Does Eating Little & Often Help You Lose Weight?

It baffles me that in this day and age with the wealth of health information that many folks still overlook the value of eating little and often.

Traditionally in society, it’s the norm to eat 3 big meals a day i.e. breakfast, lunch and dinner.

In my experience eating this way can hamper your ability to reduce body fat. I’m much more a fan of the grazing approach, healthy of course!

And here’s why …

Stabilises Blood Sugar

If you stick to the traditional 3 meals a day format, the chances are you’re going to snack between meals and mostly in an unhealthy way right?!

People generally snack on confectionery, bread or something sweet to give them that quick energy hit. So it isn’t difficult to see why people struggle to shed the spare tyre.

I encourage my clients to eat more frequently as this alleviates the desire to snack unhealthily because they know a nutritious meal is just around the corner.

There’s no set rules as to how many hours to eat within. But as a guideline, aim for every 3–4 hours. The golden rule is don’t leave it too long. The last thing you want is an energy slump and to get the shakes. We’ve all done this, myself included i.e. let our blood sugar get so low that our inner cookie monster appears and craves a quick fix from sugary food.

Provides Structure

By nature, I think humans work best with a little structure and routine in life. Having a meal plan with several pit stops throughout the day does exactly that.

I’ve found my clients are less prone to deviating from their plan because they’ve a routine. They enjoy it, and it gives them a sense of achievement.

Increases Metabolism

There is an ongoing debate as to whether overall calorie consumption or meal frequency governs or influences metabolic rate.

Some studies suggest that through a process known as peristalsis which is the flexing of muscles at the beginning of the digestive tract that the amount of calories used throughout the day can increase by 10%.

From my personal experience and those of my clients, I’ve found that regular eating patterns have elevated my metabolism and theirs!

Increases Energy

This point ties in with point one above on stabilising blood sugar.

We all know that to feel energised and get the most from our training that we need to keep our body fuelled.

Eating little and often does exactly this! It helps avoid those dips in blood sugar which causes our energy to nose dive.

More Enjoyment

A lot of people especially women struggle to eat meals in the conventional sense. It’s a bit of a chore, and too much in one seating.

By eating smaller portions more often, you can break this feeling and make life easier and more enjoyable.

More Variety

This might not seem an obvious reason to eat little and often but it’s one I love to use. If you’re eating 6 times a day as opposed to 3, that means you’ve the potential to enjoy much more variety in your food choices and get a wider range of nutrients in the process.

I find clients enjoy their diet more because they can eat a wider selection of foods and who doesn’t like to try different foods right?

Eating on a frequent basis is something I’ve always done. I’m yet to meet anyone who has made this switch and regretted it. The positive health results speak for themselves.

If you or someone else you know needs a little one-to-one B-Fit TLC on what to eat and how to exercise let’s chat. I’m here to help. Text or call me now on 07748298728.

Much love Gaynor x

P.S. Forgot to mention Pea Protein Plus. It’s perfect for balancing blood sugar levels first thing in the morning and after your workout. It’s a plant-based, super food drink packed with nutrients and of course protein but without any of the artificial nasties. Give it a try and let me know how you get on.

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY SMOOTHIE

One of the things I get asked for a lot are anti-inflammatory recipes. Well, look no further!

This one-stop recipe is jam packed with many key anti-inflammatory ingredients.

It’s highly alkaline, uses raw foods, requires zero fancy kit (only a decent blender like a Vitamix or Nutribullet), there’s hardly any washing up to do, and it’s nutritious, delicious, and most importantly it works.

What more could you ask for?!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 inch of fresh ginger grated
  • 1 inch of fresh turmeric grated
  • Handful of baby spinach
  • Handful of watercress, rocket or arugula
  • 1 small soft avocado
  • ½ capsicum
  • Big handful of flat-leaf parsley and/or coriander
  • 1 cup coconut water or filtered water
  • Big pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of Himalayan pink salt

METHOD

  • Simply blend all together in a blender

COCONUT CHIA CREAM POTS

This alkaline, scrummy dessert is rich in omega 3, fibre, alkaline minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.

Strictly speaking, there are a couple of non-alkaline ingredients in there, but they are outweighed by the alkaline ones.

