Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Things you think will boost your metabolism…..

Things you think will boost your metabolism….. 💊

You often hear people claiming various foods/diets/workouts etc will ‘boost your metabolism’ but sadly there’s actually very little scientific evidence many do.

Despite many claims that intermittent fasting, or 24 hour (and longer) fasts will boost your metabolism the reality is they don’t. Research suggests that fasting has the same or negative effects on metabolism compared to a calorie deficit from other ‘diets’. When you severely limit calories, your body slows down basic functions to conserve energy. Instead of boosting your metabolism, you may experience a reeducation of to 20% your BMR.

Supplements don’t boost your metabolism – some containing stimulants may temporarily increase metabolism (3-4%) but this diminishes with time and use. Avoiding carbs, eating multiple small meals, drinking lemon water/coconut oil or a detox/juice cleanse have little to no impact and no studies support their claims to increase metabolism. I’ve discussed fasted cardio/exercise before as it’s often touted to burn more fat/boost metabolism. It does neither – but from a workout perspective if you haven’t eaten then you may fatigue faster and be unable to work as hard, therefore burning fewer calories.

Things that are scientifically proven to increase your metabolism include regular exercise and building lean muscle. Eating enough protein, which has a thermic effect when digested (though only accounts for 10% of total energy expenditure). Eating a high fibre diet which requires energy to digest and can help regulate blood sugar. Staying hydrated – being dehydrated reduces BMR. Getting enough sleep to avoid a drop in metabolism and managing stress. Increasing NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity

Thermogenesis) which accounts for 15% – 50% of total energy expenditure through everyday activities such as, standing, walking, cleaning, moving around etc.

Most of these have only a minimal impact (as discussed before), so really the most significant impact on metabolism is to avoid being sedentary and to move more throughout the day. So avoid those expensive supplements and fad diets/exercise trends and stick to the basics!

Enjoy 🤗


Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Plan B toolkit

Tuesday Tip: Plan B toolkit 🔨

Life will always get in the way of our weight loss/fitness plans and aspirations – that’s just life! That doesn’t mean you need to abandon your goals every time life gets tricky, busy or stressful. An all-or-nothing mindset where you’re constantly

‘writing your diet off’, and consequently overindulging after every small deviation or always waiting for life not to get in the way, is not conducive to long-term, sustainable, healthy weight management.

A common trait amongst those that maintain their weight loss habits long term is that they have a plan B. Being able to limit damage and enact the next best option rather than writing everything off entirely is the key to success. To do this it helps to have a toolkit of plan B’s. There is always an option that still aligns with your overall goal, even if it isn’t a perfect option. Doing something is always better than doing nothing!

So think about situations you have or may encounter where you would find it hard or where it isn’t possible to stick to your calories, then think of the next best option.

⁃ Identify situations where your ideal nutrition plans become difficult/ not viable.

⁃ Whats the best possible option in that situation?

⁃ Repeat this process and you’ll have a toolkit of options to always draw upon when required.

For example: It might be a work trip, a holiday, or just a normal day where you forgot to pack your lunch – what’s the best option you can manage? So on holiday / work trip maybe it’s avoiding the buffet breakfast and going for eggs on toast and fruit? Forgot your lunch – maybe it’s options that aren’t huge calories from local cafes? Out with the children at McDonald’s – what’s the best option calorie wise that you can have? Dinner at friends – what can you control? Portions? Amount of booze? Busy and stressed with no time to track calories – stick to some known calorie options that you’ve had before / use ready prepared meals . Missed lunch and starving – grab a small snack to tide you over until you get home rather than going for a takeaway on the way back etc

Over time, you’ll end up with a whole host of plan B’s you can use for any situation life might throw at you and you can move away from the all or nothing mindset.

Happy Tuesday 🤗


Nutrition and Calorie Tips

What to do when you overeat? 🍔

What to do when you overeat? 🍔

You have a meal/day/weekend of overeating and you think you’ve stuffed up. It’s tempting to react by writing yourself off, feeling guilty, or starving yourself or to try to exercise it off. But none of this actually works, so what should you do?

Don’t starve yourself but listen to your hunger and fullness signals. One day of overeating doesn’t mean you should starve yourself; this has negative emotional and physical impacts and leads to binge-restrict-binge eating. Listen to your body; you may not feel like breakfast or you may feel fuller on less food. This is your your body auto-regulating.

Rate your hunger and if you’re hungry then eat. Don’t deliberately skip meals or cut out food groups. Rate your hunger from 1-10 and try waiting until you’re around 7/10 to eat. Start to identify physical and emotional cues of true hunger such as feeling weak, dizzy, light-headed, moody, HANGRY – you don’t want to get that far.

Don’t try to earn/burn off the food you ate. It’s a vicious cycle and an unhealthy, ultimately fruitless path to follow by “earning or burning” food e.g “I’m going to workout extra hard so I can eat a Pizza”. Food is linked to social and emotional health and trying to ‘earn’ it creates an unhealthy relationship. You can’t out exercise food; it’s easy to overeat by 1000s cals but very hard to work that off! Just stay active and move as you usually would.

Don’t write yourself off or feel guilty. You can’t change the past, there’s no point dwelling on it. What you can do is reflect on it. Firstly what were the positives from overeating- emotional benefits, social benefits, taste, satisfaction etc. What could you learn from it and do differently? Could you eat more slowly? Could you have chosen a lower cal option that still gave you the enjoyment? Etc.

In the grand scheme of things overeating for a whole week is only 2% of your potential yearly meals. So don’t write yourself off for the next few weeks/months because of it.

Have a plan to get back on track with the habits you were building. Set a date, write out a plan, find someone to keep you accountable. We all deviate from the plan sometimes but it’s how you react to it that matters and determines whether it’s just a temporary lapse or a total relapse.

Enjoy 🤗


Tuesday Tip

Tuesday tip: Exercise Snacks

Tuesday tip: Exercise Snacks 🏃🏼‍♂️

Following on from last week’s tip about thinking outside the gym here’s a practical way to do that – exercise snacks!

Studies show that spending over 6 hours a day sitting increases the risk of death by 40% and can actually almost cancel out any health benefits from a daily workout. Studies show that prolonged sitting/inactivity during the day substantially reduces muscles’ ability to absorb and use amino acids. Without sufficient amino acids, muscles cannot effectively repair and build themselves. However when participants broke up sitting with two min walks/chair squats every half-hour their muscles were better able to absorb and incorporate amino acids from their bloodstreams.

These ‘exercise snacks’ (brief 1-2 mins of exercise repeated throughout the day) can be extremely effective. Another study showed that incorporating exercise snacks (stair climbing in this case) every day for 6 weeks resulted in significant increases in aerobic fitness and leg strength, comparable to traditional longer workouts.

Now I’m not saying you should abandon your workouts but in the same way you include food snacks outside mealtimes, it’s worth including exercise snacks outside your workouts. These are a really feasible, time efficient way to improve fitness and health and well-being. They’re also a great way to get exercise in if you’re injured or recovering from illness/surgery etc and can’t workout.

Exercise Snacks require no gym membership, special clothing or footwear or equipment and very minimal time commitment. You can choose a variety of flavours – stair climbs, chair squats (sit to standing on tiptoes then repeat), quick walk around the office, desk push ups, a minute of jump jacks etc. Ideally, the activity should briefly raise your heart rate and breathing, last a minute or two, and happen often, preferably every half-hour. It doesn’t matter what you’re wearing or where you are – anytime is a good exercise snack time!

Happy Snacking! 🤗


Nutrition and Calorie Tips

‘Healthy’ brekkie on the go vs ‘naughty’ brekkie….

‘Healthy’ brekkie on the go vs ‘naughty’ brekkie…. 🥐

If you’re rushing in the mornings you may need to grab something to eat on the go. You may really enjoy a pain au chocolat but avoid it because you feel it’s ‘naughty’ and instead go for a ‘healthy’ nut bar.

You may view the pain au chocolat as bad as you don’t feel it’s packed with protein or ‘good’ fats, or vitamins or all those things we know we should be eating. It’s an ‘all butter’ pain au chocolat (omg!) so it is definitely evil and must be avoided at all costs…..So you avoid it. But nuts are healthy right so you can have a nut bar and feel virtuous.

Maybe you didn’t really fancy a nut bar or maybe you think it’s ok cos at least you’ve made a good decision in terms of your weight loss goals…. Or have you ?

A pain au chocolat from a supermarket multipack is 210 cals and actually has less fat and sugar than the 218 calorie nut bar (and only a little less protein). So you haven’t actually saved yourself anything by going for the nut bar.

So, if you are a fan of the pain au chocolat or need to grab something from home to eat on the go then go for it! And if you’re having the nut bar just because you think it’s ‘heathy’ and by extension lower calorie then maybe rethink that. I would add though that a pain au chocolat from a cafe is likely to be somewhat larger (eg Starbucks is 314 cals) so just be mindful to check the cals! As always knowledge is power!

Enjoy 🤗