Category Archives: Health

Are you confident?

 

Confidence is a massive bonus if you have it!

 

People love confident people. I’m sure you aspire to be confident and successful. We often associate confidence with success, wealth and happiness.

 

We all want that right? Success, wealth and happiness?

 

Guess your asking now what has this got to do with fitness and health?

 

Well a lot to be honest.

 

If you are confident and happy within yourself then you will try! Try new things, take risks, push yourself and most importantly achieve what you set out too do.

 

Your mental state or mind set can greatly affect how you interact or what you do.

 

In a fitness sense if you are positive and strong mentally you will push through to rep out those last few reps, go that bit heavier or run that bit faster for longer.

 

Ever walked into a gym and felt inadequate next to the guy with the bulging muscles or the woman with the great abs and bum?

 

Take a step back, think about what they have done to get where they currently are. They have researched and researched, tried and tried, failed and failed, then tried again and succeeded.

 

To get in great shape, improve health and fitness you need to plan, plan your training, track your progress, plan your diet to maximize your results.

If your training is planned, measured, specific to you and realistic then you will feel confident in what you are doing.

 

Confidence will lead to success. 

Below are some simple tools to help you track and record progress. These will help you stay focused.

 

S.M.A.R.T stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed.

 

Are your goals specific to you? Pointless trying to run a 4 minute mile if you can’t run for 30 seconds.

 

Keep track and measure your performances. So you can see improvements an failures. This gives you the opportunity to praise yourself for doing well but also to the chance to put right current failings.

 

Can you realistically achieve your goals? Be honest with yourself here. Set unrealistic goals and you will fail, this will lead to a negative response and potentially lead to giving up on your fitness goals.

 

Put a time frame on achieving your fitness targets. This will give you focus to stay motivated and succeed.

 

Hope you find this useful, James

 

 

 

Eat more FAT for health

Consuming fatty foods for many is bad idea! Ill get fat, ill put on weight… the amount of people who are so confused largely thanks to the food industry is shocking.

 

 

For a long time and it still goes on the food industry has marketed their products as being low in fat, low in calories, more like low in anything remotely nutritious or beneficial!

Lets be clear quality fats are not your enemy. Goods fats such as Polyunsaturated and mono unsaturated fats are very good for you.

Things that are high in FAT are not necessarily bad for you as food manufactures would have you believe. It all depends on what type you consume. You want to avoid trans fats and hydrogenated fats as these are man made. Hydrogenated fats can be found in chocolate, french fries,ice cream and biscuits for example.

These Trans fats/hydrogenated fats will lower your good cholesterol and raise your bad cholesterol! Meaning greater risk of heart disease, strokes and heart attacks.

Lets look at one source of quality fat. One of my favourites is pistachios :).

Now these are tasty as. Quality sources of monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, protein, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates…

Pistachios contain:

Zinc(mineral): Vital in the production of testosterone and growth hormones, perfect for muscle building and fat loss. Supports reproductive health and fertility. Helps prevent cancer and help stregthen your immune system. Zinc lessens the affects of inflammation and lessens the affects of ageing!

Monounsaturated fats: These help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. They also provide nutrients to help develop and maintain your body’s cells. Contains the antioxidant Vitamin E which helps protect and maintain the skins appearance and protect against conditions such as diabetes.

Magnesium(mineral):Magnesium is important for bone formation. High magnesium intakes are associated with a greater bone density and have shown to be effective for decreasing the risk of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.

Copper(mineral): Pistachios are high in copper which acts as an anti inflammatory that helps reduce the symptoms of arthritis, copper assists in growth of hair, organs and muscles. Also copper helps prevent premature ageing! Copper helps us utilise our energy department. Therefore, when we have enough copper in our bodies, we will have enough functional and accessible energy to get through the day without feeling lethargic or tired.

Protein: Greater muscle growth, more lean body tissue( less body fat). Protein makes you feel fuller, so less chance of over eating and gaining excess weight. Protein raises you energy expenditure when resting so more calories burned at rest more fat loss and more muscle preservation. Increase in strength and bone density.

This is just one example of one food containing fats that are high in quality nutrition that will leave you feeling energised and full of health. So please don’t be afraid of cousumming fatty foods as long as they are the right type.

Lemon water for health and weight loss

11 Benefits of Lemon Water

1. Gives your immune system a boost.

Lemon juice is full of Vitamin C. The level of vitamin C in your system is one of the first things to plummet when you’re stressed, which is why it is  recommended popping extra vitamin C during especially stressful days or when ill.

2. Excellent source of potassium.

lemons are high in potassium, good for heart health, as well as brain and nerve function.

3. Aids digestion.

Lemon juice encourages healthy digestion. It also helps to relieve symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, burping, and bloating.

4. Cleanses your system.

It helps flush out the toxins in your body by enhancing enzyme function, stimulating your liver.

5. Freshens your breath.

It also helps relieve toothaches and gingivitis.  Because the citric acid can erode tooth enamel, either hold off on brushing your teeth after drinking lemon water or brush your teeth before drinking it.

6. Keeps your skin blemish-free.

The antioxidants in lemon juice help to not only decrease blemishes, but wrinkles too! It can also be applied to scars and age spots to reduce their appearance, and because it’s detoxifying your blood, it will maintain your skin’s radiance.

7. Helps you lose weight.

Lemons contain pectin fiber, which assists in fighting hunger cravings.

8. Reduces inflammation.

If you drink lemon water on a regular basis, it will decrease the acidity in your body, which is where disease states occur. It removes uric acid in your joints, which is one of the main causes of inflammation.

9. Gives you an energy boost.

Lemon juice provides your body with energy when it enters your digestive tract, and it also helps reduce anxiety and depression. (Even the scent of lemons has a calming effect on your nervous system!)

10. Helps to cut out caffeine.

I didn’t believe this until I tried it, but replacing my morning coffee with a cup of hot lemon water has really done wonders! I feel refreshed, and no longer have to deal with that pesky afternoon crash. Plus, my nerves are thankful.

11. Helps fight viral infections.

Warm lemon water is the most effective way to diminish viral infections and their subsequent sore throats. Plus, with the lemon juice also boosting your immune system, you’ll simultaneously fight off the infection completely.

Drink coke for health? Are you Serious?

Drink Coke for your health? Are you serious?

Coke or Coca Cola is immensely popular!

A drink consumed by millions upon millions everyday. A household brand and one of the most successful brands ever!

Although…………  Coke is very close to the acidity level of battery acid and consequently it can clean surfaces equivalent to and often better than many toxic household cleaners.

Love that little gem of information above but there is more…………People who consume soft drinks such as Coke have a 48% increase in heart attack and stroke risk, compared to people who did not drink the sodas at all or did not drink them every day. A study published in the journal Respirology reveals that soft drink consumption is also associated with lung and breathing disorders including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease!!

Wow!! So that drink I love so much is actually causing me a lot of problems! At this point you may want to reconsider stocking coke for those special family occasions? 

The carbonation in Coke causes calcium loss in the bones through a 3-stage process:
  1. The carbonation irritates the stomach.
  2. The stomach “cures” the irritation the only way it knows how. It adds the only antacid at its disposal: calcium. It gets this from the blood.
  3. The blood, now low on calcium, replenishes its supply from the bones. If it did not do this, muscular and brain function would be severely impaired.

But, the story does not  end there. Another problem with most Coke is it also contain phosphoric acid (not the same as the carbonation, which is carbon dioxide mixed with the water). Phosphoric acid also causes a draw-down on the body’s store of calcium.

So Coke softens your bones (actually, makes them weak and brittle) in 3 ways:
  1. Carbonation reduces the calcium in the bones.
  2. Phosphoric acid reduces the calcium in the bones.
  3. The beverage replaces a calcium-containing alternative, such as milk or water. Milk and water are not excellent calcium sources, but they are sources.
Esophageal cancer was very rare two generations ago — now, it’s common. The basic mechanism works as follows:
  1. Mechanical damage to cells is a huge risk factor for cancer. It’s why asbestos particles, for example, cause lung cancer.
  2. All soft drinks cause acid reflux (stomach acid rising up past the esophageal valve). This is more pronounced when the body is horizontal (as in sleeping), but the sheer volume of Coke and soft drinks consumed in the USA means the acid reflux is well past the danger point. Any time you ingest a gassy drink, you are going to get belching–and acid into the esophagus. How much is too much? The research doesn’t say where the limit is–it only shows that most of us are far, far, far past it.
  3. tomach acid dissolves tissue — that’s its purpose. The stomach lining does not extend into the esophagus, so the lower esophagus gets damaged by acid far more frequently in soft drink users than in non soft drink users. This results in a radical increase in cell mutations, along with a far higher level of free radicals.

So I increase my risk of cancer and brittle bones… all from drinking coke? Wow thanks Coca Cola, good for you 🙂

Let’s have a look at “the anatomy” of one of the most advertised products of “Coca-Cola Co.” – Coca-Cola Light without caffeine. This drink contains Aqua Carbonated, E150D, E952, E951, E338, E330, Aromas, E211.

Aqua Carbonated – this is sparkling water. It stirs gastric secretion, increases the acidity of the gastric juice and provokes flatulence.  Filtered tap water is what is primarily used.

E150D – this is food coloring obtained through the processing of sugar at specified temperatures, with or without addition of chemical reagents. In the case of coca-cola, ammonium sulfate is added.

E952 – Sodium Cyclamate is a sugar substitute. Cyclamate is a synthetic chemical, has a sweet taste, which is 200 times sweeter than sugar, and is used as an artificial sweetener. In 1969 it was banned by FDA, since it, as well as saccharin and aspartame, caused cancer in rats.

E950 – Acesulfame Potassium. 200 times sweeter than sugar, containing methyl-ether. It aggravates the operation of the cardiovascular system. Likewise, it contains asparaginic acid which can also cause an excitant effect on our nervous system and in time it can lead to addiction. Acesulfame is badly dissolved and is not recommended for use by children and pregnant women.

E951 – Aspartame. A sugar substitute for diabetics and is chemically unstable at elevated temperatures it breaks down into methanol and phenylalanine. Methanol is very dangerous as only 5-10ml can cause destruction of the optic nerve and irreversible blindness. In warm soft drinks, aspartame transforms into formaldehyde which is a very strong carcinogen. Symptoms of aspartame poisoning include: unconsciousness, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, palpitation, weight gain, irritability, anxiety, memory loss, blurry vision, fainting, joint pains, depression, infertility, hearing loss and more. Aspartame can also provoke the following diseases: brain tumors, MS (Multiple Sclerosis), epilepsy, Graves’ disease, chronic fatigue, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, mental deficiency and tuberculosis. Later, this substance was initially illegal due to its dangers but was again made legal in a suspicious manner.

E338 – Orthophosphoric Acid. This can cause irritation of the skin and eyes. It is used for production of phosphoric acid salts of ammonia, sodium, calcium, aluminum and also in organic synthesis for the production of charcoal and film tapes. It is also used in the production of refractory materials, ceramics, glass, fertilizers, synthetic detergents, medicine, metalworking, as well as in the textile and oil industries. It is known that orthophosphoric acid interferes with the absorption of calcium and iron into the body which can cause weakening of bones and osteoporosis. Other side effects are thirst and skin rashes.

E330 – Citric Acid. It is widely used in pharmaceutical and food industries. Salts of citric acid (citrates) are used in the food industry as acids, preservatives, stabilizers, and in the medical fields – for preserving blood.

Aromas – unknown aromatic additives

E211 – Sodium Benzoate. It is used in production of some food products for anti-bacterial and anti-fungal purposes. It is often found in jams, fruit juices and fruit yogurts. It’s not recommended for use by asthmatics and people who are sensitive to aspirin. A study conducted by Peter Piper at the Sheffield University in Britain, found that this compound causes significant damage to DNA. According to Peter, sodium benzoate which is an active component in preservatives, doesn’t destroy DNA, but deactivates it. This can lead to cirrhosis and degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease.

Perhaps drink Water??

 

 

9 Foods To Avoid! Must Read!

 

9 Foods to avoid! Must Read!

 

1) White bread, refined flours. By definition, white bread and refined flours in general are toxic for your body because they have been stripped of virtually all vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other important nutrients. Because of this, the body does not know how to properly digest and assimilate these so-called foods, which can lead to health problems. Refined white flour has also been bleached with chlorine and brominated with bromide, two poisonous chemicals that have been linked to causing thyroid and organ damage.

2) Conventional frozen meals. Most conventionally-prepared frozen meals are loaded with preservatives, processed salt, hydrogenated oils and other artificial ingredients, not to mention the fact that most frozen meals have been heavily pre-cooked, rendering their nutrient content minimal at best (especially after getting microwaved again at home).  Most frozen meals are little more than disease in a box, so avoid them in favor of fresh foods.

 3) White rice. Like white bread, white rice has been stripped of most of its nutrients, and separated from the bran and germ, two natural components that make up rice in its brown form. Even so-called “fortified” white rice is nutritionally deficient, as the body still processes this refined food much differently than brown rice, which is absorbed more slowly and does not cause the same spike in blood sugar that white rice does.

4) Microwaveable popcorn. This processed food is a favorite among moviegoers and regular snackers alike, but it is one of the unhealthiest foods you can eat. Practically every component of microwaveable popcorn, from the genetically-modified (GM) corn kernels to the processed salt and preservative chemicals used to enhance its flavor, is unhealthy and disease-promoting. On top of this, microwaveable popcorn contains a chemical known as diacetyl that can actually destroy your lungs. If you love popcorn, stick with organic kernels that you can pop yourself in a kettle and douse with healthy ingredients like coconut oil, grass-fed butter, and Himalayan pink salt.

 5) Cured meat products with nitrates, nitrites. Deli meats, summer sausage, hot dogs, bacon, and many other meats sold at the grocery store are often loaded with sodium nitrite and other chemical preservatives that have been linked to causing heart disease and cancer. If you eat meat, stick with uncured, nitrite and nitrate-free varieties, and preferably those that come from organic, grass-fed animals.

 6) Most conventional protein, energy bars. By the way they are often marketed, it might seem as though protein and energy bars are a strong addition to a healthy diet. But more often than not, these meal replacements contain processed soy protein, refined sugar, hydrogenated fat, and other harmful additives that contribute to chronic illness. Not all protein and energy bars are bad, of course — Thunderbird Energetica, Organic Food Bar, Boku Superfood, Vega Sport, PROBAR, and Zing all make healthy protein and energy bars. Just be sure to read the ingredient labels and know what you are buying.

7) Margarine. Hidden in all sorts of processed foods, margarine, a hydrogenated trans-fat oil, is something you will want to avoid at all costs for your health. Contrary to popular belief, butter and saturated fats in general are not unhealthy, especially when they are derived from pastured animals that feed on grass rather than corn and soy. And if animal-based fats are not for you, stick with extra-virgin coconut oil or olive oil rather than margarine.

 8) Soy milk and soy-based meat substitutes. One of the biggest health frauds of modern times, the soy craze is a fad that you will want to skip. Besides the fact that nearly all non-organic soy ingredients are of GM origin, most soy additives are processed using a toxic chemical known as hexane, which is linked to causing birth defects, reproductive problems, and cancer. Soy that has not been fermented is also highly estrogenic, which can throw your natural hormone balance out of whack.

 9) “Diet” anything. Many so-called “diet” products on the market today contains artificial sweeteners like aspartame (Equal) and sucralose (Splenda), both of which are linked to causing neurological damage, gastrointestinal problems, and endocrine disruption. Many diet products also contain added chemical flavoring agents to take the place of fat and other natural components that have been removed to artificially reduce calorie content. Instead, stick with whole foods that are as close to nature as possible, including high-fat foods grown the way nature intended, and your body will respond surprisingly well.

SUGAR Vrs FAT? Which is better?

A recent BBC documentary asked the question which is better for you Sugar or Fat?

Most of us have tried fad diets. Such as no carbs, no fat, only eating at certain times. The list is endless.

This documentary set out to find which is better or which one is worse. Two identical twins , with very similar lifestyles and habits took on the challenge for 1 month for one twin to only eat Fat and the other to only eat carbs.

Chris ate only carbohydrates and Xand ate only fats.

Chris always felt hungry whereas Xand always felt full.

How do I Lose fat, get lean whilst maintaining muscle?

How do I Lose fat, get lean whilst maintaining muscle?
A few Tips to help you get in great shape:

Planning

In order to lose body fat we have to have a reason as to why we want to achieve this goal, is it (a) Make you look good (b) Health benefits (reduce heart disease, lower cholesterol etc) (c) Holiday/Vacation (c) Competition (d) or just to see if you can.

There are many reasons why people choose to get to a low body fat percentage, but to achieve your goal in a half-hearted fashion will not work. Remember that the body likes to be at a set point of body fat and will try everything it can to maintain this set point, the main way that the body achieves this is by slowing the metabolism down, or by holding body fat and using muscle tissue, the body is clever and it has evolved over thousands of years, so were not going to trick it into change over night.

You have to plan your life around wanting to change, your aim must be clear and precise as to why you want to do it, you must set a date to start, tell your friends/family that you are going to do it, and that you are going to start on a certain date, you will need the support from the other people whilst you are embarking on this new regime. It is not easy to achieve a low body fat percentage and you must be 100% committed to your aim.

Setting Goals

Write down the reasons as to why you want to achieve this aim, i.e., “I want my body fat to be …X…” But be realistic, you wont achieve a 15% reduction in a few weeks.

By writing down your aims you have made a statement and setting yourself a goal, and get rid of any thoughts of “I wish I was…….etc. Your statement now is I will loose “X” amount of pounds in “Y” amount of time. Set goals that are ambitious yet achievable. You might not know how far you can go in losing fat, so find an example like in fitness magazines, you might of seen the before and after pictures of people who have been losing fat for a while, and pin it on your wall for inspiration.

