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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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