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 3/31

Let’s talk about exercise vs. daily activity and what we can do to increase calorie expenditure…

First off, what is the difference between  exercise and daily activity?

Exercise is any activity which requires a physical effort, carried out to sustain or improve health and fitness.

Daily activity are the things we normally do in daily living e.g eating, dressing, taking a shower etc.

Why is this important?

I don’t want you to feel like you have to go out and join a gym or a fitness class to lose weight and get fit; you can if that’s what you would really like to do, and if that’s what fits in best with your lifestyle. I want you to be able to add activity to your day that will contribute to your calorie expenditure which is easily achievable. I’m talking about your NEAT calorie burn.

N.E.A.T = Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis – the energy we expend during normal daily activities (chasing after the kids, walking around the shops etc). NEAT is the energy burnt during all daily activities except sleeping, eating or taking part in formal exercise/sports.

Cartoon kid daily routine activities set

In a nutshell I am saying I want you to MOVE MORE ANY WAY YOU CAN!

Let’s say Sally and Sue both have the same body type, weight etc which means if they both basically sat and did nothing all day they would burn the exact same amount of calories. Sally and Sue both have the same office job, they sit at a computer to complete their work during their 37.5 hour a week 9-5.

Sally sits all day, only getting up when she absolutely has to.

Sue gets up and walks around the office at least once an hour. She gets outside on her lunch break and has a 20 minute walk in the fresh air.

At the end of the day Sue has burnt more calories than Sue in the same amount of time from simple doing more normal activity and how difficult was it for her to achieve? Not hard at all!

YOU CAN EASILY DO IT TOO! Throw some excuses at me and I will give you some ways to fit more activity in.

I bet you manage to log onto social media a few times a day, or manage to vegetate on the sofa in front of the TV for at least 30 minutes on an evening – nothing to stop you being active whilst you do these things. You don’t have to go anywhere, just walk on the spot. You might feel like a bit of an idiot to begin with but once you start seeing and feeling a difference you’ll soon get addicted.

Even when you’re talking to someone, a person who is a more animated conversationalist will burn more calories during a 5 minute chat that someone who just stands there with their arms folded (hint; if you’re talking to someone who is standing like this, end your conversation, generally speaking, they couldn’t give a crap about what you’re saying. Go and move instead).

You can track your activity too. Things like a free step tracker app downloaded to your phone are handy (though you have to keep your phone on you at all times and they aren’t quite as accurate) or more suitably an activity tracker watch like a FitBit are ideal. They track your steps, give you reminders to move, track your workouts (if you’re doing them), and they link up to MyFitnessPal which I recommended was great for tracking your calories.

Personally I love a Fitbit, I currently have the Fitbit Charge 2 but I need to upgrade as I have cracked the screen. I think I’ll be going for either the FitBit Charge 3 or the FitBit Versa.

We should each have a goal of steps to hit per day and for the average Joe this should be between 10,000-15,000 steps. No excuses, get up and start raking up those numbers!

Note: Links taking you to products are via amazon associates. I may earn a small commission should you purchase items following these links.

January – Day 2/31

If we’re looking at this month in terms of weight management as well as general health and fitness then we need to be aware of what we are actually consuming. Yes, I’m talking calories.

cut-calories

A calorie is a unit of energy – One calorie is the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius. The calories in food provide energy in the form of heat which allows our bodies to function.

How many calories does a person need each day?

The NHS provide a rough guide that suggests men should should consume around 2,500 calories per day, and that women should be on an intake of around 2,000 calories per day. This is a very rough guide and is based on an “average” person (whatever that is).

In all reality, caloric needs are entirely dependant upon the individual, their goals, activity levels and starting point amongst other things. We can work this out using a couple of simple calculations, or in this case, a couple of links to external sites to do it for you…

Let’s talk about the caloric needs of the body.

First off, BMR – Basal Metabolic Rate. This is the number of calories you would need to eat each day just to process the most basic of bodily functions while at rest. If your weight were to increase so would your BMR.

Next, TEF – Thermal Effect of Food. This is the energy required by your body to digest and absorb food and beverages.

And, TEA – Thermal Effect of Activity. This relates to the calories required to complete all forms of activity throughout the day, deliberate exercise or daily tasks.

Why are these things important?

If we use all of the above information together we can work out our Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) or simply put, the total number of calories we burn each day.

BMR + TEF + TEA = TDEE.

Wow, that’s a whole lot of information if you’re just starting out! To make it all easier for you to work out head over to the TDDE Calculator here. You’ll be asked to fill in the following details: gender, age, weight, height, and activity level – be honest on all of these details, incorrect information here is not going to help you in the long term. Don’t worry about the body fat percentage if you don’t know it, you’ll get a good estimate without it.

Once you have input all of this information hit the “calculate!” button and you’ll be taken to a page where it gives you the information you want: Your Daily Maintenance Calories.

If you want to keep your weight the same your daily maintenance calories is the number of calories you need to be consuming. If you want to lose weight then we are going to adjust this number, reducing it by up to 500 calories. And similarly if you would like to gain weight we would add up to 500 calories per day to your maintenance number.

TDEE Page

***I do not encourage very low calorie diets, they do not work as they leave you feeling hungry and then you end up in a food binge. Ideally your weight loss or “cutting” calories should be no lower than around 1450 calories per day. Slow and steady wins the race.***

Now that we have learned a little more about the body and it’s caloric needs we need a way to track them. I highly recommend downloading MyFitnessPal to your mobile phone; you can search for the foods you eat, add your own recipes, scan in food via barcode and select portion size as well as sectioning your food intake into breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. You can also track your water intake on MyFitnessPal as we discussed yesterday.

This is all I would like to give you for today, as I said earlier, if you’re new to this type of information then it is a lot to take in. It’s also only the 2nd of January and it’s probably the first day that you’re really actually thinking about any of this.

1st January – Day 1/31

Welcome 2020 and Happy New Year to You All.

A new year and a new decade. January is the time when everyone makes their New Years Resolutions – much of the time this being about health or weight loss (or both).

I would like to bring you a month of health, fitness and well-being assistance, one day at a time, giving you bite-sized chunks of information you can use to make improvements towards your own personal goals.

WORD OF WARNING – This IS NOT a fad, and IS NOT a quick fix. This is giving you information and tools to help you make better decisions for your health, fitness and well-being.

Before we begin, I would just like to remind you all; always check with your GP or healthcare provider before starting any new health or fitness regime.

Also, if you would like to, I encourage that you record your weight and measurements (hips – fullest point, hips – top of the pelvic bone, waist – at the belly button, chest, bust, thighs, arms, shoulders, neck, wrists) today along with a start point photo… I am very aware that measuring wrists sounds odd but we’ll use this later.

So, slow and steady wins the race. You didn’t get all out of shape and feeling unfit over night so please don’t expect it to be fixed over night. We are looking at changes to implement for the long-haul, selected by YOU which are manageable FOR YOU.

Day 1 – I have spoken about this time and time again and it will always be the first thing I talk about when you want to start feeling better about your self health and fitness wise – WATER! Today I want you to drink at least 2 litres of water throughout the day.

Water Day 1

Chances are that, over the festive period, you have indulged in more rich and calorific foods, and possibly alcohol, than you would like to admit to. It’s ok, DO NOT PANIC. Water is going to help you remove the excess water your body is holding on to, re-hydrate you, and get your gut moving nicely again, all reducing that sluggish and fatigued feeling I bet you have right now!

This is the only thing I would like you to focus on today. If you would like to do anything else that will help you feel better then get yourself outside for some fresh air – a trip to the beach, the countryside or just a walk around your local area can help invigorate you and defeat couch-potato mode.

See you tomorrow for more info!