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 🤗


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 🤗


Tuesday Tip

Tuesday tip: 3 Easy Diet Tips

Tuesday tip: 3 Easy Diet Tips 🤗

Sometimes it can all seem a bit daunting – starting a new fitness regime, trying to eat healthily etc and at this time of year with the current lockdown and home working/ home schooling etc it can be so overwhelming that you just stop! Lots of studies have shown that adopting small habit changes lead to success with weight loss and healthy eating, so here are 3 easy steps you can take every day, that will soon become healthy habits.

#1 Focus on what you CAN have

We all have that slightly rebellious streak in us – when we’re told we can’t have something we want it more. So a simple mind shift can make all the difference in not only sticking to healthier eating but also being happy about it! Don’t think of all the foods you can’t or shouldn’t have — discover and rejoice in all the new and delicious foods you CAN eat. And remember you can have everything – just in smaller portions!

#2 Put it where you can see it

Studies have shown that just putting ‘healthy’ food out on display makes you more likely to choose them. Keep fruit on your kitchen counter, or at your desk. Arrange your cupboards so low calorie snacks are the first thing you see. If you must have the other stuff in the house then hide it. Invest in a sealable tupperware to store the chocolate or biscuits etc in. In the fridge try to keep healthy lower calorie stuff at eye level – carrots, sugar snap peas, yoghurt, grapes etc. Have tupperwares of cut melon, pineapple, berries, crudités etc in the fridge too if you can. The goal here is to make those foods as easy and accessible as possible.

#3 Get up, Stand up …

Recent research shows that being seated all day is actually a greater health risk than smoking (in terms of increased risk of cardiovascular disease). So… get up! Whenever you can – stand! Choose to stand up when having your morning cuppa, checking email, waiting for appointments, if you can then walk while you take work calls etc. Aim to stand more than you sit if at all possible!

There you go! Easy as 1,2,3!

Happy Tuesday 🤗


Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Sometimes the “bad” option isn’t so bad…

Sometimes the “bad” option isn’t so bad… 🌯

So obviously getting a chicken wrap from a takeaway restaurant is always going to be more calories than making one at home and I’m certainly not suggesting a KFC or Nandos are the healthiest meal choices. But fast food is definitely something you can have now and then as part of a balanced diet if you want to.

There seems to be an underlying assumption that compared to somewhere like KFC, Nandos would provide a ‘healthier’ or ‘good’ takeaway option. Certainly their chicken wrap would generally be considered a healthy choice. It’s a grilled chicken breast, in their signature sauce, in a wrap.

In contrast the KFC Flamin’ wrap would probably be considered a ‘bad’ option. It’s deep friend in a batter, and comes with cheese as well! However the reality is it’s actually considerably fewer calories, around 200 fewer in fact! The KFC wrap is 335 cals and the Nandos one is 537 cals. Now I don’t know about you but that surprised me!

Both these restaurants have all their calories on their website so it’s very easy to check before you order. Both are perfectly good lunch or dinner options, but it just does go to show that we need to consider our preconceptions about certain foods and whether the are “bad” or “good” and remember that ultimately it’s the calories that count.

Enjoy 🤗