1) Drink more water
Our bodies are made up of around 60% so simply put the more hydrated you are the better you work! In terms of fat burning it’s our liver which metabolises fats for energy and like other bodily functions, if it’s dehydrated it isn’t working as efficiently as it could be!
But take caution and don’t drown yourself to meet your quota! Sip continuously throughout the day stopping an hour or 2 before bed so as not to disturb your sleep. If you are very active also consider electrolytes as it takes more than water to replenish the lost electrolytes in your body following exercise.
2) Eat more vegetables
Very calorie sparse, very filling, very good for you.. Simple! If you struggle to count calories, increasing your vegetable intake can drastically reduce your calorie input and better yet it will still keep you satiated to help reduce bouts of hunger.
But take caution and be selective of which vegetables you eat, whilst for a healthy diet you may be recommended a rainbow of vegetables, certain root vegetables such as parsnips, potatoes and swedes rank very highly on the glycemic index READ HERE. Instead stick to dark leafy green vegetables such as broccoli, Kale, spinach etc.
3) Up your protein
Protein has the highest thermogenic effects of all the macro nutrients READ HERE. Simply put, the higher the proportion of protein in your diet, the higher your calorie output.
But take caution and don’t overdo it. Your protein intake should be relative to your activity level, muscle mass and type, if any, of exercise. The more active the individual, the more muscular the physique, the more damaging the exercise the higher the protein requirements. Aim for between 1-3 grams per KG of body weight. Also you will only burn more calories if the proportion of protein is higher rather than the total amount. Adding extra protein to your diet won’t change your calorie in- calorie out balance, but replacing other macro nutrients with protein will!
Fully qualified Manchester based Personal Trainer with CYQ Level 2 Gym instructor and CYQ Level 3 Personal trainer qualifications
Original Post HERE
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If you are throwing a Christmas party or having friends round, keep the Calories down and the flavour up with these alternative snack options.
Metcalfes Skinny Popcorn. One of my favourite snacks, light and super tasty, everyone loves popcorn right. Suitable for film nights or party snacks it is a great alternative to traditional calorie laden crisps. They have some great flavours, my favourites being sweet and salty, or cinnamon sweet. A great one for Christmas. They are stocked in most supermarkets so grab them now.
Pop Chips – Pop Chips are amazing, they were my go to snack on the morning of my wedding. Nowhere near as greasy as other crisps they are not deep fried so contain around half the fat but are so tasty. Healthier and lighter, you can eat the whole bag. So when you want to put some crisps out go for Pop Chips!
Unsalted Cashews or Almonds – Nuts are a great snack to have available and these unsalted versions have some added nutritional value. Both Cashews and Almonds are great choices. Cashews have a lower fat content than most nuts, whilst Almonds are one of the healthiest nuts options. Both are full of healthy fats and protein, perfect for a Christmas party spread.
Vegetable Crudités and Dips (Avoid Cream Based Dips, go Mexican with Salsa and Gucamole). Simple and straightforward this is a great addition to a party buffet. Choose your favourite vegetables, mine are peppers, celery and carrots, cut into sticks and serve.
Homemade Nachos – I love nachos but packet versions are loaded with artificial additives and flavouring which ideally we want to avoid. This homemade simple recipe offers a great alternative. Grab some tortilla wraps (each tortilla should make 8 nachos) and and spray with a couple of sprays of olive oil spray. Cut the tortillas into quarters, and then each quarter in half to get 8 triangles. Lay over a baking tray and sprinkle with your preferred spices. Paprika or chilli are my favourites. Bake in a preheated oven around 180 degrees C for around 7 minutes. They should be crisp and golden. Enjoy on their own or with dips.
Kale Crisps – Kale has more nutrients per calorie than anything, so is super good for you. Whilst these crisp alternatives may never replace Kettle Chips they are a great crunchy, salty snack. It doesn’t really matter which Kale variety you use but you definitely need to get rid of the stems. Wash the Kale and make sure you dry the leaves well. Add the kale to a bowl, add a tablespoon of oil and then add your seasoning. Keep it simple with salt and chilli flakes or mix it up and try your own combination. Spread out on a large baking tray and bake for around 30 minutes on a low heat. (Around 120 degrees Celsius). Turn the oven off and use a spatula to remove them from the tray. Check the seasoning and add a little more if needed. Serve them and enjoy!
I would love to know if you try any of these snacks or recipes. Comment below or tag me on social media @ode2fitness or using the hashtag #ode2fitmas
I’ve been helping people with their exercise and nutrition for over 20 years now and one thing I always set a precedent on is helping them find ways of keeping their diet varied and nutritious with a wide range of healthy foods. Sticking to the basics is always something I like to stress and one key principle to any good diet is to find ways to meet your protein needs.
If you didn’t know already, protein is a crucial part of a number of key processes in the body. For example, it helps synthesize important hormones, including ones that make us happy and relaxed, it supports our immune system and boosts our metabolism which helps us lose fat and stay lean for life. And perhaps most importantly it helps to build and repair almost every tissue in our body.
Depending on your goals, the amount of protein a person needs to consume can vary from anything upward of 60 grams per day with some athletes needing well over 100 grams. For the everyday person this equates to roughly 15-20grams of protein per meal (based on 3-4 meals a day) which in food terms amounts to one average sized chicken breast.
The way our body works means its best to try and eat a portion of protein with every meal and sometimes as snacks throughout the day rather than in one big portion. There are plenty of good whole food options available to us in order to meet our daily needs (think lean meats, fish and eggs). However, for my clients that follow a plant based diet it can sometimes be a struggle to meet their daily requirements as their food options will have significantly less protein than that provided by lean meats and fish. This is where I like to suggest the use of a vegetable based protein powder like Naturya’s Hemp protein. This is a great product that can deliver as much as 20% of a person’s daily protein requirements per serving. In addition to this it’s also a great source of magnesium and iron which can help my clients feel more energized and mentally alert.
As I mentioned before, ideally I want all my clients to be eating protein with every meal but even for the meat eaters this can initially be a struggle and no meal time stands out more in this regard than breakfast. Helping my clients find ways to address this is often a focus for me as this is one of the most beneficial times of the day to have a solid serving of protein (protein consumption at breakfast will help to regulate appetite for the rest of the day).
In theory there’s no reason why a healthy breakfast should look any different from a healthy lunch or dinner where we build a meal around a protein source. In reality, however, many people struggle with this, both from a mindset viewpoint (eating certain foods in the morning can feel too alien) and from a time perspective (most people need something quick and easy). This often means they turn to breakfast choices which end up having very little protein content i.e. toast, cereal and porridge.
This is where a product like Naturya’s Hemp protein fits in perfectly (both for meat eaters and non-meat eaters) as it can be easily added to other ingredients to create a healthy, nutritious and protein providing breakfast smoothie or shake. Naturya’s Hemp is cold pressed and gently milled to provide a fine, protein dense powder with a natural earthy flavor and mixes really well when creating smoothies like the recipe I’ve provided below.
I also like to encourage my clients to experiment with recipes like this and inspire them to use other great products from Naturya’s range that will help to provide even more key nutrients to their diet. For example, by adding Naturya Organic Chia Seeds they can boost their intake of calcium and fibre or they might use Naturya’s Fairtrade and organic Cacao powder for a more indulgent flavor that is full of zinc, magnesium and copper.
Starting with, and building upon the basics will mean you have a great foundation to healthy way of life. Having a good source of protein with every meal is an essential part of this foundation so why not start today and make a nutritious protein providing shake for your breakfast.
Naturya Breakfast Protein Shake
1 x serving (15g) Naturya Hemp Protein Powder
1 x half of an avocado
2 x tablespoons of yogurt (Greek, Coconut or Plant)
1 x banana
1 x cup almond milk
2 x Medjool dates
1 x heaped teaspoon of almond butter
Sprinkle Natuyra Chia Seeds & Goji Berries on top & enjoy!
Original Article HERE
For thousands of years turmeric has been used in Indian and Ayurvedic medicine to treat cuts, sprains and swelling.
Around the 1940’s, scientists worked out that the anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial benefits were down to curcumin – the pigment in turmeric responsible for it’s bright golden hue. So far so good.
Turmeric or curcumin?
The problem however, is harnessing the anti-inflammatory power of curcumin. By weight, turmeric is only 2-3% curcumin, and curcumin is very poorly absorbed.
This means that you’d need to consume around 20-30 teaspoons of turmeric to get what scientists believe is an effective anti-inflammatory dose of curcumin – some 200-500 mg two to four times daily.
Ultimately this means taking a curcumin supplement containing the concentrated dose, leaving powdered turmeric out in the cold. Or at least to one side.
As a dietitian, I’m all for the power of natural foods, including spices, but for anti-inflammatory benefits at least, curcumin supplements have been the smart choice.
New backing for turmeric
That doesn’t mean there’s no point in adding turmeric to your food though. An exciting new study, led by University College, London for the BBC series Trust Me I’m A Doctor found that a teaspoon of turmeric daily changed the expression of genes involved in predicting cancer risk.
In the study, 100 volunteers from North East England were split into three groups. One group was given a capsule containing 3.2 grams of turmeric (abut a teaspoon). A second group took a dummy capsule and the third group was asked to add a teaspoon of turmeric to their food every day.
After 6 weeks, they found that the group adding turmeric to their food had significant changes in the expression of genes linked with cancer, allergies and depression. What was interesting though is that these changes weren’t seen in the turmeric capsule group.
It’s not clear why, but the researchers think it might be to do with the way turmeric is absorbed when it’s heated, or mixed other foods or nutrients. The volunteers weren’t instructed on how to use the spice, so some added to drinks, others used in curries or sprinkled onto food. For example we know that it’s better absorbed when eaten with fatty foods like olive oil, avocado or fish.
We need more research, but it’s exciting to see evidence that simple adding turmeric to meals can have a positive effect. And this isn’t the first of its kind – in a 1990’s study of smokers; half a teaspoon of turmeric given daily for 30 days reduced the number of chemicals excreted in their urine.
Turmeric in the kitchen
Although it’s not conclusive, this research is good reason to add more turmeric to your diet.
The spice goes well with cinnamon and ginger and is great as a marinade for chicken, fish or pulses. You can also easily add to soups, stews and curries. Another favourite is ‘golden milk’ – a popular traditional Indian drink. Mix half a teaspoon of turmeric with a cup of hot milk, a pinch of cinnamon and a small squeeze of honey.
Laura (Tilt Nutrition)
Read Original Post Here
Find out more about Laura Here
Smoothies are great as a speedy breakfast or post workout snack, plus you can sneak in a couple of portions of fruit, a handful of veg, some healthy fats or an anti-inflammatory spice like turmeric or cinnamon.
Despite being easy to throw in the blender, some mornings you don’t have time to chop fruit or find the oats hidden in your cupboard. If this sounds familiar, say hello to a new habit – Sunday night smoothie bags.
the Sunday smoothie bag habit
Simply spend 15 minutes on a Sunday night chopping whatever fruits you have to hand (or head to the market on a Sunday – soft fruits like bananas, berries, pineapple, pears, are great), divide between zip lock bags, then add your other favourite ingredients – a couple of handfuls of spinach, a spoon of seeds or a scoop of protein powder. The beauty is you can put in whatever you like – add cinnamon, ginger, cocoa powder or keep it simple with strawberries and oats. Make five bags and you’ll have one for every day of the work week.
Once you’ll got all your ingredients in, squeeze out the air and seal, then write the contents on the bag (unless they’re all the same!) and then store in the freezer. When you’re ready to use, takes our your bag, add a cup of milk/mylk or coconut water to your blender cup, then add the smoothie mix and blend – you get a super creamy smoothie in under 3 minutes.
What you need
A roll of zip lock bags, chopping board, knife, fruit, spices, seeds,
Smoothie bag combos to try
- 1 banana + 2 handfuls spinach + 1 scoop vanilla protein + 1 spoon seed mix
- 2 handfuls pineapple + few mint leaves + 1 spoon chia seeds
- 1 cup strawberries + half banana + handful oats + 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 avocado + 2 handful spinach + half banana + 1/2 scoop protein powder
- 1 x orange + handful mango chunks + 1 handful spinach
- 1 cup raspberries + 1 scoop protein powder + handful spinach + 1 tsp cocoa powder
- 1 cup pineapple + half cucumber + handful spinach
Read Original Post Here
Find our more about Laura Here
If you have recently started trying to lose weight there is a good chance that hunger has become a factor and if it hasn’t yet it soon will be.
Whether you are adhering to a set of macro targets or just reducing your intake there may be times when you feel hungry. This is entirely normal and may have less to do with what you require to maintain optimal health and may have more to do with what you would like to eat based on habitual processes and what you have been exposed to in your environment.
Hunger can be divided into homeostatic and non-homeostatic hunger or the wish to eat to maintain homeostasis or the wish to eat based on other factors.
Let us take you on a little thought experiment which I pinched from obesity researcher Stephen Guyunet…
Pic by Lukas Budimaer
Imagine we go for dinner and you order your favourite starter. The starter is served and it’s delicious! Next comes your main course, again it’s your favourite.
You finish your main course and you are feeling totally stuffed, the kind of stuffed that makes it tough to breathe. Then the waiter brings out some potatoes that should have been included in the order with no salt, no butter and no sauce whatsoever!
How many would you eat?
Not many right?
So, in this scenario you still get your favourite starter and your favourite main course. You finish and you’re feeling totally stuffed. But this time the waiter brings out a complimentary chocolate fudge brownie with ice cream.
You’re equally as stuffed as you were in scenario 1.
