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Dieting; take two…

Not going to lie, IIFYM was a massive fail for me. It was just too much effort to log all of my foods and the work out what I could or couldn’t have to fit my macros. I lasted all of a few days and then went back to eating whatever I wanted.

A couple of days ago I saw a post from a friend on Facebook raving about an app he was using and how quickly he had lost weight with it so I thought “You know what, I’ll give it a go!”.

lose it

I downloaded Lose It! to my phone and started tracking my food. For those of you familiar with MyFitnessPal it works in the same way – tracking meals and snack, as well as being able to manually add exercise. The difference with Lose It!??? It breaks down your calorie allowance into the designated meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. If you go over your allowance on one meal it will reduce the calorie allowance for your other meals, if you are under on your allowance it will add these calories to your remaining meals #winning! Also, you have a weekly calorie allowance made up of your daily allowance and this works in the same way as your daily meals – go over one day, reduce another day. This makes it super easy to save calories through the week to have a treat at the weekend (or whenever you chose to have it).

The app uses manual and barcode entry for the foods you eat and if you need to add food that aren’t on the app it takes seconds.

This is my go to app now to help in my weight loss mission! The basic app is free, give it a go it you need some visuals to keep you on track.

New Year, New Diet…

It’s been almost 8 months since I had my baby girl and I’m yet to lose the extra pounds I gained in pregnancy and the first couple of months adjusting to an entirely new way of living with this brand new, tiny human.

I’ve never been one for crash dieting and would never recommend it as yes, you may lose weight whilst you’re dieting but you are much more likely to put that weight back on and more afterwards. It plays havoc with your metabolism and generally leaves you feeling badly done to and as though you’re missing out, leading to the inevitable binge and guilt cycle….

With this in mind, I’ve decided to try IIFYM (if it fits your macros).

MACROS – The 4 micronutrients from which all calories come from; Protein, Carbohydrate, Fat, and Alcohol. Per gram they hold the following calorie value:

Protein = 4 calories

Carbohydrate = 4 calories

Fat = 9 calories

Alcohol = 7 calories

 

With IIFYM you have a set amount of each of the macros allocated to consume daily (alcohol is not a daily allocation, it is to be avoided).

My macro breakdown is set out as below (I had someone else work this out for me):

Protein = 125g

Carbs = 205g

Fat = 60g

This gives me a calorie goal of 1860 cals per day, which is a calorie deficit from what my body requires to do all of my daily activities and maintain weight. Without a calorie deficit there would be no weight loss. As long as I hit my macros (+/- a max of 3g on each) and calorie goals each day I can eat what I want. Sounds ideal.

I’ll be doing all my weights and measurements as soon as I get a new battery for my scales, as well as taking some “before” pictures for a good gauge of how I’m progressing.

Wish me luck and look out for updates! Xx

HM Health and Well-being Update

20171016_204107HM Health & Well-being has been busy!

Starting a new chapter of my journey I thought I would start with a new look for my website – nice clean lines and easy to navigate. I hope you like it.

So, if you look back you’ll see that it has been over a year since I have been involved with my blog. Things have changed!

In May 2017 my husband and I welcomed our daughter into the world! Little did I know when writing the last post on here that I was indeed pregnant! What. A. Life-changer.

My priorities have now completely changed and everything I do is now for our beautiful little girl. Whilst on maternity leave from my full-time role as an apprenticeship tutor the company contacted me to let me know they were having to make some cuts… This for me was a no brainer; did I really want to go back to being out of the house from 7.30am til 5 or 6pm five days a week with a new baby? Absolutely not. After careful consideration and planning I opted for voluntary redundancy and was accepted. I would hate to have seen someone else lose their job for me to go back full time only to realise I didn’t actually want to be away from my daughter that much.

December 2017 sees me as solely self-employed. I have been developing my skill set and collection of certifications and now focus on delivering a quality massage therapy service from my specially built room at Oasis Health Club in Ashington. Massage services include Sports, Deep Tissue, and Indian Head Massage currently and coming soon I will also be offering pregnancy and baby massage sessions.

It’s a fantastically exciting time for our little family and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been involved in my business journey so far; you have all helped make it work and I appreciate if so much.

Watch this space for things to come!

I’m so bad at this…

How bad am I at producing regular posts!?!

So apologies first off, life has been pretty mad and I feel like it’s been non-stop for the last couple of months; the end of the academic year and the start of the next, completing an ongoing weekend course in sports massage, covering 7 classes a week at the gym I go to – even cooking whole foods has been chucked on the back burner!

Lets fill in the end of the academic year and the start of the new one first; the company I work for full time deliver NVQ apprenticeship training and July is the end of the academic year – SUPER BUSY. I think I did around 55 hours in the last week of the month, as well as class cover and 8 hours of education every Saturday and Sunday all I will say is… I was FLAGGING!

The start of the “new year” came in and things have settled a little bit still very busy. I have however taken this week as holiday from work – I’m not doing anything in particular, not going anywhere, not making any plans. and it’s lovely. I’m still teaching on the evenings to cover for the regular instructor but to just wake up and do what I fancy is liberating. It’s not even exciting stuff I’m doing but I can do it in my own time, at my own pace, if I even want to.

As I have real issues with just sitting still I have had a pretty mammoth week, prepping the living room to be plastered at the weekend (and so for me to decorate next week), Ikea shopping and flat pack building (massive guilty pleasure, I’m such a freak), sorting and tidying…. And this is where I am. I LOVE A MAJOR CLEAR OUT.

Today I got shot of 1.5 massive bin bags of clothes, and two of random rubbish gathered over the last couple of years. I have made new storage space and created a space for everything. Hung up, or put away, all of the clothes I have kept on matching hangers and it ordered draws. Built under bed storage and organise sheets and towels, not to mention all of the other stuff I have done.

Why am I sharing this with you???

The enormous sense of satisfaction I now have with what I have achieved from the day. And it’s easy to get. It could be something as small as having all the dishes washed and put away by breakfast. Sorting out “that drawer” and giving everything a place to live. Completing all your washing and putting it away. It could be anything you have been putting off for a while – go and do it. Stop that niggle in your head about the task that really should have been done, and go and get it out of the way! The satisfaction is great and I swear it helps clear your head of other things that might be bothering you.

What do you keep putting off? Share it in the comments and then let us know how you get on with sorting it out and how you feel.

Go on, go and get some strikes through your to-do list.

Recipe for Weight Loss…

Terrible title – cringe. Here we go though, straight forward stuff:

EAT: real, whole food.
Meal replacements, quick fixes and fads are nothing but trouble and cause the yo-yo effect in which you become miserable and trapped.
 
EAT: the right amount of calories for your needs
There is no one-size-fits-all number of calories to eat and for goodness sake stay away from the 1200 marker WTAF!? Why? Because if you aren’t eating enough then your metabolism slows down and then when you eat more you gain weight, again, yo-yo effect.
 
DRINK: lots and lots of lovely water!!!
You’ll feel fuller, more energetic, your skin will look fresher and less dull: your body will thank you for it.
 
LIFT: pick up heavy shit and put it down; repeat til tired out.
More muscle mass (this DOES NOT mean you will be “bulky” – fuck right off). More muscle mass = higher metabolism = higher number of calories burnt at rest.
Use the very basics and work from there:
Upper body push (bench press), Upper body pull (bent row)
Lower body push (Squat), Lower body pull (dead lift)
 
There you go – all that for free. Start out simple; small changes can make big things happen!
Chaos Theory

What ARE you eating?

What does your typical breakfast consist of?

Are you an eggs and toast breakfast master? A grab-and-go breakfast bar muncher? A cereal and milk monster? Do you really look at the things you’re eating?

How many of you chose a “healthy” option for breakfast (or any other meal for that matter) based on the claims on the box?

Do you know what these claims actually mean? Do you know how to read a label?

Now, this is not a post about advocating pre-packaged foods. Not at all; where possible, eat real, whole food for the best results on your health and well-being. This post is about making sure that YOU, as the consumer, know what you’re really eating.

The whole thing that got me thinking about this was when a client explained their shock to me that a colleague of hers was having Breakfast Biscuits” as part of her “healthy eating”. I looked up these breakfast items and I am shocked at the nutritional content to say the least. Here it is (per 1 x 12.5g biscuit):

Energy: 55kcals

Fat: 1.9g

Carbs: 8.2g of which sugars: 3.5g

Fibre: 0.9g

Protein: 1.0g

Salt: 0.05g

The biscuit also contains 30% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin E, Thiamin, Magnesium, and Iron (based on an average adult with a daily intake of 2000kcals).

If I break the above information down it looks like this:

One biscuit is made up of 15% fat, 66% carbohydrate, 8% protein, and 7% fibre. If you look at ONLY the sugar content of this “healthy” breakfast biscuit, it is made up of 28% sugar – MORE THAN QUARTER OF WHAT THE BISCUIT IS MADE OF IS SUGAR – WHITE, REFINED, GET-READY-FOR-THE-CRASH, SUGAR. You eat these for breakfast, spike your blood sugar levels, then crash mid-morning. This company have biscuits for that too…

What I was more shocked at was when I was looking at some calorie controlled ready meals and analysing the nutritional information. I’m going to explain what it’s made up of and then make sure you can work out what the labels mean on these things so you can judge for yourself too.

So, a chicken tikka and basmati rice microwave meal

359kcal per 380g pack

Fat: 7.6g

Carbs: 46.0g of which sugars: 7.2g

Fibre: 4.6g

Protein: 24.3g

Salt: 1.24g

Now, if you’re like me you’ll be like “Hold on a minute, that doesn’t add up to anywhere near 380g”. This was my first thought… The total weight of the macro-nutrients actually only equates to around 22% of the total meal weight.

Fats are at 2%, carbs at 12.1%, and protein at 6.4%, not to mention that you’re getting over 1/5 of the recommended maximum amount of salt intake for the day in one meal.

Where is the other 297g of the dish? 78% of your meal is made up of water; yes water is good for you but sure you want to be eating food that’s going to keep you full? As someone who loves to eat, and who likes to feel satisfied by lunch, I would be needing many of these to satisfy my hunger but guess what?? That means I would be taking in 2-3 times the calories!

Want to be able to work this stuff out for yourself? It’s not too difficult you’ll be pleased to know.

On every pack you will get the nutritional label on the back which covers what is in the product. To get a gauge of how much of the product has nutritional value just scan down the “per 100g” column and add up the fats, carbs, proteins, and fibre – forget the subtitled bits about saturated fats and sugars for now.

Whatever it adds up to is also your percentage of how much nutrition is in the product. So if the fats, carbs, proteins, and fibre add up to 92g, it’s also 92% (this is why we’re going off the per 100g column, nice and simple).

You can also gauge the macro-nutrients easily from here too; the fat, carb, and protein content. Lets say that from the 92g we got above it was made up of 30g of protein, 45g of carb, and 12g of fat (leaving 5g of fibre). This means the product is 30% protein, 45% carb, and 12% fat.

The main thing I would check next is the sugar content – Under the carbohydrate content, the label will state “of which sugars” this is both natural and refined sugar (if sugar is one of the first 5 ingredients listed on the product I wouldn’t even entertain it, find something else). Because we are working on the same per 100g column whatever the number in grams will also be the percentage; so if “of which sugars” it then states 30g then uh-oh, 30% of the item you are looking to eat is made up of sugar. Not ideal.

Anyway, I’ve kind of lost the point. Oh yeah, even if you only have a basic knowledge of what is in the foods you choose to eat you will be able to make better choices for yourself.

Ideally, meals made from scratch, from raw, fresh ingredients are what you want to be consuming as often as possible. It’s not always possible though, so try taking an few extra minutes to read and break down the  information that’s available and IGNORE THE HEALTH CLAIMS on the front of the pack.

I’ll talk about blood sugar levels another day, I’v mentioned it a few times in here and how it spikes but will detail about keeping it stable another day.