Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Just a walk…

Just a walk… 🚶🏼‍♀️

I shared this back in the summer but as this second lockdown progresses I’ve noticed a lot of my clients are beating themselves up over not doing “enough exercise”. In many cases they’ve been trying to work from home again, and run the household etc. Some days they’re managing to fit in a workout, others they’re not and they’re feeling guilty about it, and worrying about the loss of those activity calories they “should” be burning.

During this time one thing most people are can manage is to walk more, making the most of the allowed outdoor exercise. This is often not viewed as something which contributes to those activity calories, but it’s actually doing more good.

It’s natural to associate cardio workouts with burning loads of calories; you feel sweaty and breathless so you feel like you’re working hard. A 45 min HIIT for example is very tough and regardless how hard you’re working you’re going to be feeling it. However, it may be hard to motivate yourself to commit to a 45 min session at home when there are so many other things shouting for your attention (children (literally!), work, house chores etc). In contrast an hour’s walk doesn’t feel particularly strenuous, it may be something you do anyway to walk the dog, get the shopping or get out the house for bit, and it in fact burns more calories than the workouts.

I did this experiment on myself back in the summer so the numbers will vary according to your age, height, weight and fitness levels but the principal is the same (independent studies show this too). A one hour walk a day will burn significantly more calories than a 45 min HIIT workout. So if you’re not managing a workout every day – don’t stress, especially if you’re managing to go for a walk. In addition 7 days of HIIT workouts is actually NOT a good idea – studies have shown these workouts impact negatively on sleep if you’re doing too many a week. Obviously there are cardiovascular and health benefits to the HIIT workouts which are equally as important as calories burnt so don’t ditch them completely but my point is that you shouldn’t feel guilty if all you manage is a walk on some days.



Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Healthy alternative.. or what you actually wanted?

Healthy alternative.. or what you actually wanted? 🍫 🥜

When trying to lose weight people will often go out of their way to force themselves to choose a “healthy” alternative. If you really fancy a snickers bar you may think you’re better off choosing chocolate covered peanuts instead (nuts are healthy right)? There are nutritional differences between the two options – the chocolate peanuts have higher protein and lower sugar levels, but also higher fat and overall calories.

Both these snacks contain relatively high levels of sugar and significant amounts of fat. The peanuts may have more “good” fats but when it comes down to it the source of that fat makes very little difference to how your body processes it – especially in the context of this example. Both taste good, but if you are really craving a snickers and instead force yourself to have the chocolate peanuts you’re taking in more calories. Now that’s fine if that’s where it ends, but often that craving will still be there. Also the peanuts come in a larger bag so you may not stop at the 50g portion, and end up with the whole bag which is 578 calories! The snickers on the other hand may also give you an emotional boost, as well as an energy one.

So if you’re choosing the chocolate nuts in an effort to lose weight, then think again. If you’re choosing them because you like them then brilliant – keep having them. If you fancy a snickers then have it!

There are no good or bad foods – all foods can be accommodated within a balanced diet. Being aware of the calories in different foods empowers you to make that choice.



Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Boost your B Vits

Tuesday Tip: Boost your B vits 🥦🥚🍗

As the nights get darker and the temperatures drop here it’s easy for our energy levels to take a nose dive. Couple this with the stress many will experience with the new lockdown and it’s easy for our health to suffer. Many studies have shown how important B vitamins are in helping to boost and maintain energy levels, and manage stress. All the B vitamins including B1, B3, B6 and B12 are involved to some degree in helping the body release energy from the food we eat and keeping the nervous system functioning. Many are also water soluble and excreted by the body which means you have to consume them regularly to say healthy. So when energy is low and stress levels are high adding some extra B to your diet will help to give you a lift.

Great sources of B vitamins include dark leafy greens, poultry, salmon, eggs, almonds, whole grains, soya beans, fresh fruit etc So grab a handful of greens and whack them in your morning smoothie, or snack on some almonds, or have an omelette for brekkie. Or you could consider taking a good B-complex supplement. This is going to help support you and get you feeling full of beans again! ✨👯

Happy Tuesday! 🤗


Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Protein drink vs “just a” drink….

Protein drink vs “just a” drink…. 🥛

There are lots of brands out that that are using the marketing power of “protein” to sell their products. The unspoken idea is that protein = better or healthier etc. The reasoning behind this is the fact that increased protein can help with improved satiety (feelings of fullness) so CAN help to prevent overeating. Also those working out may want to focus on protein to help with muscle building. For most people a balanced diet will contain enough protein so you don’t need to go out of your way to take in extra protein unless you’re a bodybuilder or professional athlete. However you may still wish to focus on higher protein foods and snacks to help keep you feeling full.

So you may well see this protein fruit drink and think it’s a good option. However, it isn’t actually particularly high in protein, with only 2.2g per 100ml and it also has a significant amount of sugar (9.4g).

In contrast the strawberry milk probably wouldn’t be perceived as “healthy” nor a high protein drink. Yet the strawberry milk contains more protein (3.6g) for very similar calories, and contains less sugar. In addition the strawberry milk is over 3 times cheaper!

Neither are particularly “healthy” and neither would be classed as high protein. In terms of weight loss both will probably do the same basic job – they are very similar calorie wise and that’s what matters most. So don’t be swayed by the “protein” label – actually check the nutritional info and then choose the drink you want!




Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Lockdown Mental Health

Tuesday Tip: Lockdown Mental Health 💜

With news of the second lockdown it’s natural to be feeling anxious, upset, frustrated etc. This situation is out of our control so it’s important to focus on things we can control to help protect our mental health. Here are a few tips:

#1 Acknowledgement

Acknowledge that this is a sh*t situation and it’s ok to be sad, mad, angry etc about it. It’s ok to feel anxious about it.

#2 Moderate news consumption

It’s great to stay informed but be mindful of obsessing over the news and updates. Avoid scaremongering news and find positive stories or reliable data instead.

#3 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 endorphins make you feel good, as will fresh air and sunshine if you can get out.

#4 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.

#5 Routine

Set yourself a routine; including leisure time like walks, baths, calls to friends or family etc. If you’re working from home again set boundaries and a consistent daily work routine and stick to it! Take breaks, accept that you won’t be as productive at home. Stick to a good sleep routine; get up at similar times.

#6 Unfollow

If people or accounts are causing you stress mute or unfollow them. You’ll probably be on social media more over the next few weeks so make sure your feed includes people/content you actually want to see or that makes you feel better.

#7 Connections

Connect with friends/family rather debating with strangers on social media. If you have someone you’re close to make a pact to keep an eye on each other, or a code phrase for when you’re not doing ok. It’s also ok to want, and to take some alone time from those you live or work with too.

Above all, be kind – to yourself and each other. 💜 Take care, and if anyone needs anything I’m always here – anytime.

Happy Tuesday 🤗