Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Calorie Cuts

Tuesday Tip: Calorie Cuts ✂️

When you’re trying to lose weight it’s all about being in a calorie deficit so finding ways to cut calories easily without leaving you hungry is the key. There are a few easy cuts you can make that you’ll barely notice.

# 1 Non-stick Pan

Cooking with oils can add hundreds of calories to a meal without really contributing much to the taste. So invest a a good non-stick pan and some light 1 cal oil sprays and you can cut those cals without even noticing.

# 2 Skip the condiments

Often we don’t even consider the calories in the sauces and dressings we have with our meals. Avoid these sneaky calories but skipping them or going for smaller amounts, or swapping for a lower calorie version. Things like balsamic vinegar, mustard and salsa are great options that are lower calorie but pack a punch.

# 3 Reduce liquid calories

We often forget the calories we drink but they can really add up – all the milk in coffees/teas, soft drinks, smoothies, and booze. Try swapping milky coffees for Americanos, teas for herbal tea, soft drinks for diet versions, and lower calorie alcoholic drinks (e.g. slimline gin and tonic instead of beer)

# 4 Fill up

Opt for more filling foods whenever possible whilst still being mindful of calories. Foods higher in fibre and protein will keep you fuller for longer (but read the labels and check the cals). A recent study found foods such as potatoes, fish, oats, apples and oranges, wholewheat pasta, beef, beans, grapes, popcorn and wholemeal bread kept participants fuller for longer so consider including these in your meals.

# 5 Alternatives

Find alternatives for the foods you like that taste good but have less calories. Swapping your normal ice cream for low calorie ice creams (like halo top) is one way, or swapping your dessert/snack to strawberries and 0% Greek yoghurt is another great way. If you’re a savoury fan opt for things like popchips instead of crisps, and low fat cheese for a savoury snack (e.g. lite mini babybel)

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Magic Celery juice

Tuesday Tip: Magic Celery juice 🥬

You may have heard of the latest super food trend of celery juice. According to social media celery juice is magic and can restore natural stomach acid production, improve digestion, reduce inflammation, improve autoimmune disease, starve bad bacteria, flush out viruses, balance your body’s pH, detox your liver, clean your blood, hydrate on a deep cellular level, eliminate migraines, reduce anxiety and panic attacks, and reverse brain fog, depression and anxiety – in just a week!

Apparently you have have the juice (no pulp) 30 mins before breakfast. So what’s so good about celery and is there any truth to it? Celery is actually very nutrient dense. It’s low calorie, high fibre, rich in vitamin C, K, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium and folate. It also contains lots of antioxidant polyphenols – preventing cell damage, boosting the immune system and reducing inflammation etc.

But is there any evidence it can do everything these people claim? In short – no.

There is no published research supporting these health claims. If you like celery and want to drink the juice then go for it – even if it’s just a placebo effect, it certainly won’t do any harm. But it isn’t going to magically make you lose weight or cure all your ailments.

It’s important to realise that no single food in isolation can provide everything we need for optimal health. Celery juice may be something to complement an already balanced diet, but what about the fibre you’re missing when you juice it? The majority of the fibre is in the pulp that you throw away. A much better option would be to include celery as part of your daily servings of fruit and veg in a salad, or smoothies or cooked in casseroles, soups, etc.

At the end of the day all vegetables are good for you, including celery. If juicing it and drinking it first thing makes you feel good then go for it! If not then just eat it, or if you don’t like celery don’t eat it! There are many other vegetables and fruits that are high in phytochemicals and antioxidants eg brocolli, spinach, berries etc. So just choose the veggies you enjoy eating and have them!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Brown carbs aren’t better

Tuesday Tip: Brown carbs aren’t better 🍞

Most people feel like they’re being healthier if they’re having brown rice, pasta or bread rather than white. However is it actually that much better?

White grain products have just had the outer layer of the grain removed – in most cases this doesn’t remove that much in terms of nutrition. In terms of calories both products tend to be the same, sometimes the white version is lower in cals so if you’re tracking your intake then it can be a way to cut some cals. But what about fibre I hear you cry? Well most brown rice for example only actually has 1 percent more fibre than white rice. If you’re already having a balanced diet then you’re better off simply choosing the one you prefer the taste of.

