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6 FOOD MYTHS YOU NEED TO STOP BELIEVING

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Understanding more about food and how to eat healthy will help you lose weight and stay healthy in the long term. I think it’s worth investing time into educating yourself about it. But it can be hard as there is SO much advice out there. Here are some common food myths which I hope that I can clear up for you.

Natural Sugar VS Added Sugar

Natural sugar is found in fruit, some vegetables, and dairy (lactose is a sugar). These type of foods also contain fiber and many other nutrients which actually slows down digestion. They can also make you feel full and won’t leave you with a sugar crash. So these are the best type of sugars.

However, there are many other “natural” sugars out there now, and people are being tricked into thinking that these are “healthier.” Things like coconut sugar, agave nectar, brown rice syrup, raw honey, evaporated cane juice – these are all sugar. You’re no better off using these than you are normal sugar.

In the end, all sugar is processed the exact same way in your body, whether it’s natural or not. So you still need to be wary of eating TOO much sugar and that includes fruit too.

Eggs Yolks Are Unhealthy

Egg yolks do contain cholesterol, and cholesterol isn’t really great for you. But people are becoming more aware now that it is saturated fat and trans fats that are more responsible for increasing your blood cholesterol, not dietary cholesterol. So eating eggs every day will do you no harm! But as with any food, just don’t overdo it.

Coffee Is Bad For You

Yes coffee does contain caffeine which is a mild diuretic and it is not a naturally occurring substance. But caffeine is actually the only supplement that is proved to help you lose weight, and coffee does have some health benefits. Coffee becomes unhealthy when you put cream and sugar in it. But if you drink it black or with a little bit of milk, it’s not that bad.

Just be aware though that caffeine is addictive and that it is not naturally occurring, so you will have withdrawals if you try to stop drinking it. And relying on coffee to wake you up is not a healthy habit.

Salads Are The Healthiest Thing You Can Order At Restaurants

Salads can be healthy, but they can also be unhealthy. You need to look at what is in the salad. If it has a creamy or sweet dressing, this is going to add extra calories. If it includes dried fruit, croutons, fried chicken, fried noodles, honey roasted nuts, the list goes on, then this is not healthy.

Organic And Gluten Free Means Healthy

Just because something is organic or gluten free it doesn’t mean that it is healthy. Organic cookies or gluten free muffins are still going to have the same amount of calories and sugar in it as the normal variety. Read what is on the packet and what ingredients are in it before just assuming it is healthy!

You Will Lose Weight If You Just Eat Healthy

Lots of people think that if they just eat healthy, they will lose weight. The thing is, you also need to eat LESS food than your body needs. Eating healthy will help you eat less food as the good stuff is generally lower in calories and will keep you full. But if you still eat 2000 calories of healthy food when your body only needs 1500 calories, you won’t lose weight just because it’s healthy. In fact, you’ll probably gain weight.

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RECOMMENDED MACRONUTRIENTS FOR EACH BODY TYPE

How-to-Calculate-Macronutrients

There are 3 main body types. While anyone can get good results with any workout and healthy eating plan, following a plan specific to your body type will get you better results and quicker.

Nutrition really is key when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off.

These are the recommended macronutrients for each body type. You don’t necessarily need to stick to these exactly as sometimes it is hard to hit macros; 5% above or below is also fine.

Endomorph

Endomorphs have a larger, solid frame and are generally curvy with a high level of body fat. These body types gain muscle and fat very easily and find it difficult to lose weight, especially through diet alone. They have strong muscles (especially their legs). Losing body fat for the endomorph will take longer compared to the other body types.

Because the endomorph body type cannot tolerate high carbs very well, a lower carbohydrate and higher fat and protein diet is recommended. Recommended macronutrients for this body type would be:

  • 25% carbs
  • 45% fat
  • 30% protein

Mesomorph

Mesomorphs are somewhat in the middle. They can have an athletic body, respond quickly to exercise and can have great muscle definition. They find it easy to lose and gain weight and their weight can fluctuate. If you’re a mesomorph and have ever dreamed of being a fitness model, then lucky you, you’ve got the genetics!

Mesomorphs suit a balanced diet best, with a moderate amount of carbs. Recommended macronutrients for this body type would be:

  • 40% carbs
  • 30% fat
  • 30% protein

Ectomorph

Ectomorphs are those lucky people who are naturally thin, have a low body fat without needing to exercise or diet and find it difficult to gain weight and muscle. Think of those people who have natural “model type” bodies. Typically they have fast metabolisms, but they lack shape and can sometimes be skinny fat. Skinny fat is a term used to describe people who appear skinny when wearing clothes, but actually have a higher body fat percentage for their bodies.

Ectomorphs are naturally thin and can usually eat higher amounts of carbs without any effect on the body (lucky them!). Recommended macronutrients for this body type would be:

  • 50% carbs
  • 25% fat
  • 25% protein

Fiber

Fiber is extremely important, especially for those who require a low carb diet, as carbs are the main foods that contain fiber.

Once I followed a low carb diet and didn’t bother about fiber. I was only eating around 11g of fiber per day and I was always hungry. I thought that was normal because I was “on a diet.” However, when I increased my fiber intake just by changing my foods (still eating the same amount of calories and carbs), I was much less hungry!

You need to make sure your carbohydrates are coming from healthy sources such as fruit, vegetables, lentils, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Foods such as crackers / cruskits, cereals, sweets, white bread, etc do not contain much fiber, so I would avoid these.

The recommended fiber intake is 15g of fiber per 1000 calories, with the absolute minimum fiber intake being 22g per day (for a female). So if someone is eating 1800 calories per day, their recommended fiber intake is 27g.

How To Calculate Your Macros In Grams

This can get a little bit tricky and requires some maths. I will give you an example on how to calculate 25% carbs for the endomorph body type.

The calculations also depend on your calorie intake.

Let’s just say that for this example, the person is eating 1800 calories per day.

Step 1:

1800 calories x 0.25 (25%) = 450 calories

Therefore, you need 450 calories of carbohydrates per day.

Step 2:

To calculate how many grams you will need of each macronutrient, you will need to know the following information:

  • 1 gram of carbohydrate is 4 calories
  • 1 gram of protein is 4 calories
  • 1 gram of fat is 9 calories
  • Just for your interest, alcohol is 7 calories for each gram

If there are 4 calories in 1 gram of carbohydrate and you need to consume 459 calories of carbohydrate:

450 calories / 4 calories = 112.5 grams

 

You can in fact be a combination of two body types. If you are an ectomorph / mesomorph, it is best for you to follow the mesomorph guidelines. If you are a mesomorph / endomorph, it is best for you to follow the endomorph guidelines.

No matter what your body type, you CAN lose body fat, gain muscle and make improvement to your legs. But you CAN’T change your body type. If for example you are an endomorph, you will never have the same thin body of an ectomorph and this should not be your goal. Your goal should be something that is attainable for your body type and that will make you look and feel your absolute best!

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Love Your Current Body Shape

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I’m sure most people have parts about them that they don’t like or would like to change (me included). Being happy with your current body (regardless of whether or not you need to lose weight) can help you be in a more positive mindset and choose healthy behaviours that will help you change or maintain your weight.

A lot of people have trouble with this and I definitely do too. So here are my tips to help us!

  1. Don’t Compare Yourself To Others

This is such a hard one with photos of amazing bodies all over social media and everywhere else you look. But remember that everyone is different, and that person that you see with the amazing body on Instagram, may not be so perfect. Don’t compare yourself. This can be physically, but also in other aspects of your life. Accept that you can’t be the best at everything! Be happy with what you have.

  1. Don’t Talk Bad About Yourself

Do you ever look at photos of yourself and think, “I look fat”? Yeah me too. Some of you may think I’m crazy for even thinking this. But I just want you to know that anyone can think this about themselves. If you find yourself doing this, immediately try and think of something positive about yourself!

  1. Focus On What You Love

NOBODY is perfect. If you’re always thinking about your imperfections, you’re going to get down about it. Instead, think about all of the things about yourself that you love. Be confident!

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WHY DO PEOPLE USUALLY REGAIN WEIGHT AFTER THEY HAVE LOST IT?

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Most people who lose weight regain some or all (if not more) of it back. Why does this happen? Why doesn’t the weight stay off for good?

Don’t Go For The Quick Fix

Most people who diet go for the quick fix, rather than thinking of it as a long-term thing. Eventually you’ll go back to your old ways and will re-gain weight, go on a drastic weight loss diet and lose weight, gain it back, and keep going through this yo-yo dieting cycle. When trying to lose weight, don’t be super strict on yourself or starve yourself. I know this can be hard, but it will backfire in the long run. If you deprive yourself, you will eventually give in. It’s not sustainable.

Change Your Lifestyle

The main thing to remember is HOW you lose the weight. If you do it by unhealthy means such as juice detoxes, fasts, crazy diets, etc, you’ll more than likely gain the weight back. You need to change your lifestyle so that it is healthy and more importantly, something that you are able to maintain forever.

You don’t want to slip back into old habits of eating badly and not doing any exercise. So if you know that you’re never going to live without chocolate – don’t! Just eat it in moderation. And if you know that you hate running and will dread working out if you need to run, don’t! Do another form of exercise instead. It needs to be a lifestyle that YOU can maintain, and this is different for everyone.

Don’t Expect Results Overnight

A lot of people will get disheartened if they don’t see results immediately and will then give up. Remember that it is going to take TIME. If it took you 6 months to gain the weight, it’s probably going to take you twice as long to lose it all. Remember, it is long term. Don’t expect to drop all of that weight in a matter of weeks. There’s nothing healthy about that.

Start Straight Away

As soon as you feel yourself slipping back to old habits, or can feel your clothes getting tighter, take action! It is much easier to lose a few kilos than it is to lose 10 kilos. Don’t let a little weight gain turn into a huge relapse. Make the change, before you make it harder for yourself.

Accept That It Will Be Hard Work

Yes it will be hard (especially at the start) and you may go backwards at times. It is going to take healthy eating, portion control, exercise, self control/discipline and CONSISTENCY. Accept that there is no magic pill or detox or quick fix, and that it is going to require a lifestyle change.

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Understanding Your Lung Health

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October is Healthy Lung Month, and for most of us keeping our lungs healthy is all about getting exercise. Whether it’s swimming laps in the pool, running a couple miles along a park trail or getting in a few good reps in at the gym, there’s a ton of great ways to keep your lungs working at their peak! First of all, to explain the best ways to keep your lungs healthy it’s good to know how lungs become unhealthy to begin with. There are the obvious ways to negatively impact lung strength and capacity, like smoking cigarettes or breathing air containing dangerous gases like radon or minerals like asbestos. Most commonly, smokers are the ones who are most at risk of developing diseases like COPD, emphysema and lung cancer, but that doesn’t mean non-smokers don’t have their own concerns. But not everything has to be so gloomy! There are a number of ways to reverse the effects of some types of lung damage, and plenty of ways to continue building strength and increase function.

Green and Clean: Indoor Air Quality

Studies have shown indoor air to be between two and five times more pollute than the air we breathe outside. Luckily, there are hundreds of easy ways to promote strong and healthy lungs both inside and outside your home. For example, did you know spider plants and Chinese Evergreens are great at removing certain types of household toxins, like acetone and benzyne, from indoor air? Not only will your air be cleaner and your home a little greener, you’ll be able to breathe easier knowing your home office and rec room have a little bit more feng shui!

Spring and summer are the perfect seasons for doing a wide array of home improvement projects. Painting, knocking down walls and adding on rooms are only some of the projects we take on, but how often do we think about the air we’re breathing in while we’re doing them? Make sure to wear a protective mask when doing any type of renovations to prevent breathing in household chemicals from cleaning supplies, adhesives and paints.

Proper monitoring and protection also keeps you from inhaling radon gas, which seeps into basements from underground, and asbestos, a mineral once commonly found in products ranging from cement and duct adhesives to caulk. Asbestos, in particular, is dangerous because decades later that exposure can result in a rare cancer called mesothelioma.

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The easiest way to keep your lungs in perfect shape is to get out and exercise! It doesn’t take much to strengthen them, either. Exercising only two to three times a week will improve your lung health and function, plus any type of exercise counts! Now you don’t have to feel guilty taking an extra lap around the block with the baby stroller or playing a few more minutes of frisbee at the neighborhood park. Aerobic exercises are a great way to improve lung function, especially when combined with a series of deep breathing exercises to strengthen the diaphragm. The diaphragm, a muscle that helps the lungs pull in air, does about 80 percent of the work every time you breathe. By performing deep breathing exercises on a regular basis, runners and other athletes are more likely to take better breaths while running and may feel less fatigued during a workout. In the end, that means you can work harder and for longer! It doesn’t take much to keep your lungs healthy, especially when combined with a good diet, routine exercise and avoiding cigarettes and other pollutants. By following these suggestions, you can breathe a little easier knowing you are doing the right things to keep your lungs safe.

