Tag Archives: womens weight loss

The dieting industry doesn’t know how to help you

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The UK’s £2 billion dieting industry likes to take credit for weight loss success and then blames the inevitable re-gain of the weight on the person’s ‘lack of willpower’ for not being able to stick to the (completely unsustainable) diet for life.

But, what really causes the re-gain in weight is the body trying to re-balance its energy system to support a metabolism that has been undernourished and unsupported for so long. The result of this is weight gain.

Then the person blames herself for not being able to do it when in actual fact you have done EVERYTHING the right way in terms of what you’ve been told. It’s just that your body has gone against what you’ve done/are doing because caloric restriction ISN’T how things are meant to be. The fact is that the body shouldn’t have been on the ‘diet’ in the first place. Your body shouldn’t be subjected to a low calorie diet for a prolonged amount of time. But the billion pound dieting industry would have us firmly believe otherwise.

When you restrict your daily calorie intake to numbers as low as 1200 your metabolism suffers as it doesn’t have the amount of energy it needs to carry out all of its chemical processes that keep your body and health thriving, this then leads to a slowing down of your metabolism.

If the dieting industry understood that increased hunger, decreased metabolism, and intense psychological distress are normal responses to quick ‘weight loss’ then the weight loss companies wouldn’t make the money they do. So its convenient for them not to know this about how the body works. Their ignorance (and hence the public’s ignorance) allows mainstream weight loss companies to make (a tonne of) money from a steady supply of repeat customers, plus lifetime customers, in a way that appears genuine.

But why do so many people put them themselves through these diets over and over again, usually for years? I was one of those people throughout my 20’s which is why I’m SO passionate about women understanding the truth about their body’s and their weight. We starve and restrict ourselves, go mad on the cardio machines at the gym, live with the low energy and feelings of hunger, only to see the weight come back once we stop the diet, and of course blame ourselves for the re-gain because we’re too weak to keep up with the diet.

Dieting teaches us to ignore our body’s hunger signals (we’re meant to be hungry on a diet right?); which leads most people to overeat when the opportunity comes along (e.g. presented with your favourite high carb, sugary or processed food). The long-term deprivation and restriction of these diets causes binge-eating behaviour in susceptible people (a lot of us), and then weight gain, which the diets were intended to cure!

Simply put – dieting is insane, and yo-yo/repeat dieting even more insane! Yet so many women are doing it, over and over, going back to the diets that ‘work’ for them ‘whenever they need to lose weight’, which again is madness! For a ‘diet’ to have been successful you would never re-gain the weight lost. Diets are not sustainable and therefore neither are your results.

In 2018 I want to help as many women as possible to learn the RIGHT way to lose body fat and KEEP IT OFF.

I want all women to understand that weight loss is not something separate from their health and how their body functions as a whole. Health and balanced hormones = fat loss and ideal body weight.

So many women go to the gym and put their body’s through punishing workouts and in most cases it’s a LOT of cardio based sessions and so called ‘HIIT’ classes. They’re also punishing their bodies with low calorie diets, juice fasts, low fat and going too low carb.

But if we can just take a step back and look at this from the outside for a minute – why on earth would your body respond positively to this??

Your metabolism is made up of all of your organs (liver, kidneys, lungs, heart, gut, muscles, brain) and if they don’t get the right amount of energy (calories) from the right kinds of foods why would they work for you? How can they thrive on your behalf? They can’t, and eventually after a while of restricting foods and calories and battering it at the spin classes, ‘HIIT’ or ‘shred’ classes, it’s going to start slowing down and pushing back against all that you’re doing to it. The result is low energy, unhappy hormones, digestive issues, fat gain, trouble sleeping, and more.

So please, in 2018, stop punishing your amazing and precious body and start loving and nourishing it. Exercise because it feels good and moves your body or makes you strong, NOT to work off last nights dinner or the donut you had at work.

Ask yourself how can I eat and move today in a way that nourishes my body and all its amazing organs (your metabolism)? How can I train/move/exercise today to bring about a positive hormonal response in my body and build muscle mass (which is what supports metabolism to thrive and burn fat)? Some days that might be walking and nothing else because you might not have slept well the night before (if you want to train hard you need to sleep well), some days it might be yoga and another day it might be a good quality resistance training session (where you push or lift weights ????️‍♂️ that are heavier than your handbag!).

I love you and your body, and you should love you and your body too ????????

How to deal with stress so it doesn’t halt your progress

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Stress really does have a lot to answer for. Whilst we all need a certain level of stress in our lives, its when it becomes to much and chronic we can run into problems.

I used to suffer massively with the effects of stress both mentally and physically. My entire body would feel it and I’d go for all sorts of body work treatments (which were amazing) to help it but at the end of the day it was the stress I had plus my thoughts and feelings towards it that was causing the pain. The treatments helped to dampen it down but it was only when I sorted my head out and learned how to manage the stress that I truly overcame it. Today, when I can feel stress building up from time to time I know exactly what I need to do and I’ve become so used to managing it better that I don’t need to remind myself more than once to start taking action. For me its journaling/writing my thoughts and feelings and flipping them on their negative head, upping the yoga and reducing intense gym sessions, no TV at night – baths and books instead and early to bed.

When we’re feeling overwhelmed with life and stress is getting the better of us we can tend to just do our best to get by rather than thrive in any sort of way. Our thoughts and feelings start to tend towards negativity as well.

We might say, think or feel things like:

  • I’m not good enough
  • I’m not slim enough
  • I’m not fit enough
  • I don’t have enough time/there isn’t enough time
  • I don’t have the confidence/I can’t go to the gym, go for a run, do any exercise, ask for help at home/reach out to someone for help
  • I don’t have enough money/I’m broke
  • Etc. etc….

The thing is, our thoughts become things. If you say or think it then IT IS.

This is a concept I’ve really only just taken on board myself and I’m starting to get comfortable with.

If you say you are broke then you are broke, if you say you aren’t slim enough or you look horrible then you are and you do, if you say things aren’t going to go well then they won’t.

When we focus on the negative, or the lacking, then all if our energy goes to those thoughts and feelings and there is no room for it to go elsewhere and manifest anything positive. Our energy will get stuck in this place of negativity and scarcity.

We’re then switched onto a continuous cycle of self-loathing and sabotage.

I’ve been in this place, for years and years in fact, and its only recently in the last year or so that I’ve started to change my ways and I now think say and feel from a place of abundance instead. Now it’s not always that easy. I get days when I just feel AWFUL, and I have to try so very hard to stay up, to stay positive, to love myself, and to NOT think and feel from a place of lacking.

But imagine if:

  • You loved yourself, every inch of your being both inside and out
  • You were grateful for everything that already IS and everything you already have
  • You appreciated everything about your life even the stuff that isn’t quite as you’d ideally like it yet
  • You felt your life was so abundant and full

Imagine where your focus would go if you felt/thought/said as per the above?

Imagine what sort of choices you’d make and how you’d spend your time?

Imagine how you would show up for the people and things in your life?

When we feel grateful for what we have and are, rather than sorry for ourselves and hard done by, we make better decisions and enjoy day to day life a thousand times more, trust me.

This applies to your life on all levels but also to weight loss, if that’s something you’re trying to achieve.

Yes, to lose weight successfully you need the right information and advice, personalized for you, but you also need:

  1. To manage the stress in your life so that you’re actually in a place where you CAN implement changes and new habits, if you’re too busy to do this then you need to look at what of the things that are keeping you busy that you can toss to the side to make way for implementation and success once and for all.
  2. To stop focusing on what we don’t have or what we are not, and instead think, feel and speak from a place of abundance and gratitude for all that we are and all that we have. Our thoughts become things and thinking from a place of scarcity simply instills and perpetuates unhappiness, sucking of energy, negative energy and self sabotage.

Can you start to change the way you think feel and speak about things, your life and yourself? Trying to implement changes and new habits will be a LOT harder until you do. So I hope you can take this on board and start speaking and thinking differently about some of those negative thoughts, feelings and beliefs you have. Flip them on their head, keep repeating it until you believe it, and then keep repeating it some more 😉

If you want help with any of this stuff and think a complimentary call with me would help you get clearer on where you need to go (with NO obligation to work with me AT ALL), then click here to book yourself in for one at a time that suits you, or just reply to this email to let me know you’d like to speak.

With love

Francesca

My Approach to Exercise

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The traditional exercise advice for women to lose weight has been to do lots and lots cardio each week. This might be in the form of running, using the cross trainer, spin classes, body combat style classes, aerobics and similar.

I used to follow this advice and spent most of my twenties on treadmills and even bought one for my bedroom (I was on the ground floor luckily!). I pounded the pavements as well, did more than one spin class a week and loved a bit of body combat. Sometimes I spent 2 hours doing my cardio and I’d feel very proud of myself and convinced I would have burned off a lot of calories.

A lot of people still look at the amount of calories they burn, whether using an app or watch of some sort or the gauge on the treadmill or bike. But the truth is that the amount of calories you burn doesn’t equate to body fat lost or burned off. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but it doesn’t. Whilst cardio is good for cardiovascular health, and does play a part in the overall ideal exercise picture for fat loss, continual long bouts of cardio isn’t going to get you to your goals and keep you there. Mostly cardio burns through your muscle rather than fat stores, and this is a whole other email so I won’t go into the mechanisms behind that today.

HIIT training is another popular and well-used technique in the quest for weight loos, aka High intensity interval training. If done correctly HIIT can be really effective, the trouble is most of the ‘HIIT’ sessions you find online these days aren’t really HIIT, they’re just 30 mins of jumping around and wearing yourself out!

Real HIIT can be a great way to improve your fitness levels of course, and does have its place in an overall fat loss exercise plan, BUT, it doesn’t really help you progress over time in your fitness journey.

So like I said I was a HUGE cardio advocate in my 20’s and its all I did, a LOT if times per week. My weight yo-yo’d, I didn’t feel great, and I certainly never achieved the body I was looking for, ever.

Now in my 30’s (for the last 7 years) I’ve been training with weights, and in the last 5 years I’ve done very minimal cardio if any at all if I’m honest. Today I go for a jog in my local common about twice a month, because I enjoy it, its maximum 4k round-trip. That’s it for cardio. My 3-4 workouts per week (lasting around 45mins each) consist of weights. I LOVE lifting weights and I’m telling you that for female fat loss and hormonal health weight lifting is KEY! Really really really really key. I cannot stress this enough!

If you’re in the gym doing cardio practically everyday, for hours STOP, please. It’s not helping your body composition (who cares about weight on the scales when you’re squidgy and out of shape, slim or not), hormones, or health, I promise.

I go to a women’s weight lifting class once a week and the other sessions I do on my own and thanks to the class I know what I’m doing when I go on my own and have the confidence to do it.

I LOVE lifting weights because each time I do I get stronger. There’s no better feeling that hitting a higher weight (aka ‘PB’ personal best) or more reps at a weight you could only do less amount of reps with last week. I walk out feeling string, lean, fit, and happy.

My weight has stayed exactly the same in the last 6 months since I really got serious with my weight lifting, but my body has changed. I’m leaner, healthier and happier. I’ve lost cm’s from my waist hips and thighs and in fact eat more now than I did before. The number of calories I burn means nothing to me, but improving my strength and performance means everything.

Lifting weights has some amazing hormonal benefits for the female body (and make too obvs!); which helps you burn more calories per day in general because your metabolic rate remains revved. Lifting weights helps your body cells to be more ‘insulin sensitive’, which is KEY for fat loss and health in general (preventing heart disease and type 2 diabetes). It means your body can handle your carbs a whole lot better and store less of them as body fat. Also, a woman generally looks and stands better when it’s strong so your posture naturally improves.

Training with weights can mean you can eat more yes not gain fat (of the right foods obviously). Cardio just doesn’t have these same benefits. It’s inefficient at best….sorry!

I absolutely love it and it gives me a buzz. Therefore it’s easy for me to go to my sessions and get them done. If you don’t do any weights at all and the thought of lifting weights make you feel light headed and full of dread then its just about starting somewhere and taking it step by step.

If you’re starting from zero i.e. you currently don’t exercise at all and don’t have a history or working out then start by just moving your body. Walk briskly for 60 minutes a day and move on from there.

Maybe you go to the gym and do various cardio based classes or use the cardio machines, so now it might be time to switch things up and get some advice from a trainer about how best to use weights and get your form right. Or join a women’s weight lifting class like I did.

If you love cardio style training and you like to challenge yourself with tings like 10k runs or triathlons then I’m not telling you to stop this but maybe you could add in a couple of resistance-based sessions in a week? Not only will you see better results with your body composition but also you’ll find you feel fitter and stronger in your other training.

This all being said, don’t forget that weight loss is 80% about your nutrition, the exercise is the icing on the cake for your body composition and will only have the amazing effects that I’m talking about here if your nutrition is right. Your exercise is also the thing that’ll help you push through a plateau if your food and lifestyle is right yet your results have halted and you’ve still got a little way to go.

Building muscle through lifting weights (not body building but think squats with a heavy challenging weight for you, deadlifts and bench pressing for example) is going to help you burn body fat, for real.

Start by getting moving and then work your way up gradually to lifting weights, don’t worry if you’re not there already, however long it takes you to build up to it is all good. Its just about knowing where you’re trying to get and then knowing that once you’re there you will stay there. Remember quick fixes don’t last so what’s the point.

If you are already doing some weights then keep at it but keep progressing, e.g. if you do body pump classes can you think about moving up to heavier sessions, which you’d need to do outside of the class as there’s only so much weight you can use in a body class setting.

Just like with diet there is NO one size fits all, exercise advice needs to be personalized but the advice I’m giving here comes from both my experience and the experience of others and knowledge I’ve gained from my own journey with exercise. If finances permit it a working with a knowledgeable and professional personal trainer, or joining a weight lifting class, would be ideal.

Be realistic with your weekly exercise goals, between 2 and 4 sessions per week is OK, you don’t need to say you’ll go everyday and then feel like crap about yourself when you only manage 2, or don’t manage any because you think if you can’t do them all you may as well not do any (I’ve been here!). Choose your realistic and honest goal number of sessions and be consistent with it, if you know you wont be consistent then go for a lesser number of sessions as your goal.

With love
Francesca

P.S. Book a Weight Loss Strategy Call with me today, we’ll have 40 minutes to speak and it free. I’d love to talk to you and see what your struggling with and get you moving forward. Just click here to book yourself in.

Slow Cooker Turkey Chilli

Turkey Chilli

Turkey breast mince is very affordable and a great lean source of protein. Turkey contains good amounts of the essential amino acid tryptophan which is needed to make serotonin, the neurotransmitter dubbed the “happy molecule”. You can add any other veg into this recipe that you like, such as green peas or courgette, and more peppers. This is simple to prepare, like all my recipes as I don’t like to spend too long in the kitchen! It takes 4-8 hours in a slow cooker but if you don’t have a slow cooker you can of also do this in a crock pot on the stove for a an hour or so. This is great to batch cook every so often and freeze in portions.

What you’ll need (4-5 servings):

  • 1 medium red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Tin red kidney beans
  • Tin chopped tomatoes
  • Dessertspoon tomato purée
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp pink salt
  • 200mls of vegetable stock (I use Kallo or Marigold)
  • 1 dessertspoon Worcester sauce (I use Chippa Gluten Free)
  • 500g turkey breast mince

What to do:

  • 1 medium red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Place the spices, salt, stock, turkey, onion, garlic, pepper (and or other veg of choice), puree, kidney beans, tin of tomatoes and Worcester sauce (basically everything!) into the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
  • Serve with a portion of brown rice and sautéed kale or spinach

The Calorie Myth

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It’s long been drummed into us that ‘dieting’ is the way to lose weight. By ‘dieting’ I mean restricting calories and or food groups. So it’s no wonder that Britain’s dieting industry is worth an estimated £2billion.

I speak to so many women, friends included, that are struggling to lose weight and whenever they set out to finally make it happen they embark on some sort of fad or restrictive regime, like some kind of weight loss shake for breakfast and lunch and then a ‘normal’ dinner for example. I wonder how these women get through the day!

But I used to be just like that.

Throughout my 20’s (from 19 to 27) I did all the fad diets that were available to me. In fact I spent 8 years being constantly hungry! I don’t think a day went by when I didn’t hear my stomach growl in dissatisfaction from being so empty. I just couldn’t understand why I wasn’t losing weight. Similar to how the women I speak to today are feeling.

The trouble is it’s worse once you get into your 30’s and beyond. What MIGHT have worked in your 20’s will likely never work again past 30, and that’s mainly due to hormonal changes in the female body and also the years spent yo-yo dieting having damaged your metabolism and almost grinded it to a halt.

A lot of people see food simply as calories, and they believe that to lose weight we need to reduce/restrict calories and the weight will drop off. If only it were that simple, and if it were, would Britain’s diet industry be worth an estimated £2billion??

Some people WILL lose ‘weight’ if they restrict calories for a few weeks, BUT the ‘weight’ lost is mostly made up of water and muscle tissue – NOT body fat. Then once you start to eat ‘normally’ again you re-gain that weight plus some extra fat that probably wasn’t even there in the first place!

Why? Because your body thinks you were in a state of famine whilst you were restricting food and now that you are eating more food again it slows your metabolism and stores the now incoming food as body fat for when you next restrict food (think insulation for your precious bones).

We have what’s called a ‘set point’ weight, which is the weight at which your body likes to be at and keep you at. Calories restriction, which works against your metabolism, will eventually cause your body’s set point to rise and then it becomes difficult to lose weight on a deprivational diet, and once food is inevitably increased the weight comes back again, and so on, until you are left pulling your hair out years later wondering what went so wrong!

The answer? Don’t restrict your body of the food/energy it needs everyday in order to support metabolism and to function properly! Instead eat the right types of and combinations of foods that will keep your blood sugar levels balanced, support hormonal balance, gut health and metabolism.

Here is an example using myself. When I was trying to lose weight for the 3rd or 4th time in my later 20’s I restricted my calorie intake to no more than 1,200 calories per day. I was cranky, exhausted, hungry, and miserable every single day. When I had initially done this same regime earlier on in my 20’s it had worked for me and within a month I was looking and feeling slimmer (I now know that was water and muscle weight lost not body fat.) I then read about ‘BMR’, this is our Basal Metabolic Rate which basically means the amount of calories our body needs each day just to rest, or just to be able to ‘keep the lights on’ – it doesn’t include the energy needed to go out to work, walk around, think, make decisions, or do exercise. My own BMR at that time was about 1,480 calories.

So, if I needed an absolute minimum of 1,480 calories per day and I was having a maximum of 1,200 a day then is it any wonder I was feeling so awful; hungry, miserable, overcome with cravings and going on inevitable binges a couple times a week?! I was far from ‘at rest’ every day. I was walking to and from work, doing a 9 hour day in the office where I had to think all day long and make decisions, I was going to the gym after work and walking home again.

The point I am making here is that if my BMR was around 1,480 calories I should have been having about another 300-500 per day (depending on activity levels) to be able to support my metabolism and keep it ticking over nicely.

The result? Loss of water and muscle tissue and gain of body fat.

And that’s when I turned things around, and then took things a step further by studying and training to become a nutritional therapist and health coach so I could change my career and help other women just like me!

I used to be so fixated with the calorie number of foods that I became obsessed with that rather than the type of food the calories were coming from. This is an extremely unhealthy obsession as you’re not interested in the nutrition the food will provide for you but simply the number of calories it provides (we can eat plenty of fat-storing carbs all day and still be within our 1200 calorie allowance).

We need to look at food in terms of how our body will break it down – will it be used for energy, will it provide vitamins and minerals needed to optimise our health, or will it be stored as fat? THAT’S what matters. 

Let’s say someone’s BMR number is around 1400-1500 calories (the amount of calories they need at complete rest only) and they’re eating 2,500 calories per day, plus not exercising or moving much at all, then yes they are likely eating too many calories and will be gaining some weight. So they would need to be in some sort of calorie deficit to be able to start losing fat, but that deficit should likely be around 1800 calories per day NOT the common 1200 we are lead to believe is necessary for weight loss. Plus the source of those calories is all-important. Then once they reach their goal body size they can slowly start to increase calories slightly to a maintenance amount to maintain that ideal weight.

Calorie counting is outdated and it’s an ignorant way to view weight loss. It focuses on quantity and not quality of food, and this is absurd, seeing as certain foods cause the release of our fat storing hormones and others do not – regardless of calories.

calorie-countingDepriving our bodies of calories only leads to an eventual slowed metabolism which causes us to gain the weight back and then some, over and over, unless you get the right advice and finally change the way you eat for good.

Our bodies do not work like a maths equation. There is a LOT of other stuff going on within our bodies that must be taken into account when trying to lose weight.

The dieting industry views food simply as calories, and to lose weight we need to reduce our daily calories (to an alarmingly low number usually anything fro 800-1200 a day) and the weight will drop off. If only it were that simple, and if it were, would Britain’s diet industry be worth an estimated £2billion??

There is calorie counting, which looks only at the number of calories a food provides in relation to the restrictive number of calories allowed in one day, and there is what I call ‘smart eating’ which provides the body with the right amount of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, as well as other nutrients, needed for optimum health – which in turn leads to ideal weight.

Counting calories fights against your body’s ‘set point’ weight whereas ‘smart eating’ lowers your set point weight. 

The quality of our calories is what matters for LONG TERM FAT loss. Improving the QUALITY not reducing the QUANTITY of our food results in reducing inflammation within the body (critical for fat loss), re-sensitizing our cells, and re-regulting our hormones and therefore lowering our set point (that ideal weight your body will want to keep you at).

Yo-yo dieting is something I want to see the back off for everyone. Losing weight shouldn’t be something that happens multiple times a year. Someone said to be the other day that “calorie counting works for me whenever I need to lose weight”, but this person is totally missing the point. If it really did work then they wouldn’t repeatedly need to lose weight. I am all about fat loss that is sustainable, and done in a healthy way that doesn’t damage your health and metabolism long term. If someone is overweight they should first try to identify the root cause(s) of their weight gain, address that, and embark on a way of eating that supports blood sugar balance, hormones, and gut health, and then metabolism and ideal weight is also supported. This is called sustainable FAT loss, no longer calling for yo-yo dieting throughout the year as the weight fluctuates due to calorie restriction and hormonal imbalances (insulin and cortisol) that leads to fat storage over and over again. Once the body’s systems and metabolism are supported through PERMANENT diet and lifestyle changes your ideal weight is maintained.

If you’re looking for a quick fix to lose excess weight then calorie restriction might work but for the short term ONLY and studies show that up to 70% of the non water weight lost from restricting calories comes from muscle. Calories counting slows down metabolism and takes away our muscle tissue – no thank you.  

Eating less and exercise more does not cause long term FAT loss. 

Eating in a way that provides your body with real, whole-food meals that nourish your body and do not cause blood sugar spikes (let’s call this ‘smart eating’) leverages the quality of your calories, which in turn takes care of the quantity of your calories (without the counting!).

Calorie counting doesn’t take a LOT of things into account that are KEY for weight/fat loss, ESPEICALLY for women, such as:

  • Insulin’s activity
  • Cortisol’s activity
  • Estrogen and progesterone levels
  • Grehlin and leptin’s activity – 2 other important hormones for fat storage/fat burning
  • Stress levels
  • Sleep quality
  • Adrenal health
  • Digestive health
  • Macronutrient ratios per meals/snacks (protein fat and carbs)
  • Activity levels and type of training
  • Food quality, nutrition provided by the food, and alcohol intake

Counting calories is not the way to go, what a woman really needs for sustainable weight loss isn’t calorie counting; it’s a diet that:

  • Addresses hormonal and metabolic problems (very likely for most women over the age of 35), thus making sure food is used for energy rather than being stored as fat.
  • Does not make you hungry, stressed, or miserable.
  • Encourages a holistic view of health, rather than nudging you towards unhealthy food choices just because they’re low in one “bad” category (e.g. carbs, fat, calories, etc.).
  • You can see yourself following for the long term.

For example, if you’re calorie counting but still consuming a diet that’s high in carbs not only will your weight loss be less efficient than it would on a low carb diet, but you will also find yourself going hungry. This is due to the decreased effect on satiety that is brought about by the consumption of carbohydrates (when compared to protein or fat).

Calories aren’t created equally. Your body will recognize and treat them differently. Your body doesn’t just digest calories…it digests the minerals, proteins, fats and vitamins in what you’re eating. And if you’re eating a 350 calorie diet dinner v’s a 600 calorie dinner of grilled chicken, sautéed veg, avocado, and brown rice…the second option is the better one for weight loss and management.

