For far too long the fitness industry, media and so-called experts have pumped out diet after diet, telling us we need to go to extremes to lose weight or be healthy. The number of clients over the years I have had who embrace disordered eating as a way of life is staggering. Despite all my best efforts to steer them away, their old belief system is hard to let go of.
Have a healthy approach to fat loss – rewrite your belief system when it comes to losing weight. It won’t be easy, but you may finally get the breakthrough you have been looking for, rid yourself of the guilt and start to feel more positive and free.
The need for cheat meals only increases your likelihood of binging. Labelling foods as bad or junk, again leads to negative emotions around eating them. We need to start redefining how we perceive food and work on having a healthy relationship with all food and being more realistic and sensible in our food choices.
You can do it
It’s hard work but there is a freedom that you get when you can eat in a healthy, normal way that removes guilt and shame. If you want to drop some weight, tighten the belt around your normal eating. Look at the things you enjoy and want to keep in your diet, then set boundaries around them and adjust your other meals to allow for it while still maintaining a calorie deficit.
It does require more planning, being diligent to stick to what you planned (as you still want to lose weight) but the result is enjoying your food more, not feeling bad about having a drink or takeaway meal and feeling less stress about the whole situation.
Start small, start where you’re at, take it one meal or day at a time.
It’s a learning process and you will make mistakes as you improve.
Give yourself permission to have things you enjoy.
Set boundaries to keep you on track.
Don’t listen to what friends and family are saying about how this diet is the best or that you are doing it wrong. (Who made them experts in the first place)
Speak to a qualified and experienced personal trainer or nutritionist for support
Take it one day at a time, and if you mess up, don’t feel bad, just do better for the next meal.
Remove the extreme beliefs and find a happy medium.
What works for you won’t work for everyone, that’s the beauty of being human and one of a kind.
After being overweight, losing weight and then spending 5 years in physique competitions my eating was very disordered. I took quite an extreme approach to look good and picked up some bad beliefs and habits about eating and nutrition along the way. It took me at least 2-3 years to regain normal eating habits and still to this day that old belief system rears its ugly head when I decide I want to drop a few kgs. Times have changed and I have a new more balanced way of looking at food, a new belief system, but the old one is still there, I just choose to ignore it as it only leads to stress, shame, guilt, and me being unhappy.
Disordered eating is rampant and socially accepted as normal from the person looking to lose weight to professional sports people.
There has been a shift to promote and educate us on eating a balanced diet to lose weight and stay healthy, looking to shift our beliefs on what is healthy eating or normal eating; however, we have yet to embrace these habits and still hold old beliefs about what you need to eat to lose weight and idea of health is often ignored.
We are led to believe by the media, books, friends, family, and so-called experts that we must eat all the junk in the house before we start our diet, it tells us carbs are bad, sugar is bad, fat is bad and eating chocolate or a biscuit or even a piece of fruit will set us back. We are told to cut out whole food groups, to try to exist on 800 kcals a day. We are told we must be perfect and abstain from the things we love. We are told bad food is a sin or a cheat, even if it’s healthy. No wonder we are all messed up and don’t know what is right or wrong.
What is Normal Eating?
It depends on who you speak to and how they normally eat. Everyone has a different view on normal eating which is shaped by our family, our culture, race, environment, and social influences to name a few.
So, let’s look at what normal eating is not… and some things may surprise you because they are just accepted as normal. They aren’t.
It’s not takeaways every day
It’s not extra-large meals
It’s not eating entire packets of crisps, a whole cake, a whole block of chocolate.
It’s not eating massive portions every meal
It’s not drinking daily.
It’s not eating so much we feel sick
It’s not eating so little we starve
It’s not eating so clean you’re boring
It’s not living off diet bars or powdered food devoid of any nutrition
It’s not being scared to eat fruit because of the sugar content.
It’s not taking your meals to a friends’ house because you’re keto
It’s not only eating low fat
It’s not only eating low carbs
It’s not only eating high protein
It’s not living on processed meals and snacks
It’s not eating gluten free because you think it’s healthier (unless you have a gluten intolerance)
It’s not avoiding going out for dinner because that one meal will make you fat.
It’s not eating like a child even though you’re an adult
It’s not tracking and weighing your food 52 weeks a year
It’s not eating to extremes
We must be sensible and find a way of eating that improves our health, helps us lose weight if that’s the goal and stops us feeling guilt, shame, and other negative emotions when we over-indulge.
Yes, if you want to lose weight you need to cut back in some areas, you have to be more attentive to what you eat, you have to re-evaluate and negotiate with yourself what you will and won’t eat. You have to sacrifice BUT you don’t have to demonise food, cut out whole food groups, never drink alcohol again, decide never to eat sugar again or carbs, or fats or sweets or chocolate. THAT’S NOT NORMAL.
Normal eating is not bingeing on the whole chocolate bar today, so you finish it to start your diet tomorrow – there is no difference between eating the whole chocolate bar over a week than eating the entire bar in a day, except for the fact that you labelled it as bad so felt the need to binge on it.
Normal eating is having days where you eat more and days where you eat less – you don’t have to stick to a set number of calories a day to lose weight. I like to look at calories over a week and eat to how I feel over that week. This may mean some days I eat less and save more calories for the weekend to allow me to eat more – without the guilt and shame.
Normal eating isn’t tracking your calories all the time, if you eat normally, you are less inclined to binge, and less inclined to over consume calories as again the guilt and shame is removed.
Normal eating is eating a wide range of fruit and veg, a variety of good quality fats. It includes eating all the food you enjoy without labelling it as good or bad. Its finding a balance that gives you the outcomes of fat loss and improving your health.
If you aren’t losing weight, adjust what you eat, decrease portions, cut back on a few of the finer things in life but you don’t have to cut them out altogether.
You can still enjoy food and lose weight, you must set your boundaries and stick to them – see how that goes, readjust, and keep going.
We are well underway into the new year, schools are in session, most of us are back to work dreading the packed trains and congested roads in the morning. Already nearing the halfway point for the first month, I’m sure many of you have come to realise that your new plant – based lifestyle isn’t as hard as you may have first thought. However, tackling those mischievous cravings for a simple yet so delightful cheese toastie could end in crumbs… So to help you march your way to the end of January here are our top tips for getting you there!
Planning + Preparation
Just like with the majority of things in life, having a plan and being prepared for what is to come will increase chances of success (By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail). So set a little time aside and figure out what you will be eating over the next week. Stock your fridge and cupboards so that you already have the ingredients to cook your meals. We all have those times in the day where we might be at home and start to feel peckish, so not quite hungry enough for a full meal but enough so that it bothers you to get up and look for something to eat. Having plenty of vegan friendly snacks available at home will stop you from giving in – The same goes for when you’re at work! Prep meals and bring vegan friendly snacks.
Focus On What You Can Eat
A great place to start when trying a vegan diet is to attempt replicating the foods you already love by substituting out what isn’t vegan friendly. Veganism, especially over the last few years, has gained a huge amount of popularity, making it easier than ever to find meat and dairy alternatives, allowing you to focus on the things you really enjoy about veganism and so block out your old cravings for foods like eggs, meat and dairy.
Do your Research
It’s important to educate yourself on the reasons for switching to a vegan lifestyle as it gives a real purpose for why you’ve decided to change. There are plenty of documentaries out there now, such as: ‘The Game Changers’, ‘What The Health’, ‘Cowspiracy’ and ‘Forks Over Knives’ all of which are on Netflix. However, remember that these shows have a bias (that may not be evidence based) so doing your own independent research is best, to decide of being vegan is for you, or just something you want to try more of in the future. Having a ‘why’ or a purposeful reason for doing something will reinforce your resolve, making your decision to be vegan more important than that cheese toastie you were craving.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to cooking, there’s just so much variety! Have fun experimenting with different recipes and explore cuisines you’ve never had. Keep it varied and make sure to include Carbohydrates, Fats and Proteins (The 3 macronutrients) as well as your Vitamins and Minerals (Micronutrients). Where there’s variety you will be sure to get all your needed Macro and Micronutrients. A few to be considered a concern when referring to a vegan diet are Protein, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin D and Vitamin B-12. However, there are vegan protein powders and multivitamin tablets that are widely available. Other sources of protein are soya, tofu, chickpeas, beans, nuts, seeds, lentils and quinoa. Variety in what you eat is so important as you want to consume as many nutrients as possible.
Let Bygones be Bygones
It’s alright if you make a mistake along the way so try not to dwell on it if you do! Substituting such a large proportion of your diet from foods you have been eating for years to foods you may have never eaten before is a drastic change in lifestyle, so you can’t expect it to go perfectly – especially if it’s your first try. The important thing is to not give up, keep going and try to do better next time. We believe in you!
Veganuary will be over before you know it, follow our top tips to survive the rest of the month and finish strong, Good Luck!
The push for us to eat less meat is growing, and many have opted for a plant-based life.
For some its ethical, for others it’s a way to spend less, for others it’s a belief that being a vegan or veggie is healthier.
BUT IS IT?
I think you need to do your research if you’re going to cut out all animal protein and opt for plants only. If you’re vegan and all you eat is fast food, highly processed fake meat, minimal veg and poor-quality fats then your health isn’t probably going to be great.
Not all veggie or vegan food is created equal, many of the foods can contain loads of preservatives, bad fats and fillers that can make you feel worse and aren’t good for your health (the same is true for all processed food products).
On the other hand, if you know what plant-based foods contain the proteins you need, if you eat a variety of fruit and veg, good quality fats and organic soy products you will probably be much healthier overall.
The same goes for meat eaters – eating meat won’t make you unhealthy but if your diet is highly processed, low in fruit and veg and quality fats then yes it can lead to that.
You can have the same healthy approach to nutrition whether you’re a meat or a plant eater. Eat real food, eat as much unprocessed food as possible and eat a variety.
I think you can be healthy eating meat or eating plants.
Food is your first medicine, the food choices you make today will have an impact on your health, skin, weight gain/loss, mood and energy levels. So be smart and nourish your body with quality over quantity.
Find a great cookbook, vegan or otherwise; and go shopping to make healthy meals not just for convenience.
Make a plan around what you want to eat; and keep it simple.
This post isn’t pro vegan or pro meat – it’s pro health.
Have a think about how healthy what you eat is?
Could it be better?
What changes do you need to make?
Are you switching to vegan just to be healthier?
Have you made a plan around how you will accomplish this without meat?
Don’t blindly do something without first doing some of your own research.
If you just ate 150 calories less a day you would be eating 1050kcals less a week
7700kcals = 1 kg of fat lost so in just over 7 weeks you could lose 1kg of fat (not 1kg scale weight) by making small changes that you won’t really notice. Provided that you are in a calorie deficit by making these changes, if not then you may need to increase the deficit.
Now I am looking at calories only not how healthy the food is – that is a blog for another time.
We make fat loss so complicated – all we need to do is look at what we really eat, not what we think we eat. Then look for ways you can decrease the calories by 50 each meal or a total of 150 a day.
You could pick a different deficit, but the point is I wanted to highlight how thinking smarter and making small changes may be all you need to do to lose weight over time.
I am not asking you to give up your social life just to think a bit more about the easy changes you can make that require minimal effort.
A SIDE NOTE
Just by adding 20000 steps a week you could burn 1000-1300 kcals a week (depending on height, weight, sex and intensity/speed)
That’s a 30 min walk a day.
No real effort just a commitment to make the time to do it.
You could also take walks at lunch or go for a longer walk on weekends, get off the bus or train 1 stop early or take the stairs at work.
Every little bit adds up to help you move closer to your goal.
Just the same as over eating a little bit adds up to weight gain over time.
The fat loss won’t be an overnight transformation but what you will notice is that you aren’t stressed about your food, you can go out socially and just lead a normal life without being on a diet 24/7.
Something to think about
HOW YOU CAN CUT 50 KCALS FROM YOUR DIET TODAY AND A FEW CALORIE SWAPS
Below are just some examples of what 50 calories looks like and some ideas on how you can reduce what you eat quite easily.
1 slice bread granary bread = 85 kcals and 2 tsp butter (10g) = 74 kcals – so cutting your bread with butter intake down by 1 slice a day would lead to you eating 160 kcals less a day.
Each serving below is 50kcals, we have also added a few alternatives so you can see the difference in calories compared to similar items so you can learn how to calorie swap.
If you want to reduce calories by as little as 50 kcal a day then the below portions are what you would need to cut out. Or if you simply swap to a lower calorie food you can cut them out that way.
What does 50 kcal look like?
Hagen Dazs – 25mls
Oppo (Choc and Hazlenut) – 63mls
Greek – 38g
Natural – 63g
0% Fat – 100g
Chicken Breast – 40g
Rump Steak – 34g
Prawns – 75g
Full fat – 60mls
Semi Skimmed – 100mls
Skimmed – 138mls
Brown Rice – 50g
Oats – 14g
Condiments can be a very slippery slope if we don’t portion accordingly – by reducing your current portion by the amounts below you cut our 50kcal for that meal – if you’re doing this 1-2 times a day it will add up in your favour.
Tomato sauce – 45mls (3 tbsp roughly)
Normal – 15g
Light – 22.5g
Full fat – 15ml (0.6 Tbsp)
Light – 19g
These are just a few examples of how you can cut calories by simply reducing portions or switching to a lower calorie choice.
There are more options but hopefully you get the point.
Don’t make fat loss complicated.
Don’t make it so difficult that you can’t succeed.
There is an easier way that will work for you, you just need to weigh up your options, make a decision and stick to it.
For more info on how we can help you finally succeed in your weight loss journey or about our 30 day trial, contact Lisa firstname.lastname@example.org
We have all been there, we train so hard to lose weight for our summer holiday and when we land all sense seems to go out the window.
We over indulge, we move less, we drink more and end up coming home more tanned but much bigger than the day we arrived.
Then we start to regret what we did a little; we lose motivation to train as the urgent goal you trained for was achieved. You go back to old habits and by Christmas you realise you are right back where you started 12 months ago.
It’s a viscous cycle that we see all the time and it can be hard to break the mould, change your habits and create new goals to see you through the rest of the year.
When it comes to your summer holiday –
I am not saying you have to eat clean.
I am not saying you have to keep dieting.
I am not saying you have to hit the gym 4 times a week.
I am not saying you can’t have a cocktail or 2.
I am not saying you can’t eat out and live a little.
Holidays are meant to be enjoyed!
What I am saying is that maybe you can do it different this year.
Do want to change your lifestyle and holiday habits, come home happy, healthy and still leaner than you normally would??
Do you want to come home rested, tanned and motivated to continue your health and fitness journey?
Some suggestions for you
If you are all inclusive – Don’t over-do it at breakfast or lunch. Stick to what you would normally eat and avoid a fry up every day.
Save your calories for the evening meal out and drinks – by eating less at breakfast and lunch you can afford to indulge more at night.
Go for a morning walk 30-60 mins – either before or after breakfast.
Go for an evening walk 30-60 mins – a great way to boost steps if you have been sitting by the pool or at the beach all day.
Do a 20-30 min training session – if you have a gym or any space a quick body weight workout can help keep you active, increase your total daily energy expenditure, and keep you motivated. See our holiday workouts on the Fitness Hub 21 YouTube page.
Be sensible – keep in mind how hard you worked to get where you are and make food choices that are smart but allow you to enjoy your holiday. E.g. do you really need ice cream and cocktails every day?
Set a goal for your health and fitness before you leave – So often we fail to set a goal post holiday around our exercise and health.
GOAL SETTING BEFORE AND AFTER YOUR HOLIDAY
Before you set off on your trip maybe you could set yourself a few goals for the holiday to keep you accountable and on track.
Goals such as
To be sensible while you are away – be mindful but still have a good time.
To train 3 times a week 20-30 min sessions.
To walk every day morning or evening.
To pick lower calorie alcohol options.
To save your calories for the evening meal.
KEEPING THE DREAM ALIVE
Before you leave can I suggest that you make some goals around your training for when you get back. The biggest thing I see post-holiday is members not returning to training and going back to their old habits. By Christmas they find themselves back where they started and wishing they had of stuck with it.
Health and fitness are a journey and while it is good to have more urgent goals like a wedding or a holiday; you have to see the bigger picture and start planning for where you want to be next summer.
The best way to set these goals is to find a place to train that makes fitness fun but effective. That has a great community of people just like you that you can share the journey with. A place that provides support and structure that allows you to improve and get the results you want.
So, enjoy your holiday, have fun, laugh a lot, don’t get too burnt and come back ready to continue what you started.
If you want to know more about how you can get started on our 30 day trial contact Lisa email@example.com
SIMPLE BUT EFFECTIVE WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR CALORIES TO HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT
Calorie swaps– take your normal snack, work out how many calories it is then replace it with something that is lower calorie.
Plan ahead with your meals– make extra dinner so that is lunch the next day.
