Watching Fats and Sugars

Now here is a topic that is absolutely essential reading for all people both young and old. It concerns fats and sugars – and the fact is we all need to watch our daily intake of these things. Sure, we do require a certain amount of fats and sugars each day, as you read about fat in my last article. The thing to remember though is that too much fat or too much sugar is going to have dire consequences on our health and wellbeing.

So how do we go about watching the amount of fat and sugar that we consume daily? After all, food labels are downright confusing and it can be hard to use the “recommended grams per day” thing as a rule.

In this article, I’ll walk you through it and help you stay on track when it comes to fat and sugar. And when you do this, you’ll help yourself to age better too. Just thought I’d mention that so you know we’re on track with our anti-aging topics series.

What happens when you eat too much fat or sugar
When you consume too much fat in your diet you increase your chances of developing the following problems:

Obesity;
Diabetes;
Certain types of cancers;
High cholesterol;
Heart disease;
Stroke; and
High blood pressure.

It has also been found that the dangerous trans fats mentioned in my last article have exposed people to hard-to-treat cancers, such as breast cancer.

When it comes to overconsumption of sugar, the health problems we increase our chances of developing include:

Obesity;
Diabetes;
Heart disease;
Unstable blood glucose;
Tooth decay;
Gum disease;
Weakened immune system;
Nutrient deficiency;
Stress;
Decreased cognition; and
Aging.

Sugar and fat overconsumption will contribute to us not aging as well as we otherwise would, if we kept our consumption in check.

So how do we keep our fat and sugar consumption in check?
As you know with fat consumption, there is only a certain amount of fat we should consume in one day. You already know that there are good fats (unsaturated fats) and bad fats (saturated fats). About 30% of your daily calorie intake can be fat, but of that no more than 10% should come from the bad fats and 20% from the good fats.

With relation to sugar consumption, there is no set in stone recommended intake. All too often, sugars are added to other foods to make them more appetizing, and these “added sugars” don’t include natural sugars such as the types you find in fruit and milk. When it is added sugar can be called:

Fruit juice concentrates;
Honey;
Glucose;
Sucrose;
High fructose corn syrup;
Fructose;
Molasses;
Brown sugar; or
Maltose.

As a rule, nutritionists say to limit added sugars (not including the natural ones) to 10 teaspoons per day (that’s 40g).

When looking at food labels, you can easily see what the total sugar content is. Also, bear in mind that the ingredients are listed in order from highest to lowest concentration. That is why you should avoid foods that list sugar in the top five ingredients. So avoid things like full sugar soft drinks, candy, baked foods like cookies, cakes and pies, dairy desserts, flavored milks and fruit drinks that are not 100% natural juice.

It may seem like hard work, but it’s definitely worth taking a proactive view when it comes to limiting your fats and sugars. Keep these in check – while enjoying a healthy diet and physical exercise – and you won’t regret it!

Eat Frequently and Keep Healthy

Anybody who tells you that cutting back on meals is better for your long-term health really has no idea at all! If you want to turn back the hands of time and age in a better way, you really need to get the eating thing right. And how do you do that?

You do it by eating good food and eating it frequently.

That’s right! Five small meals and snacks per day is the way to go, if you want to achieve optimum health and slow down the aging process. It doesn’t mean eating rabbit food or starving. Far from it!

By following a nutritional plan that involves frequent, small meals, you won’t be hungry and you’ll feel much more energetic and alive.

How it’s done
First and foremost, whatever you do, do not skip breakfast. This is never a good thing to do, because rather than reduce your caloric intake, it sets people up for binge eating on the wrong things in the afternoon. You’ll end up beefing up your caloric intake in the afternoon/evening, which defeats the purpose of slowing the aging process. And your metabolism will slow right down, meaning you will more than likely gain weight.

So here is what you need to do:

Start with a healthy breakfast of cereal and fruit or toast and fruit.
Have a snack of fruit or yoghurt about three hours later.
Enjoy a healthy lunch of salad or soup or a sandwich with wholegrain bread.
Have a snack of fruit or yoghurt about three hours after lunch.
Enjoy a healthy dinner of grilled meat with steamed vegetables or perhaps a stir-fry.