It’s exactly why you can eat a big plate of chips and a tub of ice cream with little trouble but can’t so easily eat a decent sized steak – because carbohydrates lead to a spike in blood sugar that makes the body want more of the same, whereas protein (steak) is satiating and stabalises blood sugar, keeping you fuller for longer.

In my opinion, it’s far better to reduce the amount of carbohydrate foods you eat at each meal and snack and focus on getting protein with every meal and snack and some healthy fats plus plenty of vegetables including dark green leafy ones and starchy ones like sweet potato, squash and beetroot for your carb sources over things like pasta, wraps, bread, big white potatoes and white rice, without too much concern for calories. If that doesn’t result in weight loss then you try taking another look at the amount of carbohydrates you’re eating e.g. are you having carb based snacks like lots of high sugar fruits, rice cakes, crisps or toast, rather than protein based snacks like nuts and seeds, boiled eggs, nut butter, plain full fat yogurt and berries? Then also look at your sleep, alcohol intake, stress levels, activity levels and type of exercise (too much cardio and not enough resistance/weights), thyroid health, and gut health. Book a Fat Loss Strategy Call with me today and let’s talk through your key struggles when it comes to your weight and health, and I can get you moving forward in the right direction, we’ll have 40 minutes together and its free. Click here to book your call slot in!

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So, switch the ratio on your plate, for example I love a curry as much as the next person but I am more than happy to swap half a plate of rice for more of the meat and plenty of vegetables and a handful of rice instead. Also pass on the naan bread for example, its just not necessary. The average British person would have the rice, the naan and the potato that’s mixed into their main or side dish, now that’s a LOT of unnecessary carbohydrate and the same goes for meals cooked at home, question the amount of carbs you’re having at meal times and as snacks. That is likely to be your downfall, NOT calories. I’m in no way telling anyone to cut out carbs or follow a super low-carb plan, that isn’t helpful either. I’m simply saying to focus more on the protein, healthy fats, vegetables and lower more nutritious fruit like berries. Then for your starchier carbs opt for root vegetables mainly and some whole grains like oats, buckwheat, quinoa (not actually a grain) and brown or wild rice. Start your day with the protein-rich breakfast such as eggs with bacon or smoked salmon, or a protein and ‘good’ fats smoothie with berries, which is really satisfying and keeps me going all the way through to lunch.

Understanding the effect of different nutrients (protein, carbs and fats and the smaller nutrients within them) on your body is the key, NOT calories.

In a nutshell, the more educated you are on what happens to the food you eat, the more likely you are to eat right. Forget about calories and instead be educated on what happens to the food you eat within your body, stored as fat or burned off. Counting calories does not take this into account and in my opinion anyone that tells someone to just cut calories and exercise more to lose weight needs to do their own research before dishing out advice.

The takeaway point here is that restricting calories is just dangerous, silly and unnecessary. Ideal weight is a natural side effect of being healthy, and this includes having a healthy functioning gut, balanced hormones, quality sleep, and a handle on stress. When we increase the quality of our food and exercise, we can heal our hormones, “unclog” our systems, lower our set points, and get our bodies to burn fat instead of storing it.

It’s the creation of new habits and making changes to your eating style and lifestyle that has the biggest impact and results in long-lasting success.

Before I go here are some quotes from some of the academic research into the effect of calorie restriction on the body in relation to weight.

“The researchers note that animals respond to food shortages by storing energy and gaining weight. Their model demonstrates that when food is in short supply – much like during a phase of dieting – an efficient animal will gain excess weight between periods of food shortage. Surprisingly,” says Prof. Higginson, “our model predicts that the average weight gain for dieters will actually be greater than those who never diet. This happens because non-dieters learn that the food supply is reliable so there is less need for the insurance of fat stores”.

“The best thing for weight loss is to take it steady. Our work suggests that eating only slightly less than you should, all the time, and doing physical exercise is much more likely to help you reach a healthy weight than going on low-calorie diets.” Prof. Andrew Higginson, University of Exeter

 

P.S. Book a Fat Loss Strategy Call with me today and let’s talk through your key struggles when it comes to your weight and health, and I can get you moving forward in the right direction, we’ll have 40 minutes together and its free. Click here to book your call slot in!

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