Author Archives: Nicky Perks
What’s the best time of the month to start a diet?
Almost all diets work. Perhaps not the really crazy ones, but any diet that calls for an increased awareness around carbs, fats, calories and portion sizes will help you to lose weight – in the short term anyway. When a diet ‘stops working’ it is more often than not a compliance issue. With this in mind, the next logical question is, “Are there ways to improve adherence for better long term weight loss results?” Absolutely!
Firstly, choose a diet that is easy to sustain. Secondly, choose the best time of the month to start your diet. This has nothing to do with starting on the 1st of the month, or on a Monday, or after a holiday, or once your salary cheque has cleared. Nope. It has EVERYTHING to do with your menstrual cycle, ladies. Taking the ebb and flow of your monthly hormones into consideration could make the difference between getting off to a great start or throwing in the towel 3 days into your diet. Why? Because estrogen and progesterone have a massive impact on energy levels, exercise performance, hunger, fuel utilization, metabolic rate and cravings. Read the rest of this entry
Why protein is so important when dieting
There is a secret weapon of fat loss that doesn’t always get the airtime it deserves. It is a macronutrient that has been shrouded in considerable controversy over the years for the part it supposedly plays in kidney damage if eaten in large quantities. We are talking protein, animal protein to be more specific. Plant-based protein, like beans and legumes, are difficult to incorporate into a low carb diet due to their relatively high carb content so fall out of the scope of this article. Beef, chicken, lamb, fish, pork and eggs; some experts say don’t eat too much, while others believe that these foods are a vital key factor for health and sustainable weight loss.
How to assess your risk for heart disease
I get asked this question a lot and while I am not a doctor, I can share with you what I have learned over the years. You can take this info and discuss it with your doctor, especially if they are wanting you to take a statin medication for high cholesterol. I encourage you to do your own research too.
Did you know that 75% of the cholesterol in your body is made by your liver? Think about that for a moment. Would your intelligently-designed body manufacture so much cholesterol if it was bad for you? Your body and brain need cholesterol to function properly. We would not survive without it. Cholesterol is important for manufacturing hormones such as oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone and cortisol. Cholesterol helps the liver create bile, which enables us to digest food, especially fats. It improves memory and boosts serotonin, the chemical that makes us feel happy. It is also quite normal for cholesterol levels to go up as we age. It shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing. Read the rest of this entry
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
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.
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.
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.
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.