Healthy Eating is a meal plan for LIFE!

Healthy Eating is a meal plan for LIFE!

I really cannot stress this enough! – If you eat good stuff, then your body will do good stuff!

Forget about all the latest diet trends right now.  Yes they will help you lose weight fast BUT unless it’s something you’re going to be able to continue for the rest of your life day in day out, it’s inevitable that at some point you’re going to put the weight back on again.  Adopting permanent HEALTHY eating habits will not only drastically improve your health but can also help with permanent weight loss too.

Whichever diet you’re following – cutting carbs, drinking shakes, or eating in an 8 hour time slot, they all equate to exactly the same thing – CALORIE DEFICIT.  Weight-loss happens when your body is in Calorie deficit – e.g. You eat less calories than you use.  However, to achieve HEALTHY WEIGHT-LOSS, it’s not just the calories you have to think about.  You may lose weight eating 1300 calories of chocolate a day BUT you wouldn’t get any of the health benefits and nutritional value of real wholesome food.  So, if you’re counting your calories you need to educate yourself too.  So read the nutritional labels and see what the calories are made up of.

Is what you’re eating actually NUTRITIOUS?

Food is fuel to your body and if you fill it with rubbish, you can’t expect it to do great things!  Go for real Wholefoods that will give you the correct nutrition and nourish your body.  As for meal replacements and supplements – they may contain all the vitamins, minerals and macro’s (product advertising words, not mine!) of a balanced diet, but they’ll never compare to real food.  Also, there’s nothing magical about a protein shake either , it is what it is – a source of protein, just like chicken, eggs and fish etc.  They’re great for convenience, but unless you plan on drinking protein shakes instead of eating a proper meal for the rest of your life, you’re never going to re-train yourself to adopt healthy eating habits by using them.

Top Tips for eating a Healthy Diet

Eat AT LEAST 5 portions of vegetables and fruit every day.

Include good fats ( although high in calories, good fats are very beneficial to health).

Include a protein source at each meal.

Plan your meals in advance.

Start the day (with a good breakfast) as you mean to go on.

Cook from scratch whenever possible – you‘ll know exactly what you’re eating.

 

So forget about the fad diets – it really is worth making those Healthy SUSTAINABLE changes that you‘ll keep up for life!

Minimising the Christmas Diet Damage

Minimising the Christmas Diet Damage

Keeping on track with staying healthy, fit and not piling on the pounds over Christmas is a challenge in itself as there are sooo many temptations!

Whether it’s a party invite, another meal out or the extra tins of biscuits and chocolates that find their way into the office over the festive period, there seems to be food everywhere! We all want to have fun at Christmas, but no one wants to put on weight. So how do you manage to minimise the damage that the festive season can cause to your diet?

  1. Have a Healthy breakfast

Eating a good breakfast will set you up for the day and hopefully encourage you to continue to eat healthily for the rest of the day.  Go for a healthy breakfast such as porridge, wholegrain toast, eggs and avocado or Greek yoghurt with fruit.  Having a filling breakfast means you’re less likely to over indulge later on in the day.

  1. Keep moving

You don’t necessarily have to go to the gym but staying active can help combat those extra calories.  Go for a walk, get on the dance floor, do a short blast of a home workout.  Exercise will not only burn calories, but it’s a great stress buster too, plus sometimes going for a walk is a good excuse to get out of the house for a bit of peace and quiet!

  1. Think before you eat

We all love a few festive treats, but do you really need to eat all the mince pies ‘Just because it’s Christmas?’.  You don’t need to deny yourself everything, but make sure that you’re really enjoying what you’re eating and not scoffing it just because it’s there!

  1. Food Plan in advance

You don’t have to overfill your fridge with huge amounts of festive food and end up eating it all just so it doesn’t go to waste.  Plan your meals over the holidays and only buy what you’re going to eat.

