Motivation for the New Year!

Hope you all had a good Christmas?!

No doubt you’re starting to feel a little bloated, sluggish etc from the excess carbohydrates and alcohol?

Well here’s some tips to get you underway for the new year;


Most people go on a diet of some kind. The Problem with “going on a diet” (the clue is in the phrase!) is that at some point you have to “come off the diet” or you return to your normal way of eating!

Most diets in existence are also very low calorie, cut out a particular food group, and generally messes  about with your bodies metabolism (the rate at which you’re body naturally burns calories) and/or your health.

The easiest way to sustain a healthy eating plan is to;

1)      Reduce the amount of sugar you consume. This in turn will balance out blood sugar and insulin levels, which is often the cause of fat gain. You will also find you have higher energy levels than normal due to balanced blood sugar levels.

2)      Always aim to eat protein with each meal. This can include eggs, meat, chicken, fish, protein powder, cottage cheese and beans. Protein will keep you feeling fuller for longer.

3)      Reduce the amount of carbohydrates and type you eat. Carbohydrates are our primary energy source. But as a nation we eat too many. Unless you have an active job and are burning calories throughout the day, you don’t need a great deal of carbohydrates. Any excess will be converted to fat as the body cannot store an unlimited supply. Eat less high-GI carbs like cakes, biscuits, pastry, sweets and crisps, and eat more rye, wholemeal, spelt, vegetables and salads. Our bodies are designed to eat “natural foods”, not processed man made foods that pile on the weight, cause health problems, and reduce your energy levels.

4)      Drink more water! As a minimum you should be consuming 1.5 litres of water a day. Most people won’t consume half that! Our bodies are made up from over 65% water and it’s responsible for transporting nutrients around the body, removing fat and toxins, and keep fatigue at bay.

Create a food diary – write down everything you eat and drink for 10 days, and the times consumed. You will be surprised when you look back at what and when you ate. Try not to leave more than 4 hours between eating, and try not to eat late at night (after 8pm) as this is when people tend to pick on “sofa food”!


When most people start an exercise regime they go one of 2 ways. They either decide to go running or join a gym. Unfortunately both don’t give great results most times.

Running – at first most people get some results. That is obvious as they are suddenly doing more exercise than normal! But after a few weeks, results will start to stall, injuries may occur (due to the repetitive, load bearing issues of running) and motivation will start to drop.

Most people have a number of muscle imbalances or postural issues which can affect movement, exercise, and particularly running, as the body has to compensate for dysfunctions by using muscles that wouldn’t normally be recruited. (A kinetic Chain assessment can be beneficial for addressing and correcting these postural  issues*)

The gym– can be a convenient way to have every piece of equipment under one roof, but this is not enough! Your induction will often only show the equipment on your programme, and the workout written for you is unlikely to take into account the imbalances discussed above. Once this is done, you’re on your own! Again, most people get some results early on due to the ‘nothing to everything’ regime, but when the dark nights close in, a bottle of wine and tv programme calls, where is the need to go out in the cold?! Ensure you have a “set-programme” that has a specified start and finish date, and that you progress during the workout, striving to increase the weight used, speed or distance travelled on the CV equipment, with each session. Having a training partner can often help with motivation both in the gym, and getting to the gym!

This is where group classes or partnered work can come in handy. Being accountable to someone else and having that “social support” will give you that extra motivation. If you’re going to a group session and you know Julie, Sandra, Pete or Tom will be there, gives you that extra motivation. Or if you know that Tom will be coming round to give you a lift to your session, excuses come harder!

Try a fitness bootcamp session, a class at your local gym or sports hall, you’ll find the extra motivation that is often lacking when training alone. Alternatively choose a qualified and experienced Personal Trainer, and ensure 2010 is a good year for YOU!


Burn calories while you eat?!

It is almost hard to believe, but there is such a thing as burning calories by eating.
The negative calorie foods speeds up your metabolism and therefore can help with your weight loss efforts.
You can eat bigger portions and more often and yet burn more calories, because your body will use more energy for digestion. So for example, you will eat a fruit that has 40 calories but your body needs 100 calories to digest the fruit, which means that your body will burn 60 calories .

One of my favorite vegetable is celery and I am using it quite often, sometimes with organic peanut butter. A stick of celery that contains 5 calories requires 150 calories to digest, so by eating this piece of celery, you are actually burning 145 calories! All of these negative calorie foods also contain all kinds of vitamins and minerals so they are like a natural and healthy fat burning supplements.
It is much better solution to include in your diet a lot of negative calorie foods that will speed up your metabolism, then starving yourself and do exactly the oposite. Remember that in order to lose weight permanently you have to boost your metabolism and you can do that by eating every 2-3 hours. You should not limit your daily diet only to the negative calorie foods, because your body need other sources of nutrients as well. Aim to eat these foods as your between meal snacks.

Include some low fat meat, dairy products and whole grains – basically stick with the clean eating, exercise regularly and you will soon start to see dramatic results.

Some of the calorie negative foods include broccoli, cauliflower, celery, carrot, garlic, onion, courgette, lettuce, green beans, mango, apple, cranberry, grapefruit, papaya, watermelon, peach, orange, lemon, cranberry, blueberries, strawberry, tomato, raspberry, spinach, cucumber.

Try Organic!

Earlier this week one of my PT clients brought me some eggs from her chickens she keeps at home.

When it came to breakfast the next day, they looked the same, the yolk seemed a bit “heavier” but once I beat the eggs, I noticed a difference straight away – it was a lot darker yellow than supermarket free-range eggs.

I couldn’t pin point the difference in taste, but there was one, they seemed a bit lighter?!

Anyhow, the same is with organic meat. If you try an organic roast chicken you’ll notice how much more tender and moist the meat is.

“General meat” has been treated with anti-biotics to keep the animals “healthy” – it’s of no use to a farmer if his stock/product is ill or under-size. Therefore the animals are fed water-retaining foods, antibiotics and other “supplements” that will keep the meat as full as possible.

Go Organic for a week, and see the difference in taste and texture, it will be worth it!