Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Good versus bad, right versus wrong, left versus right, to do or not to do. We’re constantly faced with choices in our lives, these choices will dictate where our lives take us in all aspects e.g. our relationships, jobs, education and health. Yes that’s right, health is an option for us, it’s not a genetic gift that’s makes us either healthy or unhealthy (yes sadly there are anomalies), its not a luxury, it’s not fortune. It is however, in my opinion, worth it 🙂

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Here’s two choices for you, two lists of different things YOU CAN HAVE however you can only pick one list.

List a (anabolic):
– focused and energised
– satiated
– adaptation possible
– decrease in subcutaneous fat
– increase lean tissue
– nutritional needs met
– increase in anabolic hormones (anabolic means regenerative/recovering/adapting)

List b (catabolic):
– Decreased neural focus and concentration
– dehydration
– acute hunger
– impaired cognitive function
– increased subcutaneous fat
– lean tissue compromised
– fibrocystic breasts
– infertility
– lowered sex drive
– masculinisation (for females)
– feminisation (for males)
– mood swings
– depression
– night sweats
– late puberty
– male pattern baldness
– increased risk breast cancer
– depression
– Insomnia
– late menopause
– symptoms low thyroid

**all credit given to Phil Learney for both lists

Now, logically on paper every person would choose list A, however this is where the problem is. We now live in a society where people expect to be given everything instead of working for it. Hard work has been replaced with ‘amazing diets which will transform your life’ but still allow you to eat sh&t. Which every person knows deep down is just a BS approach.

The two lists above, and the items in each one, have all been linked directly to nutritional requirements in the body. So if you get what your body needs you increase the risk of getting everything in list A, however if you don’t give it what it wants then you fall into list B. You will probably have some of these symptoms (from either list) as well so you can start to appreciate what list your currently sitting in.

Let me drum that in, you choose every single damn day what goes into your mouth (nobody has ever been forced to eat crap food), therefore YOU are choosing where you let your body go and it’s therefore YOUR responsibility and YOUR fault if anything that happens to it.

“It’s my body and I can choose what I do to it”

As much as I agree with everyone having their own opinion, being their own person and having free will, THIS is definitely one step to far.
– It cost the NHS £4.2 billion last year on obesity and obesity related problems last year.
If you are overweight you will, if not managed correctly, have a MASSIVE chance of also costing our country more money on something fixable. Therefore you may have free will but if you have any morality and respect for the people around you then you’d stop the BS and sort yourself out.

Not enough?

This next point is my personal motive and if it doesn’t make you think and want to change then I don’t want to ever be associated with you….I think about when I have kids when I’m older, the very last thing I want is for them to experience is seeing me suffer. I want to see my kids grow up and develop unforgettable memories (grandchildren, holidays, family, friends, laughter etc). Also we know for a fact that a child will be born with endocrine dysfunction when the child is malnourished during its development in the whom. Therefore I strive to do everything I can to learn about how to optimise health and longevity to avoid any of these problems potentially arising. That’s MY MOTIVE.

Not enough motivation for you yet? Then please leave my page, look in the mirror and look at yourself in disgust and understand that you don’t deserve any help from this country and/or health care system. I am very quickly losing my patience and temper with people who don’t take this matter seriously. We’re in the middle of an epidemic and its only getting worse, obesity, heart disease and diabetes rates are bursting through the roof and too many people have developed an ignorance, arrogance and selfishness with their approach to life.

Life is their to be enjoyed from start to finish, don’t ruin that gift.

#DBA

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“5,000 to 10,000 people die prematurely from alcohol use a year” (www.avon.nhs.uk/alcohol/the_facts.htm)

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Most of you will say that this number is small and won’t effect you because you drink “in moderation” and only one won’t kill you. Now consider this:

27% men and 14% women drink over recommended units weekly and there are 40 million “social” drinkers. Now the definition of a social drinker is, according to medical-dictionary.com, “a person who consumes alcoholic beverages I.e. 2 standard drinks/day in a socially acceptable situation”. Cast your memory back to last Friday/Saturday night and think about how many drinks you had (assuming you can remember) and then compare that against the weekly recommendation:
– men 21 units a week
– women 14 units a week
(Beer = 2 units, spirits 35ml = 1.5 units, 175ml wine = 3 units)

I’m not condemning alcohol in this article (when consumed intelligently) however I do want to make the facts clear that what we currently deem as socially acceptable is slowly but surely killing our country. 8 units for men and 6 units for women is classed as binge drinking, alcohol costs the NHS £3 billion yearly and it’s predicted that there will be 210,000 alcohol death related deaths in the next 20 years.

