Calorie counting made simple!

In my search for personal perfection, I have adopted a relaxed method of calorie counting that I want to share with you.

My Fitness Pal. A website that allows you to create an account for free by inputting some personal details like age, height and weight. Once you have your account set up, you can choose how many calories you want to eat a day – and then simply keep a food diary.

You can choose from breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack entries – and also keep track of how much water you are drinking. The food database is HUGE. I literally put in “Asda Spaghetti and Meatballs” and it gives me all matches… But what’s more, if your food is barcoded, you can literally just scan it and it will find it!

Seriously calorie counting has never been easier!!

When I say calorie counting though, I feel the need to point out that I am not obsessive with it. I don’t weigh my food or refuse to eat in certain restaurants – I still absolutely love a good Nandos or Zizzis on regular occasions!

I give myself a daily allowance of 1200 calories, however I am not bothered about going slightly over when I do eat out – especially considering the general guideline for a girl my age is 2000 calories.

I also don’t enter drinks in to the diary – not that I actually drink much other than water and squash. But when I do enjoy a fizzy drink at the pub, or a few glasses (or bottles) of wine at the weekends, I don’t worry about that either.

If you were slightly obsessive though, you can also input what exercise you do and for how long. The site then allows you extra calories to the amount you burnt from your workout. See how simple it is?!

So if you want to watch what you eat without going on some hard core diet, My Fitness Pal is for you – it really is unbelievable how much less you eat when you consciously keep a diary!!

Oh and also – you can download the My Fitness Pal on to your smartphone!! AMAZING. Let me know how you get on if you choose to give it a go!

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The illusion of perfection.

As a British girl aged 22, I am living in a society where the media thinks it’s acceptable to bombard the public with images of “perfection” – in magazines, on the TV, on billboards and posters in the street – the list goes on forever…

Stick thin models and celebrities, airbrushed so much they would barely be recognisable in real life, some even with fake body parts therefore portrayed as even more “attractive”.

Admittedly I would love to look like the celebrities in magazines snapped lounging around their private pool in Marbella; however I’m not going to because I don’t have the money to pay for make-up artists, hair stylists, personal stylists, dieticians and nutritionists – again the list goes on…

I suppose what I’m trying to get at is that we could all look as good as Cheryl Cole if we had the resources fame provides, but in the meantime we are made to feel insecure and unhappy with our apparently non-perfect images.

However that doesn’t stop us trying does it?!

I personally am quite short (5”2) and rather pale, with dark mid-length hair. But all I want is to be a few inches taller with a golden tan and long hair. But I will never achieve any of this as I can’t glue heels permanently to my feet, or magic my skin to tan rather than burn, or make my hair grow anymore.

So maybe as girls we should just accept what we can’t change, and focus on what we can change.

For me this means I am on a constant healthy eating diet and implement a beauty regime three nights a week before bed. Cleansing, toning and moisturising my face; exfoliating, toning cream, anti-cellulite gel and fake tanning my body. I do try and exercise as well throughout the week – admittedly I have only implemented a structured routine this weekend, so I will let you know how I get on with that one…

The lengths we go to, effectively to keep up with what society thinks is beautiful, is quite frankly ridiculous. I’d love to live in a world where models and celebrities are curvy and wear “normal” dress sizes, and where all men lust after Holly Willoughby and Beyoncé instead of Megan Fox and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.

But oh well we can all dream, right? And when I’m running the world (ahem) I will make it happen.

But in the meantime I’m going to look to other actual normal human beings I see in the street for inspiration – no more of this media nonsense.

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WELCOME!

WELCOME TO THE CENSORED WORLD OF LUAN BARNES’ MIND!

(Censored because I’m obviously not going to share my inner deepest thoughts with you… Soz!)

Firstly I should introduce myself…

My name is Luan Barnes, I’m 22 years old (will be one year wiser each October 31st) and from Chippenham, Wiltshire. I have lived in Bristol though for the last year, as I am studying Business Enterprise at uni here – living with two of my best friends and having the time of my life. I now predict that I will never move out of Bristol and I love it… Seriously everyone should come live here.

I am studying (BA Hons) Business Enterprise at uni between 2010 and 2014 and I literally never want to graduate – I swear I was made to be a student and lay in bed every morning watching Jeremy Kyle. My degree is a sandwich course, and so I am spending my third year on placement – which I am currently part way through.

I am doing my placement at a new UK job board, and my role is defined as Internal Account Manager… However due to the new nature of the business, this isn’t as hectic as you’d probably think, and so I am filling my spare working time as a Recruitment Blogger for the website.

Although I love writing blogs and it passes the time amazingly, I have discovered it really isn’t that fun being unbiased and opinionated – something I have to be when writing on behalf of the business. Due to the tedious frustration I feel when writing about something I am slightly bias on, I have decided to create my own blog so I can rant and rave as much as I like, about what I like.

And that brings us to now.

I’m not expecting my blogs to be read by many, however I will write them anyway as I find it highly relaxing, therapeutic and diary-like, putting my mind at ease when it is buzzing with “stuff”.

That’s all for now.

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