It’s the New Year, lots of people are making resolutions, so you decide to tone up a bit, maybe lose some weight, and generally get in shape. And the  bombardment of “New Year, New You” advertising is kind of every where! So you head to the gym, eat healthy, and hope to see some results. But they might not be coming as fast at you’d hoped.

So what’s going on? It’s always good to do a combination of cardio and weights at the gym (always check with your GP before starting a new exercise program!), but are you eating to support your goals? A lot of people check the labels on food to make sure they’re eating low fat, low salt foods, and that they’re sticking to the Government Recommended Daily Allowances of calories, kind of like this:

food label

So these are the top ones that people check; energy (calories), carbs, fat and sodium (salt). But this isn’t the whole story. Along with carbs we need to check the figure below that, because not all carbs are equal. This figure shows how much of these carbs are sugars (yup, regular old sugar that people put in their tea!!). Make sure you check this figure on “low fat” or “healthy option” foods, as they often remove fat and replace it with sugar. This can account for lots of excess calories in our diets, so make sure you check food labels thoroughly.

The one that a lot of people don’t check, is how much protein is in their food. People who attend the gym regularly will need at least 1g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight (people with kidney problems or health issues should consult their GP before changing their diet). So make sure you’re eating enough protein to support your goals….protein isn’t just for body builders!

So, here’s the big one that gets us……

calorie conf image

There are sooooo many articles out there advocating different amounts of calories that will give “optimum weightloss”. The 5/2 diet, the 1200 calories diet, the only having liquids diet, the “take these pills and they’ll make you lose weight” diet…. is it any wonder we’re confused??

Calories confusion

So how do we know how many calories to consume to lose weight, or to put on muscle? It’s easy, we use the Basal Metabolic Rate calculator. To make it even easier, here’s a link to one:

This will work out how many calories you need to eat in a day to maintain your body weight and to survive. Believe it or not, it’s usually a lot lower than the Government RDA! There is also a calculation called the Harris Benedict Formula, which will work out how many extra calories you need to eat depending on your activity levels. If you want to lose weight, create a calorie deficit in your diet of NO MORE than 500 calories, either through diet or exercise, or a combination of the two. Any more than this, and the weight loss might not be sustainable or safe. If you do this every day for a week, you’ll burn 3,500 calories a week, which equals weight loss of 1 pound a week. It’s that easy! You can burn 100 calories in 10 minutes if you go for a 10 minute jog. Just 10 minutes you say? Yes! Happy days 🙂

Also give my article “Weights for Weightloss” a read if you’re interested in toning up, losing weight and getting strong. And as ever, if you have any questions or would like a free consultation with me, feel free to email me on