Nutrition

Tips to Overcome Binge Eating

Binging is a lot more common than you think; it affects 3 times as many people as anorexia and bulimia combined. People with binge eating disorder consume excessive amounts of food in one sitting. During this time they lose control over their eating, this can then be followed by feelings of shame and guilt over their binge eating episodes.

Here are some tips on how to handle binge eating and overcome it:

  1.  Firstly stop with the negative talk – stop talking to yourself in such a negative manner, talk in only positive language. Remove the word binge from your vocabularly as our minds only hear these key words and so they will focus on them rather than the good. So instead of saying “I’m not going to binge today” say “I am going to fill my body with good foods that will nourish it and help me reach my goals”. Can you see the difference there, you’re just changing the way of talking to yourself but they really both mean the same thing but when you tell your mind something your body follows it with actions. Our thoughts become our actions so if you’re constantly thinking about binging and junk food then of course it will become an action but if you remove these thoughts from your mind and fill them with positive thoughts and words, you will find yourself acting in a more positive manner and becoming a happier person.

  2. Take a second – before you go to eat something, ask yourself is the 5 minutes (if even that long) of gratification worth putting off reaching my long term goals. Ask yourself will this food help me reach my goals, will it bring me that one step closer to reaching them. Be present in the moment, don’t let yourself go into auto-pilot.

  3. Focus on ADDING foods instead of removing them – Rather than thinking about eliminating cakes, biscuits and sweets from your diet instead think about adding more fruit, veggies, lean proteins, healthy fats etc. The reason behind this is that focusing on the “can’t haves” leads to a restrictive mindset, compared to focusing on what you can have leads to an abundance mindset. Think what to add not what to avoid.

  4. Don’t weigh yourself- why put yourself through this torture, it just isn’t worth it. Wait until you are no longer binging or just simply don’t use it at all, use other methods of tracking progress such as photos, measurements, energy levels, performance in the gym.

  5. Focus on PERFORMANCE – if you’re always focusing on aesthetics it can be so easy to become obsessed with how you look and overly harsh on yourself. Instead write down more performance based goals such as being able to do a push up or chin up or running a mile in a certain time. These are some of the best goals to achieve as it really shows you what your body is capable of and there is no better feeling that being able to finally do something you’ve been working so hard towards.

  6. You’re never more than ONE BITE AWAY FROM GETTING BACK ON TRACK – if you have a set back, don’t panic, just make your next meal a healthy one filled with wholesome foods. Don’t let it spiral out of control. Look at it like this, if you dropped your phone and it got a small scratch on it you wouldn’t continue to smash it to pieces and say ah well its ruined anyway with this one scratch when in reality it worked perfectly fine with this one scratch which you could probably buff out or fix quite easily. We are the same ,we can always fix our eating by making the next bite to enter our mouths a nourishing and nutritious one.

  7. Never be embarrassed – if you feel shame or guilt about your past – don’t, it is what has made you the person you are today. We need to take every experience and learn from it, there are no bad experiences, just learning opportunities.

  8. Forgive yourself – feeling guilty or shameful won’t help the situation at all so you have to forgive yourself for the binge and move on and make better choices from there. Draw a line under it, take it as a learning opportunity, assess how the binge made you feel and remember that feeling and that you don’t want to ever feel like that again.

  9. You have to want it- you need to understand the real reason you want to overcome this, why do you want to become healthy? Why do you eat to cope with emotional or stressful situations? Finding those triggers and eliminating them from your life. If you feel anxious or stressed and this leads you to binge eat, take 5-10 deep breathes when you feel anxious or stressed, slow down your breathing, focus on the present moment, take a drink of water and just sit for a few moments.

  10. Eat breakfast daily – starting the day with a good meal of healthy protein and fats like eggs and smoked salmon or turkey bacon will set you up for a day of success and won’t leave you hungry or fatigued early on in the day as these are often times when binges can occur, when you are tired! Eating breakfast will also encourage you to start your day off well and to a good start, it will help manage insulin and hunger levels to ensure you have a good day ahead. It will also put you in a good place mindset wise for the day as you will have a feeling of satisfaction knowing you have filled your body with good foods that nourish and fuel your body.

  11. Don’t keep junk at arms reach – keep the trigger foods out of the house, don’t buy them or bring them into the house. If you live with family or roommates, ask them not to bring those foods into the house or to keep them somewhere else just in the first stages of recovery until you have a strong enough mindset to not even be tempted by them.

  12. Talk to someone – just telling even one person about your struggle can help with feelings of loneliness and talking can help you work through your own feelings in your mind and help you gather your thoughts. Make sure it is someone you trust and someone who will be supportive such as a family member or close friend.

Hidden Calories

Let's talk about HIDDEN CALORIES - those calories that nobody thinks about or adds to their daily intake.
 

SAUCES - adding a spoon of mayo here, some dressing on your salad, BBQ sauce on your burger. These all add up and if you're doing this numerous times a day everyday then you could be adding an extra 100-200 calories a day without even realizing. Just 1tbsp of these things can be more calories than you realize and also a true tablespoon really isn't as much as you think it is.

  • 1tbsp mayo = 90 calories
  • 1tbsp ketchup = 20 calories
  • 1tbsp vinaigrette = 45 calories
  • 1tbsp Ballymaloe Relish = 25 calories

FREE POURING OIL - this has to be one of the worst ones for added calories as you literally have no idea of how much oil you're using. You may think that's a tiny amount but oil is so calorie dense that even the smallest amount can have a decent amount of calories. Always always weigh/measure your fat sources like oils and nut butters as it's so easy to underestimate them.

  • 1tbsp coconut oil =120 calories
  • 7g butter (usual size of the little pats you get in restaurants) = 50 calories

DRINKS - another huge culprit for the added calories as often people don't think twice about drinks as they're more focused on the food so forget that a latte or Coke still has calories. Dropping liquid calories from your day is a great start to dropping some calories from your diet without changing much else. Simply switching to americanos with a drop of milk and sugar free syrup can save you a lot of calories and switching to diet soft drinks.

  • Tall caramel latte Starbucks = 200 calories
  • Tall skinny latte from Starbucks = 100 calories
  • 1 can of Coke = 140 calories

Bites, licks and tastes - these all still count!!! Just because it's from someone else's plate doesn't mean it doesn't count. I know a lot of parents are guilty of picking from their kids plates and this can lead to adding 100-200 calories or more per day without you even realizing. If you think about it each bite, lick or taste is anywhere from 20-50 calories so if you are doing this numerous times a day then this could be the reason you're not seeing results.

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What does 20g protein look like?

Getting in enough protein is something a lot of people struggle with and it's mainly due to lack of education as to how much protein is really in certain foods. The recommended amount of protein per day for fat loss is around 0.8-1.2g per pound of bodyweight, this helps ensure you maintain muscle mass while also ensuring you are feeling full as protein has the highest satiety rate of all macro nutrients.

Many are confused as to what a "good" source of protein is, while you may be lead to believe that say nuts are a good source of protein you'd have to eat over 400 calories worth of them to get the same amount of protein as 99 calories of chicken breast so the "better" source of protein really depends on whether you have the extra calories to spare to have the nuts or not.

Here is a short list I compiled of what 20g protein looks like in terms of foods and the calories they have:

  • 90g raw turkey mince - 95 calories 
  • 25g whey protein powder - 98 calories
  • 90g raw chicken breast - 99 calories
  • 200g egg whites - 100 calories
  • 110g raw white fish - 100 calories
  • 200g 0% plain Greek yogurt - 112 calories
  • 100g raw 5% lean beef mince - 123 calories
  • 100g smoked salmon - 172 calories
  • 100g raw salmon fillet - 179 calories
  • 1 Fulfil protein bar - 190 calories 
  • 100g raw 15% fat beef mince - 196 calories
  • 3 large eggs - 270 calories
  • 270g cooked red lentils - 284 calories 
  • 290g red kidney beans - 338 calories 
  • 70g natural peanut butter - 413 calories

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My Top Tips - How to Make it a LIFESTYLE and Not a DIET

This is a follow on post from my "Make it a Lifestyle not a Diet" post. If you haven't read that give it a read first before continuing on reading this post. Read it here.

MY 6 TOP TIPS TO MAKE IT A LIFESTYLE NOT A DIET

1. Portion Control – be more aware of the amount of foods you are eating, weigh out a typical portion of cereal, potatoes, rice and see for yourself the nutritional value. It may seem obvious that a larger portion has more calories but many people are unaware just how many more calories a large portion contains.

2. Don’t ignore your cravings – we all get them, there isn’t a person in world who doesn’t get them. I’m always craving chocolate but does that mean that I eat a whole bar of Dairy Milk everyday – no. But when the craving gets to be overwhelming I will give into it and have some chocolate. It may not be the healthiest food but I’m not going to ban it completely from my diet. Why you may ask – because then it will really be the only thing I want to eat and there will be too much focus on what I can’t eat rather than what I can. I say the same thing to clients when they ask can I eat this, can I eat that - there is NO LIST OF BANNED FOODS. If you restrict foods completely from your diet unless for genuine medical reasons – it will just take over your mind and become your sole focus. Focus on the delicious foods you are eating and do enjoy that give you the fuel for your workouts and help you to achieve your goals. Allow treat foods such as chocolate, ice cream, pizza, take aways etc. in moderation instead of bingeing on them in secret at night and hiding the packets from your partner, friends or family. Really enjoy them when you eat them and don't attach any guilt to them - they should be enjoyed and not an ounce of guilt should be felt. If there is guilt - there are still negative connotations attached to those foods which you need to change in your mindset, you need to know that it is ok to eat these foods in moderation and it is ok to enjoy them. 

 3. Think positive – If you are constantly dwelling on the foods you can’t eat then of course you’re going to be miserable and give up but if you focus on all the delicious healthy food that you are eating, then you are more likely to stick with the lifestyle change. There are no foods off limits, no restaurants off limits – there is always a healthy option available that will still be delicious and satisfying. For example if you’re going to a Chinese restaurant, instead of dwelling on the fact that you shouldn’t eat the spring rolls and deep fried sweet and sour chicken with fried rice, think instead of what you can eat – boiled/steamed rice with stir fried prawns/chicken and veggies. It is about making small adjustments and not totally cutting out foods or social situations.

 4. Keep a food diary – this is the best way of keeping an eye on how much you eat, what you eat and why you eat those foods and how they make you feel. People who keep food diaries are generally more conscious of the mistakes they make and so are able to make the changes necessary to correct those mistakes. Food diaries help you understand your eating patterns, both good and bad. If you realise you are constantly nibbling when you get home from work – identify this as a bad habit and you can then find a substitute for this bad habit. For example having a snack before you leave work, or planning that you will have a snack when you get home, eating your dinner a bit earlier and then having another snack before bed are all solutions for this bad habit.

 5. Eating planned meals and snacks – a big advantage of doing this is that you are less likely to feel starving and then nibble or pick between meals. When we are hungry we tend to just grab whatever is quick and available, which can lead to grabbing junk food. Keeping healthy foods within reach is important, keep healthy snacks such as nuts, seeds, and fruit in your car, your desk, handbag – wherever you feel you may be put in a situation whereby you could be tempted to reach for the junk food.

 6. Exercise – find whatever form of exercise you enjoy whether that is going for a walk with your dog, zumba, spinning, lifting weights, playing GAA – just make sure that you love it and enjoy it. If you enjoy something it will be much easier to stick with it as it won’t even feel like effort. Taking small steps to just increase your daily movement will help – take the stairs at work, get off the bus a stop earlier, or even just park further away when you’re doing your shopping. All the little things add up to. The key is to find something you can stick with for the long haul.

Make it a LIFESTYLE not a DIET if you want real success! Part 1

When it comes to fat loss, quick fix diets may sound more attractive than long-term strategies because they promote immediate results. The problem with diets is that the fast results are not sustainable long term. Diets don’t work, if you want to lose fat and keep it off you have to make a lifestyle change. Diets are temporary but lifestyle changes are for life. If you’re looking to lose a few pounds for a holiday or event, quick fixes may get you there for that specific event but once the event is over you will more than likely switch back to your old habits as you saw the dieting strategy as a temporary fix meaning the weight will creep back on and possibly adding even more weight on. However if you want to look and feel good year round you need to make a lifestyle change that will reflect that.

What does a lifestyle change look or feel like? How do you know you’ve made a change? Do you get some sort of magical wisdom when you “make the change”? Does this mean that you will finally stop craving chocolate and start loving broccoli?

A matter of perspective is the difference between a diet mentality and lifestyle mentality. Broccoli doesn't taste better than chocolate because you are in the right frame of mind but it can make the difference when it comes to achieving your goals, and keeping your goals in mind over the long term. If you think you’re going to fail at eating healthy then you will fail, simple as. If you want to make the change from a diet mentality to a lifestyle mentality you have to believe that you can do it.

Here are the main differences between diets and a lifestyle:

1. Diets are all about numbers – the number on the scales, the number of calories you eat, the number of calories you burn. These numbers and how well you stick to these numbers define your success during a diet.

Lifestyle changes are about you. It is about making your eating and physical activity match up to your real goals and desires. Success is defined by how you make these changes and how they make you feel.

2. Diets are temporary and once you reach a certain number on the scales you will magically be happy and it will solve all your problems - wrong! This is why not reaching a certain calorie target or going over on one day can be so distressing, it means you’ve messed it all up. Dieting can be hard but at least it is not permanent – this kind of attitude makes slipping back into old habits inevitable.

A lifestyle is just that - for LIFE - this means you need to focus on a number of different things rather than just the number on the scales or the calories you’ve burnt. This approach looks at why you have excess fat rather than just the fact that you have it. Having excess fat is usually the result of other problems and not the cause of the problems.

3. A diet involves a temporary change in eating patterns. You start to count, weigh and measure everything you eat, you stop eating certain foods based on the rules of the diet plan you are following and add in foods you don't even enjoy just because the plan tells you to. You think it will be the technique or tool that produces the results and not you. Diets can only change your appearance, they can't change what is inside you; it is your mindset and your emotions will remain the same, yet it is these that need to change in order for you to make a lifestyle change. You will assume that once you reach your goal weight you will not need to eat this way any more – you will go back to your previous way of eating and things will just go back to “normal” meaning so does you weight, it starts to gradually creep back up to what it was before with maybe even more weight put on. All the problems you hoped losing the weight would solve are now back and still there.

Lifestyle changes involve both an internal and external change. It involves changing your relationship with food, nutrition and exercise. The problem isn’t what you eat or how much of it you it, but it is how and why you eat this food. What really needs to change is the pattern of eating mindlessly and impulsively without even realising, and using food to manage stress, emotions and to distract yourself from your thoughts. You need to learn to look after yourself both in body and in mind so that you don’t feel the need to eat to fill your emotions, and solve your problems with food.

This doesn’t mean that you don’t need to control what you eat or how much you eat – these things are still vital but the real issue is fitting these into your life and your goals. The key to any lifestyle change is to feel satisfied and happy with yourself and that you can take responsibility for your own happiness and what you can control.

If you focus too specifically on the numbers or what you see in the mirror you are letting your happiness depend on these things and often you can’t control these things. This just sets you up for a lifetime of being worried, stressed and uncomfortable and you will more than likely have problems with emotional eating in the future. Learning to be happy with the body you have and the body you are working for is important, learning to love yourself is a big part in making a lifestyle change.

If you often find yourself losing motivation or feeling like you can’t do any more to control your behaviour, it is most likely because you are counting on the tools to do the work for you. Only you can change your attitude and perspective to match your reality. 

Part 2 COMING SOON!

Struggling to lose fat???

Hey everyone,

I quickly broached this topic over on my Facebook and Instagram recently and I wanted to delve more into it. A lot of people say they are struggling to lose fat and say they are hitting their calories and macros to a tee, but are they really?? There are a lot of foods out there that are so calorie dense that even just a small amount over what you are logging can put you off course.

The difference between 15g and 25g of nut butter is roughly 64 cals cals 1g carb, 6g fat and 2 g protein but if you are having this every day for a week that is 448 calories more than you thought you were consuming which can really impede your progress. I know the 64 calories may not seem like a lot on one day but when you add it up over the course of a week it really is.

The actual difference to the naked eye of 15g and 25g of nut butter is minimal so you really do need to be measuring it with a food scales and not just guessing a tablespoon or teaspoon - you are much more likely to go overboard this way than if measuring it to the gram. The same goes for other fat sources such as nuts, seeds and oils.  I've found the easiest way to measure nut butters and oils is to place the jar on the food scales and zero it out and then remove your 15g from the jar so that it is 100% accurate. 

Another thing people do that could be really stopping them from losing fat is free pouring oil into a pan - they may think"oh but that's only a tiny amount" when in fact its 120 calories worth of oil!!! Always measure your oil or do what I did and invest in these re-fillable spray bottles from Lidl for €4.99 so you really are only using a tiny amount of oil when cooking or dressing a salad.

I personally find using oils to be a bit of a waste of my fat macros as they are not filling or satisfying in any way. I for one prefer to eat foods that will satisfy me so I would rather eat nut butters instead of cooking with a load of oil. The other thing you could do instead of using oil is to invest in a good non-stick frying pan - I have 2 from Ikea that are the best, I don't ever use oil when I'm making protein pancakes on them and they come out perfectly and don't stick! A very good investment in my opinion.

Til next time lovelies xxx

 

7 Tips to Increase your Protein Intake

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Hey everyone,

I get asked a lot by clients and followers (not sure I like that word... maybe lets call you guys friends instead) how do I eat so much protein and how can I increase my protein intake? Well here are my few tips on how to easily increase your protein intake without drinking 5 protein shakes a day!

1. Double your meat portions at main meals. ie. have two chicken breasts instead of one, have two eggs instead of one. 

2. Add extra egg whites to your whole eggs when making omelettes and scrambled eggs. 100g egg whites contains 10g protein.

3. Greek yogurt will be your new best friend - adding it to smoothies and shakes can really increase your protein intake. 100g of Greek yogurt has 10g protein so having a 200g bowl of yogurt with some berries as a snack will give you 20g protein!

4. Try and get a good amount of protein in at the beginning of the day with something like eggs, turkey sausages, turkey bacon, smoked salmon, or ham. 

5. Swap your carb heavy snacks for protein filled snacks such as slices of chicken or ham wrapped up with some light cream cheese. 

6. If you find buying meat expensive - shop in butcher factory stores such as Kerrigan's or the Dublin Meat Company and buy in bulk and freeze. You can get 30 chicken fillets for €30, and 20 eggs for €4 these days! Don't tell me protein is too expensive - I don't accept that excuse, just shop smart and shop where the deals are. You may not be eating fillet steak every night but you can certainly still eat some good quality protein sources while on a budget. 

7. Plan ahead, plan your meals so you can get a rough idea of the amount of protein per meal and then you can see if you need to increase certain things by maybe adding a little more chicken to your dinner or adding some extra egg whites to your breakfast.

Hope all these small tips help you in increasing your protein intake!

Georgia xxx

8 Tips to Weekend Proof Your Diet

We all know staying on track at the weekends can be the hardest. You’ve been so good all week, eating healthy and hitting your macros, but then Friday lunchtime comes around and the work crew are saying "ah sure we’ll go out to lunch" and your prepped lunch in the fridge gets chucked in the bin. We’ve all been there, but did you know that from Friday lunchtime to Sunday evening is 35% of your week?  So if you go off track for the weekend, you’re not giving it 100% and no wonder you aren’t seeing the results you want.

 

A few tips I use to stay on track at the weekends are:

 

1.     Get into a routine, wake up at the same time, eat your meals at the same time, hit the gym, get a good night’s sleep. Don’t use the weekend as an excuse to let your routine go off track. If you have a good routine going during the week, stick to it at the weekends!!

2.     Plan your gym sessions – make a date with a friend to hit the gym, you’re much more likely to go if you’ve made a plan with someone else!! Make plans with friends and instead of always meeting for coffee or drinks, try something different such as indoor rock climbing. or ice skating. Even make a date with friends to go for a walk or cycle is better than sitting around drinking coffee!! Think activity during your weekend!!

3.     Prep your meals in advance – even inputting the meals you’re going to have in MyFitnessPal can keep you on track.

4.     If you are going out to eat – look up the menu online and see what you can have, good options are usually grilled chicken, fish, steak, salads (dressing on the side), asking for extra chicken in your salad etc., getting a burger without the bun, skipping the fries (I know - no fun, but if you want 100% of the results you need to put in 100% of the effort).

5.     Skip the alcohol if possible – this can stall fat loss for days after consumption and can increase appetite leading to the late night pizza or kebab shop run. Who wants to wake up with a half eaten kebab next them?? No thanks...

6.     If skipping the alcohol isn’t an option – choose 1 night from the weekend and enjoy 2-3 drinks, choosing lower calorie options like spirits with zero calorie mixers (diet drinks, soda water, fresh lime/lemon). Drink a glass of water in between each drink. If I’m going out with my friends and I’m not drinking, I tend to get a sparkling water with fresh lime, as it still looks like an alcoholic drink so people tend to ask fewer questions, which is usually the cause of discomfort for those non-drinkers out there.

7.     If you have friends who just want to eat junk and are trying to force you to eat the junk with them, explain to them you are trying to be healthy and if they still make fun and jokes then maybe you should re-consider your friendship. Friends are supposed to be supportive and help you.

8.     If having a night in, instead of the usual chips/dip and bottle of wine, why not go for some homemade dips with veggies such as these here (Greek Yogurt YT video) and some sparkling water with fresh lime. Make healthy alternatives to your favourites, use greek yogurt instead of sour cream and you’ve cut the fat way down and increased the protein content (win win!!!)

 

These are all small, simple tips you can implement into your life and make it that bit easier to stay on track at the weekends.

 

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Pre and Post Workout Nutrition

Hi everyone!

I get asked all the time what the best foods are to have pre and post workout. Let me first off say there are no "best foods" for anything, it is all about total daily intake, macro and micro nutrient targets and personal preference. I will however give some guidelines on how to prepare meals that will be most optimal for energy, performance and recovery. 

Pre workout nutrition

There are differing views on pre workout nutrition - some say high protein, high fat, and others say high carb and low fat. This is a personal preference and what works for you, experiment with both and see which you perform better at the gym with. I personally perform better with a protein and carb meal pre-training so I would eat things such as egg white oats, rice cakes, greek yogurt, whey protein. The ideal amount will completely vary depending on your size, a 120lb female is going to need to eat significantly less than a 200lb male. You want to eat enough so that you are fuelled for your session but not so full that you fall into a carb coma. Eating your pre workout meal 1-2 hours prior to working out is ideal as it gives the food time to settle a little before you begin your workout.

The goals of PRE workout nutrition are to:

  • Reduce muscle glycogen depletion.

  • Reduce muscle protein breakdown.

  • Reduce post workout cortisol levels.

Sample meal ideas

1. Bagel slim with ham/chicken

2. Oats and whey protein "proats"

3. Chicken and basmati rice

4. Rice cakes and greek yogurt with berries

5. Greek yogurt and granola

 

post workout nutrition

Post workout nutrition is possibly the most important meal of the day, it should be eaten as soon as convenient in order to aid muscle recovery. There is no ideal window, but most people would be quite hungry after a training session so would want to eat straight away. Don't worry your muscles won't go all catabolic and you won't lose all your gains if you don't get your protein within 2.5 seconds of finishing your workout. Just eat as soon as you can when you finish. A post workout meal should include protein and carbs while fats should be kept to a minimum as they can interfere with protein synthesis. The ideal post workout meal macros will again vary depending on your weight and size, protein could be anywhere between 20-40g and carbs 40-60g; a ratio of roughly 2:1 of carbs to protein which can help replenish glycogen stores and bring protein into the muscle for optimal repair and recovery. It is not a must to have a protein shake post workout, you can opt to get your protein from other sources such as chicken, beef, turkey, or greek yogurt. 

The goals of POST workout nutrition are to:

  • Replenish muscle glycogen levels that were expended during exercise

  • Reduce muscle protein breakdown caused by training

  • Increase muscle protein synthesis.

  • Reduce muscle soreness and fatigue ie. DOMS

  • Enhance overall recovery.

  • Reduce cortisol (stress hormone) levels.

Sample meal ideas

1. Whey protein shake and a large banana blended into a smoothie

2. Cinnamon Raisin Bagel with honey and a whey protein shake

3. Chicken, sweet potato and asparagus

4. Turkey Mince and sweet potato (can be made into burgers, meat balls or a bolognese sauce)

5. Tuna with pasta

For Online Coaching please click here. I have just launched a new Pay Monthly option for all my programmes so you choose the length of your programme and when you've reached your goals whether thats 1 month or 6 months is upto you. If you have any questions at all about it please email me at georgia@betterthanyesterdayfitness.com or fill out the contact me form here.

Will Lifting Weights & Drinking Protein Shakes Make Me Bulky??

Hi everyone!

This is a blog post I have been meaning to write for a while now as I still see so many girls just pounding the pavements and running on treadmills and lifting no weights or doing any kind of resistance work. I am here to dispel the myth that lifting weights makes girls bulky. First of all if you think you're going to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger after one session (or even 100 sessions) you are very mistaken. It took Arnie years to build up that kind of muscle and also he is of the male species which means he has a much higher percentage of lean muscle mass than females, due to the higher amount of testosterone males produce. It is significantly harder for females to gain muscle mass, so you really shouldn't be concerned you're going to look like Arnie any time soon. This quote below comes to mind. 

MYTH 1. Cardio is the only way to lose fat!

This is not correct at all! In order to lose bodyfat you must higher your metabolic rate, and to do this you need to build lean muscle mass through weight lifting and resistance training. The body uses more calories to sustain lean muscle mass than it does fat, therefore burning more calories overall. Research shows that 1lb of muscle burns 7-10 calories per day, while 1lb of fat only burns 2-3 calories, according to the American Council on Exercise. In fact - doing too much cardio can have the opposite effect: it can lower your metabolic rate and cause you to lose lean muscle mass, making fat loss even more difficult.

MYTH 2. Protein Powder is going to make me HUGE!!

Again, incorrect! Protein powder is simply a supplement used to enhance one's protein intake. Most protein powders are whey based, so are made from milk which a lot of people have no qualms about eating with their cereal or in their coffee and tea so what is different about a concentrated whey protein powder? 

To put into context the 20g protein in 1 scoop of whey protein, which is generally the recommended serving, equates to eating 75g of cooked chicken breast which is roughly a small/medium chicken breast. People don't think twice about eating chicken for protein, but it has almost the same nutritional value as eating 1 scoop of whey protein. 

Protein powder just allows for a bit of variety in the diet as it can get a bit boring eating chicken or other lean meats all the time. It also is great for convenience, you can throw a scoop in a shaker and off you go, instead of having to prep chicken and carry that around with you. I am not saying everyone should drink protein shakes, but they are a cheap (per serving much cheaper than buying chicken), convenient and add a bit of variety to the diet. So you shouldn't be afraid of protein powder, nor should you think it is some magical weight loss/muscle gain drink. It is simply a substitution for other protein sources.

MYTH 3. But I'm not losing any weight on the scales...

First of all, throw the scales out the window if you are lifting weights and doing any kind of resistance training! It is not an accurate tool for measuring progress at all. You may be gaining lean muscle mass which takes up a lot less space on your body compared to fat, so even though you may not have lost weight according to the scales you have become leaner and your measurements will have gone down. The concept that muscle weighs more than fat is incorrect, 1lb of muscle weighs the same as a 1lb of fat, just like 1lb of bricks weighs the same as 1lb of feathers but you can bet that the feathers take up a lot more space! Muscle is much denser, so it takes up considerably less space than fat. Building lean muscle doesn't mean you will look bigger, it is actually quite the opposite; you will appear smaller and leaner. 

Lifting weights does NOT make you bulky!!

I am a level 4 Personal Trainer and Online Coach offering worldwide programmes and 12 Week Online Coaching plans. 

If you are interested in purchasing a programme or want more information please email

hello@georgiasfitlife.com