5 top tips for weight loss

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

weight loss
I have previously published an article on the Nutritionist Resource website all about how to lose weight and keep it off.

Did you know that in England over 61% of adults are overweight or obese? If you’d like to get healthier and fitter why not try my simple tips to help with your weight-loss efforts.

Tip #1

Keep a food diary, many of us forget about the food we eat in the car, the latte we drink on the way to work or the children’s leftovers.  Why not download and print my example of a food diary so you can keep an accurate record and start to make some changes

Tip #2

tofu-eggAlways eat breakfast – even if it is just yoghurt (dairy or non dairy) with some blueberries or strawberries and a tablespoon of raw oats.  This provides you with protein and vitamins that will fuel you until lunchtime, as well as counting towards one of your 5 a-day

Or delicious scrambled eggs or tofu eggs for those who have more time for a relaxed breakfast.  Protein is a great for making you feel nice and full and both tofu and eggs are packed with protein and a range of 18 vitamins and minerals.


Tip #3

Mindful eating


Be mindful, research has shown that not paying attention to our food makes us more prone to snacking later. So put down that phone, tablet, laptop and enjoy what you are eating; How does it look, taste, smell?



Tip #4

IMG_2782Practice portion control.  Did you know crisps use to be sold in 25g bags, now it ranges from 30g to 150g (for the large sharing bags). In Briton we polish off six billion packets of crisps a year or almost 100 packets per person, so over our lifetime that’s lots of extra calories!

A recommended portion size of your favourite breakfast cereal is usually 30g.  Have you ever weighed out how much you eat.  Try this morning, you may be surprised just how much that is

Tip #5

IMG_3011If chocolate is your thing,  before you pop a piece in your mouth imagine what it smells like, think about the rich, deep chocolatey taste, how will it feel as it melts and coats your mouth.  Then pop that piece in.   Doing that simply exercise will make you eat less


Do you have a favourite weight loss tip that you could share?

How much did you put on over Christmas?!

How much did you put on over Christmas?!  Counting the (calorie) cost of Christmas

So the festivities are over, the christmas tree has been packed away for another year and you are trying to get through all the chocolate, biscuits and treats that were either bought or received as gifts

Is it now New Year resolution time; get fit, get slimmer, get active, get alcohol free?! Why do we make these kinds of resolutions in January?  Well, maybe my game of festive bingo may provide some clues!

Have a look at the bingo card below see how many items you consumed over the last few weeks, then count up the calories.  Shocked?!




In true bingo style lets see if you got

  • The four corners; 870 calories in total
  • a line across; 950 calories in total
  • a line down ; 1,120 calories in total
  • a diagonal line ; 1,170 calories in total
  • A FULL HOUSE is 4,360 calories in total


You could consume 3,289 calories from your Christmas day dinner alone.  And maybe after completing the festive bingo card you can see where those calories have come from

If you are one of the many who stepped on the scales this week and quickly stepped off again I can help.  I have many clients who want to see me in January so I can help motivate and support them to shift the pounds, make healthy eating goals or adopt a healthier lifestyle




vegan cookery poster jpegYou might want to see me for one to one healthy eating advice, how to survive Dry January or join one of my healthy eating cookery classes.  My one to one sessions last 50 minutes and cost £40, but I have a special offer of 3 sessions for £100.  If you need cooking inspiration my classes cost £25 or 6 sessions for £125 (6 for the price of 5). Click on this link for more details about my classes

A pervious client was kind enough to write these words

ryans-testimonialSo if you want to be lighter, healthier and more motivated in 2017 give me a call

07946 301338

Case study #1 – weight loss via a virtual consultation

Case study #1 – weight loss via a virtual consultation


These are the words of my client Karen, she contacted me after seeing my blog on Mumsnet.  Although she is based in Yorkshire we were able to conduct a series of virtual consultations via Skype, so I could help support her to achieve her weight loss goal


I made notes in my journal dated 28/09/15, about my dissatisfaction with my weight, body image and relationship with food. At that point I was totally and utterly fed up with myself.

karen-white-dress-beforeI had been to the graduations of both my sons in the summer, having bought a very expensive Josef Ribkoff “ figure hugging dress for both occasions. I was dispirited when I saw the photos after, as the dress appeared to only accentuate the thickening around my middle section.


