Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Fad Diets

Fad Diets do not work, full stop! Food is there to be enjoyed!

In today’s society everybody is looking for the quick fix. Everybody wants results instantly and in their search for these results they are swayed and persuaded to try many different weird and wonderful plans.

The key word is sustainability! Ask yourself this, the way you’re eating today, is that the way you can see yourself eating in the next 6-8 months? If the answer is No you really need to look at your nutritional habits.

I get asked all of the time, what do you think of this diet, or especially lately what do you think of Herbalife or Weight Watchers. My normal response is what do you think of whole foods?

Diets like Herbalife, Weight Watchers and Lighter Life are simply not sustainable for many and do not deliver long term results! The weight will drop off at first but believe me most of this will be lean muscle tissue. If you want to look gaunt, have no energy and not eat proper food then maybe these plans are for you. Some of the ingredients listed in a Herbalife shake I cannot even pronounce, that cannot be a good thing.

We are also missing the bigger picture. Surely in today’s climate, with obesity and type 2 diabetes on the rise, we should be looking to educate people. These companies send out completely the wrong message. "Drink this 3 times a day and you will lose weight". It’s just wrong! How about you eat some eggs for breakfast, a nice chicken salad full of dark leafy greens for lunch and a steak with sweet potato for dinner. Now what sounds better to you? 3 chemically ridden shakes a day, or a day packed full of good delicious whole food! I know what I would choose.

The point of this blog is not to tell you what you should be eating, but to try and open your eyes to these diets and schemes that are everywhere. They target people who are looking for quick results. But these results do not last.

If you start to make healthy nutrition a part of your lifestyle the results will be long term. Not to mention the fact you will look better, feel better and sleep better.

So put down the juice drink or the diet shake. Grab a steak, fry it in some coconut oil and wash it down with a green tea!



Monday, 21 July 2014

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

A hot topic in the health and fitness arena is metabolic rate. You hear people say “I wish my metabolism was faster” or “why is my metabolism so slow”.  Everything we do in life can affect our metabolism including what we eat and drink, our sleep levels, stress, lifestyle and temperature.  A basic way to measure this is to find out our Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which is the amount of calories required to keep our bodies functioning at a “rested” state. To determine the amount of calories you need daily, you will need to know your weight, height, age and activity level, which I will explain a bit later on in this post. There are two formulas to find out our BMR:

  • BMR Calculation for Women: 655 + (4.35 × weight in pounds) + (4.7 × height in inches) – (4.7 × age in years)
  • BMR Calculation for Men: 66 + (6.23 × weight in pounds) + (12.7 × height in inches) – (6.76 × age in years)
    Once you have found out your BMR from one of the above formulas, you then need to multiply your BMR by your “activity level”.

  • Little/no exercise: BMR x 1.2 = Total Calorie Need
  • Light exercise(1-3 days/wk): BMR x 1.375 = Total Calorie Need
  • Moderate exercise (3-5 days/wk): BMR x 1.55 = Total Calorie Need
  • Very active (6-7 days/wk): BMR x 1.725 = Total Calorie Need
  • Extra active (very active & physical job): BMR x 1.9 = Total Calorie Need
    And there you have it, after doing these calculations, the results from these show you the amount of calories you need to either put on or lose weight. Now, if losing weight is your goal, then reduce the calories shown by 500, or if it’s to put on weight increase by 500 calories and see if your weight changes in the next few weeks. Obviously the results will all depend on your lifestyle, exercise and diet.
    Ways to Increase your metabolism
    Every time we eat and drink we can thank our metabolism for converting all those calories into energy. Our age, weight and height all factor into our metabolic rate, but there are ways to increase it. The faster our metabolic rate the faster we burn off calories in a rested state. Here are some things we can do to keep that metabolism firing and burning calories:

  1. Sleep- Not getting enough sleep will seriously slow down your metabolism.
  2. Drink green tea- Not only is this classed as a superfood that is high in antioxidants, but it also speeds up your metabolism. It’s also not too heavy on the caffeine at only around 50mg per cup, so by all means drink a few cups a day!
  3. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) - High intensity interval training such as interval runs or circuits can jump start your metabolism and keep you burning calories long after the workout.
  4. Don’t skip breakfast- Studies show the importance of quick-starting the metabolism with breakfast. Something high in protein such as eggs is a perfect way to start the day and will keep you fuller for longer.
  5. Lift Weights- Not only does lifting weights help add lean muscle mass, but also increases our resting metabolic rate.
  6. Add spice to meals- Next time you’re cooking up some chicken, eggs or other foods; add a dash of cayenne pepper. The heat from the pepper is thanks to capsaicin, which won’t only add a fiery kick, but it could help boost  the metabolism too.