Would you pay to eat 6 teaspoons of sugar?

Sounds gross right?Mouth eating sugar

Well if you eat or drink low fat or ‘diet’ foods/drinks you very well could be.

Surely if you want to lose weight the food and drink to choose would be low fat or from a ‘healthy food’ diet range, right?

Well, actually the answer to that would be no.

Low fat or food labelled as ‘diet’ or ‘healthy eating’ range will usually have additional sugar or sweeteners added to replace the ‘missing’ fat as a preservative.

In fact a study by The Telegraph showed many low fat foods promoted as healthy-eating options contain more sugar than their “full fat” equivalents – in some cases more than five times as much.

A study of 100 popular low or non-fat grocery items from major supermarkets found that dozens contained at least two teaspoons of total sugar in a single serving. One in four of the products contained more than three teaspoons of the ingredient.

The research found:
- One “low fat” meal contained almost six times the sugar levels of its “full fat” equivalent dish
- A “fat-free” drinking yoghurt was found to contain almost as much sugar as a Mars Bar
- A single portion of a “healthy living” apple and blackberry crumble contained five-and-a-half teaspoons of sugar
- A one litre carton of a “low fat” chocolate milk drink contained more than 30 teaspoons of sugar, around two thirds of which is estimated to be added

So why is all this sugar a problem?

The issue with too much sugar or sweeteners is the affect they have on insulin.

Insulin is a hormone within the body that is responsible for removing sugar from the blood stream and storing it within your muscles and liver. Those stores are used to fuel your body when you are active.
Contrary to what a lot of ‘health’ professionals say insulin is not a bad hormone.

In fact if you did not have insulin within your body you would die and if left to function as it should do, it can be your friend in weight loss efforts.

The problem occurs when you eat foods high sugar (or sweeteners) and your body has to repeatedly release insulin in high amounts.

Your body can only store so much sugar within your muscles and liver and once those stores are full insulin HAS to put any excess sugar somewhere and that place will be within your fat cells under the skin.

In short:
High sugar foods/drinks = high insulin levels = increase in fat cells in the body.

Rather than relying on diet foods and drinks the best way to lose weight is to find what works for you to balance out your hormones and allow your body to use its own natural fat burning abilities to create the body you desire.

It can be done eating ‘normal’ and tasty food I promise you and it does not have to be hard work or involve the latest faddy gimmick.

If you would like to receive a FREE 20 minute hormone analysis (usually worth £15) please send me a message or leave a comment below and we can arrange something to suit you.

Louise x

 

Product                                                                                          Teaspoons of sugar

Waitrose love life belgian chocolate sponge pudding 6.7
Marks & Spencer blueberry drinking yoghurt 6.5
Starbucks Mocha frappuccino (250ml bottle) 6.4
Galaxy milk (200ml serving) 6.3
Marks & Spencer count on us double chocolate sundae 5.9
Marks & Spencer count on us sweet & sour sauce (1/2 of a 370g jar) 5.5
Tesco healthy living apple & blackberry crumble 5.5
Marks & Spencer count on us rasberry panna cotta (per 140g pot) 4.8
Onken fat free strawberry yoghurt (150g serving) 4.8
Yeo Valley 0% fat Orange, Carrot & Mango yoghurt (per 150g serving) 4.7
Waitrose low fat black cherry yoghurt 4.6
Onken fat free vanilla yoghurt (per 150g serving) 4.5
Waitrose low fat strawberry yoghurt 4.3
Waitrose low fat rasberry yoghurt 4.3
Marks & Spencer count on us rhubarb & custard dessert 4.2
Marks & Spencer count on us sweet & sour chicken 4.0
Marks & Spencer count on us very berry dessert 4.0
Tesco Low Fat strawberry Yogurt 125g pot 4.0
Danone Activia cherry yoghurt 3.9
Glaceau vitamin water power-c/dragonfruit 3.8
Tesco everyday value low fat black cherry yoghurt 125g pot 3.8
Sainsbury’s My Goodness Tasty hoisin duck noodle soup 3.5
Marks & Spencer count on us chicken piri piri 3.4
Marks & Spencer count on us skinny chocolate frappe 3.4
Marks & Spencer count on us chicken tikka masala 3.0
Kellogs Special K creamy berry crunch (per 30g serving with milk) 3.0

Table from www.telegraph.co.uk

Toxin Alert!

Did your know your body is amazing!  It may not feel like it at times I know but I promise you it is.

It will do everything it can to survive and keep you safe.

It even has its own very effective methods of eliminating toxins

However, because of our modern day lifestyles and exposure to numerous chemicals, our

Toxins

body needs support when it comes to dealing with the excessive level of toxins that we are now exposed to.

Toxins come from a variety of sources, namely pollution, household cleaners, pesticides and fertilizers, and cosmetics.

There is no doubt that the cocktail of toxins that our bodies have to deal with is detrimental to our health.

