Would you pay to eat 6 teaspoons of sugar?

Sounds gross right?Mouth eating sugar

Well if you eat or drink low fat or ‘diet’ foods/drinks you very well could be.

Surely if you want to lose weight the food and drink to choose would be low fat or from a ‘healthy food’ diet range, right?

Well, actually the answer to that would be no.

Low fat or food labelled as ‘diet’ or ‘healthy eating’ range will usually have additional sugar or sweeteners added to replace the ‘missing’ fat as a preservative.

In fact a study by The Telegraph showed many low fat foods promoted as healthy-eating options contain more sugar than their “full fat” equivalents – in some cases more than five times as much.

A study of 100 popular low or non-fat grocery items from major supermarkets found that dozens contained at least two teaspoons of total sugar in a single serving. One in four of the products contained more than three teaspoons of the ingredient.

The research found:
- One “low fat” meal contained almost six times the sugar levels of its “full fat” equivalent dish
- A “fat-free” drinking yoghurt was found to contain almost as much sugar as a Mars Bar
- A single portion of a “healthy living” apple and blackberry crumble contained five-and-a-half teaspoons of sugar
- A one litre carton of a “low fat” chocolate milk drink contained more than 30 teaspoons of sugar, around two thirds of which is estimated to be added

So why is all this sugar a problem?

The issue with too much sugar or sweeteners is the affect they have on insulin.

Insulin is a hormone within the body that is responsible for removing sugar from the blood stream and storing it within your muscles and liver. Those stores are used to fuel your body when you are active.
Contrary to what a lot of ‘health’ professionals say insulin is not a bad hormone.

In fact if you did not have insulin within your body you would die and if left to function as it should do, it can be your friend in weight loss efforts.

The problem occurs when you eat foods high sugar (or sweeteners) and your body has to repeatedly release insulin in high amounts.

Your body can only store so much sugar within your muscles and liver and once those stores are full insulin HAS to put any excess sugar somewhere and that place will be within your fat cells under the skin.

In short:
High sugar foods/drinks = high insulin levels = increase in fat cells in the body.

Rather than relying on diet foods and drinks the best way to lose weight is to find what works for you to balance out your hormones and allow your body to use its own natural fat burning abilities to create the body you desire.

It can be done eating ‘normal’ and tasty food I promise you and it does not have to be hard work or involve the latest faddy gimmick.

If you would like to receive a FREE 20 minute hormone analysis (usually worth £15) please send me a message or leave a comment below and we can arrange something to suit you.

Louise x

 

Product                                                                                          Teaspoons of sugar

Waitrose love life belgian chocolate sponge pudding 6.7
Marks & Spencer blueberry drinking yoghurt 6.5
Starbucks Mocha frappuccino (250ml bottle) 6.4
Galaxy milk (200ml serving) 6.3
Marks & Spencer count on us double chocolate sundae 5.9
Marks & Spencer count on us sweet & sour sauce (1/2 of a 370g jar) 5.5
Tesco healthy living apple & blackberry crumble 5.5
Marks & Spencer count on us rasberry panna cotta (per 140g pot) 4.8
Onken fat free strawberry yoghurt (150g serving) 4.8
Yeo Valley 0% fat Orange, Carrot & Mango yoghurt (per 150g serving) 4.7
Waitrose low fat black cherry yoghurt 4.6
Onken fat free vanilla yoghurt (per 150g serving) 4.5
Waitrose low fat strawberry yoghurt 4.3
Waitrose low fat rasberry yoghurt 4.3
Marks & Spencer count on us rhubarb & custard dessert 4.2
Marks & Spencer count on us sweet & sour chicken 4.0
Marks & Spencer count on us very berry dessert 4.0
Tesco Low Fat strawberry Yogurt 125g pot 4.0
Danone Activia cherry yoghurt 3.9
Glaceau vitamin water power-c/dragonfruit 3.8
Tesco everyday value low fat black cherry yoghurt 125g pot 3.8
Sainsbury’s My Goodness Tasty hoisin duck noodle soup 3.5
Marks & Spencer count on us chicken piri piri 3.4
Marks & Spencer count on us skinny chocolate frappe 3.4
Marks & Spencer count on us chicken tikka masala 3.0
Kellogs Special K creamy berry crunch (per 30g serving with milk) 3.0

Table from www.telegraph.co.uk

Toxin Alert!

Did your know your body is amazing!  It may not feel like it at times I know but I promise you it is.

It will do everything it can to survive and keep you safe.

It even has its own very effective methods of eliminating toxins

However, because of our modern day lifestyles and exposure to numerous chemicals, our

Toxins

body needs support when it comes to dealing with the excessive level of toxins that we are now exposed to.

Toxins come from a variety of sources, namely pollution, household cleaners, pesticides and fertilizers, and cosmetics.

There is no doubt that the cocktail of toxins that our bodies have to deal with is detrimental to our health.

The Symptoms of toxic overload are:

  • Difficulty shifting weight
  • Stubborn fat areas
  • Dark circles under eyes
  • Feeling groggy
  • Difficulty dropping body fat
  • Low energy levels
  • Digestive problems
  • Indigestion
  • Problem skin
  • Hormonal issues
  • Mood swings
  • Frequent illness

The impact that toxicity has on the body’s ability to lose body fat is twofold.

Firstly, toxins are a threat to our survival so as a way of protecting itself the body STORES the toxins in our FAT cells.

Therefore, the MORE toxicity you have in your body, the MORE BODY FAT you will need to store for protection.

Secondly, the more toxins within your body fat stores, the LESS WILLING your body will be to burn or shed that stored fat as energy.

Carrying on the way you are currently eating or even just eating less is not going to sort the problem. In fact it will just make things worse.

The first thing to do is cut out the CRAP – Caffeine, Refined sugar, Alcohol and Processed foods.

Don’t try and do it ALL AT ONCE though.  Remove ONE thing at a time so you don’t become overwhelmed.

Increase your water intake to help flush out the toxins.

Drinking hot water with a squeeze of lemon will also help flush out the toxins.

A controlled cleanse will help your body remove toxins from your body by supporting your liver and digestive system.

REMEMBER though a cleanse DOES NOT mean eat LESS food in general it means eat less of CERTAIN foods and ensure your body is supported fully to remove the toxins.

If you have any questions leave a comment below or send me a message and I will help

No Pain, No Gain?

Have you ever had a great exercise session and then 24- 48 hours later tried to lift your arm up to turn off the alarm in the morning and felt as if someone has been sitting them all night?? Or had to psych yourself up just to get out of a chair (or off the toilet) because your legs hurt so much?? If the answer is yes then don’t worry as I know your pain (literally!) all too well.

That feeling is known as DOMS – delayed onset muscle soreness. This muscle soreness is most frequently felt when you begin a new exercise program, change your exercise routine, or dramatically increase the duration or intensity of your exercise routine.

DOMS is a natural process that the body starts following intense exercise. It usually starts 24 to 48 hours after an exercise session and decreases after approximately 72 hours.

It is thought to be a result of microscopic tearing of the muscle fibres caused by activity. The amount of tearing (and soreness) depends on how hard and how long you exercised and what type of exercise you did. Many researchers believe it is inflammation that comes after the microscopic tearing that results in the ‘delayed’ part of DOMS. After microscopic muscle injury, immune cells go to the site of injury to ‘clean things up’ – in other words, repair the damage—which results in the inflammation and pain. This, believe it or not, is a good thing as the body repairing means it is adapting. This in turn means that the muscles are becoming bigger and stronger.

Any movement you are not used to can lead to DOMS, but eccentric muscle contractions seem to cause the most soreness.