Get your food delivered– If never having food in the house is an issue, then get it delivered.
Buy meals that you want to eat not just random items– Don’t just buy food but plan the meals you are going to eat and shop accordingly then you won’t be left with no food in the house and feel tempted to get takeaway.
Taking fruit to work or healthier snacks lower in calories– saying I won’t eat the cake in the office is hard, a way to combat this is to take a healthier option with you so that you don’t feel so left out.
Have a smaller breakfast, lunch or dinner– eating 100-200 kcals less in a meal adds up over time, helping to create a calorie deficit.
Eliminate a meal a day– skip lunch on a Sunday because you had a late breakfast.
Have smaller portions– just reduce the size of each meal across a day – if you took just 50 calories out of every meal x 3 = 150 kcals a day you not eating, times that by 5-7 days a week and you have cut out 750-1050kcals a week. A little each time adds up to a lot over the weeks and months. (give example of 50kcals – meat, rice, toast etc
Watch your fat portions(only as they have 9kcals per gram as opposed to 4kcal per gram with carbs and protein – 2 tsp butter = 90kcals, if you eat 2 slices of bread (give calories then have 2 tsp butter each slice that’s – work out the calories – maybe just have 1 slice or reduce the amount of butter (we all need fat in our diet but just be mindful of your intake)
Introduce lower carb days– If you are a heavy carb eater than maybe have 2-3 lower carb days a week – it’s not the lower carbs that make you lose weight but that fact that the thing you overeat the most is reduced for 2-3 days a week therefore you will be eating less calories. Make sure you increase your protein and veg intake on those days.
Vary fruits, vegetables, fats and protein sources to expose your body to as many nutrients as possible
LOW GI FRUIT – 2-3 X A DAY MAXIMUM
BREADS AND GRAINS – ELIMINATE WHERE POSSIBLE OR MAKE THE BEST CHOICES
Spelt or rye bread – for most its better to eat a couple of times a week
Brown, wild or red organic rice
Oats – soaked in water overnight and cooked in the morning
FATS – use a variety to provide the body with more nutrients
Organic cold pressed Coconut oil – (good for high heat)
Organic cold pressed olive oil – sainsburys do a good one
Organic cold pressed hemp seed oil – Sainsburys (keep in the fridge)
NUTS – SOAK IN WATER OVERNIGHT
VEGETABLES – NOT LIMITED TO THESE, EAT A WIDE VARIETY
Eat1.2-2g/kg a day, keep it varied and avoid any foods that bloats you or upsets your stomach
PROTEIN CHOICES – NOT LIMITED TO THESE, EAT A WIDE VARIETY
Gluten Free sausages
LISAS TOP 10 RULES
If you eat breakfast make sure its healthy – Lean protein, fruit and vegetables, maybe jumbo organic oats. E.g. 2 chicken thighs and 1 apple, 40g oats and 2 eggs, 2 egg omlette with mushrooms, tomato etc.
Eat 2-4 meals a day spaced out (whatever number you desire)
Eat a variety of vegetables, good fats and protein in each meal.
Favour real carbs like grains, vegetables and fruits over refined and processed carbs.
Eliminate or greatly reduce (1-2 times a week max) processed foods.
Eliminate completely trans fats or hydrogenated fats from your diet (they are found in most processed cakes, biscuits and bars etc).
Train 3-4 times a week (weights or intervals).
Have a permissive meal 1-2 times a week – provided you are eating well. It will keep you sane.
Work on ways to reduce stress levels – epsom salt baths, yoga, sauna etc
Be in bed by 1030-11pm every day (8hrs sleep)
For maximum health I aim to eat more vegetables and fruit, increase my protein intake and choose better choices of carbs to help fuel my workouts
8 HEALTHY HABITS TO LIVE BY
Plan your meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks)
Get good sleep (length, quality, routine)
Think positive thoughts about yourself and how you look – replace the bad thoughts with good ones
Say positive things to yourself – change your self talk, be grateful
Improve your digestion – increase knowledge of how to improve it and small steps we can make to improve it
Is your training where it should be – number of sessions a week, intensity, need to stretch, strengthen etc in order to be healthier and fitter
Drink enough water – are you drinking too much alcohol, tea or coffee
Have a social life and enjoy yourself – get a hobby, go out with friends, go for a walk etc