runners

Appreciating Your Body

Everyone has their own personal story mine started at 18 with some weights and a bench in my house. I have now reached the grand old age of 54 years young. I am the father of 3 and grandfather of 7.

Little did I know that by using those weights in my house would start a lifelong passion of a health and fitness, which has turned into a lifestyle. With the internet and Social media there is so much information out there now that it is so hard to know what is B/S or are they trying to sell you some product with a pack of lies, if you take this and take that you can look like this. There is no shortcut to having a great looking healthy body, but I have learnt of many years the tools for the right exercises and the right nutrition that, and this all starts with the right mind-set to put it all into action.

I myself never stop reading, watching videos on everything to do with health, fitness, nutrition and mind-set. I have built my body to how I want it to look even having a six-pack at 54. I have learnt how to maintain it with the best exercises and proven nutrition that works for a great looking body healthy body and to lead that healthy lifestyle that can work for just about any age group, my niche area is 40’s plus. Knowing what works with the changing biologically as with our hormones as we get older, with how long you train, with what your digestive system has a tolerant for with certain foods. The things you can get away with in your 20’s and 30’s soon start to change, e.g your digestive system starts to get more sensitive, which affects your hormones levels which then affect your chemical balance which affects how you eat and sleep, which starts to affect your weight, which goes to affect the lifestyle you lead. Peoples live now are a lot more sedentary mainly sitting down, driving to work sitting in front of a computer come home make dinner sit down watch some T.V, then the whole cycle repeats it’s self over your working life.

Experience in eastern culture is far more valued than in western society, which mostly is all about the younger generation. But in life there is no substitute for wisdom and knowledge. My point being is look to those who have achieved their goals and are moving forward teaching what they have learnt from their own experience in life and pass it on to teach others and add value to their life’s. This is how my passion for living a healthy long life mentally and physically drives me every day for how I lead my life and how I can teach others how to value their life more.

Human-beings are the most unbelievable and amazing organism born on our planet, and a large number of the population end up using this amazing body as a dump truck with no thought of what they are putting inside themselves, until it gets sick and then, oh I better start looking after it now and start making some changes. But a lot of the time the damage has been in the strong younger part of our lives and now in the mid or older years of our life’s when the bodies is not as strong as when it was at its peak years and now they choose to start paying attention to it. If when we were born we had to pay a mortgage or maintenance fee as we do with our houses and other material stuff, I wonder if we would pay much more attention on the body that we live in. But because we are born into this world for free we don’t value ourselves as much as something we would have to pay for.

If you would like help transforming your body and lifestyle, then my personal trainer Coventry courses are the perfect start to getting fit.

sugar

Why Your Sugar Intake is Stopping You From Losing Weight

I can guarantee that you’ve heard negativity surrounding sugar, particularly when you’re trying to lose weight, but without any reason to this rhyme, you’ll have most likely ignored it. Today then I want to discuss exactly why sugar is stopping you from losing weight, and believe me there is a lot more than meets the eye!

I want to focus on 3 main reasons why sugar is holding you back from losing weight:

  1. Empty Calories
  2. Excess Sugar is Converted to Fat
  3. Spike Your Energy Supplies

Empty Calories

Firstly, I want to address the obvious, in that added sugar boosts your calories and has very minimal nutritional benefit to you, which is where the term “empty calorie” comes from. Added sugars (like sucrose and high fructose corn syrup) contain a whole bunch of calories with NO essential nutrients. More specifically, there are no proteins, essential fats, vitamins or minerals in sugar… just pure energy.

You might now be thinking that these added sugars are great to supply your body with energy for workouts and you wouldn’t be wrong. However, the amount of these added sugars you consume in, for example, a single energy drink is much more than you will need, so you should be very careful when using this approach. Instead, I would recommend using natural sources of sugar such as fruit or natural honey.

Excess Sugar is Converted to Fat

The negative effects that sugar has on your potential for losing weight doesn’t stop at just calorie management. In order to understand this next point, you need to understand what it is made of.

