How BAD is Easter Chocolate?

In just over a week, people will be hunting for and eating so much chocolate. Easter is only a little way away, and just because you’re trying to stay healthy, doesn’t mean you have to forego the traditional activities and the tonnes of chocolate. We have a list of some classic Easter treats, and have looked at the calories of each so you don’t have to worry on Easter Sunday, you can enjoy the fun, and know ahead of time what are the best choices to make!

Cadbury's Mini Eggs

Firstly, let’s look at a national favourite: Cadbury’s Mini Eggs. Mini Eggs are solid milk chocolates, shaped like eggs, coated in a hard candy shell. They typically come in 90gram bags but can also be found in tubes and larger bags, if you choose to treat yourself. We won’t judge! There are, on average, 24 mini eggs inside each 90g packet, and if you choose to eat 9 eggs/30grams worth of the eggs, you will consume 148 calories. This doesn’t seem a lot, but if you were to eat the whole 90g packet, you would consume 446 calories, which is quite a jump.

Lindt Chocolate Bunny

Another Easter classic is the Lindt chocolate bunny. It was first created in 1952 and has been a large part of Easter celebrations ever since, especially with it’s iconic red ribbon and golden bell. You can find these in a range of sizes, but we decided to look at the classic 100grams size. If you ate the whole thing (why not?), you would consume 550 calories. This is about a quarter of a woman’s daily estimate, but everyone is different, and this may seem tiny to someone quite young. If you did choose this treat, our recommendation is to eat it over a few days.

Cadbury Creme Egg

Next, another classic treat, the Cadbury Creme Egg! This is a thick chocolate shaped egg, filled with white and orange fondant which mimics the insides of a real egg. They were first made in 1923, and since, have been the bestselling confectionery between New Year’s Day and Easter in the UK. Each egg weighs 40grams, and if you ate the whole thing, you would consume 177 calories. Comparing this item to the others, if you ate 100grams worth, it would total 440 calories. Easter treat’s calories quickly mount up if you let yourself eat a lot.

MaltEaster Bunnies

MaltEaster Bunnies are up next and are one of the most recent Easter treats to come about. They were first released in 2010, and mini versions have since been released. As you are probably aware, they are part of the ‘Malteser’ family, and are a great seasonal treat. The regular bunnies weigh 29grams, so quite a small treat compared to the Lindt bunnies, but if you ate one, you would still consume a similar number of calories. One bunny totals 156 calories, but to compare to the Lindt bunny, if you ate 100grams worth, you would consume 539 calories, only 11 calories difference.

Kinder Eggs

And the final chocolate treats we’re going to look at is available all year round but fits perfectly with the other chocolates available during this time of year. Kinder Eggs were first produced in 1974 and have been one of children’s favourites ever since. Weighing only 20grams, it is the smallest treat, and has the smallest number of calories at 110 kcals. To compare to the others, if you ate 100grams worth, you would consume 552 kcals.

So, to compare each treat fairly, let’s look at how many calories you would consume if you ate 100grams worth of each:

Cadbury Mini Eggs - 495kcals

Lindt chocolate bunny - 550kcals

Cadbury Creme Eggs - 440kcals

MaltEaster Bunnies - 539kcals

Kinder Eggs - 552kcals

As we can see here, if you want to be able to eat a few chocolates over Easter weekend, the WINNER is Cadbury’s Creme Eggs, as they contain less calories in 100gram portions. However, if you only want to nibble on one or two items, go for a single Kinder Egg, as they have less calories (110 kcals) overall, and you get a toy at the end!

Have an egg-celent Easter!

Molly’s Story

Putting time aside to exercise can be difficult when you’re focusing on your degree, but it can be done. Molly who attends our Uttoxeter gym, has been putting in the work at the gym for the past year, and she is so happy with the progress she has made.

Whilst studying law for her undergraduate degree and then continuing through her yearlong internship, Molly exercised on and off doing lots of cardio. She also began Slimming World but felt more empowered cooking and doing things for herself. Learning about calories, Molly used the My Fitness Pal app to stay within her daily limit. Soon however, she could work out her daily allowances for herself, letting her control how she ate and exercised.

For the past year, Molly has been focusing on another year of study and exams until she has two years of work to be qualified, but she has also spent a lot of the past twelve months in the gym. After joining and becoming more consistent with working out, she focused on planning her workouts with instructor Wendy. This led to a change of exercise, going from lots of cardio, to more free weights and resistance-based training. This made Molly’s training much more interesting, allowing her to see better results. Along with the gym work and dog walking, Molly has managed to lose a fantastic 4 stone, which is incredibly inspiring. This shows that even if you’re busy, fitting in just a small amount of gym time will get you to your fitness goal much quicker than you think.

Molly initially found the gym quite intimidating, but soon realised that everyone in the gym is focusing on themselves, not you. This gave her the confidence to exercise much more comfortably. She has said that obsessing over the scales made her very unhappy, but by reassuring herself that coming to the gym on a regular basis was helping her move in the right direction, it made her feel that everything she was doing was worth it, even if the scales weren’t showing it. We think this is brilliant advice to anyone currently at or thinking of joining the gym.

Well done Molly!

New SYNRGY Room

Gym & Tonic are excited to announce that the NEW extension is now complete and the amazing new SYNRGY Zone is being opened on Friday 12th January. This new facility is open to both members and newcomers to the gym, and to celebrate FREE 1 WEEK PASSES are being given away so you can try the new space to see what you think!.

Over the last few months, the extension has been added to the gym building, creating a new space for gym goers of all ages to enjoy and improve their fitness levels. As well as this, there is new equipment, classes and fitness possibilities for you to enjoy.

This space, not only creates a much-needed extra room, but also it will cater to a diverse group of people from 16 to 80-year olds. Furthermore, it will give all its users, new and existing, the opportunity to improve on their general fitness for a better life, not just weight training or general gym work which looks at parts of the body, rather than it as a whole.

Talking more about the new timetable, with a new space and new equipment, we look at expanding our current classes and introducing new ones that apply to existing and new members of our community. Whether you are at the gym every day, once a week, or haven’t signed up just yet, we hope you’re ready for a new outlook at our new room to help you get a body and a lifestyle you are happy with.

The Grand opening is this Friday 12th January 2018 and we hope to see you there. The Worshipful The Lord Mayor of Stafford will be here to cut the ribbon at 11:30am, so head on down to see the new functional fitness space. As a New Years gift we are offering a FREE 1 WEEK PASS to anyone who would like to try the gym and the new SYNRGY Zone out. You can claim your pass anytime from now, until Monday 15th January. The new space will be open to all members, and any newcomers. In the meantime, the management and each member of staff, would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your patience and understanding during this time, as well as apologise for any changes this may have caused you and we look forward to working with you in the near future.

A healthy guide to surviving Christmas!

We are now fully into the Christmas season. The shops are stocked with rolls of wrapping paper, you can’t escape the cheesy music, and I am patiently waiting for the Doctor Who Christmas Special. One thing however that worries me about this time of year is the food. You can’t go anywhere without seeing: build your own gingerbread house kits, mince pies, selection boxes, fancy cheeses, and chocolate Christmas tree decorations. I want to continue my healthy eating, but it is all so tempting.

It’s Christmas, of course I am going to treat myself, but I have come up with a few hacks and rules to keep me on track, and so I don’t end up looking like a Christmas Pudding!

Plan ahead

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November and December can be hectic if you allow them to be, and it’s sometimes easier (and cheaper!) to buy a selection box, rather than a salad. By making a food plan at the beginning of each week, you can organise what you need to buy (saving food and money in the long run), and even meal prep for the week so you don’t have to worry about making a sandwich with whatever is in the fridge 2 minutes before you have to leave.

Make sure you also plan for overeating later in the day and calories been consumed in drinks in the evening. Consider intermittent fasting and pushing back your “break-fast” to early or mid afternoon. This allows you to indulge with your friends and socialise later in the afternoon and evening. Even if you have nothing planned for the evening be prepared for something to pop up. Things ALWAYS pop up over the holidays. Be sure you fill yourself up with healthy food before you do meet Dave in The Swan though as you will probably end up in Slices ordering a large pizza later in the night if you don’t.

Adapt your workouts

Be prepared to be unconventional

Sticking to your current and normal workout routine is going to be close to an impossible task so be prepared to made adaptations. If you can't make it to the gym for whatever reason don’t write off the day, simply change it up and do some exercise at home. Again this comes down to planning. Plan an emergency home workout that you know you can do at home. Make it short and sweet so things like our “Jemma's HIIT workout”, which can be done anywhere are perfect. If you have some heavy objects lying around try supersetting the main lifts that you do in the gym to create a short but intense workout you can get done and feel better about the rest of the day.

Don't slip into the "all-in" mentality

STOP!

Many of us fall victim to this. Eating a block of chocolate, eating a bit more then deciding that because you’ve already eaten half of it it’s going to be a bad day so you may as well finish it. This mentality is very dangerous! You will often then over indulge on other things which you will later regret. Just because you’ve eaten too much chocolate already doesn’t mean you should finish the rest. Just stop! Think about why you’re eating it. Is it due to hunger? Then eat something with some more nutritional value. Bored? Get up and do something to take your mind off it. Staying hydrated is both great for your body but also your mind making you feel less hungry.

Don't stock up

Stay strong in the supermarket!

Easier said than done but being vigilant in the supermarket can make things a lot easier for you when you’re at home. Write your shopping list before you go shopping and then don’t be distracted by the Christmas music and aisles of chocolate and luxury cheeses. If you buy these thinking you ‘may’ use them for when guests come round then you’re making things much harder for yourself throughout the holidays. Having these snacks around the house means that when you’re ‘hungry’(bored) you will start eating them. If they’re not there then you won’t crumble during your moment of weakness!

It's okay to treat yourself

Don't deprive

As mentioned it’s okay to indulge yourself over the holidays. That’s what they are for. It’s important not to deprive yourself because this will lead to breaking your routine and binge eating. You need to be healthy both mentally and physically. If you eat a cheeky mince pie then just make a mental note and then adjust your eating for the rest of the day accordingly.

Remember it’s Christmas! A time to see your family and friends, a time to be thankful, a time to treat your loved ones. Treat yourself, but surely you’re treating yourself more if you think before you eat!

Glass of water kefir with ice cubes

Health benefits of water kefir

What is water kefir?

Water kefir (pronounced kee-fer or kuh-fear depending on who you listen to!) is a fermented beverage which acts as an intense probiotic, in a similar way to those expensive little pots of probiotic drinks you can buy in the supermarket which typically contain a few healthy bacteria, as opposed to kefir which contains more than 30.

Water kefir is made from water kefir ‘grains’ which are actually a mixture of bacteria, yeast, protein and sugar. The grains are grown in filtered water and ferment over a few days until ready to drink. Water kefir has a mild slightly sweet taste and is slightly carbonated. Everyone can drink water kefir, young, old, even pregnant women. Water kefir does not contain dairy or gluten. Diabetics can drink water kefir as long as they monitor their blood sugar regularly.

Why do we need kefir?

Our gut is naturally full of bacteria, which should ideally be balanced with ‘good’ and ‘bad'. This bacteria is vital for digesting food, developing our immune system and generally keeping us in good health. If our gut bacteria is out of balance, which is all too common in an age where we routinely take antibiotics and eat so much processed food then drinking water kefir or consuming other fermented food can be a way of achieving a healthy gut.

Health benefits of water kefir

In recent years there have been many studies into the health benefits of a healthy gut and it is now believed this can improve our digestion which has a healing effect on IBS including bloating, indigestion, flatulence, diarrhoea, constipation and leaky gut, it can reduce inflammation and allergies, it can restore balance to our skin and improve skin conditions such as acne and eczema, and generally promote optimum health.

How much water kefir should I drink?

Kefir is best served with ice

It is best to introduce water kefir slowly, starting with half a glass or so once a day gradually allowing your gut to adjust and increasing eventually to between one and four glasses per day. Water kefir can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Where can I buy water kefir?

Water kefir grains are available to buy at Gym & Tonic allowing you to can make your own, alternatively a limited amount of bottled water kefir is also available for £5 for the first bottle and £4 thereafter with a returned empty bottle. It can also be made to order. Please email nabil@gym-tonic.net or speak to a member of the team for more info!

Check out Essential Reflexology for more health related treatments and products. Drink up and enjoy the benefits!

Women Squatting in Tabata Fitness Class

Tabata Blast is here!

Fantastic news, Tabata Blast is a brand-new class coming to Gym & Tonic in September!

What is Tabata?

Tabata Blast

Tabata is a fitness programme named after Japanese scientist Dr Izumi Tabata who discovered the training. It is a popular form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and consists of exercising in short bursts of 20 seconds, then resting for 10 seconds, before starting again.

What are the benefits of Tabata?

Research by Dr Tabata shows that athletes who performed the high intensity training increased their aerobic and anaerobic system capacities, which then allows you to increase your ability to train at a higher intensity. According to Dr Tabata a four-minute Tabata session is equal to an hour of jogging, and two hours of walking. It is also believed to burn fat, with 150 calories being burnt for up to 12 hours after exercising.

Is Tabata for me?

Tabata is suitable for anyone, it doesn’t matter what your fitness level is. In Tabata Blast we will work together to build your fitness and adapt each exercise to your fitness level.

How do I get involved?

Our Tabata Blast class starts on Tuesday 5th September at 6.45pm, running weekly with our instructor Slav. You can try out Tabata Blast by giving us a call on 01785 2467411 and booking in your FREE first session and finding out the benefits for yourself!

Read more about Tabata:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8897392
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/mar/25/tabata-harder-faster-fitter-quicker
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/wellbeing/diet/10281079/Tabata-is-this-workout-worth-the-pain.html