Could you manage a bit of fudge brownie? You betcha!
Ask yourself, why do people add sugar to tea? Why do people add syrup to oats? Is it out of a need for calories or is it out of habit?
Hunger is as much about what habits you have developed as it is managing homeostasis. Here is how to manage hunger:
If you have noticed you have been feeling hungry the first port of call is to check that you are hydrated. Hunger can be a symptom of dehydration so if you have noticed your urine isn’t clear in colour, fix your hydration. Check out my previous post for help on hydration.
Choose foods that satiate you and are relative low in calories. If you wanted to overeat and put on as much body fat as possible our advice to you would be to avoid protein and fibre as they will fill you up and you can eat relatively less of the foods high in protein and fibre.
We would tell you to choose your favourite foods that are;
High calorie density
We would also tell you to get loads of variety so you don’t become bored whilst eating!
Have you ever gone to a buffet where you find you have eaten about three times the amount you would usually simply because the variety was so high?
What about going to the cinema where without realising it you have eaten the entire large popcorn just because you were distracted?
If these are the factors in what cause us to overeat we can deduce that the opposite are factors in helping us stay on track in a caloric deficit, and that has been our experience.
The Hunger Games – 5 Principles to keep you on track:
1- Keep fat intake low and consume mostly essential fats.
2- Keep sugar intake low and take on most of your carbs from vegetables and slow burning low glycaemic index carbs.
3- Reduce variety in each meal. You can keep some variety in the low calorie density foods you eat like vegetables but having multiple carbohydrate and fat sources in each meal is best avoided if hunger is an issue.
4- Don’t become distracted whilst eating especially if you are watching food adverts or cooking programs!
5- Stay Hydrated! This is a good rule for more reasons than just hunger too… make it happen!
If you want to work with one of our coaches to restore some order and get that added bit of momentum please get in touch using the contact for below.
Original Post HERE
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You’ve made the decision to make a big change in your life. Great work! You have taken the first step which is often the hardest and that is challenging your previous way of thought and taking the choice to start altering the way you do things. But there’s one issue…you aren’t happy with the results you are getting. This is a big one with anyone going through a new journey, be that a journey of strength, fat loss, fitness or rehab. I have trained a lot of people since I started in this industry and I don’t think any of my clients have ever reached their ‘big goal’, you know that one thing that is going to make you ecstatic, and been content with their progress. In fact, I’ve found that the opposite happens. More often than not that goal is reached and there is already another one on the horizon. The psychology of results is very individual, from someone who lacks self belief to someone who is extremely driven. In my experience, there are some common features with everyone.
Be more realistic and understand your goals in more depth
Unrealistic expectations happen a lot in the fitness industry. I believe its really down to the fact that ideas of 6-12 week fixes are fed to us over and over again to the point where most people have stopped believing that things can actually take far longer. Further, I think people have forgotten that its fine for things to take longer and that there is no shame in taking your time. I understand that at times of the year you are going to want to be in slightly better shape for e.g. your wedding or holiday for example. These are short term goals. In the grand scheme of things, 6-12 weeks isn’t much time. You need to start understanding that to achieve a hell of a lot in 6-12 weeks, it takes a hell of a lot of work in the gym, in recovery work, in nutrition and in lifestyle. You’re going to have to change a lot in a short amount of time and its got to mean something to you and be worth the effort. If you cant think of a reason good enough to sacrifice some of the treats you enjoy then I guarantee it wont be enough of a drive to change. You can do a lot in 3 months, but you must be willing to work harder than you ever have before. You have to understand this and you have to think deeply, is all this sacrifice worth it for this one event, or is it of greater worth to take more time and do this at a comfortable rate?
Figure out what you really want
Sometimes the goal becomes the one thing that will make you happy. But then you achieve it and your still not happy. I once had someone tell me they wanted to lose 3% body fat in 6 weeks. We got the body fat off them and I gave them a huge congratulations…to be greeted with a disappointed face and “Yeah, but I still don’t feel happy”. This was a big lesson early on for me as a trainer and something I go over with all of my clients. If you want to feel more confident and happy, you need to do things that make you feel like that. Losing a bit of body fat will help, yes, but people with low body fat are still unhappy and unconfident. So how do you realise what your goal is? When your goal becomes a purpose. This is when you level up. Exercise becomes training because your purpose drives you to keep going.
Train and eat with intent
“I go to the gym and do my training but I’m still not improving”. Are you training hard? Do you push yourself as much as you can? Or do you just turn up and move weight from A-B, text your mates then sit on the cross trainer for 10 minutes? You must put the effort in. You might feel like you don’t want to do your training or prep your meals or turn down that 11 o’clock biscuit from one of your colleagues, but what would the version of you who’s achieved what you want do? If there isn’t a purpose to what you are doing, the intention will never be there to keep driving you forward towards your goals. Aimless training and mindless eating will mean shooting in the dark when it comes to results.
Organise your priorities right now
A lot of being happy with your results can be down to how your priorities are organised. Getting a greater understanding of your priorities can give you the path to where you want to be much more clearly. If biscuits, lazy evenings and treats are above your fitness, but you really want to get your 5k time improved, your going to make it a lot harder for yourself. Write down, honestly, what your priorities are right now and where you think they need to be in order to achieve your goals. Now write down the 5 steps you need to take to make that list change up. Label them 1-5. Done it? Okay, do number 1 right now.
Here’s an extra…
So you’ve been through the previous four steps and you’re still thinking: “I still don’t know how to get myself back on track to start seeing some results”. Okay, here’s what you’re going to do…You’re going to use the following two tools and start creating some positive habits. Its a start and who knows what other positive lifestyle changes it might lead to.
1. In your training you can use one of the following as a session in itself (double the time for KB complex) or as a finisher at the end of your workout:
KB Complex: Swing, Clean, Press x 5 for as many rounds in 10 mins
Watt Bike/Rower Sprints: 30/90 intervals for 10 rounds
Last Resort: Hill Sprints or Stair Climbs: 10 sprints or climbs as fast as possible,
2. In your nutrition you can start by focusing on just one meal:
If you’re struggling with nutrition, you’re going to prep one meal for tomorrow. Just one. To make it even easier, here is one of my favourite post workout meals that can double up as a great lunch too:
Soy/Honey Chicken Bowl:
Coriander (fresh if possible)
Marinade two thinly chopped chicken breasts in 1tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp honey, juice of half a lemon, 1 tbsp mirin, 2 thinly sliced shallots, 3 cloves chopped garlic and a thumb size piece of chopped ginger.
Cook rice in a separate pan and set aside once done.
Throw the chicken into a high heat along with the marinade. Once browned on both sides turn down the heat to medium and add a handful of kale. While kale wilts in the pan, use a speed peeler to make courgette/carrot/both ribbons.
For low carb serve on just courgette carrot ribbons, moderate-high carb serve with rice also.
Unhappy with the results you’ve been getting? I currently have space for two clients. Get in touch below and lets go. Its time to go to work.
Depression is very common with an estimated 5-10 per cent of the UK population affected to some degree at any one time. It is more typically thought of as strictly emotional or biochemical, but Nutrition can play a key role, contributing to onset of depression and exacerbating its severity.
New research by Fulton & Sharma (2012) shows that, in addition to causing obesity, excessive consumption of high-fat foods can cause chemical reactions in the brain ultimately leading to depression.
Reward and pleasure centres in the brains of both animals and humans are controlled by a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine enables people to see rewards and take actions to move towards them. Fulton & Sharma showed that mice fed a high-fat diet developed depressive symptoms with changes in the brain’s reward and pleasure centres associated with depression.
The fat-fed mice developed high levels of CREB. CREB is a molecule that activates genes involved in brain function including genes that dampen the reward-circuitry. Having high CREB may make the same-old dose of a ‘drug’, in this instance high-fat food, less rewarding and promote a negative mood state. It seems that if you comfort eat fatty foods to improve your mood you may actually end up feeling worse!
Dr. Fulton draws a comparison with drug addiction whereby a vicious cycle sets in where “food-highs” are used as a way to combat depression. “In a similar way to illicit drugs” says Fulton “continually eating high-fat foods can lead to depression as the ‘come-downs’ take their toll”.
Whilst Fulton’s research focuses on the relationship between high-fat diet and depression, there are plenty of other dietary patterns, including excess sugars, nutrient deficiencies and skipping meals that may contribute to or exacerbate depressive symptoms. The bottom line is that food often plays a key role in maintaining your mental health, and there is a lot that can be done naturally to help rebalance mood naturally if you are currently affected to some degree by depression.
Maria Zaretti – Nutritional Therapist
Original Post Here
Nestler E and Malenka R (2004) Scientific American ;290(3):78-8.
Sharma S & Fulton S (2012) Diet-induced obesity promotes depressive-like behaviour that is associated with neural adaptations in brain reward circuitry International Journal of Obesity 10.1038/ijo.2012.48.
– See more at: http://www.zarettinutrition.com/blog/2012/06/do-you-eat-because-you-are-depressed-or-are-you-depressed-because-of-what-you-eat.htm#sthash.77itiuzL.dpuf