Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: When a calorie deficit is no longer a deficit!

Tuesday Tip: When a calorie deficit is no longer a deficit! 📉

To lose weight/fat you need to be in a calorie deficit, and to be in a deficit you need to be consuming fewer calories than you’re expending. You may notice that as you progress your weight loss slows or stalls – which means your deficit is no longer a deficit. Why might this be?

#1 Metabolic Adaptation

As you reduce calories over time your body makes efforts to conserve energy through subconsciously down regulating. For example you burn fewer calories through incidental movements (NEAT – non-exercise activity thermogenesis), your heart rate may slow, body temperature may change, and hormones such as leptin, T3 and T4 adjust to reduce energy expenditure. As a result your BMR may decrease. Whilst metabolic adaptation alone won’t make a massive difference it does still play a part.

#2 Body weight reductions

When you weigh less you typically burn fewer calories at rest, and you’ll also burn fewer calories for daily activity and exercise e.g. 10,000 steps at 85kg burns more than 10,000 steps at 75kg.

#3 Habit changes

Often we are stricter with the calories earlier on in the weight loss phase and less strict layer on. Habits change as time progresses and as a result you may be consuming more calories than you realise or being less active than before. As weight loss progresses hunger and desire to eat increases so this can lead to you eating more without even realising you’re doing it. Studies have shown that portion sizes increase subconsciously as time goes on. In addition activity decreases slightly. These changes may be small but they contribute to the loss of the calorie deficit.

So if you find that weight loss is stalling just consider these reasons. Solutions may include reducing calories further, or going back to basics with tracking and checking portion sizes etc, but equally sometimes it may be time to focus on maintenance for a while. The option you choose may change over time and will depend on you and your goals.

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Snackcidents!

Tuesday Tip: Snackcidents! 😱

I’m sure we’ve all been there – you’re doing well sticking to your ‘diet’ and then all of a sudden you have a snackcident … a snack appears in your hand and before you know it it’s been inhaled! Disaster!! You may as well throw in the towel eh? But instead of giving up here are some tips to stay on track.

First off – you haven’t ‘ruined everything’, ‘binged’ or ‘gone off the rails’ – you’ve just had more calories than you planned today. Shaming yourself and making yourself feel guilty isn’t going to help. All it will do is cause a downward spiral.

So what can you do?

Borrow from other days. If you’re calorie target for the day was 1600, but you actually ate 1900 then just reduce your calories for the next 3 days by 100 cals. Then you’ll still be hitting and average of 1600 per day for the week.

Reflect on it but don’t berate yourself or dwell on it. Just try to think about what the trigger may have been. Was it boredom? Was it lack of planning? Was it because actually your plan wasn’t realistic in the first place? Was it peer pressure? Was it emotional? Identifying the triggers can help to prevent it in future – it may be you were being too restrictive so factor some snacks in future. If it was peer pressure then try to think of ways to avoid that – speak to your friends and family and get them on board, or prepare some ‘excuses’ if you need them etc.

You may see people suggesting you should exercise to get back the calories. As you know I always caution against trying to out-exercise diet (mainly because it’s really hard to burn enough to combat it but more importantly because it creates a really bad association between eating and then ‘punishing’ yourself with exercise). So whilst you definitely can’t and shouldn’t try to out exercise food it doesn’t hurt to be active and it also helps to release stress and emotions. So if you’re feeling pants about over eating – go and get active! Not to ‘burn it off’ of rather to make you feel good – endorphins and activity will make you feel better!

Remember snackcidents happen – and they’re not the end of the world!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Reset/cleanse your gut?

Tuesday Tip: Reset/cleanse your gut? 💊

I feel this probably needs saying – especially after the holidays when lots of people are coming back from indulgent breaks away and I’m hearing a lot about how they feel they need to ‘detox’ or ‘reset’ their systems.

So do you need ‘reset’ or ‘cleanse’ your gut? The short answer is no! You cannot cleanse your system or colon, nor should you want to – bacteria are a natural part of fecal matter and they keep your gut healthy. Taking products which purport to cleanse or reset the gut usually are simply laxatives in one form or another, encouraging rapid emptying of the bowels which actually results in more harm than good.

Feeling bloated, constipated and heavy after a holiday or time of indulgence is absolutely natural and to be expected. It’s not fun of course but it’s not something you need to spend money on ‘cleansing’ away. The maximum transit time for the gut is approximately 60 hrs – that’s 2.5 days – so if you’re having any sort of bowel movement within that time then things are ok! And if you’re not then it’s time to seek some medical advice – not an over priced diet supplement. Reasons you may feel bloated and constipated after holidays/breaks etc include eating more than usual, different eating routine, less exercise (regular exercise encourages bowl movements), altitude and dehydration effects (from flying and /or the location), alcohol, stress, hormones, increased salt intake and lack of fibre.

It’s definitely not a pleasant experience, but there are some things you can do to prevent it, help it and keep your gut healthy! Staying hydrated is an easy one so drink lots of water. Get active – even just walking will help improve bowel movements and reduce bloating. Reduce your alcohol intake and increase your fibre intake – fibre helps increase transit time in the gut (it also helps control blood sugar and cholesterol, and reduces the risk of colon cancer and cardiovascular disease). Increase your consumption of whole grain cereals, fruit and vegetables to help.

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Cheat Meals

Tuesday Tip: Cheat Meals 🍔

You’ll often hear people talking about having chest days/ meals when they’re on a ‘diet’ and trying to lose weight / fat. Essentially it’s a day or meal when you eat whatever you want – so you stick to your calories all week and then relax and have anything you want for one day. They’re actually a really bad idea! This is why.

They can ruin your progress and mess up your relationship with food. For example, let’s say you are targeting 1800 cals per day to lose fat. You achieve this for 6 days, then day 7 you have a cheat day – which involves a takeaway, desserts, drinks, snacks etc of over 3,500 cals (very easy to achieve with a large takeaway and a few drinks). In one day you’ve wiped out your calorie deficit for the entire week.

The biggest issue is the word – cheat. Cheating is never associated with anything positive is it? So it already has negative connotations. Plus what are you cheating on? Yourself and your attempt to create healthy eating habits – that’s not good either! The cheat mentality just encourages a restrict/binge cycle approach to weight loss. If your diet is so restrictive you NEED to cheat then something is going very wrong!

Some argue that the ‘cheats’ boost your metabolism. Studies show that in reality there is only a short term increase of 3-10%, the majority of which is due to the thermic effect of food (your body burns more calories trying to digest the thousands of calories you consumed), and an increase in activity expenditure (people tend to move more when overfed). The extra calories burnt was only around 100-150 cals. So why would you eat 1000’s of extra calories to boost your metabolism by 150 cals? It makes no sense.

So does this mean you can’t eat more calories on some days? Of course not – it’s vital to be able to incorporate higher calorie days/meals into your diet but without derailing progress. The better approach is to work on a weekly average for your cals – so 1800 cals per day gives you a total of 12,600 cals per week. So you could lower your cals to 1700 for 6 days and then have 2,400 on one day for example (or however you want to distribute it). Just be careful of trying to go too low in the week to give more cals at the weekend – otherwise you’re back in the restrict/binge cycle.

You don’t have to do this but it’s a great way to be able to accommodate social events etc without derailing your progress!

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday tip: Alcohol and weight loss

Tuesday tip: Alcohol and weight loss 🍸

I never tell clients to give up booze, life would be miserable without that if it’s one of your go to ‘treats’ – I do however suggest it could be one way to ‘easily’ cut calories by reducing the amount they consume. Mainly because it’s a discreet, easily identifiable thing to reduce, but also because alcohol can affect weight loss in other ways.

Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram (vs 4 cals for carbs and protein,and 9 for fat). More alcohol means more calories. Unlike food, alcohol contains little to no nutritional value. Alcohol calories don’t fill you up like food calories do, or provide many micronutrients. This isn’t an issue in a balanced diet but just worth remembering when prioritising what you choose to consume.

Alcohol calories are processed differently too. Alcohol is a toxin so the cals are used immediately to generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to detoxify it. This detoxification is a labour intensive process so the liver ‘shuts down’ and stops processing fat, carbohydrates and protein because it needs to deal with alcohol. Hence why you get the munchies, because the detoxification of alcohol inhibits gluconeogensis (breaking down of our internal food stores). So not only does alcohol inhibit fat burning it also encourages over eating. The lack of inhibitions associated with alcohol also make it more likely you’ll ‘stuff the diet’ and eat more than you intended; so it’s a triple whammy!

So if you’re going to drink then just consider:

⁃ Plan ahead -do I have the calories in my budget? Can I bank cals for the night out?

⁃ How will consuming this affect my goals?

⁃ Is there a lower cal alternative that will allow me to stay on track?

⁃ Can I stay in control and only have 1 or 2 (or is it a trigger for binge behaviours?

⁃ Am I prepared for the consequences (hangover, munchies, loss of control, potential feelings of guilt etc)?

Alcohol is something you should enjoy in a

controlled manner. Learning how to work things into your calories teaches you how to be in control.

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx