5 TOP Nutrition tips

1. Breakfast – as you’ve often read, it is THE most important meal of the day. You wake up, and blood sugar levels are low. The worst thing you can eat now is a sugary bowl of cereal that will drive blood sugar levels sky-high, resulting in an energy crash an hour or so later, and will start the fat storing process with it. Aim for a balanced breakfast of Pink grapefruit and a rice cake with organic peanut butter, some berries (now is the time to eat these antioxidant rich foods!) and handful of cashew and brazil nuts, scrambled egg on wholemeal toast, wheat-free museli with rice milk. Aim to drink a large glass of water, and substitute that morning caffeine stimulant with a cup of green tea.

2. Plan your snacks. Too many people leave snacks to chance. This will result in grabbing the nearest thing (often a packet chocolate bar, pastry or biscuit) when hunger strikes. Chop up some enzyme rich, raw vegetables the night before and store in a Tupperware box in the fridge –carrots, cucumber, pepper, celery, and graze on these mid morning and afternoon. The enzymes in raw vegetables with help your digestive system function correctly, and the fibre will keep you fuller for longer. You also won’t get he dreaded insulin/blood sugar highs and lows.

3. Lunch – Summer is perfect for salads. They don’t have to be boring, like most things they are limited by your imagination. Start with a base of rocket and watercress and add colour! Peppers, beetroot, radish, tuna, pine nuts, mango, sundried tomato, goats cheese, olives. The better it looks to the eye, the better it will taste. This is a great way to get food that will digest easily, keep you topped up with nutrients, but is low in calories – perfect for that slimmer waist!

4. Evening meals – Keep portion sizes smaller than normal, stay away from starchy carbohydrates like potatoes and rice. Aim for meat and vegetables. Also look to cut out alcohol during the week. Alcohol is just a form of sugar to the body, which will cause bloating, will feed your body useless calories it cannot use, and will encourage your body to store weight on your “love-handles” Also, people that drink at night tend to snack more (on junk food too) than those who don’t.

5. Aim to drink 2-3 litres of fresh, filtered water. We’re looking to rid toxins in the body and get the body processing all of the nutrient rich foods above. Without water (your body is made from over 65%) these jobs will not be as effective, and you’re slowing your results down!


10 Top Tips to lower your BMI!

Following my discussion with BBC Radio breakfast presenter Nick Wallis this morning, I’ve continued the theme by listing below 10 tips to reduce or get your BMI down!

  1. Ensure you eat breakfast, and that it is nutritionally balanced. Your body needs to kickstart it’s metabolism in the morning after a night’s sleep. What you eat will determine your energy levels for the next few hours, and also how your body will function. Miss breakfast and you will be sluggish, and will set your body further into fat storing mode. Eat a high sugar breakfast like a pastry, or sugar added cereal (honey nut, coco- xxx, frosties etc) and you will get a massive blood sugar spike, resulting in the release of insulin, which can be a fat storage hormone. You will also feel hungry sooner , and energy levels will crash. Aim for porridge, low sugar museli, fruit with mixed nuts and live bio yoghurt, eggs, grilled bacon, tomatoes.
  2. Water! Our bodies are made from over 65% water, and it has many jobs, including the delivery of nutrients around the body, but also the removal of toxins and fat cells. Being dehydrated can often lead to over-eating, fatigue, and headaches. Keep a bottle with you throughout the day and refill each morning. Aim to drink at least 1 ½ litres a day.
  3. Leave out carbohydrates from mid afternoon. Carbs aren’t bad, it’s just that we tend to eat too many! Their primary job is to be broken down into glucose, stored, and used for energy. But if you aren’t expending energy, possibly through a sedentary job, these carbs have to go somewhere, and so get stored as fat. By carbs I’m talking pasta, bread, potatoes etc.
  4. Aim to leave no more than 4 hours between eating. This can take the form of a snack like an apple and a 3-4 nuts, chopped raw veg, or some oat cakes. By leaving longer, your body will go into starvation mode, releasing hormones which will store the next food consumed as fat. Prepare your snacks the night before so that they are ready, and planned. NOT sugary snacks.
  5. Try not to eat after 8pm at night. Your metabolism slows down during the afternoon to evening time and so it will take longer to break down food from here. Evening meals should consist of protein and vegetables. Definitely stay away from potatoes, breads and pastas at this time. Where possible, have your larger meal at lunch time which will assist this process. If you feel ‘snackish’ in the evening aim to eat some chopped carrot or celery which is low in calories, high in fibre and will make you feel fuller. Also drink more water!
  6. Cut out added sugar! Everything that ends in an xxxxOSE is sugar! This is cakes, biscuits, sweets, in hot drinks or cereals. It is refined and causes high levels of insulin to be released, as described in point 1. The whole key to fat loss is keeping a high metabolism and  balanced blood sugar levels. Sugar will not help!
  7. Aim to limit/swap/cut out cow’s milk and cheese. Many people, without knowing it are lactose intolerant. In our stomach we have masses of different enzymes which assist in breaking down the various food groups. The sugar in cows milk is lactose, and the enzyme responsible for breaking this down is called lactase. Some people produce less of this enzyme and so therefore the lactose is not broken down properly, and turns into a toxin, which in turn causes bloat or stomach cramps. Switch to soya or goats milk which is easier on the stomach. I have, and can vouch that it has given me more energy, and easier going on the stomach.
  8. Cut back on wheat based products. This includes bread, cakes, pies, pasta. The gluten contained within these products again causes toxic issues in the body, resulting in bloat, and stomach issues similar to lactose intolerant people. When you do have these foods, aim to have wholemeal versions which are better nutritionally and not bleached or devoid of nutrients like their white versions. Try to limit to 2-3 times a week.
  9. Cut out the packaged/processed and take away food. This stuff is often high in calories, and specifically the packaged meals, are pretty empty on vitamins and minerals. Food needs to be natural and fresh to contain vitamins and minerals. If stuff has been pasteurised, processed etc, it has been altered. Be it for storage or looking after that best before date, it isn’t fresh!
  10. Eat for your day! Food is our energy source –  If you have a sedentary job, or day ahead, look to reduce the number of calories you consume. Food, in particular carbohydrates, are your main source of energy, and if you are not expending the calories, they will be stored as fat! So if you will be taking the train or car to work, then sitting at a desk most of the day, eat small, graze, every 3-4 hours, and don’t digest large, calorific meals. Your body will not burn these calories, and you will gain weight! If this is the case, really look to cut back on carbohydrates from lunchtime, and consume protein and vegetables (raw carrots, cucumber etc at work) for the rest of the day. TRUST ME – if you don’t burn the calories, your WILL gain weight!

Combine the above points with some regular exercise and you will be feeling and seeing the benefits. A qualified Personal Trainer or outdoor exercise sessions like BodyFit Bootcamps will ensure you are doing the right exercises, with the right intensity, coupled with qualified nutrition advice. This will ensure that the 2 main areas for continued fat loss and health are covered.

Home made protein flapjacks

Have recently decided to move to Organic Brown Rice Protein after hearing some good things and benefits. Must say it’s quite earthy to drink but once it’s down, it’s down! Anyhow, used it today to make some great Protein Flapjacks. Reasonably calorific, but I’m trying to up the kcals at the moment, so here it is!

200g Oats, Rice milk(to make a moist substance),Handful pumpkin seeds, 120g rice protein, 4 tablespoons wholearth peanut butter, 4 tablespoons organic honey, 2 tablespoons of Oatbran(optional)

Mix it all to make a moist dough.

Greasproof paper a dish and spread evenly.

Place in fridge til firmer. Mine is like a fudge flapjack – better than the home-made protein bounce balls I’ve made!

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!

Essential for fat loss

Keeping Insulin level for fat loss results

Insulin is stored in the pancreas, and is released everytime you eat carbohydrates(which get broken down into sugar) with it’s main job being to ensure blood sugar levels do not get too high. It is a storage hormone essentially, and if you’re glycogen stores (the name for stored carbohydrates) are full, it will convert these sugars to fat. Therefore it makes sense to keep insulin levels to a minimum. To do this;

1)    NEVER eat carbohydrates by themselves, this includes fruits – always eat some protein or fats with it, to slow the sugar release in the body (small piece of goats cheese, few nuts, peanut butter, protein powder, ham/meat, eggs)

2)    Keep sugar intake and sugary products to a minimum or remove them – not only will they spike blood sugar levels, but they are fat storage in a hit. They will also affect energy levels, by raising blood sugar levels, giving you an immediate energy lift, then as insulin does it’s job and pulls things out, you’ll get the energy crash.

3)    You could try supplementing with Chromium or fenugreek which are known to balance out insulin levels. I’m experimenting with both at the moment, and will keep you updated with results.

Remember, carbs aren’t bad, it’s just how, and when you eat them.

Increase your protein intake for better results!


Too many people eat, too many carbohydrates! Carbs aren’t bad – they don’t make you fat, excess calories in any form do, but generally as a nation, we eat too many carbohydrates.

Carbs get broken down into sugars and stored in the liver, and the muscles for our daily energy needs. Once your carb stores are full, the excess sugars have only one way to go, and get stored as fat. Therefore, if you do not have an active day/job, you should really look to cut back on carbs, and consume more “good” fats (oils, coconut, nuts, avocado, olive oil, fish oils) and protein in particular. Protein(meats, fish, eggs, protein powder) gets broken down into Amino Acids, which is a lot harder to store as fat, but also uses around a 1/3 of the total calories, during the breakdown phase of the protein. It will also keep you fuller for longer, which is why you should add more to your diet, aiming for some in every meal, especially breakfast.

Sometimes it is hard to get a source of protein in, especially for breakfast, which is why I recommend a having a protein supplement. It is derived from milk, and is a natural source, supplying around 25g protein (not far off a chicken breast) per drink. Granted, some brands taste foul, but I use the following brand (no commission!) and would honestly recommend purchasing some, so you can take it at breakfast and times during the day, when you find protein consumption difficult (including directly after your workout) http://www.myprotein.co.uk/bulk-powders/protein-powders/impact-whey-protein/

If you use voucher code MP795 at checkout for a discount off your first order!