Deciding you want to lose weight needs to become a lifestyle thing! You are not on or off the wagon, you are just eating for health, to feel good, to safe guard your future, and live a long, healthy, happy rewarding life! Its not about restriction or never eating your favourite food again. Its about balance, eating in a way that supports your body to be healthy, energised and full of vitality.
Concentrate on the habits, because that is what impacts your physiology and your biochemistry, and will help nourish your body at cellular level to support its function, helping you become strong, healthy, lose weight and feel 100 x better, NOT the number on the scales.
The following is 8 tips to consider when trying to lose weight.
1) Keep it simple.
🥦 Keep it simple by eating natural, wholefood single ingredient food is a good place to start with losing weight or when trying to eat better.
🌶 Eating these kinds of foods instead of processed or refined foods helps to regulate appetite and metabolism, as well as will provide you with all the nutrients for good health.
🍠 Go for more simpler dishes such as soups, casseroles, stir fries, fish fillet, chicken breast, lean steaks, along with steamed or stir-fried veggies with herbs and spices for flavour.
2) Increase your protein intake.
🍗 Protein helps fill you up, keeps you full for longer, regulates appetite and supports sustainable long - term weight loss.
🍳 Eating plenty of protein at each meal, breakfast, lunch and dinner, will also help reduce cravings and increase will power helping to eliminate those afternoon or evening munchies.
3) Make sure you eat enough.
🍇 Not eating enough will only make you crave the foods that will hinder your weight loss. Ensuring you eat plenty at each meal including enough protein, healthy fats & carbs, will stop you wanting to snack.
🍒 Going too low on calories can decrease metabolic rate and increase fat storage.
🥥 Chronic undereating also increases levels of stress hormones, which promote fat and weight gain.
🍍 Not getting enough nutrients may reduce muscle tone, strength and affect your metabolism.
🍅 Undereating leads to fatigue and low energy over time.
4) Choose a carbohydrate intake that matches you activity levels
🥑 The amount and intensity of the exercise you do is the key factor to determine your carbohydrate needs.
🍌 If you are generally sedentary and do not or cannot exercise, a low-carb diet may help you lose weight.
🍊 low carb diet or low GI diet may also be beneficial for a number of chronic health complaints.
🍑 Fill up on the fat burning four instead – Fibre, protein, fat & vegetables
5) Consider other areas of your lifestyle!
🍆 Diet and physical activity are the cornerstones of successful weight loss, but other lifestyle factors are also crucial.
🥒 Getting stressed or anxious over your diet, health and lifestyle will only be detrimental to both your health and weightloss.
🧀 Sleep and stress levels will hugely impact your ability to lose weight and keep it off.
🌽 Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night
🥕 Practice regular stress management such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing, reading etc.
🍏 Know your weak points and enlist or put in place strategies to help overcome them.
🍓 Maintain commitment in the face of peer pressure.
🍐 If you don't have time to plan or prepare yourself simple healthy meals, or find time for relaxation or exercise you most probably need to revaluate your lifestyle if you are serious about changing your health.
6) CONSIDER TRACKING YOUR DIET
🥗 If most of the time you follow a simple, whole food diet, it doesn’t require calorie counting for weight loss, and you should be able to eat to appetite, but tracking can be useful if you are still struggling to lose weight.
🍒 Losing the last few pounds can often take much more attention to intake.
🌶 Write down everything you eat on a meal planner or online tracking app such as MyFitnessPal. You don't have to do this forever, just short term to be aware of what you are eating every day.
7) OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
🍉 The type of bacteria most prominent in your gut is shown to play a part in hormone regulation, weight control and lots of other factors that may hinder weight loss. Taking steps to promote your beneficial bacteria may help.
🍣 If appropriate try prolonged fasts. You can try a whole day or 16 hours from dinner until lunch the next day. This would be sufficient to help reset your insulin levels and to rest and rejuvenate your gut bacteria.
🥝 Look at reducing inflammation – Eating an anti-inflammatory diet can help bring the immune system back into balance and aid fat loss.
8) PORTION GUIDE
🥘 As mentioned above, it’s very difficult to overeat on a simple, wholefood diet but portions should roughly look like this per meal; Protein – a palm-sized portion
🍝 Fat – about 1–3 tbsp - you will find that fat often goes hand in hand with protein however. (i.e salmon, eggs, whole yogurt)
🍋 Veggies – as many as you can but at least 2 cups/ ½ your plate with every meal
🍑 Carbohydrate – this might be a piece of fruit or small portion of rice, but it is the last thing to add.
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Most people don’t go on holiday that often, maybe a couple of times a year if we are lucky! So I’ll always say just enjoy it!
However...... two weeks is a long time to be eating everything in sight and will undo your good work if you’re not careful, cause old symptoms to return, and leave you feeling not too great on your return!
I have a massive sweet tooth, and if I’m given an inch…. Well you know the rest…... So I do have certain strategies that help me deal with holidays and such!
The first thing is! The heathy habits you are trying to implement such as eating more veggies, drinking more water or being more active are lifestyle habits, and lifestyle habits are just that! To get the benefits they need to BECOME part of your lifestyle.
They need to become part of your lifestyle wherever you are. On holiday or not!
So even though the best of us will eat more than usual, maybe more ice cream, more roasted marshmallows! Drink more, or eat more of the sweet stuff! You should still be able to maintain those certain lifestyle habits.
They will not only keep you feeling good they’ll also help you from going OTT.
That being said we all get a bit more relaxed on holiday, so here’s a couple of strategies that work for me so I can still have my cake and eat it…....as such!
1) Offset the excess - I generally try and stick to the same principles, eating the way I like to eat. The way that makes me feel good. But then I might have fish and chips one day, maybe pizza another, most probably with an ice cream or pud the same day. I Just offset it by eating lighter the rest of the day, or even the next day.
2) Skip a meal. Very often you don’t need breakfast. Sometimes maybe you’ll have a big breakfast and don’t need any lunch so you can get away with a treat later on for example.
3) Choose your treats - Try and eat what you really like. It’s very easy to eat for the sake if it on holiday but save yourself for the thing you really love. You’ll enjoy it all the more.
4) If you do have a day where you just can’t stop eating, maybe there’s too much temptation about that day. Don’t sweat it! You’re on holiday, hopefully it won’t happen every single day, and just revert back to your usual strategies the next day and ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAY!
5) Exercise wise, I tend to actually exercise more, we are normally active in the day anyway, swimming in the sea, paddle boarding or walking etc, and as I’m an early riser I always walk or run first thing. I actually really love it on holiday, being up, taking in all the views first thing, but I understand that’s not for everyone….
Remembering that this is a lifestyle thing and just generally trying to get some enjoyable activity in to your day. A walk, swim in the ocean, kayaking whatever you like doing. Even if its 10 minutes here and there! If you’re not sure what to do, try some things out! Try something new!
The most important thing is to enjoy your holiday so that you can still enjoy the occasional treats without scuppering your health goals or undoing all your good work.
Remembering this is a lifestyle thing and not a ‘on the wagon, off the wagon’ type of thing. Everybody likes ice cream, sweets, or whatever your favourite treat is, its just what else you’re eating around it, and how much! So offset it, be mindful about your choices and have a great time!
However committed, motivated or however much you want to feel better about yourself, cravings are one thing that can turn you into somebody else, cause you to lose all dignity, and totally derail all of your healthy intentions.
Its ok when it only happens occasionally, and I always say you should never restrict anything in your diet. Some foods are better eaten only very occasionally as a special treat, or if you have an allergy or intolerance to something obviously these should be avoided, but generally if you are eating in a way that compliments your health most of the time, eating that food you really love won’t hurt or derail your goals!
“True health is a balanced diet, one that you enjoy and allows you the occasional ‘treat’ without feeling guilty about it”
There are many reasons for cravings, both emotional and physiological, and not just because you lack will power or the ability to say no to that chocolate, cake, pizza, crisps or whatever else you crave.
Below are a few of them and some things that may help!
1). A blood sugar imbalance is a huge reason I see with clients, especially if you crave sweet or starchy foods like bread or pastries. When blood sugar levels fluctuate your body craves mostly sweet and refined carbohydrates, which then just keeps the problem going over the day. Eating more protein and fat especially in the morning, and then at each meal, will help get this under control, and also making sure you don’t go long periods without eating.
2). There’s not a lot of science that supports the theory behind specific nutrient deficiencies causing cravings as it always seems to be nutrient poor food that people crave i.e chocolate, pastries, pizza. It’s often thought that if you crave chocolate you must be deficient in magnesium for example, but a better source would be leafy greens, nuts and beans, and I don’t know many who crave these!
Certain nutrient deficiencies however, such as B vitamins which utilize energy, and zinc deficiency, which impairs your ability to taste food, may be the reason for over eating or increased cravings. It may be worth getting tested for deficiencies in some cases. However, the best place to start is making sure you’re eating a nutrient dense diet, lots of colour, vitamins and minerals, and of course adequate protein and healthy fats.
3) Digestive imbalances such as low stomach acid, a compromised digestion and an imbalanced microbiota may also cause cravings and over eating. Digestive support such as digestive enzymes may help. It has also been shown that certain kinds of bacteria for example, thrive on certain foods so if you have an over-abundance of these kind of bacteria you are more likely to crave a certain kind of food.
4) Probably goes without saying but one of the simplest ways to reduce cravings is by ensuring you are drinking enough water throughout the day. Dehydration can sometimes be mistaken for hunger. Such a simple thing but nearly everyone I speak to admits they don’t drink enough!
5) Cravings and overeating may also be a sign of hidden food intolerances or sensitivities, which are known to trigger cravings as well as make you more likely to succumb to your cravings because of the negative affects they have on your health and well-being. If you think any particular food is affecting you, you could try a period of elimination, or go for testing.
6). Finally I’ve gotta say! Trying to eat healthy is rarely about the food! Its normally stress, anxiety, low mood, negative thinking or low self- esteem that drives cravings and overeating. The imbalances discussed above are very important and will also impact mood and mental health but studies also show that the way you handle stress, physical or psychological, play a role in cravings and has an impact on hormones such as leptin which controls your appetite.
Its being aware of the emotional reason and tackling that! This might be the one thing that may help you to control those cravings and overeating.
“Your relationship with food is very often a reflection of how you feel about yourself”
So, making an extra effort to relax, exercise, go for that walk, or manage your stress through regular deep breathing, meditation, or maybe finding fun and enjoyment, might be what you need to gain some control over cravings and overeating. In some circumstances seeking outside help might be the answer. Your health and well-being is worth it!
The problem with cravings and overeating, even if its overeating healthy food the harmful effects can really derail your ability to get on top of your health. The good news is that there are lots of things you can do to help!
We always tend to think complicated but most often it is the simplest of habits that people struggle to implement, and the simplest things that will make the biggest difference. Getting the basics in place, eating a nutrient rich diet, drinking enough water and managing stress or emotional drivers is definitely the first place to start. Looking at the imbalances alongside this can then make a difference.
I hope this helps and don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions, queries or support!
If you’re feeling low, irritable, anxious or stressed there are lots of things you can do to balance out your emotions and improve your mood.
Sometimes just the smallest thing can make the biggest difference to how you feel, and just consistently incorporating one small thing each day can have a big impact on how you feel.
Here’s a quick overview on some things that can help.
There are lots of things under your control that you can do to improve mood and begin to feel better and this is just a small amount.
Your diet and activity levels and lifestyle are directly related to your mood, health and levels of well-being.
Being consistent with diet, sleep and activity is what will help in the long run. Sometimes undergoing testing to see if there are any underlying imbalances can help too. Several imbalances can largely effect mood, levels of depression, and how we deal with stress.
Just start with one small thing today to start feeling better!
And get in touch if you want any advice or help.
Soups are so nutritious, warming, filling and easy to make. Getting in the habit of cooking a large batch up weekly, which doesn't take long at all, can really help you eat well over the week. Here's some examples of different soups to give you a bit of inspiration. Measurements are just a rough guide xx
Butternut Squash Soup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove chopped
1kg butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped
500ml vegetable stock, plus a little extra if necessary
1 tsp chopped sage
olive oil/coconut oil for frying
1. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and fry for 5 mins. Add the garlic and squash, and cook for 5 mins more.
2. Pour in the stock, stir in the chopped sage, then cover and simmer for 20 mins until the squash is tender.
3. Blitz with a hand blender or in a food processor until completely smooth. Allow to cool in the pan, then chill until ready to serve.
4. Will keep for 2 days or freeze for 3 months.
2 cloves garlic
2 sticks of celery
1 tin of white beans
large stem of broccoli
seasoning if required
Fresh cream (optional)
1. Heat the pan, add the oil and cook onion, garlic and celery for 5 mins
2. Add broccoli, boullion, water to cover.
3. Add white beans and simmer for 20 mins
4. Blend to desired consistency
5. season if required
6. serve with a drizzle of fresh cream (optional)
Red Lentil and Vegetable Soup
1 onion finely chopped
2 tsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 stalks of celery, diced
1/2 Savoy cabbage, finely sliced
2 carrots, diced
170 gms red lentils, washed
2 litres of vegetable stock
1. Heat the oil in a medium pan, add the onion garlic, carrots and celery and fry 5-10 minutes.
2. Pour in the stock and then cover the pan and cook over a medium heat for 10 mins
3. Add the cabbage to the pan and simmer for another 5 minutes until the lentils and cabbage are tender.
Lentil, Tomato and Spinach Soup
1 tsp olive oil
1 white onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 sticks of celery
1 small bunch of fresh coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
2 medium (about 450g) sweet potatoes
6 large vine tomatoes, (about 300g), roughly chopped
320g red lentils
1 litre vegetable stock
4 tbsp natural or Greek yoghurt
1. Place a large pan on a medium heat, along with a little oil. Peel the onion and garlic, then roughly chop with the celery and add to the pan.
2. Finely chop the coriander stalks and throw them in too, cook for 8-10 minutes,
3. Add the spices and cook for another 2-3 minutes
4. Roughly chop the potatoes and the tomatoes. Add both to the pan, along with the lentils and vegetable stock.
5. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 25-30 mins, until the potatoes are soft and the soup has thickened.
6. Stir through the spinach and season with salt and pepper.
7. Serve up into bowls with a dollop of natural or Greek yoghurt, top with the picked coriander leaves
(Recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver Website)
1 tin of cannellini beans
750ml vegetable/chicken stock
Red Lentil, Chilli and Chickpea soup
2 tsp of cumin
Large pinch of chilli flakes
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 red onion chopped 140 gms red split lentils
850ml vegetable stock
1 can whole/chopped tomatoes
½ can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
To serve: chopped coriander, Greek Yogurt
1. Heat a large saucepan and dry-fry the cumin seeds and chilli flakes for 1 min.
2. Add the oil and onion, and cook for 5 mins.
3. Stir in the lentils, stock and tomatoes, then bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 mins until the lentils have softened.
4. Blitz the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until it is a rough purée, pour back into the pan and add the chickpeas. Heat gently, season well and stir in the coriander. Finish with yogurt and coriander leaves.
Smoothies are a great way to boost your health and get in a load of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, healthy fats and more. If you're not really a breakfast person but feel you need something a smoothie is a lovely refreshing alternative.
I do recommend you put in 3 vegetables to 1 fruit so you are not getting too much sugar/ fructose.
Also add a protein source if you're having it as a standalone meal.
Its worth having a play around with the ingredients to get it how you like.
Here's some ideas for you to try.
Just choose from each box, blend and enjoy
This is a soup my mum put together and cooks regularly. Over the last couple of years she has turned her life around following an awful car accident and several health problems. Eliminating certain foods from her diet and eating foods that combat inflammation she really is an inspiration to anybody! This soup is a definite powerhouse of anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidants ingredients. You could use any protein source you have available, and just be careful if you use fresh turmeric its far stronger than dried! Especially if the kiddies are eating it!
