Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Don’t Avoid Carbs

Tuesday tip: Don’t Avoid Carbs 🍞

Many people believe that cutting carbs is the answer to weight loss. Whilst cutting out carbs can work for some people, it’s the reduction in calories that may accompany it that provides the benefit, not the avoidance of carbs per se. This is usually because avoiding carbs has resulting in avoiding highly palatable, calorie dense foods which are often high fat too e.g. pizza, chips, pasta dishes etc. So rather than focusing on carbs as a food group, you’re better off focusing on the high calorie, low nutrient quality, easy to over eat, aspects of your diet and work on reducing them rather than focusing on carbs.

But don’t low carb diets and keto diets result in better fat loss? No actually they don’t. A recent review of studies looked at studies where food was controlled – so participants were given specific foods to eat (ie a tightly controlled study). Comparing diets with the same calories, same amount of protein but different proportions of carb, and fats found that there was NO difference in fat loss, weight loss or energy expenditure. These were lab conditions so any confounding factors were reduced. There was a small difference between the low fat diet and low carb diet – showing that low fat was marginally better for fat loss but the difference was so small that it isn’t enough to make a real difference to overall weight loss.

So what does this mean? It means you shouldn’t avoid carbs – they’re good – we need them for energy and brain function. However there are certain types of food we tend to associate with ‘carbs’ that it is worth reducing or having in moderation if you’re trying to lose fat. These include restaurant meals/takeaways, fancy coffees, alcohol, ‘junk’ food snacks etc. These can all be included in your diet but you may wish to reduce the frequency or quantity to help with fat loss.

Keeping carbs in your diet will keep you happy and if you’re happy you’re far more likely to stick to it. If you stick to it it will be sustainable and that’s what we want!

Happy Tuesday 🤗


Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Carbs are ok

Tuesday Tip: Carbs are ok 🥖🍞🥔

Carbs are the devil right? We all know someone that cut carbs and lost a stone in 4 weeks or whatever… so obviously carbs are bad?

There is so much conflicting, scientific sounding rhetoric out there blasting carbs – saying you shouldn’t eat them, or if you do eat them you should only eat them at certain times, or that cutting them will result in massive weight loss (well yeah if you cut any major food group out of your diet you’ll lose weight – you’re eating less!).

This is not actually true. The common argument is that carbs cause insulin to be released and to spike and therefore it’s bad because that insulin will somehow cause fat to be stored ….well sorry but all meals do this and in fact some proteins cause a greater response than carbs! In addition those insulin level changes have no direct impact on weight gain or weight loss. You have to be eating more than you’re using to store fat.

Carbs are the body’s preferred fuel source – breaking them down to glucose, but if there are no carbs around the body simply breaks protein to glucose instead. This applies at any time – not just when you’re exercising- because we need glucose to function – both physically and mentally.

Does that mean that there is no point in eating more carbs at certain times and fewer at others? No – you can definitely choose to have more carbs when your body may need extra fuel e.g. when working out, or in the morning when you’ve not eaten all night. But it’s not black and white and you certainly don’t need to ONLY eat carbs at these times and you definitely shouldn’t be avoiding carbs altogether.

How many carbs you eat doesn’t determine your weight loss – it’s total number of calories eaten and calories expended that matter. Carbs are just one part of the equation that you can play around with to help you meet those goals. There’s no need to obsess over carbs – yes small tweaks may help and you MAY find it easier to only eat carbs in the morning, or whenever, but if you like carbs eat them – just manage your portion size.

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

‘I’m trying to lose weight so I’m avoiding carbs ….

‘I’m trying to lose weight so I’m avoiding carbs ….’ 🍞

There is a common misconception that carbs are inherently ‘bad’ and that in order to lose weight you need to cut them out or avoid them completely. This usually means people cut out bread, pasta, rice, potatoes etc.

However they continue to eat fruit and veg without thinking twice when many actually contain more carbs. For example compared to a slice of bread a small Banana contains more calories, 3 times as many carbs and 15 times as much sugar! Now that doesn’t make the banana bad either – but why would you avoid the bread if you like it, yet happily eat the banana if you’re trying to avoid carbs?

In reality there is no reason at all to cut carbs from your diet. You can lose weight with or without carbs – it’s all about calories. Now obviously some people have medical reasons to avoid things like bread (coeliacs etc) but for the majority of people these foods are fine. The reason you may see weight loss when cutting these sorts of carbs is simply because you’re reducing your overall calorie intake. However unless you never want to eat carbs again then you’re not really setting yourself up for sustainable, long term weight management.

Obviously different carbs have different pros and cons – complex carbs will keep you fuller longer, whilst simple carbs (fruits mostly) will provide a faster hit of energy, you’ll get different nutrients from the different types too.

It’s important to have a balanced diet – including a range of carbs from bread to fruit. What works for you may not work for someone else and you may prefer to reduce consumption carbs, but it’s important to be informed about what’s actually in the food you’re eating before you make that choice. Cutting out whole food groups is never a sensible or sustainable approach though.

Personally I enjoy all sorts of carbs – from bread, to fruit, to pasta, to potatoes – to doughnuts! Eat the carbs you like and enjoy and just be mindful of the calories! 🤗


Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Do you deserve that dessert?

Tuesday Tip: Do you deserve that dessert? 🍰

One of the important habits to crack when trying to lose weight is eating for reasons not related to hunger. It’s that inner voice that tells you that you “deserve” that dessert, chocolate, glass of wine, or take away. Perhaps you’ve had a really busy day, or you’ve achieved some milestone, or some other reason, and so you deserve to reward yourself with food. It’s emotional eating – both positive and negative and is a massive factor in long term weight maintenance. You are ‘rewarding’ yourself with behaviour which actually makes you feel worse! So how do you stop it?

# 1 Stop thinking of food as something that has to be earned. Food keeps you alive and functioning, it’s essential and you can eat as much or as little as you want, whenever you want – you don’t need to earn or deserve it. You do however need to be ok with the consequences (e.g. if you eat loads of junk food maybe you won’t lose weight). We’re all guilty of it – I often hear myself thinking I’ve ‘earned’ this chocolate – so start reconsidering this approach.

#2 Ask yourself instead – how can I give myself what I really want? How else could you feel rewarded without reaching for that slice of cake? What would be a more effective way to relieve the stress of a busy day than nose diving into a tub of ice cream? How else could you spend that “me time” rather than with a glass of wine? Life is full of ups and downs and you don’t need a special reason to do something that makes you feel better.

So here are some ideas to reward yourself that don’t involve food: take a nap, play your favourite music, do your nails, read a book, do some adult colouring, have a bath, take a walk without your phone with you, have a little dance in your kitchen, call a friend, spend time with your pet, etc

So the next time you find yourself justifying your food or drink choice because you deserve it .. stop and think… and see if there’s another way to reward yourself and break that habit.

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Protein isn’t magic!

Tuesday Tip: Protein isn’t magic 🔮

I talked about carbs last week – the devil food 😉 so now I thought I’d touch on the supposed super star – protein. Eat more protein and you’ll lose weight – right? That’s the rhetoric out there isn’t it? Well I’m sorry but protein isn’t magic – I wish it was, but it just isn’t!

The idea that eating more protein will magically alter the laws of thermodynamics and make you lose weight regardless of how much you eat is just silly. There is a basic law of physics at play here – to lower fat content of the body (i.e. to lose weight), you have to reduce the calories consumed, or increase the calories burned – where these calories come from makes no actual difference. In fact it’s been clearly disproved in many studies – in one study from Columbia University they fed participants liquid meals of fixed calories, some with vastly more protein, some with more carbs, some with more fat – but all contained the exact calories required for the participants to maintain their weight. Guess what – they all maintained their weight… even those eating more protein…

Now that’s not to say protein isn’t super important and a useful factor to consider though. There’s no denying that higher protein foods tend to keep you fuller and more satisfied for longer (especially when combined with fats), and as I’ve mentioned before there is a small increase in the calories used to digest protein (very small and not enough to really influence overall weight loss), it’s also full of vital amino acids for muscle repair and building. If you’re a body builder and looking to put on large quantities of muscle in a short time then yes def prioritise protein (but you’ll be over eating anyway as your goal is muscle gain… not weight loss). If you struggle to stick to your calories because you’re always hungry then yes definitely consider upping your protein and fats a bit in your meals – but not at the complete sacrifice of carbs (otherwise you will crash and burn).

So there it is – yes protein is great, but no it isn’t magic! So no need to fret over it too much!

Happy Tuesday 🤗 xx