Before sugar enters the bloodstream from the digestive tract, it is broken down into two simple sugars… glucose and fructose.

  • Glucose is found in every living cell on the planet. If we don’t get it from the diet, our bodies produce it.
  • Fructose is different. Our bodies do not produce it in any significant amount and there is no physiological need for it.

The thing with fructose is that it can only be metabolized by the liver in small amounts. This is not a problem, therefore, if we only eat a little bit (such as from fruit) because the fructose will be turned into glycogen and stored in the liver until we need it . However, if the liver is full of glycogen (much more common), eating a lot of fructose overloads the liver, forcing it to turn the fructose into fat.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Keep in mind that all of this does NOT apply to fruit. It is almost impossible to overeat fructose by eating fruit.

Spike Your Energy Supplies

When you consume sugar, the level of the fat-producing hormone known as insulin is increased.  This short-term spike in your blood sugar levels gives you an initial boost of energy, but when the glucose is used up, a process that occurs surprising quickly, you are left feeling very hungry. Of course, for someone trying to lose weight, the feeling of being hungry is definitely not a desirable one, especially because you are probably trying to limit the amount of calories you’re consuming.

It’s obvious to see exactly why sugar intake should be minimised whenever you’re trying to lose weight for both the physical and psychological reason. So, next time you go to drink a can of Coke or eat some sweets, think about the effects this will have on you reaching your goal.

If you would like help improving your health and fitness with one to one tuition on training, nutrition and lifestyle then my personal trainer Coventry service is the perfect way to help you get the body you’ve always wanted.

portion-control

Why Portion Control is THE MOST IMPORTANT Factor in Losing Weight

We all know the age-old saying about eating 5 fruit and vegetables every day and because of this, we think that the best way to lose weight is to eat only salads. The latest addition to this ridiculous idea is the vast array of shake/smoothie diets being promoted, whereby you strip your calories right down and only consume fruit/veg shakes for 30 days or so. Sure, you will lose weight, but this is not a sustainable strategy for weight loss and once the shock factor wears off and you return to ‘eating normally’ you will start putting weight back on. This brings me on to the focus of my blog post today… PORTION CONTROL!

Now, if you’re hoping to carry on reading and find out you can lose weight in a healthy manner whilst still eating takeaway’s 4 days a week, you’re in the wrong place! However, what I am going to discuss is a way of dieting that means you can get rid of that stubborn belly fat whilst still eating foods you love!

So, when I talk about portion control I am discussing 2 key elements:

  1. The size of your meal as a whole
  2. The size of each element of your meal

Now, the first of these 2 is the obvious one! We all know that the more food you eat the more calories you consume, and as a result, the less likely you are to lose weight. The key to portion control is to weigh your food so you know exactly how much you’re consuming per meal. Once you know exactly how much food you’re consuming you can monitor your intake and tailor it to suit your daily needs.

But how do you know how big your meals should be?

This is where the breakdown of your meals elements come into play, alongside your daily calorific target and breakdown. As a guide you should seek to be consuming your calories from the following macro-nutrients:

  • Carbohydrates: 45-65% of calories
  • Fat: 20-35% of calories
  • Protein: 10-35% of calories

Let’s say you are looking to consume 1000 calories for your evening meal. An example meal could be broken to down to contain 550 calories of carbs, 200 calories of fat and 250 calories of protein. Depending on what food you’re consuming, the volume/weight of the food you will have to consume will vary.

Instead of overcomplicating this principle, however, the easiest way to ensure your keeping to your calorie percentage goals is to use MyFitnessPal, which is a tool that can help you track your calorie intake. MyFitnessPal will automatically break down your daily intake by percentage to give you set macronutrient targets, in grams, to consume daily. Once you know your daily macronutrient goals, including carbohydrate, fat, and protein you can map out your meals for the day to ensure they fit your needs. Then all you have to do is weigh out the required amounts for your meals and portion control is complete. The best part about this is you can tailor you macronutrient consumption to your needs. So, for example, if you start losing too much weight, or you aren’t losing enough, all you have to do is alter your calorific intake.

