Thursday, 9 December 2010

Coping with the Christmas food overload ………

Apparently the average person consumes 6000 calories on Christmas day which would take about 12 exercise sessions to burn off! However its not just the big day itself that causes weight gain over Christmas its the work nights out, family get togethers, the tempting TV adverts and the displays of fattening foods in the supermarket!

Some of my clients are worrying about weight gain at Christmas so I have come up with the following advice to help:
·         Fill up on a healthy meal before going on a night out so you are not tempted by fatty buffet food/takeaways
·         If you are eating out:
o   Avoid fried food and creamy sauces
o   Choose lean meat or fish options and have extra veg or salad with your meal
o   Avoid calorific buffet favourites such as chocolate, crisps, cheese and pastry based foods
·         Squeeze in an extra exercise session each week in December to burn off those extra calories!
·         Make the most of your time off at Christmas and get outside for a brisk walk or jog, especially after Christmas day indulgences!
·         Plan some activities with friends or family over Christmas that involve you being active!
·         If you have one bad day and over indulge try to have one very good day following it
·         Start planning your January healthy eating and exercise programme now!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Keeping fit in the snow and ice!

For those of you who are getting frustrated because you can't go running or can't get to the gym because of the snow, there is plenty you can do to fit your weekly exercise sessions in!

Outside: Wrap up, get your wellies on and go walking! Walking as fast as you can in the snow will provide plenty of resistance and a perfect workout, just be careful on icy patches! Bring a sledge with you and a few fast walks up hills to sledge down will boost your calorie burn.

Inside: Why not set up your own 45 min circuit! Use your stairs to warm up with single and double set climbs and then set yourself up a mini circuit in your lounge doing press ups, ab curls, tricep dips on a chair, lunges, squats and sprints on your bottom step. Perform each exercise for a minute, once the circuit is complete have a drink and couple of minutes recovery before repeating the circuit 3-4 times. Some of my clients can burn up to 500 calories with my indoor circuits!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Why women should lift weights....

A lot of my female clients seem shocked when I introduce resistance training to their workouts and express concerns about “bulking up”. (By resistance training I mean using free weights, kettlebells, resistance bands or fixed resistance machines). However there are so many benefits for women to use weights on a regular basis, including:
·         Building muscle will increase your metabolic rate- you will burn more calories!
·         Builds stronger bones – help prevent and fight osteoporosis, especially important for women
·         Helps prevent injuries - a solid foundation strengthens our bones, ligaments, and tendons
·         Decreased risk of coronary disease- resistance training can reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
·         Helps you perform better in other sports and exercise
·         Makes you look and feel better - strength training reduces overall body fat, gives a fantastic shape to our bodies
·         Provides variety to your workout

Ideally women should look to undertake resistance training 1-3 times a week and use a weight that they can lift 12-15 times in one set. You should consider a whole body approach e.g. working your arms, legs, abdominals, chest and back in each session. It is important you select the right weight and adopt good technique, if in doubt ask your gym instructor or book a few sessions with a trainer.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Slow and steady is best .....

Thats the message I give to my clients when we talk about weight loss!

When I start working with any client the first thing we chat about is weight loss. Some of my clients have been on diets on and off for years, with the promise of losing 7 pounds plus in a week! When you decide you want to lose weight, of course, you want the quickest results possible, but sometimes that is not always the healthiest or sustainable option.

Extensive research has shown that we can in reality only lose 1-2 pounds of FAT per week, anything else we lose is made up of water and sometimes muscle tissue in extreme diets. In the first couple of weeks of a diet and exercise regime people might lose a bit more than that but I always set goals with my clients based on a steady weight loss of 1-2 pounds a week.

To lose 1-2 pounds a week you do need to reduce your calorie intake by around 3500 calories a week, this should be from a combination of exercise and healthy eating e.g. burn calories exercising and eat less calories each day. If you work on this basis for a few months you will see a slow and steady weight loss combined with a healthier heart and an increased fitness level. How many people do you know who have lost lots of weight on extreme diets and are now bigger than when they started?!

The scales are not always the best measurement to use, I encourage my clients to focus on alternatives to scales such as measuring their waist and trying on those jeans that have got too tight! Recently one of my ladies weight had not changed in the two weeks since her last weigh in but when I measured her she had lost another inch off her waist and a skirt that she could not get past her hips fits perfectly now!

I know that we all look for quick fixes but adopting a long term approach to healthy eating and exercise really pays off not just in how we look but how we feel! My clients all follow realistic healthy eating plans which allow them to eat out, treat themselves occasionally and enjoy holidays and weekends away. Working with me has given them an alternative to starving themselves!