Do We All Have the Same 24 Hours in a Day? Allostatic Load & Health
We all have the same 24 hours in a day is a common “inspirational” quote touted by grindbro and girlbosses alike. And like any Instagram motivational advice, it’s total BS. But my disdain isn’t enough – what does the science say?
I’m Not Like Other Fitspos: Digital Body Capital & Social Media
Physical capital is the currency of the fitness industry. It always has been, and always will be. The industry is built on aesthetics, and our continued focus on weight and body fat as the sole measurements of health has some far-reaching consequences for our industry and our clients. With the explosion of social-media and online…
Toxic Masculinity & Male Body Image
Toxic masculinity serves as nothing more than a money-spinner for problematic white men who weren’t hugged enough as a child. In addition, toxic masculinity has some far-reaching consequences for male body image and has created huge barriers in improving same.
The Fitness Charlatan Playbook: Volume 2
re you tired of making money by genuinely helping people? Is that moral compass weighing you down? Well, look no further than the Fitness Charlatan Playbook! For the low, low price of your morals, you too can reach the soaring heights of social media infamy. There is a charlatan for every season, and no doubt…
Hoescience: Women’s Health in the Social Media Age
The great Dom Mazzetti pioneered the Broscience Movement (50% fact, 50% magic, 100% results) during the great Fitspo Revolution of the 2010s. Broscience dominated the weight room, with chicken, broccoli and bicep curls becoming the holy trinity of fitness. Once low-rise jeans and heroin chic became trite, misogyny and body dysmorphia needed a new home.…
The Princess Diaries Effect: Transformation Photos/Videos
You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a female fat loss transformation specialist. Why It Matters: Social Media & Body Image Social media is well-established to have a profound effect on our eating behaviour . This is particularly evident in the fitness sphere, with fitsporation content consistently linked across…
Body Image Flexibility: Sometimes, You Hate Yourself
Body image is a contentious issue, both in scientific literature and social media (yes they are mutually exclusive). We are told constantly that the goal for improving body image is to “love yourself always hun xx”, but how feasible is that really? Is there a place for hating yourself?
Do You Burn More Calories Before Your Period?
This absolute is often touted on social media – you’re hungrier before your period because your metabolic rate goes up in the luteal (pre-menstrual) phase. But is it true?
What Can fMRI Teach Us About Gender & Body Image?: A Focus on Owens et al.
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) has gained a lot of traction in the field of cognitive neuroscience. And that’s all well and good, but cognitive neuroscience is not something the average person regularly thinks about. Let’s look at some real-world applications of fMRI to my favourite subject area – body image and see what fMRI…
Instascam: The Need for Regulation of Social Media Nutrition “Advice”
Social media is forms one of the cornerstones of modern society. It is extremely influential in our daily lives, and can be pivotal in disseminating news, public health advice and unfortunately, clownery. We’re going to break down why fReEdOm oF sPeEcH in the nutrition sphere is particularly harmful.
The Phenomenon of Physical Capital in Fitness
In an industry that values muscle over morals, physical capital is king. Physical capital is the currency of the fitness industry, and this can have some far-reaching consequences for trainers and their clients. What is physical capital, and is using your body to get ahead really all that problematic?
Why You Overeat After Night Shifts
Night shifts offer a litany of nutritional challenges. Most research tends to focus on the nutritional practices of individuals during shift work. But what about when the titillating highs of being run off your feet in an understaffed hospital gives way to the sweet release of the almighty post-call day? Let’s talk nutrition, psychology and…
The Lowest Hanging Fitspo: The Scapegoating of Females in Fitness
Everyone loves to hate a fitspo. Everyone also loves money. And the easiest way to generate content and subsequently revenue, is to pile on someone. And that someone just always happens to be a woman. The Problem with Cardio Carol Happen upon any male personal trainer with a TikTok and mammy issues and chances are…
Managing Weight-Related Comments During the Holidays
As Ireland’s answer to Socrates, eminent philosopher and boyband superstar Ronan Keating once said, you say it best, when you say nothing at all. This was statement was obviously made in direct reference to individuals who comment on the weight or body shape of others. Unfortunately, not everyone listened to darling Ronan, so we’re in…
Strong is Not the New Skinny: Challenging the Fit Ideal
You may have heard the latest uproar on social media owing to a certain media outlet publishing an article heralding the return of Heroin Chic. This was immediately used for content by a rake of influencers. Some virtue-signalling, some actually trying to make a fair point. Swings and roundabouts. However, it got me thinking about…
How Chasing Gains Can Negatively Impact Body Image: The Pathological Drive for Muscularity
Wanting to improve your body composition is not necessarily a bad thing. Indeed, we see many positives to health with an increase in muscle mass. However, when chasing muscularity goes too far, it can be detrimental to body image and overall health. What is this “drive for muscularity”, and why does it matter?
Should I Take This? Supplementation 101
Supplements are everywhere, and they aren’t all effective. Deciding what to invest your money can be really confusing (wouldn’t be like nutrition companies to mislead the general public would it?). So, I think it’s important to have some general guidelines to go off – and hopefully save yourself from making the same financial mistakes I…
Social Physique Anxiety: Comparison is the Thief of Body Image
As the old adage goes: if everyone else had body dysmorphia wouldn’t you? Social physique anxiety is unfortunately a global phenomenon, exacerbated by social media and an increasingly appearance-based society. So, what is social physique anxiety and is there really something wrong with you for caring what other people think of your body?
My Disordered-Eating Experience
Binge-eating was my ride or die for 25 years. I don’t think it’s something I will ever be fully ‘healed’ from, contrary to the curative binge-eating recovery plans prescribed by Instagram PTs acting way out of their scope of practice. What better way to highlight this than by completing oversharing on the internet?
Working On-Call & Eating Behaviours
You know I love to come for shift work, and just how detrimental it can be to our health and eating behaviours. However, being “on-call” is a little different, and offers its own unique challenges to our dietary patterns.
Disordered Eating for Nutrition Coaches: Introduction
Disordered eating is rapidly becoming a hot topic in nutrition coaching. However, it is poorly understood as it stands. We’re going to cover the basics of disordered eating and the challenges it provides for nutrition coaches.
Meal-Replacement Shakes for Fat Loss: Yay or Nay?
Are meal-replacement shakes effective in weight-loss diets? Or are they merely #hoescience?
Creaqueens Part II: Creatine & The Menstrual Cycle
The government may overlook periods, but we certainly don’t.
The “Health Halo” Effect
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…
Chronic Pain & Eating Behaviour
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.
No More Sundays In September
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.
Body Image & The Menstrual Cycle
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 & The Elite Athlete II: Assessment Methods
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 & The Elite Athlete I: Fundamentals
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?
Education in Review: Sigma Nutrition Spring Conference 2022
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.
Navigating “What I Eat In A Day” Videos
“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.
Shiftwork: Barrier To A Healthy Diet
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?
Dietary Mistakes Hampering Your Running Performance
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 strategies…
Picking The Best Protein Bar
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?
Nutrition for Injured Athletes II: Macronutrients
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…
Beyond Calorie Deficit, Bro: Dieting Mistakes Ruining Your Fat Loss
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.
Keto & Endurance Performance: Reviewing a Key Paper
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 can…
Why You Shouldn’t Follow a Strict Diet: The False Dichotomy of Results
Whilst #cleaneating may get you a few Instagram followers, long-term is it any more successful than including bread in your diet?
Creaqueens Part I: Female-Specific Creatine Supplementation Benefits
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…
Nutrition for Injured Athletes I: Energy Balance
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.
Why Girls Don’t Lift
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.
If You’re Not Sweating, Did You Work Hard Enough?
“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.
The Hunger Scale & Appetite Awareness
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 of…
Seasonal Body Image: The Problem With Hot Girl Summer
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.
Food Guilt & Eating Behaviour
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.
I Don’t Want Any Damn Vegetables: Increasing Vegetable Intake
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,…
PMS & Cravings: Straight to the Uterus?
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…
Mindful Eating for Thicks: Introduction
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…
Education in Review: ETPHD Emotional Eating Webinar
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,…
Plant-Based Panacea: The BROAD Study
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.
Education in Review: Precision Nutrition Level 1
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.
How Diet Culture Ruined Female Fat Loss
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…
How to Science: Finding Scientific Articles
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 to…
How Instagram Influences Female Body Image
How does looking at a photo of someone else drive body dissatisfaction amongst young females?
Self-Control & New Year, New Me Dieting
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: Causes & Treatment
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…
What Happens When You Take Pre-Workout Before A Game: The Role of Caffeine in Sports Performance
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…
Exercise, Shift Work & Circadian Disruption
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…
When “Feed The Heroes” Isn’t Enough: The Psychological Impact of COVID-19 on Radiographers
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 radiographers…
Instagram Fitness Content Oh-No-No’s
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,…
The Effectiveness of Glute Activation
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…
I Read “The Daily Stoic” Every Day For A Year, And It Changed Everything
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 had…
The Accuracy of Fitness Watches
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…
BCAA Supplementation: Placebo Juice
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…
The Hip Thrust & Its Potential for Injury Reduction in Female Field Athletes
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…
Resistance Training, Radiography & Reducing the Risk of Injury
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…
The Hip Thrust: The Secret to Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Success?
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?
Preparing Yourself for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction As A Female Athlete
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…
Education in Review: Optimum Nutrition’s Sports & Exercise Nutrition Course
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 & Self-Acceptance
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?
Avoiding Injury & Returning To Training
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…
Infection Control & Returning To Training
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…
Feminism & The Female Fitness Industry
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…
Chrononutrition & Shift Work: Research versus Reality
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…
Ring Training For Absolute Thicks
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…
The Danger of the Dogma
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?
Every Book I’ve Read Since Covid Ruined Everything
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…
It’s CICO Time: Calories Out
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 is…
It’s CICO Time: Calories In
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 on…
Should You Track Calories To Lose Weight?
“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: It’s Just Calories In, Calories Out Bro.
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, Thermodynamics…
My Fitness Journey.
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 lucky…
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