Double Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies – Make Your Own Today!


That’s right…Double Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies…who said eating healthy had to be boring! Double chocolate chip are a classic cookie treat flavour that never disappoints. However, as we know, the shop bought cookies are often filled with lots of added junk ingredients that are not very good for us. Do not fear! As I’m going to take you through my macro friendly recipe which will allow you to make your own today with an added protein boost.

My Macro Snacks Double Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies is a quick and easy recipe that I have created, allowing you to enjoy chocolate chip cookies again without having the guilt of ruining your diet. (Eating chocolate without feeling guilty is a winner in my opinion!).

They’re high in protein and low in sugar which is perfect for curbing any cravings without causing any sugar spikes and further cravings…this usually results in bingeing on bad foods. They have a soft, chewy texture with a dark chocolate kick when you bite into the chocolate chips. These really are the ultimate guilt free chocolate packed protein cookies!

Hope you enjoy and don’t forget to follow my blog to keep updated with new recipes and useful info!

What You Will Need:

  • Mixing Bowl
  • Baking Tray
  • Baking Paper

Ingredients:

  • Wholegrain Oats – 200g
  • Dark Chocolate Chips – 50g (I used ‘Dr. Oetker’s’ 70% extra dark chocolate chunks)
  • Protein Powder – 100g (I used ‘Grenade’s’ Hydra 6 chocolate flavour)
  • Cocoa Powder – 10g
  • Egg – 1 Whole
  • Almond Milk – 250ml (You can use an alternative milk product if preferred)

Method:

  1. Add the oats, dark chocolate chips, protein powder, cocoa powder and the egg into a bowl and mix them all together. Slowly add the almond milk whilst continuing to mix the ingredients together until a batter like mixture is formed. This will be your cookie dough.
  2. Prepare a baking tray by lining it with some baking paper. You can either place your cookie dough directly onto the paper or you can use a low-calorie oil spray to slightly coat the baking paper. Either way the cookies shouldn’t stick to the paper once they’re baked.
  3. For the next step you’ll have to get your hands stuck in as we form the cookies. If needed, dampen your hands with a little water to prevent the cookie dough from sticking to your hands too much and begin to roll out and press the cookies onto the baking tray. This mixture should yield 10 cookies.
  4. Once the baking tray is loaded with the cookie dough, place them into the oven at gas mark 6 or 200⁰C for 20-30 minutes, or until they begin to brown. When they are cooked let them cool for a little then tuck in! (Don’t forget to freeze these to use for another time or incorporate into your meal prep).

Calories And Macronutrients Per Cookie:

  • 153 Calories
  • 4.9g Fat
  • 1.9g Sat Fat
  • 14.4g Carbs
  • 2.5g Sugar
  • 2.4g Fibre
  • 12.1g Protein

Get Making!

Now that you have my Macro Snacks recipe, what are you waiting for! Let me know how you get on in the comments below.

(Calories and macros may vary depending on the type and brand of products used).

Posted by Tom in Recipes, 0 comments

Find Your Why

Wednesday Wisdom

“Find your why then use it to channel your motivation,” With all the new year celebrations now finished, it’s time to get back on track and re-focus on those new years resolutions we promised ourselves. For many that will probably involve giving up a favourite treat or finally signing up to a gym. Whether you’ve already made a health and fitness related resolution or not, I’m going to explain the importance of finding your why to ensure you make 2019 your year!

Find Your Motivation!

Whether you’re a seasoned fitness enthusiast or you’re just starting out, the best way to maintain or find your motivation for keeping fit is to think about why you started or want to start in the first place. What is the main factor that made you take the plunge into fitness? Maybe you weren’t happy with how you looked? You might have wanted to be stronger? Or you may have just wanted to improve your overall health and fitness?

Whatever the reason, you must find your why to remind yourself on the reasons you started! Here are 5 ideas below to help you find your inner motivation:

1. Find A Role Model

Use somebody else as your motivation that has already achieved what you are wanting to become e.g If I wanted to get into bodybuilding and maybe step on stage one day…I’d look up to current successful bodybuilders to see what their habits and rituals looked like. I’d follow them on social media so I could see what their daily routines were and maybe look at implementing some of those into my own daily routines, habits and rituals. Find someone who has what you want!

2. Set Some Goals

Start by choosing 3-5 goals you wish to achieve to help keep you on track and progressing on your fitness journey. You may want to lose a stone in weight? Deadlift a 100kg? Be able to run for 10 minutes without stopping? Commit to getting to the gym 3 days a week? Whatever goals you choose…prioritize them, track them and most importantly smash the hell out of them!

3. Find Support From Friends & Family

Let your family and social circle know about your plans to get fit so that they understand as well as support your journey. Not only will they keep you accountable when they catch you trying to raid the fridge for a midnight snack….(we’ve all been there)….but you might actually become their role model for them to start getting fit too!

