Nutrition and Calorie Tips

If you want to lose weight… be boring!

If you want to lose weight… be boring! 🥱

I know this probably isn’t what you want to hear – but to be totally honest, the best way to actually see long term sustainable results when it comes to weight loss is to be really… boring!

When we start a new weight loss journey we expect it to be super exciting – and the act itself is – it’s exciting to be investing in yourself and your health – no question! But we also expect the day to day aspects of it to be exciting too – which is one reason trendy diets are so enticing. Exciting new meals, an exciting complex exercise regime full of weird and wonderful new exercises, exciting special supplements/drinks etc.

The reality is though that what really works is consistency and the best way to achieve that is by becoming more ‘boring’! And no I don’t mean you can’t go out and have fun or socialise – that’s still totally doable. What I mean is you need to eat roughly the same things at roughly the same times, do the same basic exercises/classes at the same times, go to bed and wake up at the same times, have the same morning routine etc (i.e. build habits and routine). So for example those that have most success will tend to have a base of say 10-20 meals that they like and enjoy that fit within their calories and they’ll stick to them. They’ll have a straightforward workout schedule of say 3/4 classes/sessions a week, focusing on the same basic exercises, they’ll have a similar sleep routine and morning routine most days. Obviously they’ll be days they go off piste but 80-90 percent of the time they are sticking to their routine.

Consistency over time is what achieves and sustains results. If you want to lose weight you have to work on habits and routines that support the new lower weight goal. Also by being ‘boring’ you also remove the ‘decision fatigue’ – so it becomes second nature. You don’t need to waste energy and time figuring out what to do all the time. You can focus your energy elsewhere.

So have a think – if you’re at the end of January and don’t feel you’re progressing maybe you need to embrace being ‘boring’ instead and simplify things!




Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Don’t go too low

Tuesday Tip: Don’t go too low 📉

It’s tempting when you start trying to lose weight to panic and cut calories drastically – because surely a bigger deficit means quicker results right? To a degree yes but…. It never really works and this is why.

Our bodies are designed and have evolved to essentially make losing weight and fat hard. Fat loss goes entirely against our main drive to survive so conserving energy and maximising fat storage is a good evolutionary strategy. If energy consumption (calories) are reduced drastically the body will adjust processes to ‘fit’ the calories you consume. Now this doesn’t mean you can put on weight if you eat too little – that’s just a myth. What it does mean though is that the body compensates for a lower energy intake by reducing energy expenditure.

It does this in two ways. Firstly it reduces NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis), – these are the subconscious incidental movements and processes in your body e.g. 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.

In addition you will subconsciously move or fidget less than you usually would. So you may find you don’t stand up or tap your feet etc as much, you may be less inclined to take the stairs and take the lift instead, you may find you drive instead of walking places as much, you might not get up to go get things you’ve left in other rooms (e.g. not going upstairs to get the hoodie you want to wear and grabbing whatever is handy downstairs instead), not getting up to get a glass of water if you’re thirsty, feeling generally low motivation to exercise/walk etc. You probably won’t even notice you’re doing any of this.

So as you’ll be expending fewer calories the deficit you think you have becomes smaller. In addition you’ll feel low, hungry, tired and tend to obsess over food. This means the tendency to binge/overeat either when you have a ‘cheat’ day or when the diet ends is high. This is why you often find any weight you’ve lost will come back quite quickly.

So rather than heading straight in to an aggressive 800-1000 calories a day diet (for the umpteenth time in the past few years) try aiming for a higher number of calories with a smaller deficit. A smaller deficit allows you to thrive and stick to the newly acquired habits you need to stick to, consistently, to move towards your goals. Work more on delayed gratification. Something that takes longer but feels easier is far more likely to work out the way you want it to.

If this resonates but overwhelms you at the same time, that is also completely normal. We are designed to want instant gratification and results so it’s ok if it feels counterintuitive to start with. But trust me, stick with it and you’ll reap the benefits – play the long game!

