• Fact or Fiction?: Feed a Cold or should you Starve a Fever

    So for the last few days I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather, and when it comes to how much we should be eating there are two camps:

    • The first being you need to eat less and starve the fever
    • The second being eat more calories and feed our body

    This saying has been traced to a 1574 dictionary by John Withals, which noted that “fasting is a great remedy of fever.” The belief is that eating food may help the body generate warmth during a “cold” and that avoiding food may help it cool down when overheated.
    But recent medical science says the old saw is wrong. It should be “feed a cold, feed a fever.”

    Let’s take colds first. When your body fights an illness it needs energy, so eating healthy food is helpful. Eating can also help the body generate heat—although wearing an extra layer of clothes or slipping into bed can keep you warm, too. There’s no need to overeat, however. The body is quick to turn recently digested food into energy, and it’s also efficient at converting stored energy in fat.

    The reasons to eat for fever are more interesting. Fever is part of the immune system’s attempt to beat the bugs. It raises body temperature, which increases metabolism and results in more calories burned; for each degree of temperature rise, the energy demand increases further. So taking in calories becomes important.

    Even more crucial is drinking. Fever dehydrates your system, in part through increased sweating from that elevated temperature. Replacing fluids is therefore critical to helping the body battle the infection. The same is true for combating colds. “You have to make yourself drink fluids, even though all you want to do is collapse,” says William Schaffner, chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

    Dehydration also makes mucus in the nose, throat and lungs dry up, which can then clog sinuses and respiratory tubes. When mucus hardens it becomes more difficult to cough, Schaffner notes, which is our way of trying to expel mucus and the germs it contains. Staying hydrated helps keep the mucus running, which, even though it may be disgusting, is one of our natural defenses.

    The challenge, of course, is that when you’re sick you may not feel much like drinking and even less like eating. Loss of appetite is common, and might be part of the body’s attempt to focus its energy on pounding the pathogens. Given the wisdom noted above, Schaffner says, don’t force yourself to eat if you don’t feel like it. “But drink,” he adds. “It’s the liquids that are important.” Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine enhances dehydration. So does alcohol, and it is also a depressant, holding us down.

    Bowl of clear chicken soup with noodle and vegetables

    What about some other common conceptions for beating colds and fevers, such as eating chicken soup? Chicken soup doesn’t possess any magic ingredients, but it has calories as well as the all-important liquids again. The warm vapor rising from the bowl can also moisten and loosen dried mucus. The same goes for vapor from hot tea, with or without lemon or honey. Taking a hot shower can soften mucus, too—and if you dare, you can get rid of it by gently blowing your nose one nostril at a time while you’re in there.

    Supplements are dubious at best. The data from studies about taking vitamin C are inconclusive, as they are for zinc. Solid studies of echinacea show no benefit. If there’s any positive effect at all from any of these compounds, it is very small, Schaffner concludes. Over-the-counter remedies may or may not help, but that’s a whole ‘nother story. They can relieve symptoms but they do not kill off viruses or bacteria. Cold and fever germs usually run their course, and the immune system eventually gets the upper hand. In the meantime, drink drink drink. And sleep as much as you can, to give your body the rest it needs to fight the good fight.

     

    Below is a few examples of food that you should be eating to feel better:

    So the main thing to keep in mind, is that when your feeling ill is to give your body time to rest and recover. When it comes to food intake, keep is wholesome and try not to go over board. Personally I’ll rather make sure my body gets the calories it needs then stave my fever out, since it’ll lead to a faster recovery. so what do you guys think? when your feeling ill what do you do? Leave your interesting comments below and lets have a discussion.

  • Beginners Guide to Meal Preperation

    Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!

    To ensure that you stay on track with your nutrition plan make sure that you always have plenty of healthy options on hand. Food preparation is not just for the athletes and fitness models, but it’s something that we should also get in the habit of since it help us manage our food intake, making sure that we don’t go overboard.

    Knowing exactly what extra ingredients are in that take away dish or how much fat/sugar there is, can go a long way toward helping keep your calories in check and your macros in line with your goals.

    In fact, scientific research from Johns Hopkins University found that subjects who cooked their own dinner six to seven times a week consumed fewer calories, fat, and sugar on an average day compared with those who only cooked dinner once a week or less.

    Having your food ready to eat when hunger hits will also keep you from going on a binge on snacks, takeaway or prepackaged convenience food. As both a scientist and an fitness specialist, I not only encourage my clients to organise their meal prep in advance—I also practice what I preach.

    Here are my top tips for keeping your menus on track and your body adequately fuelled.

    Tip 1: Organise your meals

    Plan on eating about every two to three hours, with or three main meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and snacks in between. Organise each meal around a quality protein (chicken, fish, or beef), a complex carbohydrates (sweet potatoes, brown rice, or fresh steamed vegetables), and some healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, nuts, etc.).

    Tip 2: Go shopping prepared

    Making sure you have a shopping list in hand with all your necessities. Now a day you can use you mobile phone to make notes or even get an app like AnyList, which allows you to easily share your must- gets with your spouse or roommates so everyone knows what you need. Some basic to keep on hand: canned foods like tuna and beans, frozen veggies to use in a pinch, and brown-rice pasta.

    Tips 3: Experiment and get creative

    Experiment with low- salt, low-sugar seasonings (remember some mixed seasoning have a tonne of sugar so check the label), such as turmeric, sesame seeds, or spice blends. Try mixing different veggies together (onions and mushrooms, tomatoes and bell peppers) to add colour and variety. Use flavoured vinegar and hot sauces, but be careful of added sugars, and look for hidden sources such as high- fructose corn syrup and artificial additives.

    Tip 4: Measure out your portion for each meal

    Remember to weigh and measure your food to keep your serving sizes on point and to ensure your macro-nutrients meet your needs. Try aiming for three to five ounces of protein, 1⁄2 to 1 cup of complex carbohydrates, and 1⁄2 to 1 tbsp of healthy fats, like olive oil or coconut oil, per meal. Pack up fare in easy-to- transport containers and use food-cooler bags to keep your stash safe.

    Tip 5: Get yourself a good container

    Having a good container can make your life and eating so much better. Depending on what you have available you might need to get yourself a thomoflank, which will help keep your food nice a warm when it comes time to eat, or if you’re putting your food in the fridge (maybe at work) than make sure it has a good seal, so it won’t leak in transit. Don’t forget you might need to take a fork and spoon with you.

    Tip 6: Stay Prepared

    Remember that things might not go according to plan so keep some emergency healthy snacks on hand. These can include a shaker cup with some quality whey/casein protein powder in a plastic baggie (just add water or low-fat milk or almond milk when you’re ready to sip), some mixed nuts and fruit, or a few quality high-protein energy bars (remember to check the label since lots of protein bars are full of sugar and fat).

    Tip 7: Keep a Drink bottle With you

    Buying water from the shop cost more then buy fuel for your car!!! That’s right, we as a people spend a lot of money on buying bottled water when we can get it for free from a drink tap, so why not bring your won drink bottle that you can fill up at the work place kitchen. It’ll save you money, help you control your appetite and keep you hydrated!

    So what do you guys think? What tips would you give someone when it comes to food prep? Leave your interesting comments below and let’s have a discussion.

  • 10 Tips For Buying Nutritious Food On A Budget

    Like a lot of people money can be an issue when it comes to eating better, but not to worry here are 10 easy shopping tips to help you keep eating healthy food and won’t break the bank!


    1. Use Digital And Paper Coupons

    Using a shoppers’ club card doesn’t mean you automatically get all the discounts. Download your store’s apps, then attach digital coupons to your club card. Grab the food flyer on your way into the store and find the paper coupons you want. Combine paper coupons, digital coupons, and your shoppers’ club card for great deals. And by using shopping cards and digital coupons, the store can track what you buy and give you more coupons for the things you like to buy.

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    2. Buy In Bulk And Wholesale

    Big-box stores like Costco Wholesale, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s Wholesale Club stock high-quality bulk foods, including all-natural and organic products. You pay more up front (plus any membership fees) for large quantities of food. But the price per unit is usually much lower than at a regular grocery store.

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    3. Shop Seasonally And Locally

    Shop at your local farmer’s market, and you can often snag very fresh food at seriously discounted prices—plus you’ll be supporting the local economy. Be prepared to pay cash. You can also join a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. For a flat fee, CSA farmers will give you a box filled with whatever fruits and veggies they picked that week. Go to localharvest.org to search for farmers markets and CSAs in your area.

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    4. Be A Flexible Shopper

    Sometimes, you need to be flexible to be frugal. It might take shopping at multiple stores to maximise your savings. Check the paper and the internet for the best local food buys. That ritzy store up the street might have a special that knocks the socks off the big-box store across town. And you may find not only great prices but also new foods to put on the table. Just be sure to factor the amount of gas and time involved into your cost calculations.

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    5. Plan Your Shopping With Your Freezer In Mind

    With enough freezer space, you can save money by buying in bulk and in season. Affix labels so you know when you packed each item. Then, plan a meal using one or more of your frozen foods each week. That way, you won’t end up with those mysterious, freezer-burn-covered shapes in the bottom of the freezer drawer.

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    6. Plan Ahead To Avoid Waste

    Healthy foods are often fresh foods (think fruits, veggies, meats, dairy) that don’t last long. Before you buy them, make sure you know when you’ll use them. If you have lots of leftovers, put a date (and maybe the name of the dish) on the container. And if something is about to go bad, cook it into something good before it does. Example: Got lots of extra bananas? Make banana bread before they all turn black.

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    7. Compare Apples To Apples

    When comparing prices, make sure you’re comparing the same units. If you find a bag of pre-cut broccoli at $5 per bag and heads of broccoli at $1.59 per pound, do the math. If the bag has four pounds of broccoli in it, that may be the better deal (it helps to be able to look inside the bag to see what you’re paying for). Some stores provide price tags on the shelves that show cost per unit, which makes comparison shopping a lot easier.

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    8. Mix It Up!

    Mix cheaper foods in with the more expensive stuff. Cabbage is super cheap (and delicious). Combine it with costlier asparagus to give yourself a full plate of veggies without the high cost. Instead of serving each person an entire chicken breast, mix less chicken with more vegetables and grains to make a well-balanced and less-expensive meal.

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    9. Do A Shopping Post-Mort em With Your Receipts

    What do you spend your grocery money on? If it’s for reasonably nutritious things that you like to eat, then consider it money well spent. But if you buy things because you think you should be eating them—but never finish what’s on your plate—find better foods to spend your money on.

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    10. Account For Your Protein Supplements

    When budgeting, remember that every dollar you spend on supplements is a dollar less you have to spend on protein from whole food. Make sure your shopping and food budgeting reflects the fact that, for all intents and purposes, supplements are food too!

    So what do you guys think? what tactics do you use to keep food shopping on budget? Leave you interesting comments below and lets have a discussion! 🙂

  • Is the mass i gained from taking Creatine just water?

    Hey guys,

    Danny here, I just got asked a interesting question the other day and thought I’d write a quick piece on it.

    So for you guys who are taking the supplement creatine probably noticed that your body weight has gone up as well as your muscle look and feel more fuller, logic tells you that the weight gain is almost all water.

    That may be largely true after you first begin taking it, but even then, the increase in weight appears to be proportional to the total weight gained. Remember guys that muscle is around 75% water, so if you put on say 10 pounds from using creatine, about 7.5 pounds of that is water.

    When it comes to creatine it does cause cellular volumization and that’s an important determinant of protein breakdown and protein synthesis in skeletal muscle (and other cell types, too). Working out turns on protein synthesis while simultaneously breaking down protein, but creatine shifts the balance towards protein synthesis.

    Yes, creatine supplies an extra phosphate group to help regenerate ATP during high-intensity contractions, but cell volumization is an even more important cause of creatine’s muscle-building effect.

    Long-term use is a slightly different scenario because that’s when creatine increases fat-free mass without a concomitant increase in total body water. Muscle fiber diameter goes up, along with strength, so long-term effects appear to be caused largely by increased muscle mass.

    What Creatine Product is right?

    First of all make sure it’s from a reputable company. Remember supplements are Not FDA checked so don’t go buying supplement from so dodgy drug store or warehouse! When it comes to what type, simple creatine monohydrate is fine. Dosages wise, about 3-5 grams pre workout is good (follow the instruction on the label). One last thing remember to keep hydrated to prevent cramps or stomach issues!

    So what do you guys think? Do you guys take Creatine? If so what type? And what was your experience like, leave your interesting comments blow and lets have a discussion.

  • New Year’s Resolution Top 10 Tips On How To Do It Right

    It’s that time of the year, we done with 2016 and now we are welcoming 2017 and it is an opportunity for us to reflect on our past success and challenges. It will also be the time of year where lots of us will be making new year’s resolution and one of the biggest will be get healthy, maybe to lose weight, quit smoking or drink less – but what’s the best way to stick to it?

    Now new years resolution can be hit and miss but studies and psychologists have found we’re more likely to succeed if we break our resolution into smaller goals that are specific, measurable and time-based. So let’s go over the top 10:


    Top 10 Goal-setting tips

    1. Make only one resolution. OK guys I know there will be the temptation to want to much but you have greater chances of success when you channel energy into changing just one aspect of your behaviour.Look for internal desire/wants to drive you.
    2. External factors such as it being new years can be useful as a trigger but will fade as times goes by, this is one of the main reason that so many people fail to keep their resolution/goal. So look for the reason why you want to get healthy and it’ll drive not just for the next few weeks, but for the whole year!
    3. Avoid previous resolutions. Deciding to revisit a past resolution sets you up for frustration and disappointment, so to help you keep a positive mindset try focusing on something new .
    4. Don’t run with the crowd and go with the usual resolutions. Instead think about what you really want out of life and what is important to you.
    5. Break your goal into a series of steps, focusing on creating sub-goals that are concrete, measurable and time-based. This will help you keep focused and but achieving smaller goal will help you reward yourself and keep going to the next sub-goal.
    6. Tell your friends and family about your goals. You’re more likely to get support and want to avoid failure. But be careful, not everyone will support your goals, maybe due to their own failures they are unable to see what possible. So create a support group of other positive people and work together.
    7. To stay motivated, make a checklist of how achieving your resolution will help you. Remember having the smaller goals will help you keep track!
    8. Give yourself a small reward whenever you achieve a subgoal, which will help to motivate you and give you  a sense of progress. But remember rewards does not have to be a binge of food or drink, but something more positive like some new gym clothes!
    9. Make your plans and progress concrete by keeping a handwritten journal, completing a computer spreadsheet or covering a notice board with graphs or pictures. Remember visual cues can help you keep on track!
    10. Expect to revert to your old habits from time to time. Treat any failure as a temporary setback rather than a reason to give up altogether. Remember success is never straight road and the ability to bounce back is keep, so keep moving forwards!

    So what do you guys think? what new years resolution will you be setting for yourself? what tips do you use to keep on track? Let us know and lets have conversation below.

  • How to Host a Healthy XMas Dinner

    Hey Guys

    So we talked about some tactics you can use to help prevent you from getting massive weight/fat gains over the X Mas holidays, now we are gonna talk about some tips for you all who will be doing the hosting/cooking for the festivities and how you can help keep it healthy, enjoyable and your guests will thank you for it!

    Cooking Methods Tips  

    Use Spray Oils

    Use Spray Oils

    OK when it comes to cooking we can’t always boil everything, for one the food tends to lose it flavour and can become quite soggy, and the last thing we want is to be suving our guest some bland and soggy food. So what can we do about it? Well this is where spray oil can be a life saver for light frying food, it’ll help keep the calorie count down, while providing the food with a nice crispness to it that we all enjoy. Which one to choose can be down to your personal preference and can depend on what your cooking, personally i use coconut oil spray since it give the food a nice nutty tasty and coconut oil is very stable at higher temperatures.

    Use A Light Fryer For The Dishes That Need To Be Deep Fried

    Use a Air fryer for the dishes that need to be Deep Fired

    So some dishes like chips, battered meats and fish will sometimes need to be deep fried, but we can work around this by investing in a air fryer. These machine a pretty handy and will usually only use about a tablespoon of oil to cook a large portion of foods that normally would need a 1 litre or more to deep fry. Yes it can got a bit to get especially if you’re looking to cook for a large group of ppl, but with their mart function and health benefits i think it some you guys should look into getting.

    Roast Rather The Fry

    Roast rather the fry

    As we mentioned some dish usually are cooked by deep frying, but another alternative to this is to oven roast your food. Again for glaze try using spray oil rather than drowning the food in oil and use lots of herbs and spices to help bring out a lovely tasty and aroma.

    Recipe Tips

    Replace sugar with natural sweeteners

    Replace sugar with natural sweeteners

    OK we all love a nice home made dessert, the amount of time and care put into them is kind of like mix of art and chemistry, however they can tend to be filled with lots of sugars in the baking process. So to help keep the levels of sugar down and to enough that no one goes into sugar shock, try replacing sugars with a natural sweetener, sweetener are much for potent the sugar so you’ll need a lot less of it and will help keep the calorie count down.

    Make sure there is plenty of veggies available for guests to snack on

    Make sure there is plenty of veggies available for guests to snack on

    OK giving your guests the option of veggies to snack on will help fill them up and provide fibre for them, this is turn will help their bodies process the more indulgent food more effectively and help stop them binge too much. It’ll will also help keep your food bill low since veggies can quite affordable and what’s not eaten can be cooked later in the weekend. So this one will help your guest waistline and your wallet! Just be careful of dips that you might offer with these since some of the can have lots calories.

    Make Your Own Dips

    Make Your Own Dips

    As mentioned above, there are lots of dips on the market and most of them will be heavily processed and be filled with “empty” calories and lot of preservatives. So one way to avoid this is to make them yourself, from humus to salsa dips, which are very easy to make and tasty even better fresh. So why not give it a try your guest will love it!

    Try Skinless Poultry Meats

    Try Skinless Poultry Meats

    OK cooking with can help the meat from drying out and does have a lot of flavour, but with that comes an increase of fat. To help keep your meats nice and healthy try cooking your meats skinless, it have a massive decrease in fat, mainly consisting of protein. To help prevent the chicken from drying out try making a nice saucy marinade to coat the poultry in when roasting. This will help the meat keep it moistness and allow the meat to absorb the flavour.

    Try Getting Lean Cuts Of Meat

    Try Getting Lean Cuts Of Meat

    When it comes to selecting your meats, try buying lean cuts of both red and white meats. In the case of red meat especially since  going for anything under 10% fat would be great. And in the case of white meat, ideally chicken breast is the leanness, but you’ll be ok with thigh to, just keep it skinless as we mentioned above.

    Drinks

    Serve Sugar Free Drinks

    Serve Sugar Free Drinks

    Of diet drinks are a bit hit and miss, some studies have shown that even though diet drink have no calories they can cause the body to increase its appetite, which can result in guest eating more food. But you have to take into account that calories from solid foods are broken down much slower than from liquid, meaning that there will be a reduce insulin pike in the blood. So as long as there is heathy food available this shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

    Keep The Alcohol To A Minimum

    Keep The Alcohol To A Minimum

    OK i’m not much of an alcohol drinker, but i can understand a lot of ppl are, and as a host you want to cattier to your guest needs, so having some available to them is not going to be the end of the world, but having too much available can lead to ppl getting pissed and really missing up the festive atmosphere. Also alcohol have 7 cal per gram, so for example 1 pint of beer has around 200 cal, which is a the same as a slice of pizza or dessert! Out the to i know which i would choose. So keep drinks to a min, and really focus on creating a festive atmosphere.

    Make Tea and Coffee Available To Guest

    Make Tea and Coffee Available To Guest 

    I am a massive fan of tea, from both my Asian culture and the health benefits. Have herbal tea available will help your guest with aiding them digest their food, keeping them warm and herbal teas have shown to help suppress the appetite. When it comes to coffees, having both caffeine and decaf would be great, since later in the evening your guest might not want to much caffeine and this is where the decaf comes in handy. Again with these option provide sweeteners rather than sugar to your guest, with skimmed or semi skimmed milk to help keep the calories count down.

    Have Plenty Of Water Available To Guest

    Have Plenty Of Water Available To Guest 

    Remember to have plenty of water available for your guest to drink, this will help them keep hydrated and feel full, stopping them going over boards.  So remember water is cal free and comes straight from the tap, so FREE!

    Desserts

    Serve Smaller Portions Of Dessert

    Serve Smaller Portions Of Dessert

    OK as mentioned above if you are baking from scratch try using sweetener rather than sugar. But if you’re purchasing your desserts, try getting desserts that are already in small portion, like mini cakes. The reason being that this means each guest has a fixed about to eat, and will help stop them going over board. If you’re getting a large dessert, try cutting it up into small portion than serving rather than have your guest do it, since some may go a bit over board!!

    Serve Dessert On A Smaller Dish

    Serve Dessert On A Smaller Dish

    It science fact now that if you use smaller dishes to serve food, ppl will end up eating less, so this one is a no brainier! It help stop your guest going overboard on food and save you money to, so win win!

    So what do you think? What tactics will you be using to keep your festivities healthy yet fun? Let us know in the comments below and lets have a discussion. And HAPPY X MAS to you all!

  • 28 Science-Backed Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight and Fat Gains While Enjoying Yourself

    Ok its almost that time of year, family and friends are around, there will be a lot of food and drink available. There nothing wrong with enjoy the festivities but i’m here to make sure you don’t end up looking like Santa by the end of them. Below is a list of tips that can help you during the this time.  

    Tips for Eating and Drinking

     

    1. Try Eating before drinking and celebrating.

    Skipping breakfast or lunch in order to “save your appetite” probably isn’t the best weight-maintenance tactic since not eating until the afternoon may lead to binge eating later on So stick to a reasonably sized breakfast with plenty of protein, complex carbs and some healthy fats which will keep you fuller longer and temper the urge to binge your face later.

    2. Keep your protein in the meal.

    Like we just mentioned, protein can help maintain a healthy weight because high-protein diets are associated with greater satiety and important for healthy muscle growth. Make sure to serve up some turkey, roasted chicken, or if you’re a veggie some prepare animal-free alternatives like quinoa, lentils, or beans.

    3. Bring your own snacks and treats.

    Rather than spending all the day trying to figure out what’s in every dish at a party or avoid eating altogether, bring a healthy side dish or dessert (this is where having some protein bars on you can come in handy). So have a nibble what you want, but know you have a healthy alternative to fall back on.

    4. Eat, chew slowly and really enjoy your food.

    Eating slowly may not be easy when appetiser options are endless, but it pays off to pace yourself. The quicker we eat, the less time the body has to register fullness. So slow down and take a second to savor each bite and enjoy the food and company.

    5. Serve meals restaurant-style.

    When you sit down for the main event, leave food out of sight rather than on display a basket full of treats, snacks, and an entire turkey directly on the table. When you’ve cleaned your plate, take a breather, and then decide if you really want seconds. Changing up the environment—in this case, by leaving food near the stove—can help reduce overall food intake.

    6. Fill up on fibre.

    Snacking on vegetables like cucumber and celery with other high-fibre items like legumes can help keep us fuller, longer. Also the body responses to calories different when there is fibre present and will release energy much slower help prevent blood insulin spikes.

    7. Use smaller plates.

    Plate sizes have expanded significantly over the years. Whenever possible, choose the smaller salad plate (8-10 inches) instead of a tray-like one (12 inches or more). Using smaller plates can actually make us feel fuller with less food. The brain associates a big white space on the plate with less food (and smaller plates generally require smaller portions).

    8. Make room for (healthy) fats.

    Cutting butter and oil can slash calories , but not all fats are bad fats. We need fat in our diets to provide energy and help body functions as well as absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, plus fat helps us feel full.

    9. Avoid simple carbs such as sugar.

    Holiday cookies, cakes, white bread and pies are nothing short of tempting, but all that simple carbs will may increase your blood sugar then your insulin causing your body to store it as fat. Try your best to stick to complex carbs that comes in its natural form (fruits, veggies, and whole grains) and try enjoying small nibbles of the desserts you’re truly craving rather than loading up a full plate of bland cookies.

    10. Just say no.

    Though your relatives may encourage overeating by shoving seconds onto a cleaned plate, it’s OK to respectfully decline. “I’m full” or “I’m taking a break” should be enough for friends and family members to back off (and give you time to decide if you’d really like more).

    11. Wait before grabbing seconds.

    Like we’ve said earlier, the quicker we eat a meal, the less time we give our bodies to register fullness. Since it takes about 20 minutes for the brain to get the message that dinner’s been served, it’s best to go for a walk or chat with friends before dishing up seconds.

    12. Invest in some toss-away Tupperware.

    Before guests leave you with half-full platters of food, have some Tupperware at the ready. Load up containers for friends and family to hand out as they leave. Bonus points for getting containers that are holiday-themed or for adding a festive bow to your parting gift.

    13. Freeze it for later.

    If you end up with loads of leftovers on your kitchen counter, pack up the extras and store them in the freezer for a later date. Studies show that when food is out of sight, you’ll be less likely to reach for a second helping.

    14. Chew gum to stop you over eating.

    Studies have conflicting results on whether chewing gum will actually help curb your appetite and lead to weight loss in the long run. However, in the short-term, chewing can keep you busy when socializing or when you’re full but still eyeing a second plate of dessert.

    15. Turn your back on temptation.

    The closer we are situated to food that’s in our line of vision, the more we’ll actually consume. A simple fix? Face away from the dessert spread to listen to cues from your gut rather than your eyes.

    16. Beware of booze.

    Not only does alcohol add unnecessary calories to your diet, but getting boozy has another effect on us, too. Drinking too much in the presence of champagne, eggnog, wine, and beer can make us lose our inhibitions around food and start eating irresponsibly. Take it easy with the bubbly before you start saying things like, “Eh, what’s one more cookie?”

    17. Cave in to cravings.

    Finally, a suggestion we can all get behind. It’s smart to acknowledge a few cravings instead of pushing them away completely. Caving to a craving—as long as it’s in moderation—can curb the desire to go at it like a kid in a candy store. Forbidding a specific food or food group during the holiday season may only make it more attractive. Still want more of that apple pie after a couple of bites? Try thinking of your favourite holiday activity, like opening presents, watching Christmas movies, or playing in the snow. Research shows that daydreaming about pleasant activities or distracting yourself with just about any activity can reduce the intensity of food cravings.

    18. Choose smaller drinking cups.

    When you’ve got a hankering for some seasonal eggnog, reach for a tall, thin glass, not a short squatty one. Research shows people pour less liquid into tall glasses than into their vertically challenged counterparts. With a taller glass, you’re likely to down less in one sitting (which is especially helpful when drinking booze).

    19. Drink Plenty of water!!

    Drinking water helps people feel full, and as a result consume fewer calories. Rather than guzzling calorie- and sugar-laden sodas and juices (which are associated with increased body fat and blood pressure) treat yourself to a glass of wine with dinner and keep your allegiance to water for the rest of the day.

    Tips for Moving and Mindset


    OK so we have gone over some eating tips, now let’s go over mindset tips that will also help!

    1. Meditate.

    Emotional eating to make ourselves feel better when we’re sad or anxious can interfere with weight loss goals. But meditation—using techniques like muscle relaxation, deep breathing, and mindfulness—can help binge eaters become aware of how they turn to food to deal with emotions. This is especially important at parties where there’s a ton of food on display.

    2. Set realistic goals.

    Come New Year’s resolution season, it’s easy to set lofty goals about weight loss (i.e. drop three dress sizes by February!). Since impractical targets can slow down long-term weight-loss, it’s important to address those goals before making any health and fitness changes. Write down your goals—keep them specific and attainable—and post them somewhere highly visible, like the refrigerator door. If your goal is “stick to two cookies at every holiday party” seeing it periodically may help you commit.

    3. Stay positive.

    Many of us demonize certain foods and even punish ourselves for indulgences. Instead, positive messages like “I can control my eating” or “I’m proud that I ate responsibly today” can re-frame our relationship with food. Research shows positive expectations are associated with weight loss. Even if it feels a little silly, try telling yourself at least one positive affirmation per day.

    4. Try to De-stress.

    The holiday season is full of cheer, but it can also be stressful keeping up with family get-togethers and paying for all those gifts. Unfortunately, a lot of stress can trigger increased eating and cravings, especially for sugary carbohydrates. If family time (or being away from family during the holidays) has you feeling overwhelmed, try out one of these ways to reduce stress before downing hot chocolate and cookies.

    5. Let go of limitations.

    No, we’re not talking about unbuttoning your pants at the dinner table. Before hitting up holiday parties, remember that a good workout isn’t limited to a gym or the track. It’s easy to use your bodyweight—even in small spaces—to work up a sweat.

    6. Rest and get plenty of Sleep.

    Though there’s likely no stopping the urge to wake up early on Christmas morning, getting enough sleep can help shave off some pounds, since sleep loss is linked to changes in appetite. Getting enough sleep has also been associated with less weight gain. Practice good sleep hygiene, like turning off electronics in the bedroom and avoiding high-fat foods at night.

    7. Partner up.

    Research suggests we perform better on aerobic tasks like running and cycling when exercising with a partner. If you’re home for the holidays, call up a friend or family member for a gym date or a home workout with our favorite partner exercises, including medicine ball lunge-to-chest passes, and clapping push-ups.

    8. Move it to lose it.

    A simple phrase for losing weight is to move more and eat less. The secret here—like we said before—is that moving doesn’t just mean hitting the track or going to the gym. Make a conscious decision to get more steps into the day by taking the stairs or parking the car far away from the grocery store entrance. Before curling up around the fire, round up family members for a hike or snowshoeing session.

    So what do you guys think? What do you use to help keep you weight in check over the holiday period and did we miss anything? let us know in the comments below and lets have discussion.

  • Beating the Winter Blues!

    It’s winter time, and you know what that means! The weather has turned to shit, both cold and wet, your energy levels have taken a dive and you find yourself socialising and going out has stopped. What this can result in is the winter blues, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which affects around 2 million people in the UK and more than 12 million people across northern Europe. It can affect people of any age, including children. Meaning you not alone dealing with this which i have have also dealt with personally.

    Key symptoms:

    • depression
    • sleep problems
    • lethargy
    • overeating
    • irritability
    • feeling down and unsociable

    Below are 10 tips that i used that were recommended to me by our NHS and how to incorporate them into your winter lifestyle and get you back to feeling like you.01_1ge-travel-012-_1110514k

    1. Keep active
      “Research has shown that a daily one-hour walk in the middle of the day could be as helpful as light treatment for coping with the winter blues”.

    As i have mentioned in the past, walking is a fantastic form of steady state cardio, but if u can’t go out due to weather try jumping on your indoor cycle, putting a bit of tv on and cycle away!

    1. Get outside
      “Go outdoors in natural daylight as much as possible, especially at midday and on brighter days. Inside your home, choose pale colours that reflect light from outside, and sit near windows whenever you can.”

    Now this i found is very effective when combined with your morning cardio, since the feel of fresh air and natural sunlight can give a mental recharge! Again if u can’t get you butt out due to weather then try working/spending time near the window so u can get some natural light!

    1. Keep warm
      “If your symptoms are so bad that you can’t live a normal life, see your GP for medical help. Being cold makes you more depressed. It’s also been shown that staying warm can reduce the winter blues by half.

    Keep warm with hot drinks and hot food. Wear warm clothes and shoes, and aim to keep your home between 18C and 21C (or 64F and 70F degrees).”

    Now keeping warm will help prevent you from getting into hibernation mode (sleep mode) and help you feel more energised, what i found is very helpful is enjoy hot cup of tea (without milk to keep the calories down) throughout the day and wearing socks (keep those feet warm) and a nice comfy jumper while at home.

    1. Eat healthily
      “A healthy diet will boost your mood, give you more energy and stop you putting on weight over winter. Balance your craving for carbohydrates, such as pasta and potatoes, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.”

    Now temptation would be to eat more and eat dirty, but i’m telling you from personal experience that eating junk food while dealing with SAD will only give you short term mood boost, then when you blood sugar drop you will need to eat another junk meal resulting in a bad cycle of eating, which will result in massive fat gains (i once gained over 10kg in a 2 week!) and mood swings.

    1. See the light
      “Some people find light therapy effective for seasonal depression. One way to get light therapy at home in winter is to sit in front of a light box for up to two hours a day.
      Light boxes give out very bright light at least 10 times stronger than ordinary home and office lighting.”

    Like i mentioned before i found that exposing myself (not that kind of exposing ;)) to natural sunlight help me feel more energized, so get out if you can, if not spend some time near a window and if there is no sunlight (it being winter) then studies have shown that a dawn simulator can help to.

    1. Take up a new hobby
      “Keeping your mind active with a new interest seems to ward off symptoms of SAD, says Pavlovich. “It could be anything, such as playing bridge, singing, knitting, joining a gym, keeping a journal, or writing a blog. The important thing is that you have something to look forward to and concentrate on,”

    Ok guys, i know what you thinking, “i can just play lots of video games!” i thought the same thing to, and yes gaming can be socially thing but can also lead you to becoming quite isolating as it did with me, which made my SAD worse not better, so i tapered back my gaming and returned to training at the gym which was a massive help in dealing with my SAD since it got me out the house, keep me active and surround me with people.

    1. See your friends and family
      “It’s been shown that socialising is good for your mental health and helps ward off the winter blues. Make an effort to keep in touch with people you care about and accept any invitations you get to social events, even if you only go for a little while.”

    Now like a lot of people when winter hits, i become a bit of a hermit, spending most my time alone. Now when it comes to SAD this is not a good thing and lead to my SAD getting alot worse. This was the most challenging since my closest friends and my time tables were always different (them being family people) and the weather being crap maybe it harder to get motivated to leave the house, but this can really help with SAD since having a friend or family to talk to can help you feel not alone and be fun!   

    1. Talk it through
      “Talking treatments such as counselling, psychotherapy or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help you cope with symptoms. See your GP for information on what’s available.”

    Now if shit has hit the fan and you feeling super low and your mental health is taking a hit then seeking professional may be needed. First of, there nothing wrong with seeking help to help dealing with SAD, I have done so in the past and it has helped me massively since when talking to a professional there are topics you can talk about that you might not be able to speak about with friends and family.    

    1. Join a support group
      “Think about joining a support group. Sharing your experience with others who know what it’s like to have SAD is very therapeutic and can make your symptoms more bearable.”

    Now joining a support group can help build your confidence back up, since you can get help and give help to real people who have gone through the same experience and being humans we always do better as part of a group.

    1. Seek help
      “If your symptoms are so bad that you can’t live a normal life, see your GP for medical help.”

    Again guys don’t be ashamed of getting help, this was my biggest hurdle, since i felt like i would waste my Gp time and thought i should “just get over it”! But after seeking help i was able to bounce back thanks to the help my GP got me. So guy, use your Gp’s that’s what they’re there for!  

    Extra helpful tips!

    1. Keep clean and groomed

    Personal hygiene is a very important to overall health and well-being, yes i been there! When you go days without showering and letting my beard and hair grow, and ending up looking like a hobo! But keeping yourself clean, shaving, trimming your body hair and nails can make you feel refreshed and feeling human.

    1. Keep your work-space and living environment Tidy

    Just like with you personal hygiene, living/working in a messy/dirty environment can make your SAD worse and leave you feeling like shit. Again i speak from personal experience here, after clean my living area up i felt much better and more on focus!

    So hopeful these tips will help you deal with SAD and the Winter blues just like they helped me, is there anything i missed? What helped you deal with Sad, leave your interesting comments below and lets have a discussions

  • 3 Types Of Strength Everyone Needs

    If you limit yourself to a single definition of strength, you’ll limit your potential! Become the ultimate version of yourself with this total approach.

    People like to talk—and brag—about strength these days as if it’s easy to define. To hear them tell it, strength is just your one-rep max number on a certain lift, or a few select lifts. For certain people, it will always be “how much ya bench” and for others, it’s going to be how many pull-ups you can do—two standards that require very different definitions of the word “strength.”

    As a strength coach, I tend to think of strength a little more strategically and break it down into types of strength. Here are the three types nearly anyone can benefit from and how to build them.

    Type 1: Core Strength

    Core strength almost sounds like a cliché at this point, but for those of us who work with athletes, it’s crucial. In fact, when it comes to finding that sweet spot of performance, safety, and quality of life, core strength is probably the most important kind of strength you can have.

    What’s the big deal? First and foremost, your core ties together your upper and lower body. It’s not uncommon to see athletes whose upper or lower bodies are brutally strong in isolation, but who fall apart when asked to perform lifts—heck, or even a yoga class—that demands they tie the two together.

    Second, core strength is critical for injury prevention. When the core is weak, humans have a natural tendency to default to a position of spinal extension—or leaning back—particularly at the low back. For many people, this precarious position is how they spend their days.

    While not the major cause of injury in and of itself, being stuck in this position makes it very likely that you’ll deal with nagging aches and pains around your knees, hips, and lower back. Learning to control extension via better core control and strength will go a long way to keeping you healthy over time.

    Last but not least, strengthening your core can take your performance to the next level. Many athletes find it’s the kind of “everything I did just got better” solution they didn’t know they were looking for. So, yeah, building a stronger core makes sense.

    But what does a “strong core” mean? More than any other muscle group, a strong core must be balanced. It must be able to resist your spine’s tendency to bend to unsafe extremes in four ways:

    • Anti-extension (to the back)
    • Anti-flexion (to the front)
    • Anti-lateral flexion (to the sides)
    • Anti-rotation (twisting)

    Training to prevent motion in each of these areas is crucial for building a strong, healthy, balanced core. And while there’s value in isolated core work, there are lifts you can incorporate into your regular workouts to build core strength where it counts. Here are my favourites for each of the fundamental directions:

    • Anti-extension: Loaded push-ups
    • Anti-flexion: Front-squat variations, deadlift variations
    • Anti-lateral flexion: Offset farmer’s carries, suitcase deadlifts
    • Anti-rotation: Single-arm dumbbell bench presses, unsupported dumbbell rows

    Type 2: Maximal Strength

    You may not aspire to be a world-class powerlifter, and that’s fine. You can just plug your 5-rep max, or a weight you can lift with perfect form 5 times, into a calculator to get an estimate of your one-rep max. Is it totally accurate? Not necessarily. But it’s good enough for pretty much all of us who aren’t competitive lifters.

    But to be clear, the fact that I’m not asking you to grind through do-or-die nosebleed singles doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be striving to put more weight on the bar over time.

    Maximal strength training is important, because it emphasizes the nervous system, not just the muscular system. When you train with heavy weights, your body is forced to become more efficient, turning the right muscles on and off in a certain sequence.

    But beyond getting stronger, maximal strength training also has a huge carryover to speed and power development for athletes. It’s common for us to start training young athletes with the most basic exercises, putting minimal emphasis on speed or power. Then, lo and behold, as the athlete gets stronger, we see a direct and immediate carryover to their speed and development as well.

    This proves the power of the nervous system. It’s great to build muscle and look good, but the nervous system is the “go” to the muscular system’s “show.”

    When training for maximal strength, your exercise selection is critical. Biceps curls and triceps kick-backs aren’t going to help you here. You need to focus on big-bang, compound lifts that allow you to put weight on the bar week after week.

    My primary four exercise variations for building strength are:

    • Squat variations (front and back)
    • Deadlift variations (sumo, conventional, or trap bar)
    • Bench presses
    • Chin-ups

    If you based your training around those four lifts for a year, with the sole goal of getting stronger at them, I guarantee you’d see huge changes not only in your strength, but also your physique

    Type 3: Explosive Strength

    What’s the first physical quality we lose as we age? Sure, you’ll lose some muscle and strength, but the first quality you lose is actually power, or the ability to move things quickly.

    While not all of us compete in sports as we age, that doesn’t mean we don’t want or need the ability to run fast, jump high, or move quickly. It ties together with the two other types of strength discussed into a coordinated, athletic package, making you the best weekend warrior you can be. 

    I’m going to oversimplify this a bit, but explosive strength can be divided into two categories:

    • Strength-speed: Moving heavy things as fast as possible
    • Speed-strength: Moving light things explosively

    Strength-speed would include exercises like the Olympic lifts, or variations of the clean and jerk or snatch. These aren’t as heavy as a maximum-effort deadlift or squat, so the bar speed is considerably faster.

    You don’t need to learn the full lifts to get the benefits. Even something as simple as a hang clean from the knees will go a long way toward making you more powerful and explosive.

    On the flip side, you’ve got speed-strength, or moving lighter implements as quickly as possible. When it comes to speed-strength, I favor med-ball throws and jumping exercises.

    Med-ball throws are fantastic, because you can perform not only total-body variations, but also variations that are specific to the upper body. It’s easy to train lower-body power, as there are so many options to choose from, but exercise selection for upper-body power can be a bit more difficult.

    Jumps are another option that works incredibly well. But don’t feel the need to jump right into max-effort vertical jumping. Start with basic progressions like low box jumps, where your only focus is on sticking the landing, and you step down gently after each rep. The box is a great tool—when used correctly—as it reduces the eccentric forces and impact, especially early on in a program.

    I can’t stress this enough: You don’t have to be a competitive athlete to enjoy the benefits of power training. Emphasise it in your program throughout the year, and I guarantee you’ll not only feel more athletic, but you’ll have fun training.

    How To Build These Types Of Strength Together

    I’m a big believer in training everything at once while keeping certain priorities at the forefront. Working in blocks of 4-6 weeks, make some strategic substitutions.

    Phase 1: Accumulation Block (Core Emphasis)

    The focus here is on building a brutally strong core and setting the stage for more strength and power development down the line. Include some basic power and strength training, but emphasize variations that challenge the core.

    For example, instead of a barbell front squat, perform a double-kettle-bell front squat. Instead of a bench press, perform a single-arm bench press. Instead of arm-supported or chest-supported dumbbell rows, I’d do unsupported dumbbell rows.

    Basically, find a way to integrate your core into all of your primary movements. This will make sure you’re building a strong, balanced core in all planes of movement.

    Wrap your session up with some isolated core training. Dead bugs, planks, and ab-wheel roll-outs are all fantastic here. Along with the strength work, this will put an emphasis on building your core in three dimensions rather than just focusing on either the posterior or anterior core.

    Phase 2: Maximal Strength Block (Strength Emphasis)

    Here the major goal is simple: To get stronger. On your power training, you might make some micro progressions to make the exercises more intense. Same goes for your core training exercises: Challenge yourself and make them a bit harder. But the real emphasis in this training block would be to get as strong as possible.

    While I love unilateral variations , the goal here is more likely to put both feet on the floor, both hands on the bar, and move as much weight as you can with rock-solid technique on big lifts.

    Whether it’s the front squat, back squat, deadlift, bench press, or weighted chin-up, make it a goal to add some weight to the bar each and every week.

    Phase 3: Realization Block (Explosive-Strength Emphasis)

    This is where things get fun. You’ve built a brutally strong, balanced core. You’ve gotten stronger and primed your nervous system in the process. Now it’s time to convert that strength to raw power.

    The emphasis on this block should be speed and explosiveness. Run. Jump. Sprint. Throw medicine balls. Work on the Olympic lifts. Anything you can do that’s fast and explosive will work here.

    Put your maximum strength and core training on the back burner. Maintain them, but don’t think about pushing the envelope. Once you complete a training block like this, chances are you’ll feel more athletic than you have in years.

    The great thing about these three types of strength is the way they feed into one another. For instance, you’re not emphasising core or max strength in Phase 3, but when you return to those goals in the future, don’t be surprised if you’ve improved there. You’re a more well-rounded, complete athlete now. Get ready to surprise yourself!

    So what do you guys think? What dose strength mean to you and what have you tried to increase your strength, leave your interesting comments below and lets have discussion.

  • Dealing with Injury when Training

    Hey guys,

    Here a quick video on how to deal with an injury that you might get when training and what to do.

    11

    Don’t panic and get Stressed!!

    Okay! I get it! You have been doing your stretch and your warm up but still its happened your injured! First thing u need to do is stop training and get out of the gym! The last thing you want to is make it worse! So take a moment to calm yourself, since stress will make your body release cortisol which will run havoc on your body system! Its not the end of the world and you will recovery, remember fitness is not a sprint it’s a marathon!

    10Seek Medical care!

    Depending on the severity of your injury you might need to seek medical help, if so get help, don’t let you ego or pride stop you getting the help you need, there is no shame in getting help! Dr’s are there for a reason, so use them!

    9Analysis

    So first we need to analysis what the issue is so ask yourself, “What were you doing when you hurt it?” and, “Can you show me specifically which movements cause pain?”  10Get Real
    Take a moment and understand that we are not pro athletes and tomorrow is not the Olympics. When you are injured, your priority is dealing with your injury, or at the very least, not worsening it. If you are questioning whether or not you should be at the gym – GO HOME!!!


    11Focus On Recovery
    Use your time at home to work your recovery. Recovery does not mean sitting still. It could mean using a foam roller and a lacrosse ball to work out muscle spasms or adhesions. It could mean icing for 10-20 minutes at the top of every hour. It could mean visiting your chiropractor, massage therapist or yoga instructor. It could mean visiting your doctor and having diagnostic tests run. It does mean, without a doubt, listening to your body and being nice to it.

    12Be Reasonable
    If you choose to stay at the gym and work around your injury, then really work around it and make sure your coach is aware of the situation. Do not do things that only “hurt a little.” If it hurts, stop doing it. If you are hurting it, you are not healing it. Yes, it might feel better once you get going into the workout, but that has more to do with endorphin’s and than it does with whether or not you are causing damage and preventing healing. This does not mean you cannot move around at all, but do not do things that cause pain.
    13Don’t Create Other Injuries
    If you are dealing with an injury requiring a long healing period, a shoulder injury for example, be careful you do not cause other injuries or imbalances in your training. If your left shoulder is hurt and you spend three months only working your right arm and right shoulder, you are setting yourself up for future problems. It is not just your arms, but your back, hips, and legs that will be affected by this constant unbalanced unilateral movement. In this scenario, you are better off focusing on lower body and core exercises, but be careful!!.

    14There Is No Quick Fix
    As with most things in life, we are in a hurry to get to the next step and injury recovery is no different. Beware of the quick fix. I have had clients come to me saying their doctor wanted to give them a cortisone shot. Unless you are playing the Super Bowl tomorrow, there is no reason for you to get a cortisone shot. In my experience it only allows you to train through the pain and worsen the injury. Likewise, beware of painkillers in general. If you want to take something, double or triple your fish oil and deal with the inflammation aspect of your injury.15If It Hurts, Stop. It’s Just Not Worth It.
    This one is worth repeating. For the vast majority of us, we work out for fun or because we are committed to a certain level of health. We are not professional athletes, nor for the most part even competitive amateur athletes. Our priorities in our lives are different from a pro-athlete and therefore our priorities in the gym should be also.

    Take the time necessary to heal properly; it will serve you in both your performance and your quality of life for years to come. So what do you think? Did i miss something, Leave your interesting comments below and let’s have a discussion!