Life & Living

Health & Fitness

Chantel Heath

INSTAGRAM: @chantelheathfitness

I’m a 41 year old mother of two & Personal Fitness coach. I work one to one, in person & online with clients aged 18-80. My specialisms include pre & postnatal training, cancer rehab, pilates, & GP exercise referrals. I run fitness classes online and in person in the Suffolk Coastal area. I am also a Mental Health First aider.

Nutrition tips for fat loss

Fat loss is about 70% nutrition focus and 30% exercise. We definitely need to do both for our overall health, but most people usually overestimate how much exercise will actually do for them in terms of fat loss. To begin to lose fat in a sustainable way, you only need to create a calorie deficit of around 250-500 calories per day, which is easy to achieve with a few simple dietary tweaks. Add to that whatever exercise you enjoy, and this could see you lose up to around 1lb per week of body fat.

Make simple changes and smart swaps.

Look for lower calorie snack options. If you’re not sure where to find this info, look at the nutritional label on the packaging. It will usually be split into 2 columns, 1 showing the values per 100g, and the other showing the calories per recommended serving size. Pay attention to the first row
which will say ‘Energy’. It will show
the energy provided in KJ and also Kcals. It’s the Kcals number that you want. Next time you’re shopping rather than automatically going for your normal items, have a look at the labels of alternatives and see if you
can make a calorie saving. Partial to a glass of wine with dinner in the evening? Swapping your large glass to a smaller one could save you between 50 and 100 calories. Do you have
sugar in your tea or coffee? Each teaspoon is around 15 calories, so it can soon add up throughout the day. There are lots of zero calorie sweetener alternatives available.

Drink water.

Studies have shown that people who drink a glass of water immediately before eating a meal, will choose to eat less when compared with people who did not consume water.

Eat mindfully.

Which means slow down and taste your food! From the time we start eating it can take around 20 minutes for our brain to signal that we are full. So if you sit down and gobble your plate down in five minutes flat, there’s a good chance you may be eating more food than you actually need. Tips that can help you slow down include, chewing each mouthful 20 times, putting down your knife and fork and taking a sip of water between each mouthful, and paying attention to how you feel, rather than focusing on how much food is left on the plate. Aim to stop when you are about 80% full. This shouldn’t feel like you are stuffed, just that you are no longer really hungry. Clearing everything on your plate is a very British thing to do, and can really make a difference to your waistline. No one likes to waste food, so stick your leftovers in a tub in the fridge and have them for lunch tomorrow!

Serve the recommended serving size.

When you cook things like rice and pasta, try actually weighing it and cooking the amount recommended on the packaging. I can almost guarantee that without doing this you are eating a LOT more than one serving! Most foods will have a recommended serving size on the nutritional label, so take a look! If your plate looks a little empty, add on lots of delicious colourful veg which is much lower in calories than starchy carbs, but will fill you up and provide lots of essential nutrients.

Eat your protein!

Protein is what keeps us feeling full
and satisfied for longer, meaning
we are less likely to snack, and most people I work with are not eating enough! It is also essential for growth, recovery and repair within the body, so is essential for our health. The current minimum recommended amount for adults is around 50g per day. For reference, a chicken breast has around 25g of protein.

Be patient!

Fat loss of around 1lb a week is a rate which is safe and sustainable, and likely to last long term. So be realistic about how long it may take to reach your goal, and stick with it!