 

Love and light,

Caroline

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5 Habits Of Healthy Women

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How do women who are in good shape maintain it? Here are some habits of healthy women to help you stay on track and become one of these healthy women too!

  1. Eat Out Less Often

Eating out a lot can sabotage you. Portion sizes are usually larger and there are more calories than what you would normally eat. Not to mention that you may allow yourself dessert because you’re eating out, so you may as well treat yourself right?

I try not to eat out unless I really have to. If it’s a social event, of course I’m not going to say no. But if it’s a Sunday night and I’m lazy and don’t feel like cooking, I’m not going to give in and get takeaway. I will usually only eat out if it’s a social outing. Every other meal is prepared by me.

  1. Weigh In Regularly

I know a lot of people have issues with weighing themselves, and it can play on your mind if you’re trying to lose weight. But if you’re just looking to maintain your weight, weighing yourself every few weeks can help you stay on track. Weight will fluctuate a little bit with water intake, time of the month, bowel movements, etc. So don’t be concerned with little fluctuations. Also, weighing yourself obsessively every day is not health and I do not recommend this.

  1. Learn To Love Exercise & Do It Daily

It can be hard at the start, forcing yourself to get out of bed early for a workout, or get to the gym after a long day at work. But I promise you that after a while, you will love working out. I absolutely LOVE the feeling after a hard workout. Admittedly I do still sometimes find it hard to get out the front door, but that’s the hardest part. Most healthy women do something active everyday, because they actually like it. Make sure you’re doing exercise that you enjoy, otherwise you won’t be able to maintain it for the long term.

  1. Drink Lots Of Water

As I type, I’m sitting here with a water bottle next to me. I bring it with me wherever I go – grocery shopping, out with my friends to cafes, shopping, everywhere. It helps me drink much more than the required 2L of water per day.

  1. Eat 5 Serves Of Vegetables

Aim to eat your recommended 5 serves of vegetables everyday. Trying to eat some vegetables at every meal helps. For example, you could add some greens to your breakfast smoothie or omelette, vegetables in your salad, sandwich or whatever you are having for lunch. And always make sure you are having some vegetables for dinner! Make a conscious effort to eat 5 serves everyday.

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Not Gain Weight Over The Weekend

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If you’re anything like me, weekends are usually when all the hard work comes undone. It can be really tempting to eat bad foods and be lazy when you’ve worked hard and eaten super healthy all week! I still struggle with this, but getting better! Here are some tips to help you not gain weight over the weekend.

1. Friday Night Drinks

OK I don’t have this problem as I stick to my two drinks maximum, but I know lots of you do. Try not to overdo it with the alcohol (easier said than done, I know!). But when you drink, you are more likely to eat bad foods and overeat. Plus any food eaten after you have been drinking will be stored directly as fat. Have a few drinks, but just try not to overdo it!

2. Dining Out

I LOVE going out for dinner / dessert on the weekends! Rather than deprive yourself of the good stuff, try sharing a large meal or a few small plates. Otherwise, just try to avoid anything deep-fried, or anything containing too much oil or cream.

3. Netflix Marathon

Sometimes you just want to lie down and binge watch your favourite TV show for 6 hours straight (been there, done that!). But there are so many other fun and active things that you can fill your weekends with. A walk with friends, hiking, swimming at the beach, playing sport, going for a bike ride, walking around the markets, etc. Try to do something active everyday – it doesn’t have to be the gym or a run!

4. Out For Sunday Brunch

Most people eat WAY too much at brunch! Don’t use brunch as an excuse to eat 2 meals in one. Have something small such as a piece of fruit in the morning before you go. This will help you keep your hunger levels down and you’ll be less likely to want to eat everything in sight.

5. Shopping

Shopping is actually a great active because you end up doing hours of walking, without really feeling like you’re doing exercise. Win win! The only downside are all of the cafes, bakeries and treats tempting you throughout the shopping centre. Rather than stop for snacks, carry some of your own healthy snacks in your bag! And if you do stop at a coffee shop, have a coffee or tea, but say no to the treats.