“But I only go out every other week to drink”

Lets take a look at some of the physiological impacts alcohol will have on our bodies. Firstly, it will screw up our circadian rhythm (the daily activity of living) in other words our sleep pattern. When this falls out of sync it will cause a cascade of events within our body altering metabolism, fatty acid oxidation, hunger patterns and cravings (plus the potential dreaded hangover and memory loss).

HEALTH CONSEQUENCES

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In a review by Oscar-Berman et al (1997), alcohol consumption was linked to disruptions within the following:
– nervous system (CNS and PNS)
– neurological processes (temperature, sleep and co-ordination)
– cognitive abilities (memory, learning and perception)
– Korsakoff’s syndrome (memory disorder)
– changes within the limbic system, diencephalon (centre of brain acting as a station for nerves), cerebral cortex (intelligent behaviour and higher consciousness)
– impedes actions of neurotransmitters (chemicals allowing communication within brain)
– glutamate over activity (leading to cell death, linked to strokes and seizures and memory loss)
– GABA over activity followed by deficiency (withdrawal seizures)
– thiamine deficiency
– liver disease

I am very much out of my depth of knowledge and understanding to go into explaining and truly understanding the above links to alcohol so i wont kid myself and try, however all I know is that there is a STRONG one. I know from my own past experiences that physiologically alcohol has never done my body any favours for my body composition and health. So ill ask you all the following:
– would you put petrol in your diesel car because your car said (theoretically speaking of course, unless you actually have a speaking car) that it enjoyed the taste of petrol more?
– is short term satisfaction going to achieve long term goals if they have opposing effects and outcomes?
– if something isn’t broken would you try to fix it?
– would you ignore a wound on your body for several hours, knowing that the longer you leave it the worse it will become?
– is there a difference between WANT and NEED?

Now I’m not saying there is any obvious answers there, only interpretations based upon common sense 🙂 any situation you face in life, no matter how stressful, will ALWAYS remain no matter how much alcohol you consume. So saying you drink to take your mind off things will never help a situation. The sooner you tackle a scenario (no matter how daunting I.e. arguments with partners, money problems, job worries etc) the sooner it will get better. HOWEVER the longer you leave it and think about it (especially since alcohol will typically enhance the scale of the problem as you can’t think straight) the worse it will become.

The same goes for body composition goals, if your chasing a goal and you have everything sorted e.g. Nutrition and training nailed. Why would you want to add it in? Is it worth the risk? Do you want or need it? Yes, drinks like red wine, have shown some form of health benefit but can’t that be achieved via other avenues with less potential consequences?

I can appreciate some need a psychological break if they’ve been eating clean for so long for the first time, or time for celebrations (which in my opinion is a human inflicted stereotype that alcohol is needed to celebrate) but I fail to see any other reasons for NEEDING alcohol in your life.

Human beings have got such awesome potential to become something special and this, in my opinion, is hindered by social influence by others and there is only a small handful of people who have got the guts to do something about it and ignore the BS.

Moral of the article is to just stop making excuses and trying to justify having something you don’t need. Yes have it on the OCCASION if you really feel like you deserve a doggy treat however don’t try to make excuses. This is aimed at people who are trying to improve body composition and health and longevity 🙂 and just to make it clear this is MY current thoughts and feelings towards alcohol, which MAY change!

If people around you class you as being anti social or boring on a night out then chances are they’re either jealous of you, have minimal respect for themselves as a human or really don’t enjoy their jobs that they use alcohol as an escape when they should be doing their best to try to change that situation to do something they enjoy. As that’s what life should be about in my opinion…happiness, laughter and friends 🙂 not just living for the weekend just to pay the bills to just make it by in an environment you don’t actually enjoy.

Dream, believe, achieve 🙂

Gluten

Gluten free diets is a bit of a buzz topic at the moment and more and more people seem to be switching to a “gluten free” diet. Market research specialist Mintel estimated UK’s gluten free market at around £160 million in 2012 and is predicted to hit around £561 million within 5 years. Does it make it a healthier option to buy gluten free products rather than normal? And is it really necessary to go gluten free?

What is gluten?

Gluten is just a protein (glue in Latin), and acts as a binding protein (hence glue), without gluten all breads would look like pancakes! It is typically found in foods processed from wheat and grain e.g. Barley and rye. Structurally gluten is actually made from 2 proteins called prolamins and glutelins, the types of these 2 proteins however vary depending upon the source:
– Wheat: Gliadin, Glutelin
– Rye: Secalin, Rye glutelin
– Barley: Hordein, Barley glutelin
– Oats: Avenin, oat glutelin

Why go gluten free?

Gluten free diets originally came about to help celiac disease patients. Celiac disease is a condition in which eating gluten causes an abnormal autoimmune response that damages the intestines. Resulting in an inability to absorb nutrients properly and efficiently…not what you want if improving your health is your goal. People with celiac disease are more likely to develop arthritis, Addison’s disease, Down’s syndrome, intestinal cancer, intestinal lymphoma, lactose intolerance, thyroid disease and type 1 diabetes.

How does gluten cause disruptions in our intestines?

A fantastic explanation of this problem is explained by Jordan Feigenbaum from http://www.thefitcoach.wordpress.com.

“Digestion primarily occurs in the duodenum (in small intestine), whereas absorption primarily occurs in the jejunum and ileum. We can think about the small intestine as a long tube with finger-like projections known as villi. The layer of cells covering the inside of this digestive tube are called enterocytes and these cells interact with any and all food particles including gluten and its main component Gliadin and glutenin. Enterocytes are sealed off between each other by whats know as tight junctions (zonula occludens), which is made up of three distinct proteins: cadherins, zonulins and occludins. We can generally think of tight junctions in the gut as being impermeable or resisting the transmission of any molecule, substance or compound between the cells. In a healthy person this would mean that absorption of nutrients happens directly across the enterocyte and not in between them.”

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The problem which arises is when the Gliadin and the glutenin interact with the enterocytes directly causing a disruption of these tight junctions in the small intestine. Several molecular changes occur resulting in an opening in the small intestinal wall…not what we want as when exposed to chronic openings in this wall unwanted molecules and substances move into the body’s blood steam directly causing autoimmune responses such as inflammatory responses (this problem is also referred to as leaky gut syndrome).

What to take away from this?

I would recommend you go gluten free and avoid wheat products and processed foods. However I wouldn’t recommend you go and buy loads of gluten free products as they will have just replaced the gluten with other additives and things our bodies don’t need. Eat natural from nature, if you can catch it, kill it or grow it than eat it and you should be pretty safe. If you eliminate gluten and decide to add it in again check for the symptoms:
– gastointenstinal problems (gas, bloating, abdominal cramping, constipation, diarrhoea)
– headaches/migraines
– irrational mood shifts
– fatigue after meals
– neurological problems I.e. dizziness and balance problems

*remember if you add in gluten to your diet of a period without than make it a slow process so you can figure out which food problems bring up the problem I.e. may have problems with wheat foods but not oats.

Think about all the previous times that you’ve been injured and your mum, coach,doctor or physiotherapist said to just go away and rest the injury, usually followed by recommending ice, compression and elevation. The old school ‘rice’ recommendation.

Now imagine if someone told you to go and increase your olive oil, red meat and vegetable intake you’d be thinking they’ve been smoking Amsterdam’s finest. But, in reality, it’s potentially useful information when applied correctly.

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When we get injured we go through stages of inflammation which help to recover and rebuild the injured site (be it a tendon, muscle or ligament problem for example). We get a wide variety of different enzymes and hormones which will come into the site and out of it to help lay down, take away and strengthen anything which needs to be. Now where do we get these enzymes and hormones from? Two places…firstly what our body creates, secondly what we put into ourselves (see my article on the nutrition basics to get an understanding of this).

But before we get into that we need to understand the process the body goes through straight after an injury and during rehabilitation. Firstly we will look at soft tissue injury and repair:

Stage 1: inflammation
This is referring to the acute version (4-5 days post injury) rather than the chronic version of inflammation which lasts for lengthy periods of time and is destructive to our tissue. This is the period when our very clever bodies clear out the damaged and dead cells and start to lay down new ones. It is considered as a mechanism of innate immunity (first line of defence) and involves the increased movement of plasma and leukocytes from the blood to the injured area…causing a cascade of biochemical events which is going to be important in a later part of this article.

Pain, swelling, redness and heat all signify inflammation however shouldn’t be interpreted as something bad as it is our body healing itself (hence why taking NSAIDs immediately after an injury isn’t advised). However prolonged inflammation is detrimental and means that something isn’t working correctly so needs to be sorted!

Stage 2: proliferation
This starts just as the first stage is finishing. The majority of the damaged tissue will be removed and new tissue will have come in, but won’t be very strong. Oxygen and nutrient flow should have restored allowing collagen and fibronectin to be laid down, commonly known as scar tissue. Scar tissue is the building blocks of the new muscles being laid down, the force in which you place now on this injured site will dictate/influence the alignment of the new forming tissue. The scar tissue is contracting on a daily basis once it has started and brings the wound closer together, hence why wounds get smaller during rehabilitation!

Stage 3: remodelling
This is when the initial scare tissue (collagen and fibronectin) gets replaced with newer and stronger collagen to make the site stronger (it will be about 80% as strong as the previous tissue but that’s better then nothing). This period can last up to 2 years (even longer in bones!) so efficient and clever rehabilitation and training strategies will ensure a good recovery.

Bone remodelling:
It has similar stages to soft tissue injury however the length of time is usually longer for recovery. Callus formation is the main difference in this injury as it is used to create new bone which soft tissue obviously doesn’t need. Bone strength and shape can be nearly returned to previous condition also after injury! All good news despite the inconvenience of the actual injury!

Why tell me that? Your boring me now!
I can appreciate that what I’ve just told you is either 1) really boring and too complicated for you OR 2) you already new you so I just wasted your time 🙂 either way its my blog and this is how I chose to write it….but here’s what I know your desperate to here (desperate is probably an exaggeration).

How can we NUTRITIONALLY optimise the above response to ensure a safe and more efficient recovery (let me point out I am not about to state that you can Speed any of the above processes as these things take time but you can optimise the recovery period).

There are three points to consider:
1) how to manage the inflammatory period
2) how to support immune function
3) how to help the long term repair and regeneration of new tissue

INFLAMMATORY PERIOD
Remember we WANT this to occur as it will allow recovery so trying eliminate it will be costly. In a review by Hertel (1) it was found that the use of NSAIDs immediately post injury caused greater muscle healing and function short term however long term it was seemed to delay the inflammatory process, causing longer rehabilitation and less efficient recovery. So what do we want to do? Manage the inflammatory process to ensure a smooth transfer from stage 1 to 2.

Dietary fats should be your first thought for this stage, the majority of people are deficient in omega 3 and have to much omega 6. Now too much omega 6 causes what? You guessed it, excessive inflammation which means potentially a disrupted stage 1. Therefore consider the following:
1) supplement with omega 3 daily (3-9g)
2) decrease your omega 6 consumption (vegetable oil, sunflower oil, processed foods, soy)
3) increase your monounsaturated (MCT) fats such as nuts, seeds, olive oil and avocados (has been suggested to repress pro-inflammatory genes (2))
4) the use of herbs and phytochemicals such as garlic, turmeric, bromelian, flavanoids should be considered as they all have proven anti-inflammatory effects.

*just remember you don’t want to stop inflammation, just control it so dont go overboard on your omega 3

CALORIC INTAKE FOR STAGES 2-3
What do you think will happen if your immobilised/inactive for a lengthy period of time? You’ll waste away, lose all your muscle and lose everything you’ve trained for – not really but that hopefully woke you up a bit. You will lose weight, decrease strength and atrophy as your body will only keep what is necessary (natural homeostatic adaptation – don’t keep onto what we don’t use). However is it possible to limit these losses? Of corse! Will you have to eat more despite doing less activity? Definitely.

