January – Day 31/31

CONGRATULATIONS – YOU DID IT!!!

You’ve followed me for a whole month reading and learning about things you may or may not already have known about, and probably had a few unexpected topics in the mix.

I’m not the strongest of writers but I am working on it and this month has seen me become more confident in what I am doing so I would like to thank you all for that.

Following on from this free series, I would like to let you know I am available for one to one support on fitness and health should it be something you would like going forward. There’ll be more posts on here in future too (maybe after a bit of a quiet spell with baby).

I think for me, from completing this journey, I have learned a lot about myself. I have learned that I can stick to something when I put my mind to it – I haven’t missed a single day of posting, even when I have felt so incredibly tired that I didn’t know what to write about. I’ve learned that showing parts of myself is not as scary as I thought – sharing they types of things I do on a daily basis like write about my gratitude and affirmations. I’m still learning the types of topics that you lot all love to read about; the insights on my webpage are really interesting and I’ve actually reached people as far as India and Canada with some of my content on here!

Most of all, I have learned that actually, I really enjoy doing this. And, even if I look back in the future and cringe at the content I have been posting, I will know that I pushed myself into starting a new path at a time when I thought I wasn’t going anywhere.

Thank you for your support. Thank you for your time. Thank you for being you.

On that note – thank you for being you – I truly hoped that this program has helped you realise what you really want; do you want the weight loss or did you just think that was what was going to make you happy? Has the mindset work helped more than the weight loss advice? Has the exercise helped soothe the mind more than you expected?

We all want to be happy but chasing happiness is generally the path to nowhere. If you can take one thing from my program and use it to be happy today then I feel like I have made a true impact on you.

Be you. Be all you. Be un-apologetically you; for you are a unique creature of beauty and life, and you are fabulous.

Lots of love, H xxx

January – Day 24/31

YOU ARE MORE THAN JUST A NUMBER ON THE SCALES!

When weight loss days get you down remember this – you are more than the number on the scales.

You are stronger, braver and more resilient than you even realise. You are a worker, a trier, a dedicated dream chaser. You are every thing to someone; you are their sun and moon, you are their rock and safe place. You are a body of emotions, feelings and passions. You are smart, funny and educated. You are kind, loving and giving. You are helpful. You are love.

A number doesn’t make you who you are – You set the rules of who you are and YOU are GREAT!

***Side note – hopefully by taking part in the January challenge you are finding that you aren’t really having down days regarding your diet or weight loss as the plan is designed to work around YOU, YOUR likes, YOUR lifestyle, YOUR way.***

January- Day 23/31

One for the morning pit stoppers or just the days you cba! Quick fix supermarket lunches and snacks…

Base your meal/snack on your protein:

  1. Cooked meat – demi is great as you can ask for a specific amount but pre-cooked package stuff like mini fillets, beef or seafood are just as good (I love a pack of king prawns).
  2. Tinned/no drain tuna – ring pull tin or plastic pot, just don’t forget to recycle.
  3. Boiled eggs – the big lads such as Asda do a pot with a couple of pre-cooked and peeled boiled eggs in. Usually located by the sandwiches.
  4. Greek yogurt – single serving rather than family tub ensure portion control on the go and limits waste.
  5. Protein bars – not the breakfast bars that claim to have protein unless you’re happy to truly read the labels and see if there is decent amount in there. I mean a Grenade bar or a warrior bar
  6. Beef jerky – lasts a while and totally satisfying.

Select your side. Aim for a quality side if you’re looking at a main meal or need a more wholesome snack:

  1. Salad box
  2. Wholegrain microwave rice pack
  3. Wholegrain cous cous
  4. Raw veg – carrots, peppers, cucumber, etc
  5. Fruit – apples, banana, berries, etc
  6. Wholegrain cereal – High bran for example, great for fibre content too
  7. Graze box snacks – supermarket own brand are just as good and cheaper.

Need a drink?

Ideally you want water or maybe a teeny bit of dilutey juice but may be you’re hankering for a fizzy drink. Aim for the sugar free options and try to avoid fruit juices.

Want a bit of something sweet?

If the fruit doesn’t cut it and the protein bar just isn’t an option have a look down the sweets aisle. Look at the snack size options, see what you fancy, make sure it fits your calories and your 80:20 rule for the day.

If you’re veggie/vegan then there are some great options available for you too. From refridgerated soups, and tinned bean salads to fresh produce – I won’t pretend to be an expert in this because I’m not but it is something I will be looking into more in future.

I hope this makes your morning or lunch time supermarket dash easier to manage and helps you hit your daily goals.

Small, consistent changes are key.

January – Day 20/31

After our reality check a few days ago, how is everyone doing? Are you feeling better? Feeling more energetic? Lost a few pounds?

If not, what are you doing about it?

If you are struggling and you need help to see where it’s not quite going right, drop me a message and I will do my best to help you out. It’s only by ASKING that we can get the answers that we need, and it’s often only by ASKING that we are able to make the changes we need for the results we want.

Don’t be shy. Just ask.

WE SHOULD NEVER STOP LEARNING – IF YOU THINK YOU KNOW IT ALL THEN YOU NEVER WILL.

January – Day 19/31

Hands up of you’re doing? Dry January?

Hands up if you started but then gave in?

Hands up if you couldn’t give a toss about dry January because you enjoy your glass of ***insert beverage of choice*** after a long week?

Fair play whatever you’re doing. It’s always good to take time out and give your body a rest from alcohol but as long as it’s not a problem then a couple of drinks a week isn’t going to do you any harm.

The thing is – do you track your alcohol intake? Like the macros, protein, carbs and fats, alcohol holds it’s own caloric value: 7 cals per gram and at zero nutritional value.

If you’re serious about your weight loss but don’t want to drop your glass of wine, cider or whatever then you need to factor it in to your daily allowance. You can still enjoy it, it just needs accounted for. As with the 80:20 rule – hit your protein goal with 80% of your diet being nutrient dense, then stick to your calories and you can have whatever else fits in with it all.

Our plan is giving you the tools to have a maintainable LIFESTYLE whilst feeling fitter, healthier and dropping weight, we’re not a restrictive crash diet.

January – Day 18/31

Yesterday we did a home workout, today I want to share a very basic gym workout – should you find that you fancy it!

Warm up – 5 minutes on any full body cardio machine plus the following dynamic stretches:

  1. Hamstring swings
  2. Arm circles
  3. Arm across the chest
  4. Torso twists
  5. Shoulder shrugs

Main Workout – these are machine exercises – complete each exercise for 12-15 reps for 2-3 sets resting 30-60 seconds between.

  1. Leg press
  2. Leg curl
  3. Leg extension
  4. Chest press
  5. Seated row
  6. Shoulder press

Once you’ve hit these COMPOUND (multi-joint) movements you can cool down OR if you have time try some of the following:

  1. Calf raise
  2. Bicep curl
  3. Tricep push down
  4. Ab curl
  5. Dorsal raise

Cool down – 5 minutes gentle walk on treadmill followed by stretches as per home workout.

January – Day 17/31

Short post – quick body weight workout you can do anywhere.

5 Minute Warm Up – 30 seconds each:

  1. walk on the spot
  2. jog on the spot
  3. bum kicks
  4. high knees
  5. right leg swings
  6. left leg swings
  7. jog on spot whilst circling arms forward
  8. jog on spot whilst circling arms backwards
  9. jog on the spot whilst crossing arms over chest and opening them wide
  10. walkout burpee

Main Session, Body Weight Circuit – Work through the exercises number 1-10, doing each exercise for a work to rest ratio of either 30s:30s, 40s:20s or 50s:10s depending on your starting fitness level and prior experience. Rest for 1 minute at the end of the 10 exercises – repeat for 2-4 rounds depending on time allowance and ability. One round will take 11 minutes in total (including the rest). You can download INTERVAL TIMER for FREE to your mobile phone which can then be set to your desired work:rest ratio (and how many rounds you want to do).

