Tag Archives: health tips

What Are Your Scales Telling You Really?

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I’m not advocating that you should throw out your scales but you should be aware that your scales don’t tell you what you need to know most and that is “what are your body fat percentages and distribution?” It’s not just our health we seek to improve when we aim to lose weight, let’s be honest we want to look as good as we feel. In fact the two go hand in hand, often times the better you look the better you feel. By far the best way to look fitter and be healthier is to shift the focus of your efforts from losing weight to gaining muscle and lowering your overall body fat percentage.

Measuring your body fat percentage is a great way to keep track of your progress. It’s a far more accurate indicator of your fitness level than weight alone. That’s because when you’re working out regularly, your muscle mass goes up and your fat goes down, sometimes it’s an even swap and the readout on your standard scales won’t necessarily reflect that change. Knowing your body fat levels gives you a better indicator of how well your program is working. A healthy range for women is 20 to 25 percent, but for a leaner more defined look aim for around 18 to 22 percent and for men 18 to 24 percent with an athletic look coming in at around 14 to 17 percent. N.B. everyone is different and different bodies will have different appearances even if the percentage body fat is the same, this can be attributed to bodyfat distribution. If you have reached 18% body fat or lower now is the time to switch your focus to building muscle. At this point it isn’t necessary to concentrate your efforts on losing much more bodyfat indeed it can start to become unhealthy. You need a minimum amount of fat on your body in order to perform optimally and not have symptoms such as Amenorrhea, bone loss, and low energy.

Types of Measurements
There are a number of ways to get your body fat percentage measured. Some of the more common include; hydrostatic weighing, bio-impedance scales, and skin fold callipers.


Hydrostatic weighing
Hydrostatic weighing is the most accurate way to gauge body fat percentage. Unfortunately, it’s not the most practical—it involves being dunked under water in a gigantic water tank, while exhaling entirely.

Skin fold calliper
Skin fold callipers can also be accurate, but there’s a catch—you have to be measured by the same skilled person like myself, every time. This eliminates measuring differences from person to person. If you are working with a trainer who has been trained to use skin fold callipers, they should measure you once a month with callipers to get the most accurate assessments.

If you don’t have a trainer to help you out, however, your best bet is to use a bio-impedance scale. To get the most accurate measurement on a scale, always do it at the same time of day and make sure you are hydrated properly. The most common issues that will throw the scale off are varying levels of hydration, ladies if it’s that time of the month (don’t measure yourself during menstruation), or if you have food in your stomach.

Clothing indicators
Finally, my favourite tool: A pair of jeans. They don’t lie. Use a pair of jeans that you can’t button and try them on every 3-4 weeks to see if you are making progress. Whether the scale is budging or not doesn’t matter if your jeans are buttoning.

Muscular Male Torso Isolated on White

Ways to Lower Your Body Fat
There are two ways to lower your body fat: Lose fat (obviously), and build muscle. Extra muscle will rev up your metabolism to help burn off some of the fat. Plus, it’ll make you look leaner overall.

The best way to decrease your body fat percentage is to use a full body strength training program two to three times a week, using heavier weights with lower reps. This will stimulate your body to build lean body mass while burning fat. For the best fat-torching results, add in one to two days of interval-training cardio on top of your lifting routine.

And, of course, you cannot train with a bad diet so you’ll need to dial in your food by fueling your body highly nutritious protein, fruits, and veggies throughout the day.

Check out some of my other articles on diet and training or for more intense training tips visit my sibling site manicworkouts.com


A Construction Workers Weight Loss Plan

That’s not me by the way!


I recently received a request from my friend Dave who asked for a simple diet for losing weight and I think he meant for me to write out which particular foods/meals to eat (I’ve given an example of a meal plan that would suit active people like Dave at the end of this article). Thing is, it’s not that simple because peoples tastes are different and their minimum calorific needs can vary hugely. In my friends case he is a hard working man in the labour intensive construction industry. Regardless of what some websites may try to tell you you can’t decide on you calorific needs just based on your activity levels as those levels will invariably change from day to day. I have however included (near the end of this article) a rough guide for working out your daily needs. With some changes in your eating habits and exercising habits you may be surprised at the amount of weight that you can lose over a month’s time period. You can average losing about 2 pounds each week safely so it won’t take long to lose the weight.

The UK Food Standards Agency recently commissioned a report into the diets of construction workers and among its key findings were the terrible lack of adequate catering for construction workers and the misconception amongst construction workers that a high fat diet is better for giving them the sustainable energy levels their jobs demand.

You can make some adjustments in the foods you are eating but don’t try too hard to diet. Just try to make different food choices.

Don’t skip meals. Eat three meals a day and even allow yourself to have snacks. Just choose your foods wisely. Eat plenty of fruit and veg. Don’t try to eliminate all fat. Your body needs some fat, or it will start to make more.

Be sure you get enough calcium by drinking skimmed milk or calcium-fortified orange juice. Drink at least 2 litres of water each day. This helps to decrease your appetite and is good for your skin and hair.

Also, be careful not to lose weight too quickly. Don’t lose more than one maybe two pounds per week, and don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results quickly.

1. Stretch your meals to, at least, 20 minutes or longer. Your stomach, mouth and brain are all connected and it takes 20 minutes of chewing before your stomach signals your brain that you are full. To successfully lose weight, you need to eat slowly for 20 minutes or longer.

2. Drinking 2 litres of water a day is important to your health, your normal diet and to help lose weight. Water is necessary for the metabolism of your stored fat.

3. Make good food choices such as roasted chicken, turkey, fish, tuna fish, lean ham, steak, lean beef or lean hamburger, vegetables prepared without butter, brown rice, white rice, fruits–fresh or canned without extra sugar, low calorie fruit jelly, fat free yogurts, salads with low calorie and low fat dressings, air-popped popcorn, fat free twiglets, fruit smoothies made with yogurt and pasta in 2 oz servings.

4. Use snack foods wisely. Here are some suggestions for low calorie snacks. Fat free pretzels, fat free yogurt, air popped popcorn, low calorie jelly with fat free squirty cream, fruit smoothies made with fresh fruit and frozen yogurt, sugar free ice lollies and ice cream.

5. When you go fat free or low fat, you also cut out much of the taste of the foods you eat. Add the flavour back with herbs and spices, but not salt.

6. Increase your metabolism by including some of the fat burning foods and breaking your meals into 4 or 5 smaller meals during the day. Include as many single ingredient foods as you can.

7. Negative emotions will also interfere with your weight loss program. It’s difficult to stay motivated to lose weight when you feel bad, and believe me processed foods will make you feel bad.

8. To lose weight faster, reduce your intake of caffeine. Caffeine leads to an increase of insulin in your body that retards the burning of your stored fat. This is a simple chemical reaction in your body that you can change. Reduce your caffeine intake by 50% and see what happens. Here is a rough guide to use when looking at the amount of caffeine you currently take in: Brewed coffee  – 100mg; Instant coffee  – 70mg; Tea  – 50mg; Soft drink cans – (Coke, Dr. Pepper,) – 50mg; Dark chocolate (1 oz.) – 20mg and Milk chocolate (1 oz.) – 6mg.

9. Increase your intake of fibre rich foods. They will help fill you up faster and will help all the food you eat pass through your digestive system more easily.

10. Exercise is probably the most important key to increasing your metabolism and burning off excess fat.

11. To lose weight quickly, never skip a meal. Your first meal after waking starts your metabolism. Your metabolism then speeds up for about eight hours and then starts slowing down until you go to sleep when it goes to low until you wake and eat and start the cycle again. Skip breakfast and your metabolism won’t get started until lunch time. You’ve just missed three or four hours of fat burning time. When you skip meals during the day, your metabolism also slows down.

12. There are certain things that should be avoided when trying to lose weight such as–all fried foods–have them baked, broiled, grilled or pan fried using a non fat spray. Avoid rich gravies, sauces, rich desserts and pop because of the sodium content.

13. Try including some fibre in the diet as it is very healthy for you and also expands in your stomach and gives you a full feeling.

14. Make sure that you have your caloric needs figured out and also keep the fat grams down to only 20 percent of the daily food total.

15. Daily calorie intake. We all need a minimum number of calories simply to survive, but we can also set a calorie limit to maintain a healthy weight. You can calculate the total numbers of calories you need for your type of lifestyle, then use this figure to decide on a range of calories to consume each day – it’s not an absolute figure.

1. Calculate the minimum number of calories you need by multiplying your current or desired weight in pounds by 10 if you’re a woman, 11 if you’re a man. This number represents your basic calorie needs.

2. Calculate the number of calories required for your activity level (see tips, below) by multiplying your basic calorie needs (the calculation from step 1) by your activity level – 20 percent or 0.2, 30 percent or 0.3, 40 percent or 0.4, or 50 percent or 0.5. The resulting number represents your activity-based calorie needs.

3. Calculate the number of calories your body needs for food digestion and absorption by adding your basic calorie needs and your activity-based calorie needs (the answers from steps 1 and 2) and multiplying this sum by 0.10. These are the calories you need for digestion.

4. Add the three calculations from steps 1, 2 and 3: This is your total daily calorie need to maintain your desired weight.

Use the following as a guideline for determining your activity level:
20 percent if you sit or lie still for most of the day, with little or no exercise;
30 percent if you walk less than two miles per day;
40 percent if you are somewhat active, doing activities such as dancing, doing a lot of work in the house or garden, or taking exercise classes;
50 percent if you’re actively involved in a sport or you have job that requires a great deal of physical labour, such as construction work.

There are 3,500 calories in a pound, so to lose one pound per week, you need to decrease your calorie intake by 3,500 calories a week, or 500 calories a day.

* This is an example of an American football player’s daily meal plan to lose weight, courtesy of Leslie Bonci, R.D., Pittsburgh Steelers’ team nutrition consultant. (I’ve translated as best I can)

A sandwich on;
Whole grain bread or muffin
A scrambled egg
2 thin slices Ham or thin smoked bacon
Very thin spread of mayonnaise (light mayo)
A yogurt (150-200 calorie type) with muesli added
A cereal bowl of fruit salad
And a slice of whole grain toast with a thin spread of peanut butter
2 Scrambled egg savoury pancake
4 eggs, scrambled with cheddar cheese
spread into 2 corn tortillas with salsa
and a banana

Turkey and Mayo sub:
6-inch torpedo roll
mustard, ketchup, thin spread of mayo ( light)
one-quarter pound of turkey and 2 slices of cheese
A cup of low fat coleslaw ( can buy the coleslaw mix from the super market)
Dish of cut up fruit
Grilled chicken sandwich:
Grilled chicken breast
BBQ sauce
On a whole grain bun
Bowl of vegetable soup
Tuna salad sandwich:
175g can of tuna ( water-packed) with light mayo, relish
spread on 2 muffin halves,
top with 2 slices of cheese
grill until cheese melts
sliced tomatoes
Pasta- 3 cups with sauce
A salad with a grilled chicken breast and go light on the dressing, 2-3 tablespoons at the most

An 250g  yogurt with muesli
A small bowl of cereal
A smoothie with
250g yogurt
250g skimmed milk
one cup of frozen or fresh berries or a small banana
Blend together

Meat of some kind:
Steak, Pork, Venison, Fish, Chicken; 12 ounces ( three quarters of a pound) raw weight
Grilled, Boiled or Baked
2 portions of pasta or rice or potatoes- about one-third of the plate
and 2 portions of vegetables, rest of the plate- steamed, grilled.
If you have seconds, vegetables only!

One of the following:
Popcorn- microwave snack sized bag
Yogurt with muesli.
Small bowl of cereal, like Raisin Bran, or Nutri Grain type

This would suit rugby or real football player or indeed my mate Dave who works in construction and has already lost two stone, well done Dave!



Whether you’re male or female, young or old, if you’ve tried and failed to lose weight with cheap diet pills, pre-packaged diet meals, starvation diets, exercise DVDS, ab gadgets, or even “dieting” in general, there are other ways of going about things.

Here I’m going to outline 3 rapid fat loss insider secrets, including how you can strategically begin using foods like pizza and ice cream to accelerate your fat loss results. It’s all about fat burning hormones and metabolites like leptin (derived from the Greek word leptos, meaning thin), these hormones determine your bodies ability to burn fat as a whole.

The problem is just about everyone is unknowingly fighting a losing battle with their own metabolism each and every time they attempt to lose weight. You see, one of the underlying reasons why people fail to lose weight isn’t for want of trying, they don’t have bad genetics, and there’s nothing physically wrong with them, it’s just that they don’t know all the tips and tricks and leptin sensitivity is just one of them. In order to burn fat, your body depends on many factors of which diet is just one.

First a bit of bad news, anytime you go on a diet and reduce your calorie intake, the rate of metabolism plummets and fat burning is dramatically reduced to a snail’s pace. Why? Well, the body will always protect itself against starvation by reducing all the hormones and actions that will burn fat as energy, and in the midst of decreased food intake (i.e. dieting), your body unfortunately views your stored body fat as a huge asset to survival. The result, reduced metabolite levels and dramatically decreased fat burning. In fact, research has shown that fat burning hormone levels drop by as much as 50% after just 7 days of dieting and it only gets worse with each passing day. The scenario I just explained is actually only part of the problem. The other unfortunate reality is that the vast majority of people are ALSO suffering from resistance to weight loss due to years of high body fat levels and a diet full of processed foods.

As I mentioned earlier, there are 4 somewhat odd, but extremely effective strategies you can begin using today that will help get your fat burning back on track.

The first trick is to use a technique known as periodic overfeeding, or more simply put, strategically “cheating” on your diet with all your favourite foods like pizza and ice cream, because fat burning hormones are closely related to your calorific intake, research also shows that periodically going OFF your diet and indulging in your favourite high calorie foods can give your slowing metabolic rate a much needed bump in the right direction. For this reason, I recommend to all my clients that they incorporate a weekly “cheat day” into their nutrition programs—adding an additional 1000 calories or more in one day—and it’s something you should definitely consider adding to yours.

Some of the “Cheat” foods can include; New York Style Pizza, Strawberry Cheesecake, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Homemade Cherry/Apple Pie, Fresh Baked Lasagne, Spaghetti & Meatballs, Haagen Dazs Ice Cream, Pancakes, French Toast, Philadelphia cheese and minute steak sandwiches, BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger to name a few.

The second trick is something I refer to as “Reverse Carbohydrate Tapering”. Countless research papers have concluded that of any nutrient, carbohydrates are capable of having the greatest net effect on fat loss levels. Here’s how to use it; after a cheat day when metabolic levels start to decline, add a small amount of additional carbohydrates—like 10 to 20 grams—to your diet each day until your next cheat day. This “reverse carbohydrate tapering” technique will assist with preventing the metabolic rate from falling off too rapidly, the only limitation lies in the amount of carbohydrates we’re able to use without negatively affecting fat loss. While eating even more carbohydrates daily would have an even greater impact on fat burning hormone levels, the extra carbs and calories would also negatively impact your waistline. Something of a catch-22, I know. Now, while the above two tricks will certainly have a positive effect on the speed of your body’s metabolic rate as you attempt to lose weight, the extra leptin won’t be very beneficial unless you also take steps to improve your body’s sensitivity to using your fat reserves as fuel.

The third trick I promised you is about how consuming more of one specific type of food can actually increase weight loss. Knowing that a large consumption of processed foods is one of the main contributors to fat retention, you can immediately begin redressing this imbalance as soon your next meal by eating only one-ingredient foods. What do I mean by one-ingredient foods? Simple. A one-ingredient food is a food whose only ingredient is that food.

Examples of some One-Ingredient foods include.
Tomatoes, Chicken, Beef, Fish, Green Beans, Broccoli, Apples, Pears, Cashews, Walnuts, Almonds, Olives, Avocado, Kidney Beans, Eggs, Yogurt, Cherries, Raspberries, Blueberries etc. Other foods that fall in to this category include pretty much any meat, vegetable, nut, seed, oil, bean, or fruit.

Apart from cheat days, aim to eat only single ingredient foods.

Unlike pre-packaged processed foods with a long list of artificial ingredients and food additives that we often can’t even pronounce let alone identify, all of these foods are whole, natural foods that only contain one ingredient. When you begin consuming a diet full of these types of foods, without all the additives, you’ll immediately begin to repair your hormone sensitivity and make them even more effective at signalling fat burning to your body.

The fourth trick is to use supplements containing metabolites related to fat loss. Research and progressive science have recently brought to our attention some pretty powerful ingredients that can actually have a profound impact on metabolite production and hormone sensitivity, however proceed with caution as this can be an expensive route. First, you need to be sure that the product you will buy is the legitimate and not those made by professional online scammers. You must be reminded that the Internet is not only filled of products that can give back the worth of your money, this place is also full of items that will just waste your time and rob your hard-earned cash.

After confirming that the product, and African Mango is a very popular one at the moment, is an authentic one, the next step is to look for its credentials or the set of instructions on how to utilize it. Most companies that manufacture these products are providing complete instructions to their prospective customers in order to attain the best results from their weight loss supplement.

While there are some people who will attest that they have lost weight with these products even without exercising, I still suggest that you accompany such products with regular exercise as well as the right diet. Just always remember that no matter how effective a weight loss product is, you will not be assured of getting the positive result if you will not do the right things such as exercise and following the right diet.

Here I give you a list of four of the more popular ingredients doing the rounds on the internet at the moment.

The first ingredient is called Irvingia Gabonensis, a powerful extract from the African mango seed that has been shown to support leptin sensitivity by inhibiting the production of C-reactive protein (CRP), a chemical in the body that has been linked with the development of leptin resistance, by up to 52%.

The second ingredient is Oleanolic Acid. Oleanolic acid has been reported to have many potential benefits, partly due to anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  These properties might also be responsible, at least in part, for the positive weight and fat loss results seen in studies on mice.  Since oleanolic acid is commonly found in many fruits and vegetables, we have yet another reason to make sure we eat our recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables.  These studies suggest that not only do fruits and vegetables help us meet our nutritional needs; they also contain naturally occurring compounds that might help in weight management.

The third ingredient, Modifilan, Modifilan is essentially a form of brown seaweed extract. This dietary drug is marketed toward both women and men who desire to lose weight. Overall, Modifilan endeavours to assist the user’s immune system, remove toxins from the body, lower cholesterol levels, aid with weight reduction and lower blood sugar. The key active ingredients incorporated into Modifilan are Organic Iodine (helps the thyroid gland and aids the metabolism), Fucoxanthin (assists with abdominal weight reduction), Alginate (absorbs radioactive elements), Fucoidan (battles cancer cells) and Laminarin (benefits the heart).

The fourth ingredient South American yerba mate the tea-like beverage yerba mate, long used in South America for its medicinal properties, has become more popular in the United States over recent years. The purported benefits of yerba mate include helping with depression, issues relating to attention and focus and hypertension. A study conducted in Denmark and published in the “Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics” in 2001 suggests that yerba mate may also be helpful for weight loss. This function is due in part to yerba mate causing delayed gastric emptying, better digestion and being rich in minerals. One of the ways that yerba mate promotes weight loss is through a process called delayed gastric emptying. In “Turn Off the Hunger Switch Naturally,” authors Paul Rivas and E.A. Tremblay define this condition as one in which the stomach remains full for a longer period of time, sending this message to the brain. Rivas and Tremblay also note that ultrasonic testing of patients confirmed this process.
Those agitated by caffeine products should not consume yerba mate.

Remember increased levels of exercise regardless of your current fitness levels are absolutely key to losing weight in an effective and lasting fashion.

Always consult your Doctor before taking any supplements marketed as being medicinally reactive.

Why Processed Foods Are Deadly to your Health


This is more about what not to do than it is a health tip.
If you want to eat healthy, you want to stay away from processed foods.  But what are processed foods?  Processed foods are foods that have been altered from their natural state. They are foods that have been compromised by the addition of hormones, additives, preservatives, unnatural genetic material or other chemical or heat treatments that alter or destroy the natural healthy enzymes, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, all for the sake of convenience. But convenience isn’t the only thing you get when you eat processed foods. There’s a whole list of ingredients that manufacturers add:

Colour – It gives your orange pop that neon glow

Stabilizers – So your gravy isn’t watery

Emulsifiers – Who says oil and water can’t mix?

Bleach – Let’s disinfect and deodorize

Texturisers – Nothing’s worse than soggy cereal…

Softeners – It’s as if the ice cream was churned twice

Preservatives – What if you want to eat the cake six months from now?

Sweeteners – Sugar is sweet but saccharin and aspartame are sweeter

Deodorisers – Do you really want to smell the fish paste in your insta-noodles?

Flavourings – Nothing like having the sweet taste of cherry all year round.

The main goal of food processing is to lengthen the shelf life of foods so that larger amounts can be sold over time.  Other benefits include toxicity reduction, preservation, easing marketing and distribution tasks and increasing food consistency. In addition it increases the out of season availability of many foods and enables transportation of delicate perishable food over long distances. Processed foods are cheaper to mass produce than the individual production of meals from raw ingredients. They are quicker to prepare at home or on the go, fully prepared ready meals can be heated up in a microwave oven within minutes.

Even slight processing of food can have a huge effect on its nutritional composition. The food may be missing necessary vitamins and minerals the body needs for daily function. Food Additives are substances added to food to preserve flavour or enhance its taste and appearance.  Food acids are added to make flavours “sharper”, and also act as preservatives and antioxidants.  Some artificial food additives have been linked with cancer, digestive problems, neurological conditions, ADHD, heart disease or obesity. Natural additives may be similarly harmful or be the cause of allergic reactions in certain individuals. Ever notice that the sources of the ingredients in processed foods are shrouded in mystery? Food manufacturers even patent some of the processing methods they use. For example, the process for making Splenda, an artificial sweetener, is a big secret and patented with the USA.If you have to keep the process for how a food is made a big secret, it probably means that if people knew the process, most of them wouldn’t eat the food.

Here’s a not so short list (but by no means all) of some common processed foods most of which have very long shelf lives.

White wheat flour; especially bleached white flour.
Refined sugars; crystalline fructose, maltodextrin, dextrose, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, maple syrup, date sugar, cane sugar, brown rice syrup, corn sugar, beet sugar, agave syrup.
Margarine and other hydrogenated vegetable fats.
Refined vegetable oils.
Artificial sweeteners.
Food additives.
Canned foods.
Boxed foods such as meal mixes, cereal and pasta.
Soft drinks and sugary “fruit” drinks, which are loaded with white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial colours, flavours and other food additives.
Fast food, which is a source of trans fats.
Cheese food, packaged cakes and cookies, chips, snack food crackers and other junk food.
Processed meat products (sausage, bologna, bacon, packaged ham, and salami) if they contain artificial colours and soy fillers.
Frozen foods such as TV dinner meals, fish sticks, pizza rolls and similar foods.
Soy products such as soy milk, soy cheese, soy protein isolate, and other processed soy foods. Natural soybeans taste horrible; it’s Nature’s way of warning about the dangers of soy. In order to make soy products edible, soy manufacturers have to add large amounts of sugar, MSG and other flavourings and spices.
Powdered milk and eggs: Commercial milk powders contain oxysterols (oxidized cholesterol) in high amounts. The oxysterol free radicals have been suspected of being initiators of atherosclerotic plaques. Powdered eggs contain even more oxysterols.

Methods used to process food include:
canning, jarring, freezing, refrigeration, dehydration, aseptic processing, boxed and bagged.

To help lift moods and help calm anxiety, keep away from processed foods and eat more natural products. Try and eat healthy, whole foods diet with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits. Try and include foods that are rich in B vitamins, such as whole grains, nuts, green vegetables, eggs and fish.

Pretty scary eh? I thought so.

Fourteen day kick start diet to fat loss and better health


Fast & Simple Fat Loss with Clever Eating

It is possible to lose 15 lbs of body fat in 14 days simply by eating right.  Provided you have 15 lbs to lose. I should point out that I always encourage people to exercise but if your nutrition isn’t spot on you will still struggle to shed fat.
When you are in touch with the way your body reacts to diet and exercise manipulating your nutrition can transform your body almost overnight. You don’t have to be an elite athlete to do this; in fact it’s often easier if you’re not.  More likely than not you will have been eating the same way for years and the next 14 days will throw your body into the hyper fat burning zone. This way of eating can shed body fat and put on muscle but to also completely change your blood lipid profile.  High cholesterol and triglycerides are brought back into the normal range in less than 30 days with this nutrition plan.  This way of eating is often called “Nutrition Cycling” and is extremely effective.

So for the next 14 days here’s what you’re going to aim for and the strategies you are going to use.

Strategy # 1: Eat all the protein you want.
You can eat: Beef, Eggs, Lamb, Seafood, Pork and Chicken, Turkey or even Ostrich if you can get it.

Strategy #2: Limit your carbohydrates to 30 grams a day or less.
Although you can have any carbs you want as long as you stay under 30 a day, I’d suggest sourcing your carbohydrates from the following sources or similar.
Spinach, Broccoli, Asparagus, Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage. By eating veg you can eat a large volume of food while getting your vitamins and fibre into the bargain.

Strategy # 3: Water
Drink 39 ml of water per kg of bodyweight. You can also drink black coffee, tea and any zero calorie drink but water is the best.  Buy water if you want but water is water, when you mix it with coffee it’s still water. You don’t need to be a snob about it, we pay a fortune in the UK to ensure we get good quality water straight out of the tap.

Strategy #4: Don’t drink your calories.
Stay away from high calorie sugary drinks.  They do nothing but make you fat! And that includes all types of fruit juice, yes it does!

Strategy #5: Have a splurge day.
After 14 days I want you to celebrate by eating anything you want!  This will stimulate your metabolism and also fill your muscles up with glycogen so it won’t turn to fat.

Moving forward – day 15 & beyond
By taking the carbohydrates out of your diet temporarily, it trains your body to burn fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. When carbohydrates are present you body will not turn to fat stores for energy. Monday to Friday you should eat like you have for the past 14 days, pay attention to how your body responds to certain foods and if something is causing you to gain fat cut it out of your diet.  Bear in mind that the carb limit of 30 grams is a starting point and most people will do brilliantly at 30 grams of carbs a day, others will need a little more carbohydrate so pay attention to how you feel and experiment with things a little.  Most people will feel and look best in the 30 to 50 grams a day range.  Remember this isn’t a static diet like most diet plans; this diet plan should be specific to you and your unique body.

The Victory Weekend.
Every weekend following the first 14 days you can eat whatever you want for 12 to 48 hours.  You can call this the victory weekend or your splurge days.  It lets you feel human and enjoy food without looking like a diet freak!   Your body is in a constant state of physical transformation weekly with this diet, that’s why it’s important to know when to stop at the weekend. If you find that you have an unlimited appetite on weekends, that’s ok within reason but be careful. If you are eating pizza and ice-cream you may want to stop after 12 hours.  On the other hand if you are carbing up with potatoes, fruit and veg and maybe a slice or two of pizza the full 48 hours may be best.  The whole idea is to become aware of the way your body responds and adjust your food intake accordingly.

That’s why you have to be aware and notice when you start to feel bloated.  Everyone responds to food differently. I can’t emphasis this enough, keep an eye on yourself and the way your body responds.



The busy school year brings habits that encourage kids to become overweight or obese. Here’s some ideas on how to help your children lose weight or stay fit all year long. Last year, a study from the Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth UK, revealed that:
Three quarters
of parents failed to recognise their child was overweight.
33 percent of mums and 57 percent of dads considered their child’s weight to be ‘about right’ when, in fact, they were obese.
One in ten parents expressed some concern about their child being underweight when they were actually a normal, healthy weight.

Figures taken from the most recent large-scale survey in the UK shockingly reveal that 33 percent of girls and 25 percent of boys aged between two and nineteen years are obese or overweight. Parents need to be aware that healthy weight in childhood is more than an aesthetic issue, and looking good isn’t always the same as feeling good. Studies show that obesity in children and teens can be a predicter of not only a person’s weight later in life, but also overall health, longevity and quality of life. A recent study of 227,000 Norwegians who have been followed from adolescence to middle age found that those who were overweight or obese as teens were over three times more likely to die of heart disease. In addition, the risk of death from colon cancer and respiratory diseases, including asthma and emphysema, was two to three times higher in the subjects who were overweight or obese as teens. However, getting children to eat healthy and exercise sufficiently is easier said than done. Read on for tips on getting children to eat healthier and exercise more.

Nutrition Tips to Fight Obesity
Make favourite dishes healthier.
You don’t have to serve kids only salads and roast chicken. But do make their favourites, like burgers, pasta, and pizza in a healthier way. Try using olive oil instead of butter, and reducing the amount of cheese, cream, butter and other high-fat dairy products used in the recipes. Sneak extra veggies into tomato sauces, or use green peppers and broccoli as pizza toppings. For sandwiches, use whole-grain bread instead of white bread and low-fat versions of dressings like mayonnaise.
Pack a lunch.
Let your child help plan his or her weekly school lunches. Not only will you likely save money, the meal will be healthier, too.
Limit pop and fruit juice
Both contain lots of sugar and calories. If you do serve juice, dilute it with soda water to lower the calories. Keep filtered water in the fridge so it is available and cold when kids need a drink, that is if you don’t trust the tap water.
Eat meals together.
Having family meals together helps adolescents eat more fruits, vegetables, and fibre and fewer fatty foods and soft drinks. Even if you don’t have time to eat a family meal every night, make sure you have healthy options in the kitchen to avoid last-minute dinners of fast food or takeout, which tend to be higher in fat and calories than home-cooked meals. Some good options to have on hand are pre-washed lettuce, baby carrots, cold cuts of meat,  whole-grain bread and low fat spreads and dressings.
Offer treats in moderation
Ice cream, cake, sweets and biscuits can be limited to special occasions like birthday parties, holidays, amusement park trips, and other infrequent occurrences or celebrations. As alternatives, keep plenty of fruits like apples, bananas, grapes, and berries washed and easily accessible.

Exercise Tips for Losing Weight or Staying Fit
Sneak in exercise.
If you make working out into a game or play time, kids will be more interested. Try skipping, roly poly, playing tick, and jumping for children 5 to 8 year olds. Older kids can play statues, jump rope games, relay races, or run obstacle courses. The key is to make exercises “FUN”ctional. Give it a go, the old favourites are still the best. Kids love to run about and make it look effortless for hours sometimes, ever notice how all this stops when kids get fat?
Turn off the TV.
Studies have found direct correlation between the number of hours of television that children watch and their risk of obesity. Video games and computer usage contribute to the problem as well. Limit the time your child spends on these sedentary activities to no more than an hour per day.
Chores count as exercise, too.
Making the bed, mowing the lawn, and raking leaves all count as exercise. Assign older children more active chores and they’ll exercise without even knowing it.
Get extra help.
If your child’s school doesn’t offer extracurricular or organized team sports, search out programs in your local community or classes at the local school gym.
Set a good example.
Your kids watch what you do, so set a good example by improving your nutrition and exercise habits as well.


How 15 Minute Doses Of Physical Activity Can Boost Your Life


How 15 Minute Doses Of Physical Activity Can Boost Your Life

It is still better to exercise even for 15 minutes a day than to do nothing at all. It is better to do a consistent 15 minute workout that you can stick with, than risk prolonged discomfort with little return for your effort in turn leading to you quitting exercise in the end. There have been numerous studies published regarding the physical and mental benefits one can get from consistent short duration physical activities. This is good news for sedentary or inactive people who usually get overwhelmed with 30 minutes a day of exercise in the pursuit of health and fitness benefits.

Cardiovascular Health
An interesting three-month study published in the American Journal of Cardiology showed that 15 minute cardiovascular and strength training workouts can produce significant improvements in one’s fitness levels and heart health, such as decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol.

What 15-Minute Strength And Cardio Exercise Programs Can You Do?
Alternate 30 seconds or a minute of resistance training routine like push-ups, squats, lunges and abdominal crunches with a minute of cardio routine like star jumps, step-ups, jogging in place or dancing in place until you complete a total of 15 minutes. This type of workout can increase your heart rate throughout the 15 minute routine.

Walk briskly for 15 minutes early in the morning or in the afternoon.
Dance for 15 minutes every morning or before taking a shower at night.
Clean, sweep or map the floor nonstop for 15 minutes every day.

Waist Management
An Australian study published in Diabetes Care showed that people who take more breaks from sedentary positions, such as standing up more frequently from a sitting position or taking a single step, can have smaller waist circumference and lower blood glucose and triglyceride levels.

How To Incorporate Workout Breaks To Your Day
Give yourself a rule or set an alarm every 20-30 minutes so you can take a short walk or stretch break wherever you are. Standing or walking around the room while using the telephone is one option. Squeeze your butt while sitting, extend and bend your knees, lift and lower your arms and twist your torso side to side every 30-60 minutes.

A study on exercise and self-control conducted by researchers at the University of Exeter, published in Appetite showed that exercise helps reduce a person’s chocolate cravings and improves one’s coping strategy for stress.  This study also suggested that a short dose of exercise can help people who are trying to quit smoking to cut back on caffeine and switch to a diet.

How Physical Activities Improve Your Self-Control
When craving for something like chocolates or salty junk foods, try to get outside your house first and walk for 10-15 minutes. You might be surprised how physical activities can help diminish your cravings. Whenever you feel the urge to eat something, boredom doesn’t help, get busy by dancing inside your room for 10 minutes, or completing your household chores. This strategy will distract you from thinking too much about food. Try to do your 15-minute home workout routine and you will feel more empowered to control your urges to eat extra calories, because you might not want to offset the 100 calories burned from a short workout just by eating a 100-calorie piece of chocolate.

Better Mood And Self-Esteem
A 2010 meta-analysis, which collectively observed more than 1,200 participants, published in Environmental Science and Technology showed that “Green Exercise” or outdoor activities, such as walking, running, hiking, biking, taking your dog or kids out walking for as little as 5 minutes a day, improved self-esteem and mood, compared to physical activity lasting 10-60 minutes.There have also been a number of studies proving that sedentary people can benefit from shorter periods of exercise when it comes to mental health improvement.

15 Minute “Green Exercise” Tips
Walk your dog every day.
Play with your kids in the garden.
Check out the nearest park to your work, nowadays many of them have organised activities at lunchtimes.
Use your bike to run errands.

Live Longer
A study published this year in Lancet Journal and conducted by researchers at the National Health Institutes in Taiwan found that those who exercised 15 minutes a day, or a total of 90 minutes a week, extended life expectancy by three years, compared with those who did not exercise at all. This study tracked 416,000 Taiwanese adults.

Make A 15-Minute Workout Part Of Your New Lifestyle
Choose the most doable and the most practical activities you can for every day, like walking or doing the garden, and spice things up when you’ve got more time and resources.
Make your activities fun and enjoyable by involving your partner, your kids and even your friends.
Memorize by heart a simple 15 minute exercise routine that you can use to target your whole body, using only bodyweight exercises.
When on a trip or vacation, make a commitment to yourself to move at least 15 minutes a day, even just by strolling or climbing up and down the stairs several times a day.