If you would like help improving your health and fitness with one to one tuition on training, nutrition and lifestyle then my personal trainer Coventry service is the perfect way to help you get the body you’ve always wanted.

hamburger-portions

Portion Control

As one of the few personal trainers in Coventry that not only provide expert advice on exercise and fitness, I also pride myself on providing clients with the best nutritional and diet advice available.

The sizes of a portion of food have changed over the years. This trend might be seen a lot in pubs, restaurants, supermarkets even in adverts for food.  There are studies that have shown that people consume more calories by not realising that it is down to the food portion they are consuming.

What is a portion?

How can you know that a portion of food is reasonable when you see it? Visualize the food in the following list:-

  1. Vegetables, fruits: quite a large portion of veg, 1 apple e.g. 5 oz
  2. Pasta: A cupful
  3. Meat, Fish: 6 oz
  4. Peanut Butter: A tablespoon.
  5. Potatoes: 2 small ones
  6. Cheese: 3 small cubes
  7. Crisps and pretzels 25 g

 Larger portions

The portions of food began to increase in the 80’s with the fast food eating places. For example, a standard bagel size was 3 inches and  140 calories, now it could be 6 inches with 350 calories.

The main trouble with this is that people can suffer all kinds of problems by overeating, for example, weight problems, hypertension, trouble breathing, diabetes type 2, insomnia and even depression. And at some point in their lives, they might even suffer a heart attack. This is why we have to be careful and eat just to feed, not to satisfy. Even eating just a few large portions might be bad for the health, it is all about balance. Try to eat enough by eating healthy with the different combinations of food with the right portion.

Like it or not society gives you the wrong meaning of a food portion. Many of the fast food restaurants these days have on their menu, sizes like: Large, extra-large and XXL

So we must be very aware of portion control and change this for the health of all of us, and then pass this on to our loved one’s friends and anyone else that wants to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Constant motion is healthy for us

Another way to keep ourselves healthy besides eating well is a varied balanced exercise regime to burn those unwanted calories. That will make us feel even better about ourselves, and make this part of your daily lifestyle. There is no real need to join a gym, brisk walking some jogging playing some sports like badminton, table tennis, squash, or any other sport that suits you, this will create a healthy active body and mind alongside a healthy diet with portion control.

Personally, I  eat no more than 2500 calories a day and I weight in at 88 kg and 1.83 meters tall. I have learned to eat to feed not to satisfy,  it’s just a case of just cutting something in half sometimes and not just eating what’s in front of our eye’s. You don’t always have to finish what’s on the plate, there are no food police that is going to come and fine you for leaving food. A couple of examples from how I eat, are if I eat a baked potato or sweet potato medium size I will always only eat half and save the other half for another meal. Also with 2 minute microwave rice I used to eat the whole bag with a meal I then went down to half a bag a meal, now I can use a bag for 3 meals 4 tables spoons per meal being 12 tablespoons in a bag, better to add more greens than rice less carbs less calories you don’t have to go on a diet to loose weight just look at your portions.

Just to let you see who I am, this is me on holiday last November, father of 3 and grandfather of 6, age 53.As you can see the role of good exercise some stretching routines and portion control has worked for me and can work for you too.

BIOMECHANICS – Different Strokes for Different Folks

Body Types

Different exercises use different biomechanics for different body types. For example, ectomorphs, endomorphs and mesomorphs. You need to find out what body type you are. I have a previous post that explains this, check it out here.

Biomechanics

For many years I did bench pressing, that was what you did for your chest, bench press flat and incline. All that happened to me was that my shoulders got bigger because the biomechanics of my particular body which is an ectomorph, did not suit that sort of exercise, I had just over developed my shoulders and not much of a chest. It was only when I started to do dips and cables exercises that my chest improved.

Bad habits

Old habits die hard, lots of people, me included seem to do what we think works because the majority of other people are doing exercises this way especially in the gym. Even now with all the information freely available online and even on our phones which teach you the right way to exercise I still see people making the same old mistakes.

Testosterone Syndrome

I remember in my twenties and thirties just trying to push as much weight as I could especially on bench press, squats and deadlifts and guess what? That was the time when I had my worst long-term injuries, but being young and full of testosterone I carried on as before. The difference then was that being younger you heal a lot quicker. The older you get unfortunately that is not the case.

Biomechanics Science

The science of movement and the biomechanics behind your particular body type will help you to exercise the correct way. Never just do what everyone else is doing. Feel your body, let it tell you what the right exercise is, and notice, say over a month, if you are getting the best results, if not try another one.

If you would like help improving your health and fitness with one to one tuition on training, nutrition and lifestyle then my personal trainer Coventry service is the perfect way to help you get the body you’ve always wanted.

How To Improve Your Mind-Muscle Connection

Last week I discussed Mind-Muscle Connection (MMC) Training which is a training principle that relies on the individual to focus on the muscle movements during exercise. This week, however, I want to discuss some varied approaches that you can utilise to enable a greater level of mind-muscle connection.

If you haven’t read last weeks post I would recommend reading it here, but as a quick recap, MMC training ensures that the individual achieves maximum tension in the muscles through a greater extent of muscle fibre activation that improves the rate at which muscular hypertrophy (growth) occurs.

Today then I want to look at 4 main ways I use to improve the level of muscle activation through MMC.

1. Consciously Focus on the Exercise

The first approach I want to consider involves focusing only on the task at hand, clearing your mind from all distractions. The best way to achieve this is by taking 30 seconds before your set in pre-performance position focusing on controlling your breathing, feeling your diaphragm expand and contract and mentally practising the exercise. From here it’s then your responsibility to maintain a strict focus on the exercise, feeling the tension of muscular contractions throughout the motion of the movement.

2. Exercise Form > Weight 

Very closely, linked to the first approach to improving MMC involves the individual using a weight that allows for a very controlled completion of any exercise. By focusing on controlling each repetition and ensuring full range of motion is achieved, naturally, there will be an increase in the level of mind-muscle connection and hence improved muscle activation. Furthermore, considering the previous point, using a weight that you feel comfortable using will make the task of focusing on the exercise and the relevant muscular contractions much easier.

3. Train to Failure

Typically when we train in the gym, we set a target number of repetitions to complete for a given exercise. This often has 2 major implications, which is that out exercise form can suffer to ensure we reach the target and/or our focus is taken away from the muscles and their contractions. To prevent this from occurring, it is worthwhile training your exercises to failure, which means you continue to complete repetitions until you nearly fail to complete a repetition. You should seek to focus on the range of motion and the tension in the muscle and go until you can no longer lift the weight in a controlled manner.

4. Utilise Eccentric Contractions

Eccentric contractions refer to the ‘negative’ phase of an exercise, which in layman’s terms mean the reverse part of the exercise. Consider a bench press, which you can see to the right ->.

The goal of this exercise is to lift the weight from the chest to a position where the arms are straight in a locked position. The eccentric contraction, therefore, occurs when the bar is on its way down to the chest. In order to improve your level of MMC you should consider controlling this ‘negative’ part of whichever exercise you’re completing, being sure to achieve maximum tension in the muscles during this phase. Note that this will require you to use a lighter weight than you may normally use.

NOTE: You should conclude by saying that MMC specific training should be featured alongside other training patterns and should not be your only choice of training approach. Lifting heavy etc is still good, MMC training is another way to add variation to your sessions (link to variation blog post).

It is important to consider that MMC specific training should be featured alongside other training patterns. It should not be your only choice of training approach, but should instead be seen as another way to add variation to your sessions.

AVOID Repetitive Cardio – You’ll LOSE MORE FAT

Whenever we think of losing weight we instantly associate with 2 main things – Diet & Exercise. So, what do we do? We try to eat ‘healthy’ and jump on a treadmill. Well, today I’m going to tell you why YOU’RE DOING IT ALL WRONG and how to achieve better results without having to do boring cardio.

Now, today I only want to discuss the exercise side of losing weight, but if you want to know more about diet, click here.

Why Should You AVOID CARDIO?

In order to lose body fat, we must be in a caloric deficit – FACT.

This deficit can be achieved by either reducing the amount of energy you are taking in (food), or increasing the amount of energy you are putting out (exercise) – FACT.

So, if these are true, surely we should be doing lots of cardio?

NO

Your body is a cognitive machine that learns to adapt to varied situations. Much like learning to ride a bike, once you’ve learned it, the skill is easy. The cardiovascular exercise will essentially be treated by the body much like learning to ride a bike. For example, let’s say you start out running 3km, 3 times per week, at a speed of 6km p/h. After 3-4 weeks your body will begin to adapt to this and the exercise will become easier and easier. Then you have to up your distance, speed and/or regularity of training. Then you plateau again and have to increase, and the cycle continues, until you get to the point where you get injured, you lose motivation because the thought of more of this intense cardio makes you dread going to the gym, or you stay at a plateau and stop losing weight.

HIIT Training for Weight Loss

The key then, it appears, is variation and the process of shocking the body with something new every time it adapts. This means that before you get anywhere near to hitting the weight loss plateau you shock your body by doing a new series of exercises, in a new pattern, and that is where HIIT comes in.

HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is a style of exercising where you alternate between periods of (almost) all-out and low effort. The high-intensity intervals push your body toward its metabolic limits (basically as hard as you can go) and the low-intensity intervals allow it to recover (catching your breath).

Now, the benefit of such an approach to training is that you can introduce a massive amount more variation to your regime. The best way to see how HIIT allows for training variation and therefore continued weight loss is to work through an example. Let’s consider a simple example regime for someone training 3 x per week:

Week 1 & 2:

Squats & Lunges – For the 6 sessions that occur over this 2 week period you can focus on performing squats & lunges for your high-intensity elements, seeking to use a weight that allows you to do 30-60 reps per high-intensity bout.

Week 3 & 4

Cycles – For the 6 sessions that occur over this 2 week period you can focus on performing flat-out cycling for your high-intensity elements, seeking to cycle your hardest for 30-90 seconds per high-intensity bout.

Week 5 & 6

Rows – For the 6 sessions that occur over this 2 week period you can focus on performing flat-out rowing for your high-intensity elements, seeking to work your hardest for 30-90 seconds per high-intensity bout.

Week 7 & 8

Sprints – For the 6 sessions that occur over this 2 week period you can focus on performing sprints for your high-intensity elements, seeking to sprint 50m-100m per high-intensity bout.

Summary

Just considering the previously described 8-week regime, you can see how simple it is to create a HIIT programme that incorporates a massive amount of variation to keep you losing weight at optimal levels. Next week I shall discuss HIIT in more detail, so stay tuned for more!!

Best food to eat at night

We’ve all been in the same situation: A long day of work, we arrive exhausted to our home and all we want is to have some food that is delicious at the end of the day with a golden touch, then the word “diet” bursts through our thoughts to give us a bit of a headache. Conditioning us to choose the “right dish”… ? What could be delicious and still not break with our prized “diet”? Keep in mind that our sleep cycle is closely linked to the last meal of the day, that is to say, that choosing the right food is not only limited to the fact that it is in accordance with our dietary requirements but must help us to effectively reconcile a good night sleep. For example, saturated fats, red meat, alcohol, coffee, sugar and spicy food are among the worst choices before going to bed, they will take their toll on your belly and on the quality of your sleep.

6 options of the best food to eat at night

Cherries

These are one of the few foods to contain melanin, which is the chemical that helps control our internal clock, that’a why regular travelers often take melanin capsules to combat jet lag. Also, one study allegedly found that drinking cherry juice resulted in small improvements in the sleep duration and the quality in adult patients who suffered from some form of chronic insomnia.

Milk

Is often known by many mothers or grandmothers, that giving a glass of warm milk to their children to help them fall asleep. This may not be just an old ladies tale because milk contains the amino acid , which is a precursor to serotonin. Serotonin help’s us regulate and even improve our mood state, this make’s us feel more relaxed and improve our night’s sleep.

Jasmine rice

Jasmine rice is a high-ranked food in the hypoglycemic index, this mean’s that the body digests it slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the bloodstream making you feel satisfied for a longer, helping you to avoid overeating at night. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found in a 2007 study that eating jasmine rice 4 hours before going to bed helps to cut the amount of time it took to fall asleep in half. The journal speculate that high-hypoglycemic-index meals may help to rise up the production of  tryptophan (which, as we know, helps  us to produce serotonin).

Fortified cereal

Carbs in general are good for sleep and are necessary in our daily diet but, as you may be well aware,  it’s not the best idea to eat a packet of biscuits before bedtime (or anytime).

Instead, a bowl of porridge or any other complex carb like quinoa, barley, buckwheat and shredded wheat are better options. Even better, cereal goes well with milk which has its own sleep-promoting qualities. This will a both nutritious and light meal, one of the best food to eat at night.

Bananas

Fruit is always a safe bet but bananas are some of the best options in the natural world, they help promote sleep because they contain the natural muscle-relaxants magnesium and potassium, in fact, bananas are a win-win situation in general as they are overall health promoters, the potassium in them helps us for cardiovascular and cognitive health and bananas are the fruit containing the most fructose, giving us control over our night sugar cravings.

Turkey

Turkey meat is an excellent choice and it can be cooked in many delicious ways (you could even make a grill Burger with medium sliced seeded bread and you can call it a superb meal, this makes it one the best food to eat at night), is easier to digest in compare to red meat, contains a fair amount of protein and like milk, turkey contains tryptophan, the chemical that make people doze off in front of the TV.

Are Healthy Snacks Actually GOOD FOR YOU?

There are new ‘Healthy Snacks’ being released all the time as the fitness industry booms more than ever before, but are these healthy snacks as good as they make out they are? Today I want to delve into the 3 most common types of healthy snacks that are filling the supermarket shelves to see how healthy they actually are. The snacks I’m going to consider are:

  1. Healthy Snack Bars
  2. Light/Lighter Yoghurts
  3. Fat-Free or Low-Fat Foods

Healthy Snack Bars 

I talked last week about why healthy snack bars are not as healthy as they make out. To summarise, the reasoning behind these bars not being as healthy as they describe is because are packed full of fibre, typically containing most of your daily intake worth of fibre in just one bar, to which some studies suggest has a negative effect on the digestive health and capabilities of your body. For more information on the negative impact this has on your body, read my previous post here.

However, there is another point to consider about these so-called healthy snack bars and it is the alarming levels of sugar that SOME of these bars contain. The reasoning behind the high levels of sugar is obvious, it makes the food taste better! The problem here is that sugar (glucose) is absorbed quickly into the blood, provides a short spike of energy and then encourages the likelihood of depleted energy reserves over time and an accelerated feeling of hunger, much like very high-fibre foods.

Light/Lighter Yoghurts

All this talk of high sugar foods brings me on to my next not so healthy food, ‘Light Yoghurts’. Much like the ‘healthy snack bars’, many of these light yoghurts are packed full of sugar to ensure a great tasting food is maintained. Now, you might be thinking, how can these yoghurts be classed at ‘light’? The problem actually lies within food regulations, which seems to ignore the implications that high-sugar foods have on our health. The regulations, according to the FDA, are as follows:

If a product is described as “light,” with no further explanation, consumers can be assured that:

  • For foods deriving more than 50 percent of calories from fat, the light product is reduced in fat by at least 50 percent; or
  • For foods deriving less than 50 percent of calories from fat, the light product is either reduced in calories by at least one third or reduced in fat by at least 50 percent; or
  • For foods with modified sodium content, the light product must be reduced in sodium by at least 50 percent.

It is obvious to see why these companies can get away with calling a product ‘light’, but now you know this about these so-called ‘light’ foods, you’ll know to check the sugar content first!

Fat-Free or Low-Fat Foods

Much like the not so healthy snack bars and yoghurts I’ve discussed previously, the low-fat alternatives to SWEET SNACKS are packed full of sugar, but I want to now focus on low-fat SAVOURY SNACK alternatives such as low-fat cheese, dressings, butter etc.

These low-fat savoury snacks will have lower fat content and will often contain fewer calories than their full-fat alternatives, so what is the problem? The problem is the nutrient quality of these low-fat foods. In order for these foods to be lower in fat they are packed with many different artificially created nutrients, which often carry minimal benefits to the body, in comparison with the original foods, that are often rich in nutrients. Many scientific studies have shown that diets that lack naturally produced nutrients suffer from improper digestive activity, lower levels of immunity, depleted bodily performance and health, so next time the low-fat option seems like a good alternative, consider your options fully.

Conclusion

The aim of this blog post was to highlight the ways in which companies use regulations to sell so-called healthy products, misleading the customers into thinking they are eating well. Now, it is important to consider that there are healthy snack variations of the foods discussed in this blog post, but now you know what your looking for, you’ll find it much easier to find the truly healthy snacks.

3 Foods You Should Avoid When Dieting or Trying to Lose Weight

Most of us will have dieted at some point, and if you haven’t it’s probably because you’re blessed with a high enough metabolic rate to not have to think about dieting to keep the pounds of. Regardless of whether you’ve dieted or not, having an awareness of these 3 foods and the effects they have on your body is still particularly valuable.

1. Cheese

Cheese is a high-fat and high-calorie food. Depending on the variety of cheese you eat, you’re getting about 100 calories per ounce and about 6 to 9 grams of fat, mostly of the saturated kind. It’s also loaded with sodium. The high-fat, high calorific content of cheese makes it a poor choice for anybody looking to lose weight, especially considering cheese does not initiate a feeling of fullness. This means that not only will you consume hundreds of calories through eating cheese, you are also likely to eat more of other things such as carbohydrates (potato, pasta etc) alongside the cheese to fill yourself up.

However, it is important to note that cheese does carry health benefits, so it should not necessarily be irradicated from your diet, but instead should be consumed in moderation. In particular, I would recommend when you do eat cheese that you pick one with a lower calorific and fat content such as feta or mozzarella. Cheese is a great source of calcium and protein. It also contains high amounts of vitamins A and B12, along with zinc, phosphorus, and riboflavin.

2. Bread

Flour, the key ingredient in bread is formed in a process where grains are broken down into a powder form like flour.  Since it is in a powder form, the body can rapidly digest the bread and let it enter the bloodstream as glucose. This raises the fat-producing hormone known as insulin. Many types of bread even have a higher G.I (Glycemic Index) score than most candy bars such as snickers. High GI foods typically cause a short-term spike in your blood sugar levels, while low GI foods typically provide a consistent, prolonged and steady supply of glucose to the blood. Whilst this gives you an initial boost in energy, when the glucose is used up, a process that occurs surprising quickly, you are left feeling very hungry, a particularly undesirable scenario when you are trying to lose weight.

To learn more about the Glycemic Index and how it could affect you, click here.

3. High-Fibre Snack Bars

High-fibre snack bars are typically cereal based bars, described as being the ‘lighter’, ‘healthy’ or even “slimming” alternative snacks to things like chocolate. These bars are packed full of fibre, typically containing most of your daily intake worth of fibre in just one bar. For fibre to have the optimum effects on digestive health, its intake has to be consistent throughout the day. Significant intake of fibre is said to overload the body with a nutrient that should be regularly provided in small amounts throughout the day, to which some studies suggests has a negative effect on the digestive health and capabilities of your body. But why is this bad? Well,consider a body with low digestive health will struggle to a greater extent to digest and therefore utilise food consumed throughout the day. The less food that is digested, the greater the surplus of nutrients/calories in the body, the less likely you are to lose weight.