Winthrop et al (3) conducted a study looking at basal metabolic rate (BMR) and protein turnover and concluded that post injury BMR went up by a significant 15% and protein synthesis increased by 93%. There is an alteration in the internal environment/composition of the body reflected in electrolyte metabolism, energy and intermediary metabolism and endocrine function (4). Due to the increased stress (injured site) the body requires more nutrients and minerals to assist in repair and remain functioning to its day to day rate. Therefore overall caloric intake should be increased by around 15-20% to assist the body during the repair states (especially stages 1 and 2).

Anabolism is the process of building muscle, however due to decreased activity overall net protein balance becomes negative and catabolism (protein breakdown) dominates. Therefore it has been suggested that increased protein intake is required in order to increase the rate of protein synthesis to around 1.5g/kg bodyweight.

Fat intake has been previously discussed and you should be looking to balance out your omega 3 and 6 ratio. Finally, carbohydrates which aren’t essential (see my nutrition basics article) should be considered to help regulate insulin. The more stable your blood glucose levels the more efficient you’ll be. Insulin is known for being one of the most anabolic hormones in the body so the theory is control insulin then help control repair and growth.

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MICRONUTRIENTS DURING INJURY REPAIR
Vitamins: any group of organic compounds that are essential for normal growth and nutrition and are required in small quantities in the diet
Minerals: a solid inorganic substance of natural occurrence

Now imagine if we were deficient in any vitamins and minerals, optimum growth would be hindered. Guess what….we are all deficient somewhere in the body (which is normal so don’t freak out), however for improved overall health and well being we should strive to balance out any deficiencies to alleviate any stress for our body to allow homeostasis to occur.

Vitamin A- Gives inflammatory support, assists in collagen remodelling and reverses post injury immune suppression…beautiful stuff!

Vitamin c – enhances neutrophil and lymphocyte activity (stage 1), assists in collagen remodelling, antioxidant and immune system modulator

Zinc – zinc has hundreds of different functions within the body, protein synthesis, DNA synthesis and cell division are all influenced by zinc which are all necessary for tissue remodelling and repair

Other micronutrients which may have an effect: leucine, arginine, copper, glutamine and HMB, however I haven’t got the time at the moment to research all of these and the links no the recommendations so I will leave that down to you (or probably myself at a later date).

Here is an example of a daily nutrition plan for someone who has recently undergone surgery and is looking at 3-4 months out:

Assuming a 80kg male

Breakfast: 50g oats in water with 2 eggs mixed in + 50g blueberries + 3G omega 3

Meal 2: 100g chicken + 1 avocado + 100g vegetables + 10g walnuts

Meal 3: 150g salmon + green vegetables + 3G omega 3

Meal 4: 150g chicken + vegetables + 50g rice

Meal 5: 250g mince + vegetables + 10g walnuts

Pre bed: 150g full fat Greek yoghurt

Optional supplements:
– vitamin A: 10,000IU a day (first 4 weeks post injury)
– zinc: 20mg a day (first 4 weeks post injury)
– vitamin c: 1-2g a day (first 4 weeks post injury)
– glutamine 10g morning and night

I hope this gives you a fresh perspective of nutrition at all times in your lives and not just for enhancing performance. A healthy body is a healing body and will grow and become stronger so much more easily than an unhealthy one.

Dream, believe, achieve 🙂

1) Hertel, J (1997). The role of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in the treatment of acute soft tissue injuries. The journal of athletic training, 32(4), 350-358.

2) Rahman, I., Biswas, S.K., & Kirkham, P.A. (2006). Regulation of inflammation and redox signalling by dietary polyphenols. Journal of biochemical pharmacology, 72, 1439-1452.

3) Winthrop, A.L., Wesson D.E., Pencharz, P.B., Jacobs, D.G., Heim, T & Filler, R.M. Injury severity, whole body protein turnover, and energy expenditure in paediatric trauma. Journal of paediatric surgery, 22(6), 534-547.

4) Moore, F.D & Ball, M.R. (1952). The metabolic response to injury, Springfield, USA: Thomas Roe, C.F (1966). Monographs in surgical sciences (3), 85.