Now you have written your goals down make copies and hang them everywhere you see them regularly, i.e. bathroom mirror, refrigerator door, inside the car, just to reinforce what you are about to achieve, Remember that there will be set backs, but you will be able to get back on track because remember “you are going to achieve this”.

Nutrition

Restricting calories does not work, your body has safety mechanisms which will work the other way and store fat, an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase is the enemy in trying to lose fat, it slows the metabolism and makes you store fat as a last resort for energy, and on top of that the body then gives up our muscle tissue for energy, you will lose weight but the wrong weight, Muscle is 70% water so on the scales you think you are doing well but it is muscle and water that has gone and considering that muscle burns calories this then further reduces your metabolism, when you come off the diet you will gain back every ounce of the fat you had and some more for “insurance” in case you do this again, so now you can eat less and still get fat.

Meal Frequency

You must eat regularly which means never go more than three hours without eating food, which means that you will be having six or seven meals a day. You won’t be eating any more calories than you need but all you have done is spread the calories evenly over the day, this in turn increases the metabolism, stops craving, and stops the highs and lows of blood sugar. You will have more energy and less hunger pangs, the food will be more easily digested and you will create a metabolic environment that supports healthy fat loss and muscle gains.

Meals

When trying to lose body fat we have to eat less then our body requires in the day to create a “negative balance”. Instead of counting every single calorie that you eat, we go about this differently we count portions, and a portion is the size of the palm of your hand, or the size of a clenched fist. This is a basic easy way to eat your food. Without the right foods you will not see results, food and training is the key.

7 Easy Weight Loss Tips

1:Keep your protein intake high

Protein is vital for repairing cells, skin , bones, and building lean muscle you can’t get fat by eating protein. Examples: Chicken, Tuna, Cod, Turkey…

2:Get the right type of Carbohydrates

Many people think too much fat in their diet is the cause of their weight gain when the truth is it’s too many carbohydrates! Carbohydrates are great for giving you instant energy to be able to workout but they also make you fat if you don’t expend the energy- avoid simple carbs like refined sugar, cans of pop, sweets… So carbohydrates are fine but make sure you eat complex carbohydrates like oats, apricots, oranges, plums, pears, grapefruits and prunes… these will fill you up and help you to feel satisfied- thus avoiding binging on bad carbs.

3:Drink plenty of water throughout the day:

Water aids weight loss!! Simple but so effective, consume 2-3 litres a day.

4:Eat quality slow releasing carbohydrates(oats, fruit, whole grains) before bed
5:Incorporate cardio training into your weekly routine
6:Don’t snack between meals( if you really need too, fruit or nuts are fine)
7:Get plenty of sleep every night (including weekends!)

Margarine causes Heart Disease?

The difference between margarine and butter?

Both have the same amount of calories, butter is slightly higher in saturated fats 8grams compared to margarines 5grams.

Eating margarine can raise heart disease in women by 53 %!!Butter on the other hand can increase the absorption of nutrients into the body.

Margarine is very high in trans fatty acids and can triple the risk of coronary heart disease. Increases LDL ( bad cholesterol ) and lowers HDL ( the good cholesterol), margarine increases the risk of cancer by 5 fold, decreases your immunity ( meaning you become ill more often) .

Margarine is 1 molecule away from being plastic!!!

Try this leave a tub of margarine in the garage for a week and see what happens, it won’t rot, go off, no flies or insects will go near it. Why? Because it has no nutritional value! It’s basically plastic!
Would you spread a plastic tub on your toast and eat that?

Butter any day guys.

Eat more fat for fat loss?

 

Fat loss, personal trainer, JM Fitness

Its been just over a month since I said I would increase my quality fat intake.

The reason being to see if doing so would make me fatter or would it make me leaner?

Now I must stress that the only change to my diet in the past month has been to eat more quality fats such as almonds, pistachios and walnuts. This way the test can be accurate.

I started off with eating 28grams a day of almonds or any other nuts you like( They MUST be unsalted, un roasted, just pure nuts), then I gradually increased to eating nuts whenever I wanted really. So when I was a little hungry I just got a handful and had a little snack.

I do have two set times to eat my nuts though, 28grams a time and these are for breakfast and then two hours latter. Then as I say I will just snack on them whenever I want.

The Results?

Nuts make you leaner! That’s right increasing the amount of quality fat intake in your diet makes you lose more body fat!! Nuts contain EFA’s ( essential fatty acids) that breakdown fat in the body. Fat attacking fat? Crazy but it works.

So avoid snacking on high carbohydrate foods like chocolate, sweets and cakes when you feel hungry as these make you fat and low on energy. Eat nuts instead to make you leaner and more energised.

James

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