Category Archives: Health and Fitness

This Diet Plan Changed My Life

I wanted to lose weight, but I was having no luck doing it on my own. I cleaned out all the junk from my cupboards and purchased what I thought were healthy foods only, but I was still not seeing a huge difference. I wanted to eat clean and healthy, but I realized that I just did not know how to make that happen on my own. I went online to get some tips on how I could make this happen, and that is how I found Eat Clean Direct, a company that is actually located not too far from me.

I really liked the premise of what they do, and I decided to sign up for at least 30 days to see if this is what would make a difference. I know that a person has to have willpower to make a lifestyle change like this work, which I have plenty of. What I did not possess was the education to know which food choices were good for me and which were not. I thought eating mostly fruits would be a great change, but there is a ton of natural sugar in a lot of the fruits that I enjoy.

The Top 10 Reasons to Eat Small Frequent Meals

1. Eating 4 – 6 small, frequent meals per day helps increase energy levels. When you are fueling your body at regular intervals (every 3 – 4 hours) you will have peak energy levels. No mid-day fatigue and no feeling like you’re ready to plop on the couch at 5 p.m.!!

2. Burn body fat and extra calories.  Sounds crazy but you have to eat more, to burn more calories.

Now this doesn’t mean 4 – 6 “junk” meals each day. It means reasonably sized meals that include protein, carbohydrates, and a LITTLE fat.  When you restrict calories by not eating, your body refuses to give up the extra bodyfat. So you must give your body what it wants, and it’ll burn calories more efficiently.

3. Eating frequently keeps blood sugar levels high all day.  Keeping food in your body at regular intervals keeps you from feeling that crash when you get hungry. Then you head for the closest vending machine to get the blood sugar levels back up. The trick is to not let your blood sugar drop in the first place!!

4. Your moods will stay stable all day long.  You may not realize it, but food affects your mood. When you don’t eat or when you don’t eat healthy – your mood changes drastically. That’s your body trying desperately to tell you something – and your loved ones and coworkers get the brunt of it!

5. By eating frequently, you will avoid that stuffed feeling.  By eating only a few times a day, our natural reflex is to stuff ourselves. Then we endure excruciating pain and become a couch potato afterwards. Eating 4 – 6 times per day will eliminate that altogether.

6. The digestive system works better.  Our digestive systems aren’t designed to work on overload. As a matter of fact, overeating/undereating is unhealthy for all of the internal organs. Give your body food in small amounts and your insides will appreciate it much more.

7. Eating frequently keeps adequate calories in the body.  Most of us really don’t eat enough. We are all running around with a full daily schedule, stress, trying to exercise (or not) and expecting to do it all on a few meals per day. And we can’t figure out why we’re not healthy or why we’re not losing weight. Focusing on small, frequent meals ensures that we are getting the full amount of calories we need.

8. You have no choice but to focus on good nutrition.  Let’s face it, eating more often takes time and thought. But it’s very possible and when you put a little thought into what you’re doing you tend to do it better. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll begin to learn about nutrition when you focus on it a little bit.

9. You have no choice but to listen to your body.  Once you begin eating frequently, your body will respond quickly. Pretty soon you won’t be able to go more than 3 hours without something to eat – that’s a good thing. Your body will tell you what it needs and when.

10. Eating in this way will challenge you to step out of your comfort zone.  What have you got to lose – except weight! Challenge yourself to this method and see what happens. It’ll also make a great conversation piece.

What You Eat Can Affect Your Cheer Competition Outcome

You’ve poured your blood, sweat and tears into practicing a cheer routine over and over again for the upcoming cheerleading competition. You are physically ready to dance, tumble, stunt and yell your heart out to get that first place trophy. But have you put much thought into your diet the week of competition down to the actual day? This is a surprising detail that a lot of cheerleading teams dismiss as they do not understand the importance of nutrition and how it will effect them when they perform.

It’s easy to get stressed before the big competition and either be to stressed to eat or eat too much. Both will throw off your cheer performance completely and effect your outcome of winning dramatically. It’s important to remember that what your putting into your body that entire week leading up to the competition will either be a disadvantage or a game turning advantage.

So what does your body need the week of competition and how do you get it?

Your body will need the maximum amount of stored energy that it can pull from when you are putting your all into the routine. Think of your body as a car that needs to fuel up before a long drive. Your need to fill up your glycogen stores for the maximum amount of endurance and energy by increasing the amount of carbohydrates your body. Your food amount intake should remain the same as you usually eat. However, you should be eating complex carbohydrate foods with low glycaemic indexing. Examples of complex carbs include wheat pastas, wheat breads, healthy cereals, and baked potatoes. Increase the amount of complex carbohydrates, decrease the amount of high protein foods such as fish, eggs, and meet, and try to minimize the amount of fat intake. These foods should should be proportioned into small meals or snacks every two to three hours.

What does your body need the day of cheer competition and how do you get it?

The day of competition, you’ll want to keep up the complex carbohydrate intake in small meals or snacks, while keeping your intake on fibre, fat, and protein low. You can choose from wheat bread, healthy cereals, oatmeal, fruits, fruit juices, plan crackers, boiled rice, potatoes, pasta, muffins, and carbohydrate drinks that have high electrolytes such as Gatorade.

What about right after the competition?

After the competition, your energy level will be low and your glycogen stores will be used up. You’ll want to eat something that will raise your blood sugar levels up quickly. Foods that are higher on the glycaemic index such as watermelon, potatoes, brown rice, bagels, etc are perfect for raising your blood sugar.

In conclusion, remember that what you put into your body the week of your cheerleading competition will help determine the outcome of your scores. Eat healthy complex carbohydrates, less protein and fat in small meals every couple of hours, and you’ll have plenty of healthy energy to pull you through the performance.

How to Lose Your Belly Fat and Double Chin

I struggled for years to get rid of my fat belly and double chin. This is my story…

I lost my double chin and big fat beer belly after a near 6-year struggle. In the end the solution was easier than I expected.

If only some could of told me right at the beginning I could have had 6 years of looking great and not wasting so much money on fads and enjoying the food I eat.

My fat belly made an appearance at the age of 26. I looked ridiculous with my big fat belly. Where did it come from? I did eat a lot of sausage rolls that Christmas, or maybe it was just turning 26. Whatever it was that fat belly was here to stay. Loosing weight was not something I had done before but I believed the answer was easy – eat less food and exercise. I was no expert but this simple formula seemed the most straightforward way to lose weight. It just had to be.

My fat belly motivated me to stop eating and get to the gym. I hit the gym with force. I skipped lunch to cut down on eating; I was sure this would eliminate my beer belly in a shot. After a few months of trying my best at the gym and almost starving myself I had defiantly lost weight; as much as 6kg – a good effort. But looking at my belly it didn’t look any smaller; in fact it might even be bigger. I had lost weight on every part of my body except my belly.

Doing too much exercise and not eating enough caused my body to burn muscle to get extra energy. What I had been doing was counter productive, I was reducing my muscles and increasing my fat storage. This was going to be harder than I thought.

Things were about to get worse now at the age of 28 a double chin. I was still at a total loss as to how I still managed to have the fat belly I had tried so hard to get rid of. I swapped weights for cardio – pushing myself for faster times on the bike and running further and further on the treadmill. After only a few weeks eating salad for lunch and hitting the treadmill every day I looked in the mirror and saw I had burned away almost all the muscle I had put on. I was back to square one.

A flyer came though my letterbox for a local gym that advertised body re-shaping by way of a special but sensible diet. I had never heard of Educogym but the flyer did seem intriguing. My own experience of weight loss had made me angry and cynical. But since I was getting married I would make one last attempt to sort my body out and I picked Educogym.

Gina at Educogym explained to me that we would be training every day for 12 days; only 20 minuets at a time but this would be high intensity. Gina then explained to me my new diet. Gina explained to me about a chemical called insulin. Insulin regulates blood sugar in the body and effects how the body burns energy. If your insulin is kept low then your body will burn fat and not muscle. To keep my insulin low I would need to eliminate one particular thing from my diet – SUGAR.

No sugar, and nothing made from flour. Starches such as bread and pasta will absorb itself into the blood and raise my insulin. Even natural sugars from fruit need to be kept to a minimum. Fats on the other hand do not raise your insulin.

Sugar is in so many of our daily foods; it’s only when you try to avoid it you realize how often you eat it. To my surprise milk is 40% sugar. No eating white bread, or any bread for that matter. I would have to train my body to burn fat and fat only. So from now on I will be eating only protein and fat. Something in me knew this was going to work.

Breakfast was Bacon and eggs every day, no toast or anything else. No milk in my tea or coffee; but I could use cream which I found very nice. Lunch was meat – beef, lamb, or pork (no chicken), preferably meat with a nice fat content, and some green vegetables. Dinner is more of the same. Adding some walnuts for additional fatty acids was beneficial.

