Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Don’t go too low

Tuesday Tip: Don’t go too low 📉

It’s tempting when you start trying to lose weight to panic and cut calories drastically – because surely a bigger deficit means quicker results right? To a degree yes but…. It never really works and this is why.

Our bodies are designed and have evolved to essentially make losing weight and fat hard. Fat loss goes entirely against our main drive to survive so conserving energy and maximising fat storage is a good evolutionary strategy. If energy consumption (calories) are reduced drastically the body will adjust processes to ‘fit’ the calories you consume. Now this doesn’t mean you can put on weight if you eat too little – that’s just a myth. What it does mean though is that the body compensates for a lower energy intake by reducing energy expenditure.

It does this in two ways. Firstly it reduces NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis), – these are the subconscious incidental movements and processes in your body e.g. your heart rate may slow, body temperature may change, and hormones such as leptin, T3 and T4 adjust to reduce energy expenditure. As a result your BMR may decrease.

In addition you will subconsciously move or fidget less than you usually would. So you may find you don’t stand up or tap your feet etc as much, you may be less inclined to take the stairs and take the lift instead, you may find you drive instead of walking places as much, you might not get up to go get things you’ve left in other rooms (e.g. not going upstairs to get the hoodie you want to wear and grabbing whatever is handy downstairs instead), not getting up to get a glass of water if you’re thirsty, feeling generally low motivation to exercise/walk etc. You probably won’t even notice you’re doing any of this.

So as you’ll be expending fewer calories the deficit you think you have becomes smaller. In addition you’ll feel low, hungry, tired and tend to obsess over food. This means the tendency to binge/overeat either when you have a ‘cheat’ day or when the diet ends is high. This is why you often find any weight you’ve lost will come back quite quickly.

So rather than heading straight in to an aggressive 800-1000 calories a day diet (for the umpteenth time in the past few years) try aiming for a higher number of calories with a smaller deficit. A smaller deficit allows you to thrive and stick to the newly acquired habits you need to stick to, consistently, to move towards your goals. Work more on delayed gratification. Something that takes longer but feels easier is far more likely to work out the way you want it to.

If this resonates but overwhelms you at the same time, that is also completely normal. We are designed to want instant gratification and results so it’s ok if it feels counterintuitive to start with. But trust me, stick with it and you’ll reap the benefits – play the long game!

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Booze 101

Tuesday Tip: Booze 101 🍸

Many people are trying ‘dry January’ at the moment or considering cutting back. I never tell clients to give up booze, life would be miserable without that if it’s one of your go to ‘treats’ – I do however suggest it could be one way to ‘easily’ cut calories by reducing the amount they consume. Mainly because it’s a discreet, easily identifiable thing to reduce, but also because alcohol can affect weight loss in other ways.

Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram (vs 4 cals for carbs and protein,and 9 for fat). More alcohol means more calories. So alcohol by volume, or ABV, is a good guide for how calorific your drink is relative to others. Drinks that are sweeter will also generally pack more calories (and remember mixers too!).

Unlike food, alcohol contains little to no nutritional value. Alcohol calories don’t fill you up like food calories do, or provide many micronutrients. This isn’t an issue in a balanced diet but just worth remembering when prioritising what you choose to consume.

Alcohol calories are processed differently too. Alcohol is a toxin so the cals are used immediately to generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to detoxify it. This detoxification is a labour intensive process so the liver ‘shuts down’ and stops processing fat, carbohydrates and protein because it needs to deal with alcohol. Hence why you get the munchies, because the detoxification of alcohol inhibits gluconeogensis (breaking down of our internal food stores). So not only does alcohol inhibit fat burning it also encourages over eating. The lack of inhibitions associated with alcohol also make it more likely you’ll ‘stuff the diet’ and eat more than you intended; so it’s a triple whammy!

In addition many alcoholic drinks aren’t labelled with calories and they can vary widely so it’s almost always an estimate e.g a can of beer ranges from 100 – 320 cals. If you’re consuming a lot it could impact on whether you manage to maintain a calorie deficit.

Tips to help:

– Alternate drinks with water.

– Use small glasses to make it easier to keep track.

– Swap to spirits with low or zero cal mixers or a dry white wine/ rose etc

– Eat first to keep hunger at bay and make you less likely to overeat later.

– download the ‘Try Dry’ the dry January app if you’re a fan of tracking – it gives you the cals and money saved etc

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: A few home truths

Tuesday Tip: A few home truths 🏠

A few things you might need to read this January.

#1 Absolutely any food or drink can fit into your diet – if you control the amounts you eat.

#2 There are not ‘good’ or ‘bad’ foods – stop moralising food itself. It’s all about quantity – anything in excess is bad.

#3 Weight loss and health are not the same thing. Your health is a result of lots of factors over time. You can eat for health and you can eat for weight loss, or you can do both! Your health expands beyond what you eat though so take a holistic approach.

#4 Exercise is for physical and mental well being – not to burn calories / lose weight. Separate the two.

#5 Fat loss happens when you’re consistently in a calorie deficit over time – not days, not weeks but months. How you achieve that calorie deficit is up to you but if you want it to be something you can sustain long term then the best approach is to include all the stuff you enjoy eating, just in smaller quantities.

#6 Beware of following ‘meal plans’ to

lose weight without changing your habits and behaviours to help you maintain that loss long term.

#7 You don’t need to be starving to be losing fat but you do need to expect some

hunger if you’re genuinely eating at a calorie deficit. You can help by prioritising high volume foods and including plenty of fibre rich foods, proteins and fats to keep you full. However don’t cut out the carbs as you need them for energy.

#8 If you want to be successful long term then don’t focus on calorie and exercise targets, you need to change your mindset too. Be kind to yourself and try to stop the the all or nothing mentality

#9 Before you rush to follow the advice of some fitness/nutrition guru ask yourself what do they have to gain? Are they selling a book? Are they marketing supplements? Are they touting for online clients? So before you jump on another diet fad stop and consider who actually benefits from it. The basic information you need to lose weight is simply a calorie deficit. Eat less. If you’re not losing weight you’re not in a deficit. Simple. Whether that’s because your target is incorrect, or your calculations of what you’re eating are incorrect, or whether a medical condition is impacting your calorie requirements.. the basic principal remains. No weight loss means no calorie deficit.

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Say No to ‘Detoxes’

Tuesday Tip: Say No to ‘Detoxes’ 🥗

It’s January and predictably across social media people are peddling “detoxes” and “cleanses”. We’re told our bodies are full of toxins from overeating at Xmas, and if you follow plan X / buy the pill/tea/shake you’ll get rid of them and lose weight/ 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 we still fall for it.. 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 too; 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”

Bloat

Over-indulging, or eating certain foods makes you bloated e.g. rich foods, alcohol, beans, 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.

Constipation

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 ‘expert’.

Fat loss

No, just no. A juice/pill/shake won’t do that! Sometimes just buying something 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: Alternative Resolutions

Tuesday Tip: Alternative Resolutions 🎉

New Year, New start! it’s a cliche isn’t it?Having said that it IS a good opportunity to refocus and think about what you want to achieve over the next few months. I’ve posted this before but I think it’s worth a repost for 2023. Instead of the usual eat healthy/exercise more, here are my favourite resolutions that are doable and a bit more interesting:

#1 Switch your phone off

Put your phone away a bit more – whether for meals, after dinner, when out – whatever – you and your friends and family will enjoy more real face time than FaceTime.

#2 Read

Ditch the telly and read a book – an actual book – be it on paper or kindle. It could be a classic or something newer.

#3 Grow something to eat

Seeds cost pennies and you don’t need to be green fingered – get some vegetable or fruit seeds, pop them in a pot on your windowsill and grow something yummy.

#4 Cook a new recipe every week

Just one recipe, one meal a week – it doesn’t need to be complicated or lengthy – dust down your cook books, or get online for inspiration.

#5 Walk

Walk somewhere you would usually drive or take public transport to. Get off a stop early or park further away if you can’t replace the whole journey.

#6 Plant bulbs

Buy some bulbs (they’re cheap, and some newspapers give them away free at this time of year too!), dig them in (pot or garden), wait – and enjoy some spring/early summer colour!

#7 Say hello

A simple hello, a please, thank you, or even a smile at someone, in a shop, cafe, passing on the street – wherever – will brighten your day and theirs.

#8 Try something new every week

Anything new, doesn’t need to be big – a new food, a new activity, a new route to work, anything!

#9 Focus on others

Do something nice for someone every day/week – a simple compliment, helping a friend, or something bigger and potentially life changing like donating blood, sponsoring a child in need or volunteering.

#10 Celebrate you

Who says you need to change, anyway?! Perhaps you’re perfect the way you are: even with flaws. Maybe these are to be celebrated as unique aspects of you, so focus more on the things you like about yourself!

Happy New Year! Xx