Tuesday Tip

Tuesday tip: Tips to stay on track

Tuesday tip: Tips to stay on track 🤗

Here are some tips beyond just changing what you eat and how much you move, to help stay on track.

#1 No distractions

Are you multitasking whilst eating – on the phone or watching tv? This affects our ability to control what we eat. So when you eat – just eat. Focus on how it tastes, savour the meal and take your time, rather than having your phone in one hand and a fork in the other.

# No good or bad

Foods aren’t good or bad. “Bad” foods aren’t going to kill you with a few bites, the problem is when we eat too much of them. Instead, think of foods you can eat a lot of, and those you can only eat a little of. Then fit foods you love in your overall plan. e.g. 1 scoop of ice cream with a bowl of fruit, rather than 4 scoops!

# Add don’t cut

Focusing on what to cut from our diets makes us feel deprived and likely to binge later. Instead focus on adding; add MORE veg, if you fill your plate half full of veg you’re far less likely to eat loads of other stuff.  Celebrate the things you can eat and all the exciting new foods or recipes you can add to your diet.

# Brush your teeth

An easy and effective habit to help the post-dinner snacking or any time of day. Brushing your teeth after you eat removes the taste of food, and acts as a cue that the meal is over, so you’re less likely to eat more.

# Track why

Tracking not only what, how much and when you eat, but also how you’re feeling can help identify any patterns or emotional eating that you may not be aware of. Just being aware of the fact you’re eating because you’re bored can help you stop yourself doing that. And you can look at the overall pattern and think of other ways to address those emotions, without food.

# What are you NOT willing to do

As well as setting goals for why we want to lose weight, it helps to be clear on what you’re not willing to do. e.g. “I’m not willing to be unable to play sports with my kids” – whatever it is, write it down. Then when motivation is failing re-read it and it will help you choose that lower calorie option, avoid the junk, go for your workout. It will help you make decisions that get you to that goal.

Happy Tuesday! 🤗

xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Find the Joy

Tuesday tip: Find the Joy 🤗

It might sound silly but one of the most important things about getting into a new fitness routine is making it fun! Here’s why:

#1 Overcoming fear

Fear is a massive obstacle for starting to get fit – fear of failure, fear of not keeping up, fear of judgement, fear of feeling out of shape while you do it, fear of getting sweaty. But the idea of having fun counters this. Find something that sounds more fun than scary. e.g. a colour 5k, or a disco light dance class with your mates, etc.

#2 Staying motivated

If you’re not enjoying it you’re far less likely to drag yourself to the gym on those dark, cold days. Fun will motivate you when things like “losing weight” or “getting fit” sound less appealing than sitting on the sofa in your pj’s watching TV. It gives you something to be excited about and look forward to. So find a workout than brings you joy.

# Staying consistent

Consistency is key so being excited about your workout (or at least an element of it!) is key to ensuring you keep going. Find that exercise that you really love, that makes you smile or laugh, that feels exciting. That way you’ll go back again and again, you won’t bail and you’ll even find yourself arranging things around it. That means you’ll keep doing it! It might be a class with your favourite instructor, or an early run with your friends, or a dance class with your partner…

# Opening up more fitness

It’s like a gateway drug lol! It lets you get comfortable with working out that may well lead on to other stuff. I never thought I’d end up doing what I do – but it’s the fun element of the classes I went to, and now teach, that opened up this world to me. Get comfy with workouts that feel fun, rather than a punishment.

# Likeminded people

Chances are if you’re there for the fun, so are others, and if they’re enjoying what you are then they’re likely to be people you will get on with. It’ a fab way of meeting people, or just finding a bunch of people to share that 45 mins of joy with.

Finding the right exercise can take some trial and error, but it’s so important to keep trying until you find that joy!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday tip: healthy habit change

Tuesday tip: healthy habit change 🤞🏻

Do you find yourself sat on the sofa after dinner halfway through a box of chocolates? You started off with great intentions, and then somewhere, something happened and you’ve mindlessly snacked your way to bed.

Behavioural habits are incredibly difficult to break, because they affect neural pathways in the brain, encouraging you to feed the habit and reinforce it. So how can we change these habits? A few simple interventions can help.

#1 Write it down

Make a note of the habit as it happens . Write down what the habit is, why you think you’re doing it and if you can then jot down an alternative. e.g. post dinner choc munching 8:30pm, craving something sweet, could get some better dessert options in to help e.g. strawberries and greek yoghurt

#2 Write it down EVERY single time

Don’t just write it down once – keep track of every time it happens. This ensures it’s at the front of your mind, making you more aware of it, and forced to take steps to deal with the habit and try to replace it with better thoughts and behaviour.

#3 Remove the trigger

Once you’ve identified the habit and when it’s happening you can start to remove the trigger e.g. don’t just sit down in front of the tv, try doing something else – a walk, adult colouring book, read etc

#4 improve the environment

A recent study showed that however good your intentions are they can be derailed by your surroundings. Keep the junk food out the house or out of sight, have healthy snacks on hand.

#5 set yourself up

Set yourself up for success – drink enough water, eat sensible sized balanced meals, pack good snacks, get plenty of sleep – follow a regular routine, schedule downtime, put devices away etc, remove junk food from the house. Finally get your friends and family on board – let them help you with the habits too by helping you recognise when you’re doing it, and help with alternatives.

Happy habit changing!

🤗 xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday tip: Turning fat in to muscle

Tuesday tip: Turning fat in to muscle 💪🏼

How do you turn fat in to muscle?

Sadly you can’t! Fat is fat, muscle is muscle – totally different types of tissue. Both can be lost or gained – that’s it. So what’s happening when people say this? Well in reality people are losing some fat, and gaining some muscle, which is why it may seem like fat has “turned into” muscle. Fat is lost when you have a calorie deficit, muscle is gained by having a calorie surplus, working out (a muscle building stimulus) and having the raw materials to do it – protein. In most cases if you’re losing weight you are mostly losing fat, though if you are also upping your exercise then there will be some increase in muscle too – which is one reason why weight loss is often not a perfectly linear process. This will work best for those with a reasonable amount of fat to lose, on a moderate calorie deficit i.e. no starvation diets, who also increase their activity. This is what I design for many of my clients. It means you’ll be losing fat and also gaining a little muscle too. As muscle is denser than fat you’ll also shrink (they weigh the same… muscle just takes up less space than fat).

So what about when you stop working out? Does muscle magically turn in to fat?

Nope! it can’t! What happens though is if it’s short term your muscles are just less “pumped” so you “feel” fatter. Longer term you simply lose some muscle and probably gain some fat. This is because when you remove the stimulus which tells your body to build/maintain muscle (i.e. strenuous physical activity) you will lose the muscle mass. You’ll also end up burning fewer calories both through less activity, but also less muscle mass means a lower bmr (basal metabolic rate – i.e. calories burnt at rest), and so you are more likely to end up in a calorie surplus and put on fat.

The only way to prevent muscle being lost long term is to continue to workout! But you can prevent fat being gained – simply by ensuring you don’t eat more than your maintenance level of calories (easier said than done – though not impossible!)

So bottom line – fat can never be turned into muscle, and muscle is never turned into fat!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Meal frequency and weight loss

Tuesday Tip: Meal frequency and weight loss 🥘🥗

There’s lots of confusion about meal frequency and weight loss: eat more often to lose weight, or eat less often to lose weight? Actually how much you eat matters more than how often you eat. If you want to lose fat the most important thing is to reduce your calorie intake.

Eating more small meals = faster metabolism = more weight loss?

Sadly not – yes digestion increases metabolic rate BUT it depends on the amount of cals, not how often you eat. Eating 1200 cals in one meal or 3 small meals makes no difference. Studies have shown that when total cals are controlled eating more or less often makes no difference. What it might do though is affect your ability to stick to those calories!

Skipping meals is bad? Scientifically it’s not, it won’t suddenly cause you to enter starvation mode and magically store fat – it all comes down to calories. What it may do is make you hungrier later or cause you to snack more or make bad choices, equally it could mean you don’t have the energy to workout and make you less active, burning less cals. So stick to what works for you.

Consider eating less often if:

⁃ many small meals doesn’t fit your lifestyle

⁃ you don’t want to think about food all the time

⁃ you have any digestive problems (longer breaks between meals gives your body a chance to digest)

– you enjoy larger portions

Consider eating more often if:

– you struggle not to snack and want to spread your cals over the day

– you’re trying to gain weight and can’t eat enough in one meal

– you have an active job and high cal demands

– you’re an athlete

– you feel “hangry” all the time

There’s no magic number of meals per day for weight loss. Trust yourself – if you like smaller meals more often then go for it, if not stick to 3 meals or whatever. Whichever you choose though? stick to it as studies show that meal irregularity can have negative health impacts – so whether it’s 2, 3, or 6 meals a day that’s fine. But don’t forget – regardless of how many meals you split it in to, it’s the total calories that matter!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Don’t Stress

Tuesday Tip: Don’t Stress 🤯

Stress – we all face it, but how does it affect our weight loss and how can we combat it? When stressed the amount of cortisol (stress hormone) increases, which can promote weight gain through increased appetite, and affect where body fat is stored (predominantly in the mid-section). It also causes your brain to choose foods that give instant energy – sugar, simple carbs, junk food etc. This is why it results in weight gain.

How to cope? If stress is a major issue for you then consult your Dr and consider a cortisol test (an easy blood or saliva based test to check your levels), but you can also minimise the impacts of stress with a few behavioural changes

#1 Remove the junk

Fill your cupboards with fresh food, grains and complex carbs e.g. oats, sweet potato, brown rice. These lessen the effects of cortisol on your appetite. When stress hits you’re less likely to mainline ice cream if you’re well fuelled, and if you don’t have it in the house it’s harder to eat!

#2 Exercise

One of the best scientifically proven ways to cope with stress; run, walk, cycle, do a workout – whatever works for you. If you’re stuck at work try to go for a quick walk if you can. It gives you time away from the stressful situation, and meets the body’s demand to “flee” when faced with stress burning off that energy the cortisol has caused to be released.

#3 B vits

B vitamins are vital to fuel brain cells, transport hormones around the body and provide energy. e.g B3 is linked to reduced stress, anxiety and depression due to it’s effect on blood flow and muscle tissue relaxation, and aids restful sleep. B6 reduces irritability through it’s synthesis of neurotransmitters that affect mood. Load up on whole grains, eggs, meat, legumes and dark leafy veg.

#4 Take it easy

Find time to de-stress, relax and take time out – just 15 mins a day has been shown to have a massive impact on stress levels – read a book, try some yoga, do a guided meditation (try the headspace app), deep breathing, have a bath, go for a gentle walk.

Happy Tuesday!🤗

xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Holiday health

Tuesday Tip: Holiday health 🌴

We’re well in to the holidays now and many of my clients and friends are off on their hols soon and worrying about maintaining their fitness whilst away, so here are a few tips for staying healthy while you’re away.

#1 No gym no prob

If you don’t have access to a gym or don’t want to spend your precious holiday time in one then no prob – take a resistance band with you and a skipping rope and you can do some cardio and resistance work wherever you are. 5 mins of skipping and a 5 – 10 min band workout is easily doable (crab walks, hip abductions, etc 2 – 3 sets of 10 -20 reps).

#2 Workout and sightsee

What better way to stay healthy and active and see the sights than combine the two. Take walking tours around the city, guided treks in the countryside, hire a bike or a kayak, take a snorkelling trip. They are a fun way to get out, get active and see new places and make the most of your hols.

#3 Pack snacks

Finding healthy foods at airports and on planes/ferries etc can be tricky, so come prepared. Pack some fruit for the plane/ferry – this will hydrate you as well. If you’re out on day trips from the hotel grab an extra apple or banana from brekkie and take that with you, or buy some local fruit and store it in your hotel mini fridge.

#4 De-stress

Emotional health is important too. Yes holidays are meant to be relaxing but they can bring their own stresses – especially if you’re herding small people around too! Try to take some time out to de-stress – try some yoga, meditation, even just a few mins of deep breathing will help.

#5 Try new things

What better time to try something new than when you’re away? If you’re at a hotel with outdoors activities give something new a go – paddle boarding, mountain biking, volley ball etc

#6 Get out and explore

Don’t obsess about not finding somewhere to workout – just get out, have fun, explore and enjoy your holiday and you’ll probably find you’re more active than you realise anyway!

Happy holidays 🤗

Xx