4. Make It Fun

Fitness should be fun and not seen as a punishment or chore. If you do not enjoy doing something then you’re not going to stick to it. So if you find yourself slogging away at the treadmill whilst hating every second of it, look at changing your workout routine – maybe try some new exercises? The same as if you find yourself retching every time you eat kale, but you’ve read somewhere it’s Gods own super vegetable packed with all sorts of goodness…put the damn kale down and find a vegetable you’re actually going to look forward to eating!

5. Reward Yourself

Probably one of the most important factors that most people forget. We’re so quick to beat ourselves up for that one bad meal we may have had or for that one workout which didn’t happen, that we forget to look at everything else that has gone well or that we’ve already achieved. However, only reward yourself if you’ve earned it… don’t be having a weekend ‘cheat meal’ if you’ve spent the entire week cheating on your diet!


Find your why, follow these 5 steps and hit the ground running into 2019!

Posted by Tom in Motivation, 0 comments

Informed Sport – My Top 3 Go To Supplement Brands

Who Are Informed Sport?

For those of you who take part in regulated sports or serve in the military, you have most likely already heard of Informed Sport. If you have never heard of Informed Sport before, allow me to give you a quick over view of who they are and why you might change the way you look at choosing your supplements.

With so many supplement brands to choose from each selling their own variation of supplements, it can seem very confusing to know which brands to buy from, which products are actually any good and which products are safe to use. In a nutshell, Informed Sport’s aim is to test products for banned substances making it very clear to anyone buying supplements which ones have been approved as safe.

Check out the full list of Informed Sport’s approved brands and their products below:

(It’s worth checking to see if any supplements you are currently taking are on there too!)

Informed Sport Certified List

Informed Choice Certified List

If you’re not one for sifting through lists of products or you’re not too sure about choosing the right supplements, then do not fear! Here are my top 3 Informed Sport approved go to supplement brands:

Grenade

I’m a huge fan of Grenade and their products are definitely some of the most innovative on the market. When it comes to new products and ideas being released, they tend to be up there as being the first brand to try something a little different. For me though, Grenade’s Carb Killa Bars and Carb Killa Shakes are a game changer and is what sets them apart from their competitors. If you’re looking for a great tasting protein bar or shake then these are my go to every time. They can be viewed as being a bit more expensive than other brands but you get for what you pay for and I highly recommend. Check them out below!

Shop GRENADE Carb Killa Bars

Shop GRENADE Carb Killa Shakes

Bulk Powders

It was only recently I came across Bulk Powders Informed Sport approved whey powder and I was impressed. So impressed, it has now become one of my regular purchases. There is also a decent selection of flavours to choose from. The whey powder mixes well in a shake or even added to your oats. The brand also has some well-known athlete’s and celebrities as it’s ambassadors, proving Bulk Powders products are trusted. Check out their powders below!

Shop BULK POWDERS Informed Whey Protein

Shop BULK POWDERS Informed Casein Protein

Optimum Nutrition

To finish off my top 3 go to supplement brands, and probably the one I’ve used the longest, is Optimum Nutrition. They have some of the best tasting whey protein I’ve personally ever tried on the market and, again, they are trusted by some well-known athletes and professionals within the fitness industry. However, for me, Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Pre Workout and Amino Energy are my favourites.

I’ve tried various pre workouts in the past. Some really good ones and some really, REALLY bad ones. (If you know you know!) The same with amino energy powders. However, Optimum Nutrition’s pre workout actually tastes decent and it gives you a good kick. Their amino energy powders also taste great and there’s a variety of flavours to choose from. Check these products out below!

Shop OPTIMUM NUTRITION Gold Standard Pre Workout

Shop OPTIMUM NUTRITION Amino Energy

Choose Wisely

Like I stated at the start of this post, it can seem very confusing to know which brands to buy from and which products are safe to use. Hopefully by using Informed Sport as a guideline, choosing a safe and trusted supplement brand or product is a lot easier. I’ve listed my top 3 go to brands as well as a range of products that are my favourite, but by all means go and try others.

Before you go, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

What are your favourite supplement brands?

What are your must have supplement products?

Posted by Tom in Tips & Tricks, 13 comments

Decide What You Want The Most!

Motivational Monday’s

“Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.” Today I’m going to briefly cover what it takes to follow a balanced diet and how sometimes we must decide what we want the most when faced with temptation or cravings. Of course, we should go out and enjoy ourselves. I’m definitely not implying we must live restrictive lifestyles but sometimes small sacrifices have to be made if we want the results we desire.

Don’t Give In To Temptation

When it comes to sticking to a meal plan or following a balanced diet, we will all come across those moments when cravings or temptations are put in front of us. I’m sure we’ve all had one of those moments, when you’ve eaten your meals and suddenly a chocolate cravings kick in. Or maybe you go to a family meal with good intentions to restrict certain foods and suddenly a triple chocolate cheesecake is brought out for dessert and you can’t say no!

