When You Eat Matters

We all know that it matters how MUCH we eat.

At the basic level we have our calories in vs calories out equation.

Looking to lose weight? Eat less calories than you burn. Want to gain weight? Consume more calories than you use.

We’ll say it again and again – getting calorie targets right is vital in reaching your physical goals.

So far so good right…?

But how about WHEN we eat?

A lot of PTs and coaches will tell you it just doesn’t matter.

To be fair, they’re trying to keep it simple…

BUT…….there’s a body of research that suggests when we eat really does make a difference to our body composition and energy levels.

However, before we dive into the science, consider this: if meal timing doesn’t matter, why do endurance athletes carb load the evening before events?

Answer, they want plenty of glycogen reserves for energy.

And…if you’re looking to manage your body fat down though, this is the last thing you want.

Here’s why…

First up, we’re more insulin sensitive in the mornings than at night. Therefore we’re better equipped to utilise the energy available to us in the mornings.

There is also observational data showing a clear link between higher body fat levels and consuming more of your daily calories late in the day.

Another long term study (spanning 20 weeks) showed that participants who ate their largest meal of the day before 3pm experienced more weight loss than those who ate theirs post 3pm.

Biologically speaking it would appear we’re physiologically adapted to handle bigger meals earlier in the day. There’s also a good body of research showing that for most people, front loading the majority of your calories early in the day is beneficial for body composition, and conversely, eating more, later, has a negative effect – ie weight gain.

Wouldn’t it be great if someone had actually tested this? Well, they have!

Jakubowicz et al took two groups and fed them a diet identical in calories, macros and timings, (with the aim of weight loss, so slightly calorie restricted).

The only difference being that one group was “front loaded” – having more calories earlier in the day and less in the evening, and the other group “back loaded” with more calories late in the day.

Not only did those in the front loaded group lose significantly more weight than those in the back loaded group, but they also had lower ghrelin (hunger hormone) levels through the day, meaning that they’d be less likely to eat more even outside of the meal plan conditions.

Nutrition is simple to a degree but to get best results – it’s multifaceted.

Applying science is what we do to fast track client’s results.

If you’d like to know more, or have any questions, get in touch 🙂

Managing The Pre-Christmas Pounds

It’s that time of year when the mercury drops, the nights draw in, and we’re drawn to hearty, filling food.

Throw in layers of clothes hiding your body and it can be all too easy for the weight to slowly creep on, and that’s before Christmas starts…

If you’d like a simple way to negate that weight gain without the faff of dieting or calorie counting then we’ve got 5 simple tips for you.

Before we get into those, please note, this is not a long term strategy.

If you want to drop body fat/ weight, then look to create around a 500 calorie a day deficit from your calorie needs by consuming slightly less and exercising more (something we work with clients one to one on).

Okay, so on with those tips…

1. Cut the sugars

We don’t mean just the teaspoon(s) you’re dropping in your tea/coffee but hidden sugars which are usually the main culprit. When we consume high amounts of sugar we trigger an insulin response, effectively converting the sugar to energy.

If we’re not using that energy right away, it’s then stored as glycogen in the muscles, and any leftover as body fat…. So… that sweet treat, could literally be “a moment on the lips, quite a long time on the hips.”

There’s research evidence that a yo-yo-ing insulin response makes us more likely to store fat around the abdominal and hip areas, so start reading packaging labels.

You’re looking for “Carbohydrates”, and underneath “of which sugars”. Anything 5% (5g per 100g) or below is low, anything 22.5% or above is classified as high sugar.

Aim for as low as possible.


2. Move more

Have heard of NEAT? It stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis. Basically, it means move more.

Research shows 2 identical individuals could have a variation of up to 2000 calories more burned in a day if one of them is moving more: fidgeting, typing, walking up stairs, walking rather than driving. Move your butt lovely people.


3. Drink more water

Often that hunger feeling is mild dehydration. If you’re hungry when you really shouldn’t be, then drink a big glass of cold water.

You should be aiming for 2 – 3 litres a day.
 

4. Load your food early in the day

Yes a pie and mash might make a splendid dinner on a chilly night but that energy isn’t going anywhere… Big breakfast, mid size lunch, light dinner.

5. Get enough sleep and manage your stress levels

These two are linked.

Poor sleep is linked to weight gain, as is stress. Both will trigger cortisol release which makes us more likely to store body fat. Learn ways to relax and get enough rest.

We hope that helps. As always – drop us a line with any questions. We love to hear from you.

Middle Age & Weight Gain: How To Handle It

What makes loosing weight hard as we get older and how can we get a handle on it?

We had this question recently from one of our clients, but it’s not the first time we’ve been asked it. We’re middle aged ourselves so this is something we’ve looked into, for our own goals and to successfully help our clients.

First up, why does it get harder to lose weight as we age? Well, there are a few reasons – mostly to do with the natural ageing process of our bodies. After about the age of 35 (we’re all different though – that’s why we work with blood tests and genetic samples with our consulting clients), there are a number of hormonal changes going on in the body which can contribute to weight gain.

For both men and women sex hormone levels drop, with less testosterone in the body, we have a lowered ability to synthesis new muscle tissue. This is an issue as from this age we’re losing roughly 3 to 5% of our muscle mass per decade with a resulting progressive drop strength. It’s a double whammy, our muscle tissue is degenerating and our hormonal balance is no longer primed for regeneration.

Our bone density also lowers (partly in thanks to lower oestrogen levels), while this won’t affect our weight per se, it’s important to note this for the fixes we’re going to recommend.

Likewise our collagen production lowers as our age increases (yes wrinkles!) but also less elastic tendons and ligaments.

On top of this our metabolisms also slow as we age, meaning we burn less energy than we used to. Now factor in that muscle is highly metabolically active, and that we’re losing that too and you can see that we’ve got double whammy of metabolic sluggishness.

Throw increased stress into the mix (midlifers are known as Generation Squeeze – careers, kids, parents etc) and you can be looking at raised cortisol levels too. This is linked with increased body fat (particularly abdominal fat) not to mention a host of other negative health indicators – both physical and mental.

So, let’s recap: our metabolisms are slowing, we’re losing muscle mass (slowing metabolism further), strength, flexibility and bone density. We’re probably stressed too, leading to more fat gain and our lifestyles probably mean we’re not moving as much as we should and we’re probably eating too many of the wrong things at the wrong times. That’s why losing weight is harder as we get older.

All is not lost – far from it! And it doesn’t take a massive lifestyle overhaul. We need to address two factors – movement, and nutrition.

As we age, it’s great to keep moving for all kinds of health reasons, and if you can, a couple of HIIT sessions a week are going to be great to boost your cardiovascular fitness, burn body fat and raise your metabolic rate. If you need to ease into HIIT then standard cardio is fine, it’s about getting moving regularly.

If you can go the HIIT route then you need to train for 15 – 20 mins twice a week – do-able!

We also want to not only preserve, but increase that muscle mass, so a minimum of two sessions of resistance training a week are your prescription for: increased muscle, increased strength, better bone density, higher metabolic rate.

These sessions don’t have to be in a gym, or even using weights at all. Again, a 20 to 30 minute bodyweight workout can work wonders.

Moving more burns more calories too, which is going to help with your fat loss. The other thing that’s going to help is addressing your nutrition. Knowing what to eat, when makes a huge difference and it’s not about restriction or foregoing your pleasures – we love a drink. This is something we spend time coaching our clients on and helping them with their nutrition, making sure they’ve got a firm grasp of the essentials for sustainable, long term healthy living.

Add some stretching post workout for those tendons and ligaments, or a regular yoga class, and when you put it all together you’re helping future proof your body for old age.

Finally, address the stress. Start habits and rituals that help move you to a more positive space. Practice meditation and mindfulness. There’s a lot you can do for yourself, but working on your mind is definitely an area that getting help can make a big difference with. We’ll use NLP techniques or patterning based on hypnotic symbolism to help clients reduce stress and shift towards positive habits and thoughts.

There we have it, some of the things that are happening to us as we get older, and solutions for dealing with them so that we can get to, then stay, in the mental and physical shape we want to be in.

With the right knowledge its not that hard, its not that time-consuming but the results can be life changing and prevention is better than cure. It’s not too late to start and imagine how good you could be feeling a month from now 🙂

If you’d like to learn more fill out this form ➡️https://bit.ly/2VFZfhe⬅️

or book a call ➡️https://bit.ly/2P35PvP⬅️

https://38nacademy.com/midlife-mentors/

Taking Your Retreat-Acquired Knowledge Home To Your Busy Life

Fitness retreats are all the rage right now with a mounting number of people looking to incorporate a fitter lifestyle into one that includes traveling to exotic destinations. Wellness tourism, of which fitness retreats forms a part, is booming with the industry growing nearly 50% faster than overall global tourism in 2017 according to the Global Wellness Tourism Economy Report (GWTER).  Our lives have become so busy that it is easy to lose track of what is important: our own health and well-being. At a fitness retreat, we are privy to invaluable guidance from seasoned professionals pertaining to our general health and well-being, fitness and nutrition. In order for the fitness retreat to be of real value to us, we need to take the knowledge we gain back home and apply it to various areas of our busy lives. That’s why we developed our Academy – to support you and keep you on track for your body goals, where ever you are.

Make an effort to eat healthily

Regardless of where in the world you go on a retreat, healthy nutrition is bound to be a focal point, especially considering that over 50% of adults in the UK are overweight or obese according to the NHS.  While on your fitness retreat you will become accustomed to eating nutritious meals that not only fuel your body but your mind as well. Once you return home you need to find a way to continue with your newly-acquired healthy eating habits despite a very demanding work schedule. One way to ensure that your eating practices change for the better is to rid your home of junk food. You should also start packing your own healthy lunches for work instead of buying takeaways or eating at the work canteen. If you are pressed for time to make your own healthy dinners, set aside an hour at the start of every month and draw up a menu. You can even prep some of the food in advance and refrigerate or freeze it for later use.

Forget fad diets, miracle supplements and  “promise the world” slimming teas and coffees. We focus on coaching you for sustainable fat (not weight) loss, and maintenance, whilst still living in balance and enjoying life. Our flexible nutrition approach based around knowing your TDEE (if you don’t know – come see us!) and ideal macro ratios make it simple to eat well for your goals. This is what we teach on our retreats and via our Academy, with a host of resources to make it easy to eat healthily even when you’re pressed for time.

You’ll have our nutrition workshop on your retreat to set you up for simple to follow, sustainable healthy eating, and in our Academy we have meal planners, recipes, nutritional videos and guides to help you.

Exercise regularly

The foremost purpose of a fitness retreat is to instill a healthy attitude towards exercise in attendees. Despite the importance of regular exercise being common knowledge, half of British adults never do any exercise according to the British Heart Foundation. Regardless of how demanding your work life is, you need to engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic a week once you return from your retreat as recommended by the NHS. One of the easiest ways to incorporate exercise into a busy lifestyle is to start setting your alarm for 30 minutes earlier in the morning to either go for a brisk walk or jog, do some yoga or even engage in some kettlebell exercises. You can also remain active while at work, opting to go for walks during your breaks instead of staying at your desk or even squeezing in a gym session.

Most of our clients are time-poor so we focus on short yet effective training protocols both on our retreats and with our coaching clients. Why spend hours in the gym when you can get the same results with informed eating and training?

Stay well hydrated

During your fitness retreat, you would have often been encouraged to drink enough water not only during your periods of physical exertion but during the day in general as well. Sometimes it becomes difficult amidst a very demanding day to get through even a single bottle of water regardless of the recommended daily intake of 8 glasses.  If you struggle to drink plain water you can spruce it up easily with a couple of lemon slices, a sprig of lime or other fruit including pineapple, kiwi, and berries. Drinking a glass of water prior to a meal can help you eat less, aiding your weight loss efforts while keeping your body well-hydrated.

The success of any fitness retreat lies in its ability to change your lifestyle in the long run. If you only engage in healthy eating habits and regular exercise while on retreat but return to your unhealthy habits as soon as you return home, your time at the retreat would be futile. Try to incorporate what you have learned into your everyday life and fully enjoy the benefits of your time away on a potentially life-changing fitness retreat.

If you want to keep in shape post-retreat and be supported then why not join our  Academy? It’s an online resource brimming with workout videos, programmes, nutritional information, hundreds of recipes, mindset, goal setting and motivation tools, and a private facebook group where we host live training and webinars. It’s free for 5 days then just $37 a month – less than a PT session or a coffee a day!

Check out the Academy here.

Running: How Many Calories You Burn

Even though we’re not great runners ourselves – it can be an effective activity for fitness and life expectancy. Research shows it brings many benefits to the human body such as strengthening muscles and bones, reducing the risks of cardiovascular diseases, and probably the best benefit is that it burns those calories. Running is also pretty cheap compared to other physical activities, simply because you don’t need to spend a lot on equipment. Just grab a good pair of running shoes and you’re good to go.

Today – for all you runners out there – we take a look at how it helps in burning calories.

It burns about 50% more calories than walking, and a 160-pound individual can burn as much as 606 calories per hour by running at a speed of 8 km/h. There is a difference between running outside and running in a gym, as 3-7% more calories are burned by running outside.

People engage in different types of running with jogging and sprinting among the most commonly used. Sprinting for 8 seconds and then doing a slow run for 12 seconds in the span of 20 minutes burns 5 times more fat than jogging 40 minutes in a uniformed speed.

The following list contains a comparison between different running types per hour.

  • Jogging burns 408 calories.

  • Running at 7.4 min/km burns 476 calories.

  • Running at 3.4 min/km burns 1,156 calories.

  • Running cross country burns 544 calories.

  • Running upstairs burns 952 calories.

  • Running at 3.7 min/km burns 1,200 calories.

Let’s take a look at food calories and how much running it takes to burn them.

  • Coca-Cola (330 ml) – 139 calories, 13 minutes.

  • French fries – 460 calories, 44 minutes.

  • Cake – 1,710 calories, 2.43 h.

  • Chocolate – 237 calories, 23 minutes.

  • Pizza – 682 calories, 1.5 h.

  • Burger – 490 calories, 46 minutes.

  • Beer – 245 calories, 23 minutes.

  • Fried chicken – 726 calories, 1.9 h.

It is important to know that one must consume the same amount of calories that his or her body spends in order to maintain ideal weight, consume less to lose weight, and consume more to add weight. It is that simple!

So if you’re a runner – we hope this helps!

14 03 2018 Running Fact

Infographic and article was posted with the help of our friends from 16best.net

Making Sense Of Nutrition: Your Guide To Macros

Making a commitment to have healthier eating habits is a tough one. Knowing how to implement that commitment may be even harder. Where do you start? What foods should you eat, and which ones should you stay away from? These are all questions you should answer before going out to the grocery store.

We need nutrients to survive. We need vitamins, minerals and calories everyday. There are two types of nutrients. Micronutrients are our vitamins and minerals and macronutrients are where our calories come from. The three types of macronutrients are fat, carbohydrates and proteins.

Many people think that all fats are bad and recently started thinking all carbohydrates are bad too. Of course we can’t exist on a protein only diet, nor would it be enjoyable, and let’s not forget that food sustains us, so a meal should be a celebration. Knowing what to eat and in what proportion is the key to a healthy body composition, and will allow you to eat flexibly and sustain results over the long term.

Protein comes primarily from lean red meats, poultry and fish sources, it’s also present to a less extent in edible plants and nuts. Protein is essential for the repair and building of muscles, so having good sources of protein in your diet is important.

Fats are also very important. Without fat, our body wouldn’t be able to utilise some of the vitamins we consume. Fat is found in our cell walls and make up a big part of hormones. Fats you should avoid in quantity are saturated fats that come in meat, milk and dairy products. Trans fats should also be avoided. Every one should consume good (unsaturated fats) that come from plant sources such as nuts and olives, and also oily fish. Omega 3, 6 & 9 play many important roles in the body, and you should note that omega’s in fish are more bio-available to us than those in nuts and seeds, though both are a good healthy source.

Finally carbohydrates… With the recent popularising of ketogenic, low and no fat diets, plus negative publicity recently, you might be afraid to eat any carbohydrates. However carbohydrates are our main fuel source. Our brain can’t use anything else to power itself with and our muscles will work the best on it. Don’t deprive yourself of it. Carbohydrates that you should stay away from are simple sugars that are found in sweets, cakes, fizzy drinks and many snacks. Good carbohydrates such as whole wheats and fruits will stabilise your insulin levels, keep you energized throughout the day and avoid sugar highs and lows.

One way we can do this is by knowing the Glycemic Index of foods. You may have heard about the glycemic index and wondered what it is all about. The glycemic index is a ranking of carbohydrates based on their immediate effect on blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. It compares foods gram for gram of carbohydrate.

Carbohydrates that breakdown quickly during digestion have the highest glycemic indexes. The blood glucose response is fast and high. This mean insulin spike and over time this can lead to increased insulin resistance, increased body fat, and in some cases Type 2 Diabetes. Carbohydrates that break down slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the blood stream, have low glycemic indexes.

Foods with a high glycemic index convert into sugar very quickly, with negative physical effects. Foods with a low glycemic index turn into sugar gradually, helping maintain your body’s chemical balance. In general, foods with a low index are preferable.

Glycemic Load measures the amount of sugar a food actually releases in the body. Foods with a low glycemic load usually have a low glycemic index, yet still have a low glycemic load. Other foods have both a high index and a high load. You should avoid high load foods as a regular part of your meal plan.

When you choose carbohydrate foods, check both their glycemic index and glycemic load. Detailed tables with this information are widely available. Use the chart below to get started.

High Glycemic Index

# Fruits and Vegetables

* Corn
* Cranberry juice
* Orange juice*
* Raisins

# Starches

* Bagel
* Bread (white)
* Refined cereal
* Granola
* Muffin
* Pasta
* Potato
* Pretzel
* Rice
* Tortilla (flour)

Medium Glycemic Index

Fruits and Vegetables
Apricot*
Grape*
Pineapple*
Watermelon

Starches
French Fries
Oatmeal
Pita Bread
Waffle

Low Glycemic Index

Fruits and Vegetables

* Apple*
* Asparagus*
* Broccoli*
* Brussels sprout*
* Cauliflower*
* Celery*
* Cherry*
* Cucumber*
* Grapefruit*
* Green Bean*
* Green pepper*
* Kiwi*
* Lettuce*
* Onion*
* Orange*
* Peach*
* Plum*
* Spinach*
* Strawberry*
* Tomato*
* Courgette*

* Low glycemic load foods.

Simply eating more fruits and vegetables is not the answer – they must be the right fruits and vegetables. Starchy vegetables such as peas or lentils (200 to 250 calories per cup) are healthy, but they contain more calories than you may want. If you need to eat more to satisfy your hunger, add low glycemic load vegetables. For example, spinach and asparagus are better choices than higher calorie corn and peas. A cup of spinach topped with 1/2 cup of tomato sauce has only about 90 calories, but it gives you nutrients from two colour groups.

Why Not Brown and Beige?

When considering which foods to enjoy sparingly, also use colour as a guideline. Many brown and beige carbohydrates, like pasta, beans and potatoes, while healthy, also tend to be high in calories.

So how to apply this?

  • First up know your calorie target for your body goals.
  • Next know your optimum macro ratio for your goals (your ratio of proteins, carbohydrates and fats)
  • Ensure your fat target is made up of healthy fats
  • Ensure your carbohydrate target is made up of low GI carbs
  • You don’t need to ensure every meal is bang on your target – looks to hit your macros over the day.
  • If you have a blow out – just get your macros to balance over the next couple of days
  • Monitor for 21 days and check the results

If you’d like to know more about this flexible nutrition approach why not join our Academy here, where you can use our macro calculator to work out your individual ratios, download meal planners, templates and have access to hundreds of recipes with macros included. Plus training, mindset and a private facebook group with live workouts, Q&As and more.

Sign Up For Our Midlife Newsletter
We respect your privacy.
Processing...
Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.
ErrorHere