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

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

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Practice random acts of fitness!

Tuesday Tip: Practice random acts of fitness! 🏋🏻

I know how difficult it can be to fit everything you want to in to your days especially in the current lockdown working from home and maybe homeschooling too, and sometimes it’s exercise that suffers. As I’ve said in previous tips and to my clients, it’s not just those “big” workouts that matter though when it comes to losing or maintaining weight and fitness, it’s the rest of your day that matters. So as well as being generally active and try to get outside for a walk, try to practice some random acts of fitness!

Sneak things in to your day whenever you can – lots of day to day tasks actually burn a good few calories – gardening, hoovering, washing the car, carrying the shopping from the car (try to bring as much as you can in one go to increase the intensity), unloading the dishwasher (as fast as you can!) etc for example. Or try adding in some little bits of fitness throughout the day e.g. ten squats before you sit down, marching your feet while you watch tv, or setting challenges for each other while you watch – one push-up for every advert in the break etc… have you got a skipping rope? .. then how about one min of skipping before you make dinner (or virtual skipping if you have no rope!)…. or maybe a game of catch with your children (or fetch with the dog)…. 30 secs of fast feet in the kitchen while waiting for the kettle to boil…. single leg squats while you brush your teeth…..That’s just a few ideas, I’m sure you lot have loads more!

Don’t think that just because you can’t devote 45 mins or an hour to the workout that it doesn’t count.. it does! It’s still really valuable and a great thing to do when you’re busy and can’t fit in your usual workout. You could easily burn an extra 200 – 300 calories a day with these random acts… that’s the deficit you need to lose weight…

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Vitamin D and COVID-19

Tuesday Tip: Vitamin D and COVID-19 🦠

There are mixed messages in the media about the link between Covid 19 and Vitamin D so I thought it was worth a quick overview.

Vitamin D is a fat soluble steroid hormone and is important for bone health, and regulation of the immune system. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to numerous health problems including muscle weakness, various cancers, MS, Asthma, TB, heart disease, type I and II diabetes, depression, Alzheimers etc. Very few foods naturally contain vitamin D, so sun exposure is the main way that we obtain this vitamin. Even before the pandemic the recommendation was that people should consider taking vitamin D supplements between October and March (darker months) as there is a high rate of deficiency in the UK.

Many studies have shown that vitamin D can reduce the risk of getting acute viral respiratory tract infections and pneumonia, and can help with common colds and flu. So what about COVID-19? Studies are limited but a recent study found that 82.2% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were deficient in vitamin D. This was compared to the healthy control group of people without COVID-19, where 47.2% of people were vitamin D deficient. Studies have shown a correlation between lower vitamin D levels and higher levels of COVID-19 cases in the population. Some studies have also shown a correlation between vitamin D deficiency and COVID-19 severity and mortality. There are now 30 or so studies showing that optimal blood levels of vitamin D reduces the risk of covid-19 risk of infection, risk of severe disease and risk of dying. Many researchers now regard the evidence as ‘overwhelming’.

More research is needed, but there is little to be lost in supplementing with Vitamin D. Vitamin D supplements are inexpensive and have low risk of toxicity but do bring significant benefits, not just in relation to COVID-19, but to overall health and well being. So what dosage should you take? You need a minimum of 10 micrograms a day (or 400 IU (international Units)), and the maximum daily safe dose is 100 micrograms (4000 IU), so something in between is a good place to aim for.

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx