whole food nutrition and have a range of super foods and natural supplements to help support your day. If you are curious, want to find out more, just jump over to our website. That is 180nutrition.com.au. And take a look. Okay, back to the show.

(00:45)

This week, I’m excited to welcome Martin Silva back to the podcast. Martin is a transformation coach, award-winning fitness model, public speaker, and podcaster. His focus and commitment with a holistic approach to long-term health sets him apart from his peers. In this episode, we talk about the low hanging fruit or quick wins that we can all consider when wanting to improve our health and wellness. Over to Martin. Hey guys, this is Stu from 180 Nutrition and I am delighted to welcome Martin Silva back to the podcast. Martin mate, good morning. How are you?

Martin

(1:20)

Good morning. I’m very good, Stu. Thanks for having me on, man.

Stu

(01:23)

Oh, cannot wait to chat. But first up, for all of our listeners that may not be familiar with you or your work, haven’t listened to the previous conversations that we’ve had, I’d love it if you could just tell us a little bit about yourself please.

Martin

(01:35)

Sure. Yeah. So obviously, name is Martin Silva. I’m from Wales in the UK and I live in Australia now and that’s kind of how Stu and I crossed paths. So I moved to Sydney five years ago, but yeah, long story short, really I live, breathe, and eat health and fitness. I started off as a personal trainer at the age of 19. I’m almost 35 now and two, three years ago, I built an online transformation program, coaching transformation program.

Martin

(02:01)

I’ve competed as a bodybuilder at a high level. And yeah, basically, I just live, breathe, and eat this stuff. And nowadays, I’m in a place where I’m just very much like Stu, just dialed into just living my life and just really living my life to the maximum in terms of feeling good, optimizing my health, and just having good balance as well in my life.

Martin

(02:24)

But yeah, now I’m in a position where I’m helping. I’m changing lives with what I do and the reason I’m able to do that is because of my own experience. Obviously I mentioned before, with body building, I used to struggle with binge eating and stuff for a couple of years and all these struggles and kind of things that I experienced and not to mention all the hundreds of people I’ve coached has now enabled me to have a much bigger impact on people’s lives. But yeah, that’s just a little bit more about me anyway, mate. So yeah. By the way, I’ve been there for five years. Got my permanent residency for Aus last year, which I’m over the moon with.

Stu

(02:55)

Congratulations.

Martin

(02:55)

Yeah.

Stu

(02:56)

Congratulations. Now, that’s excellent. Well for our listeners that are new to you and your message and your journey and everything that you live for, my challenge is just to type Martin Silva fitness into Google. Have a look so they can get an understanding of where you’ve come from in terms of really understanding what needs to happen from a body composition perspective.

(03:20)

And then what I love about what you’re doing at the moment and one of the reasons why I really wanted to dig into this conversation is because of your holistic standpoint. And when I say that, I know that trying to change your body from a composition perspective, there are different ways to do it. There are right ways, and there are wrong ways.

(03:41)

And ultimately, what we want to do is if you’re going to make positive changes from a physiological standpoint, you want to make sure that your mindset is in the right place. That you’re sleeping well. That you have lots of energy. That you don’t succumb to food disorders of the like. And you’ve kind of got all of that nailed. And I’ve seen from the testimonials that you’ve had online as well that you’re changing a lot of people’s lives with a lot of the information that you’re giving.

(04:07)

And it’s fantastic to see because a lot of your peers in this area are more solely focused on the scales. And I just don’t think, and you probably agree that’s the right way to go. So, this conversation today is going to be focused on low hanging fruit or quick wins because we’ve just come through the pandemic. And so there’s been a period of time where everything’s been turned upside down in terms of perhaps the way that we work, the way that we move, our social interaction.

(04:38)

And so for me, I thought instead of everybody trying to dive into a million different perspectives from perhaps nutrition, exercise, movement, mindset, and sleep, we could just go straight into the low hanging fruit or those quick wins that you know have been the most beneficial for your clients as well. So I thought we’d kickstart off with nutrition and just in terms of things that you have seen to produce time and time again the best results in terms of eating for energy and vitality. So satiety, so we’re nice and full. We haven’t got cravings, body composition, but then ultimately longevity.

Martin

(05:27)

Yeah. Great question. So with the nutrition, so first and foremost, a lot of people tend to focus more on the mechanistic stuff. Right? What I mean by that is to simplify it is just calories and macros, right?

Stu

(05:39)

Yeah.

Martin

(05:40)

Now, you see a lot of that, like you say, online. It’s like, “What I need is I need to know how many calories to eat and I need to know my macronutrients.” Right? Now, yes. Obviously that’s very important. When going to your point on body composition, you need to know your macros and eating the right amount of protein, and obviously staying within your calorie range, whether you want to build muscle or lose body fat. We all know that.

(06:00)

Most people know, obviously if you want to lose weight, you need to burn more than you eat. And if you want game muscle, then obviously you need to be in a small surplus. Most people kind of know what to do in a sense, right? But the important thing which I help people with is going deeper and looking at the behaviors around food, right?

(06:17)

So it’s like you said then, food quality. So focusing on the quality of foods we eat to nourish our body, to keep us more satiated, to improve gut health. And obviously you can keep going down the list, paying attention to how we feel when we eat certain foods. Why we eat, emotional eating. Most people actually eat based on emotions. Right?

(06:39)

A lot of people in the westernized world anyway don’t really know what true hunger is to a certain extent. So it’s like the signals have kind of being hijacked in our brain because obviously when we talk about processed foods and I think I mentioned this before, but ultra processed foods obviously designed to make us over eat.

(06:57)

And ultimately, when we’re eating foods, which come out of a packet, which have an ingredient list as long as your arm with some of the words you can’t pronounce, right?

Stu

(07:05)

Yeah.

Martin

(07:05)

This is why I educate my clients on just simply having a look at the ingredients. And then people sometimes get confused and don’t understand what’s whole foods, what processed foods. Now, whole foods, obviously, if I’m going to eat a steak, the ingredients beef. Okay, one ingredient. Banana, ingredients, banana, right? The more you can keep this simply primarily whole foods, at least 80 to 90%, then ultimately it’s kind of hard to lose really.

(07:29)

But when we go deeper into nutrition, I can’t stress that enough. The most important thing are the behaviors around food and also understanding things like environment, like obviously who you spend your time with because there’s research to show if you’ve got a friend… And this is not trying to shame anyone, but obviously if you’ve got a friend who’s obese and you spend a lot of time with that person, you’ve got something like I think is a 50 odd, 55% more chance of actually being obese yourself.

(07:52)

So it’s just paying attention to these things as well. There’s kind of a lot going on there. That’s kind of a lifestyle thing, but ultimately the most important thing when it comes to nutrition really, there’s a couple of things. Now, when it comes to the awareness, with most of my clients, to be honest, I do get them to track their food to start with.

Stu

(08:11)

Okay.

Martin

(08:11)

Now, long story short, I track my food for about six years on and off to be honest. And let’s just say, I wanted to really dial things in now, Stu. Obviously the way I eat now and live, I’m the leanest I’ve ever been all year round. But if I wanted to really dial things in, if I wanted to do a competition, which I won’t be, if I want to do a body building comp, I would start tracking again. Right?

(08:30)

And I tracked again about a month ago and I realized actually, even where I’m at now, I was like four or 500 calories out a day. That’s like three and a half thousand calories a week. That’s a difference between a pound of weight gain and not.

Stu

(08:42)

Wow. Yeah.

Martin

(08:43)

And that’s where I’m at now. So when people say, “Oh, I don’t like tracking,” it’s five, 10 minutes out your day. And to be honest, based on all the results I’ve had over the years, it’s a fantastic tool to use to raise that awareness. So the first thing I would say is if you’ve never done that before and you’re looking to really change your body composition, I’d highly recommend just simply using an app like My Fitness Pal and just shine the light on what you’re currently doing. And again, there’s load of research to show you’re going to eat last just from tracking.

Stu

(09:10)

Yes.

Martin

(09:10)

I’ve actually had results with clients in the past and I’ve actually done this now with a couple of clients I’ve got. I haven’t even told them anything about macros and calories. All I’ve said is track.

Stu

(09:20)

Right.

Martin

(09:20)

Let’s focus on these foods. Let’s kind of stay mindful of these foods, alcohol, whatever it is, fantastic results. I’m not saying that’s going to last forever, but it just goes to show the power of just simply tracking and keeping a food diary and shining the light on what you’re doing. But the most important thing is, I always say to my clients, tracking your food is not a destination, right Stu?

(09:40)

Who the hell wants to be using an app to track their food. You’re going out for meals with friends and you’re getting an app out? Yeah, you have to do that to start with, but that’s not the destination. The destination is going back to what I was saying, eating intuitively. Right? So being in a place where like Stu and I, for example, it’s taken us our whole lives to get here. Doesn’t happen overnight, but getting to a point where it’s easy.

Stu

(10:03)

Yes.

Martin

(10:04)

It’s actually easy for Stu and I to stay in shape. Right because it’s now etched into our subconscious. It’s automatic. I just did a training with clients called automatic nutrition. The choices we make were food now, it’s automatic. I remember Stu saying to me, and I said this to someone now because it’s the same way. I think it’s like you don’t get that signal anymore. If you’re around party food or if you’re around people eating shit food. And that’s again, no disrespect. Obviously people need balance and it’s a process, but you don’t have that signal to have that food anymore.

Stu

(10:32)

Yeah.

Martin

(10:33)

And I’m exactly the same. And I used what you said last time to explain that. I’m like, “No, no, you don’t understand.” They’re like, “Oh, enjoy yourself.” I’m like, “I don’t want the food.” The signal’s not there. I have no desire to have it. It’s not that I’m being disciplined anymore because of the repetition of all those years cutting them. You know?

Stu

(10:52)

Totally right. And it’s funny when people say enjoy it because when you get it right and when you go into this automatic process, yes, you don’t get that signal anymore. I look at all of the treats and sweets that come out like cat food but what I do enjoy is having excellent sleep, long lasting energy. It’s like zero highs, clarity of mind that I wouldn’t get if I was going to fill myself up with these ultra processed foods that are hyper palatable, that just hijack every system in your body.

(11:26)

So it’s almost like the matrix code. You can see through all of this nonsense and you just gravitate to the good stuff. So yeah, the enjoyment for me doesn’t come by eating a bag of chips and a dip and whatever it may be. The enjoyment comes with knowing that I’ve just got great energy and I can get the most out of my life.

Martin

(11:45)

Absolutely. Absolutely. But yeah, I think just to kind of summarize, actually, if I was to say, I was just thinking then when you were saying that, the kind of top three things to focus on with nutrition, the most important thing is always going to be going deeper than. Calories and macros, tip of the iceberg. That is not going to get.

(12:01)

When you focus on the behaviors around food and changing the way you think about food and focusing on food quality and all the rest of it, that is what’s going to get you sustainable results. When you really do the hard work. Right?

Stu

(12:12)

Yeah.

Martin

(12:12)

Which took me a lot of pain. Like I mentioned at the start with the binge eating I went through to actually really overcome that. I was actually in a decent place prior to competing body building, but that kind of made things go tits up a bit. But that’s the most important thing I would say to focus on is the behaviors and understanding emotional leads.

(12:30)

This is something I talk a lot about to clients. Just simple methods like are you actually hungry? Because for example, boredom and stress, they’re probably the most two common emotions that triggers us to eat. When you’re doing a tedious task at work or something like that, it’s easy to reach for snacks and just eat to try and get you through. You do that once or twice in a row, two, three days in a row that becomes a habit you start cementing in. And then before you know it, you’re eating thousands more calories by the end of the week that you don’t need. And again, that’s the difference between gaining weight and being unhealthy, not gain and weight and being healthy. You know what I mean?

(13:03)

So I say to my clients, first thing is place a barrier in the way. So don’t have those foods in the house that tend to make you overeat.

Stu

(13:13)

Yeah.

Martin

(13:13)

Right? If you place that barrier in the way, I actually give my clients permission. I say, “Look, if you want to go and get a chocolate bar, I’m giving you permission after your dinner to go to the store. Get any car, go to the store, get a small chocolate.” Most of the time they don’t do it, right.

Stu

(13:26)

No.

Martin

(13:26)

It’s not in the house, you’re not going to bother. You know what I mean? So place that barrier in the way. So that’ll prevent you from emotional eating or using food for whatever reason. And just another thing is just taking five deep breaths.

Martin

(13:39)

So if you feel like you’re about to go and over eat and eat for the sake of it, take five deep breaths before you eat that food and just feel what emotion you’re feeling. Am I anxious? Am I lonely? Am I bored? Am I stressed? Keep going down the list.

Stu

(13:52)

Yeah.

Martin

(13:52)

When you just stop and have that awareness, sometimes you’re not even going to bother eating or another method is just drink a glass of water and wait 20 minutes. Most of the time, another thing we kind of confuse hunger for thirst. But as I say, number one is always going to be that kind of stuff. Focusing on the behaviors, emotional eating is what most people do. And that can just be a slippery slope over time. So just taking a step back and being aware of the behaviors, why you’re eating, how foods make you feel, and focusing on eating mainly whole foods.

(14:21)

The other thing, like I said, then the second thing is definitely just your awareness. So tracking your food, right? Keeping a food diary. You can use My Fitness Pal, for example now. Track your food. And on that same note, if you can just focus on eating, let’s just say at least one gram of protein per kilo of body weight. So don’t over complicate things. Just go, “Right, I’m going to track my food. I’m not really going to even focus on calories for the first few weeks. I’m just going to track my food, see where I’m currently at.”

(14:47)

What I’m going to do is I’m going to try and have like a gram of protein, two grams of protein per kilo of your body weight. So if you weigh a hundred kilos, you want to be having around about 200 grams of protein minimum, right. And it’s a challenging thing to do, to consistently protein. And that’s probably the most common thing over the years I’ve seen people struggle with because it blunts your appetite when you’re having high protein, speed your metabolism up. But also, it leaves less wiggle room. When you’re not eating adequate protein, what are you going to replace that with? Fats and carbs.

Stu

(15:15)

Yes.

Martin

(15:15)

When you’re eating more fats and carbs, you tend to eat more calories, right? If it’s the combination of those together. So simple as that really. And then yeah, the last thing I was going to say then, which is it’s just really just it all kind of ties in together, but just focus on eating mainly whole foods. I think I mentioned that study before, Stu, but bit long story short, ultra processed foods have been proven in studies now make us over eat by about 500 calories a day. Again, that’s three and a half thousand calories a week. That’s a pound of fat, basically. Right?

Stu

(15:41)

Yeah.

Martin

(15:42)

So if you can focus on eating mainly whole foods, you really can’t go wrong. But yeah, as I say, being aware of the behaviors, emotional eating. Turning to ultra process foods to make us feel better is one of the reasons why we’re facing the obesity epidemic now. You know what I mean?

Stu

(15:58)

No, that’s great advice. And I think it’s interesting as well because when you do transition over from more of a processed food centric approach to eating to a whole food approach, there can be that transition time and it could take a couple of months to try and get your head around. Well, I don’t know what to eat. I used to have toast for breakfast and now whole food. Well, what do I do?

Stu

(16:22)

And so it’s really this adjustment period, I think, that is really worth sticking with that will then take you into thinking about different breakfast options, different lunch times options. And then maybe more prep time required, just so you completely know, right lunch I’m going to have this. I might boil up some eggs or do whatever we need to do. But once I think you’ve got through that almost confusion stage of, well, I used to have a wrap or a sandwich or whatever it may be from the convenience store and now have to make it myself, I think that you really start to see the benefits because like you mentioned before, you just feel full and satisfied.

Martin

(17:04)

A hundred percent.

Stu

(17:05)

And you’re more than likely going to be getting a whole heap more nutrition as well from whatever you’re preparing, which ultimately is going to be good for everyone in the long run.

Martin

(17:14)

Yeah, definitely. Definitely. It’s just not confusing matters. Like you say, if you lean protein available, just you said about prepping your food?

Stu

(17:20)

Yeah.

Martin

(17:21)

I’m fortunate where I work from home so I can just quickly cook my food, but what I used to do is just have lean protein available in the fridge. It doesn’t have to be a dry chicken breast, right. It can be like mince. Like if you make mince, you can make that with like different vegetables or whatever and different flavors. So you can keep that. I say to my clients, if you’ve got leftover mince or whatever from the night before, what’s wrong with having that for breakfast with some eggs and avocado? It’s actually what Stu said before on one of your emails. It’s like having what you’ve have at dinner for breakfast.

Stu

(17:45)

That’s it.

Martin

(17:46)

Simple things like that go a long way.

Stu

(17:48)

Exactly right. If breakfast looks like a conventional breakfast, you’re in trouble.

Martin

(17:53)

Definitely. Definitely.

Stu

(17:55)

That is great advice. So, then from nutrition into the next pillar which is movement and so just a couple of questions that I’d love to probe the master in this space in terms of best bang for buck. Weights versus cardio, if we want to body composition may be weight loss. If we want to lean up, where would we start? Because there is a plethora of programs out there, consultants, different gym programs. We’ve got yoga, Pilates, CrossFit. There’s everything under the sun. Very confusing. What should we do?

Martin

(18:34)

Very confusing. Yeah. Actually, it’s taken me a while to be able to articulate this one properly. It’s actually a tough one to articulate, but I think I’ve mastered it now, right.

Stu

(18:42)

Right.

Martin

(18:43)

So bear with me.

Stu

(18:43)

Okay.

Martin

(18:44)

So with the cardio, right, for example, cardio is if you want to stay healthy and you enjoy doing cardio, right?

Stu

(18:51)

Yeah.

Martin

(18:51)

Now, I am not anti cardio at all, but we are talking about health and changing your body composition. Right? So in the context of that, really strength training. So lifting weights, resistance training, whatever you want to call it is by far it’s been proven time and time again, to be the most important thing, not only for how your body looks and the positive effect it has on supercharging your metabolism, but also for heart health. Obviously strength training has been proven to be the only type of training which actually reduces both type of fats, which build up around the heart, whereas cardio only reduces one.

(19:25)

We can talk about mental health. We can talk about bone, go right down the list, hormones. But ultimately with cardio, now cardio is anti tissue. You’re sending a signal with cardio. You’re sending a signal to actually break down tissue. So it’s catabolic. In other words, you’re sending a signal to breakdown tissue. With lifting weights, you’re sending the opposite signal, right? You’re sending a signal which is anabolic, pro tissue. You’re sending a signal to build muscle, build tissue.

(19:53)

Now, when you do the two together, as you can imagine, it can be conflicting, right? So just to answer the question, the most important thing for you to get healthier, change your body composition, build. If you want to build an aesthetic pleasing and physique, it’s going to be to follow a proper strength training program. Okay. And not just a bunch of random work workouts either.

(20:15)

You can get all the information you need online now, right? But there’s a fundamental difference between a personalized training program which is put into phases based on your training history, the results you want. And that, as opposed to like a bunch of random workouts, it’s not the same. But following a proper training program, strength training program, and doing that consistently and just moving then as well. Right?

(20:37)

So Stu and I were just say an off air, your steps, movement is medicine anyway. So for your mental health and everything, but if you can just focus on moving regular and doing a decent of steps each day and then going back to what we were saying then with the nutrition, long story short, if you can hit high protein. So if you can have the amount of protein I was saying consistently, now this is where most people go wrong, they want to go back to nutrition too much. They say they’re eating enough protein. This happens a lot. But then when we shine a light on things, guess what? On the weekend, they’ve grossly under ate protein.

Stu

(21:08)

Yeah.

Martin

(21:08)

And then you are almost back to square one. So that consistency of the high protein every day and there’s nothing wrong with doing that for your health either. It’s quite the opposite generally, and lifting weights, right? If you could do those two things consistently, the results will be astronomical, but it’s that consistency which is where most people come undone. But yeah, weights versus cardio, nothing wrong with doing cardio if you want to do it for health, or if you train for an endurance event. But ultimately, it’s the wrong thing to do if you want to improve the way your body looks and you want to get sustainable progress with your physique.

(21:42)

But as I say, don’t take that as I should never do cardio again. And to be honest with fitness, you don’t even need cardio. And I’ve proven this myself now. Don’t do any cardio. I do jujitsu now. Right? But from lifting weights, your heart rate’s up for sustained periods if you’re doing it properly. You’re getting the same, if not… Okay, you’re not going to be super fit. You’re not going to be able to run a marathon, right. Obviously, if you want to run a marathon, run more, but if you want to be fit, you get the same benefits from resistance training.

(22:10)

I’ve noticed this since doing in jujitsu, I’m pretty much the fittest guy there. Never done any cardio before, just because my heart and lungs are efficient from consistently lifting weights and put on good nutrition in my body. So definitely focus on weight training, regular movement. If you’re doing 5,000 steps a day now, try adding two thou. Don’t go crazy. I’m going to do 10,000 steps straight away. Probably not going to stick to that for the rest of your life.

Stu

(22:32)

Yeah.

Martin

(22:32)

If you add on 2,000 steps and you be consistent with that and just keep stacking that up, that’s going to be a massive win for you. So hope that answered that question, Stu. Kind of long-winded but I wanted to try.

Stu

(22:44)

No, no, I thought that was great. And I heard an interesting analogy the other day and it was talking about muscle building and more so from a female perspective, because I know that there could be a stigma attached with building muscle, lifting weights in terms of, well, I don’t want to end up looking like the big guy in the gym. And I think the analogy was that you don’t drive a car because you are worried that you’ll end up as a NASCAR driver or something like that.

Martin

(23:10)

I like that.

Stu

(23:12)

Yeah. It’s just interesting. I’ve been following your program for a couple of years and essentially, three times a week, I lift weights and I’m the small guy, but I walk a lot and I just get my steps in. So there’s no running. There’s no over exhaustive cardio. It’s just walking and thinking and getting some sunshine, stuff like that. And I feel as good as I have ever been, lean and muscular and got lots of energy.

(23:43)

So definitely don’t shy away from lifting weights. And if you do go to the gym and talking more from a female perspective as well, don’t be shy to start talking to somebody about a program or reach out to you about some information about getting a program that will just guide you through that because I know there is a little bit of a stigma there thinking the muscle building’s only for the guys. And I think that’s never been further from the truth.

Martin

(24:07)

A hundred percent. Yeah. And just quickly on that point, you can imagine, well 75% of my clients are female, so I have that conversation a lot.

Stu

(24:14)

Right.

