The Best Bikini For Your Body

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Bikini season is upon us and this year I am facing it with a new approach, instead of the age old question of how do I get my body to look good in this bikini? I am turning this on its head and asking does this bikini make my body look good?

All body types are different so there is no way that we are all going to look fabulous in the same style or cut of bikini. I have identified the main body shapes below alongside some helpful advice to help you to be able to find the best bikini to suit your body.

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Curvy

Description: This is the ladies who have a fuller bust, thighs and bottom.

Bikini Advice:  Use this summer to embrace your curves by using colour blocking or high waisted bottoms to really highlight and show off your curves.

Pear Shape

Description: Hips wider than your shoulders?  Then this makes you a pear shape.

Bikini Advice: When shopping for bikinis your focus should be balance. The aim is to draw attention away from the bottom half and towards the top half to balance the body out. In bikini terms this means two tone, go bold with a patterned on the top but ensure to stay plain on the bottom.

Inverted Triangle

Description: This translates as top heavy; your bottom half is smaller than your top half with little definition between the waist and hips but with wider shoulders.

Bikini Advice: When looking for a bikini, go for a structured top and look to draw attention to your bottom half so opt for colour on the bottom and stick to plain on the top.

Athletic

Description: A simple straight up, straight down.

 Bikini Advice: If you fit into this category then you want to create the illusion of curves. The best piece of advice for this body type is go wild with frills, prints and ruffles! Or if you are feeling brave why not even try a tie-side bikini bottom to really create those curves.

Now, let the bikini shopping commence and remember ladies, this summer make confidence your ultimate beach accessory!

How I Beat The Bloat

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Hello everyone,

With the prospect of joyous summer holidays just around the corner, it’s a great time to consider how to look and feel our best, even if our travels only take us as far as our back garden. Unwanted weight around the waistline can make the thought of the hot weather seem daunting, so I’ve given some thought to how to enter this summer feeling a little trimmer. Although it can be easy to get ahead of ourselves and start daydreaming of shedding all the unwanted fat on our stomachs, it’s important to remember that you can’t target weight loss from a specific area on your body; it’s natural for women to put on weight on their hips and lower body. However, a conscious decision to make healthy lifestyle changes is the best way to go about shedding from those key areas.

Identify Food Intolerances

A great first step is identifying any food intolerances you may be unaware of, as these can contribute to inflammation and insulin resistance. They can also have wider health implications, such as raising stress hormones, so don’t ignore the signs if you suspect a gluten or dairy intolerance. This is also true of alcohol, our favourite way to hinder our diet; eliminating it from the offset of a diet will shrink your calorie intake and eliminate the bloat that follows one too many glasses of Pimm’s.

Go back to the basics

The essential mentality to remember when perusing any weight loss goal is to maintain consistency. It’s best to start with the basics: replacing processed, high sugar foods with lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, whole grains and heart-healthy fats. This lifestyle change will transform your diet from one which caused weight gain and a lack of energy and nutrients, to a diet that will truly aid your weight loss, and improve your overall health.

Cut down on sugar

Limiting fructose, the sugar that mainly occurs in fruit, will prevent the liver turning fructose into fat as a result of being overloaded. Fructose will indicate to your brain that you’re not satisfied, which will probably lead to overeating and large portions. Cutting down on fructose will leave you feeling fuller for longer, and will contribute to a less fattening diet!

Get exercising

Along with the sunshine may come the inclination to get outside and be more active: cue high intensity interval training, the most effective form of cardio. This involves short spurts of intense exercise followed by less intense recovery periods, a method which has been shown to burn fat faster. Interval training also has positive effects of your metabolic rate, giving your metabolism a boost for up to 2 days after the workout, meaning your body is working extra hard at burning fat for that time.

I hope you find these tips useful in time for Summer!

Have a lovely weekend,

Jane xx

Why you shouldn’t skip meals or snack at night

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This week a Jane Planner emailed us asking whether she’s ‘allowed to eat carbs after 4pm’. Whilst it seems like a slightly unusual question I can only imagine where it’s coming from. The media seems more and more focused on not just what we eat, but when. Some say eating 6 meals a day is better than 3 large ones, others say that  dinner should be the smallest meal of the day and breakfast the largest. Sadly there’s a lot of conflicting information about when you should eat, and how many meals you should be having each day, so I thought I’d try to cut through the confusion and answer some common questions about timing your meals.

  • Will I lose weight by skipping meals?

It’s so tempting to think that skipping lunch three days a week will cheat your way to reducing your calorie intake, but you shouldn’t skip meals! It might sound contradictory, but skipping meals may actually be connected to abdominal weight gain, because fasting can make your liver insulin resistant. This may mean that your body doesn’t stop producing glucose, and if you aren’t using up this extra glucose as energy, the bad news is it turns into fat, resulting in weight gain.

  • How many meals should I have a day?

Eating every 3-4 hours helps to regulate your blood sugar levels and can control sugar cravings and hunger, so you’re less lilely to snack or overeat.

  • Is there anything wrong with night-time snacking?

Nutritionists still debate night-time grazing, but it’s best to avoid snacking at night. Food gives you energy and eating just before going to bed can disrupt your sleep and lead to digestion problems.

  • When is the latest I should eat?

As a rough guide, I would try to finish eating by 8pm. It you’re fond of having a snack after dinner, be prepared with some healthy snacks that aren’t too high in sugar.

I hope this helps clear up any confusion!

Have a lovely weekend,

Jane xx

 

The one thing to make a real difference to weight loss is…

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Hi everyone,

This week I saw a great article in the Guardian Newspaper: Our gigantic problem with portions: why are we all eating too much? It echoed with what I’ve been saying for years – that portion sizes have increased quite dramatically even in my lifetime, and they can be far too big!

This is happening at home, as well as in supermarkets and restaurants. In the kitchen, we now tend to use larger plates and wine glasses; in the 1950s the normal diameter for a dinner plate was 25cm, now it’s 28cm! Psychologists believe that you’re more likely to eat a larger portion if you serve it on a large plate, the same applies to drinking more from larger glasses as well. We’re also being sold larger portions in supermarkets and restaurants; a study by the Food Standards Agency found that ready-meal portions have grown significantly in the last few years; a shop-bought beef lasagne averaged around 250g in 1999 but by 2008 had grown to 500g.

All this portion distortion means that you can be eating a healthy diet, but are still consuming too many calories. And the rules of weight gain are simple: if you’re taking in more energy (i.e. calories!) than you’re expending, then you’re going to put on weight. This is why when I’m asked what the one thing you can do to make a real difference to weight loss is, I always recommend cutting portion sizes by about a third.

Now this is easier said than done! Not only are we are being sold bigger portions, but a lifetime of eating bigger portions means that our perception of what a recommended portion looks like has become distorted as well. To help, here’s a list of what the correct portion size looks like:

One portion of: Equals the size of:
Rice or pasta, uncooked Tennis ball
Lean meat A deck of cards or an iphone
Fish Cheque book
Hard cheese Small matchbox
Vegetables 1 handful (about 80g)
Salad Cereal bowl
Fruit 1 handful (about 80g)
Butter or olive oil Tip of your thumb
Potato A small computer mouse

So try to bear these in mind when you’re cooking or eating out this weekend!

Jane xx

Add Asparagus Into Your Diet!

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Hello everyone,

I’ve already done a blog in praise of seasonal greens, but I thought I’d pick out my favourite veggie as it comes into season – asparagus!

Asparagus packs a nutritional punch, not only is it a great source of fibre, it also has high levels of calcium, iron, potassium and vitamins A and C. Plus it contains more folate than any other veggie. Wondering what that is? Well folate is essential in the synthesis of the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. Those neurotransmitters are responsible for maintaining and improving your mood, so they’re pretty important!

Asparagus can be pricey, but it’s unbeatable flavour makes it worth it at this time of year! Whilst imports are available all year round, British asparagus isn’t in season for very long, it’s best between April and July. So snap it up whilst you have the chance!

If you’re looking to add some asparagus into your diet, I’ve got a few recipe ideas for you!

1) Asparagus, Poached Eggs and Parmesan

Calories: 313 per serving

This is a lovely way to start the day, and will keep you full all morning! At 313 calories I do recommend that you have a lighter lunch if you’re watching the calories. Plus eggs are really nutritious as well!

Ingredients:

  • 600g asparagus
  • 8 medium free-range eggs
  • 120g Parmesan cheese, shaved
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  1. Snap off any woody ends from the asparagus stalks at the point where they break easily and discard. Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the asparagus, return to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until tender
  2. Pour about 2.5cm boiling water into a small saucepan. Return to the boil, reduce the heat to medium-high, crack the eggs open then carefully tip them into the pan, keeping them well apart. Cook for 3-5 minutes until done to your liking. (Alternatively, use an egg poacher according to the manufacturer’s instructions.)
  3. Drain the asparagus in a colander and divide among four warmed plates. Top each plate with 2 eggs and scatter with the cheese. Season and serve.

2. Asparagus

This dish is so easy and quick to make, it can been done in 2 minutes! Perfect for lunch at the office.

Ingredients:

  • 8 asparagus spears
  • Lemon juice
  • Chopped olives
  • 5 tomatoes
  • Pine nuts

Method:

  1. Place the asparagus spears on a plate and drizzle with lemon juice. Then sprinkle with chopped tomatoes, chopped olives, and top with pine nuts.

 

I hope these recipes will help inspire you!

Have a lovely weekend,

Jane xx

 

My Favourite Seasonal Spring Greens

Hello everyone,

The first three months of 2016 have absolutely flown by, I can’t believe it’s already April! Now that the clocks have gone forward and the days are getting longer, it’s really beginning to feel like Spring. It’s my favourite time of the year, I always feel so much more energised once I’ve ditched my Winter coat.

I also love this time of year because of the veggies that come into season. Seasonal foods are fresher, so they tend to be tastier, more nutritious and cheaper. Your local farmers market is a great place to source fresh fruit and veg, plus you’ll be supporting local businesses and making sure that the food hasn’t travelled too far to reach you (which is more environmentally friendly too!)

Now it’s April, there’s no excuse not to buy nutritious veggies! If you need some inspiration, here are my top four seasonal spring greens:

 

  1. Purple sprouting broccoli

Versatile and vibrant, purple sprouting broccoli will add a great crunch to your meals! It’s packed with vitamin C and is a great source of vitamin A, calcium, fibre, folic acid and iron. On top of that, it contains the phytochemical sulphoraphane which is thought to help prevent certain cancers and may also provide resistance against heart disease, osteoporosis and diabetes.

Serving suggestion: purple sprouting broccoli can be used in a similar way to its cousin. I like this Delia recipe for steamed purple sprouting broccoli with a chilli and sesame dressing.

 

  1. Asparagus

Asparagus packs a nutritional punch, providing great sources of fibre, calcium, iron, potassium and vitamins A and C. It also contains more folate than any other veggie, which is essential in the synthesis of the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. Those neurotransmitters are responsible for maintaining and improving your mood, so folate is a great addition to your diet!

Serving suggestion: asparagus can be enjoyed on its own! I like to plate up about 8 asparagus spears, and sprinkle them with chopped tomatoes and chopped olives, I then top it with pine nuts and a drizzle of lemon juice.

 

  1. Spinach

Spinach is well known for its nutritional qualities. Vitamins A and C are present in significant amounts, as are several antioxidants and folic acid. Spinach has a distinctive taste, – I like to think of it as a ‘love it or hate it’ food. It’s available all year-round, but the freshest and tenderest spinach is available in Spring.

Serving suggestion: Milder and younger spinach leaves can be eaten raw in a salad. The older ones are usually cooked. I like backed eggs with spinach!

 

  1. Watercress

With its pungent, slightly bitter and peppery flavour, watercress is one of the strongest-tasting salad leaves available. It’s highly nutritious, containing significant amounts of iron, calcium, vitamins A, E and C.

Serving suggestion: watercress is good in salad (I recommend using it instead of rocket), and can also be delicious in soup.

 

Happy cooking!

Jane xx

Eat For Energy

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Hello everyone,

Have you ever felt tired and lethargic during the day, but you’re not quite sure why? I definitely have! The causes of tiredness aren’t always straightforward – lack of sleep, fluctuating blood sugars levels, low iron levels or even thyroid hormone symptoms could all cause this unusual fatigue during the day. But making a few simple c
hanges to your diet could help you regain some energy and banish tiredness. Obviously eating a healthy, balanced diet (making sure your diet contains the main food groups, in the right proportions) is the best way to banish tiredness.

But if you want to boost your energy levels further, here  are my top 5 tips to help:

  1. Eat at regular intervals

If you eat at regular intervals, your body knows when your next meal is coming and will be able to sustain energy levels and manage feelings of hunger. Try to eat 3 meals a day and limit snacks between meals – especially high-fat ones.

  1. Don’t skip breakfast!

Up to one third of us skip breakfast – even though it gives you the energy you need to face the day. I recommend eating porridge, because it’s high in complex carbs which release energy slowly, keeping you feeling fuller for longer.

  1. Sugar steals your stamina

When you’re feeling tired and in need of an energy boost, it’s easy to turn to sugary snacks and drinks. But whilst they do give you a rush of energy, it wears off quickly and can leave you feeling tired again soon after. Cutting down on food with added sugar, such as sweets, cakes, biscuits, fizzy drinks and chocolates, and replacing them with healthier snack options could help you feel less tired; as they’ll give you longer term energy rather than a ‘quick-fix’. Plus your skin, teeth and waistline will thank you!

  1. Add in iron-rich foods

1 in 4 women in the UK have low iron stores in the blood, which can cause tiredness, feeling faint and paleness. Eating a range of food and balanced diet should help increase your iron intake. But if you want to increase your intake, good sources are red meats, green vegetables like kale, fortified breakfast cereals, beans and pulses.

  1. Stay hydrated

I’m sure you’ve heard it before – but staying hydrated is such an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Dehydration can trigger hunger-like feelings and fatigue, as well as impairing our mental performance and physical coordination. So try to drink on average 6 to 10 small glasses of water a day.

I hope you find these tips useful!
Have a lovely weekend,

Jane xx