The main points were

  • I was worrying constantly about my weight and body shape but could not motivate myself to make changes
  • I hated the way I looked
  • I hated the way I felt out of control around food
  • I felt anxiety being “around food” all the time
  • My home felt dominated by food, food choices, preparation and cooking
  • My social life seemed to revolve around eating and drinking
  • My eating patterns had become very erratic – I wasn’t eating full meals but lots of snacks – I felt overly full very quickly if I ate a “proper” meal
  • My husband and son were at home a lot more than before (one semi-retired, one a student) so there seems to be food and cooking on the go constantly
  • I don’t want to go on a diet – I’m a Slimming World veteran
  • Female friends talk constantly about weight and diet

My Stats

  • My body details then were – height 5’9”, weight 11st 3lbs (would like to be 10st 7lbs)
  • Size 14 top, size 12 bottom – upside down pear – no hips or bottom but a largish bust, long legs
  • Tallness helps disguise “fat bits” and I’m highly skilled at dressing to hide them

On the plus side, I considered myself fairly active, swimming for 30 minutes three mornings a week. My diet includes many healthy options (I’m not a vegetarian but eat very little meat – red or white) I just ate too much of everything, too many snacks, too many coffees and teas and slightly more alcohol than I would like to, in an average week. I was generally very healthy with low blood pressure and plenty of energy.

However, I had got into a downward spiral and felt a strong need to talk to someone about all this, someone who would understand the psychology behind my problems and issues, but who would be able to help me formulate a healthier and more balanced eating plan.

Purely by chance, I found Susan whilst looking on Mumsnet Bloggers. Ideally I would have liked to have spoken to someone face to face but Susan appeared to have the skills and background to meet my needs. I confess, not being a wage earner, I was also drawn in by the offer of 3 sessions for £100!

Once I had hooked up with Susan, I wasn’t anxious in the least, although I had to put off our initial session due to holidays. I had used my “private” email address as I didn’t want my husband to see I was seeking help and using family money – I regarded the issues as a form of “weakness” and felt guilty about them – as though it was a problem an intelligent person should be able to solve on their own!

I felt embarrassed at home at having to secure some privacy to use my husband’s PC to use Skype, but made up my mind to tell him about the “project” and he was very understanding. I didn’t feel it mattered at all that Susan and I didn’t meet face to face – I found Skype absolutely fine.

I found Susan very understanding from the word “go”. She was “on my side”!!   I had not looked for anyone else similar as I sensed she was a lady of possibly a similar age group to me and therefore might have a better understanding of the issues facing a “middle-aged” lady!!

Karen before and after 

I felt we connected very well. I think I really needed some psychological support around my issues, as much as advice and ideas around the practical side of nutrition and diet. I needed to get over to Susan how I felt aspects of my family life and day to day catering needs were affecting me and discuss “emotional eating”. For example, a student son in the house, who seemed to be constantly preparing or cooking food, often at odd times of the day and night, and a husband who eats very little fruit or vegetables, but lots of red meat; also how to cope with my large social circle where meet-ups almost always involve eating and drinking.



It was very helpful to receive a summary of the points we had discussed – the positives and the negatives – to set some small goals to work towards. Writing is my “thing” – so having it all set down in black and white was a huge help to me. I set up a proper folder and notebook to record my progress.

I was able to ask Susan for some menu ideas – including the really helpful one of “basic recipes” that could be adapted to suit all family members – her website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/blog/category/recipes/ was a treasure trove of ideas. I typed up my own sheet each week ready for the next session with Susan to help me remember positives and negatives, and to record success and questions.

It really helped to recap at the start of each new session what had gone before and for me the pace of change was just fine. It helped to not focus solely on losing weight, although I did lose some along the way.

What worked for me


Getting active!

I realised I really liked my swimming sessions and ensured they were almost in “tablets of stone” in my diary, and still do. They keep me energised and set me up for the day.

I had struggled with a rather sedentary husband who didn’t take much exercise, but managed to get him to join me on walks, and not encourage me into cafes and pubs as a “reward”. I learned tactics such as spotting my danger times – coming home late afternoon to an empty house, or one where other family members don’t greet or bother with me – and to find distractions – not head straight to the biscuit tin but to take time out for a little rest, a cup of herbal tea, read a book, take my DAB radio well away from the kitchen, listen to a podcast.

I became better at keeping a sense of perspective – which is hard, being an all or nothing type of person.

I established much better daily and weekly routines and tried to throw out the scattergun approach – I used printable diary sheets – these also helped me with meal planning.

The holistic approach was absolutely perfect for me as I already knew my problems were not just around food but my whole lifestyle as a semi-retired woman who spends a lot of time at home – and has a big living kitchen where a lot of family activity takes place.

Small permanent changes were exactly what I needed. The 80/20 rule was very helpful – especially as regards my tendency to see things as black and white – and I was only too aware I needed to get some balance back into my life. I became more confident and able to say to friends – let’s not go for coffee and cake, why don’t you come over and we’ll go for a walk (I became more appreciative of the rural area I live in!)

The 80-20 rule

Whilst talking to Susan was like talking to a friend, she did challenge me and not let me get away with being “sloppy” or “airy fairy”. I felt answerable to her, which I liked – Slimming World had “worked” for me in the past because I responded to the pressure of the weekly documented weigh-in!

Moving forward

I have felt recently I could use the occasional “top up” session from time to time, just to keep me on track and stop me being complacent – like I do with my physiotherapist. Maybe such top-ups could form part of a slightly broader package than just the three sessions?

Portion control

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

Over 60% of the UK adult population is currently overweight or obese, and we all have a responsibility to reduce that statistic including fast food outlets, schools, supermarkets, cafes and food manufacturers

IMG_2782Research has shown that when people are presented with larger portion sizes, they will eat more and most people underestimate how many calories they consume each day by as much as 25%.



imagesSince the 1980s, typical servings have increased dramatically: a bag of crisps has grown from 25g to 40g. ‘Big Eat’ bags have 50% more than standard bags – a bag of Walker’s crisps, for example, now contains 55g – that’s 290 calories and 18g of fat, compared to 130 cals and 8g of fat in 25g.


Soft drinks are still sold in 330ml cans (139 cals for a can of Coke), but 500ml bottles of are just as popular (210 cals in a bottle of Coke).

IMG_1082King-size and pocket pack chocolate bars are up to twice the size of regular bars – a Mars Big One has 100 calories more than a regular bar, while a King-Sized Snickers has 200 extra calories than the regular version.  There are now even 1 and a half bars of chocolate and Bounty bars are available in triple packs!

Double and triple burgers (with all the extras) are available from every burger chain. If you double-up your cheeseburger in McDonald’s, for example, you increase your calories from 300 to 440, and your fat intake from 11.5g to 23 g.  Pasta servings and nearly five times bigger than they were 20 years ago.

portion control 1 Ready meals have also ballooned over the past 15 years with products such as curry, cottage pies, pasta dishes and casseroles now weighing on average 400g nearly twice the size they were in the 1990’s.

You’re not even safe in the local coffee shop – Your morning caffeine fix in the 50s would be 45 calories. Nowadays, a 16oz (450ml) takeout coffee with mocha syrup would be 350 calories.


And how many times are you asked if you want to ‘go large’?


Modern main course bowl on the left. 1970s plate on the right


Even the standard dinner plate used in most restaurants and homes has increased from 10 to 12 inches!

Recent research has revealed that smaller plates, cups, glasses and bowls could reduce overall calorie intake by up to 16 per cent.



This is called portion distortion and it’s making us fat!
 The more we eat the more calories we consume

Are you shocked by this, did you have any idea that food portion sizes have been on the increase?

To put it in to context eating just 200 extra calories a day over a year can mean a weight gain of over a stone (6.3 Kg)

So what is a correct portion size?

  • A 75g serving of meat, poultry or fish is the same size as the palm of your hand
  • A medium potato is the same size as your computer mouse
  • pasta-portionKeep portions of cheese to 25g – around the same size as a matchbox
  • A medium piece of fruit is the same size as your fist
  • A serving of rice is half a teacup (75g uncooked weight)
  • A serving of vegetables is about 80g
  • A teaspoon of butter or margarine is the size of the tip of your thumb.

A useful guide is to use your hand as a visual template:

palmProtein like meat, fish, poultry, tofu lentils, eggs should be no bigger than the palm of your hand




Carbohydrates like bread rice pasta should fit into one cupped handcupped hand




cupped handsFruit and vegetables should fit in to two cupped hands




For more information about the increase in portion size please click on this link to the Food Standards Agency booklet http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/reviewportions.pdf

“Must haves” for a healthy balanced diet

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

Do you think you eat a balanced diet? Read on and see if you still feel the same way at the end!

thai-tofu-curryEating a nutritious, balanced diet will help you improve your overall health. In particular, a balanced diet can help:

  • Reduce your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure
  • Reduce your chances of getting cancer
  • You have more energy
  • Keep you well
  • You to lose weight
  • Improve your bowel health
  • Your skin, nails and hair look healthier


The two key elements to a healthy balanced diet are:

  • Eat the right amount of food for how active you are, and
  • Eat a variety of foods – this is where the ‘balance’ comes in

The “Must haves” for a healthy balanced diet should include:

  • fruit-and-veg-225x300Plenty of fruit and vegetables – at least 5 portions a day. Think ‘A rainbow of colour’
  • Fruit like grapefruit or melon eaten before a meal can help fill you up so you are less likely to overeat on higher calorie foods
  • Small amounts of bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods (choosing wholegrain varieties when possible)
  • Some milk and dairy foods (or diary alternative like soya).  Aim for 3 servings a day.
  • Sufficient meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein i.e. Quorn, tofu and quinoa.  Aim to eat low fat protein at every main meal.
  • Just a small amount of foods high in fat, sugar and salt
  • Keep within the safe alcohol limits (14 units a week for men and women).  Its also advised to have alcohol free days
  • activity exercise walkingDrink plenty of water, about 6-8 glasses (or other fluids) every day: more if you exercise or if the weather is hot
  • Green tea contains two compounds; caffeine and catechises, that may boost your metabolism for a couple of hours.
  • Stay active – aim for 150 minutes of activity a week.  this can include classes at a gym, running, weight training.  But equally housework, gardening, walking and dancing can all count too


Some people make the mistake of thinking that because they are eating healthy food they can eat more of it.  This can lead to weight gain in the same way that eating unhealthy foods can, because all foods have calories!

Follow this portion guide and you won’t go far wrong

  • A healthy 75g serving of protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, tofu) is the same size as the palm of your hand
  • A medium potato is the same size as your computer mouse
  •   A serving of dairy is:
    • 200ml of milk – regardless of full-fat, semi-skimmed or skimmed.
    • 30g hard cheese including cheddar, brie or stilton (around the same size as a matchbox)
    • 150g of plain or fruit yoghurt.
  • A medium piece of fruit is the same size as your fist
  • pasta-portionA serving of rice is half a teacup or 75g (uncooked)
  • A serving of pasta is 75g uncooked which weighs 170g when cooked al dente
  • A serving of vegetables is about 80g or about 2 tablespoons
  • A teaspoon of butter or margarine is the size of the tip of your thumb.
  • A unit of alcohol is half a pint of standard strength (3 to 5% ABV) beer, lager or cider, or a single pub measure of spirit. A 175 ml glass of wine is about 2 units and alcopops are about 1.5 units. A bottle of white wine has up to 9 units and 650 calories

The 80/20 rule of healthy eating

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

imagesVery few things in life are perfect and the same can be true of your diet.  Its hard to not look at the delicious cakes at the coffee shop and then ask only for a black coffee, when you really want that lovely cake as well.  This is where the 80/20 rule comes in.  We never do 100% of things 100% perfectly , so why do we expect to eat perfectly all of the time.  It places an unrealistic expectation on us. If you want to lose weight and keep it off then give then 80/20 rule a go.

