Hope everyone's keeping warm in the chilly winter weather!
If you want to curl up with a magazine, see the following mags that I'm quoted in/have articles in this month:
May 2011: Women's Health
May 2011: Shape
May 2011: Fair Lady
Winter 2011: You PULSE
June 2011: O magazine
June 2011: Longevity
Click here to see an article that I was quoted in for Longevity magazine (Jan 2011 issue) on staying on track during the festive season!
If you are struggling to lose weight or simply want to eat a bit healthier, there is nothing more effective than a food diary.
A food diary is a record of what you eat and at what times you eat. By keeping this record, it makes it easier to pick up anywhere you are going wrong with your eating and thus allows you to change these behaviours. For example, you may find that you overeat when you get home from work before dinner. Therefore, by perhaps introducing a mid-afternoon snack this will help to curb the post-work nibbling.
Similarly, a food diary is also useful if you find that you are an emotional eater. By including in your food journal any emotions you experienced at the time of eating, you can then identify what emotions cause you to eat. For example, you may find you eat out of boredom, therefore by distracting yourdelf with another activity instead of eating, this will help to prevent you from eating out of boredom.
Another advantage of a food diary, is that by knowing you have to write down your food, it will make you think twice before eating something simply because it's there or if you're not really hungry.
So, if you want to conquer your bad eating habits, just be sure to get it in writing!
Do your New Year's resolutions already seem like a distant memory? You can rekindle your motivation by setting yourself small, manageable goals. For example, losing 10kg in 1 month is unrealistic but losing 2kg in 1 month is.
Rather set a goal that is achievable and gives you sense of accomplishment when you reach it, than set a goal that is out of your reach and only makes you feel disappointed when you don't get there!
Good luck everyone!
Metabolic syndrome is characterized by a cluster of conditions including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, an increased risk of heart disease, and in some cases diabetes.
In most, but not all cases, there is a propensity to store fat around the waist.
One of the key features of metabolic syndrome is insulin resistance
Click here to read more...
With February being the month of love, hearts and flowers, what better time is there to look after your own heart by considering your cholesterol levels...
Raised cholesterol levels are one of the leading risk factors for heart disease. However, many individuals are unsure as to how to manage their cholesterol levels.
Cholesterol – friend or foe?
Cholesterol is a waxy substance, which is naturally produced in the body by the liver and transported by the blood. It has an important physiological role in supporting the body’s organs. However, an excess of cholesterol in the blood can accumulate in blood vessels and increase risk of heart disease and strokes.
Deciphering the riddle
There are various cholesterol-related terms:
Treatment Action Plan
Cholesterol-lowering medication is often used to treat high cholesterol, which acts by reducing the amount of cholesterol the body produces. There are various ways other than medication to increase HDL, reduce LDL, reduce total cholesterol, and thus improve one’s cholesterol profile:
Happy New Year everyone! I hope that 2010 is a successful year for you all and brings you only good things! Unfortunately along with the festive season, comes a whole lot of extra calories and a snugger waistband than you remember.
Help is at hand, though with this guide to getting back on track after the festive season:
It is well-known that women should take calcium supplements daily. However, when and how you take your calcium will play a major part in how effective it'll be. Calcium supplements should ideally be taken on an empty stomach (except in the elderly who should take their calcium with meals) and should not be taken along with sources of iron, caffeine or fibre, as all these may inhibit calcium's optimal absorption.
Therefore, taking your calcium with your high fibre breakfast cereal and morning coffee is not advisable. Also, if you have been advised to take more than 1 tablet a day, take 1 in the morning and 1 in the evening - rather than the 2 together - to ensure that it is properly absorbed.
A sluggish metabolism is a common complaint among women, but there are ways to give your metabolic rate a boost without having to resort to drastic measures. By Lila Bruk
1. Drink water
Yes, you’ve probably heard this one before, but drinking more of the translucent stuff is definitely worth your while. The reasons for this are two-fold.
Firstly, water is essential for many of the metabolic processes that take place within the body, so it therefore makes sense that if you don’t drink enough, your metabolism cannot function optimally.
Secondly, often one mistakes thirst for hunger, leading to one eating when actually your body is craving hydration. Therefore by drinking enough water you’re also preventing yourself from overeating. So try and drink at least 2 to 2.5l of water a day.
2. Eat approximately six small meals a day
Keeping your meals small and frequent is essential for a revved metabolism. Many people skip meals as a weight-loss strategy, figuring the less food they eat, the more weight they’ll lose. This is, however, not the case.
By skipping meals, it causes your body to go for long stretches without food. This is turn results in your body going into starvation mode. In other words, your body is not able to rely on a constant food source, and therefore it needs to conserve energy and store any food it does get. The result is a decrease in metabolism and an increase in fat storage.
Therefore, by having small regular meals that are well-balanced in protein, slow-release carbohydrates, and small quantities of healthy fats, you can be assured that your metabolism will be constantly fuelled.
Small regular meals will also keep your energy levels up throughout the day, which in turn will enable you to perform at your peak in your post-work workout.
3. Increase your physical activity
High physical activity levels are an invaluable component of getting your metabolism going. Even if you already diligently follow a formal exercise program, it is not good enough to sit at a desk the entire day, go to gym for an hour and then sit in front of the TV for the rest of the evening.
Increasing physical activity means adding more movement to your entire day. For example, do calf raises while brushing your teeth, take the stairs not the lift, do bicep curls with 1.5l bottles of water while watching TV, tap your foot while at your desk, or bounce around to the radio during rush-hour traffic.
Warning: observers may think you’re off your rocker, but at least you know you’re giving your metabolism a boost!
4. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables
You have already had to begrudgingly admit that your mother was right about yellow making you look sickly, your last boyfriend being hopelessly wrong for you and eating undercooked chicken giving you food poisoning.
Unfortunately, there’s yet another thing she was right about: You have to eat your vegetables. You most likely are already aware that fruits and vegetables are the ideal low-calorie food – they’re virtually fat-free and high in fibre.
Very importantly however, fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals, which your metabolism needs to function properly. It therefore goes without saying that if you don’t get enough of these nutrients, your metabolism will be affected. If you’re not a fruit and veggie fan, there are many easy ways to add them to your diet without you even noticing.
Fruit: Most fruit is quite portable and therefore makes the ideal snack. You can also chop up fruit and add it to your breakfast cereal, or throw some fruit and yogurt into the blender for a quick nutrient-rich smoothie.
Vegetables: In the cold winter months, there is nothing better than a warm, wholesome vegetable soup. Experiment with different vegetables to find the combinations of veggies you prefer. Stir-fries are a great, quick way to get in your vegetables. Also, try cut-up raw vegetables as crudités and some fat-free cottage cheese as a dip. Then of course there’s always the good ol’ faithful salads, which you can spice up by adding different vegetables and proteins. For example, try a grilled fresh tuna salad, or a chickpea and feta salad.
5. Don’t be afraid to build muscle
Many women shy away from weight-training as they are afraid of building big bulky muscles. However, women are not hormonally-wired to build muscle in this way.
Testosterone is responsible for this kind of muscle development, and women do not have significant amounts of this hormone, which would precipitate excessive muscle development. Rather, weight-training will help to increase your muscle mass resulting in a more lean, toned, defined appearance.
Also, muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat tissue, so it burns more calories even at rest. Therefore, building muscle will in turn boost your metabolism.
By following the above tips, you’ll find your metabolism is boosted, your energy levels are upped, leaving those with their “sluggish” metabolisms behind in your dust!
Lila Bruk is a registered dietician, nutritional consultant and freelance health journalist.
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