Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Back to the Gym

Tuesday Tip: Back to the Gym 🏋🏼‍♂️

I shared this back in July and never thought I’d have to share it again! But after months of lockdown walks, home workouts, online classes etc the gyms are finally open again and many people are keen to return. Here are some tips for returning

# Familiarise yourself

Measures such as one way systems, time limits, reduced capacity, lack of changing rooms etc will be in place. Read the gym’s info and check their rules – that will help reduce anxiety about returning. Remember this is challenging for staff too so be understanding of that too.

# Plan your workout

With limited time in the gym it’s important to plan your workout. Your body’s ability to handle a high volume of training will have decreased, so aim for whole body workouts rather than targeting specific muscles etc. Let your body acclimatise with lower weights and reps etc. Be sure to warm up and include recovery time. Having just got back to the gym you don’t want to get injured and be out of action again!

# Book

You will need to book for many activities so plan in advance. With capacities reduced that also means you need to cancel if you can’t make it and if you’re on a waitlist then it’s your responsibility to check that waitlist and either be prepared to come and hope you get in, or cancel off the list so others have the chance.

# Do what you enjoy

After months away, you may find that your motivation is flagging so pick something you enjoy!

# Expect some soreness

You may be sore after your return. That’s normal; delayed onset muscle soreness is a natural response to using your muscles in diff ways. It usually occurs 1-3 days after the workout. The best advice is to keep active; walk, swim, do a diff style class, but keep the muscles moving.

# Hydrate

When you go back to the gym your body will need more hydration than usual. Most gyms will require you to bring your own water bottle as fountains will be out of use.

# Look after yourself

How you take care of yourself during downtime can have a significant impact on your exercise regime. Stay hydrated, eat well, don’t rely on coffee and sugar to get you though, and try to prioritise sleep.

Have fun!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: why you’re not losing fat

Tuesday Tip: why you’re not losing fat 😆

Sometimes we feel like we’re doing everything right but we just don’t seem to be losing fat. In my experience it comes down to 4 main reasons.

# You’re not aware of what you eat

Are you tracking your food? If not then how do you know if you are over eating or not? Studies show that people underestimate the number of cals they think they’re eating. Easy solution – track what you eat, weigh your portions, add up those calories.

# You’re less active than you think

Studies also show we usually over estimate cals burnt and how active we are. Even if you’re working out every day you may not be as active as you think if you spend the rest of the day sat down. NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) is vital – it’s the cals burnt through every day life (fidgeting, walking, cleaning, etc). If this is low then you’re probably not as active as you think you are. The solution – get an activity tracker and measure your steps to see how active you actually are. Also don’t be tempted to eat those calories back – even the trackers over estimate the cals burnt, so treat them as bonus cals rather than something to eat back.

# You’re sleeping badly and/or stressed

Lack of sleep and stress in themselves won’t make you gain weight, but they impact on your cal requirement, energy levels, hormone production, and ability to make good choices. If you’re tired you’re likely to crave sugar etc. So get to bed in good time, turn off your devices etc, try to reduce stress, look for alternative ways to cope (adult colouring books, have a bath, walk etc).

# You’re not consistent

Consistency is key. It’s not about perfection, there will always be blips etc. Being 100% only 40% of the time won’t get you results, but being 80% compliant 100% of the time will. You may have the odd bad meal etc but if you don’t let it derail you you’ll get to your goal. e.g. if you end up having a pizza as there’s no low cal options you could write off the whole day and over eat, or you could enjoy a slice of pizza, and eat normally the next day…Focus on nutrition, be as consistent as you can, track and stick to the plan whenever you can.

Happy Tuesday 🤗 xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Booze 101

Tuesday Tip: Booze 101 🍸

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.

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Attentive Eating

Tuesday Tip: Attentive Eating 😋

Although calories are the overall determinant of weight loss/gain there are many factors which influence how likely you are to stick to your calories. One such issue is distracted eating. Distracted eating is becoming increasingly common due to today’s increasing reliance on electronic devices etc. Attentive eating is essentially removing distractions whilst eating, and monitoring the true amount of food being consumed. This allows you to more accurately remember how much you’ve already eaten which can help reduce over eating for the rest of the day. It helps you to focus on what you actually need food-wise , rather than relying on external cues like plate size, packet size etc.

A recent review of 10 studies showed a significant increase in the amount of food consumed when distracted e.g. by TV, mobile phones etc. I’m sure we’re all aware of times when we’ve been focused on our phones or the TV and not even noticed the plate of food we’ve just inhaled! The studies also showed that there was also an impact on meals later in the day. So those who were distracted would then go on to eat more in subsequent meals. This is related to the working memory of what you’ve eaten. If you’re distracted then the memory of what you’ve eaten is distorted (you remember eating less than you did which results in eating more later). A simple study tested this by asking participants to recall what they’d eaten in their last meal before eating an afternoon snack. Recalling previous meals led to participants eating less, compared to those that recalled non-food related memories.

So what does this mean for us? Distraction definitely increases the amount of food consumed both at that time, and later on in the day, and impacts on your memory of what you’ve already eaten that day. So removing visual distractions and eating attentively will help reduce the chance of over eating. Actively considering what you’ve already eaten that day before you eat the next snack/meal also helps. In terms of the practicalities of doing this this is yet another reason why tracking your food can really help you to stick to your calorie goal.

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Protein isn’t magic

Tuesday Tip: Protein isn’t magic 🔮

I talked about carbs last week – the devil food 😉 so now I thought I’d touch on the supposed super star – protein. Eat more protein and you’ll lose weight – right? That’s the rhetoric out there isn’t it? Well I’m sorry but protein isn’t magic – I wish it was, but it just isn’t!

The idea that eating more protein will magically alter the laws of thermodynamics and make you lose weight regardless of how much you eat is just silly. There is a basic law of physics at play here – to lower fat content of the body (i.e. to lose weight), you have to reduce the calories consumed, or increase the calories burned – where these calories come from makes no actual difference. In fact it’s been clearly disproved in many studies. In one study from Columbia University they fed participants liquid meals of fixed calories, some with vastly more protein, some with more carbs, some with more fat – but all contained the exact calories required for the participants to maintain their weight. Guess what – they all maintained their weight… even those eating more protein…

Now that’s not to say protein isn’t super important and a useful factor to consider though. There’s no denying that higher protein foods tend to keep you fuller and more satisfied for longer (especially when combined with fats), and as I’ve mentioned before there is a small increase in the calories used to digest protein (very small and not enough to really influence overall weight loss), it’s also full of vital amino acids for muscle repair and building. If you’re a body builder and looking to put on large quantities of muscle in a short time then yes def prioritise protein (but you’ll be over eating anyway as your goal is muscle gain… not weight loss). If you struggle to stick to your calories because you’re always hungry then yes definitely consider upping your protein and fats a bit in your meals – but not at the complete sacrifice of carbs (otherwise you will crash and burn).

So there it is – yes protein is great, but no it isn’t magic! So no need to fret over it too much!

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx