Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Meal frequency and weight loss

Tuesday Tip: Meal frequency and weight loss 🥘🥗

Following on from last week’s tip on fasting, there’s lots of confusion about meal frequency and weight loss: eat more often to lose weight, or eat less often to lose weight? Actually how much you eat matters more than how often you eat. If you want to lose fat the most important thing is to reduce your calorie intake.

The idea is that eating more small meals = faster metabolism = more weight loss? Sadly not – yes digestion increases metabolic rate BUT it depends on the amount of cals, not how often you eat. Eating 1400 cals in one meal or 3 small meals makes no difference. Studies have shown that when total cals are controlled eating more often makes no difference. What it might do though is affect your ability to stick to those calories!

So is skipping meals bad? Scientifically it’s not, it won’t suddenly cause you to enter starvation mode and magically store fat (though it can increase the risk of acid reflux). What it may do is make you hungrier later or cause you to snack more or make bad choices, it could also mean you have less energy so you are less active and burn fewer cals.

Consider eating less often if:

– many small meals doesn’t fit your lifestyle

– you don’t want to think about food all the time

– you have any digestive problems (longer breaks between meals gives your body a chance to digest)

– you enjoy larger portions

Consider eating more often if:

– you struggle not to snack and want to spread your cals over the day

– you’re trying to gain weight and can’t eat enough in one meal

– you have an active job and high cal demands

– you’re an athlete

– you feel “hangry” all the time

There’s no magic number of meals per day for weight loss. Trust yourself – if you like smaller meals more often then go for it, if not stick to 3 meals or whatever. Whichever you choose though stick to it as studies show that meal irregularity can have negative health impacts. So whether it’s 2, 3, or 6 meals a day that’s fine but don’t forget, regardless of how many meals you split it in to, it’s the total calories that matter!

Happy Tuesday 🤗


Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Easy Calorie Cuts

Tuesday Tip: Easy Calorie Cuts 🥗

If you’re trying to lose weight or fat then the one thing you need is a calorie deficit. Whilst tracking your calories using an app is one way to achieve this there are also ways to help facilitate the deficit (with or without tracking).

#1 One cal oil spray – I’ve written about this before and it’s a no brainer. Swapping oil in cooking for a one cal oil spray saves hundreds of cals without compromising taste (and sprays come in a variety of oils too – olive, avocado, coconut, sunflower)

#2 Swap to diet drinks – a full sugar fizzy drink is around 140 cals per can, a diet one is close to zero. (See my previous posts on why diet drinks are perfectly safe to drink if you’re concerned on that score)

#3 Swap to sweetener –

If you have sugar in your hot drinks then consider a swap to a sweetener instead. (See my post on sweeteners if you’re concerned about using sweeteners )

#4 Make other swaps – swapping full fat yoghurt to low or zero fat, swapping spreads to low versions, ice cream to a lower cal version etc. Within the context of a balanced diet these swaps make an easy and safe calorie saving.

#5 Drink – drink water or zero calorie drinks before and during meals. This helps to hydrate you and keep you feeling fuller.

#6 Limit meals out – whilst it’s perfectly possible to plan ahead and stay within cals for occasional meals out it’s very hard to maintain a deficit if you’re eating out/getting take away a multiple times a week.

#7 Booze – limit the booze or swap for lower cal options eg slimline gin and tonic, low alcohol beer, champagne/ Prosecco etc

#8 Lean meat – choose leaner cuts of meat or swap eg bacon medallions instead of rashers, chicken breast instead of drumsticks, rump instead of ribeye steak etc

#9 up the veggies – load your meals with veg and salad. The extra fibre and volume helps to keep you full and adds additional micronutrients which is always good. It also reduces space on the plate for higher calorie options.

#10 Slow down – eat mindfully and slow down. Chew your food properly and avoid distractions when you eat. This gives time for the signals from the stomach saying you’re full to reach the brain and prevents over eating.

