How to look and feel younger

When one thinks of fighting back against the aging process it is usually Botox or facelifts that come to mind. These might offer a degree of improvement, but aging well is about more than just outward appearance. It is about being healthy and strong well into one’s later years. What is the point of looking 60 when you are 80 if you are too frail to walk unassisted or are suffering from a disease like cancer, diabetes or Alzheimer’s?  Dr Sara Gottfried in her new book, Younger, details factors in our diet, lifestyle and environment that accelerate the aging process and offers practical ways to combat them. She explains that the goal is to extend ‘healthspan’ as opposed to lifespan.  Healthspan is time spent living disease-free and healthy, so that you can fully enjoy life no matter what your age. Read the rest of this entry

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Diet and acne – is there a connection?

Acne is not a life threatening disease but the discomfort and embarrassment it causes should not be under-estimated. Both teenage and adult sufferers often develop poor self-esteem, depression and social anxiety due to the unsightly and often painful skin lesions. Should those with acne just accept their ‘bad luck’ or is there more that can be done? Standard treatment usually involves topical creams, face washes, antibiotics, birth control pills for women and, sometimes, even stronger medication with the potential for adverse side effects. While these offer symptomatic relief, are they dealing with the root cause?

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Body shape and why it matters

Body shape and where you carry your excess weight is a valuable predictor of disease risk.  Therefore, determining whether you are shaped like an apple, pear or avocado is important. Struggling to zip up your jeans is more than just a cosmetic problem –  it is a potential health problem. Read the rest of this entry

Are you eating your veggies? If not, you should be

Were you told as child to “eat your veggies, they are good for you”? Perhaps you weren’t allowed to leave the table until every last pea was eaten? For many, meal times became a war zone in which child battled vegetable. This is unfortunate, especially if it has tainted your adult view of eating your veggies.  If you still find eating veggies challenging, hopefully this article will convince you to make a change. You would seriously be missing out on so many amazing benefits if you don’t. Vegetables are low in calories and carbs, high in fibre and contain almost all of the vitamins and minerals your body needs for vibrant health.

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What should people eat?

What should people eat?

The obvious answer to this question is “food”, although the processed food industry and government agencies responsible for setting dietary guidelines, would have you believe that it is far more complicated than that. They operate on the premise that eating the right nutrients is what matters most. Food marketers spend fortunes on adverts which inform us about all the good nutrients they have added to food and the bad ones they have taken out. No added MSG, enriched with vitamin C, sugar-free and low-fat are but a few of the tag lines used to sell processed products.  Breakfast cereals are a good example. They are ‘fortified with vitamins and minerals’ and are ‘cholesterol free’. When packaged in eye-catching attractive boxes, we fall for the claims hook, line and sinker. Read the rest of this entry

Calories and hormones matter

Two things are required for weight loss – a calorie deficit and hormonal balance. One without the other just does not work. You can cut calories and you might lose some weight, but if your hormones are all over the place you will probably struggle to reach your ideal weight and keep what you have lost from returning with interest.   On the flip side, your hormones could be the picture of perfection – but stuffing your face with too much food (even the healthy variety) will prevent you from losing the flab.

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Are you eating too much fat?

Fat is a critically important element of an LCHF diet.  When carbs are restricted and protein is moderated, the remainder of one’s calories must come from healthy fats.  Fat is required for energy and is what makes us feel satisfied after meals. Eating a low carb diet full of healthy fats keeps insulin levels low, which enables the release of stored fat to be burned for fuel.  The result?  We slim down and feel full of energy.  Yes, fat is very important, but does that mean we can eat as much of it as we like, and does the type of fat we choose to eat make any difference to our weight loss efforts?

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Use a glucometer to accelerate weight loss

Are you following a low carb diet but disappointed with your results?  Is that weight loss plateau frustrating you beyond measure?  A glucometer can help you to identify foods and even lifestyle factors that cause your blood sugar to spike and, as a result, hinder weight loss.  When blood sugar spikes so does insulin and too much insulin inhibits fat loss. A glucometer is not just for diabetics but is also a very useful tool for people who struggle with stubborn weight.  Learning how to keep your blood sugar stable and in the low range is vitally important in shedding those unwanted kilograms.  The use of a glucometer, combined with some clever detective work, can reveal valuable information that can help you to get the results you want.

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Is your thyroid making you fat and tired?

If you are experiencing significant weight loss resistance, despite your best efforts with a healthy low carb eating plan – you may be suffering from an underactive thyroid. Other signs that your thyroid is not working as it should include: fatigue, brain fog, depression, hair loss, achy muscles, painful joints, sensitivity to cold, dry skin and constipation. The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate the body’s metabolic rate, muscle control, bone maintenance as well as heart, brain and digestive functions. Unfortunately, when it comes to your thyroid, the road to optimal health can be a long and frustrating one. Many people are told that their blood test results are completely normal and have been sent home with a prescription for an anti-depressant or instructions to get more sleep, eat less and exercise more. This isn’t very helpful when you consider that every single cell in your body requires thyroid hormone in just the right quantity. If you have too little your metabolism will slow down, leading to weight gain or severe weight loss resistance as well as low moods and poor concentration.

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Tips for achieving your weight loss goals

You feel rather proud of yourself when you stand on the scale and assess the progress you have made.  Wow, 5 kilos lost in a month – fantastic!  Then your colleague brings a delicious chocolate cake to the office.  Ten minutes later, while you wipe the crumbs off your top lip, you think to yourself, “What just happened?”  One cheat leads to another and before you know it you are sliding down the slippery slope back into old habits and your track suit pants with the elasticized waist.  Why is it that our motivation levels ebb and flow like the ocean? What mistakes are we making that lead to poor choices and what can we do to ensure it doesn’t negatively impact on the achievement of our goals? Read the rest of this entry