Q: What is the best diet to follow?
A: Personally I would say none of them. I have had success following a structured diet plan, but eventually following something like that can backfire when you stop it. My advice would be to have everything in moderation, keeping it healthy with fresh fruit and veg, eating lean meat, small amounts of fat and sugar, this way you incorporate everything and can sustain this regime longer than cutting something out completely.
Q: How many calories do I need to burn to lose 1lb of fat?
A: A general rule is that 3,500 calories equals 1lb.. So if you eat 3,500 calories extra a week you’ll gain 1lb and if you burn 3,500 calories a week, you should lose 1lb. However this is just a rough guide based on advised average intake. If you take 3,500 and divide it by 7 days, you should try and burn an extra 500 calories a day through exercise. So maybe a half hour run, a one hour cycle, an hour gym session etc.
Q: How do I find time to exercise when I work full time?
A: To be honest, everyone likes to use this as a reason to not work out, but any kind of exercise is better than doing nothing. I personally use 20-30 minutes when I get home from work, before I make my dinner, to go and workout. I don’t do this everyday, but doing it twice to three times a week are better than doing nothing. I think if you really want to do it, you will find the time. It may mean awkward times of day: early morning or later at night. You don’t need a huge amount of time, you only need 15-30 minutes of something high intensity, get your heart rate up and work up a sweat and your done! It’s better than sitting doing nothing!
Q: Even though I’m eating healthily and exercising regular, I’m not losing weight, what’s happening?
A: You may not be losing weight, but you may be losing inches. Something that was a bit tight may suddenly fit better and then you’ll have what’s called a “non scale victory” these are good motivators when you think it’s not going anywhere. You may also be gaining muscle mass. A lot of people who bulk up and become more toned tend to sometimes weigh more than when they began because muscle weighs more than fat, it’s just leaner. Don’t panic, just keep pushing and you’ll get there.
Q: How long after working out should I wait to eat and what type of food would be best?
A: You can eat as soon as you like after working out, there is no time restraint. In my opinion the best type of food to eat after a workout would be something fairly high in protein, to keep you full and help repair your muscles (see my post on protein for more info). Combine this with a small amount of carbs for energy and you’re set.
If looking to build muscle or lose fat, a protein supplement like a shake or bar are ideal after workout protein sources. If you take this within 15-20 minutes of your workout you body will get the full effect of the hit of protein.
Q: What are good healthy snacks to get me through a long work day?
A: My first answer will always be fruit! Fruit is my favourite option for a mid morning snack, not a huge amount as it does have a lot of sugar, but a moderate amount. Some nuts or seeds are also good options: I like to make up small snack packs of almonds (about a handful) to take with me. Fruit yogurts are a good small choice. I personally opt for Activia Fruit yogurt ( i actually can’t get enough of these, I have them practically every day). A good savoury option is my home made tortilla chips. Check out the recipe on my recipes section.
So there you go. There are some questions I have been asked. Keep them coming in and I’ll do another post sometime 👍