Nutrition and Calorie Tips

On track.. or blown it?…

On track.. or blown it?… 🤯

It’s very easy to get sucked into the idea that certain foods are inherently “good” and others are “bad”. I hear this sort of thing so often… a client may be feeling pleased that they’ve had a “good” snack – of 40g mixed nuts, and are therefore ‘on track’ . On another day they would be beating themselves up because they had a really “bad” day because they had a pack of chicken nuggets. They often feel like they’re blown everything, they’re disappointed and angry with themselves and feeling guilty.

Now I’m not suggesting the nuggets are a “healthy” option, nor am I suggesting it’s got more nutritional benefits than the nuts. They’re both very different nutritionally, and they both taste very different too. But for many people trying to lose fat or weight they might naturally assume that the nuggets are a terrible option and that by having it they’ve ruined their day (diet -wise). Whereas if they chose the nuts they would be feeling guilt-free and virtuous and like they were on track. They may even not track the calories because the nuts are such a ‘good’ option. However in actual fact the ‘good’ snack has slightly more calories and a lot more fat, than the 6 nuggets. The nuggets have slightly fewer calories and vastly more protein, so are likely to keep you satisfied for longer too.

So if you had to grab a box of nuggets (or just fancied one) when you’re out and about, then it’s not THAT bad. I’m certainly not suggesting your whole diet be made up of “junk food”, but it’s important to be aware of the facts to avoid unnecessary guilt. And remember that lots of the foods we perceive as being “good” or “healthy” may in fact be higher calorie and therefore unhelpful for weight loss if you’re consuming them without realising the calories. At the end of the day, as always, it comes down to calories. If you want to lose fat or weight, then you need to be at a calorie deficit. It’s important to still have foods you enjoy as part of an overall balanced diet. So don’t sweat it if you end up with a McDonald’s now and then if you want it, but then have a dinner with a range of whole foods and vegetables etc.

Be curious about what you’re putting in your body, look at the nutritional labels on food and don’t always assume the “health” food is the best choice.

🤗

Xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Protein snack… or just a snack?

Protein snack… or just a snack? 🍞

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 snack and think it’s a good option. However, it isn’t actually particularly high in protein, with only 4.7g. In contrast the slice of bread/toast might be perceived as a ‘bad’ snack because it’s all ‘carbs’… Yet the bread contains more protein (5g ) for fewer calories. In addition the bread is far cheaper!

Neither would actually be classed as high protein. In terms of weight loss both will probably do the same basic job – they are a good snack if you fancy it. So don’t be swayed by the “protein” label – actually check the nutritional info and then choose the snack you want!

Enjoy

🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: How to Get a Flat Stomach

Tuesday Tip: How to Get a Flat Stomach 🙌🏼

Everyone wants a flat stomach or visible abs right? Social media is full of pics of 6 packs selling miracle supplements, teas, exercise programs, or ‘waist trainers’ which can supposedly make you lose belly fat. But sadly there’s no quick fix – if you want a flat stomach it’s going to take more than some magic tea or a load of ab exercises.

First off; everyone has abs – the muscles may be tiny or weak but that 6 pack is there. They’re just hidden under a layer of fat for most people.

Fat does NOT turn into muscle; they are two different things. You could have strong abs, but if they are buried under fat no amount of exercise will give you a flat stomach or a 6 pack, because it doesn’t address the fat on top of your muscles.

A flat stomach only appears when you have a low enough bodyfat percentage.

But ab exercises and magic teas are a lot more exciting to market than ‘eat less, move more’ … so it’s not surprising there are so many products out there making these claims.

So if you’re punishing yourself with endless sit ups every day – stop – it’s not going to give you a flat stomach. You can’t target or spot reduce fat from anywhere. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work those muscles, it’s important to work the ab muscles to protect your back etc.

So how can you lose belly fat? Everyone loses fat from certain parts of their body in different orders depending on age, weight, sex, genetics etc. You can’t control where it goes from first. Women will tend to hold more fat in their belly, hips and thighs, whilst men tend to store more in the belly and butt. You may not lose it from those areas first; it may go from your arms or legs etc.

All you can do is aim to lose bodyfat generally and once you lose enough of it you will see it go from everywhere eventually! The only way to do this is to consume fewer calories than you currently are. So track your calories, find out how many you’re currently eating and then reduce it! And stick with it for weeks or months (not just 5 days!). If you’re at a calorie deficit you will lose fat and at some point that fat will come off your belly too!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Pizza night!

Pizza night! 🍕

Socialising is a really important part of a healthy lifestyle and often that will involve eating out with friends or family. There is absolutely nothing wrong with going out and eating whatever you want – be it a massive pizza or anything else.

However if you are trying to lose fat or weight then you may wish to limit these extra calories. One option is simply to avoid social situations. That’s not ideal – life will be full of social situations and if you’re trying to make sustainable changes then you can’t just avoid everything for ever! Or you could of course say “f*ck it” and just have whatever you want. Nothing wrong with that – but if you’re then likely to spend the next few days feeling guilty or being angry with yourself for not making progress etc then that’s not a good option either.

The final option is to simply switch what you have for something that’s essentially the same but just a smaller portion. In this example there’s a Garlic bread with mozzarella and caramelised onions, and a large, “rustica” Gamberone and Chorizo pizza, washed down with a couple of large glasses of wine. That could rack up over 2700 calories -which for most people is more than their daily calories. And let’s be honest, that’s an awful lot of food. No one actually needs a pizza that large… or garlic bread aswell… instead you could swap it for a “skinny” or small version of the same pizza (which almost all restaurants offer nowadays), some olives to nibble on, and a small glass of wine. Same taste, same enjoyment, you can socialise, and you’re consuming less than a quarter of the calories. And you can stay on track!

So no need to avoid pizza night, or blow the diet, to still be able to enjoy yourself. Consider simply having smaller portions.

Enjoy 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Eating too little to lose weight?

Tuesday Tip: Eating too little to lose weight? 🥗

I am often asked whether consuming too few calories causes your metabolism to slow down so that you stop losing weight, and even gain weight, as the body “hangs on to fat”. People say that to get out of this “starvation mode” you need to eat more. One small problem – starvation mode is a myth!

As long as you have a calorie deficit (eating less than you burn) you will lose weight – regardless. Calories in vs calories out is what matters.

A long term calorie deficit does cause adaptive thermogenesis (metabolic rate slow down) BUT it is not significant enough to stop weight loss and can’t cause weight gain! It just slows the rate of weight loss down, but what slows it even more is the fact that you’ve already lost weight so the body isn’t burning as many calories as it did initially. That’s why you need to adjust your calorie intake as you lose weight and why plateaus are common.

In one famous large scale study – the Minnesota study – 36 men were put on a 24 week low calorie diet (1560 cals) and also had to complete physical tasks. ALL the men lost approx 25% body weight and ended up at approx 5% body fat. No one stopped losing weight, no one gained weight. You can’t defy the laws of thermodynamics – you need energy to fuel your body, you can’t magic it out of thin air, if you don’t eat enough you will lose.

So what’s the moral of the story? If you’re not losing any weight/fat or your shape isn’t changing over a significant period of time, it’s not because your calories are too low, or because you’re in starvation mode. It’s because there is no deficit. Even if you think there is… there isn’t. If there was, you’d be losing weight!

Happy Tuesday🤗

Xx