Do you skip breaky because you are just not hungry, but you force yourself to eat because you heard you are supposed too as its healthy?
The truth is – there are health benefits if you eat breakfast and also if you skip breakfast. It depends on your goals but for the purpose of this of this post let’s take the question above.
You eat breakfast because it’s the most important meal of the day. Whose mum said this to them most days. Mine certainly did.
Research suggests that breakfast eaters are most likely health seekers. (this is not equivocal, and I am not saying if you don’t eat breakfast, you are not healthy). Breakfast tends to be a healthier meal of the day for most; intentions for the day are good so we make good choices, therefore, you are getting extra micronutrients in there and a good macro split generally to fuel your morning. Think fruit and great yogurt, eggs on wholegrain toast as examples.
Me personally, I’m a big breakfast fan! However, I am up at 5am most days and don’t eat until 9am. That’s only because I am manic in the mornings. If I ate it at 5am I would likely want to eat again at 9am again so I just don’t. I’m just not hungry at 5am.
If you are not hungry in the morning and you feel good off it then just don’t eat it. It will make very little difference to your day.
If you are skipping breaky for weight loss reasons (AKA intermittent fasting, basically skipping a meal and therefore most likely creating an calories deficit) but then find you overeat a lunch because you are so ravenous then maybe think about bringing back breakfast and that is not the diet for you. There is a lot of nuance here so feel free to message me if you have a specific goal.
Take away – if you want to eat it then do, if you don’t then don’t, it probably doesn’t matter!
My breakfast most days is kiwi, frozen berries, Greek yoghurt, nuts and chocolate. Weekends I’ll have bagels and eggs. Do you eat breakfast? Any breakfast inspo recipes??
I’ve been MIA on here lately! I’ve been very focused on starting and growing my Nutrition business, Whole health with Emma. Its going great and I am really loving helping people on a 121 basis.
I am really keen to make a bigger impact in making healthy feel easier. So, via my Instagram and Facebook platforms (wholehealthwithemma) I have set up a 6 week challenge. I wanted to share it here too incase you wanted to join in.
The purpose of the challenge is to help make us more aware. As a dieting society we are mostly focusing on taking away things in the pursuit of health (carbs, breakfast etc.) and we should be focusing on what we can add. Developing the things that we already do day to day, with a few tweaks here and there. Such as sleep, hydration and activity. These things can make a huge difference in how we feel.
This challenge is not a diet. So if you are already following a diet or plan of some kind, this will just complement it without a lot of effort.
Why should you get involved?
Its free Its easy Its fun It will make you accountable You will feel better You may lose weight You will be more mindful It does not require huge changes
Why you should get involved?
Aside from not wanting to improve your health I can think of a single reason.
How will it work?
The Sunday before I will release that habit we are working on for the week, you just do that specific habit per day that week. Each day I will post something relating, motivational, do Q+A’s about the subject and I will be doing it to so I will tell you how I am getting on too. Easy! I will release a checklist this week that you can use to check off daily.
Who’s keen? You don’t need to tell me, even take part under the radar or join in whenever you like.
The first is, are our hormones making us gain weight? We have all said or at least know someone who has said that our contraceptive method has made us fat.
Here is the harsh truth that I know many will not want to hear.
Only consuming more energy (food) than you burn will make you gain fat! Energy balance, it’s the principle of fat loss. FACT!
BUT (phew there is a but)
Hormones can play a role in helping us consume that energy. I will explain.
The appetite hormones
We have what is called the “hunger hormone” AKA Ghrelin. This stimulates our appetite. Then we have Leptin. Leptin tells our brain we are full and promotes energy balance, we like leptin!!
These two hormones can be affected by lots of factors. Lack of sleep can make your hunger hormone (Ghrelin) for example sky rocket making you hungrier that day. We want to keep ghrelin low during a fat loss phase so eating a whole foods diet with lots of protein will keep you fuller for longer. We want to be more leptin sensitive. We can do this by getting enough sleep, resistance training, avoid crash dieting, getting enough fibre and so on. Oh, wow look at that, balance and moderation!
So, we are all aware of the hormone’s estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
I will tackle each individually.
Estrogen – this increases in the first 14 days of our cycle (known as the Follicular phase) then decreases very quickly after ovulation around day 14. Let’s call Estrogen the nice hormone, we like estrogen. It keeps us on the straight and narrow and sane 😊 It also plays role in decreasing our appetite during the first 2 weeks of the cycle. If you are to start a diet for fat loss then this is when you want to do it.
Testosterone – We don’t have lots of this as its predominantly the male hormone but this is at its peak for us around ovulation. As this is when we have this highest chance of getting pregnant and testosterone improves our sex drive. Women who have PCOS can have 2-3 times more testosterone than women without and their cycle can be as long as 35 days compared the average 28 days of someone without PCOS. More testosterone can bring symptoms with it and women with PCOS hold body fat more central.
Progesterone – Let’s call this the horrid hormone. This rises from day 14 (luteal phase) right up to us getting our period. This causes the mood swings, can affect our sleep causing us to be irritable. We burn a higher number of calories in this phase, it can be up to 300 more. We also become more resistant to insulin which means we don’t tolerate carbohydrates as well but we crave them. Combine this with the affected sleep making our ghrelin hormones rise we end up consuming 500 calories on average a day more during this phase, hello weight gain!
So, you could say your hormones are helping you gain weight but its still energy balance that is what makes you gain fat. Understanding this can help you if you do suffer with the symptoms of the follicular phase.
As we head towards menopause these hormones decline and periods will stop eventually.
Is my pill/coil/implant etc. making you fat then?
Not directly, but it will be affecting your hormones and all the above will be happening! You can however hold a little more water with some contraception though which you will see on the scales.
It’s very different for everyone. Some are affected and some don’t even see aa difference.
Exercise and the female cycle
The second thing I would like to discuss is training and exercise in relation to hormones.
Have you ever been to the gym and lifted a personal best only to find the following week you can’t lift it off the floor! Or done the best run of your life to two days later feeling like a slug?
It’s our menstrual cycle messing with us.
We mention above the Follicular phase and the Luteal phase.
Follicular phase – days 1-14 of our cycle. This is when out Estrogen is high and when we are at our strongest. This is when we should be doing our heavy lifting and HIIT sessions, we also get less muscle soreness during this time. Around day 14 (ovulation) out testosterone is high; we may get out best work out here!
The Luteal phase – days 14- 28 ish. Progesterone starts to rise and that yoga pose we were doing a week ago now seems impossible. Our balance and co-ordination are off, we can’t lift for shit and our works outs are just less satisfying. Planning the lighter exercises here would make sense.
I think once we know this and we understand where we are in our cycle then we can give ourselves a break, not beat ourselves up as much.
Take away – understand your cycle. If you are in a fat loss phase you can try and do your deficit in the first too weeks and then hit maintenance calories in the 2nd phase. You will still make progress. Its important to point out that we are all so different, some months we are good and others it hits us hard. If you suffer with PMS plan your training around this, don’t force yourself to do a workout that is possible not going to benefit you.
Its tough being a woman but we just have to get on with it!
Its been over 6 months I think since I wrote a post about myself and not about Nutrition. Two things prompted this post. 1. It’s been a year since I started my blog, for those who don’t know I actually started this blog to talk about my journey quitting alcohol. 2. I wasn’t feeling any inspiration about a nutrition topic to cover.
So I am hear today to talk about my journey back to alcohol after 6 months off. We talk about quitting all the time but never really talk about what happens after we decide to drink again. I never did and I think it was because I felt a little shame that I decided to drink again. Just a quick recap – my plan was to stop drinking for 3 months, even though I found it difficult for various reasons I also enjoyed the benefits so much that I ended up doing 6 months. I then made a decision to start drinking again but in moderation.
Funnily enough starting drinking again also tied in to COVID kicking in here in Australia. I had 2 rules. I wasn’t allowed to drink bubbles and I am not drinking in the house. The first drink I had after 6 months was a bottle of bubbles shared with a friend in my house LOL. I broke my own rules straight away. That first drink felt nice as I got that relaxed giggly feeling you get when you only have a couple. I thought to myself, yes, I can do this moderation thing.
I’m not going to tell you about every drinking session I have had so I will fast forward and put it into a nutshell. Drinking in moderation is hard, its probably harder than completely quitting but it is getting easier. Its hard because I get the fear when I know that I am drinking that I cant control myself with how much I drink, I get the fear about how guilty I will feel, I worry I wont get up early and be productive and that will also make me feel guilty, I get hangover fear. So basically I am ruining the whole experience before I even do it, so I say to myself then why am I even drinking?
I also set myself a rule that I will drink no more than 1 bottle of wine a week. Have I stuck to that? Mostly but I have had a few slip ups.
In the whole 6 months that I have been drinking again I have got really drunk once. Very recently at a hen party, I felt so gross on the way home I regretted how much I drank, I drank bubbles and didn’t stick to any of my rules. I know most people who read this will think Oh chill out, live your life blah blah blah. I also have these debates with myself, I know I give myself a hard time but that’s the way I am. Getting drunk brings me zero joy now and I try and avoid situations where this might be involved.
What I am loving is a couple of glasses with a meal, or sat on my balcony watching the sun go down with my husband. I seem to able to moderate in my own environment and I no longer crave more alcohol like I did before.
Stopping drinking absolutely changed my whole relationship with myself and now with alcohol. It made me realise that I am happier and more productive without it, I love sleep, my mind is clearer, my body just feels strong and healthy and I no longer give a shit if people think i’m boring if I don’t drink.
I do think I will eventually just stop drinking and it will feel natural and not such an effort. I haven’t drank for 3 weeks right now just because I haven’t, no effort has gone into it and that just proves to me that my weekends and evening no longer revolve around wine. I never get stressed anymore and crave wine to make me feel better so its not emotional involved in my life anymore, that’s the one that I am most proud of.
So, is it nice to be drinking again? It’s hard to keep control. Am I happier now I’m drinking again? No. So why am I drinking again, why not just stop? I think this is part of my journey and we all have a different one, I hope mine does lead to me being a slow lane drinker or a non drinker.
It’s very difficult to put PCOS in a nutshell but I am going to give it go. All that I talk about is based on current evidence. PCOS is still not fully understood even by the specialists, there is ongoing research being done and things change the more that is discovered.
What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome. To have the syndrome you will be diagnosed with two of the following and some females can have all three.
Hyperandrogenism – high levels of androgens causing symptoms such as oily skin, acne, facial hair, irregular periods and also alopecia
Polycystic ovaries – ovaries develop numerous small collections of fluid, called follicles and may fail to regularly release eggs
Oligo/Anovulation – where ovulation is irregular or not there at all
What are the characteristics of PCOS?
Menstrual dysfunction which can also lead to infertility or increased pregnancy complication
Insulin resistance and increased risk factors for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease
More prone to anxiety and/or depression
More prone to obesity or weight gain as metabolism could be up to 40% slower
It’s difficult to say what the treatments are exactly because it depends on what symptoms you have as no one case is the same.
Of course, see your doctor and they will provide medical treatment.
So how can a Nutritionist help?
We can help a huge amount. Lifestyle is a key treatment.
Getting to a healthy weight/BMI – is shown to improve PCOS symptoms dramatically. This will improve insulin resistance. The method we use again will depend on the symptoms. For example – one study shows that a low GI diet can improve menstrual regularity and improve insulin sensitivity.
Metabolic adaptation – this means that you require less calories than someone without PCOS. Sometimes it can be up to 40% less. The harsh reality is that you will be on a lower calorie diet. Seeing a nutritionist to help with this is beneficial as we can set you where you need to be and make sure the method for the lower calorie diet is that one that benefits your health.
Exercise – aside from helping to boost mood therefore helping to reduce depression and anxiety symptoms its help can help you reach your weight loss goal. Resistance training will improve insulin sensitivity too.
Supplementation – research is still ongoing but there are some great studies suggesting supplementing with vitamin D and omega 3’s is very beneficial.
It’s a very complicated syndrome with no one way to treat it. It needs a dedicated period of experimentation and recording to find them method for the specific symptoms.
I would suggest seeing a Nutritionist (me please) and committing to a 12 week plan.
There are so many nutritional myths out there they could all have their own article but instead I thought I would take a small handful of the ones I come across a lot.
Does high insulin level prevent weight loss?
NO!! The myth is that if you eat a high carbohydrate diet (even if you are in a calorie deficit), it releases the hormone insulin which then makes your body store fat. Its absolute tosh and has never been proven, ever! I understand why people believe it! There are some very high-profile doctors out there promoting this theory, they say low carb is the only way. They have only one agenda, to sell their book!
There are many studies that dis prove this theory but I will name one that categorically disproves the insulin theory. In this study by Kevin Hall (Hall et al. (2015) Cell Metab) there were no significant differences in body fat losses when comparing isocaloric low carbohydrate and high carbohydrate diets in a tightly controlled metabolic ward.
Let’s have a carb party 😊
Eating little and often speeds up your metabolism and helps you lose weight.
