Christmas Shopping

Out for hours shopping in busy shops and streets. Means you’ll get hungry and need to eat and that can mean unexpected calories making it hard to stay on track with all the coffee shops and fast food places as pit stop options in most town centres.

Some ideas to help keep your diet on track when out shopping:

1/ Have a big breakfast before you go out then take some snacks with you (nuts, fruit) so you don’t get hungry and need to stop for a Macy’s

2/ Plan ahead and pick somewhere you can get a lower calorie lunch – coffee shops like Starbucks often do things like egg based meal boxes or you could grab a salad from Subway. Add a black coffee or water and you have a filling lunch whilst keeping within your calorie goal

3/ Allocate yourself enough calories from your weekly balance so you can have that Christmas coffee and huge slab of cake knowing your still on track

4/ Shop online so you can eat at leisure at home!

What other strategies do you have to stay on track?

Training in 2023 will be Hybrid

Pre Covid not many gym goers seriously thought about training at home.

Things like Les Mills on Demand and Peloton existed of course, but by and large people had physical gym memberships and went to gyms and classes week on week. The home based apps were considered by many an ‘added’ extra to a workout routine.

Lockdown changed that. We had little choice during that time to embrace online classes, training at home or outdoors and many people invested in fitness equipment.

For some of us it was only really a means to an end. I found training at home (beyond running which I did anyway) hard in terms of space and also in terms of maintaining focus. Some people found it liberating though. Saving time on travelling, finding it easier to fit in around work and child care, many people found they didn’t see the point in going back once gyms re opened.

Beyond that, whilst many people did still want to return to actual gyms, they found that new working patterns where they still worked from home, or did for at least half their week, it wasn’t necessarily practical to return to the gym (or at least not every day) especially when their gym was closer to their place of work.

So where do we stand coming into 2023, the year where we can probably say that habits, which at the start of 2022 were sill a bit up in the air, have settled?

Hybrid membership options need to be where gyms start to focus I think in order to retain memberships. Memberships where there are online offerings for days people want to train at home, or flexible memberships where people not planning to use the gym all week could opt to pay less for a reduced access (there’s already student memberships at university gyms and off peak memberships available in many places so it would just be tweaks in access required), maybe even more reasonable PAYG options.

Currently workouts are a bit like streaming platforms – depending on what you want to watch you might need Sky, Netflix, Disney and more to watch everything- if you want to train at home and in the gym you need a gym membership and in most cases also an online app for home workouts. If more gyms started to provide a more robust hybrid option where the online wasn’t an after thought (I’m sure there are some out there already on this wave length) they could look to solidify their membership base and overcome the shifts that are occurring in where and when and how people train.

What trends do you see coming in relation to training in 2023?

Project 40 – Week 5

Week 5 was spent in Morocco.

I ate well, and by well I mean a lot. Of course I didn’t track anything but the food was all fresh salad, vegetables, meats and fruit, so whilst I ate a lot I also ate plenty of colour and nutrient filled food.

My chilling by the pool was broken by a few sunny walks, some aqua aerobics classes and I did a few little 10 minute body weight training sessions on the balcony because I get restless if I don’t do much all day.

My sleep was great, easily 8 hours a night so overall I returned feeling super rested.

Now I get back to tracking and training (even though I still have this cough that I can’t seem to shift) ready for week 6.

Project 40- Week 4

Week 4 of Project 40 kind of consisted of rest.

After a decent start where my nutrition was in a good place and I’d trained consistently on Thursday I found myself with the worst headache, I originally thought it was a migraine. It’s definitely a cold though and I’ve been laid up all weekend trying to recover.

When this happens it can feel like progress stalls a bit which is frustrating, but it’s important to remember that rest is vital too and pushing through won’t always bring positive results in the long term.

So I’m starting week 5 still feeling a bit off colour but hoping I’m past the worst. This week I’m away from Thursday and so super busy in the first part of the week so I’ll have to be mindful that I can only do so much, but balance and being realistic about things was something I wanted to get better at anyway so here’s my first test.

Project Fitter at 40- week 3

Week three of project fitter at 40 and I have focused this week on my diet. Having spent the last couple of weeks looking at where I’m at it’s been clear that for me the amount of calories I’m eating is just too high for me to see the type of results I’d like, so this has been my focus this week.

I’ve not looked to make dramatic changes, but I’ve increased my protein intake (to keep me feeling full), increased my fruit and veg intake and tried to remove the evening chocolate and cake snacking that in reality I know is my downfall.

I forgot to weight myself this morning so I don’t know how this has affected the scale but I feel a bit less bloated so I feel like this change is taking me in the right direction. I know my challenge though is going to be the weekend when I’m at home more and will feel the urge to snack more acutely than I would in the week.

Next week I’m going to continue to stick with my focus on my calorie intake but also look to tackle my morning routine.

I’m a snooze button pusher and it means I feel rushed in the morning and that can have a negative effect on my diet and training as I don’t have food prepared, time for breakfast or end up getting a taxi instead of walking to work. I feel like working on improving this will have a dramatic effect on how I feel overall.  It will also help me consistently hit 20,000 steps a day, something I used to do easily but recently have been hit and miss with.

Things to ask before you start working with a PT …

Things to ask before you start working with a PT …

  1. What’s the structure of their programme / offer?

Do you see them face to face, is it a plan on an app or spreadsheet? Do they provide nutrition support? Are there things you’re expected to do each week? Is it for a set amount of time or ongoing? What results do they offer? Are you happy with this? Will it align with your lifestyle, time commitments and does it offer what you are looking for?

  • What type of training will they do with you?

Home or gym, cardio, weights? What equipment do you need, how will workouts be structured? Will you doing low reps / high reps? What will splits look like? How long will sessions take? This isn’t about right or wrong but if the PT you’re looking to work with advocates full body sessions only and you’re convinced the only way forward is the ‘bro split’ you probably won’t enjoy training that much. If it’s different to what you normally do, can you go in with an open mind? You need to be honest with yourself about this because if you aren’t going to follow their advice do you want to waste your money?

  • Check in frequency

Will you check in daily, weekly, monthly, at all? How will you do this? Phone, text, email, questionnaire, Zoom? Will this work for you and does it meet with your expectations?

  • Do their views align with yours?

What do they talk about on social media? Do you generally agree with what they say? If their posts make your blood boil because you don’t agree with their stance on food or training or results you probably won’t enjoy working with them.

  • Qualifications and Experience

It goes without saying they should be a level 3 PT, if you are getting meal plans are they a qualified nutritionist? Beyond that, do they have the experience, knowledge and empathy to help you? Do you feel like they understand your specific pain points and have the ability to help you work on those?

New Podcast – Goals (Why and How)

My new podcast episode is out now.

Here is talk about why understanding the reasoning behind your goals is important so they really matter to you and allow for an enjoyable process, as well as how to refine your goal to make it effective and plan it in to your everyday life.

You can listen here:

https://anchor.fm/heather-sherwood/episodes/Goal-Setting-Your-Why-and-How-e1pver7

Project 40- Week 2

Week 2 of Project Fitter at 40 and this week my goal has been to improve consistency with various habits.

Some, like going to the gym, are habits I find easy. Hitting 20,000 steps a day, not drinking too much coffee, daily gratitude journaling are habits I find a bit harder to hit. Whilst I’ve still got room for improvement I have been more consistent with these habits and I feel like I can continue to work on this.

What I’ve definitely identified as my issue this eek though id my diet. Specifically, quite simply, I’m eating too many calories each day. In reality I’m less active than I used to be, simply because I’m teaching fewer classes each week, this is why I’ve put on weight. So what I need to look at next week is planning my meals and sticking to that plan with a view to lowering my intake. I’m looking to make no adjustments to my training, as I feel like if I’m reducing calories a bit I might want to adjust to that before I look at training intensity, although I might do a few classes as a participant just to mix things up a bit.

Honestly I’ve felt fat this week, probably hormonal as I’ve neither gained nor lost any weight in weeks, but to be my face in particular looks fatter in the mirror (not helped by a spot outbreak I don’t think). When this happens it’s natural to feel an urge to do drastic things to feel better (detox, strict diet, up training sort of things) but my new approach is to consciously avoid this kind of self talk ad approach my week in a kind way, a way I’m more likely to stick to and enjoy.

What do you need from a PT?

What do you need from a PT?

In the past when face to face was really the only way people saw a PT you’d have one or more sessions a week, maybe get a plan to follow in sessions alone (or perhaps you only trained with your PT), you’d discuss nutrition perhaps with them, maybe they’d measure body fat.

Lockdown did a lot to speed up changes in the way PTs can work though, online coaching was already starting to develop but the need to communicate remotely sped up the process of people realising they didn’t need to physically see a PT in order to get results.

Of course there are still benefits of seeing a PT in person, improving forma and technique, not to mention motivation, but in reality what you can get with online training brings a whole new element into coaching.

You will have heard PTs say what you do outside your one hour of exercise a day matters more than what you do in that hour, what you eat across a week matters more than one ‘off plan’ meal and other such variations of the same. In other words, what you do consistently matters more than any on moment, however good or bad.

So here’s where online coaching can be beneficial. Unless you have a very specific goal, are very new or nervous in a gym or really really lack the motivation to go, you don’t necessarily need someone by your side as you workout. What can be more beneficial is having someone in your corner to give you the push when you can’t be bothered, aren’t quite sure, are having a wobble. To answer the random questions when they come to mind (before you forgot them by your next session), to keep you on track every day not just one hour a week.

Getting fitter, stronger, leaner, whatever goal you have, unless it’s incredibly specific. I’m telling you it’s more about your headspace and consistency than it is your rep range or workout split or exact macros.

That isn’t to say face to face PT isn’t great, but really in the current world your face to face PT should be offering the online support the rest of the week as part of your package because success comes from much more than that specific training session.

Project 40

Project Fitter at 40 has begun.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t really care about being super slim or fast or the strongest person in the world.

I would like to feel healthier, better, more positive. I have some aims I’d like to complete this year for myself of course but I also want to just feel good, organised, relaxed ad comfortable in my own skin.

So my approach needs to be different to previously. I know what I could do if I wanted to see big results but I also know that part of feeling positive and good about myself means no sacrificing things for a result, enjoying the things I enjoy (and one of those is food).

This week I have:

  • Eaten pretty well, not in a deficit but I’ve had plenty of fruit and veg
  • Trained every day
  • Hit 20,000 steps plus 3 days
  • Worked out where my habits work and where I could do with changing habits a bit

Next week the plan is to focus on the areas I’ve identified for tweaks.