Give it a go. It’s a sure hit.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of organic coconut milk
  • ¼ cup of chia seeds
  • 1 date
  • 1 cup of coconut yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds or flax meal
  • 1 tsp of sesame seeds
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 3 topping choices – 1 handful of blueberries OR 1 handful of mixed nuts (almonds, macadamia, pistachios, brazil nuts) with 1 tsp of ground cinnamon OR 1 chopped fig

METHOD

  • Sweeten the coconut milk by blending with the date
  • Combine the coconut milk with the chia seeds, vanilla, flax and sesame seeds
  • Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes until the chia has expanded
  • To serve, fill a small glass with a layer of coconut yoghurt, followed by the chia mix, then a little extra coconut yoghurt
  • Sprinkle with your topping of choice

BONUS TIP

A variation would be to mix 2 teaspoons of raw cacao powder in with the chia or with the coconut milk to make it a chocolate chia cream pot!

HOW TO QUIT SUGAR AND NOT FEEL LIKE RUBBISH

Sugar is the Holy Grail of fast energy and found in numerous foods. Without it what would we do? Of course, it won’t give you sustainable energy for starters, and then there’s the dilemma of kicking the addiction. It’s a short term fix and the well known saying “a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips” has alot of truth in it.

Sugar generally is a poor energy source yet for those who fuel themselves on it they will beg to differ because it is the only thing which can remedy the shakes as they reach for another fix. The real question though is how did they end up with the shakes in the first place?

The good news is you won’t suffer from poor energy levels if you apply all of the key pointers below rather than a select few. I guarantee you will be able to significantly caught back and not feel awful in the process.

  1. Protein

Protein has been shown countless times to improve satiety. What’s interesting is that it does this by controlling your blood sugar levels leading to a more steady energy balance across the day. Cravings kick in when you experience a low in blood sugar levels which will happen all the time if you start your day with a high sugar breakfast cereal. It’s like a drug, it feeds your desire, wears off and then you feed it again. Eating a diet rich in protein will instantly help blunt the desire for sugar.

  1. Fat

Fat is your friend as it also helps improve satiety because it’s calorie dense and it also slows down the rate at which your body can absorb and digest nutrients. Essentially you are going to feel fuller for longer. Fats also act as a superb energy source which means that your desire for more energy via sugar should diminish. So start snacking on nuts rather than chocolate.

  1. Meal Frequency

Starting your day with a low-calorie breakfast cereal and skimmed milk will drive your blood sugar levels sky high. If you then fail to eat for the next 6 hours, you are going to crave sugar. This is why I have all my clients eat every 3-4 hours to ensure there are no dips in energy which leads them to the biscuit tin. Combining points 1 and 2 above with this point will lead to much better appetite control. This means protein, fat and fibre rich meals with some carbohydrates.

  1. Fruit

Fruit is one of the best naturally sweet tasting foods we can enjoy and use to help replace processed sugary foods which we often run to in our moment of need. Berries are the best choice because they are low in calories, sugar and have a low glycaemic index (GI) which means they are less likely to cause yo yo’ing blood sugar levels. Having said that they are not guilt free, and I would personally recommend you have no more than 1-2 pieces of fruit per day. Have maybe berries in the morning with your protein/fat rich breakfast, and then a banana after your weight session.

  1. Quantity

Another reason you will turn to sugar for a quick hit is because you eat too little. This will cause low blood sugar, create the need for quick energy and so sugar cravings. By eating 4-6 small meals a day and your post workout shake with a banana, you will notice the need for sugar diminish.

If you can learn to control your body by being smart with your eating, then you will automatically reduce the occurrence of sugar cravings.

My 2 favourite supplements to help eliminate cravings are Pea Protein Plus and Liquid Chlorophyll.

Pea Protein Plus is a plant-based, super food drink packed with nutrients and of course protein but without any of the artificial nasties. It’s perfect for balancing blood sugar levels first thing in the morning and after your workout.

Liquid Chlorophyll, I cannot get enough of this stuff. Seriously, it’s a miracle in a bottle. Just add a teaspoon of this to your water. It will hydrate and energise the body, help to oxygenate your cells making the body more alkaline and flushing out toxins. So it’s great as part of a weight loss programme as toxins are stored in fat!

Now I’d like to hear from you. Which one of these tips are you going to try? How do you manage your sugar cravings? Please do let me know.

Also, if you struggle with sugar cravings, don’t know what to eat, how to exercise and just need a little extra one-to-one B-Fit TLC, let’s chat. I’m here to help you. Text or call me now on 07748298728 to book your FREE session. I’ve got 2 spots available. Check out the details here.

