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You Need To Think About What You Won’t Do

I love bread, sausages and beer. I have a healthy diet, but I do enjoy these three things and I don’t think that I could ever give them up totally as part of any nutrition plan. They would be on my “I won’t list”. We all have one of these lists, even though you’ve probably never thought of it.

We always talk about what we will do to be healthy and how you are willing to achieve your nutritional and exercise goals. For example,

  • I’m going to exercise 4 days per week
  • I’m going to hit my calorie goal every day
  • I’m getting up an hour earlier each day so I can work out at 6am

That’s great. We do need to identify those qualities, those markers within us that can create habits that will reinforce the positive behavior and give us a growing awareness of how far we are willing to go.

However, there is something else that you need to factor in; your capacity for succeeding is also dependent on what you are not willing to do. Mine is bread, sausages and beer. What won’t you give up? Where will you draw the line at pushing yourself? Examples on your “won’t do” list could be:

But there’s something else you need to factor in: your capacity for success is also predicated on what you are not willing to do. What you won’t give up. Where you draw the line at discomfort. Yes, your list of things you won’t do. Examples:

  • I won’t eat vegetables
  • I won’t stop eating cheese
  • I am NOT running
  • No high intensity exercise
  • I can’t get up at 6:00 am to exercise. That’s too early
  • I won’t lift weights because I’ll get “bulky” (you won’t)

It is important to look at this list as definitive statements are an indicator of our mindset. Because of this, we need to take a minute to examine them for clues.

Here is an exercise for you to do: take a piece of paper and write at the top: I WON’T and then fill in 5 lines below with things that you are not willing to do in the pursuit of a healthier life. Just write them down. Don’t think about “why” at this point, just write the important points.

Once you have finished take a look. Consider if all of your points are definite “won’ts”. If they are then keep them. If you are unsure whether they are definite then ask yourself these questions:

Why are you unwilling to?

What would that mean to you? To your life? To your family?

If you could give it up for a short time would that be ok? Could you survive and how long for?

 

You may have some understandable points on your list. For example, if you are a single parent then “going for a run before work” is probably not achievable. However, what about points that fall into a “middle ground” or definates that do not have a concrete reason? You may refuse to do weight-training as you do not want to bulk up. Could you seek advice from someone who could give you a programme to allow you to weight-train without any possibility that you will increase bulk.   With these “middle ground” points, there is often a way of removing them from your list with a bit of help.

Writing your list and then analysing it is a great way of getting to know yourself. It will make you think about your mindset and behaviours and help you to visualise the following: the road to success has two yellow lines running down the middle, dividing it in half (those lines represent what you are willing to do and what you are not willing to do). A little further down the road it splits into two. One fork takes you to success, the other doesn’t. However, to take the road to success you must be on the right side of the line at that point.

And the secret to this? Successful people will do the things that unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Say it again; “successful people will do the things that unsuccessful people are not willing to do”. So, all of those things in your “won’t do” list may be holding you back from being successful.

Success is not an easy path to follow. It never has been and never will be. It requires smart planning, sacrifices, consistency, re-evaluation, willingness to adjust and perseverance when life gets hard. There will be hard times, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get through them. You just need to be determined.

So, want success. Figure out what is holding you back, and work on it. You might find a hidden key to a door you need to unlock. Good luck!

Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

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How do you know if you’re an athlete?

ath·lete

noun

a person who is proficient in sports and other forms of physical exercise.

 

More and more people are exercising nowadays, and while the definition is helpful, it is more fun to look at the list below to see if you can call yourself an athlete.

So, you might be an athlete if…

  1. You feel more at home at the gym than you do at your actual home
  2. You spend most of your waking hours thinking about PBs
  3. You DREAM about PBs
  4. You plan your holidays around upcoming races
  5. You own ten pairs of trainers – not for vanity, but because you need running shoes, gym shoes, trail shoes, barefoot shoes, etc
  6. You’ve had to ask for help getting out of a chair, because yesterday was leg day
  7. You’ve had to walk downstairs backwards the day after a marathon
  8. Random people ask you if you work out, and you’re excited to respond
  9. When you watch an action movie, you think to yourself, “I could do that.”
  10. Most of your wardrobe has been replaced with free t-shirts from fitness related events
  11. You’ve had a bad day completely turn around as soon as you exercise
  12. Your normal friends know how fast you run, even if they don’t know if that is fast or not
  13. Your Facebook profile pic is you exercising
  14. Most of your Facebook status updates involve you exercising
  15. You never miss the opportunity to take a nap, because naps = recovery
  16. All of your friends come to you for fitness/diet advice
  17. You’ve had nightmares about an interval session
  18. You’d NEVER stay up late partying if you have a race the next day
  19. You’ve shared a “leg day” meme on your social network
  20. Your Instagram is basically just fit people and food.  And cats, of course.
  21. You know how big your arms are – you’ve measured, and my how they’ve grown
  22. You can’t wait to tell your friends and family about a great workout, even if they hate hearing about it
  23. You have a section of wall in your home dedicated to all of your event medals
  24. You have a pair of running shoes you wear for mud runs so you don’t ruin your OTHER running shoes
  25. You stay up obsessing over tomorrow’s workout, wondering if you’ll actually be able to hit all your goals
  26. Most of your jeans are too loose around the waist and calves and too tight around the thighs and bum
  27. You’ve given up on jeans and spend most of your time in shorts or leggings
  28. Family gatherings totally freak you out because you only talk about training
  29. You watch TV grimacing while using your foam roller
  30. You’ve had to explain to people exactly what a foam roller does/is
  31. You make time to exercise, no matter what
  32. You’ve been told, more than once, to talk about something other than training.  You did not comply
  33. There is never enough coffee. Or food
  34. You’d rather be training than reading this
  35. People think you’re OBSESSED for wanting to train all the time. You know you are DEDICATED
  36. You’re in 16 different Facebook groups, all of which revolve around fitness or nutrition of some sort.
  37. While traveling, you make it a point to run around the local area, taking photos to post on Facebook
  38. You seek out the nearest parkrun when you go away for a weekend
  39. You made it all the way to the end of a “You Might Be An Athlete If…” list

 Please let me know what numbers apply to you!

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Why Breathing Cold Air Can Hurt

Why do my lungs seem to burn when running in cold temperatures? This is a common question, especially among new runners or those running in cold weather for the first time. The lungs have evolved to warm and humidify inhaled air to body temperature and humidity without damaging tissue.

Think of the respiratory system as a tree; with two main branches splitting off from the trunk and then splitting into smaller and smaller branches until the tiny branches sprout leaves. Turn the tree upside down and shrink it to chest size and you have the lung with the trachea as the trunk and the alveoli (air sacks) as leaves.

The warming and humidification of the air occurs quickly starting in the mouth and nose, reaching body temperature and 100 per cent humidity before the air gets too deep into the respiratory tree. As air moves deeper into the air sacks that lie in direct contact with the blood vessels, it exchanges oxygen for carbon dioxide. While inhaled air is cooling the lung tissue, the expired air adds some heat back to the cooled tissues on the way out of the lungs.

Cold air is very dry. The burning sensation you feel in cold air is probably due to the combination of heat and water exchange that is occurring early in the inhalation of cold, dry air. For most people, this sensation goes away after a few minutes and it is not known to cause harm in healthy lungs, but can trigger an attack of bronchospasm in someone with asthma.

Many people worry that the lung tissue will freeze in cold air, but the extensive network of blood flow through the lung tissue seems to prevent that from happening.

As research tells us, the lungs will tolerate extremely cold temperatures without cold damage.

Growing up and living in England, we are used to cold weather, and as kids, that didn’t stop us from running around outdoors without damage. There are many year-round runners in places far colder than the temperatures we have to live with. Evolution seems to have developed a hardy system that will withstand the cold elements.

If cold air bothers you during exercise, you can wear a scarf or snood/buff type piece of clothing to help “pre-warm” the air. There are many designs to be found on the internet that can help. Just beware that covering your mouth and nose during exercising will make breathing feel harder due to breathing through a layer of material.

So, no excuses; you can exercise in cold conditions without fear of damaging your lungs, and the burning sensation will pass.

Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

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When to Exercise When You Are Ill

We are getting into the winter months, which generally means the cold and flu season is on its way. I often get asked if it’s okay to exercise when sick? I know there is nothing more frustrating than enjoying your exercise programme, getting results and then getting ill, whether it’s a common cold, full blown flu or another horrible bug.

Asking if you can exercise when sick can be a bit like asking how long is a piece for string? It all really comes down to your symptoms, how you feel and the type of exercise you want to do.

I personally use the general rule of thumb that if my symptoms are just above the head (so runny nose, sore throat or sneezing) it’s still okay for moderate to gentle exercise. Take it easier than normal and do nothing that’s going to be too tiring. Personally, I find it hard to take a step back and not go to the gym or run but sometimes you just have to learn to listen to your body and rest up when needed.

If I can feel a cold coming on, but the symptoms aren’t too bad I will just start with some gentle exercise, see how I feel after ten minutes and then either stop or keep going depending on how I feel. If you aren’t too sick and do the right exercise it can actually help your immune system. So if you do just have a common cold and feel like you could do some form of exercise then do just, just far easier than normal.

However, there are some definite signs and symptoms of when you should avoid any type of exercise (usually ‘below the neck’ symptoms): – High temperature – Achy muscles (not your usual post-workout type of aches) – Chesty cough – Swollen glands – Vomiting – Diarrhea

If you display any forms of those symptoms, then you need to rest. It’s more important to give yourself the time to heal, sleep and stay hydrated. There is no point pushing yourself to only make yourself worse. It’s also important that when you are sick that you don’t spread your germs to those around you (you wouldn’t want them to do it to you).

Once you have got over the worst of your symptoms and want to get back into your routine, always make sure you start with an easier workout to make sure you are fully over whatever you had. Going too hard too quickly can sometimes lead to a reoccurrence of your symptoms.

Unfortunately getting sick is a part of life and we can’t be super human all the time. I generally know when I get sick (which isn’t often at all nowadays), it’s my body’s way of telling me I need to listen and slow down a little bit.

Remember it’s okay to put your feet up sometimes and let your body heal. It is better to have a couple of days off to fight off an illness instead of battling through regardless and missing a month when you make it worse. Be sensible.

I’m also not a medical expert by any means so I always advise to seek professional medical advice when you really are unsure or symptoms persist.

Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

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Motivation to Move

Motivation is one of those things that we can all do with a little more of at different stages in our lives. As you know, exercise can be just what you need to get your mind stimulated and your body energised. Yet every now and then we need a little motivation to get us up and get started.

Here are my top tips for finding that motivation to get yourself moving:

 Know your ‘why?’ – What is your real reason for wanting to exercise? Work out exactly why you are doing this and write it down….everywhere!! Pin it to the fridge, write it in your phone, put it on your desk, even in your car. Whenever you feel that you can’t be bothered, remind yourself of why you are doing this and what it will mean once you achieve your goal.

 Make a play list – Music is a fantastic way to keep you motivated. You can adjust it to suit your mood or the pace of the workout you are doing. Opting for music with a good beat can really help to motivate you to keep going and stay on track.

 Find an exercise buddy – Having other people to exercise with can be just what you need to get you up and motivated. Exercise buddies, whether a friend or Personal Trainer, can not only make the experience more enjoyable, they also help keep you accountable for sticking to your plans.

Use different locations – I like to try running different routes and outdoor places to work out because it keeps it fresh and interesting, plus I get to explore some of the beautiful places in my area. So take yourself over the fields, try different parks and explore different routes to keep it interesting.

 Mix it up – Your body will slowly become conditioned to specific exercises and routines, and you will find you reach a plateau as the challenge is reduced. So keep mixing it up, rotating the areas of the body you are working on and adding new and more challenging exercises. Don’t be afraid to try something new and different.

And remember, always keep in mind your own personal goals as you work towards them. You are capable of achieving anything you set your mind to and the hard work is definitely worth it.

 

 

Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

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Get Over It! Bad Workouts

Bad workouts and poor races: we all have them and we always will. The more experienced I get the less I worry about the occasional flat session. Instead, I see them as a chance to learn. Here are my main reasons for bad workouts and, more importantly, what to do about them.

Wrong type

Workouts in our weaker areas are where we are more likely to struggle. For example, I’m more of a longer distance runner so when I do short speed sessions I often fall short of the speeds that others can achieve. However, when I do longer tempo runs I can achieve a faster speed for longer.

This has frustrated me as the people I am comparing myself to (I know you shouldn’t, but you do) have very similar race times. I now accept the workouts that are my weakness are more likely to be my ‘bad’ ones. (‘Bad’ is a relative term. In this case, I mean that I struggle to hit the paces which I would expect based, on my fitness level.) I now realise that although I may not be able to run 400 metres as fast as a club-mate, I can beat them over 10 miles.

This subtle understanding of your body’s strength and weaknesses can take the pressure off workouts and make you more accepting of those times when training feels tougher.

Outside factors

I’m surprised at how upset runners get when a workout goes poorly when there’s clearly a valid reason for it. An example of this could be that your child is ill and you have been up all night with them and you feel really tired. Your workout is likely to be compromised due to the lack of sleep and possibly worrying about your child. Anyone on the outside can see this, but the person themselves then view the workout as a poor one and start to let it affect their confidence. People tend to mentally separate life stress from training stress (and sometimes working out can make you feel a lot better), but by stressing over bad workouts you are adding more unwarranted stress to ‘understandable’ stress.

The same goes for the weather. If it’s hot, humid or windy, your workouts will be compromised. How often do you still expect a great session even though it’s hot? This is just setting yourself up for failure. Instead, adjust your expectations and try as hard as the conditions will allow you. A great personal example I have of this is my own interval training. I run my shorter intervals up and down on a straight part of road. If it is windy I have to run into the wind on alternate reps. This means that by putting in the same effort, one set is always going to be slower. So I just focus on the effort I am running at and worry less about the time.

Inadequate recovery

Recovery, or lack of, often plays a role in bad workouts. When a session doesn’t go well, look at the previous few days. Did you have enough recovery and rest? Again, this is where being a slave to a training plan can hurt us. Your training plan should be flexible, where you’re constantly moving things around to make sure the hard/easy cycle is obeyed. As recovery is just as important as the workouts it is sometimes worthwhile taking that extra day to recovery or train at an easy intensity to ensure you are ready to run your harder sessions. If not, you have to understand that you will not perform as well as if you are better rested.

Once again, from personal experience, I know that at the end of a 50-mile week I will not run as fast as if I have run less miles in the previous few days. This is why tapering for major races is important and knowing that running on tired legs is not going to have the same results.

Finally, it’s also important to acknowledge that the body has days that we just don’t quite understand. Some days you just feel ‘off’.

It is hard to accept a bad workout or race when there are valid reasons, but it is extra-hard when there appears to be no reason at all.

Remember, one great run doesn’t make you a world champion and one bad run doesn’t make you a bad runner.

Get over it and move on!

 

Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

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How to Reduce Your Soft Drink Intake

Soft drinks are very popular with a lot of the population and they are often cheaper than a bottle of water.

Regular consumption of sugary soft drinks has been associated with higher risks of developing diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, gout and obesity. Sounds scary? It is! The simple reason behind this is the amount of calories contained in many of these drinks. There are approximately 140 calories in a regular can of Coca Cola, and this is pretty similar with other brands as well. So by drinking 3 cans a day will add over 400 calories to your daily intake. Do this every day for a week and you could be increasing your weight by almost one pound. Doing this every day for a year could mean your weight increasing by around 3.5 stone. Now that is scary; just from 3 cans of sugary drinks per day.

Now turn that around; if you are currently drinking 3 cans of sugary drinks per day, think of the weight you could lose by cutting them out. Now you won’t lose 3.5 stone as your body will get used to not having them, but they are easy calories to cut out and will make a big difference to any weight loss programme.

 

What about the sugar-free alternatives; they must be better surely? They do not contain sugar and so most are calorie-free, however, they do include artificial sweeteners to make up for the lack of sugar. As they are generally calorie-free most people will drink more than they would usually consume of the full-sugar versions. By drinking more of these it is possible for you to become addicted to the sweeteners in the same way you would to the sugar in the full-calorie versions.

Now although I couldn’t find any evidence to prove long-term health risks, there have been studies completed that have linked ‘diet’ soft drinks with tooth decay, osteoporsis, heart disease and depression. Still not good news then!

Now, as with everything I advocate, it is probably not going to be sustainable to ‘never have another, ever!’. Consuming both full-calorie or diet versions of drinks occasionally is not going to cause any major health or weight issues. It is the regular and over consumption of these that are the issue.

 

Here are my top tips to reduce your consumption of soft drinks.

Don’t buy them – This is probably the easiest way to reduce consumption. If you don’t put them in your shopping trolley you are less likely to go out to the shops just to buy a can. Remember, ‘out of sight, out of mind’

Know your triggers – Do you drink soft drinks only at certain times of the day or at certain places? By identifying these triggers, you are more likely to find strategies to deal with them.

 Take it slow – In an ideal world we wouldn’t consume any of these drinks. However, we don’t live in the real world and for any changes to be sustainable start by reducing your intake by half. Then next week reduce it by half again. Soon you will find you are not having them every day and your habit is broken. You will then find it easier to reduce consumption even further if needed.

Make a healthy swap – We all need fluids to survive so if you are reducing your intake of soft drinks you need to replace them with something. You can try to swap the soft drink for a healthy alternative, such as water. If you don’t like the taste of water (as my wife doesn’t), you can add a slice of lemon, lime or orange for taste. Carbonated water with a slice of real fruit can also trick the brain into thinking it is having that can of soft drink.

Have a cup of tea – If you want more flavour than plain water, why not try to replace your soft drink with tea? Herbal, green and white teas have got numerous health benefits and are usually much better for you than the soft drinks.

 

Remind yourself – Always remember why you are doing this. Is it to:

Enhance your health?

Lose weight?

Reduce your intake of caffeine (contained in most cola related drinks)?

Reduce your intake of artificial sweeteners?

Save money?

 

Whatever your reason, remember it and keep it in mind when you buy your shopping.

If swapping to tea or water doesn’t make you crave the soft drink less, remind yourself why you are quitting soda. Is it:

– To enhance your health?

– To reduce your intake of artificial sweeteners?

– To reduce your intake of phosphoric acid?

– To reduce your intake of caffeine?

– To save money?

Whatever reason you may have, you know you will feel better for it!

 

Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

Contact me today to ask any questions or to book your FREE consultation

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Why Can’t You Shift That Stubborn Fat

There is nothing worse than feeling like you are doing everything you can, but that last bit of stubborn fat just won’t shift. However, you could be preventing fat loss from a few bad habits that you have without knowing, or you could have simply reached a plateau in your training routine. I’m not going to go all ‘nanny-state’ on you, but if you are struggling, here are some things that could be getting in your way.

 

Your portion sizes are too big – It’s easy to think that because you are eating something healthy, you can eat as much as you want. However, just because something is healthy doesn’t mean you can over-do it. I’d never advise you to go hungry, but if you are eating high-calorie healthy foods, and not watching your portion sizes, you could easily start to gain weight, and store extra fat. Nuts are the perfect example of this, whilst they are a great source of good fat and protein for the body, they are also extremely calorie dense, and extremely easy to over-eat because they taste so good and you just seem to put them into your mouth, one after another. Make sure you are sticking to sensible portion sizes in all the foods you eat, including the healthy ones.

 

You consume liquid calories – If you are someone who drinks a lot of coffee, tea, juice or even worse fizzy drink, then you could be blowing your daily calorie intake in drinks. A large latte or hot chocolate from a high-street coffee shop could contain the equivalent calories of a meal. Liquid calories are also just empty calories, and unless it’s natural fruit juice they generally provide no nutritional value to the body (although be aware of the calories and sugars, albeit natural sugars in fruit juices). Stick to water, black tea or coffee, without sugar to get the fewest calories out of your drinks.

 

You’ve hit a plateau in your training – Your body will get used to any type of exercise, so if you are continuously doing the same thing day in and day out, then the body won’t respond the way it did when you first started. That’s why it’s important to keep the workouts changing on a constant basis. This is why I like to change the sessions I design for people. Just when your body adapts, the intensity or type of exercise changes – so not only will you find you’re capable of increasingly complex and challenging moves, it will help you break through plateaus and boost motivation because you’re doing something different. It’s also the best way to keep enjoying your exercise.

 

Mindless eating – We seem to be getting so distracted with technology that we don’t pay attention to what we put in our mouths. I’m always amazed at how many people I see in coffee shops, using their phones, whilst eating away. I also know of so many people who will sit at their desk and snack whilst still tapping away on their computer, or eat snacks in front of the television or social media. Mindless eating is when you are eating while doing something else and not concentrating on what you are eating. The problem with mindless eating is that when you aren’t paying attention to the food you often find yourself over-eating. Try and make sure that when you sit down to eat a meal, your focus is on that and that alone (although do not ignore the other people around the table).

 

Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

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Why You Need to Eat Fat.

There is a common myth in the weight-loss world that eating fat makes you fat. For years, the diet industry (and government) campaigned that it was the fat in foods that made you overweight.

Therefore, most foods and diets for the last 30 years have promoted ‘low fat’ as being good. So why is the world getting fatter then?

New studies are now showing that there is no direct correlation between eating fat and your weight. At this point I will clarify that fat contains around 9 calories per gram compared to 4 calories per gram for carbohydrates and proteins. So eating the same amount of fats as carbs or proteins will result in you taking in more calories. But eating fat in moderation, as is the case with everything, will not make you fat.

Eating fat (the good kind), can actually help with fat loss, boost your metabolism and improve overall health. It is also essential for body cell development and certain brain functions. That’s why you will never see me telling you to cut fat out of your diet.

 

Today I’m telling you that it’s time to ditch the low-fat diet, and start incorporating fats back into your meals.

Low fat does not mean healthy.

Due to the power of advertising and marketing, the many years of low-fat diets being promoted has now made people assume that if a food is packaged as ‘low-fat’ it is good for you. However, in order for them to remove the fat from the food, salts and sugars are usually added, together with various additives and flavourings to make the food taste good.

‘Low-fat’ means that the food must contain no more than 3g of fat per 100g (3%) for solids, or 1.5g of fat per 100ml for liquids (1.5%) or 1.8g of fat per 100ml for semi-skimmed milk.

‘Reduced fat’ is even more ambiguous, being defined as the food must contain at least 25% less fat than the regular product to which it is being compared, and at least 3g less fat per 100g of food.

So a ‘reduced fat’ product may still be 50% fat, it is just not as high as the original product it is being compared to.

My advice is to always read the labels and to make sure you know what the food is made up of. Concentrate more on the calorie content of the food. If you need any advice, please get in touch.

 

Why fat is good? Your body needs the right nutrients to function properly. Fats are essential for your body, brain and organs to function properly.  They also help rebuild cells, give you energy and produce hormones. That’s why it’s an essential nutrient to include in your daily diet. Especially when you are doing extensive exercise and your body requires proper fuel. However, there is a big difference between fats. Most people define good fats as polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat and categorise saturated fats as a bad fat.

 

Polyunsaturated fats: These fats help lower your bad LDL cholesterol, as well as contain your essential omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are what helps boost brain function, improve your immune system and your mood. You’ll find these fats in your foods like salmon, mackerel, flaxseed, walnuts and chia seeds.

 

Monounsaturated fat: These fats help raise your good HDL cholesterol and lower your bad LDL cholesterol. This helps to reduce the build-up of plaque in your arteries and prevent heart disease. Studies have also shown that these fats also help to reduce belly fat. Foods that contain monounsaturated fats are olive oil, cashews, almonds, peanuts, sesame seeds and avocados.

Coconut oil is another great example of good fat you can eat. It contains medium-chain fatty acid, which are a healthier form of saturated fats. Our body metabolises these fatty acids differently, and immediately converts it to energy for our brain and muscles to function. It’s also great for boosting your immunity, metabolism and helps to improve digestion.

 

Saturated fats: Saturated fats are usually solid at room temperature (animal fats, butter, cheese, etc). These, if eaten in bulk, can raise your cholesterol and increase your risk of heart disease. These fats should make up a lower proportion of your fat intake.

 

Trans fats: Trans fats are the worst, as they are made from unsaturated fat that has been chemically processed to prolong the shelf life of packaged foods. They do not only raise your bad LDL cholesterol, and contribute towards heart disease, but they also increase inflammation in the body. Foods that include these fats are often processed cakes, crackers, crisps, biscuits, butter-type spreads and chips. In packaged foods, look out for the ingredient ‘hydrogenated vegetable oil’ as this is trans fat. You’ll be surprised at how many foods you’ll find that contain these chemically processed trans fats.

 

So, if you want to remove your body fat, it’s not about removing fat from your diet completely. It’s about finding a good balance between eating whole nutrient rich foods like vegetables, fruit, lean meat, nuts, seeds, legumes and fats in moderation. So ditch the low-fat diet and start nourishing your body instead with healthy wholesome foods.

If you want any advice, please contact me using the details below.

Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

Contact me today to ask any questions or to book your FREE consultation

Call me on 07815 044521 or email me at martinhulbertpt@gmail.com

How to Get Away From Emotional Eating

Emotional eating is probably one of the biggest reasons for people gaining weight and ruining their fitness improvements.

Quite a lot of people over-eat when they experience strong negative emotions, such as depression, anxiety, stress and relationship break-ups. They then feel guilty about overeating and the weight gain that has caused. This causes them to get emotional and over-eat again, causing a spiral that is difficult to break.

If you can learn to control the stress that leads to the emotions, or change your eating habits when you have negative emotions, you can regain control of your eating habits and start to break the habits you have formed.

What is emotional eating? To some extent, we are all emotional eaters. A lot of our social lives are based around food. We socialise or celebrate by going out for a nice dinner or catch up with friends over lunch. Eating only becomes a problem when you are using food to mask negative emotions, or use it to make you feel better. If your eating habits are based on emotions rather than hunger, your waistline and emotional state can suffer.

To find out if you are someone who emotionally eats, you can ask yourself these questions:

Do you mindlessly eat when you are bored, want a distraction and/or watching TV?

Do you reward yourself with food when you are having a good day?

Do you seek comfort in food when you are having a bad day?

Do you eat when you feel overwhelmed with stress and anxiety?

If you answered yes to these questions, then sometimes you eat based on emotions, rather than when you are hungry. It becomes a problem when you are using food to mask a deeper issue, and it’s making you gain weight and have an unhealthy relationship with food.

So how do you break free? The first step is to actually recognise if you are an emotional eater or not. Emotional eating is often just a behaviour or habit we have created ourselves over time. So, as you have created the habit, you can break it. Here are some possible ways to help you break free from emotional eating:

Become aware of your eating patterns In order to remove emotional eating, you need to become aware of your eating patterns and behaviours. Stop and recognise when you are eating out of hunger and when you are eating because of an emotional state. Pause, think before you buy the cake or reach for a pack of biscuits and ask yourself these questions; Am I actually hungry? How am I going to feel after I eat this? This will really make you confront why you are eating in the first place.

Learn the cause Once you determine when you emotionally eat, it’s good to sit down and figure out what is causing you to do so. When you realise what is causing you to overeat you can get to work on stopping it. A good way of doing this is to keep a food diary. Write down everything that you eat and drink in a day and why you have chosen it. Also keep a note of your mood during the day and any good or bad experiences you have had. By writing these things down, it will make you look at the reasons why you are eating and will allow you to make a healthier choice.

Find something apart from eating that makes you feel good Once you have worked out the cause you can then do something about creating a new, healthier, habit. After a stressful day at work you may want to swap the tub of ice cream for a soak in the bath with some relaxing music. It may be that you join a gym and go straight after work to exercise the stress out of your system. Write down a list of activities that you enjoy and make you feel less stressed and happy. Keep the list with you and if you feel the need to eat to make you feel better after a hard day, look at the list instead. Once you get into the habit of using healthier alternatives they will become second nature and you will have ditched the emotional eating.

 Ditch the ‘diets’ While ‘diets’ will work at first for weight-loss, they will not do anything to help with emotional eating. When you restrict yourself with diets it is easy to then want and crave the foods that you have banned yourself from eating. When you eventually cave in to temptation, you will then be left with worse feelings of guilt, anger and disappointment, plus a feeling of failure. This can then result in you falling back into the emotional eating spiral. Instead of restricting yourself to an off-the-shelf diet, try to find some healthy alternatives to foods you previously ate and create your own sustainable food plan. This way you can still eat the foods you previously enjoyed, but in moderation and without the emotions attached to them.

 

Remember, emotional eating is just a habit that has been formed over time and all bad habits can be broken. So if you do find yourself reaching for the ice-cream on a bad day, don’t worry you can break free from the emotional eating pattern.

If you need any specific advice on any area of nutrition or fitness, please get in touch on the details below and I will be more than happy to help you.

 

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