Factor In Treats

Now I’m not saying we have to completely cut out all of our favourite foods as we have to live and enjoy the little treats from time to time. However, we must be aware of when these are eaten and how often they are being eaten. Try factoring them into your meal plans maybe once a week or plan ahead so you can eat light meals on the day you’re going to have a treat. This will help to avoid over eating and increasing your calorie intake.

Keep Your End Goal In Sight

On the flip side, we do have to be accountable for some self control. There will be times when cravings kick in or desserts are put in front of us and we will have to make a decision. Ask yourself, If I give in to my cravings or eat this dessert will it affect my goal? The last thing you want is to follow a plan or eat well all week to destroy all of your hard work in one sitting. You must decide whether it’s worth satisfying yourself for the now or whether the end goal is more important, especially if it’s weight loss.

What Do You Want The Most?

I’m definitely not one to advocate restrictive diets, however a level of discipline and accountability must be followed to ensure we hit our dietary goals whether it’s to lose weight, gain weight or to just simply follow a balanced healthy diet. Go enjoy foods, find what works best for you and don’t forget to treat yourself! Just be aware of those days when you’ll have to say no and be disciplined to achieve your goal…the results will be worth it in the end!

Posted by Tom in Motivation, 1 comment

Muscle Food Review – Level Up Your Meal Prep Game!



==========CLICK THE BANNER TO CHECK OUT MUSCLE FOOD’S LATEST OFFERS==========

We all know how hard it can be sometimes to eat healthily and make the right food choices when we’re hungry. How easy would it be if we could have everything we needed conveniently delivered to our doorsteps in a chilled box? Planning and preparing meals can take some time, so an online food supplier may be the solution which allows you to level up your meal prep game and take away some of the hassle.

In my Muscle Food review we’ll explore who they are, why you may choose to buy from them, the range of products they offer and whether they provide value for money.

Who Are Muscle Food & Why Them?

Muscle Food are known to be one of the largest meat suppliers within the UK. They pride themselves in being passionate about sport and nutrition as well as being able to help people reach their goals, whether you’re an athlete or the everyday health conscious person. On their website, they boast that they provide the best meats and supplements on the market at a cost effective price. They also guarantee top quality produce tailored to individuals needs and diet.

Now, this all sounds very good but do they actually deliver what they promise? When I first ordered from Muscle Food I was a little skeptical about how my order would arrive. I thought, as you can imagine, a box full of fresh meat probably wouldn’t last very long whilst being carted around in a delivery van all day and then to top it off it would have to sit on my doorstep waiting for me to get home.

What I didn’t realise is that Muscle Food had already thought about this and they provide every order with a specially designed box to keep their orders chilled. There was no need to be skeptical after all!

Product Range & Quality

Where do I even begin!? Without listing every product they sell, allow me to try to break things down a little because they literally sell anything from kangaroo steaks right through to your everyday vitamin supplements. Muscle Food offer a selection of: meats, seafood, vegetables, vegan foods, egg products, dairy products, snacks, drinks, hampers, ready made meals as well as a variety of supplements. There’s a lot of products to choose from! But is it any good?

From my own experience I can say yes it is. The products I’ve received have always been fresh, delivered on time and have been a much better quality than your average supermarket bought goods. The meats also have so much more flavour as they’re not pumped full of water like the shop bought products as well as generally being higher in protein and lower in fat. Check out Trust Pilot if you want to see how others feel about Muscle Food as this site is used to track their reviews.

Is It Cost Effective?

If you’re looking to buy in bulk you will save money compared to buying the same products at your average supermarket. If, on the other hand, you decide to place a one time order every so often you may end up paying a little extra. However, compared to the quality difference some would argue you pay for what you get. Let’s have a look to see what the price differences are across a couple of products compared to other well known supermarkets.

1) Chicken Breast Fillets: Muscle Food: £5.00 per kg | Asda: £5.79 per kg | Sainsbury’s: £6.00 per kg

2) Turkey Mince: Muscle Food: £7.38 per kg | Asda: £6.58 per kg | Sainsbury’s: £8.00 per kg

3) Cod Fillets: Muscle Food: £9.00 per kg | Asda: £15.19 per kg | Sainsbury’s: £13.00 per kg

4) Lean Beef Mince: Muscle Food: £8.75 per kg | Asda: £5.50 per kg | Sainsbury’s: £7.00 per kg

As you can see, prices vary across the board for the same or very similar products. Sometimes you may have to choose between quality, price and/or convenience. Also keep an eye out for the offers! (The prices shown above may also vary).

The Benefits To Your Nutritional Goal

If you enjoy being in the kitchen, have time to prepare your meals, already follow a workout plan and know your nutritional goal then a tailored hamper may make life a little easier. As well as offering a vast selection of products, Muscle Food also offer a large selection of hampers to choose from ranging in price, personal preference and overall goal.

Maybe you know your goal and have a workout routine but just don’t have the time to prepare your meals. This is also accommodated for with another huge selection of ready made meals on offer. Again these vary in price, types of meals and you can even select meals with a certain nutritional value to match your goals e.g low calorie or high protein.

If on the other hand you know what goal you would like to achieve but you’re not sure how to get there, then Muscle Food also offer diet & exercise plans. This option allows you to set your own goals, which will then give you a selection of ready made meals to choose from to suite your needs as well as access to an online personal trainer to provide your workouts. All the meal prep will be done for you and the workouts already planned for you to follow.

The Pros And Cons

Just like with everything else, every product or company has its positives and negatives. From my own experience and from others who have used Muscle Food, I will sum up some of the pros and cons:

Pros:

  • They have a vast range of products and they can be tailored to your needs.
  • The quality is usually far above the shop bought equivalent.
  • It saves you time on preparing meals and shopping as your order is delivered right to your doorstep.
  • You can gain access to a Personal Trainer if you need guidance with working plans and routines.
  • Orders are kept fresh by being delivered in a chilled box.
  • Is recommended and used by well known athletes, celebrities and personal trainers.

Cons:

  • Some products may be a little pricier than the shop bought alternative.
  • There can be a high spend required to receive free or reduced delivery charges.
  • It has been known for occasional items to be missing in orders.

In summary, Muscle Food delivers a massive choice of great quality products which are freshly packed and delivered directly to you. Yes, you can sometimes pay a little extra but you’re saving time both in the kitchen and shopping.

I’m a big fan and I highly recommend them. If you use them or have used Muscle Food before, then leave a comment and let me know what your favourite products are. Likewise, if you have any questions about using Muscle Food then leave a comment and I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction.

Posted by Tom in Reviews, 3 comments

Can You Commit To 3 Months?

Motivational Monday’s

“3 months from now, you’ll thank yourself.” That gives you 12 weeks to re focus on your goals, set aside any excuses that may have stopped you in the past and dedicate your time to making a positive difference to yourself. Can you commit to 3 months of hard work and determination?

You can achieve a lot in 3 months if you really put your mind to it or, you can sit back and carry on doing what you’re doing whilst the months pass by without a single thing changing. I challenge you to make a difference in your life and prove to yourself what you can achieve in a short period of time.

Write Down Your Goals

Write out the goals you wish to achieve on a list so you can clearly see them every day. Having your goals visible will allow you to stay focused on them on a daily basis. Don’t be afraid of also writing down some big goals but at the same time be realistic. The list should consist of goals you wish to achieve not what anybody else thinks you should do. For example lose/gain weight, start exercising, learn how to cook etc.

Write Down Your Barriers

As well as writing out your goals, it’s also important that you are aware of any barriers that will slow you down or prevent you from achieving your goals. Examples could include lack of time, lack of knowledge, bad diet etc. Once you have your list, try to create a solution for each one.

Let’s say you want to start exercising on a regular basis but you use lack of time as an excuse…make time. Plan out your days and find periods of free time between your work/life routine. You’ll soon find that you suddenly have time when you need it, even if that means you miss watching your favourite TV program. You can always catch up another day!

Be Patient

As with anything that’s worth doing, you have to be patient and give it time. If it was easy then everybody would be doing it or have achieved it. Consistency is key and if you stick to your plan, you will achieve your goal. As I stated at the beginning of this post, 3 months will either pass quickly without you achieving or changing anything or you can get stuck in and commit to making a change whilst hitting your goals. Ensure it’s the latter!

Can You Commit To 3 Months?

Write down your goals, give a solution to each of your potential barriers and be patient whilst being consistent. Stick to the above and you will see a change, results or a visible difference in whatever it is you decide to do. Commit to 3 months and prove to yourself that you can achieve great things in just 12 weeks. You’ll soon find yourself setting bigger goals and achieving bigger things!

Check the link below to Learn How To Goal Set Effectively! 

Posted by Tom in Motivation, 0 comments

Protein Power Ice Pops – Fun Summer Treats!

Ice pops are an old childhood favourite of mine. There was nothing better than coming home to raid your freezer to find some fun summer treats after spending the day running around outside, especially when the sun was blazing during the summer months. Unfortunately, the shop bought ice-pops can be very calorie dense, full of processed flavours and/or artificial colours not to mention the crazy amounts of refined sugar (probably why I liked them so much!)

Create Your Own!

This can cause a problem if you like to keep on top of your diet, yet you’re looking for that little ice cold treat to cool you down. Well not anymore! Creating homemade ice pops is so much better for you as you can control the ingredients and know exactly what’s going into them. Not only that, but the variations and flavours you can create at home are endless and super easy to make. This gives you the perfect excuse to get into the kitchen, grab your thinking caps and get experimenting to make your very own ice pops!

The Power Of Protein!

My Protein Power Ice Pops are great as a snack or even as a post workout refreshment. They’re quick and simple to make with the added benefit of not worrying about cheating on your diet…not to mention they taste good too! My Protein Power Ice Pops are also perfect for anyone wanting to keep their protein intake high as there’s just under 9 grams of protein per ice pop.

Check out my recipe below to get started on making your very own ice pops. I hope you find this recipe useful and create yourself some fun tasting frozen treats!

The Recipe:

What You Will Need:

  • Ice-pop moulds with sticks. (I bought a pack of 4 moulds that came with their own plastic handles/sticks and they are 100ml in capacity. If you can only find the moulds then wooden lollipop sticks will also do the job).
  • A Blender

Ingredients:

  • Natural Greek Yoghurt – 200g (Try and opt for a low-fat, low sugar and high protein option where possible).
  • Fruit Of Your Choice – 200g (I used a mixture of store-bought frozen berries…they’re usually cheaper).
  • Casein Protein Powder – 20g (Casein powder makes the consitency a little thicker when mixed with the yoghurt but standard whey powder will also work. I used Grenade’s Hydra 6 which is a blend of both whey and casein powder).

Method:

  1. Place the natural Greek yoghurt and protein powder into a bowl. Mix them both together until a smooth, creamy like mixture is created ensuring all the protein powder is mixed in well. You don’t want the mixture to be lumpy. Once this is done, place the protein and yoghurt mixture to one side and grab your chosen fruit.
  2. Pour the fruit of your choice into a blender until a smooth fruity paste is created. You may need to add a drop of water into the blender just to help the fruit blend a little easier (depending on how strong the blender is and the type of fruit chosen).
  3. Now you can start to put the Protein Power Ice-Pops together! To ensure I had an even amount of the protein yoghurt mixture and fruit in each ice-pop, I measured out the protein yoghurt mixtures and fruit separately. As my ice-pop moulds had 100ml capacity, I put 50ml of the protein yoghurt into each mould then 50ml of the fruit mixture into each mould. However, feel free to put the mixtures into the moulds how you like e.g. you could place several layers into the moulds or you could put your fruit in first and then the protein yoghurt mixture.
  4. Finally, insert your handles/sticks into the moulds, place them into a freezer and then wait for your guilt free Protein Power Ice-Pops to set! (Allow 6-8 hours for the mixtures to set fully)

Calories And Macros:

Per Protein Power Ice-Pop:

  • 72 Calories
  • 0.5g Fat
  • 0g Sat Fat
  • 7.4g Carbs
  • 7g Sugar
  • 1.1g Fibre
  • 8.7g Protein

(Calories and macros may vary depending on the fruit, yoghurt and brand of protein powder used)

Now It’s Your Turn!

You can see how simple my recipe is and how quick you can put together your own frozen goodies. Remember, you can mix up the fruits, flavour of protein and yoghurt to make a whole variety of different flavoured ice pops. There’s no more excuses to stick to the sugar loaded shop bought brands!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Tom in Recipes, 2 comments

My Top 5 Great Low Calorie Snacks When Dieting – Say Yes To Junk Food!

Yes…you can still eat junk food without it ruining all of your hard work! That doesn’t mean, however, that we can forget about our healthy eating habits and routines we already have in place. There are some great low calorie snacks out there that will satisfy your need for junk food without destroying your daily calorie intake.

They key is factoring them into your diet by knowing how many calories you can consume daily and how many calories your little ‘treat’ is going to use up. I use the term ‘treat’ light heartedly because personally I believe if you want something that is deemed as a treat, such as chocolate, then just have some in moderation.

For me, having my daily fix of chocolate keeps me sane as it’s very easy to restrict too much when dieting. Having my daily ‘treat’ curbs the cravings and removes the tendency of wanting what you can’t have. We still have to enjoy the foods we eat and life’s too short to not have the things we want! Just factor them in.

It’s very easy to overeat on junk foods and the calories will soon rack up. Therefore, we have to be smart with our choices by opting for lower calorie snacks that still satisfy our cravings. Over time, through my own experiences, I have compiled a list of some great low calorie snacks that will do just that. Junk food is back on…in moderation!

1. Curly Wurly

With both chocolate and caramel being mixed together in one bar, as well as each Curly Wurly being less than 120 calories…what more could you ask for!? No, a single Curly Wurly will not fill you up but it will leave you feeling satisfied when you need that sugar fix.

As each bar is less than 120 calories, you will easily be able to factor one of these into your diets. Just keep an eye on your sugar intake as each Curly Wurly contains 13 grams of the sweet stuff. However, as calories go, this is a great chocolate based option when craving.

Curly Wurly Macros: Kcals-118 Fat-4.6g Carbs-18g Sugar-13g Protein-0.8g

2. Haribo Mini Bags

These mini bags of goodies are another great low calorie option and they are perfect as either a pre workout or post workout snack. The reason I would consume them either before or after a workout is because of their high sugar content. Each mini bag has up to 10 grams of sugar which is a lot for such a small portion!