  1. Sleep well

Missing out on your sleep can also lead to weight gain.  When you are tired, your body produces more of the stress hormone cortisol, which increases your appetite.  Try if at all possible, to stick to set bed and wake up times.  Sleep plays a huge role in keeping your body fit and healthy and it’s vital to get plenty if you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight.  Don’t underestimate it’s importance.

  1. Eat before you go out

Have a healthy meal before you go out to parties so you won’t arrive hungry.  If there’s a buffet table – sit as far away from it as you can!.  Let’s be honest, there’s very rarely an appetising healthy option on the buffet table and you don’t want to end up stuffing your face with sausage rolls!  Having a pre-drinks healthy meal will also mean you’ll be less likely to stop off at the take-away for a kebab on your way home.

  1. Watch your drinks

Alcoholic drinks and cocktails contain lots of hidden calories and you may be drinking more than usual this over Christmas.  Try to stick to the low-calorie mixers with your spirits and maybe drink water between each alcoholic drink – it will cut down on the hangover too!

  1. Don’t pick at food

When there’s food everywhere, it’s all too easy to have a little bit of this and a little bit of that, thinking it’s not going to make that much difference.  But it adds up over the day.  Keep mindful of those little bits and try to avoid snacking, unless its healthy food.

  1. Enjoy the Christmas feast

If you eat healthily most of the time and you’re keeping up with your usual workouts, you can let go a bit on Christmas day! One unhealthy meal won’t make you fat just as one healthy meal won’t make you slim – it’s all about BALANCE.  But if you really want to avoid too many extra calories on the day itself, fill up on the healthy options such as vegetables and lean turkey so you won’t feel the need to over-eat the more indulgent treats.

  1. Learn to say No

If you don’t really want to eat something, SAY NO!.  Never mind if Auntie Brenda’s spent hours making the cake, or if your sister-in-law keeps topping up your glass of wine.  You really don’t have to eat anything you don’t want to.  Once you get used to saying no, it’s easier than you think.

  1. Know when it’s over

The festive season ends on 1st January.  Draw a line under whatever happened to the diet over Christmas (if it all went pear shaped) and get back to those healthy habits.  The longer you leave it, the harder it will be!

Which is the Best Diet to follow?

Which is the Best diet to follow?
It’s the question I get asked most often…….

Dieting is always confusing as there are so many different approaches and so much misleading information about the best way to do it. It’s unfortunate that those wanting fast results will more often than not resort to those diets with the biggest weight loss claims.

So whats the Magic Ingredient?

There really is no magic in drinking a magic shake for breakfast, a magic bar for lunch and a healthy meal in an evening – if you cut your calorie intake down to extremely low levels WHATEVER you’re eating, of course you’re going to lose weight fast! and despite very cleverly worded advertisements, there really is no single food that will make you lose weight, just as there is no single food that will cause you to gain weight beyond its calorie value (i.e. 500 calories of chocolate is no more fattening than 500 calories of chicken breast) however, the healthier option will always have more nutritional value and therefor be of greater benefit to your body.
To put it in basic terms (and it really is pretty basic)

If your wanting to reduce your weight sensibly, by losing body fat rather than muscle CALORIES are the main factor.  You must consume less calories than you expend but still enough for your body to be able to function and perform as it should. This is so important. Yes you will lose weight a lot faster if you can survive on 500 calories a day, however, it’s not sustainable, you will feel crap, it’s not healthy and more often than not the results won’t be long term – do you really want to be a size 8 for your summer holiday and back to a size 16 for Christmas?
Secondary MACRO’S (Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats) are also an important factor to consider and they can be manipulated depending on what goals you’re wanting to achieve. It may sound confusing doing the calculations but many Food tracker apps (such as MyFitnessPal) do all the maths for you.
And finally Meal TIMINGS can fine-tune your diet if you’re working your diet and nutrition around your training goals.

And remember…….

Meals off plan don’t have to jeopardise your results as long as they are part of the overall plan – life would be boring without them.

So if you’re wanting to lose weight, don’t be misled by all the hype. Start with the basic maths calories and then work on the rest – it really is that simple!