Until next time, have a super rest of the week.

Love Gaynor x

HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT WITHOUT GETTING OUT OF BED – PART 2

As promised …

Round 2 on “How To Lose Weight Without Getting Out Of Bed”.

Now, if you missed part 1 on why sleep is so integral to our health, no sweat, click here to read.

Today, in part 2, I’m going to share 14 ways how you can improve your sleep and so prime your body for weight loss.

Some are pretty obvious, but I always feel it’s important to remind ourselves on core principals. I think all of us are guilty, myself included, of knowing something but not applying it.

Let’s get started.

Technology Off

Computers, TV, mobiles, iPads, and games all off at least an hour before you hit the sack.

Try and do something that unwinds and relaxes you such as read a book. You want to get yourself into that sleepy mode where you produce the bedtime hormone melatonin which induces and regulates sleep and wake cycles.

Pre-Bedtime Snacks

Try having tryptophan rich foods before bedtime. This will encourage your body to convert the amino acid tryptophan to serotonin and then ultimately to melatonin.

Foods rich in tryptophan include seeds & nuts, eggs, and lean proteins such as chicken and turkey.

Cherries apparently contain natural melatonin so you could give that a try too.

Supplements

If you struggle with sleep, you may want to consider a supplement.

One of my favourites is Nutricalm. It contains vitamin B complex and vitamin C. Both these nutrients become very depleted when the body is under stress and there’s a lack of sleep. Nutricalm also contains chamomile which is known for it’s soothing and calm properties.

Darkness

Try and keep your bedroom as dark as possible. If this is difficult, try an eye mask. Darkness also helps the production of melatonin. An hour before you get into bed have all the house lights dimmed.

I’m also a candle fanatic so I highly recommend them to create that zen like ambience.

Bed Early

I’m so guilty of not doing this!

Sleep has a direct correlation on your metabolism and, therefore, your ability to lose and keep off the pounds. Let me explain why this is …

If you get to bed earlier, you will have more rapid eye movement (REM). Without going into mega detail, REM is a stage of the sleep cycle where your brain is highly active and so burns more calories. The more REM you have, the more calories you burn and the more alive/energised you will feel the next day.

Also, sleep deprivation wreaks havoc with your hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin and guess what? You’re more likely to over eat. Pretty annoying huh?! Cortisol levels also increase, which means increased stress and possible weight gain.

So I’m going to re-repeat do NOT overlook the importance of sleep not just for weight loss but for your general health too. I’m not saying to go to bed hours earlier. That’s not practical, but even 30 mins earlier each day will help. It all adds up.

Meditate

Meditation is well proven to help calm the mind, and it also helps the production of melatonin. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to do 30 mins or an hour a day. 10 mins of solid meditation will work wonders. Remember, it’s about progression not perfection my friend.

There are some great meditation apps and soothing music on iTunes so get downloading. A few people I’d recommend you look at are Abraham Hicks, Eckhart Tolle and Gabby Bernstein.

Limit/Zero Caffeine

I think all of us know we should limit caffeine especially pre-bedtime. The stimulant effect of caffeine makes it hard to fall asleep and so limits the amount of restful sleep you have. If you need a warm drink don’t forget chamomile tea is very calming.

Limit/Zero Alcohol

Like caffeine, all of us know deep down this isn’t good before bed. One of the things that’s confusing about booze is it’s very relaxing at the time, but here’s the clincher … when alcohol is broken down, acetaldehyde is produced. It acts as a stimulant and wakes us up. So I’m afraid it’s a no no. Meh 🙁

Nicotine

Now because I love and care about you peeps, you are not going to hear me utter the words reduce or limit because I really want you to cut this out completely. It’s a cocktail of chemicals. Also, nicotine is similar to alcohol/caffeine in that it’s a stimulant and not good for our sleep. It also decreases our slow wave sleep, which means less restorative sleep.

Quality Bedding

Invest in a good quality mattress. Believe me, it’s worth the spend and your back and sleep will thank you for it. I also like extra soft fluffy sheets like flannelettes from John Lewis.

Room Temperature

The general guideline is not too hot or too cold.

Bath

I love my pre-bedtime baths. Complete bliss. Run yourself a nice hot tub with some of your favourite smelly oils 20 mins before bed.