Now that’s not to say there are no benefits at all to brown carbs. Often the brown versions may have added extras that increase the nutritiousness e.g comparing white and normal brown bread reveals little differences in nutritional profile, but compare white with a seeded or granary loaf and you’ll find additional benefits from the seeds etc (good fats and more

Fibre). But of course this also means more calories. Increased fibre can help keep you fuller for longer as well.

If you do want to go for higher fibre options choose the wholegrain versions. Do bear in mind that words like ‘wholesome’, ‘seeded’, ‘multigrain’, ‘brown’ etc don’t necessarily mean wholegrain – there’s no legal requirement in the UK to have wholegrains in the product to use those descriptions.

Bottom line – check the labels and look at the actual fibre content. Ultimately if you enjoy the taste brown carbs then go for them – I happen to love the taste of brown rice regardless, but if you’re not a fan and were only eating them because you thought they were a better option then maybe go back to the white stuff for enjoyment and lower calories (in some cases) and just ensure you’re getting your fibre from the rest of your diet.

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: No Progress?

Tuesday Tip: No Progress? 🤔

Are you stuck and not making progress? When things aren’t going the way you want it’s easy to give up, here’s a little kick up the backside to hopefully prevent that happening!

# 1 ‘I just need to find my motivation’

You don’t need motivation, you need action. Motivation isn’t going to magically appear; you have to decide to make a change. That will be what motivates you, not a pretty Insta quote (but we love them anyway 🤣).

#2 ‘It’s not my fault…’

It may not be your fault but it is your responsibility. We can all find reasons why we can’t do things. Yes it may be harder for you; you might have a health condition or responsibilities that affect your ability to exercise/lose fat etc. But what’s the option? Not bothering just because it’s going to be harder? Of course not! Anything is better than nothing! 🤗

#3 ‘I’m just not prepared to give up….’

Some things are going to have to change if you want your body to. The ‘you’ who has lost 10kg fat isn’t doing what you’re doing now, so if you want to get there you need to make changes. You have to decide what you’re willing to sacrifice; switch your 1200 tub of ice cream for a 320 cal one? Cut back on meals out? Switch tv time for a 30 min walk? The choice is yours.

# 4 ‘I just can’t say no…’

The main reason people don’t lose fat is because they can’t say no. ‘Fancy a cake with coffee?’, ‘want another drink?’, ‘how about a take away?’. Try saying no and choose something nice but lower in cals! Prove to yourself that you have the ability to choose!

#5 ‘It’s been 3 days and I’ve lost no weight…’

The body you want is the sum of all the small actions you do today. Eating 300 fewer calories today, or going to the gym when you don’t want to, doesn’t seem like it’s getting you that result today, but do it consistently for 1, 2, or 3 months and it will.

Life happens, things get stressful – it happens to everyone. Don’t let that stop you doing something. Can’t make it to the gym? Do a 15 min walk, Blown your cals? Get straight back on it tomorrow. Do something, no matter how small, every day that takes you closer to your goal.

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: How Many Steps?

Tuesday Tip: How many steps? 🚶🏼‍♀️

We’re all used to being told to walk 10,000 steps a day – but why 10,000?

It turns out the 10,000 number isn’t based on loads of research and evidence, it’s in fact based on marketing for a Japanese pedometer in the 1960s and may not in fact be the holy grail for health it’s built up to be.

10,000 steps equates to roughly 5 miles (depending on gait etc) – when you’re just starting out that’s actually a really long way! You may not have the confidence or fitness to get close to 10,000. So having that goal can backfire if you’re constantly not hitting it and feeling bad. Also of course most trackers tend not to include things like swimming, cycling or spinning in the step count or any resistance training so it’s not an accurate measure of activity. On the flip side for some hitting 10,000 is a walk in the park (🤣) due to their job or commute so why have that as the goal?

A better approach, and one I use with my clients, is to track your current steps for a week or so, and look at the patterns. Then set goals based on those – so if on work days you’re only hitting 4,000 steps, there’s no point aiming for 10,000 if you physically can’t get them, instead aim for 6,000 instead – a moderate increase in activity. And rather than just focusing on steps think about increasing overall activity across the week.

Studies suggest 150 mins of moderate aerobic activity (walking, Swimming, gardening etc) , or 75 mins of intense activity (hiit classes, spin, etc) per week is the minimum requirement for overall health. If you’re trying to lose weight start there and then if you’re hitting it increase the goals.

When it comes to fat loss increases NEAT (Non-exercise activity thermogenesis) or the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise, is what matters in terms of increasing your overall calorie burn. So garden, walk, fidget, stand up – be as active as you can! And forget 10,000 and set yourself some realistic step goals.

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Fake News

Tuesday Tip: Fake News 📰

We’re all busy, we almost all have smart phones, and there’s so little time in a day that it’s very easy to just scroll through facebook or Instagram for information and it’s all too tempting to take it at face value.

But according to a recent survey social media is the no. 1 source of nutrition and fitness misinformation.

There is zero control over what people put up on social media – design a funky graphic, tap in to a common fear or desire, and you can pretty much say anything and some people will believe you – eggs are bad, eggs are good, eggs cure cancer, eggs cause cancer… eggs contain lysozyme! (Long word, sounds scary, must be bad…… it’s not 😆) … I could go on!

That’s not to say you can’t trust anything you see on social media but just be a bit critical of what you see. Anything fear-based, food shaming or more about what not to eat than what to eat, or claiming some incredible effect of a specific food is likely to be something to be wary of. Social media can be a great source of information but check where that info is from – who is posting it? Are they qualified? Do they have a fitness or nutrition qualification? Are they quoting scientific, peer-reviewed, studies to back up their claims? Are they trying to sell something – if so that’s often a red flag, or at least a reason to investigate a bit more.

In general it’s mostly about balance and moderation – yes we can make grand claims about the awful effects of one food, or the amazing benefits of another – but it usually comes down to quantity. Having a takeaway once a week – not that bad, having it for 2 meals every day – probably not a great idea!

So be critical guys – it’s your body, read the advice, question it, ask for more info if you want – go and do a pubmed search online and find the research…. and yes I’m totally aware of the irony in me posting this on social media, but I’m very happy to chat through the research behind anything I post, and engage in healthy debate about it – any time!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Combat Slowing Metabolism

Tuesday Tip: Combat Slowing Metabolism 💪🏼

I am often asked how to combat a slowing metabolism as we age. Metabolism (basal metabolic rate – BMR) is the number of calories your body needs to carry out basic bodily functions at rest (breathing, circulating blood, cell repair, hormone balancing etc). Contrary to popular believe your metabolism doesn’t slow down as you age. What actually happens is that physical activity reduces and lean muscle mass is lost. This means a lower BMR giving the effect of a slowing metabolism. So how can you prevent this happening and keep your metabolism firing?

# 1 Be more active

Work activity in to your day – walk more, stand more, try new classes/exercises etc.

# 2 Resistance training

It’s important to build and maintain muscle so ensure you are doing some resistance training in the form of a class (e.g. pump) or in the gym itself.

# 3 Avoid fad diets

Extreme dieting can cause a down regulation in metabolic rate which can persist for years after the dieting ends. Cutting calories is fine but do it in a steady and sustainable way, in conjunction with physical activity, to help preserve muscle mass.

# 4 Find your motivation

Find what motivates you; is it the form of exercise? the social aspect of classes? the feeling of getting stronger? fitting in to your jeans? being able to run around with your children or pets? Whatever it is find that thing that keeps you going – write it down and keep it somewhere you can see it.

# 5 Get good habits

Find some healthy habits that work for you; track your food, exercise regularly, find alternatives to eating when you’re stressed (adult colouring books, reading, a bath etc), and measure your progress. Studies show those who measure their progress regularly are more likely to lose fat and keep it off long term.

# 6 Get hungry

Listen to your hunger signals and learn how to tell when you’re really hungry vs bored/emotional. A little hunger is a good thing; train your body to recognise actual hunger, Practice mindful eating – pay attention to what you eat, and when you eat, to help avoid boredom or stress eating.

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx