Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: No Excuse

Tuesday Tip: No Excuse 🚫

At this time of year it’s easy to find excuses to ditch healthy eating or fitness plans . But most excuses don’t really cut it and here’s why:

# 1 Too Busy

We’re all busy with work, family etc, but that’s no excuse to eat badly. A lower cal dinner takes the same time as ordering a takeaway. Make life easier by buying bulk frozen veg, healthy ready meals or soup.

# 2 Bad day

After a stressful day it may seem like a takeaway/glass of wine etc will make it better. But it will only make you feel guilty, bloated and more stressed. If you’re an emotional eater find a non-food way to deal with your feelings e.g. exercising,  calling a friend, or watching a movie. 

# 3 I deserve it  

It’s tempting to reward yourself for your workout / work performance / weight loss with a “treat”. You do deserve a treat, but don’t celebrate with calories, have a non-food treat instead e.g. massage

# 4 Genetics

Why bother starting a diet when it’s in your genes to have a big bum or muffin top? While genes do determine where and how easily fat is stored, you’re not powerless to shift those pounds! Research suggests that regular exercise outweighs the effects of “fat genes”. 

# 5 Diets don’t work for me 

If diets leave you lacking energy, or you’ve never achieved results, it’s probably the approach that’s the problem. Fad diets, or cutting food groups etc aren’t sustainable. Instead, adopt a sensible, balanced approach focussing on a calorie deficit. 

# 6 Slow metabolism

Some people do have a slower than expected metabolism but the variation is small. You might need slightly fewer calories to lose fat but it doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Plus regular exercise to build muscle will increase your metabolic rate. 

# 7 I’ll start after X, Y.. Z

Rather than putting off your diet until tomorrow or after a big event start right now; at the next meal. Remember, a little blip isn’t the end of the world, put it behind you and carry on.  

# 8 I love food

You don’t need to make yourself miserable and eat things you hate to lose weight. You can have everything you’re having right now; just less of it! 

If you need any help or advice just ask me! Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xxx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Why Wait?

Tuesday Tip: Why Wait? 🤗

The festive season is rapidly approaching which is fun but also a time when eating and drinking can take priority over getting to the gym and watching calories.

We inevitably start to slack off over the next 4-6 weeks – often because we’ve convinced ourselves that once we get through the festive period and things ‘settle down’ we will refocus on our diet and exercise and lose weight then, usually in January.

But once we’ve got this mindset we often lose all control, eating and drinking as much as possible… because it’s Christmas right?! On average we put on between 2-5 pounds over the festive period. So when the festivities are over we’ve got that extra weight to lose on top of whatever we wanted to lose already.

Once the New Year hits we are all filled with motivation for the first few weeks, but then enthusiasm wanes and by February we’ve not really progressed towards our goals. This false belief that we will start on those weight/fat lose goals once Christmas and the New year are over is part of what leads us to over eat in the run up. It’s almost like we think there’s no point even trying to watch what we’re eating or start a new fitness regime during the holidays.

The thing is, there will always be something that makes it ‘difficult’ – in the New Year there will be other things making our lives busy or stressful, or other reasons to drop those goals. So why give in? Why not make a decision to start now? Just like you don’t need to start on a Monday, you don’t need to wait until the New Year to set some fitness or fat loss goals. Yes of course it could be tough at times but if you’re already committed to starting the process then you’re far less likely to put on excess fat which means instead of moving away from your goals you will be moving towards them!

So what are you waiting for? If you want to lose fat or improve your fitness start today! If you need any help just ask! 🤗

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xxx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Walk the Walk

Tuesday Tip: Walk the Walk🚶🏼‍♀️🚶🏻‍♂️

Many of my clients know I’m a big fan of walking and getting those steps up – and this is why! Whether you’re new to working out or just looking for something a little less intense then what’s wrong with a good walk? Absolutely nothing!

Walking is an excellent form of exercise that lets you build fitness and can help you lose weight (as long as you are creating a calorie deficit – just like any other exercise). But beyond that walking is so beneficial that it’s worth doing even if you are already a regular exerciser.

Walking is free which means anyone can do it, and you can do it anywhere. It’s also easy on the joints, requires no equipment or special skills or technique so it’s safe and easy. It’s been shown to boost bone strength, improve the immune system and give better sleep quality. A brisk walk is a great way to get the recommended daily amount of exercise in.

It’s a fab way to increase general activity – even if you regularly exercise there’s a good chance that if the rest of your day is spent sat down at a desk that you won’t be getting enough activity in to your day. A recent study showed that even a regular 90 min daily gym workout wasn’t enough to combat the ill effects of sitting at your office desk all day. And many studies have shown that ‘naturally skinny’ people will tend to have higher general daily activity levels than others, irrespective of whether or not they workout. So consider adding some walks in to your day – walk up the stairs, walk to speak to a colleague rather than calling, walk at lunch, walk to work if you can etc.

Walking is a fab way to improve your health and fitness without having to spend more time at the gym working out. It’s a great activity to do with family or friends too; and if you’re the competitive type then get yourself an activity tracker and measure your steps – most now set goals for you and you can even compete with friends (and strangers) to see who can clock up the most steps!

So what are you waiting for? Go for a walk!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Snack Triggers

Tuesday Tip: Snack triggers 🍪

Snacking can be a real issue when trying to lose fat. Being aware of the triggers can help to keep it in check.

# 1. Social Media

A recent study showed that socialising online with friends (via Facebook, Instagram etc) causes more snacking. It temporarily raises your self esteem, which lowers your self control, leading to increased snacking afterwards.

# 2 The News

Another study showed a link between watching/reading ‘bad’ news and high calorie snacking. The survey found that contemplating economic hardship and being subconsciously primed with messages to ‘live for today’ makes us seek out higher calorie foods.

# 3 Environment

The environment can trigger food cravings. A study showed that moviegoers would eat the same quantity of popcorn regardless of whether it was fresh or very stale, simply because they were ‘at the cinema’. In the same way sofa time after dinner can trigger snacking on chocolate or crisps etc.

# 4 3.23pm

3.23pm is the most likely time we are to snack, usually due to boredom, stress, and a dip in energy levels. To combat this have a balanced lunch (with protein and fats), plan in a healthy snack and save more enjoyable tasks for after lunch if you can.

# 5 Stress

Lower levels of serotonin when stressed also lead to carb cravings. Salt inhibits the body’s responses to stress. Craving salty food is the body’s way to cope with stress, so a salty, carby snack can help.

# 6 Lack of Sleep

Lack of sleep reduces your self control and willpower, and stimulates production of the hunger hormone ghrelin and lowers leptin levels (the satiety hormone). Studies found that those who are sleep-deprived eat 300 more calories per day.

# 7 Red 

The colours red, yellow and orange are appetite stimulants, making you snack and eat more. Research shows that eating in a blue room reduced calorie consumption by 33 %. So try going for bluer hued lighting, blue crockery etc.

Being aware of the possible triggers can help you to not only recognise why you’re snacking more than you want to, but make changes to prevent it.

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: How to feel fuller

Tuesday Tip: How to feel fuller 😋

One of the best ways to stay on track is to keep excessive hunger in check and make sure you’re feeling full. Here are some tips to help increase fullness without increasing calories.

# 1 Focus

If you’re chatting, watching tv, even listening to fast music studies have shown you’re likely to feel less full. Focus on the food itself and remove distractions if you can.

#2 Sniff and chew

Sniff your food; smell and taste both switch on our satiety signals and help you feel fuller. Also chew more – it causes hormones that send satiety signals to be released

#3 Go for bulky and moist

The more air or water in a food the quicker it fills you up. Things like vegetable soup are a great option, or popcorn instead of crisps, or grapes instead of raisins etc.

#4 Fats and protein

Higher fat foods keep you fuller but it takes longer for the feeling of satiety to come from high fat meals compared to high protein meals (but the feeling lasts longer). Ideally combine fats and protein to maximise fullness.

#4 Sleep

If you’re sleep deprived your body produces more ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and less leptin (the appetite suppressing hormone). So try to prioritise sleep if you can.

#6 Drink

The brain often confuses thirst signals for hunger so have a glass before your meals. It will also help keep you feeling full.

#7 Small plates

We’re conditioned to fill our plates and to clear them. The empty plate is a signal to feel full and conversely a plate with food on it overrides the satiety signals and keeps us eating. Go for a smaller plate and you’re likely to feel full regardless.

