Tuesday Tip

Tuesday tip: Coffee – good or bad?

Tuesday tip: Coffee – good or bad? ☕️

Whilst many people also love the taste we typically drink coffee for the effect of the caffeine which makes us feel more alert. It actually has no macronutrients that we can derive energy from, so it simply blunts our perception of fatigue, so we feel we have more energy. There are over 1000 bioactive compounds, polyphenols, flavonoids and antioxidants in your cup of coffee, which are purported to have health benefits. The caffeine itself varies with the type of coffee, from instant (lower caffeine), capsules (approx 80mg) to filter coffee (140 mg). The recommended max daily intake is 400mg caffeine a day.

So is coffee really good or bad for your health? A recent review of studies found coffee is more often associated with beneficial health outcomes than negative ones. Benefits of 3-5 cups a day include an 18% lower risk of mortality, 20% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, a 10% reduction in coronary artery disease and an 18% risk reduction of various cancers including liver, skin, prostate, oral and leukaemia. It reduces blood pressure and the risk of type 2 diabetes, enhances liver function and decreases the risk of Parkinson’s disease. It has also been shown to enhance exercise performance and reduce muscle pain.

So should we all be downing coffee? Well it’s not all positive, for some people it can cause stomach upset, jitters, headaches, and insomnia and can enhance feelings of anxiety. If you suffer from acid reflux it should also be avoided. It is also a diuretic so it’s important to ensure you’re also drinking water as well to stay hydrated. It’s wise to avoid caffeine if you’re pregnant as it has been shown to negatively affect birth weight, pre term births and increase risk of certain cancers in and around this time period.

So if you enjoy a couple of cups of coffee a day, and don’t experience those negative effects, then it’s definitely not something you need to stop. The best option is an americano – black or with skimmed or alternative milk (rather than a double mocha caramel latte etc!).

Happy caffeinating! 🤗


Nutrition and Calorie Tips

A summer treat…

A summer treat…🍦

What’s better for a summer dessert than some ice cream (despite the rather unsummery weather!). I don’t know about you but once I start on a tub it’s gone before I even realise it!

Whilst there’s no problem with including any ice cream you like in your diet, if you are trying to lose weight/fat you may find that fitting a whole tub into your calories quite tricky. So you have two options – either limit the amount you have, or swap from a calorie dense type of ice cream to something that’s similar tasting, but lower calorie. There are the obvious swaps to the low calorie brands like oppo or halo top etc but another option is to switch to something else entirely.

In this example switching from the Häagen-Dazs mango and raspberry ice cream to twisters makes a massive calorie saving. You could have 4 twisters for almost a third of the calories of the Häagen-Dazs. As an added bonus the chances of you eating 4 twisters in a row is considerably less than working your way through a tub anyway. Psychologically it’s much easier to work your way through an open tub than help yourself to 4 lollies in a row.

So if you do want to enjoy some
Ice cream but save some cals try going for the lower cal, higher volume option if you


Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Post-workout Munchies

Tuesday Tip: Post-workout Munchies 🥤🥪

Feeling very hungry after your workout? Regular workouts boost your metabolism and often increase your hunger. Those dreaded post-workout munchies can make you reach for extra snacks and eat more than you want to which could derail your fitness goals.

#1 Reconsider your burn

Did you really burn as much as you’re about to eat? Studies have shown that we usually underestimate the calories consumed through food and overestimate the number of calories burned by exercise. As I’ve said in previous posts those fitness machines almost always over estimate and even fitness trackers aren’t as accurate as we’re led to believe. So be realistic when it comes to choosing post-workout foods. Go for something with protein, carbs and fat – and if it’s not a main meal then aim for only about 150-200 cals. A glass of milk (dairy or soya) or chocolate milk is an excellent post workout refuel.

#2 Are you really hungry?

Ask yourself are you really hungry? Unless it’s a definite yes don’t reach for that protein shake or snack (and remember as I said last week – protein shakes aren’t really necessary for most of us anyway!)
Drink a big glass of water first and then decide. Try not to just get in to the habit of eating after workouts for the sake of it.

#3 Eat regular meals

If you’re starving after your workouts then maybe you haven’t eaten enough earlier in the day. Studies have shown regular meals with a good balance of proteins, carbs and fats results in less desire to eat extra snacks post workout and curb that hunger.

#4 Schedule your workouts

If you always feel hungry after working out, then simply make sure to schedule exercise before one of your main meals.
That way you won’t need to eat any extra snacks, and thus additional calories, between meals.

#5 Don’t try to earn calories to eat later

Try not to workout simply for the reward of eating later. Again something I’ve talked about before – try not to reward yourself with food. Exercise itself should be the reward so find something you enjoy – cycling, running, classes, dancing etc and then enjoy the endorphins!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Reasons to go low carb… or not……

Reasons to go low carb… or not…… 🍞

Carbs are often demonised in the media. Like any nutrient they can indeed cause weight gain, if over consumed. But as I mentioned in my article last week, they don’t inherently cause weight gain – unless you’re eating over your daily calorie allowance. In fact a recent review of studies show no significant differences in fat loss in a low carb vs normal carb diet (with protein and calories controlled for).

The foods most people associate with “carbs” are high sugar, often also high fat, foods. These are often very easy to over eat so often diets high in these foods result in less weight/fat loss or even weight gain. However it’s the surplus calories, not the carbs themselves causing the gain.

People will often avoid carbs because they’ve been led to believe that insulin will lead to increased fat storage. As carbs are the main driver of insulin elevation they are often blamed for weight gain/ lack of weight loss. However the studies simply don’t support this. In the studies mentioned above high carb diets do not cause more weight gain than any other diet (when protein and calories are consistent), despite having higher insulin levels. So diets low in sugar /carbs or a keto diet (low carb) don’t automatically result in weight loss UNLESS overall calories are lower and you are in a deficit.

Having said that for some people reducing carbs helps them achieve the calorie deficit. I would never recommend going very low carb, as usually it is unsustainable. But if you find that focusing on higher protein/fat options and reducing some carbs helps to hit your calories then that’s fine – IF that’s your preference. If most of your calories come from high carb junk food then removing some of the will definitely help! If you find your snacks are generally high carb/sugar based and that they don’t fill you up, leading to more chance of over eating later, then it’s worth considering swapping these out. Obviously if you don’t like carbs or have been medically advised to reduce them then go for it!


Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Tuesday Tip: Always hungry?

Tuesday Tip: Always hungry? 🍖

Appetite is complicated! It’s controlled by the hypothalamus, in the brain, which processes neural, metabolic and endocrine signals that indicate whether we need to eat more or less to maintain our energy balance. Physical activity, dietary composition and eating behaviours all affect these signals and are important factors we can use to regulate appetite.

Short term appetite regulation relates to hormone levels – orexigenic (appetite stimulating) and anorectic (appetite inhibiting) hormones from the gut influence satiation (i.e. the signal to stop eating) and post meal suppression or generation of hunger (satiety). There are also long-term

impacts on appetite regulation. Both leptin (related to bodyfat levels) and insulin act directly to reduce appetite and energy intake. However, increased bodyfat is linked to disruption of the action of leptin and insulin on appetite making over eating easier.

Non-homeostatic mechanisms that control appetite include food hedonics (desires), activity and behaviour. The availability of highly palatable energy-dense foods impacts the control of food intake. The signals we get when eating these foods can override our hormone-related satiety signals leading to over-consumption. Alcohol consumption and social pressure can alter decision making and an increased desire for energy dense foods. Physical activity helps enhance appetite control and improves insulin and leptin sensitivity, metabolism, and body composition, which help appetite regulation.

So whilst some things are out of your control, what can you do to help manage appetite?

⁃ Get active – exercise (even if only walking).

⁃ Aim for structure to eating, and having a more regular meal schedule

⁃ Be present when eating! Avoid technology and chew your food very well. Take your time.

⁃ Protein helps to keep you full so can help – especially with snacks.

⁃ Don’t restrict carbs

⁃ Limit alcohol consumption

⁃ Increase fibre content (lots of veggies – broccoli, peppers, mushrooms etc. This will also increase food volume.

⁃ If you like them include foods that rank high on the satiety index such as poultry, meats, eggs, potatoes, fruits and legumes.

⁃ Whilst there’s nothing wrong with including high sugar/fat ‘junk’ food in your diet as they’re not inherently bad, they are easy to overeat so be mindful.

⁃ Be careful not to over restrict cals in the week as this can lead to overeating at the weekend.

Remember , if trying to lose weight, a little hunger is good (and needed at times) but you don’t want to be starving!

Happy Tuesday 🤗