UNDER 500 KCALS AND UNDER £12

“LIVING A HEALTH LIFESTYLE IS EXPENSIVE!”

So they say…

I prove the claims wrong and give you a full 1-day meal plan for under £12 and under 500 kcals per meal.

I am a big fan of an ‘Ocado’ food shop for the variety of products available and the ease of delivery (plus you get £20 off with your first order – WIN!). Leading a pretty active lifestyle, it’s important that I eat fairly frequently, and knowing how I am whilst hangry (that hungry anger feeling you get before a long overdue snack), I wouldn’t dream of putting my clients through a session whilst in that state! Food can be incredibly expensive and frequent trips to the local supermarket on your lunch break can set you back both in terms of your nutritional goals and your bank balance!

What I wanted to do, is show you what a little preparation can offer and I have devised a 1 day meal plan that I feel is both nutritionally balanced (healthy portions of carbs, proteins and fats) and cost effective. An example of how you can lead a healthy lifestyle through enjoyable foods but not spend your weekly wage in one hit.

The split below is 1712 calories and works out pretty close to 40% Protein, 40% Carbs and 20% Fats. The RDA for Women is 2000 kcals per day approximately, so the example below is a nice starting point for women looking to lose weight without the starvation.

1) Breakfast

2 Hard Boiled Eggs

1 Piece of Rye Bread

1/2 Avocado

Macros:

Kcals: 339

Carbs: 29g

Fats: 20g

Protein: 12g

Price: £1.38

Happy Eggs – £0.28

Rye Bread (Schneider x 5 slices) – `£0.25

1/2 Avocado – £0.85p

2) Snack 1

40g Cashew nuts

1 pot of Total Greek Yoghurt (0%)

Macros:

Kcals: 333

Carbs: 17g

Fats: 17g

Protein: 26g

Price: £2.79

Cashew Nuts – £1.69

Total Greek Yoghurt (0%) – £1.10

3) Lunch

Mixed salad – £0.50

Feta Cheese (50g) – £0.37

1 Chicken Breast – £1.70

1/2 Avocado – 85p

Macros:

Kcals: 419

Carbs: 13g

Fats: 26g

Protein: 40g

Price: £3.42

Mixed salad – £0.50

Feta Cheese (25g) – £0.15

1 Chicken Breast – £1.70

1/2 Avocado – 85p

4) Snack 2

2 x Kalo Rice Cakes (Dark Chocolate)

1 Banana

Macros:

Kcals: 165

Carbs: 27g

Fats: 5g

Protein: 2g

Price: £0.95

Kalo Rice Cake – £0.70

Banana – £0.35p

5) Dinner

150g Turkey Mince

1 tin chopped tomatoes

Mixed Veg (frozen)

110g Unce Bens Quinoa & Wholegrain Rice

Macros:

Kcals: 456

Carbs: 53g

Fats: 4g

Protein: 42g

Price: £3.18

150g Turkey Mince – £1.25

1 tin chopped tomatoes – £0.48

Mixed Veg – £0.45

125g Uncle Bens Quinoa and Wholegrain Rice – £1.00

TOTAL PRICE: £11.72

TOTAL MACROS:

KCALS: 1712 Kcals

CARBS: 139g

FATS: 72g

PROTEIN: 122g – 37

So there you have it, food planning for just £11.72p per day and this is every meal and item of food you will eat for the day. Not bad considering I went to get lunch just the other day and it cost me £8!


The not-so-healthy side of health and fitness

THE UGLIER SIDE OF THE FITNESS INDUSTRY

I have been involved in the Fitness industry for a good 7 now years now. What started off as a hobby at university became a passion, and then a career having recently made the jump into self-employed life as a Personal Trainer. What’s great about my journey in fitness is that I have literally tried to reach every possible goal. Growing up I was always the skinny guy at school who wanted to be bigger, until I got to university and gained far too much weight living off a diet of cheap alcohol and microwave meals. It wasn’t until I turned 21 that I decided I wanted to drop the pounds and try my luck in a Fitness competition, the type whereby you tan, wear short shorts and strike a pose of two in front of judges.

Over the years I have experienced the shift in fitness trends and through this time, changed my own perceptions of health and fitness. I want to reinforce the term ‘health and fitness’ - as surely health should be the priority, right? But what about when Fitness is taken to the extreme? In this article, I want to address my experiences of training, diets and fitness practices and share the uglier side of the industry. I want to open up about some of the struggles I have faced.

When I first decided to compete, it was completely unknown to me the pressure I would be putting my body under to look muscular whilst maintaining incredibly low body-fat. Over a course of 3 years, I competed 3 times and each time began to question why I was doing this to myself. I was blinded by the idea that winning a competition would catapult me to sponsorship and fitness recognition! Don’t get me wrong, I maintain the upmost respect for anybody that does compete in competitions, and by writing this I absolutely do not want to take the hard work away from anybody.

During this time, my diet became more and more regimented, living life out of a tupperware box, eating meat for breakfast and cracking more eggs than a baker! I love routine in my life so the training aspect was actually very enjoyable - up early for a morning walk before breakfast and then training after work in the evenings. In the lead up to my first competition, I actually felt great until about 4 weeks before the date (or ‘4 weeks out’ in the fitness world!). What didn't feel great was the anxiety and guilt I would feel - I became a recluse. No drinking or eating out and feeling extremely disappointed in myself and concerned about how I would look if I ate anything unhealthy. Over this 3 year period, I actually thought this was ‘all part of the process’ and every time someone said it wasn't ‘normal’, I just thought ‘they are just jealous they can’t do it.’

Looking back, I was trapped in a bubble. I would have ‘cheat meals’ each week, whereby I would consume ridiculous quantities of junk food until I had stomach cramps. Every morning, I would look in the mirror and think that I needed to be leaner, bigger, wider, thicker. Ironically, I never thought to myself I wanted to be healthier or fitter - yet this is health and fitness!

The issue with what I had done, is that I had created ‘norms’ for myself through social media and disregarded anybodies concerns for my behaviours. I was suffering. It took some time for me to start shifting my attitudes and food behaviours. I slowly started to introduce ‘normal’ foods into my diet and live less from the tupperware. I am not saying food preparation is ‘bad’ by any means - in fact I think its great to be organised and maintain a healthy diet. But, these behaviours where not healthy. I realised that actually, I could look fit and healthy whilst enjoying the finer things in life.

I don’t know what it was that finally broke the bubble I was in - perhaps it was when I moved to London and realised that there was far more to life than what I was currently living! My whole ethos with my training today is balance. I know this is a term that is thrown around so freely, but balance to me simply means enjoying life, sacrificing somethings but not everything and maintaining a guilt free approach to diet. Don't get me wrong, I work hard in the gym, I run, cycle and generally I am very active, but I would say my diet is 70% healthy. If I want a drink, dessert or a meal out I enjoy it!

The fitness industry is great and I love the work I do, but at times the line between healthy and unhealthy can become blurred at the top end of the spectrum as well as at the bottom. Don't become trapped in the bubble - lift but live!

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