Calories are king

Posted on: 17th January, 2017

Category: Sport & Fitness

Contributor: West Cork People

Ray Minehane of RPM Fitness in Bantry explains how important calorie control is when you’re trying to lose or gain weight.

If you eat an excessive amount of calories then you will gain weight and if you eat less calories than your body uses, you will lose weight. Note the word used is ‘weight’ and not ‘fat’. Even if you eat nothing but ‘healthy’ food, if you eat too many calories, you will gain weight. If you randomly eat food, then you will get random results. Counting calories might sound like a pain at the start but after two weeks you will have a good idea of the calories in the foods you most commonly eat. You can download the free app myfitnesspal and it will show you in black and white if some of the foods you are eating are sinking your New Year’s goals or better still give you a good idea of how much of certain foods you can eat.

Portion Size

This is one of the most overlooked aspects of people’s diet – excessive portion sizes. Sadly it does not matter if you do eat healthily – if you eat too many calories for your goals, you will not be happy with the results. Learn the right amount of food for you. A general guideline to start with is: one or two handfuls of protein per meal, two handfuls of green veg and a thumb sized portion of fat.


Snacking is best avoided if at all possible. You may be needlessly eating more calories than you imagine. Once you add butter and some jam to that fruit scone with that frothy coffee you may have taken in 500-600 calories. If you have bad hunger pangs every day at a certain time and don’t have access to decent food, then try and have a bigger meal beforehand.

Move More

If you live a modern life, chances are you are stationary for most of the day. This is not the best for your body, which will get stiffer and dramatically burn less calories. The good news is that just one hour of brisk activity can undo eight hours of sitting. That can be walking the dog, cycling or a gym session. Increased activity will decrease your mortality rate, improve your quality of life and either make room for more food or help your burn off those excess pounds.

Sleep More

If improving your health is your goal, then sleep is key. You need to be getting seven or better still eight hours a night. That may mean turning screens off an hour earlier, but longterm you will feel and think better. When you are sleep deprived, your hunger hormone is higher, which is why you keep eating after a poor night’s sleep.

Hold on to your muscle like a loved one

Your body prefers to be fat over lovely and lean; I know this is awful news but sadly the truth. Muscle is expensive. It requires a lot of calories to keep and uses a lot of calories. Fat on the other hand does not.

Your body sheds muscle quickly; once you have stopped growing, when you hit about 25, unless you are using your muscle, your body will slowly get rid of it. This loss of muscle is what slows your metabolism down, meaning you have to eat less, or if you eat the same you always did, you will gain fat!

Unless you have an active job like farming or blocklaying, you are probably going to lose muscle unless you do something about it. The best way to keep your muscle is to do some resistance training – the most common form is to lift weights, do exercises like squats, deadlifts, kettlebells swings, etc. Although you may think Arnold Schwarzenegger when you think weights, unless you are the genetic elite and train three hours a day every day, it is near impossible to look this way.

If you lift weights three to four times a week for roughly an hour, you will keep your muscle, which gives your body shape, make you feel great and gives you more freedom to eat, as you burn more calories.

RPM FITNESS in Bantry offers fitness for everyone – from the ages of three to 93 – in a private or group setting. RPM offers a variety of classes and services for all levels of fitness. So whether you are starting your fitness journey or looking to get to the next level in athletic performance, RPM is looking to help you.

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Wave to Mary! 65-year-old Mary Nolan Hickey is running around the entire coast of the Island of Ireland to raise funds & awareness for the RNLI and is currently running the roads of West Cork.

Mary is the only woman to have completed every single Dublin Marathon (all 38 of them). She’s also completed the grueling Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert, known as the ‘toughest foot race on earth’.

To mark her 50th year involved in Athletics Mary is taking on her biggest challenge yet (even though she thought she’d already done that when completing the Dublin Marathon when she was over six months pregnant!) She wants to raise as much money as possible for the RNLI.

Mary started her epic journey in Arklow, Co. Wicklow, on New Year’s Day. She aims to cover up to 5000 kilometers, using coastal routes, over the next five months. She hopes to get back in time to get her first pension payment in June when she turns 66.

Mary will stop off at as many RNLI stations as possible, on her once in a lifetime adventure. As far as she knows no other woman has ever taken on this challenge.

Speaking about her journey Mary said:

“I wanted to prove that age not a barrier. Coming from a coastal town I have a deep affinity with our local RNLI station & volunteers and have huge admiration for the brave men and women who risk their lives to save lives at sea”.

Mary, who’s depending on the goodwill of communities along her route for accommodation, has been astounded by the response so far. “The support has been overwhelming,” she said. “I have met the most amazing and encouraging people along the way”.

To see more about Mary’s adventures, and to pinpoint her location today, check out her Facebook page - rnlilapofthemap2018.
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20th March, 2018  ·  


This Saturday the 10th March, will see some magically curious activity as local Bandon national schools compete in a Wizarding Harry Potter Quiz. The prize will be the beautiful Bandon Banshee Perpetual Cup.

As any Harry Potter enthusiast knows, Bandon has the unique honour of having a character named after the town. The Bandon Banshee, was referred to as the nemesis of Gilderoy Lockhart in the Chamber of Secrets. The book grossed €60 million in sales and was the 7th highest earning film of all time.

Locals, looking to enhance the town for young people, saw the quiz as an ideal way promote the connection. The universally absorbing book series brings young readers on a huge adventure of magic, adversity and triumph. It is also an exploration of loyalty and friendship, good and evil – so it is not only popular way to engage young people, it is a hugely positive connection.

Zoe Tennyson, one of the organisers said they were delighted with the response from schools who ran a qualifying quiz as part of World Book Day. On Saturday Bandon Town Hall will be transformed into Hogwarts Great Hall, with proceeds going Bandon Playground Group, and to cover costs of the event.

Bandon Books will be rewarding the winning team with vouchers to each of the five members. The Bandon Banshee, or Bean-sidhe na Bandaan Perpetual Cup will be hotly contested – but which school will the Banshee go to??

If you have any questions please call Marguerite McQuaid on 087 900 9494
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8th March, 2018  ·  

Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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20th February, 2018  ·  

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Main course

17th February, 2018  ·  

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