Post Pregnancy Plan of Action

We’re STILL waiting! This little man is either very lazy or is just far to warm and snug to come and meet us just yet. Whilst it is getting incredibly frustrating and uncomfortable, I know that as long as we are both fit and well then there’s no better place for him until he’s ready to show face.

All being said, I am desperate to get back to some sort of physical activity, even if it’s just getting out for a proper walk! As some of you will know I have suffered with sciatica, SPD and PGP for the majority of this pregnancy meaning that I had to cut hours in clinic, control and limit my exercise and complete physio exercises to try and ease the issues as much as I could. It hasn’t been great but I know there are people that have suffered much worse so I can’t really complain.

So, I have been thinking a lot again about getting active and regaining my strength following the arrival of this little dude, whenever that might be.

First off, I have no intention of doing anything other than rest, recover and enjoy at least the first week with my new, complete family. There will more than likely be frequent take-aways, quick and easy to make meals, and plenty of snacks. I will also be looking to get in plenty of vitamins and minerals through my food intake via fruit and veg, and some good quality whole foods. I have no plan to get straight out there and start any physical activity immediately as 1) I have no idea how delivery is going to go and 2) whichever way our boy arrives the body needs time to settle and recover.

When I do feel up to it I will be getting out in the fresh air, walking with baby, Isla and Rocket (our little chihuahua) and maybe dan too if he’s not already back at work at that point. If recovery is good and the midwives are happy with me that’s when I will look at getting something more structured back in place. Maybe some pilates for the core and I will write my own gym plan – starting back at basics to see how I move and where my weaknesses really lie.

In terms of diet, once the initial week of adjustment to a new way of life has set in I will get back to the plan that I share with you all over January – caloric deficit with the 80/20 rule and getting myself back on at least 10,000 steps per day. I have every intention of breastfeeding if I can which will mean that I will need a few more hundred calories that I would usually be on but I will monitor it and see how weight loss goes over firsts few weeks and months. What’s most important is that I get adequate nutrition to look after me and baby. Water is key to this too so that water bottle will be by my side at all times!

I’ll be continuing on a daily multi-vit, just to make sure that I am getting all the daily essentials, and I am currently looking at probiotics to improve my gut health – I’ll go into these more on another post once I have chosen what I am going to try.

For ease, I’ll probably be going back to Asda for my food shops for a while as, although they are more expensive than Aldi, the click and collect locker service that they do is AWESOME. Such and easy way to shop. I can sit at home and order online – from my weekly meal plan – select a time slot and then I get a confirmation and code sent to me which is used to collect it all. The best part being, I can give the code to someone else to collect for me if I can’t make it, no need for a bank card or proof of ID etc, just take the code, pop it in at the lockers and follow the doors round as they open. IDEAL!

So, not the most exciting post my loves but it gives you an idea of where I am and what I am thinking about. This sitting on my ass, not working, not exercising malarkey is no good for anyone!

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 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.

January – Day 13/31

Just a quick one today – Monitoring weight loss.

If you can, try to weigh yourself every day, at the same time, in the buff, before you have eaten or drank anything and after your morning wee. Log your weight each day. IT WILL GO UP AND DOWN! At the end of the week add all your weigh ins from the week together and divide by 7 – this will give you your average weight loss for the week.

There are so many factors that can influence how much you weigh each day that you need to understand weight loss is not a straight forward linear process. You will see an overall downward trend over time but it will have little fluctuations here and there which is TOTALLY NORMAL.

Things like how many carbs you have eaten, the type of carbs you have eaten, the workouts you have done, how hydrated you are, time of the month (ladies), are just a few of the things that can make your weight loss appear slightly distorted.

If you were to look at weight loss in graph form, it should look like the following:

If you’re being consistent with your calorie, protein and step goals you will see the scales go down. If you’re not then you’re doing something wrong. You have to accept and own this fact – calorie deficit is law.

January – Day 10/31

Good Morning! How is everyone getting on?

I want to have a look at exercise today and what the best exercise is for fat loss…

So, where are you right now? Are you brand new to exercise, never done it before and don’t know where to get started? Have you tried a few classes back in the day but not dipped your toe in the water for years? Does the thought of the gym terrify you? Have you done it all before but somehow fallen out of the habit?

Whatever your starting point – don’t worry. I promise you that this is not going to be a post all about how you must do X, Y, and Z each week. How you MUST attend the gym and how there are MUST do exercises to get you burning the most fat possible. That’s not what we’re about.

Remember when I said that slow and steady wins the race when it comes to your weight loss, fat loss and your habit change – the same goes for your exercise.

There is only ONE hard and fast rule to finding the nest exercise – finding the exercise that is right for YOU!

If you hate the idea of stepping foot in the gym and dread it even before you’ve left the house, guess what? Chances are you ARE NOT GOING TO STICK TO IT! What we need to do is take a look at where we are now, where we would like to be and work out what we do and do not enjoy. There are soooo many options to getting more active, the gym is definitely not the be all and end all. Here are some ideas of things you could do to start getting more active on a regular basis:

  • Walking
  • Power walking
  • Jogging / running
  • Hiking
  • Cycling
  • Dancing
  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • Body Pump
  • Spinning
  • YouTube Fitness Videos
  • Fitness Subscription Services (I write a personalised exercise program for clients)
  • Weight Lifting (this doesn’t mean getting hench. Ladies you WILL NOT get “bulky”)
  • Cross-fit
  • Functional Training
  • Swimming
  • Body-weight Training
  • Home Workout DVDs
  • Boxing
  • Karate
  • Thai Chi

There’s more than this but this just gives you an idea of some of the things you could try. You want to aim to do around 30 minutes designated exercise per day, 4-5 days per week.

Now, if all you’re going off are the numbers on the scales then this could affect those – if you start to exercise and all of a sudden you are increasing your muscle mass then the numbers may not change, or may very much slow down in terms of loss. What you should focus on at this point onward are your measurements and before and after photos.

If you have one pound of fat and one pound of muscle sitting side by side, you will see how compact and dense muscle is in comparison to fat. As long as you are sticking to your calorie deficit you will be losing fat. By making sure you are hitting your protein goal you are ensuring that you are maintaining your lean muscle mass which is what makes you look sexy!

Note here: Less fat and more muscle = “toned” appearance.

It’s not all about weights but resistance training does have a wealth of health and well-being benefits for women. The “weights make me bulky” comment comes from women who have weight trained without cutting their calories – they increase their muscle mass but don’t lose any of the fat as they are not in a calorie deficit then they THINK that it’s the weigh training that is the issue…

Take away from today – go and try some different types of exercise. Try different environments. Try the things that suit your lifestyle. Trial and error is great for discovering what we really want (as well as what we really don’t). Once you’ve worked it out you’re winning!