It’s the perfect way to eat

For 80% of the time eat a healthy balanced diet and 20% of the time have some well deserved treats.  It’s that simple!

How it works

Over a week you will probably eat 3 meals and 2 snacks every day, that’s 35 different times every week you have to make food choices.

So 80% of the time (or 28 times during the week) make good healthy choices; for instance:

  • Eat lots of fruit and veg in a rainbow of coloursfruit-and-veg-225x300
  • Drink 8 glasses of water
  • Eat good quality protein like quinoa, eggs, Quorn, tofu, oily fish (salmon and mackerel) and chicken
  • Eat more wholemeal grains like wholemeal pasta, bread and rice
  • Incorporate more beans and lentils into your cooking – for low fat and high protein nutrition
  • Eat nutrient rich fats like olive oil, avocados, coconut oil
  • have plenty of calcium rich diary
  • Cut down on alcohol 

  • Snack on nuts and dried fruit
  • Reduce your portion size

dark chocolateAbout 20% of the time (or 7 times during the week) relax a bit and have a few treats.  That’s the time to really enjoy a glass of wine, a packet of crisps, a biscuit or two, a square of dark chocolate, a latte or a piece of cake.  But eat that treat Mindfully, which means really savour and appreciate that treat and most of all ENJOY it and don’t feel GUILTY.

A healthy balanced diet can accommodate treats but like many things (and I’ve talked about this before) it’s all about moderation!

This handout may help you to apply moderation with your diet

The 80-20 rule

Try to follow these guidelines at least 80 % of the time for                                           a healthy lifestyle change.

How to successfully lose weight

How to successfully lose weight

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

400_F_32313411_SRgKYy8fq6hiYJgTNV0Ri9JQRXZcTatmLast weeks blog was about the fact that diets don’t work but you still find yourself embarking on yet another weight loss programme only to fail.

This week it’s all about how to succeed at losing weight and keeping it off

So here are my top 8 tips


  • Portion control – we all know that portion sizes at home, in restaurants, cafes, cinemas, supermarkets and other food outlets are getting bigger.  As are restaurant plates, coffee mugs, wine glasses etc.  So it is down to you to exert some control and utilise these tips
    • When eating out share a starter or pudding; not only will you be sharing the cost but also the calories.  burger-nachosGiven that a bowl of Nachos at a Wetherspoons has a gut busting 1,417 calories you’ll be glad you did!
    • When ordering a coffee at your favourite takeout ask for the smallest size.  The difference could add up to a 6lb weight loss over the year.  On this point I emailed Costa coffee over their apparent upselling technique of always asking the customer if they wanted medium of large and not mentioning the small size.  Their response:  we suggest the most popular sizes!!
    • imagesWhen eating at home always check the suggested portion size on the packaging of rice, pasta etc.  Incidentally it is generally 75g uncooked weight.  I usually find a mug that holds that amount perfectly and use it to portion out my carbs
    • If you are eating less then serve it on smaller plates or bowls – it will look more and your brain will be convinced you are eating the same and you may not feel so hungry
    • Click on my previous blog post for more advice about portion control
  • Eat consciously – this is a really simple technique, part of which is about eating without distraction.  As mentioned in last weeks blog if you eat in front of the TV or laptop then you may miss the signal from your stomach to your brain that you have had enough.   Being mindful of what you are doing and eating can really help you to only eat the amount you need.  Other tips are:
    • imagesEat slowly – it takes 20 minutes for the full signal to reach you brain from your stomach.  If you rush your food you are more likely to either go back for seconds or have a desert before that ‘STOP’ signal is heard

Eating slow is the way to go!


  • Don’t always feel compelled to finish everything on your plate.  As soon as you feel satisfied push or plate away or remove it from site
  • Learn to relax and distress -  Being stressed can trigger the release of a stress hormone called cortisol which can often result in an increased appetite.  By learning some stress relieving tips you can keep the hungry hormone at bay
    • WholegrainsEat foods that contain mood boosting hormones like serotonin.  These include wholegrain carbohydrates (but be mindful of your portion control) and Brazil nuts
    • As well as eating certain mood enhancing foods, exercise can also have the same effect by releasing endorphins.  So try and factor in some time for a walk with friends or the dog, a bike ride, an exercise class or some gardening
  • Snack sensibly – sometimes you need a bit of a calorie boost to get you through the 3 pm energy slump at work.  IMG_2218The vending machine is full of crisps and chocolate which are often high in calories, fat or sugar.  So a better alternative is to bring your own from home. The simplest is a small banana at only 90 calories it is a great low calorie option.  It is also high in fibre (to keep you feeling fuller for longer), high in potassium (to help kept sodium levels in balance) and high in tryptophan which converts into serotonin to make you feel happy.  Top a wholegrain rice cake with wholenut peanut butter and your banana and away you go
  • Stay hydrated –  by now we should all know that we need to drink plenty of fluids to imageskeep hydrated which in turn aids our concentration, stops us feeling hungry, and can stave off a headache.  Latest research suggest that tea, coffee, juices and milk are all good at replacing lost fluid.  However water is the preferred option as it doesn’t contain sugar, caffeine or calories.  Also be aware that alcohol can have a dehydrating affect on the body.
  • Have plenty of rest – sleep helps the body to process the days events and also toimages repair cells. A warm bath or milky drink before bedtime has been proven to aid a restful sleep.


  • Are you eating the right things for a healthy diet?– can you remember what you had for lunch yesterday or for your evening meal last night?  A way to keep track of imageswhat you are eating and therefore the calories you are consuming is to keep a record of it, or food diary.  This can be as simple or as complicated as you like.  Have a look at a downloadable version I have on my website or try an online tracking version like Nutracheck  – A great UK based App  http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/blog/nutracheck/
  • Burn calories through exercise – to lose 1lb of fat you need a daily calorie deficit of 500 calories, which adds up to 3,500 calories a week.  This can be achieved by imagesreducing the calories you eat or by exercising (but preferably both).  A useful tip is to buy a pedometer and check how many steps you walk a day. The suggested number is 10,000 steps, it is said this will significantly improve your health.  As a guide 1,000 steps is the equivalent of around 10 minutes of brisk walking

Please let me know how you get on

Why your diet is never going to work!

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

Why your diet is never going to work!images

You’re about to embark on yet another diet so you can be fit, healthy and slim for that bikini in a few months time.  But in your heart of hearts you know you will be miserable, moody and hungry.  And more importantly you will fail.

So let me share some secrets with you as to why you will keep on failing unless you change your approach

  • Portion control – Put it simply many of us eat too much even on a diet.  You have more control over what you eat at home but what about that quick latte on the way to work because you didn’t have time for breakfast; a large skinny latte could have up to 130 calories, add a ‘healthy low fat’ muffin and that’s another 340+. Or that sandwich from the supermarket at lunch time; an egg mayo could have upwards of 400 calories.  You may decide to meet friends after work for a low cal drink (or two) and a small bowl of pasta – where’s the harm! A small slimline gin and tonic will set go largeyou back a meagre 56 calories.  But restaurant portions are getting bigger and they are served on bigger plates or bowls so it is hard for us to judge the true amounts we are eating; a bowl of Prezzo’s  Penne con Salmon (light) still has a whopping 800 calories, a shared garlic bread will add 140 calories a portion and that sprinkling of parmesan is about 60 calories.  By now your one slimline G&T has morphed in to a large glass of house red (170 calories) so you decide to share a dessert (it would be rude not to!) half a portion of ‘healthy’ lemon Torte is 225 calories.

So in total on your diet you have some how managed to consume over 2,300 calories in one day.  Impressive!

  • Mindless eating – how often do you sit at a table to eat your meals?! When we sit in images front of the TV, laptop, tablet etc we are distracted and often do not register what we have eaten and therefore when we are full.  The signal from our stomach to our brain to say STOP takes about 20 minutes but if we are distracted we tend to eat faster, so that signal doesn’t get through until we are well into that unnecessary pudding.  How often have you been surprised when you look down at your plate and realised it is empty?
  • Stressed out – if you are stressed, anxious or worried then you are more inclined to comfort eat.  This is because being stressed can produce a hormone called ‘cortisol’, which can release glucose in to your bloodstream, promoting a hunger response thereby increasing your appetite.

So if you are not mindful of portion control then your weight may go up this will make you stressed and you will eat more!

  • Snack attacks! – Be careful what you snack on. Carrot sticks and hummus or rice cakes with wholenut peanut butter may be a better option than the low cal snack bar which could be full of refined sugars that your body processes very quickly, so it may not fill you up for long.  A small portion (28g) of unsalted nuts maybe a better option
  • IMG_5040What are you drinking? – Both alcoholic and soft drinks contain an abundance of calories.  Stay hydrated with water; not only will it quench your thirst but it will stave off hunger pangs.  A ‘healthy’ shop bought smoothie could have as many as 250 calories and up to 5 teaspoons of sugar.  Even though a can of diet drink has only a few calories latest research indicates that the artificial sweet taste prepares your body to expect calories and when they aren’t forthcoming your body craves food and your appetite could increase
  • Lack of sleep Scientists believe that if we don’t get enough sleep it disturbs the levels of two specific hormones leptin, which lets you know when you are full and ghrelin, which stimulates your appetite.

So put very simply the more you sleep the less you eat!

  • Are you eating enough?! This may sound odd but even on a diet you do need to consume enough calories to meet your bodies needs.  You can work this out on imagesvarious website to get you Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which is the calories you consume at rest.  But you may think you’re eating only small amounts and should therefore lose weight but as previously mentioned it is not just about portion size its also about what you eat.  For instance a flimsy cheese croissant, which is gone in seconds could have 340 calories.  Compare that with a medium sized jacket potato and a large salad with balsamic vinegar all for 300 calories.  Not only are you eating less calories but more fibre which will leave you feeling fuller for longer
  • 11701046_10207112983767058_664974267398185262_nAre you a couch potato? – Moving more (it doesn’t have to be structured or an expensive exercise class) not only burns calories but releases endorphins which can enhance your mood and make you feel good. The Government recommends at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking every week, and  muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).

Next week I’ll blog about the things you can do that won’t sabotage your weight loss goals but help you to lose the pounds permanently!

Is your friend naturally skinny – Probably not!

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

Is your friend naturally skinny – Probably not!

You seem to eat the same but you put on weight and she doesn’t.  These 10 skinny secrets might explain why!

Enjoy breakfast – Your friend very rarely skips breakfast.  A study by the National IMG_3797Weight Control Registry (NWCR) confirmed that people who have lost weight were 80% more likely to keep it off if they ate breakfast.  Their daily calorie consumption was no more than people who didn’t eat breakfast.  Why not try scrambled eggs on wholemeal toast or my favourite eggy bread for a protein rich start to the day, or a bowl of porridge with a sliced banana and some blueberries on top to keep you full until lunchtime

Portion control – Have you considered how much you or your friend eat at each meal?  Simagesupermarkets, restaurants and café’s are going large!  For instance packets of crisps are now often sold as 50g grab bags rather than the smaller (and now rarer) 25g, restaurant plates and bowls are bigger so we are eating more when we eat out, and how often are you only offered a large latte when you order a coffee.  Upselling is a common practice in food outlets the classic being ‘do you want fries with that’!  Learn to say no and only eat what you need.

IMG_5039Alcohol – The same goes for alcohol; a standard glass of wine is at least 175ml or maybe even 250ml (or a ⅓ of a bottle).  If your friend orders a small glass of white wine and you have the largest and over the course of a night out you drink 4 glasses each.  She will have consumed 15 ½ units, over 1100 calories or the equivalent of nearly four burgers.  It would take just under 2 hours of running to burn off those calories alone

That compares to your four large glasses which is 28 ½ units, over 2000 calories or the equivalent of seven burgers.  It would take 3 hours 20 minutes to run off those calories

Take your time – We live in a fast paced environment; we text, email, instagram, fast forward commercials and we eat at a much quicker rate than we use imagesto and with lots of distractions.  How many times have you seen someone driving a car whilst eating a burger, or takeaway drink?  It is time to slow down and follow the wise words of our grandparents; chew your food slowly, put down you knife and fork in between mouthfuls and eat at the table.  Why is this so important?

It allows the ‘I’m full’ message to go from our stomach to our brain so that we stop when we’ve had enough and we don’t overeat.  Next time you go for a meal with your skinny friend notice how slowly she eats and match her pace

80/20 rule- This is about applying healthy eating principles 80% of the time and being imagesmore relaxed 20% of the time.  In reality that could mean whenever you go out for a meal 80% of the time you don’t have a pudding, but 20% of the time you do.  The theory behind it is that if you try for 100% all of the time you will fail but be a bit more realistic and you are more likely to stick at your healthy eating goals.  I bet your skinny friend doesn’t always have 3 courses when you eat out, or maybe they only have a small glass of wine with their meal.  It might be a good idea to follow their lead


imagesBe mindful – Does your skinny friend often refuse a biscuit because she is simply not hungry? This is called eating consciously; being aware of how hungry you are and stopping when you feel satisfied.


imagesEarly morning exercise – You and your friend might both have gym membership or enjoy an outdoor power walk but does she do most of her exercise in the morning?  If you exercise before breakfast you could burn 20% more fat.  Some people assume that if you exercise in the morning you will feel hungrier throughout the day and therefore your overall calorie intake goes up but this is not always the case.  Justine Jenkins, Director Vitalitybootcamps and a Health & Fitness Consultant (vitality bootcamps) said “I promote eating a smart breakfast -high protein then you can train at a high rate and not fatigue like you would if you have fasted whilst still benefiting from fat loss”.

Cook more - Cooking at home puts you back in the driving seat of calorie consumption.  Not only have you chosen the ingredients but you can also choose the portion size.  A homemade tomato based curry has far fewer calories than the creamyIMG_2807 korma you might have picked up from the takeaway.  The salmon sirfry that you created is far more nutritious than the sweet and sour version from the local Chinese restaurant.

Read food labels – The nutritional information on food labels will give you a clear picture of the calories, fats and sugars as well as the main ingredients.  It can help you to make an informed decision as to whether or not you buy it.  For instance if you bought a fish pie ready meal you’d like to see ‘fish’ as one of the top ingredient but you may not be quite so keen to eat it if the dish only contained 14% fish.

Buddy up – Eat out with your skinny friend and follow her lead.  She might order soup as a starter (often a lower calorie option and it fills you up), with her main she may skip the chips and ask for a salad with the dressing on the side.  And order a sorbet or fresh fruit salad for dessert, or miss it altogether if she is full.  Watch what she drinks too; does she avoid the sugary and calorie laden cocktails and instead orders a small glass of wine with a glass of water

Nottm Post WinterGet some advice – If all of this is just too much to take in then why not contact me for a FREE 20 minute consultation and I can take you through it step by step and also help you to make healthier food choices, so that you and your skinny friend will soon be able to swap clothes!

07946 301338,  @SH_nutrition, susan@nutrition-coach.co.uk

What have you got to lose?!

Miso soup

Miso soup – 1 serving 80 calories 1.7g fat

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

This month I promised to create more recipes to support #Veganuary2016, so how about this vegan miso soup;  Its simple quick and very satisfying.  And if you are watching your weight this month this is the perfect low calorie lunch option for all you 5:2 fasters


IMG_21332 tsp miso paste (make sure it is suitable for veggies and vegans i.e. no bonito flakes)

1 mug of boiling water

25g soft tofu – cubed

1 sping onion – finely sliced

few flakes of dried chilli

20 (large handful) spinach leaves or 1 Nori leaf, shredded

  • Mix the miso paste with the hot water in the serving bowl or mug
  • Add in the cubed tofu, chilli flakes, spinach leaves and sliced onion
  • Stir until the leaves are wilted and soft

IMG_2893Optional extras – ½ tsp toasted sesame seeds (40 calories), few drops sesame oil (10 calories), 28g/small handful unsalted cashew nuts (150 calories), 2 sliced mushrooms (24 calories), soba noodles (28g will add 90 calories)