Happy Tuesday 🤗


Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: No bad foods

Tuesday Tip: No bad foods 🍕

I hear people referring to things like cake, chocolate, cookies, crisps, pizza, chips etc as ‘bad’ foods. As a result people often feel like they’ve failed if they eat them. It’s really vital to shift your perception of these types of foods if you want to have some balance manage long term maintenance and sustainability.

Of course there are foods which have more fat, sugar, or calories and fewer micronutrients. Whilst those types of food aren’t the healthiest they serve other purposes – including improved mental well being so they should absolutely be included in your diet. It just means you have to manage the portion sizes of these types of foods. Having an entire pizza, garlic bread and a tub of ice cream – perhaps not the best idea, having a few slices of pizza and a small bowl of ice cream as part of a balanced diet – absolutely fine!

This is where being aware of the calories in foods is so important. You can then manage your calorie budget to incorporate the foods you enjoy that are higher calorie. Also try pairing them with more nutrient dense foods when you can. You can’t get ‘fat’ from one pizza, or one tub of ice cream, equally you can’t get ‘thin’ from one salad or one bowl of fruit- we need all of them in our diets. Lose the all of nothing mindset and lose the idea that foods are good or bad – you can continue to have any foods you like and enjoy, just manage the quantity!

Happy Tuesday 🤗


Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Fibre 101

Tuesday Tip: Fibre 101 🌾

I think most of us are aware that fibre is an important part of your diet. It plays a large role in overall health and is linked to reduced blood cholesterol, blood sugar regulation, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. It’s also key to gut health and also helps with weight loss.

Fibre is the part of the food that isn’t digested in the small intestine. Dietary fibre ends up in the large intestine or colon where bacteria partially ferment it. Some passes through the body almost unchanged.

We need approx 25-30g fibre a day and there are 3 types; resistant starch, soluble fibre, insoluble fibre.

Resistant starch resists digestion in the small intestine and is fermented in the large intestine, producing gasses which help keep the Bowel lining healthy. Examples include chickpeas, black and kidney beans, cooked and cooked rice, pasta and potatoes, unripe bananas.

Soluble fibre dissolves in water forming a thick gel which slows digestion. Examples include lentils, psyllium husks, pears, sweet potato, avocado, prunes, oats, asparagus, legumes, Brussels sprouts, green beans.

Insoluble fibre adds bulk and keeps the bowels regular – keeping food moving through the intestines. It’s found in the skins/surfaces of roots, grains and seeds. Examples include wholegrain bread, pasta, rice and cereals, wheat bran, strawberries, celery, nuts and seeds, courgette, corn, broccoli.

We need all types in our diet. As well as the health benefits they also help keep you feeling full!

Happy Tuesday 🤗


Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip : To breakfast or not to breakfast?

Tuesday Tip : To breakfast or not to breakfast? 🍳

I often hear people saying that they are not a ‘breakfast person’. They often say that they don’t eat breakfast because they forget, they’re rushing, they aren’t hungry, don’t think they need to, or just don’t want to. Some people also skip breakfast to have more calories for later in the day. Now whilst this is all absolutely fine and can work for some people (I have some clients who employ this strategy very successfully), it doesn’t always. Very often skipping breakfast means that, although they’ve stocked up some calories for later, they’re so ravenously hungry that they overeat. You may not even recognise the issue – but if you regularly skip breakfast and also have a problem of overeating/snacking after dinner then it might be worth revisiting that pattern.

Consider planning in some breakfast, and trying to view it as something that will fuel you for the day and prevent you from bingeing later, rather than something that just takes up calories. Aim for something with some protein in it – eggs, greek yoghurt, nut butters , milk etc as well as carbs. It doesn’t have to be traditional breakfast foods if that’s what puts you off – you can eat anything you like for brekkie. Equally you don’t have to have breakfast as soon as you wake – it can be a couple of hours later if that works better for you.
Try experimenting with different dishes and timing and see if anything helps reduce those post dinner munchies.

Many people do cope perfectly well without breakfast but if you’re finding you’re not able to control your appetite later in the day and are over eating then maybe you’d benefit from including breakfast in your daily diet.

Happy Tuesday 🤗