Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Attentive Eating

Tuesday Tip: Attentive Eating 😋

Although calories are the overall determinant of weight loss/gain there are many factors which influence how likely you are to stick to your calories. One such issue is distracted eating. Distracted eating is becoming increasingly common due to today’s increasing reliance on electronic devices etc. Attentive eating is essentially removing distractions whilst eating, and monitoring the true amount of food being consumed. This allows you to more accurately remember how much you’ve already eaten which can help reduce over eating for the rest of the day. It helps you to focus on what you actually need food-wise , rather than relying on external cues like plate size, packet size etc.

A recent review of 10 studies showed a significant increase in the amount of food consumed when distracted e.g. by TV, mobile phones etc. I’m sure we’re all aware of times when we’ve been focused on our phones or the TV and not even noticed the plate of food we’ve just inhaled! The studies also showed that there was also an impact on meals later in the day. So those who were distracted would then go on to eat more in subsequent meals. This is related to the working memory of what you’ve eaten. If you’re distracted then the memory of what you’ve eaten is distorted (you remember eating less than you did which results in eating more later). A simple study tested this by asking participants to recall what they’d eaten in their last meal before eating an afternoon snack. Recalling previous meals led to participants eating less, compared to those that recalled non-food related memories.

So what does this mean for us? Distraction definitely increases the amount of food consumed both at that time, and later on in the day, and impacts on your memory of what you’ve already eaten that day. So removing visual distractions and eating attentively will help reduce the chance of over eating. Actively considering what you’ve already eaten that day before you eat the next snack/meal also helps. In terms of the practicalities of doing this this is yet another reason why tracking your food can really help you to stick to your calorie goal.

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Anxiety and Diet

Tuesday Tip: Anxiety and Diet 🤯

Anxiety can be a particularly tricky thing to deal with at any time, but at the moment levels of general anxiety are even higher and people who perhaps wouldn’t normally class themselves as being “anxious” are finding things increasingly difficult.

Mental health is so important, and if anxiety or anxious thoughts are affecting you then do please speak to someone (be it a professional, or even a friend/work colleague etc) but it is also possible to help with what you’re eating.

A 2010 study found that diets higher in vegetables, fruit, fish and whole grains led to lower incidence of anxiety disorders. A further study in 2017 directly compared a mediterranean-style diet with “social support (friends etc) for the treatment of anxiety and depression. The diet actually provided better relief than the social support. It’s believed this is due to the impact of short-chain fatty acids (created from digestion of fibres in the food). It’s though that consuming 30g fibre a day can help thus.

Omega-3 is also linked to mental health with higher levels reducing the incidence of low moods, depression and anxiety.

One study found a 20% reduction in anxiety with omega-3 supplements compared to a placebo but evidence is mixed. However it certainly won’t do any harm as it has many other health benefits so definitely worth a try.

In contrast studies have shown that diets high in caffeine, sugar and saturated fat are linked to increased anxiety. Alcohol is also an issue – it initially relaxes you by increasing the activity of the brain chemical gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). But this is short term and as the alcohol wears off the levels of GABA reduce which exacerbates anxiety.

So a few things to consider (as well as seeking professional help if it’s impacting your life)

Happy Tuesday 🤗


Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Emotional Wellbeing

Tuesday Tip: Emotional Wellbeing 💜

With the final bank holiday coming up many people are having a final “break” away. Holidays are a time to relax, switch off and enjoy time with family and friends. Whilst they’re often a physical rest, they should also be an emotional rest. Even if you’re not getting away and just having a holiday at home, this is still an opportunity to make your holiday time count emotionally as well as physically.

#1 Give yourself permission to rest

Rather than planning loads of activities actually allow yourself time to rest, even if that’s hard with children or family. You might have to be pretty strict and plan “down” times.

#2 Figure out what you need

If you are feeling drained or exhausted, it’s a signal to take time for recovery. The common misconception is that recovery has to be passive e.g. lying on a sofa. Physical rest is important but so are things such as hiking, being outside in nature, gardening, socialising etc. Your usual day job will affect this; if you read a lot in your job, you might find that sitting and reading is not what you want to do, but exercise and getting outdoors could work better for you.

# 3 Be present

Simple things you can do include putting away your phone, turning off your computer and making sure you have out-of-office replies to work emails to help stay present. If you find your thoughts drifting to things that cause you stress then try to shift the focus back to what or who you want to focus on.

