Healthy Living Advice

Tips for health, strength, weight-loss, and nutrition

  • Fat - Friend or Foe?

    Thursday, March 19, 2015

    For a long time, fat has been given a bad rap, considered to cause weight gain and increase the chance of other health risks, such as high cholesterol and heart disease. As such, it has often been recommended by health professionals to significantly reduce the amount of fats consumed, often in favour of carbs. Despite this, we keep gaining weight at an alarming rate and 33 percent of Australians have high cholesterol. So what is going on? Is fat really that bad for you?

    Fat is one of the three main macronutrients (the other two being proteins and carbs) and can be broken down into four main types:

    Saturated – coming from animal products e.g. dairy products, eggs and meat

    Monounsaturated – plant based fats, such as olive, canola, sunflower, safflower and sesame oils, fish, pine nuts, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, macadamias, pecans, pistachios, avocado

    Polyunsaturated – some plant based oils, such as soy bean, corn and sunflower oils, and fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring and trout, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, brazil and pine nuts.

    Trans – unsaturated fats which have been chemically altered to improve their physical characteristics. Often used in fried foods, margarine spreads, processed baked goods. Trans fats ‘provide no known benefit to human health’ (Heart Foundation Australia)

    Fat is NECESSARY in the body as it is a source of energy, aids in the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals, helps to build cell membranes as well as assisting with blood clotting, muscle movement, and reducing inflammation.

    Despite popular belief, saturated fats do not increase the risk of heart disease. They should still be included within the diet, along with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. However trans fats should be avoided as they can increase the ‘amount of harmful LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream and reduces the amount of beneficial HDL cholesterol. Trans fats create inflammation, which is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. They contribute to insulin resistance, which increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes’

    (http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/fats-full-story/)

    So how should you include fats in your diets?

    • The only fats that shouldn’t be included in your diet are TRANS fats – saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are all necessary for good health.
    • Don’t be scared to include full fat products, such as milk and yoghurt – low fat products often have extra sugar/sweeteners added to improve flavour
    • Include good sources of omega 3 fats such as fish, walnuts or flaxseeds


    Yours In Health 

    Mel


  • Stress and weight loss

    Friday, August 01, 2014

    Stress is one of the main factors that can derail a good weight loss plan, when your stressed it’s hard to be motivated to make the effort to organise healthy meal after healthy meal when something quick and easy is just around the corner. When your stressed it’s hard to find the time or the energy to exercises or get to training. Within a few days we haven’t trained once and only had 1 or 2 proper meals.

    Easier said then done but it is these times that we want to focus on healthy and fitness, training will help blow off some steam, clear your mind and regulate feel good hormonal levels while healthy food choices will give your body the sustenance it needs to deal with the internal struggle high stress causes.

    What is stress?

    Stress can be bought on by more then just a bad day at the office (psychological stress), stress can come in many different forms and sometimes can be hard to tell if you are actually stressed, it becomes more a feeling of being run down. Other forms of stress are

    - Malnutrition from not eating enough or not getting in enough vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables, causing vitamin deficiency

    - Dehydration from lack of water, especially in people who train

    - Insomnia or not getting enough sleep

    - Inflammation, chronic infection and environmental toxins

    - Poor diet of sugars, processed foods and pro inflammatory foods

    - Too much exercise with not enough recovery 

    The body is well adapted to handle short periods of stress but the long term chronic stress not so much, it is this stress that cause us a lot of problem when we are trying to lose weight

    So how exactly does stress lead to weight gain?

    Simple answer is cortisol, cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands and is a lower grade of adrenalin, designed to be high in the morning to get us up and going and then slowly taper off as the day goes on so we can unwind and relax at night. 

    When we are chronically stressed by any of the issues listed about the body will continually tell the adrenal glands to produce cortisol, pumping the body full of low grade adrenalin to help battle the negative effect of the stress that is causing the body to be run down. This constant production of cortisol can lead to

    - Increases blood sugar by making it difficult for glucose/sugar to get into the cells, in turn increasing insulin resistance

    - Increase fat stored in the abdominal area

    - Increase fat stored in the liver

    - Decrease metabolism

    - Increase hunger hormonal levels

    - Causes sugar cravings

    - Reduces your DHEA, testosterone, growth hormone and TSH levels which all have a negative effect on your metabolism

    As you can see, each one of these things by themselves can make weight loss difficult, but when added together you have an almost perfect recipe for obesity.

    Signs of stress?

    - Fatigue, slow to start in the morning, cannot fall asleep or stay asleep

    - Headaches brought on physical or mental stress, blurred vision, anxiety and unstable moods

    - Weak immune system & allergies, on and off cold and runny nose

    - Upset stomach, diarrhea, constipation, gastric ulcers, feeling full or bloated

    - Strong cravings for sweets, caffeine or cigarettes

    - Dizziness when standing up or sitting down

    What can we do?

    Sleep - Aim for 8 hours a night and relax before bed, try meditating and stretching

    Eat - Eating a natural food diet with a good mix of lean meats, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats, while avoiding to much bread, rice and pasta, processed foods, sugar and trans fats

    Drink - Water goal (0.039 X Body Weight = L) 0.039 x 75kg = 2.9L of water a day

    Exercise and train - Exercise daily by getting at least a good 30 minute walk in before work, lunch break or after work. Train by lifting heavy weights 2 to 3 times a week

    Enjoy life - play, have fun and laugh whenever you can. Do your best to avoid people and situations that drain and stress you.

    Practice saying NO


    To Healthy Living

    Daniel


  • 6 Steps to the ideal CHEAT MEAL, I mean REFEED

    Friday, July 25, 2014

    A cheat meal should be more looked at as a refeed meal the a cheat meal. Eating a clean food diet has started to improve your gut health, immune system, cognitive function and sleep, this is not the time to go out and eat all the foods that will run you straight back to where you started from. 

    The ideal of a cheat meal is that for the past at least 2 weeks you have depleted the amount of glycogen in your muscles by eating low carbohydrate foods and have now created a lager then normal sensitivity to carbs. Your muscles are depleted of glycogen from weight training and in demand of carbs to restore those empty glycogen stores, this is the optimal time for carbs to be used to feed your muscles and not your waist line.

    Because carbohydrates have a big impact on hunger hormones and your metabolism cutting them out for a long period of time will cause your metabolism to slow and weight loss also to slow or stop. Cheat meals or refeed meals are designed to reboots your metabolism and hunger hormones and keep the body burning body fat.

    Step 1. Figure out how often you can cheat.  The leaner you are and the more often you train the more frequently you can make a cheat meal work in your favor. You want to be strict low carbs for 14 days (50g of carbs per day only from vegetables). After these 14 days you can have a cheat/refeed meal and then again after every 6-7 days of low carbs. Once you get leaner you can increase the frequency of these meals. Save your meal for dinners out with your partner, friends or family so you don’t feel like your goal to lose weight is effecting your social life too much. Best day to have a cheat/refeed meal is the night of a hard weight training session or the night after, dinner is your best time. 

    Step 2. Decide how you will cheat before hand. Figuring out what you will use your cheat meal on before hand is a good idea, look up the menu before heading to the restaurant or plan what you will cook, this way you will make the right choice and not be rushed and choose a meal that doesn’t work in favor of weight loss.

    Step 3. Determine your carb allotment. First time cheating/refeeding is a bit of a test, follow the morning after assessment to see how you went. I recommend women start at 50g and men 75g of carbohydrates from white rice. How do you know if you ate to much or too less, you should wake up in the morning feeling flatter and leaner, only a little but looking in the mirror you should be able to tell.

    - If you wake up feeling leaner then you got it right, next time try eat 20% more carbs then last time and reassess.

    • If you wake up the same it can go either way so next time increase by 20% more carbs then last time and reassess.
    • If you wake up feeling fatter you had a little to much, reduce carbs by 20% next time and reassess.

    - If you wake up bloated and feeling horrible you eat something that doesn’t agree with you, avoid that food next time, rice and gluten free are your best options.

    Step 4. Make the best cheat/reefed choice you can. This is an indulgent meal not a blowout so choose a cheat meal that is higher in carbohydrates, moderate protein and lower in fats. Just because its a cheat meal doesn’t mean you go out of control eat what ever you like, we are still focused on improving health and getting you your ideal body, use this meal to have foods you haven’t been able to having, rice, quinoa, gluten free pizza are all good choices aim to stay away from trans fats and deep fried foods.

    Step 5. Eat your protein first. As with every meal you have you still need to get your protein in, eat your protein first. Women are still looking for a minimum of 100g of lean meat and men 200g of lean meat.

    Step 6. When your butt leaves the chair, no more eating. This a cheat meal, not a cheat buffet or a cheat day, choose your meal, sit down to that meal and when its finish or you leave your seat for any reason its over, whichever come first, no going for re fills, bathroom breaks, 10 minute breather, those all show your eating too much.

     

    Enjoy yourself but remember your goals.

    To Healthy Living

    Daniel Christie


  • 10 external signs that show nutritional deficiencies on the inside

    Friday, May 30, 2014

    The idea of creating optimal health isn’t just as simple as eating foods from natural sources with minimal processing and finding the right balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Our bodies need a wide array of nutrients like vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to carry out the thousands of chemical reactions and processes that are happen constantly within us to keep us healthy and functioning properly.

    When the body becomes deficient in one or many of these nutrients signs can come through in a physical presence either on the skin, nails, mouth or hair. By the time these physical conditions have appeared the body has been deficient for quiet some time.

    Here are the top 10 conditions I see most commonly and what you can do to treat them

    1. Tics of the eye lid - Brought on by stress - Stress depletes the body of Magnesium, B2, B6 and Zinc
    2. Acne - Brought on by poor diet and poor detoxification - Avoid sugars, processed foods, trans fats, excessive starchy carbohydrate consumption and look to alkaline the body - Supplements to help HCI, vitamins A, E, B2, B6, C, niacin (B3), biotin, zinc, EFA, lecithin, MSM (methylsulfonyl methane) , retinoic acid topically
    3. Brown skin spots - Poor detoxification through the liver - Paleo cleanse, GI revive shake, antioxidants and bio oil applied to skin
    4. Dry skin - EFA, pure water, pink sea salt, vitamin A & vitamin C
    5. Eczema and skin ulcers - Caused normally by food sensitivities or intolerance's - Food intolerance test, HCI, vitamin C, B2, B6, zinc, magnesium, EFA, allergy test - Paleo cleanse, GI revive shake.
    6. Fungal infections - Normally cause by a weakened immune system, liver - Food intolerance test, B vitamins, tea tree oil on infection - Paleo cleanse, GI revive shake
    7. Purplish / blue-black skin areas - Vitamin D, B3 and bioflavoniods
    8. Peeling nails - Poor absorption of nutrients from low stomach acidity - HCI, Vitamin A, C and calcium from green leafy vegetables
    9. Vertical ridges on nails - Low stomach acidity, poor absorption of nutrients, poor circulation - HCI, Vitamin A, Increase protein intake and calcium from leafy green vegetables
    10. White coated tongue - Poor gut health, overgrowth of bad gut and intestinal bacteria - Avoid sugars, sweet foods, processed foods, trans fats, starchy carbohydrates and look to alkaline the body - Paleo cleanse, GI revive shake, HCI

     

    EFA means essential fatty acids, mainly linoleic and linolenic acid; recommended sources are fish oils, ground-linseed, linseed oil and evening-primrose oil.

    There are some common nutrients that most people become deficient in magnesium, zinc, B complex, vitamin C and HCI. These need to be taken in higher dosages to resolve the problem but once controlled a quality multi vitamin with each meal is ideal. Paleo cleanse and GI revive are powders for a shake packed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants

    HCI is hydrochloric acid which is naturally produces by the stomach, but because of our stressful lives, poor food choices and medication usage our stomach are able to produce it properly 


    To Healthy Living

    Daniel Christie


  • Top 5 reason you should cycle your foods

    Friday, May 16, 2014

    Todays topic is something most people never think about, it also becomes one of the main causes of stubborn weight loss, gut issues, gas, bloating, lack of energy and can also lead to sickness, diseases and food sensitivities. We never had to think of it back say 100 years ago because we ate the foods that were in session and if they weren’t in session they were just not available to us. This was a natural way for our body to never adapt to a food and to get a wide array of nutrients. Now days people have a staple of 12-15 foods.

    Why is cycling the foods you eat so important?

    1) The more you eat a food the less you get out of it, just like a training program, you need to change the stimulus often to get the best out of your nutrition and training.  

    2) Eating the same foods day in day out causes your body to reduced the production of enzymes, these enzymes are what breaks down your food. This will slow your metabolism leading to stubborn weight loss weight gain and lack of energy because nutrients aren’t being absorbed.

    3) The longer a food sits in the stomach without being absorb the more likely it’s going to cause inflammation in the stomach, this can lead to leaky gut syndrome which can cause food sensitivities and autoimmune disease like type I diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, eczema, rheumatoid arthritis and many more.

    4) Eating the same foods day in day out and not getting a wide variety of vegetables, protein sources and healthy fats can lead to depletion in many vitamins and mineral causing many adverse health effects like insomnia, adrenal fatigue, hypothyroidism and liver detoxification dysfunction.

    5) Rotating foods can help prevent food allergies and support ideal gut health and immune health. Rotating foods can also help you realise if you have a reaction to a food by noticing the different between how you feeling, sleep and focus at time when your take certain foods out or add them back in.

    What can we do about it? 

    1) Aim to increase the variety of vegetables you eat, going to the local farmers markets is a great way to get fresh in season foods. Their big selection will surprise you. 

    2) Change up the meats you eat as much as you can, chicken, lamb, pork, beef, turkey, fish and shell fish, there is a lot to choose from if you make the effort

    3) There are plenty of sources of healthy fats like avocado, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, organic grass fed butter and more, aim to have a different fat with each meal of the day.

    4) If we change up the foods we eat often we never encounter these issues.


    Eating healthy isn’t convenient but it’s convenience that has gotten us into an era where obesity, sickness, and chronic disease is the norm.

     

    To Healthy Living



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