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Eating certain foods doesn’t make you a ‘bad’ or a ‘good’ person…

Eating certain foods doesn’t make you a ‘bad’ or a ‘good’ person… 🍩

I lose count of the number of times I hear clients tell me they’re ‘bad’ because they’ve eaten something they feel they shouldn’t have. How often do you eat something and label it as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and by extension consider that you’ve been ‘good’ or ‘bad’?

If you succumb to a doughnut at coffee you tell yourself you’ve been ‘bad’ and that you’re a ‘bad’ person. Yet if you have an apple and some almonds (30g in this example) you’d be feeling very virtuous and like you’re a ‘good’ person.

It’s really time we stop labelling foods as good or bad. There are no good or bad foods. There are simply foods which contain a greater or fewer number of nutrients. The foods themselves aren’t bad – the quantities may be though. You are also not a bad person for eating those foods. It’s time we stop attributing some form of morality to snacks etc. What you eat or don’t eat has absolutely no bearing on your worth as a person. You’re not a bad person for snacking on a doughnut. You’re also not a good person for choosing an apple and almonds.

Yes the apple and almonds will have more fibre, more micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and and more protein. The doughnut undoubtedly has fewer vitamins and minerals, but it will provide you with energy and joy! If you were trying to hit a certain number of calories then the doughnut may even be a better choice as they’re fewer calories but neither is inherently good or bad. They both have a place in a balanced diet. The only reason to describe either as good or bad is in terms of how you think they actually taste! And personally I think they both taste good!




Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Booze 101

Tuesday Tip: Booze 101 🍸

Many people are trying ‘dry January’ at the moment or considering cutting back. 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. So alcohol by volume, or ABV, is a good guide for how calorific your drink is relative to others. Drinks that are sweeter will also generally pack more calories (and remember mixers too!).

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!

In addition many alcoholic drinks aren’t labelled with calories and they can vary widely so it’s almost always an estimate e.g a can of beer ranges from 100 – 320 cals. If you’re consuming a lot it could impact on whether you manage to maintain a calorie deficit.

Tips to help:

– Alternate drinks with water.

– Use small glasses to make it easier to keep track.

– Swap to spirits with low or zero cal mixers or a dry white wine/ rose etc

– Eat first to keep hunger at bay and make you less likely to overeat later.

– download the ‘Try Dry’ the dry January app if you’re a fan of tracking – it gives you the cals and money saved etc

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Not all biscuits are created equal

Not all biscuits are created equal 🍪

There are more obviously more nutritious snacks than biscuits of course but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a biscuit with a cuppa when you fancy it. The natural assumption is that they’re ‘bad’ and not compatible with trying to lose weight. This is certainly not the case. The main issues with biscuits are usually that you almost eat them without noticing and therefore it’s really easy to eat more than you realise. Clients often say they can’t stop once they open a packet – I know that feeling! You start with one and before you know it you’ve hoovered up 4! However there’s quite a difference between having 4 party rings and 4 chocolate digestives!

The reality is that not all biscuits are created equal so being aware of the calories in various biscuits allows you to make a more informed choice. 4 party rings is only 112 cals which is easy to factor into your daily calories, whereas 4 chocolate digestives are 332 cals which is a much more significant amount. Being aware of the lower calorie options might just help enable you to enjoy a biscuit whilst still moving towards your weight loss goal.

So here are some of the more popular biscuits on the market (calories are for one biscuit) Oh and yes I know I’ve slipped the Jaffa cakes in there… which are officially cakes (for VAT purposes)… but I mean they’re clearly not are they 😉.. and whatever they are they’re still yummy with a cuppa.

The biscuits pictured are:
Party rings, lotus snack pack biscuits, Rich tea biscuits, Nice biscuits, Malted Milk biscuits, Jaffa cakes, Oreos, Custard Creams, Digestive biscuits, Hobnobs, Jamie Dodgers and Milk Chocolate Digestive biscuits.

So remember knowledge is power and biscuits are a perfectly good snack if you want them!