HEALTHY DIET/HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
SOME OF THE ESSENTIAL KEY’S TO ACHIEVING A HEALTHY WEIGHT & A HEALTHY BODY ARE TO:
BALANCE YOUR BLOOD SUGARS
BY FOLLOWING THE GLYCAEMIC INDEX
EATING PROTEIN WITH EACH MEAL
ELIMINATING YOUR INTOLERANCES/ALLERGIES
STRESS: In modern life this is a daily challenge. Adrenalin, cortisol & DHEA help us to respond to emergencies by channelling the body’s energy towards being able to ‘fight or take flight’, improving oxygen & glucose supply to the muscles, and generating mental & physical energy. It is a design that helped our ancestors cope with truly life-threatening situations. Nowadays when we consume tea, coffee, chocolate, smoke a cigarette this leads to adrenalin being released but this instant energy has a downside. The body slows down digestion, repair & maintenance to channel energy into dealing with stress. By living off these stimulants you also increase your risk of upsetting your thyroid balance, or calcium balance. Any body system that is over-stimulated will eventually under-function. The more dependent on stimulants you are, the more your blood sugar levels fluctuate, with more rebound low blood sugar levels triggering the release of adrenal hormones. Your adrenals think you are starving & go into fight/flight mode, when in truth you are just having a blood sugar dip as the body overcompensates after one more high-sugar food.
SUGAR: Eating sugar increases blood glucose levels. The body releases insulin into the body to help escort glucose out & into body cells, to make energy or convert into fat. The result is low blood glucose. Low blood glucose causes stress or cravings for either something sweet or a stimulant.
CAFFEINE: Addictive, the more caffeine you consume the more your body & brain become insensitive to its own natural stimulants, dopamine & adrenalin. The net result is adrenal exhaustion. Apathy, depression, exhaustion and an inability to cope set in. If you want to be in tip-top health, stay away from stimulants. This is doubly important for those with mental health problems because too much caffeine can seriously disrupt both mind & mood.
TEA/COFFEE: Break your addiction to caffeine by avoiding coffee, tea and caffeinated drinks for a month, while improving your diet. Once you are no longer craving caffeine, the occasional coffee is not a big deal.
CHOCOLATE: Usually full of sugar & provides significant amounts of the stimulant theobromine, whose action is similar to caffeine’s, though not as strong. It also contains small amounts of caffeine.
COLA & ENERGY DRINKS: Can contain anything from 46 to 80mg of caffeine per can. In addition these drinks are often high in sugar & colourings.
ALCOHOL: Diuretic. Depressant. Can cause allergies in some people, it also irritates the digestive tract. B vitamins especially B1, B2, B3 & B6 are destroyed by alcohol, which primarily affects the liver & nervous system.
ELIMINATING YOUR INTOLERANCES/ALLERGIES:
(Only an allergy test will tell you exactly what you are intolerant/allergic to)
Dairy – Except Full Fat Greek Yoghurt, you can substitute with rice/coconut/hazelnut/soya/almond milk/yoghurt etc
Wheat – With perhaps the exception of spelt
ELIMINATING SIMPLE CARBOHDRATES/INCREASING COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES
Simple Carbohydrates are refined sugars that have very little nutritional value to the body, and therefore, it’s advisable that their consumption be limited to small quantities. In comparison to complex carbohydrates, simple carbohydrates are digested by the body more quickly, because they have a very simple chemical structure. Foods that contain simple carbohydrates include table sugar, products with white flour, honey, milk, yoghurt, candy, chocolate, fruit, fruit juice, cake, jam, biscuits, molasses, fizzy drinks and packaged cereals. Despite the fact that simple carbohydrates do not contain enough essential nutrients, some foodstuffs such as fruits may still be good for you.
Complex Carbohydrates These sugars are mostly rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Due to their complexity, they take a little longer to digest, and they don’t raise the sugar levels in the blood as quickly as simple carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates act as the body’s fuel, and they contribute significantly to energy production. Complex carbohydrates are commonly found in vegetables, whole-meal bread and cereals. Examples of foods that contain complex carbohydrates include spinach, broccoli, beans, zucchini, lentils, whole grains and many other leguminous plants and vegetables.
DRINK MORE WATER
Water is so beneficial, so easy, so free yet so easily overlooked. It’s really a no brainer (actually your brain is 90% water!!!). Your body is about 70% water, the majority of your blood and every cell in your body is composed of water. Therefore, you need water to function properly.
Top Benefits of Drinking Water: Why Hydrate?
Increases Energy & Relieves Fatigue – Since your brain is mostly water, drinking it helps you think, focus and concentrate better and be more alert. As an added bonus, your energy levels are also boosted!
Promotes Weight Loss – Removes by-products of fat, reduces eating intake (by filling up your tummy if consumed prior to meals), reduces hunger (hello natural appetite suppressant!), raises your metabolism and has zero calories!
Flushes Out Toxins – Gets rid of waste through sweat and urination which reduces the risk of kidney stones and UTI’s (urinary tract infections).
Improves Skin Complexion – Moisturizes your skin, keeps it fresh, soft, glowing and smooth. Gets rid of wrinkles. It’s the best anti-aging treatment around!
Maintains Regularity – Aids in digestion as water is essential to digest your food and prevents constipation.
Boosts Immune System – A water guzzler is less likely to get sick. And who wouldn’t rather feel healthy the majority of the time?
Drinking plenty of water helps fight against flu, cancer and other ailments like heart attacks.
Natural Headache Remedy – Helps relieve and prevent headaches (migraines & back pains too!) which are commonly caused by dehydration.
Prevents Cramps & Sprains – Proper hydration helps keep joints lubricated and muscles more elastic so joint pain is less likely.
Puts You in a Good Mood – When the body is functioning at its best, you will feel great and be happy!
Hints & Tips for Success:
• Aim to keep your blood sugars balanced. Follow the Glycaemic Index, try to eat foods from the low to moderate scale.
• Reduce caffeine.
• Eliminate sugar.
• Eat little & often.
• Eat protein with each meal.
• Plan & prepare your menu/meals.
• Keep a diet & exercise record (Diary)
• Exercise 4-5 times per week for approx 30 minutes.
• Schedule in recovery time.
• Practise your breathing exercises.
• Try to aim to sleep 7-9 hours per night.
• Aim to eat oily fish 3 times per week, and/or take EFA supplement (Good brands: Solgar, sona, quest)
* Don’t undereat, your body will just adjust. Create at a Maximum 15% deficit in Maintanence calories.
* If you are plateauing try reverse dieting, calorie cycling, or just be patient…it’s the body’s natural survival method.
* Try to find a way to destress. Balance in all areas!