And if you are hungry after dinner, maybe have a piece of fruit or maybe some nuts.

Remember as well to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Also, never go longer than four hours during the day without eating, because you will end up binging on the wrong foods if you do this.

By eating frequent, smaller meals throughout the day you are stopping yourself from snacking or binging on unhealthy foods that will rob you of energy, contribute to weight gain and hasten the aging process.

Good food eaten frequently and in smaller portions throughout the day will help you look and feel longer, younger. And by combining your healthy eating habits with a good, active lifestyle, you’ll end up feeling better than you did in your twenties!

So start getting into the habit of enjoying small, frequent meals every day. It takes 30 days for a new behavior to become a healthy habit – so get started today!
The Fat on the Fat

You know if you spend enough time watching daytime television and reading magazines geared towards healthy eating and living, you would be forgiven for thinking that fat is a bad thing. We hear about fat busting exercises and declaring war on fat, so sure, many people probably think fat is a bad thing.

Add to this the fact that we see reduced fat foods lining our supermarket shelves, and in television commercials and some people may see it almost as something poisonous!

The fat on fat though is that we need it. In fact, our bodies would not be able to function without fat. That’s because in reality, fat is a nutrient. It provides us with the energy that we need to function every day and it helps other nutrients we consume to do the good jobs they need to do.

The Types of Fats
There are four major types of fats that we can consume:

Saturated fat: Each molecule of fat is covered in hydrogen atoms and if we consume too much of these fats over a long period of time, we will experience health problems e.g. raised cholesterol which can lead to stroke and heart disease. These sorts of fats are found in meat from mammals, the skin of poultry, dairy products and the majority of processed foods (bakery foods such as pastries, cakes, cookies – even snack foods such as crisps).
Monosaturated fat: These types of fats are not saturated in hydrogen atoms. According to experts these fats are neither good nor bad for you. On the other hand though, many health experts testify to monosaturated fats reducing the risk of heart disease. You can find these fats in avocadoes, olives and ground nut oil.
Polyunsaturated fat: These fats aren’t saturated with hydrogen atoms either, and according to nutritionists, polyunsaturated fats are good for our health. The fats that are really good come from fish, and they are called Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. They are believed to lower cholesterol and keep heart disease at bay. They can also help reduce the symptoms of skin diseases, plus joint problems, including arthritis. The main sources of polyunsaturated fats are oily fish (salmon, herring, mackerel, trout and sardines), sunflower oil, grapeseed oil and safflower oil.
Trans fat: These fats are synthetic. They are not natural. Through industrial processes, trans fat is made by adding hydrogen to the liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid in their form. They are popular because the companies that make food claim they are easier to work with and inexpensive to produce. The fact is, they are bad for our health and should be avoided. Some cities have even banned trans fat. You will find them in fried foods, pies, biscuits, pastries, crackers, doughnuts and many baked foods.

Stick to polyunsaturated fats wherever you can!
The recommended daily intake for fats
For adults, experts recommend that fat make up 20-35% of our daily total calorie intake.

Our fat intake should be limited to vegetable oils and omega-3 oils.

In my next article I’ll talk to you about watching our fat intake, as well as our sugar intake.

It’s essential reading for anybody serious about looking and feeling great for longer!

By knowing what fats to consume, what ones to avoid and how much fat to consume, we will reduce the risk of lifestyle diseases, obesity and other health problems that contribute to us aging poorly. Start being fat-wise today by paying attention to the types of fats that are in the foods you consume.

Oh and don’t forget to combine it with a sensible amount of physical activity – for the best results!

Top Water Drinking Tips to Keep You Young!

While we’re on the topic of staying younger, longer we really need to pay some attention to the importance of water. Forget the overpriced lotions, potions, pills and quack doctors. Water is free and it’s something you can start enjoying today along with its many age-defying health benefits.

In this article I’m going to focus on why water is so important and what the actual benefits are. And if you are one of those people who says, “I don’t like to drink water”, I’ll show you ways you can start including water in your daily diet so you can reap the benefits.

Why is water so important?
It’s been called the elixir of life, and when you discover what the benefits of water actually are, it will come as little surprise that it’s so important. Here’s what water does for us:

It nourishes and cleans our cells: Our bodies are made up of millions and millions of cells and water moves in and out of these cells constantly. By doing this, essential nutrients are dissolved and delivered to the parts of the body that need them, and waste is removed from the body. Water washes us inside and out and keeps us working to optimum!

It helps our digestive process: Water keeps our digestive process working well, in the same way that oil keeps a machine running well. Water helps keep us regular and will keep heart burn at bay as well.
It keeps our body temperature right: It does this in the cold and in the hot weather as well. That’s because it stops us from dehydrating – a killer for humans in extreme hot and cold weather. Water keeps our temperature at the all-essential safe level.

It heals our body: Our bodies will retain water to help aid in the healing process – whether it’s surgery or a cold or flu. If we drink extra water, we help aid in the healing process. Water will help our bodies flush out nasties such as infections and viruses.
Keeps kidney and gallstones at bay: This stems from its ability to flush out waste and impurities. By flushing out the nasties, you will stop your body forming painful kidney and gall stones. That’s because it helps your liver and kidneys to function well.
Keeps your joints healthy: This is because water lubricates your joints and cushions them. Water molecules will spread out in a joint, providing much needed lubrication and cushioning – great for sufferers of arthritis and gout.

It helps your skin to feel soft and smooth: And this means you won’t wrinkle as much! Great to know if you want to look younger! Water will help your skin’s elasticity. Make sure you don’t overdo it though, as a long bath or shower will strip your skin of natural oils, making you look wrinkly. Spraying your skin with a bit of water throughout the day will give you the freshen up you need – and your skin will love it.
It helps you avoid overeating: By drinking water before eating, you’re less likely to overeat because you will feel fuller.
It increases your energy: Water will increase your energy levels if you drink water throughout your exercise.

And of course, by frequently washing your hands in water with soap after going to the bathroom, patting the dog or touching common surfaces, you get rid of nasty germs and keep illness away.

Recommended water intake
It is recommended that we drink about 8 glasses of water per day. Of course though, if you are in a hot climate or you are doing a lot of physical activity, you will probably drink more.

If you don’t particularly like to drink water, here are some tips I recommend for you to increase your water intake:

Add lemon or other fruit to your water: This gives it some taste and lemon will also give your metabolism a boost.
Drink your water super cold: There’s just something really refreshing about super cold water.
Add ice: Ice in water is heaven, so be sure to add ice to each glass you consume. You can even add fruit juice ice. Make sure there’s no added sugar though.
Add juice: Again, make sure there’s no added sugar.
Drink sparkling water: It’s just as good – but with extra minerals. Opt for naturally effervescent mineral water.

All of these benefits will help you to age better and will contribute to helping you look and feel much younger and much more vibrant. Combine it with the recommended amount of physical activity, and you’re well on your way to discovering the closest thing we have to the fountain of youth!

Why Fiber is so Important in Our Diet?

All this talk about aging and aging well wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t look at the influence of diet in the aging process as well. As you know, having an active lifestyle helps us to age well, and so too does having a healthy, balanced diet.

Part of a balanced diet requires fiber. But why is fiber so important to us?

In this article, I’m going to talk about fiber and why it’s so important to include in our diet because of its many health benefits.

What exactly is fiber?
Fiber is pretty interesting. It is a carbohydrate but it has special properties that allow it to pass through the human digestive system without being broken down through the digestive process.

There are two types of fiber: insoluble fiber which is made of plant cell walls and cannot be dissolved in water and soluble fiber, made up of polysaccharides which can dissolve in water.

Fiber plays a really important role in the digestive process. It:

Makes us chew our food well: And by taking the time to chew, we don’t wolf down food quickly and feel fuller quicker. So it’s a great weapon in the fight against obesity.
It gives us the experience of food being more satisfying: It sits in our tummy for longer and makes us feel full.
It helps our blood sugar levels: That’s because it slows down the digestive process and slows down the absorption rate of glucose or sugar, into our system.
It helps our colon: It is in our colon where fiber is broken down through a bacterial process called fermentation. In this process, organic acids are produced which help in the nourishment of the colon lining.
It helps fuel our body: The acids produced through the fermentation process help to fuel our body.

Fiber plays an important role in our metabolism as well, making it a pretty important part of our diet!

The many health benefits of fiber
If that wasn’t enough, fiber provides us with the following health benefits. It helps to reduce the risk of:

Certain cancers: Colon cancer is one of the cancers a high-fiber diet can help to reduce. Research has suggested it may play a role in helping to reduce breast cancer as well, but this has not yet been confirmed.
Digestive disorders: Insoluble fiber adds to the bulk of stools, so it speeds the process of fecal material passing through the gut. In other words, it helps us to avoid uncomfortable constipation and can reduce the risk of diverticulosis which is caused by straining during bowel movements. For those who already suffer diverticulosis, the symptoms which include constipation and/or diarrhea, flatulence, abdominal pain and blood or mucus in the stool can be alleviated through fiber consumption
Diabetes: This is because soluble fiber slows the absorption of sugar into the blood stream.
Heart disease: A healthy diet with soluble fiber can help to reduce the risk of heart disease, due to the fact that is lowers cholesterol. Studies have also shown that soluble fiber can slow the rate of cholesterol manufacture by the liver.
Heart attack: Several studies in men have found that consuming fiber can reduce the risk of heart attack significantly.
Obesity: Due to the fact that insoluble fiber cannot be digested it will pass through our system without being broken down. Therefore it provides us with few calories. Because it makes us feel full, we don’t tend to overeat when we consume fiber. All of this helps us avoid obesity.

What to eat to get fiber benefits
Make sure you include the following types of food to really reap the benefits of fiber:

Wholegrain breads
Natural cereals
Fruits
Vegetables
Beans
Nuts

Start including fiber in your diet today and you will feel so much better for it. Oh, and don’t forget to mix it with a healthy dose of physical activity. Your body will thank you for it in years to come!

My Top Tips for Weight Loss Eating

Fifty Fit & Fabulous

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Often in my work as a personal trainer, I hear about the diet frustrations that many of my weight loss clients contend with.  Up there with the best of them is the frustration surrounding the foods they really love, but feel they cannot enjoy because those food are ‘naughty’ or ‘bad’.

One of the things I am always happy to share with these clients is that there are so many substitutes out there that will keep you from going crazy from “yum deprivation”. 

Dieting doesn’t have to mean living on lettuce and cardboard at all.  This is what too many people believe, and it’s why too many people crash diet.  They cannot keep up with the strictness of the nutritional plan they are following.

Healthy eating is something we need to make a lifestyle thing and here are my healthy and delicious alternatives to those foods we find yummy:

  • Drink diet soft drinks instead of regular sugar ones:  Soft drinks and sodas are to blame for so much weight gain, and it’s not looking like slowing down any time soon.  Just because you’re trying to lose weight though doesn’t mean you have to cut soft drink out of your life altogether.  There are plenty of diet soft drinks out there that are sugar free, and you can enjoy them without feeling any guilt, anytime you wish to reach for a soda.
  • Wholegrain bread instead of white bread:  It’s a lie that you need to cut bread out of your diet altogether if you’re looking to lose weight.  Instead of eating white bread which is full of unnecessary calories, opt for wholegrain bread.  It has fewer calories, less fat and it’s rich with the nutrients that your body really craves.  This wholegrain recommendation also applies to bagels and bread rolls.  You don’t have to cut them out altogether!
  • Low fat cookies and cakes instead of the calorie-rich ones:  Many people get that 3pm lull towards the end of the day when the afternoon is winding down.  During this time you may be used to enjoying a cake or cookie, and the good news is you can still do this.  Just go for the low fat bakery options.  They do exist – you just need to spot them in your cake and cookie aisle at the grocery store.
  • Vegetable burgers instead of hamburgers:  Sometimes you just feel the need to wolf down a hamburger, and thanks to low-fat veggie burger alternatives, you can – guilt-free!  They take a little getting used to, I must admit, but it’s well worth trying them out.  Be sure to add a nice serve of salad to your burger for an enjoyable, healthier hamburger alternative.
  • “Fake butter” instead of real butter:  Sure it tastes a little different, but it’s worth switching from the fatty version to the fake.  The big companies producing butter are now creating fat-free versions, so you don’t have to forgo butter after all if you get the urge to enjoy it!