A muscle contracts eccentrically when it lengthens under tension during exercise. For example, during a bicep curl, the bicep muscle lengthens during the (eccentric) lowering movement. Other examples of eccentric muscle contractions include going down stairs, running downhill, lowering weights and the downward movement of squats and push-ups.

What Is the Best Treatment for Muscle Soreness After Exercise?

Nothing has been proven 100 percent effective and although some people find the following helpful, it’s best to try a few things to see what works for you.

• Use Active Recovery – this does have support in some research. Performing easy low-impact aerobic exercise increasing blood flow is linked with diminished muscle soreness. This is believed to be due to oxygen and nutrients being delivered to the muscles which aids in repair and recovery.
• Try a Sports Massage – some research has found that sports massage may help reduce reported muscle soreness.
• Perform Gentle Stretching – although research doesn’t find stretching alone reduces muscle pain of soreness, many people find it simply feels good..
• Try Yoga – there is growing belief that performing Yoga may reduce DOMS.
• Listen to Your Body – avoid any vigorous activity or exercise that increases pain.
• Warm Up – there is some research that supports that a warm-up performed immediately prior to eccentric exercise produces small reductions in delayed-onset muscle soreness
• Progress Slowly – the most important prevention method is to gradually increase your exercise time and intensity.

Is It DOMS or an injury?
It is important to understand the difference between muscle strain and DOMS. When you strain a muscle from vigorous exercise, you can worsen the injury if you continue to exercise. In other words, if you have severely strained a calf muscle running, you will have problems walking afterwards. If you have DOMS, your muscles will be stiff and sore, but you’ll be able to walk around, and the symptoms will go away within a few days.

Why You Must Eat To Lose Weight

It seems counter intuitive I know however it is true – You Must Eat To Lose Weight (the right kinds of food though).  It can take a big mental shift for some people to accept and understand why this is the case.   However once you do you will see the best weight loss results ever.

When most people start trying to lose weight, they reduce their calories by lessening their food intake. That’s fine, but sometimes they can cut their calorie intake too low.

Not eating enough calories causes many metabolic changes. A large calorie deficit might work for a few days or even weeks, but eventually your body will start to sound alarms that it needs to conserve its energy.  Your body is extremely clever. It contains countless contingency plans that kick in whenever something seems to threaten  it, including a reaction called the starvation response. It  is your body’s reaction to what it perceives as a critical food shortage. When your body finds its fuel supply is diminishing, it shuts down unnecessary activities and clings to every possible calorie in order to survive the “famine.”

Your body needs energy to survive so it will do whatever it can to conserve it including:

  • Decrease in your muscle mass – It takes a lot of energy for your body to support your muscles. In a prolonged extreme calorie deficit, it is one of the first things that your body looks to get rid of. Your body needs fat, however your muscle can be spared therefore it breaks down the muscle tissue and uses it for energy.
  • Lowers  your testosterone levels – An important hormone for both men and women, testosterone is just one of many hormones that are affected with severe calorie restriction.  Testosterone helps build muscle tissue. Without it, it becomes harder to maintain your muscle mass.  Muscle mass is important to help with weight loss efforts as it helps you to burn fat.
  • Decrease in your energy levels – Your brain’s neurotransmitter (brain chemicals that communicate information throughout our brain and body) production is limited, which can lead to a lack of motivation. It’s your body’s way of telling you to “slow down” – conserve your energy.
  • Decrease in your leptin levels – Leptin is one of many energy regulating hormones. More importantly, it’s a “hunger” hormone that tells you whether to eat or not. High leptin levels signal that it’s OK to stop eating, while low leptin levels are a signal to eat more for energy. Because of this, leptin levels decrease in calorie restricted environments.  This decrease also encourages your body to hold on to its fat stores and encourage more fat to enter those stores.To lose weight eat this

How Many Calories Should You Be Eating?

