Hi Graeme, thanks for taking some time to talk to us. For our readers, can you tell us a bit about yourself – who are you and what do you do for a living?
My name is Graeme. I’m a Fitness Trainer and Nutritionist in Scotland. I train clients in a 1-2-1 and online capacity at Peak Fitness in Aberdeen, whilst the other side of my business is helping people eat better. I set up The Fitness Chef in March 2015 and post daily recipes and fitness motivation to help people achieve their goals. I also have a few ebooks with healthy recipes and advice for those looking to sustain a healthy change. In January 2017 I published my first ever paperback book called One Pan Fitness Food (available on Amazon).
How did you get started on the fitness scene?
I love sport, so I have always been into fitness. I’ve played cricket in Australia and South Africa so I always made sure I was as fit as possible. It was later on that I realised I could use my knowledge to help others.
Did you have a fascination with cooking before you started sharing recipes?
No! I was a terrible cook! I’m very much one of those that wants to get the job done as quick as possible. This works great because people lead busy lives and if it only takes 10-15 minutes to prepare something delicious and healthy then it’s a win win! That’s why people like my recipes more than anything. You’d be surprised how easy cooking great food is – if I can do it, anyone can!
When did you decide to combine fitness and nutrition to become the Fitness Chef?
I started posting recipes on Instagram and after a while people started to really like them! I always encompass both aspects in planning programmes for my clients. Both the physical and nutrition side of it are of equal importance to the bigger picture. Sustainable change comes though improving every aspect of your life in small gradual steps. If you ignore an aspect it doesn’t work as well.
“In my recipe books you’ll see all sorts of supposed ‘bad’ foods, but if you eat them in moderation and follow my recipes they aren’t bad at all.”
GRAEME TOMLINSON – THE FITNESS CHEF
What kitchen tool couldn’t you live without?
I would have to say a frying pan. In fact, one of my recipe books ‘One Pan Fitness Food’ only requires you to cook with one pan! …. and a spatula…! It doesn’t get easier than that!
Tell us what a normal morning is like for the Fitness Chef.
I wake up at 5:45am, eat something quick like greek yogurt and fruit, and I have my first clients from 6:30-9:30am. Then I go home and get started with breakfast. I love adding all sorts of different things to my porridge bowls, and also love eggs! This is my fuel for my workout which usually starts at around 11:30am.
When you’re having an off day, how do you fight the urge to snack on bad food?
It’s simple. I don’t. This isn’t because I’m amazing and strong willed. It’s because food doesn’t control me – I control it. I will eat those ‘bad’ foods at times and not necessarily when I’m having an off day. They just form a small part of my diet – which I’m 100% in control of. In my recipe books you’ll see all sorts of supposed ‘bad’ foods, but if you eat them in moderation and follow my recipes they aren’t bad at all. But don’t give me salt & vinegar crisps or tangfastics because they’ll be gone in 4 seconds!!!
What’s your favourite exercise routine at the moment?
Right now I’m doing a powerlifting style programme where I’m trying to increase my strength. Lots of squats, deadlifts, bench presses and rows etc. Some people prefer resistance to cardio and vice versa. Depending on your goal and preference there are many routines that can work for you.
Who do you look to for inspiration in your field?
I love so many fitness people online that it’s difficult to name one. I love the message Emily Skye sends out that she is just like us. She’ll post pictures of herself not looking 100% which is very real. People shouldn’t feel they have to look or feel perfect all this time or else they are failing. Joe Wicks has done an incredible job too – teaching people to eat real, quick food and do short bursts of exercise seems to be achievable across any lifestyle.
Do you have any tips or tricks to share with our readers?
No matter what your goal is you have to be willing to change. John Wooden once wrote “failure is not fatal. But failure to change might be”. This is so true… be honest with yourself, be accountable, be consistent, be knowledgeable and be realistic. Good things take time.