Nutrition and Calorie Tips

I’ve been good….

I’ve been good…. 🤔

It’s very easy to get sucked into the idea that certain foods are inherently “good” and others are “bad”. I hear this sort of thing so often… a client may be feeling pleased that they’ve had a “good” snack – raisins, cashews and a protein smoothie. On another day they would be beating themselves up because they had a really “bad” day because they had a Mcdonald’s for lunch. The often feel like they’re blown everything, they’re disappointed and angry with themselves and feeling guilty.

Now I’m not suggesting a Mcdonalds is a “healthy” option, nor am I suggesting it’s got more nutritional benefits than the fruit and nuts. They’re both very different nutritionally, and they both taste very different too. But for many people trying to lose fat or weight they might naturally assume that the McDonald’s is a terrible option and that by having it they’ve ruined their day (diet -wise). Whereas if they chose the fruit, nuts and smoothie they would be feeling guilt-free and virtuous and like they were on track. However in actual fact the good snack has more calories and a lot more sugar, than the 6 nuggets, small fries and coke. The McDonald’s does have more fat and less protein, but is fewer calories overall.

So if you had to grab a McDonald’s (or just fancied one) it’s not THAT bad. I’m certainly not suggesting your whole diet be made up of “junk food”, but it’s important to be aware of the facts to avoid unnecessary guilt. And remember that lots of the foods we perceive as being “good” or “healthy” may in fact be higher calorie and therefore unhelpful for weight loss if you’re consuming them without realising the calories. At the end of the day, as always, it comes down to calories. If you want to lose fat or weight, then you need to be at a calorie deficit. It’s important to still have foods you enjoy as part of an overall balanced diet. So don’t sweat it if you end up with a McDonald’s now and then if you want it, but then have a dinner with a range of whole foods and vegetables etc.

Be curious about what you’re putting in your body, look at the nutritional labels on food and don’t always assume the “health” food is the best choice.

🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Practice random acts of fitness!

Tuesday Tip: Practice random acts of fitness! 🏋🏻

I know how difficult it can be to fit everything you want to in to your days especially in the current lockdown working from home and maybe homeschooling too, and sometimes it’s exercise that suffers. As I’ve said in previous tips and to my clients, it’s not just those “big” workouts that matter though when it comes to losing or maintaining weight and fitness, it’s the rest of your day that matters. So as well as being generally active and try to get outside for a walk, try to practice some random acts of fitness!

Sneak things in to your day whenever you can – lots of day to day tasks actually burn a good few calories – gardening, hoovering, washing the car, carrying the shopping from the car (try to bring as much as you can in one go to increase the intensity), unloading the dishwasher (as fast as you can!) etc for example. Or try adding in some little bits of fitness throughout the day e.g. ten squats before you sit down, marching your feet while you watch tv, or setting challenges for each other while you watch – one push-up for every advert in the break etc… have you got a skipping rope? .. then how about one min of skipping before you make dinner (or virtual skipping if you have no rope!)…. or maybe a game of catch with your children (or fetch with the dog)…. 30 secs of fast feet in the kitchen while waiting for the kettle to boil…. single leg squats while you brush your teeth…..That’s just a few ideas, I’m sure you lot have loads more!

Don’t think that just because you can’t devote 45 mins or an hour to the workout that it doesn’t count.. it does! It’s still really valuable and a great thing to do when you’re busy and can’t fit in your usual workout. You could easily burn an extra 200 – 300 calories a day with these random acts… that’s the deficit you need to lose weight…

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

What you need to lose fat/ get fit…

What you need to lose fat/ get fit… 🏋🏻‍♀️

At this time of year, and even more so during lockdown, social media is FULL of “guaranteed” ways you can lose weight/fat and/or get fit. You’ll see plenty of self proclaimed fitness/health/well being “coaches” and influencers trying to suggest you really need to do whatever it is they’re selling. For example:

Replacing whole foods with Juice Cleanses / Shakes / Supplements can result in fewer calories and rapid initial water loss and a possible calorie deficit from meal replacement. Supplements provide a laxative effect or promote excessive bowel movements etc which result in water loss.

“Detoxes” (cutting certain things from your diet (like meat or carbs) or taking certain products) allegedly remove toxins from your body and cause fat loss. Fad diets/ diet clubs (5:2, intermittent fasting, slimming world, WW etc) often restrict the window of time you can eat, what you eat, or assign points/labels to certain foods. They usually involve regular weigh ins or rewards of some type.

Diet or fitness based challenges are also very popular, 7 day, 21 day, 30 day etc e.g. 30 day squat challenges etc. They can be great fun, but more often than not they’re just a hook to get you into a ‘private’ group or to sign up for longer term plan later.

All of these things can result in fat loss, but how many of them are sustainable long term, educate you on managing energy intake, fit your lifestyle and build new long term habits? Some are actually damaging: laxative supplements and fasting can cause bowel damage, kidney damage and development of silent acid reflux etc, as well as promoting disordered eating. And almost all require you to spend money.

Obviously if you want to do any of these things then go for it, but you really don’t need to. All you need is a calorie deficit, to move a bit more than you do now (any way you enjoy), to have functioning organs (if you didn’t you’d be hospitalised so don’t fret!) and to eat a balanced diet. That includes all the things you enjoy eating, but in moderation. So skip the expensive fads and focus on these fundamentals! 🙂

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Don’t Detox

Tuesday Tip: Don’t Detox 🥗

Across social media people are peddling “detoxes” and “cleanses”. We’re told our bodies are full of toxins, and if you follow plan X / buy the pill/tea/shake you’ll get rid of them and feel/look amazing. You don’t need it, your liver and kidneys do a great job of “detoxing” you, and these products can make your health worse. But they sell them because WE want them; why?

#Post holiday detox

Over holidays we eat and drink more, so we crave simple, nutrient dense food – like salads. Physically it feels good, and psychologically it feels good to; drawing a line under all the junk. This sort of “detox” isn’t silly, it’s just a word we use to say “lets get back to eating well”

#Bloated

Over-indulging, or eating certain foods makes you bloated; rich foods, alcohol, beans, fizzy drinks, or foods high in salt, certain starches and sugars. If it’s a chronic issue see a Dr. If you’ve been eating lots of salt you will retain water, making you look and feel bloated, reduce the salt for a few days and you’ll be fine. Overdo the food and drink? You don’t need to do anything just eat normally for a few days.

#Bunged up

If you’ve been eating badly you may be constipated. Most detoxes /cleanses are laxatives, which can permanently damage your intestines. So first of all, increase water and fibre intake, then increase fruits, veg, and whole grains, but do it gradually; a sudden fibre increase can make you feel worse. If that doesn’t help, see a Dr, not a Facebook detox salesman.

#Fatloss detox

No, just no. A pill/shake won’t do that! Sometimes just buying something special is a powerful psychological message that you’re making a change and acts as a kickstart; which is why we fall for it. Sadly it won’t last, and you’re left out of pocket and likely to rebound. The more radical approach to losing weight, the more likely it is to fail. Slow and steady wins the race; make small, sustainable habit changes and you’ll reap the rewards.

It’s normal to want to reset, feel better and make changes, but you don’t need a “detox”. Just try to get some sleep, drink more water, eat veg and get moving. You’ll look and feel far better for it!

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Practical New Year’s Resolutions…

Practical New Year’s Resolutions… ⭐️

It’s January which means many of us are full of New Year’s resolutions and wanting to make a fresh start at health and fitness. Often these resolutions will be things like to “lose weight” or to “get fit” or perhaps “eat healthier’. Now whilst these are all great goals they’re quite hard to achieve without some practical steps. They’re outcomes of changes you need to make rather than actual resolutions per se.

So if you are making New Year’s resolutions about your health and fitness, then instead of making generalised statements try to focus instead on small actions you can take every day that will lead to those end goals.

So instead of resolving to lose weight, perhaps instead resolve to identify where the excess calories are in your diet. Are they coming from alcohol? Extra snacks? Take aways? Portion sizes? And then you can take steps to reduce them and therefore reduce your calorie intake (leading to fat and weight loss).

Instead of resolving to “get fit”, instead focus on upping your daily steps. Rather than choosing an arbitrary goal of 10,000 steps, instead commit to increasing your steps. If you’re already hitting 12,000 steps a day then aim for 14,000, if you’re getting 4,000 aim for 6,000 etc. Also consider adding some exercise 1-3 times a week. It doesn’t matter what that exercise is really just pick something you actually enjoy; dancing, running, weight lifting, swimming cycling etc.

Rather than resolving to “Eat healthier” commit to adding a portion of fruit or veg to every meal. Aside from the fact that it will increase your overall nutrition, it will increase fibre levels, and will probably help reduce overall calories as by filling some of your plate with fruit and veg you’re going to eat less of other, more calorie dense foods.

This approach is far better than making massive changes, subscribing to fad diets/detoxes/challenges etc which may well cause you to lose weight quickly but will also see you putting that weight back on once you’re back to eating normally again. Take small sustainable steps and you’ll find you’ll hit your goals and be able to maintain it within your lifestyle too! 🙂

Xx