The Dreaded 1200…

1200 is an awful number!

1200 calories that is.

Why do so many people think that they need to restrict their calorie intake to such minuscule amounts of food to lose weight!?!

The body needs a certain amount of calories each day just to carry out the vital functions, if it does not get these calories from diet then it can start to break down it’s own tissues for energy. Tissues being muscle; the heart is a muscle…

What side effects can you expect from a 1200, or less, calorie diet:

  • weakness
  • fatigue
  • cold intolerance
  • irregular menstrual cycle
  • dizziness
  • constipation
  • irritability (hanger; hungry anger)
  • gallstones
  • gout
  • malnutrition
  • long term damage to metabolic rate

The metabolic rate – this is the bit that you need to pay attention to:

Low calorie diets force your body to take energy from other sources – you are more likely to burn muscle than you are to burn fat as the body needs protein. Burning off muscle reduces your metabolic rate (the rate at which you burn calories) and makes it more difficult to lose weight. Chances are, you will not stick to a low calorie eating plan for long, you’ll go back to your normal eating patterns and all the lost weight is re-gained. The yo-yo-diet is in play.

“Diets” are fads – short term, non-maintainable plans which make you miserable and, let’s be honest, a bit of a bitch!

What you needs is a healthy lifestyle and to really consider what you are feeding your body with. Real food, nothing processed, nothing pre-packed; when you’re looking for a meal or a snack try and put nutrition first, think “Is this the best thing I could be feeding my body with?”. If it’s not, change your choice.

As far as how much you need to eat each day goes, a very basic method of working out your daily calorie needs is:

body weight (kg) x 24 (female) or 25 (male) = the number of calorie your body needs each day just to perform the vital functions (RMR)

Take the RMR and multiply by the following based on how active you are:

  • 1.2 not active
  • 1.5 moderately active
  • 2.0 very active (daily vigorous exercise)

This gives you the number of calories your body needs each day to maintain weight when you are completing your day-to-day life (BMR).

For weight loss: BMR – 500

This is just very general, and a basic way to start looking at weight loss. Apps such as myfitnesspal can be helpful in tracking calories.

If you’re not into counting check out my Calorie Control Made Simple post.


Not everyone is a gym bunny…

I love the gym, I like that I know that I go there and there’s a job to be done. There’s a purpose, there’s a goal, and then there’s the achievement. But it’s not for everyone.

I tend to work with women a lot in Personal Training role, and guess what; for many of these women, GYM’S ARE SCARY, especially mixed sex gyms.

So what can you do it you don’t want to go to the gym? Go for a walk? A run? A cycle?

Why not workout from home. There’s an abundance of workouts on youtube which are filmed in real time so you can work along to them – personally I love to follow along a Yoga workout, I can do it when it suits me and I don’y have to wait for a class (or be around other people; I love my own space for these types of activity).

Depending on what you want to achieve, along with your experience, likes and dislikes, will determine the type of training you want to follow. I would always advice strength training (especially for women) at least twice a week, more if you can. It will not make you big, or bulky; it will make you lean and strong, AND able to eat more [real food] without gaining weight (erm… BONUS!).

Follow the link for a four move workout that hits the whole body. There’s also progressions to each of the exercises so as you get stronger you can continue to challenge yourself: WITHOUT CHALLENGE THERE IS NO CHANGE.

Enjoy 🙂

Food Lists – Eating Made Easy

Hey guys, here’s a super simple, food group list to work alongside my previous post about using the hand to measure your portion sizes. Enjoy!



  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Steak / Beef
  • Beef Mince
  • Pork
  • Venison
  • Lamb
  • Shell-fish
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • White-fish
  • Eggs

Always go for the leanest cuts of meat.


Complex Carbs

  • Quinoa
  • Carrots
  • Rolled Oats
  • Brown Rice
  • Wholegrain Rice
  • Wild Rice
  • Sweet Potato
  • Wholegrain Bread
  • Wholegrain Pasta


Veggies (List of some, but not exhausted)

  • Beetroot
  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Courgette
  • Asparagus
  • Celery
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Bell Peppers
  • Mixed Salad Leaves
  • Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Mangetout
  • Onions
  • Salad Onions
  • Sprouts


Fruit (List of some, but not exhausted)

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Banana
  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Pineapple
  • Pears
  • Mango
  • Melon
  • Grapes


Healthy Fats

  • Flaxseed
  • Avocado
  • Coconut Oil
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Natural Peanut Butter (or other no added sugar nut butter)
  • Nuts (raw and unsalted)


Seasoning & Spices – Add a little flavour to your meals, it doesn’t have to be boring (add to meat, wrap in foil and oven bake for really juicy flavoursome meals)

  • Dill
  • Curry
  • Ginger
  • Jalapeno
  • Chilli
  • Cinnamon
  • Coriander
  • Lemon
  • Garlic
  • Rosemary
  • Tomatoes (chopped, canned can be used)
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Stevia (to sweeten yogurt/fruit if necessary)
  • Vanilla Extract


  • Water, 2-3 litres a day
  • Coffee, max 2 cups, not after 4pm (we’ll explain why in a later post)
  • Herbal tea
  • Green tea – not after 4pm

Pre-Workout Stuff

If only I liked coffee…

Coffee is an ideal pre-workout supplement to get you in the zone for training. Unfortunately, I hate the stuff. The taste makes me sick. So instead, I use a pre-workout for the days I’m feeling a bit “blah”.

MusclePharm assault, it does as the name suggests and jolts you into action. It gives you the “furry face” feeling as I like to call it when you feel the ingredients kicking in. It might just be physiological – knowing that I have had something which is meant to make me feel more energetic, but even so, it definitely makes me work harder in my sessions.


If you’re interested in it you can try the link below:


Calorie Control Made Easy

So, calorie control is a major contributor to weight loss. I mean it’s pretty obvious – eat more than you need and you’ll gain weight, eat what you need and you’ll maintain, and eat less than you need to lose weight.

Actually, I’m going to start this again. And, I am going to start it with this:


What I mean is – We’re not top athletes striving for performance or minimal body fat; we don’t need gram specific denominations of certain food groups. We are regular people, with regular jobs, that need REAL FOOD (nutrition), in an easy way.

REAL FOOD: If you can’t fish it, pick it, or shoot it; don’t eat it. OR, if it comes in a plastic wrapper; don’t eat it.

Real food is made up of PROTEIN, CARBOHYDRATE, and FATS (Carbs and Fats; WTF!), I’ll post later with a simple list of what food you get eat of these macronutrients (ooh, fancy) from. There’s veggies to throw in there too.

What you want to know is portion control, so check out this link to Precision Nutrition: Calorie Control in the Palm of your Hand, it’s super easy to understand and implement using only your hand!

Let me know how you get on. Xx



I’m Holly, a fitness instructor, personal trainer, and pre and post natal exercise specialist.

Born and raised in rural Northumberland I am passionate about the outdoors, health, fitness, and general wellness. I believe it is important to look after body through exercise and nutrition, and finding “me-time” to look after your own physical and emotional well-being.

Along side providing health and fitness advice, I also offer coaching and lifestyle advice; helping clients work through their stresses and reducing daily pressures through coping mechanisms which are easy to access and perform.

As I come to add content to this blog, you will get to know me through everything from the food I eat, the exercise I do (and don’t do), the books I read, how I like to spend my free time (yes, free time!), and probably a lot more along the way.

I’ll be sharing more information shortly but for now, I wish you a very enjoyable day!