Ditch the Scales and Move Forward….

Something I hear everyday at the moment is, I got on the scales this morning and…..

Suddenly your day is ruined, your good mood you got up with has disappeared, your angry, frustrated and disappointed. All because you let a silly pair of scales get the better of you.

Did you know your weight fluctuates from day to day? It all depends on what and when you eat, when you exercise, what you drink and even your sleep pattern. Weight can fluctuate quite a bit throughout the day too. Water retention is a big factor. High Sodium intake can cause this. You may think you are eating a low calorie tin of soup but have you checked the sodium content?

Carbs can also make your weight fluctuate and not because of increased fat intake, this is also due to water retention. For every gram of carbs you eat, your body will retain about 3grams of water in order to store the fuel source. Refined Carb foods contain high amounts of sodium too which as we’ve just learnt is key in water retention.

Bowel movements can make the scales fluctuate too, although bear in mind there are usually more digestible materials in transit, even after you’ve just been.

Exercise causes a fluctuation because you sweat, therefore losing water, however this shouldn’t make a difference because any fluids lost during exercise should be replaced.

So how often should I weigh myself?

Well there’s no reason to weigh yourself more than once a week, weighing yourself once a week at the same time will give you a far more accurate idea of your actual body weight. That said I try to encourage my clients to steer clear of the scales, I can always tell when they arrive for a session when they have been on them! They are a complete mood hoover, soul destroyer, motivation wrecker and progression staller.

I prefer to use measurements as a guideline for body composition. Regardless of what size or weight you are, you can see far more progression in measurements than in scales. It’s a much better way to track what’s actually going on with your body. This is important as we all lose fat in different areas and in a different order. If you are losing inches rather than weight its actually a sign you are losing fat and gaining muscle! #winning

One of my clients said to me she was disappointed that she hadn’t lost any weight, however in the next breath she promptly told me she’d lost 2 inches across her waist!

Don’t forget either that weight loss and weight gain can also fluctuate due to outside factors such as stress, environment, emotional factors and sleep. Changing just one thing in each of these elements can have an impact on your life. Weight loss or weight gain is just a by-product of these changes and once you have control of your mind, the weight change will follow.

Motivation is what gets you started and habit is what keeps you going! The key is to keep going, to be successful at something you have to be what most people aren’t – Consistent!

To start your fitness journey today contact me and let’s get through this together.

Why Plank?

Improving posture has many health benefits and by performing the plank on a daily basis this can be achieved.

It strengthens your back, chest, shoulders, neck and abs which in turn makes it easier to keep your shoulders back and down and your lower back in a neutral position whether you are sitting or standing.

If you are looking to begin daily plank exercises then the 2 main ones to begin with, the ones I use initially with clients are the forearm plank (on the elbows) or the straight arm plank.

Forearm Plank is good for working the abdominal muscles effectively and gives you a stronger lower back. If you have a weak core I would recommend starting this exercise on your knees and then progressing to a full forearm plank.

You should start increasing your core strength through time increments. Start off with 10 seconds at a time. You could do 3 short bursts of 10 seconds and slowly increase the time by either 5 or 10 seconds each time. It’s important to increase the time slowly as increasing it too soon will incur poor form and the exercise not being executed properly.

The Straight arm plank is beneficial for improving the abdominals also, both inner and outer abs as well as the obliques which help to stabilise the position. Also working during this exercise are the legs, arms and shoulders thus giving you total body conditioning. As with the forearm plank you should start with small time increments to increase core strength.

How long should I perform a plank for?

There are many different theories on how long you should hold a plank to achieve maximum benefit. World record setting athletes can hold a plank for ages as endurance training but for anyone just looking to see results holding a plank for anywhere between 10 seconds to 1 minute is beneficial. As I mentioned before, you should only hold the plank for as long as the form is good!

For my 30 Day Beginner Plank Challenge please email getsetgonutrition@gmail.com

The Keto Diet…..

…..is it sustainable?

A Low Carb Diet can reduce your appetite, by eating more protein and fat which in
turn reduces your calorie intake. Your weight reduction is also faster than a low fat diet especially in the first few weeks, without the feeling of being hungry. In the short term, Yes it can be effective in losing weight.

Keto food pyramid

Low Carb diets are very effective in reducing harmful abdominal fat which over
time drastically reduces risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Other benefits include increasing good cholesterol, lowering blood sugar and insulin
levels which may treat and possibly reverse type 2 diabetes.

This diet is not for everyone, for it to work effectively you have to do everything right.
Some of the foods allowed in this diet include moderate amounts of meat, seafood and eggs, vegetables aplenty, some fruit ,nuts and avocado.

No snacks or processed foods are allowed.

However the downsides of this diet include constipation, headaches, bad breath, fatigue and irritability. Transitioning into this diet is not pleasant and sleep and hydration will help, in the long run though for most, following a high fat diet will be challenging to maintain.

This diet is technically a restrictive diet and perhaps a bit boring as you eat the same foods most of the time. The eating habits it promotes may lead to heart rhythm problems and may also make exercising more difficult due to the lack of carbohydrate intake.

Whilst the Keto diet rules as one of the most popular, as well as highly researched diets out there now, it is a very divided debate for its audience. Please note though, the Keto Diet is not a miracle fat burner, as the calories in fat you consume are still calories! So working out and keeping the total calorie intake at a reasonable level is the only way this will work – pretty much like any diet plan!! Following it incorrectly can lead to intake of excess fats and in turn increased cholesterol levels leading to heart disease.

In turn, I would advise following a balanced diet with regular exercise to have a fitter, happier and healthier lifestyle. Contact me now to arrange a free one to one consultation to see how you can join this fitness journey.

Shin splints…..

…..One thing that can halt you in your tracks when you start a new exercise regime, especially a running one, is shin splints.

A sharp agonising pain down the front of you shins. Maybe just one leg, maybe both. The pain differs from person to person and can be treated in many ways.

shin splints

If you suffer from shin splints though while exercising you should stop that particular exercise straight away before making them worse.

Stretching before hand can help. Particularly the calf muscles and hamstrings. Improving calf strength, abductor strength and hip muscles can help prevent the onset of shin splints.

The calf muscles are the biggest muscle group involved in shin splints and strengthening these can help stabilise the tibia on each side.

Recommended stretches are calf raises, forearm plank, single leg raises, shin stretch, toe stretch and low lunge ankle stretch.

These should all help to halt shin splints before they appear and ruin your favourite workout.

Not stretching before a workout is just one of the causes of shin splints.

Below are some more:

Running with bad form – supination or overpronation are the most common.

Not giving yourself enough recovery time between runs

Running on hard surfaces such as pavements or a track, try to find a pmark, field or running track

Running uphill, downhill or on unstable terrain puts pressure on the shins so try to avoid

Start slowly, beginning a workout routine too aggressively could bring on shin

New or worn-out footwear that don’t support the feet or that you’re not used to yet can aggravate shin splints. Sometimes inner soles can help with this.

Treatment for shin splints can include massage therapy and foam rolling this will help prevent future pain and swelling.

Varying your workout- this relieves the pressure from one area of the body to enable you to build strength in other areas.

Start a new exercise regime slowly and take regular rest days/periods. Muscle recovery plays a large part and is crucial when running as if your muscles are already worn out this can increase the build up of scar tissue and muscle adhesions to form where they shouldn’t.

I myself have suffered previously from shin splints and they are enough on their own to put you off running for life, however I have nearly completed the Couch to 5K training which has enabled me to run at my own pace and gradually build up the strength and stamina in my legs to be able to run for longer periods of time.

I will be starting my own Couch to 5K training sessions after Christmas for absolute beginners to running, Contact me for more details

Doctors and Nutrition

Whilst doctors are the ones describing you as being over weight or obese, they go through very little training in medical school to be able to advise the science behind nutrition.

Although this is not down to the individual medical student, the course itself offers very little lecture time to cover the importance of nutrition.
Lifestyle related diseases such as diabetes and heart disease cost the NHS around £16bn a year. The chances are if you are going to see your GP regarding your weight, they will know very little regarding nutrition and how to prescribe a healthy lifestyle.

A nutrition expert will teach you the science behind leading a healthy lifestyle. This will include learning about macro and micro nutrients, how many you need to run on a daily basis and how to ensure you are consuming the right balance of each one.

If qualified they can even provide you with a tailored exercise programme to suit. One you can carry out at home, either on your own or with a professional.

Get set Go can help with this.

We run nutrition and weight management courses across Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. These bring groups of like minded people with like minded goals together to learn more about the science of nutrition.

For more information contact us getsetgonutrition@gmail.com.

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Children in Competitive Sport

A client approached me regarding their son. He had been selected for the European Boxing Championships. The only problem was he was selected for a weight class that he was now too heavy for. He was 13 years old and 1.6kg over the weight requirement.

It’s a difficult situation to be in. You know you can help the child lose the weight but being that he’s a growing child how can you do that safely and without causing injury.

Some would say that it’s best to let the child compete in the heavier weight class, but if you are a competitive parent who wants the best for their child you probably won’t want this a; because they haven’t been selected for that class and b; this could be your childs breakthrough into their chosen sport.

My advice to the client, after much research, was to trial making smaller portions, increase his carb intake slightly and consider his meal intake before the weigh in day and adjust accordingly.

The last thing I wanted to suggest was a complete diet overhaul and ruin what the child had already achieved by making him ill, lethargic or overweight.

If the child had been severely overweight I would have written a meal and exercise plan for him.

A child’s body goes through so much change as they grow that diet plays a massive role in providing the correct nutrients for them. They help a child’s body to use fat and protein for building and repairing tissue. Carbohydrates come in several different forms (sugars, starches, and fibre), but children should be eating more of the starches and fibres and less of the sugar.

If you have a child who needs help with diet, nutrition or exercise please contact me. Visit my website http://www.fitterhappierhealthier.com and take a look at the kids section for ideas and courses I have coming up.

Are you counting the right calories……

…….Have you ever wondered why you’re counting calories all day everyday and not achieving anything?

The idea of counting calories to help with weight loss has been around for many years. The public believe that by consuming less calories this will lead to considerable weight loss and whilst yes this will happen it can also have reverse effects if not carried out effectively.

It’s all very well saying well as a woman I’m allowed 2000 calories on average per day, however if all those calories are made up from sugar and starchy carbohydrates that are very calorific, in the long run this is not beneficial to your overall health as well as not providing the body with the correct nutrients.

I had a friend that had this mentality. Funnily enough now she is a diabetic!

Counting calories is beneficial but only if carried out in the right way.

You need to calculate your BMR – basal metabolic rate – how many calories your body needs just to tick over throughout the course of the day.

Once you have this you can then calculate how many calories you consume on an average day.

Once you have both these pieces of information you can calculate how much weight you want to lose and how much the calorie deficit should be.

There is a science behind this and I can help you achieve your goal in an effective and healthy way which will last.

For one to one sessions in the comfort of your own home or group sessions with your friends please contact me

Rediscovering Myself

When I qualified as a nutrition and weight management adviser alongside a level 2 gym instructor qualification and many other courses my path, as many of you will understand, took me down a completely different route.

Since having rediscovered my identity about 18 months ago and moving back from Spain I decided to rekindle my love of all things health and fitness.

I retrained and furthered my health and fitness knowledge, the industry has changed so much over the years and I needed to be brought up to speed.

I have a level 2 coaching award and am also qualified in childhood nutrition and obesity prevention

I deliver lunch clubs, after school clubs and curricular p.e lessons in schools, which i love, It has taken me out of my comfort zone and also made me realise this is my comfort zone!

I will share with you all my stories, my tips, my strategies for dealing with everyday life through not only health and fitness but also how to find yourself amongst the chaos that is everyday life!

Fitter, Happier, Healthier….. Enjoy xx