Nutrition and Calorie Tips

I don’t have time to track my calories….

I don’t have time to track my calories…. 🍏

People are desperate to lose fat/weight but often say they just don’t have time to track what they eat. Now whilst it’s perfectly possible to lose weight without tracking calories, there’s no denying that accurately tracking them is an extremely effective way to do it. And in addition is gives you an excellent foundation of knowledge for maintaining any results you achieve.

I completely understand that it can be really stressful trying to balance work, social life, childcare or caring for other family members etc and perhaps even more so right now with home schooling/home working, but I am not sure the excuse of “no time” always rings true.

On average, in 2020, people in the UK spent 2hrs and 24 mins a day scrolling social media/messaging etc, 1hr 11 mins watching TV and 1 hr 21 mins online shopping. That’s an average of nearly 5 hrs a day! Now whilst you may claim you don’t spend anywhere close to that amount of time doing those things I bet you spend more than 30 mins on these activities (or similar ones)? Studies have shown that tracking your food; whether it be in an app or physically writing it down, takes no more than 30 mins a day. That includes weighing portions, barcode scanning items that are pre-packaged and then actually entering it into the app/writing it down and adding it up.

You don’t have to devote your life to tracking food, but if you can’t spare a few minutes to think about what’s on your plate before you eat it, you won’t make changes to what you eat and drink to reduce calories. In short – it won’t work. You have to make a change.

If you’re telling yourself you’re too busy or don’t have time to put any attention on your diet, then you’re right – you don’t – but that’s not because you don’t want to, it’s because it’s not enough of a priority right now. Once it becomes a big enough priority you’ll find you do in fact have time. Don’t kid yourself into thinking you’re too busy to track or that it’s a bigger job than it really is, and maybe reconsider the time you spend on other activities that are perhaps not as important for you?

Enjoy 🤗

xxx

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

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Fasted vs non-fasted Exercise

Fasted vs non-fasted Exercise… 🏃🏼‍♂️

There’s a fair amount of confusion out there about whether you’re better off exercising fasted (on an empty stomach) or after you’ve eaten something (non-fasted) and whether one is better or worse for fat loss.

The confusion arises because people often talk about how exercising on an empty stomach increases fat oxidation. This then gets conflated with fat loss. Fat oxidation is the process of using fat for energy in the body. When you eat something the body secretes insulin to aid in the processing and metabolism of the food for energy and storage. Insulin reduces fat oxidation, so less fat is used for energy. So the argument is that if you haven’t eaten anything yet that day then you won’t have secreted any insulin and therefore fat will be oxidised and used for energy.

Whilst this is true – you will have more fat oxidation, it doesn’t actually mean more fat loss. Fat loss is dependant on overall calories consumed, on average, over the day/week/month etc. Even if you exercise before eating, you still need to have a calorie deficit for that day otherwise any excess calories will still be stored as fat. So It makes NO difference to fat loss whether you choose to eat before or after exercise.

For some people they prefer to exercise on an empty stomach, but for others they need some food in their system to workout. From a workout perspective if you haven’t eaten yet then you may find you fatigue faster and aren’t able to work as hard, so you may end up burning fewer calories. So it’s very much personal preference!

Enjoy 🤗

xxx

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

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

I need to give up sugar… or maybe sugar isn’t the problem?

I need to give up sugar… or maybe sugar isn’t the problem? 🥣

One of the many diet myths I hear a lot is that sugar is bad, and clients will often say they need to give up sugar. Now in reality this usually means they intend to give up things like biscuits, chocolate, cakes, ice cream, doughnuts etc. Very few people are mainling pure sugar! These foods aren’t just “sugar” – they all contain significant amounts of fat too.

As you can see from this comparison – 50g of sugar contains nothing but sugar. It’s 50g of carbs – no fat, no protein etc. All of those carbs are sugar and 100% of the calories it contains are from sugar. The jam doughnut on the other hand contains around 12.4g sugar which accounts for only 17% of the total calories. The majority of the calories come from fat, other carbs and a little protein. The 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 50g 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 a jam doughnut or 2 though – well thats super easy. To consume the same amount of actual sugar as pure sugar you’d need to eat 4 doughnuts in one go.

So this combo of sugar, fat and salt is what makes doughnuts and other snacks so easy to over eat. That’s not to say doughnuts 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 and you don’t need to give it up. If you have a balanced diet then having the odd “sugary” snack like doughnuts etc is fine – just account for it in your calories.

Enjoy 🤗

xxx