# 4 Set aside social time

Connection and social relationships are critical to promoting wellbeing. Spending meaningful time with friends and family is a great way to improve your emotional health. Create opportunities for quality time together such as cooking and eating together and playing games.

#5 Make memories

Lasting memories are created when we engage our senses. This is often easier on holiday as all our senses are triggered when we experience something new. Trying something new or getting creative, with friends and family is a fun way to strengthen connections and gain a sense of accomplishment. It can also make you feel more motivated to get back to work after it.

Happy Tuesday 🤗


Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Mindset matters

Tuesday Tip: Mindset matters 🤯

Mindset is one of the most overlooked parts of any successful exercise or fat loss plan. Unless you have the right mindset then any plan you intend to follow will likely fail. Here are some tips:

# 1 Don’t let one mistake become many.

You’ve fallen off the wagon and ended up eating that large pizza, don’t use that as an excuse to spend the whole weekend over eating. Draw a line under it and get back on track. Focus on the next meal not than the one you’ve just had.

# 2 Focus on consistency not perfection

4 weeks of being pretty consistent with your cals will give you better results than 3 days of ‘perfection’, a day off the wagon and 2 more days feeling guilty and over eating. The odd day over your cals won’t matter if you’re consistent over the long term.

# 3 It’s not a race

You won’t get long lasting results in 7, 14 or even 21 days – it’s weeks, and months. Recognise that and take the short term pressure off yourself.

# 4 Moderation not restriction

if you’re feeling deprived you will eventually eat or drink it anyway, and probably in far greater portions. Accept that you can still eat the foods and drinks you love. Shift your mindset from unnecessary misery and restriction to appreciation that no foods are bad foods. You just may have to compromise; have less of it, or forego something else to stay on track, or accept that the pleasure of that food outweighs that fat loss and go with it.

# 5 Lifetime changes

Sustainable fat loss is about changing things for life. So unless you never want to eat chocolate ever again it’s a good idea to include some chocolate in moderation when you’re trying to lose fat. Find ways to enjoy foods you love in a way that align with your goals long term. Don’t chase results you won’t be able to sustain.

#6 Joy of missing out

You don’t have to say yes to every event/food/drink if it doesn’t align with your goals. Focus on the benefits and you’ll realise you didn’t miss out on much anyway and it was actually a good decision because you didn’t get that hangover, or eat that dessert you didn’t want etc. Just say no thanks. No need to justify, no need to explain.

Happy Tuesday



Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Managing Anxiety

Tuesday Tip: Managing Anxiety 😥

We’re bombarded with Covid-19 info, which combined with closure of businesses ,schools and public events can create anxiety. If anxiety is affecting your ability to function then speak to a professional, but there are also some things you can do to help.

#1 Acknowledge it

Denying it will only cause more stress, so be aware of it and accept it; it’s ok to feel anxious.

#2 Focus on the right info

Avoid the scaremongering news and find positive stories about those who’ve recovered. Remember the recovery rate far outweighs the mortality rate (WHO data). 

#3 Switch off

Constant social media increases anxiety (plus much is inaccurate!). Timelines create “anticipatory anxiety” where people expect something bad to happen leading to panic and increasing anxiety. Choose 1 or 2 times a day to check the latest govt info from reputable sources.

#4 Stay active

Exercise keeps you fit and healthy (stimulating the immune system), and needs concentration, so is a distraction. It combats physiological symptoms of anxiety e.g. nausea, muscle tension etc and the endorphins make you feel better, as will fresh air and sunshine if you can get out.

#5 Eat well

It’s easy to resort to self destructive behaviours e.g. booze, overeating etc. Remember alcohol is a depressant so won’t help your mood, and overeating can lead to a cycle of guilt. Aim for balanced meals and include all the foods you enjoy, in moderation.

# 6 Sleep

Anxiety affects sleep quality so stick to a good sleep routine; get up at similar times, create a calming environment to sleep in, avoid the news/social media at night.

#7 Be realistic

Your daily routine has completely changed so don’t expect it to be easy. Allow yourself time to process the change in daily life and planned events etc. Take breaks, accept that you won’t be as productive at home, or that home schooling is hard etc. Everyone is feeling the same.

#8 Keep in touch

It’s easy to recreate social events and stay in touch with friends/family with zoom etc. Try to connect with friends rather debating with strangers on social media. It’s ok to take some alone time too! 

Hopefully these will help you.

Happy Tuesday 🤗