Chop onion, garlic, ginger, celeriac, carrot, sweet potato and courgette. Fry turkey, onion, garlic in coconut oil. Add mustard and nigella seeds so they pop. Add turmeric and Garam masala. Mix well. Add the rest of the chopped vegetables. Add stock and cook for about 20/30 mins until vegetables are soft. Enjoy xx
Its that time of year isn't it when all the detox programs come out, but what is it all about and is it necessary to do a detox.
Detoxification as we think of it is actually the 'biotransformation' of potentially harmful substances and compounds, so they can be safely eliminated out of the body. These substances and compounds are produced both within our body and found in the environment. Food, drink and medications all need to be detoxified as well other molecules such as toxic metals, pollution, plastics, toxins, mould, pesticides, alcohol, and the many chemicals found in beauty products and cleaning products. To name but a few!
Studies on the affect of toxicity from chemicals found in our environment are not new. As we age all of us are gradually accumulating more and more of these chemicals with the average person being exposed to well over 500 chemicals per day! The extent to which we are affected by these toxins depends on our level of exposure and the ability of our detoxification systems.
The good news is that our body is detoxifying all the time with the main detox organ being the liver, whilst others, the kidneys, lungs, skin and digestive system also helping to eliminate toxins out of the body. To work properly these systems need a variety of nutrients, co factors (helping other nutrients), enzymes ( to help reactions take place) and elimination pathways to work properly.
Some of the signs of poor detoxification may include sluggishness, headaches, low energy and fatigue, dark circles under the eyes, low mood and irritation and skin breakouts. Here are 5 ways you can lower your toxic load.
1) Try and reduce toxins from foods and drink. For example eating organic would reduce pesticide exposure. You could start by looking at the clean 15 produced by the environmental working group here.
2) Ensure you eat a good range of colourful fruit and vegetables supplying the antioxidants to support detoxification systems.
3) Use more natural beauty and cleaning products.
4) Use glass storage and baking paper instead of plastics, cling film or tin foil.
5)Try and get active and sweaty everyday to promote elimination through the skin.
Some people who otherwise feel their diet and lifestyle is 'clean' but still don't 'feel right' might require further targeted nutritional recommendations to support detoxification pathways. Certain nutrient deficiencies or genetic factors for example can compromise detoxification systems. I found I have a specific compromised gene which means I have a reduced capacity for producing an enzyme responsible for clearing toxins potentially leading to an increased risk of chemical sensitivity. Supporting the detoxifications systems through nutrition does not mean a strict juice cleanse or restrictive diet rather changes that can be implemented everyday to ensure the nutrients needed for adequate detoxification are there. Its possible through diet and lifestyle to improve detoxification but sometimes you may also need added supplement support.
Hope this helps! xx
I don’t know about you but I do what I do, and eat the way I eat because it keeps me feeling good, and even though I want to enjoy Christmas and eat some
yummy treats, I don’t want to get to the other side NOT feeling good and to have totally scuppered all my healthy intentions.
And I also wouldn't enjoy Christmas feeling sluggish, tired and bloated from eating too much!
This subject has come up a lot with clients over the last couple of weeks, and I have heard several people say they will start being ‘good’ after Christmas!
The problem with that is there will always be something to derail you. Setting the habits for yourself NOW is what will help you with consistency, make this effortlessly part of your lifestyle and get you
those long- term results you want!
For me it takes a bit of thinking ahead and planning a little around what I know I’ll be doing, or eating!
Here’s some strategies that help me deal with all the abundance of goodies and temptation. I hope they help you too!
Good Luck and have a super Christmas! xx
So winter is definitely here! And Christmas is coming!! It that time of year when all the coughs and colds start to reappear, which can really put a dampener on December. I just wanted to give you quick run-down on some of the things you can start doing now to strengthen your immune system.
You may have heard me say before that around 70% of your immune system (and more importantly 80% of your immunoglobulin producing cells which help protect us against bacteria and viruses) are located in the gut. So gut health is really important when trying to improve immunity.
Here’s some things you can start doing now to help protect yourself over the coming winter months.