Why women should lift heavy

Girls, it is time to put those 2 kg dumbbells away. They will not help you achieve the lean and toned “fit” look that turns heads in a bikini. If you want a curvy butt and shapely arms you need to lift and squat heavy. The multitude of myths surrounding lifting heavy weights has unfortunately held many women back from achieving the look they desire. Want to change your body shape? Stop spending so many hours on the treadmill and spin bike and pick up a barbell instead.  You will be amazed at how quickly you will see results. Besides, if you aren’t strong, running can be brutal on your body. Strengthening the muscles surrounding and supporting your joints helps to prevent injuries. Read the rest of this entry

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Fight back against depression with food

Ask someone about the cause of depression and chances are their reply will include the words ‘chemical imbalance’, or ‘serotonin deficiency’. Because of this widely held belief, the taking of antidepressant medications to fix the problem appears to be the most obvious solution. Yes, medication may offer some relief, but it will not cure you and it definitely won’t get to the bottom of why you are depressed in the first place.

New York based psychiatrist Dr Kelly Brogan put down her prescription pad years ago after coming to the realisation that nutrition and lifestyle interventions were a far more powerful treatment for depression than medication. She is the author of “A mind of your own”, in which she shares with her readers the truth about depression and debunks the serotonin theory. Her book details natural protocols for helping women to heal their bodies and reclaim their lives.

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The problem with too much insulin

A noticeable sign that you might have an issue with insulin is belly fat. This, however, does not mean that all slim, flat-bellied people get off scot-free. If not caught early enough, high insulin can ultimately result in poor health. Before your blood sugar starts to reach diabetic levels, insulin rises first. It is the proverbial “canary in the coal mine” that warns one of imminent danger. The build-up of insulin in your blood stream indicates, metabolically speaking, things are no longer working as they should. If left untreated, high levels of insulin develops into insulin resistance (a pre-diabetic state) and, eventually could result in full-blown type 2 diabetes. Read the rest of this entry

Reasons we overeat and what to do about it

Food is an essential part of life. Equally pleasurable as it is necessary. From the moment we are born, we start creating emotional connections with food. We associate food with nurturing, comfort, celebration and reward. Unfortunately, negative associations such as shame and guilt are also quite common. Even though eating should be a simple physical process of hunger, eat, stop, repeat – for many it is a daily psychological battle. It is within this emotional space that overeating can become a problem. When we continually miss (or ignore) signals to stop eating once we are full, or we eat without actually being hungry, the result can be obesity with all its related health issues.

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How alcohol can affect your fat loss

Can one drink alcohol on a low carb diet? It all depends on your goals and timelines. In general, if you want to maximize your fat loss, alcohol is best avoided or strictly limited. You get to make the rules. You might decide to have only 1 or 2 glasses of wine on a weekend and then not to drink during the week at all. Another option is that you only drink alcohol when there is a special event or when you eat out (provided that is not too often). You could also decide to avoid alcohol completely in the beginning of your weight loss journey to lose weight faster.  The challenge is balancing “having a life” or “being social” or “unwinding with a drink”, with your fat loss goals and finding a happy medium that is going to work well for you. Read the rest of this entry

Banting Basics: The what and why

I thought a good way to kick off the year was to review the basic principles of Banting and give a short explanation as to why they are important. Here are the ‘rules of the game’.  Play by them and you will taste victory. Let these 10 principles guide you towards control over your cravings, improved general health, more energy and effective fat loss.

Weight loss and optimal health takes consistent effort and most importantly it requires us to take responsibility over our food choices – and yes we also need to exercise a degree of willpower and restraint. Taking responsibility is often the biggest hurdle one needs to conquer before progress can be made. Excuses just lead us further away from our goals and the truth is, no-one can do it for you. These principles should help you to get things on track.

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How to lose stubborn thigh and bum fat

Do your weight loss attempts leave you slim on top, but still decidedly chunky from the waist down? You are not alone. Stubborn weight on the buttocks, hips and thigh areas is a common female complaint. So, why do women struggle so much to turn their pear-shaped bodies into the coveted hour-glass? It has a lot to do with hormones, the foods we choose to eat, as well as the type of exercise we do. While it is practically impossible to spot reduce specific areas of the body, there is still much one can do to maximise fat burning in general, while doing the right type of exercise to develop muscle and change body shape.

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Using carbs to your advantage

Very low carb or ketogenic diets are experiencing an upward trend in popularity. At the same time the humble carbohydrate has been downgraded to “junk” status. While it is true that reducing carb intake is an effective dietary approach, the question that everyone needs to ask themselves is, “Does my level of carb restriction benefit me in all areas of my life?” In other words, are you slimming down without losing muscle mass, are your energy levels good, do you sleep well at night, do you feel strong when you work out, have your hunger and cravings reduced, do you feel happy, is your diet easy to sustain? One should never sacrifice health for fat loss. Your goal should be to achieve both.

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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

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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