Healthy eating – What this Instagram fitness legend eats in a day

By | January 13, 2020

Want healthy eating inspiration? Healthista quizzed fitness legend Laura ‘Biceps’ Hoggins on her daily healthy eating hacks

Laura Hoggins, better known by her nickname and Instagram handle @laurabiceps, is a personal trainer, podcast host and founder of London fitness community Lifted. Hoggins is also Head of Brand and coach at The Foundry Gym in London.

Hoggins, 34, had her life revelation just a few years ago when she found that making regular, small and sustainable changes to her lifestyle caused her to be the happiest she has ever been.

‘I didn’t achieve weight loss and lean muscle tone by restricting myself nutritionally, or slogging it out for hours on the cross-trainer, it was through discovering the benefits of weightlifting, and a diet that fuelled my life,’ says Hoggins.

As a PT, podcast host, coach, author of Lift Yourself and an Instagrammer, we barely know how Laura finds time to eat, but when she does, what is it that fuels her busy lifestyle?

From her view on cheat meals to her favourite protein source, we quizzed Laura on her daily healthy eating habits.

Here’s exactly what Laura eats in a typical day:

5am, Breakfast: oats with nut butter and banana

10am, Mid-morning snack: rice cakes with nut butter or chocolate covered rice cakes

1pm Lunch: sweet potato and feta frittata

3pm, Mid-afternoon snack: a banana

7pm, Dinner: poached or grilled cod with vegetables and new potatoes

9pm, After dinner snack: carrot stick and humous

‘Make sure you are eating enough calories and nutrients to get you through the day’

The main thing I have to take into consideration when looking at my diet is finding what foods balance and support my busy lifestyle.

I am on my feet all day every day, walking around London, as well as having two training sessions daily, sometimes more. This high activity level means I burn over 3000 calories a day and put huge stress on my muscles.

My main food concerns are making sure I am eating enough food to have sufficient energy to get me through and also helping my muscles repair.

It’s my job as a trainer to have the most energy in the room so I need the diet to support this.

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👩‍🍳 MOVE OVER MARY BERRY, BICEPS IS IN!⁣ ⁣ Well I mean, BAKE OFF I AM READY! Today I had the opportunity to test out my culinary skills, filming a feature on ‘what I eat in a day’. I’m not a self confessed ‘foodie’ and I’ve been absolutely rinsed by my housemates over the years for the contents of my fridge shelf… it’s basically eggs and more eggs. So the gang @healthistatv in collaboration with @egg_recipes allowed me to cook up a STORM! As you all know, you don’t HAVE to lick broccoli to be ‘healthy’ enjoy food and try to get your macros and micros in as best as you can!⁣ ⁣ As a busy PT, author, podcaster, gym enthusiast… I am the first to admit that sometimes my diet takes a dive off the high jump, is popcorn and coffee not ok hun?? And as soon as my diet slips and my sleep is bleak, I start to head towards the wall. So I do my best to fuel for my goals and I’m fortunate to have the support of @freshfitnessfood to help me when I need it!⁣ ⁣ Can’t wait to share this with you, I definitely surprised myself!!! ⁣ ⁣ #MaryBiceps #nosoggybottoms

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But even people who sit at a desk are using up energy, and I’ll often hear people say, ‘oh I’ve forgotten to eat lunch today’, and I always think to myself, how can you forget lunch? It’s so important.

Getting to a point in the day where you have little to no energy just because you haven’t eaten enough will not only affect your mood but your work too. If you’re half asleep because you have forgotten to eat lunch, you aren’t going to be giving your job 100 per cent.

That’s why I think it’s important for people – including myself – to be mindful and aware of eating for energy, that will have a positive effect on your mood and your overall lifestyle.

Being a pescatarian (who doesn’t actually like fish too much) means it can be hard to consume sufficient amounts of protein so eggs are a go-to in my diet.

One food source that I find provides me with the most energy is protein. It also helps with muscle repair so is a win-win.

Being a pescatarian (who doesn’t actually like fish too much) means it can be hard to consume sufficient amounts of protein so eggs are a go-to in my diet. There is so much you can do with them and they also burst with vitamins and minerals including vitamin D, selenium, B12 and omega-3 fatty acids so you can’t go wrong.

My top tip when buying eggs is to look for the red British Lion mark as it symbolises the highest standards of quality.

To be sure I am eating enough food, I make sure I prepare all my meals in advance. That way you won’t have to worry about running around and having to find a healthy and fulfilling meal, it will be in your bag and ready for you to enjoy.

‘I eat the majority of my calories in the morning to avoid the midday lull’

I normally train or coach first thing in the morning (around 6am), so for me it’s important to consume the highest amount of carbohydrates to give me energy, early so I don’t hit a massive lull later in the day.

My go-to breakfast is porridge oats and nut butter as it’s a great slow release meal, it’s easily digestible, warm and just so yummy.

Oats laura biceps

All the ingredients needed to make Laura’s yummy morning porridge: oats, almond butter, banana and oat milk

To make Laura’s morning porridge oats:
  • Add 30-50 grams of oats (depending on how hungry you are) to a sauce pan.
  • Then add 200-300 ml of oat milk.
  • Heat until thick or to a porridge consistency you prefer.
  • Top with half a banana, sliced and a spoonful of almond butter.

‘Healthy meals don’t have to be boring – mix things up a bit’

By lunch time, it’s important that I eat something that’s going to fill me up and has enough protein to support my muscles after training and coaching. I have a big muscle mass physically, so I need as much protein as possible just to maintain my body weight and get through the day.

Eggs are the best and tastiest source of protein. They’re simple to prepare and there are a million different ways to have them – OK slight exaggeration but eggs are extremely versatile. I love them.

Scrambled, poached, an omelette or something like a frittata is perfect as you can add other macro-nutrients such as vegetables and carbs.

Fritata laura hoggins

Laura’s delicious sweet potato, mushrooms, asparagus and feta cheese frittata served with spinach

To make Laura’s sweet potato and feta cheese frittata:
  • Slice or chop into smaller chunks the sweet potato, mushrooms and asparagus.
  • Whisk 2-3 British Lion Eggs in a bowl, using both the yolk and the whites. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Then in a heated pan, add some olive oil and start by frying the chunks or slices of sweet potato, followed by the asparagus and then lastly the mushrooms.
  • Once these are all cooked and soft, add in the egg mixture.
  • Evenly distribute the veg around the egg mixture and leave to cook until egg has set and cooked. You may want too add a lid to your pan to speed up the process.
  • When the fritatta is cooked, slide onto a plate and slice into slices (like a pizza).
  • Serve with spinach or other greens of your choice.

This frittata recipe is an example of a nutrient packed lunch that isn’t just that basic ‘gym bro’ meal that you would usually see. You know the ones I mean where everything looks really plain, think of those typical chicken, rice and broccoli combos.

This frittata is also great to carry around with me as its compact and won’t leak in my bag.

It’s so easy as you just make one big frittata and portion it up throughout the week. I can even have it cold if I can’t get to a microwave, although I do prefer it warm.

‘It’s time for people to stop demonising food’

When I hear people talk about cheat meals, I tend to stay quiet.

But what I am really thinking is each to their own and whatever works for you but I don’t believe in cheat meals.

For me, if you are saying it’s a ‘cheat’ meal, you’re turning that meal into a negative one and demonising food.

What we eat shouldn’t be seen as good or bad, and demonising food or particular food groups isn’t going to help your approach to healthy eating in the long-term.

If you want to go and have a pizza, go and have a pizza. If it’s Derek from finance’s 50th birthday and he’s having a cake, have a bit of cake if you want to.

pizza-cheat-meal-laura-biceps.jpg

‘If you are saying it’s a ‘cheat’ meal, you’re turning that meal into a negative one and demonising food’

Another thing I often hear is ‘carbs are bad, you shouldn’t eat them’. Well, actually you can eat carbs and they are very good for you, as they are the body’s preferred energy source. Remove carbs and you’ll be moving at about one mile per hour.

I strongly believe that food should be eaten to be enjoyed and to fuel our lifestyles, that’s what I do and it works.

As long as you are staying as active as you possibly can, and not binge eating on a daily basis, what’s wrong with having a pizza every Wednesday or a burger every Monday?

‘Healthy snacks are essential for fuel and energy’

I always ensure that I don’t go for long periods without eating as that would be catastrophic for my energy levels.

This is where snacks become one of my best mates. You’ll always find a banana in my presence, they are great for a quick and easy energy boost and nuts are good on the go.

Another one of my favourite snacks is rice cakes with nut butter or chocolate covered rice cakes – I really look forward to those.

nut butter covered rice cakes

Laura’s favourite snack: rice cakes topped with almond butter

‘Find your source of protein and then add the rest’

Here’s a trick that I find help keeps my diet on track: pick your protein source first, be it eggs, chicken or fish and then jazz it up with other macro nutrients as much as you can.

Chuck some rice noodles in there, soy sauce, different types of veggies, cashew nuts.

Often, I literally chuck everything into a wok so that I have a mix of carbs, veg and protein. I mean this can even be done whilst you’re watching Loose Women, it doesn’t take very long.

Don’t be afraid to just chuck a load of stuff together, it doesn’t have to be perfect as long as you’ve got a good balance of macro nutrients.

I am not fussy about what anything looks like it’s all about the enjoyment – I certainly wouldn’t win MasterChef on aesthetics.

‘My evening meal is often the lightest’

The food I eat in the morning and for lunch are easy options that I have prepared and can eat on the go or heat it up wherever I am. But although they are quick and easy, they are also more calorie dense.

As I am active during the day, I can then burn off those meals that contain more calories. But in the evening, when I get home late around 9pm, all I want is a light meal before bed as I am less active.

With this fish I would have loads of veggies which makes the meal a lighter and less calorific option to have before bed.

For dinner I would therefore go for some fish that I can prepare properly as during the day is a lot harder to have fish.

With this fish I would have loads of veggies which makes the meal a lighter and less calorific option to have before bed.

‘It’s important to let go of the ‘all or nothing’ mentality’

One thing I often hear people say is ‘I am on a health kick this week’ – what this really means is that they are restricting their food and killing themselves at the gym.

This all or nothing mentality is what people tend to do to lose weight or get into shape, which usually involves following these highly restrictive meal plans.

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Of course, I’m not saying that if you did follow those meal plans or if you did have a calorie deficit then yes over time you would potentially lose fat. But is that ‘7-day shred meal plan’ going to be sustainable for you? Probably not.

It’s about being less all or nothing and being able to create a more sustainable, and on the whole, healthy lifestyle.

No-one’s diet is going to be perfect when we all have so much to do managing kids, work and so on. Is it realistic that you are going to be able to meal prep every single day or week? No definitely not.

We all just need to do the best we can and be as healthy and active as possible rather than throwing ourselves at the deep end of a restrictive diet or training plan every other Monday.

More ‘What I eat in a day’

Hannah Barrett, aka Yoga Girl London on the diet that keeps her day fuelled

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