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  • Writer's pictureLouise Appel

How to Get the Most out of Your Workouts - Eat More Fat!

Exercising regularly, but wondering why you’re still not feeling your best? Starting each week watching your calories and fat intake, only to end up feeling disheartened and hungry halfway through? We’ve all fallen off the wagon and thought to ourselves…‘I can’t sustain this way of eating long-term, so why bother?’

If this sounds like you, then it is important that you read this article. Why?

Because you’ve got a great routine going at the gym, but spending the same amount of time in the kitchen feels like a chore. I’ll be the first to admit that you will not experience the same endorphin rush from prepping vegetables as you will from lifting weights with Louise! ☺

But diet and exercise go together like two peas in a pod and committing all that time to working out without a supportive diet in place is like doing the gardening whilst the house is falling down.

‘You are what you eat.’

But where to start? Eat more fat!

If you are ending up having the same meals over and over again without really knowing how to improve other than to just eat ‘less’, then now is the right time to change that. Having clear information on what to eat and when will completely change the way you feel for the better.

But doesn’t eating fat make us…fat?

I used to avoid eating avocadoes because they have around the same amount of calories as a Mars chocolate bar. I would think to myself ‘How long is it going to take me to burn that off on the treadmill?’

But not all calories are equal’

An avocado also contains more fat than a Mars bar. But I eat them regularly and I’m not getting fatter. Neither are my clients, but the same cannot be said if we developed the same penchant for Mars bars. So is fat really the enemy we have been led to believe it was?

The truth is that the over-simplified concept of just reducing fat and calories to lose weight is inaccurate and unsustainable. In fact, this type of out-dated thinking is negatively impacting our health, as well as our relationship with food.

‘You get out what you put in’

All food contains fat, protein or carbohydrates. Finding carbohydrates is cheap and easy! A sandwich here, fruit juice there, jacket potato or bowl of pasta, a couple of biscuits, glass of wine…the list goes on. The problem is that eating enough quality fat and protein takes a bit more effort.

Eating whatever is most convenient may all be well and good as we breeze through our 20s, but as we get older it becomes more essential to stay on top of our fats. Those little health niggles we try and ignore, from low energy to memory loss – what is contributing to those? Well, our hormones can’t function properly without fat and neither can our brain – it’s the fattiest organ in the body! They desperately need nourishing to keep the cogs working properly into our 60s, 70s and beyond.

’A balanced diet doesn’t work’

We are constantly told that eating ‘everything in moderation’ is the key to staying slim and healthy. But what does that mean? Is a bit of everything now and again okay? Opinions vary wildly from one person to the next with no clear guidelines…so what are we supposed to eat?

A client of mine was struggling post-menopause to get rid of unwanted weight around her middle, despite seeing her personal trainer regularly and being conscious of her diet with plenty of fruit, soup, cereal and salad (plus the odd glass of wine, of course).

So why was she feeling sluggish, irritable and still not able to fit into her favourite jeans?

There was no magic potion – it was simply about giving her hormones the support they needed in order for her to feel happy and confident.

This is why I love what I do. I make it easy for my clients to understand and enjoy food again and you can too with a few simple tips to get you started:


  1. Stop Counting Calories - yes, fats have more of them, but you end up eating less of it and they are also higher in valuable nutrients. Incorporate quality fat sources such as oily fish, red meat, dairy, eggs, nuts, seeds, avocadoes and olives into your meals to stay fuller and more energised for longer

  2. Don’t Blame Butter – trans-fats are the baddies here, contributing towards raised cholesterol issues. These artificial fats are designed to keep foods fresher for longer in the supermarket and unfortunately are hidden in many stock cupboard favourites and convenience foods. Fresh is best!

  3. The ‘Low-Fat’ & ‘Zero-Fat’ Con – don’t waste your money on fad diet products. These yoghurts, soups, cereal bars and drinks are typically pumped full of sugar or artificial sweeteners instead and are part of the problem behind rising obesity rates and diabetes

  4. Oily Fish Awareness – humble cans of sardines, mackerel, salmon or anchovies are the most underrated health foods and packed full of ‘omega 3’, an essential fatty acid that we should all be topping up on regularly – time to stock up!

  5. Smart Snacking - experiencing the dreaded 3pm slump and reaching for coffee or crisps to keep you going? Try fats instead. Nuts and olives, crispy bacon with guacamole dip, cheese slices or smoked salmon…these are the surprising foods that will keep your energy up and your hormones balanced

Optimising your diet really is about prioritising yourself again and shifting focus onto what really counts in order to make that long-term difference.

Jennifer is Registered Nutritional Therapist specialising in helping clients with hormone-related symptoms in later life to take back control of their own health with manageable nutritional programmes.

For more information on our Nutritional Therapy program please see our Essential Eating page.

Louise Appel Personal Training, St John's Wood & Personal Training Maida Vale offers customised, individual Personal Training and Pilates at Lords Cricket Ground, St John's Wood. Personal Training Harpenden is located at EsTR Fitness.

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