“There is no diet that will do what eating healthy does”

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We’re surrounded by diets left right and centre ranging from eating purely grapes for a week, having 700 calories for a month, buying man made wonder drinks to drop a dress size in a day! Heck I’m sure this time next year people will be told that eating their own poop will ensure you get all the minerals and vitamins possible for the body (as long as you buy it back of corse)! Whatever the latest fad is there is never going to be anything which beats going back to basics and eating the correct ratio of macronutrients (that’s carbohydrates, proteins and fats) to optimise body composition and longevity.

And why is this so hard for people to appreciate seeming as our civilisation managed it for 2000+ years….laziness. Period. My rage and frustration of the mindset of the public though will be saved for another day and I will stop banging my head and get back to basics for everyone, macronutrients…what, why, when and who will be answered!

PROTEINS

You cannot survive without them, full stop. The greek word for protein is “first”, which highlights the importance and priority it should have in nutrition (personally protein intake is what i firstly address for all my clients). These essential nutrients play a massive part in the regulation of the body. Proteins are amino acids linked together (all together there are 20 amino acids we can get from our diet, we’ll come back to this in a bit), they have the following responsibilities:
– structural responsibilities: protein is found in bones, muscles, organs, skin, hair and all cells.
– repair and growth
– hormones: amino acids create hormones such as insulin
– energy: when the body is depleted of carbs and fats than it will switch to proteins from muscles
– blood clotting properties
– ph balance
– strengthens the immune system

Now I don’t no about you but I would like to know my body was carrying out the above functions effectively so I could live my life healthy and happy. I referred to there being 20 amino acids earlier, these amino acids can be sub divided into two classifications of essential and non-essential. Essential means that they can be must be obtained from food (therefore what we put in our mouth makes a huge impact on any of the above functions that proteins carry out) and non essential are amino acids which our body can create naturally.

Interestingly protein is the only macronutrients which contains dietary nitrogen. Nitrogen is a necessity within any organism as it allows amino acids to be created which in turn creates proteins, additionally nitrogen is used to make nucleic acids which create DNA and RNA.

Guidelines state that we need 55g from the age of 19+ however I am sure that the majority of health and fitness advocates would tell you that is horribly low and 1g/kg is usually a starting point for someone (depending on goals and targets for their body composition)…and before any of the female population ask “no you will not grow massive biceps by having more protein”

* and no you can’t have too much protein!! If you have had previous kidney problems then you MAY have a problem, but otherwise don’t be scared to eat it!

CARBOHYDRATES

These are not essential to daily living for us, you can remove all forms of carbohydrates from your diet and you would survive (wouldn’t have brilliant health but you wouldn’t die). Our bodies have an ability to change proteins and fats into useable energy source when glycogen stores are low (called gluconeogenesis).

Carbohydrates are subject to massive debate within the dietary industry however bottom line we should have them in our diet to optimise our health. Carbohydrate literally translates into “sugar” and can come in many simple to complex forms.

Carbohydrates are our primary energy source and can be divided into two categories, starchy and fibrous. Fibrous carbohydrates are vegetables (exception of one or two) and starchy carbohydrates which is practically everything else including fruits (bread, pasta, potato’s, rice etc).

There are three molecular classifications of carbohydrates which you may have heard of previously, these are: monosaccharide, oligosaccharides and polysaccharides in which sugars such as fructose, glucose, sucrose, fibres, starch and glycogen all fall under uniquely. For the purpose of this article there is no need to go into detail about the differences on your health and well being that each different one can cause however be sure to check back soon to find out more!

FATS

Let’s make this bit clear, fat does not make you fat unless (like everything else) you have to much of the wrong sort. There are four different types of fats:

Trans fats
In other words man made fat (vegetable oil which has been solidified to give it a longer shelf life basically). These types of fats need no debate as we all no that these give the most detrimental affects on the body such as increased diabetes risk.

Saturated fats
Probably one of the most mythical fats of the lot with many extremist view points on this matter. Inuits have been said to consume 80% saturated fats within their diet however don’t have any problems with heart disease and other ailments commonly associated with a high saturated fat diet. On the other hand some research has claimed heart problems to arise and cholesterol to increase when consuming saturate fat. For a good article on the matter check out:
Saturated fats: what dietary intake? German and Dillard, 2004.

Monounsaturated fats
Olive oil is the most obvious example of this sort of fat. Their have been many claimed health benefits of this fat type and all the products which are “high in fat” are usually due to this fat being the predominant one. They have been said to reduce cholesterol, have high vitamin E and act as a anti oxidant.

Polyunsaturated fat
Omega 3 and 6 are the two most talked about in this fat type, which have been said to have very opposite effects on the body. Omega 3 includes the infamous, ALA, DHA and EPA and have been given a massive list of health benefits such as:
– decrease chronic inflammation
– turn off fat storing enzymes
– turning on muscle building enzymes
– aid in joint health
– improve brain function

On the other hand the western society consumes way to much omega 6 in our current lifestyle (4:1 of omega 6 to 3 allegedly), however we should be having an equal ratio of both within our diets. Over consumption of omega 6’s have been linked to causing unhealthy inflammation within the body so get yourself balanced!

Sources of omega 6: vegetable oil, walnut oil, corn oil, walnuts, soy based foods.

So increase your omega 3 consumption, the easiest way to do this is via a good supplement. Get in around 5g per day and you’ll feel the effects quicker than you think!

Hope this basic overview of macronutrients has helped out!

Dream, Believe, Achieve!

The majority of the public want to improve their body composition but there are so many products in the market and it becomes all a bit confusing. Every trainer has their own approach and their own methods in dealing with clients and even the fundamentals will differ (usually because experience has taught the older trainers wiser) in regards to their most efficient ways in burning the fat. Either way here are my top 5 methods in no particular oder:

1) If you catch it, kill it, grow it than eat it

Personally nutrition needs to be taken down a notch and we as humans have developed way to fast for our bodies to keep up. In today’s world we’re surrounded by fast food, ready meals and artificially created ‘health’ foods. Lets go back as nature intended and have nutritionally dense foods packed with vitamins and minerals rather than man made garbage. I challenge any person who reads this to try it for 2 weeks and claim it had no positive change on their body.

2) resistance exercise

How many overweight people do you see in the gym who run for miles and miles on the treadmill and are lucky if they see any significant results after a month? Not many from my experience (which I appreciate is under a year and always willing to change my view point on a subject if someone can prove it to me). The problem is aerobic exercise has a positive correlation with cortisol release, accelerated ageing, oxidative stress and inflammation. Whereas resistance training (including interval training) has an anabolic hormonal effect on the body in which it can help counter the effects of cortisol and help build muscle and burn fat.

3) keep a food diary

So simple! Most overweight people UNDER eat, yes that’s correct UNDER eat. Problem is they eat to much in one sitting and not enough throughout the day. I have all my clients make detailed food diaries which they write down what they eat, when they eat, how the food makes them feel after, how much they eat and any other comments. It gives them an understanding on what their body is doing and how it’s responding throughout their time with me and teaches them how to look after themselves when I’m not around. E.g. If they have some sweet potatoes at a sitting and it bloats them out than we’ll change the carbohydrate source next time etc.

4) Sleep!

I can say I have definitely under appreciated the significance of sleep and all the wonderful things it does for our body. I went through a stage of trying to survive on three 20 minute naps a day and a 4 hour sleep each day…don’t do it. Shoot for 7-9 hours sleep, remove any lighting in your bedroom and turn it into a bat cave! Avoid any electronics an hour before bed (read or prepare tomorrows food) and see if you feel any better! The fresher you feel, the less stressed your body is, the more efficient the system is and works therefore more productivity in the gym to fight the fat!

5) increase your protein intake

I don’t care if your an intermittent faster, a 6 meal a day guy, or only want to have 3 meals a day. I guarantee if your trying to lose weight your most definitely under eating in protein (check out my other article on what protein is and does for more information). Increase your protein intake to 1g/Ib bodyweight and you’ll have a solid foundation! And I’m talking protein from clean sources such as meat, fish and eggs…not tofu, lentils and nuts (not saying their bad foods but not as high in protein). Also protein shakes do not count before you get excited at the thought of 3 shakes a day, start on the basics then supplement AFTER.

Hope you enjoyed this short article! Leave feedback and opinions!

“Suck it up so one day you won’t have to suck it in”

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