The Symptoms of toxic overload are:

  • Difficulty shifting weight
  • Stubborn fat areas
  • Dark circles under eyes
  • Feeling groggy
  • Difficulty dropping body fat
  • Low energy levels
  • Digestive problems
  • Indigestion
  • Problem skin
  • Hormonal issues
  • Mood swings
  • Frequent illness

The impact that toxicity has on the body’s ability to lose body fat is twofold.

Firstly, toxins are a threat to our survival so as a way of protecting itself the body STORES the toxins in our FAT cells.

Therefore, the MORE toxicity you have in your body, the MORE BODY FAT you will need to store for protection.

Secondly, the more toxins within your body fat stores, the LESS WILLING your body will be to burn or shed that stored fat as energy.

Carrying on the way you are currently eating or even just eating less is not going to sort the problem. In fact it will just make things worse.

The first thing to do is cut out the CRAP – Caffeine, Refined sugar, Alcohol and Processed foods.

Don’t try and do it ALL AT ONCE though.  Remove ONE thing at a time so you don’t become overwhelmed.

Increase your water intake to help flush out the toxins.

Drinking hot water with a squeeze of lemon will also help flush out the toxins.

A controlled cleanse will help your body remove toxins from your body by supporting your liver and digestive system.

REMEMBER though a cleanse DOES NOT mean eat LESS food in general it means eat less of CERTAIN foods and ensure your body is supported fully to remove the toxins.

If you have any questions leave a comment below or send me a message and I will help

Why You Must Eat To Lose Weight

It seems counter intuitive I know however it is true – You Must Eat To Lose Weight (the right kinds of food though).  It can take a big mental shift for some people to accept and understand why this is the case.   However once you do you will see the best weight loss results ever.

When most people start trying to lose weight, they reduce their calories by lessening their food intake. That’s fine, but sometimes they can cut their calorie intake too low.

Not eating enough calories causes many metabolic changes. A large calorie deficit might work for a few days or even weeks, but eventually your body will start to sound alarms that it needs to conserve its energy.  Your body is extremely clever. It contains countless contingency plans that kick in whenever something seems to threaten  it, including a reaction called the starvation response. It  is your body’s reaction to what it perceives as a critical food shortage. When your body finds its fuel supply is diminishing, it shuts down unnecessary activities and clings to every possible calorie in order to survive the “famine.”

Your body needs energy to survive so it will do whatever it can to conserve it including:

  • Decrease in your muscle mass – It takes a lot of energy for your body to support your muscles. In a prolonged extreme calorie deficit, it is one of the first things that your body looks to get rid of. Your body needs fat, however your muscle can be spared therefore it breaks down the muscle tissue and uses it for energy.
  • Lowers  your testosterone levels – An important hormone for both men and women, testosterone is just one of many hormones that are affected with severe calorie restriction.  Testosterone helps build muscle tissue. Without it, it becomes harder to maintain your muscle mass.  Muscle mass is important to help with weight loss efforts as it helps you to burn fat.
  • Decrease in your energy levels – Your brain’s neurotransmitter (brain chemicals that communicate information throughout our brain and body) production is limited, which can lead to a lack of motivation. It’s your body’s way of telling you to “slow down” – conserve your energy.
  • Decrease in your leptin levels – Leptin is one of many energy regulating hormones. More importantly, it’s a “hunger” hormone that tells you whether to eat or not. High leptin levels signal that it’s OK to stop eating, while low leptin levels are a signal to eat more for energy. Because of this, leptin levels decrease in calorie restricted environments.  This decrease also encourages your body to hold on to its fat stores and encourage more fat to enter those stores.To lose weight eat this

How Many Calories Should You Be Eating?

There is no exact perfect number. Each person’s metabolism is different. However a general rule of thumb is to reduce your daily calorie amount by 500 calories to lose between 1-2 lbs a week.

The problem is most people who want to lose weight just want it to happen quickly, and they want it gone now. Weight loss is a patience game. It takes time and consistency to make it work. Losing 2lbs per week is the best to aim for. At this pace, it will ensure that the majority of your weight loss is coming from stored body fat instead of muscle. You will also give yourself the best chance to build muscle while you lose fat, which is what you should be striving to do.

So if your progress has reached a plateau, but you think you’re eating the right foods and exercising intensely, more than likely your problem is that you’re not eating enough calories to lose weight. Increase your intake by adding more nutrient rich food to your diet (try adding a healthy snack  in between your meals each day) and your weight loss should start moving forward again.

Note – If you are unsure of the amount of food you need to be consuming in order to remain healthy and keep weight loss occurring consult a fitness professional (Personal Trainer or Exercise Referral Specialist) or nutritional adviser who will be able to help you.

