Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Lunch Tips

Tuesday Tip: Lunch Tips 🥪

Lunch is one of the meals I’m definitely worst at and many of my clients are the same. Here are some lunchtime mistakes and how to prevent them.

#1 Eating out every day

Do you just end up buying lunch instead of bringing it? If you’re making yourself dinner each night why not make a bit extra for lunch too. Or if you’re buying lunch choose options you can easily scan and track the calories for so you can stay on track like a sandwich, pre-packaged salad etc .

#2 Eating too fast

I get it, you’re racing around, back to back meetings, no time to stop…. stuffing your lunch in on the go… but this is when we tend to forget about portions and over eat. A recent study in the Journal of Nutrition and Diatetics found a direct relationship between faster eating and weight gain. Try to take at least 20 mins over your lunch.

#3 Eating too little

I often hear clients saying they only have a small salad for lunch.. and they wonder why they end up craving snacks at 4pm or tucking in to the biscuits late at night. Salad is a great lunch but it needs to be more than just leaves and a bit of cucumber. Use some dark leafy greens as a base (e.g. spinach), add veg (carrots, pepper, cucumber etc), then a protein (chicken, egg, feta, chickpeas, tofu etc) and then add some complex carbs (quinoa, brown rice, beans etc).

#4 Choice of drink

Going for a juice or soft drink at lunch in your meal deal is just extra empty calories. Ditch it and go for water (add lemon, cucumber or zero cal squash for flavour if you need) and save the calories for your food.

#5 You’re too hungry

You rush to work, skipping breakfast and by lunchtime you’re so hungry you end up making bad choices. Avoid this by either having breakfast or having a 100 – 200 cal mid morning snack (yoghurt and berries, apple and nut butter etc). This will help you make better choices at lunch.

#6 Grazing

You’re trying to avoid eating too much so just end up grazing instead – a snack bar here, maybe some fruit, half a biscuit, another bar.. before your know it you’ve actually eaten more cals than a standard sandwich lunch but you won’t feel like you’re have. It’s easy to kid yourself that you’re not really eaten lunch, you’ll still be hungry and more likely to overeat later. So either make sure you track the snacks or have a proper lunch instead.

Happy lunching! 🤗

xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday tip: Coffee – good or bad?

Tuesday tip: Coffee – good or bad? ☕️

Whilst many people also love the taste we typically drink coffee for the effect of the caffeine which makes us feel more alert. It actually has no macronutrients that we can derive energy from, so it simply blunts our perception of fatigue, so we feel we have more energy. There are over 1000 bioactive compounds, polyphenols, flavonoids and antioxidants in your cup of coffee, which are purported to have health benefits. The caffeine itself varies with the type of coffee, from instant (lower caffeine), capsules (approx 80mg) to filter coffee (140 mg). The recommended max daily intake is 400mg caffeine a day.

So is coffee really good or bad for your health? A recent review of studies found coffee is more often associated with beneficial health outcomes than negative ones. Benefits of 3-5 cups a day include an 18% lower risk of mortality, 20% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, a 10% reduction in coronary artery disease and an 18% risk reduction of various cancers including liver, skin, prostate, oral and leukaemia. It reduces blood pressure and the risk of type 2 diabetes, enhances liver function and decreases the risk of Parkinson’s disease. It has also been shown to enhance exercise performance and reduce muscle pain.

So should we all be downing coffee? Well it’s not all positive, for some people it can cause stomach upset, jitters, headaches, and insomnia and can enhance feelings of anxiety. If you suffer from acid reflux it should also be avoided. It is also a diuretic so it’s important to ensure you’re also drinking water as well to stay hydrated. It’s wise to avoid caffeine if you’re pregnant as it has been shown to negatively affect birth weight, pre term births and increase risk of certain cancers in and around this time period.

So if you enjoy a couple of cups of coffee a day, and don’t experience those negative effects, then it’s definitely not something you need to stop. The best option is an americano – black or with skimmed or alternative milk (rather than a double mocha caramel latte etc!).

Happy caffeinating! 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Post-workout Munchies

Tuesday Tip: Post-workout Munchies 🥤🥪

Feeling very hungry after your workout? Regular workouts boost your metabolism and often increase your hunger. Those dreaded post-workout munchies can make you reach for extra snacks and eat more than you want to which could derail your fitness goals.

#1 Reconsider your burn

Did you really burn as much as you’re about to eat? Studies have shown that we usually underestimate the calories consumed through food and overestimate the number of calories burned by exercise. As I’ve said in previous posts those fitness machines almost always over estimate and even fitness trackers aren’t as accurate as we’re led to believe. So be realistic when it comes to choosing post-workout foods. Go for something with protein, carbs and fat – and if it’s not a main meal then aim for only about 150-200 cals. A glass of milk (dairy or soya) or chocolate milk is an excellent post workout refuel.

#2 Are you really hungry?

Ask yourself are you really hungry? Unless it’s a definite yes don’t reach for that protein shake or snack (and remember as I said last week – protein shakes aren’t really necessary for most of us anyway!)
Drink a big glass of water first and then decide. Try not to just get in to the habit of eating after workouts for the sake of it.

#3 Eat regular meals

If you’re starving after your workouts then maybe you haven’t eaten enough earlier in the day. Studies have shown regular meals with a good balance of proteins, carbs and fats results in less desire to eat extra snacks post workout and curb that hunger.

#4 Schedule your workouts

If you always feel hungry after working out, then simply make sure to schedule exercise before one of your main meals.
That way you won’t need to eat any extra snacks, and thus additional calories, between meals.

#5 Don’t try to earn calories to eat later

Try not to workout simply for the reward of eating later. Again something I’ve talked about before – try not to reward yourself with food. Exercise itself should be the reward so find something you enjoy – cycling, running, classes, dancing etc and then enjoy the endorphins!

Happy Tuesday 🤗
Xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Tuesday Tip: Always hungry?

Tuesday Tip: Always hungry? 🍖

Appetite is complicated! It’s controlled by the hypothalamus, in the brain, which processes neural, metabolic and endocrine signals that indicate whether we need to eat more or less to maintain our energy balance. Physical activity, dietary composition and eating behaviours all affect these signals and are important factors we can use to regulate appetite.

Short term appetite regulation relates to hormone levels – orexigenic (appetite stimulating) and anorectic (appetite inhibiting) hormones from the gut influence satiation (i.e. the signal to stop eating) and post meal suppression or generation of hunger (satiety). There are also long-term

impacts on appetite regulation. Both leptin (related to bodyfat levels) and insulin act directly to reduce appetite and energy intake. However, increased bodyfat is linked to disruption of the action of leptin and insulin on appetite making over eating easier.

Non-homeostatic mechanisms that control appetite include food hedonics (desires), activity and behaviour. The availability of highly palatable energy-dense foods impacts the control of food intake. The signals we get when eating these foods can override our hormone-related satiety signals leading to over-consumption. Alcohol consumption and social pressure can alter decision making and an increased desire for energy dense foods. Physical activity helps enhance appetite control and improves insulin and leptin sensitivity, metabolism, and body composition, which help appetite regulation.

So whilst some things are out of your control, what can you do to help manage appetite?

⁃ Get active – exercise (even if only walking).

⁃ Aim for structure to eating, and having a more regular meal schedule

⁃ Be present when eating! Avoid technology and chew your food very well. Take your time.

⁃ Protein helps to keep you full so can help – especially with snacks.

⁃ Don’t restrict carbs

⁃ Limit alcohol consumption

⁃ Increase fibre content (lots of veggies – broccoli, peppers, mushrooms etc. This will also increase food volume.

⁃ If you like them include foods that rank high on the satiety index such as poultry, meats, eggs, potatoes, fruits and legumes.

⁃ Whilst there’s nothing wrong with including high sugar/fat ‘junk’ food in your diet as they’re not inherently bad, they are easy to overeat so be mindful.

⁃ Be careful not to over restrict cals in the week as this can lead to overeating at the weekend.

Remember , if trying to lose weight, a little hunger is good (and needed at times) but you don’t want to be starving!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Fresh vs Frozen

Tuesday Tip: Fresh vs Frozen 🥦🫐

I am a big fan of frozen veg and fruit – both as a way to help save time for myself and my clients, for convenience, cost and also freshness! But there still seems to be a bit of a stigma around frozen fruit and veg.

The concerns around frozen produce tend to centre on issues of freshness and perceived nutrient loss and a view that it’s ‘lazy’. For most brands, prior to freezing the produce is blanched (boiled / steamed briefly). This stops enzyme activity and ensure the colour and flavour remain intact. There can be a small amount of nutrient loss in this process – although recent improvements mean these are minimised. Fresh produce on the other hand is not quite as fresh as we might think. Unless it’s been grown yourself or locally, it’s spent days/weeks/months being stored and transported to the shop. Studies show that the transportation and storage of fresh fruit and vegetables can often lead to more severe nutrient losses than the blanching and freezing. For most shop bought produce it will be at least 14 days after harvest (and that’s a low estimate) vs frozen produce which is frozen within hours of harvest.

Most importantly frozen produce can be more convenient, and avoid waste. This means you may be more likely to actually eat more fruit and veg. It can also meal prep easier and faster. A recent study of more than 16,000 people found that those who purchase frozen fruit and vegetables consume more servings of them, compared to those who do not.

That’s not to say fresh produce isn’t good – in an ideal world fresh produce would be affordable and delivered the day it was harvested. And the more of this that you can source locally, the better! But frozen fruit and veg are great too!

Enjoy!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx