Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Say No to ‘Detoxes’

Tuesday Tip: Say No to ‘Detoxes’ 🥗

It’s January and predictably across social media people are peddling “detoxes” and “cleanses”. We’re told our bodies are full of toxins from overeating at Xmas, and if you follow plan X / buy the pill/tea/shake you’ll get rid of them and lose weight/ feel/look amazing. You don’t need it, your liver and kidneys do a great job of “detoxing” you, and these products can make your health worse. But we still fall for it.. why?

# Post holiday detox

Over holidays we eat and drink more, so we crave simple, nutrient dense food like salads. Physically it feels good, and psychologically it feels good too; drawing a line under all the junk. This sort of “detox” isn’t silly, it’s just a word we use to say “lets get back to eating well”

# Bloat

Over-indulging, or eating certain foods makes you bloated e.g. rich foods, alcohol, beans, or foods high in salt, certain starches and sugars. If it’s a chronic issue see a Dr. If you’ve been eating lots of salt you will retain water, making you look and feel bloated, reduce the salt for a few days and you’ll be fine. Overdo the food and drink? You don’t need to do anything just eat normally for a few days.

# Constipation

If you’ve been eating badly you may be constipated. Most detoxes /cleanses are laxatives, which can permanently damage your intestines. So first of all, increase water and fibre intake, then increase fruits, veg, and whole grains, but do it gradually; a sudden fibre increase can make you feel worse. If that doesn’t help, see a Dr, not a Facebook ‘expert’.

# Fat loss

No, just no. A juice/pill/shake won’t do that! Sometimes just buying something is a powerful psychological message that you’re making a change and acts as a kickstart; which is why we fall for it. Sadly it won’t last, and you’re left out of pocket and likely to rebound. The more radical approach to losing weight, the more likely it is to fail. Slow and steady wins the race; make small, sustainable habit changes and you’ll reap the rewards.

It’s normal to want to reset, feel better and make changes, but you don’t need a “detox”. Just try to get some sleep, drink more water, eat veg and get moving. You’ll look and feel far better for it!

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

On track.. or blown it?…

On track.. or blown it?… 🤯

It’s very easy to get sucked into the idea that certain foods are inherently “good” and others are “bad”. I hear this sort of thing so often… a client may be feeling pleased that they’ve had a “good” snack – of 40g mixed nuts, and are therefore ‘on track’ . On another day they would be beating themselves up because they had a really “bad” day because they had a pack of chicken nuggets. They often feel like they’re blown everything, they’re disappointed and angry with themselves and feeling guilty.

Now I’m not suggesting the nuggets are a “healthy” option, nor am I suggesting it’s got more nutritional benefits than the nuts. They’re both very different nutritionally, and they both taste very different too. But for many people trying to lose fat or weight they might naturally assume that the nuggets are a terrible option and that by having it they’ve ruined their day (diet -wise). Whereas if they chose the nuts they would be feeling guilt-free and virtuous and like they were on track. They may even not track the calories because the nuts are such a ‘good’ option. However in actual fact the ‘good’ snack has slightly more calories and a lot more fat, than the 6 nuggets. The nuggets have slightly fewer calories and vastly more protein, so are likely to keep you satisfied for longer too.

So if you had to grab a box of nuggets (or just fancied one) when you’re out and about, then it’s not THAT bad. I’m certainly not suggesting your whole diet be made up of “junk food”, but it’s important to be aware of the facts to avoid unnecessary guilt. And remember that lots of the foods we perceive as being “good” or “healthy” may in fact be higher calorie and therefore unhelpful for weight loss if you’re consuming them without realising the calories. At the end of the day, as always, it comes down to calories. If you want to lose fat or weight, then you need to be at a calorie deficit. It’s important to still have foods you enjoy as part of an overall balanced diet. So don’t sweat it if you end up with a McDonald’s now and then if you want it, but then have a dinner with a range of whole foods and vegetables etc.

Be curious about what you’re putting in your body, look at the nutritional labels on food and don’t always assume the “health” food is the best choice.

🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Activity Tracker Caution

Tuesday Tip: Activity Tracker Caution ⌚️

Fitness trackers and smart watches are a brilliant tool to help get you moving, to track your activity and steps and to give you an idea of the intensity of your workout BUT they’re not a great tool for measuring calories burned.

