Health & Body Image

I’m a little late at jumping on the Katie Hopkins bandwagon, and frankly, I’m not really one for reality/day time T.V. (and nor should you – however that’s a topic for another day) but after stumbling across this video I thought it would be interesting to share my views on it, and invite you to do the same.

The general theme of this ‘interview’ seems to be a Fat vs Thin argument. Which is just wrong on so many levels. There are many gaps that I think need to looked at within our society in regards to how we look at body image and health.

I feel as though I could write a whole book on that subject alone, but to keep it very brief instead…obsessing over body image is not healthy! Exercising because you are giving-in to social pressure from TV, magazines, films, work colleagues, friends, family etc. and wanting to look a certain way because everyone else says you should, is a very unhealthy mindset to have.

Exercising because you want to, because you understand how it benefits you on the inside, as well as the mental stimulus you get (speak to anyone after a workout…they’re always happier) is very healthy.

The argument that sometimes follows this is ‘Well there’s nothing wrong with wanting to just look good’

Fair enough. To you people I would ask the following questions.

Why do you want to just ‘look’ good?

If the answer is ‘because I then ‘feel’ good’…
…ask yourself why?

Moving on, I find it somewhat ironic and rather disturbing that this (sort of) debate is hosted by 2 presenters that are only in the job because of how they look. So despite the fact they openly discuss the social and media pressures that are forced onto all of us every day in regards to looks, they’re guilty of doing it right there and then!

This video also touches on a subject I’m extremely passionate about which is how the young people of today are affected by our current outlook on health, body image and this fat vs thin nonsense. They look at the problems, but not the cause. I think a lot more needs to be done within educating young children about the effects of good and bad nutrition. I understand this is easier said than done though, having known people that have worked in primary schools teaching healthy eating and exercise, only to face severe backlash from furious parents due to their child now refusing to eat chips every night!

True to form of any day time T.V. show, there wasn’t enough depth and clarity on what should have been the most important issue within health and body image.

Mental health.

You can’t just intimidate someone to lose weight. Hardly anyone will respond well to that. I

t’s just bullying, really.

I think by giving someone the dedicated support via education, encouragement and commitment will result in that person developing the self discipline to get and stay healthy, as well genuinely happy on an intrinsic level.

What’s more I think these mental skills are then easily transferable, enabling that person to become successful in any Endeavour they so choose.

Start Your Day The Right Way…Don’t Eat Cereal

Start Your Day The Right Way...Don't Eat Cereal

If you want to lose weight, don’t eat cereal for breakfast! It really is that simple.

The benefits of cutting out cereal go way beyond fat loss, but unfortunately, due to a combination of clever marketing over the years and the fact that us humans can be very reluctant to accept new ideas, a lot of us are metaphorically shooting ourselves in the foot before we’ve walked out the front door.

If you’re reading this, it’s likely you want to shift some unwanted body fat. Eating cereal (even the ones that say they’re healthy, and have a lovely, but photoshopped, model on the box) will encourage the storage of fat…unless you are in a very insulin sensitive state already. This is because foods such as cereal (the same applies to toast, too) increase the amount of insulin and glucose in your blood stream. If you are currently wanting to lose weight, chances are your muscles are not sensitive to insulin yet; in short this means the insulin cannot take the glucose to your muscles and will be stored as fat instead.

Also, cereal and toast increase your serotonin levels. This actually makes you sleepy, and could be why you crave your 2nd cup of coffee before 10am. In fact, for some clients I have advised them to eat porridge about an hour before bed…and they say their sleep has improved because of it. However, this is dependent on your level of progression on a fitness and nutrition plan designed to increase insulin sensitivity, and therefore fat loss.

There are so many options we have available for breakfast that come with a plethora of physical and mental benefits. If you would like to know more on that and fat loss in general, feel free to contact me via the http://www.samsfitfoods.com site.

You Don’t Need ‘Sport’ Drinks

You Don't Need 'Sport' Drinks

Isotonic sport drinks have their place in the world of health and fitness, but they do not belong in the area of fat loss.

I understand the logic some people use. If you want to lose fat, training harder and going for a little longer would be a good idea. If a ‘sport’ drink says it will keep you going 33% longer, why wouldn’t you buy one?

Again, as always, it comes down to the insulin sensitivity of your muscles. These drinks contain a lot of sugar, the one thing you want to avoid if you’re looking to lose fat.

Regardless of whether you’re in the middle of an incredibly tough fitness session, until your muscles are sensitive to insulin again….NO SUGAR!

If you have too much body fat, you’re at the stage where your muscles are resistant to insulin. When you drink a high sugar, isotonic, 33% longer, cherry flavoured and shiny labelled drink – your blood glucose levels rise dramatically. Ideally, your muscles quickly take on the glucose for energy (they need to be sensitive to insulin for this to happen) and as such…you can go for a little bit longer.

However, as you’re currently in an insulin resisting state, the glucose can’t get to your muscles and will be stored in your fat cells instead.

Water, on the other hand, is great for fat loss. Especially as it promotes the effective circulation of fat metabolizing hormones after a workout.

It’s also a lot cheaper!

http://www.samsfitfoods.com

Cinnamon & Fat Loss

Cinnamon & Fat Loss

As I have mentioned many times now, they key to fat loss and permanent health is making sure your muscles are sensitive to insulin.

Any foods, drinks, herbs, spices etc that can positively effect your insulin sensitivity are worth adding into your weekly food shop. And cinnamon is definitely something to consider.

Just one tea spoon a day significantly lowers your serum glucose levels (the amount of glucose in your bloodstream). If you’re trying to lose fat, having high amounts of glucose in your blood is one of your biggest problems, so I would highly recommend adding some cinnamon into your diet.

Does this mean adding cinnamon to every meal will result in 0 effort weight loss? Of course not, it is simply something that can enhance the effects of a well-structured and specific fat loss plan.

http://www.samsfitfoods.com

Epigenetics & Fat Loss

Whilst it’s true the DNA we inherited from our parents determines how easy or hard it is for us to lose body fat, if you haven’t won the genetic lottery, a relatively new science called epigenetics should give you a great deal of hope. 

We cannot change our DNA, we are who we are, but we can alter how certain genes are expressed. How we act on a day-to-day basis can have a rather large impact on us.

For example, you can actually ‘turn off’ the gene you inherited that promotes fat storage, and this can be achieved by consistently eating foods that are good for you (and remember what’s good for someone else, might not be good for you – we’re all different) and consistently exercising at an intense enough level. The key word here, being consistent…it’s not going to happen overnight. 

Also, your environment plays a significant role in your weight loss goal. There’s a decent amount of science showing how we are effected by external influences etc.. But basically, your Mum was always right! If you hang out with a bad crowd, you’ll pick up bad habits. If you’re trying to lose weight and the people you surround yourself with aren’t supportive, spend more time with a new group of people that will encourage and challenge you in a positive way instead. 

http://www.samsfitfoods.com 

 

 

Weight Training: Why It’s Great For Fat Loss, And Why You Won’t Turn Into Schwarzenegger

Weight training, typically, is intense. Regardless of whether you’re lifting 2.5kg or 25kg, if it’s relative to your current ability, it will be intense enough to force your body to adapt.

The same cannot be said for running on a treadmill, or what most people refer to as ‘cardio’. In this sense, ‘cardio’ is actually specific aerobic conditioning, if you run on a treadmill all the time, you’re now just very good at running on a treadmill. You have not adapted to lose and keep-off fat.

Weight training is superior for fat loss for many reasons, most notably, the increase in resting metabolic rate, and the fat burning effect that comes with the recovery process.

The more muscle tissue we have, the more calories we burn when resting. Muscle is a metabolically active tissue, the more we have, the higher our energy requirements and the more calories used to sustain it; rather than being stored as fat. This is also why (ladies take note) that when you embark on a weight training regime, you will not turn into Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Our bodies are very clever, they’ve had to be to ensure we survived our caveman days. Back then, food was scarce. Being able to easily build copious amounts of muscle tissue would not have helped us survive. More muscle, more calories burned, more food needed to make sure we didn’t die. Because of this, the majority of us have a gene known as GDF-8, which basically puts a limit on how much muscle we can develop. Only a small minority of people are born without it.

Also, when recovering from a weight training session (that’s intense enough) our aerobic system is a vital component of this process. In many cases, the aerobic system gets a better ‘workout’ when recovering from an intense weights session than a steady paced treadmill session. As such, weight training is a much more effective way of losing body fat than ‘cardio’.

http://www.samsfitfoods.com

H20-Yeah!

H20-Yeah!

We’re often told we need to drink more water, but most of us don’t. I think if you understand a bit more about how important water is (especially for fat loss) you’ll start to get your 2 litres + per day.

If you want your body to respond well to an exercise stimulus, whether the aim is packing on lean muscle tissue or torching fat, you need water.

Drinking enough water allows for the expansion of your circulating blood volume. When you exercise at an intense enough level, coupled with eating foods specific to your fat loss needs, your body will bring certain hormones into play to promote this desired fat loss.

These hormones want to interact with the various cells of your body, including fat cells. It can do this very effectively if there is enough water in your system as the increase in circulating blood volume makes the transportation of these hormones easy.

Keeping hydrated also makes life a lot easier for your liver. When you lose fat, a major part of the process involves the liver. If, however, you’re dehydrated the liver has to focus a lot more on detoxification. This results in your liver being a lot less effective at mobilizing body fat, and as such, less body fat will be burned as fuel.