Why Alcohol On Your Cheat Day Is A BAD Idea!

Why Alcohol On Your Cheat Day Is A BAD Idea!

I get more questions about Cheat Days than any other subject.

Now the party season is over and New Year Resolutions are almost forgotten, it’s time to re-focus on goals and make sure you put a plan into action to reach them.

Seems that a lot of you are using Cheat Days as their weekly excuse to indulge not only in their favourite foods, but also a considerable amount of alcohol.

Bad idea – I have clients that train really hard Monday to Friday – then blow it all at the Pub Friday and Saturday nights.   It’s such a shame to see their efforts go to waste. I suppose at least they’re getting out and meeting ‘real’ people…. Rather than indulging in nights in with a video and a bottle of wine ( to themselves!!)

The entire purpose of the Cheat Day is to increase your leptin levels, to reset your metabolism and create a hormonal environment that will allow you to burn fat.

Alcohol consumption will probably cancel out ALL of those positive benefits. In fact, alcohol has been shown to acutely LOWER your leptin levels which is in direct opposition to everything you are trying to accomplish with a Cheat Day.

In the end, Cheat Days + Alcohol = Fat GAIN.  So why do it?

Does that mean that you can’t drink at all on your Cheat Day?

Anything more than 2 drinks will begin to have a negative effect.

The rule is, if you feel the effects of your drinks you’ve consumed too much.

Focus on your goals, and in order to reach them you will need some level of sacrifice. Know that, embrace it, and move forward toward your goals.

My clients know they can use a full blown eat-whatever-you-want Cheat Days as frequently as every 5th day to lose fat at record speed, so it really isn’t that bad is it?

That being said, if alcohol is more important than your fat loss goals then I suggest you have a different decision to make.


So, this Friday when you settle in front of the TV or order your drink at the bar make an educated, considered decision – do you want to lose fat or not?


Any questions email me at info@fitnesssolutionsuk.com


Eat Clean  *   Train Hard   *   Get Results

Worrying Levels of Iodine Deficiency in the UK

If you keep up with my scribblings – you’ll know that I promote Iodine supplementation – especially if you like me don’t eat much dairy and avoid adding salt to your food. It’s even more important if you are training hard and/or restricting your food intake.

12 April 2011 Last updated at 00:51
Worrying levels of iodine deficiency in the UK

By Michelle Roberts Health reporter, BBC News
The researchers suggest fortifying salt with iodine would help
Researchers are warning iodine deficiency could be becoming endemic in the UK and are suggesting manufacturers should start adding it to table salt.

A study involving more than 700 teenage girls at nine UK centres found more than two-thirds had a deficiency.

Experts say the problem stems from children drinking less milk, which is a common source of iodine.

Women of childbearing age are most at risk – even mild deficiency can harm a baby’s developing brain.

Iodine deficiency is the most common cause of preventable mental impairment worldwide, affecting a third of the world’s population. It also causes thyroid problems.

Since 1993 the World Health Organization (WHO) has conducted a global programme of salt iodisation to boost dietary levels and prevent deficiency, largely in the developing world.
” Our data suggest the UK is now iodine deficient, warranting a full investigation of the UK iodine status”
Lead researcher Dr Mark Vanderpump

Many European countries, including Switzerland and Denmark, have also signed up to the WHO programme.

In the UK, however, it is not compulsory for manufacturers to add iodine to salt.

Dr Mark Vanderpump, who conducted the latest study on behalf of the British Thyroid Association, says this “could be the most viable solution”.

Low levels

The study measured the urinary iodine levels of 737 teenage girls from nine UK centres – Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Dundee, Exeter, Glasgow, London and Newcastle.

Nearly 70% of the samples revealed an iodine deficiency and nearly a fifth (18%) of samples showed very low iodine levels, below 50μg/L rather than the acceptable minimum of 100μg/L.

The researchers say a large-scale investigation into the iodine status of the entire UK population is now needed to understand the full extent of the problem.
Iodine deficiency is the world’s greatest single cause of preventable brain damage
Dietary sources of iodine include milk and seafood
Source: WHO

Dr Vanderpump told a meeting of the Society for Endocrinology: “Our data suggest the UK is now iodine deficient, warranting a full investigation of the UK iodine status. We need to look into this now to decide whether public health bodies need to step in.”

He said, historically, half of our dietary iodine intake has come from milk. “One cup of milk gives you about 50% of your daily iodine needs.

“And tests on milk show that its composition has not really changed, so it must be that children are drinking less milk than before. That’s what we suspect.”

He said the phasing out of free milk for school children had not helped matters. Currently in the UK, free milk is only offered universally to the under-fives.


Dr Vanderpump, a consultant physician at the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust, said it was time to look at adding iodine to dietary salt.

“The World Health Organization has made iodine-deficiency a global priority and has been campaigning for at-risk countries to add iodine to their salt, a campaign which has been very successful.

“If it turns out that we do have a problem, this could be the most viable solution.”

Cathy Collins, a spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association, said it might be simpler to target teenage girls and advise them to drink more milk and eat more of other foods rich in iodine, such as seafood.

“I’m not surprised by the findings because teenage girls do not tend to drink a lot of milk or eat a lot of oily fish.

“Getting girls to have a bit more of these in their diet might help, or taking a multivitamin every day would give them 100% of the iodine they need.”

She said it was unclear whether other age groups were also deficient, but said it was likely that many people were not getting as much as they ideally need.

A Department of Health spokesman said: “We monitor the nutritional status of the population through a rolling programme of diet and nutrition surveys. We keep track of emerging research and will consider the need for assessing iodine status through urinary analysis in future surveys.”

A Nutritional Journey Into Minerals


MINERALS: Why we need the essential minerals in order to be healthy physically and mentally and hormonally!

Like vitamins, minerals cannot be made by the body, therefore we have to get them from our diets. This week we are going to have a look at the ten major minerals and five trace minerals.

Major Minerals: Calcium, Chloride, Fluorine, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Sulphur, Zinc

Trace Minerals: Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Manganese, Selenium

Calcium: Is needed for building and maintaining healthy bones and teeth and works best when combined with phosphorus and magnesium. Helps with muscle contraction, aching muscles and nerve transmission. Can aid with weight loss and high blood pressure. Can also help to lower the risk of bowel cancer and can ease menstrual pain.

Is essential for blood clotting and for balancing our hormones.

Calcium Sources: Dairy products, almonds, dark green leafy vegetables, tinned fish, shellfish, pulses and sunflower seeds, linseeds and sesame seeds.

It is essential to obtain enough calcium for people who do a lot of exercise, particularly for regular runners and those who do weight training!

Chloride: Works alongside sodium and potassium to balance the fluids in the body. Helps with the digestive process- digestion and elimination.

Chloride Sources: A balanced diet of whole foods supplies enough of this mineral as a deficiency is extremely rare. Just a pinch of salt provides a third of Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)

Flourine: This mineral is stored in our teeth and bones.

Flourine Sources: Is generally found as flouride in water and food as tiny amounts come from the soil and from animals skin and tissues.

Iron: Is vital for transporting oxygen to and from our cells and for the making of red blood cells. Is crucial also for energy production.

People who do a lot of running or high impact sport should be aware that losses can occur due to the pounding of the feet so may require more than the average person.

Iron Sources: Meat, liver, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, dark green leafy vegetables, brown rice, wholegrains, fortified cereals and oatmeal.

Magnesium: Is essential for healthy teeth and bones. Is needed to help muscles contract and relax and is essential for the nervous system.

Can also help with pre menstrual symptoms/syndrome.

Magnesium Sources: Milk, meat, wholemeal bread, nuts and raisins.

Phosphorus: Works together with calcium to make calcium phosphorus. Helps to maintain strong bones and teeth, helps with energy production and can help with the metabolism.

Phosphorus Sources: Most foods contain phosphorus, particularly protein rich foods such as fish, poultry, meat, eggs, milk and wholegrain cereals.

Potassium: Is needed to balance the fluids in the body alongside sodium. Is crucial for healthy nerves, muscle function, muscle relaxation and heart functioning. Also aids in ingestion and digestion and transporting nutrients to all cells.

Potassium Sources: Is generally found in all fruits such as bananas, apples and pineapples and leafy green vegetables. Wholegrains and sunflower seeds.

Sodium: Is needed to balance the water in the body alongside the minerals and blood and is vital for nervous system.

Sodium Sources: Is found in most foods such as meat, dairy products, nuts so is extremely rare to deficient in this mineral.

Sulphur: Helps to balance blood sugar levels, helps with the metabolism and is part of every cell in the body.

Sulphur Sources: found in all protein rich foods therefore if you eat sufficient protein such as meat, fish, eggs, you will be obtaining enough sulphur.

Zinc: Is essential for the healing of wounds, for the nervous system and for the immune system. Helps to balance the hormonal system, the menstrual cycle and for male and female fertility.

Zinc Sources: Meat, chicken, fish, seafood, eggs, seeds, nuts, wholegrains, oats, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and dairy products.

Chromium: The main role is to balance our blood sugar and hormone balance as well as our metabolism. Helps to reduce sugar cravings and may help with diabetes.

Is important for heart function.

Chromium Sources: Wholegrain cereals, wholemeal bread, rye bread, brewers yeast, eggs, chicken, lamb, honey, grapes, raisins, apples, swiss cheese and potatoes.

Copper: Is vital for DNA and RNA (part of our genetic make up) and essential for the synthesis of every cell in our bodies. Is an antioxidant therefore may help in the prevention of cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants help our bodies to fight infections and ward off free radicals.

Copper Sources: Many foods contain copper such as meat, green vegetables, nuts, raisins, bread and cereals.

Iodine: Helps to make up the thyroid hormones which in turn help to control our metabolism.

Iodine Sources: Milk and milk products, seafood and seaweed, kelp and iodized salt.

Manganese: Is vital for reproduction and for DNA and RNA. Is essential for brain function, reproduction and for the making of red blood cells. Helps to keep blood sugar levels stable.

Manganese Sources: Wholegrains, oats, rye, green leafy vegetables, eggs, nuts, carrots, watercress, berries, pineapple and grapes.

Selenium: An antioxidant which helps to ward off free radicals, helps to boost the immune system and is essential for male and female fertility. Helps against heart disease and certain cancers.

Selenium Sources: Wholegrains, wheatgerm, eggs, brazil nuts, fish-especially tuna, meat, chicken, mushrooms.

So to sum up this weeks article on ‘minerals’ we can again see that if we are lacking in any one of these then our health and well being will be at a disadvantage.

We can see that we need to have a varied ‘diet’ in order to obtain the essential minerals to function at optimum levels. Remember, our health isn’t just about how we

look on the outside but also about how our bodies are functioning on the inside!!!