Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Back to the Gym

Tuesday Tip: Back to the Gym 🏋🏼‍♂️

I shared this back in July and never thought I’d have to share it again! But after months of lockdown walks, home workouts, online classes etc the gyms are finally open again and many people are keen to return. Here are some tips for returning

# Familiarise yourself

Measures such as one way systems, time limits, reduced capacity, lack of changing rooms etc will be in place. Read the gym’s info and check their rules – that will help reduce anxiety about returning. Remember this is challenging for staff too so be understanding of that too.

# Plan your workout

With limited time in the gym it’s important to plan your workout. Your body’s ability to handle a high volume of training will have decreased, so aim for whole body workouts rather than targeting specific muscles etc. Let your body acclimatise with lower weights and reps etc. Be sure to warm up and include recovery time. Having just got back to the gym you don’t want to get injured and be out of action again!

# Book

You will need to book for many activities so plan in advance. With capacities reduced that also means you need to cancel if you can’t make it and if you’re on a waitlist then it’s your responsibility to check that waitlist and either be prepared to come and hope you get in, or cancel off the list so others have the chance.

# Do what you enjoy

After months away, you may find that your motivation is flagging so pick something you enjoy!

# Expect some soreness

You may be sore after your return. That’s normal; delayed onset muscle soreness is a natural response to using your muscles in diff ways. It usually occurs 1-3 days after the workout. The best advice is to keep active; walk, swim, do a diff style class, but keep the muscles moving.

# Hydrate

When you go back to the gym your body will need more hydration than usual. Most gyms will require you to bring your own water bottle as fountains will be out of use.

# Look after yourself

How you take care of yourself during downtime can have a significant impact on your exercise regime. Stay hydrated, eat well, don’t rely on coffee and sugar to get you though, and try to prioritise sleep.

Have fun!

Happy Tuesday 🤗


Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Just a coffee and a snack vs ruining your diet …

Just a coffee and a snack vs ruining your diet … ☕️

Perception is everything! Many of us would probably have a coffee and a snack without giving it a huge amount of thought. When choosing a snack we may also go for the ‘healthy’ option of banana bread too right? Yet if you’d just eaten a cornetto, packet of crisps and a creme egg wolfed you might be feeling guilty, like you’d over done it and blown your ‘diet’.

Well to be honest neither is an ideal snack; they’re both rather a lot of calories and probably more than most can afford as a daily snack. However, as you can see, the coffee (a semi-skimmed large latte) and banana bread is considerably more calories than the other snacks. They also contain significantly more fat and almost as much sugar. Yes there’s more protein in the coffee option (mostly from the latte) so that may keep you fuller for longer but even so. So whilst you might be beating yourself up over the crisps, chocolate and ice cream, in reality it’s not as bad as the coffee and banana bread.

It’s all about perception – the coffee and banana bread are not only viewed as being an acceptable snack, there is also a positive perception around the banana bread as it. Whereas the other snacks are universally recognised as “junk” food.

Knowledge is power so being aware of the calorie content of things, and also of our own perceptions of the things we consume is always a good thing.

If you want the latte and banana bread, have it and enjoy it. If you want to eat your way through a creme egg, crisps and a cornetto then go for it. Just be aware of the calories so you’re making an educated choice!



Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: why you’re not losing fat

Tuesday Tip: why you’re not losing fat 😆

Sometimes we feel like we’re doing everything right but we just don’t seem to be losing fat. In my experience it comes down to 4 main reasons.

# You’re not aware of what you eat

Are you tracking your food? If not then how do you know if you are over eating or not? Studies show that people underestimate the number of cals they think they’re eating. Easy solution – track what you eat, weigh your portions, add up those calories.

# You’re less active than you think

Studies also show we usually over estimate cals burnt and how active we are. Even if you’re working out every day you may not be as active as you think if you spend the rest of the day sat down. NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) is vital – it’s the cals burnt through every day life (fidgeting, walking, cleaning, etc). If this is low then you’re probably not as active as you think you are. The solution – get an activity tracker and measure your steps to see how active you actually are. Also don’t be tempted to eat those calories back – even the trackers over estimate the cals burnt, so treat them as bonus cals rather than something to eat back.

# You’re sleeping badly and/or stressed

Lack of sleep and stress in themselves won’t make you gain weight, but they impact on your cal requirement, energy levels, hormone production, and ability to make good choices. If you’re tired you’re likely to crave sugar etc. So get to bed in good time, turn off your devices etc, try to reduce stress, look for alternative ways to cope (adult colouring books, have a bath, walk etc).

# You’re not consistent

Consistency is key. It’s not about perfection, there will always be blips etc. Being 100% only 40% of the time won’t get you results, but being 80% compliant 100% of the time will. You may have the odd bad meal etc but if you don’t let it derail you you’ll get to your goal. e.g. if you end up having a pizza as there’s no low cal options you could write off the whole day and over eat, or you could enjoy a slice of pizza, and eat normally the next day…Focus on nutrition, be as consistent as you can, track and stick to the plan whenever you can.

Happy Tuesday 🤗 xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Seasonal snacks….

Seasonal snacks…. 🐣

It’s nearly Easter – probably my favourite celebration – because I do love a chocolate egg! It’s also a symbol of new beginnings and spring. There’s loads of lovely seasonal foods around now, many of which make great snacks. A delicious seasonal snack could be some lovely fresh baby carrots (or other spring veg) with 70g humous. It’s full of nutrients – vitamin A and fibre from the carrots, good fats and protein from the humous etc and a reasonable number of cals for a snack. But you could also have an equally seasonal snack – of a creme egg (or your egg of choice!). Obviously this has a different nutritional profile – with more sugar, but fewer calories and less fat.

Both are perfectly good snacks. It doesn’t always have to be about the nutritional value of the food you’re eating. Food serves a purpose beyond pure fuel – it’s also an emotional activity. We enjoy eating and we enjoy food, and we enjoy the associations we make with food. So you could choose to snack on veg and humous. It will undoubtedly taste delicious and keep you satisfied until your next meal. Or, you may decide you’d rather enjoy a creme egg to snack on instead! Both are fine, within the context of a balanced diet overall. And as you can see from the comparison – if calories are what’s important to you – the creme egg is marginally lower anyway! lol!

So if you fancy the odd chocolate egg over the Easter period then go for it!

Happy Easter! 🐣


Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Booze 101

Tuesday Tip: Booze 101 🍸

I never tell clients to give up booze, life would be miserable without that if it’s one of your go to ‘treats’ – I do however suggest it could be one way to ‘easily’ cut calories by reducing the amount they consume. Mainly because it’s a discreet, easily identifiable thing to reduce, but also because alcohol can affect weight loss in other ways.

Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram (vs 4 cals for carbs and protein,and 9 for fat). More alcohol means more calories. So alcohol by volume, or ABV, is a good guide for how calorific your drink is relative to others. Drinks that are sweeter will also generally pack more calories (and remember mixers too!).

Unlike food, alcohol contains little to no nutritional value. Alcohol calories don’t fill you up like food calories do, or provide many micronutrients. This isn’t an issue in a balanced diet but just worth remembering when prioritising what you choose to consume.

Alcohol calories are processed differently too. Alcohol is a toxin so the cals are used immediately to generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to detoxify it. This detoxification is a labour intensive process so the liver ‘shuts down’ and stops processing fat, carbohydrates and protein because it needs to deal with alcohol. Hence why you get the munchies, because the detoxification of alcohol inhibits gluconeogensis (breaking down of our internal food stores). So not only does alcohol inhibit fat burning it also encourages over eating. The lack of inhibitions associated with alcohol also make it more likely you’ll ‘stuff the diet’ and eat more than you intended; so it’s a triple whammy!

In addition many alcoholic drinks aren’t labelled with calories and they can vary widely so it’s almost always an estimate e.g a can of beer ranges from 100 – 320 cals. If you’re consuming a lot it could impact on whether you manage to maintain a calorie deficit.

Tips to help:

  • Alternate drinks with water.
  • Use small glasses to make it easier to keep track.
    Swap to spirits with low or zero cal mixers or a dry white wine/ rose etc
  • Eat first to keep hunger at bay and make you less likely to overeat later.

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx