Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Weekday restriction = weekend overeating

Weekday restriction = weekend overeating🍕

This is an extremely common pattern I see – being overly restrictive during the week and then overeating at the weekends. It’s tempting to go for lower calories during the week so you can ‘relax’ at the weekend. There’s nothing wrong with this and it is a strategy I employ with some clients, so sometimes this CAN work, but it rather depends how much you restrict and relax!

For example, let’s say you have a cal goal of 1800 cals. So Monday to Thursday you go extra low and only eat 1500 cals. By Friday you’re feeling deprived and craving the foods you’ve avoided, and then Saturday and Sunday you totally “relax” and have a few “treats”, because it’s the weekend right? You’ve been good all week so it’s fine… Things like two weekend breakfasts, a pizza, a few glasses of wine, some crisps, Sunday evening ice cream and chocolate etc are easily well over 1500 extra calories and take you to 14,750 calories for the week

That makes a daily average of 2100 cals and is why you won’t be losing fat. These sort of weekend ‘treats’ aren’t crazy or particularly over indulgent. I’m sure we’ve all had weekends like that right? But if you’re overly restrictive during the week you’ll find it even harder to restrain yourself over the weekend.

Now I’m definitely not suggesting you don’t enjoy some of these foods from time to time, but if you really want to lose fat then its worth getting away from the idea of restricting during the week and ‘relaxing’ at the weekends. Have the things you enjoy but in moderation and within your overall weekly calorie target – all week.

Choose a sensible calorie goal that you can include some treats in and stick to it every day – being overly restrictive during the week rarely works and almost always results in over eating at the weekends.

If you do have events or meals out to plan for at the weekends you can still reduce your weekday calories a little to give you a buffer for the weekend but only aim to save 100-150 cals per day max. Also try going for smaller options of the weekend treats, a small bar of chocolate, a single portion bag of crisps, low cal ice cream etc. Pick one meal you want to let your hair down with rather than the entire weekend and keep tracking over the weekend so you can see where the extra cals are creeping in.



Nutrition and Calorie Tips

It’s ok, I’ve had a healthy snack…

It’s ok, I’ve had a healthy snack… 😇

When you’re trying to lose fat it’s natural to try to avoid ‘junk’ food or foods high in sugar and fat. And for many people succumbing to that craving for something like a Krispy kreme doughnut is then considered a failure, accompanied by feelings of guilt and shame. But had they had the fruit and nut snack pot they’d have been feeling virtuous and like they’d stayed on track.

In reality in terms of calories, sugar and fat the ‘healthy’ snack is actually worse! Yes the snack pot has a little more protein (which can help you feel fuller for longer), and more micronutrients, so it is a slightly more balanced snack, but that doesn’t mean the doughnut is necessarily a bad option.

Overall calories and overall nutrition are what count – and if you’re trying to lose fat you need to be in a calorie deficit – in that scenario the doughnut is a better option. Especially if you’re eating a balanced diet and getting protein and the other nutrients in your other meals.

Emotional well being is also important and depriving yourself of foods you enjoy and instead choosing the graze box under the misguided impression that it’s a healthier option or because it’s marketed as ‘protein’ isn’t good for long term sustainability or a healthy approach to food.

Personally I’d choose both on different days – and I’d include them in my calories. The fruit and nuts are brilliant and do make a great snack option (as long as you’re aware of the calories) but sometimes if you’re dying for a doughnut then just have the goddamned doughnut! And enjoy it! 🍩🤗

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

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Just a few festive nibbles…’

Just a few festive nibbles…’ 🥤

At this time of year there tend to be treats out all over the place – boxes of open chocolates at the office, at home, in shops, mini mince pies out in the tea room, crisps at home etc. It’s certainly a time when we should relax a little enjoy some of these foods we like but so often it becomes mindless snacking just for the sake of it. You grab a lindor ball as you walk through to the kitchen, where you idly shove a few crisps in your mouth, before popping a celebration in as you head back to the living room.. Sound familiar? You probably won’t even remember you’ve had them! And you almost certainly won’t attribute excess calories to these little nibbles here and there.

But as you can see – it’s quite easy to consume more than a substantial meal’s worth of calories in ‘just a few nibbles’ . The meal pictured is a Zizzi dish of ravioli – not a specifically low calorie meal. It comes in at under 500 cals. The nibbles – 5 celebrations chocolates (337 cals), 2 lindor balls (146 cals), mini mince pie (114 cals) and some crisps (30g Kettle chips) – are a hefty 751 cals – and you’d probably still go and have dinner as well….

So whilst I definitely wouldn’t suggest you avoid all the festive snacks, it might be worth just being a little bit mindful of them. If you want them – have them and actually enjoy eating them, rather than just popping them in your mouth without a thought. Be aware of the calories so you’re making an educated choice!

Merry Christmas 🎄


Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Tips for Festive Socialising

Tuesday Tip: Tips for Festive Socialising 🥂

This festive season there’s bound to be lots of socialising and If you’re trying to lose fat/weight it can be a challenge to keep things under control. Here are some tips to help reduce those extra cals.

#1 Be realistic

Saying “I’m not going to have any alcohol / desserts at all” isn’t realistic, but perhaps “I’m not going to drink at every Christmas party” might be more doable?

Decide which events are worth relaxing a bit for. One event a week is a good target,  so choose the special events and then don’t worry about them, just relax and enjoy having whatever you want to have that day/night.

# Make a plan

If you’ve decided which events to relax at that means there are some events where you will want to be more careful. So you need a plan. First thing to remember is the reason you’re there is to share time with people in your life. Focus on the people and the activities rather than the food and drinks. Ensuring you’ve had something to eat before going to drinks events, or have dinner plans in place for afterwards. If it’s a dinner then just try to make the best possible choices, fill up with veggies and get some protein in, and drink lots of water. Stick to lighter beers, prosecco, white wines, clear spirits with low cal mixers etc and avoid sugar-laden cocktails.

# Plan for problems

Try to think about the possible obstacles in advance. Are buffets your weakness? Are canapes / nibbles your weak point? Have some alternative plans in place; for buffets commit yourself to one plate of satisfying food only. Make a decision before you go not to dip in to the nibbles and ensure you’re not too hungry when you arrive so you’re not starving when they come round. Making an active decision before you even get there will help you to resist them more easily.

You have to be realistic about the situations you’re facing. There’s no point planning on just eating carrot sticks all evening, you will fail, no question. So be smart about your strategy and honest about what you can manage. If you have a friend going with you share your plan with them, they might be keen to help you and give you some moral support – it’s a lot easier to say no to those canapes when you’re both refusing them.

Happy Tuesday 🤗