Martin

(24:15)

Again, that’s something I’ve perfected in terms of the articulation, but basically long story short for any females listening to this, it doesn’t work like that. I’ve been lifting weights for almost two decades and it’s taking me all this time to build this muscle. Females, when you lift weights, even if your body fat percentage didn’t change, and building muscle is not easy, it’s not an easy-

Stu

(24:35)

No. It’s not.

Martin

(24:36)

It’s not easy, by the way. No, but even if you add muscle to your body, you will look… You can use all these words of tone, tighter, all that kind of stuff, more sculpted. You will look all of those things if you can just be patient and focus on adding muscle to your body and not even thinking about anything else.

Stu

(24:52)

Great. Fantastic. So then that brings us into the third pillar, which is mindset. So it’s about, I guess, tips, tricks, techniques from your perspective about building and sticking with healthy habits that feed us into the right food, the right movement, et cetera.

Martin

(25:09)

Yeah. Great point. I think one of the most important things to be aware of is the self… I always say to people, most of us have like a self sabotage superpower, right? Now, a lot of the times we tell ourselves stories, so our whole life is just based on, again, we can go quite deep with this, but it is necessary. Our whole life is just based on the stories we tell ourselves. Right?

Stu

(25:29)

Yeah.

Martin

(25:29)

So a lot of the times, obviously people say they’re too busy for it. I’m too busy. I’ve worked 60 hours a week. I’m just too busy to do it. It’s just not going to work for me. But ultimately, it’s making things a priority. And with the mindset element though, I think time management is huge. I think this is a big thing.

(25:46)

I actually did a training on this recently with clients in terms of just when you plan your week, for example, a simple thing is putting your self care first because what I find, especially with female clients I take on, especially ones with kids is they actually neglect their self care. Again, I’m not taking a shot at anyone here, right? But by doing that is actually selfish. People think they’re being selfless by doing that, but when you’re neglecting your self care, you are not showing up at your best.

(26:15)

So ultimately, you can’t serve from an empty vessel. So what I say to my clients is at the start of the week, when you plan, you don’t have to spend a long time doing this. I spend an hour because I’m strategizing certain things. You can do this in like 15 minutes. We use these simple templates and stuff like worksheets, but basically just planning yourself care first.

(26:31)

What am I doing this week for self care? I’m sure with Stu, for example, he’s doing his free diving now. Right? So he factors that into the weekend. He factors his waiting there. Same as me jujitsu. Right, which days am I doing them? Right. They’re non-negotiable. Some days I might not make it, but I’ll do it another day because my non-negotiable is doing at least three jujitsus a week.

Stu

(26:48)

Yeah.

Martin

(26:48)

Two minimum. Bare minimum is two. So it’s setting minimum and maximum non-negotiables, very simple. Two is my non-negotiable but three is what I’m aiming for in jujitsu. Weight training, two full body sessions, non-negotiable. Third one, great. That’s a bonus. So having that, your self care locked in, going for a swim in the ocean for me isn’t, so that’s what I’m doing first. And that’s what I get my clients to do is what are you doing for self-care in that week? Put that in first.

(27:14)

Factor that in above everything else, because you have to make yourself a priority. Because when it comes to mindset, you can constantly focus on everything else you should be doing, professional life, all these kind of things, socializing, whatever, which is great. We need to have that balance, but you need to put yourself first. So that’s a big thing is time management and putting your self care before anything and just being relentless with that because it’s actually a selfless thing to do because you are going to be showing up at your best. And like I said, you can’t serve an empty vessel.

(27:43)

The other thing I was going to say because a lot of the clients that I coach and I can relate to this and I’m sure Stuart can as well is self compassion. A lot of people I take on, they’re high achievers, very successful. A lot of them have built successful businesses. Some of them are just very successful professionals and got higher up the ladder or whatever. And they’re kind of like a type A personality.

(28:02)

So high achiever, great. That served them really well. It’s served me well. It’s served you well. You can get great success with that mindset, but then what you tend to lack a common thing is self compassion. So it’s like if you don’t get something, it’s easy to beat yourself up and be really, really hard on yourself, which I think there is a place for that though. Don’t get me wrong. I think at times, you have to be hard on yourself, but there’s a difference between having a word with yourself and then going, “Right, I’m going to change that,” move forward and actually just dwelling on it and beating yourself up and really getting your emotions involved to the point where it slows everything else down then. Right?

(28:34)

So when it comes to self compassion, just like journaling for example, is something which is my go to. Writing down, just basically brain dumping my thoughts onto paper really. And that helps me unpack things. And just having the ability to change your state as well, right?

(28:50)

This is all relating to getting in shape because ultimately, when you’re stressed, let’s face it, life’s stressful, right? People have kids. People have work. If you’re not managing that stress, if you’re getting caught up in your own thoughts and your own emotions and you’re putting energy into that, you’re wasting energy on that stuff and you’re not changing your state. I always say the clients, “You’ve got to have methods in place to be able to change your state when life gets in the way, when your emotions kick in.” Because it happens, let’s be honest.

(29:15)

Shit happens daily in our lives. Stuff happens. Sorry for the language. And basically, we get into that emotional state and then we’re just wasting energy and then we’re not getting the important stuff done. So having the ability to change your state, whether that’s for me, it’s like having a cold shower.

Stu

(29:29)

Yeah.

Martin

(29:30)

That changes my state straight away. And I’m thinking about nothing else in that cold shower.

Stu

(29:35)

No.

Martin

(29:35)

Going for a walk. I even just get my rubber bands out. I’ll just do a 10 minute little pump up. You know what I mean? And it’ll just change my state, right. It doesn’t always work. I still get these things. But just having those things in your toolbox to be able to change your state and just being aware of when you’re beating yourself up and having more self-compassion for yourself.

(29:53)

And actually asking yourself, this is a big one and I struggle to do it. I always forget about this myself. It’s actually, would you speak to a best friend the way you’re speaking to yourself right now? Right?

Stu

(30:03)

Right.

Martin

(30:03)

And this can go into body image as well, the way you talk about your body, negative self talk, or just be about beating yourself up about something. Would you actually speak to your mate the way you’re talking to yourself right now? The answer is no, you’d have no friends left otherwise. Right? So I think self-compassion, time management are big ones. I could go down the list, but they’re the top two that come to mind. I know they’re quite deep, Stu, but I think it’s all related. You know?

Stu

(30:24)

No, I like it. I like it. And I like what you said about the empty vessel as well because a friend of mine used the phrase, pay yourself first. And that really resonated with me because, like you said, you have non-negotiables and I have non-negotiables. And mine are really food and sunshine and sleep and movement. And just making sure that all the things that we’ve spoken about today, I can fit into my routine.

Stu

(30:44)

And I’ve got a busy life, obviously with the business and three children and pets and everything going on in my life. And I remember just thinking about safety video on an airplane and they talk to you about in an emergency, the oxygen masks drop down. If you’ve got children, please make sure that you put your own mask on first before you attend to your children. That says it all for me. If you are not equipped and happy and healthy and robust, then how are you going to be able to deal with a family, responsibilities, all of the above? And so for me, it really is quite important to put my health first above everything else because then I know that I can service my family, my commitments, my job, and everything along those lines. So yeah, I love what you’re saying. I think that’s excellent.

Martin

(31:34)

That’s a great analogy that I’m going to steal that one off you.

Stu

(31:37)

Yeah. You can have that one. You can have that one.

Martin

(31:39)

Great.

Stu

(31:39)

So that then takes us into the fourth pillar, which is probably the most important, I think, because if it isn’t addressed, can sabotage the previous three, which is sleep. So your tips again, things that you have found to have worked time and time again for you and your customers and clients getting to sleep, staying asleep, and waking up refreshed.

Martin

(32:06)

Yeah. We actually had an expert come on and talk about this recently because I can say all these things to clients and I do live it as well.

Stu

(32:13)

Yes.

Martin

(32:13)

You know what it’s like. You have an expert, come on, deliver it a different way, and people just tend to implement a bit more sometimes. But obviously we’ve talked and I love talking about this topic because it is the most… I know we’ve covered this last.

Stu

(32:24)

Yeah.

Martin

(32:25)

But you’ve heard from Stu and the experts he’s had on this stuff. It is by far the most important thing.

Stu

(32:29)

Yeah.

Martin

(32:29)

It is the foundation. People always say training, nutrition. Those things are secondary because if you haven’t had good sleep, you’re not going to make as good decisions with nutrition. You’re not going to be recovering properly from training and it’s just a vicious cycle. So I would say with sleep, the first thing I look at with clients is like right, where are they currently at?

(32:48)

So the first thing is obviously it depends on the person on what we would focus on because everyone’s at different levels. But the key thing is just like blue light, for example. I would say just a simple thing is we always talk about morning routines, right Stu?

Stu

(33:02)

Yes.

Martin

(33:03)

But arguably, well, not even arguably really, myself and all the clients I’ve coached, I’ve noticed better results and better improvements in the quality of their life by having a rigid nighttime routine. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s going to get thrown out. But I feel like that is the most beneficial thing you can do is simply like, for example, I have those salt lamps.

Stu

(33:25)

Yes. Yeah. I have one.

Martin

(33:25)

Yeah. Oh, they’re great. They give off that red light, which is obviously good for sleep.

Stu

(33:29)

Yes.

Martin

(33:30)

Yeah, yeah. So I have those. So by two, three hours before bedtime, I normally just turn the lights off and I have those two salt lamps on. And then instantly then, obviously you haven’t got that blue light exposure. And then I put my phone down, like at least bare minimum of an hour before bed. I ideally, I like to wait for 90 minutes before bed.

(33:49)

And then Stu and I talked about this before, but then obviously just listening to a podcast and reading a book is what I’ll do because people want to be stimulated. I know a lot of people to be honest, being realistic as well though, we say this, but most people they’re not going to give up the TV in the nighttime.

(34:04)

Now, TV is not actually as bad in terms of the lumen stuff as a laptop on phone, but you still don’t want that exposure. So ideally, just get yourself a pair of nighttime blue light blocker glasses.

Stu

(34:14)

Yeah.

Martin

(34:14)

If you’re going to be watching TV, block that blue light. And ultimately then melatonin, right? So the sleep induced hormone, melatonin, blue light’s going to kill that off and it’s going to have a detrimental effect. Right, so I would say the first thing is having a nighttime routine in place. I’ve been living by candlelight and the nighttime or having the salt lamps or whatever. And if you’re going to watch TV, get the blue light blockers on. I always wear the nighttime blue light blockers from about 6:00 PM anyway because I’m still doing work.

(34:38)
So that’s the first thing I would say. And then the other thing I would say then is what Stu said before is tracking your sleep. Now, what I do with clients is what we’ll do is we’ll do like four weeks of old school tracking to start with. So we have these worksheets that we use and basically, I’ll just get them every morning, just give themselves a score on what their energy is.

Stu

(34:56)

Yeah.

Martin

(34:57)

What time their last meal was, what time they got coffee off, all those kind of things. And they really connect the dot then. So even within four weeks like, “Oh, okay. So I notice when I have coffee past 2:00 PM, actually my sleep’s not as good. My energy score is lower the next day. My mood was lower,” simple things or eating a big meal at a certain time. Simple things that they start connecting the dots, but obviously Stu and I have got this Oura ring.

Martin

(35:19)

So I would say first you just start paying attention to your sleep and then you can actually use a tool like an Oura ring or a Whoop to track your sleep because ultimately, I think the most important thing is though always going by how you feel. I think it’s a combination of the two things. Sometimes I feel like if we go straight into numbers, especially with some clients I take on because they’re type A, they’re like, “Right, I want to see the data.” You can get a bit too fixated on numbers.

Stu

(35:42)

Yeah.

Martin

(35:43)

And it can kind of throw you out a bit. So I would say first of all, pay attention to how you feel. Just maybe journal it out, just write down out of 10, what was my energy like the next day? What time did I go to sleep? How many hours sleep did I have? Just keep a record of it for four weeks. And then maybe you could invest in a tool to use.

(36:00)

And obviously, the duration you want to be having seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Most people know that, but I would just say really making that a priority, a nighttime routine, I’d say the top three things. And what’s been a life changing thing for me is I only dialed this in last year, to be honest with you, is just the regularity.

Stu

(36:14)

Yeah.

Martin

(36:14)

Is going to bed and getting up at the same time.

Stu

(36:16)

Yes.

Martin

(36:16)

I’m not always spot on, but I do my best with that. That’s been life changing for me, literally from doing that. And then obviously a dark room, like again Stu said before, just obviously you shouldn’t be able to see your hand in front of your face. So you want a dark room and you want a cool room.

Stu

(36:29)

Yes.

Martin

(36:30)

Allegedly, a cool room is the most important thing. Literally you can be woken up. If your temperature’s one or two degrees higher, you’ll get woken up and get disruptive sleep. So they’re kind of the three big rocks, but I can keep going down the list, but that’s definitely what comes to mind for me, Stu.

Stu

(36:42)

No, that’s excellent. And just thinking about perhaps then a couple of curve balls that you know will definitely disrupt your sleep and it might be like, you know what? I’ve had a couple of wines before I go to bed, things like that.

Martin

(36:55)

Yeah. Oh, a hundred percent without saying. I don’t really drink much alcohol, but when I do that is the worst thing. That’s like, number one. I would say to anyone, obviously alcohol is always going to be terrible for your sleep. There’s no way around that. if you are going to drink, you’re going to be better off drinking sooner before bed. So I think the experts say you give it one hour after every drink. So if you’re having three drinks, you want to give it at least three hours until you go to bed.

Stu

(37:18)

Yeah.

Martin

(37:18)

So that’s going to be one of the most detrimental things for your sleep. But then for me, that’s definitely, if I drink, that’s the worst thing probably, but simply because I have big meals as well. So for me, I aim to cut my food off by 6:00 PM.

Stu

(37:30)

Okay.

Martin

(37:31)

Normally, I’m asleep by about 10:30 PM. So even if I eat within about three and a half hours before bed, it’s still is hit and miss with my sleep quality.

Stu

(37:42)

Yep.

Martin

(37:43)

And then it is definitely like you say as well, having sunlight in the daytime or just daylight. And just simple things like being aware if you indoors all day, you know what I mean? If you can have your workspace where you’ve got more light coming in so you’re getting more of that daylight regardless. But yeah, get out in the morning. Getting out, getting into sunlight like Stu said in the mornings or just daylight, going for walk. One of the best things for your circadian rhythm.

Stu

(38:06)

It’s huge. Yeah, absolutely huge. And like you mentioned, movement is generally what I’ve done in the morning that day, that really sets you up for the best night’s sleep. So if you haven’t moved a great deal, if you’ve been inside, if you’ve had a few drinks, if you’ve eaten late, if you’re watching TV, on the laptop, on social media, the metrics will probably show that you’re not doing as well as you could have been.

Martin

(38:30)

A hundred percent, man. And just one more thing on that as well with sleep is a tough one because again, I’ve said this before, but people, “Yeah, I sleep great.” I get this a lot.

Stu

(38:37)

Yeah.

Martin

(38:38)

“Great.” “Oh yeah. No, I hit the pillow and I’m asleep.” “Oh, great.” It’s like, you need to optimize it to know what it feels like.

Stu

(38:44)

Yes.

Martin

(38:45)

Yeah. And it’s repetition. It’s like for example, if you can try practicing a bedtime routine and being consistent with that and invest in some blue light blockers if you’re watching TV, be consistent with that for a decent amount of time, three, four weeks minimum and you’ll start feeling better.

Stu

(39:00)

Yeah.

Martin

(39:00)

But it’s when you stop doing it then, that’s when you’ve got to pay attention. When you stop doing any of these things me and Stu have talked about, that’s when you start noticing, oh, shit. Yeah. Actually, I don’t feel quite as good. My sleep wasn’t as good or whatever.

Stu

(39:12)

Yeah.

Martin

(39:13)

So you have to do them consistently. And then when you ever stop doing them, that’s when you start paying attention. So with these things we’re talking about, it’s not something that happens overnight.

Stu

(39:21)

No, exactly right. And with a bad night’s sleep, as you mentioned before, you’re not going to make the best decisions where food is concerned. You’re probably not going to feel like going to the gym or moving. And if you don’t do those two things, then your mindset’s probably not going to be in the right place. And then compounding that, you probably have another poor night’s sleep. So it’s definitely worth thinking about

Martin

(39:39)

A hundred percent, a hundred percent. Yeah. And obviously just one more thing is caffeine. Right?

Stu

(39:43)

Yeah.

Martin

(39:43)

So if you can give it a minimum of say at least at least eight hours before bedtime when you have your last coffee, right. So if you’ve go to bed at 10:00 PM, cut it off by 2:00 PM ideally, simple stuff like that. But I know we talked about a lot of stuff Stu and for every category we talked about, or even if someone can take one or two things away from this whole conversation and implement it and be consistent with it, it could potentially be life changing, right.

(40:06)

So one more thing I wanted to say with behaviors and habits, biggest problem I see, I forgot to mention this. This is a common thing that happens across the globe is people try and change too much at once. Okay?

Stu

(40:17)

Yes.

Martin

(40:17)

And that’s why over 90% of people, for example, gain all the weight back they lost within a year to three years is because they try changing too much at once. And there’s this one word that my clients are sick of me saying and it needs to be sustainable, right?

Stu

(40:31)

Yes.

Martin

(40:31)

So whatever you do needs to be sustainable. So make one or two changes, be consistent for three, four weeks, or at least 21 days it takes to cement in the habit, generally. Months, it can take months. It can take a longer time for some people.

Stu

(40:44)

Yeah.

Martin

(40:44)

Cement that habit in, whether it’s doing 2000 more steps a day or having that no phone 60 minutes before bed is non-negotiable for me. Set those non-negotiables one or two at a time, stick with them, compound effect then.

Stu

(40:58)

Perfect.

Martin

(40:59)

It’ll be life changing.

Stu

(41:00)

Yeah, absolutely right. And I’ve used this analogy before, but if your goal is to climb Mount Everest, generally you don’t start out by climbing Mount Everest.

Martin

(41:10)

Of course.

Stu

(41:10)

Super small. You may even start just by walking around the block, but you will get there in the end. But no, I love it. I love it.

Martin

(41:17)

And that’s the low hanging fruit we were talking about, right. So it’s a great way to end it. Low hanging fruit, small wins.

Stu

(41:22)

Exactly right, exactly right. So mate, what is next for you this year? I mean we’re almost coming up halfway through the year. What have you got on the radar?

Martin

(41:28)

So for me, basically in terms of what I’m focusing on right now, like I said, jujitsu is my new thing.

Stu

(41:34)

Yeah.

Martin

(41:34)

Absolutely love it. I already can’t wait to do the next competition. I’ve just talking to Stu then, did my first comp. I’ve only been doing it for like three months. I did my first comp the other day and lost my fight, but absolutely love the experience.

Stu

(41:47)

Great.

Martin

(41:48)

And I can’t wait to just do it again now. So that’s my thing that I’m really focused on now, Stu, is doing that three times per week. I want to get two or three more competitions in before the years out.

Stu

(41:56)

Yeah.

Martin

(41:56)

I’m also going back home for the first time in three years.

Stu

(41:59)

Wow.

Martin

(41:59)

Haven’t been home for a long time, just going to go home for like a month or so.

Stu

(42:02)

Yeah.

Martin

(42:03)

But yeah. And in terms of what I’m doing with business and clients, just looking to continually kind of scale up and impact more and more people around the world, you know what I mean? So it’s been amazing. And obviously, I like to work with a certain type of client. I can’t help everyone if I’m honest.

Stu

(42:22)

Yep.

Martin

(42:23)

So rather than giving an average service to lots of people, I like to serve a certain type of client very well. So yeah, I’m working with people I love working with now, having a bigger impact than I ever did as a trainer. So I just want to continue to improve what I do and keep learning, keep growing, and keep impacting people, Stu.

Stu

(42:41)

Fantastic. Well, mate, you are a wealth of knowledge and for anybody that wants to tap into that knowledge and want to connect with you, see what you’re about and possibly talk about connecting from a coaching perspective as well, where can we send them?

Martin

(42:53)

So yeah, the best thing if I’m honest Stu want is probably just Instagram.

Stu

(42:55)

Okay.

Martin

(42:56)

Or I could give my email. Basically, Instagram is at martinsilvafitness.

Stu

(43:01)

Great.

Martin

(43:01)

I’m sure Stu probably share this in the show notes.

Stu

(43:03)

We will.

Martin

(43:03)

Best thing to do is just to drop me at DM on there.

Stu

(43:05)

Okay.

Martin

(43:05)

If not though, if you don’t use socials, you can I guess just drop me an email for now.

Stu

(43:09)

Okay.

Martin

(43:09)

I haven’t actually currently got a website at the moment. I took it down and I’m looking at building some new stuff, but email is admin@optimizeyourbody.com. So either DM on Instagram is number one.

Stu

(43:20)

Yeah.

Martin

(43:20)

Otherwise, you can just drop me a thing on there. Also, obviously I’ve still got my podcast as well. Haven’t dropped any episodes for a while, but there’s so much gold on there. So definitely check some of the content on there. So it’s Optimize Your Body. It’s available on all platforms.

Stu

(43:31)

Okay.

Martin

(43:32)

Yeah. And that’s that, really mate.

Stu

(43:33)

Fantastic. Well, look, we will put all of the information and links in the show notes that we’ve spoken about today, but thank you so much. It was great chat, loads and loads of stuff to dive into. And like you said, if you just start with the small bits, maybe just even if it’s one little golden nugget out of nutrition, you’re going to be in a better place to building these consistent, healthy habits, which will take you to better health in the long term.

Martin

(43:59)

Definitely. One more thing I wanted to say, Stu, is your audience, tell them not to hesitate to reach out and message me if they need any advice.

Stu

(44:05)

Okay.

Martin

(44:05)

They have any questions.

Stu

(44:06)

Yeah.

Martin

(44:07)

You can just drop me a message on Instagram at martinsilvafitness and I’m happy to try and help if I can.

Stu

(44:12)

Perfect. Will do. Thank you so much, mate. We’ll speak to you next time.

Martin

(44:16)

Thanks lot, Stu.

Stu

(44:17)

Take care.

Martin

(44:17)

Bye.

 

Martin Silva

This content features Martin Silva who is a transformation coach, award-winning fitness model, public speaker and a personal trainer with over a decade of experience in the fitness industry. Find out how Martin's life changed when he put health before aesthetics with a clean diet and a clean lifestyle.
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