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Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Monochrome



Topshop Blazer & Cropped Knit - Missguided Shorts - SomewhatBlonde Chain - Simmi shoes Boots.

Proof that even though i complain regularly -  'but i haven't got anything to wear!',  that may not be strictly true. I decided to limit my purchases last year to what i describe as 'key pieces'. High waisted shorts, tailored blazers with a twist and statement footwear = the ability to pick an outfit in under 10mins. Which is a record for someone as indecisive as me!
For all the ladies asking about my highlighter here, it's one of the best drugstore make-up purchases i made last year. The Sleek Highlight palette ( this is the one that comes in the Gold packaging). I purchased mine from Boots but i'm sure they are stocked in Superdrug stores too and a steal at under £10. 

XX
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Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Is a calorie just a calorie?



In a world of indulgence, dieting and weight loss programs are ever growing in popularity and the decision of which is the right one for you is getting increasingly tougher. On the whole, it is said that to lose weight, you need to take in less calories than you burn throughout the day, with exercise and general daily activity, therefore suggesting that if you eat the same amount as you expend, your weight will be stable. In other words, calories in = calories out. But is it as simple as that? Is a calorie just a calorie?

Other favoured diets of the industry suggest having either a low-fat, high-protein or low-carbohydrate diet is the way to go. So surely, if a calorie is just a calorie, it wouldn’t matter which you do as long as the calories you take in is less than you burn? Unfortunately, it just isn’t that simple. A lot of the time when dieting, we disregard how our body uses different types of food and how it affects the body when doing a calorie controlled diet. This is where we’re going wrong. One of the major influences on our bodies storing habits is insulin (a hormone commonly known to regulate blood sugar levels) and its release is affected differently by each food type we eat.

Fats. They’ve been given a bad name seeing as we relate fat to being overweight. But some fats are essential to our health and can even assist weight loss if used correctly. One study even suggested that low fat diets are actually less effective for weight loss than those high in fat. Fat does not stimulate the release of insulin which results in the rate at which we convert sugar and make fat cells, is lower.

Carbohydrates. Often the downfall for most, which give us the energy boost we crave mostly from processed carbohydrates which include sugar and starchy foods. These stimulate the secretion of insulin which in turn, encourages fats into fat cells, slows down the breakdown of fat and stimulates to conversion of glucose into fat. All of which are discouraging for weight loss.

Protein. A filling and important element of a balanced diet, which surprisingly does stimulate the release of insulin. Along with insulin, glucagon is released, preventing the fat-forming effects of the hormone. Protein also has metabolic advantages when on a low-carb diet as it requires more chemical energy to break down protein into glucose as a substitute for sugars and starches.

The Kekwick Paper was the most influential paper relating to the calorie theory. 3 groups ate 1,000 calories of fats, carbs or protein over a week. Those on a high carb diet saw no change in weight, where the high protein and fat groups saw a loss between 0.20-0.50kg per day!!

This theory not only contradicts the majority of the nation’s most popular diet programs, but also many of today’s top fitness and health professional’s nutritional understanding. So just remember, when you’re struggling with your calorie counting and tough diet, consider eating different foods not only to help you strip the fat and speed up your metabolism but to help you stay fuller for longer.

Here are my’s top tips to lose weight without starving yourself or counting calories;
Snack. Snacking is generally put in the same naughty category as fats. But actually, if you pick the right foods, snacking between meals will aid your metabolic function and prevent you eating too big a portion at dinner time. Try nuts; they’re high in essential fats and low in carbs and are proven to aid the speed of your metabolism. So go nuts!

Avoid carbs at bed time. Think about it, if you eat carbs before you go to bed, averagely you won’t eat again for another 8 hours. All that energy (thanks to insulin) will not only be stored but increase your chances of building fat stores.

Protein for breakfast, lunch and dinner. As I previously explained, protein keeps you fuller for longer, aids recovery and muscle building so all round, a very important element of a weight loss or fitness charged lifestyle.

Supplement your diet. If you struggle to get all those essential nutrients into a hectic day, there are some fantastic supplements to insure you get what you need. Try a good multivitamin, and a good oils and fats supplement containing all the omega’s, and extras like flaxseed or coconut oil to help skin and hair looking healthy too!

**Resources

Dr. John Briffa, ‘Escape the Diet Trap’, 2012





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Wednesday, 25 January 2017

GOA // INDIA





After a testing year in came the offer of a girls trip with my cousins to Goa ... a god send! 
I naturally jumped at the chance and the rest , as they say, is history.

Goa has two sides : The lively North and the relaxed scaled back South. Our destination of choice was the latter. If you wanted to experience both ends of the scale you could do so with ease, as it is only an approx 2 hour taxi ride from North to South and with it being India it doesn't break the bank either.

My favourite part of any trip away is talking to the local residents and getting their input on where to go, it is the best way to get a true reflection of any town/country. 

With a few trips planned already i'm looking forward to everything 2017 is about to deliver! 

XX
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Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Diets - what works best?


The penultimate question. Which diet to do for optimum weight loss. With so many diets and"specialists" on the market which claim to be the "next big thing", there's no wonder that the average consumer is overwhelmed and confused by the basics. "They say you should exercise..", "they say you should eat..". I hear these statements from friends, family, clients, dieters and gym goers all the time. Please, tell me, who are "they" that you talk about? All this hearsay has created a mess of good and bad information resulting in nearly everyone having the "right" answer. And to be honest, I'm SICK of it.

With programs such as "Save Money, Lose Weight" and "How to Lose Weight Well", the latest to point out the goodies and baddies of the dieting world, and although I understand there's a limit on how much time a broadcaster has to reveal all about the fads and the healthier options, they're still missing a very significant chunk of information.

Let's face it. When it comes to exercise and nutrition, the world is -

A) uneducated
B) deluded.

Call me harsh but it's true. Those that want to learn, find out for themselves. And having personally been in the fitness industry for over 8 years and have never claimed to know it all (far from it), when I see headlines such as -


"80% of adults over 40 are overweight and obese"

It makes me panic. 
If the older, "more responsible" of the population can't even get it right, then what hope do we have to motivate and inspire those younger? 

I'd like to draw on some examples. A favoured diet of the world, known for its ease to follow and lenient rules (you can still eat what you like apparently), Weight Watchers points counting.

Now. I'm not saying it doesn't work, in fact, when I started my own journey way back when, I achieved fantastic results following the basics of the plan. 
However, knowing what I know now, and even what I learned from my own nutritional research whilst following the diet myself, it can teach some unbelievable habits.
An average British woman would need 22 points per day, and man 32 points per day to lose weight. A whole avocado is 10 WW points. A large amount of points for such a wonderful source of good fats. But what's worse? A chicken burger from McDonalds is only 12 WW points. Erm. WHAT?!
Please help me explain how that teaches the uneducated world what's good and bad in the confusing world of food? 

Next, the over used phrase "eat less, move more". Don't get me wrong, if you're overeating, inactive and overweight, there is some truth in the statement. But something I see way too often these days, are young girls eating so little and training so much obeying the rule, wondering why they can't shift that bit of belly fat or cellulite on their bum and legs.

To refer back to my earlier opinion, when it comes to exercise and nutrition, the world is -

A) uneducated
B) deluded.

All that's left, are educated health professionals SCREAMING and continuing to be unheard.

I'll leave you with this -

If you had a hole in your tooth, would you go to the doctor? My guess is no. Although a trained health professional, not a specialist in that field.
So why do we trust non specialists with our health when it comes to two, fundamental principles of life; fuel and movement, and how to improve the quality of our lives using their specific knowledge?
Beats me.

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Wednesday, 1 June 2016

No gym, no kitchen. The holiday struggle.



[Picture 1: Holiday_1]

As I sit on my return flight from quite honestly, the best and most satisfying holiday of my life, I feel the need to express my surprise.

Switching off, relaxing, not training and eating "normally". Erm, no. I don't do that. We don't do that. Were my words to a number of people before I left for Turkey. I'm going to do my best to relax but stick to clean eating. It's my lifestyle. True, yes. It is very much my lifestyle. My career depends on it in fact. But is it really 1) achievable for a foodie like me, 2) achievable when my man can pretty much eat what he likes and retain a killer 8 pack and 3) that good for me mentally?

When Tom and I decided we were to take a holiday, our words were - no training, just relaxation away from reality. Switch off, just us two, quality time. When I then mentioned my concern for eating clean, Tom was quick to tell me otherwise. Suggesting I was mad, the whole reason we were going away was to escape our reality; gym, Tupperware and all. And to a certain extent I agreed. But that didn't mean I wasn't petrified of the outcome of a week off plan. 

Firstly, I just need to look at a slice of bread or cake and my weight rockets. I can then however, shift it fast too, with a combination of perfect nutrition, willingness to workout and determination like no other. But, the deal was, no training. Hmm. This wasn't going to be easy. 
Secondly, there was no kitchen. No where for me to get all OCD, weigh my food, and follow my usual steps to Tupperware perfection. Again, this was pre planned, knowing the food in Turkey is cheap and can be clean, with grilled meat and fish and salads being a staple food choice.

This all sounds doable... Right? 

To my complete surprise, my mindset had changed completely by the end of day one.
Being completely comfortable that I wanted to eat ice cream, have a few G & T's and enjoy foods that I wouldn't usually have. Knowing I would gain a few, ok so more like a lot of pounds, suddenly became less of a priority. Yes, I did go for several 5k runs, first thing while sleeping beauty had his lie ins, but that wasn't for weight management. I just really wanted to run. My food choices were, and always will be, never completely OTT. I love grilled fish, chicken, veg and salads, and don't enjoy fried food, especially chips (YUK). But it was the boozy dinners, deserts, sneaky biscuits and large portions that have made me pile on the pounds. Two things that are NEVER part of my diet back home - booze and sugar. "Pointless calories to feel shit" would be my usual mindset.


A typical meal in Icmeler, Turkey.

As I said previously, I sit on my return flight to London, A LOT fluffier, and actually pretty uncomfortable. Full of water retention in my legs and certainly no abs. But for the first time in a long time, I really couldn't care less.
Firstly, I know I will get the weight off within a few weeks, and feel comfortable in just a couple of days.
Secondly, I know I didn't hold back. At all. And I'm quite honestly, extremely proud of myself. I make myself feel guilty for the most minor of errors in my diet and training back home. So it's actually, an achievement for me not to care.
But most importantly, it's made me realise how lucky I am to have my man. For those of you that didn't see my post on social media (queue soppy post)...


"I will never be ungreatful for being the luckiest girl in the world. I'm told a lot, and it never gets old. Believe me, I know more than anyone.

Anyone who knows me knows how insecure I can be, about my body and most significantly, my skin and wearing makeup. Never have I ever worn nothing on my face to leave the house, go to the gym or even head to the beach. But then again, never have I ever been so comfortable and in love.
Always filling me with confidence, telling me I'm beautiful, that it doesn't matter, that I've no one to impress. Yes, I'm fluffier than a week ago but I wouldn't change it for the world. This has been the best week of my life, not because of a fancy hotel or beautiful surroundings. But because of how I've been made to feel so special.

My PIC, my man, my love.
Truly my best friend.

#fitness #brunette #girl #fitnessmodel #fitfam #fitspo #inspiration #beautiful #cute #photooftheday #athlete #smile #instafit #fit #strongnotskinny #girlswholift #muscle #weekend #holiday #laugh #love #live #fitcouple #couple #bestfriend #weekend"

Being happy and comfortable is one thing, and getting too comfortable is another. I will never lose sight of my aspirations as a competitor, fitness model, personal trainer and motivator. I'll therefore never allow an episode of relaxation like this to happen frequently, and I'm genuinely looking forward to getting in the gym, sweating buckets and prepping my food to get the weight off. But ultimately, I'm happy, proud and so thankful for my biggest supporter and best friend who made me feel so content and realise that life's for living... And ice cream.

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