With March being National Nutrition Month and with so many of my client’s goals revolving around fat-loss. I wanted to theme this months first blog around everyone’s favourite topic food.
Where should you start if your goal is fat-loss?…
Well the most obvious place to start your fat-loss journey is in the Kitchen, and examining the contents of your cupboards. And paying attention to your food habits and behaviours. Because without tackling these first, whatever approach you take to lose those few extra pounds will always see you stuck in a cycle or worse still giving up!!
Now take into account that a single workout is just an hour at most, and the average of my clients train twice a week. Two workouts = 400 calories approx burned (if you are really going for it). Now whilst that sounds great “I’ve burned 400 Calories whoop!!” But now take into account (and I include myself in this) you enjoy 2-3 glasses of wine a week (excluding weekends). That would mean that we have drank back those calories burned. And this is where a lot of people go wrong when they are tracking calories for fat-loss. They take off their workout calories from their daily/weekly food intake calories. Thinking that they have earned these back. Sadly when it comes to fat-loss we need to create a deficit from somewhere. (See my earlier blog on Energy Balance for more details on this). But if you are guilty of doing the above and you are currently finding that you aren’t seeing any changes or stuck in a plateau then read on….
Now if you are currently happy with your weight and body shape and are just purely doing exercise to simply improve your fitness and health then great carry on. In fact I encourage everyone reading this to exercise whatever your goal for this very reason. But, if you have a specific fat-loss goal then you really need to start in the kitchen. Or better still improve your food environment!
*We need food for fuel and energy
*Food is social and a pleasurable experience shared with friends and family
*Food is also medicinal and needed to support various health conditions like Diabetes, PCOS and certain Digestive conditions.
So what and where you eat really does play an important role when it comes to your fat-loss goal. And most importantly, you want to be able to enjoy food without feeling restricted, guilty or worst still feeling hangry….
Here Are 3 Simple Tips To Help You Reduce Your Weekly Calorie Intake
- Drop The Food Bias – Stop labelling foods “good & Bad” swapping a protein bar for a Doughnut at the weekend will change absolutely nothing to your health or body composition. Some days you just want a doughnut (nom) and that’s ok!! It’s the f—k-it mindset that is the problem. (See number 2)
- Quit the “F—k-it!” Mindset – Most diets fail because a) You Demonise food groups b) You try to be too perfect: Most of us can be fairly controlled 5 days a week, but if we have a slice or two of pizza at the weekend, we automatically beat ourselves up because in our head Pizza is bad. Now change your mindset, stop and pause for a moment to actually enjoy that slice of pizza for what it is, a nice delicious slice of pizza and NOT a bad food. We might then just stop at that 1 slice of pizza instead of the whole thing…see where I’m going with this?….. *Stop trying to be perfect with your food choices. Nutrition is about choice, balance and enjoyment. Not restriction, denial or punishment.
Top Tip: Allow yourself to have what you enjoy, but be more mindful with portion sizes. Or eating whilst distracted.
*Sit at a table and take in what and how you are feeling whilst eating.
*Eat slower, savour tastes and textures, and most importantly register when your feel full.
*Learn to feel satisfied and not stuffed!
- Think About Your Food Environment – Where we eat plays an important role in our overall daily food intake. With the majority of peeps working from home more and more, or on the go. It’s becoming easier to mindlessly eat whenever we feel like it, than if you were for example office based (a more controlled food environment). *Most excess calories are consumed out of boredom, stress or as a distraction. Couple that with moving less overall = unwanted fat stores.
Tip: Take yourself to a coffee shop, local hotel lobby: Change your working environment where you can. Sounds daft I know, but trust me, you will not only find that this lifts your mood but also stops mindless trips to the snack cupboard.
When it comes to fat-loss there needs to be ‘restraint without restriction’. And these are two very different things:
Restriction leads to the infamous binge/restrict cycle of yoyo. You over restrict during the week leaving you tired, hangry and craving all the foods at the weekends and forever starting over or worse still giving up.
Restraint is a more mindful approach. Where you ‘allow yourself’ to have choices; a slice or two of (insert food), which allows you to feel satisfied, freedom to enjoy social occasions without the guilt or falling into the F—k-it mindset. And, still stay true to your goals and values. Therefore more likely to see sustainable fat-loss results longterm.
If you found this helpful or have a question, then please leave a comment.
For Nutritional help and/or Fitness Coaching whatever your goal then please do not hesitate to get in touch
Your Friendly Fitness Coach Jo Regardsoe x