Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Why Wait?

Tuesday Tip: Why Wait? 🤗

The festive season is rapidly approaching which is fun but also a time when eating and drinking can take priority over getting to the gym and watching calories.

We inevitably start to slack off over the next 4-6 weeks – often because we’ve convinced ourselves that once we get through the festive period and things ‘settle down’ we will refocus on our diet and exercise and lose weight then, usually in January.

But once we’ve got this mindset we often lose all control, eating and drinking as much as possible… because it’s Christmas right?! On average we put on between 2-5 pounds over the festive period. So when the festivities are over we’ve got that extra weight to lose on top of whatever we wanted to lose already.

Once the New Year hits we are all filled with motivation for the first few weeks, but then enthusiasm wanes and by February we’ve not really progressed towards our goals. This false belief that we will start on those weight/fat lose goals once Christmas and the New year are over is part of what leads us to over eat in the run up. It’s almost like we think there’s no point even trying to watch what we’re eating or start a new fitness regime during the holidays.

The thing is, there will always be something that makes it ‘difficult’ – in the New Year there will be other things making our lives busy or stressful, or other reasons to drop those goals. So why give in? Why not make a decision to start now? Just like you don’t need to start on a Monday, you don’t need to wait until the New Year to set some fitness or fat loss goals. Yes of course it could be tough at times but if you’re already committed to starting the process then you’re far less likely to put on excess fat which means instead of moving away from your goals you will be moving towards them!

So what are you waiting for? If you want to lose fat or improve your fitness start today! If you need any help just ask! 🤗

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xxx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Don’t Detox

Tuesday Tip: Don’t Detox 🥗

Across social media people are peddling “detoxes” and “cleanses”. We’re told our bodies are full of toxins, and if you follow plan X / buy the pill/tea/shake you’ll get rid of them and feel/look amazing. You don’t need it, your liver and kidneys do a great job of “detoxing” you, and these products can make your health worse. But they sell them because WE want them; why?

#Post holiday detox

Over holidays we eat and drink more, so we crave simple, nutrient dense food – like salads. Physically it feels good, and psychologically it feels good to; drawing a line under all the junk. This sort of “detox” isn’t silly, it’s just a word we use to say “lets get back to eating well”

#Bloated

Over-indulging, or eating certain foods makes you bloated; rich foods, alcohol, beans, fizzy drinks, or foods high in salt, certain starches and sugars. If it’s a chronic issue see a Dr. If you’ve been eating lots of salt you will retain water, making you look and feel bloated, reduce the salt for a few days and you’ll be fine. Overdo the food and drink? You don’t need to do anything just eat normally for a few days.

#Bunged up

If you’ve been eating badly you may be constipated. Most detoxes /cleanses are laxatives, which can permanently damage your intestines. So first of all, increase water and fibre intake, then increase fruits, veg, and whole grains, but do it gradually; a sudden fibre increase can make you feel worse. If that doesn’t help, see a Dr, not a Facebook detox salesman.

#Fatloss detox

No, just no. A pill/shake won’t do that! Sometimes just buying something special is a powerful psychological message that you’re making a change and acts as a kickstart; which is why we fall for it. Sadly it won’t last, and you’re left out of pocket and likely to rebound. The more radical approach to losing weight, the more likely it is to fail. Slow and steady wins the race; make small, sustainable habit changes and you’ll reap the rewards.

It’s normal to want to reset, feel better and make changes, but you don’t need a “detox”. Just try to get some sleep, drink more water, eat veg and get moving. You’ll look and feel far better for it!

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday tip: Stick to your resolve

Tuesday tip: Stick to your resolve 💪🏼

Well it is the start of a brand new year, it’s a classic time for people to set themselves new goals. I talked about setting alternative resolutions last week but you may also have resolved to make this the year you finally start, and stick with, an exercise program but it’s all too easy to give up after a few weeks. You’re not alone, judging by the fact that the January crowds in the gym are long gone by February!

So the question is how to turn your determination into action you can sustain for more than 30 days? Here are a few tips to make sure you start out right:

#1 Define Your Challenge

Write down your fitness goal – be as specific as you can. How do you want to look? What weight or body fat do you want to be? Or what size clothing do you want to fit in to? Or if you’ve got a more specific goal like building strength in a particular area, or tackling a fitness challenge like a marathon or climb or canoe etc? Write it all down and then divide it by 3. That’s roughly your 90-day goal, to get you a third of the way there!

#2 Make Time For Your Health

Work towards 30 – 45 mins of physical activity every day. Now before you panic, that doesn’t mean hitting the gym every day, but it does mean some sort of activity, even if it’s walking up and down the stairs at work, a lunchtime jog, walking the dog, a gentle bike ride, walking part of your journey to work etc. When the weather is good take advantage and get outside – it will make you feel good! If you’re brand new to fitness or coming back from injury then start with two 15 min sessions or three 10 mins ones and build from there.

# 3 Discover What You Enjoy

The most critical part of a long term, sustainable success with a fitness plan is actually enjoying what you do. Choose something that makes fitness fun! Take the chance to try something new – it’s the perfect time – everyone is bringing out their new classes and programs, and there are loads of beginner sessions out there too at this time of year. So dip your toe in a variety of activities and find something that works for you. As a beginner to that activity, almost anything you choose will be challenging, but gains will be made from your very first week which will help you feel motivated to continue – win win!

#4 Find a fitness buddy

Train with a friend who’s at about your level of ability and has similar goals. You’ll be far less likely to skip your workout when you know someone is depending on you. It’s also more motivating when you push each other, and you’ll be far less likely to cut your sessions short. Also try to surround yourself with people who are on a similar journey to you. People who choose healthy lifestyles will engage in behaviours which will rub off on you without you even realising it. They also won’t be the ones trying to sabotage your efforts! So make friends with someone in class, get chatting to the work colleague that cycles in every day, set up a lunchtime netball team… Make it social and you’re more likely to stick to it!

#5 Avoid Comparing Yourself To Others

So although you want to surround yourself with people on the same fitness kick, try not to compare yourself to them. Instead, compare yourself to the you of last week. If you make every week better in some way than the one before then you’re moving forward and making progress. There’s no point comparing yourself to anyone else – everyone is on their own journey and has their own challenges. As long as you are making progress then you’re doing good! That progress can be measured in lots of ways – it’s not just about the scales, walking a little further or faster, adding half a kg to your weights, getting further through the class before needing a break, doing your belt up one notch tighter, adding an extra workout to your week…. measure your progress in multiple ways and you’ll see how far you’ve really come!

What are your goals for 2019?

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Sweet sleep

Tuesday Tip: Sweet sleep 😴

Most people need more sleep. Too little sleep causes hormonal changes which influence appetite (and weight), mental alertness, motor function and the immune system. Better sleep improves recovery, and aids weight loss.  Here are a few science backed tips.

#1 Stick to a sleep schedule

Sleep is all about rhythm; a stable sleep schedule will help you get to sleep, sleep more soundly and wake refreshed. You need to figure out your chronotype (early riser, night owl etc) – there are online tests to help. Combine your chronotype with your lifestyle and come up with the best fit. Then stick to it – every day; not just week days, every single day (even holidays).

#2 No caffeine after 2pm

Caffeine still has 50% of its stimulant effect 6 – 8 hours after consumption; a 4pm coffee is still having a stimulant effect at 10pm. It disrupts melatonin production (the sleep regulating hormone). Even if you think you sleep fine after coffee, studies show less deep and REM sleep and far poorer quality. It’s not just coffee that contains caffeine – tea,chocolate, and energy drinks do too. Cut caffeine consumption gradually and replace with other options.

#3 No alcohol within 3 hrs of bedtime

Alcohol is a commonly used sleep aid, but it’s probably the worst!  It helps you fall asleep, but drastically reduces sleep quality and REM sleep. It causes restless, fragmented sleep and inhibits melatonin, messing with your bio clock. You’re more likely to wake frequently in the 2nd half of the night, not get back to sleep , and you will suffer fatigue, mental slowness, irritability and often sleep badly the following night. Ensure you have your last alcoholic drink over 3 hrs before bedtime so it can be metabolised.

# Here comes the sun

Five minutes of sun exposure in the morning resets your body’s bio clock and strengthens your natural sleep-wake cycle, regulating melatonin production. Morning sunlight exposure causes melatonin to drop so you feel alert and awake. If you can’t get outside exposure to bright light indoors works too.

Don’t let another night go by with rubbish sleep! Try these tips

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Bigger weights aren’t always better

Tuesday Tip: Bigger weights aren’t always better 🏋🏻‍♀️

If you want to get stronger and fitter you have to lift heavy weights in the gym, right? Wrong! Several recent studies have shown this isn’t the case at all. You may have seen mention of this on the TV last week, I’ve had a look into the study behind the story.

Recent studies in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that lifting light weights (30 -50% of 1 rep max) for more reps, was just as effective as lifting heavy weights (up to 75-90% of 1 max rep) for 8 – 10 reps both for increasing strength and muscle size. Participants took part in a 12 week program of total-body resistance training (leg press, bench press, shoulder press, leg extension, bicep curls) – half used light weights, half used heavy, all lifted until failure. After 12 weeks, both groups made equal gains in strength and size, except for the chest press, where in fact those lifting lighter weights showed greater gains! Muscle strength increased 25-30%, and both groups put an average of 2.4 pounds of lean muscle on. In addition, biopsies of the muscles showed there was no difference in the growth of muscle fibres in either group (type I and II).

If you want to get stronger then you need to increase your muscle mass (don’t confuse this with getting “bulky”) by activating as many muscle fibres as possible. Day to day activities use the type I fibres first. As demand on muscles increase (more reps, or more weight) you recruit type II fibres – which is what you want. Conventional wisdom states that you can ONLY recruit type II fibres by lifting big weights for fewer reps, but what these studies show is that you don’t need to do that. The key is lifting to fatigue – with whatever weight you choose.

Great news for anyone who wants to get fitter and leaner but doesn’t fancy lifting heavy weights in the gym. You CAN still get strong by doing things like body pump, or workouts with smaller weights IF you are reaching fatigue by the end of the set or track. Lift to the point of exhaustion and it doesn’t matter whether the weights are heavy or light.

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx

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 gym workouts. Calorie burn is driven by your metabolism (converting food cals to energy for your body). Your metabolism 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, singing 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 – pump classes or 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 feels fuller for longer, and you’ll have amino acids to support muscle recovery and repair.

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday tip: Calories Count

Tuesday Tip: Calories Count 📝

There’s so much info out there about what you ‘need’ to do to lose weight. Across all the fad diets, magic pills, super shakes and eating strategies only one method stands the test of time. It’s not trendy or marketable, has no fancy name, but it’s the core of why these diets work; energy management (calories in vs out).

All these diets appear very different on the surface; Low carb, paleo, Atkins, 5:2, bodycoach, slimming world, weight watchers etc all ultimately function on these principles. They restrict calories indirectly, giving you a list of foods that make it improbable you’ll be in a calorie surplus. Although you’re not counting calories, you’re often restricting them; cut carbs- you’re likely to end up cutting calories; follow a ‘syns’ or points system – you’ll cut calories; go paleo – you’ll be cutting food groups and calories.

If you manage your calorie intake to create a deficit, you WILL lose weight. This is supported by hundreds of scientific studies. It’s not coincidence or magic. Yes there are different ways of doing this – and yes there are things that influence how easy or hard it is to create that deficit eg hormonal differences impact on how food is digested and utilised, metabolic adaptations to training and dieting make accurately estimating energy requirements and expenditure difficult, and there are errors in both how we log the food we eat and the databases of calorie values we use. BUT that doesn’t change the fact that if you consume less energy than you expend – you will lose weight!

Does this mean you have to count and track calories? No, not if you don’t want to, but of all the methods out there it’s got the best chance of helping you understand what your energy requirements are and how much you need to consume. You can still do any diet that works for you, and choose to log or not log your calories – but when weight loss stalls it’s a great place to start. It’s still an approximation, and although you need to do some experimentation to find the perfect balance, it’s a verified way to approach your goals.

Happy Tuesday 🤗 xx