Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Beat the Autumn Blues

Tuesday Tip: Beat the Autumn Blues 🍂

So Autumn is well and truly here; cooler, darker evenings and mornings. For me, and many of my clients and class members this is a tough transition. It’s hard to find motivation to continue regular exercise, and we crave warming, comfort foods.

Low energy, low mood and low motivation makes us want to hibernate rather than work out. So how can you keep that summer mojo going? Focus on shorter workouts if you’re struggling to find motivation for long sessions. Aim for 30-45 mins of high intensity exercise 3 x week: a class, a home hiit workout, or a cycle or run. On other days do something less intense that you enjoy: walk, jog, swim, or do pilates/yoga.

Find a gym buddy; it’s harder to skip that workout when you’re doing it with someone else. Join a colleague for a lunchtime run, or meet up with a friend at the gym or at a class. The social side of fitness plays a massive role in keeping you on track.

Try to sneak exercise in whenever you can: park further away, take the stairs, walk over to speak to colleagues in the office rather than phoning or try a walking meeting with colleagues. If you’re watching the kids play sport then walk the sideline instead of standing still.

Exercise isn’t just for losing weight, it’s great for stress relief and at this time of year when things can be a bit manic it’s a great release. The endorphins will lift your mood and help energise you. Make the most of those bright autumnal days and go for a walk outside.

Focus on warming, filling foods like soups and casseroles. I also like to stew up a load of fruit (apples, pears, plums, berries – whatever!) and use it as a snack or pud. Warm it up, sprinkle some oats or a little cereal on it and a dollop of Greek yoghurt – a great comforting dish!

Oh and just because it’s not baking hot you still need to be drinking plenty of water. It’s even more important to ensure you’re properly hydrated at this time of year as it’s when most of us forget – so get sipping while you workout!

Don’t let the changing seasons get you down – embrace it – enjoy it and have some fun this Autumn 🍁

Happy Tuesday 🤗


Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Milk it!

Milk it! 🥛

With so many different milks on the markets nowadays there is often a little confusion over which type is “best”. Now obviously if you are vegan or lactose intolerant (a medically diagnosed intolerance) then clearly cow’s milk will be off the menu. Some people also have to avoid soya products for medical reasons. But on the assumption you’re able to have all of these milks then which is the “healthiest” for weight loss?

Well it won’t surprise you to know that it comes down to calories when we’re talking weight/fat loss. There is an assumption that because plant based milks are promoted as “healthy” that they must therefore be the lowest calorie option. In reality there’s a fair bit of variation so it’s worth exploring the options.

When it comes to cow’s milk whole milk is 68 cals per 100ml, semi-skimmed 47 cals and skimmed 35 cals. The lactose free varieties are 56, 38 and 29 cals respectively. Coconut milk is 53 cals per 100 ml, whilst normal soya milk is 39 cals (there are also various sweetened/flavoured options which are obviously more) ,and the light soya milk is 22 cals. Rice milk comes in at 47 cals with oat milk quite similar at 44 cals. Normal almond milk is 22 cals but the lowest out there is the sugar-free almond milk at 13 cals per 100 ml!

These differences are quite small overall. However if you’re a heavy coffee/tea drinker or use large quantities in smoothies or with cereal then making a swap to a lower calorie milk can actually make some easy savings for you. If it’s only about calories then the sugar free almond milk is a good option. But every one of these milks tastes slightly different, and reacts differently in different drinks so it’s worth experimenting. There are also other blends out there – coconut and rice combined, quinoa milk etc. You can now also get many of these options in cafes too – but do we aware that the cafe milks are often the sweetened or full fat versions.



Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Expectation Setting

Tuesday Tip: Expectation Setting 🤔

When you head into a new health and fitness regime or “diet” it’s really important to make sure your expectations are set at the right level. Relying on things which promise quick fixes and instant results can make everything much harder on yourself. So whilst it might seem tempting to choose some detox/cleanse/supplement that promises results in 3-4 weeks, in the long term this can impact negatively on your relationship with food, your hormones, your metabolism, your body image and your mental health.

Long term sustainable changes aren’t quick, they take months and even years. So rather than looking for the “easy”, fast option to throw money at, instead look for a long term, sustainable solution – which works for you. This will usually include:

⁃ Consistency – over weeks/months – not days.

⁃ Persistence – sticking with it for a significant period of time, despite fluctuations in weight/fat, good days/ bad days etc.

⁃ Small habit changes – things you can change, for life, not for a few weeks.

⁃ Balance – finding how to balance things for you, working out what’s more important to you and how to work that into your new lifstyle e.g. the friday night meal out may be non negotiable so including that in a way that still lets you reach your desired goal.

⁃ Deciding on your priorities – ultimately it’s up to you to make any health/diet changes a priority and it may be that right now they’re not – and that’s ok, but be honest about it. If now isn’t the right time to make changes to your lifestyle then recognise that it simply isn’t a priority right now.

⁃ Mindset changes – this could be moving away from the “f*ck it” attitude when you have a “bad” day, or it could be reframing how you view meals out and whether you want to spend your calories on multiple courses, or it could be about embracing the small positive changes you achieve etc

There’s no quick fix, there’s no cleanse, detox or juice that can get you where you want to be (and more importantly staying there forever), recognise that change takes time and occurs in small steps ,not giant leaps! Get those expectations in order!

Happy Tuesday 🤗


Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Sugar is bad!!… or is it? …

Sugar is bad!!… or is it? … 🥣

I often hear and see people claiming that sugar is bad! Clients will tell me that they are “cutting back on sugar” for example. When asked what foods they mean specifically it usually includes things like biscuits, chocolate, cakes, ice cream etc. But these foods aren’t just “sugar” – they all contain significant amounts of fat too.

As you can see from this comparison – 100g of sugar contains nothing but sugar. It’s 99.9 g of carbs – no fat, no protein etc. All of those carbs are sugar. The biscuits on the other hand contain around 62g carbs, of which only 28g is actually sugar. It contains almost as much fat, other carbs and some protein etc. These foods that people commonly associate with sugar are a mixture of sugar, fat and salt which make them hyper-palatable. That means they’re designed to taste really good – which encourages you to eat more. Eating 100g of pure sugar in one sitting is actually not a pleasant experience (try it – I dare you lol!) and it isn’t something most people would do. Eating 100g of biscuits though – well thats super easy and is only 4-5 biscuits in most cases. To consume the same amount of actual sugar as pure sugar you’d need to eat 350g of biscuits in one sitting (which is over 20 biscuits!).

So this combo of sugar, fat and salt is what makes biscuits and other snacks so easy to over eat. That’s not to say biscuits are bad but they have the potential to derail you from your goals because they’re calorie dense (i.e. more cals in a smaller package) and as I said they taste great so you’re likely to eat more. So it’s not the sugar thats causing this – its the combination of ingredients in these products. So vilifying sugar is pointless and a misunderstanding of where the real issue lies. In fact sugar is actually an important nutrient and the brain’s main fuel source.

In sum, sugar isn’t “bad”, it isn’t causing you to gain fat in itself. If your diet contains a range of whole foods and is balanced overall then having the odd “sugary” snack like biscuits/cakes etc is fine – just account for it in your calories.



Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: To Avoid Gluten or Not?

Tuesday Tip: To Avoid Gluten or Not? 🍞

Do you really need to avoid gluten? For the majority of us the answer is no! It’s pretty trendy right now to ditch carbs and specifically to ditch gluten but should we really be doing that?

For 1% of population who suffer from Coeliac disease gluten is a major problem. It’s is an autoimmune response which causes the body to attack the protein in gluten, ‘gliadin’. These attacks damage the villi lining the small intestine preventing normal nutrient absorption. It’s a serious condition; sufferers experience severe stomach problems and may be in extreme pain. It’s not a ‘bit of bloating’. It’s diagnosed with a blood test, and you’d know if you had it! In a further 3 – 5% of the population there may be some level of intolerance to gluten resulting in stomach upsets. That leaves 95% of us with no issues whatsoever.

Gluten is a compound with a large surface area so it takes longer to be digested. This means you could be suffering problems from simply eating too fast and not chewing properly, so try chewing 15 times per mouthful to keep the enzymes working in your mouth, so that some of the digestive process can start before food even reaches the stomach.

People often complain that bread, pizza or pasta etc are making them bloated and that as a result they avoid gluten at all costs. But don’t be too quick to blame gluten. It’s not uncommon for these foods to make you bloat. The cause of this bloating is not the gluten, but actually water retention as a result of the short-chain carbs in wheat-based foods. So combat this by going for complex carbs – wholegrains, wholewheat breads etc and ensure you’re drinking lots of water. And if you do think you’re reacting after eating meals like pasta or pizza, then it’s probably far less likely to be the gluten and more likely to be the fatty cheese, roasted onions and rich toppings and sauces causing the problem – not the pizza base or pasta itself.

If you think giving up gluten will give you an energy boost,I’m afraid you’ll be wrong. Recent studies show that going gluten-free, when you don’t need increases tiredness and fatigue. Gluten-containing foods also provide a range of other nutrients we need so cutting it out you can cause more probs. Instead chose foods full of slow release carbs e.g. wholewheat pasta and bread, and lots of fruit and veg.

So before you diagnose yourself with a gluten sensitivity and drop all wheat, spelt, rye, barley etc perhaps stop and have a think. What is actually happening? Sure maybe you’re bloating after certain foods or meals but you’ve probably been eating gluten your whole life right? So why would you suddenly be intolerant of it? You weren’t ten years ago…. If you really feel like you react to gluten then speak to your Dr asap and arrange a proper test, otherwise enjoy a wide variety of foods that you like to eat!

Happy Tuesday 🤗