  1. Squat
  2. [Box/Wall] Push Up
  3. [Walkout] Burpee
  4. Alternating Lunge
  5. Tricep Dips
  6. High Knees
  7. Alternating Side Lunge
  8. Shoulder Push Up
  9. Long Jump with Jog Back
  10. Plank

All of these exercises have a beginner, intermediate and advanced version which you can search for online should you need a video guide (my apologies I haven’t made one myself but trying to move is a struggle at the minute let alone demonstrate exercises correctly). Bodybuilding.com is a great place to go to for video tutorials.

Cool Down – 5-10 minutes slowly allowing the heart rate to lessen, the body temperature to reduce and the breathing rate to come down followed by stretching:

  1. Gentle jog on the spot slowing to a walk over 3-5 minutes.
  2. 30 seconds stretching for each of the muscle groups used – hamstrings, quads, glutes, chest, back, triceps, shoulders.

Again, going back to day 1. Always check with your health professional before beginning a new health or fitness regime. If you feel light-headed, faint, or unwell at any point, discontinue the session.

January – Day 16/31

Time for a reality check!

How are you doing with the plan? Are you seeing changes? Are you making changes? Well, if you’re doing it properly, you should be and here’s the hardest fact – if you’re not then you have no one to blame but yourself.

Brutal? Maybe.

Necessary? Absolutely!

The thing is, when it comes to weight loss, I am giving you ALL of the tools here. I have given you the baby steps to put together to create your ideal lifestyle so that you can easily lose weight at the same time as living. If you are not prepared to use these tools properly then you’re not fooling anyone but yourself.

Lets recap the things that you should be doing:

  1. Are you drinking enough water?
  2. Have you worked out your daily calorie allowance?
  3. Are you tracking your daily calorie intake via My Fitness Pal?
  4. Are you tracking your daily calorie intake accurately by measuring all of your food?
  5. Are you hitting your daily step goal?
  6. Are you using the 80:20 rule to avoid binge behaviour?
  7. Are you hitting your daily protein goal?
  8. Are you hitting your daily fibre goal?
  9. Are you planning out your meals in advance?
  10. Are you planning out your exercise sessions in advance?
  11. Are you achieving 5 x 30 minute exercise sessions a week?
  12. Are you doing activities which help you relax?
  13. Are you working on your sleep habits?
  14. Are you being honest with yourself?

If you want to see a difference, like really, truly, honestly want to see a change in yourself the you will already be doing all of the above and have taken responsibility for your actions. If you haven’t made the changes then you need to either accept that you want to be unfit, unhealthy and unhappy OR decide that enough is enough and now is time to put the effort in.

No one can do this for you.

No one will do it for you.

People will question what you are doing.

But once you hit your goal – PEOPLE WILL WANT TO KNOW HOW YOU DID IT!

January – Day 15/31

Good morning, how are we all doing with the plan? If you’re following the rules that you should be starting to notice a difference!

Today I want to touch on eating out. I know, I know, it’s the middle of the longest pay month of the year and it’s not really something you’re thinking about but chances are you’ll be out for a meal somewhere in the not too distant future. Here’s a few hints and tips to see you through these occasions without ransacking all of your efforts towards eating better and losing weight:

