Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Don’t weigh yourself daily

Tuesday Tip: Don’t weigh yourself daily 🤗

I tell clients not to weigh themselves too often, or worry about short-term weight fluctuations, but why? Your body is 60% water and it’s one of the first things you lose (or gain). Fat mass can’t change overnight so being 1-2kg heavier in a day won’t be fat. Average water loss/gain over 24hrs ranges from 0.5 – 2.5 kg. To lose a 1/2 kg fat in a day you’d need to burn approx 4,500 cals; a massive extra calorie burn for one day! Water however is lost (and gained) due to:

#1 Low-carb diets – when you cut carbs you lose water as the body uses glycogen for energy. It’s stored with water so using it releases water which you pee out.

#2 Increased protein – Protein breakdown creates urea and nitrogenous waste which need water to be removed from the body – the water flushes them out, so more water is lost.

#3 Salt – If your diet is high salt your body will retain water to dilute the excess sodium e.g. a particularly carb heavy, high salt meal will lead to greater water retention. In addition high salt results in high blood pressure which long term can cause cardiovascular damage.

#4 Caffeine – is a mild diuretic i.e causes water loss and increased urination. This is more pronounced if new to caffeine. If you regularly drink it the effect will be small, but a very heavy coffee day could impact your water weight.

#5 Alcohol – this prevents the release of vasopressin, a pituitary hormone that regulates water loss. Water loss (dehydration) is a side effect of alcohol (hence the hangover) so this will reduce your water weight too.

#6 Exercise – if you exercise intensely, or in hot weather, you will sweat more and lose water. Try it – weigh yourself pre and post a really intense session and see how much water you’ve lost.

So it’s normal for water-weight to fluctuate which is why weighing daily or multiple times a day is pointless (and leads to unnecessary upset). Long term weight changes result from changes in fat and lean muscle so if you’re seeing big losses in only a day or so then you know it’s water loss, and if you wake up a few kg’s heavier than the day before you know that’s not fat either!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Low carb diets aren’t magic

Tuesday Tip: Low carb diets aren’t magic 🌟

Low carb (or keto) diets are ALL the rage, and for some people they do seem to work….but not because they magically make you burn fat. Here’s what actually happens

#1 A reduced carb intake leads to almost immediate loss of water weight, hence sudden drops in weight at the start. It’s not fat. It will come back once you eat carbs again.

#2 They involve eating more protein, which is important for hunger control. So you’ll feel fuller and eat less calories overall, and be in calorie deficit. Calories, not carbs, dictate fat loss and gain.

#3 Protein also plays a vital role in muscle preservation, and has the highest thermic effect of any nutrient (i.e. takes the most cals to metabolise). So you’ll be burning slightly more cals each day, contributing to the deficit.

#4 They also mean more veggies. These are high in fibre and water making you feel fuller, slowing digestion and less likely to eat as many cals.

#5 More fats are also consumed, another key for staying fuller for longer and slowing digestion. So once again you’re far more likely eat less.

#6 They revolve around reducing the amount of carbs; the biggest portion of people’s diets. AND most calorie dense junk foods are carb-based so you’d be cutting those out. When you remove a food group you’re removing calories too, so you end up in a deficit.

SO how do these diets work? By getting you to do things that lead to consuming fewer calories, whilst telling you it’s nothing to do with calories and all about magic low carbs….

Does this mean you should do it? If it works for you then sure! Do I think it’s sustainable? Nope. Avoidance of food groups creates a poor relationship with food leading to binges or blow outs. It can also lead to fatigue, health risks of increased fat intake, regaining water weight when you go back to carbs, etc and of course it will only work if you have a high refined carb-based diet anyway.

My advice – everything in moderation. We need carbs as much as we need protein and fat. If you want a long term sustainable diet then just focus on reducing overall calories by whatever means works for your lifestyle.

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday tip: Not so healthy health foods

Tuesday tip: Not so healthy health foods 🥗

With so many “healthy” foods out there, deciding what foods are healthy and low calorie can be a minefield. Here are a few prime suspects which are not as low cal as people imagine.

# Granola

it’s full of fab foods like oats, nuts, dried fruit etc but is also very high in sugar, and calories. Portion sizes are vital here; try weighing the amount you have to check if you’re actually over doing the calories on this one. Or make your own, but that doesn’t automatically make it healthy either!

# Energy/Protein bars

A great snack option but in terms of calories they’re usually no better (and often worse) than a choc bar, BUT they are a better choice to keep you fuller for longer. Just don’t assume that if it’s called a protein bar that its a free pass to eat loads.

# Nut butters

A great source of fats and proteins, BUT that comes at a cost; they’re calorie dense. They are also loaded with extra fat and sugar too. Check the labels, monitor the amount you’re having (I suggest actually weighing it).

# Smoothies

Fruit only ones are high in sugar, and low in fibre and protein, so won’t keep you full. If you’re gonna have one then have it as a meal, not with it, and ensure it’s got protein and fats in too and go easy on the fruit.

# Gluten-free/ dairy-free

Sorry but despite what people think this doesn’t make food healthy, again these options can be higher cal. Only go for these options if you need to (coeliac/lactose intolerance), not just because you think it will be lower calorie.

# Salad dressings

We often forget that they’re actually far more calorific than we realise and high in sugars and fats. Make your own with a little olive oil, dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar, and include it in your calorie estimates.

# Vegetable Crisps

If you’re eating veggie crisps because you think they’re healthier than potato crisps you’re out of luck. If you like them – eat them, but otherwise stick to your favourite crisps if you’re going to have any! Better yet stick to real vegetables with your dips instead!

So make sure you read those labels guys, and don’t be sucked in by the hype!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday tip: How long to give a new plan?

Tuesday tip: How long to give a new plan? 📝

So you’re on a new health plan but how long should you keep on it if you’re not seeing the results you want? It differs for everyone, but there are some things that can help you decide.

# 1 Realistic?

Is your goal realistic? Losing 20kg in a month, or running a marathon in 3 weeks when you’ve never run 5k, are not realistic and likely to leave you feeling frustrated and ready to give up when you don’t manage it. Take a good look at your goal and make sure it’s doable. If you’re not sure then chat to an expert about it.

# 2 Are you sticking to it?

You may feel like you’re working really hard but are you sure you’re sticking to it? This isn’t about self-blame, but finding solutions e.g. are you logging your food accurately; weighing food, checking portions, tracking workouts etc. Then look at the issues; if stress or lack of time is causing you to de-rail then focus on strategies to de-stress, or time-saving hacks, rather than just feeling guilty and vowing to “try again tomorrow”.

# 3 Measuring

Often we think we aren’t getting results because we’re only focused on weight, but changing body composition may mean your weight changes less than you expect (due to increased muscle and fat loss). Try other means of measuring progress: tape measure, photos, using clothes etc. I always use measurements with clients, rather than weight, as the main focus.

#4 Tweaks

If you feel like you’ve stalled it doesn’t mean the plan isn’t working, you may just need to make some tweaks, especially if body composition has changed, or you’re getting fitter (burning less cals). Maybe you need to recalculate your daily calorie goal? or need to change your exercise routine?

#5 Enjoyment

Are you still enjoying it? You want this to last beyond your goal right? So experiment, have fun, keep trying new stuff and keep it fun. Enjoyment will keep you going – find food and activities you enjoy! If you loathe every second then yeah it’s time to change!

In general give any new plan up to 3 months and if you’re not seeing results and genuinely sticking to it, then try something that’s better suited to you and your goals.

Happy Tuesday 🤗

xx

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