Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Evening snacking

Tuesday Tip: Evening snacking 🍪

A really common issue lots of us face is being ‘good’ all day but then falling off the wagon in the evenings and over eating. There are a number of reasons for this.

# Skipping meals/ v small meals – it’s tempting to skip brekkie or lunch, or make it v small. During the day you’re busy and it’s easier to get by on less cals as you have less time to think about it. The problem then is you’re so hungry by the evening that you lose control and overeat. Aim for balanced meals – including protein, fats and carbs. If brekkie doesn’t work for you that’s fine, but make sure your lunch is sufficient.

# Avoiding carbs – you avoid carbs in your main meals, but then what is it you end up snacking /overeating with in the evenings… carbs or those foods you’ve eliminated during the day. So stop cutting them out – include them in your day.

# Avoiding snacks – maybe you need to eat in between meals. If you’re up from 6am and not going to bed until 10 then the gaps between meals are probably going to be too long. Factor in snacks!

# Not enough protein or fibre. Both these nutrients help to keep you feeling satisfied.

# Erratic eating schedule – if your meal times vary a lot day to day you will find it harder to manage hunger and cravings. Aim for as consistent eating schedule as you can.

# Eating too fast / while distracted – pay attention to the food in front of you and to your own hunger/satiation signals. Slow it down!

# No plan – if you’re prone to evening snacking (I am!) then plan it in! Plan in a post dinner sofa snack!

# Habit – sometimes it just becomes a habit. Whilst hard to break it’s not importable. Try to introduce a different evening habit to help – eg a bath, reading, adult colouring books, knitting etc

# Boredom / emotional eating – this is obvs a much bigger topic but the first step is identifying it. Plan in some alternatives so if you recognise the boredom/emotional eating kicking in you already have a plan in place – distraction techniques (using your hands for other things – like knitting etc), go for a walk etc

So if evening snacking is something that tends to derail you just have a think if any of these reasons may be contributing towards it and then see if you can address them and ask me if you need any help!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Healthy vs unhealthy starter?

Healthy vs unhealthy starter? 🥟

With indoor restaurant dining open again many people will be having more meals out than before. If you’re trying to watch your calories or lose weight then restaurant meals can be tricky. We often have a number of preconceived ideas about which the ‘healthier’ option is and equate that with lower calorie. In reality sometimes things aren’t quite as you’d expect.

A great example of this is the classic Wagamama starter or side of edamame beans. These yummy little beans are a popular dish and definitely a healthy choice as they’re full of nutrients. I think most people would order them thinking they were the best option calorie wise, and probably not even really think about tracking the cals (because they’re just veg right?). You may even avoid another starter or side you actually prefer to choose these instead in the belief they’d be lower calorie.

However that’s not actually the case. It would be natural to assume that the pulled pork gyoza starter was a ‘worse’ choice in terms of calories. In reality that dish is actually lower calorie and fat than the edamame beans. The difference isn’t huge but it is there nonetheless. It also shows that those beans are a significant addition to the overall calories of the meal. So they are definitely worth counting and not something to have as an extra unless you actually want them!

Enjoy 🤗

xxx

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

A snack or loads of snacks…

A snack or loads of snacks… 🧁

There are lots of strategies you can use when trying to stick to your calorie deficit to lose weight/fat. Being aware of the calories in the foods you choose to consume and swapping to lower calorie foods which you also enjoy is an obvious option. As well as the calories though it’s worth considering the quantity and volume of the food you’re choosing.

Snacking is a common problem and an easy way to extra calories to sneak in. If you were to snack on a lemon muffin you’re looking at a substantial 428 calories of food. That’s quite a lot for a snack, and it will be gone in a few bites. However for only 259 calories you could have a curly wurly, a light babybel, some raspberries and a packet of popchips. This combination not only has the advantage of fewer calories overall, but also higher protein overall which will help to keep you fuller for longer, and they contain more fibre (mainly from the raspberries) and other micronutrients which will also help. But an often overlooked aspect is that there is also a greater volume of food in the lower calorie option. It will take you longer to eat the 4 snacks than the muffin, which will also increase feelings of satisfaction. You may also even find you don’t even need to eat all 4 snacks.

Obviously if you fancy the muffin and can fit it into your calories then go for it but this is just another strategy to add to your toolkit to help you stick to those calories.

Enjoy

Enjoy 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Dealing with Weight Loss Plateaus

Tuesday Tip: Dealing with Weight Loss Plateaus📈

Usually a few months into a new diet (or eating regime) we start to see plateaus – this is despite people claiming they are still eating the same amount (at a calorie deficit) and exercising the same. Why?

As you get ‘smaller’ your resting metabolic rate drops so you need fewer calories, therefore you may need to adjust your calorie target. You may also be more tired as you’re running at a calorie deficit – this impacts your activity levels – both consciously in terms of perhaps skipping workouts, working out less, reduced intensity, fewer steps etc but also subconsciously. A recent study found that for every 1kg lost participants expended 20 – 30 cals less energy per day. This is a subconscious reduction in NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) such as standing less, walking less, less fidgeting etc and a decrease in bodily functions e.g. blinking less, breathing slower etc

In addition as you progress diet adherence weakens and motivation wanes, so you’re more likely to have a few more ‘off track’ days. You’re also likely to be relying more on eyeballing portions and not being as accurate – without realising it extra calories sneak in and portion sizes subtlety increase.

Subconscious eating also increases – a nibble of the kid’s tea, a handful of cereal as you pass the kitchen, grabbing a biscuit at work etc. You become less aware of these.

A couple of recent studies found that as weight (fat) loss dropped participants subconsciously increased their calorie intake. For every 1kg of fat lost, they were consuming an extra 100 calories per day, without even realising they were doing it.

So after losing 3-4kg you could be unknowingly consuming an extra 400 cals, and burning 120 cals less, that means an extra 520 cals a day which wipes out your deficit, can stall any fat loss and even cause weight regain.

So what can you do?

First accept it’s happening. The hard thing is that it won’t FEEL like you’re eating more and moving less, so it’s easy to blame other causes – hormones, ‘my stubborn body’, the ‘diet’ etc. Go back to basics and measure portions again and be mindful of extra mouthfuls of things you’re not tracking (grabbing the odd handful of cereal, crisp, etc). Focus on more filling foods to help combat the hunger too – foods high in fibre, protein and good fats.

In terms of energy expenditure – try to be as active as possible – add a few more steps to your day for example, be mindful of standing more than sitting etc.

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx