Some Mental tricks to maintain your willpower!!!!

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Here are some quick tips to help you if you are determined to cut some calories in your weight-loss plans.

  1. Put the fork down between bites. It slows down your eating speed so that your tummy gets a chance to register that it is full.
  2. Have a glass of water before you eat too, helps fill your stomach up.
  3. Turn off the tv. People don’t tend to pay attention to their eating habits whilst the television is on. They also tend to eat more.
  4. At work/or out and about – plan your meals and snacks.
  5. Don’t eat at a desk or standing up!
  6. Don’t do shopping on an empty stomach.
  7. Make a healthy list
  8. Or shop online.
  9. Try and plan in advance whats on a restaurant menu and stick to your choice.
  10. Picture yourself eating.
  11. Get a doggy bag if you don’t want to eat it all at once.
  12. Keep a food diary.
  13. Focus on the short term benefits (your health).
  14. Have an occasional treat.
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Tips to Boost Basal Metabolic Rate

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What is your Basal metabolic Rate?

Your BMR is the speed at which you burn kcals from doing everyday tasks. It varies from person to person. This is why some people pile on the pounds at the mere sniff of a chocolate bar and others can eat like it’s going out of fashion and remain stick-thin.

The basics….

  • Men’s tends to be higher than Women’s.
  • As we age it slows from it’s peak in youth.
  • After the age of 40 it can slow dramatically.
  • Crash diets can wreak havoc too as can eating disorders. The body learns to combat starvation mode by holding on to any kcals it can.
  • Dieting and losing weight too quickly means a loss of muscle as well as water and fat which can slow it even further.

 

TIPS

Fuel up properly. As you eat your metabolism speeds up for the digestion process. Some people do well with eating 6 small meals, others its 3 meals and two snacks.

Break – the – Fast. Breakfast is an important meal.  It kickstarts your metabolism after effectively fasting all night. Your BMR and Blood sugar levels are at their lowest.

Cool it…Temperature fluctuations can also boost your BMR. Being slightly cold boosts you as you shiver to keep warm. Alternating hot and cold water in the shower is great for this and stimulates the lymphatic system- draining toxins. It can also help with post-exercise soreness.

Get a move on!!! Weight bearing exercise is advised. Walking, running, dancing , martial arts and weight training; build muscle and boost BMR- Exercise is your ally if you are to maintain weightloss after dieting. Moderate amounts of HIIT or any aerobic exercise can have a beneficial effect on the metabolism.

NO – no… Avoid yo-yo dieting, fad diets, crash diets and seriously low calorie dieting. It screws with your metabolism no end and you will most probably regain the lost weight in the form of fat. Lose the weight again and reduce your muscle mass and then regain again as an even higher percentage of fat and so the cycle continues.

 

FOODS TO HELP.

 

Capsaicin- Found in Cayenne Pepper, Chilli and Paprika. It is a known BMR stimulator.

Caffeine. Limit it later on in the day if you are prone to sleep troubles. It stimulates heart rate and can be beneficial in moderation. Some studies show caffeine before a workout can have a beneficial effect on your endurance whilst exercising.

Green Tea. A known metabolism booster.

Lean Protein. Aids building of muscle as you workout. The more muscle, then the higher your BMR. Protein also uses more kcals to burn than carbs do. Sufficient amounts can also help keep hunger under control.

Water. Studies showed that adults who drank 8 or more glasses of water a day had higher BMR’s than those on 4. Fruit and veg count too as does that cup of char. Just watch for hidden kcals in drinks. Alcohol is full of calories and can lead to the munchies and storage of fat on your abdomen. However moderate drinking has been found to have some beneficial effects so keep within the recommended limits and don’t over- do the drinking and try to have a few alcohol free days through the week.

Energy drinks can contain Caffeine and Taurine which is an Amino Acid. This can give you a boost and keep you alert.   On the down side they also can make you jittery and prone to sleep disturbances in the same way coffee can. Sleep problems in themselves, can lead to weight gain for some people. There is also a link to high blood pressure. They are not recommended or suitable for children or teens.

 

 

 

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Saurkraut

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I have been harbouring a food obsession for a while now.   A condiment of finely sliced cabbage, layered with salt and left to ferment. The fermentation process occurs due to the Lactobacilli bacteria that is found on the cabbage leaves naturally. The end result is a sour, crunchy tasting product that brings to life many dishes especially pork dishes as well as sandwiches, hot dogs and burgers, salads and so on.

The name of this condiment is Sauerkraut. I love it. It is a fantastic source of gut beneficial bacteria such as Weissella and Lactobacillus brevis. This translates into a product that has been used for centuries as a fermented food with the reputation of helping to heal an ailing gut.

It is popular in Eastern European and Germanic cuisine, where it has said to have been introduced to the Europeans by the Tartars. Its method of preservation ensures it lasts months and even Captain Cook kept a supply on his long voyages as one of the foods that helped prevent Scurvey (disease of Vit C deficiency) amongst his sailors. In Korea there is also a similar dish called Kimchi because the usefulness of fermented foods is well known world wide. As well as the health benefits its long shelf life ensured a supply of nutrients through Winter months.

There are many health benefits from this cabbage based dish. All cruciferous vegetables are great for the health and inparticular the gut. The lactic acid bacteria produced in the fermentation process can help in the fight against an imbalance of harmful bacteria and yeasts in the digestive system. If the gut bacteria is well balanced this helps the absorbtion of nutrients efficiently and supports the immune system. It can also have both an anti-inflammatory effect and is a source of antioxidants.

Vitamins                              Calcium                                             Fibre

B                                         Magnesium                                       source of live lactobacilli *

C                                         Iron                                                  rich in enzymes

K                                         Potassium                                        isothiocyanates

Folate                                  Copper                                             lutein

Manganese                                       zeaxanthin

 

*If unpasteurised. Commercial sources contain these health benefits to a much lesser degree and can be high I salt, so if possible buy fresh made or try and make your own Sauerkraut.

Recipes can be found all over internet and it is an especially easy dish to make. All you need is a head of cabbage (you could try doing it with red cabbage too), a large jar and a bowl or container, some sea or rock salt and a mandolin or food processor that can finely chop the cabbage. You essentially chop the cabbage place it in a bowl and layer it with sea salt, this pulls liquid from the cabbage which in turn starts the fermentation process. You need too press or squeeze the cabbage to further draw the water out.   Then cover over the cabbage and put something on top to weigh it down and squeeze out more water. Leave it for about 24 hrs and come back sporadically to squeeze and press the water out. Make sure the water level is just above the cabbage and if needed top up with a mix of some sea salt and water. The Sauerkraut is ready when it achieves that sour flavour but it varies from a few days to more than a week. Sometimes a greyish mould forms on top which you simply remove and make sure you dont ingest before tranfering to a tightly sealed container.

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Vitamin C and Vitamin D.

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Continuing my brief look at some of the Vitamins, here I’m taking a quick look at Vitamins C and D….

 

Vitamin D.

Latitude, the lessening of sunshine hours in winterand the consumption of more and more processed foods; our Vitamin D (alongwith other Nutrients) can get neglected. The sun is our best source, which can be a tad unfortunate when you live in the more Northerly Latitudes! Vitamin D is a fat soluble Vitamin which means the body can store it in our fat stores and can use this supply when it is scarce – as in winter.   It can also be supplemented (under supervision as it is a fat soluble vitamin it can be toxic if too high a dose is taken) or, it can be incorporated into the diet which is much safer to do. Sun exposure is the safest way as long as it is done within sensible guidelines for a short period without sunscreen for example 15-20 minutes uncovered should be sufficient.

butterflyVitamin D is intrinsic for our immunity and our bone health as it helps you absorb Calcium properly. Vitamin D2 is the variant found in foods whilst D3 is found in the sunshine.

Many countries have enriched foods such as milk and cereal with Vitamin D. Oily fish is also a great source so fish such as Tuna, Mackerel no more than a couple times a week, are recommended. Egg yolks too are a source and of course fish oil supplements contain this. Be aware if taking multiple supplements without guidance that you’re Vitamin D does not exceed recommended limits.

 

Vitamin C.

A water –soluble Vitamin so it is excreted out in the urine and needs topped up daily. It is the least stable vitamin and is easily destroyed by cooking, which is why gently steaming veg is a good way to keep levels intact as is eating plenty of raw fruit and brightly coloured salad veg.

It is an Antioxidant. It also helps the absorption of Iron to be more efficient. Helps with the formation of Collagen and is essential for growth and repair of tissue and by extension wound healing.

Regular drinkers and smokers can easily run low on this Vitamin as both toxins deplete levels. People with Wounds, Burns, Pneumonia, TB, and People recovering from surgery may all need extra to encourage the healing process.

Deficiency leads to Scurvy, Joint Pain, Poor wound healing, Loose Teeth and Swollen gums. Bruising and little Red Spots on the Skin, Fatigue and sometimes Depression are among the delights encountered if your levels are low.

Vitamin C reduces the Histamine levels in the body which can help reduce symptoms and the duration of a cold. But it cannot cure a cold. Sorry!!

Just some of the sources of Vitamin C….

fruitCitrus fruits

Broccoli

Brussel Sprouts

Cabbage

Peppers

Tomatoes

Kiwi Fruits

Mango

Melon

Orange

Pineapples

Potatoes

 

 

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Vitamin A

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Vitamin A is a Fat soluble Vitamin. It is stored in the Liver. It helps vision and keeps the body tissues healthy, the skin and mucous membranes and aids cell growth. It is part of the Antioxidant vitamin combo of A,C and E.

yellow fruitsOften in skin care products you read about an ingredient called Retinol, this is a form of Vitamin A found in foods of animal origin. Pro-Vitamin A or better known as Beta-carotene is found in fruits and vegetables particularly those which are yellow.

The Beto-carotene is responsible for the pigment in these brightly coloured fruit and vegetables. If consumed in large enough quantities it can turn your skin this colour too!! It is called Carotenosis and this occurred in the late 90’s when children consumed very large volumes of a popular children’s drink it also occurs if you drink a lot of carrot or orange juice. Tanning tablets too work on this principle, it can be harmless in most cases and normal skin colouring will return in a few weeks, however you may experience an upset tummy and flatulence if you consume beta-carotene in these large amounts.

vitamin aDeficiency signs can include Poor night Vision (which is where the saying that carrots can make you see in the dark comes from) Poor skin condition, dry and flaky or the other extreme of acne. Bumpy skin and slow healing. Frequent coughs and cold and mouth ulcers can occur.

The sources of this Vitamin come from both animals and plants. In animals the sources are from fish liver oil i.e cod liver oil, Liver and eggs and dairy produce. Many margerines are fortified. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin and some of it is lost when milk for example is skimmed.

Liver is an excellent source of Vitmin A, it is a food to keep limited to maybe once a fortnight as it can be a source of medications, hormones or antibiotics that the animal has been given through its life.

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Greek Yoghurt

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Greek yoghurt was traditionally made using sheep’s milk, now a days the term can be used to indicate the straining process it has undergone. Now while all yoghurt has some health benefits to varying degrees, I’m going to focus on Greek Yoghurt as people may avoid its health benefits due to its higher calorie count.

Natural yoghurt is a Probiotic –rich food which confers many benefits on the digestive and immune systems. Greek yoghurt however can have up to 6 strains of probiotic while regular may only have two. The basis of a good immune system begins in the digestive system so incorporating pre and pro-biotic rich foods is a vital step to good health. It also due to higher probiotic content a better option for the lactose intolerant to digest than regular yoghurt.

It is higher in Protein than regular yoghurt and I would recommend this if you exercise a lot, as protein is good at managing hunger pangs and helps in muscle development so use it as perhaps part of a post-workout snack.

It is also lower in Sodium and Carbohydrates which can have obvious benefits for those looking to control blood sugar levels and for weight control. However the full fat version will be higher in calories may have more Calcium than the low fat version.

Due to its creamier texture, it can be a great option for cooking with. It is versatile enough for both sauces and dips for you to enjoy.

A basic Tzatziki, is made from Greek yoghurt, cucumber, garlic, olive oil and salt and sometimes lemon juice. You can add dill, mint or parsley too if required. It is lovely served with mezzes.

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A Basic Portion Control Guide

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Ref. www.PrecisionNutrition.com/calorie-control-guide.

Food Size Guide Female Male
 

Protein: Meat, Fish, Eggs, beans (other Protein dense legumes), Tofu, Quorn and Soy etc.

 

 

 

Palm of Fist.

 

1 portion is recommended

 

 

2 portions is recommended

 

Vegetables: All vegetables apart from the starchy kind such as Potatoes.

 

 

Fist size.

 

“             “

 

“         “

 

Carbohydrates: Starchy carbs i.e. Pasta, Bread, Grains, Fruit and Starchy Veg.

 

 

Cupped hand.

 

“             “

 

“         “

 

Fat: Oil, Butter, Nut and Nut Butters and also Seeds.

 

 

Entire thumb.

 

“         “

 

“           “

 

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