After a few days my body was now in a state of ‘ketosis’. That is all the energy used by my body came from fat and not carbohydrates. The fats and protein diet had killed my hunger and prevented me getting sugar cravings for chocolate and other mid morning snacks. I was burning fat and only fat; if there was no fat in my stomach to be burned then it would have to come from that large fat deposit – my fat belly.

I started to notice the difference from day two. The flab around my belly was much softer. The diet was slightly tedious but bearable; I did really miss all those wonderful sugar hits from chocolate and other foods. On day 7 my wife looked at me while I was recovering on the sofa from my hard 20-minute workout and exclaimed, “your double chin has gone!” On day 12 my measurements concluded I had lost some 3% body fat, my double chin was gone and my beer belly was about half gone.

Success finally. After all these years it was a dream come true. My belly was still there but was significantly reduced but there was some work still to do but the trend had been broken. I now knew how to beat the fat.

The Eat Right For Your Blood Type Diet

All human beings have one of four blood types. The different blood types are A, B, AB, and O. The most common is O, and the least common is AB with only about 5% having this blood type.

Peter J. D’Adamo, a naturopathic doctor, stated that there are certain foods that people should eat according to their blood type. This information was gathered by him and his father, who was also a naturopathic doctor, over several years of work and research. They realised that people who suffered the same conditions and complaints had the same blood group. This resulted in more research which showed that it was dependent on substances called lectins in the food people ate that caused the negative effects on each blood type.

He wrote his books entitled Eat Right 4 Your Type and Live Right 4 Your Type, to educate people about certain foods types they should not eat for their blood group. Likewise, he also claimed that are certain exercises that should be performed or avoided. His blood type diets help people to know what specific nutrition is relevant to their blood chemistry. There are numerous benefits achieved from following this diet, such as a healthier immune system, an increased level of energy, body weight balancing, and an effective coping mechanism against stress.

The blood type diet proved that these lectins (a type of protein) have an effect on the body’s red blood cells. Lectins attach to red blood cells which causes the blood to clump together (agglutinate). If a person continues to consume these foods over his lifetime the thickened blood can eventually lead to strokes and unhealthy heart symptoms and all sorts of other health dilemmas. This way of eating is therefore an effective way to promote and preserve a healthy body.

The diet is split into the different blood groups, and then all foods are coded either beneficial, neutral or avoid.

Below is a short guide to foods and exercise best suited to a particular blood type:

• Type O individuals – should have a high protein diet with a low carbohydrate intake. Trout, sole and cod are three beneficial types of fish for this blood group. Fruits like apricots, dates, and papaya are neutral. Vegetables such as cauliflower, cucumber and potato are to be avoided. In these three groups of foods, type O’s have a vast selection. Most grains are foods to avoid in their diet, and engaging in aerobic exercising is highly recommended three times a week.

• Type A individuals – should consume a mainly vegetarian diet, high in vegetables, legumes, tofu, and grains. Carbohydrates are efficiently digested because A types have high enzyme levels and low hydrochloric stomach acid levels naturally in their body. Their system has the right combination for the proper digestion of carbohydrates. Dairy products, red meat, and wheat are to be avoided. Gentle exercises such as meditation and yoga are suggested as being beneficial.

• Type B individuals – benefit by eating meat, vegetables, fruits, and dairy products. However, they should avoid lentils, chicken, some legumes, seeds, soya, coconut, olives, tomatoes, rye and corn. Walking and cycling are highly recommended exercise regimens, and also meditating and visualisation helps to calm and control stress levels which can have a particularly strong effect on this blood group.

• Type AB individuals – are at their best if their diet mainly consists of dairy products, legumes, seafood, seaweed, fruits, and vegetables. The best fish to eat is tuna, sardines and salmon. However, they should avoid red meat, buckwheat, and seeds as these foods cause stress. AB’s have low stomach acid, and if they consume meat it will result in fat from this food being stored in the body. Type ABs may enjoy both relaxing and rigorous exercises.

Knowing one’s blood type is the first step to achieving a healthier body. I can personally recommend that you follow this diet, because my husband and I have both followed it for the last 10 years, and has been the best way of healthy eating that we have found. It is specially customised for your blood chemistry, and there are no exceptions to the rule. According to Dr. D’Adamo’s blood type diet, individuals should begin noticing its benefits in just two weeks, so you can see that it’s working for you and begin feeling better in a very short time.