Take these handy tips into consideration within the context of a healthy, balanced diet, and you’re on your way to making a healthy lifestyle, your lifestyle!

To get advanced strategies go see you local 24 hour fitness trainer.

This site is dedicated to you and your continued success.  Feel free to leave you thoughts and questions so we can get you answers to your burining questions.

Top Tips for Eating Out

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Think you need to stay at home and make your own meals in order to stay on track with your weight loss goals?  Think again!  You’re on a weight loss journey, not a “no fun EVER” journey!

This said though, you’d definitely be forgiven for thinking that a night out at a restaurant would break every diet rule.  After all, check out those cooking shows with the star chefs.  They never hold back when it comes to including butters, oils and other fatty, flavor-enhancing ingredients in their menus.

As daunting as eating out whilst dieting may seem, all hope is not lost.  You can enjoy a restaurant meal without blowing your calorie intake, if you follow these tips for eating out the healthy way:

  • Plan the event in advance if you can:  Accept that by eating out, you’ll probably be consuming more calories than you would if you cooked yourself and ate at home.  Keep this in mind and cut down a little – when it comes to calories – in the days leading up to the event.
  • Avoid eating all the extras:  Restaurants are famous for their flavored oils and bread rolls with butter.  As tempting as these and the marinated olives or side order of fries may be, avoid all of these extras.  It’s well worth it because you really can save a lot of calories by doing this.
  • Avoid pastries, rich sauces, deep-fried meals, creams and cheese:  This stuff is full of fat and calories.  You don’t need them!
  • Ask for the dish to be adapted:  When ordering, it’s okay for you to ask for the chef to adapt the dish to suit you!  Don’t be afraid to ask.  I recommend you request things like extra vegetables, no potatoes, grilling your meat instead of pan-frying it, asking for salad dressing or sauce to be served in a pot so you can add as little as you want to your meal or requesting no dressing on your salad.
  • Don’t feel pressured into eating three courses:  A main meal is enough, or alternatively, two serves of the starter.
  • Avoid fatty desserts:  A great option for dessert if you’re on the quest to lose weight is fresh fruit salad or sorbets.  Avoid pastries, cheeses and creams when it comes time to order dessert.
  • Avoid sugary soft drinks:  Instead opt for water, mineral water or diet drinks that have zero sugar.

If you don’t have time to prepare (by eating less) for your dining out experience, don’t stress out about it!  Simply cut down on calories a day or two following, or do a little more exercise.  It’s really that easy and it certainly doesn’t mean the world’s going to end.

Eating out whilst dieting doesn’t have to mean punishing yourself at all.  There almost always is a healthy alternative to substitute an ingredient, so don’t be afraid to ask for it.

Bon appetite!

Meet with your local 24hr fitness trainer to put together an action plan on how you can eat when your out!!

Getting Down to the Nutrition Basics: My Tips for Weight Loss

Drastic Diet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because I’m a personal trainer, you may be half expecting me to harp on about why physical exercise is the most important part of losing weight.  The fact is, it’s not.  Diet and exercise are both equally important when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off for life.

Even if you were to work with me an hour each day for a year and eat whatever you wanted, you wouldn’t be in optimum health.  You need a healthy, balanced diet for this as well.

A balanced diet will do so much in helping you achieve the body and the waistline you want – and it will go a long way in helping you to enjoy optimum health.

As you already know from my blog, it takes just 30 days for you to replace old unhealthy habits, with healthy ones that will keep you looking and feeling great for life.  I’ve already told you what nutritional changes you need to start implementing when you start out on that lifestyle change road.

Further to this though, I have a number of basics you also need to bear in mind when it comes to nutrition.  Here they are:

  • Keep an eye on your calorie intake:  For weight loss as a general rule, experts recommend a calorie intake no less than 1200 calories per day for women and no less than 1800 calories per day for men.  You generally need to reduce your daily intake of calories by 15-20%.
  • Watch your portion sizes:  Aim to eat at least 5-6 servings of fruit and vegetables per day, because the fiber they contain helps you to lose weight.  Smaller portions are the key, and it is also good to eat slowly.  By eating smaller portions, you are consuming fewer calories and by eating slowly, you will notice that you are full sooner. 
  • Do not skip meals:  This is a big one!  People think that by skipping meals, they’re helping themselves lose weight.  By eating the 5-6 small meals per day, you will keep your blood sugar levels right which helps you to lose weight and stay healthy.  Most importantly, it keeps your metabolism going, so you will burn more calories throughout the course of the day.
  • Avoid sugars you don’t need:  Don’t drink juices or soft drinks which are responsible for weight gain.  Instead, aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day.  Often that feeling of hunger is actually due to thirst, so drink up and you won’t be eating anything extra.  And if you feel like soft drink, opt for diet soft drink instead.
  • Don’t forget to treat yourself:  It’s okay to treat yourself every once in a while.  Treats may include chocolates, sweets, chips or ice cream.  If you deprive yourself completely of treats, you’re more likely to fall off the healthy eating bandwagon altogether.

Stick to these general rules – and don’t forget to exercise!  Weight loss is inevitable under these circumstances.

Food Labels ARE Tricking Us!

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Okay, how many of you guys admit to being convinced by low calorie advertising, enough to actually buy the low fat, low calorie stuff?  All of us do, and sure, it’s great that we’re calorie counting and doing our utmost to ensure we’re not overstuffing ourselves with calories.

But guess what?

When it comes to food labels, there’s good news and there’s bad news.

First the bad news:  the food labels – and the food companies behind them – are conning us blind!

Sure the grams of sugar, salt, etc – all that information – are all pretty indicative and safe enough for us to go by.  The problem lies with what the labels call a serving.

“So what?” you might be asking.  The thing is the servings they actually mention on the food labels are a lot LESS than what we actually end up eating.

And that’s where the problem lies.

All the warm and fuzzy feel good feelings that come when we discover that one serve of Tostitos Touch of Lime is only 150 calories turn to shock horror…when we discover that that 150 calories only allows for a 1 ounce serving!  That’s just six chips!

We think we’re eating less calories…when in fact we’re gorging ourselves!

In my opinion, the companies that produce the packaged foods we eat are conning us blind when it comes to calories per serve.  It’s all because the serve they spruik on about is actually tiny compared to what we REALLY end up eating!

I mean, who eats just half a cup of Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream?  That’s what the actually serving size on their label ends up being!  Sure, 270 calories doesn’t sound too bad…but really!  Do you stop at just half a cup when it comes to your ice cream?

Of course not!

So now that I’ve hit you with the bad news, time for the good news in light of this food label debacle.  The FDA looks as though they are actually going to do something about it. 

Firstly, they are considering putting the calorie information on the front of a product.  Sounds like a good idea on face value, right?  Maybe, but if the calorie information is based upon serving sizes (and remember, already they are grossly underestimated), it could lead to people mistakenly thinking they are safe to eat up!

 

On the serving front though, the FDA admit that there really is a problem when it comes to the serving size definition.  They understand that it needs to be more indicative of what the typical consumer really eats.

But there are critics saying that this could be interpreted as permission from the food companies to eat larger servings – making the obesity problem even worse!

So eventually, the food label confusion will be sorted.  But what do we do right now, if we are really serious about controlling the amount of calories we consume?

Well, that’s where I think the really good news is.

My advice is to take control!  Stick to raw foods and prepare your food from scratch.  At least that way, you know exactly what you’re eating and how many calories!  Invest in a good calorie counter book (calorie king), BodyBugg, or online tracking system and stick to your healthy meal plan.  I also recommend a good kitchen food scale, measuring cup and measuring spoons so you can correctly measure everything you eat.  Do all of this with the knowledge of what your daily caloric intake should be and avoid packaged foods wherever possible.  Do this and you’ll have this food label problem licked!

 Let us know the biggest food label tricks that you have found to help out other members from being tricked.