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Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Boost your metabolism

Tuesday Tip: Boost your metabolism 🙌🏼

We’ve all seen products which claim to boost your metabolism and whilst things like caffeine, Green tea, black pepper do increase metabolism it’s only short term. There are however a few other things you can do to maximise longer term metabolic benefits

# sleep cool

A recent study found that participants who slept in cool bedrooms (<18 C) doubled their amount of brown adipose tissue (tissue that actually burns cals). More brown fat means an increased BMR all day.

# Eat carbs

During exercise your muscles use stored glycogen. If you don’t consume enough carbs glycogen levels will be low and you won’t have the energy to exercise as intensely and you’ll burn fewer calories during and post-exercise. So include carbs with every meal.

# Slow weights

Weights based workouts are essential for building lean muscle and increasing bmr but if you’re rushing the reps you’re missing the benefits. It’s important to be slow and steady in the eccentric phase (lowering) as well as the lifting. Eccentric movements are more muscularly damaging and require more cals to repair. Studies have shown an increased fat burning of 5-9% just by focusing on the eccentric phase.

# Eat fat

Eat fatty foods particularly polyunsaturated fatty acids (e.g. walnuts, sunflower seeds and oil, fish etc). These enhance the activity of genes that control fat burning. Just be aware they are calorie dense so have a small portion.

# Hiit it

Include high intensity interval training in your workouts rather than just steady state cardio. Studies show increased fat loss due to greater post exercise oxygen consumption ie greater post workout calorie burn

# Get salty

Include table salt (which contains iodine) in your meals (or iodine rich foods such as seaweed, shrimp, cod and eggs). Iodine is essential for the thyroid gland which modulates metabolism. You only need 1/2 tsp salt per day.

# Hello sunshine

Exposure to daylight is linked to lower BMI. It regulates your circadian rhythm, controlling your sleep, how much food you consume, how much energy you burn—all essential components of a healthy metabolic rate. So get outside!

Happy Tuesday 🤗 xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Calorie tracking 101

Tuesday Tip: Calorie tracking 101 📝

When people tell me “calorie counting doesn’t work for me” I’m a bit skeptical… why? because the ONLY way to lose weight/bodyfat is through a calorie deficit. So if you’re counting your calories and not losing fat then something is going wrong somewhere – and unfortunately that’s usually human error.

The most common problems are either not tracking consistently (or not doing it for long enough to see an actual result) or not tracking accurately. Consistency is fairly self explanatory – you’re either being consistent or you’re not – and if you’re not well then you know exactly how to change that. The accuracy though is slightly trickier.

It’s actually very easy to make errors in tracking calories. Now for things like fruit and vegetables if you’re estimating cals then it’s no big deal. But for foods like nuts, seeds, oil, avocado, hummus – and other high cal food then small errors can impact massively on your calorie intake.

So if you’re trying to count calories then it’s really vital you are weighing and measuring your food – using digital scales. As well as ensuring you’re eating as much as you think you are, it will also help you learn what portion sizes actually look like which means when you HAVE to guess you’ll be much better at it.

Do you have to weigh your food forever? Not if you don’t want to. You’ll get to the point where you don’t need to. I don’t anymore – but every now and then I go back and recheck my portions to make sure they’re still what I think they are. But if you’re trying to lose fat sustainably with a modest deficit each day then I’d definitely recommend you weigh as much as poss.

Happy Tuesday 🤗 xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Take Twenty mins

Tuesday Tip: Take Twenty mins ⏰

I know it’s hard to fit everything in and perhaps spending hours at the gym or meal prepping isn’t possible, but in just 20 mins you could still do something positive towards your goals.

#1 Go for a walk

Take a 20 min walk, either after lunch or as an afternoon or morning break. It will burn some calories, get you some fresh air (and maybe vitamin D if the sun is out), energise you and get any food you’ve eaten moving through your system. It helps to lower blood sugar levels and appetite, and reduce cravings. 

#2 Prep something

So you may not have time to make a full meal but prep things you can; prep veg for later, or boil up a batch of grain/potatoes etc for the rest of the week, make a big salad, roast veggies, or cook some fish or chicken fillets. Then later all you need to do is add dressings/herbs/ spices and reheat. So no excuse to reach for the takeaway if you’re back late.

#3 Do a workout

You don’t need to go to the gym to workout. Try a short hiit workout at home or work. This can be anything from combinations of things like squats, lunges, pushups etc, to more intense moves like burpees, jump lunges, jacks etc or just a bout of skipping?  Or even a short jog or some intervals (2 min jog, 1 min walk for the 20 mins) – something is better than nothing right! 

#4 Plan

Spend 20 mins and plan your meals for the week, schedule in your workouts, or write your shopping list – if you have a plan you’re far more likely to stick to it.

#5 Take time out

Take 20 mins and do something totally different, for you; read a book, sit in the sunshine, have a cuppa, catch up with a friend. These things are just as important as the food and exercise when it comes to sticking to your plan.

#6 Sort your cupboard/drawer

There’s something really cathartic about organising isn’t there? So sort through a food cupboard, bin the out of date stuff, pull things to the front that have been forgotten at the back, sort your tupperware etc You’ll feel much more positive about eating healthily if everything is easy to find and plus you might find some ideas for meals that you’d forgotten. 

Happy Tuesday 🤗 xx

Recipes

Peanut butter and Jam Porridge

Nothing beats a yummy bowl of porridge on a chilly day! And this one combines two of my favourite things – peanut butter and jam! Yum!

I actually tend to have this for lunch as it’s quite a filling portion. If you wanted you could also add a scoop of vanilla protein powder to make it even more filling. My current favourite protein powder is Missfits Vegan Vanilla powder – super yummy and available from amazon and Ocado (and other places!). I like my porridge made with water – but obviously use any type of milk if you prefer (though bear in mind the protein powder and milk will increase the calories).

This comes in at approx 384 cals of warming yumminess!

You will need:

50g jumbo oats

1 tbsp raspberry (or any flavour) jam

15g peanut butter

Raspberries and blueberries to top

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)

Place the oats in to a saucepan (also add the protein powder if using) Add enough water to cover (I like my porridge quite dry so adjust the amount of water to suit you) – heat gently and stir well. If I’m rushed I just pour boiling water on to the oats, stir and add a little extra water then blast in the microwave for a min.

Once cooked pour the porridge in to a bowl and add the jam and stir through.

Drizzle the peanut butter on top next.

And then pop the berries on top.

Enjoy!

🙂

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Watch the Weekends

Tuesday Tip: Watch the weekends 🥂

If you’re trying to lose bodyfat then consistency is key; a consistent calorie deficit over weeks/months to see a sustainable change.

Often we are great at achieving a calorie deficit during the week but weekends signal downtime, changes in routine and relaxation – which means relaxing on the food side of things too; allowing yourself what you want, or just not being mindful about tracking.

It’s very easy to blow your calorie deficit in one night, even when you think you’re being good. You’re out to dinner, but you’re going to be ‘good’; you have a small healthy starter, for main you go for the fish, with veg and you only have a little potato – fine right? But you have a few of your friend’s chips, and a few mouthfuls of your other friend’s dish.. oh and a few olives (but you didn’t have the garlic bread so that’s good)… and only one glass of prosecco… so that’s good? There is NOTHING wrong with any of that. BUT if you’re convincing yourself that you’re only a little over your cals and you’re not bothering to even try to track it because you don’t know where to start then you’re in for a bit of a surprise. In reality you’ve just clocked up over 1300 cals on a ‘good’ meal and BOOM you’ve just eaten or drunk away your deficit from the whole week.

The choice is yours, but the only way you can make that choice is by acknowledging what you’re consuming over the weekends and by continuing to log. You want to aim for an average deficit over the entire week so you need to know what you’re doing at the weekends.

So here are a few tips to help.

⁃ Check the menu in advance and decide what you want

⁃ Estimate the cals in your meal (using similar foods and then add a little extra for oil/butter etc)

⁃ Don’t dip in to others’ plates

⁃ Have slightly smaller breakfasts/lunches the day before and after to buffer the meal out

⁃ Remember those foods will all be there once you reach your goal so decide what matters most to you now – if it’s the meal then just have what you want and enjoy it, but log it so you can see where the extra calories are coming in. If it’s reaching your goal then consider pulling back a bit.

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday tip: Portion Control

Tuesday tip: Portion Control 🥗

Portion control is super important for healthy eating and long term, sustainable fat loss but it’s one of the hardest things to master. Here are a few tips to help you naturally control portion sizes and develop healthy habits.

# 1 Aim for 50/25/25

Start by filling your plate half full of veg or salad, then a quarter with protein and the remainder with whatever starchy veg or carb you’re having (potato, rice, squash etc).

# 2 Set aside leftovers

If you plan to eat some for lunch tomorrow etc then set it aside at the start rather than after – that way you won’t be tempted to keep picking after you’ve eaten your portion.

# 3 Share

When you’re out at restaurants or cafes consider sharing with whoever you’re with. Portions are usually massive at restaurants so it can easily feed two, especially with things like potatoes or chips.

# 4 Smaller plates

Lots of studies have shown that eating from smaller plates leads to less calories being consumed (even when subjects are allowed to top up the plates). So choose side plates and small bowls to trick yourself into eating less. We’re conditioned to clear our plates, even when we’re already full, so this way you can clear your plate and not over eat.

# 5 Take a whiff

As well as our eyes our noses are heavily linked to feelings of satiety. Take time to smell the food you’re about to eat – breathe in the scent and savour it. Studies have shown this helps to limit the number of calories consumed by tricking your brain in to thinking you are more full than you are.

# 6 Don’t eat from the bag

Put your food or snacks out on a plate before eating then, rather than eating from the bag. Visually seeing your what you’re eating sends a message to the brain about the quantity you’re consuming and leads to less likelihood of overeating.

# 7 Put away distractions

When you’re eating focus on eating. If you’re distracted by TV, phones, etc then studies have shown you’re likely to over eat. Pay attention to what’s going into your mouth and you’ll be better able to recognise when you’re full and stop before you overeat.

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Recipes

Valentine’s Vanilla, Berry and Chocolate Porridge

As it’s the season of love I thought I’d celebrate with something I love… porridge! This makes a great brekkie or lunch option. The protein powder is optional but adds the vanilla flavour and also the added protein helps to keep you fuller for longer. My current favourite protein powder is Missfits Vegan Vanilla powder – super yummy and available from amazon and Ocado (and other places!)

I make my porridge with water because I prefer it that way but obviously use milk if you prefer. I have used some yummy little protein chocolate hearts from Cocoa+ but you can use any chocolate you like! It would work well with some squares of dark chocolate

This comes in at approx 415 cals of warming yumminess!

You will need:

50g jumbo oats

Large handful of mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional – replace with a 1/4 tsp Vanilla essence if not using)

3 Chocolate hearts or squares

Place the oats in to a saucepan with the protein powder. Add enough water to cover (I like my porridge quite dry so adjust the amount of water to suit you) – heat gently and stir well. If I’m rushed I just pour boiling water on to the oats and protein powder, stir and add a little extra water then blast in the microwave for a min.

Once it starts to cook add in the blueberries and raspberries and stir in.

Slice the strawberries. Once cooked pour the porridge in to a bowl and add the strawberries and chocs on the top.

Enjoy!

🙂

Xx