Are meal-replacement shakes effective in weight-loss diets? Or are they merely #hoescience?
The government may overlook periods, but we certainly don’t.
The “health halo” effect has permeated our food choices for years, and the rise of the “wellness” industry has exacerbated this. For many of us, it’s something we have internalised for years, as a by-product of marketing, societal norms and you guessed it – Instagram. We talk about demonising food now (for good reason!), and the negative impacts that can have on eating behaviours, But, in doing so, we have neglected its equally as problematic cousin – the health halo.
Chronic pain is extremely common, affecting up to 20% of the European population. Chronic pain can be debilitating and can hugely affect an individual’s quality of life. In addition to crushing your spirit, chronic pain can also influence our eating behaviour.
The air is heavy, the ground heavy and dry underfoot and the glow of that coveted grand stretch in the evening. It can only mean one thing – we’re coming into the peak of the GAA club season. Forget Christmas, this is the most wonderful time of the year.
Bleeding from your internal organs is never a fun time. Whether haemorrhaging from your uterus drives body image changes amongst females is certainly worth exploring further.
Body composition is a powerful mediator of athletic ability and health amongst elite athletes. So, how do we discern which is the best method to assess body composition in elite athletes?
Body composition is a pivotal marker in high performance sport of the athlete’s nutritional status. However, there are a litany of assessment methods, and each has its own advantages and limitations. So, how do we separate the good from the unethical? And what does it matter anyway?
If you are into science, critically evaluating nutrition research and looking beyond influencer discount codes for your health information, look no further than Sigma Nutrition. Last week, Sigma Nutrition held their spring conference, and who am I to turn down an opportunity to nerd out in a socially acceptable setting.
“What I Eat In A Day” (WIEIAD) videos are a quick way to up your Instagram engagement, and garner follows and likes. However, WIEIAD videos and posts, no matter how well-intentioned also have a rather sinister undercurrent.
The Venn diagram of shiftwork and health is two separate circles that do not overlap in any way. It can be incredibly difficult to maintain a healthy diet on shift – and is it really all your fault?
So, you’re training for distance. Be it a 10k, half-marathon or even the whole 42km, endurance running is no joke. If you’re a first timer, or even a seasoned veteran, struggling with a plateau is incredibly frustrating. Or so, I’ve heard (I’m not a runner by any stretch). If you’ve tried all the training strategiesContinue reading “Dietary Mistakes Hampering Your Running Performance”
Protein bars are like a houseplant – you’re not sure why, but having one makes you feel like you have your shit together. These days, almost every snack has a protein alternative with a 40% markup. But what makes the best protein bar for you?
So, you’re injured. Fear not. In the time you have finished reading this, I will most likely have also sustained an injury of some description, so you don’t have to go it alone. Part I discussed the role of energy balance in injury and recovery, and hopefully from reading that you understand some of the fundamentals. We want to limit the catabolic processes of injury – and tailoring our macronutrient intake can play a huge role.
How you structure your calorie deficit determines your success – and constantly choosing the lowest calorie option may be hindering your fat loss more than you realise.
Long time, no nerding. Ketogenic diets have grown in popularity in recent years. Literature is at odds as to the success of ketogenic diets for performance. So, what better way to discuss this than to get stuck into a key research paper? The article in question comes from a 2017 article in Metabolism, and canContinue reading “Keto & Endurance Performance: Reviewing a Key Paper”
Whilst #cleaneating may get you a few Instagram followers, long-term is it any more successful than including bread in your diet?
Creatine is one of the most well-researched supplements on the market. It has potential benefit for athletic performance, body composition and even cognitive function. It’s no surprise creatine is a hugely popular supplement. However, like most supplements, the majority of studies supporting its use are carried out only on males. Is creatine as effective for women?
After injury, for an athlete the goal is to achieve a return to a high-level of competition and activity. Emphasis is placed on fast and effective healing, and nutrition can help this process.
Second to spicebags, weight training is one of the great loves of my life. It has helped me, and countless other women improve our physiques, strength and mental health. And yet, many women are still afraid of setting foot into the weights area.
“Sweat is just fat crying”. This motivational quote is seen on Instagram almost as much as Fat Loss Coaching Specialists. And much like the aforementioned online coaches, this quote is well-intentioned, but heavily misguided.
As we have discussed in the litany of other posts on my blog, it is all too common for us to have no idea what’s going on with our hunger cues. The Hunger Scale is a commonly used tool by intuitive eating practitioners. I’m going to run through some of the uses and benefits ofContinue reading “The Hunger Scale & Appetite Awareness”
Winter 2021 was cold, dark and full of coronavirus. And now, much like Moses leading the people out of the desert, Megan Thee Stallion has arrived to lead us into Hot Girl Summer. But Hot Girl Summer isn’t all it cracked up to be, and can actually have some far-reaching consequences for body image.
Have you ever eaten something and thought “shouldn’t have eaten that”? Or, “I’m on a diet”, all whilst eating a bag of Doritos? This is known as food guilt, and it has a profound effect on our dietary behaviour and self-esteem.
Call me Todd Flanders, cos I don’t want any vegetables. For years I was adverse to vegetables, and have been known to still avoid a few (fuck u lettuce). Increasing fruit and vegetable intake is associated with a vast improvement in health outcomes. How can you increase vegetable intake if you are a “picky” eater,Continue reading “I Don’t Want Any Damn Vegetables: Increasing Vegetable Intake”
The cost of being a menstruating female is ever increasing. You have to pay for sanitary products, suffer cramps like a champ and listen to male PT’s mansplain that it’s okay to be in pain during your period (arguably more painful than menstruating). In addition, some of us suffer from food cravings that can potentially hamper our goals. Thanks, universe.
We are going to run through what science says about pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) and food cravings.
Mindful eating is a tool I like to use with my clients. However, it is often misconstrued and poorly understood (looking at you Instagram fitness sphere). Furthermore, it’s something I struggled to get on board with myself, until I started to look into the science behind it and apply it to my own diet.
As we are very much Team Evidence Based over here, we will be discussing some of the literature, and key concepts. I plan on doing a series of articles around this, so for today we’ll cover some of the basics, and the potential advantages of adopting a mindful approach to your diet.
If you are into science-based, compassionate coaching, Emilia is your gal. Chances are you’ve come across some of her posts on Instagram, or alternatively if you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen me share so many of her posts that if her acccount ever got deleted she could use mine as a backup. Soz, not soz. Anyway, Emilia’s area of expertise lies in emotional eating, and this webinar was right up my street. I thought I would give an overview of my experience with the day.
The BROAD (née Fraud) study is a perfect example of how misleading articles can get published, and how we an manipulate our findings to suit a narrative. Misleading, misrepresented and poorly designed studies are rampant, and unfortunately within the plant-based/vegan diet literature, it appears to be the more sensational the better.
Precision Nutrition is the leading online coaching education masterhub. Chances are you’ve seen it on a few Instagram bios (guilty). With Level 1 coming around a couple of times a year, and the next intake opening in March, I thought I would run through my experience with it.
Ah, diet culture. The toxic ex that always seems to reappear in your life when you’re bettering yourself, to drag you right back down. Diet culture is unfortunately insidious, and has wrapped itself like poison ivy around how we market fat loss to females. Fat loss and diet culture are not synonymous, nor are they mutually exclusive. I’m going to run through the common problems and barriers created by diet culture, and my opinion on these issues.
So, you want to call yourself eViDeNcE-bAsEd. This extends beyond posting complicated scientific articles on your Instagram story. It also helps immensely to be able to understand them, and where to find them. You cannot call yourself evidence-based if you don’t know what the evidence is, or how to get it. Do you need toContinue reading “How to Science: Finding Scientific Articles”
How does looking at a photo of someone else drive body dissatisfaction amongst young females?
You don’t want it bad enough. Or do you?
We discuss the role of self-control in #NewYearNewMe dieting, and how you can set yourself up to fail. And it may not even be your fault!
Cellulite is a common occurrence in the majority of women. Men can also have cellulite. It is not dangerous or wrong to have cellulite. This is of course at odds with modern day marketing and society. We are going to run through what cellulite is, if you can reduce it and why you should worry about it at all.
Caffeine forms the base of the fitfam food pyramid. It is also the blood type of all Instahuns (myself included). The great Irish philosopher Rob Lipsett once said: “that’s what happens before you take pre-workout before a game”. But what did the Lipman mean by this iconic statement? This article will run through the basics of caffeine and its role in sports and exercise nutrition.
Shift work is like a bad Tinder date: it sounds dodgy, is rarely worth the hassle and there’s a risk it might kill you. Similarly, for some of us, it is a necessary evil. We have already discussed the impact of chrononutrition, and how optimal meal-timing and shiftwork tend to be mutually exclusive. Now, our focus shifts (lol solid pun) onto exercise and whether it can help mitigate or exacerbate the disruption to our circadian rhythm posed by shiftwork.
You’ve clapped for us. You’ve sent us Nando’s. You’ve put up “yup the frontline” outside your windows (10/10 sign). And that has all been stunning, and warmed my cold, dead heart. But it hasn’t been all sunshine and delicious carby goodness. A pandemic is still a pandemic. The impact this crisis has had on radiographersContinue reading “When “Feed The Heroes” Isn’t Enough: The Psychological Impact of COVID-19 on Radiographers”
Instagram has revolutionised the way we consume content. Health and fitness ideas and information can be conveyed through pretty graphics, and the way god intended: memes. This is excellent. However, it’s not all Simpsons memes and rainbows. It is obviously not advisable that Instagram is your primary source of reference for health and fitness information,Continue reading “Instagram Fitness Content Oh-No-No’s”
Any gym gal worth her Gymshark leggings will likely have some form of glute activation as a precursor to leg day. I myself love a good banded warm-up, but I haven’t actually looked into how effective it is. So, I thought I would investigate the literature to determine whether the Instahuns have led us down the path to glute gains or not.
I used to be an asshole. Some would say I still am (and they’d be right, but I’m markedly less of an asshole now). I used to talk shit about people, blame them for my unhappiness and be an all round geebag. I was also an asshole to myself, anxious and extremely self-critical. I hadContinue reading “I Read “The Daily Stoic” Every Day For A Year, And It Changed Everything”
The fitness watch is like a tracking bracelet for fitfam: it makes us easy to identify, and keeps us on the straight and narrow. You may be considering purchasing one, have one already or just have some concerns about how accurate they are. We’re going to run through some common misconceptions and delve into just how accurate they are.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) hold a special place in my heart. AS THE BIGGEST WASTE OF MONEY EVER. This coming from the girl who once bought apple cider vinegar because it uPs uR mEtAbOLiC rAtE. So you know this shit is serious. I have seen a few PT’s posting on Instagram about the benefits of BCAA supplementation, and it occurred to me just how much misinformation there is out there. And, given the amount of money I wasted on them in the past, I hold a personal grudge against these glorified Boleros, as in my case I didn’t need them at all.
In my opinion, the hip thrust is one of the most underutilized weapons in the arsenal of training female athletes. With potential transferable benefits in performance, injury prevention and lower body strength, it is hard to believe that it isn’t the cornerstone of most female strength training programmes.
This article will discuss the biomechanics that predispose us lowly girlos to lower limb injury, and how the hip thrust may address these.
Radiography is a growing profession, particularly in Ireland. As of 2019, there are 2,301 practicing radiographers in Ireland. As the profession has grown, so has the demands placed on the health service, and consequently, radiographers. In this article, I will outline the main musculoskeletal injuries (MSK) faced by radiographers, and why I think strength training can benefit almost all radiographers.
The hip thrust is an exercise revered by Instagram huns, athletes and celebrities such as the Rock. Aside from seemingly being the key to glutes worthy of a Women’s Best sponsorship, what if the humble hip thrust offered the opportunity to build muscle and strength to aid athletes recovering from injury?
A common injury (unfortunately) amongst female field athletes, tearing your ACL is every bit painful psychologically as it is physically. It is common to feel helpless and overwhelmed after suffering such an injury. Whilst you cannot untear your ACL, you aren’t powerless to help yourself. I thought I would put together this article to give you an indication of what to expect. Having torn my ACL twice, and had three surgeries, I feel I have a wealth of experience on the subject, and I wish I had something like this to help me when I was going for surgery.
Over lockdown, Optimum Nutrition kindly offered this course for free and I happily took them up on this. The course is still available, and I thought I would run through my thoughts and experience with the course.
Body image and self-acceptance are almost mutually exclusive in the current climate that values body fat percentage over health. How can you navigate the two opposing forces?
In my last article, I discussed returning to training from an infection control perspective. With the immediate threat to life reduced, I wanted to run through another potential danger, absolutely wrecking yourself during your first couple of sessions back. We will cover the return to the gym, common pitfalls and suggested methods of easing yourself back onto the gain train
The hallowed halls of the church of iron are finally open again in Ireland. The harsh, gainless spring has ended and it is now time for the return of gains and memories. However, the danger of being weak and having lost all your gains is no longer the biggest threat to you. There is now the threat of contracting COVID-19, which is killing people and also by proxy, their gains. Obviously, if you don’t feel well or have a temperature, do us all a favour and stay home. But if you’re ready to become the pinnacle of health once again, is the gym the safest place to be right now? I thought I would run through a few common misconceptions around infection control and good hygiene practices to prevent spreading the ‘Vid.
The female fitness industry is akin to a night in Coppers. Largely unregulated, full of creeps and a means to an end for many. I am a firm believer that the female fitness industry is vastly flawed, and as consumers, service providers and actual human beings we have a responsibility to educate ourselves and demand better. I love fitness and the empowerment it gives women. It is not simply picking things up and down again (as cool as that is), or eating salad (salad is never the answer). Handled correctly, fitness will challenge you, and everything you stand for, for the better. But you have to be ready for the bullshit you will encounter.
Chrononutrition marries the study of circadian biology and nutrition. It is a rapidly evolving field of research, with many interesting papers coming out in the last few years alone. Our internal biological clock can hugely impact upon our nutrition. However, nothing will fuck with your internal biological clock like some good old-fashioned shiftwork. Having done my fair amount of shiftwork (and currently typing this from a 20 hour shift!), I thought it would be interesting to compare the recommendations from the research against my own reality.
Over the quarantine period, and sans gym, much like the general population, I have been forced to get creative with my training. I became quite fed up with high repetitious, low weight work (I am an 8-10 rep girlo, and that is the cross I will die on) and fancied a new challenge. I decided to change my training to incorporate movements that I would never normally devote time to training in the gym environment. Specifically, bodyweight movements. And then, because that gets old fast, I wanted to learn to do cool shit. And rings training is full of cool shit.
Dogma: A principle, or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true. One of the most detrimental ways to hinder your progress in your health and fitness journey, being dogmatic and fixed in your ways is to be avoided. Right?
It is no secret that I am a massive nerd, who eats up books like they’re salted pretzel chocolate. I have been using my newfound free time and inability to travel and see family and friends (#blessed) to indulge my inner bookworm. This list is non-exhaustive, and the links to each book will be inserted too.
Calories out (or energy expenditure if you’re feeling fancy) is a pivotal factor influencing our energy balance. There are a number of factors that govern energy expenditure, and some are more influential than others. This article will detail the main components of our energy expenditure. Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) Total Daily Energy Expenditure isContinue reading “It’s CICO Time: Calories Out”
Aside from being one of the greatest puns of our time, CICO (Calories In, Calories Out) is what determines whether we lose, gain or maintain weight. This article will discuss the factors that influence energy intake. And yes, it’s CICO time is the greatest pun I have ever thought of. There are more influences onContinue reading “It’s CICO Time: Calories In”
“The only way to lose weight is to track calories.” Another dogma you will see thrown around in the fitness realm. Tracking calories can certainly be effective, and educational. But it’s not for everyone. And it’s certainly not the only way.
Energy balance is central to our survival. It is what constitutes whether we lose, gain or maintain weight. We can manipulate this balance to our benefit, or alternatively to our detriment. We will run through the principles governing energy balance, what makes a calorie a calorie and the basic fundamentals of energy balance. Energy, ThermodynamicsContinue reading “Energy Balance: It’s Just Calories In, Calories Out Bro.”
What more fitting way to start my website encouraging you to hand over your hard-earned money for me to train you, than regaling you with a list of all the horrific errors in training and nutrition I made over the years? The Early Years I have always been an active kid. I was extremely luckyContinue reading “My Fitness Journey.”
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