Aromatherapy Oils

The most well known relaxing aromatherapy oil is lavender but don’t forget to try Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, Chamomile, Sandalwood, Marjoram and Cedarwood. See what resonates for you the most.

You can pour a few drops in your bath, spray a little on your pillow, add a few drops to a tissue and hold close, or apply a scented lotion.

I’ve used these techniques many a time when feeling low, a little stressed and agitated. Trust me, it works.

Exercise

You know I’m a huge advocator of exercise but not right before bedtime especially if it’s an intense session. The sort of exercise that’s ok late on is restorative yoga but that’s about it.

Now I’d like to hear from you.

Which one of these sleep hygiene strategies are you going to give a go? Have you any tips for improving sleep you’d like to share? How do you prompt your body to know it’s time to wind down?

Please do let me know.

Love Gaynor x

P.S.

FREE B-Fit Personal Training Session

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Interested in a FREE one-to-one personal training session? Need help improving your sleep?

If you are, then you’re in for a treat because I’m giving away 2 spots. Check out the details here. 

All ages and fitness levels welcome.

But remember, there’s only 2 FREE places available so don’t delay. They’ll be snapped up soon.

Text or call me now on 07748298728 to book your FREE session.

BERRY SMOOTHIE

If you find mornings chaotic, and it’s a juggle to get time for a healthy breakfast, then you are going to love this smoothie recipe. It’s fast, healthy and delicious!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ½ cup of fresh or frozen mixed berries
  • ½ cup natural coconut yoghurt or organic live bio yoghurt
  • ¼ cup of uncooked spelt, millet or rye flakes
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed

METHOD

  • Simply blend all together in a juicer/blender
  • Add cold water to achieve the consistency you like

HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT WITHOUT GETTING OUT OF BED – PART 1

Hello sleepy head

In your opinion, what’s the best way to lose weight?

Healthy eating? Weights? Cardio?

If your answer includes any of the above, you’re spot on. But there’s one more …

Sleep!

Imagine that, you don’t have to lift a finger to burn fat. Pretty cool huh?

I bet your confused and a little sceptical. So let me explaineth how it works, and how you really can lose weight while you Zzzzzz.

In part 1 of this 2 part blog series, I will walk you through why sleep is so integral to our health. In part 2 we get to the juicy stuff – how you can improve your sleep and so maximise it for weight loss. I truly hope this blog inspires and empowers you to make sleep a priority.

So let’s jump straight in …

Sleep impacts every part of our life, but sadly gets so overlooked and brushed to the side. In today’s fast paced world, achieving a blissful night’s kip is hard to achieve.

But with a few simple tweaks you can take your snooze time to a whole new level and feel fabulous. On top of this quality sleep can increase your metabolic rate and fat oxidation. And the best bit is you don’t have to move a single muscle!

What happens whilst we sleep?

Many major restorative functions like tissue and cell repair, muscle growth, protein synthesis, and hormone production take place while we sleep.

But one of the most important restorative functions of sleep is to do with a neurotransmitter called adenosine. During the day our neurons fire and give us energy, this process produces adenosine which builds up during the day. This leads to a decrease in dopamine which is a neurotransmitter that keeps us alert and focused. So as adenosine goes up, dopamine comes down, resulting in that drowsy feeling you get at night. Then while we sleep, we gradually clear the adenosine from our bodies to start afresh in the morning feeling perky and awake. To summarise, the more sleep you get, the lower the level of adenosine, and the more alert you’ll feel the next day.

How much sleep do you need and when?

There are some factors that determine the amount of sleep you need such as lifestyle, gender, age and your health. It differs for everyone but as a general guideline, we need somewhere between 7-9 hours sleep per night. You have to gauge how you feel after a night’s sleep to determine your specific number of hours.

As for the best window for restorative sleep, it tends to be between the hrs of 11 pm and 7 am when the circadian rhythm is at it’s lowest point. Tune into your own personal circadian rhythm and go to bed when you feel sleepy. That way you’ll hit deep sleep.

What happens if you don’t get enough sleep?

If you’re not getting enough sleep it will effect many areas of your life. In relation to your health, a sleep deficit can increase your appetite. If you think about it, because you’ve less sleep you’ll have less energy to do things. So your body deals with this by stimulating your appetite, to get you to eat more to provide calories to fuel your daily activities. All this can result in weight gain which can, of course, lead to other health related complications.

In part 2, as I said, I’m going to go into the nuts and bolts of how you can improve your sleep and maximise it for weight loss.

Here’s to counting less sheep!

Love Gaynor x

SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE

Looking for a spaghetti bolognese recipe? It’s a classic and can be super healthy if you know how. Well look no further and give this delicious recipe a go!

INGREDIENTS

Serves: 4

  • 6 oz brown rice spaghetti linguine
  • 8 oz organic minced beef or turkey
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 chopped carrot
  • 500g carton of organic mushrooms
  • 1 red or green pepper chopped
  • 2cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1med courgette chopped
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) organic diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup organic tomato paste
  • ¼ cup filteredwater
  • ¼ tsp Himalayan salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 3 tbsp shredded organic buffalo mozzarella
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil

METHOD

  • Prepare pasta per package directions
  • Heat oil in large nonstick frying pan over medium/high heat
  • Add beef and cook, breaking meat into smaller pieces, until no longer pink 3 to 4 minutes
  • Stir in onion, carrot, mushrooms, peppers, garlic, and oregano. Cook, occasionally stirring until vegetables start to soften, about 2 minutes
  • Add zucchini and cook until starting to soften, about 2 minutes
  • Stir in tomatoes (with juice), tomato paste, and water
  • Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until slightly thickened, 12 to 15 minutes
  • Remove from heat and stir in salt and pepper
  • Serve sauce over drained pasta and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese

SALMON AND WARM CHICKPEA SALAD

Bring some warmth into a cool, crisp salad. This salad is delicious, tasty and packed with vital micronutrients, healthy oils and (most importantly) loads of flavour!

Salkon and warm chick pea salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large red pepper, quartered and deseeded
  • Zest and juice ½ small lemon
  • Pinch smoked paprika (we used sweet smoked paprika)
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 100g bag young leaf spinach
  • 2 x 140g (2 x 5oz) skinless salmon fillets
  • 400g can chickpeas

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat the grill. Squash the pepper quarters flat and grill for 5 mins or until well blackened. Leave the grill on, then transfer the peppers to a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to cool slightly before peeling off the skins and cutting the flesh into strips.
  2. Make the dressing by whisking together the lemon zest, juice, smoked paprika, olive oil and seasoning. Toss half the dressing with the spinach leaves and divide between 2 bowls.
  3. Season the salmon and grill for 5 mins or until just cooked through. Meanwhile, heat the chickpeas in their canning liquid in a saucepan for 3-4 mins. Drain well, then mix with the remaining dressing and strips of pepper. Spoon over the spinach and top with the salmon to serve.

Do you have a weight-loss ally?

Many of my B-Fit clients come to me having tried all sorts of faddy diets. Hours spent in the gym and many different weight-loss crazes had all resulted in failure. So it’s time to look at one of the unspoken rules of successful weight loss. Seriously, crack this nut and you will be fit and fabulous in no time!

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Image: @Fit2Fat2Fit

The secret is to overcome the fear of failure. And you do that by surrounding yourself with weight-loss allies. People who will encourage you along your weight loss journey, no matter how many times you fall off the wagon and get back on again. People who won’t put unwanted temptations under your nose. People who will pat you on the back and keep you in a positive frame of mind as you work towards your goals on your journey to health.

Sometimes we can be well-meaning saboteurs ourselves without even realising! So these tips will help you stay focused, and help you become a fabulous weight-loss ally in the process!

Set yourself goals

Set smart goals to help you focus, be motivated and switch on your ‘subconscious computer’.

Track your progress

Measure and monitor all your achievements, no matter how small you think they are. When you look back you’ll see just how far you’ve come!

Change and adapt

If something isn’t working for you, change what you are doing! Don’t stick to the old way of doing things, be flexible – change and adapt!

Don’t beat yourself up!

This one is important. Rather than being hard on yourself and being in a negative frame of mind, learn from the experience and move on. Failure tells us what doesn’t work, so we know not to do that method again.

One day at a time

You’ll be amazed how much progress you can make with lots of small steps. They are much easier to deal with mentally than taking huge great big leaps! It’s like building a wall one brick at a time!

If you feel you are in need of a great health and fitness ally then why not book in for a FREE B-Fit session, or just give me a call for a confidential chat on 07748298728!

Want to know what we do in a FREE B-FIT session then click here.