However, you can use this to your advantage by either consuming them before a workout to help give your body an extra boost of energy, or after a workout to help your body re supply its worked muscles. As each mini bag is also so low in calories, you would easily be able to fit these around both your eating and workout routines.

Let’s check out four of the most popular varieties of Haribo mini bags that you can buy:

Starmix Mini Bag Macros: Kcals-50 Fat-0g Carbs-12.6g Sugar-10.1g Protein-1g
Mini Bag Macros: Kcals-55 Fat-0.1g Carbs-12.8g Sugar-8.8g Protein-1g
Tangfastic Mini Bag Macros: Kcals-55, Fat-0g Carbs-12.8g Sugar-8g Protein-1g 
Cola Bottles Mini Bag Macros: Kcals-56 Fat-0g Carbs-12.6g Sugar-9.4g Protein-1.1g

3. Funsize Chocolate Bars

Everyone has their favourite chocolate bar that they can’t resist! Well how about choosing to go for a funsized version of it and you may just be able to have one as part of your diet. Now, I’ve always argued that there’s nothing funsized about a funsized chocolate bar…I mean what’s fun about a smaller bar? However, with fewer calories and the same level of satisfaction I may have to agree to disagree. Below are some of the most popular chocolate bars you can buy:

Funsize Twix Macros: Kcals-98 Fat-4.8g Carbs-12.8g Sugar-9.6g Protein-1g
Funsize Snickers Macros: Kcals-88 Fat-4.4g Carbs-10.2g Sugar-8.9g Protein-1.6g
Funsize Mars Bar Macros: Kcals-84 Fat-3.1g Carbs-12.9g Sugar-10.5g Protein-0.7g
Funsize Milkway Macros: Kcals-69 Fat-2.4g Carbs-11.2g Sugar-10g Protein-0.6g
Funsize Bounty Macros: Kcals-134 Fat-7g Carbs-16.5g Sugar-13.5g Protein-1.2g

4. Baked/Popped Crisps

When you just want something to crunch on, crisps seem to be a popular go to for most people. However, pick up any bag of your favourite brand of crisps and you’ll see they are usually high in both calories and fat. Not good for the waistline! Try opting for their baked or popped alternatives if you can. Not only are they lower in calories but lower in fat too…double win. Here are some of the varieties available:

Walkers Baked Crisps Macros: Kcals-109 Fat-3.4g Carbs-17.3g Sugar-1.5g Protein-1.7g
Walkers Sunbites Macros: Kcals-123 Fat-6.1g Carbs-14.7g Sugar-2.7g Protein-1.6g
Popchips Macros: Kcals-94 Fat-3.3g Carbs-14g Sugar-0.5g Protein-1.3g
Kallo Pop Crisps Macros: Kcals-86 Fat-2.2g Carbs-13.9g Sugar-0.6g Protein-1.6g
(Macros may vary within each brand as there are a variety of flavours to choose from)

5. Frozen Yoghurt

Frozen yoghurt is the perfect alternative to all of you ice cream lovers out there! I’m a fan of ice cream myself so I know your pain if you struggle with cravings or eating it in moderation. The problem is, ice cream is very high in calories, crammed full of sugar and is very easy to eat without realising you’ve just finished a whole tub to yourself!

Switching to frozen yoghurt will massively reduce your calorie intake but at the same time satisfy those cravings. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. However, keep an eye on your sugar intake as the yoghurt alternatives aren’t always lower in sugar. Here are a few products you can check out but most supermarkets will do their own branded frozen yoghurts too:

YooMoo Macros Per 100ml: Kcals-77 Fat-0.8g Carbs-14.5g Sugar-11.5g Protein-1.6g
Ben & Jerry’s Froyo Macros Per 105g: Kcals-180 Fat-2.5g Carbs-35g Sugar-27g Protein-5g
(Macros may vary within each brand as there are a variety of flavours to choose from)

Conclusion

I just want to make it clear that I am in no way stating that eating a diet of junk food is the right thing to do. However, as long as you are aware of your food intake and you have your ‘treat’ in moderation, you can factor them into your eating routine. This way, we can still enjoy the foods we want without restricting everything!

I hope you found this helpful and if you have any snacks of your own that you have come across or think should be on the list then share the wealth and let me know!

 

 

 

 

Posted by Tom in Tips & Tricks, 2 comments

Make Life Easier With My Go To Diet Hacks!

Dieting can be a hard slog sometimes. One day it can feel like no matter how much you eat you’re forever fighting off hunger cravings, sugar cravings, pretty much any random craving your body decides to throw at you! The next, you can eat an apple all day and not feel hungry. Ok…so that last example was a little extreme but you get the idea.

I want to help make life easier for you by giving you some of my go to diet hacks that I still use today. Trust me, they are a life saver when you hit one of those days of struggle. If I knew when I first started to change my diet what I know now, I would have definitely saved myself from giving in to temptation which may have lead to a few less weekends of binge eating!

Remember, being on a diet doesn’t mean you’re only goal is weight loss. A ‘diet’ is just a term used for the food that we eat regularly. Therefore, you can use these diet hacks whether you’re looking to lose weight, maintain weight or just simply make a few changes to improve your diet.

These are the sort of tips I wish people would have told me, so I want to save you the hassle of discovering them for yourself and share them with you. I guarantee, even if you implement just one of these diet hacks into your own diets, they will help you in the long term and lay a foundation for better eating habits.

Drink Fizzy Water

Keeping hydrated is one of the most important factors in a diet, with some arguing being hydrated is more important than the foods you eat. The average recommendation is to drink 2 litres a day as a minimum, but I would recommend 3-4 litres a day if you are regularly exercising. If you fail to drink enough throughout the day you will become dehydrated. Dehydration is often mistaken for hunger leading to the consumption of unnecessary calories.

If you struggle to drink water or get at least 2 litres a day in fluids on board, then flavoured fizzy water may be your solution. Just ensure you opt for the sugar free varieties as they are also virtually calorie free. Obviously, natural H2O is the better choice but fizzy water will help you to get used to drinking more. So why go for fizzy?

The Hack – You can pick up fizzy water in a range of flavours and it still has a sweet taste without all the added sugar. This is a great replacement for sugar loaded sodas or juices you may be consuming. On top of that, fizzy water will give you the feeling of being full as the fizz will slightly bloat you. This will reduce the chance of you wanting to snack, especially between meals or on an evening when that sneaky craving monster comes calling!

Sugar Free Jelly

Sugar free jelly is an absolute must when it comes to satisfying those dreaded sugar cravings. It has saved me from so many late night cravings that could have easily become late night binge eating sessions. It’s also a great dessert substitution that will help you from piling into that chocolate cake with all those extra calories.

The Hack – Sugar free jelly is the perfect guilt free dessert replacement when cravings kick in as it has a really low calorie count, it’s sugar free and most importantly you still get dessert!

Eat Little And Often

I’m sure most of us have all been brought up on the norm of eating 3 meals a day consisting of breakfast, lunch and dinner. This may work for some of you but personally I find it much better to eat 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day. This helps me to control my hunger as it reduces time between meals as well as keeping me fueled both pre and post workout.

This one will require a bit of planning on your part with meal timings and will vary for everyone. If eating 3 big meals a day works for you, then stick with it. Some of your timings may be dictated by your work schedule so find what works for you. If you want to try to implement more meals throughout the day then aim for 2-3 hours between meals.

The Hack – Spreading your food intake across 5-6 meals will allow you to be in better control of any hunger pangs. It’s a lot more versatile as you can plan meal timings around your work routine and training sessions, saving you from going hungry for hours in between the usual 3 meals a day.

Track Your Intake

Whatever your nutrition goal is, you need to know what your daily calorie allowance is. Without knowing how many calories you can consume a day you are just guessing, and it’s probably the main reason why you may be struggling with your diet. Everybody is different with many factors determining your individual calorie allowance, so I recommend using a free online calorie calculator. Here’s a free one that I’ve used in the past —-> Grenade Fit Calorie Calculator

Once you have your calorie allowance, you can begin logging your food. I’d recommend getting a free app so you can log on the move as well as pre plan what you’re going to eat. MyFitnessPal is a great app that I still use daily as it’s free, easy to use and has a huge database of foods that you can log.

I know life isn’t about tracking every little gram of food we eat but it’s a great habit to follow when you have a set goal or target. I never really understood calories when I first started trying to make better food choices, which meant I was guessing and why my results hit a plateau fairly quickly. Make sure you don’t fall into the same trap!

The Hack – Logging your food will subconsciously enable you to make better food choices and stick to your diet. You will know exactly what your daily allowance is so you’ll be accountable for your own food choices. You’ll be less likely to eat that chocolate cake knowing that you have to log it and see the devastating effects it will have on all of your hard work!

It’s Time To Hack Your Diet!

I challenge you to pick one of my diet hacks and implement then into your routine to see if they can help you too. If there’s something specific that you are struggling with and you would like me to help, then comment below and I’ll advise as best I can. Also, if you’ve come across any of your own diet hacks then please share your findings!

 

 

 

Posted by Tom in Tips & Tricks, 0 comments

What Are The Best Diets To Lose Weight Fast?

Weight loss. It’s a funny old game. We’re always looking for a quick fix or that next super food that will magically boost fat loss. The problem is, with so many diet plans available to follow how do we know which ones will give us the quickest results? Can weight loss really be achieved quickly and if so what are the best diets to lose weight fast?

You may have heard of or even already tried following some of the most popular diets: Vegetarian, Vegan, Paleo, Intermittent Fasting, Keto, Flexible Dieting/If It Fits Your Macros, Atkins, High Protein, Low Carb, High Fat, Slimming World, Weight Watchers, and the list goes on. So which diets will help us to lose weight the fastest? Let’s look at 4 of the most popular diet types and what they involve so you can decide for yourself:

Vegan

A vegan diet is based on foods that come from or are made from plants such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains. Restricted from a vegan diet are foods that come from animals such as meat, eggs and dairy products. Some reasons for following a vegan diet may be its potential benefits to the environment, personal ethics or health reasons.

The belief is that following a vegan diet means you will automatically consume fewer calories than your everyday diet. This is due to plant based foods having fewer calories than processed foods and animal products. Plant based foods are also higher in fiber and are nutrient dense meaning they can help to keep you feeling fuller for longer, curbing appetite.

However, the removal of animal products and dairy products from a vegan diet means there are risks to take into consideration such as: protein deficiency, low levels of some vitamins and minerals, over consuming carbohydrates with hidden sugars and possibly harder to put on muscle.

Paleo

A paleo diet, sometimes referred to as the caveman diet, is based on eating foods just like our ancestors. Foods allowed on the paleo diet include meat, fish, eggs, fruits, non-starchy vegetables, nuts, seeds and plant based oils. Foods restricted from the paleo diet include grains, starchy vegetables, processed foods, sugar and most dairy products.

The benefits of following a paleo diet are that you are less likely to consume any nasty chemicals, additives or preservatives due to the restriction of processed foods. You will also have a higher intake of both protein and fats, giving you the feeling of fullness as well as promoting both muscle repair and growth. Weight loss can also be seen due to the limited food choices available within the paleo diet.

Keto

A ketogenic, keto, diet is based on a high fat and low carb intake. Foods allowed on the keto diet include meat, non-starchy vegetables, dairy products, nuts, seeds, berries and oils. Foods restricted on the keto diet include fruit, grains, sugar and starchy vegetables.

The idea behind a keto diet is to get your body to use up its fat stores as energy through a process called ketosis. The body’s normal energy source is taken from glucose which is produced after consuming and digesting carbohydrates. Ketosis is initiated in the body when carbohydrate intake is low, producing ketones. The ketones produced breakdown fats in the liver which are then used as the alternate energy source.

Some benefits of following a keto diet are weight loss due to the fat stores being used as energy, lower blood sugar levels due to the restriction of glucose and the feeling of satiety due to foods higher in fat having more calories per gram than carb heavy foods.

However, due to the keto approach being a little restrictive and different from your day to day diet there are a few points to bear in mind. Due to the low carb intake there may be a risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies, headaches and fatigue initially due to water loss as well as initially feeling hungrier than normal.

If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM)

A if it fits your macros, IIFYM, diet is focused more on hitting your daily macro nutrient target than what food you eat to get there. Any food is allowed in this approach with the only restrictions being whatever you choose them to be. As long as you hit your daily macro targets you will also hit your calorie goal.

Weight loss all comes down to calories in vs calories out. In simple terms, if you consume more calories than your body uses you will gain weight and if you consume fewer calories than your body uses you will lose weight. With this in mind, as long as you hit your daily macro and calorie goal you can eat whatever you want. For example, if your body uses 2000 calories a day and you eat 2400 calories worth of broccoli, you will still gain weight. The same as if your body uses 2000 calories a day and you were to eat 1800 calories worth of cookies, in theory you would still lose weight!

The key to a successful IIFYM approach is to ensure you are tracking your intake. It’s very easy to get complacent with thinking you can eat whatever you want and get away with it. If you don’t know how many calories you are consuming, you can bet you are eating more than you think! Therefore, a little planning and discipline is needed.

The Truth Is…

So which diet is the best one to follow for the quickest weight loss results!? Well…the truth is…in my opinion, there’s is no one single diet that will help you to lose weight faster than the rest or magically produce quicker results. Every diet works! Yep, EVERY diet works.

No matter which diet you choose to follow, the key is in calories in vs calories out. No matter how restrictive a diet may be or how clean a diet is, if you are consuming more calories than your body needs you will not lose weight. Find out what your body requires and find an approach to nutrition that works for you.

Personally, I prefer to follow the flexible diet approach. It allows me to continue enjoying the foods I want to eat in moderation as I can factor them into my daily intake. If I want a chocolate bar then I’ll have one without feeling guilty. You’ve got to find something that you will be happy sticking to otherwise you never will.

Finally, and most importantly, sustainable weight loss is not a fast process. Take things one week at a time with 1-3lbs per week being a steady and healthy weight loss target. Whichever diet or approach you choose to follow, start by hitting your daily/weekly calorie goals to get that weight loss ball rolling!

 

 

 

 

Posted by Tom in Tips & Tricks, 8 comments