The assumption is that these expensive watches are fairly accurate at measuring your calorie expenditure during exercise / daily life. The reality is most of these haven’t been tested at all and vary hugely in accuracy. A 2016 study found that whilst some trackers were only up to 8% out when sedentary they overestimated activity (including walking) by up to 40%. A further study in 2017 found some trackers overestimated exercise calorie expenditure by up to 93%!

This is why if you’re eating back your calorie burned from your tracker (or even just eating back half of them) you’re likely to be eating any calorie deficit you’ve accrued and may find you’re not losing weight/fat. So if you do have an activity tracker don’t use it to measure the calories you’ve burnt so you can go and eat them! You can however use them to measure your relative burn to see how ‘hard’ you’re working or how used to your workout you’re becoming by using it as a relative measure of effort

and by using the heart rate data. You can also them to measure steps (again accuracy varies a bit but they’re still great for seeing how active you are).

As I’ve said before – separate the exercise from the food side of things. Exercise for mental and physical well being, NOT to earn food.

Happy tracking! 🤗

xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Targeted Fat Loss Myth

Tuesday Tip: Targeted Fat Loss Myth 🔍

A common thing I hear from people is that they want to lose fat from one particular area, usually stomach, thighs, butt or arms. Often they’re trying to achieve this by focusing exercise on that area; so if it’s belly fat then lots of ab exercises, arms – loads of bicep and tricep work etc. You also see people advertising fat loss diets that will supposedly target the belly etc.

There’s just one problem: it’s impossible to target fat loss! Spot reduction (i.e. losing fat from specific areas) is a myth. You can’t magically lose fat from a specific body part just by doing exercises on that area. Our bodies can only lose fat from the entire body as a whole and where it comes off first is down to genetics and can’t be changed. Some people lose fat first from their thighs, others from their belly etc. No workout or exercise, or magic slimming drink can change this.

What does happen is that the muscles underneath get worked and get stronger, so when you do lose fat from that area you will look muscular/toned/ shapely etc. So ab exercises will target your abdominal muscles, but not the fat that sits above them. Recent studies confirm this and found that doing ab exercises had no effect on abdominal fat. Another study on professional tennis players looked at the impact on fat of the extra use of one arm and found no difference between the playing and non-playing arm.

So if you can’t spot reduce fat what do you do? You lose fat from your whole body! At some point the fat will also come off from the body part you wanted to lose fat from in the first place. Sadly you can’t influence when that happens. How do you lose body fat? By eating fewer calories or burning more calories (or a combo of the two) – all you need is a calorie deficit and you will lose fat. So you can stop those hundreds of sit-ups and focus on the food side of the equation instead!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Sugar is bad!!… or is it? …

Sugar is bad!!… or is it? … 🥣

I often hear and see people claiming that sugar is bad! Clients will tell me that they are “cutting back on sugar” for example. When asked what foods they mean specifically it usually includes things like biscuits, chocolate, cakes, ice cream etc. But these foods aren’t just “sugar” – they all contain significant amounts of fat too.

As you can see from this comparison – 100g of sugar contains nothing but sugar. It’s 99.9 g of carbs – no fat, no protein etc. All of those carbs are sugar. The biscuits on the other hand contain around 62g carbs, of which only 28g is actually sugar. It contains almost as much fat, other carbs and some protein etc. These foods that people commonly associate with sugar are a mixture of sugar, fat and salt which make them hyper-palatable. That means they’re designed to taste really good – which encourages you to eat more. Eating 100g of pure sugar in one sitting is actually not a pleasant experience (try it – I dare you lol!) and it isn’t something most people would do. Eating 100g of biscuits though – well thats super easy and is only 4-5 biscuits in most cases. To consume the same amount of actual sugar as pure sugar you’d need to eat 350g of biscuits in one sitting (which is over 20 biscuits!).

So this combo of sugar, fat and salt is what makes biscuits and other snacks so easy to over eat. That’s not to say biscuits are bad but they have the potential to derail you from your goals because they’re calorie dense (i.e. more cals in a smaller package) and as I said they taste great so you’re likely to eat more. So it’s not the sugar thats causing this – its the combination of ingredients in these products. So vilifying sugar is pointless and a misunderstanding of where the real issue lies. In fact sugar is actually an important nutrient and the brain’s main fuel source.

In sum, sugar isn’t “bad”, it isn’t causing you to gain fat in itself. If your diet contains a range of whole foods and is balanced overall then having the odd “sugary” snack like biscuits/cakes etc is fine – just account for it in your calories.

🤗

Xx