Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Lunchtime mistakes

Tuesday Tip: Lunchtime mistakes 🥪

Lunch is one of the meals I’m definitely worst at and many of my clients are the same. Here are some of the biggest lunchtime mistakes that can derail your weight loss journey 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 then there’s no excuse for not making a bit extra for lunch too. Obviously there are good options you can buy but if you’re finding yourself only buying junk, or have limited options, then take lunch instead. Save calories and money!

#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 eating. A recent study in the Journal of Nutrition and Diatetics found a direct relationship between faster eating and weigh 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.

Happy lunching! 🤗

xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Surviving lack of sleep

Tuesday Tip: Surviving lack of sleep 💤 We all suffer from bad night’s sleep from time to time. I’ve talked before about how to ensure you sleep better but here are some tips on how to cope when you just don’t get the sleep you need, without resorting to endless coffees!# 1 Stay hydratedDehydration makes you feel even more tired so start the day with a large glass of water (add a squeeze of lemon for extra freshness). Ensure you keep drinking plenty during the day. # 2 Cold showerTry contrast showers – alternating between hot and cold water stimulates your circulation. Also splash cold water on your face or use a cold damp cloth on your neck to give you a boost.# 3 Use Peppermint oilTry dabbing peppermint essential oil on your clothes, or on a little on a tissue and inhale the scent with a few deep breaths. If it’s in a skin-safe carrier then also rub some on your wrists and neck for an energy boost.# 4 MoveEven if you’re exhausted it’s important to move as much as you can. Walk or cycle to work, go for a walk at lunch, or just try 5 mins of exercises when you get up. Do something outside as the daylight blocks the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, preventing you feeling too drowsy.# 5 Eat rightIt’s tempting to reach for starchy carbs and sugar to get you through the day. Avoid these and instead grab some fresh fruit and protein rich foods (e.g nuts, yoghurt, chicken, fish etc). Avoid heavy meals that use lots of energy for digestion. You can also try chewing peppermint gum; a recent study found it significantly increased alertness.# 6 Power napIf you can take a mini nap at some point in the day it will really help to recharge your battery. Make sure it’s less than 20 mins though or you will end up feeling more tired than before. # 7 Mix it upWhen you’ve not had enough sleep you are likely to be less active and less productive the following day. So try to manage your day by focusing on activities that are “easier”and require less thought. Also try to do something different or mix up your routine to keep you alert. Try these tips the next time you’ve missed out on those zzzzzz’sHappy Tuesday! 🤗xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Satisfying Portions

Tuesday Tip: Satisfying Portions 🍲

Recent studies have shown that portion size is a major issue when it comes to weight gain (or lack of weight/ fat loss). So here are a few tips to curb your appetite but still feel satisfied?

#1 All the veg

Vegetables are not only low in calories, but filled with fibre and so great at filling you up. So try to make sure at least 50% of your plate is filled with veg: broccoli, green beans, asparagus etc are great, as are mushrooms, carrots, cucumber, salad etc. Also try snacking on carrot and cucumber while you’re preparing your meal to fill you up and stop you overeating.

#2 Clean eating can be dirty

Just because a food is touted as “clean” or a “superfood” doesn’t mean you have a free reign to eat as much as you like. Nuts and avocados are prime suspects here – yes they’re great for you, but the’re also full of fats (good fats) and calorie dense. So just be mindful of how much you’re eating of them.

#3 Have a treat

Don’t cut out the treats. Studies have shown that indulging in your favourite treats now and then can aid weight loss… IF you stick to measured portions and keep track of what you’re having. So if you fancy an ice cream – have it, just have a normal portion rather than the whole tub.

#4 Measure your food

Most of us aren’t as good as we think we are at judging weights and measures of food, so get those scales out and see how much you’re really eating. It’s also worth looking at the recommended portion sizes of foods from the manufacturers tosee if you’re eating a lot more than that.

#5 Eat enough

Whilst it’s important to keep portion sizes under control there is no point going for tiny portions and starving yourself. You may eat less at that meal but you’re likely to be so hungry that you overeat later, and will undo any calorie deficit you’ve built up that day (or week!). Eat enough to feel comfortably full, not stuffed and ensure you’re actually hungry before your meals – if you’re not then you’re definitely eating too much.

Happy Tuesday 🤗

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

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Are protein shakes necessary?

Tuesday Tip: Are protein shakes necessary? 🥤

Protein shakes – all the rage, essential gym kit eh? But are they really necessary?

Protein is definitely essential, especially for maintaining and building muscle, so i it helps with recovery and is also great at keeping you feeling full. But the reality is most people’s diet includes more than enough protein as it is. Average daily recommended intake is 55g for men and 45g for women’s (with heavy exercisers needing a bit more: 1.2 – 1.7g per kg body weight). It’s not hard to get that in your meals e.g. 1 egg: 6g, 1 chicken breast: 20g, 30g cheddar cheese: 7.5g, 1 serving cooked beef mince: 18g, 1/2 pot cottage cheese: 18g, 1 tin of tuna: 25g, 1 serving Greek yogurt: 18g etc. So it’s pretty easy for most people to eat the required amount, with no shakes or powders required.

Of course, the issue comes when you factor in timing. In an ideal world you want to get some protein in within 30 mins of a strenuous workout. So that could be a reason to grab a shake… but you could save some pennies and instead go for something simple like a glass of milk (dairy milk contains 8g protein, soya milk contains 7g), or one of the best post-workout recovery drinks – chocolate milk (perfect carbs: protein ratio).

Aside from saving money you will also be protecting your health. Recent research shows that too much protein in the diet can increase your risk of osteoporosis amongst other health issues. Plus if you’re already eating a good diet then all you’re doing is taking on extra calories you don’t need – which could stall your weight loss attempts. They’re also not ideal as a meal replacement – unless you combine them with other ingredients. For example as an on the go brekkie option they’re great – when combined in a smoothie with banana, milk, etc to give you a range of nutrients and a good balance of carbs too.

So if you’re eating a balanced diet, and working out at a normal level (i.e. not an Olympic athlete!), then don’t stress about protein shakes as they’re really not necessary at all! Save your pennies!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Easy calorie cuts

Tuesday Tip: Easy calorie cuts 🍽

Trying to lose some fat? Cutting just 100 – 200 calories a day can help you drop those pounds. Here are some easy ways to cut a few calories.

# Ditch the soft drinks

Switch to water, calorie free squash or zero calorie soft drinks – cutting just one soft drink a day at roughly 140 cals is over 50,000 cals over the year!

# Go naked

Not you, your burger, sandwich etc. Ditch the bread and do yourself a favour by cutting about 150 cals. Have an open sandwich instead or a salad, or use portobello mushrooms for burger buns etc.

# Drink before you eat

Have a big glass of water before you eat. Studies have shown this results in a 13% reduction in calorie intake.

# Switch to cauliflower rice

There is nothing wrong with rice or any other ‘carbs’ so I’m not suggesting you cut them completely but a switch to cauliflower rice now and then is an easy switch to reduce cals. It’s tasty too and will save you approx 160 cals.

# Go black

Try ditching the milk in your coffee or tea – or at least switch to skimmed milk or a low cal non dairy alternative (e.g oat milk). We forget all the extra calories from those dashes of milk in our coffee and they can soon add up!

# Be careful with condiments

Lots of condiments are calorie heavy – mayonnaise and sugary things like ketchup and bbq sauce can easily add in sneaky extra cals. Mustard on the other hand has almost no cals, so try making the swap or go for vinegar, salt and pepper to spice things up.

# Chew the cud

Taking longer over your food helps the body realise it’s fuller sooner, which tends to reduce over eating and means fewer calories are consumed. Studies have shown that individuals reduced their calorie intake by an average of 88 – 100 calories when eating slower. That may not sound much but over a year that can add up to over 95,000 cals! Try to take at least 20 mins over your meals.

Try these tips and see how you get on!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Always hungry?

Tuesday Tip: Always hungry? 🍔

Is hunger sabotaging your weight loss attempts? Here are a few reasons why and ideas to help you manage it

#1 thirst

The hypothalamus regulates both hunger and thirst. When you are dehydrated, it sends the same signals as hunger so make sure you’re drinking lots and when you start to feel hungry drink some water first before eating.

#2 Too much last night

If you ate too much the night before you will wake up hungry again. This is due to the impact on blood sugar and insulin levels, and because your stomach will be stretched and “expecting” a greater food volume making you hungry.

#3 Cutting calories

If you’ve just started reducing your calories by 300 or more cals a day then of course you will feel hungry. It’s a good thing. Try to ensure you fill up with lots of fibre (e.g broccoli) and protein to help you stay fuller for longer or have frequent but smaller meals.

#4 Food porn

If you’re spending hours scrolling through posts of delicious food then it’s no wonder you’re hungry. Recent studies show that the mere sight of food increases ghrelin levels (hunger hormone) making you hungrier.

# Not enough sleep

Sleep deprivation reduces levels of leptin (hunger suppressing hormone) and increases ghrelin – making you eat more. This is why lack of sleep is often associated with weight gain.

#7 Skipping meals

Racing to work skipping brekkie, or working through lunch means by the afternoon you’re so hungry you’re likely to over eat. There is only one solution: eat regularly! Aim for 3 main meals and 1-2 snacks a day to keep your hunger in check.

#8 Bored

Ask yourself if you are hungry for an apple or a handful of nuts – if the answer is no – you’re not hungry. Find a distraction – work out, go for a walk, read a book etc.

#9 Eating too fast

If you’re eating too fast  your stomach can’t keep up and still sends hunger signals, meaning you will eat more. Slow down, chew properly and spent at least 20 mins on your meals.

#10  Eating too little

ok finally – if none of that applies you could be eating too little…but if you’re not losing weight then this option is probably the least likely I’m afraid!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx