Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Why you think you’re struggling with weight loss ….

Why you think you’re struggling with weight loss …. 🤔

If you’re struggling to lose weight you may look to things like your metabolism, stress levels, hormones, lack of sleep, amount of water you’re drinking etc as the reasons why you can’t achieve your goals.

It’s true that all these areas can and do have an effect and some will certainly impact on things like your appetite and ability to ‘stick’ to a calorie deficit. However it’s actually rare that these are the main reasons behind stalled progress. They do however get a lot of attention – why? Because they are much easier to accept than ‘You’re eating too much’. It’s a lot easier to focus on the idea that your metabolism or stress levels are preventing your weight loss rather than a heavy social life being the issue.

Of course things like snacking, increased portion sizes and booze can be a response to lack of sleep or stress, or hormones, but it’s far better to focus on these habits instead. Why? because they’re the direct cause, they’re tangible and easily identifiable and they’re the thing that needs to change. Rather than trying for some vague notion of ‘increasing sleep’ or ‘reducing stress’.

Obviously nutrition and weight loss can be complicated but if you try focusing on things like reduced portion sizes, fewer or lower calorie snacks, less booze you will see progress. Managing meals out or reducing them (it’s extremely hard to eat out multiple times a week and maintain a calorie deficit without some proper planning), and increasing general activity (note this isn’t just exercise sessions but general activity – walking, fidgeting, moving more!) are also things which are tangible ways to help make progress. You will probably find that despite any issues with sleep, stress, hormones etc you will be able to make progress. Certainly my clients can and have done! So if they can, so can you!



Nutrition and Calorie Tips

What your weight measures…

What your weight measures… 🧐

We are obsessed with the weight on the scales, when it goes up we berate ourselves, feel guilty, feel like we’ve failed.. when it goes down we congratulate ourselves, celebrate it, think we’ve succeeded. The scale going up must mean we’re getting fatter (putting on more body fat), and therefore if it goes down we must be losing fat right? And if your goal is body fat loss then scales going up signals disaster in your mind….

We need to remember that the weight on the scale measures a lot of things, and only a small portion of that is actually your body fat. It measures the amount of lean muscle you have, the amount of water in your body (hoe hydrated you are), it measures your organs, your bone mass, amy food in your digestive system etc. It simply measures your relationship to gravity at any one time.

The thing it doesn’t measure is your entire self worth! A number on the scale doesn’t define you. Whether you’ve gone up 2kg or down 2kg you’re still the same person. You are not ‘good’ or ‘bad’ depending on how that scale swings. Those swings are also totally natural and often nothing to do with body fat losses or gains.

So yes, of course, if you WANT to reduce your body fat because you want to fit into a certain clothing size, or be fitter and healthier to be around to play with your grand children etc then that’s brilliant, and that’s an awesome goal! But you haven’t failed at that, and the rest of your life, just because your weight may fluctuate on the way to that goal!

It’s worth trying to focus on goals that aren’t just a number on the scale. I often talk about using body measurements (mainly because they’re a good way to see body shape change – which correlates with decreased body fat and increased lean muscle), but how about other goals – being able to piggy back your nephew, being able to play football with your mates, being able to run for the train comfortably, reducing your blood pressure, being able to lift your suitcases in and out the car boot etc etc.

These goals are just as, in fact they’re probably more important than an arbitrary number on the scale that will fluctuate depending on how much water you drink, whether your last meal was salty, your hormones etc etc.



Nutrition and Calorie Tips

A day of snacks…

A day of snacks… ☕️ 🍫

There are lots of strategies you can use when trying to stick to your calorie deficit to lose weight/fat. Being aware of the calories in the foods you choose to consume and swapping to lower calorie foods which you also enjoy is an obvious option. As well as the calories though it’s worth considering the quantity and volume of the food you’re choosing.

Snacking is a common problem and an easy way to extra calories to sneak in. It’s not hard to accumulate over 1000 cals of snacks in a day. A coffee when you get to work with a couple of biscuits (medium semi skimmed latte and chocolate digestives), a ‘healthy’ snack mid morning of 30g cashews and an apple, a Mars bar to give you a bit of an energy boost in the afternoon, and a small bag of kettle chips when you’re waiting for dinner. None of that will seem excessive at the time, in fact you may not even notice much if it. You can see, however, how easily it could take you over your calories for the day.

There are some easy swaps you could make that won’t impact too much on your satisfaction, still allow you to follow your preferred pattern of eating but save 500 cals. In this example you could swap the coffee to a flat white and the digestives to a couple of lotus biscuits. You could just have the apple for your ‘healthy’ snack, swap to a curly wurly to give you an afternoon boost and some pop chips pre dinner and you’ll save over 500 cals, and it’s still a lot of snacks so you won’t feel deprived.

Obviously you may decide instead to cut a few of the snacks and have the higher calorie options, but that’s where knowing the calorie content comes in! You can have whatever you want, if you can fit it into your calories, this is just another strategy to add to your toolkit to help you stick to those calories.

Enjoy 🤗


Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Foods that make you fat…

Foods that make you fat… 🍕

Remember no one food makes you fat, and no one food makes you lose fat. Every day I hear people freaking out because they’ve eaten something that isn’t ‘healthy’. Usually they mean they’ve eaten something that isn’t a whole food (fruit, vegetables, whole

grains) or foods that are perceived as ‘good’

E.g. nuts, avocados, salads, hummus etc.

So yes the majority of your diet should ideally come from ‘healthy’ foods e.g. fruits, vegetables, lean protein, good quality carbohydrates, fibre etc. Ideally around 80% of your diet should be from these food, but that still leaves room for all the other foods you enjoy.

You can and should include foods you perceive as ‘bad’ like cookies, cakes, take aways, alcohol, ‘bad’ carbs etc in your diet in moderation. It doesn’t mean you’ve ‘fallen off the wagon’, or gone off your diet, that you’re a failure, or ‘can’t stick to anything’, or need to ‘start over’. No one can stick to a diet that excludes everything they love all the time – it’s not sustainable. So try to forget this all or nothing attitude, as it’s only setting you up for failure and it’s really not being very nice to yourself!

So don’t freak out if you have some chocolate or a glass of wine. It won’t make you fat, it won’t ‘ruin’ your diet. Quitting because you think you’ve failed will though. So just accommodate the fun foods into your calories. Try to aim for no more than 20 percent ‘fun’ foods (just to ensure you’re getting the right vitamins and minerals etc) but equally don’t over think it – and remember its your diet over time that matters – over months and years, not hours and days. So if you’re over calories today, just be under for the next few days to accommodate it!

Enjoy 🤗


Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Full of sugar… or is it?

Full of sugar… or is it?🍌 🍫

Have you ever been told you shouldn’t be having (insert snack of choice) because it’s FULL of sugar? As if sugar is something that’s inherently bad? Wouldn’t a banana be a better option than a snickers for example?

The reality is there is nothing ‘bad’ about sugar. We need sugar – it’s a great source of easy energy and it also tastes great. Sugar is made up of two components, fructose and glucose. The molecular structure is the same no matter where they come from. Fruit contains fructose, glucose and also some sucrose (a combination of fructose and glucose). Sweets/ ice creams etc will tend to be higher in sucrose.

This is a great example – a snickers actually has considerably less sugar than a medium banana. The snickers does have more calories, and fewer micronutrients than the banana and you’d probably feel fuller for longer with the banana thanks to the additional fibre etc. The fibre slows digestion making it more filling (and good for your gut heath). This means you’re less likely to want to eat more later, and it’s better for your blood sugar levels. So objectively the banana is a better choice health-wise.

Foods also provide other things – such as pleasure, convenience etc. So if you fancy a snickers as an afternoon pick me up then go for it – as long as it fits your calorie goal for the day. If you prefer a banana than go for that! In terms of the impact on weight/fat loss there will be very little difference as long as you stay within your daily calories and are aware the snickers will be a less filling option. And in terms of sugar content the banana is actually higher.

I’m not suggesting the snickers is better for you than a banana, nor am I suggesting you avoid fruit in favour of chocolate lol! I’m just suggesting we recognise that no foods are ‘bad’, and that as part of a balanced, healthy diet you can have both! Sometimes the snickers will be what you need, sometimes the banana!

Enjoy 🤗