Thursday, June 28, 2012


Metabolism is the process which the body converts food and drinks into energy.  When resting, the body needs energy for breathing, adjusting hormone levels and blood circulation.  The number of calories the body uses to carry out these functions is basal metabolic rate.  Basal metabolic rate is determined by age, sex, activity level, hormones, height, body fat levels, genetics. body size and composition among other factors.

People dont become overweight overnight.  The pounds creep slowly, unnoticed until one day nothing in the closet fits.  Weight gain is most commonly as a result of eating more calories than you burn.  To lose weight, you need an energy deficit by eating fewer calories or increasing the number of calories you burn through physical activity.

Calorie is a unit of energy supplied by food.  Calorie is a calorie regardless of its source.  Calorie balance is like a scale.  Calories consumed from foods and drinks must be balanced by the calories used.

Calorie counting has a number of challenges.  The first one is that the brain regulates body fat levels and it will increase hunger and decrease your activity levels to try and resist any changes. Metabolic rate changes over time and it will drop during long periods of calorie restrictions.  Having to weigh foods you eat means that you wont be able to eat out at restaurants and friends houses.

Insulin hormone is the gatekeeper to the fat cells.  When insulin levels go up, fat cells store fat and ensure that whatever fat in the body does not get out.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

What is fibre

Dietary fiber is the name of certain carbohydrates from vegetables, plants and grains that the body can't fully digest.  Fiber binds with cholestrol in the intestines.  Its believed that fiber is converted into a gluey paste in the digestive tract preventing it from being absorbed into the body where it could have gone to clog arteries.

Controlling or maintaining weight is easier with a diet rich in fiber. Fiber alone can't peel the pounds off. We need a healthy, calorie controlled diet and get regular physical activity.  Foods rich in fibre includes oatmeal, whole wheat bread, brown rice, black beans , legumes, nuts, lentils, almonds etc.  Simple substitutions would enrich your diet. e.g eating one orange instead of drinking a glass of orange juice or one cup of beans instead of one cup of mashed potatoes.

Dietary fiber has benefits of weight control, lowering cholestrol, reducing constipation and diabetes. Food high in fiber which comes from plants have no cholestrol and is low in calories and have less fat.  Foods like oatmeal, apples, strawberries, beans have soluble fibre meaning they turn to a gel in the intestines and slows down digestion.  Insoluble fiber found in whole grains, carrots, tomatoes, wheat cereals does not really break down.

Fiber helps to control blood sugar.  It slows the absorption of sugar which for people with diabetes can help improve blood sugar levels.

To increase fiber in your diet, switch to whole grains, whole wheat, whole wheat flour or another whole grain.  Instead of white bread eat whole grain bread.  Substitute whole grain flour for half or all of the white flour when baking.  In yeast breads, use a bit more yeast or let the dough rise longer.  When using baking powder, increase it by one teaspoon for every 3 cups of whole grain flour.

Some tips to increase fibre in your diet may  include snacking on vegetables, make vegetables the main course, eat more beans, have high fibre cereal with fruit and low fat dairy for breakfast, vegetable based soup, nuts and seeds in small portions as they are high in fibre and calories.

Be sure to drink 6-8 glasses of water daily when adding fiber to your diet.  Fiber without adequate fluids causes causes constipation instead of helping to eliminate it.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Healthy Health

Staying healthy:

Stay hydrated.  Drink before every meal and between meals especially when hungry. Avoid sugar-sweetened beverage and drink water instead.  Water has no calories and fills up the stomach, making you less hungry.  The liver converts stored fat to energy.  It also picks up the slack for the kidneys which needs a lot of water to work properly.  If the kidneys are water deprived, the liver has to do their work along with its own, lowering total productivity.  It then can't metabolize fat as efficiently as it could when the kidneys were pulling their own weight.  This is unfair to the liver and also helps body to store fat.  As you continue to give your body all the water it asks for, it gets rid of what it doesnt need trusting that the water will keep coming.  Water flushes out impurities in your skin, leaving a glowing complexion making the skin look younger.  Water consumption should be spread throughout the day.  Dont drink too much water at one time.  Pick three or four times a day when you can have a big glass and then sips in between.  Water flavor in your water? Add a slice of lemon or lime to your glass of water and avoid artificial sweeteners.  How cold should the water be? Do whatever suits you here. Just drink it!

Eat more proteins.  High protein foods take more work to digest, metabolise and use, which means you burn more calories processing them.  They take longer to leave the stomach so you feel full sooner and for a longer amount of time.  The body uses the amino acids in protein to build lean muscles.  Consuming between 0.8 grams and 1.1 grams of protein per pound of your weight is adviseable aiming at least 30 grams of proteins at breakfast.

When is it healthy to eat dinner?  Eating and sleeping bear an important relationship to one another. Eating dinner too close to bedtime makes your sleep uncomfortable or to skip breakfast (most important meal of the day).  Sleep deprivation causes one to eat more.  When the stomach is too full and you lie down you may experience heartburn.  Giving yourself 2-3 hours after dinner before bed allows for digestion time. If you enjoy eating a large evening meal, introduce low calorie, low fat foods e.g salmon with vegetables

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Live within your means.  Aim to save at least 10% of what you earn after taxes. If you cant
save 10%, start by saving something. Take pride it it, and that will inspire you to set aside more.

People who make specific financial plans save more than people who don't.  Financial plans dont fail: people fail to plan. Unless you have a road map that tells you where you are going, it is very hard to get there.

Put money away in plans that  penalise early withdrawl so that you wont withdrawl. If you cant see it and cant touch it, you cant spend it.

Friday, June 1, 2012


Spent the last seven days putting in your best effort to lose a pound or two but the scale revals otherwise?  Lets look at the diet:

1.  rewarding yourself with food after exercise - you will overestimate how much workout burned and underestimate how much you ate.

2. diet drinks - they lower blood sugar stimulating hunger

3.  no carb or fat-free - cutting on any one food group leaves you short of nutrients you need for energy

4.  not keeping track of all the food you eat in a day

5.  exercise with friends to increase fun and calorie burn

6.  not eating enough - bump up calories to stoke metabolism and dont skip meals