Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Low carb diets aren’t magic

Tuesday Tip: Low carb diets aren’t magic 🌟

Low carb (or keto) diets are ALL the rage, and for some people they do seem to work, but not because they magically make you burn fat. Here’s what actually happens

#1 A reduced carb intake leads to almost immediate loss of water weight, hence sudden drops in weight at the start. It’s not fat. It will come back once you eat carbs again.

#2 They involve eating more protein, which is important for hunger control. So you’ll feel fuller and eat less overall, and be in calorie deficit. Calories, not carbs, dictate fat loss and gain.

#3 Protein also has the highest thermic effect of any nutrient (i.e. takes the most cals to metabolise). So you’ll be burning very slightly more cals each day, contributing to the deficit.

#4 These diets also mean more fruit and veggies. These are high in fibre and water making you feel fuller, slowing digestion and less likely to eat as much. They’re also high carb but everyone forgets that lol!

#5 More fats are also consumed, another key for staying fuller for longer and slowing digestion. So once again you’re far more likely eat less.

#6 They revolve around reducing the amount of carbs; the biggest portion of people’s diets. AND most calorie dense junk foods are carb-based so you’d be cutting those out. When you remove a food group you’re removing calories too, so you end up in a deficit.

SO how do these diets work? By getting you to do things that lead to consuming fewer calories, whilst telling you it’s nothing to do with calories and all about magic low carbs!

Does this mean you should do it? If it works for you then sure! Do I think it’s sustainable? Nope. Avoidance of food groups creates a poor relationship with food leading to binges or blow outs. It can also lead to fatigue, health risks, regaining water weight when you go back to carbs, etc and of course it will only work if you have a high refined carb-based diet anyway.

My advice is everything in moderation. We need carbs as much as we need protein and fat. If you want a long term sustainable diet then just focus on reducing overall calories by whatever means works for your lifestyle.

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Good Egg, Bad Egg?

Tuesday Tip: Good Egg, Bad Egg? 🍳

A recent study suggested that eating eggs (specifically yolks) was linked to a 14% increase in early death (due to raised cholesterol primarily). High levels of LDL cholesterol long term are the strongest risk factor from a blood lipid point of view for cardiovascular disease (whilst HDL cholesterol is considered “good” cholesterol so high levels are not such a problem).

Although increasing dietary cholesterol can impact LDL levels, it’s worth noting that the overall impact is minimal. You would need to have extremely high levels in your diet, doubling the typical “western” diet levels to have even a minor effect. In comparison the effect of high levels of saturated fats is much more significant. And in fact it’s really the ratio of saturated to polyunsaturated fatty acids in the diets that are more important.

So what does this mean? Saturated fats are more closely linked to increased risk of disease and death than dietary cholesterol itself. Try to swap out some saturated fats (e.g. butter, chocolate, cakes, pastries, deep fried foods and fatty cuts of meat) whilst increasing polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats like extra virgin olive oils, almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts and oily fish.

It’s also wise to increase fibre levels which helps decrease cholesterol levels via essentially grabbing onto bile in your digestive tract, preventing it being reabsorbed and recycled into cholesterol in your liver.

So what about eggs? Eggs get targeted due to their cholesterol content. However they are low in saturated fat and therefore their impact is clinically insignificant. They are instead an excellent source of protein, omega-3’s, vits A,B,E, D and zinc, phosphorus and potassium. This means we can safely consume eggs without risk of cardiovascular disease or death increasing.

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Understanding Metabolism

Tuesday Tip: Understanding Metabolism 🤓

Despite what you might think most of your daily calorie burn doesn’t come from exercise. It’s driven by your metabolism (converting food cals to energy) which determines the number of cals you need to maintain your weight.

Your calorie burn consists of:

#1 60-70% Basal metabolic rate; the cals you need at rest, to survive; breathing, digesting, filtering waste, nothing more. It varies with body size (bigger = higher bmr), composition (more muscle = higher bmr), age (younger = higher bmr), genetics, hormones (thyroid hormones) and health (ill = higher bmr).

#2 10% is from food thermogenesis (digesting food). Protein requires the most to digest. 0-3 percent of fat cals are used to digest it, 5-10 % for carbs and 20-30 % for protein. But as food thermogenesis only accounts for 10% of daily burn, eating more protein will only have a small effect on your metabolic rate.

#3 20% is from physical activity; walking, workouts, and day to day activities; typing, carrying heavy loads, standing, fidgeting, shopping, etc.

So if you aren’t seeing the results you want, but are tracking your food right, then maybe you’re overestimating your calorie burn? There’s lots of tips out there to boost metabolism e.g. eating more frequently, or not eating late at night etc but few have studies to back them up.

Some tips which are backed by science include:

# including strength training in your workouts. Boosting your muscle mass increases your BMR and burns more calories at rest. You don’t have to lift big weights, body weight exercises are also effective.

# increase intensity in your workouts; short bursts of intense effort increase afterburn e.g. intervals when running, swimming or cycling, or doing workouts that naturally include it like hiit/ bodyattack/ circuits etc.

#3 Eat enough protein. You’re still only contributing a little extra burn, but by ensuring you have protein with every meal you will not only burn a little more digesting, but more importantly you’ll feel fuller for longer, and you’ll have amino acids to support muscle recovery and repair.

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Outdoor Activity Ideas

Tuesday Tip: Outdoor Activity Ideas 🚶🏼‍♀️

As lockdown progresses, and especially with half term here for some, I know that some of the same old walks are starting to get a little samey!

So here are some ideas for some ways to spice up that outdoor exercise – for the whole family.

Geocaching is a great option to make local walks more interesting. Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunt that uses any GPS enabled device (probably your phone) to help you navigate to a set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the hidden geocache (container). You can download a free app to get started and all you need is your phone and a sense of adventure! There are geocaches all over the country – go to geocaching.com to get started.

Play walking bingo! Pick a theme – it could be wildlife related in the local parks, or local buildings etc.Make a list and then set off on a walk to spot those items. It’s Bingo when you’ve spotted them all!

Scavenger hunts – similar to walking bingo but this time to collect the items. These work best with nature-related themes. Make a list of things to find – a lichen covered twig, evergreen leaves, moss etc etc.

There are lots of wildlife and plant ID apps out there now – try downloading some and head to the park to ID some of the local fauna and flora. Or how about a litter pick? Head out with a bag and make it a competition for who can collect the most?

Closer to home, now is a good time to start preparing the garden for spring, or try making a homemade seed propagator and start to decide what you might grow later in the year and plant some early seeds.

Aside from this there are the usual outdoor games – frisbee, homemade skittles (bottles of water for the skittles), a little mini Olympics etc etc. Let your imagination run wild!

Hope some of these ideas help keep you amused, no matter your age (I’m definitely going to have a go at geocaching!)

Enjoy 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday tip: 3 Easy Diet Tips

Tuesday tip: 3 Easy Diet Tips 🤗

Sometimes it can all seem a bit daunting – starting a new fitness regime, trying to eat healthily etc and at this time of year with the current lockdown and home working/ home schooling etc it can be so overwhelming that you just stop! Lots of studies have shown that adopting small habit changes lead to success with weight loss and healthy eating, so here are 3 easy steps you can take every day, that will soon become healthy habits.

#1 Focus on what you CAN have

We all have that slightly rebellious streak in us – when we’re told we can’t have something we want it more. So a simple mind shift can make all the difference in not only sticking to healthier eating but also being happy about it! Don’t think of all the foods you can’t or shouldn’t have — discover and rejoice in all the new and delicious foods you CAN eat. And remember you can have everything – just in smaller portions!

#2 Put it where you can see it

Studies have shown that just putting ‘healthy’ food out on display makes you more likely to choose them. Keep fruit on your kitchen counter, or at your desk. Arrange your cupboards so low calorie snacks are the first thing you see. If you must have the other stuff in the house then hide it. Invest in a sealable tupperware to store the chocolate or biscuits etc in. In the fridge try to keep healthy lower calorie stuff at eye level – carrots, sugar snap peas, yoghurt, grapes etc. Have tupperwares of cut melon, pineapple, berries, crudités etc in the fridge too if you can. The goal here is to make those foods as easy and accessible as possible.

#3 Get up, Stand up …

Recent research shows that being seated all day is actually a greater health risk than smoking (in terms of increased risk of cardiovascular disease). So… get up! Whenever you can – stand! Choose to stand up when having your morning cuppa, checking email, waiting for appointments, if you can then walk while you take work calls etc. Aim to stand more than you sit if at all possible!

There you go! Easy as 1,2,3!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx