Why your crash/fad diet will fail?

IMG_5650Now don’t hate me here, I am indulging in an eye grabbing title to get your attention. Sometimes these crash/fad diets we all have been guilty of trying, will work. One thing I am certain of is they will not be sustainable, the effects will not last, and it will be a temporary fix.

I speak from experience, before I discovered real nutrition and began learning and understanding how your body works and how food reacts to it, I lost weight on the ‘Special k diet’. Remember that drop a jean size in 6 weeks claim, 2 bowls of cereal a day and one meal. No exercise needed. What a shocker…but yes it worked, of course it worked, because in simple terms all you need to lose weight is a calorie deficit, or eat the same amount of calories and exercise more to create an energy deficit. 

To uncomplicate the science of it all, when you partake in these crash diets, and go from giving your body 2500/3000 calories a day, and then suddenly give it 1000kcal a day, you will lose weight. BUT and this is a big one, that rapid decline in calories will cause damage to your internal systems, the systems that process your carbs, and store or don’t store fat in your body. Over time your body will stop losing weight and rebel against this, holding onto anything it gets. This is that ‘wall’ so many of you will be able to relate with having hit.  All of this can cause metabolic damage and needs to be rectified.

These crash/fad diets will fail long term simply for the reason they are not sustainable. I couldn’t have gone on eating only cereal twice a day for the rest of my life, and there is no post diet plan to get your metabolism back up to speed.

Once you have lost your weight on your extreme calorie deficit diet you will then go back to ‘healthy/normal’ eating. But immediately your increasing calories by around 500/600 calories. That’s when you will gain weight, because your body isn’t used to getting that much, it has adapted to the lower calories and it simply doesn’t know what to do with the extra calories so stores them as fat.

The other thing people might do after a diet is to live in a permanent diet state, we all know those people, every time you see them they are on a diet. These people have no weight to lose, and yet have to continue only eating 1000/1200 calories a day to maintain it. Possibly binging at the weekends and putting on a few pounds every time they do.

Diets NEED to be sustainable. You are much better off figuring out how many calories you are eating before you start a diet, and then slowly decreasing calories; losing weight along the way, allowing your body to keep up with the internal changes. So many people start a diet throwing all of their tools at it. They will eat 1000kcal a day, do 30 mins cardio a day, go to the gym 4 times a week, drink only water. All of this has its place, but if you throw it all at your diet at the start, once you hit that inevitable wall when your body stops responding, you have no where to go. You would end up eating a lettuce leaf a day and running for an hour just to keep losing weight, which is DEFINITELY not something I recommend.

So what can I do? 

Luckily there is a very good way to resolve this and get your body back to normal after a period in calorie deficit. The system is called reverse dieting, and it is a simple as that, slowly reversing your diet back up to higher calories. This process enables your body to have time to catch up to the extra calories its getting, by slowly increasing calories each week. If you are on a high protein, low carb, medium fat diet, I would generally suggest increasing weekly by as little as 5-10g carbs, 1g fat and 0-2g protein per week, this equates to around 50-80kcal a week.

Once you have reached a level where you are not gaining or losing weight this is where you stay, at ‘maintenance’ level. If you are happy with your weight loss when you began reverse dieting you could happily eat at this level for the rest of your life. Alternatively if you plan on dieting again to lose further weight, you are starting from a point of increased calories giving you a better baseline to diet down from, and after a period of maintenance could slowly begin reducing calories again to lose more weight.

I have just completed a period of reverse dieting and am now maintaining for a while before trying something else. It has taken me 10 weeks to slowly reverse diet up to maintenance, but in that time I haven’t gained a single pound in weight, and I am eating around 500kcal more per day. Happy Grainne!

I have had a lot of questions via Instagram around what reverse dieting is, so I hope I have given you the basic uncomplicated information on how it works. I understand in this day and age quick fixes are desirable, but in reality they are not sustainable and will cause your metabolism to slow. Try something different, try slowly decreasing then increasing calories back up after a diet, try something that will last.

 

 

White choc almond no bake cookies

IMG_5637The wonderful people at Strippd Protein sent me a wonderful selection of samples from their range. They are leading the way with a fantastic tasting Vegan protein powder, and also provide whey protein options too.

Their Vegan protein is made with a blend of pea and hemp protein. I’m not vegan, therefore I can tell you that this protein does taste very good when compared to a whey protein. A lot of vegan proteins I have tried to bake with or drink in the past literally taste like trying to drink wet cardboard.

I didn’t use dairy free white chocolate chips but they are available if you wanted to make these cookies fully vegan.

Ingredients: 

60g Oats blended to a flour

35g Strippd Vanilla Vegan Protein

10g Agave

10g Truvia

140g Peanut butter or other nut butter of your choice

40ml Unsweetened almond milk

10g Flaked almonds

15g White chocolate chips/ Dairy free chocolate chips

20g Vitafiber syrup (can be left out if not available but will be harder to combine dough)

Method: 

  1. Prepare a baking tray and line with foil, this tray will need to fit into your freeze.
  2. Mix the oats and protein powder in a bowl, and add in the truvia and agave.
  3. Add the peanut butter and form a breadcrumb like texture ensuring the peanut butter is fully separated into the dry mix.
  4. Add in almond milk a bit at a time until you can form a dough with your mix.
  5. Add in the white chocolate chunks and flaked almonds, and combine thoroughly into the dough.
  6. Finally add in the vitafiber syrup which will help your mixture come together.
  7. Form 12 balls and flatten them either with your fingers or the back of a fork.
  8. Transfer your cookies to your prepared tray and freeze for minimum 30 minutes before enjoying.

NB. Cookies will be best stored in the freezer, and taken out 5/10 minutes before eating to ensure they keep their texture.

MACROS (per cookie) 117kcal/ 6.8g Fat/ 6g NET carbs/ 6.4g Protein 

Beauty Tonic’s Slim tonic review

IMG_5221I decided it was time to start introducing some more supplements into my diet, I have tried the fat burner Nutrex Lipo-6 Hers before, and although I initially noticed a boost in my energy, I’m not convinced it did much in terms of boosting metabolism.

Beauty Tonics Slim Tonic claims to be ‘a powerful blend of natural ingredients that help promote healthy weight loss through suppressing your appetite, speeding up your metabolism and reducing dietary fat and sugar absorption’

All sounds good so far. So  I thought it would be worth a try.

When I received my Slim Tonic I was immediately taken by how lovely the bottle was, a bit of good branding goes a long way with me, and I was impressed with how professional and clean cut it looked.

Day one:

I took two tablets this morning with breakfast, the dose is two a day, and on the website they advise two with breakfast or one with breakfast and one with lunch. As with most fat burners, they contain ingredients which help boost energy levels so its not recommended to take them too late in the day. I find just taking them with breakfast is easiest for me, no worries about forgetting to take them then. I love that the dose is just two tablets. Nutrex Lipo-6 Hers was 6 tablets a day, which when taken alongside Vitamin C, BCAAs etc meant I was tossing a handful of tablets down my mouth twice a day. Two of these doesn’t feel like too much trouble. After today  I am actually left feeling surprisingly full of energy, I wasn’t sure I would feel any change after just one dose but I really do think I do. Energy levels have been great and I definitely haven’t felt any urges to snack, so perhaps the appetite suppressant is doing something too. After just one day  I wouldn’t like to give to much of a verdict, but so far so good.

Day three:

I’ve swapped to decaf coffee and tea today. It used to get to about 2/3pm and I would really be craving a coffee, probably in need of caffeine rather than the coffee itself! But the last few days I haven’t felt that urge at all. I decided today to swap any coffee out for decaf just so I don’t overload, as I have noticed these pills have definitely worked in giving me a wonderful energy boost.

Day 14:

Re-introduced small amounts of caffeine to my diet, just really for convenience and because no decaff coffee tastes as good as the real thing! Feeling fantastic and despite upping my calories I am feeling lean and fit. Definitely haven’t felt the urge to binge and my diet has been on track.

Day 30:

Very sad that the pretty pot of pills has come to an end, but its nice to be able to conclude that my month spent on Slim Tonic has left me feeling lean, slim, fit, and whats more motivated to continue. That extra kick of energy has really helped fuel my workouts, and the boost to my metabolism it claims to give, I really feel has assisted in keeping me lean whilst upping my calories.

To conclude:

If you are looking for a fat burner supplement that wont make you feel all jittery and high on caffeine but will assist in boosting your metabolism and energy levels I would recommend Slim Tonics. Everyone’s bodies will react differently to different things, but for me personally I feel this really worked well as a supplement and did just as advertised.

With an excellent list of ingredients found on the website here, I wasn’t surprised that I enjoyed my month on them.

 

 

Salted Caramel slice

IMG_5108I bought this incredible Salted caramel peanut butter from The Protein Works, and decided I just had to make something naughty but nice with it.

These no bake slices are incredible, moist, rich and one is just about enough!

Ingredients:

  • 100g Oats blended to a flour
  • 30g Coconut flour
  • 1 tsp Cocoa powder
  • 1tsp Stevia/Truvia
  • 1 scoop The Protein Works Salted caramel latte whey protein(could change for vanilla or chocolate)
  • pinch salt
  • 50 Salted Caramel peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp Agave
  • 120ml Unsweetened almond milk

For the frosting: 

  • 50g Salted caramel peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp Agave
  • 1 scoop The Protein Works salted caramel latte whey protein
  • 45ml unsweetened almond milk

Method 

  1. Line a small brownie tin with baking parchment.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl to combine.
  3. Melt the nut butter with the agave in the microwave then add to the well mixed dry ingredients.
  4. Slowly add the almond milk to form a thick batter texture.
  5. Pour the mix into the prepared tray and push down into the tray with the back of a spoon, put into the fridge to begin chilling.
  6. Meanwhile prepare the frosting, start by melting the nut butter and agave together, add the protein powder to the mix, and add in almond milk again slowly until a frosting texture forms.
  7. Top your tray mix with the frosting and leave to chill for at least 2 hours before cutting into 8 slices and enjoying .

MACROS (per slice): 173kcal/ 7.7g Fat/ 16g Carbs/ 9.2g Protein