#8 Fiddly foods

Choose foods that take time and effort to eat, this gives the body time to recognise that it’s full e.g. corn on the cob, fish with bones, fruits with pips or skin to peel etc.

#9 An Apple a day

Research has shown eating an apple 20 mins before a meal promotes feelings of fullness and reduces the amount of food consumed.

#10 Load up the veggies

The fibre and water content of veg will fill you up, and also slows you down, increasing feelings of fullness. Aim for half a plate of veg like broccoli, peas, green beans etc.

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Tips for Eating out within your calories

Tuesday Tip: Tips for Eating out within your calories 🍽

If you’re trying to lose fat/weight then frequent restaurant meals can be a challenge. Here are some tips to help reduce those extra cals.

#1 Sauces on the side

Ask for sauces/dressings on the side. Choose tomato-based sauces, and avoid cream based ones. This can save over 300 cals.

#2 Stand your ground

Don’t feel pressured to go for higher cal options just because others are. Its your body, not theirs, so choose what you want. It should be about the company, not what’s on your plate.

#3 Check in advance

Check the menu in advance, choose your meal and log the cals ahead of time. You can then make it fit into your daily target. You’ll also be less likely to be swayed by whoever you’re with.

#4 Avoid the nibbles

It’s an obvious one but just avoid the pre dinner bread, or olives etc You don’t need them, you’re about to have a full meal!

#5 One course

Most restaurant main courses will be 650 – 1500 calories so you really don’t need more. Ideally go for one course, especially if eating out several times a week.

#6 Starter for main

Try going for a starter as a main and then bulk it out with a side salad or veg. This is also a great tactic if the people you’re with are having 2 courses – you can have a starter and a starter!

#7 Food choice

For starters opt for salad or soup (avoid cream-based ones), then fish (white fish is best) or chicken for main, grilled or baked. Vegetarians beware of cheese-based dishes and consider asking for the vegan options. For pud; a sorbet or fruit based dessert is best.

# 8 Limit the booze

Booze is extra cals so try to avoid it, or alternate with tap water and try to choose lower calorie options (e.g. slimline gin and tonic).

#9 Don’t starve yourself

Don’t starve yourself before a meal out as you’re likely to lose self control and overeat. Instead adjust your other meals to save 100-200 calories on the days before and after to help buffer it.

#10 It’s not about the food

When you look back at these events it won’t be the food you remember – it will be the shared stories and laughs, with the people you’re with. Take the focus off the food.

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Is a calorie just a calorie?

Tuesday Tip: Is a calorie just a calorie? 🍫

This is a very common argument when talking about calories, calorie deficits and which foods you use to meet your daily calorie goal. Often people will say ‘ah yes but a calorie isn’t just a calorie, some calories are better than others’. People will claim 100 calories of nuts isn’t the same as 100 calories of chocolate for example…

So is that true? Are some calories different?

Well technically – no – a calorie really is just a calorie. A calorie is simply a unit of measurement – it measures energy. So yes, 100 calories of nuts are exactly the same as 100 calories of chocolate in terms of the energy they provide.

However, food is not just food and the composition of those calories is where differences can arise. Different foods do have different metabolic effects. Some foods are easier and quicker to digest, some require more energy to digest (e.g this is the thermic effect of food – but don’t get too excited – the difference is pretty small so unlikely to make a massive difference to calories burned etc).

Different foods also have different effects on satiety (how full they make you feel). The nuts for example are more likely to leave you feeling fuller as they’re higher in fat and protein than the chocolate. Foods that take longer to eat will also affect fullness levels.

Also don’t forget that foods have different emotional and psychological effects too. Humans are very much driven by emotions and whilst nuts may theoretically leave you fuller there will be times when no amount of nuts will stop you wanting that chocolate bar. In those cases you’re far better off going for the chocolate bar!

Ultimately it’s about balancing all of these things in a way that lets you stick to your calorie goals. So sometimes that will mean going for the more filling option of nuts and sometimes it will mean going for the chocolate you actually want, but being aware that you may feel more hungry later and being prepared for that.

So yes, a calorie is in fact just a calorie, but food is not just food!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx