How to overcome your ‘Post-Summer Slump’

Summer may seem like a distant memory as the leaves turn red, the warm breeze develops a bite and the days get shorter. However, the effects of your summer-time over-indulgence and under-activity may be very real and very present. Having just returned from a late summer holiday myself I have had time to reflect on exactly how difficult it can be to get back into the healthy living routine, especially when you’ve had a few weeks of living in the ‘eat what you want, when you want’ mentality. So, I decided to write down the things that help me to kick back into action and ditch the 'holiday mode'. You might be struggling to find the energy or motivation to make change so here are my top tips to combat the post-summer slump.

Focus on Macros: Protein

Everywhere you look these days you are greeted by an ‘added protein’ label or a ‘high protein’ snack wrapper. Food manufacturers and Marketeers have joined forces to capitalise on the Nation’s sudden desperate need to increase their protein intake whilst still satisfying a sweet tooth with their favourite chocolate bars, drinks and cereals. But do we ever stop to question exactly what’s inside these ‘high protein’ bars and drinks? Do we question why we need all of this extra protein? And could we actually get the protein we need from natural foods and a balanced diet?

Get out! 7 reasons why exercising outdoors beats the gym

It’s easy in the Summer, when the sun is shining and the days are longer, but what about Autumn and Winter? Have you considered an all-seasons outdoor workout, no matter what the weather throws at you? Well you should do and here’s why…

How much is too much? Portion control and getting the balance right.

When was the last time you actually felt hungry? The stomach-rumbling emptiness of proper hunger? Have we all forgotten what that feels like? It’s no secret that ‘super-sizing’ is taking over the food industry. Extra large portions, huge plates, all you can eat buffets and bottom-less brunches are everywhere. It has become completely normal to pile a plate high and expect second helpings. But what has this culture of excess done to our understanding of control and do we really know what a healthy, balanced plate of food looks like?

Focus on: Body Re-composition

Most traditional weight loss plans, slimming groups and ‘diets’ focus on your weight on the scales- that one number that tells us what we weigh overall. You may increase your cardiovascular exercise and reduce your calorie intake in an attempt to make that number on the scales tick down over the weeks. Some schemes and clubs may actually advise you NOT to exercise! Just reduce your calories and your weight will decrease. What these kinds of diets don’t do is focus on what your overall weight is actually made up of. They don’t really look at independent sustainability, the overall health of your internal systems or the composition of your body as a result of the short-term weight loss.

Calorie match: How far would you run for a burger?

Counting calories isn’t a sustainable or particularly pleasant way to manage your weight over time; however, it is important to have a general awareness of how much energy you’re taking in vs. how much energy you’re expending throughout the day, for weight management and a healthy lifestyle. Many of our common treats, meals or beverages of choice can come laden with excessive calories that we are often unaware of. Even if we do have a knowledge of calorie content do we really understand what that means in practise? Well, a good way to put it all in context is to compare them to the calories we burn when carrying out various tasks or exercises. So here are a few comparisons to get you started. WARNING: Some of these may surprise you!

Good habits for a healthier lifestyle

We are creatures of habit. Habits help us move through our day without having to fully engage in a task that we repeat regularly. We are so well rehearsed at some tasks we can be busy daydreaming, planning or pondering without giving any conscious thought to the immediate task in hand. Have you ever suddenly come around from an all-consuming daydream only to find you’ve made it to your destination without barely a conscious thought about the route, the practicalities of driving, or the other unsuspecting drivers on the road? That's the power of a habit. You have dozens, maybe even hundreds of habits. Habits can be time-savers and some are very useful. Others can be time-wasters or just plain destructive. So how do you know which of your activities are habits; which do you keep and which do you ditch? Here are a few steps to help you reach your conclusion.

How to fight belly fat the science way

It’s a modern day problem that seems to hit us as we get older; sometimes called ‘The Middle Age Spread’. No, not a medieval invasion but an increased and unwanted settling of fat around the mid-section (arguably even more gruesome and unwanted than the aforementioned historic invasion).

To snack or not to snack? That is the ‘high protein, low carb’ question

If you’re anything like me snacks are an unavoidable part of your life, something you can not live without, as you dart between meetings, clients or errands. You may have heard contrasting views and opinions on the value of snacking but snacks need not be a bad thing... To snack or not to snack? There is much research exploring the positive and negative effects of snacking throughout the day, between meals. Some studies deliver evidence for and some are against; which doesn't help.