  1. Plan Ahead – Know where you’re going? Check out their menu ahead of time and choose what you are going to order. This can help in one of two ways – first off, you can then plan the rest of that day’s meals and activities around what you have chosen for your meal out making sure that you hit your calorie and protein goals for the day. Other than this great planning technique it can also help you make a better food choice to look at the menu prior to going out for the meal and selecting what you’re going to have based on WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM THIS PROGRAM SO FAR:
  2. Choose the higher protein content meals and have them with salad or vegetables instead of chips. This is a great example of how to make the most of eating out AND eating well. It also means a sneaky starter or dessert could be included in there to work with that 80:20 rule!
  3. Be aware of what you are drinking. Choose diet soft drinks or water if you can. Going for alcohol? Check the calorie content out and make sensible choices, again go for a diet mixer for your spirits. Limit the amount of alcohol you consume.
  4. Bypass the bread basket. It’s not necessary, it’s just [white] bread.
  5. Don’t over eat just because you are eating out. Feeling satisfied? Stop eating. It takes your brain a good 15 minutes to establish that the stomach is full. Eat slowly and mindfully and stop before you feel uncomfortable.
  6. Be prepared to see a little increase on the scales the following day. You know you’ve eaten more carbs, more processed items or more sodium (salt) than you’re used to so you should also know that your body will be clinging on to more water; the scales may well show this.
  7. Prepare for your meal out (and follow up). Make sure to drink additional water through the day before you go to eat out and when you get home afterwards. More hydration means less retention. Make sure you’ve done your steps and a 30 minute exercise session.
  8. Enjoy eating out. most importantly, enjoy your meal, enjoy that someone else is cooking for you and doing the dishes. Savour your choices and DO NOT FEEL GUILTY for anything that you have. Just make sure you’re accountable.

The 80:20 rule can be your best friend in an eating out situation and, as much as I don’t really condone it, if you are looking at a big evening out (meal and drinks for example) that’s going to cost you a lot in calories, make sure to have some damage limitation – save some calories from the days running up to your night out. Say you’re on 1700 calories a day, drop it to 1500 calories a day for the 3 days prior to going out (saving 600 calories which you can then use) and then use minimal calories through the day before you go out.

There we go, a quick set of tips for eating out without ruining all your hard work!

January – Day 14/31

The difference between nutrient dense and nutrient “empty” foods.

I’m pretty sure you will have heard somewhere down the line someone say something along the lines of “You’re just eating empty calories” but do you know what they actually meant by it? Did they know what they meant?

All foods contain marco-nutrients which we spoke about in Day 6 – proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, in varying proportions. Not all foods contain micro-nutrients.

A micro-nutrient is a chemical element or substance required in trace amounts for the normal growth and development of living organisms. Think vitamins and minerals.

Generally speaking we, as humans, cannot produce vitamins and minerals and so we must obtain them from plant and animal sources. When you eat you consume the vitamins that plants and animals have created and minerals they have absorbed. The micro-nutrient content of each food is different. By eating a variety of foods you are increasing the number of different micro-nutrients available to your body.

So, this should give you a good idea of where we are going with what is considered nutrient dense and what is not….

Let’s start with nutrient dense foods – non-processed plant and animal products/food stuffs in their more natural state. Think organic fruit and veg, fresh butchered meats, fresh fish, whole grains, pulses and legumes and so on.

The “empty” calorie, low nutrient density foods are things that are highly processed and very refined. Think white sugar and bread, highly processed foods, long-life foods etc. Fast food, junk food and so on. They are generally high calorie foods.

Why is this important?

Your body needs a wide variety of vitamins and minerals in order to function properly, here’s a list of just some of them and what they do:

By eating a wide variety of nutrient dense foods (like the ones listed above) you create satiety – feeling well fed, not lacking in anything. IF you are eating a whole load of empty food you are taking in all the calories without giving the body what it actually needs, you get hungry again because the body is trying to get what it needs and then you are over-eating and putting on weight, not to mention the risks of feeling wick because your body hasn’t got the fuel it needs to function correctly.

This is why we have the 80:20 rule. By eating well 80% of the time you will more than likely be hitting all of the macro and micro-nutrient needs of your body. Giving you 20% of you calories to the stuff you like; the “empty” calories, or the shit that we all enjoy basically.