There is no exact perfect number. Each person’s metabolism is different. However a general rule of thumb is to reduce your daily calorie amount by 500 calories to lose between 1-2 lbs a week.

The problem is most people who want to lose weight just want it to happen quickly, and they want it gone now. Weight loss is a patience game. It takes time and consistency to make it work. Losing 2lbs per week is the best to aim for. At this pace, it will ensure that the majority of your weight loss is coming from stored body fat instead of muscle. You will also give yourself the best chance to build muscle while you lose fat, which is what you should be striving to do.

So if your progress has reached a plateau, but you think you’re eating the right foods and exercising intensely, more than likely your problem is that you’re not eating enough calories to lose weight. Increase your intake by adding more nutrient rich food to your diet (try adding a healthy snack  in between your meals each day) and your weight loss should start moving forward again.

Note – If you are unsure of the amount of food you need to be consuming in order to remain healthy and keep weight loss occurring consult a fitness professional (Personal Trainer or Exercise Referral Specialist) or nutritional adviser who will be able to help you.

10 Top Tips On How To Eat Out Healthily

10 Top Tips On How To Eat Out Healthily

This week has been a busy one and I know it is only going to get busier the nearer to Christmas we get.  My fridge door is filling up with invites to lunches, dinners and parties (to be honest 50% of those are for my 2 year old daughter with me just tagging along).  Nearly every invite involves eating or drinking so I know some forward planning is needed to help me stay on track as best as possible. All of my reward meals are already planned up until New Years Eve……and I can’t wait for each and every one :-)

  1. Ask for sauces and dressings on the side -  Where possible, always ask for any dressings and sauces to be served separately. This will enable you to add exactly the amount you want to your meal and avoid a meal smothered in a rich sauce.
  2. Take a look at the menu before you get to the restaurant – If you know where you are going to eat take a look on the internet at the menu before you go.    Making your choices early on will enable you to have plenty of time to select the healthiest choices, plus you’ll be less likely to be influenced by others to make more unhealthy choices.  To ensure you stick to your choices don’t look at the menu at the restaurant.
  3. Avoid the bread rolls – Many restaurants provide bread rolls whilst you are waiting for your food. Whilst bread isn’t bad for you, it’s something that you don’t actually need to eat if you are going to eat a full meal as well. If you do have bread opt for wholemeal varieties and just have one piece.
  4. Limit alcohol -  Try to limit alcohol as much as you can and drink a glass of water for every alcoholic one, this will enable your body to stay as hydrated as possible as well as fill you up.
  5. Don’t starve yourself - Don’t starve yourself during the day to compensate for a planned evening meal out. It’s a common plan and we’ve probably all done it.  If you have your normal daily meals you’ll arrive at the restaurant healthily hungry and not desperately ravenous.  If you are really hungry you are far more likely to choose less-healthy options and eat more than you would normally have done.
  6. Avoid three courses – If you can, try to stick to one or two courses instead of the full three.  However if three courses are a must, opt for a salad or soup to begin (try to avoid cream-based ones) then go for fish or chicken as the main and finish up with a fruit based dessert or a sorbet (one piece of chocolate cake will not make you put lots of weight on so if you want it then have it)
  7. Don’t be swayed by your friends – Don’t be tempted to go for unhealthy options because that’s what the other people are having. And don’t feel under pressure to cave in if others entice you to do so.  You’ve got to remember that it’s your body and the reason why you want to lose weight is to feel better about yourself, it’s not for them.
  8. Eat slowly – Allow your stomach and brain time to register what you are eating and how full you feel.  Put your knife and fork down whilst you are chewing your food and once you are full stop eating.  You do not have to clear your plate of everything if you are already feeling full.
  9. Have fun – It is important to relax and have fun.  Enjoy yourself and enjoy your time with friends and family.  Remember that having fun and relaxing allows your cortisol and adrenaline hormone levels to balance out which helps with losing weight
  10. Make the best choices you can – use the menu swaps below to help you make the best choices you can whilst eating out.  If eating at a buffet fill the majority of your plate with salad and plain meat if you can.  Add cheese and fruit if available to help keep you full

Ambient Menu

Why You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty For Having Rest Days.

Do you feel guilty when you take a day off of exercising?  Training is Easy

Do you become worried you won’t reach your goals if you have a rest day?

Well don’t!  

In order to get fitter, gain muscle mass, lose weight or improve in sport the body needs to be put under a degree of stress (i.e. training or exercise).  Once this has happened, the body needs time to adapt to the stresses and for this there must be a period of recovery

What Happens During Recovery/Rest?

Building recovery time into any training program is important because this is the time that the body adapts to the stress of exercise and the real training effect takes place. Recovery also allows the body to replenish energy stores and repair damaged tissues.  Without sufficient time to repair and replenish, the body will continue to breakdown from exercise.

Your muscles adapt when you rest. When muscles are put under stress tiny tears are created in your muscles that can only repair during rest. This repair process is what makes your muscles bigger/stronger/toned than before. While it’s important to work your muscles it’s equally as important to give your body enough time to recover.

Lack of recovery can cause a weight-loss plateau as well. We know that regular exercising at the right intensity can lead to weight loss, but most people don’t realise that by not building in rest days to your programme it can also have the opposite effect.   This is thanks to your body’s built-in protective mechanisms meaning overtraining can cause a plateau in your weight loss or even cause weight gain.

Rest and recovery are also important in the prevention of injuries.  Plus building in rest days can help maintain a better balance between home, work and fitness goals.

Getting quality sleep is also an important part of recovery. Make sure to get plenty of sleep as your body uses this time to aid the repairing and replenishing process.

How Many Recovery Days Should You Have?

If you’re just starting out in exercise, it’s important that you build into it slowly to allow your body to adapt to the demands. Maybe try exercising on two consecutive days, but have a rest on the third day. If you just keep going, without any rest, your body will soon start to fatigue and you’ll find it difficult to complete any exercise sessions and may pick up injuries.

If you are an experienced exerciser it is important to have at least one day of recovery every 7 days to allow your body rest.  If the thought of not doing any form of activity fills you with dread, going for a 20 minute walk or gentle bike ride will still allow recovery and will psychologically fill your need to be active.

What Happens If You Don’t Have Enough Recovery/Rest?

If you have too few rest and recovery days this can lead to overtraining.

The most common signs of overtraining include:
•    Decreased exercise performance
•    Agitation, moodiness, irritability or lack of concentration.
•    Excessive fatigue
•    Chronic or nagging muscle aches or joint pain.
•    Injuries that will not heal
•    Frequent illnesses especially colds.
•    Insomnia or restless sleep.
•    Loss of appetite.

Remember to plan your exercise routines carefully making sure you include rest days for your body to recover and adapt to the training you are doing.  This will allow you to reach your goals in a potentially quicker and injury free way.

So, the next time you are fee guilty for having a ‘day off’ from exercise STOP IT!  Think about all the changes that are happening in your body moving you ever closer to achieving your goals.

Kick Your Cravings to the Kerb!

Many people find it difficult to distinguish whether they are feeling hungry or if they are experiencing a craving for a certain type of food or taste. Hunger and cravings are completely different – hunger comes from the stomach and cravings come from the brain.

A craving can be caused by:

  • A habit – if you eat something every day at the same time or you always eat something specific when with a specific person you will expect it
  • An emotion – if you were once comforted by something such as chocolate you will look to repeat that feeling the next time you feel as if you need to be comforted.
  • A message – if you are lacking in a specific mineral or vitamin your brain will send a message to consume something that contains that mineral or vitamin

The first thing to do is stop beating yourself up about your cravings.   Instead try some of these ways to break the hold they have on you:

  • Do you sit down at a certain time everyday with a cup of tea and biscuits?  Swap the biscuits for 1 or 2 ricecakes with peanut butter.
  • Do you reach for chocolate when you have an afternoon slump?  Swap your normal chocolate bar for 2 squares of 75% dark chocolate.
  • Can’t wait for dinner to finish cooking? Keep away from quick easy snacks and try a piece of fruit instead
  • Hungry late at night?  Don’t reach for the crisps or chocolate.  Try a small bowl of porridge to fill the gap and help you sleep.

If you have very specific food cravings take a look at the list below to see what your body could actually be asking for

Food What does the body want Alternative Food
Cheese Healthy fats Handful or two of unsalted nuts
Pasta/white bread Chromium Include  onions, grapes, tomatoes, sweet potato and cinnamon in your diet
Bread/toast Nitrogen Try upping your green leafy vegetables, seeds and nuts. 
Red meat Iron Include spinach, cherries, beans in your diet plus vitamin C to aid absorption. 
Crisps Chloride Try including celery, olives and kelp in your diet
Chocolate Magnesium Try upping your greens and fruit intake
Coffee/Tea Sulphur Try upping your asparagus, kale, garlic and onion intake

Most of us give in to cravings because we believe that if we ignore them they will just get bigger and bigger until just wanting one biscuit will turn into a whole packet (or 2!).  This is not the case though as cravings will build up, peak and will then disappear.  It is possible to distract yourself until the craving disappears – go for a walk, listen to music or call a friend for a chat – anything to stop your mind thinking about the craving.

Next time you get a craving for something about why you are getting the craving and is there something else you could have or do instead.

If you have any tips for beating cravings I would love to hear about them in the comment box below.

Don’t be fooled by the fat burning zone

The fat burning zone is one of the biggest myths in the fitness industry.  It is everywhere – in magazines, books, stickers and charts on gym walls and there is even a ‘fat burning zone’ fat-burner1button on most CV machines.

During exercise your body uses energy stored primarily in two places: your fat stores or your glycogen stores (your glycogen stores come from the carbohydrates you consume).

The fat burning zone gains its name because in this zone (approx. 60% – 70% of your maximum heart rate (MHR)) you are working at an intensity where the majority of your energy is coming from your fat stores rather than your glycogen stores. So in theory it sounds great however here is the full science bit!

Take a look below at the example calories being used in two 30 minute session on a treadmill.  In session 1 the person is exercising in the fat burning zone (60%-70% MHR).  In session 2 the same person is working at a higher intensity of 70%-80% MHR.

Session 1 – 60%-70% MHR Session 2 – 70% – 80% MHR
Time

30 minutes

30 minutes

Total calories

140

190

Glycogen calories

56 (40%)

114 (60%)

Fat calories

84 (60%)

76 (40%)

Due to the increase in intensity in session 2 there is a larger amount of calories being used overall and even with the differing ratios of fat between both sessions the fat calorie figures are very close.  However the best is still to come………

The Afterburn Effect

Basically when you use your glycogen stores during activity the body has to restock them once the exercise has finished.  In order to replenish these stores your body uses an energy system called the Aerobic energy system.  The Aerobic energy system favours your fat stores as its main source of energy.  Therefore the more glycogen stores you use (as in session 2 above) the more of your fat stores are used to fuel the replenishment of them which is great for reducing fat!

Next time you read about the fat burning zone or use a CV machine and see the Fat Burning Zone button you now know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!

Take a look here to find out more on interval training and the afterburn effect

Why Women (and Men) Shouldn’t Be Afraid of Gaining Muscle

Here it comes I thought to myself. ‘I can’t do THAT, I don’t want to have big muscles and look like a man!’ my friend proclaimed.  She has been trying to lose weight for a few months and wanted a boost to her efforts and had asked me which exercises would help her.

My answer, well that was quite simply all she has to do is include some form of resistance I Love Weightsexercises to her workout.  Sadly, her response is very common from females when it comes to using weights.  They are terrified they will suddenly look like Arnie or see an image of themselves as a female body builder. The truth is it is physiologically impossible for women to gain muscle in the same way as a man because women don’t naturally have enough testosterone (studies have shown that women have 15 to 20 times less testosterone than men).

Yes, there are female body builders but those ladies train up to 2 times a day and 7 days a week.  Their diet is extremely prescriptive to building muscle and dropping nearly all of their body fat.  In some cases they may even take artificial testosterone in order to build muscle.

So, why should you include resistance exercises in your workout?

You’ll Have Less Body Fat – By using resistance, you will elevate a hormone called Human Growth Hormone (HGH), which helps burn fat in the body.  This hormone also helps build muscle and the more muscle mass someone you have the more energy you burn (mostly in the form of fat) even at rest.  For every 1lb of muscle mass you have you burn an additional 50 calories per day.

You’ll Look Amazing – Using resistance exercises can give women amazing curves…in all the ‘right’ places. Once you have started to lose ‘fat’ you will be able to see the muscles underneath which will give you a great looking bum, stomach, legs and arms.  Your posture will start to improve as a strong lower back and core will help you stand up tall and will help you develop better body awareness.

You Will Reduce Some Of The Effects of Aging – Building muscle mass helps strengthen connective tissues, which increases bone density.   By strengthening these areas, you are reducing your risk of injury, and your chance of developing osteoporosis later in life.  As you get older your muscles start to naturally ‘waste’ (known as Sarcopenia).  By using weights you will be able to reduce the effects of aging on your muscles by keeping the fibres stimulated.

Remember Muscle Won’t Turn to Fat – Resistance training will not “turn fat into muscle,” nor will muscle that has been built turn into fat. Find out more here on this.

Hopefully, you can now see the benefits of including resistance exercises into your program in order to build up muscle mass.  My friend (thankfully) saw the benefits and looks amazing as a result…..and no she doesn’t look a thing like Arnie!

Why Muscle Cannot Turn Into Fat?

Whilst out shopping last week I overheard 2 ladies talking about the exercises they do at the gym, in particular using weights.  One lady was telling the other that she did not want to start using weights as it would mean she would have to use them forever as her muscles would turn into fat once she stopped.  By the time I turned around the ladies had moved away and it took all of my willpower not to shout after them THAT’S NOT TRUE!!!  So I’ll just explain it to you!People Exercising at a Gymnasium

Fat cells and muscle cells are completely different things and one cannot turn into the other, it is simply impossible.

When someone’s exercise plan involves using weights or body weight exercises their muscle cells will start to increase in number and size (by how much depends on the type of training they are doing).  The more muscle cells we have the more energy we burn throughout the day therefore reducing the number of fat cells we have as the body will start to use these for some of that energy.

If someone stops using these types of exercises, over time their muscle cells will reduce in number and size. The effect of this is that the toned or muscley look they had will diminish.  This reduction also means the energy needed by the body to support those muscle’s cells will reduce therefore less fat cells are used for energy.  This can cause weight gain if the person does not adjust their eating or exercise accordingly.

In fact as we get older we lose muscle tissue naturally and as a result our fat cells will increase unless we are active enough to stimulate the growth of more muscle cells.  Some studies have shown that in people who are not active their muscle mass can start to diminish as young as 20 years old.

The rate we lose muscle mass increases with age, with it significantly reducing more after the age of 50 years old (hence the dreaded ‘middle-age spread’).

So you can see now why I wanted to tell those ladies muscle cannot turn into fat, it’s simply not true.  In fact what they (and you) should absolutely be doing is including some form of resistance work into their workouts whether by using weights or using their own body weight in order to stay healthy and stop those muscle cells disappearing………….. Oh, whilst we are talking about muscle it does not weigh more than fat and Ladies, using weights will NOT make you look like a body builder but we’ll talk about that more next time!