NO! This one is a very popular myth and still well believed.
This meta-analysis (Schoenfeld et al. (2015) Nutr. Rev.) found no significant differences between meal frequency and changes in body weight. There are lots more studies to mention and all have found no significant difference when eating lots of meals compared to eating 2 big meals a day for example.
The only times eating smaller meals more often can benefit you is for muscle gain and that’s more specific to protein feedings.
Eat what fits within your lifestyle without any stress over timings!
Does eating red meat increase the risk of cardiovascular disease?
NO! Meat eaters will love this one and as this one has been around a long-time people find it hard to not believe but evidence is evidence.
This meta-analysis (O’Connor et al. (2016) Am. J. Clin. Nutr.) showed that consuming more than 0.5 servings of red meat per day did not significantly affect lipid-lipoprotein profiles or blood pressure, both risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Many of the studies that do show a link to red meat and increased risk of CVD are correlation studies. What this means is that the people taking part in the study were also less likely to be physically active, more likely to be smokers, drink more alcohol, have a higher energy intake and have a higher BMI which are all related to CVD so how can you specifically blame the red meat.
Rather than focusing on reducing red meat you would be better off getting to a healthy weight, being more physically active, drink less alcohol and not smoke. All proven to reduce the risk of CVD.
Red meat is actually extremely nutrient dense food containing protein, fat, iron, zinc and many other micronutrients. Just saying. Moderation!
Is eating more than 7 eggs per week bad for your cholesterol?
HELL, NO and thank god!!
There are many studies to refer to so I am going to pick the one with the most eggs consumed in a week. This study showed that eating 21 eggs per week for 12 weeks resulted in no significant changes in ‘bad’ cholesterol and actually improved other blood lipid markers for health, including levels of ‘good cholesterol and triglycerides. (Mutungiet al. (2008) J. Nutr)
However, I should state that there are hyper-responders to eggs (as with everything). If you do have high cholesterol then remove eggs for a while, change nothing else and get re-tested, if its still the same then change other lifestyle factors and keep the eggs.
I’m a big egg fan. They are super nutritious and contain small amounts of very nearly all the essential micronutrients we need and they have up to 8g of Protein per egg.
I think that’s enough for now, I may do another next week with another 4.
Are there any myths out there that you are unsure about??
Nearly every single client I see in the clinic is not eating enough Protein, both male and female.
Unless you are really into muscle gains most people don’t even know why we need it and what it does for us. I have to try and change this as I think most Nutritionists would say it’s their favorite macro and we will prioritize it over the other macros, for good reason.
I’m going to try and keep the science bit to a minimum but do bear with me as its important you know.
What is protein anyway?
Proteins are large, complex molecules. Proteins are made up of smaller units called amino acids, which are attached to one another in long chains. There are 20 different types of amino acids that can be combined to make a protein. There are essential and non-essential amino acids that we consume through food.
But why do I need Protein?
Let’s clear one common misconception about protein. You do NOT eat/drink Protein then turn into Arnold Schwarzenegger (if only). We do need to consume protein from our diet to provide amino acids for growth and maintenance of tissues. So, the amount you need really depends on your health and activity level. If you have had surgery for example, eating higher protein diet will help your recovery. If you are training hard with heavy weights you may need a higher protein amount to support the recovery of your muscles and help them grow.
If you are in a calorie deficit as you are trying to lose fat its important to keep your protein high so you do not lose muscle mass.
There are lots of other reasons that are not just muscle growth related as to why we need Protein, here are a few more and each one could have its own article!
Immune function support
It has a high thermic effect of food – which means you burn more calories metabolizing it
Supports weight loss – higher protein meals have higher satiety
Supports healthy nails and skin growth
Protein is also an energy source
Protein myths debunked
Myth 1 – You can only digest 20-30g of protein in one sitting – NOT TRUE We digest all of our protein however you may not need more that 20-30g per sitting for muscle protein synthesis AKA muscle growth)
Myth 2 – Protein makes you fat – NOT TRUE The only thing that makes you gain fat is a calorie surplus.
Myth 3 – To much protein is bad for your kidneys in healthy individuals – NOT TRUE There is not one study that supports this statement.
Myth 4 – Protein shakes are for body builders – NOT TRUE Protein shakes are great if you don’t have time to sit and eat food, they are not better than food but a complete protein is a complete protein.
So how much Protein should you be having?
The recommend amount is 0.8g per kg of body weight but evidence supports that we go higher than this.
I would recommend a guide of 1.2 – 2.7g for kg of body weight.
The 1.2 would be for a non-active healthy person, the more active you get then it should increase. 1.5 is a great start. A 60kg female would need around 90g of Protein.
Why should your Protein come from?
We have complete and incomplete protein. Remember those amino acids I mentioned at the beginning, well they are pretty important. We need them to make up complete Proteins.
Complete proteins –They contain all the essential amino acids in adequate amounts
They are found in all animal-based protein sources
Incomplete proteins – which means deficient in at least one essential amino acid
Usually plant-based sources which can be difficult for vegan’s as they can’t have any animal products, its not impossible though. Vegan’s need to be aware of how to combine their protein source to make up a complete one. For example, mixing rice with beans.
Side effects of not getting enough Protein.
You are tired – your body isn’t recovering and its effecting your energy levels
You are not making the progress you wanted in the gym
Loss of muscle mass
Increased risk of bone fractures
Risk of infections and low immune, you keep getting sick
I think that’s enough incentive to check how much protein you are eating. You may not even know that’s its low. Take a look at your diet and see how much you are eating.
Tips to increase protein
Aim for 20g minimum per meal
Make your snacks high protein – tuna, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, eggs, lentils, chickpeas
Throw in a protein shake or bar if you are struggle to consume through food – you can add protein to your oats, smoothie or yogurt
For as long as I can remember we have been told that salt is bad for us, it will give you high blood pressure and you will have a heart attack!
Turns out that this may not be the case.
Let me say that first, too much of anything is a bad thing, so keeping in mind throughout this post that I am not encouraging excessive salt intake.
What is salt?
Also know as Sodium chloride. Salt is 40% sodium and 60% chloride. You can get many different forms of salt. Sea salt, Himalayan salt and the table salt we all know to well.
Why do we need salt?
Aside from it may be making our food taste better we actually need salt! The essential minerals in salt act as important electrolytes in the body. They help with fluid balance, nerve transmission and muscle function.
What we all thought we knew about salt.
That too much salt contributed to high blood pressure and heart disease. New studies are now showing that this is not quite the case. This study (link below) found there was no actual link between salt intake, high blood pressure and risk of heart disease.
Evidence in recent years is emerging that restricting salt is bad for us as we are not getting enough. It can contribute to the follow.
Reduced hydration, especially in athletes Muscle cramps Higher risk of heart attack Headaches Weakness Cognitive decline in elderly Irritability Sleep disruption
Wow hey, who knew!
Which one is the healthiest?
They actually don’t differ a huge amount, but it seems Celtic salt is the king salt!
Table salt – is heavily processed however the pro’s to table salt are that it has iodine added to it so we do not become iodine deficient. Table salt has the least mineral content with the iodine aside.
Sea salt – its less refined that table salt with a slightly higher mineral content. However, it’s said to have a higher metal content and to contain trace plastics.
Pink Himalayan rock salt – is rich in minerals, containing all 84 essential trace elements required by your body. Pink salt can assist in many bodily functions, such as reducing muscle cramps, promoting blood sugar health and promoting healthy pH in your cells.
Celtic sea salt – is an unrefined, unprocessed and sourced from clean coastal waters. Containing unprocessed and naturally forming minerals contains a higher mineral content than Himalayan and even contains trace amounts of iodine, naturally.
Benefits of adding natural salt
Balances electrolytes and prevents muscle cramping
Helps you stay hydrated
Can Improve sleep
Supports a healthy nervous system
Recommended daily amount.
The government guild lines for an adult are 1 teaspoon a day (6g). If you already eat a lot of processed food, then you will be getting more than enough (maybe too much) so don’t add extra salt to your food. If you eat lots of fresh food adding some natural salt will benefit your health.
Yes!! If you have Celiac disease or non- celiac gluten sensitivity.
This really is one of the biggest myths. The amount of times I have heard people say that something is gluten free so it’s healthy, or they have cut gluten from their diet and they feel so much better.
First of all, lets explain what gluten actually is.
Gluten is a group of proteins found in cereal grains. These proteins, called prolamins and glutelins, comprise 75–85% of the total protein in bread wheat. It gives dough its elasticity and makes bread soft and chewy.
In this day and age, for some reason and I cannot pinpoint when this happened, everyone started to blame their stomach issues on gluten. I came across a study whilst looking at some research and it tested 336 people who thought they had a gluten intolerance and put them on a gluten free diet. The results found that out of all those people on 27 of them had a gluten intolerance and 26 actually had celiac disease. The others had issues because of a number of different issues.
Stomach related issues can be stress (huge one), Irritable bowel syndrome, a diet change, a wheat allergy or another allergy such as lactose.
I have known many people remove gluten from their diet and have claimed that they feel better. That’s great. However, if you remove gluten from your diet you are also removing cakes, biscuits, all breads and other highly processed foods. Of course, they feel better, they have removed all the junk from their diet and probably replaced it with fresh and higher nutritious foods than they were eating before.
Other foods containing gluten are
Wheat Spelt Rye Barley Bread Pasta Cereals Beer Cakes, cookies, and pastries
Notice how most of these foods are the ones we tend to over consume? Could this be why we feel so bloated and tired after eating them, because we ate too much? Could it be not its not actually the gluten’s fault?
Are Gluten free versions better than normal versions of food?
Yes, if you have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Otherwise absolutely not. They are very expensive and usually have extra additives added to make then taste similar.
If you do think you have a problem with gluten you should go to your doctor to be tested rather than just assuming it is gluten, you could be focusing your energy on the wrong problem when you could be fixing the right one.
It is believed that 0.5-15% of the western population may have a reaction of some kind to gluten, its not as high as you would think.
This week has been one of the the harder ones in regards to being sober.
In Australia Melbourne cup is one of the biggest events in the calendar. We get to finish work early, we get super dressed up and head off to whatever venue has been booked for us. Its a really good day. The free drinks flow, the food is usually delicious and everyone gets hammered. I am usually the one who is most up for it. This year was different. I wasn’t drinking. I was determined to still enjoy myself and not dread the event.
I called the venue ahead of arriving to ask what non alcohol drinks they have, they had Carlton zero, I was happy as! It make a difference if people think you are drinking then you don’t have to explain yourself.
We arrive at 12.30pm, the race is at 3pm, I left at 3.30pm LOL! I have 3 Carlton zero’s, had a nice time but I started to feel the turn in the way people were acting and knew it was my cue to leave. The main reason of telling this story is the my manager didn’t drink and stayed with me the whole time. She wanted to support me, it meant a lot as I would never ask anyone too or expect anyone too. It helped.
I am finding that a lot of people are very supportive, more so than I expected. My best friend is great and really understanding as to why I am doing it. My work colleagues get it. My 8 year old daughter who obviously doesn’t understand the main reason behind it but I think is benefiting from me not drinking the most.
The biggest shout out needs to go to my husband. He is one of my 10 followers and reads every post. If you read my first introduction to the blog you will know that one of my fears was it affecting our relationship in a negative way. We think that our relationship is built on our love to socialise (as well as other things of course) which in turn means our love for alcohol and getting boozy. Nearly 7 weeks to not drinking and I am thinking how wrong that is that we think that. Ok so we are not out dancing the night away until 3am, we are not having drunken conversations that will mean nothing the next day or laughing hysterically at things that are not actually not funny but how often do we even do that anymore? I think the last time was a year ago when we had a night out in the city.
Instead and I hope he will agree we are probably in the happiest place we have ever been. I don’t know why. When I try to pin it down one of the things that come to mind is because I or even we are less irritable, my mood is better so I am more tolerant, I feel calmer, I feel good! He does too, he is drinking a lot less and making an effort to eat healthier. If I didn’t have his support or if he moaned about it then this process would have been so much harder. I am so grateful for him.
Its made me realise how important support is and surrounding yourself with those who do support you is a must.
I don’t get it anymore. It probably stopped about a year ago for me. I used to get it bad. I never missed anything and said yes to everything. Every work event, every social event, literally everything.
When I first got to Sydney form the UK being invited out and attending was the only was to meet people and build relationships. You are not sure who you actually want to be friends with so you have to try them all out, right? So I would go out at least twice a week. They were all drinking events, some free and some not free, didn’t matter, all would end with me being drunk. There is a big bubbles culture here with groups of girlfriends. There’s constantly a bottle being bought by who’s ever round it is and your glass is always full. You cant monitor how much you drink therefore before you know it you’ve drank 2 bottle of prosecco and you are hammered!
After 2-3 years of this is Sydney I started to tire of it. Sick of the horrendous hangovers, bored of the bear fear and I would always get my self in trouble by talking to someone about something I shouldn’t to some I shouldn’t have said it too so would have constant anxiety.
I made some great friends along the way but if I look back I am confident I didn’t make them friends because they liked me wasted, surely it was because they actually liked me!
So yeah, I just got over it. I also know that after 9pm when everyone is sloshed no-one remembers anything anyway so i’m not missing out there.
These days I’m much happier staying in with the fam, movie nice food and bed at 10pm (if not earlier), or a nice meal with a friend, long walks or something active. S many people will say I am boring, that’s there problem, I couldn’t be happier doing those things.
So I think the new term is JOMO, joy of missing out. I love that.
This is this a huge deal for me and my family. I have worked in the world of recruitment for 16 years. Its secure, well paying, I get to work from home a lot and I worked for a really lovely company. Why on earth would I leave that? I have got it so good right?
I have been crazy unhappy and bored in my role for a long time, if I’m honest with myself, for years! In fact, over the years it has turned me into a pessimist when I am actually an optimist by nature. I don’t feel my happy self at all, and I am clock watching through the days. To me, there is nothing worse than being bored. I feel a knot of anxiety within my stomach most work days. I’m not doing my best and I am letting myself and other’s down and I feel a constant guilt. It’s not the job itself, it’s me who has changed. I stayed for the money for a long time. If you have ever worked in recruitment, you will know that it can be very financially rewarding. My values changed and I didn’t even realise.
On the other hand, I have a lot to thank recruitment for. It’s made me resilient, hard working and a confident people person with delivering a good service above everything else.
What am I going to do? I qualified as a Nutritionist nearly 2 years ago and have been working for myself (Whole Health with Emma) as a side job alongside my full-time role. I then decided to get my personal training qualification so I could offer exercise advise too. Turns out that I am totally obsessed with personal training and did my level 3 and have just completed my level 4. Finishing this coincided with me having the shittest recruitment day to date, not hitting my bonus target, then my hubby getting a better job and I just felt the stars aligned, I thought if I don’t do it now then I will never do it.
Questions like what if I am unhappy in my work life for ever because I was too scared were going round my mind. I was more scared of having that regret than losing a bit of money. I want to do a job that doesn’t feel like work. I want to do a job because I love what I am doing, not because of the money.
So, Whole Health Personal Training and Nutrition has been born!! Eek!!! My real passion is to train women to learn to lift weights properly. To show them that there is nothing more empowering than feeling strong AF and why we should all be doing it for general health not just weight loss. I will be offering memberships that not only help with the body composition goals but offering the support that is missing from so many of these programmes too, I will help with the behaviours that come with trying to lose fat, I can help with nutrition guidance and education around it. I am so excited and have put so much work into making it great.
I will not be earning the same, unlikely even by half which is scary but we will manage. I will just have to drink the cheaper wine, buy less coffees and start box dying my hair again 😊 I know it will be worth it in the end.
What is the worst that can happen? It doesn’t quite take off as I hope and I have to get another job.
Watch this space for me new memberships this week!
Mind muscle connection is when you are really thinking about the muscle you are training, after all movement is controlled by the brain.
In a nutshell a signal is sent by the brain telling the muscle to contract (there is way more science to it). The more we can communication to a muscle the more muscle fibres we can recruit equaling a better contraction equally a better workout.
During a reps think about the muscle you are trying to contract, for example your bicep in a bicep curl.
You may find you lift less or do less reps, you may find you have more DOMs the next day. That’s ok. You will have to have a slower tempo than usual to. This is great for body weight exercise too. It can totally change your workout and you will see strength and muscle gains you didn’t expect if you are consistent.
It takes a very long time to build a lot of muscle.
Bikini models and body builders did not get there overnight, it took years of hard work and discipline.
In my survey, I asked this question.Do you fear you will get bulky from weight lifting? 80% said yes 🙁
If you are new to resistance training, you will get some newbie gains, I loved that part. Then it takes lots of progressions to build from there. You can pick an area and build on that, for example shoulders, butt or abs. It still takes time. Building muscle isn’t as simple as training though. You have to rest, eat to fuel and recover those muscles.
Women saying, they don’t want to get “bulky” comes from you looking at the people who are actually trying to bulk. The general population who just want to train a few times a week to stay fit and healthy are not going to “bulk” up.
If you do see a muscle getting bigger than you like then just stop training that specific muscle for a bit, simple.
I asked a question in a recent poll I did. Do you associate building muscle with health? 40% of women answer no!
One of the reasons I am training to be a person trainer is to spread the word that resistance training is a game changer for health both physical and mental. I am very passionate about it. Resistance training equals building muscle if done correctly. I want to teach/show women how empowering it is and how it will change your body composition.
You have to know that building muscle equals a healthier body and healthier mind! Why?
Improvements in balance, posture and coordination
Strengthens your bones and tendons reducing risk of injury
You will be thankful when you are older – you will be so much more functional with everyday activities
You will feel and be strong AF, it’s very empowering lifting a heavy weight or doing your first pull up
It improves insulin sensitive – if you have T2D you need to be resistance training
Heart health – lowers your risk of heart attacks and strokes – it’s not only cardio.
Obvious one – builds muscle
Helps to build self confidence
As we get older, we lose muscle, resistance training will help us keep hold of it
You will burn more calories at rest as our muscles need more energy
Is that enough? There are way more.
Building muscle is a must! You should be including some form of it into your training week. Please message me if you need guidance.
I have a guest article up on my website, it written by Dave from MP Calisthenics. The benefits of strength training, he goes into more detail than I can on this post. A must read 🙂
Isn’t this what 90% of women say when we go to the gym and are asked what we want? I just want to tone up.
I did a poll last year which made it clear that toned is misunderstood.
Question 1 – Do you want to look toned? 56 women out of 60 said yes.
Question 2 – Do you want to build muscle? 20 women said yes out of 60.
What is toning? Toning is building muscle and losing some of the fat that covers that muscle so you can actually see it. To tone you have to build muscle, if you don’t you just won’t have the tone.
How can you build muscle? You have to add some resistance training into your week. This can be body weight, lifting weights, using resistance bands, weight-based classes. Cardio is for fitness and heart health not building muscle, it will only get you so far.
Make an appointment with a personal training and they can show you and put a plan together for you.
Two weeks into the new you and I bet the novelty is wearing off.
I hear you.
I am also trying to shed a little fat. Progress seems slow on the scales; in fact, I gained this week.
I am hitting all my non-negotiables – steps, calories, protein, workouts, hydration, sleep, low stress. On paper its all good. So why aren’t the scales my friend?
I know for a fact that I have not gained fat, I would have had to been eating in a big surplus for that to have happened and I haven’t, its water weight and there could be 10 reasons why. So i’m not to fussed.
The things is, there are so many other important things we should be focusing on.
What about better heart health, fitness level increase, better energy, more motivation, good deep sleeps, building muscle, why are we so obsessed with that stupid number that means very little in regards to fat loss in the short term.
I am here to tell you that we need to have patience and consistency. Don’t give in if you don’t have the results, you want yet. If you keep going you will get them, if a calorie deficit is being created you will see results.
Going on a night out, having a great time but driving home, smugly getting into bed for a good sleep whilst your friends are getting past the point, they can remember the night anyway. Waking the next day with no regrets.
Alcohol is the devil for me, or should I say binge drinking is the devil for me. It’s been my mission for the last couple of years to try to become one of those drinking in moderation people. You know, the ones who can say no and drive most of the time. I’ve quit for 6 months, then spent a length of time trying to stick to 1 bottle of wine per week but never in 1 session. Then I did great through the first lockdown and didn’t drink much. Then towards the end of this year when we came out of lockdown, I went full throttle again and I was back to where I was a couple of years ago.
NOTE – a binge drinking session is classed as over 3 standards drinks in one sitting.
I give myself a hard time about it, most don’t understand why I do but here is why.
IT MAKES ME FEEL LIKE SHIT, I GET LITTLE FROM IT AND ITS NEVER WORTH IT.
Even if I have had the best night, if I feel bad the next day, I just don’t think it’s worth it. Not anymore anyway. Once upon a time I was happy to lie in bed all day with a hangover, eat MacDonalds but it doesn’t fit into my life anymore.
I am not just doing dry Jan; I am going to stop for 3 months. I have a lot on at the beginning of the year and I want/need the energy and to get through it but also the mental capacity to actually enjoy it.
Other reasons alcohol is not serving me Shit dull skin Crappy sleeps Grumpy and irritated mood Overeating Un-productive Energy drop – effective work outs and other activityWeight/fat gain
Benefits of not drinking The opposite of all the above No hangovers Save moneyStronger immune system (good time for it) Hope to see some strength gains in the gym No beer fear and anxiety
Who is doing dry Jan?? Who is sick of all the crap that comes with drinking? Who questions why they drink? Who wonders if they are an alcoholic?