How to Eat Out & Still Get Results

When dieting eating out can be a stressful situation, you don’t want to ruin your diet but also want to enjoy yourself. Well know this, you can eat out, stress free and enjoy yourself, just apply a few simple steps.

Plan ahead. If you know you are going out for something to eat, browse the menu in advance and plug it into myfitnesspal. For example if I knew I was going to have a burger, I would add this to myfitnesspal with separate ingredients. I would log the bun, the burger, the cheese, the mayo all separately, although not perfect, it gives you a rough estimate of how many calories you have to play with for the rest of the day. In some situations, places like Nando’s, or chain restaurants have the macros on myfitnesspal, or on the website, so you can just add these straight in. But use your sensible head, if you go to log a cheese burger and its claiming its 200 calories, it’s pretty obvious this is wrong.

Eat smart. Lets be honest we all know the bacon Mac and cheese is going to loaded with way more calories than the seafood pasta with tomato sauce. Again, its about using a degree of sensibility, cheesy, creamy and fried foods are going to be the most calorific options. Try opting for leaner meats, and instead of chips, swap for some seasonal vegetables, if something has a dressing, ask for it on the side, so you are in control of how much you have.

Eat to your appetite. Going out for a meal doesn’t mean you have to eat to the point of bursting, you know, like Christmas Day where you have to un do a few buttons…Eat till you’re satisfied.

Don’t drink your calories. Liquid calories are the silent killer, nobody really takes them into consideration, obviously the healthiest choice is to stick with water, but if you do enjoy a glass of wine or a beer with your meal, keep it at that, a glass or a pint.

Now, I’m going to go against everything I just said and say as long as its one day, you don’t go mad, just eat out and enjoy it. All the above are tips for those of you who know you are better off controlling what you have otherwise you will just over indulge.

Social occasions are there to enjoy, 1 evening out isn’t going to ruin all your hard work, just like 1 day of dieting isn’t going to get you instant results. Yes, if its something that happens regularly throughout the week then you will need to control it. But a couple of times a month, enjoy it, don’t stress about it.

Eat More To Lose Weight

EAT MORE TO LOSE WEIGHT

Sounds counterintuitive right, eat more to lose weight.

Now, I’m going to jump in straight away and say this doesn’t apply to everyone. If you are currently on a diet and losing weight but have clicked on this post because it might an excuse to eat more, then no, this isn’t for you. What you are doing is working, so carry on. But, if you are struggling to lose weight, or were losing weight and have now plateaued then eating more may be the answer.

The further we get into a diet the harder it gets, thats because our bodies are extremely adaptable, so if you are on x amount of calories for a extended period of time then the body will adapt and accept this is the norm from now on. Hence why dieting I always recommend chipping away at the calories rather than going into an extreme deficit because then you have nothing to play with when the going gets tough.

If you are on extremely low calories more than likely you will be feeling lethargic, maybe a bit moody and not feeling energetic to do anything, your energy output has most likely decreased. Lets say we increase your calories, your input is now higher, not the answer you were expecting to lose more weight, but, with this increase in calories you have more energy, you feel less drained throughout the day, you have more energy to do more, your output has drastically increased. More than likely the increase in input (food) is outweighed by the increase in output (energy).

You so were I’m going with this one ? With more food in you, you now have more energy throughout the day and you move more and do more. Meaning you are still in a calorie deficit because your output is greater than your input.

This can be approached in two ways.

Firstly you can introduce refeeds. Put simply this is where you increase your calories on a given day, coming predominantly from carbohydrates, our bodies favoured energy source, normally at the end of the week. This, in theory should give you that much needed boost in energy for that day and the days following. But, remember, this is not a cheat day, this isn’t an excuse to eat everything and anything, it the same foods you normally would, just more of them.

Secondly, you can just slowly increase your calories week to week. For example say you were dieting on 2000 calories, now try 2200, thats an extra 1400 calories through out the week. Obviously making sure to monitor your weight as you go.

If you are struggling to lose weight, you have hit a plateau, and have been in a calorie deficit for an extended period of time. Try increasing your calories to increase your output.

 

There Is Always An Alternative

This post is inspired after watching two young lads in the gym today. One I suppose was trying to teach the other how to conventional deadlift. Which is great to see, another person encouraging another and that other clearly being a complete newbie to the gym. BUT, the newbie was really struggling and although I wanted to step in and help, I didn’t want to be “that guy”.

I remember being a newbie myself, thinking I knew what I was doing, but I really didn’t. I wish back then someone told me what to do, but at the same time, I learnt from it and I probably wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t make those mistakes.

But the point of this post is to assure you their is always an alternative to an exercise. This young man had clearly never deadlifted before and his friend threw him in the deep end trying to show him how to conventional deadlift. And although his friend was saying, yeah, thats it, he really hadn’t got it and you could see he was really struggling.

But he didn’t have to struggle. There are so many alternatives to exercises. Take the deadlift for example. A kettle bell deadlift would have been far more suitable, or a trap bar deadlift. From there you can progress to the conventional or sumo deadlift over time.

It’s like teaching a baby to swim, you don’t just chuck them in, with no arm bands and say, “away you go”. You give them the arm bands, watch them doggie paddle, then take away the arms bands, but you hold them for support, and eventually your no longer supporting them and they are swimming all by themselves.

Exercise variation is like your arm bands, you won’t do/need them forever, but they give you the chance to build a solid foundation and build your confidence. So eventually you can do the main compounds and before you know it your hitting double figures on the deadlift.

So please, don’t think you have to do a certain exercise because everyone else is, if you can’t do it, build up to it. Take you time and enjoy the journey.

Don’t Make This Fat Loss Mistake

Im sure you have heard of Yo Yo dieting. Where you go through phases of dieting and then not and with that your weight goes up and down. But are you doing that consistently throughout the week without even realising and questioning why you’re not losing weight?

Im a big advocate of flexible dieting. I use it with all my clients and thats because it works, IF you follow It correctly. It allows you to enjoy the foods you love and as the title suggests have a little flexibility within your diet whilst still getting results.

However, when someone comes to me and says I tried flexible dieting but I didn’t get any results from it, when we break it down, they realise they weren’t using it correctly, or were making big mistakes without even realising.

Flexible dieting gives you freedom within your diet, but don’t abuse that freedom.

If your sticking to your diet Monday-Thursday, but come Friday, Saturday, Sunday, you have some drinks, you have a takeaway, you move a little less, this is where you are going wrong. Your weight is probably steadily decreasing Monday-Thursday, but then spikes over the weekend and come Monday you’re back to square one again.

Now, there is no problem with doing the above, in fact, I encourage it, but have some control. Have 1-2 drinks over the weekend, rather then finishing off a couple bottles of wine. Have a takeaway, but maybe don’t go for the full works, the pizza, the 2 sides and the pint of ice cream at the end. Have some of the pizza, a bit of the sides, and split the ice cream. No, you don’t have to nail the whole pint of ice cream, it’s not a written rule.

If you know the weekend is going to be a bit off plan, prepare for it, reduce calories slightly during the week, move a little more, limit the damage. At the end of it all, fat loss is all about consistency all week long, not just Monday-Thursday.

Be an adult, be sensible.

Dealing With Stress

As I write this I’m sipping on a camomile tea, attempting to relax, whilst at the forefront of my head there’s a thousand things running through my mind.

This week has been a rollercoaster of a week, a whirlwind of emotions and a lot of decisions to make, a lot of which will shape my future.

I haven’t slept a wink, I’m tired and because of that my productivity has been poor. Why am I telling you this ? Because I know this is just a bump in the road of life. Look at me getting all hippie haha.

But seriously, I keep telling myself this is just a bump and the longer this period goes on the harder it is to believe my own words, but I know I just need to be patient.

This is just a short post, mainly to say, if you’re going through a stressful time at the moment, I’m right here with you, but we’ll get through it. Trust me.

Flourless Chocolate Chunk Cookies

These cookies have been a serious work in progress, but all the hard work has paid off. We are talking a soft, chewy, chocolate chunk cookie, you know, the kind where it has the crisp outer layer but a almost toffee like centre. Yup, just like all my recipes, Im seriously proud of this one. Some of the ingredients may be a bit different to what you are used to, and possibly expensive, but trust me, with these ingredients a little goes a long way, so expect to see a lot more recipes with the likes of coconut sugar and almond flour because I have a lot to get through!

Makes 9 Large Cookies

INGREDIENTS

1 Cup Almond Flour

1/3 Cup Melted Coconut Oil

1/4 Cup Coconut Sugar

1/2 Tsp Salt

1 Large Egg

50g Dark Chocolate Chunks

1/2 Tsp Bicarbonate Soda

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

METHOD

Pre-heat your oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking parchment. Using an electric hand whisk, beat the coconut oil and sugar together until just combined and then add the egg, continuing to whisk until a thick, mousse like mixture forms. Next fold in the almond flour followed by the remaining ingredients. Chill in the fridge for 20-30 mins. Spoon your cookie dough onto the baking tray, leave about an inch around the cookie as they will spread whilst baking and bake in the pre-heated oven from 12-15 mins, until the cookies are golden but still slightly soft on top as they will set as they cool. These will keep in an air tight container for up to a week but obviously they are best enjoyed fresh!