Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Walk the Walk

Tuesday Tip: Walk the Walk 🚶🏻‍♂️

As things get busy in the festive period it may get harder to get to the gym. But we can always walk right? 30 minutes of walking a day has been shown to help reduce stress, improve mood, increase bone density. Walking is a great way to maintain some activity when things get busy (think of all the waking you’ll do xmas shopping!). But how can you get the most from those walks to boost the calories burnt?

#1 Pace

Studies have found walkers who vary their pace burn 20% more calories than those who maintain a constant speed. So add some intervals – 1 min fast walking pace, 30 secs slower etc.

#2 Terrain

Walking on uneven or sloped terrain has been shown to raise calorie expenditure by 30% or more. Hills require more glute, hamstring and quad engagement – big muscles which increase calorie burn and uneven surfaces use more core muscles. So try to include hills or stairs, or even different surfaces like gravel, sand, grass etc.

#3 Arms

Yes you’re mostly using your legs but by using your arms too you can boost heart rate (and cal burn) by 10-15 %. Pump your arms as you walk, or try carrying things (doesn’t need to be actual weights – water bottles work well or maybe xmas shopping if not!).

#4 No phone

Get your nose out of your phone. Walking pace decreases significantly when you’re also on your phone. So put your phone away and don’t dawdle. It will also prevent you looking like an idiot when you walk in to something or someone!

#5 Don’t just walk

It doesn’t just have to be a walk – see if you can incorporate some other moves – lunges, squats, jump jacks, or if you don’t want to do that in public, why not get a bit of an extra workout in by going up stairs two at a time instead of one, or add a little jog, larger strides or walk along low walls (like we used to as a child) – maybe even a little hop-scotch – just have some fun!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Beating post workout hanger

Tuesday Tip: Beating post workout hanger 🍔

Working out in the morning is fab but if it’s leaving you so starving that you end up over-eating later in the day then here are some mistakes you may be making, and tips to help.

#1 Not eating before you workout

If you’re working out first thing your blood sugar and energy levels are low and you’ll be using stored glycogen to fuel you. So when you finish you will crave food (especially sugar). If you find you can’t control these cravings then try to have a 100-200 cal snack an hour before your workout e.g. apple and nut butter, greek yoghurt and fruit, half a protein smoothie etc.

#2: Too little sleep

Lack of sleep causes release of ghrelin which increases hunger. Studies have shown that losing just 80 mins sleep can increase calories consumed by 550 cals the next day. So if you’re getting up early to workout you have to make sure you’re in bed at the right time the night before.

#3: Too many carbs

You definitely need carbs after you workout but if you go for a very carb-heavy snack/meal you’re priming yourself to crave more sugary carbs later in the day. If you can withstand the cravings then have whatever you like, but if not then have something that’s got a balance of protein, fats and carbs e.g wholegrain porridge and fruits, greek yoghurt and fruits and nuts, toast with nut butter and banana .

#4: Too little water

It’s even easier to be dehydrated after a morning workout as you may well be dehydrated from the night too. Ensure you have a big glass of water when you wake up and ensure you drink plenty during your workout or after if you prefer,

#5: Too few cals

When you start the day well with a workout, it’s easy to get hooked up on wanting to stay in a massive calorie deficit. Whilst it shouldn’t be an excuse to pig out, equally you don’t want to be too restrictive as you’re likely to end up over eating later. Eat a normal balanced meal with protein, fats, carbs and fibre after your workout (be it brekkie or lunch).

Happy Tuesday 🤗

xx

Recipes

Delicious, healthy pud

This is one of my favourite puds. It’s creamy and sweet and perfect for combatting sugar cravings – especially after dinner. It’s also really quick and easy to prepare. If you have any stewed fruit this is also a great addition too!

Calories vary depending on what fruit you use but you’re looking at roughly 250 – 300 cals.

You will need:

Half a bowlful of mixed fruit – I like strawberries, raspberries and pineapple

A large dollop of greek yoghurt (or non dairy yoghurt) (approx 150g)

1 tsp peanut butter (15g)

Sprinkling of Rice Krispies or some seeds and nuts

Drizzle of maple syrup (or sweetener of choice) – if more sweetness required

Stewed fruit (optional)

Chop the fruit and pop in the bowl.

Add the dollop of greek yoghurt and drizzle the peanut butter over. If you’ve got any stewed fruit then add a dollop – I cooked up a batch of apple, red currant and blackberries which is great to add to desserts and porridge etc.

Sprinkle the rice krispies or nuts/seeds and if using then add the sweetener (I don’t think it really needs it to be honest!).

Enjoy!

🙂 xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Metabolism Myths

Tuesday Tip: Metabolism Myths 🌶

Social media is full of claims about things that will speed up your metabolism so you burn more calories but sadly most of these claims are false. Here are a few of the myths.

#1 Smaller frequent meals speed it up

Smaller, more frequent meals won’t do anything to your metabolism. Eating 6 small meals or 2 large ones really just comes down to preference. More small meals can lead you to overeat unless you’re being very careful with the portions. So, rather than measuring the size and frequency of your meals, pay attention to calories.

#2 Skipping meals slows it down

Skipping meals isn’t necessarily something I’d recommend but it won’t affect your metabolism. You’d need to be at a massive calorie deficit for considerable time to enter “starvation mode” and impact your metabolism. The issue with skipping meals is you are more likely to binge later, but if skipping a meal works for you and doesn’t make you eat more later then go for it.

#3 Caffeine speeds it up

Yes, caffeine does raise your metabolism, BUT crucially only for a short window of time. To get a significant effect on calorie burn you’d need to keep yourself caffeinated which causes poor sleep, heart issues, jitteriness. Caffeine is a diuretic (you pee more) which dehydrates you, which actually slows your metabolism! If you like a coffee, or need a bit of energy before a workout, then go for it, but don’t think it as a free pass to eat more!

#4 It’s fixed

Metabolic rate is affected by age, gender genetics, health, and muscle mass. More muscle = higher metabolic rate. So it’s important to do some resistance training. Cardio training also spikes your metabolism for a few hours afterwards. Aim for > 90 mins vigorous aerobic work (spin, attack, HIIT, running etc), and >2 strength training sessions a week.

#5 Chilli speeds it up

Chilli makes your food taste better, but it won’t give you much of a boost. The capsaicin in chilli peppers does very slightly increase your metabolism for a short while, but adding it to your food or taking pre-workouts/fat burners with it in won’t make you shed kgs I’m afraid.

Happy Tuesday 🤗

xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Put your positive pants on

Tuesday Tip: Put your positive pants on 🤗

Do you ever wake up feeling stressed about the day ahead. Stressing about the day before it’s even happened is very common but a a recent study has shown that starting your day this way can actually impact on your brain function and performance for the rest of the day

So waking up on the wrong side of bed isn’t just a saying. The study in the Journal of Gerontology found that the more participants anticipated a stressful day, the worse their brain function and memory was later in the day – whether the actual day turned out to be stressful or not. Our ability to anticipate and prepare for things – a critical survival feature humans have developed, can be great to help prepare for and even prevent certain events. But it can also be harmful to your brain function, memory, decision making and performance. This can in turn make you even more stressed. Not to mention the increased levels of stress hormones released as you anticipate the stress you expect to encounter that day. It has also been linked to increased calorie consumption and fat deposition around the belly (due to increased cortisol).

So what can you do about it? Well it’s time to put your positive pants on! The study also showed that taking some time out in the morning to focus on more positive thoughts, or 5 – 10 mins of meditation/mindfulness practices can dramatically reduce the anticipate stress of the day ahead.

So if you wake up expecting the day to be stressful that’s the time to try something simple like some deep breathing exercises before you start your day, or try to list 3 positive things about the day to come (no matter how small). Try setting an alarm on your phone to remind you to do these things so you don’t even have to remember to do it.

Put those positive pants on and improve your day!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: How to curb sugar cravings

Tuesday Tip: How to curb sugar cravings 🍬

Although as I said last week, sugar isn’t the devil, and won’t make you fat (excess cals do), those sugar cravings can still lead you to over eat. Sugar cravings can hit even when you’ve had a satisfying meal, so here are some foods to help curb those cravings.

#1 Fruit

Fresh fruit – specifically strawberries, raspberries, pineapples etc are a great option. They’re low cal, and contain fibre (unlike fruit juice) which slows the absorption of the fruit sugars. Have them with greek yoghurt after dinner for a creamy snack, or blend with a frozen banana for an ice cream like dessert!

# Almonds

Full of protein and fats, they not only fill you up but help to control blood sugar so can reduce cravings. They keep you fuller for longer meaning you’re less likely to have an energy slump and reach for the junk.

# Pumpkin seeds

Rich in magnesium, as well as protein, fibre and fats, these are a great option if you’re craving chocolate. Often chocolate cravings can be linked to lower magnesium levels. Toast them with cinnamon for a tasty snack.

# Greek yoghurt

Rich in protein and good fats – again this will keep you fuller. It can help to support your gut’s natural bacteria, as recent studies have shown some sugar cravings are linked to imbalanced gut microbiomes. Plus it feels like a treat as it’s creamy and decadent. Mix with berries for the win!

# Apples or celery with peanut butter

A combo of fibre in the celery or apple, and the protein and fat in the peanut butter make this a great option to help beat cravings. The apple sweetness will help too. Particularly good as a mid afternoon snack or before an evening workout.

So the perfect way to help those cravings is probably my current favourite dessert – a big bowl of berries and pineapple, a dollop of greek yoghurt, tsp of peanut butter and then a sprinkle of seeds and nuts (not too many mind!) – smooth, creamy, sweet and a little crunch from the nuts – perfect!

Try it and see what you think!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Sugar doesn’t make you fat

Tuesday Tip: Sugar doesn’t make you fat 🍪

Sugar has been vilified as the main cause of obesity, with people claiming it results in more fat storage than any other nutrient and that it alters your metabolism. This is simply not true. Sugar is a carbohydrate and on it’s own it contains 4 cals per gram, and no other nutrients or fibre etc that help keep you full. So it’s true that sugar won’t fill you up, and that of course could lead to excessive consumption of more sugar or other foods, but the same applies to any food. You may not feel full but you’re still making a conscious choice to eat more.

100g of sugar alone is 400 calories. However if you consumed 100g worth of sugar inside other foods (e.g. chocolate, fruit, bread, ice cream etc) then you’d be eating well over 1200 cals. Only 400 of those calories are sugar, the other 800 are non-sugar calories within food. Many high sugar foods are high in overall calories anyway – a cookie isn’t bad just because it’s “full of sugar”, it’s also the large amount of fat calories too.

A calorie surplus is what causes you to gain weight. It’s not the sugar in the food, it’s the total calories. The ratio of sugar to other nutrients does impact on food choice (you choose things because they taste good) and because those foods often leave you feeling less full you’re then likely to eat more too. But it isn’t the sugar causing you to gain weight. Eat too much of anything and you will put on fat. In fact a recent study of people who were assumed to be “naturally skinny” actually found that despite some of the participants living off sugary foods they were still lean – why? because they weren’t at a calorie surplus.

So yes, eating or drinking sugar can contribute to weight gain, and it can certainly make it harder to stick to a daily calorie goal, but this is in conjunction with a whole host of nutritional, behaviour and psychological variables that all affect how many TOTAL calories you consume. Sugar itself is not the devil it’s made out to be!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx