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Meal Prepping Tips

 

Meal prepping is a great way to stay on track with your diet and ensure that you have healthy, nutritious food on hand throughout the week. Here are some tips for getting started:

 

  1. Plan ahead: Before going grocery shopping, sit down and plan out your meals for the next few days. This will help you avoid impulse buying and ensure that you have all the ingredients you need on hand. Consider your schedule for the upcoming week and plan your meals accordingly. For example, if you know you’ll be busy on certain days, plan for easy-to-make meals or leftovers on those days.
  2. Choose nutrient-dense foods: Focus on foods that are high in nutrients and low in calories. Proteins such as lean meats, fish, eggs and beans, Whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, and avocados are all great options. Avoid processed foods, sugary drinks and snacks, and fried foods as much as possible.
  3. Prep in bulk: Cooking in bulk can save you time and money. Choose recipes that can be easily scaled up or that have ingredients that can be used in multiple meals. For example, you can cook a large batch of rice, potatoes or quinoa, and use it for multiple meals throughout the week.
  4. Keep it simple: Meal prepping doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Simple dishes like lean mince, grilled chicken or fish with a side of steamed vegetables, or a large salad with various toppings, can be just as nutritious and satisfying as more complex recipes.
  5. Get organized: Invest in some good quality storage containers and label them with the date and contents. This will help you keep track of what you have and when it needs to be eaten. It’s also helpful to have a designated area in your fridge for your prepped meals, so you can easily grab them when you’re on the go.
  6. Add variety: Don’t feel like you have to eat the same thing every day. Mix and match your meals and try to change them up every week. This will help you avoid getting bored with your food and make it easier to stick to your diet. This will also give you a diverse amount of nutrients.
  7. Enjoy: Remember to enjoy your meal and savour the flavours. Eating healthy should be a pleasure, not a punishment. Take the time to sit down and enjoy your prepped meals, and don’t feel guilty if you indulge in a treat every once in a while so long as you plan for it.
  8. Herbs and spices: stock up on herbs and spices so you can add diverse flavours to your food. A lot of individuals perceive meal prepping to be boring bland add some flavour to your food by adding herbs or spices.
  9. Keep track of your progress: Keep track of your meals and how you feel after eating them. This will help you identify what works for you and what doesn’t, and make adjustments as needed.
  10. I am not a skilled cook? No one is born with the skills on how to cook, we all have to start somewhere, so start today and try one recipe at a time and build on it. Practice makes perfect don’t make excuses and build barriers for yourself, change your mindset in the information age today we have 1000s of recipes at our finger tips.

 

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to meal prepping like a pro and staying on track with your diet. Remember to be patient with yourself and to not get discouraged if you slip up. Meal prepping is a process, and it takes time to develop the habit. We will be posting some meal prep friendly recipes throughout the coming weeks to help you all along the way.

How to break your snacking habits

 

We all love a snack and snacking can be a great way to fuel your body and keep your energy levels up, but it can also lead to weight gain and other health problems if you’re not careful and make the right choices. We are going to go over some tips and strategies for breaking your snacking habits and developing healthier habits in their place.

 

  1. Identify your triggers: Before you can start breaking your snacking habits, it’s important to understand what triggers your snacking in the first place. Common triggers include boredom, stress, and certain times of the day. Once you know what your triggers are, you can start to develop strategies for avoiding or managing them.
  2. Plan ahead: One of the best ways to avoid snacking is to plan ahead. Make sure you have healthy snacks on hand, like fruits and vegetables, so that you can grab something when you feel the urge to snack. You can also plan your meals in advance so that you know you’ll have something to eat when you’re hungry.
  3. Find healthy alternatives: If you’re used to snacking on junk food, it can be hard to break that habit. But by finding healthy alternatives to your favourite snacks, you can still enjoy the flavours you love without the added calories and unhealthy ingredients.
  4. Get moving: Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and boost your energy levels, which can help reduce the urge to snack. Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day, whether it’s a workout at the gym, a walk, or a yoga class. If you have enough in your budget to hire a personal trainer this can be a great way to learn the skills on how to exercise correctly.
  5. Be mindful: Be mindful of your snacking habits. Pay attention to when, where, and why you snack, and try to be aware of your body’s signals of hunger and fullness. By being mindful of your habits, you can make better choices about when and what to eat.
  6. Stay Hydrated: Thirst can make people eat more and increase the urge to snack. When we feel thirsty, our body is actually signalling that it needs water. But sometimes, our brain can confuse thirst for hunger, which can lead us to eat when we actually need to drink. Drinking water can help to curb your appetite and reduce the urge to snack, as well as keep your body hydrated. It’s also important to make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day, so that you’re not getting dehydrated and mistaking it for hunger. Drinking water before a meal or snack can also help you feel more full and eat less.

 

Breaking a snacking habit can take time and effort, but with a little patience and persistence, you can develop healthier habits that will benefit your overall health in the long run. Remember to be kind to yourself and don’t get discouraged if you slip up. Don’t give up just keep moving forward and you’ll get there.

The 4 Pillars of Nutrition: Calories, Macronutrients, Food Quality, Adherence.

If you don’t know of any great sources of information, learning about nutrition can be a minefield. On one hand, you have ultra-restrictive fad diets, such as ketogenic, juice cleanses and carnivore. On the other hand, you have Instagram fitness influencers telling you ‘ignore everything, just create a calorie deficit’ (which, even if it was enough to reach your goal, is hardly helpful advice in learning how to go about achieving that). Therefore, to try and condense nutritional advice into one article, without over-simplifying it to the point of misinformation, I have selected 4 pillars of nutrition. If these needs are met, then you have set up a nutritional protocol suitable for your goal.

 

Calories:

As mentioned above, there are plenty of people which believe it is as simple as calories in vs calories out. Although it is essential to know how many calories to intake to meet your goals, there is also plenty of negatives if you ignore every other aspect of nutrition. If you eat more calories than your calorie maintenance, then you have created a calorie surplus and will put on weight. If you eat less calories than your calorie maintenance, then you have created a calorie deficit and will lose weight. This provides a great starting point when creating any nutritional protocol.

 

However, only considering caloric intake does not account for macronutrients. If your diet lacks protein, then you will add less muscle than you could be during a calorie surplus and losing more muscle than you could be during a calorie deficit. It also does not account for food quality, possibly resulting in deficiencies in certain micronutrients. It also does not take into account adherence, often people adopt extremely low-calorie diets which they cannot stick to in the long term.

 

Macronutrients:

The 3 macronutrients are carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Adequate protein intake is required to maximise muscle retention in a calorie deficit and muscle gain (hypertrophy) in a calorie surplus. Protein requirements will change between training goals, however having an intake above 1.6g per kg of bodyweight will suffice for most goals.

 

Glycogen is the body’s chosen source of energy. Having adequate carbohydrate intake in our diet will keep glycogen stores full, resulting in higher quality of training. Fats have assist with many functions in the body and is also another source of energy, as well as the absorption of nutrients. Keeping fats at approximately 30% of total caloric intake should ensure you are in taking all that you need.

 

If you succeed in selecting the correct calorie intake and macronutrient breakdown, you will start to make significant progress towards body composition goals. The downside to only focussing on calories and macronutrients is that food quality can still suffer. Also, you may still set up a diet which is not adhereable for you.

 

Food Quality:

Broadly speaking, food quality refers to how nutrient dense the food is. For example, vegetables have a vast number of micronutrients in each and every serving. Therefore, vegetables would be classed as a high-quality food. On the contrary, alcohol has virtually no nutrients in each serving, as well as containing 7kcal per gram (almost double the calories than protein and carbohydrates, which have 4kcal per gram). Therefore, alcohol would be classified as a low-quality food.

 

Food quality is important, as people can still hit their macronutrients and calorie target whilst consuming several takeaways and overconsuming alcohol. The issue with this, is that they can end up with deficiencies in several vitamins and minerals. This can lead to increased chance of illness and disease. Therefore, I would recommend filling your diet with as many high-quality foods as you deem adhereable.

 

Adherence:

The last piece of the puzzle is adherence. When many people change their diets they almost never make changes which they can stick to for the rest of their life. This way, they are only setting themselves up to eventually fail. Therefore, it is important to only make changes which do not overwhelm you in anyway. A good personal trainer or nutritionist will assess the level that you should begin with and progress you as you are learning and adhering to the skills and habits that you are able to keep consistent.  If you are going to stick to a diet long term, then a level of enjoyment is paramount to success.

 

In conclusion, these 4 pillars of nutrition cover most you need to know to generally stay healthy and meet most of your goals. There will be certain exceptions for individuals with special dietary requirements, if you feel like you are one of them, then it would be best to consult with a qualified nutritionist.

 

Are Low Carb Diets better for losing body fat?

A common belief is that a reduction in the consumption of carbohydrates will directly result in a reduction in body fat. Generally, the rationale behind this, is that less carbohydrates in their diet will result in less insulin, the ‘fat storing hormone’, being released and thereby storing less body fat.

 

In the context of fat loss/gain, caloric intake is important and carbohydrate intake is not.

Although studies have shown that those who consume more sugar gain more weight (Ruanpeng et. al. 2017), these studies do not compare groups consuming high carbohydrate diets and low-moderate carbohydrate diets with equal caloric intakes.

 

When calorie intake is controlled, i.e. both groups consume the same number of calories, differences in weight loss are not significant. (Te Morenga, 2013)

 

Understanding Energy Balance:

This is because weight loss is determined by energy balance. When we consume more calories than we expend then this puts us in a calorie surplus, meaning there is an excess of calories i.e. energy. When this occurs, this surplus of energy is stored as increased weight. Other factors determine how this weight is added. For example, if protein intake is high and someone is regularly resistance training, then more of the added weight is likely to be gained as an increase in muscle tissue. However, if someone is not resistance training, protein intake is low and sleep duration and quality is poor, then the vast majority of this added weight will be an increase in fat mass.

 

Satiety Matters:

People often over consume on calories due to their diet involving many foods that are not satiating. This can be why people have successful results when reducing carbohydrates out of their diet, because their over consumption of calories may be due to their previous diet having many low nutrient, low satiating sources of carbohydrates, such as sweets. Where some people then go wrong, is blaming all carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes and fruit, which have been shown to be much more satiating.

 

Overall, selecting meals to consume on your diet when fat loss is your goal, the only significant factors should be calories, protein (amount needed will be determined by your age), satiety (how full it leaves you feeling), nutrient density (the amount of beneficial nutrients in a food) and most importantly, how much you enjoy the meal. This is because adherence to a plan is going to be crucial. If you don’t believe you can eat like this for the rest of your life then it’s simply too strict.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References:

 

  • Ruanpeng, D., Thongprayoon, C., Cheungpasitporn, W., & Harindhanavudhi, T. (2017). Sugar and artificially sweetened beverages linked to obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis. QJM: An International Journal of Medicine110(8), 513-520.
  • Te Morenga, L., Mallard, S., & Mann, J. (2013). Dietary sugars and body weight: systematic review and meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials and cohort studies. Bmj346.

13 Tips to stay strong through the Corona pandemic while in isolation

After speaking to several clients and friends I hear that a lot of people are feeling the isolation and are going a bit around the bend.
I have put together a few tips I can really help you through these next few weeks, these are good habits to use within everyday life also.

1) Gratitude – Write down three things you are grateful for each day with pen and paper or on your notes on your phone, or even just in your head.

Here is what I am grateful for today: I’m grateful, that the sun is shining, I am grateful that I get to exercise today and I am well enough to exercise, I’m grateful for the extra time I have to read the pile of books that have been accumulating that before all this I would never have time to read. I could go on all day the are always things that we can be thankful for how ever tough life gets, picking 3 is a piece of cake.

2) Exercise – you have so many options: Go for a run, go for a walk, if you are lucky enough to have training equipment or a gym at home get that training session in, if you don’t have any training equipment at home follow our at home no equipment workouts. Our coaches are offering remote training services where we can train you through Zoom, Face Time or Skype, contact us to book in for a session if you are lacking motivation or need help laying out and organising your routine. Right now, we have a lot of time on our hands so there is absolutely no excuse not to be exercising unless you are unwell.

3) Sun light – Try and get at least 20 minutes of sunlight directly onto your body each day now the days are getting longer are we are no longer having to work inside an office get outside get sun light directly onto your body absorb that vitamin D that your body has been craving all through the winter.

4) Morning Light – Don’t let your phone be the first light your eyes see first thing in the morning now we have time to go outside and allow our eyes to absorb the natural morning sunlight play which does wonders for our circadian rhythm this will help you feel less stressed help balance out your hormones and also help you get a really good night’s sleep.

5) Breathing exercises – During these worrying times it is natural for our body to be in a sympathetic stressed state breathing exercises really help put our body back into Para sympathetic where we can be in a relaxed state of recovery. On Saturday I will be releasing a video with a mobility routine and a breathing exercise routine but if you would like to get on it straight away here is a little template for you: try to inhale through the nose and out through nose when you inhale, inhale as deep into the belly as you can try and inhale for five seconds, at the bottom of the inhale hold for five seconds then exhale for five seconds at the top of the exhale hold for five seconds then inhale again try to repeat this for at least five minutes and build yourself up for 10 minutes. I promise you; you will feel amazing when you add this to your daily routine.

6) Mobility – Do some form of mobility every day when you get into the routine of doing a mobility routine everyday your body will feel loose and amazing it will help with all the resistance training that you do are there any sport related activities that we do like running or cycling etc.

7) Learn something new – Use the spare time to try and advance your skills in a certain area it could be learning a new language, reading a book that you’ve not had time to read, Or even learning about a certain subject that may help you with when you go back to work. If you can’t think of anything, I challenge you to learn following three things: meditation, breathing and mobility. You may ask yourself why I chose these three things the reason is that I know how much of a positive impact it can have on anybody in any situation.

8) Play games – Growing up in the mid-80s and 90s I remember playing a lot of games, get the chess board out, get the family together and play a board game, Try not to spend the whole day in front of a screen as it’s very stressful for the body and is a major disruptor of our circadian rhythms. If you play games is great for the mind it stimulates pathways in the brain, improves creativity and it’s also a lot of fun.

9) Cook recipes with the family and eat together- Get the whole family together and cook together, get the kids involved if you have children eat the food you have made together as a family. this time we have now is very precious make the most of it be together with whoever you live with and get creative. Maybe try out some of our Soma Fitness recipes and send us some pictures.

10) Plan for when all this is over – create an action plan off what do you want to do when all this is over. This could be a fitness related goal, business goal or even a family reunion with family members we have been isolated from. Don’t wait till it’s all over to start planning, plan now and review it as the weeks go by you might add some things or change somethings take 30 minutes each day of alone time to think and reflect about your plan. If you have a fitness goal speak with your coach communicate with each other and start planning so you are ready to rock and roll once all of this is over.

11) Watch a comedy – Laughter is such a powerful medicine, instead of watching intense programs on Netflix put some comedy on and get a good dose of laugher into your routine.

12) Help someone- this doesn’t mean you have to go out and physically help someone unless you’re caring for an elderly relative then yes of course, this could be just picking up the phone and calling someone but you may know is alone at this moment in time or doing a food shop for an elderly neighbour, or connecting with an old friend that you haven’t spoken to in a while.

13) Eat healthy nutritious foods – We have time on our hands to plan prepare most of our meals use this time positively try to eat nutrient dense foods including fruits vegetables and good quality meats. The more nutrients in the body the stronger the body and the stronger the immune system. Don’t use this time to overindulge and drink alcohol in excess this will not positively impact your health or your immune system.

The natural roots are doing a delivery/shipping service for immune support packs:

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I hope these tips help and if anyone else has got anymore tips or ideas please let me know and send me an email of what you have been doing with your free time and we can post a weekly accumulation what everyone has been doing and bounce ideas of each other.

Wishing you all a great day!