10 Top Tips On How To Eat Out Healthily

10 Top Tips On How To Eat Out Healthily

This week has been a busy one and I know it is only going to get busier the nearer to Christmas we get.  My fridge door is filling up with invites to lunches, dinners and parties (to be honest 50% of those are for my 2 year old daughter with me just tagging along).  Nearly every invite involves eating or drinking so I know some forward planning is needed to help me stay on track as best as possible. All of my reward meals are already planned up until New Years Eve……and I can’t wait for each and every one :-)

  1. Ask for sauces and dressings on the side -  Where possible, always ask for any dressings and sauces to be served separately. This will enable you to add exactly the amount you want to your meal and avoid a meal smothered in a rich sauce.
  2. Take a look at the menu before you get to the restaurant – If you know where you are going to eat take a look on the internet at the menu before you go.    Making your choices early on will enable you to have plenty of time to select the healthiest choices, plus you’ll be less likely to be influenced by others to make more unhealthy choices.  To ensure you stick to your choices don’t look at the menu at the restaurant.
  3. Avoid the bread rolls – Many restaurants provide bread rolls whilst you are waiting for your food. Whilst bread isn’t bad for you, it’s something that you don’t actually need to eat if you are going to eat a full meal as well. If you do have bread opt for wholemeal varieties and just have one piece.
  4. Limit alcohol -  Try to limit alcohol as much as you can and drink a glass of water for every alcoholic one, this will enable your body to stay as hydrated as possible as well as fill you up.
  5. Don’t starve yourself - Don’t starve yourself during the day to compensate for a planned evening meal out. It’s a common plan and we’ve probably all done it.  If you have your normal daily meals you’ll arrive at the restaurant healthily hungry and not desperately ravenous.  If you are really hungry you are far more likely to choose less-healthy options and eat more than you would normally have done.
  6. Avoid three courses – If you can, try to stick to one or two courses instead of the full three.  However if three courses are a must, opt for a salad or soup to begin (try to avoid cream-based ones) then go for fish or chicken as the main and finish up with a fruit based dessert or a sorbet (one piece of chocolate cake will not make you put lots of weight on so if you want it then have it)
  7. Don’t be swayed by your friends – Don’t be tempted to go for unhealthy options because that’s what the other people are having. And don’t feel under pressure to cave in if others entice you to do so.  You’ve got to remember that it’s your body and the reason why you want to lose weight is to feel better about yourself, it’s not for them.
  8. Eat slowly – Allow your stomach and brain time to register what you are eating and how full you feel.  Put your knife and fork down whilst you are chewing your food and once you are full stop eating.  You do not have to clear your plate of everything if you are already feeling full.
  9. Have fun – It is important to relax and have fun.  Enjoy yourself and enjoy your time with friends and family.  Remember that having fun and relaxing allows your cortisol and adrenaline hormone levels to balance out which helps with losing weight
  10. Make the best choices you can – use the menu swaps below to help you make the best choices you can whilst eating out.  If eating at a buffet fill the majority of your plate with salad and plain meat if you can.  Add cheese and fruit if available to help keep you full

Ambient Menu

Kick Your Cravings to the Kerb!

Many people find it difficult to distinguish whether they are feeling hungry or if they are experiencing a craving for a certain type of food or taste. Hunger and cravings are completely different – hunger comes from the stomach and cravings come from the brain.

A craving can be caused by:

  • A habit – if you eat something every day at the same time or you always eat something specific when with a specific person you will expect it
  • An emotion – if you were once comforted by something such as chocolate you will look to repeat that feeling the next time you feel as if you need to be comforted.
  • A message – if you are lacking in a specific mineral or vitamin your brain will send a message to consume something that contains that mineral or vitamin

The first thing to do is stop beating yourself up about your cravings.   Instead try some of these ways to break the hold they have on you:

  • Do you sit down at a certain time everyday with a cup of tea and biscuits?  Swap the biscuits for 1 or 2 ricecakes with peanut butter.
  • Do you reach for chocolate when you have an afternoon slump?  Swap your normal chocolate bar for 2 squares of 75% dark chocolate.
  • Can’t wait for dinner to finish cooking? Keep away from quick easy snacks and try a piece of fruit instead
  • Hungry late at night?  Don’t reach for the crisps or chocolate.  Try a small bowl of porridge to fill the gap and help you sleep.

If you have very specific food cravings take a look at the list below to see what your body could actually be asking for

Food What does the body want Alternative Food
Cheese Healthy fats Handful or two of unsalted nuts
Pasta/white bread Chromium Include  onions, grapes, tomatoes, sweet potato and cinnamon in your diet
Bread/toast Nitrogen Try upping your green leafy vegetables, seeds and nuts. 
Red meat Iron Include spinach, cherries, beans in your diet plus vitamin C to aid absorption. 
Crisps Chloride Try including celery, olives and kelp in your diet
Chocolate Magnesium Try upping your greens and fruit intake
Coffee/Tea Sulphur Try upping your asparagus, kale, garlic and onion intake

Most of us give in to cravings because we believe that if we ignore them they will just get bigger and bigger until just wanting one biscuit will turn into a whole packet (or 2!).  This is not the case though as cravings will build up, peak and will then disappear.  It is possible to distract yourself until the craving disappears – go for a walk, listen to music or call a friend for a chat – anything to stop your mind thinking about the craving.

Next time you get a craving for something about why you are getting the craving and is there something else you could have or do instead.

If you have any tips for beating cravings I would love to hear about them in the comment box below.