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.

 

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!

HEALTHY FUDGE BROWNIES

I kid you not this recipe took me a grand total of about 8 attempts to make the perfect fudgy brownies, some too dry, some tasting down right disgusting and some more of a cake then a brownie. But, behold, I finally mastered the recipe and they taste unbelievable, about time too, because believe it or not, I was starting to get sick of eating brownies and so was the rest of my family!

These brownies are fudgy, thick, gooey, with an amazing crinkly outer crust. If you are looking fo the ultimate healthy flourless brownie then you have come to the right place. Whats even better… they are oh so simple to whip up.

The problem I find with most ‘healthy’ brownie recipes is they are less like a brownie and most are a sweet, dry cake, which may only be 100 calories but id rather save those 100 calories for something worth while. These brownies do not disappoint, at just under 200 calories per portion, these healthy brownies will have you coming back for more and more.

These brownies are super easy to make and in about half an hour you will have warm, fudgy, healthy brownies waiting for your to tuck into.

Makes: 9-12 Brownies

INGREDIENTS

1 Cup Oat flour (Blend some oats)

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

225g Black beans (Drained)

50g dark chocolate

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp cocoa powder

2 Large eggs

Pinch of Salt

METHOD

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Place all the ingredients except for the coconut oil and chocolate in a food processor and blend.
  • Whilst the ingredients are blending in a bowl, melt the chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave until the chocolate has just about melted and then stir the two together.
  • Add the chocolate and coconut oil mixture to the food processor and make sure everything is throughly combined. Pure this mixture into a lined baking tin and bake in the pre-heated oven for 10-15 minutes until the mixture has just about set in the middle. The less you cook them, the more gooey they will be.
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool for about 30 minutes. Chop into slices and dive in!

ENJOY! 🙂

INTERMITTENT FASTING FOR FAT LOSS – LETS TALK – EP4

INTERMITTENT FASTING FOR FAT LOSS

LETS TALK – EP4

Episode 4 already! Blimey.

I thought I would talk about Intermittent fasting this week because strangely two clients have started using this approach to their nutrition and I too have been using this approach to manage my calories recently.

So what is intermittent fasting? It’s an extended period of time where you go without food. Typically most will fast for around 16-18 hours, giving them a 8-6 hour window to consume their calories for the day. For example you may eat your last meal for the day at 8pm and then your first meal the next day won’t be till midday.

The reason some of my clients and myself have recently started utilising this technique is because its a useful way to manage your calories for the day, especially if you are on a restricted amount of calories. It is by no means a magic diet, its just a strategy to help ensure your remain in a calorie deficit if fat loss is your goal.

Ask yourself this, do you eat breakfast in the morning out of habit or are you actually hungry? If you do it out of habit try a few more hours until you break that fast (breakfast), however, if you are actually hungry in the mornings and need something to start your day then this style of intermittent fasting may not be for you. BUT you could try the other way around, for example eating the majority of your calories between the hours of 8am and 4pm, if you are the kind of person who doesn’t get hungry in the evenings.

If you are working out make sure to have some form of nutrition around your workout, whether that be before, after or both, as we want to be fuelling our workouts and recovering properly.

So, to recap, intermittent fasting can be an effective tool to manage your calories for the day, it is not a magic diet that is going to burn more fat.

If your goal is fat loss, try it, see how you get on and let me know!

Talk soon.

– Andy-

SUPERFOODS – LETS TALK – EP3

SUPERFOODS – LETS TALK EP3

Superfoods… are they really a thing?

These so called “superfoods” (which there is no real definition for by the way) claim to reduce risks of chronic diseases, boost our energy levels and improve physical performance, but is this really true?

Firstly, brands are banned from claiming such health claims unless supported by scientific evidence. So all foods labelled with these health claims must be true right, because science says so? Not necessarily. A lot of big brands will actually fund academics to research the ingredients within their products. Which are often in a very concentrated form, NOT found in your so called “Super Juice”.

Lets be honest we all want to believe it, this vegetable or that fruit can help cure diseases with their anti-oxidant properties. And although some evidence does suggest these antioxidant containing foods can have health benefits, its pretty inconclusive. So, rather than relying on a single food, focus more on your day to day diet.

No “superfood” is going to compensate for days/weeks worth of unhealthy eating. Look at the bigger picture and start eating like an adult. Eat fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, a Mediterranean diet is a perfect example of this, lots of fruit, veg and fish.

Im not saying never eat or drink a product labelled as a superfood again, as it is most likely going to be packed with nutritious ingredients. But dont go in with the mindset that eating this singular superfood is going to cure all lifes problems. Address your diet first and use these nutrient rich foods as a way to maintain that diet.

But remember a juice claiming to have x amount of fruits and vegetables is likely to be 10x the price of a punnet of blueberries and a bottle of water, look after that bank account!

– Andy –